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Admiral Squish
2012-05-23, 01:46 AM
So, this is only a very, very vague concept. The idea is that there is something that's fundamentally is different about adventurers. The difference is that all adventurers have the ability to tap into a power source within themselves that makes them more powerful than normal people. For lack of a better term, we'll call it mana or something like it. There's a reason why everything after 6th level is possible.

This idea would, however, require a lot of work. It would basically mean remaking everything beyond the basic systems to work with this new facet. New base classes, new spells and spellcasting, new feats, possibly even new skills.

A few semi-specific ideas:

Mana pool based off charisma. It'd be much like HP, with each class having a mana die size, then a bonus per die equal to your charisma modifier. You'd regain points equal to you charisma each turn.

Every character would have a few universal uses for mana, that can be used by anybody. Simple stuff. Bonuses to skill or ability checks, attack rolls, saves, or rerolling failed rolls even.

Fighters would have abilities to spend mana to heal themselves, or increase their AC, or initiate special attacks, like in tome of battle.

Divine and arcane casters might have an additional mana pool that can only be used for spellcasting, based off a different ability. This is supposed to represent the spellcaster tapping into some sort of external power. Arcane magical energy, divine power granted by their deity, and such.

Anyways, I just wanted to post up the idea. See if anyone was interested in seeing the end result, or even in helping. It is a pretty big project, so I don't want to get too far into it if it's not going to see any use.

Eldan
2012-05-23, 01:55 AM
What would be an interesting application of this would be to look up the actual mythology behind the word (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mana). What people (and places, interestingly) that have Mana can do. Also, Roman Numen and similar powers.

DoomHat
2012-05-23, 05:51 AM
Check out -Aberrant (http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/747/Aberrant-d20?it=1)-

It has more or less what you're looking for, or that the very least would make a great starting point if your looking to do something more then just a re-flavored Action Point system.

Just skip the first half of the book and go strait to the character gen section.


Failing that, how about just making everyone work something like a Psionic (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/psionicPowersOverview.htm)? That's more or less what it sounds like your describing anyway.

Analysis
2012-05-23, 06:14 AM
Imagine something where everyone has incarnum-like mana.

Spellcasters shape it into warlock incantation-like spells, as discussed recently in another thread.

Skill-users shape it subtly into some form of platonic ideal (channelling the archetypes, binder-like) to be legendary at jumping between rooftops, sneaking or crafting.

Martial combatants bind it to activate magical items. In the hands of someone not strong enough to power it, a magical item is just shiny masterwork. But the stronger your essence, the more of its potential you can unlock. This also does give fighters those family heirlooms that level with them.

Giegue
2012-05-23, 09:32 AM
I actually like this idea...a lot. If you want help with it, I've been working on something similar to this myself, using a wonderful vacian to psionics conversion from these forums as a basis for my own classes. Right now I've only been working on casters, since I have more experience in that area, but if you happen to have ideas for melee and even the casters as well I'd love to lend you a hand. If your interested in my help, PM me.

Though be warned, I handle things slightly differently from you. For one, I never had/thought of the "basic uses" everybody has for mana. Also, my casters only have one pool, and it's used for spells. Further, each class under my system has it's own score that dictates it's "mana" and sometimes can have multibles. Mainly because the way I have set things up each class is divided into different builds/archtypes that allow it to do X, and sometimes those archtypes/builds can change the "casting stat" for the class. However, my ideas could perhaps inspire you, if nothing else.

J.Gellert
2012-05-23, 10:51 AM
This is awesome, and I would totally steal borrow adapt it for my RPG if I hadn't already departed from the traditional d&d rules.

Admiral Squish
2012-05-23, 12:52 PM
I'm surprised that there's been so much response! I'll try to respond to each in turn.


What would be an interesting application of this would be to look up the actual mythology behind the word (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mana). What people (and places, interestingly) that have Mana can do. Also, Roman Numen and similar powers.

That's actually really helpful. It's given me a few ideas about how it would work in a setting. Mana's not just power, it's influence, potential. A good way to describe it.

Numen seems to have more divine overtones, I think I'll try to steer clear of that.


Check out -Aberrant (http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/747/Aberrant-d20?it=1)-

It has more or less what you're looking for, or that the very least would make a great starting point if your looking to do something more then just a re-flavored Action Point system.

Just skip the first half of the book and go strait to the character gen section.


Failing that, how about just making everyone work something like a Psionic (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/psionicPowersOverview.htm)? That's more or less what it sounds like your describing anyway.

Abberant, huh? I'll try and give it a look, but I don't want to actually have to buy stuff.

I actually hadn't thought of the comparison to action points. I cansay it's not gonna be the same. they're not just going to be 'extras' tacked onto the existing system, the system will be rebuilt to work with the new power source.

Spellcasting is going to look much like psionics, yes. But everyone's not going to have spells.


Imagine something where everyone has incarnum-like mana.

Spellcasters shape it into warlock incantation-like spells, as discussed recently in another thread.

Skill-users shape it subtly into some form of platonic ideal (channelling the archetypes, binder-like) to be legendary at jumping between rooftops, sneaking or crafting.

Martial combatants bind it to activate magical items. In the hands of someone not strong enough to power it, a magical item is just shiny masterwork. But the stronger your essence, the more of its potential you can unlock. This also does give fighters those family heirlooms that level with them.

I like! What I'm picturing is more like an internal power source, not external like incarnum, but I suppose it could be re-fluffed to temporarily manifest 'constructs' like soulmelds when you use your mana abilities.

And I REALLY like the idea of magic items being powered by the wielder's mana. Perhaps abilities based on MD, much like HD.


I actually like this idea...a lot. If you want help with it, I've been working on something similar to this myself, using a wonderful vacian to psionics conversion from these forums as a basis for my own classes. Right now I've only been working on casters, since I have more experience in that area, but if you happen to have ideas for melee and even the casters as well I'd love to lend you a hand. If your interested in my help, PM me.

Though be warned, I handle things slightly differently from you. For one, I never had/thought of the "basic uses" everybody has for mana. Also, my casters only have one pool, and it's used for spells. Further, each class under my system has it's own score that dictates it's "mana" and sometimes can have multibles. Mainly because the way I have set things up each class is divided into different builds/archtypes that allow it to do X, and sometimes those archtypes/builds can change the "casting stat" for the class. However, my ideas could perhaps inspire you, if nothing else.

Well, I'd definitely welcome a hand. Especially a hand with experience with casters, I'm not as good with them. I'm not sure if I can use what you have so far, but I can take a look and see if I can steal at least some ideas.


This is awesome, and I would totally steal borrow adapt it for my RPG if I hadn't already departed from the traditional d&d rules.

Good to hear!

Roderick_BR
2012-05-24, 11:46 AM
I think some people suggested the use of a "spell point" system to power up maneuvers from Tome of Battle. I think that would fit well. A fighter or barbarian or similar spending that internal energy for "bursts of activity" to do actions they wouldn't normally be able to.
A piece of advice, though, it'll make the game very Holiwoodian (or anime-ish), with non-arcane/divine-casters being able to do things normal people can't, like leaping large places, or hitting multiple enemies with a sweapt of his weapon.

So, how could it work? barbarians and fighters gaining "MP" to power maneuvers,
bards using his MP to power spells and music abilities, rogue using something similar to the factotum, full casters using it for their spells, and the partial casters like paladin and ranger gaining some mix of spells and maneuvers?

Admiral Squish
2012-05-25, 03:34 PM
I think some people suggested the use of a "spell point" system to power up maneuvers from Tome of Battle. I think that would fit well. A fighter or barbarian or similar spending that internal energy for "bursts of activity" to do actions they wouldn't normally be able to.
A piece of advice, though, it'll make the game very Holiwoodian (or anime-ish), with non-arcane/divine-casters being able to do things normal people can't, like leaping large places, or hitting multiple enemies with a sweapt of his weapon.

So, how could it work? barbarians and fighters gaining "MP" to power maneuvers,
bards using his MP to power spells and music abilities, rogue using something similar to the factotum, full casters using it for their spells, and the partial casters like paladin and ranger gaining some mix of spells and maneuvers?

I like larger-than-life adventures, personally.

that's the basic idea. they wouldn't be EXACTLY like maneuvers, they would be more like abilities that can be activated with mana.

Essentially, the difference between a normal, nonmagical creature and an adventurer or a magical beast is mana. Mana is fate, influence, potential to change the world. Mana is the building blocks of magic.

Kyuu Himura
2012-05-25, 03:50 PM
Well, BESM d20 (I know, we never use that book, that book is evil, get away from the book now Kyuu) uses energy points, basically, each level you get 1d2+ (the minimum from INT, WIS, and CHA modifiers).

About the paltry d2
Spellcasters need energy points in BESM d20, so they get larger dice.

I changed the die from d2 to d4 for non-casters in my campaign

You recover energy points equal to the highest modifier (between INT, WIS, and CHA) every hour (regardless of wether you were resting or not).

Now, this worked more or less OK because:
1.- I heavily revised the BESM d20 book.
2.- MAD is not such a big issue in BESM d20.

Given how you propose to adapt D&D, you would have to adapt this for a game in which MAD is an actual problem. Maybe not basing energy off charisma for everyone, maybe charisma for rougish-types, wisdom for warrior-types, int for divine types and wis (again) for arcane-types. Yes, that increases MAD, but since it increases it for everyone it's not so unfair.

Anyway, those were my 2 copper pieces.

Re'ozul
2012-05-26, 12:35 PM
I'd like a system like that with uniformity of special ressources and just different uses within different classes.

Though I immediately come back to a question. How would a warlock-analogue work in this environment?

Admiral Squish
2012-05-27, 11:07 PM
I'd like a system like that with uniformity of special ressources and just different uses within different classes.

Though I immediately come back to a question. How would a warlock-analogue work in this environment?

That's another vote in favor, that's good.

In this system, spellcasters would be made to be much more like warlocks. Since mana regenerates, there wouldn't be /day limitations of how powerful a mage would be. So, all spells would be rebalanced to keep in mind the all-day usability.


Well, BESM d20 (I know, we never use that book, that book is evil, get away from the book now Kyuu) uses energy points, basically, each level you get 1d2+ (the minimum from INT, WIS, and CHA modifiers).

About the paltry d2
Spellcasters need energy points in BESM d20, so they get larger dice.

I changed the die from d2 to d4 for non-casters in my campaign

You recover energy points equal to the highest modifier (between INT, WIS, and CHA) every hour (regardless of wether you were resting or not).

Now, this worked more or less OK because:
1.- I heavily revised the BESM d20 book.
2.- MAD is not such a big issue in BESM d20.

Given how you propose to adapt D&D, you would have to adapt this for a game in which MAD is an actual problem. Maybe not basing energy off charisma for everyone, maybe charisma for rougish-types, wisdom for warrior-types, int for divine types and wis (again) for arcane-types. Yes, that increases MAD, but since it increases it for everyone it's not so unfair.

Anyway, those were my 2 copper pieces.

I think I'm going to stick with charisma as the basic unit. MAD is a concern, but I don't think it will be quite that much of an issue. I'm going to stick with cha as the base ability because I really like the connection between social influence and universal influence, and I also really want to make is so charisma isn't just everybody's dump stat.

NerfTW
2012-05-27, 11:23 PM
The idea is that there is something that's fundamentally is different about adventurers. The difference is that all adventurers have the ability to tap into a power source within themselves that makes them more powerful than normal people. For lack of a better term, we'll call it mana or something like it. There's a reason why everything after 6th level is possible.


The Fable video game series actually does this. Heroes are people with special powers that can make use of experience orbs. They have abilities that far surpass anything that the normal rank and file can do.

Admiral Squish
2012-05-28, 03:47 AM
The Fable video game series actually does this. Heroes are people with special powers that can make use of experience orbs. They have abilities that far surpass anything that the normal rank and file can do.

Really? They never mentioned that in fable one, but it's cool to hear.

Re'ozul
2012-05-28, 09:43 AM
In this system, spellcasters would be made to be much more like warlocks. Since mana regenerates, there wouldn't be /day limitations of how powerful a mage would be. So, all spells would be rebalanced to keep in mind the all-day usability.

Thats the problem I have with system like this.
The warlock in 3.5 was different because he had very little choice what to do, but could do it every day. If you push the two extremes closer together some uniqueness is lost.

I guess it could be made as a minimum mana amount for a warlock class (so they always have a certain amount of mana that can never be used up, though creating that without exploit possibilities in a complex system is hard).
The other way would be decreasing variety in spell choosing for a warlock analogue while upgrading mana restoration.

Hanuman
2012-05-28, 10:32 AM
Mana is a very vague concept, and is essentially fluff.

If you want a point system for 3.5, Psionics already have a highly balanced system built around them-- just use change PP to MP and OMGIHAVEMANA.

Using psionics, you have the monk, the fighter, the paladin and the rogue all in there too as the psiblade (or other PrC), the psiwar, the ardent and the lurk, but honestly monks are already doing this, and you could just use a Ki pool class instead.

Now if you wanted to do something interesting, like mana = life force and you pull it from your surroundings I've heard of that, but I can't remember the details, but I think the best option is a re-fluff.

Admiral Squish
2012-05-28, 10:57 AM
Thats the problem I have with system like this.
The warlock in 3.5 was different because he had very little choice what to do, but could do it every day. If you push the two extremes closer together some uniqueness is lost.

I guess it could be made as a minimum mana amount for a warlock class (so they always have a certain amount of mana that can never be used up, though creating that without exploit possibilities in a complex system is hard).
The other way would be decreasing variety in spell choosing for a warlock analogue while upgrading mana restoration.

Personally, I much prefer the warlock to the wizard. If the public demand for a warlock-analogue is high, I could come up with something, but the ideas I was toying around with would have a final result much closer to the warlock than the wizard.


Mana is a very vague concept, and is essentially fluff.

If you want a point system for 3.5, Psionics already have a highly balanced system built around them-- just use change PP to MP and OMGIHAVEMANA.

Using psionics, you have the monk, the fighter, the paladin and the rogue all in there too as the psiblade (or other PrC), the psiwar, the ardent and the lurk, but honestly monks are already doing this, and you could just use a Ki pool class instead.

Now if you wanted to do something interesting, like mana = life force and you pull it from your surroundings I've heard of that, but I can't remember the details, but I think the best option is a re-fluff.

I assure you, by the time I'm done with it, you'll have a much less vague picture of what exactly mana is.

The spellcasting system is going to be very similar to psionics, but my mana ideas require the whole thing to be tied into the very fabric of the system. It's not JUST used for spellcasting, it's used for almost every superhuman feat the characters would be able to perform.

Hanuman
2012-05-28, 03:10 PM
Alright, well the point of that seems to be to cap sustain of their abilities.

How do you want the scaling then? AP, Ki, PP and use/day are all scales, also consider maneuvers to be their own mini-sustain system, albeit a very poor one as it promotes frontloading.

Admiral Squish
2012-05-28, 07:34 PM
Alright, well the point of that seems to be to cap sustain of their abilities.

How do you want the scaling then? AP, Ki, PP and use/day are all scales, also consider maneuvers to be their own mini-sustain system, albeit a very poor one as it promotes frontloading.

I'm not entirely sure what you're saying here.

Spells will scale much like psionic powers. Class abilities will scale with level. different classes will have different rates, different usages. Universal mana abilities will scale with MD (Mana Die, much like hit die). I'm thinking a decent universal cap would be that you can't spend more mana on a single ability or spell than you have MD.

DoomHat
2012-05-28, 08:21 PM
Have you given any consideration to tying the accumulation of Mana to specific in game behaviors?

Like clerics only regain mana through ritual sacrifices appropriate to the wants/needs of their patron deity?

Bards absorbing power from adulation and an expanding fan base?

Sorcerers giving in to the strange impulses of their blood line? Like draconic needing to maintain private hoards, Celestial longing to do good deeds, Undead craving the flesh of the living, and so on?

Fighters eating many times their own body weight and instantly metabolize it into super-stamina?

Wyntonian
2012-05-28, 09:13 PM
Have you given any consideration to tying the accumulation of Mana to specific in game behaviors?

Like clerics only regain mana through ritual sacrifices appropriate to the wants/needs of their patron deity?

Bards absorbing power from adulation and an expanding fan base?

Sorcerers giving in to the strange impulses of their blood line? Like draconic needing to maintain private hoards, Celestial longing to do good deeds, Undead craving the flesh of the living, and so on?

Fighters eating many times their own body weight and instantly metabolize it into super-stamina?

I think the point is more that we don't tie Mana to an in-game concept, but more that it's an abstracted concept of "do-stuff-ful-ness".

Hanuman
2012-05-29, 05:41 AM
Ah so it's a sustain supplement rather than a replacement system?

I just mean what is it's mechanical role, separate from it's fluff.

Admiral Squish
2012-05-29, 03:31 PM
One thing I'm having trouble with is figuring out how much mana I should give characters and how much they should be using each turn. I want your mana pool to be something you'd have to keep an eye on. Going nova should be something you pay for in the end.


Have you given any consideration to tying the accumulation of Mana to specific in game behaviors?

Like clerics only regain mana through ritual sacrifices appropriate to the wants/needs of their patron deity?

Bards absorbing power from adulation and an expanding fan base?

Sorcerers giving in to the strange impulses of their blood line? Like draconic needing to maintain private hoards, Celestial longing to do good deeds, Undead craving the flesh of the living, and so on?

Fighters eating many times their own body weight and instantly metabolize it into super-stamina?

I like the idea, but I think that may be a rather stiff requirement. I'm thinking what you mean is that you wouldn't regenerate your mana if you don't do X, Y or Z. But that would mean essentially losing all your spellcasting until you can do X. People constantly complain about paladin codes and suchlike. I could see, possibly, gaining extra, temporary mana if you do something special.


I think the point is more that we don't tie Mana to an in-game concept, but more that it's an abstracted concept of "do-stuff-ful-ness".

It was going to be an in-game concept. Mana's the difference between adventurers and typical mortals. It's an actual thing.


Ah so it's a sustain supplement rather than a replacement system?

I just mean what is it's mechanical role, separate from it's fluff.

...Huh? Sustain supplement? replacement system?

Mana will be used to power abilities. You spend mana to do everything from casting spells, to entering rage, to performing feats of superhuman skill.

DoomHat
2012-05-29, 06:26 PM
I like the idea, but I think that may be a rather stiff requirement. I'm thinking what you mean is that you wouldn't regenerate your mana if you don't do X, Y or Z. But that would mean essentially losing all your spellcasting until you can do X. People constantly complain about paladin codes and suchlike. I could see, possibly, gaining extra, temporary mana if you do something special.


No, I meant quiet simply Do thing X to Gain Y points.
A draconic sorcerer would regenerate mana each day based on the current size of their hoard (lvl caped)
Fighters gain a massive pile of points each time they have a feast.
Clerics gain points only when their god pays it to them. Some gods send a daily stipend, others demand routine sacrifice or at least x hour of intensive prayer.

Admiral Squish
2012-05-30, 07:46 PM
No, I meant quiet simply Do thing X to Gain Y points.
A draconic sorcerer would regenerate mana each day based on the current size of their hoard (lvl caped)
Fighters gain a massive pile of points each time they have a feast.
Clerics gain points only when their god pays it to them. Some gods send a daily stipend, others demand routine sacrifice or at least x hour of intensive prayer.

Well, that simply wouldn't work. The current system has them regaining mana per round, not per day. If a fighter only gains points from feating, they'll be out by day 2 of any adventure.

What you said about clerics is mostly true, though. Clerics only gain their divine mana as long as they're in good standing with their god. Some may demand sacrifices, but it's not kill a bunny, gain X mana.

Like I said, though, I could consider allowing characters to gain 'extra' mana, an overflow pool that doesn't regenerate, if they did something extra, like some of the things you suggested.

Hanuman
2012-05-31, 12:45 PM
DnD 3.5 and P are balanced around CR=ECL=5/rest, roughly.

This means that if the challenge rating of the encounter is equal to the party's effective character level they can face 4-5 of these before they need to turn in for the day.

Sustain refers to the party's ability to sustain effectiveness without needing to rest for 8 hours in a row. Even if you gave them a 1hp heal and said they can only use it once every 10 rounds, that's still a party-wide heal of 60hp/hour.

The reason why casters have spells/day is for sustain purposes which throws in resource management into both combat and context, by granting them additional things without taking anything away you are essentially changing the whole balance of DnD, I was merely asking how you propose to change this, and what mechanical effect it would have in implementation.

DoomHat
2012-05-31, 10:08 PM
The current system has them regaining mana per round, not per day.

In that case I recommend a modified version of the Chi system in Legends of the Wulin.
There you have a pool of 'Chi' that can be spent to activate supernatural techniques and a few default abilities.
Your maximum pool and rate of regeneration per turn is caped by level.

I'd recommend for your purposes that the max pool be Character LvL+ Mod.
Regenation rate based on character level being...
Levels 1-4: 1 mana per round
levels 5-8: 2 mana per round
levels 9-12: 3 mana per round
levels 13-16: 4 mana per round
levels 17-20: 5 mana per round

Also in Legends of the Wulin they base a number of mechanics around giving bonuses/penalties to your rate of Chi regeneration per round under given circumstances.