Rules Changes

Most light armor can be doffed in one action, and can be donned in one action as well assuming the armor is at hand. This is a Use an Item action (Fast Hands, et cetera).

Ranged attacks are at disadvantage at any time they are within reach of a hostile melee attack (not just within 5ft) unless the ranged attacker is behind total cover or is unseen.

Most all resources that are recoverable per short rest can only be recovered in full once per long rest. Specific exceptions will be noted in the class section of the wiki.

The Prone condition only applies disadvantage on attacks while there is a threatening melee attacker. Otherwise, being prone only applies disadvantage on melee attacks and archery/bow attacks, but not on firearms, crossbows, or spells.

Firearms

Most crossbows in NEXT are replaced by firearms. There is a larger variety of firearms compared to the crossbow options available. Proficencies are changed in the following manner:

Light crossbow becomes light rifle (technically, light long gun). This includes pistol caliber rifles (usually .45 Lhomme) and light shotguns (usually .64 caliber).

Heavy crossbow becomes (all) long guns (including light rifles if the class originally lacked proficiency with light crossbow, although I don’t think there are any instances where this is the case). This includes any gun where the forend is supported by the off hand. If both hands are on the grip, or if one hand is free, it is a pistol, even if the gun is fired from the shoulder. This proficiency also applies to all two-handed crossbows (light crossbow does not, it now only applies to light long guns).

Hand crossbow becomes pistol. This includes some very short shotguns, most revolvers, and some shoulder-fired guns that are intended to be fired with both hands on the grip.

Single action revolvers, bolt action rifles, lever action guns, and pump action shotguns all have the Loading property and take the user’s once per turn “use an item” free action to ready a new cartridge to be fired. This generally means only one or two shots per round can be fired, regardless of the user’s number of attacks. Self-loading guns do not have this problem and can be fired until the weapon’s magazine is expended. An unreadied semi-automatic can be made ready using the “use an item” free action to cycle the bolt/pull the slide/whatever.

The Ammunition property on a firearm designates how many times the weapon may be fired before it must be reloaded. Reloading a gun is an action. This applies whether the gun has a swing-out cylinder and is loaded by moon clips, or uses a loading gate and must be loaded (and shells ejected!) one round at a time, or whether it has a feed tube that must be unscrewed and loaded at the muzzle end. It doesn’t matter; all reload in one action. Reloading a crossbow is an action (it’s pretty time consuming). Thief rogues can, as usual, use their Fast Hands to reload a weapon as a bonus action.

The Double Action property allows a gun to be fired without being readied for fire (chamber loaded, but hammer down), but the shooter is at disadvantage. If the weapon has the Loading property, this allows the user to bypass the Loading property by shooting with disadvantage. If the weapon does not have the Loading property, subsequent shots are fired normally (meaning this property is mostly for flavor on semi-autos).

A character can cycle the action on up to two firearms by using the Use an Object action (or bonus action if a Thief rogue, if desired), and these firearms don’t have to be wielded, but the action must be available (for instance, cocking the hammer on a holstered revolver).

The Shotgun property lets the user roll an extra weapon damage die on a successful hit, but must drop one of the damage dice rolled (in most cases, it’s advantage on damage rolls).

The Long Reload property requires the user to spend a long time reloading, generally around one minute (but can be longer). In practice, this means the weapon can only be fired until empty and can’t be reloaded during combat.

For more information on what types of weapons are available, see the new equipment post.

Proficiencies

Vehicle (NEW): This is three new proficiencies; Land (for motor vehicles), Water (for all watercraft), and Air (for airships). Animal Handling is the skill used for riding live mounts, whether land, air, or water.

Arcana: This includes knowledge about most “paranormal” type monsters, including undead, elementals, fey, celestials, fiends, et cetera.

Military (NEW): INT-based knowledge proficiency. Details in weapons, military strategies and modern military history. May include some ancient military history, but only relevant to weapons and strategies.

Resting

A short rest is now 8 hours. You don’t need to sleep during this time, but you can’t take any strenuous activity.

A long rest is 72 hours. At least 24 hours of this time must be continuous. The remainder must be used in periods that must exceed at least 8 hours. These 8 hour rest periods may not be used as short rests. In practice what this actually means is that you must take at least one day off to rest and recuperate, and may work normally and do normal stuff but not stress yourselves to get the benefit of a long rest. The “one day off” can be taken at any time but is generally taken at the end of the active period.

For resting purposes, any recreation that doesn’t require too much strenuous activity can be counted for a long rest. If you want to take the day off and go to an amusement park, you can do that. If you want to pick up a hooker (or spend time with gf or something), you can do that. If you want to go the bar, get wasted, and then sleep it off, all the time counts (unless you make Investigation checks or something while you’re at the bar).

You can still make Knowledge type checks or even artisan checks as long as you don’t make money or stress yourself. For instance, just hanging out with your band and jamming, or making some kind of art that is not a commission (it’s something you want to make, not something you’re doing for work), or cooking for your friends, team, significant other, or whatever. You can even make “improvements” on your weapons if they have no mechanical value, like improving the trigger or sights or whatever (there’s no masterwork quality), if that’s what you find relaxing.

Rules Changes

The Night Watch PatrickMackey