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Ashiel's page

RPG Superstar 8 Season Star Voter. 11,789 posts (11,792 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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Klara Meison wrote:
What about in D20 legends? You have mentioned that there would be less of a difference between HD and levels.

We intend to remove HD completely. We're aiming to make monsters of X levels roughly equivalent to NPCs of X levels in terms of power. So if you've got a 10th level succubus, she's roughly equivalent to a 10th level character.

This is to both make it easier for new GMs to build diverse encounters, and also to make it easier to use monstrous creatures as NPCs or PCs, and I plan to have them advance in similar ways.

Also, by removing HD, creatures will not be shoehorned into having particular base statistics based on type. This means you could have beefy fey, or physically weak monstrous humanoids (who had more magical abilities). Essentially, you'll progress monsters along a martial/hybrid/magical path just like PCs are advanced (and you can mix and match to taste).

The big challenge will be explaining where certain abilities fall in the level spectrum, but frankly this needs to be addressed anyway. You shouldn't have to rely on some vague notion of common sense or intuition to know that a CR 3 creature shouldn't be able to steal your soul or cast you into hell. Even WotC dropped the ball with the Monster Manual II having CR 8-9 constructs who had at will mage's disjunction and disintegrate (when disintegrate was save or die instead of damage).

As for familiars and such, I currently plan to have them advance with their masters similar to how they do in normal d20. As to what that advancement or the options around it will fully entail hasn't been determined yet (I've considered making them the more magical equivalent to having an animal companion), but that advancement will assuredly include advancing things like HP, BAB, Saves, Feats, and Ability scores.


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On the subject of The Alexandrian's articles, I've always been a big fan of the Alexandrian, but I also don't agree with everything he says on every subject. For example, I for one actually do think Save or Die spells are fun and have built characters around those types of characters, and have often professed that Save or Die based characters are more about team-play and comboing than your average character because you're relying on your team to set up the shot (through debuff bombing) and you taking it.

For example, blowing a 6th+ level spell on a 5-15% chance that it will do something isn't very smart. It's even less smart when your opponent is outright immune to it or will bounce it back at you. So if I wanted to finger of death someone or cast flesh to stone and make it stick, in a timely fashion, you pull out a combo.

One member dispels (could be a cleric or another arcane caster) wards and stuff that would block the spell. Your warrior tears apart their saves with things like Intimidate, life-drinker, or class features (like the antipaladin's aura, bestow curse, or witch hexes), and then you get your SoD caster to drop the ball on them. With the defenses removed and sufficient penalties applied to their saves, you've gone from a near-certain wasted spell to "That guy is dead this round, even if he had 1 million Hp".

Of course, there are counter measures to this because there's a lot of abilities that characters can use to raise their saves too. For example, spells like greater heroism make a good counter to save bombing, and a decently built Paladin can do the breaststroke through a sea of save-bombing and still emerge on the other side with a 95% chance to save.

However, the binary nature of save or die spells is something that makes them questionable. It makes them dangerous in large quantities just by pure chance, which makes them unbalanced when used by NPCs. For example, if you have a bunch of efreeti who all mimic flesh to stone via wish, even though their CL and save DCs are pretty bad, if you've got a bunch of them using it at once you're pretty likely to simply roll a 1 eventually.

So the change to the way saves and especially save or die effects in my system was born. The system makes it so that spamming a lot of SoD effects vs higher level foes isn't practical, because if you can't overcome their defense significantly enough, you will not one-shot them. This means that team tactics like save-bombing are still viable vs appropriate tiers of play, and you won't even need to save-bomb mooks.

So the Alexandrian's suggestion to have all SoD spells deal Con damage isn't really a direction I'm interested in pursuing. I see the appeal, but I also don't think it's a good fit for all save or dies, or save or suck spells in general (because a spell that completely removes you from the game in some other way, such as a hostile plane shift spell is effectively a save or die in its own right). I mean, if you're fighting and you make a save vs being dead, a save vs being a statue, or a save vs being on the 9th level of hell, or a save vs being turned into the pit fiend's soul gem, the result is more or less the same in the short term.

Especially if you're a class that is an underdog in the balance department (a magic class might just use their next turn to plane shift right back, a fighter is stuck in hell until his friends come save him at some point after the battle, possibly several adventures from now as they have to find out what plane of existence he was hurled to first).


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Okay, in an attempt to try to re-align the conversation.

You mostly lost me with the color thing way back when. Mostly because I don't agree with the basic premise from which everything else seems to be drawn. I do not think that the color-coded groups are representative of any of the gamers I deal with on a regular basis in all but the most loose senses, and even there, it seems to more commonly be a mixture of many of those traits to varying degrees and a number of other traits not mentioned at all.

Because I don't really recognize the basic premise, it makes it difficult to give any credence to the arguments built upon it. This is especially true because it seems to be a struggle to get anything particularly concrete, and the metaphors are often long and in several cases aren't particularly representative (it went from imagining different skin colors to having sex with people, for what basically amounted to "you had to have been there").

For example, I don't really have a problem with asymmetrical design and balance, even if we're not dealing with limited computer programs. Creativity and using things in usual ways is half the focus of my adventuring guidebook. You haven't actually made a case for why it doesn't work or cannot be balanced, aside from trying to suggest that balance is impossible in any situation where player skill and/or creativity is involved.

To that, I must simply say that you seem to be talking about fairies and unicorns. An imagined ideal that doesn't exist and isn't represented by anything in our reality outside of games of pure random chance.

Perhaps we can try to discuss one particular issue at a time. Then when that issue is resolved, move on to a new topic, but not before resolving the previous one. This should, hopefully, keep the posts shorter and the conversation easier to follow.


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Tels wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Tels wrote:
I dunno, I skip all of his posts. He 'wall of texts' worse than you do Ash, but at least your stuff is interesting.
I thought my only text-masonry rival was Tacticslion. XD
Well... to be honest, you and TC 'wall of art' instead of text.

Daawwww... (^///^)


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Tels wrote:
I dunno, I skip all of his posts. He 'wall of texts' worse than you do Ash, but at least your stuff is interesting.

I thought my only text-masonry rival was Tacticslion. XD


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Maybe you're just a lot smarter than I am, Alicorn, and as such I'm just not seeing the deeper picture but...

I don't see the point of most of what you've been writing. I don't really know what you're arguing at this point.


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Klara Meison wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Yeah, it's kinda silly. My point is that McGuyver cleverness falls off a long time before you'd ever need to pull out anything like that "lad". :)
There is no kill like overkill.

Fair 'nuff. :P


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Yeah, it's kinda silly. My point is that McGuyver cleverness falls off a long time before you'd ever need to pull out anything like that "lad". :)


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Klara Meison wrote:
If you were caught by the mafia and told that they were going to cut off a part of your body, but you had a choice of which part, what would you choose?

Hair.


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Klara Meison wrote:

>Really? Uh, okay, I challenge you to kill this lad with a lv 20 commoner. You get PC wealth to help you along and as much creativity as you can muster, mister McGyver.

To make it even "fairer", you can choose the battlefield and get as much preparation time as you would like.

I strongly get the feeling that he wouldn't want to try to use magic items to Mcguyver his way to victory, especially since wealth and magic items are a measure of character power in D&D/Pathfinder.

That said, there comes a point in these games where tricking the monster into walking under a falling chandelier, or getting them to walk into an oven, or rolling a boulder down a mountain onto them just won't cut it anymore. You are eventually dealing with things that cannot be killed outside of things like a specifically aligned weapon or spell (not even holy-water or unholy water will work), and these beings can be wherever they wish to be, or kill you just because you happened to look at them (without requiring actions on their part at all).

Of course I'm talking about normal bestiary monsters. There is, for example, little to nothing that a commoner or even your average rogue can do to deal with something like a succubus effectively (they do not eat or sleep, can be constantly ethereal, can be anywhere on the same plane they wish to be when they wish to be it, and have lots of tricks that make them not play fair).

And one of the issues that I have with this whole thing is that what's good for the goose is good for the gander. There's nothing that any normal person without the aid of class features can do that a succubus cannot do, or cannot outsmart as readily, and probably has more business devising since they generally have more experience and deviousness than most people.


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TheAlicornSage wrote:
(Hey ash, should I be using him or her, or maybe it, to reference you?)

Any of the above is fine.

Quote:

"The best balanced classes in the core rulebook that share the same sorts of roles are Barbarian, Paladin, and Ranger. All of these classes offer different kinds of flexibility and entirely different systems for doing things."

Why should I have to shoehorn myself into one of those classes?

You shouldn't. Which is exactly my point. All of these classes are balanced without being symmetrical. They all function differently than one-another but are very well balanced comparatively. So achieving balance between classes that are supposed to be equivalent doesn't indicate "sameness".

Quote:
What if I want to be a raging beast in combat with dual weapons, but who works for the church tracking down heretics and thus has some minor divine abilities? This concept incorporates aspects of all three but in order to build it I must be at a minimum lvl 3, weaken my total power because multiclassing and weaken even further because some of the abilities are unwanted such as mount, and thus not using them reduces my power even if I am not seeking to be weaker.

Firstly, I'd like to note, that you're demonstrating that thing I was mentioning earlier where those you are identifying as purple and thus unconcerned with the mechanics, such as yourself, are in fact more concerned with the mechanics allowing you to roleplay than not. For example, you seem to imply that you must have certain abilities and/or classes to be a member of a church tracking down heretics (honestly, unless your concept actually requires the mechanic rage or the ability to cast spells, all three classes can work).

Secondly, the mechanical implications you bring up, such as how multiclassing making you weaker, saddling you with lots of abilities that you won't use or want, and preventing you from having level-appropriate things. Which is exactly why I'm designing the class system in D20 Legends to work the way that it does.

As an example, in a very early pre-alpha tabletop session that my brother talked me into running for our friends, we made some characters for the guests and those who already played d20 made some as well, including a good friend of mine who I'll call Mr. J.

Mr. J. isn't particularly great at building characters on his own in 3.x/Pathfinder, a bit to his chagrin. He often has trouble getting the mechanics to meet his ideas. However, he was able to comprehend how to build a character even on rather skeletal instructions and he built his character on his own. Everyone was 8th level (because I felt this was a decent level to really play around with a lot of the new mechanics, as it gave them lots of talent points and such to fiddle with), and his character ended up being a bard/paladin thing with a +6 BAB and 2nd level spells.

Elsewhere in the party, we had a pair of strait-classed rogues (one melee prime, one ranged prime, but both could switch it up), a barbarian, and a sorceress (who also rode around on her dragon-brother because leadership).

Mr. J. had a blast. Despite making his character all by himself using new mechanics he wasn't even familiar with, and with a combination that would have widely a terrible idea in Pathfinder, he found himself a staple and reliable member of the party because of the way the system was designed, ensuring that the abilities he had were appropriate for his level, and ensuring a level of synergy between the options from his different routes.

For example, his character was limited to low-level spells. Many of which required attack rolls (things like flame blade, produce flame, etc). In D20 Legends, having a higher BAB provides extra attacks and bonus damage when making attacks, so his little flame blade and produce flame spells benefited from his martial skill. Next to the rest of his team, be they the sorceress or the martial characters, he was still an extremely qualified member of their team, and quickly became a cornerstone of their tactics.

Quote:
And in this case it isn't a matter of accident or lack of balance, but rather that there is no way to match the concept from start of game nor match it at all without sacrificing balance.

Humorously, even with the really early and ugly material, it would be trivial to do that in d20 legends. Mostly because dual-wielding is just a choice for the most part. Also because you don't even have to have a specific class to have spellcasting abilities.

Quote:
This is what is meant by balance inherently reducing power.

But it's not necessarily true.

Quote:
Classless system don't suffer this effect as greatly, but that is not the same thing as not at all. Anytime you tell me what I can't do, or have to do, for the sake of keeping me in line with other players, you are limiting freedom.

Which is why I said I'm going with a level-based system but changing the way the classes work. By making it level-based, it's much easier on the players and GM to have a good idea of the general ballpark you're in, which makes preparing for games much easier.

It also means that players can focus on things they want to focus on without having to worry about falling far behind on accident, or randomly dying to traps and stuff because they have far too few defenses for the point in the game that they're playing in.

Quote:
Even requiring me to be similar level to everyone else is a limitation.

I disagree here. Because while you could always play a normal person, or insist on playing a character that was much higher in level than others, nothing about the system being inherently balanced makes that less of a thing.

For example, in Pathfinder, the heroic classes are supposed to be balanced with each other. A Fighter and a Ranger are supposed to fit into a party and bring roughly the same amount to the table, but this is clearly not the case.

Nothing about the classes being balanced with each other means that you couldn't be weaker if you chose to be. You could be an NPC-type character, with 3 point buy, the commoner class, whatever. You could insist on going into adventures with them, and you would die the moment the hallway fills with a cloudkill spell, or an invisible dragon sneezed in your general direction. Which is why I said that if you go on grand adventures of the likes that high fantasy heroes are expected to in D&D, you will not be a barmaid for very long. Either you are going to die, or you are going to become something more than a barmaid. A character who might be "professionally" a bar maid, but she's going to learn to be much more than just a barmaid. Because either you adapt or you die.


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Yeah, we need bigger critters but they need to work like bigger critters. For example, that special ability has no effect on things like breaking objects, being grappled or grappling (even though it should probably be able to casually grasp an ogre or something in one hand like a barbie doll), and I'm skeptical about the idea that they can only make AoOs against creatures that are also relatively big (especially when humans have no such limitations for creatures of tiny, diminutive, or fine).

Suffice to say, we'll need to address it but I think our path will be noticeably different. :)


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Mashallah wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
and possibly a seed-based system (where you combine different elements to create spells)
Sort of like Words of Power or Magicka?

Yep. Pretty much.

Quote:
Will D20 Legends include something like ToB or PoW maneuvers?

At some point, definitely. My group are huge fans of ToB/PoW.

It probably won't be part of the core playtest material (at least the first official draft) since it would push the release back significantly (and I'm really, really trying to work on it fast enough that I can get a basic playtest out by the end of this year).

I will say I feel that there will be less of an immediate demand for such a subsystem because of the changes to combat. Since martials aren't married to full-attacks (the biggest ball and chain if there ever ways) and have an option for delivering big bursts of damage in a single major action (a heroic strike) if desired, it'll feel a lot more fantastic to play a martial at mid+ levels.

For example...

If you have a 4th level martial, you'll have two attacks per round that you can make, not counting things like haste or dual-wielding. Now, in d20 legends, before you make any attacks you decide how many attacks you're going to use out of the ones available this round. So if you decide that you're going to use both attacks, you have 2 attacks this round at a -2 penalty (first is free, each extra is a -2 to all attacks). So if you had a +8 bonus to hit, you now have two +6/+6 attacks.

You can then make these attacks at any point during your turn, including before, after, or during movement. So if you want to move 30ft. up to an orc and swing twice, you can do that. If you're dealing with a group of low-HP goblins, you might slash one of them with your first attack, and when he drops, move 30ft. over to another goblin and whack him too.

We've also got an action called a heroic strike, which works much like the Vital Strike line of feats in Pathfinder. It's essentially putting all your eggs into one basket and launching the basket out of a cannon at your foe. This is the go-to technique for mid+ level characters using weapons with terrible reload speeds, like crossbows and firearms. It's heavily centered around multiplying the bonus damage you get from your increased BAB.

So if you have a pirate character, rather than trying to try to come up with some way to full-attack with a pistol that takes five rounds to reload, you'd instead draw a cheap, unremarkable, pistol and make a single attack with boosted damage. Then drop the pistol (it's cheap) and draw another one. Same with crossbows. This is the preferred option for spiper-type characters. It has a lower overall DPR than making all of your attacks (because it doesn't multiply static damage such as from ability modifiers) but it also laughs at damage reduction for the most part (because as it's delivered in one payload, even mundane weapons will punch through the DR most effectively).

Also, combat maneuvers won't require feats to attempt, so martial characters will be able to do lots of fun things right out of the gate. Aratrok has also been working on a system to allow characters to climb on creatures, not so much grappling, but more like grabbing the dragon by the horn and holding on while he's trying to fling you off of him, or scaling a giant shadow of colossus style.

At some point, I also need to come up with some new size categories because colossal isn't particularly colossal. Maybe something like "titanic" or "gigantic" or something, perhaps with a rank with it (such as Titanic I, II, III, etc).


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Anyway, naptime. I got home from a night shift a while ago, so I'm gonna take a nap and try to work on some stuff some more this evening. I'm also helping out with my friends' persistent world and I promised to work on some racial progressions for them, so I'm gonna try to knock that out tonight.


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Mashallah wrote:

I'd imagine the ability to augment all progressing spells into their further versions (Charm Person -> Charm Monster, etc.) would somewhat reduce workload, though.

Speaking of spells, do I understand correctly that all magic traditions (even both Psionic and non-Psionic) will share the same unified spell list with the only difference being how they access it? I kinda love that if that's the case.

Sort of. Arcane/Divine are simply spellcasting now, and there are no class spell lists (though some classes can give themed packages of bonus spells, or in some cases my restrict access to some spells, such as how clerics restrict access to alignment spells in Pathfinder).

I haven't taken the plunge into making it so that spellcasting and psionics share the same abilities though. Those two systems are balanced around being different from one-another and a number of things wouldn't translate very well between them.

I'm going to focus on getting everything ready for playtesting and then we can see where we're at from there.

Klara Maison wrote:
So you don't have any jobs that you can delegate to others related to reworking the system then? A shame.

Not currently. I wouldn't even know where to start delegating things in this case. (^~^);

Kryzbyn wrote:
Betcha the casting is point based. I have a hunch :P

Y'know, the funny thing is, as much as I prefer the psionics system over traditional spellcasting, I also recognize that people really enjoy the traditional spellcasting system for a number of reasons. One of my favorite things about D20-D&D is that there's no wrong way to eat a Reese's. I like that we can have parties of adventurers that have entirely different systems for achieving much the same results, because though they can be pretty closely balanced in their results, people enjoy the different metagames for different reasons.

For example, I have a friend who loves barbarians and psions but a bard is the closest he can stand to getting involved with core magic. Meanwhile, another friend is pretty much core magic all the way and won't even bother to try psionics because she's allergic to the word or something.

Once the basics are done, however, I've got a few other magic systems I want to brew for it as well. Including an incarnum-like chakra magic system, a skill-based magic system (kinda like those seen in the SWd20 games), and possibly a seed-based system (where you combine different elements to create spells), but all of that's in the very distant future and I'm not going to waste time working on those when the core isn't finished yet. (o_o)

EDIT: So I've mostly been happy with just making the traditional spellcasting system more intuitive and easier to learn with less bookkeeping. Also, since I made it so you can choose whether you are spontaneous or prepared regardless of your class, you don't have to dive into the deep in immediately. If you wanted to make a spontaneous conjurer-wizard for example, you could do that, so you don't have to worry about keeping track of how many pages in your spellbook you have left and such until you're more advanced.


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Klara Meison wrote:
On a completely unrelated note, how is the progress on the d20Legends and how can one help to make it faster?

It's a continuing process (and has been a great learning experience) but a slow one. Without trying to sound too dramatic, it's kind of my baby. Aratrok is my go to collaborator when it comes to planning ideas and changes to the system, but pretty much everything that's been written has been done my me as I've had time to do it (despite that, I cannot stress enough how great it's been having Aratrok to challenge, bounce, and discuss ideas with).

Currently, every chapter of the core book is being written in its own file or sub-files and will be properly assembled in time. That is to say, I've got one file dedicated to the Combat chapter of the game, another for Magic, and so forth. These will fit together to form Voltron the manual.

I've been rotating between these sections of the book, mostly as things are being ironed out and added in. For example, in the Combat chapter, I was going through and changed most of the basic combat information such as replacing full attacks, explaining the new heroic strike action, changing saving throws into defenses, revising death & dying (this was mentioned many pages ago), etc. More still needs to be done in the chapter (I still need to cover things like cover/concealment, and tactical movement, mounted combat, and sizes and such).

The rotation serves two purposes. One is to minimize burnout (which is a real threat to creativity), the other is to get key parts of each chapter written down and building up around them. It's also, as kind of an unintended side-effect made editing the chapters easier when something meets a sudden design change (for example, some of the wording in the magic chapter was changed which in turn meant that some of the wording in the combat chapter required changing as well, and it was easier to do since they were in simultaneous development).

I'm currently working on magic-related chapters. The Magic chapter itself is essentially finished. However, the Magic chapter discusses basic things shared by all magical effects and core magic rules that are shared between magic sub-systems (such as concentration checks, targeting rules, duration, range, etc). Now, I'm working on the Spellcasting tradition (essentially what most would know as core D&D magic, the spell-slot system) and spell-like abilities. This sub-chapter explains things like magic schools, the differences between spontaneous and prepared spellcasting, how spellbooks work, the special rules for spell-like abilities, and things that pertain specifically to people who cast spells (such as components and such).

I've also started on spells (dear god, spells), which is where my dream gets kinda nightmarish. Have you ever looked at the number of spells just in the core rulebook? Literally every last one has to have some measure of revision done to it. (o_o);

In many cases, the most tedious and time consuming bits come in the form of simple editing. Lots of stuff from the core PF-d20 system have to be at least a little revised and a lot of stuff has been completely re-written. Making sure to go through and weed out any remnants or references to things that don't exist is a thing.

As to making it go along faster, well...
I could get fired from my day job. I'd have a lot more time to work on it then. :P


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Klara Meison wrote:
Do you think Half-Life 3 will ever be released?

I'm a little skeptical, for a few reasons.

1) I feel like it would be less of an investment for Valve and more just for the fun of it. Valve seems to do quite well profiting off its Steam business platform, and helping to develop popular mod-games into their own games. Valve doesn't have to exist primarily as a producer since being a publisher is working pretty well.

That's not a sure thing. Valve does produce some cool games, albeit slowly. This could be a good thing, since it means Valve can devote more time to improving its quality since the company won't just dive under if they aren't spitting out titles.

2) They might be fearful of trying to live up to the hype. Half-life and Half-life 2 come from a different age in gaming. A lot has changed from then and to provide what would be an appropriate sequel by today's standards may carry with it a greater risk of failure, or make it too expensive to produce at the level of modern quality they're looking for.

I'm hopeful, but seeing the stuff that's produced today, vs produced in yesteryear, and why they are different, I'm not terribly optimistic. For much the same reason we haven't had a good Final Fantasy game since maybe FFX (or earlier, depending on who you ask).

But I think it'd be great if they did. The Half-life series means a lot to people all over the world. I know it would mean a lot to me if Squeenix would get off their asses and make a Final Fantasy game I would want to play again. :P


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Klara Meison wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Klara Meison wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
On a side note, did you by chance notice that I'm adding a "wet" condition? :P
No, but it makes sense. Does it make you vulnerable to being frozen if hit with cold damage?

Yeah, it was mentioned in the create water excerpt I linked earlier.

Wet will make you more resistant to burning, more vulnerable to cold and electricity. It ends the burning condition if you have it, and can protect against a burning condition (so if a fireball or burning hands would set you on fire it instead just dries you off instead), but while wet you'll be more vulnerable to kicker effects from cold & electricity (essentially lowering your resistance against those things), which makes it more likely that you'll get turned into an ice sculpture or suddenly start convulsing in your boots.

You might want to check out Divinity:Original Sin. They had a fair number of similar mechanics.

There will probably be a lot more stuff like that, actually. We've already discussed ideas for mundane items and spells mimicking those items like tar and oil.

In fact, as I type this, a friend of mine said that we should have a spell that spreads tar over the ground like grease, but instead of making it slick it makes it difficult and highly flammable terrain.

But I'm totally cool with including stuff like that as mundane options too. :3


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Tacticslion wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
On a side note, did you by chance notice that I'm adding a "wet" condition? :P

There are... various ways to... take this... *ahem*

That said, I'm curious about your burning condition and how the burning and wet conditions interact in things like (al?)chemical fires or electrical fires.

I've not decided if it'll be worth distinguishing between chemical/electrical fires and normal fires for the purposes of ease of play, but the gist of it is that anything that sets you on fire (be it spells, alchemist fires, or someone whacks you with a torch) can apply the burning condition. The burning condition deals damage over time and is intended to be able to get progressively worse (which can happen very quickly if a quartet of kobolds all decide that you're just dying to be molotov'd).

Wetting someone is a really quick way to fix that. Also, wet doesn't imply mild dampness, it implies being soaked / doused in water. But you can do it with mundane methods too (such as breaking a clay jar of water on somebody, or pouring water over them).


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Klara Meison wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
On a side note, did you by chance notice that I'm adding a "wet" condition? :P
No, but it makes sense. Does it make you vulnerable to being frozen if hit with cold damage?

Yeah, it was mentioned in the create water excerpt I linked earlier.

Wet will make you more resistant to burning, more vulnerable to cold and electricity. It ends the burning condition if you have it, and can protect against a burning condition (so if a fireball or burning hands would set you on fire it instead just dries you off instead), but while wet you'll be more vulnerable to kicker effects from cold & electricity (essentially lowering your resistance against those things), which makes it more likely that you'll get turned into an ice sculpture or suddenly start convulsing in your boots.


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On a side note, did you by chance notice that I'm adding a "wet" condition? :P


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Klara Meison wrote:

> I do believe that you need to be able to participate in the game to have a fun game.

Shouldn't that be "you need to be able to participate in the game to have a game"? I mean, game:an activity that one engages in for amusement, according to the dictionary.

Aye. XD


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TheAlicornSage wrote:

"to participate in the game to have a fun game"

Not actually true. For example, in my last we had one player who shunned the spotlight and always played second fiddle. He wanted to. Why? Because he liked the socializing, and he liked watching, and him playing was more about just being part of the group. He didn't or want to be a hero or do important things, or participate more than a very minimal amount. He would have been to just play the comic relief character that does nothing but get saved by everyone else.

That's essentially a guest NPC. Someone who's not gaining treasure, not gaining experience, and isn't going to be factored into encounters since they aren't there to participate in them. If the game is not the source of their enjoyment, then it's irrelevant either way, because the game's design has 0% influence since their interest is just to sit around with everyone else.

Also, I'm not designing a game for people who aren't interested in playing the game. That'd just be dumb. (o_o)


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TheAlicornSage wrote:
PF doesn't really follow cr properly anyway. At each level, different DCs have different base chances for success. In the design of the game, you have a range of expected values for DCs. So in developing an encounter, you want to be able to predict where in that range the opponents are. That is point of cr, you can quickly see the you're not sending an enemy against the pcs that will not fail any save snd won't be hit by any attack (unless you are going for that).

DCs are a very small part of the battle process. In fact, it's very possible to win a battle without ever really testing against a target number.

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Thus pf's cr thing is not right.

Hm?

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Besides, you get alot of complaints about tpks for some reason.

Who does?


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TheAlicornSage wrote:

"as I've met little to none that fit the descriptions you've laid out thus far."

I am using more extreme examples because that usually makes things clearer. I don't think it is quite working though.

Because it's creating an unrealistic scenario, I think.

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Then again, 95%+ of players I've met are in the orange zone. Very few actually play purple. Rare enough you may have never actually seen even a mostly purple game. In which case it would be much more difficult to really see it.

Of course, I have also studied psychology, so maybe helps my perspective a little, but I first played purple. It was my first group.

Meaning?

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I only ever played in one group after that that was even remotely purple. Everyone else I have ever gamed with has been between orange and just slightly orange.

Still failing to comprehend the definitions here.

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If all you've ever known was white people, then imagining someone who was black would be difficult (and kinda funny to watch. Saw this in basic training. One guy had literally never seen a black person before except on tv. He couldn't stop staring. As he said, it was the weirdest thing for him to see.).

Imagining an albino person wasn't particularly difficult. I did it as a kid. Turned out, I wasn't far off, since I later met an albino person (which while more or less literally a 'white' guy, he wasn't a 'white guy').

I can imagine purple people and blue people too. I bet it'd be really cool to see one in reality, and I might stare in wonder for a bit and say "Wow, I've never seen someone with hair/eyes/skin/whatever shades like that before. It's cool" (since hey, eye-catching hair dye draws my eye pretty well), but it's not like it's even vaguely hard to imagine.

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If you've never seen it, then likely the only difference you can judge is the range of orange you've actually dealt with. Sometimes, things are invisible until we see a contrast.

I've seen RPing without rules. I usually get bored because it either means conflict doesn't occur or there's no way of resolving the conflict unless the conflict's outcome is already predetermined.

I've also seen people that see the rules as being very mallable, and frankly I hate gaming with GMs who are constantly bending or twisting the rules or making stuff up off the top of their heads, because it always shatters my sense of immersion because the world doesn't feel alive or real at all, it feels like a bad dream that keeps changing randomly.


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TheAlicornSage wrote:

"TheAlexandrian wrote:

The problem with concept balance is that it requires you to severely limit either (a) flexibility of character creation; (b) the scope of gameplay; or (c) both.

Wrong. The best balanced classes in the core rulebook"

You misunderstand. What is meant by saying that character options must be limited, aka lack of freedom at character creation, is more along the lines of that fact that you can't have a school marm and a combat god. (and quite honestly, having a school marm be helpful in a combat encounter is just plain wrong on so many levels. I'd consider it broken to have a school marm be even nearly equally viable in physical encounters)

The problem is that the school marm can happen accidentally.

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Basically, the fact that you try to squish aragorn and boromir into pc realm and hobbits into npc realm is limiting character options. The fact that you feel there is even a need for it stems from the very narrow scope of what you consider a fun game.

I disagree. Because I don't think that you have to be strong to have a fun game, but I do believe that you need to be able to participate in the game to have a fun game. And if the group is trying to play a high fantasy game where they go off and do heroic things and fight dragons and demons and such, then you don't want to be the guy who accidentally made a school marm while trying to make a badass.

Narratively, if you do decide to play a mundane character, such as a school marm in Deadlands or a commoner in D&D/Pathfinder, either your character is going to sit out while the rest of the players do heroic stuff, or you're going to die, or you're not going to be a commoner for very long.

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It is just hard for you to see the difference because the difference is not explicitly encoded in the rules. It isn't something overt that can be pointed to. In fact, the difference for all the massive effect it has on games is one of the most subtle concepts I've ever dealt with in any aspect of life.

You're making a lot of claims and assumptions about me, but I haven't seen any evidence to support either. Could you perhaps elaborate more?


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TheAlicornSage wrote:

"The majority of GMs are s+#@ GMs."

I agree. But gms don't get better by taking it easy or being lazy. Frankly, I'd write a book on better gm if I thought I could write it well enough, but good writing lies outside the purview of us autistics.

If you want better gms, you need to A, give them guidence, and B, push them to their limits.

Given that one of my favorite collaborators is autistic and I tend to like the stuff he writes, I'm gonna have to disagree with that one too. (^~^)


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Klara Meison wrote:
You'd think that every part of the summon dissapears, including the blood the vampire drank, and that is now doing...something inside their body.

Magic is weird. :P

I mean, if you summon a venomous viper and it poisons someone, and then you kill the viper, the poison doesn't vanish either. I guess it works a lot like create water in that sense.


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Klara Meison wrote:
What happens if someone casts Mount, cuts off the legs of the horse, makes a stew out of them and eats it? Do they die from transfiguraiton sickness when the spell wears off?

I'd strongly suspect cutting the legs off the horse would reduce it to less than 0 HP and cause it to vanish since it's a summoned creature... >_>

That said, there's nothing that I know of that makes eating summoned creatures somehow poisonous, or even anything that suggests you couldn't game some sort of nourishment from them. I mean, a vampire who drinks blood from a summoned creature is still fed even if the creature later vanishes.

Also, holy fack, I just realized vampires should just eat summoned monsters. o_o


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Also, with no intended hostility to the majority of GMs in the world, I must say with all honesty...

The majority of GMs are s*~@ GMs.

They're probably great people but they're s~@@ GMs. Because you have to grow out of being a s!&$ GM. Relying on a GM to ad-hoc and fix issues in a ruleset is relying on GMs to not be s#~# GMs. More often than not, when your average GM tries to "fix" something, they break the game horribly. Most haven't the foggiest notion about real balance or what the classes are capable of doing. They probably think Fighter and Rogue are OP because they beat up their owlbears a lot.

Minimizing rule 0 means having a better game. Because most GMs are s~%+. I was s~@$. Some days, I'm probably still a little s#&*. I'd rather leave rule 0 for solving really random corner cases, not for making the game function in normal play.


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TheAlicornSage wrote:
Because for many there is a desire for a more gamist sort play, something more like chess or checkers. They want something where the gamefield is level, so they can win through through better strategy, better intellect, or smarter character creation. That is why is has become common for most encounters to be equal lvl. Originally, it was expected that encounters would vary in difficulty, expected that mid lvl players would spend most of their combats fighting low level mooks. But orange is the popular way to play, and orange likes balanced.

Actually, unless you're stepping outside the expectations of the system, you're not going to get a balanced fight. I discussed this in this post. Here's an excerpt.

I wrote:

Why Pathfinder isn't Fair - OR - Why CR Favors PCs: One of the reasons that the game is slanted in the PC's favor in terms of building encounters is that even "fair" encounters will typically lead to a very short campaign. Now, when I say "fair", I mean more or less equal with everyone playing by the same rules. However, that's not how it works in Pathfinder.

Pathfinder defines an average encounter as a party of 4 PCs vs a CR equal to the average party level (take note). It defines an epic encounter as Average Party Level +3 with the warning that it's very likely that one or more PCs will die and it can turn into a TPK with a little bad luck. The thing is, none of that is fair. It's all slanted in the favor of the PCs. To see this, we just have to look at the party's challenge rating and it becomes clear.

A heroic classed character with PC WBL (e.g. player characters) has a CR equal to their level. So a 5th level wizard w/ PC WBL is CR 5. Two CR 5 creatures equate to a CR 7 encounter. Four of them equate to a CR 9 encounter. This means even in an "epic encounter" where the CR of the enemies is APL(5)+3, the encounter is CR 8 or still 1 CR lower than the CR of the collective PCs. That doesn't seem fair, right? :o

Well, to understand why this is, we need to understand why fair fights are bad for the game. In a fair fight, you've probably got roughly a 50% chance for it to go either way. With a 50% chance to lose the fight, unless there is some sort of mechanic in place to allow easy escapes when things turn bad, roughly every other encounter is going to require PCs to re-roll characters or even an entirely new party. It would take 5 encounters to gain 1 level in a "fair" fight but you're statistically likely to never make it past 4, and you absolutely must rest between fights.

Also, for the record, a lot of these color descriptions sound like you're talking about unicorns and fairies, or the most extreme examples of players possible, as I've met little to none that fit the descriptions you've laid out thus far.


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Klara Maison wrote:
Ashiel is a creative person herself and has a fair number of creative friends, each of whom is able and willing to try and make the system break. They also have an arbitrary amount of time before the final release to try their hand at it. I would be very surprised if any obvious exploits would be left within the rules by the end of it, like drowning someone by making water appear in their lungs with Create Water.

Funny you mention this, for two reasons.

I'm super looking forward to people trying to run my system through a grinder. Aratrok and I, already try to figure out great ways to break and bend stuff as it's being written, then sometimes that leads to more tweaking until it's patched. The big work will come during the playtests, and we want them to try to shatter this thing.

The second is the create water thing. See, an old friend of mine tried similar things all the time. In fact, he suggested that you could use a druid spell that allowed you to control a piece of wood to hit someone with a marred club, give them a splinter, and then instant-kill them by casting that spell and moving the splinter into their brain through their bloodstream and giving them a stroke.

But, of course, the mechanics of the game make that impossible. Because even if the club did lodge a splinter into somebody, they lack line of effect to the splinter (because it's inside somebody) and thus couldn't do that.


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TheAlicornSage wrote:

First, I'll put this here as it pertains to this discusdion and is written far better than I could hope to write,

http://www.thealexandrian.net/creations/misc/balance-types.html

The short version is simply, "I disagree".

The long version is...

TheAlexandrian wrote:
The problem with concept balance is that it requires you to severely limit either (a) flexibility of character creation; (b) the scope of gameplay; or (c) both.

Wrong. The best balanced classes in the core rulebook that share the same sorts of roles are Barbarian, Paladin, and Ranger. All of these classes offer different kinds of flexibility and entirely different systems for doing things.

Playing a Barbarian, Paladin, and/or Ranger is noticeably different from one-another, especially at higher levels. However, each of them is able to contribute pretty equivalently to being martial characters and supporting in their own ways. They each excel at different things, but they are very balanced between each other.

Interestingly, these classes are in fact infinitely more flexible in character creation and scope of gameplay than the classes that are generally seen as weak and imbalanced like Fighter, Rogue, and Monk.

So based on my observations, I simply disagree with the premise.

Further...

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A simple example of this is the difference between a campaign focusing on lots of melee fighting in the tightly confined quarters of a typical dungeon (favoring Conan) and a campaign focusing on lots of ranged fighting in the wilderness (favoring Robin Hood). A more complex example of this was the subject of my essay "Death of the Wandering Monster" -- certain types of campaigns allow the spotlight balance between fighters and wizards to skew one way or the other.

Is an expression of why well designed mechanical systems are good. Looking again at the Paladin, Barbarian, and Ranger, none of them are wholly reliant upon a given method of combat. They can specialize, sure, but they don't simply fold when they aren't in their best element (like a Fighter folds if they've invested 9/10ths of their feats into archery and someone casts fickle winds), they are provided a good range of options to get creative with.

That is a direct result of them being better designed from a mechanical standpoint. They are designed from the ground up to be good at adventuring (or it happened accidentally through an evolution of tweaking weak spots, either way the result is more or less the same).

I otherwise agree with the issues of spotlight balance and natural balance and pretty much think they can die in a fire. D20 Legends is being designed around the idea that your level means something. Assuming that you are level X, you are going to be roughly equivalent to another level X. This doesn't mean that you'll do the same things but you'll pull your weight in your own ways.


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Assymetry. :)


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Klara Meison wrote:
In your games familiars can get feats?

Yes. Because they are an effect related to HD.

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Can they get item crafting feats? What about Leadership?

If they can get a caster level (there are a few ways to do this, with the basic method being taking the Extra Traits feat and picking up something like Alluring which gives a CL that scales with your HD). Leadership is also possible, though it's only been joked about at our tables. I don't ban Leadership, yet very rarely does anyone take it. It's weird actually, 'cause you'd think it's one of those things that every powergamer would want but the last time anyone in our group was so much as thinking of taking it was our party's Paladin because he wanted to make one NPC his official waifu squire.


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Mashallah wrote:

Would you rule Psicrystals in Pathfinder gain feats with master levels or not? The wording in DSP Psionics supplements looks a bit ambiguous to me:

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For the purpose of effects related to number of Hit Dice, use the master’s total level in psionic classes.

The 3.5e wording was much clearer and definitely in favour of Psicrystals having feats:

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Its Hit Dice are equal to its master’s Hit Dice (counting only levels in psion or wilder)

Yes, because feat acquisition is an effect related to number of hit dice. Specifically, you cannot have 3 HD and not have 2 feats, because having 2 feats is directly tied to having 3 HD. Thus if you have 3 HD for effects relating to HD, you now have 2 feats, because gaining feats is an effect related to HD. There is no way to extricate feat acquisition as an effect of having more HD.

Same with familiars.

If they didn't intend for this, they shoulda wrote it better. If it were intended to only be in concern to spells and such that targeted based on HD, then simply saying "Spells and abilities treat the familiar or psicrystal's hit dice as X".

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Also, subquestion:

If Psicrystals make it to D20 Legends, which of the two options (featless or feated) is more likely to be implemented there?

Feats.


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Klara Meison wrote:

Which animal is your favourite?

...
What if we narrowed it down even more-what is your favourite bird, reptile, mammal and an arthropod?

I've never picked a favorite animal of any type before. Always seemed like too many great animals to choose from. However, in the attempt to give an answer... :D

Bird: Owls.
Mammals: Humans.
Reptiles: Snakes.
Arthropod: The Mantis.


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I see. :o

I was basing them off how crossbows in D&D/Pathfinder work. In the core rulebook, light crossbows have an 80 ft. range (vs 60 ft. for shortbows) and heavy crossbows have a 120 ft. range (vs 100 ft. for longbows).

That equipment file is in dire need of some revisions though. It's old, ugly, and merely a prototype. EDIT: Also grossly incomplete.

Which is actually one of the reasons I haven't been posting much of anything concrete (save for a few screenshots here and there) for people to play around with. I'd much rather get everything neat and tidy before handing it out for viewing, because I feel it would only muddy the waters since so much stuff is subject to change. >_>


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TheAlicornSage wrote:
Then I mentioned how having a gimp and a god together is less of a mechanics issue and more in need of getting the group on the same page and that the gm should handle minor tweaking between players.

Except it's entirely possible for everyone to be aiming at the same page and end up with the god and the gimp on accident. It's called the core rulebook. Literally three of the classes in it are absolute garbage while the rest play more or less nice with each other.

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I recommended not bothering to call it a d20 mod because with how heavily things are changed it really won't be d20 anymore.

How far do you have to go to no longer be d20?

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I commented on martial caster disparity and how the intended system waa meant to be balanced, and why, and gave a recommendation to start from scratch to eliminate 15 minute workday and the martial caster disparity.

When you say "start from scratch", could you give an example?

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All with a focus on orange style play.

But...but I want to focus on turd-style gameplay. (T_T)

Maybe that could be an alternate name for the RPG system, since "D20" wouldn't be cool.

T.U.R.D.: Tastelessly Undermining Roleplaying Dogma
1st EDITION


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Trying to catch up after work. (o_o)

TheAlicornSage wrote:

"People have to be awesome due to being inherently awesome."

First, some like situational awesome, rather than character awesome.

In D20, the two are very rarely much different. Because what your character can do in any situation is based on...what they can do, in that situation.

In things like D&D/Pathfinder/high-fantasy games, awesome is the reason that people are playing the game. You are going out and doing heroic fantasy things. If you can't do heroic fantasy things, then there is a problem. Same for other sorts of fantastic RPGs such as Star Wars. Or much of anything else. Characters having the ability to do awesome things directly leads to awesome situations.

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Second, everyone has different ideas of awesome. Given the right gm, playing a school marm can be awesome even without any capacity to help in epic barfights.

Let me put it another way. Say we're going to play a D&D-style adventure. It involves...wait for it...adventuring. Adventuring in a fantasy land involves things. Surviving things. Overcoming obstacles. Meeting challenges. And so forth. There is a reason the barmaid doesn't go on adventures. If she did, she wouldn't be a barmaid for very long.

Nobody wants to wait half an hour so the schoolmarm can roleplay teaching her students in class, or watching the barmaid player wait tables. In the same way the barmaid doesn't want to watch all the rest of the players for the rest of the game while they're doing adventuring stuff and she sits around doing nothing.

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Third, you don't need awesome characters at all to have fun. The sims are fun to play despite lacking any awesome factor at all. This may be rp, but awesome is not a requirement for fun for all people. It is a matter of preference. This ties back to understanding your playstyle. Orange likes awesome big time, but purple can enjoy the game with or without awesome.

But we're literally talking about high level characters doing high level things. Being able to do high level character things doesn't hinder RP at all. But NOT being able to do those things hinders gameplay tons.

Given that this was discussing the pros and cons of a skill unlock system for high level characters and the awesome things they can do, I don't really see what your point is. I think you'll need to re-explain it to me from a different angle.

Because being a high level by its nature implies that you are supposed to be awesome. Because you are supposed to be on par with beings that are pure awesomeness. o_o


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Lumipon wrote:

Anyhoo, I've an actual question for Ashiel, too. Pertaining to a classic problem in DMing;

When the rules do fail (and they will fail eventually), how do you handle these conflicts as they appear on the table? Do you roll a die, take a vote or something similar?

Typically, if the rules do fail to cover something, I'll generally do the following.

1) Explain that it isn't covered in the rules.
2) Quickly try to ad-hoc an idea for how to handle it in the moment if we're trying to press on (such as in combat), using existing mechanics as a benchmark if at all possible.
3) Open discussion about it (when no-one is in a hurry, typically between sessions) and come up with a solution to use going forward (which is often the birth of a new house rule).

When presenting an ad-hoc idea in the moment, I'll usually ask everyone if they're okay with the ruling, and if not, why, and try to come up with a general consensus. If the ruling would result in someone's PC dying or something, I'll usually be more lenient and create or revise the rules later.

Sometimes, especially when deciding on a final ruling for future cases where it comes up, you also have to harden your heart a bit and do what is most balanced (Ms. Raital Latral is often veeery allergic to anything that she may remotely perceive as a 'nerf' to anything she is interested in, and I have to admit that after a while, her shrill cries are kind of amusing to me :P).

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Also, should rulebooks provide tips and tricks for new GMs on how to solve conflict situations quickly and easily? We see a lot of DM guides and rulebooks focusing on the creative processes, but very rarely examples of the usual problems and how to deal with them.

Oh definitely. I really want to try to improve the approachability of the game over previous incarnations, discussing good ways of resolving issues when they come up; suggestions for how to create your own house rules and mods (without the system imploding); and most importantly, how to get the most out of the system (such as having sidebars in the combat chapter that explain how to play the game better, such as when is a good idea to use certain actions, or why it's helpful to do things like dive behind cover, etc).

Honestly though, the best advice I could give is communicate with your group and players. Nobody is always right (players or GM) and listening and discussing things helps everyone get where they want to be faster.


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Sits down having just got home from work and will be here for a few hours before going to bed and doing it again.
Okay, back! Thanks, everyone, for the interest and support. :)

Also, I appreciate the excitement, but let's everyone in the thread be nice to everyone in the thread. (^-^);

Trogdar wrote:
A game with a strong narrative focus is not negatively impacted by a tighter mechanical rule set. There is no correlation to be made here. I also fail to see why this school marm thing keeps coming up. If someone is dead set on making a dud character, then just get them to use an npc class that suits them.

Well, I think the issue is that in D&D/Pathfinder, you might be set on making a gunslinger but end up with the school marm. I think that's where some of the issues are coming in.

So, even though I'm a turd-color character so my views on this whole purple vs orange thing is probably a little screwy, here's my best shot at explaining what I mean by that.

Theoretically, the purple guy isn't going to be super hung up on the mechanical things like names and abilities, and it wouldn't really matter to them if a rogue was made of fail or made of awesome as long as they can be some guy who is a sneaky scoundrel.

Theoretically, the orange guy is going to want...well, I don't really understand the orange thing since as described this would just be wanting the rogue for whatever the rogue has good for it and wanting to play the rogue in a sort of tabletop minis game or somesuch.

I say theoretically, because this is not what I actually see displayed in the groups I'm a part of (but then, they may be made up of a lot of turd-colored players like myself). What I actually tend to see "in the wild" is the people who fit the purple side of things often seem to place more emphasis on the mechanics (such as naming conventions, the names of skills, and so forth), so they pick Rogue because "I want to be a sneaky scoundrel" and they cannot wrap their heads around the idea that you don't have to married to mechanics because they say "rogue" on the label.

Contrastingly, the more "orange" people I see get upset because the label lied to them because they wanted to make a sneaky scoundrel that does everything that the label says, but what they got was a bait and switch. Afterwards, they come into conflict with the purple players because the purple player has in an attempt to play a gunslinger, played a school marm, and the two start arguing over whether or not you can play a gunslinger even if it says "Cowpoke" on the label.

If this is too far off, my apologies, because this is just one person from tursdville's perspective on it. :)

In any case, I see this as a problem. People should be able to trust the labels on their mechanics. If it says "I'm a highly mobile master of unarmed combat" and what they get is "I have to stand still and punch a lot and fight worse than other martial classes who've picked up the Improved Unarmed Strike feat", well...that's an issue.

In turdsville, the mechanics support the narrative. They're like the laws of the universe. Physics, if you will. A good system helps to construct a good story and produces a world that you can really sink your teeth into because it is consistent, which improves your suspension of disbelief. You have a good idea of what you can do and when you can do it, which encourages exploration.

For example, if you've got a +10 climb modifier and you know how hard it is to climb a tree, it's much more likely that you simply declare "I climb to the top of the tree and try to see where we are", because you could climb a tree last time, and you should expect to next time, assuming nothing has changed (barring things like wet branches).

And in turdsville, the narrative supports the mechanics. Rather than just having a bunch of abilities that aren't fluffed at all and just adding your own fluff to them, they do have a little of the fluff married to the rules, but this marriage is to improve the verisimilitude of the story.

For example, in D20 Legends, magical abilities are magical abilities. While they may have different traditions (spellcasting, psionics, SLAs, PLAs, Supernatural abilities, etc), they're all magical. Because they are all magical, they all share certain rules (like they don't work if someone's created an antimagic field). So if your plan was to claim that your burning hands spell is actually just a clever party trick using fireworks or otherwise describe it as a purely mundane thing, well, you'll need to decide why it doesn't work where magic doesn't work. So there's a limit to how much refluffing you can do, because no matter what, it's still magic.

However, beyond that, fluff away. If you want your burning hands spell to look like blackened hellfire, or actually be you spewing hundreds of little spider-like fire elementals out in a wave from your mouth, go for it. Ham it up. Add some panache to it. :D


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Klara Meison wrote:
Mashallah wrote:
I guess you're right.
Nothing stops you from doing all the work yourself, if you really want something of the sort.

Well, I'm trying to build d20 legends to be highly customizeable. I'll probably release a pdf with it that explains the design decisions and concepts behind the mechanics, why we went with what we did in different places, and including other ideas that we had, and ideas for tweaking it in different ways for different purposes (such as if you want to play a gritty low-fantasy game, remove magic entirely, stuff like that).


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For anyone curious about the spellbook thing.

Build your own books.

Adamantine's price is a placeholder. We haven't decided how much adamantine is going to be worth per pound but we're going to. We're also going to include adamantine, mithral, and other core exotic materials as trade goods but that's a bit off from right now.

We'll include some default spellbooks in the equipment chapter, with their individual descriptions. For example, a standard spellbook with 100 pages with a leather/hide/parchment binding would cost 10 gp, have 12 Hp, hardness 2, and weigh 4 lbs.

I'm also setting the market value of a spellbook w/spells in it to equal the cost of the spellbook plus twice the cost of scribing the spells into the book yourself, which will happily normalize the value of said books, which will make copying, selling, buying, and trading spell books easier to deal with.


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It's true that I'm trying to reduce a lot of the rules complexity without losing a lot of its richness. When I say I want to reduce "complexity", I'm specifically talking about...

1) Rules scattered all over the place in the manuals. I want to try to keep rules more or less self-contained when possible, or point you directly to the place you need to go. For example, you shouldn't have to stumble across critical rules such as "you cannot use Stealth when in an area of bright light" in the Environmental Chapter and not in the Stealth skill description (this is actually a thing in Pathfinder, go check the Environment chapter of the official PRD and you'll find a thing where it explains you can't use Stealth in bright light but it makes no mention of that in the Stealth skill, saying only that you can Stealth if you have cover or concealment).

2) Things that add lots of extra stuff to keep track of but doesn't add much to the game itself (I fear most synergy systems might fall into this part, so I might try looking into actually including functions of certain skills in the descriptions of others, such as noting things like "You can use the Bluff skill along with this to do a thing you couldn't normally" or something like that.

3) Being as clear with rules as possible and then in the case of complex rules providing an example, either in parenthesis if it's a minor explanation, or in a separate sentence of paragraph for major examples, of how that rule actually works in play.

For these reasons, a lot of the legwork for D20 Legends is in fact the re-editing of the standard d20 core (which is why we haven't moved into proper production of classes and such), because so much stuff has to be tweaked, revised, scrapped, re-written, or added anew. I project that it'll probably not be much smaller though since I have a habit of adding new stuff when I gut tons of old stuff.

For example, in the spellcasting tradition chapter, I ended up gutting many paragraphs of text that were no longer relevant or could be said in far fewer sentences. Something that replaced them was an overview of spellbooks, a standard system for determining spellbook cost, hardness, hit points, capacity, and weight, and a chart that shows the effects of getting spellbooks made of or reinforced by different mundane materials (such as hide, wood, stone, iron, mithral, or adamantine) and the effect on the book's cost, hardness, hit points, and weight (most of the mundane things like hide, wood, and stone are cheap to the point that they really only modify the weight of the book, while iron is probably the go-to for a lot of paranoid adventuring sorts).

(Note: Prepared casting is more of a choice and I use the term "wizard" in this post to denote anyone who has opted to use prepared casting rather than spontaneous casting, and "sorcerer" as anyone who opted for spontaneous casting.)

I added new ways to learn spells, including actually witnessing them being cast or having someone instruct you in their usage. This means there isn't a huge issue with having to ensure that there are places that wizards can learn their spells from in the campaign. Even if they are a minority class, they can learn their spells while adventuring, sometimes by even seeing other magical creatures casting spells, or by learning spells from a spontaneous caster.

So like if you want to have a mage's college in your campaign where mages go to learn magic from other mages, like how Tolfdir teaches you basic ward spells in the college quests of Skyrim, that's actually a thing. The rules actually support having more experienced mages giving tutorials, lectures, and mass demonstrations of magic to groups of students (you see other examples of these sorts of things in games like Dragon Age: Origins, such as when you're walking the halls and watching an instructor teaching one or more apprentices how to actually use certain spells effectively, and I feel it's a common enough trope).

I'm also going to re-write spell research so that it's actually functional and can be used to discover spells when nobody is around to learn them from. The costs in money and time will be a little more practical, and I'd like to use Spell Research to allow sorcerers to retrain their spell selections.


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Mashallah wrote:

What do you think about skill synergy?

Not necessarily the way it was implemented in 3.5e, just generally stuff like a character with both Perform(Oratory) and Diplomacy maxed out having a much easier time at convincing a crowd of something than a character with only one of the two.
I think it's a shame Pathfinder doesn't really have mechanics for any of this (except for one particular interaction between bluff and diplomacy).

It's something worth considering. I kind of liked skill synergies in 3.x, albeit they were usually just ways of getting better at things you were already going to be better at, or investing enough ranks to get your synergy bonuses and jumping ship...

At the moment we don't have any plans for a synergy system of any sort, but that might change as we decide how some things are looking in play.


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Kryzbyn wrote:

Back to the subject of racial traits...

I'm also kind of on the fence.
On one hand, I don't want the race to be yet another possible list of poor choices. Choosing the race for a Pathfinder character is the hardest choice for me during character creation.
Currently, there aren't races to fit every character type. It always seems that, especially at first level, the stat mods and sometimes the racial traits themselves (holy crap Elan, survivable much?) are critical for surviving the first few levels (maybe 5) where the characters are most vulnerable to one-shots or other things beyond their control. As somewhat of an optimizer, I want to make sure that I make the best choices for my character concept, to not only aid mechanically, but to help ensure survival. Obviously, a list of playable races that fit every stat or beneficial racial trait would be prohibitively large, so while a gripe, there really is no fix for it, other than to homebrew a race, and beg your DM to allow it. So, alot of times I have to hold my nose and choose a race that fits concept and story the closest, or default to Aasimar again. This isn't cool, and makes the game less fun, for me at least. So, the solution seems to be, jsut have races as "skins" that only have culture and appearance fluff, and have stat mod choices unrelated to race, but to background that a player can make. Cool?

On the other hand, I like there being noticeable, mechanical, differences between the races that back up any fluff the "skin" provides.

What is the solution?

Well, a couple of things that might help part of that problem is that characters are going to be noticeably sturdier at 1st level than in vanilla d20, and save DCs scale a little gentler too (spellcasters are also using a +1/2 level for DCs, which means that they scale at about the same pace as saves), so being an Elan to survive the first few levels wouldn't be a must have to avoid getting one-shot by some dude two-handing a longsword. :P

Aratrok and I were discussing it last night and one of the things that we'd be interested in toying around with would be reducing the flat ability modifiers of races and focus more on features of the races instead. I gotta gotta take a nap (got nightshift tonight so I was up all night so I'd sleep today and re-align my schedule for it) but I'll try to write up some prototypes or something at the first opportunity.


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Klara Meison wrote:

>wench being useless in a bar fight

I don't think Ashiel's point was that any character has to be useful in every situation, and you misunderstood it by a rather large margin. Instead, I think she was saying that in a good system it has to be impossible for some character to end up useless in every situation a party might encounter on an average adventure, or useful only by virtue of others going out of their way to make them useful. People have to be awesome due to being inherently awesome.

>"it's GM's job"

You know, gm's aren't robotic aliens from outer space (Ashiel is still suspect, investigation currently ongoing), and have such human things as limited attention, limited endurance, limited creativity, biases and so on. Making their job easier is a nice thing to do if nothing else, and saying "back in my day, we had to walk to school 50 miles in the snow uphill both ways and we bloody well liked it, and so should you" is kind of assholish if nothing else.

To Ashiel: are you a robotic alien from outer space by any chance?

Given that we're all made of matter that comes from stars, and are technically biological robots...in a really roundabout way? :P

In the more traditional sense, no. Though, I sure feel like one talking to people sometimes. (o_o);


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Lumipon wrote:
I think we just established that good mechanics mitigate causes of conflict instead of starting them :D

Yaaaay! Progress! \(0-0)/


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Lumipon wrote:
What are the practical issues that can happen when players think they can become Diplomancers? I mean, aside from the obvious one.

One of the practical issues I see is that players may be expecting their skills and abilities to do a thing their skills and abilities explicitly say they do, in the context they say they do them in, so when they buy those feats, invest those ranks, craft those items, pick that race, or any combination thereof and when they actually use the ability as it is described it doesn't do anything because of GM fiat.

That's a problem. Now, people can argue until we're all blue in the face about whether or not it's the fault of the player, the GM, or the system, but I'm of the opinion that it's a varying combinations of all three, but it's always the fault of the system that put this thing out for you to use.

This is also the heart of the caster/martial disparity issue. Simply using your spells and such as they are written to be used can leave your fellows twiddling their thumbs or feeling like they're the hobbits next to Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas.

Well...you shouldn't have to not use your abilities to "play nice" with everyone else, and you shouldn't ever expect that your version of "common sense" is going to mesh with somebody else's version of "common sense" to play in a game. Just as I noted before, one guy might think human beings standing in molten magma is too far beyond common sense, but another thinks that's fine, but being so amazingly godlike at influencing people means you can request the brother of the woman you just murdered in front of him to be your friend and be a dear and wash the knife for you since you really need to start wrapping the body up to dispose of it. But for someone else, that might seem plausible because to them, their version of common sense says that that +50 diplomacy modifier represents a sort of social prowess that is godlike and beyond anything that mortals are truly capable of comprehending, akin to a sort of fantastic power of its own.

I'm....not really sure what we're talking about anymore. I think it had something to do with my project, and some colors, and I'm a rainbow-turd, but I've kinda wandered off the trail somewhere. (o_o);

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