Some Rule Suggestions - Would Like Ideas

I moved this over from the DM forum. Perhaps I should break it up some?

All - here are some suggestions. Years of combined play experience with a couple of newbies. A couple of us are also Army veterans with hand-to-hand experience. The purpose of these suggestions are both to simplify rules and clarify definitions.

Ability Scores
Charisma as save vs Charm. As quoted from the rules Charisma represents "...the strength of your personality. A high Charisma suggests a strong sense of purpose...". By definition, it seems like Charisma is a perfect counter to Charm spells. It also makes Charisma more attractive as an Ability Score, and maybe even allows it back as a bonus for elves instead of total resistance to charm.


Perception - This is a biggie. Perception as its own Ability Score and would represent alertness. Checks would be for spotting a hidden creature, listen for noises. Wisdom is more of an attunement to empathy and would still be used for discerning mood, or sensing motive. This allows a player to create a vigilant, veteran soldier. Right now, with current rules, the cleric is the most alert on watch instead of the fighters.


Actions in Combat
Disarm, Grapple, Knock Down - You make a successful Str or Dex check (your choice) against a creature's Str or Dex (their choice). This allows creation of nimble fighters; more like Aikido or Judo versus brutes.


Grapple - If you succeed, the creature becomes Restrained. Since "Restrained" is already defined as a condition, it makes it easier to explain. It also makes unarmed fights more dynamic and fluid.


Moving a Grappled Creature - You can drag, carry or push the creature. A small clarification that made it clear that you could restrain a prisoner and lead them ahead of you.


Pinning a Creature - Thought about changing this to Knock Prone a Creature, since again Knock Prone is already a defined condition and gives more of a brawling or pancration feel.


Attack Rolls
What happened to "roll for crit" on a natural 20? Does this mean if you can only hit a creature on a 20, it will always be a crit? I'm still on the fence on this one. It does make for fun gaming when you see that "20" come up and everyone cheers.


Melee Attacks
Two-Weapon Fighting - If both weapons are light, only one of them gets the -2 penalty. The other gets no penalty. Just a clarification.


Damage Types
Corrosive instead of Acid - Broader definition that includes acids, bases, etc.
Crushing instead of Bludgeoning - Again, broader definition that makes constrictions and falling rocks easier to include.
Magical Force instead of just Force - Easier to show the difference in magical, kinetic attacks versus a fist-slam.
Thunder might be better as Concussive
Suffocation - An effect that cuts off the ability to breathe. Could allow for easier rules on drowning, head chokes, buried in sand, gas clouds, etc.
Exposure - Could allow for rules on starving, thirst, desert treks, etc.


Damage and Dying
OK, another big one. There's a great chance to fix the whole "bloodied" thing and give an epic feel to fighting as a hero/villain. Since hit points are already defined as an abstract - with luck, dodging, holy favor, bravado all as factors - here's what I'm suggesting:
1 HP or better - You are on your feet and fighting. Minor scratches, bruises or just a bit fatigued.
0 HP or lower - This is bloodied. You are hit hard and knocked prone! Now you are in trouble. But not unconcious! You can get up as the regular rules for standing up from prone. If you manage to get up you cannot attack or use Full Defense, but you still get your normal AC bonus. Your movement is 5 feet or 10 feet if someone assists you. Most creatures at 0 Hp or lower just die. Many villains may try to negotiate or give up at this point. This represents broken ribs, mortal wounds, etc. You can manage Long Rests and even sit on watch, but you remain restricted in movements and attacks until you are healed to 1 HP or better. You cannot carry more than your Encumbered weight.
Dying - You are unconcious and dying when your hit points drop to a negative number equal to your Con plus level. Now you must make the Death Saves to stabilize. You may make a Death Save once per round. Three failed Death Saves and you are dead (AKA the 3-count). Making a Death Save means you are Stabilized. But you are unconcious and will not recover until you are brought back to 1 HP.


Racial Weaponry
Currently, dwarves and elves raise their damage on a racial favored weapon by one die type. This one is hard to explain to a new player. Especially when you just spent 10 minutes showing the difference between an 8-sided die, a 10-sided die, and a 10-sided percentile die. It's also hard to remember why one person with an axe is doing 1d8 but the dwarf had 1d10 or whatever. I suggest two things: make it a flat +1 to hit/damage. Also, the weapon HAS to say "Dwarven" or "Elven" in the description. Then you don't have to limit it to just hammers and axes for dwarves and bows/swords for elves. It has to be a "Dwarven hammer" for a dwarf to get the +1. To anyone else, it's just a well made hammer. But then you could have "Dwarven dagger", "Dwarven sling", etc.


That's all for now. I know I'm stepping on some big things here, and some will say to just "House Rule" it. But these are things that I've found helpful and wanted to share as an opportunity to improve our game.



 


Ability Scores
Charisma as save vs Charm. As quoted from the rules Charisma represents "...the strength of your personality. A high Charisma suggests a strong sense of purpose...". By definition, it seems like Charisma is a perfect counter to Charm spells. It also makes Charisma more attractive as an Ability Score, and maybe even allows it back as a bonus for elves instead of total resistance to charm.




Makes sense to me. Since we're splitting saves into all 6 Abilities that's the kind of thing I suppose should fall into a Cha save. 

Perception
- This is a biggie. Perception as its own Ability Score and would represent alertness. Checks would be for spotting a hidden creature, listen for noises. Wisdom is more of an attunement to empathy and would still be used for discerning mood, or sensing motive. This allows a player to create a vigilant, veteran soldier. Right now, with current rules, the cleric is the most alert on watch instead of the fighters.


Nah. I'll have to pass on this one. 


Actions in Combat

Disarm, Grapple, Knock Down - You make a successful Str or Dex check (your choice) against a creature's Str or Dex (their choice). This allows creation of nimble fighters; more like Aikido or Judo versus brutes.


Being an Aikido practitioner myself, I can tell you that training yourself to not instinctively use your strength to apply techniques is hard, and it takes a lot of time for a person to get to a point where this is done reactivelly and naturally.

Therefore, I'd suggest using Dex for those things possible, but requiring a feat.
It could be the same Finesse feat for normal attacks and that. 



Attack Rolls

What happened to "roll for crit" on a natural 20? Does this mean if you can only hit a creature on a 20, it will always be a crit? I'm still on the fence on this one. It does make for fun gaming when you see that "20" come up and everyone cheers.


It seems the trend now is "less rolls = always better".
I disagree to it as a general and all-inclusive rule. And I'm a huge fan of the "confirm" criticals and fumbles rule.
But that's just me. 


Crushing instead of Bludgeoning
- Again, broader definition that makes constrictions and falling rocks easier to include.


"Blunt" is even better?
That's the term coroners use, at least. Blunt-force trauma.
:P



Racial Weaponry

Currently, dwarves and elves raise their damage on a racial favored weapon by one die type. This one is hard to explain to a new player. Especially when you just spent 10 minutes showing the difference between an 8-sided die, a 10-sided die, and a 10-sided percentile die. It's also hard to remember why one person with an axe is doing 1d8 but the dwarf had 1d10 or whatever. I suggest two things: make it a flat +1 to hit/damage. Also, the weapon HAS to say "Dwarven" or "Elven" in the description. Then you don't have to limit it to just hammers and axes for dwarves and bows/swords for elves. It has to be a "Dwarven hammer" for a dwarf to get the +1. To anyone else, it's just a well made hammer. But then you could have "Dwarven dagger", "Dwarven sling", etc.



That's the one I really wanted to comment on.

I dislike racial modifiers giving bonuses to weapons.
To me it feels like Dwarfs are born genetically enhanced to use axes better if you give them a bonus Damage or Hit, or something like that.

3ed had a bright sollution for that.
(I'm not sure now if this was a 3ed, 3.5 or Pathfinder thing... but one of them had it anyway)

Make some weapons Exotic Weapons, but for that specific race it is treated as a Martial Weapon.
So for all purposes this "Dwarven Axe" is treated as a Martial Weapon for Dwarfs.

This feels more like a cultural benefit than a racial thing.
Dwarfs aren't born better axe-wielders, but since it's so common a weapon in their society... IF they have martial training it isn't an exotic weapon for them.



 

Great points, Rastapopolous. I did some training in Aikido and some in Judo in the Army. I agree with you that learning to use finesse is harder than just using your strength. In fact, I was not very good at Judo at higher levels because I would just try to lift and slam my opponents.

However, disarming using strength doesn't seem very practical. If you have learned to disarm someone, you know, it's rarely strength that you use. Even a hard blow to the weapon or a pressure point is a precise blow in order to disarm someone. I like your idea of a feat that allows you to use Dexterity for unarmed attacks. I like it a lot!

Perception - Only because I can't seem to fit alertness, surprise, detecting things, etc. into other stats. Wis and Int just seem the wrong place. When you consider a wary policeman or vigilant soldier, you could POSSIBLY consider they may have a high Wisdom stat. However, given other things Wisdom is tied to, it seems to not fit the idea of an alert combantant. For me, it's more along of the lines of our fighters and rogues noticing trouble before clerics and wizards.

Maybe another feat is called for. Alertness for using your skill die or something like that.

Roll for crit - yeah, like I said, I'm on the fence. I'll have to let my players decide that one.

Blunt - I'm liking that one too but I have another point to Crush. "A rock falls on you for blunt damage" sounds  better to me than "A rock falls on you for bludgeoning damage". However, I've been falling to using the damage type as my adjectives in descriptions. "A rock crushes you", "A sword slashes you", etc. Blunt still works, but bludgeoning seems way out. Minor issue regardless.

Racial Modifiers - Yeah, I completely agree with you. How is a dwarf born to use an axe? Or, if they are taught axes from an early age, how are they not proficient later in life? It just seems like dwarves and elves have enough going without having to add more for the weapons. But even harder is trying to explain the "one die higher" thing to less experienced players.

Thanks for the comments. I like the "food for thought" and hope the developers are reading as well. 

However, disarming using strength doesn't seem very practical. If you have learned to disarm someone, you know, it's rarely strength that you use. Even a hard blow to the weapon or a pressure point is a precise blow in order to disarm someone. I like your idea of a feat that allows you to use Dexterity for unarmed attacks. I like it a lot!



You're thinking of the disarming techniques of aikido, maybe.
Or else, maybe, those classic scenes in swashbuckling/pirate movies where the hero spins his rapier and disarms his opponent.

That's fine but still I see that more as a "trained", uncommon thing.
A person with no training in disarming would be basically trying to yank the weapon out of the opponent's hands by force.

And even considering training in disarming, if you look at occidental medieval techniques used for disarming (hooking with an axe, using the sword-guard, and other such moves) you get the feeling that using the Str ability does make sense.



Perception - Only because I can't seem to fit alertness, surprise, detecting things, etc. into other stats. Wis and Int just seem the wrong place. When you consider a wary policeman or vigilant soldier, you could POSSIBLY consider they may have a high Wisdom stat. However, given other things Wisdom is tied to, it seems to not fit the idea of an alert combantant. For me, it's more along of the lines of our fighters and rogues noticing trouble before clerics and wizards.



I don't know, mate.
I get your point here. Makes sense.
It's just that only this doesn't seem enough for me to change something so "core" and "basic" in D&D like the 6 basic abilities.
But hey, if doing that doesn't bother you at all, go for it!


Roll for crit
- yeah, like I said, I'm on the fence. I'll have to let my players decide that one.



I could even deal with a system with no confirmation rolls for criticals, though I like them.
But not for fumbles (critical failures). 1 out of 20 attacks being disastrous seems like too much for me.

And I don't want to completely remove fumbles from my games... cause they result in some of the most memorable moments in RPG games, those that you laugh at for years after, as you remember "that time when that happened."


Racial Modifiers
- Yeah, I completely agree with you. How is a dwarf born to use an axe? Or, if they are taught axes from an early age, how are they not proficient later in life? It just seems like dwarves and elves have enough going without having to add more for the weapons. But even harder is trying to explain the "one die higher" thing to less experienced players.



And it's not only that. Giving a significant racial bonus do TH, Damage or some such thing with a particular weapon can lead to 99% os the people playing that race to be using that weapon.

And that, in my view, is boring...
Okay my two cents worth -

-  Charisma as save vs Charm. As quoted from the rules Charisma represents "...the strength of your personality. A high Charisma suggests a strong sense of purpose...". By definition, it seems like Charisma is a perfect counter to Charm spells. It also makes Charisma more attractive as an Ability Score, and maybe even allows it back as a bonus for elves instead of total resistance to charm.

Agree completely.

- Attack Rolls : What happened to "roll for crit" on a natural 20? Does this mean if you can only hit a creature on a 20, it will always be a crit? I'm still on the fence on this one. It does make for fun gaming when you see that "20" come up and everyone cheers.

Not perfect but yeah, less rolls and less min/maxing possibility, keeps it simple for the base game.

IF people want more detail you could add a column to the weapon table for critical chance and multiplier much like 3.5 and pathfinder.


- Melee Attacks  : Two-Weapon Fighting - If both weapons are light, only one of them gets the -2 penalty. The other gets no penalty. Just a clarification.


Agree completely.

- Racial Weaponry :Currently, dwarves and elves raise their damage on a racial favored weapon by one die type. This one is hard to explain to a new player. Especially when you just spent 10 minutes showing the difference between an 8-sided die, a 10-sided die, and a 10-sided percentile die. It's also hard to remember why one person with an axe is doing 1d8 but the dwarf had 1d10 or whatever. I suggest two things: make it a flat +1 to hit/damage. Also, the weapon HAS to say "Dwarven" or "Elven" in the description. Then you don't have to limit it to just hammers and axes for dwarves and bows/swords for elves. It has to be a "Dwarven hammer" for a dwarf to get the +1. To anyone else, it's just a well made hammer. But then you could have "Dwarven dagger", "Dwarven sling", etc.

I prefer the idea that they are trained in it during their youth, much like most of us did native language, mathmatics, science, history, geography etc at elementary/primary school. So any Dwarf can use a axe or hammer regardless of class. No bonus to hit or damage, thus its an extra option without stacking. Humans would be able to choose 1 weapon.


Damage - Blunt or Crushing would be better than Bludgeoning'

Key things for D&D - Where is the character from and why do they do what they do? / Recurring NPCs - allies and enemies / Plot, World and Personal Events.

On Ability Scores-
Charm effects should target your Charisma. The higher the Charisma the higher the DC to condition the target. Once effected, then a Charisma Save can break the condition.
Wisdom for notice, Intelligence for search. I'm OK with the Cleric have better notice, they are Divinely inspired after all.

On Racial Weapons-
It is not a bonus because of DNA, it is a cultural bonus. What if weapon Specialist Feat increased the die type? Kinda the same thing. An Elf bow specialist could do d12 damage! This is cool if they change XD to weapon die type.

Critical Hits-
natural 20 gets +1[W]. Roll 5 over AC gets +1[W]. On a natural 20 against a lower AC you could get +2 or +3[W]!

On Special Maneuvers and Two-Weapon-
Attack target and grant condition would simplify the system. I would impose a -5 penalty to these special maneuvers, feats would eliminate that penalty. Multiple Attacks are -2 per additional target. If you attack 3 targets then -6 to each attack roll. No inherent bonus for attacking with two weapons, but feats could grant bonuses or reduce multiple target penalties. Two weapons is a style choice, which makes single weapon fighting on equal footing without feats. That is fair for the player that wants to play rapier only guy without forcing him to use two weapons because of inherent mechanical bonus. No rule should a mechanical MUST, and two weapon fighting in some edition has been a MUST.

Just my 2cp.    

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of any failed saving throw, including but not limited to petrification, poison, death magic, dragon breath, spells, or vorpal sword-related decapitations.

I moved this over from the DM forum. Perhaps I should break it up some?

That's all for now. I know I'm stepping on some big things here, and some will say to just "House Rule" it. But these are things that I've found helpful and wanted to share as an opportunity to improve our game.
 



Good thoughts, nice to know you've got a document of ideas you're working on. Here is part of mine.

































Choose a race.
dwarfstr+1 or con+1low-light vision 6 squarescon save vs poison at advantage
halflingdex+1 or wis+1nimbleness-move through larger being's squareswis save vs fear at advantage
elfint+1 or cha+1low-light vision 6 squarescon save vs sleep at advantage
human or custom raceability+1different ability+1choose save vs poison or fear or sleep at advantage











































Choose a class.
fighter or fighting only classstr+11st lvl hp=con score+121d12hd or 6hp every level-upmaneuver powersall armor typesall weapon types
rogue classdex+11st lvl hp=con score+101d10hd or 5hp every level-upskill powersup to leather armorup to large weapons
cleric or fighting and casting classwis+11st lvl hp=con score+81d8hd or 4hp every level-upmaneuver and prayer powersup to chain armorup to small weapons
wizard or casting only classint+11st lvl hp=con score+61d6hd or 3hp every level-upspell area powersmagic jewelery and bracersup to 1d6 weapons

























Calculate your class level modifier.
level / 5 round down = level modifier.
lvl 5 Trained +1
lvl 10 Proficient +2
lvl 15 Specialist +3
lvl 20 Expert +4
lvl 25 Master +5










Roll your ability scores.
Assign 3d6 to any 1 of 6 scores str, con, dex, int, wis, cha. Do this 5 more times.










Calculate your ability modifiers.
ability score - 10 / 3 = ability modifier







The highest of your dex, int or wis modifiers is your initiative modifier.










Choose a background.
Choose 3 skills and 3 powers(maneuvers/skills/spells/prayers).







































































































Level-Up Advancement Table
lvl 2skill+1
lvl 3ability+1
lvl 41 additional power
lvl 51 additional skill or skill+1
lvl 6ability+1
lvl 71 additional power
lvl 81 additional main action
lvl 9skill+1
lvl 10ability+1
lvl 111 additional power
lvl 121 additional skill or skill+1
lvl 13ability+1
lvl 141 additional power
lvl 151 additional off-hand action
lvl 16skill+1
lvl 17ability+1
lvl 181 additional power
lvl 191 additional skill or skill+1
lvl 20ability+1
lvl 211 additional power
lvl 221 additional reaction
lvl 23skill+1
lvl 24ability+1
lvl 251 additional power















Modifiers
Magic Items or Effects-5 to +5 magic modifiers
Situation Combatadvantage or disadvantage








































Situation Combat ModifiersRoll Type
target is concealed/invisibleDisadvantage
target is long rangeDisadvantage
ranged target is proneDisadvantage
attacker is proneDisadvantage
target is grappled, blinded, etc.Advantage
target is climbing, distracted, etc.Advantage
target moves away from adjacent attackerAdvantage
attacker and ally are flanking targetAdvantage
community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

This thread had tons of great ideas (albeit not explored in that much detail) from the community on rules and concepts they'd like to see manifest, at least as modules.  The thread is quite a bit old and causing any further necromancy might be a bad idea, but I hope this provides inspiration.

Crazed undead horror posing as a noble and heroic forum poster!

 

 

Some good pointers for the fellow hobbyist!:

  • KEEP D&D ALIVE, END EDITION WARS!
  • RESPECT PEOPLES' PREFERENCES
  • JUST ENJOY THE GAME!