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For Valor
2010-06-27, 10:20 PM
Alright, I'm looking into making a ToB campaign with high customizability (in a twisted sense) at character creation. Basically, any Discipline is allowed, but only 1 main class (sorta...) is used.

Ideas and Stuff:

Everybody gets 3 Disciplines... Maybe 4...
Full BAB and Warblade maneuver progression, or Medium BAB and swordsage maneuver progression. That includes stances.
Weapon proficiency based on your disciplines. Plus all simple weapons... I think...
4+Int skill points


That's just about everything. Except class features. The biggest things is to make some class progressions that are very customizable and flexible, but don't affect maneuvers too much. I was imagining:

An aura-buff guy
A blaster
A knight ("I'm on a horse")
A guy who does psychic sh*t (telepathy, psychokinesis, reading minds)
A holy angel
A demon thing
A shadow guy
An undead or a worgen death knight -*cough*- fetish -*cough*-
An acrobat
A tech guy? (worried about OP-ness. Stupid D&D rules. Stupid Artificer)
A giant. Like, large size, huge size, etc.
An aberration of some kid. But that'll come later.


And before I start brewing, are there any suggestions as to what classes I can rip things off of? I'm looking at the Age of Warriors Marshal and Warlord for Auras, and the blaster is easy enough... some of them are straightforward, but others I really don't know about.

For Valor
2010-06-27, 10:21 PM
The Breakdown

So, in the normal scheme of things, the progression for a ToB character goes as such:

1. Feat, New Maneuvers (2)
2. (0)
3. Feat, New Manuevers (2)
4. (0)
5. New Maneuvers (1)
6. Feat (1)
7. New Maneuvers (1)
8. (0)
9. Feat, New Maneuvers (2)
10. (0)
11. New Maneuvers (1)
12. Feat (1)
13. New Maneuvers (1)
14. (0)
15. Feat, New Maneuvers (2)
16. (0)
17. New Maneuvers (1)
18. Feat (1)
19. (0)
20. (0)


So empty levels (where class abilities must be assigned) are at levels 2, 4, 8, 10, 14, 16, 19, and 20.

Normally ability score boosts happen at the levels 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20 (all of those levels are empty levels, except 12). We can include ability boosts, but also make them worthy of a class level.

At level 4: Increase 1 Ability Score by 2
At level 8: Increase 2 Ability Scores by 2
At level 12: Increase 3 Ability Scores by 2
At level 16: Increase 4 Ability Scores by 2
At level 20: Increase 5 Ability Scores by 2

This makes the given progression:

1. Feat, New Maneuvers, Ability Scores (3)
2. (0)
3. Feat, New Manuevers (2)
4. Ability Boost (1)
5. New Maneuvers (1)
6. Feat (1)
7. New Maneuvers (1)
8. Ability Boost (1)
9. Feat, New Maneuvers (1)
10. (0)
11. New Maneuvers (1)
12. Feat, Ability Boost (2)
13. New Maneuvers (1)
14. (0)
15. Feat, New Maneuvers (2)
16. Ability Boost (1)
17. New Maneuvers (1)
18. Feat (1)
19. (0)
20. Ability Boost (1)


Alright, so all the empty levels need to be filled with something, and some of the areas with only one new thing can be boosted as well--nothing should have 3 new things.

I used 2 + 4n for my pattern to assign class abilities, giving them at levels 2, 6, 10, 14, and 18. Of course, level 19 is still empty, since you don't learn new levels of maneuvers past level 17. In 19, I plan on throwing in a game-breaking ability of some kind--honestly, it's level 19. Who really cares?

So the final chart is as follows:

1. Feat, New Maneuvers, Ability Scores (3)
2. Class Ability (1)
3. Feat, New Manuevers (2)
4. Ability Boost (1)
5. New Maneuvers (1)
6. Feat, Class Ability (2)
7. New Maneuvers (1)
8. Ability Boost (1)
9. Feat, New Maneuvers (1)
10. Class Ability (1)
11. New Maneuvers (1)
12. Feat, Ability Boost (2)
13. New Maneuvers (1)
14. Class Ability (1)
15. Feat, New Maneuvers (2)
16. Ability Boost (1)
17. New Maneuvers (1)
18. Feat, Class Ability (2)
19. Ridiculously Powerful Ability (1)
20. Ability Boost (1)


So... class abilities for levels 2, 6, 10, 14, and 18.

For Valor
2010-06-27, 10:23 PM
How Do Class Abilities Work?

Each class ability is something passive--the actual powers you get will come from your maneuvers and such. If you want to shoot fire... take Desert Storm. If you want an aura of fire, look into your class abilities.

Each class ability scales.

AURA GUY

All auras have a radius of 25' + 5'/level and affect anyone who you choose for them to affect inside the aura. You can target whoever you want to affect as a target, and they remain a target of the aura until you designate that they are no longer to be affected. You may only target beneficiaries of the aura if you know their exact location, and must re-target them if they exit the aura.

HEALING AURA
Beneficiaries gain Fast Healing equal to your level - 3. This does not come from positive energy, so you can Fast Heal undead to death.

ABILITY HEALING AURA
You gain the following abilities at each of the assigned levels:


ENERGY
- Light Myself On Fire/Personal Energy Aura
- Energy Resistance --> Immunity --> Healing --> Manipulation
- Something

KNIGHT
- Mounted Combat
- Protection
- Something

PSYCHIC
- Psychokinesis
- Mind Linking
- Astral Nonsense?

HOLY
- Smiting and Crusading
- Angelic Powers
- Something

DEMONIC
- Demonic Traits
- Getting Big
- Something

SHADOW
- Hide Really Well
- Shadow Equipment
- Something

UNDEAD
- Become Undead
- Control Undead
- Miscellaneous Necromancy (Drain life, negative levels, etc.)

ACROBAT
- Dodging, Reflexes, and AoOs
- Sneak Attack & Killing Things
- Movement

TECH
- Traps
- Item Creation?
- Something

GIANT
- Getting Big
- Giant abilities (knockback, etc.)
- Something

yayy...

For Valor
2010-06-27, 10:24 PM
Also a placeholder

Knaight
2010-06-27, 10:35 PM
My reccomendation is to take a leaf out of SAGA's book, mixed liberally with TOB ideas.


Have a "generic" class, 2 good saves, 1d10 hit die, 6+ skill points, and every odd level you get a talent, ever even level you get a feat. Talents can be spent on generic talents, which scale with level, and there are upgrades of talents that require the base talent.

For instance:
Mounted Warrior
Prerequisite: None
Benefit: Any mount gains a number of temporary hit points equal to a ride check made when mounting.

Spirited Charge
Prerequisite: Mounted Warrior
Benefit: While charging, your mount gains DR equal to your level.

Holy Aura
Prerequisite: None
Benefit: You gain an aura that affects allies within 5 feet per point of wisdom bonus. Allies gain a +1 morale bonus to attacks and AC per 5 levels.

Healing Aura
Prerequisite: Holy Aura
Benefit: All allies within the aura gain fast healing equal to half your level.

Purifying Aura
Prerequisite: Holy Aura, Healing Aura
Benefit: All allies within the aura are immune to poison and disease.

Radiant Aura
Prerequisite: Holy Aura
Benefit: All allies within the aura deal additional damage to undead equal to twice your level.

Blinding Aura
Prerequisite: Holy Aura, Radiant Aura
Benefit: Any enemies who strike allies within the aura must make a fortitude save with a DC equal to 10+1/2 level+charisma bonus or be blinded.

You know, stuff like that.

For Valor
2010-06-27, 11:33 PM
mmm... that reminds me of paragon paths. Which aren't good. It'll encourage maximum specializing, so that the best players are the ones who have followed through on "Auras" the most or "Mounted Combat" the most.

I'd prefer to just have a regular progression that you mix and match. That way you can throw "blaster" with "shadows guy" to make someone who drops lightning bolts from the ceiling and then disappears, but also add "blaster" and "psychic guy" together to make someone who animates burning swords and fights at a distance.

The specifying of talents and feats would encourage min/maxxing where everyone wants the strongest aura or the best fireball or the strongest zombie. It makes the game more focused on the build and less focused on the battle.

Knaight
2010-06-28, 12:01 AM
mmm... that reminds me of paragon paths. Which aren't good. It'll encourage maximum specializing, so that the best players are the ones who have followed through on "Auras" the most or "Mounted Combat" the most.

All of them scale on their own, none of them would go all the way, and it works well in SAGA, which is far, far different from 4e, with nothing like paragon paths.:smallannoyed: Sure, it encourages some minor specialization, but not maximum specialization. As for your examples, a psychic path would be totally feasable. First something for swordfighting at a distance, the reach scales with level, some later options for pushing other people, or telepathic distractions, or whatever. Add in another tree for enchanted weapons, another for some basic ranged magical attacks, another for archers, etc. And of course, there are maneuvers on top of that.

Lets say I want a knight who fights with a flaming sword. Think Thoros of Myr. I would take the knight option to protect my mount, probably skip the one with lances, grab ride by attack at some point, take the magic weapon option, add something else so that any weapon I pick up bursts into flames, and maybe grab aura, healing aura, largely for my mount (Thoros theoretically has some priestiness in him, I'm cranking it up for a higher fantasy setting). Bam, pseudo paladin, knight with a flaming sword. I would also be grabbing the Desert Wind school, while avoiding Setting Sun and Stone Dragon.

For Valor
2010-06-28, 12:26 AM
That's true if you're thinking linearly, which is saying that there is no balance difference (for a character with, say, Holy Aura) between taking Healing Aura vs. Mounted Warrior, other than the situational differences.

Now, if that's true, why not abolish the prerequisites? There's no balance change to them, after all.

The idea is that if there's something that has prereqs, it should be a better choice than something that doesn't. If it's not better, giving it prereqs doesn't make any sense, especially when one of the priorities is flexibility.

Now, if something is better because of its prereqs, and most of the game can be covered by 4 players who specialize separately (which it easily would be), the obvious choice for players who want to be competitive is to specialize. I'm sure casual players wouldn't view it as such, but why punish the guy who wants to be a fire-blasting ninja when his friend ends up being an ice-blasting ice-blaster, seeing as the ice guy kicks more butt than the ninja ever could?

It's just a distasteful system, IMO. If you don't agree with my reasoning, I ask you to simply be satisfied with the fact that I don't like things with prerequisites (other than level-based prereqs. I put up with those.).

Knaight
2010-06-28, 06:00 AM
The reason you would have prerequisites is because some abilities are attached to each other. However, I just included them in most cases because they were standard. They could be removed in every case listed, though you would have to reword the aura powers so they each actually generate an aura. Done, no prerequisites involved. You would obviously have multiple aura talents, multiple mounted talents, multiple magic weapon talents, etc, because ultimately the blaster ninja isn't going to be quite as good a blaster as the blaster purist, and not quite as good a ninja as the ninja purist, though their equal overall.

The short version. Prerequisites were included more because it met standard form than because they were necessary. Go ahead and cut them.

Prime32
2010-06-28, 06:36 AM
One house-rule I wanted to try:


Everyone uses their character level in place of their BAB. Instead of its normal function, your BAB grants you manouvers.

Pick two disciplines, which can be one of the standard nine or homebrew (no two PCs should pick the same pair). For every two points of BAB you learn one manouver, and for every five points you learn one stance. You initiate these manouvers as a warblade of a level equal to your BAB, though this does not stack with actual warblade levels.For Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EverybodyWasKungFuFighting) games where even the wizard is a student of the White Praying Mantis School.


Yeah, you can dump manouver prereqs without too much effect on the game.

For Valor
2010-06-28, 03:00 PM
The other qualm I have with separate talents and feats is that the game now becomes too linear, even progressively less powerful.

Now, if each talent doesn't improve on the other, what you're basically doing is getting more powerful off of flexibility. Player 1 can perform actions A, D, and G, while Player 2 performs actions B, C, and H, and the fact that you have more options is what makes you more powerful.

And that kind of thing won't scale to monsters. You can only have so many options before getting more becomes pointless.

So, either:
a) Everyone hyperspecializes to become competent. If there are options to specialize vs. not specialize, the people who don't specialize will get punished.

b) Alternately, no one can specialize, and improvement comes in progressively fewer increments, making a level 10 player much weaker than your average level 10 monster.

That is why I like the system I've created. It doesn't just give the opportunity to specialize, it requires that you specialize. No one can be a horse-riding ninja fire-breather, but they can be horse-riding fire-breathers and horse-riding ninjas. This way there's no such thing as a person who trains purely in 1 technique, and there's also no such thing as a person who trains in everything once.

The system is more balanced this way.

Knaight
2010-06-28, 03:23 PM
Except for a) The abilities are largely passive, so all of them being on at once would be useful and b) He abilities scale on their own with level, or maybe skill ranks. Your option is not inherently more balanced, what your option is is inherently more limiting at the benefit of being slightly easier to balance. Connected, though separate, abilities will work.

For Valor
2010-06-28, 03:52 PM
Waaaaaitaminute...

You're.

A.

Genius.

This is great! If maneuvers are providing the classic increases in power, then the class abilities should all be passive! Why didn't I think about that? Derp.

Alright, so if a level progression goes like this, normally:


1. Feat, New Maneuvers
2.
3. Feat, New Maneuvers
4.
5. New Maneuvers
6. Feat
7. New Maneuvers
8.
9. Feat, New Maneuvers
10.
11. New Maneuvers
12. Feat
13. New Maneuvers
14.
15. Feat, New Maneuvers
16.
17. New Maneuvers
18. Feat
19.
20.


The empty levels are 2, 4, 8, 10, 14, 16, 19, and 20.

Ability score boosts happen at levels 4, 8, 12 (already has a feat), 16, and 20, normally. I've never liked the "+1" thing, and since this is meant to fill an empty level, it needs to be good. I like the following idea.

4. +2 to one ability
8. +2 to two abilities
12. Nothing. The feat is already here.
16. +2 to three abilities
20. +2 to four abilities. Maybe +4 to one ability because it's nice to break the game, and +2 to three others.

That'd be +10 to your primary ability at level 20, which perfect--especially considering that wish and maybe even stuff like periapt of wisdom won't exist.

This leaves the levels 2, 10, 14, and 19 for abilities... the level 2 ability would be something pretty basic, but nice and impactful. I'm thinking "you get a mount like a paladin's" would be the basis for balance.

Raistlin1040
2010-07-01, 10:07 PM
One house-rule I wanted to try:

For Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EverybodyWasKungFuFighting) games where even the wizard is a student of the White Praying Mantis School.


Yeah, you can dump manouver prereqs without too much effect on the game.
From that TV Tropes page "ĽOne officially listed campaign suggestion for Dungeons And Dragons is to have everyone be a gestalt monk (basically, add in the abilities of the monk class on top of whatever actual class any character has), specifically to evoke this kind of feeling in a campaign."

This is possibly the best idea anyone in the world has ever had, ever.

Agent_0042
2010-07-01, 10:33 PM
From that TV Tropes page "ĽOne officially listed campaign suggestion for Dungeons And Dragons is to have everyone be a gestalt monk (basically, add in the abilities of the monk class on top of whatever actual class any character has), specifically to evoke this kind of feeling in a campaign."

This is possibly the best idea anyone in the world has ever had, ever.

In the campaign I'm running, titled Rule of Cool, all my PCs do just that, except instead of a monk it's a martial adept gestalt. We've only run a couple sessions so far, but the combats have yet to be boring.