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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Rise RPG - A Complete 3.5 Rewrite

    Rise is a standalone game system inspired by D&D 3.5 and the d20 system. It keeps the same core mechanics: races, classes, skills, feats, and spells still exist, and function essentially the same way that you're used to. However, it changes all of the details to address classic problems like fighter/caster imbalance, unintuitive rules, and overly complex mechanics. The goal of Rise is to keep the freedom and creativity that makes 3.5/Pathfinder great, but to package it in a more robust form.

    Rise is composed of two books. The first provides the basic rules and explains play from levels 1-5, and you can read it in PDF form here. The second explains how characters continue to develop from levels 6-20, and it also comes in PDF form.

    Q: I'm used to D&D 3.5. Is there a quick way to describe what changed?
    A: Based on feedback in this thread, I did made a list of the key changes from 3.5! Here you go:

    Abilities
    • Abilities are called attributes.

    Attributes
    • A typical human has a 0 in each attribute. Starting PCs can have attributes ranging from -3 to 6.
    • Adding your attribute to a roll is simple: you add your attribute to the roll. None of this "minus 10 divided by 2" nonsense.
    • All attributes contribute more equally to character statistics. Every attribute helps a saving throw, you gain skill points based on all attributes rather than just Intelligence, and there are more abilities which reward "off-stats".
    • Wisdom is defined more consistently to include all forms of perception and intuition. Charisma affects your willpower, not Wisdom.
    • You increase an attribute by 1 every even level, but you can't increase the same one twice in a row. This encourages more well-rounded characters, since you can't put all your resources into a single attribute. It also helps with a bunch of other stuff.

    Races
    • Races do not automatically grant culture-specific bonuses such as weapon proficiencies. Instead, every race grants a bonus feat, and the options for that bonus feat depend on the culture of the race.

    Classes
    • No more dead levels. Dead levels are boring. Every class gets class features (including casters).
    • Very little mindless number inflation. (I'm looking at you, Pathfinder.)
    • They're 600% more balanced. Trust me, I did the math. In particular, casters got beat with a nerf bat so they're on part with other characters.
    • Every class has multiple things that only it can do. A CoDzilla can't completely replace a fighter anymore.
    • Bards are no longer a class. Sorry, they were horribly inconsistent fluff-wise, and they're really just a very specific multiclass. Bardic music became "Performance" feats, which anyone can take.
    • New class: the spellwarped, a character who can inherently control one very specific kind of magic. They don't cast spells, but they get cool abilities.
    • Multiclassing casters with other base classes is no longer stupid.

    Skills
    • If you have a high attribute, you get skill points for skills based on that attribute. In other words, strong characters don't need a high Intelligence to be strong.
    • Skills are more useful and easier to use. Casters have a drastically limited ability to render skills irrelevant.
    • Skill ranks are easier to calculate, particularly when multiclassing. That used to be a nightmare, let's be honest.

    Feats
    • Feats are gained every odd level, Pathfinder-style. Because choice is good.
    • There are way more feats - particularly combat feats. Combat characters now have a great deal of flexibility and interesting options.
    • Casters have more interesting feats to take that help make different casters feel more unique. (Work in progress.)

    Equipment
    • Weapons are divided into "weapon groups", making them easier to keep track of. The groups make more sense than the Unearthed Arcana groups.
    • Weapons cap at 1d10 damage, which lets size scaling make more sense.
    • In a variety of subtle ways, the system encourages the use of shields as the default style rather than two-handed fighting.
    • Medium armor doesn't slow you down, making it less useless.
    • Medium and heavy armor halve your Dexterity for all purposes instead of capping it. This means armor penalizes your Reflex saves, and having more Dexterity is always good.

    Combat
    • Making a full attack is a standard action. Combat is now more mobile in general.
    • Attacks of opportunity are simplified. You provoke for two reasons: If you are not using at least one hand to defend yourself, or if you move away from a threatening foe. Anything else goes. This makes questions of "does this provoke?" very simple to answer.
    • If you drop to 0 HP, you don't instantly go negative. Instead, you're staggered until you take damage again. This allows an opportunity to save vulnerable characters or take prisoners, and makes combat more dynamic and less random.
    • Damage below 0 HP is much harder to heal. It's possible to have persistent wounds that last for a long time while still allowing you to adventure.
    • Flanking is replaced with "overwhelm": If you're threatened by multiple foes, you take a AC equal to the number of foes threatening you.
    • Combat maneuvers (bull rush, disarm, trip) use a simplified version of the Pathfinder Combat Maneuver system. They don't provoke attacks of opportunity automatically.
    • Charging automatically scales with BAB, making Pounce unnecessary.
    • In addition to the above changes, combat math is rebalanced in general for the following effects:
      • An average fight lasts for 5 rounds, not the hyperfast 2 or 3 rounds more common in 3.5 and Pathfinder. This gives more time for nuance, tactics, and making mistakes. (Experience shows players spend less time optimizing their actions if they get more actions, which makes the whole game go faster.)
      • Defense is favored over offense. A character needs to have many defenses, and even a single weakness can spell doom, so it's okay if a character has one or two very strong defenses.
      • AC remains relevant at any level.
      • Saving throws are higher, and there is more of a difference between good and bad saves.

    Magic and Spells
    • All spellcasting is spontaneous. This makes casters simpler, more unique, and less able to wreak complicated havok on the game world.
    • Some complicated, highly situational, mechanically problematic, or "team benefit" spells are now rituals. Rituals require material components instead of spell slots. Examples include Remove Disease, Teleport, Raise Dead, and Scrying.
    • Every spell has been rewritten. Every. Single. Spell.
    • Spell save DC is based on caster level, not spell level. Much simpler.
    • No caster level caps. If a spell scales, it scales indefinitely.
    • Spell durations and ranges are fixed, rather than scaling with level. Much simpler, and more functional.
    • Buffs are redesigned: It's easy to have one buff on before a combat, but difficult or impossible buff the entire team. This party power much less "swingy", allowing more consistent encounter difficulty.
    • Spells can't end combats instantly. Many spells only have their full effects on creatures below half health ("bloodied").
    • Problematic or "invincibility" abilities, particularly flight, are much more strictly limited.
    • Spell schools, subschools, and descriptors make 600% more sense.

    Q: Is the system done?
    A: I wish. I've been homebrewing in the d20 System for well over a year now, and the current version represents hundreds of hours of effort, but it is still not complete. The next big step is building monsters and creating a functional CR system.
    Last edited by Vadskye; 2014-03-31 at 03:39 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Amechra's Avatar

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    Default Re: Rise RPG - A Complete 3.5 Rewrite

    I can't access the PDF.
    Quote Originally Posted by segtrfyhtfgj View Post
    door is a fake exterior wall
    I'm back to playing videogames for the internet! Current games: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (GBC) and Alundra.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Default Re: Rise RPG - A Complete 3.5 Rewrite

    Well, that's problematic. I can download it when I'm not logged in, so I'm not sure what the problem is. Here's a direct link. Does that work better?

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Jun 2012

    Default Re: Rise RPG - A Complete 3.5 Rewrite

    Giving a cursory glance over the PDF...what's really different here? You basically homebrewed new classes and the like but the core mechanics seem almost exactly the same, and I'm not looking through a 300 page PDF to find the subtle, subtle differences you seem to have made. Mind giving us a cliffnotes here?

    By the by, you seem to have buffed up a lot of classes that didn't need the boost. :l

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Pramxnim's Avatar

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    Default Re: Rise RPG - A Complete 3.5 Rewrite

    I notice several editing issues here, with some ability names being leftover from previous edits, kinks that could be ironed out. For example, the Sorcerer's Versatile Spellcaster ability references the spell invocation ability (which was later changed into Spellblend) and gives a wrong example which only confuses readers.

    Then there's the issue with ability modifiers and ability values. If something references half the ability modifier, why not just replace it with ability value? For example, under WIS, the pdf states that half the ability modifier is used to determine Initiative and Reflex saves, but why not just use the ability value for that?

    Also, with how easy it is to get high ability modifiers in this game, early level combat will become very skewed. Characters can get up to +7 Attack bonus/+7 damage just by dumping every other stat and thus trivializing early level combat math, which can frustrate well-rounded characters. I recommend decreasing the point buy value or just straight up limit ability score values to 15 at character creation, or even both.

    That aside, this feels a lot like 3.5, just with an overall higher power level.
    My current homebrews

    The gods play with dice and parchment!

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: Rise RPG - A Complete 3.5 Rewrite

    First of all congratulations to your effort. I gave it a very cursory glance and I like several things I saw. But I agree with AuraTwilight: you should give a summary of the most important changes you made and what you think they fixed.

    I'd like to add one editorial issue: on several occasions you refer to the druid's animal companion, but druids don't seem to have animal companions in your system.
    Signatures are for losers.

  7. - Top - End - #7
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    Jormengand's Avatar

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    Default Re: Rise RPG - A Complete 3.5 Rewrite

    If you want a handy 3.5 fix, look no further. There was really no need to rewrite it.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Rise RPG - A Complete 3.5 Rewrite

    I hear and obey! You are all quite right that the system is difficult to understand without a guide. I really should have included one in the initial introduction, but it took quite a bit of time to write up. It includes every major change that I could think of, with a brief explanation for why I felt that it was a good change.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Abilities
    1. Every ability is tied to a saving throw, either as full modifier or as half a modifier.
      • Fort is Con + 1/2 Str. Reflex is Dex + 1/2 Wis. Will is Cha + 1/2 Int.
      • No stat is a free dump stat anymore. The degree to which Charisma was an easy dump stat in 3.5 was not healthy, and it won't happen again. (The changes to skill points also help with this - see below.)
    2. An ability score has two different numbers that are used in play: ability modifier and ability value. Ability modifier is calculated as (ability score - 10) and is used with all d20-based rolls and attributes: attack bonus, armor class, saving throws and save DCs, and so forth. Ability value is calculated as (ability score - 10) / 2 and is used with all non-d20 based rolls and attributes: damage rolls, HP, ability uses/day, and so forth.
      • This is a big change, and no doubt a controversial one. I know. But I think it is better.
      • Ability checks have always been difficult to use because ability modifiers were so incredibly low in comparison to a d20. The difference between a 10 and an 20 - the difference between an average commoner and Arnold Schwarzenegger - only equates to a +5 difference. If they both try to break down a DC 15 door, the commoner succeeds 30% of the time, whereas Ahnold only succeeds 55% of the time. That's a tiny difference! And Ahnold should be breaking that door down nearly every time - certainly within two rounds. With the new system, the difference is a whopping +10. No more can the commoner pose a significant threat to the Terminator in door-busting speed. Plus, the 20 strength character can, with enough time and effort, even take down DC 30 doors - a much more significant accomplishment
      • From another perspective: a DC 10 door poses just as much challenge to a 10 strength character as a DC 20 door poses to a Strength 20 character. Doesn't that make a lot of sense?
      • The biggest objection is no doubt from a balance perspective. A fighter with a 16 Strength starts with a +7 attack bonus (but only +3 damage) at character creation. That sounds like a lot, and it is - though AC is generally increased as well. I guess what I would say here is just "trust me". I think it works. The numbers for the whole system were crunched assuming these numbers, and they seem to work. Honestly, I would prefer that starting attack bonus was just a tad lower - but I think the ability to have a big difference between a strong character and a weak character is worth keeping.
    3. Ability modifier caps at 10. Ability values do not cap.
      • This is a notable downside to the new ability modifier/value system: if you allow truly monstrous ability modifiers, the system breaks at high levels. The cap solves this problem.
      • This is justifiable from a fluff standpoint. My basic argument is that there is a limit to how much ability a mortal frame can actually support. Even magic can't completely overcome the limitations of the body.
      • The cap at 10 was chosen for two reasons: it makes the numbers work well, and it mirrors the fact that the minimum ability modifier is -10 (for a 0 ability score).
      • If I ever write epic rules, the cap could be removed once you hit epic. This would create a very clear breakpoint between pre- and post- epic play which has a lot of intuitive implications that I like.
      • Capping modifiers at 10 also encourages characters to not simply devote all of their energy into a single ability score. I think this encourages more interesting/flexible characters overall.
    Races
    1. Every race gets a racial bonus feat. Each race has a specific list of bonus feats that it can choose. Culturally specific racial features, such as giant-fighting and weapon proficiencies, have been changed into racial feats to separate them from inherent physical aspects of the race.
    Classes
    1. Every class now has something unique that only it can do. They are better at fulfilling their "fluff" role, and it is much more difficult for a character of one class to be rendered irrelevant by a character of a different class.
    2. Null levels are basically gone. I don't think there are any left. Every class gains interesting and flavorful abilities as they grow in power.
    3. The most problematic and overly complex abilities are gone.
      • Animal companions and familiars are out of core. Yes, there is a place for them, and I plan on eventually adding them back as some sort of alternate class feature or other character option. But frankly, I can't remember the last time a player actually thought of the companion/familiar as a core part of their character. It's a lot of complexity for fairly little gain - except when it is abusable. I have no objection to letting a player who really wants a familiar to have one., and I'll make good rules when the time comes But it doesn't belong as a standard class feature.
      • Wild shape no longer exists. It has been replaced with wild aspect.
    4. Multiclassing with non-caster classes is easier: for every two levels you have in a noncasting class, you increase your spells per day/spells known in a casting class by one. This is limited by the number of levels you have in the actual casting class. Alternately, you can use this to automatically combine any two casting classes like a mystic theurge.
      • Multiclassing a caster has always been fairly stupid - unfortunately so. Fighter X / Wizard X should be a viable build - even the default option - instead of relying on convoluted prestige class chains.
    Skills
    1. Spells are much less capable of rendering skills irrelevant. See below for more detail.
    2. Instead of being based on Intelligence modifier, a character gains skill points based on all of her ability scores. A high Strength gives you points to spend on Strength-based skills, a high Dexterity gives you points in Dexterity-based skills, and so on.
      • Making skill points be based on Intelligence has strange effects. In 3.5, if a character wants to be good in any particular area, she must make sure she has a high enough Int to support that. However, classes with a high number of skill points are much less affected by that limitation. In this system, a character who wants to be good at social skills just puts points in Charisma, and a character who wants to be dextrous and agile just puts points in Dexterity. Much more intuitive.
      • I also think the system just makes more sense. Does Bob the fighter really need to be very smart in order to be able to master the difficult feats of jumping, swimming, and climbing? I don't buy it.
    3. Characters gain more skill points as they level up, allowing them to learn new skillls over time instead of just getting better at the ones they have.
      • When first creating a character, many players don't know exactly what they want to do with their skills. This removes the pressure to decide at the start everything the character is going to do.
      • It just makes sense to me that characters would grow both in breadth and in depth as they gain experience.
    4. A number of skills have been merged or had their ability modifier change:
      • Appraise is now a part of Gather Information, with bits found in Knowledge (local) as well.
      • Decipher Script and Speak Language are now Linguistics.
      • Search is now a part of Spot.
      • Spellcraft is now a Wisdom-based skill, like all other perception skills. It automatically functions like a detect magic.
    5. Individual skill changes have been made as well:
      • Concentration is no longer a skill. See below.
      • Diplomacy is done more or less entirely as described by Rich Burlew. Some minor changes have been made to the numbers.
      • Overwhelming success on Heal checks can now make out of combat healing extremely rapid. Useful!
      • Knowledge (history), (local), and (nobility/royalty) have been merged into Knowledge (local).
      • When using Tumble to avoid attacks of opportunity, your result is now treated as your AC if it is higher than your AC would be. A significant nerf.
    Equipment
    1. Weapon changes:
      1. Light weapons only get 1/2 Strength value to damage, even in the main hand.
      2. Two-handed weapons (now called heavy weapons) deal d10 damage at most instead of 2d6.
        • This just helps make them more balanced against one-handed weapons (now called medium weapons) and light weapons.
      3. Weapons are divided into "weapon groups", as the Unearthed Arcana variant but with different groups: armor weapons, axes, heavy blades, light blades, bows, crossbows, flexible weapons, headed weapons, monk weapons, polearms, simple weapons, spears, thrown weapons, weaponlike spells, and unarmed weapons.
      4. Masterwork weapons no longer exist
        • Attack bonus is already high at low levels, and this didn't seem to serve a purpose.
    2. Armor changes:
      1. Medium armor does not slow your speed, but penalizes your running speed multiplier.
      2. All light armor lets you apply your full Dexterity modifier. Medium and heavy armor halves your Dexterity modifier and Dexterity value.
      3. All medium and heavy AC bonuses except for full plate were increased by 1
      4. Masterwork armor no longer exists.
      5. Armor/shield spikes decrease AC by 1
      • Summary:
        • Medium armor has a reason to be worn
        • Armor in general is slightly more protective
        • Medium and heavy armor penalize all uses of Dexterity (including Reflex saves), which strikes me as being more intuitive.
        • Armor check penalties are equal to what is listed on the table, not always one lower than what the table says after about 2nd level. That was weird.
        • Not all armor should be spiked. It is very strange in 3.5 that all armor is better when spiked, and definitely not intuitive/realistic.
    3. Misc. changes:
      • Ten foot pole now costs less than a ladder.
    Combat
    1. Making a full attack is a standard action.
      • This makes movement in combat easier, encouraging a more mobile and interactive game, and is more intuitive.
    2. Attacks of opportunity are provoked by moving away from a threatening creature, not out of a threatened square.
      • It makes little sense to me that you should provoke for trying to get close to a creature. This makes movement in combat easier, encouraging a more mobile and interactive game, and is more intuitive.
    3. Flanking is replaced by overwhelm penalties: you suffer a penalty to AC equal to the number of enemies threatening you, as long as there are at least two foes threatening you.
      • This is simpler than the existing flanking rules and more intuitive (no more can you be surrounded by 4 people, none of whom get flanking bonuses). In addition, it makes large groups of enemies a legitimate threat.
    4. 5' steps no longer exist.
      • Spellcasters can longer trivially cast spells in combat without provoking attacks of opportunity merely by stepping back. This was unintuitive, metagame-y, and make casters extremely difficult to pin down. Now, defensively casting is the default option if a caster gets caught in melee.
    5. The "default encounter" is designed to last for 5 rounds on average, not the 2-3 rounds (if that) common in 3.5.
      • This dramatically decreases the "rocket tag" problem endemic in remotely optimized 3.5 play. It encourages more tactical and dynamic play, allowing time for positioning and debuffs to reap rewards.
      • If you are wondering how this is accomplished, the answer basically boils down to a lot of number crunching and tweaking of subtle things like spell damage progressions, wealth by level, magic item prices, and all sorts of fun things.
    6. Resting for 8 hours heals you for half your hit points, rather than merely 1 HP per level. This can be significantly accelerated by a good Heal check.
      • Healing rapidly while out of combat is good because it keeps the action focused on the combat instead of on tedious resource management ("How many Cures will it take to cure you this time? I guess we'll have to roll them all..."). However, it is not so rapid that characters will enter every combat at full hit points unless they make an effort to do so (including with phenomenal Heal checks).
    7. When your HP goes to 0, it stops there - no excess damage is taken from that hit. There are no negative hit points. Instead, damage taken while at 0 is considered critical damage, and can put you unconscious or kill you. Critical damage also takes much longer to heal.
      • Because being disabled only happened when you were at exactly 0 HP, it basically never happened except as a weird fluke after about 1st level. However, I think that having people stumble around while disabled and at 0 HP adds a lot of fun and interesting opportunities for roleplaying. It also makes it less likely that a fluke critical from a x3 weapon will just flat out kill you. Which, while perhaps realistic, is not all that fun (at least in my experience).
      • Critical damage taking longer to heal is good from a fluff perspective (since it represents serious physical injury to the body, rather than the reltaively ephemeral concept of hit points) and good as an encouragement to players not to take critical damage if it is at all possible to avoid it.
    8. Combat maneuvers are based fairly closely on Pathfinder's combat maneuver system. There are subtle changes.
      • Your defense against combat maneuvers is defined simply as Touch AC + BAB + Strength modifier (+special size modifier). This is essentially the same as Pathfinder, but much easier to remember.
      • Size modifiers are +4/+8/etc., like in 3.5, instead of +1/+2/etc., like in Pathfinder. A giant should be significantly more difficult to bull rush than a human - and that isn't just due to the Strength bonus. Size matters a lot.
      • Grappling is redefined (again). Hopefully this version is simpler.
    Spells, Spellcasters and Magic
    1. All spellcasting is spontaneous. Prepared casting no longer exists.
      • Prepared spellcasting was complicated, required far too much player skill to be used to its fullest extent, and make it easy to trivialize encounters by simply waiting to prepare the perfect spell for the situation. Spontaneous spellcasting means that casters feel more unique, are easier to play, and are less likely to accidentally (or intentionally) "break" a story.
    2. Spells which have an inordinately long casting time, have generally noncombat effects, or which would never be worth taking in a spontaneous system are now "rituals". Rituals do not take up spells known or spell slots, but require material components to learn and cast.
      • One major downside of a fully spontaneous system is that spells like continual flame or bless water would almost never be worth spending a spell known on. However, they are things which one might reasonably expect a spellcaster to be able to do. Rituals fill this gap.
      • Rituals also mean that a caster's combat ability and ability to do "fun" spells is not impeded by the need to cast endure elements on the entire party to go adventuring in the Arctic Wastes, and doesn't need to waste one of his powerful and mighty spell slots doing the grunt work teleport that the entire party benefits from. Why make one character pay a significant cost for something that the entire party gains significantly from? Rituals make being a spellcaster more fun.
    3. All spells scale more consistently with level and remain useful for longer. Caster level caps are gone and save DC is based on caster level instead of spell level.
      • Caster level caps have always had really screwy effects on spellcasting. For example, why should an empowered fireball at 10th level do 15d6, while a cone of cold does 10d6? This is wildly unintuitive. Higher level spells do somewhat more damage than lower level spells, but are primarily differentiated by the fact that they get additional effects, more range, wider area of effect, and so on. For example, cone of cold can also fatigue creatures struck.
      • Additionally, making spell save DC no longer dependent on spell level is much easier to keep track of and has other minor positive effects.
    4. Many spells, particularly spells which deny actions, only have their full effect on "bloodied" creatures (at or below half HP) or on foes which fail their saves by 10 or more.
      • This integrates spellcasting much more thoroughly with combat. A well-placed spell at the start of combat can no longer end a fight before it starts. Instead, it they can make the fight easier and end sooner. However, dealing damage is almost always a relevant concern.
      • Example: Hold Person now slows healthy creatures and paralyzes bloodied creatures.
    5. Almost all "action denial" effects can only affect bloodied creatures.
      • Spells which completely deny actions are not fun for players who are taken out of the fight, and can render challenging encounters trivial if the enemy is prevented from ever taking significant action.
    6. Spell ranges and durations no longer scale with caster level.
      • This makes the process of casting a spell simpler, since your range doesn't change every time you level up. There are better ways to use caster level.
    7. Caster level in general is more variable, with feats and magic items to affect it.
      • Originally, there was little "customization" you could do to represent being better in some areas than in other areas. The only things which did this were far away from the core rules, and often relatively esoteric or unusual. Now spellcasters can have as much individual customization as non-spellcasters.
    8. Spell damage formulas were completely redone. Area of effect spells now generally do 1/2 the damage of single target spells, and Empower and Maximize no longer exist.
      • In 3.5, a mage could trivially one-shot himself without much effort thanks to spells like scorching ray, particularly when empowered. That isn't a healthy game dynamic. Additionally, area of effect spells were ludicrously powerful against large groups. That wasn't always a problem in 3.5, since the "default encounter" was against a single foe. However, in Rise, the default encounter is assumed to be against a number of foes equal to the number of PCs. AOE spells needed to be toned down, or they would vastly outshine normal spells. Fireball is still powerful - but it can't end an encounter by itself.
    9. Spells are generally much less capable of rendering skills irrelevant.
      • Skills are a huge part of the game, and spells have often walked all over skills except when the skill numbers were ludicrously optimized. Due to a combination of individual spell changes and a spontaneous system instead of a prepared system, skills in general are more useful.
    10. Spell resistance is now tied to a specific saving throw. The caster effectively "rolls his DC" to beat a number equal to the creature's SR + its relevant saving throw modifier. (This means SR ranges from 1 to 20 instead of automatically increasing with level.)
      • Spell resistance was just a blanket "screw you" to casters. This means that a caster fighting an enemy with spell resistance still has a chance to affect it - the caster just has to make sure they are using spells which target its weak points. This means that it limits the caster without completely shutting his offensive ability down.
    11. Concentration is no longer a skill. Instead, it is an automatic feature of spellcasters. Defensive casting is automatic; failure means you provoke attacks of opportunity normally, not fail the spell. DCs are based on double spell level instead of spell level.
      • Concentration does not belong as a skill; not taking it as a spellcaster is sufficiently dumb that it shouldn't be an option unless you really, really know what you're doing. Having it as a skill is just a trap for new players who don't know enough to take it.
      • The choice whether to defensively cast or not to defensively cast is a very mechanical and slightly metagame-y decision. I have never found it easy to explain to new players, and I'm not sure it makes sense. Automatic defensive casting, where failure means you provoke, is more forgiving and (I believe) more intuitive.
      • Overwhelm penalties also apply to Concentration checks. If you are surrounded by eight armed warriors, you're going to have a bad time.
    12. Invincibility is extremely difficult or impossible to get through spells.
      • Flight spells were increased in level and shortened in duration. No PC ability in the game gives flight for longer than about 5 rounds at a time, allowing noncasters to "wait out" the duration of the flight and still be alive to pummel the flying character.
      • Several huge defensive spells, such as mirror image and greater invisbility, were toned down in effectiveness and made less game-breaking.
    13. Nearly all spells were changed to some degree. A very brief summary:
      • Complicated effects were simplified (mirror image) or removed (no magic jar).
      • Spells which can shut down combats (web, solid fog) were nerfed, primarily by making them easier to escape.
      • Caster self-buffs were diminished in power to prevent them from overshadowing fighters (divine power)
      • Many spells changed level to make sure spells are balanced.
    14. Spell schools were rebalanced and refluffed slightly, increasing the power and versatility of neglected schools (Necromancy and Enchantment) and diminishing the necessity of other schools (Conjuration and Transmutation)
    15. The cleric and sor/wiz general list is smaller, but both classes can gain limited access to additional spells: each cleric domain gives two spells per level, and there is a "specialist list" of spells which is only accessible by sor/wiz class features on a limited basis.
      • This makes different casters feel more unique and limits the complexity involved in choosing spells known.
    Magic Items and Wealth
    1. Wealth by level is significantly decreased (at least in the 15-20 range) and actually based on a formula that scales at the same rate as magic item prices.
      1. High level characters in 3.5 have ludicrously high wealth by level. Keeping WBL tied directly to magic item price scaling makes it much more reasonable.
    2. Many magic item prices have been decreased. The formulas for creating magic items based on spells have been revised with significantly more modifiers to accommodate spells of various types, and then followed fairly closely when determining magic item prices.
    3. Weapons and armor now track enhancement bonus and special ability bonuses separately when determining the price of the weapon. For example, +3 full plate with a +2 special ability costs 14000 (9000 for the +3 enhancement, 4000 for the +2 special ability, and 1000 for the full plate).
    4. Weapon special abilities no longer directly add generic damage. Instead, they add unique abilities to the weapon.
      1. Special abilities shouldn't be just a more efficient way of increasing the weapon's raw attributes. They should be for special abilities - stuff that makes the weapon interesting and flavorful.

    With that said, some individual replies:
    Quote Originally Posted by Pramxnim View Post
    I notice several editing issues here, with some ability names being leftover from previous edits, kinks that could be ironed out. For example, the Sorcerer's Versatile Spellcaster ability references the spell invocation ability (which was later changed into Spellblend) and gives a wrong example which only confuses readers.
    Editing issues are definitely a challenge. (I fixed the one you mentioned. Thanks!) My hope at the moment is that the book is understandable, even if not perfect, and that I will fix all of the errors as I come across them.

    Then there's the issue with ability modifiers and ability values. If something references half the ability modifier, why not just replace it with ability value? For example, under WIS, the pdf states that half the ability modifier is used to determine Initiative and Reflex saves, but why not just use the ability value for that?
    Good question - I'll want to add that to a FAQ, most likely. There are two reasons for this. First, I want to keep the conceptual divide between "modifier" and "value" strong. Ability modifier is used for d20 rolls and d20-based attributes. Ability value is used for everything else. And ne'er the twain shall meet! I think that using "value" where "modifier" belongs would make things more confusing, not less. Second, there is actually a slight mechanical difference: Modifier caps, and value doesn't. That's less important than the first issue, though.

    Also, with how easy it is to get high ability modifiers in this game, early level combat will become very skewed. Characters can get up to +7 Attack bonus/+7 damage just by dumping every other stat and thus trivializing early level combat math, which can frustrate well-rounded characters. I recommend decreasing the point buy value or just straight up limit ability score values to 15 at character creation, or even both.
    I went back and forth quite a bit on whether to include that 17 in the point buy chart. Yes, +7 to attack from ability score alone on character creation (note that this is only +3 to damage, though) feels strange to me too. (Though note that AC is generally slightly higher than before due to a combination of minor armor buffs and the ability to add full Dexterity modifier to AC). I have never seen it trivialize combat math, but I will keep a very close eye on it. In a future version the 17 may well be eradicated from the chart.

    That aside, this feels a lot like 3.5, just with an overall higher power level.
    Interesting. I'm curious to see what you think with the addition of the "stuff I changed" table. I think some power levels increased and others decreased.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonEsteban View Post
    First of all congratulations to your effort. I gave it a very cursory glance and I like several things I saw. But I agree with AuraTwilight: you should give a summary of the most important changes you made and what you think they fixed.

    I'd like to add one editorial issue: on several occasions you refer to the druid's animal companion, but druids don't seem to have animal companions in your system.
    Thank you kindly. And I added that to my list of things to do (in addition to removing a few entries that I saw). I really appreciate editorial help - I'm only one person, and there is an awful lot of text here.
    Last edited by Vadskye; 2013-06-29 at 04:59 PM.

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    Default Re: Rise RPG - A Complete 3.5 Rewrite

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    If you want a handy 3.5 fix, look no further. There was really no need to rewrite it.
    Except Pathfinder fixed next to nothing, so there's that.

    Besides, it's already rewritten by him, too. Just because a company did it doesn't mean they did it better (especially considering it's Paizo).
    Last edited by Temotei; 2013-06-29 at 09:06 AM.
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    Default Re: Rise RPG - A Complete 3.5 Rewrite

    I like what I'm reading. Also, I like the way you explain your changes, you make good arguments for them.

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    Default Re: Rise RPG - A Complete 3.5 Rewrite

    Quote Originally Posted by Temotei View Post
    Except Pathfinder fixed next to nothing, so there's that.

    Besides, it's already rewritten by him, too. Just because a company did it doesn't mean they did it better (especially considering it's Paizo).
    Well, apart from the fact that it made the rules make sense, gave low-tier classes much-needed surgery (fighters actually have class features), the fact that it removed large numbers of the rules which do not make sense and replaced them with ones that do...

    This "fix", on the other hand, completely screws over that which is D&D (What's that? I don't need my wisdom any more? Oh, I get half of it as a bonus to reflex saves... can't I have more dexterity instead? Oh, and I don't need my intelligence because it doesn't affect any skills that I actually want? Fabulous. Sorcerers, to the skies!) Everything that it does, Pathfinder does better. Oh, you made charisma worthwhile? Kitsune enchantress build. Oh, you removed all the null levels? So did Pathfinder. Yes, even for the spellcasters.

    By the way, if I want to play a fighter, I can just take a two-level dip in a casting class and then be a fighter 18. What, I have 11 spellcasting levels on a fighter 18? Yes, yes I do.

    The light weapon changes make no sense. The point is that your main hand grants +STR to all attacks and your offhand +1/2*STR. That's why two-handed weapons do what they do. The two-handed weapon nerf was entirely unnecessary - bastard swords and dwarven waraxes are now ridiculous.

    I'm sorry, but full attacks are a standard action now? What. I'm sorry, but whaaaaaaaaat? Your AoO "Fix" just murdered one of the few decent fighter builds out there. In fact, it dragged several feats down with it.

    You removed prepared casters. And you removed them because they required skill to use. Oh Pelor protect, what have you DONE? Rituals, now that is a fairly good idea...

    Wait, did I read that right? Save DC is based on CASTER level? You realise that a 20th level wizard will be running around wielding DCs of around 45?

    The bloodied idea is a good one. Harm. Quickened hold person. Oops....

    The SR thing seems insane. If you have will-based SR, then you can chuck on a high CHA and INT and roll around ignoring every single spell that is ever cast on you. Assuming I understand what you're saying correctly, which I hope I don't.

    In general, there are aspects of this that work, but the majority does not. I'm sorry.

    EDIT: I haven't actually read the PDF, so some of my examples may not actually work, but the point is the same.
    Last edited by Jormengand; 2013-06-29 at 09:41 AM.

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    Default Re: Rise RPG - A Complete 3.5 Rewrite

    Every ability is tied to a saving throw, either as full modifier or as half a modifier.
    Fort is Con + 1/2 Str. Reflex is Dex + 1/2 Wis. Will is Cha + 1/2 Int.
    No stat is a free dump stat anymore. The degree to which Charisma was a useless stat in 3.5 was not
    I'm not sure I like literally every ability contribute to Saves.

    Also, you honestly think Charisma was a useless stat? Holy HELL, I completely lost any confidence in your ability to do any sort of 3.5 fix at that point; Charisma was probably the most valuable stat, if anything, simply because of social skills like Diplomacy, not to mention the oodles of spellcasters that used it as their casting stat.

    Every class now has something unique that only it can do. They are better at fulfilling their "fluff" role, and it is much more difficult for a character of one class to be rendered irrelevant by a character of a different class.
    And Multiclassing doesn't make this utterly irrelevant...how?

    And do you address the spell system on this issue? Because that's really the only thing that emulated other classes well enough to render them obsolete.

    Multiclassing with non-caster classes is easier: for every two levels you have in a noncasting class, you increase your spells per day/spells known in a casting class by one. Alternately, you can use this to automatically combine any two casting classes like a mystic theurge.

    Multiclassing a caster has always been fairly stupid - unfortunately so. Fighter X / Wizard X should be a viable build - even the default option - instead of relying on convoluted prestige class chains.
    Why would levels in Fighter increase your spellcasting education? And, moreover, pretty much no spellcaster wants to lose casting levels; that one caveat is generally what gets most prestige classes with the label marked as 'terrible'.

    nstead of being based on Intelligence modifier, a character gains skill points based on all of her ability scores. A high Strength gives you points to spend on Strength-based skills, a high Dexterity gives you points in Dexterity-based skills, and so on.
    I agree with this, good work.

    Weapon changes:

    Light weapons only get 1/2 Strength value to damage, even in the main hand.
    Two-handed weapons (now called heavy weapons) deal d10 damage at most instead of 2d6.
    This just helps make them more balanced against one-handed weapons (now called medium weapons) and light weapons.
    Weapons are divided into "weapon groups", as the Unearthed Arcana variant but with different groups: armor weapons, axes, heavy blades, light blades, bows, crossbows, flexible weapons, headed weapons, monk weapons, polearms, simple weapons, spears, thrown weapons, weaponlike spells, and unarmed weapons.
    Masterwork weapons no longer exist
    Attack bonus is already high at low levels, and this didn't seem to serve a purpose.
    Aaaaaaand there you go hurting a system of the game that did not need the hurt. At all. I have even less reason to be a melee character in your game than in 3.5 simply because you're hurting the one real means of contributing I have: Damage output.

    Making a full attack is a standard action.

    This makes movement in combat easier, encouraging a more mobile and interactive game, and is more intuitive.
    ...What? Then what's the point of ever doing a non-full attack ever again?

    The "default encounter" is designed to last for 5 rounds on average, not the 2-3 rounds (if that) common in 3.5.

    This dramatically decreases the "rocket tag" problem endemic in remotely optimized 3.5 play. It encourages more tactical and dynamic play, allowing time for positioning and debuffs to reap rewards.
    If you are wondering how this is accomplished, the answer basically boils down to a lot of number crunching and tweaking of subtle things like spell damage progressions, wealth by level, magic item prices, and all sorts of fun things.
    A common complaint I've seen about D&D combat is that fights take much too long. You've literally aggravated the problem as a design goal.

    When your HP goes to 0, it stops there - no excess damage is taken from that hit. There are no negative hit points. Instead, damage taken while at 0 is considered critical damage, and can put you unconscious or kill you. Critical damage also takes much longer to heal.
    So how much critical damage can I survive before it kills me? You haven't explained how to figure for that yet.

    Combat maneuvers are based fairly closely on Pathfinder's combat maneuver system. There are subtle changes.
    Almost everyone who doesn't like Pathfinder cites the combat maneuver system as a major contributor to their distaste. :l Just saying.

    All spellcasting is spontaneous. Prepared casting no longer exists.

    Prepared spellcasting was complicated, required far too much player skill to be used to its fullest extent, and make it easy to trivialize encounters by simply waiting to prepare the perfect spell for the situation. Spontaneous spellcasting means that casters feel more unique, are easier to play, and are less likely to accidentally (or intentionally) "break" a story.
    You have noooo idea how much I'm facepalming right now. No. This is a bad idea.

    Also, prepared spellcasting 'complicated'? I've never seen it called THAT before. :l

    I really don't think, from what I'm reading so far, that you're properly addressing the issue of spellcasting. While you made some good decisions with them, most of the things that made spellcasters a game-breaking OP thing you either don't address or make slightly worse.

    I'm sorry to sound so harsh, maybe even a bit snippy, but I bust out my harshest criticisms in the hope of helping to iron out your game as much as possible. It's definitely a promising first try.

    I have to throw my hat in with a lot of Jormengand's criticisms, as well.

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    Default Re: Rise RPG - A Complete 3.5 Rewrite

    Jormengand:
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    Well, apart from the fact that it made the rules make sense, gave low-tier classes much-needed surgery (fighters actually have class features), the fact that it removed large numbers of the rules which do not make sense and replaced them with ones that do...
    My main design difference from pathfinder actually boils down to this: Pathfinder doesn't make sense. It runs on the "rule of cool": if something would be a good mechanical ability and is interesting in play, Pathfinder will use it - regardless of whether it makes any sense. I don't do that. Here's an example:
    Quote Originally Posted by Pathfinder SRD
    No Escape (Barbarian Rage Power):
    The barbarian can move up to double her normal speed as an immediate action but she can only use this ability when an adjacent foe uses a withdraw action to move away from her.
    Is this a fun ability to use as a barbarian? Absolutely. But it makes no sense whatsoever! You can't move double your speed as an immediate action and expect to retain any sense of world continuity. It is a video game power. Pathfinder is full of these.

    This "fix", on the other hand, completely screws over that which is D&D (What's that? I don't need my wisdom any more? Oh, I get half of it as a bonus to reflex saves... can't I have more dexterity instead? Oh, and I don't need my intelligence because it doesn't affect any skills that I actually want? Fabulous. Sorcerers, to the skies!) Everything that it does, Pathfinder does better. Oh, you made charisma worthwhile? Kitsune enchantress build. Oh, you removed all the null levels? So did Pathfinder. Yes, even for the spellcasters.
    I'm not really sure what you're arguing, so I don't know how to respond. But saying "Pathfinder included a build which uses Charisma" has nothing to do with Charisma being a trivially easy dump stat for a large number of classes in both 3.5 and Pathfinder.

    By the way, if I want to play a fighter, I can just take a two-level dip in a casting class and then be a fighter 18. What, I have 11 spellcasting levels on a fighter 18? Yes, yes I do.
    I am aware of the potential for this issue; the mechanics were simplified for the short explanation to avoid making a very long list even longer. The way the multiclassing for casters actually works is that you can count a number of levels in noncasting classes equal to the number of levels you have in casting classes for the purpose of getting the bonus. So, for example, a fighter 18 / wizard 2 would count two levels of fighter for the benefit (since he has two levels of wizard) and would therefore cast as a wizard 3.

    I understand it's a long PDF, but if you're going to complain about a specific issue, I would appreciate it if you checked that it was actually what you think it is.

    The light weapon changes make no sense. The point is that your main hand grants +STR to all attacks and your offhand +1/2*STR. That's why two-handed weapons do what they do. The two-handed weapon nerf was entirely unnecessary - bastard swords and dwarven waraxes are now ridiculous.
    Taking light weapons down to half Strength is better because of the new Combat Finesse feat. Everyone can automatically use Dex to attack with light weapons (I should have put that in the list of changes, sorry), and Combat Finesse allows you to add half Dex value to damage with light weapons. I think that overall this makes Dex fighters feel more unique, and gives them a reward for their Dexterity.

    Bastard swords and dwarven waraxes are admittely strange in the system. I'm still searching for a good way to address that (and I am open to ideas). However, I think the overall damage works better this way. Two-handed weapons have been the default in 3.5 for a long time, and while I am not intimately familiar with the Pathfinder build environment, I don't know of anything that changed. I want the "default" weapon style in this system to be sword and shield, which I believe is more historically accurate - and at the very least, it is a world continuity that I prefer. The changes that I make support that goal.

    I'm sorry, but full attacks are a standard action now? What. I'm sorry, but whaaaaaaaaat? Your AoO "Fix" just murdered one of the few decent fighter builds out there. In fact, it dragged several feats down with it.
    Yes, I altered some of the most powerful builds. However, AoO builds were also some of the most complicated and annoying builds. I want a fighter to be a powerful and interesting character "out of the box", rather than relying on convoluted feat chains and strange rules to be viable.

    You removed prepared casters. And you removed them because they required skill to use. Oh Pelor protect, what have you DONE? Rituals, now that is a fairly good idea...
    There's a line between "requiring skill to use" and "only being usable by really, really experienced players". I have seen countless new players shy away from spellcasting because it was too complicated and didn't make sense to them. With the spontaneous system, I have seen this attitude change significantly. Rise is still a very complicated game, and there is plenty of opportunity for skill, both in play and in build design.

    Wait, did I read that right? Save DC is based on CASTER level? You realise that a 20th level wizard will be running around wielding DCs of around 45?
    I assume you are referring to cheesy ways that caster level could be increased? The new limitations on bonus stacking should deal with that. (Oh, I should put that in the list! I'll get on that.) 20th level casters will almost certainly have a DC varying from 30 to 35, depending on how focused they are in a particular area.

    The bloodied idea is a good one. Harm. Quickened hold person. Oops....
    Spell damage was changed such that it should be highly unusual to reduce a creature to being bloodied with a single spell. Also, quicken was changed; the scaling on low-levels spells is too good for Quicken to work as originally written, and there were other issues with it as well.

    The SR thing seems insane. If you have will-based SR, then you can chuck on a high CHA and INT and roll around ignoring every single spell that is ever cast on you. Assuming I understand what you're saying correctly, which I hope I don't.
    SR type is assigned per spell, not per creature. Every spell with SR says "SR Yes (Will)" or something similar. The type of the SR is the same as the saving throw type the spell has (or would have if it had a save). Thus, a creature with SR and a good Will save is nigh-immune to mental effects - but if it has a low Fortitude, it can still be vulnerable to Fort spells.

    In general, there are aspects of this that work, but the majority does not. I'm sorry.

    EDIT: I haven't actually read the PDF, so some of my examples may not actually work, but the point is the same.
    Your criticisms are well taken, don't worry!


    AuraTwilight:
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    Quote Originally Posted by AuraTwilight View Post
    I'm not sure I like literally every ability contribute to Saves.

    Also, you honestly think Charisma was a useless stat? Holy HELL, I completely lost any confidence in your ability to do any sort of 3.5 fix at that point; Charisma was probably the most valuable stat, if anything, simply because of social skills like Diplomacy, not to mention the oodles of spellcasters that used it as their casting stat.
    Yes, there existed individual builds that cared very much about Charisma. That doesn't mean that the stat was in a healthy place. Calling it "useless" isn't really what I mean, and I should clarify that. What I mean is that Charisma was a trivially easy dump stat for many classes. Any class that didn't care about it as part of their class features or build concept could leave it as an 8 and expect to suffer essentially no repurcussions.

    If you do that with other stats, there were significant effects, even if only from a RP perspective (which I think is important). However, because Charisma was so poorly defined/understood and everyone saw it differently, I have met very few players who actually incorporated an 8 Charisma into the way they played their character. In contrast, an 8 Int or an 8 Wisdom has obvious implications, and I have seen players use that very well to create interesting and fun characters.

    Making Charisma explicitly tied to Will solves the problem from both a mechanics perspective and a roleplaying perspective. It clarifies that Charisma is the stat about strength of personality. 8 Charisma characters aren't necessarily more or less gruff than anyone else. But they are "weak-minded" and malleable. (This is also why Dwarves no longer dump Charisma. Their personalities are as strong as anyone's!)

    And Multiclassing doesn't make this utterly irrelevant...how?
    How so? I'm not sure what you mean.

    And do you address the spell system on this issue? Because that's really the only thing that emulated other classes well enough to render them obsolete.
    There are about fifteen different subtle changes in the system that diminish casters' ability to render other classes irrelevant, so it's hard to explain concisely why exactly that is true. But... I'm pretty sure it is. The short version is that noncasters have more abilities that spells can't replicate, and casters have a harder time replicating even the abilities that spells do cover.

    Why would levels in Fighter increase your spellcasting education? And, moreover, pretty much no spellcaster wants to lose casting levels; that one caveat is generally what gets most prestige classes with the label marked as 'terrible'.
    Fighter only increases your spellcasting education if you have spellcaster levels. I think this makes sense fluff-wise in that, once you start seeing the world from a magical perspective, you naturally gain more experience in the essence of magic over time, regardless of what you train in. Of course, there are limits to what you can accomplish without actually training.

    As far as losing caster levels goes - the reason you used to never, ever lose caster levels was that casters had geometric power growth and noncasters had linear power growth. This is much less true than it used to be. I think Fighter X / Wizard X is a viable build now.

    I agree with this, good work.
    Thanks.

    Aaaaaaand there you go hurting a system of the game that did not need the hurt. At all. I have even less reason to be a melee character in your game than in 3.5 simply because you're hurting the one real means of contributing I have: Damage output.
    This is part of making combat last 5 rounds. I think it is healthier for the game (and see my comments above about making sword and shield the "default" fighting style). Rise is much less about rocket tag, and damage output should not be the primary way that melee is defined. With all of the other changes, I am confident that melee holds its own very well against the other options.

    ...What? Then what's the point of ever doing a non-full attack ever again?
    Attacks of opportunity, I guess? I don't think there needs to be a "non-full attack" that you often do in combat. You get more BAB, you get more attacks. Simple as that.

    A common complaint I've seen about D&D combat is that fights take much too long. You've literally aggravated the problem as a design goal.
    Fights take too long in real time, not game time. Yes, fights did take way too long - I completely agree, and I am trying to change that. However, they also were often over very quickly - even unrealistically so - in "game time". The key is that each player's turn could take a very long time to resolve, particularly if the player had any difficulty in deciding their action. My goal is that a variety of simplifications and changes will make each player's individual turn take less time to resolve, while making fights last for additional rounds because that is healthier from a mechanics and balance perspective.

    So how much critical damage can I survive before it kills me? You haven't explained how to figure for that yet.
    Up to your Con score. That part is extremely similar to the original rule about dying at -10, so I didn't think to include it.

    Almost everyone who doesn't like Pathfinder cites the combat maneuver system as a major contributor to their distaste. :l Just saying.
    I think Pathfinder had a good core system with the CMB/CMD idea, and then made a bunch of mistakes on top of that core system. I kept the core system, and changed a bunch of specifics. If you think otherwise, I am interested in hearing it - I have mostly heard good things about the CMB/CMD idea.

    You have noooo idea how much I'm facepalming right now. No. This is a bad idea.

    Also, prepared spellcasting 'complicated'? I've never seen it called THAT before. :l
    Why is it a bad idea? And was that sarcastic about it being complicated? That may not be exactly the right word - complex, perhaps - but I have definitely seen a lot of people struggle to understand it.

    I really don't think, from what I'm reading so far, that you're properly addressing the issue of spellcasting. While you made some good decisions with them, most of the things that made spellcasters a game-breaking OP thing you either don't address or make slightly worse.
    I individually went through every spell and rewrote them, but that's hard to describe concisely. I am curious what you think the most OP parts of spellcasting are that I didn't address, though. What I suspect is that I actually did address them, but I haven't explained it properly yet. For now, I'll add more detail to my summary about my changes to spellcasting.

    I'm sorry to sound so harsh, maybe even a bit snippy, but I bust out my harshest criticisms in the hope of helping to iron out your game as much as possible. It's definitely a promising first try.
    Hey, no worries. You didn't sound very snippy to me, for what it's worth.


    Ellye: Thank you!

    Everyone:
    I really appreciate the feedback. I am very interested in seeing outside perspectives on the system. Even if I think that my way is right, I am interested in seeing how the system looks to people who haven't spend the last year enmeshed in it. And I have definitely changed aspects of the system before when it became apparent that the new way only made sense to me - so if I think someone has a good point or an idea I didn't think of, it may very well change the system!
    Last edited by Vadskye; 2013-06-29 at 02:47 PM.

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    Default Re: Rise RPG - A Complete 3.5 Rewrite

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadskye View Post
    My main design difference from pathfinder actually boils down to this: Pathfinder doesn't make sense. It runs on the "rule of cool": if something would be a good mechanical ability and is interesting in play, Pathfinder will use it - regardless of whether it makes any sense. I don't do that. Here's an example:

    Is this a fun ability to use as a barbarian? Absolutely. But it makes no sense whatsoever! You can't move double your speed as an immediate action and expect to retain any sense of world continuity. It is a video game power. Pathfinder is full of these.

    I'm sorry, but D&D has magic. You're looking for realism. Give up now.


    I'm not really sure what you're arguing, so I don't know how to respond. But saying "Pathfinder included a build which uses Charisma" has nothing to do with Charisma being a trivially easy dump stat for a large number of classes in both 3.5 and Pathfinder.

    You're aware, I hope, that a DM who has the first clue how to DM will challenge players' dump stats if they leave them open.

    I am aware of the potential for this issue; the mechanics were simplified for the short explanation to avoid making a very long list even longer. The way the multiclassing for casters actually works is that you can count a number of levels in noncasting classes equal to the number of levels you have in casting classes for the purpose of getting the bonus. So, for example, a fighter 18 / wizard 2 would count two levels of fighter for the benefit (since he has two levels of wizard) and would therefore cast as a wizard 3.

    Fair enough.

    I understand it's a long PDF, but if you're going to complain about a specific issue, I would appreciate it if you checked that it was actually what you think it is.

    I'm not going to trawl through an entire system just to check a rule that you should have explained properly in the first place.

    Taking light weapons down to half Strength is better because of the new Combat Finesse feat. Everyone can automatically use Dex to attack with light weapons (I should have put that in the list of changes, sorry), and Combat Finesse allows you to add half Dex value to damage with light weapons. I think that overall this makes Dex fighters feel more unique, and gives them a reward for their Dexterity.

    I can hit someone just as hard whether I'm using a longsword or a short sword. The fact that the longsword is inherently more damaging is represented by the damage die.

    Bastard swords and dwarven waraxes are admittely strange in the system. I'm still searching for a good way to address that (and I am open to ideas). However, I think the overall damage works better this way. Two-handed weapons have been the default in 3.5 for a long time, and while I am not intimately familiar with the Pathfinder build environment, I don't know of anything that changed. I want the "default" weapon style in this system to be sword and shield, which I believe is more historically accurate - and at the very least, it is a world continuity that I prefer. The changes that I make support that goal.

    Unless your fighter is there to lay down as much damage as possible or make many many AoOs, they'll use a sword and shield. Why? Because the best tanks aren't ones who have lots of hit points so much as the ones who never lose any.

    Yes, I altered some of the most powerful builds. However, AoO builds were also some of the most complicated and annoying builds. I want a fighter to be a powerful and interesting character "out of the box", rather than relying on convoluted feat chains and strange rules to be viable.

    Combat reflexes and a reach weapon is not convoluted, nor annoying, nor complicated, nor a feat chain.

    There's a line between "requiring skill to use" and "only being usable by really, really experienced players". I have seen countless new players shy away from spellcasting because it was too complicated and didn't make sense to them. With the spontaneous system, I have seen this attitude change significantly. Rise is still a very complicated game, and there is plenty of opportunity for skill, both in play and in build design.

    But prepared casting is easier for new players than spontaneous, because if you choose terrible spells then you can change them a few hours later. All you're doing is taking options away from people, you're not adding anything.

    I assume you are referring to cheesy ways that caster level could be increased? The new limitations on bonus stacking should deal with that. (Oh, I should put that in the list! I'll get on that.) 20th level casters will almost certainly have a DC varying from 30 to 35, depending on how focused they are in a particular area.

    That's... still pretty high, but I guess it works with the through-the-roof save.

    Spell damage was changed such that it should be highly unusual to reduce a creature to being bloodied with a single spell. Also, quicken was changed; the scaling on low-levels spells is too good for Quicken to work as originally written, and there were other issues with it as well.

    Fair play.

    SR type is assigned per spell, not per creature. Every spell with SR says "SR Yes (Will)" or something similar. The type of the SR is the same as the saving throw type the spell has (or would have if it had a save). Thus, a creature with SR and a good Will save is nigh-immune to mental effects - but if it has a low Fortitude, it can still be vulnerable to Fort spells.

    That makes some sense I guess. I assumed from the way it was written that each creature had save-based SR.

    Your criticisms are well taken. Even if I think that my way is right, I am interested in seeing how the system looks to people who haven't spend the last year enmeshed in it. And I have definitely changed aspects of the system before when it became apparent that the new way only made sense to me - so if I think someone has a good point, it may very well change the system! So thank you for the feedback.

    AuraTwilight, I'll edit my responses in to your comments after I finish writing them.
    The system is still... weird. It doesn't really help much, and just seems to be making things more complicated, AND taking options away for no real benefit.

  15. - Top - End - #15
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    Default Re: Rise RPG - A Complete 3.5 Rewrite

    Jormengand:
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    I'm sorry, but D&D has magic. You're looking for realism. Give up now.
    I'm not really looking for realism. I'm looking for intuitiveness. Realism is just a means to an end, because reality is intuitive. When I say that the ability makes no sense, I don't just mean that from a realism perspective. I mean that it is wildly unintuitive. Potential implications include:
    1. The barbarian can move a total of 6x his movement speed in a single round.
    2. If the barbarian is trying to get from point A to point B, he will really hope that there is an enemy withdrawing to that area so he can get there faster.
    3. If a barbarian needs to get from point A to point B, a caster could compel an enemy to withdraw to point B.
    4. What designates "enemy"? In the game, it is stated that you can freely designate allies and enemies. "If only my ally was my enemy", the barbarian could reasonably think. "Then I could get to point B with him immediately!"

    It's not about "unrealistic". It's just a dumb ability. I don't like dumb abilities. Pathfinder is absolutely full of them - therefore, I am looking for a solution that isn't Pathfinder. (Plus, it didn't really rebalance things very much like I am trying to do).

    You're aware, I hope, that a DM who has the first clue how to DM will challenge players' dump stats if they leave them open.
    Yes - but Charisma was uniquely difficult to challenge as a dump stat. See my explanation to AuraTwilight for a full explanation of my thoughts on Charisma.

    I can hit someone just as hard whether I'm using a longsword or a short sword. The fact that the longsword is inherently more damaging is represented by the damage die.
    A longer weapon acts as a force multiplier, increasing the power of the swing more for more powerful swings. Your strength should matter more when swinging full-sized weapons as opposed to when using a wee little dagger.

    Unless your fighter is there to lay down as much damage as possible or make many many AoOs, they'll use a sword and shield. Why? Because the best tanks aren't ones who have lots of hit points so much as the ones who never lose any.
    Have you seen sword and shields used much in remotely optimized 3.5 or Pathfinder play? I haven't. (If this is actually common and I just have never it, I'm curious to know!)

    Combat reflexes and a reach weapon is not convoluted, nor annoying, nor complicated, nor a feat chain.
    I would call it annoying and unintuitive.

    But prepared casting is easier for new players than spontaneous, because if you choose terrible spells then you can change them a few hours later. All you're doing is taking options away from people, you're not adding anything.
    Have you actually seen new players try to use prepared casting? Like, never played an RPG before new? Maybe your new players pick up faster than mine, but prepared casting was always intimidating for the ones I worked with as a DM. And the power difference between a player who knew how to choose spells and a player that didn't was massive.

    Yes, new players should be able to change terrible spells. The default rule in my system is that you can change one spell per level gained, and if a player is not having fun with the character, I absolutely advise a DM to be flexible. However, I would also note that I have made an active effort to avoid having "terrible spells", ever.

    That's... still pretty high, but I guess it works with the through-the-roof save.
    I'm pretty confident that the math on saving throws works out about like I want it. (So many spreadsheets...)

    The system is still... weird. It doesn't really help much, and just seems to be making things more complicated, AND taking options away for no real benefit.
    I am taking away the options which used to be the most overpowered. However, there is a vast plethora of new options. I really encourage you to take a look at the new classes. I mostly left them out of the summary because of the sheer number of changes. Options and fun stuff galore!


    Additionally, I updated the summary to take clarify some things which were unclear or not mentioned. The changes are reproduced here to make it easier:
    1. Invincibility is extremely difficult or impossible to get through spells.
      • Flight spells were increased in level and shortened in duration. No PC ability in the game gives flight for longer than about 5 rounds at a time, allowing noncasters to "wait out" the duration of the flight and still be alive to pummel the flying character.
      • Several huge defensive spells, such as mirror image and greater invisbility, were toned down in effectiveness and made less game-breaking.
    2. Nearly all spells were changed to some degree. A very brief summary:
      • Complicated effects were simplified (mirror image) or removed (no magic jar).
      • Spells which can shut down combats (web, solid fog) were nerfed, primarily by making them easier to escape.
      • Caster self-buffs were diminished in power to prevent them from overshadowing fighters (divine power)
      • Many spells changed level to make sure spells are balanced.
    3. Spell schools were rebalanced and refluffed slightly, increasing the power and versatility of neglected schools (Necromancy and Enchantment) and diminishing the necessity of other schools (Conjuration and Transmutation)
    4. The cleric and sor/wiz general list is smaller, but both classes can gain limited access to additional spells: each cleric domain gives two spells per level, and there is a "specialist list" of spells which is only accessible by sor/wiz class features on a limited basis.
      • This makes different casters feel more unique and limits the complexity involved in choosing spells known.
    Last edited by Vadskye; 2013-06-29 at 03:30 PM.

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    Default Re: Rise RPG - A Complete 3.5 Rewrite

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadskye View Post
    Jormengand:
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    I'm not really looking for realism. I'm looking for intuitiveness. Realism is just a means to an end, because reality is intuitive. When I say that the ability makes no sense, I don't just mean that from a realism perspective. I mean that it is wildly unintuitive. Potential implications include:
    1. The barbarian can move a total of 6x his movement speed in a single round.
    2. If the barbarian is trying to get from point A to point B, he will really hope that there is an enemy withdrawing to that area so he can get there faster.
    3. If a barbarian needs to get from point A to point B, a caster could compel an enemy to withdraw to point B.
    4. What designates "enemy"? In the game, it is stated that you can freely designate allies and enemies. "If only my ally was my enemy", the barbarian could reasonably think. "Then I could get to point B with him immediately!"

    It's not about "unrealistic". It's just a dumb ability. I don't like dumb abilities. Pathfinder is absolutely full of them - therefore, I am looking for a solution that isn't Pathfinder. (Plus, it didn't really rebalance things very much like I am trying to do).

    [COLOR="rgb(65, 105, 225)"]Several of these reasons are A) Abuses and B) The reason why D&D has a DM.[/COLOR]

    Yes - but Charisma was uniquely difficult to challenge as a dump stat. See my explanation to AuraTwilight for a full explanation of my thoughts on Charisma.

    Place individual PCs in situations where they have to talk to people.

    A longer weapon acts as a force multiplier, increasing the power of the swing more for more powerful swings. Your strength should matter more when swinging full-sized weapons as opposed to when using a wee little dagger.

    [COLOR="rgb(65, 105, 225)"]It should also matter more when you're using a short sword than a dagger.[/COLOR]

    Have you seen sword and shields used much in remotely optimized 3.5 or Pathfinder play? I haven't. (If this is actually common and I just have never it, I'm curious to know!)

    [COLOR="rgb(65, 105, 225)"]It's like, THE standard equipment of divine casters everywhere, for starters. And even fighters do actually use it a lot of the time - that bonus to AC can halve the chances of someone hitting you, and it's easier to have +2 armour and a +2 shield than +4 armour.[/COLOR]

    I would call it annoying and unintuitive.

    [COLOR="rgb(65, 105, 225)"]Then you would be wrong.[/COLOR]

    Have you actually seen new players try to use prepared casting?

    [COLOR="rgb(65, 105, 225)"]Yes. Those who play wizards and screw up early always do heaps better than those who play sorcerers and screw up early.[/COLOR]

    Like, never played an RPG before new?

    [COLOR="rgb(65, 105, 225)"]Most of them don't use any spellcasters on their first run. But those who do are usually swiftly advised to be wizards or clerics instead of sorcerors or oracles, and those who don't heed my advice are usually not happy bunnies by the end of their third level.[/COLOR]

    Maybe your new players pick up faster than mine, but prepared casting was always intimidating for the ones I worked with as a DM. And the power difference between a player who knew how to choose spells and a player that didn't was massive.

    [COLOR="rgb(65, 105, 225)"]The power difference is even greater with sorcerers, because they're stuck with those spells.

    And if new players don't want to play them, fine. But give people the OPTION. Like I said before, you're taking away options, making it harder to play and giving no tangible benefits.[/COLOR]

    Yes, new players should be able to change terrible spells. The default rule in my system is that you can change one spell per level gained, and if a player is not having fun with the character, I absolutely advise a DM to be flexible. However, I would also note that I have made an active effort to avoid having "terrible spells", ever.

    [COLOR="rgb(65, 105, 225)"]That's cool and all, but what I said still stands.[/COLOR]

    I'm pretty confident that the math on saving throws works out about like I want it. (So many spreadsheets...)

    [COLOR="rgb(65, 105, 225)"]To your eternal cosmic credit, it probably does.[/COLOR]

    I am taking away the options which used to be the most overpowered.

    [COLOR="rgb(65, 105, 225)"]AoO fighters are not nearly as good as the Dungeoncrasher or the Ubercharger. They are not overpowered in the slightest.[/COLOR]

    However, there is a vast plethora of new options. I really encourage you to take a look at the new classes. I mostly left them out of the summary because of the sheer number of changes. Options and fun stuff galore!

    [COLOR="rgb(65, 105, 225)"]I might, I guess.[/COLOR]
    Again, you're taking away options, making the system more complicated, and I'm getting very little out of it as a player.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Rise RPG - A Complete 3.5 Rewrite

    Yes, there existed individual builds that cared very much about Charisma. That doesn't mean that the stat was in a healthy place. Calling it "useless" isn't really what I mean, and I should clarify that. What I mean is that Charisma was a trivially easy dump stat for many classes. Any class that didn't care about it as part of their class features or build concept could leave it as an 8 and expect to suffer essentially no repurcussions.

    If you do that with other stats, there were significant effects, even if only from a RP perspective (which I think is important). However, because Charisma was so poorly defined/understood and everyone saw it differently, I have met very few players who actually incorporated an 8 Charisma into the way they played their character. In contrast, an 8 Int or an 8 Wisdom has obvious implications, and I have seen players use that very well to create interesting and fun characters.

    Making Charisma explicitly tied to Will solves the problem from both a mechanics perspective and a roleplaying perspective. It clarifies that Charisma is the stat about strength of personality. 8 Charisma characters aren't necessarily more or less gruff than anyone else. But they are "weak-minded" and malleable. (This is also why Dwarves no longer dump Charisma. Their personalities are as strong as anyone's!)
    That's fair enough, thanks for explaining yourself.

    FYI, I always felt Charisma worked better for Will Saves regardless.

    How so? I'm not sure what you mean.
    As in, what do you do about the dipping phenomenon? I can totally make a build that can accomplish every class's role if I wanted to, even if I'm not as effective as a specialist, but this was already true in 3.5 (unless you're a wizard).

    There are about fifteen different subtle changes in the system that diminish casters' ability to render other classes irrelevant, so it's hard to explain concisely why exactly that is true. But... I'm pretty sure it is. The short version is that noncasters have more abilities that spells can't replicate, and casters have a harder time replicating even the abilities that spells do cover.
    How? Like, show me what you changed about some of the more infamous spells. What have you done about Polymorph, for instance?

    Fighter only increases your spellcasting education if you have spellcaster levels. I think this makes sense fluff-wise in that, once you start seeing the world from a magical perspective, you naturally gain more experience in the essence of magic over time, regardless of what you train in. Of course, there are limits to what you can accomplish without actually training.

    As far as losing caster levels goes - the reason you used to never, ever lose caster levels was that casters had geometric power growth and noncasters had linear power growth. This is much less true than it used to be. I think Fighter X / Wizard X is a viable build now.
    You're missing the point. What's keeping me from dipping in Wizard and letting my spells scale when I keep taking Fighter levels? Power level isn't the issue, it's the existence of options that makes wizards so geometric. If my wizard can cast a Fly spell, why does the Fighter need to put skill points in Climb, for instance?

    Attacks of opportunity, I guess? I don't think there needs to be a "non-full attack" that you often do in combat. You get more BAB, you get more attacks. Simple as that.
    Then why even call it a full attack? Just call it attacking. :P

    Fights take too long in real time, not game time. Yes, fights did take way too long - I completely agree, and I am trying to change that. However, they also were often over very quickly - even unrealistically so - in "game time". The key is that each player's turn could take a very long time to resolve, particularly if the player had any difficulty in deciding their action. My goal is that a variety of simplifications and changes will make each player's individual turn take less time to resolve, while making fights last for additional rounds because that is healthier from a mechanics and balance perspective.
    Game time is practically meaningless; most games invoke cinematic time flow anyway. You can only make turns take less time to resolve if you give people less things to do, which no one wants, and you can only make combat lasting longer a good thing if you make it more fun, and that's a challenge I don't think you're capable of meeting.

    Up to your Con score. That part is extremely similar to the original rule about dying at -10, so I didn't think to include it.
    So then negative HP DOES exist. Why go with the more confusing language, then?

    Why is it a bad idea? And was that sarcastic about it being complicated? That may not be exactly the right word - complex, perhaps - but I have definitely seen a lot of people struggle to understand it.
    People struggle to understand it because it's totally lateral from how most people grew up on gaming where spellcasting uses some sort of MP or mana meter; it's not inherently more complex or complicated or difficult to learn, just out of the norm. Spontaneous spellcasting also seriously hurts the flavor of some classes, weakens the distinction between most types of casters even with the features you gave them, and neglects the fact that Spontaneous casters are pretty much totally hosed compared to their prepared counterparts.

    Making everyone a Spontaneous caster could work but it requires making more changes than you've presented thus far.

    I individually went through every spell and rewrote them, but that's hard to describe concisely. I am curious what you think the most OP parts of spellcasting are that I didn't address, though. What I suspect is that I actually did address them, but I haven't explained it properly yet. For now, I'll add more detail to my summary about my changes to spellcasting.
    Like I said, show me what you think are your best examples of how you fixed the most broken spells, in your opinion. I've brought up Polymorph as an example.

    I'm sorry, but D&D has magic. You're looking for realism. Give up now.
    Hey! No! Magic realism is a thing, and fantasy systems can have internal consistency. That was a rude, and unconstructive response to a completely legitimate criticism. If someone says they don't feel like a system allows them to suspend their disbelief and buy into the world they're pretending to be a part of, you don't tell them they came to the game with wrong expectations.

    The system is still... weird. It doesn't really help much, and just seems to be making things more complicated, AND taking options away for no real benefit.
    Agreed.

    Have you actually seen new players try to use prepared casting? Like, never played an RPG before new? Maybe your new players pick up faster than mine, but prepared casting was always intimidating for the ones I worked with as a DM. And the power difference between a player who knew how to choose spells and a player that didn't was massive.
    Okay, but people can be faster learners than you give them credit for, and prepared casting is more lenient. A prepared caster can afford to experiment and see what works and what doesn't and a Spontaneous caster is totally screwed and has to wait ten or so sessions for their next level so they can swap out this crappy Halt Undead spell they're never using.

    And that's only one spell. Over their entire career, you're basically letting them change 20~ spells EVER.

    I am taking away the options which used to be the most overpowered. However, there is a vast plethora of new options. I really encourage you to take a look at the new classes. I mostly left them out of the summary because of the sheer number of changes. Options and fun stuff galore!
    This is empirically untrue. The fighter still can't handle problems that can't be solved with a sword, and your proposed solution is to tell him to multiclass. HOW INNOVATIVE AND NEW AND FUN.

    Flight spells were increased in level and shortened in duration. No PC ability in the game gives flight for longer than about 5 rounds at a time, allowing noncasters to "wait out" the duration of the flight and still be alive to pummel the flying character.
    Oh, cool, so basically I can never play anything with wings under your system whatsoever, such as the extremely underpowered and almost-useless Favored Soul that only had the one thing going for it! You're totally adding new and fun options and not just deleting things you dislike at all! I'm so excited to play this system!

    Nearly all spells were changed to some degree. A very brief summary:

    Complicated effects were simplified (mirror image) or removed (no magic jar).
    Spells which can shut down combats (web, solid fog) were nerfed, primarily by making them easier to escape.
    Caster self-buffs were diminished in power to prevent them from overshadowing fighters (divine power)
    Many spells changed level to make sure spells are balanced.
    No Magic Jar? Well thanks for removing one of the oldest fantasy literature tropes ever and limiting the stories I can tell in my games.

    The cleric and sor/wiz general list is smaller, but both classes can gain limited access to additional spells: each cleric domain gives two spells per level, and there is a "specialist list" of spells which is only accessible by sor/wiz class features on a limited basis.

    This makes different casters feel more unique and limits the complexity involved in choosing spells known.
    Well, no, it INCREASES the complexity involved in choosing spells known, because now all your decisions matter much more. Uniqueness necessarily includes complexity, and you've just made everyone playing a caster need to deliberate even longer on whether or not taking this or that spell is worth it.

    And if they regret their choices, they can only change one of them at level-up. New players aren't going to be having fun being a spellcaster in your game. You're saying one thing and doing another.

    Yes - but Charisma was uniquely difficult to challenge as a dump stat. See my explanation to AuraTwilight for a full explanation of my thoughts on Charisma.
    You realize there's social situations in D&D, not just combat, right?

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    Default Re: Rise RPG - A Complete 3.5 Rewrite

    I'm just chiming in with something that I find hilarious about this.

    Ablative Stronghold, literally the second spell to get a full description, does not discriminate between allies and enemies.

    In other words...

    "Yeah, I'll cast this spell... Therefor nerfing my damage output! Huzzah!"

    Color me... unimpressed.
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    I'm back to playing videogames for the internet! Current games: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (GBC) and Alundra.

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    Default Re: Rise RPG - A Complete 3.5 Rewrite

    Jormengand:
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    Several of these reasons are A) Abuses and B) The reason why D&D has a DM.
    Only #4 strikes me as obviously metagame-y and abusive. #3 is just a weird quirk of the rules that is 100% logical in a universe where a barbarian can follow withdrawing enemies. Do you understand my objection to the ability, at least?

    Place individual PCs in situations where they have to talk to people.
    But Charisma, as originally conceived, had ambiguous or non-existent effects on a character's personality. As I DM, I could go to the trouble of setting that up, the player would say whatever his character would say, and I would just say that the NPCs didn't care what he said because his Charisma was bad. That's not "challenging weak points". That setting someone up for failure, regardless of the action they take, and then penalizing them for failing.

    It should also matter more when you're using a short sword than a dagger.
    Maybe - but you have to draw the line somewhere. This isn't a reality simulator; it's a game built around intuition and not splitting hairs unnecessarily. Short swords are closer to daggers than longswords, so I call them light weapons, as they were originally.

    It's like, THE standard equipment of divine casters everywhere, for starters. And even fighters do actually use it a lot of the time - that bonus to AC can halve the chances of someone hitting you, and it's easier to have +2 armour and a +2 shield than +4 armour.
    Divine casters love shields, yes. (Though I suspect most DMs forget you can't cast with a hand holding a heavy shield.) But they aren't fighters. And I understand that shields can have advantages, but the general consensus I have seen is that shields generally aren't worth it for dedicated fighters.

    Yes. Those who play wizards and screw up early always do heaps better than those who play sorcerers and screw up early. Most of them don't use any spellcasters on their first run. But those who do are usually swiftly advised to be wizards or clerics instead of sorcerors or oracles, and those who don't heed my advice are usually not happy bunnies by the end of their third level.
    3.5 sorcerers couldn't trade spells until 4th level. Mine can trade at 2nd and 3rd as well. When you only have about three spells known, that's a big difference. And yes, new players who could use wizards were better, because prepared casting was both more complicated and more powerful, thanks to the totally unnecessary spell level bump that wizards got over sorcerers. That doesn't mean prepared casting is desirable in a game.

    The power difference is even greater with sorcerers, because they're stuck with those spells.
    Spontaneous casters in this system can fairly readily trade out spells known. One per level is more than I have seen players in my games need.

    And if new players don't want to play them, fine. But give people the OPTION. Like I said before, you're taking away options, making it harder to play and giving no tangible benefits.
    The benefit is that casters can no longer do everything. They can do some things, depending on what they choose to focus on. This is much healthier for the game world, for interparty balance, and for the DM's ability to make encounters and adventures challenging for everyone.


    Auralight:
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    Quote Originally Posted by AuraTwilight View Post
    As in, what do you do about the dipping phenomenon? I can totally make a build that can accomplish every class's role if I wanted to, even if I'm not as effective as a specialist, but this was already true in 3.5 (unless you're a wizard).
    Sure, you can dip, and you can try to fulfill the roles of a variety of classes. But every class has unique abilities at mid to high levels that really help them fulfill their fluff identity. Dipping will always be an option, and it will increase flexibility, but dipping a class in no way allows you to replicate that class's core abilities.

    How? Like, show me what you changed about some of the more infamous spells. What have you done about Polymorph, for instance?
    Sure. Let's see...
    • Polymorph, unfortunately, is just gone. At some point I may
      implement a new version, but I couldn't find any implementation that didn't create more
      problems than it solved.
    • Many spells, such as color spray, glitterdust, and sleep used to instantly win fights (or nearly so). Now they give penalties to healthy foes, and only have full effect on bloodied foes. This means that they can shorten combats and make them easier, but not end them outright. (Unless the enemy fails thee save by 10, in which case they are either sufficiently low-level that this isn't a problem or they were very unlucky. Luck will always be a factor.)
    • Many spells, such as entangle, solid fog, and web used to instantly stop movement, which could end fights in the right situation. This was solved by making escaping easier, such as by allowing a grapple attack to escape or by allowing a Strength check to move farther.
    • Invincibility spells were nerfed. Flight never lasts longer than 5 rounds in combat. Greater invisibility still makes you stop being invisible when you attack, but you become invisible again at the start of each of your turns. In other words, you can't full attack or nuke your foes while invisible, but it's still a great defensive and escape spell.
    • Haste, one of the most powerful buffs in the game, is made even more powerful by the standard action full attack. Thus, it was made single target. I'll add mass haste when I decide what spell level it belongs at.
    • Black tentacles was made 5th level, decreased in size, taken off the general list, and steamlined (you roll once vs. everyone in the area, not individually per creature).
    • Most high level "screw you" spells were diminished in power. For example, forcecage and maze allow saves to negate.

    Does that help explain what I am doing? If you are interested in a specific spell, you can ask, or just look it up.

    You're missing the point. What's keeping me from dipping in Wizard and letting my spells scale when I keep taking Fighter levels? Power level isn't the issue, it's the existence of options that makes wizards so geometric. If my wizard can cast a Fly spell, why does the Fighter need to put skill points in Climb, for instance?
    If you just take a couple levels of wizard, you don't scale indefinitely as a fighter. See my response to Jormengand. As far as options go, the spontaneous system helps significantly constrain caster options. As far as fly goes, all flight was hit with a nerf bat precisely because it renders obsolete nearly every physical skill and activity.

    Then why even call it a full attack? Just call it attacking. :P
    Heh. To keep players from thinking "attack of opportunity" = iterative attacks.

    Game time is practically meaningless; most games invoke cinematic time flow anyway. You can only make turns take less time to resolve if you give people less things to do, which no one wants, and you can only make combat lasting longer a good thing if you make it more fun, and that's a challenge I don't think you're capable of meeting.
    The literal duration of time isn't the point - it is the number of actions a player gets in a combat. If I only expect to get two chances to act in a major combat, I'm going to take a lot of time to decide my actions, and I'm going to unleash the biggest guns possible. If I know I'll have around five chances to act, I don't have to be as hyperfocused on making the optimal use of that time, and I can be more tactical. Some players will always focus on optimizing everything, but that's just a play style. It doesn't need to be mechanically encouraged.

    So then negative HP DOES exist. Why go with the more confusing language, then?
    Fluff and internal consistency: critical damage is much harder to heal than mere hit points. Additionally, it makes it intuitively a little more clear why the excess damage from the attack that brought you to 0 doesn't "carry over" into critical damage.

    People struggle to understand it because it's totally lateral from how most people grew up on gaming where spellcasting uses some sort of MP or mana meter; it's not inherently more complex or complicated or difficult to learn, just out of the norm. Spontaneous spellcasting also seriously hurts the flavor of some classes, weakens the distinction between most types of casters even with the features you gave them, and neglects the fact that Spontaneous casters are pretty much totally hosed compared to their prepared counterparts.

    Making everyone a Spontaneous caster could work but it requires making more changes than you've presented thus far.
    What changes do you think would be required? And spontaneous casters being hosed relative to their prepared counterparts doesn't matter if everyone is spontaneous . Yes, it diminishes the theoretical power of casters. But... that's okay. Casters were monsters in both 3.5 and Pathfinder.

    Okay, but people can be faster learners than you give them credit for, and prepared casting is more lenient. A prepared caster can afford to experiment and see what works and what doesn't and a Spontaneous caster is totally screwed and has to wait ten or so sessions for their next level so they can swap out this crappy Halt Undead spell they're never using.

    And that's only one spell. Over their entire career, you're basically letting them change 20~ spells EVER.
    I would say that my playtesting has generally happened with an accelerated leveling speed in order to cover a broad range of levels. As a result, I haven't seen players feel "stuck" with bad spells. If there are generally 10 sessions between levels (that sounds like a LOT to me), then it would be completely appropriate to allow spell retraining between levels. That doesn't mean it should be a free daily swap, though. If a player changes spells, it should be because he thinks the new spell is more appropriate to his character than the old spell, not because he expects it to be convenient for the challenges he needs to overcome in the near future.

    This is empirically untrue. The fighter still can't handle problems that can't be solved with a sword, and your proposed solution is to tell him to multiclass. HOW INNOVATIVE AND NEW AND FUN.
    I've been puzzling over this problem for quite a while, and I just recently came up with a solution. Basically, I'm going to build a system, most ikely based on the idea of "backgrounds", that allows characters access to "class skills" that aren't strictly tied to their particular class. This would allow, for example, a charismatic and social character with only Fighter levels, without making social skills Fighter class skills, which doesn't make sense to me. Does that sound reasonable?

    Oh, cool, so basically I can never play anything with wings under your system whatsoever, such as the extremely underpowered and almost-useless Favored Soul that only had the one thing going for it! You're totally adding new and fun options and not just deleting things you dislike at all! I'm so excited to play this system!
    The solution here is to give the Favored Soul good class features, not to hinge the class on a 17th level ability that most campaigns will never reach. I haven't rewritten noncore classes yet (and there are potential legal issues in doing so: the Favored Soul isn't SRD), but if/when I do, the Favored Soul will have much more than mere wings to its name.

    Also, didn't you mention how flight rendered fighter abilities irrelevant just a few paragraphs ago?

    No Magic Jar? Well thanks for removing one of the oldest fantasy literature tropes ever and limiting the stories I can tell in my games.
    Oldeest fantasy tropes ever? I honestly had never heard of this kind of "magic jar" before D&D. If I find that people actually care about it, I can definitely rewrite it and put it back in. But the original mechanic was really complicated and confusing.

    Well, no, it INCREASES the complexity involved in choosing spells known, because now all your decisions matter much more. Uniqueness necessarily includes complexity, and you've just made everyone playing a caster need to deliberate even longer on whether or not taking this or that spell is worth it.

    And if they regret their choices, they can only change one of them at level-up. New players aren't going to be having fun being a spellcaster in your game. You're saying one thing and doing another.
    Choices matter. I think that's okay. Yes, the DM should be retrain-friendly, particularly for new players to the system. But this has never been an issue in any of the games I've run with Rise. Again, this may be due to the fairly rapid levelup pace, so a player never got stuck with a spell they didn't like for more than a session or two.

    Actually, I can write up a ritual now that would allow a caster to exchange a spell known. Would that solve the problem in your mind? It would have some limitations (the caster wouldn't get the spell available until the next day, probably no more than one trade per 24 hours, and as a ritual it would imply spending resources for that purpose), but it would provide an in-universe way to deal with this problem.

    You realize there's social situations in D&D, not just combat, right?
    Absolutely. Much of my analysis of the change to Charisma was based on the roleplaying aspects, remember?


    Amechra:
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    I'm just chiming in with something that I find hilarious about this.

    Ablative Stronghold, literally the second spell to get a full description, does not discriminate between allies and enemies.

    In other words...

    "Yeah, I'll cast this spell... Therefor nerfing my damage output! Huzzah!"

    Color me... unimpressed.
    Heh. Oops - I forgot that I put the "allies" wording in the fluff text, not the full description. Fixed that now. (Also, what is the color of unimpressed? I imagine it is a sort of beige.)

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Rise RPG - A Complete 3.5 Rewrite

    Sure, you can dip, and you can try to fulfill the roles of a variety of classes. But every class has unique abilities at mid to high levels that really help them fulfill their fluff identity. Dipping will always be an option, and it will increase flexibility, but dipping a class in no way allows you to replicate that class's core abilities.
    Wow, just like in 3.5! You haven't done anything significantly different.

    Polymorph, unfortunately, is just gone. At some point I may
    implement a new version, but I couldn't find any implementation that didn't create more problems than it solved.
    Tch.

    Haste, one of the most powerful buffs in the game, is made even more powerful by the standard action full attack. Thus, it was made single target. I'll add mass haste when I decide what spell level it belongs at.
    And here we run into a problem. Your standard action full attack caused new problems without really fixing anything, and unnecessarily increased your workload.

    If you just take a couple levels of wizard, you don't scale indefinitely as a fighter. See my response to Jormengand. As far as options go, the spontaneous system helps significantly constrain caster options. As far as fly goes, all flight was hit with a nerf bat precisely because it renders obsolete nearly every physical skill and activity.
    It doesn't take much more than 5 minutes to go up a cliff face, bro.

    The literal duration of time isn't the point - it is the number of actions a player gets in a combat. If I only expect to get two chances to act in a major combat, I'm going to take a lot of time to decide my actions, and I'm going to unleash the biggest guns possible. If I know I'll have around five chances to act, I don't have to be as hyperfocused on making the optimal use of that time, and I can be more tactical. Some players will always focus on optimizing everything, but that's just a play style. It doesn't need to be mechanically encouraged.
    This entire paragraph ignores that the typical adventuring day can have five fights or more. You're really just kind of encouraging the 15-minute work day.

    What changes do you think would be required? And spontaneous casters being hosed relative to their prepared counterparts doesn't matter if everyone is spontaneous . Yes, it diminishes the theoretical power of casters. But... that's okay. Casters were monsters in both 3.5 and Pathfinder.
    What I'm saying is you're basically throwing the baby out with the bathwater. All your changes do is make the newbie casters at your table very unhappy, and consider if maybe they should get murdered so they can reroll their characters.

    I would say that my playtesting has generally happened with an accelerated leveling speed in order to cover a broad range of levels. As a result, I haven't seen players feel "stuck" with bad spells. If there are generally 10 sessions between levels (that sounds like a LOT to me), then it would be completely appropriate to allow spell retraining between levels. That doesn't mean it should be a free daily swap, though. If a player changes spells, it should be because he thinks the new spell is more appropriate to his character than the old spell, not because he expects it to be convenient for the challenges he needs to overcome in the near future.
    ...I'm sorry, this is a fallacy. I don't even know how to respond to this other than it's basically "Well it works for my group and if your group changes spells for a different reason they're doing it wrong bluh bluh."

    I've been puzzling over this problem for quite a while, and I just recently came up with a solution. Basically, I'm going to build a system, most ikely based on the idea of "backgrounds", that allows characters access to "class skills" that aren't strictly tied to their particular class. This would allow, for example, a charismatic and social character with only Fighter levels, without making social skills Fighter class skills, which doesn't make sense to me. Does that sound reasonable?
    Personally, I just get rid of "class skills" as a concept and let people put as many ranks as they want in any skill they like. It's just an artifact of 2E anyway.

    The solution here is to give the Favored Soul good class features, not to hinge the class on a 17th level ability that most campaigns will never reach. I haven't rewritten noncore classes yet (and there are potential legal issues in doing so: the Favored Soul isn't SRD), but if/when I do, the Favored Soul will have much more than mere wings to its name.

    Also, didn't you mention how flight rendered fighter abilities irrelevant just a few paragraphs ago?
    I agree the Favored Soul needs good stuff. The point I was making is the changes you make seem to be causing more unintended side effects than you realize.

    And no, I said the Fly spell rendered the Climb spell irrelevant, as a demonstration of why spells need careful consideration. A wizard can cast Fly on everyone on the party but someone with Wings can't necessarily carry up the barbarian 3 times their weight.

    Oldeest fantasy tropes ever? I honestly had never heard of this kind of "magic jar" before D&D. If I find that people actually care about it, I can definitely rewrite it and put it back in. But the original mechanic was really complicated and confusing.
    You seriously can't tell me you've ever encountered the idea of someone's spirit possessing someone through a magical artifact before?

    For goodness' sake, man, the Magic Jar spell was literally a watered down version of the One Ring from LOTR by Gygax's own admission back in the early 80's.

    Choices matter. I think that's okay. Yes, the DM should be retrain-friendly, particularly for new players to the system. But this has never been an issue in any of the games I've run with Rise. Again, this may be due to the fairly rapid levelup pace, so a player never got stuck with a spell they didn't like for more than a session or two.
    Yea, thing is, not every game is going to have your rapid levelup pace. What if I run games where the party only levels up at plot junctions? What if we play a game that doesn't run the whole 1-20 level range?

    You can't just design a system that works around your favorite playstyle; you'll need to run experiments using different variables, styles, and play preferences to really iron out your system.

    Actually, I can write up a ritual now that would allow a caster to exchange a spell known. Would that solve the problem in your mind? It would have some limitations (the caster wouldn't get the spell available until the next day, probably no more than one trade per 24 hours, and as a ritual it would imply spending resources for that purpose), but it would provide an in-universe way to deal with this problem.
    That's actually a pretty good solution, if it's something that every player gets to know in the same way that basically every arcane caster ever knows Read Magic. At the very least it's a good bandaid. I'd still rather you just allowed prepared casting though because there is literally no reason not to have it except for you kind of condescendingly nannying newbies. Even if no one uses it, it should be THERE. Just like Urban Arcana gives us Spell Points; it's nice to have it even if it's not the system anyone would use.

    Absolutely. Much of my analysis of the change to Charisma was based on the roleplaying aspects, remember?
    Then don't say a random Fighter can get away with totally dumping Charisma, because that's only true if you, as a DM, let it be so.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Rise RPG - A Complete 3.5 Rewrite

    How well does the system with your changes play? Because looking through your rules, I keep saying "That doesn't seem like it would work. How well does it?" and am not sure that it's seen any actual use.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadskye View Post
    Ability modifier caps at 10. Ability values do not cap.
    • This is justifiable from a fluff standpoint. My basic argument is that there is a limit to how much ability a mortal frame can actually support. Even magic can't completely overcome the limitations of the body.
    There were a lot of things that made me question your reasoning behind making changes, but this one really took the cake for me. You are talking about characters who can spit fireballs and fall off skyscrapers without injury, but claim it "justifiable" that they are limited to Olypmic-level feats of strength?

    If the Ability Modifiers are capped due to concerns about game balance, then state that the caps are there because higher scores cause problems with game balance. It helps people identify what reason they are there. I would recommend against stating some unrelated excuse for doing so, especially the infamous "justified by the fluff" one.
    Thank you to zimmerwald1915 for the Gustave avatar.
    The full set is here.
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  22. - Top - End - #22
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    Default Re: Rise RPG - A Complete 3.5 Rewrite

    AuraTwilight:
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    Quote Originally Posted by AuraTwilight View Post
    It doesn't take much more than 5 minutes to go up a cliff face, bro.
    I have no idea what this means. Is this about the duration of fly?

    This entire paragraph ignores that the typical adventuring day can have five fights or more. You're really just kind of encouraging the 15-minute work day.
    How is anything I am doing encouraging the 15-minute work day? One major reason I changed spell scaling was to ensure that lower-level spells remained relevant for longer. This means that casters can use them in combat effectively, giving them a dramatically improved ability to deal with long adventuring days. When combined with the at-will spell invocations, casters can remain relevant and interesting to play all day long. That's a huge blow against the 15-minute day.

    What I'm saying is you're basically throwing the baby out with the bathwater. All your changes do is make the newbie casters at your table very unhappy, and consider if maybe they should get murdered so they can reroll their characters.
    I have run two year-long campaigns with Rise's all-spontaneous system and a number of shorter games. At no point has a player experienced what you are describing. I really think you are more negative about spontaneous casting than necessary.

    ...I'm sorry, this is a fallacy. I don't even know how to respond to this other than it's basically "Well it works for my group and if your group changes spells for a different reason they're doing it wrong bluh bluh."
    In 3.5 or Pathfinder, it was perfectly normal to change spells all the time, and I have nothing against that. When I played wizards, I changed a ton of spells daily. I'm saying that in the world of Rise, casters should expect to have roughly the same abilities each day - just like every other class in the game.

    Personally, I just get rid of "class skills" as a concept and let people put as many ranks as they want in any skill they like. It's just an artifact of 2E anyway.
    The skill affinities are a core part of what give the classes their identities. Where would a rogue be without its rogue skills? With that said, I encourage you to investigate the new backgrounds that I just added.

    I agree the Favored Soul needs good stuff. The point I was making is the changes you make seem to be causing more unintended side effects than you realize.
    I realize that my changes render the Favored soul (even more) irrelevant. That's okay, because it's not part of the system. It's part of D&D 3.5. I legally can't even use the Favored Soul in Rise.

    You seriously can't tell me you've ever encountered the idea of someone's spirit possessing someone through a magical artifact before?

    For goodness' sake, man, the Magic Jar spell was literally a watered down version of the One Ring from LOTR by Gygax's own admission back in the early 80's.
    Oh! I honestly had no idea that this was the intention behind magic jar. That's helpful - when I rewrite the spell, I know what to aim for. Thanks.

    Yea, thing is, not every game is going to have your rapid levelup pace. What if I run games where the party only levels up at plot junctions? What if we play a game that doesn't run the whole 1-20 level range?

    You can't just design a system that works around your favorite playstyle; you'll need to run experiments using different variables, styles, and play preferences to really iron out your system.
    I fully intend the system to work with a wide variety of playstyles. That's a big part of why I am looking for feedback here; no matter how much playtesting I do, there will always be things I didn't think of.

    That's actually a pretty good solution, if it's something that every player gets to know in the same way that basically every arcane caster ever knows Read Magic.
    I think it would be learned in the same way as other rituals - accessible, but not automatic.

    Then don't say a random Fighter can get away with totally dumping Charisma, because that's only true if you, as a DM, let it be so.
    I think that these changes are the most effective way of preventing fighters from dumping charisma.


    Erikun (hi there!):
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    Quote Originally Posted by erikun View Post
    How well does the system with your changes play? Because looking through your rules, I keep saying "That doesn't seem like it would work. How well does it?" and am not sure that it's seen any actual use.
    I've run two year-long campaigns with Rise. As a result, I am very confident in the most fundamental elements, such as the bloodied system, overwhelm penalties, and the standard action full attack. With that said, not every class was played during that time, and there will definitely be things that work better on paper than they do in practice. In general, the more obscure the element of the system is, the less likely it has been personally tested and verified. This is a big part of why I am presenting this here: I need more eyes. But the core elements of the system - the things that have been most prominently been discussed in this thread - have been tested.

    There were a lot of things that made me question your reasoning behind making changes, but this one really took the cake for me. You are talking about characters who can spit fireballs and fall off skyscrapers without injury, but claim it "justifiable" that they are limited to Olypmic-level feats of strength?

    If the Ability Modifiers are capped due to concerns about game balance, then state that the caps are there because higher scores cause problems with game balance. It helps people identify what reason they are there. I would recommend against stating some unrelated excuse for doing so, especially the infamous "justified by the fluff" one.
    That's fair. It is completely a game balance consideration, and I explained the reasoning for that somewhere in the massive walls of text earlier in the thread. I'll update the explanation to clarify that.

    EDIT: Wait, I did explain the balance reasoning. There is just also a fluff justification because I think it can be justified - as opposed to being a solely mechanical consideration, which I dislike.


    The PDF has just been updated with new "backgrounds" which allow access to additional class skills. In addition, the class skill lists have been pruned to take away skills which are better represented through backgrounds, such as Profession.
    Last edited by Vadskye; 2013-06-30 at 12:31 AM.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Rise RPG - A Complete 3.5 Rewrite

    I have no idea what this means. Is this about the duration of fly?
    Pretty much. It effectively doesn't mean anything because pretty much no spells need to be in effect for five minutes anyway.

    How is anything I am doing encouraging the 15-minute work day? One major reason I changed spell scaling was to ensure that lower-level spells remained relevant for longer. This means that casters can use them in combat effectively, giving them a dramatically improved ability to deal with long adventuring days. When combined with the at-will spell invocations, casters can remain relevant and interesting to play all day long. That's a huge blow against the 15-minute day.
    If combat lasts longer, I'm using resources faster, and if the system is geared to help me make good choices faster and simpler so that I "unleash the biggest guns possible", I'm gonna use all my best stuff first and effectively Nova. It doesn't matter if I have a bunch of low-level spells, that stuff could end up being totally useless later, or I might just decide "Screw it, I'm out of damage spells, let's just stop regardless."

    I have run two year-long campaigns with Rise's all-spontaneous system and a number of shorter games. At no point has a player experienced what you are describing. I really think you are more negative about spontaneous casting than necessary.
    How many players of your game have been completely and utterly new to RPG's entirely? I'm guessing not a whole lot, just because of statistics. I don't care what your group's evaluation is, because I can't collaborate or confirm it and I have no idea if there's any sort of bias or if you subconsciously effected the data pool, here. "My friends and I all think it's great!" is meaningless praise.

    In 3.5 or Pathfinder, it was perfectly normal to change spells all the time, and I have nothing against that. When I played wizards, I changed a ton of spells daily. I'm saying that in the world of Rise, casters should expect to have roughly the same abilities each day - just like every other class in the game.
    Fair enough, except other classes don't have nearly enough versatility as a spellcaster does. A fighter can only screw themselves through their bonus feats, for instance. A Rogue pretty much only through their special abilities, maybe.

    It doesn't matter if your classes all have the same abilities each day, not all abilities are equal.

    The skill affinities are a core part of what give the classes their identities. Where would a rogue be without its rogue skills? With that said, I encourage you to investigate the new backgrounds that I just added.
    The rogue can take the iconic rogue skills if you want, it's not like opening the gates to more options makes those identities go away. Also, it still sucks that Spot and Listen aren't class skills for the Fighter in 3.5 :P "Class skills" and "Not-class Skills" as a hard mechanics that punishes going outside of the stereotype is stupid and damages storytelling. The class skills list should be at most a 'recommended' list or package instead of a hard, mechanically rewarded superior option.

    I realize that my changes render the Favored soul (even more) irrelevant. That's okay, because it's not part of the system. It's part of D&D 3.5. I legally can't even use the Favored Soul in Rise.
    Unless you're planning to sell your 3.5 rewrite and use the 3.5 Favored Soul literally exactly as originally written, yes you can. You can't copyright game mechanics.

    I think that these changes are the most effective way of preventing fighters from dumping charisma.
    Which brings me to my next question; why do we NEED to prevent dump stats? Anyone can tell you that characters that require every stat in order to be effective end up not being effective at all, like the Paladin.

    And also, characters in stories have flaws. Some people just aren't good people persons but are good at their tasks, and need to be warmed up to. Some people are dumb as rocks, others intelligent but spacey and living in their old work. There are strong but slow, fast but weak, and sickly but competent waifs. These are all represented by what we would call dump stats. Weaknesses are GOOD! Everyone in a party has different strengths and complements each other so that they're stronger than the sum of their parts. That's how the game's SUPPOSED to work (when spellcasters aren't ramped up to godhood coughcough).

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Rise RPG - A Complete 3.5 Rewrite

    Auratwilight:
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    Quote Originally Posted by AuraTwilight View Post
    If combat lasts longer, I'm using resources faster, and if the system is geared to help me make good choices faster and simpler so that I "unleash the biggest guns possible", I'm gonna use all my best stuff first and effectively Nova. It doesn't matter if I have a bunch of low-level spells, that stuff could end up being totally useless later, or I might just decide "Screw it, I'm out of damage spells, let's just stop regardless."
    The goal isn't to unleash the biggest guns possible; it's to limit the desire/need to do that. I probably worded that poorly, sorry. I think the system has a number of mechanisms in place to discourage novaing. Yes, as long as there are use/day mechanics, there will be some ability to blow through resources unnecessarily. But I think it is harder to do that than it used to be, and comparatively less rewarding.

    How many players of your game have been completely and utterly new to RPG's entirely? I'm guessing not a whole lot, just because of statistics. I don't care what your group's evaluation is, because I can't collaborate or confirm it and I have no idea if there's any sort of bias or if you subconsciously effected the data pool, here. "My friends and I all think it's great!" is meaningless praise.
    Quite a few. I have a particular love of teaching new players - they are so creative! They don't know when things are supposed to be impossible or bad ideas, so they do them anyway, and it's fantastic.

    The rogue can take the iconic rogue skills if you want, it's not like opening the gates to more options makes those identities go away. Also, it still sucks that Spot and Listen aren't class skills for the Fighter in 3.5 :P "Class skills" and "Not-class Skills" as a hard mechanics that punishes going outside of the stereotype is stupid and damages storytelling. The class skills list should be at most a 'recommended' list or package instead of a hard, mechanically rewarded superior option.
    I think that class skills help give classes a unique identity. In that sense, I like them. However, I agree that it is unwise to limit characters to solely what their class skills are. There are two changes in Rise that help with this: first, the system is much friendlier to cross-class skills. Second, there are backgrounds which give you additional class skills. For example, a fighter with a City Watch background would get Spot, Listen, and Knowledge (local) as class skills. I think this helps keep classes unique while allowing flexibility of character creation.

    Unless you're planning to sell your 3.5 rewrite and use the 3.5 Favored Soul literally exactly as originally written, yes you can. You can't copyright game mechanics.
    I'm pretty sure you can, actually. There are definitely limits on what I can take from other sources. I actually do have some interest in fully publishing this rewrite, such as on Kickstarter, once it is done.

    Which brings me to my next question; why do we NEED to prevent dump stats? Anyone can tell you that characters that require every stat in order to be effective end up not being effective at all, like the Paladin.

    And also, characters in stories have flaws. Some people just aren't good people persons but are good at their tasks, and need to be warmed up to. Some people are dumb as rocks, others intelligent but spacey and living in their old work. There are strong but slow, fast but weak, and sickly but competent waifs. These are all represented by what we would call dump stats. Weaknesses are GOOD! Everyone in a party has different strengths and complements each other so that they're stronger than the sum of their parts. That's how the game's SUPPOSED to work (when spellcasters aren't ramped up to godhood coughcough).
    I'm not trying to prevent weaknesses. I'm trying to make sure you notice those weaknesses. Nothing in my system prevents you from making a high Strength barbarian who dumps Intelligence and Wisdom. You will just have actual mechanical weaknesses (horrible Will saves) to go along with the RP implications, as opposed to gaining mechanical advantage with minimal downside. If there isn't a mechanical advantage to having dump stats, players will take dump stats because they want to RP the weakness instead of doing it because they want their character to be the best ever.

    Update: A new version is up. If you find it difficult to work with the single massive PDF file, I now have a solution! You can take a look at a version separated by chapter here.

    The ranger and rogue have been substantially rewritten. Many of the ranger changes owe a debt to good ideas from Kirthfinder (though my version is still very distinct, so don't blame Kirth if you don't like it!). A number of errors and inconsistencies were also corrected. A brief summary of the changes to ranger and rogue follow:
    Ranger:
    • The core concept of the ranger is now that of a hunter and woodland warrior. I was confused before on exactly what it should be.
    • New class feature: Quarry. The ranger can designate an enemy as his quarry a certain number of times per day as a swift action, and gets bonuses when fighting his quarry.
    • New class feature: Ranger lore. Rangers get a ranger lore ability every 3 levels. Many iconic ranger abilities that fit the characters of some, but not all, rangers (such as the combat style feats) are now options within "ranger lore".
    • Ranger no longer casts spells
    • Other, more minor new features and level progression adjustments.

    Rogue:
    • Sneak attack progression is now d6 per four levels.
    • New class feature: Ambush attack. The first sneak attack a rogue makes against a single foe in an encounter is an ambush attack. Ambush attacks add d6 extra damage, plus d6 per four levels. This encourages the rogue to move around the battlefield, taking ambush attacks against multiple foes.
    • Additional advanced skill tricks were added.
    • Two high-level rogue abilities were added: Jack of All Trades (all skills are class skills) and Master of All Trades (rogues have ranks in every skill except trained skills).
    • Other minor changes and level progression adjustments.


    I am very interested to see what people think of the revisions, and curious if there are any particular areas that people think need more work.
    Last edited by Vadskye; 2013-07-06 at 08:06 PM.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Rise RPG - A Complete 3.5 Rewrite

    Hey, Vadskye, I just found this, while trawling through the forums, and I wanted to show my appreciation, because I think a lot of this stuff is really good!

    And also, I wanted to show my distaste for how my fellow board-members gave their criticisms. The amount of venom some people seemed to have for your system was...disappointing. Its not about liking the system or not liking the system, though I disagree with a lot of what Auratwilight or Jormengand found fault in your system, its just that you should at least try to make your criticisms not so, derisive? Dismissing? In any case I think you handled it extremely graciously.

    Also, it seems like nobody actually paid any attention to what you were talking about before criticising Rise RPG. Like, the entire point is to reduce spellcaster power, which is notably insane in 3.5/PF, but then they are arguing that losing prepared spellcasting makes casters weak. That is one of the stated design goals of almost EVERY 3.5/PF fix, to rework the balance of casters and mundanes so that they are relatively even!

    It seems the largest barrier to understanding was them taking each change on its own merit, rather than as a cog in a set of gears. Like, spells were nerfed, spell save DCs went up, because spell saves went up too. All of these things need to be considered as a whole!

    Eh, its months since they commented, it really doesn't matter now, but I wanted to be the first (on this post at least) to say I appreciate this thing and I really like it!

    As for areas I think need work, you pretty much covered it in the To-do list. Just keep trucking, okay?
    "Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day" --Charles Dickens

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Rise RPG - A Complete 3.5 Rewrite

    Its not about liking the system or not liking the system, though I disagree with a lot of what Auratwilight or Jormengand found fault in your system, its just that you should at least try to make your criticisms not so, derisive? Dismissing? In any case I think you handled it extremely graciously.
    I'm pretty sure I already sent Vadskye an apology over this way back. To explain myself for posterity's sake, English is like my third language and I was taught not to hold my punches when critiquing something, so... no venom intended, but here we are.

    Also, it seems like nobody actually paid any attention to what you were talking about before criticising Rise RPG. Like, the entire point is to reduce spellcaster power, which is notably insane in 3.5/PF, but then they are arguing that losing prepared spellcasting makes casters weak. That is one of the stated design goals of almost EVERY 3.5/PF fix, to rework the balance of casters and mundanes so that they are relatively even!
    My grievance on this point was that it nerfs casters in areas that are unhelpful while not properly checking what made spellcasters so godly; being able to be a God less times a day doesn't change the fact that you can be God.

    Also, i'm of the opinion that mundanes should be brought up instead of spellcasters down, just as a general policy.

    It seems the largest barrier to understanding was them taking each change on its own merit, rather than as a cog in a set of gears. Like, spells were nerfed, spell save DCs went up, because spell saves went up too. All of these things need to be considered as a whole!
    I can't speak for others, but I did exactly this. You can critique something both as a cog and on it's own merits; hell, you should probably do so in order to be as close to objective as one can be.

    Eh, its months since they commented, it really doesn't matter now, but I wanted to be the first (on this post at least) to say I appreciate this thing and I really like it!
    I wish you could've done so without making most of your post centered around badmouthing other people in the thread?

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Rise RPG - A Complete 3.5 Rewrite

    Well, I'm sorry in return. Its just, I flicked through the entire pdf and thought it was amazing, because it was just the sort of thing I was trying to do with D&D in my game group, only done better, and on a grander scale, and then, I don't know, having a comment section filled with only negative replies struck me as a little bit much. It was entirely the creator defending his creation, with only grudging "fair enoughs" given when he successfully convinced someone that part of it was worthwhile.

    Compound that with the fact that I am terrible with intuition, as far as text goes, and your words came off as harsher than they were intended. I apologize.

    I just have to disagree with you on the whole that this nerfs casters in unhelpful areas. The spells that cause the most god-like abilities are the ones that have been changed the most, and I feel like everything with this system turns around a more even balance point than...anything else I've seen, honestly.

    As to everyone else being brought up to a caster's level, rather than the other way around, it just seems like that goes a bit far for me. This, in particular, is only personal preference, but I like to feel that my nonmagical fighter is going out there and getting things done on his own merits. When you start to add enough abilities to the Fighter that he can stand next to a Full Caster (the original, 3.5 version), it feels like its a more supernatural class, something out of the Book of Nine Swords, you know?
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  28. - Top - End - #28
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Rise RPG - A Complete 3.5 Rewrite

    With regards to the whole "overly critical thing": No problem. Honestly, I'd prefer that more critiquing was blunt and to the point. It saves time and helps me see problems in the system. Let's move on.
    Quote Originally Posted by AuraTwilight View Post
    My grievance on this point was that it nerfs casters in areas that are unhelpful while not properly checking what made spellcasters so godly; being able to be a God less times a day doesn't change the fact that you can be God.

    Also, i'm of the opinion that mundanes should be brought up instead of spellcasters down, just as a general policy.
    This criticism was something I took particularly seriously. The spell changes are a huge part of Rise, and it's not the easiest thing to see when you first look over the system. My grievances with the original system and proposed fixes are numerous and occasionally complex, so just throwing a big PDF out there and saying "here, this fixes everything" isn't really sufficient.

    If you have any interest in pursuing this further, I encourage you to investigate the 75 Theses and the Spell Reformation. They were essentially written because of your criticism (and similar feedback).

    Quote Originally Posted by Conor77 View Post
    Hey, Vadskye, I just found this, while trawling through the forums, and I wanted to show my appreciation, because I think a lot of this stuff is really good!

    ...

    Eh, its months since they commented, it really doesn't matter now, but I wanted to be the first (on this post at least) to say I appreciate this thing and I really like it!

    As for areas I think need work, you pretty much covered it in the To-do list. Just keep trucking, okay?
    Thank you very kindly. It's good to see the fruit of years of labor being appreciated, and I fully intend to continue working on this for months to come. (In particular, though I'm essentially finished with the core rules, the Monster Manual needs to be totally rewritten... shudder)
    It seems the largest barrier to understanding was them taking each change on its own merit, rather than as a cog in a set of gears. Like, spells were nerfed, spell save DCs went up, because spell saves went up too. All of these things need to be considered as a whole!
    Absolutely. Each change is part of a complex web of changes, and not all of them make sense if you just look at them in isolation. However, this is really bloody difficult to do from an outside perspective. If you can't understand anything until you understand everything, you're probably going to give up trying to understand. This isn't a criticism - I'd do (and have done) the same thing!

    That's why I started working on the aforementioned Spell Reformation. I think Rise has some deep insights into game mechanics and how to make the game play smoothly and fairly, and I think it's important to explain things rather than just presenting them and assuming people will take it upon themselves to understand. Also, I've discovered some mistakes along the way; Rise is better for people's feedback, and I always welcome more!

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    Default Re: Rise RPG - A Complete 3.5 Rewrite

    I normally don't review works this large (I step in during the initial phases where I feel I can help out a bit more), but you seem to have an unusual level of willingness to accept criticism, and you seem to like discussing the mechanics of system interaction. That's appealing to me, and makes me tempted to see if your RPG delivers well on those aspects of design.

    I'll be taking an in-depth look at this project. Except to hear back from me in a bit.

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  30. - Top - End - #30
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Rise RPG - A Complete 3.5 Rewrite

    I look forward to it, Djinn. And just so you know, just because it is very comprehensive, that doesn't mean I am not still open to changing things if people have better ideas. I've done that several times in the Spell Reformation threads! Feel free to focus on just an area of interest to you rather than trying to digest the whole thing at once. If you find an issue with something that I think makes sense in context, I will try to justify that decision with the context.
    Last edited by Vadskye; 2013-09-19 at 03:56 PM.

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