Five Wishes for 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons

Image copyright Wizards of the Coast and the ArtistEven if you live in a cave on a desert island, there’s likely some neck-bearded castaway next to you predicting and complaining about a 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons. We’ve heard it for five years and we’ll hear it for five more, regardless of what new games are released. Most recently, 3rd edition veteran Monte Cook returned to the R&D team of Wizards of the Coast, launching all sorts of new speculation.

For the most part, such speculation seems like a waste to me. We can pontificate all we want about what Wizards might do with a new edition, how it will be perceived, or when it will be released. None of that helps us run great D&D games today. Still, as I think about it, there is a short list of things I’d like to see in a new edition, things I can’t really fix with simple house rules. So today I give you this short wish list in the hopes that, somehow, these items get addressed in some future iteration of the game I love.

Better Solo Monsters

I love solo monsters. I’ve spent the past three years building and running solo monsters for my group. I love that we finally have a way to differentiate between a dragon and an ogre in something other than level. I love the idea of a single creature able to challenge a group of five PCs.

Unfortunately, few solos do that. Above level 10, solo monsters find themselves in a severe disadvantage when compared to a group of five monsters. No matter how many hit points they have or how much potential damage they deal, they are still a single monster.

Designers give solos a host of abilities to help offset this disadvantage. Unfortunately this makes solo monsters complicated to run at the table. A large number of their powers are built strictly to avoid getting pinned down and killed too easily.

I’m not exactly sure how a new edition could improve solo monsters. Some built-in immunities to certain effects might help. A different set of actions for solos (three standards, for example) might also help. I think there are a hand-full of good solos already in 4e to use as a model.

Regardless, solo monsters are a great addition to D&D and something I hope to see more of in the future.

No Action-Stealing Status Effects

There are few effects hated more by both players and dungeon masters than effects that steal actions. Daze, stun, and dominate are the biggest offenders but certain paralyzing terrain effects and zones can be equally bad. People want to actually play when their turn comes up, whether they’re a DM or a player.

There are a few house rules we might put in place to for alternatives to daze, stun, and dominate but better is an entirely new status effect system that ensures there are enough variables for combat but doesn’t limit a players turn. Whatever combat effects we might see in a new system, hopefully they don’t steal away valuable actions from either the player or the DM.

Optional Complexity In Character Creation, Simplicity At the Table

Players like to have a lot of options available. They want to custom build a character, either based on a particular character they have in mind, to optimize their abilities, or something in between. Others prefer simpler characters they can generate quickly and have fun with at the table. Any future version of D&D should offer enough complexity so that players who enjoy tweaking characters can do so while players who just want a stock character can generate one quickly.

Both types of characters should be fast and simple to run at the table. I’ve written before about the glut of potential choices for higher level PCs. A system that moves complexity to character creation but keeps choices fast and simple at the table results in a quicker game and more time for each player to see what they’re character can do. And this leads in to my next wish:

Faster Combat

The long duration of combat has been a topic much discussed and debated. Some see combat length as a feature, not a bug, while others, myself included, want clear options for faster smaller battles from time to time. I want to see an easy to run 30 minute battle that can still challenge PCs. I want to see ten to fifteen rounds of combat in under an hour. Sure, epic fights might include extra levels of complexity, but right now even a fight against five normal monsters can go over an hour if you don’t have the DM hitting players with a taser to move things along.

Bonus-Based Attributes

Long ago attributes were based on 3d6 rolled for each attribute. Even in 1st edition there were optional rules to change that. No one wants to play a wizard with an intelligence of 6. Currently the point-buy system has nearly become the default. Yet, aside from some bonus hit points, the score itself doesn’t matter. Only the bonus matters. So if we’re only paying attention to the bonus, why have a score at all?

The attribute score is a relic that is ready to push back into history. Instead, I wish to see a bonus-based attribute system that puts the attention where it should be, on the bonus itself instead of an arbitrary score.

This Won’t Be Enough

Of course, fixing some of the rough edges of 4e won’t be enough for a new edition. There will have to be some other new feature, some other gimmick, that makes us all wonder how we ever managed to play up until now without it. 3.5 had feats and a d20 system that made a lot more sense. 4th edition had powers and a flatter power scale from level 1 to 30. What will 5e bring to the table that changes the game we play? Only time will tell.

Comments

  1. Kenneth McNay says:

    i like your list aside from the action stealing effects wish. I like the action stealing effects of daze, stun, and dominate. It is almost as though you can use an established rule to evoke a roleplay response to … say, being under a spell, getting a severe shock to the head, losing plenty of blood, being affected by poison or something.

    I’d like to see improvements on the vision and special senses types in respect to distances, conditions, and effective line of sight.

    I’d like most of all to see improvements to customization, and simplicity of characters, weapons, implements.

    I’d like to see a much smaller increase in hit point growth from 1 to 30.

  2. Your list is much different than mine would be, but I’d be happy to see everything on it except getting rid of action denial. While I understand the arguments against them, I think the complaints would be better addressed by speeding up combat rather than completely removing the options from the system.

  3. Yep, in my book getting rid of action denial throws out any sense of world or simulation or fiction for pure balanced tactical gameplay issues. It may be one of those things where the key is better guidance for DMs, but stripping out options because they might be misused is a design approach that has to end sometime.

  4. I continue to like solos, even in epic play. From LFR’s epic solos to solos in my home campaign, I love how they focus attention on one big bad thing. What I’ve found is most important is to scale the solo according to the players. For LFR, you need a lot of status shedding, off-turn redirection or prevention of damage, and movement options. For my home campaign I need a lot less than that because my players choose RP-based PC options and have very little magic.

    I do feel that there are too many conditions that are overly negative, especially to melee PCs. It feels like 7/8ths of the conditions really deny a melee PC. But, used sparingly they can be a great challenge. I do think adventure designers need to consider the ranged vs melee disparity and find ways to be equal in treatment (things like denying sight lines, obscuring terrain, etc. are good ways to force ranged PCs to deal with slowing/restraining). Action denial is really best as a hard choice. The melee striker is immobilized next to a target, just not the target she wants to attack. The ranged PC has a target, but is currently in a damaging zone… moving means no sight lane to the best target.

    I like Stun best in Dragon form, or as protection. Stun is great when that one PC is going to obliterate the big foe and ends up stunned to prolong the battle one round. Stun is great for a dragon to get a free round of carnage. For dominate, I house-rule it so the dominator chooses the action of the dominated on the dominator’s turn. The dominated then is treated as dazed on their turn. This means domination still results in damage but does not deny actions. Daze really depends on the party. It is very hard on PCs that need a minor to curse, mark, etc. It is fine on ranged PCs and can work really well with terrain. All in moderation!

    For combat speed, the best change is to lower defenses to Dark Sun monster levels and ensure damage is at new levels. Keep HPs of monsters in line with PC damage so most foes will drop quickly. Keep PC defenses reasonable as well. Combat becomes fast, bloody, and very fun.

    For 5E, whenever it comes, I really want to see the following improve:
    – Reduce role of magic items, make them more “wondrous cool” vs unlock math and break rules.
    – Improve skill system so there is more player choice if desired
    – Recast skill challenges dramatically so they are more responsive to player choice, less prescriptive
    – Greater emphasis on story components in combat that grant XP. Skill use, alternate resolution mechanics, choices, etc.
    – Increase emphasis in the writing on story, ecology, setting, role-playing. MV:NV is far better for RP than MM, and 5E should push this further.
    – Eliminate any weapons being optimal choices. Make them interesting fun choices.
    – Vastly reduce the number of immediate interrupts for PCs
    – Improve ratio of interesting conditions to nerf conditions
    – Traps, from finding them to setting them to fighting/disarming them

  5. The two most annoying thing with 4E for me are the long oh so long combats and that they kept the stat numbers when clearly the only thing that matters is the bonus. So for 5E I’d like to see some form of streamed line combat that includes some replacement or hit points, along the lines of true 20.

  6. Good list.

    I hope that when the day comes for 5e, they will open up requests for improvements to the community so that they can get a good feel for what isn’t working for a majority of players/DMs and focus on those issues.

    Though as you said, a 5th Edition really needs a wow-factor change to make switching over worthwhile. (Part of me wonders if they will develop a modular system built on 4e that will incorporate plugging in new subsystems to add or remove complexity, thus almost making an “Advanced 4th Edition” instead of a true 5e).

  7. CrowOfPyke says:

    I find that I disagree with nearly every point Mike “Sly Flourish” Shea has made above.

    -You can work around solo monster issues by enhancing them yourself.
    -If you don’t like “action stealing” status effects, change them yourself instead of just complaining about them.
    -Character creation is what you make it. It is very, very easy to differentiate your melee-oriented Warlock from someone else’s melee-oriented Warlock through simply roleplaying your character.
    -The stat system won’t ever go completely away. Some kind of point buy system will always determine your bonuses.
    -RPG’s don’t need gimmicks to be good, they need a good system. So it seems silly to say that 5th Edition DND would need a gimmick to be any good or to truly separate itself from previous additions.

  8. Argokirby says:

    I disagree with the stat issue. I would like to see D&D move away from bonuses back to the stat having the primary value. In 1e and 2e you made attribute rolls on a d20 and wanted to roll your stat or below. That is why the attributes we generated on 3d6.

    To me it seems that was a core of D&D that was lost with 3e and completely wiped away with 4e.

    Honestly I don’t even understand why 4e has 6 attributes. They could have just created a system where you had 3 (Physical, Mental, Spiritual) and at creation you choose what was your primary, secondary and tertiary.

    I think they kept 6 stats because it was considered a sacred cow to D&D, but they gutted the mechanic so it has little purpose. And it works great for 4e.

    So if they move to a 5e they need to have a mission statement. They need to decide if they want to go back to the feel and style of older D&D or move forward and declare that nothing is a sacred cow.

  9. As stated above, speeding up combat would go a long way towards fixing many of the problems we’ve all identified. However, my efforts to speed up combat have been met with resistance even by players that claim to want to speed up combat. Our 4e gaming culture is accustomed to one hour combats (let’s say 45 minutes of combat, and 15 minutes of talking about tactics, etc.). When I present groups with a 20-minute combat, they instinctively increase the amount of talking by about 25 minutes, bringing it back up to 60 minutes total that they expected. In all walks of life, people tend to create for themselves the circumstances they expect, and gaming is no different. If we want a particular change to occur, in some cases (not all), we need to change is the way we approach the game. Changing the system will take you only so far. If WotC wants to make certain improvements with 5e, it’ll be as much of an exercise in psychology as it will be in mathematics.

    Note, this isn’t a value judgment on how others play the game. If you want all combats to last 1 hour, that’s fine. Moreover, there are plenty of combats that are fun after more than an hour and therefore shouldn’t end any sooner. (I was a player in a 4 hour skill challenge/role-play encounter, and it was great.) I’m simply stating that the game is what you make of it. If you’re unhappy, maybe changing the way you game is the solution.

  10. 5e could go a couple different routes.

    Given much of 4e is based around consistent play and hard math, it would be easier to dump all the other numbers and reduce to a singe die roll. The game says Str + 1/2 level + proficiency + magic vs a set defense where 10 or higher hits, it’s easier to just remove the numbers outright and say 10+ hits. Play becomes much faster. Ditto if you stop rolling damage and have set numbers.

    If WotC is releasing the back catalogue digitally, it would mean 4e would always be available. So 5e could be very, very different because the people 4e appealed to would still have those books (or the board games or the miniature skirmish game).
    5e could very well be much more narrative-focused storyteller game, very focused on role-playing. That approach might work nicely for WotC: not requiring minis for D&D would mean the skirmish game could focus on being a good skirmish game instead of serving a double purpose as skirmish game AND mini supplier for the RPG.

  11. Hitting on a ten only would slow combat down even worse. Doesn’t become faster at all bc you miss much more frequently

  12. @froth: I think by, “hitting on 10,” @Jester meant “hitting on 9,” which is how the game is balanced, and thus, in theory, would result in the same number of hits. (Correct me if I’m wrong, Jester.) However, I still disagree with the idea. If you think most gamers would be happy with a game that is *that* simple, I have to wonder if you’ve met more than a couple gamers. 🙂 You’re swinging the pendulum too far towards simplicity with that kind of a system. Mike basically has it right: Create a game that caters to as broad an audience as possible by giving them a spectrum of complexity in their character development. For those that want a simple character, provide something like an Essentials character with properly scaled inherent bonuses. For those that want a complex character, give some magic items to a Runepriest. 🙂 The broader the compatible options there are, the happier *everyone* will be, including WotC.

  13. @frorh You pretty much hit on a 10 in 4e, of at least that’s the baseline. Monster defence is 12+level for 13 at level 1, and with a 16 in your to-hit stat that’s a 10+. Just like saving throws. You just hit more often if you optimize and have a 18 or 20. A strong defence might be higher and a weak defence might be lower but 10 is pretty much the mean.
    When I’m running with new players I tend to just tell them if they’re above a “10” they pretty much always hit unless its a boss.

    Like @Rob says the 10+ hit might be a *little* too simple for gamers, but gamers are a small percentage of the total potential audience. Board games have long had something similar to the “10+ hits” rule (i.e. roll a d6 and you hit on a 4+). Going simple and dumping the math might broaden the appeal.
    Just imagine how easily the game would flow if monsters just had the “to hit” number on them (dragons have a 13 while kobolds have a 6).

    Different complexities is one way to go. Another would be to release 5e sooner but continue to support 4e, even if only digitally. Have the two simultaneous lines with one being the complex game and one being the simpler game.

  14. I dm 4e, specifically Dark Sun, and the players love their abilities (currently a monk, ardent and warlock and a few npc player characters). There are things that players and I like about 4e. Seems like the classes that were just “I roll to hit” have cool abilities now, healing surges make sense and 1st level characters that aren’t cannon fodder.

    As far as 5e, please bring back the old school spell system in one form or another. It was a sacred cow that should have been tweaked and not thrown out completely (I know we have rituals but come on, they are nothing compared to previous editions). Admittedly it would be difficult but not impossible to have the prior edition spell systems into the game and have game balance among all classes. I say keep the other classes intact (let them have their cool abilities finally) and have the wizards, druids and clerics (and other spell casters) cast the previous edition spell system or free form magic similar to Barbarians of Lemuria…a player and dm decide if its possible…that would be a blast…a side note and interesting concept). Perhaps have a distinction of combat spells (similar to 4e) for encounter, at-will, etc. and then other utility spells that have to be prepared or spontaneously cast (the latter a better option in my opinion) with daily allotments, mana points or whatever. I really like the PH3 version of Psionics and classes though the 2, and 3e versions of Psions had more of a cool factor (I think the same can be said for the other spellcasters in previous editions).

    The rulebooks should be an entertaining read, not some kind of technical manual. I used to devour previous edition rulebooks. 4e reads like I’m studying for the latest Microsoft certification.

    PLEASE get rid of this defender, controller, leader and striker bs. Players didn’t need it in previous editions and they really don’t need it now. If I want to play WoW, I’ll boot my PC and log on. I don’t want my pen and paper game copying WoW. Don’t turn my favorite game of complexities, storytelling and group interactions into a board game. There are enough of those games on the market.

    I like feats but the shear number of them is getting out of hand. Simplify. I really love themes so roll those forward to 5e.

    If you’re going to have 3 Player Handbooks release them in monthly intervals after the initial release (printed or online). Players don’t want to wait years to play their favorite class or race. Better yet, release all the classes (and iconic races) in one book (now that would be a huge tome). If you must have more books (and I know you must, more books means more possibly of profit) have an Options or Advanced or whatever line. I would love to see an optional dodge, parry, block system similar to Palladium Fantasy as an option (hopefully it can be done without breaking the combat system).

    Truthfully 4e introduced new concepts that alienated old players and pushed them to Pathfinder, retro clones or to other systems. I like to think it was too different, or people invested too much in the previous editions and felt jilted (both points I can agree with). The previous D&D systems did some things right and 4e does many things spot on. I think combining the things that work from the old and new systems will progress the game forward. What’s right and wrong will take a lot of community input. Sorry if this reads like a laundry list of rambling thoughts of 5e desires but I guess I’m passionate about this game of ours. In closing, I’ve been playing D&D for decades now and I’ve tried other games and still return to the system I fell in love with in the beginning. If 5e is coming, and I’m sure it is, please bring back some of that old magic we really love. Don’t make it something that you’re planning a .5 edition just as the new edition is being released. People have less money (and time for that matter) these days for recreation, burn your bridges too many times and gamers will just roam elsewhere and just reminisce D&D how it used to be.

  15. One other minor point: Please change “knocked prone” to “off-balanced.” Thank you.

  16. JRedGiant` says:

    4E is pretty solid as is. Not much needs to be changed, just tweaked.

    Change stunned and dominate
    Ditch rapid zone reentry cheese
    Put solos on steroids

  17. Pistonrage says:

    I agree with the stats to bonuses, that’s basically what we have, but people like to see 18’s in stats… not +4. so I don’t think the change despite being not really a change would go over well.

    As for speeding up combat… I’ve not experienced slow combats that people are complaining about unless for some reason the dice have turned and we can’t hit anything. The only thing I can think is people need to pay more attention to the combat and not have to recheck the entire combat situation every time.

    I also disagree with removing action inhibitors, They are always annoying or awesome, based on what side you are on, and they represent an effect that is strategic. removing them would simply add more actions to process in combat… which goes against that whole.. getting shorter combats!

    Finally, the character simplification for playing…. NOT POSSIBLE… without turning absolutely everything into cookie cutter PC’s. The current “power card” system works well, all the numbers and math done for you, so there shouldn’t be too much to do except choose a power and use it. The speed at the table, simply requires people knowing what they’re doing at the table and knowing their character.

  18. Aaron Friesen says:

    I’d just like it if 5th edition was actually just a new edition of the rules, rather than a new set of rules. Ya know, like the difference between second edition and first, rather than second and third, or third and fourth. Too much to ask?

  19. I think it’s funny how people keep talking about 5e, when almost all the wish list can be handled in 4e with the living, morphic game that it has been. The constant tweaks, playtests, errata, changes… those go right into the game. Who today is playing 4e the way it came out originally? Aren’t we playing monsters as they were “improved” in MM3, and playtests, and learning experiences like Essentials Dragons?

    So do an Unearthed Arcana. Do a PHB-X which addresses the ideas we all giving constantly, because 4e has been, is, and will be a living playtested improving game. Give the poor guys at Wizards a break, because they morph it all the time. They watch DDI data, convention data, blogs, the community, etc etc. As several people have said, make it a better game *now* — which one of us really wants to buy another edition? Let’s just keep tweaking this edition. It’s worked [for me] so far.

    Maybe, with open submission blocks, they will allow articles like Angry DM’s ole “How to Run a Boss” in 3 stages. Options that may not govern the whole darn system and every campaign setting. I know we want more Themes, because they work awesomely for Dark Sun and Neverwinter. I know I want the next year or two of publishing to follow the excellent, in-depth quality of every book I purchased from WotC this year. I cannot find fault with any of them, and even little kits like “Lair Assault” showed some designer love.

  20. Cernunnos says:

    Just one

    Wizards sell the D&D IP to Paizo.

  21. I don’t think, action-stealing effects should be removed from the game. Sure, they can be annoying. But I cannot imagine a D&D world without monsters that can paralyze or dominate you. And replacing those action-stealing effects by non-action-stealing ones would just not feel the same. If you really want to replace them, you can find ideas for replacement for the dominated and dazed conditions on http://www.twoddr.net/2011/04/dominated/

    One idea on the optional complexity in character creation: What about introducing something like the character flaws that existed in 3.5? That is, you would be able to tweak your character by trading some negative effects or disadvantages for additional powers and feats. The character should still be fast and simple to run, but it should be up to the player to keep an eye on how much complexity he can handle.

    This leads me to another point where I disagree with you. I don’t think, the rules have to be altered to make the fights quicker. I don’t even think this is possible. That’s because my experience is that the main reasons why fights often are way longer than they should be are:

    – the players don’t remember what their characters can do or can’t decide what to do; (the same applies to DMs and their monsters)
    – players lose focus

    If the players and the DM are well prepared and know their characters/monsters, and if everyone keeps focused to the game, then fights will run faster. If they don’t, no other set of rules will do the trick.

  22. @Tobias: I agree that the two reasons you list are among the reasons combats take so long. I’ll also add over-thinking tactics. Much of the discussion on tactics turns out to be a waste of time. Nevertheless, combats can be made faster by design. For example, what if I halved all NPC hit points? Don’t you think that would make for faster combats (regardless of whether it’s a good way to do it)? I’ve designed my dungeon crawl system to cut combat time by about 2/3, but I’ve found that players instinctively fill in that missing 2/3 of combat with even more discussion of combat tactics. If they expect 60 minute combats, many of them find a way to make that happen, even if they complain off-line that combats are too slow. It’s more a cultural issue than a mechanical one. So, I agree with you to an extent, but you’re wrong that it’s impossible to make a faster combat system within the 4e engine. I’ve done it, once the players get the hang of it, it occurs. Often.

  23. Ok, you’re right. Combats can be made faster by design. I’m not sure if they should, though.

    To avoid over-thinking tactics, you could limit the time each player has to decide what he’s gonna do and limit how much the players can communicate about tactics during an encounter. I have never tried that, but it might be interesting…

  24. @Tobias: I’ve considered that, but my players usually aren’t children, and I’m not their babysitter. I really don’t want to come across as a jackhole, telling people how to play. The real solution is to find a table of players with whom your approach to the game has synchronicity. I’m spoiled in this regard because I’m in one of the richest gaming markets in the country (Washington, DC). For smaller gaming communities, and for organized play anywhere, your ability to choose your table becomes more restrictive. That’s where the problem is, and I don’t really have an answer.

    Also, I’m sort of with you on shortening combats not being the answer. My point of view is that some combats overstay their welcome. I once played through a 4-hour skill challenge/role-play session, and it was great. I’ve been through 2-hour combats that never got old. *Those* shouldn’t go away. The problem is that most combats are eventually reduced to a boring, back-and-forth of at wills and basic attacks. Ideally, at the moment that occurs, the combat naturally ends with one side going to 0 hit points or surrendering. The standard system doesn’t allow for that very well, and that’s one of the things my system tries to do. (It’s clearly better, but not perfect.) I still run plenty of 60-minute combats. The length of the encounter isn’t strictly the issue.

  25. I don’t like babysitting my players either. But unfortunately, people and groups as a whole often fail to change their bad habits on their own. So somebody has to guide them. And if you feel that your players have not as much fun as they could because of their bad habits (such as over-thinking tactics), you should guide them the path to a better way to play.

    I’d feel bad doing this, too. And I don’t do this. But I feel that I actually should.

  26. I just stumbled upon this article: http://www.dungeonmastering.com/tools-resources/one-die-short-combat-tactics It’s about adding a new skill called Tactics, which can be used (among other things) to determine how much players can communicate about tactics during combat.

    This certainly will not speed up combat, but is an interesting idea, though.

  27. 5e? Can’t see it ever happening. There’s way too much mileage in 4e left yet and I think everything you’ve talked about can be addressed in the current edition…

    Better Solo Monsters – can be fixed in 4e easily either by the DM or by petitioning WOTC to sort it out.

    No Action-Stealing Status Effects – 3e had them, no problem, but maybe long combat is really the problem. I’ll come back to that one. However, just don’t use those rules or house-rule them

    Optional Complexity In Character Creation, Simplicity At the Table – essentials right? I don’t see the need for a 5th edition to address this

    Faster Combat – lose the battle grid and roleplay it. Seriously – ‘board game style’ tactical combat is what slows things down, not the system itself. Giving them something to focus on and ponder over and be distracted by where figures are moving to when it’s someone else’s go, that’s the problem.

    Another tip for speeding things up is reduce the number of players. I have a hard limit of 4 players now and that has made things a ton faster.

  28. Great blog, Mike, and I like many of your points. However, I have to disagree with your opinions about status conditions.

    Action-stealing conditions have always been a part of D&D, since first edition, and removing them would not make sense for how we simulate certain classic character spells and monster powers. If anything, older editions had even more ways of taking away a turn from a player or creature when you consider conditions like held, charmed, frightened, confused, and paralyzed were common place even in low level spells and monster powers. And given that many of these powers lasted until dispelled, being afflicted by one of them would mean that a player should just go on a beer/pop run while the rest of the gang finished the combat.

    My own wishes for 5E include:
    – More skills and a better designed skill system / skill challenge system
    – Maintaining the ease of prep for DMs designing encounters, adventures, and monsters
    – Magic Items that are character perks/rewards, rather than requirements to maintain hit/defense/damage expectations
    – Keeping a balance of power between melee and magic classes so no player feels their character is useless at either low level or high level

  29. @Neuroglyph: One of your bullet points demonstrates the problem facing every game designer: You have to be all things to all people, and that’s not possible. Not everyone agrees that magic items should be awards or perks, and no one gamer’s personal experiences can be anything more than anecdotal as to indicating which position represents the majority view. The better approach is to create a system flexible enough to provide all options, yet somehow keep the Player’s Handbook under 100,000 pages. Again, this is a challenge, but we’re all putting together a wish list here, so this hardly breaks protocol. 🙂

    “Magic Items that are character perks/rewards, rather than requirements to maintain hit/defense/damage expectations”

    … should be reworded to …

    “Allowing magic Items to be treated as either 1) character perks/rewards, or 2) requirements to maintain hit/defense/damage expectations”

    Different people play the game for different reasons. They like what they like, and hate what they hate. One thing that should never be forgotten, though, is that we’re all equally entitled to the game as we see fit. To the extent that WotC can cater to all of us simultaneously, they’ll have the same level of success with 5e.

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