Today, it was announced that there will be a whole new edition of the popular Dungeons & Dragons game. While the new version of the game has been in the works for quite some time, Wizards of the Coast, the game’s publisher is still expecting input from all of us out here who play it fairly regularly. Based on my own playing experiences, and what I’ve read about “D&D 4e” as it’s being called, here’s my laundry list of items, some of which can is reflected in past posts here on this site.
Buff spells — These spells offer a temporary boost to a character’s key stats. Why not put them as a class feature?
Dispelling — Right now it’s really tough. I’m not sure if it should be, but that action needs to be looked at.
Magic items — Another class feature idea: Let a wizard be able to create a certain number of items per level. Nix the experience point drain for creating them.
Scaling magic items — Let characters keep their magic items and make them scale up as they level. Maybe they need to do something to activate that scaling ability, such as dip it in a magic pool, or slay a particular beast.
HP curing spells — Allow Clerics to heal a flat amount of hit points per day per level. Don’t make this part of their spell list.
Armor — Make it deflect damage (Damage reduction), rather than make it harder to hit the armor bearer.
Shields — Keep the shield abilities presented as feats in the various supplements.
Feats — Feats totally rock. They improve customization opportunities. Please keep them!
Half-orcs — Keep them, add more flavorful race abilities (such as Iron Stomach). Also, please, please, please put the Orcish shotput into the core suite of weapons. It’s odd and very flavorful.
Weapons suite — The more the merrier. The 3e weapon selection was damn good. Make it even better.
Druids — It took 3.5e to make druids cool. Let’s keep that coolness flowing!
Monks — I want to like them, but they still suck for 3.5e. I don’t have any idea how I’d fix them, but they should be included.
Curing diseases — Diseases in D&D are supposed to be a neat mix of character development and character hinderance. Make them tougher to cure by spells. You can include caster-level checks and bizarre components in this mix.
Damage Resistance — I like it in general, but the one thing I hate is when it requires a specific “plussed weapon” or higher to hit, it’s just silly. Just remove that part.
Attacks of Opportunity — I love this aspect of the game, but I know it’s been house-ruled out by a lot of people. Please keep this tactical bit of greatness.
Special Attacks — Grappling, sundering, disarms, trips and parries desperately need to be fixed. Sure they work OK, but the mechanics involved make them clunky.
Sneak Attacks — Another great addition to the game for 3.5e. I love them and all the reasons you get to use one.
Elves and gnomes — Make them fey because this adds flavor to them. Secondly, gnomes and half-elves would be my first-to-dump races.
Halflings & Dwarves — Please keep. They both finally rock in 3.5e.
Tieflings — Not terribly interested in these guys. I would have preferred an elemental flavored race, such as the Mephling.
“Good monsters” — Please keep them, but assign them a specific duty that makes them actually useable. My suggestion would be to have good monsters serve as protectors of magic sources, magic weapons and nature.
“Humanoid monsters” — All humanoid monsters should have scaleable powers that increase with their level or hit dice.
NPC classes — Keep NPC classes, but make adventurers transition from an NPC class to an adventuring class.
NPC levels — Allow NPC classes to gain more skill points by living their life and overcoming obstacles, not killing things. This could be reflected in a level change that doesn’t include hit points.
Ceremonies — Some spells should be reconfigured so they are essentially lengthy ceremonies that require heaps of material components or additional participants. That gives clerics a reason to serve their god’s worshippers.
PDF publishers — According to the news, there will be some provision to allow outside publishers continue to produce D&D material. Please make sure you allow the small-time PDF publishers into this, even if you don’t trust their content.
Online initiatives — These are fine, but don’t make them a requirement for play. That would be a true dealbreaker for me. I want time to hang out with my friends, not sit at a computer after I sit at a computer at work.
So there you go, my thoughts, or at least my initial thoughts, on what I hope to see for the next D&D!