EDIT:CRUNCHY IS TOTALLY THE WRONG WORD.
CRUNCHY IS APPARENTLY RULES HEAVY
What I'm talking about here is throwing out challenge levels and making the game a bit tougher.
This blog is prompted by a discussion from the DIY facebook group, on making fifth edition a bit more crunchy/old school. There are a lot of ways to make the game a bit closer to Old school, here are a few ways:
* Roll attack & damage dice in front of the screen. Don't use any averages from the monster manual
* No feats or boons
* No cantrips
* Save or Die. Increase the amount that needs to be roll from 10 to 15+. (Use B/X tables as per fighter level).
* Magical items, one time use, or limited charges
* Throw out CRs. The world is a big place, the players may not always stumble upon something they can handle.
* At first level roll your hit points, don't use level maximum.
* Do away with skills, and just use ability checks. (use roll under on 2d6 - easy, 3d6 medium, 4d6 hard!)
* Short rest you regain 1 HD worth of Hit points. Provided your rest was not interrupted.
* Long rests can only happen once a week (or whatever the optional rule is in the back of the DMG, check that).
That being said, honestly fifth edition is balanced, it was built that way. If you really want a crunchy game, play an actual old school game. Here is a list