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  #1  
Old Nov 21st, 2020, 07:45 PM
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What if I restricted the available classes to six?

I'm thinking, if I run any other games of restricting class selection to just six, races to six, and dumping feats.

Opinions?
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Old Nov 21st, 2020, 07:56 PM
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Restrictions on classes and races are common. But without feats, how is there much growth? I think you would also heavily penalize anything that isn't a caster.
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Old Nov 21st, 2020, 08:47 PM
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Core D&D 5e dumps feats as it is, and it works just fine.

Artificially restricting an existing system is a consideration that should be undertaken with a lot of care to ensure that the restrictions don't break the system to the point of losing viability. If you're looking to run something simpler than what you're used to, there's always the idea of looking at other, less mechanically robust systems. Designing campaigns should take all changes in rules into account so as not to punish the players, as well.

I'm probably preaching to the choir here, but it's all worth saying. I have settings in the works with artificially reduced options, but I always have to do the extra legwork of ensuring that what I'm designing still does what the game expects and what players need in order to enjoy themselves. Ultimately, my personal game mastery principles call for that.
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Old Nov 21st, 2020, 09:51 PM
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Basically, I'd be bringing it back to the classes and races in 1st edition, the set of rules I'm more familiar with. But I don't have access to those rules, so I'd still use the rules in 5e, minus subclasses.
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Old Nov 21st, 2020, 09:56 PM
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If you really want that old school experience, have you considered any of the retroclones of your system of choice?
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Old Nov 21st, 2020, 11:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziether View Post
If you really want that old school experience, have you considered any of the retroclones of your system of choice?

Not sure what that would be, or if my local game shop would carry them. They had to special order Shadowrun for me after Catalyst took my money and failed to deliver.
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Old Nov 21st, 2020, 11:58 PM
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For example, there is Swords and Wizardry, a streamlining of the White Box rules that is free to download (if you want a paper copy, you could then print it for your own use). It also has a full System Reference Document for online reference.

There are plenty of other similar systems that recreate the various early versions of D&D in a more accessible format. Searching for "retroclones" of D&D in your search engine of choice should give you access to dozens. A benefit of a free retroclone is that your players can also access the rules without a monetary investment, allowing those without direct experience to jump in without worrying about the cost.

There are a lot of options out there that take less work than trying to restrict the rules from a modern system. You can always go that route, though, but be aware that the further you deviate from a player's expectations, the harder it might be to get them to buy in fully. Part of the draw of a system is the reliability of its ruleset.

As someone who didn't get into TTRPGs until the mid-2000s, I don't have the breadth of experience you do, and I thank you for bringing a more nuanced prospective to the site!
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Old Nov 22nd, 2020, 12:32 PM
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There are good reasons to restrict classes. I'm not sure that 'because I only want people to play the ones I'm familiar with from the previous century' is the best reason, though.

I would second Ziether's proposal of a retroclone. Even if you restricted it to a few classes, removed feats, and did away with sub-classes (yikes!), I don't think the end product would deliver the feel that you're hoping for. Retroclones are derived from D&D's 3.5 and 5th edition rules, but specifically modified for the purpose of delivering the old school feel that people can't get from the standard game. Swords and Wizardry is one,OSRIC is another very popular option (free and legal pdf linked), and there are many others.

I think if you advertised your game as 5th edition, then put these restrictions on it, it might disappoint potential applicants. You'd be removing a lot of the things they like. Even after getting past "Oh, I can't play my favorite class? Oh well, I'll play my second-favorite class!" they'll be hit with "Oh, it's my second-favorite class... but a version of it that sucks!"

But, if you advertise it as a Retroclone or OSR game, the interest you'll get will be more directly related to what you're proposing. You'll also be more likely to get players that want the old school experience, rather than players that will be surprised by the different style.

Here is a Crazy Huge List of other Retroclone and OSR rules sets.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2020, 03:46 PM
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Have you considered just making six characters, with full sheets and backstories, and just asking people to play them?
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Old Nov 22nd, 2020, 04:33 PM
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Indeed, if you are thinking of starting in a system without feats (5e?) then the impact would be less great than if you started in a system that absolutely required them, and you deleted them (3.5/Pathfinder). I don't know 5e enough to tell you the impact, but it would devastate 3.5 to the point of being unplayable.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2020, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zevonian View Post
Have you considered just making six characters, with full sheets and backstories, and just asking people to play them?

I only have five players. And we all came from 1st...or 2nd, which I didn't find radically different. When in doubt, we just flow with what we're used to. Though i did tell them that we should really roll for initiative.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2020, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Admin Dirk View Post
Indeed, if you are thinking of starting in a system without feats (5e?) then the impact would be less great than if you started in a system that absolutely required them, and you deleted them (3.5/Pathfinder). I don't know 5e enough to tell you the impact, but it would devastate 3.5 to the point of being unplayable.

The good news is that the book says they're optional.
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Last edited by TADHG; Nov 22nd, 2020 at 08:19 PM.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2020, 07:46 PM
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Which book? 3.5? Pf? 5e?

Never mind... my phone did not show the post and answer in the post I saw.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2020, 07:49 PM
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The D&D 5e system is built upon feats being optional.

That said, eliminating subclasses would mean what, the DM picks one subclass and that's the only option? Don't most classes pick a subclass at level 3 and have it define their abilities from there on out?
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Old Nov 23rd, 2020, 08:55 AM
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I'd have to agree that limiting feats is no big deal at all. The system is designed to work perfectly without them. Limiting class options is easy enough, and as long as players agree, is totally fine.

Limiting subclasses will create a whole cascade of problems, mechanically speaking. If you take away subclasses entirely, you are making the PCs much weaker. What Zev and Ziether said is probably your best option - just insist that all Rogues are Thieves and all Fighters are Champions. Effectively, pre-build the characters for them. But even then, you'll bump into problems. Clerics need a subclass at level 1. Would you just insist that all clerics are Life clerics? When Wizards hit level 3, how are you going to decide which subclass they get? Wizard and Cleric subclass abilities are tons of fun, and if I had was playing a mystical Diviner-wizard, and then you force me to be an Evoker, I would not be happy. Same if I wanted to be a tanky front-line Tempest cleric, and then you forced me to be a heal-bot Life cleric. (And then if you let your Cleric or Wizard pick their subclass, why not the others?)
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Last edited by Wynamoinen; Nov 23rd, 2020 at 08:56 AM.
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