If you could fix/improve just ONE thing in D&D Next...

...then what is it, and how would you do it?

For me, I'd have all spells that target a creature target AC. If AC's already at the level of abstraction where they've mostly folded over Fort, Ref, and Will into it, they should be consistent and have everything that targets anything go up against AC to do so.

Saves would all be for secondary effects, like the chance to ignite when attacked by a fire spell, to resist the poison of a poisoned weapon attack, or simply to take half damage when hit by a dragon's fire spell. This serves the dual purpose of making spells simpler in combat while still allowing them to feel "magical" because most of them will have additional effects that must be saved against as riders-on. 

Sure, two people would have to roll instead of one, but plenty of systems have gone that route without any combat slowdown. 
The use of Gold as Chucky Cheese Tokens and Gift Tickets.

 

I just said something and you just read it. Sorry about that.

I'd fix their design process, it;s like they don't even have a decent mission statement for the game design.
If you could fix/improve just ONE thing in D&D Next...




It would be to remove any element in the game that doesn't make any sense from a narrative perspective, and was included for mechanics' sake only.

Things like thrown axes and daggers that hit one target and then "ricochet" to another target, which was clearly added as a poor solution to give the fighter one type of area damage, without any though for what the ability represents in terms of concept and sense in the narrative.
Things like thrown axes and daggers that hit one target and then "ricochet" to another target, which was clearly added as a poor solution to give the fighter one type of area damage, without any though for what the ability represents in terms of concept and sense in the narrative.



I'd argue that it'd be perfectly reasonable for a guy trained in throwing axes to know how to throw an axe so that it curves in an arc and is able to slash two targets. Daggers, too, but less so. 


D&D isn't aiming to be 100% reasonable with its abilities, just somewhere around 95%. 
...so that it curves in an arc...



How again, if it's possible to do this in the first place, does it keep going after impact?

 

I just said something and you just read it. Sorry about that.

Nerf healing so it's no longer overpowered.

Get rid of swift action healing, and make it so clerics can cast spells during battle that isn't just healing.
Double or triple all full casters' spell progressions.
How again, if it's possible to do this in the first place, does it keep going after impact?



Axes are pretty heavy, and it's not unreasonable that it could slash a man's throat or arm with a minimal loss of momentum and cleave into another target behind or ajacent to the first with a really skilled throw.

You're also arguing for realism in a game with wizards and druids, so I'm not sure how far that'll take you.

How again, if it's possible to do this in the first place, does it keep going after impact?



Axes are pretty heavy, and it's not unreasonable that it could slash a man's throat or arm with a minimal loss of momentum and cleave into another target behind or ajacent to the first with a really skilled throw.

You're also arguing for realism in a game with wizards and druids, so I'm not sure how far that'll take you.




So it's a situational/random mechanic that a DM rolls then. Got it. That does make sense now that it's purely based off something that could happen.

Perhaps, any creature (including a PC) within 5 feet (pick only one) has a 5-10% of getting hit also. Of course, momentum is less, so only half-damage.

Great job, and they ought to ake that part of the mechanics.

 

I just said something and you just read it. Sorry about that.

So it's a situational/random mechanic that a DM rolls then. Got it. That does make sense now that it's purely based off something that could happen.



I'd argue that whenever a player expends an Expertise die, he's expending the die to simulate a combination of luck and skill that allows him to hit extra hard or to do something special with his attack.

Having a thrown axe cleave between two targets is definitely a special attack derrived from a combination of luck and skill, and as such I'd say that using the Expertise die mechanic for it is entirely reasonable.

Given that the range of this "ricochet" is only a maximum of 5 feet, meaning that the secondary target MUST be in a square adjacent to the first, this all seems pretty acceptable for a heroic fantasy game.
Well, at least, they're doing all the wrong things the right way.

 

I just said something and you just read it. Sorry about that.

Well, at least, they're doing all the wrong things the right way.



That's more or less the design philosophy of 5e so far, yes. That, or the other way around.
 
It's understandable, because they want the system to be as mechanically simple as they can make it, which means that "abstraction" rather than "simulationism" is the word of the day.

So, things don't work the way they realistically would work, they work the way it's easiest to make them work. 
DDN needs a central design concept. Right now, it is just a stew of half-baked ideas patched together with nostalgia and hope.

 

"What is the sort of thing that I do care about is a failure to seriously evaluate what does and doesn't work in favor of a sort of cargo cult posturing. And yes, it's painful to read design notes columns that are all just "So D&D 3.5 sort of had these problems. We know people have some issues with them. What a puzzler! But we think we have a solution in the form of X", where X is sort of a half-baked version of an idea that 4e executed perfectly well and which worked fine." - Lesp

I wouldn't mind seeing Wizard Hit Points/Hit Dice back to d4, I don't like them being as tough as Rogues.



This, plus removing racial armor proficiencies. The idea of a level 1 Wizard in full plate mail with 15 HP makes me sick to my stomach, and I play wizards!

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/7.jpg)

Just one thing I would change about DDN? The people who post about it.
Seriously...you've got one die-hard group saying that everything about it sucks and another group saying it's the best thing to happen to D&D since the invention of the beholder. There is a third, tiny, group that offers up constructive advice, actual playtest experience, and seems more interested in making it as inclusive and appealing as it can be without one bit of edition-warring, vitriol, or bile. Unfortunately, that small minority is drowned out by all the raging. If we could build up the minority, we'd be in a much better place.
"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H.P. Lovecraft
Just one thing I would change about DDN? The people who post about it.
Seriously...you've got one die-hard group saying that everything about it sucks and another group saying it's the best thing to happen to D&D since the invention of the beholder. There is a third, tiny, group that offers up constructive advice, actual playtest experience, and seems more interested in making it as inclusive and appealing as it can be without one bit of edition-warring, vitriol, or bile. Unfortunately, that small minority is drowned out by all the raging. If we could build up the minority, we'd be in a much better place.



PREACH
Fix monster math and give all the monsters a real good overhaul to make sure they are doing what they should be doing at the table. I'm having a hard time evaluating the performance of the latest class updates when the monsters havn't been changed in a long time. Many feel under/over powered, have spells/abilities that look good on paper but don't work very well against the PC's.

Updating monsters really has to be done before the final versions of the classes are hammered out. The fighter needs something to kill before we can say it's good at killing. 
...then what is it, and how would you do it?

Remove all classes and levels, making D&D a total point buy system and letting the DM dole out extra points at the rate they desire for their particular game. I'd look to 2nd Edition's Players Option: Skills & Powers for inspiration, and go from there.
Remove all classes and levels, making D&D a total point buy system and letting the DM dole out extra points at the rate they desire for their particular game. I'd look to 2nd Edition's Players Option: Skills & Powers for inspiration, and go from there.



While I don't think this is a bad idea, and you could certainly make a really good game with this as the base, your idea is far-removed from what D&D is.

Classes and levels have been around from the beginning, and are as core to what D&D is as Ability Scores are. While I'm not against slaughtering sacred cows, classes and levels are two of the biggest, sacredest cows in the system and have a lot to do with how people view D&D.

Get rid of classes and levels in D&D and point the focus at roleplay, and you've basically got Burning Wheel. 
At this point i would try to redesign the ranger and paladin removing spellcasting from thrse classes.
To have these classes stand on their own mecanics and play difrently then other classes.
Remove all classes and levels, making D&D a total point buy system and letting the DM dole out extra points at the rate they desire for their particular game. I'd look to 2nd Edition's Players Option: Skills & Powers for inspiration, and go from there.



While I don't think this is a bad idea, and you could certainly make a really good game with this as the base, your idea is far-removed from what D&D is.

Classes and levels have been around from the beginning, and are as core to what D&D is as Ability Scores are. While I'm not against slaughtering sacred cows, classes and levels are two of the biggest, sacredest cows in the system and have a lot to do with how people view D&D.

Get rid of classes and levels in D&D and point the focus at roleplay, and you've basically got Burning Wheel. 

I've always thought that D&D was more about its thematic elements than it was its mechanics. I've always found the D&D system to be quite poor, and have found numerous games to have better. Yet for all of the clones and freeform systems out there, I've found none of them accurately recreate the feel of D&D. That feel is what keeps me attached to this game, not any of the core systemic elements.
I've always thought that D&D was more about its thematic elements than it was its mechanics.



But what are the thematic elements that define D&D? I can come up with:

Medieval fantasy
Dungeons
Adventure
Dragons
Magic 
Exploration
Treasure

Lots of systems do all that, and many of them do them better than D&D. Plenty of the indie titles that do this are even (legally) free to download. 

What constitutes this D&D "feel" that you can't find anywhere else? 
I've always thought that D&D was more about its thematic elements than it was its mechanics.



But what are the thematic elements that define D&D? I can come up with:

Medieval fantasy
Dungeons
Adventure
Dragons
Magic 
Exploration
Treasure

Lots of systems do all that, and many of them do them better than D&D. Plenty of the indie titles that do this are even (legally) free to download. 

What constitutes this D&D "feel" that you can't find anywhere else? 

I have trouble describing it other than to use the term je ne sais quoi, which isn't helpful. I've tried to emulate it with other systems, including ones as free form (and free) as FATE. I've never found any of them to capture the same feel as D&D.
Remove the attack roll and saving throws.

Longsword does 1d8+Str, Fireball does 6d6, finger of death kills anyone under 100 HP, and does 50 damage to anyone else,

Much quicker. 

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

I've always thought that D&D was more about its thematic elements than it was its mechanics.



But what are the thematic elements that define D&D? I can come up with:

Medieval fantasy
Dungeons
Adventure
Dragons
Magic 
Exploration
Treasure

Lots of systems do all that, and many of them do them better than D&D. Plenty of the indie titles that do this are even (legally) free to download. 

What constitutes this D&D "feel" that you can't find anywhere else? 



Just one point about your list above: Medieval fantasy - Dark Sun, Planescape, and Spelljammer disagree.

For me, the "feel" of D&D comes much more from the iconic elements specific to it that seperate it from other games. Beholders, Warforged, Muls, Thri-Kreen, Owlbears, Faerun, Oerth, Athas, Krynn, Sigil, Ravenloft, Magic Missile, Portable Hole...the list goes on and on. To me, these things make D&D feel like D&D more than the broader aspects of pretty much any fantasy game (dragons, dungeons, treasure, etc.).


"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H.P. Lovecraft
Remove the attack roll ...

So no chance to miss at all?

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

Remove the attack roll ...

So no chance to miss at all?



He may be on to something... yeah! and all casters shot fireballs out their arse too. Just bend over, point, win.

 

I just said something and you just read it. Sorry about that.

If there was one thing I would change, it would be to redesign character classes along a modular chassis.
Remove the attack roll ...

So no chance to miss at all?



Well technically, in such a model HP Damage would represent the amount of effort required to "not die" from an attack. This means every attack "misses" until you take enough damage to drop to 0.

I could see such a model working nicely if players could use their "reaction" to avoid attacks. Use a reaction to make a dodge check or saving throw.
Nerf healing so it's no longer overpowered.

Get rid of swift action healing, and make it so clerics can cast spells during battle that isn't just healing.


I say nerf healing until it's no longer REQUIRED.
Try radiance RPG. A complete D20 game that supports fantasy and steampunk. Download the FREE PDF here: http://www.radiancerpg.com
Nerf healing so it's no longer overpowered.

Get rid of swift action healing, and make it so clerics can cast spells during battle that isn't just healing.


I say nerf healing until it's no longer REQUIRED.

One way of removing the need for in-combat healing would be to adjust the mathematical expectations of the game.

 If, for example, equal-level monsters generally outclass the players in terms of accuracy and defense (for example, a +6 attack bonus and 17 AC being typical at 1st level) but the PCs drastically outperform monsters in damage output, you could easily create a context in which in-combat healing is generally unnecessary most of the time.
Nerf healing so it's no longer overpowered.

Get rid of swift action healing, and make it so clerics can cast spells during battle that isn't just healing.


I say nerf healing until it's no longer REQUIRED.

One way of removing the need for in-combat healing would be to adjust the mathematical expectations of the game.

 If, for example, equal-level monsters generally outclass the players in terms of accuracy and defense (for example, a +6 attack bonus and 17 AC being typical at 1st level) but the PCs drastically outperform monsters in damage output, you could easily create a context in which in-combat healing is generally unnecessary most of the time.


Or simply acts as an emergency button

To put it simply: healing outside of combat should be simple enoough that clerics are not mecessary (healing skill, med packs... a fixed amount recovered automaticaly after every encounter)
and healing inside combat should be the exception: a usefull tool, a reason to play a class with healing, but it should not be needed. 
Try radiance RPG. A complete D20 game that supports fantasy and steampunk. Download the FREE PDF here: http://www.radiancerpg.com
Nerf healing so it's no longer overpowered.

Get rid of swift action healing, and make it so clerics can cast spells during battle that isn't just healing.


I say nerf healing until it's no longer REQUIRED.

One way of removing the need for in-combat healing would be to adjust the mathematical expectations of the game.

 If, for example, equal-level monsters generally outclass the players in terms of accuracy and defense (for example, a +6 attack bonus and 17 AC being typical at 1st level) but the PCs drastically outperform monsters in damage output, you could easily create a context in which in-combat healing is generally unnecessary most of the time.


Or simply acts as an emergency button

To put it simply: healing outside of combat should be simple enoough that clerics are not mecessary (healing skill, med packs... a fixed amount recovered automaticaly after every encounter)
and healing inside combat should be the exception: a usefull tool, a reason to play a class with healing, but it should not be needed. 



Yes, this please.
Nerf healing so it's no longer overpowered.

Get rid of swift action healing, and make it so clerics can cast spells during battle that isn't just healing.


I say nerf healing until it's no longer REQUIRED.



Yeah exactly. It should be possible to make a cleric who never touches a healing spell and without feeling you're gimping yourself by doing that.
You all do realize that if healing exists at all it will feel required, and will always be a good option.  Given that I'd rather the healing was actually useful, a.k.a has the potential to at least heal away the damage of one attack if not multiple (given higher spell slot usage), and didn't eat up my whole turn.
You all do realize that if healing exists at all it will feel required, and will always be a good option.  Given that I'd rather the healing was actually useful, a.k.a has the potential to at least heal away the damage of one attack if not multiple (given higher spell slot usage), and didn't eat up my whole turn.



One of the things i liked about 4th was that the healing recource was seperate from.
When healing and spell casting both use the same spell slots i tend to see players afraid of casting any spells as they might need the slots for healing later.

also using a seperate recource would make it easyer to sat aassumed healing amount. 
Get rid of all the numerical bonuses/penalties from combat and just go with an advantage/disadvantage system.

Preferably one with a range of advantage/disadvantage (I.E. Minor Adv, Adv., Greater Adv).
You all do realize that if healing exists at all it will feel required, and will always be a good option.  Given that I'd rather the healing was actually useful, a.k.a has the potential to at least heal away the damage of one attack if not multiple (given higher spell slot usage), and didn't eat up my whole turn.



One of the things i liked about 4th was that the healing recource was seperate from.
When healing and spell casting both use the same spell slots i tend to see players afraid of casting any spells as they might need the slots for healing later.

also using a seperate recource would make it easyer to sat aassumed healing amount. 




I noticed in my game with my players that they were all spending a good number of their spell slots on heals.(two rangers and a druid).  however in addition to all the healing they were dropping they also pulled off some pretty excelent utility and blasting magic.  While I can see the issue of them not expending spells when they have few left so they can save it for healing I actually kinda see that as a boon.  It makes it an important decision of do I blast this, or do I use this utility, or do I save this power for later when we truly need it.  It makes the decisions harder, it makes the decision to use a spell more meaningful if its usage is tied to multiple possibilities.
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Get rid of Vancian casting, at least for arcane casters.  Instead, make spellcasting "risky" for casters, with the risk going up with the power and frequency of their spell use.
"Therefore, you are the crapper, I'm merely the vessel through which you crap." -- akaddk
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