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Dear Jeremy… (My 6th Edition Wishlist)

So with new versions of the Dungeons & Dragons core rulebooks scheduled for release in 2024, I thought it might be fun to have my say on what I’d like ‘6th edition D&D’ to look like, just in case the game’s designers are frantically scouring the Internet for any last minute inspiration and insights by random bloggers.

(As an aside, I think we can be all but certain that this ‘next evolution’ of the game won’t be considered, or called, ‘6th edition’. There’s too much love and success and tied in with 5th edition for a start, but since we’ve been told that these rulebooks will be backwards compatible with all 5e products, there’s unlikely to be enough significant changes to warrant a 6e title. This tweaked system then is more likely to be called 5.5 or probably something mildly pretentious like ‘enhanced 5th edition’ or ‘D&D evolved’. Or maybe it will bear a title referencing the game’s 50 year birthday, which takes place in 2024).

This one worked out ok….

I’ve already listed the 15 things that I think make 5th edition amazing, and my very first recommendation for a new edition of the game would be not to change too much at all!

The combat has just a nice crunch / speed balance, the simple skills system make the rest of the game pretty easy to run, and there’s a welcome emphasis on creating interesting characters and storylines throughout the rulebooks that has helped popularise this edition with storytellers (not just optimised looters and murderhobos).

Still there are plenty of small bones of contention that I would LOVE to see tidied up in the next edition of D&D. Here’s my to do list…

6th Edition Wishlist

So here’s my hit list, in rough order of what I feel is most important.

1. Obey Your Own Design Principles

In my opinion, the game goes furthest awry when the designers chose to ignore their own design principles. A prime example being the Paladin’s Divine Smite ability that allows you to effectively cast a spell every time you land a melee blow (potentially 4 times a round at level 5, using Polearm Master for example), instead of once a round and without being able to melee attack – absolutely smashing the action economy that bind all the other classes. This is a particularly egregious transgression as D&D combat is effectively a damage dealing race and giving one class this ‘nova’ boost often leaves other classes feeling like sidekicks, especially in crucial encounters and boss fights. (Note: there’s an incredibly easy fix for this – Divine Smite should work like the spells thunderous smite or wrathful smite, i.e. require a bonus action to use, limiting it to once a round and at least taxing the action economy a little).

A second example would be when spells, especially low level ones, don’t offer a repeat saving throw. Repeat saving throws are essential in a game where 6 seconds is often the difference between life and death, and thankfully they are built into nearly every debilitating spell or effect in 5e, such that I consider them a core part of the design philosophy. However, there are a few times when the designers have gone against type – and these occasions have invariably led to the game’s most annoying spells, namely hypnotic pattern and banishment. Sleep is a candidate as well.

A third example of the game designers going against their own design principles would be the existence of the Great Weapon Master and Sharp Shooter feats… with their flat to hit and damage modifiers that couldn’t feel less fitted to 5e if they tried. These feats are not only ugly and against type, but time consuming (will I, won’t I take the penalty…?) and overpowered. Give these feats some nice 5th edition situational benefits to replace that awful +10 ‘flashy damage’ please!

That brings me nicely to my next point…

2. Flatten Out Flashy Damage

Fifth edition has an annoying and unbalancing obsession with flashy damage. I get it, it’s epic, it’s exciting… and we definitely don’t want to live in a world where every attack does 5 to 10 hit points of damage and scales up predictably per level. But similarly, the aforementioned Divine Smite, the rogue’s Sneak Attack, the wizard’s fireball… they all take the average damage parameters and obliterate them. The problem being that not everyone has access to those powers, and those classes that don’t can feel lame by comparison.

Even within those high damage dealing classes you can create a weird disconnect where you’re a paladin with no smites left, or a rogue who has already used their Sneak Attack to do 25 damage and now has their offhand dagger attack do an average of 2.5 damage (would you even bother?). Overall 5e’s obsession with flashy damage leaves too many standard attacks and spells feeling lacklustre and pointless. That should never happen.

(Ps. I have already written about fireball, but I had a new idea the other day which I will implement in my forthcoming campaign. Creatures in a 10 foot radius of the explosion take 8d6 damage, but in the 11-20 foot radius they take 6d6 only).

3. Avoid Debilitating Effects

As a player, the least fun you can have in a session… is to not be in the session. That’s why, some time ago, I proposed replacing the stunned condition with the dazed condition (something which the venerable DM David seems to agree with…. see point 7 of his post).

If the stunned condition is one of the game’s worst offenders, then it’s not the only one. Hold person (particularly nasty when upcast!), sleep, hypnotic pattern and banishment are other ways to completely remove players or monsters from the game, and while the former (removing players) is more troublesome, removing monsters from the game sucks for Dungeon Masters who wanted to run those creatures.

In general, it would be great to see effects that remove creatures from combat completely (i.e. they can’t take actions, move or contribute in any way) replaced with ones that put creatures at some kind of disadvantage instead… effects that impose conditions like grappled, poisoned, prone, and frightened are way more fun than being stunned or paralysed. Especially when a repeat saving throw means they should get a chance to shake such conditions off before the combat is decided.

4. Rein In Some of the Silliness

Players that can do flashy damage threaten the game’s fun by turning other players into bystanders and handclappers, but there are other class features that, while they rarely ruin the game, undermine its credibility by outperforming the next best options exponentially. A prime example would be the Circle of the Moon druid, which can access several hundred temporary hit points at level 2 🙈. Indeed the same archetype becomes all but immortal at level 20… 🙈🙈.

I’d love for 2024 to be a chance to just run a fine toothcomb through the class features and be sure that none outperform the next best option by more than 25-30% say (which is already a lot!). The Circle of the Moon Druid outperforms the next best class for temporary hit points by 1000%.

While I haven’t had a chance to play, or see in play, many of the Tasha’s class additions, it sounds like gameplay has revealed that several of these need toning down, with Treant Monk categorising a couple of them as broken – Twilight Domain clerics certainly look a bit broke. In general, it’s obvious that the designers are hugely reluctant to go back on themselves once something is in print; but I think everyone would rather they did if it meant a more balanced game. In any case, 2024 would be the perfect opportunity to revisit some of these features.

5. Balance the Spellbook

Not an easy task, I grant you, but after nearly 10 years of 5th edition, we can probably all point to dozens of spells that we’ve never selected or even seen cast… while other spells just seem like absolute must haves for certain classes, robbing us of options and meaningful choices.

Now is a great chance to give a few unloved spells a little boost, and possibly tone down some overperformers, or else move spells up or down a level if necessary. If you follow the progression of spells Tasha’s Hideous Laughter (1st), Blindness / Deafness (2nd), Hypnotic Pattern (3rd), Confusion (4th), you’ll see there’s definitely some work to be done. As currently written they should probably be categorised thus: Blindness / Deafness (1st), Tasha’s Hideous Laughter (2nd), Confusion (3rd), Hypnotic Pattern (4th).

6. Trim Spell Slots (or Boost ‘Martial’ Characters?)

While I’m not as vexed by this as many other folks seem to be, there’s no doubt that spellcasters rule the 5e roost (if memory served they ruled the AD&D roost too), and indeed there are few class features that can compete in power with what spells can do. Just compare the 5th level feature Uncanny Dodge with the the 1st level spell shield as an example.

One suspects the balance feels so out of joint due to the fact that the edition was designed around the notion of playing six encounters a day, which is a realistic amount of encounters in a dungeon delving scenario, where each room hides new horrors – but an absurd number of scraps to get into in virtually any other environment. I’m not sure I’ve ever played six encounters between long rests, and I’m not even sure that I’ve ever once run out of spell slots while playing a spellcaster, not once I’ve reached 3rd or 4th level at least. The way the game is played these days (when dungeon crawling seems very passe) means that more often or not you go into a fight on full resources, allowing spellcasters to outshine their peers too often IMHO. (Their theoretical limited resources are in practice almost as readily as available as a rogue’s Uncanny Dodge, and considerable more powerful).

The obvious solution then is to reduce the number of spell slots spellcasters get, and this would certainly fit in with most fictional visions of how magic works – the ones that have inspired the game in the first game. I can’t recall Gandalf ever casting more than one or two spells a day, and while I haven’t read fantasy novels for decades, pretty much every sorcerer ever was only able to channel their powers with enormous effort. They were never blasting bad guys, left, right and centre. Otherwise wizards would be like gods, and authors would not be able to create credible worlds. Making spellcasting a little more arduous / less common would solve a lot of issues of game balance, as well as making credible world building a lot easier… as it stands, why would anyone with the relative meagre sum of 500 gp ever die, when their friends could have raise dead cast on them?

Of course, the problem could be approached from the other side by giving a boost to ‘martial’ characters (inverted commas because I’m talking about rogues and monks here as well as fighters). I don’t feel too sorry for fighters as the best feats seem tailor-made for them, plus they get the most ASIs, the most attacks and their Battlemaster Maneuvers are kind of like mini-spells and offer them some nice versatility. And while I actually would like the designers to tone down monks’ Stunning Strike ability (see point 3), I would love for monks to have a) more ki points and b) a suite of other cool options for their ki points, including some kind of power strike that did some damage.

Also, as discussed recently on the blog, the Sneak Attack mechanic is both immersion-breaking and rather dull… it would be wonderful to replace it with some kind of ‘sneaky maneuvers’ that offer more versatility. As for barbarians… well I’ve already homebrewed a solution here with Fury Points that helps fix the berserker archetype, while making it way more fun to play.

7. More (Sub)class Options Over More (Sub)classes…

I’ll never turn my nose up at more options, but if a campaign takes a year to play on average, then I’m not sure how many more archetypes and classes we truly need… I would say few to none. What would be really cool, on the other hand, would be to have more of the Optional Class Features that appear in Tasha’s, specifically optional replacement features, as with the ranger, so that folks can customise their characters a little more. (Maybe ‘class feats’ could also be used to pick up features from other related subclasses or other skills you had to leave behind… the Hunter ranger has tough choices to make at 3rd and 7th level. It would be great if they could pick up some of the other options by expending an ASI).

If that’s not possible, big improvements could be made by auditing the existing (sub)class features and giving a boost to some of the weaker features that years of gameplay have shown to be pretty useless. There are so many cool features that would be amazing (and nowhere near overpowered) if they just had a slightly better range, duration, damage, or they could be done using a bonus action, not an action. Other abilities start decent, but don’t scale as well as one would like.

8. Make Monsters Stronger…. Literally!

Something that drives me a little big crazy about 5e is how physically weak the beasts and monsters are. I know we’re not aiming for bang on realism here, but when you summon a rhino or polymorph into one and you’ve only got 5% extra chance of breaking down the door than the fighter I think that’s bad design. And that’s in the extremely unlikely case the fighter doesn’t have proficiency in Athletics, in which case a rhino is no use to you for any physical tasks. Similarly a 9-foot-tall ogre, bristling with muscles, we might assume is at least twice as strong as the strongest human, but in fact is second favourite in a grapple with a 1st level fighter. From black bears (Strength 15) to riding horses (Strength 16), each beast and beefy monster should have some way higher strength, and any move in this direction would be much welcome for my sanity.

I’ve discussed this before on the blog, and abilities like ‘powerful build’ (advantage on Strength checks) or ‘brutal’ (crits on 19 and 20) could help Dungeon Masters prevent some immersion destroying situations, without them having to rewrite the rules.

Ok that would probably cover my main wishlist!

But heck, if I was really in charge he’s a few other things I’d love to see…

Nice to Have Changes…

9. More Synergy For Certain Classes

The most powerful classes, and usually the most fun classes, have great synergy built into their mechanics. Paladins are (overly)powerful because they can combine their spells and melee attacks, the Battlemaster is great because they can tack on their maneuvers onto their standard attacks, bards are fun because Bardic Inspiration gives them to do with their bonus action most rounds… Monks meanwhile have too much competing for their bonus action, Hunter’s Mark has zero synergy with the iconic dual-wielding ranger, the Eldritch Knight can do two thing badly and the attempt to give the class synergy (War Magic and Improved Magic) should come online at 3rd and 7th level, not 7th and 18th level). A little audit here could go a long way to creating more balanced and fun gameplay.

10. Make Melee More of an Option

This may be just an aesthetic preference, but it bugs me that 75% of characters never swing a sword, esp. after gaining a few levels. Clerics used to be fighters that can cast a few spells… now they’re effectively armoured wizards. Bards are also wizards, whose melee options are extremely limited vs. their spellcasting. Plus there’s two more types of wizards than the last edition I played, namely sorcerers and warlocks. Then factor in that most rangers and rogues prefer to fight at range, and we have a situation in which three quarters of the party prefer to run away from the enemy instead of confronting them – it’s all very unheroic and sets up really weird battle dynamics. Personally, I would take away sacred flame from clerics and give them a second attack at level 7 or 9, so that when they’re out of slots there best option is to take a swing. I also don’t see why bards and rogues can’t get a second attack at some stage either, and I’d probably get rid of offensive cantrips for bards as well. Let’s see less cowering behind cover and more actual fighting please!

11. Make Weapons More Interesting

Speaking of melee, it would be nice if weapon choice meant something. I know 5e has opted to tackled this issue via feats, but a few more weapon properties would be nice… here’s my list.

12. Buff Leather Armour

Leather armour offering AC 11 is a sick joke. Not only can hard leather can withstand a LOT of damage, especially slashing damage, something that should definitely be reflected in more than a 5% difference in avoiding damage, but gameplay-wise and it’s frustrating to see lightly-armoured builds so much more vulnerable than heavy-armoured ones. This is also a contributing factor to why so many character builds run away from combat and cast spells and fire bows instead of actually being heroic. Anyway, you play in my world and leather is AC 12, studded leather AC 13.

Taking a look now and the whole armour table could do with a little revisiting. I’m not sure the Dex modifier cap need apply to medium armour… as Dex could be parrying as much as dodging, while disadvantage on climbing checks should be built in to the table for many options, and possibly swimming checks (swimming in heavy armour should = drowning, but I guess that’s why they left that one up to DMs to determine, depending on where you sit on the heroic fantasy vs. realism scale).

13. Legislate Against Spammy Multi-classing

Not a huge deal for the kind of tables I play on, which (thankfully) aren’t chock-a-block with tedious powergamers (I’m probably the worst offender when it comes to optimised builds!), but I do dread the day I will have to share a table with a ‘sorlock’ or some stupid build where a rapier-wielding barbarian rages and sneak attacks at the same time. The worst offence I’ve seen so far was a moon druid dipping a level of barbarian to get rage and therefore effectively doubling their already insane pool of temporary hit points by adding resistance to bludgeoning, piercing and slashing damage. By now I’m sure the designers are aware of the most heinous abuses and a little disclaimer here or there could prevent folks sharing a table with someone who run roughshod over the rules as intended.

14. A Couple More Homebrews…

Obviously if I were in charge I would be thrusting in a few more of my homebrews… such as Opportunity Attacks provoking Opportunity Attacks (think about it, it really makes sense), and perhaps making counterspell a contest, with a higher spell slot being an advantage, nor an automatic pass. I think my versions of Polearm Master and Shield Master are fairer and more credible, and two weapon fighting might work better like this.

15. Bring Back Force Grey

I must confess that, while I do enjoy dipping in from time to time, I don’t really get the Critical Role hype. If you have 4 hours to watch strangers play D&D, surely you’ve got 4 hours to play D&D instead? Especially now with the possibilities to find a group and play online. There was a show, however, that successfully televised the D&D experience to match my tastes and that was Force Grey… Matt Mercer at the helm, charismatic and funny celebrities who were great at improvising dialogue, everyone together in the same room (I don’t want to watch someones Zoom call), and 30 minute episodes that I can watch in manageable chunks before bedtime etc. I doubt MM has time these days for any more projects, but I’d love to see this format again and it’s also a great way for WOTC to keep people abreast of and engaged with new official storylines.

What Would Your Ideal ‘6th Edition’ Look Like?

In the absolute certainty that you won’t agree with all of the above, please share your 5th edition pet peeves and what you’d like to see in the next updated edition of Dungeons & Dragons. Comments section below…


The 9 D&D Quest Types


Cunning Tricks for Rogues


  1. Juan

    I agree with more or less every point raised here.

    However I would assume WOTC is looking to go in a different direction, basically simplifying the game’s rules and placing more focus on RPing.

    The core of the game is roleplaying. It’s the reason so many people watch CR, the same reason 5th edition got so popular.
    I hear 4E is pretty balanced, yet no one plays it!

    • Derek

      I agree here too. There are so many systems that are better for RP’ing than 5e and make the worlds feel a little more realistic and are less focused on combat. Spells that drain spells slots don’t really do much for drama, but spells that take a toll on the caster that they have to deal with until they get a REAL long rest in a safe location can create a lot of story.

      • duncan

        Hi Derek, thanks for the comment… any systems in particular you’re thinking of?

        I know Ars Magica has a pretty fun, story based magic system (although haven’t played it!).

        (For clarification I’m totally cool with the balance D&D has between story and combat strategy… I don’t think I would enjoy a game based just on story as much, though certainly interested to play some. Every new game teaches you something!).

    • duncan

      Interesting perspective. I don’t think there’s gonna be any radical mechanical changes… there can’t be for it to be compatible with 5e. It’s more that they are going to ret-con the game to fit the more modern developments in Tasha’s etc. that they think work better. Examples

      a) Using Proficiency bonus as THE measure to limit uses of abilities (because it scales well and predictably)

      b) Easier to run monster stat blocks, with more abilities vs. spells (because it puts less burden on DMs, esp. newer DMs, to learn the whole PH spellbook. Plus abilities can’t be countered by counterspell, which I think the designers realise is a bit of a fun killer).

      c) Monsters that fit their CR better (a common complaint amongst DMs… I didn’t mention it in my to do list, because I judge the stat block not the CR when I put an encounter together, so I am not too reliant on this).

      d) Phasing out of alignment and race in favour of more flexible heritage etc. Maybe phasing out gender completely. (To meet the expectations of the new generation of players)

      e) Floating bonuses for races / heritages.

      I don’t really know how you can, within the 2024 core rulebooks, make the game more about roleplaying and story building than it is already… a few more tools and tables maybe?

      I would argue the best way to make D&D more about stories is to publish more adventures… accompanied by cool livestreams I guess… obviously CR has also done them a solid there and, coming from that, The Legend of Vox Machina is absolutely perfect tool for encouraging new players to get involved, because it is bitesize television (as per my point 15).

      Btw, Jeremy Crawford goes into a few things we can also expect to see in Next Edition here

      f) feats as part of backgrounds

      g) stacked feats

      h) using hit dice as a resource

      That also reminded me of this video, in which the future of D&D is discussed. The three new settings is interesting… one classic, two entirely new. I think that also hints at what the future of D&D holds… 1/3 dedicated to keeping old school players on board and 2/3 keeping and attracting newer players.

      • Dere

        >using hit dice as a resource

        This works really well in Cypher/Numenera with the way Effort works, and I’ve used it in 5e games exactly like this, burning hit dice. The only issue I had is that Hit Dice need to not scale 1:1 with level for it to work because having 3 hit dice to use as effort is pretty crappy at level 3, and having 17 to use at 17 is far too strong. If it was somehow tied to proficiency, or at least scale like it, it could possibly work better.

    • Josh

      I mean see the point but I would say that most of in game detail such as the rhino being less powerfull than a barbarian or the fact that some spell Nevers seen the light of a day. It IS part of a dm to think of it and lower or rise the DC. It Is also his work to make the player aware that, sure you don’t need utility spell or “hold on” you might need this ( follow discution with explanation with player).

      I will point one last thing, if I have 4hour to spend on any thing I will do do so. Reason would be because I do it while working or because IT IS MY CHOICE, kind of a stupide arguments. Here a few reason that no one should have to explain,
      they do it cause they love there work,
      they listen bit by bit cause they dont have that much free time
      Not easy to find willing dm or one who goes with stuff WE l’île

  2. Justin

    Hi Duncan, no surprises since I’ve generally agreed with all the ideas in the past posts that go into this list, but I am in near-total agreement with you here! This is a long reply so I’ve numbered my paragraphs as well, for easy reference.

    1. Most of these are ultimately about re-balancing things which millions of hours of worldwide playtesting have shown to be problematic. This has been my own personal hang-up since jumping back into D&D in early 2020 after 20 years away form the game, and the basis for almost all my house rules and homebrews, as with yours. Fireball back to 6d6 is just a no-brainer, for example (letting “iconic” spells be *deliberately* overpowered was perhaps great marketing to bring back lost players, but problematic design for the long term IMHO). I agree that a 6e/5.5e/”50th anniversary edition” is a good and logical time for them to do this.

    1b. Related to this are the spells and features that, as you say, break 5e’s own design framework. Having now seen what upcasting Sleep does in combat – it’s used every combat by the twilight cleric at my table because there’s no saving throw, I think it really needs to be added to the list. Speaking of twilight clerics, yes they and peace clerics definitely need to be rewritten! I nerfed my brother’s twilight cleric a lot, and he’s still incredibly powerful. Oh and Lay on Hands is frankly ridiculous: treating disease and poison is a 2nd level spell but Pals can do it from 2nd level for the equivalent cost of a 1st-level Cure Wounds; at 7th level a Pal can heal a guaranteed 35hp in one round, vs a 4th level Cure Wounds healing 22hp on average and max 36hp.

    1c. To your list I’d mainly add rebalancing the Feats, as there is clearly a gulf in power between some feats, even of the same broad type. If they want backwards compatibility I suspect rethinking the feats vs ASI system is off the table, but bringing up all the underpowered and never-chosen (except in low-combat, high-RP games where “underpowered” doesn’t matter at all) feats to the level of lucky, SS, GWM, et al could quickly and easily add a massive amount of choice – and therefore variety – for players.

    1d. Lastly on rebalancing, I think all that playtesting and the thousands of internet posts has demonstrated that having some classes be based around long rests, and others short rests, doesn’t actually work well at too many tables. From the martials vs spellcasters debates to complaints about warlocks being brilliant to create but boring to play, to the endless arguments about the “6-8 encounter day” and the millions of posts (and debates) about alternative resting rules, this is one major issue I think needs serious consideration. Shifting to having all classes be one or the other would require a much bigger rewrite than I expect WOTC is going to be willing to do, though.

    2. The other and more controversial suggestion I’d make, without having ever playtested it, is to remove the upscaling of cantrips. I think that would singlehandedly remove the problem of your clerics and bards leaving their weapons at home, and debuff wizards back to the pack. Sorcs and Warlocks are more reliant on cantrips so they’d need some further thought. But something about level 5 spellcasters spamming 2d8-2d12 damage per round at will grates with me.

    3. The other suggestions here I see as about ‘more options’ (subclass suggestions) and/or ‘more fun at the table’ (changing the save-or suck spells, synergy, weapon properties, prioritising melee, etc). I like that you’re not trying to overcomplicate things, but keeping within the 5e core design philosophy, although your advanced weapon properties perhaps add too much there (much as I like them, even if some need rebalancing imho).

    4. Related to both of the above, but likely off the table given this will be 5.5e not 6e, is building in more social and exploration pillar abilities for classes other than the rogue, bard and ranger. Having recently seen how Level Up (“advanced 5e” (sic)) and Pathfinder 2e make characters that are more interesting and varied than 5e characters, I think it would be great if WOTC was willing to learn from them, and adapt the principles to a 5e ‘less crunchy’ framework. The enormous shift in playstyles from 2015-now, with far more ‘theatre kid’ players and roleplay heavy / low combat games happening now, could perhaps be the impetus for this. The barrier is that I think WOTC’s approach to the interaction between mechanics and roleplay is to get the mechanics out of the way in order to encourage free creativity, as opposed to, say, LU & PF2E’s approach of putting mechanics in the service of roleplay by having specific abilities and rules that grant mechanical advantages to doing interesting things (even within combat, eg PF2e’s mechanism for using intimidation, diplomacy/persuasion and deception to grant combat buffs and debuffs).

    [5. side note: Duncan, have you read through the Level Up books? I think their ideas are incredibly well matched to what you seem to want from a 5.5e game. Many of your 14 points are in it, as well as better handling of the social and exploration pillars (esp. exploration, with a whole ‘journey’ system). There are some things where I think they’ve gone too far with extra crunch, such as weapons, armour and 4e-style combat maneuvers for all martials, but you like that stuff! The biggest holdup for me to try it out is waiting for online app and platform support, since I’m still stuck playing online at the moment.]

    6. My other suggestion, that you don’t have in your list, is based on my own successful experience of bringing in more consequences for dropping to 0hp – and especially for fixing the frankly annoying and immersion-breaking ‘healing word yoyo’. Whether it’s exhaustion, negative hp, pf2e’s ‘wounded’ mechanic to carry failed death saves, or something else – hell even saying healing word doesn’t help an unconscious PC who can’t hear it! – this is a rule change I’d like to see added, at least as an official variant rule. Some people complain these create ‘death spirals’, but I haven’t seen that in my games, and I suspect it happens when players don’t adjust their tactics and thinking around the revised rules. The point of these variant rules is to get players to avoid dropping to 0hp in the first place, via healing spells and/or retreating. If you don’t do that, then sure it’s going to cause you problems.

    Anyway, that’s far too much from me for now!

    • duncan

      hey Justin, cool, thanks for these detailed thoughts.

      I’ll just pick up on a few points here and there!

      Yes, Lay on Hands is ridiculously good… wouldn’t be so bad if DS and Aura of Protection etc etc weren’t also ridiculously good! (Feel like should be two 5 hp pools to get rid of poison, 3 disease maybe?).

      I thought about trying to tackle rests…. but I know my limitations! 🤣 And to be fair, they have never proven massively problematic in any groups I’ve played in.

      Feats… yes, there are a few that are worthless and some that are OP’ed. Getting rid of the OP’ed ones would be a must have for me, bringing up the weaker ones a nice to have.

      Interesting about cantrips… I actually like the fact they scale, but my very first instinct when coming to 5e is that cantrips should also be limited use. At will spells were just clearly OP’ed to me (as per my 2015 perspective)! I’ve settled into the 5e mindset about them, but certainly they are a big reason why spellcasters are more powerful than ever.

      I saw Level Up and did seem to be tackling a lot of issues that interest me… I will perhaps invest. I am always hesitant to add an entire additional handbook of rules to the game! But no doubt it has stuff I would use… will look into it!

      Do social and exploration pillars need more rules? (Genuine question, not sarcastic one!). I just haven’t investigated this and am pretty happy with how these play… I like the words I say (via the mouthpiece of my PC) to be the key to success (or often failure!) in social situations.

      Re: point 6…. yes, I totally agree. Only didn’t tackle the topic because I think everyone already does this (adds exhaustion)! It almost feels like an official rule already… would be nice if it really became one.

  3. Dan

    I’ll be happy if they just remove “versatile” from the quarterstaff. It’s so stupid it makes me unreasonably angry.

    • Theliel

      Why? You can use a quarterstaff / bo one handed just fine if you’re trained.
      There’s a good selection off YouTube videos on it.

      As for 1-6
      That’s going to be difficult, because D&D Next né 5e was designed based on Vibes, or Feelz as we’d call it then. Surveys were full of “Does this FEEL like D&D to you?” instead of “Do you think you did too much damage?” “were you able to contribute every turn?” the spiky damage, big fireballs, lots of dice (and lots of randomness) scored REALLY high on those surveys.

      I know the author missed 3.x through 4th, but there’s a reason we wound up where we did, and it was mostly WotC doing a lot of the things they asked for and the hard core fans reacting…poorly.

      Simply put – Save or Suck spells are fun (for the caster), big BOOMS are fun (for the caster), and the fact that fighters are far easier to disable than in AD&D/2nd and WotC’s basically catered to casters for 2 of the last 3 editions, and the only one they didn’t The Fans hated, I doubt any thing will be terribly reigned in.

      I’m prepared to be wrong, but we’ve been here before.

  4. Trix

    Hi Duncan, I more or less agree with your ideas
    Here is an interesting idea: Evasion Class or EC- used on the same scale as Armour Class. If attack roll is below EC then you dodge the attack. AC cannot be lower than EC, but they can be equal. If Attack roll is below AC but above EC then you take reduced damage. If above AC then what happens would be the same as it is now in 5e.

    I dont know how dex would effect these values. I also dont know how unarmoured defence would work with this.

    Leather armour doesnt reduce EC, and AC would not be much higher than the EC.
    Full plate would greatly reduce EC but AC would be a lot higher.
    This would improve the difference between stealthy classes and meat shields.

  5. Leon

    I always wanted the capacity to make combos as we level up, melee atack and spell attack while playing warlock fighter. A character sheet implement that allows to note possible combo using extra attack and action surge to give powerfull wooping. It helps evaluate the potential of a character yet it is missing from the character sheet set. I have design one that I use for each character I make, it includes the attack melee/range/attack spell (yes we do consider attack spell as attack because it adds this strategic dynamic) the number of action in a turn, the number of attack per action, the bonus action the min dmg, avg dmg, max dmg and a combot note. Every attack also says the damages. For exaple a level 12 warlock fighter combos could includ chill touch plus ray of sickness then Action surge ray of sickness plus ray of emfeeblement and due to cantrip spell, make a rapier of wounding attack as bonus action. This may not entirely be according to the rules but its the dm’s world. A character sheet section dedicated to make many combo such as this would be awesome and help the player understand their characters dynamic and career potential

  6. Leon

    I always wanted the capacity to make combos as we level up, melee atack and spell attack while playing warlock fighter. A character sheet implement that allows to note possible combo using extra attack and action surge to give powerfull wooping. It helps evaluate the potential of a character yet it is missing from the character sheet set. I have design one that I use for each character I make, it includes the attack melee/range/attack spell (yes we do consider attack spell as attack because it adds this strategic dynamic) the number of action in a turn, the number of attack per action, the bonus action the min dmg, avg dmg, max dmg and a combot note. Every attack also says the damages. For exaple a level 12 warlock fighter combos could includ chill touch plus ray of sickness then Action surge ray of enfeeblement plus guiding bolt and due to cantrip spell, make a rapier of wounding attack as bonus action. This may not entirely be according to the rules but its the dm’s world. A character sheet section dedicated to make many combo such as this would be awesome and help the player understand their characters dynamic and career potential

  7. Unknown

    We need a feature for war

  8. Leon

    Something that bugs me is the 6 second turn. During your turn you can move 30ft and make one attack. If I don’t move, I want to be able to attack twice, cast a spell and attack or whatever else the time to move could allow my character. Because lets face it 30ft per 3 second which is aboult 9 kmh and is an average fast pace walk. if an action allows for 2 things plus a bonus why limit what two thing can be done. Just saying.

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