What would YOU want the "Core" Rules of 5th/Next to be?

It's a simple question, really. There's already a thread about what modules people want, but what I want to know is what you, yes you reading this right now, think the Core mechanics of 5th Editiong should look like and play like.

I see an expansion to the presented "d20 + stats modifier" formula of the game. I think the game should have a scaling bonus of 1/2 your character level to attack rolls, saving checks, skill checks, and save DCs. I think it needs to do this to represent the power of tougher monsters and more skilled characters. As the rules are not, characters never really get more skilled over time.

I see a Vanician spell system, with fighters and rogues having Feats. I see the spells as class features, not an inherent benefit from being a spellcaster. I see Fighters and Rogues being able to swap out feats for spells, and clerics and wizards swapping spells for feats.

I see players being able to decide whether they want more consitency over the day, or more "burst" strength.

I see specific tables for skill check examples like breaking down a wooden door, jump distances, and other tables that present baseline information to the player. Otherwise the game will run only on Fiat, and without reference to how difficult challenges should be, there is no balance.

I see a game that lets all systems function differently but equally.

I see a game where the Fighter has different but equal options compared to the Wizard, not just basic attacks or extra attacks.

What do you see? 
Essentially a "rules lite" game.  The Fighter would be acceptable, in that light.  Classes are "Ability to attack; bonus to something".  Most actions are relegated to the "improvised action / make an X Check" system.

And that's about it.

All of it.

Rules lite.

Which mostly would mean stripping Vancian casting off of the "core game", and putting it where it belongs - as a module, for players who want "extra complexity", or "more codified options", or just pure nostalgia.
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
Essentially a "rules lite" game.  The Fighter would be acceptable, in that light.  Classes are "Ability to attack; bonus to something".  Most actions are relegated to the "improvised action / make an X Check" system.

And that's about it.

All of it.

Rules lite.

Which mostly would mean stripping Vancian casting off of the "core game", and putting it where it belongs - as a module, for players who want "extra complexity", or "more codified options", or just pure nostalgia.



So you'd prefer if Wizards were relegated to blasting magic missiles? Or would you prefer a caster say "I want to do X" and the Dm says "Roll Y and we'll see if it works"? Because the second option places a lot more power in the hands of the DM, and requires a lot more experience to pull off.
Whichever, I don't really care.  I want the "core" of the system to be extremely basic - aka, a Rules-Lite RPG system.

I don't really care for the current "extremely basic... And Friends! (Spellcasters)" approach.
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)

I would like it to be rules lite to.  pretty much basic D&D. 

Lots of people would be interested in it, specially new players. All the other stuff are modules on top of it. 

So, how do you think spells should be handled? If you make rules for them, there have to be a LOT of spells. If you make spellcasting just a simple Stat check like combat, then it's all for the DM to decide.

Personally, I don't mind Vancian magic to start with. You can use spell points for an easier time, and rating spells by level grants them at reasonable intervals. Though I would limit spell levels to up to 6th level, and make anything of higher that 6th level be Epic magic held only my Demigods, powerful outsiders, and true Gods.

Making Finger of Death a feat for a creature like Asmodeus is more appropriate than placing it in the hands of a mortal. 
A brutually simple system plainly not meant to be played on its own though you could if you truly wanted. It would look more like low fanasty without spellcasting at all. 

It would consists of very simple rules for melee combat and ranged physical combat. Have a d20 core mechanics for his and misses as well as physical stats and charisma.

Characters would have no class, abilities, feats, skills or spells, and just basic attacks.

Everything else would be handled by modules.

Only things that truly applied to every potential module would belong.
|'d also like it to be more or less rules lite, but I would prefer detailed skill lists and tables, along with detailed equipment and spell lists to be part of it. The old red box (not the horrendous remake) with skills for everyone and an expanded equipment list would be a good exmaple. I'd definitely want AoOs,  Charging, and mounted combat rules to be part of core.
Color me flattered.

LIFE CYCLE OF A RULES THREAD

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Thank_Dog wrote:

2Chlorobutanal wrote:
I think that if you have to argue to convince others about the clarity of something, it's probably not as objectively clear as you think.

No, what it means is that some people just like to be obtuse.

A brutually simple system plainly not meant to be played on its own though you could if you truly wanted. It would look more like low fanasty without spellcasting at all. 

It would consists of very simple rules for melee combat and ranged physical combat. Have a d20 core mechanics for his and misses as well as physical stats and charisma.

Characters would have no class, abilities, feats, skills or spells, and just basic attacks.

Everything else would be handled by modules.

Only things that truly applied to every potential module would belong.



So how would you balance future modules that added spellcasting? Seeing as how there are no feats, skills, classes, or abilities? Because I thought the premise of modules was that they would keep all classes roughly balanced, regardless of which ones the DM or players chose to run with. So a fighter could have no modules at all, and a wizard could have a module that gave her casting like in 4E, and they'd both be good and balanced characters. 
Something new and different. trying to be a retro dnd is setting itself up to fail from a marketing decision. 
A brutually simple system plainly not meant to be played on its own though you could if you truly wanted. It would look more like low fanasty without spellcasting at all. 

It would consists of very simple rules for melee combat and ranged physical combat. Have a d20 core mechanics for his and misses as well as physical stats and charisma.

Characters would have no class, abilities, feats, skills or spells, and just basic attacks.

Everything else would be handled by modules.

Only things that truly applied to every potential module would belong.



So how would you balance future modules that added spellcasting? Seeing as how there are no feats, skills, classes, or abilities? Because I thought the premise of modules was that they would keep all classes roughly balanced, regardless of which ones the DM or players chose to run with. So a fighter could have no modules at all, and a wizard could have a module that gave her casting like in 4E, and they'd both be good and balanced characters. 




I would balence things against totaly party output. Some people like don't like balence, so to make them happy there would be unbalence modules for classes and there would be great disaprity towards the revlative roles. Some which feature the quadratic vancian wizard, other which feature a more 4e style linear wizard. The same would be true for all other classes. You would have the power fighter and the non-power fighter with extra feats. That said you would certainly want to add feat and skill packs for all the classes, but you would pick and choose the ones you and your group like. Want a flat skill system and never having to worry about leveling it? Fine. Want to distribute points every level? Fine. Maybe you just don't want them at all, just skip skill portions of the adventures.

But how do you keep things balanced if you take out all the feats! That is a good question. I would employ something like a default module like the inherent bonuses from 4e. It would give bonus you are missing out on it pure numbers so you don't have to add the complexity of feats, but you could still kill the same things people with those feats could. ( I suppose I would put this in core as a default and say any feat package replaces it. I wouldn't want to play with feat to flush out my characters but some people don't want to worry about it.)

My idea of an ultra bare-bones system is a way of giving everyone everything. It would literally be anything you make it, some assembly required.

Some modules would absolutely not be compatable with others. For example if you want a balenced game you aren't going to want the quadratic wizard. You almost certianly don't want him next to the 4e wizard. You would really want either the balenced party or the old imbalenced party. You would make thing like monsters to handle either or and make the two parties output and control similiar while making the individuals in the party function differently. People would still have niches and parts of the game they didn't like. There would be people they wouldn't want to play with, but if a group doesn't like a part of the game, they can just take it out.

Pandering to the modular natures adventure would give the difficulty of a check in a scale. Something along the line easy -> simple -> normal -> difficult -> hard. Skill systems would translate this into a meaningful number for the DM. This would make them flat out easier to convert into future editions as well.

It is rule one (well pathfinder rule one anyway) taken to the extreme. If a rule isn't adding to the fun, don't use it. The system should encourage that I think.

Also it allows for insane adaptability. A total conversion to a modern system isn't as radical when all the rules are modular anyway (though lets face it, the d20M conversion while different didn't have to change the ideas behind the core much. )

The major drawback (and I would really consider this a major drawback) to this whole idea is that most likey every table would be a different amalgamation of rules and modules, some of which by nature are complex on purpose while others are simple enough your whole set of rules would fit nicely on a crib sheet. The question of if you are playing the same game still would come up, but frankly to me it would be worth it. You would need to find like minded player, but with edition wars already raging you kind of have to do that already.
A brutually simple system plainly not meant to be played on its own though you could if you truly wanted. It would look more like low fanasty without spellcasting at all. 

It would consists of very simple rules for melee combat and ranged physical combat. Have a d20 core mechanics for his and misses as well as physical stats and charisma.

Characters would have no class, abilities, feats, skills or spells, and just basic attacks.

Everything else would be handled by modules.

Only things that truly applied to every potential module would belong.



So how would you balance future modules that added spellcasting? Seeing as how there are no feats, skills, classes, or abilities? Because I thought the premise of modules was that they would keep all classes roughly balanced, regardless of which ones the DM or players chose to run with. So a fighter could have no modules at all, and a wizard could have a module that gave her casting like in 4E, and they'd both be good and balanced characters. 




I would balence things against totaly party output. Some people like don't like balence, so to make them happy there would be unbalence modules for classes and there would be great disaprity towards the revlative roles. Some which feature the quadratic vancian wizard, other which feature a more 4e style linear wizard. The same would be true for all other classes. You would have the power fighter and the non-power fighter with extra feats. That said you would certainly want to add feat and skill packs for all the classes, but you would pick and choose the ones you and your group like. Want a flat skill system and never having to worry about leveling it? Fine. Want to distribute points every level? Fine. Maybe you just don't want them at all, just skip skill portions of the adventures.

But how do you keep things balanced if you take out all the feats! That is a good question. I would employ something like a default module like the inherent bonuses from 4e. It would give bonus you are missing out on it pure numbers so you don't have to add the complexity of feats, but you could still kill the same things people with those feats could. ( I suppose I would put this in core as a default and say any feat package replaces it. I wouldn't want to play with feat to flush out my characters but some people don't want to worry about it.)

My idea of an ultra bare-bones system is a way of giving everyone everything. It would literally be anything you make it, some assembly required.

Some modules would absolutely not be compatable with others. For example if you want a balenced game you aren't going to want the quadratic wizard. You almost certianly don't want him next to the 4e wizard. You would really want either the balenced party or the old imbalenced party. You would make thing like monsters to handle either or and make the two parties output and control similiar while making the individuals in the party function differently. People would still have niches and parts of the game they didn't like. There would be people they wouldn't want to play with, but if a group doesn't like a part of the game, they can just take it out.

Pandering to the modular natures adventure would give the difficulty of a check in a scale. Something along the line easy -> simple -> normal -> difficult -> hard. Skill systems would translate this into a meaningful number for the DM. This would make them flat out easier to convert into future editions as well.

It is rule one (well pathfinder rule one anyway) taken to the extreme. If a rule isn't adding to the fun, don't use it. The system should encourage that I think.

Also it allows for insane adaptability. A total conversion to a modern system isn't as radical when all the rules are modular anyway (though lets face it, the d20M conversion while different didn't have to change the ideas behind the core much. )

The major drawback (and I would really consider this a major drawback) to this whole idea is that most likey every table would be a different amalgamation of rules and modules, some of which by nature are complex on purpose while others are simple enough your whole set of rules would fit nicely on a crib sheet. The question of if you are playing the same game still would come up, but frankly to me it would be worth it. You would need to find like minded player, but with edition wars already raging you kind of have to do that already.

I can't think of anyone who doesn't like balance. I know people who insist on playing classes that have the highest damage output, or defense, or the largest number of useful skills, but players who want to have advantages from their class without drawbacks are just powergaming. Hopefully 5E can fix some of that by capping power and disallowing standard multiclassing inlieu of burning feats for lower level, but other class-specific, abilities.

I figure you could give the standard 5E fighter an extra action 1/day per class level, and add his level to damage and that would be pretty decent all things considered. That's SUPER bland, but still works. Give him a feat every other level and call it a day.

I propose removing the Quadratic Wizards problem. How? By restricting casters to 6th level maximum spells (and 6th level maximum manuevers for martial characters). No broken teleports, no wish, no Finger of Death. 7th level and up is Epic or Divine magic, held only by gods, demigods, and powerful outsiders, and not for mortals to dabble in.

Give no spells per day at 1st level, 1st level spells at level 2, and an extra max spell level at levels 5, 8, 11, 14, and 17. At level 20, give them 1/day Limited Wish, which would replicate any number of spells up to 6th level simultaneously (cantrips counting as 1/2 a spell). HellOOOO Magic Missile Storm.

Rating Modules is a good idea. Very Easy ->  Easy -> Medium -> Hard -> Very Hard would be a good progression.

For example, the Fighter. Nothing but feats, extra attacks, and extra damage is Very Easy. The Reaper ability and feat chain from the playtest is Easy. Barbarians and Paladins, so fighters with class feature progressions and limited use abilities would be Medium. 4th Edition At-Will fighters with Encounter and Daily powers would be Hard. Tome of Battle manuever users would be Very Hard.

This sounds excellent. Good on you Silverque, I think we're headed in the right direction.
- AD&D was simple and had a universal success but to many tables, chaotic rules and not so balance. However I got a freedom feeling playing AD&D, with easy improvisation, and good flow of the game. Characters are not super-heroes but futur heroes.
- D&D 3 was a nice evolution, more balance, with more homogeneous rules, lots of options for characters... but too many... that make the game heavy and indigestible. Combat are tactical but I had the impression of greater use of rules than in AD&D and spend much time the nose in the books rather than to improvise and keep smooth game. Characters begin as heroes and become super-heros.
- DD4 is a total break in the game evolution. Basic mecanic are simple and homogeous and that's a good thing. All character began as super-heros, all with power and I think we have totally lost the soul of D&D. The game is very clear, and easy to understand. Combat are totally tactical and are almost a game within the game. 

So, what I expect now ? A game who keep the philosophy of AD&D, with rules easy to understand, without too many options. I want to play without having to prepare my module for hours because of complex monsters or NPC with lots of feats and power.
I would like fast, easy and intuitive rules. Basic Roleplaying System use % that are very intuitive. DD4 books are very clear and easy to understand.
Maybe only 4 basic classes fighter, wizard, cleric, rogue, with sub-classes or different ways for each class (barbarian, ranger, paladin sub classes of fighter, druid sub-class of cleric, ) etc...
Combat is not only : roll for attack, I hit, roll damage. Ok now creatures, roll, miss, your turn, etc... I think, with simple actions like attack, parry, dodge, maybe we can make an exciting combat rules, allowing players to better visualize their actions in combat without having to invent extraordinary powers.
I dont want to play superheroes, but a man who become a heroes. I prefer low-medium fantasy instead of super high fantasy. If my character is heavily injure, I don't want he would be ok after one night, that's ridiculous. I play RPG around a table with friend, I'm not playing video game.

Simple rules (fast and easy to play), favor imagination (for better memories), common sense (and not rules and explanation for each things)... Everything else is extra.
 
I agree with greatfrito and silverque - I was hoping for a simple "core mechanic" kind of system, that would include just rules for conflict resolution, basic combat, and then a basic outline of how to support improvised magic.  Then actual complex classes and their spell lists would be modules.

Instead, it seems like what I feared.  The "core" is just 1st edition material, and the "modules" will be 3.5e and 4e material.  The divide between core and module doesn't have much of anything to do with simplicity vs complexity; it has to do with old edition vs new edition.
Well. What I would have LIKED to have seen was a simple core framework, similar to what the OP mentions. 

Of course, it was also assuming skills were actually in game, but here it goes nonetheless:

As a 1st level beginning character, you get the following:

Starting Hit Points
Starting Skill Points
Starting Spell Points
1 Core Class Feature
2 Class Features
1 Race
1 Background
1 Theme

Every level, a character gets all of the following:

X Hit Points
X Skill Points
X Spell Points
1 Feat
1 Class feature 

That's it.

Class features can be used to buy various abilities, including access to spells. Higher level spells have minimum requirements of your level in that CLASS (or caster type, optionally; i.e. a requirement of being a 3rd level arcane class), not your total level. All spells run off spell points, with you spending a number of points as listed on the spell itself, which will vary from spell to spell and not necessarily based on level.

When you choose a class feature, you can instead replace that with a race feature, background feature, or theme feature you have access to. 

This also goes hand in hand with multiclassing in a big way, in my opinion. The first time you multiclass into a new class, you must buy the Core Class Feature for that class (which is all the essential rules that make the class actually function, like spellbook, access to spells, core access to weapons and armors and implements, etc).

Feats are a wide variety of abilities, as always, including improving your ability scores. So, pick and choose wisely.

I like the non-scaling attack, defense, etc bonuses. I like monsters being fixed enties, not having to be scaled, and remaining threatening from level 1-20, albeit in increasing numbers.

Add in all the basic maneuvers, movement options, improv abilities, conditions, enviroments, terrain types, skills, etc. I prefer having both the AC/Fort/Refl/Will defenses from 4E, and a more malleable saving throw system tied to each of the 6 different stats that works more like pre-4E, with a failure resulting in a flat out larger effect most of the time, and saves every round, from round to round being rarer, not the norm.

That's pretty much it for the core of the game. 

With that, you have a very flexible, modular, open-ended system. You get to choose what YOU want to purchase with your valuable skill points, one feat, and one class feature every level, and can do so amongst different classes at will. The more powerful class features, including spells, require higher levels in that class (or magical power source, like arcane, divine, or psionic) to be allowed to purchase them, and that's it as far as general restrictions.

THAT is what I wanted and would still love to see in D&DNext 
I agree with greatfrito and silverque - I was hoping for a simple "core mechanic" kind of system, that would include just rules for conflict resolution, basic combat, and then a basic outline of how to support improvised magic.  Then actual complex classes and their spell lists would be modules.

Instead, it seems like what I feared.  The "core" is just 1st edition material, and the "modules" will be 3.5e and 4e material.  The divide between core and module doesn't have much of anything to do with simplicity vs complexity; it has to do with old edition vs new edition.

So if the very basic core rules emulated 2nd edition gameplay and philosophy, and more complex modules replicated 3.5 and 4th edition gameplay and philosophy, and they were all reasonably balanced with one another, AND all the classes were reasonably balanced with one another, it would be a good system?

I'm thinking the Very Easy magic system would have something like a "mana bolt" at will, and a number of times per day (maybe casting modifier + class level) you can try and "cast". Essentially force an enemy (or enemies) to make a save, and the Dm would have a list of things that casters could reasonably expect to do at their level (low level can make things fall asleep, higher level characters can sent frightening illusions etc). If you're not experienced enough to get that effect, the save DC takes a penalty. If you're more experienced that the effect requires, the save DC gets a bonus. Penalties (cap around -6) would be larger than bonuses (which would cap at around +2).

Sounds reasonable? 
Well. What I would have LIKED to have seen was a simple core framework, similar to what the OP mentions. 

Of course, it was also assuming skills were actually in game, but here it goes nonetheless:

As a 1st level beginning character, you get the following:

Starting Hit Points
Starting Skill Points
Starting Spell Points
1 Core Class Feature
2 Class Features
1 Race
1 Background
1 Theme

Every level, a character gets all of the following:

X Hit Points
X Skill Points
X Spell Points
1 Feat
1 Class feature 

That's it.

Class features can be used to buy various abilities, including access to spells. Higher level spells have minimum requirements of your level in that CLASS (or caster type, optionally; i.e. a requirement of being a 3rd level arcane class), not your total level. All spells run off spell points, with you spending a number of points as listed on the spell itself, which will vary from spell to spell and not necessarily based on level.

When you choose a class feature, you can instead replace that with a race feature, background feature, or theme feature you have access to. 

This also goes hand in hand with multiclassing in a big way, in my opinion. The first time you multiclass into a new class, you must buy the Core Class Feature for that class (which is all the essential rules that make the class actually function, like spellbook, access to spells, core access to weapons and armors and implements, etc).

Feats are a wide variety of abilities, as always, including improving your ability scores. So, pick and choose wisely.

I like the non-scaling attack, defense, etc bonuses. I like monsters being fixed enties, not having to be scaled, and remaining threatening from level 1-20, albeit in increasing numbers.

Add in all the basic maneuvers, movement options, improv abilities, conditions, enviroments, terrain types, skills, etc. I prefer having both the AC/Fort/Refl/Will defenses from 4E, and a more malleable saving throw system tied to each of the 6 different stats that works more like pre-4E, with a failure resulting in a flat out larger effect most of the time, and saves every round, from round to round being rarer, not the norm.

That's pretty much it for the core of the game. 

With that, you have a very flexible, modular, open-ended system. You get to choose what YOU want to purchase with your valuable skill points, one feat, and one class feature every level, and can do so amongst different classes at will. The more powerful class features, including spells, require higher levels in that class (or magical power source, like arcane, divine, or psionic) to be allowed to purchase them, and that's it as far as general restrictions.

THAT is what I wanted and would still love to see in D&DNext 

I think Spell Points should be a Hard complexity rating, personally. Just below Vancian really. It's too complex for the Basic chassis.

I LOVE the idea of gaining abilities from other classes. I figure, if spells/abilities are capped at 6th level, and a new spell level is gained every 3 levels, then expending your Feat in order to gain access to a Class Feature 2 levels lower seems reasonable. So my Rogue who hangs out with the Wizard can spend a feat to gain basic Cantrips, then an Invisibility spell 1/day. I like it.

I still prefer scaling, because of how the system works. Four CR 1 enemies versus a LV 1 party of four is a fair fight. A CR 6 party cannot win against a group of thirty CR 1 enemies, even if they give the same total experience points. The CR 1 horde will use bows and wipe the Wizard round 1, then the cleric or rogue, while the Fighter takes out maybe two per round. It's a massacre.

I miss Fort/Ref/Will too. I think that Dex/Con/Wis are generally more passive stats, while Str/Int/Cha are more active stats. Passive stats should add to defenses, health, that sort of thing, while Active stats should help with fighting and killing enemies. 


I'm thinking the Very Easy magic system would have something like a "mana bolt" at will, and a number of times per day (maybe casting modifier + class level) you can try and "cast". Essentially force an enemy (or enemies) to make a save, and the Dm would have a list of things that casters could reasonably expect to do at their level (low level can make things fall asleep, higher level characters can sent frightening illusions etc). If you're not experienced enough to get that effect, the save DC takes a penalty. If you're more experienced that the effect requires, the save DC gets a bonus. Penalties (cap around -6) would be larger than bonuses (which would cap at around +2).

Sounds reasonable? 



I'll repeat the suggestion I made in another thread : have the first level Wizard choose one "school of offensive magic" and one "school of utility" magic in a list. As an action, any number of time a day, the wizard can cast a "spell" of one of the school he knows.
Each school give guidelines and limitations on what a spell of this school can do.
Offensive schools tell you how much total damage you can do in a round, damage you divide among a number of target as you see fit, and maybe range limitation, and "effects". For instance, the Fire school could be the most damaging, but with a low range. The Frost school provides less damage, but applies a limitation to enemy movement. And so on.
"Utility school" would provide a "theme" for your spells, examples and guideline for the DM to rule what the player can imagine. A School could be "Communication" and allow limited telepathy, language abilities, etc. Another could be "illusion", or "telekinesis", or "protection", or "detection",etc. Provide guidelines on how much effect can be achieved, but let the "wizard" imagine and improvize the kind of spells he can cast with this school of magic.

Keep the damage low ( less than what a fighter is expected to do, for instance), and effects intensity and duration low, because they are "at-will". You can then give the Wizard the ability to "push" a spell and make it stronger a limited number of time  so he can have a "nuke" from time to time (higher damage, or lessen the save chances of the target, and so on.)

You have a simple wizard that can be "magical" all day long without being too powerful. The player can imagine spells on the fly , the DM advocates if the spell is valid or not, and asks for its resolution. Not too hard to explain to players, not very hard to use.
At higher levels, allow the possibility to have more schools, or make one school you already posses more powerful.

Far from perfect, but allow for a managable magic using character with no complicated rules - and with "character defining" simple choices.

Remember Tunnel Seventeen !
So if the very basic core rules emulated 2nd edition gameplay and philosophy, and more complex modules replicated 3.5 and 4th edition gameplay and philosophy, and they were all reasonably balanced with one another, AND all the classes were reasonably balanced with one another, it would be a good system?


Well, I was saying that was "what I feared", not that it would be good.  But, overall, I could probably live with that, but I don't think it would be good.  Having the core be 2nd edition and the option be 3.5 and 4e means that most of the support from books will be for 2e and most gaming groups will be based around 2e, and I vastly prefer 3.5 and 4e to 2e.


I'm thinking the Very Easy magic system would have something like a "mana bolt" at will, and a number of times per day (maybe casting modifier + class level) you can try and "cast". Essentially force an enemy (or enemies) to make a save, and the Dm would have a list of things that casters could reasonably expect to do at their level (low level can make things fall asleep, higher level characters can sent frightening illusions etc). If you're not experienced enough to get that effect, the save DC takes a penalty. If you're more experienced that the effect requires, the save DC gets a bonus. Penalties (cap around -6) would be larger than bonuses (which would cap at around +2).

Sounds reasonable? 


Sounds ok.  What I personally would prefer would be if they kept the current rules for making an attack with your token ability score (Fighter = Str, Rogue = Dex, Cleric = Wis, Wizard = Int) plus a bonus for your weapon/implement, and then had some sort of standard damage formula.  Then when making an attack, any class could do something like:

a) Deal damage - requires an attack roll
b) Deal less damage but add on a lesser Condition from the condition table - attack roll
c) Deal no damage but add a stronger Condition from the condition table - attack plus the target gets a save

And then maybe some rules for lessening damage and increasing difficulty if you want to expand the range or area of the attack.  There would be rules for improvising to describe what you're doing.  For example, a wizard could say he's conjuring a blizzard and use a damage plus Slowed condition across an area, but the rogue could do the same thing and say he's throwing Caltrops, or the fighter could do it by saying he's hacking down the support column and causing rubble to block the path.  They'd all use the same basic system of primary stat attack plus saves.
I know a large group of players who don't like the idea of balencing and feel it isn't representative enough to allow for roleplaying in a society where things are, basically in equal. They prefer the flawed and underpowered character in the terms of development and feel that the great challenge leads to greater triumph. Also for them the quadratic wizard isn't a problem it is a feature. It is an accurate representation of how the mental starts out rather unprofitable and ends up being just plain awesome. That said they aren't everyone, I don't pretend they are and they don't either. They do exist though. 

This again is why I would have the swappable modules some that balence the party but not particular characters. Also why I support the balence modules, perhaps with the gimped wizard you describe if you want to keep them more old school (if people are going to balance the wizard I do like that instead of just touting 4e they take an older school approach).

That is the great thing about a truly modular system. Everyone can get what they want. No group has to be out in the cold.

The difficulty label idea I meant to apply to DC checks exulsively but I like that you applied it to everything else. I think that would be a good way to maximize adventure compatability with different rule systems, but the way you describe it it would work very well to warn players about the various types of play and diffculty of the class they are picking. 

Sidenote! Example of what I intended: the adventure material would state something like 'There is a trap of hard difficulty" the player would then consult whatever skill system they are using to determine how to make a hard check and roll against the DC (since a flat system will obviously have a different number for the check than a scaling system). So the flat system person might show that the DC for hard is 15, since they only ever got a +2 bonus they picked at creation and only ever will have a +2 bonus, while the scaling system with a guy who has a trap skill of 23 has a DC closer to 35. Same probability, totally different system of leveling the skill.)

Kallban7, I like your suggestion, but I have a few concerns. First, sticking with a single element like Fire or Frost means that certain enemies will have a huge advantage agains the Wizard (like Fire Elementals). I'd make sure every Wizard also had Magic Missle, an unblockable backup weapon is always nice.

You'd have to make the Utility school a bit broader that Communication. I'd go with Divination, Enchantment, Illusion, Abjuration, and Transmutation. (Conjuration and Evocation are your blasty-powers, and Necromancy if you choose Necrotic damage). The kind of things in 3.5 would be good guidelines.

Makeshiftwings, having wizards trade pure damage for effects might be a great example of an Easy complexity system. Like Power attack for spells, one reduced variable for adding another.

I think the best thing for Wizards is making so that they can target one more enemy by sacrificing one die of damage. So they can hit two enemies for decent damage at moderate levels, at very high levels they can spread dice out individually among minions and take out waves of weak enemies. That might just level the playing field against deadly encounters against, say, "CR 8. It's 80 Kobolds".

Silverque, I really don't like any Quadratic system. Linearity is easier to balance with, and eveno ne quadratic class can overpower all the others. Imagine if the Wizard in 3.5 just blasted like the Warlock from Complete Arcane, and the Fighter got exponentially increasing damage dice after 3rd level (up to 30d6 damage at 20th level). Madness. Tongue Out

I actually implement the raising DC system in my own works. It works well because there's not magical skill enhancement items, only Traits that are gained at every even level (with one of them being Skill Focus). So the DC rises with level, as do party skills. Which makes high CR locks a real pain at low levels, but at mid levels the character can handle them pretty well, and low-level locks are fairly easy (barring Hazards).
I was honestly expecting a hybrid of original 4e and DDE.  Instead, it feels more like a hybrid of 1e/2e.  That's not bad per se, as each game of D&D has things I enjoy about them.  I've missed the feel of Vancian casting for instance, and I'm glad to see it making a comeback.

My affection for Vancian casting aside however, the playtest feels a bit too much like AD&D for my tastes.    Rolling for hit points (if it proves true) and the re-introduction of the electrum piece (a minor thing, I admit) are throwbacks simply for the sake of nostalgia in my opinion.  Trouble is, 4e has changed my expectations.  I've really enjoy the 're-imagined' feel of the game; for the first time in a very long time, D&D feels fresh and new to me.

= = =

So, nostalgia and legacy mechanics aren't as much of a draw for me, not anymore.  If I want those things, there options out there right now.  I'm also fortunate to still have a lot of stuff from earlier games.

I don't necessarily want a lot of re-imagining (as I often put it) like 4e but I am hoping there's less appeal to nostalgia and reliance on legacy mechanics and more focus on moving the game and story of D&D forward.  At the very least, I hope they don't toss out a lot of the lore from 4e in favor of earlier stories.  It seems the Great Wheel is making a comeback for instance.  What will this mean for the story elements inspired by the World Axis cosmology?

In any case, mechanics come and go, but I've always enjoyed following the lore of D&D from edition to edition, seeing how things change or stay the same.

= = =

Why I was hoping for 4e/DDE as a base:  I think DDE did a great job of tweaking the original 4e rules so that they appealed to different kinds of players.  For instance, my buddy doesn't like the AEDU power structure for martials; DDE and the 'button-masher' brawlers came along and he decided to give 4e another try.  I don't think he would have came back otherwise.  So, everyone is gaming together again (we've been together since 3e first came out).  BTW My buddy is as sharp as a tack; I don't mean to imply that just because he likes button-mashing that he's dull or dim (far from it; it's simply his style of play).

In my XP, DDE shows that AEDU martials and BA brawlers play well enough together.  I think the playtest sends the 'wayback' machine too far though.  AD&D-type fighters and 4e-type fighters use entirely different systems.  At least the fighters in 4e/DDE had the same underlying system.  I'm just a hobbyist though (not a designer), so we'll see.

Sorry, I'm normally not so long-winded but, this is D&D, so . . . ;).  
/\ Art
On quadratics. Again you really don't have to like it because it wouldn't be core. You wouldn't have to use it, but it would be there for those that want it. It would never ever be forced on you but would be an option for those that liked it.

Remeber in my twisted vision there isn't even spellcasting in core so that low fanasty settings don't have to go removing things. 

You'd have to make the Utility school a bit broader that Communication. I'd go with Divination, Enchantment, Illusion, Abjuration, and Transmutation. (Conjuration and Evocation are your blasty-powers, and Necromancy if you choose Necrotic damage). The kind of things in 3.5 would be good guidelines.


Point of detail but : D&D traditional "schools of magic" mean nothing at all for those who are not used to playing D&D wizards. I'd prefer intuitive categories, call theme sphere of influence, or spell themes, wathever. "Abjuration" means nothing to the common man - "protection" does. "enchantment" for most people means "building magic items", not charming people. Simple to understand terms and definitions. The complex wizard can use the more complex to understand theory of magic schools, let the simple wizard be as intuitive as possible : " hey, I want to move objetx with my mind ! What school is it?"
"Simple concepts for simple rules/classes", is probably the reason why attack of opportunity, for instance, are not used in the curret "simple" set of rules.


Remember Tunnel Seventeen !
On quadratics. Again you really don't have to like it because it wouldn't be core. You wouldn't have to use it, but it would be there for those that want it. It would never ever be forced on you but would be an option for those that liked it.

Remeber in my twisted vision there isn't even spellcasting in core so that low fanasty settings don't have to go removing things. 

You can't make a significantly more powerful spellcasting system non-core. Well, you can, but would have to give SERIOUS bennies to the Martial classes for it to work. The objective I think is to be able to play in a party with an Easy Wizard using the Attack School / Utility School system, a Medium Rogue using the Scout class features from 3.5, a Hard Cleric using 4th Edition rules, and a Very Hard Fighter using Tome of Battle manuevers... and they're all the same relative power level.

Crazy, huh? Crazy like a fox.

You don't want magic in your setting? Take out the Cleric and Wizard classes, make the game Rogue and Fighter only, don't allow any complexity above Medium, and don't allow any classes that allow casting like Paladin or Ranger. There. You now have your Game of Thrones-style game.

Want it grittier than normal? Halve all player hit points, give players a -2 to all checks, give enemies a +2 to all checks. Now your players are going to die. A lot. 

You'd have to make the Utility school a bit broader that Communication. I'd go with Divination, Enchantment, Illusion, Abjuration, and Transmutation. (Conjuration and Evocation are your blasty-powers, and Necromancy if you choose Necrotic damage). The kind of things in 3.5 would be good guidelines.


Point of detail but : D&D traditional "schools of magic" mean nothing at all for those who are not used to playing D&D wizards. I'd prefer intuitive categories, call theme sphere of influence, or spell themes, wathever. "Abjuration" means nothing to the common man - "protection" does. "enchantment" for most people means "building magic items", not charming people. Simple to understand terms and definitions. The complex wizard can use the more complex to understand theory of magic schools, let the simple wizard be as intuitive as possible : " hey, I want to move objetx with my mind ! What school is it?"
"Simple concepts for simple rules/classes", is probably the reason why attack of opportunity, for instance, are not used in the curret "simple" set of rules.



It's easy if you simply define the purview that each school presides over.

For example: Abjuration, the school of protection. Abjurers can create protective barrier of force, deflect some incoming blows, and counter the magic of other magicians. Abjuration is represented by a shield. Common spell effects: Mage Armor, Shield, Ward, Barrier, Counterspell, Dispel Magic, Antimagic Field.

Then,
Enchantment: the school of control
Divination: the school of truths
Illusion: the school of lies
Transmutation: the school of enhancement 

Does that help?
I really don't want to debate quadratic wizard. The arguement is old and stale. The idea of a core system here are exciting though!

Anyway ya. You don't have to remove cleric and wizard right off the bat, but I am kind of using ideas from objected orented coding in my design philosophy (not saying it is the best philosophy it is just one I am familiar with). Only give what is commonly need to any particular bit and add on top of that. 

You can always add, it is harder (actually pretty much impossible) to take away (in programming, in D&D it is simpler). It is a clean structure that I am familiar with. Starting with the lowest powere setting (low fanasty) and adding to that just makes sense to me. Hence the utterly borebone core.
I agree that I would like a simple core, and I mean very simple. So, it will explain how to get hit points. The fighter will be very simple, probably just like the fighter featured in the Play Test, just without Backgrounds and themes. Rogue will get iconic ideas like sneak attack, maybe skills. Only because a Rogue should still be sneaky, or be able to pick locks even in a basic game. Since we know that every build of spell casters will have cantrips/orisons, obtaining them should be the only thing in core. There should also be a default list of weapon and armor proficiencies a class can have.  I think weapons and armor and I tems should be in core. I doubt there will be any difference of potions of healing, or alchemist fire from table to table. There should be races, that are just plain races. so no mountain halfling, or tunnel elf, they are just elf, or dwarf, and they have default stat boosts and benefits. The 6 ability scores, what they do, what they affect, and how they are generated should be in core. However, I do see that there should be only one way to generate abilities scores. Probably an 3 or 4 different arrays. Also explanation of gold, and how many experience points are needed to level. Pretty much, it should be completely playable from the core, it will probably be very hard and boring, but it will be entirely playable without needing to add any module.
I'm not going to debate quadratic wizards either. I DO think that creating a system where playing anything other than a caster above level 6 is regarded as "underpowered" is inherently flawed. But I will not debate the issue.

I think it's better to create a Base with a reasonable numbe of hit points and to create a Hardcore Module that increased lethality than the alternative: having to create a "kiddy" Module that makes the game less lethal. Hence why many games have a Normal difficulty (maybe one easy difficulty for very new or unfamiliar gamers), and then scaling increases to the game's difficulty.

Making Normal mode super hard and forcing players to downgrade to Easy, Very Easy, and Kiddy Level (The original Normal) in order to not instantly die from many enemies just makes people angry.

I made a previous argument that it's better to cater to people who want Lord of the Rings-style adventures than it is to force everyone to play Game of Thrones-style. I'm sticking with that perspective until another more reasonable argument is presented. 
I would like to see the Fighter given actual explicit manuevers through his class features (gained at 1st level and every even level thereafter, supposedly)

Also, I am glad that spells seem to be capped at 7th level maximum (Check out the wizard and cleric character sheets to see what I mean). Personally I'd cap spells at 6th level, but 7th is okay too. 
I don't think the core rules have anything to do with classes at all.  Any class is a "module" that alters how the core rules work in some way, and can be substituted out for a different "module" by playing a different class.  The core rules are just:  this is how you resolve an attack, this is how you resolve a move, this is how you resolve a jump, this is how you level up:  stuff that every player, and the DM, is going to use.
I don't think the core rules have anything to do with classes at all.  Any class is a "module" that alters how the core rules work in some way, and can be substituted out for a different "module" by playing a different class.  The core rules are just:  this is how you resolve an attack, this is how you resolve a move, this is how you resolve a jump, this is how you level up:  stuff that every player, and the DM, is going to use.

So to you the bare bones system should be Attribute + d20 = result, with the DM adjudecating everything? No magic, classes, hit points, AC, equipment, anything?

If the DM just decides the results abritrarily, then why even roll a die? Why have attributes? Why not just take turns talking and describing what happens in the story?
I really don't want to debate quadratic wizard. The arguement is old and stale. The idea of a core system here are exciting though!



I know you said you didn't want to debate it, but this is sort of more of a side facet to the argument...  Are the people who like the quadratic wizard all playing wizards?  And do the people playing fighters really truly understand the mistake they made?  I think that people who play Wizards like the quadratic wizard because they figured out a "secret", that the Wizard will be just straight up better than all the other players after a few games.  I have my doubts that if you actually just talked to the entire group, including the people planning on playing fighters, and said straight up "So, in this game, if you choose to play a fighter, you'll be pretty good for the first few weeks but then the rest of the year you will suck.  If you choose to play a wizard, you'll be slightly worse for the first few weeks, but then the rest of the year you will be godlike and unstoppable.  Everyone think that's cool?"  that you might find that the fighter-players who you thought liked it when you said "quadratic" at them might turn out to not actually like it as much as you thought.

I think some fighter-players think it sounds ok when you do a lot of doublespeak and dance around it by saying things like "You will be scaling slightly differently, in a linear fashion, but will be able to continue performing at maximum capacity throughout a day while wizards have to rest more often and scale more slowly in the beginning".  But you will get quite a different reaction if you tell them, "Fighters suck total balls after the first few games.  The whole rest of the year, the entire group's schedule will be determined by when the wizard needs to sleep, and he'll be pretty much dominating the whole game from then on."

Let me phrase it a different way.

I will not debate quadratic mage. I know people who are not the wizard that like it. This is not the place for it. Please stay on topic.
Let me phrase it a different way.

I will not debate quadratic mage. I know people who are not the wizard that like it. This is not the place for it. Please stay on topic.

I won't debate.

So, in your vision of the Modules, there is a Module that allows quadratic mages? Why would you want that to be a potential module? I'm honestly curious.
Let me phrase it a different way.

I will not debate quadratic mage. I know people who are not the wizard that like it. This is not the place for it. Please stay on topic.

I won't debate.

So, in your vision of the Modules, there is a Module that allows quadratic mages? Why would you want that to be a potential module? I'm honestly curious.




Knight90 I wasn't trying to get a rise out of you. Makeshiftwings had that post and I was really trying to end that line of questioning.

I really really don't want to talk about it anymore but a full (and rather wordy) explantion can be found the the link below. Basically it is just a difference of opinion and style. Talking about it can basically only start a pointless arugement. So lets not if possible.

Blog post
Let me phrase it a different way.

I will not debate quadratic mage. I know people who are not the wizard that like it. This is not the place for it. Please stay on topic.

I won't debate.

So, in your vision of the Modules, there is a Module that allows quadratic mages? Why would you want that to be a potential module? I'm honestly curious.



I would want it available because there are people who want to play that way.
Jack Vance deserves your respect, it's Vancian, not "vancian." The goal for Next is to be inclusive; you can't include by exclusion.
So to you the bare bones system should be Attribute + d20 = result, with the DM adjudecating everything? No magic, classes, hit points, AC, equipment, anything?


No magic, no classes (but the concept of class defined), yes hit points, yes AC, no specific equipment (but rules for how weapons and armor work).  I'm not saying it has to be fun to play.  It's not supposed to be a full game.  It's just the foundation on which you the game you want.  The skeleton, the chassis, the OS.  Not every campaign needs to have fighters, or wizards, or longswords.  But every campaign is going to have ability checks and hit points.

The equivalent core rules for the 3e d20 system would be the stuff that's shared between D&D and d20 Modern:  again, not particular classes or equipment, but the same rules for classes and equipment, plus the rules for resolving attacks and actions, hit points, damage, et cetera.

See what I'm getting at?
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