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

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Looking at the stuff that @doctorbadwolf has written, I think it's important to decide if you want to create a generic system or a setting along with a system.
Like DnD, I want to design a game that has an implied setting, or even references an explciti setting in the core rules, but that can be adapted to other worlds.
I disagree, to a point. Yes, mechanics enforce tropes, but some mechanics also enforce settings. For instance, when you said "allowing tying martial traditions to things like cardinal winds, elements, associated animals and mythic figures, constellations, etc. in a way that reinforces the lore of the world" that far more strongly suggests a specific type of setting than saying "fighters have limited spellcasting" and letting the DM or PC decide that it's tied to a wind or element or animal.
Yep, and that's the point. IMO you can't make a game that does what dnd does without an implied setting, nor would I ever want to design such a game.
 

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Cadence

Legend
Supporter
And now I kind of want the licenses for the games all of these companies are making to play well together so I can use all of their stuff at once...
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Like DnD, I want to design a game that has an implied setting, or even references an explciti setting in the core rules, but that can be adapted to other worlds.

Yep, and that's the point. IMO you can't make a game that does what dnd does without an implied setting, nor would I ever want to design such a game.
See, I know people say that D&D has an implied setting but I've never really felt that, not in any of the editions I've played. It's always felt pretty generic to me.
 

DMZ2112

Chaotic Looseleaf
You can't really pin the "implied setting" of D&D down, and as evidence I present the fact that D&D itself has been struggling with this for almost 50 years, pausing only during the D&D4 era when they took a different approach.

To clarify, I think of core D&D4 as "your D&D setting can be whatever you want it to be but contains this set of things by default," and the rest of core D&D as "your D&D setting can be whatever you want it to be and contains this set of things provisionally." It's subtle, but it is there.

And D&D has never gotten it right. Every core book has held both unfriendly assumptions and unhelpful silences.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
See, I know people say that D&D has an implied setting but I've never really felt that, not in any of the editions I've played. It's always felt pretty generic to me.
In every edition of D&D there are elements that assume the planes of D&D, that assume gods that grant magical powers, that assume that mortal magic must be harnessed in the particular format of individual packaged abilities with specific movement and words, that assume certain types of creatures and Powers in the world, etc.

To not have an implied setting, you’d need to build the game like the Hero system, where Eldritch blast and magic Missile are just two ways two different players describe their “Magical Ranged Attack” power.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
See, I know people say that D&D has an implied setting but I've never really felt that, not in any of the editions I've played. It's always felt pretty generic to me.

My early exposure to D&D was via 5 1E books. But no PHB.

The fluff in MM, FF, OA got devoured (aged 14/15)
 

Horwath

Legend
I would do some unholy hybrid of DND5E, GURPS, AGE.

What to keep from D&D5E?

1. 20 levels. It's both familiar and iconic.

2. Proficiency bonus of +2 to +6 with expertise(×2 bonus) and ×3 bonus for some features/number of uses.

3. Tiers of play. Just re-tuned to 5 tier instead of 4: 1-4, 5-8, 9-12, 13-16, 17-20

4. Spell levels. Just reduce spell levels from 9 to 5. Plus cantrips as normal.
Full casters: 1st level spells at 1st level, 2nd level spells at 5th level, 3rd level spells at 9th level, 4th level spells at 13th level, 5th level spells at 17th level.
current spell level 1&2 are rebalanced into 1st level spells
current spell levels 3&4 are rebalanced into 2nd level spells
current spell levels 5&6 are rebalanced into 3rd level spells
current spell levels 7&8 are rebalanced into 4th level spells
current spell levels 9 are rebalanced into 5th level spells

some spells from current levels 2,4,6 and 8 might be buffed to be moved to new levels 2,3,4 or 5.

5. Extra attacks:
martials get extra attacks at levels 5,9,13 and 17. Total of 5 attacks per Attack action at 17th level
That is, you can "buy" extra attacks at those levels.

6. cantrips: rescaled for extra damage/effect at levels 5,9,13,17 instead of 5,11,17.



for other effects;

1. 3d6 instead of d20 as core roll die.
double damage for roll 5 over AC/Defense.
triple damage for roll 10 over AC/Defense.

2. Every ability/feature can be chosen by everyone.

Only limited/balanced by required character level, other ability/feature prerequirement, minimal ability score., race(species)

3. Everyone proficient with all weapons. Min STR required to use without penalties.

4. Everyone proficient with all armors. Min STR required to use without penalties.

5. ability scores are direct modifiers to rolls/DCs.
ability 0 is below average,
ability 1 is average,
ability 2 is above average,
ability 3 is maximum at character creation
ability 5 is maximum for standard humanoids without magic.
 

Horwath

Legend
As I would use 3d6, there is no need for advantage/disadvantage mechanics.

We can go back to +/- X for 3d6 rolls.
With +5/-5 cap on roll modifiers.

Elven accuracy can be +1 modifier if you have atleast +1 bonus before that.(max of +6 in that case).

defender kneeling/attacker on higher ground but still in melee reach: +1
defender prone: +2
defender blind/attacker invisible/hidden: +3
defender unconscious/paralized: +5
attacker flanking: +1
attacker "charging": +1
defender was charging this round: +1
attacker feints(bluff vs. passive insight): +1, +2 if roll 5pts higher than DC, +3 if roll 10pts higher than DC.


defender behind cover: -1/-2/-3 by degree of cover
defender kneeling(ranged attacks): -1
defender prone(ranged attacks): -2
defender in dim light: -1
defender in darkness/invisible/attacker blind: -3
defender dodging: -3
defender blurred/displaced: -1/-2/-3, depending on spell/effect level.

spells like bless, faery fire and similar give +1 or maybe +2 attack.

rogues need at least +1 in bonus or "combat advantage" to gain sneak attack damage.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
In every edition of D&D there are elements that assume the planes of D&D, that assume gods that grant magical powers, that assume that mortal magic must be harnessed in the particular format of individual packaged abilities with specific movement and words, that assume certain types of creatures and Powers in the world, etc.
The bolded bits are setting lore--which I've always ignored to the point that I actually find it surprising when people adhere to them religiously and insist they must be objectively true--and the other bits are actually game rules, not lore. Any system with combat has it works a certain way because of that system, and the same with magic. If the system has magic, then it works a particular way within that system.

So saying that "The Courts are compass points (and each house will probably have ordinal directions associated with them), with themes corresponding to the general concepts associated with the 4 suits of the minor arcana." is setting lore, because it assumes things that aren't game terms--houses, courts, tarot arcana. Saying that there are four types of magic is game rules, even if there were then a section in the game titled "ways to flavor this magic system for your setting" or even an entire published setting wherein the magic was divided into four compass points that are associated with the minor arcana.

To not have an implied setting, you’d need to build the game like the Hero system, where Eldritch blast and magic Missile are just two ways two different players describe their “Magical Ranged Attack” power.
Yes, which is why I asked whether this 5e-alike would be generic or have a built-in setting.

Either way is fine, but it should be established before the game is underway so there would be some sort of consistency. If there are four Courts of Magic, then those Courts might have meaning in other parts of the world. Maybe each Major Arcana is a clerical god or warlock patron, or represent a different type of magic experienced spellcasters can use.
 


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