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Vorpal word
2009-04-17, 03:20 PM
In terms of current D&D versions, neither is perfect. v3.5 has a lot of flexibility an a wide range of material, but the gameplay is slow and many classes, feats and spells are unbalanced. v4, on the other hand, while being convenient, simple, and balanced, has much less flexibility and material and is in some ways more like an MMORPG, especially now that they're planning to make the D&D Game Table. At least, that's my view on things.

But this thread is not about arguing over which edition is better or anguishing over which to play. My idea is that out of the two, the best one is "both".

My plan is to combine the best features of v3.5 (a wider range of spells and powers, flexibility in character and item creation, etc) with the best features of v4 (allowing ability scores to replace each other for Defenses and other features, concise and straightforward rules, faster gameplay, etc).

Any ideas to start this off will be appreciated; I might note that I only own the v4 Player's Handbook so I don't know much about v4 traps, monsters, skill challenges, etc.

lesser_minion
2009-04-17, 05:44 PM
I think it's a viable concept - I generally think 4e is good, and seems to have taken a sensible direction in some areas, but it cut way too much out of the game, even things that weren't irredeemable (some are being remixed).

A big problem is going to be getting the character classes to work. There are, however, a few changes that must be seen in the combat system and some other rules as well.

There are a couple of guides to 3e character classes on the fora - Fax Celestis posted a guide to the main points here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=55902) (I've mentioned some ideas from that thread below)


The class must fit a party role
The class must fill a niche - every class must have at least something that cannot be duplicated without taking that class
The class must reward ingenuity and uniqueness on the part of its players
You should not have to pump more than two or three stats in order to be mechanically effective
There must be a good reason not to take a prestige class (also partly a problem with prestige classes)
A base class is there as a possible way for a player to model his character concept. Classes need to be adaptable
The mechanical power of a class is independent of its overall quality.



For fixing problems in 3e, you may want to look at the gaming section on this website and the essays on The Alexandrian (http://www.thealexandrian.net/creations/creations.html).

Chas the mage
2009-04-17, 05:52 PM
I do not like 4e at all. I can understand using will saves to resist spells and fortitude to resist poision, but the 'defenses' thing is sort of loony...

mr.fizzypop
2009-04-17, 06:15 PM
Have you ever thought of taking some aspects from the previous editions?

Starscream
2009-04-17, 07:33 PM
Things I would borrow from 4E:

*Giving monsters levels instead of challenge ratings. CRs can be very misleading.
* Allowing players to put one of two ability bonuses to their saves (int or dex to reflex, for example)
* The skills (Why were open lock and disable device ever separate?)
* Epic Destinies (there is already a 3.5 version on the WOTC site)

Things I would change from 3.5:

* Fixes for the weaker classes like Monk. There are plenty available in the homebrew section of this site
* Tomb of Battle and Psionics are in by default.
* Druids use the shapeshift variant.
* Fighters use the dungeoncrasher variant
* Fix broken spells like polymorph.

TSED
2009-04-17, 09:42 PM
Don't forget!:

*No Save or Dies.
*Save or Loses are mitigated somehow. (Save per round or the like).

Vorpal word
2009-04-17, 10:24 PM
Things I would borrow from 4E:

*Giving monsters levels instead of challenge ratings. CRs can be very misleading.
* Allowing players to put one of two ability bonuses to their saves (int or dex to reflex, for example)
* The skills (Why were open lock and disable device ever separate?)
* Epic Destinies (there is already a 3.5 version on the WOTC site)

Things I would change from 3.5:

* Fixes for the weaker classes like Monk. There are plenty available in the homebrew section of this site
* Tomb of Battle and Psionics are in by default.
* Druids use the shapeshift variant.
* Fighters use the dungeoncrasher variant
* Fix broken spells like polymorph.

Definitely agree with you on the v4 stuff, but I don't have anything in v3 except the core rulebooks, the Faerun campaign setting, and monster manual 2 and 3. So I wouldn't know about most of this stuff.

One thing I DO want to keep from 3.5 is the old crits and such. I'm also thinking of maybe throwing in a "Fire Emblem" type weapons triangle (blades beat axes/hammers, axes/hammers beat polearms, polearms beat swords) but I'm not exactly sure how to represent that.

Also, it's a good idea to keep ability score values a little more balanced. They say in 3.5 that a race with +2 Strength can be balanced by a -2 to two mental scores (Int, Wis, Cha). But those mental scores can also make your character an extremely strong spellcasting character at higher levels, so they should not be undervalued.

And there definitely SHOULD be stat penalties for every bonus (for Lvl Adjustment +0 creatures). The v4 "bonus only" system just makes everything unrealistically strong. The other racial abilities should probably be reworked and the entire base race list should be modified somewhat (adding things like centaurs [with less power] or kobolds [with more power] could be cool)

Anyway thanks for the input, I'll try to actually make something for tomorrow.

Vorpal word
2009-04-18, 08:03 AM
To start off:

Base class roles (idea from 4e, but overlapping roles are good).

-Tank
-Healer
-Party Leader
-Trapper/Sneaker
-Striker
-Mage


The actual classes and what they do (feel free to add):

-Fighter(tank)
-Rogue(sneaker)
-Wizard(mage)
-Sorceror(mage)
-Cleric(healer/party leader)
-Favored Soul(healer/party leader)
-Druid(mage)
-<Spontaneous Nature Caster>(mage)
-Psion(mage)
-<Spontaneous Psionic Caster>(mage)
-Warmage(mage/striker)
-Warpriest(healer/striker)
-War<nature caster> (mage/striker)
-War<psionic caster> (mage/striker)

There will probably be more (or less) at the end, the first challenge is not to get clerics to overlap so many roles. I'm thinking of making cleric and druid magic separate types of magic. Not sure if every caster needs a spontaneous variant, maybe you can choose at lvl 1 between spontaneous and more spells?

Send in your ideas please!

Vorpal word
2009-04-18, 12:59 PM
To start off, fighter idea:

d12 hit die

Builds: Weapon Master, Armored Destroyer, Cavalier.

Weapon Master:
1st Level: Weapon Type Specialization (+1 attack and damage with either polearm, axe, or blade)
2nd Level: Bonus Feat (choice of Improved Disarm, Improved Feint, Improved Trip)
4th Level: Weapon Focus with one weapon (stacks with Weapon Type Specialization)
5th Level: Free Two-Weapon Fighting
6th Level: Bonus Feat (choice of Cleave, Spring Attack, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting)
8th Level: Weapon Specialization with same weapon as before.
10th Level: Bonus Feat (choice of Whirlwind Attack, Greater Two-Weapon Fighting, Improved Critical [with chosen weapon])

lesser_minion
2009-04-18, 02:45 PM
I'd suggest making a variety of 'afflictions' - including poisons, diseases and maybe 3e's save-or-die spells, then use the 4e disease rules for all of them. It takes the sting out of save-or-dies a little, but at least they don't completely end the fight.

Save-or-lose spells definitely need to be toned down as well - possibly using a similar system to the diseases as well.

4e diseases:
If you are infected, you suffer some effect
Every so often, you make a check which could lead to you getting better or worse
Each disease has a number of stages, ranging from being cured down to suffering a permanent effect.


The psion is a spontaneous caster - I don't think psionics need another one.

Personally, I think all divine casters should be spontaneous - that makes them a little different to the arcanists.

It makes sense for druids to be versatile and independent - they don't really fit into the 'roles' you've laid out. They shouldn't really beat anyone at their own game however.

Southern Cross
2009-04-21, 06:52 AM
Actually,I think that Conjuration needs to be nerfed,as it was overpowered in D & D3.5.
Here are my suggestions:
(1) Put mage armor in the Abjuration school,where it belongs.
(2) If a spell does direct damage,it should be either an evocation spell ( i.e. the various orb spells),or (if it manipulates the target's lifeforce) a necromantic spell.

BlueWizard
2009-04-21, 06:54 AM
Just go 1st or 2nd ed.

lesser_minion
2009-04-21, 04:41 PM
As for spells, I wouldn't mind seeing more spells with a variety of effects - this could buff the 'useless carp' category of spells pretty nicely.

Keep things like "choose-a-damage-type" exclusive to psions though.

I wouldn't mind seeing weapons with energy damage becoming a bit more destructive, and it may be worth changing the slot system to work by type of effect - it might sound a little inelegant as balancing techniques go, but it could make a lot more thematic sense than banning players from wearing a magical shirt and a robe at the same time.

As for saves vs. defences - it's probably best to leave this to the DM's preference. They are functionally identical, but there may be DMs out there who appreciate using 'semi-diceless roleplaying'.

Vorpal word
2009-04-21, 09:27 PM
Basically, the idea of using defenses vs saves is kind of the opposite of the defense roll variant in the 3.5 DM's guide, where you roll AC against attacks!

The things I'm definitely keeping from 3.5 are the alignment axis (I might even add more alignment options!), multiclassing (multiclass feats just aren't the same), and the stat penalties for races (v4 is just too powerful for everything).

As for v4, I like the idea of monster types (skirmisher, brute, etc) and levels, especially the minion concept. I'm not so sure about the class powers though. They're effective at balancing classes among each other (where as before spellcasters were obviously superior at high levels), but I'd like to find a different system. Also for spontaneous casting, it might be a good idea to give casters a choice between preparing a spell (which gives it a bonus) and spontaneously using it (which doesn't).

New (revised) class list:

-Fighter
-Cleric
-Druid
-Psion
-Wizard
-Warlock
-Rogue
-Ranger
-Paladin
-Warmage
-Psychic Warrior
-Barbarian
-Monk
-Bard
-Knight

That's 15 classes in total.
Basically what needs to be covered is:
-Melee Attacker (Fighter)
-Ranged Attacker (Ranger)
-Mounted Attacker (Knight)
-Trapper/Skillmonkey (Rogue)
-Party Leader (Paladin)
-Nature Caster (Druid)
-Divine Caster (Cleric)
-Arcane Caster (Wizard)
-Psionic Caster (Psion)
-Mix of Melee with Caster (Warmage)
-Miscellaneous (Monk, Bard)

Primary casters (druids/clerics included) should all have lower health than the hybrid caster/warriors. Druids and clerics should have totally different magic, and all magic should be affected by armour to some extent (armour can mess up prayers too):smallbiggrin:

erikun
2009-04-21, 10:13 PM
One thing I DO want to keep from 3.5 is the old crits and such. I'm also thinking of maybe throwing in a "Fire Emblem" type weapons triangle (blades beat axes/hammers, axes/hammers beat polearms, polearms beat swords) but I'm not exactly sure how to represent that.

Bad idea, or at least a bad idea the way you're phrasing it here. Some weapon differences could certainly be good, such as bludgeoning working better against light armors (which wouldn't really protect against a mace), but saying "you are more vulnerable because you're holding a spear" feels rather silly. Especially if dropping my weapon suddenly increases my defenses.



Also, it's a good idea to keep ability score values a little more balanced. They say in 3.5 that a race with +2 Strength can be balanced by a -2 to two mental scores (Int, Wis, Cha). But those mental scores can also make your character an extremely strong spellcasting character at higher levels, so they should not be undervalued.

And there definitely SHOULD be stat penalties for every bonus (for Lvl Adjustment +0 creatures). The v4 "bonus only" system just makes everything unrealistically strong. The other racial abilities should probably be reworked and the entire base race list should be modified somewhat (adding things like centaurs [with less power] or kobolds [with more power] could be cool)

The main difference is the distance between someone "good" and someone "bad" at something. In 4e, being good just means +2 to a stat (+1 to most checks), and being bad was just average. In 3.5e, being good meant a 4-point difference over someone who is bad at it. Good luck playing a rogue with a Dex penality, or a Dwarven Sorcerer, for example.



-Tank
-Healer
-Party Leader
-Trapper/Sneaker
-Striker
-Mage

Are you still using these, or did you dump them? If so, I'd recommend strongly stating what each one does.


One last thing: your Fighter looks noticably worse than the 3.5e Fighter, because one of the few advantages for the 3.5e variant - versality - is gone from yours. I suppose that if this is the balance you'd like in your game, go for it. However, as the link that lesser_minion provided points out, restricting a class into a narrowly defined roll tends to make people simply dislike playing it.

Mando Knight
2009-04-21, 11:23 PM
all magic should be affected by armour to some extent (armour can mess up prayers too):smallbiggrin:

-1. :smallannoyed:

I don't see why armor of any sort should inhibit the ability to cast any kind of magic, but especially those from an external source (i.e. divine). Yes, you'll have to balance improved armor with magic, but you're already reconfiguring the balance anyway. Don't give squishy-mages free armor proficiency, but magic-knights should definitely not take a penalty for using their class features (casting spells and fighting in melee).

Zovc
2009-04-22, 12:16 AM
-Fighter
Approve, archetype.
-Cleric
Approve, archetype.
-Druid
Approve, but how are you going to differentiate the Druid and the Cleric? Keep in mind a "nature cleric" could function as a druid.
-Psion
Approve, I like psionics.
-Wizard
Approve, archetype.
-Warlock
Approve, but make sure he isn't outshined by the Wizard, Psion, or Psiwar. What the warlock currently has going for it is his unlimited ammunition.
-Rogue
Approve, archetype.
-Ranger
Approve, but keep in mind that a ranger is more than a ranged attacker.
-Paladin
Approve, archetype, hybrid. I almost feel like a Paladin should be in between a cleric and a fighter, and that a cleric should resemble a wizard more (and perhaps be called a priest).
-Warmage
Appove, archetype, hybrid. The warmage (3.5) is an extremely weak class, this needs to be fixxed, naturally.
-Psychic Warrior
Approve, hybrid.
-Barbarian
Approve, archetype.
-Monk
Approve, archetype, I believe the monk needs improvement.
-Bard
Approve, archetype, I feel like the bard should be less of a hybrid class and more of a support/leader class.
-Knight
Do not approve, I've never liked the class, and I don't see why a fighter or any other melee class can't be a melee attacker. From an RP perspective, almost any (non-alignment-restricted) class can be a Knight.

Most classes should be able to fulfill at least two party roles, even if they can only do so meagerly.

Vorpal word
2009-04-22, 06:34 AM
Honestly, I would have made the last class on the list Dragon Shaman, but the problem is that if I keep dragonborn as a race (and I think I might) it would be useless to them. So if anyone has any ideas to offer instead of Knight (even something completely new), please post them for me to look at.

The Warlock I'm using will be more like the 3.5 warlock. The trick is making it balanced, perhaps by lowering base eldritch blast range (or damage) and adding more invocations to the list.

I know Monk as a class needs improvement, so it's definitely a priority. Ranger, I think, can double as a Nature caster; Overall, the hybrids will probably be the best ranged attackers, as they still don't have enough health for front-line fighting but can focus on attack spells easily.

Basically, the Hit Dice are as follows:
Wizard, Psion, Cleric, Druid: d4 (primary casters)
Warlock, Rogue, Bard: d6 (not fighting classes)
Paladin, Ranger, Psychic Warrior, Warmage: d8 (hybrids)
Monk, <last class>: d10 (I think the monk should toughen up a little as a striker)
Fighter, Barbarian: d12 (Fighters should also have more hp, but more finesse and less power)

I'm also eliminating all alignment restrictions for classes, though certain prestige classes may only be available to creatures of a certain alignment.

lesser_minion
2009-04-22, 07:23 AM
Hmm... I wouldn't mind seeing every class come with a few things out-of-the-box:


Competent melee, either ingrained into the class or obtained by supernatural means
Some ranged combat ability (and that does not mean Weapon Proficiency: Crossbow)
At least some out-of-combat ability
Possibly a little healing ability
Nothing should need a horrible investment to work - things like feats and skill choices should have at least some application to tailoring the other aspects of your build to your play style and character concept. They should not be a route to unsurpassed power or the only way to become effective
At least a little resilience for all classes
Distinctive abilities that reward clever play, give the class its own unique style and also give plenty of space for customisation.
It might be worth making classes with Variable Ability Dependency, especially as a way of removing 'no-brainer dump stats' from classes.


I'd suggest that each class excels in at least one of these, but should generally hover around the 'reasonable/competent' level for the others - the player may also be able to improve some of these a little by investing other resources.

I don't really like the use of d4 hit dice, because I prefer squishy casters who die to a solid sword stroke as opposed to a gentle breeze.

Note that 4e does include all of these points, but the last one in particular needs to be massively improved - 'distinctive abilities' need to be more obvious and more explicit (although potentially more subtle as well), and they need to be worthwhile - there are a few 4e class features which I absolutely and wholeheartedly despise which appear to exist for the sole purpose of "giving the class a distinctive element", despite the fact that they can be quite interesting mechanics that make a significant difference to character play styles.

Vorpal word
2009-04-22, 03:16 PM
I'll work a little more on classes later. For now I'm going to take a look at races to see if they're fully compatible with the classes.

Here are the ones I've thought of so far and their ability adjustments (based on 3.5 DM's Guide balancing guide):

Aasimar (+2 Wis, -2 Int)
Dragonborn (+2 Str, -2 Dex)
Dwarf (+2 Con, -2 Cha)
Eladrin (+4 Dex, -2 Str, -2 Con)
Elf (+2 Dex, -2 Con)
Gnoll (+2 Str, -2 Int, -2 Cha)
Gnome (+2 Con, -2 Str)
Goblin (+2 Dex, -2 Str)
Half-Elf (+2 Cha, -2 Con)
Half-Orc (+2 Str, -2 Int, -2 Cha)
Halfling (+2 Dex, -2 Str)
Human (n/a)
Kobold (+2 Dex, -2 Str)
Tiefling (+2 Int, -2 Cha)

Your input please!

lesser_minion
2009-04-22, 04:03 PM
I think tieflings are long overdue a charisma bonus. I don't really see how one can be the distant descendent of an outsider and not be in some way more alluring and more mysterious than someone who isn't.

It also feels more important than the wisdom bonus in defining an Aasimar, for the same reason.

On the subject of Aasimar, why does being the descendent of a powerful force of good in the universe make your character stupid?

I'd suggest giving Eladrin a charisma bonus, no matter what 4e thinks, for much the same reason.

I'm also wary of handing out +4 bonuses (or, for that matter, -4 penalties) or larger in a player race - short of something like 'receives no saving throw progressions regardless of class' I don't think those could ever be balanced.

Zovc
2009-04-22, 05:07 PM
First of all, races are (and should be) a lot more than just ability score bonuses, and you have to look at them as a whole. When we see a race with a +4 to one score (even with two -2's, but especially to physical stats) we have to know what else that race can do. Personally, I find races without abilities uninteresting, even if they have great ability scores.

Aasimar (+2 Wis, -2 Int)
I'm partial to simply a +2 Cha. Only problem is, you'd probably have to give them a LA.

Dragonborn (+2 Str, -2 Dex)
I suppose this makes sense, but I don't like a lingering dexterity modifier for "not being used to your body" after 10 "levels," you should be comfortable with the body you got there in.

Dwarf (+2 Con, -2 Cha)
I'm fine with this, it works.

Eladrin (+4 Dex, -2 Str, -2 Con)
I don't know what an Eladrin is, but my "educated" guess is some sort of fae-human. Definitely a +2 to Cha, not sure what to subtract from, but you could probably rationalize (but greatly weaken the race) a -2 Str or Con.

Elf (+2 Dex, -2 Con)
This seems to work, but elves are considered a weaker race, I believe.

Gnoll (+2 Str, -2 Int, -2 Cha)
This probably works.

Gnome (+2 Con, -2 Str)
I think this works.

Goblin (+2 Dex, -2 Str)
Halfling?

Half-Elf (+2 Cha, -2 Con)
What? Why? Neither humans, nor elves get a +2 to cha.

Half-Orc (+2 Str, -2 Int, -2 Cha)
I suppose so, Gnolls have these stats, too, an this is already a "munchkin" race.

Halfling (+2 Dex, -2 Str)
Goblin?

Human (n/a)
This seems to work.

Kobold (+2 Dex, -2 Str)
Halfling/Goblin?

Tiefling (+2 Int, -2 Cha)
I also don't believe that Tieflings deserve a -2 Cha, and I hate how Tieflings look in 4e. Probably another +2 Cha race, likely deserves a LA.

Vorpal word
2009-04-22, 05:12 PM
The v3.5 DMG claims that a -2 penalty to two mental scores balances a +2 in Strength or Dexterity, and all other stats are supposed to be equal in value. Based on how orcs are built (+4 to Strength and -2 to all mental scores, plus Darkvision and Light Sensitivity), you would think that they are balanced. I have a friend playing an orc barbarian right now in a campaign, and his Strength is ridiculous...but the roll he put into it was a 17, so it's not surprising.
Anyway, some superstrong races could help.

What bothers me more is the possibility of multiple races having identical ability score adjustments, ie. goblins, kobolds, and halflings all have the same adjustment. I compiled this list specifically to avoid complaints about essential races (like pure orcs) not being on the list, but it will probably shrink before it's finalized.

For this same reason, I am not sure how to act with outsider races (aasimar, eladrin, and tieflings). The way they're built, they should get +2 to all mental scores, but as that is obviously unbalanced it may be better to drop them from the list entirely. Once again, penalizing Constitution makes them too elflike and dropping Strength or Dexterity (or both) just doesn't really make sense. As every race has some sort of defect, I would like to have both bonuses and penalties for LA +0 races (which works well for dragonborn, for example).

Lappy9000
2009-04-22, 05:26 PM
The v3.5 DMG claims that a -2 penalty to two mental scores balances a +2 in Strength or Dexterity, and all other stats are supposed to be equal in value. Based on how orcs are built (+4 to Strength and -2 to all mental scores, plus Darkvision and Light Sensitivity), you would think that they are balanced. I have a friend playing an orc barbarian right now in a campaign, and his Strength is ridiculous...but the roll he put into it was a 17, so it's not surprising.In my experience, the DMG lies on that respect. Orcs are one of the weaker +1 LA races. As a general rule, a +2 is balanced by a -2, plain and simple. Double penalties (+2,-2,-2) or a single penalty (-2) are better for races who have super-awesome abilities (something orcs lack).


What bothers me more is the possibility of multiple races having identical ability score adjustments, ie. goblins, kobolds, and halflings all have the same adjustment. I compiled this list specifically to avoid complaints about essential races (like pure orcs) not being on the list, but it will probably shrink before it's finalize.Good idea.


For this same reason, I am not sure how to act with outsider races (aasimar, eladrin, and tieflings). The way they're built, they should get +2 to all mental scores, but as that is obviously unbalanced it may be better to drop them from the list entirely. Once again, penalizing Constitution makes them too elflike and dropping Strength or Dexterity (or both) just doesn't really make sense. As every race has some sort of defect, I would like to have both bonuses and penalties for LA +0 races (which works well for dragonborn, for example).If a race ends up with just bonuses, you may have to get creative. I'd suggest boosting the power of every race to give yourself more elbow room. For the penalties, maybe initiative, weakness to a common energy type, skill penalties, or....something....else :smallconfused:

lesser_minion
2009-04-22, 07:33 PM
+1 for buffing every race, although I'd still suggest avoiding +4 and -4 adjustments.

You could take the Pathfinder route and give everyone a net +2.

Regarding the half-elf charisma modifier - 4e makes half-elves distinct from both humans and elves, which I actually quite liked.

3e also implied that they had all of the beauty/grace of elves without being arrogant jerks, which warranted at least a skill bonus, if not a full-blown +2 to Charisma.

I'd be tempted to give them the +2 Con, but the 'good at socialising' thing has been around longer.

The main reason I'm suggesting to avoid +4 and -4 is simply that many classes have a few clear dump stats, meaning that -4 just looks like a decent mitigating factor even though it isn't. On the flip side, no matter where you put that +4 and how you try to balance it, I still think it is way too easy to exploit for +0 LA

Vorpal word
2009-04-22, 08:05 PM
Judging by the comments I've seen, the outsiders (aasimar, eladrin, and tiefling) will have to go for now, at least until I can come up with something a little more concise for them.

For similar reasons, I guess I'll try the following:
a) Drop gnolls for the time being
b) Drop half-orcs, at least for a bit
c) Make orcs +2 Str, -2 Int, -2 Cha

As for the goblin and kobold issue, I'd like to give them something else but I really can't see how they might avoid a penalty to Strength as Small characters (and I don't want to give them any more bonuses/penalties). I guess kobolds are pretty distinct from other abilities (Darkvision, natural armor, maybe the "double shift" from 4e). But goblins...I really don't know what to do with them. Maybe drop them and make hobgoblin a base race, but that overlaps orcs.

Now, just to make sure this post contains more than empty chatter :smallsmile::

Dragonborn
+2 Str, -2 Dex (the penalty is not for "not being used to your body", it's just about being big and slow)
Darkvision 60ft
Breath weapon (15 ft cone of fire, acid, electricity, or cold, every 1d4 rounds, 1d6 damage/5 levels [I'd like some advice with the damage, don't really know how to make it work evenly])
Speed 20 ft
+1 natural armor

Hadrian_Emrys
2009-04-22, 10:16 PM
There is a reason WotC went with the twinned +2 to atts method people. The core problems with the 3.x system were twofold: 1) Fluff went blindly before crunch in the planning phase, 2) The game was incompetently play-tested for balance throughout the rest of the creation process. With each race having natural strengths, and multiple races sharing similar aptitudes, there ends up being no single master race for a class/role (such as gray elves for non-LA wizards and half-orcs for barbarians). The lack of a positive modifier is penalty enough for power gamers while still not penalizing those who'd actually enjoy playing sub-optimal builds. Punishing creativity only encourages metagame thinking and rules lawyering.

From that point, I segway to request that the concept of half-x races having unique stats from their parent races be removed from the system on the grounds that the very concept is a poor idea (that drags humans into a sexual arms race with dragons in terms of which has the most inter-species reproductive prowess). A player of a half breed, if such things are to even be possible, should pick one parent race or another as the template by which they create their character. Even being flexible by allowing mixed and matched traits runs the risk of a glut of "mule" protagonists, which would get old in a hurry.

On that note, I wonder what kind of reception a classless point buy system would have if major aspects of characters were determined by stacking templates.

Lappy9000
2009-04-22, 10:32 PM
(that drags humans into a sexual arms race with dragons in terms of which has the most inter-species reproductive prowess).Humegolas: Final Count, forty two.
Dragomli: That's not bad for a round-eared Human princeling. I myself am sitting pretty on forty three.
Sick meta-humor, much?

Hadrian_Emrys
2009-04-22, 10:56 PM
:smalltongue:

I suppose a peace treaty would end up being drafted by a half-dragon human weary of the parental bickering over mutual infidelity.

daa18
2009-04-23, 06:05 PM
I have to say that i like the 4e stat bonus only method. It really allows someone to play a character like an orc wizard without having to worry about completely sucking.

Faulty
2009-04-23, 06:53 PM
May I suggest that every class have a capstone ability? That's a reason to stick with a class. I also suggest giving every or at least most classes some sort of recurring option to pick from a number of abilities. Download the Pathfinder beta (it's free) from Paizo's site and look at the Barbarian and Rogue for examples.

EDIT: A few more suggestions...

Allow finesseable weapons to use Dex for attack by default, and change Weapon Finesse so that it allows you to add Dex rather than Str to damage with finesseable weapons.

Make the TWF, Imp TWF and Greater TWF feats into one feat and scale it like Manyshot. My suggestion is giving an extra attack at +11 and +16 BAB, so you always have one less offhand attack than main hand. Also, make Two Weapon Defense let you use half your Dex modifier as a shield bonus whenever wielding two weapons, rather than just giving it a flat +1 bonus.

Also, I suggest a single mechanic for all special combat maneuvers (trip, grapple, etc.). Pathfinder uses this, though it needs tweaking. I seriously suggest you download Pathfinder's beta, and snatch some things from it. I'll be using it when it's final version comes out.

Vorpal word
2009-04-23, 09:28 PM
Thanks for the comments everyone, I'll put some more concise work into races and feats tomorrow.

Meanwhile, just an interesting idea a friend suggested to me. This isn't from either or the D&D editions I'm using as far as I know but it works well as a replacement to fighting defensively/total defense.

Parrying

To parry, a character must spend a standard action to ready a parry as opposed to using an attack, giving themselves one parry attempt. Parrying only works for melee weapons, although counterspelling covers the same option for some spells.

Alternatively, a character can spend a full attack and leave a number of attacks unused. These are all stored as parry attempts.

After the character's turn, they may parry any melee attacks against them, using one parry attempt per attack until they run out. To parry, the character rolls an attack roll. If their roll beats the enemy's attack, the attack misses (Crits cannot be blocked, but if your roll beats their crit confirmation roll they only deal normal damage). Some attacks cannot be blocked at the DM's discretion (ie. a dragon's crush attack).

Building from here

-Feats that give bonuses on parry attempts or allow extra parries on a full-round parry.

-Riposte (can be a feat): If you successfully parry an attack, you may immediately make an attack of oppurtunity against the same foe, who is considered flat-footed for this attack ONLY.

-Reworking old feats (ie. Two-Weapon Defense gives parry bonuses)

-Some weapons can be better at parrying, just like some weapons are good for disarm or trip attempts.

Faulty
2009-04-23, 09:37 PM
Bladed weapons, and piercing weapons like rapiers and shortswords should gain a parrying bonus. You also shouldn't be able to parry unarmed or natural attacks.

Thane of Fife
2009-04-23, 09:38 PM
Parrying

To parry, a character must spend a standard action to ready a parry as opposed to using an attack, giving themselves one parry attempt. Parrying only works for melee weapons, although counterspelling covers the same option for some spells.

Alternatively, a character can spend a full attack and leave a number of attacks unused. These are all stored as parry attempts.

After the character's turn, they may parry any melee attacks against them, using one parry attempt per attack until they run out. To parry, the character rolls an attack roll. If their roll beats the enemy's attack, the attack misses (Crits cannot be blocked, but if your roll beats their crit confirmation roll they only deal normal damage). Some attacks cannot be blocked at the DM's discretion (ie. a dragon's crush attack).


That's an optional rule from 2e proposed in the Complete Fighter's Handbook and Combat and Tactics. It's one of the few rules in those books which I would be likely to use again, but I found it to work well. Incidentally, it earned one illusionist PC the moniker "the Lucky" after he held off a warg for half a dozen turns on something like 4 hp.

Personally, I think that it's a good step towards making shields useful - having a shield (or possibly a specific shield feat) could give a free parry attempt each round. That's a huge bonus.

Vorpal word
2009-04-24, 07:19 AM
Made a mistake in my previous post, you don't actually need a feat to riposte, you just need to successfully parry and still have parry attempts left.

As for holding off unarmed/natural attacks, you can do that with the right weapon. If a monster tries to claw you, you could deflect its arm away with a club or polearm. If necessary I might install a feat that lets you parry natural attacks. And unarmed attacks can be blocked by unarmed parries.

Feat: Improved Parry

Get a +1 on parry/riposte attempts.

Your comments please!

lesser_minion
2009-04-24, 07:36 AM
I'd suggest making it harder to parry incoming attacks without using manufactured weapons - that might go some way towards making manufactured weaponry a little better.

Faulty
2009-04-24, 11:29 AM
And unarmed attacks can be blocked by unarmed parries.

This makes sense, actually, but I think only people with Imp. Unarmed Strike should be capable of it.


Feat: Improved Parry

Get a +1 on parry/riposte attempts.

Your comments please!

You should make it scale. One thing D&D 3.5 and it's offshoots and revisions really needs is more scaling feats (a la Manyshot). Maybe you get a +1 on parry/riposte attempts for every 5 points of BAB, or equal to half your Dex modifier.

There should be a definite minus when trying to parry with improvised weapons without a feat that lets you use them effectively.

Vorpal word
2009-04-24, 06:05 PM
Returning to classes, what I'd like to do is incorporate a sort of enlarged version of 4e "builds".

As an example, here are the fighter builds:

-Weapons Master: Weapon specialist. Gets free weapon focus and bonuses with one weapon type, additional bonuses with a particular weapon.

-Destroyer: Tank. AC and hp bonuses but lower attack bonus. Uses stances.

Just to balance things out, wizard builds:

-Sorcerer: Spontaneous caster. Lots of spells and more at-will ability, but less power.

-Arcane Student: Prepares spells. Fewer attacks, but much more powerful.

If you wish to offer suggestions for other classes, or to simply change the names to something better, feel free :smallbiggrin:

Faulty
2009-04-24, 06:12 PM
-Weapons Master: Weapon specialist. Gets free weapon focus and bonuses with one weapon type, additional bonuses with a particular weapon.

Bit of a shameless plug here, but you might want to look at my Fighter varient (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=110023). I also suggest looking at the Pathfinder Fighter, who influenced mine. You could also get some inspiration from the Exotic Weapon Expert from CW. You might also want to look at the Ultimate Classes (http://www.liquidmateria.info/wiki/index.php?title=Ultimate_Classes).

Lord Loss
2009-04-25, 05:31 AM
In the spirit of D&D 3.75 (Huzzah!) I think we should take a page from yet another Wotc Game... MAGICTHEGATHERING! A few cool abilities that could become class feautures or racial Abilities. For Instance:

Lizardfolk

+2 Str -2 Cha -2 Wis

Magic Keyword: Wither

D&D Application: Tough Hide: whenever this creature is dealt damage during melee, it deals damage to the opponent equal to its constitution score.

Other Example

Magic Keyword: Persist

D&D Application : Persistant Fiath: Cleric or Paladin Class Feature (High Level)

(1/day) If this character's Hp would become -9 or lower his life total instead becomes 10. Use this ability Once/day.

:smallbiggrin: If You Like This Please say so i will give more ideas :smallbiggrin:

Faulty
2009-04-25, 10:18 AM
D&D Application: Tough Hide: whenever this creature is dealt damage during melee, it deals damage to the opponent equal to its constitution score.

That's a tad much, don't you think?

imp_fireball
2009-04-25, 11:12 AM
Things I would borrow from 4E:

*Giving monsters levels instead of challenge ratings. CRs can be very misleading.


This is probably the most important point that needs to be cleared up quickly - Monsters already have levels. How else do you create ECL?

ECL is incredibly important because it allows character scaling. Thus, anybody and anything can participate in an adventure. Have lots of hp because your guy is made of iron? Higher ECL.

Have psychokinetic capability that you can manifest at will as an immediate action and (because you have an augmented template or whatever) does not cost power points and yet you are weak physically? Level adjustment.

Have a character with 200 STR that can only move up to 10ft./round and is limited to one attack instead of much much more for someone of his level (compared to the other adventurers)? Level adjustment or higher ECL (whatever the rules lawyers work out).

CR is fine as it is. But if you're talking about calculating CR for creatures that you are creating, then that's a different story.

----
Anyway....

Here's my advice.

- Basically, have some people work together (with plenty of input from the greater community) fishing out decent homebrew; this includes subtle changes to existing things that are illogical (in a non-magical non-extraordinary way) and stupid for otherwise existing or include non-clarified rules in 3.5 - ie. The fact that creatures larger than medium can only take 5 foot steps.

- You could also include interesting homebrew like d20 baseball

- Maybe invent a few things along the way (with approval from the community), like rules for technology (and its advancement) or battlefield or domain

- I don't think it's necessary to merge things like skills, since the idea here would be to encourage growth of the game (the simple act of merging skills gives people the impression of "Oh this isn't the same, I'm not familiar with this.", which isn't necessarily what you want is it? Although if you really want to, you could include half-feats (which would basically just be a compilation of all the existing feats that are too sucky to exist in their current forms).

- It's also not all that great of an idea to make existing classes more powerful than they already are. It could change a lot of other external factors (the GM suddenly needs to buff up existing creatures, ie.). It serves no purpose and it still leaves new players to the system with the same thoughts as above ("This says its 'updated', but its different"). The focus here is growth on the existing rules, not new stuff sewn into the existing structure.

- Include rulebooks and supplements that you think are balanced and go together quite well

Slap it all together and BAM! 3.75 D&D. :P

I imagine giving this the title '3.75' indicates a drastic change, followed up by a pretty pdf file with many additions. I'm sure what I've listed would be drastic enough. Really, I'd like to see growth of the game rather than a changing of the basic fundamentals. Essentially, what WotC should have done with 4ed - of course, the prospect of switching markets to a more ADD audience is hard to turn down; I can sorta see it from that angle (if I turn my head awkwardly enough).

Faulty
2009-04-25, 11:27 AM
Merging skills is IMO a good thing. Like merging listen, search and spot into perception or something. It doesn't gut the game, it stream lines it.

imp_fireball
2009-04-25, 11:33 AM
No... I'm pretty sure it guts the game.

See, for all the variables that could occur on a listen, the GM still has to consider the conditions. A perception suddenly becomes a 'listen' regardless, and it involves all the same external factors (ie. stone walls). The player still has to tell the GM what kind of perception they're making ("I wanna hear somebody" for example).

Effectively, the GM just has a longer list to look through depending on the 'type' of perception instead of simply considering it listen and making it separate.

Under the same rules, you'd have to give classes less skill points to balance things out and 'stream line' it as you say.

Under the same mindset, you may as well merge all skills that have the same attribute - merge all int scores for example.

For players new to roleplaying, it potentially limits character personality as well. It's like lawful stupid paladins - which is no way the fault of mechanics, but the books saying that paladins must be undeniably LG.

Faulty
2009-04-25, 11:52 AM
Under the same mindset, you may as well merge all skills that have the same attribute - merge all int scores for example.

That's a bit asinine. Anyway, it really does not seem that hard to adjust for, say, dim light when rolling perception to see something. It's one thing I really like about Pathfinder.

InaVegt
2009-04-25, 12:02 PM
No... I'm pretty sure it guts the game.

See, for all the variables that could occur on a listen, the GM still has to consider the conditions. A perception suddenly becomes a 'listen' regardless, and it involves all the same external factors (ie. stone walls). The player still has to tell the GM what kind of perception they're making ("I wanna hear somebody" for example).

Effectively, the GM just has a longer list to look through depending on the 'type' of perception instead of simply considering it listen and making it separate.

Under the same rules, you'd have to give classes less skill points to balance things out and 'stream line' it as you say.

Under the same mindset, you may as well merge all skills that have the same attribute - merge all int scores for example.

For players new to roleplaying, it potentially limits character personality as well. It's like lawful stupid paladins - which is no way the fault of mechanics, but the books saying that paladins must be undeniably LG.

But how about the perceptional things that aren't spot or listen?

What if someone has poisoned your drink, and the poison is detectable by taste fast enough to save yourself.

What if there's this hint of fire in the smell of the air? Difficult enough to detect to be worth a check, easy enough to detect it ain't needing the scent ability.

lesser_minion
2009-04-25, 12:02 PM
Merging skills doesn't do much damage - it can streamline areas of the game, and it seems to make sense to merge all of the skills that are generally used to accomplish the same objective, unless you're merging across abilities (i.e. merging Open Lock with Sleight of Hand to make Theiving is fine, but merging Open Lock with Disable Device is bad).

That also includes Spot and Listen - they both relate to a character's awareness of their surroundings, and it also makes sense for a character to become less likely to notice something that doesn't want to be noticed while their hearing or vision is impaired.

On the flip side, however, I would prefer to see Bluff broken up - I don't like the rules for feinting in combat, as they make more sense in the 3.x system as a class feature or other trait - and I would like to see a new skill related to not arousing suspicion when an observer notices you - a task which should not take into account your character's charisma.

Vorpal word
2009-04-25, 02:03 PM
Bit of a shameless plug here, but you might want to look at my Fighter varient. I also suggest looking at the Pathfinder Fighter, who influenced mine. You could also get some inspiration from the Exotic Weapon Expert from CW. You might also want to look at the Ultimate Classes.

That fighter variant is excellent, but perhaps a little too powerful. The +2d8 first strike and the fact that the fighter still gets the same number of feats can just push it over the edge. So to say, it's a great outline... for a 4e class :-)

But if the first strike is reduced (say, +2 damage instead of extra dice) and there are about half as many feats as usual, it should be fine. Remember, fighters still get level-up feats, so that's still a lot. In fact, still not great from a balance perspective, but turning feats into class features a la 4e might be overbalancing.

The way I'm doing it, one of the fighter builds is armor based, and the other is weapon based, so this helps with both.

So, here's my proposition:

Fighter (Weapons Master)

Hit Die: d12

Class Skills: Athletics, Intimidate, Craft (weapons), Ride. (Haven't decided how skills will work yet so this may change).

Level 1: +1 BAB, +2 Fort, +0 Ref, +0 Will, Weapon Specialist +1 (Pick from polearm, light blade, heavy blade, axe, mace, hammer/pick, flail, or spear; +1/4 levels bonus on attacks with group)

Level 2: +2 BAB, +3 Fort, +0 Ref, +0 Will, Bonus feat (weapon focus, two-weapon fighting, or combat reflexes)

Level 3: +3 BAB, +3 Fort, +1 Ref, +1 Will, Dire Strike 1/day (x3 weapon damage on hit)

Level 4: +4 BAB, +4 Fort, +1 Ref, +1 Will, Bonus feat (same selection as level 2)

Level 5: +5 BAB, +4 Fort, +1 Ref, +1 Will, Weapon Specialist +2, Favored Weapon (Pick one melee weapon from your specialist group, gain free Weapon Specialization with this weapon)

Level 6: +6 BAB, +5 Fort, +2 Ref, +2 Will, Dire strike 2/day

Level 7: +7 BAB, +5 Fort, +2 Ref, +2 Will, Bonus feat (two-weapon defense, mobility, or improved two-weapon fighting)

Level 8: +8 BAB, +6 Fort, +2 Ref, +2 Will, Evasion (as rogue)

Level 9: +9 BAB, +6 Fort, +3 Ref, +3 Will, Bonus feat (same selection as level 7), Weapon Specialist +3

Level 10: +10 BAB, +7 Fort, +3 Ref, +3 Will, Great Favored Weapon (Favored weapon gains free Greater Weapon Focus)

Level 11: +11 BAB, +7 Fort, +3 Ref, +3 Will, Dire Strike 3/day

Level 12: +12 BAB, +8 Fort, +4 Ref, +4 Will, Bonus Feat (Improved Sunder, Improved Disarm, Improved Trip, Improved Parry [see previous posts], Improved Feint, or Greater Two-Weapon Fighting; [NOTE: Feinting is now a move action, and Improved Feint makes it a minor action])

Level 13: +13 BAB, +8 Fort, +4 Ref, +4 Will, Weapon Specialist +4

Level 14: +14 BAB, +9 Fort, +4 Ref, +4 Will, Bonus Feat (same selection as level 12)

Level 15: +15 BAB, +9 Fort, +5 Ref, +5 Will, Favored Weapon Bond (Favored weapon gains free Greater Weapon Specialization)

Level 16: +16 BAB, +10 Fort, +5 Ref, +5 Will, Improved Evasion (as rogue)

Level 17: +17 BAB, +10 Fort, +5 Ref, +5 Will, Bonus Feat (Spring Attack, Ride-By Attack, or Whirlwind Attack), Weapon Specialist+5

Level 18: +18 BAB, +11 Fort, +6 Ref, +6 Will, Mighty Blow (Favored Weapon critical multiplier increases by one step [x2-x3-x4-x5])

Level 19: +19 BAB, +11 Fort, +6 Ref, +6 Will, Bonus Feat (same selection as Level 17)

Level 20: +20 BAB, +12 Fort, +6 Ref, +6 Will, Favored Weapon Mastery (Favored Weapon gains free Improved Critical)

I don't know, is this too powerful or underpowered? There are no weak levels to be seen. All comments will be appreciated.

Faulty
2009-04-25, 02:20 PM
I think you should let the Fighter keep the wide list of feats. It allows him to complete feat chains and get strings of feat abilities that many classes don't get a chance to complete or follow.

I took the first level bonus feat away, thanks for the suggestion. Also, +2d8 at 9th, +4d8 at 17th and +5d10 at 20 doesn't seem too bad, and it's only on the leading attack. Any other suggestions?

EDIT: Why not let a Fighter choose between being dex based or str based at level 1? If he chooses the former, he gets good Reflex saves and Evasion; if he chooses the latter, he gets good Fortitude saves and Mettle.

Hadrian_Emrys
2009-04-26, 12:29 AM
In my own .75 project, there is no full round attack action. Instead, you can shift/move/double-move as normal, attacking as often as you are able whenever you like, during your movement (if you opt to move at all). This way, front liners can get some Dynasty/Samurai Warriors action going on. With feats that scale with BAB/level, my Fighters are actually worth having in the party after level 2.

Faulty
2009-04-26, 06:05 AM
I have an alternate suggestion, if you don't want to do that. Keep full-round attacks, but make a scaling feat that's basically a melee version of Manyshot, with a flat -2 penalty, as opposed to a scaling penalty the more arrows you shoot, because meleers have to move to the target, while archers can fire from up to 110 feet away, disregarding Far Shot and other such things.

imp_fireball
2009-04-26, 06:06 AM
It would be nice if just once, a new edition didn't involve people taking their own artistic liberty on the entire game itself.

Merging open locks and sleight of hand and calling it thieving? Making feint class specific? That doesn't even make sense. You're only construing the game and making things less flexible for experienced GMs.

I strongly encourage you not to modify the core rules or existing classes, since it will only sour up everything else. Trust me. All it takes is a little wisdom to realize this.

No, really.

I think the purpose of this project should just be to merge good rules, create unofficial touch ups to a few things that were left out, encourage creativity on the behalf of new GMs, encourage the fact that literally any setting can be expressed through the system itself a little better than what 3.5 did (since 3.5's content kinda says, "oh this is for fantasy feudal ages where only equivalent millionaires can afford water clocks, so...").

It would also be nice if it could be tidied up into a nice collection of unofficial pdf files and distributed conveniently enough that other people will see the system.

The inclusion of this sort of thing could mean people expressing a more open mindset on the creation of their own settings (now that they see that 'anything is possible' or at least 'more things are possible').

Heck, people can still call it 3.5 - only the documentation would unofficially coin itself as '3.75' just because it offers inclusion on everything. I'd prefer to look at it as a 'drastic inclusion to the system' rather than a 'drastic change'.


Why not let a Fighter choose between being dex based or str based at level 1? If he chooses the former, he gets good Reflex saves and Evasion; if he chooses the latter, he gets good Fortitude saves and Mettle.

Why not have that for your own fighter?

I like your fighter better. Why? Because it attempts to balance itself out with the other classes while providing itself to be even more flexible (or at least with the dex/str based builds).

---------
Also, taste and smell aren't race specific (though they can be). It's usually at GM discretion whether or not a character can smell or taste something. There's also caution. I'd probably just make those sorts of things sense motive.

Djinn_in_Tonic
2009-04-26, 06:21 AM
It would be nice if just once, a new edition didn't involve people taking their own artistic liberty on the entire game itself.

Merging open locks and sleight of hand and calling it thieving? Making feint class specific? That doesn't even make sense. You're only construing the game and making things less flexible for experienced GMs.

I strongly encourage you not to modify the core rules or existing classes, since it will only sour up everything else. Trust me. All it takes is a little wisdom to realize this.

No, really.

I think the purpose of this project should just be to merge good rules, create unofficial touch ups to a few things that were left out, encourage creativity on the behalf of new GMs, encourage the fact that literally any setting can be expressed through the system itself a little better than what 3.5 did (since 3.5's content kinda says, "oh this is for fantasy feudal ages where only equivalent millionaires can afford water clocks, so...").

Not modify the core rules or existing classes? That's hardly a revision of the system then, is it (this is an honest question)? Especially since comparisons have shown that that is indeed where the problem is. Things like Polymorph are just to good, flat out. The Druid is entirely superior to the fighter (except possible at the one trick which the fighter spends all his feats to excel at), if the Druid is well built. The Samurai is incredibly weak, and the Trunamer isn't even half component until min/maxed.

The best revisions I've seen have taken this and balanced it across the board. I have no problem with you disagreeing, but your stance of "Trust Me. All it takes is a little wisdom to realize this" quite frankly offends me. My opinion is unwise and uninformed because I happen to think that universal class balance, or at least some nod in that direction, is a thing to be desired? I know the game CAN work as written, but if it is incredibly easy to throw off that delicate balance by having a single player powergame an already powerful class, something isn't working properly (IMHO). Why constrain ourselves to using only existing rules if something elegant can be created in their place? For a given definition of elegant, I suppose: I happen to approve of many of the ideas I've seen on such threads, you disagree. Can we simply agree to disagree without insulting each others opinions, please?

That said, if you can accomplish what you want to see in a manner that removes my grief with the class imbalance, I'd absolutely love to take a look. :smallbiggrin:

lesser_minion
2009-04-26, 07:50 AM
It would be nice if just once, a new edition didn't involve people taking their own artistic liberty on the entire game itself.

Merging open locks and sleight of hand and calling it thieving? Making feint class specific? That doesn't even make sense. You're only construing the game and making things less flexible for experienced GMs.

Also, taste and smell aren't race specific (though they can be). It's usually at GM discretion whether or not a character can smell or taste something. There's also caution. I'd probably just make those sorts of things sense motive.

I do not see how removing feinting in combat from the list of applications of the bluff skill and replacing it with a feat or class feature can cause problems. At the moment, martial characters are denied access to a combat tactic with which they should be about as familiar as it gets just because the designers decided that fighters were unsocial and then made the tactic into an application of a social skill.

At the same time, the same characters are also some of the easiest to hit with a feint (which is opposed by Sense Motive), which makes even less sense than them not being able to use the tactic in the first place.

I would also change the effects of a successful feint so that it is used for something more than just "I get sneak attack/combat advantage".

Merging Open Lock with Sleight of Hand and calling the end result 'Theiving' is much harder to justify, but both skills imply a similar level of fine-tuned hand-eye co-ordination. They are also both commonly associated with stealing things, and I think that the skill list does need some streamlining. It's one of the few cutbacks that I wouldn't mind, hence the suggestion.

Dracomortis
2009-04-26, 12:35 PM
Merging Open Lock with Sleight of Hand and calling the end result 'Theiving' is much harder to justify, but both skills imply a similar level of fine-tuned hand-eye co-ordination. They are also both commonly associated with stealing things, and I think that the skill list does need some streamlining. It's one of the few cutbacks that I wouldn't mind, hence the suggestion.

Why not change Open Lock into an application of Disable Device? It always seemed rather silly to have a skill whose sole purpose is picking locks, and Disable Device even lists jamming a lock as one of its sample uses.

lesser_minion
2009-04-26, 01:18 PM
Why not change Open Lock into an application of Disable Device? It always seemed rather silly to have a skill whose sole purpose is picking locks, and Disable Device even lists jamming a lock as one of its sample uses.

The problem is that the only reason to merge skills with different key abilities is if you can see a justification for changing the ability associated with one of them. You should never tie a task to a specific ability if there is another ability that fits the bill better.

I know a lot of people disagree with me here, but I think Disable Device makes the most sense tied to Int, because it should be mostly about analysing a system, figuring out how it works, and working out how best to bypass or disable it. Sabotaging a chariot chassis to disintegrate at high speed has more to do with figuring out which parts to break - and how to do it without someone spotting it - than some feat of manual dexterity.

So unless you can justify tying Open Lock to Int, I don't see how merging them is justified, even though I'm pretty much at a loss to figure out what else to do with it (apart from merging it with the other classic 'theif skill').

Dracomortis
2009-04-26, 01:45 PM
The problem is that the only reason to merge skills with different key abilities is if you can see a justification for changing the ability associated with one of them. You should never tie a task to a specific ability if there is another ability that fits the bill better.

I know a lot of people disagree with me here, but I think Disable Device makes the most sense tied to Int, because it should be mostly about analysing a system, figuring out how it works, and working out how best to bypass or disable it. Sabotaging a chariot chassis to disintegrate at high speed has more to do with figuring out which parts to break - and how to do it without someone spotting it - than some feat of manual dexterity.

So unless you can justify tying Open Lock to Int, I don't see how merging them is justified, even though I'm pretty much at a loss to figure out what else to do with it (apart from merging it with the other classic 'theif skill').

A lock is (or rather, can be) just as complicated as any other mechanical device. While it might require a degree of dexterity to accomplish - you certainly can't accomplish it if you don't have the ability to manipulate very fine tools - but all the finesse in the world is useless if you don't have the proper timing and/or the knowledge of which parts of the lock need to be manipulated and in what order. Thus, I don't have any problem visualizing Open Lock requiring Intelligence instead of Dexterity, especially not when it's compared alongside Disable Device - a complex mechanical trap undoubtedly has many small parts that need to be tinkered with, but Disable Device relies on your ability to reason the problem out.

This is, of course, merely a matter of personal opinion and how one chooses to view the feat that is being attempted with each skill - many skills could potentially be viewed as using different key attributes. It may also be a bit irrelevant in the end, as imp_fireball has so far expressed that he does not wish to combine any of the skills, which again is merely a matter of personal choice.

lesser_minion
2009-04-26, 01:54 PM
I guess you have a point. I still find it much harder to imagine lockpicking as something requiring analysis and calculation than disable device.

Godskook
2009-04-26, 03:15 PM
Here's a thought:

Instead of requiring one ability score always and all the time, make the it a player's choice, with each choice having different virtues. For instance, roll open lock and disable device into one skill, which untrained players can only use as a strength check, but a success always breaks the device. Training allows someone to add their int or dex, maybe at different ranks(one at first rank, the other at say 5th). Using int prevents the device triggering(traps) or being broken in the worst way(lock won't ever open). Using Dex allows a reflex save to prevent an unhappy outcome on a failed check. Eventually, a player might be allowed to add multiple scores to the check, giving opportunity for skills that have less dead ranks in them.

Another example, an untrained jump check uses strength, but right now, you fall prone unless you beat the check by 5. Maybe training allows you to add dex instead, but a dex-only jump is less powerful, reducing your maximum jump distance, but ensuring you don't fall prone, unless you fail the save by 5 or more.

Anyways, just a thought.

Faulty
2009-04-26, 04:46 PM
Why not have that for your own fighter?

I like your fighter better. Why? Because it attempts to balance itself out with the other classes while providing itself to be even more flexible (or at least with the dex/str based builds).

pbwjekgtfewfak

Why didn't I think of that? I'm such a space cadet. @[email protected]

Vorpal word
2009-04-26, 05:15 PM
Here's a thought:

Instead of requiring one ability score always and all the time, make the it a player's choice, with each choice having different virtues. For instance, roll open lock and disable device into one skill, which untrained players can only use as a strength check, but a success always breaks the device. Training allows someone to add their int or dex, maybe at different ranks(one at first rank, the other at say 5th). Using int prevents the device triggering(traps) or being broken in the worst way(lock won't ever open). Using Dex allows a reflex save to prevent an unhappy outcome on a failed check. Eventually, a player might be allowed to add multiple scores to the check, giving opportunity for skills that have less dead ranks in them.

Another example, an untrained jump check uses strength, but right now, you fall prone unless you beat the check by 5. Maybe training allows you to add dex instead, but a dex-only jump is less powerful, reducing your maximum jump distance, but ensuring you don't fall prone, unless you fail the save by 5 or more.

Anyways, just a thought.

I was just about to say the same thing. If they allowed alternating abilities for defenses (a feature which I'm keeping for saves), then why not use it for skills as well? And that strength-based open lock/disable device check just seems like something that should be there; after all, even the dumbest orc can break a trap with enough strength and a large hammer.


Why not have that for your own fighter?

I like your fighter better. Why? Because it attempts to balance itself out with the other classes while providing itself to be even more flexible (or at least with the dex/str based builds).

Which fighter are you referring to?

I have a small local group helping me with the system, we'll be posting more stuff in the future. In terms of feats, I plan to make it more level-based, basically turning toughness into improved toughness (1 hp/level vs 3 hp flat). The same will be done most likely for other underpowered feats, ie. weapon focus (although I'm not actually sure about that one). Please post anything that might help with building it.


It would be nice if just once, a new edition didn't involve people taking their own artistic liberty on the entire game itself.

Merging open locks and sleight of hand and calling it thieving? Making feint class specific? That doesn't even make sense. You're only construing the game and making things less flexible for experienced GMs.

I strongly encourage you not to modify the core rules or existing classes, since it will only sour up everything else. Trust me. All it takes is a little wisdom to realize this.

No, really.

I think the purpose of this project should just be to merge good rules, create unofficial touch ups to a few things that were left out, encourage creativity on the behalf of new GMs, encourage the fact that literally any setting can be expressed through the system itself a little better than what 3.5 did (since 3.5's content kinda says, "oh this is for fantasy feudal ages where only equivalent millionaires can afford water clocks, so...").

The reason I called this system 3.75 was because I'm planning to combine the best aspects of 3.5 and 4.0 (with maybe a few from older editions or very [key word very] successful homebrews). Aspects, not just rules. That means classes will have to be balanced out, but not overbalanced like in 4e. What I'm looking for mainly is balance between divine and arcane casters and between casters and fighting classes. If you would like a variant that includes only changes to base rules, not actual classes or game material, you'll have to look for a different system.

Faulty
2009-04-26, 05:57 PM
He was referring to my Fighter varient.

Haarkla
2009-04-26, 06:23 PM
Things I would borrow from 4E:

* Allowing players to put one of two ability bonuses to their saves (int or dex to reflex, for example)


In my opinion this is the single worst rule change from 3.5 to 4e. It makes no sense either realism or gameplay wise. Stephen Hawking would have one of the best reflex saves on the planet! Using strength for fortitude saves makes it too important vis a vis other abilities, and their is little advantage in giving a high intelligence wizard a good dexterity score.

Vorpal word
2009-04-27, 05:02 PM
In my opinion this is the single worst rule change from 3.5 to 4e. It makes no sense either realism or gameplay wise. Stephen Hawking would have one of the best reflex saves on the planet! Using strength for fortitude saves makes it too important vis a vis other abilities, and their is little advantage in giving a high intelligence wizard a good dexterity score.

Nonsense, Stephen Hawking has a permanent condition that has reduced his Dexterity to 0. As a result, he cannot move (it's in the v3.5 rules), therefore he automatically fails reflex saves, even though he has an Intelligence of 20-something.

Overall, I think that two abilities do make sense. When making an Intelligence Reflex Save, the character sees the attack coming and can move away in time, whereas a Dex-based Reflex save relies on lightning-fast reaction. If a character makes a Fortitude save to, for example, avoid a disease, there are two ways of doing so: Good health (Constitution), or "Toughing it out" where the character is strong enough to ignore the condition (Strength). And Will is dictated by Wisdom (awareness of others) and Charisma (awareness of self) almost equally, so there's no arguing about it.

The one thing you might be correct about is that after these adjustments the abilities and/or saves may need to be renamed... :smallbiggrin:

Faulty
2009-04-27, 08:04 PM
When making an Intelligence Reflex Save, the character sees the attack coming and can move away in time

Spot is a Wis check. :smallbiggrin:

Godskook
2009-04-27, 10:55 PM
I was just about to say the same thing. If they allowed alternating abilities for defenses (a feature which I'm keeping for saves), then why not use it for skills as well? And that strength-based open lock/disable device check just seems like something that should be there; after all, even the dumbest orc can break a trap with enough strength and a large hammer.

Well, I was suggesting going a little bit further, giving well trained players(15 ranks or more) the ability to add 2 or more ability scores to the same check.

--------------------------

On a different note, one of the things that irks me about D&D is that 'epic' is L20(Or broken on crack, as some like to call it). Coming in as a gamer from video game RPGs, this always seemed horribly out of place to me. To me, a L20 character is competent and experienced, but not anything outside of the local believability. You need to set down a firm idea of how powerful a level X character is considered to be, and my preference would be to double the current standard, lore-wise(I.e., a 3.75 L20 character would have the same social status as a L10 would in 3.5). This would open up an opportunity to balance current classes some without any serious re-tooling. Just say that spell casters gain new spell levels every 4th level instead of every 2nd(roughly). Class features or extra low-level spell slots can be used to compensate in a way, making casters more reliable characters instead of the bazooka troopers they are now(limited ammo, highly destructive).

Also, it bugs me that only casters and rogues seem to have an 'always advancing' class feature. I.e., any caster can take a prestige class, and the core-spellcasting of the original caster is left entirely intact. Rogues have classes that advance SA dice just as fast as in their base class. It'd be nice if 'class' was divided into subcategories, with each being balanced separately. I.e., one category would be capability level. For casters, this doubles as their caster level(for using spell slots and such), for a martial character, it would be something else. Point is, an associated prestige class must always fully advance a class's capability level. That way, they're easier to balance, and removes a very confusing part of current spellcasting prestige classes(why a full-caster prestige class doesn't fully progress spellcasting).

PairO'Dice Lost
2009-04-28, 12:37 AM
On a different note, one of the things that irks me about D&D is that 'epic' is L20(Or broken on crack, as some like to call it). Coming in as a gamer from video game RPGs, this always seemed horribly out of place to me. To me, a L20 character is competent and experienced, but not anything outside of the local believability. You need to set down a firm idea of how powerful a level X character is considered to be, and my preference would be to double the current standard, lore-wise(I.e., a 3.75 L20 character would have the same social status as a L10 would in 3.5).

If you take a look at damage, the skill system, and other aspects of 3e, it works out that the paragons of achievement in real life work out to about level 5. In that context, level 20 being epic means that your basic adventurer is 4 times as tough, skilled, and otherwise competent as your average person, and due to exponential class progression and gear is probably a match for a few hundred low-level opponents.

Drolyt
2009-04-28, 03:51 AM
Well I'm working on my own version of 3.75, so I find threads like these very useful for brainstorming and whatnot. In that vein I believe it is only right that I help to contribute to what you are doing. Here are my thoughts on some of the points raised in this thread:

Classes: I like your new class list, kind of. I don't think any of the core 3.5 classes should be left out, they all represent an iconic role. I don't agree with the poster that says major changes shouldn't be made; all the classes need to be rebalanced and be made more unique. Fighter and Sorcerer in particular need the most work, since they aren't really unique right now. I also like the idea of giving every class a capstone ability. As for the other classes you suggested, Knight isn't really necessary, but Psion, Warlock, and Psychic Warrior all fill iconic roles and should be kept. Whether or not to keep Warmage I don't know; the arcane striker is filled fine by Warlock and Sorcerer, but you listed the class as a hybrid, and I think the class would be great as a sort of knight with blaster powers. Finally I think something like the Tomb of Battle's Swordsage would be nice, like a magical version of the Fighter in the vein of Wuxia and fighting Anime.

Races: I disagree with keeping stat penalties, for at least four reasons. First, penalties tend to limit you in what classes you can take. For example, making Dwarves less powerful Sorcerers than say Dragonborn makes sense, but they should still be able to play the class decently. Secondly, penalties are harder to balance than bonuses. The reason is something along these lines: a +2 to Int is about equal to a +2 Con, because both are generally useful, the Int gives a small bonuses to everyone and a huge bonus to Wizards, while Con gives a substantial but not amazing boost to everyone. However a -2 Int is not comparable to a -2 Con, since only Wizards are terribly hurt by -2 Int but no one with a -2 Int will play a Wizard, but everyone will suffer from a -2 Con. This problem is most apparent with Con but also shows up in other cases such as a bonus to Dexterity and a penalty to Strength or the reverse. Most melee classes, including the Rogue, will find this limiting because the class should have both, and would probably have been better off with no bonuses or penalties. But out comes the Wizard, who has no use for Strength but loves Dex, and suddenly Halflings make better Wizards than Rogues. Third, I don't like the roleplaying ramifications. What if I want a personable Dwarf? Just because I was born a Dwarf I can't be an exception and be an exceptionally friendly Dwarf? Or what if my Half-Orc is the son of a great scholar? Maybe my Halfing lifts lots of weights, or my Elf is more Tolkienesque and isn't so darn frail (I really don't know why Elves are frail to begin with). Finally, and related to point one and three, is that with most score alocation systems it is easier to downplay a bonus than to remove a penalty. With rolling your highest score normally goes into your key ability, but with a penalty the highest it could be is 16, and more likely less than 15. On the other hand if your bonus goes to a dump stat big deal, your 8 is now a 10, this is usually at least mildly beneficial anyway. The same goes for point buy, but more so: say you want a 16 in your most important stat, to make up for a -2 doesn't cost a mere two points, it costs 6! As a side note, I don't really have an opinion on what races to include, since each group can decide what does or does not exist in their campaign.

Skills: Most definitely need to be compressed. As for picking locks, it really doesn't require much Dexterity in real life. It IS very difficult, not the simple task you see in movies (assuming the DnD world has advanced mechanical locks; pre 18th century locks shouldn't even require a skill), and your hands need to be steady, but it definitely requires more knowledge than anything.

Full-Attack: This was mentioned somewhere, but I definitely think that Full-Attack should be a standard action, and that fighters should be able to move between attacks, and I also think that there should be alternate ways of attacking for melee characters besides just attacking more quickly, like Tomb of Battle, although I don't think Fighters should use the maneuver/stance system per se. I also think that the base attack bonus nonsense should be done away with: every character should receive their full level to attacks with weapons they are proficient with, with non-martial classes receiving VERY limited proficiencies, and only martial classes get multiple iterative attacks, which would be part of their class features, giving more reason to stick with them to 20th level.

Ok, that's all I have. If you don't like any of my other ideas, at least don't keep stat penalties. I really don't think they improve the game in any way.

Vorpal word
2009-04-28, 06:44 AM
Well I'm working on my own version of 3.75, so I find threads like these very useful for brainstorming and whatnot. In that vein I believe it is only right that I help to contribute to what you are doing. Here are my thoughts on some of the points raised in this thread:

Classes: I like your new class list, kind of. I don't think any of the core 3.5 classes should be left out, they all represent an iconic role. I don't agree with the poster that says major changes shouldn't be made; all the classes need to be rebalanced and be made more unique. Fighter and Sorcerer in particular need the most work, since they aren't really unique right now. I also like the idea of giving every class a capstone ability. As for the other classes you suggested, Knight isn't really necessary, but Psion, Warlock, and Psychic Warrior all fill iconic roles and should be kept. Whether or not to keep Warmage I don't know; the arcane striker is filled fine by Warlock and Sorcerer, but you listed the class as a hybrid, and I think the class would be great as a sort of knight with blaster powers. Finally I think something like the Tomb of Battle's Swordsage would be nice, like a magical version of the Fighter in the vein of Wuxia and fighting Anime.

Races: I disagree with keeping stat penalties, for at least four reasons. First, penalties tend to limit you in what classes you can take. For example, making Dwarves less powerful Sorcerers than say Dragonborn makes sense, but they should still be able to play the class decently. Secondly, penalties are harder to balance than bonuses. The reason is something along these lines: a +2 to Int is about equal to a +2 Con, because both are generally useful, the Int gives a small bonuses to everyone and a huge bonus to Wizards, while Con gives a substantial but not amazing boost to everyone. However a -2 Int is not comparable to a -2 Con, since only Wizards are terribly hurt by -2 Int but no one with a -2 Int will play a Wizard, but everyone will suffer from a -2 Con. This problem is most apparent with Con but also shows up in other cases such as a bonus to Dexterity and a penalty to Strength or the reverse. Most melee classes, including the Rogue, will find this limiting because the class should have both, and would probably have been better off with no bonuses or penalties. But out comes the Wizard, who has no use for Strength but loves Dex, and suddenly Halflings make better Wizards than Rogues. Third, I don't like the roleplaying ramifications. What if I want a personable Dwarf? Just because I was born a Dwarf I can't be an exception and be an exceptionally friendly Dwarf? Or what if my Half-Orc is the son of a great scholar? Maybe my Halfing lifts lots of weights, or my Elf is more Tolkienesque and isn't so darn frail (I really don't know why Elves are frail to begin with). Finally, and related to point one and three, is that with most score alocation systems it is easier to downplay a bonus than to remove a penalty. With rolling your highest score normally goes into your key ability, but with a penalty the highest it could be is 16, and more likely less than 15. On the other hand if your bonus goes to a dump stat big deal, your 8 is now a 10, this is usually at least mildly beneficial anyway. The same goes for point buy, but more so: say you want a 16 in your most important stat, to make up for a -2 doesn't cost a mere two points, it costs 6! As a side note, I don't really have an opinion on what races to include, since each group can decide what does or does not exist in their campaign.

Skills: Most definitely need to be compressed. As for picking locks, it really doesn't require much Dexterity in real life. It IS very difficult, not the simple task you see in movies (assuming the DnD world has advanced mechanical locks; pre 18th century locks shouldn't even require a skill), and your hands need to be steady, but it definitely requires more knowledge than anything.

Full-Attack: This was mentioned somewhere, but I definitely think that Full-Attack should be a standard action, and that fighters should be able to move between attacks, and I also think that there should be alternate ways of attacking for melee characters besides just attacking more quickly, like Tomb of Battle, although I don't think Fighters should use the maneuver/stance system per se. I also think that the base attack bonus nonsense should be done away with: every character should receive their full level to attacks with weapons they are proficient with, with non-martial classes receiving VERY limited proficiencies, and only martial classes get multiple iterative attacks, which would be part of their class features, giving more reason to stick with them to 20th level.

Ok, that's all I have. If you don't like any of my other ideas, at least don't keep stat penalties. I really don't think they improve the game in any way.

Thank you for your deatailed and helpful commentary! :)
In response to your suggestions:
Classes: Technically the swordsage you mentioned is filled in by the Warmage and possibly a prestige class like Eldritch Knight (which I will probably give d8 HD if I keep it). What I'm not quite as sure about is how to define classes. You might have seen the Weapons Master Build (it's on the second page), and the main problem is that some classes end up with several radically different builds (ie.fighter, rogue), and some don't. As a result, I'm not sure whether to make the builds separate classes or not.
Sorcerers and other spontaneous casters can be a choice taken at first level by primary casters; you can choose to prepare spells in return for using fewer of them and gaining a power boost to all of them, or cast spontaneously but wind up with a limited repertoire.
Races: The stat bonuses/penalties is something my group is still uncertain about. I was doing this mainly to avoid the overpowered (in my opinion anyway) races in 4e. Perhaps I'll just limit everyone to one bonus and no penalties as a base (but humans still get nothing, since they have the best racial features. More help with that will be appreciated.
Skills: In my opinion, ranks in a skill and not Intelligence represent knowledge of that particular skill. However, I have decided to limit skills to one ability as I am trying to avoid over-complicating the game. If you have further suggestions on exactly what should be combined, please post them.
Full Attack: For a second method of attack, see my parry/riposte posts on the first page. I'm not quite sure how to design any more, or whether they are necessary. Right now I think my main problem is feats, which could provide new attack methods if needed.

Faulty
2009-04-28, 10:58 AM
I also like the idea of giving every class a capstone ability.

THIS, THIS, THIS! Whenever I even vaguely consider making a class, one of the first things I think of is the capstone. It's less necessary for full spell casting classes, as 9th level spells are often a cap, but I think an interesting cap is almost always necessary. It also gives real incentive to actually take a base class to 20.

Hadrian_Emrys
2009-04-28, 11:20 AM
Going back to the idea of stacking templates, I'd actually look at stat mods NOT being attached to race so much as a character's personal talents. In this manner, race is a role play element as opposed to a "roll play" one.

One again though, my own .75 project is a point buy system that is devoid of classes. The feel is different, but it allows people to be able to do what they want to do without fluff literal players getting butthurt over a barbarian/monk or a CG "assassin".

Godskook
2009-04-28, 11:54 AM
If you take a look at damage, the skill system, and other aspects of 3e, it works out that the paragons of achievement in real life work out to about level 5. In that context, level 20 being epic means that your basic adventurer is 4 times as tough, skilled, and otherwise competent as your average person, and due to exponential class progression and gear is probably a match for a few hundred low-level opponents.

You'd stat Jackie Chan and Jet Li at level 5? They move faster than a standard camera can cope with. Level 5, huh? So the record setting ~1000lbs bench press is level 5. Harry Houdini? I'm not buying it. Maybe some aspects cap out at level 5, but on the whole, I suspect there are achievements in D&D that are above level 5 that are still realistically doable by a real-life human. Admittedly, I'm using martial examples, but I also suggested slowing down non-martial classes. Also, part of the problem is that some things, like armor, start out at the pinnacle of realistic achievement. I mean, every level 1 adventurer could be walking around with a masterwork weapon. D&D is the only game I can think of that allows that kind of non-realism. Intentionally raising epic to a higher level gives more room for mundane achievements without having to one-up 9th level spells at level 17. Magic weaponry might not be available to a party until they reach level 15, giving way to realistic npc production classes such as a level 7 blacksmith or a level 10 armorer without such guys needing to balance against spellcasters who can cast 4th or 5th level spells. Essentially, I'm suggesting to open up the bottom end of the design space to make room in a D&D setting for non-adventurerers who've actually attained more than level 1 commoner, without turning into these level 5 paragons of human reality you claim level the current level 5 to be.

lesser_minion
2009-04-28, 12:07 PM
There is actually an essay (http://www.thealexandrian.net/creations/misc/d&d-calibrating.html) on the Alexandrian about the whole level 5 thing.

The 3rd edition game even spells out the fact that somebody with 10 ranks in a skill can do things which are 'practically impossible', which may as well mean 'beyond the capabilities of any real individual'.

Drolyt
2009-04-28, 01:48 PM
Thank you for your deatailed and helpful commentary! :)
In response to your suggestions:
Classes: Technically the swordsage you mentioned is filled in by the Warmage and possibly a prestige class like Eldritch Knight (which I will probably give d8 HD if I keep it). What I'm not quite as sure about is how to define classes. You might have seen the Weapons Master Build (it's on the second page), and the main problem is that some classes end up with several radically different builds (ie.fighter, rogue), and some don't. As a result, I'm not sure whether to make the builds separate classes or not.
Sorcerers and other spontaneous casters can be a choice taken at first level by primary casters; you can choose to prepare spells in return for using fewer of them and gaining a power boost to all of them, or cast spontaneously but wind up with a limited repertoire.
Races: The stat bonuses/penalties is something my group is still uncertain about. I was doing this mainly to avoid the overpowered (in my opinion anyway) races in 4e. Perhaps I'll just limit everyone to one bonus and no penalties as a base (but humans still get nothing, since they have the best racial features. More help with that will be appreciated.
Skills: In my opinion, ranks in a skill and not Intelligence represent knowledge of that particular skill. However, I have decided to limit skills to one ability as I am trying to avoid over-complicating the game. If you have further suggestions on exactly what should be combined, please post them.
Full Attack: For a second method of attack, see my parry/riposte posts on the first page. I'm not quite sure how to design any more, or whether they are necessary. Right now I think my main problem is feats, which could provide new attack methods if needed.

For the classes, I agree its hard to decide how many to keep, with several people trying to trim it down to four or five customizable bases, and while some might like that idea I prefer to have a different class for each iconic role while still allowing plenty of customization. The reason I say keep Sorcerer is because, in my mind, there are five iconic magic users in traditional fantasy settings: 1. The studious type who spends years researching eldritch secrets (Wizard) 2. The guy who makes a pact with a dark (or rarely not so dark) entity for his power (Warlock) 3. The guy that receives power from a divine or otherwise external source (Cleric, Druid, several others) 4. Those with inborn talent (Sorcerers, although many so called "Wizards", such as the ones in Harry Potter, fit this better than the studious type, although the Harry Potter ones are kind of a mix) 5. And the Charles Atlas Superpower, where everyone has the ability to use super powers but have to train or something (Monks, but primarily an Anime trope rather than a fantasy one; see Naruto and DBZ). Of course it is good to be mechanically differentiated, and the reason Sorcerers got a bad name is that they really were presented as just being spontaneous Wizards, rather than a fantasy archetype in their own right. One problem with melee classes is that most of them are shoehorned into fantasy roles, but Fighters are simply templates you can modify to your needs; basically you can make a Fighter whose concept is essentially a Barbarian, a Paladin, a Ranger, a Swashbuckler etc. and even though you might not have their class features you essentially ARE those archetypes. Not sure how to deal with this, but it might be a good idea to make Fighters more specialized, with the baseline being more like a medieval knight. As for Knights, the reason I don't think they qualify for their own archetype is because they generally fall into three types: The crusader type, which is essentially a Paladin, the soldier type, which seems to be the baseline Fighter type (why else do they get the best armor/shields?), and the medieval romance type, which is actually something that any class can do.

For the races, I don't know what you want to do, but I'm confused as to how races with two bonuses are overpowered. If all races have it, then all races are balanced, which is more than can be said of 3.5 where Halfings are better Wizards than freaking High Elves. Also, you seem to be including races from 4e, I don't know what your group thinks but I dislike the whole feywild thing. Instead of Eladrin/Elves I would do High Elves/Wood Elves. I also think things like Dragonborn and Tiefling should be optional, they are pretty cool but they aren't iconic fantasy races and don't fit into a lot of fantasy worlds easily. But it doesn't really matter since any group could just up and decide that Eladrin are High Elves or Dragonborn don't exist.

As for skills, I'm not sure what you mean for the Intelligence thing, is it in reference to my claim that Open Lock should be based on Intelligence? If so pretty much no skill should ever be based on Intelligence. But that's not really important. I'm personally all for keeping a standard stat for each skill, but the DM should be able to allow different stats for odd circumstances, although only as an optional rule. I think the DMG has rules for that, I don't know if they are in the SRD, or maybe it was UA. As for how to condense skills, both Pathfinder and 4e combine Listen, Spot, and Search into Perception, as do many homebrews, and it has the advantage of allowing other senses as well. The downside is how to represent a character who is better at hearing than seeing, but maybe there could be a mechanic for that. Both also condense Hide and Move Silently into Stealth, which makes since since no one would train for just one. Both also condense many of the physical skills like Jump and Tumble, with 4e leaving just two: Acrobatics for Dex types and Athletics for Strength types, though again I feel there needs to be a mechanic for specialization. I think condensing the knowledge skills and conversely adding some new ones might be a good idea, since some of them are half-useless. I say that at the very least Geography, History, Local, and Nobility and Royalty should all be the same, since they are all essentially Social Sciences, but also rolling in Religion and The Planes and probably Arcane and Psionics (assuming you use Psionics). Some also roll either Concentration or Spellcraft (or both) into Knowledge (Arcana). You might want to make Profession a story thing rather than a skill, or more clearly designate it as something only NPCs should really want. Removing subskills from Craft and Perform isn't really realistic, but it represents several fantasy archetypes (how many stories do you know of where the Smith can craft anything imaginable? Now how many where he can only make swords? On the other hand, which matches the real world better?) and is simpler. Combining Decipher Script and Forgery makes some sense as well. See Pathfinder and 4e for more ideas. Now this will inevitably lead to more skilled characters, but I think this is a good thing, since most characters never got enough skills to actually feel like they fulfilled their fantasy archetype. Still, it would be a good idea to let characters purchase minor but useful abilities with skill points, which is essentially what speak language already is. Finally, I don't really like how 4e handled skills but if you want to simplify things you could remove the x4 at first level thing and give +3 to class skills like Pathfinder does, and moreover removing the pay double for non-class skills.

Your parry thing is from 2e right? Definitely a good idea. Also, anyone trying to do a 3.75 needs to clean up all the special combat actions like trip and bull rush as well, making the mechanic simpler and also making them worthwhile but not overpowered alternatives to attacking. I still think there should be alternatives to Full-Attack that don't require a feat, maybe they could be class specific, like Archery Rangers getting the ability to shoot everyone within range or Barbarians getting a variant of Whirlwind attack that does double damage to everyone adjacent to the character, friend or foe. As for needing to work on feats, I personally am planning to do that last so I have no input. The first thing I'm gonna try and do is get my Wizard variant up this weekend, I've actually completely revamped spellcasting so you might want to check it out, it quite honestly took me forever.

Okay I'm done. I've written alot but this is one of the better 3e revision threads I've seen.

lesser_minion
2009-04-28, 02:18 PM
Something I'd consider implementing would be to just remove class and cross-class skills as a mechanic, instead giving particular archetypes special talents which synergise better with specific skills (e.g. Rangers and Barbarians like the Heal skill, Fighters can get quite a bit of mileage out of Athletics and Acrobatics, and so on)

As for classes, my own custom spin is currently looking at about 15 classes, including a few completely new ones or remakes of old ones, but no psionics yet.

The overall list I ended up with consisted of:


Rogue (assassin, bard, thief)
Survivor (barbarian, ranger, druid)
Devout (initiate, paladin, summoner)
Fighter (warrior, captain, monk)
Mage (mage, adept, tyrant)


These are grouped by archetype, which can be part-way between a role and a power source. Survivor types tend to be pretty self-sufficient, but can use the same abilities for the benefit of a group as well. Rogue types are sneaky, and devouts use pure faith and force of will as a route to power.

There are no representatives from non-OGL sources in that list (except things I plan to make myself) although the summoning mechanics I'm thinking of using might be vaguely incarnum-ish even though I don't have MoI.

Godskook
2009-04-28, 02:26 PM
There is actually an essay (http://www.thealexandrian.net/creations/misc/d&d-calibrating.html) on the Alexandrian about the whole level 5 thing.

The 3rd edition game even spells out the fact that somebody with 10 ranks in a skill can do things which are 'practically impossible', which may as well mean 'beyond the capabilities of any real individual'.

Huh, cool article. Like I said, I'd like to see a D&D system that had more depth to on the mundane end, and the fact that the article lists 99% of real humans as having less than 5 levels kinda is exactly what I'm irking about. For me, 'leveling' is conceptually tied with 'getting better', and any system that puts me within 4 'levels' of Jacki Chan sounds absurd to me, even if the system 'works' well and models real-life realistically.

Vorpal word
2009-04-28, 05:40 PM
About psionics: I honestly have almost no idea how they work. I'm including them mainly due to the psionic-loving members of my playing group (we're high schoolers). If anyone (including said members) can help me out here, it will be appreciated.


Something I'd consider implementing would be to just remove class and cross-class skills as a mechanic, instead giving particular archetypes special talents which synergise better with specific skills (e.g. Rangers and Barbarians like the Heal skill, Fighters can get quite a bit of mileage out of Athletics and Acrobatics, and so on)

I've considered removing class skills as a concept too, but am not quite sure about the replacement (if any). Maybe classes should just get bonuses to certain skills and be free to take anything they want.

That's it for now. By the way, I'm still not that great at using this forum, so if someone could please tell me how to make spoilers I think everyone would appreciate it more.

Godskook
2009-04-28, 06:40 PM
It is no different from the 'quote' tag, actually, just replace 'quote' with 'spoiler'.


Like so:

[spoiler]Spoilered stuff!! OMG!!![/spoiler*]

Just remove the * and it'll work just fine.

Drolyt
2009-04-28, 07:45 PM
About psionics: I honestly have almost no idea how they work. I'm including them mainly due to the psionic-loving members of my playing group (we're high schoolers). If anyone (including said members) can help me out here, it will be appreciated.

At least if you stick to the SRD Psionics is one of the most balanced systems in the game, so if you really don't know what you want to do with it I would say leave it alone until you've got everything else done, then see if it still needs any tweaking.

I take it you don't like Pathfinder's solution to class skills? Well in that case I would go with something like what lesser_minion said, giving certain classes unique uses of skills other classes don't have, like how only Rogues can disable magic traps. The current system is indeed to clunky though.

imp_fireball
2009-05-03, 08:19 AM
Huh, cool article. Like I said, I'd like to see a D&D system that had more depth to on the mundane end, and the fact that the article lists 99% of real humans as having less than 5 levels kinda is exactly what I'm irking about. For me, 'leveling' is conceptually tied with 'getting better', and any system that puts me within 4 'levels' of Jacki Chan sounds absurd to me, even if the system 'works' well and models real-life realistically.

Well, in the actual system itself, magic/psionics/divine ARE the only way to breach the level 5 mundane barrier, and I'm perfectly fine with that. To allow for more mundanity simply means running a campaign with more of an open mind. Include more traits, unique class perks and others things. Perhaps Jet Li's 5 levels of a class closely associated to monk (and obviously, there's thousands of unarmed martial arts in real life) in his ability to move faster than a camera can track associates with a very high DEX and STR score, but also likely stems from an ability that involves granting more immediate actions.

There was actually a superspeed rule over at dicefreaks.forumz.cc - of course, a homebrewer could easily remove the increased movement speed and push ability and instead call it 'hyper mobility' and make it only involve reduced action steps and specific increased actions such as more swift and immediate actions.

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In the realm of the mundane, there's also technology. Of course, such a thing only increases ECL/LA rather than actual class level (unless it involved uploading feats to a guy's mind, ie.).