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    SamuraiGuy

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    Default 4E unearthing arcana: alternative to the 1/2 level rule

    The announcement that Wizards will soon be releasing some arcana for 4E got me thinking about the topic. I thought it might be fun/enlightening to try and develop some arcana of our own and discuss house rules that may be in use.

    Now the rule that I always find distasteful is the 1/2 level rule. In my opinion it leads to characters who are very similar in their saves, skills, and ability checks. So I thought I'd try to brew up a house rule alternative.

    Starting positions: -I like the simplicity of the 1/2 lvl rule
    -the game is balanced presuming that characters will be in a particular range on numbers at any given level, therefore a new system of advancement can't vary too far from this

    Proposition: the rule of thirds
    basics, instead of advancing modifiers every even number modifiers will either advance at 2/3 lvl or 1/3. To give a third option some may still advance at 1/2 lvl.
    rationale, using thirds instead of halfs gives two possible rates of increase, neither of which are, IMHO, not excesively far off half. At level 30 a modify that increases by 2/3 will be +5 more than if it increased by 1/2. Likewise, if it increased by 1/3 it will be -5. However, for most of the game the difference will be much less (see chart at bottom of post). The will be a noticible difference, but it shouldn't be debilitating or over powering.

    application:
    Skills: trained skills advance at 2/3 lvl, rounding down.
    Untrained skills advance at 1/3 lvl

    Defences: (this one I'm having the most trouble with)
    If a defence recieves a +2 bonus at creation it advances at 2/3 and the player selects one defence to advance at 1/3
    If two defences receive a +1 bonus all defences advance at 1/2
    AC advances at 1/2 (or defenders at 2/3, leaders+strikers at 1/2, controlers 1/3)

    Ability checks: the Key Abilities of a class advance at 2/3 and others at 1/3

    Self criticism:
    -defences are a little cumbersome, particularly AC.
    -heavily class based, leaving the player only one choice and that at character creation.
    -it would be neat to incorperate race, power source, and/or role to make characters even more unique. (one idea I had was to give a faster advancement to one defence based on role and a slower one based on power source).
    -favours characters with many trained skills.

    For reference:
    Lvl (1/3) (1/2) (2/3)
    1 0 0 0
    2 0 1 1
    3 1 1 1
    4 1 2 2
    5 1 2 2
    6 2 3 3
    7 2 3 4
    8 2 4 5
    9 3 4 6
    10 3 5 6
    11 3 5 7
    12 4 6 8
    13 4 6 8
    14 4 7 9
    15 5 7 10
    16 5 8 10
    17 5 8 11
    18 6 9 12
    19 6 9 12
    20 6 10 13
    21 7 10 14
    22 7 11 14
    23 7 11 15
    24 8 12 16
    25 8 12 17
    26 8 13 17
    27 9 13 18
    28 9 14 18
    29 9 14 19
    30 10 15 20

    edit
    I had tried doing it by 1/4s but I found the power difference between incriments was too great. Another possilbity was 2/5 and 3/5, which would narrow the power incriments, but they seemed like unusual numbers to be using
    Last edited by Loren; 2010-09-03 at 08:06 AM.

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    Default Re: 4E unearthing arcana: alternative to the 1/2 level rule

    This really hurts controllers. They're AC is done 5 (at lv 30) meaning they're hit 25% more of the time and they already had the worst AC. At the same time, Defenders who have good AC become even harder to hit as it is increased by 5 (at lv 30) making them very hard to hit. A swordmage already has ~7 more AC at Lv 30 (using 2 feats to improve his warding) and now has 17 more; an attack that hits the wizard on a 3 can only hit the swordmage on a nat 20.
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    Default Re: 4E unearthing arcana: alternative to the 1/2 level rule

    yah, I'm not sure how to get around that, hence deciding to leave AC it as is in core. By giving different armour proficiencies the classes already are diffent in terms of AC
    Last edited by Loren; 2010-09-03 at 08:24 AM.

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    Default Re: 4E unearthing arcana: alternative to the 1/2 level rule

    I have no experience with 4th edition, but my Star Wars SAGA Edition roleplaying group used similar houserules for defences (albeit with uglier numbers) with little problems. Most of those problems likely stemmed from defences being a good deal lower than they would otherwise be. Can't offer any ideas right now on the numbers, either regarding balance or how to simplify them.

    The only balance problem that occurs to me right now is that this allows players to choose what attack power to use to target a weak save. This is a good thing, unless certain classes are better at that kind of versatile targeting than others. I have no idea if this is the case in 4e.

    Quote Originally Posted by Loren View Post
    Self criticism:
    -heavily class based, leaving the player only one choice and that at character creation.
    One nice thing would to make it so if you multiclass it affects your save/AC growth. Not sure how to do this cleanly though.

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    Default Re: 4E unearthing arcana: alternative to the 1/2 level rule

    I'm afraid I can't support this idea, as 4e is intentionally balanced around that "everyone is the same" concept when it comes to core mechanics. Altering this drastically throws off the balance in a game where an extra +1 or +2 actually makes a large difference (which, in 4e, it can). Throwing such a large variation in things will only lead to imbalance.

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    Default Re: 4E unearthing arcana: alternative to the 1/2 level rule

    I was only focused on PC's as I have little experience running mosters. My thought was greater difference in defence will make some threats greater to some characters than others, which would make combat more interesting
    originally posted by Violet Octopus
    One nice thing would to make it so if you multiclass it affects your save/AC growth. Not sure how to do this cleanly though.
    neither do I. Maybe choosing to swap your defences with the new class once one is a paragon multiclass?
    Last edited by Loren; 2010-09-03 at 08:34 AM.

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    Default Re: 4E unearthing arcana: alternative to the 1/2 level rule

    Quote Originally Posted by Loren View Post
    I was only focused on PC's as I have little experience running mosters. My thought was greater difference in defence will make some threats greater to some characters than others, which would make combat more interesting
    The issue is that it makes threats trivial so some characters, and life-threatening to others. The difference in ability scores and class defense bonuses already makes some threats more dangerous, but I think that with any more variation in the defenses you'll find that characters are being destroyed by monsters designed to hit, say 50% of the time suddenly hitting 75% of the time with powers and damage designed for a 50% success rate. Result? Player death.

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    Default Re: 4E unearthing arcana: alternative to the 1/2 level rule

    Possibilities for multiclassing:
    *Starting at paragon tier you increase your defences at the rate of your other class (not sure if you meant this or a retrospective transformation)
    *At paragon tier, you take the average of your save progression between your two classes. Good+good=good, good+bad=medium. Round down, i.e. good+medium=medium, unless you have a second save progression to round down in which case you choose one to round up. This could either be a retroactive transformation or a new progression from that point. I'm leaning towards transformation as it's cleaner and 4e already has weird things that happen when you hit paragon tier, like the cost of Raise Dead increasing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn_In_Tonic View Post
    I'm afraid I can't support this idea, as 4e is intentionally balanced around that "everyone is the same" concept when it comes to core mechanics. Altering this drastically throws off the balance in a game where an extra +1 or +2 actually makes a large difference (which, in 4e, it can). Throwing such a large variation in things will only lead to imbalance.
    I guess over the course of 30 levels rather than 20, different formulae can add up to quite a lot. :-/

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    Default Re: 4E unearthing arcana: alternative to the 1/2 level rule

    Quote Originally Posted by Violet Octopus View Post
    I guess over the course of 30 levels rather than 20, different formulae can add up to quite a lot. :-/
    Indeed. A 2/3 bonus is +20, a 1/2 bonus is +15, and a 1/3 bonus is +10. This means that a tanky characters is 25% less likely to take damage, and a weak character is 25% more likely to take damage. Suddenly you go from being able to attack decently with all powers to having one set which you'd be stupid not to use (target the weaker defense), and ones that are just plain unreliable (vs. strong defense).

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    Default Re: 4E unearthing arcana: alternative to the 1/2 level rule

    nit picky point, with 1/3s the variance would only be 11.5% from normal, not 25% as it would be with 1/4s (over the course of a campaign that reaches epic levels). So an attack that should hit 50% it will hit 61.5% of the time on a weaker defence and only 38.5% of the time against a stronger defence. (note, below lvl 15 the varience is less and at higher levels it is greater)

    Since a party should combine characters with different defences this difference certainly will affect their tactics. Yes, it could produce more lethal situations, but by the same token if the players select their tactics well they can push through encounters with greater ease. What this does is put greater pressure on players to think about how they engage opposition by increasing the reward and penalty.
    Last edited by Loren; 2010-09-03 at 08:57 AM.

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    Default Re: 4E unearthing arcana: alternative to the 1/2 level rule

    Quote Originally Posted by Loren View Post
    nit picky point, with 1/3s the variance would only be 11.5% from normal, not 25% as it would be with 1/4s. So an attack that should hit 50% it will hit 61.5% of the time on a weaker defence (over the course of a campaign that reaches epic levels) and only 38.5% of the time against a stronger defence. (note, below lvl 15 the varience is less and at higher levels it is greater)
    Incorrect. It's a 5 point difference (1/3 of the normal 15 is 5), which translates to 25% on a d20, the die used to determine hits. The amount of the actual defense doesn't matter: all that matters is the chance to hit, which comes down to a roll of a d20. 25% of 20 is 5.

    Now, imagine a party containing a Fighter, up against someone with an extra +5 to AC. Instead of hitting on a 12+, he now only hits on a 17. He's all but useless. The Wizard, similarly, has 2 at-wills that target Fort and Will, respectively. The monster in question also has a high Fort, but a low Will...and thus the Wizard spends the whole encounter just spamming the same at-will and using just 2 of his encounter powers, since nothing else is as reliable. There goes the tactics and choices of having a full array of powers which can all be effective...
    Last edited by Djinn_in_Tonic; 2010-09-03 at 09:00 AM.

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    Default Re: 4E unearthing arcana: alternative to the 1/2 level rule

    I agree with djinn, the +1/2 lvl mechanic is sooo intrinsic to the game that altering it result in serious game imbalance.

    What could be done is to add the +1/2 lvl to power DMG, that way you get to complete fights faster (wich is a serious issue on 4e), instead of reducing enemie's hp by 1/2.
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    Default Re: 4E unearthing arcana: alternative to the 1/2 level rule

    Please, note I have no intention of changing you game. If you like 1/2 that's great. It's simple and easy to use and creates balance. The intent of this threat is to create a houserule

    But that is only at level 30, at all other levels the difference is less, VERY much less at low levels. Hence, there would not be a 25% difference over the course of the unless you started at level 30. To get an average you'd be better served looking at level 15, where the difference is +3 and -2.

    Also notice that AC is unaffected as there is no "balanced" way to give varience to AC. Similarly, I haven't tackled mosters yet. At this point these changes only affect PC stats

    As a comprimise lets look at a change of fifths

    lvl (2/5) (1/2) (3/5)
    1 0 0
    2 0 1 1
    3 1 1 1
    4 1 2 2
    5 2 2 3
    6 2 3 3
    7 2 3 4
    8 3 4 4
    9 3 4 5
    10 4 5 6
    11 4 5 6
    12 4 6 7
    13 5 6 7
    14 5 7 8
    15 6 7 9
    16 6 8 9
    17 6 8 10
    18 7 9 10
    19 7 9 11
    20 8 10 12
    21 8 10 12
    22 8 11 13
    23 9 11 13
    24 9 12 14
    25 10 12 15
    26 10 13 15
    27 10 13 16
    28 11 14 16
    29 11 14 17
    30 12 15 18

    Please note, I have no intention of changing your game. If you like 1/2 that's great. It's simple and easy to use and creates balance. The intent of this threat is to create a houserule that complicates the game, making it more challenging while maintaining intraparty balance.
    Last edited by Loren; 2010-09-03 at 09:28 AM.

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    Default Re: 4E unearthing arcana: alternative to the 1/2 level rule

    Quote Originally Posted by Loren View Post
    Please, note I have no intention of changing you game. If you like 1/2 that's great. It's simple and easy to use and creates balance. The intent of this threat is to create a houserule.
    Understood completely. I'm just pointing out what I see as a glaring issue to this houserule: it brings back the 3.5e problem where a character will be much less effective (or even useless) within a certain combat, or find that only 1-2 of their powers will be useful, which removes the element of choice. I'm in no way telling you you can't use it...just offering the critique that I assume you wanted when you posted the rule.

    But that is only at level 30, at all other levels the difference is less, VERY much less at low levels. Hence, there would not be a 25% difference over the course of the unless you started at level 30. To get an average you'd be better served looking at level 15, where the difference is +3 and -2.
    True. But all levels must still be taken into account, correct?

    As a comprimise lets look at a change of fifths
    Much better, but still a bit of an issue. This one will work, but you'll still find (I'm betting) players getting annoyed at their inability to use powers effectively (some will still be obviously better choices, and, once found out, the others will not be used during that encounter).
    Last edited by Djinn_in_Tonic; 2010-09-03 at 09:27 AM.

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    Default Re: 4E unearthing arcana: alternative to the 1/2 level rule

    I'm not seeing why a player wouldn't be able to use a power as monster defences and PC attacks haven't been changed.(if I was to adjust the monster stats I'd up the primary attack bonus to 2/3 instead of 1/2, but at this point I'm leaving attacks well enough alone).
    At this point the PC's only have to worry about difference in the attacks they receive
    Last edited by Loren; 2010-09-03 at 09:30 AM.

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    Default Re: 4E unearthing arcana: alternative to the 1/2 level rule

    Quote Originally Posted by Loren View Post
    I'm not seeing why a player wouldn't be able to use a power as monster defences and PC attacks haven't been changed.(if I was to adjust the monster stats I'd up the primary attack bonus to 2/3 instead of 1/2, but at this point I'm leaving attacks well enough alone).
    Ah. I was confused on that point.

    At this point the PC's only have to worry about difference in the attacks they receive
    Alright. Fair enough. Although this does make tanks tankier, and squishy, low-hp characters more easily slain...and, with the high number of monsters with attacks that carry some additional penalty, that may not go over well.

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    Default Re: 4E unearthing arcana: alternative to the 1/2 level rule

    OK here's a new take on it,

    High bonus: as determine on chart selected by DM (2/3, 3/5)
    average bonus: 1/2 as per core
    low bonus: as determined by chart selected by DM (1/3, 2/5)

    note to DMs, using 1/3s gives greater varience. This means that it will be more noticible at low levels and may be game breaking at high levels. 1/5s on the other hand have little impact on low level games, but are easier to handle at high levels. Another option is to use a combination. For instance a high of 2/3 and a low of 2/5 means that the pc's will be tougher in one defence with less of a hit on their weaker defence.

    application:
    Skills: trained skills advance as a high bonus
    Untrained skills advance as a low bonus

    Defences:
    If a defence recieves a +2 bonus at creation it advances as a high bonus and the player selects one defence to advance at a low bonus
    If two defences receive a +1 bonus all defences advance as an average bonus
    AC advances as an average bonus

    Ability checks: the Key Abilities of a class advance as a high bonus and others as a low bonus

    optional:
    attacks: player selects one attribute as their primary attacking attribute. Attacks using this attribute receive a high bonus. The player may also select a secondary attribute which receives an average bonus. Attacks based on all other attibutes receives a low bonus. If this varient is use the DM should advance mosters' defences to match (rules yet of be developed)
    -rationale for status as optional: adjusting all mosters is alot of work for DMs.

    defences: Instead of using the rule above use the following. PC's receive an strong defence based on their role and a weak defence based on their power source. If their strong and weak defence happens to be the same defence they cancel out leaving an average bonus.
    defenders = high fort
    strikers = high reflex
    leaders = high ?
    controlers = high will

    martial = low will
    divine = low reflex?
    arcane = low fort
    primal = low will?
    psionic = low fort?
    -rationale for optional: cases where the high and the low cancel out are dull. The power sources and roles don't fit neatly (grrr).

    This version of the rules gives the DM power over the variation in the game, which makes it more flexible and able to cover a wider variety of games.
    The optional rules still need work
    -attacks, need rules for monsters
    -defences, need to pin down which role/source affect which defence. This may be easier with a different numbering system that allows more incriments so that there could be primary (+/- 2/x) and and secondary (+/- 1/x) option... I suppose that it could be done with sixs (average being 3/6). However, that makes for a cumbersome set of rules.
    Last edited by Loren; 2010-09-03 at 10:06 AM.

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    Default Re: 4E unearthing arcana: alternative to the 1/2 level rule

    I think you might be underconsidering the effect of a +5 or -5 to the game. I would have made less difference in 3.5e, where you could get characters who would succeed on a roll of 4+. Most characters in 4e, especially higher level ones, succeed with a roll of around 12+. As Djinn mentioned, changing that to a 17+ required for success pretty much makes the character useless. (Changing it to 7+, the other way, makes them far better.)

    Take a look at the proposed 2/3-1/3 spread for trained and untrained skills. Trained skills are at the same level as they are normally, with +5 over average, but untrained skills are less than average, at -10 compared to trained skills. Any skill which is moderately difficult for a trained character to accomplish (requiring around 10+ to roll) is nearly impossible for an untrained character (requiring a 20). Anything more difficult becomes literally impossible. This was the problem with 3.5e skills, where you quickly run into a division between the haves (max skill ranks, and can accomplish the task) and the have nots (no skill ranks, automatic failure). The main point of the +5 difference between trained/untrained was to avoid such a sharp division between the two.

    It doesn't mean it is a bad idea, though. Giving untrained characters 1/2 progression and trained characters 2/3 progression will ultimately get you the same results at level 30. Lower level characters are closer together, meaning that natural talent matters far more at level 1 than training. You'd want to adjust the DCs of skill checks, especially lower level ones, to match though. The 2/5-3/5 progression works as well, although clearly ends up as a few points lower than average for everyone.

    --
    Just saw your latest post. Either system won't make much of a difference at low levels, because the bonus from levels is so small either way. 2/5-3/5 just has the less variance at higher levels, while 1/3-2/3 has a much higher variance.

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    Default Re: 4E unearthing arcana: alternative to the 1/2 level rule

    originaly posted by erikun
    The main point of the +5 difference between trained/untrained was to avoid such a sharp division between the two.
    For myself, and some I game with, it's a design flaw. We want a trained person to be good at what they do, which means that the inverse much also be true, someone not train is not good at it (or at least not likely to be, ex a paladin doesn't bluff, it has no experience bluff, so why, at high levels, is a paladin an excellent lier?).

    That said, giving untrained skills normal advancement wouldn't be the end of the world. Frankly, they rarely get used. However, giving a faster advancement on one skill and average on the rest means that the is not trade off. It seems to me that reducing the advancement of skills that are rarely used makes the semblince of a trade off.
    I don't think its the end of the world if there are occational skill checks players know they can't pass or are very unlikely to. I the DM set them up right they can be problems for the players to over come with creative application of materials and rituals. ex PC can't climb a 100' cliff. the party could use ropes, or a spell or various other ways to get up other than just doing athletic checks all around.
    Last edited by Loren; 2010-09-03 at 10:33 AM.

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    Default Re: 4E unearthing arcana: alternative to the 1/2 level rule

    See I'd be more worried about defenses. Even +1 is a big difference in 4e (Paragon Defenses is an actually nice feat for example, the ones that up a single defense by 2 are as well). With this even by 10th level you have an additional 2 point difference between a NAD that had a +2 at 1st and one that had +0. As most classes either have a single +2 or 2 +1s you're actually weakening players on average (most characters will either have 1 good or 2 average NADs and 2 or 1 bad NADs respectively). For a defender, like swordmage, this really hurts (although it is an interesting trade in swordmage's case as their Will defense is often 2 to 4 points lower than their Fort and Ref).

    The variant variant for defenses I like better, I find it more flavorful and more balanced as you'll only have 1 good and 1 bad, or possibly all average. It still differentiates characters more (arcanists have bad fort, controllers good will; a swordmage will have all average, while a fighter will have a good fort and a poor will and wizards will have good will with bad fort while sorcerer will have good reflex with bad fort).
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    Default Re: 4E unearthing arcana: alternative to the 1/2 level rule

    Zaydos, yes I like the variant variant more myself.

    One idea I'm working on combining both charts I've already put up. Ones role would have a defence that goes up 2 steps on the chart and one that goes up one step. the power source would have one that goes down two steps, and one that goes down one step.

    level (1/3) (2/5) (1/2) (3/5) (2/3)
    1 0 0 0 0 0
    2 0 0 1 1 1
    3 1 1 1 1 1
    4 1 1 2 2 2
    5 1 2 2 3 2
    6 2 2 3 3 3
    7 2 2 3 4 4
    8 2 3 4 4 5
    9 3 3 4 5 6
    10 3 4 5 6 6
    11 3 4 5 6 7
    12 4 4 6 7 8
    13 4 5 6 7 8
    14 4 5 7 8 9
    15 5 6 7 9 10
    16 5 6 8 9 10
    17 5 6 8 10 11
    18 6 7 9 10 12
    19 6 7 9 11 12
    20 6 8 10 12 13
    21 7 8 10 12 14
    22 7 8 11 13 14
    23 7 9 11 13 15
    24 8 9 12 14 16
    25 8 10 12 15 17
    26 8 10 13 15 17
    27 9 10 13 16 18
    28 9 11 14 16 18
    29 9 11 14 17 19
    30 10 12 15 18 20


    Another version would have
    Role +2 steps, -1 step
    source -2 steps, +1 step
    But this would need a chart that gives the possiblity of being +/-3steps. such as this one.

    level (1/3) (2/5) (5/11) (1/2) (6/11) (3/5) (2/3)
    1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    2 0 0 0 1 1 1 1
    3 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
    4 1 1 1 2 2 2 2
    5 1 2 2 2 2 3 3
    6 2 2 2 3 3 3 3
    7 2 2 3 3 3 4 4
    8 2 3 3 4 4 4 5
    9 3 3 4 4 4 5 6
    10 3 4 4 5 5 6 6
    11 3 4 5 5 6 6 7
    12 4 4 5 6 6 7 8
    13 4 5 5 6 7 7 8
    14 4 5 6 7 7 8 9
    15 5 6 6 7 8 9 10
    16 5 6 7 8 8 9 10
    17 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
    18 6 7 8 9 9 10 12
    19 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
    20 6 8 9 10 10 12 13
    21 7 8 9 10 11 12 14
    22 7 8 10 11 12 13 14
    23 7 9 10 11 12 13 15
    24 8 9 10 12 13 14 16
    25 8 10 11 12 13 15 17
    26 8 10 11 13 14 15 17
    27 9 10 12 13 14 16 18
    28 9 11 12 14 15 16 18
    29 9 11 13 14 15 17 19
    30 10 12 13 15 16 18 20

    Actually, I really like this chart the inner 2 columns are tighter to the center. giving a little variation over the levels.

    argh, the charts looked good in the preview
    Last edited by Loren; 2010-09-03 at 11:50 AM.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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    Nov 2009

    Default Re: 4E unearthing arcana: alternative to the 1/2 level rule

    Using the larger chart it would also be possible to make a variant off the skills.
    trained skills could have a +2 step advancement and untrained class skills could have a +1 step advancement. Untrained non-class skills would be at -2 steps. This should help balance out so that the PC isn't net negative skill points, or at least not badly so.
    (the DM can pick the columns for the steps)

  23. - Top - End - #23
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: 4E unearthing arcana: alternative to the 1/2 level rule

    Quote Originally Posted by Loren View Post
    yah, I'm not sure how to get around that, hence deciding to leave AC it as is in core. By giving different armour proficiencies the classes already are diffent in terms of AC
    ...here's a novel idea. Leave it alone. 1/2 level is a great way to go.

  24. - Top - End - #24
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    Yakk's Avatar

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    Default Re: 4E unearthing arcana: alternative to the 1/2 level rule

    For a different solution...

    Each level you pick 3 stats and increase them by 1.
    At level 4/8/14/18/24/28, you increase all stats by 1, and 3 stats by 2.
    At level 11/21 you increase all stats by 2.

    So at level 30, you gain a bonus of +38/+38/+38/+30/+30/+30 to your stats, which gives you stat bonuses of +19/+19/+19/+15/+15/+15 over level 1 characters. In addition, you gain a +6 enhancement bonus and a +3 expertise bonus, giving you a +28 to attacks. Light armor goes up by +6 enhancement and +2 masterwork, giving you +27 to AC, plus 1 for expertise hits +28 AC. Non-AC defences go up by +28/+28/+28 if you split your boosts to all 3 stats and pick up the new defence boost feat.

    Ie, completely remove the half-level bonus.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: 4E unearthing arcana: alternative to the 1/2 level rule

    I really like the simplicity of your idea Yakk.
    The problem with allowing the players to allocate the bonus would be that it's open to major max/min'ing. All a player has to do is max their attack ability and abilities that relate to their other two saves and they will quickly become untouchable gods of distruction.

    What about something similar, but with more restraints on it.
    At character creation the player picks one ability to have a very strong advancment and two to have strong abilitys from their class's Key abilities. They also choose two abilities to have weak advancements and one to have a very weak advancement. The DM could choose the rates at which abilities advance to fit the style of game they want.

    So, for instance very strong abilities could advance at 2/3 or 3/5, strong at 3/5 or 6/11, weak ar 5/11 or 2/5, and very weak at 1/3 or 2/5.

    hmmm
    the problem with this is that it should produce at least two defences advancing faster than normal... I think this would be a good way to go for skills, but I don't think it would work for cambative values

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