View Full Version : [D&D 3.5] Possible Truenamer Rewrite

Story Time
2012-03-27, 02:40 AM
Hello. Welcome to the thread. :smallsmile:

There...isn't much here at the moment, but I hope that that will change.

I've made the thread because...I love the true-namer. I started another thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=12482210#post12482210) based on all of the errors I found in the manual which introduced the true-namer class. I had planned on making a home-brew document called True-namer Help List which would contain much never-before-released content for the true-namer. But then...

...I started making that brand-new material. I typed out nine feats and twelve utterances with more possibles waiting in the background to be typed. I started typing out the first of two new skills for the true-namer class...and realized that my perception of the true-namer class was fundamentally and ideologically different from the interpretation of the base class presented in the Tome.

So I began a new document...one that I hope will feature a cosmology which makes sense for any true-namer players. The document is incomplete. But I want to play a true-namer some day in the way that I feel true-namers were meant to be played. To do that will likely require a complete document which prescribes a consistent cosmology and mechanical formulae for the true-namer class.

...and so that is why I make this thread. My current plan is to expand my fledgeling Presentation Document Format file ( .pdf ) and make it available in various versions once I am able to find a suitable host. If any forum members wish to join me on my...meandering quest...please feel free. :smallsmile: Thank you for reading.

Story Time
2012-03-27, 02:41 AM
PDF Document Links:

Class Details Links:
Difficulty Check Calculation (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=13225853&postcount=49)

Related Links:
Honu (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=13138682&postcount=1)
A species I think would be very interesting with this class.

Name Given (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=11301242#post11301242)
The thread, and person, who showed me that true-names in a blood-line was possible.

Story Time
2012-03-27, 02:43 AM
(Reserved For Comments)

Story Time
2012-03-27, 02:44 AM
(Reserved For Fun)

Story Time
2012-03-27, 02:47 AM
The thread is now open. Post if you wish, though there is not much to post about. I'm still looking for a...reputable host for the ( .pdf ) document. Would any Playgrounder know of one?

The Mentalist
2012-03-27, 02:48 AM
Scribd is good for PDF hosting.

Story Time
2012-03-27, 07:44 AM
Thank you for the suggestion. I'll consider it. What I'd like is a space that is not over inflated by advertizements. That may not be possible, but I'll set the request out there while bringing the document further along.


The Mentalist
2012-03-27, 07:50 AM
Thank you for the suggestion. I'll consider it. What I'd like is a space that is not over inflated by advertizements. That may not be possible, but I'll set the request out there while bringing the document further along.


Free space: Check
One small banner ad: Check

2012-03-27, 10:06 AM
Before proceeding, you may want to check out Kellus's The Way Words Work (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=90961) truenaming fix. I believe that it is what most here use.

Story Time
2012-03-27, 10:44 AM
...why is it that every time I start a true-name thread the Universe seems to tell me, "No, you can not have fun with this idea!" ?

...yes, I've been pointed to both Kellus's and Kyeudo's true-namer fixes...numerous ( numerous! :smallbiggrin: ) times by Psyren, among others.

Kyeudo's document does not address the basic concerns with the Laws of Resistance and Sequence that I feel should be addressed. Kellus's fix...had some items in it that were not the kind of true-namer class that I wanted to play. Namely: [Utterances] cannot be targetted [...] without line of sight, Incantations, Recitations, Namelessness, and Name Resistance.

I don't want to suggest that their home-brew classes are bad. But, yes, I am aware of them, thank you. :smallsmile:

2012-03-27, 11:28 AM
...why is it that every time I start a true-name thread the Universe seems to tell me, "No, you can not have fun with this idea!" ?

...yes, I've been pointed to both Kellus's and Kyeudo's true-namer fixes...numerous ( numerous! :smallbiggrin: ) times by Psyren, among others.

Kyeudo's document does not address the basic concerns with the Laws of Resistance and Sequence that I feel should be addressed. Kellus's fix...had some items in it that were not the kind of true-namer class that I wanted to play. Namely: [Utterances] cannot be targetted [...] without line of sight, Incantations, Recitations, Namelessness, and Name Resistance.

I don't want to suggest that their home-brew classes are bad. But, yes, I am aware of them, thank you. :smallsmile:

Didn't mean to discourage you, just making sure you'd seen it :smallsmile:

I'll be monitoring this.

Story Time
2012-03-29, 05:05 AM
It did not settle in as a discouragement. Thank you. :smallsmile:

Up-Date Post:

I found one place that might be suitable for storing the document. I haven't finished my investigations.

I...really, really, want to avoid Scribd. Not sure why... Maybe it's the fact that it's not spelled correctly or the Google advertizements. Not sure...

So far, I'm still considering using e-mail and compressed attachments for exposure. I'm still willing to accept private messages with this request, if anyone feels so inclined.

...typed out two new feats. I'm still more concerned with the text which opens the document. The premise of true-names, in other words. I keep looking at it and finding trouble when I try to break it into smaller pieces.

...chatting with Welknair resulted in the construction of a possible true-namer blood-line. I'm still amazed that I can use those four words, in that configuration, in a sentence and be serious. ...thinking about whether I should plan to add the blood-line into the document or not. I'm not really that familiar with the rules for them.

Thanks to Welknair's friendly attitude I'll probably spend too much time thinking about blood-lines rather than the document itself. :smalltongue: I haven't even organized a Credits Page.

2012-03-29, 10:06 AM
Up-Date Post:
...chatting with Welknair resulted in the construction of a possible true-namer blood-line. I'm still amazed that I can use those four words, in that configuration, in a sentence and be serious. ...thinking about whether I should plan to add the blood-line into the document or not. I'm not really that familiar with the rules for them.

Thanks to Welknair's friendly attitude I'll probably spend too much time thinking about blood-lines rather than the document itself. :smalltongue: I haven't even organized a Credits Page.

I take it you've read "What in the Nine Hells is a Bloodline?", right? I wrote an entire section on it, showing how the bloodlines are made. It's very nice that they follow a set pattern. As I said before, feel free to run any questions you have by me :smallsmile:

Story Time
2012-03-31, 06:12 AM
Yes, I did see that thread. It was what led me to the Name Given blood-line. It also got me to crack open Unearthed Arcana for the first time. :smalleek:


Anyway, yes I am having trouble with the blood-line basics. From the perspective of a true-namer, in this home-brew, increasing a character's Knowledge(True-names) ranks is obvious. The idea is that the blood itself teaches the character. The problem arises with the assumption that the blood-line should do more than that. My initial concept was that the first blood-line should be a pure knowledge blood-line with no other types of benefits.

So...I've been stirring around the idea that there could be three types of true-name blood-lines instead of three levels of a blood-line ( minor, intermediate, and major ). The idea of a blood-line affinity between two true-namers...rubs me the wrong way. :smallfrown:
( At least for the very first blood-line. Later innovation by true-namers might have allowed for it. )

Although, now that I think about it, if the very first ( the first! ) true-namer blood-line did have an affinity, it would be for interacting with the Universe, rather than other true-namers.

Story Time
2012-04-01, 06:19 AM
Up-Date Post:

I started messing around with Knowledge skill synergies. I made a list in my notes and its relatively complete. Initially I thought that it could be just a standard class feature for the true-namer, but it's a lot of synergy for just one level of true-namer... So I'm considering dividing the synergy list into sections to make a list of class features and then somehow span them over twenty levels. My first instinct is to make each synergy selectable by the Player.

...that must be my reading of D20 Modern material rearing up.

For those who care about why:
I don't really want to say it this way. I don't want to belittle the character. But I can't think of another character to better explain...

When I think of a character that understands true-names, I think of Gandalf. Gandalf is not omniscient. He is not clairvoyant. He doesn't know everything. ...But he does know a lot about a wide variety of subjects. He has life experience in the form of research and flat-out Wisdom from which he can draw. And that knowledge goes with him where-ever he does. And if the situation he comes to can be improved with a little dose of that data-based medicine, then it's used.

Seriously, there's a lot more to Gandalf than just that, but this is a concept that I feel applies to true-namers.

It's this basic idea that I feel should be part of every true-namer. The true-namers of the world ( whatever dimension they're in ), know the fundamental names of every-thing they come across. Maybe they don't know certain creatures' Personal True-names, but they know how to find out. This massive devotion to study and knowledge, I feel, should give more of a benefit than just targeting creatures with Utterances.

True-namers are the guys ( and gals! ) that pore through tome after tome in search of words to which the Universe itself will respond when they open their mouths to speak. It's not just one book, it's pages and entire chronicles worth of literature for one measly little syllable! The true-namer should gain more value from that action than just one extra rank in Knowledge(True-names).

So that's why I'm messing around with Knowledge synergies. It won't be a significant bonus. Mechanically, it's probably so weak that bothering with it is silly. But...I hope it'll be fun. I hope it'll encourage role-play at the table. That's essentially the reason that I'm messing around with it.

2012-04-02, 08:18 PM
Got wi-fi for a bit, so I'm posting while I can. The tri-fold-bloodlines seem like a very interesting idea and I look forward to seeing how they turn out. The Affinities can be a bit difficult to handle, especially for things like Truenamers.. The original 'lines obviously geared them towards the parents, but that doesn't pan out so well for many concepts. Some of my affinities I like better than others. The Knowledge Synergy idea is an intriguing one. If going for a class based around world-knowledge, I would advise, like for all projects, looking at similar concepts. If you haven't already, the Archivist is a good thing to look at, as is the Savant by DonQuixote on these forums.

P.S. Gandalf is an angel. It doesn't really matter to your insights, just thought I should throw that out there.

Story Time
2012-04-08, 01:33 PM
Saint Gandalf. :smallbiggrin:

I found the archivist...and was... I'm not sure how to explain my reaction. It was helpful reading in some ways.

I couldn't find the Savant by DonQuixote. The search engine was down at the time. I might try again now that it seems to be up once more.

2012-04-09, 10:26 AM
I couldn't find the Savant by DonQuixote. The search engine was down at the time. I might try again now that it seems to be up once more.

It's part of his "Spellshaping" project. I'd shoot you a link were I not on my iPad.

2012-04-09, 10:40 AM
I, on the other hand, am not at an ipad. (http://www.minmaxboards.com/index.php?topic=984.0)

Story Time
2012-04-09, 12:59 PM
Thanks, guys! :smallbiggrin:

Vauron's link helped.

I'll give a look at it for a while and see what I think.

PDF Document (Version (http://freepdfhosting.com/75b4d23ae1.pdf)

Last week I started what I consider the primary mechanism of this true-namer class. It's still all in my notes, of course. And the basic idea seemed fitting to me. I've kept plugging at it since. Changing little things and medium things here and there...

It's not ready for the document, though.

Speaking of documents, if I don't make this available I won't ever receive that well-deserved (punishment?)...

...honor of completing a home-brew concept? :smalltongue:

This link (http://freepdfhosting.com/75b4d23ae1.pdf) goes to a test of the document that I made last week. My primary concerns are the fluffy-puffs of text and its clarity. Yes, I realize that there's not a class table yet ( and many other things ). I'm still typing out the class features.

Also, please take note of the web-site. It seems really decent so far! No strange advertizements. :smallsmile:

Story Time
2012-04-19, 06:13 AM
Five hundred thread views and only four members posted in the thread?! :smalleek: Something is most certainly amiss!

Normally, I really dis-like double-posting. But the document has been available. This last week was really slow for my home-brew in general. Lots of members sent me private messages since I posted the file. And...none of those messages were about the home-brew.


Very strange. Most of it was character questions and commentary along with campaign ideas or requests. And while I have given significant thought to those, doing so bit into this project ( not to mention physical obligations at home ).

So...should I assume that a bunch squirrels are hiding in the trees and just want to watch the thread? Or are they ponies? :smalleek:

Welknair, and apparently Vauron too, suggested that I look at the savant base class made by Don Quixote. And...I liked it. I was surprised. I have not read through all of the Formulae yet for that class, but was interesting. It didn't seem to have the knowledge synergies that I expected it to.

I did find the Savant's Knowledge class feature and it was neat to read. It reminded me of a bard function, helping the Party in a very general...late-night-dungeon-combat kind of way. :smalltongue:

So, thanks again for the references. I hadn't made any plans to use that particular brand of class feature with this home-brew. A few utterances might touch on what it could do as well as one of the class features, but it won't be hammered out in the same sense as the Savant rules.

2012-04-19, 02:43 PM
Firstly, off-site work tends to be viewed significantly less, due to the possibility for viruses/other files/just extra work.

Additionally, your off-site pdf has a number of filler pages at the beginning, and then doesn't really have a lot of material after that. I see slightly modified version of the Truename DC (one that still doesn't entirely fix the problems with the Truename DCs...there is still to much variance in skill checks), and a slightly modified version of the Law of Resistance...

I don't really see anything major to critique, is my point. I can't even critique what exists without seeing the rest of what you have in mind, because, at the moment, it doesn't really show that much.

Story Time
2012-04-19, 04:24 PM
And yet, I'm still very grateful that you shared your thoughts. :smallsmile:

You are right, of course. Off-site material would not be so easy to view. One extra mouse-click can mean the difference between simple and, "Too much work." At the same time, though, I don't really want to put up an entire thread of Bulletin Board Coded information and then re-format that information into Presentation Document Format file just so it will look nice like I think it should.

Yes, the Difficulty was altered as was the Law of Resistance. Thank you for noticing. :smallsmile:

I, um...I'm still wondering about how the non-mechanical stuff seemed. I don't know that I'll be able to change the voice of the manual itself now that I've set it, but I'm interested in any impressions of that as well.

Again, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I really should put forth a longer test document if I have any expectation of responses to the document, positive or not.

2012-04-19, 04:42 PM
The non-mechanical stuff seems fine, although the idea that verbs give you the power is a bit alien to me...I always imagined that having a true name of something merely let you work your will on it like you were the universe itself, which, I'll admit, is an interpretation that I happen to prefer.

That said, it is definitely functional and rather flavorful...but, again, it really was a rather general and somewhat succinct presentation, so comments are limited.

Story Time
2012-04-22, 01:28 AM
Thanks. :smallsmile: I appreciate that. Flavor is an important goal for me.

Up-Date Post:

Version: (http://freepdfhosting.com/627a7933d9.pdf) of the document is now available. There is now a functional table of contents for what content there is. There is also a table of levels ( progression chart ) for the home-brew class. Page thirteen, ironically.

That class chart is in-complete as is the list of the class features. I keep tweaking them around in my notes, especially the primary class feature. I'm...having some difficulty with it.

There is an all new page ten which might be of interest to any readers. That page will have been edited and improved by the time that any person reads this post, I think.

2012-04-22, 12:00 PM
Your flavor is disturbing in a good way. The specifics will be elaborated (I'll be sure to shoot you a link) later, for now, let's get down to business?

As far as a bloodline goes, it would not be unfathomable that a very powerful Truenamer could have fundamentally altered his bloodline such that his descendants would develop some capability with Utterances. If not a wide vocabulary, at least several complete phrases? That would allow for the specific powers that a bloodline offers, and there's no reason someone couldn't find a way to give the universe sufficient instructions to produce such an effect. But that's for the two of you to work out.

The way you scale the LoR is fairly sensible, so no complaints from me there.

In as far as base synergy rules go, I know Speak Language gave a bonus, which I feel is fitting. I would also say that each instance of a Knowledge skill with at least 5 ranks would give +.5 on the Truespeech/Research Truename. I would like that to be higher, but it would be expressly overpowered to do so.

You realize that with setup like this, we (or at least I) are (am) expecting you to make rules for developing new utterances? After all, if someone wants to spend the time working out how to phrase the concept they want to convey, they should be able to do so. Which does touch one big issue for Truenaming.

You're going to allow them to gain new vocalizations as Wizards would spells, right? Because it simply doesn't make sense to have a limited amount known, even taking into consideration the complications of this particular subject.

Possibly more concerns later, who knows. I like this, I want to see it do well. I liked the other fixes for Truenamer, but there weren't perfect, and the flavor here is a good start. Though I will be honest, the offsite linking is pretty suspect. I like that you're making such a pretty pdf, but you should be doing the crunch work here on site, and then taking it off into a pdf which you show later. Perhaps also edit your first post so you just have the link to the most recent version, and use it more as a checklist than a work area?

Usually the threads work pretty well for actually doing the heavy lifting.

Story Time
2012-04-22, 09:13 PM
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Pennance.

Your flavor is disturbing in a good way.

I'll...take that as a net positive? :smallredface::smallbiggrin:

As far as a bloodline goes[...]

...yes. Yes it can work like that. It should be able to work like that. The problem as I see it is that the progression charts in Unearthed Arcana do not represent it. I'm some-what currently holding a conversation with Welknair about true-name based blood-lines. We'll see where those go, but I'm thankful that you mentioned this opinion. It'll probably help me.

The way you scale the LoR is fairly sensible, so no complaints from me there.

Thank you. I'm pretty proud of myself for noticing this errata when I read the Tome the first time. :smallsmile:

In as far as base synergy rules go[...]

"We shall see what we shall see." I've already typed out the Knowledge Synergy rules in my notes. Once they're in the document members can bring them to my attention ( with math, not with bias ) and I'll make considerations then.

You realize that with setup like this[...]

Yes, I do. It is intended. The class feature that you will be looking for is Speak With [The] Universe. It is the primary feature of the class.

Because it simply doesn't make sense to have a limited amount known, even taking into consideration the complications of this particular subject.

I've given serious consideration to the different types of utterances and I feel that I've arrived at a solution which is both sequitur and appealing. With good fortune, others will think so too. :smallsmile:

I like this, I want to see it do well.

...this one sentence makes me grateful. I appreciate that you shared it.


In my last up-date I failed to mention that I typed out another feat to go into the list. As I mentioned in my first post, and Pennance pondered above, I do have a list of utterances and feats which were not available in the Tome. That is why this class is in the home-brew section. There will be all-new stuff for readers to read. Whether it's worth reading... :smalleek:

Story Time
2012-04-25, 09:24 PM
Hello again, thread viewers! Today, I have a small truck-load of text for you. :smallsmile:

Version: (http://freepdfhosting.com/be38d0492a.pdf) of the document is now available. For those interested, please start investigating with page twelve. There is now a functional Law of Sequence. There is also a some-what never-before-seen law. :smalltongue:

More importantly there are fluffy-puffs in this release. :smallsmile: I am still more interested in the flavor than math at this point, but I have no doubt that we will reach that point.

There's no sense in starting early. :smallbiggrin:

( Page ten is so crowded! :smalleek: )

Story Time
2012-04-28, 02:20 AM

Class features are hard... Maybe I should say more difficult than I expected. But, I've put up some stiff resistance. All, but two are ready to be made publicly reviewable. At least, I feel that way presently. :smalltongue:

I edited the wording of one of the feats which caught my eye. Those probably won't be in the document for the next public edition. The reason why is that I feel there are not yet enough of them, nor do I feel that they are ready.

Way up near the top of the thread, I edited the links section again. Welknair's Name Given link is back where it belongs ( woops! :smalleek: ) and I also put in a reference for a really neat species that I thought would make a neat true-name using character. Yes, they are in alphabetical order.

Next on the home-brew document agenda is probably tables. The Class Feature text section is close to completion, but not all of the visual tables are made, let alone organized. I...like...organized documents. :smalleek: Could you tell? :smallbiggrin:

Story Time
2012-04-29, 11:36 PM

Okay, true-name fans. Time ( that's me ), is in need of a break. Four and one quarter pages of class features are in the document. And there's one that I still want to tweak. Three chart-tables currently exist though they may, or may not, be changed.

Some of the Laws have also been adjusted / improved.

The Race sub-section of the Class Description section now has appropriate text. I was initially aiming for humor, but then I decided to fill it in. Also, another section in addition to that has been added to the general Class Description section.

And...after having spent some-thing of a week wringing my brain out trying to think of some thing to fill the empty, late-stage, class levels with odd numbers, I had an idea. It's not currently in the charts, though. The idea, if I use it, will require a restructuring of one of the class features that I just finished. :smalleek:

So...I'm sure you can understand that I'd like a little recess / vacation. :smallbiggrin:

Normally, I'd consider posting the current version...but I can't make myself do it. That one class feature just...isn't right yet. It's not right in that I don't feel that it's right. I some-how think that the class features section will be heavily...examined and investigated at some later point after the in-progress version is released.

But, I...would very much like a rest. Two hundred fifty thread views in two weeks with only...two member posts? That should tell me some-thing. I'm not sure what. But...at least I know that my math skills work. :smallwink:

So, for the moment, I'm going to take a recess from true-names. One of the games I'm running here on this forum started up again.

I am still grateful and appreciative of the people who have kindly shared their encouragement to me over this project. That is my sincere feeling.

For now, though, see you all later. :smallsmile:

2012-04-30, 01:25 AM
I finally read your truename pdf and I really like the flavor and mechanics for what you are doing. It actually makes me interested in some day playing a truenamer. I like the idea behind your version. It feels compelling and your gandalf reference really brought it into perspective. I will be keeping an eye on it to see what else you do with it. I can't wait to actually see the mechanics that you put behind this.

Story Time
2012-05-10, 09:45 AM
Okay true-name fans. Today's the day. Class features! :smalleek:

I feel...relatively confident with the class features. They're probably not perfect, but that's okay. What I'm looking for is a set of features that are sequitur. That make sense...in other words. As long as I accomplished that with legible text, I think that I'll feel good about it.

So...if any kind person who happens to be interested in the project would let me know their perception of the material, hopefully in a nice way, I'd probably be very appreciative. :smallsmile:

Version: (http://freepdfhosting.com/9de31e74b3.pdf) of the document is now available. Class Features, as mentioned above, are included in this version. There have been other improvements on various pages which the discerning readers might be interested in.

Page twenty-five is the last page with any legitimate content in it. I recommend starting at the beginning, but skipping the Permissions Page early in the document ( the one with red text ). It is under construction.

Story Time
2012-05-11, 09:23 AM
Version: (http://freepdfhosting.com/9de31e74b3.pdf) of the document has been revised! :smalleek:

I sincerely apologize. A major error on page eighteen has been rectified. That portion of the class feature list, including its references to other pages in the manual should now be correct. They are pages twenty-four, and twenty, respectively.

2012-05-11, 09:29 AM
I took a look at the last update (before your most recent post) and I like it. I'm going to try and convince my dm to let me use one just for the fun of playing it.

Story Time
2012-05-11, 09:38 AM
Ooo! I'm glad you like it. :smallsmile: Thank you for saying so. :smallredface:

Just remember that the class is locked into how many personal true-names are known. Your character won't be able to help or influence strangers more than eight times per day. So...make sure your character has reasons to pick up other gear.

2012-05-11, 09:41 AM
Five hundred thread views and only four members posted in the thread?! :smalleek: Something is most certainly amiss!

Look, I often comment on things at work while I wait for builds to complete or whatever. But downloading PDFs and stuff from there is verboten. And honestly, it's generally less convenient to review off-site stuff. Higher risk of viruses, etc. So, most of us just don't.

Normally, I'd gladly review truenamer stuff. I've played the class and built a few of them, so I have some reasonable insight into it, probably more than most members, but I am pretty unlikely to take the time at home to go through a sizable document when I've got a million projects of my own going on. However, if you opt to put at least the rules in forum form, pm me and I definitely will review it.

Additionally, I'm pretty ok with the Law of Resistance as is. It's not really that big a deal, and I don't see it as anything close to a major problem with Truenamers.

Story Time
2012-05-11, 09:48 AM
...would Tyndmyr feel better if I scanned the files before up-loading them? If you don't want to go to a web-site that you don't trust, that's fine.

The only other option that I can think of is making an image of each page and then up-loading the image to an image host that I use and have had no bad experience with.

I certainly acknowledge that you, personally, should make the decision that you feel comfortable with.

2012-05-11, 10:40 AM
The off-site material will deter most casual posters, and even non-casual posters will be less likely. If you want comments, I'd REALLY strongly suggest posting it directly here. Secondly, you're still missing the biggest draw: how your proposed Truenaming WORKS. I haven't seen any actual Truenaming abilities, and that's where the draw is. Hard to judge a proposed revision without seeing the meat behind the project. Give me some actual Truenaming, and then I can tell you how the whole thing comes together.

Story Time
2012-05-11, 11:14 AM
Now I'm just confused. :smallfrown: The class can make-up their own true-name(s) [phrases]. Yes, I realize that I have not added in the Lexical Utterance section. I realize that there is not a list of traditional utterances yet, but with the Speak With [The] Universe class feature a character shouldn't need them. :smallconfused:

...maybe I need an example section for how the Universal Utterances can be used... :smallfrown:

What comes to mind, for this post at least, is some-thing like this.

True-name Phrases Like...
"Cure Light Wounds." ( Verb, Adjective, Noun )
"Purify Food [and] Drink" ( Verb, Noun, Noun )
"Discern Lies" ( Verb, Noun )

Those are all within the rules...

2012-05-11, 11:49 AM
But how does that work, mechanically? Or have you just created a framework for an entirely free-form magic system? In the latter case, I don't know why you have rules at all, honestly. If the former...well, it feels like you have the skeleton of a system without a system. What does that Cure Light Wounds true name do? What about Flay Flesh From Enemy? Summon Bigger Fish? It seems like you'll bog down play time as the DM adjudicates EVERTHING on a case-by-case basis, and then has to figure out just why the effect does as how to run that.

That's FAR to much on-the-fly work for the DM, in my mind. If that's the core of this revision, I can't call it that much of a success. It's bare-bones to the extreme: a lot of rules floating around a basically rules-less system. That confuses me.

[b]EDIT:[b] Also note that the Speak With The Universe ability, as written, is actually fairly confusing. Until your above post, I thought it was missing an entire connected system that would explain things.

Story Time
2012-05-11, 12:04 PM
"Did you read the document, Djinn?"

...the rules to use utterances are in the manual. If the Player chooses a Universal Utterance ( not Lexical Utterance, mind ) phrase like, "Cure Light Wounds," and the GameMaster chooses to use established text from other manuals to adjudicate the effect of that utterance, then that is the GameMaster's choice.

Yes, it is a flexible system. That is intentional.

The Difficulty to use true-speech is listed in the manual. The mechanism to research new true-name words is listed in the manual. The range of utterances is listed in the manual. The duration of each utterance is listed in the manual. The type of action that true-speak is, is listed in the manual.

It's all in there.

Here (http://www.freepdfhosting.com) is the web-site used to host the Presentation Document Format file:


That is the full U.R.L. Investigate it if you want. There are no advertizements. Documents are preserved for thirty days. Pass-words are required to make changes to the files that a user up-loads.

So...unless some-one ( any-one ) is trying to suggest that I, personally, am trying to plant malicious soft-ware on fellow Play-grounder's computer systems... I don't see the problem.

Scan the file! Do it. Scan the snot out of it. Use any and every anti-virus and anti-malware soft-ware that you can think of. If you ( or any-one ) find(s) any-thing, tell me. I'll be almost sure to stop using the service.

2012-05-11, 12:25 PM
I can see where Djinn is coming from. The system doesn't have concrete rules for what the utterances actually DO. What if at level 1 I chose the words to say "Conjure Friendly Dragon"? Or "Kill My Enemies"?

What I think you should focus on is an adaptation of the WoTC system. Assume that Truenames inherently know and study Nouns, to the point where they can target what they wish. It's the VERBS that hold the real power, the words that CHANGE things. Write out, say, 100 verbs the player could choose from. Have them learn 1 or 2 per level. Rate the utterances in 6 different levels, just like Truenamer utterances. Then, let them also get access to Adjective and Adverbs, essentially Metamagic feats for Utterances that can increase the Verb's level up to your maximum word level in order to empower it, or extend it, or whatever.

As it is, it's much more suited to a "shaman battle" sort of conceptual game than it is suited for a d20 system.

Just my 2 cents.

2012-05-11, 12:35 PM
"Did you read the document, Djinn?"

...the rules to use utterances are in the manual. If the Player chooses a Universal Utterance ( not Lexical Utterance, mind ) phrase like, "Cure Light Wounds," and the GameMaster chooses to use established text from other manuals to adjudicate the effect of that utterance, then that is the GameMaster's choice.

Yes, it is a flexible system. That is intentional.

The Difficulty to use true-speech is listed in the manual. The mechanism to research new true-name words is listed in the manual. The range of utterances is listed in the manual. The duration of each utterance is listed in the manual. The type of action that true-speak is, is listed in the manual.

It's all in there.

I'm a bit offended, honestly. I've read EVERY iteration you've posted, and I'm one of the few who have, I think. I know your rules for how to use utterances, and I see the system you have in place. But it's a system to use abilities that can be ANYTHING, and that's not possible to critique. The utterances--the thing that determines whether all the rules relating to their use are balanced within the system--DO NOT EXIST.

It's not a flexible system, because there's no real system. You have the tools and rules to use a system of abilities that are entirely designed on the spot on a GM by GM basis. It's like judging a Wizard's casting mechanic and determining balance based solely on how spells are cast, and not on what the spells actually DO. It's not possible.

Heck...with this system, "Bake A Delicious Chocolate Cake" is harder to accomplish than "Destroy My Enemy." And there's no way of determining how effective either is. Is it worth taking the verb "Destroy" if the GM decides that means "deal 1 damage per level?"

It's a great concept, but you're currently trying to force free-form RP into a rules-based game, which is basically asking the GM to create a consistent and balanced magic system on the fly.

2012-05-11, 12:44 PM
"Did you read the document, Djinn?"

*Sees someone accuse Djinn of not making an informed post*

*Dies laughing*

2012-05-11, 12:45 PM
Why don't you just host the PDF on Dropbox (http://db.tt/M0vLrPb)?

Story Time
2012-05-11, 03:08 PM
I can see where Djinn is coming from. The system doesn't have concrete rules for what the utterances actually DO. What if at level 1 I chose the words to say "Conjure Friendly Dragon"? Or "Kill My Enemies"?

"Conjure Friendly Dragon," is a legal Level Three Utterance, available at Class Level One. The size, strength, and experience of the dragon are left to GameMaster discretion.

"Kill my Enemies," is not a legal utterance. Utterances can only influence one subject at a time. And Mass Utterance is not available at Level One.

"Kill my Enemy," would be a legal utterance. It would provoke the Law of Resistance. The Law of Resistance would prevent the use of this utterance from being employed more than eight times per day cycle.

But, yes, if a GameMaster decides that, "Kill," is a legal word for the Player's character to have then it should function exactly as imagined. That's...kind of the point of the class... :smallredface:

Just my 2 cents.

...and I so very appreciate that you shared them. Really. :smallsmile:

I'll...consider the suggestion. I honestly don't think that I'll be able to bring myself to do so. The...restrictions of the original Tome and my desire to construct a flexible class will probably prevent me from trying to itemize individual words in this system. I want Players to be able to look up in their dictionaries, find words, and then use them with the class.

Thank you for being so kind, though. :smallsmile:

Why don't you just host the PDF on Dropbox (http://db.tt/M0vLrPb)?

Thank you, no. :smallsmile: Unless some-one can point out to me a significant flaw or security risk with the current hosting site, I'd rather remain with what is currently a successful process.

I appreciate your willingness to make the suggestion. :smallsmile:

2012-05-11, 09:00 PM
I'm very glad you are okay with my suggestions. I thought I might have come across a little to antagonistic.

Having a system that requires adjudicating creates a problem, namely players trying to see how much they can get away with. Does the "Kill" verb kill the enemy permanently, since it's truespeech? Can "erase" remove anything I want from reality? Can "rewind time" go back as far as I want and let me kill the villain as a baby? How about "Create Atomic Bomb"? It's verb-adjective-noun. It stops being a game about hunting dragons and raiding tombs and starts being about how badly you can break the laws of physics before breakfast. Which is awesome, but it isn't D&D.

I think that itemizing individual words may be the only way to make this concept work. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE this idea. Being able to say "Shatter My Bonds" and break whatever manacles, ropes, or prison happens to hold you is an incredibly cool and useful ability. However, I think it would be reasonable to restrict powerful words of Truespeech to higher-level Namers.

For example, "Kill". Consider the nature of the word. The speaker is tearing the very life-force out of whatever it speaks of. It's a powerful and unforgivable act, and would be uttered as a guttural, accented shout. It's such a powerful word that novice Namers could not hope to speak it without tearing their throats, or even killing themselves in the process. As such, it is a 4th level Verb, available at 10th level and above.

Through this reasoning, you can place Words at levels that are appropriate for what they should be able to do at that point. Also, remember that words in Truespeech don't always translate to english perfectly. The word of Conjure (a small fire elemental) and Conjure (an small water elemental) may mean the same thing, but have different spelling, punctuation, accents, stresses... A single word could mean many different things. In comparison, Conjure (a large red dragon) might be an entirely different word. The first might be a 1st level Utterance, the second a 5th, due to the difficulty of pronunciation and the willpower needed to master the verb.

Adjectives could work well as a sort of meta-word ability. So, Conjure (a small fire elemental) Longer might increase the duration of the Word, while increasing the difficulty to say it. Naturally, your Truespeak check would be against the DC of affecting the small fire elemental you are conjuring, so the word would become increasing useful at higher levels.

It'll require a lot of work, but it can be done.

Story Time
2012-05-12, 05:05 AM
Being able to say "Shatter My Bonds" and break whatever manacles, ropes, or prison happens to hold you is an incredibly cool and useful ability. However, I think it would be reasonable to restrict powerful words of Truespeech to higher-level Namers.

This is exactly what I want the class to do. GameMasters are a very smart breed. They will take great care in what they allow, or not, in a game. The flexibility of the class allows GameMasters and Players to, through communication, balance the Class Tier of this home-brew class with almost what-ever other classes are used in a game.

GameMasters will know, I believe with instinct, which words to allow and which not to. GameMasters will know to restrict powerful words early in the game, or not, depending on the game.

Unfortunately, Chronologist, I am not prepared at this point to dive more deeply in to the rest of your text. I do appreciate that you prepared it. Mother's Day is this Sunday and ( I hope every-one prepared for it! :smallsmile: ) I don't feel that I have much proper energy to spare over the details of this home-brew.

But(!), I will try to leave some-thing for every-one to think about:

"Are you measuring the utility of this home-brew with your knowledge? Or are you measuring the class in terms of what a character would find interesting? The latter, almost certainly, will be more balanced and reasonable than the former."

Please have a nice day every-one. :smallsmile:

Story Time
2012-05-14, 06:46 AM
Math! :smallbiggrin:

I like math. Let's calculate together! :smallsmile:

Yes, this is for all of those true-name fans out there that want more content in the thread beside release notes for the home-brew document.

Math Is Inside:
Okay! So... To start out with, we'll set up some integers from the original true-namer in the Tome. Yeah, that Tome.

Difficulty Check:
15 + [2 X CR] + [LRD]

CR = Challenge Rating.
LRD = Law of Resistance Difficulty

I assume that most of the readers of this thread will remember this formula. This is the formula which would knock a true-namer character out of the game at Class Level Fourteen. Looking back on it, I still wonder if the original true-namer was designed to be some kind of fail-wizard which a fighter could compete with. Upon reaching the just-now mentioned class level the true-namer suddenly wouldn't be able to make their true-speak checks. And...the fighter wouldn't have that problem.

Now, let's take a look at the proposal from the class in this home-brew.

Difficulty Check:
10 + [CR or HD] + [LRD] + [IL or UL]

CR = Challenge Rating
HD = Hit Dice ( the number of )
IL = Item Level ( but this does not always apply )
LRD = Law of Resistance Difficulty
UL = Utterance Level

This one is...a little interesting. It's not quite as intuitive as the first. But, I want to go through the process of typing this all out to show every-one why the class is not as...ridiculous as some seem to think.

Now that we have the base mechanism, let's look at another numerical value that some-times enters play at Class Level One for this home-brew.

Personal True-name = -2 ( to all True-speak Checks using a Personal True-name )

Now we have all of our base ingredients. Yay! :smallbiggrin:

I'm going to make a character for this calculation. I'll call him...Taylor. Taylor The Truth Sayer.

Taylor has Character Level One. He has Class Level One in the class featured by this home-brew. Taylor The Truth Sayer is given the option to automatically learn three words for his Level One Advancement. He can only learn one verb! For the three words, Taylor chooses, "Wound, Light," and, "Cure." Taylor's Player then marks the words in the Learned Words List as being Noun, Adjective, and Verb. This might be important to some GameMasters! Light, as an adjective, might be ruled that it can not be used as a Noun. Other GameMasters might rule that because Light has several entries, that it can be used multiple ways. In role-play, of course true-names function a bit differently than other languages. ...such as English. :smalltongue:

So with this utterance phrase Taylor The Truth Sayer can ( predictably ) form the true-name, "Cure-Light-Wounds." Because of the number of true-name words used in the utterance, the Difficulty to pronounce this true-name is ten, plus the Hit Dice of the subject, plus the Law of Resistance Difficulty, and plus the Utterance Level. In this case the Hit Dice will be one, the Law of Resistance has not yet become active, and the Utterance Level is three. Ten, plus one, plus zero, plus three, equals fourteen.

There-fore, Taylor's Player has to roll a fourteen on a twenty-sided die to successfully use the utterance.

Oh, but wait! Taylor has skill ranks! And Intelligence.

Taylor's Intelligence is eighteen. He also, wisely, chose to study true-names as thoroughly as possible, so his skill ranks in Knowledge(True-names) will be the maximum. There-fore, Taylor will enjoy a four integer bonus from skill ranks and a four integer bonus from his Intelligence modifier. Adding that together, Taylor's Player has an eight integer bonus to apply to the Difficulty Check.

Let's see that again, visually.

Difficulty Check:
14 - 8 = 6

Taylor's Player will have to roll a six or higher on the twenty-sided die to succeed at the check. Seems pretty easy, doesn't it? The chances of rolling six or higher on a twenty-sided die are pretty good. Three out of every four rolls would probably yield a success. So, Taylor's not really worried...

Now...remember the Law of Resistance... If Taylor doesn't use a Personal True-name as part of the utterance, the Difficulty will go up by two every time he says it. At present, Taylor could probably use this utterance on himself all day long with very little fear.

But...what if Taylor happened upon some strangers? What if Taylor The Truth Sayer, in his travels, came upon a collection of travelers who had been wounded by a few falling trees? Well, Taylor could use this Universal Utterance ( Speak With [The] Universe class feature; not Lexical Utterance class feature ) on those strangers, but without knowing their Personal True-names the Law of Resistance would begin to limit his ability to use true-speech.

Let's see what happens.

Taylor uses the true-name utterance, "Cure-Light-Wounds," for one of the victims. The GameMaster decides to use previously published rules for this utterance ( Why wouldn't he, really? ). So [1d8 + ( N < 5 )] of the stranger's Health Points are returned to him. The next time that Taylor uses the same utterance? The Difficulty has raised by two. Now...

Difficulty Check:
14 + 2 - 8 = 8

And...how many travelers are there? To speed things up a bit, I'll make a chart.


14 + 0 - 8 = 6|

14 + 2 - 8 = 8|

14 + 4 - 8 = 10|

14 + 6 - 8 = 12|

14 + 8 - 8 = 14|
14 + 10 - 8 = 16|
14 + 12 - 8 = 18|
14 + 14 - 8 = 20|
14 + 14 - 8 = 22|IMPOSSIBLE[/TABLE]

Taylor The Truth Sayer, at Class Level One, can not use true-speak more than eight times per day cycle on a subject whose Personal True-name he does not know. This is the hard line rule of the class. Now...think about the odds. Using an utterance without a Personal True-name, twice, would increase the Difficulty to ten. Taylor's Player would have to roll ten or better to continue using utterances without a Personal True-name identifying the target. So what? Every other roll being a success isn't such a big deal, right?

Then the Difficulty hits sixteen. Taylor The Truth Sayer has successfully helped five strangers. Suddenly, the world changes. The Player can't make the Difficulty Checks any-more and things become very dangerous for Taylor. What if some Dire Beaver lept out from behind the fallen trees and attacked the helpless strangers? Taylor could step in, but then the Difficulty to use, "Cure-Light-Wounds," on himself would be fourteen. That fourteen comes from the fact that Taylor would know his own Personal True-name and probably use it when subjecting himself to an Universal Utterance.

At Difficulty fourteen only one out of every four die rolls would result in a success. Ouch...

And...how many travelers were there? Five? Fifteen?

What if Taylor The Truth Sayer came upon a town experiencing a plague? Or disentary? Taylor The Truth Sayer can not cure every-one in the town all in one day. Another method might do it, for a very ingenious Player, but not this way.

This is the limit true-name fans. This is the Achilles Heel of the class. Characters with class levels in this home-brew will be able to quothe, theoretically, any-thing. But no more than eight times per day.

Really now, let's be honest. How often can we expect an eighteen or a twenty when rolling 1d20? Seriously. It's not easy. It's rare for a reason. Laws of probability aside, Bad Dice Days do exist. Taylor The Truth Sayer's ( semi-phenomenal and nearly-cosmic ) powers are limited to helping himself, helping his close friends ( known Intimate True-names ), and ( possibly! ) influencing one ( or a few? ) specific opponent(s) ( whose Personal True-names Taylor may have researched ).

So...that's today's basic math calculation. I hope that you all enjoyed the experience. :smallsmile: There are some advanced steps involving equipment such as master-work items and other mystical items which would change the Difficulty calculation and improve a character's grasp of true-speech. But this is the basis. This is the place that I'd like to start from.

With good fortune the Lexical Utterances will calm every-one down...when-ever I have time to actually finish them. :smallbiggrin:

By the way, a very simple sock, or gag, would put a true-name user out of commission. ...Just food for thought.

Editory Note:
This post was valid, if generalized, mathematical theory as of Version of the home-brew document. With the proceeding revisions of the home-brew this post may become furtherly inaccurate. Please read carefully.

2012-05-14, 09:03 AM
I like the class but I have to point out that the same truthsayer could then study the truename all and then cast cure all wounds on said targets just as many times.

Story Time
2012-05-14, 09:25 AM
Correct. But how many GameMasters would allow that for a Level One character?

I have another addition to this thread planned which will help shed a little more logic on the subject.

Story Time
2012-05-17, 08:00 PM
...practical progress on the document itself has been completely non-existent since Djinn In Tonic made the fourtieth post in this thread ( Post #40 ). Chronologist offered some words which were seriously and deeply considered regarding the future of this home-brew. However, because of the time spent in my thinking no expansion to the document has occurred.

...I made statements indicating that I would respond to Chronologist's suggestions. I've found that I have to apologize and retract that general statement. I...want to explain the reason why, but I feel that doing so here in this thread is not appropriate. The explanation would become an expression of personal feelings and I'm not willing to disclose those at this time.

Much as I appreciate all of the kind words shared to me in this thread and through private messages about this home-brew...I can't lose sight of my goal. This home-brew is about me. It's about the class that I want to play in a game. When this class is finished, I have to be happy and comfortable with it. If I were making this home-brew for someone else, maybe I wouldn't think so strictly and passionately about it. Then again, maybe my strict passion is what makes the flavor in the document so pleasant to myself and others?

...I never really imagined that anyone else would like it... Really. I assumed that this thread would be ignored or silently dismissed if any person bothered to read it. I'm...actually really flattered that certain voices have acknowledged or encouraged this project.

...all that said...I think that I might have found an idea which will make the class play-able in a Mixed Tier or Mixed Character Class Game. I'm not technically sure that it will function, but I'll think about it more and maybe sort out a test or two. ...I honestly don't know if I'll be able to justify the implementation of the idea. We'll see, I guess.

For a more general and genial address to any true-name fans reading this post, I would like to ask a few questions. I ask in part because I want to know, but also in part to understand the perspective of that person. Please respond, or not, at your convenience. :smallsmile:

The Questions:
"When you read the manual, do you want to play the class? Why?"

"Ignoring the Speak With [The] Universe class feature, what do you think about the class features as a whole? What do you like or dislike about them? Do any of the class features capture your attention? Why?"

"Do you, personally, want a home-brew document so that you can play the class, or one like it, that I've out-lined in the manual?"

...my secondary math post that I mentioned above is going to have to wait a while... I'm sorry for not being able to fulfill that statement so immediately.

2012-05-18, 03:07 PM
"When you read the manual, do you want to play the class? Why?"

When I read the flavor, yes, instantly. I love true-naming, and your version if it is very flavorful. But I do not want to play it when I read the mechanics, because the mechanics are, as aforementioned, extremely vague. I can get no real idea of what the class does, except that it uses true-names. I don't know what my characters capabilities will be, or what my limits will be...I only know the outline of the system I'll be using, not what is to me the important part: WHAT I'll be doing with that system. The outline of the system seems intriguing, and I love some of the presentation (lists especially seem like a pretty awesome way to deal with multi-target effects)...but it still feels like the bulk of the casting mechanic is missing.

"Ignoring the Speak With [The] Universe class feature, what do you think about the class features as a whole? What do you like or dislike about them? Do any of the class features capture your attention? Why?"

Only the 20th level ability catches my attention. The others modify Lexical Utterances or Speak With The Universe, and, as such, don't particularly stand out outside of those sub-systems of the class. The 20th level ability is quite good, but I did always like the similar feature of the original Truenamer class.

"Do you, personally, want a home-brew document so that you can play the class, or one like it, that I've out-lined in the manual?"

At the moment, I want a class like the one you described in the flavor, that has a robust and flexible system of gameplay that is A: comprehensible and understood from reading the class (I find your current system to be very complex, partly due to the large ambiguity of the Utterances themselves), and B: doesn't require GM adjudication at every stage of gameplay. You're achieved the former part of making me really interested in the class. The mechanics, however, are currently not exciting enough to make me take the time to talk everything over with my GM and devise a whole set of Utterances on my own.

2012-05-18, 09:43 PM
1) I love the flavor of the true-namer, and I feel that your ideals hold promise. It's just that in an RPG, spellcasting systems (or their equivalents like Truenaming) need to have balanced, grounded mechanics. Opening a dictionary and searching for intriguing words might work in a game like Nobilis, which is mostly conceptual with fewer restrictions, but it's not how things are done in D&D 3.5.

2) Personally, I'd like three different Truenamer Archetypes, each one using truenames differently.

The Learned Namer knows names from research, study, and rote memorization. He uses intelligence to determine his names known and the power of his naming. He has the largest number of effects known, but has a limited number of different words he can prepare each day to memorize.

The Insightful Namer knows names from fundamentally understanding the universe; simply by observing a thing he understands its nature. He uses wisdom to determine his names known and the power of his naming. He has a moderate-sized number of names known, essentially the most balanced of the namers.

The Forceful Namer uses names not to understand things, but to DEFINE them. He imposes his will upon the universe and forces change to happen directly. He uses charisma to determine his names known and the power of his naming. He has the smallest number of names known, but automatically knows all sub-meaning of his names. Example: Fire (Consume), Fire (Protect), Fire (Manipulate), and Fire (Decieve) are all Fire words, so learning the word Fire gives him all of these effects.

3) I would LOVE a completed Truename system to playtest. As I might have hinted to above, my current concept for the names themselves it to select perhaps 30 Nouns, like Iron, or Fire, or Wood, and to associate them with an additional action word (like Shatter, or Protect, or Shape), thus creating a compete effect. Iron (protect) might give the target DR versus metal weapons, while Wood (Shatter) might break wooden weapons or doors.

All you have to do now is figure out what level each of the effects should be. So Iron (Protect) might be similar to the Biofeedback psionic power, and thus be available to Namers around level 3, while Wood (shatter) is like the Shatter spell, so again around level 3 or 4.

Then you can allow Namers to increase the difficulty of saying the Word in order to increase the effect (i.e. protect multiple allies from iron, or shatter all wood within 30 feet instead of a single close object).

Just a thought.

2012-05-19, 08:57 PM
I know you are probably tired of people complaining about your pdf hosting, but may I suggest google docs if you have gmail? I think alot of people will be leery about actually opening a file (I don't want to open it) and google docs bypasses that whole download process.

And I agree it needs to be more concrete (from what I've heard) and I second Chronologist's and Djinn's suggestions. The last vague magic system I played was the magic system in world of darkness. I lost all interest in using magic with that system, because of that (it was just too up in the air in places).
Don't get me wrong I love flexibility, but even if players and GMs can get the balance down it seems like it would cause decision paralysis on a whole new level. DM's don't have time to adjudicate everything in a game and I foresee a lot of them just saying no to save time. I'm used to groups that allow pretty much any homebrew present on gitp (and even a few from the wikis, with approval of course), but I don't think they would agree to something that open.

Story Time
2012-05-20, 03:55 PM
To keep this post small, I'm going to list my responses in Spoiler Frames.

Djinn In Tonic:

When I read the flavor, yes, instantly.

That...is the most beautiful thing that you have said in the entire thread. I'm so thankful that it was directed to me. :smallsmile:

There was a lot of text in that reply. I read it all, but I'm going to keep my reply brief. Thank you for typing all of it, though.

The cap-stone...I felt was necessary. It's more of an errata correction in my opinion than it is a true home-brew addition, but I'm glad that you liked it.

I'm going to assume, though, that because Learn Personal True-Name At Range, Mass Utterance, and Scribe Utterance were not mentioned at all that you felt that their presence was appropriate in the manual.

It...actually feels pretty good to know how few disagreements you have. :smallsmile:


[...]and I feel that your ideals hold promise.

Thank you. Thank you for going to the trouble of sharing your thoughts. I learned today that Chronologist is full of good suggestions. Seriously, I think you're apt to the home-brew task. :smallsmile:

Fortune being the way that it is though, my philosophy for this document is going to be about flexibility ( which the original class did not have ) and liberality. Truth Sayers should have the freedom that others do not, even if that makes this class incompatible with traditional Dungeon & Dragon philosophy.

I think that my new mechanism, which I have not yet added to the document, will make the class compatible for standard games ( or semi-standard games ). The more that I think about it, the more firm I feel about it. But, until I've actually typed it out, there remain some tiny specks of concern.


Don't...beat me...to the end of the document please... :smallredface:

[...]automatically knows all sub-meaning of [a word]

Right here is a gem of a thought for a Prestige Class. I won't be using it in the base class of this home-brew, but I do think that it is a good idea and it would be interesting to gambol around with a half-like Truth Sayer.

...good suggestions, in general. And also a friendly attitude. That's welcome. :smallsmile: If Chronologist is so certain about how true-names should work maybe Chronologist should make a true-name themed home-brew?


I know you are probably tired of people complaining about your pdf hosting[...]

Yes. Yes, I am. Thank you for being sensitive enough to notice that. :smallsmile:

[...]but I don't think they would agree to something that open.

...if you did not read the document then all of the psuedo-implications listed in your comments are libel. Hear-say; gossip; slander; lies. Need I continue...? Please do not bad-mouth some-one else's work without actually reading it.

[...]world of darkness.

...is a vile and disgusting monster that will be de-atomized into oblivion by Care Bears and Ponies. :smallannoyed:

I lost all interest[...]

...I acknowledge that your post contained your personal thoughts. In some ways, I understand the desire to share one's feelings and impressions. I don't mean to shame what you think. I don't mean to say, "Your feelings are irrelevant." Some of what you said makes sense in a very bare, minimalistic, psychology. The concepts are fine, but they can't actually apply because without reading the manual you don't know what you're talking about.

But, even more... Do not be pressured into reading my manual, by me or anyone else. If you don't want to read the document, don't. :smallsmile:

2012-05-20, 05:35 PM
Story time let me start by saying that the flavor of your true namers makes me want to jump up and say Yes! they are awesome and I can imagine one of these guys in a story book. He would be a bit eccentric going on and on about the true meaning of words and his friends would get highly annoyed at him for it until one day they were all about to die and he looked at the BBEG who was kicking their asses and calmly told him that his insides were being ripped out by a demon and then suddenly it happened. I like the openness from a conceptual stand point too as at the end of the day someone who is simply telling the world what to do should have much more openness but at the same time I have to agree with everyone else that while immensely flavorfull this class would more then likely get thrown out by any DM I know. My DM would take one look at it and laugh at me for even trying. It would be far too much of a headache for her to deal with.

2012-05-20, 06:13 PM
I'm sorry I didn't read the actual document, but I make a policy of not downloading stuff if I don't have to (I had some friends who got infected through drop box, which is fairly trusted, for a recent example (but I am slightly paranoid so that doesn't help)). Still I gathered quite a bit from what other people have said and feel I'm justified in stating my opinions and impressions. Unless you are claiming their statements are false in some way?

And I don't see how what I said was slander or libel... By definition it can't be slander because I never said it aloud. Besides that though I never attacked your person, so I couldn't have committed libel. Therefore you have committed libel, by claiming that I have committed libel (your statement was a false statement that was an attack on my ethics). But enough of semantics.

I also don't see how I was bad mouthing your work. I didn't say you shouldn't be doing this or that it sucks, but offered criticism as everyone else on the board has. In fact I'm a little irritated that you misconstrued it that way.

All I was pointing out was that if the system was as open as other people on this thread are implicating (aka there are no concrete utterances or effects) is that most DMs wouldn't allow it and some players wouldn't be interested.
Not every group is gifted with DMs or players that have a good rapport. Sometimes you also have a player or DM who will abuse the system and many DM's don't understand balance to the point that home brewers do. D&D by definition is a concrete system, as it attempts to cover all aspects of play. While roleplay is certainly involved D&D is not a roleplay system. I was comparing my impressions to the world of darkness system which is by virtue are roleplaying system and was merely pointing out that things can be too open even in a system such as that.

2012-05-20, 07:24 PM
Story Time, your flavor is excellent. Your willingness to try a system fix is commendable. Obviously there is a "but" to all this, however.

You simply cannot post things for comment if you are unwilling to take comments that don't complement you or agree with what you've said. The point of posting in this subforum is to get your work reviewed, so it can be tuned up to working levels.

Your actual project has received plenty of comments, and I don't think I can add much at this juncture, but your method of presentation simply is not up to par.

In your favor is that you are obviously educated and eloquent. There are plenty of submissions that I can't even digest because I cannot read what is being proposed. So thank you for having grammatically correct presentation.

Stylistically, you use way too many ellipses. We can only assume what your tone is from what you've written, and sprinkling these over the entire text just makes you seem childish, shy, uncertain, but full of implications. Inasmuch as I can tell, that's not at all accurate, so there's no reason to needlessly burden your writing with this useless punctuation. It simply makes your meaning harder to understand.

Further, when you use the bold or italic tags, unless it is to properly format an entry, you are doing in text what amounts to raising your voice. It doesn't convey your meaning further, it just sounds more antagonistic. You have a complicated system to convey, you don't need little formatting things like this to be distracting people from what you're saying.

That's about it as far as presentation goes. On to responses!

You are going to get a lot of comments about your choice to host the pdf externally. There's no way around this. It isn't as convenient for people as the tables that you've no doubt seen in other threads. It's more work for you to format it on site, likely, but when users mention that they dislike that you've made your work available as an external file, you simply have to accept that. It isn't a matter of your trustworthiness (we don't know you so there's essentially nothing you can say or do to prove yourself on that) because most of the users aren't so as incompetent as to be unable to have some antivirus software. So that is a moot point. It's simply the case that you have added another few steps before people can actually look at what you've written, and they don't appreciate it.

Your pdf is very elegantly formatted, by the way. But that is also beside the point. You have made your choice, you are clearly not going to change it. However, you cannot but accept when people complain, or offer alternatives.

You did warn us that this system would work very closely with DMs, but as a general understanding, homebrews provide concrete and specific examples around which play of a class is based. If you want to encourage players to crack open a dictionary, that's fine. Others have commented already on what constitutes a system. What you have could be played, so from a sense, it is done. However, this is about the presentation. It is easier to understand and extrapolate from balanced examples than it is from the core rules. You will have more takers on your system and more people expanding their vocabulary if you give them a place to start.

Finally, you have to remember that you brought your work to this subforum, and that you may choose to stop using it at any time. This is supposed to be a resource, and if it isn't helpful, then search for ones which fit your needs. Do not directly or indirectly, though implicit or explicit means, belittle the people who have made an attempt to provide feedback, no matter their method of doing so. If someone says something truly hateful and spiteful, there are forum rules that will be enforced. Except in those cases, keep in mind that the people here are giving feedback, and it is your choice what to do with it.

Story Time
2012-05-20, 07:25 PM
Spoiler frames again, for the same reason as last time. Small post size. :smallsmile:


Story time let me start by saying that the flavor of your true namers makes me want to jump up and say Yes!

What a very nice thing to say. :smallsmile: I appreciate it.

...perhaps I do have a...certain ability as a GameMaster to consider a large number of variables at my table. I should at least be willing to admit that it's possible that my home-brew document reflects levels of theoretical immersion which I find ordinary and normal while others might not. I have to concede that for the sake of completeness. It is also very common for me to use House Rules in my games. If two different Players came to me and one said, "I want to play a cleric," while the other said, "I want to play a fighter," or a, "knight," I'd probably use a gestalt house rule for the latter player.

At my table, it's not so much about rule structure as it is all the Players having a good time. I know, that's my opinion, but I'm more interested in the people that I'm with at that point rather than a rule book.

At the same time as I say all that...I'm still going to make the very best home-brew document that I can. :smallbiggrin:

...popular or not, solo or not, easy or not, that's my goal. This document is going to become something that I would use, or allow, in a real-table-game. It might end in a solo-campaign-only class for every-one else, but if that is what results from my perseverance, then I will be happy with it.


I'm sorry I didn't read the actual document, but I make a policy of not downloading stuff if I don't have to.

And I am perfectly content for you to make that choice. :smallsmile:

Also, would you like to know some real facts? :smallbiggrin:

My key-board's color is black. An empty bottle of wine is within twelve cubic inches of it. Within two inches of that rests a very sharp razor blade in its case. Within three inches of the blade is a pair of finger nail snippers.

Those are facts. :smallsmile:


Ah! :smalleek: The much-awaited Pennance! Give me a little bit to read what you posted, and I'll reply here. So sorry! My post was ninjarated! :smalleek:

It was such a big post! Breaking it down into individual quotes and responses seems like a crime... So instead, what follows is just a loose collection of thoughts as a general reply. I hope that Pennance finds that choice at least acceptable, if not desirable...


In forum thread posts, I use bold and italicized text to mark emphasis. In the manual, I use it to try to make a long wall of text more easy to read. Under-lining sub-headings in the Class Features section was my attempt to make certain rules easy to find. The first read-through was not my concern with that choice. I was thinking of Players returning to look at the rules when I made that choice. As a solution, it functions for me, but I'm willing to listen to other suggestions about it.

In forum thread posts, I use ellipses to denote when I pause. That's really all that that is. :smallsmile: In the manual, I've tried to use them only where I thought appropriate. See, a manual is a kind of instruction document. It's not like chatting with a friend over the phone. The manual shouldn't feel like a casual conversation. Here? Well, it's probably more helpful to the environment to present text that doesn't cause stress. :smallbiggrin:

Thank you for your comments about the flavor of the manual, its visual format, and my...presumed intelligence. :smallredface: I appreciate them all...even if it's kind of embarrassing.

...but for the second time this week I'll point out that the manual is incomplete. I'm certain that Pennance realizes this, but a number of comments that I've received seem to be under-pinned with, "You failed!" The only reply that I can offer is, "I'm not done yet!" :smallamused:

Every member of this forum that comes across this thread is going to make a choice whether they are willing to access the document in the method that I discovered. It doesn't perturb me at all if they choose to avoid it for that reason.

Complaints... :smallfrown: Complaints are a hard topic to address. On the one hand the person making the complaint probably has what-ever reasons they want to use to make their complaint. On the other, I'm only one person. Constant exposure to complaints is not healthy. Also, pleasing every-one at all times is not possible. I refuse to try. What I can do...is listen. I can listen to the best extent that I'm able. In that way I can do what I can to validate the opinions of others even if I can not or do not make any changes related to their complaint.

See where this is headed? Not only are complaints hard to swim through, I like to think that I have a firm idea of what I want out of my home-brew document. I started this thread with the premise that every-one who saw the manual would hate it and that the thread would sit in silence with only my occasional up-date posts to stem that tide. Now? A handful of nice people have gone out of their way to spend time and read what I prepared. It's such a nice feeling to know that their thoughtful replies are based upon their perceptions. And while I can acknowledge that, and do try to, I can't please every-one at all times. I refuse to try.

Examples! Yes, yes, yes, yes. I've been thinking about an Examples Section in the document. The idea came to me before I ever posted the original version of the document, but now I see that it might have to be more expansive and sweeping than I realized. There's nothing wrong with a reader saying, "I'm confused!" That's actually great for me. Helping others understand is part of what I want to do as a maker of home-brew. So no, I do not dismiss comments when forum members say that they are confused. I try to look at it as a challenge, actually.

...I brought my document to this sub-forum...because I hated all of the fighting and bitter words exchanged over the true-namer class in the Tome. I loved, and still do, the principles behind the true-name concept. I came here to make something better available.

...there was so much hate, and stress, and arguing about this subject... And no one was doing anything about it! No one said, "You know what, I'm going to make something that I don't have to pitch a fit about!" Me? I did.

Pennance is exactly correct. It is my demonstrable prerogative to take my home-brew away or look for some other place if I choose. But...if I do...I will strive so that the reason is because of an altruistic choice, and not a malicious one.

Reading all of your thoughts, specifically all of the kind things, I am refreshed. Thank you for sharing them. :smallbiggrin: I appreciate so much that you posted again! Really! :smallsmile:

Story Time
2012-05-25, 05:52 PM
Progress, finally. Most of it is thanks to the encouragement shared to me recently. The document now has the rule idea I mentioned earlier. That rule changes radically the entire balance of the class. I was forced to alter the number of prepared Lexical Utterances available to the class as a result.

For those who care about why:

I'm starting to be some-what disgusted with that word as it continues to be used in my mind every time that I think of this class being used in a game with characters of other classes. The point of True-Names, in terms of potency, is supposed to be ultimate. At the same time, though, I have a particular desire to play-test the class in this home-brew with other classes.

Specifically, the Love Conquers All (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=12036117#post12036117) home-brew made available by Selinia.

It's funny to me, almost endlessly so, to think that a Truth Sayer and a Mahou Shojo could team up for anything and still some-how be effective. I some-times think about campaign ideas for this postulate, but I'm currently running one game, advising players for a second, and am assembling this home-brew. I'd really like to be a player, actually, and play-test either this home-brew or something kin to Selinia's. To do that, I should have a fairly complete document, if not a finalized one.

As an issue of Tier, it would be the same question as trying to put a Truth Sayer in the same party as a fighter, a rogue, a ranger, a thug, or any-thing really. The point of Tier is about potency. The one in this home-brew is pretty high and putting it together with a lower Tier class would present the same problems as any other high-tier base class.

So...the reason why I've altered the Speak With [The] Universe class feature is because I want to use the home-brew in multiple player games. It is in that spirit, the desire to play, that I came to the decision that I did.

And...surprisingly, the amount of text to explain the change was much less than I thought it would be. I was surprised. I almost feel silly typing out all of these words just to explain such a small thing. :smallredface: Still, I want to play the class.

The other changes I mentioned in this post also take very little space. And...because the changes are so small I feel pretty silly about up-dating the download link in the thread. Really. It's not more than four para-graphs. :smallbiggrin:

So...I'm thinking about waiting until some-thing more major has been added before up-loading another version. That's my current opinion.

Also, I added a note for the Say My Name And I Shall Hear class feature.

Feats. I'm thinking that feats will be next. Most of them feel ready. I think.

Story Time
2012-05-27, 03:37 PM
I decided to try some-thing different. It should be on page eight of the next document release. Because of that the Table of Contents required some revision. It's accurate, currently, but I have not added in the feats or their summary list. I have made a few cosmetic alterations to the manual based on where I feel the manual is going.

Pennance made a note of under-lined text which was individually marked. Try, as in attempt; I decided to try to see what the manual would look like and read like without those marks.

The ellipses which were part of the flavor text feel to me like they fall under artistic license. I want them to remain for theatrical effect. However, I did take the time to improve how they looked in comparison with the rest of the manual. So I feel that Pennance's suggestion about them was useful in that it forced me to look more closely at them.

The sub-headings which were under-lined under the class features will remain as they are for now. That is an intentional choice. I want readers to be able to find the rules easily. That includes me when I'm reading my own manual. :smalltongue:

Lastly, there was a space originally on page ten for a True-Name Research Modifiers list. That space has been removed and moved to the new charts section later in the manual. The Table of Contents, currently, lists where it is.

Story Time
2012-05-28, 06:38 PM
There is now a Feat Section with a summary and detail list for each feat. There are fourteen feats, currently. The section doesn't quite look good enough for me yet. In the middle of revising it an idea for an utterance came to mind and all feat-thought came to a screeching halt.

For those who care about why:

I don't want to compare my home-brew to the original true-namer class in the Tome. But in order to make a cogent point I have to use some kind of basis.

For those who remember the original Tome, page two-hundred thirty-four provided the start for a list of utterances. Utterances were supposed to be what the true-namer did. The fun(! Dwarf Fortress reference? ) of the class was supposed to be tied up in that. There were three lexicons: Evolving Mind, Crafted Tool, and Perfected Map.

How many utterances were in each one? Would it surprise you to learn that the numbers were thirty ( 30 ), eight ( 08 ), and twelve ( 12 ), respectively?

That's right. Fifty unique utterances and more than half of them were tilted into one single lexicon.

Non-sequitur! :smallfrown:

...for my little home-brew project...I started out with a simple goal. Eighteen unique utterances. That math was simple: Three lexicons multiplied by six utterance levels equals eighteen unique utterances. I plan for these utterances to be spaced as equally as possible through all three lexicons. But...I don't yet have eighteen unique utterances. I have all of the open slots filled for each lexicon, yes. But that's not enough. So...I try to make a priority for utterances...even if they will not be released immediately. :smallsmile:

Story Time
2012-06-02, 11:36 PM
I'm not going to give out the details in public. I've already informed my Players through private messages. This project is suspended as of now. I may resume it later, but no up-dates or home-brew progress should be accomplished or expected until I make an amending post in this thread.

Please understand that if I were to explain the reasons for my choice, most would sympathize. The most that I will say is that a certain family issue exploded. I know that there are a number of people who love true-names and seem to like this project. That's a pretty great feeling.

But for now, family comes first. See you all later.

2012-06-05, 02:22 AM

Removed at ST's request.

Story Time
2012-06-06, 10:42 PM
I'd like to tell you all a story:
Once, I had the opportunity to work in food service. A very noble profession. :smalltongue: At that point, I was a grunt. My position in the company's hierarchy was that people would look at me and say, "Go do this."

And I would go and do it.

I would clean ovens, sinks, and bathrooms. To this day, I'm still inspired by sparkling porcelain.

Any-way, The Boss decided to hire a guy. We'll call him, Manager.

Manager had a degree. A masters in business. He was great with numbers and had good delegation skill. But, after Manager was hired, other Grunts started quitting The Job. The Boss took notice. After the third Grunt, The Boss decided that something was wrong and started asking the Grunts.

Pretty much all of them said that the problem was, "Manager." And they probably weren't wrong. See, Manager was smart. He was really intellectual. He'd studied. He dressed in a suit with neat buttons and a tie. He had a piece of paper proving that he was educated. But...when he dealt with people...he was arrogant.

When talking with him, in The Job and out, there was such a sense of I'm-Better-Than-You that all of the Grunts didn't like him. That included me too.

Manager was politely dismissed from employment by The Boss.

Then, there was this girl who was hired. We'll call her Oats. She did not have a degree. She did not have a college education. She dressed in simple cotton and very modestly. Apparently in her family it was normal to have a Work Dress and she used those quite a bit. Her hair was almost always in a bun. And she was put in charge of the Grunts.

She smiled, almost always. She was polite, saying, "Please," and, "Thank you," often. There were times when things did bother her, or she would come to The Job with some unstated anxiety. Even in those times the atmosphere that poured off of her was I'm-One-Of-You.

She was humble...and she was beautiful to work with. Even when she was telling Grunts what to do. The literal words out of her mouth would be, "Go clean the [item]." And they were inspirational.

To this day, I have nothing but good memories of her.

Story Time
2012-07-06, 04:43 PM
...I had a really great conversation with a friend today. Some of the conversation touched on this home-brew, and because I felt like I was able to, I made a small note in it about a possible thing in the future.

I'm making a post about it because it does count as advancing a concept. But really, this post is more about the great conversation that I had and that I feel a little more human again.

I hope every-one enjoyed their July Fourth. :smallsmile:

Story Time
2012-07-13, 03:57 AM
I thought of a feat and added it to the list. It wasn't very much. One hundred ninety words.

...things have quieted around here. I mean at my home. There's less stress. It's enough to where I can think about this home-brew.

I'm not ready to say that I can resume the project. I still have lots of other things to manage that are definitely more important. But, the home-brew does have a pulse. And I do too.

Story Time
2012-07-16, 06:38 AM
...there are twenty-nine utterance themes in my notes. I've surpassed my design goal of eighteen utterances. The lexicons will be filled pretty evenly. Twenty-nine is more than half of fifty...

2012-07-16, 09:17 AM
I'm happy for you. Unfortunately, everything I can see about your job is ''404 not found''. Can you correct this please?

2012-07-16, 10:59 AM
One of my players is determined to use this, and luckily my game is starting off very relaxed and slow, so we've had time to observe some things. The main thing is that, because what few references there are to Lexicons and Lexical Utterances, he essentially has only the SWtU-Utterance that he gained from his first three words. So how do you see those functioning, in the future, assuming I haven't missed something over and over and over.

Story Time
2012-07-16, 03:35 PM
I'm happy for you. Unfortunately, everything I can see about your job is ''404 not found''. Can you correct this please?

I'm very sorry... I haven't had the favorable circumstances to up-load a new document. I'd also like to apologize for failing to take that link down. That's my fault. :smallfrown: I'll correct that after this post.

I just hope that the expiration date helped push off any confusion.

...now that I've been asked, I'll make a point of trying to up-load some-thing for you. But most of the improvements that I've mentioned are actually in my notes and not part of the document yet. It may take a little while...

Thank you for posting your interest. I'm very sorry that I can't provide a more agreeable reply.

Story Time
2012-09-23, 03:48 PM
...this is kind of a public service announcement. It's not for any-one specifically... I just...feel that it's relevant to the thread.

I have a friend whose dad is an engineer. He gets to play with cool stuff and bring it home. Some-times it's giant machine parts that make neat weights. Some-times it's really neat things like industrial magnets.

...the short version of the story is that I can't access the data on my hard-disk-drive no matter which computer I put it in. My hunch is that the magnet was involved. Maybe the drive just went bad. I don't know.

But to be clear, all of the data on that drive is gone. I think. Music, photo-graphs, home-brew, role-play games, notes, school stuff, therapy stuff. Every-thing. Gone.

So... Yeah.

Story Time
2012-09-24, 08:53 AM

Hi. Today let's take a look at some design principles for Truth Sayers, their lexicons, and the utterances in them.

Utterance Theory

First, and most important, is how each utterance inter-acts with the Law of Sequence. Each utterance should have a name, obviously. Under that name, though, should be a number of different ways that the utterance can be applied. These applications should be treated as individual utterances for the purpose of the Law of Sequence. Why? Because we want a Truth Sayer who is as flexible as possible.

Lexicons And Themes

Play-By-Post games and their styles can make things a little muddy some-times. But when sitting at a table with a map and a character sheet the game becomes very clear. There are three lexicons. Whether the Truth Sayer gains access to only one, some, or all of the lexicons is the choice of the home-brewer. Each lexicon, though, should do some-thing different.

Because when sitting at the game table, it's easy to see. There should be three kinds of utterances. Utterances that affect the map. Utterances that affect objects or items. And utterances that affect people. Characters, in other words. From these three themes all utterances can be divided into their own lexicon.

Remember, we want a flexible Truth Sayer.

Level One Utterance Design

Start with an utterance that influences the character first. That one's easy. I recommend an utterance that influences the health of the character. There aren't enough of those in the Tome.

Remember, it can't be an object. It's okay to later make an utterance that influences a character's health through an object, but try to focus on the character utterances first. At minimum, try to focus on one lexicon theme at a time.

Take notes for all of your utterance ideas even if they don't fit into the lexicon you're presently working on. Even if they don't make the final cut of the material, take notes. You'll be glad you did.

Once you've finished with the character lexicon ( or which-ever one you started with ), move on to the next. It's also okay to move on if you've exhausted ideas for the lexicon you started with. That's fine. Other ideas for other lexicons will probably provide new ideas for previous lexicons.

The Three Utterances

At the end of the process there should be at least one Level Six utterance for each lexicon. More is fine, but I'm using the phrase Three Utterances because they're special. You know why, too. These are the game-breakers. The game-makers. These are the three most powerful utterances in the Truth Sayer's arsenal.

These are the utterances that make players want to play a Truth Sayer.

Remember, you don't want to make your Game-Master cry with what you make. You want to make him go, "Dude, I have got to see that in play!"


Well, that's all for now.