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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ArmorArmadillo's Avatar

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    Default Simple Pleasures: Low Wealth Campaign

    Anyone who's seen series like Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, or Firefly, know of how cool and flavorful it can be for the adventuring froup to be dirt poor, more worried about finding tomorrow's meal than vanquishing world-ending evil. However, the D&D system is built for PCs to be infinitely more wealthy than anyone else, by a huge margin, even at moderately low levels.

    The real requirement for treasure to be so high is in accessing magic-items; but if you remove these items then martial classes lose a great deal of power over spellcasters, which are already relatively overpowered at higher levels, when magic items would become an issue.

    This is a similar idea as what was covered in "Right Tools for the Right Job," but unfortunately, I don't want to use the D20 Modern setting that he chose.

    Therefore I have the following balance in mind.

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    Your levels in Arcane Spellcasting classes cannot exceed 1/2 your Character Level, rounded down.
    Your levels in Divine Spellcasting classes cannot exceed 1/2 your character level, rounded down.
    Bard does count toward these limits
    Ranger and Paladin do not count towards these limits.
    Hexblade, Beguiler, Duskblade, and Warmage do count towards these limits.
    Any Prestige Class which grants Arcane or Divine spellcasting progression at any level counts toward these limits.
    The favored class system is abolished, no XP penalties ever apply for multiclassing.


    The point of this is to reduce the reliance of characters on magic, while reducing the balance issues of lowering magic-item accessibility. What I like is that it doesn't actually involve any tweaking or weakening of classes, but only encourages multiclassing.

    The higher limits on Divine casting allows important spells, like Cure and Restoration, to be accessible at levels where they are useful. Additionally, their spells don't have the overpowering damage potential of higher level Arcane spells.

    However, Paladin and Ranger continue to be a thorn in this design's metaphorical side.

    Tell me what you think! All comments appreciated, especially comments about me being smart, attractive, and reminiscent of a latter-day Humphrey Bogart.
    Gnoll Paladin with Zanbatou Avatar by Oregano.

    Homebrews:

    Quote Originally Posted by ExHunterEmerald
    Incidentally, Armadillo, I'd suggest you were hit by a spark of inspiration, but that would knock your armor off.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Simple Pleasures: Low Wealth Campaign

    Nice idea but how do you think it will work in game? When characters are around level 6, they are so far above normal people that nobles would actually pay well for the stuff they do... So while you can leave them far behind guidelines, I do not see how DnD party could be dirt poor.

    Also, the problem is that now the party loses the buffing: at 5th level, fighter won't get hasted because a bard won't get it before seventh level. That is not that bad, assuming there is someone who wants to play a bard but if someone is a multiclassed wizard, party won't get haste before 10th level. 16th level is earliest that greater magic weapon would help...

    What about just removing all casters except bard, using spell-less variants of paladin and ranger from complete warrior and letting bard choose from any list of spells. So bard could choose his spells known from cleric or wizard list too.
    Maggots in the Meat: IC thread, OOC thread, dierolls

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ArmorArmadillo's Avatar

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    Default Re: Simple Pleasures: Low Wealth Campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by Pegasos989 View Post
    Nice idea but how do you think it will work in game? When characters are around level 6, they are so far above normal people that nobles would actually pay well for the stuff they do... So while you can leave them far behind guidelines, I do not see how DnD party could be dirt poor.
    Well, D&D has largely just run on the assumption that they are among the most powerful people in the world, and I won't REALLY want to change that, but nobody says that they have to be that way. What if higher level characters were common in towns? The PCs would still get their own specific adventures to go on, they just wouldn't be the toughest people in the world. (It's not uncommon for seemingly ragtag, weaker group to do great things)

    Furthermore, I can change the structure the economy. What if food, inn-rooms, and and such necessities were more expensive, and magical items were relatively cheap. I mean, if the PCs are so much stronger than everyone else; then how are magical item shops able to stay open charging 1,000x the average peasant salaries for things they will never use?
    Of course, I make them much rarer, you don't just walk into town and buy a wondrous item off the DM's guide list.

    Also, characters can be powerful without them being known to be powerful or appreciated. I mean, again going to Samurai Champloo (An amazing series) Mugen and Jin are brilliant swordsmen who can take on more or less anyone, but they wonder around as vagrants because nobody in power offers to hire them.

    What about just removing all casters except bard, using spell-less variants of paladin and ranger from complete warrior and letting bard choose from any list of spells. So bard could choose his spells known from cleric or wizard list too.
    I thought about this as a solution for Rangers/Paladins, but I don't really like those levels. The spells offer a lot of fun abilities and options, and the substitution levels are too limited for me. I'm not necessarily tring to eliminate magic, only preventing access to higher-level, powerful effects, which these spells don't really offer even at 4th level (Compared to Wiz/Sor spells at equivalent levels.)
    As for the buffing, correct me if I'm wrong, but monster CRs don't take buffing into account, (As even a party with an arcanist doesn't necessarily have buffs known/memorized.)

    I really don't want to make bards the only arcane class, if for no other reason that I don't want only one arcane class. Furthermore, I'm trying to avoid changing any classes, as that means having to worry about balance issues; I'm trying to do this entirely through multiclassing requirements.
    Gnoll Paladin with Zanbatou Avatar by Oregano.

    Homebrews:

    Quote Originally Posted by ExHunterEmerald
    Incidentally, Armadillo, I'd suggest you were hit by a spark of inspiration, but that would knock your armor off.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Simple Pleasures: Low Wealth Campaign

    Well, whatever you do, don't allow Vow of Poverty. That would everyone's second feat.
    Quote Originally Posted by Solo View Post
    Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Fanfiction R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn! Wgah'nagl fhtagn! Wgah'nagl fhtagn!

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    Halfling in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Simple Pleasures: Low Wealth Campaign

    Wizards have to learn their spells somewhere and if valuable items are hard to come by then it stands to reason that rare and high level spells are just as hard to obtain. This doesn't help much with sorcerers, bards, and divine casters, but I would think wizards would be just as limited as martial classes in a low-wealth campaign.
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    Anton Dreln
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ArmorArmadillo's Avatar

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    Default Re: Simple Pleasures: Low Wealth Campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by Sahegian View Post
    Wizards have to learn their spells somewhere and if valuable items are hard to come by then it stands to reason that rare and high level spells are just as hard to obtain. This doesn't help much with sorcerers, bards, and divine casters, but I would think wizards would be just as limited as martial classes in a low-wealth campaign.
    Flavorwise, maybe, but the game rules don't inherently hurt Wizards as much as martial classes. They get spells each level, even if they don't find scrolls. And their magical abilities are powerful, even if they don't have magical gear.
    Gnoll Paladin with Zanbatou Avatar by Oregano.

    Homebrews:

    Quote Originally Posted by ExHunterEmerald
    Incidentally, Armadillo, I'd suggest you were hit by a spark of inspiration, but that would knock your armor off.

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Simple Pleasures: Low Wealth Campaign

    Three ways to make wizards more cash-dependent, from the mild to the extra-spicy:

    1. Up the cost of spellbooks ("magic-sensitive paper"), and make smaller ones available for starting characters. Say, spellbooks with 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 pages, at a cost of 5 gp/page. They weigh 1 lb + 1 lb/30 pages (round down).
    2. Your starting spells come from your apprenticeship, but after that, you're on your own to find spell sources.
    3. All material components cost money. Yeah, you could go harvest your own bat guano, but do you really want to take the time? Material components listed without a price are generally 2 sp/dose--1 gp/dose if the material can't be found locally. If the material can be found locally, you can find a number of doses per week equal to your survival check.
    My latest homebrew: Gastrus

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ArmorArmadillo's Avatar

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    smile Re: Simple Pleasures: Low Wealth Campaign

    I don't think it would be impossible to financially restrict wizardry, but it interferes with the low-magic feel I'm going for.

    I also want to avoid any balance changes within classes, but only limit class levels.
    Gnoll Paladin with Zanbatou Avatar by Oregano.

    Homebrews:

    Quote Originally Posted by ExHunterEmerald
    Incidentally, Armadillo, I'd suggest you were hit by a spark of inspiration, but that would knock your armor off.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Simple Pleasures: Low Wealth Campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by Pegasos989 View Post
    Nice idea but how do you think it will work in game? When characters are around level 6, they are so far above normal people that nobles would actually pay well for the stuff they do... So while you can leave them far behind guidelines, I do not see how DnD party could be dirt poor.
    People always seem to forget that capitalism is a comparatively recent invention. It is perfectly plausible (indeed, rather more so than the default D&D setting) that a pseudo-medieval society would not actually have a cash economy, and nobles would get what they wanted by promises and threats, not by up-front payments.

    Hell, this is still true to a limited extent in the real world. It's well known in England that members of the royal family don't carry money, because they never need it.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ArmorArmadillo's Avatar

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    Default Re: Simple Pleasures: Low Wealth Campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan_Hemmens View Post
    People always seem to forget that capitalism is a comparatively recent invention. It is perfectly plausible (indeed, rather more so than the default D&D setting) that a pseudo-medieval society would not actually have a cash economy, and nobles would get what they wanted by promises and threats, not by up-front payments.

    Hell, this is still true to a limited extent in the real world. It's well known in England that members of the royal family don't carry money, because they never need it.
    That's an interesting idea, although-being that my players will not be nobles-this kind of means they'll be getting either nothing, which won't work; a steady, albeit small, level of necessities (I want them to struggle for what they get); or be the ones threatening or promising, which I really don't want

    However, I do really like the idea of trying a non-currency campaign, built around barter.

    I think a good stepping stone to that is to end the long-held idea of availability, the idea that every town has a "General Store" that sells every mundane item that you needed.

    Some towns have some things, some have others.

    In fact, this could be extended to spell components; A good limitation on magic is if you can only find important components occasionally.
    Gnoll Paladin with Zanbatou Avatar by Oregano.

    Homebrews:

    Quote Originally Posted by ExHunterEmerald
    Incidentally, Armadillo, I'd suggest you were hit by a spark of inspiration, but that would knock your armor off.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: Simple Pleasures: Low Wealth Campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by Machete View Post
    Well, whatever you do, don't allow Vow of Poverty. That would everyone's second feat.
    Here here. You would have a bunch of VoP Monks and Paladins running around. Not a good thing. I played one VoP Monk. With the feats and some other abiilties; he was just overpowering.

    I do like the idea; it puts more work into the character, spell selection, feat selection, and class selections. It also could promote more cooperation. If the Wizard needs that one spell component to make his or her spell work, or more powerful; he or she would have to work harder for said component, and would not be able to cast the said wicked powerful spell that much.

    another option for that type of campaign would be some of the Teamwork rulings in PHBII. Getting some nice bonuses for following the same battle plans, etc is a great way to overcome not having +3 weapons at 7th level. That and expanding on the Tome of Battle rules would be good too; if you have a bunch of players that enjoy playing the melee characters. I'm in the process of creating my own Discipline; it's based off of Desert Wind and Setting Sun; except it will have more counters instead of strikes.
    Funny, I always figured I'd be killed by a paladin.
    So, what you're saying is we rolled a 1 on our credit check?

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  12. - Top - End - #12
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    Eighth_Seraph's Avatar

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    Default Re: Simple Pleasures: Low Wealth Campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirinus_Obsidian View Post
    I do like the idea; it puts more work into the character, spell selection, feat selection, and class selections. It also could promote more cooperation. If the Wizard needs that one spell component to make his or her spell work, or more powerful; he or she would have to work harder for said component, and would not be able to cast the said wicked powerful spell that much.

    I REALLY like that idea. I've always disliked how magic was just THERE for anyone who wanted to use it, but couldn't find anything to limit it with. Spell components is a good target, combined with the changing of economy is something I am very likely to try in the near future. Thanks all.
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  13. - Top - End - #13
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Simple Pleasures: Low Wealth Campaign

    There are a number of replacements for +1 weapons such as special materials(homebrew a material that acts as a magic weapon to bypass dr) like rimefire ice that deals some cold damage but poses its own difficulties and blue ice which gives a small bonus to slashing and possibly piercing weapons.

    The kind of barter setting that seems to be your idea would work better in an extreme and barren climate such as the frozen frostfell or the barren desert waste where the few existing wizards would be less concerned about churing out magic swords and more concerned about trying to create a decanter of endless water(which in low magic may be an epic thing) or items to protect against the freezing cold or burning heat to be sold to the merchants who cross miles and miles of ice or sand to sell their wares and keep the outposts alive. There, shelter and food as well as eveything else like fresh water is much more valuable and expensive compared to a pile of copper coins or a suit of rusty iron chainmail. Exotic Weapons could also make up for a lack in magic. Exotic weapons give all sorts of fun opportunities. Entangle spell could be replaced with bolas.

    Magic Item Creation feats could be outright banned for PCs because of a lack of money, training, and because some could unbalance things. Alchemy and maybe Brew Potion and Scribe Scroll would sounds like it would probably be the most magicy creation you'd want the PCs to have.
    Quote Originally Posted by Solo View Post
    Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Fanfiction R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn! Wgah'nagl fhtagn! Wgah'nagl fhtagn!

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Simple Pleasures: Low Wealth Campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by ArmorArmadillo View Post
    However, I do really like the idea of trying a non-currency campaign, built around barter.
    This also means that your PCs will wind up having to pay their way by adventuring for people. You arrive in a village, and people give you food and board in return for your doing something about the goblin tribe in the hills.

    Availability is another big thing to think about: "you want a sword, bless you my lord what would we simple folk want with swords? I think there's a man three villages over who may be able to help you..."

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ArmorArmadillo's Avatar

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    Default Re: Simple Pleasures: Low Wealth Campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan_Hemmens View Post
    This also means that your PCs will wind up having to pay their way by adventuring for people. You arrive in a village, and people give you food and board in return for your doing something about the goblin tribe in the hills.

    Availability is another big thing to think about: "you want a sword, bless you my lord what would we simple folk want with swords? I think there's a man three villages over who may be able to help you..."
    Both things I like much better than characters with more money than a noble could make in fifty years continuing to put himself at risk rather than just retiring to luxury.
    Gnoll Paladin with Zanbatou Avatar by Oregano.

    Homebrews:

    Quote Originally Posted by ExHunterEmerald
    Incidentally, Armadillo, I'd suggest you were hit by a spark of inspiration, but that would knock your armor off.

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