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Ashiel's page

RPG Superstar 8 Season Star Voter. 11,716 posts (11,719 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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Tacticslion wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
How will races/racial traits be handled?
Ashiel wrote:
We're still deciding on that, honestly. Mostly, I'm wondering how much of an influence I want races to have on the overall condition of your character. There are pros and cons for making it more impactful vs more aesthetic.
Kryzbyn wrote:

So you don't think races will/should have any mechanical benefit?

That's interesting...

I don't think that's what he said, though I can see how that could be a take-away.

From my readings, he seemed to be on the fence about a spectrum of possibilities, ranging from one extreme ("more aesthetic") to another ("more impactful") and somewhere in between.

(He could just correct me right quick, though...)

You're correct. We're kinda on the fence about it. I can see pros and cons in both directions. To give a quick summary...

More Mechanical: If we emphasis racial traits to be more impacting to the sort of character you're playing, then it can make races feel noticeably different from one-another in major ways. The old tried and true method has been things like ability scores and passives, but if we make races more "different" it might be in the form of things like special racial perks or abilities.

The downside to this is that you might end up with races that are just the clearly superior choice for certain things, or strongly discourage characters from trying things outside of the usual norms.

Less Mechanical: On the other end, we could end up going with something that was more like a number of modern RPGs (be they MMOs or otherwise) where race is more of an aesthetic or roleplaying choice. This could have the benefit of ensuring that it's not like in Pathfinder where some races are just so much better than others (hail dwarves the master race :P).

The downside to this is that you might end up where races feel really "samey" and so people feel a bit let down that there's not some really big difference between playing an elf vs a dwarf, or somesuch.

Some Ideas: I think I'd like to try experimenting in a few different ways when it's time for playtesting. I'd like to try a few minimalist versions of races, and some that have unique special powers or abilities that make them stand out more, and seeing how people react to them.

For example, I had an idea of giving races scaling benefits that become unlocked as your level rises, so you become a paragon of your race as you advance. So a dwarf might start out with a few slight bonuses to being more sturdy, or an elf more nimble, but by high levels the dwarf can shrug off massive punishment and use himself as a bowling ball, while the elf seems to step between space or move so swiftly that people attack them only to find that they attacked their after-image and the elf is actually behind them. Things that change the way you play your character, regardless of class. I'm not sure how it would be received though, since a lot of people are used to their +2/+2/-2 standards. :P

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Anzyr wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
TheAlicornSage wrote:

Hmm, I have only recently started reading this thread, so I don't know all the goals of this system you are developing, but there do seem to be some aspects that overlap, in which case it might be beneficial to join together, at least for those aspects. For example, handling of technology.

I still will stick with my own d20 mod of course, since I want classless (I hate classes with a burning passion), but it might lead to these other aspects being better in the long run.

So what are all the changes you are going for?

The goals are basically...

Out of curiosity have you looked at Legend for inspiration at all?

I haven't actually. I had never heard of it until someone mentioned it in this thread, but even then, I haven't bothered to look it up. XD

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Klara Meison wrote:

A point about Wyrmspire: "Theocracy", "Technocracy" and others are systems of governance, on the same level as "Monarchy", "Democracy", "Republic" and so on, which makes them a little weird as names for just a part of the governing structure.

It's not terribly jarring, so if you chose the names with the full knowledge of this for thematic reasons or just because they sound cool, it's fine, but just wanted you to know this.

Yep. That's intentional, actually. Wyrmspire lacks a true form of government and instead has two major powers, a college of mages and a powerful religious sect, who share council with one-another to decide courses of action for Wyrmspire, but they often do not see eye to eye.

The magocracy is very libertarian in a lot of its respects, preferring that there be less government control on the lives, moralities, and rights of people in the city (including them), but also has a tendency to be pretty aloof and can seem cold and uncaring towards the little guy. Contrasting them, the theocracy is for most purposes the opposite, preferring government influence in the lives of the people, mostly in an attempt to protect the little guy.

The technocracy which was renamed such after the death of the league's founder isn't actually a political power, but it would like to be. In fact, it would like to be THE political power, to further the dream of the founder's ideal government dream. The technocracy has a very libertarian view in many ways and is also loved by the actual little guys in the city (whom they often provide jobs for). Some rumors suggest that the Technocracy might attempt to stage some sort of a claim for power in the future, especially given some of the directions of their mad science.

The psiocracy is a nickname, one that the psionic cult that bears it isn't particularly fond of. Their actual name is something like "The Brotherhood of Clarity" or somesuch, but a lot of the locals have nicknamed them the psiocracy because their influence on the local culture and connections with the Technocracy reminds them of the other great guilds. As such this 'psiocracy' has more or less accepted it as a misnomer and gotten on with their lives. Their influence is actually less of one of political change but one of spiritual and philosophical. They also happen to be helping the Technocracy achieve a number of great scientific advancements without having to go through the major powers.

For example, if the Technocracy wishes to experiment more with magic and machines, they would traditionally have to enlist the aid of the ruling bodies, as they had to do to create the waterpump system (which funnels create water spells through the city, since Wyrmspire has too few sources of clean water for the citizens it's housing). However, since the psionic folks can replicate magical things (including crafting wondrous items) and are an independent group, the Technocracy has begun sidestepping the need to bother (or include) the ruling powers on their projects (which makes the ruling powers a little nervous).

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Kryzbyn wrote:
How will races/racial traits be handled?

We're still deciding on that, honestly. Mostly, I'm wondering how much of an influence I want races to have on the overall condition of your character. There are pros and cons for making it more impactful vs more aesthetic.

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Klara Maison wrote:
So much for the promise to cut down feat trees with a +4 axe of treecutting. You are just making more of them!

Living long enough to see myself become the villain. :P


> So having 5 levels worth of ranks in Acrobatics might let you do something like walk on water, and even though the DC to do so might not be super high (like maybe 25), you simply cannot do so unless you have invested the proper skill points, even if your modifier is +60.

Wouldn't that interfere with people coming up with new uses for a skill, since now GM would need two numbers(minimal ranks and DC) instead of one (just DC) to come up with an appropriate roll for the situation?

I don't think so. If anything it might make it easier, for this reason:

One of the issues with skills in d20 is that we tend to be stuck in this rut where you're not allowed to do really impressive things with skills because you either need to have really super high DCs to prevent mundane characters from breaking the system, or you keep the upper limits of a skill fairly low. You see this in Pathfinder frequently. You can't do crazy cool stuff like use the Heal skill to sow somebody's arm back on, or make Frankenstein's monster, or raise the dead. Hell, a lot of skills are completely lacking in investment potential the moment you can reliably take-10 and hit DC 15-20.

By setting required ranks in a skill to do progressively more super things, I think it would actually make it easier for groups to homebrew their own uses for skills. For example, if there was a standard for what levels you could replicate certain magical abilities (such as reviving dead people with Heal) then if a player was like, "Hey, what do I need to do to Disguise myself so well that it interferes with scrying?" or "Hey, can I make an Intimidate check to make them run away?", you'll have some examples as to when those types of abilities would be appropriate rather than having to ad-hoc an arbitrary DC number that you have to hit to mimic things like nondetection or fear.

Most importantly, it gives value to skill ranks that aren't there in the base game. Look at the poor rogue. One of their big things is they have 8 base skill ranks / level. But who the hell really cares? When you get right down to it, half the skills in Pathfinder don't really reward you for heavy investment, everyone else is going to pick up the skills that do with their base skills and a headband of intellect, and far more often having things like an elixir of hiding is all you'll need.

It means that mundane characters will be able to become progressively more awesome by virtue of just being more awesome, and creates a way to have certain staples in the game without being chained to a wizard or cleric to allow you to function at high levels. It also means that a wizard can't just drink an elixir and show up the rogue at Acrobatics or whatever, because while the wizard might have a similar skill modifier, the rogue can use that modifier to do things that the wizard has to resort to magic for (like walking on water, or running tumbling across a cloud).


> The real wealth comes in the form of things like powerful soul gems, or the essence of a dead eldritch horror, or whatever.

O, I like that. It might even make mundane crafting better, if you could craft things with it that are useful in lategame by just using special materials. I had some similar thoughts on the subject, actually, see PM.

I'll check it out soonish. :)

The basic idea is that there's been a lot of infinite-money schemes since 3E came out, and to curb this, Paizo tried (and failed) to make such schemes fruitless. Even going so far as to make sure you can no longer wish for wealth (so trying to get a magic lamp to become a rich prince and marry the sultan's daughter is right out).

So we decided that it would be more interesting and effective to create an alternate currency system that occurs at upper mid to high levels, where gold becomes more narrative and these priceless things become the currency of epic heroes. It also kind of lets the grognards be happy too since a lot of people complain that creating magic items doesn't require you to do anything cool (but 2E was terrible in requiring things like Kraken Ink tomake a 1st level scroll).

We'll still be keeping GP values for items, for those who want to sell off unwanted items, or for those who wish to ignore the new currency system in their games in favor of ye olde gold piece, but for the high fantasy core game, there's going to be a pretty easy to understand reason for why you can't go to a metropolis and buy something worth more than 16,000 gp easily.

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And a lot more, actually, come to think of it. I've already make a lot of strides in un-hardcoding a lot of the mechanics and giving more artistic freedom to GMs and players when it comes to things like describing their worlds and characters. I've even just recently created some mechanics for handling spell books (cost, weight, capacity, materials) which opens up new avenues for "spellbooks" that aren't books at all (things like stone tablets, rubics cubes, rune stones, etc).

Weapons and armors are simplified for mechanical benefits. There are not (and will not be) lots of redundant weapons. A sword is a sword is a sword. It just matters the size, tech, and qualities assigned to it.

Same deal with light, medium, and heavy armors. You'll be able to customize them but it doesn't really matter a whole lot in game terms whether you're wearing some medium armor from Japan or a medium armor from Europe. It's a medium armor, mkay? :)

I'm currently planning on splitting magic item creation into a mundane aspect and a magical aspect. Things like Craft will be able to provide a superior weapon or armor (which will improve raw mechanical aspects such as enhancement bonuses) while magic adds special abilities to it (so a legendary smith could forge a +5 sword, and a power enchanter could then make it a +5 flaming sword).

Geeze, so many changes. o_o

I'm going to go to bed so I can get up for work, then come home, and do more work.

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TheAlicornSage wrote:

Hmm, I have only recently started reading this thread, so I don't know all the goals of this system you are developing, but there do seem to be some aspects that overlap, in which case it might be beneficial to join together, at least for those aspects. For example, handling of technology.

I still will stick with my own d20 mod of course, since I want classless (I hate classes with a burning passion), but it might lead to these other aspects being better in the long run.

So what are all the changes you are going for?

The goals are basically...

1) Create an all-in-one d20 system that I can use to run my games, whether I'm running D&D, Star Wars, D20 Modern, or My Little Spacemarine: Slaanesh is Magic.

For example: Having a d20 core that supports everything from stone-age to plasma-blasters and laser swords out of the box. That gives explicit examples of what sort of things are expected at certain levels and adjustments that need to be made if those things are removed. An explanation for what levels mean and how to adjust your game if you're looking for something that's more "gritty realism" instead of heroic fantasy.

2) Reduce caster/martial disparity. This is done in a lot of different ways throughout the system (from buffing martials to nerfing casters in certain areas, to changing how some magic items work, to changing how mundane things work, to changing how some feats and spells work, to changing how combat itself works, etc).

For example: Full attacking got the axe and a new pro/con system for making lots of attacks introduced. Combat is more mobile. Saves scale differently so it's impossible to just target the "weak save" trivially. Spells are weaker vs level appropriate foes so things like flesh to stone can instantly turn a mook into a lawn ornament but a heroic character has some time to react to it as it slowly turns them to stone. Casting spells is harder and being threatened while casting spells is super-bad (it may force you to cast lower level spells or risk losing them, even if you aren't hit). Lots of other stuff.

3) Make skills better. Skills will be harder to get and reward investment more than raw modifier. This will mostly be keyed to how many ranks you have in a skill, which means you'll actually attain new uses and potentials for skills as you gain levels, and simply having a better than normal modifier doesn't provide the superpowers from those skills.

For example: We've discussed making skills have new functions at certain breakpoints of rank investment. So having 5 levels worth of ranks in Acrobatics might let you do something like walk on water, and even though the DC to do so might not be super high (like maybe 25), you simply cannot do so unless you have invested the proper skill points, even if your modifier is +60. Skills are also not tied to Int, and martial characters have more skills / level than mages do.

4) Make the game easier to play. I'm reducing a lot of the minutiae, trying to clean up the rules, axing a lot of the redundant stuff that nobody uses, say more in less, and reduce bookkeeping where possible. Also trying to make it easier to teach new players. Understanding things like your spells, resting/recovering/preparing spells, and things of that nature are easier. Reducing (hopefully eliminating) trap options, and including sidebar examples of when and why to use certain options.

For example: So much stuff has already been gutted from the Combat and Magic chapters and re-written from scratch. The magic chapter alone has had the arcane magical writings section completely re-written, arcane/divine magic isn't a thing anymore (magic in generally just doesn't really like armor, which gives incentive for priestly and clerical sorts to limit themselves to lighter armors if magic is their main focus). Rules are less scattered everywhere. Dealing with prepared casting isn't much more complicated than spontaneous casting.

5) Make the game more fun to play. A big point to this design goal is that you're never a gimp for a % of your career. You can feel like a mage from 1st level, and still feel like a warrior at 20th level.0

For example: Mages begin the game being able to do magey things like drop AoE spells, or actually cast magic each round as a reliable thing (rather than falling back to 1d3 cantrips or crossbows), and martials become superheroes at high levels, capable of running through a horde of mooks and leaving corpses in their wake (a side effect of a huge BAB and changes to how full-attacking works), and running over clouds (a side effect of skill changes), or wrestling dragons to the ground (combat maneuvers aren't limited by things like size, and we're also working on a system that lets you scale large monsters and cling to them while fighting them, so your martial would be able to run up a dragon and grab its horns and ride around on it as it moves).

Mages (casters in general) can still do awesome things. They can even do some more awesome things (we're planning to include blasting spells that do really fun things like raze cities) but major spells are often weaker vs level appropriate foes. So while your 20th level wizard might be able to wave his hand and turn a battalion of soldiers to stone or into chickens or something, doing that to a mighty dragon or a 20th level warrior is probably not happening. This means that you don't run into the issues where Epic Dudebro the Dood ends up a lawn ornament or the family pet because he rolled a 2 on a save.

Spell durations and ranges have been normalized. This means that buff spells are useful at low levels and at high levels, and those spells nobody casts at low levels because they only last 1-2 rounds are good then too. A lot of spells, especially martial-buffing things last a long time, so prepping things like bull's strength is a super cool idea.

6) Magic items are going to be parsed into the usual stuff and the good stuff. The good stuff is basically the junk you can't just go to a metropolis and find and there's a reason for that. You can't just poop it out with gold. This loosely connects to ideas such as the "wish economy concept" but at a certain point, general wealth stops converting to power and you have to use certain special materials like soulgems to create magic items or as special key spell components. These types of items have a GP value (for determining their worth for item creation or spells) but since they are must-haves for making legendary items or using legendary spells, nobody sells that junk and you'd be an idiot to sell it too.

This means that after a certain point, basic material wealth becomes a plot device. Start building kingdoms and s#~+. Outfit an army with +1 weapons. Ask your genie for your own mountain of money. We don't care. The sorts of weapons, armors, and items that you use at high levels aren't traded for in gold pieces. They have to be earned by things other than repeated castings of wall of iron and your friendly neighborhood Efreeti can't poop them out for you.

For example: You might be able to buy basic magic items with gold. A lot of the medium and below stuff. But grabbing a magic lamp, or finding an infinite money scheme just doesn't help you in the long run. The real wealth comes in the form of things like powerful soul gems, or the essence of a dead eldritch horror, or whatever. These high level currencies will be included as part of adventures and WBL, but they're essentially outside of the typical game economy. If you want a +5 sword, or the material component to that gate spell, you'll need to use these exotic currencies to do it. We haven't mapped out what the exotic currencies will be, but we do know that soul gems will be at least one of them.

7) A number of spells are showing up earlier, some later, and some are changing the way they scale.

For example: Some spells like blasting spells are showing up earlier and scaling differently, or have greater benefits when you cast them from higher level slots (kind of like intensify/heighten built in for blasting spells).

The spell Summon Monster no longer comes in I-IX varieties, and it has gobbled up Summon Nature's Ally in the process. Instead, you have one spell that scales with the spell-slot used to cast it and is limited primarily to animals and elementals. Class specializations (for things like conjurers, druids, bloodline sorcerers, etc) expand the list of things that you can summon.

So if you're a druid, you can expand it to summon things like fey, plant monsters, unicorns, and beefy ancient or primordial animals. A conjurer might be able to branch out into conjuring outsiders such as devils, demons, angels, azatas, etc. This generally means that summoning will tend to be more focused, but we can also make it more rewarding in some ways (such as being able to poop out a decently beefy or magical creature at levels where they're still fairly relevant).

We currently intend to revise the caps and limits on spells like Animate Dead, Planar Binding, Simulacrum, and Summon Monster, so that they aren't based on things like HD, and they're more flexible while also being more balanced (our current projection is to allow you to control a certain level worth of monsters, similar to building an encounter of a particular CR using an XP budget). Simulacrum's gonna need to get a biiiiiiig tweak and may end up requiring some of that super-currency we were talking about.

That's...most of it, I guess. General things.

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Klara Meison wrote:
TheAlicornSage wrote:

Hmm, I have only recently started reading this thread, so I don't know all the goals of this system you are developing, but there do seem to be some aspects that overlap, in which case it might be beneficial to join together, at least for those aspects. For example, handling of technology.

I still will stick with my own d20 mod of course, since I want classless (I hate classes with a burning passion), but it might lead to these other aspects being better in the long run.

So what are all the changes you are going for?

In d20 legends classes would work more like meta feat trees than anything else, really, so it will be practically classless as is.

The way I understand it, at least.

That's a pretty good assessment. The idea is that class based systems are usually too restrictive, but classless systems aren't restrictive or more specifically aren't structured enough.

For example, in most classless systems (especially those based around specific point buys), it's entirely possible to have a god of war and a complete gimp in the party at the same time, which might seem cool at first but it's a huge pain in the butt to try to actually design encounters for Marduk the Destroyer with a million HP, the ability to slice mountains in twain, and s+*# dragonfire, and his trusty companion Tim, who speaks three hundred different languages and is really good at chess.

So what we've done is kept the leveling system, which acts as a "I'm this tall to ride" standard (you KNOW that characters will be in a certain range based on their levels) but I removed the classes from that progression and turned them into a sort of "build your own" thing where you purchase classes and their features with a resource (talents).

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Klara Meison wrote:

Pathfinder does an admirable job at providing a ruleset for adventures in a classic fantasy setting-medieval fantasy with dragons and magic. It doesn't really extend all that well into high-tech settings, though.

Will D20 legends have support(in the form of rules, classes, or what else) for settings with a higher level of technology?

Yes. Even if it kills me. D20 Legends is, as I said before, stemming from my efforts to create the d20 system that I want to use to run my games for my players. Over the years, I've enjoyed playing/GMing D&D, D20 Modern, Star Wars, Pathfinder, etc.

I also have a habit of mixing a lot of these things together where I feel it's appropriate. For example, in a Star Wars game I ran years ago, I used ankhegs and advanced ankhegs to create a giant acid-spitting ant-colony type thing on a planet somewhere, which ended up with the PCs battling these monstrous "aliens" with lightsabers and blasters (and when the force-sensitive bounty hunter was grappled in the beast's mighty maw, he shoved a thermal detonator down her throat and hoped for the best as the acid was burning through everything).

Reverse it to a campaign I was running last year for Aratrok, Ms. Raital Latral, and my brother (and a few other friends who cycled around as our schedules fit together), set in my Alvena setting. In that world, the apocalypse technically already happened, and a lot of the magical doodads and crazy constructs like golems and stuff are remnants of a bygone age of technology and knowledge. The dungeon that they were exploring was a "floating city" and is one of many of these fallen cities that now dot the landscape. When you get right down to it, these were essentially space station cities orbiting the planet. Inside them is powerful ancient magic, strange constructs and guardians, and in this one, an infernal presence that was trapped within by the city's anti-planar travel barriers (which existed to prevent magicians in the ancient world from teleporting troops or terrorists into the city, and now made for a fine prison for a marilith who was trapped inside when the city fell).

I absolutely want a d20 system that deals with low and high technology and everything in between. I want a system that could handle running a campaign that is essentially set in a time of great change and new discoveries, or can handle small patches of "mad science" levels of tech (like when you have some crazy alchemist who builds a plasma cannon to mount on his golem, powered by a fire elemental and unicorn piss).

I've even got a few simple theories on how to handle the "balance" of that sort of thing without throwing everything out of whack. That is, tech items will generally be akin to magic items in form and function. For example, the main difference between things like plate armor and futuristic armor will probably be less about AC and more about absorption (to protect against energy attacks, or provide some DR against particular weapon types), which is functionally equivalent to things like resist energy.

This creates a nice "dial" so to speak, because if you're running a campaign that's like Star Wars or something, you just use a higher standard of currency. For example, if in your game, energy weapons and armors that protect against them are commonplace, then your campaign's starting currency might be something like 10,000 "galactic credits" or somesuch, and it just happens that a single "credit" is worth like 1 gp, just the economic scale is different.

It's delightfully simple because the rules can remain the same. Just changing the dial on how much currency is standard solves the problem. Because in a game where things like laser rifles and astrotech armor is as commonplace as bows and full plate, you just might start with 20,000 galactic credits or imperial seals or whatever instead of 200 gp.

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Well, these are hypotheticals. We'd need to run the math and see how it works out in practice, but if there's no penalty for flurry, it'll probably be a single bonus attack similar to being hasted, or it might be attacks that carry a separate penalty (e.g. they don't reduce your other attacks), or we might simply make them a standard source of extra attacks and just let you eat all the penalties usually (in which case you might do something like make a flurrying dual-wielder who's strategy is roll lots of d20s and count the natural 20s).

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Would it be badwrongfun to ask you a potentially spoilerific question about Iron Gods?

Nope, but I've also not really been following the APs lately. I've been so busy working and such that I haven't really had any need or desire to run them, but I don't mind trying to answer any questions if it's something I can answer. :)

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Kryzbyn wrote:
If flurry of blows is a talent, will it be limited to unarmed attacks?

Probably not. I didn't even limit it to monk weapons on my psychic monk (you can flurry with whatever you darn well pleased, you just got bonuses with unarmed strikes/monk weapons).

There's a sort of soft-cap on how many attacks is a good idea though. Each extra attack you make adds a -2 penalty to all your attacks, so if you can make like 6 attacks / round, you can take all of those attacks as you desire, but you're eating a -12 penalty to hit. This can be great if your intent is to slaughter a half-dozen orcs in a round, less so if your plan is to pummel the BBEG.

That said, for special extra attacks (like flurries or haste) I'll probably drop the penalty.

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Kryzbyn wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Good stuff

Cool beans. I'm super happy with this, and would be happy to participate in any testing you all need, or even to bounce ideas off of.

I ain't proud, and require no credit.

Definitely. I feel like I've still got a lot of ground to cover before it's ready for some real playtesting but progress is being made.

It's slow progress though, because it's being produced during my *cough*"free"*cough* time (whatever that is), and there is soooo much editing to do. It's in the nooks and crannies of the various chapters. A lot of text is getting trimmed, some new texts added, mechanics cleaned up or converted as needed, and stuff like that.

To put it into perspective, the Alpha I release of the Pathfinder playtest was on 3/18/08, and with an actual "staff" to work on it, it wasn't out of beta and in final form until GenCon 2009.

So in many ways, I'm proud of how much work I've been doing given how much stuff has to be changed. The big hurdles is less in terms of building classes, abilities, and stuff like that. It's the minutiae that's remarkably important, much of which wasn't addressed or fixed from Pathfinder.

A friend of mine, having been curiously doing some research on 3.x->PF, had this to say to me on Discord.

Rules Rant:
I decided on a whim to compare 3.0 -> 3.5 -> Pathfinder's systems for Cover and Concealment. I am f@$$ing livid.

3.0's system had vagaries (though the value of cover was no more subject to discretion than normal -> improved cover later), but they at least TRIED to address the thing where it's harder to shoot a dude with a crowd around them than with one guy in the way. It also didn't give you f+#*-off huge bonus to Hide if your cover was really good for some reason. Concealment is whatever. Basically the same with more granularity.

3.5 did a few good things. Condensing 3/4 and 9/10 cover into Improved Cover was good- having +7/+3 cover and +10/+4 cover that are nearly identical just adds more modifiers to remember (and +10 AC is even closer for f&!$-off huge). Removing the chance to hit buddies with your attacks was probably good, because comparing your attack to 3 different target numbers when soft cover is in play is f%#$ing crazy. It's hard coded instead of "I dunno, ask your GM if it applies". What they f+#&ed up was not giving you examples for what supply different kinds of cover- 3.0 had a nice table for this, but 3.5 just says "In some cases, cover may provide a greater bonus". The rules for shooting at big creatures are bugged and actually only apply when you're stabbing them, so if Godzilla has a boulder by his foot he's got cover. Also thereis now a f#&@-off huge +10 bonus to Hide checks. Concealment is weird and only Darkvision (not anything like Blindsight) is referred to as doing anything about darkness. Having Concealment and Total Concealment is easier on headspace, but you lose a little variety. Then they toss this out the window by saying "naw, GM makes up whatever concealment numbers are appropriate, have fun with your 17% concealment, b*~+@".(edited)
Pathfinder is literally just a copy paste of 3.5 on this. There are so many little things that could be cleaned up while reducing the amount of text, and they didn't even f@#&ing try. It's embarassing. Also because all they did to integrate stealth was f~%#ing CTRL+F "Hide" and "Move Silently" and replace them with Stealth, the +10, +20, and +40 bonuses to Hide from this s~*$ apply against all other senses now. RAW, having an arrow slit to hide behind makes you harder to detect by sound than hiding behind a solid wall, and that's f~+!ed. The section on Concealment even refers to your Stealth check as if it were Hide ("even though opponents can't see you, they might be able to figure out where you are from other visual or auditory clues").

G~&!~@nit. I'm mad. I had to rant about that. F*#*.

It's stuff like that which will take the longest. Also spells. Dear god, spells. (T-T)

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TheAlicornSage wrote:

Personally, I always disliked the idea of a martial caster where both magic and weapons are used to attack. I always wanted a class where the weapon is used to attack and the spells were in support of attacking with a weapon, such as invisibility, spider climb, enlarge person, etc. But I've never seen a class that really seemed like I wasn't expected to be a blaster with spells as well as sword.

Then again, the magic system of d20 isn't really the best for spellsword characters to begin with.

In that case I would strongly recommend the Bard in Pathfinder. While they don't have enlarge person (that I can recall anyway) they have a delightful set of spells that are incredibly for supporting their martial habits, including (but not limited to) things like heroism, good hope, greater invisibility, mirror image, blur, displacement, haste, glitterdust, see invisibility, dispel magic, dimension door, freedom of movement, greater heroism, etc.

Bards are remarkably good at this, because you don't build them as casters. Minimum casting stats are A-Ok, anything else is bonus spells only. Buff and stomp people. A well played bard is often functional more or less irreverent of their statistics (seriously, +2s across the board is very functional), and can often tank better than front-liners and beat ass like warriors (you have a 3/4 BAB, loads of long-duration spells and performances that stack, and access to the Arcane Strike feat that adds scaling damage).

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Icehawk wrote:

Heh. Gishes were always a weird idea to me in 3.5. I mean, when was the answer use your sword instead of cast a spell? As complicated as it is, I always liked the magus because it was the first to me that made the gish class feel like he wasn't just a wizard who's holding a longsword for some reason. I mean prior too, you were either a martial who wasn;t as good at martialling but had some answers to things, or you were a wizard who decided I want less options. Magus managed to make you not have to pick between solving the problem with a spell, or attacking.

I;m perfectly fine with them not having both in a system where martials will be worth a whole lot more. Though I do hope the hybrid option will at least not return us to the feel like I am choosing between a martial or caster each turn instead of being a unified whole of sorts.

Well, assuming you go full-route, you'll end up like this.

+20 BAB, 5th level casting (or an equivalent)
+15 BAB, 7th level casting (or an equivalent)
+10 BAB, 10th level casting (or an equivalent)

Further, what we know as "caster level" is 3.x/PF is always equal to your level, and your chance to overcome your foe's saves is the same regardless of the level of spell you are casting. As a result, the lesser casters (such as the Pally types and the Bard types) will have a much better time of keeping pace with their abilities, they just have fewer spell abilities than a full-caster and may not reach the highest tiers of spells (8th-10th).

Now, one of the major features of having a high BAB is that it also applies bonus-damage to attacks you make. This includes spells you make attacks with (so things like flame blade, shocking grasp, scorching ray, acid arrow, blah-blah) which can make certain spells really attractive to the martially inclined.

Likewise, many of the better buffing spells will tend to be 5th level and lower (things like divine power, polymorph, bull's strength, etc), which means if you want to be a martial with a splash of support magic, that's definitely an option.

I would like to include some talents on certain classes that allow you to cast spells as part of attacks (such as channeling a spell through a sword or like an arcane archer), or quicken spells when performing certain types of actions (such as physically attacking someone), which would allow for a nice magus feel for those who preferred that route.

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Mashallah wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

If you're a ranged rogue, you might be more of a debuffer, skulking the battlefield and taking pot-shots at people to assist your team with status ailments, or spotting enemies your allies have already given the bleeding condition and directing their attacks.

How likely is there to be a Cunning Strike equivalent without the 30ft hard limit for the more snipery types?

Very. Especially given my brother's overwhelming love of dwarven riflebros and his love of the rogue.

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Kryzbyn wrote:

This is exactly the response I was looking for.

I started to ask a bunch more questions, but I know you're not done and probably can't answer them at the moment. So, to keep them concise:

1) Do you envision every character getting the same talent pool, or will it be limited by BAB choice? Or will BAB be a talent choice as well?

I currently don't have any plans to have class talents require things like BAB or requiring certain levels of spellcasting (unless the talent somehow actually requires it for some reason).

BAB (and spellcasting) is irreverent of class or talents. Instead when you gain levels you progress down one of three routes (Martial, Hybrid, Magical) and you can flip-flop between them (so if you want to advance 10 levels as martial and 10 levels as mage you're going to be functionally identical to a 20 level hybrid).

2) Could some talent choices auto-negate other choices? (like having both full BAB and 9th level casting)

Currently as a design standard, there will be no way that you will be able to completely have your cake and eat it too. Martials are getting revved up and I believe on a fundamental level that you should not be able to do things like in 3.x/Pathfinder where Gishes can casually reach top-level magical superiority while also getting to have all the benefits of being a martial and then some.

There are plans to create some class features that allow special exceptions, such as allowing classes to get certain themed spells in a limited capacity in the same way that bards get irresistible dance despite it traditionally being an 8th level spell, but by the large, BAB or spellcasting are two ends of the same see-saw, and you can't rise on both of them at the same time.

3) Would bonus feat progression be a talent purchase?


4) Are you worried about "core builds" or a list of obvious talent choices for a character type or concept?

Yes! We'll probably include a few sample themed builds (not terribly unlike how certain barbarian archetypes recommend certain rage powers) and we'll also include suggested paths for certain iconic character paths.

And once people are comfortable with the system, they can begin to branch out and try more exotic things if you'd like. In fact, I commented to Aratrok that one of the things I was most looking forward to would be the inevitable forum threads on whatever forum we used as the platform for our game, where actual players were posting their unique mixtures of classes and talents making up their own archetypes out of the options they had.

I'm excited about giving people some LEGOs and see what make of them. :)

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Kryzbyn wrote:

On a d20 legends note...

As you're probably all well aware, I like getting and using ideas from video games, and borrowing them for my table top experiences. Case in point Ash's WoW Warlock and my Dragon Knight both are classes from video games that I thought would be fun to play in a table top game.
With that in mind, how flexible will the class archtypes be to create various concepts?
Case in point...
Playing Age of Conan, they have a class called the "Herald of Xotli", which is a character that's dabbled in demonology a little too far, and has been claimed by Xotli. They are a mage, BUT are mostly a melee class.
They are big on using hellfire (both raw and with weapons), 2 handers, and wear cloth. They get boosts to avoidance, and for a bout 30 seconds (with a 3 minute cooldown) they can take on an "avatar" form, turning into a demon, which raises damage, survive-ability and pulses fire damage to all enemies in melee range.
How easy would this be to recreate?

It's a bit too early for me to be giving specific mechanical routes (I noted a few posts back that aside from some very dirty and loose early drafts there has been little done to develop classes, in favor of getting the core of the system constructed) but I can say a few things on the subject that I think are relevant and will continue to be relevant even in the final product.

1) Because your base statistics such as HP, BAB, Skills, and Spellcasting aren't tied to your class, making a "mage" who exercises his magical wisdom by shoving swords up peoples asses (animal cruelty aside) is a totally valid option. :)

2) Because of the way my multiclassing system is designed, you'll be able to mix and match classes in ways never even dreamed of in d20 outside of the grossest examples of gestalting (think like triple multiclassed gestalt characters or somesuch craziness) except that it'll be at least kinda balanced (I say kinda because, who knows, I may drop the ball or something but the framework's totally legit).

As an example, you've got these things called talents. You get 'em kinda like you get feats, and they're kind of your ability-currency. You trade them for class features. Now you can also buy new classes with them (essentially saying "Okay, I'm a rogue now, check out my cunning strike!" or "Looks like I'm a champion, I got some divine powah!") which in turn allows you to spend future talents on picking up class features of that class.

So like, you'll get about 11 talents over the course of your career. Minor class features (like barbarian rage powers or thins that scale with your level) will usually cost 1-2 talents at most (so you might drop a talent to get a rage power progression that gives you 1 rage power at 2nd, 6th, 10th, 14th, and 18th level; but a second talent dropped improves the progression to 4th, 8th, 12th, and 16th level as well). Other major abilities that add delightful things such as allowing you to perform multiple bardic performances at once as part of the same action may cost an entire talent.

Point is, because all classes and combinations are vying for your talent points, the end result is a 20th level character has the same general value of abilities as another 20th level character. Except one might be the paragon barbarian who's fully invested 100% into Barbarian; you might have the other character being some sort of Mage/Ranger who whisks around on his loyal dire wolf Mr. Scruffles while he tosses fireballs and occasionally lets Mr. Scruffles grow scales and breath fire; or you might have that one guy that has yet to fully explain why he's a priestly paladin-bro who performs interpretive dance magic while fighting with a lightning katana in one hand and a parasol in the other, while and growing a wolf tail out of his ass...but it kind of works for him.

3) I think that, perhaps most importantly, when I'm designing a something for the game, I strongly imagine and envision how it would play out. I kind of project scenarios in my head thinking "How would this be used?", "what would be fun?", "How can this be made interesting to play?", and so forth. Much like games like World of Warcraft, it's not about being a particular role, it's about enjoying filling that role the way you want to fill it. Playing a Restoration Druid is a vastly different style of healer than a Discipline Priest. Being a Warlock is vastly different from being a Mage, even though they are on the surface both DPS/CC specialists wearing light armor and using magic.

When I try to design something, I try to design abilities and features as packages and intend for them to be used together. For example, here's some examples from the very rough and ugly and unfinished and oh my god the embarrassment early class drafts for the rogue.

Cunning Strike; Sinister Strike; Staggering Strike; Blinding Strike; Rending Strike; and Blood Hunter.

Here, you can see where part of the vision for the rogue involves being able to be a terrifying beast in close quarter's combat. They hurt you, a lot. But moreso, they are good at disabling and harassing people if direct damage isn't the best option. But looking at these abilities, the rogue's gameplay "goal" is to get on a target and make it difficult for the target to fight back or escape them. Staggering strike makes it progressively harder to get away from them or chase allies. Blinding strike makes it hard to fight back (in D20 Legends, Dazzled = everything has 20% concealment, which also means the Rogue can Stealth vs you). Rending Strike causes you to start bleeding, ups their critical chances against you, and makes it almost impossible to use misdirection to fool the rogue (he'll find you and gut you, even if you're invisible or have mirror image or displacement spells active).

The element is get on that guy and make is life miserable. Flank when you can. Fight dirty. You have a specialized role, now milk it like only you can.

If you're a ranged rogue, you might be more of a debuffer, skulking the battlefield and taking pot-shots at people to assist your team with status ailments, or spotting enemies your allies have already given the bleeding condition and directing their attacks.

Lots more needs to be added but I hope this gives an idea as to the sort of mindset that goes on when I'm designing stuff. I don't just make a stand-alone ability, I make a series of abilities intended to be usable with each other towards a common goal or theme, and then let players do with them as they please. Sometimes you might make a hybrid. I know a friend of mine made an assassin lady who fights with a pair of sewing scissors, a parasol, and throws knitting needles.

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Sure go for it.

As a note, a lot of vampires in this that I wrote are in fact badguys (there are those that aren't but the evil ones seem to propagate more readily) but a lot of them (particularly the non-ferals) often insinuate themselves into the societies that they are part of and act as a form of secret government or in some cases open government where there's no secret that the local landlord is in fact a powerful vampire.

However, these insinuations are ultimately symbiotic, which is one of the reasons that they can be difficult for some to stamp out. If there is a coven of vampires in the area, you are going to have to deal with their spies and informants (often perfectly living humanoids and/or dhampir passing as humans) who are going to mislead or snitch as to your intentions. You're going to have to deal with the fact that, on some level, some of the villages and their peoples are safer because the vampires and their servants (which often include lycanthropes) are around because they protect the people from things like trolls and/or other beastly sorts that could cause problems (and if your local vampire lord isn't particularly gluttonous, being fed on might not even spell your doom like getting eaten by a troll would).

I feel like I need to clean up some of the Sylvantha stuff (it was written rather hastily and I think I painted a too shiny image of the poor downtrodden monsters at the hands of that nasty oppressive order; or something that sounds like that). In truth, neither is particularly shiny but neither is particularly without its virtues either. There are good, and bad, in both camps (as there usually is in everything and every organization).

So a lot of the things you mentioned in your PM aren't far off from how they frequently operate. They have a way of getting into areas and making themselves just a little too useful to be driven out and purged in many cases.

In fact, one of the PCs that I've got in the campaign is a member of the Chalice line of vampires, which work strange healing magics using manipulations of the magic surrounding vampirism (such as the transference of life forces). Many of their houses actually put down deep roots during the plague and the years following, as their immunity to disease and their willingness to secretly heal the sick they were feeding on means that in some villages, if you're particularly desperate, someone you knew for a long time may take you aside and say something like...

"Look...don't ask how I know this but, if you take little Emma up to the castle at midnight, the countess will meet with you, and she'll save her life in exchange for yours. I didn't say anything," before walking off.

And when the desperate parents heed this strange advice and head to the castle, they are met in the courtyard of the old haunted castle, with the only light being the moon, a torch, and the eerie reflection of a werewolf's eyes in the darkness somewhere. The countess and her kin appear from a cloud of bats.

"Welcome to Castle Devir," she says with a formal nod and an old common accent. "I've been expecting you," she adds.

Terrified, but desperate, the parents plead for the life of their child if there is anything they can do. Fearful, they expect one of them to be taken in the child's place, but they are surprised...

"Then it is settled, your lives for the the child," the countess remarks. Kneeling down to the child, the countess bites down and instead of blood, draws forth the sickness into her like a cloud of black mist, leaving her for the first time in weeks, well.

Returning the daughter to the parents, she wipes her mouth and remarks, "As promised. I trust you will honor your part of the bargain. Some of servants will meet you in three days and better prepare you for the nature of your services. You will speak to no one about this night, save those who would seek us as you have sought us, and we may come to collect our tax from you when we see fit,"

"What tax?" the mother asks confused. The countess simply grasps her with her strong arms, causing the woman to shiver like a rabbit being held by a fox. "The one you already expected to pay," she says biting the woman and drawing blood. She then releases her bite, leaving the woman a little light headed but unharmed. "Consider this your first payment. If you need anything else, don't hesitate to visit again," she says as she and her kin suddenly vanish into a swarm of bats.

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Wouldn't hurt my feelings. :P

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Icehawk wrote:
They seem really neat. I look forward to when the full entries are finished. Though with how insular communities are in Sylvantha and such I'd start worrying about the genepool after awhile :p.

Yeah true that. I might reduce the level of insularity between the towns a bit or I might actually play that genepool thing up a little (maybe a little of both). :P

Sylvantha was written explicitly to allow multiple GMs on their persistent world to run adventures set in the area with whatever towns or villages they wanted to include, without it screwing up anyone else's stuff. If you wanted a town to be wiped out by something, or secretly be made up of body snatchers or something, it would be more or less okay to the grand scheme of things.

I'll play around with it a bit later.

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Ms. Raital Latral wrote:

Once we get the wiki and administrative stuff handled and clean everything up, we'll likely begin to accept applications.

We may end up advertising the game on, but I'm sure when things finish and it becomes open to the public, the first thing Ashiel will do is post the application page here :P

Well, I could do that if you wanted. (0-0)

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Hey, some friends of mine are working on a persistent world campaign that's going to be open in the near-ish future, and I've been asked to help. As a result, I've been writing some stuff for the campaign, so can I get some feedback on a few spots I'm responsible for?

Wyrmspire City and Sylvantha the Darklands.

EDIT: I don't think they're accepting public applications at the moment (I think the forum on the site's mostly dead at the moment). Just thought I should note that. o_o;

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Yep. It's pretty much to keep Paizo safe from people trying to abuse legal actions, but it also opens a new avenue of legal abuse from a different direction, so I think it's better to just leave the potential for abuse out of the equation.

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Klara Meison wrote:

>An idea I'm currently really fond of is in fact making mundanes a sort of super item specialist option. One of the feedback things I've heard on the forums about Fighters and those that like them is they like doing things like collecting gear, using gear, having their magic +5 sword and being the guy that just uses equipment really well

I think I PMed you a similar idea a while back)

Your tinker, right?


>I started it because I wanted something better for my players and I. Looking back, I feel like Paizo's being anchored to 3.5 beast made it catch many of the fleas from it (and even early Pathfinder criticisms were often framed based on how poorly the changes interacted with existing 3.x material).

I am not saying "you should inherit everything from pathfinder", I am saying "making a map from pathfinder/3.5 stuff to d20 legends seems prudent".

Something like "If pathfinder material says %PF class name%, replace it with %d20 class name% with following talents taken. If PF says %feat%, replace it with %talent/feat from d20 legends%." Map that would, roughly, convert rogues into rogues, melee fighters into melee fighters, primary wizard-like casters into primary wizard-like casters, and high-CR creatures into high-CR creatures. That should make conversion less painful and GM-fiat intensive.

It is obviously a late-term project, something that can only be attempted after the whole thing is finished, but I think it is still something to think about.

Oooooh, that's what you meant. Sorry, I thought you meant something like conversion rules for porting stuff directly (there was something kind of like this for 3.5->PF when it launched).

If you mean more like a player's guide for building character archetypes, we'll definitely be doing that. In fact, given the way the new multiclassing system works, I'm actually pretty excited about seeing the different combinations and themes players decide to use to create their characters, and we're going to include stuff like kits and templates for characters as well to make creating characters easier for new players (so we'll have some premade progressions, starting equipment packages, etc).

You have mentioned that you don't want to post mechanics on paizo forums because of legal concerns. What would those be?

What Kryzbyn said.

Say hypothetically d20 legends surprises me and turns into the next big thing (despite not being marketed as the next big thing), I don't want to end up any legal battles because Paizo published something from my early drafts and then decides to start something when my game is officially published. I'm not saying Paizo would, but it's better to not invite trouble.

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We've also been discussing a practice for how to handle FAQs, Errata, and updates to the rules (because it'll inevitably come up) and we know a few things already.

1) We're going to have a wiki-style reference document (though not editable by the general public 'cause that would be horrible).

2) We're going to keep FAQs and Errata 100% separate. We're going to keep the FAQ on the wiki as well. FAQ things will literally be explaining things in casual terms without the legalese of rules text, not changing rules.

3) Errata will be released a certain points regardless of the printing (if any) of the manuals the content was from (PDFs will be updated accordingly). We see part of the benefit of having an official online resource being the ease of access to updates, clarifications, and support for the product you got.

4) We'd like to keep a dated changelog, similar to a piece of software, noting changes to existing material.

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All that said, I don't think that it would be super hard to use inspiration from existing material to create new material for the game. Let's use monsters for an example.

In D20 Legends, we have no intention of continuing the tradition of "hit dice". Levels are a bit more uniform. You will not have stuff like creatures that are CR 10 with a bajillion hit dice (looking at you golems). Similarly, a lot of universal monster abilities aren't really that special in D20 Legends (for example, pounce is kinda redundant in its PF-form since any martial can charge into you and begin laying down the smack like it was going out of style).

These sorts of things mean that a strait conversion would be a fruitless endeavor. However, that's not to say that looking at a creature in the Pathfinder Bestiary and using that as a model for making a creature in D20 Legends wouldn't be a pretty simple process (if I have my way, it'll actually be pretty easy, since I really want to clean up creature creation and make monsters and PCs much more similar in function if they're the same levels, which is also because a lot of my players enjoy playing monstrous creatures, so having a smooth transition would be bueno).

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Klara Meison wrote:
Ouch, that's going to hurt popularity. Pathfinder has a lot of free content, which attracts people to it. You should probably seriously consider making a standardised algorithm for conversion-something that would work, even if it wouldn't produce the best possible results, so that if someone wants to run a 3.5 AP in d20 legends they wouldn't have to homebrew pretty much everything by hand.

Well, honestly, it might be a cross that I'll have to bear. Part of the reason that I started working on D20 Legends was an immense dissatisfaction with the state of my favorite RPG in recent years (with a steadily more cynical view of it as time progresses, as more and more faith is lost in once-heroes).

I started it because I wanted something better for my players and I. Looking back, I feel like Paizo's being anchored to 3.5 beast made it catch many of the fleas from it (and even early Pathfinder criticisms were often framed based on how poorly the changes interacted with existing 3.x material).

I'm not out to become the next big thing. My dreams are a little less ambitious. What I am out to do, however, is provide the best thing that I can. Some of my ideas for the best things aren't exactly lending themselves to profitability, because as a design goal I'm trying to build the system explicitly to...

  • Not require a bunch of base classes.
  • Not require a bunch of archetypes.
  • Not require a hundred feats to pick your nose.
  • Not require a spell for everything.
  • Not require a new splatbook because someone wants to wield a katana.

All of which is really counter-productive if your intention is to design games like WotC/Paizo, or to make a profit by pooping out a major crunch book every few months.

However, I do foresee there being a potential to be profitable, but in a different format. Because the game is modular. Rather than adding a lot of new classes and such, 100% of classes are built up of themed abilities that you can pick, most of which build off their core mechanic in some way. In many cases, rather than releasing new archetypes and/or classes, new collections of talents can be produced instead. Think kind of like how the Advanced Player's Guide included things like new rage powers or rogue talents or cleric domains, stuff like that.

Sourcebooks will probably be small (and cheap) books that cover a specific subject. Like a Bard's handbook or a guidebook for military campaigns, and stuff like that. These books would not require a quota of feats and spells or try to have "something for everyone" because they aren't intended to, and are intended to be collected at your leisure for maybe $2.00-5.00 per PDF.

And if its popularity reached a point where it was practical to do so, we'd probably consider hiring writers for adventures and stuff, but we're very picky when it comes to the mechanics (can you tell?), so major crunch books would have to be overseen very carefully and edited by Aratrok and I (and maybe a select team of white-hat powergaming munchkins).

I do project that it could be made profitable, but it won't follow the route that WotC and Paizo have taken. Even if that route means I'll have to find some basement to live in.

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That said, one of the design goals that's present at the current time (and will remain so) is that the core classes should be quite flexible in terms of making a character that you want. I've developed a completely different class (and multiclass) system for this purpose, and there is a lot less "hardcoded" fluff for the core classes in question. Because of this, many, many, maaaany classes that exist in Pathfinder would be wholly redundant (same with archetypes).

A sort of "more, with less" mentality. Entirely new classes will generally exist to facilitate some sort of mechanic and/or resource. For example, Rogues are strongly tied to their Cunning Strike ability (think sneak attack who's been lifting weights and studying for tests), while Champions (a Cleric/Paladin type class) use a Divine Power resource to power a number of their abilities. Rangers are the animal companion class. Druids wildshape. Alchemists have "Concoctions" which are used to create various consumables, bombs, and so forth. Bloodborn (think sorcerers) are the Bloodline class. Currently, Mages are looking at having a number of similarities with Arcanists, Magi, and Wizards (for lack of a clear Pathfinder analog off the top of my head).

My current projected core classes include...

Alchemist, Bard, Bloodborn, Champion (Cleric/Paladin), Druid, Mage, Ranger, and Rogue.

We're discussing the state of Barbarians (I like Barbarians :D) and how to best include them, and we're looking to create a replacement for the 'Fighting Guy' (currently, I'd like to replace them with a class that functions a little more like Warriors from WoW, where instead of losing resources for combat, it actually sustains you, and uses different stances and such to change your mode of operation).

Besides some really ugly early drafts, there has been very little that has been done with the classes because I think it's a bad idea to design the classes while I'm actively revising and editing the D20 Core, because it'll add a lot of unnecessary bugs (changed terms, missing rules, etc) and everything will need to be balanced against everything else (and how can you properly balance classes that have options for improving your magical abilities when you don't even have the magic chapters complete yet? D:).

We've also been trying to figure out what to do with "wasted" magic potential. You can advance martially or magically as you gain levels, regardless of class. We're also going to be making how your magic works more flexible (if you want to have a cool bloodline but carry a spellbook, good news; if you like druids but really hate prepared casting, more good news!), but we've been trying to figure out a good way to make the "mundane hero" a thing (because early drafts were looking at the least magical characters either being Paladin/Ranger sorts or just getting stiffed).

An idea I'm currently really fond of is in fact making mundanes a sort of super item specialist option. One of the feedback things I've heard on the forums about Fighters and those that like them is they like doing things like collecting gear, using gear, having their magic +5 sword and being the guy that just uses equipment really well (be that real or imagined), so I pitched the idea of making a "super mundane" option where rather than advancing a magic tradition, you instead get a sort of heroic spirit that lets you get more mileage out of magic items.

This means being the dude who has to rely on magic items more than anyone else in turn gets to be better with those items than everyone else, being able to do things like use x/day items more than usual, or increase the benefits received from the items, or gain bonus item slots, and so forth. So if your ideal character is the mundane guy who has no magic but is the sickest Christmas tree on the block, that...might actually something to write home about.

EDIT: Oh, and monk. We'll have some sort of monk thing. Somewhere.

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Klara Meison wrote:
Considering that d20 legends will change quite a lot of things, how would you handle conversion between 3.5, pathfinder and d20?

Sits eating a snack before bed.

Well, honestly, that's something I've to think about for a while and the perhaps painful fact is that there probably won't be any strait forward methods for converting things to d20 legends when it's ready, and it's not for just one reason either.

Naturally, it's biggest obstacle would be the core system changes. It won't have things like full-attacks (which are a massive part of the system for martial characters), skills will function and be balanced differently, and magic is getting a few overhauls (spells will go up to 10th level, require concentration checks, the dynamics between prepared and spontaneous casting are changing, and of course spells are changing), and largely the very way that classes exist renders existing Pathfinder classes more or less incompatible (for example, Pathfinder classes are largely balanced around how good their HD/BAB/Saves/Skills/Etc are, while in D20 legends, those things are not related to your class{es} at all).

However, perhaps the even larger hurdle is the fundamental difference in design goals. Paizo's design goals and efforts when it comes to their mechanics are largely alien to mine. I mean, JJ literally thinks that caster/martial disparity is a myth made up by people out to get something, and even some of the rule changes from 3.5 to Pathfinder kind of ooze with design goals that are alien to those for D20 Legends (like making it so you can't sneak attack with acid flasks).

Because of these fundamental differences in design theory, I strongly believe that when d20 Legends is ready, that porting content should be less of a conversion and more of an inspiration for a homebrew piece. Because mechanics in one system were designed with a certain goal in mind, and the mechanics in the other are designed with a completely different goal in mind.

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Klara Meison wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Ooo, I should look that one up.
Sharing is caring guys, can you give a link to the aforementioned thread for everyone else to look up?)

I saw it was an argument with 3.5 Loyalist and didn't want to inflict that on anyone else.

But hey, like the rest of the forums, there I am arguing in that thread. :)

It's like a time capsule. ^-^

Next we need the thread about how monk is such a great class because it exists to handle minions while the party fights the enemies that matter (and fail at fighting minions, of course). :D

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Klara Meison wrote:
So how do you convert various maps that use squares by default into hex? I imagine there have to be some problems with the cells near the walls.

I mostly make my own maps since I usually run my own games, but in the case that the hexes don't line up with walls all that well, you just use the nearest hex (much like when squares don't line up perfectly with walls, actually).

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Yeah pretty much. :)
EDIT: The weird squareness is mostly 'cause Maptools gets confused when trying to use the template tool w/hexes. But as I said, since there's no 1:2:1:2:1, it's as easy as just seeing if you can move from the point of origin to the destination in X steps.

It actually sped up our tabletop games a ton.

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Trigger Loaded wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Meet our lovely assistants. Give 'em a hand. :)...
"So, you like Castlevania, do you?"

And Azure Dreams too. :P

EDIT: There's something kinda humorous that despite being a vampire slayer, I'm using Shanoa's picture for my vampire's portrait.

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Also, here's a drawing I did for a friend at work.
Dwarfbro Brodwarf.

Done in standard mechanical pencil and some line-inking done with a ball-point pen. He really liked how it turned out. I was working on it between tasks, so I think all in all probably took around 10-30 minutes.

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Klara Meison wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Klara Meison wrote:
A little armored dragon birdie told me that you play on a HEX grid. How does that work? What form do templates take? How do you calculate things that say "line" and such?
I like it a lot, actually. There's no need for the silly 1:2:1:2:1 movement thing for diagonals and honestly templates and stuff are pretty easily handled as well. Gimme a bit and in my next post I'll show you.

...what 1:2:1:2:1 thing?

*Googles* *Starts laughing*

This is how it is supposed to work? O boy, that is hillarious. My group has just been counting it as always one square. Wouldn't that slow down every movement action to a crawl?

Yes. It's god levels of awful. Hell, it becomes even more nightmarish when trying to deal with how reach weapons work.

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For this demonstration, I'm going to have a PC/NPC of mine, Alina (a vampire vitalist), and our NPC friends Alexander, Johan, Alexi, and Fredrick, demonstrate hex grid combat and exploration. While they're all around 1st-3rd level, I'm going to lend them some magical doodads for our demo. :D

Meet our lovely assistants. Give 'em a hand. :)

Note The templates are square in this mostly because MapTools doesn't know any better, but it's actually even easier on tabletop. :D

Alina's going to use a pretend fire wand (it's all just SFX, no knights were harmed in the making of this demo) to cast a 5 ft., 10 ft., 15 ft., and 20 ft. radius burst at the center of the knights.

5ft. radius burst.

10ft. radius burst.

15ft. radius burst.

20ft. radius burst.

Next, we'll give Alina pretend prismatic spray wand with an adjustable nozzle. When targeting with lines and cones, you can choose your own space or any adjacent space as its point of origin.

Here, Alina chooses to shoot a 5ft. cone directly beneath her (it starts in the space next to her and extends 5 ft. forward, and 5 ft. to the sides, for 4 spaces total).
5ft. cone.

Then a 10 ft. cone (mostly looks like a box).
10ft. cone.

A 15 ft. cone looks more like a cone.
15ft. cone.

Alina turns up the juice and tosses a 30 ft. breath-weapon sized cone towards the knights.
30ft. cone.

Next, Alina tries out a pretend lightning bolt wand. Now admittedly, Maptools gets kinda confused with this one, but only when marking strait lines (go figure) but it does crooked lines just fine. The tabletop rule is simple, draw a line from the interior of one hex to the interior of another hex and every hex the line crosses is in danger.

50ft. line.

Reach and Threatened Spaces
Finally, Alina and Alexander will demonstrate how smooth melee combat and dealing with reach is with a hex grid. In this image, Alina is fighting with her decorative sword (a refluffed sickle) and threatens in a 5ft. radius. However, Alexander is using a polearm and threatens a 10ft. radius. Alina is really thankful she's got a little damage reduction and fast healing right now.


The delightful thing about a hex grid is if you're in doubt, just count the spaces and pretend you're moving through them to your destination one hex at a time. Most children can eyeball it correctly.

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Klara Meison wrote:
A little armored dragon birdie told me that you play on a HEX grid. How does that work? What form do templates take? How do you calculate things that say "line" and such?

I like it a lot, actually. There's no need for the silly 1:2:1:2:1 movement thing for diagonals and honestly templates and stuff are pretty easily handled as well. Gimme a bit and in my next post I'll show you.

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Klara Meison wrote:
Actually, the biggest advantage might be having pockets. It's a very underappreciated invention-having a place to put stuff you might need later without holding it in your hands/claws is really really nice. Especially if you are a commander of an army, and you might need such weird things as, like, maps and military intelligence reports.

True dat. :o

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Klara Maison wrote:
Also, hey, coolness points.

That's what I'm sayin'! :P

He just wanted to look dapper in his military uniform. Q_Q

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Klara Meison wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Ooo, I should look that one up.
Sharing is caring guys, can you give a link to the aforementioned thread for everyone else to look up?)

There's actually a few due to cross-posting and references between members who participated in those threads. Here's a few threads where it pops up.

Some specific posts where it came up in those threads:
This one, this one, and another one. There's a pretty good mix of arguing over monsters using the treasures they're assumed to be carrying (that's always fun too).

Also, because the search brought it up, here's a post about why Fighters are undiluted fail and why Rangers are better than virtually every Fighter that existed at the time (and I'd dare say still to this day). Included for the lulz.

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As an aside, unless the dragon is just trying to show off his swagger, it's usually more cost effective to just cast mage armor. I'm reminded of a thread I was in years ago where some people got up in arms because I mentioned that I had a green dragon (who was a high ranking member of an army the PCs were opposing) was wearing some custom made masterwork studded leather (+3 armor, -0 CP) as a mark of his station.

They complained that it was clearly unfair to the 3/4 BAB classes, especially monks and that putting armor on dragons was unfair, against the rules, unnecessarily antagonistic (especially to monks), etc.

I was like, "Guys...the dragon already has mage armor. The armor is literally for show. The dragon still gets more mileage out of mage armor and it's something it already had".


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Klara Meison wrote:

I have been re-reading through this thread, and want to make a point about natural armor being just another armor bonus in d20 legends, so if someone has +5 natural and +5 armor bonus, they only get +5 AC.

Why not make them stack non-linearily?

What I mean is: suppose someone has +A natural armor, +B just armor. That's 2000(A^2+B^2) effective cost=>2000(A^2+B^2)=2000C^2 where C is the final armor value=>C=sqrt(A^2+B^2) (rounded down)

This cuts down on druids getting heavenly AC scores, allows some creatures to increase their AC through armor even though they have high natural armor(I think Icehawk made a point about armor acting as a sort of force-neutraliser for the blow) while not forcing dragons to wear bardings(because their natural armor is so high a non-natural armor bonus wouldn't do anything-Red Dragon, Mature Adult has +24 natural armor, so even if they wear full plate they will only push it to +25.)

Because I know lots of people who still get confused figuring up their modifiers for their full attacks. In the end, the result is more or less the same "Little benefit for wearing armor with a good natural armor".

This does mean, however, that races like lizardfolk, troglodytes, and similar things will be less of an issue if someone wants to build characters out of them. It also means we can be a little more liberal with natural armor values of certain races without worrying about breaking the game.

If we were building a computer game, where players just placed their values and the computer outputs a value (such as when you're stacking things like +hit gear in WoW and it outputs a little +X% value on your character sheet) then that might be a better method.

But in tabletop games, keeping it simple makes it much easier on everyone.

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Klara Maison wrote:
You can start your own cult like that.

I wouldn't be opposed to that. I've learned a lot of beautiful things about life in my short time living it and wouldn't mind sharing it with others. That said, I wonder if my new religion would catch on. Based on what I've seen the big boys doing it seems really unlikely. It would...

* Ask you to question everything (especially the faith).
* Never follow without reason (never because that's what somebody or something says).
* Come and go as you feel comfortable (apostasy would be okay).
* Men & Women would be totally equal (but not identical).
* Stress the importance of Altruism, Dignity of Others, and Protection of Sentient Life.
* Stress the dangers of hurting, oppressing, and killing.
* Would lack authoritarian commandments (but would include reasoned arguments for why certain things should be avoided).
* Would not stress that this is the only way to achieve your goals (be they reach some sort of heaven or live happily).
* Would promote creativity, discussion, and free speech.
* Would include a podium at gatherings, but rather than preaching, it would be used for multiple speakers discussing certain topics.
* The only commandments would involve logical fallacies and how to avoid them (and also some stuff about why love is good).
* Would talk about metaphysical things like spiritual entities and metaphysical phenomena like clairsentience, empathy, and energy healing in a fairly direct fashion (while telling you to still question everything said in this book).
* Despite discussing and promoting the ideas of "supernatural" things, it would also promote the advancement of science and a greater understanding of our physical world (even when it doesn't seem to support the metaphysics stuff).
* Ask you to question everything (because it's important enough to mention twice).

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Klara Meison wrote:

>Generally, I'll discuss these things with them on a case by case basis and try to work out a solution, and sometimes we just have to accept that the game would turn into utter sh** if we allow certain things even if they make lots of sense. :)

O that's brilliant, I haven't thought about putting it(portable hole+bag of holding) on an arrow. Should probably be a ballista bolt though, that thing would be heavy. *takes notes*

(though, honestly, 11+ thousand gold for a magical RPG doesn't seem like an unbalancing trade)

It is when you consider that there's essentially no effective way to resist it. It just destroys everything in an area due to the "lost forever" bit of the way those items interact with each other. To put this into perspective, a 3rd level spell wand costs 11,250 gp. In the grand scheme of how much dosh PCs acquire during adventures, it's really not very costly for an instant "I win" versus enemies.


>Hard to say, honestly. I was fiddling with making a alchemy system that could hopefully answer a lot of these questions given a bit more refinement. Essentially, it would at least allow you to create stronger and/or hybrid alchemical weapons.

Would you be vehemently opposed to the idea of me fiddling with your alchemy system as well to maybe produce something refined? Topic interests me a bit, given that I am an engineer.

Nah, feel free. :)

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Tels wrote:
Klara Meison wrote:
Trogdar wrote:
Maybe make a general rule about not being able to throw bundles of alchemist fire, but using multiples with a fuse is okay? I figure you should be able to do something like that for internal consistency if nothing else.

That might work, but the question I would then have would be "Why?". You can do that in the real world, so why can't you do that here? Does the universe teleport anyone who attempts such an act into a Sphere of Annihilation?

I would hazard a guess that, technically, per RAW, you can't because the game says throwing a splash weapon is a standard action. Therefore, you can't throw multiples of any combination because RAW says so. Also, technically, if you had 100 alchemists fires detonate somehow, it still deals damage as 100 alchemists fires. So resist every fire 10 will negate all of the damage because it is 100 separate instances of 1d6 damage each.

This is what I meant about resistances eventually making them kinda putter out (because resist 10 more or less immunizes you to all but critical hits with most of them, and you're really unlikely to take damage (only on a roll of 11-12 on 2d6) on a crit. By high levels, resist 10 vs most everything is a pretty solid investment simply because of things like fifty kobolds with acid (or fighting in pools of acid, or on burning ground, etc).

Klara Maison wrote:
Which would work in case of X alchemist fires, except then I would ask what would happen if two different things were tied together, like an alchemist fire and a smokestick. Or a sack of foaming powder and a vial of holy water. Basically anything that produces two radically different effects(fire damage and LoS breaking, Holy damage and creating difficult terrain on the floor) on contact with the enemy/destruction of the flask.

Hard to say, honestly. I was fiddling with making a alchemy system that could hopefully answer a lot of these questions given a bit more refinement. Essentially, it would at least allow you to create stronger and/or hybrid alchemical weapons.


Basically, my two main questions are:

1 How do you balance things around players coming up with ideas that make sense, but are kinda overpowered in relation to the rest of the system?

Generally, I'll discuss these things with them on a case by case basis and try to work out a solution, and sometimes we just have to accept that the game would turn into utter sh** if we allow certain things even if they make lots of sense. :)

2 How would you handle a character inventing stuff in general? Be it combinations of things already there to produce interesting results or entirely new things(Like, say, a crossbow-like launcher that shoots trained delivery squirrels with Alchemist Fires strapped to their backs) altogether? What skills, what rolls, how long it would take to make everything work?

This is a toughie and something I've been trying to address with some revised Craft rules, but generally speaking at the moment I'd probably set a DC based on how high I think the tech is looking (using the usual 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, etc scale) and go from there and try to make something that's reasonable.

I do a lot of homebrew for my players.

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Klara Meison wrote:

>Wonders why nobody asks any easy questions like "What's the meaning of life?".. T_T

Well, if you insist. What's the meaning of life? How about the secondary meaning of life? Tertiary?

Normally I wouldn't say these aspects come in any particular order, but I'll order them for ease of reading with some notes...

The Primary but Subtle Purpose
IMHO, the primary meaning of life is growth/improvement. Our experiences shape us, and obstacles, hard times, and challenges exist to temper and make us stronger. If we are unable to overcome those obstacles and flee from them, the obstacles will repeatedly manifest elsewhere in our lives (often with more potency). Overcoming obstacles grants us strength of character and those obstacles fail to be significant in the future. All of life is a chance to grow and improve as a human soul, in a transformation that's comparable to iron becoming steel or coal a diamond.

However, this is kind of an overall thing, and something that's rather "under the hood" as unless you're actively thinking about it or looking back on how much you've grown in life, most will never notice it.

The Meaning
The secondary aspect is joy, and this is one of the trials of life in and of itself. Many obstacles and bad things occur in life, but many good things as well, and learning to embrace the good while not being broken by the bad makes you stronger in ways too. Taking a moment to enjoy simple things and acknowledge to yourself how much you enjoy those simple things (like sharing a cup of tea with a friend, or watching RWBY, or rolling dice and slaying dragons) goes a long way towards reminding you how beautiful and wonderful life can be if we notice it.

That life is enjoyable, and we can learn to be happy even when things seem tough. We can love, when we feel unloved. We can smile, even as we're dying. Because, if we take time to appreciate it, it's just that good.

The Results
The tertiary aspect is refinement, closely connected with the primary and secondary aspects. Refinement means not only improving and growing but also removing impure elements that bring us down, such as self-defeatism, greed, hate, and other nasty aspects of human nature. To be replaced with things like confidence, generosity, love, and so forth.

As we are refined by the trials of life, we become greater human beings. We become tougher, wiser, kinder, more patient, less gullible, you name it.

The Alternatives
If we continue to fold to our obstacles, give in to despair, submit to weakness, or run from our challenges, we end up in deeper messes than we began in (strung out on drugs, filled with self-loathing, hateful and bitter, etc), and life's lessons will continue to pile up until we either break or have an epiphany. If we break, it's time to be recycled back into the forge to begin reforging.

What is your opinion on gluing/tying alchemical items together? E.g. suppose a player bought some alchemical glue, a flask of acid, a flask of alchemist fire and a burst jar, then glued the latter three together, and then threw that at the enemy. Would that work? Would the target take 1d6 points of acid damage and 1d6 points of fire damage, not to mention sonic damage? Or would something else happen?

It's a tough subject honestly. On one hand, it makes some reasonable sense (most of the alchemical weapons are only 1 lb., and the upper end of thrown weapon weight is around 4 lbs., so throwing x4 alchemist fire bundles would be akin to throwing a single tanglefoot bag in terms of difficulty) and seems like a good idea, but then there's the aspect of how to rule that mechanically, which is where it starts to get sticky.

See, alchemical weapons are already really strong for what they are. They're essentially purchasable energy touch attacks, which means they get the benefits of things like Point Blank Shot and bonus damage from things like Favored Enemy, Smite, etc (Paizo dropped the ball with Rogues but you used to be able to apply sneak damage to them as well, but Paizo is Whaizo). Energy damage ignores damage reductions (including DR/-) and being touch attacks make them very easy to hit with, especially against large foes.

Individually they might not seem that strong (they deal 1d6, or 1d6 + 1d6 a round later) but they quickly become very potent when used in succession (as an example, take four kobolds with point blank shot and have them all firebomb something with alchemist fire and see how effective that is).

If given the ability to combine multiple alchemical items into a single attack, they would be the god-weapon during the low levels (they'd still putter out as resistances became commonplace but...), literally being able to simply execute most anything you encountered (tie 4 alchemist fires together, deal 4d6 on impact, 4d6 on round 2, pretty much destroys anything up to CR 3 in a single hit).

It would be worse if NPCs do it (because they'd have no reasons not to, as alchemical items are cheapsauce and most low level NPCs really have nothing better to spend their 260+gp on after some basic gear) and make for a lot of dead PCs really quickly.

So if it was to be allowed, there would need to be some sort of diminishing returns. Maybe it just increases the AoE of it, but only applies the damage once. I mean, I wouldn't really mind players tying multiple alchemist fires together to douse a 10 ft. or perhaps even larger area in fire that burned anything standing in the area for a couple of rounds.

It's one of those things that pop up and you have to measure the benefit of rewarding cleverness and actually keeping the game fun to play. Because once something becomes the weapon, well everything just devolves into shooting each other with melta guns. :P

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Klara Meison wrote:
What is your favourite RWBY soundtrack? What if various remixes by fans are also included in the comparison?

Oh geeze, that's a tough one.

Wonders why nobody asks any easy questions like "What's the meaning of life?".. T_T

Give me a bit to think about it. I don't even know what the 3rd season's soundtrack is like because I've been avoiding it like the plague since I had intended to watch it with my brother, but the lil' flake is taking so long that I'm probably going to just cave in and watch it alone. T-T

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I'd like to note that there's something poetically appropriate that the only way to disrupt the perfect life-power of the tarrasque is with necromancy.

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I meant "beat the tarrasque into pudding", not "the solar", because that would be hilariously impossible for a tarrasque. :D

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