Hello and welcome to 1985 Arcana! A place where I (Jeremiah) and some of my compatriots work on creating new and interesting rules for DnD 5e. Here we’ll release new playtest material for everyone to download and test out. If you like it, let us know in the comments. If you think we need to make any changes, where happy to hear them! This is meant to be a collaborative project between 1985 Games and our community.
Roleplay Tactics 1.1
Find a new ruleset is to increase player awareness and make for a more interactive experience in this installment of 1985 Arcana. This playtest document presents a list of reactions and bonus actions for players to use in combat.
We’ll release a playtest survey soon. When we do, please let us know what you think of these options. Your feedback can help us better the rules, and may end up in future products!
This Is Playtest Material
The DnD material in this article is presented for playtesting and to spark your imagination. These game mechanics are in draft form, usable in your DnD campaign but not refined by full game design and editing. They aren’t officially part of the game and aren’t created by the Wizards of the Coast team.
I totally see what you mean. I think this ruleset as it currently sits, fits a looser style of play. I think adding specific restrictions or triggers would make roleplay tactics a crunchier ruleset. ( Which honestly might make it better!) I’m not sure yet.
(If I were to add triggers any suggestions?)
Have you gotten a chance to use it in-game yet? If so I’d really love to hear about how it affected combat and if your suspicions were right.
Overall, I think the ideas here are very cool, super flavourful, and open up a lot of possibilities for players! However, reading the descriptions themselves, I find that they are generally hard to rule during play and could be abused too easily.
At first read, the lack of specified triggers for the reactions make it hard to rule. The Retreat one is especially hard to rule because “incoming danger” applies to too many things. Can Retreat be used to avoid AoE spells or only attacks? What about ranged attacks? What about traps? Does the danger need to be damaging? Simply being able to move away from danger and dodge an attack entirely with an at will reaction seems too powerful.
Other remarks: Combat Tactics lacks a range and Battle Position should work like the Scout Rogue skirmisher feature where it triggers when an enemy ends their turn 5 ft. away from the character.
I do understand that there’s a roleplay element to it that must be justified by the player, but, not having conditions for these reactions makes them as powerful as actions, which could make combat very unfair. I think that by having stricter rulings, these options could be really great for more advanced DnD combat.