Dungeons & Dragons is currently up to its fifth edition, which began publication in 2014. The fifth edition streamlined the game in a way that had never been done before, but this also meant leaving some good ideas and fun rules on the cutting room floor. A future 6th edition of the game should bring some of these rules back.
The current edition of D&D has been well received by fans. It combines some of the best elements of third and fourth edition D&D, while also being easy enough for new players to pick up with minimal instruction. There is a lot less number crunching in the current version of the game, with character bonuses being added at a glacial pace, in comparison to the old editions.
2021 was the best ever year of sales for D&D. The 5th edition of the game has been a major success for Wizards of the Coast and it’s unlikely that the company is going to rock the boat by releasing a new edition in the near future. The day will come when D&D 6e is announced, and there are rules from the older editions of the game that should be brought back.
In the current edition of D&D, a character selects their archetype at a point between levels one to three. Once it has been selected, then the character sticks with it for the rest of the game, barring some outside force changing the character. D&D should bring back the prestige class options from the 3rd edition, or the paragon paths from the 4th edition, to 6e. These gave the characters more archetype choices as they leveled up, giving the player something to aspire to, rather than putting most of the choices for progression near the start of the game.
In the third edition of D&D, flanking offered a +2 to the attack bonus of two characters who were on opposite sides of an opponent. An optional version of flanking exists in 5e’s Dungeon Master’s Guide, but it functions differently, as it gives the characters advantage on their hit. The current version is too strong, as being able to gain advantage from shifting position is an amazing boon, which is why few groups use it. The current edition of D&D has tried to restrict the amount of math in the game and it might have gone a little too far in this direction, as the +2 bonus is just tantalizing enough to encourage movement and positioning in combat. Making flanking an official part of the ruleset means that classes can also have abilities tied to using it.
The third edition of D&D also had a skill called Tumble, which allowed characters to mitigate damage by performing skill checks, such as when falling. The idea was that they had mastered rolling and circus tumbling so that they knew how to do it in such a way that it didn’t hurt. Characters could perform a Tumble check while moving through enemy spaces, to avoid attacks of opportunity. A new version of Tumble could give characters the means to avoid enemy attacks of opportunity, so long as they are willing to risk a skill check. It could even be an action tied to the Athletics skill, which is easily the most underutilized D&D skill in the game.
In the 4th edition, there was a condition called Bloodied, which characters and monsters entered when they reached or dipped below 50% of their maximum hit points. When Bloodied kicked in, it allowed the character to use new abilities, which represented their growing anger and desperation. The current edition of D&D has a high-level version for monsters, called the Mythic trait, which transforms the enemy when certain conditions are met. The Bloodied condition existed across all levels of play and it let Dungeons & Dragons heroes and villains know that things were about to get serious.