View Full Version : Unique Mechanics across Power Sources

2012-01-23, 11:43 PM
So I'm 'brewing up my home-setting. I'm going to be polling my players on this too, but I thought I might get some unaffiliated opinions to shape my proposals. I'm tweaking up 3.5e, throwing in some 4e concepts, and generally screwing around with everything to suit my goals of balance in the mechanics, and put D&D as a concept where I'd like to see it. (think of it as 'my 5e')

The main part is I'm using the Vancian-to-Psionic (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=194002) conversion to use spell points for the basic Arcane and Divine classes.

I'm also dropping the core Wizard (& Sorcerer) in favor of splitting the Arcane caster into Beguiler (possibly renamed Witch), Warmage, Dread Necromancer (dropping the dread), and the similar-style Wizard (http://www.minmaxboards.com/index.php?topic=2410.0) class. I need to do a lot more cross-comparisons, but I think it's workable, though I think I'll be restoring a couple of the removed spells from the Psi conversion. (I was going through the list of the tweak-wiz's spells, and there's too many in there that are just gone with no condensation or explanation.) I'm also thinking of throwing a few of the lost Divination spells into the Necromancer, since they fit thematically. Anything else that is gone or doesn't fall under the reduced caster lists might become a 4e ritual.

I had a few ideas for spell tweaks for the common do-it-all spells. Knock becomes a caster-level driven Open Lock check, rather than an I-win vs locks (with maybe a counterpart ritual one that does the job but takes time, akin to 4e). Disintegrate and other SoD spells will be changing. I got the idea for Disintegrate itself to become an active DoT spell, more like Call Lightning. Cast it once, sustain it each round passively or use it to deal significant amounts of damage/pain to one target by spending actions.

The Psi conversion makes it harder to do my other change I was considering, splitting off Primal casters (druid, spirit shaman, ranger). I've still got to look over the spells and revised concepts, but Divine casters use a distinct type of spell point (perhaps Mana Point vs Faith Point). I debated mixing it up a bit by making the arcanists use spell points versus the divines using slots, which would be an easier conversion and split, but part of my reasoning for using spell points in the first place were the convenient condensation of Cure spells, one of my favorite aspects.

Another idea that struck me was to do a slot-based scaling conversion of the psi concepts, half-converting them back into slots so that spontaneous use of a slot of a higher level to cast the lower-level spell triggered off the higher-level effects of augmentation. That feels like needless nitpicking tho.

My current inclination is to make the primal classes divine/something hybrids. I'm also establishing Eldritch as a distinct powersource, using my own modded Invoking Bard (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=215793) from a ways back, and a tweaked-up Warlock. (Maybe the DragonFire Adept too.) Eldritch magic would be more raw, uncontrolled, representing the fixed, unagumentable numbers coming out of the invocations. Using the PH2 Shapeshift Druid as a base, I could turn the Druid into a hybrid Divine/Eldritch class, with the wild-shape forms as at-will invocations.

(The other major possibility is, if I can re-distill the Druid and Shaman out of the Divine conglomeration in the Psi-conversion's Cleric, I could call the Primal spells Invocations to equal Divine Prayers, use the points conversions, and rebuild the Warlock to use Pacts that resemble Incarnum soulmelds. That does still leave the invoker Bard up a creek.. I've got a lot of mechanics I could repurpose, but I'm running out of terminology...)

I'm also going to be integrating maneuvers into the core combat classes, and I'm killing the Fighter as its own class. Instead, I'll have the full-BAB Rogue (with Thief and Swashbuckler-theming subclasses) for an urban fighter, the Knight (with mounted Cavalier and divine Paladin subclasses) for a heavy fighter, the Ranger (with Scout and animal-companion Hunter subclasses), with stuff like one or (choice of) two full maneuver sets granted with choices. So Thieves get Shadow Hand, Paladins get some spells and Devoted Spirit, and TWF rangers get Tiger Claw while Archery rangers get Falling Star. Just as an idea.

This also leaves out the idea of what to do IF I *do* want to include Psionics (or one of my players asks for it). Content wise, I think actually mirroring the 4e Psion's smaller focus, on telekinesis or telepathy effects, gives them a more unique role, which might just be cutting down the Psion into Telepath or Kineticist focus. I could re-write the powers entirely, maybe even borrowing in the 4e idea of at-will powers which can be augmented in strength. (If I didn't otherwise, I'd been considering doing a warlock-like soulknife rewrite that included this idea.)

(I'm also going to say, I'm not inclined to include the more esoteric classes, like binders, incarnum users, etc. I'm generally trying to keep to more mainstream concepts, since I'm going to be tweaking a lot of the concepts to fit my setting, as well, and I don't have conceptual room for *everything*.)

So, I know this is all an unholy mess (When have my posts not? They're very stream-of-consciousness..) but does anyone have any ideas on my thoughts, mechanics, and a way for me to keep the variety of mechanical functions, but assign them to the best system at hand?

2012-02-03, 03:17 AM
(I started to make a new thread, but it's pretty similar to this, so I might as well keep it on..)

I'm trying to figure out what classes are conceptually required. Or more accurately, what mechanics concepts could be realistically split into unique ideas with a minimum of overlap. I'm redesigning pretty much everything, but using 3.5 as a foundation.

I've settled on the four Mage classes:

Necromancer (aka Dread Necro)
Wizard (http://www.minmaxboards.com/index.php?topic=2410.0)

For them, I'm debating between using the spell-point conversion I mention above, or using them more-or-less as-is, but throwing spell-slot augmentation into the mix. This would require converting the spell lists, mostly using the structure of the psionic conversion's spells but making it so they augment by using a higher spell-slot rather than using power points. I like the flexibility of power points, but I think the slot mechanics are more familiar. This would be a happy medium. I'll leave it to my players to decide, however.

Then I have my Adept classes, which stand in the conceptual spot of spontaneous casters like Sorcerers:

Bard (My own invoking bard (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=215793))
Dragonborn (aka Dragonfire Adept)

I might brew up a 4th invoking class with a psi bent. I think I'm going to definitely throw a little more Primal flavor into the Bard, and Arcane flavor into the DFA.

Then I've got my Fighter classes, and here's where I start to run into sticky points.

Scout (not the ComAdv one, something more like a 4e Ranger)
Rogue (more of an Swashbuckler-style light fighter, full BAB, probably 5 of the SA dice are optional; to get them, you have to take an attack penalty that puts it back to 3.5 rogue attack bonus or less)
Warlord (somewhere between the 3e Marshal and the 4e Warlord)

The Knight and the Scout are basically mundane counterparts to the Paladin and Ranger, respectively. I've been debating whether the magic versions are actually needed as separate classes or not. My idea (if they're not) is to make them primetime ACFs for those mundane classes. (Like a Knight would have an oath of fealty, the Paladin just makes it to a church rather than a kingdom. That kind of thing.)

Then I've got my prime divine and primal classes, lightly-armored 9th-level spellcasters which can be multiclassed to provide viable hybrids (so a heavily-armored Cleric archetype would combine the Priest and the Knight).

Priest (light-armored domain-based cleric)
Shaman (spirit shaman)

They would pick up whatever I decide with spellpoints versus spell slots, I've decided the difference isn't needed between the Arcane and the Divine/Primal groups.

Now the biggest thing I'm wondering is, in this structure, there are a few gaps. I'm trying to split down major powerful concepts, letting the player recombine them via multiclassing, if covering all those bases is the goal of the player.

So the Wizard is split into the four Mage classes, the Priest takes over the casting majority of the Cleric (and the limitations of the domain-driven list keeps it more in the line of a single-concept caster like the Mages, since you're not going to multiclass between different gods), and the Druid will be split down as well, the Shaman being one component (major casting, with some minor companion effects), either the Scout/Ranger or a split 'Hunter'/Ranger class getting the major Animal Companion and associated primal abilities, and this leaves me with my last real dilemma.

I want to single out the Druid-ish shapeshifting warrior approach into its own class. Does this need to be a caster, or could it be merged with a 'Berserker' barbarian concept?

If I merge the Scout/Ranger stuff into ACF-like builds, same with the Knight/Paladin, then I think merging the Druid into the Berserker, and having the Druid stuff be the more magical options, with straight-up martial Rage being the mundane counterpart (perhaps with 4e-style elemental rages and the Warden's partial shapechange effects as a mid-ground between the two.)
On the other hand, if I wind up splitting the Hunter concept from the Scout concept, and the Paladin away from the Knight, then a distinct Druid partial-caster (either 4th or 6th-level spells, plus maneuvers while in shapeshifted form) would be split apart from a Berserker that is mostly mundane (I'd probably still keep some animalistic traits, like the PF barbarian has.)

So what do you think? As I've said, I'm going to be presenting all these arguments to my players, but many of them have expressed indifference, so it helps me to hear more points of analysis to bring back to them.