View Full Version : D&D 3.x Class Dark Souls Reward System

bloated glutton
2016-08-09, 08:05 PM
Hey all, i'm playing with the idea of a dark souls based reward system.
This system will change the way leveling up and item buying works for a new adventure path i'm currently working on. I'm not neccisarily interested into tailoring the entire rule meta of the adventure towards that of dark souls (though it will feature taint and some nasty curses).

How I See it
Corporeal souls can be plucked from dead enemies, or are kept by enemies as arcane currency.
Magic items are very difficult to find, but artificers can work the power of these souls into arcane weaponry. Monsters will mostly be carrying mudane if masterwork items. Magic item vendors sell only a limited amount of specific magic items.
This drives the players to seek out these souls as reward so that they can craft the items they want and level up faster. When i do reward items it will mostly be custom tailored stuff for my players.

How It Works
I would like to use larval souls from the book of vile darkness as soldier souls,
their cost being 250 gp. Falling back on item crafting rules here, 25 gp equals 1 xp.
I will make the exchange so that an "unconsumed" soul maintains it's price,
or can be "consumed" for it's equivelancy of xp.
A found soul can be sold to a vendor for it's full cost if left "unconsumed".
Pc's with crafting feats can use souls to make the items they desire if provided the right amount of souls.

The Reward
1 xp is meager, so i will reward "bigger" souls for more gp and xp.
A large undead soul could be 100 gp or 4 xp.
25 large undead souls make for a character level up for a 1st level character.
10 large undead souls upgrade a mw armour to +1.
20 large undead souls upgrade a mw weapon to a +1 magic weapon.
When deciding how many souls i should reward for an encounter the beauty of the system comes into effect. I just calculate how much xp the party would receive for a given encounter and devide it up into souls. So if a party of four lv 1 characters defeat a Ecl 1 encounter, they would be rewarded 300 xp

The change-off is a little weird i think. A level up grants much more benefit then an item upgrade
with hit points, skill points, base attack bonus and the whole lot.
I would love characters to either deprive themselves of items in order to level up
or wield deadly items that provide a serious edge over higher level characters and monsters.
Especially since they will still be able to find a few magic items anyway.

-Do you have any thoughts on how i can accomplish a better trade-off between items and leveling up?
Should i just up the xp vs gp scale, and if so, to what degree would you suggest.
-As a player, would you be allright with this trade-off if it was introduced before hand?
Any advise on the topic in general is appreciated.

2016-08-09, 09:08 PM
-Do you have any thoughts on how i can accomplish a better trade-off between items and leveling up?
-As a player, would you be allright with this trade-off if it was introduced before hand?

I think the current trade off would be fine. However, there's the issue of consumables and ammo. Levels are always useful, and weapons can be sold down the line. Ammo, on the other hand, is something you'll need to buy constantly, same with consumables.

I once ran a short-lived campaign which used a similar system to the one you've preposed. Limiting the reusable magic items to player-made only, and providing all the consumables free of charge was the system most people liked. Well, there was one guy who argued for an hour or two about how underpowered this made him, but that was because his build was unsuited to the task of aquiring these items, and he refused to get help from the other players.

Your system seems a little more polished than the one I used, and I doubt your players will run into this problem. Just in case, I'd give them an explanation of the crafting system, even if it's just the same as the normal D&D system.

bloated glutton
2016-08-10, 11:22 AM
Thanks EvilBarrels, hadn't considered consumables yet.
I will take into consideration that some potions and scrolls should always be in stock with vendors.
Also i'll be more generous with players finding those in the game.
Ammunition shouldnt be a problem since magic ranged weapons should be within reach of the pc's.

Having played a game with a similar crafting and leveling system,
where there any things in particular you really enjoyed about that game that i should look to incorporate?

2016-08-10, 10:57 PM
Well, like I said, the system I used wasn't nearly as well fleshed out as yours. I realized exam season was about to start, so I rushed into the campaign before everyone was too busy.

However, something everyone enjoyed was the Favor system. People were awarded divine favor for doing things the different gods liked, or lost favor for doing things they didn't. These points serve the same purpose as the souls in your setting, although, the spending was a bit different.

If you spoke with a god and asked for stuff, it would spend all your favor with that god. The favor would be given to you in the form of a bonus to your barter check, which in turn gave you better items. I had a similar system for using the market and gambling with demons, but no one used them. Well, except when buying food, gods didn't hand that out.