View Full Version : Designing a DC [3.5]

2010-03-10, 01:56 AM
Alright. I've been going through my Ascendant Feats, updating them a little and adding 1-2 more, and I've come to the realization that I need a firmer concept of the DCs involved in one of the principle feats that I plan on keying a lot off of.

The problem is, it is currently keyed off level, which is a vague enough concept in 3.5 that issues will arrive during PCs vs. Monsters play(Should work fine in PvP).

Here's what I've been using:

DCs: Level + # of feats + 11

Check: Level + # of feats + 1d20

The problem is, things like the Tarrasque could have a +48 on its roll, which is excessive for a CR 20 monster that's put exactly 0 investment into being martial, which is the whole point of the feats(to give martial characters such as rogues and fighters a boost). I don't want to start using CR in the actual equations, since that didn't work too well for the Truenamer. I don't want to key it to saves or ability scores, as that's something casters can already boost decently where they want to. I don't want to use the ruling I used for qualifying for these feats in the check, since that'll be overly complicated during gameplay, and possibly quite easily broken. Essentially, I'm trying to emulate a 'caster level check' for martialists.

Any ideas or do you see any flaws in my approach?

2010-03-10, 02:44 AM
Exhausted here, but usually the formula is 1/2 character level (or HD), not full.
This sounds like it will help with some of the problem.

2010-03-10, 02:51 AM
Exhausted here, but usually the formula is 1/2 character level (or HD), not full.
This sounds like it will help with some of the problem.

The usual formula sets a DC against a target's saves. I don't want to target saves, thus, I'm not using the usual formulae(or is it formuli?). Think less stunning fist and more counterspelling/dispelling, except replace caster level with martialist level.

Lord Vukodlak
2010-03-10, 03:38 AM
Base the DC directly off CR?
Say instead of +48 for the Trasq +20.

2010-03-10, 05:13 AM
Well, that's the thing. Judging it from HD never has worked, no matter what obscure equation you have gunning for you. For example, (10 + 1/2 HD + Stat) is quite similar to the casters (10 + spell level + Stat), and actually works out that way, as casters get 9th level spells (10 + 9 + Stat) at around level 18, meaning that you would have 18 HD, and you wind up with the HD version being (10 + 9 + Stat). YAY, IT'S EVEN.

Then you give the Tarrasque a breathe weapon, and, well, um, his breathe weapon is a 24th level spell, for some reason.

So yeah, you've got a problem there, I argee (everyone's got a problem there). The only way you've got to fix this, is to base it off of CR (which works out fine, as PC class level 10 = CR 10), but since you'd rather not do that, your only other option is to have some akward requirement, like 'must have levels in a PC class', or just trust the DMs to not give it to a monster.

You could also have it simply say 'If the possesser of this feat has no actual levels in a PC class, then this is based off of that entities Challenge Rating. If the possesser of this feat has a number of levels in a PC class that is less than their total Challenge Rating, they use their PC class level instead.'

2010-03-10, 03:58 PM

Just to write it down:

A character's prowess modifier is:

1/2 RHD + class levels + # of relevant feats

Exception: If a creature only has RHD, its prowess modifier is:

3/4 RHD

That'd mean that typical end-game monsters would have modifiers as:

Balor - 15
Red Dragon
-Old - 21
-Very old - 23
-Ancient - 25
-Wyrm - 27
Tarresque - 36

A typical end-game fighter can currently have 6, and I've got at least 2 more in my mind somewhere, so his prowess modifier would be: +26...+28

If I make it an opposed roll, the dragons do alright, the Tarresque still comes out ahead, but at a level I'm comfortable with from a design perspective, considering that he has so many nasty anti-caster abilities on him already. The Balor gets quashed on the check unless he's lucky, but the abilities aren't game-enders on their own, I don't think....

And then there's the problem of design space. A pure fighter could take up to 12 of these feats, giving them a +32 on the roll, which is probably too potent. Maybe instead, I should halve the bonus from the feats(rounded up). That way, a L20 fighter's modifier would be +20...+26, and that seems ok to me.

Alright, except now I have the problem of the L20 wizard having a modifier of +20 as a base....Which can be dealt with by keying it off a class level's BAB instead of its levels. That'd give a wizard a +10, a cleric a +15, and a Duskblade a +20 against the fighter's maxed +26. I *LIKE* it.

So, homebrewers, how does this look:

A character's prowess modifier is:

1/2 RHD + BAB from class levels + 1/2 # of relevant feats


If a creature only has RHD, its prowess modifier is: 3/4 RHD
A martial adept may substitute his initiator level for his BAB(Give the swordsage some loving).

2010-03-12, 02:28 AM
I'd do it on a per class basis. So fighters, paladins, barbarians, maybe rangers and maybe monks would get their full level. Some others would get 3/4, others would get 1/2. Outsiders would get their HD. Animals and magical beasts get 1/2 their HD. Dragons might get 3/4 or maybe 1/2. Giants would probably get 3/4 HD, maybe full HD. Basically for racial HD the more powerful its HD are (and thus the less it normally has) and the more martially skilled it is, the better multiplier it gets.