View Full Version : Homebrew World Help

Darth Stabber
2009-03-03, 10:48 AM
I am working on a campaign setting, and crucial bit is the rework of Arcane classes. Wizards and Sorcerers are right out. Bards are going to need a significant rework, if not the axe (their fluff might get rolled into beguiler). The

The 7 traditions:
Order of the Seneschal - represented by the Court Mage class
Order of the Grave - represented by the Dread Necromancer class
Order of the Silent Hand - represented by the Beguiler class
Order of the Cataclysm - represented by the Warmage class
Order of the Metamorphosis - represented by the Mutationist class
Order of the Calling Voice - represented by the Summoner class
Order of the Tome - represented by the Archivist class (technically divine casters, but one of the arcane traditions given their method of channeling the divine
{New Classes are in my sig}
There are also the Lost Traditions (Thought to be extinct, nominally part of the council, but the council is ignorant of their existance)

Order of the Wanderer - Represented by the Wu Jen class (Former Leaders of the council, now Wandering hermits in hinding, they take on apprentices in secret to keep the tradition going, no one knows why they left, but many speculate that they no longer wanted to associated with that body)
Order of the Embodiment - Represented by the Incarnate class (actually wiped out a millennium ago , though the players have a chance of bringing the class back into existence)
Order of Dusk - Represented by the Duskblade class (Hostilely taken over by the warmages, went into hiding to plot their comback, and possible revenge. Starting to consider leading an order of the disparate non-tradition groups to shatter the councils control over magic in general)

Ruled over by the Council of 7, a council composed of a representative elected by each tradition. They aid their members in their growth, and play the same political games that the churches and governments play. The Traditionless are primarily Represented by Psions, Psychic warriors, Warlocks, Dragonfire adepts, hexblades, spellthieves, and binders. Psionics is fluff wise the same as Magic, and the transparency is very high. These disparate groups are looked down upon by the council of 7, and the council uses it's politcal sway to ensure that these types are powerless. Few of the young mages agree with this position, but the coucil is not an affair for young men and women, and their discontent is silenced.

On the Divine side of the coin, Clerics are still out and about doing their deity's work, while the over arcing Churches are busy politicking. Soulborns fill the role of paladins. For nature, Spirit shamans and Totemists work side by side filling the role of druids, with very little Societal distinction.

Now with Magic so altered by the divvying up of wiz/sorc, does this make divine magic to strong, does this alter game balance in a significant way?

Tempest Fennac
2009-03-03, 01:43 PM
Arcane magic is seen as stronger then Divine magic, but I can see it causing problems due to Druids and Clerics being seen as broken. I recommend altering the Healer class before replacing Clerics with it ( http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=97644 is a thread on the topic). Druids are more complicated, but another forum member named Chronicaled he used a Pirate Celia avatar) said that he made his players use both the Shapeshifter and Spontaneous Rejuvanation class features to bring Druids in line with other classes. ( http://crystalkeep.com/d20/ contains both of those variants on the Classes page.)

Darth Stabber
2009-03-04, 12:16 PM
I'm looking at messing with a lot of the assumed class cultural roles. I want play to feature their cultural role and keep that divorced from class.

The end result so far is that Monk Cleric, Druid and Wiz/Sorc are right out.

Class Cultural Comparisons and where various classes fit

Role in society- priest, healer, Spiritual adviser.

Possible Fill ins - Bard, Favored Soul, cloisted cleric, shugenja.
Solution - Divine variant Bard with either perform(sermon) or perform(hymns), and replace bardic knowledge with turn undead. Fits the role of Priest with his ability to inspire people using scripture, and the spell list can easily be tuned to be proficient in this role (they will probably lose access to a great deal of their illusion spells, but gain access to some domain related stuff. And will add a few favored soul as priests with a slightly different focus.

Role in society - Initiate of arcane mysteries, scholars, Puppet masters, advisers, artillery

Possible fill ins - Specific spell list varients (dread necro and such), Psion, Wilder, Warlock, Binder, Dragonfire adept, Wu Jen, Gish classes, and Archivist(not arcane, but fits in a similar role in society. various gish classes
Most likely - Already have the Orders/council or 7 filled out. The normal fluff space for independant wizards will be filled by Psion, and sorcerer will be played by Wilder. The Order mages will be Dread Necromancer, Archivist, warmage, Beguiler, mutationists, Court Mages, and summoners. The traditions are smaller, more insular and paranoid, but they are already adept at hiding what they are. these traditions (which no one know how many actually exist include these classes: Warlock, Dragonfire Adept, Binder, Hexblade, Duskblade, Wu Jen, Shugenja, Psion/Wilder/Psiwar and spellthief. And the Bulk of unaligned arcane classes will be Psion/Wilder/Psiwar. They are not specifically shunned by the Council, but are not united in any way, they go to whichever side that they feel they want/need/desire.

Role in society - Similar to cleric role, only focused on veneration of nature more than deities.

Fill ins - Spirit shaman, Totemist, Dragon Shaman.

Solution: A new coat of flavor, and the Druidic language, for all. Mechanically these classes are fairly disparate, but all have the mechanics to fit a certain that druid will leave behind. Spirit shaman is spell caster powered by nature. Totemists are kind of the lone wolf, wildmen. And Dragon shaman are nearly ideal to lead barbaric tribes in the role of shaman.

Role in society - low life, street urchin, Charmer, assassin, Noble with elicit hobbies, scout, spy.

Fill ins - Rogue, Soulknife, Spell thief, scout, ninja, Sword Sage, and beguiler.

Solution - Rogue is not getting the axe, but there are enough other similar classes to make it worth noting what's special. Beguilers are, at least nominally, dedicated to the council. Spell thief performs a similar function for the traditions. While I don't like the crunch of ToB, The Sword Sage fill in the void that Monk will leave behind (yeah, no monk). Ninja fills out the assassin/spy role very well, and scouts do what the name would suggest, being the skill monkey of choice for most military's, alongside rangers.

Role in society - More than any other class type the Warrior(not the npc class) is defined by fighting. They are the grunts of military engagements, they specialize in hitting things with lumps of wood and metal.

Fill ins - Duskblade, Fighter, barbarian, Paladin(including UA varients), Soulborn, Ranger, Crusader, Warblade, Swashbuckler, Duskblade, hex blade, and Knight.

Solution - Paladin, Soulborn and Crusader all fit the same role of divine warrior, the term paladin will apply to all, and they are the fighting arms of their churches. Rangers generally work as either bounty hunters or military scouts (Rangers that work primarily is scouting are called scouts just like scouts are called scouts). Hexblades are a magic tradition in addition to their Warrior status. Swashbucklers could just as easily fallen under rogues entry, but for the most part they pay the bills as Yojimbos. Warblades probably won't be allowed, but are as close to fighter played straight as you can get without being fighter, as both are Melee combat specialists with out the distraction that some of the other classes get. Knights fit the same cloth as fighter, but with a focus on controlling the space around them. Duskblade are a special case, Where I not GMing an rpg in this setting they would be the primary protagonists, now they just serve as the firebrand against the Council of 7.

You may have noticed that Soulborn and totemist are listed as to where they fit, but not the incarnate class. The answer is that they do not have a place in society because they do not yet exist. Totemists and Soulborn do not fully understand the source of their power, Totemists assume their power extends from a connection to nature, Soulborn assume it's a gift from their diety, neither realizes that their abilities are related. When manuscripts on incarnum theory surface, the PCs that discover them will have choices, on whether or not to share them, and who to share them with, they could be come another tradition, they could be come the new 8th order, they could fall in as a religious class. Upon the decision being made they will see and suffer/enjoy the consequences thereof. The PCs have the option to take level in the class, or when replacing a dead or otherwise indisposed character they will have the option of coming back as one of the new incarnates and will further determine the classes place in the world.

2009-03-04, 01:22 PM
I'm looking at messing with a lot of the assumed class cultural roles. I want play to feature their cultural role and keep that divorced from class.
But isn't that what you are doing? Just with other classes.

Darth Stabber
2009-03-04, 02:03 PM
You may be right about that. Class does seem rather heavily defined, wow I did the opposite of what I intended, Oh well, I still had fun blendering the classes. Wizard is one 9 things (one of which is a divine caster), and not a one of them is the wizard from the PHB, Bard became the settings cleric and so forth. But from a game balance perspective Does this unbalance things terribly.

Classes allowed
Psion, Psywar, Paladin, Soulborn, Totemist, Wu Jen, Archivist, Shugenja, Spirit shaman, Bard(divine casting, less illusions, domains, Turn undead, no Bardic knowledge), Dragon Shaman, Dragonfire Adept, Favored Soul, Binder, Duskblade, Fighter, barbarian, Paladin(including UA varients), Soulborn, Ranger, Swashbuckler, Duskblade, hexblade, Knight, Rogue, Spell thief, scout, ninja, Dread Necromancer, Archivist, warmage, Beguiler, Mutationists, Court Mages, and Summoners.

So far it seems like the most powerful classes are Archivist, Favored soul, Wu Jen, psion and spirit shaman, given they are the only classes with Full casting progression and spell list that is not heavily theme based. Any thoughts

Tempest Fennac
2009-03-05, 02:44 AM
I'm confused about what exactly you want to do. I can understand wanting to replace some classes with others due to potential balance issues caused by eliminating some classes, but all that seems to be happning is that you're deciding that other classes should have social rolls rather then the classes which traditionally had them. Changing the Bard so they can be priests also seems needlessly complicated looking at the actual benefits of doing this (I'd just have Cloistered Clerics as priests/healers while having normal Clerics as being the ones who are normally sent on missions for their church, for instance, rather then modifying another class).

Darth Stabber
2009-03-05, 02:02 PM
Bard is not a random crazy choice. Bard was carefully chosen as the replacement for specific reasons. Bardic music is to be reflavored as a minister's sermon, the goal of the class is more to inspire faith in the diety than channel his power. The reduced magic is for setting them further apart from archivists and favored souls. And while Turn undead is a stronger class feature than bardic knowledge, it does not push the class out of reasonable power bounds to make the switch. Cloistered Cleric does not achieve the design goals of having a priestly class based around Ministry, as opposed to being magic fueled beat down machines. The lack of armor proficiencies pushes them to be more differentiated from paladins. The religious beat down is now more likely to be administered by the paladin, who is supposed to be the righteous warrior.

Tempest Fennac
2009-03-06, 02:58 AM
I know Bard makes sense. I was just talking about the benefits of changing them rather then using CCs. I always saw normal Clerics as being combat healers who double as holy warriors while Paladins are straight holy warriors.

Darth Stabber
2009-03-06, 10:14 AM
The reason for no cloistered cleric, is same as that reason for no regular cleric, I'm not after a primary caster class, I still want casting, but I want something other than czilla to be the ones to preach the faith. The only full divine casters I really want are Archivist, Favored Soul, Shugenja and Spirit Shaman. All of these classes are more balanced (Except maybe archivist). I want a different set of casters to be the ones getting the glory. One of this settings unspoken design goal was to have a world where magic is simultaneously more common and more limited. Most of the Full arcane casters have a severely limited spell lists. The Archivist and the Wu Jen are really the top of the power tier. Combine the want of class that is primarily a face(social skills) with some good, but not full, spellcasting, and an ability to inspire those around him. That all but spells out bard, so the bard is now the primary priest of the setting. Cleric is a Full caster, and doesn't have enough skill points, Cloistered cleric is not the type to go around preaching to the masses, so again bard. Cleric and cloistered cleric don't get moved into different flavor, because while i've got open space in the traditions for any caster type thing I want to stick in there, but I think Taking the Zillas out was a worthy design goal for me, and getting some oddball classes more play time is also quite fun.