Author Topic: Discussion and Suggestion Thread  (Read 10604 times)

Offline Hanako Tachibana

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Re: Discussion and Suggestion Thread
« Reply #80 on: March 19, 2013, 10:44:02 PM »
Updates!



Feats
Craft Esoteric Item - Lets you craft esoteric items (wondrous items, but for akasha)
Mysterium of Body - Makes you unaging.  Part of a cycle of three feats, Mysterium of Body, Mysterium of Mind, and Mysterium of Soul.  I just don't know what Mind or Soul should do~

Items
Portable Terminal - A portable version of the amala terminal.  Priced after the gate compass.
Harmonic Server - ... Basically akashic irc.  That's right, I finally invented the internet.  Anyone who knows of a harmonic server can use the communication techniques to 'dial in' and chat with anyone else connected to the server.  Priced after the greater gate compass, which I think is a good price.
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Offline Hanako Tachibana

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Re: Discussion and Suggestion Thread
« Reply #81 on: March 20, 2013, 12:54:16 PM »
Yeah, lets all pretend that I didn't just write akashic programs.  I also have no idea how to price anything, so I would really appreciate it if people would tell me if they think the Harmonic Matrices and Harmonic Repeater are priced correctly.
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Offline Agita

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Re: Discussion and Suggestion Thread
« Reply #82 on: March 20, 2013, 01:26:14 PM »
Mysterium of the Soul/Mind: Mental ability damage, death effects, negative levels, mind-affecting effects, and Trap the Soul and Soul Jar-style effects come to mind as possible vectors for effects here.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2013, 06:48:42 PM by Agita »
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Offline Hanako Tachibana

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Re: Discussion and Suggestion Thread
« Reply #83 on: March 20, 2013, 05:57:43 PM »
Some small fixes have been performed and the Log Matrix esoteric item have been added.

As for Mysterium of Soul/Mind, Agita, did you mean protection from mental ability damage, etc.?
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Offline Agita

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Re: Discussion and Suggestion Thread
« Reply #84 on: March 20, 2013, 06:49:20 PM »
Some small fixes have been performed and the Log Matrix esoteric item have been added.

As for Mysterium of Soul/Mind, Agita, did you mean protection from mental ability damage, etc.?
That is indeed what I meant, given that Body also offers protection. I suppose I should have specified.
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Offline Hanako Tachibana

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Re: Discussion and Suggestion Thread
« Reply #85 on: April 09, 2013, 07:32:44 PM »
What's this?  A new prestige class?
That's right!  The vector alchemist joins the exclusive list of akashic prestige classes (if you can call it a list).
As always, tell me what you think.
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Offline Nanshork

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Re: Discussion and Suggestion Thread
« Reply #86 on: April 09, 2013, 08:11:36 PM »
Do you have plans for a prestige class for the Moon and Sun icons?

Vector Alchemist seems fine to me.

Offline Hanako Tachibana

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Re: Discussion and Suggestion Thread
« Reply #87 on: April 09, 2013, 08:41:17 PM »
I do indeed!

Moon's PrC will be called 'Arc-Bound Dreamer' and have something to do with intangibility.
Sun's PrC will be called 'Arcanist' and have something to do with edicts and territories.
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Offline Nanshork

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Re: Discussion and Suggestion Thread
« Reply #88 on: April 09, 2013, 08:42:24 PM »
A territory prestige class sounds like it could be very interesting.

Offline Hanako Tachibana

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Re: Discussion and Suggestion Thread
« Reply #89 on: April 13, 2013, 02:03:01 AM »
Perhaps I've fallen too strongly in love with Etrian Odyssey's Vessel.  Well, whether or not that's true, I just wrote up a Vessel race for akasha.
As always, tell me what you think.
Also, please look at my pretty akashic items.  I made the internet, you know.  Or at least akashic IRC + video chat.
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Offline Nanshork

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Re: Discussion and Suggestion Thread
« Reply #90 on: April 13, 2013, 11:56:26 AM »
Extra recovered Tama seemed a bit strong but after doing some digging and refreshing my memory about how that all works I don't see it as an issue.

The Vessel race seems balanced with your other races.

Aside from the internet (or at least akashic IRC + video chat) your items shall be looked at.

Magatama: seems fine.

Gohei: How does technician level affect the price of the gohei?  (Your example states that a gohei can be purchased for the same technique at different levels.)  Also, what is converted technique level?  I can only find references to it but don't see an actual explanation.

Ofuda: Same questions as the gohei.

Harmonic server + related items: I don't really know how I feel about these or the fact that they really are akashic IRC + video chat.  They also don't seem like they'd be used much by an adventuring party.  Huh...

Portable Terminal: Seems like it would be needed to reliably have terminal usage.  Looks fine to me.

Kouseki: If I'm reading this right the only reason to have an item made out of Kouseki is aesthetics.  That's fine, just don't expect it to get used much with the cost increase.

Offline DonQuixote

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Re: Discussion and Suggestion Thread
« Reply #91 on: April 13, 2013, 02:18:33 PM »
Harmonic server + related items: I don't really know how I feel about these or the fact that they really are akashic IRC + video chat.  They also don't seem like they'd be used much by an adventuring party.  Huh...

Portable Terminal: Seems like it would be needed to reliably have terminal usage.  Looks fine to me.

Eh, when you think about it, at the level at which you can make a terminal, wizards are only two levels away from being able to teleport whenever, wherever.  In settings with sizeable Akashic presence, it's a good way to transmit information without having them travel all the way back to the questgiver.

I can't imagine that there's anything that actually gets broken by it.

Kouseki: If I'm reading this right the only reason to have an item made out of Kouseki is aesthetics.  That's fine, just don't expect it to get used much with the cost increase.

I believe that the main advantage is that items created with the Artifice fundamental now have a defined existence.
“Hast thou not felt in forest gloom, as gloaming falls on dark-some dells, when comes a whisper, hum and hiss; savage growling sounds a-near, dazzling flashes around thee flicker, whirring waxes and fills thine ears: has thou not felt then grisly horrors that grip thee and hold thee?”

Offline Hanako Tachibana

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Re: Discussion and Suggestion Thread
« Reply #92 on: April 13, 2013, 03:24:06 PM »
Gohei: How does technician level affect the price of the gohei?  (Your example states that a gohei can be purchased for the same technique at different levels.)  Also, what is converted technique level?  I can only find references to it but don't see an actual explanation.

Ofuda: Same questions as the gohei.

Converted Technique Level: Often, a rule won't ask for a technique's level but its converted level.  A technique's converted level is equal to the amount of tama spent on the technique.  This does not include tama spend on metakashic feats.  Because fundamentals do not require the spending of tama, the converted level of a fundamental must be calculated differently.  The converted level of a fundamental is equal to 1/2 the users technician level.

It's in Akashic Magic under Level.  It basically lets you treat techniques as if they were spells, since otherwise technique level and spell level don't work together.  As for pricing, gohei and ofuda are priced by the converted technique level.  So no matter what you buy, if you buy it at converted level X, it costs Y.

Quote
Harmonic server + related items: I don't really know how I feel about these or the fact that they really are akashic IRC + video chat.  They also don't seem like they'd be used much by an adventuring party.  Huh...

Portable Terminal: Seems like it would be needed to reliably have terminal usage.  Looks fine to me.

Kouseki: If I'm reading this right the only reason to have an item made out of Kouseki is aesthetics.  That's fine, just don't expect it to get used much with the cost increase.

Harmonic Server et al. isn't really intended for the party but for the world.  And D&D is severly lacking in communication items (or spells.  Sending's level is way to high for what it does.)  They're basically items that exist to give rules to how I think a setting with a large akashic presence should work.

As for kouseki, I think the price works out because things made of kouseki are automatically masterwork.  Even if it doesn't kouseki really only exists for the fundamental that makes things out of kouseki.  I wanted to have a 'minor/major creation' fundamental, but I didn't want "40 gallons of drow knockout poison" shenanigans.
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Offline Nanshork

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Re: Discussion and Suggestion Thread
« Reply #93 on: April 13, 2013, 04:06:35 PM »
@Don: I said that it looked fine to me.   :P

@Hanako: Ahh, that makes a lot of sense and explains it.  I did a search for "converted technique" and didn't find anything, that answers all of my questions about pricing and makes sense as well.

I completely missed that there was an item creation technique, so that makes sense as well.

Offline Garryl

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Re: Discussion and Suggestion Thread
« Reply #94 on: May 15, 2013, 01:51:17 PM »
The recent discussion in the Spellshaping Codices thread got me to thinking about this. I have to agree that the classes (and also the magic system itself, but that's a different issue) are bland. Too much customizability will do that. The Miko, Majo, and Meister all boil down to a formula of "techniques, major class feature, minor class feature, selectable class features up the wazoo". The Mamono is similar but does it right(-ish; I'll get to that later if I remember). Having so many selectable class features can cause problems, both in flavor and mechanics.

In D&D, much like in programming, a class defines what a character is and what it does. Too many mutually exclusive ways of doing things means that what a member of the class actually does becomes unknown again.

Too many selectable options tends to be a sign that the designer wasn't really sure what to do with the class. Having a few options here and there that build on a solid core is fine, but when they start to replace said solid core, problems arise. Without a solid core, there's nothing to build a character on when creating from a class-first viewpoint.

Selectable class features also encourage dipping and cherry-picking, which discourages larger level investments in the class from a mechanics-first viewpoint. The good ones are available ASAP and the rest can be ignored. Menus of abilities also tend to neglect level-appropriate abilities for higher levels, focusing instead on abilities that are acceptable at any level, which usually means either low-level abilities or supplemental abilities. Even when they are available, high-level abilities are often in short supply with menu-based classes, meaning that after a few have been picked, no good options remain. Worse, the promised customizability becomes negated by having insufficient options worth selecting, leaving only the diluted flavor and weakened mechanical core.

An example of a class that implements this poorly is the Fighter. It has no solid core to work with, and its selectable class features, feats, have few good options and no high-level options.

An example of a class that implements this well is the Warlock. It has a solid core to work with (Eldritch Blast and magic item manipulation). Its selectable class features, invocations, are varied, with numerous useful and potent options for all character levels.

Now, the Mamono does this slightly better than the other classes. Its selectable class features are re-selectable on a whim, so knowing what a Mamono could do is nearly as relevant as knowing what a given Mamono actually is doing at any given time. The lists of abilities are divided in such a way that there are, actually, level-appropriate abilities for all levels. Said abilities are a bit bland, however, being mostly restricted to natural attacks and basic abilities, but that's not too bad considering that the class is also built around techniques, which can provide the interesting abilities. It still lacks a sufficient quantity of higher level abilities, however.

*Disclaimer: I find the icons and techniques bland themselves. I do not know how much of this blandness is a result of my not reading them through, nor how much of my lack of desire to read them through is as a result of them being bland.

Majo
(click to show/hide)

Meister
(click to show/hide)

I would recommend altering the formatting slightly. Add a new line between each new ability to break it up a bit and keep them from running into each other. I'd also recommend at least 3 spaces when indenting paragraphs. Just 1 space doesn't look to good.

Offline Epsilon Rose

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Re: Discussion and Suggestion Thread
« Reply #95 on: May 16, 2013, 01:27:00 AM »
I agree with basically everything that Garryl said in both his previous post and the one he has on spellshaping. I might put slightly less emphasis on color, in favor of other types of flavor, than he would, but that's mostly a personal taste sort of thing. Rather than simply rehashing what's already been said, I'm going to try and look at things from a slightly different angle.

Making the classes so generic and similar makes it significantly harder for a new player to figure out where to start. Worse still, it also makes it harder for a DM to tell what a potential player is planning or how they'll fare, without really delving into the techniques (which an arbitrary DM would be unlikely to do, even if they had really good flavor). The biggest factor in this, is that all of the classes are built off of the same chassis. They all have the same number of tama,  techniques, fundamentals, and dead levels. They get their abilities and techniques at the exact same rate, progress fundamental use at the same rate and recover tama in the same way. The only slight variation to this is the mamono who has slightly different dead levels. The upshot to all of this sameness is that when a player tells a DM they're playing X class the DM still has no idea how their character is meant to work.

Since all of the classes have access to all of the techniques, you can't tell what roll they'll be playing  (for example, if a class didn't have access to the star icon, you'd know right off the bat that they're probably not planning a blaster). Since all of the classes gain the same number of techniques and can use them at the same rate, you can't tell if a particular class is meant to focus on mundane/class abilities or techniques, nor can you tell if they are meant to be a specialist or a jack  of all trades (even the nominally specialist majo doesn't get much of a benefit from their chosen icon or any detriment from the other icons) What's worse, you can't tell what range they're supposed to play at. The majo and the miko suggest that they're meant for mid ranges, but with con as a semi-key stat and edicts they could probably handle close range fairly easily. The channeling classes are even worse, since they can switch between melee and ranged weapons freely. The mamono goes the farthest in suggesting it's prefered range (melee) with it's emphasis on natural weapons, but this is a pernicious lie. The big draw for natural weapons is that you get lots of attacks at a relatively high bab, but there's no way to synergise this with techniques; conversely, since natural attacks are considered finesseable and are relatively hard to enchant, the mamono can easily trick-out a bow for ranged techniques while losing almost nothing in close range.

Compare this to spellshaping (both because it's fairly well done and close at hand). If I were to tell you that I was making a spellshape champion you would know instantly that I'm be planning a melee power house; conversely, if I told you I was making a spellsage you would know I was making a midrange utility blaster. Furthermore, the extremely limited number of circles a champion learns suggests he will be focussing on a few core things while a sage's, honestly, excessive selection tells you that they'll be able to do more varied things but unable to hammer any specific things. Their recovery methods only serve to further reinforce their roles. Of course, you'd have to check what circles they're taking to tell how they intend to go about those roles, but you can usually tell that with a quick glance (if you saw a champion with crushing stone, searing flame and devouring shadow it's a safe bet that they're going to focus on using formula to smash your face in, while a champion with astral essence, natural balance and brilliant dawn is likely to be more focused on buffing themselves).

Making these things easy to figure out isn't just a matter of elegance. The shear volume of content this sort of project contains means it's already hard to convince a random DM to look at it. Anything that makes it harder to judge just compounds that problem and makes it easier for a DM to either ban the homebrew or dismiss a player's app.




More nitpicky stuff:

Icon Lists:
In the individual formula lists, you should probably mark what kind of formula each formula is (buff, burst or counter) and if it has an associated ritual in the summary section. This will make it much easier to choose formula or eyeball the capabilities of an icon. You should also explain what the superscript A means in each of the icon threads. It's fairly easy to figure out by looking at the techniques, but making it explicit would still be better, especially for people looking at the system for the first time.

Also, given the differences between fundamentals and normal techniques, it might be worth separating their descriptions and giving fundamentals their own section in the rules thread.

Channeling vs Casting:
I would recommend moving channeling from the technique ability to it's own ability. As things stand, it's a bit confusing and making new people read the minutiae of another thread to figure out how a basic ability works is not particularly nice (especially for DMs). Additionally, the wording for channeling's explanation is a bit wordy and hard to understand. You might want to look to the Spellshape Champoin's, Spellshot Marksman's or Anchorite's channling (or strike in the case of the anchorite) abilities for ideas on how to word it better.

If you do decide to change this, you might want to also take the opportunity to better differentiate casting and channeling and  mamono and meister channeling. As things stand, they're all too similar, though the similarities between channeling and casting are probably the bigger issue.


On a Slightly Different Note:
I felt it was also worth mentioning that the ala cart style of the classes tends to make their fixed abilities seem like they come out of nowhere, especially their capstones (a number of which seem like they would be better suited as lower level abilities).



A fundamental tangent:

This is a bit off topic from what I was saying earlier, but as I was writing this post I noticed that the name 'fundamental' doesn't really describe what fundamentals are and that rectifying this might be a way to add some flavor or new mechanics for class abilities to hook into. Given what's generally being discussed, I figured it would be worth it to add my thoughts on the matter to this post.

For starters, merriam-webster defines fundamental as:
  • serving as a basis supporting existence or determining essential structure or function
  • of or relating to essential structure, function, or facts : radical <fundamental change>; also : of or dealing with general principles rather than practical application
  • belonging to one's innate or ingrained characteristics

Your fundamentals don't really do any of those things. Instead, they tend to be harder to use, more complex and more limited than the other techniques in an icon; they also tend to be fairly standalone. In and of itself this isn't really a problem, most people probably won't even notice it, but there are ways we could use this discrepancy to make things more interesting.

One way of doing this would be to completely separate them from techniques and instead make them based on the number of techniques you have in a given icon. There are A LOT of ways you could tweak that, depending on where you wanted to go with it. Off the top of my head: you could make acquiring fundamentals automatic based on how many techniques you have in an icon or you could make the number of fundamentals you have a function of level with the number of techniques determining which you can choose from; you could have the player choose their fundamentals from a large pool (like you do now) or you could have the order be strictly determined with the player only having one or two options at any given stage.

One of the big things this does is let you have a general idea of what a character is focused on and (depending on what route you take) a more fine grained minimum level. This lets you better fine tune what each fundamental does and what a player is liable to want out of it. The other big thing it does is give you an excuse to make them less universal. You could make some that are passive buffs for an icon, others that introduce and work off of charge mechanics based on how many times a certain type of technique has been used and still others that are standard abilities. Regardless of what they do, there would be no reason to specify that they all be used x number of times per day at level y. This is important because, right now, it can lead to somewhat silly results. For example, being able to use a fundamental 3 times a day vs at will means very different things for Storage Crystal, Technician's Flare and Hop Through Amala. The first one will probably only be used once period, using the second one at will becomes perfectly reasonable very quickly (if not immediately) and the third is very good and worth limiting even at mid to upper levels.

This isn't the only way to change things up, it's just a suggestion to help get you thinking.


There's a number of other issues I could point out, but it's probably a better idea to fix the main things first and see if any of the smaller problems work themselves out in the process.

Offline chaos_redefined

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Re: Discussion and Suggestion Thread
« Reply #96 on: August 10, 2013, 06:12:27 AM »
Ignore me!  Wrong thread.

Offline Annforest

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Re: Discussion and Suggestion Thread
« Reply #97 on: October 19, 2014, 06:35:51 AM »
Just to voice my appreciation. I just read through all the material and I hope I'll get to use this soon for my next tabletop. It's amazing. :D