View Full Version : Blunderbuss Homebrew Thread: (PEACH, Pathfinder E6)

2012-06-12, 03:02 PM
Blunderbuss Homebrew Rules Thread:

Blunderbuss is a campaign setting that aims to bring classic D&D Sword and Sorcery into the Early-Modern period, with a bit of Steampunk flare. Comments, critiques, and OMGWTFBBQs are welcome.

The system itself is a heavy homebrew of Pathfinder E6, with mechanics imported from other systems such as "A Game of Thrones d20". As of now, they include a new-but-old cast of PC races, a flexible approach to character creation suited for E6, a sensible alternative to alignment, a formulaic and Faustian approach to Magick, black powder weapons and sailing technology, a naval combat system, revised armor mechanics, and grittier wound-tracking and death mechanics.

I approach GMing as both a game and an interactive writing process, and am intending to use this homebrew with folks ranging from min-maxers to lore-junkies, and even a few newcomers to Tabletop Gaming. My goal is to make things simple to understand, while deep enough to tell a good story and allow for players to make characters they want to play. Of course, since there are a lot of new and altered mechanics, and I'm relatively new to Pathfinder, balance is a concern as well. I welcome advice and critiques that help keep characters at that happy medium between paper-thin, and phenomenal cosmic powers.


Character Races:

The Flinds:
+2 Strength, +2 Constitution, -2 Charisma: Flind are strong and resilient, but lack force of personality.
Medium: Flinds are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Fast: Flinds have a base speed of 40 feet.
Low-Light Vision: Flinds can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
Loyalty: Flinds get a +2 racial bonus on saves against mind-affecting charm and compulsion effects.
Toothy: Flinds have a bite attack that deals 1d4 Damage. This is a Primary Natural Attack, or a Secondary Natural Attack while wielding a manufactured weapon.
Scent: Flinds gain the Scent extraordinary ability.
Background Information:
Physical Description: Flinds, or Gnolls as they're sometimes called, are doglike humanoids with heavy builds and bushy tails. Their bodies are covered in coarse fur, spotted and patterned in various shades of tan, brown, grey, and black, with dark manes of longer fur growing from their neck and shoulders. Their hands and feet are broad, bearing small claws. Male and female Flinds look alike, and their culture seldom distinguishes gender but in courtship. Oftentimes, other races tend to assume most Flinds are male, and few Flinds are concerned with correcting them.

Tradition and Society: Traditional Flinds are highly codependent. They organize themselves and their cities into a series of Houses, with anywhere from tens to hundreds of members each. Each House is similar to a clan or family, in that its members share a surname, and owe their loyalty to the head of their House. Houses are also like a guild or businesses, in that each one specializes in certain trades and exports, and individuals may leave a House to join another one more in line with their interests. Houses have a variety of specialties as well; one may boast the best metalsmiths around, while another trains its members in history and the performing arts. Another still may exclusively hire out their members as bodyguards for other Houses. Every settlement has a Creche-House as well, whose members are responsible for raising all the young in the area, until they're ready to be apprenticed to a House of their own.

There is no central authority in these communities, but the local leaders of each House act as a council when regulating inter-house trade, settling disputes, and so on. The closest thing to Flind nobility are honored members of the Great Houses, which are exclusive to all but the best in their trades. With expertise comes authority, and members of the Great Houses enjoy greater respect and power, and some have a presence in foreign lands as well.

Names: At birth, Flinds are given a simple name by their Creche-House. At adulthood, they choose a second title for themselves, describing their personality, aspirations, or accomplishments, and take the surname of their new House. Flinds living in foreign lands may take the name of their home town or district as a surname to reflect their ties to the community, while traveling Flinds may change or invent a new surname to reflect the purpose for their travel.

Names: Aki, Chigo, Hanen, Ji, Karr, Tanda
Titles: (the) Honest, Sword-For-Hire, Silversmith, White-Eye
Surnames: (of) The Mariners, Rocksplitter Company, Stenhalsh
* Examples: Mokiri Skin-Stealer of Bright Band, Samo the Trapper of Vikholt

The Kenku:
+2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, -2 Constitution: Kenku are quick and keen, but have frail builds.
Medium: Kenku are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Normal Speed: Kenku have a base speed of 30 feet.
Observant: Kenku receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception and Stealth checks.
Mimicry: Kenku can use the Bluff skill to reproduce any sound they know with surprising accuracy. They can duplicate an individual's voice or an environmental sound, though loud, complex, or inorganic sounds are more difficult to mimic.
Glide: Kenku are capable of limited flight: as a move action, you may Fly 40' (average), with the following limitations: you must begin gliding from at least 5' above the ground, and descend at least 5' for every 20' you fly. You may not ascend or hover while gliding, but may descend in a tight downward spiral at up to 1/2 of your Fly speed. If you glide for less than half of your total Fly speed in a round, you begin to fall. If carrying a Medium load while gliding, you are checked, and must succeed at a DC 10 Fly check to stay airborn, or you begin to fall. You may not glide while carrying a heavy load, or while exhausted.
Background Information:
Physical Description: Kenku are birdlike humanoids, lighter and smaller than the average human. They have broad beaks ending in a short hook, four-toed feet and hands ending in talons, and a pair of feathered wings capable of limited flight. Except for their scaly hands and feet, colored feathers cover their bodies, and vary widely between glossy shades of black, brown, midnight blue, emerald, and rust-red, with lighter brown shades on their fronts. Females often have more subdued feathers with dark and light accents, while males sport more vibrant feathers with bolder accents. Both males and females have a fan of long, thin feathers on their heads which they can raise when proud, excited, or pleased, though male crests tend to be larger and more colorful. Their voices are capable of producing an impressive array of sounds, though they often croak and whistle while speaking.

Tradition and Society: Traditional Kenku live a semi-nomadic lifestyle, following the seasons across the hilly southern plains of Draskar. During the wet season, they take up residence in great sloping vertical cities called Eyries, built into cliffs and around valleys. There, they grow food, hunt, and celebrate the bounty the season has brought them. When the dry seasons come, a small population of hunters, tradesmen, the old, and the infirm remain behind in the Eyries, while most of them depart for the Draskari plains. They live out the rest of the year in mobile hunter-gatherer villages, herding flocks of flightless Great Moas, which provide them with mounts, large hard-shelled eggs, feathers, meat, and hide.

Kenku culture has only loose ideas of personal property, and they often treat ownership as something shared by a community, rather than an individual. Goods, tools, trinkets, and other possessions frequently change hands within their communities; a habit which has earned them a reputation as thieves and mischief-makers when living among other cultures.

Fewer Kenku Eyries exist than once did, as Orcish settlements spread to encompass their grazing lands. They are well-integrated in Orcish society and elsewhere in the settled world, with closely knit "Kenku Nests" found in most major cities. Outside of their homeland, Kenku are often called to lives as merchants, sailors, couriers, and other lives of travel.

The Hobs:
+2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma, -2 Wisdom: Hobs tend to be agile and personable, but lack in good judgement and foresight.
Small: Hobs gain a +1 Size Bonus to Attack Rolls and Defense, a +4 Size Bonus on Stealth checks, and a -1 Penalty on Combat Maneuvers.
Slow: Due to their small size, Hobs have a base speed of 20 feet.
Hob Luck: +1 racial bonus on all saving throws.
Fae Heritage: Hobs are treated as Fae beings for effects related to origin, and may cast up to 1st-Circle spells without a Magickal Pact.
Prehensile Tail: Hob tails are flexible and strong, and can be used almost like a third limb. Their tails grant a +2 racial bonus to Acrobatics checks. They may also be used to attempt minor feats of dexterity, including picking pockets, opening containers, or grabbing and carrying light, easily-grasped objects. Their tail can be used like a hand when climbing or hanging from ropes, beams, ladders, and so on, keeping their hands free for other tasks.
Empathy: Hobs have an incredible empathic sense. Once per day, a Hob can read the surface thoughts and emotions of a single intelligent being. You must be able to make eye contact with the target of this ability (if your target is blind, it does not prevent this effect, though smoked lenses or a blindfold will). It is treated as the "Read Thoughts" spell effect, cast by a magick user of your Character Level.
Background Information:
Physical Description: Brownies, Halflings, House Fairies... Hobs have been known by many names through the years. They look somewhat like human children, though with more robust bodies, larger feet and hands, wider faces, and slightly pointed ears. Their hands and feet tend to be hairy, and they have nimble, arm-length tails sporting a tuft of fur on the end. Their hair, eye, and skin colors have a similar range to those of Humans.

Society: Hobs are traditionally known for their empathy, curiosity, mischievous streaks, secrecy, and shifting moods. They have lived in and among other civilizations for ages, but when and where they first appeared is the subject of much debate, even among Hobs. One legend says that Hobs originally came from the Otherworld, and are all the distant children of humans and escaped servants of the Faerie Courts. Of course, that same legend says that if you can catch a Hob by the ear they'll grant you a wish, and many a fool has tried this only to irk the local Hob population. As these sorts were likely soon to learn, they'd have been wiser to heed more recent tales; those with the Hobs' favor live charmed lives, but those who displease them soon have much to worry about.

In settled lands, Hobs can be found in most large rural villages, port towns, and cities. Seldom building homes of their own, they are known for taking up residence in stables, warehouses, manors, businesses, and public buildings, making their living quarters among the attics, rafters, cellars, roofs, and crawlspaces of the settlement. These Hobs often prefer to remain unseen, but will spend their evenings or early mornings working, cleaning, and mending things around the building in exchange for a bit of food and a place to stay. These "House Hobs" tend to come and go, and if their current dwelling or its owners don't suit them, they have no qualms about leaving to find a new home. Some House Hobs may roam from town to town throughout their lives, practicing many trades, and learning many secrets. Others may stay in a given home for their whole lives, and though slow to adapt to the ways of others, may even take up paid positions in a workshop, inn, or courthouse where their kin have lived for generations.

Not all Hobs live this way, of course. Close-knit Hob Clans can be found far and wide, living as nomads, herders, traders, and even dedicated entertaining troupes. Though nomadic, these Clans trade, perform, carouse, and otherwise live among the settled peoples of many lands, and are generally welcomed by the common folk. Hob clans have been found all across Aberond and Draskar, and recent rumors have it that Hobs were already living in the lands of the eastern colonies, long before the first colonists had set foot there... though how they got there is anyone's guess.

The Kobolds:

+2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, 2 Stength: Kobolds tend to be quick and crafty, but lack physical strength.
Small: Kobolds gain a +1 Size Bonus to Attack Rolls and Defense, a +4 Size Bonus on Stealth checks, and a -1 Penalty on Combat Maneuvers.
Fast: Kobolds are fast for their size, and have a base speed of 30 feet.
Darkvision: Kobolds have Darkvision up to 60 feet.
Tough Scales: Kobolds have a +1 natural armor bonus.
Crafty: Kobolds gain a +2 racial bonus to any two Craft or Profession skills.
Slight of Frame: Kobolds tend to have thin builds well-suited to squeezing into narrow places. This grants them a +2 bonus on all Escape Artist checks. Kobolds can also slip through squares occupied by creatures 1 or more size category larger than them (instead of the normal 3). This movement provokes Attacks of Opportunity as normal, and they cannot end their movement in an occupied square. Creatures that fill their entire square cannot be moved past in this way.

(To Be Continued)

2012-06-12, 03:04 PM
Character Creation:

Character creation is generic and primarily Feat-based rather than Class-based. This is intended to limit the glut of character classes, make character creation quicker and more flexible, and meshes well with E6's hard level-cap system. Feats are redesigned to include generic forms of the Class Features granted by Pathfinder's character classes as well, so you can allow your character to grow more freely. I'm pretty happy with the idea... it's an elegant way to get rid of multiclassing concerns, while also allowing increased flexibility in designing characters.

Archetypes are generic structures you build your character's skills and abilities around. Your character's Archetype determines your starting skills, and how your character improves as they gain experience. Once you choose your character's Archetype, this cannot be changed.

Warriors are an offensive combat-focused archetype. They have the highest attack bonus, and start with more advanced Weapon and Armor proficiencies. They make good Soldiers, Berserkers, and Assassins.

Hit Die: 10 HP at 1st, +5 per Level. Con mod. applies per level (35 at Lv6)
Base Attack Bonus: +1 per level
Base Defense Bonus: +3/4 per level (rounded down)
Saving Throws: 1 Good, 2 Poor
Skills: Choose 8 Major Skills
Skill Points: 2 + Int modifier per level
Feats: 2 at 1st, +1 per level
Starting Feats: Simple Weapon Proficiency, Martial Weapon Proficiency, Light Armor Proficiency, Medium Armor Proficiency


Experts are a tough, well-balanced archetype. They have the highest defensive bonus, and a second Good Saving Throw thanks to the Resistance feat. They make good Knights, Hunters, and Swashbucklers.

Hit Die: 8 HP at 1st, +4 per Level. Con mod. applies per level (28 at Lv6)
Base Attack Bonus: +3/4 per level (rounded down)
Base Defense Bonus: +1 per level
Saving Throws: 2 Good, 1 Poor (Resistance as a Bonus Feat)
Skills: Choose 10 Major Skills
Skill Points: 4 + Int modifier per level
Feats: 3 at 1st, +1 per level
Starting Feats: Resistance (any), Simple Weapon Proficiency, Light Armor Proficiency


Adepts are a skill-focused archetype, who start with more feats and major skills than other archetypes. However, they are the least suited for combat, with lower HP, Attack, and Defense bonuses. They make good Sorcerers, Artisans, and Cat-Burglers.

Hit Die: 6 HP at 1st, +3 per Level. Con mod. applies per level (21 at Lv6)
Base Attack Bonus: +1/2 per level (rounded down)
Base Defense Bonus: +1/2 per level (rounded down)
Saving Throws: 1 Good, 2 Poor
Skills: Choose 14 Major Skills
Skill Points: 6 + Int modifier per level
Feats: 4 at 1st, +1 per level
Starting Feats: Skill Focus (any), Simple Weapon Proficiency, Light Armor Proficiency


NPC Archetypes:
Hit Die: 4 HP. Con mod. applies
Skills: Choose 6 Major Skills
Skill Points: 2 + Int modifier
Feats: 2
Commoners start at level 0, and cannot gain levels. Instead, after sufficient training and experience, they become another Archetype. They immediately gain additional Class Skills, Hit Points, etc. equivalent to 1st level characters of their new archetype. If they already have a class feat that the new Archetype would grant them, they may choose a different feat instead.

Hit Die: 8 HP at 1st, +4 per Level. Con mod. applies per level.
Base Attack Bonus: +3/4 per level (rounded down)
Base Defense Bonus: +3/4 per level (rounded down)
Skills: Choose 6 Major Skills
Skill Points: 2 + Int modifier per level
Feats: 2 at 1st, +1 per level
Starting Feats: Natural Weapon Proficiency
Animals are creatures which have sub-human intelligence. They often rely more on physical prowess than skills for survival. They advance as other archetypes, but be sure to pick only Feats that reflect their limited capabilities.

General Feats:
Prerequisites: Int 13
You gain 2 additional Skill Points per level. These apply retroactively.

Prerequisites: Con 13
You gain 2 HP, and 1 additional HP per level. These apply retroactively.

Offensive Prowess:
Your Base Attack Bonus permanently increases by 1.

Defensive Prowess:
Your Base Defense Bonus permanently increases by 1.

Gain an additional good Saving Throw. May be taken once for each poor Saving Throw.

Force of Personality:
Add your Charisma bonus to your Will saving throw (minimum +0).

Strength of Body:
Add your Strength bonus to your Fortitude saving throw (minimum +0).

Quickness of Mind:
Add your Intelligence bonus to your Reflex saving throw (minimum +0).

Thick Skin:
Add your Constitution bonus to your armor's Damage Reduction (minimum +0).

Skill Focus:
Choose a skill. You get a +3 bonus on all checks involving the chosen skill.

Skill Mastery:
Prerequisites: Skill Focus (any), Int 13
Pick a Skill you've taken Skill Focus in. You are confident enough in this skill that you can use it reliably, even under adverse conditions. When making a check with this skill, you may Take 10 on the roll, even if stress and distractions would normally prevent you from doing so. You may take this feat multiple times, selecting a new skill each time.

Combat Feats:
Rapid Strike:
Prerequisites: Dex 13
You can attack with great speed, at the cost of accuracy. When making a Full Attack, you may make an additional attack this round. All of these attack rolls take a -2 penalty.

Multiweapon Combat:
Prerequisites: Dex 13
Your penalties on attack rolls for fighting with multiple weapons are reduced. The penalty for your primary hand lessens by 2, and the one for your off hand(s) lessens by 6. Additionally, secondary attacks with natural weapons take only a -2 penalty.

Improved Multiweapon Combat:
Prerequisites: Multiweapon Combat, Dex 15
Whenever you make a basic attack, you may attack with both a primary and secondary weapon. The penalties for attacking with multiple weapons apply normally. Additionally, you may wield a one-handed weapon in your off-hand as though it were a light weapon, with light weapon penalties.

Power Attack:
Prerequisites: Str 13
You can sacrifice accuracy for damage in combat. By taking a -1 penalty on all melee attack rolls and CMCs, you gain a +2 bonus on all melee damage rolls. For every +4 BAB you have, the bonus damage increases by +2, and the penalty increases by -1. You must choose to use this feat before making an attack roll, and its effects last until your next turn. This bonus damage increases by half if you're attacking with a Two-Handed Weapon, a One Handed Weapon using two hands, or a Primary Natural Weapon that adds 1-1/2 times your Strength modifier on damage rolls. Bonus damage is halved if you're attacking with an Off-Hand Weapon, or Secondary Natural Weapon.

Canny Defense:
You are gifted at sensing, predicting, and avoiding danger. You may add either your Wisdom or Intelligence bonus (chosen when taking this feat) to your Defense. You lose these bonuses whenever you are denied your Dexterity Bonus to Defense (such as when you are immobilized or helpless), or when you wear Armor or Shields.
* If you chose to use your Intelligence bonus, you may still apply these bonuses while wearing Light Armor, Light Shields, or Bucklers.
* If you chose to use your Wisdom bonus, you aren't denied your Dex bonus when flat-footed, or when your attacker is invisible.

Second Wind:
Prerequisites: Con 13
Once per day, as soon as you are reduced to 0 or lower HP, you can gain [1d4 + Constitution bonus] Temporary HP as an Immediate Action. These last for 1 minute. If losing these Temporary HP would reduce you to 0 HP or lower again, you immediately resume the Staggered or Dying condition as appropriate.

Sneak Attack
In combat, whenever your foe can't properly defend themself, you can strike a vital spot for extra damage. Whenver the target of your attack would be denied their Dexterity bonus to Defense, or when you are Flanking your target, your attack deals 1d6 extra damage (+1d6 for every two levels after 1st, ex. 3rd, 5th). This is Precision Damage, and is not multiplied on a Critical Hit. You cannot deal Nonlethal Damage with a Sneak Attack, unless wielding a weapon that deals Nonlethal Damage (such as a sap, whip, or unarmed strike). You must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot, and must be able to reach such a spot. Ranged weapons can only Sneak Attack if the target is within 30 feet. You cannot Sneak Attack while striking a creature with Concealment.

You can avoid certain attacks with great agility. If you makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that deals half damage on a successful save, you instead take no damage. Evasion can be used only if wearing Light Armor or no Armor. You do not gain the benefit of Evasion if immobilized.

Uncanny Dodge:
You can react to danger before your senses would normally allow you to. You cannot be caught flat-footed, nor do you lose your Dex bonus to Defense if the attacker is invisible. You still lose your Dexterity bonus to Defense as normal if immobilized, or if your opponent successfully uses a Feint against you.

Natural Weapon Proficiency:
You understand how to use your Natural Weapons (ex. Fists, Claws) when making unarmed attacks in combat. You can make attack rolls with natural weapons without provoking attacks of opportunity, and without the non-proficient penalty (a 4 penalty on attack rolls).

Simple Weapon Proficiency:
You understand how to use Simple Weapons in combat. You make attack rolls with all simple weapons without the non-proficient penalty (a 4 penalty on attack rolls).

Martial Weapon Proficiency:
Prerequisites: Simple Weapon Proficiency
You understand how to use Martial Weapons in combat. You make attack rolls with all martial weapons without the non-proficient penalty (a 4 penalty on attack rolls).

Exotic Weapon Proficiency:
Prerequisites: Martial Weapon Proficiency
You understand how to use an Exotic Weapon in combat. Choose one exotic weapon; you make attack rolls with that exotic weapon without the non-proficient penalty (a 4 penalty on attack rolls).

Light Armor Proficiency:
You may equip Medium Armor, Light Shields, and Heavy Shields.

Medium Armor Proficiency:
Prerequisites: Light Armor Proficiency
You may equip Medium Armor, Light Shields, and Heavy Shields.

Heavy Armor Proficiency:
Prerequisites: Medium Armor Proficiency
You may equip Heavy Armor and Tower Shields.

Weapon Expertise:
Choose one group of weapons, as listed below. You gain a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls, and Combat Maneuver Checks made with a weapon from this group.
* Groups: Axes, Blades (Heavy), Blades (Light), Flails, Hammers, Polearms, Bows, Throwing, Firearms, Natural Weapons

Armor Expertise:
The Armor Rating of all worn armor increases by +1. You may now move at normal speed while wearing Medium Armor.

Improved Armor Expertise:
Prerequisites: Armor Expertise
The Armor Rating of all worn armor increases by +2. You may now move at normal speed while wearing Heavy Armor. In addition, you may reduce the Armor Check penalty of armor you're wearing by 1 (minimum of -0), and increase the maximum Dexterity bonus allowed by your armor by 1.

Supernatural Feats:
You can call upon inner reserves of strength and ferocity. Whenever you are threatened, angered, or take damage in combat, you can elect to fly into a Rage as a Free Action. You gain a +4 morale bonus to Strength and Constitution, but take a 2 penalty to your Defense. The Rage lasts for 1d6 rounds, or until you are no longer under apparent threat. If you fall unconscious, your rage immediately ends. You cannot end your Rage voluntarily, and cannot use Charisma- or Intelligence-based skills, or other skills that require patience or concentration while Raging. After your Rage ends, you are fatigued for twice the number of rounds spent in the Rage. You cannot enter a new Rage while fatigued or exhausted, but can otherwise rage multiple times during a single encounter. The Constitution bonus grants +2 Hit Points per level, placing you in peril of death when the Rage ends.

Feral Bond:
You have the ability to form a psychic connection with wild creatures, which will serve you loyally as Animal Companions. You may direct your Animal Companions as normal using the Handle Animal skill, but as a Free Action instead of a Standard Action. Additionally, you may reach out to one of your Animal Companions within 1 mile, mentally possessing them as a Full-Round Action. This allows you to share their senses, understand their emotional state, and directly control their actions for the round. You may maintain this connection as long as you like, though it still requires a Full-Round Action each round. The effect ends immediately if you and the Companion are more than 1 mile apart, and you may only use this ability on one companion at a time.

** For more information on earning, directing, and losing Animal Companions, see the full entry for Feral Bond (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=13435584&postcount=10).

(To Be Continued)

Character Reputation:

Effects of Reputation:
Reputations are what your character is known for, and they affect social skill checks when relevant. A famed philosopher might have a reputation for being Wise, which inspires confidence in her opinions. A notable pirate might have a reputation as Captain Blackheart, which earns him respect among pirates, and fear among the common folk. These reputations also have a number of points invested in them, which relates to the strength of this reputation, and how much it affects your social skills. In game, these might look like "Wise: 2" or "Captain Blackheart: 3", where the number of points invested in the reputation determines the bonus or penalty to skill checks the GM determines are relevant.

When deciding on a reputation for your character, remember that reputations should also be generally beneficial, though they might work against you in specific situations. If "Captain Blackheart" was trying to intimidate some merchants into surrendering their goods, his reputation would help with his intimidation attempts. If he was trying to convince port authorities at a lawful trading post to let him dock and sell his "legitimate trade-goods", it might work against him. The effects of multiple reputations can stack where appropriate. Depending on the situation, a positive reputation may soften a bad one, while a negative reputation can sour a good one as well.

Reputation doesn't apply to every situation. If you're in a situation where your identity is hidden, or your reputation is unknown to those around you, it won't affect your social skills for better or for worse. Reputation generally only applies to social skill checks, not task-related checks. For example, it will not affect your bluff check to feint when attacking, but if an opponent in combat is familiar with a fearful reputation you have, it may influence in-combat Intimidation checks against them.

Gaining and Losing Reputation:
The reputation of your character grows as they increase in level, symbolizing their growing renown. They gain new Reputation Points that can be spent to increase their existing reputation, or put toward a new one. Most characters have only have one reputation, symbolizing what they're best known for, but they may take multiple reputations if they so choose. Though you can suggest any reputations for your character, the GM has the final say in whether it is appropriate for their actions.

At level 1, you gain your first point of Reputation. You gain an additional point at second level, and every 2 levels thereafter:
{table]Level |Reputation
1|1 point
2|2 points
4|3 points
6|4 points[/table]

Major events can also influence a character's reputation. For example, a character known for being Brave is challenged to a public first-blood duel by one of their rivals. The character learns that their rival has laid a trap meant to kill them during the duel, and decides not to show up. As a result, the GM decides that this wasn't in keeping with their reputation, and the character loses a point from their Brave reputation. They may spend that lost point on a new appropriate reputation, such as Cautious, or keep the point free for later. Reputation changes can be suggested by players after major events, but as usual the GM must approve these changes.

Reputation Examples:
Reputations may be general or specific. Here are a few examples of more general reputations:
ex. Ambitious, Beautiful, Bold, Carouser, Clever, Dedicated, Dependable, Well-Educated, Fanatical, Fierce, Generous, Hard Worker, Heroic, Honest, Honourable, Indomitable, Loyal, Stubborn, Tough, Vengeful.

Specific Reputations might relate to a persona your character has created, or be an element from their background that became public knowledge:
ex. Desert Rose, Nature's Guardian, Old Ironclad, Spymaster, Wild Girl.

2012-06-12, 03:05 PM
Equipment and Technology:

Protective Gear:

Armor as Damage Reduction:
Rather than making you harder to hit by increasing Defense, Armor grants an Armor Rating which reduces all incoming damage. Heavier armor absorbs more damage, but makes you easier to hit as a trade-off. This helps when modelling the reduced effectiveness of armor against high-damage firearms as well, where mobility is a better defense.

Defense: + [Dex Mod.] + [Shield Bonus/Enhancement] + [Armor Enhancement] + [Deflection/Misc. Bonus]
Armor Rating: [Armor Hardness] + [Natural Armor] + [Other Damage Reduction/Misc. Bonus]

Base Defense Bonus and Defense Rolls:
Since armor doesn't contribute to your Defense score, characters gain a small Base Defense Bonus, which scales with class and level. They may also attempt to actively defend against certain attacks by making Defense Rolls, increasing their chances of avoiding damage.

In order to hit a target in combat, your attack roll must meet or exceed the target's Defense. The target may then choose to take the blow, or attempt a Defense Roll against the attack, equal to [1d20 + Defense score]. They may make multiple Defense Rolls in a round, but each additional Defense roll is made at a cumulative -2 penalty, until their next round. Even strong defenders can be overwhelmed by many attackers, and they must prioritize which attacks are most important to avoid.

Shields, Blocking, and AC:
A shield is more than just a piece of armor. It can help you push aside attacks, and can even be used to take a hit for you. Shields grant a bonus to your Defense score, making you harder to hit rather than increasing your Armor Rating. Additionally, you may choose to Block directly with your shield when making a Defense Roll, positioning it to take the hit for you. You lose your Shield Bonus to this Defense Roll, but if the attacker hits they damage your Shield instead. Reduce the damage by the Shield's Hardness, and any excess damage is dealt to the HP of the Shield. If the Shield is reduced to 0 HP, it is destroyed as normal, and any excess damage is applied to you as normal.

Weapons or other appropriate held objects of sufficient size (such as a chair or broom) may be used to Block as well, but are less suited to the task. Reduce damage dealt to the object by it's Hardness as with Shields, but treat it as though this were 2 points lower (a -2 penalty for using an improvised shield).

Armor Pieces:
Instead of equipping a single Armor item, a character wears multiple Armor Pieces on different areas. When wearing Armor Pieces with different scores and penalties, you always use the worst penalties (lowest Max Dex and Movement Rate, and highest Armor Check penalties) among all Armor Pieces you're wearing. Hardness is an exception; you use the Hardness score from the Armor worn on your Body slot, unless you're defending against a Called Shot on a specific body part. More on Called Shots later.

{table]Light Armor |Location|Hardness |Max Dex |Armor Check |Move |Run
Quilted Coat1|Body|1|+8|0|30'|120'
Leather Skirt|Legs|1|+7|0|30'|120'
Leather Curiass|Body|2|+7|0|30'|120'
Leather Leggings|Legs|2|+6|0|30'|120'
Leather Gloves|Arms|2|+6|0|30'|120'
Hide Curiass|Body|3|+5|-2|30'|120'
Medium Armor |Location |Hardness |Max Dex |Armor Check |Move |Run
Ringmail Coat1|Body|3|+6|-1|20'|80'
Chain Skirt|Legs|3|+5|-2|20'|80'
Chain Mail|Body|4|+5|-2|20'|80'
Chain Leggings|Legs|4|+4|-3|20'|80'
Chain Gauntlets|Arms|4|+4|-3|20'|80'
Scale Mail|Body|5|+3|-5|20'|80'
Heavy Armor |Location |Hardness |Max Dex |Armor Check |Move |Run
Brigandine Coat1|Body|5|+4|-4|20'|60'
Splint Skirt|Legs|5|+3|-5|20'|60'
Splint Mail|Body|6|+3|-5|20'|60'
Splint Greaves|Legs|6|+2|-6|20'|60'
Splint Gauntlets|Arms|6|+2|-6|20'|60'
Plate Greaves|Legs|8|+0|-8|20'|60'
Plate Gauntlets|Arms|8|+0|-8|20'|60'[/table]
1. This armor may be Donned normally and removed in 1 round. There is no Don Hastily option.

{table]Helmets |Location |Hardness |Armor Type |Perception
Shields |Location |Shield AC |Max Dex |Armor Check
Light Shield|Shield|+6|-|-1
Light Bracing Shield2|Shield|+6|-|-1
Heavy Shield|Shield|+8|-|-2
Heavy Bracing Shield2|Shield|+8|-|-2
Tower Shield3|Shield|+10|+2|-4[/table]
1. When wearing a buckler, you can use your shield-arm as though it were empty, but you take a 1 penalty on attack rolls while doing so.
2. As a standard action, this shield can be deployed as a free-standing barricade, providing cover along one edge of your square. Heavy Bracing Shields grant Soft Cover (+4 AC), while Light Bracing Shields grant Partial Soft Cover (+2 AC). A deployed shield is not held, and grants no Shield bonus to AC.
3. As a standard action, this shield may grant total cover along one edge of your square, until the beginning of your next turn

Armor Set Examples:
Armor and Body Coverage:
[b]Armor Slot|Coverage Area
Body|Chest, Torso, Neck
Arm|Arms, Hands
Leg|Legs, Feet
Donning and Removing Armor Pieces:
{table]Armor Piece|Don|Don Hastily|Remove
Light Armor Piece|2 Rounds|1 Round|2 Rounds
Light Body Armor|5 Rounds|2 Round|5 Rounds
Medium Armor Piece|5 Rounds1|2 Rounds1|2 Rounds
Medium Body Armor|1 Minute1|5 Rounds1|5 Rounds
Heavy Armor Piece|1 Minute1|1 Minute1|1 Minute1
Heavy Body Armor|2 Minutes2|1 Minute2|2 Minutes1
Helmet|1 Round|N/A|1 Move Action
Shield|1 Move Action|N/A|1 Move Action[/table]
1. If the character has some help, this time is halved.
2. The wearer must have help to don this armor piece. Without help, it can only be donned hastily.

(To Be Continued)

2012-06-13, 01:47 PM
Updated the OPs with the first few PC Races, the basics of classless Character Creation, and Armor mechanics.

Don't mind the holes between posts. More info to come!

2012-06-15, 02:09 PM
Added a few ala-carte class features to the Character Creation post.

2012-06-15, 02:20 PM
I don't have time to do a comprehensive review, but I'm liking what I've seen so far.

2012-06-15, 02:40 PM
This is looking fantastic so far. Do you know how you're going to handle Orcs, Elves, and Dwarves? I would hate for this cool project to be lessened by cliche PC races.

I'll definitely be checking in on this!

2012-06-15, 06:15 PM
I do, but I wanted to start with some unfamiliar faces first. I still have to do some work on racial features and such for some of the familiar races, but they'll be coming up soon.

Anyway, I'd originally planned to put all the setting fluff in a separate world-building thread, but since that got nuked I'll be adding cultural/background details for the PC races here. Also added the Kobold. Note that it's remarkably hard to find a piece of Pathfinder-style Kobold art, let alone one that fits this setting. Background details and more races are yet to come.

2012-06-18, 03:21 PM
TL;DR I added a set of Reputation mechanics, as a replacement for Alignment, to the Character Creation post above.

A brief rant on alignment:
Alignment serves a number of game purposes; it sets up creatures into factions, provides prefab personalities for monsters and other minor NPCs, and even defines a creatures strengths/weaknesses. However, for most games I've been in, what alignment boils down to is just an excuse to be able to kill things without repercussions:
* For Good/Lawful characters: "It's evil. I smite it."
* For Evil/Chaotic characters: "I'm evil. I murder it."

The alignment system has always chaffed me, since the whole thing isn't particularly realistic, nor particularly good for storytelling. Evil and Good are subjective, not absolute... even the most heinous figures in history didn't think themselves evil, but justified their actions as good or necessary to themselves and their people. I want to encourage players to think a bit more when handling decisions like whether or not they want to kill someone, without cosmicly-imposed PVP Flags.

As such, Alignment as it is known is getting axed. To fill the void left behind, I'm introducing Reputation mechanics, which similarly help characters define their personality or aspirations in a way that also has gameplay effects, but which avoids some of my gripes with Alignment.

2012-06-21, 03:50 PM
Added the Feral Bond feat, modeled after the "Skinchangers" from A Song of Ice and Fire. It combines elements of druid/ranger Animal Companions and wizard/sorcerer Familiars, and also provides rules for having multiple companions. A shortened form has been added to the Character Creation post, but the full text is as follows:

Feral Bond (Supernatural):
You have the ability to form a psychic connection with a wild creature, which will serve you loyally as an Animal Companion.

Gaining an Animal Companion:
In order to form a Feral Bond with a creature, the creature must be of the Animal subtype, must have an attitude of Indifferent or better toward you, and must be of equal or lower level than you. To bind an animal to you requires a Standard Action; you must first touch the target animal, which may attempt a Will save (DC 10 + your Character Level + your Charisma Modifier) to resist. The DC is increased by +2 if it's attitude is Friendly, and by +4 if it is Helpful.

If it succeeds in resisting, you cannot attempt another Feral Bond with that animal for 24 hours. Since the animal can sense your intentions during the attempt, it may feel agitated or threatened after a failed Bond, causing its attitude to worsen. If it does not resist, the animal immediately becomes bound to you as an Animal Companion. You can have more than one Animal Companion, but their combined total levels cannot exceed your Character Level; if the level of a new companion would increase this beyond your level, the attempt to form a Bond will fail.

Controlling Animal Companions:
After a Bond is formed, you may direct your Animal Companions as normal using the Handle Animal skill, but as a Free Action instead of a Standard Action. Additionally, you may reach out to one of your Animal Companions within 1 mile, mentally possessing them as a Full-Round Action. This allows you to share their senses, understand their emotional state, and directly control their actions for the round. You may maintain this connection as long as you like, though it still requires a Full-Round Action each round. The effect ends immediately if you and the Companion are more than 1 mile apart, and you may only use this ability on one companion at a time.

When possessing an Animal Companion, you lose the ability to sense with your own body. Pain and other strong sensations may still be distantly felt, as though through from a dream or memory. If you or the Companion you are posessing are injured or subjected to sufficient shock, you must succeed at a Concentration Check or immediately end the posession effect. See Table: Concentration Check DCs for difficulty; treat the Spell Level as 0, and add your Charisma Modifier for the check.

Losing an Animal Companion:
The death of an Animal Companion is a traumatic experience. Should a companion you're Bonded with die, you must immediately attempt a Fortitude saving throw (DC 15 + Companion Level), or suffer 1d4 points of nonlethal damage per level of the Animal Companion. Failure by 5 or more renders you Staggered, and any other animal companions bound to you Confused, for 1 round, +1 round for every additional 5 points you failed by.

Animal Companions and Leveling:
Over time, your Bond can empower your Companions as well. Whenever you gain a level (or gain a feat, if at maximum level), you may elect to increase the level of any of your current Companions, or wait to form a link with a new animal. You can increase their level by any ammount, so long as the combined levels of your Companions doesn't exceed your Character Level. These levels cannot be changed once assigned, but you recoup any levels invested in an Animal Companion 24 hours after they are released from the Bond or slain.

For example: a 4th level character can have a 3rd-level Wolf and a 1st-level Hawk as Animal Companions. If the Wolf should die in combat, they can form a new Bond with three 1st level Companions, one 2nd and one 1st level Companion, or a single 3rd level Companion after 24 hours.