What I Want From DnD 6e
Wizards of the Cost has now put out two surveys for both the Races and Classes/Subclasses in the Players Handbook, which suggests they’re either gearing up for a Remastered Edition with updated rules and features, or they’re preparing for 6th Edition. Or perhaps like with 3rd Edition we’re about to get a 5.5 Edition. So, whether we get a 6th Edition, a 5.5 Edition, or just a remastered edition of the PHB, I wanted to air my larger scope desires moving forward. These are in no particular order, just my personal opinions, and I don’t need all of these fulfilled to be happy. These are just ideas I’m spit-balling.
A larger Spells Known List for Sorcerers: Sorcerers only get 15 spells total, while Wizards get 44. If Sorcerer and Wizard are supposed to be the quintesential pair of arcane mastery, it doesn’t look good when the Sorcerer has literally 1/4 the spells of the Wizard. Clerics, Druids, and even Paladins get more spells than the Sorcerer, and if you count Mystic Arcanums, then even the Warlock gets more spells than the Sorcerer. Whether they get Origin Spells or just larger spells known in general, these masters of the arcane need more spells.
More Spell Slots for Warlocks: This is more of a personal grievance. The warlock is so limited that you are pretty much backed into a corner to rely on Eldritch Blast and discouraged from taking any spells that don’t deal damage. The only out is to play a blade pact warlock where your weapon attacks are a valid second option to casting spells or relying on Eldritch Blast. I think giving the Warlock spell slots equal to half their level rounded down or otherwise limiting the maximum amount to about 8-10 would at least relax the crushing grip that restrains the class as casters.
More Domains for Clerics: Clerics have one of the biggest subclass lists in the game, but look at the domains of 3.5e, and you’ll actually start to feel jealous over how few options we have in 5e. So many great options aren’t available, or are “covered” by an inadequate substitute. There’s no Ocean domain, but those gods are lumped into Tempest. A domain that has nothing to do with controlling water. Because flying and farting lightning bolts sounds like a power I would get from worshipping Umberlee. Likewise, every Love deity is crammed into either Life or Light, instead of just giving us a Charm Domain for them to rule over.
Additions to Cleric Domains: So, one thing that 3.5e has that 5e doesn’t is Evil, Good, Lawful, and Chaotic Domains, as well as Racial Domains. I don’t know how this could be implemented exactly, but finding a way to implement alignment or race into a cleric build when building your character would help each god feel different, even if it was in small ways. It should be different worshipping a Chaotic Evil god of the Sea vs a Neutral Good God of the Sea, or perhaps to see the difference between worshipping the Dwarvish god of Crafting vs the Elvish god of crafting. Doing this can make worshipping Sune different from worshipping Aphrodite, Veranestra, Luthic, or Iallanis, while also making the process of choosing your deity a more laborious choice, rather than slapping any random god into the slot. It’s a way to make who you choose as important as the character you’re building itself.
A Comprehensive Guide of Deities and Patrons: Similar to the Paladin, I think Clerics and Warlocks would benefit from having a guide to different deities or patron options on an individual level with things like Tenants, unique features for following them, other kinds of boons or bonuses, what they ask of you or how to worship them, and what kinds of things they might want their Cleric or Warlock to do. By having this sort of thing, each individual patron or deity becomes more unique, and there’s a difference between worshipping Asmodeus, being his Warlock, both, or whatever. Even if you like playing as a Life Domain Cleric, serving Demeter would be different than worshipping Apollo. Same Domain, but different figure. Likewise, you could play three different Archfey Warlocks and each time serve a different master with an entirely different objective, boon, or pre-written story hook. Thus, adding more variety while also improving the roleplaying aspect that comes with playing a Cleric, Paladin, or Warlock. Sune might ask her followers to pay craftsmen to create instruments or artwork, while Freya might ask her followers to protect mankind from evil creatures, and Veranestra might delight in her clerics toying with the emotions of mortals. By making each patron or deity unique, it adds a layer to the roleplaying, and even gives non-clerics or warlocks an excuse to actually care about their setting’s pantheon.
Eliminating a Set Casting Stat: So this is likely to be an unpopular opinion, but set casting stats are a crutch when it comes to multiclassing. It’s very limiting, and you’re unlikely to see a Sorcerer/Monk because it requires too many stats and doesn’t leave enough room for other stats to matter. By eliminating a set casting stat, you open the door for a Bard/Cleric who worships the god of music, or a Druid/Paladin who swears an oath to the ancient guardians of the forest. It opens the door for more variety and customization.
Adding a Science Skill: There really should be a skill for knowing things like chemistry, physics, aliens, etc. and a broad-specs Science skill like Arcana for magical things seems about right. Obviously, it would be an Intelligence check.
Giving Player Characters a Trade: Another thing I found in 3.5e that we don’t have in 5e is an ability to invest time into improving on a skill or trade that can be monetized. Sewing, crafting, building, inventing, there’s a lot of room for player characters to have a trade from their backstory, but this seems to have been completely discarded for 5e, as there’s no real mechanics in place for owning your own business or crafting your own goods to sell, which leaves a lot of it to DMs having to make up rules if their players want to do this sort of stuff. Letting characters pick up a trade similar to a feat or gaining a trade from their background would benefit player customization, even on a smaller scale.
Making Players less reliant on the CON stat: This is a personal grievance. I hate that I can’t build a character without needing to invest in this stat. Any other stat can be a dump stat, but CON pretty much is not allowed to be. It wouldn’t matter if it mattered for skills, but it doesn’t. You just have to invest in it, or you’ll get very familiar with your settings’ version of the grim reaper very quickly. A high CON should just make you MORE tanky, but shouldn’t be mandatory to avoid dying. I’ve had many builds undermined by a need to focus on the HP stat that they couldn’t really do anything else.
More Elemental Spells: If you want to build a Fire or Cold damage character, you’ll be fine. Radiant and Necrotic have some variety. And Psychic has gotten more spells lately. But try to build a character with just Lightning spells or just Thunder or Force, and you’ll quickly realize that some elements get way more love than others. The WoTC team needs to really expand on elemental damaging spells to give players more variety with their options. Particularly with Lightning, Thunder, Force, Acid, and Poison damage spells, but even Psychic, Radiant, and Necrotic could still use more variety.
More Thematic Spells: Have you ever wanted to play as Poison Ivy only to realize there’s like 3 spells that actually attack people with plants? Or maybe you wanted to build a character that uses shadow powers, but the number of spells that use darkness or shadows are few and far between? I think DnD would benefit from adding more spells that fit into thematic groups, such as plant-based spells, shadow spells, telekinetic abilities, using fey, celestial, or fiend magic, elemental magic of water, earth, and air, etc. We recently got a lot of new spells for summoners, and that was great. So while it sucks they can only be summoned once at a time, it’s still an improvement over not having any summoning spells at all.
Pipe of Donaar
Wondrous item, very rare (requires attunement by a spellcaster)
This magical pipe was originally enchanted in the sky-bound kingdom of Edonia. A masterful work of art that has endured over time, this pipe has the ability to transform ordinary tobacco into a malleable and mysterious smoke.
The pipe has 9 charges and regains all expended charges each day at dawn. In order to use any of the pipe’s magical properties, there must be tobacco in the bowl of the pipe.
While holding this pipe, you can use an action to cast the Prestidigitation spell from it. In addition, you may cast the following spells from the pipe as an action by expending charges:
Fog Cloud - 1 charge
Sleep - 1 charge
Zone of Truth - 2 charges
Gust of Wind - 2 charges
Gaseous Form - 3 charges
Stinking Cloud - 3 charges
Cloudkill - 5 charges
Mental Prison - 6 charges
You can only cast the above spells through the pipe that would normally be available for your spellcasting level, and using these spells does not expend spell slots. For example, a 3rd level wizard would be able to cast Fog Cloud, Sleep, Zone of Truth and Gust of Wind through the pipe.
In addition, when casting any of the above spells through the pipe, you can choose to expend any number of additional charges to cast that spell at a higher level. This level is equal to the amount of total charges spent. For example, a 14th level wizard can cast Cloudkill at 7th level by expending a total of 7 charges.
The Wise Mandolin Tavern was booming with life. Gleeful music was being played by a young, plain-looking human troubadour and a slim, graceful human woman with striking jet-black hair that hung over a green dress. While two-dozen drunkards gawked openly at the woman atop the small square stage, two bartenders scrambled to serve the influx of demanding customers.
Several stools were dragged across the wooden floorboards around the corner beside a hearth, where an old, white-scaled Dragonborn sat forward in an armchair, refilling his pipe, before lighting it.
“Then what happened!?” one of the patrons asked desperately.
Donaar Almenondod sat back, taking a long pull on his pipe before sending forth a cloud of smoke that blew forth like the waves of the ocean. “The storm was unrelenting, and the hull of Keegan’s ship, the Yellow Mongoose, waned, splintered and creaked. He thought of the venerable sages that told him he’d make it, and thought them liars, cheats, thieves.”
As the two bartenders passed by, expertly balancing a dozen tankards, even they were entranced by the dragonborn’s tale. He continued, “As the sailors hurried frantically to reef the final sail, the captain looked starboard. There he spotted a wave larger than any before it. The only words that left his mouth were that of his goddess.”
Donaar paused again, taking another drag of his pipe before sending out a plume of smoke that split amidst a column of light. The gathered crowd listened fervently. Donaar smiled a wry smile.
- Donaar Almenondod shares a riveting story with a gathering crowd