you are right, classless system is dangerous in some ways, i was just suggesting more freedom (classes remove a bit of freedom and guide you through levels)
but 4th edition classes are too much closed...
@All i skipped some of your votes because i wasn't sure of what you really want to say, i apologize but i prefer to keep a "black and white" status, evoiding grey areas
@ChaosStorm magicitems has to be mechanically no clue what this means
this means: do you want magical items to be kind of necessary for play? (like now, without a magic weapon ad higher level it's very hard to hit) or do you prefer flavored not-necessary magic items that add something to your character withouth cause him to depend on them
LEVEL--1-30 Having more levels should mean you level more often, which gives you that cool "ooh I leveled!" feeling more often. Personally my campaigns will last the same amount of time either way, so if the players get more chances to have that cool feeling and get new crunch to play with, sounds good to me.
POWERS--Good I'm kinda torn on this one, as I really do understand the argument against powers, but when it comes down to it, I like the idea. I think it needs a lot of work, but it's the right sort of track to take, because it means you can give interesting options to every class in a defined system. Powers for different classes/power sources should work very differently(things like how psionics in 4e is very different), however, to avoid the somewhat homogenized classes of PHB1.
VANCIAN SYSTEM--Bad The Vancian casting system as a whole never really made sense to me. Pretty much any other casting system I think would be better. I did like having the slight nod to it with 4e Wizards having spellbooks, but the full system itself is something I'm glad to see gone.
CLASS ROLES--Good The classes of every edition have had roles whether they were pointed out or not, and actively pointing them out is helpful to new players. Should there be classes that can switch roles, sub certain roles and main certain roles, or have options that blur the lines a bit? Absolutely. But trying to take them away entirely is a poor idea, because at its core it would make every class jack-of-all-being terrible at everything.
MAGIC ITEMS HAVE TO BE MECHANICALLY...--Important Apparently(unless the first post hasn't been updated) I'm the only one that thinks this. Now, don't get me wrong, I think the inclusion of alternate rewards instead of magic items/inherent bonuses/etc is a great idea. But this is D&D, and I want my +5 flaming sword. If there could be an alternate system where things were totally balanced around having none of these bonuses at all(so a compensatory thing like inherent bonuses wasn't necessary), that'd be fine, but it'd be a lot of additional work compared to something like inherent bonuses, and if there has to be a default, I prefer my +whatever items. I do like that they toned it down to just the three slots in 4e, though. Not EVERYTHING has to be a +X.
ABILITY SCORES--Good 99% of the tabletop RPGs I've seen has these in some form, and for good reason. They work really, really well.
A LOT OF CLASSES--Bad(?) I suppose this depends on what you define as "a lot". I don't want 37 classes in my game. I do, however, want PHB1 to have 8-10ish classes in it. My main reasoning for this is that if you keep adding classes, it becomes hard for people to keep up with it. Adding additional variants to existing classes is easier to work with and means new content will have some existing basis in the game. Certain concepts can't really be done right with existing classes, I know, so sometimes you have to add new ones. I'd just prefer it be limited. Heroes of the Feywild is a brilliant example of this, IMO: 4 fun new class ideas that are all variants of existing classes.
A LOT OF RACES--Bad(?) Again, depends on what constitutes "a lot". Like with classes, I'd like to see 8-10ish races in PHB1. Also, I don't want to quash options in this area, but I want to races to have a real, significant impact. The more different races you add, the harder this becomes to accomplish. I love things like racial feats, racial utility powers, racial paragon paths, and the like, but not every 4e race was created equal with these things. I'd rather have fewer races that were better supported than more races. I'm all for having a "for players" section on vaguely playable monster races in monster manuals, perhaps with Dragon magazine support later to flesh them out more, however.
ABILITY SCORES FOR RACES--Yes If the big, burly race has the exact same range of strength scores as the halflings, that makes no sense. The way 4e did ability scores for races(one primary +2 and one either/or +2) was great, I see no reason to change it.
FEATS(AND OTHER OPTIONS) THAT GIVE YOU STATIC +X BONUSES--Bad The main source of feat tax, power creep, and old material becoming worthless in general is feats that have a +X. I'd rather feats gave me cool new options or changed the way some of my abilities work somehow instead of just a +X.
HIT POINTS--Good Please, please, PLEASE have the rules explicitly stress that hit points are an abstract system, not a literal record of how wounded you are. For a heroic fantasy game, this abstract record of how much fighting capacity you have left works great, as opposed to a more specific system of injuries and wound levels and such. I also do love the bloodied mechanic, so please keep that as well.
HEALING SURGES--Good I like the overall concept of healing surges, as to me they represent your overall capacity for exertion and toughness for a period of adventuring--while you might be momentarily overwhelmed(your hit points hit zero), you can bounce back and keep fighting because the wounds aren't overall that bad, because you have surges left. Everyone has limits, though, and you reach those limits when your surges run out. The idea of second winds and nonmagical healing sort of keys off of this idea too, so I like that as well.
DEFENSES--As AC This is kind of a sacred cow, but it's one I like. It also cuts down on the number of rolls per attack, and removes the disappointing "You hit! ...and deal no damage" from the majority of combats, since it only comes up with things that resist specific damage types now. I would be totally ok with a scaling system of getting a bonus to damage related to how much you beat the defense by, however. It is kinda lame to roll a super high attack roll and then brick your damage.
SKILL CHALLENGES--Good One of the best parts of 4e, though the mechanics need serious work--I've somewhat kludged together my own system for figuring out DCs and numbers of successes and failures, and it works pretty well. The basic idea I've kept intact, however. While I don't think we need mechanics for everything that isn't combat, it helps define the game as more than just a combat game and lets mechanics come into play in noncombat situations, which is something I like. Yes, you should roleplay through your tense negotiation with the Baron(or what have you), but shouldn't your character's actual abilities matter too? That's why you took Diplomacy, isn't it? When you've rolled a few skill checks over the course of such a scene, you've basically just done a skill challenge. Why not codify the rules for it a little more?
SKILLS HAVE TO BE--Important See above rant. If skills aren't important to the game, why even have them?
NORMAL CHANCE TO HIT--50% as now 50% is fine. As long as big awesome things like Daily powers have things like reliable and "on-miss" conditions, 50% doesn't bother me. If you hit too often, you need to give opponents more HP to compensate, and this makes combat drag on when people start getting unlucky on damage or hit rolls. Also, hitting too often becomes too powerful when hits have rider conditions like dazed or immobilized. Missing does suck, but as long as defenses are balanced so appropriate level encounters see hit rates of about 40-60% and not 5-95% like it seems to be now, I don't see the problem.
ALIGNMENT IS--Mechanical Truth be told, I think alignment is both mechanical and fluff. I say mechanical because there's one key thing about alignment mechanics I want--holy, unholy, axiomatic, and anarchic effects. I loved having certain things like that affect people differently because of alignment. Alignment should not, however, restrict things like class choice(let my Paladins go!). It should also not be a straitjacket defining your character--you define how the character acts, and THAT determines his alignment, not the other way around. Of course, DMs need to be watchful for characters acting out to change their alignment for their own benefit, but any DM worth their salt should be able to do that just fine.
Oh, and bring back the 9-alignment grid! The new alignment system in 4e sucks something awful, and it was the very first thing I houseruled away.
SAVE OR DIE--Bad A single, isolated unlucky roll shouldn't immediately screw your character. That's really hard on the player and just as hard on the DM, as now he has to contrive a way for the PC to get out of death or whatever other equally impossible predicament it is, or figure out how to introduce a new character into his ongoing story. Giving players more chances to avoid these horrible fates is a better idea. Will people still die(or the like) and have to deal with the aforementioned consequences? Yeah, they will. But this makes it less common, and less frustrating.
LEVEL 1-30 POWERS GOOD VANCIANT SYSTEM BAD CLASS ROLES GOOD MAGIC ITEMS HAS TO BE MECHANICALLY NOT IMPORTANT ABILITIES SCORES BAD A LOT OF CLASSES BAD A LOT OF RACES BAD ABILITY SCORES FOR RACES NO FEATS (AND OTHER OPTIONS) THAT GIVES YOU STATIC +X BONUSES BAD HIT POINTS GOOD HEALING SURGES GOOD DEFENSES AS AC SKILL CHALLENGES GOOD SKILLS HAS TO BE IMPORTANT NORMAL CHANCE TO HIT 50% AS NOW ALIGNMENT IS FLUFF SAVE OR DIE BAD
The whole 'modular' aproach is a terrible idea. The fatal flaw to a 'something for everyone' customizeable aproach is that complexity is one of those things that divides the RPG community. Some tollerate it, some highly value simplicity. A system where you 'choose the level of complexity' /is complex/, it fails out the gate.
There have been successful systems that take highly customizeable or highly modular aproaches. They've been called 'universal' or 'multi-genre' or simply 'core' systems. Hero System and GURPS are probably the best exaples. These systems apeal to really serious gamers who want to master a very complex system and turn it to a wide variety of genres and campaigns - because, well, the game /a lot/. That's actually a pretty small niche, as the relative popularity of those two systems compared to far less customizeable ones - like D&D - attests.
LEVEL No vote. POWERS Good. VANCIAN SYSTEM Bad, though obviously there does need to be some kind of limit on how much powerful magic can be used. CLASS ROLES Bad. Not that roles themselves are bad, but I think classes should have more flexibility to determine which role they want to fill. MAGIC ITEMS Not mechanically important. Having a large party I prefer inherent bonuses to avoid giving out piles of magic items in every dungeon room just to keep things balanced. ABILITIES SCORES Good. In addition to being mechanically relevent these can provide interesting roleplaying hooks. A LOT OF CLASSES Good, but with the caveat that they should all be supported. A LOT OF RACES Good. I like more player options. ABILITY SCORES FOR RACES Good. Helps reinforce the logic of traditional archetypes, but is not so significant that playing against type is impossible. FEATS (AND OTHER OPTIONS) THAT GIVES YOU STATIC +X BONUSES Bad. Typically very mechanically advantageous, but uninteresting. HIT POINTS Good. HEALING SURGES Good, at least compared to older editions that potentially required weeks of rest to heal up. Possibly less realistic, but I think its more fun. DEFENSES Good. SKILL CHALLENGES Bad. I definitely think skills should be important, but I don't like the idea of, "Oh, its a skill challenge. Don't bother trying creative solutions, just pick your best skill and go." SKILLS Should be important, but should supplement in game problem solving rather than replacing it. NORMAL CHANCE TO HIT 75% (roughly). ALIGNMENT IS Fluff. SAVE OR DIE Bad. Poor choices might put a PC in a situation where a single roll determines life or death, but I don't think the system should encourage this mechanic.
Long time since i last posted here actively. The development of 5th edition (whilst quite annoying to me) brought me back so I can make my voice heard.
So, my thoughts on the matter:
Levels: 30 I like the increased number, gives a bit more granularity for advancement, which is something I like.
Powers: Good I really really like the Power System, although there are probably be some improvements out there that are worthwhile. Most of all I hope they keep the Powers not just for casters but for martial characters too. Finally a game where being a fighter meant more than doing one of four maximum moves you could ever learn (i.e. grapple, disarm, sunder, and the all-mighty all-out-attack). This was among the chief reasons for my liking of 4th Edition. Keep it, please.
Vancian System: Can go die in a fire and never ever return lest I bomb it from orbit. I think my above statement pretty much sums it up.
Class Roles: Kinda good. Maybe a bit less strict and with some other improvements, but all in all they are good. They give you an indicator what your class is good at, which is very helpful for new players, while leaving the more advanced players to fiddle around and maybe focus more on a secondary role.
Mechanical Magical Items: Not important. THey could, for all I care, be mostly fluff. Since they will stay, I would like to see them return in a less annoying fashion. Make them have a real effect, not just "+X" stat modifiers. That is boring as hell. Give them spectacular abilities, even if it's "just" a fire sword. Don't make it a "flaming sword +2", the flaming is neough to have fun with it.
Ability Scores: Good. While I generally would like to see D&D change into a more modern system and that means slaughtering sacred cows, I kinda like the Ability Scores in D&D.
Lots of Classes: Good in moderation. Do not give us seventeen subclasses again, but instead focus on a few good ones per year. Make classes worthwhile, interesting, deep and meaningful.
Lots of Races: Good in moderation. As above. Most of all, keep the classes that go beyond the boring old cliche races. Keep them too, I do like my elf and dwarf, but for the love of all that is good, give me some exotic stuff to work with.
Ability Score Mod for Races: Good. Keep them as in 4E - i.e. plusses only. I like that certain races are better with certain classes (to a small degree). What I do not like is the penalizing for certain races back in the day.
Feats as simple +X: Bad. Give me unique and interesting stuff, not boring +X modifiers. They are yawn-o-matic.
Hit Points: Good. Keep them as in 4th Edition: A decent amount to start with, a good but not too steep increase, and as they were intended from the start: as something beyond "how much axe to the face can I take?".
Healing Surges: Good. I like that they implemented a limit on what you can do per day, it feels natural for the body to have a limit on how much he can take before refusing to heal any further.
Defenses: As AC. Like the way it is.
Skill Challenges: Good. Keep them, but work hard on them. Improve upon the concept, which was not only interesting but very awesome to boot.
Skills have to be: Important. I like Skills in gaming systems and would prefer to have them actually be important. Maybe a bit moreso than in 4E currently.
Normal Chance to Hit: Unsure.
Alignment: Keep it mechanical or loose a customer. Simple as that.
Save or Die: Bad. Very very fraking bad. Same as alignments. If SoD makes a return as it were in 3E and earlier I will certainfly not get on board of the next edition. They make things plainly un-fun for me and my group. Insta-death is rarely interesting.
So that's my quick view on the topics at hand in this thread.
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This smells of design by comittee. Most of these decision points only make sense as a coherent system, not a checklist. At best, this can give some indication of player preference, but this shouldn't be base for design...
LEVEL I've never played anything beyond Paragon, but it's nice as an option for those who like it. I'd keep Epic it in a separate sourcebook, though.
POWERS I like the format, and I've never been in the "OMG my fighter cast spells" camp.
VANCIAN SYSTEM Even though its widely unpopular, it's actually a pretty easy and straightforward game mechanic - pick your spells, cross them off when cast. The problem really was that low-level wizards were useless, and high-level wizards were gods. Vancian magic could work if Wizards had 2-3 at-will magic attacks, 4-5 daily spells to prepare (with power dependend on class level), and rituals for the off-combat magic. Which is pretty close to what 4th ed did.
CLASS ROLES The combat roles (Striker, Defender, Controller, Leader) were a good introduction to 4th edition (late 3.5 edition, in fact...) However, there should be options within a class, as later 4th ed material did. For example, there would be a Striker (= Slayer), Defender (=Knight) and Leader (= Warlord) path within the Fighter.
MAGIC ITEMS HAS TO BE MECHANICALLY Hunting magic items has always been a big part of D&D. However, stuff like Longsword +5 is bland and boring. Look at Earthdawn how magic items can be handled in a much more epic (as in storytelling) fashion.
ABILITY SCORES How do you do without them?
A LOT OF CLASSES A LOT OF RACES ... will happen sooner or later with splatbooks.
ABILITY SCORES FOR RACES Among other things. I'd like to see racial themes and powers more.
FEATS (AND OTHER OPTIONS) THAT GIVES YOU STATIC +X BONUSES Big question mark. I do like feats, but I think 4th edition had way too many of them, and relied on them as bonus givers way too much. I'd like to see less feats (maybe one per three or four levels), but as stuff that really defines the character (say, changing a wizard to a swordmage) rather than just required +X to keep up with the monsters.
HIT POINTS I've seen a lot of RPGs, but never a good alternative to hit points. If they come up with one, why not.
HEALING SURGES Wouldn't mind seeing them replaced with something better.
DEFENSES Similar to 4th edition. I'd love to see "parry" as new defense.
SKILL CHALLENGES Idea good, but too complex for me as DM.
SKILLS HAS TO BE Gotta have them.
NORMAL CHANCE TO HIT 60-70%
ALIGNMENT IS Story-based
SAVE OR DIE Reserved to some truly awesome high-level powers. I wouldn't mind an Archwizard with a "poof you are dead" spell, but it should be hard to get and expensive to cast. In no way should this be a dominant game mechanic as in 3rd ed.
Heh... try to fit these answers into your poll figures.
Level Assuming "levels" is still a thing in 5E (which is likely), it doesn't matter what the numbers end up being. They're subjective anyways. It could go from 1-50 and not represent any more power than 1-20 does in 4E. So my vote is that the number of levels is a non-issue.
Powers Powers are simply one incarnation of class features, and their value cannot be determined in a vacuum. In 4E, powers are an integral part of the system, and their removal would mean invalidating the entire system. In 3.5E, powers (called spells/psionics/spell-like abilities/supernatural abilities/maneuvers) are less prevalent in that not every class has them, but no less integral to the system. There are MANY RPGs out there, and 5E could be among them, that don't have any direct analogue to powers, and they don't suffer for it. So I'm neutral on powers until such time as I have more information on the system, at which point, if powers are a thing, I imagine they'll be a good thing.
Vanciant [sic] System Strictly and vehemently against. I've never liked it, and never will. Each new edition is an opportunity to move further and further away from that design, and I felt betrayed when the developers said they were doing away with it in 4E, and it wasn't COMPLETELY done away with.
Class Role Mostly positive. There are systems that don't need class roles (or indeed, classes at all), but I don't think D&D is one of them. Class roles don't necessarily have to be fixed, though. After all, the 4E fighter is both a striker and a defender, and the druid is both a controller and a leader. If each class has an option of two or more roles, I suspect people will whine less.
Magic Items I've always wanted to do away with magic items as being mechanically required. Hopefully that will be an option straight out of the box with 5E.
Ability Scores What do you mean? Having them at all? Good. Having the specific six that D&D has always had? Meh. Take it or leave it. Having them be the fundamental statistic that determines your character's effectiveness at everything he does? Not good, and in my opinion, one of the chief failings of 4E. I think that 5E should see a big reduction in the importance of ability scores, but should not do away with them altogether.
A lot of Classes Depends on what the classes represent, mechanically. Either way, we're GOING to see a lot of classes, because it's profitable to do so. Also, even if you don't use all the classes, it doesn't hurt to have them as options. I see no reason to NOT want more classes.
A lot of Races Like with classes, I see no reason to say that more is worse, even if more isn't better.
Ability Scores for Races This aspect of the game's design CANNOT be evaluated without context. Obviously, race should have SOME effect on ability scores, but how much is determined by how important ability scores are. I would not be opposed to racial ability score modifiers being removed, but I'd rather see the importance of ability scores being drastically reduced instead.
Character Options with static bonuses I see no reason, without further context from the system as a whole, to say that this is a bad thing, as long as they aren't "must-have" options.
Hit Points While I'd personally like to see them go, it's not because I think they're a bad design. It's because I think too many people have misconceptions about WHAT they are, and what they're supposed to represent. Moving to a wounds system of some sort might aid in that, but might dramatically affect the tone of the game.
Healing Surges Like a lot of these, it's impossible to evaluate this mechanic in a vacuum. In 4E, it was good (necessary, even). In other editions, it would not be a good idea.
Defenses I would like to see rolls for hitting/missing go the way of the dodo, so I'm going to say that defenses should come in the form of damage resistance or some other mitigating factor.
Skill Challenges I could take or leave this one. On the one hand, I don't need rules to help my group roleplay, but on the other hand, having skill challenges does help keep people from saying that you can't roleplay in the system (mind you, it doesn't stop them altogether, it just helps). I suppose I'm in favor of skill challenges overall.
Skills It would be refreshing to see skills become more important, but great care must be taken in ensuring that they are equally important. Not like in 3.5E where Tumble was all-powerful in combat and Profession was never used.
Normal Chance to Hit Like I said, I'd like to do away with attack rolls altogether, so I'll say 100%. In reality, it's all just math, so any number could become acceptable. Hitting more is fun, though, so put me down for 75%+.
Alignment Is Non-existent in my game.
Save or Die Is part of what made 3.5E casters overpowered. It's a horrible, horrible idea and has no place in any modern RPG system that cares anything about balance.
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