View Full Version : [3e] Overly Mathematical Mod

2008-09-07, 04:11 PM
This is a modification to 3e. In 3e, modifiers to d20 rolls are linear, but the results of a d20 roll are based off of affine mathematics.

This causes the "auto-fail" and "auto-win" effects that are endemic in mid to high level 3e game play.

What you are seeing here is not at all polished, but it is an attempt to exploit exponential functions to generate a 3e like "add up the bonuses of multiple classes" etc, but have the modifiers to the d20 rolls agree with the affine nature of the d20 decision process.

I doubt that what I'm about to post is playable as is. But it is a start.

It has a number of tables that are stand-ins for using logarithmic functions and some strange scaling.

Under this system, a fighter gets far more "attack skill points" than a cleric or a wizard does as they gain levels. But even at level 20, the fighter keeps an edge on being able to hit opponents, instead of it being an auto hit-miss situation.

Similarly, skills scale like 3e skills. Spell attack power scales like modifiers to 3e spell DCs. Etc.

I did scale some of the factors up a bunch, because 3e is full of fractions that exist merely because of the scale of the d20. (ie, +1 modifier every 2 stat points, +3 attack every 4 cleric levels, +1/2 skill cap on cross-class skills, etc).

I enjoyed crunching the math -- maybe someone will enjoy reading it. :-)

Here it is:
[d20 alternative]

This is a crazy system based off of linearly adding up power from classes, and the fact that the d20 is an affine randon number generator.

Your TALENT at an action is equal to (STAT + SKILL).

You then look at the following table for your MODIFIER:

The Core Talent <-> Modifier table
1 -13
2 -9
3 -6
4 -5
5 -3
6-7 -2
8 -1
9-10 +0
11-12 +1
13-15 +2
16-18 +3
19-21 +4
22-25 +5
26-31 +6
32-37 +7
38-44 +8
45-52 +9
53-63 +10
64-75 +11
76-89 +12
90-106 +13
107-127 +14
128-... +15

If your TALENT is more than 128, look up half your TALENT and add +4 to the modifier.

For a base for this system, I'll use 3e. Use the base 3e classes, and transform as follows:
+1 BaB classes add +3 to thier ATK skill every level, and you get a +10 class bonus to ATK for having any full-BaB class in your progression.
+3/4 BaB classes add +2 to their ATK skill every level, and you get a +5 class bonus to ATK for having any 3/4-BaB class in your progression.
+1/2 BaB classes add +1 to their ATK skill every level.

Skill points at each level are doubled. Skill caps are LEVEL + (number of levels with that class as a class skill) + 5. Cross class skills cost 1 per level (but tend to have lower caps).

At level 2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17 and 20, you add +2 to two different stats, only 1 of which can be one you increased the last time.
At level 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, you add +1 to all but 1 stat.

At level 20, you tend to have +20/+14/+12/+6/+6/+0 over your base stats.

We'll use the 4e DEFENSE idea.

You have 4 defenses -- AC, Will, Fortitude, Reflex. These have TALENT and MOD values as well.

AC TALENT is equal to (Dex amount) + LEVEL*2 + Armor
AC TALENT modifier of armors is x2 of standard 3e. Each +1 enchantment on the armor increases the multiplier by x1. So +5 Full Plate is +56 AC.
The same is true for shields.

Light armor adds your Dex to your AC.
Medium armor adds half your Dex to your AC.
Heavy armor adds 1/4 your Dex to your AC.

Reflex TALENT is equal to DEX + LEVEL + (2*LEVELs of high-reflex save classes)
Will TALENT is equal to WIS + LEVEL + (2*LEVELs of high-will save classes)
Fortitude TALENT is equal to CON + LEVEL + (2*LEVELs of high-fortitude save classes)

Other modifiers to defenses add +5 TALENT for each +1 they used to add.

Spellcasters have a spell attack TALENT equal to:
Stat + (Character Level) + (Caster Levels * 2) + (5* things that used to modify your spell DCs)

Half-caster level classes (like Paladin) can, instead of getting +2 every 2 levels, simply get +1 every level.


DC transformation.

Old DC New DC
10-11 10
12 11
13 12
14 14
15 15
16-17 18
18-19 17
20 18
21-22 19
23-24 20
25-27 21
28-29 22
30-32 23
33-35 24
36-39 25
40-42 26
43-46 27
47-50 28
51-55 29
56-60 30
61-66 31
67-72 32
73-79 33
80+... 34

For DCs above 80, look up half of the DC, and then add 8.

Zeta Kai
2008-09-08, 06:04 AM
This is a very interesting overhaul of the D20 system, one so interesting that I'm not sure that I understanding it right. So basically, you've converted it so that everything is skill-based? And calling all such skills Talents?

Damn. The RPG system that I'm working on right now has both elements. Is nothing original in this world? :smallsigh:

At any rate, nice looking mod so far. Complex, but nice.

2008-09-08, 04:05 PM
Well, sure. Well, sort of. Where you get your TALENT value is not that core.

I created the ATK skill as a replacement to BAB, because I needed to feed it through the TALENT->MODIFIER transformation anyhow.

Each modifier to a d20 roll has a TALENT value, which is a linear value that scales directly with player power. Instead of using this directly (which leads to always hit/miss situations), we feed it through 4*log_2(TALENT) to get a modifier (that is what the table is about).

And now, every doubling of your TALENT produces a +4 change in your roll modifier.

If your character's powers are all linear with class level (or whatever means you balance stuff, skill points, whatever), then a
Level 1 Wizard + Level 1 Fighter
vs a
Level 2 Fighter

will have about the same comparative weapon skill (measured in the difference in chances to hit a given target) as a Level 10 Wizard + Level 10 Fighter and a Level 20 Fighter.

Without that transformation, the 10/10 character would suck compared to the 20 Fighter, as in 3e D&D, because of the -5 penalty to all attacks in comparison -- while the 1/1 is only -1 away from the pure level 2 fighter.

I doubt what I wrote is anywhere playable. And it probably needs some balance tests, to get the to-hit percentages correct for (say) a player in +3 plate armor with +3 sword at level 10 hitting another suck player.

The table is ugly enough that I doubt all of these changes are worth it.

2008-09-08, 04:15 PM
Changes these fundamental, like the Armor as DR, VP/WP, and 3d6 instead of 1d20 generally have to be willing to look at everything in the entire system and cycle tweaks over and over again. Being willing to ignore a majority of splat. To do this, etc.

It's a good idea, but you'd be looking at an awful lot of work for results that will not be immediately noticeable to a casual viewer.

2008-09-09, 12:23 PM
*nod*. In particular, any class that relies on skill rolls being "linear with level" ends up not working. And "gish" classes can easily be overpowered, as this deals with the "I'm half a wizard, half a fighter" combat situation differently.

It does have some significant immediate impact.

Toss together a quick level 1 and level 20 fighter.

Now do the same with a wizard.

Notice that the gap in their to-hit is actually somewhat similar at level 1 and level 20, as opposed to being nearly undetectable at level 1 and huge at level 20. (I'm talking about the absolute difference, not ratio -- d20+mod cares not for ratio, it cares about differences).

As I've said, I doubt that implementing this mod is a good idea, because:
A> Having to look everything up on a table is very inelegant, and
B> Balancing things like attack vs defense, and proper DCs for various tasks, will require play testing and fine-tuning.