New Resource Management: Thresholds

This proposed rule would need lots of work. I would compare this to video game’s Mana or Fatigue elements. There are some games which do this, see or to a lesser degree Gram RPG. Much like D&D’s variant rule Spell Points which can be used to replace Vancian spellcasting in D&D, this takes that mechanic in two different directions. The first is that the Spell Point can regenerate over time. The second is that this does not solely apply to spellcasting, but to various other abilities as well (such as a Battlemaster’s maneuvers). This differs from Spell Points in that Spell Points are a more flexible Vancian magic. You can unleash all of your most devastating spells immediately. In this variant, the pool or threshold you have available is smaller, and more powerful abilities must wait for that pool to regenerate longer. Likely, this would still include D&D 5e’s basic presumption that certain spell levels (6, 7, 8, & 9), should have a very low limit on the number of times these abilities can be cast per day. This variant system would seek to allow extreme flexibility in terms of character ability usage and also diversifying gameplay tactics. Not every character will be able to make use of each threshold, as they would need an ability which utilizes it.


  • Each ability score grants a pool of energy, its threshold.
  • Character features cost energy.
  • Each ability scores' pool regenerates over time.
  • Characters can increase their threshold temporarily to gain access to more power, but this will cause undesirable consequences.

I’m really averse to this. I feel that it unnecessarily complicates the kinds of resources available to players, and the complication outweighs the benefits of this resource.
[November 12, 2015 at 2:40 am]

I’ve just been interested in introducing a mana system. I was reading about another system which used one resource for each ability score. I was just interested in it and wanted to explore it, mostly because I prefer spell points over spells per day, then I thought, what if we reduced the number of spell points and made them recharge?
[November 12, 2015 at 12:57 pm]

I think spell points and a mana pool could be viable. I thought it was a proposal for 6 ability score threshold pools.

I think a mana pool for certain classes can be a good addition, and IMO, spell points should be an elected alternative for players.
[November 12, 2015 at 2:43 pm]

I think I’d want to stick to one system for all players.

In the case of the 6 thresholds, the idea was six individual mana pools based on each ability, that way classes like the Battlemaster would have a way to keep using their maneuvers on a recharge.
[November 12, 2015 at 6:21 pm]

I’m not fully understanding the mana pools for each ability score, and what it’s used for. I need a specific example
[November 12, 2015 at 7:08 pm]

So in 3.5e, your spell points were determined based off of your Ability Score.

In 5e, they removed this reliance. I am trying to stir the pot with ideas, such as a Fighter’s maneuvers are normally limited per short rest. A spellcaster’s spells are limited per day.

A switch to spellpoints helps to visualize what the spellcaster actually has.

A spellcaster would have a smaller pool that slowly regenerates.

Would a fighter get to yield they same benefit of a smaller regenerating pool of dice? What about cleric’s channel divinity? Other limited use abilities (Barbarian, etc.). Such a change means that spellcasters can’t nova as hard, but it does mean they have access to their abilities all time (sort of like cantrips with a cooldown). Would we turn other abilities into cantrip-like abilities? Etc. I would still put a limit on high level spells.

This sort of change would make each day more frightening, as everyone would always have “full” resources when entering into a new fight–this would be something that would have to be balanced against, as normally encounters are planned somewhat off of burning the players’ resources for the day.
[November 12, 2015 at 8:16 pm]

I’m not too keen on using this resource system then. I’m enjoying the “rest” system, and changing that would make it feel like we’re going too far back into 3.5e, and I’m content with where we are with 5e. I’ve talked about it with Aaron and he doesn’t want this to be implemented either.
[November 12, 2015 at 8:46 pm]