What sort of page count are you looking at for the product. -- I would have aimed for 32 pages, but BESM d20 has been long out of print, so I have to increase it to about 96 pages.
What sort of compensation are you offering? (Royalties? Flat fee? "Just for fun"? etc) Flat fee after I get the Kickstarter up and going. I couldn't afford royalties. Also, I'll do my best to make sure that the artist doesn't get the short end of the stick.
I thought you all might find this fascinating. My point of view on how Paizo Publishing has been successful.
Paizo Publishing is a company that provides a roleplaying game, several adventures, and a marketplace with which to purchase things online. They also publish novels, accessories, and include the customer in major product decisions, especially in the testing phase of their products. They have the leading online hobby store (which isn’t necessarily true), and offer many different products from many different publishers. They ship their products all over the planet.
The best known product they have for someone like me is their PATHFINDER ROLEPLAYING GAME, which is published on paper, in PDF, and for free on their PRD and a competitive website – http://www.pfd20srd.com. They also produce ADVENTURE PATHS, which are whole campaigns that support the PATHFINDER roleplaying game. They also provide one world system – Golarion – for a player’s adventuring needs. Beyond those, they have provided stand-alone adventure scenarios for purchase.
Of the services they provide one is an online store which costumers can use to purchase their products. A PATHFINDER REFERENCE DOCUMENT – which allows you to download the core game rules for free to play – and a store blog.
To maintain a distinct competitive advantage over other companies of their ilk, including Wizards of the Coast – who currently publishes DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS – Paizo has embraced market and customer cooperation. Paizo maintains a competitive edge by supporting the Third Party d20 Market. They allow customers to review their products and the products others put out. They also review products in their store blog. Various employees give their comments and recommendations on the best their competitors have to offer. Although, of all the products and services and advantages they correctly implement its got to be Customer Service. Back in the year 2000, WotC gained a huge competitive advantage by introducing the Open Game License, and making DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS open to all to add to and expand upon.
Wizards of the Coast lost this competitive advantage when they stopped supporting the OGL and the d20 system altogether. They also did not provide support to the d20 market, which caused a boom to go bust around five years after the OGL was introduced. During that time, Wizards of the Coast’ customer service fell down the tubes. Wizards of the Coast reaped their rewards when they announced a new Edition of Dungeons and Dragons (4th Edition) in 2008. They also treated their loyal customers like drones when they turned too unethical marketing practices.
By this time, to stay in business, Paizo Publishing – which published DUNGEON and DRAGON magazines, began working on Pathfinder as a response to 4th Edition. They opened up the system to playtest and everything skyrocketed for them. Paizo Publishing involves the customer in a whole new way. Their greatest strength in earning customer loyalty isn’t the Adventure path, it’s their customer service.
Alexandrian Studios is embarking on making the Twelve Labors of Hercules into ready to play adventure scenarios for Pathfinder and D&D d20. So far, I'm writing it up, I can use Ready Made Art from the ancient ages for this edition. The Twelve Labors of Hercules is a mini-campaign designed for you to adventure into the World of Hercules with a group of 3 or four in a pseudo-greek mythological world.
Pseudo-Greek means that it's not written with the world of SKR's New Argonauts in mind. Your Wizards and sorcerers will have access to all schools of magic, and your clerics can worship any god they please.
Pottery with Heracles painted on it. Ancient Greek pottery, Not Safe for Work.
I'll set up a Kickstarter soon. :)
A mobile counter part to the hoplite and phalangite (both of which use the Phalanx Soldier archetype), a gymnitos is an extremely light, mobile skirmisher and archer. The word Gymnitos is singular of Gymnitai, which is ancient Greek that literally means "bare, naked." The Gymnitai are attached as part of the Psiloi. Psiloi means "stripped, naked."
At 2nd level, a Psilos gains a +1 bonus on saving throws made against effects that cause him to become paralyzed, slowed, or entangled. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels beyond 2nd.
This ability replaces bravery.
Leaping Attack (Ex)
At 5th level, when a Psilos moves at least 5 feet prior to attacking, he gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels beyond 5th.
This ability replaces weapon training 1, 2, 3, and 4.
At 11th level and higher, a Psilos can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If she makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the psilos is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless psilos does not gain the benefit of evasion.
This ability replaces armor training 3.
Fleet Footed (Ex)
At 15th level, the psilos’ speed increases by 10 feet. He can take 10 on Acrobatics checks even while distracted or threatened, and can take 20 on an Acrobatics check once per day for every five fighter levels he possesses.
This ability replaces armor training 4.
Uncanny Dodge (Ex)
Starting at 20th level, a psilos can react to danger before his senses would normally allow him to do so. He cannot be caught flat-footed, nor does he lose his Dex bonus to AC if the attacker is invisible. He still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. A psilos with this ability can still lose his Dexterity bonus to AC if an opponent successfully uses the feint action (see Combat) against him.
If a psilos already has uncanny dodge from a different class (i.e. Rogue), he automatically gains improved uncanny dodge, instead. This ability replaces weapon mastery.
In memory of Aaron Swartz, I will be declaring most of Phoenicia: City of Psionics' product identity to be in the Public Domain once it's formally published as a PDF. I've come to this choice to honor the man who has effectively stopped PIPA and SOPA with his organization Demand Progress.
Nina Paley, another Content Author, has worked hard and jumped through hoops in order to get people to understand that they have the rights to show her work, to fight DRM of her work, and to do many other things, has recently released Sita Sings the Blues into the Public Domain.
Basically, Copyright Law has been perverted, and the OGL, although the best thing to happen to the Gaming Industry; is largely ignored by everyone except by Paizo, LCC. For most of the OGL's history, other content providers for D20 has ignored other content providers' OGC, resulting in many wheels being reinvented.
Although we are seeing progress in the Era of the Pathfinder RPG (see Seas of Thought as a GREAT example); there isn't enough progress being made in how much should be used or what can be used.
In Aaron Swartz's memory, although I will be declaring my PI to be in the Public Domain; I'd like to challenge every other Content Provider to include at least one rule they like from some other Publisher's OGC besides Paizo, LCC; and Dreamscarred Press in at least one of their future products. The OGL was invented to allow game rules invented by someone else to be used. As Nina Paley said in her post about her frustrations with her work: Not using knowledge is an offense to it. Change this to be relevant to our community to say, Not using PFd20SRD to it's full potential is an offense to it!
Don't do it for yourselves, do it for Aaron Swartz.
Well, good news.
I had a chance to explain the setting fully to him, and now he feels much more alright to play in it. He just can't wait to meet someone like Heron of Alexandria or Archimedes now. He's been wondering if the proto-steam engine can be retrofitted to power a steam cannon.
This version of the Inscriber comes from the WOW RPG book More Magic and Mayhem, of which I have a copy. For those looking to use the Diabolist from the Palladium RPG, the Inscriber is a good way to go, even though most of the class's abilities is incredibly proprietary to the WoW world.
1st level -- Inscribe Runes: An inscriber has the ability to create and empower runes. Unlike the runemaster, he does not learn whole patterns; instead, an inscriber may prepare individual runes as though they were arcane spells. He keeps runes in his spellbook, just like other arcane spells.
Like other arcanists, the inscriber gains one free spell of his specialty per level; the inscriber chooses these spells from the runes he knows.
At the beginning of every day, when the inscriber prepares his spells, he may attune himself to a rune pattern from which he has prepared at least one rune.
4th Level—Lesser Runic Mysteries: The inscriber can cast any 0, 1st or 2nd-level wizard/sorcerer spell as a rune instead of a normal spell. When he prepares spells, he must make the choice to prepare each spell as a rune or as a spell.
8th Level—Runic Mysteries: The arcanist can cast any 3rd, 4th or 5th-level wizard/sorcerer spell as a rune instead of a normal spell. When he prepares spells, he must make the choice to prepare each spell as a rune or as a spell.
12th Level—Runic Attunement: The inscriber gains Runic Attunement as a bonus feat.
16th Level—Greater Runic Mysteries: The inscriber can cast any 6th, 7th or 8th-level wizard spell as a rune instead of a normal spell. When he prepares spells, he must make the choice to prepare each spell as a rune or as a spell.
Arcane Spells as Runes
Inscribers learn, through the exploration of the runic mysteries, to cast certain arcanist spells as runes. This change has the following effects on such spells:
The following arcanist spells become marks: 0-level: detect magic, read magic, resistance; 1st-level: charm person, comprehend languages, disguise self, mana shield, protection from evil, shadow meld; 2nd-level: detect thoughts, invisibility, mirror image, reduce person*, resist energy, see invisibility, touch of idiocy; 3rd-level: clairaudience/clairvoyance, dispel magic (targeted), gaseous form, hold person, nondetection, suggestion, tongues; 4th-level: charm monster, confusion, dimension door, dimensional anchor, geas (lesser), invisibility (greater), locate creature, resilient sphere, stoneskin; 5th-level: break enchantment, dismissal, dominate person, hold monster, sending, telepathic bond; 6th-level: dispel magic (greater) (targeted), geas/quest, true seeing; 7th-level: insanity, scrying (greater), spell turning; 8th-level: sending, discern location, protection from spells.
The following arcanist spells become glyphs: 1st-level: identify; 3rd-level: nondetection; 5th-level: passwall; 6th-level: legend lore.
The following arcanist spells become sigils: 0-level: ghost sound, silent image; 1st-level: alarm; 3rd-level: dispel magic (area), major image; 4th-level: detect scrying, globe of invulnerability (lesser), phantasmal killer, reduce person (mass)*, solid fog; 5th-level: persistent image, wall of force; 6th-level: antimagic fi eld, dispel magic (greater) (area), suggestion (mass); 7th-level: banishment, hold person (mass), invisibility (mass), plane shift; 8th-level: telekinetic sphere.
• Arcanist spells not on the above lists cannot be cast as runes. Spells from other path lists cannot be turned into runes, either. The GM must determine what spells (if any) from the arcanist list that are not in the World of Warcraft RPG core rulebook may be turned into runes.
OGL Section 15
Open Game License v 1.0a Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook. Copyright 2009, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Jason Bulmahn, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.
Gorbacz pretty much explained what I had in mind.
MAJOR AND MINOR CHARACTER RACES
The people of the City of Phoenicia live in a city that makes up a tapestry of races all seeking the same goal – realizing their potential. The individuals of these races are all part of one culture. Each race has their own flavor and style, each filling a niche in the highly psionic society of the City of Phoenicia.
This chapter offers a brief of how each common race in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and Psionics Unleashed differs from their descriptions in a City of Phoenicia campaign. If not otherwise listed here, you use the material in The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game in playing a common race.
The new races presented in this chapter include:
Lemurians are a race that blends an alien mind with human flesh who are masters of mental power.
Phoenicia: The City of Psionics Racial Ability Adjustments*
Race Ability Adjustments
Humans are thought to be a relatively young race; however this isn’t true. Humans are the dominating race of the Earth-like planet in which Phoenicia, the City of Psionics is set upon.
Hellenistic humans, or the Hellenes, have as their cultural center of the city the Northwest Quarter or the Hellenic Quarter. They are White and Caucasoid. Their culture deals with Natural Philosophy, Science, and the Western way of objective thinking. They believe in application of knowledge and invention, and have invented many things. They value education, study, intelligence, and knowledge as well as hard work. Koine Hellenic, the language of the Hellenes, is the official language of the city. Hellenistic humans are from the Northwest but now control a large swath of land called the Cassandrian Empire. The Hellenes wear the chiton and himaton and they eat Greek cuisine.
Oriental Humans, or the Achaemeniads, have as their cultural center of the city the Northeast Quarter or the Oriental Quarter. They bare a strong resemblance to the people of Iran (Persia). Their culture is based on Monotheism – usually the worship of one God according to the teachings of Zarathustra. Their culture is alien to the Hellenes, as they keep harems. There are very few secular Achaemeniads. Also in the Oriental quarter are a large number of men and women hailing from the fabled Middle Kingdom in the Uttermost East. These Orientals bare a strong resemblance to the Chinese of our world. Their part of town is the gateway to the Silk Road. They speak Achaemeniad or Jinyu. The Achaemeniads dress in Persian style from the 12th Century A.D. and eat Persian cuisine.
The Vedics are the people who have as their cultural center the Southeast Quarter or the Vedic Quarter. They have many names for themselves, they call themselves the Aryavarti, or the people southeast of the Arya river. These people are from Āryāvarta. They came here hundreds of years ago to escape invasion by a combined army of White-skinned humans, Drow, and the orkish Dragon Mouth Clan. They are called the Vedics because of the scriptures they brought with them, called the Vedas. They resemble the people of India in dress, speech, mannerisms, and cuisine. They speak Aryavartan.
The Phoenicians are the indigenous culture, according to the Hellenes. They have as their cultural center the Southwest Quarter or the Phoenician Quarter. They are seen as opportunistic, enterprising, adventurous, bull headed, inquisitive, and enigmatic. For one thing, many of them are Monotheistic and worship one god; for another thing, others of them worship a plethora of gods. The Phoenicians are famous ship builders and sailors and many of them work the Docks and build ships capable of traversing the Great Sea and beyond. They bare a resemblance to Caucasians, but years in the south have browned their skin to a dusky olive. They speak Phoenician. The Phoenicians eat Mediterranean cuisine and dress in flowing clothing.
Other men from other regions of the world include Men from the Ivory Kingdoms to the south, which have very dark skin and flattened noses. Men from the far north that resemble the Hellenes in look but not the temperament. Also, the barbarian Men from the Northeast that are like the Slavic people. These speak a variety of languages and they all come to trade.
Mixed Men: Sometimes, the races of others produced a mixed man – the results of miscegenation of various ethnic races and groups of men. Mixed race marriages include those of mixed race. Mixed men usually have one or two traits of their parent races and also skin color and face differences. Called “Mixed Men” because of their combined heritages and ancestry, mixed marriages are very rare since the Elven Barbarian Invasion.
There are many traits from the Advanced Players Guide and the Advanced Race Guide to list here. However, here are a few reprinted from the Advanced Race Guide that can help the Player create a hero that is good for the City State.
Dual Talent: Some humans are uniquely skilled at maximizing their natural gifts. These humans pick two ability scores and gain a +2 racial bonus in each of those scores. This racial trait replaces the +2 bonus to any one ability score, the bonus feat, and the skilled traits.
Eye for Talent: Humans have great intuition for hidden potential. They gain a +2 racial bonus on Sense Motive checks. In addition, when they acquire an animal companion, bonded mount, cohort, or familiar, that creature gains a +2 bonus to one ability score of the character’s choice. This racial trait replaces the bonus feat trait.
Focused Study: All humans are skillful, but some, rather than being generalists, tend to specialize in a handful of skills. At 1st, 8th, and 16th level, such humans gain Skill Focus in a skill of their choice as a bonus feat. This racial trait replaces the bonus feat trait.
Heart of the Sea: Humans born near the sea are always drawn to it. They gain a +2 racial bonus on Profession (sailor) and Swim checks, and these are always class skills for them. They can hold their breath twice as long as normal, and spellcasters gain a +4 racial bonus on concentration checks when attempting to cast spells underwater. This racial trait replaces skilled.
Heart of the Slums: Humans who eke out a life in a city’s teeming slums must be quick and clever. They gain a +2 racial bonus on Sleight of Hand and Stealth checks, and a +4 racial bonus on Survival checks in urban and underground settings. In addition, they may roll twice when saving against disease, taking the better roll. This racial trait replaces skilled.
Heart of the Streets: Humans from bustling cities are skilled with crowds. They gain a +1 racial bonus on Reflex saves and a +1 dodge bonus to Armor Class when adjacent to at least two other allies. Crowds do not count as difficult terrain for them. This racial trait replaces skilled.
Heroic: Some humans are born heroes. In campaigns that use the optional hero point system (Advanced Player’s Guide 322–325), each time these humans gain a level, they gain 2 hero points instead of 1. If they take the Blood of Heroes feat, they gain 3 hero points each level instead of 2. This racial trait replaces the bonus feat trait.
Mixed Heritage: Often human civilization is defined by more than one characteristic. A human with this trait may select a second “Heart of the” racial trait. This replaces the bonus feat racial trait.
Silver Tongued: Humans are often adept at subtle manipulation and putting even sworn foes at ease. Humans with this trait gain a +2 bonus on Diplomacy and Bluff checks. In addition, when they use Diplomacy to shift a creature’s attitude, they can shift up to three steps up rather than just two. This racial trait replaces skilled.
The dwarves are thought to be an offshoot of humans, but they have features that distinguish them from the humans. Brought here from another world by mysterious means, the dwarves are natural miners and smiths, and they control most of the precious metals found naturally across the lands in which they reside. They are natural miners, and powerful dwarven families mint coinage and operate banks, issue letters of credit, hold loans, and collect debts. The dwarves hold considerable economic power throughout the Cassandrian Empire. Also, they carry an air of fear with them, since they are ruthless in collecting unpaid debts.
Dwarf Lands: The dwarves hold kingdoms beyond the Hellenes’ reach. Within the Empire, they have enclaves across certain mountains, speaking Hellenic and their own language. Some dwarves are Hellenized thoroughly, but others aren’t. Those that hold true to dwarven culture call the Hellenized dwarves fops and effeminate drunks who are drunk on Hellenic wine and mead. They think that the Hellenes destroyed Dwarf culture from their point of view, and feel that they are justified as some Dwarves tried to reclaim what was theirs when they marched on Pheonicia with the Elvish Barbarians. However, Hellenic Science is changing Dwarven Culture the dwarves are learning the Hellenic Way of engineering. The Dwarves in Phoenicia and other lands around the Cassandrian Empire stand on the precipice as a new race of Dwarves is being forged – one that is enamored with Hellenic Science and Engineering. Most dwarves in the Cassandrian Empire resemble Asiatic humans, but Hellenic interbreeding is slowly changing the race’s facial features from Asiatic to Caucasoid.
Dwarf Racial Traits::
Craftsman: Dwarves are known for their superior craftsmanship when it comes to metallurgy and stonework. Dwarves with this racial trait receive a +2 racial bonus on all Craft or Profession checks related to metal or stone. This racial trait replaces greed.
Lorekeeper: Dwarves keep extensive records about their history and the world around them. Dwarves with this racial trait receive a +2 racial bonus on Knowledge (history) checks that pertain to dwarves or their enemies.
Minesight: Dwarves with this racial trait increase the range of their darkvision to 90 feet; however, they are automatically dazzled in bright light and take a –2 penalty on saving throws against effects with the light descriptor. This racial trait replaces darkvision.
Mountaineer: Mountain dwarves are skilled at climbing and navigating narrow ledges. Dwarves with this racial trait are immune to altitude sickness and do not lose their Dexterity bonus to AC when making Climb or Acrobatics checks to cross narrow or slippery surfaces. This racial trait replaces stability.
Stonesinger: Some dwarves’ affinity for the earth grants them greater powers. Dwarves with this racial trait are treated as one level higher when casting spells with the earth descriptor or using granted powers of the Earth domain, the bloodline powers of the earth elemental bloodline, and revelations of the oracle’s stone mystery. This ability does not give them early access to level-based powers; it only affects the powers they could use without this ability. This racial trait replaces stonecunning.
Stubborn: Dwarves are renowned for their stubbornness. Dwarves with this racial trait receive a +2 racial bonus on Will saves to resist spells and spell-like abilities of the enchantment (charm) and enchantment (compulsion) schools. In addition, if they fail such a save, they receive another save 1 round later to prematurely end the effect (assuming it has a duration greater than 1 round). This second save is made at the same DC as the first. If the dwarf has a similar ability from another source (such as a rogue’s slippery mind), he can only use one of these abilities per round, but he can try the other on the second round if the first reroll ability fails. This racial trait replaces hardy.
Surface Survivalist: Some dwarves have dwelt so long aboveground they have lost their ability to see at night. However, their adaptation to extreme environments allows them to treat wind conditions (when determining whether or not they are checked or blown away) and either hot or cold climates (choose one) as one step less severe. This racial trait replaces dark vision.
The Elves come from another world that they call Arvandor. Arvandor is thought in Elven Culture to be the Promised Land. A land promised to all Elves as home. However, in this new world, the Elves have sought to either find or create an Arvandor. The Elves have mostly colonized certain places in the World, and successfully grew new forests for their homes. The Fair Elves, which was on a peninsula separate from Hellas, populated Arcadia, the first forest, and it’s Balkanized states.
However Arcadia grew in decline, and the elvish barbarians known as the Pelagasiri nearly totally destroyed Arcadia Proper, except for her colonies: Massalia, Olivina, and Myth’Lythar. The Pelagasiri conquered Arcadia and interbred with the Fair Elves creating the Arcadian Elves. In response to this defeat, the Elves of Olvinia, Myth’Lythar, and Massalia became their own separate peoples; each working hard to create their own Arvandor. While the Olvinian Elves turned to psionics, and the elves of Myth’Lythar turned to Arcane Magic; the elves of Massalia turned to Demons and Devils in revenge.
The Barbarian Elves known as the Pelagasiri are the followers of Pelagasus. They are barbaric in the extreme: seen as blood thirsty hunters that prefer the natural wilds. They are seen by other elves as descended and devolved of culture – having forgotten all civilization. They wear animal skins or homespun, and rely on horses. In the city, however, there are Arcadian Elves, Massalian Elves, and the Pelagasiri show up from time to time to marvel at Human Civilization – especially one built around psionics.
The Arcadian Elves are represented by the elves in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. The Massalian Elves are extremely different from the Arcadian Elves. Extremely comely and fair to look upon, the Massalian Elves in the Massalian enclave are also prejudiced against the Arcadian Elves. They live in peace with their Elvish brothers, but to be a Massalian Elf is to be an elf with the Eternal Grudge trait against other Arcadian Elves. They speak Massalian – their own tongue.
The Pelagasiri Elves are barbarians. They wear animal skins, and are said to hunt and eat beasts of prey (anyone who have seen Pelagasiri cuisine notice that they prefer wild boar meat over the gazelle, deer, or wild ox). Pelagasiri are seen as Barbarians to the civilized people that live in the city. They are also the latest in a long line of historical invaders in the city. Despite their uncouth appearance, the Pelagasiri Elves work wonders with wood that astound even the Arcadian elf. The Pelagasiri elves have the Woodcrafting and the fleet-footed racial traits. They speek Pelagasiri – a tongue related to Hellenic.
Olvinian Elves are Elves from the Psionic forests of Olvinia. They have heard that humans have built sister cities in the land – including Sybaris, Syracuse, and finally Phoenicia. So they come and they find places to settle. The Olvinian Elves built an Enclave in the Phoenician Quarter and from there they help the humans rebuild their city. Also extremely fair, the elves have a natural blue glow in their eyes. The Olvinian elves regard the Massalian Elves with great sadness for their consorting with demons.
Over time, the Olvinian Elves have turned to psionics and now nearly the whole race is Awakened. At the replacement of the Elven Magic trait, the Olvinian Elves gain the Awakened trait – which is the Psionic Talent feat for free. This allows them 2 power points at game’s start.
Creation myths believe that Halflings originate with elvenkind. They also come from Arvandor, but unlike the Elves, the Halflings aren’t looking for an Arvandor of their own. Instead, the little people find humans to be fascinating. However they split, the Halflings are pragmatic if not social active. They see this world as the humans’ world, and seek to live among them. Despite this, there are many Halfling clans that wander the wilderness and wild plains beyond Phoenicia. They do not call themselves Halflings, though. Their own name for themselves are the Thalides – meaning “people who blossom.”
Gnomes are also from the world of Arvandor and thought to originate with Elvenkind, but unlike the Halflings who sought to live among humans, the gnomes turned to the dwarves for inspiration. The rarest of all the races, the gnomes love magic, music, and invention. They dwell in isolated pockets within the Cassandrian Empire.
HALF-ELVES AND HALF-ORCS:
Orcs originate from a world that they have forgotten the name of. And the elves originate from Arvandor. Because of their origins, they are alien. However, their DNA is also compatible with human DNA, allowing for racial mixes that are the Half-Elves and the Half-Orcs. Half-elves with an Olvinian Elf as a parent, however, gain the Awakened trait for free, which is the psionic talent feat for free at the cost of the Multi-talented trait. As for Half-orcs, they are seen as monstrosities and are regarded with prejudice and disdain because they are believed to be the product of rape.
The Nagaji originates from the land of Aryavarta. They are a race of ophidian humanoids that have the skin of true nagas. Like serpents, they have forked tongues and lidless eyes. Otherwise, their physical forms are humanoid. This raises speculation about their origins, the truth is that the Nagaji are the product of Naga experimentation on their human followers in the lands of Aryavarta and Khmeria. They are truly a blend of human and serpent, having the capacity to feel compassion. The Nagaji do inspire awe and fear among other humanoids, but they were given space for an Enclave in the Vedic Quarter.
Nagaji Architecture does resemble ancient Indian Architecture, as their enclave has the most wonderous architecture. Their temple has many spires that reach into heaven, and often have a serpent’s head carved into them along side a human head.
Nagaji’s colorings and markings range from the scale patterns of a reticulated python, to those of an Indian Cobra, to those of a coral snake and rattlesnake. The Nagaji enjoy the clothing styles of the Vedics, although it is not strange to see one in the nude worshipping in the Jain religion. A number of the Nagaji are Awakened and gain the Awakened trait – that is the psionic talent feat for free at character creation – at the cost of their Serpent’s Sense trait.
+2 Strength, +2 Charisma, –2 Intelligence: Nagaji are strong and have forceful personalities, but tend to ignore logic and mock scholastic pursuits.
The Lemurians are a blend of humans with an alien spirit. They are also fair to look upon, but have a mix of Asiatic and Caucasian features. The blend of Asiatic and Caucasian features allow for a striking beauty that is enhanced to almost otherworldly.
The alien spirits that they are blended with, as it turns out, are pretty alien in the fact that they are said to come from the World of Dreams. The spirits that have done the blending are working hard to achieve goodness and all that is right in the world, so evil Lemurians – although rare – are typically psychologically unbalanced and manifest this as being manic and highly emotional. Despite this, the race also has some strange traits. They all have a tradition of intense meditation, members of the race are either extroverted or introverted. Some are extremely focused, while others approach life from a hedonist perspective. Secondly, they tend to live in strange family groups dedicated to one sex, but heterosexual pairings are far more common than people think. In the end, the Lemurians seem to be a race of extremes. Also, the race is extremely awakened.
Medium: The Lemurians are a medium sized race, and have no special bonuses or penalties due to size. (0 RP)
Humanoid: the Lemurians are humans blended with an alien spirit. (0 RP)
Flexible Bonus Feat: The Lemurians’ human heritage allows them to have one extra feat at first level.
Silver Tongued: Lemurians gain a +2 bonus on Diplomacy and Bluff checks. In addition, when they use Diplomacy to shift a creature’s attitude, they can do so up to three steps up rather than just two. (3 RP)
Skill Bonus: Lemurians receive a +2 skill bonus on Disguise checks made to impersonate a human being. The Lemurians have a close resemblance to humans. (1 RP)
Naturally Psionic: Lemurians gain 1 extra power point per character level, regardless of whether or not they choose a psionic class. (3 RP)
Psi-Like Abilities: Mindlink (1/day). Lemurians have the ability to create a telepathic link that is like the psionic power manifested by a wilder of 1/2 the Lemurian’s hit dice (minimum 1st level).
If you are not using Psionics Unleashed in your game, use the following Spell as a spell-like ability:
You forge a telepathic bond with your target. You can communicate telepathically through the bond even if you do not share a common language. No special power or influence is established as a result of the bond. Once the bond is formed, it works over any distance (although not from one plane to another).
An Empowered version of Mindlink can create a telepathic bond with a creature that is not willing (Will save negates). For every level above one, a non-metamagicked Mindlink can affect an additional target. An Extended Mindlink can create a mindlink with a monster such as a dragon. A Maximized version of Mindlink can create a mindlink with the maximum number of people. The spell can forge a telepathic link with up to 12 people.
RP Cost: 1 RP for the psionic version, 2 RP for the magical version.
Languages: Lemurians begin play speaking Common (Hellenic) and Lemurian. Lemurians with high intelligence scores can choose from the following: Any human tongue, Celestial, Draconic, Elven, Giant, Infernal, and Sylvan. (1 RP)
Total: (10 RP for psionic version, and 11 RP for magical version).
The Proteans are the result of Dopplegangers mixing with humans, and are now a race that breed true. Known as the Mujina in the Uttermost East, they are known as the Massai or the Proteans among the peoples of the Cassandrian Empire. Perhaps the name Massai is an Achaemeniad bastardization of the name mujina. The race is devoid of any color and has eyes that lack pupils. However, they have the unnerving ability to alter their appearance.
For most of their history, they lived in humanoid settlements, and often mistrusted and faced prejudice. The race has been scattered and dispersed among the world, and because of this they have no cultural identity to the race. Because of this, they have developed a myriad of ways to cope, which is expressed by three different philosophies of dealing with the world. Some seek to pass as the race they are living with, some embrace their ability to shapechange, and others seek to be as they are.
Protean Racial Traits (total 9 RP):[/spoiler:
Humanoid (Shapechanger): the Proteans are humanoids with the Shapechanger subtype. (0 RP)
Medium: The Proteans are medium creatures. (0 RP)
Stubborn: Proteans have slippery minds, and thus proteans gain a +2 racial bonus on Will saving throws to resist spells and spell-like abilities of the enchantment (charm) and enchantment (compulsion) subschools. (2 RP)
Silver-tongued: Proteans gain a +2 bonus to Diplomacy and Bluff checks. This is because Proteans are inherently skilled in deception but they lack the ability to detect thoughts like dopplegangers. (3 RP)
Natural Linguist: Proteans start with Common (Hellenic) plus Proteans with high intelligence scores may learn any languages they wish except for the secret languages like Druidic. (1 RP)
Minor Change Shape (Su): Proteans have the following supernatural ability: a protean can assume the appearance of a single form of a single humanoid race of its size. The form is static and cannot be changed each time it takes this form. The creature gains a +10 racial bonus on Disguise checks made to appear as the member of the race whose appearance it assumes. Changing its shape is a standard action. This trait otherwise functions as alter self, save that the creature does not adjust its ability scores. (3 RP)
The Elan are the result of a bizarre ritual that changes a human or a humanoid into a being that is sustained by Psychic Energy. The ritual is nearly identical to the one that transformed Chandragupta into a psionic lich – nearly because the subject of the transformation does not become Undead. Instead, he becomes a living abberation – able to sustain his life through his own psionic will. The transformation grants power over life and gives the Elan a sort of Immortality.
Elans are transformed according to a council that considers each applicant to be transformed. The transformation is complete, and much of the old life is erased, giving the newly transformed Elan a new life. Like the Proteans, an élan does not have a culture to call it’s own and the race’s leaders are mostly secret. Elan racial traits and a description of the race are found in Psionics Unleashed or the upcoming Ultimate Psionics book from Dreamscarred Press.
Maenads are the result of a terrific crystalline explosion two thousand years ago, when Phoenicia was first settled. Created when humans caused an antediluvian giant crystal to explode to destroy an ancient Lich, the lich known as Xaroth. Xaroth and those immediately around him were utterly vaporized. The humans that survived the blast were given a boon and a curse. First of all, the crystal was psionic, and second of all it had the power to amplify or react synergistically with human emotion.
When the crystal blew up, it blew up with the energy of a nuclear Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, and the result produced uncountable tiny crystals as fallout. The fallout was dispersed for four hundred miles, and those affected by it had tiny crystals fall into their food. The crystals were poison, and the first generation of humans either died or got sick. However, the next generation developed immunity to the crystal’s fallout and their physiology was changed so that the next generation produced crystals in their skin with the same properties of the crystal that blew up. So, they became a new race, called the Maenads.
A Maenad looks like he is of Indo-European descent and has a slight look of an Ashkenazi Jew, except for the minute crystals that are in his skin. Their hair coloring ranges from cornhusk blonde (rare), to red (also rare), to brown and black (common). There are few with blue and truly green eyes, but many with hazel and brown eyes. Maenads have their own cuisine. Maenads are boilerplates of emotion, so they often keep their emotions in check by meditating. Maenad racial traits are found in Psionics Unleashed or the upcoming Ultimate Psionics from Dreamscarred Press.
The holy blooded planetouched are rare but somewhat more common in Phoenicia than elsewhere, mainly because of the presence of angelic lifeforms that visit the city from time to time. Aasimars when recognized are often viewed with awe and respect. Most aasimars aid this reaction by furthering their kind’s reputation for selflessness and heroism. Virtually all the aasimars are good-aligned.
The dark elves, or drow as they call themselves, are beholden to an evil goddess. The drow are a dark race of elves that live deep underground in order to revel in their wickedness and to rebel against any good thing they see. These drow have become the bane of all elvenkind after they came here from Arvandor. The other elves only speak of them in tones of sorrow and disgrace.
Dark elves are carefully taught after they are born the ways of Evil. They are carefully taught that evil is good and good is evil. Although it is certain for them that they can overcome their evil, most drow never do. Dark elf society is full of the most sickening aberrations in humanoid behavior. Homosexuality is openly encouraged in their society and is thought of as normal. Also bondage, sadism, and masochism are rampant. The matriarchal theocratic government is utterly corrupt and tyrannical and abortions are frequent and dedicated to some dark god of prosperity. Many dark elves are sane, but the frequencies of those with exotic personality traits are higher than in humans.
Dark elves hate the sun and all bright light. Open spaces make them uneasy, however they feel at home in the deep caves underneath the city. The drow are also notoriously violent in spite of their matriarchal government. These elves are sinister and crafty. They value guile and scoff at truth and honesty. They typically dress scantily, and they lack the spirit of modesty and decorum that is felt by the surface races. To be a drow is to be in trouble with the surface. A drow on the surface feels the most extreme prejudice based on race than most any other race and most drow are imprisoned because they are drow and not because they did anything. With the recent changes in government over the years, however, there are less drow witch-hunts in Phoenicia than anywhere else.
Orcs are from an alien planet, and a large swarm of them came into the world shortly after the Elves appeared from Arvandor and the Dwarves came from Midgaarth. The swarm, calling itself the Horde, was responsible for the destruction of many ancient civilizations. Right now, the orcs have found equilibrium in the Dragon Mountains, and quietly live there in a life of honor and integrity.
Like the drow, the Orcs are mistrusted. Unlike the drow, however, the orcs are often given the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately, orcs have become the ancestral enemies of humans everywhere do to their raids into human territory. Many aberrant orc tribes have been extinguished after an orc raid into human territory, but there are times when tribes of humans have banded together with orcs on joint operations of Invasion – such as the series of invasions into the lands of Aryavarta.
Still, there are some tribes of orcs that try very hard to rise above their reputations among humans. They often work to treat humans with respect, despite the mutual hatred between the two races. The two tribes that are prominent that live in Phoenicia’s territory are the Winter Wolf tribe and the Red Raptor tribe; both chieftains of these orc tribes seek to live lives of honor and give honor to their ancestors and the spirits of their tribes – the wolf and the dinosaur dienonychus. They do not raid into Phoenician territory and often raid the Pelegasiri Elves and other human settlements that have done them dishonorably.
The Teiflings are found in Phoenicia, and they often live in the seedier places of the city such as the Docks and poorer sections of the city. They have demonic or devilish blood running through their veins because they are the result of demonic byblows. Some idiot in their ancestry made a pact with an evil demon or devil, and sex was the result of this pact. Sometimes the tryst results in pregnancy, and a half-fiend is born. Through the half-fiend comes the tieflings. Most tieflings in Phoenicia retain their ancestors’ evil outlooks, and a great many tend to be chaotic. In a city where people strive to attain their ultimate potential, teiflings may seem to be outsiders in that endeavor.
Well, here I am, running a High Psionics campaign, starting yesterday. :) Psionics seems to be the stepchild of D&D hardly anyone loves, so I thought that the D&D 3.5/d20/OGL board would be perfect for explaining it.
So, we come to the reasons why I like Psionics in D&D and 3.5 in the first place.
1. There is an artistic reason.
2. there is a philosophical reason.
The Artistic Reason
I opened the book, and WOW!
You guys who opened the Complete Psionics Handbook and found out that there was problems with the System, I'm pretty sure you enjoyed the color plates inside the book. I know I did. They struck a chord with me, especially for one who was used to Kevin's choices of internal art for Rifts(TM) and Psyscape(TM). Each and every picture showcased the potential of humanity for me.
These pictures are in the spirit of the color plates in the book:
I also read the system, and I liked it enough to use it. I didn't convert the powers to RIFTS, though, but it was enough for me to buy my own copies of the 2nd Edition Player's Handbook, the Monster Manual, and the Dungeon Master's Guidebook. I even picked up the GURPS 3rd Edition Psionics rules, go figure. :)
The Philosophical Reason
It seems that we are totally in control of how we experience our lives. We are so much in control that we can choose to let others influence us as if everything happens at random. Unfortunately, we ourselves typically control our realities on a subconscious level. However, we truly control the holodeck of our experience and we can consciously control it. Since we can control what we experience, we are able to do anything, to have anything, and to be anything we desire to be. In short to use a metaphor, we are all green lanterns without the power ring.
We can rewire our brains and in effect, rewire ourselves according to our desires. Psionics in D&D as it stands now, if you read the book, is a lot like this. Especially the realm of Metacreativity. The rules are very close to how real life operates, just in a fantastical way and in a way it can operate in a game. The rules don't mirror the Papers and Paychecks RPG(tm) or the Real Life RPG(tm) in how they operate, but they operate just fine in Dungeons and Dragons 3.x and Pathfinder using Psionics Unleashed. Heck, the Force in Star Wars is also a good description on how things work in the Universe -- we are all practically Force Sensitive. This movie also explains things very well to the lay person.
Jeremy Smith's Psionics Myth Thread is all comprehensive as to addressing psionics to those who think that the Psionics Unleashed system is overpowered. I suggest you give it a read.
It's true that whatever the reason why you don't like it that the system isn't perfect, or you feel it doesn't belong (because we are mixing Sci-fi with Fantasy!). There are some of us that do.
Since learning about time, it seems that anti-matter moves backward in time. :)
Spanky the Leprechaun wrote:
The Return of the King oscar should have went to the Fellowship of the Ring.
The Shugenja class is "Abandon Ware" by Wizards of the Coast, secondly, it also appears in the OGL-compliant ROKUGAN book. Legend of the Five Rings is my favorite Oriental Fantasy setting, by the way. It's been my dream to purchase the Legend of the Five Rings Intellectual Properties myself. Why? So I can write and publish adventures in the L5R game world without lawyers busting down my gates! (A lot of you will be quick to point out that AEG will charge a lot for the property. I don't care.)
Ahem -- this conversion is a Academic Exercise. The Cleric and Druid in Pathfinder works as a great replacement, although if you loved 1st Edition OA as much as I do, this Academic Exercise should be a fun place to start.
The Shugenja is the magical counterpart to the Samurai and the Courtier in Rokugan. Mechanically, it was developed from the 3.x Sorcerer. So, in the spirit of the 3.x OA book and the ROKUGAN d20 book, it's a sorcerer variant.
Hit Points and Skill Ranks are per Sorcerer.
*Divine Magic Focus!*
Air -- Air spells are subtle, and thus involve travel, intuition, influence, divination, and Illusion. For the Dragon Empires of the Pathfinder Game -- there is a Generic Air School you can use (either from the APG or from the spell list I'm giving you below). If using Rokugan there are two major families and two minor families that practice Air magic. The Asahina of the Crane and the Soshi of the Scorpion are the major families, and the Moshi is the minor family.
The Schools of the Asahina include: Shinden Asahina and the Ashina Battle School. The school of the Soshi is The Dojo of the Closed Eye.
Earth -- Earth Spells involve resilience and resolve, so Earth Shugenja must choose Air as their barred element (and Air shugenja must choose Earth as their barred element). The families that practice Earth magic include the Kuni of the Crab, the Tamori of the Dragon, the Horiuchi family of the Unicorn, and the Yogo of the Scorpion. The Kitsune family of the Fox also practice Earth Magic.
The School of the Crab is the Kuni Wastelands. Mountain Home Dojo and the Dragon's Heart Dojo are the schools of the Dragon Clan. Similarly the Yugo train at the Kuroiban. Finally the Horiuchi train at Honor Winds Castle.
Fire -- Fire spells are utterly destructive and blatant. Similarly, they also deal with intelligence, inspiration, and creativity! Fire Shugenja must choose Water as their prohibited element. The only family that specializes in Fire Magic is the Agasha of the Phoenix Clan.
Kyuden Agasha is where the Agasha are taught their brand of fire magic.
Water -- Water spells involve transformation, cleansing, and healing -- also friendship. Water shugenja must -- as you guessed -- choose fire as their prohibited element. The Kitsu school of the Lion clan, and the Iuchi school of the Unicorn clan specialize in Water Magic.
The schools where the Shugenja of the Lion and the Unicorn include: Bishamon Seido and the Kitsu Tombs for the Lion; and the Gatherer of the Winds Dojo.
The final family of Shugenja are the Isawa family of the Phoenix Clan. From them, all traditions descend from, and it is also the Isawa that train in all four elements. They are also the only family that have a tradition in training in the fifth Element -- the Void. The Isawa family teach their magic at the hidden city of Gisei Toshei.
* Sense Elements *
[ It's late, and I'll add to this later. ]
bloodline spells will be replaced by School specific spells taken from the Original school lists. The Isawa Family trains in the spells of the Generic Schools. :)
I think the simple answer to the question is yes. You do need to cite everything that you use. It's simple, it's on paper, and you do need to cite where you used stuff in section 15.
Believe it or not, the OGL is a blessing, even if you have to cover your asian desert donkey. The section 15 is just a formality to smooth some feathers. That's it. If you want more attribution to the original authors, just list the authors you can on your title page.
I just mention QuestionCopyright.org and Boldrin and Levine because they question the lifetime of the Corporate Copyright. So, according to the terms on the OGL, I'm really backing Dale McCoy up. Just not as fanatically. Liz Courts is absolutely right, no matter how vague she says it.
If you're using the Open Gaming License (and the Pathfinder Compatibility License), then you need to abide by the terms of both licenses. The licenses are legal documents, and are binding. Updating Section 15 of the OGL is one of the most tedious parts of publishing Open Game Content (and by extension Pathfinder Roleplaying Game material), but it is necessary, and required according to the terms of the license.
The Lawyering advice is needed as to what to do with section 15 in case you want to shorten it. But reading the license over and over again, it's amazing how much plain English was used to spell out the terms of the license. It's not written in much legal Jargon. There are some parts I don't agree with in Section 1 (which using the CC license takes care of that part for me), but they are there, even if some spell names are so common it's annoying (Firebolt anyone? The name Shadowbolt has been used at least twice!).
However, the OGL gives you an amazing amount of Freedom. It's basically one of the tools used to help Paizo Publishing become as successful as it did, especially when the Game System License first came out. Section 15 is one of those necessary things you have to do. It's not evil, and the best thing to do without Lawyering advice is just document everything you used under Section 15. It's about covering your donkey while you declare copyright on your stuff.
Burgomeister of Troll Town wrote:
3) Magic is not real.
uh. . .
Ever read this theory? According to it's many worlds interpretation, there are an infinite number of possibilities or "worlds." Thus all fiction is true. So, it's more accurate to say:
3). Magic is not real in my experience.
It's the New Age "Physics" speak that's got them off, I believe. Although "Energy" and "Matter" have been words in Plato's Greek (just read the Critias and the Timaeus), most people are put off. They think that there is a clear line between both branches of Fantastic Fiction, and when Psionics entered D&D, the line was crossed.
They want Alchemy to reside clearly in Fantasy, despite Sir Issac Newton and John Locke practicing Alchemy. Any character doing experiments in the way a Natural Philosopher did in the Middle Ages in order to get the fabled Philosopher's Stone is fantasy for them. The line can cross the other way. Imagine a science fiction adventure about the race to find the Philosopher's Stone.
Although, traditionally, Psionics belongs in Traveler, or GURPS: Space, or interestingly enough, the X-Men. And Magic belongs in Fantasy works. However, in truth, Psionics and Magic do spring from the same source. If one knew the truth about One's Self, then it wouldn't matter. Psionics, magic, alchemy, and chemistry just becomes a tool.
My favorite psionics character is the Shaper. If I had enough money and enough time, I would have bought one of those slots and have WAR do my Shaper character, with the looks of being confident, cool, knowledgable -- and using Create Object True to "conjure" an object from the Ether.
Will you stop playing D&D if Hasbro shelved it?
Would you introduce your children and grandchildren (geese, I'm almost 40!) to D&D after it has been shelved through one of the Clones or Pathfinder?
I know I would. Hasbro shelving D&D isn't a bad thing. It's a good thing. It would mean the genie is really out of the bottle! People will continue to play. You can't stop people playing D&D or any other roleplaying game. It's just pure nonsense.
D&D 5th should succeed. However, if it doesn't, the D&D brand could be shelved. But it's not necessarily a bad thing for all of gaming. In the past 4 years, Wizards of the Coast has moved from prominence in the gaming world, and people showed them that they will play what they liked.
I have a copy of the Wilderlands of High Fantasy (new version for 3.5) and a host of other gaming settings. I'm even developing my own setting. Would Hasbro shelving D&D really stop me from playing? Really?
Question is, do you really need Hasbro to keep D&D going?
I'm popular, but I should be charging money for what I provide as a free service.
My thread got moved to the homebrew area. That means I can write whatever I want! I had an idea for an adventure set in the Finger Lakes area of Upstate New York. I can set the adventure in that area!
--- I can put in an appendix for those that want to use Advanced d20 Magic!
--- I can set an adventure that explores why Gnolls act so savagely. I just looked at the Gnoll entry in Bestiary and downloaded The Slayer's Guide to Gnolls. This is after writing a piece of fiction about them.
--- Oh, I can write it using Movie Script structure like how Burning Shoalin from Atlas Games' Coriolis series is written.
--- Oh, oh, PSIONICS! Since I know that system forwards and backwards!
--- CREATIVE FREEDOM!!! :D
Not really interested in it myself. Psionics don't really thrill me, but more than that, I'm not too fond of attempts at mythic India so far. Perhaps Paizo can surprise me, but if that surprise is going to be based on it being "psionics land" then they shouldn't bother.
Just because there is a substantial psionics community in Vudra doesn't mean it's a Psiarchy. Give them some credit. Paizo may have plans for Vudra that does not mean that it's ruled by psions. Just so that there is enough that a good number of Vudrani have latent psionic abilities.
Vudra would have to come out of research. The man or woman writing the Gazetteer would have to at least read the Ramayana. Then there is the Rig Vedas, the Mahrabarata, and many other cycles -- all translated into English.
Then there is Polytheism as expressed by Hinduism (which is an Indo-European religion). Buddhism, and Jainism will also be researched along with many other metaphysical systems. Then there is the Caste System, which is probably the worst way you can control a human being outside of downright slavery.
There is Hanuman, Rama, the Vanaras, and a lot more to look at; just to get a basis. Then he or she will sit down to work, building off what Paizo had said about the land already. They may base it on a good number of Indian epochs and empires; even during their Warring States period. There could be any number of kingdoms. Many of them an actual kingdom rather than a psiarchy.
I had hoped we moved away from the MMO/WoW analogies but...alas.
My cousin plays 4e and he says it's like World of Warcraft. So, just suck it up and go on. Accept everyone says 4e plays like an MMO as a fact of life. You aren't going to convince everyone that 4e doesn't play like an MMO when it clearly does. So stop with the lamentations already.
4e is over and done with. What they are doing with 5th edition will be what is going to go for a long time. Just accept it's a tabletop concept copy of how WoW and ST:TOR plays. After all, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is in insane.
Would you support a monopoly? Really, would you support a monopoly?
If 5e is not Open and put under monopolous control via just copyright, it's something I'd live with. It might be great and awesome, but I wouldn't produce for it. The pipeline to produce for 5e is very narrow and you have to compete with other Freelancers to even get noticed by Wizards of the Coast.
Secondly, Wizards of the Coast acts like a gatekeeper. They only buy the manuscripts they like; therefore cutting off other potential good manuscripts from seeing the light of day. This works in 1980 or 1990, but in 2012 it's impossible.
The internet made it possible for Artists and their Audience to get together. We can bypass the Gatekeeper (in this case, WotC) and release our work for those who would buy them. What the OGL does is that it allows WotC to publish what it likes and allows other artists to publish what they see in their head without going to WotC. The gatekeeper becomes just another provider in a community of artists and audiences.
Take that away, and you get unhappy artists who want their stuff published, yet they have to go through WotC again. WotC will always publish what it likes (unfortunately, the majority trusts WotC's publications than 3pp).
Take away the OGL, and a lot of Artists will be unable to release their work to you, and you will have to go to Wizards of the Coast to get your D&D Content. It may or not be what you want, and what you get may give you ideas for your own stuff. But your work will never see an audience unless it gets past Wizards of the Coast.
That's why we need an OGL for 5th Edition, Memorax. We need it so that we won't have to convince Wizards of the Coast that our Work is the work they want to publish. We can publish it ourselves.
Well, to clarify what I want out of 5e to Scott Betts:
4e Backgrounds and themes are a big, big joke. I bet if DMs knew about Paul Jaquays' Central Casting books they'd probably throw everything 4e offered for backgrounds and themes out of the window and use this. Antiquated, yes! But any DM should be inventive enough to really generate a character's background using this book and ingenuity (1st Edition is cool, Second Edition of the book is watered down.)
Basically what we did with the Nezumi character he has can be summed up in this conversation:
4e Character: "Hello, happy world! Hello, happy tree, hello happy bunny, hello happy squirrel!"
Pathfinder Character (who looks like a rat): "Hello, clueless one."
4e Character: "Oh hi! Can we be friends?"
Pathfinder Nezumi character: "Maybe. Tell me about yourself."
4e Character: "Well, my name's George. I'm a house Deneith Mercenary and I fought in the Last War."
Pathfinder Nezumi Character. "Well, you're certainly acting pretty one dimensional, what was your military experience?"
George Deneith (4e): "I don't know. I'm just a veteran of the Last War. But I have Intimidate as an associated skill!"
The Nezumi does a face palm. George. "What?"
"Your player is a gamist, right?"
"Thought so. My player took the trouble generating my background, but my exploits pale in comparison to my father's."
"Oh? What happened?"
"First of all, we were kicked out of Nezumi lands for being different. My father found work as a fisherman and joined the Home Guard so we can have some money. At first, he saw little action, ran away from some, and joined up to prove himself.
"There was a major war with a neighboring kingdom and his actions got him promoted to corporal. There was many battles, and he was finally decorated for his bravery and became an officer. He was so good that he signed on for another five years and was assigned to special forces -- in the Ranger division. Another war broke out with Drow and he kills one of their generals! There were major battles, where he lost most of his forces, but he proved himself and became a knight! A KNIGHT!
"There was another war that broke out, and his stint was increased. I never saw him but I knew he was doing well. When he returned, he taught me some of his swordcraft, and taught me sword fighting the soldiering way. Finally, there was a major coup on our kingdom and he led it. He slew the king and took over the kingdom."
George looked at the Nezumi with his jaw open.
"And you think you have problems. I've been adventuring in my father's shadow ever since!"
I really get the feeling that you are misunderstanding where I am coming from Diffan. You are not seeing the picture I see, you are seeing the picture you see. 4th says, "I'm artificial" to me. There is no feeling to me that you are in a different world when you play.
The picture I see of 4th is, to describe it in terms of machinery, a complex Victorian steam engine with cogs and wheels producing a painting without vibrance or life. Some of it was done right, yes. But ---
No one in real life has the same opportunities. There is no artificial balance in real life, everything in real life is built without glaring balance. Everyone has different gifts, different opportunities, and different circumstances in life. Human beings on this planet isn't at all BALANCED obviously. Take a look at the Occupy Wall Street movement: people are fed up and frustrated that 1% controls most of the money (I think their anger is misplaced, it should be against those who control and create our money).
There is a stark difference from a ELF terrorist and a soldier in Special Forces. There is a stark difference between a bush pilot and an Airline pilot. There are differences from a Gangster and an ordinary policeman.
There should be enough differences in the balance between the classes to make the game feel plausible. So a 3.x Wizard can blow up a bunch of kobolds at 11th level, so what? A mid level Special Forces soldier can do the same with C-4 explosives.
I see 4th Edition as fake, that is the overall picture that it presents to me. We see different pictures, try to at least see mine and not to see what I see as a threat to yours. 4th Edition is an entirely different game from the others. The true relationship it has is to OD&D (BECMI), as to the rest -- it bears no similarity.
My problems are with character creation. The rest is okay. I can't solve them in ten minutes without stripping the game down. Character Creation has the problems I have with 4th, Diffan. Character Creation. I have to throw everything out dealing with Character Creation and start with scratch to have a game that I am satisfied with and call it 4th. Do you understand?
Scott Betts wrote:
I couldn't figure out how to play the kind of character I wanted to play unless I reversed engineered a couple of things in the game. 4th Edition was overly weighted towards the Adventurer. I wanted rules for a host of non-adventuring professions and to prove it, I wanted to build a Noble.
The closest I got to was creating a Warlord that didn't use his powers. I never got the chance to play him because everyone thought I was breaking the game. I wasn't, I tried to push it in a direction I wanted it to go (Versatility.)
I quickly found out it was impossible given the rule set. If I successfully pushed 4th were I wanted it to go, it wouldn't be 4th anymore. To play D&D 4th ed is to play a rigid rules set. So, I got excited for 5th Edition and I am faithfully waiting for a versatile version of D&D right now. I definitely want versatility in the rules concerning characters.
If have a blacksmith NPC, I want rules to play that Blacksmith NPC as a DM. I had more success GMing the game, though. But still, the game is lacking. Only 1/100th of one percent of a given world population (I think it's smaller than that) is described in all three books.
4E is weighted towards the gamist, as one person said. I checked it out myself, and yes it is true. 4e is an "Olympic" or "Sport" version of D&D. If D&D competitions were televised, this is the version the Sports media would televise. 4th Edition is made with an Athlete's logic instead of a playwright's logic. It's definitely a mass market RPG, but a Roleplaying Game's niche has always been creative scholars rather than Athletes.
4e a Great System? Sorry, but you can't please everyone all at the same time. It's a great system for you, but for me, there are problems. Deep problems. To solve them, I either need to play a different game (Pathfinder, Rolemaster, AD&D 2ed Edition for ex.); or totally re-engineer the game to fit my vision.
I just couldn't get in the spirit. The entire game screams out "FAKE" to me.
Ignoring your remark on my remark on Profit I'll get down to what I perceive as problems with the 4th edition of the game:
Easy enough, it doesn't feel all that real to me. When I ran 4th Edition for a group, I honestly gave it a good try the first and second time. I did my best to adapt my world to 4th as I conceived of it.
Classes are hard to produce within 4th Edition. You have to make up a lot of powers. It's easier to write a race than it is a class. In fact, it's easier to add powers to an existing class.
Skill Challenges are the best thing that came out of 4th Edition. The concept is wonderful enough that you can actually adapt it to Pathfinder without any problem.
There weren't enough skills. There were enough skills to cover adventuring (like in original Rolemaster) but not enough to cover every instance.
Rituals are spells from previous editions. I didn't like it because they didn't feel like rituals enough to me.
As for Monte Cook and how he feels about going back to basics, I'd say that he's right. As for Paizo or another company refining 5th Edition, this is exactly what I want to see happen. The best thing about the OGL is that it created competition.
Paizo took 3.5 Edition and refined it to near perfection, in the words of a poster here. With Competition and no monopoly, you generally will get better materials as well as craptastic ones from your competitors. And if you haven't even seen, there are a group who will stay loyal to the 1st party (while someone like me likes the 3rd party, within reason). \
Generally, though, I agree with your rebuttal on Monte Cook, in as far as one thing:
I am excited about 5th Edition. I really am. 4th Edition jumped the Shark for me, and that is one of the reasons why I went to Pathfinder. I desire an Edition of Dungeons and Dragons that gets it. 4th Edition gives me a childish vibe, not a childlike vibe. With the announcement of Margaret Weis, I felt like I could talk about 5th Edition, even though I wanted to talk about it just after 4th was released.
I love Pathfinder and I liked 2nd Edition AD&D. 3rd Edition for me was exciting, and I felt you can actually do a lot with your characters. Fourth was odd to me. It really was.
Yeah. This is what I want to happen with the release of 5th Edition.
* Wizards makes a healthy profit. First and fore most, a company exists to make money. 4th Edition presented a bunch of problems that needed to be solved 5 years after its release. Wizards of the Coast publishes Dungeons and Dragons to make money.
* That the new game inspires Creativity. In order to make more money, Wizards of the Coast would have to make a fairly inspiring game. Their core audience are interactive storytellers that have creativity in their bones. So to speak.
* That the new game is totally open with the OGL, or totally closed off with Copyright. I suggest the former, as 3rd party products sell 1st party products.
* If it's open, Paizo would be able to build off 5th Edition and refine it.
* Finally, I wish Monte Cook the best of luck in writing the new game. Monte Cook isn't the perfect game designer, but he does have many projects under his belt.
I learned from a Reliable Source (Margaret Weis) that someone by the name of Monte Cook is writing Fifth Edition. You know what I say to that?
*Takes a look at 4th Edition and . . . *
FUS RO DAH!
* blasts 4th Edition off the planet with the Theme for Skyrim playing in the background. *