What Advanced Rules Might You Use?

In the most recent (as of the date of this post) Legends & Lore article, Mearls explained what "Advanced Rules" might contain.  In that article, he listed seventeen possible Advanced Rules.  In another thread, Rils asked people to describe which of these options they might use.  I thought that would make a great poll so I made one.

Please note, the poll only allows limited characters.  I present Mearls' options in the order he did so in the article and tried to describe each option as accurately as possible given the limited number of characters I could use.  I urge you to read the article before voting (the link is provided above) and vote based on your best understanding of what Mearls meant by each option.

The poll is open only to people who are logged in.  You may vote for as many options as you like, but you can only vote one time.  The poll will be open until the end of February 2013.  Enjoy!!


A running tally of results as of 02/14/2013 8:30 EST

I know the reuslts of the poll are difficult to read, so I have tabulated them below.  I will try to update this as often as I can.  Probably once a day.








































































7%Tactical Combat Rules
5%Encounter-Based Resources
5%Character Personality Mechanics
6%Player Participation in Narrative
5%Meta-mechanics (action or fate points)
5%Variant XP Rules (for different pillars)
4%Firearms
6%Mass Combat (Warfare)
5%Fast Combat vs. Different Monsters
5%Sea Battles
7%Realms Management & Strongholds
6%Spell and Ritual Components
5%Critical Hit/Failure
3%Armor as DR and Hit Locations
5%Lingering Wounds and Grittier Health
7%Alternative Magic Systems
4%Horror and Sanity Rules

Unearthed Wrecana
I think it's weird how some of these advanced rules were grouped. Encounter-based spells and maneuvers is a completely different concept from encounter-based HP; I want encounter-based spells and MDD, with HP as an adventure-based resource. I want Armor as DR (presumably with a class-based defense bonus), but I couldn't possibly care less about hit locations.

Most importantly, I need Dis/Advantage as -2/+2 instead of 2d20, because without that the game is unplayable to (to me), but there's no way of knowing whether the system will even be capable of accomodating that!

The metagame is not the game.

I think it's weird how some of these advanced rules were grouped. Encounter-based spells and maneuvers is a completely different concept from encounter-based HP; I want encounter-based spells and MDD, with HP as an adventure-based resource. I want Armor as DR (presumably with a class-based defense bonus), but I couldn't possibly care less about hit locations.

Most importantly, I need Dis/Advantage as -2/+2 instead of 2d20, because without that the game is unplayable to (to me), but there's no way of knowing whether the system will even be capable of accomodating that!


4e had an encounter based HP system with healing surges.
My two copper.

Most importantly, I need Dis/Advantage as -2/+2 instead of 2d20, because without that the game is unplayable to (to me), but there's no way of knowing whether the system will even be capable of accomodating that!



There is no need for a rule in the book beyond what you just said: just play it as +2/-2 at your table and see for yourself!   there might be a few differences, but nothing that would make the system crumble (personaly I would use +4/-4 as it's a bit closer mathematicaly)
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4e had an encounter based HP system with healing surges.

Yes, and it makes sense that it should remain an option for players who liked that, but I don't see why they would tie it directly into the encounter-based power system. I mean, you could add encounter-powers into 2E or 3E and they would have worked just fine, without changing how HP worked at all. For all I know, there were classes in late 3.5 that had encounter powers.

I just don't get what the point is of having modular rules, if they then go and bundle rules together so that they can't be taken apart.
There is no need for a rule in the book beyond what you just said: just play it as +2/-2 at your table and see for yourself!   there might be a few differences, but nothing that would make the system crumble (personaly I would use +4/-4 as it's a bit closer mathematicaly)

We'll have to wait and see, but it's entirely possible that they'll design a significant number of abilities around the concept of 2d20 - say, a monster makes an attack and chooses to suffer disadvantage, with a side effect that some other effect happens if one of the two dice would have hit. If they can count on 2d20 being a consistent and irreplaceable aspect of core, it opens up a lot of design space that would be shut down if they were to leave open the option of modularity.

The metagame is not the game.

4e had an encounter based HP system with healing surges.

Yes, and it makes sense that it should remain an option for players who liked that, but I don't see why they would tie it directly into the encounter-based power system. I mean, you could add encounter-powers into 2E or 3E and they would have worked just fine, without changing how HP worked at all. For all I know, there were classes in late 3.5 that had encounter powers.

I just don't get what the point is of having modular rules, if they then go and bundle rules together so that they can't be taken apart.
There is no need for a rule in the book beyond what you just said: just play it as +2/-2 at your table and see for yourself!   there might be a few differences, but nothing that would make the system crumble (personaly I would use +4/-4 as it's a bit closer mathematicaly)

We'll have to wait and see, but it's entirely possible that they'll design a significant number of abilities around the concept of 2d20 - say, a monster makes an attack and chooses to suffer disadvantage, with a side effect that some other effect happens if one of the two dice would have hit. If they can count on 2d20 being a consistent and irreplaceable aspect of core, it opens up a lot of design space that would be shut down if they were to leave open the option of modularity.



You're right (and that would actually be neat) but so far it doesn't seem to be a problem.

If I use your example, you could just check to see it the attack would have hit if the monster had not taken the -X penality 
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I think there's something wrong with the chart, at least on my computer.  As to the question, it's hard for me to imagine any variant I wouldn't at least TRY, but there are certainly ones that really spark my interest.

Also, what do you think is meant by 'Variant XP rules for different Pillars'?  Is that something akin to Skill Challenges, maybe with less rigid structure?  If so, that's the obvious one for me, since I've implemented them, in some form or another, in just about every game I've hosted.
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We'll have to wait and see, but it's entirely possible that they'll design a significant number of abilities around the concept of 2d20 - say, a monster makes an attack and chooses to suffer disadvantage, with a side effect that some other effect happens if one of the two dice would have hit. If they can count on 2d20 being a consistent and irreplaceable aspect of core, it opens up a lot of design space that would be shut down if they were to leave open the option of modularity.


Well anything that specifically deals with the 2d20 can either be modified on a case by case basis or thrown. Since it would mostly be dealing with specific abilities and powers a rule in the rulebook seems pointless as there will always be more content to cover. Since there might not be a standard way in which these abilities work they will need to be looked at individually. So anything specifically advantage/disadvantage is easily converted, anything specifically 2d20 will not be standard enough to deal with as whole and thus require individual rulings.
I think there's something wrong with the chart, at least on my computer.

That's what happens when you make a chart with 17 entries!  You have to hold your mouse near the bottom and a little pop  up should tell you what the results are.  I'll try to keep a running tally for people.
Also, what do you think is meant by 'Variant XP rules for different Pillars'?


The article explains it a little better than I had room for.  That's why I suggested reading the article first.
Well that poll was pretty much borked.

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It's working fine.  Just check in on the running tally each evening.
I've used all of these & more at some time or another in various forms.  And I'm sure I'll do it all again.
So it's not like I had any choice but to pick them all....

The one I'll use the very least though?  Horror/sanity.
I think there's something wrong with the chart, at least on my computer.

That's what happens when you make a chart with 17 entries!  You have to hold your mouse near the bottom and a little pop  up should tell you what the results are.  I'll try to keep a running tally for people.


Always use the text option rather than the chart for polls. I also suggest putting the options in the text for the blog and keeping the voting as simply numbers so it fits.
Options I would use probably have more to do with character design (such as race, class, etc.), monster design, and making combat run more quickly. Probably wouldn't add options which would make combat longer.
I couldn't scroll it to the side so I didn't vote properly.  Manual voting it is!  (I did successfully vote for tactical combat, so if you actually care enough to add the manual vote in, don't need to add that twice.)

I am guaranteed to use: Tactical combat rules.
I am likely to use: Mass combat (army on army), mass combat (PCs as part of an army), sea battles, realm management/strongholds, ingredients/reagents for magic item creation.
I might use: Crit/fumble tables, lingering wounds/gritty healing, alternative magic systems (I have no problem with Vancian but I like options).
The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.

Seems to me that many of his points for "advanced" look more like what advanced players do anyway with or without rules. A great many of the things he talks about I do anyway for one reason or another or have done in a specific campaign as part of the flavour in the world. Tactical combat and encounter-based ability variants are things that require a bit of rethinking but on the whole I don't see why I need printed rules do to most of this, or even to disclose that I do it as a DM. Particularly XP and stuff.


The question I've got for Mearls is if advanced players do this anyway, why do we really need rules for all of them? The danger with rules for stuff folks do intuitively is it can create the impression that you have to do the variant their way. How would they present these rules in such a way as to encourage our own creativity?

FWIW:  Many of those I indicated that I "might" use are highly contingent upon what the actual rules are.  


It is not very useful, imho, to discuss what we might use in a vacuum.  We need actual rules before any reponses have any real value.


Carl     

If I'd test some of those in my campaign or not... really would depend more on how the optional rule was made than the initial concept itself.

I usually don't bother with things like Realm and Stronghold Management, but if it's made fun and simple that it doesn't shift the game too much from roleplaying and adventuring towards "administration and math"... then hell, why not give it a try?


The only optional rule listed there I would probably never use, because I dislike the idea of it in an RPG very much by concept... is Per-Encounter Resources.

I see no logical explanation to give players an ability that they can use once or twice during combat and then suddenly they forget how to usem them... but if that combat ends an another one suddenly pops up, then Hey! I just remembered how to do that again!

I also dislike "Per Day" abilities, although they are sometimes easier to justify in game than "Per Encounter", but even so I find them weird mechanics that don't make much sense, and whenever possible I house-rule out of them.
 
The only optional rule listed there I would probably never use, because I dislike the idea of it in an RPG very much by concept... is Per-Encounter Resources.

I see no logical explanation to give players an ability that they can use once or twice during combat and then suddenly they forget how to usem them... but if that combat ends an another one suddenly pops up, then Hey! I just remembered how to do that again! 



Encounter based resources in 4e recover after a short rest... they dont go bing.. new encounter I can do it again - You have been listening to eWar goo ...Encounter based resource are perfect for fatigue... and no one said it has to prevent spamming built in. I have 3 encounter abilities I can repeat any up to three times they recover after a short rest. If you want particular encounter based abilities to be a trick you cant repeat on a specific target specify that .... or make repetition harder. Shrug - 4e just collapsed those together.


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At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
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Encounter based resources in 4e recover after a short rest... they dont go bing.. new encounter I can do it again - You have been listening to eWar goo ...Encounter based resource are perfect for fatigue... and no one said it has to prevent spamming built in. I have 3 encounter abilities I can repeat any up to three times they recover after a short rest. If you want particular encounter based abilities to be a trick you cant repeat on a specific target specify that .... or make repetition harder. Shrug - 4e just collapsed those together.

Speculation, I'm afraid. That's how they've dealt with it in the playtest so far but there is no guarantee that they'll continue to do so. It's also fairly clear that the playtest is concerned with the "standard" version which means the advanced version may or may not include some or all of the stuff tested here.

Course, it sounds logical enough to say that they've done it that way so far so they'll probably carry on doing it that way, but we have no way of knowing.

I made my votes. I noticed that my votes express a desire for long-term, wide-scope adventures with player narrative gaining the upper hand over GM narrative. 

I was probably influenced by this recent post from Syntax Error (Link).
After noodling the recent L&L, I consider using the AD&D Variant method.  I will make two binders that includes most of Basic and probably my house rules with a sprinkling of option modules.  If I was to compare these binders with the recent playtest it might look like this:

Players Binder -By Section-
01 - (Homebrew or Online DL) Character Sheets
02 - (012813) Creating a Character 'Concept' (With a slight adjustment to the Character Advancement Table)
03 - (012813) Races (With a large variety to choose from)
04 - (Homebrew) Class (14 PHB1 legacy classes)
05 - (012813) Background and Skills (Including a section on how to create a custom Background)
06 - (052412) Themes (Feat Delivery System)
07-  (Homebrew) Lore (Weapon, Magic, Divine, etc..  Replaces Manuevers, Spells, Martial Dice, and Expertise Dice)
08-  (012813 and Homebrew) Equipment (weapons will have an average base damage and a homebrew armor module)
09 - (Homebrew) Pre-Gens (at least 1 for each class)
10 - (012813) How to Play (with a few edits)

DMs Binder - By Section-
01 - (012813) DM Guidelines
02 - (012813 and Homebrew) Bestiary
03 - (012813 and Homebrew) Magic Items
04 - (Homebrew) Notes
05 - (Purchased, Homebrew, and/or Online DL) Settings and Adventure Modules

I added the playtest package for reference.  Those dates would not be part of the binders...hopefully.  Of course if there is some other good stuff to insert I would add it in as we go.

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Wrecan,

Thank you for the poll, but I think we might want to look at the article again.  I am pretty sure Mike spefically stated that DR and hit locations would not work together well (or at least would have to be considered carefully) and thus would not be grouped together.  At least that was how I understood it (though I see how it could be understood differently) 
mearls' article mentioned three times of Advanced Rules: dials (rules that change the Standard Rules but in predictable ways), modules (rules that lie on atop of the Standard Rules), and what I call "variants" (rules that change the Standard Rules in fundamental ways).  I was curious to see how I would group the seventeen Advanced Rules he suggested:

DIALS
Encounter-Based Resources
Variant XP Rules (for different pillars)
Fast Combat vs. Different Monsters
Spell and Ritual Components
Critical Hit/Failure
Lingering Wounds and Grittier Health

MODULES
Character Personality Mechanics
Meta-mechanics (action or fate points)
Firearms
Mass Combat (Warfare)
Sea Battles
Realms Management & Strongholds
Horror and Sanity Rules

VARIANTS
Tactical Combat Rules
Player Participation in Narrative
Armor as DR and Hit Locations
Alternative Magic Systems


As far as I can tell, I don't see a lot of Variant Rules.
Wrecan,

Thank you for the poll, but I think we might want to look at the article again.  I am pretty sure Mike spefically stated that DR and hit locations would not work together well (or at least would have to be considered carefully) and thus would not be grouped together.  At least that was how I understood it (though I see how it could be understood differently) 


That's true.  he wrote "A hit location table is one thing, but making one that also accounts for armor as damage reduction requires far more work"

However, in grouping them together in one bullet point, I think he was thinking of these rules as a broader category of variations on the fundamental assumptions about how weapon-combat works.  Armor as DR and Hit Locations would both appeal to people who want to experiment with alternate combat systems, which is why it's flanked by critical hit/miss tables and alternate wound systems.
Wrecan, I'd put Gritty health and wounds as a variant depending on how it is handled. If it isn't just a but of added conditions with a hit chart or called hit system, I think you'll have to go back and reevaluate maneuvers, spells, and armor. Basically the more simulationist it is, the more likely it will be a variant.

Heck it is just wound points, then you'll have to go. Through all the reactive class feature and critical hit change process.

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Wrecan,

Thank you for the poll, but I think we might want to look at the article again.  I am pretty sure Mike spefically stated that DR and hit locations would not work together well (or at least would have to be considered carefully) and thus would not be grouped together.  At least that was how I understood it (though I see how it could be understood differently) 


That's true.  he wrote "A hit location table is one thing, but making one that also accounts for armor as damage reduction requires far more work"

However, in grouping them together in one bullet point, I think he was thinking of these rules as a broader category of variations on the fundamental assumptions about how weapon-combat works.  Armor as DR and Hit Locations would both appeal to people who want to experiment with alternate combat systems, which is why it's flanked by critical hit/miss tables and alternate wound systems.



Armor as DR and hit locations should be independant: wanting one should not imply wanting the other. However, they do need to be designed to work together, or more particularly you need a paragraph explicitly covering how to combine them.
In HERO system, armor as DR is the core assumption, so of course they did the work. If hit locations are used, then hit locations serve as a multiplier for damage. You subtract the armor (or equivalents) from the damage first, then multiply (by 1/2, 1, 1.5 or 2 depending on location hit). This makes hands/feet (1/2 damage) much less vulnerable than other locations (especially head/vitals) but without making them invincible.
I don't know if hit locations will be multipliers or if armor will be straight subtraction in Next. But if both are, they probably should do it this way. In any case, they're likely to be mathematical processes applied to the damage that have different results depending on the order they are applied, in which case WotC should give an official order to apply them. If the order doesn't matter, then WotC can remain silent. (For example, if heavy armor = take half damage, and hit locations are also multipliers, you can apply those in any order. At worst it's a rounding error of difference. Similarly, if they both add/subtract then WotC can remain silent.)  
I cannot change the poll at this point.  I would not even if I could.  These are categories, not discrete rules being polled.

Sheesh.  Yes, I could nitpick my poll too.  
I cannot change the poll at this point.  I would not even if I could.  These are categories, not discrete rules being polled.

Sheesh.  Yes, I could nitpick my poll too.  



Thanks, Wrecan. Your poll is pretty good.
What I will use:
Tactical Combat Rules
Character Personality Mechanics
Meta-mechanics (action or fate points)
Variant XP Rules (for different pillars)
Firearms

What I would like to use, but I have to see how it is implemented first or if I need it in the campaign:
Encounter-Based Resources
Player Participation in Narrative
Realms Management & Strongholds
Mass Combat (Warfare)
Alternative Magic Systems
Fast Combat vs. Different Monsters

What I may try out:
Armor as DR and Hit Locations

What I will have to house rule if it doesn't become an option or in the game:
MDD = [W] instead of d6
Allow non-casters to use /day abilities more often by spending HD (Healing Dice) beyond their normal limit.
(EDIT) Starting HP = Con score + HD(or average).  No con bonus to HP per level.

The only optional rules from the list that I have no desire to use:

Tactical rules.
Meta-mechanics (action/fate points).

Tactical Rules: If by "tactical" they mean breaking out a map and minis, then I'll have to pass. That's eventually what killed 4E for me. Also, if it means slowing combat to a ridiculous, grinding pace, then I'll pass. If, however, by "tactical" they mean optional rules for flanking, facing, surprise, and so on, then I'll give it a try.

Meta-mechanics: I have absolutely no desire to see action or fate points in the game.

The rest of the optional rules seem great in theory, but, of course, I'll have to see how they implement them, and how much of the rest of the game they affect.
"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H.P. Lovecraft
The only optional rules from the list that I have no desire to use:

Tactical rules.
Meta-mechanics (action/fate points).


I'm looking forward to that one.  Of course, it always depends on implementation.  The cinematic unisystem handles this very well with their drama points.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Tactical means combat taking longer because you have significant choices instead of a craps game, yes it does take longer because people take longer when presented with significant choices. Like spell casters have always been able to do.

And it also takes more rounds because choices need to have iterations for there significance to ummm gell.

So no tactics doesnt need to have anything to do with having a map or minis (though they can be exploited to generate tactical choices)



There is a big difference between combat taking longer than it currently does in the playtest (which wouldn't take much) and the grueling combat lengths of 4E. I'm all for choices and options. I am not for 1 1/2 and 2-hour long combat, and if implementing what WotC defines as "tactical" rules will cause combat to run that long, I will not implement them in my games.
"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H.P. Lovecraft
D) None of the Above.
I should have had a None of the Above option.  Sorry, Steely_Dan.
I should have had a None of the Above option.  Sorry, Steely_Dan.




Your poll was logical, but looking at the choices, none of them stood out as options/modules I would really dig. 
I voted for many, but my #1 pick is:  Alternative Magic Systems.

Secretly, I'm still hoping that some of the "standard" classes use these.  Anything to get the poor wizard out of Vancian = yay. 
I voted for many, but my #1 pick is:  Alternative Magic Systems.

Secretly, I'm still hoping that some of the "standard" classes use these.  Anything to get the poor wizard out of Vancian = yay. 



Ah, I love varaint systems (psionics, incarnum, pact, etc, etc), but not a choose-and-grab.

Encounter based resources in 4e recover after a short rest... they dont go bing.. new encounter I can do it again - You have been listening to eWar goo ...Encounter based resource are perfect for fatigue... and no one said it has to prevent spamming built in. I have 3 encounter abilities I can repeat any up to three times they recover after a short rest. If you want particular encounter based abilities to be a trick you cant repeat on a specific target specify that .... or make repetition harder. Shrug - 4e just collapsed those together.



It's still weird and hard to justify.

If an ability or combat move is so tiresome that it wears you out after one or three uses that you can't even perform that move again, this should be reflected in your character been fatigued or something like that. Simply preventing the ability to be used again before a rest does not fit that description well. It should then affect all your efficiency in combat, even with regular attacks and such.

It can be done, perhaps, using the supernatural or magic as explanation...
Your paladin can Smite Evil 3x. After that the power the deity has imbued him with expires, and he has to stop for a while and pray for them again.
I still don't like the mechanics much, as a personal taste, but at least I could see an explanation for it to work that way in that case.

But for the more "mundane" abilities it really doesn't fit. A fighter either knows how to perform a technique or he doesn't. Same for rogue abilities, etc.
The fighter doesn't "take a deep breath" and suddenly unleashes a powerful blow or is able to hit everyone around him just for that moment, and then he's all tired because of the effort.
A fight is just not like that.
A trained combatant either knows how to strike hard or how to perform a technique, or he doesnt. If he knows how to do it he can do it over and over again.
Sure every combatant will get tired eventually, and some moves wear you out more than others, but there are no "special moves" in a fight that are much more powerful but drain you out instantly so that you can only use them once or twice.

Unless you add the magical/supernatural element.
But that's why I could perhaps consider it for things like Smite Evil and spells, but would never use per encounter resources as a general mechanics.

I guess you could have instead a "stamina" resource that every attack drains a bit, and some attacks drain more (kinda like spell points for fighting) but this kind of system tends to make the game slower and some players find it really boring to keep track all the time.

I rather like how feats handle combat moves in 3ed. You learn a feat, you can do something new in combat, and you can do it as much as you want, but no single feat is a "special move" of great power... it's the combination of your feats (your combat techniques) that make you gradually better and better at fighting.

Same could be said for skill uses and other such things. If you can do it once, you can do it again.

Encounter based resources in 4e recover after a short rest... they dont go bing.. new encounter I can do it again - You have been listening to eWar goo ...Encounter based resource are perfect for fatigue... and no one said it has to prevent spamming built in. I have 3 encounter abilities I can repeat any up to three times they recover after a short rest. If you want particular encounter based abilities to be a trick you cant repeat on a specific target specify that .... or make repetition harder. Shrug - 4e just collapsed those together.



It's still weird and hard to justify.

If an ability or combat move is so tiresome that it wears you out after one or three uses that you can't even perform that move again, this should be reflected in your character been fatigued or something like that. 


Not being able to do the big move you are stuck doing lesser moves its built in..
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

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