View Full Version : How would a "Job Crystal" type mechanic fare in a DnD game?

2013-05-30, 01:46 AM
It's rather interesting what random ideas pop into my head, but anyway I had this idea that there could be a sort of "Job Crystal" item that can be utilized by an adventuring party. Inspiration for the idea came from the Final Fantasy series for those who don't know. I won't go into too much detail, since it's not too hard to find it on Google.

The main idea is to fix up the problems of a party being imbalanced due to certain players wanting to play their favorite class. What this does is other than their base class, they can also temporarily take on the role of another class should they need it. So as an example, the party Fighter can take up the class of Rogue and help find and disable traps, or the party Wizard becomes a Cleric to take care of injured party members. It can also encourage the party to work together a bit more, and can help make some challenges more of a puzzle than a straight hack-and-slash.

The main problem of course is how to factor in all the various resources, such as Spells per day for each possible class, Psionic Points, and so forth.

I figure some ways to limit abuse is that while the party can all share the same class changes, no more than one character at a time can be that class, so to prevent 4-5 Wizards or Clerics steamrolling everything. Another idea is that the class you chose for character creation is what determines your HP. For BAB/saves/feats/skills, it'll take on the class that's been changed into. To prevent the party from screwing each other over, each player can have their own skill and feat allocation for that class, but they can still only have one of each class present at once. I can make up lore and say that trying to have more than one of the same class change be present on the battlefield causes strains on the crystals.

Some ideas to stop abuse of these job crystals can be there's limited amount of time per day that the class can be used, and the duration is shared by the whole party, so no abuse from each player taking a 6 hour shift to be the party Cleric. Adding on top of that, I figure the duration can be up to 10 minutes per class level of that PC, with a limit of 3 hours for the whole party. That means levels will matter until up to level 18, which is pretty much the end-game for most high-level campaigns. The player must use the class in 10-minute intervals, to make it less of a headache of counting single minutes. If they end early, the total remaining time is reduced to the nearest 10 minutes, rounded up.

Another idea to prevent abuse is that the Job Changed class can only use 1/2 the amount of spells of a regular class, or limit it even more, up to only 1-2 spells of each spell level.

A pro is that I can also extend this to stronger enemies, and bosses. It can make fights more dynamic, because that party of bards you just ambushed have adapted to the situation and became Barbarians/Wizards/Clerics. For the BBEG, it can help him from falling to one-trick tactics that are kicking his rear end.

Cons would be of course the players abusing this to utterly derail a campaign, but this is still just a brainstorm, so there's still room for fixes.

The abridged version:
-Job crystals for the whole party. Class available to job change is still up for debate.
-Limit 1 of a Job Changed class per party. No 2x-4x Job Changed Wizard/Cleric party.
-Meant to help fill a missing role(s) temporarily or overcome a sudden challenge
-Not meant to overtake your current class. Only lasts up to 3 hours a day for the party.
-HP count comes from class, everything else doesn't. No level-up abuse as a Barbarian
-Each PC can have their own feat/skill allocation.

Do let me know how this all sounds, and whether anyone else on the forums have had a similar idea.

2013-05-30, 02:46 AM
-Meant to help fill a missing role(s) temporarily or overcome a sudden challenge

That's what magic items in general are about.
Having either a variety of items or a variety of spells on hand help for this.
Compare cleric for healing to having wands of lesser vigor and a couple belts of healing and adequate gear; or runestaves with healing spells for the wizard.
or Rogue to someone having a ring of trapfinding or "detect traps" cast. Or wizard to ranks in UMD and scrolls and wands.

From the title I figured they'd be profession-skill reservoirs.

2013-05-30, 03:02 AM
I'd suggest taking a quick look at the Chameleon PrC in Races of Destiny. It might have some stuff you would want to lift.

Just to Browse
2013-05-30, 03:03 AM
So you use a crystal of class [x] and then you're treated as class [x] for 3 hours?

Sounds interesting, but might as well just say "I play a tag-team of [my favorite class] and [x]. I switch between them with a quick ritual." without going into wonky mechanics. And of course, if a player wants to play their favorite class, then they want to be effective as their favorite class, and Job Crystals kind of defeat that purpose.