Lurkers must sign up now to visit our additional forums. Please register today and enjoy our endless banter. Instant access as of March 2019!

Hybrid 1E/5E Rules

Discuss any non D&D roleplaying topics here.

Moderators: Stik, Brightmantle

User avatar
Meph
Peddler
Peddler
Posts: 234
Contact:

Hybrid 1E/5E Rules

Post#1 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:53 pm

Most of you know from both my 5E campaign thread and the 5E Pros and Cons thread that I am unhappy with 5E and the way it handles combat. I don't like the ability modifier + prof modifier system. I don't like the way death has less bite, things like energy drain have been removed, even how even most poisons and such do minor damage and a condition rather than the slow/fast death of older editions depending on the poison type. Sure all of those things can be changed but they are the beginning of the list. I hate the class "builds" with all of the skills. I like the cantrip concept but hate its implementation with all of the damage cantrips and the fact that they are unlimited. I even like the ability check/DC system for skills like Persuasion, Deception, Perception, Athletics, etc. My plan is to switch back to AD&D in my next campaign.

The other night I cam across a pdf that someone made up that was his "hybrid" version of a mix between 1E and 5E. I started taking a look at it tonight and I must say that I am intrigued. The have converted some proficiencies from other editions into class abilities such as Fighters getting Weapon Specialization as a level 1 ability. They innately get proficiency in all weapons and then choose one specialization. Level 2 they get Cleave which gives a bonus attack against an adjacent creature if they kill their target. Level 4 they get Combat Dominance which gives them a +1 to saves and an extra attack to creatures that are HD = their Combat Dominance bonus....so at level 4 they get 2 attacks vs 1HD or lower creatures. Level 5 they get 2 attacks per round.

While this is a little more than older editions gave, none of it is game breaking. Cantrips are another thing I like. All casting classes get cantrips and each has their own spell lists. Cantrips are 0 level and they have a line on the spell progression table. At a quick glance it looks like everyone gets 4 cantrips per day at 1st level, to go up to 5 per day at 5th level and never go beyond that. All of the damaging cantrips are removed but there is an extensive list. Spells like Read Magic, Light, Mending, Message, Bind Wounds are all cantrips. I really like this system. If gives each class a little extra functionality but again its nothing game breaking.

The other addition ported over from 5E is what they call Skills. Persuasion, Perception, Athletics, Arcana, etc. Each class gets to pick a couple based on their class and gets another at something like 6th level. They are based off the ability like 5E (STR, WIS, DEX, etc) and they make use of a much smaller prof bonus than in 5E. It is split into Prof Bonus and Common Ability Bonus. Prof Bonus goes from +1 at level 1 to +10 at level 20 and only applies to your few Skills which are class based. The Common Bonus is +0 at level 1. It becomes +1 at level 4 and maxes at +5 at level 20. That gives you slower progression of your normal skills similar to what you had with saving throws in older editions. Again, on paper this system looks pretty good especially because there are no stat increases like 5E which let to even more bonus increases.

I am not going to go through it all, the pdf is 241 pages long and touches on so many points. I am really impressed with the time put into this. This wont be for everyone but since I am torn between 2 editions it cause my attention. It looks like a real solid attempt to take the best of both worlds. I need to read through it all and may still change a few things but I might just playtest this when its time to switch. Let me know what you guys think if you get a chance to look them over.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1t8ulLV_7vb9kS2jK9e-3zR0l8YFy1lIr

Here is the link for the DMG version of these rules. It has advanced info on most of the stuff in the PHB as well as Magic Items, some Variant Classes, etc. Lot of info in these 2 PDFs.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=17_65p_-ZOs8z3cFLrER1yCPhHYgS5Uwf

User avatar
Halaster-Blackcloak
Knight
Knight
Posts: 1459

Re: Hybrid 1E/5E Rules

Post#2 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:04 pm

I don't know...maybe it's just my years of experience in the old systems, but to me it seems to be a hell of a lot easier to take an early edition like 1E or 2E and tweak it to fit your needs perfectly than to either try gene-splicing two totally different editions or trying to reinvent the wheel (i.e. all the retro-clone nonsense). It doesn't even feel work at all. For example, I just ignore demi-human level limits. Takes less effort than even blinking because it involves doing nothing. 2E spell damage caps? Ignore them. Don't want cavaliers to automatically raise their ability scores every level or so? Just declare it. Work is done.

I'm trying to think of any tweaks or house rules I have. Not many. About 99% of what I refer to as tweaks or house rules concerning the games I run are essentially not what most people mean by the words tweak or house-rule. For example, we kept the assassin, barbarian, demons (we don't call them tanar'ri), half-orc PCs and other things that were in 1E but not 2E. It's not really a house rule or tweak, it's more just ignoring something.

I often toyed with the idea of re-writing the entire PHB and DMG to reflect my games - it would be a true hybrid of 1E and 2E, and since 90% of those two editions were identical there wouldn't be much to change. Sorta just make it easier to find an obscure rule when I can't remember whether it was a 1E or 2E rule (or both).

But try merging 1E and 5E (or 3E, 4E, etc), to me would be like trying to merge oil and water without soap.

User avatar
Meph
Peddler
Peddler
Posts: 234
Contact:

Re: Hybrid 1E/5E Rules

Post#3 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:12 pm

I always thought the same way. I had always planned to do a 1e/2e rewrite but never found it worth the effort. There are some nice parts to 5th edition. Most of the gonzo stuff like class abilities I don't like and this document addresses that well. I do like the idea of some minor ability progression though with some classes such as the fighter other than just a Thac0 increase each level. It's an interesting alternative. Just like 5E it wont be for everyone but I thought it might be worth a look. I have 5 players right now. I know 3 of them will have no problem if I straight up switch to 2nd Edition, but those 3 also do like 5th Edition. Again, I ran across this the other night and the work was already done so I figured I would check it out. I know you are going to hate it no matter what is in it, I am more curious about what other 5E DMs think of it. Either way, the writing really is on the wall for me....some kinds of switch is in order after my current campaign.

User avatar
TigerStripedDog
Merchant
Merchant
Posts: 548

Re: Hybrid 1E/5E Rules

Post#4 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:19 pm

I would be interested in hearing how this plays out, but I worry about the balance compatibility. I believe that both systems are fundamentally balanced - but not at all int he same way. Wizards, in 2E are terrible before 5th level, but after 10th level reach powers unheard of and can out-strip the rest of the party. Thieves become near useless at later levels (thanks to the wizards) but early on have talents that no one else can come close to. Fighters start strong and stay strong - but are very one dimensional tools.

5th Edition changes all of that - striving for balance at every level. I still see late level Wizards as being incredibly powerful, but the march to those higher levels is much more smooth and balanced between classes.

How does the hybrid address this?

Tiger
*unreadable scribble*

User avatar
Meph
Peddler
Peddler
Posts: 234
Contact:

Re: Hybrid 1E/5E Rules

Post#5 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 2:51 pm

See I agree with you that 5E has a lot of balance in the classes, but they accomplished it by artificial means. They did nothing to make the wizard inherently any better, they just gave it options from other classes. When everyone can do similar things then I guess you have accomplished balance. WOTC did one thing I never would have thought possible. They have managed to give every class a ton of abilities while at the same time making them all boring. I don't see much that stands out. Everyone does big damage, everyone has big flashy attacks, everyone can survive on their own. The problem with that balance though is it doesn't last much past 3rd level when the game runs right off the rails.

It reminds me of World of Warcraft. The game exists only because Everquest came first and paved the way. EQ was hard. Classes had defined roles and certain ones were NEEDED for a group to survive. When you died there was a penalty and you lost experience. Your corpse stayed where it was so you needed friends with gear to help you get back and recover your gear. Leveling was slow, even to the point of "hell levels" as they were called. Combat was the slow grind. Your group might fight a group of creatures and that battle could take 2 minutes. Hell some raid bosses required 60-100 people back then and might have taken 15 minutes to kill. A lot of cooperation was needed. The game was less about questing and more about a group of adventurers going out and killing things and clearing dungeons. Because of these "hardships" some people were upset with the game. Those with the time to commit loved it and reveled in the long slow trek to the top. Those without the time to commit hated the game and wanted something "easier".

World of Warcraft comes along years later in response to EQs success and blows them out of the water. Leveling is faster, xp loss on death is gone, corpse recoveries are gone. Combat was different much different from EQ. Instead of the fighter auto attacking, bashing a shield, taunting and kicking, now the warrior was loaded with attacks that you could keep clicking based on their cooldowns. As you leveled your abilities increased until you had 6 action bars open with things you were clicking. WoW ballooned in popularity until it had about 15 million subscribers. The problem was that with it's success it also began it's decline. The more and more they added to the game, the more the power creep took over. They have had to do balancing acts with every expansion to account for the creep.

D&D went through this phase with 3.5 and then 4.0. The game fundamentally changed from a RPG to a numbers based tactical combat game. 5E did a lot to change that. They did simplify the system from those editions but I think there is still a lot of bloat that didn't exist in older editions. If you take the core 2E PHB and core 5E PHB, 5E can get pretty bloated imo. I do fear that 5E's lifespan shortens every time they release one of these new Player/Dm books. I can't call them one or the other because the hunger for money has them mixing both to ensure that everyone buys them. Every book other than adventures seems to add more archtypes (further muddling the class), spells and abilities. Again, some people love this. I know deep down I am a grognard. I grew up playing primarily 1E and 2E but this doesn't resemble the game I knew.

Just because I wanted to know I tallied up the officially released Subclasses. Might as well consider each it's own class because they only share base skills with the original class. Guess I will do races while I am at it, again counting subraces as individuals since they all have different stats and abilities.

Classes:
Player's Handbook 40
Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide 11
Xanathar's Guide to Everything 30
Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica 2

Total we now have 83 subclass options!

[url]Races:[/url]
Player's Handbook 15 (including human variant)
Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide 2 (only counting Duergar and SVIRFNEBLIN)
Volos Guide to Monsters 9
Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica 6

Total we now have 32 subrace options!

Considering each subclass and each subrace has stat bonuses, abilites, spells, etc I think it's pretty damn impossible to maintain anything resembling that balance you speak of. Add multiclassing on top of that and it gets even worse. I understand what they are attempting but either they don't understand the lasting damage they are doing to the overall game or they are ensuring that people will by 6th edition when they promise to return to that old school feel yet again.

User avatar
TigerStripedDog
Merchant
Merchant
Posts: 548

Re: Hybrid 1E/5E Rules

Post#6 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 5:07 pm

Meph wrote:See I agree with you that 5E has a lot of balance in the classes, but they accomplished it by artificial means. They did nothing to make the wizard inherently any better, they just gave it options from other classes.


I assume you're referencing combat cantrips - which you have discussed before. I completely disagree that this is similar to what a fighter does when he or she takes an attack. The imagery, the visceral nature, the descriptions - they could not be more different between a fighter swinging a sword and a wizard throwing a firebolt. A fighter's attacks are modified by their strength, their skill, and a variety of other martial options. A wizard's is only modified in time by their skill in magic (spellcaster level). Yes, if you break both of these down into pure math, and consider only the damage they do, they will look similar. Ray of Frost's 1d6 is mathematically identical to the 1d6 from a fighter's mace... but that could be said for any edition.

What matters is the storytelling - the DM's work describing what is happening, and creating a lasting image in the minds of the players as to how this plays out. Whats more - at higher levels these become less and less prevalent, as Wizards forgo the lesser options for more powerful spells (similar to how a wizard would stop attacking with a Quarterstaff by about 6th level in 2nd edition, because they had enough spells to cast).

Meph wrote:Everyone does big damage, everyone has big flashy attacks, everyone can survive on their own.


I don't think that is how the game is designed - and if the characters in the campaign you're running don't require the aid of their party members to survive - up the challenge. There are still MANY things that Wizards are terrible at (most typically: athletics checks, the perception of and [certainly] the disarming of traps, stealth, sleight of hand, or survival...). Game design that allows them to have balanced combat options early on - when balanced against weaker spells at higher level (fewer save vs death, etc) doesn't wash them out. What washes them out is failing to story tell events in a compelling and descriptive way that highlights just how unique they are.

Meph wrote: Classes had defined roles and certain ones were NEEDED for a group to survive


IMO, especially at higher levels, this has never been truer than it is in 5th edition. In 2nd edition a party was almost always better off if it was fighter heavy - because while boring fighters were numerically so superior in early levels. In 5th it is rare to see a group with more than one character filling each role.

Meph wrote:Classes:
Player's Handbook 40
Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide 11
Xanathar's Guide to Everything 30
Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica 2


The Core Rulebooks specifically state that one should only use the Player's Handbook and ONE other source if using optional materials. So while you're right - too many class options bogs the game down, if you're allowing such a thing you're effectively home ruling it to be so. By the suggested core rulebooks the number of subclasses at most would be 70 - and by the suggested group size (5) you would be managing at most... 10 of those in an average length game (this is assuming that two characters multiclassed) And even on the Multiclass front - when a character multiclasses (which is itself stated to be an optional rule) they are sacrificing levels into whatever subclass they were originally - and are shutting themselves out of some of the higher level abilities and options.

This is assuming you allow all the classes in the first place - like I said, I don't. Warlocks, Sorcerers, Barbarians all got the axe.

Tiger
*unreadable scribble*

User avatar
Meph
Peddler
Peddler
Posts: 234
Contact:

Re: Hybrid 1E/5E Rules

Post#7 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 6:02 pm

TigerStripedDog wrote:The Core Rulebooks specifically state that one should only use the Player's Handbook and ONE other source if using optional materials. So while you're right - too many class options bogs the game down, if you're allowing such a thing you're effectively home ruling it to be so. By the suggested core rulebooks the number of subclasses at most would be 70 - and by the suggested group size (5) you would be managing at most... 10 of those in an average length game (this is assuming that two characters multiclassed) And even on the Multiclass front - when a character multiclasses (which is itself stated to be an optional rule) they are sacrificing levels into whatever subclass they were originally - and are shutting themselves out of some of the higher level abilities and options.

This is assuming you allow all the classes in the first place - like I said, I don't. Warlocks, Sorcerers, Barbarians all got the axe.

Tiger


The rule you are referencing was created for Adventurers League play when you have new players in and our on a regular basis. It was created so players could NOT create the type of character that I am speaking of. To my knowledge I am pretty sure that is NOT an optional rule in the core rule books, if it is I cannot find it. Since the Player's Handbook was out prior to any supplements and years before the worst offenders, I don't believe it was even a consideration. It came about from DM issues within AL. It's a real problem. Why did you axe Warlocks, Sorcerers, and Barbarians if all is balanced?

Yes multiclassing does shut you out of some higher level abilities and options but it also opens you up to ability stacking which can be much greater than what you are giving up. Not really sure how we ended up moving the 5E pro/con discussion to this thread, I guess it's relevant. The more I read of those hybrid rules, the more I like them. I would like to test a group with those rules vs 2E and 5E monsters. I am guessing it would require modification of either to use them properly.

User avatar
Halaster-Blackcloak
Knight
Knight
Posts: 1459

Re: Hybrid 1E/5E Rules

Post#8 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 6:15 pm

Meph wrote:

Classes:
Player's Handbook 40
Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide 11
Xanathar's Guide to Everything 30
Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica 2

Total we now have 83 subclass options!

Races:
Player's Handbook 15 (including human variant)
Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide 2 (only counting Duergar and SVIRFNEBLIN)
Volos Guide to Monsters 9
Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica 6

Total we now have 32 subrace options!


THAT is exactly why I see 5E being far more similar to a superhero RPG, like Marvel Comics or something, than to D&D. You can have a party the size of the Justice League or Legion of Superheroes and not duplicate a class or race. Unlimited options isn't necessarily good thing.

User avatar
Meph
Peddler
Peddler
Posts: 234
Contact:

Re: Hybrid 1E/5E Rules

Post#9 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 6:22 pm

Jeremy Crawford talking about PHB +1

https://youtu.be/tchkd4mxEPc?t=1070

User avatar
Halaster-Blackcloak
Knight
Knight
Posts: 1459

Re: Hybrid 1E/5E Rules

Post#10 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:36 pm

At 30:24, that right there is why I sneer at these new games. Power-gamer heaven. This ain't D&D.

User avatar
TigerStripedDog
Merchant
Merchant
Posts: 548

Re: Hybrid 1E/5E Rules

Post#11 » Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:58 am

Meph wrote:Why did you axe Warlocks, Sorcerers, and Barbarians if all is balanced?


I also axed Tieflings and Dragonborn. For Tieflings, Dragonborn, Warlocks and Sorcerors - the main reason was that they weren't thematic to my world, and I felt that they added nothing to the game. It wasn't a balance issue - I can't really speak to their overall balance except in theory - as I haven't DM'ed for them. Also, everything those classes do, other classes can do. For me - a Warlock is always a bad guy. Great for NPC's (and I have built villain Warlocks) but not suitable for PC play.

Barbarians I have "axed" because of balance issues. I think they are poorly balanced, and can (in the wrong circumstances) do to much. I have recently made a few key adjustments to the Barbarian that I think will bring them back in line with the balance of the other classes, and am considering allowing them again.

Meph wrote:Yes multiclassing does shut you out of some higher level abilities and options but it also opens you up to ability stacking which can be much greater than what you are giving up


A great way around this is to say "no multiclassing". The way that people multi-class in this system is much more like Dual Classing in 2E - something that was only open to certain races. Just say "no Multiclassing". Again - its a simple cut, rather than an edit - along the lines of how we all agree to simply cut Demi-human level limits out of 2E.

Meph wrote: would like to test a group with those rules vs 2E and 5E monsters. I am guessing it would require modification of either to use them properly.


Very interested to see how this works :)

Meph wrote: Not really sure how we ended up moving the 5E pro/con discussion to this thread


Ha, not sure. That is sort of the way these things go.

Tiger
*unreadable scribble*

User avatar
Meph
Peddler
Peddler
Posts: 234
Contact:

Re: Hybrid 1E/5E Rules

Post#12 » Tue Dec 11, 2018 1:07 pm

TigerStripedDog wrote:
Meph wrote:Why did you axe Warlocks, Sorcerers, and Barbarians if all is balanced?


I also axed Tieflings and Dragonborn. For Tieflings, Dragonborn, Warlocks and Sorcerors - the main reason was that they weren't thematic to my world, and I felt that they added nothing to the game. It wasn't a balance issue - I can't really speak to their overall balance except in theory - as I haven't DM'ed for them. Also, everything those classes do, other classes can do. For me - a Warlock is always a bad guy. Great for NPC's (and I have built villain Warlocks) but not suitable for PC play.

Barbarians I have "axed" because of balance issues. I think they are poorly balanced, and can (in the wrong circumstances) do to much. I have recently made a few key adjustments to the Barbarian that I think will bring them back in line with the balance of the other classes, and am considering allowing them again.

Meph wrote:Yes multiclassing does shut you out of some higher level abilities and options but it also opens you up to ability stacking which can be much greater than what you are giving up


A great way around this is to say "no multiclassing". The way that people multi-class in this system is much more like Dual Classing in 2E - something that was only open to certain races. Just say "no Multiclassing". Again - its a simple cut, rather than an edit - along the lines of how we all agree to simply cut Demi-human level limits out of 2E.


Those are actually some of the same changes I have planned. Nobody in my current group is multiclassing or expressed the desire to, so I am cutting out multiclassing right now. Tieflings, Dragonborn, Sorcerors, Warlocks will not be in my homebrew world for the same reason you listed, they don't thematically fit but also they just don't fit in my idea of what D&D is. I am also planning to go through the sub classes one and a time and removing what I don't like. I am actually looking at the Adventures in Middle Earth books and thinking about bringing a couple classes over. I may be making some homebrew classes like a reworked ranger that is more in the old school ranger style that I want.

User avatar
TigerStripedDog
Merchant
Merchant
Posts: 548

Re: Hybrid 1E/5E Rules

Post#13 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 6:51 am

Meph wrote:they don't thematically fit but also they just don't fit in my idea of what D&D is


I will say that you should consider Warlocks as NPC's. The Eldritch Powers/Lovecraftian Horror can fit well into just about any fantasy setting, and adds a really cool darker element. One of the great things about Tolkein's work was its novelty. He crafted a world that nobody knew. A world that everyone was still exploring. Fantasy has lost some of that now because we have been in it for so long. Lovecraftian horror - beings from beyond the void, etc - can darken the edges of the reality that you're creating in a way that keeps the mystery fresh. Warlocks can be great tools to remind the characters of this. Even within the more standard D&D setting, Warlocks of the various demonic lords, etc, can also be fun. I'm with you 100% that they are trash for PC's to play, but very fun as a DM tool.

Meph wrote: I may be making some homebrew classes like a reworked ranger that is more in the old school ranger style that I want.


If you haven't already, check out the Unearthed Arcana for Rangers. I think there might have been two of them even. The Ranger was known to have some problems pretty early on in the game's release.

Tiger
*unreadable scribble*

User avatar
Halaster-Blackcloak
Knight
Knight
Posts: 1459

Re: Hybrid 1E/5E Rules

Post#14 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 6:12 pm

Unearthed Arcana only changed a few things for rangers. They gained weapon specialization, they got a more detailed tracking system, and it expanded the "giant class" list for species enemy. I think that was about all. I'm assuming you're referring to the 1E ranger. Not sure about later (3E+) editions.

User avatar
Meph
Peddler
Peddler
Posts: 234
Contact:

Re: Hybrid 1E/5E Rules

Post#15 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:11 pm

He is referring to the 5E Unearthed Arcana. It's where WOTC publically releases test materials. The problem I have is that NONE of that stuff fits what I want thematically. Honestly, I like some of the 5E mechanics but when I say I want that old 1E feel it's more about the classes than anything. I want my rangers focused on tracking, sneaking, melee damage and they get a few spells at level 9. I DON'T want the spell casting level 1 ranger popping hunter's marks on targets to stack big damage. It just doesn't fit my view of the Ranger. I don't want the Neutral aligned, Nature worshipping Firbolg Paladin....it's NOT a Paladin in my view. This stuff is what irritates me so much about 5E. Sure I can restrict everything I dont like but even the ones I do need some modification.

http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/unearthed-arcana

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 13 guests