Saturday, January 9, 2016

Fixing D&D 5th Editon

Things I want to fix in 5e – A minor rant / thought catalogue:

1) Barbarians. The class should be called berserker, because that's what it is. It also opens up a bit more space to make a religious dervish berserker option as well as fixing a few lackluster elements.

2) Clerics. This class works well for good deities, but I wish domain were separate from vocation, so we could have a crusader of Moradin, a theurge of Moradin, a prophet of Moradin, and an evangelist of Moradin.

3) Rogues. They need a feature that rewards dagger use or else we need to differentiate weapons better. A general +1 to hit with daggers might suffice, but every rogue wants a rapier and hand crossbow just because anything else is stupid. Alternately, daggers and short swords just need some crazy bonus properties and the like.

4) Sorcerer and Warlock. There should be a mechanism to reward these classes for sticking to thematic spells. I'm not sure what it would be, but if you're consciously restricting yourself to a very thematic list a bonus spell known might be a nice reward. I had considered: remove 50% of the spells from your class list at each level for one bonus first level spell, but I'm not quite sure that would be the best way to do it.

5) Useful ability scores. Intelligence is a shit score in this edition. The same can be said of strength, mostly. Strength, Intelligence, and Charisma are almost always a dump stat. Dexterity is still stupidly potent, wisdom and constitution are just generically useful for most characters, and constitution, at least, will seldom be dumped because no one wants a penalty to their HP.

6) Useless ribbons. The elf and dwarf racial weapon ribbons are almost useless. They don't help the warrior types at all (who already have the weapons) and any class that dumps strength (wizard, sorcerer) will find them next to useless as they'll go to great lengths to avoid using them. The only real exception are classes that fight with simple weapons, like the cleric or druid because they might possibly have the stats to use them in melee. Allowing the trained weapons to count as finesse weapons might help, as dexterity-based characters might use them, as well as opening up a few more options for rogues.

7) Spell leveling. A lot of spells need to level more, with simple duration increases, or possibly eliminating the need for concentration eventually (even if its just a slot of 6th level or higher). This is a great idea, just not quite universally applied (you find it always on combat spells, occasionally on utilities). I suspect its easier to have the formula for combat spells, and leaving it off of utilities makes things simpler and requires less space in the book.

8) Spell versatility. There's a good number of spells which can and will have creative uses, and I think a number of them are obvious. What if I ready create water for when an enemy casts a fire spell? Can calm emotions affect a barbarian's rage? Can I use featherfall on an boulder about to hit me? Some of these are relatively obvious, and once a DM makes a ruling there's a new use for that spell for the entire campaign. A few guidelines or basic rules might help make those rulings.

9) Working modular dials. Many of the DMG options for hacking the system seem half-baked (group initiative, removing skills, etc.). It would be nice to have at least one well-thought-out option for these, though reasonably speaking there's probably 2-3 ways to implement a lot of those things. Altering the rests/healing seems to be the best of the options, but there's not really things for lowering the level of magic or fantastic in the game.

10) Updates for previous settings. Sure, I can run old modules with 5th edition rules, but each of the old settings could use a few things to help out. Obviously each setting could have its own book, but a simple 16-32 page book of a few crunchy updates would really help. I'd pay for the print-on-demand softcover, probably multiple times.

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