Hello everyone. This is my first post I think. I say that because I didnt remember that I already had a forum account, but I digress.Im working on a D&D NEXT campaign. Not exactly sure if its the best system choice or not, but our group is really wan

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Hello everyone. This is my first post I think. I say that because I didnt remember that I already had a forum account, but I digress.

Im working on a D&D NEXT campaign. Not exactly sure if its the best system choice or not, but our group is really wanting to expirement with it.

Im really trying to create a Demon's Souls esque world. Im not going to get into all the story and characters but its completely original.

Its basically a realm that was created to imprison gods, and recently the common dead are getting trapped as well. Its up to the players to find out why.

Thats the major hook really. They can find out by seeking out any of the 5 lords of the realm. 

Which brings me to the world overview. Theres a central hub city and 5 regions surrounding it (with each of their unique flavors), hence the 5 lords.

Each lord plays a different role in the realm wheather it being a powerful entity trying to prolong the realm or an evil deity that was trapped, trying to escape it. There is a lord for lawful evil, chaotic evil, neutral, chaotic good, and lawful good. It sort of works out ike a pentagram for which lord is againts who. Each player has the choice of following any of the lords like a covenant (Dark Souls). So players will either be teaming up or going against one another (I like player conflict).

Back to what I'm really trying to say. I was originally wanting to make it open world(everyone can do their own thing), but since that idea is way too huge, I have to make it complete party based exploration. The party has to navigate by agreeing on where they want to go, which might not work too well with the covenant alignment. Some players will have to suffer through anothers covenant region.

Id just like some advice on how to smooth this out in any way. I'm really not into splitting the party into 2 seperate adventures. Havent had much luck with that. 



Id just like some advice on how to smooth this out in any way. I'm really not into splitting the party into 2 seperate adventures. Havent had much luck with that.



Let me welcome you to the boards by giving advice that often times leads to long off endless debates.


Drop all that alignment stuff. 


Instead of "Lawful good" make the lord represent ideals, like Truth and Justice (Or less abstract "we are devoted to this specific way of life, these are our virtues, vices, and sins). Even  better would be to do something like Magic The Gathering (also has 5 colors) and not tie any faction to any specific goodness or badness level. 


EX Faction Virtues, vices and sins.


Faction 1 - Virtue - Truth, Protection. Vice - Controlling Others. Sin - Lies, deception.


Faction 2 - Virtue - Self Mastery, Independance. Vice - Excess. Sin - Failing to cull the herd (Tolerating weakness). 



"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"                                                  "I'd recommend no one listed to Krusk's opinions about what games to play"

Here we go again, is alignment worth using or not?

If you stick with alignment, I'm not saying you should, one option would be that all the player characters have to fall within a more limited alignment range.  Maybe they are all heroes all under the covenant of one or two lords (who are not aligned against each other).  This would solve the problems of the player characters working under different covenants and would put all the PCs on the same footing when it comes to "suffering through" a different covenant region.  This does however REQUIRE player buy-in - all the players have to agree to be those one or two alignments.

 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

Are you really "entitled to your opinion"?
RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
If you "Insist" on using alignments, consider designing Alignment into different abilities.

I get that you, the DM of my game, care what my alignment is. But you have to make ME care.

Better yet, you want ME to make me care.

You should look at some effects in the game, and try to give each "Alignment" one power. Nothing too powerful, or too weak. I will assume you have already examined the upsides and downsides of alignment, and KNOW that you want to use it, as a part of your game design. Therefore, you need to take functions existing within the game, and somehow make alignment relevant to that. You might look at 3.5 Ranger, or Alignment Domains.  These can give you a guide of 1/day or 3/day "Powers" that a "Alignment Lord" can bestow upon their friends.


I would also suggest looking up Rokugan setting, because you might see some intrinsic flaws in the "Honor/Taint" thing. You might also realize various ways your table can get around those flaws. I use alignment in my games, every being has one. However, to be honest, 80% of the time, nobody cares.

Most people are more focused on personal/party interests, conflicts based on goals or other things than alignment. Nobody in my game cares if a "Good God and Evil God" are at war. They only care if there is a faction who their interests are represented by, and an opponent who can stop your goals and impose the opposite. I have thus used a mixture of good/neutral/evil opponents.

Sometimes, a specific NPC uses one of my templates designed to use Alignment as a functional device. During these moments, I normally tell players what they need to know to make good decisions. I also use "Truenames", and everyone has one; however 80% of the time, nobody cares unless a specified sequence in the game or ally/enemy invokes it or uses it. This allows these mechanisms to be interesting when used, and relevant in the background when not used.

In the end, your players might not "care" about alignment; instead of "shoving" it in their mouth, you should let it fall into the background. Have occasional encounters happen where it matters and have some situations come up where it matters. Sometimes, players will warm up to these things if they see them in action.

Within; Without.

There are prizes, perks, advantages, and disadvantages to joining any of the lords. Each Lord is a faction and has their own side quests and quest line. They each have a goal and you unravel the mystery of the realm differently in each one.

In responce to the alignment comments. I used those terms for each of the standpoints of the lords. They arent necessarily evil of good, but they oppose one another selectively. 

I was mostly wanting some ideas for navigation.

Also, Im making currency and xp the same thing. Working of the Souls series. Good idea or no?

Id like suggestions on any way to give my campaign a more "Souls" feel. I know the souls series is pretty straight forward with their feel, but any  suggestions are welcome.

And just for some unrelated crap. I make my own miniatures. I plan on taking some pictures of the ones ive made and posting them. I hope everone will find them interesting.

Edit: and they do have their own unique principals, not just a particular standpoint. 


Also, Im making currency and xp the same thing. Working of the Souls series. Good idea or no?

No.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"                                                  "I'd recommend no one listed to Krusk's opinions about what games to play"



Also, Im making currency and xp the same thing. Working of the Souls series. Good idea or no?

No.




Ummm... Reasoning? I mean, Ill be making it quite abundant. The players just have to ration and decide if they want to grow or if they want a particular item. It worked well enough in the souls games and my players like the idea.

Also, Im making currency and xp the same thing. Working of the Souls series. Good idea or no?

No.

Ummm... Reasoning? I mean, Ill be making it quite abundant. The players just have to ration and decide if they want to grow or if they want a particular item. It worked well enough in the souls games and my players like the idea.

As long as you talked to your players ahead of time and they think it could be cool, I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work, just make sure to give about as much total XP as you would've otherwise given of each XP and gp.

Founder - but not owner - of Just Say Yes!

Member of LGBT Gamers

Odds are, if 4-6 people can't figure out an answer you thought was obvious, you screwed up, not them. - JeffGroves
Which is why a DM should present problems to solve, not solutions to find. -FlatFoot
Why there should be the option to use alignment systems:
Show
If some people are heavily benefiting from the inclusion of alignment, then it would behoove those that AREN'T to listen up and pay attention to how those benefits are being created and enjoyed, no? -YagamiFire
But equally important would be for those who do enjoy those benefits to entertain the possibility that other people do not value those benefits equally or, possibly, do not see them as benefits in the first place. -wrecan (RIP)
That makes sense. However, it is not fair to continually attack those that benefit for being, somehow, deviant for deriving enjoyment from something that you cannot. Instead, alignment is continually attacked...it is demonized...and those that use it are lumped in with it.

 

I think there is more merit in a situation where someone says "This doesn't work! It's broken!" and the reply is "Actually it works fine for me. Have you considered your approach might be causing it?"

 

than a situation where someone says "I use this system and the way I use it works really well!" and the back and forth is "No! It is a broken bad system!" -YagamiFire


Ummm... Reasoning? I mean, Ill be making it quite abundant. The players just have to ration and decide if they want to grow or if they want a particular item. It worked well enough in the souls games and my players like the idea.


Sure. 


Can your players spend XP to get stuff, instead of leveling up? If yes, what stops them from leveling at drastically different rates. Thats a bad idea.


Suggestion - Give 1SP everytime you give an XP. Let them spend the SP instead of GP. Then they can still have the whole "We spend souls for items" stuff, but you don't have them leveling at different rates.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"                                                  "I'd recommend no one listed to Krusk's opinions about what games to play"


Ummm... Reasoning? I mean, Ill be making it quite abundant. The players just have to ration and decide if they want to grow or if they want a particular item. It worked well enough in the souls games and my players like the idea.

Sure. 

Can your players spend XP to get stuff, instead of leveling up? If yes, what stops them from leveling at drastically different rates. Thats a bad idea.


Suggestion - Give 1SP everytime you give an XP. Let them spend the SP instead of GP. Then they can still have the whole "We spend souls for items" stuff, but you don't have them leveling at different rates.


Actually, it doesn't sound like the players would have a problem levelling at different rates, otherwise they would've already complained instead of agreeing that it could be cool.

Founder - but not owner - of Just Say Yes!

Member of LGBT Gamers

Odds are, if 4-6 people can't figure out an answer you thought was obvious, you screwed up, not them. - JeffGroves
Which is why a DM should present problems to solve, not solutions to find. -FlatFoot
Why there should be the option to use alignment systems:
Show
If some people are heavily benefiting from the inclusion of alignment, then it would behoove those that AREN'T to listen up and pay attention to how those benefits are being created and enjoyed, no? -YagamiFire
But equally important would be for those who do enjoy those benefits to entertain the possibility that other people do not value those benefits equally or, possibly, do not see them as benefits in the first place. -wrecan (RIP)
That makes sense. However, it is not fair to continually attack those that benefit for being, somehow, deviant for deriving enjoyment from something that you cannot. Instead, alignment is continually attacked...it is demonized...and those that use it are lumped in with it.

 

I think there is more merit in a situation where someone says "This doesn't work! It's broken!" and the reply is "Actually it works fine for me. Have you considered your approach might be causing it?"

 

than a situation where someone says "I use this system and the way I use it works really well!" and the back and forth is "No! It is a broken bad system!" -YagamiFire

Unfortunately, I have no input regarding "Souls" that would satisfy you, and it seems like your players will enjoy it. Just have patience and stay confident, if your players are having fun, your doing it right.

In my game, EVERY character has "Crafting Points" equal to their level. From there, some templates and classes give players more crafting points. Players making Survival Checks or resting in the wilderness in addition to healing and gathering food might find "Common" "Uncommon" and "Rare" ingredients and/or "Low" "Medium" or "High" quality materials. This lets me assess a cost of crafting points and materials/ingredients. I might tell a player a catapult costs 10 Lumber, 5 Cloth and 5 Metal. The overall result will be determined by quality of materials. One player wanted to use silk instead of cloth, ironwood and crystal instead of metal. My response? "What an awesome catapault. Roll your Crafting check to see if you waste any materials."

I determine Crafting Point cost on the fly. You could use "Souls" in a similar way if you want to.

Within; Without.

As for using "souls" with "alignment", I am in favor of whatever makes the game more fun. Personally, in my game every being has an aura. (a being without an aura normally isn't well received or at best pitied). The aura can be "read" to reveal your "truename" "alignment" and other things by those with such abilities. Most characters ignore Alignment or Truenames because most of them don't select classes/templates that use them. Sometimes, an enemy will use them. Sometimes, alignment might help a consecrate or impact disposition. For the most part these things are in the background and players don't interact with them, unless they choose to.

That said, you could allow "Soul Points" to function as "Action Points". You might give a special "Power" such as Reroll 1/day, or add +1d6 to the result of a 1d20 1/day. The players would care about their "soul points" because they could interact with them. You might talk to your players about a death option that you can sacrifice all of your soul points to "revive" on the spot. This would be a painful penalty but it would let me continue my character if I were attached to it. The point is, the more things I can do with my soul points, the more I am going to care.

If you are already using Action Points, you could just rename it Soul Points. I prefer using an option over not using the option because if it doesn't go well, you can talk to the players about removing it.

Within; Without.

Hey, I know my DnD and Dark Souls pretty well and I can help. What is it you need help with as of now?
I think lumping GP and XP into the same resource has the potential to work great and be tons of fun.  Don't listen to nay-sayers!

In general, having PCs more than 1 level apart isn't such a hot idea in a normal game, and that's what people are really objecting to I think.  But in this case it will be balanced by the "lower level" player having much more powerful magic items, since they spent their "souls" on that instead.  This gives your players a fun and very unique optimization puzzle to play with!

However, you need to be careful.  Items and XP both use an exponential curve to determine their cost, and in 4e that curve is *much steeper* for items.  You will need to fix that or things will start to get weird around level 6 or 7!!

Here's what I mean:
At Lvl1 a magic item is 360g and leveling up is 1000xp.  About three at-level items = the cost of a level. 
At Lvl6 a magic item is 1800g, and leveling up is 2500xp.  Two at-level items are now significantly more than the cost of a level. 
At Lvl11 a magic item is 9000g and leveling up is 6000xp.  One at-level item is now way more than the cost of a level, which is bonkers; you'd be crazy not to just take the level. 
At Lvl16 a magic item is 45000g and leveling up is 14000xp.  You could level up two or three times for the price of a single item.  Totally broken.

For a gp==xp system to work, you need to decide how many "your-level items" you can get for the cost of leveling up, and then keep that number the same as the players increase in level.  (Two or three items for the value of a level-up sounds about right to me?)

You also have to consider what sort of return you will give players for selling/disenchanting their old items.  The 20%/50% rule is pretty harsh in that respect and could end up being a source of inequality if some players are losing exp to transaction costs and others are not.  I'd recommend always giving 100% of an items value back to them when they sell or disnechant it - that item is part of their "total level" or "soul net-worth" after all.  And you shouldn't let that "net worth" diverge much, if at all between players. 
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