When all is said and done, 4th Edition is what finally brought me in to the D&D fold. It made the game approachable in a way that bad DMs and years of textbooks to catch up on never did. I was repelled by it’s flaws pretty quickly and fell in with Pathfinder and (to a much lesser extent) the OSR movement, but I still owe 4E some credit. I also have a number of friends (including my wife) who came on board with 4E and don’t feel as strongly about it’s flaws as I do, so I’ve decided to put effort into “fixing” the system so I don’t find it so repellant. I’ll be collecting those house rules on a new Page I’ve created, and probably adjusting my adjustments as I find what works and what doesn’t.
A lot of this is based off of comments made on Dissociated Mechanics, Defining Your Game, and the Dual Faces of Healing, probably some other sources and influences as well. Right now I only have a few beginning notions of what I think I need to fix, and the barest notion of how to fix them. Thoughts and feedback are welcome.
Energy Sources : All classes in 4E have an energy source, not unlike characters in Diablo 3, but it’s a rather informal, dissociated thing. I’d like to clean that up, and make it reasonable that a Fighter only gets 3 Encounter powers every 5 minutes, and 2 Dailies each day.
Energy Conversion: Related to Energy Sources, I feel like there should be some notion of converting between Encounter energy and Daily energy. It’s all effectively Mana or Focus or Fatigue, just bigger or smaller chunks, you should be able to give up a Daily to recharge Encounters, or forgo your encounters to fire off an extra Daily, right?
Power Through Pain: So what happens when you’re out of Energy? You just can’t do anything but basic moves? I think I want to have a mechanic where characters can overexert themselves if they’ve expended all their energy, perhaps Fatiguing, Exhausting, or Damaging themselves as they push their body beyond what’s “safe”.
Tactical Healing: I think that there’s generally way too much healing available in combat, and it’s rarely done in a way that forces a tactical choice. I’d like a way to change that, and preferably something better than individual errata on ever Cleric power.
Recovery: Recovery between encounters is something that I also feel there’s way too much of; there’s little sense of lasting consequences from poorly chosen or poorly executed plans. I’d like to scale that back and make recovery available and reliable, but not necessarily instantaneous.