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An alternative to magic "+" items, please review.


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew

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I plan to offer my players an alternative to the existing magic item system in the next campaign.

I'm basing this off a few facts, opinions and other people's ideas:

Why and how and I'm doing this:

-There is a similar system to what I propose: Innate Magic

-About 75% of the loot handed out in an adventure path is in the form of what I call "+" gear. Sometimes called Big Six gear, it's all the stuff your character has to have to maintain the power curve. [AC, Attack, Ability Enhancement, and Saves.]

-The difficulty of an encounter geared towards the assumption that PCs spend 75% of their wealth on such "+" gear.

-It seems as though most people feel they are required to spend all of their character wealth on these items to stay above the power curve.

-Most people think that being required to buy gear is Not Fun, and I tend to agree.

-If these bonuses are necessary to maintain the power curve, then why not make it part of the Level-Up process rather than tieing power to wealth in this fashion.

-If the bonuses received from loot are instead earned during Level-Up, then it really doesn't matter how much or how little the PCs receive in treasure, their power is tied much more closely to level rather than treasure.

I plan to completely eliminate all Big Six Items, both as treasure and as purchasable items. This will reduce looting quite a bit, but I believe will help to thoroughly lock PC power to their level.

This table has been calculated from the Character Wealth Table on p. 399 of the PRPG. It is simply 75% of the wealth from each level, divided by 1000 and rounded to the nearest whole number.

The Table:

Level- Points
1----- 0
2----- 1
3----- 2
4----- 5
5----- 8
6----- 12
7----- 18
8----- 25
9----- 35
10---- 47
11---- 62
12---- 81
13---- 105
14---- 139
15---- 180
16---- 236
17---- 308
18---- 398
19---- 514
20---- 660

What you can spend your points on:

Enhancements: [Bonus/Point Cost]

Primary Melee Weapon: [+1/2] [+2/8] [+3/18] [+4/32] [+5/50] [*+6/72] [*+7/98] [*+8/128] [*+9/162] [*+10/200]
This enhancement bonus applies to any Masterwork melee weapon wielded in the character's primary hand or two-handed. PC may not have a bonus to attack and damage beyond +5, except as added special abilities.

Secondary Melee Weapon: Same bonuses, costs and limitations as Primary, but applies to Masterwork weapon held in the off hand.

Ranged Weapon: Same bonuses, costs and limitations as Primary, but applies to Masterwork ranged weapons.

Armor: [+1/1] [+2/4] [+3/9] [+4/16] [+5/25] [*+6/36] [*+7/49] [*+8/64] [*+9/81] [*+10/100]
Provides an enhancement bonus to any Masterwork Armor worn by the PC. The PC may only have a total bonus of +5, with the rest applying as special abilities.

Shield: Identical bonuses and costs as the armor enhancement, but applies to any masterwork shield worn by the PC.

Unarmored Armor Bonus: [+1/1] [+2/4] [+3/9] [+4/16] [+5/25] [+6/36] [+7/49] [+8/64]
This mimics Bracers of Armor and does not require the character to wear armor. Like that item, the character only takes the better of their existing armor or this bonus.

Natural Armor Bonus: [+1/2] [+2/8] [+3/18] [+4/32] [+5/50]
As an Amulet of Natural Armor.

Deflection AC Bonus: [+1/2] [+2/8] [+3/18] [+4/32] [+5/50]
As a Ring of Protection

Ability Scores: [+1/1] [+2/4] [+3/9] [+4/16] [+5/25] [+6/36]
The costs and bonuses must be paid for and applied to each ability score separately (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom & Charisma.) Unlike the standard magic items, this system allows PCs to purchase odd bonuses.

Saves Resistance Bonus: [+1/1] [+2/4] [+3/9] [+4/16] [+5/25]

(Optional - Insight AC Bonus - Like a Dusty Rose Ioun Stone: [+1/5])

I would love to hear about any issues you think might come up from this.


i would say, merge the primary and offhand enchancements. 2WF builds need the bonuses merged. a 2HW takes a single enhancement, so 2 weapons should too. 2WF builds have enough issues, they cannot hit a thing without the assistance of the random number goddess or DM Fiat. they have to go through damage reduction several times over. they have to burn feats to pull it off. they have to deal with extreme M.A.D. and they had to buy enchancements for 2 weapons, while greatsword guy only had to pay to enhance one. and greatsword guy is better than you too. make the weapon enhancement apply to both hands, don't make them seperate. a TWF build will have identical properties on thier weapons anyway.


Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
i would say, merge the primary and offhand enchancements. 2WF builds need the bonuses merged. a 2HW takes a single enhancement, so 2 weapons should too. 2WF builds have enough issues, they cannot hit a thing without the assistance of the random number goddess or DM Fiat. they have to go through damage reduction several times over. they have to burn feats to pull it off. they have to deal with extreme M.A.D. and they had to buy enchancements for 2 weapons, while greatsword guy only had to pay to enhance one. and greatsword guy is better than you too. make the weapon enhancement apply to both hands, don't make them seperate. a TWF build will have identical properties on thier weapons anyway.

That's food for thought. I'm working from the assumption the system, as is, is balanced. In the game I'm running, the two-weapon fighter generally outdamages the Raging Barbarian, except when she crits.

I had originally thought to just make one bonus for all weapons used, but decided it was maybe too generous.

Do most people feel that the Greatsword outshines, in nearly all ways, a couple of short swords, or maybe an Orc Double axe.


Different weapons for different folks. Rogues like the paired short swords, while the fighter rocks a greatsword.

The point you should probably just address is: Why would a character's intended *use* of an item affect it's value from an abstracted wealth standpoint? In standard d&d using regular gold pieces, a character might choose between a +4 keen scythe and a matched +2 flaming bow and +3 flaming longsword. Why make stipulations about which one is in which hand, how often it's used, etc? Just say 'a weapon costs x' and leave it at that.

One issue you are going to have to deal with is the elimination of item slots. Stacking +6 str, dex, and con is far cheaper with your system than in normal pathfinder, where you have to pay for a single belt of physical awesomeness. Or whatever that item's called.

In general, this'll be an issue - items that normally force a player choice will no longer do so, and traditionally 'slotless' items lose their extra value.


Several other posters have done this. I would use the search feature to comb for idea so you are not starting from the beginning.


kelso, i have a question.

what lvl is your group? lower than 5?

as soon as damage reduction comes and the greatsword guy picks up power attack, that is when TWF will start to fall behind. and with 2WF, the M.A.D. will only tear you apart as you level further.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Shuriken Nekogami wrote:

kelso, i have a question.

what lvl is your group? lower than 5?

as soon as damage reduction comes and the greatsword guy picks up power attack, that is when TWF will start to fall behind. and with 2WF, the M.A.D. will only tear you apart as you level further.

The fastest way to balance TWF is actually to just remove the -2 to hit. Once you do that, it performs just as well as the Greatsword, and better if you've got extra damage on the two weapons. The only cost to keep up then is the feat cost for the extra attacks.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Shuriken Nekogami wrote:

kelso, i have a question.

what lvl is your group? lower than 5?

as soon as damage reduction comes and the greatsword guy picks up power attack, that is when TWF will start to fall behind. and with 2WF, the M.A.D. will only tear you apart as you level further.

]

fastest way to balance out TWF is to take away the -2 penalty. Soon as you do that, dmg scales evenly, and TWF pulls ahead as soon as it has bonus damage it can apply to every attack. the cost simply then becomes the feat cost for the additional attacks.

==Aelryinth


Aelryinth wrote:
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:

kelso, i have a question.

what lvl is your group? lower than 5?

as soon as damage reduction comes and the greatsword guy picks up power attack, that is when TWF will start to fall behind. and with 2WF, the M.A.D. will only tear you apart as you level further.

The fastest way to balance TWF is actually to just remove the -2 to hit. Once you do that, it performs just as well as the Greatsword, and better if you've got extra damage on the two weapons. The only cost to keep up then is the feat cost for the extra attacks.

==Aelryinth

TWF has a lot more to worry about than just that -2 to hit.

they have to go through damage reduction multiple times

they depend on full attacks to be any bit effective.

they benefit a lot less from most common feats and buffs than the greatsword guy.

they have to take feats to get thier extra attacks, greatsword guy just takes power attack and can do what he wants afterwards.

TWF guy has to deal with Strength and Dexterity, greatsword guy Just needs strength

TWF guy has to have a huge source of extra precision damage to be effective. rogue levels only go so far.

TWF only has a -2 when you have a light weapon in your offhand, you might as well wield 2 of the same light weapon. your choice of a weapon that deals 1d4 or 1d6. otherwise, you are either facing -4s or splitting your resources between 2 completely different weapons.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

I've had plenty of 2WFers in the campaigns I've run.

Most of them have been blenders of death.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Very interesting...

I too have had these concerns.

I worked around it by allowing PCs to apply XP to items. Using the old XP costs to create magic items, a PC can "infuse" part of his XP once every 5 levels into an item. He essentially "buys" the magic he wants with his XP. He does not LOOSE the XP, unless the item is lost or Broken. And then he only looses 10% of the amount invested and if broken is Stunned for 1d10 rounds from the shock to his system.

It seemed balanced and easy to me.

I will give your system some more looking over. Always a good thing to look at other options.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I don't know that I see any PROBLEMS that I can see... it just seems complicated. Probably not really THAT complicated and all... just SEEMS like it is.

But, I don't see why it can't work without having play tested it.

A first glance and short pondering I think it looks okay. I'm sure that individual groups would want to tweak it to fit their style of play, as can be seen from the discussion on TWF vs 2HF... but I think it would work okay.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
wraithstrike wrote:
Several other posters have done this. I would use the search feature to comb for idea so you are not starting from the beginning.

can you give any direction?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

west by north west

sorry had to!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Werecorpse wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Several other posters have done this. I would use the search feature to comb for idea so you are not starting from the beginning.
can you give any direction?

It was never a thread by itself, but here's the system I cooked up for my own game in response to some of those old threads.

heroic spirit:

Each level after the first, you may choose one of the following abilities. These abilities are supernatural, and represent your heroic spirit.

> +1 Enhancement bonus to Armor, Shield, or Weapon. This bonus may not exceed 1/4th of your level (round up, so at 5 you can gain +2, at 9 you can gain +3, etc). The shield bonus applies whenever you have a shield equipped, and the armor bonus applies whenever you are wearing anything. You can apply the weapon bonus to a single weapon with one minute of practice, and you may choose to purchase additional weapon bonuses (so you may have a +3 weapon and two +1 weapons).

> +4 Competence bonus to any skill. Starting at 7th level, you may purchase this bonus for a skill a second time for a total bonus of +8, and at 14th level you may purchase it a third time for a single skill for a total of +12.

> +2 Enhancement bonus to a single attribute. This bonus may not exceed +2 until level 7, and may not exceed +4 until level 14. Even after level 14, it may not exceed +6. These bonuses apply when leveling (for example, int for number of new skill points, or con for HP).

> One additional spell slot or spell per day of any level except the highest level you can cast. You may only select this ability once for every two levels you have.

> +1 Resistance bonus to saves. This bonus may not exceed 1/4th of your character level (round up, so at 5 you can gain +2, at 9 you can gain +3, etc).

Keep in mind that you will be getting slightly less than half of the normal treasure once the game begins. All stat-boosting items still exist, but they are much more rare and do not stack with any of the above bonuses. Players are encouraged to use/make magic items that provide unique or interesting advantages, rather than simply stat-bumps.


It's been working quite well as far as keeping the power level steady, and far more importantly it's removed about 90% of loot-related headaches from the game.

Andoran

This thread has a lot of good discussion on this point.

I especially like Zen79's suggestion. My main problem with their system, though, is that it includes the increased costs for 'slotless' magical items, as per item creation costs... of course the author even suggests you can just divide the costs by two there to remove that.

Generally speaking, yours and their system is very similar, so I like it. ;)

The reason this works (in my opinion) is that you're not removing the wealth-by-level system from the game, simply removing it from items. The issue mentioned above about two-weapon fighting and the item costs exists only if you think it also exists in core. And sure, it does... the rogue is shelling out double to equally enchant his pair of longswords than the fighter with the greataxe. But that is completely separate from the issue of making a balanced 'innate items' system. If you want to fix that, you'd be better off messing with the TWF system itself as was mentioned above rather than making a complex subsystem in the magic items subsystem!

In short: I don't see a problem with this. I think it's great. It's something I've wanted to implement in my games for some time now. And I can't see it influencing much at all mechanically, because your characters are still getting the same benefits as they used to. It just needs to be set out neater (it took me a while to understand what your [+1/1] and such meant...)


I don't completely understand.

I mean yes I see your point that if these benefits are supposed to be obtained throughout the course of the game, they can just as easily be handed out during the leveling process.

However, characters are also supposed to gain gold as they level at a certain rate. If you called gold "points" instead it would accomplish the exact same thing you are trying to do. "Points" are handed out at the end of every encounter, or just added up and given at the time of leveling, and spent on items, it accomplishes the same thing.

Also the system fails to calculate for all the other things that some characters might spend wealth on but others don't. While a fighter may spend most of their money on armor and weapons, the wizard might split their money across meta-magic rods, starves, wands, and spend less on AC, and ability scores not directly related to casting. Creating an entire new purchasing system for everything in the game seems kind of like reinventing the wheel to me. If you are looking for a specific flavor it can be done much easier just by changing the context of the rules rather than the actual rules themselves.

Also, does adoption of this system mean that you hand out much less gold, or no gold? Are magic items still available? Do they stack with the benefits of leveling, or are they separate? Adopting this system instead of magic items entirely just makes me ask what I am supposed to do with all that gold.

Andoran

Sunaj Janus wrote:

I don't completely understand.

I mean yes I see your point that if these benefits are supposed to be obtained throughout the course of the game, they can just as easily be handed out during the leveling process.

However, characters are also supposed to gain gold as they level at a certain rate. If you called gold "points" instead it would accomplish the exact same thing you are trying to do. "Points" are handed out at the end of every encounter, or just added up and given at the time of leveling, and spent on items, it accomplishes the same thing.

Also the system fails to calculate for all the other things that some characters might spend wealth on but others don't. While a fighter may spend most of their money on armor and weapons, the wizard might split their money across meta-magic rods, starves, wands, and spend less on AC, and ability scores not directly related to casting. Creating an entire new purchasing system for everything in the game seems kind of like reinventing the wheel to me. If you are looking for a specific flavor it can be done much easier just by changing the context of the rules rather than the actual rules themselves.

Also, does adoption of this system mean that you hand out much less gold, or no gold? Are magic items still available? Do they stack with the benefits of leveling, or are they separate? Adopting this system instead of magic items entirely just makes me ask what I am supposed to do with all that gold.

The idea of this system is to get rid of the belts of dexterity, the rings of protection and the cloaks of resistance. The stock-standard items, often called the Big 5, that PCs "have" to obtain in order to keep up with expected power levels. It's also referred to as the "Christmas Tree Effect".

Changing these items to points you can spend as you level up (much like BAB or spellcasting increases) means that the power basically comes directly from the character rather than from going out buying your newest +2 Str belt.

It doesn't change anything mechanically, really, except that now players are much more likely to use a cloak of arachnida or a golembane scarab rather than a cloak of resistance or an amulet of natural armor, or whichever flavourful items you like that always get ditched for the Big 5. These types of items are seen as necessary so much that more interesting items get denied. And for good reason. Why would you specifically take an item that makes you less effective? As I said before, it's assumed in the CR system that PCs do obtain some of these items.

With this system you reduce the "gold" you give out by 75%, in the example of the OP's, as far as I understand it. So by the time the PCs hit 2nd level they have found ~250gp worth of coins, treasure and other items. ~750 by 3rd. And so on. This can be any other item you like. Potions, scrolls, masterwork items, wondrous items, rings, wands, anything! Much more interesting things. Things that just give a flat numerical bonus would just cease to exist. And the same kind of stacking rules would otherwise apply, too.

Incidentally this kind of system also means you:
a. don't need to have a Magic Mart,
b. don't need to keep putting in strange rare weapons into treasure hoards because the fighter has focused on using tridents or gnomish hooked hammers or something, and
c. can let your players have some more control over how their characters develop.

It's really nothing different than the GM saying that a character can go and buy whatever they like, whenever they like, in a lot of senses, except without the Magic Mart and without the Christmas Tree.

The point you make about spellcasters vs. melee is true and false at the same time... the main bulk of this system is meant to get rid of the save boosters and stat boosters, and the ubiquitous AC items like bracers of armor and amulet of natural armor and ring of deflection. (Name a wizard who doesn't have at least one of these!)

I will agree that there is a problem with weapon and armor enchantments, however. The three possibilities are to either remove armor and weapon enchantments from this system completely (and increase the amount of wealth given out as treasure), create some kind of system by which a caster can use these points on items such as rods or staves, or assume that casters will simply get a lot more stat boosts generally.

The limited per-day use items in the 3.5e Magic Item Compendium suggest to me that perhaps you could create something similar. For example, a 'wand' that cast cure light wounds (CL 1st) 3/day, by the magic item gold piece value table, would cost...

1 * 1 * 1800 / (5/3) = 1,080 gp.

That's pretty close to costing 1 point as per the OP's example.

And something like a 'wand' that can cast solid fog (CL 7th) 3/day would be something like...

4 * 7 * 1800 / (5/3) = 30,240 gp.

30 points!

I would need to think about this one a lot more though. I can imagine it getting very tricky, very quickly. But it's a start.


I am doing this in my game using a system I call Advantage Points:

Advantage Point System

It is the same basic concept--replace the GP value with points to spend on common "standard" bonuses that characters generally need. My overall goal is to focus more on the characters and less on their gear. Seems to be working well so far. Characters can also still find/create/purchase magic items, and must pay points to "attune" to the item. So, the end result is almost exactly like the magic item system, but with less dependency on trinket items.


Maeloke:

I see what you're saying, but in the system I describe, their is no competing item with the bonus gained from spending these points. I am eliminating all items that do what is offered in the system. A player might choose to spend money on a potion, scroll or wand of Cat's Grace, but there is no item that gives an "all-the-time" bonus to Dexterity.

I could easily remedy the issue of cheaper bonuses by making other bonuses of the same type more expensive. If a player spends points on a bonus to Strength, bonuses to Dex and Con would cost 50% more. I wonder though if that's really necessary. I'm already limited the PC to 75% of their wealth. Power gamers usually spend 100% on these sort of bonuses.

I do appreciate your thoughtful input.

wraithstrike:

Believe it or not, I did. Both here and on Google. Unfortunately, I was unable to think of terms unique enough to cut out all the other stuff. I found pages and pages of discussion on Point-buy as in what you do when you make a new character. Also some stuff on Eidolon evolution pools. I probably should have just spent the time scrolling through the archives because there was some good stuff talked about just a few months ago, or less. Like the links and ideas mentioned in this thread.

Shuriken Nekogami:

My group is currently 11th level in Curse of the Crimson Throne. I have previously ran Rise of the Runelords for this group, all the way through.

In general, I just haven't run into situations where the two-handed fighters outshone the two-weapon fighters. I suspect it may sometimes have more to do with which player is better at optimizing, though.


Krome:

Thanks for looking it over! :)

far_wanderer:

I like your system a lot. I might copy it down and do some analysis to see how it affects the power level over time and how the power level compares to mine over time. On mine, I'm 99% certain that it will lock PCs into the exact power curve expected for each Challenge Rating.

Yours, however, is much more elegant and attractive for its lack of tables.

Alice Margatroid

Thank you very much for reading over my system so thoroughly. Also, excellent links. They were just what I was looking for. My system is almost exactly like Zen79's 1/4 system, except his seems much more elaborate. That could just be because I wrote mine and not his.

I agree my layout was not neat. I actually wrote my original post 3 times in Notepad before pasting it into the Thread Poster. I found myself writing a dissertation and figured it would be a case of TLDR and no one would give me any feedback. So I abbreviated and summarized as much as possible.


than your 2handed fighter is doing it wrong. every game i have played, the 2handed fighter always outshone the 2WF fighter. and definitely out dpsed an optimized 2WF rogue w/ craven, penetrating strike, 5 invisible blade levels, 2 strategically placed swordsage levels, assassins stance and shadow blade feat. this rogue even had a 30 dex but was restricted to daggers. d4+12d6+5+10+20 per attack, or average of 79.5 per hit 6 times over. (68.5 against sneak attack immune creatures due to penetrating strike) primary attacks were in the 30's range of bonuses to hit, and i was still outdamaged by a greatsword wielding fighter. even when i tried this build.


Sunaj Janus:

I don't think I could possibly explain my system, or why I built it, as well as Alice Margatroid has.

You make an excellent point, though about spellcasters. One of my players always plays a Wizard. He also never puts any significant amount of his wealth into things like AC, saves or Attack, just intelligence and things like Rods and Staves.

Sometimes this was to the detriment of the party. At level 15, he only has an AC of 19, as I recall. He was often in danger of dieing for being such a glass canon.

I do kind of want to force him to invest a little more into his own survival, but that's probably not fun for him. He only cares about nuking the bad guys.

I could probably add some sort of innate equivalent to the Pearls of Power. Each one would cost the Spell Level squared. I could probably add in Metamagic rods, but whatever I put into the system, I feel very strongly that it should be removed from the game as an item.

Also, to answer your question about how much wealth the PCs receive. If you were to run an AP and simply remove all the items covered by this system, the PCs would receive somewhere between 25% and 50% of normal treasure. Except it would not really matter if you gave them none, or 10 times as much, their power would be tied directly to their level and not their toys.


heck, my 15th level wizard has a 19 AC too. her other defenses compensate though. said defenses have helped keep her alive. not only personal defenses, but allies too. summoned monsters help in the big fights. damage to them is damage not done to the party. and buffs to help the melee guys slaughter everything mitigate damage a little too.


I allow the equivalent and metamagic rods and pearls of power to help the caster types balance out.


Kelso wrote:

Maeloke:

I see what you're saying, but in the system I describe, their is no competing item with the bonus gained from spending these points. I am eliminating all items that do what is offered in the system. A player might choose to spend money on a potion, scroll or wand of Cat's Grace, but there is no item that gives an "all-the-time" bonus to Dexterity.

I could easily remedy the issue of cheaper bonuses by making other bonuses of the same type more expensive. If a player spends points on a bonus to Strength, bonuses to Dex and Con would cost 50% more. I wonder though if that's really necessary. I'm already limited the PC to 75% of their wealth. Power gamers usually spend 100% on these sort of bonuses.

Hmm... perhaps I'm misunderstanding. Your entry for stat bonuses:

Kelso wrote:

Ability Scores: [+1/1] [+2/4] [+3/9] [+4/16] [+5/25] [+6/36]

The costs and bonuses must be paid for and applied to each ability score separately (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom & Charisma.) Unlike the standard magic items, this system allows PCs to purchase odd bonuses.

I read that to mean you can pile on permanent-type stat bonuses as you like. It seems like those are just as essential to character power levels as magical weapons, so I'm not sure why you're talking about reverting to single-use items.

Anyhow, PF requires certain sacrifices to keep up with stat equipment - like how there's no way to have +4 str/+2 dex, even if that's optimal in a character's price range. That was how it worked in 3.5, but I rather like that Pathfinder requires some thought and tradeoffs.

On the other hand, of course, PF single-stat items are substantially cheaper. I suppose that your system uses the 3.5 price points strikes a balance between the two, but it does take you a bit away from the pathfinder baseline most of us are working from.


erian_7 wrote:
I allow the equivalent and metamagic rods and pearls of power to help the caster types balance out.

It appears my system is almost exactly like the one you invented earlier. It probably would have saved some time if I had found your attractive spreadsheet, first. You're pretty handy with Excel!

I dabble a little with Excel. Mostly little toys and tools to make DMing easier. I admire your work.

Andoran

I agree with Kelso's comment there; that Advantage Point spreadsheet is pretty awesome, erian_7.

Let me ask about it though...

Feat/Ability - you can use this system to purchase feats? What is a "Tier" in this respect?

And the 'Use Spell X/day' thing -- I took a quick look at the excel formula in cell F-24 but I couldn't understand why a level 1, CL 1st spell used 3/day came to 2 AP in your system. Unless my calculations above of it coming out to 1080gp were wrong...

Also you say that you must practice with the item for a day, so these are abilities that are kind of 'riding' on other items? Kinda like the Magic Item Compendium system of upgrading other items, except with using a separate points system... Well, I guess this is basically just a matter of flavour here.

In any case, I really dig the idea of the metamagic rods and pearls of power becoming part of the system. It also helps that they have rather static prices, unlike normal wands and the like. But I really like the flavour of a wizard being able to metamagic some spells per day without trying. (Come to think of it, weren't there feats that worked like this in 3.5e?)


Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
than your 2handed fighter is doing it wrong. every game i have played, the 2handed fighter always outshone the 2WF fighter. and definitely out dpsed an optimized 2WF rogue w/ craven, penetrating strike, 5 invisible blade levels, 2 strategically placed swordsage levels, assassins stance and shadow blade feat. this rogue even had a 30 dex but was restricted to daggers. d4+12d6+5+10+20 per attack, or average of 79.5 per hit 6 times over. (68.5 against sneak attack immune creatures due to penetrating strike) primary attacks were in the 30's range of bonuses to hit, and i was still outdamaged by a greatsword wielding fighter. even when i tried this build.

You've left me curious about the build of the 2-handed fighter to beat the super optimized TWF you describe.

My players are not SO optimized. I tend to discourage overly cheesy character builds and prefer my players make at least some pretense at roleplay based character building.

I just kind of quickly ran the numbers for two 16th level fighters, one with a couple of short swords and one with a greatsword, calculated for Feats and having to split the money that would be put into one weapon into 2. Two +7 weapons cost about the same as one +10 weapon. After running the numbers that way, when assuming every attack hits, the damage comes out slightly in the TWF's favor. However, MAD and TWF penalties probably cause the TWF to miss a bit more, so I'm willing to believe you that the THF outdamages the TWF over time.


Maeloke wrote:


I read that to mean you can pile on permanent-type stat bonuses as you like. It seems like those are just as essential to character power levels as magical weapons, so I'm not sure why you're talking about reverting to single-use items.

Anyhow, PF requires certain sacrifices to keep up with stat equipment - like how there's no way to have +4 str/+2 dex, even if that's optimal in a character's price range. That was how it worked in 3.5, but I rather like that Pathfinder requires some thought and tradeoffs.

On the other hand, of course, PF single-stat items are substantially cheaper. I suppose that your system uses the 3.5 price points strikes a balance between the two, but it does take you a bit away from the pathfinder baseline most of us are working from.

I feel like maybe we're misunderstanding each other.

In my system, 1 point is equivalent 1000gp. I think you already know that, but I'm saying it just to be sure. :)

I only mentioned the potions and wands because I'm saying that all other items that would give a bonus to Dex are eliminated. This includes the Belt of Dex, the ioun stone of Dex and anything else that would give a permanent bonus to dex, except for maybe the Manuals of Dexterity.

In the system I describe, if a PC wants a +4 enhancement bonus to Strength, he or she would need to spend 16 points; the equivalent to 16000gp, which is the same cost as buying a Belt of Giant Strength +4, both in original 3.5 and in PRPG.

I think you are pointing out that under this system, if a PC has 32 points to spend, he/she could add both a +4 to Strength and a +4 to Dexterity, which is impossible under standard PRPG rules.

I was under the impression that a PC could buy that Belt of Giant Strength +4 for 16000, then add +4 to the belt for a 50% increase in cost, or adding 24000 to the cost making that belt worth 40000gp.

Maybe I'm wrong and that was just a Magic Item Compendium optional rule. I can't remember.

If so, you could just rule that a PC may only select ONE physical attribute and ONE mental attribute, in this system.

Andoran

Kelso wrote:
I just kind of quickly ran the numbers for two 16th level fighters, one with a couple of short swords and one with a greatsword, calculated for Feats and having to split the money that would be put into one weapon into 2. Two +7 weapons cost about the same as one +10 weapon. After running the numbers that way, when assuming every attack hits, the damage comes out slightly in the TWF's favor. However, MAD and TWF penalties probably cause the TWF to miss a bit more, so I'm willing to believe you that the THF outdamages the TWF over time.

The MAD doesn't matter if you're a ranger, and also, picking up some rogue levels will give you sneak attack dice that will apply to each of your weapons. And something like a TWF Crit-focused build (with, say, two kukris) could make things somewhat interesting too. Of course, I'm no optimizer, and the DPS analysis makes my eyes glaze over...

I still contend that it's not an issue with this system. It's an issue with Pathfinder RPG (and 3.5e) as a whole. And would really better serve in a new thread about TWFing (of which there have been a number). Because as it stands, PFRPG does not give you 'discounts' on weapons if you're a TWFer ... and so a system like this shouldn't either.


Alice Margatroid wrote:


The MAD doesn't matter if you're a ranger, and also, picking up some rogue levels will give you sneak attack dice that will apply to each of your weapons. And something like a TWF Crit-focused build (with, say, two kukris) could make things somewhat interesting too. Of course, I'm no optimizer, and the DPS analysis makes my eyes glaze over...

I still contend that it's not an issue with this system. It's an issue with Pathfinder RPG (and 3.5e) as a whole. And would really better serve in a new thread about TWFing (of which there have been a number). Because as it stands, PFRPG does not give you 'discounts' on weapons if you're a TWFer ... and so a system like this shouldn't either.

Oh, I agree. People can go back and forth on which is more optimized. Such an issue would be up to the individual DM's houserule.

In my games at home, my players believe that TWF is more damaging, but more expensive in both money and feats. To them, it's balanced as is, so I'm not going to muddy the waters with them. The perception is more important than the reality, whatever it may be, in this case.

Andoran

Kelso wrote:

In the system I describe, if a PC wants a +4 enhancement bonus to Strength, he or she would need to spend 16 points; the equivalent to 16000gp, which is the same cost as buying a Belt of Giant Strength +4, both in original 3.5 and in PRPG.

I think you are pointing out that under this system, if a PC has 32 points to spend, he/she could add both a +4 to Strength and a +4 to Dexterity, which is impossible under standard PRPG rules.

I was under the impression that a PC could buy that Belt of Giant Strength +4 for 16000, then add +4 to the belt for a 50% increase in cost, or adding 24000 to the cost making that belt worth 40000gp.

Oh yeah, this was another issue that came up when I was looking at these types of rules...

By the current rules you can make:-

Belt of Bonus In Single Physical Stat (or two mental, if you prefer)
Cost (C) = Bonus^2 * 1,000 gp
eg. Belt of Incredible Dexterity +2
C = 2^2 * 1000 = 4,000 gp.

Belt of Bonus In Two Physical Stats
C = First Stat's Bonus^2 * 1,000 gp + ([Second Stat's Bonus^2 * 1000] * 1.5)
{that is, the cost of the first, plus the cost of the second increased by 50%}
eg. Belt of Physical Might +2
C = 4,000 + (4000 * 1.5) = 10,000 gp.

Adding the third stat costs an equivalent amount (6,000 rather than 4,000 to add +2, 24,000 rather than 16,000 to add +4, etc.) Incidentally this is a function of the standard core rulebook magic item creation rules... though I believe Magic Item Compendium did talk about it.

Basically the problem is that by these point systems, you're always paying the baseline rate for stat increases rather than the +50%. And if you want to be very particular, you'd need to track two 'continuums' of stat boosts, that is, mental and physical...

Well honestly, I don't see this as too much of a problem. The idea of combining the physical and mental stat boosts on the belts and headbands in PFRPG was so people could wear other items, reducing the slots taken up basically. So you know, a sorcerer could actually wear a cloak of resistance instead of just his cloak of charisma. In 3.5e you could wear a girdle of strength +2 and gloves of dexterity +2 (or whatever they were...) and they would both cost 4,000gp each, rather than the 10,000 total in PFRPG. It never broke anything.

The whole POINT of this system is that people will be able to wear other items. And the vast majority of magical items outside of the flat stat boosters don't actually increase your power to such a significant degree that the Big 5 do. If you stuck completely to the PFRPG rules for pricing, you'd have to double the cost of EVERY one of these bonuses to represent a slotless item. And when you do that, your PCs basically start bleeding out wealth per level... for very little bonus whatsoever.

Essentially I'm of the opinion that there's nothing wrong with a player being able to have a +2 Dex and a +6 Cha and a +4 Str while still wearing gloves of storing, a cloak of the manta ray and a belt of masculinity/femininity. The power increase of the three alternate items is such a minor thing in comparison to the flat stat boosts so as to be almost ignorable. It gives them more options, but it doesn't increase baseline power levels. That's what levelling up should be for... which is what this point system emulates.


I've actually done something VERY similar. My system:

1) Wealth is separated from "Character Upgrade Points" or "Be Awesome Points" or, as one player named them, "Never Having Enough Points"

Wealth is used for mundane things. Some mundane things are wicked cool, like your own base of operations, or hiring oiled up servant men to carry all your things for you. Wealth is very abstract. You don't have a specific number for Wealth. it includes the base of operations, the oiled servant men, or even just the capability to purchase dinner at the tavern, or being able to rent the expensive room. This is a very vague score rather then a full number.

Character Upgrade Points are given instead of your standard gold. Whever you see "gold" in wealth per level, or in the price of certain things, you use the upgrade points. They are for "buying" the following: Big 6 upgrades, magic armor, and magic weapons. They're also for (actually) buying everything else.

How this works: players - ANY player, wizard or otherwise - can use their upgrade points for the Big 6, magic armor, and magic weapons. They don't get an actual upgrade for these, it's a flat increase to their abilities. Why? Because they're awesome. That's why. The Big 6 perhaps is simple enough to explain...but what about magic armor and weapons?

In effect, all characters gain the Create Magic Armor and Weapons feat for free. It doesn't take spells or skill checks or whatnot to use. Nor is it put into an actual item. Instead, characters upgrade themselves. Say Billy the Fighter learns Flaming. He fluffs it out as his character going out and training privately for an extended amount of time until something clicks in his head and now he has this awesome new ability. The same goes with armor.

One small caveat: it can't be used with any weapon. Weapons and armor are divided into three categories: mundane, masterwork, and artifact. You can only use these powers with masterwork or artifact items. That means if your party is captured and held in a jail cell and only pick up mundane items, they can't use their awesome abilities.

"So why'd you do this?" Simple. For starters, it makes magic weapons/armor more awesome. There are no bland +2 sword of nothingspecial. Now the only magic weapons out there are full artifacts. Furthermore, it cuts down on bland magical items all around. No +2 belt of whatever, no amulet of I guess you're a bit better armored now. Wonderous items are all things that actively add to your character. Beyond that, it helps with the golfclub problem, or with fighters throwing away their family sword 'cause hey this one is +3. Now, that fighter who starts off with grandpa's masterwork sword has every reason to keep it and, indeed, to make it his primary weapon. Lastly, it stops chaining fighters to their items. Now a fighter is sweet because he's a fighter, not because he has a cool sword bro.


Kelso wrote:
erian_7 wrote:
I allow the equivalent and metamagic rods and pearls of power to help the caster types balance out.

It appears my system is almost exactly like the one you invented earlier. It probably would have saved some time if I had found your attractive spreadsheet, first. You're pretty handy with Excel!

I dabble a little with Excel. Mostly little toys and tools to make DMing easier. I admire your work.

and

Alice Margatroid wrote:
I agree with Kelso's comment there; that Advantage Point spreadsheet is pretty awesome, erian_7.

Thanks! The inspiration/logic behind it obviously comes from standard d20 rules, so it's no surprise there was some simultaneous creation here...

For Excel, it's a lot of what I do at work, but I actually learn more using it for my RPGs. This one is fairly simple--check out the character sheets in my profile for some really crazy stuff!

Alice Margatroid wrote:

Let me ask about it though...

Feat/Ability - you can use this system to purchase feats? What is a "Tier" in this respect?

Yes, I went with this route because there are some magic items that replicate feat effects, and also because it may get some more mileage out of less-used feats. Run, for instance, would make an excellent Tier 1 feat, as would Skill Focus, Endurance, etc. Tier 1 is basically a feat with no pre-reqs. With that as my starting point, I got to thinking that "more powerful" feats might make sense as well, say building Endurance up to Diehard. And so, I came up with the Tier system. They tie roughly to the number of other feats and/or level one would normally have to be to get the feats. So, a feat you could get at first level, but that has other pre-reqs is Tier 2. Tiers 3-5 break at levels 5, 10, and 15. So, Spring Attack would be Tier 3, Stunning Fist would be Tier 4, and Tiring Critical would be Tier 5.

Alice Margatroid wrote:
And the 'Use Spell X/day' thing -- I took a quick look at the excel formula in cell F-24 but I couldn't understand why a level 1, CL 1st spell used 3/day came to 2 AP in your system. Unless my calculations above of it coming out to 1080gp were wrong...

It's because I always round up for any fractions. So, a power that costs 1,001 gp would still round up to 2 AP. My thinking here was that having spell-like abilities added directly to a character was powerful enough to warrant a little extra cost. I thought of it this way--

If you'd like, you can alter it to round down:

ROUNDDOWN((((B24*C24*1800)/(5/E24))+(50*F23))/1000,0)

Alternately, you could use a GP to AP conversion of 100 to 1 to get a finer granularity to the costs. This could be a better route, as it will help differentiate a 2 uses/day ability from 4 uses/day

Needless to say, I see both the spell-like abilities and the feats as areas that need careful oversight and consideration from the GM...

Alice Margatroid wrote:
Also you say that you must practice with the item for a day, so these are abilities that are kind of 'riding' on other items? Kinda like the Magic Item Compendium system of upgrading other items, except with using a separate points system... Well, I guess this is basically just a matter of flavour here.

Yes, the weapon and armor line items grant a Competence bonus based on using a particular item. Practicing with a new item for a day, basically, will transfer the bonus to a new item. This allows characters some freedom from getting locked in to a particular weapon, but maintains some balance as it is weapon-specific. A TWF character, for instance, would have to pick this up twice to gain competency with two different weapons at the same time.

Note that as a Competence bonus, this would stack with Enhancement bonuses. As such, you either need to limit Enhancement as something truly special (this is what I do), or be prepared to deal with the doubled up attack/damage bonuses. Also, this does not make a weapon's attacks count as magic for bypassing DR--characters still need to pick up magic weapons if they want this benefit. But now they can focus the magic on more interesting things than a simple bonus.

Alice Margatroid wrote:
In any case, I really dig the idea of the metamagic rods and pearls of power becoming part of the system. It also helps that they have rather static prices, unlike normal wands and the like. But I really like the flavour of a wizard being able to metamagic some spells per day without trying. (Come to think of it, weren't there feats that worked like this in 3.5e?)

Yes, the Swift metamagic feats did something along these lines.


Alice Margatroid wrote:


Essentially I'm of the opinion that there's nothing wrong with a player being able to have a +2 Dex and a +6 Cha and a +4 Str while still wearing gloves of storing, a cloak of the manta ray and a belt of masculinity/femininity. The power increase of the three alternate items is such a minor thing in comparison to the flat stat boosts so as to be almost ignorable. It gives them more options, but it doesn't increase baseline power levels. That's what levelling up should be for... which is what this point system emulates.

That's sort of what I was thinking. Any decrease in the cost of these upgrades in comparison to standard PRPG is mitigated by the fact that the PCs are locked into only spending 75% of standard wealth on them. Optimizers spend as close to 100% as they can get away with.

ProfessorCirno wrote:


I've actually done something VERY similar. My system:

In fact, I'd say my system is almost identical to yours. I was thinking the same thing about the Mundane, Masterwork and Artifact items.


After all the discussion above, there's a few things I want to add to my original post. One I intended to have there in the first place, the other two have arisen due to the discussion.

Natural Attack Bonus (Mighty Fists):
[+1/6] [+2/24] [+3/54] [+4/96] [+5/150]
Gives a bonus to unarmed and natural attacks and damage.

This brings up an issue, though. The Natural Attack bonus from Amulets of Mighty Fists are far more expensive than the bonuses on a weapon, and you lose the ability to add special abilities. Would it really be so unbalancing to just let a monk use the Primary Weapon point-buy for their fists?

After deciding that it was unbalanced to give PCs a break on Off-hand Weapons, now I'm turning around and thinking of giving Monks a big boost by letting them have cheaper attack bonus and adding things like Holy and Flaming to their fists. Sorry Shuriken Nekogami. :)

Next up...

Spell Slots:
[1st/1 each] [2nd/4 each] [3rd/9 each] [4th/16 each] [5th/25 each] [6th/36 each] [7th/49 each] [8th/64 each] [9th/81 each]
Each of these purchased gives an extra spell slot of the listed level. They can all be purchased more than once. They are used to prepare additional spells per day (like wizards and clerics) or to have higher spell per day limits for spontaneous casters.

Spell Resistance: [SR 13+/Costs 10 per point of SR over 12, minimum 13, maximum of 12+Character Level]

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:

kelso, i have a question.

what lvl is your group? lower than 5?

as soon as damage reduction comes and the greatsword guy picks up power attack, that is when TWF will start to fall behind. and with 2WF, the M.A.D. will only tear you apart as you level further.

The fastest way to balance TWF is actually to just remove the -2 to hit. Once you do that, it performs just as well as the Greatsword, and better if you've got extra damage on the two weapons. The only cost to keep up then is the feat cost for the extra attacks.

==Aelryinth

TWF has a lot more to worry about than just that -2 to hit.

they have to go through damage reduction multiple times

they depend on full attacks to be any bit effective.

they benefit a lot less from most common feats and buffs than the greatsword guy.

they have to take feats to get thier extra attacks, greatsword guy just takes power attack and can do what he wants afterwards.

TWF guy has to deal with Strength and Dexterity, greatsword guy Just needs strength

TWF guy has to have a huge source of extra precision damage to be effective. rogue levels only go so far.

TWF only has a -2 when you have a light weapon in your offhand, you might as well wield 2 of the same light weapon. your choice of a weapon that deals 1d4 or 1d6. otherwise, you are either facing -4s or splitting your resources between 2 completely different weapons.

That -2 To hit across multiple attacks amounts to ripping away 70% of an attack worth of damage at high level. That simple amount is BRUTAL in DPS calculations. Each 10% of 70 dmg is -7 dmg. Some guy tried to sell me on a DPS calculation of Fighter vs Warblade manuvers using Powr Attack for both. the Warblade was losing -20 dmg per round with Powr Attack, becuase his base dmg was so high, and the fighter was breaking even. Didn't quite work.

Single attacks are where the vital strike tree and bonus dmg come into play. The Greatsworder will keep an edge unless TWF guy's bonus dmg surpasses the .5 Str bonus, and higher base of the weapon (about +8).

Greatsword guy will get the dex at higher levels too, to max out his fighter bonus and mithral plate. TWF guy needs it earlier. It's all good.

TWF guy has to have extra damage to be effective, not neccessarily sneak attack, although it's the easiest to get. Every feat that gives dmg to Greatsword guy gives twice the benefit to TWF guy.

Base dmg of the weapon is the least important part of melee. Two shortswords = a greatsword in DPS...it's the bonus dmg that does everything.

Your invisible blade example doesn't impress me, because that guy's TH is likely at -6 or -7 to the melee guy at L20...meaning -30-35% dmg/attack over time. he could have +15d6 dmg and still look horrible, because he's not hitting as often as he should.

DR is a smokescreen. TWF guy also has a better chance of not suffering from DR at all...he can have a mithral and a cold iron weapon at one time. Greatsword guy going to tote around two of his toys? And sooner or later you grow out of DR.

And the gold cost for 2 +7's is the same as one +10, and the +10 isn't going to be that much more effective, overall.

The big thing is the TWF has to hit, and have dmg bonuses that apply to both weapons. THW guy gets the TWF's str bonus, and no penalty to hit. that penalty is really impressive over time.

==Aelryinth


A few other things I've done for my system that aren't related to magic items but are still kinda related I guess or something. Most of them involve monks and/or full BAB classes, who I think need the most improvement both in mechanics and in flavor:

All full BAB classes get improved natural strike, though not monk damage. When a fighter can't naturally punch someone in the face, something is wrong. Fighters should always have "PUNCH TO THE FACE" as an option. This should be everyone's signiture everywhere in anything D&D related.

All full BAB characters can choose a single exotic (or martial, if they SOMEHOW don't have MWP I guess) weapon and gain proficiency in it. I frown on players who take stupid things like those weapons from Complete Adventurer which had no flavor at all, and were just "like a short sword but better!" I also hit players with a book who even mention the spiked chain. If a fighter wants to use a bastard sword as a katana, or an elven curve blade, or something from a 3.x book, typically the exotic weapon gives them all of .5-1 damage increase. That's nothing for the cost of a feat, especially since, nine out of ten times, it's taken because the player has this cool fluff idea for the weapon.

Monks can choose a single weapon - ANY weapon - and they not only gain proficiency with it, it becomes a monk item. Martial arts frequently had large amounts of weapons training, and I prefer my monks to be less terrible 70's pajama dudes, and more wushu/wuxia style heroes.

Monks replaced unarmed damage with "monk damage," as it applies to their monk weapons as well as their unarmed fightan. It does not apply to non-monk weapons. I've never once hit a balance problem with this, as it allows monks to be cool either when they fight unarmed or when they fight with a weapon. Furthermore, it negates any bonus of taking a stupid or rediculously powerful base weapon as their monk weapon as was listed above, as the damage will be replaced. If a player wants to be an unarmed badass who roams the lands and delivers a flurry of kicks, that's totally open to them. If they want to be the unarmored wise old swordsman who lacks some of the physical strength or speed of younger warriors, but makes up for it in sheer skill, guess what? That option is now - perhaps for the first time - WIDE open.

"Fighters should always have "PUNCH TO THE FACE" as an option."


Just to be sure, you gain and spend these points, and then there gone? If that's the case, and I think its a good one, would you allow incremental buying? Or saving up points? So a person could buy a +1 attack, then upgrade it latter for -2 points, or buy part of the cost of a bonus, and pay the rest later?


vagrant-poet wrote:
Just to be sure, you gain and spend these points, and then there gone? If that's the case, and I think its a good one, would you allow incremental buying? Or saving up points? So a person could buy a +1 attack, then upgrade it latter for -2 points, or buy part of the cost of a bonus, and pay the rest later?

For my system, the points are "mutable" to some degree, meaning the player might be able to change things as the character progresses, but only within reason. If he's spent points to gain Endurance, that is not going to disappear and he suddenly gains the ability to shoot magic missiles. But if he wants to upgrade a +1 bonus to +2 (in the same category, e.g. saves), then he gets a break on the upgrade cost.

I believe basically that the GM should make the system as changeable as magic items normally are in his games. So, someone that typically allows the players to freely select any item from any source, buy/sell at cost, etc. should have a more open system than a GM that only gives characters specific magic items found during the campaign (who probably wouldn't) allow any changes and might charge full cost for upgrades.


vagrant-poet wrote:
Just to be sure, you gain and spend these points, and then there gone? If that's the case, and I think its a good one, would you allow incremental buying? Or saving up points? So a person could buy a +1 attack, then upgrade it latter for -2 points, or buy part of the cost of a bonus, and pay the rest later?

Actually, I was thinking all points would reset every level. That's why I listed the points as a Total at each level, rather than an amount gained as erian_7 does.

There's no reason to save points because the next time you level, you can totally rearrange the way they are spent.

I do this because a PC could choose to change his equipment out entirely. It's true that there would be a substantial cost to such a choice in standard PRPG, but I feel like that's another Notfun drawback of the regular system. I could come up with limitations or penalties for changing, but I figure why? This system locks their power to their level, I see no reason to penalize them for moving things around.


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!


zhnov wrote:

- 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)

The system still supports flaming swords. The rules are essentially the same, except you spends points instead of gold. You must have at least a +1 enchantment before you could purchase the Flaming ability. My personal houserule is that a character can't have more abilities than he has in actual "+". I've had players in the past with +1 Corrosive Flaming Frosting Shocking Keen Magebane Holy Greatswords. That's just silly.

I suppose it may cause difficulty with suspension of disbelief. Personally, it almost makes more sense to me that a Flaming ability is something inherent to the wielder and fed from some understanding of magic gained in his/her adventuring than a sword that can just burn eternally with no apparent source.

zhnov wrote:

- Would Antimagic Field become Antiheroic Field? =)

Ha! But actually the bonuses gained from the system are the same. Enhancement bonuses on weapons, armor & attributes, deflection bonuses, natural armor bonuses, resistance bonuses on saves. They are all magical in origin and come from some understanding of the magic in the world on the part of the hero. An Antimagic Field would still disable these bonuses just as they would if they were tied to items instead of people.

zhnov wrote:

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

I had no plans to include such items in the system, because I don't want to eliminate items like Cloaks of Elvenkind. It would be easy to add them if you like. Use erian_7's system as a model.

zhnov wrote:


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!

Ha! Thank you very much! :)

I should point out, though, that I'm not the first or probably even the tenth person to think of this almost exact system. I did not copy from the others, though. I think it was just an idea whose time had come.

Be sure to look over the other systems linked to in this thread. You might like them better.

Thanks for reading and commenting!


Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I had actually played around with something similar. I don't know where I put my notes, but it worked something like this :

Level 1 : 0
Level 2 : 1
Level 3 : 2
Level 4 : 4
Level 5 : 5
Level 6+ : Level

The character could place a magical +1 per Pt (based on level) as an [Enhancement] bonus. The restrictions would be :

+1 to Attacks or Defense limited to +1 per 3 levels (or fraction thereof), so +1 at 2, +2 at 4, +3 at 7, etc.

No more Non-Enhancement bonuses to attacks than you have enhancement bonuses (thus, a +1 Flaming is ok, +1 flaming frosting isn't).

+1 to attributes limited to +1 per 3 FULL levels, with +5 maximum (so, +1 at 3, +2 at 6, +3 at 9, up to +5 at 15).

Remove all Enhancement bonuses to attack/defense items in the game.

Thus, someone at level 4 could have a +1 Dex, +1 AC, and +1 Flaming attack. It wouldn't matter what armor they were wearing (even regular clothes would give +1, or even naked). Any weapon they pick up is a +1 Flaming (or their fists are, which helps monks).

The basic background for this would be that there are those who are born with the ability to 'bond' the magic of the world to their bodies. This ability is separate from the ability to channel magic in the environment. If the two abilities overlap, you get a Druid, Cleric, Sorcerer or Wizard. If the person can channel the environment, but not bond it, then you get an Adept. If they can bond but not channel, you get a Barbarian, Fighter, Rogue, etc. If they can't do either, you get an NPC class.

I liked it because I could then roughly allocate encounters at any level knowing what bonuses (+level) they would have. So, at 10th I know they aren't going to have any bonus better than +3 or +4. So it tightened up the range and kept someone from 'nova' spending on one big nasty item that defined their character. All the other items in the game remained.

I was thinking I'd allow them to retrain the bonuses, but only over time (stop using the ability for 1 level, then 'retrain' it at the next level up).

Shadow Lodge

My thoughts: Don't have this work with mundane or masterwork weapons. But a magic sword in the hand of one character might display different abilities than a magic sword in the hands of another character. In other words, use the system as you presented it, but it requires a weapon that is itself magical to channel the power through.


Kthulhu wrote:
My thoughts: Don't have this work with mundane or masterwork weapons. But a magic sword in the hand of one character might display different abilities than a magic sword in the hands of another character. In other words, use the system as you presented it, but it requires a weapon that is itself magical to channel the power through.

This is exactly what I'm doing. I don't want to open the system up to basically the "anything goes" level, and I still want magic weapons, armor, and other such items to be "cool." So, characters can basically build a legend around a weapon and the weapon takes on abilities based on this legend (this draws from my love for the Earthdawn RPG and their used of Naming weapons).


You may want to check out Complete Gear from Dreamscarred Press. It's available as a downloadable pdf from Paizo for $2.95. It seems to accomplish most everything you've described.

Cheliax

I have made an itemless system for low magic campaign. I developed the following table:

1 +1 CA.
2 +1 to all saves.
3 +1 CA, +1 to all attributes.
4 +2 to 1 attribute.
5 +1 CA.
6 +1 to all saves, +1 to all attributes.
7 +1 CA.
8 +2 to 1 attribute.
9 +1 CA, +1 to all attributes.
10 +1 to all saves.
11 +1 CA.
12 +2 to 1 attribute, +1 to all attributes.
13 +1 CA.
14 +1 to all saves.
15 +1 CA, +1 to all attributes.
16 +2 to 1 attribute.
17 +1 CA.
18 +1 to all saves, +1 to all attributes.
19 +1 CA.
20 +2 to 1 attribute.

I know it is not perfect but with it i removed the need for ability enhancers, Amulet of natural armor, Ring of deflection and Cape of resistance. I also turned weapon armor and shield enhancement bonuses into non magic modifiers, so now they are just items of great quality made of special materials, i also lowered their cost a lot. This is obviously tied with a dramatic reduction of the group WbL.

The system is now without flaws though, you have to tweak or remove spells that give deflection or natural armor for example and most monsters need tweaking, encounters with creatures who usually use loot are fine though.


ProfessorCirno wrote:

I've actually done something VERY similar. My system:

1) Wealth is separated from "Character Upgrade Points" or "Be Awesome Points" or, as one player named them, "Never Having Enough Points"

Wealth is used for mundane things. Some mundane things are wicked cool, like your own base of operations, or hiring oiled up servant men to carry all your things for you. Wealth is very abstract. You don't have a specific number for Wealth. it includes the base of operations, the oiled servant men, or even just the capability to purchase dinner at the tavern, or being able to rent the expensive room. This is a very vague score rather then a full number.

Character Upgrade Points are given instead of your standard gold. Whever you see "gold" in wealth per level, or in the price of certain things, you use the upgrade points. They are for "buying" the following: Big 6 upgrades, magic armor, and magic weapons. They're also for (actually) buying everything else.

So, a character that wants to purchase Eyes of the Eagle, a metamagic Rod, or Ring of Sustenance (for example) simply pays for them with Upgrade Points, in your system?

I'm curious of how you deal with non-"big 6" magic items, because my players are VERY magic item oriented, they can't get enough magic items, and using this system would be a dramatic change from the standard.

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