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D&D 6E YOU are in charge of the next PHB! What do you change?

By reading this thread, you are agreeing to an unbreakable NDA. If you admit to knowing this thread exists, I will know and come to your house and shave your eyebrows off.

So, WotC finally comes to their senses and asks you to be in charge of the new PHB, to go on sale in [REDACTED]. The new PHB should be compatible with the other non-PHB 5E books, but otherwise, you're free to go nuts.

What do you change? Do you eliminate darkvision for most races? Do you revamp the ranger and monk? Do you replace all the halfling art?

What do you do?
 

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What do you change? Do you eliminate darkvision for most races? Do you revamp the ranger and monk? Do you replace all the halfling art?
Well yes to all of that for starters. Let's bullet-point this shiz:

General:
  • Alignment is barely mentioned
  • Short rest is down to 10 mins
Races:
  • Lineages replace races
  • Darkvision becomes low-light vision by default
  • Variant Tiefling is default Tiefling
  • Dragonborn use the new Dragonborn approach
  • Halfings inexplicably missing from index/table of contents and last in race chapter despite beginning with H in effort to give halfing fans a heart attack
  • Gnomes replaced with 4E-style gnomes
  • Fairies are in
  • Half-Orcs are out
  • Orcs are in
Classes/archetypes:
  • Loads of +stat mod or usuable stat mod times stuff changed to proficiency (no brainer) - would need some tweaks in a few places
  • All "major" customizations moved to L3 (I could be argued into L1).
  • In most cases different subclasses but we'll be here all day if I list them all.
  • Clerics broken into two customization parts - major customization is whether they're a melee, zapping, or support/utility-spells Cleric, minor customization is god (which just influences spell list). God is L1, major customization is L3.
  • Wizards customization changed so specialist wizard is just one thing, but the best-designed specialist broken out into their own subclasses (Diviner hilariously). Reduced to sane number of subclasses as result.
  • Fighters redesigned so Battlemaster stuff is part of core Fighter design - every Fighter archetype in the PHB gets access to manuevers/dice, BM just gets a lot more
  • Monks redesigned and refluffed to clearly just be martial artists, core Monk chassis severely stripped down, most of the weird features removed and given to a sort of Shaolin Monk equivalent subclass. Better alternatives to stunning strike provided. Design space from removing weird Shaolin-esque features used to make archetypes work better.
  • Sorcerers redesigned to use purely points-based casting - no more weird mix of slots and points.
  • Ranger made less rubbish, Tashas options made default assumptions for the most part, totally different subclasses default
Skills
  • Skills mechanics heavily re-worked
  • Plot-point style mechanic built in to game to allow people to "take 10" on skills pretty regularly but not constantly
  • Detailed guidance on what pass/fail on skills actually means
  • Social skills particularly detailed re: default assumptions about when you can use them, and what they can achieve, and what pass/fail is likely to actually mean in a given situation
  • Clear information that suggests DMs should not be asking you to roll the same skill repeatedly
  • Default situation is that failure is not catastrophic clearly stated
Combat
  • Surprise changed to not be dumb and make no sense.
Gotta go now but maybe more later.
 

I'm not sure how the changes I would want to make would be possible given the established limitations in the OP.

I would like to see structural changes to how monsters and encounters are built.

I might consider pushing the game back out to being 30 levels and spreading the idea of bounded accuracy across more decision-making points for players.

Proficiency dice would likely become the standard way of doing things rather than a flat proficiency bonus. (Gaining double proficiency in a skill would have the effect of upgrading your proficiency die for that skill. For example, a d4 would become a d6.)

Tool proficiency would be done very differently. (I'm not sure how yet. Currently, it just seems kinda tacked on without much thought toward how it actually functions in-game.)

There would be three types of rest: quick (5-10 minutes); short (1 hour, like now); and long (8 hours).

I would try to find a middle ground for racial ability scores. I like some of the flexibility of Tasha's, but I also believe that -in a world with tangible physical differences between species- there are also tangible differences. So, I might do something like give each race one ability which is set and also give them a floating point to place into a choice of abilities. I think late-4E started doing something like that, and it worked.

Alternatively, I may decide to get away from ability score bonuses at all and simply give racial abilities (i.e. Dragonborn breath weapon) to each race.

Resistances would have more granularity. Right now, I believe it's too binary. It's difficult to measure degrees of resistance to something.
 


Race
  • Standardize choice of +2/+1 or +1/+1/+1 to ability score improvements
    • Human gain secondary ability to make up for change (feat equivalent)
  • Add Culture, removing non-genetic abilities
    • All races have access to same cultures, based on setting limitations
Classes
  • Remove frontloading
  • Assume characters start at level 3, with 1-2 as apprentice tier
  • Make Bard a half-caster
Equipment
  • Balance the armor and weapons!
  • Remove Potion of Healing from standard equipment
    • Replace with Medicinal Herbs, which take 1 minute for the same effect
  • Remove Healer's Kit ability (used for Medicine checks instead)
Customizing Characters
  • Balance Feats to be equal to +2 in primary ability (GWM and PAM level is the goal)
    • Reduce Sharpshooter to double short range and reduce cover bonus by 3 (min 0)
Combat
  • Allow Bonus Action to be used as an Action
  • Second Item Interaction is Bonus Action
  • Donning Shield is Bonus Action
Spells
  • Remove scaling on cantrips
    • Slowly add more low level spells slots to make up for it
  • Expand Ritual spells
  • Remove Concentration from specific (bad) spells
 


Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
General
Alignment is changed
Wrestling, Masquerade, Dragon, and Humanity alignment added as options
Assumption based on completely new setting.
Base Assumption of 6-8 encounters a day. Rules for 1 and 15 encounter days.

Races
Races renamed as Lineages
Races become less Rubberforehead human.
Half Elf, Half Orc, Mul, and Quartling become sublineages of Elf, Orc, Dwarf, and Halfling respectively.
Goblin, Hobgoblin, and Bugbear added to PHB.
Kobold added to PHB.
Low light and nightvision added
Small lineages get +2 AC.
Variant rules for Shadowtouched or Feytouched.

Classes
Artificer in PHB.
Fighter split into 3 classes: Fighter, Weaponmaster?, and Warlord
Cleric split into Cleric and Invoker?
Subclass starts at level 2 for everyone.
Cleric, Invoker, and Paladin can share some subclasses.
Sorcerer and Wizard can share some subclasses
Druid and Ranger can share some subclasses
Fighter, Weaponmaster?, and Warlord can share some subclasses.
All classes have 3 options for resources.
Primeval Awareness replaced by TCOE variant.

Combat
Characters can get Expertise with weapons, cantrips, and armor
Certain classes can attack after making Dodge or Disengage Action
Can interact with a 2nd object as bonus action
Charge is an action
Brace is an action
Suplex is an action

Equipment
More Shields added
Armor AC go from 10-20
Adventurering gear grouped by high and low magic.

Monsters
Monsters have lower HP overall.
Monsters get Roles.
Warrior monsters have Expertise with their weapons.
Brutes get more HP
Minions get minimum HP
Spellcasters get Expertise with cantrips

Skills
Dungeoneering readded
Streetwise readded
Endurance readded
Nobility added
Engineering added
Weightlifting added

Options
Gifts are options as ASI replacement
Status are options as ASI replacement
Soul Weapons are options as ASI replacement
 

hopeless

Adventurer
Stop nerfing the Sorceror and let them decide what spells they want their caster to use depending on what they need not remove key spells that are actually useful!
Select your race and then which culture they were raised by thus certain abilities are counted as racial and others are culture related.
So a Dark Elf raised by a Wood Elf has wood elf weapon proficiencies but loses superior darkvision so they aren't effected by sunlight since they wasn't raised underground through to adulthood!
I wonder if a human was raised by an elf would they be treated as a half elf with the Skilled feat replacing their bonus Feat and they are treated as a Variant Human as a result?
I wonder how people would react to that?
 



Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
By reading this thread, you are agreeing to an unbreakable NDA. If you admit to knowing this thread exists, I will know and come to your house and shave your eyebrows off.

So, WotC finally comes to their senses and asks you to be in charge of the new PHB, to go on sale in [REDACTED]. The new PHB should be compatible with the other non-PHB 5E books, but otherwise, you're free to go nuts.

What do you change? Do you eliminate darkvision for most races? Do you revamp the ranger and monk? Do you replace all the halfling art?

What do you do?
I hire a a diverse team of D&D designers and set them to work!

Wait, what? Oh yes, I did that!
 

I'd be much more interested in adding something like Giffyglyph's Monster Maker to the DMG and adding stuff from Sly Flourish's lazy GMing guide than I would redoing the PHB. But:

Basics:
  • Default short rests become 8 hours and long rests either a week or at least a long lazy weekend. If using 8 hour long rests short become 5 or 15 minutes
  • Suggested optional "low magic" setting where the wizard, cleric, druid, and sorcerer are all banned (and the bard is if they remain a full caster). Playtest the game to check it works both with and without the artificer.
  • Lower all ACs by 2 - but add proficiency bonus to your AC.

Races: Replace half-orc with orc. Add Warforged and either Tabaxi or Aaracroka. Probably switch Tieflings default and variant. Darkvision as opposed to low light vision becomes very rare

Classes:
  • Add the Artificer and Warlord classes to core.
  • Make sure especially the non-casters have cool things at all levels. There's very little cool the fighter or rogue gets after level 11 while the monk gets cool stuff rather than reactive stuff at levels 7-10
  • Bard:
    • Redesign. The bard should be a half-caster with musical stuff on top of that.
  • Fighter:
    • A second archetype at level 12 to show how they actually get to hang with the casters. Whether it's mythological style, a determinator, a Cold Iron/Killer vs magic mundane choice, the fighter should scale thematically.
    • Make it explicit that the fighter can use their "extra" ASIs to pick feats even in games where feats are normally banned
  • Monk:
    • Something active between levels 7 and 10
    • Redesign Four Elements (the Reddit version would work)
  • Ranger:
    • Tasha's optional features become the default including for the Beastmaster (I suppose this isn't technically compatible with Tasha's...)
    • Hunter gains some spells (like all post-PHB subclasses)
  • Rogue:
    • As with the fighter a Rogue gets a second "epic archetype" at level 12 to show how they get to hang with the big boys. One being a thief of legend able to steal the colour of someone's eyes, and another being basically JLA Batman.
  • Sorcerer:
    • All subclasses should, Tasha's style, get two free spells per spell level from their subclass
    • Wild Mages get light armour proficiency
    • Draconic Mages can use Str (or possibly Con) in place of Dex for their scales AC
  • Warlock:
    • Eldritch Blast becomes a class feature and gets modified (generally just its damage type) by your patron
    • Some patrons grant medium armour
    • Redo Pact of the Blade to also allow you charisma to attack with and to add one "weight" to your armour proficiency
    • Add an Elementalist/Pyromancer/Arsonist patron as The Simple Blast Mage
    • Pull out the invocations no one takes (generally the ones that cost a spell slot to use) and replace them with better. Including ones to let you use your Eldritch Blast as a small AoE
    • Allow Mystic Arcanum slots to be used to up-cast spells.
Feats: Cut and replace the least useful third of feats. Trim Sharpshooter. Add replacements

Backgrounds: Add Dungeon World style bonds to the backgrounds - you get one inspiration point per level (or some other minor bonus) for each PC with a background with you.

Equipment:
  • Put some light basebuilding rules in here including for travelling bases and running towns. Something to save your money and work towards as a long term goal.
  • Replace "Studded leather" with "Reinforced leather"
  • Add both Lamellar and Brigandine armour
I'm sure I'll think of more.
 

Raith5

Adventurer
In terms of some general principles I would like to see
  • More customization options - essentially more feats and less dependence on subclasses for character development.
  • Maker martial classes a bit more interesting. Id like to see the battlemaster significantly elaborated.
  • I would like to see equipment matter more - I think the weapon or spell focus in hand should heavily shape what character can do.
  • High quality equipment - so that there is something to spend money on (other than the 1500 gp you need for plate)
  • Reduce the incidence of Advantage / Disadvantage (5e has leant on this mechanic so heavily it is crazy)
  • Really test and rethink higher level play (13th and higher)
So yeah, as noted above, moving towards a whole new edition really!
 

Alternatively, I may decide to get away from ability score bonuses at all and simply give racial abilities (i.e. Dragonborn breath weapon) to each race.
I think this is really the best way to simulate strength differences for a couple of reasons:

1) D&D in 4E and 5E is very intentionally terrible at actually connecting size and damage capacity. A Mountain Dwarf is just as dangerous as a Goliath, despite one being 4ft and 150lbs and the other being 8ft and 340lbs. Similarly carrying capacity and so on.

Whereas with racial abilities, you can make a differentiation - a Goliath can lift/pull 4x what a Dwarf can. Just have a similar thing so Small races can only lift/carry/etc. half of what medium can.

If there are other places it matters but wouldn't overcomplicate or overbalance rules, you could extend it to cover those, but unless you're moving back to bonuses/penalties instead of Advantage/Disadvantage I think it's best to just ignore it in a lot of edge cases.

2) This opens the door to a lot more flexibility generally, if you go less off ability scores for things like this (which don't make a ton of sense, and indeed never have in any edition).
Add Warforged and either Tabaxi or Aaracroka.
This is a good call. Newer players seem very keen on Tabaxi so that seems like the way to go.

The people saying the Bard should become a half-caster are being pretty silly though imo. That would cause an absolute riot given the popularity of Bards with players under 30 and that the vast percentage of D&D players who are new with 5E (the majority of 5E players, I suspect) only know them as full casters. That's not a new PHB move, that's a serious edition-change if you want the new edition to sell less lol and you want younger players to complain about "grognards ruining D&D" a lot.
 


Well yes to all of that for starters. Let's bullet-point this shiz:

General:
  • Alignment is barely mentioned
  • Short rest is down to 10 mins
Races:
  • Lineages replace races
  • Darkvision becomes low-light vision by default
  • Variant Tiefling is default Tiefling
  • Dragonborn use the new Dragonborn approach
  • Halfings inexplicably missing from index/table of contents and last in race chapter despite beginning with H in effort to give halfing fans a heart attack
  • Gnomes replaced with 4E-style gnomes
  • Fairies are in
  • Half-Orcs are out
  • Orcs are in
Classes/archetypes:
  • Loads of +stat mod or usuable stat mod times stuff changed to proficiency (no brainer) - would need some tweaks in a few places
  • All "major" customizations moved to L3 (I could be argued into L1).
  • In most cases different subclasses but we'll be here all day if I list them all.
  • Clerics broken into two customization parts - major customization is whether they're a melee, zapping, or support/utility-spells Cleric, minor customization is god (which just influences spell list). God is L1, major customization is L3.
  • Wizards customization changed so specialist wizard is just one thing, but the best-designed specialist broken out into their own subclasses (Diviner hilariously). Reduced to sane number of subclasses as result.
  • Fighters redesigned so Battlemaster stuff is part of core Fighter design - every Fighter archetype in the PHB gets access to manuevers/dice, BM just gets a lot more
  • Monks redesigned and refluffed to clearly just be martial artists, core Monk chassis severely stripped down, most of the weird features removed and given to a sort of Shaolin Monk equivalent subclass. Better alternatives to stunning strike provided. Design space from removing weird Shaolin-esque features used to make archetypes work better.
  • Sorcerers redesigned to use purely points-based casting - no more weird mix of slots and points.
  • Ranger made less rubbish, Tashas options made default assumptions for the most part, totally different subclasses default
Skills
  • Skills mechanics heavily re-worked
  • Plot-point style mechanic built in to game to allow people to "take 10" on skills pretty regularly but not constantly
  • Detailed guidance on what pass/fail on skills actually means
  • Social skills particularly detailed re: default assumptions about when you can use them, and what they can achieve, and what pass/fail is likely to actually mean in a given situation
  • Clear information that suggests DMs should not be asking you to roll the same skill repeatedly
  • Default situation is that failure is not catastrophic clearly stated
Combat
  • Surprise changed to not be dumb and make no sense.
Gotta go now but maybe more later.
How would you rework skills?
 

King Babar

Adventurer
Also, ignoring all the potential changes to Races, Classes, Backgrounds, Spells, etc. Which is a big ol' can of worms on its own. Something that has recently struck me about the PHB is how little space is dedicated to showing examples of play. There's a small bit of blocked text in the beginning of the book that shows a very basic example, but there doesn't appear to be any additional examples elsewhere in the book.

Compare this to the Pathfinder 2e Core Rulebook or the Runequest - Roleplaying in Glorantha book (and doubtlessly many other rulebooks), which do provide illustrative examples of how the rules and mechanics might actually play out in a game session.

So I would really like to see more page space dedicated to examples of play: how would wilderness navigation play out, how would a social interaction play out, how does surprise work; all of these could use illustrative examples. I know this might seem like useless filler to some, but I find these examples really helpful when I'm learning a rules system for the first time.
 

look it needs work but mostly I want to massively overhaul the monk as it could be so much better and in a way that is not just stupidly overpowered and does its core concept better and stops the homebrew glut of subclasses which are just fighting styles, instead going for more interesting and detailed concepts.
also, martial arts that are fun and do not totally rely on ki points or dm will.
Also, ignoring all the potential changes to Races, Classes, Backgrounds, Spells, etc. Which is a big ol' can of worms on its own. Something that has recently struck me about the PHB is how little space is dedicated to showing examples of play. There's a small bit of blocked text in the beginning of the book that shows a very basic example, but there doesn't appear to be any additional examples elsewhere in the book.

Compare this to the Pathfinder 2e Core Rulebook or the Runequest - Roleplaying in Glorantha book (and doubtlessly many other rulebooks), which do provide illustrative examples of how the rules and mechanics might actually play out in a game session.

So I would really like to see more page space dedicated to examples of play: how would wilderness navigation play out, how would a social interaction play out, how does surprise work; all of these could use illustrative examples. I know this might seem like useless filler to some, but I find these examples really helpful when I'm learning a rules system for the first time.
examples would have really helped when I started.
 

King Babar

Adventurer
Since I can't help myself: I would change it so that many of the proficiencies currently tied to Race are moved over to Background instead. it's odd to me that a Soldier background doesn't provide any proficiencies in weapons or armor, for example. Really, Backgrounds as a whole could be given a bit more mechanical oomph.
 


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