What Would You Change?

I always wonder, “What would other people change about D&D?”

I know I’ve changed it into something very D&D, but at the same time very different. I recently picked up the AD&D 1st edition dungeon masters guide, which BTW is as good or better than the 5e one, and… well I didn’t realize how much the creator (Mr. Gygax) put into that book!

I myself started out as a 1983 Basic D&D and then AD&D 2nd Edition player. All I knew was the system I was given, but going back, back to when the actual players and creators were deeply invested what a difference it made. They weren’t just doing a job – they were trying to share their unique game experience and to create others who would share and make it their own. AD&D was their baby.

So, as the creator and player of SimpleDnD, I ask:

What rules do you love from your first RPG that you would like to see integrated into this project? What was the one quintessential thing made it stand out in your mind?

Share in the comments below.


4 thoughts on “What Would You Change?

  1. I actually wrote a HUGE list when we were making our homebrew. I went through each core book (plus a few essentials like UA, WSG, DSG, etc) making note of what we loved, hated, and what we were unsure of. That list then formed the core for us, and we developed from it. Probably a little long to include here, as it numbered hundred of items, but it may still be floating around the intrawebz somewhere. Needless to say the earlier editions (BECMI & 1st) were far more of what we liked than the later editions.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Comments from Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AlanB/posts/ichdmszgiJE

    Sebastian MeidYesterday 10:41 PM
    I’d decentralize the various combat maneuvers into something any character can do; bull rushing, overrunning, tripping, fenting, disarming… All these things are things a person can do. A feat may grant advantage, a class feature may grant proficiency or double proficiency, but these things should not be monopolized by a single class. Sure, you can grapple and “move a creature”, but it’s not as simple as saying “I push that orc off the bridge” or “I trip him”, and grappling doesn’t cover disarming, feinting, and overrunning.

    Also I would make it a mortal sin for players to read the Monster Manual. Seriously, what is up with that? It’s one of the few things we GMs have at our disposal to make our work easier, and to provide us with free fluff. Looks of surprise and awe are what keeps us going, and players spoiling that for themselves spoils it for us.

    Matthew Owen 3:20 AM

    No one says you have to stick with what’s in the monster manual. Make variants or something new that looks like something in the manual. 

    Matthew Owen 3:22 AM

    I agree with centralized maneuvers. Feats should give a bonus to, not preclude trying to do something. 

    Sebastian Meid 5:31 AM

    +Matthew Owen yes, I can do that. But I shouldn’t have to– the MM was created for explicitly GM use. I understand if someone got all 3 books in a time before having a group with the thought “I may GM, I need these”, and flipped through the MM– that’s fine. But looking at monsters during a session, or like some people, looking at every monster in the manual and reading everything about it and committing all the important things to memory– that’s BS.

    Those monsters are there for GM use as convenient templates to throw at players, with fitting fluff. I’m not saying you can’t easily modify them. I’m also not saying combining different monsters into something new isn’t easy. I’m saying you shouldn’t have to do these things just because players are spoiling it for themselves, and, by proxy, you.

    It’s really just a personal peeve.

    All that said, I’ve been using third party monsters for a while now and it’s great to see the munchkin’s face when he doesn’t recognize it and doesn’t know how to deal. That’s how every player’s face should be, IMO.

    Matthew Owen 5:48 AM

    Yeah, but most of my groups used to take turns as DM. Many of the players had years of experience. Hard to keep people from knowing about things. So, you work at surprising them. 

    Brad Sumner 6:06 AM

    Not intended as an insult so please don’t take it that way but the comment about the MM seems like a first world problem. I find it my job as a DM to take the monsters as given and change them to make them unique. It would be lazy of me to expect to just be able to take what is in the MM without putting my own spin on it.
    That said what I would change is the lack of different defenses. I liked Saving Throws as they gave different actions different ways to target a person.
    I feel that the people who are getting into the game these days are expecting an MMORPG type feel and not wanting to put in the effort into making characters who are unique by nature of their personality or quirks. Have so many people lost their imagination for character creation?

    Sebastian Meid 6:36 AM

    +Brad Sumner eh, I recognize it’s a pet peeve and I understand most others don’t have it. shrug I only sought to explain it.

    Alan B 7:07 AM

    +Brad Sumner I always felt that the story of your character should come from the adventures, not from some table in a book. 

    Alan B 7:08 AM
    +Sebastian Meid I love your perspective on keeping things a surprise from the players. 

    Mathew Reller 7:17 AM

    no need to “centralize” maneuvers. classes specialize in them, don’t take that from them. If you want to perform a feat or maneuver not innate to your class, roll at disadvantage.

    simple logic.

    people just don’t like having to roll at disadvantage is all. get over it. classes trained to do such, are not immediately experts either. that’s why they do not roll disadvantage. additional training is what allows them to further roll at advantage.

    “centralizing” maneuvers just dilutes class abilities. otherwise there’s no need for classes. everyone dual wields, casts magic and back stabs while grappling…


    Sebastian Meid 7:39 AM

    +Mathew Reller ???

    5e’s policy so far has been “if you’re not proficient in it, you don’t add your proficiency bonus to it”, not “if you’re not proficient, you roll with disadvantage”. It makes no sense for a barbarian or ranger or champion fighter to roll with disadvantage to push someone 10 feet. Why not just make it part of grappling? The battlemaster doesn’t need to even grapple– he just does it! That’s already a significant advantage over non-battlemasters, even if they’re allowed to do the things he does.

    I’m not taking anything away from a class, I’m giving it to every character and still allowing the specialist to excel in it. Pushing someone is not a special skill that only one subclass of one class can do. Tripping isn’t either. Overrunning someone is so simple an animal can do it.

    Come on.

    Alan B 7:49 AM

    +Sebastian Meid I’m not a fan of feats or combat maneuvers. It’s supposed to be an adventure game, not a fighting simulator. Gary even talks about not over complicating combat in the original DMG as it bogs down the game and takes away from the story. 

    Brad Sumner 8:08 AM

    +Alan B I don’t know how what I said about the character personality and quirks equated to tables, unless you mean the background stuff added in 5E. I was not meaning that, I was meaning developing the character and playing a personality at the gaming table. I am a big fan of not having tables of personality stuff. I have thrown out all the background tables in my games and insist that people make their own. They can use the table as inspiration but not as a copy paste.

    Brad Sumner 8:15 AM+1

    +Alan B Not all feats are combat related. Many of them allow for out of combat bonuses and such. I agree that there is a lot of combat based rules, however that is the nature of an RPG rules set. This is because combat is very structured and specific where actions outside of combat (especially Role Play interactions) are more fluid and situational. Rules for out of combat actions are better left more general and allow the DM to rule on how things should be done.

    Mathew Reller 8:48 AM

    I agree regarding non-combat stuff… to an extent. Class still influences it though. There’s no reason a wizard can’t try to pick a lock or a druid can smash down a door… but you have to take into account the feasibility of this. For a wizard picking a lock, i’d have them roll at disadvantage but allow for them to add their intelligence bonus. Wizards are indeed smart but this isn’t something they do on a normal basis like a rogue would.

    Anyone can try to do anything. Your average person can try to perform brain surgery or take apart a wankel engine. They will be doing so though at a disadvantage. Sure, they may be smart, thus they may have a modicum of understanding about how to do either. But they are not trained. They can probably loosen and remove every nut and bolt of that car engine or split that patient’s (victim’s?) head clean open… will they be successful in their endeavor? Will the car start or the patient live? probably not on both accounts… but they were able to sure as heck give it a disadvantaged try…

    logic… dammit there it is again… gah!

    Sebastian Meid 8:58 AM+1

    +Mathew Reller Training would allow a proficiency bonus, not remove disadvantage. To remove the possibility of someone achieving those tasks without training you don’t grant them disadvantage, you set the DC in such a way that only a person with the proficiency bonus can feasibly reach it…

    Do you see what I’m saying?

    A person proficient in the task has training in it; that is why he/she gets a bonus. A person not proficient simply does not get a bonus, but they don’t get a penalty, either. They’re just not as good at it. This is the beauty of 5e. Disadvantage would be appropriate if the person was rushed to perform the brain surgery/take apart a wankel engine. It would be appropriate for a proficient person as well. Seeing a pattern? Disadvantage is something that affects everyone equally– proficiency can only help, whereas non-proficiency doesn’t help or hinder.

    Just because you’re not a runner doesn’t mean you run with disadvantage, it means you don’t know the proper breathing technique to run better than the average Joe.


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