Author Topic: [Interest Check] 3.5. Warfare, leadership and world-saving  (Read 9890 times)

Offline Drammor

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[Interest Check] 3.5. Warfare, leadership and world-saving
« on: March 03, 2017, 05:03:19 PM »
Marvel, tremble in fear and if you're unlucky enough, maybe even catch a glimpse of Orcus himself! D:

I'd like to check for a show of hands on interest in a PbP campaign. I'd like to GM for 3 or 4 players, playing from ECL 9 up to around 15. The campaign is The Exiled City, a 7 out of 10 hardness game about a faith-based expeditionary force sent to investigate the demons and undead recently being produced by the "Harrow Gate," a magical gateway in the side of a mountain that leads to an ancient city that should be all but uninhabited.

Play would include combat scaled per the Heroes of Battle supplement, with strategy and tactics, of the players and their army against forces of darkness including demons, the fey, the obyrith and the undead, as well as more "traditional" encounters featuring just the players and a few opponents at a time. Leadership is not only allowed, but comes highly recommended for this one. Despite this, the PCs will be isolated for most of the campaign, meaning that once a follower is dead, it will not be replaced. The Exiled City will have some elements of horror, including lurid descriptions and creepy stuff, but is not designed to be a horror campaign.

I have these ideas about chargen...

    Character Generation
    • Starting Level: 9
    • Stat Generation: 32-point buy.
    • Wealth: Normal wealth by level; full crafting is allowed and supported.
    • Classes: Gestalt for PCs and cohorts. Base character classes will be chosen from a pair of lists, as seen below: one choice from list A, and one choice from list B.
      Racial hit dice, level adjustment and prestige classes may fill up to one side of the gestalt. Prestige classes are subject to approval, but generally allowed. ACFs are acceptable. Non-gestalt tier 4-6 and no prcs for followers.
      Class list A: Bard, Crusader, Fighter, Hexblade, Incarnate, Marshal, Ranger, Spellthief, Swordsage and Totemist
      Class list B: Barbarian, Binder, Dread Necromancer, Factotum, Paladin, Rogue, Shadowcaster, Warblade, Warlock and Warmage
    • Races: No races with LA greater than +2, before buy-off. Each character may have up to 1 minor bloodline, 1 intermediate bloodline or 1 major bloodline. Instead of coming with effective level, these will come with XP penalties of -10%, -15% and -20%, respectively.
    • Templates: Unseelie Fey is banned, no templates greater than LA +1, before buy-off.
    • Hit Points: Max at 1st level, average per level, rounded down.
    • Alignment: No alignments. All references to alignment will be ignored, alignment subtypes will be removed, and alignment-dependent mechanics will also be removed or ignored.
    • Religion: All characters in the party must serve the same church on a more-than-nominal basis. Following the same deity is not strictly required, but would probably make following this rule easier.
    • Organizations: Allowed.
    • Feats: Characters may ignore the regional requirements of Regional feats, but not their racial requirements. Wild Cohort, Leadership, Undead Leadership or similar feats are recommended, and will not be provided automatically, despite the nature of the campaign.
    • Leadership: Your leadership score will not be capped at 25, use the epic leadership table if your score would allow for it. Cohorts get the elite stat array. Followers of 5th level and above will use the elite stat array, followers of 4th level and below will use the standard stat array.
    • Flaws/Traits: 2 flaws, 2 traits. No anti-feats.
    • Sources Allowed: WotC 3.5, 3.5 Dragon mag (please give source); some Pathfinder (ask). Homebrew with permission, but only one homebrew item per character (such as a specialized feat tree, feature system, prestige class, martial discipline, bloodline, set of uses for a skill, et cetera). Heroes of Battle is recommended reading material, as many encounters will consist of maneuvering and commanding troops or operating inside situations with them.
    • Optimization Level: Moderate. No broken/clearly overpowered combinations, infinite loops or use of Pazuzu will be tolerated. You'll want to be very good at what you do, but remember that the game emphasizes the team effort, not the individual. If you have a leadership score, you are encouraged (but not required) to design the general features of your army for yourself. This can include races, classes, unit compositions, favored strategies and standard equipment.
    • Difficulty: Attention will be paid to weather, food and water, traps, diseases, poisons and taint. The campaign is designed with a “Darkest Dungeon” feel. Encounters with tier 1 or 2 classes (and equivalent monsters) will be heavily limited. The monsters will be played to their strengths and be given equipment expected for their NPC level, but will not have the All-Seeing-AI, nor will they always be motivated to annihilate the players. It's not Tomb of Horrors hard, but each encounter will be calibrated to the party’s capabilities.
      Many monsters will be modified, bringing them in line with their intended CRs, removing their immunities to poison, and flying and teleportation effects will be reduced throughout the entire campaign.
    Interest, thoughts, questions, suggestions?
    « Last Edit: March 13, 2017, 05:18:55 PM by Drammor »
    [20:32] <DonQuixote> A POX UPON YOU ALL!
    [20:32] <DonQuixote> YOU, J, FOR STEALING THE PURITY OF NORNS.
    [20:32] <DonQuixote> YOU, DRAMMOR, FOR ENSNARING ME IN THIS FIENDISH PRISON.

    Offline ketaro

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    Re: [Interest Check] 3.5. Warfare, leadership and world-saving
    « Reply #1 on: March 03, 2017, 08:06:29 PM »
    All the animal companions and a lycanthrope PC?

    Offline Drammor

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    Re: [Interest Check] 3.5. Warfare, leadership and world-saving
    « Reply #2 on: March 03, 2017, 08:28:39 PM »
    Doesn't lycanthrope exceed the limit of LA on templates?

    Ah. I keep looking at Crystal Keep. The lycanthrope listed in RoF would work, if you were afflicted. Hehe. That might kind of fun to run, in this setting. Hehehe.
    « Last Edit: March 03, 2017, 08:43:57 PM by Drammor »
    [20:32] <DonQuixote> A POX UPON YOU ALL!
    [20:32] <DonQuixote> YOU, J, FOR STEALING THE PURITY OF NORNS.
    [20:32] <DonQuixote> YOU, DRAMMOR, FOR ENSNARING ME IN THIS FIENDISH PRISON.

    Offline Maelphaxerazz

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    Re: [Interest Check] 3.5. Warfare, leadership and world-saving
    « Reply #3 on: March 03, 2017, 10:15:59 PM »
    I am interested. Probably would build a "how many followers can I get" build, because it is pretty rare to see Leadership even allowed, let alone encouraged.

    While we are on this topic, I could use some clarification.

    1. You have two class lists, A and B. "Base character classes will be chosen from a pair of lists as seen below." Does that mean one from A and one from B, or that one must choose A or B and get both from that list?
    2. "No templates greater than LA+1". How does this interact with Savage Progressions, which divide up templates into one-level increments?
    3. "average per level, rounded down". Does this mean that a d6 hit die produces 3 hit points, or does it mean that a d6 hit die produces 3.5 hit points, and if you have a .5 after adding your hit points, you round down? In other words, is it rounded down for every hit die, or is the final total rounded down?
    4. What is an "anti-feat"? We cannot take Chicken-Infested as Commoner is not on the class list, and I don't think there are any other flaws that give a benefit to the PC, so I am wondering what you mean by this.

    Offline ketaro

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    Re: [Interest Check] 3.5. Warfare, leadership and world-saving
    « Reply #4 on: March 03, 2017, 10:39:23 PM »
    Alternatively my "one allowed homebrew item" could just be, like, one of Oslecamo's lycanthrope racial classes to make it easier by not having to deal with LA.

    Probably Druid/Beastmaster/Beast Heart Adept. Maybe more, but those are all I know off the top of my head for animal companion purposes without researching. Cohorts would be awakened animals, likely using incarnum to save me some trouble in equipping them.

    Offline Drammor

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    Re: [Interest Check] 3.5. Warfare, leadership and world-saving
    « Reply #5 on: March 03, 2017, 11:37:29 PM »
    I am interested. Probably would build a "how many followers can I get" build, because it is pretty rare to see Leadership even allowed, let alone encouraged.

    While we are on this topic, I could use some clarification.

    1. You have two class lists, A and B. "Base character classes will be chosen from a pair of lists as seen below." Does that mean one from A and one from B, or that one must choose A or B and get both from that list?
    2. "No templates greater than LA+1". How does this interact with Savage Progressions, which divide up templates into one-level increments?
    3. "average per level, rounded down". Does this mean that a d6 hit die produces 3 hit points, or does it mean that a d6 hit die produces 3.5 hit points, and if you have a .5 after adding your hit points, you round down? In other words, is it rounded down for every hit die, or is the final total rounded down?
    4. What is an "anti-feat"? We cannot take Chicken-Infested as Commoner is not on the class list, and I don't think there are any other flaws that give a benefit to the PC, so I am wondering what you mean by this.

    Yeah, I'm pretty excited for a Leadership campaign. :D And hey, those are some great questions you have there. Let's see if I can knock any of them out.

    1. Sorry about that. To clarify, each player will select a base class from list A, and another base class from list B. For players, no other base classes are allowed.
    2. Gurgh. D: I am awful with savage progressions. For some reason, I can never account for them. I'll do my best, though. From the get-go, I'd say that templates as savage levels merely occupy the same side of the gestalt as prcs, but I would ask that you employ no savage progressions that require more than 4 total levels. If that doesn't work, I suspect it's because I just have a hard time wrapping my head around savage progressions, and would appreciate more discussion about it to work out a solid solution.
    3. The latter. d6 produces 3.5 hp, and if you have a remaining .5 after adding up hp, drop it for play purposes.
    4. Anti-feats are a terrible Kingdoms of Kalamar creation that do the exact opposite of what feats by the same name do, are acquired randomly, and net a bonus feat per two anti-feats. Unbelievably swingy and somewhat nonsense, they either break builds or affect them in no way. I just like to nip any requests about them in the bud.

    Alternatively my "one allowed homebrew item" could just be, like, one of Oslecamo's lycanthrope racial classes to make it easier by not having to deal with LA.

    Probably Druid/Beastmaster/Beast Heart Adept. Maybe more, but those are all I know off the top of my head for animal companion purposes without researching. Cohorts would be awakened animals, likely using incarnum to save me some trouble in equipping them.

    If you're really dedicated to this beast pack thing, I'm sure we can find a build that will accommodate you.
    [20:32] <DonQuixote> A POX UPON YOU ALL!
    [20:32] <DonQuixote> YOU, J, FOR STEALING THE PURITY OF NORNS.
    [20:32] <DonQuixote> YOU, DRAMMOR, FOR ENSNARING ME IN THIS FIENDISH PRISON.

    Offline Vladeshi

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    Re: [Interest Check] 3.5. Warfare, leadership and world-saving
    « Reply #6 on: March 04, 2017, 12:12:26 AM »
    This looks really interesting.
    I would like to see about joining.

    Initial build plan would be Swordsage//Dread Necromancer
    or maybe a Bard//Dread Necromancer

    Question: If a Dread Necromancer makes a skeleton and has room in his undead leadership pool for it, could he transfer it from his animate dead pool to his leadership pool?
    The following explanation has been removed due to time constraints, character limits on posts, and the DC 30 Spellcraft checks to understand large portions of it.

    Offline ketaro

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    Re: [Interest Check] 3.5. Warfare, leadership and world-saving
    « Reply #7 on: March 04, 2017, 12:13:09 AM »
    I thought that class list was what the followers/cohorts were restricted to?

    Offline Chemus

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    Re: [Interest Check] 3.5. Warfare, leadership and world-saving
    « Reply #8 on: March 04, 2017, 12:14:34 AM »
    ...Probably Druid/Beastmaster/Beast Heart Adept...

    Remember that BHA doesn't stack w/ Druid/Beastmaster, and druid ain't on the gestalt list. Try to get BHA on the other side of the gestalt from the beastmaster.

    Perhaps the Simple bard variant would be a good base? Have Variant chained barbarian with Wild Shape (Trade Fast Movement for Pounce (CC), Trade Rage et. al. for Fav Enemy and Archery Combat Style, then Trade Combat Style for fast movement and Wild shape Small and Medium only) opposing the Bard/Beastmaster? 9th gestalt: Simple Variant Bard 5/Beastmaster 4//WS Barbarian 5/BHA 4.

    No lycanthropy required, per se, if Drammor doesn't balk at the Variant chaining.
    Apathy is ...ah screw it.
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    Offline ketaro

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    Re: [Interest Check] 3.5. Warfare, leadership and world-saving
    « Reply #9 on: March 04, 2017, 12:25:28 AM »
    I know it doesn't stack, but there's feats for boosting animal companion effective levels.

    That is a nice gestalt tho. I feel kinda set on the lycanthrope bit tho, even if I need to pull back the build a bit

    Offline Nanshork

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    Re: [Interest Check] 3.5. Warfare, leadership and world-saving
    « Reply #10 on: March 04, 2017, 12:30:39 AM »
    I'm on the fence about throwing my hat in, but for consideration I'd like to put this Marshal homebrew overhaul under consideration.

    Offline Drammor

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    Re: [Interest Check] 3.5. Warfare, leadership and world-saving
    « Reply #11 on: March 04, 2017, 06:42:40 AM »
    This looks really interesting.
    I would like to see about joining.

    Initial build plan would be Swordsage//Dread Necromancer
    or maybe a Bard//Dread Necromancer

    Question: If a Dread Necromancer makes a skeleton and has room in his undead leadership pool for it, could he transfer it from his animate dead pool to his leadership pool?

    Answer: Yes. A good way to get around the issue of isolation when your ranks need refilling. :)

    Remember that BHA doesn't stack w/ Druid/Beastmaster, and druid ain't on the gestalt list. Try to get BHA on the other side of the gestalt from the beastmaster.

    Perhaps the Simple bard variant would be a good base? Have Variant chained barbarian with Wild Shape (Trade Fast Movement for Pounce (CC), Trade Rage et. al. for Fav Enemy and Archery Combat Style, then Trade Combat Style for fast movement and Wild shape Small and Medium only) opposing the Bard/Beastmaster? 9th gestalt: Simple Variant Bard 5/Beastmaster 4//WS Barbarian 5/BHA 4.

    No lycanthropy required, per se, if Drammor doesn't balk at the Variant chaining.

    That's some pretty fancy legerdemain you pulled, there. Just so you know, I don't mind the chain. :)

    I thought that class list was what the followers/cohorts were restricted to?

    I'm afraid not. Lists A and B will be used for PCs and cohorts. Followers do not use gestalt and are limited to tier 4, 5 or 6 classes.

    I'm on the fence about throwing my hat in, but for consideration I'd like to put this Marshal homebrew overhaul under consideration.

    That's quite a boost to the class. The class itself would count as your homebrew, though, and you wouldn't be able to use its related feats. Would that still work for you?

    Also, I have an image of a basic map of the Exiled City, according to your church's records taken about 150 years ago. This was the last time the city was subject to cartographic scouting, and due to the fear and superstition surrounding the city and the Harrow Gate, no one has so much as suggested an attempt to update the record since then.

    http://imgur.com/LXjGQu6
    [20:32] <DonQuixote> A POX UPON YOU ALL!
    [20:32] <DonQuixote> YOU, J, FOR STEALING THE PURITY OF NORNS.
    [20:32] <DonQuixote> YOU, DRAMMOR, FOR ENSNARING ME IN THIS FIENDISH PRISON.

    Offline Maelphaxerazz

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    Re: [Interest Check] 3.5. Warfare, leadership and world-saving
    « Reply #12 on: March 04, 2017, 10:55:22 AM »
    One homebrew item? Well...  :p

    Offline Nanshork

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    Re: [Interest Check] 3.5. Warfare, leadership and world-saving
    « Reply #13 on: March 04, 2017, 12:25:38 PM »
    Having the class without its supporting material wouldn't work for me unfortunately, I just hate the base Marshal class.

    Anything that I would want would involve homebrew upgrades to the tier 4 classes or extensive Pathfinder material so I'm going to bow out and leave this to people who are more easily inspired by the constraints.

    Offline Drammor

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    Re: [Interest Check] 3.5. Warfare, leadership and world-saving
    « Reply #14 on: March 04, 2017, 12:49:20 PM »
    One homebrew item? Well...  :p

    Nope. Nope nope. Not powerful enough. Without a familiar, it just wouldn't survive.

    Having the class without its supporting material wouldn't work for me unfortunately, I just hate the base Marshal class.

    Anything that I would want would involve homebrew upgrades to the tier 4 classes or extensive Pathfinder material so I'm going to bow out and leave this to people who are more easily inspired by the constraints.

    I thought that might be the case. Maybe another campaign another time, then. :)
    [20:32] <DonQuixote> A POX UPON YOU ALL!
    [20:32] <DonQuixote> YOU, J, FOR STEALING THE PURITY OF NORNS.
    [20:32] <DonQuixote> YOU, DRAMMOR, FOR ENSNARING ME IN THIS FIENDISH PRISON.

    Offline Maelphaxerazz

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    Re: [Interest Check] 3.5. Warfare, leadership and world-saving
    « Reply #15 on: March 04, 2017, 11:54:01 PM »
    Step 1: take the Dragon Cohort feat. Dragon cohort is treated as -3 ECL for the purpose of cohort level restrictions.
    Step 2: get a Dragonwrought Kobold as your cohort (or any other LA+0 Dragon-type creature). He will, in fact, be higher level than you are.
    Step 3: have the Dragonwrought Kobold take the Dragon Cohort feat
    Repeat ad nauseum

    Offline Chemus

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    Re: [Interest Check] 3.5. Warfare, leadership and world-saving
    « Reply #16 on: March 05, 2017, 03:11:23 PM »
    • Optimization Level: Moderate. No broken/clearly overpowered combinations, infinite loops or...
    Step 1: take the Dragon Cohort feat. Dragon cohort is treated as -3 ECL for the purpose of cohort level restrictions.
    Step 2: get a Dragonwrought Kobold as your cohort (or any other LA+0 Dragon-type creature). He will, in fact, be higher level than you are.
    Step 3: have the Dragonwrought Kobold take the Dragon Cohort feat
    Repeat ad nauseum
    Don't work w/o DM fiat in your favor; the feat uses a closed list of dragons that you can get.


    Not really up on PbP much, but a Paladin ...of (S)Laughter//Marshal, with Laughter Paladin//Marshall cohort(s) and some Leadership enhancing feats (Might Makes Right, Rulership, Improved Cohort, Extra Followers, etc.) could be good. Since the Followers could also be Paladins of Laughter, then the -1 to AC aura (at 3rd level) might be good to help the mooks hit better.
    « Last Edit: March 05, 2017, 03:27:38 PM by Chemus »
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    Offline Maelphaxerazz

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    Re: [Interest Check] 3.5. Warfare, leadership and world-saving
    « Reply #17 on: March 05, 2017, 06:49:56 PM »
    I know, I was being humerus.  ;)
    There's no bones about it, infinite loops are out of the game.
    « Last Edit: March 05, 2017, 06:54:40 PM by Maelphaxerazz »

    Offline Drammor

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    Re: [Interest Check] 3.5. Warfare, leadership and world-saving
    « Reply #18 on: March 05, 2017, 08:38:18 PM »
    It sure would be nice to see someone really focusing on their army.

    Chemus, are you interested in playing, or are you just here as a friendly build adviser? I don't mind if you are, of course. I just want to be sure.
    [20:32] <DonQuixote> A POX UPON YOU ALL!
    [20:32] <DonQuixote> YOU, J, FOR STEALING THE PURITY OF NORNS.
    [20:32] <DonQuixote> YOU, DRAMMOR, FOR ENSNARING ME IN THIS FIENDISH PRISON.

    Offline Chemus

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    Re: [Interest Check] 3.5. Warfare, leadership and world-saving
    « Reply #19 on: March 05, 2017, 10:51:23 PM »
    the second; I'm too impatient and erratic for PbP.
    Apathy is ...ah screw it.
    My Homebrew