Martial "spell" slots

So this packet got me thinking on my previous attempt at unifiying some mechanics and essentially trying to find a balance between the martial, magical, and mixed class archetypes. That got me thinking about the disparity between at-will maneuvers and daily spell slots. What if martial maneuvers were handled using "spell" slots, similar to clerics/wizards? Before anyone gets apoplexy, please here this crazy thought out. Both maneuvers and spells are physically draining, and the body can only take so much before only basic actions can be used (basic attacks/cantrips).

Some people disliked 4e's martial "daily" powers because they felt too "magical", and too scarce. But not everyone likes "encounter" powers either, especially on martial classes. So what if WotC developed "leveled" maneuvers, where each maneuver level allowed for greater effects? With this model, fighters have a self-managed "daily" resource for maneuvers, but lots to pick from.

Edit: based on some new ideas going around, I've revised the chart a bit:













































































































Power Slots
LevelFeatures12345
1See below1
2Talent2
3Skill Training21
4Talent, Ability increase (+1 to 2 ability scores)22
5Skill Training221
6Talent222
7Skill Training2221
8Talent, Ability increase (+1 to 2 ability scores)2222
9Skill Training22221
10Talent22222


Brief summary of overall mechanics:


  • Ability scores will not affect bounded accuracy. This is strictly the pervue of training. Individual maneuver and spells will include any impact of the results based on ability score/modifier.

  • Every character begins with 4 skill trainings, with another 2 trainings that must be chosen between Martial Combat, Magical Combat, or another skill.

  • Training in Martial Combat or Magical Combat will automatically grant a free maneuver or spell.

  • Decide at character creation if the slot resource management will be encounter or daily. The daily option will increase the number of slots available by 1 (so 2 at 1st, 3 at 2nd, then 3/2, ending at 3/3/3/3/3 at level 10). Note: For the truly adventuresome, I could see setting each slot level individually between encounter or daily, but the tracking becomes more troublesome.

  • Each maneuver or spell can have an at-will, encounter,  and/or daily version. In addition, some may have a minimum slot level. A higher level slot can be used to perform a lower slotted maneuver or spell. In addition each maneuver will decide how ability scores affect it. For example, Deadly Strike (at-will) in this instance might be "add StrMod or DexMod". Then encounter version might be use [(roll - AC)/2] * slot level, and the daily might be [roll - AC]. I'll need help finding a reasonably balanced formula.

  • Talents will effectively be a list of class features, with some having prerequisites (minimum level or other talents). Feats are mostly gone, but some might show up as talents.

  • The basic formula becomes 1d20 + [training modifier] >= DC is a success.








































LevelTrainingModifier
Untrained-
1Novice1d4
2Adept1d6
3Expert1d8
4Master1d10
5Grand Master2d6



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It's an interesting variation that they could explore with a class, but MDD feels far superior to me, the same way that spell points feel far superior to spell slots.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

I could see a combination of XD and stances. Defensive stance allows XD to protect and parry, Leaping Tiger stance allows whirlwind and cleave.

Do not like daily resources for martial abilities.

Spell points is the way to go. 4e psionics mechanics best represents my imagination of how magic works.   

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of any failed saving throw, including but not limited to petrification, poison, death magic, dragon breath, spells, or vorpal sword-related decapitations.

A variant I proposed a few months ago was to let the Fighter double his dice for one round, but lose one die until his next short rest, or triple his dice for one round, but losing one die until his next extended rest.

In this way you could have encounter/daily abilities simply by making them require more dice than the Fighter has at the level they're appropriate for. A first level daily ability would cost 3 dice. By the time you hit level 3, that ability can be used on a per encounter basis, by level 5 it's at will. All you need then is to add more maneuvers (both available and known), and possibly have some of them scale at a rate closer to the Monks maneuvers (For example the one that lets you throw someone where 1 die = 10ft, 2 dice = 30ft, 3 dice = 60ft), so a high level Fighter using his dice as a daily expenditure can accomplish truly godlike tasks.

You could then make Combat Surge rather than doubling the value of any rolled dice refresh a die that had been burned in that way. 
A variant I proposed a few months ago was to let the Fighter double his dice for one round, but lose one die until his next short rest, or triple his dice for one round, but losing one die until his next extended rest.



Yes I think I called it straining / heroic exertion...   though mostly I prefer the short rest recovered to the extended rest based one.
Aside from working out the exact details, the idea seems to rock... and was bounced by a number of us in slightly different forms.


In this way you could have encounter/daily abilities simply by making them require more dice than the Fighter has at the level they're appropriate for. A first level daily ability would cost 3 dice. By the time you hit level 3, that ability can be used on a per encounter basis, by level 5 it's at will. All you need then is to add more maneuvers (both available and known), and possibly have some of them scale at a rate closer to the Monks maneuvers (For example the one that lets you throw someone where 1 die = 10ft, 2 dice = 30ft, 3 dice = 60ft), so a high level Fighter using his dice as a daily expenditure can accomplish truly godlike tasks.


Yes we need to be pulling down the pillars of heaven... when the mage is making reality his ******.

You could then make Combat Surge rather than doubling the value of any rolled dice refresh a die that had been burned in that way. 



  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

I could really care less if grognards dislike daily or encounter martial powers.
"I could care less....", "but I would have to really really work at it..."  

I insert that mentally and it all works fine, so I dont have to feel english professor snark guilt.

Also heroic luck and narrative awesome is a perfectly reasonable reason for dailies and encounter powers.

When I watch a movie the lead hero doesnt attempt the huge from the floor haymaker round after round after round he waits till the opening happens and because its a story I dont want it to be just a fluke so he whacks a bunch of minions when its the wrong time and is a resounding failure when he needs it ... I will let the player decide when he gets to do awesome... it would be selfish otherwise.

Plus turn about is fair play, after all the most potent of magics are only supposed to be workable near ley lines, with the right temporal, and astrological confluences and with blood sacrefice and be truly difficult (prone to failure .. like normal human endeavor). Not boom it just works with a moment or two of finger wiggling.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Why does english hurt me so?
I could really care less if grognards dislike daily or encounter martial powers.

In another thread, you mentioned that it would have been nice to have gotten a PH4 and DMG3.  (Personally, I can't imagine what there was to put in a PH4, certainly nothing that came out in Essentials or latter was worthy of such, but an Epic-focused DMG 3 would've been awesome).   Hatred of martial dailies (and encounters) or 'dissociated mechanics,' was one of the chief rallying points for the campaign of hate and mis-information euphamistically called the 'edition war,' and, 5e does completely purge said from the game.  So you should (or should have, I suppose), cared, because said hatred took said PH4 and DMG3 away from you. 

 

 

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The "maneuver slots" as I'm dubbing them would be similar to 4e powers, in that they would include maneuvers + damage, with the effects scaling with "maneuver level" just like spells currently do. Mechanically, it would work very similar to casters currently. In this vision, martials have access to certain basic maneuvers, effectively similar to cantrips. A martial class could then expend the slots at their leisure, but once they are out of slots, they can only resort to the basic maneuvers. So effectively, they have daily resources, but MUCH more than in 4e, and no encounter powers, because they can manage their slots throughout the day.

Now the REAL fun part is this: not all the maneuvers need be about damage, just like spells do much more than raw damage. I'm planning on using the 4e martial powers for inspiration, including the utility ones. Feel free to suggest powers that would fit well into DDN.

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I imagine them like ki maneuvers...do you rebember Tome of Battle: book of nine swords?

Some ki maneuvers would be ki spell-like powers, and other ones don´t (only martial). 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

I imagine them like ki maneuvers...do you rebember Tome of Battle: book of nine swords?

Some ki maneuvers would be ki spell-like powers, and other ones don´t (only martial). 

Yeah, my not-so-secret goal is to have a martial and a magical class both using similar structures, which would allow for a fairly simple "mixed" class that would pick between a martial maneuver or a spell. Then, develop a few hybrid maneuver-spell options for those that want a more swordmage/magus feel, not just alternating between a maneuver or a spell. The possibilities are awesome.

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You are wishing the next D&D version of duskblade/swordsage (I don´t like the name swordmage, nor magus for pathfinder class). I wonder the name swashbuckler could be use for this archetype. 





Bladesinger.









* What name from ancient History would you choose for a spellcaster + swordman class?

(For example psiloi for psychic warrior).

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psiloi


Do you like the name "Accensi"? it sounds like Ascension, more mystical or esoteric..

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accensi

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

In my perfect world there are only 3 classes (martial/magical/mixed), so feel free to name then what you want

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Let's get rid of these dirty slots and just go with 1xPerEncounter 2xPerEncounter, etc..

My D&D5E JavaScript Roll Tracker http://dnd5.weebly.com/

Let's get rid of these dirty slots and just go with 1xPerEncounter 2xPerEncounter, etc..

Well, just like alternate casting styles, the intent is to develop alternate maneuver styles. In the end, I imagine a slot-based daily, point-based daily, and encounter-based options.

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I am both orderly and instinctive. I value community and group identity, defining myself by the social group I am a part of. At best, I'm selfless and strong-willed; at worst, I'm unoriginal and sheepish.
I'm working on a new design model, where martial and magical class share both "damage dice" and "maneuver/spell" slots, such that a mixed class would simply need to pick a mix of each, and possibly gain access to special maneuver-spell combo elements. More on this later.

There are a couple of problems with that sort of system that you need to work around somehow. Having martial and magical on the same system is itself a problem for game feel. This isn't just because the whole idea of daily powers for martial abilities feels odd, but because having magical and martial abilities on the same system makes them feel the same. If your going to build a system around magical and martial abilities having the same system, then you need to add something else to separate them.

There is also a big mechanical problem that needs to be accounted for somehow. The encounter/daily level system you suggest will make 5 minute work day problems worse. In that sort of system, once the characters begin breaking out daily powers they have not only used their daily power but lost their encounter powers also. This means that they become weaker in general as they break out daily powers. This will push them to rest as soon as they have to use their daily powers.




You are wishing the next D&D version of duskblade/swordsage (I don´t like the name swordmage, nor magus for pathfinder class). I wonder the name swashbuckler could be use for this archetype.  


Swashbuckler == pirate and duelist fencer and similar  ... not a mystic swordsman.
 

* What name from ancient History would you choose for a spellcaster + swordman class?  



Warrior   

In many truly ancient eras the idea of Warrior magic was normal, mastering any skill had associated wizardry from the blacksmith to king to bard to wiseman to warrior.

It was very common for Celtic heros to have been raised by or recieving training from a magical figure ... The lady of the lake associated with Lancelot. Arthur had Merlin. CuCulaine had Scáthach
 
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

I see what you are getting at and I it looks like a cool system but it would be very unpopular with the non-4e crowd and so won’t be in core 5e.

However, something like this could be in an advanced tactical module that is designed to draw in 4e fans. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

 Any Edition

@JayM: I agree those concerns need to addressed. I'm not initially dealing with the "sameness" issue, primarily because at least for me, mechanical similarity doesn't make classes "the same". Since I prefer the 4e class model (not saying it was perfect), I'm starting with that "sameness", then plan to explore other options to reduce the sameness without causing major imbalance (not gonna be easy). Here's a start:


























































































































































































Martial ClassManeuver Slots
LevelWABMABFeatures12345678910
11Combat Expertise, Maneuver or Skill Training2
21Maneuver Defense/Specialization3
31Maneuver or Skill Training/Specialization32
41Maneuver Defense/Specialization33
52Maneuver or Skill Training/Specialization332
62Maneuver Defense/Specialization333
72Maneuver or Skill Training/Specialization3332
82Maneuver Defense/Specialization3333
92Maneuver or Skill Training/Specialization33332
103Maneuver Defense/Specialization33333


Every odd level, the martial class can choose between a new maneuver or skill training. Everyone starts with 4 skills, and "rogue/skill monkeys" can opt to learn more. After 1st level, you can opt to "specialize" in a skill instead, increasing the skill bonus.

Every even level, you can get a bonus to defend against a specfic maneuver (trip, disarm, bull rush, et al) or specialize in that maneuver. Each maneuver should have multiple levels of expertise, although not necessarily all have the same number. The exact mechanics I'm still working out for this.

The fun part is determining the right power level of a given spell or maneuver based on the slot level. IMO, the current spell list is completely out of whack for relative power level. Cantrips, IMO, should be single target damage, or non-damaging small area effects that might affect up to say 4 medium creatures (say a 5' radius or 10'x10' square as appropriate). Since they are at-will, I would assume they should be of similar power as a martial's basic attack.

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Every odd level, the martial class can choose between a new maneuver or skill training. Everyone starts with 4 skills, and "rogue/skill monkeys" can opt to learn more. After 1st level, you can opt to "specialize" in a skill instead, increasing the skill bonus.

Every even level, you can get a bonus to defend against a specfic maneuver (trip, disarm, bull rush, et al) or specialize in that maneuver. Each maneuver should have multiple levels of expertise, although not necessarily all have the same number. The exact mechanics I'm still working out for this.

Given that description, I'm not really sure how maneuvers and maneuver slots relate. Are the maneuvers the at-will actions and maneuver slots a separate list of encounter/daily powers or do the maneuvers control how many powers a character has to use through the maneuver slots? In the first case at-will and encounter/daily maneuvers need different names, how do people get maneuvers and how many maneuvers do they get? In the second, it doesn't seem like enough maneuvers given the number of maneuver slots characters have and some maneuvers really should be at-will.

In any case, the even level maneuver specialization/defense seems off because few PCs will take many defense options. Monsters rarely trip, disarm or bull rush and are rarely a big threat when they do. However, the PCs will be using their offensive options all the time, so they will want to load up here. In any case, if your allowing taking the same specialization multiple times, make sure the increase in bonus goes down the more you take an option to keep people from stacking up on one specialization to absurd levels. If you just make the specializations a flat +2 per level, people are going to pick on and run it up to +10 or more.

The fun part is determining the right power level of a given spell or maneuver based on the slot level. IMO, the current spell list is completely out of whack for relative power level.

A bunch of the spells are way out of line right now. However, it isn't one of D&D design goals that at-will spells and martial basic attacks be equal, the magical classes most trade at-will firepower for great impact with their daily spells. In the sort of system your suggesting, they probably should line up, so the at-wills should be more powerful and the encounter/daily spells less so.

I think only ki maneuvers could be vacian/daily system, a a martial (no spell-like) maneuver only can be at-will or encounter (because of surprise factor or overstrain).


* Some maneuvers from "Tome of Batle: book of nine swords" were spell-like powers and others weren´t.
 
Maneuvers shouldn´t be only a bonus, like a super-feat but special effects like maneuvers from Tome of Battle.


* I like the name accensi (warrior who uses mixture of magic and martial arts to ascend, get the spiritual ascension, to improve body and soul like way of self-improvement). I think names from History are cooler (Using ancient words for D&D classes is more interesting). Duskblade is a good name...

I like the word "Spath" (a classic Roman sword) but it may sound too similar to Spartan. 

 I would rather the name "Spathario", what do you thing? Kenshi is too oriental to be used for a D&D class with martial maneuvers.

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spatharios


Warblade, class from "Tome of Battle: Book of Nine Swords".

* Swashbuckler could be a subclass, the warrior lose heavy armor but it get a alternative and exclusive list of class features.  

* Kensai (sacred sword) or kenshi could be a monk subclass, ki tecniques + kenjutsu, and be published in a new Oriental Adventures (or player handbook 2..or 3).


 

Eldritch knight (prestige class).

 

Thayan knight

 

Spellsword. 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

I could really care less if grognards dislike daily or encounter martial powers.

In another thread, you mentioned that it would have been nice to have gotten a PH4 and DMG3.  (Personally, I can't imagine what there was to put in a PH4, certainly nothing that came out in Essentials or latter was worthy of such, but an Epic-focused DMG 3 would've been awesome).   Hatred of martial dailies (and encounters) or 'dissociated mechanics,' was one of the chief rallying points for the campaign of hate and mis-information euphamistically called the 'edition war,' and, 5e does completely purge said from the game.  So you should (or should have, I suppose), cared, because said hatred took said PH4 and DMG3 away from you. 



Hey Toni- I would have liked a PHB4 with a necromancy power source. Within that power source we could have had a Necromancer Controller and a Shadow Striker (Assassin), Leader and Defender (Black Guard). I would have loved that as it followed the format of the first 3 core books.

Please note that when Heroes of Shadow came out most of the core 4th designers were gone- Heinsoo, Collins, Mac-Farlane, Bonner, etc...  That is one reason why Essentials was weaker than the core books- most of the talent was gone. In fact- Essentials shows Mike Mearl's true colors as there was no one there to reign him in.

I still don't care about the rift of the grognards- they were going to flock to Paizo no matter what.  So, I'm just happy that as much was released as there was before Mearls got his hands on it. 

I'm not really sure how maneuvers and maneuver slots relate. Are the maneuvers the at-will actions and maneuver slots a separate list of encounter/daily powers or do the maneuvers control how many powers a character has to use through the maneuver slots?

I'm still working through firming up the relationship in my head, but the general idea is you have basic maneuvers that are similar in power as caster cantrips, and more powerful maneuvers based on slot level. The slotted maneuvers have to be powerful enough to make sense as a "daily" resource. I'm thinking that maneuvers have various "ranks", and they get "powered up" by expending slots, similar to how 4e psionics are handled. Not all maneuvers will utilize every slot level, as I think it would constrain the design far too much. For example, one maneuver might push the target 5' + 5' per two slot levels. Another manuever might allow the character to move and attack all adjacent enemies during the movement up to the slot level expended, etc.

As you can see the idea is still pretty rough in my head, so it's possible there isn't a clean solution, but I want to give it a solid effort before I consider it a lost cause

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Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
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I think only ki maneuvers could be vacian/daily system, a a martial (no spell-like) maneuver only can be at-will or encounter (because of surprise factor or overstrain). 


Nods, I think self induced strain which lasts beyond an after the encounter recovery is less plausible but also aknowledging that a martial daily could be seen as for all intents and purposes harnessing ki, ie personal life force (and so perhaps based on CON would be very appropriate and martial).  Some folk might prefer to call it deep fatigue.

One could also include sacrefice moves which involve taking damage ...  which as long as it had some reasonable max per encounter limits or something could be ok .. but then dont want to induce more 5MWD... behaviors do we?

  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

I've updated the first post with a new chart and incorporated some of the cool ideas floating around of late. Please check it out.

Magic Dual Color Test
I am White/Green
I am White/Green
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I am both orderly and instinctive. I value community and group identity, defining myself by the social group I am a part of. At best, I'm selfless and strong-willed; at worst, I'm unoriginal and sheepish.
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