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Every d20 game has things I really, really like combined with varying degrees of things I really, really hate. I also just don't have the time or energy to find that mythical perfect RPG anymore, so I'd rather hot rod the d20 chassis with the plethora of diverse published rules floating around out there. From that perspective, I actually kinda like the idea of not having a favorite implementation. Still, here's a few notables:

From the few times I've actually been able to run it, Pathfinder works really well. Too well, in fact. I don't feel like I can open up the hood and poke around without causing serious damage to other parts of the system. Vanilla Pathfinder does make for some nice Vanilla Pathfinder though.

Mutants and Masterminds feels a little the same way in that I have a thousand by-the-book options to tinker with it, but I don't feel like I can eyeball anything. It also makes me buy into a lot of options that make good sense but just aren't as fun for me, like wound rolls, or weird, almost contrary alternatives.

I really, really like a lot of what Fantasycraft has to offer with characters on both sides of the table and gm design mechanics, but I can barely make sense of it while flipping back and forth through the book just to look up the rules on a few core concepts.

I like how BESM d20 is slim and already broken enough that I don't have to worry about ruining it any more when I tinker with it. I'd kinda like to run Pathfinder on the BESM core without all the trait options.

Action! has a lot of cool things going on, but it's a skeleton of a system that's so alien to any other d20 game, that I don't think I could ever squeeze out much of any great substance that other games like M&M hasn't salvaged from it and combined with rules that aren't quite as charming. Action! is a real heartbreaker.

Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
why can't we play children?

Considering the general flavour of Golarion and some of the content of the APs, I think enough people might have enough of a problem with rules for child PCs that it might have just been prudent for Paizo not to include them. I don't think it's in bad taste, but I can see how others might.

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Hama wrote:
I don't mind the 50-50 approach to gender in the game. I like it. I hated the she only usage in 3.5 edition. Man, i had to look up some stuff in 3e sourcebooks and i was thoroughly pissed at the book without knowing wy until i realized it's the no he in the book.
The preponderance of "she" in the 3E books is because the default character for any example is Lidda the rogue, who's a female.

I remember some of the WoD books using only feminine forms of neutral pronouns along with lengthy justifications. Did that extend to the White Wolf d20 stuff?

Lathiira wrote:

There's also this little fact. Based on hp as originally proposed, those classes with d8 hit dice (bards, clerics, druids, etc.) have more effective casting stamina than those with d6 hit dice. If that makes a difference, that's up to you to decide. I also wondered about this scenario:

Cleric normally has 100 hp. He's been badly injured in a fight, he's down to 5 hp. He says, 'hey, I'm casting heal'. Does the fact he's throwing a 6th level spell (we'll assume he's been busy today) knock him over before he regains hp?

The different class Hit Dice poses a balance problem that's intrinsic to any HP-fueled spell system. I can't see a way to fix that aside from barring classes or tracking it with some value besides HP.

By using a separate Fatigue value that tapped out at max HP as opposed to current HP, I was specifically trying to avoid that healing scenario, since it gets even sillier when it's someone else healing the caster, especially with basic first aid. "Ranger, quick! Patch me up for another magic missle! I think I've space for another bandage there on my shin!"

Lathiira wrote:
One other thing: figure out how many hp a given casting class has at a given level. Use average hp (3.5 for d6 hit dice, 4.5 for d8, etc.), modify for Con and favored class. Then figure out how many levels of spells at each of those given levels spellcasters have. Spontaneous casters can throw more spells per day, they'll have more than prepared casters. I imagine there will come a threshold fairly quickly where spontaneous casters can't empty out all their spells in a day w/o falling over, and the prepared casters will only go a little longer before the same. I mean, a 20th level cleric can throw 5 9th level spells each day, for 45 points of accumulated energy-stress. Then 40 for 8th level, 35, etc. And that's w/o bonus spells. There are guidelines for the number of encounters the average PC group should meet each day before needing to recover. Now, they'll start having stamina issues from another source besides the typical hp and spells resources, even if they don't nova.

Actually, the energy-stress accumulation I'm proposing is equal to the level of the cast spell multiplied by 3. A 1st-level spell is worth 3 points of stress, a 9th-level spell is worth...*counts on fingers*...27 point of stress, so the cleric casting 5 9th-level spells would be accumulating...*counts on toes too*...135 points of stress. A 20th level cleric should be able to pull off maybe 3 9th level spells plus some change depending on what they put into CON. That's still pretty icky from an anti-nova standpoint, but sounds about right for what they should be capable of at 20th level while using any sort of spell point system.

This is also meant to be used as an alternative to the typical spell resources. I wanted something simple you could add too and compare to two other numbers every time you cast a spell. Because of the simplicity, that's the aspect that's more important to me than tying it to HP.

I also had an inkling of an idea to use some sort of wound check based on primary caster attribute like some games without HP do. You'd theoretically have no limit on number of spells per day, but every time you cast a spell, you have to make a control check or lose the spell and take a "wound." Certain wound levels have hard-wired penalties, if you tap yourself out, your brain is fizzled. That could just be a hard number for everyone with different classes offering bonuses to control checks, maybe.

golem101 wrote:
IIRC, the pronoun's gender is usually referred to the appropriate iconic character (in this case Amiri the barbarian, a female character).

This is something I really appreciated from Pathfinder. The diversity of the iconics didn't seem to be done in a specifically politically correct kind of way, but rather to illustrate that adventurers in the game come in such a wide plethora of shapes and sizes. As someone who has experienced women and people of various races having trouble identifying with certain RPGs, I'm glad for the thought they put into it, it's a book that can come across better to more people.

Umbra, no, this is just a brain-storm of an idea inspired by people thinking along the lines of HP-fueled spells. I don't really like the idea of weighting CON that much for casters either, but I like to play around with the rules enough that I think just about anything is worth some theoretical tinkering. I admit I wouldn't want to use what I'm describing in-game in its present form, maybe never.

I suppose you could give them a mental HP based on WIS or INt or whatever, if HP is d6, give them d12 MHP, d8 HP - d10 MHP; something like that. Allow spells to optionally target MHP and maybe melee fighters could make "feint" attacks that damage MHP. Stupid idea? Maybe. Five minutes of thought? Definitely. As a fix, it's also really going off on a tangent and adding a lot of math I was meaning to subtract (no pun in...well maybe I'll say I did; that's actually vaguely clever now that I look at it.)

Freesword wrote:

Holy 15 minute adventuring day!

Based on what you've described, a caster whose Spell Fatigue reaches their max hit points has to sleep for at least 8 hours. The problem is "under the same conditions a caster would regain their spell slots" means it only resets once per day. So if the caster novas in the morning he is out until the next day.

Have you considered having Spell Fatigue heal at the same rate as nonlethal damage (1 point per hour per character level)?

Yeah, I wasn't even thinking about non-lethal heal rates, that makes some does seem a bit fast to be re-gaining spell use though and pretty much doubles the amount of number tracking.

How about, if you stay under your max threshold, you're just tapped out until you can rest, as per usual. If you burn your fatigue over that threshold, then you take twenty on a sack of potatoes check for a while until level per hour heal rate brings you back down to max? Just how far over the max threshold you can go could also be determined by an ability score or modifier. I do like the idea of the wizard konking out when they burn more juice than they're supposed to, that's pretty classic.

Freesword wrote:
Laddie wrote:

0-level spells could just add 1 to Spell Fatigue.
Why not just keep them unlimited like they are currently?

Eheh hehe. I thought of that when I was typing this up, but I had one of those moments where I couldn't remember if it was an actual rule or some crazy theoretical stuff I read somewhere that would get me even more mocked than I'm already looking forward to. Something about cantrips in the other thread threw me off I think...yeah, sure, that must have been it...

Freesword wrote:

Expect posts about "OMG! Casters novaing nothing but their highest level spells! The Brokenness!"

Personally I think the novaing issue gets overblown. After all, for the first couple of levels all casters pretty much do is nova.

I'll admit I'm not much of a spell-caster which is why I can always use some serious input when I start brain-storming along these lines. In my experience, though, the players who only focused on their highest level spells would paint themselves into corners anyhow. I think the current HP vs. fatigue penalty also discourages some of that and they'll need to be thinking what they'll be able to eke out when they start pushing towards their threshold.

If anyone has any ideas on how to discourage nova-spam with a system like this, let's hear it.

This thread PG/houseRules/castFromHitPointsTrope reminded me of a similar spell fuel system I've been brain-storming for a while that doesn't actually use up HP, but works alongside it:

The caster has a Spell Fatigue (spell burn, arcane stress, whatever) value they keep track of alongside their HP.

Every time the character casts a spell, they add 3 x spell level to their Spell Fatigue. Addition being slightly easier than subtraction and all that...

If Spell Fatigue runs higher than the character's current HP, they gain a penalty to all rolls, -1 maybe, possibly -2 since casters are all about trying to avoid damage anyhow.

If Spell Fatigue reaches the character's max HP, they pass out or are incapacitated for about as long as they'd need to regain spell slots. Not sure about if it goes over max hp, whether that would even be possible or if they'd need a concentration check to get that last spell off, etc. DC 10 + however much they go over max HP?

Spell Fatigue resets under the same conditions that a caster would regain their spell slots.

0-level spells could just add 1 to Spell Fatigue.

Anyhow, I haven't had a chance to try any of this out. Any thoughts?

*sway* I actually discovered a copy of Luven's had mysteriously appeared on my computer at some point, so I must have DLed it in a chunk of other things when I had a chance and totally forgot.

It's a seriously cool book though. On the topic, could it have been split into smaller cheaper releases? Yeah, sure, but I think some of the commentary and less thrilling, but charming items would have been lost if the delivery would have favored more of a bullet-point item feature rather than chapters presenting huge walls of items for the reader to poke through.

On the other hand, Super-genius seems to be doing fine, financially, with their releases and I like their presentation also. You see the cream of Kragnar's collection presented piece by piece. The Kragnar format is just a bit different of a flavor from Luven's.

Anyhow, I think the quality of these products trumps general arguments about either format over the other. As much as the market changes, good publishers will tend to be able to sell good content.

hunter1828 wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Laddie wrote:
I'd maybe die of joy overload if I saw some sort of Luven Lightfingers vs. Krazy Kragnar Bargain Battle Bazaar collaboration. That would be the very pinnacle of all human achievement.
I'd be up for it!

While Luven thinks that Krazy Kragnar is, well, crazy, I would be up for it as well.

Email me, Owen (4windsfantasygaming AT gmail DOT com), and lets talk!

!!! I hope you're able to work something out! I hope I can survive it...

Doc_Outlands wrote:
And the bazaar gets... well... bizarre!

Yeah, I spent a good five minutes going back and forth between jamming the illiteration and reigning it back in in my earlier post. If they can put something together, I'm sure I'll be overjoyed by their title alone.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

142. Striped Dragons.

Do you know any good jokes about humans?

hunter1828 wrote:
Arachne wrote:

You're welcome :) . I've been acknowledged by someone who wrote something I game with - now I feel all important and stuff :D !

I would, in fact, consider the "Flaws" PDF to be absolutely essential - after buying it, I haven't made a single character that didn't use it.

Say, if I may ask a question - the Luven Lightfingers book; is that a book detailing a single store and its contents and owner, or is it primarily an expanded items list? And, if it's the latter, is it magic or mundane equipment, mainly? Inquiring minds want to know ;) !

Oh, yes, that's another thing I look for in 3PP: New and interesting non-magical gear.

We are just as excited when gamers tell everyone they use our products in their games! :D

As for Luven's - the book is designed primarily as an expanded equipment book, with new weapons, armor, adventuring gear, special materials, alchemical items, food & drink, musical instruments, took kits, etc. There are a few magic items also included, but most items are mundane equipment. The appendix does include details on the shop and the proprietor, should you wish to include the actual shop in your games, but the equipment can be introduced independently of the shop itself.

I'd maybe die of joy overload if I saw some sort of Luven Lightfingers vs. Krazy Kragnar Bargain Battle Bazaar collaboration. That would be the very pinnacle of all human achievement.

joela wrote:
RJGrady wrote:

I happen to think my book, Fistful of Denarii, /v5748btpy8bu5

is a heavyweight, at eleven new classes.

Have it. Heart it. When's your next product coming out?

Happily, heartily seconded on both quotes. I don't want to give an inaccurate view of your book, but IMO, it offers what I expected from the Iron Kingdoms classes and succeeds on more levels.

Dark_Mistress wrote:
No problem, if you want to know about file sizes about some stuff. Just ask and if I own it I will look up the file and let you know. Might help you decided what to buy if you know what you can DL that way.

Thanks. As mentioned previously in this thread, all the reviews you've done have already been a lot of help: to the point without a bunch of "my game" philosophy clunking up your commentary. I've definitely picked up some things based on your reactions. I'm looking forward to see if you'll have something to say on the...101 0th-level spells, I think it's called?

Irontruth wrote:
I always find these topics fascinating. I'm not a publisher or writer, but I met a lot over the years (from big names to little guys). I tend to think that the industry as a whole would be better served by more openness on the part of companies about what is going on and why. Honesty about the size and growth/decline of the industry would go a long way to getting support from the customers who love their hobby.

Right, even just fans of indie and niche press need to take at least a bit more of an active role in supporting what they like in order for the publishing to survive. Regarding a more mainstream publisher, this thread would be full of endless winging about rising costs, but everyone here is sharing what info they can on purchasing habits, trends and paths to the future.

I do think there's still plenty of impulse value to be mined for a cheap admission price on certain product types. I barely ever use premade monsters, but I'll pick up quick monster sups for a couple bucks even just to keep up on what new ideas are floating around out there. The previously mentioned dog supplement from 4 Winds is also the sort of vanilla niche product I'll cherish whether I ever use it in a game or not.

lylerachir wrote:
...i am also not going to be selling all my gear for enough gold to cover the cost, essentially my toon has been nerved and thus removing any and all reason for me to keep him. he has already slammed himself into my retiree/dead folder and will not be coming out...

He won't be using the gear if he's retired/dead anyhow, may as well cast off some of the junk in order to keep him alive.

I've never been one to hang onto old chracters though, so I guess I just don't understand if you want to retire him with a trophy gear build or something like that.

Dark_Mistress wrote:
Do what a friend of mine does. Leave the computer on when you sleep or when you are at work. It can download at those times. Though it has been so long since I used dial up, I forget just how long it takes to DL the typical MB, SGG stuff is mostly under 1 MB, many of the other stuff ranges from 1MB to 20MB with only a few over that. Least from what I recall from memory. If you have a question about file size just ask, I or I am sure someone else would be happy to let you know.

Right, I can handle up to around 12MB at a time if I'm feeling really lucky, but I can count on a little network instability on anything over that. It wasn't too much of an issue around about a year ago, but now a ton of newer .pdfs are really pushing up that size bar. I also used to be able to get my laptop up to a hotspot every once in a while, but not much anymore. That's all my own issues though.

As a corollary to what I said before, I'm a sucker for bundles of smaller .pdfs. I look at one of those and see I'm getting a bargain, but if they were all compiled into a single pdf, I wouldn't see it that way as much.

I only just got the APG today, but I have to say I like the ability to give the players some more flavour options when they say they want to play a ninja or pirate or whatever, but they really just want to play a thief or barbarian or wizard that just acts a little bit like a ninja or pirate or whatever. It's nice to not be required to wrangle a thousand different base classes too.

When I first heard about PrCs, I really liked the idea of a character being able to become a Solamnian Knight or Red Wizard of Thay. I immediately realized I didn't actually want a Solamnian Knight or Red Wizard of Thay in my own campaign though, I wanted similar PrCs that were tailored to my own little world and organizations and that's just not something any publisher can do. A lot of the other interesting PrCs amounted to a few cool abilities I could just Frankenstein onto their characters with strings attached. Otherwise, I'd kind of like to see the really cool, but basic ideas like Arcane Trickster and Shadowdancer get full base classes. In all, I don't think it has anything to do with archetypes, I was just never big on PrCs.

Something more like Prestige Ability Templates that you could tack onto whatever else a character is already doing and snatch away if they get themselves kicked out of the club would be something I'd be really interested in from a publisher.

Here's a big curve-ball: I avoid higher-priced .pdfs because I'm a backward dinosaur with nothing but a slow dial-up connection available most of the time. I love the 4 Winds stuff I have bought, but I have to shy away from the bigger books. I still haven't gotten the chance to actually download the copy of Luven's I bought. :3

With a faster connection, I'd definitely go for the bigger more expensive releases though since an increased rate of the smaller releases would nickel and dime my money and time to death. I think that's what's happened to the digital market in general over the past decade as content delivery has become that much faster for more people. Now that people can't afford to spend their attention on the everything that's more feasibly available, they'd rather turn their attention to more of what they like.

The problem with doing something like this is no one will offer any real help or input; they'll refer you right back to the system or they'll just sit there and nitpick why nothing should be changed under any circumstances. You'll be deluged by backwards justifications built to explain away the sacred cows as reasoning against any sort of change.

Would a fighter with some abilities to put them on par with spell-casters be cool? Of course it would, but it's near impossible to get anyone to admit that. People are happy with balancing a fighter on the back of the GM's choice of magic items while they complain about how fighters are too reliant on the GM's choice of magic items. They complain about how a character should develop how a player wants them to while they want the GM to have full discretion over how a character develops.

I hate that RAW houserule. I don't care how fallacious it is, we'll play the game however we please whether it's stupid and clunky tacked-on nonsense or totally by the book. How many internets does some stranger have to win before I can no longer wipe my bum with half the book if I so choose?

OP, you might want to check out the preview for Fantasy Craft, there's some clever stuff going on in there. Character creation has more crunch and page turning going on, but the game play is a lot smoother. May not be to your liking, but from the sounds of them, I think your players would definitely dig it.

ED: Regarding the original question, I think the Fantasy Craft classes are decent fantasy class archetypes with a S&S flavour and the races are a neat mix of templates and feat options you may want to consider.

HyrumOWC wrote:

Depends on where you print. I've received quotes from printers in Asia that are only $0.50 higher per book for color than printing in B&W here in the States.

The real cost comes with full color art IMHO.


The printing industry is generally more technologically advanced outside of North America, but paper quality may be lower.

LMPjr007 wrote:
Inaccurate: All non-rifled firearms have an inherent -1 to hit penalty.

I've never had a group where anyone didn't just ignore inaccuracy penalties. Haha, minus all the double negatives, that means everybody ignores the penalties. Is there a way inaccuracy could be reflected without subtracting?

On that note, anytime anyone's ever rolled a misfire, they've tried to imagine up some kind of save roll or 10% roll or a craft check or some garbage to avoid any effect and it's always lead to a long drawn-out argument. Even players that 'love' misfires will claim every miss is a misfire and then BS their way out of it every time unless it's some catastrophic result for the party.

Roll of 1, jam until Craft check tinkering can be done works for me, but in my experience, anytime a chart or special mechanic for wild effects and what is used, players want to have fun with abusing it and ignoring it at their whim.

Really looks like great stuff otherwise though!

Where's the Grey Render??? I couldn't find him under Render(Grey) either!!

Chris Mortika wrote:

No problem, Laddie. This is what I do for a living.

The "n+1" in the formula comes from a common mathematical identity: If you add up the numbers 1 + 2 + 3 + ... + n, the sum will equal half the product of n times n+1. (So 1+2+3+4+5 = 5*6/2, and 1 +2+3+4+...+99+100 = 100*101/2) There are a lot of proofs of this formula; the simplest use the principle of induction.

If 6-sided dice read 0,1,2,3,4,5, then the sum would equal half the product of n times n-1.

Fractions round down in 3rd Edition D&D by fiat, but you should round the final result, not any intermediate values. So a game utility calculating the effects of a 9d6 fireball ought to calculate 9 * (6+1)/2 = 9 * 3.5 = 31.5, rounding off to 31. (And not 9 * 3.5, rounding the intermediate value of 3.5 down to 9 * 3 and then getting 27.)

Thanks again!

The reason I asked was because I'm tinkering with a point-buy system. In that context, I would probably want to price a combination at the fraction, but then the upper levels of chance on a range would rate as preferable to a flat bonus in most gamers' heads...

A Man In Black wrote:
Laddie wrote:
But if Charisma determined attack ability, Intelligence determined the power of effect and Wisdom served as a mental health attribute...
This doesn't have anything to do with the point I was making, so I'm not sure why you're replying to me.

I was clarifying something you'd responded to earlier, but the last part is probably worth agreeing with.

SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:
For D&D-style games I'd say it's just too late. Maybe one can do a little something about Charisma, but other than that it's probably hopeless.

This is definitely true. Considering how many people swear by the big six as core to character creation, I'm not sure most players are even open to non-D&D stat systems in other games. I've seen OGL systems that mash Con and Strength together, but I think OGL means D&D to a lot of people too.

SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:

There are some systems that have used other stat breakdowns: the Tri-Stat system of Big Eyes, Small Mouth had Body (all physical stuff), Mind (all mental stuff), and Soul (spiritual stuff, luck, willpower, confidence). The key was that all derived combat values worked off two or more of these stats together. Instead of having multiple stats to tinker with to get a certain concept such as "tough but weak" you simply bought disadvantages to denote weak areas of the wider stat. Since this didn't effect combat values you could have a character who matched a concept, got payed for it, but wasn't gimped by it in important areas (unless you wanted that).

Another game called BASH mashes physical stuff into just Brawn and Agility, about what I think the OP is asking. Don't know too much about that system, though.

I like BESM in theory, but the simplicity at the core is often a trade-off for more number crunching later on, whether it's derived stat calculations or buying advantages and disadvantages. It's just not something you can pick up and play with all the options turned on.

Six is probably the magic number.

pming wrote:

I'm gonna have to say "No" to the 'big problem' part. I would say "Yes" to the 'big problem' part if the spell-caster of lower level could do as much damage all day long.

Too many RP'ers nowadays get hooked on the "per encounter damage potential" when they really should be looking at the "per adventure damage potential". A fighter that can do 20hp a round, every round, will *easily* eclips a wizard with a pair of fireballs, some magic-missiles and a cone of cold if you look at, say, 100 rounds of combat total. The fighter does 2,000hp damage over that time. The poor spellcaster does what? Maybe 200? Sure, the spellcaster may be able to bring that 200hp to bear over the course of a half-dozen rounds...but that's it. Like the Energizer bunny, the fighter just keeps going...and going...and going...and going...

So, again, "No" to the spellcaster doing more damage as a 'big problem'.

Just my 2 coppers. :)

To be fair, I think the low couple of levels are pretty harsh on a mage compared to a fighter in 3E. Back in ye olde days, even low level spells had a lot of power over the standard physical attacks, but they dried up faster, and a mage was going to stay pretty weak, physically, so there was a trade-off balance in that.

At any rate, I think it's ridiculous that a power balance between characters would become unbalanced or inverted as they gain levels based on a template or class design.

In regard to the general thread regarding characters being inept in combat, anytime I've run with one or more powergamers, I was always still the final arbiter of challenge level and rewards. If players need to optimise to survive my challenges, that's my fault; if I raise power level to engage a single player and everyone else dies, that's my fault; if I'm killing the single non-com over and over again, again, that's my fault.

There was actually a feat I was a big fan of....can't remember the name...but, basically, enemies wouldn't consider the character much of a threat at all, ao they'd tend to ignore them unless the character actually did something and then they'd get the wrath.

A Man In Black wrote:
Making the stats even more complicated or tying them to even more arcane stuff doesn't solve things at all, because most of that stuff comes up rarely or not at all. If you added three different rarely-used things on par with "resistant to dexterity damage," that doesn't make Fred feel more agile than Barry.

Right, I wasn't suggesting that. To me, there's a problem with choosing the stat that fuels magic attacks, not to mention the defensive stats, Con, Wis and Dex, are static. It over-complicates how many things are balanced on the number and it undermines the worth of the stat's purpose as character attribute.

But if Charisma determined attack ability, Intelligence determined the power of effect and Wisdom served as a mental health attribute, that reflects the way physical attacks work, so gameplay is streamlined better and it reduces mental stats becoming internally overweighted to a character. As to the 'realism' of that set-up, debate is the best example of a mental attack that we have. You present an argument based on charisma, a badly worded argument isn't even worth a response. The power of that argument is constructed from your knowledge and reasoning abilities, nonsense just isn't effective. Finally the defender weighs the attack against his personal beliefs and sensibilities. The idea that a magical attack would work differently is akin to the idea of a high Constitution fueling a physical attack or that dodging a blow may cause damage to your attacker because you're awesome at not getting hit.

DoveArrow wrote:

This +9. Strength is an incredibly powerful stat as it is. It affects your attack roll, grapple, trip, disarm, damage, climb, etc. You don't need to make Strength anymore powerful than it already is.

Personally, I think Strength should be taken down a few notches. For example, one of the few things that I like about 4E is that abilities which require endurance, like grapple, are now based on Constitution. I think it evens things out just a little.

That's assuming a system that uses Strength to hit though. Part of the reason for this discussion was scoping out the viability of lumping together Str and Con in a Dex to hit system. Sooo...Dex to hit would help alleviate a lot of the weight on Str's shoulders and makes more sense.

Any school of thought that lumps liberal, Obama, Democrat, Christianity, the corporate environmental shell-game, thought crime and censorship into one category is something I refuse to subscribe to and something I refuse to accept as true liberalism.

Blazej wrote:

While there the class "builds" don't really have a roleplaying or non-roleplaying option (Practically every character is capable of being used for roleplaying), I would say that when choosing utility powers, feats, and magic items there are options that are less useful in combat and instead provide more abilities that are intended to give characters more options when they are roleplaying.

Like, I made a character that took the Linguist feat so that he may know more languages to help him in one of his goals of being a diplomat and trader. However it has limited usefulness in dungeons or combat compared to a feat like Weapon Focus. When I built my character I chose to make a choice more focused on roleplaying instead of combat. So I would definitely say that there are RP builds in 4e.

Yes, this, precisely.

Paul Worthen wrote:
Laddie wrote:
On the other hand, if someone wants to sacrifice combat ability for an RP build...
Why should anyone ever have to make that choice? 4e doesn't even have RP builds!

I'm just going to give my opinion on general gaming here, so don't take it in any way specific to 4E. This thread prolly would have been appropriate in a more general forum since Mearl's comments are general to gaming and not specifically 4E.

If the campaign is all about hack and slash and phat loot, yeah, combat is mainly what the characters are going to experience, but something like a mystery, school setting or political intrigue campaign will have a lot more going on outside of combat. Should every character excel both in and out of combat? I say no, because if every character is awesome at everything, 'awesome' becomes the new standard of 'mundane.'

Again, in deference to the 4E nature of the forum, I'm not trying to start any fights, but I also believe there's a huge difference between rules that govern roleplay, like alignment, and abilities that support roleplay, like craft or profession skills. If a player wants to put skill points into Profession(gamer) and gets plenty use out of it during gameplay, that decision is worth more to that player than had he spent the points in a more 'useful' skill.

Eh, whatever, I don't even think it's worth arguing about. I made my point, you either get it or you don't.

Madcap Storm King wrote:

They could use "The world's most Paizo roleplaying game... For now!"

The next: "The world's newest most Paizo roleplaying game!"

The third in the series would be: "The world's most Paizo roleplaying game... IN SPACE!!!"

Whoops, I just realized Paizo is a trademark, so that wouldn't work so well.

Urizen wrote:
Okay, I've always thought that the tarrasque was a unique creature. How exactly do tarrasques reproduce? Is it asexual?

You've been watching the wrong Godzilla movie.

Thanks a lot, Chris! 1 added to X-sides of a dice because the range doesn't include zero?

I was also wondering whether or not the average would be rounded down for in-game utility. 10+ to AC instead of a defense roll would suggest that, but I'm not really sure.

Madcap Storm King wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:

Well if you have the spells or ability to generate things from rocks then go wild. What the hell do you need a magic shoppe for?

I love these forums.

I once tried to solve a starvation problem by turning a certain amount of a rock wall into flesh with stone to flesh.

The DM ruled it was disgusting "wall-meat". No one ate it. Not even the troll rooming with me.

Geh, that just about turned my stomach. Who knows what's been around to mark it if it was in a dungeon.

Didn't Harlan Ellison write a neat story about a magic shop?

tejón wrote:

Threadjack, but just to put my two cents on the "six attributes" thing:

For about twelve years now, I've been fiddling with a homebrew system. It has gone through various incarnations, and I've tried several arrangements of base attributes, with counts ranging from two to ten.

Six really is a sweet spot, if you want to have an equal division of mental and physical attributes. Two is a video game, four will serve but needs more secondary stats to pick up some slack, eight is just too many.

(Side note to Laddie - in my system, "Heed" is the attribute which covers engagement with surroundings, including perception. Until I hit the thesaurus to resolve some abbreviation issues, this was called "Presence." GMTA!)

The problem with six stats is it's nearly synonymous with D&D and d20 made six stats practically synonymous with the usual Str, Con, Blah suspects.

I think 'presence' hits the nail on the pun intended... that's pretty much what I'd love to change Charisma to though. My ideas on having magic work off the three mental stats like physical attacks though...I'm not sure that'd go over half as well, haha.

I think there should be a fairly standard curve for combat. In 3.5, if the optimized fighter can manage to hit all attacks with an obnoxious magic weapon and still not do as much damage as a blah spell-caster of lower level, that's a big problem.

On the other hand, if someone wants to sacrifice combat ability for an RP build, I'm not going to argue that. With a clever and open enough GM, that RP character can usually pull out plenty of situational tricks in a fight that are just as effective as the optikillymachine's hack and slash. Mearls gives a good example of that in the comments with the troll lair. The RP character just has to remember that RP doesn't end as soon as blades are drawn.

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In a game I was playing in a few years ago, the campaign was pretty much centered around collecting up these map pieces to find some ultimate nullifier sort of device to use on some apocalypse doom kobold...anyhow...I had to roll up a new character just as the main party was coming up with zero clue as where to go next. She wanted to get to a particular city way off track so she could murder a relative, so she suggests, 'You know...we could probably get all the info we need in this city over here. I happen to have a map.' Honestly, that really was probably the best shot we had since no one had any clue.

Couple months later, game-time, we arrive at the city to find it's been sealed off by a giant prismatic sphere. The other fighter decides to activate his winged boots and fly to the top to see if there's a tiny hole up there. He doesn't find a hole, so he decides he'll just try to plow through the wall. Somehow, he manages to make his saves until he turns to stone and then gets shunted off to the Nine Hells, unbenownst to the rest of the party.

Somehow, possibly through metagaming, we figure out where he went and suddenly everyone's pumped to pop over to the Hells and get him back. After a month or so of tromping around the circles and another month just farting around the planes, someone finally decided to wonder how we got so far off track and they realized my character was the start of it all. I told them, 'I just wanted to go to the city and everybody agreed.'

Mothman wrote:
Set wrote:

On the other hand, I think it's comedy gold (to a certain rarified set) that one can legitimately refer to an ancient ruin as 'cyclopean' on Golarion.
It always makes me wonder, when it turns out that the builders of those cyclopean ruins out in the jungle / desert / hills were actually Cyclops’ … did the author actually know what ‘cyclopean’ means in this context?

He's actually a little too dead to ask him.

Sooo, running tables on odds, I came up with a formula that seems to add up to determine the.....I think it'd be the mean, I'm terrible at math...but the roll with the highest odds at any rate:

M = Y(X/2) + (Y/2)

X = Dice Range; d4, d8, etc.
Y = Multiplier; 2d, 5d, etc.
M = Mean or median or whatever.

So if I want the average on, say, our good friend Mr 20th Lvl Disintegrate, 40(3) + 20 = 140?

Does that work out right? Is there a better way to express it?

Stewart Perkins wrote:
Well let's see, I agree its daunting but in the end balance isn't a massive issue if a few things are way better. Mostly if something is overpowered I can fix it and my players will be ok with it. Also they reacted positively to the idea so no problems here, especially as alot of them are new enough that wierd ideas are just cool to them. Im getting a few players inputs aswell so we'll see what everyone says :P

Yes, those generic classes David mentioned are a good place to start.

Didn't mean to come across as poopoo as my last post read. Stuff like that is just tough to work with is all. It can be really rewarding for players though.

Scott Betts wrote:
I'm pretty sure Monte Cook was not involved in the 4th Edition design process. I'm not positive, but I know he's not on the PHB credits. Do you have a source for this?

Prolly thinking of Mike Mearls who worked on Iron Heroes. 4E has a lot of Iron Heroes and Experimental Might DNA at any rate.

Laurefindel wrote:
Stewart Perkins wrote:

So the purpose is a proposed project that essentially breaks down the classes and turns class features into talents along the lines of d20 modern/SWSE. However it is a low magic setting so Cleric, Druid (Minus companion), Sorcerer and wizard are not art of this experiment. I essentially want it so that you could build a barbarian or monk for the most part, but through generic class base of talents and feats. I'm also adding in converted d20 M/SWSE talents aswell but for now I want to focus on the core classes. My question or thought is How do we balance them? Rage 1/day per talent so that at 3rd you could have 2x a day and on? Flurry of blows talent at lv 1 if you take unarmed combat? etc.

Also has anyone attempted this already and have pointers or notes to share?

I tried going this way once (after expecting 4th ed to go that path, which turned out to be quite different), and very early on realized that I had a lot of issue balancing the classes with lots of class features (such as the monk) with classes with fewer features (like the fighter). I also wasn't too sure what to do with features that scale with levels, such as the sneak attack ability. To be honest, I quickly abandoned the project for something else.

I'm still not sure what would be the best approach. It's a daunting project indeed!

Lessee here:

1 - A lot of people react pretty negatively to this sort of thing, so you have to be prepared for that sort of feedback with a project like this. There's just some ideas that will enrage some gamers because they're a little bit different from the game they've been playing for the past few decades. Unfortunately, it can be hard to separate the knee-jerk reactions from actual critical feedback which can be just as harsh, but accurate.

2 - Character power options are pretty tough (practically impossible) to do within the framework of 3.x games because the abilities are wildly unbalanced.

3 - If you're working within an existing system, ability cost will need to balance with all the other junk already floating around out there. Talent trees are a decent idea, but there's a lot of eye-balling cost involved with that and you may just end up recreating the class options of another system.

Paul, thanks for the summary!

ProsSteve wrote:
amethal wrote:

You could design a 17th level 3.5 wizard with a couple of high level spells that he can effectively cast "at will", a couple of defensive spells that he can cast once per encounter if needed, a lot of personal buffs that he has already cast and are included in the stat block, and assume that the rest of his spells are "utility" spells that never come into play.

Monte Cook about how to make up saving throw bonuses and the like when creating NPCs quickly.

Your right, you could take those short cuts but effectively you have 4th Edition and Monte Cook was one of the main designers behind the system.

Before we went to 4th ed the group I'm with did try Monte Cooks book of Experimental Might which was an early tester for a lot of the basic mechanic for 4th ed.

These are great examples that really dilute a lot of the edition warfare; that was the biggest reason I started this thread.

Ah, I actually have a half decent question, inspired by the modern thread.

Owen talked about a meeting to lay down design goals to use as a blueprint for a project, so...

How specific do you get on the conceptual level? Or maybe you just shoot from the hip?

How far have you strayed from core concepts during the coarse of a project?

Have there ever been any projects you've scrapped because they went too far off track from what you initially planned?

...ok, question(s).

I'm, personally, having a hard time keeping track of all the pies you have a finger in already, so I'd vote no, but I'm not really familiar with this setting. To be brutally honest, I just don't have the interest to get familiar with a setting unless a quick summary can show me its something eye-gougingly amazing or fun.

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KaeYoss wrote:
Shar Tahl wrote:
What would be a good build for a gnome melee fighter? Maybe something with the hooked hammer?

Gnome paladin/duelist with the Dervish Dance Feat (From the Quadira Companion). Works even better with halfling.

Screw strength, use dexterity for attack and damage!

Heehee, Breechgnome?

joela wrote:
Seoni's birth parents? Damn, those must have been some FINE parents...!

I still hold to the gnome bloodline theory.

If you wanted to get really silly, 'The world's PFinest roleplaying game' might work. I like 'World's most Paizo roleplaying game too' but if they made another game, that'd suggest the other wasn't as Paizo.

LMPjr007 wrote:
Laddie wrote:
Inversion of that question though: How often do you come up with the idea of the century and then realise it's been done a hundred times before?
Everything has been done before. You just have to put your own personal spin on it to make it different.

Do you ever find that intimidating though? I suppose I'm asking if you often find yourself second-guessing yourself on the innovation bar or is it more important just to go full steam ahead based on what you're aware of?

Paul Worthen wrote:

A big, big part of the easy factor is that everything you need to run an encounter is right there in the encounter writeup. The monster stat-blocks contain all the info you need to run the monsters, the trap stat-blocks contain all the info you need to run the trap, the terrain info is right there. You don't need to pull out other books or look anything up.

In 3.5, a big time-waster was monsters who had a long list of spell-like abilities. As a DM, you had to flip back into the PHB every time you wanted to use one of those abilities. An NPC mage was a nightmare to run, unless you had an encyclopedic knowledge of what every spell did. Then, if the monster had a magic item, then you needed to reference the DMG to find out what the magic item did. If it had some feat you weren't familiar with, you needed to look that up.

Ah, so you're saying it runs a lot easier because it's more effects-based?

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