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ES Curse
2016-07-06, 03:52 AM
A common thread I'm noticing is "ditch heavy armor, restrict weapons to the spears/javelins and short swords", though this is more a summary than anything else. A lot of the ideas I see would make DEX pretty much mandatory for non-casters in the setting, and I honestly don't want that. I heard of a sword called the kopis that would make a great fluffed longsword, so that's a start.

What I'm looking for are ways to make the setting feel Greek without shoehorning players into specific options. I'm already strongly considering replacing races with "birthsigns" (pre-built V.Humans), so I don't want to cut class and equipment options down any more than I have to. Advice?

Final Hyena
2016-07-06, 05:08 AM
Unless you plan on going great weapon master (or barb) Dex is already the best build, getting rid of heavy armour does cement the issue to a much more noticeable degree.

The simple answer is that strength needs buffing. The hard bit is, how. I would prefer it if strength resulted in higher damage as strength really should help you deal more damage not hit people.
There are two main ways to go about this;
Keep strength as is still giving you a bonus to hit but giving increased damage.
Remove strength increasing your to hit but give a big boost to damage.

So for a rough draft of the first idea strength now gives double damage on attacks. For the second strength gives no bonus to hit, but gives triple damage.
You could also split this ability up a bit within one and two handed weapons.

Edit;
Given that you kind of have to get dex for ac anyway I would prefer the second option to avoid the wasted overlap.
If you go this route you might need to give heavy weapons a strength requirement.

ES Curse
2016-07-06, 11:27 AM
What about letting a different stat substitute DEX for AC? I know 4e let you use INT, could STR work like that?

Final Hyena
2016-07-06, 12:06 PM
It could but here's the problem
Dex has 3 skills (and thieves), Str has one skill
Dex saves are more important than Str
Dex affects initiative

Even if you allow Str to be your ac it's still lackluster.

Of course my suggestion has issues, when you consider the MAD classes. Take the cleric a good class for casting and melee, needing str dex con and wisdom, eugh.

A "somewhat" simple solution is that str and dex are interchangeable for ac, but heavy weapons are given a strength requirement and bumped up a little to compensate.

tombowings
2016-07-07, 02:06 AM
Here's what I'd do.


Armor

* There are three pieces of armor: breastplate, grieves, and helmet.

* Light armor allows you to wear 1 piece of armor without penalty; medium armor 2; heavy armor 3.

* Each piece of armor adds +2 to your armor class (so +6 with all three and heavy armor).

* 1 Piece = AC 12 + DEX; 2 Pieces = AC 14 + DEX (max +2); 3 pieces = AC 16 (no Dex mod).


Weapons

* All classes can spears, javelins, short bows, and shortswords

* Characters able to use martial weapons, increase the die size of these weapons by 1 (d4 becomes d6; d6 becomes d8; etc,).

* All other weapons available (barbarian weapons...yuck...) in the setting are treated as normal.

Final Hyena
2016-07-07, 03:14 AM
Armor

* There are three pieces of armor: breastplate, grieves, and helmet.

* Light armor allows you to wear 1 piece of armor without penalty; medium armor 2; heavy armor 3.

* Each piece of armor adds +2 to your armor class (so +6 with all three and heavy armor).

* 1 Piece = AC 12 + DEX; 2 Pieces = AC 14 + DEX (max +2); 3 pieces = AC 16 (no Dex mod).
Love the idea but light armour at 17 is higher than 16 and as previously discussed dex is a more useful stat (especially if this heavy armour has a stealth penalty).
You could simply use that idea but pump it up so that;
1 piece is +12 (5 dex)
2 piece is +15 (2 dex)
3 piece is +18 (o dex)

It's merely re flavouring armour but might do.


Weapons

* All classes can spears, javelins, short bows, and shortswords

* Characters able to use martial weapons, increase the die size of these weapons by 1 (d4 becomes d6; d6 becomes d8; etc,).

* All other weapons available (barbarian weapons...yuck...) in the setting are treated as normal.
Weapons with a d12 or 2d6 die don't get a buff and so are worse by comparison? We're trying to help make strength viable not make it worse! :smalltongue:

tombowings
2016-07-07, 03:49 AM
Love the idea but light armour at 17 is higher than 16 and as previously discussed dex is a more useful stat (especially if this heavy armour has a stealth penalty).
You could simply use that idea but pump it up so that;
1 piece is +12 (5 dex)
2 piece is +15 (2 dex)
3 piece is +18 (o dex)

It's merely re flavouring armour but might do.

Yeah. You can play with the numbers. I'm at work, away from my books, but that's basically what I was talking about. It takes heavy armor awesome at 1st level, but it'll even out pretty quickly.



Weapons with a d12 or 2d6 die don't get a buff and so are worse by comparison? We're trying to help make strength viable not make it worse! :smalltongue:

The die buff would only apply to spears, short sword, javelins, and short bow - basically turning them into martial weapons.

Final Hyena
2016-07-07, 04:09 AM
The die buff would only apply to spears, short sword, javelins, and short bow - basically turning them into martial weapons.
The classes are somewhat balanced around the weapons they get, buffing a simple weapon into a martial weapon does mess around with that a wee bit.

tombowings
2016-07-07, 04:40 AM
The classes are somewhat balanced around the weapons they get, buffing a simple weapon into a martial weapon does mess around with that a wee bit.

Hence why those weapons are only buffed up for character with martial weapon proficiency (see my post above).

Final Hyena
2016-07-07, 04:59 AM
Ah, my mistake.

Zozma
2016-07-07, 04:53 PM
Here's what I'd do:

Armor: Expand the definition of heavy armor and move hauberks/cuirass into that category. To fill out medium armors a bit more I'd consider creating different types of hide armor.

Weapons: Unless the entire world is Ancient Greek, I'd let players borrow from other cultures a bit. Ancient Greek weapons were meant to be used in certain formations in designated situations, and D&D eschews that to let individual characters use weapons independent of the scenario they were intended for. Barring that, maybe differentiate between dorus and xystons, and xiphos and kopis. Alternatively, switch weapons around so that spears and short swords are martial weapons.

Races: Star signs work. You might also consider replacing race with the different regions or city states the characters were born in. Ancient Greece was a pretty culturally diverse place.

Classes: Most of the classes work, which is nice. Monks are very problematic, naturally, and I don't think you can adapt them gracefully. Paladins are a bit out of place, as are Great Old One Warlocks. You might remove the differentiation between divine and arcane magic; I'm fairly certain the Ancient Greeks thought all magic was divine, if not necessarily from the gods.

ES Curse
2016-07-08, 02:00 AM
Yeah, I'm leaning strongly toward making Arcane and Divine one thing. Spell schools of the Greek culture are part of the domain of the gods, ex. the verbal component of lightning damage spells invokes Zeus.

As for other cultures, I'm thinking:
-Northern barbarians come in two flavors: the Celt-inspired mainlanders and the Viking-style islanders
-At least one city (the Sparta stand-in) uses Roman coliseum matches over Greek sporting events
-A ruined desert kingdom to the south has Arab-alikes roaming over sand-buried Egyptian ruins

For starsigns (the exact phrase I was thinking, wouldn't you believe) I would give the Greeks signs based on a handful of gods, while "outlanders" are described more in terms of racial abilities than divine influence.

I am not going to use the actual city/culture names, but I will keep the gods and probably the flavor-names.

Revlid
2016-07-08, 09:24 AM
re: STR and DEX this has probably been raised before, but what happens if you force all characters to use Strength as their Ability modifier for damage rolls, regardless of what was used for the attack roll? It doesn't work for mechanical weapons like guns or crossbows*, but they're absent in an ancient Greek-themed setting anyway. It also futzes with a little with Dexterity-based two-weapon fighting, but that's a) a pretty minor issue for a technique that already has its own problems, b) not common in a Greek setting anyway, c) a simple enough fix.

*I guess I'd ditch their damage modifier entirely, and work out some other benefit or else just halve their Dexterity damage modifier

Final Hyena
2016-07-08, 09:59 AM
re: STR and DEX this has probably been raised before, but what happens if you force all characters to use Strength as their Ability modifier for damage rolls, regardless of what was used for the attack roll?
You're not allowed to have the same thoughts as me! Get into ze hole!


I guess I'd ditch their damage modifier entirely, and work out some other benefit or else just halve their Dexterity damage modifier
So after thinking on it if you nerf dex then you make dex builds worse compared to magic classes meaning we should leave that alone and so need to change str. I would go with;
Strength no longer adds a bonus to hit, but you add double your strength modifier to weapon damage except, Heavy weapons which apply triple your strength to damage, but require 15 strength to use without disadvantage.

Revlid
2016-07-08, 10:31 AM
So after thinking on it if you nerf dex then you make dex builds worse compared to magic classes meaning we should leave that alone and so need to change str.This is true! ...though if this setting ditches Wizards, Sorcerers and Warlocks (if I've understood previous posts correctly) then it may not actually be a problem for this specific instance.

In a more general sense, I agree that reversing the solution is the way to go. Unfortunately, I think your solution leaves Strength too prone to whiffing and doing nothing at all. If you really wanted to take that route, you could at least make it a choice when you make an attack roll with Strength, you can forfeit the ability modifier to hit in order to double the ability modifier to damage. This lets you lean into the swing against mooks, but keep your accuracy when attacking something with a high AC.

Though I'd consider just reversing it outright: attacks deal damage of (Die)+(Ability modifier)+(Strength modifier). It seems simpler. If the guy with Dexterity 18, Strength 8 hits you with a rapier, he deals 1d8+3. If the guy with Strength 18, Dexterity 8 hits you with a rapier, he deals 1d8+8. If the guy with Dexterity 14, Strength 14 hits you with a rapier, he deals 1d8+4. I don't know if that's too powerful maybe it could be half the Strength modifier, though that's sacrificing some of the simplicity.

As far as Heavy goes, remember that it's actually kind of a misnomer it really refers to large, awkward weapons that a Halfling or Gnome just couldn't logically handle. Certainly a warhammer is Heavy, but so is a pike or longbow. It's not keyed to Strength, really. Hell, you could (technically) have a Heavy Finesse weapon... I just can't think of one right now. It'd be more accurate to rename the property "Awkward".

Final Hyena
2016-07-08, 12:28 PM
In a more general sense, I agree that reversing the solution is the way to go. Unfortunately, I think your solution leaves Strength too prone to whiffing and doing nothing at all. If you really wanted to take that route, you could at least make it a choice when you make an attack roll with Strength, you can forfeit the ability modifier to hit in order to double the ability modifier to damage. This lets you lean into the swing against mooks, but keep your accuracy when attacking something with a high AC.
Lets consider a low level example (most features ignored aside from dex vs str for ease).
Level 1 Fighter
str 16 Dex 10
to hit +2
Damage 2d6+9 (16)

the opponent has 18ac (I think that's pretty damn high for first level)
hit chance 16-20 (25%)
DPR 4

And a dex build
str 10 Dex 16
to hit +5
damage d8+3 (7.5)

Same opponent
hit chance 13-20 (40%)
DPR 3

As you can see the str build is decent, I prefer dex in this instant because of the +2 ac however in most instances creatures ac is not that high and a strength build is even better.
Level 1 Fighter
str 16 Dex 10
to hit +2
Damage 2d6+9 (16)

the opponent has 14ac
hit chance 12-20 (45%)
DPR 7.2

And a dex build
str 10 Dex 16
to hit +5
damage d8+3 (7.5)

Same opponent
hit chance 9-20 (60%)
DPR 4.5

As you can see the str is a bit better, dex has +2 ac, but I prefer str.
Level 1 Fighter
str 16 Dex 10
to hit +2
Damage 2d6+9 (16)

the opponent has 11ac
hit chance 9-20 (60%)
DPR 9.6

And a dex build
str 10 Dex 16
to hit +5
damage d8+3 (7.5)

Same opponent
hit chance 6-20 (75%)
DPR 5.625

Str has definitely stormed ahead.
All in all I like strength in these maths, but because dex has bonuses to init, and a better save I think it's fairly even.
Throughout the course of the game proficiency will progress a bit slower than an ability increase, but when you consider that;
Pure strength goes from +2 to +6
Pure dex goes from +5 to +11
The strength goes from doing 40% to a 54% of the attack bonus attack bonus. With magic items the percentages shrink further. So while you will have more whiffs the bonus damage makes up for it and unless someone can reliably give you disadvantage your hit chance shouldn't be low enough that your are screwed.


Though I'd consider just reversing it outright: attacks deal damage of (Die)+(Ability modifier)+(Strength modifier). It seems simpler. If the guy with Dexterity 18, Strength 8 hits you with a rapier, he deals 1d8+3. If the guy with Strength 18, Dexterity 8 hits you with a rapier, he deals 1d8+8. If the guy with Dexterity 14, Strength 14 hits you with a rapier, he deals 1d8+4.
Those examples are confusing.


I don't know if that's too powerful maybe it could be half the Strength modifier, though that's sacrificing some of the simplicity.
Dex gives;
+1 attack
+1 damage
+1 init
+1 on a better save
+1 on more skills

If strength only gave +1 damage who would ever pick it?

Revlid
2016-07-08, 03:50 PM
Those examples are confusing.Apologies. I chose the rapier because it has finesse, and so could be used by either, but perhaps that was a poor choice.
Basically, I'm suggesting that you could make secondary Strength more valuable, and simplify things, by having every weapon calculate damage as (Die) + (Ability mod) + (Strength mod). Let negative mods reduce the roll as normal.

So a guy swinging around a morning star with Strength is doing 1d8 + (Strength mod x2), just as you suggested. But the guy flashing around a rapier with Dexterity is doing 1d8 + (Dex mod) + (Str mod). If you dumpstat Strength, you're losing out on damage.

ES Curse
2016-07-09, 07:10 PM
I'm torn on how exactly to do the starsigns. I want to balance them relative to each other rather than the PHB races (which don't exist), but I'm not sure what ideas would "feel" right:
-Skill bonuses (Animal Handling for Poseidon, Survival for Demeter/Artemis)
-Weapon proficiencies (Spears for Ares/Athena, Tridents for Poseidon)
-Cantrips (Mending for Hephaestus, Friends for Aphrodite)
-Other non-magical effects (Artemis allows INT to replace STR/DEX with weapon attacks, Hermes increases speed to 35)

Final Hyena
2016-07-10, 04:44 AM
(Artemis allows INT to replace STR/DEX with weapon attacks
Have you considered that when combined with blade singer?

Another option is to completely remove racial bonuses and make the racial bonuses all comes from your star sign. But that takes a lot more time to do.