View Full Version : the force in d&d

2008-02-18, 12:15 AM
im planning on making a world, I'm trying to give reason to XP, so I thought

man, acording to the lore, the god king lost his eye in battle, so how about I make magic and exp come from the energy released from the wound

wizards would channel and study it, sorcerers would have some equivalent to midi-cloreans(evolving from adapting to the areas with a higher concentration)

some of it could have picked up good and lawful( or evil and chaotic for you blackguards) energy, so instead of sorcerers, you get paladins and blackguards, most non cleric casters use some form of this energy

most creatures also have some untapped resovoir of said energy(not enough for sorcery in most cases), and killing them releases energy, some of wich heads to the source of disruption, and any assosiated beings

getting enough of it inside of you causing you to fill up, intergating most of it from small part of the mind into the rest of the body, once it gets to its destination it binds with the body, making you stronger(and gaining HD) and can be spent on class training to make you faster sturdier.

so the result is that some wizards have a rough idea of the way experience points work, and why bigger guys have more XP than some rat, but they don't have enough information for a system of measurement or much more than some rough theories.

so a skilled wizard with the right tools can see that you're full of XP, can see that your body has a good deal of energy integrated into it, but they cant see your level, how much XP you need to level up, with some searching they can see you got your level drained by a vampire(superficial damage to bones and muscles)

comments, critisizim?

2008-02-18, 12:50 AM
What is the point of this?

Experience points, levels, hit dice, hit points, and skill points are all an abstraction. They are not meant to be real things within the context of the D&D game world, so as far as your character goes, they don't exist at all. These things a merely tools to show how your character improves over time.

In real life, you don't have to absorb some mystic energy in order to get better at whatever it is you do, you just learn from experience. That experience is modelled by the system of gaining experience points which allow you to gradually gain levels, HD, and skills. But understand that from your character's perspective, they gain these abilities gradually and not all of a sudden when you gain a level. They are working at it all the time.

2008-02-18, 01:11 AM
yes but real life generally dosn't have guys throwing fireballs at a bunch of 8 legged freaks ripoffs, D&D has different classes of throwers( with completley different methods) as well as different versions of the balls, a fighter or rouge can train, a wizard can study, but how does a paladin get new spells if he serves no god, and how does a knack develop into a whole new set of skills?

Dr Bwaa
2008-02-18, 03:54 AM
His power level is over 9000!!!!!

Sorry about that. I like this idea. I see the problems people will have with your taking an abstraction and making it more concrete, but it's been done before, and as long as you and your players are comfortable with it, I can't see how it would be a problem.

2008-02-18, 12:49 PM
KillianHawkeye, the point is that D&D does not work like the real world. Having a +30 skill modifier doesn't represent anything that an actual human can do, even theoretically. It represents the ability of heroic characters in a cinematic fantasy game to do stuff that no one can do in real life. Look at the way hit points work, for heaven's sake. Characters normally don't even get injured, just easier to kill. You can do whatever you want just as easily at 1 HP as at 100 (provided that what you want to do doesn't involve surviving more damage). A 20th level character can be totally submerged in lava for 6 seconds without being disabled.

Sure, you can introduce all sorts of house rules to try to get d20 to more closely approximate reality, but making the non-magical parts of D&D realistic takes so much work that you might as well use a different system to start with; one that actually seriously tries to simulate reality. Not to mention that if you limit inhumanly awesome things to the explicitly magical, you have to tone down spellcasting a hell of a lot for non-spellcasters not to become completely screwed. It's a lot easier to accept that hit points represent the ability of D&D characters to survive utterly fatal things than it is to try to get them to actually represent falling away from blows or whatever. The 20th level fighter is differentiated from the 1st level fighter by qualities that real-life people do not have.

In D&D, you get better at whatever you do by overcoming challenges. It doesn't even matter how unrelated the challenge is to what you do, all that matters is how big a challenge it was. There are plenty of ordinary people in the world, but there are also ridiculously dangerous, hard-to-kill creatures out there -- a few of them humans -- who become more powerful by killing other ridiculously dangerous, hard-to-kill creatures. It's like Highlander, but with elves and dragons and stuff.

In a world where you earn generic good-at-what-you-do-ness by accomplishing difficult things, and can then actually spend it to cast powerful spells or create magic items, people will clue in to the fact that that's how things work. In a world where every creature carries a reservoir of positive energy within it that heals when it gets hurt -- to the point that a weapon actually needs a special enchantment to cause a still-conscious person to lose enough blood to have any real impact -- people will realize that things work that way, and that some creatures have much bigger reservoirs than others, and thus require more cure spells to fill their reservoirs back up after they've been depleted. And they won't even think there's anything unusual about this, because it's what they're familiar with! They'd be deeply surprised to see someone, say, break a limb, because that just doesn't normally happen.

The alternative to this, of course, is to run a world where the game rules are dramatic conventions that only apply to action "onscreen", instead of having an irate housecat posing a very real threat to the average commoner. That's an entirely valid option. Still, it's interesting to contemplate -- and even create -- a world where the rules of D&D apply everywhere. It's certainly a very different world from our own.

But anyway: Yeah, wizards don't call them "experience points" or "levels", but they're aware that such things exist, even if only on a very abstract level. They know enough to charge more for spells that cost XP, at least; and by 20th level, a wizard has probably learned that some dudes have just become too badass to be effected by the sleep spell; and so on.

Illiterate Scribe
2008-02-18, 01:23 PM
His power level is over 9000!!!!!


Anyway, I do like this system.

It's something I was trying to work out with a friend - if you were inside the D&Dverse, could you work out from experimentation the constants and rulesets? eg. that there are precisely 5 levels of aerial maneuverability, and that everything seems to happen in six second 'episodes'.

2008-02-18, 02:43 PM

Anyway, I do like this system.

It's something I was trying to work out with a friend - if you were inside the D&Dverse, could you work out from experimentation the constants and rulesets? eg. that there are precisely 5 levels of aerial maneuverability, and that everything seems to happen in six second 'episodes'.

this would be a rough science, see that a will o' wisp and a griffin fly differently, then see how many things fly differently, maybe someone sees a gold wyrm dragon, compare

again the normal human and elf wizards and scientists woudn't have much more than a rough idea of catagories based on observation and study, not some super defined clear cut chart (the mindflayers live IN SPACE (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SixthRanger?text=in+space&pagename=Main%2FSearchWiki), and have a more clear cut chart, used to make spacecraft and plan progectiles)

most commoners can tell you that will o wisps can fly better than a bird(provided that thay've seen one)

anyone think that my aligned energy is too close too star wars (there will be instances were paladins and blackguards have to work together, mostly high ranking members of the military, particularly in the areas so harsh that they need to co operate((but still argue)) to survive and not be run over by the empire (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheEmpire).)

2008-02-18, 03:29 PM
Just use 'Gaffer Tape' as the explanation instead - after all it has a light side and a dark side and helps bind the universe together. Just ask a handyman.


2008-02-18, 04:56 PM
It's something I was trying to work out with a friend - if you were inside the D&Dverse, could you work out from experimentation the constants and rulesets? eg. that there are precisely 5 levels of aerial maneuverability, and that everything seems to happen in six second 'episodes'.
The round should totally be a standard unit of time, at least amongst wizards. Because if they time their spells, they should easily discover that all spells last some multiple of 6 seconds.

It shouldn't be too hard for them to test for someone's caster level, either, by timing spells, or measuring how many cubic feet of whatever someone could create. Obviously they'd want to confirm the initial figure using one of the highest-level spells the person could cast, to make sure he wasn't cheating with metamagic.

It would naturally be wizards who would be most inclined to take an academic view of the world, and as such most scholarly investigation would likely focus on wizardry itself, and related things. It's not too difficult to imagine to imagine a wizard conversing with a member of his party less versed in arcane knowledge...

Wizard: Wait, you can cast remove curse? I thought you could only cast three-page spells.
Cleric: Um, that's what you had concluded, yes.
Wizard: Did you gain access to new spells recently?
Cleric: No, no, I've been able to prepare that for a while now.
Wizard: Huh. Well, that's weird. Maybe remove curse is, like, only a three-page spell for clerics, even though it's a four-page spell for wizards.
Cleric: ... But clerics don't prepare spells out of books. We get them from our deities.
Wizard: Well, yeah, but I mean, like, metaphorically.
Cleric: What?! What are you talking about? Look, a "three-page spell" is, by definition, a spell that takes up three pages in a wizard's spellbook... or would, if a wizard could learn it, according to you. I still honestly don't know what that's supposed to mean. But if remove curse takes up four pages in your spellbook, then obviously it is, by definition, a four-page spell!
Wizard: (thoughtfully) You'd sure think so, wouldn't you?
Cleric: Aaaaaaaaargh!