Paragon Badger

2008-06-07, 12:46 AM

I have recently said I dislike the class system as a whole; and thus- I shall indulge you all in an experiment. Using EXP to purchase each skill and ability, individually. Everything from HD to Sneak Attack to Spells per day to Animal Companions.

My objective is to recreate a class in D&D using this method.

This is the amount of Experience needed to level up in D&D relative to one another (Ignoring first to second level since no experience is needed to start.)

Level 2-3: 3x EXP

Level 3-4: 2x EXP

Level 4-5: 1.6x EXP

Level 5-6: 1.5x EXP

Level 6-7: 1.4x EXP

Level 7-8: 1.3x EXP

Level 8-9: 1.28x EXP

Level 9-10: 1.25x EXP

Level 10-11: 1.22x EXP

Level 11-12: 1.2x EXP

Level 12-13: 1.18x EXP

Level 13-14: 1.16x EXP

Level 14-15: 1.15x EXP

Level 15-16: 1.14x EXP

Level 16-17: 1.13x EXP

Level 17-18: 1.12x EXP

Level 18-19: 1.11x EXP

Level 19-20: 1.11x EXP

Using the simplest mechanic as an example; a Full BaB's progression should preportionally increase in size exactly as seen above, since its effects are felt with each new level.

As such, the player should never spend too much on their BaB, since it would get obscenely expensive for his or her 'level'.

The problem therein lies not with preportional increases in cost (since we've more or less established how much more costly they should become) but what the cost should be to begin with.

For simplicity's sake, let's assume all players begin at 'level 2' capabilities, with 1000 EXP to spend on their character. (This is neccesary because the whole system uses EXP as currency, and level 1 characters begin with none.)

If we try to recreate a level 2 class of D&D using this system, we should end up having every one of their skills and abilities sum up to 1000 EXP.

The problem is that the cost of each mechanic must be carefully made in relation to eachother. For example, if we made Saves too cheap- someone could dump all their EXP into ungodly Saves at their 'effective' level.

This would be blatantly overpowered- as to our more balanced objective; where 'overspending' can get extremely expensive, whilst leaving incredibly cheap capabilities neglected.

With this in mind, we must place a percentage value upon each mechanic of the class and level progression. Something along the lines of;

Fighter

2d10 HD (10%) [100 EXP]

Good BaB (10%) [100 EXP]

+2 BaB (20%) [200 EXP]

1 Good Save, 2 Bad (5%) [50 EXP]

+3 Fort Save (5%) [50 EXP]

7 Class Skills (5%) [50 EXP]

10 (+Int Mod x5) Total Skill Ranks (5%) [50 EXP]

Simple, Martial Weapons Proficiency (10%) [100 EXP]

All Armor and Shield Proficiency (10%) [100 EXP]

Feat (10%) [100 EXP]

2 Bonus Feats (10%) [100 EXP]

These values were arbitrarily put on for the sake of an example. Such a system would need rigorous testing to confirm what would be appropriate. To prove my point that the relationship between each capability must be correct; I'll give this pseudo-fighter some more EXP, say... level 10?

With 45,000 EXP to work with, he can get a maximum BaB of +20 (Perhaps more even, but I won't do Epic-Level math) by spending 34,356 EXP. This IS 75% of the level-10-ish fighter's EXP, but aside from that, he'll have all the stats of the 2nd level fighter shown above... Including 2d10 HP. And with only 25% of his EXP left, his other stats would hopefully suffer.

This would allow great customization, such as having a spellcaster with full BaB or even 1d12 HD or other wildly unimaginable things. The inherent costs would (hopefully) give each character a distinct disadvantage however. The aforementioned Full BaB and 1d12 HD spellcaster should be horrible in every other area, since spellcasting should be pretty expensive- enough to compete with Full BaB and 1d12 HD in eating up all your EXP at least.

This is part of the purpose of this exercise. Characters may splurge all their EXP into one or two areas, but to do so will hinder their other class abilities. At least, we'd hope. The above example is far from perfectly balanced.

Now, if I had greater judgement or thousands of playtesters with uncountable hours at their disposal spent creating various builds- the actual EXP costs could be perfected so strong class features are appropriately costly and weak class features are appropriately cheap.

But I suppose we'll never know.

'Tis food for thought.

My objective is to recreate a class in D&D using this method.

This is the amount of Experience needed to level up in D&D relative to one another (Ignoring first to second level since no experience is needed to start.)

Level 2-3: 3x EXP

Level 3-4: 2x EXP

Level 4-5: 1.6x EXP

Level 5-6: 1.5x EXP

Level 6-7: 1.4x EXP

Level 7-8: 1.3x EXP

Level 8-9: 1.28x EXP

Level 9-10: 1.25x EXP

Level 10-11: 1.22x EXP

Level 11-12: 1.2x EXP

Level 12-13: 1.18x EXP

Level 13-14: 1.16x EXP

Level 14-15: 1.15x EXP

Level 15-16: 1.14x EXP

Level 16-17: 1.13x EXP

Level 17-18: 1.12x EXP

Level 18-19: 1.11x EXP

Level 19-20: 1.11x EXP

Using the simplest mechanic as an example; a Full BaB's progression should preportionally increase in size exactly as seen above, since its effects are felt with each new level.

As such, the player should never spend too much on their BaB, since it would get obscenely expensive for his or her 'level'.

The problem therein lies not with preportional increases in cost (since we've more or less established how much more costly they should become) but what the cost should be to begin with.

For simplicity's sake, let's assume all players begin at 'level 2' capabilities, with 1000 EXP to spend on their character. (This is neccesary because the whole system uses EXP as currency, and level 1 characters begin with none.)

If we try to recreate a level 2 class of D&D using this system, we should end up having every one of their skills and abilities sum up to 1000 EXP.

The problem is that the cost of each mechanic must be carefully made in relation to eachother. For example, if we made Saves too cheap- someone could dump all their EXP into ungodly Saves at their 'effective' level.

This would be blatantly overpowered- as to our more balanced objective; where 'overspending' can get extremely expensive, whilst leaving incredibly cheap capabilities neglected.

With this in mind, we must place a percentage value upon each mechanic of the class and level progression. Something along the lines of;

Fighter

2d10 HD (10%) [100 EXP]

Good BaB (10%) [100 EXP]

+2 BaB (20%) [200 EXP]

1 Good Save, 2 Bad (5%) [50 EXP]

+3 Fort Save (5%) [50 EXP]

7 Class Skills (5%) [50 EXP]

10 (+Int Mod x5) Total Skill Ranks (5%) [50 EXP]

Simple, Martial Weapons Proficiency (10%) [100 EXP]

All Armor and Shield Proficiency (10%) [100 EXP]

Feat (10%) [100 EXP]

2 Bonus Feats (10%) [100 EXP]

These values were arbitrarily put on for the sake of an example. Such a system would need rigorous testing to confirm what would be appropriate. To prove my point that the relationship between each capability must be correct; I'll give this pseudo-fighter some more EXP, say... level 10?

With 45,000 EXP to work with, he can get a maximum BaB of +20 (Perhaps more even, but I won't do Epic-Level math) by spending 34,356 EXP. This IS 75% of the level-10-ish fighter's EXP, but aside from that, he'll have all the stats of the 2nd level fighter shown above... Including 2d10 HP. And with only 25% of his EXP left, his other stats would hopefully suffer.

This would allow great customization, such as having a spellcaster with full BaB or even 1d12 HD or other wildly unimaginable things. The inherent costs would (hopefully) give each character a distinct disadvantage however. The aforementioned Full BaB and 1d12 HD spellcaster should be horrible in every other area, since spellcasting should be pretty expensive- enough to compete with Full BaB and 1d12 HD in eating up all your EXP at least.

This is part of the purpose of this exercise. Characters may splurge all their EXP into one or two areas, but to do so will hinder their other class abilities. At least, we'd hope. The above example is far from perfectly balanced.

Now, if I had greater judgement or thousands of playtesters with uncountable hours at their disposal spent creating various builds- the actual EXP costs could be perfected so strong class features are appropriately costly and weak class features are appropriately cheap.

But I suppose we'll never know.

'Tis food for thought.