View Full Version : Toying with a '3.75', opinions and advice wanted!

2009-08-09, 10:35 AM
Quite a few people have made alternate classes, or fiddled with the magic system of 3.5 and others have revamped large portions of the way 3.5 works (like Fax's epic d20 Rebirth). I figure I'd get in on the fun with some ideas I've been toying around with, and I figured I'd run some basic design ideas past you guys, and also ask you what YOU would want in a 3.75.

Anyway, some basic concepts:

I want to focus on customizability. Giving every class basic abilities (Sneak Attack and Trapfinding for Rogues; Bonus Feats for Fighters; Smite and Lay on Hands for Paladins; etc) and then filling in the blanks by giving players options out of lists of abilities to customize their characters, being essentially pick-and-choose class abilities. There would be things like plain numerical bonuses (+s to skills, extra Sneak Attack damage on crits, etc.), abilities that add new aspects to characters (Rangers gaining climb speeds and the ability to brachiate, Rogues gaining Hide in Plain Sight), static effects (making Fighters immune to Hold and Charm spells, giving Paladins energy resistance) and entirely new active abilities (ToB maneuver-esque abilities for fighting classes, choices of music for Bards, auras for Paladins, instant metamagic for Wizards*, etc.).

*I plan on removing metamagic feats, and making them an x/day Wizard ability.

Other ideas include:

Wanting to make Psionics seed based. As opposed to the study, divine inspiration or natural aptitude of arcane and divine casters, psionics comes from within, a manipulation of personal forces, and I want crunch to emphasize that.

Allowing Fighters to "unlock" feats. They can choose a certain Fighter feat they have, and "unlock" it, gaining abilities or bonuses that only Fighters have access to.

Letting Paladins use daily uses of smite to power different abilities.

Giving Barbarians abilities that they can trigger when they rage.

Giving Monks "fighting styles"; basically, particular attack styles, one of which would be Flurry of Blows, and the other alternatives. Give Monks Fighter BAB.

Wizards can no longer specialize; there will be 8 prestige classes for each specialization instead.

And so on.

I want to bring in proficiencies. Instead of gaining access to, say, all Simple and Martial weapons, X class could choose Y number of weapons to be proficient in.

I also want to remove class skills, allowing any class to choose a certain number skills to be class skills, any skills they want, with one exception: only Rogues get Use Magic/Psionic Device. Certain skills would always be class skills though, ex: Wizards would get Concentration, Knowledge (Arcana), Spellcraft and 4 other class skills.

I also want every class to have a choice from a few level 20 capstones, rewarding people who stick with a class for 20 levels.

Remove multiclass XP penalties.

Feats and Skills:
Make more feats scale. For example, I'd remove Improved and Greater TWF, and condense it into the TWF feat, as well as allow people with the TWF feat to attack once with both weapons as a standard action. Condense some skills (ex: Move Silently + Hide = Stealth). Have characters fer feats at every odd level instead of every 3 levels.

Introduce "rushed" attacks. Basically allowing characters with BABs of 6+ to make full attacks as standard actions, but with a penalty to attack rolls. Add class abilities and feats to mitigate this a bit.

I also want to make damage dealt affect people. I think it's weird that a Fighter can lay a beat down on a dragon, dealing tons of damage, and then still get a tail slap in the face because the dragon had 1 hp left and could thus move as easily as if it had full health. Dunno how I'd do this.

Magic, Spells, and other such things:
Remove metamagic feats.

Increase the casting time of certain spells. One idea was:

0: Swift.
1-3: Standard
4-6: Full Round
7-9: Two Fulls Rounds, Full Round + Standard, or Full Round + the spell doesn't manifest until the beginning of casters next turn

With certain spells having longer or shorter casting times of course (ex: dimension door).

I was also thinking of removing SR for a lot of evocation spells, like fireball.

Also, make all casters but Wizards spontaneous casters. Give Wizards a limited spells list like Sorcerers have. Give Wizards the spell level progression of Sorcerers, resulting in them getting high level spells at later levels.

Remove, edit or increase the level of a lot of trouble spells, like polymorph.

Alright. So, opinions: what do you think of those ideas? what would you want in a revised system? what do you think of potential changes to the magic system? what spells would you like removed, if you want any removed?

2009-08-09, 10:42 AM
No one would ever choose a wizard over a sorcerer, in that system.

Clerics would be king.

2009-08-09, 10:43 AM
I think... that you should take a look at some of the several good revisions made of the classes over the years and think long and hard about whether you want to seriously engage in such an extensive project and whether or not you wouldn't be better served by contributing to those projects which are still on-going.

There's a lot of this going around lately; it's a lot of work to reinvent the wheel and make it better, and then you're going to have trouble getting people to adopt it because there are already many competing, established homebrews that may do one aspect or another better than they like.

Beside that cautionary note:

Wanting to make Psionics seed based. As opposed to the study, divine inspiration or natural aptitude of arcane and divine casters, psionics comes from within, a manipulation of personal forces, and I want crunch to emphasize that.

I don't recommend that. I've done some work with seed-based casting, and while with a lot of work, it can be balanced, you end up with a system that requires a lot of one of two things:

Prep work by whoever wants to use it, because they'll want to find a decent combination of seeds. Or:
Lots of slowdown mid-game as they figure out their precise effects.

I think it is better to go more mechanically abstract (like SW Saga's Force Powers) or stick to a set of predefined augmentations (like 3.5 Psionics' Augments). Psionics as it is, is already very flexible and does a good job mechanically representing spontaneous generation of magic.

2009-08-09, 10:56 AM
Class-wise, have you considered something like the generic classes variant (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/genericClasses.htm)?

It seems you want to make the class system much more modular in nature (without going quite so far as a full-blown point-based system) - and that's what generic classes try to do.

Plus, it just might require less work to roll up all possible class features and feats into one pool than it would to do what you propose to do with all the classes.