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 How would YOU build 5e?

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doctorbadwolf
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PostSubject: Re: How would YOU build 5e?    Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:10 am

AbdulAlhazred wrote:
I think AD&D is relevant. It is a good touchstone for the classic D&D power curve, which IMHO is a big part of the flavor of D&D. While 4e for instance uses somewhat different math it achieves pretty close to the same scaling. Its tighter, but that's another discussion. A flatter system will give a less exciting feeling of adventurers advancing to the greatest challenges and becoming heroes and legends. I'd just note that the trend has been to go from mostly scaling to-hit and AC to more scaling of HP and more controlled bonuses. You could go back the other way somewhat, but if all you do is cut back on bonus scaling AND on hit points you will end up with a system where the higher level guys are not much different from the lower level guys. You'll then have to lean a lot on items and 'powers' of whatever sort. It becomes a considerably different feel of game, though it would certainly be able to contain many aspects of D&D.

Obviously there are a good number of different ways to potentially tweak things and redesign things. Its interesting. I guess in the end though it doesn't matter much as DDN is where the game is going. Personally I'm just going to stick with 4e. I'm disappointed there won't be a 4.5/5e that follows on from it, but that's life, I can live with the bugs in 4e.

I'm not opposed to a decent amount of number scaling, but I think 4e's is too much. I'd rather see the scaling come in terms of exploits, via powers and talents.
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PostSubject: Re: How would YOU build 5e?    Sat Sep 14, 2013 2:41 am

How would I build 5E?

These would be my assumptions based on some of the design team's statements which, of course, are also contradicted by other statements by the same design team (Oh, leadership, where art thou?):

- 5E must be simpler to play and prepare for than 3.xE.
- It must clearly be a successor to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1E and 2E but with some actual editing and a lot less random design.

I would:

- start with Swords & Wizardry;
- use a single saving throw (a la S&W) as a base number but modified by ability score modifiers (and some classes would have a +1 or +2 bonus to certain ability score-based saving throws);
- base skills around the ability score-based saving throws but modified by backgrounds stolen completely from 13th Age (with lots of sample backgrounds in the PHB for the dummies);
- humans to have a +1 bonus to two ability scores or a +2 bonus to one ability score and a +1 bonus to saving throws;
- other races to have +1 bonus to two appropriate scores or a +2 bonus to one appropriate score;
- other races may have extra background points to reflect their long lives (balanced out by the human saving throw bonus which also affects skills);
- fighters to do +1 damage/level (screw specialisation and tinkering around: just make them hurt!);
- no generic clerics - always hated 'em, always will - with the PHB to include rules for at least eight different types - healing, justice, magic, moon, sun, war are examples - while the MM or DMG will include several evil types - death/undeath, tyranny/conquest/domination are examples, but all are greatly influenced by 3.xE and 4E domains;
- no pointless class-based weapon restrictions or other Gygaxian high dickery; and
- spellcasters who take damage before getting their spell off lost the spell (or the slot for sorcerer-like classes).

It's fairly simple to put something like that together - you could do it over a weekend - and that gives you plenty of time to playtest to get the maths right.
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PostSubject: Re: How would YOU build 5e?    Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:47 am

bone_naga wrote:
Well I am building my own 5e/4.5 right now. I'm scrapping a lot of the existing material but retaining the basic class/power structure. My main goals are:

1) Eliminate bloat and traps. That's fairly easy to accomplish by making each class a little broader and trying to balance options at each level. Also, powers scale with level, which eliminates the need to create nearly identical versions of lower-level powers.

2) More flavor. I want each class to have a more distinct flavor, but I also don't want to restrict the ability of players to reflavor classes as needed. Each power source draws classes together more closely through powers and features that can be chosen by any class belonging to that power source. Martial classes rely on stances and maneuvers, warlocks have pact powers, etc. The game still measures the units in squares, but I call them paces instead.

3) Aesthetic changes. Some changes have no real impact on the game itself but I'm making them anyway. I never liked the term "powers" so I'm changing it to feats. A feat represents something you actively do, like a power, unlike the static benefits granted by most 4e feats. Traits will be the new term for feats. Healing Surges are not Heroic Reserves to better represent a character drawing on his inner reserves of strength and will to keep pushing and help get rid of the idea that it represents some sort of magical regeneration.

4) Optional modules. One of the things I loved about 2e was that there were so many optional modules that even without houserules and homebrew material, no two groups ran the same game.

5) Simplification. I want to streamline the game where possible. Many classes have an "easy mode" (a set of simple default options that make them like Essentials classes except that they can be swapped to create more complex characters). Also since powers scale, a character can keep the same ones for his entire career (adding new ones as appropriate of course) if the player so chooses. Also, because all powers will be equal at whatever level the character is at, there's no more of 1 encounter of level X, 1 encounter of level Y, now swap out one so you can power up to level Z. If your character is level 10, he can have any powers of level 10 or less. And finally, I got rid of ability scores/ability modifiers. Now your ability score IS your ability modifier.
Like all those ideas big time.

_________________
Born To Be Kings and Heros -- From the Ashes Phoenix
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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