Will we get 5 tiers of game in 5.5 insted of current 4?

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Now we have 4 tiers of play. Somewhat, it's kind of blurry but it works as marks of power jump of PC's

T1: 1-4
T2: 5-10
T3: 11-16
T4: 17-20

But, as we now get all, or almost all limited features tied to proficiency bonus(or double prof bonus) per long rest, in how much we can use them,
would it be good step to have current lvl11 class features lowered to level 9 and some kind of upgrade or new features set at level 13?

Then we could have 5 tiers of play;

T1: 1-4, +2 prof bonus
T2: 5-8, +3 prof bonus
T3: 9-12, +4 prof bonus
T4: 13-16, +5 prof bonus
T5: 17-20, +6 prof bonus
I'm still hoping they stay with their "compatible", and that means not redoing the classes to move power bumps forward. I don't see value in reworking things just for the symmetry of matching when proficiency increases.
 

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UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
Not really enamoured with the premise of the OP but as to the commentary about getting rid of high levels. I would be strongly opposed to that. Just because there are there does not oblige you to play them and removing them does not guarantee that they will be replaced or what replaces them will be any good.
The biggest issue is that to reach high level one has run a campaign for a long time already. This increases the chances of the campaign ending due to real world issues.
This has the effect to denying DM the practise of playing high level play. We have pretty much mastered the other stuff by seeing it often but not so much the high level stuff. I have only managed a 1 to 20 campaign once and that was my last one and the lack of experience was definitely an issue.
Having watched Matt Mercer running high level play has been and education and I agree that is best approached as mini campaigns.
Finally the old TSR high level play of strongholds and domain management is a separate game. It can be bolted on top of D&D at any level and can operate at a number of levels of abstraction. From the highly abstract version Strongholds and Followers by Matt Colville to a full blown economic system and wargame.
All it really needs is a wargame from WoTC that integrates with PC characters and then any one of the third party Stronghold systems could be used.
 


Warriors get bonus xp for the things they kill
Sure, over the course of an adventure it represents what? 10% at most? And that 10% is very generous because they need to get the killing strike if you read and interpret the meaning to the letter. And these kills would be shared with the second fighter in the group.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
okay XP talk...

a lot of people just compare the charts, like everyone got the same XP. about 2 years into 2e for us we met someone that showed us we missed a rule and made level comparisons even harder.
What? What is this? This is a prank right?
(Goes to shelf, looks up Table 34 in the 2e DMG)
Huh. That's ... that's a thing. That's absolutely a thing that they put into a rulebook. Huh.

I will admit that 2e was not my thing - BECMI and 1e were much more common in my pre-3e D&D days - but none of the 2e games I ever played ever gave out XP for anything other than for monsters, the new-fangled "story award" that 2e introduced, and the occasional "good roleplaying XP bonus". Except for the one guy who still insisted on giving out XP for treasure no matter what the 2e developers did or didn't put into the rulebook, insisting that they must have left it out by mistake. I don't think think I've ever seen that table before. Or if I did my brain blocked it out because I wouldn't want to contemplate ever using it in a game. Just - wow.

edit and HD used to have people complain about 'kill stealing'
Now some conversations I've had about old D&D games make more sense. Their DMs weren't jerks, they were just following the rules as written.

You've rocked my world.
 

Really you could have a few things for levels 11-20.

You could have them be advanced versions of the classes with a new subclass you pick at 11th level.

You could have an E10 system as an alternative, where you get feats instead of leveling benefits starting once you hit 10th level. Get up to 10 boons this way (still cap at 20th) or just let people go forever, etc.

You could create a dynamic faction roleplaying game and give each player a "leader" version of their class from 11th-20th level. Sorcerer become Sorcerer-Kings, Fighters become major conquerors or demigod heroes, clerics are fighting alongside angels and dealing with heavenly/infernal factions, and so on.

You could create a magic system progression past 10th level, where your class determines what magic item you get instead of a level up, and each level is a quest to get these magic items or evolve them or unlock their power, etc.

There is just so much you could do that, in my opinion, would be more popular with the mainstream base and give DMs and tables a lot more power to play their version of D&D if we just moved away from the current model to a slightly more modular one that more fits the reported play experience.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Not really enamoured with the premise of the OP but as to the commentary about getting rid of high levels. I would be strongly opposed to that. Just because there are there does not oblige you to play them and removing them does not guarantee that they will be replaced or what replaces them will be any good.
The biggest issue is that to reach high level one has run a campaign for a long time already. This increases the chances of the campaign ending due to real world issues.
This has the effect to denying DM the practise of playing high level play. We have pretty much mastered the other stuff by seeing it often but not so much the high level stuff. I have only managed a 1 to 20 campaign once and that was my last one and the lack of experience was definitely an issue.
Having watched Matt Mercer running high level play has been and education and I agree that is best approached as mini campaigns.
Finally the old TSR high level play of strongholds and domain management is a separate game. It can be bolted on top of D&D at any level and can operate at a number of levels of abstraction. From the highly abstract version Strongholds and Followers by Matt Colville to a full blown economic system and wargame.
All it really needs is a wargame from WoTC that integrates with PC characters and then any one of the third party Stronghold systems could be used.
They are there and I use them, most of my games last till low to mid teens in 5e with 3.x/pf often starting a couple levels in & running slightly higher. a condensed 1-10 or whatever with dangerous early levels & all of the trash ribbons replaced with solid abilities normally reached at higher levels that switched over to the occasional epic boon or whatever would mean all of those high CR monsters are suddenly dangerous & players need powerful magic items rather than two rounds would be a significant improvement for all three level ranges.

instead of encounters being a gaggle of ultra high CR baddies just for them to last till round 2-3 I'd only need a couple or less & I could be generous(or not) with awesome magic items to my players
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
They are there and I use them, most of my games last till low to mid teens in 5e with 3.x/pf often starting a couple levels in & running slightly higher. a condensed 1-10 or whatever with dangerous early levels & all of the trash ribbons replaced with solid abilities normally reached at higher levels that switched over to the occasional epic boon or whatever would mean all of those high CR monsters are suddenly dangerous & players need powerful magic items rather than two rounds would be a significant improvement for all three level ranges.

instead of encounters being a gaggle of ultra high CR baddies just for them to last till round 2-3 I'd only need a couple or less & I could be generous(or not) with awesome magic items to my players
I do not understand the point you are making here.
 


squibbles

Adventurer
[...] TSR reserved high levels for kingdom-building and keeping high-level they felt should be in the game but largely out of reach for PCs. After 9th level or so, you're supposed to re-focus your efforts on the big picture, and leave the life of an adventurer behind for the most part. That idea wasn't popular so it was gradually dropped, leaving us with the high level mess we have now.
Yeah, I think WotC took that most people (atleast those talking at cons and on the old TSR message boards and BBS) kept playing level 13 like level 4 just with more power and learned the wrong lesson. instead of "We need good advice on how the game changes in the second half and really to double down on why" they took it to mean "Lets just give them what they do anyway."
[...] I submit that the players don't really have a solid, consistent idea of what they want out of play at that level either.
So, I'm no expert, as I wasn't playing (or alive) in the heyday of OD&D, but my understanding is that domain play was on its face the sensible way for high level games to go, based on the way D&D was originally played.

If you're in a player-directed west marches sandbox style game with the standard barony/minor kingdom setting, PCs that get to 9th level become de facto power players in the game world. They are higher level and have more resources and magic gear than the local leadership and, because they've been running amok, profiteering, and making friends and enemies, they have lots of ideas for how they want to remake said barony/minor kingdom in their own image. Domain rules were just a way of making the game that players were already engaging in more functional.

However, lots of players wanted D&D to do epic high fantasy, a la dragonlance, with darklords and macguffins, and, once the game moved in that direction, there was no natural reason for players to care about domains anymore (though I'm sure some people still did, even in the later style of game).

A lot of the wierdness of old D&D stuff is like that. The rules made sense for the game that people were playing at the time. Here's a video about that.

[...] the old TSR high level play of strongholds and domain management is a separate game. It can be bolted on top of D&D at any level and can operate at a number of levels of abstraction. From the highly abstract version Strongholds and Followers by Matt Colville to a full blown economic system and wargame.
All it really needs is a wargame from WoTC that integrates with PC characters and then any one of the third party Stronghold systems could be used.
Strongholds and Followers, if I understand correctly (never read it) adds the stronghold experience to a more modern and drama-facing version of D&D, so it might actually be doing something different than the old wargaming style. Regardless, you're right that both are secondary systems with different advancement mechanisms layered over the base rules.

But though you could play domains at any level, they still probably make the most sense for characters of middling power. 1st level fighters are basic mooks in a wargame-style battle whereas archmagi and high priests that can potentially take on gods are sortof beyond caring about kingdom-level warfare, i.e. the BECMI progression makes a certain amount of sense.

Really you could have a few things for levels 11-20.

You could have them be advanced versions of the classes with a new subclass you pick at 11th level.

You could have an E10 system as an alternative, where you get feats instead of leveling benefits starting once you hit 10th level. Get up to 10 boons this way (still cap at 20th) or just let people go forever, etc.

You could create a dynamic faction roleplaying game and give each player a "leader" version of their class from 11th-20th level. Sorcerer become Sorcerer-Kings, Fighters become major conquerors or demigod heroes, clerics are fighting alongside angels and dealing with heavenly/infernal factions, and so on.

You could create a magic system progression past 10th level, where your class determines what magic item you get instead of a level up, and each level is a quest to get these magic items or evolve them or unlock their power, etc.

There is just so much you could do that, in my opinion, would be more popular with the mainstream base and give DMs and tables a lot more power to play their version of D&D if we just moved away from the current model to a slightly more modular one that more fits the reported play experience.
Super cool ideas. I like all of them.

The one with class progression via magic items would make it SO much more intuitive to conceptualize what a high level fighter is and why he/she makes sense as the equal of an archmage.
 

squibbles

Adventurer
If they were going to separate tiers of play by proficiency bonus increase they would have done it back when they released 5e. It was the absolute most natural way to do those breakdowns but they chose to not do it that way.

And the reason for that break wasn't the proficiency bonus I suspect - I think it was spell slots. Levels 5-10 gets you up to level 5 spells and no higher - and I think that's the determiner for where that second tier ends and where the next tier starts. At level 11 the full casters get to start casting 6th level spells - and 6th level spells are where the special rules on spellcasting start to come into play. Sorcerers only get to use spell points to buy up to 5th level slots, spell progression is basically one 6+ slot per level from 11-20, etc.

I think that the expectation is that the thing that differentiates "high level play" from "mid level play" is the casters getting access to 6th level spells. That's where a lot of folks feel their games start to change. Getting an extra +1 to proficiency bonus isn't actually enough of a change to the power level to change the feel of the game, but unlocking those higher level spells definitely can be depending on the group.
yeah, about mechanics of 6th level spells that are only available to full casters I agree, but 6th level spell really are not that special.
3rd level is a big boost in power and 5th level spells. 7th level spells are bigger jump from 6th that 6th level are from 5th level.
So, yeah, new tier should be at 3rd level spells, 5th level spells, 7th level spells
and finally 9th level spells.

I'm a bit late in replying to these posts, but this is a part of 5e's design that's really interesting to me.

The convention that everybody gets power spikes at the change of tier levels--5th, 11th, and 17th--felt really elegant to me since I read about it in a blog back at the beginning of 5e's life cycle (can't for the life of me remember where, sadly). For 5th level it works great; fly, fireball, spirit guardians, and conjure animals are huge, and they pair excellently with all the fight-y classes getting extra attack. For 17th level it works about as well as everything else at high levels (barbarians get an extra damage die on crits and a 6th rage. What?!?)--but it clearly makes sense for 17th level to be the last cut point.

11th level is weird, though. Most fight-y types get a solid power spike, with some ranger and monk subclasses being a bit iffy. And, as @Jer points out, lots of class features, like sorcerer's font of magic or warlock's pact slots, cut off at 5th level spells, suggesting that 6th level spells are supposed to be a major step up for 11th level PCs. But... as @Horwath points out, they kinda aren't. 5th level spells aren't crazy strong--excepting a handful, like wall of force and animate objects--and 6th level spells aren't crazy strong either. As a result, the 11th level power spike is not terribly coherent.

I wouldn't be opposed to the tier jump being at 9th level for 5th level spells, or 13th level for 7th level spells, but that would also take a lot of changes elsewhere to be an improvement.

I'm thinking I may create a spinoff thread about how 11th level PC tier could be improved.
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
Strongholds and Followers, if I understand correctly (never read it) adds the stronghold experience to a more modern and drama-facing version of D&D, so it might actually be doing something different than the old wargaming style. Regardless, you're right that both are secondary systems with different advancement mechanisms layered over the base rules.

But though you could play domains at any level, they still probably make the most sense for characters of middling power. 1st level fighters are basic mooks in a wargame-style battle whereas archmagi and high priests that can potentially take on gods are sortof beyond caring about kingdom-level warfare, i.e. the BECMI progression makes a certain amount of sense.
Strongholds and Followers is basically a lightweight domain and wargame addon. The wargame element is highly abstract, the domain element less so but still fairly lightweight. The whole thing is additive and I would agree best suited to tier 2 and above.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Strongholds and Followers is basically a lightweight domain and wargame addon. The wargame element is highly abstract, the domain element less so but still fairly lightweight. The whole thing is additive and I would agree best suited to tier 2 and above.
S&F work just fine for low level play, assuming a campaign where low level players can haul away significant amounts of treasure. In practice, though, you are right, starting around tier 2 is likely where stronghold building would start.

In my campaign the party started in levels 3-5 but that was because they had a ruined keep they could restore for a lower amount of GP to get their level one stronghold.

I really like the stronghold rules in S&F. Not really a fan of the wargame. I found the war rules to be pretty boring in practice and we only played one sessions using them. We still use the unit costs and upkeep for units but thats more for attracting and maintaining units for securing certain areas as the party makes progress against the enemy.
 

Rogerd1

Explorer
it is more likely they just cut high levels completely as they have no idea what to do with them.
I agree and tiers make more sense than levels anyway.

It would make more sense, to me anyway, to remove class abilities (keep the base ones), but provide a list that people can choose from - like Runequest Heroic Abilities, to bespoke their characters. In the same way you don't need different magic users, they can just be Feats / Edges, that state that they have a pact, arcane, or artificer etc.

As it stands, the strength of lifting etc is absolute garbage, and quite frankly incorporating Shadow of the Demon Lord scales would make more sense, and include a sense of fantasy supers (I like that kind of thing), and powers in a similar way to True20, Modern Age being two examples. Then make magic separate to this.

And here I was hoping for 10th level spells for full casters at level 19...
I know that Eren Godslayer has level ten spells, for what it is worth.
 
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