Posted by : David Guyll July 09, 2011
I think I get what Mearls is trying to say here: rather than have values derived from your ability scores, why not just use their values? In one example, he posits that instead of have a Fortitude defense derived from your Constitution score that you could just use Constitution. Interesting idea, though I wonder how it will handle stuff like skills; will trained skills give you a bonus to a roll, will everyone be able to try a skill and just use the ability mod (removal of skills), will having a trained skill enable you to make the roll at all, or something else? My main concern is a lack of specializing or focus, but this will have to be one of those "wait and see" instances.
In response there is now a very lengthy thread on the forums filled with uninformed statements and speculation on 5th Edition, and some mechanics brainstorming: stripping down ability scores from six to three or four, removing ability score increases, some or all of feats, comparisons of giants pushing each other around, and more. There is currently almost 20 pages to muck through, so I am sure I missed a lot. I think that people are expecting to see a greatly simplified game with modular rules that groups can utilize if they want more complexity.
For example, you have the "basic" game where your abilities basically function as your bonus and defense to help you resolve stuff. Anyone can try to do almost anything they want, but if gamers want to add skills there would be rules to tack them on. Perhaps the same thing with feats, multiclassing, rituals, higher levels, and more. I think that having a modular rules system would present some issues, especially for meeting new groups, pick up games, adventure writing, and the like, but we will have to wait and see where things go from here. Could be a D&D variant, could be 5th Edition, could be nothing.