My D&D Next wishlist

Dear Easter Bunny/Killer Clown/Santa/Greg* (delete where applicable),

Please bring to me:

  1. A core D&D system that is as simple as the simplest of retro-clones and goes all the way from 1st to 20th/30th/761st level. Don’t make it “simple up to 3rd but then the options start piling on”. If I want a 23rd level PC with little more than hit points, armour class and a bigass sword, let me build and play him
  2. Let me take that core and add modules to take the game in interesting directions. Give me a battlemat & minis module I can slot into any combat which needs it, and ignore when it’s not required. Give me a module for flying Spelljammers between worlds. Or one where the PCs are anthropomorphic samurai, or modern-day people with guns
  3. Give me new magic systems as modules that lets me choose how my Wizard casts his spells. Make the core system Vancian by all means, but how about a module where the Wizard knows arcane Verbs and Nouns and creates spells on the fly by combining them (“Create Fire”, “Detect Fire”, “Create Life”, “Detect Life”, etc), or one that uses Spell Points or bound demonsouls stored in tiny jars
  4. Heck, give me a license so I can create my own modules and release them for free or profit. Let me quote from the core system provided these sections account for no more than 1/20th of the total word count. This would mean a 64 page Third Party could contain no more than around 3 pages of quoted Licensed text. That’s fair.
  5. Give me animals in the Monster Manual, dammit
  6. …and Templates. Lots of Templates. Make them simple, and push them to the forefront of encounter design. Make iconic D&D traits as Templates (“Giant”, “Dire”, “Half-“, “Winged”, “Aquatic”, “Champion”, “Zombie”, “Vampire”, “Red”, Green”, Gold”, etc) which add features and properties to the monster. Suggest prerequisites, but stress they are merely guidelines. If I want to create a Zombie Gold Orc Champion, don’t let people on forums say I can’t.
  7. Give me elements from Classic D&D which have passed by the wayside but should be part of the D&D experience. Give me stronghold building rules and domain management. domain events, mass combat (as a module, of course) and morale for henchmen
  8. Give me random encounters that use the Templates (if you want – if not, don’t roll on the Template column). I want to roll dice and say “You encounter 3d6 Winged Gelatinous Cubes” with a straight face. Ok, straight-ish
  9. Recognise the Dual-Class elements in certain Classes. A Paladin is a Dual-Class Fighter/Cleric; a Swordmage is a Dual-Class Fighter/Wizard; a Ranger is a Fighter/Rogue, etc. Build other Dual-Class classes (Thief/Cleric, please!) then add new base classes (Druid, Psion, Monk, etc) and build new Dual-Classes off those as well. Booyah.
  10. Bring me a hardback book containing a full adventure path from 1st to 20th/30th/761st level. Rather than rest on the laurels of old classic adventures (Tomb of Horrors, etc) make new classic adventures. Yes, let us play the old ones too, but how about something exciting, wonderful and new? Please.
  11. Oh, and make all of it good. If you only do one thing on the list, make it this one.


6 Comments on “My D&D Next wishlist”

  1. Samurai should never be human shaped nor have human-like qualities. Other than that, I pretty much agree with you. I can also see where I’d want to build this game and can see the places where WotC won’t be building this game.

    I look forward to being proven wrong.

  2. I like Number 9. Though my view of a Ranger would lean towards Fighter/Druid. But my brain is swirling with potential combos and combos I’ve run in the past, like the sect of monk/druids who based their fighting style off animals.

  3. I like the list, especially the commentary about dual classing. I’ve for quite some time held the idea that classes should be the Core Four with all others being a dual-/multi-/other variation off those. Not that your idea espouses that but I agree it could work.

    1. Was it 2nd edition that had them listed as subclasses? Probably not too big a gap from 4e’s roles. Ultimately how it has been handled so far is just a classification. Half classes as writeups would be interesting.

  4. Similar to #1: Don’t make it so certain types of adventures are only for certain levels. If I want a level 23 party clearing out goblin-infested dungeons or a level 1 party plane-hopping, then let me!

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