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Thread: D20 total conversion

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Ceres's Avatar

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    Feb 2007
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    Lightbulb Character Creation

    Character creation in my system is very different from standard D&D. It is point-buy all the way to give the player maximum freedom. For the same reason, classes have been removed as I feel they limit freedom.

    Stats:
    Stats are separate from the other character attributes, and are not bought in the same way. Therefore you can in theory use any sort of ability-score creating system from standard D&D, though using point-buy might be more in tune with my systems philosophy of freedom and control.
    In my campaign we used 25 point-buy.
    Stats have many different uses in my system than in D&D, something I will get back to.

    After stats are determined the player can buy skills, saves, feats and such with his starting xp. In my campaign I gave each player 5000 xp.

    Skills:
    The experience-cost of skill-points vary depending on your intelligence, your ability-score witch the skill depends on, and the number of ranks you already have in the skill. To calculate the cost of a skill-point, this equation is used:
    Code:
    (100xp - (Int. x 5xp)) + (Current rank x (5xp - Ability mod.))
          base cost                 cost increasement
    Here are some tables to make it more understandable:

    BASE COST
    {table=head]Intelligence|3|4|5|6|7|8|9|10|11|12|13|14|15|16|17|18+

    Cost|
    85
    |
    80
    |
    75
    |
    70
    |
    65
    |
    60
    |
    55
    |
    50
    |
    45
    |
    40
    |
    35
    |
    30
    |
    25
    |
    20
    |
    15
    |
    10
    [/table]

    COST INCREASEMENT
    ------------Ability Mod of skill------------
    {table=head]Rank|- 4|- 3|- 2|- 1|+ 0|+ 1|+ 2|+ 3|+ 4+

    1|
    0
    |
    0
    |
    0
    |
    0
    |
    0
    |
    0
    |
    0
    |
    0
    |
    0

    2|
    9
    |
    8
    |
    7
    |
    6
    |
    5
    |
    4
    |
    3
    |
    2
    |
    1

    3|
    18
    |
    16
    |
    14
    |
    12
    |
    10
    |
    8
    |
    6
    |
    4
    |
    2

    4|
    27
    |
    24
    |
    21
    |
    18
    |
    15
    |
    12
    |
    9
    |
    6
    |
    3

    5|
    36
    |
    32
    |
    28
    |
    24
    |
    20
    |
    16
    |
    12
    |
    8
    |
    4

    6|
    45
    |
    40
    |
    35
    |
    30
    |
    25
    |
    20
    |
    15
    |
    10
    |
    5

    7|
    54
    |
    48
    |
    42
    |
    36
    |
    30
    |
    24
    |
    18
    |
    12
    |
    6

    8|
    63
    |
    56
    |
    49
    |
    42
    |
    35
    |
    28
    |
    21
    |
    14
    |
    7

    9|
    72
    |
    64
    |
    56
    |
    48
    |
    40
    |
    32
    |
    24
    |
    16
    |
    8

    10|
    81
    |
    72
    |
    63
    |
    54
    |
    45
    |
    36
    |
    27
    |
    18
    |
    9

    11+|
    +9
    |
    +8
    |
    +7
    |
    +6
    |
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +1
    [/table]

    Example: How to use these tables:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Menedos Es Vinicius, a minotaur warrior from Sargea wants to improve his riding skill. He has a dexterity score of 15, an intelligence of 12 and already has a rank of 3 points. He decides to improve his skill to 6 points.

    Looking at the "base cost"-table he finds that he has a base skill-cost of 40, because of his intelligence (this cost is the same for all skills. He multiplies it by three to get the base-cost for his three new skill-points: 40xp x3 = 120xp.

    He must then add the cost increasement for buying the specific fourth, fifth and sixth point. Looking at the "Cost increasement"-table, finding his dexterity-mod of +2, he finds that the cost is +9 for the fourth rank, +12 for the fifth rank and +15 for the sixth rank.

    Adding it all together he gets: 120xp + 9xp + 12xp +15xp = 156xp for all three ranks.


    Old Example, using equations:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Menedos Es Vinicius, a minotaur warrior from Sargea wants to improve his riding skill. He has a dexterity score of 15, an intelligence of 12 and already has a rank of 3 points.

    100 xp - (12 x 5xp) + 3 x (5 xp - 2) = 49 xp.

    For some it might seem tricky to use an equation every time you increase a skill, but it gets easier if you chop it up. Think of 100xp - (Int. x 5 xp) as the base cost, and (5xp - Ability mod.) as the cost increasement.

    Menedos has a base cost for all skills of 40, and a cost-increasement for all dexterity-based skills of 3 xp. Then he can easily calculate that his first point costs him 40 xp, the second 43, the third 46, and so on.


    These mean that it is easy for intelligent characters to have a knack at many skills, while true mastery of a skill is hard without a good score in the skills attribute.

    Additional rule - Languages:
    Spoiler
    Show
    I was unhappy with the standard system for learning languages, as I thought it was way too cheap to learn them, and that you either knew or did not know a language, with no grey-zones. I therefore made my own system for learning languages, based on my skill system.

    Basically it treats all languages as two intelligence-based skills, one for speaking, and one for reading/writing. Both have a maximum rank of five, and the read/write skill in a characters language can never exceed his speak skill in it. Each character is also given free points to put in their mother-tongue equal to half their intelligence score (round down).
    Ranks:
    1: Understands just the most basic of expressions ("Where's the bathroom?", "Help me?"), but is quite lost in real conversation. Can write very simple messages, filled with errors.
    2: Understands simple language when spoken slowly, and can get most messages through if he takes his time. Can write most messages, but must use a long time.
    3: Can converse quite proficiently in the language as long as the subjects aren't too complicated. Can get most messages through when writing.
    4: Language almost perfect, but with a noticeable accent. Can write about anything, but with several errors.
    5: Speaks the language fluently with no accent. Writes perfectly.

    Another way of doing this is to remove the skill-rank system for reading/writing and instead create an advantage called literacy, or disadvantage called illiteracy, as described in my answer to Krellens post below. Advantages and disadvantages are described later in this chapter.


    Saves:
    Saves are handled differently from skills, because they are more powerful. Like skills they also depend on the ability the save depends on, but not on intelligence. Thus fortitude is only influenced by constitution, reflex by dexterity and will by wisdom.
    Code:
    150xp - (Ability score x 4xp) + Current rank x (100xp - Ability score x 4xp)
    SAVE COSTS
    ------------------------------Ability score of save-------------------------------
    {table=head]Rank|3|4|5|6|7|8|9|10|11|12|13|14|15|16|17|18|19|20+

    1|
    138
    |
    134
    |
    130
    |
    126
    |
    122
    |
    118
    |
    114
    |
    110
    |
    106
    |
    102
    |
    98
    |
    94
    |
    90
    |
    86
    |
    82
    |
    78
    |
    74
    |
    70

    2|
    226
    |
    218
    |
    210
    |
    202
    |
    194
    |
    186
    |
    178
    |
    170
    |
    162
    |
    154
    |
    146
    |
    138
    |
    130
    |
    122
    |
    114
    |
    106
    |
    98
    |
    90

    3|
    314
    |
    302
    |
    290
    |
    278
    |
    266
    |
    254
    |
    242
    |
    230
    |
    218
    |
    206
    |
    194
    |
    182
    |
    170
    |
    158
    |
    146
    |
    134
    |
    122
    |
    110

    4|
    402
    |
    386
    |
    370
    |
    354
    |
    338
    |
    322
    |
    306
    |
    290
    |
    274
    |
    258
    |
    242
    |
    226
    |
    210
    |
    194
    |
    178
    |
    162
    |
    146
    |
    130

    5|
    490
    |
    470
    |
    450
    |
    430
    |
    410
    |
    390
    |
    370
    |
    350
    |
    330
    |
    310
    |
    290
    |
    270
    |
    250
    |
    230
    |
    210
    |
    190
    |
    170
    |
    150

    6+|
    +88
    |
    +84
    |
    +80
    |
    +76
    |
    +72
    |
    +68
    |
    +64
    |
    +60
    |
    +56
    |
    +52
    |
    +48
    |
    +44
    |
    +40
    |
    +36
    |
    +32
    |
    +28
    |
    +24
    |
    +20
    [/table]

    Example, using tables:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Fayed, the halfling scoundrel, wants to improve his reflex-save. He allready have a rank of two, and wants to up it to four. His dexterity is 16, and being the aility used for reflex saves, he looks it up in the chart. According to the table, his third rank will cost 158xp, and his fourth rank 194xp. He adds them together for the final cost: 158xp + 194xp = 352xp.


    Old example, using equations:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Macarios, priest of the word, wants to raise his will-save. He has a wisdom of 10, and already has 2 ranks in will.

    150xp - (10 x 4xp) + 2 x (10 x 4xp) = 190 xp.

    As with skills, 150xp - (10 x 4xp) can be seen as the base cost, and (10 x 4xp) as the cost increasement. For Macarios this means 110 xp for his first rank, 150 xp for his second, 190 xp for his third etc.


    Weapon proficiency:
    In my system base attack bonus, weapon focus and weapon specialization are all melded together in weapon proficiency. Weapon proficiency is bought in a similar way to skills and saves, and depends on wisdom (mostly because I try to make all attributes about equally powerful).
    Code:
    (20xp + current rank x 10xp) x (10 - wis. mod)
    This is quite a lot more expensive than saves and feats, because these ranks are very powerful when using my custom combat-system.

    WEAPON TYPE COST
    --------------------Wis. Mod--------------------
    {table=head]Rank|- 4|- 3|- 2|- 1|+ 0|+ 1|+ 2|+ 3|+ 4+

    1|
    280
    |
    260
    |
    240
    |
    220
    |
    200
    |
    180
    |
    160
    |
    140
    |
    120

    2|
    420
    |
    390
    |
    360
    |
    330
    |
    300
    |
    270
    |
    240
    |
    210
    |
    180

    3|
    560
    |
    520
    |
    480
    |
    440
    |
    400
    |
    360
    |
    320
    |
    280
    |
    240

    4|
    700
    |
    650
    |
    600
    |
    550
    |
    500
    |
    450
    |
    400
    |
    350
    |
    300

    5|
    840
    |
    780
    |
    720
    |
    660
    |
    600
    |
    540
    |
    480
    |
    420
    |
    360

    6|
    +140
    |
    +130
    |
    +120
    |
    +110
    |
    +100
    |
    +90
    |
    +80
    |
    +70
    |
    +60
    [/table]

    Example, using tables:
    Spoiler
    Show
    A player creates a new character, Einar the Horrible, a dwarven axe-master. He puts five ranks into weapon type G (axes) right away. He has a wisom-score of 13. Looking at the table he finds that his first rank will cost 180, the second 270, third 360, fourth 450 and fifth 540. Adding them together, he gets: 180xp + 270xp + 360xp + 450xp + 540xp = 1800xp.


    Old example, using equations:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Objolnor Hjalmeralden, the seafaring half-elf wizard, wants to increase his skills in throwing weapons (type E). He has a wisdom-score of 14, and one rank in throwing-weapons already.

    (20xp + 1 x 10xp) x (10 - 2) = 240 xp.

    Here the base cost is 20xp x (10xp - wis. mod.), and the cost increasement 10xp x (10xp - wis. mod): 160, 240, 320 etc.


    So what is a weapon type? In my system a weapon type is a group of weapons which is fought with in much the same way:

    Weapon types:
    Spoiler
    Show
    A: fists, punching daggers, natural weapons
    B: Daggers, short swords, rapiers
    C: Maces, clubs, staffs, hammers
    D: Spears, tridents, strange French pole arms
    E: All throwing-weapons including other weapon-types when thrown
    F: Crossbows, guns
    G: Axes, picks
    H: Lances
    I: Flails, nunchakus, spiked chains
    J: Longswords, greatswords
    X: Exotic weapons (One separate weapon type for each)


    Feats:
    Feats are a much wider term in my system, and generally we call them advantages. An advantage can be an elfs low-light vision (races have to pay for all their special qualities), coming from a privileged family or the ability to fight proficiently with two weapons.
    The examples I give will be of the latter type, as these are the ones I have systemized. I encourage anyone using this system to come up with their own advantages, although this requires that the DM knows the system well, and can make a proper estimate of its cost (Though, admittedly, most of mine are probably not very well balanced either, but balance was never the first priority of my system).
    For many other examples of advantages look in the GURPS-books.

    PS: Many of my example feats deal with rules in my custom combat-system.

    Examples:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Power Attack: You do more damage, but hit less often. If you have no ranks in this feat you do one additional point of damage per three points of to-hit penalty. For each rank in this feat, the penalty is reduces by one, to a maximum of -1 at two ranks.
    Cost: 200xp/rank (2 max)
    Quick Attack: You attack with a weapon in just two shots, or attack at once with two weapons in three shots. Without any points in Quick attack this gives you a -4 to hit and damage. For every rank in Quick attack this penalty is reduced by one, to a maximum of -2 at two ranks.
    Cost: 200xp/rank (2 max)
    Off-hand Attack: Without any points in this feat, attacking with an off-hand weapon gives you a -4 penalty to hit. For every rank you put in off-hand attack this penalty is reduced by one, to a maximum of +0 at four ranks.
    Cost: 100xp/rank (4 max)
    Sneak Attack: You gain a bonus to damage when you attack an opponent who is denied his dexterity-bonus to armour-class. For every rank in this feat you do one more point of damage on a sneak-attack to a maximum of +5 at five ranks.
    Cost: 150xp/rank (5 max)
    Parry: Parrying is an immediate action that takes one shot to use. This gives you an AC-bonus against a single attack equal to your parry rank or your weapons parry-rating, whichever is lower. Every player begins the game with one rank in parry.
    Cost: 150 xp/rank
    Deflect Projectiles: Without any ranks in this feat, you parry arrows at a -2 penalty, and crossbow bolts at -4. For every rank in this feat, that penalty is reduced by one, to a maximum of +0 on both at four ranks.
    Cost: 100xp/rank (4 max)
    Grapple: Base grapple score is (weapon type A - 2). For every rank in grapple, this increases by one to a maximum of +2 at four ranks.
    Cost: 150xp/rank (4 max)
    Trip/Disarm/Bull Rush/Sunder: All start at -2 at the appropriate check, but do not grant the defendant an attack of opportunity. For each rank in any of these feats, that is increased by one, to a maximum of +4 at six rank. Each of these four feats is bought separately.
    Cost: 150xp/rank (6 max)
    Rapid Shot: Without this feat, when firing a bow without using one shot to load it gives you a -4 penalty both to to-hit and damage. For every rank in rapid shot the penalty decreases by one, to a maximum of -2 at two ranks.
    Cost: 200xp/rank (2 max)
    Quick draw: You can draw a weapon or other item in just one shot, instead of two.
    Cost: 200xp
    Shield Focus: Gives you +1 additional AC when you block with a shield.
    Cost: 300xp
    Dodge: Instead of gaining just +1 AC when dodging, you add your entire dexterity-modifier. This means that dex. mod. is added twice to your AC when dodging. Max Dex applies to dodging.
    Cost: 300xp
    Far Shot: Same as standard D&D
    Cost: 300xp
    Improved initiative: Same as standard D&D
    Cost: 300xp
    Toughness: Your Constitution counts as one higher when calculating damage-threshold.
    Cost: 300 xp +(100xp x current rank)


    Disadvantages:
    Similar to how "flaws" from unearthed arcana are the opposite of feats, disadvantages are the opposite of advantages. Disadvantages give you additional xp at the cost of penalties to some aspects of your character.
    In general, disadvantages should give you about half as much bonus xp than an advantage with the opposite effect, to avoid the party turning into a freak show.

    Alternate rule: Quirks:
    Spoiler
    Show
    When I started my campaign I wanted to encourage my players to develop their characters personalities, and nothing does that as free xp. A quirk is a minor trait of a character that sets him apart. It can be a personality-trait such as "honest" or "brutal", a common phrase they use ("For the glory of Amn!"), or something else entirely. I gave my characters 50xp for each quirk they made, to a maximum of 250xp for 5 quirks (I did allow them to make more, of course, just not give them xp for it).


    Awards: I tend to give characters about 250 xp after each gaming-session. This might not seem like much, but I allow characters to buy skills and abilities cheaper if they have used them a lot during the session (making character progress seem more logical, instead of "I have killed 20 goblins, now I know how to throw fireballs!"). I decrease the cost to a minimum of 3/4 the price if they have been used a lot. Not too much, but enough to have an effect. Depending on how realistic you want your campaign to be and how often you get to play, you might want to increase or decrease the xp gained each session.

    That should just about cover my character creation rules. Next: Equipment
    Last edited by Ceres; 2007-03-27 at 10:06 AM.