William Rodriguez wrote:
Hey Visual Basic Buddy!
I'm doing the same thing for my final project! Small world.
What about splicing in the NeverWinter Nights feat: Dedicated Spellcaster.
I'll have to look up the prerequisite later, but it allowed the character the spell progression of their magic using class while multiclassing. I've tried it with a psion, and it doesn't seem to unbalance anything, and a cleric gave it shot for a quick playtest, and it didn't seem to harm anything.
Any thoughts to porting in the d20 Modern/Future starting occupation/background mechanic? I've been using for a couple of years in my D&D games and it seems to be pretty popular. It allows the players to make some nice customization that works for both skills and a bonus feat, as well as add backstory.
When it comes to Epic play, you have to look at what really went wrong:
It looks to me like Wizards did really sloppy playtesting on high level group play anyway. Everything above 13th really started to show strain. Once it hit Epic, it just utterly crashed. A lot of people blamed it on there not being any adventures for characters above 20th level, but that was a weak excuse, as both NWN1 and NWN2 proved with epic level play.
If Paizo intends on doing Epic level play at a later date, then serious playtesting needs to be done at the near Epic levels, to see what starts breaking down and what stays steady and and solid.
We all know that the AC VS BAB breaks down pretty badly, but what else has people run into problems with? Number of attacks per round? Saves VS Threats? Hit Points? Spells per day?
Epic play can be a blast, but the biggest thing I've seen is that the campaign setting MUST support Epic play. The Forgotten Realms and Greyhawk both broke down in Epic play according to people. The setting as a whole couldn't support it to most people's minds, and even NWN has to move into taking on Gods and major demons.
When Asmodeous himself is only a mid-20's CR creature, what is left for the 30th level Paladin, much less if he has his friends with him.
So where does near-epic and epic play break down?
How about dropping some of the Epic feats down to just normal feats? You can increase stats with some feats.
Maybe a little "DM's Option" in the side talking about how if the fighter spends the 2 months the wizard is building a wand o killer zappy in the lab pumping iron, eating a proper diet, and in general busting himself trying to get stronger, the GM might allow an infrequent STR or CON bonus? Lots of GM's I know use that rule, it just doesn't get talked about all that often, since it's more of a GM's adjudication than a straight mechanic.
I don't know if I like giving a ranger sneak attack seems likes that's the rogues area.
Awhile back I ran a game involving savage races, hiding in the jungle from a superior force, and a lot of guerrilla warfare. I had bought the Unearthed Arcana book, and there's a section in there about making custom classes.
Everyone in the party, even the wizard, took sneak attack. There was a lot of bowshot from point blank in ambushes, jumping out of the bushes during a monsoon and sneak attacking, and basically it was a sneak attack festival!
It didn't bother the rogue of the party. And it isn't like all Rangers will get it, just add it in to the Ranger's selection of abilities during the bow path. He'd have to give up other bow abilities to take the sneak attack, or to improve it. The rogue's keeps going up steadily, he's capable of doing a lot more sneak attack damage with a wider variety of weapons, while the Ranger can only do it with a bow, and at the expense of other abilities. You could even tie it in to Favored Enemy, making that more important.
10th level rogue: Sneak Attack 5d6
Winner? Rogue. 5d6 VS 2d6
Cheap and easy spell duration:
A d6 or a d10 or a d12
At the player's init, you simply drop it down by one.
Or just write the name of the spell on your notes where you track HP's of monsters and check it off round by round. Remember the old 4 ticks with a line through them to denote fives? Works good.
I'm lazy and a cheapskate.
Give the Ranger bow path the sneak attack option and the Improved Critical feat in there. Remember, rogues get to use sneak attack with missile weapons under a certain distance.
A rogue with 5d6 sneak attack, point blank shot, will do pretty decent damage in one strike. And if he gets off multiple arrows, someone is in trouble.
I lost a lizard man shaman to that combo last weekend with 2 arrows fired from cover. First round, my bad guy is taking a dirt nap.
Confirming the crits work really good. My players occasionally find themselves fighting Ye Ol' Swarm O' Kobolds, and that keeps the kobolds from criticalling them to death.
However, we have a house rule we adapted from the old optional 3.0 rule that the 3rd crit is instant death:
If you confirm a critical, you get to roll again. If you confirm the hit a second time +1 is added to the critical modifier.
Fighters and rogues in particular love this.
Tonights practice, just using the new grapple rule. (We're instituting each change one at a time, to get the feel for each new mechanic)
7th level rogue, Str 14, leather armor +1, dagger +2
The warrior drew his sword, moved in, swung, and missed. The rogue grappled, and managed to grab the warrior, keeping a dagger in his off hand. The warrior hit with the attack of opportunity, but only did 4 points of damage.
Second round, the rogue stabbed the warrior for 5 points of damage, and continued the grapple. With the +5 bonus to grapple, he managed to get 11 points higher than the warrior.
The warrior was in trouble, and couldn't break the hold.
The rogue stabbed him again. The warrior attempted to slam the rogue with a knee, but the leather armor bounced it.
The fourth round, the warrior completely blew the roll, and the rogue had him by 15 points. (A modified 5 for the warrior, a modified 22 for the rogue)
It was sneak attack to the rescue, and the warrior was shanked to death in 2 more rounds.
The second grapple check came in against a wizard being grabbed by a guard and then beat up by a second guard.
The third grapple was the fighter grabbing and holding a thief, that's when the player of the fighter wanted to know why his 22 Str fighter was unable to just crush the weak 8 Str thief to death.
This rule makes grappling a lot easier to deal with, but there a couple of suggestions:
A feat like Weapon Finesse that allows a foe to use dexterity instead of strength. Useful for kobolds and the like, as well as rogues. We modified Weapon Finesse, added Improved Grapple as a prerequisite, and tried the thief VS warrior combat again. The warrior got owned in about 3 rounds. Dead in the alleyway with 3 stab wounds in the back.
The addition of "Controlling Pin" , maybe make it 20+ or just add it as an option to the standard pin. This would allow a warrior or a rogue to use an arm bar to either force the grapplee to take a 5' step in the direction of the grappler choosing, or the grapplee is flat footed while the grappler is no longer flat footed. I did a stint as a bartender and snatching someone's arm behind their back and bum rushing them out the door while keeping my off hand free and my ability to react to any of the drunk's friends was a handy tactic I had to use more than few times.
Someone asked about nonlethal damage coming into effect. You can seriously injure someone while wrestling.
Just some thoughts and observations after tonights game.
I am. Done some d20 Fantasy work, but a lot more d20 Modern and d20 Future work though.