New, Faster, Simpler, Better? version of 4e!

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This first part is explaining why I want an easier, faster version of dnd, feel free to skip it:

Ok, heres the deal

I am a relitively new dnd player and I started with 4e. I did get a chance to play 3.5 with some people, but they didnt explain it to me, they just expected me to play. I have always seen problems with 4e, or at least things I would do differently. I'm not going to go into detail.

But I has been a passion of mine to make a better version, at least for me and my friends. We have tried collaberating to take all the things we like about dnd and make one all for ourselves, but that proved to be a momentus task and I was the only person who really had the motivation to work on it, which I lost. My desire for a 4.5, if you will, has stayed with me.

This time, I will drop the heavy stat building and maintaining feel I wanted and no one else did. The solution, a simple, easy to learn easy to sit down and play, fun version. What I would like to see happen with this is to have all the heavy work done to get the version set up, which is ultimately unavoidable, and be able to get together with a group of people whenever and be able to just play and enjoy the story telling behind dnd, but still take into account all the other aspects that make dnd a rpg game.

So here goes! 
Firstly I would like to have it so that anyone can join, there is no fixed party, and that people might even switch characters and still be able to just sit down and play. All the information is provided with permade characters that still change and improve as they go, but can still be used by anyone at anytime.

This requires simplification of the dnd character structure. I think the best way to go about this is to have to central character sheet that doesn't change, or changes little, and have cards that dictate the options each player has with that character:
their attacks, equipment, abilities, rituals and so on...

It should also be easy to know who to do what you want to do, no unecessary stats. The classic abilities scores are a must, and skills branch off of that. What about combat? Well the basics of combat is you try to beat your enemies defence with your attack, if you hit, you deal damage to their health. Obivously though, the fun of combat is strategy. Therefore each character has powers that they used based on their role in combat.

I am a firm believer in the paradigm that each individual should have their own specific role in a combat situation and that is what makes them valuable to the group in combat. 4e already has the 4 main roles in combat: the defender, the controller, the leader, and the striker. However, I didn't feel like each character was truly unique; each character could try their hand at picking the lock, and for some reason the fighter has a high thievery so he pushes the rogue out of the way and cracks it. Or at least that is the experience I get.

So...
We want 4 unique characters that know what their role in given situation (not just combat) and they can do it well, no one else will try and do it for them. The character set up needs to be simpified but still give the player the ability to do what they want (very important to me!). 
You appear to want a different, non-D&D system.

Might I suggest Savage Worlds?
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
You appear to want a different, non-D&D system.

Might I suggest Savage Worlds?

Really? "You appear to want a different, non-D&D system.

Have you played D&D? Before 3e I mean. Almost everything he listed was part of AD&D which I have to tell you is D&D. 

Come to 4ENCLAVE for a fan based 4th Edition Community.

 

You appear to want a different, non-D&D system.

Might I suggest Savage Worlds?

Really? "You appear to want a different, non-D&D system.

Have you played D&D? Before 3e I mean. Almost everything he listed was part of AD&D which I have to tell you is D&D. 



First:  Yes, I bought the original Red Box when it was new.  I'm old.

Second: those systems were bad.  They were poor RPGs that got in the way and did nothing well.  There are better systems that do everything he wants without being mechanically bad, so if he wants the things that Old D&D did that Good D&D doesn't, he should use one of the better systems rather than Old D&D.


Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
I've noticed a lot of people who want to improve a game system really just want a different game system. There are far too many "versions" of D&D, official and non, to spend all that time redesigning one specific system.

I posted something similar on another thread. It's like saying "Hey, I have this car but I really want it to feel like a helicopter. No, I don't want a helicopter."

Having said that, there is a card-based RPG where your deck determines your character called Compact Heroes.

rpggeek.com/rpgitem/114917/compact-heroe...

Of course, it's not D&D.
You appear to want a different, non-D&D system.

Might I suggest Savage Worlds?

Really? "You appear to want a different, non-D&D system.

Have you played D&D? Before 3e I mean. Almost everything he listed was part of AD&D which I have to tell you is D&D. 



First:  Yes, I bought the original Red Box when it was new.  I'm old.

Second: those systems were bad.  They were poor RPGs that got in the way and did nothing well.  There are better systems that do everything he wants without being mechanically bad, so if he wants the things that Old D&D did that Good D&D doesn't, he should use one of the better systems rather than Old D&D.



Yeah, I can't agree. I think there was plenty of good in those games, or they wouldn't have been popular. We loved AD&D. That doesn't mean I want to go back to it, but what the OP suggests could be done with a system that is MUCH cleaner than AD&D, and frankly 4e has the cleanest basic rules of any edition.

Personally I don't want to have 4 stock classes with no options, but it WOULD work.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
I don't think this would replace D&D, it would just make it easier for me and my friends - whom I find have trouble playing D&D properly - to sit down and play because that seems to be really tough for them with 4e.
This is me, I accidentally signed in as my friends :S


Second: those systems were bad.  They were poor RPGs that got in the way and did nothing well.  There are better systems that do everything he wants without being mechanically bad, so if he wants the things that Old D&D did that Good D&D doesn't, he should use one of the better systems rather than Old D&D.



Yeah, I can't agree.



Having said that, you then proceed to AGREE WITH ME on every point.

We loved AD&D. That doesn't mean I want to go back to it, but what the OP suggests could be done with a system that is MUCH cleaner than AD&D,



Which is what I just said:  Old D&D does nothing best, and other games have completely obsoleted it in every respect.  No matter what you want from your RPG, something other than Old D&D does it better.

(D20/3rd Edition is remarkable for "no matter what you want from your RPG, something other than 3E/D20 did it better *at least a decade before*", but that's still a continuation of the trend rather than a change.)
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
I'm relatively new to D&D, 4e is really all I've known and I haven't tried anyother RPG baord games.

BUT, there are things that I like about D&D (obviously) and I want to build on those and get rid of the stuff I don't like.

I personally have the motivation to try and make another version that would be better for me. And the thing is I don't need to start from scratch. D&D works! 


Second: those systems were bad.  They were poor RPGs that got in the way and did nothing well.  There are better systems that do everything he wants without being mechanically bad, so if he wants the things that Old D&D did that Good D&D doesn't, he should use one of the better systems rather than Old D&D.



Yeah, I can't agree.



Having said that, you then proceed to AGREE WITH ME on every point.

We loved AD&D. That doesn't mean I want to go back to it, but what the OP suggests could be done with a system that is MUCH cleaner than AD&D,



Which is what I just said:  Old D&D does nothing best, and other games have completely obsoleted it in every respect.  No matter what you want from your RPG, something other than Old D&D does it better.

(D20/3rd Edition is remarkable for "no matter what you want from your RPG, something other than 3E/D20 did it better *at least a decade before*", but that's still a continuation of the trend rather than a change.)

Well, I'm not so sure, OD&D has some interesting things going for it. Its simple and very loosely organized. I think practically speaking 95% of people probably will find B/X better for them, but its hard to say what is 'best', even B/X lose some level of flexibility. The thing is, each of those editions did certain things best, and at the same time they could all be greatly improved without removing those good points. I'm not sure we're saying exactly the same thing, but I wasn't disagreeing with your entire point either.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
I'm relatively new to D&D, 4e is really all I've known and I haven't tried anyother RPG baord games.

BUT, there are things that I like about D&D (obviously) and I want to build on those and get rid of the stuff I don't like.

I personally have the motivation to try and make another version that would be better for me. And the thing is I don't need to start from scratch. D&D works! 

Agreed, though there are a LOT of games very similar to D&D out right now that are well-supported, so its always a good question about whether inventing a whole new one is really needed. You are of course not going to be discouraged from doing that by us, I think its fun and you should go for it.

Honestly, the only test of a good game idea is to play it and see what happens. Its easy to pontificate on the subject and we all do that endlessly, but when you actually go and do it, things are a bit different.

I think you could tweak the power system to be a bit more like the older spell casting systems of previous editions. I'd want to keep the more nailed-down limits and separated flavor/mechanics of the 4e approach, but it would be fine to say name all the powers exactly after old school spells and make the results a bit more like them. I think that would have been wise for the 4e devs to have done in the first place, but they wanted to break from 3e too much I guess.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
Two words: 13th Age

It'll need a bit of tweaking to make it feel more like D&D 4E, but considering how you're looking for a rules-light, narrative-centric system that gives homage to a lot of stuff from D&D, I highly recommend it.

Second suggestion, if you want an even rules-lighter system than 13th Age: Dungeon World  
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This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
To me, the heart and soul of DnD from any version has always been that the DM can change whatever he wants to his heart's content.

We have been playing DnD since the 70s, and in all that time, we have never played the rules exactly as written. The important thing is for players to believe that whatever changes you make are fair and for the better.

If there is enough you like about 4th ed, keep it and build on it.

So, a purist might say we are not playing DnD. So what?

I never really liked 4th ed until I started changing bits and pieces of the rules. Now we have a game that my players find very exciting.

So, for my 2 cents, change it as much or as little as you like, keeping in mind that your players want to be challenged, frightened, and ultimately victorious!
Two words: 13th Age

It'll need a bit of tweaking to make it feel more like D&D 4E, but considering how you're looking for a rules-light, narrative-centric system that gives homage to a lot of stuff from D&D, I highly recommend it.

Second suggestion, if you want an even rules-lighter system than 13th Age: Dungeon World  

13th Age is very cool and feels very 4e in its mechanics. Though the Icons kinda threw me off. I could see them being in the setting just not the game revolving around them.

Come to 4ENCLAVE for a fan based 4th Edition Community.

 

13th Age is very cool and feels very 4e in its mechanics. Though the Icons kinda threw me off. I could see them being in the setting just not the game revolving around them.



Yes, Icons should be setting specific. But on the other hand they are included in 13th Age core book just because they could just publish all material into a single volume, which in fact serves as player's handobook, DM guide, Monsters Manual and campaign setting.

The Icons presented there can be taken as templates. We've made our own for Eberron and Dark Sun easily actually. 

Or you can just ignore the icons system altogether, since it's modular.
13th Age is very cool and feels very 4e in its mechanics. Though the Icons kinda threw me off. I could see them being in the setting just not the game revolving around them.



Yes, Icons should be setting specific. But on the other hand they are included in 13th Age core book just because they could just publish all material into a single volume, which in fact serves as player's handobook, DM guide, Monsters Manual and campaign setting.

The Icons presented there can be taken as templates. We've made our own for Eberron and Dark Sun easily actually. 

Or you can just ignore the icons system altogether, since it's modular.




  • They are part of the setting, which by the way is designed to cater to homebrewers ;)


    • the book originally provided alternative scenarios like "what if you have no Archmage in your campaign?", but in the end decided to pull the examples out

    • there are also recommendations that, instead of utilizing the template names used (Archmage, Orc Lord, etc.), specific names would be used (and twists to their story as a result is encouraged)


  • Even moreso than 4E, you're encouraged to reflavor stuff to suit the campaign in mind

  • The really relevant part is that regardless of what the setting you're using, the Icons are there to represent world affiliations, possibly narrative power to the players, but my most favorite use of said feature is random adventure generation ;)

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You are Red/Blue!
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

You are both rational and emotional. You value creation and discovery, and feel strongly about what you create. At best, you're innovative and intuitive. At worst, you're scattered and unpredictable.

D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - D&D Compendium

57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
To me, the heart and soul of DnD from any version has always been that the DM can change whatever he wants to his heart's content.

I used to think this way, then I realized that it isn't the DM's game to change however he feels.  The game belongs to all the players and if anyone wants to make changes to the rules, they should get buy-in from everyone else so everyone will have fun and it doesn't just become a power trip for the DM.

I understand what you mean about being able to change the game to be the kind of game you want to play, because I've been playing for over 30 years now, but I just wanted to make that distinction between games where the DM is the final authority in everything and games where all the players get a say in how the game works.

There are quite a few games that focus on sharing responsiblity for telling the story between all the players as a major feature of the way the game works, but stressing that the referee should be a referee and fellow player, not a dictator, is something that I feel needs to be prominently featured in every game book, particularly in the referee's section.  ;)

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”



Second: those systems were bad.  They were poor RPGs that got in the way and did nothing well.  There are better systems that do everything he wants without being mechanically bad, so if he wants the things that Old D&D did that Good D&D doesn't, he should use one of the better systems rather than Old D&D.



Yeah, I can't agree.



Having said that, you then proceed to AGREE WITH ME on every point.

We loved AD&D. That doesn't mean I want to go back to it, but what the OP suggests could be done with a system that is MUCH cleaner than AD&D,



Which is what I just said:  Old D&D does nothing best, and other games have completely obsoleted it in every respect.  No matter what you want from your RPG, something other than Old D&D does it better.

(D20/3rd Edition is remarkable for "no matter what you want from your RPG, something other than 3E/D20 did it better *at least a decade before*", but that's still a continuation of the trend rather than a change.)



 I have recently gone from 3.5 to 4th, back to 3.x and now I'm playing a retroclone, designing my own D&D and converting stuff from BECMI and considering taking a hack at the Tomb of Elemental Evil.

 Old D&D does have some advantages over modern (3rd/4th/PF). It is less complex and easier to run. Very easy to explain to newer players, and it runs a lot quicker. it also has some very good adventures as well and I can recommend B4 The Lost City,B5 Horror on the Hill and B10 Nights Dark Terror.

 The mechanics have not aged well but I think if you had a d20 BECMI one could have a lot of fun playing through those old adventures.  Some retroclones of 1st and 2nd ed are d20 based as well and there is a lot of support for those old systems and you could spend years just playing through the old adventures as BECMI alone has 12 of them for levels 1-3. One could download a free retroclone and spend $50 at RPGnow.com on B1-B12 and play for years.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

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