View Full Version : [3.5] Single Class Party: Custom XP and abilities for more cinematic gameplay [PEACH]

2010-03-28, 05:21 PM
I was always bothered by the way the XP and leveling system works (not to mention inter class balance). For some reason a wizard gains massive godlike power from sitting in the back of the party and throwing a single spell once per day and shooting bolts at the rest, instead of years in the academy. Learning new spells, finding ancient tomes, draining the lifeforce of innocent villages, forging an item with a link to an elemental plane as a power source, consuming an ancient power source, etc etc... all are found in stories but will utterly ruin any attempt to balance a party of diverse characters.

This gave me the idea of having games with only 1 class available to the players. 3 players who are all druids, or all wizards, or all paladins. I think the biggest inspiration was the neverwinter nights 1 module called twilight:
And a few other modules which limited you to only one class. I noticed that when you know what class the player is going to play, you can do a lot of cool things. In the paladin example, you could use turning and blessings to destroy altars to evil gods (and increase the enchantment of an item of your choice every time), you could receive blessings from temples (giving new cool enchantments), all items were custom, there was a lot of cool stuff going on.

Back to the party idea, a big advantage here is that you don't have to worry about inter party balance as much... 3 wizards or 3 druids could actually act sensibly and play their alignment without overshadowing the other players, you simply scale the encounters. there is also more reason for them to be together and they can have more appropriate adventures (ex: wizard college, druid grove, paladins traveling to crypts and ONLY fighting undead and demons).

I decided to enter the world of DMing with a bang, this will be my first time to DM. I intent to start with a wizard only campaign which begins in a wizard college, with 3 players.
If you run such a game yourself, post here and I will link to it in the title. I intent to make a seperate thread for the "3 wizards in a college" game with info specific to that game (such as exact XP values for everything, etc).

This thread is to discuss the idea as a whole, and general ideas on how it will apply specificy to every class. Feedback is welcome.

My "3 wizards in a college" game setting: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=8172711#post8172711

2010-03-28, 05:47 PM
This (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=142140) is a game with all spellcasters. True, it's just the two of us and the DM, but...whatever. I'm not sure if this counts though, since we're technically different classes (warmage and sorcerer (I think)).

2010-03-28, 06:16 PM
This (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=142140) is a game with all spellcasters. True, it's just the two of us and the DM, but...whatever. I'm not sure if this counts though, since we're technically different classes (warmage and sorcerer (I think)).

thank you... This is different then what my idea is, but it is certainly very cool. I like the setup and execution and it seems like a fun plot to have. It is different then what I was getting at though.

My idea i have is really to "empower" a custom way of gaining XP, feats, and encounters by having everyone be the same "class" rather then "all tier 1 casters" game for the sake of inter-party balance. To get much more "cinematic" type of games. So that I could, for example, have the wizards craft orbs that grant them connection to the elemental planes for massive XP and ability gain, drain demons of their lifeforce, and other typical "wizard" behavior that is non existent in DnD... also to seek out knowledge for power. "you found a tome detailing the secrets of time, you study it for a week and gain 2000XP and 2xCL rounds of haste per day activated/deactivated as a free action" this kind of stuff.
But it is NOT limited to full casters. A party of paladins for example or a party of rogues will work out very nicely, with tons of custom equipment, class abilities, XP gain, etc.

I have edited in a link with my first setting which should clarify what I meant there.

Dante & Vergil
2010-03-31, 05:20 PM
A very awesome idea!! Makes campaigns more unique, so I definitely approve!!:smallbiggrin:

2010-03-31, 06:10 PM
This (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=142140) is a game with all spellcasters. True, it's just the two of us and the DM, but...whatever. I'm not sure if this counts though, since we're technically different classes (warmage and sorcerer (I think)).

i just finished reading the game so far, very cool game.
While AFAIK There is no built customization of XP and feat gain, the limit to only 2 player characters who are both primary casters in an otherwise magic rare campaign does greatly empower a cinematic approach fulfilling most of the goals i described.

thank you for linking it.

is there an OOC thread where the actual rules and mechanics are discussed? because so far that thread includes almost entirely roleplaying, which doesn't clarify to me what the rules are and how they are implemented.

2010-03-31, 07:42 PM
As the DM of that game, I'll chime in.

The mechanics functionally work the exact same as in regular D&D, however it will still be quite different. This is because having everyone able to cast spells, even if they are from different classes, has its advantages already.

not for Temotei:

So basically the plan is that they will be able to level differently too. For example, you hear talks right now about arcane sanctums. If they go there and RP a bit, they can get muchos XP and probably gain a level pretty easily. Further, there will be a lot of adventuring specific to arcane magic, which is absolutely fine. In a normal game, it's really unbalancing to let the wizard say "so... I studied a lot and, yeah.... now I'm 8 levels above you." When everyone is of the same, or even similar (Think Cleric, Paladin and favored Soul) classes, it makes sure to not exacerbate intra-party balance.

I think this is a sweet idea, but as long as people are pretty close character-wise, not all that necessary.