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zhnov's page

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Hey, we've all had a 'new favorite 1st level character'. Oh well, I guess he should have been more careful, taken some hints from the 4 hp wizard.

wraithstrike wrote:

To be perfectly honest I think it is better to remove that one, but if you must have it then I would allow a save.

Ditto. While a fun entry on the crit chart, including instant death creates a vulnerability against the PCs... a PC will eventually have his head removed... in fact, once in every 100 critical sword swings by the enemy. It'll happen more often than most groups would probably like.

The average critter or opposing NPC only has a few rounds of game time to worry about the threat of beheading. After that, they are typically dead one way or another.

Insta-death is only appropriate for a very grim+gritty campaign environ.

Turin the Mad wrote:

Also, given your own example, there is NO mathematical difference between 10 +SL +bonuses and 10 +1/2 CL +bonuses.

Actually, there is a difference. I actually prefer "10 +1/2 CL +bonuses", because it makes weaker spells cast by higher level casters stronger than if cast by a lower level caster, which I believe makes sense.

Perhaps the Homunculus is a vessel for the liberated soul of the former master.

I've see a few efforts over the years to decompose the core D20 mechanics of character construction, allowing an "ECL+? equivalency" for such things as extra feats or spell-like abilities. Makes one wonder if such an analysis could be used to give an ECL modifier for exceptionally high or low ability scores.

Seems sensible that a group could allow each player to select from an array of point buy options, if each array carried an ECL modifier where appropriate.

I recommend you consider making *all* domain spells "known" and give a limited number of additional spells known per level. You might also consider making 'opposed domain' spells prohibited. This would reinforce a caster/deity domain 'theme'.

As an extremely long-toothed DM (basic set 'dice chits' anyone?), I'm reluctant to talk much about my homebrew system due to the inevitable discussion about what is broken in my rules or implications about what might be wrong with me. [here goes 'nothin'...]

A homebrew system I've used for years focuses deeply on the transition from mortal to divine, which turns out to be a very lengthy process (which could start at even very low levels). The HB kludges together the Birthright Campaign Setting (BRCS D20) rules to the Dicefreaks Deity Rules, offering a path to ascension. I won't post or share the rules because they are not fit for public consumption (written notes, etc), but I can summarize the system well for those interested in doing something similar.

Immortal Homebrew
Following the BRCS rules, mortals build their bloodline score to 40 through that system (rules available at link below), at which time they become a timeless outsider (the low end of immortal), and become Divine Rank (DR) 0 in name only, without most of the benefits defined for DR0 in the DDG.

The full benefits normally associated with DR0 are spread out over the next 20 levels of an Immortal prestige class, and to gain each level, a portion of the associated DR0 benefits, and an outsider HD, the PC/NPC must have a progressively higher BRCS bloodline score, which means they will either have to participate in blood theft (taking of others' bloodline power through slaughter or manipulation), or through further development of their domain ('domain' as defined in BRCS).

In the homebrew, levels in the Immortal PRC are called Immortal Ranks (ImR), akin to the Divine Rank system in the DDG. At ImR 20 (which happens to be bloodline score 100), the character finally attains full benefits of being Divine Rank 0 (quasi-deity), as defined in the DDG book.

I spread the benefits of DR0 over 20 levels because of the substantial ECL that would be associated with DR0 powers. Since DR0 itself doesn't represent an ECL of +20, the 20-level PRC progression also grants additional outsider HD and minor daily powers gained each level. Progressing through the 20-level PRC can be a challenge, with the requirement for continual progression in building the BRCS bloodline score.

ImR20 characters can petition a greater power to sponsor them into a pantheon at DR1 (if space "exists" in a pantheon), or alternatively might be able to ascend on their own if they can build their bloodline score to 120 (without further progression beyond ImR20).

On ascension from quasi-deity (DR0) to demigod (DR1), BRCS powers and bloodline score and ImR are shed and the character retains the 20 outsider HD (a feature common to DDG powers), chooses a portfolio and domain, is able to chose a new physical form, and undergoes a rebuild/retrain session. From that point forward, the mechanics for the character follow the Dicefreaks Deity Rules.

How you DM for PC gods is up to you. The Dicefreaks Deity Rules offer a balanced system, but that will likely be the least of your worries, as you'll be focused on preventing Armageddon (been there, done that.. boring!)

An afterthought... I can't emphasize enough that an immortal/divine campaign can quickly spin out of control as PCs gain power. A DM for such a campaign has to focus on role-playing vice roll-playing to ensure the campaign remains interesting and a challenge. Seek storyline rp opportunities. What does it mean to be timeless or to be a god? The benefits of immortality should be offset somehow with responsibility for the PCs (demanding followers, need to provide guidance and leadership, etc). Give nothing to the PCs for free, make them earn every bit of it, and they will be proud of what they have earned and will treasure the campaign. [edit-fix typo]

Birthright Campaign Setting (BRCS D20)

Dicefreaks Deity Rules

I'm also a big fan of UpperKrust's Immortal's Handbook, which includes a Worship Point System where heroic deeds by mortals can result in ascension to divinity. While I haven't used UK's system in my game, I followed the (exhaustingly) long development process, have "pulled the legs" off his system, and believe it to be mechanically sound... and full of many inspiring concepts. Want epic level play? Set your ELH aside and pick up the IHB (Immortal's Handbook).

At one point, UK had conducted some deep forensics in calculating ECL. His research there was a great help in my effort to balance the 20 levels of my Immortal PRC. Hats-off and sweeping bow to UK, a god among men.

The Immortals Handbook

zack, the situation is really up to the DM.

I'd let the PCs send a henchman on these tasks, backed up with NPC soldiers/etc, as long as the players accepted the possible consequences of their not being present (the gamut from betrayal to loss of a treasured henchman). Does the NPC have authority to speak/act on behalf of the PC(s)? How will conflict be arbitrated? Would the PC step into the role of the NPC and go through the related encounters roll by roll? Or, would the PC allow the DM to abstract the result of conflict into a few dice rolls or an arbitrary storyline?

Certainly the XP earned by the PCs should be substantially reduced, but not eliminated. There *are* potential risks of sending a henchman (NPC death or problems created which the PC needs to resolve), after all. A successful mission executed by a well-chosen NPC could earn the PCs some XP for planning and leadership (10%?).

It takes more than four iconic PCs to create an empire!

I like Geeky Frignit's mechanic, but would also require the PCs send a henchman (hard to replace/speaks on behalf of the master) vice a hireling which can be replaced with a few cp.

Although this may qualify as a house rule, have any considered the methods and benefits and challenges of appointing vassals to manage/rule portions of the domain on behalf of the PCs? How might this best be implemented?

For very large nations, this would seem a worthwhile endeavor, allowing PCs to not get bogged down in the smaller details of micromanagement (off-loading work onto the GM?)

On a tangent, how best to implement the establishment and maintenance of trade routes and alliances with foreign powers?

Perhaps there is a simple abstraction to depict and manage these 'relationships' (vassal territories, alliances?).

I really like the 'Kelso System', but a few considerations come to mind:

- Would you still support flaming swords? Would such magic items become +0 masterwork weapons with an extra fire die for damage? Or is this represented in the OP by:

"[*+6/72] [*+7/98] [*+8/128] [*+9/162] [*+10/200] " ?

... essentially making whatever weapon a character holds into a weapon with special abilities? (which may fly in the face of suspension of disbelief)

- Would Antimagic Field become Antiheroic Field? =)

- Should skill bonus items be included in this system, or do they remain in the pool of miscellaneous magic fodder?

Again, I'm very fond of the OP concept, especially as it de-emphasizes focus on a PC's next magical upgrade, and instead encourages long-term use or story-flavored masterwork items.

+5 kp (kool points) for Kelso!

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