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D&D General What Would You Base A non-OGL 5e-alike Game On? (+)

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I am intrigued by this idea, but instead of having 'levels' having 'tiers,' if I were to design such a system, I'd have character abilities be gated by tier. Mundane, Adventurer, Heroic, Paragon, Epic, and Mythic would be the tiers.

You could thus have games where the tier stays the same the whole way through, and the reward of adventuring is learning new abilities to widen your abilities, rather than increase your power. Or you could have 'zero to hero' games, or maybe something like 'hero to legend' plots. And there could be designs that require certain trials or achievements to go from one tier to the next.

And maybe there'd be designs like, "I'm a Paragon Warrior, but I'm able to pick up a few Adventurer-tier magical abilities. Our Paragon Mage also knows a few Adventurer-tier scoundrel abilities," etc.

That's how "classes" work in the homebrew game one of my groups plays. Classes are tiered. As you level, you can switch to a higher tier class. A Tier 1 Warrior can opt to be a Tier 2 Fighter at level up.

Higher Tier classes are stronger but have fewer action/fate points. Your tier counts against the Power level of the adventure for counting action/fate points. So you could roll with lower tier mundane character with tons of points to lucks your way of of jams.
 

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Faolyn

(she/her)
One thing I pondered was basing a game of rolling 3d6. Advantage adds a d6. Disadvantage removes a d6. And you criti if you roll two 6s.

But the core would be taking the TOP 20 Class fantasies of 5e and making them the base classes.
As in, champion is a class, eldritch knight is a class, battle master is a class?

I'd go the other way around. Have Warrior as the class. Different types of warriors, or different fighting styles, could be expressed by something akin to a chosen feat or option. Not really an archetype, but similar.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
As in, champion is a class, eldritch knight is a class, battle master is a class?

I'd go the other way around. Have Warrior as the class. Different types of warriors, or different fighting styles, could be expressed by something akin to a chosen feat or option. Not really an archetype, but similar.
Too easy to accidentally copy something OGL and Too easy to copy the flaws of 5e.

Split the Champion, Battlemaster, and Eldritch Knight into their own classes and give them the full class design space to capture their identities. Samewith something like the Beastmaster and Hexblade. Cut them out and make full classes. We aren't bound to WOTC's no "new classes" rules. And doing so helps you separate yourself from 5e OGL more.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Too easy to accidentally copy something OGL and Too easy to copy the flaws of 5e.

Split the Champion, Battlemaster, and Eldritch Knight into their own classes and give them the full class design space to capture their identities. Samewith something like the Beastmaster and Hexblade. Cut them out and make full classes. We aren't bound to WOTC's no "new classes" rules. And doing so helps you separate yourself from 5e OGL more.
Fair enough. Although I'd worry there'd be a very high risk of some classes definitely outshining others. Like, how would a Champion class be as interesting as a Battlemaster Class? Yes, I know that they wouldn't be taken directly from 5e, but the concept of the "basic fighter" isn't going to be as compelling as "basic fighter, but with maneuvers."

I'm usually up for combining things, taking the most interesting parts of multiple archetypes and making them into a single, more interesting one. Combine Sharpshooter and Arcane Archer. Battle Master, Kensei, and maybe even Hexblade. Battlemaster, Samurai, and Purple Dragon Knight. Champion and Brute. Obviously not taking it directly from them, of course, but the ideas.

(Also, it might be easier if, like a lot of OSR games, this only went up to 10th level.)
 

DMZ2112

Chaotic Looseleaf
Advancement beyond 10th level is fine, but the game has to change. It needs to reflect that the players are now the threat, and the adventurers monsters come to them. Gotta build that dungeon stronghold.

Also, my version of this thing would have only four classes and a ton of archetypes for each. Too many different kinds of heroes is difficult to mount a defense against I like clearly organized categories.

::Dungeon Heart beats in the background::

Hush.
 


Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Fair enough. Although I'd worry there'd be a very high risk of some classes definitely outshining others. Like, how would a Champion class be as interesting as a Battlemaster Class? Yes, I know that they wouldn't be taken directly from 5e, but the concept of the "basic fighter" isn't going to be as compelling as "basic fighter, but with maneuvers."

I'm usually up for combining things, taking the most interesting parts of multiple archetypes and making them into a single, more interesting one. Combine Sharpshooter and Arcane Archer. Battle Master, Kensei, and maybe even Hexblade. Battlemaster, Samurai, and Purple Dragon Knight. Champion and Brute. Obviously not taking it directly from them, of course, but the ideas.

(Also, it might be easier if, like a lot of OSR games, this only went up to 10th level.)
That's why you do it as a full class.

You have 20 levels to make the Champion fun instead of 4. And you are not bogged down with beeing forced to include class features that take up too much class design power.
 


Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Or you kinda minimize the whole 'preloaded class options' thing and let people pick abilities so they can make fun characters on their own.

That's the path to either feat option or false choices.

If 5e has taught us anything is that everything isn't swappable. Somethings are not the same same power/flavor or don't have the same design space. If are to make a ne 5e-ish OGL game,its best to learn from the issues of 5end WOTC's management of it.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Too easy to accidentally copy something OGL and Too easy to copy the flaws of 5e.

Split the Champion, Battlemaster, and Eldritch Knight into their own classes and give them the full class design space to capture their identities. Samewith something like the Beastmaster and Hexblade. Cut them out and make full classes. We aren't bound to WOTC's no "new classes" rules. And doing so helps you separate yourself from 5e OGL more.
Yeah my current ideal class lineup features 4 classes with roots in the fighter class; brute, knight, swashbuckler, and archer. The Warden is my current name for the swordmage and may be inspired in part by the Paladin, esp with the protective auras, while the Mystic is a more hermetic/occult version of the monk. The Ranger is still the Ranger. Whether there is a Pet Class or not, the Ranger would have an option for an animal companion, probably tied to the spirits of nature rather than a mundane beast.

Since my conception of an assassin class can actually fight (my 5e homebrew gets extra attack), I guess it’s a bit of a rogue/fighter in D&D terms.

But tbh this is a lot. I’m not gonna dive too deep into it until I know the status of the OGL.
Fair enough. Although I'd worry there'd be a very high risk of some classes definitely outshining others. Like, how would a Champion class be as interesting as a Battlemaster Class? Yes, I know that they wouldn't be taken directly from 5e, but the concept of the "basic fighter" isn't going to be as compelling as "basic fighter, but with maneuvers."
Well, if everyone has a resource pool, the champion simply spends it to add to rolls directly, increase intensity of hits, boost defense. Basically, it’s just “spend 1 [resource] to increase the result of a d20 roll by 1d6”. Meanwhile the Battlemaster (what I call the knight) has a combination of stances, techniques, and a mark that can either help it lock down enemies as a tank or give allies extra efficacy against them as a “leader” type.
I'm usually up for combining things, taking the most interesting parts of multiple archetypes and making them into a single, more interesting one. Combine Sharpshooter and Arcane Archer. Battle Master, Kensei, and maybe even Hexblade. Battlemaster, Samurai, and Purple Dragon Knight. Champion and Brute. Obviously not taking it directly from them, of course, but the ideas.

(Also, it might be easier if, like a lot of OSR games, this only went up to 10th level.)
My current idea is, whatever number of types of magic, you also have that number of levels, levels of magical power, etc. so, 9 or 13 or something.

I could be convinced of 13 classes, with way more (mostly) mundane classes than magical focused.

Especially if there isn’t an actual level limit, and you can take a “level” of something that in D&D 5e would be a feat.
 

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