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    MonkGuy

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    Default D&D without Magic

    Okay, I need all the help I can get. I am trying to set up a D&D campaign, but here are where the troubles come from. I don't want magic.

    You may find it weird, but I'm trying to alter and rewrite all the base classes without spell lists, whether giving them spell-like abilities, or just rewriting with the same theme in mind. The campaign's setting is a world where magic exists, but sentient races don't control it. So magic is there, but you don't have the stereotypical Wizard.

    I'm trying to take base classes and retool them with spell-like abilities, or just completely rework them. I would like some input on what you think of the following ideas and, if possible, anyone has some pointers to this endeavor.

    {table] Old Class | New Class | Removed Features (If applicable) | Added Features
    Barbarian | No Change | None | One with Fury
    Fighter | No Change | None | Master of Arms
    Monk | No Change | Ki Strikes; Wholeness of Body; Diamond Body; Diamond Soul; Abundant Step; Quivering Palm; Empty Body; Perfect Self | Winds of the Storm; Force of the Storm; Fill the Gap; Pressure Point Strike; Swift Movement; Speed of Sound
    Bard | No Change | Spell Casting; Countersong | Drown Out; Serenade of Song; Elegy of Amnesia; Sonata of Deep Slumber; Bolero of Bravery; Minuet of the Marching; Soliloquy of Storms; Requiem for Eternal Silence; Master Musician
    Cleric | Devout | Spell Casting; Turn Undead | Devout Follower; Rebuker of the Heretics; Hands of Divine Energy; Holy Words; Divine Shield; Earthen Influence; Night and Day; The Firmament and the Waters; Martyrdom; Divine Conduit
    Druid | No Change | Spell Casting; Wild Shape; Thousand Faces | Full Base Attack Bonus; Mettle; Fast Movement (+10ft); Safe fall; Acute Senses; Mettle; Aspects of Nature; One with the Wild
    Paladin | Crusader | Spell Casting; Alignment Restriction; Aura of Courage; Smite Evil; Remove Disease; Turn Undead | Unwavering Devotion; Lion's Heart; Holy Weapon; Smite Heretic; Rebuke the Unworthy; Holy Warrior
    Ranger | No Change | Spell Casting | Hunter's Strike
    Rogue | No Change | None | Hide in Plain Sight
    [/table]
    (See next post for ability descriptions)

    I plan on removing Wizard and Sorcerer, and adding Luck Child as a replacement to Favored Souls.
    Any ideas on a Wizard or Sorcerer replacement and any feedback on the abilities?
    Last edited by Morth; 2010-02-16 at 04:02 PM.

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    Halfling in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: D&D without Magic

    -Barbarian-

    One with Fury (Ex): The Barbarian is so in tune with his emotions that he is in total control while raging. At level 20, a barbarian loses his armor penalty and inability to do certain actions while raging.


    -Fighter-


    Master of Arms (Ex): The Fighter's prowess with arms astounds everyone who comes in contact with his fighting styles. At level 20, the Fighter gains the ability to use his highest bonus with each attack in a full attack.


    -Monk-


    Winds of the Storm (Ex): The Monk's unarmed strikes move so fast that they are likened to the wind, even in their reach. A Monk of level 4 or higher can make the first unarmed attack in a flurry from an additional 5 feet away. If this attack connects, he may move to a square adjacent to the target as a free action that provokes no attacks of opportunity.

    Fill the Gap (Ex): A monk's amazing martial skill never comes into play if he is vanquished at a range, so the monks have developed a special technique to cover massive expanses to reach the target. A level 12 monk may make a Jump check with a DC equal to the distance between him and his target divided by five. If he makes it, the monk makes a rushing leap at the target, landing square in front of them, and can make an attack at his highest bonus.

    Force of the Storm (Ex): The Monk's unarmed fury can not only take on the appearance of a storm, but also the elements. A monk of level 13 or higher can choose to have his attacks during a flurry deal an additional 1d6 of either Electric or Frost damage on a successful hit.

    Pressure Point Strike (Ex)
    : Monks are known for their amazing combat feats, and their anatomical knowledge isn't to shabby. If a monk of level 15 or higher makes a called shot, the target must make a fortitude save or be affected by a condition based on the part struck. (DC = 10 + 1/2 Monk Level + Wisdom Modifier)

    Swift Movement (Ex): The Monk's martial prowess is tested very much in combat. The Monk may add his Dexterity modifier as an insight bonus to AC.

    Speed of Sound (Ex): The Monk moves so fast that he is rarely even seen by his opponents. A monk of level 20 or higher may make an additional move action at the end of every round, and may make an additional 2 attacks during a flurry of blows.


    -Bard-


    Drown Out (Ex)
    : Any Bard knows that a silence is of great advantage, so denying a concentrating opponent may be the difference between life and death. A bard may spend a use of bardic music to play loud enough to drown out all other noise in a 30 foot radius. All other bardic music fails and concentrating characters must make an additional check after every turn. (DC = d20 + 1/2 Bard Level + Perform (Instrument)

    Serenade of Song (Su): With a jig and a toot, people find the need to sing. A bard with 2 or more ranks in perform may expend a use of bardic music to make everyone within 30 feet the bard must sing unless a Will save is made. (DC = d20 + 1/2 Bard Level + Perform (Instrument)

    Elegy of Amnesia (Su): Music is an art that affects the mind, and Bard's can unlock the hidden potential. A bard with 5 or more ranks in perform can expend a use of bardic music to make everyone in a 30 foot area forget what happened for 1d4 rounds for every other bard level unless they make a save. (DC = d20 +1/2 Bard Level + Perform (Instrument)

    Sonata of Deep Slumber (Sp): The Bard can play a song that puts even the most vigilant guards to sleep. A bard with 8 ranks or more in perform can expend a use of bardic music to mimic the effects of Mass Sleep. (DC = d20 + 1/2 Bard Level + Perform (Instrument)

    Bolero of Bravery (Su): The songs of the Bard inspire bravery and courage. A bard with 11 or more ranks in perform can expend a use of bardic music to remove fear effects from all allies within 30 feet.

    Minuet of the Marching (Sp): The tempo of a practiced Bard can keep a party up to speed. A bard with a perform rank of 14 may expend a use of bardic music to mimic the effects of Longstrider cast upon all allies within 30 feet. Caster level is equal to perform ranks. For every other rank past 14, you may add 5 feet to the bonus movement speed.

    Soliloquy of Storms (Sp): The Bards' music can take on some supernatural effects, controlling the skies themselves. A bard with 17 ranks in perform can expend 2 uses of bardic music to mimic the effects of Control Weather to make a Thunderstorm, regardless of season, and to call a bolt of lighting down on an enemy of choice, mimicking Call Lighting. (DC for Lightning = 10 + Bard Level + Charisma)

    Requiem for Eternal Silence (Sp): The Bard's music can call on the power of silence eternal, striking dead the listeners. A bard with 20 ranks in perform can expend 4 uses of bardic music to play a Requim for Eternal Silence, mimicking the effects of Wail of the Banshee. (DC = d20 + 1/2 Bard Level + Perform (Instrument)

    Master Musician (Ex): A Bard of your skill has become renown. At level 20, a bard gains an additional 5 uses of bardic music, and gets a +4 Circumstance bonus to Charisma.


    -Devout-


    Devout Follower: A Devout must follow the tenets laid down by his order, or be stripped of all abilities until amends are made.

    Rebuker of the Heretics (Su): A Devout has great power vested to them by their Patron Saint or Deity, causing non-believers to flee from him. A Devout gains rebuke attempts equal to his Devout Levels x Charisma/Wisdom modifier (Whichever is higher). By spending one rebuke attempt, a Devout can cause undead to flee or outright destroy them. By spending 2 rebuke attempts, a Devout can either silence a heretic or cause them to outright flee. (Use the same turn formula as with undead, only instead of fleeing, they are silenced, and instead of being destroyed, they turn and flee.)

    Hands of Divine Energy (Su): When a Devout's allies are in trouble, a Devout can focus negative or positive energy into his hands, and discharge it on his next touch. A Devout may spend up to his Devout level in rebuke attempts. If he does, the next creature he touches is charged with 1d4 positive or negative energy. This increases to 1d6 per attempt at level 4, 1d8 at level 8, 1d10 at level 12, 1d12 at level 16, and 1d20 at 20.

    Holy Words (Sp): You have the holy authority from your god to give blessings, and you are known as the bane of heretics. At level 3, a Devout may expend 2 rebuke attempts to put mimic the effects of Bless or Bane.

    Divine Shield (Su): When the Devout's friends are attacked, the devout can call for divine protection to allies. At level 5, a Devout may give a target a +1 Sacred bonus to AC by expending 3 rebuke attempts. This bous increases by 1 for every 5 levels in Devout after 5.


    Earthen Influence (Sp): A Devout of level 7 may discharge your negative or positive energy to the earth, mimicking the effects of Consecrate (Positive) or Desecrate (Negative). The effects lasts two rounds per dice of energy and effect an area of an additional 5 feet around the Devout for each die discharged.

    Night and Day (Sp)
    : The Devout may conjure the darkness or light. A Devout of level 9 or higher can spend 5 rebuke attempts to mimic the effects of Deeper Darkness and Daylight.

    The Firmament and the Waters (Sp): A Devout become conduits for their deity's power. A Devout of level 11 or higher may expend 7 rebuke attempts to mimic the effects of Water Walk or Air Walk.

    Martyrdom (Su): When the Devout has drawn all he can from his deities grace, he can start to expend his own life force to heal his allies or devastate his foes. At level 13, a Devout can spend hit points or constitution at a rate of 3 hp or 1 constitution point for one rebuke attempt.

    Divine Conduit (Sp): The path of the Devout is rewarded by divine favor. At level 20, a Devout my expend 50 rebuke attempts to produce a True Resurrection, but doing this exhausts a Devout and he must rest before using any more rebuke attempts for any reason.


    -Druid-

    Fast Movement (Ex): A Druid gains a +10ft speed boost on land. This is the same as the barbarian ability of the same name.

    Slow Fall (Ex): The Druid gains the ability to slow her falls as long as she is near blooming trees or in reach of a solid surface. At level one, the Druid may treat a fall as though it was 5 feet shorter. This ability increases by 5 feet at levels 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, and 17.

    Aspects of Nature (Ex): A Druid is known for his connection to the beasts and their style of furious combat. At level 5, a Druid chooses one aspect, and may use it once a day. An aspect lasts for one round for each druid level.

    At levels 6, 7, 10, 14, 18, and 20, a Druid gains an additional use of his aspect a day. At levels 8 and 11 a Druid gains an additional aspect style to add to your usable aspects. At levels 12 and 16 these aspects improve, granting more abilities.


    Acute Sense (Ex): The Druid is a master of his senses. A druid of level 15 gains Blindfight as a bonus feat, and can see ethereal creatures.

    Mettle (Ex): The Druid is a master of survival and that entails actually surviving. A Druid of level 19 or higher gains the Mettle ability. This works as the Knight ability of the same name.


    One with the Wild (Ex)
    : The Druid is not only at home in the wild, but at her best. At level 20, as long as the druid is 30ft from civilization, the druid can continually manifest an aspect.


    -Crusader-

    Unwavering Devotion: A Crusader must be completely dedicated to his cause, and neutrality doesn't cut it. A Crusader can't be an alignment of Neutral.

    Lion's Heart (Ex): The Crusader's stalwart belief is rewarded by fearless devotion. A Crusader of level 3 or higher is immune to fear, and may make a roar 5 times a day, removing fear effects from allies within 30 feet.

    Holy Weapon (Su): A Crusader is a zealous believer, and is given tools to enforce his god's will. At levels 4, 8, 11, and 14 the Crusader's weapon is improved.

    {table]Alignment | Level 4 Benefit | Level 8 Benefit | Level 11 Benefit | Level 14 Benefit

    Lawful Good | Holy | Axiomatic | Evil Outsider Bane | Chaotic Outsider Bane
    Chaotic Good | Holy | Anarchic | Evil Outsider Bane | Lawful Outsider Bane
    Lawful Evil | Unholy | Axiomatic | Good Outsider Bane | Chaotic Outsider Bane
    Chaotic Evil | Unholy | Anarchic | Good Outsider Bane | Lawful Outsider Bane
    [/table]

    Smite Heretics (Su): This works just as Smite Evil, only it can only be used on targets who don't share an alignment with the Crusader and don't follow the same deity.

    Rebuke the Unworthy (Su): A Crusader has great devotion to their Patron Saint or Deity, causing non-believers to flee from him. A Crusader gains rebuke attempts equal to his Crusader Levels x Charisma/Wisdom modifier (Whichever is higher). By spending 1 rebuke attempt, a Crusader can either silence a heretic or cause them to outright flee. (Use the same turn formula as with undead, only instead of fleeing, they are silenced, and instead of being destroyed, they turn and flee.)

    Holy Warrior (Su): A Crusader is vested with great power by his god, and is expected to use it for his god's glory. A Crusader of level 20 or higher gains +5 sacred bonus to AC, Attack rolls, Damage rolls, and saves. The Crusader also gains The ability to summon an angel (Good) or Demon (Evil) to fight with him once a day. The outsider stays for up to ten rounds. In exchange, a Crusader must go on a quest every season, relayed to him by the local church or a field agent.


    -Ranger-

    Hunter's Strike (Ex): The Ranger is a resourceful combatant, especially in the wilderness. A Ranger gains either Skirmishing (1d6) or Sneak attack (1d6). These effects increase by one die at level 8, 11, and 14. In addition, they only apply in the wilderness.


    -Rogue-


    Hide in Plain Sight (Ex): A rogue of level 20 may attempt to hide while being observed.
    Last edited by Morth; 2010-02-16 at 04:01 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3

    Default Re: D&D without Magic

    Sounds very cool. I in particular like the bard, monk, and ranger magicless. If you are looking for a magic and magicitem-less system then check out Iron Heroes.

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    Default Re: D&D without Magic

    Could I use these rules for my Sci Fi settings?

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    Default Re: D&D without Magic

    1) You're ambitious, I'll give you that.

    2) Druids should lose spellcasting, natch.

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    Default Re: D&D without Magic

    Replacement for magic: guns.

    As they can't use magic they use technology.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Default Re: D&D without Magic

    I shouldn't question your game choices, but if you want a magicless setting, then why retain magical abilities at all? From your table, it looks like divine spellcasters lose spells, but gain class features that give supernatural abilities anyway, allowing them to heal, smite, transform, enchant with music etc. If you want no magic, arcane or divine, in the hand of playable classes, why retain any ability that could not conceivably work just by mundane means?

    Of course, if what you actually want is a setting without magic as represented by the spellcasting mechanics, then it makes a lot of sense.

    In either case, what class should I play if I want to be a scholar? Consider replacing wizards and sorcerers with Factotums or a custom skill-heavy class.

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    Default Re: D&D without Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by imp_fireball View Post
    Could I use these rules for my Sci Fi settings?
    I wouldn't mind in the least.

    Quote Originally Posted by Analysis View Post
    I shouldn't question your game choices, but if you want a magicless setting, then why retain magical abilities at all? From your table, it looks like divine spellcasters lose spells, but gain class features that give supernatural abilities anyway, allowing them to heal, smite, transform, enchant with music etc. If you want no magic, arcane or divine, in the hand of playable classes, why retain any ability that could not conceivably work just by mundane means?

    Of course, if what you actually want is a setting without magic as represented by the spellcasting mechanics, then it makes a lot of sense.

    In either case, what class should I play if I want to be a scholar? Consider replacing wizards and sorcerers with Factotums or a custom skill-heavy class.
    The idea is that they can't figure out how to control arcane magic. It exists and is prominent in some areas, but people can't control or channel it. The Devout is given abilities as long as he stays in the god's good side and prays for his intervention.

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    Default Re: D&D without Magic

    Sorry for double post, but just like to point out that all the ability descriptions are finally up!

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    Default Re: D&D without Magic

    The idea is that they can't figure out how to control arcane magic. It exists and is prominent in some areas, but people can't control or channel it. The Devout is given abilities as long as he stays in the god's good side and prays for his intervention.
    That is an interesting idea. For myself, though, I would just drop all arcane spellcasting and say that such intervention as a result of prayers to a deity that considers you a favoured servant is what the divine spellcasting system represents. To each their own, though, and I see the strengths in your suggested system; good luck.

    Can the Devout use their rebuke attempts to fuel the various divine feats scattered across sourcebooks? Many of them could probably be used for deity-specific powers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    Replacement for magic: guns.

    As they can't use magic they use technology.
    Hey, slow down, it's his setting not yours.
    Last edited by imp_fireball; 2010-02-06 at 05:08 PM.

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    Default Re: D&D without Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by imp_fireball View Post
    Hey, slow down, it's his setting not yours.
    It was a suggestion
    Snazzy avatar (now back! ) by Honest Tiefling.

    RIP Laser-Snail, may you live on in our hearts forever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Default Re: D&D without Magic

    What if you hijacked the spell system, instead of rebuilding the classes?

    Ie, all divine characters become "spontaneous", with a highly restricted list of spells to choose from, and a very short list of spells known.

    You could even change the refresh mechanic from being per day, to per something else (per level, per quest, per sacrifice at a temple, etc).

    You could also move over to something like true 20.

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    Default Re: D&D without Magic

    By what I understood, is more a spell-less than magic-less system.
    Most abilities come from special powers, not spell lists.
    Could work. That would be a giant nerf for "casters".

    Maybe the ability to switch some powers, or at least learn new ones, as long as they don't look like spell lists that you change everyday.

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    Default Re: D&D without Magic

    How are you going to balance out the damage that weapons do with hit point recovery? In D&D normal hit point recovery is slow. That's fine when you have healing spells and healing potions and even for defense and offense when fighting. Without any magic at all, you are looking at characters likely to die from injury, disease, etc. If you start adding things like natural healing that mimicks magical healing you aren't doing anything but adding back in magical healing.

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    Default Re: D&D without Magic

    I've been doing something really similar.
    (Actually, my world has typical mages, but I want them very rare, so no PCs)

    But, anyway, I have found that 4th Ed. can be easily modified this way. Honestly, magic in that system seems somewhat superfluous. I left Warlords in to give some healing, and nixed Wizards, Warlocks, and Clerics.

    The only issue is that the system needs some sort of Controller. I added Barbarian (because Great Cleave is practically AoE), but for the most part, I will just have to steer away from minion heavy encounters.

    I did also include guns, but not as a replacement for magic. I wanted to model the world after the 1400s, so I made firearms that were devestatingly powerful, easy to use, difficult to load, and had a tendency to blow up on you. ...But that's a world design issue more than anything.

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    Default Re: D&D without Magic

    l like the bard, monk, and ranger changes.The devout is weird but cool. Seems more anti-spell than magic. Interesting overall.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    How are you going to balance out the damage that weapons do with hit point recovery? In D&D normal hit point recovery is slow. That's fine when you have healing spells and healing potions and even for defense and offense when fighting. Without any magic at all, you are looking at characters likely to die from injury, disease, etc. If you start adding things like natural healing that mimicks magical healing you aren't doing anything but adding back in magical healing.

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    Default Re: D&D without Magic

    Buffed up the Druid, and finished the second custom class for this setting, the Combat Chemist, a non-magical Spellsword.

    Still looking for input, maybe additional abilities of any abilities that are outta whack balance-wise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morth View Post
    Rebuker of the Heretics (Su): A Devout has great power vested to them by their Patron Saint or Deity, causing non-believers to flee from him. A Devout gains rebuke attempts equal to his Devout Levels x Charisma/Wisdom modifier (Whichever is higher). By spending one rebuke attempt, a Devout can cause undead to flee or outright destroy them. By spending 2 rebuke attempts, a Devout can either silence a heretic or cause them to outright flee. (Use the same turn formula as with undead, only instead of fleeing, they are silenced, and instead of being destroyed, they turn and flee.)
    Hum. So by spending 1 Rebuke attempt, we can a) cause undead to flee, or (I assume with a higher check) b) outright destroy them. Cool, got it.

    With 2 Rebuke attempts, we can a) silence a herectic / cause herectic to flee. Okay

    ...but... b) silence / cause an undead to flee? How is this more powerful than spending 1 rebuke attempt to simply possibly destroy the undead creature?

    Can we get more clarification here?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ~Corvus~ View Post
    Hum. So by spending 1 Rebuke attempt, we can a) cause undead to flee, or (I assume with a higher check) b) outright destroy them. Cool, got it.

    With 2 Rebuke attempts, we can a) silence a herectic / cause herectic to flee. Okay

    ...but... b) silence / cause an undead to flee? How is this more powerful than spending 1 rebuke attempt to simply possibly destroy the undead creature?

    Can we get more clarification here?
    Basically Turn undead, just pointing out how to use the heretics rules there. It would run off a Turn undead check, but replace fleeing with silence and outright destruction with fleeing.

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    Default Re: D&D without Magic

    ... I think it would be a good idea to have 1 turning attempt cause fear / silence to undead, and then 2 attempts destroy them (possibly). This makes much more sense to me..

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    Default Re: D&D without Magic

    I've been reading over Green Ronin's Medieval Player's Manual. It has some good stuff which goes a long way to getting the feel of a low/no magic world.

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    Default Re: D&D without Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Morth View Post
    Okay, I need all the help I can get. I am trying to set up a D&D campaign, but here are where the troubles come from. I don't want magic.
    It sounds like you would like 4th edition... Maybe you should try that. It is basically what you're looking for since there are no longer "spells" so much as powers and everyone gets them. Sounds to me like you just don't like the magic system as it is in D&D 3.5 and it's not like you were alone, many people wanted it changed, so they made 4th edition. I myself am a 3.0/3.5 lifer since I enjoy the spell system it has to offer.
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    Default Re: D&D without Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by ~Corvus~ View Post
    ... I think it would be a good idea to have 1 turning attempt cause fear / silence to undead, and then 2 attempts destroy them (possibly). This makes much more sense to me..
    1 Attempt turns/kills undead like in base DnD. 2 can silence or turn a living heretic, using the same formula.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Serpent's Throne
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D without Magic

    I'd be lying if I said I didn't love this.
    Spoiler
    Show
    My Characters
    According to this test, I am a LN Half-Orc Cleric, Lvl.2.
    "And in the layer of the Deep Ones, we shall dwell amidst wonder and glory forever." - H.P. Lovecraft

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Central New York
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D without Magic

    Great idea. Ideas for replacement...

    • Wizard - Scholar (Knowledge abilities)
    • Sorcerer - Adept (Keen knowledge of magic and magical properties)
    A few GiantITP fans and I have been running a forum dedicated to all sorts of tabletop RPG's for a year or so now, and we've decided that it's time to start recruiting. We focus on RPG's in general, as well as writing, mechanics, game design, and homebrew. If you're interested in a fun little community of gamers, be one of the first to join the new Alchemist's Fire!

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