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🎨 Creative D&D 6E: what would you keep/ditch?


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So let's say you're part of the team bringing D&D 6E to market. What is one thing that you'd like to keep from any previous edition? And what's one thing you'd throw away?

For me, for 6E, I'd like to bring forward the "roles" from 4E, which I felt did a great job of niche protection/definition for new players. And from 5E I'd bring forward the idea of Advantage / Disadvantage. And the one thing I'd discard is the d20 resolution mechanic, probably switching to something like 2d12 (or 4d6).

What are the sacred cows that you'd keep, and which ones would you kill?


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I'd love to replace the d20 with 3d6, but I know it would never happen - too much of the game is tied up into the d20. I'd just like more consistency, rather than a huge swing of random luck. Fighters, Barbarians, and maybe Rogues could also use a little love to feel a little more diversified in comparison to spellcasters - although all three still absolutely need to stay mostly on the "action hero" level of realism, at least with most of their options.

Classes need to stay. Most of the races - though orcs should be a core race in the next edition, and maybe goblins. And Advantage/Disadvantage is such a huge, wonderful simplification to the game.


Registered User
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Yeah, Advantage/Disadvantage is one of those mechanics that just make me boggle. It's such a clever and mechanically-tiny change, but it has an outsized impact on what's happening.

Silvercat Moonpaw

Quadruped Transhuman
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Honestly if I were in charge of 6E it'd probably change so much that the whole "4E is not D&D!" debacle would probably look like a civil discussion.

But in the spirit of the thread:
Keep: 4E's "everyone uses the same structure for resource management".
Throw Away: Alignment.


Ethernet Roleplayer...
Validated User
Keep: 4E's single stat block for monsters (as opposed to see spell xx or rule yz) (...guess this would be bring back ;) )
Discard: Feats and magic items increasing power, instead they add diversity


Registered User
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Honestly? I'm not sure I'd bring over anything from 5e to 6e. I just consider 4e to be so much more of an improvement over 5e that it's hard for me to be unbiased here. But I'll try, in the spirit of honest conversation...

Keep: Nentir Vale base setting, World Axis cosmology, Class Roles, Advantage/Disadvantage, 4e's approach to Damage Resistance/Immunity, level 1-30 base assumption, Paragon Paths, Epic Destinies, 5e's approach to Feats, 4e's approach to Race Design & Base Racial Power Level, Racial utility Powers, 4e's approach of "all casters have entirely unique spell lists", 4e's methodology of handling Summons and Companions, 4e fluff for Gnomes and Halflings
Throw Away: Alignment, Mindless Demon-Spawn Gnolls
Flat-Out Changes: Drop Half-Elf and Half-Orc from the default PHB, Add any two of the following: Aasimar, Deva, Gnoll, Orc, Goblin

...I'm sorry, I just can't be fairer to 5e, I really can't. It just seems to do things so badly compared to 4e! Class balance is all over the place, the racial design formula is incoherent, races are blatantly all over the place in terms of power level (dragonborn went from a solid Paladin/Warlord/Sorcerer race in 4e to one of the worst races in 5e), the Sorcerer is inherently botched up with how it handles Sorcery Points AND it lost its bevvy of unique spells from 4e... really, the only things I like about 5e are the decreased emphasis on tiny little fiddly bonuses (aka Advantage/Disadvantage), although even there I prefer 4e's system for Damage Resistance because it makes multiple damage type spells far more intuitive, and the attempts to make feats rarer and more potent.


mailed a second mongoose
RPGnet Member
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Before I threw away alignment--and, let us be clear, I would probably end up throwing away alignment--I would explore ways to take the original notion of alignment-as-cosmic-architecture, decouple it from concepts of personal ethics, and try to develop a system where alignment really does comprise the forces that define the universe and PCs have the option (and, perhaps, are under some pressure) to align themselves with one of those forces in exchange for various mechanical widgets and goodies.

D&D6e: Everyone's A Warlock Edition.


Active member
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If using 5e as the foundation...

Hire Mage Hand Press to redesign it using their classes as a new foundation of core classes. Their work is the best 5e stuff in the industry IMHO.

If we can't do that...

Keep Advantage/Disadvantage. Keep the Proficiency system of +2 to +6. Keep Backgrounds.

Replace class design with the class design of Heroes Against Darkness. It's a better, less obtuse and more traditional looking 4e without the presentation problems of 4e.

If we can't do that...

Give it to FFG or Modiphius and let's see what they'd do with it. FFG did the Midnight setting, which is one of the best things to come out of 3.5. And Modiphius does cool stuff with their 2d20 system. Seeing a D&D through that system would be pretty cool.


RPGnet Member
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I doubt people would go for my extreme pick (you have four stats: Fight, Sneak, Pray, Conjure).

Instead, let's talk about making alignment both more central and less stupid.

The days of Always Evil humanoids are numbered. We've already seen 5e gnolls go to extreme lengths to be valid monsters, and it wasn't a crowd-pleaser. The next edition needs to fix the implicit setting, ideally with as big a shake-up as 4e. Give us unaligned folk and jettison or compartmentalise all the "evil race" baggage.

For example, nobody's going to blink an eye if the drow are now just matriarchal photo-negative elves, and the cult of Lolth is an unrelated evil organisation with a "bind you in our web of deceit" motif (and driders). The "dark elf" is a popular character type in our modern world (the Japanese seem to love 'em and cast 'em as victims of prejudice by default), so why not make it easier to enjoy it?

I'm not sure I'd keep Good and Evil alignment, but Order and Chaos are good. I'd also add some elemental alignments, and probably some for specific categories of existence. For example, most PCs would likely have a Nature alignment, because they're a living part of their home world. Your traditional Protection spells wouldn't key off Evil, but alignment to other planes. (This means both angels and demons must be very polite to enter some areas, although angels are no longer Always Good if we steal more 4e stuff.)

Some classes probably key off Alignment more than others, and there may be optional alignment levels that tweak the performance of others. A Fighter should be happy to remain Natural, but a Paladin cannot, and a Fighter might splash a little elemental alignment to become (say) a storm-powered thunder warrior.

I realise something like this exists in 13th Age's Icons, and people seem to dig that. We just need to put in all the parts necessary to make it feel properly D&D.

Evil Midnight Lurker

What Lurks at Midnight
Validated User
The alignment grid is the single most widely recognized feature of D&D at this point. Stripping it down was a mistake in 4e, and it would be a mistake now.

Just go back to Gygax's description of alignments in the 1e DMG, and it works much better.
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