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AbridgingCritic
2015-03-23, 08:14 PM
http://breakbang.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/fate_zero_mastes_servants.jpg
THE HOLY GRAIL WAR:
A 3.5 HOMEBREW CLASS SYSTEM
[COMPLETED WITH POSSIBLE REVISIONS]

This is a homebrew game system using Dungeons and Dragons (along with the Modern D20 system) 3.5 editions. This was inspired by Fate/Stay Night and Fate franchise of light novels, games and anime.
I am new to creating homebrews, so I'm hoping that all you wonderful people will be able to help me bring this homebrew to life! May you all win the War!:smallwink:



THE BASICS OF THE GAME: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?410861-Fate-Zero-3-5-Pre-Made-Servants) Setting, Gameplay Basics, Servant Summaries


The Class Templates & Noble Phantasms (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?405435-Fate-Zero-3-5-The-Holy-Grail-War-Homebrew-System&p=19004158#post19004158)


Masters & Magecraft: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?405435-Fate-Zero-3-5-The-Holy-Grail-War-Homebrew-System&p=19004647#post19004647) Creating Mages and Family Magics


The Holy Grail War: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?405435-Fate-Zero-3-5-The-Holy-Grail-War-Homebrew-System&p=19004814#post19004814) Goals, Rules, Plot Points, and Equipment


Character Creation: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?405435-Fate-Zero-3-5-The-Holy-Grail-War-Homebrew-System&p=19004971#post19004971) Basic Checklist for Masters and Servant Creation


The Dungeon Master's Notes: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?405435-Fate-Zero-3-5-The-Holy-Grail-War-Homebrew-System&p=19005122#post19005122) Special Rules, Death, NPC Management


Options for Play: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?405435-Fate-Zero-3-5-The-Holy-Grail-War-Homebrew-System&p=19238813#post19238813) New Possibilities to Play the Game Your Way!


Pre-Made Characters: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?410861-Fate-Zero-3-5-Pre-Made-Servants) Characters ready for play! Made by yours truly. :smallwink:




The Setting

A long time ago, 3 Houses of powerful Mages lost the secrets to the infamous power of True Magic. To try and re-attain it, the 3 Houses created a powerful artifact--the Holy Grail. Unlike the Holy Grail of Christian theology, this artifact is an omnipotent magical object that required sacrifice and a challenge of worthiness to determine whose wish it would grant.

The 3 Houses: the Einzberns, the Matous and the Tohsakas; began to quarrel over who would lay claim to the Grail, and who deserved it more. Therefore, they created the Holy Grail War. Seven mages of varying skills in magecraft (including 1 from each of the Great Houses) would summon Seven Heroes of ages past to do battle for the Grail--the Mage and Heroic Spirit who stood victorious would be able to handle the Holy Grail and have any wish of any impossible means granted for them...

There have been many cycles of the war, taking place hundreds to tens of years apart from one another. However, there has yet to be a True Victor in the Holy Grail War. Now, you have been chosen to join in the fray and cement your claim to the Holy Grail.


Gameplay

Each player must control 2 characters in roleplay and combat: the Mage and their Heroic Spirit.
This game is EXTREMELY combat-centered. And each player in the game must fight one another. Alliances may be achieved, but only one True Victor may win the Grail War.

The Mage is a spellcasting human who the Grail has chosen as worthy to be tested. The Heroic Spirit is the contracted Servant to the Master, a quasi-divine being who is the temporary reincarnation of a Hero in folklore, religion and history.
E.g.: King Arthur, Alexander the Great, Dracula, Frankenstein, Bluebeard, Perseus, Robin Hood, etc.

Character Levels:
At Character Creation the total ECL of the two characters MUST equal 12 total! This shows the difference in power between the Master and Servant.
Examples:

A Master as lvl 4, Servant lvl 8.
A Master as ECL 3, Servant lvl 9.
A Master as ECL 5, Servant lvl 7; etc.




**Variant Rule: Total Team ECL could be anything from 12 to 18. This is up to the DM, but the Master must be at least 2 levels below the Servant at Character Creation.


From surviving combat between the other Masters and Servants, only the Mage gains combat and roleplaying experience. Whenever the Mage levels up, the Servantís level increases--expanding the difference in power between the human Master and his Heroic Servant

The Heroic Spirits
The Seven Heroic Spirits summoned by the will of the Grail for each Master fall into one of Seven Classes. These Classes reflect the skills, advantages and legends associated with each Hero of Old.

Each Heroic Spirit is a warrior with levels in the D&D 3.5 adventuring classes. It is preferred but not required that they attain a Prestige Class in one of their levels to showcase each Servantís unique, uncopyable skills.

The Servant Classes:

Saber:
Servants placed within this class are agile and powerful melee warriors. It is commonly assumed to be the best class overall, with high ratings in all categories. Sabers gain high spell resistance, higher than any other Servant class. It is one of the three Knight classes and also possesses the Riding skill like the Rider class.

Lancer:
Servants placed within this class are very agile and skilled with long-range melee weapons, such as spears, lances, etc. Lancers are incredibly fast fighters, and can accomplish great physical feats beyond normal limits with Battle Continuation. They also gain innate Magic Resistance that can change the game for Masters. It is one of the three Knight classes, together with Archer and Saber.

Archer:
Servants placed within this class are usually proficient with projectiles and can survive longer without a Master nearby, thanks to their special ability True Independent Action; the strongest Archers can be difficult to control at times, in fact, due to their near-total independence from their "Masters". It is one of the three Knight classes, together with Lancer and Saber.

Caster:
Servants placed within this class are adept in magecraft and have a special ability called Territory Creation, which alters or creates space around them to enhance their sorcery. They also gain the ability Item Creation--since many classes are resistant to magic, this allows Casters to create familiars and weapons from thin air.

Rider:
Servants placed within this class place emphasis upon speed and powerful Noble Phantasms, which often include mounts or vehicles. Their special skill is Riding, which allows them to fully utilize abilities of their mounts (which can range from simple horses, mechanical vehicles to divine or supernatural creatures.).

Berserker:
Servants placed within this class are always heroes who have gone berserk in their lifetime and legends. This trait allows them to use the special ability Mad Enhancement, which trades their consciousness (i.e. sanity) for a large power boost. Most Masters are incapable of controlling their Servant once Mad Enhancement has been activated, which eventually results in their death.

Assassin:
Servants placed in this class usually reflect less-than-honorable means of conquering and doing great deeds in their stories. The Assassins' special ability is Presence Concealment, which allows them to remain undetected. Offset by their stealth is their weak combat skills. Due to this, Assassins often target Masters instead of Servants.

Heroic Races
Heroic Spirits are almost entirely Human -- However, see the DM if the hero you choose to create has supernatural or unnatural circumstances/conditions in their stories and legends. (E.g.: Innocent Monster effect, or the character was something else). Both templates to Human characters or being a Medium-size humanoid race are usable for a Servant.
Races allowed*: Elves, Dwarves, Warforged (Fate franchise homunculi like the Einzberns or Ilyasviel), Aasimars, Tieflings...

If they are a Human-variant of any kind with an adjusted ECL, make sure their total ECL does not violate your pre-determined ECL cap. (More on that to come.)
For Example: A Saber Class Servant is said to have the Servant Skill Divinity or a divine heritage, and making them an Aasimar works very well; you can allow it. However, if you already decided your Servantís ECL has to be 8, then that Servant can only take up to 7 class levels at character creation--the Aasimar race gets a +1 ECL adjustment, so they would be right at their determined ECL.

AbridgingCritic
2015-03-23, 09:05 PM
http://i42.tinypic.com/2ngu2l3.jpg
Traits by Servant Class-Template: *Talk with DM

ALL SERVANTS:

Can be treated like a Native Outsider
Able to turn ethereal outside of battle-- Spirit Form
+5 to sense other Servants (Spot, Listen) even if ethereal
True Name Discernment: when an opponent reveals a NP, can make a Knowledge Check or

Int/Wisdom check to discern what Hero they are.
Counter Hero/Anti-Hero: gain +2 saving throws vs Servant revealed as an opposing

Villain/Hero through
True Name Discernment

Saber-

Generally a Fighter with swords or other bladed melee weapons, +2 attk rolls w/1 signature weapon
Spell Resistance: 10+ECL+4
Riding Ability: +6 Ride skills
2 Noble Phantasms total (usually 1 in signature weapon), d6 NP Budget dice

Lancer-

Generally a Fighter with polearms or spears, speed increase +20í
Spell Resistance: 10+ECL+2
Battle Continuation: gain Endurance feat and only need 4 hours rest to heal
1-2 Noble Phantasms (usually all in weapons); d4 NP Budget Dice

Archer-

Generally a Ranger or Fighter with ranged weaponry, never runs out of ammunition
Spell Resistance: 10+ECL
True Independent Action: 2/day 3 hours each (can turn ethereal unless engage in combat)

Can be contracted to another Master if theirs is killed; must be killed to be put down for good
Endless Ammunition: When combat begins, Archers automatically generate 10 basic ammunition for their ranged weapon out of their Master's prana/mana.

Any more ammunition needed requires a Rebuke Servant check to be used up by the Master. The total damage dice on the roll equals double the amount of ammunition Archer gets.
All Ammunition vanishes at the end of combat. If after a brief lull a new combat starts, Archer's Endless Ammunition ability is reactivated, granting them the 10 free basic ammunition.
2-3 Noble Phantasm limit (often get powerful anti-army NP); d6 NP Budget Dice

Caster-

A Wizard, Sorcerer, Druid, or Bard--a powerful spellcaster usually summoned by a low-level magician Master
Familiars: gain Summon Monster/Natureís Ally (Ĺ Caster Lvl= max Spell level #) 1 times/day at will. Can only summon 1 pre-determined monster type*
Territory Creation: create a Mage's Ward/Workshop as a secret base

Workshop gains Guards and Wards spell 1/week, able to refresh Ĺ daily spell slots 1/day in an hour-long ceremony within wards
To Maintain: can use Transference 2 times/week on NPC target groups (but can only take 50XP per groupís highest HD character) → Total needed/week: 25XP/ECL
Item Construction: Gain 1 Item Creation feat, which you can use free of gold or XP cost 1/day; +5 one Craft Skill
1-2 Noble Phantasms (1 in a powerful magical NP), d6 NP Budget dice

Rider-

Usually melee Fighter, Ranger, Paladin, etc (high CON)
Bonded Vehicle/Mount: Gain any 1 enchanted mount or vehicle at character creation, can summon once per 2 days in-game

If destroyed, cannot come back. If dismissed at end of encounter, must take the full 2 days to return to full health.
Riding Ability: +10 Ride checks, +10 Balance checks and +10 Handle Animal (if applicable),
Spell Resistance: 5+1/2 ECL
3-4 Noble Phantasms (often get 1 Reality Marble); d10 NP Budget dice

Berserker-

A Barbarian or Fighter/Barbarian, +2 STR or DEX enhancement bonus at Character Creation
Mad Enhancement: must have Rage class feature at least 1/day, no fatigue penalty once dismissed
Prana Strain: Master loses 1 CON/week in-game
1-2 Noble Phantasms; d4 NP Budget Dice

Assassin-

Generally a Rogue or Fighter (high Dex)
Presence Concealment: gain COMPLETELY undetectable Ethereal Jaunt at will 2/day-useable in combat
Independent Action: 2/day 3 hours each be separate from Master for much longer distances (can remain ethereal unless they engage in combat);
1-2 Noble Phantasms (usually weapon or skill-based); d4 NP Budget Dice


Noble Phantasms

Each Servant Class has its own array of skills and abilities. Also, each individual Servant has access to powerful magical weapons and abilities unique to their legends and stories.

These are known as Noble Phantasms--powers able to rip apart reality, create pocket worlds out of memories (Reality Marbles), smite entire armies, summon Divine Beings, reanimate the dead, etc.

Each Noble Phantasm Budget may be used to buy Magical Items from D&D 3.5, but must reflect parts of the Heroís legendary skills and lore.

If your hero is best known to use a magic bow or sword, they should get a magic bow or sword. If they donít have anything established in the Fate series, you can create Noble Phantasms out of feats and magic items. Talk to your DM about what you can have


Each Servant has a budget for these Noble Phantasms. However, the powers can literally be anything you can imagine--as long as it reflects an aspect to the Servant's legends.

Check out DnDtools or the Expanded Armory supplemental books for inspiration. You can buy artifacts, potions, spell scrolls and potions (if they are known to have certain arcane or divine powers at times), and even have armor and weapons enchanted.

Before applying the NP Budget, each Servant is automatically granted a +1 masterwork weapon of their choice and 1 set of unenchanted D&D 3.5 armor, both of which they must be class proficient with.

The NP budget may be used to enchant weapons and items, buy potions and wands, etc.

NP Budget Formula:
# of Centuries between the Heroís origin and the 21st Century) rolled on the Servant Templateís NP die. Multiply the result by 1000 gold pieces.

For example: a Hero from the 12th century is summoned in the Assassin Class. Between the 21st Century and the 12th Century,
Nine Centuries of accumulated lore have given them that variable in that Heroís Noble Phantasm Budget dice roll. The Assassin class has a base NP die of d4. Multiply the total of 9d4 by the permanent multiplier of 1,000 gp; that is the budget that Hero may use to buy Noble Phantasms.


E.g.: (21st century to 12th century)d4 X 1000gp → 9d4 X 1000gp

There is some wiggle room, though. If you canít find exactly what your Servant is known for, come up with ideas with your DM for what you want. But once you hit that budget line, you are not allowed to go further.

If you have any extra money, you can have your Servant buy minor wondrous items, extra weapons, potions and scrolls, or they could have a sack full of gold they use to spend as they please when they aren't fighting.

For examples of established heroes with their chosen Noble Phantasms, click this link below or check out the Fate franchise wikia for Servants already created in the Fate franchise, and their Noble Phantasms and skills.

Look under the Chronology section: http://typemoon.wikia.com/wiki/Heroic_Spirit


**Youíd be surprised how many D&D magical items can easily be turned into Noble Phantasms**

Spell Scrolls and Magic as Noble Phantasms
If your Servant has a powerful metaphysical effect associated with their legends, a good way to bring that effect to life is by buying spell scrolls.

For Example: Saber (Arthur Pendragon) from the Fate/Stay Night paths has the ability to unleash a burst of holy energy from her sword. As a non-spellcaster, she normally does not have any means to do so. Therefore, one way I found to give Saber her infamous "Excalibur" burst attack would be to buy 2 spell scrolls of the Cleric 7 spell Destruction.

When purchasing Spell Scrolls as Noble Phantasms, keep in mind how many true Noble Phantasms your Servant class dictates you choose. These effects are also rare for the Servant to use. The base price of a scroll is the spell's level ◊ the designated caster level for the spell ◊ 25 gp. (The same as a normal 3.5 spell scroll)


These types of Noble Phantasms use up a lot of the Master's life energy, so using them causes a Master to take a -1 on all actions for # of rounds/Spell Level.
Also, a Servant can only use this ability a certain number of times, so purchase only 3 of 1 spell scroll if it is a moderately powerful attack. For more powerful attacks, 1 to 2 is the purchasing limit as per the DM.*

AbridgingCritic
2015-03-23, 10:56 PM
Masters

The Master is a mage or other spellcaster, chosen to use the abilities of their contracted Servant to win the Grail. Most Masters have a wish they want the Grail to fulfill. However, they cannot personally handle the Grail. A Servant is required to eliminate the competition and hold the omnipotent chalice of the Holy Grail for the Master.

Most Masters are Human. Some templates are allowed, but most of them are COMPLETELY HUMAN.

However, Homunculi (D&D 3.5 Warforged) like Irisviel and Ilyasviel have been known to be Masters. They are rare, however.

Vampires are not allowed, they are considered to be turned straight into Vampire Spawn monsters. In the Fate Series they are known as Dead Apostles, and are all mindless monsters only to be used as NPCs.


MASTERS HAVE TO HAVE AT LEAST 1 LEVEL IN A SPELLCASTING BASE CLASS:
Wizards--

Mages in the Fate franchise. These spellcasters' magic comes from generations of knowledge and tradition. Each mage family bloodline can only have 1 heir to the Family Magic at a time, and all have the Family Magic Crest embedded on their body to cement their status as the current head of their Mage Family. The mage society is run and regulated by the Mage's Association.
Sorcerers--

People whose magical bloodlines are new and weak, but have an affinity towards inborn magic. They refuse to follow the longstanding traditions of magecraft and often rebel against the tight grip of the Mage's Association.
Druids--

also known as a Witch or Shaman, these spellcasters gain a primal type of magic from the elements around them, but are uncommon to be chosen as a Master.
Cleric--

Priests or other divine spellcasters gain their abilities through devotion to another, higher power. They gain the aspects of whatever being they worship, however the Vatican is the largest organization of Priests.
Adept, Warlock, other variant spellcasting base classes, spellcasting Ranger or Paladin-- Talk to the DM about where they fit in.

Masters are allowed to be multi-classed with NPC classes, Fighter, Monk, non-spellcasting Paladin or Ranger*, and other non-spellcasting variant base classes.

All Masters are able to sense/communicate empathetically or telepathically with their Servant over far distances. However, the further a Servant is from their Master, the harder it is to remain on the mundane plane.

Typically, halfway across Fuyuki City is the limit. However, with the Servant skill Independent Action, a Servant can go literally anywhere they want without having to rely completely on their Master, despite having limits on how long they can remain so far apart.


Magecraft

There are no generalist mages or spellcasters. In this world, a mage can only utilize certain types of magecraft due to compatibility and the traditions of their mage bloodline. Each Master therefore is a specialist in some form of magic. At character creation, you must choose to impose some theme, motif, affinity, school specialization, bans, etc. on the types of spells they are able to cast.

Example Specialties: One Wizard's family can only cast elemental spells as either Fire or Acid damage--decided at birth. Another Wizard can has a School Specialization in Conjuration (giving up Illusion and Enchantment) and specializes in summoning. One Druid specializes in plants and cannot control animals. One Sorcerer cannot learn Abjuration and is a specialist in Transmutation

Clerics take their magic from two aspects of whatever god-being they worship. Those who worship the Catholic Church doctrine might embody two aspects they believe God is made up of; e.g.: Good and Sun, Law and War, etc.

The Matou Family Crest Worms can be considered a type of being a Cleric could use. Their Domains: Hunger, Pestilence, Chaotic, and Suffering. Alignment: Chaotic Evil.

Fate Franchise Specializations*:

The Tohsaka Family: jewels and elemental energy, 1 elemental specialty*, usually acquire Attune Gem feat
The Matou Family: pestilence; absorption life force and thaumaturgy; required feats: Willing Deformity and Deformity (Parasite)
The Einzbern Family: summoning and untyped force magic, Crafting skills and Creating Constructs (Warforged Homunculi)
Other types: time magic, strengthening (enchanting), 1 elemental energy type, creating shields and wards, etc.


Other Magus Families of the Fate Franchise: http://typemoon.wikia.com/wiki/Magus

Summoning Support
Also, a Master is only able to summon 1 specific creature on a Summon Monster/Natureís Ally spell. No matter the level the summoning spell is or how high a level they are, they can only summon that particular type.

For Example: One Wizardís Summon Monster Spells only allow them to summon Air Elementals. One Druid is only able to summon natural land animals (no fey, elementals, sea creatures, flying creatures). One Bard is only able to summon fiendish flying creatures.

Servant Healing
A Masterís Servant acts like their personal bodyguard/champion. The Servant remains in the real world due to them feeding off their Masterís magical lifeforce. However, a Master is able to consciously refuel and heal their Servant when the fight gets tough.

All Masters can heal Servants as a Rebuke Servant Check. The Range: Touch or Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)

Limits:
Times per Day: 1+Casting Modifier/day
Rebuke Check: 1d20+Casting Modifier
Healing Damage: 1d6+Caster lvl+CastingModifier

Masters are able to make Rebuke Servant checks after they have reached their limit. However, for every point of healing they bestow on their Servant, the Master takes equal damage from tapping into the minimum needed amount of life force the Master cannot freely spare.

Spreading your life force around too thinly could also result in penalties to attributes--Constitution, Dexterity and Strength damage from internal bleeding; Charisma, Will or Intelligence damage due to aneurysms and strokes. This is all up to the DM.

Gameplay Weaponry:
Masters are allowed 1 set of modern d20 armor (if needed), and 1 weapon of D&D or modern means. Talk to the DM to develop stories and background info about magical items, mansions, money, etc.

Command Seals:
Each Master is given 3 Command Seals on their hand. These sigils are the symbol of the contract between the Master and Servant. The Master is able to use these to command their Servant to follow any order, since the Servant is their own person who may not want to work with their Master. These Command Seals can even allow a Servant to teleport to the Masterís aid wherever they are.

Each Command Seal functions like Geas/Quest on the Servant, and they are unable to refuse the request unless they have a Spell Resistance of 15+Opposing Caster Modifier.


If so, they may make a Will Save to break free of the Command Seal, DC: 20+Opposing Caster Level.
If they fail the save, they MUST follow through with the order.

AbridgingCritic
2015-03-23, 11:43 PM
The Goals & Rules of the Holy Grail War

Setting: Fuyuki City, Japan
http://typemoon.wikia.com/wiki/Fuyuki_City
http://i.imgur.com/77Vrkhi.jpg

7 mages around the globe (or those who have a promising affinity towards magic) are branded with their Command Seals on their hand. This signifies the Fuyuki Holy Grail has chosen them to do battle with a Heroic Spirit for the chance of an impossible wish being granted.

The Three Head Families: The Einzberns, Matous and Tohsakas; almost always have 1 person representing them in the War as a Master.

All Masters summon a Heroic Spirit, never having a choice (roleplaying in-game) in the Servant class the Heroic Spirit is put in.

They are, however, able to use relics and artifacts of ancient heroes to call their respective hero more directly and ask for their assistance.

This is a secret war between mages . The public is not aware of any magecraft in this world--and it must be kept that way. That is the way of being a True Mage.

However, in the past more unorthodox Masters have used tactics that have endangered the secrecy of the Holy Grail War. But it is extremely looked down upon by all other participants to rely completely on modern firearms and cause explosive scenes everywhere.

Also, all fighting amongst the Grail Candidates MUST ONLY take place within Fuyuki City. No Mage and Servant fights are allowed to take place outside the outer city limits. The Grail will disqualify any team who stays outside the city limits for too long, killing both Servant and Master.

Mages fight other Mages. Servants fight other Servants. It is considered taboo to betray that tradition--and it is incredibly prohibited. Although several Anti-Hero Servants have been known to ignore taboos and human restrictions.

And lastly, there is another layer of secrecy within the Holy War. Because each Servant is a Heroic Spirit of legend, those who know of their stories and history would be able to fight them more efficiently. That is why most Masters only address their Servant by their Class Name. They guard the secrets of their Servant's abilities as well, so many Masters do not allow Servants to reveal their signature abilities, their Noble Phantasms.

Keep this in mind when you are playing the game. The Dungeon Master should be the only person to know who everyone's Servant is. Keep your Servant's true identity a secret at all costs!

The Church Overseer and The Church's Protection:

An Overseer from the Vatican is always present in Fuyuki City during the War. They secretly watch over the War and are in charge of covering up anything the public might ordain as suspicious. Led by the Kotohime family for generations, the Kotohime Church in Fuyuki City is considered a neutral area for the Masters and Servants--no fighting is allowed there.

If a Servant is killed but the Master survives, the Master has two options:

ONE: defect to the Church Overseer and resign completely from the War. All Command Seals and the title of Master will be stripped from them, and the Church is obligated to protect them until the end of the War.

TWO: the Master could contract with a Servant who has had their Master killed. Then, using whatever remaining Command Seals they have; they become Master to another Servant. The new Servant keeps whatever class, levels and abilities they already possessed.

If a Master dies but the Servant remains; the Servant usually fades back to the Throne of Heroes to watch the rest of the War or waits until another Master consciously seeks out another contract.

Some crafty Servants like to play the field with their skills in Independent Action, stealing prana (XP) through Transference to support themselves independently, etc..

However, the goal is to defeat the other Servants. Only one Servant and their one Master are to be allowed to handle the Holy Grail. If a Servant is killed, they cannot be brought back until the next War. They return to their quasi-divine plane that all Heroic Spirits ascend to at their death--the Throne of Heroes.


Equipment: Player Resources

D&D 3.5 Weapons:
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/equipment/weapons.htm#weaponDescriptions

These are the basic weapons the Heroic Spirits/Servants are able to use and enchant
Mages are able to use these as well, but most prefer to use modern weapons if any at all.

D&D 3.5 Armor:
http://www.systemreferencedocuments.org/resources/systems/pennpaper/modern/smack/armor.html

Heroic Spirits have access to these types of armor. Most mages prefer modern armor.

D20 Modern Weapons:
http://www.systemreferencedocuments.org/resources/systems/pennpaper/modern/smack/weapons.html

Only Mages/Masters have access to these. Almost every Heroic Spirit uses more archaic weaponry. Most Servants are from before the invention and mass production of modern arms.

D20 Modern Armor:
http://www.systemreferencedocuments.org/resources/systems/pennpaper/modern/smack/armor.html

Only Mages/Masters use these. They can use D&D armor if they want to, but in public it draws attention.

AbridgingCritic
2015-03-24, 12:26 AM
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Master and Servant Character Creation

The Master

Who is the Master? Are they an established Fate franchise mage family or an OC family*? Why do they want to win the Holy Grail?
What type of magic do they practice? Their familyís favored magecraft medium or school of magecraft? What are their limitations? Are they elemental, necrotic, divine, etc.?

The Servant

Who is the Servant? When in time are they from?
What Class do they materialize in? Why have they heeded the Grailís call? What do they fight for?


The Servantís Character Sheet

Determine what ECL they will be (anywhere from 7 to 9)

This will be used to determine your Master's Estimated Character Level.
The Formula: 12 - Servant's ECL = Master's ECL

Choose their Servant Classes--Decide what base class or classes will be used to create your unique Servant.

It is recommended that you also pick a prestige class for your character, if they have the requirements available--as long as it works with your Servantís lore.

Roll their Attribute dice with the DMís supervision

Apply their Servant Template's bonuses: skill points, attribute enhancements, bonus feats, etc.

Also apply the Servant's base (and any prestige) class traits.

Despite being partially divine, Heroic Spirits' avatars have the same qualities as a normal D&D character. They get fatigued, sick, prone, etc. They will also take penalties on armor and attributes.

The Noble Phantasm Budget:
Roll the number of appropriate dice and multiply the end total by 1 thousand gold pieces

(21 - Century of Origin) X NP Calculator Die X 1000gp

Also be sure to give your Servant their one free +1 masterwork weapon and mundane suit of armor (if applicable)
Calculate their Noble Phantasms

Use the limits set by their Class Template and their NP Budget to create Noble Phantasms
Choose magical bonuses, feats, enchanted objects and weapons--link them into their legends and associated stories
E.g.: King Arthur as Saber is given Excalibur (make her +1 longsword Holy-Enchanted)

Finish the Servant Character Sheet

Calculate skill points, level-bestowed feats, and languages (all get English [Common] and their native tongue automatically)
Another great way to customize your character's abilities are with Feats. Be sure to look up the extended D&D 3.5 feats.


The Masterís Character Sheet

Who are they?

Determine backstory and background NPC characters (if any) that you can create for roleplaying purposes.

Choose their Classes
Determine their ECL (12 minus their Servantís ECL)

At least 1 level in a spellcasting class: Wizard (Mage), Sorcerer, Druid, Cleric, Witch, Warlock, Artificer, spellcasting Ranger or Paladin. Round out any remaining Level Slots with any other base class levels.

Psionic Classes are allowed, but the Master still needs 1 or more levels in a divine or arcane spellcasting class!

Roll their Attribute dice, calculate feats and skill points, etc.

Each Master gets 3 Command Seals, which may be used like a Geas/Quest. Only usable on their Servant.

Calculate their Servant Rebuke check:

Times per Day: 1+Casting Modifier/day

A Master can heal their Servant more than their daily limit in one day. However, for every point you heal, you take a point in damage.
Other effects, like Attribute degeneration will occur when you overexert your Master.
You must get a full rest in order to refresh your pool.

Turning Check bonus: 1d20+Casting Modifier
The Rebuke Servant Healing Check: 1d6+Caster Lvl+Casting Modifier

Finish the Master Character Sheet

Each Master is allowed 1 weapon and 1 piece of modern armor (with its spell failure percent where applicable)

Talk with the DM to establish any beginning magical weapons or items! They have the final say in this matter.
Come up with backstory and roleplay cues for the Servant and Master. Who taught them their craft? What motivates them, who motivates them?

Backstory Creation

Did the Master try to summon that particular Servant/Hero, or did they just take what the Grail gave them?
Do they get along or are disappointed in one another?
Do they have the same goal for the Grail? Or do they not?




NOW FIGHT FOR THE HOLY GRAIL!!

AbridgingCritic
2015-03-24, 01:12 AM
Dungeon Master's Notes:

Dungeon Masters! Please research the Holy Grail Wars and the Fate franchise. If you want to bring this game to life, you should at least the basics, the lingo and one of the series' established routes--tone and themes are important in this game.

Also, you are responsible for creating and controlling the non-player Mage-Servant teams. You have to create their sheets and control them during the game and combat. This is asking a lot, but I recommended you have at least two or three prepared when the game first begins, and you can add them as your players interact with one another.

This game is for three or four experienced players! A player just being introduced to the game system will be overwhelmed and wonít have fun--and we definitely don't want that.

This game usually works best with 3-4 players for the one person/team play style. However, you can have one person play a Master and another play a Servant for a real Team game. It's up to you as the DM. You could even do the roleplaying for the Servants and only let Masters have control in combat.

Roleplaying
Your Players should get into the game. They have to role-play for two different characters, and their roleplaying experience (if you choose to give any) can really help characters grow.

You should remind them that this is a survival game. You can recommend to your Players that they flee when things get rough. If you've seen any of the show, you'll know that's a pretty common survival tactic.

Alliances are also an important to this game. Your players can team up to take down tougher opponents, or you could have them form separate alliances with NPCs. If you look at the world of the Fate franchise, you should be able to come up with some interesting plot-related NPCs.

Dealing with Death:
If a personís character dies, it is understandable they would feel upset. But that shouldn't mean they are cut out from the game entirely.

You can allow them to play as the surviving character, or fill in one of the other team slots if any remain empty.
This can allow your Players to continue being a part of the story as it progresses.

Rules on DEATH:
A Heroic Spirit in any form cannot be raised or resurrected. There are NO RESURRECTION SPELLS of any kind in this game, which is why it is good to gently coax your player characters to face the challenges together at first. Fleeing is not the sign of a coward when a hulking Berserker is squeezing the life out of your Servant.

Pre-Made Characters!
I've already begun to create several Servant characters to play in the Holy Grail War. Find them HERE (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?410861-Fate-Zero-3-5-Pre-Made-Servants)!

AbridgingCritic
2015-04-03, 05:15 PM
Edits: 4/3/2015

I just added in my thoughts on using Spell Scrolls as an acceptable Noble Phantasm for a Servant. Keep them in mind in Character Creation purchases, as they do have an ulterior effect on the Master character.

qazzquimby
2015-04-03, 09:57 PM
Just making sure you know of this (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?362608-Tome-of-the-Holy-Grail-Draw-Power-From-Legends-3-5).

And assuming the systems do not work together, they should probably be adapted to work together, else people can only choose the greater of the two and the rest of the content is wasted.

AbridgingCritic
2015-04-04, 03:09 AM
Just making sure you know of this (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?362608-Tome-of-the-Holy-Grail-Draw-Power-From-Legends-3-5).

And assuming the systems do not work together, they should probably be adapted to work together, else people can only choose the greater of the two and the rest of the content is wasted.

Thanks for the alert, but I actually did look that up when I first was looking for a Fate 3.5 homebrew. It seems to be built entirely for the Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA series--which was a BIG departure from the rest of the Nasuverse Holy Grail Wars.

I am not sure the two really can be combined, since it created A LOT for its homebrew. I also couldn't really find examples within the D&D system that already exemplified the various Noble Phantasms--every weapon is very very overpowered with no real consequence or limit. It also is a very different roleplaying experience than what I wanted. And besides, the Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA path was already such a departure from the well-known murder game of the Holy Grail. It blended the magical girl genre into the Holy Grail War, which was a bit too much for me to stomach for the game I wanted to create.

I liked the classic Fate/ Franchise Holy Grail War system: one Master and one Servant. And I wanted it to be as customisable as D&D can be, but have a more strong backbone with the class system. The Servant Soul class this homebrew invented is really different than all other established base classes.

All in all, it's a great homebrew if you prefer to play the Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA universe. But because I couldn't find one universal Holy Grail War homebrew, I felt I needed to create one. But I honestly really appreciate the feedback! Thanks!

AbridgingCritic
2015-04-09, 05:11 PM
Edits: 4/9/15

Adjusted the general Servant Template--All Servants automatically become Native Outsiders on top of whatever racial type they are.

Adjusted several text-based faults in the Character Creation Section.

AbridgingCritic
2015-04-14, 09:31 PM
QUESTION For Anyone! 4/14/15

I'm having trouble translating Reality Marble Noble Phantasms into the game. Is there something in the 3.5 Supplementals or extended source books that I'm missing? If you can think of anything, I would greatly appreciate it. I would also give you credit for your assistance.

Reality Marbles in the Fate Franchise Universe are temporary demi-planes that override the normal Material Plane. These Demi-Plane Noble Phantasms are created from the vivid memories of the Heroic Spirit's life and legends. Usually they are reserved for the Caster Class alone, but there have been exceptions like Fate/Zero's Rider and Fate/Stay Night's Archer.
Reality Marbles (http://typemoon.wikia.com/wiki/Reality_Marble)

bekeleven
2015-04-21, 01:13 AM
Hey, I made the Tome that was linked above.

Each reality marble has fundamentally different mechanics. The quintessential example is Archer's Unlimited Blade Works. The best representation in existing mechanics is Dreamscarred Press's psionic power Dueling Ground (http://dsp-d20-srd.wikidot.com/dueling-ground). Emiya Kiritsugu's Accel is modeled using magical buffs like haste; he's likely some sort of (ranged) swiftblade (http://archive.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/prc/20070327). Were there any specific marbles you were working on?

I've skimmed your system but I don't have informed feedback yet.

AbridgingCritic
2015-04-22, 04:24 PM
Hey, I made the Tome that was linked above.

Each reality marble has fundamentally different mechanics. The quintessential example is Archer's Unlimited Blade Works. The best representation in existing mechanics is Dreamscarred Press's psionic power Dueling Ground (http://dsp-d20-srd.wikidot.com/dueling-ground). Emiya Kiritsugu's Accel is modeled using magical buffs like haste; he's likely some sort of (ranged) swiftblade (http://archive.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/prc/20070327). Were there any specific marbles you were working on?

I've skimmed your system but I don't have informed feedback yet.

Wow! I'm actually honored that you took the time to look at this. When I started looking for a homebrew of the Fate Franchise Holy Grail War for D&D 3.5 your thread was one of the first I looked at. It seemed like a lot of original content--which I liked--but for players who only know rules and classes already established it seemed like a lot to handle. I still really liked it though!

As for Reality Marbles, I'm really just looking for officially established magic items and spells, or trying to figure out a set system that any player can use to create their own Reality Marbles for their original Servants. But for Reality Marbles that are officially established, I'm looking for things like Alexander the Great/Rider's Ionioi Hetairoi or William Shakespeare/Caster of Red's The Globe Reality Marbles.

AbridgingCritic
2015-04-24, 03:07 PM
Edit 4/24/15:

Hello everyone! I just created example Heroic Spirit characters using the homebrew rules. You can check out my characters Lancer: Strange Tail Girl, Caster: Queen of the Sands and Berserker: Wandering Monster here: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?410861-Fate-Zero-3-5-Homebrew-Pre-Made-Servants

I also improved several glitches in my writing in the Servant Classes and Character Race sections.

AbridgingCritic
2015-05-05, 11:48 PM
Edits: 5/6/15

Hey everyone! I just added in a new Servant to my list of free Pre-Made Servants for players to use: Archer -- the Terracotta Emperor.
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?410861-Fate-Zero-3-5-Homebrew-Pre-Made-Servants&p=19211467#post19211467

Speaking of Archer, I realized that the Archer class needed a rule about ammunition, so I created the Endless Ammunition ability. This ability auto-creates 10 basic ammunition for the Archer at the beginning of combat. If the Archer requires more ammunition afterwards, the Master must make use up one of their Rebuke Servant rolls per day and use the damage dice as double the amount of ammunition created. All Ammunition vanishes at the end of combat.

qazzquimby
2015-05-06, 02:07 AM
Sorry I gave no useful feedback. As I'm not reading the visual novels, I am very significantly more interested in this project now, and will hopefully be more useful to you soon.
Thank you for making this, I'm glad it exists.

AbridgingCritic
2015-05-06, 02:40 AM
Sorry I gave no useful feedback. As I'm not reading the visual novels, I am very significantly more interested in this project now, and will hopefully be more useful to you soon.
Thank you for making this, I'm glad it exists.

To be honest I was just so happy that someone was interested in this project. And your feedback was appreciated; it's always important to establish the conditions and rules of homebrew creation. I've never read the light novels or anything myself, just what I've seen in the anime series.

Thanks for taking an interest, and hope to chat with you soon!

Pronounceable
2015-05-06, 08:42 AM
While I'm a giant fan of Fate in general and would probably enjoy an rpg version of it, I don't think DnD is really suitable for Nasuverse. DnD is far too much balance focused to capture that Nasuverse feeling. There's no balance over there, everyone who's anyone is utterly broken and while it creates a sort of balance, it's not a thing DnD is really able to portray. Looking at this thread, I can see it hurting the servants: they're underwhelming. LvX guys with access to Y dollars worth of magic gear don't really come across as epic heroes of myth and legend. Even if you made servants lv30 guys with 10 million dollars, it'd still be all too mechanical and rigid. Not to mention boxing yourself into DnD's decidedly unmystical magic systems won't allow you to capture that omgwtf power sense Nasuverse tries so hard to convey.

tldr is that you made it too balanced to be appropriate to general atmosphere and flavor of Nasuverse. But you had to kinda do it like this or DnD would break down.

It's a pretty good crunching job overall and you're to be commended (I am bad enough at mechanics to be unable to provide feedback, except maybe lv20+ would've been better for servants). Your system might work as a tabletop game.

But there's a vital/fatal problem: master and servant being played by the same player will utterly kill the Fateness of the game. The most important thing in Fate franchise is (except for an excuse to play crisis crossover with myths and legends) the relations between servants and masters. All the drama and entertainment comes from characters' interactions with each other and their enemies. When the same player is both master and servant, they'll either be getting along swimmingly with no issues at all OR the players will be getting punished for roleplaying if their characters aren't getting along swimmingly. And it's gonna be all sorts of headache when one player's master and another player's servant get killed and they decide to team up.
This could be solved easily enough by giving only one character to every player but you'd have to adjust your mechanics a bit. And you'd really need to trash that all players must be on equal footing rule DnD holds sacred above all others for this.

One last issue I see is that sticking too close to Nasuverse "canon" would be a mistake (war always happening in Fuyuki, three families background, Grail spoilers). It'd stifle DMs and players to be beholden to it, there's no reason to not set your game in New York if you feel like it, but since you seem to have made that optional, it's cool.

qazzquimby
2015-05-06, 02:44 PM
Some advisory comments, still from the perspective of someone who has not read the work he's commenting on.


Even if you made servants lv30 guys with 10 million dollars, it'd still be all too mechanical and rigid.
I think this comes to making a system of free form epic level rules, or a different power scale within the same system, probably by cannibalizing another system that specializes in these sorts of things.
EDIT: rewording. By a different powerscale, I mean something along the lines of D&D and M&M in the same game. The power levels of characters are completely incompatible, and for once that's actually a good thing.

If that sounds like a lot of extra work, I'd argue that it is probably the core of this kind of project, since cnsvnc's argument is pretty important.

In a previous thread were rpg suggestions, though I'm familiar with few of them.
Summarizing:
Mutants & Masterminds - needs to be thoroughly refluffed, but offers a great deal of flexibility and high power.
Exalted - More limiting in options.
FATE
BESM D20 - Not the right power level, but can emulate the mechanics well, with spending energy to keep the servant summoned and designing special attacks for them.
Scion
Savage Worlds
Spirit of the Century
Weapons of the Gods
Legend of the Five Rings


When the same player is both master and servant...
Given that masters and servants have roughly equal importance, I think running both is unnecessary. Both to give satisfactory depth of character, and to provide better character interaction, they should probably play one or the other.


One last issue I see is that sticking too close to Nasuverse "canon" would be a mistake
I agree, though it is a good place as a starting point, it should hopefully be made more flexible later on.

EDIT: I don't know if you cover the magic system, but I'd really like to see that too.
Also this (http://www.heavens-feel.com/fate_nasuverse_rpg.html) and this (https://drive.google.com/folderview?usp=sharing&ddrp=1&id=0B3Za6JVAPV6RMTg3YTdkMGYtZWFmYy00YjZkLTg2MjUtOT MyYTk2MTE3NTYx) might be interesting to you.

AbridgingCritic
2015-05-11, 02:27 PM
Options for Play!

Because I know not everyone has the same playing style, this new section will detail possible options for Dungeon Masters to consider when crafting the game.

Proposed Current Rules: As stated above...
My proposed rules for the game were to have a level cap to balance out 2 Character Teams for each 1 Player. This campaign would be focused more on combat rather than roleplaying.

ECL Cap: 12 divided between the Servant and Master.

Setting: Fuyuki City, present day--the canon home to the Holy Grail War

Magic System: Mage Family Specialties -- Mage families have created unique forms of magical tradition, each with unique abilities, mediums and elements. A Mage is limited in the type of magic they are able to manifest.


Options:


Players:

A DM can change how many players are involved. You can continue to use my 1 Player/2 Character rule, or you can change the focus of the game to involve more roleplaying by having 1 Player/1 Character ruling.

The interpersonal conflicts and drama of the Fate Franchise is a vital part to the story. Having two Players would allow drama to occur more readily than the 1 Player ruling would. Players could create alliances and feuds, work with or against one another, Servants could cut deals with enemies and backstab their Masters, etc.
There are NO Limits to the story you could create together!

One more option your Players could use is to create their Masters and Servants completely separate from one another. The DM could choose to share or withhold information during character creation, making the reveal a unique roleplaying experience!



Level Systems:

DMs and Players can change the level cap from 12 to any level they wish. If you continue to divide the levels among the Servant and Master team, my one recommendation is that the Servant is always at least one level above the Master.

ANOTHER OPTION: Get rid of the level cap system. Masters can be independently leveled from their Servants, but I'd still recommend that Servants are at least one level above their Master. The DM has complete say over what levels characters are allowed to be at game start.

Epic Levels: It is quite possible to create Servants as Epic Level Characters. Their deeds and legends, along with the Grail's influence, allow them to transcend the limits of mortality. However, Masters should not be allowed to ascend to Epic Levels, considering they are mortal and are only able to possess knowledge of magecraft within the human realm of possibility.



Setting Changes:

Fuyuki City is where the canon of the Fate Franchise is set. However, The Holy Grail could choose other cities and places. Imagine Heroic Spirits battling in New York's Central Park, climbing the Tower of London in a chase, demolishing the great Pyramid of Giza... The world is your oyster, and the Grail will cause conflict anywhere it wishes.

Holy Grail Wars could also occur in the present day, the distant past, or the future! If a DM decides to change the time period, modern weapons and armor might not be present for a Master or NPCs to use.



Magic Systems:

If you don't want to create entire spell book and spells known lists with all sorts of self-imposed limits, the DM can rule anything they like. It does not have to be a requirement to have limited magical abilities, however it does create opportunities for drama with various schools of magic combating one another.



Master Character Classes:

Here's a new option for creating Masters. Masters are usually human, as I've stated above, but at character creation you have two options for building their classes. You could use the original base classes of D&D 3.5, the alternative base classes of D&D 3.5...

OR! You could use the Modern D20 game system for your Master's base classes. The Modern D20 classes are made for a modern day version of the game, with attributes such as Computer Use, Occupations, Wealth, Wielding Guns (OMG!) and other things not in the original game. Find out more about this system HERE (http://www.systemreferencedocuments.org/resources/systems/pennpaper/modern/smack/basicclasses.html).

Remember, the current rule of thumb is that a Master character must have at least one spellcasting class level. Use any of the original spellcasting classes for that.



Pre-Made Characters:

Finally, the last segment I want to discuss is your option to COMPLETELY rewrite and re-roll any of the Pre-Made Characters I have created. While I do love each of the Servants I have created, I do understand that everyone has a different playing style. So feel free to recreate any of a Servants attributes, skills, feats, etc.

AbridgingCritic
2015-07-04, 12:25 AM
A Simple Thank You.

This project could not have been feasibly possible or even half of what it is right now if not for the feedback, opinions and criticisms this community has shared with me on this thread.

I especially would like to thank these specific critics for their valuable input:

qazzquimby
bekeleven
cnsv


And to all of the anonymous thread viewers, just seeing the amount of people who stopped to look at this project is more than I could ever have imagined. I hope you all like this game and bring it to life with your roleplaying groups, friends and gaming family!

THANK YOU

AbridgingCritic
2016-05-15, 05:41 PM
Hello All!

I've been away for quite some time, and I've had a myriad of experiences with different tabletop campaigns. I also conducted a playtest with this game and my original rules. YIKES it was bad, haha.

I see where I need to make adjustments. The Level sharing really did not work. I'll explain:

My player had a 3rd level Wizard Master and a ninth level Druid Caster. He knew what he was doing.
His Caster was an incredibly powerful character and she instantly KO'd another Servant's first form. Luckily they doesn't know about the enemy's Noble Phantasm (aka: 2nd body). But I digress...

THINGS I LEARNED:


Multiple Players are NEEDED. Also, 1 Character per Player!
I need to make a rule about Caster Servants: Animal Companions and high-level Familiars should be considered Noble Phantasms, and they should only be able to summon them a limited number of times.
Casters should have a different ability instead of spontaneous summoning Familiars. Otherwise you'll have hundreds of Familiars on the battlefield.
All Servant Classes: Give them ALL Spell Resistance--a high-level Caster can really screw the non-arcane/non-divine Servant classes.


I'll add more of what I learned at a later time. I still love this homebrew and am proud of what I originally made. However, I need to make major adjustments.