If you could have one piece of fluff/flavor of D&D from a previous edition return, what would it be?

Just as it says on the tin. What Fluff/Flavor/Non-mechanical component of D&D from a previous edition, all the way back from the original white box edition, to 4e, would you like to see return in Next?

For me, it would be Clerics or other Divine characters, who get their magic, not from a deity, but a devotion to an ideal. I had the idea for a character in 3.5, who I never got to run, but she was a Revolutionary Demogogue, but mechanically, she was a cleric devoted to the idea of Freedom. It was so fun to design the background for a non-religious cleric, as well as the background of a political revolutionary, as a D&D character. I especially hope this returns, seeing as Clerics seem to have more that they can do than in 3.5, when I built her originally. I don't feel like I have to play the healer (which, oddly enough was the reason I created her; I felt the idea of a stereotypical heal-bot cleric devoted to a Deity was just boring to play, so I turned it on its' side)

So how bout you guys? What would you like to see return? Remember, this is non-mechanical. We have enough arguements over the mechanics of different systems. 

I am currently raising funds to run for President in 2016. Too many administrations have overlooked the international menace, that is Carmen Sandiego. I shall devote any and all necessary military resources to bring her to justice.

The Spelljammer cosmology of the various campaign worlds having their own "Crystal Sphere" amongst the phogloston. I mean, I came into the game with 4e and have never played Spelljammer, but having looked it up I'm still peeved that they didn't bring it back in 4e due to how crazy creative the whole thing was.
Two things, both from 4E: the Feywild and Primal Spirits.

I really liked the Feywild and just exploring fey monsters and characters in general.

But the big thing I really loved was Primal Spirits. I loved how the druid was not an alternate divine caster, but rather a protector of the world who drew his power from nature itself. I really want to see them bring back the whole Primial Spirit concept just for the druid at least.
D&D Experience Level: Relatively new First Edition: 4th Known Editions: 4th, 3.5 --- Magic Experience Level: Fairly skilled First Expansion: 7th Edition Play Style: Very Casual
Personal opinion...

There's stuff from every edition that I'd like to be able to mix together and play with in D&D Next.

4th Edition: The Feywild, the Shadowfell, shadow powered assassins, primal powered druids.

3rd Edition and 3.5: The flavor and organizations associated with quite a few of the prestige classes (the Order of Illumination is a recurring group of bad guys in my campaigns, regardless of edition).

2nd Edition: The flavor associated with some of the kits, and, of course, the campaign settings (all of them, but especially Council of Wyrms and Spelljammer).

1st Edition: The flavor of the assassin class, the various demon lords and devil princes in the Monster Manuals.

BECMI: The paths to immortality, Bargle the Infamous.

I'm in the process of creating a homebrew setting that borrows and steals from all of that stuff plus quite a bit more.  :D             

All around helpful simian



2nd Edition: The flavor associated with some of the kits, and, of course, the campaign settings (all of them, but especially Council of Wyrms and Spelljammer).



I love those two, and I'll add Planescape and Dark Sun to the 2e campaign settings that were phenomenal. 
The Halfling Whistler as someone who just whistles and isn't a druid with a million different spells.

The metagame is not the game.

For me, it would be Clerics or other Divine characters, who get their magic, not from a deity, but a devotion to an ideal.



Not from D&D, but the Dresden Files books has kind of an interesting mix of this and having gods.  There's a Knight of the Cross in them named Sanya.  He wields a sword forged partially from one of the nails used in the crucifixion.  He was given this sword by the Archangel Michael himself.  He is given signs and instincts about where he has to go to save lives, help the helpless, and oppose the Fallen.  The guy is an agnostic/atheistic communist.  He sides with the Christian God not because he thinks its necessarily a god and he certainly doesn't worship it.  However, either he's crazy or its some sort of really powerful being who's goals are in line with Sanya's -- making the world a better, safer place by stopping evil.  Evidently that being takes a similar pragmatic view.
I agree with Maxperson, tbok1992, and crazy_monkey on this. I would like to see both the SpellJammer setting AND  the Great Wheel return.
I would like to see the return of:

Yugoloths

Tinker Gnomes (who can actually, you know, tinker)

3e style Artificers

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Homogenising: Making vanilla in 31 different colours
I always bring everything back from previous editions. I don't need "official" fluff to have Warduke or Strongheart in my games. Bargle has made an appearance in all my games.


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Of the two approaches to hobby games today, one is best defined as the realism-simulation school and the other as the game school. AD&D is assuredly an adherent of the latter school. It does not stress any realism (in the author's opinon an absurd effort at best considering the topic!). It does little to attempt to simulate anything either. (AD&D) is first and foremost a game for the fun and enjoyment of those who seek the use of imagination and creativity.... In all cases, however, the reader should understand that AD&D is designed to be an amusing and diverting pastime, something which an fill a few hours or consume endless days, as the participants desire, but in no case something to be taken too seriously. For fun, excitement and captivating fantasy, AD&D is unsurpassed.As a realistic simulation of things from the realm of make-believe or even as a reflection of midieval or ancient warfare or culture or society, it can be deemed only a dismal failure. Readers who seek the later must search elsewhere. - Gary Gygax. 1e DMG.
Bargle has made an appearance in all my games.


Bargle spanned two editions in our games. We eventually killed him with a sphere of annihilation around 24 or 25 levels after first meeting him, well and truly into 3.5's run. Three of the characters that originally encountered him in 2nd were still alive and kicking at that point too, which is fairly impressive considering we earned every point of XP along the way with them.

He deserved everything he got. Bastard.  
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Flavour I'd bring back from previous edition:

Magic items that didn't come with a list of instructions. I liked having a bit of mystery surrounding our items.

Followers and strongholds. I don't want them to be virtually mandatory like they were in 1E, but it's an element of the game I've always liked (and I like having some crunch behind it....because that's just the way I am).

Not having to decide if I want to multiclass from level 1. I know that crosses into mechanical stuff as well, but I like the idea that if I want to play a street urchin who gets squired to a paladin in-game, he can actually be a paladin himself in 20 levels time. Not a street urchin with a token paladin power or two.

Edit: and Spelljammer. How could I forget Spelljammer? 

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I like the Eberron model of church heirarchy, where being highly ranked in a religion did not necessarily imply that you were a high-level divine character, and vice versa.
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- Eberron's idea that alignment was divorced from class and species.  Corrupt Angel?  No problem.  Good cleric of Vecna?  Got you covered.
- Eberron's idea that alignment was divorced from class and species.  Corrupt Angel?  No problem.  Good cleric of Vecna?  Got you covered.

Or the fact that a cleric of a good god could in fact be corrupt and evil while still having access to the appropriate domains and spell-casting.

Ebberon did a lot of good things this game in my opinion :-) 

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Non-devine druids and primal barbarians. Psionic monks.
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Stuff I Heard Mike Say (subject to change): Multiclassing will be different than in 3.5! That's important. There is no level cap; classes advance ala 3.5 epic levels after a set level. Mundane (AKA fighter and co) encounter and daily powers will probably not be in the PHB (for the lack of space), but nor will they be in some obscure book released halfway through the edition.
You can't please everyone, but you can please me. I DO NOT WANT A FREAKING 4E REPEAT. I DO NOT WANT A MODULE THAT MIMICS MY FAVORITE EDITION. I WANT MODULES THAT MIMIC A PLAYSTYLE AND CAN BE INTERCHANGED TO COMPLETELY CHANGE THE FEEL, BUT NOT THE THEME, OF D&D. A perfect example would be an espionage module, or desert survival. A BAD EXAMPLE IS HEALING SURGES. WE HAVE 4E FOR THOSE! A good example is a way to combine a mundane and self healing module, a high-survival-rate module, and a separate pool of healing resource module.
Honestly, I like Eberron's take on just about everything more than "vanilla" D&D.  A lot.

And yeah, 3e-style Artificers.  I was glad that 4e had them, but it never felt even remotely close to 3e characters (and not just because it wasn't massively-and-hillariously overpowered, like before).
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- Eberron's idea that alignment was divorced from class and species.  Corrupt Angel?  No problem.  Good cleric of Vecna?  Got you covered.




Why would any good-aligned character WANT to be a cleric of an evil-aligned deity or monster like Vecna? Vecna is an evil lich who wanted to remake reality according to his whims, for crying out loud! A "good-aligned" cleric of Vecna would have to be misguided at the very least.

Honestly, I like Eberron's take on just about everything more than "vanilla" D&D.  A lot.

And yeah, 3e-style Artificers.  I was glad that 4e had them, but it never felt even remotely close to 3e characters (and not just because it wasn't massively-and-hillariously overpowered, like before).



Yeah, to me, Eberron is the face of modern D&D.
Honestly, I like Eberron's take on just about everything more than "vanilla" D&D.  A lot.

And yeah, 3e-style Artificers.  I was glad that 4e had them, but it never felt even remotely close to 3e characters (and not just because it wasn't massively-and-hillariously overpowered, like before).



Yeah, to me, Eberron is the face of modern D&D.



Chaotic, directionless, and devoid of any tradition? Smile

"Lightning...it flashes bright, then fades away.  It can't protect, it can only destroy."

Howdy folks,

Please remember that this thread is about sharing flavor elements you enjoyed from previous editions.  Edition bashing and edition warring are considered forum disruption and against the Code of Conduct.

Thanks.  

All around helpful simian

- Eberron's idea that alignment was divorced from class and species.  Corrupt Angel?  No problem.  Good cleric of Vecna?  Got you covered.




Why would any good-aligned character WANT to be a cleric of an evil-aligned deity or monster like Vecna? Vecna is an evil lich who wanted to remake reality according to his whims, for crying out loud! A "good-aligned" cleric of Vecna would have to be misguided at the very least.




Exactly.  Religious texts are regularly interpreted, misinterpreted, re-interpreted, and most frequently, interpreted in whatever way the reader wishes for them to be interpreted.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
- Eberron's idea that alignment was divorced from class and species.  Corrupt Angel?  No problem.  Good cleric of Vecna?  Got you covered.




Why would any good-aligned character WANT to be a cleric of an evil-aligned deity or monster like Vecna? Vecna is an evil lich who wanted to remake reality according to his whims, for crying out loud! A "good-aligned" cleric of Vecna would have to be misguided at the very least.




Exactly.  Religious texts are regularly interpreted, misinterpreted, re-interpreted, and most frequently, interpreted in whatever way the reader wishes for them to be interpreted.



I'd have to agree with you on the subject of religious texts.

Yet, if good-aligned characters KNEW what Vecna was and what he did, they wouldn't want to worship him. They'd want to stop him from doing the things he does.

Eberron. Shadow assassins. Primal source like in 4e. I know this is a little silly, but the 4e Dread Reaper. In my games it became a title for those epically powerful warriors who scythed through enemies and were feared across the lands.
"What's stupid is when people decide that X is true - even when it is demonstrable untrue or 100% against what we've said - and run around complaining about that. That's just a breakdown of basic human reasoning." -Mike Mearls
- Eberron's idea that alignment was divorced from class and species.  Corrupt Angel?  No problem.  Good cleric of Vecna?  Got you covered.




Why would any good-aligned character WANT to be a cleric of an evil-aligned deity or monster like Vecna? Vecna is an evil lich who wanted to remake reality according to his whims, for crying out loud! A "good-aligned" cleric of Vecna would have to be misguided at the very least.




Exactly.  Religious texts are regularly interpreted, misinterpreted, re-interpreted, and most frequently, interpreted in whatever way the reader wishes for them to be interpreted.



I'd have to agree with you on the subject of religious texts.

Yet, if good-aligned characters KNEW what Vecna was and what he did, they wouldn't want to worship him. They'd want to stop him from doing the things he does.




That's just it.  They think they do know what he does, and it's not bad, because of the way they've chosen to interpret the religious texts.  And, since in Eberron, gods can't be proven to exist ... nobody can prove they're wrong, because there's no evidence that gods even exist, much less that they do anything.  It's actually a religion, based on faith and belief, not 'this is the way it is and there's evidence to support it'.

It's GLORIOUS.

Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.

That's just it.  They think they do know what he does, and it's not bad, because of the way they've chosen to interpret the religious texts.  And, since in Eberron, gods can't be proven to exist ... nobody can prove they're wrong, because there's no evidence that gods even exist, much less that they do anything.  It's actually a religion, based on faith and belief, not 'this is the way it is and there's evidence to support it'.

It's GLORIOUS.



...I'm reminded of a small speech from 'The Devils Advocate'.

It's different for a published D&D world, for certain.  Glorious?  I guess for some people it is.  I could take it or leave it; no strong feelings one way or another on it.

But I -love- Eberron's halflings. Smile

"Lightning...it flashes bright, then fades away.  It can't protect, it can only destroy."

Honestly, I like Eberron's take on just about everything more than "vanilla" D&D.  A lot.

And yeah, 3e-style Artificers.  I was glad that 4e had them, but it never felt even remotely close to 3e characters (and not just because it wasn't massively-and-hillariously overpowered, like before).



Yeah, to me, Eberron is the face of modern D&D.



Chaotic, directionless, and devoid of any tradition? Smile




+1

Demon lords as the creators of many evil humanoid races. Active gods. Varied human cultures.

Honestly, I like Eberron's take on just about everything more than "vanilla" D&D.  A lot.

And yeah, 3e-style Artificers.  I was glad that 4e had them, but it never felt even remotely close to 3e characters (and not just because it wasn't massively-and-hillariously overpowered, like before).



Yeah, to me, Eberron is the face of modern D&D.



Chaotic, epic, and devoid of any tradition?



Fixed your typo.
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Stuff I Heard Mike Say (subject to change): Multiclassing will be different than in 3.5! That's important. There is no level cap; classes advance ala 3.5 epic levels after a set level. Mundane (AKA fighter and co) encounter and daily powers will probably not be in the PHB (for the lack of space), but nor will they be in some obscure book released halfway through the edition.
You can't please everyone, but you can please me. I DO NOT WANT A FREAKING 4E REPEAT. I DO NOT WANT A MODULE THAT MIMICS MY FAVORITE EDITION. I WANT MODULES THAT MIMIC A PLAYSTYLE AND CAN BE INTERCHANGED TO COMPLETELY CHANGE THE FEEL, BUT NOT THE THEME, OF D&D. A perfect example would be an espionage module, or desert survival. A BAD EXAMPLE IS HEALING SURGES. WE HAVE 4E FOR THOSE! A good example is a way to combine a mundane and self healing module, a high-survival-rate module, and a separate pool of healing resource module.
- Eberron's idea that alignment was divorced from class and species.  Corrupt Angel?  No problem.  Good cleric of Vecna?  Got you covered.




Why would any good-aligned character WANT to be a cleric of an evil-aligned deity or monster like Vecna? Vecna is an evil lich who wanted to remake reality according to his whims, for crying out loud! A "good-aligned" cleric of Vecna would have to be misguided at the very least.




Exactly.  Religious texts are regularly interpreted, misinterpreted, re-interpreted, and most frequently, interpreted in whatever way the reader wishes for them to be interpreted.



I'd have to agree with you on the subject of religious texts.

Yet, if good-aligned characters KNEW what Vecna was and what he did, they wouldn't want to worship him. They'd want to stop him from doing the things he does.




That's just it.  They think they do know what he does, and it's not bad, because of the way they've chosen to interpret the religious texts.  And, since in Eberron, gods can't be proven to exist ... nobody can prove they're wrong, because there's no evidence that gods even exist, much less that they do anything.  It's actually a religion, based on faith and belief, not 'this is the way it is and there's evidence to support it'.

It's GLORIOUS.



Gods are very much proven (not necceccarily indiviuals, but gods do exist). Clerics don't just "beleive so hard" that they shoot lasers from a magical cross (holy symbol is more correct, but cross made the sentance more fluid).
EDIT: also, remember, the Cleric doesn't know about the "alignment" of his or her god. Alignment is metagame, especialy in Eberon.
holydoom.weebly.com: Holydoom! A lighthearted RPG in progress. Loosely based on 3.5. 4, and GURPS. Very, Very, Very loosely. Seriously, visit it now. http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/29086701/I_HIT_IT_WITH_MA_SWORD!_(like_this!):_A_Slayers_Handbook An attempt at CharOp
To anyone who thinks Pathfinder is outselling D&D
While one report may say that FLGS report a greater amount of book sales, one cannot forget the fact that the 71000 DDI subscribers paying 6-10 dollars a month don't count as "Book Sales."
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PbP supporter!
General thoughts, feelings, and info on DDN!
Stuff I Heard Mike Say (subject to change): Multiclassing will be different than in 3.5! That's important. There is no level cap; classes advance ala 3.5 epic levels after a set level. Mundane (AKA fighter and co) encounter and daily powers will probably not be in the PHB (for the lack of space), but nor will they be in some obscure book released halfway through the edition.
You can't please everyone, but you can please me. I DO NOT WANT A FREAKING 4E REPEAT. I DO NOT WANT A MODULE THAT MIMICS MY FAVORITE EDITION. I WANT MODULES THAT MIMIC A PLAYSTYLE AND CAN BE INTERCHANGED TO COMPLETELY CHANGE THE FEEL, BUT NOT THE THEME, OF D&D. A perfect example would be an espionage module, or desert survival. A BAD EXAMPLE IS HEALING SURGES. WE HAVE 4E FOR THOSE! A good example is a way to combine a mundane and self healing module, a high-survival-rate module, and a separate pool of healing resource module.
EDIT: also, remember, the Cleric doesn't know about the "alignment" of his or her god. Alignment is metagame, especialy in Eberon.



This is a 4E thing. Worshippers alignment used to be mechanical, and clerics alignment mirrored the deities alignment. A gods alignment wasn't set in stone however and the clerics would always respond to a gods alignment shift automatically. If a lawful good god became wrathful and violent his clerics would do the same.

EDIT: also, remember, the Cleric doesn't know about the "alignment" of his or her god. Alignment is metagame, especialy in Eberon.


This is a 4E thing. Worshippers alignment used to be mechanical, and clerics alignment mirrored the deities alignment. A gods alignment wasn't set in stone however and the clerics would always respond to a gods alignment shift automatically. If a lawful good god became wrathful and violent his clerics would do the same.


Not in Eberron.

Those rules were specifically superseded in the 3.5 campaign guide, so that clerics no longer had to line up with their deities alignment, and were not forbidden from casting any spells with the opposite alignment descriptor. 

Edit: Just read Salla's posts below and realised I should have looked at yours more closely before replying...... I don't recall what you describe ever being a rule in any edition either.

In fact, In FR there were numerous exceptions to the alignment rules for clerics of certain faiths. This was due to the worshipers of a previous deity of XXXXXXXXX still staying with the church even after their original incarnation had died or been replaced. So it was possible for some gods to have clerics with alignments two or more steps from theirs.


The clerics themselves certainly didn't have complete personality changes overnight.     

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Gods are very much proven (not necceccarily indiviuals, but gods do exist). Clerics don't just "beleive so hard" that they shoot lasers from a magical cross (holy symbol is more correct, but cross made the sentance more fluid).



They do in Eberron.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
EDIT: also, remember, the Cleric doesn't know about the "alignment" of his or her god. Alignment is metagame, especialy in Eberon.



This is a 4E thing. Worshippers alignment used to be mechanical, and clerics alignment mirrored the deities alignment. A gods alignment wasn't set in stone however and the clerics would always respond to a gods alignment shift automatically. If a lawful good god became wrathful and violent his clerics would do the same.



No.
That has NEVER been the case, not in a single edition of D&D.

Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.

Psionic power is not magic, it's a SCIENCE!

I manifest pseudo-tetra-psycho-lacerating-ego-phobia. Mmmmm, loved those 3.5 psionics.


Honorable mention goes to the Wilder class. It was the first thing to come to my mind, but I realized pretty quickly that what I want for that class is a meld of mechanics and fluff. So disqualified in the #1 pure fluff contest.

Magic is a science, too.  It can be studied, learned, and understood.  It behaves in predictable ways ('this word plus this gesture plus this bat poop equals Fireball').
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
EDIT: also, remember, the Cleric doesn't know about the "alignment" of his or her god. Alignment is metagame, especialy in Eberon.



This is a 4E thing. Worshippers alignment used to be mechanical, and clerics alignment mirrored the deities alignment. A gods alignment wasn't set in stone however and the clerics would always respond to a gods alignment shift automatically. If a lawful good god became wrathful and violent his clerics would do the same.



No.
That has NEVER been the case, not in a single edition of D&D.
You will prove me wrong in your response, as usual.




1st edition Deities and Demigods (pg.6):


God's Alignment:"...except that deities are not always constrained to follow their alignment to the letter. Their motives and purposes are far above the mortal, and though a deity will GENERALLY follow his or her alignment, the beings specific actions may sometimes seem to contradict this."


worshippers alignment: "This does not necessarily apply to the alignment of the deity's clerics, which must be IDENTICAL with their patron's."


When a god is literally communicating his wishes directly to his clerics he could issue a demand that runs counter to the tenets of the alignment. This could easily put any holy person in the position of deviation from their chosen alignment by following their gods nebulous desires.

And as I said before, if a good aligned person knew what Vecna did, they wouldn't follow him.

If they knew that he did evil deeds like sacrificing innocent people's souls to keep powering up his undead status, they would try to stop him. They wouldn't even think of joining Vecna's cult if they heard any nasty stories about him. This wouldn't necessarily have anything to do with alignment mechanics, but it would have everything to do with what lore the characters have heard about Vecna.
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Magic is a science, too.  It can be studied, learned, and understood.  It behaves in predictable ways ('this word plus this gesture plus this bat poop equals Fireball').



This depends a bit on the setting though... In Forgotten Realms pre-plague, the usage of magic was in the end up to Mystra as the Godess of the Weave... While she would most likely grant all requests, she had the theoretical power of not doing so. Also one has wild magic zones etc where magic does not behave predictable. Then if we look post-plague it is very evident that the rules of magic can be altered, and that which you have learned can turn useless in a second at the whim of gods.


The Character Initiative


Every time you abuse the system you enforce limitations.
Every time the system is limited we lose options.
Breaking an RPG is like cheating in a computer game.
As a DM you are the punkbuster of your table.
Dare to say no to abusers.
Make players build characters, not characters out of builds.




List of bits of fluff that I liked:

BECMI: Name level choices, the idea that at a certain point characters need to make choices about where they fit into society.  Choosing to be wanderers or land owners and what implications that had... good stuff.

AD&D: So many crazy magical items and spellsatributed to specific wizards.

3e: I enjoyed many of the campiagns played in this, but the core rules... I did not like the fluff bits as much asthe previous versions.

4e:  Did not suit my play style so I am not a good jdge of this system, did not spend much time with it.

Weighing in on the Eberon discussion...  How exactly is Eberon lacking in tradition?  There are so many elements in it that parrallel old Mystara.  It is a very high fantasy world, which was in our play through kind of fun and well suited to 3e (the only system I played that setting in).





 

Gods are very much proven (not necceccarily indiviuals, but gods do exist). Clerics don't just "beleive so hard" that they shoot lasers from a magical cross (holy symbol is more correct, but cross made the sentance more fluid).



They do in Eberron.


Read the religion section again. Someone's granting that power, and scientists speculate on the specifics of gods, not the existance of them. For example, maybe the Sovgern Host doesn't exist, but there is a being of great power granting the cleric the magic they are using.
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General thoughts, feelings, and info on DDN!
Stuff I Heard Mike Say (subject to change): Multiclassing will be different than in 3.5! That's important. There is no level cap; classes advance ala 3.5 epic levels after a set level. Mundane (AKA fighter and co) encounter and daily powers will probably not be in the PHB (for the lack of space), but nor will they be in some obscure book released halfway through the edition.
You can't please everyone, but you can please me. I DO NOT WANT A FREAKING 4E REPEAT. I DO NOT WANT A MODULE THAT MIMICS MY FAVORITE EDITION. I WANT MODULES THAT MIMIC A PLAYSTYLE AND CAN BE INTERCHANGED TO COMPLETELY CHANGE THE FEEL, BUT NOT THE THEME, OF D&D. A perfect example would be an espionage module, or desert survival. A BAD EXAMPLE IS HEALING SURGES. WE HAVE 4E FOR THOSE! A good example is a way to combine a mundane and self healing module, a high-survival-rate module, and a separate pool of healing resource module.
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