View Full Version : New mechanic - Books!

2008-04-27, 06:56 PM
Edit: this thread deleted, I'm working now on maybe publishing a small supliment with this info. thanks for the feedback!

2008-04-27, 07:08 PM
Edit: Nevermind, I found it.

Anyway I like the system, good work.

2008-04-27, 07:14 PM
(1D3 + 4) + Reader's wisdom modifier - The book's Bonus weeks

So assuming the book is +1 and the character has 14 wisdom (2 modifyer) it would be 1D3+4-1 Weeks (or 4-6 weeks)

2008-04-27, 07:25 PM
Yea I found it. Like I said, nice system and well done. I'm glad you refrained from making books that give combat bonuses because you don't need those.

2008-04-28, 03:03 PM
Thanks. Combat books were tempting. :)
Anyway, Version 2 is now up with the speical attributes and binding rules inclluded.

EDIT: And Added crafting rules.

Any further feedback is appreciated.

2008-04-30, 08:29 PM
It's a really interesting thought. I've got a few concerns though -

Why is the comprenhension check a flat int check? Doesn't your initial familiarity with the skill help you decipher the material in the book, or your lack of familiarity hinder you from understanding the more complicated ones? I have no idea how I'd build existing ranks into the check, but I definitely agree with you on the int mod part of things.

I think the idea of diminishing bonuses is a great one, but the "bonus * 5 in ranks" starting point for them seems kinda high. In my campaign anyway, there aren't a lot of people running around with 25 ranks in something, so they could still get the full benefit from a +5 book, and that bonus would be worth LOTS to them if they used the skill regularly. I think reducing the benefit from the books by 1 for every 5 ranks you have in the skill might work better in general, and it makes higher bonused books more important and costly for the really well versed characters. Maybe anything over +5 should have a minimum rank requirement to understand or benefit from it as well.

The time to keep the bonus seems pretty solid, but it strikes me as unrealistic that it evaporates instantly if you don't make a new check and reread the entire book within the bonus period. What about a period after the full bonus where you don't get the bonus anymore, but you only have to spend half the time refreshing yourself with the book to get the bonus again? Maybe equal to the time period you had the bonus for?

Btw, the chance to damage/destroy your book while reading through it is a stroke of genious.

2008-04-30, 10:14 PM
More advanced books also tend to be longer. Reading a book takes more time the more bonus point it applies, though reading can be split up and doesn’t have to be done all at once. Reading a book again does not stack the bonus, but only resets the time. Only the best bonus for the books of the same subject applies at once. (So reading a +1 book on architecture and a +3 book on architecture only grants a +3.)

That last sentence could be simplified a bit. Either include a simple note that multiple bonuses overlap and do not stack, or just call it a competence bonus, depending on whether or not you want it to stack with other competence bonuses.

The more a character knows on a subject, the less usefull a book will likely to be since since the character will already know what's in the book. character with a number of ranks in a book will find the information in the book less useful or even useless. If the character has at least a number ranks in the subject equal to the bonus x 5 then the bonus the character receives from the book is reduced by 1. For every 5 ranks after that the bonus is reduced by another 1 (Though the bonus cannot be reduced to less than 0.)

I also think the cap seems a little high. Characters won't even begin to get less value from a +5 book until they're epic level.

A character can only remember so much informaiton. The bonus you get from a book once read completely lasts for (1D3 + 4) + Reader's wisdom modifier weeks - The book's Bonus. This is always at least 1 week. After that you need to re-read the book again.

Why Wisdom? Intelligence is usually the skill for governing how well you pick up and retain skills.

Table 2 – Book Bonus Levels
{table=head]Bonus (Type of book)|Read Time||Complexity (Int Check DC)|Hit Points

+0 (Useless/Children book)|25 Min.|10gp|0 (No Check)|5 HP
+1 (Beginner's Guide)|25 Min.|100gp|DC 10|5 HP
+2 (Apprentice's Guide)|100 Min.|400gp|DC 15|6 HP
+3 (Skilled Guide)|175 Min.|900gp|DC 20|7 HP
+4 (Skilled Guide)|250 Min.|1600gp|DC 25|8 HP
+5 (Skilled Guide)|375Min.|2500gp|DC 30|9 HP

Just a minor aesthetic note here, but it would be nice if +3 through +4 had different descriptions.

Cover Material

Most books have cloth covers, but the GM may roll to see if the cover is made of another more unusual material. Hardness is how much damage is subtracted when damage is done to the book.

{table=head]D%|Material|Hardness|Hit Points
1-75|Cloth (Default)|0|+0

What, no human skin? Or does that fall under leather? :amused:

Special Attributes

You may roll from the table below to add special attributes to a book. This table may only be rolled for books with a bonus of at least +2.

76-79|Simple|Book has -5 complexity DC
80-83|Precise|Reading time is deduced by 100 minutes
84-87|Sturdy|Book HP increased by one half.
88-91|Babling|Book’s reading time is increased by 100 minutes.
92-95|Complex|Book has +5 complexity DC
96-98|Cheap Binding|Book Hit Points decreased by one half. value is reduced by 10gp
99|Rare| The book’s value is doubled. Book’s HP decreased by one quarter. The odds of the book taking damage when read is increased by 10%.
100|Roll Twice| Roll for two attributes instead of one. If you get this again, re-roll.

The "deduced" under "Precise" should be "reduced." "Babling" is spelled "babbling" (or possibly "wordy," since books generally can't speak, but the "babbling book" pun is so groan-worthy that I can't make you change it).

Crafting Books

Crafting books follow the same books of crafting anything else. To create a book, you must first create a blank book. A blank book counts as being a +0 (useless) book when crafted. When you create a blank book you must descide on the maximum bonus the book can have (Basicly how long the book is.) as this effects the material cost. The DC to create a blank book is DC 15.

{table=head]Max Bonus|Cost

I'll assume that you didn't really intend for +3 or greater books to cost as much as useless ones. As a side note, are there any rules for crafting books with special qualities (besides Rare)? I think that'd be at least worth an increase in the Craft DC.

The cost on the table above is divided by 3 to get the material cost. Once you have a blank book, you may fill it. First choose a subject in a specific knowledge, craft or profession skill. The bonus given of the information of the book may not more than the number of ranks you have in that skill * 5.

I presume you mean "ranks you have in that skill / 5."

2008-05-01, 01:46 AM
The idea behind the INT check is that it's harder to understand more complex book. I'm not exactly sure I understand the question otherwise.
EDIT: Oh, something else like ranks should be added you mean. I agree. I think just add ranks /3 in the subject (Which is how I'm handling all the other checks like this.) I updated it.

So How about 3 ranks per bonus? (So ranks would be 0/3/6/9/12/15 Vs. 0/5/10/15/20/25)? I was thinking +5 is a fairly large bonus (Perhaps not as much as I thought.)

Good point about evaporating. I admit I had thought of this, and considered a sort of lessening bonus, then got lazy. One problem is remembering which books you've already read that you can get a "refresher" in. Mostly I was mimicking the enchantment system already in place for the sake of simplicity. That isn't to say another way can't be done, but I'm not sure how to do it. (Suggestions welcome.)

"Btw, the chance to damage/destroy your book while reading through it is a stroke of genious."

Thanks. I was thinking there should be some risk to the books. Too easy if they just keep lasting. (Like how weapons, shields and armor get damage with use.)

"Why Wisdom?" Simply because I wanted to incorporate both INt and WIS in this system. INT is used for processing, WIS is for applying. This doesn't fit exactly with the system, but I think it fits well enough.

"Just a minor aesthetic note here, but it would be nice if +3 through +4 had different descriptions."
Crap. that's not supposed to be like that. :P Good catch.

"What, no human skin? Or does that fall under leather? "
In my original version (On the wiki for my campaign design) I listed Leather/Skin together. I dropped it because frankly it kind of creeped me out. I guess I can put it back. (They are the same bonus though in D20 rules)

The pun wasn't intended. (No Really!) Actually, now I want to change it because of that. I'll keep it now for you. :)

RE: Costs. Again, crap. I need to do better checking. Good point on crafting specials. I'll think on that and add it to version 3!

EDIT: So I had a brainstorm. Instead of having a flat DC add, I used the craft check for blank books to give a chance to fix bad rolls with the bad binding. For the others it's a check when you fill in the info (I felt there should be some kind of check there anyway so it's not just a matter of your skill, but like a real check.) I don't think crafting a rare book makes any sense, so I left that one out.

"I presume you mean "ranks you have in that skill / 5.""
Corret. Fixing.

EDIT: So I had more ideas. Books for learning languages (Which means new home brew rules!) and for aging and mold. I don't really like the current crumbling rules since books with higher bonuses and more HP have more to loose. Feedback is welcome on this section and in fact everything else here.

EDIT 2: Meh. Nevermind on the bonus deteration rules. They wern't working.

Thanks for all the feedback and encouragement! This looks like this may end up being a larger module than I thought.