Top 5 Things you'd like to see in 5E

Just figured I'd open a general discussion on what everyone wants to see in 5E since most threads at the moment are concerning specifics.

Top 5 things I want in 5E:

  • 1) Modern Business Model.
    - With the advent of smart phones and tablet PC's D&D has a unique opportunity to expand the player base in a manner FAR more cost effective than print. Don't get me wrong, there's no school like the old school, but those days of pencils and paper are over. Going digital not only cuts production costs, but also makes the product more accessable. The original ideas of a character visualizer, virtual 3D game table (not the junky wannabe Map Tools knock off I beta'd), and full featured online tools for both DM's and Players is the right way to go.
  • 2) Highly Customizable.
    - 4E is an obvious step away from the homebrew versions that preceeded it in an attempt to establish simplicity. Though in reality customization and simplicity are not at odds with each other, quite the contrary. Maintaining a core mechanic which guides everything is far simpler than inventing a new one for each class that comes along. Thus, balancing one mechanic and simply attaching options to it in order to create class variation is a much more attainable goal to create game balance.
  • 3) Not Party Composition Dependant.
    - When thinking of my favorite fantasy characters, Elminster, Drizzt, Wulgar, Legolas, Arigorn, hell Merlin even...not once did I see a "crap we need a healer and a tank!" before any adventuring took place. Each of these characters was capable on his own, but when amoung friends nigh invincible. "Class" shouldn't be divided by what slot you fill in the DPR/TANK/HEAL spectrum, it should be divided upon play style and nothing more. The ranger should have knowledge of healing herbs, the wizard should have the ability to bend arcana to mend himself, and a rogue should know just the right pressure points to stop the bleeding, all just as a cleric might call upon a diety to accomplish the same goal. It shouldn't be about WHAT you play, just how you decide to play it.
  • 4) No Useless Options.
    - We all know D&D is famous for having absolutely useless build options cluttering up it's feat, power/spell, and item libraries. Options that don't even have the excuse of expanding RP elements for the sake of a richer game experience...the ones that are just plain bad. At best they make for a good laugh when trying to make the worst build possible, otherwise they only make scrolling down for the good stuff take longer.
  • 5) Attribute Equality.
    - 4E sure loves a high wisdom score! You can base your AC on it, Hit Points, initiative, and the majority of your skills. But what about our little friend Constitution? Sure you can base your AC and Hit Points on it, but that's what it's supposed to do. There are no options to make it improve your initiative and it gets the fewest skill synergy in the game...exactly 1. Clearly simply being Wisdom based gives any class a natural advantage in 4E, and this is simply unbalanced by nature (...which is also wisdom based). There shouldn't be any "dump stats", the consideration of a trade off to create both a strong point and a weak point of the character being built should be of equal measure in each attribute. All attributes should have the potential to be just as useful to a Wizard as they are to a Fighter, and each should have it's own fair balance of skill synergy. For example, one can learn of Nature by reading about it (intelligence), being born and raised in it (wisdom), having endured it's harshness (constitution), having worked it by the sweat of ones brow (strength), having perfected moving within it without being seen or heard (dexterity), or having an empathic understanding of creatures that dwell within it (charisma). Each one of the atributes, when viewed as equal variants, can contribute to a skill, attack, or defense.

Granted I'll likely be fully ignored or possibly treated with a sort of mild neglect by the almighty game an outdoor cat you put food and water out for but never really see. But hey, there's always the off chance they'll take a peek.

So, what're your top 5?
1. A core game that doesn't need more to be effective (3 books)
2. Additional Books that are equal amounts Fluff and Crunch
3. Healing Improved (Remove the absolute abraction of hit points, making it a combo)
4. Non Combat stuff (skills/feats/powers/spells)
5. Real settings that grow and evolve instead of 'abstract points of light

6 Bonus - Weapon qualities (length/damage type/speed factor) that make a difference in combat.      
1. The game to be complete, playable, and expandable / customizable from the three core books.

2. The business model to not focus on a never ending cycle of splats.

3. The game to focus on being itself, i.e. it's a role-playing game, not an app, not a video game, not a widget.

4. The core game to allow the use of any module, adventure, setting, and most resources from most / all older editions of the game with very little conversion.

5. The game to not make wizards a stupid choice at low levels and fighters a stupid choice at high levels.

"And why the simple mechanics? Two reasons: First, complex mechanics invariably channel and limit the imagination; second, my neurons have better things to do than calculate numbers and refer to charts all evening." -Over the Edge

Introduce an "HONOR" aspect to the game for all PCs, NPCs, and monsters that facilitates roleplay, much like they use in Hackmaster.

  1. A complex character generation system without fast play off the shelf cookie cutter characters. I want my character to be different from your character even if there both fighter‘s warlords etcetera.

  2. I want spells, as in 3.5 spells, I want rituals’ as in 4e rituals’. I want a magic item crafting system that works. I want to get better at my skills as I progress in level.

  3. I want a computer program to keep track of both characters and monsters that has all the content updated with each book that comes out. I do not want to pay a monthly fee for this.

  4. I want a module for the forgotten realms campaign setting that comes out every month and is part of a full campaign setting. It follows a story line from level 1-20 it is downloadable to my kindle each month  you would buy a subscription to this content 10$ to20$ a month.

  5. I want one new addition to rule them all.

1. A core game that only includes the first: Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's guide and Monster Manual. All other books should be considered optional content. The designer's should advertise this concept that the other books are meant to add certain features that may not be desired in every game. This is of course a departure from 4e's initial stance of everything is in core.

2. A release schedule that focuses on a few well done larger supplements under the Dungeons and Dragons label(my suggestion top 4 a year). It is expected that these would be longer and not as limited in score as previous supplements(no splatbooks). This excludes campaign settings and campaign setting specific supplements these can be released at whatever rate WotC desires. I make this exception, because I know WotC does not like releasing setting stuff to begin with(from directly questioning WotC employee's at GenCon), because it reduces the product's target market. 

3. A small group of core classes(my suggestion somewhere between 8-10) with multiple variants. New classes could be added in optional books, but whenever possible a variant of an existing class should be used. An example would be Ranger and Warden, the ranger from a story perspective fulfills the role of both of these classes. Furthermore, class variants could allow for a ranger that has no spells(4e and Aragorn / Lan al'Mandragoran style), a ranger that uses divine magic(i.e 2nd and 3rd edition) and a ranger that uses arcane magic (i.e first edition). Another example would be wizard and necromancer, no need for two classes a wizard variant can represent necromancer. One more example fighter, knight, samurai etc. can all be represented by fighter variants.

4. A greater emphasis placed on the mechanics reflecting the state of the character in the world, rather than mechanics for their own sake.

5. A rules set that allows for more than just heroic fantasy as a play style. It would be ideal if Dungeons and Dragons books organized the modular pieces of their mechanics by the play style that they suit best i.e (classic fantasy, high fantasy, heroic fantasy, steam punk, horror, and also specific campaign setting such as FR, Dragonlance, Dark Sun, Greyhawk, 4e FR, Ravenloft). This allows groups to make a choice on the kind of elements that work best for their game. Characters inspired by Kratos and Elminster kind of ruin a horror atmosphere and by the same token the defiler magic concept really doesn't go well in high fantasy. Obviously, not everyone one will agree on what archtype a given mechanic belongs under. However, it would be very easy to quickly glance over a new supplement and determine whether it has a home at your table or not. And a supplement could include multiple elements just in seperate chapters or color coded.

and one additional for the road!

6. If Paragon Paths, Prestige classes or whatever WotC chooses to call them exist in the new edition. They should actually represent something in the world: a membership in an organization, an archtype, or a concept that doesn't make sense for a level 1 character. A Paragon path, prestige class etc should have appropriate roleplay requirements to enter when needed. For example in order to become a Harper from FR, the character must actually get accepted by and train with the Harpers. In the case of representing  something in the world, arcane archer and dwarven defender both represent archtypes. Why do people thing of elves as magic wielding archers? Arcane Archers. The same logic goes for dwarves and dwarven defenders. The assassin is a great example of a class that represents something beyond the scope of a low level character, murder a couple of commoners and nobody calls you assassin. Now take down a well protected duke, a powerful orc chieftain, the local tower dwelling wizard etc and maybe the character can start growing a reputation.

1) Rules for combat resolution that do not require a grid and/or maps.

2) Equally robust combat and non-combat rules.

3) Balance (preferably spotlight balance, though I wouldn't mind every class having an equal potential in multiple areas of spotlight specialization, with combat being one area of the game which every class can, not must, be built effectively).

4) Rules that reward narration, and stimulate narration, both in and out of combat.

 5) A GM role that amounts to more than just running the world. The strength of this game's platform is that it is mediated by a sapient human consciousness. The game should make use of that. 

1) Class style just like Star Wars Saga Edition. Classes as concepts, with a lot of customization. Trees.

2) Vancian spellcasting.

3) Core material = common material. Races that have great population, classes easily found in any world.

4) Paladin with some auras. Courage, e.g.

5) Healing surges.
Top 5 not necessarily ranked:

• I can make build a PC that closely matches my character concept (i.e. highly customizable character creation).
• There are lots of interesting ways my character can interact with the game world.
• Many tactical choices to be made; good decisions resulting in success, poor decisions causing (or at least increasing the risk of) failure.
• Different mechanics available for different types of characters.
• My standard for balance is not very high; to me balance means that all characters contribute meaningfully to (almost) all encounters.
1. Nearly any race can be effective in any nearly class, or at least power-source and roll.
2. No role is indespensible.
3. Default builds of each class should be roughly equally valuable in combat against most sorts of encounters at most levels, and in most skill challenges at most levels.
4. No classes should have xp or gold taxes. (This means that magic item crafting shouldn't take xp, and rituals shouldn't take (much) gold.
5. Feats and utility powers (or spells) shouldn't consistently trump skills in non-combat situations.

Top five in no order of preference. 

1) A system of  determining levels of success for non combat challenges. ie. Did the group roleplay the scenario unexpectedly well, mediocre or lousy which gives them a multiplier on the bonus xp of the given scenario. The players worked well as a team and integrated good roleplaying techniques, and came up with ingenuitive strategy rated "well" so thats a 1.5x xp modifier (mediocre x1, lousy x0.5). This not only instigates the players to roleplay and use that imagination of theirs, but not stick so hard and fast to the listed "skills" on their character also immediately endorses xp for things other than combat. I love the game for the intellectual challenge....and find almost no challenge at all in making a really dangerous character....sure its fun mowing down everything in sight for a few sessions, but then it gets old so the game needs to mix it up. Giving individual xp bonuses is a good thing (i'm sure Martha would agree), if you're good at what you do, then you should reap the rewards...if some people outdistance others at the table in xp/levels...then so be it.

2) A system that can be either grid OR imagination that can easily adapt to either method. 1e had this but most people i know favoured the "no miniature" method of roleplaying. But given this, there should be no grid at all on the map shown to the players or else it should be less of a concern. If your character wants to "hold the tunnel" how can he if he's stuck to one side of the 10 foot wide tunnel on the 5' grid (DM: "some mysterious force will not allow you to stand there...... at the junction of the 4 squares!!!!!") turns into too much of a chess game and loses the mystique of simply focusing on the story or the cinematic description of the DM.

3) bring back "space required" on weapons. I know we play a fantasy game (and are suspending reality for the sake of much of the game), but i get more enjoyment out of it when we don't have to stretch reality into absolute nonsense. (ok, 2 fighters in the front line are using a flail+hammer and a footman's pick+spiked buckler) Its not about if they can wield 2 weapons each at a time but that theres more room needed to wield them than space allows when they stand directly side by side. The character with the 16' spear (long spear) never seems to have a problem turning around in a 10' wide x 10' high tunnel if the monsters come up from behind the group. A character wielding a large ball/chain weapon needs room and can't wield it properly with 2 of his buddies right next to him.

4) huge cost on magic items and give them an aquisition rating or rarity rating difficulty (kind of like the target number a runner/fixer needs in the Shadowrun game system to hunt down goods "post-character creation")....the players shouldn't be able to approach any "magic item shop" like its a buffet except maybe only the most mundane of "magic" items can be common (ie. healing potions and other common low-end potions/remedies)...huge, serious items usually will demand a trade of a like power scale item and sometimes with an extra the same token if players want to dump an item....somebody very well could/should offer something up in exchange at a local trade vendor (the vendor taking a portion of the fee for being the "middle-man") (so there would be a 1d4 roster of tradable items in a small town, 2d8 in a large city, for instance, DM rolls some random gear &/or uses local NPCs with items listed in module...module will even list items that key NPCs might trade for). Lets bring the "wow" (not WoW) factor back into really cool items...old school ring of vampiric regeneration!! They just have to remain extremely rare. Spells fall into this category as well, L1-5 purchasable, L6-7 good trades+coin, L8 very powerful item, L9 not tradeable unless you are trading artifacts or level/stat gaining books.

5) bring back aging when casting haste/ressurection/wish etc....serious spells that play with time and lives and extreme powers should take their toll on the caster. With this toll, the priesthood can demand huge prices on a group of adventurers purely for having them take 4 years off their high/grand priests' life expectancy for having done the ressurection. IN this regard reinstate the "higher a level the dead character is, the more power it takes to tear them from their afterlife, which in turn takes a heavier toll on the priest casting the ressurection" in essence it can be scaled to level (level 1-5, 1d2 years aging, 6-12 1+1d3y, 13-18 3+1d2y, etc get the idea). This rule limits the overzealous use(or misuse) of big magics and turns the game of ressurecting a PC of level 25+ from a pocket-change inconvenience to a more serious matter of massive investment (insert quest spells/geas here, lose extremly powerful item...low level groups have to pool their resources to bring poor Kenny back from the dead etc).

now a few things that would be pleasing:

6) bring back speed factor, slower weapons should be ...well in a manner of pointing out the obvious, generally slower....and wielding 2 weapons should be a smidge slower than the slowest of the paired weapons.

7) print every creature that was ever listed in every D&D edition including
-various system origins
-every creature listed in dragon magazines or modules or any other hidden back source
-complete ecologies ever printed on them (and what back sources can expand on these), we as the DMs have to bring more life into our stories so we need more than just a list of combat stats, it makes the world feel more alive.
-all their species categories/multi categories also noted...some things might belong to a couple or few categories (amorphoid/abberation/humanoid/giant etc) and its good to have all that listed in the entry
-actual pronunciation listed beside their name (with possible additional pronunciations...drow as in cow...or drow as in row your boat!! I like the bovine dark elf)
-the creator of the creature (if known) at the bottom of the page
-add in every bit of pertinent info on the monster entries that can be (demon, daemon, devil even if you want to call them all batezu/tannari or however you spell them etc)
-i'd seriously pay good money for this compilation alone   
Lets just see all the creatures in all their splendor and be able to actually pronounce their names collectively (*chuckle*)

1. Good artwork in good art styles
2. Classless. i.e. Skyrim or Savage Worlds (no set class but still traditional roles can be made)
3. No default dump stat (4e handled this well, but for 3e charisma and either int/wis was a total dump stat 90% of time)
4. OTTerfolk added to the monster manual
5. Thinking outside of the box should be encouraged. Attack the bad guy shouldn't always be the default first thing to someone's mind in every situation. One can solves problems with creative thought. Powers, feats and maxed skills aren't needed to do everything.

Resident Grouch and Corrupting Influence A Monster Appears I'm Black and Blue how 'bout you?

  1. A class system built with a few broad customizable classes, rather then 387 specialists

  2. A multiclass system that is both intuitive and balanced

  3. A FATE-esque system rewarding players for giving characters personal strengths and weaknesses

  4. Magic items that provide interesting flavor and mechanics, without throwing off the balance if the players have too few/many.

  5. Splats focusing around expanding aspects of the game, rather than more mechanics for the same rules. IE: a hexcrawl book, a political/Birthright-style book, etc. instead of Complete Warrior/Arcane/etc.

Rhymes with Bruce

  1. Vancian spellcasting, at the very least as an option, at best as the default for mages and priests

  2. A clean separation between general skills, optional class features (e.g., SW Saga talents), and weapon/combat abilities (rather than everything mixed up in the big feats cauldron)

  3. More mechanical effect for sources -- healing should be the forte of Divine magic, e.g.

  4. Better organized management of options in character creation/leveling (avoid having to choose among dozens of feats by organizing options in trees)

  5. Weapon Mastery (as in BECMI) instead of Martial Powers.

Simple basic system plus advanced options from the start--the beginner's box/digest-sized players' book with 4 races (human, elf, dwarf, halfling) and 4 classes (fighter, wizard, cleric, rogue)... and released at the same time, an Advanced Players Options book with more races (orc, warforged/golem, shifter/hengeyokai/catfolk, dragonborn/Kobold), more classes (druid, paladin, ranger, bard, monk, barbarian, psion), and other options including "half-race" rules and effective multiclassing/hybrid rules.

No/reduced static "+x" modifiers-- no scaling +x magic items or the assumption/requirement that a character obtain them, and no stacking of static bonuses so basic attacks/at-wills become superior options.

All types of powered/unpowered characters possible-- vancian spellcasters (with attack cantrips), AEDU power users, pathfinder/essentials styled fighters (who at high levels gain mythical/anime/wuxia capabilities, leadership features like the 4e warlord, and/or mastery of magic items/alchemy).

Unarmed combat options for all classes from day one.

No default "hard mode"-- meaning no player characters killed in one hit by a level 1 monster, or killed by one failed saving throw.
Just figured I'd open a general discussion on what everyone wants to see in 5E since most threads at the moment are concerning specifics.

Top 5 things I want in 5E:

  • 1) Modern Business Model.
  • 2) Highly Customizable.
  • 3) Not Party Composition Dependant.
  • 4) No Useless Options.
  • 5) Attribute Equality.


2: Pretty much what the OP listed
1: To play a Bard with Apocalyptic world bending powers (not at first level, ofc)
3: Character creation elements which are ambiguous and moldable.
4: Lots of weapons
5: Something like a Martial Controller. 
My top 5, more or less in order of importance

1) The iconic D&D races/classes/monsters/spells in the core books

2) Class, race, monster versatility

3) Mechanics that support non combat actions

4) Great amount of fluff/lore and little mechanics in campaign setting books

5) Lots of options to customize things

?) 3.X was very gender inclusive with its use of pronouns throughout the books. If 5E in its artwork or campaign setting lore details many couples I want them to be inclusive about all sexualities and not pretend that some do not exist.
Should I make grammar mistakes, I am most likely unaware of them. Feel free to point them out lest I keep making them. I shall take no offense.
1) Combat on a grid. I've played with people that go gridless and it ends up with players trying to do/move way more than is feasible. A grid puts an end to that.

2) AEDU system for powers

3) More fluff

4) No Vancian magic system

5) Class system like in Star Wars, with talents, talent trees and bonus feats. 
I had to put 6 on here, because I simply couldn't choose between them. These are not in order from most to least important.

1) Vancian Magic as an option, but not the only one

2) Magic items not part of expected progression -they need to be mysterious and powerful. Also, finding out what a magic item does should be more interesting and challenging (including using cursed items that pretend to be good items)

3) Gridless and Grid based combat both supported. I run games where about 60% of the battles are off the grid, and big set piece battles or battles which involve deep tactics are on grid.

4) The ability to try and do anything -i.e. my fighter shouldn't automatically fall down on the deck of a ship because I didn't put skill points in balance. I was frustrated by 3.5 skills because anything that I didn't invest a great deal of points in I simply couldn't do.

5)  An encounter buliding method as easy to use as 4e's (I recognize that this is hard to achieve if we're incorporating older types of magic, etc, but that was my favourite thing abut 4e -I could just grab a few monsters and be relatively sure of a balanced battle). 

6) Attribute Equality (see the OP)
1.  BALANCE I want the game to keep the balance of 4e, or even improve on the balance of 4e.  Every class should be equal in most situations

2.  TO NOT bring back an unbalanced system like Vancian casting.  Vancian casting cannot be balanced with other ways of doing things a non caster will never equal a caster with a vancian style system.

3.  I would like the game math to work without necessary feat fixes that 4e required.   

4.  I want feats to do more than they did in 4E I want them to feel as special as gaining powers.

5.  I would like magic items to be more like artifacts special things that really excite the character I would like to see fewer of them but more powerful, and they grow with the character. 
1. A clear presentation that XP is rewarding for overcoming obstacles and achieving things.  4e tried this with Quest XP and skill challenges, and it should stay albeit with a better implementation.  Killing things is but one (hopefully tactically satisfying) means to get what you want.  That, like retraining was in this edition, needs to move from quietly assumed to explicitly stated and supported.

2. A robust and wide selection of races and classes that receive equal amounts of support.

3. This ties into the previous, but no Core vs. non-Core.  If it's a customizable game, I get to pick how many and which races and classes exist in my setting without being told some of them have an arbitrary official priority.

4. Enough balance that character concept should not be sacrificed for playability and vice versa.  New players should play whatever fits their concept without causing undo power discrepancies at the table.

5. Character concept should also be independant of class learning curve.  New players shouldn't be guided away from certain character concepts because the coresponding class has an additional level of complexity above and beyond the rest of the game.
1. Greater emphasis on out of combat experience.  Combat's great and all, but a real adventure has so much more.

2. Leveling up grants real options, not necessarily math.  Maybe this is just the fighting game side of me, but characters tend be better if they have more options than they if they just hit harder.  I always hated in 4th and 3rd when I'd level up, get a new feat and then play exactly the same as last level.

3. No "wrong" choices.  Just because I choose a wrong feat or two shouldn't make me useless.

4. No "trap" choices.  No option should be straight up better than other options.

5. A good way to do 3-dimensional combat at the tabletop.  I always wanted to do combat in the air, or underwater, but it just makes my head hurt trying, without heavily restricting my players.
1. The PCs need to be challenged. Going through a dungeon shouldn't be a matter of waltzing through the dungeon, slaying all the inhabitants, and then walking out with sacks of loot. Every door should be approached with caution, and every chest should be checked for traps before you crack it open. Bringing back the danger of 1st edition would bring a lot of old-school players back into the fold, and it would make for a refreshing change for players weaned on console RPGs.

2. Bards, monks and druids should be in the Player's Handbook. We shouldn't have to wait a year for classes that have been in the game since 1st edition to appear in a splatboook.

3. There should be a reason to play *all* the core classes from levels 1-20. The classes should be balanced, but unique. Playing a fighter should be just as compelling as playing a spellcaster. Every class should have a situation where they shine. We need to get away from the state where it's worthless to play a wizard under level 5 or a fighter past level 6.

4. The classes should be highly customizable. You should be able to have two fighters in a party that are just as different as the players who play them. The same goes for wizards, clerics, etc. There should be ways to choose your destiny as a character (Prestige classes? Talent trees?) that allows your character to be what you want them to be.

5. Wizards needs to focus on the core books instead of launching new product lines every few months. The board games are fun, but we're all here because we love Dungeons and Dragons, and that's what they need to stand behind.

6. Bonus: bring back the classic alignment system. It's "fluff", but it's a useful way to figure out how your character sees the world.
1. I want a game my friends will play.
Because I play Dungeons & Dragons largely to hang out with my friends, the new system needs to reflect their tastes as much as it does mine for me to play it. That means it needs to come across as a storytelling game, not a war game. This is important in the short term because it'll let me get them to try the new edition and give me a break from 3.5, which I enjoy but will eventually get bored with. It's also important because the more I play, the more I see the appeal in my friends' style. With that in mind, I'd like to see a reasonable degree of versimilitude and room for out-of-combat creativity in 5E.

2. I want a game with interesting combat.
To me, interesting combat usually means multiple enemies with different strengths and weaknesses. Ideally, positioning also needs to be helpful, especially for rogues and warlord-like classes.

3. I want a reasonable degree of balance.
I enjoy creating characters and trying to represent the ideas in my head within the constraints of a system. I also like to design characters that achieve mechanical objectives, such as high damage or great forced movement with at-will attacks. I'd like to be able to do both without worrying about gimping my character or  overshadowing the other players. However, I also recognize that as the game grows more complex, the number of extremely powerful combinations increases, turning once adequate characters into relative weaklings. Since this is a social game, not a competition, good manners can keep the worse offenders away from the table. Just do what you can to ensure the optimizer in me and the storyteller in me can both get their time in the sun. Offering different types of resources (e.g., feats primarily related to combat and talents or character backgrounds that focus on skills) might help.

4. I want to be able to DM on the fly.
I'm lazy. I don't want to spend hours preparing encounters, especially when my players will often choose paths that negate my work. In 3.5, I solve this problem by creating characters during the game using a chart that shows the average hit points, saves, and attack bonuses at different levels and giving each character a few feats that seem appropriate, or in the case of spellcasters, a theme. In 4.0, I understand many DMs do this by preparing a deck of monster cards that they can reflavor and level as needed. Either approach sounds fine to me. As long as a well-prepared DM who knows the rules can run an impromptu game, I'll be happy.

5. I want digital access to the game's content.
In real life, I share a house with my mother, my sister, her boyfriend, and three kids. That means I need to fit all of my worldly possessions in my room, which isn't getting any bigger. While that might change by the time 5E comes out, I suspect I'll always enjoy working with computers more than I do reading books when I'm building characters and looking up rules rather than trying to learn the system. With that in mind, please continue to offer digital tools. If you can, make them more user-friendly than the current character builder, which runs slowly enough that I often find myself wanting to quit before I get done. It also overwhelms even the optimizer in me with feats, a problem you might be able to fix by creating more categories and limiting the number of feats that rarely apply.

To this I would add that the game should be accessible to new players. Consider providing the basic rules and the first few levels of character options online so people can try the game before they buy it, licensing or developing video games that implement the rules so people can learn them without reading dry books, and keeping the rules flexible enough that people can run games without buying a battlemat and minis.

I realize that not everyone shares my preferences, and I must admit that my thoughts might change as I read discussions on these boards and get more experience with roleplaying. Right now, they're influenced largely by my experience with 3.5 and appreciation for the design goals behind 4E, which I haven't played enough to see its weaknesses. In any case, I hope the new system appeals to enough people for it to be successful financially and bring new people into the game.
1.  I'd like to see flexibility for the DM to create and modify the world and rules to suit his group.  2e did this very well.

2.  I want a deep, comprehensive set of rules to allow multiple levels of play within the same game or even group. Those who care to put time and effort into learning the rules can have more options, while those who don't care can still play at a useful level.  2e also did this well, as did 3e.

3.  Even accounting for #1, I still want the rules system to be solid enough that it isn't dependent on the whims of the DM.  3e and 4e both did this well.

4.  I want all of the characters abilities to have some grounding in the world.  For example, if the source of a character's abilities are his training and conditioning, I need a reason to explain to my players why they can only use an attack once a day beyond "it's in the rules".  I think 3e was best about this, but 2e and 1e at least tried to explain most things within the context of the world.  

5.  And most importantly of all, I want the game to be internally consistant and feel like it could be an actual world, even if it's not a realistic one.  I don't want to feel like we are trying to give personality to game pieces.  I want to feel like the characters, even the unimportant NPCs and monsters, are actual beings in an actual living world and the rules are the laws of universe in which they live.  It doesn't matter if the rules are simple, complex, or some point in between, as long as they work the same for everyone or have a reason why they don't, and at least make some sort of sense.  3e, especially 3.5e, did this best, but with the exception of 4e, every edition, every roleplaying game at all, did it to a greater or lesser extent.  4e went another route, focusing on the rules as the rules to a game, not the way a world works.  This was brave and innovative in a number of ways, but it, in the opinion of myself and my group, made it feel more like we were playing a board game.  We ended up moving on to Pathfinder.
1. LESS. Make sure each product is good and tested fanatically. Levels 1-10 is good enough for year one and a half. Let's imagine you're making a D&D board game with only four race/class combinations available. If that game had 40 hours of gameplay, you'd want to test it thoroughly.
Just to test levels 1-10 of the rpg is still a fool's errand. The PC, encounter, and player personality variations are incredibly high. The play test time for jumping from levels 1-10 to 11-20 isn't double. It's exponential.

2. Make player options effective and broad. Part of the powers mission statement was to avoid facets like disarming because not all monsters carry weapons/implements. We don't need items and feats that are specific to having a defense targeted, to facing enemies of a certain keyword, and so on. Elements that are weak or too specific clutter up compendium/character builder lists.

3. Monsters that perform. Dragons breathe fire, vampires suck blood. Too many times as a DM (in all editions) I've put monsters into an encounter only to find that their identity isn't realized because what they do is too conditional to happen before they're dead. IF it hits with both attacks, IF the target is grabbed from last turn, etc; then it can roll to do that thing it's supposed to be known for. That's frustrating for a DM.

4. Trim the fat. If it's not fun, get it out of the game. A lot of us have only two to three hours to play a week. There are rituals and items made to counteract the 'unfun' of tracking ammunition, food, and encumbrance. Why have all that in the first place?
If it'd be cut from the movie about your game, it probably shouldn't be in your game in the first place. Healing surges fall into this category for me too. So much design is based around them, but they're not fun. Just gimme all my hit points when I short rest. If you get more good stuff into your game sessions, you won't miss the verisimilitude.

5. NEW. It's time for the utterly new. Owlbears and Displacer Beasts are great, but the Tomb of Horrors and Deck of Many Things have had their time. Each iteration has a responsibility to write new legends.
I'm greedy so I'm adding a sixth.

6. Something fun for players of dead characters (or incapacitated ones) to do besides play on their phones. This one's a tall order.
1.- Less is more. Do things right the first time, even if it means not releasing 500 page bibles.
2.- Do not lie. I think this is pretty clear.
3.- Electronic integration. The ipad/iphone/tablet/pbp forums/etc are there already. Use them!
4.- No more combat healing. Surges are a great idea as long as it's the only healing you can do while fighting. Time is a scarce commodity, and we really can't afford 2 hour long fights every time.
5.- More options on what to fight instead on how to fight it. This means less PC classes/feats/powers and more monsters. It's easier on everyone and a smart move balance wise. Now if you need to add more PC options ... please, PLEASE, throughly test them and get them FDA CharOP approved first.

Viva Chile mierrrr...!!!

1. Remove alignment as a mechanical component from the game entirely.  If it stays, let it have no more impact on what you can do (the classes available to you, the options within those classes available to you, the feats, the domains, spheres, divinity feats, or whatever else the new edition uses for classes that previously paid attention to alignment) than whether you decide if your character is decisive or wishy-washy, humble or proud, blonde or brunette.  4E did a good job gutting alignment out of the game's crunch, but it didn't get rid of it all.  Now is the time to put the final nail in that coffin, please.

2. An extension of (1), but I'd like to see the language of the new edition emphasize (to an exhausting degree, if necessary) that anything is optional and everything is allowed.  4E did a good job of this as well, but I want to make sure it stays.  We come into this hobby and give up time to play a game, participate in a shared story, and have fun.  The biggest impediment to this, I think, is when the game contains language that lends itself to the DM or other players thinking "I can tell this guy, who came into expecting to be able to just play the character he wanted to play, not interfering with what I want to do and expecting the same courtesy in return, that he can't do this or select that or play that race/class because this page tells me so".  Yes, I realize that this is a tall order, as players and DMs are going to come into this game with attitudes cultivated from previous editions, but let's minimize it if we can. 

For right now, that means that the statement that some classes will be simple, others complex, in order to provide DMs with a good measuring stick for what to allow/disallow for certain types of games is a big step backwards for me.

3. A fleshed out default game world.  I enjoy Eberron, and while I think FR is way too bloated for me to get a handle on the setting's history, I do acknowledge that the material is there for a player to peruse if he wants to be able to immerse himself.  Points of Light, on the other hand, has only begun to be described.  It was just bits of history tucked away in the MMs, DP, PriP and so on, and now, the first time we see a map of the actual world, it's for a board game only peripherally related to the tabletop RPG.  Otherwise, we see articles in DDI, but for a lot of us, we want the setting, like the other parts of the game, to be available in a compiled book format.  We got the Eberron Campaign Setting, the Dark Sun Campaign Setting, and two setting books for Forgotten Realms, but there never was a Points of Light Campaign Setting.

Of course, a default game world is only that, the place you start from.  In deference to my #2, it should not carry oppressive language that makes a group's deviation from this starting point be a chore.
4. The math of the game should work from the getgo.  No Expertise or NAD feat patches.

5. A minor sticking point, but I never looked at the Dungeon Master's Toolkit, the Monster Vault, the Book of Vile Darkness or other such books, because I couldn't browse them in the store before I bought them.  Covering books with wrap like that, such that they are presented with multiple pieces (as in "yes, I want the Monster Vault; no I don't want a whole bunch of circular tiles to stand in for creatures; what do you mean it's both or neither?"), means less people buy them. 
I've finally figured out how to put in a sig. Yes, I'm including this here for no other reason than to express how happy I am that I could finally do this. For goodness' sake, change these forums back (or just change, I don't care).
My Top 5 list:

  1. Adventure Paths: I must see 1 adventure path a year at the very least. Without this, I doubt WotC will see me return as a DM (unless I put a whole heap of effort into adapting old modules).

  2. No +X Magic Items: Mathematically requiring people to have +X magic items makes low-magic campaigns impossible. I would like to see this done away with entirely and instead see flavourful magic items.

  3. PDFs: Can we please see the return of PDFs. Paizo's doing it and making a bundle off me.

  4. Healing Surges: Not needing a healer in the party is wonderful. It takes away one more class dependency and allows you to better emulate low magic campaigns. There's nothing worse then having a low magic campaign, only to need a cleric in the party. 4th ed helped negate this somewhat with Warlords, but I'd like to see them go one step further and just not require a healer at all.

  5. Balanced Complexity: I want to see everyone decide for themselves how complex to make their characters. I don't want people to have to play a Wizard to have a complex and highly interesting build or have to play a Fighter to get a simple build.

1) The rules should be so simple that I can play without using a computer

2) The spell lists should be limited to avoid unnecesary book keeping

3) I want optional rules for playing without a grid

4) A combat should only take a few rounds, but each player should feel that he has to make meaningful choices.

5) Character generation should be generic (but I would like optional rules for fast randomized feat selection)

DISCLAIMER: I never played 4ed, so I may misunderstand some of the rules.
Now that I think of it...

6. Here is something I really enjoyed in Star Wars Saga Edition.  You could function perfectly well at 20th level using the same equipment a 1st level character would use.  If you pick up a blaster at 1st level, you get some manner of use out of it.  And if you still use that same blaster at 20th level, even if you hadn't modified it since.  Putting an improved power pack might make it better, but would never be necessary.

Also, you didn't need armor.  As someone who likes to make a lot of his characters be regular folk in appearance (not wearing armor or with armor that looks exactly like regular clothing), I approve of that.

If 5E is supposed to be an edition to cater to multiple styles, then I'd like the game to make armor (and magic weapons for that matter) to be nice, but not required.  Players should not have to look for the Monk class just to play a viable nonarmored character.
I've finally figured out how to put in a sig. Yes, I'm including this here for no other reason than to express how happy I am that I could finally do this. For goodness' sake, change these forums back (or just change, I don't care).
1. Make Greyhawk defult- It was a setting everyone could understand, just make it the default game setting.

2. Return of the lost settings- I'd really like to see a source book or books that will let you convert your basic game and basic setting into Al-Qadim, or Spelljammer, or Ravenloft, or what have you; just one book with a map for each setting some basic setting info and 2 or 3 classes(just modified basic classes) unique to those settings. Include races as needed.

3. Expanded Skills and Spells- 3.X had a few too many, and 4th had so few I felt hamstrung in a lot of situations.

4. Monster stat blocks- The major thing I liked in 4th was the Static Monster stat blocks, it made my DMing so much easier, but I would also like some rules for generating my own monsters; sometimes you need a 700 year old half-dragon sorceror/monk.

5.UNBALANCED- I want the game to be unbalanced, it feels more real to me. I liked the 3.X feeling of Fighters, Rogues, Paladins, Rangers, , and Barbarians start strong while everyone else starts weak, at around level 7-10 everyone balances out, while the Wizards, Bards, sorceror, cleric, and druid finish strong and the others while not as spectacular or flexible are still capable of being cool at the top levels.
1. kobold PCs
2vampire theme
3. a sorcerer that feels diffrent than a wizard
4.tiefling theme
5.optional guns like in the 3.5 DM manual, only ones that don't suck.
In my dreams the Fifth Edition is just the Fourth Edition updated. But I think Frothsof had a good point: let the Fifth copy the previous editions, and then the Fourth Edition will remian unique and powerful in its appeal to people like myself.

So please include in 5e:

1. Vancian spell lists
2. Fighters who need to pay a feat tax to be cool
3. Warlords who cannot heal
4. Clerics who use standard actions to heal
5. Mechanical alignment restrictions
6. The Great Wheel
7. Greyhawk and Mystara
8. AD&D multi-classes and second classes
9. Variable experience point charts
10. Either no skills or a thousand skills

Please exclude from 5e and keep exclusive to my baby:

1. AEDU classes
2. Psionic monks and Full Disciplines
3. Feywild, Shadowfell, Elemental Chaos and Astral Sea 
4. Healing surges and second wind
5. Avengers, Invokers, Wardens, Seekers, Runepriests and Fightbrains
6. Standard, Move, Minor and Free Actions
7. Daily Magic Items
8. Treasure Parcels
9. The cleanest and most compleat blocks of statistics for monsters and powers
10. Powers 

That should keep the Fourth Edition very prosperous in its grognard phase, as prosperous as the Old School has been in the past years. 
Member of Grognards for 4th Edition
1. Every class can pick any skill
2. Every class can perform any role
3. Gestalt options, proper balanced
4. Every player can choose his/her character attribute bonuses in every race (like humans)
5. Feats and alignment are flavor-only
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1 - lots of fluf and story based gaming and rules  ( yes a week healing )
2 -  keep the strategy, but not make the game slower.
3 -  low magic, but powerfull one.
4 -  monsters and heroes with the same characteristics
5 - have the D&D 5 this year
1. Balance: All classes should be on an equal power level, even though their roles might be different.

2. Leader/Healing Surge mechanic: This was one of the best things 4E did in making more than the Cleric as a healer and giving the role more to do than play a healbot. 

3. Keep the roles transparent and gives characters abilities and flavor to fit their role. In fact, keep as much of the game transparent as possible.

4. Various, great settings. 2E was wonderful for flavor and feel. There was a setting for everyone.      

5. E-tools and monsters that are not built the same as PCs: Keep DMing efficient and the crunchy stuff easy.    
1. A combat system that easily allows for more open-ended minds eye, gridless combat, but additional rules for DMs that want to run lengthier battle map combats.

2. All classes should be relatively equal in overall combat effective at all levels. No class should feel either really gimped or really overpowered at any level of play, and all players should feel like their characters are able to make relatively equal contributions to the party as a whole.

3. Unique abilities for all monsters similar to 4e. There should be real mechanical differences between goblins and orcs and kobolds other than simply hit points and damage dice.

4. Something akin to the 4e Compendium and Character Builder, and for battle map lovers they should actually finally finish making a virtual tabletop client that can seemlessly integrate information from those things into maps.

5. Simple, coherent rules organization and monster organization. 4e was much better organized than prior editions and much easier on DMs crafting encounters, I'd like to see 5e continue that trend.
1- Balance, every race/class combination choice is equal different but equal.

2- Encounter based design, no daily powers, abilities, resources ....nothing that comes back or recovers longer than a few minutes.

3- Feats or Talents at every level, I want to make a choice every level that makes my character different from some other character of the same race and class combination.

4- Simple weapon and armor mechanics with no nod to simulationist thought, ie a all weapons a single die type from d4 to d12 and no weapon is the go to choice, all armor is relevant the 4e model not the 3.5, robes as armor.

5- Little to no DM fiat is needed.  DM fiat is playing a guessing game. 

Remember this is a public forum where people express their opinions assume there is a “In my humble opinion” in front of every post especially mine.  


Things you should check out because they are cool, like bow-ties and fezzes.  Roll20 great free virtual table top so you can play with old friends who are far away.  Donjon has random treasure, maps, pick pocket results, etc.. for every edition of D&D.

I really hope that 5E  is not encounter based that's too 4E. The only armor that matters is 4E is scale mail it is OP. DM fiat is needed;4E's balance is not. If I wanted to play 4E I would. 4Eisms need to stay in 4E and do not need to be anywhere near 5E.
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