Monday, October 22, 2012, 2:16 PM
My homebrew RPG v5 is now finished. (Some campaign setting stuff not quite) The rules, and most of the monster stats are now in playtest stage. The DMG will contain mostly DM advice, and how to build challenges is mostly done and not quite as important.
Biggest changes with some of the drafts. I dropped divine classes. Rather, I merged them with arcane under the "magic user" archtype. You can be a healbot wizard if you want. Clerics of one diety might mostly be magic users, rogues, or fighters depending on that dieties orientation. If anyone is interested I want to get a dropbox link worked out. I can't figure dropbox out and will drop an updated link later. (Maybe I got it)
Sunday, April 15, 2012, 4:19 PM
So I mentioned in my 5e predictions and hopes thread that I started work on my own v5 because 5e is far away and I realized it won't be exactly what I want anyway. The core outline is coming along, and I am 1/4th the way through classes. After that I've got some stuff to do fleshing out magic items, monsters, and DMG environments and how to DM stuff. I've got a skeleton for it now to check math. i am not sure if prestige classes or similar will exist, but I don't think so. Opting for more base classes (that might be even shorter than these, they also might be a subsiquent release)
I thought I'd provide an update for anyone curious, along with a sample. One of the 7 Martial classes from the "Warrior Group". In total there is a total of 27 classes planned among four groups (exact number still subject to change). Warrior, Arcane, Skilled, and Divine. They are not evenly broken down.
This is still draft 1, and hasn't even pretended to be playtested. I haven't even done more than spell check really. I've been doing warrior classes for 3 weeks now, and expect to do a similar ammount or more work for each other group.
I am positive the blogs will destroy formatting. Will do what I can to restore
The Tactician: A master battlefield commander and strategist.
1 Field Veteran/ Tide of Battle
2 Never Surprised / Press the Attack
3 Power Choice
4 Raise Morale
5 Take the High Ground
6 Power Choice
7 To Me!
8 Stare Down
9 Power Choice
10 Take Two
The Tacticians abilities are described below.
Tide of Battle – Whenever a Tactician shifts, his allies within line of sight may all choose to shift 1 square as a free action.
Field Veteran – A Tactician can get by with only 6 hours of sleep each night, and ½ the normal rations. Furthermore, they are always under the effects of the Elemental Endurance spell with a caster level equal to their hit die. If this is dispelled, it is restored automatically at the end of a short rest.
Never Surprised – You can reroll any perception check or initiative check. You must take the result even if it worse, but you can choose to do it after you know the results of your action.
Press the Attack – Whenever the Tactician makes an attack roll; all allies within line of sight get a +1 Morale bonus to their next attack roll. This +1 lasts until used, and multiple +1 bonuses add together. Once used, the bonus disappears. This bonus is expended at the end of the encounter if no attack is made.
Power Choice – A Tactician may select either of these powers for use 1/Encounter. Strong Willed – Immediately after failing a saving throw you can attempt to reroll it with a bonus equal to your Int score.
All Eyes on Me – You shoot a pillar of light straight up. This increases your effective line of sight, and the effective line of sight of creatures to you by 1 mile per point of int score. This is a free action and lasts until the end of the turn. This does not allow you to see a greater distance, but simply allows you and others to treat one another as though you had line of sight.
Raise Morale – When you succeed on a saving throw, all allies within line of sight to you can immediately attempt a new one for a single condition affecting them that allows them.
Take the High Ground – You gain a fly speed equal to ½ your Int score.
Power Choice – A Tactician may select either of these powers for use 1/Day. They may also elect to take a second encounter power from the previous list at that usage rate.
No Fear – You are immune to any ability or spell with the [Fear] tag for the duration of this encounter.
Rallying Cry – All allies regain ½ their maximum HP in hit points. This is a full round action.
To Me! – A number of allies equal to your int score within line of sight are transported to squares adjacent to you. You can choose their placement, and if there are no empty adjacent squares, you can move them as close as possible. Allies can choose not to be transported. This is a teleportation effect.
Stare Down – When an enemy attempts to enter a space adjacent to you, they are forced to make a will save DC 10 + ½ HD + Int mod. If they fail, their movement halts one square away from you. This is a Fear effect.
Power Choice – The Tactician can choose either of the below powers for use 1/day. They may also take a second power from either of the previous lists at that usage rate. Ghostly Remembrance – If you are killed during an encounter, you can continue to act until the end of that encounter. For the rest of the encounter you are incorporeal, and gain a fly speed equal to your normal land speed. Your HP is reset to full for the duration of the encounter, and if it is reduced to 0, you are permanently destroyed with no chance of future resurrection. At this point you can benefit from no healing. At the end of the encounter you fall dead and can no longer act and are dead as normal allowing for resurrection, provided your second HP pool did not empty
Time Warp – One Ally can take an immediate extra turn in addition to their normal turn.
Take Two – At the end of an encounter, the Tactician can decide he does not like the outcome and replay the events. The GM should reset the encounter, and run it again. This time however, the Tactician and all players are aware of any traps, tricks, and tactics the enemy may use. This ability is usable even if the Tactician is dead. This ability is useable once per in game week.
Monday, February 8, 2010, 11:16 AM
So I got to run a game of Dragon Age pen and paper today. I am liking it.
Obviously, with the book being released today, this was a quick "Lets me characters and run, DM you have time to read the DM book while we make characters and thats it" run through, but at first glance I like it.
My notes from the game.
- Rolling ability scores. Lame, I really was disappointed to see this. I am working out some house rules to point buy-ify these. I'll post them at the bottom. (The problem comes in having 8 stats, all of which top out at 4 for starting characters. If I start them all at -2, the minimum possible score, giving enough points for a character to get to all 0's also leads to characters with multiple 4s. 4 is supposed to be super rare)
- Rolling racial features (essentially)- This was a neat idea, giving everyone from the same race different benefits. I like it, but I don't like the idea that it is random. Being that you roll 2d6, it isn't a simple "Instead of rolling let player pick 2". 2d6 gives a curved result, and so I am really tempted to house rule something here to let players pick. Unfortunately, I see players going "OK I pick weapon focus and stat boost". We will see.
-Ability scores as simple numbers. I really like these. No more "I have a 45 strength!" But to do anything with a strength score, I subtract 10, and divide by 2. OR subtract 10, divide by 2, and add half my level. Here we have a simple "4 strength" and when something says use strength, we use 4. My own fantasy RPG rules that I had been working on for a bit now use the same idea.
- No skills, instead something called "ability focuses". Basically this is just 4e skills system, with the amount of focuses exceeding even 3.X's number of skills. Lets you take "Drinking" as a skill if you want, or you can optimize out the wazoo and grab only weapon focuses. This is a cool solution.
- Most skills are simply "Roll your associated ability score, higher is better" but if you have a focus, you get to add 2 to that roll.
- Attacks are built right into that skill system, doing things like "Roll your strength (Axes) skill to hit that guy. It works nicely and I like it.
- Armor as DR. I am actually am pretty whatever on this.
- The meat of the changes from traditional d20 systems. It is a 3d6 system. Take d20, and replace the d20 with a 3d6 in every instance. That is the core of how it works. This gives a nice cure result with most people getting a 10.5, and performing good enough and the occasional exceptional hit or miss (an 18 or 3). This is neat, but I am not sure how I feel. With everyone basically rolling an 11 every roll the bonuses to attacks and defense score are super important. This is what I will be watching as the system progresses.
- "Crits" or the equivalent. Instead of saying the super rare 18 is a crit for lame double/max damage, this system really branches out and does something totally new (to me). Whenever you roll 3d6, 2d6 of your die are one color, and the other 1d6 is another. This odd colored d6 is your "Dragon die" lame name, cool feature. In combat, if you roll doubles on your matching d6, you get your Dragon die value in "Stunt points" which enable you to do cool things. It does some stuff out of combat too, but this is the big one.
- "Advanced tests". Their answer to skill challenges. Sometimes rolling 1 die is simply not enough for a bigger challenge. (Convince the king to give you $, trek through the woods, ect). For these tests, the DM sets a target number, and what I call a goal number. Normal checks go against a target number, these checks are a series of tests. For each test that beats the target number, add its Dragon Die to a pool. Once that dragon die pool beats your goal number, you win. It doesn't mention any sort of limit to attempts, but it does say each attempt takes X time as determined by the DM, so I guess in game time is the limit. Neat idea, and I think it works pretty good.
- Sample adventure. I was pleased to see a "Add 1 wolf per PC" format as their pre built encounter, instead of "5 wolves, adjust if needed". A simple thing, but it really does make a difference.
-Talents. A neat idea, I have been using essentially the same system for my games, but I kept the name "feats" and gave mages "spells". Basically first tier in the talent gives you an ability. Eventually you can advance a tier in an existing talent, or you can start a new talent. Advancing a tier gives you a similar but better ability.
- CLASSES, the core of a class based RPG. Best for last sort of thing. The 3 classes are super simple. I loved it. Each class gives hit points, weapon prof, armor prof, a class feature each level (maybe 2), and thats it. Class features are simple easy to use things "Rogues armor, I can ignore speed penalties in leather". Short sweet, and easy.
--- NOTE no one played a mage, so I didn't play with that system at all. Sorry to disappoint.
My house ruled point buy (At its current stage). Which by the way was the only house rule I had to/wanted to make.
- Instead of the normal method, the following is used. You must choose class before determining ability scores.
- For your Primary Abilities, set them all to 0, and spread 7 points out between them as you wish.
- For your Secondary Abilities, set them all to -1 and spread out an additional 10 points as you wish.
I found official point buy, to be released in box set 2. " you get 10 pts to put into your stats, but none can be higher than +3 (i.e. no +4s)."
Which is gross. Expect lots of 3,3,3,1, 0's all the way.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009, 9:18 PM
So I have actually gotten some minor play testing in for my REAL RPG system I made. Feedback results are good. Anyone who wants a copy PM me and I'll email it out.
Things PCs liked.
- No magic items. (outside of plot based items)
- Out of game no death guarantee.
- Quick Combats
- Easy Combats
- Easy character gen and level up.
Things they did not
- Felt Rogues would be too fragile to play.
- No one played a magical class yet outside of a human ranger who had a few spells.
- Felt 1st level was a bit fragile.
No magic items. The PCs enjoyed not bothering with looting corpses for anything more than obvious "that guy had a bow, i want a bow". Said it kept them in character and didn't require every PC to be a grave robber.
Out of game no death guarantee. Written up in the system in the way healing works you are simply back to full after each fight. No questions asked. That said, if the entire party goes down, the PCs still lost the fight. Maybe their unconscious thought to be dead bodies were dumped in a corpse pile in the trash room. Maybe they were knocked out and taken prisoner. The PCs won't know until later. They said it took a lot of stress out of a fight. If you were loosing, so what. That just means the story goes in a different direction. It doesn't end. (I stole this idea from K of necromancer handbook fame)
Quick Combats. No one player or monster turn took more than 30 seconds. We would go through 10-11 round fights, and they would take 10 minutes tops. Because of the simple nature of the system, actions like "I want to throw my dagger and knock it out of his hand" are easily adapted in. "OK, if this attack would knock him out he instead will have his hand speared by your dagger and surrender unable to fight and drop the weapon from his hand." (there is a disarm feat that would let this happen without the "if you kill him part")
Easy Combats. No one player was forced to agonize over which power to use, or which spell to cast, knowing if they cast the wrong one their PC would die, and possibly their friends PC as well. With turns going so fast, people have no qualms saying "Ill just attack him and hop to the left 1 square" suddenly that was a fun tactic if you couldn't think of anything cinematic to do. Thanks to the "All spells/powers are at will" mechanic people didn't worry about rolling that 1 on their daily, or the enemy rolling a 20 to totally dodge the finger of death.
Character gen for someone who had never laid eyes on the system, and is relatively new to RPGs in general took an hour. They also picked one of the most complicated class options, a human ranger. For someone familiar with the system, it should take 20 minutes tops for the mechanical generation. Leveling up took the ranger 15 minutes. The PCs said that even if the no death clause was in effect, they wouldn't be totally opposed to a PC death in this system because of how quick they can bang out the mechanics of another PC. They can be back in the same session (or even the end of the fight), if they are hit with inspiration and have a cool concept. I did explain that in cases where it was just too unbelievable for a PC to come back, PCs might die, or if a player said "I think this is the one to kill ___".
Players felt rogues and mages, with their 4 HP per level (+fortitude score) would be way too fragile to play. So they didn't. I feel like the high defenses, and mobility of a rogue make it a very "hard to hit, but once it is hit it is done" style class, and that was the goal. Mages are usually suggested to grab the inviability or some of the other protective spells at first level. They are the only caster class to have 2 spells at level 1, and the idea was that most would take invis and blast spell, or fly and blast spell or something like that. To help out the frailty. Hopefully I can talk someone into doing one of these classes next time.
No one played magic outside the human rangers few spells. This had a few effects. First, no in combat healing aside from the heal skill, which everyone was convinced functioned like in 3.X (aka does nothing). Additionally, this meant very few spells got play tested.
First level is really deadly right now. I'm not sure what to do about it, but I feel like adding in a starting HP buffer is not a bad plan. A thing to remember though, is that while HP increases each level, defenses, attacks, and damage stay pretty close to the same. Meaning the only change each fight is how long you can stay in it. Hopefully this will let DMs use the same exact foes for an entire campaign, just adding in more of them as people level. I am also toying with toning down weapon damage for now. We will see what I end up doing after another go round.
Overall the feedback given was really encouraging.
Monday, October 19, 2009, 8:37 PM
I finally got around to finishing off the rules for a Pirates of Darkwater RPG, based off a combination of the super old rulebook, that was more of a conversion to 2nd ed dnd, and a game system I made for my GF to run with the kids she babysits. "Simple DND".
Simple DND v3.0- Basically dnd stripped to its most basic elements and very similar to 2nd ed, with the simplifications of 3rd and 4th thrown in. Designed so you can pick it up monday with 9 year olds, make characters and run an adventure all in under 5 hours. Level up at the end of every day, and by Friday you have hit the level cap. Very generic fantasy, but also easy to pick up. Kids loved it.
Pirates of Darkwater- I had recently found most of the old show around, and watched it again. It inspired me to run a game in the setting. I can't stand 3X rules for dnd, and I really didn't see 4e working for me. I tooled around with some shadowrun mods, and finally it dawned on me. Why not retool simple dnd? It has a little more depth to the system, being for college graduates and all, but at its core it is still a pick up and go system. Basically a skin for Simple DND for us to run a darkwater game. Looking forward to that come november.
REAL RPG- All my work with Simple DND and Darkwater got me thinking. Why not make my own DND system, based on all the things I like, and that work for my group, from all the other systems we use. I took Simple RPG, made it more like 3X, but kept the simplification ideas from 4e. Kept the powers and "I should be able to do this all day" idea from 4e, and the level based progressions and multiclassing systems from 3X. This was a serious project, and I finally got a rough draft of the rules down tonight after finishing up my darkwater project. I am now in the "Balancing" phase, which is sort of a pain. Also I could always use some new spell ideas to try to bring in. Based on the idea that feat=spell. Casters get spells, martial gets feats. Multiclassed get a mixture. The only one I wouldn't feel comfortable putting on the web for free, because I like to pretend I might get around to publishing it somewhere one day. I'd still PM out a PDF if anyone was interested though. -Months in progress finished this evening-
*A note about things I call finished. They aren't. I consider every session a playtest, and will take notes after every game about changes for the next campaign.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009, 12:14 PM
This is going to sound crazy to most, but I am debating on returning to 3.5 DND. Well not at its core, but roughly 3.5. Especially crazy once you hear my reasoning.
After playing 4e nonstop since release My enjoyment of the game has been slowly declining session after session.
List of Beefs
- Character generation takes too long above 1st level.
- Constant release of new splatbooks
- Too many options
I feel like the system as a whole is becoming too massive. I boot up the character builder to roll up a 30th level wizard just for kicks. I did this all the time in 3.5, using pen, paper, and physical books. I need to go and pick from 10 powers at first level for each of my at wills. Then my encounters. Then my dailies. Then I do it for 2nd level. Then for 3rd. Et cetera. Each of these choices is a legitimate design choice for the feel and build of my character. I feel like it takes a whole lot more system mastery to make a smart build choice in 4e than it did in 3.5. Sure 4e is easier for someone who doesn't know how to build a character to build one that doesn't blow, but for someone who wants to put serious thought in to their builds and really pick the best benefits you need to consider any of a thousand powers.
Looking at my RPG bookshelf across the room, I notice I have almost as many 4e book as I do 3.5. I own most of the non setting specific 3.5 books, and 99% of the crunch only 4e books. How did this happen? The system has only been out a year or two. A book a month is just too much. I see it flaming out. How can they keep this pace up, and hope to have a semblance of balance. Will my character builder have a mile long scroll list for wizard level 1's, and will they all be unique? Will this take 5 years, or will this take 2?
Really we need PHB, powers book for each source in PHB, and both setting books as far as crunch info goes. Thats like 7 books top a year. Magic items go in PHB, that was a design goal of 4e, and we already have 2 AVs out. Nice.
Do we really need a new power source each year ? Honestly? Its just more work for DMs to try to logically include in their ongoing campaigns. I just barely got to include primal into my world, and psionics are starting to be released. Sure I can do the "Im the DM f you" to my players, but the truth of it is it isn't my world. It is ours. If they want to play a psion, who am I to shut it down. If we keep getting new power sources each year, it is gonna really shoot the quality of my world down.
At least in 3.5 they tapered off and just released "book full o BS that no one wants with 3 prestige classes in it" so that people who want to buy fluff books can grab it, and the rest of us can see if its 3 classes have anything worthwhile and then opt to pass or not. The 4e books are like "Here is a billion powers, feats, and paragon paths" how can I make an informed decision about buying that? Do I read the entire thing in the store?
Yeah the balance of 4e is better, and yeah it is easier to teach, and DM, but the constant flood of new BS is starting to turn me from the system. Especially as I sit around working on my own dream systems, and realize my ideal system borrows loads from 3.5, while keeping the simplicity of 4e's design. I end up reading 3.5 forums more than 4e, when scraping for ideas or concepts to alter and use.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009, 8:30 PM
I finally found a legit review of pathfinder that summarizes my opinions on it.
Its over at the gaming den, another RPG website that I browse on occasion to read up on RPG theory that no one but me cares about.