I put the following out to my gaming group for consideration this week, and since it seems like a lot of folks come to this blog to read about D&D Next, I figured I'd drop it here as well. If you have thoughts on the game--or thoughts on my thoughts--I'd love to hear them.
I don't know how many of you guys are familiar with the concept of Bounded Accuracy, but it's one of the fundamental properties of D&D Next. Essentially, instead of WotC using the kind of ever-increasing math-porn systems that they've used in the past in terms of AC and to-hit statistics, they are now keeping ACs, attack bonuses, and skill DCs bounded within a relatively small range. Hit Points are now the source of balance in the system.
I personally like it. As I wrote here earlier, I think it's a better reflection of reality. Anybody who comes at you with a knife has a reasonable chance of cutting you. Hell, even if you personally find yourself in a knife fight with a Navy SEAL, reality is that you have a reasonable chance of at least cutting the guy. The main difference between you and him is gonna be that the wound you deal him will be a flesh wound whereas the wound he deals you will open your jugular.
This, essentially, is the system for D&D Next.
The issue I'm having therefore arises with Magic Items. Bottom line, if I give you guys +2 or +3 magic items, especially armor, I feel like it's going to make it next to impossible for all but the very most powerful monsters to hit you, thereby unbalancing the game.
My solution to this is to adopt a system where Magic Items don't give a bonus to attack rolls and AC, but they give better bonuses to damage rolls. So a Magic Sword +2 gives no bonus to attack rolls but gives +2 to damage rolls. Magic Armor +2 gives no bonus to AC but gives Damage Reduction against specific types of damage.
So... this is my grand plan. What do you think?