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Topics - RedWarlock

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Game Design / Need a high-end trip/throw ability for a brawler class...
« on: October 29, 2018, 01:15:30 AM »
In my custom system, I'm working to build a Brawler class, a martial controller. I've got three main class archetypes, a grappler, a stunner, and a tripper. I've got high-level abilities defined for two, but I can't figure out a good corresponding ability for the tripper.

(My system uses different terms, but I'm using D&D analogues for ease of terminology.)

All classes are 10 levels. To take a class, you first need a [Starter] feat, which grants some core function of that class. All classes have multiple possible starters; these define variants of the class progression, with specific class abilities upgrading that core function. If you have multiple feats for the same class, you can spend some "skill points" (how all non-automatic spells/maneuvers/etc are purchased) to buy those alternate versions. The basic action system is kind of like PF's unchained action system, with three 'actions' per round. A basic weapon attack costs two actions, as would most basic spells.

So, the brawler class I've got, all three starter powers use a single action to initiate their manuever, a roll vs touch AC, basically. If that hits, they spend another action to carry through, grabbing, stunning, or tripping the opponent, using an unarmed damage roll to affect the result. The Grab power deals unarmed damage straight up, the Stun power uses the unarmed damage to add stacking Stunned conditions (each of which cancels one action for the enemy), and the Trip power, beyond the basic knocking-prone, can also throw the enemy spaces away. (Basically, the Brawler rolls, and counts the number the damage exceeds a base, like rolling a 16, exceeding a base of 4 in increments of 5, for 2 bonus effects, stunned conditions or yards thrown, respectively.)

There are three boosts to these powers, at 2nd, 6th, and 10th levels.

2nd level: Grab allows the Brawler to spend martial dice, a per-round secondary combat resource, to oppose escape attempts, rather than costing actions, and they can move with the enemy, slowly. They also get a bonus to other attacks on the held target. Stun and Trip both get the ability to chain that power into another regular attack by spending a single extra action.

6th level: All three powers get the ability to spend martial dice to increase the effect; spending dice grants a double-effect of bonus to the attack AND the damage/effect. Grab, the bonus to attacks vs held targets gets bigger, and it's easier to move a held target. Stun, the interval for more Stunned conditions gets smaller, making it more effective. Trip, the interval for yards thrown gets smaller, meaning they are thrown farther.

10th level: Grab, all attacks on the target are automatic successes, rolling with a high bonus for roll-over-X-for-effect purposes. Stun, if you have Stunned conditions greater than one of their base scores, you can choose to leave them instantly dying instead.

But Trip, I don't know. What's a good, high-level effect for a tripping/throwing power? It should be something built into the power itself, so while Grab, a sustained effect, gets boosts to attacks while it's sustained, the Trip/Throw effect is a one-and-done effect, plus I'd want something more original to it than just bonuses to attacking a prone target. What's something I could add to it?

Also, I'd welcome suggestions for a 5th-rank power for each, since each of these still has an optional rank upgrade that the player can buy into when they want. (And remember, it has to be something built in to the function, as an expansion of that base use, not something added on. For instance, in another version of this post on GitP, I got the suggestion of ripping off a grappled creature's limb, but that doesn't work, because it's not part of the base ability.)

(Just posted this at GitP, but I wanted to get you guys' opinions too.)

My GM runs a fairly strict Paizo-only PF game, at least provisionally. (He apparently adds in 3rd party content as bonuses.) After a disappointing run with a Kineticist, he gave me the go ahead to run a Warlock from Complete Arcane.

I want to try to collect all the vital components from 3.5e, including prestige classes and relevant feats, and put it together into a single PF-style class. I want to do the common reinterpretation and add different pacts (like 4e/5e) as bloodline-style class features, and generally fold the various prestige class features that are common in 3.5 into selectable class features/invocations, like turn Hellfire Warlock into an essence, and Dragonfire Adept into either a dragon pact, or an archetype, or both (I’m thinking a ‘dragon pact’, as well as a more full-featured DFA archetype.) Likewise, fold Hexblade in as an archetype ala 4e.

And, yes, I know there've been a few other such attempts, but none of them really hit me as capturing what I enjoyed of the 3.5 warlock. I'm NOT adding daily spell slots, for one thing. I want to keep to the at-will invocations. Feel free to suggest good adaptations and their best parts, but I want to do this myself to hit the flavor I like.

So, mechanically, it would be 90% 3.5e Warlock/DFA, with little touches of 4e/5e, structured to fit into a PF game. What are the vital components there?

Board Business / Mobile Theme messed up?
« on: September 08, 2018, 02:46:07 PM »
When I view any list of topics, either on any individual board, or the ‘show unread’ summaries, the topic gets scrunched to just around a quarter of the page width, maybe a little wider if a long word forces it. I don’t browse here much on my phone, but that feels new.

When I get home, I can post a screencap if you need an example.

Game Design / New system: Designing party roles from the ground up
« on: January 04, 2016, 01:52:47 PM »
So, I'm doing my custom D&D-derived system, which I refer to as the Rule of Three, and I'm creating these numerical guidelines for what each class does in combat. Mostly based on 4e roles, though I shift my definitions a little.

For instance, my core 4 classes are all martial. The Skirmisher is most similar to the 3.5 Barbarian or Scout, damage boosts at the expense of accuracy, movement speed, and the ability to bypass armor-DR-effects. The Leader is a warlord/marshall/White Raven hybrid, who focuses on the morale side of restoration and healing, IE, temporary hit-points, morale boosts to actions, and restoring Surges, a hybrid of 3e Action points and 4e Healing surges. The 'Control' martial is the Brawler, a martial artist who uses trips, shoves, stunning strikes, grappling, and a guard zone ability that treats their space as larger than their original size to control more of the combat field. The 'Tank' martial, the Guardian, is a bodyguard, who uses active-mitigation to defend allies. Guardians can body-block strikes meant for allies, parry melee and eventually ranged attacks, and either do a 'mark' akin to 4e or possibly a more direct taunt ability.
  • Striker - Deals damage over distance
    • Base damage per-round
    • Bonus-action damage
    • Mobility/ranged effects
  • Support - Improves abilities/actions of allies
    • Boost allies' effectiveness
    • Recover resources
    • Grant bonus actions
  • Tank - Blocks attacks against allies/self
    • Deter enemy attacks vs. allies
    • Soak damage
    • Negate attacks
  • Control - Stops enemy activities/actions
    • Hinder enemy movement
    • Burn enemy actions
    • Cancel enemy effects
This is part of where I would like your opinions, I'm trying to create a level-based chart to set guidelines for what three things each of the classes can do. Goals shouldn't overlap between roles (at least not too much) but getting the Control role (which eats up some of the 4e Defender's schtick) to not overlap with the Tank is rather challenging.

Can you guys think of any better job labels between roles?

For each of these, there is a quantifiable number that increases with level. The idea is that the chart sets a standard, both for writing the classes, and for building a character. The columns set expectations of effectiveness. Some numbers can be divided fractionally, usually using three as the base increment (it's sort of thematic to the game, use of 3s repeatedly, so I'm sticking with it).
  • For instance, in terms of modifiers to an action, three boosts equal an auto-success, while three hindrances equal a cancellation.
  • Each character has three main actions (Standard, Move, Verbal), so costing them one action is 1/3 of a whole turn lost, while one extra of those actions is equal to 1/3 of an extra turn granted.
  • Area effects I'm still working on, my leading calculation is that they count as 3x the radius of the circle they effect, (counting from a corner as a round number, while counting from a square out counts as .5) representing the increasing difficulty in getting enemies to bunch up. So a 2x2 space:
    • counts as 3 enemies/allies effected
    • a 10-damage blast would count as 30 damage

I'm playing in a low-level 3.5 game, and I want to play a druid/warlock. At first I was looking at the Eldritch Disciple, with a swap of the Kn(Religion) and Turn Undead-progression references swapped for Kn(Nature) and Animal Companion progression approved by the DM.

That does cut the usage for Gift of the Divine Patron though. I'm not majorly hurt by its loss specifically, but the lack of anything there does kinda leave a gap in the PrC. Any suggestions, either as fixes or replacements? I'm not getting high enough in Druid to WS, so that's out. I don't need something for nothing, but additional options would be nice.

I'm currently running a 2-years-strong Eberron game, with the general assumption that the game is mostly by-the-book rather than modified all to hell, as is my usual modus operandi. Minor tweaks are in place to ease play and reduce general cheese, and suggestions are in place (like, "Use warblade instead of fighter; fighter is not disallowed, but you'll have a better time with a WB.")

With that said, I started with a general tweak to the Healer of making it a fixed-list caster (like the dread necromancer, warmage, & beguiler), with the general suggestion of "ask me and we can add any appropriate healing spells to the list". I got it in my head to try and make up an actual list from sources.

To start, here are the changes to the basic class:

Healer: Casts from its entire list as a full-list spontaneous caster (just like the Beguiler, Warmage, or Dread Necromancer). Gains Advanced Learning as a Beguiler (at 3rd, 7th, 11th, 15th, and 19th level), with access to any (healing) subdomain spell, or any other spell that revives or restores hit points for non-construct living creatures.

Now, depending on what the direct focus of the class becomes (straight healing, or maybe a bit of buffing, minor summoning, etc.) the extra spells either add some versatility to the list, or they just enhance the specifics of the list. I'm inclined to add to the buffing capability of a healer, although I'm cautious about them becoming a self-buffing tank rather than a team-buffer as is the intent. (another issue is, should we exhaust all the excess healing spells in other sources, and thus would render the Advanced Learning ability useless? Maybe it would be better to expand this to an Eclectic Learning feature, but then, to what options?)

I'd appreciate some comments on these choices. I've already got a couple marked with question marks where I'm not sure if it fits.

Spell Compendium

Blessed Aim
Delay Disease
Healthful Rest
Vigor, Lesser
Vision of Glory

Close Wounds
Divine Protection
Healing Lorecall
Protection from Negative Energy
Quick March
Summon Elysian Thrush

Aid, Mass
Cloak of Bravery
Conviction, Mass
Resist Energy, Mass
Resurgence, Mass
Spark of Life
Vigor, Mass Lesser

Astral Hospice
Delay Death
Make Manifest -?
Positive Energy Aura
Resistance, Greater
Sheltered Vitality
Shield of Faith, Mass

Life's Grace
Sanctuary, Mass
Vigor, Greater
Zone of Respite

Revive Outsider
Resistance, Superior
Vigorous Circle

Fortunate Fate
Renewal Pact
Restoration, Mass

Death Ward, Mass


Complete Champion
Body Ward
Master Cavalier -?
Soul Ward

Seed of Life

Healing Circle

Homebrew and House Rules (D&D) / What is this monster's CR/weaknesses?
« on: February 10, 2014, 02:15:13 PM »
So, I've got this major monster I'm throwing at my party (well not at, past, letting it go on a civilization-destroying rampage, and and letting them try to stop it, since they awakened it). The basic idea is that this WAS the regular Tarrasque, buried underneath Cyre, but the Mourning happened, with this thing at the center of the Glowing Chasm. The T itself condensed, absorbing energy from a massive dragonshard being experimented on by Cannith in that area, growing traits of a crystal dragon as well as other magical properties.

Straight up, it's a tarrasque, with the Half-Dragon (crystal), Spellwarped, and Dungeonbred templates added. (I mainly used dungeonbred to bring down its size, since I don't have any colossal minis, but I do have all the gargantuan dragons. Using Icingdeath as its mini.)

Listed CR after those templates is a 24. It's vaguely on the ball, though a couple factors have some high and low points. (the current party is about level 14, give or take. This is intended to be a campaign-ending threat that they will be able to fix plot-wise by the time they reach 20th level, give or take, by recovering a series of artifact macguffins.) Obviously it's a melee beast, though the breath weapon and wings give it a little more flexibility, and mean it can't just be spammed at range like a normal T.

Straight-up HP damage seems to be the main way to take it down, but the guys are very leery of getting anywhere close to even try. (the party is almost all casters, a shaper/constructor, a lich archivist, a necropolitan uttercold evoker, and a human rogue. The lich's player optimizes to the gills without even trying, while the rogue's player is an older player who tries but needs more help with optimization. The evoker and shaper optimize pretty well, but I curtail the more borked end of things.) They pretty much woke it up, tried one or two spells/powers on it, watched those fail on SR, took one overhead flying strafe with the breath weapon, then ran for the hills.

I'm debating a couple changes on it, though. One is using the base tarrasque's SR of 32, or at least something closer than the current 59, because even with Assay SR and other SR-affecting spells, they can't really reach that right now, if ever, short of going epic themselves. (Maybe 35-40?)

(click to show/hide)

Gaming Advice / What's the source on this grappling rule?
« on: January 22, 2014, 04:01:44 PM »
I've seen quoted on GitP a rule about being able to take a -20 penalty on a grapple check to not be considered in a grapple yourself.

I've found a mention of this in the Multisnatch feat from Draconomicon, under the Normal heading, but I can't find any actual trace of the base rule itself in either the SRD or the RC. Where can I find it?

Warcraft post-d20 / Base Classes: Martial Bonus
« on: November 26, 2013, 06:15:56 AM »







Alchemistd6   LowLowHighLowLow4
Underlined classes are NPC classes, used for monsters and companions while having less fiddly class features (thus the inherent numbers are a little stronger).

HP: Dice rolled for hit points per level, added to a flat 5+Con mod. Some of the actual entries mention Con, meaning that this class (effectively) gets double its con applied per level. (This con bonus is applied to the individual roll, meaning that when the character multiclasses, and the other class doesn't have the added Con bonus, it compares the total of this class's HD+con versus just the flat die roll of the other class.)
Combat Dice: Progression of extra d20s that a character can roll in a given round, allowing them to have greater accuracy while not inflating the upper reach of numbers.  +1 means that this class gains an extra die at first level (and also gains the OppAttk ability, allowing them to spend a die to make an AoO rather than immediately blowing their standard action for the next round.) The number of dice is compared and gestalt-style best-number-of is taken.
Fort, Ref, Perc, Will: There are four saves, Fortitude (Str), Reflex (Dex), Perception (Wis), and Will (Cha). Each class has only one good save. (standard multiclassing is limited to three base classes. Plenty of exceptions to this limit of three exist, including favored classes, select class features, and a feat that adds a favored class, allowing you to multiclass into additional classes if so desired.)

NameMartial Bonus: Add this bonus to attack rolls made by your character. Each class that grants Martial Bonus also allows you to apply this bonus elsewhere, limited to the bonus granted by those levels in that class.
BrawlerMighty Fists: Add your Martial Bonus to damage with natural weapons, including unarmed strikes. This bonus is multiplied just like a Strength bonus, suiting the type of attack.
FlyerPowerful Flyer: Add your Martial Bonus to Armor Class, and to Reflex/Dodge while airborne.
GuardianMighty Hide: Add your Martial Bonus to Armor Class, and to Reflex/Dodge as a deflection bonus.
HunterMighty Beast: Add your Martial Bonus to damage dealt by your Beast companion. This bonus is multiplied just like a Strength bonus, suiting the type of attack.
LurkerSilent Stalker: Add your Martial Bonus to Armor Class, and to damage dealt to unaware opponents.
RiderPowerful Charge: While mounted, add your Martial Bonus to attack rolls made by your mount.
RogueSkilled Flanker: Add your Martial Bonus to the Piercing value of your melee and thrown weapons.
ScoutSkillful Shot: Add your Martial Bonus to damage with ranged weapons. This bonus is doubled for two-handed weapons, and applied to both weapons when dual-wielding.
ShifterPowerful Beast: Add your Martial Bonus to damage dealt while shapeshifted. For melee attacks, this bonus is multiplied just like a Strength bonus, suiting the type of attack.
SlayerDeadly Blow: Add your Martial Bonus to Armor Class, and to damage with melee weapons. This bonus is multiplied just like a Strength bonus, suiting the type of attack.
WarriorPowerful Attack: Add your Martial Bonus to damage with melee weapons. This bonus is doubled for two-handed weapons, and applied to both weapons when dual-wielding.

Underlined classes are NPC classes, used for monsters and companions while having less fiddly class features (thus the inherent numbers are a little stronger).

References here to Armor Class, and to Reflex/Dodge, are a bit off, based on my more recent concept shifts. Armor Class refers to subtractive DR (armor reduces damage taken in two ways, first by a flat division by quarters, then a numeric subtraction) while Reflex/Dodge is the basic number rolled to be hit. (Dodge is basically touch AC, adding Reflex as an auto-progressive value with level.) (reference to AC would be in the form of AC 8 medium, with heavy/medium/light/none referring to the amount reduced by quarters.)

Piercing refers to a property of some weapons, indicating damage dealt directly, bypassing armor.

Each class granting Martial Bonus would likely also have a continuing class feature as a capstone, allowing that class's bonus to be applied continuing from further levels in Hero classes, which advance from 11-20 (and likely also into Epic, the 21-30 range).

Looking for feedback on the martial bonus abilities.

Creations & Ephemera / I'm running a Kickstarter for an animated series!
« on: October 02, 2013, 06:33:38 AM »
I've been working on Nightmares in the Dark as a concept for years, but I'm finally making a go of it on a major scale. (My Cityscape project stuff was intended as an RPG system for the world it created, I just hadn't gotten very far into the magic.) It's urban fantasy with a push on the fantasy, with more magic and monstrous-humanoid races than most of the genre.

Here's the link to KS.

Please take a look, and if you can, help out! Even just spreading the word would be a big help.

Warcraft post-d20 / [WarCraft] Character Chassis & Ability Usage
« on: September 12, 2013, 05:59:12 AM »
All characters, regardless of race or class, start with the following stats and attribute contributions:

Health Points: Equal to Con score.
Fortitude: Str bonus.
Reflex: Dex bonus.
Perception: Wis bonus.
Will: Cha bonus.
Skill Points: Equal to Int score. (Can be spent on anything up to 2 skill points in cost.)
Melee/Thrown Attack: Dex bonus to hit, Str bonus to damage per hand (1H weapons x1, 2H weapons x2).
Ranged Projectile Attack: Wis bonus to hit, Int bonus to damage per hand  (1H weapons x1, 2H weapons x2).

This is considered the Commoner starting point.

From this basis, the player then get one free first level to buy. (I'm split between just giving it to them, or adopting a favored class mechanic that decreases the first level's XP cost to 0.)

LevelXP CostFeatsAttributes
11,000Feat-Base Class
22,000-One Att +1-
44,000-One Att +1-
66,000-One Att +1-
88,000-One Att +1-
1010,000-One Att +1-
1111,000FeatAll Atts +1Hero Class
1212,000-One Att +1-
1414,000-One Att +1-
1616,000-One Att +1-
1818,000-One Att +1-
2020,000-One Att +1-

  • Level: There are two concepts of level, Class level, and Character level. Early on, character level is equal to their highest base class level, each of which is counted separately. A character can be a 5th level Rogue and a 2nd level Warrior, resulting in being a 5th level character overall. Once a character has achieved 10th level in a base class, they can then take levels in any Hero class for which they qualify. Thereafter, their character level is equal to their highest Hero class level + 10.
  • XP Cost: Per class level. Each class level is purchased independently.
  • Feats: Every odd character level, the character gains a feat.
  • Attributes: Every even character level, the character can increase any one attribute score by 1 point, but coupled with class-based increases, cannot devote more than one-half of all attribute improvements, rounded up, to a single attribute score. At 11th level, all six attribute scores increase by a point each.

Every time a character gains a new character level, they gain 5 health points, modified by their Con mod, and 3 skill points, modified by their Int mod. These skill points can be applied to any skill that isn't already at max ranks for their character or class levels. (Maximum ranks is equal to class level for any class skill, or one-half character level for any non-class skills.) Modifications to Con and Int apply retroactively for these points.

In addition, when a character attains a new class level, whether it improves the character level or not, they gain additional SP, (potentially) additional HP, and class features as described that class's description. These additional benefits make multiclassing useful even late in the game.

Here's a crazy idea.. What if Perception was a base save alongside Fortitude, Reflex, and Will? In trying to expand their theoretical usage outside of just 'defense against spells', for my usage, Fort has encompassed stability and endurance (and is Str based), Will interacts with social and command effects (and is Cha based), and Reflex is being used as based avoidance and touch AC (still Dex based), which can be overly centric.

Splitting off Perception divides some of the emphasis off Reflex, which is active avoidance of mobile dangers you're already aware of, while Perception (with a Wis base) would be noticing dangers you weren't aware of before, or spotting the flaws in illusions. (it also means we're up to two mental saves and two physical saves, which I like for parallelism.)

Maybe Reflex should be renamed, though.. Suggestions?

In my Cityscape work, I had elevated Perception into its own stat (as a physical sensory stat, at that, counterbalanced by the 'Insight' stat for a mental sensory stat.) In this case, I can't bring myself to alter the core stats so much, but maybe this works a bit better.

I'm going to start putting up some first-draft ideas of the classes, but to do that and not have it be indecipherable gibberish, we need a page to describe structure and guidelines.

I've mentioned multiclass functionality, but just to re-iterate:
Multiclassing functions by way of gestalt. A character spends 1000 XP to buy the first level of another class, separate from the levels of their original class. They are still considered a  character with the level of their highest class's level for XP gain and other 'character level' effects, but upon gaining the new class, they compare the numeric progression of class A against the ones of class B, in terms of combat bonus/dice, save bonuses, base mana points, and other specific feature bonuses, taking the better of the two progressions. (Save bonuses are an exception, as you can only have two of the three good saves.) Then the HD for the new class is compared against the HD for the first level of the original class, and the higher size of the two used. The features and abilities of the new class are added to the character.

So, for each class, there will be the following traits:

HD: Size of the class's hit dice. This can range from d4 to d12. (These dice sizes are compared on a level-by-level basis for multiclassing.)

Combat Bonus: Bonus to attacks. This advances in one of three column progressions: 1/2 of level, 3/4 of level, and equal to level. (These bonuses are compared by the sum total from each class.)

Combat Dice: Extra d20s used when making attacks. This is listed as a column indicating the total of combat dice granted by a class ("2d20"), or as a dash indicating inheritance from the last listed number of dice("—"). (These dice are compared by the total of dice granted by class.)

Base Saves: Listed as Fortitude (Fort), Reflex (Ref), and Will (Will). This advances in one of two column progressions, Poor (equal to 1/3 level) and Good (equal to 2/3 level + 2). (this may change, but as a hypothetical..)

Skill Points: By default, all characters gain 4 skill points from taking a class level, adding their Int modifier. In addition, each class also has a number of skill points granted beyond this base 4. (These additional skill points are added to the character when multiclassing, rather than compared-for-better, allowing a character to add that class's specializations to their abilities.)

Additionally, some classes have automatic granted skills, which are granted 1 rank per class level by default by taking levels in that class, regardless of other expenditures. (Multiclass characters who already have the corresponding ranks in that granted skill are refunded the appropriate skill points when taking that level.) This includes Arcana for Mages, Stealth for Rogues, and so on.

Class Features: These are the various abilities of the class, and may include unique progressions of abilities. (Generally these shouldn't need comparative checking for multiclassing.)

Mana Points: All casting classes use Mana Points. This column lists the base number of points, adding bonus points based on the caster's Charisma bonus. (Take the highest sum of points. Bonus mana points are derived from the highest level of mana-using class, even if the highest base amount comes from another class.)

There is also the skills list. I'll post this and the skill system (There's a complex interaction I need to explain, but it's late. Next post..)

As I read the 5e threads here and on GitP, I realize that my system rewrite needs to establish some guidelines so you guys can understand the what and why of the changes I make. The problems I'm trying to fix, the goals I'm looking to achieve, etc. (IE, what the DDN team has NOT clearly established in their discussions, for the sake of buzzwords like 'bounded accuracy' that can mean different things without a clear definition.)

First off, I'm taking this from an assumed 3.5/d20 baseline, though external material I don't directly mention will not exist.

Here's my list of 'I want's:
  • I want organic character growth that doesn't require scratch-rewrites of an entire character's build to mechanically justify a new page being turned in that character's life.
  • I want a system that plays well together in mixed-level parties. High level characters are clearly more powerful, but low-level characters can contribute without relying on cheap 'i win' buttons.
  • I want magic to be interesting and powerful, but that doesn't invalidate non-magical modes of play. It should be one option of many, but non-magical characters should be able to contribute just as well, and in specialized cases, be better.
  • I want simple encounter building that encourages a mixed group of enemies that are easy to run.
  • I want varied mechanics for the various systems of magic, so that power X is NOT the same bloody thing whether arcane, divine, or what have you. This does not mean I want a million unique effects, nor that every class HAS to have a unique selection of powers.
  • I want more unique modes of play to be available, and the effort rewarded when you've specialized for them, but not in a way that trivializes another character. (this means you can have a horde of necromantic minions, but they're not a good replacement for a frontline fighter, nor are they expendable enough to invalidate a trapsmith rogue.)
  • I want varied player races, that play differently enough to make two straight characters of the same class, but different races, each feel distinct, even at high levels.
  • I want magic items that are useful, but not required. A high-level character should be able to operate entirely without the aid of magical gear. The addition of magical gear should be a self-governing balance, so that the benefit of its use should be countered by other drawbacks which make such gear a choice rather than a requirement.

This is a baseline, I'll need to come back and expand on these points at a later time. Please, ask, critique, analyse, suggest, let me know what you think.

Warcraft post-d20 / Classes [WarCraft] - Concepts, divisions, ideas
« on: April 25, 2013, 04:34:25 AM »
This thread picks up from a thread on GitP, which isn’t available ATM, but hopefully you can understand my rambling. To summarize:

I'm still trying to decide how to divide my classes for my WarCraft game. I've mentioned how the multiclassing system works, which is part of what makes the class divisions an important factor in the game. What concepts are more baseline, core-class worthy, and which concepts are more of a hybrid, mixing core concepts to create a specific blend?

Here's the last list I posted on the GitP thread, cleaned up a little, with short descriptions:

Adept (varies) - Generic caster class, can be flavored arcane/light/primal/etc to suit, 3e-warlock-like simple-to-run caster for newbs and NPCs
Death Knight (Martial/Shadow) - Could be just multiclass necro/warrior (if I did PrCs, this would SO be one, but I want to avoid them..) but WoW's DK is my fave class, lots of concept fodder..
Druid (Primal) - Hybrid class, like a 3e shapeshift druid that gets a few ToB maneuvers for each form, with summoning and plant-themed spells
Mage (Arcane) - Base arcane, but more akin to fleshed out warmage with good utility variety, in function
Mount Rider (Martial) - Companion class, gains mount as main class feature, for fighting while riding
Necromancer (Arcane/Shadow) - Arcane addendum (multiclasses with Mage well, adding new variety to their casting), focused on necromantic minions
Paladin (Martial/Light) - Could be priest/warrior multiclass, not sure, will explain below
Priest (Light) - Light-armored priest, think more like expanded healer with dark psychic counterpart effects for evil chars
Rogue (Martial/Skill) - Melee focused, some Shadow Hand style effects
Savage (Natural) - Animal companion class, plus feral evolutions like scent, claws, etc
Scout (Martial/Skill) - Ranged focus, as much D&D-style-Ranger as scout, but mundane
Shaman (Primal) - Hybrid class, most similar to 3e cleric, mix of fighting skill (w/self-buffing) and elemental casting
Tinker (Skill) - Technology focused class, uses prepped mechanical devices, most similar to 4e artificer
Warlock (Arcane/Fel) - Arcane addendum (multiclasses with Mage well, adding new variety to their casting), focused on demonic minions and demonic mutations
Warrior (Martial) - melee focused, mix of 3e Warblade and some versions of 5e fighter, will explain below

I actually have an interesting position for justifying my classes. Unlike in regular D&D, where you would say a class needs to be able to cover bases A, B, and C, while this other class covers B, C, and D, instead, I need to ask, Do these bases overlap, or are they mutually exclusive? A and D in these two concepts are obviously mutually exclusive from each other, so if they share any mechanical similarities, they need to be alternating options in the same class's structure. Meanwhile, maybe C is a hefty enough concept to build into a class of its own. What can I add to it to make it viable alone that it might otherwise lack? So, we're settled then, we have one class with B, plus either A or D, and another class with C.

So now let me explain my main ideas for each main class mechanic. These tie into power sources (the parentheticals after each name) which basically are each a set of mechanics.

So, first off, let me reiterate some stuff from my Rules Changes thread which is important (since apparently nobody reads it..)

Stamina and Mana are two main resources. They share some base functionality, and are both boosted by high stats. Mana functions just like power points from XPH, in terms of bonus points, and in how several classes contribute to a common pool. (basically, anything with a caster level. Highest single one counts.) Stamina functions much the same, except the formula is halved, and it's based on 'fighter level' which is my unified term for martial initiator level. (also my answer to the 'fighter dilemma', where in my other stuff, I answered the problem by eliminating the Fighter as a standalone class. Warcraft has less issues with the Warrior concept, and its more centrally placed with a unified fighter/berserker feel, but I still like putting Fighter level into use this way in my D&D-derived game.)

Now, let's go through the main power sources: First off, we have the united group of Skill and Martial.

Martial isn't just anybody using a sword, it's more or less the Maneuvers concept from ToB, in primary function. I'm currently going with a once-per-encounter structure, though I'm experimenting with the idea that Stamina could be used to either recover maneuvers mid-combat, or to directly spend on using them after the first usage. The main difference in structure is that maneuvers can be gained by *anyone*, as an extension of the Skill Trick system. Specifically, the idea that they're tricks with a higher point cost than 2, probably maneuver level+1. Anyone could buy them (assuming they meet the prereqs and are suitable level) but martial classes have a default granted progression. High-int warriors would just be able to buy *more* of them, is all.

This is why Martial is lumped in with Skill, because I want Tinkers (and a few other mundane concepts) to be skill-trick based, with his tricks based on his Engineering devices. This of the way the 3e artificer gets crafting feats for free in his progression, the Tinker would get the same for engineering tricks. But by making them part of the skill system, anyone could figure out how to use a particular 'trick' (IE device) to function every once in a while.

Maneuver tricks would be per-encounter, but have some kind of refresh mechanic. Right now, my preferred method is based on the main mechanic I’m building for the Warrior, Rage dice. For every 10 points of damage taken, the warrior gains a rage die, a d6 which by default can be spent to add to damage. Every round the Warrior is not in active combat (either attacking or in the threatened space of an enemy) these dice decay, but while in-combat, they also have an amount based on their Warrior level that generates automatically, up to a cap. (damage-earned dice wouldn’t cap, but would have to be spent before the end of the next turn.) These dice could also be spent to activate maneuvers.

(Now, theoretically I could fold a lot more into the trick system.. I'm strongly considering dumping weapon proficiencies into skill tricks. Hell, if I really wanted to go all-out I could make all kinds of spells into high-cost tricks with caster level prereqs. Not sure if I want to go there though. I'm wary of over-unifying my power systems, to keep from being too 4e-like. But, who knows, maybe keeping it simpler in build-structure but more complex in usage, as you'll see, will let me create a more structured system. Let me know what you think of the idea in the replies!)

The other three sources (well, five, technically, but two are more like subgroups) each operate with a specific structure. They all use Mana, in some form or another, but I’m trying to incorporate it in different ways.

Next up is Arcane magic. Arcane is probably my most ‘new’ system, in that it’s not really directly based on existing casting. The closest similarities are Epic spellcasting’s seeds system, and PF’s words of power. Arcane spells are ‘woven’ from pre-existing components (which I might call words for ease of use). A simple spell could be woven in a single turn, like (as a non-specific example) using a standard action to generate an energy blast (selecting the energy type word), and then a move action to project it (by setting the target, a distinct word). Neither works without the other, and after both words are supplied, the spell is cast, and the mana spent. More complex spells would require more turns, making the caster vulnerable to an extent. Optionally, they could use some of their actions to move, make attacks with weapons (including wands), or do other things, while weaving complex spells with the off-hand at a slower rate, as long as they spend at least one of their actions per turn continuing to construct the spell.

Holy magic functions in the most classic sense like 3.5-style spells, though it still uses mana for extended usage. Each prayer is one of four grades, orisons, supplications, intercessions, and miracles. You start off with orisons (level 0) and supplications (levels 1-3), casting orisons 1/encounter and supplications 1/day each, though you can spend mana points to use them additional times. When you gain access to intercessions (levels 4-6), useable 1/day each, orisons become at-will, and supplications become per-encounter. Likewise, when you gain miracles (levels 7-9), intercessions go to encounter, and supplications become at-will. In some ways, this is based on a hybrid of the Shadowcaster and clerical domains, since each of the prayers in the three higher grades are also arranged into domains of associated powers within that grade. When you learn any one of the prayers in a domain, you gain the base benefit of that domain, which might augment prayers or change things up. Then, if you do learn all three prayers, you get a completion benefit, which either expands the base benefit, or does something else in that same direction. basically, prayers themselves are action-items, while the domain benefits are the more passive options.

Primal magic functions most like 3.5 psionics, with their major abilities, known as ‘calls’ that have a base point cost for a fixed effect, with the ability to spend extra points to enhance or empower that effect. On the other hand, primal magic will also have access to ‘pacts’ (which I may use with warlocks too), which function like Incarnum, allowing you to invest mana into an ability, locking those points away for a static enhancement. This would function in the place of self-cast long-term buffs, you’d just invest them into a pact for an always-on buff. Divest the buff if you need extra points, for added flexibility.

I need to do more research on how paladins in WarCraft work, but my main idea for both paladins and death knights is to use alternate-resource mechanics, with my main thought being to attach them to special-access maneuvers (most maneuvers being general-use, pre-req gated rather than class-limited) that are outright magical compared to other maneuvers. Death Knights, in particular, would generate ‘runes’ whenever they take damage (as a takeoff of the Warrior’s rage mechanic), rolling a d6 (or d3) for every 10 damage taken and getting either a Blood(1-2), Frost(3-4), or Unholy(5-6) rune, which are in turn spent to power his DK-specific maneuvers. (a DK/Warrior multiclass would likely have to choose whether each die generated was a rage die or rune die.) Paladins would probably use a similar mechanic, though I’d like to keep them from being entirely renamed clones of the other mechanics. Need more time to think of something.

Now, as for Fel and Shadow magic, well, there’s some cross-over there. Fel magic is Warlock magic, but it’s really just the demon-flavored Arcane magic that Mages would reject. No need for new mechanics, really. Shadow magic is likewise the dark part of both Holy magic (Shadow priests) and Arcane magic (necromancy effects in particular). I’m tempted to say Shadow is just a broad-base keyword added to a bunch of effects which can be boosted, and that synergize well for multiclass characters in some way.

Part of the issue is that Holy magic is entirely faith-driven, the Light is entirely accessible by evil priests and paladins, because it’s based on their own faith and self-confidence, not some actual divine authority. There are also various ‘priests’ in WoW lore that worship other beings or powers aside from the Holy Light, like Fire priests who serve Ragnaros the Firelord, troll priests who worship the Loa, and the big one, night elf priests who worship Elune, the moon goddess (the only confirmed actual god in the setting). Domains will cover a big part of this, with a wide range of them for various priesthoods. The Forgotten Shadow of the Forsaken is the main mentioned Shadow-faith, though some troll stuff likely applies.

Maybe I don’t need to make it distinct. In that case, we could strip the terms ‘fel’ and ‘shadow’ from the class list above.

Anyhow, this post has been lingering in my WIP file for too long, I need to get it out there. What do you guys think?

Warcraft post-d20 / Base System Changes [WarCraft]
« on: April 01, 2013, 05:19:41 AM »
This is all fairly standard, with the addition that I borrow 5e’s advantage/disadvantage mechanic. Specifically, the combat dice mentioned below are a form of multi-stacking advantage, along with the base idea that an advantage and a disadvantage cancel each other out. Advantages or disadvantages stack, to a max of 3 rolls.

(I have a general Rule of Three which will show up in various places. Three failures loses an extended test, three dice at most on an advantage or disadvantage, a maximum of three targets for an offensive roll, etc.)

Base Attributes
The core six stats work the same as in regular d20. Base 10 average, stat/2-5 for modifier.

Currently, my standard for character creation is a flat array, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17.

Your Strength modifier is added to damage with melee weapons, bows, and thrown weapons, (1× mod per hand wielding the weapon) and to Fortitude saves and defense.

Your Dexterity modifier is added to melee attack rolls, and to Reflex saves and defense, including your AC.

Your Constitution modifier is added to the number of hit points gained per class level. Your Constitution also grants you additional Stamina points equal to your Constitution modifier × your fighter level ×¼.

At 1st level, you gain bonus hit points equal to your Constitution score, and you have negative hit points equal to your Constitution score which increase by your Con score at levels 11 and 21.

Your Intelligence modifier is added to damage with wands, guns and crossbows (1× mod per hand wielding the weapon), as well as the number of skill points gained per class level. These bonus points can only be used to buy ranks, not skill tricks.

At 1st level, you gain bonus skill points equal to your Intelligence score, which you can spend on any skill, for up to 4 ranks, separate from class skill restrictions, or any skill trick up to 2 points in cost.

Your Wisdom modifier is added to ranged attack rolls, and to Initiative checks. Wisdom is also added to your AC when unencumbered by armor.

Your Charisma modifier is added to Will saves and defense. Your Charisma also grants you additional Mana points equal to your Charisma modifier × your caster level ×½.

Core Numbers and Advancement
BAB and saves function differently here, starting with slightly different names.

Combat Bonus
In place of BAB, Combat Bonus is added to all attacks, but at the attacker’s choice, at the start of his turn, he can split half of this bonus (rounded down) off and add it to damage dealt, instead, as a Power Attack. Damage dealt with with weapons using two hands (including bows and rifles) gain this bonus doubled.

Iterative attacks are removed (but see Combat Dice). When a character reaches +6, +16, and +26 bonuses, the base damage dice and base ability bonuses to damage are increased by a factor. This increase to damage occurs on any weapon strike, include Opportunity Attacks and any other type of held weapon attack, but does not apply to natural weapons or magic-based attacks, which scale on their own by level.

Example: Someone who deals 1d8+3 damage with a sword (or 1d8+6 when wielding it two-handed) who gains +6 CB would now deal 2d8+6 as a base, or 2d8+12 when wielding it two-handed. When they reach +16 CB, they now deal 3d6+9, or 3d6+18 two-handed.

Combat Dice
When making an attack roll, you can spend a Combat Die to roll an extra d20 on your attack. Take the better of the two rolls as your attack roll. You can spend multiple combat dice if you have them, for a maximum total of three dice on any given attack (defensive effects which would normally force a disadvantage on an attack roll cancel out a combat die, but do not affect the cap, meaning you can spend extras to get back up to three dice if you desire). Any dice so used are considered expended until the end of your turn, after which all spent combat dice are refreshed.

You spend a combat die to make Opportunity Attacks, upon which you can also spend additional dice to boost the attack.

When a character reaches +6, +11, +16, +21 and +26 CB, they automatically gain an additional combat die. Additionally, many combat-centric classes, such as the Warrior, Rogue, and Paladin, gain an extra combat die as one of their 1st-level class features. Multiclass characters can gain only one bonus combat die in this manner.

Saves and Defenses
The base progression is affected, starting at one-half your level, adding the relevant modifier. Each class will only gain one good save, which starts as a +2 bonus, and increases at a ¾ rate (basically take a ¾ attack bonus and add two, and you have the good base save).

The base 3 saves also function as defenses for certain effects. Generally, it’s a flip of whomever is the more active party, the attacker or defender. Offensive stuff like attacks, skill checks, and so on use an active offense roll versus a static defense, unless the effect hits more than three targets simultaneously, in which case the targets make individual saves versus the offender’s static modifier+10. Static stuff like traps and poisons use a flat DC which the defender rolls a save against.

Fortitude Save and Defense
Fortitude determines your stability and inherent toughness. Fortitude is used to oppose grapples, knockback effects, and test your resistance to poison, cold, or other effects, with a successful save or missed offensive roll minimizing the effect.

(Unlike normal, Fort is used for stability effects, while things that could be damage effects are reworked as such.)

Reflex Save and Defense
Reflex determines your automatic ability to move, in avoidance or in offense. Reflex is used to avoid area effects like bursts of flame or sprays of acid, touch effects like ray spells, and determines whether an acrobatic foe can avoid your reflexive attacks. Reflex also forms the basis of your AC.

(Reflex is a merge of regular reflex saves, touch AC, and also acts as the basis of the DC for Tumble checks.)

Will Save and Defense
Will determines your determination, your ability to resist influences, both social and magical. Will is used to resist social effects like intimidation, see through illusions, and break magical enchantment of the mind.

(Will adds a social component to the usual magical resistance. Will is also a mixed blessing for follower characters, like pets and minions, as their Will defense is used as the basis for Command and Beastmastery DCs.)

Effective Class Levels
There are several kinds of ‘effective X level’, like caster level, but extended out to other areas, like the ‘effective rogue level’ of Uncanny Dodge.

Character Level
Several effects, including assessing XP gain, reference your Character Level. This is the highest level in any class you have attained.

Caster Level
Only the highest level caster class applies, for most purposes, like bonus mana points.

Some effects are relative to your individual casting classes, and may reference one of three types; Arcane (mages, warlocks, necromancers, death knights), Divine (priests, paladins), and Primal (druids, shamans), with adepts counting as their respective caster-type.

Fighter Level
This effectively serves as the replacement for Initiator level, for anything inherited over from ToB. It also determines Stamina points, which act as a reserve booster spendable in select circumstances. (mainly it’s serving as a way to do ToB maneuvers without a refresh, and/or a way to do specific boosts for physical actions. Think along the lines of 4e psionic augments, boosts to at-will powers to make them as strong or effective as encounter powers.)

Level Advancement
In order to gain a level, you must spend 1000 XP × your current high level. If you have multiple classes at your highest level, you can select any one of them to gain the advancement. This advancement must occur during an unbroken long rest, such as a night’s restful sleep.

Feats are gained at first level, and every odd level after.

Retraining is possible, at a cost of 50 XP × the level the feat was gained, during a long rest.

Attribute Increases
Every even level, a character gains the ability to increase one attribute by a single point, limited to one of three attributes which are considered core for their class, specified in that class entry.

Multiclass characters must select from the attributes for the class gaining the new highest level. These increases can be retrained to another class’s options for free when that class reaches that level. (For example, let’s say a character reaches level 6 as a Mage, and chooses Intelligence as their improvement. If they later take levels in Warrior, when they reach level 6 in the Warrior class, they can choose to swap that improvement slot to Strength.)

At 4th, 8th, 14th, 18th, 24th, and 28th levels, they gain a second type of point increase, which can be placed in any attribute, at the player’s choice.

At 11th and 21st level, all attributes increase by one point.

Your total improvements spent in a single attribute cannot exceed one higher than the total improvements in the other five attributes combined.

[would like to insert summary table of progression, most likely broken into 3 10-level columns]

You can advance in multiple classes, if you choose.

In order to gain an additional class, you must take up training in your new class’s techniques, whether through study, an intense personal experience, or the guidance of a trainer or master. After having trained, you must spend 1000 XP during a unbroken long rest, after which you will gain your class level. Additional levels can be purchased at the new level × 1000 XP. (a long rest for each, I think)

Multiclassing is not like in standard d20 rules, instead it shares more similarities with the Gestalt rules. When you gain a class level, instead of appending the new class hit dice and bonuses to your current ones, you compare that level with the other classes of that same level, and take the best hit dice and highest skill points. Save and combat bonuses are compared against the highest totals from each class, as are base mana points and stamina points, taking the best of each. You also gain the class features, with the exception that features of the same name cannot be gained multiple times, and do not stack.

I need to adjust the wording, but: By default, each class grants only one good save, although some classes may have a secondary bonus to particular saves built into the progression (akin to the Scout's Battle Fortitude) which can be stacked with an already-good save. You cannot have more than two good base saves via multiclassing, and when presented with a third good save, must either drop another save to gain the new high save, or ignore the new class's granted save.

More to come, as I think of it. Probably go into separate posts.

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Ideas? Please tell me!

Edit: Changed the default Power Attack structure to be binary, on/off, locked at 1/2 CB rounded down. Less complexity for a built-in feature.

Edit: Altered the stats added to what types of attacks and damages, and yanked Dodger level. It'll just roll into Fighter level.

I'm working up a WarCraft-setting game for my players after I've finished my current Eberron campaign. The rules tweaks will be *somewhat* extensive, mostly taken from the 3e/PF base (equal parts of either) and a bit of 4e/5e thrown in to good effect. (I'm also debating whether to request my GodsBlood forum be renamed for this, since it's eating a lot of my mechanics concepts as I proceed, and the setting stuff is half WC-derived anyway. I'm more likely to use it for this than for the etting stuff in the near future.)

I'm working up a new set of base classes, designed to represent the possibilities of characters in the WarCraft universe (this isn't just a straight take on WoW, nor will I be drawing anything more than vague ideas from the d20-WarCraft and d20-WoW-RPG books, though I do own them). The idea is to take all of the character concepts and create a workable framework that involves a minimum of shoehorning. (Like for instance the way any ranged character in WoW lore is shoehorned into being a Hunter class, despite most of them lacking any prominent animal companion. Meanwhile Rexxar, a Beastmaster who originated the lore concept of the beast companion, isn't even a functional Hunter because he's a melee two-weapon fighter, a style which isn't even viable in the game as of now.)

I watch all the fighter-fix threads, and the wizard-fix threads, and I'm trying to keep things balanced to a degree. General goal is tier 3-ish, though some of this will also be addressed with my changes to the base ruleset, the skills, and the spells. It's a big mess of changes, which really can't be described easily, but this is one place to start in.

I'm trying to figure out how I want to divide the classes. Do I make a single Warrior class, or distinct Soldier, Berserker, etc classes. Do I make a single Arcanist, or break it apart into Mage, Warlock, Necromancer?

Multiclassing will make this interesting. I'm not going to use 3e multiclassing, instead I've got this idea for basically having you earn your main class levels like normal, but then if you're, let's say, a level 5 rogue and you want to gain a level in mage, instead of waiting until you have the XP for level 6, you spend 1k XP and gain the class features of a level 1 mage, taking the gestalt-style better-of bonus numbers between rogue and mage for that first level. If you did this when you would've otherwise gained level 6, you probably have enough to gain two or three levels of mage, and get a headstart on the class features and casting. (I also plan on changing how BAB and save bonuses accrue, so don't over-think this part.)

So, right now, these are my various concepts:

Warrior (generic fighter class, merged Soldier/Berserker, does not coexist)
Soldier (defensive fighter class, with some group-tactical options)
Berserker (offensive fighter)
Warlord (leader-type, possibly merged into soldier or warrior, or better represented through skill such as Command)
Mount Rider (knight or other mounted concepts, main features boosting mount for combat)
Rogue (urban/assassin type, mostly staple, might absorb the Scout below)
Scout (wilderness/ranged type, one half of WoW's Hunter)
Primal (feral type, beast companion main feature, other half of WoW's Hunter)
Arcanist (merged Mage/Warlock/Necromancer/etc, does not coexist)
Mage (elemental spells and general magic)
Warlock (demonic magic, bound demon as significant class feature)
Necromancer (undead minions & more)
Death Knight (shares components of Necromancer. Could be condensed into fighter/arcanist multiclass w/feat assist)
Paladin (could be multiclass priest/warrior, or distinct.)
Priest (staple class whether condensed or spread class list)
Shaman (elemental magic, totems, spirit pacts)
Druid (nature/energy spells, might merge Shapeshifter into this)
Shapeshifter (shapeshifting portion of WoW's Druid, or could be merged into druid in some way. Shares some concepts with Primal.)
Adept (simpler NPC class caster, modeled on Warlock. Includes at-will blast attack (focused onto appropriate energy type), and uses spell list shared with whatever specific caster being emulated. Staple idea of my system.)
Brute (simple NPC heavy-hitter; optional)
Bandit (simple NPC sneak; optional)
Felblood (demonic traits, demonic corruption and enhancements, primarily used as a multiclass)
Dragonblood (draconic traits, allows for dragonspawn/drakonids, plus maybe shapeshifted dragons, rarely)

So, what d'you guys think?

I've been thinking about this one in the back of my head for a couple days now. At first I was trying to think of this as a way to even out split-level parties, but it couldn't come together. (I've got a game I'm going to start where I want everyone to start at level one (plus survivability tweaks), no swapping in higher-level guys when replacing a character. This doesn't solve the problem, but does pose some interesting questions.)

Also as a note, my games use a level-by-level progression sheet that tracks per-level gains in saves, class features, and HD rolls. (It also handily has the XP required per-level.)

As I understand it, this is somewhat similar to the older multiclassing rules, mainly with respect to the XP splitting.

Okay, so here goes:

Single-class leveling is unchanged. If you never multiclass and play a base race, you will have no changes. First class goes by the standard XP chart (current level x1000 xp over).

XP for leveling is treated like cost, rather than breaking limits of total. (I'm thinking of a more XP-fluid game in general.. Stuff like magic items are powered by small continuous XP burning, making use of the XP-as-a-river idea to a fuller extent.)

If you start as a level 5 rogue (for instance) and decide to take a level of druid, you start up a second progression sheet as that class, costing that new class's level x 1000 in XP, so 1000xp (basically taking the regular chart and shifting it one level). But instead of gaining a whole new level, new hit dice, increase in saves, and so forth, you gain that one druid level as a gestalt better-of comparison. The druid's D8 outweighs the rogue's d6 for first level, so that number is replaced. Skills aren't better, but you could retrain some points over as desired. You also gain druid's first level class features, the animal companion and spells. (Saves and BAB are probably handled by summing the per-class totals and taking better-of, but I'm thinking of switching how those function for my game anyhow. Not really important, stick with base for comparison but consider problems brought up there won't hold much weight for me since I'm changing things.)

XP is gained as the highest level total, as are any total-level benefits like feats and ability score increases, though you have retraining options. (either open retraining, or maybe just switching them when you hit a feat-level in any class.)

PrCs are either dropped entirely or drastically limited, mainly with multiclass-facilitating PrCs gone. If a PrC directly extends a class's features, it can sit in that class's gestalt track, replacing the other features, but I'd largely prefer to abandon PrCs.

The idea here is that your character XP total, rather than your actual levels, determines your effective power level. Hopefully there's some parity, (I've gotta do XP comparisons yet, I'll be in spreadsheet heaven this saturday) but I'd like some input on the base idea, as it stands.

D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder / What to do about excessive character-swapping?
« on: January 31, 2013, 05:21:56 PM »
I've got a problem. Several players in my current game keep swapping characters. I'm trying to figure out a way to curb this without driving them off all together.

Right now, my players can bring in a new character at the average XP/party level. I don't generally have a problem with this, as it lets new players jump in and not feel left behind, but I've got a few abuser players who have alt-itis, swapping out every 3-4 weeks, which this table-rule facilitates.

I'm debating swapping it up, saying that they start at half or three-quarters the XP total of the rest of the party. This would put them a few levels behind, with the gap increasing with levels. (At 1/2 XP, a level 20 party gets a new character at level 14. At 3/4 XP, a level 20 party gets a new character at 17.) They're lower on XP, so the standard XP chart puts them gaining XP faster to make up the difference, so they will catch up, but only if they stick with it.

What do you guys think?

I've got a player wanting to use the Fiend of Corruption PrC for a character. He specifically asked for a tweaked half-fiend (half-succubus) to get there.

Modified Half-Fiend:
(click to show/hide)

I just want to see if anyone knows of any major problems or pitfalls with using it. The rest of the group are not really optimization-types.

Right now he's playing a Marshal 6. (I've already told him that Diplomancy won't work, though I've not yet had to prove how.)

Everything non-setting WotC-produced 3.5e and Eberron in books is allowed, as well as limited Dragon and material at my permission.

If the FoC is too problematic, I've told him I may just say no on the PrC, but that I'd check first.

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