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In Savage Worlds, I particularly like the "Benny" system, and I was wondering what the effects of incorporating this into 5e might be?

So basically, the Benny system grants each PC 3 Bennys at the beginning of each session. Significant enemies can also be granted them as well. These can be used to "soak" damage taken, to re-roll damage dealt, or do "rule of cool" things like synchronising attacks for additional damage and/or raise the chance to hit, or performing stunts, or maybe things like allowing the magic user to imbue the Fighter's weapon with magic damage, or to allow them to affect multiple targets with a spell that only affects one. This could work in place of/combined with Inspiration, to roll advantage, etc.

The specifics of how this would be used in 5e are:

  • Soak Damage received: In Savage Worlds, when a player is hit, if enough damage is dealt, one (or more) "wounds" are inflicted. A player can spend a Benny to roll a check to potentially negate this damage. In 5e this could be converted to gaining resistance to the damage received, and the roll can be based on individual stats. Con tied to Physical damage, Int or Wis tied to Psychic damage, etc.
  • Re-roll to Hit or Damage Dealt: Re-rolling to hit is effectively advantage in 5e, but in Savage Worlds "hitting" is vs "parry", and damage is vs "toughness". So, in order to actually deal a wound, you need to roll high enough to actually inflict sufficient damage. In 5e, however, this could simply allow a player to add their attack modifier (Str or Dex for weapon attacks, Int, Wis or Char as appropriate for magic attacks) on top of damage dealt.
  • Rule of Cool*: In Savage Worlds, there are a lot of things you can do, to try and mix up combat. Power Stunts, Combine Attacks, Synergy, etc.

    Power Stunts are along the lines of altering your current abilities to do something different. E.g.:

    • The magic user can use a spell slot to imbue a the Fighter's weapon with Lightning damage, using their "Chromatic Orb" spell.
    • The magic user wants to try and affect more than one target with a spell. They can use a higher level spell slot to affect more targets (1st level spell slot for a Cantrip, 2nd level spell slot for a 1st level spell, etc).

    Combining attacks allow one PC to deal double damage, at the expense of their own:

    • The Fighter wants to combine attacks with the Barbarian, to double the Barbarian's damage (2d10 total), at the cost of the Fighter's damage (d6).

    Synergy doesn't allow PCs to deal damage, but instead work together to try and alter a situation:

    • The Rogue wants to try and trip the Ogre, so he and the Fighter tackle the Ogre from two different directions. The Rogue goes low, the Fighter goes high, attempting to throw it off balance. This makes the check a Str check for the Rogue and Fighter, but a Dex save for the troll.

* These abilities are at the GM's discretion, to a reasonable level.

How much would the game be affected (in terms of overall difficulty - e.g. CR) by using the Inspiration system to allow a more broad use of the Inspiration mechanic?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Have you looked at the Action Points optional rule in the DMG? It does a similar thing, so it might be a good alternative, or at least you could help us by explaining why it doesn't solve your problem. \$\endgroup\$ – Erik Jun 11 at 12:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Erik That'd be a great frame challenge answer as well. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jun 11 at 13:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ I still think this is unclear. For the Soak rolls, what is the DC of the check being made to apply resistance? For the "damage dealt" section, do you reroll damage or add your ability mod twice? For the Rule of Cool section, could you provide some guidance as to how powerful an effect should be to fall under that heading? It's hard to provide balance feedback when it's not clear how powerful an ability like that is. The examples you give sound very not-powerful, and honestly have costs high enough that I'd be loathe to use them, Inspiration or no. \$\endgroup\$ – DuckTapeAl Jun 12 at 5:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've also edited the tags. I've removed [encounters] and added [homebrew-review]. What you have here is basically a set of homebrew rules inspired by another system that you want evaluated, and I think you'll have much better answers if you follow the meta about asking good homebrew: rpg.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/8171/… \$\endgroup\$ – DuckTapeAl Jun 12 at 5:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ For ease of discovery's sake, the optional rule @Erik is referring to is titled "Hero Points", in the Ability Options section of DMG Chapter 9 ("Dungeon Master's Workshop"). \$\endgroup\$ – CTWind Jun 12 at 6:13
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I'm going to start with this bit, because it is probably the one that will run away from you the most:

or to allow them to affect multiple targets with a spell that only affects one. This could work in place of/combined with Inspiration, to roll advantage, etc.

In short, the targeting restrictions on spells and concentration usually exist for a reason.

If we take an example low level spell, hold person, then we find that being able to disable two humanoids is going to be extremely powerful. Since the spell requires concentration, disabling two people would normally require two casters concentrating on two different spells, and 2 spell slots used.

Regarding this:

Combining attacks allow one PC to deal double damage, at the expense of their own:

  • The Fighter wants to combine attacks with the Barbarian, to double the Barbarian's damage (2d10 total), at the cost of the Fighter's damage (d6).

What is to stop the wizard doing the same? Trading in their d4 dagger hit for double the barbarian damage? This scales well at early levels, but at later levels, when the barbarian hits for 2d12 or 3d12, doubling that becomes a lot of damage.

Reroll (damage/)to hit

This is the oeuvre of the divination wizard, who get two of these result alterations per day, in exchange for specializing in a school that mostly has non-offensive spells and spells that focus on knowledge and understanding.

So before you implement this change, consider whether you are stepping on the toes of feats or class abilities. (Lucky springs to mind.)

And in regards to using inspiration, I think quoting Adam Koebel on inspiration is relevant here:

if I go into an important roll without inspiration, I [screwed] up

Your idea seems cool; I'm just trying to point to where it might not gel well with current systems.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jun 12 at 21:34
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It seems like you've already thought about what ways this will change the game, and what ways you could incorporate it. Like all significant changes to mechanics, this will affect the system a lot. From what it sounds like, they will tip the balance of most encounters into the PCs favor, by granting them higher damage output than they would normally have, allowing them to reduce a large chunk of damage from harder hitting enemies. The rule of cool would be quite powerful as well, especially if a weaker hitting PC doubled the damage for a harder hitting PC. I say most, because if each character gets three per session, and we assume a standard two or three encounters per session, each character using one or two Bennys per combat will tip the balance heavily in the PCs favor, using them to stay at much higher health than their foes, and potentially ending some combats in one or two rounds.

This can be offset by throwing stronger enemies at them than they would normally encounter, or by granting some of the enemies "Bennys" as well. Without playtesting, its difficult to tell by how much the CR of encounters would have to be adjusted to match, but there's a handy guide for adjusting CRs on monsters in the DMG on pg. 274. Based on the description of Bennys and the table, I would adjust the CR by one, based on increased damage output, but I can see that others might increase it by two, because of increased effective health.

However, changing mechanics isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially if you think your group will have more fun with "Benny's" incorporated. Like all homebrewed content, the choice to include it is up to the DM of each game, along with responsibility to keep it balanced. Overall, it's most important to consider how this will affect how much fun everyone will have with this.

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