Sylrae's Feedback, Wants, and Hopes for 5e D&D.

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I like D&D 2e, 3e, 3.5e, Pathfinder, and from what I've seen so far in the playtest, 5e.

However, at this point I'm not convinced I like 5e *More* than Pathfinder; and they are the same sort of game (unlike Mutants and Masterminds or Vampire the Masquerade or something).

I'm going to lay out a few gripes I've had with D&D in the editions I did like. The sorts of things that would make me say: "5e is way better than Pathfinder guys!"

1. Scaling HP: The way HP scale in D&D (and Final Fantasy, and WoW, and most videogames - but not most RPGs) makes no sense. I've heard the "it also represents endurance, and your ability to turn what would be a serious injury into a minor one". That's the explanation, but the mechanics really do not reflect that. The game mechanics reflect your character's skin becoming more and more dense as the game progresses, eventually being able to run into a hail of crossbow fire, riddled with bolts, and yet only sustaining minor injuries.
Every RPG I play right now, besides pathfinder, has a more believable system for hit points.
I imagine this problem with D&D is going to remain in 5e, unfortunately, but they could at least embrace it, and just say that more experienced characters have tougher hides.

2. "Armor Class" represents dodging and armor. Armor makes you harder to hit, instead of reducing the damage when you do get hit. If you get hit, you take the same amount of damage whether you were wearing armor or not.
I don't imagine this problem will change for 5e either. But Armor ad DR and AC as Dodge is something I would like.

3. Sometimes Combat turns into an exhausting slugfest instead of being fun and interesting. This is generally only a problem for non-magical characters. Combat Maneuvers are too punishing to pull off unless you build a character specifically to do a single maneuver, in which case you do that one, but likely none of the others. So you get alot of "I stand still and attack".

The wizards and sorcerers and other mage classes have many choices and often combat is quite different for them in each encounter. In 4e, the number of viable choices a melee character can make increased, but the total number of choices a melee character can make drastically decreased. The mages had both a reduction in viable choices and a reduction in total number of choices.

Overall, non-mages rarely have other methods of disabling enemies besides hp damage. They lack the ability to knock them unconscious or deal ability score damage (and they can't teleport them away or wall them up or 'save or die' them or the like). Poisons are often so prohibitively expensive that nobody uses them, and even if they weren't they're consumeables. Ideally, kindof like trying to deck your opponent in M:tG, or arrange "you win the match" scenarios, or stopping your opponent from having any lands so he can't fight back, or keeping all his creatures tapped, or redirects, or permission decks, or poison counters, or (the now removed) manaburn strategies - but with each character being able to attempt or counter several of these strategies effectively, without them having to be built to do just the one thing.

Terrain is rarely useful in combat. The environment rarely plays a part in combat. Once in a while someone takes cover to hinder ranged enemies, but that's about all.

You don't see much in the way of improvised barriers made by melee characters, or using the terrain for maneuvering (like swinging on chandaliers, or ropes for a ship or what have you, or much in the way of improvised weapons, or combat maneuvers, or chances for getting in a kick to the stomach or something.

I hope to see combat become more varied and interesting for all types of characters; with a much wider variety of strategies and options available at any given point for all classes. I'd like it to become less like watching a fencing match scoring points, and more like a jackie chan movie or pirates of the caribbean.

This is by far my biggest gripe with D&D (and many other RPGs), and is one which could definitely be addressed in 5e.

If the combat was more varied and interesting than 1e, (OSRIC), 2e, (For Gold and Glory), (Myth and Magic), (Adventurer, Conqueror, King), 3e, Mongoose' Conan d20, (Pathfinder), 4e, or (FantasyCraft) - not to mention the various other D&D-esque games I'm less familiar with, or games a bit further from the trope but still similar (Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, RuneQuest 6, Elric/Stormbringer, Song of Ice and Fire, Reign Enchiridion, Unisystem (Angel, Buffy, Ghosts of Albion, Witchcraft, Dungeons and Zombies), RoleMaster, HARP, Mouse Guard), I can see myself recommending it over the others.

There are a ton of fantasy RPGs available. There are many that are quite similar to various versions of D&D, with a few new twists. 5e really needs to have something special to bring to the table to set it apart from the others. Song of Ice and Fire has a combat-like system for manipulating people and court intrigue. RuneQuest 6 can do a good job with historical fiction, has rules for running empires, coordinating wars, naval warfare, and running guilds - and it's still mostly compatible with various subsystems and options and monsters going back to RuneQuest 1 in 1978, as well as the Call of Cthulhu games and the Elric Games. RoleMaster does Middle Earth Roleplaying, and has alot of complexities for the players who want heavy crunch. Conan is Sword and Sorcery, and is largely about the action. Unisystem offers a really unique magic system, and no scaling hitpoints, and a really fast game mechanic.

If something's "just as good" it's hard to convince people to switch to something else.

More interesting and varied combat is something that 5e could bring to the table that most of the others don't have (d20 conan and RQ6 would come close, but they're substantially different from D&D in other ways).
Armor as DR was present in several editions.
AD&D had rules for weapons vs. different armor types, which I'd like to return.
Codex Martialis does a good job of encouraging people to move in combat.

But I have to say I agree completely!
Armor as DR was present in several editions.

The problem is its an optional rule that isn't well integrated into the system, and I've yet to see it work well; Some d20 spinoff games may have had it working well (Conan perhaps, its been a while)
AD&D had rules for weapons vs. different armor types, which I'd like to return.

Interesting. I didn't know that.
Codex Martialis does a good job of encouraging people to move in combat.

I haven't heard of that 3pp book before now. I will have to look into it.

But the point is I want an RPG where these sorts of things are in the main rules. Not weird optionals or obscure third party books.

And putting some of these in the main rules (especially better combat) would give me a reason to use 5e instead of one of my other like 10 options, or customizing one of them to suit myself.

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