Author Topic: d20 2.0: Seeking Krunch Savy Co-Authors  (Read 1862 times)

Xeviat

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« on: September 28, 2006, 09:57:54 PM »
For some time now, I have been sitting on a project, waiting for the motivation to write it to mature. While it has not yet matured on it's own, I'm an impatient individual so, metaphorically, I'm sticking it in an incubator.

Sorry for the extended analogy. I am beginning to write a big change to the game, but not so big as to change the game that we play (I'm refering to D&D). By and large, the project will be creating a new method of building and advancing your characters. Levels and Classes will be maintained, but several ideas are going into its creation:

    *As characters gain XP, they also gain Attribute Points (from here on called AP). AP are used to purchase ability score increases, skill points, and feats.
    *Base Attack Bonus is dropped in favor of Weapon Skills. Weapons will be categorized into proficiency groups, related to the way the weapon is wielded and the damage/crit type (for instance, 'swords' is a martial group which will include the long sword, bastard sword, and great sword).
    *Class Levels will still grant special abilities and HD. They may not grant Base Save Progressions, as I may seek to make a character's ability scores more important in this regard.
    *Skill Ranks will be much more important than before; having ranks in skills grant special abilities (like how 5 tumble ranks increases your AC while fighting defensively or using the total defense action).


By and large, the game will still be d20. Monsters and NPCs will still be able to be used as written; in fact, the standard character creation system can still be used by DMs as a "quick and dirty" character creation method (anything that saves DMs time). I believe, though, that this alternate level progression system will expand character options and make things more "realistic" (for instance, a character could now spend their AP increasing an ability score, such as if they spend their time working out or performing mental excersizes).

So, are there any brave individuals that are interested in helping me? I know this is coming on the wake of the apparant abandonement of the CBG System, so forgive me for poaching.
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SA

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« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2006, 10:16:40 PM »
Weapon skills for the win!

...Er, hold on.  The CBG system has died?  Oh noes!

snakefing

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« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2006, 10:24:34 PM »
Well, we've been crunching away in the dice pools threads, trying to come up with an approach that shows some promise. We're coming to a close on that, but babies, work, and other projects are chewing up my time.

I think once we go through a couple of combat sims, we'll probably have a proposal, and maybe that will wake up the sleepers. Or not.
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« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2006, 10:28:58 PM »
CBG system not dead!

CLEAR!

*foom*

CLEAR

*foom*

CLEAR
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Xeviat

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« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2006, 10:32:29 PM »
Heh, sorry, just trying to get a few people riled up.

I don't want to take away from your pet system, I just think that it may be easier to tweek the current system rather than rewrite an entirely new one. ::Shrugs::

Any takers?
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CYMRO

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« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2006, 02:49:32 PM »
Quote from: beejazz

CBG system not dead!

CLEAR!

*foom*

CLEAR

*foom*

CLEAR


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« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2006, 11:36:11 PM »
Quote from: Xeviat

For some time now, I have been sitting on a project, waiting for the motivation to write it to mature. While it has not yet matured on it's own, I'm an impatient individual so, metaphorically, I'm sticking it in an incubator.

Sorry for the extended analogy. I am beginning to write a big change to the game, but not so big as to change the game that we play (I'm refering to D&D). By and large, the project will be creating a new method of building and advancing your characters. Levels and Classes will be maintained, but several ideas are going into its creation:

I would be interested in working on something like this and have got several ideas either inspired by some of the points you made, or of things i had already thought of. The problem is that a lot of the ideas i have are pretty far from standard D20 which i don't think is what you are intending.

Quote from: Xeviat

*As characters gain XP, they also gain Attribute Points (from here on called AP). AP are used to purchase ability score increases, skill points, and feats.

This seems like a good idea, although perhaps the ability increases should take the forms of feats that can be taken multiple time and have a cap on them. I find this would just make it more realistic as people would have to spend time training in order to imnprove their attributes - time that is then taken away from developing other abbilities. Similarily, if you spend all your time trying to gain a new technique, other aspects may suffer. So, you could spend time bulking up in a gym (increasing Str) or working on your technique (feats of more weapon skill - see after)
Skills could probably just stay separate. Some other ideas for skills and feats will be spoken of later.

Quote from: Xeviat

*Base Attack Bonus is dropped in favor of Weapon Skills. Weapons will be categorized into proficiency groups, related to the way the weapon is wielded and the damage/crit type (for instance, 'swords' is a martial group which will include the long sword, bastard sword, and great sword).

Good idea. Would there be some way to cause the use of a particular weapon set to be what increases it (ala dungeon seige). ie. if you use swords a lot you sword skill goes up, and similarily if you want to get better with swords, you can't use axes all the time since that would increase you axe skill instead.
Also, would it be possible/smart to include other abbilities into this same system?
Possibilites include sneak attacks, and maybe magic skill.
Could skills be based on the same system? ie. to improve your climb skill you have to actually use it. same with open locks or UMD.
Maybe it should all be one set of aptitudes based off of the skill rules and have most weapon skill sets be class skills for fighters (rogues would get some class and some CC. mages would have all CC). Maybe in this case there have to be 3 designators (favoured, class and CC ?).

Quote from: Xeviat

*Class Levels will still grant special abilities and HD. They may not grant Base Save Progressions, as I may seek to make a character's ability scores more important in this regard.

Here's where my ideas were weering away from D20. No classes. Just people with combinations of different levels of aptitudes in different areas. Certain class feature could be turned into feats, while other could act more like the martial arts styles. If you meet a bunch of skill and feat pre-recs then you gain this abbility.
Quote from: Xeviat

*Skill Ranks will be much more important than before; having ranks in skills grant special abilities (like how 5 tumble ranks increases your AC while fighting defensively or using the total defense action).

This could all tie into the parts about skill levels and feats and combos as said above.
Quote from: Xeviat

By and large, the game will still be d20. Monsters and NPCs will still be able to be used as written; in fact, the standard character creation system can still be used by DMs as a "quick and dirty" character creation method (anything that saves DMs time). I believe, though, that this alternate level progression system will expand character options and make things more "realistic" (for instance, a character could now spend their AP increasing an ability score, such as if they spend their time working out or performing mental excersizes).

So, are there any brave individuals that are interested in helping me? I know this is coming on the wake of the apparant abandonement of the CBG System, so forgive me for poaching.

Although some of the ideas i have are not very D20, i think they could work and could make a very fluid character building system. If you think some of these could work, letme know. If not, i could help you with yours anyways and maybe someday will get around to making this set of rules up.
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Xeviat

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« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2006, 01:22:04 AM »
Try to stay away and get my life in order, but I can't leave you guys entirely. I won't be around too much, but I will be around sometime.

Quote from: supadupaman
I would be interested in working on something like this and have got several ideas either inspired by some of the points you made, or of things i had already thought of. The problem is that a lot of the ideas i have are pretty far from standard D20 which i don't think is what you are intending.


I'm not considering anything too far removed from d20; the core concept will still exist: roll high, roll d20 and add modifiers, classes and levels, races, and gain XP for overcoming challenges.

Quote from: supadupaman

This seems like a good idea, although perhaps the ability increases should take the forms of feats that can be taken multiple time and have a cap on them. I find this would just make it more realistic as people would have to spend time training in order to imnprove their attributes - time that is then taken away from developing other abbilities. Similarily, if you spend all your time trying to gain a new technique, other aspects may suffer. So, you could spend time bulking up in a gym (increasing Str) or working on your technique (feats of more weapon skill - see after)


The ability score increases don't need to be called feats. Ability score increases, like skills, will cost progressively more as you increase them. Scores will start at 8, and the increase from 8 to 9 is 4, and they start going up from there (I haven't made the progressions yet). Feats, likewise, will have different costs, largely dependent on how high in their tier they are (dodge or power attack, for instance, might only cost 4 points). Skills will cost a number of points equal to the rank you are attaining (purchasing your 4th rank costs 4 points).

Quote from: supadupaman

Good idea. Would there be some way to cause the use of a particular weapon set to be what increases it (ala dungeon seige). ie. if you use swords a lot you sword skill goes up, and similarily if you want to get better with swords, you can't use axes all the time since that would increase you axe skill instead.


If you use swords a lot, that's how you're typically gaining your XP. Tracking things like some CRPGs do would be too complicated for a PnP game.

Quote from: supadupaman

Also, would it be possible/smart to include other abbilities into this same system?
Possibilites include sneak attacks, and maybe magic skill.


No, I'm still retaining classes. If you want to pick up magic ability or other special abilities, you multiclass. PrCs will still exist to make multiclassing easier. You gain levels when ever your XP reaches certain points, and while I guess we could design something leveless, I feel that leveless games can be abused more (and I like the idea of class abilities; consider them to be very exclusive feats).

Quote from: supadupaman

Maybe it should all be one set of aptitudes based off of the skill rules and have most weapon skill sets be class skills for fighters (rogues would get some class and some CC. mages would have all CC). Maybe in this case there have to be 3 designators (favoured, class and CC ?).


Perhaps, that would help get around the 3/4ths BAB issue. Another option I'm toying with is based on my ideas for the skill system. Every time you attain 5 ranks in a skill (5, 10, 15, 20), you gain a special ability with that skill. The special abilities for Martial weapons would be better than those for simples; rogues, clerics, and other 3/4ths BAB characters are limited to simple weapons. This doesn't help that much, as we're still going to want Warriors to have the highest to hits; we can discuss this more over Instant Messanger or something.

Quote from: supadupaman

Here's where my ideas were weering away from D20. No classes. Just people with combinations of different levels of aptitudes in different areas. Certain class feature could be turned into feats, while other could act more like the martial arts styles. If you meet a bunch of skill and feat pre-recs then you gain this abbility.


I think this can be abused, and I like the diversity of the class system. I want it to stay around, as this is d20 2.0 and not an entirely new system.

Quote from: supadupaman

Although some of the ideas i have are not very D20, i think they could work and could make a very fluid character building system. If you think some of these could work, letme know. If not, i could help you with yours anyways and maybe someday will get around to making this set of rules up.


Sure, IM me at JAGXeviat (AOL) or XeviatJAG (YIM) and we can get thinking.
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snakefing

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« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2006, 01:33:20 PM »
[blockquote=Xeviat]The ability score increases don't need to be called feats. Ability score increases, like skills, will cost progressively more as you increase them. Scores will start at 8, and the increase from 8 to 9 is 4, and they start going up from there (I haven't made the progressions yet). Feats, likewise, will have different costs, largely dependent on how high in their tier they are (dodge or power attack, for instance, might only cost 4 points). Skills will cost a number of points equal to the rank you are attaining (purchasing your 4th rank costs 4 points).[/blockquote]
Before you get too far into building your progressions, try to think very clearly about what you are trying to accomplish, and whether the system you are building will actually lead to the desired outcome. Don't just think about what you could build with the system, but what people will build with the system.

Keep in mind that in any randomly selected group of four or so players, usually at least one will be the type to fully minimax the system. This means he'll be looking for the way to squeeze the most power and ability out of the available points. If this means a hyper-specialized character who can't dress himself in the morning but casts killer fireballs all day long, he'll do that. If it means a flavorless jack-of-all-trades, then that's his approach. This affects the game for everyone - which is why game designers have to put a lot of effort into balancing the costs of various things.

Of course, if you are writing a game for yourself and your buddies, this may not matter.

In my experience, paying for everything out of the same pool of points can be tricky. It means that "powerful" abilities and "interesting" ones are competing for the same resources. For example, in the idea you quoted above, by the time you are looking at rank 12 of a skill, you could take the same points and buy three (base-level) feats! You could try to work around this by restricting how often or how many feats you can buy, but then you've basically gone back to the system where feats are simply acquired at specified intervals.

Another place to look at this is the competition between branching out (getting new skills or improving your weak ones) vs. specializing (taking your best abilities to their highest levels). Where do you want the balance between these things to be? In standard D&D, the fact that all skill levels cost the same, high cost of cross-class skills, and relatively small number of skill points available means that hyper-specialization (in the area of skills at least) is favored. Almost everyone chooses a few skills to max out; and almost no one bothers to buy cross-class skills. But if your next rank of Move Silently costs you 10 points for a mere +1, but you could take those same 10 points and buy 10 new skills at rank 1, or improve 5 skills to rank 2, where's the balance point?

Assuming a system with a fairly fixed number of skill points available, this will probably lead characters to make their highest ranked skills no more than twice the rank of their lowest ranked skills. The situation is complicated even more if those skills are competing with feats, BAB, saves, hit points, class abilities, and whatever for the same pool of available points.

In short, you should expect to spend a lot of time trying to minimax characters and seeing how things play out. This will be a little bit easier if you can clearly articulate for yourself what would be acceptable and unacceptable.

Now, for a bit of my own input:
I don't mind class and level based systems. I'm not as fond of level-based stuff because it doesn't make much sense to say, "You've earned X experience points, but you can't trade them in for character points until you've accumulated enough. Then you get them all in a big batch." Still, it does stay a little closer to the D20 system so it would mean that much less work to do. (Maybe.)

I like the idea of class abilities as sort of specialized feats that you have to have access to in order to buy. But I'm not as fond of any kind of fixed level-based acquisition of abilities. For example, if I want to play a rogue that specializes in social skills, then why do I want to waste his XP gaining BAB and sneak attack abilities that he'll never use? It makes more sense to bundle these abilities into sets of feat trees or whatever that you can't access unless you have the right class groupings or base prerequisites. In a class-based system, it makes sense to base this access on class. If you want access to a particular feat group, you need to multiclass to a class that grants that access.
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Xeviat

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« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2006, 06:38:58 PM »
You bring up some good points Snake. One of my goals in this system is to allow diversity to have its own payoffs; as you pointed out, the current system favores hyper specialization. To make specialization important, though, skills will grant special abilities as you gain higher ranks (thus higher ranks are valued).

I will be doing my best to prevent certain cheezes from happening. We'll see what I can manage.

As for your input: You will be able to spend Character Points as soon as they are gained, but you don't level until your XP reaches certain points. Every time you gain 1 xp, you gain 1 Character Point, so the XP progressions need to be changed greatly.

Your mentioning of the rogue and sneak attack is interesting: I've already divorced BAB from class levels with weapon skills, but I don't think D&D is the game for a courtier core class (that's the aristocrat really). The rogue can function as a diplomat, but the rogue is primarily a light, tricky adventurer who utilizes skill and precision when forced into combat.

I could see making certain things into class specific feat groups, but I'm not sure it is entirely necessary. It's a potential direction, but certain things will need to be discussed much before then (such as ensuring that Rogues and other Adventurers have an advantage on purchasing skill points to encourage them to purchase excess, and ensuring that Fighters and other warriors have an advantage on purchasing weapon skills).
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« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2006, 10:34:09 PM »
Regarding rogues - there are only two core classes that provide access to most or all of the social skills Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidation, Sense Motive, Gather Information, Disguise, Performance, Knowledge (local, nobility). Inevitably, if you multiclass in either one to get access to these skills, you will also be gaining abilities (bardic magic and rogue's evasion, sneak attack, etc.) that you may or may not have any interest in.

It just seems to me that having a more flexible list of class abilities that you get to choose, like you choose your feats, is more appealing. I'd kind of prefer if more classes were similar to the fighter in providing a list of appropriate abilities, and a bunch of bonus picks to choose the ones you want.

But there are other ways of handling it, too. It just depends on how you are doing your classes and experience.

One question - if he spends his XP as he goes, what exactly happens when the character levels up? In standard D20, you gain HP, saves, skill points, feats, characteristic improvements, and class abilities only when you level up. Which of these will be bought with XP on the fly, and which are gained as part of leveling up?
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« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2006, 10:44:45 PM »
Quote from: snakefing


One question - if he spends his XP as he goes, what exactly happens when the character levels up? In standard D20, you gain HP, saves, skill points, feats, characteristic improvements, and class abilities only when you level up. Which of these will be bought with XP on the fly, and which are gained as part of leveling up?



No levels.  You buy everything.  This is best.  In my opinion.

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« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2006, 10:48:07 PM »
I'm a big fan of the buy everything approach as well. It fits better and smoother, and also allows for better gameplay and character flexibility.

Really, I think Mutants and Masterminds accomplishes this goal extremely elegantly. If you are looking to eliminate levels and don't want to just up and use M&M, I would at least suggest looking at it for inspiration. BESM d20 has a great method for handling buying vancian spellcasting, as well, which could easily be adapted to psionics and even the Sublime way.
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Xeviat

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d20 2.0: Seeking Krunch Savy Co-Authors
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2006, 12:42:48 AM »
Levels will grant HD, class abilities, and base saves.

Mutants and Masterminds does not use HP right?
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Xathan

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d20 2.0: Seeking Krunch Savy Co-Authors
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2006, 03:03:33 AM »
No, but in the Masterminds Manual they give rules for using HP as opposed to Toughness saves.
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Xathan's forum posts at http://www.thecbg.org Copyright 2006-2011, J.A. Raizman.
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