April 20, 2012

5E Friday - What Goes Into D&D

Recently I began to think about what exactly needs to go into the thought process for an edition of D&D. How many components of the game system need to have design decisions made on them. So, I went through a bunch of the old and new editions for D&D and came up with this list. My criteria for adding to this list included things that would be expected in a "core" game. Thus I didn't ask questions such as, should monster races be allowed? I figured 5E specifically and other iterations would add such things as supplements.

-What dice types to use.
-What Target Number system.
-Random generation of characters including race and class?
-Level structure.
-0-Level characters?
-Level acquisition speed.
-What is Max Level?
-What Stats to include (Comeliness?).
-Generation of Stats.
-Effect of Stats on game play. Each of these is a separate category as each Stat can effect game play in a variety of ways. For example, does a higher Intelligence allow more known languages, bonus spells, better to hit with spells, better damage with spells, what skills does it affect, etc?
-Stat range (18/00 or 19+?).
-Does Age affect Stats or game play?
-Is Race a Class?
-Does Race provide bonuses or penalties to Stat scores?
-Does Race disallow certain classes?
-Does Race limit Class max level?
-Does Race limit equipment?
-What racial abilities does each race have?
-Does each Class have a different system mechanic?
-Does Class limit equipment?
-Does Class limit Skills?
-Starting HP, Skills for each Class.
-Unique Abilities for each Class.
-Are Abilities specialized per Class or are they Skills any Class can take (but some are better at)?
-One XP chart for all Classes or a separate one for each Class?
-Level titles?
-What abilities does each class gain as they level up?
-What is the hp increase as characters level up?
-What is the Skill increase as characters level up?
-What type of Skill system? None, Secondary, Proficiency, number of Skills, broad range or narrow focused Skills?
-Take 10/20?
-Feats.
-Themes/Prestige Classes/Epic Classes.
-Can PCs create items (crafting system)?
-Is Alignment included and how does it work?
-Languages. Which to include, how to acquire them, their relevance.
-Standard for monetary system (gold, silver or other)?
-Starting money for characters.
-PC maintenance (automatic loss of money)?
-Relevance/inclusion of Hirelings and Henchmen.
-What equipment to include and prices for each.
-Masterwork?
-Technological level of equipment (guns?).
-Damage values for weapons. Size of opponent affect damage? Weapon speed? Armor Class Adjustments?
-AC values for armor.
-Weapon proficiency?
-Critical hits and fumbles?
-Charging, Called Shots, Grappling, Subdual damage, Firing into melee, Holding Actions, Casting while in melee.
-Surprise.
-Concealment/cover.
-Breaking off from combat (opportunity attacks?).
-Detail of combat (grid or gridless/miniatures?).
-Healing (Surges, X hp/day, Healing Skill?)
-Dead at 0 hp, -X hp, Death Saving Throws?
-Ramifications of Death (Resurrection? Stat loss?).
-Attacking objects.
-Units of time measurement (turn, round, segments). How long is each time measurement?
-Distance (feet, meters, area a PC covers?).
-Max level of spells (7-9?)
-Spell acquisition? Speed and volume of spell acquisition? Recovery of spells.
-What spells or rituals to include.
-Casting conventions.
-Material or somatic components?
-What affects can be placed on PCs and NPCs?
-System for saves.
-Energy Drain?
-Relevance of Encumbrance. System for encumbrance.
-Movement values. Jumping, swimming, running.
-Light effects.
-Infravision, ultravision, darkvision.
-System for Initiative.
-NPC reactions.
-Morale?
-Poison, disease, falling, fire, drowning, aerial, environmental effects.
-Psychosis?
-Acquisition of XP. From gold, kills, quests, Skill usage? How much?
-XP group or individual?
-Training required for leveling up?
-High level play. Acquisitions and systems for Followers, Domains?
-How to design encounters/dungeons/adventures.
-Trap design.
-Monster placement.
-Monster vs. PC balance.
-Design of monster restricted to PC abilities?
-Size of monsters relevant to abilities/Stats?
-Do monsters have vulnerabilities (what does silver do to a vampire?) or immunities (require +1 magic weapons to affect?).
-What monsters to include as "core".
-How to handle treasure (amount gained, selling magic items).
-Relevance of magic items.
-Artifacts.
-Default setting.
-Font style.
-Art style.
-Page design.

A fairly long list of what I think needs to be included in the design process for a version of D&D. Did I miss anything?




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