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Pen & Paper Roleplaying Central => Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion => Topic started by: GeekyBugle on June 25, 2020, 08:07:28 pm

Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: GeekyBugle on June 25, 2020, 08:07:28 pm
What the tin says, IF you were designing the 5.5e what would you put in/take out/change/twist/etc?

What Frankenstein monster would you create and from where would you borrow, steal take inspiration from?

It doesn't have to be strictly from it's family of games.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: thedungeondelver on June 25, 2020, 08:26:57 pm
Flip armor classes, add back in different XP tables, collapse magic-users back into a single class, drop some races.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: oggsmash on June 25, 2020, 08:33:20 pm
Honestly I would make it a pretty different game. Armor blocks damage, massive damage save rules from Conan D20 (mongoose). Tempted to steal Heroic deeds from DCC.  I am tempted to steal the magic system from DCC, shit, I think I would probably just make it DCC and use the defense system from Conan D20 and armor rules.  Probably remove the massive damage in this case, since the crits and crazy magic will make no need of massive damage.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: Spinachcat on June 25, 2020, 08:43:50 pm
First, I'd research 5e forums and discussions from launch to now. That's 6 years of data. Gather every known concern and review all the house rules discussed. This would be significant research and worth every moment. Especially look to where WotC ignores the fanbase.

Second, I'd gather all the playtest versions and see if something cool was left out of the final draft. That was a key disaster with 4e that the final draft went super wonky when good playtest ideas vanished. Interview 5e consultants to find out what ideas got left out, and why they agreed or disagreed with various design choices. I bet some podcasts exist which discuss 5e's design.

Third, I would invest in reading every 5e book with alternate rules. Get a strong sense where other designers have taken the system and why. See whether they fixed problems or just created new ones or just alternates that are patches.

Fourth, I would gather talent to build a kitchen sink setting. People bitch about them, but then buy them over and over. While the core books should be setting-free, the 5.5e launch should have its own setting for people who can't/won't homebrew. And in this vein, research 6 years of forum discussions about adventure paths, etc and see what, where and why can things be improved for actual play. Maybe there's already a series of fantasy novels that would be perfect?

Later in the line, I'd do a Conan, Kull and a John Carter setting book. Why? They're public domain baby! Who doesn't love free IP with movies and novels attached? And we know gamers buy the same damn Conan setting over and over and over!
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: VisionStorm on June 25, 2020, 09:34:02 pm
In some ways I'm already on the process of creating a 5e inspired homebrew for a Feat-based d20. Not sure if I'd call this 5.5e, per se, but some of the features may hint towards a 5.5 edition (subject to change):

Race: All characters and creatures have a race. Race is a template applicable to PCs, NPCs and monsters that determines certain basic features, including Size, ability modifiers and special benefits and limitations. For creatures, race is separate from Level (see below), but may provide additional Hit Dice based on their Size (see below), and may modify their effective level for purposes of determining CR.

Levels: All characters and creatures have a level from 1 to 20 designating their overall degree of competence and power. Level 1 is a “training” level or represents children. Most of the adult population is level 2 minimum, 3 for professionals. Level tiers include: 1-2 Trainee, 3-5 Professional, 6-8 Veteran, 9-11 Elite, 12-14 Heroic, 15-17 Legendary, 18-20 Godlike.

Hit Dice: All characters and creatures have 1d6 (4) hit points, plus Constitution modifier, per level. The number of hit points gained per Hit Dice may be increased by +1 per selection of the Toughness feat, to a maximum of +4 per HD.

Size: All characters and creatures have a Size characteristic indicating their size category: Tiny, Small, Medium, Large, Huge, and Gargantuan. Size is determined by race. Larger creatures get a +4 to Strength and special physical attacks (bulrush, grappling, etc.), +2 to Constitution and +3 HD, but also a -2 to Dexterity, -1 to AC, and -4 to hide, per size category above Medium. Smaller creatures get a +2 to Dexterity, +1 to AC and +4 to hide, but also -2 to Strength and Constitution, per size category below Medium.

Proficiency Modifier: All characters and creatures have a Proficiency Modifier equal to +2, +1 per 2nd character level. This modifier is applicable to all ability checks dealing with tasks or functions they are trained on. They may also gain a cumulative +2 per mastery rank (Expert, Master, Grandmaster) by selecting the Mastery feat.

Untrained Modifier: All characters and creatures have an Untrained Modifier equal to +1 per 5th character level (5, 10, 15 and 20). This modifier indicates general competence, and applies whenever making ability checks dealing with tasks or functions they have no training on. This modifier is replaced by the Proficiency Modifier (see above) for checks in areas where they are trained.

Difficulty Class: There are eight difficulty classes: Very Easy (5), Easy (10), Medium (15), Hard (20), Very Hard (25), Formidable (30), Daunting (35), and Near-Impossible (40).

Feats: All special abilities including traditional class features and ability increases are treated like feats. Feats are divided into six list: General, Skill, Combat, Casting, Specialist, and Extraordinary.

All characters and creatures get the following feats:
Progression Paths: Progression Paths are pre-selected feat packages that allow quick progression for players who don't have the patience for individual selections. They also facilitate encounter creation by allowing GMs to simply select a race and path to instantly determine a creature's abilities.

...
Other details are still in development. I also plan on stealing the Pathfinder rule that all characters simply advance in level each 1,000 XP gained (NO leveling tables!). XP from combat will probably be a factor of character vs effective creature level (modified by race package). Most of this assumes a pure feat-based development, but that component could be swapped for classes, taking some of the other elements (like new the Proficiency and Untrained Modifiers, everyone & thing has a level, etc) to build a different edition of a more D&D-esque game.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: Steven Mitchell on June 25, 2020, 11:24:41 pm
Within the spirit of the question (I think), I'd say a 5.5 edition has to be at least somewhat compatible in concept with what came before.  So with a few exceptions, I'd try to refine some of the 5E additions:

- I'd change the classes.  There would be fewer overall classes and more Path choices within the class.  A greater number of paths, and a second or even third choice in what they are.  In return, I'd cut out some of the minor class/path features or roll them up into other features.  Get about the same amount of stuff over 20 levels.  (I'd aim for somewhat lower, but it would probably scope creep into slightly more.)

- Less magic in classes (except for the iconic casters), more magic in some paths.  Don't want to focus on magic, take a different path.  As an example of how this might work, a "paladin" might be a fighter that took a "priest" path and then a "paladin" path.  Or it might be a cleric that took a "warrior" path and then a "paladin" path.  Or both might work for different slants on paladins or you could even have one that skipped the cleric/priest part entirely.

- Most racial abilities and backgrounds replaced with "Culture" choices.  Move the skill choices mostly from classes to culture.  Allow a few choices after 1st level, probably on some of the less impressive even levels once the above items was changed.  Classes would instead give class-specific boosts to certain skills, similar to Rogue expertise.

- Add domain/war/trade rules.  These are sorely missed in 5E.

- Get someone to revisit magic items.  That's an area that's either been rather stolid or failed trying to escape stolid by throwing a lot of magic items against the wall to see what sticks. There's nothing really wrong with 5E items in a traditional D&D sense, but there's nothing really magic about them either.

- Make another pass at the monster customization rules.  They aren't awful, but the presentation sucks.

- Pretty much toss the advice sections entirely and start from scratch.  Read Gygax and various clones of AD&D/BEMCI for inspiration.  Or more likely hire someone with a strong voice to write those sections.

- Set the default game to more Sword and Sorcery, but include options to switch back to the default 5E experience.  In particular, rests/healing would still have the levers present, but the default would be closer to early D&D than the 5E defaults. Nothing wrong with having options built into the game, but help people walk before they run.

- I like escalating hit points and damage by levels while keeping lid on the attack bonuses.  What I don't like is the breadth of the scale of the hit point and damage escalation.  Cut back hit points and damage systematically with firm cap on the upper end.  Start it just a tad bit higher than the current floor to compensate.  (A big problem with the scale is how low the floor is and how that skews the mechanics.  Slightly higher floor, can be much more stingy through the rest of the game to get the same experience with less math.)

I'd want to change in a really bad way but wouldn't:

- Six ability scores to Might, Intelligence, Charisma, Dexterity, Agility, Perception.  That's primary for fighter, wizard, cleric, rogue, respectively, plus 2 that everyone can use.  

- Skills atrophied into more modest boosts to ability score checks in the Culture packages.  You've got only six checks for most everything you do based on the ability scores.  Your class and culture bumps are bonuses to that roll. More bumps, less power with each one, a little more narrow in scope.

- Change the traditional 3 book delivery.  The Monster Manual would stick around.  Break the PHB into at least 2 books--one focused on everything a player needs for levels 1-10, the other for 11-20.  I'd really prefer to have spells in a separate book entirely for better lookup in play, but that's even less economically feasible.  Some of the options from the DMG need to move into the two player books to make room for those domain/war/trade rules and better advice.

Things I don't see a way to fix:

- Fix the handling issues of summoned creatures, animal companions, familiars, henchmen, allies, etc.  I've seen various fixes in other games.  I just don't like any of them.  The only way I can see to do those kind of things right is to simplify the game back into BECMI mechanics.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: Mistwell on June 26, 2020, 12:19:15 am
Quote from: GeekyBugle;1136345
What the tin says, IF you were designing the 5.5e what would you put in/take out/change/twist/etc?

What Frankenstein monster would you create and from where would you borrow, steal take inspiration from?

It doesn't have to be strictly from it's family of games.

Remove bonus actions, and anything that still needs that just add to an action.

Fix the monk, and ranger.

Go with Treantmonks changes to spells, and feats. Maybe even his changes to classes.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: Arnwolf666 on June 26, 2020, 12:54:48 am
These days, I am just playing call of Cthulhu with the magic system from magic world. I use the dark ages supplement for armor. Steal a few spells from Elric and other BRP products and I am happy. Otherwise stick with ad&d with a few modifications from 5E if I choose to play any version of D&D.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: VisionStorm on June 26, 2020, 02:29:08 am
Quote from: Steven Mitchell;1136369
- I'd change the classes.  There would be fewer overall classes and more Path choices within the class.  A greater number of paths, and a second or even third choice in what they are.  In return, I'd cut out some of the minor class/path features or roll them up into other features.  Get about the same amount of stuff over 20 levels.  (I'd aim for somewhat lower, but it would probably scope creep into slightly more.)

- Less magic in classes (except for the iconic casters), more magic in some paths.  Don't want to focus on magic, take a different path.  As an example of how this might work, a "paladin" might be a fighter that took a "priest" path and then a "paladin" path.  Or it might be a cleric that took a "warrior" path and then a "paladin" path.  Or both might work for different slants on paladins or you could even have one that skipped the cleric/priest part entirely.


This is something I've seen brought up before (at least different versions of it from Pundit in a video, and Blankman brought it up in another thread as well) and I tend to agree. I think that the number of classes has gotten out of hand and a lot of them are just variations of the old core classes anyways: Cleric, Fighter, Magic-User and Thief (or Warrior, Priest, Mage and Rogue, in 2e terminology). You don't need fifty hundred variations of those treated as separate classes, you just need the core classes and treat the variants as paths. A Barbarian isn't a fundamentally different class from a Fighter (or Warrior), that's just a fighter from a primitive culture. Treating them as separate just adds bloat to the game and inconsistencies between classes that are fundamentally the same type of thing.

If it were up to me, I'd fold priests and mages into a single caster class as well, and make the core classes just Warrior, Rogue (or Specialist?) and Mystic. Everything else would just be a path that builds on the core classes.

I'm not sure about having multiple paths, though, but if that's your ideal scenario I'll let you have them, since this is your take on D&D anyway (I have my own weird classless, skill/feat-based conceits). I just think they might complicate progression and add to bookkeeping, though, but maybe you can do something cool with them.

QUOTE=Steven Mitchell;1136369]- Set the default game to more Sword and Sorcery, but include options to switch back to the default 5E experience.  In particular, rests/healing would still have the levers present, but the default would be closer to early D&D than the 5E defaults. Nothing wrong with having options built into the game, but help people walk before they run..[/QUOTE]

This is something else I wanted to touch on just to say I strongly agree. I hate the way that rest and health recovery is handled in 5e and would like to go back to something closer to old D&D as the default. The way 5e handles it is just absurd. It's practically like a cartoon--injured characters can just go away, rest up then come back the next day right as new. There's NO genre where that makes sense, other than goofy, inconsequential cartoon land.

I do like the idea of characters not instantly dying at "0" HP, and having to do stabilization checks, but I had already been doing that as a house rule (lifted out of Dragon magazine, IIRC) since the 90s. The way that 5e does it, of course, is over the top, cuz now you can go negative HP equal to your full HP before dying, which is just WAY too much. The way I've always done it is negative HP up to -10 is comatose, and anything beyond that, you're dead.

Quote from: Mistwell;1136374
Remove bonus actions, and anything that still needs that just add to an action.


This is something I've considered as well. I think that multiple actions tend to complicate combat and skew damage, and can cause balance issues. However, there are times where multiple actions might make sense and some people can just move faster in combat than others. So I'm not sure they should be removed completely.

One thing I've considered as well is to just make multiple actions a combat option everyone has access to, but you have to declare them and every action declared gives you a cumulative -2 penalty or something (maybe higher) to all actions. Attempting three actions, for example, would impose a -6 penalty each. That way multiple actions exist, but they are a risk and something only skilled individuals can pull off.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: S'mon on June 26, 2020, 07:21:38 am
The main weakness I see in 5e is the lack of non-spellcasting PC classes. There should be a lot more options for lower-magic PCs and settings. Non-casting Ranger & Paladin for certain.

I'd also like some classes simple enough to use as both PCs and classed NPCs.

The overall 5e chassis is very robust and functional for playing a certain sort of D&D, I wouldn't mess with it much.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: Tom Kalbfus on June 26, 2020, 08:45:38 am
I just reject the idea that D&D core rules needs to be revised every 5 years or so, there are too many editions already. I think edition 4 was a mistake and they should have gone back to 3.5. Change for change's sake alone is not good. Fantasy RPGs don't have to change every five to ten years to reflect new realities. After a certain level, further changes just require one to learn new rules without any significant improvements. My problem with 5 is that you have different rules for PCs and NPCs, and only PCs have character classes, and NPCs only show adjustments for ability scores and not the ability scores themselves. The thing I like about 3.5 is that you can see how each monster and npc is put together and their are systematic rules for creating new monsters, with 5th edition, you just wing it. I like games with consistent metrics rather than relying on the DM's judgement. The reason politics creeps into so many settings is that the rpg developers produce fewer detailed rules for DMs to create their own settings rather than those provided by the publishers.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: Anselyn on June 26, 2020, 09:36:26 am
Modularity: was part of the intial discussion but effectively lost from the game as played AFAICT. It's there but squirreled away in the DMG - how magical is your world, how long are short/long rests. etc.

I'd move some of that to a "Session Zero" section in the PHB. Either the DM tells you the decisions made about their world and then you generate characters - or you collectively answer questions as a group to define the world and then you do characters.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: Blankman on June 26, 2020, 09:52:03 am
If we're talking an actual 5.5, something about as similar to 5e as 3.5 was to 3e or AD&D 2e was to AD&D 1e, I wouldn't change that much. Some tweaks here and there, but mainly the focus would be on changing some of the presentation and incorporating some of the stuff from Volo's Guide to Monsters, Xanathar's Guide to Everything etc.

On the purely mechanical level, I'd change up a few of the spells, mostly to make them less super-useful. I'd also change around the classes a bit, but mostly tinkering. I wouldn't actually lose any of them if I were trying to make something reasonably close to 5e. I'd change the Ranger a bit, make Circle of the Moon Druid's shapeshifting a bit less powerful at the start, change the ki costs of some Monk abilities, change Fighter's Indomitable to be an automatic success on a save instead of a reroll (more like a legendary save), probably change Warlocks so that Eldritch Blast is a class ability rather than a cantrip they can take but will be hobbles without. Probably put in some more sub-classes for the classes that had only two in the PHB (Barbarian, Bard, Ranger, Sorcerer) and switch some of them up (Beastmaster Ranger needs some fixing). I'd also remove Darkvision from most creatures, both races and monsters. Probably also add in some sort of distinction between Low-Light Vision and Darkvision and give Low-Light vision to some creatures. Make Quarterstaves do less damage than Spears, and probably give Spears reach. Small stuff like this. I'd also add in Morale scores to all creature statblocks and present the Morale rules as a core part of combat. Oh, and remove some Feats (and replace them with others) which grant abilities I feel everyone should have, like being able to totally restrain someone by grappling.

I'd do more on the presentation front. For instance, on races, Instead of putting them in common and uncommon categories, I'd present Humans, as the baseline, and then present the others under Group headings. So Dwarves, Elves and Halflings would end up under "Classic Fantasy" (really Tolkienesque fantasy, but I'm not sure that label can be legally gotten away with), while Aasimar, Genasi and Tieflings end up under "Planar hybrids." Then at the end I'd put in a system for creating mixed blood characters from any of the presented races. So you want a Dwarf-Elf? Ok, here's what you do. Then in the DMG there'd be a discussion about what adding in each race or group will mean for your setting. Similar discussion about classes, about ability score generation (dice, points, array? If dice, in order or distribute by choice, 4D6 drop lowest or straight 3D6 or 3D6 twice and pick highest, etc etc). Basically, talk about what various choices you make for your campaign world in what to include from the PHB options actually mean.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: Steven Mitchell on June 26, 2020, 10:57:05 am
Quote from: Tom Kalbfus;1136433
I just reject the idea that D&D core rules needs to be revised every 5 years or so, there are too many editions already. I think edition 4 was a mistake and they should have gone back to 3.5. Change for change's sake alone is not good. Fantasy RPGs don't have to change every five to ten years to reflect new realities. After a certain level, further changes just require one to learn new rules without any significant improvements...

That's fine, and I even agree with you to a certain extent despite 3.5 being my least favorite edition of D&D ever.  But in the alternate timeline where 4E and 5E aren't produced, the net effect is that I don't need WotC D&D at all.  I've still got the Rules Compendium and other games.  Also, 3.5 was pretty much the poster child of "change for change's sake".  So it seems a strange place to draw the line on that principle.  

Of course, if they keep injecting politics into it, then it's also almost the same effect for me as the alternate timeline:   I stop buying WotC stuff.  The only difference is that my 3E and 5E books are sitting on the shelf when I want to run them.  One of the reasons I'm running 5E right now is that players can get the PHB easy.  When that is no longer true, I'm more likely to run something else.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: GeekyBugle on June 26, 2020, 11:49:29 am
Quote from: Tom Kalbfus;1136433
I just reject the idea that D&D core rules needs to be revised every 5 years or so, there are too many editions already. I think edition 4 was a mistake and they should have gone back to 3.5. Change for change's sake alone is not good. Fantasy RPGs don't have to change every five to ten years to reflect new realities. After a certain level, further changes just require one to learn new rules without any significant improvements. My problem with 5 is that you have different rules for PCs and NPCs, and only PCs have character classes, and NPCs only show adjustments for ability scores and not the ability scores themselves. The thing I like about 3.5 is that you can see how each monster and npc is put together and their are systematic rules for creating new monsters, with 5th edition, you just wing it. I like games with consistent metrics rather than relying on the DM's judgement. The reason politics creeps into so many settings is that the rpg developers produce fewer detailed rules for DMs to create their own settings rather than those provided by the publishers.

But we're not talking about if the rules need to be revised every X amount of years. We're talking of creating your own 5.5 edition a la PF when D&D shat the bed with 4e, either for personal use or for sale.

But IMHO the clock is ticking and the time to start working in such a game is right now.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: insubordinate polyhedral on June 26, 2020, 11:52:27 am
While we're talking about franken-5e, one of the things that made me dislike 5e and go back to 1e/OSR is the same-y ness feel in actual play. Along with a pretty strong sense of bowling with bumpers/defanged risk. Did anyone else get that sense from play, and if so, any ideas on where it comes from? It's been a couple years since I played 5e now, so I'm not super fresh on the mechanics to try to analyze it.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: Tom Kalbfus on June 26, 2020, 12:07:11 pm
Quote from: Steven Mitchell;1136463
That's fine, and I even agree with you to a certain extent despite 3.5 being my least favorite edition of D&D ever.  But in the alternate timeline where 4E and 5E aren't produced, the net effect is that I don't need WotC D&D at all.  I've still got the Rules Compendium and other games.  Also, 3.5 was pretty much the poster child of "change for change's sake".  So it seems a strange place to draw the line on that principle.  

Of course, if they keep injecting politics into it, then it's also almost the same effect for me as the alternate timeline:   I stop buying WotC stuff.  The only difference is that my 3E and 5E books are sitting on the shelf when I want to run them.  One of the reasons I'm running 5E right now is that players can get the PHB easy.  When that is no longer true, I'm more likely to run something else.

There is a site where you can obtain PDFs of the 3.5 core rulebooks, I am not allowed to link to them, but you could Google "The Trove" the search engine could find you some out of print PDFs of various editions of D&D and other rpgs. I also bought a few copies of the core rules when Wizards reprinted its various edition, and of course you could also buy used D&D books on Amazon as well. Core rulebooks cost $50 per book and their hard cover adventures are almost as expensive as the core rulebooks. I have the 5th edition core rulebooks, I used to have the 4th edition rulebooks as well, but I gave those away, the 4th edition was too complicated, I suppose a computer could handle the overhead in an rpg game, but for pen and paper, there was just too much to keep track of, and each character class took up an entire chapter in the book, and the list of spells and magic items were incomplete and I have to buy further supplements to get back the functionality of 3.5. The 4th edition was a huge disappointment, and they spread things out over multiple books that should have been in one book, because I suppose they wanted you to buy more books!

As it is with 5th edition, you need about $150 to buy all three core rulebooks. You can get the third edition a lot cheaper than that.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: Chris24601 on June 26, 2020, 03:40:54 pm
Quote from: VisionStorm;1136395
This is something else I wanted to touch on just to say I strongly agree. I hate the way that rest and health recovery is handled in 5e and would like to go back to something closer to old D&D as the default. The way 5e handles it is just absurd. It's practically like a cartoon--injured characters can just go away, rest up then come back the next day right as new. There's NO genre where that makes sense, other than goofy, inconsequential cartoon land.

It's only absurd if you think Hit Points are mostly meat.

But even Gary didn't think that. He described them as a mix of stamina, skill, luck, morale and even divine protection with only a small portion being anything more than superficial injuries.

Under that understanding a good night's sleep restoring your stamina, focus and morale (plus luck and divine protection) along with some of your superficial injuries (you only get half your hit dice back so if you got knocked around a lot you'll actually need a couple days to fully recover) isn't absurd at all.

But I've already fought this battle and far too many just can't get past Hit Points = Meat. Which is why I had to drop hit points entirely from own game system and replace it with Edge that is spent to avoid serious injuries while serious injuries are handled by the affliction system (which also covers diseases and curses) that require days or even weeks (or ritual magic) to recover from and can even get worse if not treated.

Mechanically it's just Gary's version of hit points and some extra critical damage rules, but certain words in D&D have just become so loaded that trying to use them in any other way is more trouble than it's worth. My playtesters who felt regaining your full hit points with a long rest was unrealistic had no issues with regaining all spent Edge with a long rest.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: Spinachcat on June 26, 2020, 03:56:03 pm
I highly agree on the need for "modularity" and dials to customize campaigns.
A successful 5.5e would invite more GM creativity and support the idea that every table can make the game what they want it to be.
Anselyn is quite right that Session Zero needs to be discussed upfront in the PHB.

Theater of the Mind, Abstract Minis and Tactical Minis play would all need support.
Random, Easy Template and Fiddly Build chargen also would need support.
The question would be how much of that should be at launch vs. a major supplement.

Geeky is right. The time is now, but we need someone with $250k to throw down.

13th Age could have been a mega-hit. They had an 18 month empty window between the death of 4e and the birth of 5e. It was an amazing opportunity. Palladium Fantasy could have resurged like a monster during that year and half. It was literally a perfect window. Instead, nobody marketed their products in any meaningful manner. Facebook was at its height.

The 5.5e would need to be a good game, backed by an intriguing and fun kitchen sink setting. All of it would need a metric ton of gorgeous art. Let's not forget that Paizo blasted out of the gate with A grade beautiful art (and lots of boobies). The writing, editing, art, layout isn't cheap, but far beyond that, you would need a monster marketing campaign. The company would have to host its own livestream and make it better than Critical Role (aka, get talented improv actors, great set, video editor, etc). None of that is cheap.

If you're just making a 5.5e on a budget, then you'll join the rest of the PDFs on DriveThru making beer money.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: GeekyBugle on June 26, 2020, 05:01:32 pm
Quote from: Spinachcat;1136540
I highly agree on the need for "modularity" and dials to customize campaigns.
A successful 5.5e would invite more GM creativity and support the idea that every table can make the game what they want it to be.
Anselyn is quite right that Session Zero needs to be discussed upfront in the PHB.

Theater of the Mind, Abstract Minis and Tactical Minis play would all need support.
Random, Easy Template and Fiddly Build chargen also would need support.
The question would be how much of that should be at launch vs. a major supplement.

Geeky is right. The time is now, but we need someone with $250k to throw down.

13th Age could have been a mega-hit. They had an 18 month empty window between the death of 4e and the birth of 5e. It was an amazing opportunity. Palladium Fantasy could have resurged like a monster during that year and half. It was literally a perfect window. Instead, nobody marketed their products in any meaningful manner. Facebook was at its height.

The 5.5e would need to be a good game, backed by an intriguing and fun kitchen sink setting. All of it would need a metric ton of gorgeous art. Let's not forget that Paizo blasted out of the gate with A grade beautiful art (and lots of boobies). The writing, editing, art, layout isn't cheap, but far beyond that, you would need a monster marketing campaign. The company would have to host its own livestream and make it better than Critical Role (aka, get talented improv actors, great set, video editor, etc). None of that is cheap.

If you're just making a 5.5e on a budget, then you'll join the rest of the PDFs on DriveThru making beer money.

Or we need many someone's with either money, talent and or time to contribute, I bet we could find an artist or two to contribute for a slice of the pie. And several designers are already on this site, the less experienced/talented can contribute with either money or leg work, doing the research, maybe the layout, proofreading, etc.

So, instead of a fat cow with 250K you need 10 fit cows with 25k each, minus whatever money can be saved by people volunteering to do the work in exchange for a slice of the pie.

Put Pundit, Estar, and all the others with some notches in their belt to lead and find the people willing to contribute for said slice of the pie.

As for marketing... Just by putting Pundit's name on the cover you've got tons of free advertising, how many of you would be willing to do some advertising in exchange for a reduced price on the game?

As for actors... Not sure I really like the idea, it could work but I still don't like the idea.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: VisionStorm on June 26, 2020, 05:12:38 pm
Quote from: Chris24601;1136537
It's only absurd if you think Hit Points are mostly meat.

But even Gary didn't think that. He described them as a mix of stamina, skill, luck, morale and even divine protection with only a small portion being anything more than superficial injuries.

Under that understanding a good night's sleep restoring your stamina, focus and morale (plus luck and divine protection) along with some of your superficial injuries (you only get half your hit dice back so if you got knocked around a lot you'll actually need a couple days to fully recover) isn't absurd at all.


No, it's absurd even if you do take the conceit that HP aren't really "meat", but magic pixie stamina points mixed with "luck" and all that nonsense they used to explain what HP supposedly represent in old D&D, which is a notion I'm perfectly aware of. But that still doesn't take actual wounds or injuries into account, which are a real thing that happens in combat, or the fact that even if you take stamina alone into consideration that still doesn't just recover completely overnight if you engage in actual heavy exertion like you would in combat.

Heavy exercise and exertion can leave your muscles sore and barely able to walk or move effectively for days or even a whole week. Yet one single 8 hour Long Rest in 5e restores full "magic pixie stamina + luck points", plus half your HD worth of spent HD (assuming you even spent all of them), which means you only need two days tops to fully recover, even if you abused Short Rests and spent every single HD you had.

Quote from: Chris24601;1136537
But I've already fought this battle and far too many just can't get past Hit Points = Meat. Which is why I had to drop hit points entirely from own game system and replace it with Edge that is spent to avoid serious injuries while serious injuries are handled by the affliction system (which also covers diseases and curses) that require days or even weeks (or ritual magic) to recover from and can even get worse if not treated.

Mechanically it's just Gary's version of hit points and some extra critical damage rules, but certain words in D&D have just become so loaded that trying to use them in any other way is more trouble than it's worth. My playtesters who felt regaining your full hit points with a long rest was unrealistic had no issues with regaining all spent Edge with a long rest.


The fact that you had to develop a secondary rule to handle actual injuries only reinforces how ridiculous regarding HP only as "magic pixie stamina + luck points" actually is. And unlike your system, 5e doesn't have any rules for serious injuries. So there's nothing else to represent "meat" or actual injuries in the game. You can't even get killed outright unless you suffer negative HP equal to your full HP. And if you regain just ONE HP you're back on business, no matter how far back in negative HP you got. No lasting injuries!

HP = Stamina doesn't really work unless there's some sort of Wound system in place to handle real injuries.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: S'mon on June 26, 2020, 05:27:10 pm
Quote from: VisionStorm;1136559
HP = Stamina doesn't really work unless there's some sort of Wound system in place to handle real injuries.

5e has the Exhaustion track for stuff like that, it's very handy to say "this NPC you rescued has like 4 levels of Exhaustion, no they can't help you!"

As for Long Rests, I never liked the heal-overnight; I went over to 1 week LRs and that solved all balance & credulity issues. 1 week is enough for sore muscles & minor injuries to heal. Of course the bounce-back-from-Dying is still silly but I don't see an easy fix there. I tried using negative hp but now I just accept it as a gamey abstraction. If I want realism I play 1e AD&D or D6 System! :D
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: Spinachcat on June 26, 2020, 06:17:25 pm
4e's Gamma World said fuck it and you fully heal with a short rest. No more worrying about encounter balance. If you win, you heal up totally to face the next challenge toe to toe. If you lose, you die.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: Blankman on June 26, 2020, 07:00:09 pm
Quote from: VisionStorm;1136559
No, it's absurd even if you do take the conceit that HP aren't really "meat", but magic pixie stamina points mixed with "luck" and all that nonsense they used to explain what HP supposedly represent in old D&D, which is a notion I'm perfectly aware of. But that still doesn't take actual wounds or injuries into account, which are a real thing that happens in combat, or the fact that even if you take stamina alone into consideration that still doesn't just recover completely overnight if you engage in actual heavy exertion like you would in combat.

Heavy exercise and exertion can leave your muscles sore and barely able to walk or move effectively for days or even a whole week. Yet one single 8 hour Long Rest in 5e restores full "magic pixie stamina + luck points", plus half your HD worth of spent HD (assuming you even spent all of them), which means you only need two days tops to fully recover, even if you abused Short Rests and spent every single HD you had.



The fact that you had to develop a secondary rule to handle actual injuries only reinforces how ridiculous regarding HP only as "magic pixie stamina + luck points" actually is. And unlike your system, 5e doesn't have any rules for serious injuries. So there's nothing else to represent "meat" or actual injuries in the game. You can't even get killed outright unless you suffer negative HP equal to your full HP. And if you regain just ONE HP you're back on business, no matter how far back in negative HP you got. No lasting injuries!

HP = Stamina doesn't really work unless there's some sort of Wound system in place to handle real injuries.

It does have those rules actually. It also has suggestions for changing the duration of rests, the examples given are 5 minute short rests and 1 hour long rests for fast paced heroic play, and 8 hour short rests and 7 day long rests for gritty realism. All these options, and many more, are presented in the DMG.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: Anselyn on June 26, 2020, 07:23:14 pm
Quote from: S'mon;1136562
Of course the bounce-back-from-Dying is still silly but I don't see an easy fix there. I tried using negative hp but now I just accept it as a gamey abstraction.
I've seen the suggestion that the bounce-back gives a level of exhaustion. What do you think?
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: VisionStorm on June 26, 2020, 08:01:30 pm
Quote from: S'mon;1136562
5e has the Exhaustion track for stuff like that, it's very handy to say "this NPC you rescued has like 4 levels of Exhaustion, no they can't help you!"

As for Long Rests, I never liked the heal-overnight; I went over to 1 week LRs and that solved all balance & credulity issues. 1 week is enough for sore muscles & minor injuries to heal. Of course the bounce-back-from-Dying is still silly but I don't see an easy fix there. I tried using negative hp but now I just accept it as a gamey abstraction. If I want realism I play 1e AD&D or D6 System! :D


That isn't specifically what Exhaustion rules are for. Though, suppose you could take the existing rules for Exhaustion and modify them to create a separate "Wounded" condition, that works mechanically almost identical to Exhaustion levels (same penalties), but deal with physical injuries instead. Every time you get to 0 HP you automatically suffer one Wound level, and every time you get struck by a critical hit or suffer 25+ damage from a single attack you need to make a 15 (+1 per 10 damage?) DC Con save or suffer a wound level as well. Recovery from Wounds levels take one week of rest (as opposed to one 8 hour Long Rest, as with Exhaustion levels), or 20 (or more?) HP worth of magical healing specifically devoted to Wounds (no actual HP healed) per level.

I might also consider extending a "Long Rest" to a full week as well. Though, a wound system like that in the standard default rules could shut me up about HP = Stamina.

I've always used negative HP since the 90s (think I got the rules from Dragon or a supplement, probably both). But those rules went just up to -10 for comatose, higher for death. 5e went all the way to your max HP, which is too much. Now if your character has 100 HP you can go up to -100 before kicking the bucket. And there's always raise dead for occasions like that. Higher level character just can't die anymore.

Quote from: Blankman;1136576
It does have those rules actually. It also has suggestions for changing the duration of rests, the examples given are 5 minute short rests and 1 hour long rests for fast paced heroic play, and 8 hour short rests and 7 day long rests for gritty realism. All these options, and many more, are presented in the DMG.


I think I saw something like that in the optional rules section. But that's stashed away in the DMG, and we were talking default rules originally. IMO, full recovery in one day doesn't feel heroic, it feels like a video game or cartoon.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: Chris24601 on June 26, 2020, 08:16:58 pm
Quote from: VisionStorm;1136559
No, it's absurd even if you do take the conceit that HP aren't really "meat", but magic pixie stamina points mixed with "luck" and all that nonsense they used to explain what HP supposedly represent in old D&D, which is a notion I'm perfectly aware of. But that still doesn't take actual wounds or injuries into account, which are a real thing that happens in combat, or the fact that even if you take stamina alone into consideration that still doesn't just recover completely overnight if you engage in actual heavy exertion like you would in combat.

I'll be sure to tell Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas that they should have taken more wounds while getting their magic pixie stamina points whittled away while they fought all those orcs and trolls and what have you. Also that they needed at least a week of bedrest after that fight at the end of Fellowship before they'd be able to pursue the orcs who made off with Merry and Pippin because they couldn't possibly be able to pursue them over land and gain ground on them after all that previous exertion.

Because that's what Hit Points ultimately are; Plot Armor. The Troll's club would realistically crush anyone if it actually connected, but Aragorn has the skill and luck to evade those blows, though it does tire him out a bit in the process (i.e. his hit points are reduced). They get dropped to zero hit points and its either they're just knocked out of a minute then get up and keep going (they stabilize and spend some hit dice) or they're Boromir and have bled out (they fail to stabilize and die).

Also, for the record... my wound system is optional for those who want a grittier game. Default is you lose a heroic surge; a resource that represents your deep reserves of stamina... used to rally, take extra actions, push yourself to the limit (i.e. bonuses to actions) and not die at 0 Edge... making it a tactical choice to save them for rallying and avoiding death or spending them on actions and powerful actions that might end fights quicker.

Quote from: Spinachcat;1136540
I highly agree on the need for "modularity" and dials to customize campaigns... Theater of the Mind, Abstract Minis and Tactical Minis play would all need support... Random, Easy Template and Fiddly Build chargen also would need support. The question would be how much of that should be at launch vs. a major supplement.

Geeky is right. The time is now, but we need someone with $250k to throw down.

I'm probably stuck making beer money (though I'm a tea-totaler so, Tea money?), but I do have a system just about ready to go (211k words; "How to GM" advice and some random world-building assistance tables is what's left to do) that's got a pretty high degree of modularity, can support theater of the mind, abstract and tactical minis, has options for simple  (including actual pre-gens if you don't even want to make simple choices) and fiddly builds and optional rules for random chargen and have done some artwork for it already (though it does need a ton more). It also plays a LOT like WotC-era D&D at the table despite the differences (which come up more in how you build characters vs. how you use them at the table; d20+mod vs. TN is d20+mod vs. TN regardless of what the actual mods and TNs are and how those are determined).

Default chargen is a pretty simple Pick Species, Pick Background (skills and non-combat boons), Pick Class (combat abilities and talents), Pick Equipment (for fast play you can pick a package). The species entries also have three sample PCs per species if all you want to do is grab something and go. A sidebar in the classes section covers what options to pick if all you want is a really simple "I hit it with my sword/spell" type character.

The current list of included optional rules are;
- Level 0 and Negative Level Characters (for those who want to play zero-to-hero games; default is TV action star to start that scales up to Blockbuster action star at high level)
- Attribute Point Buy and Random Attribute Assignment (default is an array)
- Random Species and Backgrounds (for those who want to randomly determine the circumstance into which you're born)
- Skill Points (for those who want greater skill detail than trained/untrained)
- Detailed Languages (for those who actually want a campaign with regional dialects and the ability to learn them).
- Retraining (for changing your character after the game starts)
- Incremental Advancement (breaking up the level based bonuses into smaller chunks)
- Broadened Abilities (improving max level characters by adding breadth instead of more power)
- Infinite Levels (adding more levels past the normal maximum)
- Rolling More or No Damage Dice (for those who want to roll buckets and those who just want to take the average)
- Alternate Measuring Methods (measuring tapes for actual distance and mapless theater of the mind; default is a grid)
- Faster Free Strikes (speed up play by changing them from a hit roll to a static effect; good if you want to make withdrawl more of a tactical choice instead of a gamble)
- Simple Measurement and Simple Bursts (just measuring diagonals as 1 pace; default is they count as 1.5 paces rounded down)
- Abstract Cover (for mapless/theater of the mind)
- Mapless Area Effects (roll dice to see how many enemies you can catch in your burst; roll twice, use best if you're willing to hit an adjacent ally to do it)
- Static Condition Modifiers (I use the roll twice, use best/worst for a number of modifiers because all the testing showed it was way more fun for the players; if you want static modifiers to the die rolls, this is how you do that instead).

It also has rules for running larger/mass battles, vehicle combat, building castles and acquiring and renting out farmland to support yourself and hire troops.

It's also got a pretty kickass kitchen sink default/implied setting (its the one with the various kingdoms, each with their own problems, I've mentioned in other threads), at least according to those who've read it.

But like you said... it would need some serious supporting money (the plan was to Kickstarter to pay for art, editing and production related expenses once I had the manuscript done to use as one of the rewards/proof-its-not-vaporware) to make it happen.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: Spinachcat on June 26, 2020, 08:42:07 pm
Quote from: Chris24601;1136591
I'm probably stuck making beer money (though I'm a tea-totaler so, Tea money?), but I do have a system just about ready to go


Are you doing a public playtest?

Have you done a blind playtest where you don't GM and someone else needs to figure out the game from just the rulebook? (these are pure agony and utterly vital).

You might be spiking that tea after a few rounds of feedback! Especially those wonderful players who barely read anything, then make assumptions and then make demands for changes based on their wrong assumptions that would be cleared up if they just read the damn chapter. Ah, good times! I'm gonna have some tequila just thinking about it!


Quote from: Chris24601;1136591
But like you said... it would need some serious supporting money (the plan was to Kickstarter to pay for art, editing and production related expenses once I had the manuscript done to use as one of the rewards/proof-its-not-vaporware) to make it happen.


If you haven't done so already, educate yourself on how to maximize your Kickstarter. There's tremendous amount of free material online about how to do Kickstarters right and how to max your dollars. It's not a "list it and they will buy" site. Plenty of pre-marketing is needed to ensure you meet your minimum needs, especially these days with so much competition.

That's the unfun part. Now you're going from the SHOW to the BUSINESS part of the industry. After the fun of designing systems and worlds, now its the grind of artist contracts, layout problems, printer problems (even if you use POD), and all the joys only watching your money vanish into advertising and marketing campaigns can bring.

If you have any hope of achieving any ROI, its going to be based on your game have unique bits, you identifying the niche of customers who are interested in those unique bits, you speaking loud and clear to them in a convincing marketing campaign and then delivering an outstanding product that is fun to read and maybe even fun to play. Even if that marketing campaign is just you pimping your game everywhere online. AKA, Zweihander minus the obnoxiousness.

Good luck and kick ass.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: VisionStorm on June 26, 2020, 08:58:57 pm
Quote from: Chris24601;1136591
I'll be sure to tell Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas that they should have taken more wounds while getting their magic pixie stamina points whittled away while they fought all those orcs and trolls and what have you. Also that they needed at least a week of bedrest after that fight at the end of Fellowship before they'd be able to pursue the orcs who made off with Merry and Pippin because they couldn't possibly be able to pursue them over land and gain ground on them after all that previous exertion.

Because that's what Hit Points ultimately are; Plot Armor. The Troll's club would realistically crush anyone if it actually connected, but Aragorn has the skill and luck to evade those blows, though it does tire him out a bit in the process (i.e. his hit points are reduced). They get dropped to zero hit points and its either they're just knocked out of a minute then get up and keep going (they stabilize and spend some hit dice) or they're Boromir and have bled out (they fail to stabilize and die).

Also, for the record... my wound system is optional for those who want a grittier game. Default is you lose a heroic surge; a resource that represents your deep reserves of stamina... used to rally, take extra actions, push yourself to the limit (i.e. bonuses to actions) and not die at 0 Edge... making it a tactical choice to save them for rallying and avoiding death or spending them on actions and powerful actions that might end fights quicker.


Apples and oranges while ignoring half my post and focusing only your pet issue of defending HP interpreted as Stamina + Luck. TTRPGs aren't movies or books, they're simulated worlds, were details that often get omitted when telling a story specifically to entertain a passive audience matter more and become more relevant than artistic handwaving. You're still not addressing how characters even get injured in such a system without at least having wound mechanics in place. You're just waving it away and jumping at me because I attacked your sacred cow.

I already elaborated more anyway in my reply to S'mon regrading wound mechanics for 5e.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: Chris24601 on June 26, 2020, 09:59:04 pm
Quote from: Spinachcat;1136597
Are you doing a public playtest?
Semi-public at this stage. Basically, I hand it out to anyone who promises they'll actually give me feedback. About a third actually do... but them's the breaks. I'm always looking for more who are willing to give feedback, just lemme know.

Quote
Have you done a blind playtest where you don't GM and someone else needs to figure out the game from just the rulebook? (these are pure agony and utterly vital).

You might be spiking that tea after a few rounds of feedback! Especially those wonderful players who barely read anything, then make assumptions and then make demands for changes based on their wrong assumptions that would be cleared up if they just read the damn chapter. Ah, good times! I'm gonna have some tequila just thinking about it!
Oh, I've done several rounds already. Those ones who barely read anything led to a whole series of revisions in the character building section and to the layout of the books in general (all the game play rules are now found before the character building section for example).

My favorite from the "does not read" category was the person who couldn't figure out how to determine their attributes because after reading the list describing the steps to create a character they jumped ahead to the chapter on player species and never went back to the page following the steps of character creation where it discussed attributes in detail. I literally re-wrote the attribute generation process into each species entry just so she couldn't miss it.

Another example was that I had to completely can my original rules for static situational modifiers after one playtest where, just to try it out for the sake of completeness, I decided to replace them with something akin to 5e's advantage/disadvantage (I HATED advantage/disadvantage at the time because I felt the modifiers weren't granular enough) for a session just to see how the players responded.

Not only did they like it better, static situational bonuses died that day when a player who rolled a 2 on their attack roll (when they needed an 8 or better on the die to succeed), but then was reminded the target was flat-footed. Previously this would have given them a +3 to the attack and so they would have still missed, but for this test it was a re-roll to use the best result. They got a natural 20.

There is no static bonus in the world that can replace the endorphin rush of what I came to think of as "save vs. failure" when you go from miserable failure to critical hit. That it was also super-easy to use when someone forgot about it (you didn't need to remember the old roll, just whether it succeeded or failed) was another huge bonus. That was absolutely NOT in my original plan, but it was so well received I had to implement it.

Honestly, at this point I'd say less than 20% of my original mechanics survived my rounds of play-testing. You might not even recognize the first iteration document as being the same game as the current version. Whole classes, species and backgrounds disappeared when they just proved to not be all that fun. One of the current jokes by people familiar with how it started is how the Sprites ended up EATING both the Giants and the Dragons (the giants had the most interesting backstory, the sprite's was the most boring and the dragon's original backstory was getting ever more problematic as the world-building took shape... currently all three exist as subspecies of the elemental-themed Eldritch species).

It's been an experience... that's for certain.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: MonsterSlayer on June 26, 2020, 10:59:52 pm
I am working on re-doing the whole spell system and more. Last night I worked on a Rufian class.

But mostly I have been re-working "spells" I want first level spells to still be relevant at higher levels. I have also busted down the spells to 5 ranked tiers instead of nine levels. Think DCC meets 5E ish.

Here is an example of a first level priest spell or as "prayer". You roll 1d20 and add proficeincy + Wis modifier. I should also note that character creation is 4d6 drop the lowest straight down the line. So it is unlikely characters will have +10 to add to the roll until much higher levels.

Bolster Spirit
1st Rank Augmentation
Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: See Below
Components: V,S
Duration: Varies
Save: None

Description: The Priest recites prayers and chants of the Sovereign to bolster the his allied in the face of overwhelming odds or to soothe the emotions of those afflicted by madness.
Roll   Effect

1-11   Failure.

12-14   The priest bolsters the spirit of all allies within a 20' radius allowing each ally to make an immediate saving throw to remove any fear effect they are currently under.

15-18   The priest bolsters the spirit of all allies within a 20' radius allowing each ally to make an immediate saving throw to remove any fear effect they are currently under. Additionally any NPC ally gains a +2 bonus on any morale check within the next minute.

19-22   The priest bolsters the spirit of all allies within a 30' radius allowing each ally to make an immediate saving throw to remove any fear or paralysis effect they are currently under. Additionally any NPC ally gains a +2 bonus on any morale check within the next minute.

23-27   The priest bolsters the spirit of all allies within a 30' radius allowing each ally to make an immediate saving throw with advantage to remove any fear or paralysis effect they are currently under. Additionally any NPC ally gains a +2 bonus on any morale check within the next hour. The priest does not have to concentrate to maintain this effect.

28-30   The priest bolsters the spirit of all allies within a 30' radius allowing each ally to make an immediate saving throw with advantage to remove any fear or paralysis effect they are currently under.
Additionally any ally under the thralls of madness can make an immediate Wis saving throw adding the priest's Wis bonus to remove the madness. The fist save removes the madness for an hour. The second for a day. If a third save is made, the madness is removed permanently.
Additionally any NPC ally gains a +4 bonus on any morale check within the next day. The priest does not have to concentrate to maintain this effect.

31+   Miracle. The priest bolsters the spirit of all allies within a 30' instantly negating any fear or paralysis effect on an ally.
Additionally any ally under the thralls of madness can make an immediate Wis saving throw with advantage to remove any madness effect permanently.
Additionally the priest so bolsters the spirits of NPC allies, they make all morale checks for the next week with advantage.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: MonsterSlayer on June 26, 2020, 11:03:31 pm
Quote from: S'mon;1136562
5e has the Exhaustion track for stuff like that, it's very handy to say "this NPC you rescued has like 4 levels of Exhaustion, no they can't help you!"

As for Long Rests, I never liked the heal-overnight; I went over to 1 week LRs and that solved all balance & credulity issues. 1 week is enough for sore muscles & minor injuries to heal. Of course the bounce-back-from-Dying is still silly but I don't see an easy fix there. I tried using negative hp but now I just accept it as a gamey abstraction. If I want realism I play 1e AD&D or D6 System! :D


What do you do for spell recovery that requires a long rest?
Long rest=1 week, short rest= 8 hours and recover spells?

That is what I am leaning toward.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: S'mon on June 27, 2020, 01:38:50 am
Quote from: Anselyn;1136580
I've seen the suggestion that the bounce-back gives a level of exhaustion. What do you think?


I don't think it would work well in my 5e games - would cause too many TPKs - might work in other campaigns.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: S'mon on June 27, 2020, 01:44:33 am
Quote from: MonsterSlayer;1136614
What do you do for spell recovery that requires a long rest?
Long rest=1 week, short rest= 8 hours and recover spells?

That is what I am leaning toward.

I do LR = 1 week, SR = 1 hour, max 3/day.

Letting LR-class spells recharge faster would screw hugely with class balance. The system is designed around 6-8 encounters per LR and LR classes needing to husband resources, while SR classes get resources back every couple encounters.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: Blankman on June 27, 2020, 02:11:58 am
Quote from: VisionStorm;1136587
That isn't specifically what Exhaustion rules are for. Though, suppose you could take the existing rules for Exhaustion and modify them to create a separate "Wounded" condition, that works mechanically almost identical to Exhaustion levels (same penalties), but deal with physical injuries instead. Every time you get to 0 HP you automatically suffer one Wound level, and every time you get struck by a critical hit or suffer 25+ damage from a single attack you need to make a 15 (+1 per 10 damage?) DC Con save or suffer a wound level as well. Recovery from Wounds levels take one week of rest (as opposed to one 8 hour Long Rest, as with Exhaustion levels), or 20 (or more?) HP worth of magical healing specifically devoted to Wounds (no actual HP healed) per level.

I might also consider extending a "Long Rest" to a full week as well. Though, a wound system like that in the standard default rules could shut me up about HP = Stamina.

I've always used negative HP since the 90s (think I got the rules from Dragon or a supplement, probably both). But those rules went just up to -10 for comatose, higher for death. 5e went all the way to your max HP, which is too much. Now if your character has 100 HP you can go up to -100 before kicking the bucket. And there's always raise dead for occasions like that. Higher level character just can't die anymore.



I think I saw something like that in the optional rules section. But that's stashed away in the DMG, and we were talking default rules originally. IMO, full recovery in one day doesn't feel heroic, it feels like a video game or cartoon.


Of course those rules are in the DMG, that's the book aimed at DMs and talking about how to tweak the game to get it to work the way you want. That's the logical place for those rules. The DMG is not less important than the PHB.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: Steven Mitchell on June 27, 2020, 09:58:51 am
Quote from: Anselyn;1136580
I've seen the suggestion that the bounce-back gives a level of exhaustion. What do you think?


I tried it for some time, but it was too much.  I'm using variants on the exhaustion rules that are very similar to Smon's in effect (though not the 1/week long rest, my other changes come out similar to about a 2/week long rest).  

What I do instead is that every failed death save is a level of exhaustion and death saves do not reset until the long rest.  What this does is create kind of a mental separation between characters that are down and brought back immediately versus those that linger. Players will move heaven and earth to get someone back from the brink, and thus the line in their minds is not "character at zero" but "unattended character at zero".  You fail a death save in any way, including a monster hitting you while you are down, you don't just bounce back from that.  

I've had several times where players in D&D game (or D&D-like game) would press on when seriously depleted.  All of them were in:  1. AD&D/BEMCI with a large group and certain fighters or clerics beat up pretty bad and rotated out of the front line.  2. 5E using my house rules and certain characters carrying 2 death saves and rotated out of the front line or even staying near a healer that is also rotated out.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: Spike on June 29, 2020, 04:14:06 pm
I'm game for some theory-crafting, I guess, and I've played a few games, adn run a few games, of 5E... enough to have a feel for where the system goes wrong, but I'm no expert. I did like Spinachcat's comment about research, cheeky bugger.

Off the top of my head the main problems that 5E has tend to revolve around being overly simplistic and somewhat bland.  They flattened the range of hit die by boosting the lowest die types... I imagine in the next edition all the Hit Die will be d10's, with a couple of standouts in the d12 range, because who likes sucking, right?

That seems to be a big issue with the current design philosophy, they've lost sight of the concept of Trade-offs, so in their ruthless quest for 'Balance', not having any grasp of the complexity of trade-offs, everything has be be as numerically simple as possible, thus the game is shallow and bland. I've already talked about how the low end Hit dice climbed upwards, narrowing the band, but this is also present in the spells, which have had their ranges radically truncated, so that now almost all actions have to take place within 'stabby stabby' distance, so that melee is now 'balanced' easier with spells, since their ranges wind up being similar (move and stab vs stand and spell...). I'm simplifying an already simple rule set, but not by terribly much.

While it may be going a bit far on the 5.5 idea, heading more to a proper full edition, I think in the main that in addition to being too ruthlessly and simplistically balanced, a lot of changes are over-corrections to a perfectly good system that 3 had... necessary corrections taken too far, so my version of a 5.5 is something of a hybrid between 5E and 3E, which seems weird, but then 5E is already a walkback to 3e from 4e, so there is precedent.

So I've already mentioned spells, and while I agree that the class list needs to be collapsed, I do think some posters are going too far, I think what 5.5 needs to do is bring back the numbers, among other things, to get rid of all that bland same-ness.

First some caveats: I think 5E's treatment of Feats is far, far superior to 3E, and captures what Feats should have been, and fixes one of the things that was dragging 3E for a long time. Most of the worst theory-crafting build-nonsense that broke 3E came from the Feat Bloat.  I'm not so convinced regarding Prestige Classes vs the new path system, as I do think the more open multiclassing was superior in allowing unique, and uniquely capable (or incapable) characters to support player uniqueness, but 3E definitely needed work in that area, so we'll ignore it.  

Likewise, the NUMBERS in 3E were simply ridiculous, with all manner of stacking modifiers and the inherently flawed premise of rolling a variable (D20, of course) with so many modifiers tacked on it that the highest possible roll was less than the modifiers... at the top end.  Again: 5E introduced a necessary fix to this problem, but they overcorrected.



So, with my premise laid out, how would I actually implement my ideas?
Revert the class tables (To Hit, Hit Dice, saves) to something more akin to 3E. This gives the classes more distinct feels than the single universal proficiency that exists now. The numbers need to be brought down, perhaps in alignment with the 5E range, or close to it.   Likewise, skills need to have variable levels distinct from class. THis might be unpopular, as I know the fixed profiency thing has been praised highly since Star Wars Saga edition, but honestly the problem is that 'everything is the same' begins here. Again the numbers need to be tightly corralled, but inextricably linking them to Class is simply piss poor as a solution, and honestly there should be the possibility within the system that a low level whatever can be a better... say Horseman (though I know Riding seems to have fallen out of favor as a skill...) than a high level whatever, which the current system does not really allow.  There is no good balance reason why high levels are necessary to have high skills that I can think of. Skill 'points' should be front loaded, with additional points being parcelled out with as much miserliness as the current feat system, say.  (Actually, this represents to me a crucial design failure of the 3E team, as the 1-4 skill ranks available at creation, combined with attribute and perhaps class bonuses, provide as much 'range' as a d20 can reasonably support, while their decision to open skills up to 23 ranks (at level 20) led to an absurd specialist skill system that made a mockery of encounter design by midlevels... either you had a specialist in that skill, in which case you almost never failled, or you didn't, in which case you almost always failed.  In other words, the system worked at level one, and got progressively more broken as you levelled... which the designers should have caught adn been able to fix by simply... removing points for skills from levelling! Stupidly easy once you see the problem!).

I agree that classes should be cut down. Barbarians, while they've done some creative things iwth them, are fighter variants, just as warlocks and sorcerers are wizard/magic user variants. I think that the number of classes should remain reasonably high, however, to keep options open. So we start with the core Fighter, Rogue (Thief, fucking call it a goddamn thief and stop trying to treat it like some weird variant fighter!), magic use and cleric, though I agree that some effort to increase the distinction between divine and arcane casting should be made, that's beyond the scope of a 5.5. I think unlimited combat cantrips is 'too much', but that a nice increase to the number of low end (1st level and cantrips) available allows magic types to feel magic, while also making magic something to be used sparingly, which 'infinite cantrips' definitely does not do.  I also think that some 'odder' classes don't necessarily work as paths, or rather should be kept distinct. Hybrid classes (Bards as theif-magic user) stand out in this regards, and 'roles' for other classes can be found to make their play niche a little more distinct, such as the shapechanging druid (as distinct from Nature-Cleric, which should just be a cleric), or the Pet Wranger, whose abilities and combat/adventure utility should be primarily focussed on their pets, rather than just adding a pet to an otherwise fully complete class, or making pets mechanically sub-optimal.

As a minor aside, I miss the part of spell entrees where it tells you what lists and levels that spell belongs to, but maybe I'm just failing to grasp the new user interface, but on that, spell ranges, at least, need to be restored to their former numbers. I'd also like to see a return to balancing via casting times, as each edition of D&D seems to reduce Casting Times to the simplest, easiest denominator of 'one combat action' or there-abouts, but this is probably a reversion to somethign even older than 3E.  I have no problem, conceptually, with a wizard being able to murder entire armies of goblins with a single brutal spell... but being able to do it in the time a fighter can stab one or two goblins in the face is absurd, and equally absurd is the idea he can do it that fast but only because his super-high-level-death-cloud spell only does enough damage to inconvienence the army of goblins.

Anyway, I'm well into wall o'text territory, and honestly this is the sort of thing I'd rather have thought out and organized my ideas rather than sperg blindly as I'm doing now, so I'll end here.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: ZetaRidley on June 29, 2020, 04:27:59 pm
Honestly, I wouldn't change much, but there are a few things I would like:

1. Crafting rules have to come back. The group I play with often want to run a business, brew beer, make art, etc in character. I know Xanathar's has rules, but I found them rather weak. Same with magical items. When we played 3rd, often my players would spend a few days preparing to enter into a dungeon, and often the wizard would be making a wand or two for the trip ahead.

2. More robust skill system. I would actually bring back the skill system from 3rd edition, perhaps not wholesale, gain proficenciy in a certain number of skills, pick a new skill every so many x levels, something like that. I know that might be an unpopular decision, but it was easier for me with games when I could say, "alright, you have craft:art, since you have been practicing art and selling items to the upper class" or something like that because of player's role playing.

Quote
I agree that classes should be cut down. Barbarians, while they've done some creative things iwth them, are fighter variants, just as warlocks and sorcerers are wizard/magic user variants. I think that the number of classes should remain reasonably high, however, to keep options open. So we start with the core Fighter, Rogue (Thief, fucking call it a goddamn thief and stop trying to treat it like some weird variant fighter!), magic use and cleric, though I agree that some effort to increase the distinction between divine and arcane casting should be made, that's beyond the scope of a 5.5. I think unlimited combat cantrips is 'too much', but that a nice increase to the number of low end (1st level and cantrips) available allows magic types to feel magic, while also making magic something to be used sparingly, which 'infinite cantrips' definitely does not do. I also think that some 'odder' classes don't necessarily work as paths, or rather should be kept distinct. Hybrid classes (Bards as theif-magic user) stand out in this regards, and 'roles' for other classes can be found to make their play niche a little more distinct, such as the shapechanging druid (as distinct from Nature-Cleric, which should just be a cleric), or the Pet Wranger, whose abilities and combat/adventure utility should be primarily focussed on their pets, rather than just adding a pet to an otherwise fully complete class, or making pets mechanically sub-optimal.


I actually think the number of classes is fine. I think that is a major thing it has going for it as a whole, the number of choice without being a massive pile of stuff to dig through like the feat system in 3rd. I think the base cantrips are fine actually, too, they don't really do that much damage compared to a fighter, but its still a ranged magical option. I think that might be more of a mod/playstyle issue, and setting dependant though.

I get what you mean about a specific niche though. Classes really do feel the same in a lot of ways, other than maybe some mechanics and fluff.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: Spike on June 29, 2020, 04:56:25 pm
Quote from: ZetaRidley;1136992
1. Crafting rules have to come back. The group I play with often want to run a business, brew beer, make art, etc in character. I know Xanathar's has rules, but I found them rather weak. Same with magical items. When we played 3rd, often my players would spend a few days preparing to enter into a dungeon, and often the wizard would be making a wand or two for the trip ahead.

I was originally going to make a comment that Xanathar's needed to be eliminated as a book, that everything good in it should be included in the core book. Too much of it was clearly a 'patch' on the PHB, but then I went a different direction in my comment and left that out as distracting. Agreed, however that it was weak, the whole edition is weak, but after 4e...





Quote
I actually think the number of classes is fine. I think that is a major thing it has going for it as a whole, the number of choice without being a massive pile of stuff to dig through like the feat system in 3rd. I think the base cantrips are fine actually, too, they don't really do that much damage compared to a fighter, but its still a ranged magical option. I think that might be more of a mod/playstyle issue, and setting dependant though.

I get what you mean about a specific niche though. Classes really do feel the same in a lot of ways, other than maybe some mechanics and fluff.

I really only touched on the class idea because I had been skimming the thread and a number of people commented on it. The Barbarian Class, circa 3E was really galling to me, in an edition that already dumped on my go-too class (Fighters)... which was admitted by... Tweet I believe, then also introduced a 'variant fighter' class that was both outside my 'style' for fighter types, but was mechanically superior to the fighter in pretty much every single way in game play, so that was personally galling, which may be why I jumped on the idea a little quickly. 5e Barbarians, due to the path system, are reasonably distinct, within the extremely limited bounds that 5E allows, from Fighters, but yes, in an honest appraisal, they do, as a class, belong as fighter variants.  Having played a Warlock, adn appreciating the... feel... of casting differences between them and more traditional arcane casters, that one is a bit more a margin call... but what is good for the goose and all.

My problem with the Cantrips isn't that they are over-balanced or under-balanced, its that strips magic of its... magic. Outside of 'all magic' settings, where non-magic isn't even an option, I can't think of any compelling, successful fantasy setting where wizards are dropping spells non-stop and at the drop of a hat.  Power levels as distinct from ubiquity.  Infinite Cantrips are not 'magical', they are a SFX, adn a not terribly interesting one at that. More, infinite COMBAT cantrips means a distinct dumbing down of game play. What does the wizard do? Same thing he did last round: He fires off a no-effort combat cantrip.  Same Spell, over and over, because he can.  I can't think of a single 5E game I've sat in where the spell casters (any breed) touched more than one or two of their actual spells, just hitting those cantrips every round...

Again: It goes down to the concept of Balance as conceived of by a not terribly clever person.  They see melee types able to do their thing every round and thinks its unfair that the magic types have to manage their resources, so end resource management and viola! Instant Balance!

The concept of trade offs is simply too abstract for them, apparently.  Its the same thing that happened to negative stats for various races, only there they could at least hide behind what they were doing with a bit of virtue signalling about fantasy racism.  

Of course, I have a theory that a lot of design decisions in 5E were sort of sour grapes from the 4E crew, who were upset that their perfectly acceptable strategy miniature game wasn't liked by the RPG fandom, and basically they did their best to back door all their "wonderful" 4E ideas into a dumbed down 3E as a sort of 'Fuck You' to the players. THere is some irony in there, depending on your point of view...
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: ZetaRidley on June 29, 2020, 05:05:55 pm
Quote from: Spike;1136998

I really only touched on the class idea because I had been skimming the thread and a number of people commented on it. The Barbarian Class, circa 3E was really galling to me, in an edition that already dumped on my go-too class (Fighters)... which was admitted by... Tweet I believe, then also introduced a 'variant fighter' class that was both outside my 'style' for fighter types, but was mechanically superior to the fighter in pretty much every single way in game play, so that was personally galling, which may be why I jumped on the idea a little quickly. 5e Barbarians, due to the path system, are reasonably distinct, within the extremely limited bounds that 5E allows, from Fighters, but yes, in an honest appraisal, they do, as a class, belong as fighter variants.  Having played a Warlock, adn appreciating the... feel... of casting differences between them and more traditional arcane casters, that one is a bit more a margin call... but what is good for the goose and all.

My problem with the Cantrips isn't that they are over-balanced or under-balanced, its that strips magic of its... magic. Outside of 'all magic' settings, where non-magic isn't even an option, I can't think of any compelling, successful fantasy setting where wizards are dropping spells non-stop and at the drop of a hat.  Power levels as distinct from ubiquity.  Infinite Cantrips are not 'magical', they are a SFX, adn a not terribly interesting one at that. More, infinite COMBAT cantrips means a distinct dumbing down of game play. What does the wizard do? Same thing he did last round: He fires off a no-effort combat cantrip.  Same Spell, over and over, because he can.  I can't think of a single 5E game I've sat in where the spell casters (any breed) touched more than one or two of their actual spells, just hitting those cantrips every round...

I will agree to this idea overall. The fighter has been shit on for about 20 years at this point, WotC even had fun killing the white guy iconic fighter in everything because, hes white I guess. In my 5e games, where I typically throw about 2 hard to deadly encounters depending on the travel and location, and the miscelanious amount in dungeons, my players have used all their spells at their disposal and very rarely rely on the cantrip. But I can see why some players would default to that. I think it was intended as an "oh shit" option, but it didn't translate to the player base.

Quote
Again: It goes down to the concept of Balance as conceived of by a not terribly clever person. They see melee types able to do their thing every round and thinks its unfair that the magic types have to manage their resources, so end resource management and viola! Instant Balance!

The concept of trade offs is simply too abstract for them, apparently. Its the same thing that happened to negative stats for various races, only there they could at least hide behind what they were doing with a bit of virtue signalling about fantasy racism.Of course, I have a theory that a lot of design decisions in 5E were sort of sour grapes from the 4E crew, who were upset that their perfectly acceptable strategy miniature game wasn't liked by the RPG fandom, and basically they did their best to back door all their "wonderful" 4E ideas into a dumbed down 3E as a sort of 'Fuck You' to the players. THere is some irony in there, depending on your point of view...

I agree with the trade off thing, it is a concept that seems to be lost to time now, its now bound numbers and accuracy and classes can basically do everything just with different fluff. They're still putting out the same damage per turn. D&D was better when Casters had to rely on the martials to stay alive, and vice versa. I think casters have way too much HP now.

I'm not sure about the 4e thing, but it wouldn't surprise me. I just, don't know what the fuck they were thinking when they put it out. I ran some campaigns in 4e, it was fine, but it was just so different from anything that came before.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: Chris24601 on June 29, 2020, 09:54:29 pm
To be fair, unlimited spell effects first got added in mid-3.5e with the Reserve Feat which allowed a caster to use a spell-like ability at-will as long as a certain type of spell remained uncast; ex. a fire blast that did 1d6 per highest level fire spell you had prepared to a 5' burst.

Those proved extremely popular with those who actually used more than just the core and was part of the reason at-will spells were added.

The other reason was that media like Harry Potter or Avatar the Last Airbender where spellcasters used spells again and again with no more exertion than swinging a sword in combat would cause were both in widespread circulation during 4E's development and were VERY popular.

In fact D&D's pre-4E Vancian casting is almost unheard of in media that wasn't expressly derived from D&D. Exhaustion-based casting limits (coupled with whether they knew the spell in the 3e bard/sorcerer sense) are probably far and away the norm for fantasy series (with the specific level of exhaustion varying with the setting).
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: Spike on June 29, 2020, 10:38:36 pm
Quote from: Chris24601;1137061


The other reason was that media like Harry Potter or Avatar the Last Airbender where spellcasters used spells again and again with no more exertion than swinging a sword in combat would cause were both in widespread circulation during 4E's development and were VERY popular.



The thing about Harry Potter, or Avatar to a very very modestly lesser extent, is that they are fantasy worlds were every single character of importance is magical, in which case endless magic is expected and understood.

D&D, for all its over the top style fantasy styling is not, and never has been 'All Magic All the Time', which is why it doesn't work.  Vancian magic is, for good or ill, one of the sacred cows of D&D, and if it is to be slaughtered wholly, then do the job, don't just make a deep cut and let the damn thing wander all over the landscape mooing and bleeding and making a mess.

5e has Vancian Magic AND makes a mockery of Vancian Magic at the same time by having At Will Infinite Spellcasting.  In your example of 3e, at the very least, you had to make a choice and engage in trade offs (not having a feat for, say, metamagic and also having to keep a spell at full power uncast to take advantage of it, arguably too weak tradeoffs, but now we're just negotiating a price for your virtue, rather than giving it away...)


I believe I made a point about such 'all magic' settings in my initial post, considering the pro's and con's of 5e, because believe it or not, even when spitballing I do like to have a coherent idea behind my bullshit.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: spon on June 30, 2020, 05:36:43 am
Quote from: S'mon;1136624
I do LR = 1 week, SR = 1 hour, max 3/day.

Letting LR-class spells recharge faster would screw hugely with class balance. The system is designed around 6-8 encounters per LR and LR classes needing to husband resources, while SR classes get resources back every couple encounters.


Wow! That is a big swing from Mages/Clerics back to Monks/Warlocks. Now low level Warlocks get up to 6 spells per day (probably only 4 though) - low level Mages/Clerics are getting 3 - 16 spells per week. (Both get + cantrips). It moves Warlocks from being the big cantrip users to Mages/Clerics being big cantrip users. Is that how it's turned out in actual play?
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: S'mon on June 30, 2020, 08:24:48 am
Quote from: spon;1137126
Wow! That is a big swing from Mages/Clerics back to Monks/Warlocks. Now low level Warlocks get up to 6 spells per day (probably only 4 though) - low level Mages/Clerics are getting 3 - 16 spells per week. (Both get + cantrips). It moves Warlocks from being the big cantrip users to Mages/Clerics being big cantrip users. Is that how it's turned out in actual play?

I haven't seen many warlocks played since I made the switch, so I can't really say, though I'd expect it to help Warlocks - they were certainly underpowered with overnight LR and 2-3 fights on a typical adventuring day. The big change I've seen is that Battlemaster Fighter is now viable compared to Barbarian or Eldritch Knight; Rogues shine a bit more. Monks already had a ton of Ki so not a noticeable change.

At 6-8 significant fights per LR, the LR casters do actually need to husband spell slots somewhat even at higher level. They still tend to sonewhat outshine martial PCs at high level, but not so much as before. And Barbarians now can't Rage in every encounter.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: RPGPundit on July 07, 2020, 11:32:23 pm
"Balance" was not really a very active design goal in creating 5e.  Playability and ease of play for introductory gamers was.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: spon on July 08, 2020, 05:14:45 am
Quote from: RPGPundit;1138401
"Balance" was not really a very active design goal in creating 5e.  Playability and ease of play for introductory gamers was.

And yet, I find it fairly well balanced (Compared to 3E, for example). Which is a nice bonus :-) And it is very playable and has attracted lots of new gamers. Job done - pats on the back all round.
Title: DIY 5.5e of DyD
Post by: Eldritch_Knight on July 08, 2020, 12:49:35 pm
Quote from: GeekyBugle;1136345
What the tin says, IF you were designing the 5.5e what would you put in/take out/change/twist/etc?

What Frankenstein monster would you create and from where would you borrow, steal take inspiration from?

It doesn't have to be strictly from it's family of games.


I was originally thinking about this very thing for a video before the shut my entire YouTube channel down.

I had several thoughts about 5th edition, as well as certain issues I felt needed addressed. Part of this was due to things I wanted to see the game turn into, while also adding elements from older editions due to my increasing love for the OSR.

1. Elimination of "subraces": Subraces should either be their own fully-statted Race entry, or rolled into the main race. As part of this change, I would like to see a list of possible abilities or bonuses that could be choosen or rolled during character creation. [This might be me just agreeing with some of the issues SJW's have with the game concept of 'Race', though I want each race to still feel classic.]

2. Deletion of "Archetype/Subclass; Creation of Feat Trees: WOTC telling us back in 2014 that there would only be the core classes, and that we wouldn't see the hundreds of classes and prestige classes was a bold lie. It has been replaced with the creation of the Subclass feature within the 5e system. A 5.5e system should not outright eliminate it, but instead reduce their impact. [This idea was something I originally was going to talk about for a 6th edition.]

Classes would instead be comprised of Talent Trees [as introduced in D20 Modern and also used in the D20 Star Wars Saga Edition system]. Call them Feats, whatever. Instead of subclasses, each tree would be a collection of Feats built around a concept. So Eldritch Knight would be a tree, with access to spells and magical abilities for weapons, etc. The classic Fighter would exist as its own tree. Some packages would also be prior classes (Barbarian would now be a Berserker tree within the Fighter class; Bard could be rolled into the Rogue class). Each Class Feat would be equal to a normal Feat in 5e; there would also be General Feats in their own chapter, which are just the current Feats we have in 5e.

One neat feature of this system is that for Spellcasters, their number of spells could be smaller. Less spells per day. A Wizard, for example, would have normal Vancian magic, but just less spells. But he could choose a Class Feat tree, where each time he gains a new one, he can choose access to more spells and grow his amount of spells able to be cast per day. This would allow GM's to START with low magic settings, and they only have to limit which Feat Trees are legal in their game. Don't like the Barbarian class? Well, Fighter, the Berserker tree isn't be used... Hate Bards? Hey, Rogue, the Bard tree isn't being used for my world.

The "subclasses" (like the Fighter's Battlemaster) would now just be 'builds', taking the available Feat trees and choosing predefined Feats into a quick template for players to choose.

3. Basic D&D is like a true 5e B/X game / Core rulebooks are AD&D: For my 5.5e, I would release the 'Basic Rules' as a full book. Designed to mimic the B/X rules of the 1980's but using the 5.5e system. This book would be like what you can download on the WOTC site, but fully illustrated, with no "Blackgrounds", only the 4 basic races and classes (each class already has the classic build composed of Feats), no skills or general feats, and enough classic rules and monsters for groups to play for years. Most likely, this would be a softcover release included in the Beginner Box. I would release this 4-5 months before the core books are released. The Basic D&D game would be used as an olive branch to older players who felt snubbed by WOTC for their treatment. The boxset would also include a sandbox campaign region (something similar to Nentir Vale, with information on towns and dungeons) and an adventure that acts as a starting point for a campaign with plenty of hooks to send PC's into all sorts of follow-up adventures.

The core books would be renamed "Advanced D&D" (I get why WOTC didn't do it with 5e... but c'mon, enough people are playing it now that they should understand the reasoning behind it... The core books would be just slightly different... Player's Handook would be the same as usual (maybe have extra sections on roleplaying and general advice, rather than just 320 pages of rules).

The Dungeon Master Guide would be a toolkit for designing adventures, not something to be used during game (sorry, but the 5e DMG sucks). It needs to be bursting at the seams with charts, dungeon generators, NPC generators, and so much stuff that you could just roll up an adventure on the fly. Monster creation and general breakdown of rules would also be included.

The third book would be the Monstrous Manual (yes, like the 2nd edition MM)... This book would contain all the classic monsters from the game... it would also contain all the treasure, traps, poisons, disease, and anything else nasty for the DM. The purpose of this is for the DM to use the DMG to design an adventure... the MM is used to RUN to adventure, with all the stuff needed contained under one cover.

4. Spells written like spell cards and other odd bits: One thing that always irks me is that the books are never written to be ran. They increasingly feel like overpriced artbooks and not gamebooks. Sure, make that limited edition core set. But damn, give us affordable rulebooks... No reason why RPG Pundit can self-publish with $20 books, and here WOTC comes with $50 books padded out with long block text and artwork. Give us a damn book used to be played, not just look pretty on the bookcase.

Spells should be layout out in the book that nine fit to a page... then be photocopied and cut apart to fit into card sleeves.

Most information should be layout out to be read quickly. Use bold, italics, bullet points, and other ways to organize the information better. Have boxed texts that give quick versions of the rules to make it quickly scanned (then if you want a fully explained answer you can read it later in the rules section).

This goes for adventures! Information should be presented as bullet points. Adventures should have full monster stats... I shouldn't have to be pulling out the monster manual to get monster stats, or writing out notes. I paid $50 for an adventure... make it complete. It's different with the OSR... monsters don't have much stats... but WOTC, if you wanted to add complexity to monsters and make their stat blocks so big, that's on you... print the stats in sections where you want the adventure.

Okay, I think I'm done complaining...