They're the legendary swords Excaliber, Kusanagi, and Durandel. Excaliber and the grail at least are strongly link. Also, while not as widely known, people have seen them being actively used to destroy monsters. Seeing is believing.
Sorry, I was being sly at work, It slipped my mind to do a spoiler. This is a fun debate btw.
The Indescribable wrote:
Excellent point however, that view is Harry's not intrinsically true in the case of the blade. Here we get into the murky waters of belief in the Dresden verse. That belief is a power all it's own, but that doesn't mean much in the case of Amorrachius. It isn't the subject of belief like the shroud or the Grail.
Not really, remember that the false shroud has power due to belief. As Harry said in Death Masks, whether it was the real one or not, a lot of people believing it was real would give it real power. Uriel states in Skin Games that it was thanks to Harry and Butter's actions that allowed Fidelachious to reform. The swords are confirmed to have the nails of the cross in them, but they are believed to have them. Keep in Mind all that Michael was able to do without Amorrachius at Bianca's ball in Grave Peril. The sword doesn't make the knight, something Uriel has said about Michael a couple of times.
If you look at it the other parts of the Dresdenverse, like the Oblivion war, it might even be conceivable that these items could be sealed away if something came along and to get people to forget about them over centuries. Belief is a big deal in the Dresdenverse.
@ Puna'chong: Streamlining things so that you can play higher level campaigns in a limited time free is one of my desires, at least, for wanting such a supplement.
Restricting the number of potential modifier types is on option that might help a bit.
@ Wraithstrike: You could do all the things you suggest, ride herd and make sure that the only talk is in game, and roll all your attacks at once. Questions will still pop up like "can an exhausted Kraken still use its Jet ability to flee?" which need to be looked up. You can still roll out all your dice and still have to call out your damage individually because of DR. You can have several other issues pop up on the players side even though you're trying keep things from getting bogged down.
I know my group does things to try not to get bogged down. For instance if you forget a bonus then you better remember it next round because we're not going back. It's not that the people I play with are unintelligent and don't understand the system. It's that the system is too clunky to fit well into a short game session. We've done what we can to keep our sessions moving quickly without killing the fun, so is it so wrong to want to see a version of the system trimmed down to fit?
The Indescribable wrote:
Actually paladin ISN'T the best choice. Michael is a man who believes. Not just in god but in a truly righteous way of living. He lives by that. Yes that does seem paladin like, but his restrictions are due to his link to the sword, nothing else. It's an Artifact an artifact with prerequisites and limits but he's more or less an ordinary mortal. He's better off being represented as a fighter or maybe Chevalier. (not familiar with it)
I don't remember the exact quote but in "the Warrior" Harry replies to Molly at one point that the swords are just metal, it's the people who wield them that give them power.
My take on the Knights of the Cross have always been that they are Jim Butcher's way of writing the paladin concept in a realistic and satisfying way. He's a gamer and has undoubtedly run into the old arguments around Paladins and being LG. I think "the Warrior" does a good job of showing this and showing something that could possibly cause him to "fall". I really recommend reading it if you haven't, it's a personal favorite.
The Knights of the Cross might not fit neatly into Paladins because the settings are to different. At their core they are people who believe in being good people, standing up against evil when presented, but value compassion, forgiveness and free will. They don't have to be about serving a god either or belonging to a particular fate. Occasionally they might get into a bind like when Michael couldn't step in to stop Leah from trying to collect on the bargain Harry made with her or staying their hand against a Denarian who gives up their coin just to save their skin. I think Grave Peril does a good job with dealing with the question of the Paladin in a land where slavery is legal. If an innocent needs there help they are willing to take on long odds for the innocent's sake.
If I was going to go with something based on the Dresdinverse I'd ditch spells and the mount and give them some channel energy and possibly some inspiration benefits for allies beyond courage. Another thing that might be interesting for a Paladin would be something inspired from Sanya's character concept: a Paladin that was someone evil but hand all their beliefs exposed as lies and now is a Paladin to undue the harm they did.
This might already exist. The Beginner Box pares down combat and monster stat blocks significantly. It should make for a quicker running game. That being said, although I own the BB I haven't played it yet for any group so I'm not sure how much it will speed up the game.
It might be a good place to start looking but I'm assuming it's design for early level, intro gameplay and not speed or to work with various other existing PF supplements. I'm also guessing it's setup for maps and miniatures. If you don't want to use those then certain things, Combat Reflexes springs to mind, that would still stick out.
I was wondering if any one else would like to see a PF supplement dedicated to streamlining play to be faster and more narrative?
The reason I would like to see this is because my normal weekly game sessions usually last around 3 hours. Once we start getting into mid levels, our games get bogged down by the number of dice rolls, looking up rules, and tactical positioning. This usually means that we get into about one mid sized or larger encounter per session between RP and have had to end mind encounter several times because it took too long.
I realize this will get a lot of "play 5e", "it's just math", and get mini's and a tac map". I'm also not asking for a new edition either, just a supplement.
If you are interested in this, what would you try to pair down to make PF mechanics faster?
The command word works but how about this option. If I'm an evil overlord who creates a slave race, I would want to setup safe zones incase they get rebellious. Have a specific type of ward that these people can detect so they know when they're in an area they shouldn't be in and if they enter they can be killed by guardians or traps permanently if the overlord wasn't around. Have the secret of the ward's creation be something that got leaked so you can set it up so that these people have something more to worry about than someone knowing their secret code word on occasion.
It's just a thought so that it's a little bit more of a threat you can throw to make a player nervous or to give to PCs to let them stop one that's a villian.
TheJeff is correct, there are parts of Pathfinder that I miss when I play 5E.
I do play in a 5E game and a PF Game. The things I was gettinging at were as follows:
1) I think it would be a good idea for Paizo to consider doing a streamlined PF supplement or two (main book and monsters) for ease of running games for groups who don't have a lot of time in their sessions.
2) I think there are a couple things that could be looked at for implementation in PF. The style of Feats 5E has is could easily be used to compress the Feat tree. Scaling spells make a lot of sense and would save on a bit of space. Adding these things to PF would be easy.
3) The last paragraph was directed towards the OP's original comments.
One way to go would be 5E where a creature just takes 1/2 damage from particular effects. Works for ER too.
One Idea I had I called damage threshold, where monsters got a pool of HP that refreshed on there turn. A creature with DR 5 might have a DT of 10 that PCs had to beat that round to do regular HP damage and on the monster's next action their DT would be back and the PCs would have to beat the DT down again,
I would be in favor of a streamlined version of Pathfinder, myself. not necessarily a new addition but not necessarily a new addition. There are several things I like from 5E that I have been enjoying. I like the Advantage/Disadvantage replacing a lot of status effects and modifiers because its fast and its super easy to work with. I like the iterative attacks better and think they're a better idea for fighting classes over 3rd's version. I like the fact that you can tank in AC and actually be a hard nut to crack. I like the scaling spells as it makes more sense having one cure spell than various cure spells at different levels. I also like their Feats better, though not the system of how you get them, because they are a big deal; and not just the equivalent of a major class feature or close to it in power level.
Having a book dedicated to pairing off the flash of Pathfinder so you could focus more on running a story and not looking up status effects and rules. Most games I play in are 2 to 3 hours long. By the time you get to mid level in the PF games I play in, we can only really fit one medium or large encounter in a session. A Dungeon crawl might take months to do while in the 5E game I play in now we might do as little as a third of a dungeon in one session. This provides a real sense of accomplishment rather than frustration of slogging through a handful of rooms in a month. This is not to say I don't find 5E kind of shallow, but it does let you do a lot more in a short span of time.
I do think there are room for things from 5E that could be added to regular PF, though, without major changes. Scaling Spells and big Feats for instance. Imagine for instance if the basic range combat Feat included Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, and either a couple of Weapon Proficiencies or Far Shot. I like that better aesthetically and think it would condense the Feat tree.
I wouldn't mind seeing the linked accuracy for attacks as well, but I agree I'd rather see +10 rather than +6. Poor BAB would be stuck with 1 attack, average with 2 and good with 3. I don't really care for 5E's skill system but I'm not a fan of what my group refers to submarine warfare, specifically directed at Stealth vs Perception, where you try to have the highest possible value for select skills but nothing anywhere else. I would keep base skill values with the same bonus for attacks but also have a skill rank system that allowed you to take a special skill ability, like Fast Stealth or Trap Finding, to represent actual training and mastery. I realize these would probably be a deal breaker for many as changes to regular PF.
I've been working on a complete skill system rewrite where I'm thinking of using combat like a skill (sorry for the shameless plugging: Skills ). Generally all skills work off your character level, but recently I've been looking at applying a similar system to BAB. I'v decided to keep the base progression, because I want to try to balance magic/combat/skills and I don't want it to become "okay, why would you play a fighter again?
If you're going to use gods of ancient myth, pleasepleaseplease don't use Greek or Norse pantheons, especially Norse. Both are over done and the Norse, being largely Scandinavian in decent and growing up with the myths, I find that they are often more comic book than edda.
At least go for Egyptian, Celtic, or Mesoamarican. If you want to be a bit more original, use something like the Slavic or Persian gods. Shinto kami and Hindi gods I'd be a little iffy about as they are modern day religions.
Umbral Reaver wrote:
I do like the idea of dualistic deities. Perhaps, go beyond the good/evil duality and choose a duality for each based on their particular aspects.
That's what I was thinking and why I was using light and dark rather than good or evil. A fairly neutral god of death might still hold sway over the undead and/or causes disasters, accidents, and disease. I figure that a system like that would allow for cults that are tolerated by gods even though they might be against their alignment.
For example, using your two, you could have a Cult dedicated to righteous vengence and doing bad things for good reasons. The other one might be like the early anti-industrials that smashed automated looms or printing presses with sledgehammers.
You might consider a different form of influence for the coins influence. For instance using points for each time the character gets help from the coin. Set different values, probably starting out high and lowering with each new step achieved to represent the spiral downwards becoming faster. You also might want to consider giving the character the Breadth of Knowledge feat from the APG. Also I believe Identify doesn't exist anymore as it is a function of Spellcraft or Kn: Arcana.
I would suggest different Alignments based on the Fallen. Lashiel would be an example of NE, Nichodemus and Deidra of LE, and Tessa and Rossana of CE.
You might also wish to consider making Denarians like Ursiel and Magog more like Vampire Spawn as their hosts are chosen because they are weak and can be enslaved. Admittedly more powerful than Vampire Spawn, but I think their is more commonality than with someone with 5+ class levels.
To answer answer OldManAlexi's question, the Knights of the Cross's mission is to redeem those who have been taken by the Fallen. They aren't there to kill them and have done with it.
Actually, now that I think about it, .//hack was probably a big subconcious influence, followed by Planescape, and Everway.
As for Dieties, something that might be good would be making gods with two light or dark qualities and one that would be in the opposite. It might be interesting if every god had their good side and bad (not necessarily good or evil).
Okay, I'll put up a couple of ideas to start the pot. These are countries I've thought up, but never really used or named.
The first was based on the idea on the idea of having a Dracula-like villian running a country but I thought vampires were over done. The kingdom was relatively unimportant due to the fact that a terrible dragon claimed much of the nation as its territory and would occassionally ravage it when it awoke. A prophecy was made that a great ruler would arise after questing to destroy the dragon and return with its blood. A young heir recently inherited the crown and sought to prove his/her worth to the people by slaying the dragon. Everyone believed the new ruler would never return but they were wrong. The ruler returned dragging the severed head of the beast behind. Since then the ruler as catapulted his/her country into a major power. The ruler is deviously cunning, charimatic, unstoppable in battle, and the people love him/her despite the draconian methods their ruler uses.
The ruler is the dragon, of course, taking the place of the ruler for equal parts entertainment and for increasing the value of its territory. The ruler might be dead or might be imprisoned so the dragon can use some form of magic to make its disguise harder to pierce. The dragon's head, its skull mounting the castle's main gate, was that of a suitor the dragon rejected as a mate or went preying mantis on it afterwards. While the dragon is evil, it does look out for the best interests of its loyal subjects, as they pay more tribute out of love than through fear. Also, they belong to it.
The second country was shaped by a tragic love story. The kingdom had a Paladin who embodied all the best virtues of his order. While he was righteous he was also humble and merciful. In his light one could see that the crown he served did not deserve such a servant, yet he was ever faithful. The ruler was nervous about having such a paragon around, as the ruler was a cruel and selfish person. Yet the ruler could not strike out against the Paladin directly so he sent the Paladin to deal with a cult worshipping a dark deity off in the wilds. The Paladin set out with his companions and over the course of several years for several battles with the Priestess and her cult. In the end though the Paladin and the Priestess fell in love and she denounced her faith to be with him.
They lived a happy life for many years. The Paladin continued to serve the court and the Priestess took to the study of the Arcane. Back at court, the Paladin became aware of some shady dealings going on and was piecing the trail that was slowly leading him to the crown. The ruler became fearful that, if the paladin learned the truth, he would turn against the ruler. So the ruler sent assassins to kill the Paladin and the Priestess. The couple was caught by surprise and the Paladin sacrificed himself to save his wife and unborn child. The ruler thought the assassins had been successful and held a state funeral to "honor" the fallen hero. The Priestess crashed this party, killing many guards in the process, and pronounce a curse that caused the rivers and lakes to overflow and turn to blood before she vanished. Now the kingdom has become a bloody swamp where terrible mutated creatures and undead roam.
Hope you enjoy them, and get some use out of them.
Rather than looking at what to add, it might be a good idea of what would be the big hurdles to overcome in the design of such a setting. Ones I can see are:
1) Ensuring that the setting remains open to all. This doesn't just mean pirating ideas and then copyrighting them but also making sure that everyone can contribute. This ties into the second problem.
2) Perception of various aspects of the setting for various players and GMs. Some big examples are races, gods, and technology; which can be some serious sticking points. Examples:
B)Religion: This is a personal one for me, it always seems like there is a good god of war and an evil good of war. I write a god of warfare that is a more neutral god of mercenaries and adventurers as being the only war god. Others who want the Athena/Ares dynamic might not like that I've cut out their options "officially".
C)Technology in one word: Guns.
3) If Evil L. wants this to be a setting that anyone could publish from, it might be worth it to make it open enough for publishers to peddle their own works in certain locations. It might attract more publishers to use the setting.
4)Limiting the overall effect a contributer can have on the world. For instance, if I make a country/city state/demi plane, I shouldn't be able to declare it the bestest at everything. I should be able to express my ideas without having to worry that my ideas will be twisted into something unrecognizable but I shouldn't be able to run wild either.
That's what I had for potential issues at the moment at least. My mind has wandered off though so I might come up with more potential problems later.
What you might want to think about is doing a many worlds kind of game. Think of it in terms of a sci-fi space opera where just about anything can fit in though rather than spaceships (a touchy subjects here) you have gates to other worlds/planes that appear naturally and are stble paths.
This type of setting would allow for people to use whatever they want from any publisher by creating another world. Even if someone writes in a Mary Sue character somewhere, they are still tiny in comparison to the scope. You could even throw a cataclysm that wreaks havoc on the world and not threaten the entire setting.
The hard part would be cohesion, which would be a big strike against this style. It's possible to add elements to bind everything together though. For instance one pantheon of gods for the entire place, with the ability to alter them a bit based on cultural variance. A central starting place might be good, like a City of Adventurers that is run by Adventurers who have mostly settled down. But that's just my ideas.
I highly suggest you check out the old TSR game Alternity, which 3rd edition looted for mechanics (particularly the skill system). The entire rules set is based around skill ranks, which have tiered effects like you're proposing. You might come across some good ideas. Also, it's the best RPG ever made.
Awesome, I'll have to find the PDFs!
If you can't come up with a specialty for Swim, I would suggest just making it part of Athletics or Endurance.
I might have done that if I couldn't figure something out, though then I'd need to find something to take #16 for skills to make everything rounded. I'm going with Free Diving for a specialization. Also I was planning on throwing Fly in as a specialization for Ride, if a character has a fly speed so doing something for those with a swim speed might be good too. Thanks for the suggestion though, if I hadn't found out that the Free Diving record (no equipment at all) was something like 280ft a couple of days ago, I'd probably be taking your suggestion.
Back to Bluff: one thing I should mention, while social skills like bluff will allow you to effect multiple people, the DC will increase by 5 per increase above one target.
Being lazy and leaving out flavor text, but this is the start of Bluff.
So how about something for distraction or misdirection involving either Stealth or Larceny; I hate to acculturate it, but something like how ninjutsu is supposed to work? I'm not coming up with anything more concrete yet, but there has got to be some angle we can work into this.
I think I'm going to go with hiding people and things as a specialty. Essentially giving bonus abilities that help you set up ambushes, smuggle, and make sure that you will always have a knife on you.
@Kirth: Thanks for the story, though I think the main reason I like them was because they are a weak monster individually but could be more devastating than a natural disaster or more powerful monsters.
I developed other forms of gibberlings in one game as well as using the basic and brood Gibberlings and using the Far Realms backstory.
Brutes: basically stronger and armored versions. The basic concept was that opponents would be faced with a swarm of fur, flesh, noise, and steel, and then the brutes pop out like sharks in that wave.
Heralds: Looked like normal gibberlings until they start eating and then a mouth opens up on their sternum that they stuff with food so they can still speak. They cause they and the gibberlings around them to 30ft would start actually talking so that their gibbering actually resembled something more like a buzz of conversation at a extremely crowded insane asylum and gave them Inspire Courage.
Scouts: Gibberlings with fast movement and scent. Basically like ant scouts, not Ranger scouting.
Shriekers: Gibberlings that could produce screams that acted like the Shatter spell. This let them get passed fortifications.
Diggers: Medium sized and with four arms, the top two being larger and clawed while the bottom two carried shortswords. They could vomit acid as either a weapon or as a means to dig through stone, similar to stone shape.
King Gibberlings: think king rats, only for gibberlings. They were immune to criticals, bleeding, etc and large sized.
I've always loved Gibberlings for whatever reason. In one of the late 2nd ed monster books they had a gibberling tried to explain their origins as from the Far Realms. They were larger and infested with worms that burrowed through there skin. Those that got infested with those worms were slowly turned into gibberlings.
Another quick update for skill specialties:
Pakour (Acrobatics): Moving through difficult terrain.
Special skills still have Might, Endurance, Deduction, and Determination (rename of Purpose). Charisma will be replaced with Influence to represent a character's standing in their society, whether as a home town hero or as a noble. Dexterity I'm still lacking. One suggestion was a form of defense and there is also intitiative too.
Social Skills: This is kind of a hard one to puzzle out due to the fluid nature of social interactions. I have been working with the idea of going off of two tracks to determine the difficulty. The first would be based on an NPC's reaction and preparedness towards the PC and the level of affect you're going for. In general it is easier to affect those who are friendly to you rather than unfriendly. That being said, it might be easier to lie to an unfriendly person than it would be a close friend. It depends on the situation and the GM will need to make the call. As for effect, generally the better the PC wants to do will determine how difficult the task is. So talking a discount out of a merchant will be easier than causing a Troll to cower in terror.
Well, in a way I want to cut down on some of the crunch by cutting back on some of the feat and class feature bloat. While I haven't had much time to work on this, I realize that it would be a pretty big rewrite since every class would be affected in some way. Still, the more I think about it the more things have been falling into place. I would welcome any suggestions.
Another rough draft accomplished.
Athletics (Str): this skill deals with climbing, jumping, running, and other physical labors.
Tier 1: Climbing a knotted rope, standing jumping 5ft across or 1ft high, or double that for a running jump (1 Move Action worth of forward movement).
Tier 2: Easy rock climbing, standing jumping 10ft across or 2ft high, or double that for a running jump.
Tier 3: Moderate rock climbing, standing jumping 15ft across or 3ft high, or double that for a running jump.
Bonus: Fast Movement 15ft
Tier 4: Advanced rock climbing or a castle wall, standing jumping 20ft across or 4ft high, or double that for a running jump.
Bonus: Fast Movement 20ft
Tier 5: Climbing a greased pole, standing jumping 25ft across or 5ft high, or double that for a running jump.
Bonus: Fast Movement 25ft, Run: as the Feat.
Tier 6: Climbing a wall of large riveted metal plates, standing jumping 30ft across or 6ft high, or double that for a running jump.
Tier 7: Climbing up a smooth surface, standing jumping 35ft across or 8ft high, or double that for a running jump.
Tier 8: Climbing up sand falling through a hole in the roof, standing jumping 40ft across or 10ft high, or double that for a running jump.
Specialization: Soldiering- There is no physical exercises that will prepare a person for the exertion of a pitched battle than combat itself. Those who tread the path of war constantly train to so that their weapons will seem light in their hand and that their armor feels like a second skin. They do this with the hopes that they will outlast their enemies when faced with the rigors of war.
Tier 2: Armor Tolerance 2: Reduces Armor Check penalties by the character’s Athletics Tier. Also the Arcane Spell Failure is reduced by ½ the Athletic Tier x5% and the Max Dex is increased by ½ the Athletic Tier. Armor Check penalties and Arcane Spell Failure cannot be reduced below 0.
Tier 3: Armor Tolerance 3, Sentinel: you may sleep in Light or Medium Armor without penalty.
Tier 4: Armor Tolerance 4
Tier 5: Armor Tolerance 5, Armored Mobility: Your Base Speed is not reduced by Medium or Heavy Armor.
Tier 6: Armor Tolerance 6
Tier 7: Armor Tolerance 7, Guardian: you may sleep in Heavy Armor without penalty.
Tier 8: Armor Tolerance 8, Juggernaught: your Running speed is not reduced by Heavy Armor.
Well this has been going slower than I'd like do to life, but I've at least got a teaser for specializations. I present the Acrobatic's specialization:
Parkour- Some call this Freerunning but, in reality, Freerunning is a more expressive and artistic form of Parkour. Parkour is a training method to bypass obsticals as quickly and efficiently as possible in natural and urban environments. Using this training, a Traceur (a practitioner of Parkour) may move quickly through areas with a surety and agility that few can match.
Tier 2: Agile Climber: you can use Acrobatics to make Climb checks, rather than Athletics, gaining all the benefits of your Acrobatics Tiers towards Climbing.
Tier 3: Nimble Moves 10ft: you ignore the listed amount of difficult terrain.
Tier 4: Roof Runners: you can use Acrobatics to make Jump checks, rather than Athletics, gaining all the benefits of your Acrobatics Tiers towards Jumping.
Tier 5: Nimble Moves 20ft.
Tier 6: Acrobatic Charge: you can make a number of turns during a charge equal to half your Acrobatic Skill Tiers.
Tier 7: Nimble Moves 30ft.
Tier 8: “There Are No Limits”*: You do not suffer Difficult Terrain penalties when taking a Double Move, Running, or Charging.
*Bruce Lee, a motto adopted by the founder of Pakour.
Concepts more than classes are tiresome to me. Here are the lists of ones that annoy me out of my groups that keep getting played:
The Rising Darklord: he's not fighting evil, he's eliminating the competition.
Mr. Fixit: Why do you have to take half you skill points in craft skills if all you do is complain about the crafting rules, again?
The Mary Sue: I don't mean characters that are like what he wants to be but more like the lead in some vampire boyfriend story.
That character again!?!: We all have characters we like that we occassionally pop out again to because we had fun the last time and we're short on ideas. When you try to use it everytime, it's a problem.
Ok, I have a bit of an update to show some of my progress:
Basics: Skill checks equal your level + stat mod + other modifiers (hopefully cut back). DC Equal the Tier that best aproximates what you want to do x5. You can raise the DC by increments of 5 to increase your effectiveness. If the Tier of the DC is less than or equal to your skill Tier, then you don't have to roll unless on a contested roll. On contested rolls, if a character has more Tiers than their opponent than that character gains +2 to their result for each Tier above.
Skill Rank, Tiers, and Class Skills: Your skill rank is the sum of your level + stat mod + other modifiers which you roll for skill checks and use to determine your skill's Tier. You start at Tier 1 and gain a new Tier when your Skill Rank equals 6,11,16, etc. Class Skills automatically bump up your skill Tier by 1 and other Feats may provide increase over that.
Class will get a number of class skill equal to their base skill points (before Int mod is applied) x2. Half of these skills will be fixed and the other half will be up to the player's choice, except for any 8 Skill Point class which get all basic skills as Class Skills. Humans will get an extra class skill or a free specialty if they have all skills as class skills.
My skill list is as follows, with some ideas for specializations. If you are interested I'd love help fleshing things out. Specializations will just be expantions on what you can do with that skill. Specializations can be taken with Feats:
Special Skills: These will be skills that can be taken with a feat. This can be used to cover a variety of effects from psychic powers, Bending Styles from Avatar the Last Airbender, Alchemy of Full Metal Alchemist, or whatever you want to come up with. For simplicity's sake I'm working on a special skill based off of each stat. What I've got so far is:
Guys, guys, the edition wars are that way, 5 years past.
5TH EDITION KILLED 2ND ED!!! RAGE!!!!!!
In all seriousness, if enough people are looking for a certain class, why not make it? I'm all in favor of alternate classes myself. Sure somethings might not fit in one type of campaign, but if some one's holding a gun to your head to make you use something then you have bigger problems.
@Finn and Liam: You're missing the point. There are lots of little things that you could do to simulate a more realistic game. Aggrigate injuries would be one of them. Spanky went on to list several more. Apparently in the game Burning Wheel you can spend months trying to heal a sword wound and still die from infection with some of the rules. DnD is not realistic and trying to put such levels of realism as aggrigate wounds or strength variance by gender would just bog everything down and wouldn't be fun.
I'll give a very similar example, overall build should affect strength. I'm "stronger" than many people who weigh 50lbs or less than me. I have more mass to throw around than they do, so shouldn't that be calculated. Height and Weight could become very important stats then with,say, a +1 to strength per 50lbs or so.
I'm a straight male and I've played straight women, gay men, and gay women. Not that it really comes up except as an after thought in most games I've played in past adolesense and the "are there any girls there?" stage.
I have a female friend who plays male characters. A few other male friends who play female characters most of the time. The only time I've ever really had an awkward situation was when my character and my brothers character accidently got married, but that was because it was my brother. Fortunately the were both NE narcassist and had a fun and mutually abussive relationship.
I'd say I'd curb my wackiness a bit, but my half-elf bard was the mastermind behind the chamber pot attack againts an evil cleric. It involved a silver chamber pot, a true strike, and a Paladin with a use of Smite left. So no, no real change.
You need adventurers for the same reasons adventurers can endure the damage you guys are talking about. The gods are messing with mortals. Any adventurer who takes an arrow to the knee just has a cleric pray for the minor miracle of instant recovery.
Oh, I'm not talking about just one injury, I'm talking about repeated injuries. Getting stabbed with swords, bitten, poisoned, falling from 40ft, and even dying seems like it would add up quickly, considering magic healing really only works faster than normal healing, not differently. One could easily say that those injuries would add up like they do in a normal person that receive good, modern medical help. So what's to say that after taking an arrow to the knee that adventurer might find that knee to stiff to run from hungry trolls now? It would be lame is my answer.
Spanky the Leprechaun wrote:
It also doesn't take into account all the punishment a body would take as an adventurer and its aggrigate effect. Adventurers would be up there with race care drivers, at least, for the punishment that they inflict on their bodies. Most adventures who survive would probably retire from that life by the equivilent of their 30s. Im sure you've all heard something along the lines of "40ft's only 4d6 damage, I can take that..." at some point.
The reason why your adventuring carreer isn't ended by an arrow in the knee is because it would be lame.
Another thing to think about is that, when your talking militaries in general, the individual's strength and weakness don't really matter as you are generally concerned with the strengths and weakness of the unit and their experience.
If you want to have an elite unit of female soldiers, you could easily come up with any weapon option you wanted. They're elite troops after all, does it really matter if they're wielding longbows or mauls? Chances are, you are talking about experienced warriors (5th or 6th level) at the worst. In a society that's gender neutral or matriarchal, you'll still probably end up with mixed units, unless that culture is really paranoid about pregnancy, and will probably favor spears, hand weapons and shields, massed ranged, or cavalry. If your looking for Amazons as a culture in a game then you're back at elite at least.
Arguements that women should be portrayed differently than men due to things like having less upper body strength never works out well , especially in DnD. With these kinds of arguements shouldn't humans be stronger than elves? What about their height and reach advantage over dwarves? Then you get into to Weapon Familiarity too. Shouldn't female gnomes favor differn't weapons then male ones?
Oh you were looking for historical examples... I got ninja'd and went to lunch. In that case spears should be up there with archery. There was a North African tribe who's women were evil shots with rifles and feared for their machettes. There is a town in Russia, I believe, that takes in victims of human trafficing (particularly women), and have some nasty fighting styles they teach, espcially with knives. In a gender equal world, I think that women would also favor sword and shield like men did.
I would point out that while a village of female barbarians might not have 100 women with 20 strength, but they are still a village of barbarians and not warriors. Why wouldn't they have high strengths and great weapons? In myth Amazons were generally feared by normal people, they just tended to fall when a Hero showed up.
What does realism have to do with DnD?
I have a friend who is about 6'2", 250lbs, and has spent years studying many forms of martial arts and wrestling. I once saw him spare against a girl who was about 5'2" and 100lbs. As he's says "She was very nice and didn't break both my arms". She was on the US Olympics Judo team.
If you train enough for something, you can usually do it, no matter what sex you are.
I'd avoid altering the actual skill list since that makes using existing classes more work. Also, locking UMD behind a feat will hurt rogues, who *really* don't need the nerf. It's also an iconic skill of the bard, who isn't exactly made of feats either.
Well what I'm doing would require changing classes, mostly the Skill based classes. I don't think Fighters, Clerics, and Wizards are going to change very much at all. What I'm hoping for is a skill system that doesn't nerf skill heavy classes but boosts skills up to the level of Feats and Magic.
I've already shown that I'd be removing Slow Fall from Monk abilities to make room for something else and placing it into Acrobatics. Bards will change at the very least by removing performance as a skill. Why bother having a skill that almost never gets taken by other classes? Rogues I intend to be to skills what fighters are to feats. A lot of Rogue abilities work along the lines of altering a skill. Fast Stealth and Ledge Walker will be automatically be part of the skill system. What will fill the slots of those missing abilities? Skill Feats.
I've always been bugged by special abilities and feats that modify specific parts of a skill. Why does a Ranger get Camoflage and not a Rogue? Why do you need to be a Rogue to search for and disarm magical traps? I believe these should be aspects of the skills themselves.
While I did like them when I first saw them (I'm pretty sure they were 2nd Ed) I wouldn't let them in a game as a PC playable race. There is just too much potential for disruption in my oppinion; either in the form of abuse, determining rules calls, and accidental death since focusing on one twin will mess with the other.
For example: What happens if one twin is dropped into a different plane? Since most effects can't cross planar boundries this brings up some interesting questions. Is their connection severed due to being on seperate planes? Do they both start dying then? If they don't and one of them gets slowed, is the other too? What about if one gets hit by poison that drops the one's Dex? Since their bodies are seperate only one should be affected and should be going on different initiative orders then. The idea is great, the playability would be too difficult for my tastes.
I'd honestly convert them so that they were indepedent (including the possibility of being different genders) from each other but still strongly linked. This way you could let players willing to work as a team make two seperate characters or have a useful and trustworthy NPC to occasionally back up the PCs. The only other option I could see would be to play a Gestalt game and let a Dvati be two seperate characters rather than one character with a composite class.
Canning Linguistics and putting it into Lore. Languages will have to change a bit. My first instinct would be to go 2 base starting + Int Mod + 1/per Tier.
Some thoughts on classes and feats:
1) Multi-classing would need a look. I want to avoid people doing the 3.0 trick of taking on level of Ranger to get TWF and Ambidexterity, only this time doing it with Rogue to get a pile of class skills. Since I'm figuring each class will start with a few set skills and a few the player choses I'm thinking about limiting additional class skills gained through multi-classing to 1 to 4 based on the classes base skill points befor Int was brough into the equation. So going into Wizard after 1st level would get you one new class skill while a bard woulg get three from their list.
2) Feats: All the feats that grant +2 to two related skills will remain the same (trying to get rid of a lot of modifiers).
Versatile: Select two non-class skills. These skills become class skills.
Skill Focus: Any class skill. Choose one class skill. This skill now functions at 2 Tiers higher, rather than just one.
Secret Training: Any class skill and GM approval. Select one skill that is a class skill and use a different modifier for calculating the character's skill bonus. For instance using Con instead of Strength for Athletics, Int for Bluff, Str for Intimadte, or Wis or Cha for Spellcraft if the character uses a different stat for spellcasting than Int. The GM must decide if the choice is appropriate. For instance a DM is well with in her rights to say "No" using Charisma for Swim.
Skill Mastery: Requires Skill Focus. Choose one skill that the Skill Focus Feat was applied to. This skill now functions at 3 Tiers higher, rather than just one.
3) I'm thinking of breaking skills up for specialties so you might be able to boost a specific area of a skill as a class ability; like a Ranger's Tracking or a Rogue's Trap Finding. Though it might just be a flat +2 bonus rather than bumping up the tier for that one area. Not sure yet and I think it might be getting a little far ahead of myself.
That's all for now.