View Full Version : D&D 3.x Other Need help for trine-like character system

2017-12-14, 02:01 AM
I need to carry company with only two players. Party of two is too fragile, so I thought of methods to strengthen play characters. I know about gestalt from the UA. But it made characters too powerful since composite character could be greater then sum of its part. So I need to adjust environment accordingly.

I have another idea. What if player character is cursed like in the Trine video game? So it is actually three characters that player could swtich as he wishes? That would be 3x spell slots and 3x hit points, but only 1x action at a turn. So there is no need to adjust event power significantly.

The main points are the follow:
1. Each player 3 separate characters with separate wargear, hit points, spell slots and other.
2. Exactly one character could be enabled at any time.
3. Enabled character plays as normal.
4. For the disabled characters time is freezed
5. You could swap characters as free action even if it stunned or dazed. Swapping is process that is not tied to any character. You could initiate swap even after characters death.
6. Each character gains XP, levels up and take feats separately.
7. There is 2x penalty for XP gain. So party of 2 trines level ups as party of 4 normal characters
8. Characters could share some body slots. If current character fills slot with an item and backup character has that slot free then he could take that item while swapping places with other character.

But I have some troubles with details.
a) How often could player switch characters? Maybe 1 + 1d6 round totally or 1 + 2d4 per character?
b) How to inspire players to player all characters equally? Maybe I should introduce some penalties for characters that was used too rarely?
c) What about natural healing when characters is disabled? Time is freezed, so no healing?
d) How to keep character times with small effort?
e) What about resting? If one character sleeps, than all other had not slept and would get penalties on next day. What if you have two spellcaster characters?
f) How should character switching affect animal companions, familiars, rebuked and commanded undead? If they went to hibernate too, to what positions should they be restored after player switches back to its master?

Have any thoughts how to made concrete rules over this vague ideas?

2017-12-14, 03:17 AM
This is substantially more powerful than gestalt, so if that was an issue this is just going to be more of one. With that said, if you're determined to do this for its own sake there are a few points worth firming up.

One is time - not having natural healing due to frozen time but still requiring separate rest is just weird; they didn't sleep while their time was frozen. The easiest way to resolve this is to really emphasize the frozen time, with each of the three characters effectively experiencing one third of a day per day. You can track time for each of them separately, but assuming that it works out pretty normally (particularly out of combat) makes life much easier.

As far as animal companions, familiars, etc. the easiest option is to have them tied to the character, and also frozen in time. Whenever you switch to your character, they start with you in your space, as moving separately isn't an option for the frozen. I wouldn't apply this for the likes of summons or turned undead.

2017-12-14, 01:43 PM
This is substantially more powerful than gestalt
Individually all characters are still base but you can use number of them with extra restrictions.

The easiest way to resolve this is to really emphasize the frozen time, with each of the three characters effectively experiencing one third of a day per day
It is a consistent way but it betrays original intention. You has 3x HD and 3x Spell (or other 1/day abilities) so the party of 2x3 become very durable and could avoid TPK. But you need full 3x durability, and if time is frozen you would get 3x * 1/3 = 1x average. You could get 3x still, but it requires 3x rest and that breaks game dynamics.

As far as animal companions
There are ways to exploit either approach towards familiars and co. If you rule them appear adjacent to character after switch, then it may be used for teleporting familiar. You could send familiar far away to scout path ahead. Switch back and forth characters and the familiar reappears adjacent to him.

If you rule that familiar keeps his previous position, then it could be used to make ambushes. You charge familiar with touch spell and place it where you anticipate your target would have disadvantage. Switch to another character and wait until target reach ambush. Then switch back - and the familiar suddenly attacks.

Another variant rule is that familiar keeps his position relative to master. If familiar was adjacent to you, then it would reappear adjacent. If familiar was 30ft to north it would reappear 30ft to north of your new location. That rule could be exploited to spy behind closed doors. Place familiar close to door, switch, move 5ft towards the door, switch back.

I wouldn't apply this for the likes of summons or turned undead.
Good point. All controlled creatures remains under control as its master is still alive even if the characters is in disabled world. But without that character nobody could issue orders to them. They would carry standing orders just like their master left them to guard some place.