View Full Version : Original System [Cult of Donjon] :: System Design

2014-01-07, 09:18 PM
Current Cult of Donjon Members:

Our current musings and debates:


That's right. We need to figure out everything. We have suggested open systems, classed systems, streamlined systems, basic systems, tiered systems, point-based-level-by-level-purchasable systems, and several others. We should pound out a mission statement first, and decide whether it is linked to D&D or not.

Will also update this post and the next three with material we put together.

2014-01-07, 09:19 PM
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2014-01-07, 09:21 PM
Reserved Post #2

2014-01-07, 09:25 PM
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2014-01-07, 10:20 PM
Here's my idea. Instead of working XTRA hard to balance the d20 system, which is probably either impossible, already done, or a Bad Idea (two letters: 4 and e), why don't we focus more on niching everything. If nobody's overshadowed, then everybody's happy, right? 3.5's problem is that Druids (for example) can do everything better than everyone. Fighters are strictly suck, Incanatrix is strictly win.

I suggest we shoot not for pure elegance and balance (because again, that's either impossible or it's been done), but for a more colorful game. Make every class totally different. I'm envisioning a far grittier (but still epic) aesthetic than the one 3.5 has. Where priests can fall out of favor, fighters (and everybody else) can lose body parts in hand-to-hand combat, wizards can be corrupted or go insane or horribly mess up the world (or all three), shifter-types gradually lose their humanity and turn into the monsters they shape into, necromancers begin taking on more and more characteristics of their undead forms (both a benefit and a perk: a necromancer slowly taking on Vampire or Wight or Ghost characteristics is cool, no? Like Dragon Disciple, only non-crap and undead)...

One of the things I'd really like to see is less insta-success and far more lasting/permanent consequences.

See, those things REEK of flavor (and fun) to me. D&D, by comparison, is pretty bland. Take 2 levels of fighter, a level of barbarian, 3 levels of Duskblade, several Dragon feats, and what have I got? I'm not sure, but it kicks a straight fighter's ass. And combat is similarly bland. It's a tactical exercise, more like chess than a fantasy novel. And tactics are great, but there's nothing remotely fluffy about D&D tactics. Sure, the players can come up with their own fluff, but if they have to do that, I think that means the system didn't really do its job.

2014-01-07, 10:37 PM
I am so there. Well said, E. I revisited what I wanted out of D&D about two years ago and gave it a manicure, reconstructive surgery, and a body transplant. Each class was suffused with flavorful abilities and were modular enough to make many styles of play available.

I like the idea of retaining classes. I just want more of them. Fewer Prestige Classes, more Base Classes. You could combine most of the Complete series into a handful of classes with a bunch of options available. Flavorful, magical options.

The issue with every game and 'stepping on toes' centers around magic and others. Skill Monkey? Well, Mr. Wizard can cast Knock, Summon Monster, See Invisibility, and Shatter. Front line fighter? Oof, Girallon Arms and bite of the ANYTHING.

But what if the Wizard couldn't do all that? Sure, his spells could cover a wide range of things, but they were all rituals? Or only a narrow category? Or only things he purchases with Magic Points? Or what if magic, wizards, sorcerers, familiars, and the rest of the Arcane grab-bag were just feat trees? As was Psionics? Then, you'd have Internal power (Anima/Divine), Granted power (Divine/Primal), and Learned power (Might/Anima). POSTULATED.

Edit: Ooh. Or instead of having tons of classes, have PrCs built into higher level base classes. Kind of like 4e, but more tree based. Fighter leads down a few paths: Archer, Knight, Dueling, Samurai, etc. Then each Path has Prestige Feats/Traits/whatever that mimic existing material.

I suggest we each build one of the core, archetype classes, then compare and contrast them. Mage, Rogue, Fighter, Cleric, Druid. That way, we will have a concrete example of how each of us build, the power levels we desire, and a base to jump from for future endeavors. If nobody calls them, I will assign them. CULT HOMEWORK.

2014-01-07, 10:55 PM
Psionics is a feat tree?

I think the problem #1 is that casters can do anything, yeah. I think the easy way to fix that is to place big limitations on spells known. Specifically, wizards should only be able to do a few types of things, just a few spells. Or, maybe they can do all sorts of stuff but the spells all mostly suck.

The other solution which ties into the design philosophy I outlined earlier, is to give casting consequences. Cast too many spells, and you'll start to go insane, or undergo burnout, or grow sores, or have spells you cast start to go wrong more often. Wizards rock in D&D because they never ever fail. A knock spell always opens doors. What if a knock spell could instead turn a wooden door into steel by mistake, or cause it to heat, or actually 'open the door' but have it turn into a random portal? That last thing actually brings up something I forgot to mention.

I think the system should provide easy DM plot hooks. Portals accidentally take you somewhere, or you accidentally summon a demon which is hellbent on killing you, or you're running out of favor with your god and have to go kill skeletons for him, or if you're a Necromancer, whatever form you start to turn into (say, a Vampire) you'd need to start doing things like taking the blood of virgins or protect your necropolis, or whatever.

I like your tree-PrC idea. Kind of like D&D Next archetypes.

I'll go build you some classes. I've got plenny 'o ideas. But the balance will be all off, because I suck at that sort of thing. (Seriously, the most optimized character I've ever made is Lozeki. I'm so proud of myself for making a character that didn't suck, without relying on instawins like Druid or Malconvoker or whatever.)

2014-01-07, 11:05 PM
Which class would you like to design? My idea for each is:
Basic Class, Modular Chassis, Class Features
Some Talents (feat-like augmentation), one or two PrC trees.

I can build anything. I think Janus would love the Fighter, and I wouldn't mind the Mage, Druid or Cleric. You can goose first, E!

2014-01-07, 11:22 PM
Hrm. Thinking ...

I like re-designing base classes for 20 levels of cool. The key, to me, is not only niche identity, but flexibility. You should not just be building a cookie-cutter - in fact, the thing I actually LIKE about the grab-bag of classes is that I CAN, in fact, build damn near ANYTHING with a few levels of a bunch of stuff. The ABILITIES I HAVE, to me, define the character's fluff better than any class title.

Take Dash. He's a ninja bounty hunter! He has 2 levels of Ranger and 4 of Scout on one side, and one of Crusader, 4 Incarnate, and one Fighter level on the other.

But what does he DO?

He flys 40 ft through the air, lashing out to strike any foes within 15 ft. with his snake-like kung-fu meteor hammer. He climbs walls like a ninja, taking 10 with a +8 bonus. His fluid and confusing weapon strikes fear into foes, making him nearly impossible to close with in melee and keeping casters from being able to focus on their spells. He can track a man cross-country and when his foes hurt, his friends take heart and find new vigor.

He is what he can DO.

So therefore, I think my two cents are going to be that base classes should be flexible, allowing for versatility and creativity without needing too much multiclassing.

Let's review - classes ...
SHOULD be 20 levels,
SHOULD be flavor-riffic,
SHOULD be flexible,
SHOULD be functional,
SHOULDN'T step on each other's toes.

Re: magic, what's always bothered me was that Mages don't ROLL for ****. Our Fighter has to worry about three attributes for attack, defense, and toughness; our caster, one. Our Fighter has to worry about hitting his target; our mage auto-hits, and the FOE is forced to roll or suck. Static numbers beat a gamble every time.

I say we put the gamble back IN magic.

Mages need to roll some ****.

Maybe magic is a skill roll, with consequences if you goof. Maybe it's a Caster Level roll, which if you fail you release a wild magic effect. Maybe it's that your highest level spells (or highest TWO levels) have a chaos effect if blown - the DC for your check should be based on spell level, no?

2014-01-07, 11:40 PM
I'll design the whole shebang: as many classes as I can. It might take me a while, though.

Right now I'm thinking Fighter = ToB-inspired, with a touch of Badass Space Marine. Maybe branching out into Gladiator (1 on 1 combat with exotic weapons), Monk, Marshal, and Hunk Of Solid Rock (metaphorically speaking).
Rogue = Tricks up his sleeve - lots of them. With the requisite sneak attack damage, of course. Coming in Assassin, Cat-Burgler, and Swashbuckler flavors
Mage = Well, the stuff we talked about. Comes in Vanilla, Witch/Ritualist, Necromancer, and Demonologist flavors.
Cleric = Being chosen by the divine. Comes in Priest and Paladin flavors.
Druid = Either Shifter (which is probably going to be more Totemist-like than Wildshape-like), or Naturemage, or Summoner.

And I'll provide ample opportunities for spells to go horrifically wrong (and for classes to otherwise have permanent effects on you). Summons can turn on you, your god can decide to start cursing you, Shifting, Necromancy, and Paladin turn you into more of an animal/undead/outsider by the level, etc. The riskiest class of all is going to be Mage, and the most reliable will be Fighter.

Also, I propose really discouraging Multiclassing either through penalties or through abilities which actually increase in usefulness, not start to taper off after level 8 or so.

2014-01-08, 01:03 AM
Thought: spell trees. You can generalize, but you'll never earn higher-level spells if you do. If you specialize, you'll only know a few spells, and you'll be far less versatile.

I'm kinda excited, y'all. This is interesting.

Had two thoughts.

One: should we make a list of what in d20 we LIKE? For instance, I like the combat rules as written, for the most part. I like PF skills, though - Open Lock and Disable Device are the same thing, Jump/Climb/Tumble are Acrobatics, and so on. I don't like the EXP system (I always go with story award), but I do like levels and such. I think feats suck, and I think Frank n' K's feats should be a model for us.

Two: what about a list of important abilities and such? Lemme explain:

You need a way to see invisible (scent, blindsight/sense, tremorsense, mindsight, etc.)
You need Freedom of Movement (spell, Escape Artist, grapple, etc.)
You need movement (climb, fly, burrow, ethereal, incorporeal, teleport, etc.)
You need resistance (fort/will/ref, to mental effects, to negative energy/level drain, to death effects, to SA)
You need attacks (to hit bonuses, touch attacks, numbers of attacks, etc.)
You need damage (SA, skirmish, PA, etc.)
You need defense (AC, DR, energy resistance)
You need defense piercing (DR, energy resistance)
You need utility (the kitchen sink - this is where abilities stop fitting in slots and start getting ... well, FUN!)

I propose at-will skill trick mechanics for Rogues.
I propose at-will and USEFUL cantrips for mages, and possibly at-will but maneuver-style refresh mechanics for all spells.

Eonas, I like your "archetypes" suggestion. I propose one Fighter option be "the archer."

In fact, here are mine (some overlap, some duplicate - see what you think!):

Fighter: Brawler (unarmed), Archer (ranged specialist), Knight (noble, mounted, heavy armor), Mercenary (tough campaigner, tactics), Gladiator (exotics), Weapon Master (single weapon)
Rogue: Swashbuckler (hells yes!), Con-man (party face), Treasure Hunter (B&E specialist, dungeon delver, cat burglar), Assassin (sneaky killer), Thug (tough, hardy fighter with dirty tricks), Jester (trickster who uses flash grenades, caltrops, and even silly **** like rubber chickens), Wandering Minstrel (knows lots of bits n' pieces of knowledge, plus a party face)
Wizard: Wild Mage (hedge wizard), Necromancer, Trickster, Mentalist, Diabolist
Cleric: Wandering Mystic, Monk, Godling, Templar
Druid: Lycanthrope, Beast Master, Storm Sage, Greensinger, Stone Speaker, Wave Rider

2014-01-08, 07:29 AM
I like the idea of spell trees. It makes sense, it encourages the players to specialize without cursing them if they don't, and it would seem to be a more accurate representation of how you would learn these spell. It doesn't make sense that you could learn a 9th level Abjuration just as easily as any other spell if you've never so much as touched Abjuration before.

I also dislike Vancian casting, but if each class has a different core mechanic then we need a way to distinguish spellcasting mechanically from maneuvers. The random chance involved is good, what else do we want to incorporate? Insanity, perhaps? Still, it's not really a different mechainic then, just the same one with a bunch of extra stuff tacked on. Hmm.

2014-01-08, 11:43 AM
If you don't mind me popping in to share some thoughts...

I've seen a number of system design projects (most usually Heartbreakers, if you're familiar with the term), and the ones that are most successful typically begin with a question that you haven't seemed to answer before throwing around mechanic ideas.

Namely: why are you making a new system, what is the intended playstyle behind that system. Then (and really only then) can you figure out how to implement it successfully. From the base mechanics up.

Pathfinder set out to just be 3.5 with balance tweaks. Legend opted for the idea of the "rule of cool," and then made a simple combination class system that lets you easily pick up cool powers with a lot of cross-class flexibility. Old School Hack wanted to harken back to the first dungeon-crawls...and then it rewrote the core system to do that.

I'm currently seeing a lot of discussion of how classes should be structured, but very little discussion on what my experience has made me feel is more important: the what (what are we trying to make in terms of gameplay), the why (why do we feel a new system is necessary as opposed to just some homebrewing for an existing system), and the other what (what system will best drive this, and/or what major modifications, if any, do we need to apply to the base system in question to get a game that works the way we want). Then you can move on to the how, which is where you seem to be trying to start.

Anyway, just my thoughts. Happy to help out if you need a hand, but, if not, best of luck! System design is tough...but it's damn fun. :smallbiggrin:

2014-01-08, 12:20 PM
I like your ideas, JJ, as usual.

What specifically do you have against Vancian spellcasting, Plerumque? I don't want to sound argumentative, I'm just genuinely curious.

I've been thinking about classes. Mages should definitely have a sinister edge to them. In this system, I don't think there should be such a thing as an innocent mage (like there is in D&D - in D&D, magic is just a tactical option like any other).

Wizards are spell-tree mages (perhaps very closely modeled to Vancian casting, we'll see): they can do theoretically anything, but within options. Think something that's closer to Sorceror than Wizard. They all risk going insane. OR, maybe Wizard is like a blaster.
Necromancers are a hybrid thing. They're good at scaring the pants off people, raising the dead, and draining energy. Also, their hold on life becomes increasingly tenuous. At level 20, they actually become undead.
Shadowmages are illusionists and tricksters. But the more they cast, the more they lose their hold on reality. Which isn't insanity, nor is it losing their humanity. It's more like they start to live more and more in the Shadow Realm, which is a nasty place to be (especially since there you're beset by Shadow creatures).
Diabolists are more like Warlocks and Binders than actual Wizzies. They channel the forces of darkness to do more things (not really melee because the Shifter does that already, more things like ), but by doing so they're coming dangerously close to true, destructive evil. OR, maybe they're wizards who specialize in Planar Binding demons. The more they do that, though, the more they start to become evil.

Priests are almost entirely devoted to healing magics (which is actually important in this system, because everybody spends the game going insane and losing limbs and going into comas... the Priest is the best anchor everybody has to the world and humanity). They use the Divine Karma system I outlined earlier.
Paladins are divine fighter-types, obviously. Either they're like the reverse of the Diabolist (meaning Diabolist is just the flip side of the same coin... that would make Diabolists divine instead of arcane), or they're more a Clericzilla type build. Or both.
Monks are still martial artists, but their Divine Karma can't be used for spells. Instead, it provides more constant bonuses/penalties, and fuels Badass Kung-Fu Moves.

Druid (which, I think, shouldn't be divine casters... that's never made sense to me in D&D and it doesn't fit what I have in mind now):
Shifters/Ferals are something between Totemists and Wild Shapers, with a nice big dose of Barbarian thrown in. Still working out the details. But they should be fairly flexible face-eaters. And the more time they spend in animal form, the more they start to become feral beasts. Which comes with both perks and obvious downsides.
Naturesummoners are really friendly with nature, the best animal handlers in the game. They summon lots of creatures, but then they have to spend their actions ordering them around. Because otherwise the creatures start attacking people at will.
Hedge-Mages are the ritualists. They draw their power from mother Gaia, and can do a whole lot of ultrakewl stuff (really, they're super versatile, with healing/buffing/summoning spells on top of the hexing/city-destroying business they're so good at), but it takes them time and resources. During battles, they spend most of their time sitting in a magic circle performing minor hexes on people.

Fighters? They're all about maneuvers, nothing supernatural about them.
Rogues are also all about maneuvers and tricks. They can do a lot of things. A whole lot of them. But those things are all pretty situational things.

Djinn: Hello! Glad to have you pop in.

Good catch.

The sort of thing I have in mind is basically Dungeon Crawl Classics for d20. D&D with really lasting consequences, D&D with a really gritty fantasy flavor, like what Gygax would have come up with had he been going through Lovecraftian angst. D&D where every class has a legitimate niche and can't be overshadowed by others.

The other 'What' is just 'd20'. The classes as a whole are probably going to be overhauled, as well as the magic system. Combat is probably going to be modified a bit (I'm thinking D&D's take on HP will be the first thing to go, as it's not condusive to a gritty aesthetic, in my mind).

Why? To create a consistent d20 game using the design goals I talked about earlier. And bcuz its fun lol0ll.

Will this be a Fantasy Heartbreaker? No question about it, but hopefully a fun one.

Anyway, these are all my ideas. Whaddaya think? As JJ always says: Holler back, y'all!

2014-01-08, 12:33 PM
Thanks for the pop-in, Djinn! Yeah, we have a OOC thread for the Cult of Donjon and we've thrown around ideas for a while. I believe most (if not all) of the Cult has done significant homebrew and revision work before. We've also learned that leaping from each others' random, spur-of-the-moment ideas can produce some very intense, very awesome material.

The building of the classes is more for my benefit than the rest of you. I want to see how each of you design, how you build, and what power we want to reach. I've developed a Fighter class and various Feats, Talents, and Prestige Powers linked to it. I will work up a table in the next while and show and tell her.

I think we've narrowed it down to two reason: our frustration with the toe-stepping that occurs in D&D and how there are few (or no) remedies, and the imbalance that occurs between classes and levels.

We have decided, thus far, to have a thoroughly tiered system that puts strict limits on spellcasting, grants each class a lot of choices and customization, and removes (and/or severely limits) multiclassing by adding Multiclass Feats, dozen of Archetypes, PrC abilities built into base classes, and several other things.

I have a very clear idea of how I want the game to feel- something that has been reiterated by most Cult members over the course of our discussions. We want it to feel gritty but heroic, reminiscent of D&D, but its own 'open your imagination-eye' kind of swing to it. We want a 12th level Rogue to feel badass when he sneaks passed the army of Yuan-Ti, stab their chief commanding officer in the spleen, and paralyze him with the same attack. The fighter should stand toe-to-toe with the most buffed spellcasters around, and through sheer grit, training, and tactics, overcomes most obstacles.

If in case TL;DR: We have a hundred ideas of direction, and our method of design that has worked in the past is throw a billion ideas onto the floor, develop some, and let others die. It works really, really well for us.

2014-01-08, 01:15 PM
@E: I like it so far. I do suggest breaking away from naming the 'sub-classes', and focus more on the different Class Features they could provide. To help communicate my idea behind classes, first let me define terms:

Class Features: Anything the class provides beyond BAB, Saves, HP, and Skills

Traits: Class Features that develop over all 20 levels of the class. Chosen at 1st level. Every so often, you get the chance to change tracks or spread the power out over more than one Trait.

Talents: Class Features that are static and do not develop beyond increasing DCs or Scaling Damage. These are gained at every level (usually) and increase in power over levels. Can even make them into a tree-like system.

So for Arcane, you could choose the Traits of Wizardry, Bound Familiar, and Implement of Power. They all start at Rank 1 or Novice Rank or whatever. As you gain levels, they progress. At 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th, you gain additional Ranks for Traits. You can continue to advance the ones you have started at 1st, or give up progression of them to gain other Traits at a beginner's level.

You gain Talents of different ranks (Novice, Initiate, Adept, Master, Grandmaster) as you gain levels (2-4, 5-8, 9-12, 13-16, 17-20 respectfully) that function as tree-based power selection, feat selection, or other static class features. This part is easy to design, because you can just raid other published base and prestige classes for their juicy bits.

Arcane's Traits could consist of:

Binding (Transmutation, demon-binding, summoning with long durations)
Wizardry (Learning ancient lore, using a wider variety of spell, spellbooks to change spells on the fly)
Bound Familiar (a creature that evolves as you level; start as a cat, end up as a dire tiger-saur with tentacles and blindsight)
Implement of Power (Can choose Orb, Staff, or Wand. Each grant different powers and progress at different rates.)
Sorcerous Blood (You choose a Theme for your spells [Fire, Cold, Darkness, etc] and gain Spells of that type as you progress.)
Truespeech (The system I developed with Syllables, Words, Phrases, and Mantras)
Arcane Surge (like a mix of a Duskblade, Soulknife, and Abjurant Champion: short bursts of power from pure, raw, arcane energy.)
Shadowcrafting (Shadow-based powers and abilities)
Necromancy (Undead-based powers and abilities)

So, you could create a classic wizard using Bound Familiar, Wizardry, and Binding. Or a Demonologist with Sorcerous Blood, Arcane Surge, and Binding. It goes on and on. Then, you can create a general pool of Talents for all Arcane characters, and then a tree for each Trait.

So far for Fighter I have the following Traits:
Pugilist, Combat Mastery, Weapon Mastery, Amazing Athlete, Physical Perfection, Tactics Expert, Exotic Weapon Master, Blade of War, Sage of Swords, True Templar, and Combat Archer.

Every fighter level, he gains a number of Trait Points. He distributes them between whichever traits he desires, to a maximum based on his fighter level. Each level other than 1st, he gains a Talent, which is drawn from a general pool or a Tree based on one of the Traits he has chosen.

Every few levels, the tier he can select his Talents from increases by one.

Also, I have included on the fighter table the ranks of Maneuvers he can have. These are spent on each maneuver he learns. Learning a maneuver at rank 1 cost 1 point. Each point thereafter increases its Rank to a maximum of 8. Each rank provides an additional benefit or use for the Maneuver, kind of like a Domain. A Fighter without the Blade of War, Sage of Sword, True Templar, Combat Archer, or Tactics Expert can only ever master two Maneuvers, or one mastered and a couple at adept level.

{table=head]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special |
Talent Points|
Max Talent|

1st|+1|+2|+0|+0|Conflict Novice, Flavor of War, Traits, Maneuvers|

2nd|+2|+3|+0|+0|Fighting Talent|

3rd|+3|+3|+1|+1|Fighting Talent|

4th|+4|+4|+1|+1|Fighting Talent|

5th|+5|+4|+1|+1|Conflict Initiate, Combat Talent|

6th|+6/+1|+5|+2|+2|Combat Talent|

7th|+7/+2|+5|+2|+2|Combat Talent|

8th|+8/+3|+6|+2|+2|Combat Talent|

9th|+9/+4|+6|+3|+3|Conflict Adept, Battle Talent|

10th|+10/+5|+7|+3|+3|Battle Talent|

11th|+11/+6/+1|+7|+3|+3|Battle Talent|

12th|+12/+7/+2|+8|+4|+4|Battle Talent|

13th|+13/+8/+3|+8|+4|+4|Conflict Master, War Talent|

14th|+14/+9/+4|+9|+4|+4|War Talent|

15th|+15/+10/+5|+9|+5|+5|War Talent|

16th|+16/+11/+6/+1|+10|+5|+5|War Talent|

17th|+17/+12/+7/+2|+10|+5|+5|Conflict Grandmaster, Perfect Talent|

18th|+18/+13/+8/+3|+11|+6|+6|Perfect Talent|

19th|+19/+14/+9/+4|+11|+6|+6|Perfect Talent|

20th|+20/+15/+10/+5|+12|+6|+6|Perfect Talent, Avatar of Conflict|

Alignment: Any
Hit Die: 1d10

Class Skills:
Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier) × 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier

Special Features
Flavor of War: Choose one of the following benefits at 1st level:

Improved Reflexes: Reflex Save becomes good progression; Gain Evasion at 3rd level; gain Improved Evasion at 12th level.
Mental Dominion: Will save becomes good progression; gain Rigor (Will-save variant of Evasion) at 3rd level; gain Improved Rigor at 12th level.
Broad Training: Gain 4+ skills at every level instead of 2+, including the x4 at 1st level. Add any five skills as class skills. At 3rd level, gain a bonus Skill Trick. At 12th level, your skill points per level increase to 6+ (non-retroactive) and gain a bonus Skill Trick.
Durable Body: Increase Hit Die to d12. At 3rd level, gain Vigor (Fort-based variant of Evasion). At 12th level, gain Improved Vigor.
Alternate Combat Training: Choose any ability score. You may use that ability score to determine attack rolls with weapons instead of another applicable modifier. At 3rd level, you may use the chosen ability score for damage rolls with weapons (you do not gain 1.5x the score for using a weapon two handed, that is only gained when using Strength. This bonus replaces another used ability score, and only once per attack.). At 13th level, you may use the ability score for all physical skill checks if it is a physical ability score, or for all mental skill checks if it is a mental ability score. This is in addition to the regular ability score for those skill checks.

Conflict Novice: You gain access to Fighting Talents. Each has an ability score, trait, or maneuver prerequisite. You may select one ability score. You may add 1/2 your Fighter Level to that ability score to meet prerequisites.

Traits: The fighter gains 3 Trait points at 1st level. He places these Trait points into three different traits. Thereafter, he gains 1 trait point per level, and the maximum number of Traits points you can have in a single trait increases (to a maximum of 10 at 15th level). The Traits available to a fighter without a Multiclass Feat are:

Pugilist: A master of unarmed combat and maneuvers involving the empty hand
Combat Mastery: You are trained in a variety of techniques, learning a wide range of Combat Feats as you progress.
Weapon Mastery: Your focus and training in a single style of weapon has given you a great edge in battle.
Amazing Athlete: You are stronger, faster, and more physically mighty than all your peers.
Physical Perfection: You train your body's reaction time, conditioning, and durability to a point few men can comprehend.
Exotic Weapon Master: You are trained in a wide variety of weaponry and have learned to use everything in your surroundings as a deadly advantage.
Tactics Expert: You have learned the ways of the tactical mastermind, expanding and supplementing your Maneuvers.
Blade of War: You have learned the ways of the Vanguard, the first blade to strike shield in a conflict. You train for brutal tactics and offensive actions to supplement your Maneuvers.
Sage of Swords: You have learned the thought behind each strike, began your search for the One True Cut, the single stroke that spells the end of a combat. You train for tranquility and intensity to supplement your maneuvers.
True Templar: You have learned that faith and warfare go hand in hand, and have developed a system to treat your weapon as an extension of your own body and soul. You train in tenacity and leadership to supplement your Maneuvers.
Combat Archer: You have learned to treat bows, crossbows, and javelins as incarnations of death. You learn new Maneuvers keyed specifically to ranged weapons, and can adapt previously learned Maneuvers to ranged weapons as well.

Maneuvers: Your first level of Fighter provides you with two Maneuvers, each with at Rank 1. You can learn new maneuvers or upgrade learned ones as you gain levels. You have a total number of Maneuver Ranks as shown on the table. No maneuver may have more ranks in it than 1/2 your fighter level, rounded up. Each Rank in a Maneuver increases its power or adds a new use for it. Maneuvers can be used at-will, are (Ex) (unless otherwise noted), and do not need to be readied or memorized. [DESIGN NOTE: Super easy to build. Just accomodate for unlimited use, scale DCs, and draw from published/homebrew resources until you have a ton.]

Talents: Talents are separated into various Tiers- Fighting Talents (Novice), Combat Talents (Initiate), Battle Talents (Adept), War Talents (Master), and Perfect Talents (Grandmaster). [DESIGN NOTE: These will be drawn from PrCs, high-level spells/feats/powers, and various other sources. Should end up with a HEFTY number of these.]

2014-01-08, 03:23 PM
Hmm. I like the idea of traits in theory. Sort of. There's something about them that doesn't ring true to me, but I can't really make out what it is yet. Maybe it's that I kind of see them just as another opportunity to minmax, instead of make flavorful characters. I see their usefulness in making exactly the character you like, but... hmm. I'm still attached to the idea of having characters become increasingly [bestial/not-attached-to-reality/undead] while they progress as a Feral or Shadowmage or Necromancer or whatever. Not sure how that ties into the whole trait thing.

Huh. I think I might know what it is. It's 'generic wizardry'. It's... generic. I don't think there should be such a thing as a general wizard trait, maybe. They should either be pursuing Alienist, Necromancer, Shadowmage, Diabolist, or Whateverist tracks, not 'you know, I'm a guy who casts grease and dimension door'. OR, maybe there is such a thing as guy who casts grease and dimension door and mage armor and is basically the generic wizard guy, but he needs to be ungeneric in some way, to not just be a catchall for everything that doesn't fit into the Alienist/Necromancer/Shadowmage/Diabolist tracks. Wizardry needs a unique flavor. Maybe a 'Generic D&D Wizard' is a Scholar or Archivist-type, who surrounds himself in books and learns terrible secrets about the universe. Hmm... I like that.

And the more someone advances in a trait, the more they start to feel the benefits and disadvantages of the trait. And the benefits should advance exponentially in the trait, so you're incentivized to take a trait all the way to level 20.

OR. Hm. Maybe you HAVE archetypes after all, like the stuff I've been mentioning, but it's the other stuff that you buy with traits, like familiars or whatever. Huh. I dunno. I kinda like the idea of D&D Next-ish archetypes. Maybe each Archetype offers you a menu of stuff you can buy stuff from? If I'm a Diabolist I might have an imp familiar while if I'm an Archivist, I'd have the normal raven familiar? Grrh. I don't really know.

And yes, I was typing as I was thinking things up, and no, I'm not going to go back and edit previous paragraphs in light of the new stuff I've thought up.

2014-01-08, 04:39 PM
My description of Wizardry was ancient lore, learning how to use a wider range of spells (A diabolist with Wizardry who could cast Fire and Binding spells can now also cast Shadow and Smoke spells, albeit weaker), and the ability to use a spellbook. The spellbook merely allows them to change around their chosen spells for the day. I never mentioned anything about a generalist wizard or anything. I firmly feel we should work out a spell-tree system, based around School, Subschool, and Tags.

Now, then, two Maneuvers for the Fighter. I realize these might be horribly too strong, but I just tossed them together. These are both from the Blade of War trait, and can only be advanced by those Maneuver points gained from Trait Ranks.

Thunderous Blow:
Rank 1: Forceful Slam
Standard Action, Normal Attack. If you deal damage, make a Fortitude attack (1d20 + 1/2 your Fighter level + your Str modifier + Size Bonus). If successful, you knock the target prone.

Rank 2: Discombobulate
Standard Action, Normal Attack. If you deal damage, make a Fortitude and Will attack (1d20 + 1/2 your Fighter level + Your Str or Dex mod). If you succeed at the Fortitude attack, your target is confused for 1d4 rounds. If you succeed at the Will attack, your target is Dazed for 1 round.

Rank 3: Thundering Strength
Swift Action, 1 round. The next Thunderous Blow strike you make before your next turn deals +Xd6 damage, where X is your Strength Modifier. If the strike affects multiple targets, this bonus damage only affects the first target to successfully take damage.

Rank 4: Forceful Sweep
Full Round Action, Normal Attack. Make a single melee attack, but you may apply the attack against any number of targets within your reach. For every target you have beyond the first, get a cumulative -2 to the attack roll for that target. The first target has the full attack roll, the second at -2, the third at -4, the fourth at -6, etc. Then, for each target you dealt damage to, you may make a Fortitude attack. If successful, you knock them prone.

Rank 5: Ground Shatter
Standard Action, Normal Attack. Make a single attack at the ground by your feet. This attack deals +10d6 damage. You then bullrush creatures touching the same ground as you up to a number of feet equal to the damage you deal. The bullrush attempt has an effective strength score equal to the damage you deal, is of a size equal to that of your weapon, and gains whatever miscellaneous bonuses you do which are not based on size. Enemies are pushed to the maximum possible distance.

Rank 6: Concussive Thunder Assault
Swift Action, 1 round. All attacks of a full attack action you make this turn can be Forceful Strikes and Discombobulate attacks. You cannot target a single opponent by more than 1 Forceful Strike or Discombobulate attack in the same round.

Rank 7: Strength of Thunderstorms
Swift Action, 1 round. All Thunderous Blow Strikes you make this round deal +Xd6 damage, where X is your Strength modifier or 1/2 your Fighter level, whichever is greater.

Rank 8: World-Shattering Thunder Slam
Standard Action, Normal Attack. Your attack ignores hardness, damage reduction, and energy reduction (for any energy damage you deal this round). This attack is treated as a Forceful Strike, Discombobulate attack, benefits from Strength of Thunderstorms, and then a Ground Shatter at the target's feet. You may send the target in any direction, including up.

Unstoppable Onslaught:
Rank 1: Steel Wind
Standard Action, Two Normal Attacks: You may attack two targets within range.

Rank 2: Hungry Blade
Immediate Action, One Normal Attack: You may make an attack against an opponent who just made an attack against you. The effect of this attack occurs before the triggering attack.

Rank 3: Mithral Tornado
Standard Action, X Normal Attacks: You may make an attack against every adjacent opponent. You get a +2 to hit on each of these attacks.

Rank 4: Scything Blade
Swift Action, 1 round: When you successfully deal damage to an opponent, make a Reflex attack on every creature adjacent to it. If you succeed, you deal half the amount of damage you just dealt to the opponent struck.

Rank 5: Adamantine Hurricane
Standard Action, X Normal Attacks: You may make two attacks against every adjacent opponent, or one attack against every opponent within reach. Either way, you gain a +4 bonus on all attack rolls.

Rank 6: Finishing Move
Swift Action, Next Attack: Your next attack deals an additional 4d6 damage. If the target is below its maximum hit points, the attack deals an additional 6d6 damage instead. If the target is below one half its maximum hit points, you instead deal +14d6 damage.

Rank 7: Darksteel Gale
Standard Action, X Normal Attacks: You may make a full attack against every opponent adjacent to you, or two attacks against every opponent within reach. Each attack you make this way gets a +4 to hit and +2d6 damage.

Rank 8: Unending Avalanche
Full Round Action, X Normal Attacks: You make a Steel Wind, Mithral Tornado, Adamantine Hurricane, and Darksteel Gale strike, in that order. Once during the onslaught you can make an attack into a Finishing Move. At the end of the maneuver, you are fatigued, flat-footed for 1 round, and dazed for 1 round.

2014-01-08, 05:52 PM
Holy crap guys it's Djinn_In_Tonic. Wow. My brief brush with fame has left me ever-so-slightly giddy.

Why I don't really like Vancian casting: It's counterintuitive and doesn't really make sense fluffwise, with some seemingly arbitrary limitations. An ancient elven wizard who's been studying magic should be able to remember his spells without having to study them every morning, wouldn't you? If he's been casting these spells for so long why can't he remember how you move your hands to cast Magic Missile if he didn't take extra care to study it today? Supposedly that's what you're studying from your spellbook, but if that's so, why do the formulae erase themselves from your mind if you use them? It's not a problem with the mechanics so much as how the mechanics and fluff they've given it make no sense when combined in a logical manner, really. It's not a huge issue, just something that bothers me a little bit.

So, mage/wizardry archetypes. So far we have Necromancers, Shadowmages, Diabolists, and Eldritch Scholars, which turn into undead, become detached from reality, become corrupted by pure evil, and go nuts, respectively. We need a mind-mage, I think, and probably a few others. What should meddling with other people's minds cost you?

Which brings me to another thing. So far, we've been talking about what Arcane, Divine, and Primal classes should risk for power. Do we want to extend it to the others? Everything has a cost, and the PCs are the ones who were willing to pay it. Problem is, how would we represent this mechanically for classes that don't meddle in things beyond their ken?

2014-01-08, 06:13 PM
Hokay, off-topic but on-game design:

I've been thinking a lot about film combat. I love cinematic combat, but too often RPG combat either becomes too wargamey or gets boring (I swing, I hit, you swing, you miss). One idea I've been interested in developing, possibly for a homebrew system, is the idea of combat rhythm.

You'd gain points for doing cool stuff in combat, whether directly damaging the opponent or avoiding strikes in some manner: jumping off balconies into new scenery, throwing set materials around, breaking glass, diving through/onto/into cars etc., triple-kicking someone, kipping up from the ground, sweeping someone's legs out, etc. The problem is, if you're the TARGET of an attack, you may take damage from being hit, but you ALSO gain Combat Rhythm points.

If a certain condition is met (I've been thinking a lot about card-based systems, so imagine drawing a "Turn the Tide" card), the beaten character - the character who had the combat rhythm going AGAINST him - could convert all his stored Combat Rhythm points into, say, Attack, or Damage, or HP, or "maneuver points," or what have you.

Just an idea to give that back n' forth from the classic martial arts/action cinema a go.

I know Deadlands (am I right about that one?) did something like this, but it might be fun to do a standard playing-card game. Characters would have "attributes" in the four suits: let's say Clubs for Grit (mental and/or physical toughness), Hearts for Power (your choice - this could be the level of your ability of choice, like Telekinesis, or raw Strength), Spades for Resourcefulness (Batman had this in "Spades" ... :smallsmile: ... this either means McGuyver-like cleverness, having a utility belt fulla crap, using the environment as a weapon/tool a la Jackie Chan, being rich as hell, etc.), and Diamonds for Insight (intellect, charisma, intuitive sixth sense or psychic awareness, skills, etc.).

You'd have a card for each of these abilities that would be pre-determined by a point buy (2 points for a 2, 3 for a 3, and so on up to 14 for an Ace). You'd draw a poker hand, then see what you could make with your attribute cards - maybe you can pull a 2 of a kind with your low card, so you play an action that uses that attribute that hand.

Each hand is a "round."

2014-01-08, 06:18 PM
Yeah, actually, that's a good point. Maybe we could have the whole consequence thing become the limitation. You can theoretically cast as many spells as you like per day without memorizing anything (but based on the limited amount of spells you know), but each time you do, you have to roll a sort of 'sanity check' (which doesn't always affect sanity... it can affect everything else too). Each spell you cast, you record its 'corruption cost' (0 fo a cantrip, potentially very very high for a powerful spell), and roll a d100 against your total cost. If you fail, you take a sort of 'sanity wound' which confers both a benefit and a penalty. So, for instance, a Necromancer having failed his first 'd100 save' might gain a temporary +1 to charisma but a -1 to constitution. Every time you fail a save, you go up one rung on the benefit/penalty ladder, accumulating benefits and penalties. But the penalties' importance goes up slightly faster than the benefits: after several failed saves, the Necromancer might gain DR 2/bludgeoning, but have a semipermanent Slow effect. When he hits the top rung of the ladder (which should take some time), he actually turns into a mindless undead creature to be NPC'd until some time passes or the other players fix things or whatever. A la Vampire: the Masquerade.
And then after a rest or a ritual or whatever, your total corruption cost would go down significantly and you'd go one step down the ladder.

Idk. Just an idea.

To answer your second question, maybe either mundanes don't undergo corruption, which would mean they'd have to be a bit less potentially powerful than casters, OR there's no such thing as a totally mundane character (which makes sense, considering a level 20 fighter can almost survive a fall from orbit). So a straight fighter wouldn't exist, but a Feral/Shifter would. A rogue wouldn't exist, but an arcane trickster would.

2014-01-08, 06:23 PM
Sounds good. The question is, if we want that to be a theme, what happens to the mundane classes?

EDIT: Missed your edit. So that would lead us back into Janus' 'everyone is magic' thing. Do we want to just roll with that? Could make for an awesome setting.

Combat Rhythm looks awesome, and easy to port into any system, too. I bet we could test it out sometime in AG if you want. The cards idea seems fun, but a little gimmicky for a campaign. Would be really fun to run a oneshot in though.

2014-01-08, 06:53 PM
Maybe there should be one 'style' of Mage for each major source of Arcane Magic out there. Fueled by spirits, souls, and the energy that leads to entropy and decay? Necromancer! Powered by the energy of Hell, Demons, and Contracts? Diabolist! Enhanced by the twisting of the planes, the energy of time, and the fleeting thoughts of the ancient beings from beyond time and space? Alienist!

That way, we have concrete reasons and side effects for using power. There is no 'just because I move my hands in a circle and throw bat guano covered in sulfure' ****e. There'll be reasons for each and every spell, power, and ability.

'Mind Mage' is just a focus of power, not quite an archetype. That would be the area of expertise of some Alienists and Diabolists, most likely. If we did it this way, you choose your spellcasting at 1st level ('Flavor of Magic') and the Traits you level-up can enhance spellcasting, or add other abilites that function in tandem with magic.

I will throw something together and pitch it to you folk. For now, I think a recharge mechanic for magic is appropriate- sure, you never forget the twirling motion with your hands, but the energy it takes is drawn out of you and it takes time to gather enough again.

Flavor of Magic: At 1st level, a Mage selects one of the following.

Diabolist: The Mage derives his power from the Lower Planes. His spells take on a rough edge, bright color, and sometimes a faint whiff of sulfur or brimstone. Choose three of the following Spell Descriptors to cast at your full Caster Level. The other two are cast at 1/2 your caster level. [Fire], [Mind], [Binding], [Law], , and [Evil]
[I]Shadowcaster: The Mage gathers his energy from the amorphous, endlessly twisting Plane of Shadow. His spells are infused with the hazy, shifting nature of the Otherrealm, and are partially translucent. Choose three of the following Spell Descriptors to cast at your full Caster Level. The other two are cast at 1/2 your caster level. [Darkness], [Death], [Illusion], [Transmutation], and [Cold].

Add in a few others, and you're set. You need a CL of twice the spell level minus 1 ([2xLevel]-1) to learn or cast a spell. So you can get up to 10th level spells with your primary three categories, but only up to 5th with the secondary ones.

Creating spells should also be somewhat easy given the material out there. Current 9th level spells should be toned down and made into 10th level; shift them all slightly up until 4th, and then arbitrarily assign spells from 1st to 3rd.

2014-01-08, 06:56 PM
Yeah, Combat Rhythm does look interesting. Very condusive to a badass wuxia sort of thing.

Hmm. 'Everybody is magic' would be quite interesting, actually. It'd be like WoD meets Exalted meets D&D. All the heroes are so magical and powerful and inhuman that they all inevitably lose their humanity (or their grip on reality, or whatever) in the process. Kind of poetic, in a twisted sort of way.

2014-01-08, 07:25 PM
So do we want to go with an 'everybody is magic, but magic has a price' setting then? In retrospect, I'm thinking that a more setting-specific game might be better. Gives us a defined niche, a place to start conceptually, and it means we can work on setting elements as well as mechanical ones.

2014-01-08, 07:32 PM
In the 'everyone is magic' setting, I think of it more like this: it's simple physics. Some people can influence the very fabric of reality with twists of their hands, invoking ancient words of power that reverberate with the language used to create matter.

But other people master the sword, the spear, the bow. They, too, have masters of their craft- but as opposed to invoking ancient words, they incorporate a simplified version of those magical motions into their drills, katas, and attacks. That's how you can work in wuxia into a setting with magic- it's all an extension of physics in the setting. For those who work their ways against the flow- Mages, predominately- they go crazy/disconnected/inhuman/etc. As for Druids, they may slowly lose their connection to mortal life, instead thinking like predators or the Fey they protect so vehemently.

I also love the idea of building the 'magic is law', kiddie-tippyverse kind of game. That would be great fun.

Here's an idea: We use all ideas proposed so far and see where that gets us. Combat Rhythm, Divine Karma, a few classes with many options, crazy side effects and limitations on higher-powered spells... wow. That looks fun.

2014-01-08, 07:35 PM
But I do think we need to decide early: Are we building a setting, or just rules?

2014-01-08, 07:38 PM
Well, let's treat it like a massive, complex character. The way we build it. Mechanics first, then fluff follows. Let's build the system- mechanics, rules, basic options- then design the fluff of the world around how the mechanics operate.

I think it will be GLORIOUS.

2014-01-08, 07:52 PM
Alright. I'd rather wait until we figure out the core mechanics before dipping my toe into the homebrewing pool, but I'll start hashing out a table of random magical effects.

2014-01-08, 08:09 PM
So, I'm thinking. Maaaybe we SHOULD separate classes after all. A Paladin is going to be very very different from a Priest - the chassis won't even be the same at all. The pally should have full BaB; the priest, poor BaB. The paladin should have d10 or d12 HP; the priest, d4 or d6. The paladin will probably have a good will save and the priest a bad one. Just to give an example. Shifters, Hedge-mages, and Summoners aren't anything like each other except that they all have a nature-y theme. Maybe we can keep some of the core mechanics the same for the classes, but have them all separate. Like how D&D currently works: Incarnum classes all work similar, but they're all separate. This just gives us far more design flexibility (I don't think WotC could have published so many completely different PrCs if they hadn't been dealing with separated classes), and it allows us to keep pretty separate concepts actually separate. Now, if somebody wants a Paladin-monk fusion, there's no harm in them multiclassing.

Of course, within those separate classes there's no harm in having a trait pool and/or archetypes or whatever. So a Paladin can have its four alignments as archetypes, a Hedge-Mage can focus on a particular element or a Shifter on a particular animal (or on a particular style, like a rage/strength-focus or a natural-weapons/facerape-focus). Or whatever. And traits can make that more interesting by giving options. A Paladin can make his mount better, or focus on a particular weapon, or become a better smiter. Etc, etc, etc.

2014-01-08, 08:16 PM
Maybe we should strip out HP, too, or even BAB. But an archetype could make that kind of chassis changes without much difficulty, or we were talking about a way to modify chassi with a point buy or some such.

2014-01-08, 08:21 PM
This is very raw, but it is what I imagined when Janus mentioned a classless, everything-in-one--pool system. Along with this, all spells, powers, etc are attainable via Magic, all feats via Might, etc. Feats will be divided into four Categories; Combat Feats, Skill Tricks (non-combat, skill-focused feats), and Defensive Techniques (both class features and feats, like Uncanny Dodge, Evasion, and even Skirmish's defense boost). They are gained at various levels.

You have 9 points to distribute. That, or you can use a 'priority' system, having one High, one Medium, one Low, and one Poor.


These numbers determine various things about each of the categories.
Caster Level for Magic
Base Attack Bonus for Might
Number of Class Skills and Maximum Ranks for Cross Class Skills (the former is Maximum numer of the spread, the latter is the scaling amount)
The amount of Active Defense added
Poor: 0-5
Low: 0-10
Med: 1-15
High: 1-20

What each effect means. Also, cost in in parentheses.

High BAB (4): Feat every 2, Advanced Proficiencies
Med BAB (3): Feat every 3, Basic Proficiencies
Low BAB (2): Feat every 4, Simple Proficiencies
Poor BAB (0): Feat every 5, one proficiency

High Magic (5): Max 9th level, Five Styles
Med Magic (3): Max 6th level, Four Styles
Low Magic (1): Max 4th level, Two Styles
Poor Magic (0): Max 2nd level, one style

High Skill (3): 8+ Int skills, Skill Trick every 3
Med Skill (2): 6+ Int Skills, Skill Trick every 4
Low Skill (1): 4+ Int Skills, SKill Trick every 5
Poor Skill (0): 2+ Int Skills, Skill Trick every 6

High Defense (4): 12 points, Defensive Technique every 3
Med Defense (2): 10 points, Defensive Technique every 4
Low Defense (1): 8 points, Defensive Technique every 5
Poor Defense (0): 6 points, Defensive Technique every 6

Saves: Each cost 0 for Poor, 1 for Medium, 3* for High
((*First high save purchased costs 2))
HD: d4 is 0, d6 is 2, d8 is 4, d10 is 6, and d12 is 8.

Edit: Well, regarding Paladin and such. I don't see them as priests; they are Fighters with a divine twist. Maybe a Multiclass Feat or some such. Same goes for ranger, samurai, Hexblade, Soulborn, Barbarian, etc etc. Just a fighter with a different execution.

2014-01-08, 10:55 PM
I love it.

I like prioritizing. On the other hand, as written, I'd always prioritize Magic. Perhaps if prioritizing determined your max spell level (-4 from level, so 1st at 5th, -3 from level, -2, -1, and 0, which would get 2nd at 3rd, etc.?)?

That many styles seems a bit much compared with a feat every other or skill trick every three.

Either that or we ramp up skill tricks and feats. Me, I'm hoping we re-write the skeleton of the system (chargen), but we leave all the organs and nerves and such alone (I don't wanna start re-writing feats, and I might only wanna re-write the refresh and use of skill tricks, which should be at-will, methinks).

No classes! YAAAY!

Ahem (Clubs = Might, Spades = Skill, Diamonds = Magic, Hearts = Defense).

Had to go there. It fits.

2014-01-09, 10:58 AM
Janus, I took your suggestion. Here's what I ended up with. To determine spells known I was thinking about 1/2 Caster Level + Casting Stat per level. We'll see. That works out to about '2 new spells of highest level' if you keep up with the casting stat, or a couple lower level than that if you don't. High Magic (Caster Level 1-25)

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1 2 1 - - - - - - - -
2 3 1 - - - - - - - -
3 3 2 1 - - - - - - -
4 4 2 2 - - - - - - -
5 4 3 2 1 - - - - - -
6 4 3 3 1 - - - - - -
7 4 4 3 2 1 - - - - -
8 4 4 4 2 2 - - - - -
9 4 4 4 3 2 1 - - - -
10 4 4 4 3 3 1 - - - -
11 4 4 4 4 3 2 1 - - -
12 4 4 4 4 4 2 2 - - -
13 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1 - -
14 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 1 - -
15 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1 -
16 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 2 2 -
17 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1*
18 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2*
19 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3*
20 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4*

*Only of chosen Specialist

Medium Magic (Caster Level 1-20)

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 1 - - - - - - -
2 1 1 - - - - - -
3 2 1 - - - - - -
4 2 2 - - - - - -
5 3 2 1 - - - - -
6 3 2 1 - - - - -
7 3 3 1 1 - - - -
8 4 3 2 1 - - - -
9 4 4 2 2 - - - -
10 4 4 3 2 1 - - -
11 4 4 3 2 1 - - -
12 4 4 3 3 1 1 - -
13 4 4 4 3 2 1 - -
14 4 4 4 4 2 2 - -
15 4 4 4 4 3 2 1 -
16 4 4 4 4 3 2 1 -
17 4 4 4 4 3 3 1 1
18 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
19 4 4 4 4 4 4 2 2
20 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 2

Low Magic (Caster Level 0-15)

0 1 2 3 4 5
1 0 - - - - -
2 1 - - - - -
3 1 0 - - - -
4 2 1 - - - -
5 2 1 - - - -
6 3 2 0 - - -
7 3 2 1 - - -
8 4 2 1 - - -
9 4 3 1 0 - -
10 4 3 2 1 - -
11 4 3 2 1 - -
12 4 4 2 2 0 -
13 4 4 3 2 1 -
14 4 4 3 2 1 -
15 4 4 3 3 1 0
16 4 4 4 3 2 1
17 4 4 4 3 2 1
18 4 4 4 4 2 2
19 4 4 4 4 3 2
20 4 4 4 4 3 2

Poor Magic (Caster Level 0-10)

0 1 2 3
1 - - - -
2 0 - - -
3 1 - - -
4 1 - - -
5 2 - - -
6 2 0 - -
7 3 1 - -
8 3 1 - -
9 3 1 - -
10 3 2 0 -
11 3 2 1 -
12 3 2 1 -
13 3 3 1 -
14 3 3 2 0
15 3 3 2 1
16 3 3 2 1
17 3 3 3 1
18 3 3 3 2
19 3 3 3 2
20 3 3 3 2

Specialist Ability: If magic is in Priority 1 (or the High Magic was purchased), your highest level spells must be cast from your chosen Specialization. 1st level spells are not included.

Styles: Different styles of magic break down to 'descriptors' or 'subschools'. Five Styles could be Fire, Cold, Teleportation, Good, and Creation. It should be simple to come up with new descriptors and apply them to other spells. Also, we should make everything 'magic'. Psionic powers, Mysteries, etc. Group them all in together, and the only mods we need are how they are 'cast'. Assume max PP spent when cast, apply some descriptors, and there we go.

Every character gets a feat every 3 levels and an ability score boost every 4. Some characters get Skill Tricks more frequently (skill-based Feats, CSc skill tricks at-will, etc), feats, or Defensive Techniques (defensive feats and class features as feats).

2014-01-09, 02:43 PM
Again, LOVE it!!!

Hokay, thoughts:

Could we make the loss a little slower/more regular? The loss for low and poor seems rough.
Not sure about CL+stat for spells known - it seems to reinforce the whole "casters only need one stat - haha!" ethos. Perhaps bonus slots work off your stat, but maybe spells known could be JUST CL and rank-dependent? That way lower rank mages would have to highly specialize, but upper-eschelon could have the freedom to pursue a broader range of spells.
I like "all powers together" for this. Why not offset the hit in spells known with a bit of refresh mechanic love? For instance, maybe you can sacrifice a slot of a given level (max for high, max-1 for mid, max-2 for poor, and max-3 or none for low) to make one spell per level (to a max of one per spell level) an at-will? This gives casters fall-backs, but again, costs them versatility. Or some other refresh mechanic, like maneuvers.

On that note, a stab at combat ranks:

High (Ace of Clubs): +1 BaB/level, +1 physical stat/level (PLUS benefit per 4), 1 combat feat/level, Swordsage maneuvers known & readied, Crusader refresh mechanic, all 9 disciplines open.
Medium (King of Clubs): +0.75 BaB/level, +1 physical stat/2 levels (no benefit per 4), 1 combat feat/2 levels, Crusader maneuvers known & readied, Warblade refresh mechanic, all 9 disciplines open.
Low (Queen of Clubs): +0.5 BaB/level, Normal stat bonuses (every 4, any stat), Normal feats, Swordsage refresh, Crusader known, Warblade readied
Poor (Jack of Clubs): +0.25 BaB/level, Normal stat bonuses (every 4, any stat), Normal feats, Swordsage refresh, Warblade known, Crusader readied.

And skills:

High (Ace of Spades): All skills, 10 SP/level, 1 trick/level, tricks at-will, high progression of skilled abilities (trapfinding, track, soulmelds - they boost skills!, SA/skirmish/sudden strike, spellthieving, etc. - we need a list culled from the best base and PrCs out there to make this worth it), 1 skill feat/level (we'd just need to categorize these - things like Knowledge Devotion, Stealthy, Swift and Silent, Darkstalker, Keen Scent, Agile Athelete, etc.).
Medium (King of Spades): Rogue list (dunno about this one - skills of choice seems too easy to break, but existing skill lists too inflexible - maybe allow a choice from some appropriate class skill lists?), 8 SP/level, 1 trick/2 levels, tricks 1/encounter, medium progression of skilled abilities, 1 skill feat/3 levels.
Low (Queen of Spades): Ranger list, 4 SP/level, no free tricks, tricks 1/encounter, low progression of skilled abilities, no extra skill feats.
Poor (Jack of Spades): Fighter list, 2 SP/level, no free tricks, tricks 1/encounter, poor progression of skilled abilities, no extra skill feats.

A thought: how shall we manage vestiges? I think with all the spells and maneuvers, we might be able to give'em a miss.

Finally, a thought on chargen:

Everyone starts with the "points" to buy four trumps: Ace (5), King (3), Queen (1), and Jack (0) for a total of 8 points. So you could go two Kings and two Queens, or two Aces and two Jacks, and so on.

Not quite right, but you get the idea.


2014-01-09, 03:02 PM
So it will be high, high power. Im thinking this is likely our version of Scion; characters have ths divine spark or direct lineage of a god, and they are POWERFUL. No matter what you have maneuvers, spells, decent skills, and defenses? Jinkies.

Might/Magic medium, Skills/Defenses low. Or maybe make five different tracks- and each can have a different max level? Low and poor max at 10th, medium at 15, good at 20, and superb at 25? Then, you can level up might, magic, skills, and defenses separately. During character creation, you are dealt 3 cards of each suit. The middle card is your starting 'rank' if you want an experienced adventurer.


2014-01-09, 03:10 PM
I think this is coming together - I'm feeling the "trumps" theme!

But maybe you just get Ace, King, Queen and Jack - you have to have a speciality and suck at something. Defense (Hearts) needs definition. AC, HP, saves, uncanny dodge, evasion, mettle, vigor (the will/fort versions of evasion and their improved variants), speed ups (tho that could be a Spade, for skills ...), energy resistances, and immunites (poison, ability damage, ability drain, negative levels, death effects, etc.).

But those get covered by maneuvers and spells, don't they?

Is there another category?

Also, we can lower the power-creep by making poor = none of the category. It forces a tough choice, tho!

I'm kinda thinking the power is what we like - we're really talking about making a system in which it's easy to build thematic, epic, balanced fantasy heroes, yes?

2014-01-09, 03:23 PM
No magic- okay, dealable.
No BAB? Get ready to qualify for nothing worthwhile.
No skills? Same as above- swim like a rock and never qualify for anything.
No defenses? Yikes. Never really succeed after 1st level without sinking feats and spells into this.

Well, both Skills and Defenses can be somewhat mitigated by spells and feats. No BAB is almost impossible, and no spells is okay ish.

Might, Magic, Skills, Defenses


Ooh, Traits!
We could introduce a point-based race purchase system, or steal from complete races or Advanced Race Guide (PF).
For now, i will use LA.

High: Free LA +4, any two Iron Heroes Traits, any two Pathfinder traits, any two Unearthed Arcana traits.
Med: Free LA +2, any one IH trait, Any Two PF and/or Unearthed Arcana traits
Low: Free LA +1, one IH trait or two PF/UA traits
Poor: No LA, Any One Trait from PF or UA

2014-01-09, 03:26 PM
Yeah, what JJ said. I think it should be harder to get a new type of magic. Otherwise you're just encouraged to play a type of 'pseudo-gestalt', not focusing on one type of magic. Doing a gestalty thing is okay, but there should be some pretty definite advantages to somebody playing a primarily Necromancer-y character, not a character that does a whole lot of everything. Though that should be a viable option too.

2014-01-09, 03:39 PM
No BaB is NOTHING. BaB is close to worthless if you can cast - most spells are touch or don't require any roll to hit.

No magic is HARD to deal with - it's the base system's problem. Magic can handle anything - invisible enemies, flying enemies, incorporeal foes, problems with transportation - spells can do anything the other categories can do, and better.

No skills at ALL can be mitigated by spells, but I see your point.

Hmmm. I see your point, tho. I guess I just meant ... no GOOD stuff. Like no maneuvers, but 0.25 BaB. Or only cantrips. Or only 2+Int and no special stuff.

LA is weird and abusable, methinks. Hmmmm ...

2014-01-09, 04:47 PM
No BaB is NOTHING. BaB is close to worthless if you can cast - most spells are touch or don't require any roll to hit.

No magic is HARD to deal with - it's the base system's problem. Magic can handle anything - invisible enemies, flying enemies, incorporeal foes, problems with transportation - spells can do anything the other categories can do, and better.

No skills at ALL can be mitigated by spells, but I see your point.

Hmmm. I see your point, tho. I guess I just meant ... no GOOD stuff. Like no maneuvers, but 0.25 BaB. Or only cantrips. Or only 2+Int and no special stuff.

LA is weird and abusable, methinks. Hmmmm ...

Like I said- I want to use Racial Points or some other system. The LA was merely to show an example of power. Remember, if you want that huge race, you cannot have 9th level spells or high BAB.

Using PF Advanced Race Guide (in addition to traits listed above)
High: 30 BP, up to Monstrous
Med: 20 BP, up to Advanced
Low: 15 BP, max one Advanced
Poor: 8 BP, no Advanced

Edit: Okay. Now then: Janus. You know feats better than any of us. Maybe go through and streamline some prerequisites, identify a list of some skill feats, and maybe convert some Class Features into combat feats?

I am going to build ten to fifteen 'Styles' of magic. Likely three to five spells per level, dropping to one or two per levels 7+. Then, I will build a nearly exhaustive list of Defensive Techniques and a consolidated skill list.

THEN WE BUILD CHARACTERS. Best way to discover what we want is immersion.

2nd edit: 36 PB, Priorities: 1 High, 2 Med, 1 Low, 1 Poor.

2014-01-09, 05:02 PM
So PF races, then?

I'm actually interested in doing the feat lists. This division of labor makes sense! Are your "magic styles" gonna involve some spell-tree action?

Hmmm. Feat lists. Hokay!

Oh, and who's gonna look at the arcane symbols in TC? Jaxo's got no clue what to do with'em - no Know skills. Just sneaking, spotting and killing, pretty much. :smallwink:

2014-01-09, 05:33 PM
I don't think the Race Builder is nearly as powerful as you're giving it credit for. With 30 RP, you've got something like one energy immunity, a few low-level spells, and a small boost to casting if you're a spontaneous caster (which you're not, because you sunk your Ace card into a race). +4 LA is leagues more powerful.

2014-01-09, 05:41 PM
I don't think the Race Builder is nearly as powerful as you're giving it credit for. With 30 RP, you've got something like one energy immunity, a few low-level spells, and a small boost to casting if you're a spontaneous caster (which you're not, because you sunk your Ace card into a race). +4 LA is leagues more powerful.

Hmm. Okay. I thought you could STACK your ability scores with 30 RP, get a pile of resistances, and then some feats.

Okay, how's 40/25/15/8? Combined with the Traits available it might be amazing compared to High Might or High Magic at lower levels.

Edit: Ooooh, or gain RP as you play? That really reflects the whole 'evolving' warriors thing.

2nd Edit: Okay. Spell Trees or Styles? My idea was instead of trees, you can only select from a pool of 'domains'. Gaining access to a couple new Styles would cost a feat.

Hmm. Maybe expand Binder feats, Incarnum feats, Truenaming feats, and other feats that replicate class features to allow fuller, more complete access? Then, you have to spend Feats and Skill Points to access the features.

For my test character, I'm thinking this:
High: Defenses
Med: Skills, Traits
Low: BAB
Poor: Magic

Then someone else should build a Magic High, and another BAB high, and another Skills High.

2014-01-09, 05:54 PM
I'm pretty sure the biggest ability score modifier you can get is +4 to one, +2 to a few others, and -2 to another couple.

I'll take Skill-focused for my test character. We're going with playing cards, right? That would make for a fun random character generator.

2014-01-09, 05:57 PM
I'm pretty sure the biggest ability score modifier you can get is +4 to one, +2 to a few others, and -2 to another couple.

I'll take Skill-focused for my test character. We're going with playing cards, right? That would make for a fun random character generator.

And each additional +2 to each stat costs 4. Stacked.

Yes, but we have to develop a system for it.

Edit: Kay, costs 4 + N-1. So 4 for +2, 9 for +4, 15 for +6, etc.

2nd edit: My idea for leveling up separate tracks is taking shape. One provides HD, Saves, and Defensive Features. Another provides BAB and combat feats as well as maneuvers. One grants CL and spells known/per day. Another gives Skill Points, tricks, and feats, plus raising maximum ranks. The final one would provide RP, Traits, and other bits and Bobs.

2014-01-09, 06:07 PM
Is that RAW?

2014-01-09, 06:21 PM
Is that RAW?

Yep. And that cost is per ability score. So +4 to all physical stats would cost 27RP.

2014-01-09, 06:29 PM
Must have missed that. Still, ability scores don't do much compared to decent BAB or casting. And I'm pretty sure you can't select a trait more than once, so no more than two bonus feats.

2014-01-09, 09:32 PM
So I probably won't get the magic stuff done today, as it's my birthday. And I'm working. But as soon as I can it will be done.

2014-01-09, 09:42 PM
Happy b-day!

And no rush!

2014-01-09, 10:31 PM
Ditto! Hipy papy bthdthdth thuthda bthuthdy!

2014-01-10, 01:15 PM
Decided on spell trees. For myself, I am making an 'Acid Rain' tree, focusing on acid, Weather, and storms. Which trees should I make for each of you?

2014-01-10, 01:42 PM
How about things like the Ghost Sound/Silent Image line, eventually going up to 'Dreamscape' which covers an entire area with an environment which can either behave like the real thing, or get very surreal (while the people inside it still have to make an illusion to disbelieve it, no matter how crazy it gets).
Also, expand the Sleep spell line, eventually going into a form of astral projection.
Lots and lots of fear effects.
Shadow Conjurations. Not to mimic spells (though they should be able to do that at high levels), but to mimic objects: I can shadow-conjure up a 'Lockpick' from the realm of dreams which will dissipate pretty fast. The cantrip would be even weaker, something closer to a prestidigitation-type effect.

I figure all of the things I mentioned should be focused around shadow power being taken from the Realm of Dreams, a type of Shadow-Plane/Ethereal-Plane/Far-Realms crossover thing.

Just some ideas, I can come up with more if you like.

2014-01-10, 02:02 PM
How about things like the Ghost Sound/Silent Image line, eventually going up to 'Dreamscape' which covers an entire area with an environment which can either behave like the real thing, or get very surreal (while the people inside it still have to make an illusion to disbelieve it, no matter how crazy it gets).
Also, expand the Sleep spell line, eventually going into a form of astral projection.
Lots and lots of fear effects.
Shadow Conjurations. Not to mimic spells (though they should be able to do that at high levels), but to mimic objects: I can shadow-conjure up a 'Lockpick' from the realm of dreams which will dissipate pretty fast. The cantrip would be even weaker, something closer to a prestidigitation-type effect.

I figure all of the things I mentioned should be focused around shadow power being taken from the Realm of Dreams, a type of Shadow-Plane/Ethereal-Plane/Far-Realms crossover thing.

Just some ideas, I can come up with more if you like.

All good ideas; however, I am not designing brand new spells. I am using published spells/psionics/other 'level' based abilities to create Spell Trees.

Each tree should have one to three Seeds that interact. Acid Rain is Weather, Acid, and Water. I will build an example tree to show my work.

The Gamer line would be fun. Slumber is another goodie. Shadows is rather broad, but that might be okay with this setup.

2014-01-10, 03:23 PM
Yeah, Shadows would have to be limited pretty severely and made much weaker than the real thing.

And I really like the Seeds idea.

2014-01-10, 04:24 PM
I think someone did a homebrew project with seed magic. Let's see... Found it (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=69882). I don't know how balanced it is, but it's definitely a cool idea.

2014-01-10, 05:38 PM
I think someone did a homebrew project with seed magic. Let's see... Found it (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=69882). I don't know how balanced it is, but it's definitely a cool idea.

Ah, Kellus. Probably my second favorite homebrewer of all time. I have seen all his work, including the seed work- but I was thinking of something a little bit more like skill trees in Diablo II or any MMO, except they interact and form prerequisites for one another.

I am building a chart over at LucidChart for an Acid Rain-themed Style.

2014-01-11, 01:14 PM
So Styles will not be pre-built.
Each style is composed of 3 Themes.
Each Style has 2-4 spells per level.
Each style has one Cantrip, usable at will.
Spells can be from any base class.
Powers, Mysteries, Invocations, etc can be used too.
Gain a number of Spell Levels Known each level equal to Caster Level.
Can get a spell at-will by:
-Having a CL of Spell Level x 4 (1st level spell at CL 4, 2nd level spell at CL 8th)
-Spend (Spell Level x 3) + 1 Spell Levels Known. (So a 3rd level spell at will costs 10 spell levels and CL 12.)
-Max 5th level spell at will at CL 20, which costs 16 spell levels known.

I have designed Acid Rain Style (Acid, Mist/Clouds, Water), and the basics for Blood River Style (Blood, Liquid, Weakness) and Forever Lost Style (Time, Senseless, Memories). Making a Tree system is mostly to limit higher level spells to specialists only.

Any suggestions for random Styles? I am thinking about making the following:
Finish Blood River and Forever Lost
Exact Equality, Falling Glacier, Transcendent Speech, Unseen Seer, Black Flame, Wayfarer Guide...
whoa, wait a sec. IDEA.

EDIT: Thinking about making Max Spell Level (and when they are gained) based entirely on caster level.
Poor: 0-7 (Max 4th level spells)
Low: 0-11 (Max 6th level spells)
Med: 1-15 (Max 8th level spells)
High: 1-20 (Max 10th level spells)

10th level spells could be perma-modded spells/powers my metamagic feats- even ones you don't know. Maybe add a charge of +1. So a 3rd level persisted spell would be 10th level. Or a 5th level quickened spell. Or a 7th level Empowered spell.

2014-01-11, 03:52 PM
Ah, Kellus. Probably my second favorite homebrewer of all time.

This just makes me curious. Who is your favorite? If I had to guess, I'd say The Vorpal Tribble, Krimm_Blackleaf, ErrantX, or The Demented One. All fairly popular choices these days.

2014-01-11, 03:56 PM
This just makes me curious. Who is your favorite? If I had to guess, , I'd say The Vorpal Tribble, Krimm_Blackleaf, ErrantX, or The Demented One. All fairly popular choices these days.

All very talented. No, mine is Grod_the_Giant. Third place is Ziegander. I have a soft spot for TG Oskar, as do many people i speak to.

2014-01-11, 05:47 PM
So what's your favorite single piece of homebrew, then? Subsystems don't count.

2014-01-11, 06:12 PM
What do you mean by subsystem in this case? What piece of non-crunch do I like? Or what piece of original work that isn't a revision do I like?

Hmm. I enjoy many of Grod's and Ziegander's Fighter fixes. I love Grod's M&M conversion material, as well as STArS. Ziegander's work on Discipline Feats inspired me to create mu Create-a-Feat and Make-Your-Own-Maneuver systems.

Kellus has obscene material, too. Also Jiriku's Speak Authoritatively, Adventuring Packs, and Spell component pouches. All win.

2014-01-11, 07:41 PM
I know none of this. I submit my only: Frank n' K (http://www.tgdmb.com/viewtopic.php?t=48453).

I think their system fixes d20. Pretty straight up, too.

2014-01-11, 08:50 PM
My personal top three brewers would be Realms of Chaos, Kellus, and Djinn_in_Tonic.

My favorite homebrew that's not from those three, however: Welknair's Bloodlines (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=10951428&postcount=115), Demented One's Stars are Right (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=68834) (have you seen those, Eonas?), the Plague Doctor (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=214607), the Shattered Soul (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=14570401&postcount=8), the Brawler (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=204494), the Grandmaster (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=12004458), and the Machiavellian (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=221950). I'm not including fixes and what I consider 'homebrew projects' like Gramarie, Codices of Spellshaping, or the Tome of Radiance.

2014-01-11, 09:04 PM
Huh. No, I haven't. I don't look at much homebrew, myself - there's still so much awesome in WotC-published material left to look through and play.

But, looking through those... wow, that's cool and very Lovecraft-y. Vestiges are a fantastic representation of Lovecraftian horrors, and bloodlines... have you ever read the Shadow over Innsmouth? HP Lovecraft had a terror/disgust of the human body, which kind of shone through as his continuing theme of human degeneration.

Also, the Machievellian has got a neat flavor to it, too. Interesting to see a non-magical Bard-flavored class.

2014-01-11, 10:28 PM
Okay, one binder, one tentacle monster, one occult mage... we could actually have a fairly balanced party of all insane cultists.

2014-01-11, 10:58 PM
Okay, one binder, one tentacle monster, one occult mage... we could actually have a fairly balanced party of all insane cultists.

This is a great idea. That would be so much fun.

2014-01-11, 11:04 PM
...I can find the time for a Lovecraft game. Mythic GM Emulator?

2014-01-11, 11:17 PM
Heh. Even in the design thread, we're brewing new games to ignore.


... and of course I'm in. I need to build another character. It's what I DO.

What sources are we using?

2014-01-11, 11:31 PM
Let's move to the main thread with this discussion, perhaps.

...Anyone played Burning Wheel? I hear it has good social combat rules.

2014-01-14, 11:09 AM
So it looks like we are playtesting my changes to the Magic system in War of the Magi. I kind of want to playtest the Social Combat too, but it isn't ready yet.

2014-01-18, 11:09 PM
A while back I started a huge project of making my own D&D game. I've brought some of it forward to you fine folk recently, but we've slowed down on the 'design' front recently.

Anywho, I have restarted my creation. My first step: Classes. I know that's not the best place to start, but it will create a scale of power I can adapt to for feats, spells, and anything else under the sun.

Here's a basic rundown of the classes involved.

Every class is made up of 2 different Sources and Seeds.

Seeds determines how powerful characters are. The more Seeds the more options the character will have. Similar to Gestalt in power increase; 0 Seeds are weak, nearly worthless; 1-2 Seeds is standard. 3-5 seeds is very, very powerful, and anything more than 5 is superheroic.

Classes provide scaling features, spellcasting, options, etc. Seeds are the additions, the non-class specifics that many people desire. Seeds are reduced, basic versions of other abilities and powers throughout the game. Seeds are a replacement to the Multiclassing and Templates. Powerful seeds can sometimes replace class features; these are listed under each individual Seed.

MIGHT (Physical focus, notably combat. Maneuvers, skill tricks, tactical advantages)
FINESSE (Physical and Mental focus, notably options. Plans, skill tricks, skill focus, expanded choice)
MIND (Mental focus, notably options. Tactical advantages, strategies, playing to strengths, bolstering allies)
ARCANE (Mental focus, notably combat. Truespeech-focused; short duration yet powerful effects. Lots of control)
DIVINE (Physical and Mental focus, notably options. Rites and Rituals designed to adapt many situations. Divine Karma system)
PSIONIC (Mental Focus, notably combat. Power Points; few powers that get much more powerful with higher levels.)
ANIMA (Physical and Mental focus, notably options. Uses Essentia for a variety of functions; all about Soul Magic.)
PRIMAL (Physical focus, notably combat. Channels totems and spirits to empower the self.)

Might/Might Warmain (War. Conflict. Combat. Big weapons, better with armor than any other. Maneuvers are direct and damaging.)
Might/Finesse Swashbuckler (Flourishes. Precision. Tricks. Lots of options at most levels)
Might/Mind Marshal (Battlecries and Auras. Support. Layered offenses)
Might/Arcane Duskblade (Explosive attacks, erode magic)
Might/Divine Crusader (Faith creates passion; uses passion and dedication to wreak havok)
Might/Psionic Psychic Warrior (The perfection of self through psionic focus. Plays with layers of psionic focus)
Might/Anima Soulborn (Uses Soulmelds on the Self and Gear. Based on Energies)
Might/Primal Barbarian (Use AdmiralSquish's Totem Barbarian options; provide multiples (Up to 3, better as they level))

Finesse/Finesse Thief (Pure skill and manipulation. Shanks in combat, but mostly useful in other situations.)
Finesse/Mind Scout (Skirmishing and wilderness focus. Specializes in a terrain)
Finesse/Arcane Spellthief (Pretty much stock standard; spells go to 5th, start at 1st.)
Finesse/Divine Akashik (Ancestral memory, skill focuses, lots of variable feats and talents that change every level/day)
Finesse/Psionic Lurk (As-is; more and better Augments, also gains Strategems)
Finesse/Anima Ninja (A lot more ki-focused. Mix in Samurai flavored stuff; might change to Disciple)
Finesse/Primal Ranger (Amazing hunter; adaptable to enemies and terrains)

Mind/Mind Sage (Deep reserves of knowledge. Perfect Plans class feature is lynchpin to many long-cons)
Mind/Arcane Wizard (Spellbook, Scrolls, modifying spells on the fly to fit the bill)
Mind/Divine Archivist (Prayerbook, Sermons, dark knowledge of evil entities grants edge)
Mind/Psionic Erudite (Psicrystal, Power Stones, able to convert energies and sources into one another to fuel anything)
Mind/Anima Artificer (Enhances objects, constructs, and non-living entities)
Mind/Primal Warden (Rational protectors of nature; excellent hunters.)

Arcane/Arcane Sorcerer (Internal power based on Bloodline or Powersource.)
Arcane/Divine Theurge (Learns to combine Rites and Rituals with Truespeech.)
Arcane/Psionic Cerebremancer (Uses Power Points to overcharge Truespeech; gains Resonance class feature)
Arcane/Anima Warlock (Channels outside entities or internal taint into reality-bending Truthcuts)
Arcane/Primal Seeker (Speakers who look to the natural world; they hear the Truespeech emanating from everything)

Divine/Divine Favored Soul (A chosen of a Deity. Could also be called Avatars or Titans. Gain Blessings and Trappings based on 'Domains')
Divine/Psionic Ardent (Gains powers based on Mantles and their Dedication. Can take Oaths to gain additional power)
Divine/Anima Binder (Uses binding circles and Rites/Rituals to bend exotic entities to their own souls)
Divine/Primal Druid (Channels the spirits of animals and nature to become the physical avatar of those things)

Psionic/Psionic Psion (Pure, overwhelming brain power. Specializes in Metapower.)
Psionic/Anima Infuser (Uses a mixture of Mind and Soul energy to infuse living and unliving things around them with Grafts and Signatures)
Psionic/Primal Channeler (Conduits of nature and the wild; summons great rivers and majestic beasts to aid them.)

Anima/Anima Incarnate (Wear your soul like Armor. Armor made of dreams and faith.)
Anima/Primal Totemist (Bind the souls of other creatures to your own, manifest them as extensions of yourself)

Primal/Primal Shifter (Bring out the primal nature within yourself and use it to strengthen and bolster)

2014-01-18, 11:12 PM
Interesting. So what would be an example of a Seed?

2014-01-18, 11:42 PM
Know how Binding feats, Incarnum feats, and even Reserve feats can grant watered down powers to anyone? Like that. And like Class Feature sets in PF. Or like being descended from an Efreet and having fire spells and resistances.

Basically, anything I can come up with that doesn't go into a class can (and likely will) become a Seed.

I have a bunch of basics done so far... hopefully it goes smoothly for the next couple days.

2014-01-18, 11:48 PM
Dude, you're a generative FOOL. Can't believe how much you create when given a bit of a push.

I'm interested! Are we talking power trees, or just "select a level-appropriate ability from category A (primary powers for that Seed) and one from category B (secondary powers for your secondary Seed)?" That actually seems REALLY workable.

TC update?

Oh, and since I'm jonesing for chargen, what would help you as an NPC in WoM? I could build you a Justice Archon, if you like, a Bar-Lgura, or a Kalareem Nerra. I'd also be down for a Harssaf, who I think are cool beans, or even some kinda demon (Gadacro, I think).

2014-01-19, 12:02 AM
I know. It's a curse.

Yeah, that's pretty much it. For instance, take the Combat Training Seed to get some bonus feats every few levels, and then a choice between Weapon Mastery ranks or Armiger ranks (better with weapons, better with armor respectively).
As another example, an Animal Companion. Not only teaching it new tricks, but also Maneuvers or, depending on its mental attributes, maybe even an SLA.

TC update coming soon. I only get short windows on my computer; wife is due in like six days and is on Nesting Overdrive.

A Kalareem and a Justice Archon would be nice.

2014-01-19, 08:35 AM
I'm thinking the following would make the most sense to typically occur when of equal tier and not dealing with something specifically designed to turn the tables around: Melee beats Range. Range beats Sound. Sound beats Magic. Magic beats Technology. Technology beats Psionics. Psionics beats Melee. Force beats Summoning. Summoning beats Prayer. Prayer beats Force.

Now to explain them 1 by 1 starting with the 2 that require the most explanation.

When it comes to Melee against Range, the Melee specialist should be able to attack at least twice by the time the Range specialist aims and attacks in the same round. In addition, the Melee specialist would already have evasion training in case of dealing with other Melee based attackers that could be used to avoid the range attacks especially when closing the distance. The Melee specialist is also the most likely to reflect away or tanks hits that can't be evaded by using just the physical stuff on hand.

Range's main advantage over Sound is the lack of needing outside substances to travel through. Range specialists also tend to be the best at finding the best places on the field for both defence and attack advantage. Plus Range stuff can take more damage than the Sound stuff before they can't preform their respective intended functions.

Sound disrupts or straight up dispenses magical fields and Magic being cast while still fully doing its intended action.

Magic interferes with Technology.

Technology messes with the flow of Psionics in a negative way.

Psionics specialist can keep the Melee specialist out of the melee range and punish him/her/hir/it severely if manages to get in range.

Force specialist have the easiest time sensing the changes cause by Summoning.

Summoning specialists call in such a variety of attacks and creatures from elsewhere that they end up attacking through the backdoor the gods give themselves should the Prayer specialist turn on them with the power they gave him/her/hir/it.

And finally the Prayer specialist can fool the Force specialist because of the power comes from the gods as well as both the changes coming and going away at pace faster than the later can usually pick up on.

2014-01-19, 02:07 PM
Thanks for stopping by, invinible. Interesting approach, to be sure. However, I am aiming for something less cookie cutter and more raw. I do not balance things to each other for no reason; in most situations, a guy with javelins or a bow and arrows would destroy a guy with a sword. Knife to a gunfight. I balance combat-related powers in the following way:
Each ability, maneuver, feature, etc has between 4 and 10 points. There are three categories than can have between 0 and 4 points put in them.

Damage (0 being nondamaging and 4 being up to 1d10 per level)
Versatility (0 being strict conditional triggers, 4 being at will)
Utility (0 being straight damage, 4 being polyfunctional.)

Every seed is divided between three different categories; Seeds for Might Classes have the categories Damage Potential, Damage Mitigation, and Versatility.

Warmain and Swashbuckler almost done. Duskblade and Soulborn next.

2014-01-19, 02:31 PM
Utility seems difficult to manage compared to the others, though. Maybe split it into multiple categories?

2014-01-19, 03:08 PM
Utility seems difficult to manage compared to the others, though. Maybe split it into multiple categories?

Verily. However, each grade is merely an abstract comparison to other abilities or powers of equal grade. And this isn't for all features and powers; just combat ones.

Utility 0: Weapon Specialization (straight damage bonus)
Utility 1: Favored Enemy (weak skill bonus as well as damage/other minor benefit)
Utility 2: Factotum's Cunning Insight (open ended skill bonuses, attack and damage too)
Utility 3: Shatter Spell (quite useful, many applications.)
Utility 4: Shadow Conjuration spells (just so many choices!)

Noncombat abilities have a similar setup, but Versatility and Utility are each broken into two sub-categories, one of which (the Versatility sub-category) is qualitative and helps shape the rest of the ability. It determines the Focus of the ability; Manipulation, Mobility, etc.

2014-01-19, 09:39 PM
Sorry for the formatting. I just tossed this up to get some feedback.
So this guy could take any of the Might seeds I have already (somewhat) determined, or any of the Finesse ones still in the works (things like Catburglar, Mercenary, Exemplar, Artist...)


BAB: High
HD: d8
Skills: 6+
Feats: Set B (1, 3, 6...)
Skill Tricks: Set A (1, 1, 2, 4, 6...)
Saves: High Dex, High Int or Cha, one other High, one other Medium
S: *
D: H
C: *
I: H*
W: *
H: H*

{table=head]Level|BAB|Feat|Skill Trick|Special|Known|Readied|Stances
1|1|1|2|Flourish, Strike 1d6, Savvy Trick|4|4|1

2|2|1|3|Savvy Trick|5|4|1

3|3|2|3|Strike 2d6|6|4|1


5|5|2|4|Savvy Trick|7|5|2

6|6/1|3|5|Strike 3d6|7|5|2


8|8/3|3|6|Savvy Trick|8|5|2

9|9/4|4|6|Strike 4d6|9|5|3


11|11/6/1|4|7|Savvy Trick|10|6|3

12|12/7/2|5|8|Strike 5d6|10|6|3


14|14/9/4|5|9|Savvy Trick|11|6|4

15|15/10/5|6|9|Strike 6d6|12|7|4


17|17/12/7/2|6|10|Savvy Trick|13|7|5

18|18/13/8/3|7|11|Strike 7d6|13|7|5


20|20/15/10/5|7|12|Paragon, Savvy Trick|14|8|5

Maneuvers: (I have, in the past, completely retooled all the ToB disciplines. I found I hated the idea of one maneuver existing in the same way at higher levels- just a little beefed up. I have added TONS of new features and aspects to them. Each has an 'opposed' discipline; I added Fool's Grip to even out the number.) The Swashbuckler learns from three of the following five Disciplines: Desert Wind, Diamond Mind, Iron Heart, Shadow Hand, and Fool's Grip. At 4th level and every even level thereafter, a Swashbuckler can trade in a maneuver, blah blah. Recovery: Standard Action melee attack followed by a swift action doing nothing, or performing a full round action of flourishes. The latter also may recover a single Flourish Point.

Flourish: The Swashbuckler gains a number of Flourish points equal to Int or Cha mod + 1/2 level. They are spent to activate Savvy Tricks and Flourishes. Also, a point may be spent to add Int or Cha mod to AC against one attack as a free action, but only if wearing light or no armor. These points are likely per-day, but also have a small recharge at higher levels.

Strike: As the Swashbuckler gains levels, they too gain a pool of dice called Strike dice. These dice are added to various things based on their Flourishes and Savvy Tricks. They also have a basic function chosen from the following list: Precise (added when making an attack as a standard action), Timely (On attacks of opportunity), or Sudden (when opponent is flat footed or unaware). If ever your Strike is able to be added twice to an attack, increase the die size to d8.

Savvy Trick: Non-combat Flourishes. Uses the same pool of points, and can alter how Strike dice work.

Paragon: You become the ultimate example of yourself. Increase three of your ability scores by 8, gain Fast Healing 10, and a single chosen Flourish improves Strike dice to d10s when used.

EDIT: I couldn't locate my most recent revision of my rewritten Disciplines, but here (https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ckn5d378w5gy8sc/oTWp9VXdjX) are some first drafts I had laying around. The idea is that each maneuver should be unique (some are remarkably similar to others, true, but I did well in the weekend I wrote them all up) and more powerful as they climb in level. In the end, I wanted all maneuvers to scale to a small extent. Also, very few maneuvers were supernatural in nature. I took the idea behind shadow hand and desert wind and made them into mundane tricks and strikes. Anyhow, there ya go.

2014-01-19, 10:08 PM
Really rough example Flourishes and Tricks:


Distracted Stab: As an immediate action, Spend a flourish to treat your next attack against a flanked target as a touch attack. You do not need to be benefitting from a flanking position; they merely need to be in one. Add half your Strike dice, rounded up, as bonus damage.

Sidestep: As an immediate action, Spend a Flourish to move 5ft. If used to interrupt an opponent, they still get the attack on you but you get a +4 Dodge bonus to AC, as well as any bonuses to AC gained against Attacks of Opportunity. This movement is not a free step and provokes from all threatening opponents except the one already attack if one is doing so.

Swashbuckler Initiative: Spend a flourish to get a +2 bonus to initiative. If you have Quick Draw, you may draw a weapon as part of your initiative check. If you spend a second Flourish, you can act during a surprise round if one exists, and you get an additional +2 (for a total of +4) bonus to initiative.

Maiming Slash: As a full round action, spend a flourish and make an attack. Choose Arms, Head, Legs, Torso or Wings. You maim the selected part of their body which grants a penalty to the target:
Arms: Drops an item, can only add half Str mod as a bonus to any check or roll involving that arm; penalty lasts until at full health. Half damage.
Heads: Target is Confused for 1 round. Normal damage.
Legs: Target is knocked prone. Normal damage.
Torso: Increase your critical threat range by 2. Normal damage.
Wings: Against a flying target, they must make a Dexterity save vs Damage Dealt or fall 20ft. Normal damage.

Hilt Hammer: [4th] Spend a flourish during a full attack to gain a free attack witht the handle of your weapon. You catch the opponent you are attacking off-guard, smashing him in the face, hand, or stomach with the hilt of your weapon. You deal normal damage for the weapon you are using, except it is bludgeoning damage. You take a -4 penalty to hit with this attack, it deals half damage, but the opponent is flat footed against it. You may add Strike Dice to this damage roll.

Startling Stab: [4th] Spend a flourish as a standard action. You make an attack on an opponent within range. It automatically misses- but that opponent is now flat footed until the end of your next turn.

Deadly Thrust: [7th level] Spend two flourish during an attack to instead pile all your experience and edge on making a single deadly attack. As a standard action, make a single attack on a target. However, instead of rolling just once, roll as many times as you have attacks. If any attack roll is successful, the attack hits. For every other roll that succeeded, the attack deals base weapon damage again. Add your Strike damage to this attack.


Razor-Sharp Tools: You can make Open Lock and Disable Device checks with Attack rolls instead. You may add a Damage roll to the check as well, but doing so eviscerates the lock or device and it cannot be salvaged after.

Acrobatic Flourish: As an immediate action, spend a flourish for a +10 to your next jump, swim, climb, tumble, or balance check.

Beguiling Laugh: You may spend a Flourish after you fail a diplomacy or bluff check. You may immediately try again at the same DC with a +5 bonus.

Lucky Search: You gain a bonus to Search checks equal to your Cha mod. You may spend a flourish to make a search check as a free action.

2014-01-19, 10:52 PM
Dude. I would SO play that class.

I think I'm just gonna kick back and let this turn into 3.C. I wanna PLAY 3.C. The War of the Magi character is already entertaining as all hell - I can see how this system will give players ****LOADS of options, along with enough playability for pretty much ANY concept to work out.

I'm kinda stoked, Cam.

And blown away. That's rock solid - detailed enough to be entertaining; streamlined enough to be playable.

Let's take this system out and kick the tires.

EDIT: I'd call it "Laugh at your Own Expense," perhaps, or "Self-Deprecating Laugh." You laugh at yourself, showing how you don't take yourself seriously, they like you more, the Diplomacy roll goes over well as a result.

2014-01-19, 11:18 PM
Dude. I would SO play that class.

I think I'm just gonna kick back and let this turn into 3.C. I wanna PLAY 3.C. The War of the Magi character is already entertaining as all hell - I can see how this system will give players ****LOADS of options, along with enough playability for pretty much ANY concept to work out.

I'm kinda stoked, Cam.

And blown away. That's rock solid - detailed enough to be entertaining; streamlined enough to be playable.

Let's take this system out and kick the tires.

EDIT: I'd call it "Laugh at your Own Expense," perhaps, or "Self-Deprecating Laugh." You laugh at yourself, showing how you don't take yourself seriously, they like you more, the Diplomacy roll goes over well as a result.

Thanks J. I have taken notes from 3.5, 4th ed, Next, and Legend and made it flow. There are now 6 saving throws- one for each Ability Score. Luck is more prevalent in more classes and it functions off of Cha. Most classes can choose a relevant Physical and Mental stat to cover most of their class options. Like choosing an Offensive Stat and a Defensive Stat, only more locked into class feature options.

I am so down. I just divided the SRD into Feats and Skill Tricks, as well as noting which ones are removed. I realized I want most of them to change slightly (or a lot). I am still following my design premise (the different categories and different point values).

Marshal is mostly drawn up, but specifics just need to be pounded out. Basically, they get Battlecry points as they level up which they place into different learned Battlecries to get higher Ranks. Max rank is 1/2 level rounded up. This usually determines the bonus/DC of the Battlecry (Battlecry: Howl of Fury makes opponents Shaken. Rank determines DC, and higher Rank makes the Shaken become Frightened, Cowering, or Panicked instead). Auras are different, and fewer are learned, and bonus goes from 1 to 7. Finally, Commander Talents allow advanced Strategies, Plans, and Tactics to be used. Learn up to 8 or 9 of these, and you can set them up beforehand (Ambushes) or enact them on the go (Ingenuities). They also get some maneuvers (White Raven, Iron Heart most likely).

Duskblade up next!

2014-01-19, 11:23 PM
So are we using this for War of the Magi? I'd be up for that. Looks awesome, in any case.

2014-01-20, 12:01 AM
So are we using this for War of the Magi? I'd be up for that. Looks awesome, in any case.

Could do that. In that case, instead of me pounding through the classes in order, why not do requests, or 'top 3'? That way, I get some focused effort into it and you still get to play something up each of your respective alleys.

2014-01-20, 12:50 AM
I love skillmonkeys and fighters - hence, Dash, Jaxo, Scab (my new gob jester), etc.

But, um, will we be keeping races? Re-tooling? Seems like we should pilot this with humans and non-gestalt, from 1st - if we wanna see how it balances out, that is. Thoughts?

My classes: christ, so many. Ummm ... in no particular order, Factotum, Spellthief, Incarnate, maybe Scout. Any and all could use maneuvers. I think my main thing is, I want all classes to be both VIABLE (one-trick is NOT, really, nor is non-caster in the base game) and FUN (which again, means not "I roll to hit," but things like maneuvers and tricks - hence why I dig where you're going, man!).

My concern/thought might be feats and dips. All of these should work WITHOUT optimization, but old habits die hard for me. I'd look for ways to break it using existing feats and so on (suppose that might not be a bad way to test them out, yes?).

Maybe this would be better in the arena. We could literally each build, then run them through 2 encounters/level to see how they work out.


And Cam, very cool ****, man. Very.

Oh, hey - TC? Did I blow my Ref save? Roll for Hakkaaa, maybe?

2014-01-20, 08:37 AM
I'd say Thief, Sage, or Warlock if we're doing War of the Magi; if we're running an arena I'll go with the Swashbuckler.

2014-01-20, 11:24 AM
I'd prefer to run War of the Magi as-is. It's meant to be high powered, high danger, and likely extremely intense. These classes should be tested the way they were meant to: A dungeon crawl, a short campaign, or a module. Not an arena- only a very, very small selection of these classes were built for combat only. Most of them are going to be designed with the following mantra: THIS IS NOT A WAR GAME. This is a game of ADVENTURE. They will have social abilities, mental advantages; allies, contacts, and cohorts all have their own subsystems and rules. Not everything is needed to have a fun, playable character; but using everything makes it that much more HEROIC AND AWESOME. HENCHMEN have their own CLASSES. Like Pathfinder, all classes have options- not just to determine strengths, but oftentimes to determine how they are PLAYED.

So yes, I want to test out these characters, but not in an Arena.

This is how I want to do it:
I will design the next class wanted with enough resources to make it fun and playable.
I will roll randomly for a starting level.
I be super creative and throw you into the middle of a dungeon/fight/situation and you use your advanced roleplaying prowess to navigate your way through.


Alright, next classes on the block are:
Factotum (Replaces Scout on the chart above), Scout (Replaces the Warden on the chart above), Thief, Sage, Warlock, Spellthief, and Incarnate. I'll also finish up some more Flourishes and Tricks for the Swashbuckler, and make it more tidy.

2014-01-20, 04:57 PM
Musings on Scout:

All about terrain, mobility, and ambush tactics. Think Skirmish combined with Swiftblade, as well as Favored Terrain and Horizon Walker. Choices come in two flavors: Skirmish benefits (defense? Miss chance? Ignore difficult terrain? Spring Attack line?) and Terrain Mastery (Offensive Ambushes? Defensive strategems? Tuning in to stone, trees, or water?).

Musings on Incarnate:

Two major areas of focus: Soul Trappings and Soulmelds. Soulmelds are placed on traditional Chakras, get more powerful based on where Essentia is placed; pretty much as-written.
Soul Trappings are based on Personality. Each has a Positive and a Negative side, and these aspects are enhanced in the Incarnate when that Trapping is formed. Each takes on a different appearance, usually shrouding clothes and helps items in Soul-powered illusions. Each Trapping has a Spend function (positive) and a recovery function (negative). Spends temporarily decrease your Essentia pool until you recover it (by meditating for an hour or using Recovery methods created by Trappings).
For example;
Lion's Mantle (Positive: Courageous. Negative: Cowardly)
Spend 1: Spend before making an attack roll. If you hit, you bolster yourself and allies within close range with a concentrated dose of pure courage. The next attack each of you makes gets a morale bonus to hit equal to your Charisma modifier or half your total Essentia pool, whichever is greater. SPEND +3: Each ally bolstered gets a free attack as well, which deals +D6 damage, where X is half your remaining Essentia pool.
Recover 1: Spend a full round moving away from an enemy aware of you.
Recover 4: Willingly fail the save against a fear effect.

Here's a list of ideas:

2014-01-20, 05:49 PM
It sounds like we might want to put WoM on hold, then.

2014-01-20, 06:49 PM
We need some gamer Ritalin up in hurr. I like WoM, but I'm truly digging AG right now. Just have to fix Dash.

Grrr. :smallannoyed:

2014-01-20, 07:11 PM
To be honest, I don't think I can handle another game after WoM, so I at least would have to pick.

2014-01-20, 07:13 PM
I feel you. I think testing might suit us better - try a class, get our feet wet, if it doesn't take, reboot.

2014-03-01, 09:41 PM
Okay. I have developed a cool game to play with you guys. It is based on the mini-RPG Microscope, but it is for system design rather than world building.

Here's how it works:


We go in order supplying an entry to one of two Inclusion or Exclusion lists. Submissions to these lists must be system-based, not fluff-based. "Cyborgs" is not a valid entry into the lists; "Cybernetics as a stand-alone subsystem" is a valid entry into the lists. Another example would be "time travelling ninjas" is not valid, while "Tables for randomized Causality effects" would be one.

We take turns supplying things we want Included in the game or Excluded from it. No submission from us can directly conflict with another entry, though work-arounds will both make things more complex and interesting.

There are two types of Inclusive and two types of Exclusive list: Internal (belonging to a character) or External (belonging to entities/existence outside a character).

When making a submission define whether it is Inclusive or Exclusive, and if it is an Internal or External subject.


In Microscope, play circles as the participants provide one of three different 'Focuses': Periods, Events, and Scenes. Periods are broad eras of time with recurring themes; Events span a shorter time and have recurring characters or occurrences that unfold; finally, Scenes involve specific characters that are controlled by the participants.

Play goes in a circle, where the Leader of a round gets both the First and the last play before the Leader is passed along to the next player.

In Nanoscope (this system's working name that I decided on WHILE TYPING THIS UP) the participants creates interactions between Systems (the 'Period' amalgam), Rules (the 'Events' mirror), and Abilities (the Scene twin).

System: An overarching setup, ruling, or test-mechanic that is applied to a wide swath of circumstances. Dice pools, ability scores, a Skill System, etc are all examples of Systems.

Rule: Govern a specific situation or conflict. Damage resolution, armor values, and synergy bonuses between skills are all rules.

Ability: modifies the interaction between specific Systems, Rules, and Abilities. Feats do this, Spells do this, even little Templates do this in D&D.

So we take turns providing Systems, Rules, and Abilities according to the previously-defined Inclusion and Exclusion lists. Once we feel confident enough, we can play a quick encounter or test with it.

I want to DO THIS. I am going to start a new thread for this and link it here.

HERE is the Nanoscope thread. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=17102437)

2014-03-01, 10:00 PM
Nono! Not ANOTHER thread!

Also, I have a base system I've been wanting to chat with you guys about which is similar. I'd love to chat in g-mail about it sometime (or - gonna say somethin' crazy here - es-plain on the phone).

But hokay, I like how you're thinking.

Inclusion: the following attributes ...

POWER: Sheer, raw might - physical might, telekinetic might, the ability to melt a city down to slag. You could have a high Power and a low Grit if you’re a quadriplegic with the psychic ability to punch holes in twenty-inch thick steel. The Flash has Power, not Guile - Batman has both.
GRIT: Toughness, willpower, machismo, determination, armor, regeneration, what have you.
RESOURCEFULNESS: Money, creative use of environment, luck, innovation. McGuyver has it, Batman has it, Jackie Chan has it, and so does Bill Gates. Hell, some homeless guys have it.
GUILE: Stealth, lies, sneaky skills, sleight of hand, traps, tricks, social manipulation, lying, conniving, politicking, bull****ting. Ninjas have it. Machiavelli had it.
INSIGHT: Intellect, perception, senses, intuition, cunning.
PRESENCE: Suave, cool, style, seduction, leadership qualities, intimidation, sheer force of personality. Superman has it. Vampires have it.

Exclusion: Items. Equipment = ability, and no silly **** about disposable vs. permanent - either you use an ability or not.

Exclusion: Skill system - you can have "performances," but not set "skills."

I'd rather chat about this a bit, tho. As always, Cam, I'm in awe of your sheer generative energy, but I'm a bit slow in following how you are conceptualizing things.