How D&D Next Is Shaping Up

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How D&D Next Is Shaping Up

The design team of the next Dungeons & Dragons explains the process.

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It sounds like they are changing DM rules to be exactly how many people tend to DM anyway. I know very few DM's who don't free-ball DC's for stuff all the time. I know I do all the time and it seems to work out fine.

The real question is what does 1d4chan think of the next D&D. They are powered by rage so chances are they will hate it.

I got scared off D&D by all the stuff you have to do just to get anything done but I have to admit this sounds a lot more like how I always thought D&D should be. When it comes out I might try to get some friends together :D

Not quite sure what I think about this. As a new guy to DND, I was actually comforted by 4E's specific rules, and if I didn't like them, I could just chuck them out the window (like I did for certain Ritual times). It sounds like they're trying to encourage winging it, which is good for experienced DMs but for new people will be overwhelming.

scotth266:
Not quite sure what I think about this. As a new guy to DND, I was actually comforted by 4E's specific rules, and if I didn't like them, I could just chuck them out the window (like I did for certain Ritual times). It sounds like they're trying to encourage winging it, which is good for experienced DMs but for new people will be overwhelming.

I don't see the winging part as much. Yes, they are relaxing the rigidity a bit, but theysaid that there will still be guidelines on DCs for checks. One problem I had with 4e (which I played and DM'd from release to last year) was that while skills (and just about every other d20 roll) increased every level, but so did the DC.

As for the specifics vs homebrew, look at the DnDNext page. The looks of it is that there will be a set of rules with a large amount of customization to the rules available.

Also, playtest May 24th.

Huh. 5th Ed sounds... interesting.

Well, I'll give it a looksie when it comes out. See how it stands up to Pathfinder.

Although, I was confused by one thing. When I (as a DM) charm a PC, I say "make a Will save". If that PC has specific bonuses (like the +2 to Ench mentioned in the article) they usually say "against what school?" And I say "Enchantment" - to which they say "fuck" and also "I have a +2 bonus to that, so..." and then they add up whatever they rolled.

How would a PC not KNOW they are Charmed? They have to roll a Will save (or in 4th Ed, the GM would roll the charm attack, but would still need to know their Will Defense).

Or, if the DM was doing secret rolls for certain effects (to create more mystery) against a chart of all the PC's Defense numbers, then wouldn't it be the DM's job to have that +2 vs Ench written down?

Anyway, I just thought that was a very strange example. I have never had that be a problem in games.

When they were talking about "feel-bad abilities" I assumed they were talking about abilities that removed a player from combat (like Hold person) effectively making them sit quietly for 30 minutes while everyone else has fun without them. THOSE are abilities I'd like to see looked at - sending someone below 0 HP is one thing, or even making them attack the nearest target or themselves while confused still has them participating, but things that entirely prevent a player from playing for an extended period of time just seem to detract from the game.

All I have to say is, about time.

I tired of the players who will insist that the book ruling is set in stone and the DM isn't the god of his own little universe. Too much Rigid rules = no fun

I was once invited to a D&D session. Before I could make my mind up whether to play or to run away, angry, scared and confused like a demented wolf that had it's tail ripped off by a Hills Hoist, the invite faded away. Apparently D&D was hard enough to set up, let alone play. So if they're simplifying the rules or at least giving the players more freedom of choice where the rules are concerned, I'm fine with that.

I was gonna post something about Pathfinder but I forgot. I cant think about anything than Diablo 3. Fuck I want Diablo 3. :|

I feel obligated to remind everyone that Greg Tito has a vested interest in talking down 4e and D&D Next because he's pushing a competing product.

Journalistic integrity (in the games industry at least) is pretty much nil, but it's something people ought to know when reading anything related to D&D from him.

darksakul:
All I have to say is, about time.

I tired of the players who will insist that the book ruling is set in stone and the DM isn't the god of his own little universe. Too much Rigid rules = no fun

I would temper that by saying there needs to be balance though. If there is one thing that's worse then a DM/players that never breaks from rules it's a DM that never adheres to them. Rules and rulings give the world structure and should be relied on to be consistent and fair.

Hm, I think I'll be looking into this one a bit deeper than I did 4th edition. I may actually leave behind all trappings of 2nd edition this time around.
I'm never going back to hitpoints, though. I made the Star Wars vitality/wound system work with D&D, and I'm sticking with it. Homebrew for life and whatnot.

captchasolve: goody gumdrop. We'll see.

Astroturf:
I feel obligated to remind everyone that Greg Tito has a vested interest in talking down 4e and D&D Next because he's pushing a competing product.

Journalistic integrity (in the games industry at least) is pretty much nil, but it's something people ought to know when reading anything related to D&D from him.

Hey Astroturf,

I am about as far from "talking down 4e and D&D Next" as one could possible get. I've written material for 4th edition for WotC and Goodman Games and played in many 4th edition campaigns, in addition to contributing to the Adventurer Conqueror King System. It's true that my tastes have shifted so that 4th is no longer my preferred game, and I feel ignoring my opinion wouldn't give me any more "integrity".

I don't see ACKS as a competing product. There's just no way for a small publishing company like Autarch to draw anywhere near the sales and brand recognition of D&D and Pathfinder. Also, there have always been different RPG systems in the marketplace which enrich the total tabletop landscape without competing for customers.

As I stated in my series on the current state of the RPG industry, a healthy D&D makes for a healthy industry. In other words, the success of the new edition of D&D will hopefully trickle down to the smaller houses, like it did with the launch of third edition in 2000.

I don't know how you interpreted the article above as "talking down" but I hope this message is completely clear: I am rooting heavily for D&D Next to be as awesome as Mike Mearls and his team can make it.

Greg

Abandon Tokienian fantasy, and profit.

My game I run every friday now, is in a non Tolkien world. And I have not looked back. It is so refreshing to play a zebra-taur, an otyugh or a boggard instead of an elf, halfling or dwarf. To just copy paste common fantasy tropes is lazy, as lazy as copy pasting cultures. You can't claim real originality easily if all you do is regurgitate the old, and what is expected. Take out the old, add in new monsters and cultures and go from there, if you want your setting to be new, look to some sci fi for inspiration.

Homebrew for life ioc. There is so much that can be done, and done well.

(...)we can teach DMs(...)

Oh for f*cks sake, stop trying to teach us how to play RPGs. We know it already, some of us are in business longer than half of your staff. How about giving us something to play with instead ? How about official campaigns and adventures that are something better than sets of tactical encounters ?

>:|

Bara_no_Hime:
When they were talking about "feel-bad abilities" I assumed they were talking about abilities that removed a player from combat (like Hold person) effectively making them sit quietly for 30 minutes while everyone else has fun without them. THOSE are abilities I'd like to see looked at - sending someone below 0 HP is one thing, or even making them attack the nearest target or themselves while confused still has them participating, but things that entirely prevent a player from playing for an extended period of time just seem to detract from the game.

I completely agree. Even "charm person" or "dominate person"[1] can be fun if the players get into it, but Hold Person and other complete lockdowns are no fun.

I do see where they're coming from a bit though - having too many little bonuses makes things hard to keep track of, and so that should be reduced. However, most of my players ask the same types of questions yours do:

DM:
Everyone make a will save.

Bobby the Paladin:
Is it a fear effect?

Erin the Elf:
Is it an enchantment effect?

and the DM responds with either this or that:

Cryptic DM:
I remember your bonuses. *evil grin* roll your dice.

Nice DM:
Yes, it's a fear effect. Bobby, you're golden.

[1] sometimes

I ran one DnD campaign before(it ended when my player's decided they would rather kill the good dragon and hole up in his castle than save the world from the apocalypse.), but every time after that I try to get into it, it just takes way too long to get everything set up. It practically takes an entire session just to get character's set up a lot of the time.

Does anyone have any recommendations for a game with a lot simpler setup than DnD?

darksakul:
All I have to say is, about time.

I tired of the players who will insist that the book ruling is set in stone and the DM isn't the god of his own little universe. Too much Rigid rules = no fun

So make it clear from the get-go? My players tend to know I improvise a lot and they're fine with it.

upgray3dd:
Does anyone have any recommendations for a game with a lot simpler setup than DnD?

I take it we're talking about fantasy setting, right ?
- Pathfinder
- Earthdawn

There are also a lot of simpler systems, for example :
- Risus
- The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen
They aren't richly detailed or supported but they have an advantage of being capable of switching form "preparation" to "playing" phase in the matter of seconds. ;]

Edit : You may also try to simply prepare some characters by yourself and ask gamers to play with them instead of wasting time for dice rolling. Works miracles if properly done.

I say old chap:
Abandon Tokienian fantasy, and profit.

My game I run every friday now, is in a non Tolkien world. And I have not looked back. It is so refreshing to play a zebra-taur, an otyugh or a boggard instead of an elf, halfling or dwarf. To just copy paste common fantasy tropes is lazy, as lazy as copy pasting cultures. You can't claim real originality easily if all you do is regurgitate the old, and what is expected. Take out the old, add in new monsters and cultures and go from there, if you want your setting to be new, look to some sci fi for inspiration.

Homebrew for life ioc. There is so much that can be done, and done well.

So how is playing monsters any different in originality? Zebrataur? IS that really original?

Are the Star Trek aliens which are really just snap shots (and poor ones at that) of an aspect of HUMAN culture all that original?

Just because one plays in a world where monsters are PC's certainly does not make anything original.

If D&D decided that it wanted to change the races around so that someone could play a poop monster, a swamp creature, and a reskinned centaur I would not buy it because I have rules for Traveller and Alternity, and even Star Frontiers. I can use those to play the alien races. I don't need elf, dwarf, halfling analogs. Give me the standard legacy races in D&D and I will decide from there which ones to include or which new ones to make. Most of the attempts at so called originality are simply reskinned elves, dwarves, and vampires. none of them are more exciting than the standard.

There's a reason the mythic inspired races have lasted this long in D&D.

If on the other hand I wish to explore originality as you have, it is an easy matter for me to pick and choose monsters from the bestiary or give another race a new look, and not allow elves, dwarves, etc in the game I run. However, I do not want to have the standard core races replaced by adopting the 'optional' races as standard. I like to leave the races you choose to use as 'options'. That way you maintain your artistic integrity and ability to run a superior game, and I get the fantasy game I like. Laziness is not at all a part of it.

JesterRaiin:

(...)we can teach DMs(...)

Oh for f*cks sake, stop trying to teach us how to play RPGs. We know it already, some of us are in business longer than half of your staff. How about giving us something to play with instead ? How about official campaigns and adventures that are something better than sets of tactical encounters ?

>:|

I had to quote this! I am tired of the handholding. We already know how to play. My early games I learned it.

WOTC stop trying to hold the hand of new players. I muddled through this game at 10 years old with a halfling that used 2 halberds, and layered armor giving me a -27AC. I didn't even know what a halfling was.

More than likely the players are learning from experienced players. It will come in time. We don't need to learn how to improvise.

Mournblade94:
There's a reason the mythic inspired races have lasted this long in D&D.

Care to explain ? "Excitement" seems a little too long leap. ;]

Mournblade94:
More than likely the players are learning from experienced players. It will come in time. We don't need to learn how to improvise.

...It's like selling gardening tools to people you don't trust to grow mold from old pizza. :\
P.S.
Grumbo "The Butcher" Devastatorins rocks ! :D

My bookshelf is already pretty crowded, I'm just gonna wait for 6.5th edition.

Zachary Amaranth:

darksakul:
All I have to say is, about time.

I tired of the players who will insist that the book ruling is set in stone and the DM isn't the god of his own little universe. Too much Rigid rules = no fun

So make it clear from the get-go? My players tend to know I improvise a lot and they're fine with it.

Oh I do, and I do take in account what characters bonuses and effects are.

There was this time I was DMing, and I told everyone in the party that was approaching an ancient citadel that they ALL feel great FEAR. One player tried to call foul because his race was immune to charm, enchantment and Fear effects. I responded especially your character.

Player was trying to assume this was a fear effect spell, little as he realize the fear I described he was having was not magical or psionic in nature but instinctive in nature. as they party yet to find out there place was home to a Elder-God that made Bathmut, god-king of the Dragons quake in fear. That if you were not afraid you are already lost, as your mind is reduced to mush. I talking a NPC deity that made the most brave and noble of Warrior gods weep like small children and made Cthulhu look like a kindergarten's class pet.

I wasn't trying to ignore the character sheets, I telling the players what they sense despite there abilities as the DM is responsible for not just the setting and NPCs, but what all the characters sense and feel. I didn't want to explain to the players this yet as it was a MAJOR plot spoiler.

There are reasons DMs appear to ignore or break the rules, and he or she do not have to explain as long as the DM knows what they are doing and keep track on everything on his end.

Also remember the First Golden rule of DnD, All rules are optional.

"Greg Tito: The idea of encouraging DM rulings instead of writing specific rules to cover every possible situation is a refreshing shift for the next D&D. How will the text of the DMG for D&D Next teach new players to DM through improvised decisions as opposed to the by-the-book feel of 4th edition and even the Encounters?"

Yeah, 4th edition with its Page 42 table specifically set up to enable rulings on the fly. This is what Astroturf was talking about. You're misrepresenting the game because you personally don't like it.

4th was pretty much turning D&D into a boardgame(which they actually did with castle ravenloft, legend of drizzt and some generic lets-kill-the-red-dragon set).

It's fine, I guess, it's a much simpler starting point than AD&D(Thac0... how I deeply loathe you) or some of the much more advanced systems out there.
3rd seems to be a great middleground, something I've introduced a lot of people to without much trouble. People who aren't that savvy with rules still remember things like 5ft steps and when they can or can't do stuff. Pathfinder, the spiritual successor, is a lot better, but kinda a moneysink if you already have a ton of 3rd/3.5 books.

I think 5th will mainly just cater to younger people, like 4th did. To kids mostly, who want to know what the fuss is about without getting discouraged immediately.

Experience points, are in my opinion, mostly a bad thing. Instead of giving out points, you want to reward a level at certain key points in your adventure. The players don't get ahead in level compared to planned content, you don't have to keep an eye on the numbers, people don't get ahead one another on points and a ton of other things to worry about...

Instead, what I like to give my players are fate/hero points(known from Warhammer) and story points. The first let a player reroll dice, affect a roll by a few numbers, negate a fumble or any other small thing.
Story points, are the interesting part. They let a player create an impact on the world in the form of adding something to the story.
Ever had a point in your game where the players just can't see the hints, can't find a door, don't know who to speak to or are generally just lost? Story points allow them to conjure up convenient NPC's, hidden entrances or somehow overhear a conversation that aids them in their mission. They make it up themselves and then it's DM's discretion from there.
I would HIGHLY recommend trying it; It involves the players a lot more and alleviates a lot of frustrations.

These are useful and great boons to give your players instead of some arbitrary number that doesn't do anything but gauge your progress. You can give them out for creative roleplay, accomplishing a task with excellence or anything you can think of.
It can also help your players skip fights they don't want to bother with, without losing level progression. They don't have to grind their way through gnolls and bugbears in order to reach the villain and then only to be completely stomped because they missed one or two rooms in a dungeon.

Again, try it, it's great.

I own from chainmail suplements to dungeons an dragons basic on threw advanced dungeons an dragons all way to 3rd editon even some 3.5 stuff. 4th edtion was not for me. So i went to Palladium Fantasy an never went back.

5th edtion may well be great time will tell. Hope they learned from their wow-ish failures.

"I noticed how the feel of the game seemed to have shifted back to the mercenary adventurer feel of Howard's Conan stories rather than the superheroes of 3rd and 4th edition that felt like something out of Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings"

YES. Tabletop has needed this for a while. I've wanted to revert to that classic style so much I was looking at DMing 2e or TRoS for my group. The casual overuse of magic in 4e bugged me so much.

Mournblade94:

I say old chap:
Abandon Tokienian fantasy, and profit.

My game I run every friday now, is in a non Tolkien world. And I have not looked back. It is so refreshing to play a zebra-taur, an otyugh or a boggard instead of an elf, halfling or dwarf. To just copy paste common fantasy tropes is lazy, as lazy as copy pasting cultures. You can't claim real originality easily if all you do is regurgitate the old, and what is expected. Take out the old, add in new monsters and cultures and go from there, if you want your setting to be new, look to some sci fi for inspiration.

Homebrew for life ioc. There is so much that can be done, and done well.

So how is playing monsters any different in originality? Zebrataur? IS that really original?

Are the Star Trek aliens which are really just snap shots (and poor ones at that) of an aspect of HUMAN culture all that original?

Just because one plays in a world where monsters are PC's certainly does not make anything original.

If D&D decided that it wanted to change the races around so that someone could play a poop monster, a swamp creature, and a reskinned centaur I would not buy it because I have rules for Traveller and Alternity, and even Star Frontiers. I can use those to play the alien races. I don't need elf, dwarf, halfling analogs. Give me the standard legacy races in D&D and I will decide from there which ones to include or which new ones to make. Most of the attempts at so called originality are simply reskinned elves, dwarves, and vampires. none of them are more exciting than the standard.

There's a reason the mythic inspired races have lasted this long in D&D.

If on the other hand I wish to explore originality as you have, it is an easy matter for me to pick and choose monsters from the bestiary or give another race a new look, and not allow elves, dwarves, etc in the game I run. However, I do not want to have the standard core races replaced by adopting the 'optional' races as standard. I like to leave the races you choose to use as 'options'. That way you maintain your artistic integrity and ability to run a superior game, and I get the fantasy game I like. Laziness is not at all a part of it.

Yeah the Zebrataur is unique. They aren't just reclusive forest dwellers like the usual centaurs. They occupy a difference space, have different weapon tech to the normal centaurs, have different neighbours to the usual fey or elves. They are their own distinct group. If I could convey a point most centrally, that would be it--escaping fantasy norms is to create material different to the norm, more unusual to what has become the standard, the expected, the common fare. Sci fi treads more varied ground than fantasy, and this is unfortunate! A missed opportunity.

What got me on this path, is playing a lot of Dark Souls and wanting to build a world around that, and reading Yahtzee's piece on elves and dwarves not being essential to fantasy. It is a good read, I'd recommend it. He did indeed get me thinking on common fantasy staples and how tiring and expected fantasy can become. Yes it is exciting in the vein that Conan's adventures are exciting, but much of the old and same Tolkien settings and races gets transplanted over, all the time.

I've probably been exposed to too much fantasy, the crux of the problem laid bare. I was playing dnd when a wee lad, have and still play plenty of fantasy com and ps3 games, I've seen it all; and I've seen a lot of repetition. The elves, the dwarves, the standard race ports, the common things brought over. Which makes me want to make something different for the games I run. Completely changing the racial make-up of the world is a good start. Because when you take out the gnomes, the halflings, the elves and the dwarves, you can fill the fantasy world with something else in their spaces.

Like:

The boggards: not a violent tribal people, they have been subject to forced civilisation from multiple groups now. First the Catarinan humans, and now the Lizardfolk in their stage of Enlightenment and conquest. Given the recent wars the boggards are starting to revive the old boggard ways, cooperating with the lizardfolk but also interested in their old languages, actvities and sense of being. Many often pursue lives of adventure outside of their old home territories and away from the order of the lizardfolk; they have a slightly soured reputation as adventurers and at times bandits. Historically they were the first to fashion and then master pottery, boggard pottery is well appreciated by aesthetes still.

This is just one example of fleshing out and expanding upon the tribal/aboriginal archetype which the boggard normally is. There is no need to focus more on elves, and their representation, what they are doing, how beautiful they are, because the boggards can get some attention. I have also resisted copy pasting the cultural entities of China/Japan/the Middle East/France/the Italian city states, because I have seen that done many times before. When fantasy does that, it is getting lazy, it is not creating new states and entities. So, as an example, I throw in the lizardfolk/lizardmen, make them of a large and small variety, give them technocratic city states, emphasise the beliefs of their culture and how they differ to the humans--the lizards are bearing their form of enlightenment, not so much their religion, instead their idea of rationally ordering and understanding the world, their hierarchy of philosopher saints etc. The lizardfolk have their own weapon tech, they fight different to others, they rule different to others, their cavalry are giant grasshoppers.

There is a lot that can be done, without just borrowing the same old things. Fantasy can have life breathed into it. Talking to some young players that have recently encountered fantasy though, they don't feel the need for this yet. They aren't tired of what is common. My youngish players (I'm hosting a new batch this time around, not taking samples from my older gaming group) were a little startled and cast adrift in the woods with this new setting, with it being non-Tolkien, but now they get it, are also adding to the world, and are having a lot of fun playing weird creatures and humans from new cultures.

That is also something to note in closing. When you don't have a Tolkienian world, or a standard fantasy setting all nice and ordered and expected (and all written down in a world book) the players have more freedom to make their characters too. A human swordswoman can have the skin colour of tea and dark green hair and that is just fine. As the settings go on we steadily add more to her people, more details and the world develops from there. Forget the idea of Anglo, forget Chinese or Japanese, Arab or African. Make new terms, new places, new people... and leave elves and dwarves behind. Yeeeehaaa!

"Most of the attempts at so called originality are simply reskinned elves, dwarves, and vampires. none of them are more exciting than the standard."

We can do better, we don't have to just reskin elves. Dms and players, we can be real creators, and make them not only more exciting than what currently exists, but with the novelty of also being new, and potentially more to them. Last night I re-imagined the nagas, and my players were excited and a little scared of these very strange beings. Ancient guardians of old places, delightfully evil, frighteningly sexual, but in a bizarre way, reasonable too (the players negotiated with them and passed through their territory). If none of the new species are more exciting than the standard, you are not doing it right, and have not gone far enough.

Axeion:
I own from chainmail suplements to dungeons an dragons basic on threw advanced dungeons an dragons all way to 3rd editon even some 3.5 stuff. 4th edtion was not for me. So i went to Palladium Fantasy an never went back.

5th edtion may well be great time will tell. Hope they learned from their wow-ish failures.

The comparison of 4e to WOW is the most tired, overused strawman in gaming. It literally is entirely derived from the fact that they explicitly stated the roles for each class for once- and of course by doing so they enabled a much greater diversity of PC groups than before, and also helped them to balance classes more than they had been previously.

If 5e is going to be a backslide to caster supremacy and newbie traps, count me out.

Fappy:
It sounds like they are changing DM rules to be exactly how many people tend to DM anyway. I know very few DM's who don't free-ball DC's for stuff all the time. I know I do all the time and it seems to work out fine.

Close angry marine page, then see this.

All is right with the world.

Evan Waters:

Axeion:
I own from chainmail suplements to dungeons an dragons basic on threw advanced dungeons an dragons all way to 3rd editon even some 3.5 stuff. 4th edtion was not for me. So i went to Palladium Fantasy an never went back.

5th edtion may well be great time will tell. Hope they learned from their wow-ish failures.

The comparison of 4e to WOW is the most tired, overused strawman in gaming. It literally is entirely derived from the fact that they explicitly stated the roles for each class for once- and of course by doing so they enabled a much greater diversity of PC groups than before, and also helped them to balance classes more than they had been previously.

If 5e is going to be a backslide to caster supremacy and newbie traps, count me out.

I've heard the caster supremacy argument, and I've seen some ridiculous power-gaming wizards. In games I've been in though, it hasn't really surfaced. Spellcasters have a lot of power, but there are plenty of ways and techniques to deal with them. Grapple, shoot to death with arrows, stealth kill, berserk rush, trip and chop up.

Had a few single melee versus single spellcaster of equal power, and the spellcasters usually lost. I recall one knight from the 3.5 rules challenging one of the latest pathfinder spellcasters and that save forcing spellcaster went down hard.

I wonder if it was more jealousy at the melee chars, that get great bab, hp, ac and probably damage (or a combination of these) but don't get the exciting spell effects, force the save or die, or roll a buntload of d6s (unless one is a rogue or two weapon with short swords).

I play 3.5 and I even allowed spellcasters to let more off in a round, determined by bab, they still didn't jump truly ahead. I have heard of some great spell combinations, and seen level 15s taken down in a round of archery.

Smilomaniac:
4th was pretty much turning D&D into a boardgame(which they actually did with castle ravenloft, legend of drizzt and some generic lets-kill-the-red-dragon set).

It's fine, I guess, it's a much simpler starting point than AD&D(Thac0... how I deeply loathe you) or some of the much more advanced systems out there.
3rd seems to be a great middleground, something I've introduced a lot of people to without much trouble. People who aren't that savvy with rules still remember things like 5ft steps and when they can or can't do stuff. Pathfinder, the spiritual successor, is a lot better, but kinda a moneysink if you already have a ton of 3rd/3.5 books.

I think 5th will mainly just cater to younger people, like 4th did. To kids mostly, who want to know what the fuss is about without getting discouraged immediately.

Experience points, are in my opinion, mostly a bad thing. Instead of giving out points, you want to reward a level at certain key points in your adventure. The players don't get ahead in level compared to planned content, you don't have to keep an eye on the numbers, people don't get ahead one another on points and a ton of other things to worry about...

Instead, what I like to give my players are fate/hero points(known from Warhammer) and story points. The first let a player reroll dice, affect a roll by a few numbers, negate a fumble or any other small thing.
Story points, are the interesting part. They let a player create an impact on the world in the form of adding something to the story.
Ever had a point in your game where the players just can't see the hints, can't find a door, don't know who to speak to or are generally just lost? Story points allow them to conjure up convenient NPC's, hidden entrances or somehow overhear a conversation that aids them in their mission. They make it up themselves and then it's DM's discretion from there.
I would HIGHLY recommend trying it; It involves the players a lot more and alleviates a lot of frustrations.

These are useful and great boons to give your players instead of some arbitrary number that doesn't do anything but gauge your progress. You can give them out for creative roleplay, accomplishing a task with excellence or anything you can think of.
It can also help your players skip fights they don't want to bother with, without losing level progression. They don't have to grind their way through gnolls and bugbears in order to reach the villain and then only to be completely stomped because they missed one or two rooms in a dungeon.

Again, try it, it's great.

I use re-rolls. It allows me to make the combats harder without having to worry about player death all the time. Story points sound cool. I recall one dm went with hero points, they gave gigantic bonuses. Get this though, then he gave us bugger all of them. This after he put so much work into them and their giving of great bonuses. Truly strange.

upgray3dd:
I ran one DnD campaign before(it ended when my player's decided they would rather kill the good dragon and hole up in his castle than save the world from the apocalypse.), but every time after that I try to get into it, it just takes way too long to get everything set up. It practically takes an entire session just to get character's set up a lot of the time.

Does anyone have any recommendations for a game with a lot simpler setup than DnD?

All flesh must be eaten has a quicker set up, pre-gens, simpler rules and you can streamline it down further if you wish.

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