Club GFASWL Role Call!


Homebrew and House Rules


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Here, here, I call to order the first meeting of GFASWL: Gamers For the Advancement of Stats With Level!

(Pronounced with a silent G, and a nordic W, so it sounds like 'Fasvul.')

What's GFASWL, you ask? We're a consortium of players and DMs who advocate loot-independence and the downfall of the Christmas tree effect. We're tired of PCs being weighed down by necessary 'number booster' items -- aka 'The Big Six' -- instead of more interesting ones. (Both combat items with fun enchantments, and wondrous non-combat items.)

But we recognize that the game's encounter and CR guidelines assume that PCs have those number boosters. So GFASWL advocates using some sort of innate bonus system.

So why join the club?

As a player, you get a character who's competent even when not wearing a fortune in magical items. You get a character sheet that doesn't take ten minutes to recalculate every time a dispel magic goes off in the middle of combat.

As a DM, you get competent NPCs who can actually challenge the PCs, without overloading the PCs with loot after the NPCs are defeated. You get PCs who can be deprived of magical items without turning combat into a game of Russian roulette.

With our introductions over with, it's on to our first order of business:

Just how many number boosters does the game assume that PCs have? In other words, how many max-bonus items are they assumed to have by 20th level, if any? WBL can be used as a rough guideline, but it's pretty sketchy. At low levels PCs can hardly afford a couple +1s, while at very high levels they can buy all kinds of weird bonuses if the DM allows. (Sacred, profane, luck, insight, etc.) I myself would prefer a more solid guideline.


It varies a lot. Some builds don't depend on stat boosts as much as others. I wish you luck in figuring out a baseline.


I'll join the club.

One system I've seen (and also came up with independently) is to give PCs "points" when they go up levels, which they can "spend" on the boring bonuses. This puts the ball in the player's court as to which abilities their character should get. I like it as a less rigid alternative to a set chart (or three) that a character uses.

But that doesn't answer the question you asked, does it? I'll try comparing the monster stat by CR chart with PC abilities, and see if I can find anything useful, but it'll take me a while.


I've seen the +1 you get every fourth level changed to a +2 to apparently make up for the loss of the +2/+4/+6 you'd normally get. Worked interesting I think.


I reverse engineered possible expected PC stats from Table 1-1 in Bestiary 2. First, some assumptions (which can and will be disagreed with):

  • The numbers in the table accurately reflect the opponents used.
  • Monsters are expected to be defeated via HP in 4 rounds.
  • Attacks and spells (with saves) will work 50% of the time against foes with CR equal to class level
  • A character should be at 0 hp after two successful full attacks by the opponent.

Here's the chart I came up with.

Expected PC Values:

AC HP Save DC
DPR AB Hi Lo Hi Lo 1ary 2ary Good Poor

3.75 1 13 12 14 10 1 -2 15 12
5 3 15 14 20 14 2 -2 16 12
7.5 4 17 15 26 18 3 -1 17 13
10 6 19 17 32 24 4 -1 18 14
13.75 7 21 18 40 30 4 0 19 15
17.5 8 23 19 50 36 5 0 20 16
21.25 9 24 21 60 44 6 1 21 17
25 10 26 22 70 52 7 1 22 18
28.75 12 28 23 80 60 7 2 23 19
32.5 13 29 24 90 66 8 2 24 20
36.25 14 30 25 100 74 9 3 25 21
40 16 32 26 110 82 10 4 26 22
45 17 33 27 120 90 10 4 27 23
50 17 34 28 130 96 11 5 28 23
55 19 35 29 140 104 12 5 29 24
60 20 37 30 160 120 13 6 30 25
67.5 21 38 31 180 134 13 7 31 26
75 22 39 32 200 150 14 7 31 27
82.5 23 40 33 220 164 15 8 32 27
92.5 25 41 34 240 180 16 9 33 28

Wow, that's almost readable.

Below is a chart of bonuses above and beyond what a class innately gives you needed to meet the attack bonus, save bonus, and spell DC numbers. This does not include any bonuses, including stat bonuses. So, for instance, to cast 9th-level spells a casting stat of 19 is needed; the +4 gained from that minimum stat is not included.

Key:

  • BAB Hi/Med/Lo is for Fighter/Cleric/Wizard BAB sequences.
  • DC Good and DC Poor are for targeting opponents' Good saves or Poor saves; Hi/Med/Lo is for Wizard/Bard/Ranger casting.
  • Save G and Save P are the bonuses needed to save vs. special abilities; G for opponents with abilities primary, P for opponents with abilities secondary.
  • Save Hi/Lo is whether that save is a High or Low save for the character.

Extra Bonus Needed:

BAB DC Good DC Poor Save G Save P
Hi Med Lo Hi Med Lo Hi Med Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo

0 1 1 4 4 1 1 -1 1 -4 -2
1 2 2 5 5 1 1 -1 2 -5 -2
1 2 3 5 6 1 2 0 2 -4 -2
2 3 4 6 6 2 2 0 3 -5 -2
2 4 5 6 7 8 2 3 4 0 3 -4 -1
2 4 5 7 8 9 3 4 5 0 3 -5 -2
2 4 6 7 8 10 3 4 6 1 4 -4 -1
2 4 6 8 9 10 4 5 6 1 5 -5 -1
3 6 8 8 10 11 4 6 7 1 4 -4 -1
3 6 8 9 10 12 5 6 8 1 5 -5 -1
3 6 9 9 11 12 5 7 8 2 6 -4 0
4 7 10 10 12 13 6 8 9 2 6 -4 0
4 8 11 10 12 14 6 8 10 2 6 -4 0
3 7 10 11 13 14 6 8 9 2 7 -4 1
4 8 12 11 14 15 6 9 10 3 7 -4 0
4 8 12 12 14 16 7 9 11 3 8 -4 1
4 9 13 12 15 17 7 10 12 3 8 -3 2
4 9 13 12 15 17 8 11 13 3 8 -4 1
4 9 14 13 16 18 8 11 13 4 9 -3 2
5 10 15 14 17 19 9 12 14 4 10 -3 3

Here's the ODS file for the spreadsheet I used. Feel free to tweak it yourself.


I'll have to look at this when I get home from work.

Sovereign Court

In low-magic homebrew settings, I've changed the bonus stat point every 4 levels to 2 levels (sometimes with the restriction that you can't raise the same stat twice in a row). It seems to put the right bonuses in the PC's hands at the right time though it doesn't really meet up with the more powerful items that give bonuses to multiple stats.

I think the issue is more with entitlement: GM's are expected to give the players just the right treasure to the players. I might be old-school in my thinking but, back in the days when we rode to our game sessions on dinosaurs, you got what you got and you figured out how to make it work. If you didn't get the best set of items for your character, it never occurred to anyone (in my group.... that I still play with) that the GM was a(n) <insert naughtiness here>.

Since my default mode is low-magic, the Big 6 were never an issue to me. I've been running Kingmaker with rules as written so its actually an interesting change. That campaign actually affords the PC's plenty of opportunity to customize their gear, too. Its sorta fun as a change of pace but I think I prefer things somewhat different for my standard.


Distant Scholar wrote:
  • The numbers in the table accurately reflect the opponents used.
  • Monsters are expected to be defeated via HP in 4 rounds.
  • Attacks and spells (with saves) will work 50% of the time against foes with CR equal to class level
  • A character should be at 0 hp after two successful full attacks by the opponent.

I think those are reasonable assumptions, with the exception of attack vs. AC. For big bruisers and high BAB PCs, I think attacks are supposed to outpace AC for reasons I'll mention below. Anyway, I don't know what program to read your file with, so I came up with my own analysis. For the purpose of this analysis, I’m going to assume that 1st level stats are “correct.” A questionable assumption, I know, but I’m more interested in per level progressions than 1st level baselines.

Attack: Over 20 CRs, monster AC increases by 25. Knowing this, I think it’s pretty clear that every PC who’s still attacking regular AC by 20th is expected to have a +5 weapon and significant stat boosts. This means that rogue types will barely scrape by, while fightery types will slowly pull ahead of the curve, and I think that’s as intended.

I haven’t done any damage-HP calculations, but several factors point toward fightery types getting better and better at beating AC: ititerative attacks, the geometric escalation of monster HP, and the ubiquity of Power Attack and similar trade-attack-for-damage options.

AC: The bestiary chart has two columns of monster attacks -- high and low. Over 20 CRs, low monster AC increases by 23 and high AC increases by 29. Knowing that without very specific builds or custom items, PCs can’t hope to match even the low AC progression, I think it’s pretty clear that AC isn’t meant to actually prevent attacks beyond low levels -- after the first few levels, it becomes more and more about preventing a monster from dumping everything its got into Power Attack.

That said, I do think AC is supposed to increase almost as quickly as level does, which means that PCs need the full suite of standard AC boosters: +5 armor, +5 amulets of nat armor, +5 rings of prot, and +5 shields for shield users.

Saves: Again, the bestiary has a column of low DCs and high DCs. Over 20 CRs, low monster DCs increase by 12 and high DCs increase by 16. Given that these progressions match up almost precisely with PC saves, plus a +5 cloak of resistance, I think it’s clear that the cloak is in fact expected.

DCs: Again, high and low. Over 20 CRs, low monster saves increase by 17 and high saves increase by 19. Given that any PC throwing down anything with a DC can’t quite keep up with the low save, even with stat boosters and inherent bonuses, I think a +6 booster and a +5 tome/manual are expected.

In Summary: I believe PCs are expected to have a max-bonus item of each of the Big Six by 20th level: a +5 weapon, +5 armor, +5 amulet of nat armor, +5 ring of prot, +5 shield for shield users, +5 cloak of resistance, at least one +6 stat booster, and at least one +5 tome or manual.

Now that I’m done with my little analysis, rip it apart everyone!


Odraude wrote:
I've seen the +1 you get every fourth level changed to a +2 to apparently make up for the loss of the +2/+4/+6 you'd normally get. Worked interesting I think.

Hm. The big issue I see with this is that, for example, a wizard with a fully-jacked Int who happens to get his hands on a high-end Int booster and tome of intellect is a veritable god. (A god of gods, given how godlike casters already are.) I don't particularly like the idea of creating more potential for bonus-stacking.

That said, this isn't my personal thread. Maybe other people will like it better!

Distant Scholar wrote:
One system I've seen (and also came up with independently) is to give PCs "points" when they go up levels, which they can "spend" on the boring bonuses. This puts the ball in the player's court as to which abilities their character should get. I like it as a less rigid alternative to a set chart (or three) that a character uses.

As I mentioned in the other thread, I have mixed feelings about giving players free range of the bonuses they want. On the one hand, it's fun for most players, for the same reason that a shopping spree at Magic Mart is fun. On the other hand, it can produce very lopsided PCs, which I'm not a fan of.

roccojr wrote:
I think the issue is more with entitlement: GM's are expected to give the players just the right treasure to the players. I might be old-school in my thinking but, back in the days when we rode to our game sessions on dinosaurs, you got what you got and you figured out how to make it work. If you didn't get the best set of items for your character, it never occurred to anyone (in my group.... that I still play with) that the GM was a(n) <insert naughtiness here>.

My memories of TSR D&D aren't quite so nostalgic. But out of curiosity, how high level do your campaigns usually get?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Dotted.

Liberty's Edge

I had a basic idea for how to do most of this found here.

Removes everything but stat-boosters, and can even do without them in a pinch.

Should also give a rough barometer of what PCs are expected to have sans stat boosters. Or at least what I figure that is roughly.

Dark Archive

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Dotted.

Also Dotted.


Hi

Just a quick thought...

What about giving one "advancement point" per level, and allowing stats to be advanced when enough points are accrued (as per the point buy table page 16 core book)

... Actually I looked at the table after writing that and it would not work so well. Then I had another thought... Consider your stats after character creation to be equivalent to 10 on the table. Still gain one point each level. Still advance when you have enough points

So example you start with a 16 and want to go up to a 20.
4 "stats" cost 5 points, which would be attainable at lvl 6
To go up another stat would cost another 2 points (levels)

It allows quicker low level advancement of stats, but likely flattens out around a +4 or +5, unless you fully stat dump into one stat (probably a wizard or other SAD character)

Allows for three '+4's and one '+3' at 20th lvl, for the most MAD character, but would be mostly friendly to anything that needs 2 or 3 primary stats.

Thoughts?

Edit: it took me longer to type this up than think it up... Be gentle.


I also like the idea of continuing point buy after 1st level, it's simple and already part of the game.

'findel


Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Odraude wrote:
I've seen the +1 you get every fourth level changed to a +2 to apparently make up for the loss of the +2/+4/+6 you'd normally get. Worked interesting I think.

Hm. The big issue I see with this is that, for example, a wizard with a fully-jacked Int who happens to get his hands on a high-end Int booster and tome of intellect is a veritable god. (A god of gods, given how godlike casters already are.) I don't particularly like the idea of creating more potential for bonus-stacking.

That said, this isn't my personal thread. Maybe other people will like it better!

Distant Scholar wrote:
One system I've seen (and also came up with independently) is to give PCs "points" when they go up levels, which they can "spend" on the boring bonuses. This puts the ball in the player's court as to which abilities their character should get. I like it as a less rigid alternative to a set chart (or three) that a character uses.

As I mentioned in the other thread, I have mixed feelings about giving players free range of the bonuses they want. On the one hand, it's fun for most players, for the same reason that a shopping spree at Magic Mart is fun. On the other hand, it can produce very lopsided PCs, which I'm not a fan of.

roccojr wrote:
I think the issue is more with entitlement: GM's are expected to give the players just the right treasure to the players. I might be old-school in my thinking but, back in the days when we rode to our game sessions on dinosaurs, you got what you got and you figured out how to make it work. If you didn't get the best set of items for your character, it never occurred to anyone (in my group.... that I still play with) that the GM was a(n) <insert naughtiness here>.
My memories of TSR D&D aren't quite so nostalgic. But out of curiosity, how high level do your campaigns usually get?

Y'know, I don't know why, but I thought we were removing the stat booster items...

I had no sleep and was working so bugger to me.


Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Anyway, I don't know what program to read your file with, so I came up with my own analysis.

It's an Open Document Spreadsheet file; I wrote it in OpenOffice, but recent versions of Excel should be able to open it also. I assume LibreOffice can as well, although I've never used that program.

Liberty's Edge

Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Knowing that without very specific builds or custom items, PCs can’t hope to match even the low AC progression, I think it’s pretty clear that AC isn’t meant to actually prevent attacks beyond low levels -- after the first few levels, it becomes more and more about preventing a monster from dumping everything its got into Power Attack.

I disagree with this. Cr 1-4 Monsters are supposed to have s$~&ty odds to hit to start with. CR 5 is where they hit close to even odds vs. PCs with non magical gear, and it only improves by 22 from there. A PC with +5 Armor, +5 Amulet, +5 Ring and some bonus Dex bonus (say +2) can come close to keeping up with that. Throw on a Shield and he does keep up with it. Throw in the several other AC increasers available (Ioun Stones, Feats [I can think of four], etc.) and/or stuff like Smite Evil's bonus or Fighter Armor Training and you can potentially pull ahead pretty well.

The same is also true of monster AC and PC attack capability (a PC is supposed to have at least a 2/3 chance vs. a CR 1's AC, and only hits even odds at CR 3 or so even without magic gear or BAB beyond 1, making the total improvement after that only 21)...but it matters a bit less to your analysis.

I do think your conclusions about expected items are correct, though.


Distant Scholar wrote:
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Anyway, I don't know what program to read your file with, so I came up with my own analysis.
It's an Open Document Spreadsheet file; I wrote it in OpenOffice, but recent versions of Excel should be able to open it also. I assume LibreOffice can as well, although I've never used that program.

My software is a bit outdated; actually my whole computer is a bit outdated. Anyway, I don't seem to have anything that can open it.

Odraude wrote:

Y'know, I don't know why, but I thought we were removing the stat booster items...

I had no sleep and was working so...

We've all been there. ;)

Deadmanwalking wrote:
I had a basic idea for how to do most of this found here.

I like it!

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Knowing that without very specific builds or custom items, PCs can’t hope to match even the low AC progression, I think it’s pretty clear that AC isn’t meant to actually prevent attacks beyond low levels -- after the first few levels, it becomes more and more about preventing a monster from dumping everything its got into Power Attack.
I disagree with this.

Fair enough. Expected gear is the crux of the issue, anyway. :)

Elven_Blades wrote:
Hi

Hi, 'Blades!

Elven_Blades wrote:


So example you start with a 16 and want to go up to a 20.
4 "stats" cost 5 points, which would be attainable at lvl 6
To go up another stat would cost another 2 points (levels)

I'm not crazy about simply giving PCs more stat points as they level, for a couple reasons. First, it kinda has the same issue that the "1 stat boost per 2 levels" idea has. And also, it creates more bookkeeping.

That said, I'd be interested to see your modified chart.

Dark Archive

Thought I'd bring this system up.

Maybe put a few restrictions and minimums to make people be a little more rounded.

http://paizo.com/forums/dmtz2e0a?An-alternative-to-magic-items-please-revie w

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Darkholme wrote:

Thought I'd bring this system up.

Maybe put a few restrictions and minimums to make people be a little more rounded.

link

Linkified.

Dark Archive

Oh yeah. Paizo doesnt auto-linkify links, you need to wrap them in tags. lol.

Whoops.

Point is, that system accomplishes many of the goals stated here; in that it gives you the same power you'd have with WBL without having ridiculous amounts of treasure.


I too am fond of this idea. I've been trying to make sense out of the myriad solutions for this on the forums, which are all very similar but all subtly different. :/

Removing 75% of the wealth by level and allowing players to point-buy the big 6 stats seems like an awesome idea, but I've been wondering. Is this too restrictive in terms of the PCs ability to buy other more interesting magic items? Do you remove the restriction on forcing all magic weapons and armor to have at least a +1 enhancement bonus (since this would not stack with the inherent +1 enhancement bonus offered by the point-buy?) And thus can you buy a masterwork greatsword with Frost?

EDIT: another question. How often to casters really spend their gold on the big 6 items (ok stat boost yes, but deflection bonus? nat. armor bonus? +hit/damage? +armor?) Seems like removing lots of wealth from the PCs hands in exchange for a balanced stat progression would hurt those classes that would eschew big 6 items for staves, rods, etc.

Dark Archive

Casters boost armor types quite often, but generally don't boost to-hit.

Personally I would modify his system to include more options, such as the things casters use, like pearls of power, and potentially ioun stones.

I would also make it clear that all of your inherent bonuses work with any gear, not just masterwork gear. And I would probably allow the bonus from masterwork to stack with your inherent bonuses.

And yes, you would just be able to get a masterwork sword with frost.

Honestly, if you work the big 6 into your stats, you dont really need WBL. you can pick up a regular short sword and shield, and you're pretty much good to go at like level 8.

25% is an accurate number based on how much you usually need to spend on the big 6 to keep up, but if the big 6 are no longer available, it probably wouldnt be gamebreaking to give more than 35% wealth. You'd have players buying more things like wondrous items, castles, etc.

I'd probably drop the all inclusive item shop, and just give them access to a handful of things at each shop. They don't really NEED any of it.


I saw math in here somewhere and got lost. However, I like the idea!

Dark Archive

Basic Idea:

You don't buy "Big Six" Items. You spend points on them, and your money goes toward more interesting things.

I would also say Spell slot Boosters, and Spell DC Boosters get bought with points.

There might be other types of magic items that should be bought with points too.

But basically: "If the item is -REQUIRED- to keep up with the power curve in the game, its now a bonus you buy with points, instead of equipment.
No Equipment Upgrade Should be *NECESSARY*"

I'm not sure whether flaming, metamagic rods, etc, should be points or cash. For now lets say theyre still cash.


This is shameless self promotion, but I just posted a stat point-buy idea that basically is exactly this, except it uses the idea of gold-point-equivalency to distribute points per level in a way that exactly mirrors the expected wealth by level, and changes the "costs" of stat upgrades to reflect the cost of the magical items they replace

Heroic Character Advancement

EDIT: man, that sounds so much simpler than the massive thread I just typed on the subject.


'Kay, lots of good ideas here! Clearly one method won't cover them all, so I'm gonna go ahead and write several into a pdf.

Does anyone happen to have a link to the original article where "the Big Six" term was coined? Or maybe just know the name of who wrote it?

Dark Archive

LeDM wrote:

This is shameless self promotion, but I just posted a stat point-buy idea that basically is exactly this, except it uses the idea of gold-point-equivalency to distribute points per level in a way that exactly mirrors the expected wealth by level, and changes the "costs" of stat upgrades to reflect the cost of the magical items they replace

Heroic Character Advancement

EDIT: man, that sounds so much simpler than the massive thread I just typed on the subject.

What's the big difference between your system and this one I linked to up above?

Any significant improvements?


Darkholme wrote:

What's the big difference between your system and this one I linked to up above?

Any significant improvements?

Holy moly. It's pretty much the same. I even skimmed that thread but I think I got caught up in the discussion of the variants and totally missed the boat on the point-buy scheme Kelso proposed. It is nearly identical to the one I just wrote up. I'm going to edit my thread to add a reference to Kelso's. Thanks for pointing that out.

EDIT: I added an analysis of the differences to my thread. They are pretty minor I think, except for the one significant difference that I lumped all armed attack enhancement bonuses into one point buy (main hand, off hand, and ranged all benefit from the +x weapon enhancement bonus) whereas Kelso calls those out as three separate point-buy possibilities. Now I'm wondering about the balance of that though...

Dark Archive

Don't get me wrong its a good system.

You just seemed to be reinventing the flush toilet, as it were.

Excellent invention, you just missed the part that someone else beat you to the idea. :P


When something gets invented by several independent thinkers, it probably means it's a good thing. :)

This is my current Loot Lite pdf. It has four loot lite methods; two that are similar to LeDM and Kelso's point buys, and two simpler approaches. Two eliminate all of the Big Six, and two eliminate only inherent bonuses. (I hate inherent bonuses with a fiery passion, though I'm sure I'll get disagreement here. ;)

So take a gander, and rip 'em up! I'm sure someone will have a critique. Probably multiple someones...


Since other people are suggesting ideas, here're two of mine:

Exploding Dice for PF
Luck as an Ability Score


Tequila Sunrise wrote:

Hi, Blades

Elven_Blades wrote:


So example you start with a 16 and want to go up to a 20.
4 "stats" cost 5 points, which would be attainable at lvl 6
To go up another stat would cost another 2 points (levels)

I'm not crazy about simply giving PCs more stat points as they level, for a couple reasons. First, it kinda has the same issue that the "1 stat boost per 2 levels" idea has. And also, it creates more bookkeeping.

That said, I'd be interested to see your modified chart.

It does front load the bonus at first, being one-for-one for the first 3 points, so would be more beneficial at low lvl. Falls off near lvl20.

But no chart needed. Basically, after character generation, pretend your current stats are the equivalent of 10 on the point buy chart. You want to go up by one stat (10 to11 on point buy) it cost one "level point" if you started with a 16 score, one point gets you a 17.

If you are level 11 and have saved all your level points, you could increase a score by 6 (a 10 to a 16 on the point buy chart). So the 16 from the above paragraph is now a 22. You can spend points as you get them or save up for bigger numbers. Just treat all of your stats after you are done creating your character as an effective "10" by point buy.

Just takes a little extra bookkeeping to know what you has spent already and what you started at.

Also, most you could buy is +8 to a stat, it would cost 17 points and would take until lvl18. Allows two +1s to 2 other stats or a +2 to one stat. Most beneficial to a SAD class like a wizard.

Edit: fixed formating to show quotes right.


Spes Magna Mark wrote:

Since other people are suggesting ideas, here're two of mine:

Exploding Dice for PF
Luck as an Ability Score

On the "Exploding Die" thing, I think you did it backwards... Unless the die is added to the d20 roll

If a max roll on the exploding die just gives a predetermined bonus, then it is backwards, a "good" exploding die should be a d4 with the bads being d8. The d4 is statistically more likely to roll max and explode, giving more rolls.

If the exploding die is added to each roll and added again if it explodes, ignore above paragraph.

Also, based on the adding no matter what theory, it still seams a bit off that the better die explodes less often... maybe same die for everything and good stats explode on a wider range?


Elven_Blades wrote:
On the "Exploding Die" thing, I think you did it backwards... Unless the die is added to the d20 roll

"The result of the exploding die is added to the d20 roll, and this total determines success." :)


Tequila Sunrise wrote:

When something gets invented by several independent thinkers, it probably means it's a good thing. :)

This is my current Loot Lite pdf. It has four loot lite methods; two that are similar to LeDM and Kelso's point buys, and two simpler approaches. Two eliminate all of the Big Six, and two eliminate only inherent bonuses. (I hate inherent bonuses with a fiery passion, though I'm sure I'll get disagreement here. ;)

So take a gander, and rip 'em up! I'm sure someone will have a critique. Probably multiple someones...

I like your four methods, they're simple which is always good. I'm wondering about a few things. You give armed and unarmed bonuses together (one point buy gets you both). I don't know the reasoning behind the Amulet of Mighty Fists pricing, but if that item is balanced in itself, then it suggests that unarmed attack bonuses cost WAY more than the armed variety.

Also, you have taken the consolidation of enhancement bonuses even farther than me. I put melee (main-hand and off-hand) and ranged attack as one enhancement point buy, but left unarmed separate, and called out shields and armor separately. You've lumped ALL attacks in one bonus, and ALL armor based defenses in another. I'm beginning to think neither of our methods are totally balanced in that they favor the two-weapon fighter, or the sword-and-shield fighter over the two-handed-weapon fighter. (In RAW, TWF and shield fighters had to buy TWO magic weapons, or two magic armors, to get the bonuses that they now get for one point buy).

Also, I would personally include a possibility to point-buy armor bonuses (like from the Bracers of Armor) which would give the non-melee-non-armor-wearing classes something they probably need and will thus get rid of another (IMO) uninteresting magic item from the game.

I'd also add Pearls of Power equivalents to the point-buy possibilities.

Dark Archive

Amulet of Mighty Fists is priced that way because it buffs all natural attacks and unarmed strikes. For a tiger animal companion or a dragon the price is fair. For a monk its widely regarded as way overpriced.

The justification for a monk is that when he flurries he's flurrying with at LEAST two weapons, or two different body parts, and therefore the amulet should cost more.

You should also take into consideration things like a permanent Magic Fang spell.

For attacks, I think making you only buy the bonus once is an improvement in balance. TWF is already weak due to the high stat requirements, and the need for more feats to keep up, even before you get to the part that they pay double for enchantment. You'd have to give it a very large boost before it becomes overpowered, and that hasn't happened here.

Lumping all magic bonuses together is actually harder for the Sword and Board guy. Buying a +2 shield enhancement bonus and a +2 armor enhancement bonus is WAY cheaper than just buying a +4 armor enhancement bonus, and the shield and armor are different armor types, and therefore stack.

Bracers of armor should absolutely be included in your options, as should cloaks of resistance, rings of deflection, pearls of power, and spell DC boosters.


Darkholme wrote:

Amulet of Mighty Fists is priced that way because it buffs all natural attacks and unarmed strikes. For a tiger animal companion or a dragon the price is fair. For a monk its widely regarded as way overpriced.

The justification for a monk is that when he flurries he's flurrying with at LEAST two weapons, or two different body parts, and therefore the amulet should cost more.

Well this could be a good time to fix this problem. Anyone know of an analysis out there to suggest a good "monk-only" pricing for the amulet? There's no risk of the bonus being applied to an animal companion in this case.

Quote:
You should also take into consideration things like a permanent Magic Fang spell.

I don't know if this is a good pricing model for it. +5 permanent magic fang looks like 8,100 gold (3rd level spell * 20th lvl caster * 10 + 7,500 [permanency]). Way under priced considering what it costs for a +5 enhancement on a weapon.

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For attacks, I think making you only buy the bonus once is an improvement in balance. TWF is already weak due to the high stat requirements, and the need for more feats to keep up, even before you get to the part that they pay double for enchantment. You'd have to give it a very large boost before it becomes overpowered, and that hasn't happened here.

Ok I can see that. Would you still keep ranged and melee enhancements separate? I would think yes.

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Lumping all magic bonuses together is actually harder for the Sword and Board guy. Buying a +2 shield enhancement bonus and a +2 armor enhancement bonus is WAY cheaper than just buying a +4 armor enhancement bonus, and the shield and armor are different armor types, and therefore stack.

Good point! This seems fine though since it's similarly cheap with RAW to buy them separate.

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Bracers of armor should absolutely be included in your options, as should cloaks of resistance, rings of deflection, pearls of power, and spell DC boosters.

More good points. Kelso and I's system both included these. I think perhaps most of the metamagic rods should also be added as options (though in this case I would also leave the rods in the game as purchasable magic items, but disallow the combination of a rod with a rod-like effect while still allowing them both to be combined with feats).


I've thought of yet another reason why point-buy based alternate bonus systems are totally awesome. They are not a fixed progression of ability upgrades, they actually allow for a GM to assign "bonus" points in addition to the "expected points progression" to mimic the effects of monty haul type campaigns. Except the bonus is inherently character-centric, instead of situation-centric, so it can easily be translated into RP-type awards as easily as really-hard-adventure-means-more-loot type awards.


Yeah, I knew method 3 & 4 wouldn't be a perfect mirror of magical items. I don't mind making them perfect mirrors though. So, effects to add: metamagic rods, pearls of power, bracers of armor, separate armor and shields, separate main hand/off-hand/ranged/unarmed (?).

I'll let y'all hash out any point buy tweaks you'd like me to make, 'cause the way I see it the RAW pricing is all kinds of borked to begin with. :/


Method 3 & 4 changed to mirror RAW pricing scheme.

Link.


I wrote Kelso/My system up as a google doc. Not sure if the tables in there help you but there's no sense in datamining the PRD for the costs of magical enhancements twice.

I don't have nice descriptive text like your doc does, but there is an editable table that allows you to select what percentage of WBL you would like to assign in "upgrade-points" instead of gold, and the character progression chart changes automatically. The second sheet has the prices for all the upgrades.

Here's the link, any comments/suggestions are welcome:
Heroic Character Advancement

Dark Archive

LeDM wrote:

I wrote Kelso/My system up as a google doc. Not sure if the tables in there help you but there's no sense in datamining the PRD for the costs of magical enhancements twice.

I don't have nice descriptive text like your doc does, but there is an editable table that allows you to select what percentage of WBL you would like to assign in "upgrade-points" instead of gold, and the character progression chart changes automatically. The second sheet has the prices for all the upgrades.

Here's the link, any comments/suggestions are welcome:
Heroic Character Advancement

i disagree with the main/offhand separately.


Updated methods 3 & 4 with LeDM's WBL-based points-per-level.

Link.

@ LeDM: I didn't need to change the WBL percentage, but doing so doesn't seem to be possible on the google doc end. Just a heads-up.


@Tequila Sunrise: Thanks for the heads up. I think it's marked "read only". Hmm. You *should* be able to import a copy of it into your own Google Docs, and be able to edit it that way.

@Darkholme:

I based this mostly on two things. First the discussion in this thread suggests that its balanced to pay separately for both. And second, I am very much trying to build the system to be *inherently* balanced by reflecting the RAW as much as possible. Given this, if RAW says you have to buy two magic weapons, one for each hand, I think the alternative character advancement mechanics should force you to pay separately for each hand as well. Otherwise it makes TWF more powerful than it is in RAW. Whether or not RAW is balanced is an entirely different question, but it is NOT something I wish to take on with the alternate advancement mechanics. It is of course something a DM could change at their own table if they wish.

Dark Archive

LeDM wrote:

@Darkholme:

I based this mostly on two things. First the discussion in this thread suggests that its balanced to pay separately for both. And second, I am very much trying to build the system to be *inherently* balanced by reflecting the RAW as much as possible. Given this, if RAW says you have to buy two magic weapons, one for each hand, I think the alternative character advancement mechanics should force you to pay separately for each hand as well. Otherwise it makes TWF more powerful than it is in RAW. Whether or not RAW is balanced is an entirely different question, but it is NOT something I wish to take on with the alternate advancement mechanics. It is of course something a DM could change at their own table if they wish.

Ah. My way of thinking is that I should be plugging existing holes in the process when possible, as I go, and I would say RAW is not balanced in regards to two weapon fighting. But if your goal is the same kind of balance as in RAW, this should accomplish it.

Though I DO have to note that in Pathfinder you don't actually have an Off-Hand, and you can attack with as many limbs/weapons as you want in a standard attack routine without penalty, its only when you want to get the extra attacks from the feat that you take penalties, and your off-hand is determined by "whichever attack you dont take as your highest BAB attack."

In other words, you can make your first attack with one weapon, and then make all other attacks with the other weapon. The TWF attacks cant be with the same weapon as your first attack, but all the regular ones can freely mix.


@Darkholme: Good call. Maybe I should call it something like "Dual-Wield Enhancement Bonus" as a throw back to D&D in order to differentiate it. It would only apply in the case of TWF, and only on the attack(s) that don't take your full BAB.

Dark Archive

LeDM wrote:
@Darkholme: Good call. Maybe I should call it something like "Dual-Wield Enhancement Bonus" as a throw back to D&D in order to differentiate it. It would only apply in the case of TWF, and only on the attack(s) that don't take your full BAB.

Maybe Second Weapon Bonus?

If you want to use two weapons, you still need to enchant both separately, but this makes it more clear that whichever weapon/limb you dont use first gets the secondary weapon bonus.


It looks like it's been a little while since there was discussion on this thread, but I still wanted to jump in on it.

I've been using the system that Darkholme linked to, and LeDM independently reinvented, for over a year now and my players and I are very happy with it. I should also point out that my NHEP system is an independent reinvention developed after erian_7 developed a system he calls the Advantage Point System.

As discussed briefly above, I actually have added Pearls of Power, as well as Metamagic Rods, to the system. It all works pretty seamlessly, eliminates treasure grinding, requires very little treasure re-writing and almost completely divorces Power from Wealth.

A few notes and quirks of the system that have arisen:

Spoiler:

-Players will be constantly searching for ways to use their money to circumvent the system and find a way to purchase "plusses". You have to be pretty firm. If it gives a "plus" it is almost certainly under the system. Items like Ring of Force Shield and Bracers of Archery will eventually be held up as possible cash purchases to increase their bonuses. As these things arise, give them a point cost for it. Usually that just means drop the last 3 digits of the price. So, 8000 gold becomes 8 points.

-After some soul-searching, I have added magically enhanced ammunition back into cash purchasable items. It's a common device in low-level adventures that the PCs are given magic arrows to be used to fight an otherwise nearly unbeatable foe, such as Ghost-Touch arrows and Incorporeal undead.

-When altering treasure, you'll often find that the "Boss" of the adventure (if it's a pre-written one, anyway) has nearly all of his/her treasure in the form of magic "plus" gear: Ring of Protection, Headband of Intelligence, Cloak of Resistance, etc. It would be a real buzzkill if the PCs defeat the foe, then find nothing. I add up 10% of the buy price of those items and replace them with jewelry of that value, or other magic items totaling up to something around that amount.


here's the system i use to accomodate this, in my world there is an adventurers guild that has badges that bind to the people they are made for. I do not allow magical items that give boosts to the things already included in the "badges". also players must be at least lvl 5 before they can get magical effects added to their weapons or armor and +# enhancements are not allowed to be added to either. master work is removed from the game entirely with this system as well as far as weapons and armor go. i cut back loot a good deal and make finding magical items mean alot more because of it. with this system players get a stat increase every even level instead of every 4 and i do not let them have access to magical items that increase stats by more than +2 (though i do allow the ones that give all physical or all mental still at only a +2 though.) the chart for the progression of the badges is as follows.

1 +1 TO HIT
2 +1 ALL SAVES
3 +1 DAMAGE
4 DR 1
5 +2 HIT
6 +2 ALL SAVES
7 +2 DAMAGE
8 DR 2
9 +3 HIT
10 +3 ALL SAVES
11 +3 DAMAGE
12 DR 3
13 +4 HIT
14 +4 ALL SAVES
15 +4 DAMAGE
16 DR 4
17 +5 HIT
18 +5 ALL SAVES
19 +5 DAMAGE
20 DR 5
ARMOR BONUS = LEVEL /2 rounded down.

This works extremely well at all levels in keeping things balanced with the way the CR's work and is very easy to keep track of. hope it helps.

edit: the plus to hit and damage applies to casters as well, but the bonus damage can only be applied once per round, so in the example of a chain lightning only one of the strikes would have the damage applied, or for magic missle only one missle would have the bonus damage.

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