PDA

View Full Version : A major D&D 3.5 remake



Gustaff
2011-06-24, 11:00 AM
Hi guys!

I'm rather new to this forum though I've been reading threads since I began reading OOTS some years ago.

I'm also a long date RPG player and I've been playing D&D 3.5 since its release in Brazil (where I'm from :P)

Based on my experience with these games, I'm trying to develop a brand new (kinda!) RPG system based on some ideas I've collected from D&D, the DAEMON RPG system (a brazillian one), some computer games and some other good ideas from all the other systems I've played so far. Though most of the changes I've written so far are in portuguese, I'll try to put the main ideas here and translate the rest as the discussion advances (so I hope :smalltongue:).

Some of the main focuses are:
1- Making the set of rules very tied to the scenario I'll build. I'm thinking on calling it "Spellbound", and it's basically a medieval fantasy world where some great heaven & hell war ocurred, and an ancient and forgotten god of Curses and Swears emerged as a winner. The world is now at mayhem, and curses spread throughout the realms, affecting creatures, places and objects. The way that the rules system is related to this is such that spellcasters cannot 'abuse' their spellcasting abilities without the risk of contracting "Curse points". That means, casting too much spells will quickly bring doom and problems to you.

2- Reducing the level and magic-power spectrum. The idea is to compress the 20-level range classic D&D has to a 10-level game. Why? To make calculations simpler and easier. Also, spell power is diminished. There won't be any game-breaking spellcasters. Spell is, of course, powerful at higher levels, but the idea is, if a caster can finish encounters with a single spell, then that spell is expensive, rare or can bring to him some curse points. Spells are also condictioned to some Material Focus, which means you can't cast spells if you don't have a class-specific object (like a staff if you're a wizard). Also, I'm including Rituals - those spells that require a long time to cast, some specific material components and have non-combat utilities- that can be used by anyone with the right skills.

3- An energy point system. Exery class has some abilities to use in combat that can grant some benefits (like, the rogue has some abilities to confuse enemies while in battlefield, while the wizard can disruput enemie's spells) which grants you Energy points. Those points lasts only for the battle and can be used as fuel for more powerful abilities (rogues can spend energy points to deal sneak attacks, wizards can use energy points to fuel their spells). Each class has its own ways to accumulate and discharge those points in battle. The objective: avoid the "roll to hit, roll damage routine" for melee characters, avoid the boredom casters suffers in the early levels of the game (when they can cast only a few amount of spells and then stay on the back shooting a crossbow and being lame), so that everyone has his\her own way to participate and be effective on a battle. Also, energy points are the way melee combatants have to make more than one attack per round.

4- I'm maintaing the basic mechanics of feats and classes and abilities and class features, though the skill system is being simplified. The main lines are the same but I intent to rewrite everything from scratch.


If anyone ever ask why I'm doing this, well it has been my intention for some years but only now I had the will to make it :P Also I'm not intending to publish it or make some profit, just write a system which I can use to play with my friends.

Well I'm looking foward to some answers!

DoomHat
2011-06-24, 11:29 AM
This does look very interesting, but the first and most pertinent question is, what do you hope to get from us? How can we help you?

Roderick_BR
2011-06-24, 12:41 PM
Fala tch.

I'll highly suggest you to take a look at Tome of Battle. Martial characters may develop "special techniques" to make up the lack of magical backup.
Just apply your energy idea to activate their maneuvers instead of the default slot system. Keep the cost of higher level high, so they don't overpower casters (or being a caster would become a bad character option.) Unless you want your meleers to stay mundane, of course. TOB is more like having special attacks, like in anime and eletronic RPGs.

You probably already know, but there's a spell points variant http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/magic/spellPoints.htm that highly increases a caster's versatility. You can use it as base for your system.

Gustaff
2011-06-24, 01:51 PM
This does look very interesting, but the first and most pertinent question is, what do you hope to get from us? How can we help you?

Yeah, that's a main question ;P
Well, I have been reading threads in this forum for a long time and I believe that there are some very good players and homebrewers here that could help me with suggetions, critics and ideas. Also, I won't really have the feeling that I'm doing it all alone stuck in the darkness of my basement ;P


I'll highly suggest you to take a look at Tome of Battle. Martial characters may develop "special techniques" to make up the lack of magical backup.
Just apply your energy idea to activate their maneuvers instead of the default slot system. Keep the cost of higher level high, so they don't overpower casters (or being a caster would become a bad character option.) Unless you want your meleers to stay mundane, of course. TOB is more like having special attacks, like in anime and eletronic RPGs.

You probably already know, but there's a spell points variant http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/magic/spellPoints.htm that highly increases a caster's versatility. You can use it as base for your system.

Yes, I'll try to make combatant classes more like ToB and less like core, though the battle instances are my main focus, and not necessarily maneuvers. "Maneuvers" here would look like more the At-will 4e powers: some of them are really simple moves but they will give Energy Points to feed stronger powers - those ones, maybe, can be inspired on the ToB maneuvers :)

erikun
2011-06-24, 02:13 PM
Interesting. I'm always curious of what people plan to "fix" 3.5e, although I've stopped thinking of doing so myself. I'm not familiar with DAEMON, so I'm not sure how much your recommendations are from that system and how much they are of your own.

Just a few quick comments on your focuses for now.


The way that the rules system is related to this is such that spellcasters cannot 'abuse' their spellcasting abilities without the risk of contracting "Curse points". That means, casting too much spells will quickly bring doom and problems to you.
Curse Points, or perhaps just contracting curses outright? If you use just a curse points system, you might end up with something similar to HP - where you are perfectly fine until hitting that 0 HP limit.

Another idea might be to use stackable curses every time a spellcaster "fails" a roll. Each curse isn't a major penality in itself, but stack up enough and they'll limit you from doing things successfully. (You could also run the risk of a major curse if you collect too many minor ones.)

The problem with that idea, though, is that it just encourages the 15-mintue workday; if casting spells early grants minor penalities but casting them all day risks death, then most casters will limit themselves to only a few battles before napping off the curses/penalities.


The idea is to compress the 20-level range classic D&D has to a 10-level game.
What happens after level 10? Do you just continue into "epic" progression, or do you stop gaining levels at that point?

If your plan is to just stop gaining levels at 10th, you might take a look at the E6 D&D variant (http://www.enworld.org/forum/general-rpg-discussion/206323-e6-game-inside-d-d.html) for ideas of how to work with that.


There won't be any game-breaking spellcasters. Spell is, of course, powerful at higher levels, but the idea is, if a caster can finish encounters with a single spell, then that spell is expensive, rare or can bring to him some curse points.
"Game-breaking" spells, even at low levels, aren't necessarily what you'd think they are. Would you consider Sleep to be game-breaking? What about Web? Sleet Storm? And yet, those are the ones that would reduce an encounter to trivial levels the quickest. You'd probably want to redesign those spells so that they aren't so dominating, otherwise you'll be handing out curse points for any spell that isn't just "1d6/level damage".

I like the idea of rituals, but don't think 3.x handled it very well. 4e was a bit better.


An energy point system. Exery class has some abilities to use in combat that can grant some benefits (like, the rogue has some abilities to confuse enemies while in battlefield, while the wizard can disruput enemie's spells) which grants you Energy points. Those points lasts only for the battle and can be used as fuel for more powerful abilities (rogues can spend energy points to deal sneak attacks, wizards can use energy points to fuel their spells).
Interesting. Are you familiar with the Iron Heroes book? It used something similar, where each class had its own pool of "action points" which could be use for class-related abilities. They tended towards abilities oriented on being better at the class, such as accuracy boost for archers to ignoring hits for defenders, rather than regaining spells or new actions though.

Gustaff
2011-06-24, 02:57 PM
Another idea might be to use stackable curses every time a spellcaster "fails" a roll. Each curse isn't a major penality in itself, but stack up enough and they'll limit you from doing things successfully. (You could also run the risk of a major curse if you collect too many minor ones.)

I was thinking on something on this line. A curse point is something you can get like a disease. Too much spellcasting, violating graves, entering ill-cursed tombs and things like that. Some kinds of undead and demons will also be able to give curse points through their attacks. A hypotetical hexblade could give a curse point through their Hexblade curse, as an example.

Curse points never go away, except when they discharge. When you are submitted to a real curse (making a dangerous spell or ritual, violating the grave of the archbishop of a destroyed church, profanating the temple of the Sun God, breaking your vow as a paladin...), those points will give you a penality (proportional to how many points you have) on your resistance roll, AND they will increase the effects of the curse you are afflicted with. After that (being successful on your save or not), your Curse Points counter is set to zero again.

As for the spells, my first Idea was to submit them to something that works like spell points. That, however is not an character-dependant point, but a Focus-dependant point. It goes like this: As much as a cleric can't cast spells without his holy simbol, a wizard will not be able to cast a spell without his staff, a paladin without his holy book, a sorcerer without his wand, etc. Each object like that has a limit of how many spell levels it can cast and such information is not fully acessible to players, as they are determined randomly and the spellcaster cannot possess more than one spell focus at a time. It will require a tuning between the caster and the object that is not trivial (something that cannot be done in a battle) in order to use the focus. When the capacity of a Focus expires, the caster can get Curse Points for every spell (the level of the spell makes saves harder).

Alternatively, a Focus could grant a random amount of Spell Points every encounter (secret to the caster), which I believe is easier for the DM to administrate. This can also solve this 15-min workday problem :)

As for the levels, after level 10 we can have something as "epic", though I believe that, as for mortals, such level of power should be denied. They could be attained through rituals that could steal this super-mortal essence and give them to 10-level characters, allowing them to keep progressing.

Also, challenges beyond lvl 10 could be handled as World of Warcraft high level dungeons - a entire "raid" of 10, 15 or 20 10-level characters trying to work in perfect coordination to bring down a single enemy is a sight! (the bad thing is that it's hard to control so many NPCs... you could give them to hte players maybe...).

And yeah, E6 was the main reason why I decided to lower the power of everything. The fisrt idea was to write everything with the number 6 for a level cap in mind, but I decided to go 10 cap to make things more interesting. I'm still trying to work with the idea of only feats after lvl 10 though.

AS for the spells, since there won't be any way of reaching impossible Resistance DC, casters aren't that overpowered. Also, spells like Hold Person, Sleep or Confusion will allow targets to repeat their saving throws every round.

I haven't read the Iron Heroes, bu I'll look foward to. Does those Action Points works like the ones in Eberron?

erikun
2011-06-24, 03:35 PM
Curse points never go away, except when they discharge. When you are submitted to a real curse, those points will give you a penality on your resistance roll, AND they will increase the effects of the curse you are afflicted with. After that, your Curse Points counter is set to zero again.
So it sounds like curse points only come into play in a few situations - spellcasting, specifically. In that case, would demons that can inflict curse points really make that much sense? The paladin has to deal with the increased curse point hassle, sure, but the fighter never does anything to trigger the curse resistance roll (unless he pees on altars regularly) and the wizard has far greater problems than curse points if he ends up in melee.

Also, resetting CP to zero after every roll (successfull or not) seems to encourage intentionally provoking curse resistance rolls while the penalities are low and effects are minor. I doubt that people in your setting would egg altars on a regular basis, so making it a beneficial activity (all things considered) should probably be avoided.


As much as a cleric can't cast spells without his holy simbol, a wizard will not be able to cast a spell without his staff, a paladin without his holy book, a sorcerer without his wand, etc. Each object like that has a limit of how many spell levels it can cast and such information is not fully acessible to players, as they are determined randomly and the spellcaster cannot possess more than one spell focus at a time.
Unless you like recording and keeping secret a number of character-relevant stats, I'd avoid this approach. The players end up needing to ask the DM every time they want to cast a spell, and the DM needs to keep track of what spells were cast, what spells the object can handle, remaining spell points, and several other notes. For every character.


It will require a tuning between the caster and the object that is not trivial (something that cannot be done in a battle) in order to use the focus. When the capacity of a Focus expires, the caster can get Curse Points for every spell (the level of the spell makes saves harder).

Alternatively, a Focus could grant a random amount of Spell Points every encounter (secret to the caster), which I believe is easier for the DM to administrate.
So spellcasters can cast spells without foci, they just guarantee acquiring curse points in doing so? How would this work with "curse-guaranteed" spells that always grant curse points anyways?

Also, will it be necessary to use a curse points system and a spell points system at the same time? I'd think that if you are handing out curse points with every spell cast, it would encourage rationing, even if the spellcaster has unlimited uses otherwise.


As for the levels, after level 10 we can have something as "epic", though I believe that, as for mortals, such level of power should be denied. They could be attained through rituals that could steal this super-mortal essence and give them to 10-level characters, allowing them to keep progressing.

Also, challenges beyond lvl 10 could be handled as World of Warcraft high level dungeons - a entire "raid" of 10, 15 or 20 10-level characters trying to work in perfect coordination to bring down a single enemy is a sight!
I've had thoughts along the lines of "Epic" progression just being similar to deity-level powers. That is, it's not something you gain through levels, but gain through DM decision. It would also be a lot more potent - and something you could hand out regardless of level. Just remember that the ability to turn the ground into molten magma tends to reduce the challange of most encounters. :smalltongue:

I'm not familiar with WoW gameplay, but the players should be in control of most (if not all) of the characters on their side. It would just be boring to sit through a fight with 5 PCs, 25 DMPCs, and 50 enemies. A better idea would be to include tactical/warfare combat rules, or give options to allow players to run multiple PCs at higher levels.

Perhaps the old AD&D idea, where all characters above 10th level attract followers in a Leadership-type fashion?


AS for the spells, since there won't be any way of reaching impossible Resistance DC, casters aren't that overpowered. Also, spells like Hold Person, Sleep or Confusion will allow targets to repeat their saving throws every round.
You might as well just hand out spell immunity rather than SR 31+ monsters that are basically the same thing.


I haven't read the Iron Heroes, bu I'll look foward to. Does those Action Points works like the ones in Eberron?
Something similar, except that Iron Heroes points were handed out during the battle (I believe) and they were used for more class-specific abilities, rather than general bonuses and re-rolls.

Also, avoid making things too complicated. You don't want to worry about stances and strikes and recovery maneuvers and action points all at the same time, or else the players may just give up and leave the game altogether.

Gustaff
2011-06-24, 06:10 PM
So it sounds like curse points only come into play in a few situations - spellcasting, specifically.

Yes, they are used only often, but not only when casting spells. I'm more interested in curses like "The paladin goes frenzy everytime he tries to be diplomatic" or "everytime you cast this spell, someone else in the world will die and his soul will torment you". The focus of the game are good-aligned PC, in such a way that evil NPCs only can discharge PC's Curse Points and make them cursed.

Also, I believe that the idea of a curse (in Spellbound's point of view) requires a better explanation. I'm intending for a gameplay in which a "curse" is really a pain in the ass, and not only something that will give you -6 on rolls and can be cured with a 3rd-level spell. Curses should be enigmatic, creative, original. Scary. Also, the main objective of the game is living the horror of this curse while trying to be heroic. It's too easy in traditional D&D to be heroic while kicking asses. I'd like to change that.

Also, getting rid of curses should be used as quest hooks.


Also, resetting CP to zero after every roll (successfull or not) seems to encourage intentionally provoking curse resistance rolls while the penalities are low and effects are minor. I doubt that people in your setting would egg altars on a regular basis, so making it a beneficial activity (all things considered) should probably be avoided.

That does make some point, though one can never know WHEN he\she is going to acquire Curse Points and\or curses. Also, making stupid actions should bring bad consequences, right?


Unless you like recording and keeping secret a number of character-relevant stats, I'd avoid this approach. The players end up needing to ask the DM every time they want to cast a spell, and the DM needs to keep track of what spells were cast, what spells the object can handle, remaining spell points, and several other notes. For every character.

(...)

So spellcasters can cast spells without foci, they just guarantee acquiring curse points in doing so? How would this work with "curse-guaranteed" spells that always grant curse points anyways?

Also, will it be necessary to use a curse points system and a spell points system at the same time? I'd think that if you are handing out curse points with every spell cast, it would encourage rationing, even if the spellcaster has unlimited uses otherwise.

They shouldn't ask nor the DM should answer. It should be like being in a race car without knowing how much gas it still has. Also, spellcasters should be able to substitute used foci, creating brand new ones or buying ( but they won't be able to readily use a brand new after the old one start requiring saves against curse points). That said, the DM should do his job fine just keeping track of how many "spell points" a focus still have, and start asking for saves after it runs out of spell points. The caster should be aware that his\her focus has run out of fuel.

Yes, this does keep spellcasters kind of "shy ones" in comparison to the classical D&D spellcaster. That's the idea; magic should not be play thing; it's the tool of the gods themselves! Also, there could be means to estimulate spellcasting (like, allowing casters to "transfer" Curse points through specific spells and/or rituals?) beyond the focus limits.


So spellcasters can cast spells without foci, they just guarantee acquiring curse points in doing so? How would this work with "curse-guaranteed" spells that always grant curse points anyways?

Also, will it be necessary to use a curse points system and a spell points system at the same time? I'd think that if you are handing out curse points with every spell cast, it would encourage rationing, even if the spellcaster has unlimited uses otherwise.

An example of a spell that could ask for a save so you don't get a curse point: Finger of Death. This does not means that all powerful spell in D&D3.5 will have a Curse-Point-Providing version in Spellbound, it was only a example of a spell that can be reflavoured to give Curse Points since they can change the course of a combat in a single turn.

Also, I need to thank for your comments so far, they have enlightened me deeply :)