Your Ideal Edition of D&D

Markn

First Post
A D&D that lets you build a character, meshing concept with mechanics seamlessly would be ideal for me. As much as I like 4E, it is far too reliant upon silly mechanical limitations in character design and function often resulting in lost concept during the design.

Earlier editions of D&D (thinking 2e here) were more flexible with concept and resulted in concept and mechanics working together (or perhaps mechanics were not as prevalent and therefore did not have as much of an impact on the game). A fighter in 2e was not mechanically tied to a swashbuckler or peasant hero. Stat requirements were different between the fighter and the "sub fighter classes" and it was the stat requirements that really made you feel your character fit the concept.

In contrast, 4e really tightened up the class design. A class, such as the fighter really relies on str. 4e tried to give different mechanical bonuses based on weapon type but they were either math bonuses or simply too minor to really care about. Thus, if one wanted to play a swashbuckler, mechanically it really wasn't much different from the standard fighter and the concept just didn't seem to be fully met.

I wonder if D&D would be best served going forward by disassociating the method of attack based on class and tying it to the means of delivery. Instead of all fighters requiring a high str, those that use light blades use dex to attack with. Those that use Heavy Blades use Str, and so on. A wizard who uses an orb might use dex (for manipulating it in combat) while one who uses a tome requires intelligence (for reading it in combat). This may open up a lot of options, making concept and character vision match the mechanics a bit more.

Ultimately, the majority of bonuses to hit are gained from levels (+1 for every 2 levels in 4e). Tying a class (and sub classes) to a stat seems limiting and prevents concepts and mechanics from working together. Tying the attack to a delivery method (type of weapon/implement) may loosen that restriction quite a bit.

Just my not so random thoughts...
 

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UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
Unless 5e is the holodeck, but better because i would really need a new bod to be an adventuring hero(ine), I do not see me moving on from 4e anytime soon. And I would really dislike the OP's suggested game.
 

Ryujin

Legend
I'd be quite happy to have the current state of 4e codified into a single source, rather than reinventing the wheel so soon after this edition came out.

And it is still soon, by the standards of previous iterations.
 

interwyrm

First Post
I like 4e for the most part.

Here's what I would change:

  • Remove hit, damage or defense bonuses from feats
  • Remove hit, damage or defense bonuses from magic item properties. (including no +x items).
  • Some kind of rebalancing for multiattack powers.
  • Attack powers should all have some interesting tactical effect. (i.e. hammer attacks let you push 1, shift into vacated square.)
  • All classes should have a simple MBA and an RBA built in.
  • Complete revamp of multiclass/hybrid system, probably using themes.
  • Revised rules for minions - lower xp rewards, all of them should have an effect "on starts adjacent to" or "on death".
  • Simplify tracking conditions. Warlock curse, hunter quarry, marks, etc. all need to be reviewed.
 

Every turn in combat should feel like a memorable moment in a movie fight scene. With rare exception for huge masses of undead or giant slab-of-meat monsters, you should never spend a round just cutting away HP. You should always do something noteworthy.
 

drothgery

First Post
I like the basic structure of 4e a lot, though there are a lot of fiddly issues I've got with it. Still, if I were redoing things from the ground up
1 - keep classes focused; one role, one power source, one class (and stick with one of weapon/implement and ranged/melee, too)
2 - give characters a dedicated silo for non-combat powers (the design space covered by a lot of skill powers and some utility powers) and another one for something like non-combat feats (so you're not sacrificing combat ability to pick up Linguist or Skill Focus)
3 - come up with a style of class features for controllers (defenders get marks/auras; strikers get extra damage; leaders can heal; controllers get ???)
4 - encounter attack powers are by power source, not by class (all arcane characters have access to the same encounter spells)
5 - combat utility powers are by combat role, not by class (all defenders have access to the same combat utility powers)
6 - at-will and daily powers (or their replacement abilities, if the class has a non-standard structure) are class-specific
7 - all feats grant a fixed ability, and have either no prerequisites or one feat with no prerequisites (no long feat chains)
 
Last edited:

Badwe

First Post
I normally avoid these threads like the plague but I felt like chiming in on this one.

First, the most recent mearls article about what the different editions of D&D focus on rightly points out that currently there exists an edition of D&D for you (yes YOU) for where you fall on the paired axis of tactics vs. story and immersive vs. abstract rules.

Beyond that, I'm most happy with 4e. Having DMd for some time, there are a few things I now wish were done which could not be done unless 4e had been built knowing then what we know now, and even then i'm not sure it could be done.

1) Shrink the rate of progression of monsters and PCs from +30 in 30 levels to +15 or even + 10 in 30 levels. Combine this with adjusting XP and HP so that it's possible to use a wider range of monster levels when building an encounter.
2) reduce the number of options a class will pick from at a given level, possibly condensing certain types of choices into a fixed list or giving a player multiple uses of a power (ala power strike). For example: what if encounter powers from levels 1-10 were picked from the same list? and what if you could pick the same power each time or up to X times?
3) increase damage of powers across the board, and increase the "cost" of disabling effects, such that more raw damage is lost to take powers that stun, disable, slow, etc. Make damage loss the highest for leaders and strikers, lowest for defenders (when applying it to their mark) and controllers.
4)speaking of controllers, give them save ends damage and effects that last longer than a turn at the encounter level. give them bigger or multi-stage save ends effect at daily. possibly tie this to class features to prevent easy access via multiclassing
5) race should matter, but there should be a finite cap of how many race options can exist. For example, 10 generic feats, 5 feats that align with classes or power sources, a paragon path, and possibly an epic destiny for subgroups (ie: one epic destiny for eladrin/drow/elves).
6) remove 90% of immediate action powers, cap players at 1 immediate action power, and using your immediate action immediately pushes you to the initiative you used it at.
7) somehow break up feats to be a more granular system, possibly granting 2 or 3 "feat points", such that multiclassing power swap, skill, and language feats can cost only 1 whereas the majority of existing feats would have the same cost they have today.
8) reduce the total number of items, increase the allowed potency of encounter and daily powers.
9) this probably should have come after 1, but make it easier to convert a monster of level X to a lower level elite or solo. in 3e you can pit a party of level 5 players against 1 troll (in theory, anyway), in 4e your only choice out of the box is 5 level 11 players vs. 5 trolls.

other than that, i'm pretty satisfied with 4e, i'll emphasize a few things I think are important

1) continue to use exception based design, even though most of my stuff above talks about limiting the total number of exceptions
2) continue to expand the way classes can advance in power
3) continue to offer different levels of complexity in class selection
4) continue to keep DM prep time low, easy to get things "close enough" and have them still work, and the consequences of fudging low.
5) continue to offer multiple ways to multiclass, both with feats and hybrid options.

so i'll obviously still be using 4e, but if i were to send the designers back to 2006 or whenever they started dreaming up 4e, i would offer them that advice.
 

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