I love D & D 5th, but honestly, we often feel a little video with "epic larger-than-life heroes", which become too quickly so powerful that they start to look like superheroes or even half-gods.
I have seen other systems. E6 simply truncates the progression to level 6 and you only gain achievements. But level 6 is still pretty powerful. Fireballs, shooting arrows with zero penalty (except for a little healing), complete instant healing in less than a minute, and so on. For the normal population, these guys are demi-gods capable of annihilating them all in a flash!
I've seen systems that go in the other direction, where you seem "stuck to suck" forever and it's far too easy to get permanent harmful consequences like losing an eye or a arm or die outright. Maybe good for one-shots, not for long-term campaigns.
In the end, I want to get a "Low-Magic, Low Fantasy, Low Power" style.
The PCs follow the heroic journey:
They belong to the ordinary and ordinary world and start there,
and finally discover the fantasy world, never really "tame" it.
More about discovery than about becoming invincible masters of everything.
There will be some magic, but not "at the beginning", and not a
"a simple tool that the party uses and abuses", but rather as a source of
strange wonders. I want to prevent "the PCs from finally facing hordes of demons and fighting them and stacking corpses", but rather that "the PCs are fighting a single demon and this was the scariest moment of their lives".
The bad villain who has an agreement with the demon is so corrupt that his
magic turns around (magic is evil!).
The fairy town they've finally come across after long trips is a strange place populated by really weird people, not just the hometown of their next PC mate. Etc.
Consequences for bad things, but no almost permanent consequences.
Focus on your knowledge and approach, your level of preparation, the skills you have and how you use them, instead of the magic you can use.
I've adapted my own D & D 5th campaign with many variation rules and would like to know your ideas about the ones you use or consider good or bad.
- EXP based group with everyone at the same level:
- Slow upgrade
Approximately 1 EXP per game session, 10 EXP per level.
1 EXP given if, as a team, coping with a sufficient number of "challenges at the appropriate level" means that the PCs doing their own little things mean bad team work, not enough challenges , they relax or do not focus enough, just have luck and should not be rewarded for his temerity. Level of non-combat challenges based on community effects and reputation.
Of all the campaigns and DMs I have seen, the best level of "dramatic" play is always at the lowest level. Subsequently, the video game becomes more and more complex until most campaigns get involved at a high level when the DM thinks that it has become too unmanageable for him. So why on earth should SMs rush through this?
In addition, no more complications "calculating EXP". Just as well. Everyone same level! Focuses on "This is not a competition".
The slow natural healing especially works wonders. They really think twice before entering a dungeon. Stopping to rest is both major and limited: it is the entire night, and they must take turns to look! Not a simple lunch break of one hour where everyone is aware and ready to fight. Long Rest must also be "in the city of a similar safe place with friendly NPCs". So, mainly between adventures. Therefore, even a random encounter on the road is serious and important because it could drain resources that will simply not be available later in the adventure. But they can also travel for weeks without meeting anything that is really willing to fight.
Bloodied Condition, with a minor penalty.
Each long day of travel (or hard work) (or not sleeping) = 1 roll of Endurance (Against Safeguard) vs 1 Rank of exhaustion.
Sleep without interruption in a safe and pleasant environment (bed of hostel): Wis Save DC 10 to get a state of freshness (essentially a buffer against the rank of exhaustion).
Serious injury (Crits & When dropped to 0).
- Serious injuries are harder to heal, but it does not take long to heal them.
- 1st Death Save begins the turn you drop.
- Death Saves are CON Saves (so they are a little easier)
- First aid takes longer (so less time to act)
- 3rd Death Save success is not guaranteed automatic stabilization.
- Death backups are only launched when first aid arrives or after 1 minute.
The latter prevents the metagame from saying "he is alive, so we do not need to help him", which means a group a little less powerful in the fighting, because they can not choose D & D. Ignore their fallen friends.
Simple and complex uses of skills. Complex uses require mastery to attempt.
The expertise is +2, not the double skill (less ridiculous at higher levels).
Economy based on money and barter.
- Vices and Insanities (nothing serious)
Fear and horror (only in extreme situations)
Hit the cover
This helps to eliminate the artificial "wall of demarcation" that breaks the immersion between the description of things and the passage to combat.
- The creatures are capable and conscious until the end of the turn: a reciprocal victory occurs.
- Each in the order of the sitting position declares all his intention for this whole turn, then everyone rolls the dice at the same time, then everything is "more or less solved at once" (as in a mini-film two half turns) of DM.
So, no division of your turn into a series of micro-managed "I'm moving over there, I'm hitting that guy, waiting to find out if he's falling, THEN decides to hit him another time or d & # 39; 39 go there rather than hitting the # 2 enemy, and so on, until I've spent every little point of movement and attack, I 'm going to do it. have this turn ". No, it is 1 round, a complete intention, and you must use Ready to add a condition. This clearly reduces the power of the PC because turns can no longer be "super optimized". But above all, it speeds up tons of combat.
- The moves make "Total DG" x 2, not "Dice DG x2" and then add a Stat modifier.
Crits are serious things!
- Dice without damage = automatically 1/2 maximum.
- Damage dice = Automatically Maximum.
- The adjusted powers that actually allow DG to go to the maximum.
These really accelerate the fighting, while eliminating a lot of clutter at the gaming table, because the players need only a few d20! And they make the fight really "serious". I'm just using fewer enemies, which are also smaller or of a lower level. This not only makes the scenery less fantastic, it also speeds up the fight! During the previous campaign, some players often ended up getting bored because the few fights we did took most of the time of the table. This one, the players are fearful, excited and everything is solved in bloody chaos and violence.
Everything is fighting for a reason and often wants to live even more. Most intelligent enemies will avoid the fight unless they feel victorious, or run away when they are injured, not "fight to death".
Moving diagonally between 2 enemies is forbidden unless you push one or something like that.
- Diagonal displacement on an unauthorized corner of the corridor.
Going through friends or diagonally between 2 friends costs +1 square.
Much less fighting. We are talking about the week of adventure (or the month) here, not the day of adventure. Combined with the zero adventure is "forced", PC can still choose not to participate. In fact, you should withdraw whenever things seem too easy or difficult. No big quest to save the world, no big heroes, just very deadly adventurers looking to improve their lot and that of their small hometown.
No caster: forbidden classes: Eldrith Knight, Arcane Trickster, Sorcerer, etc. , Crusader (type of fight with religion link). The spells replaced by "could be explained otherwise in a discreet manner of almost supernatural power": Priest (a party face combined with a type of acquaintance with a little "sacred faith"). Druid is an excellent specialist in survival, very empathetic towards animals, not metamorphosed. Now, face classes may seem a little weak in combat, but in a campaign world with a lot of social interaction, these guys are doing well.
Additional choices of non-magical classes and backgrounds.
Many class features have been slightly modified.
Special power of small class at level 1, for example, fighters receive a "special single shot" that they can use once per short rest (ie per day), etc.
Subclass chosen at level 1, with a small power of 1st subclass.
A few more secondary skills (via Int bonus).
No fantastic races. These are stories to scare or amaze little children. However, choose from several "human variants", which are essentially almost fantastic breeds. But not quite. The marsh people. Hunchback people living underground. Dextrous, a big and very slender music loving mountain guys resistant to the cold. Etc. No human variant based solely on skin color and "land-based foreign country culture." The scale of the campaign is not large enough to cover several continents with extremely different climatic conditions. Most players expected to play a normal human.
Until now, it works well and everyone has fun, but the campaign is still quite low.
I would always be curious to know your own opinion on what could be deleted, added or changed.