Author Topic: The CBG System (discussions)  (Read 15970 times)

Wensleydale

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The CBG System (discussions)
« on: September 06, 2006, 06:54:45 AM »
I thought that the system we've been discussing really deserves its own thread... so here it is!

It all started with this...

Quote from: WitchHunt

Magic can be balanced if it's not restricted to anyone. A system where anyone or anything can potentially use any level of magic is a balanced system, but not necessarily in a statistical way. There will still be distinctions between master warriors and unstoppable mages, and of course it will require study and training to master either side, but this way it is a character's fault (and maybe a bad DM's) if they fall behind in this way.

Understandably, a system that does this would be more like the core game, but with spellcasting in classes removed for a ruleset kind of like Incantations in UA. It could probably be built with a single core character class (maybe even a modified Expert), and a character just takes points or "levels" or something in combat techniques, skills, and magic strength, etc. while leaving the actual learning of spells to be "free" except for time required to learn and any backlash effects spells may have. At this point, however, the game is a far, far step from the d20 system and might as well be called something else.


This...
Quote from: WitchHunt

Perhaps as the CBG we could develop our own game system. It would be a huge undertaking, but it would be very cool. We could still be a website for worlds designed for d20, GURPs, WoD, etc. but we could carry our own system for gaming as well.

What does everyone else think?


and this...

Quote from: Golem011

I personally enjoy developing backlash systems; wild magic effects, insanity etc. Witchhunt, that idea sounds like Morrowind. It would be cool to level up when you get a certain amount of skill points (gained through battle) and to be able to create your own spells (MP, casting time affected by what augmentations you add to it). That's a thought...


And also this...

Quote from: Golem011

Quote from: WitchHunt

Perhaps as the CBG we could develop our own game system. It would be a huge undertaking, but it would be very cool. We could still be a website for worlds designed for d20, GURPs, WoD, etc. but we could carry our own system for gaming as well.

What does everyone else think?


Exactly what I thought. I think it should be based on D20 fundamentally (keep the rules for AB, abilities, saves etc) but have whole new methods of character creation, spell creation, everything. :)



And finally this...

Quote from: SilvercatMoonpaw

Luminous Crayon always seems to hit thinks squarely on the blurred head.

Magic is limited to certain non-combat effects: I did this with my Ah'rem setting.  There idea there was to look at magic as a sort of replacement for modern or futuristic technology (even if Ah'rem was a steampunk setting).  That's where divinations came in, while evocations and conjurations often went out.  Secondly I wanted to try and focus on people having to be tricky, so  I took out or increased the level of the spells I thought ruined that.  However, if a spell could do something like let you see at a distance, it stayed in because it added to a feel of technological effectiveness while still making players have to be tricky and tactical.

Magic requires a lot of effort to get ready: I was going to do this with my Sasam setting.  The Invocation optionals rules form Unearthed Arcana and Urban Arcana use this idea.  One reason this works for flavor and balance is that potentially anyone can do it: you could have a party of rogues or fighters who can get together to do a spell.  Also is might actually increase the draw toward classes that can get the components necessary: fight or sneak your way into the king's personal library to steal a certain musty tome.

Magic requires more than one caster: An interesting idea, but not one I think would work if intended for player use.  If we're talking a reasonably large amount of casters than it would probably take the entire team just to do it.

Magic is finiky: This one doesn't quite work in every example mentioned.  The whole "magic doesn't work in the presence of iron" is really good because suddenly you have a reason for people to run around in heavy armor when they know that a caster could be around the corner.  The downside in that instance is that it would need to be designed so that class that don't have spells and don't wear armor were still competitive.
Other examples, such as magic requires starlight or doesn't work in the presence of water would function poorly mechanically because it would simply turn into an exercise of "how does the caster get neutered this time?".

A route that hasn't been preposed is the alternate direction, where everyone in the group gets magical powers.  Of course, this can't reasonably be done with D&D.  You need something like a superhero RPG to accomplish it, and superpowered individuals aren't what everyone likes.



And then got really underway with this...

Quote from: beejazz

Quote from: WitchHunt

Magic can be balanced if it's not restricted to anyone. A system where anyone or anything can potentially use any level of magic is a balanced system, but not necessarily in a statistical way. There will still be distinctions between master warriors and unstoppable mages, and of course it will require study and training to master either side, but this way it is a character's fault (and maybe a bad DM's) if they fall behind in this way.

Understandably, a system that does this would be more like the core game, but with spellcasting in classes removed for a ruleset kind of like Incantations in UA. It could probably be built with a single core character class (maybe even a modified Expert), and a character just takes points or "levels" or something in combat techniques, skills, and magic strength, etc. while leaving the actual learning of spells to be "free" except for time required to learn and any backlash effects spells may have. At this point, however, the game is a far, far step from the d20 system and might as well be called something else.


Alot of this kind of drifts heavily from DnD. I agree incantations-wise, but the separation between classes should remain roughly as it is already. None of this "magic level" or "combat level" or "stealth level".
Rather, we could work it such that your "caster level" works more like a base attack bonus. +1/level for mages. +3/4 levels for dabblers. +1/2 levels for meat-brains.
Likewise, different caster classes would have unique abilities, either combat useful and warlock-esque or to modify incantations (mitigating drawbacks, shortening casting time, leadership status in group rituals, increased parameters, etc.). I think it might be best to use a mix of both.


Quote from: WitchHunt

Well, if we're going to go ahead and build a new system, we should probably start with some rough outlines for everything. "Classes"? Races? Monsters? Combat? Magic use? Equipment? Experience?

I think that the "class" system should be something like what I mentioned above, being something that sort of resembles the D&D Expert NPC class. You know, all-around decent capabilities and no limits on what talents you can learn (unless they're racial, regional, or supernatural limits). All characters could also possibly get so many points to buy abilities with when they start (this could include buying into more powerful races, combat powers, spell packs [probably only 2-4 minor spells per pack?], etc.)

Interested in what people have to say about this and other ideas.


Quote from: WitchHunt

Quote
Alot of this kind of drifts heavily from DnD. I agree incantations-wise, but the separation between classes should remain roughly as it is already. None of this "magic level" or "combat level" or "stealth level".


My intent in my original rambling was to say that we could have a system that basically just removed guaranteed spellcasting from any classes, and make it an optional power that any "normal" class could use. So we'd still have fighters, rogues, barbarians, rangers, paladins, monks, etc. Hell, we could even keep the Cleric and Druid classes and change how they work. But with the proposal of a new system, some of my early suggestions for it are kind of like the whole "magic level, stealth level" deal.


Quote from: Golem011

I'd say that maybe Beejazz is right in his thing about classes. Perhaps we could create four generic classes, one with no magery, one with dabbling (equal to poor BAB) one with average (half BAB) and one with full (full BAB.) Races could stay... about the same, although they may need some modification. Perhaps we could fiddle with the abilities (add a 7th, we need to decide what abilities affect casting) and yes, the point-buy stuff is cool. Experience can be used to achieve new levels where you gain new ability bonuses (but races and some other stuff you can't gain except at level 1)

Spells would come maybe in packs, but you could design new ones.



Quote from: beejazz

Quote from: Golem011

I'd say that maybe Beejazz is right in his thing about classes. Perhaps we could create four generic classes, one with no magery, one with dabbling (equal to poor BAB) one with average (half BAB) and one with full (full BAB.) Races could stay... about the same, although they may need some modification. Perhaps we could fiddle with the abilities (add a 7th, we need to decide what abilities affect casting) and yes, the point-buy stuff is cool. Experience can be used to achieve new levels where you gain new ability bonuses (but races and some other stuff you can't gain except at level 1)

Spells would come maybe in packs, but you could design new ones.


Well... I would expect more than generic classes for DnD, but for a homebrew I say let's cover all bases. I think maybe that there might be a sort of "tech tree" for spells. You need to know x number of low-level necromancies to get your first mid-level necromancy, and x number of mid-level necromancies to get their first high-level necromancy. We could even use ritual knowledge as a sort of treasure! I don't think spellcasting should rely on some new ability score. Incantaions are pretty straightforward research => execution... so intelligence. The spell-esque class features of druids, clerics, etc. should continue to go on a case-by-case basis.



Quote from: WitchHunt

Yeah, that'd be cool. But should each "section" of the character (hit points and attack skill, talents and powers, statistics, and whatever else we may call the groups) get individual points to spend to start, or should a character just get a pile of points to spend wherever they want? I think there should be minimum amounts spent in each section, but it should be kept pretty lenient.


Quote from: WitchHunt

I like the idea of tech trees. It's starting to make this system sound like it'll be a mixture of d20, WoD, and Diablo II, which is cool to me.


Quote from: beejazz

Again, I'm leery of point-buy systems. Incantations can be cast direct from book, or can be kept in memory by those with slots (like spells-known slots) for it.


Quote from: Phoenix Knight

As someone that has previously created an entire game system, it is a lot of work.  And it is true that it is harder to sell (figuratively) homebrew rules to players than packaged stuff they know.  That said I did learn a lot from creating the system and running a long game (2 years every week) with it.

I considered trying to submit regular articles on building systems to the guide, but I do not presently have time.  Perhaps in the future.  I would like to do a revision of my system, using what I have learned.  Right now, my current gaming focus is on Kishar, for which I modified D&D mechanics.

On the subject, I'd say the magic system I created for Kishar (see Kishar: Mechanics in my sig) might actually be a way to start down the magic-fix road you describe.

I recommend all of you check out Buy the Numbers as a point-based d20 system that allows some of what you describe.  You'd still need to create your own magic system.

I also cannot recommend enough The Riddle of Steel, which is, in my opinion, the finest game system ever created.  Again, because it was published by a smaller company, I've had a harder time getting players to try it over D&D.  They know D&D, and often players don't want to try something new, even if it may very well be better.  But any future work I do on game design, and even houserules, is influenced by my knowledge of TRoS.

I might be willing to lend some help to the project, as I have time, depending on the direction it goes.  I kind of lean away from classes, especially the overly specialized classes in D&D which are restrictive.

A class system could look good, if executed properly, but I don't feel that is the case, here.


Quote from: beejazz

Well... classes should really reflect the setting. As I see it, you need classes (or class options) for all of the following.

COMBAT(melee)
COMBAT(ranged)
COMBAT(movement)
COMBAT(defense)
EXPERT(skirmish)
EXPERT(social)
EXPERT(stealth)
EXPERT(intel, tech, alchemy)
MAGIC(religious)
MAGIC(primal, natural)
MAGIC(study)
MAGIC(freaking evil)

I dunno... just some *general* guidelines. I would say a minimum of seven classes. I've got my own ideas about magic... like that it is everywhere for anyone who knows where to look. Like in the fairy tales, certain people just plain talk with animals. It isn't that they're druids or anything, it's just that the animal has something to say and the character listens. Y'know?


Quote from: SilvercatMoonpaw

Are we doing classes or point-buy?  My advocacy for point-buy is that you can mix and match any aspect of the character you like without fiddling with things like multiclassing.  A single, generic "class" to build on would work because starting with that idea we'd have to design it to hold every concept.

I don't think it's possible to have a divide between different "classes" and stil have the nice complete flexibility of point-buy.  I think if we want to have a first step in this process we need to ask how flexible in mechanics we want this to be.


Quote from: CYMRO

Quote from: SilvercatMoonpaw

Are we doing classes or point-buy?  My advocacy for point-buy is that you can mix and match any aspect of the character you like without fiddling with things like multiclassing.  A single, generic "class" to build on would work because starting with that idea we'd have to design it to hold every concept.

I don't think it's possible to have a divide between different "classes" and stil have the nice complete flexibility of point-buy.  I think if we want to have a first step in this process we need to ask how flexible in mechanics we want this to be.



I vote also for point buy.  Any flavor you like makes it sooo simple.

Flexible in which mechanics.


First idea:
My personal thought is to go to go to FIVE abilities:
STRENGTH
ACCURACY
AGILITY
WILLPOWER
PERCEPTION

Mental stats, as currently exist can go away.

SKILLS:
A few can be folded into others, new ones added to reflect a classless system.

FEATS:
Lots more as class abilities and spell types/classes become built of of them.




Quote from: WitchHunt

I am completely in favor of point buy. I like the five abilities CYMRO has proposed, since they leave room for a character's personality to reflect the player's more instead of having someone try to be someone they're not.


Quote from: CYMRO

Quote from: WitchHunt

I am completely in favor of point buy. I like the five abilities CYMRO has proposed, since they leave room for a character's personality to reflect the player's more instead of having someone try to be someone they're not.


Yay!!

I was also thinking about transmuting alignment into feats that gave auras(and vulnerabilities to certain famous spells).  This allows players to not have to be anything, if they do not choose to.  But if they do, they stink of it, no matter what the individual actions they commit.


Quote from: SilvercatMoonpaw

I have Buy the Numbers, and in fact the only thing a really don't like about it is that it's a bit on the number-heavy side.  But it does allow one to do D&D in a sort of point-buy way.


Quote from: Luminous Crayon

Quote from: WitchHunt
I am completely in favor of point buy. I like the five abilities CYMRO has proposed, since they leave room for a character's personality to reflect the player's more instead of having someone try to be someone they're not.
Whereas I suggest that being someone you're not is often half the fun. I'm me every day already.

Is it a matter of personal preference? Of course.



Quote from: SilvercatMoonpaw

Quote from: CYMRO
My personal thought is to go to go to FIVE abilities:
STRENGTH
ACCURACY
AGILITY
WILLPOWER
PERCEPTION

Mental stats, as currently exist can go away.

SKILLS:
A few can be folded into others, new ones added to reflect a classless system.

First up I'm not sure on your choice of stats.  "No mental stats" I really want to go for, since I'm always having a hard time not playing myself.  But the physical stats you give are odd:
STRENGTH: Understandable.
ACCURAY: How is this not AGILITY combined with PERCEPTION, which is what accuracy really is.
AGILITY: This name works only if you mean just mean dodging things, otherwise Dexterity still fits the idea of being both agile and having good manipulative abilities with the body.
Why no Constitution or Health score?
WILLPOWER: This could get tricky if you keep the Will saving throw with the same name.
PERCEPTION: Sounds fine.

In some instances it might be better to choose a different name for what you mean.  Also, you want to be careful what exactly you need to stat out.  One simple system I have does away with the need for coded stats because why do you need to know what they are unless they are actually having an effect, and which point you go and record them how you want them.


Quote from: CYMRO

Quote from: SilvercatMoonpaw

Quote from: CYMRO
My personal thought is to go to go to FIVE abilities:
STRENGTH
ACCURACY
AGILITY
WILLPOWER
PERCEPTION

Mental stats, as currently exist can go away.

SKILLS:
A few can be folded into others, new ones added to reflect a classless system.

First up I'm not sure on your choice of stats.  "No mental stats" I really want to go for, since I'm always having a hard time not playing myself.  But the physical stats you give are odd:
STRENGTH: Understandable.
ACCURAY: How is this not AGILITY combined with PERCEPTION, which is what accuracy really is.
AGILITY: This name works only if you mean just mean dodging things, otherwise Dexterity still fits the idea of being both agile and having good manipulative abilities with the body.
Why no Constitution or Health score?
WILLPOWER: This could get tricky if you keep the Will saving throw with the same name.
PERCEPTION: Sounds fine.




some of my ideas:
Accuracy = €œto hit€ factor
Agility = AC factor, though Dex works just as well
Perception = Spot, cetain save types(illusion comes to mind)
Strength = €œdamage€ factor
Willpower = resistance to compulsions, charms, etc. Maybe even adding this modifier to damage output of certain spells...


Health can be bought as needed/wanted, thus making RPing a weakling possible.

Obviuosly this all needs a bit fine-tuning...

Quote
In some instances it might be better to choose a different name for what you mean.  Also, you want to be careful what exactly you need to stat out.  One simple system I have does away with the need for coded stats because why do you need to know what they are unless they are actually having an effect, and which point you go and record them how you want them.


I agree, which is why I think mentals should go.  Sorry, LC.  I can RP a simpleton, and underdevelop my chracter's knowledge skills and such to reflect he is a moron.


Quote from: Natural 20

This sounds awesome.  Count my vote on removing mental ability scores.

I too tried to design a point-buy based game system. Trust me, you really don't want to know what it looked like.


Quote from: CYMRO

Quote from: Natural 20

This sounds awesome.  Count my vote on removing mental ability scores.

I too tried to design a point-buy based game system. Trust me, you really don't want to know what it looked like.


The problem is going it alone.  Trust me.  I have hit many roadblocks, but I have confidence that our combined brainpower can REALLY screw this up- I mean make this work. :morons:  ;)






Quote from: beejazz

I'm also a little leery of the proposed abilities. I'm hesitant about "no mental stats"... but willing to try it.

As I see it, dexterity should be split into manual dexterity (lockpicking, crafts, etc.) and gross dexterity (dodging, reflexes, etc.) Strength is good. A constitution-equivalent is necessary. Perception is good... unless you want to add a luck score?

My dexterity split is merely a representation of the fact that an artist is not necessarily an acrobat.

And again, I'm against too heavy of a point-buy. This should be a mixed system at best, with a minmum level for everything to help maintain game balance.


Quote from: CYMRO

Dexterity works for fine skills.
Agility for the "acrobatics".
Strength.
Perception.

Quote
A constitution-equivalent is necessary.

In a skill based system, where you buy your HP/VP/WP(needs to be worked oot), and Concentration is bought point by point, what does Constitution really mean?
Fort saves?
Should saves be stand alones, or based off another ability?


Quote from: beejazz

Mph... I'm curious/agitated as to the extent of this point buy system... still clinging to "levels" as a more easy-to-balance guage of PC power... and easier character creation to boot. Lots of little abilities =/= one big ability. Generic classes with point-buy features and standard-rate skills and feats seems like a better way to go. That or standard character progression and a higher rate of xp exchange... draining your soul and experience to learn a spell or what have you. Constitution seems necessary to me, but if not we should allow for luck. It's useful for gambling and in a pinch can serve as just the "magic-centric" ability we've been looking for.


Quote from: CYMRO

Quote
Generic classes with point-buy features and standard-rate skills and feats seems like a better way to go.


Classes as such would not have to exist, but a Guild or Profession from a region (Paladin, hint, hint) might not allow someone to enter their ranks without meeting stringent requirements.

The beauty of a classless system is that someone's ideal build of a favorite is possible, as well as anything else.   :)


Quote
Constitution seems necessary to me, but if not we should allow for luck.


Luck is a fine thing for anyone to have.  



Quote from: snakefing

Two points I'd make:

1) There are many ways to change magic, each of which lends itself to a somewhat different balancing mechanic and even more different flavor in play. It will be hard to create a single system that is all around "better". I'd think you'll be better off choosing a flavor/feel/theme and designing a system that supports it better than the current.

2) I'd be in favor of some kind of class-based mechanic. It could be point-buy or level-based, but the class would particular groups or packages of feats that are available. Personally I'd stick with level-based to be the most accessible to d20/D&D players, but that's just me.

To be clear, I dislike the fairly rigid systems of leveling and class abilities. I'd prefer a more open system where each class provided lists of major and minor abilities that the character can choose wehn they level up or buy with their points.

Skill-based and point-buy systems can be great for designing characters, but they are tough on gamemasters for creating NPC's and can be hard to master for new players. Also, the number of opportunities for min/maxing expands as the number of options expands.

A game I worked on in a previous life had 12 basic characteristics: Strength, Constitution, Dexterity, Agility, Intelligence, Judgment, Willpower, Talent, Social Standing, Charisma, Appearance, and Zeal. That was overkill.


Quote from: beejazz

Yes, but I see people sacrificing two things they could get at "fourth level equivalent" to get something "eighth level equivalent". At the very least, people should be limited to spending x% of their points on any one thing. Also, there should be a level-esque guage of power for caster levels, etc. The normal character's "level" is an extraordinarily useful thing for... alot of things, really. Rather than have "classes" I suppose we could have "class templates". Each has a point value, scales with "level" and can only be bought at first, fifth, tenth, etc. Many class features would have these general archetypes as prerequisites. For balance's sake, a hybrid seems the way to go!


Quote from: Natural 20

I'd just like to suggest my idea for luck as an ability, perhaps we could tie it in with action points?  And I shall try to be here as the voice of reason throughout this project, since I suck at mechanics.  You all need somebody to tell you when you're going too far, although whether you listen to me or not is purely up to you.


Quote from: beejazz

Yeah... kind of ditto. I can modify better than I can write from scratch.


Quote from: CYMRO

Quote from: Natural 20

I'd just like to suggest my idea for luck as an ability, perhaps we could tie it in with action points?  And I shall try to be here as the voice of reason throughout this project, since I suck at mechanics.  You all need somebody to tell you when you're going too far, although whether you listen to me or not is purely up to you.


A Critical Voice of Reason it is. :D

It is true that point based characters make CRs  difficult, but if one knows the XP total of a character, no matter how he has spent them, you can create appropriate challenges for him based on that.  And Templates/Packages, PC or NPC, make a dandy guide, though not as any strict sort of class.  Imagine a Fighter with all of the normal fighter bag of tricks, but he sacrificed some weapon profs and other minor class abilities for a selection of cold based spells.



Quote from: snakefing

Quote from: beejazz

Yes, but I see people sacrificing two things they could get at "fourth level equivalent" to get something "eighth level equivalent".

Balancing a system like that is the hardest thing. You could do it with a fairly stringent set of prerequisites and/or feat trees. (E.g., Improved Evasion requires Evasion and +8 Refl save, to put it in SRD terms.) Or you can try to design your class abilities so you can't get that far ahead of yourself (the ability to learn level 6 spells doesn't buy you much if you don't have the spell points/slots/mana/whatever needed to cast them effectively.

But if you think balancing things like that is hard in a class-like system, try doing it in a classless system, where people can buy whatever they feel like.


Quote from: beejazz

Again, as long as this stuff doesn't get out of control or become too complicated for character creation, I'm fine with it.


Quote from: WitchHunt

Or, regarding CR in a point buy system, you could go all 2e on everyone and just state how much XP a standard version of a monster gives, and state what rate monster XP goes up or down when you buff or weaken them. I think this might actually encourage finding ways other than combat to defeat an enemy sometimes.

And I return to the debate!

Quote from: Golem011

Yup.

I personally say that the 'classless' system we're going for is good, but we should keep levels. Each level, a character gains a fixed (small) amount of points to increase stats, buy new spells etc as we're already discussing. Maybe one stat could increase how many you get per level (willpower, maybe, or perception). You can spend these however you want, but there are prerequisites for feats, abilities, etc. At 1st level there'd be more options (spontaneous/learnable casting etc)... perhaps we should choose classes, thinking about it, although classes as Beejazz told of them... not stereotypical, just 'starting packages', as you will, which begin with spontaneous casting/natural casting/book learning/find traps DC20+/extra weapon proficiencies etc etc.


« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by beejazz »

CYMRO

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The CBG System (discussions)
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2006, 07:08:36 AM »
Quote
Yup.

I personally say that the 'classless' system we're going for is good, but we should keep levels. Each level, a character gains a fixed (small) amount of points to increase stats, buy new spells etc as we're already discussing. Maybe one stat could increase how many you get per level (willpower, maybe, or perception). You can spend these however you want, but there are prerequisites for feats, abilities, etc. At 1st level there'd be more options (spontaneous/learnable casting etc)... perhaps we should choose classes, thinking about it, although classes as Beejazz told of them... not stereotypical, just 'starting packages', as you will, which begin with spontaneous casting/natural casting/book learning/find traps DC20+/extra weapon proficiencies etc etc.


The beauty of no levels is choice.  A player can horde 5500 or so xp and get fire storm as his first "buy" after character creation.  Meaning he will be a wimp with one grand spell, like a usefull Rincewind.
Or, he could spend his first 700 xp on burning hands, then buy a basic feat for 1000, maybe a weapon group proficiency for 500, some HP/WP/VP, and some BAB.
*Numbers of XP here are just random plug-ns...


Classless and levelless means get the character you want, and nothing you don't want.  Suggested "templates" means a current favorite can be emulated exactly, or deviated from to suit a "fix" you alays wanted, like a spelless fighter who trades some BAB/weapon prof for Turning Undead.

 

Wensleydale

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The CBG System (discussions)
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2006, 07:11:23 AM »
True. I still think starting 'packages' would be good; I suppose you could think of them as free abilities. That is, spontaneous casting, learner casting, wild magic, whatever. But you get the gist.

SilvercatMoonpaw

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The CBG System (discussions)
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2006, 07:45:59 AM »
Quote from: Golem011

True. I still think starting 'packages' would be good; I suppose you could think of them as free abilities. That is, spontaneous casting, learner casting, wild magic, whatever. But you get the gist.

I don't get it.  I still think full-on buy is still the best way to get a character just the way one wants.  Any restriction of how points can be spent just takes us back to the days when we had rigid classes.

If we're going to worry about abuses what we need to do is make sure that the most powerful abilities cost an amount that makes them harder to aquire and more limited in use than deversifying.  Think gun vs. bazooka.
I'm a muck-levelist, I like to see things from the bottom.

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Wensleydale

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The CBG System (discussions)
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2006, 08:10:11 AM »
Nonono... what I mean is, just things that give you the 'spontaneous casting', 'plain ol' fighter' etc stuff. Not restrictions.

CYMRO

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« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2006, 09:06:49 AM »
Quote from: Golem011

Nonono... what I mean is, just things that give you the 'spontaneous casting', 'plain ol' fighter' etc stuff. Not restrictions.


As example templates, it gives you a good idea of how to replicate a basic archetype.

Wensleydale

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« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2006, 09:11:04 AM »
Mmm. Like a free base on which to build your character. There could be any number of these, and you could buy extras at higher levels (so you could be spontaneous and learning caster, for instance... ooh... powerful).

Hibou

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« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2006, 10:55:07 AM »
I don't think different bases to build characters on would be a good idea, because then it's kind of like using core classes with the freedom to slap on a few variants if you want to. We should definitely design several 'starting packages' based on the amount of starting points a character gains for people to just take right away if they want, but otherwise leave the base template blank.

The way to handle organization membership is simple enough: leave new abilities specific to the guild purchasable through the XP gained, but require membership and training through the guild first.

beejazz

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« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2006, 12:53:04 PM »
There should only be two "restrictions" on the expenditure of points:
1)max x% of total
2)higher-level abilities require lower-level abilities (tech tree)
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Wensleydale

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« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2006, 01:00:40 PM »
*nods* okay.

I didn't want there to be restrictions on expenditure of points... I was just thinking 'how are we going to make spontaneous casting work'.

Xeviat

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« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2006, 01:10:01 PM »
I'd jump in and give my help, but this is straying far from my level of expertise. My own game mods have been working towards making the game into a new system, but retaining the d20 as a core.

I don't believe a level-less system is good; the flaw with a level-less system is that it is more difficult to run a proper challenge rating system. I'll give you all my ideas, and maybe they'll help you formulate your own:

  • As characters gain XP, they gain Character Points. Players spend character points purchasing skills (cost = 1 point per point of new rank; going from 3 ranks to 4 ranks costs 4 points), feats (cost = first tier feats cost 4 points, and they cost more as they rise in tier; this allows high level characters to pick up low level feats easier without hurting their effectiveness), and ability score increases (haven't figured out the costs just yet). Base Attack Bonus is replaced with weapon skills. Cross class skills are maintained through maximum ranks, but costs may or may not increase for cross class skills.
  • Classes are maintained; when your XP reaches certain levels, you can gain a new level in a class. Class level determines saving throw progressions and class abilities (one flaw will be dealing with characters with exceptionally high skill points, or characters with low skill points and low weapon skills; perhaps concentration, knowledges, and spellcraft can be made more important to spellcasting?)
  • Wound/Vitality system, in addition to class based AC (low = 1 + 1/4th level; high = 2 + 1/2 level), plus armor as DR (reduce armor by half, replace half with DR/adamantine).
  • Expanded Skill System: At every multiple of 5 ranks, each skill grants some sort of special ability; current examples are how Tumble 5 ranks grants +1 AC when fighting defensively.
The reason I propose not starting from ground level is that less outside material can be used. My proposed system allows all base classes to be used with minimal modification (once the skill issue is dealt with).

As for alternate ability scores, I propose having 8:

Strength: melee damage, carrying capacity, combat maneuvers (grapple, bullrush, overrun, trip), weapon wielding (if your strength is too low, you suffer an attack penalty when wielding larger weapons; doubles as potentially letting exceptionally strong characters wield larger weapons without "waisting" a feat on monkey-grip).
Dexterity: melee and ranged to hit, many skills.
Constitution: VP, WP, Fort saves.
Agility: AC, Initiative, Reflex.
Intelligence: skills, Wizard casting
Wisdom: less skills, Will saves, Cleric casting
Perception: skills, Druid casting
Charisma: skills, Charisma casting

Take what you will.

As for caster level functioning like BAB, I'm fine with that. Tome of Battle does that for the martial adepts (non-class levels count as 1/2).
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Hibou

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« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2006, 01:10:58 PM »
Maybe we can have two distinctions between spontaneous and preparation. Spontaneous spells should require more mana, while prepared spells should require a little less and maybe have another drawback, such as longer casting times. To balance this, spontaneous might have to cost a fair bit more. This is just an idea though.

What about changing the idea of casting 'quickened' spells? Perhaps we could set a Rate of Casting for spellcasters to see how many spells they can cast per turn, based off of Dexterity and Willpower or something. There could also be the option of spending XP points on increasing casting speed (probably very expensive). I feel that maybe if it's done this way, spontaneous casting should be a little faster to start as well, but generally cost more than preparation does in terms of mana, if we even bother with preparation at all.

beejazz

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« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2006, 01:15:53 PM »
The spontaneous/prepared thing is unnecessary.
We have magic as class features (usually handled as spell-like or supernatural abilities) and then we have magic from rituals and incantations. No need to prepare... although I like the idea of recharge times. There are some rough guidelines for that in UA.
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Wensleydale

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« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2006, 01:32:34 PM »
We really need to vote; classless, or classes?

Who says classes? Or not?

I think we should keep the classes, personally (although they'd be generic ones, and following the 'Xeviat' idea).

Matt Larkin (author)

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« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2006, 01:39:35 PM »
Quote from: Xeviat

I don't believe a level-less system is good; the flaw with a level-less system is that it is more difficult to run a proper challenge rating system. I'll give you all my ideas, and maybe they'll help you formulate your own:

I often agree with your ideas, but I have to strongly disagree here.  Of course, one needs to track total XP, points, or whatever, but plenty of level-less systems work just fine.

I encourage class-less, as well.

I don't see the point of having a prepared caster in a system we write ourselves.  If we want to say some rituals are complex enough that they require a book, that makes sense.  The prepared/spontaneous divide is an outgrowth of the rules, and there is no reason to maintain it in a new rules system.
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