D&D 5E What would 5E be like if the playtest's modularity promise was kept?

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
The major issue with this is just how minimalist early D&D demands things be. Hence my comment earlier. If Fighters need to be essentially empty of features, how do you match that in such a way that you don't make the new(er)-school options a straight 100% power-up, thus throwing all encounter math completely out the window.
You have to more or less create a basic +X to damage class feature and allow people who want 3e, 4e, or other styles to swap it out.

They attempted this with the brute fighter but they didn't leave enough room to make it work.
 

log in or register to remove this ad



James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
I guess it just came from WotC platitudes about this being the "greatest hits" edition, ie, no matter what style of D&D you like, you'll find it here, and Monte (as usual) saying stuff that would annoy people later (you'd think he'd learned after the Ivory Tower incident).

We expect optional rules, every edition has them. WotC used to give us whole books like Sandstorm, Cityscape, Unearthed Arcana, or the DMG II full of optional rules!

We were expecting ways to truly transform the game and instead we got "well if you want feats or magic items, you can have them! We're not balancing them, so good luck!" and "You can always make full rests take a week!".
 

I would love for a source book per year (or even every other year) to have been "here are modifications to spells/feats/races/classes to get closer to older edition feels" having advice (maybe the forward of each) that you can mix and match them and the core game.

The best part I was waiting for was for them to go beyond... like by now 8ish year later to be saying "Hey if you want more a WoD style game here is a supplement"
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
I would love for a source book per year (or even every other year) to have been "here are modifications to spells/feats/races/classes to get closer to older edition feels" having advice (maybe the forward of each) that you can mix and match them and the core game.

The best part I was waiting for was for them to go beyond... like by now 8ish year later to be saying "Hey if you want more a WoD style game here is a supplement"
So...terribly written rules about playing slightly better than normal humans who drink blood or grow fur interspersed by random song lyrics and quotes to make you seem hip, cool, and not in any way pretentious?

Oh and then gripes for the next 30 years from Justin Achilli about how you're playing wrong?
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
Because even if they managed to include a Warlord that gave you the four things you mentioned in your list... someone else would have another list with even more Warlord stuff that they felt had to be in the class for it to be a Warlord. There are people out there who probably would only want a Warlord that exactly matched the 4E version (down to maneuver names and such) for the 5E Warlord to be valid.
So because there might possibly be a tiny handful of unhappy people, it's totally cool that nearly everyone who loved Warlords walked away unhappy with 5e? Now that's a hot take...

I just am unwilling to wipe the entirety of 4E-isms in 5E away just because they don't match.
Well, if you actually took my argument seriously, you'd know that I'm saying they don't match.

E.g., cantrips aren't at-wills with a twist or fresh paint. They reinforce caster dominance. They are actively fighting one of the most important purposes at-wills served, and there is no system which compensates for this. Or, for another example, hit dice aren't healing surges, and in fact serve literally the opposite purpose (extra healing on top of essentially-unlimited magical healing). You cannot even rework hit dice to make them work like surges (and the optional rule claiming to do so is, again, laughably missing the point by making them unbounded because there's no other way to get around the limitations of 5e hit dice healing.)

--------

So, building off the above and attempting to answer the initial question: Hit Dice could have been an actually cross-edition modularity option. If they'd been handled differently, it could have been easy to toggle between 3e-/5e-style "they're a bonus on top of unlimited magic healing," something relatively 1e-style where healing is slow and difficult (e.g. maybe you only recover one hit die per long rest, so they're precious), or something 4e-style where they're beefier but act as a cap on healing. Likewise, it wouldn't have been THAT hard to, for example, make a list of Combat Stunts that use up one attack roll to do something cool and do damage (e.g., stuff like Shove, but actually, y'know, interesting and making-fights-end-sooner rather than delaying-when-the-fight-ends), with toggles so that the 2e approach requires you to spend Weapon Proficiencies (and giving tables of such proficiencies for various classes), a 3e approach that locks them behind feats, and a 4e approach that lets non-cantrip classes (e.g. Paladin, Fighter, Barbarian, Rogue, etc.) pick some up, perhaps on a schedule similar to cantrips for full casters, e.g. Paladins get fewer because they're part-spellcaster, while Fighters get the most. Etc. Skills could have toggles to 2e-style NWPs, 3e-style point-based skills, or 4e-style broad skills and skill challenges. Etc.

THAT is what modularity would look like. Multi-state toggles carefully constructed to assist the actual spirit of the rules of various prior editions, rather than superficial mimicry.

And I would absolutely include "zero level" rules as a similar component, a toggle for groups that like really slow progression and really legit actually zero-to-hero play. Likewise, learning from 13th Age, rules for "incremental advancements" so groups can smooth out some of the chunky aspect of levelling up and feel like they're making progress while still keeping the pace relatively slow.
 

So...terribly written rules about playing slightly better than normal humans who drink blood or grow fur interspersed by random song lyrics and quotes to make you seem hip, cool, and not in any way pretentious?

Oh and then gripes for the next 30 years from Justin Achilli about how you're playing wrong?
I mean no... yes, but, no...but yes
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
You have to more or less create a basic +X to damage class feature and allow people who want 3e, 4e, or other styles to swap it out.

They attempted this with the brute fighter but they didn't leave enough room to make it work.
I guess my issue is, from what stuff I've seen from folks who speak up about wanting old-school stuff in 5e, even this would not cut it. Because extra damage is a feature. And there shouldn't be features.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I guess my issue is, from what stuff I've seen from folks who speak up about wanting old-school stuff in 5e, even this would not cut it. Because extra damage is a feature. And there shouldn't be features.
Here's the thing. I don't see many of those types ever playing WOTC brand D&D. Many of the old schoolers are willing to accept some class features.
 

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top