A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Griffith!'s Avatar

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    Jun 2012
    The Prime Material Plane

    Default A (Broken) "Classless" System!

    This isn't anything too serious. I get tired of class systems periodically, mostly because they always seem so limited, and I have to learn a dozen new tricks to make the mechanics work with my character concepts every time I roll a new character, and GMs are always fighting me with things like "That feat only works with scimitars, not sabers", or "I don't care how it worked in that book/game/novel, this is DnD" and yeah, I know, Homebrew, but that's kind of my point. Also run-ons.

    And to further complicate matters, I can't convince my current players to play anything besides DnD. No GURPS. No Fate. So in my latest campaign, I tried to mix things up a little. And this is the system I threw together - let me know what you think (and yes, I am aware what this does to party balance.)

    First, a couple things to know and remember - this was for a low-magic campaign, set in a kind of late bronze age Germany. 20 point buy, one trait, Spell-like abilities exist and function as normal. Races are limited to humans and halfas (Half-elf, half-orc, tiefling, Aasimar, Dhampir, etc...) But, I have no system in place for casters and equipment is limited.

    So, forget the regular classes for a minute. In this system there are three - Balanced, Strong, Smart. These are exactly what it says on the tin - Smart characters have the slowest BAB progression, the lowest fort save, and the fewest hitpoints, but they gain the most feats and the most skill points overall. Strong characters are the opposite, and Balanced characters are the happy medium between the two. These three "classes" form the backbone for your character.

    At every level, you gain a number of what I'm calling Build Points equal to your level +2. You spend these Build Points to purchase class features from the original classes. The cost of each class feature is equal to the level at which you would normally earn it (so the Cavalier's Challenge 1/day costs 1 BP and Master Tactician 17).

    And that's it in a nutshell. Simple, broken, and abuse-able. But fun.

    And just so you know what those first three classes look like mechanically:

    Hit Dice: 1d10
    Class Skills: Any 10
    Skill Ranks Per Level: 4+Int modifier
    Feats: One at third level, and every third level thereafter.
    Requirement: Minimum 15 STR or CON
    1 2 0 0
    2 3 0 0
    3 3 1 1
    4 4 1 1
    5 4 1 1
    6/1 5 2 2
    7/2 5 2 2
    8/3 6 2 2
    9/4 6 3 3
    10/5 7 3 3

    Hit Dice: 1d8
    Class Skills: Any 8
    Skill Ranks Per Level: 6+Int modifier
    Feats: One at second level, and every second level thereafter.
    Requirement: None
    0 0 2 0
    1 0 3 0
    2 1 3 1
    3 1 4 1
    3 1 4 1
    4 2 5 2
    5 2 5 2
    6/1 2 6 2
    6/1 3 6 3
    7/2 3 7 3

    Hit Dice: 1d6
    Class Skills: Any 12
    Skill Ranks Per Level: 8+Int modifier
    Feats: One at first level, one at second level, and one every second level thereafter.
    Requirement: Minimum 15 INT or WIS
    0 0 0 2
    1 0 0 3
    1 1 1 3
    2 1 1 4
    2 1 1 4
    3 2 2 5
    3 2 2 5
    4 2 2 6
    4 3 3 6
    5 3 3 7

    So while this has worked for me so far, any feedback would be nice. Of special interest would be any ideas on how to work spell-casting back in. A one-to-one conversion of spell by level would be too expensive, and casters would end up actually weaker than they are in the core game.

    I don't know. Let's workshop it. Thoughts?

    EDIT - forgot to mention, that you do have to have all previous 'levels' of a feature to purchase it. So, you have to have Challenge 1/day to buy Challenge 2/day.
    Last edited by Griffith!; 2016-07-16 at 07:00 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground

    Join Date
    Dec 2014

    Default Re: A (Broken) "Classless" System!

    This looks awesome. I always hated how in parhfinder some classes were flat-out better than others. Would you care to release how much class features cost?

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground

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    Mar 2013

    Default Re: A (Broken) "Classless" System!

    Quote Originally Posted by Digitalfruitz View Post
    This looks awesome. I always hated how in Pathfinder some classes were flat-out better than others. Would you care to release how much class features cost?
    Each feature costs points equal to the level it's gained at. IE Paladin Smite and Detect Evil cost 1, Lay on Hands 2, etc.
    Cookie Count: One

    Quote Originally Posted by digiman619 View Post
    Spoiler: True Facts

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Griffith!'s Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    The Prime Material Plane

    Default Re: A (Broken) "Classless" System!

    Right. It's not well weighted. If I were to make a serious go at a functional system, I'd re-evaluate the costs. Some class features have more utility than others, but cost the same. And some classes get similar features at different levels, too, so you could inadvertently purchase the an ability for more than you ought. And, scaled abilities have a rapidly inflating cost that is probably unfair - since you would have to buy every d6 in your sneak attack progression at whatever level you'd normally gain it.

    So, there are holes.

    Initially, I was going to adjust the cost of a feature by an amount equal to however many features a class gains at that level - so, Cavalier's Expert Trainer would cost 2BP, since the Cavalier gains two class features at level 4 (4-2=2) - with a minimum cost of 1. But, that makes all of the early level features absurdly cheap, and doesn't do much to adjust the price of higher level abilities.

    It's a work in progress.

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

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    Jun 2015

    Thumbs up Re: A (Broken) "Classless" System!

    For spells and psionics I suggest this:

    One caster level/power level costs 1 feat
    One spell or power costs 1 feat

    A bought spell gives you the spell as a known spell and gives you one spell usage per day of a spell of that level (ie. You buy a level 1 spell and gain both the spell as a known spell and level 1 spell slot)

    Casters could really need a nerfing. .. an option to do it could be to demand a spell slot to be bought using a feat and subject to the same restrictions as spells (ie. You must have at least one spell slot/ spell per day of each level available to you and must have more of the low levels than high levels... you can not have 2 level 2 if you have only 1 level 1)


    You must take a previous caster level before taking a new one (ie. You must have caster level 1 before taking caster level 2)

    Your caster level may not exceed your charecter level
    (ie. I f you are level 2 then your max caster level is 2)

    You must have a at least the same amount of spells across all spell levels that you have access to (ie. to buy a level 2 spell you need to have a level 1 and 0 spell & you can not have 2 level 2 spells if you have only 1 level 1 spell)


    But eclipse the codex persona is currently the best class and classless system I have seen (been reading it in more detail recently)

    Class since classes can be created as packedges and classless since anything can be bought without classes
    Last edited by tsj; 2016-07-17 at 01:49 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Orc in the Playground

    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default Re: A (Broken) "Classless" System!

    Do you still have the experience system functioning normally in this game type?

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Griffith!'s Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    The Prime Material Plane

    Default Re: A (Broken) "Classless" System!

    Yes. I do. Sorry for the long delay there. I've been busy on a separate project and haven't been checking these forums as often as I ought.

    In the campaign I was using this, we are on the slow experience track. And, as in most of my campaigns, I award all the experience they've earned all at once, whenever the characters rest or at the end of the session.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Pixie in the Playground

    Join Date
    Nov 2015

    Default Re: A (Broken) "Classless" System!

    Below is a link to the classless system I put together for 5e. I originally started it for 3.5 / PF but decided to switch to 5e when it went OGL.

    I still have a link to some of the work I was doing for 3.5 and I'll dig it up when I get home if your interested.

    One of my early concepts was having martial / hybrid / caster as a choice you make at first level. I was going to make it cost 2x the points for martial characters to take caster skills or vice versa. Hybrids would be able to get skills from either for normal cost but they couldn't get the top melee or caster skills but i decided to leave it completely open.

    I tool out automatic save progression and made it part of the point buy to leave everything completely open.


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