Guide of Modos
I was paging through my PHB (c)2000, enjoying the PowerPlays - from the Pages of Dragon Magazine (how did Dragon Magazine have min-maxing ideas before the game had been published?) - when it occurred to me that a sacred cow died in that book. They had removed the THAC0 mechanism. And I ask myself: what are the other ways that WotC could have fixed D&D back then, but didn't? Some ideas:
- Remove Hit Points. Back then, there were Total Hit Points, Current Hit Points, and for some reason, a Hit Points box for Subdual Damage. Hit Points are like THAC0 (RIP): they help you count something in the opposite direction, in this case, Damage. If each character had a Max Damage rating, then you'd only need to count Damage. But what if your Damage equals your Max Damage? Are you dead then or after? Well...
- Remove "Equals or Exceeds." That's just confusing. If your attack roll (more on that later) exceeds your opponent's AC, you hit. Done. If your Damage exceeds your Max Damage, you die. Done.
- Create the Attack Skill. This finally happened in 5e, (maybe 4? I didn't bother with that one...) though they still won't call it a skill. Now, character class tables are neater.
- Omit Attacks of Opportunity. I'm pretty sure these ranked right up there with Polymorph and Wild Shape as rusty nails, and you can put lipstick on your Turn-Based-Combat but we all know what it is. "But what if an enemy runs past me?" Extend the Passing-Through rule(s) to include the space(s) around a character. "But what if an enemy hits me and runs away?" What, your turn wasn't good enough? In 3e you couldn't break up your move. So if you stick-and-move, your enemy will have to move-and-stick. But without AoOs, won't rounds get boring? Well...
- Active Defense. Why did WotC revamp saving throws (another sacred cow?) but not Armor Class? PCs would have a bit more to do between turns if they had to roll their AC.