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    Default Yo, DM, I Heard you Liked Immersion

    Immersion


    COMMENTARY:
    So, let's talk for a bit. There's a huge problem involved with roleplay, and, especially, the beginning of it: teaching the game. It took me weeks of studying the SRD to understand what was really going on with the game I was playing, and that was fast compared to my failures at other systems. I'm sure no one else has that problem.

    What makes sense, though, to start with? After a bit of analysis, I figured you should start with whatever's important. If your game is an exercise of the mind and builds, then, by all means, start with rules and such. But if, on the other hand, your game is about characters, story, or a world, then I think that just doesn't cut it. The way to start is to start with the narrative.

    This has a few added benefits: first, new players are automatically hooked. We all love stories, so, it makes sense that a player will pay attention when, instead of being told numbers, they are told that they're being attacked.

    Secondly, it will allow the teaching process to be more organic. This is beneficial because it gives better comprehension and, as the title would suggest, more immersion in the game.

    In discussing Welkanair's new game, Fourth Land, I realized that using his "Progressive Start" Idea would do precisely what I've outlined above. So, without any knowledge of how his idea actually works mechanically, I'll try to give the principle a go for Pathfinder.


    Principle
    COMMENTARY:
    Let's start by discussing the basic idea behind the system: how you describe your character should be how your character is, and your description is the easiest way to build said character. Conform the classes to your character, rather than your character to the classes.

    So, your character is defined by a list of words: perhaps twenty, perhaps thirty. As one commentator said, the alternate title here could be: "Yo, DM, I heard you liked adjectives."

    Here's the kicker of the system, the main way of gaining XP: not by killing stuff. At least, not necessarily. You gain XP by doing things, not killing things. Here's why: in real life, you're more likely to gain deep insight into life from talking to people, or perhaps contemplation, or even just looking at art. It makes sense, then, that if these things would trigger a character, then, they would give them XP.

    Each of those twenty or thirty adjectives, then, describes the character: and, potentially, can give them XP. Any time a player plays his character in character, he is rewarded. This is important, because it will force all players to adhere to their basic personalities. In other words, if a character has "Honorable" as part of their Morality Keywords, then, whenever they perform an honorable action, they get XP (Equal to their "class level," something which will be discussed later).

    Character Advancement
    Experience. Experience Points. If there is anything, anything, that more ruins the immersion, it's XP. Besides the fact it doesn't get given at times that make sense (as discussed above), nor in ways that make sense, it just plain doesn't display character development.

    So, let's rework XP for a bit. Experience is given at opportune moments: either plot twists, plot revelations, or other important arcs, OR, character advancement, as mentioned above. XP is also going to be divided by 50. Why? Because just adding tons of points just complicates things unnecessarily, and the only reason for it is to emphasize numbers over characters, we'll just cut things down. Each time you get an XP award, it is merely your "class level."

    But how do we define class level in a system which is classless? Well, every story has ups and downs, arcs and chapters. Each time there is one of these, the "class level" of the entire party goes up, as a way of defining how close they are not only to the end, but how far they are in development as characters and people.

    Character Creation

    So, let's say you're introducing a new player to Pathfinder (or, at least, this hacked up version of it). Let's start, then, with a blank. A nothing.


    That's how you start the game. A blank piece of paper. No character sheet needed.

    Attributes
    Personally, I think the best way to create a character is to ask a player what they want to play. Have them describe who their character is, what he does, what he wants to do.

    Now let's make a list of a few words that might describe someone, and look at them a little.


    Say that the character the new player imagined was a powerful warrior, capable of dealing blows. They'd probably choose somewhere around the buff level. Now, let's reveal to them what those words mean in mechanical terms:

    Constitution:
    {table=head] Description | Points | Attribute Score
    Sickly | -3 | 4
    Fragile | -2 | 6
    Wimpy |-1 | 8
    Average | 0 | 10
    Sturdy | 1 | 12
    Buff | 2 | 14
    Tough | 3 | 16
    Juggernaut | 5 | 18
    [/table]

    So, now, in the natural description of their character, they've already got their first character attribute! Fantastic! But what about the rest?

    Well I'm glad you asked. Let's make a few more lists to examine the rest of the physical attributes.

    {table=head] Strength
    Disabled
    Anemic
    Weak
    Average
    Well-built
    Strong
    Muscular
    Olympic
    [/table]

    Re-examining this tough character with your player, ask about this last table: they're probably going to look up toward the top of the table again: Olympic sounds good. Revealing the mechanics is easy, as well.

    {table=head] Description | Points | Attribute Score
    Disabled | -3 | 4
    Anemic | -2 | 6
    Weak | -1 | 8
    Average | 0 | 10
    Well-built | 1 | 12
    Strong | 2 | 14
    Muscular | 3 | 16
    Olympic | 4 | 18
    [/table]

    So your new player is already getting a handle on the system: his buff Olympic guy has an 18 in this Strength stat, and a 14 in that Constitution one. What about how fast he moves and stuff like that? Well, just ask him to describe it! Simple as that.


    Well, this new character isn't absolutely the best, but being in the wars did get him going pretty good... let's call him quick, then.

    So, step back for a moment: this quick, buff, Olympian soldier is a pretty cool sounding character already. Besides that, he has half of his attributes set, and that just took a short description of him. Of course, all veteran DMs are asking the question now: how on earth is this balanced? Well, now's the time to talk to your players and get them on the same playing field: everyone has strengths and weaknesses.

    Perhaps you've been wondering about those the point column for each of the attributes so far: what are those for? Each character gets 5 points, which works out to roughly 15-18 for PF's point buy system (here), within the range of normal to high fantasy. More points can be given if needed.

    Let's ask your player what he wants, now: he's got a quick, buff, olympic character. What about, say, this guy's brains?

    {table=head] Intelligence
    Slow
    Dumb
    Dull
    Average
    Bright
    Smart
    Brilliant
    Genius
    [/Table]

    Well, here we have to start making some choices... he can be a generally average fellow, but, we've already used up a good deal of points. 5 on strength, 2 on Constitution, 1 on Dexterity... That means he's three points over where he needs to be. However, that's ok, because the character really isn't based on being a genius, so he's just average. Well, what about his sagacity? Can that be dropped a bit? Well, by now, your player knows the drill. To the list!

    {table=head] Wisdom.
    Dim
    Rash
    Impulsive
    Average
    Rational
    Shrewd
    Wise
    Sage
    [/table]

    Again, think about which he is, and then examine the score. Hm... Rash seems pretty good for a warrior. Fearless, brave, courageous.

    As I'm sure we know, he's got a 6 in Wisdom now. Let's put the table on again, just to compare.

    {table=head] Description | Points | Attribute Score
    Dim | -3 | 4
    Rash | -2 | 6
    Impulsive | -1 | 8
    Average | 0 | 10
    Rational | 1 | 12
    Shrewd | 2 | 14
    Wise | 3 | 16
    Sage | 4 | 18
    [/table]

    So, now, he has one too many points, and only one last stat... let's see what we can do. How influential, charismatic, is this soldier?

    {table=head]Description | Points | Attribute Score
    Sociopathic | -3 | 4
    Antisocial | -2 | 6
    Gruff | -1 | 8
    Average | 0 | 10
    Friendly | 1 | 12
    Charming | 2 | 14
    Influential | 3 | 16
    Beguiling | 4 | 18
    [/table]

    Well, Gruff stands out for this character: his experience in the army has given him some tough experience, which effects his interactions with others. Well, now, we have 5 points used: let's look at who we've made in this five minute session.

    We have a gruff ex-soldier, hardened by his experiences in life. Nevertheless, because of the war, he's got quick reflexes and a tendency to run into battle whenever needed. Despite this, his incredible strength and toughness keep him safe as he kills his enemies.

    Wow. Now you tell me that you've gotten that statted in five minutes. Besides that, it's easy, and pulls people directly into the game by forcing them to describe their character, and, by doing so, creating backstory and context, as we've already done. Not bad.

    Problem is, what if a character isn't gruff, maybe, more of a quiet, reserved, person? Can that be described here too? You bet. Let's compile a few things, and add a few adjectives (I told you I loved them, right?)


    {table=head]Strength|Dexterity|Constitution|Intelligence|Wisdom|Charisma |Points | Attribute

    Weakling, Disabled, Incapicitated|Sloth, Crippled, Handicapped|Frail, Deathly, Ailing|Crude, Dense, Dumb |Daft, Foolish, Oblivious|Unintelligible, Disturbing, Unsettling|-3|4

    Wimp, Anemic, Decrepit|Badger, Clumsy, Ungainly |Temperamental, Fragile, Debilitated|Thick, Simple, Unlearned|Rash, Thoughtless, Impulsive|Uncivil, Invisible, Antisocial|-2|6

    Waif, Weak, Tired|Klutz, Slow, Impaired|Soft, Wimpy, Delicate|Fool, Vapid, Ignorant|Sheepish, Foolhardy, Imperceptive|Gruff, Quiet, Unnoticeable|-1|8

    Average|Average|Average|Average|Average|Average|0| 10

    Toned, Well-Built, Muscular |Cat, Quick, Speedy|Tough, Durable, Stout|Sharp, Clever, Bright|Sound, Sensible, Prudent|Friendly, Appealing, Attractive|+1|12

    Strong, Robust, Brawny|Rabbit, Fast, Agile |Sturdy, Buff, Rugged |Cunning, Learned, Astute|Careful, Perceptive, Watchful|Influential, Charming, Alluring|+2|14

    Beefy, Muscular, Burly|Fox, Lightning, Flash|Resilient, Durable, Industrial-Strength|Brilliant, Highly Intelligent, Knowledgeable|Wise, Experienced, Shrewd|Manipulative, Captivating, Magnetic|+3|16

    Mighty, Olympic, Legendary|Viper, Precognizant, Fleet|Implacable, Juggernaut, Unstoppable|Genius, Scientific, Intellectual|Sage, Sapient|Seductive, Influential, Prominent|+4|18[/table]


    All this, then, gives us a great place to start. But, that begs the question: can it be done with classes? Let's find out.
    Last edited by SamBurke; 2012-08-31 at 05:47 PM.
    James/TheDoge Avatar by Ceika!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SamBurke View Post
    *snip* ...Hands down the funniest class critique ever... *snip*
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  2. Top - End - #2
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    Default Re: Yo, DM, I Heard you Liked Immersion

    Chassis
    -This is actually my fourth attempt to get these bad boys written into the system: it's just going to be tough. Also, life has a nasty uppercut. Nasty.-


    Let's talk about DnD for a moment: it pretty much *is* the class system. It really started it, created the driving urge to have classes. Honestly, it's done more to affect RPGs (yes, even video games) than anything else in the last forty years.

    So, then, let's take that wonderful history of straight advancement and smash it on the ground like a Justin Beiber record, and work on another way. Why? Because we want to build a character precisely the way we want to. AND because this way, we can balance things much easier.

    Saves

    Let's start with keeping another staple of DnD: Saves, BAB, and Skills.

    There are Three types of saves: Good, Middle, and Poor. Same goes for BAB and Skills.

    {table=head] Save | Cost
    Good | 3
    Middle | 2
    Poor | 1
    [/table]
    By way of Comparison, Fighters have two good saves and two poor ones. Wizards have one good and three poor. So, then, how do we balance it? Well, a tradeoff. The points during Chassis Creation carry over into the actual class. Overall, a character gets 10 points for the Chassis, allowing for a large amount of alteration to fit their character. Of course, how would character creation continue without a large table full of adjectives?

    {table=head=Save Costs] Reflex | Fortitude | Will | Attack | Skills | Price
    Unresponsive | Unhealthy | Weak-minded | Thinker | Specialized| 1
    Average | Average | Average | Average | Skilled | 2
    Lightning | Rugged | Determined | Warrior | Jack of All Trades| 3
    [/Table]

    {table=head=Skill Points Per Level] Descriptions | Skill Points | Cost
    Specialized, Focused, Laboring |2 | 1
    Skilled, Proficient, Experienced |4 | 2
    Jack of All Trades, Talented, Deft |6 | 3
    [/table]


    As usual, of course, this table is subject to change. Will Saves, especially, cover so many different things (Seeing through illusions and as well as resisting mind domination) that it's hard to give them an adjective.

    So, then, let's build a chassis for the character we worked on before: we know he has the following stats.

    {table=head] Ability Score | Stat
    Strength | 18
    Constitution | 14
    Dexterity | 12
    Intelligence | 10
    Wisdom | 6
    Charisma | -8
    [/table]

    Now, Here's examples of the various Saves: Good, Bad, and Ugly. Or, in this case, Good, Medium, and Slow.

    Saving Throw Progressions
    {table=head]Level|Good|Medium|Bad

    1st|+2|+1|+0|

    2nd|+3|+1|+0|

    3rd|+3|+2|+1|

    4th|+4|+2|+1|

    5th|+4|+3|+1|

    6th|+5|+3|+2|

    7th|+5|+3|+2|

    8th|+6|+4|+2|

    9th|+6|+4|+3|

    10th|+7|+5|+3|

    11th|+7|+5|+3|

    12th|+8|+6|+4|

    13th|+8|+6|+4|

    14th|+9|+6|+4|

    15th|+9|+7|+5|

    16th|+10|+7|+5|

    17th|+10|+8|+5|

    18th|+11|+8|+6|

    19th|+11|+8|+6|

    20th|+12|+9|+6|

    [/table]


    Besides that, let's give him a name. It's not mandatory, but, by now, he's got backstory (gruff, impulsive, veteran). Let's call him Awesome McBadass.

    So, Awesome Mc Badass needs to know what sort of defenses he has. Let's look at that table above, and apply them to the character. Clearly he's a warrior, so he'll get full BAB (3 points). He's quick and tough, though, so let's go with medium progression on both of those (2 each, so 4. Total now is 7). What about his will save? Well, he is a fairly rash person, so being a little less strategic about his thinking makes sense, so we'll go with poor (1). Total is 8, completely perfect.

    Awesome McBadass is is ready to go.

    Only... he can't do anything. He needs Class Skills, and then a few abilities.

    So, how do we assign class skills? If you guess, you get a cookie! Actually, no you don't. Because it's obviously a big table full of descriptive words and point values.

    How do you figure out where you get your points? Glad you asked. Go ahead and look at the above table of Skills Per level, and multiply it by Three. There you go!

    Skills

    {table=head=Skills] Description | Skill | Point Cost
    Acrobat, Daredevil, Athlete, Escape Artist, Bullied| Acrobatics| 2
    Worker, Miner, Sailor, Climber, Swimmer, Mountain or Sea Dweller | Athletics |2
    Liar, Cardshark, Rogue| Bluff| 3
    Talker, Empath, Businessman, Politician, Knight| Diplomacy| 5
    Smith, Thief, Trapper, Tinkerer| Disable Device| 1
    Con Artist, Makeup Artist, Actor| Disguise| 1
    Wizard, Arcanist| Fly| 1
    Woodsman, Herder, Naturalist, Knight, Rural, Nobility, Ranger| Handle Animal| 1
    Warrior, Veteran, Thug| Intimidate| 3
    Adventurer, Architect, Miner| Know: Dungeoneering| 1
    Builder, Artist| Know: Engineering| 1
    Cartographer, Traveler, Connoisseur, Map-reader| Know: Geography| 1
    Historian, Up-to-date, Investigator| Know: History| 1
    Local, Wanderer, Pilgrim| Know: Local| 3
    Knight, Courtier, Politician, In-the-know| Know: Nobility| 1
    Cultist, Wizard, Loremaster| Know: Planes| 3
    Priest, Cleric, Explorer| Know: Religion| 3
    Translator, Multi-Cultural, Globe-walker| Linguistics| 1
    Sentry, Observant, Wary| Perception| 0
    Bard, Poet, Street Performer| Perform| 1
    Insightful, Guard, Investigator, Priest| Sense Motive| 2
    Illusionist, Pickpocket, Ledgermain| Sleight of Hand| 1
    Scientist, Dabbler, Mage, Intellectual| Spellcraft| 10
    Urchin, Thief, Poacher, Hunter, Assassin| Stealth| 3
    Outdoorsman, Huntsman, Traveler, Doctor, Herbalist, Naturalist, Druid| Survival| 3
    Shop Owner, Businessman, Hobbyist, Worker, Tradesman, Employed| Trade |0
    [/table]

    Skill Changes:

    INTIMIDATE:
    -Intimidate: The intimidate check is now Charisma PLUS (+) Constitution and Strength. It is recommended that the total skill check be moved upwards by about 5 from printed DCs.

    TRADE:
    Trade now includes all aspects of normal NPC life: Craft, Profession, and Appraise.

    ATHLETICS:
    Combining both Swim and Climb here, which are used as normal.

    HANDLE ANIMAL:
    Handle Animal now contains both Handle Animal proper and Ride, due to the necessity of knowing your animal in riding.

    SPELLCRAFT:
    Spellcraft, the most expensive skill by far at Ten SkP, combines Spellcraft, Knowledge: Arcana, and Use Magic Device's traditional uses.

    SURVIVAL:
    Survival now includes three skills: Survival as before, as well as Heal and Knowledge: Nature.
    -Heal: Heal now allows you to gain more HP per day, if applied correctly. The DC is 32 (-) Target's Constitution Score. For every three that you beat the DC by, you give the target an additional 1/2 Class level HP gained. You may take 10, unless rushed, but may not take 20.

    Skill Advancement
    COMMENTARY: As mentioned before, this game's main advancement is through roleplay. In other words, out of the Narritivist/gamist/simulationist trichotomy, this is all about the narrative. Let's take an example of one of the most critically acclaimed games of recent years, Bethseda's Skyrim. The progression is smooth, and IMMERSIVE. See, when you pick one lock, you get better at picking other locks. Your skill at picking locks doesn't get increased when you fire a bow at something, or stab it, or use magic, or anything like that. And that's how it should be. So, skill advancement works similarly.

    MECHANICS: When you use a skill, you have a chance of advancing it. If you decide to take 10 or 20, you do not advance a skill, because you're merely doing the activity mechanically, without thought. However, when you use the ability, and succeed, you roll a dice. If the roll is the maximum number for the dice or above (4+ for D4, 20+ for d20, etc), then you advance the skill one step up.

    However, it is not always easy for a hero. As you get more skilled, the skill curve gets steeper.

    The way to do it is simple: using online dice rollers, you can have any number dice you like. Thus, the number of the dice is the number of the next level. In addition to this, you still get skill points according to investing, as before, though they are less common.

    Finally, a bonus is given to any character rolling, from one half of the ability associated with that skill, rounded up. A second bonus of +1 is given to anyone who invested that ability as a class skill.

    Quote Originally Posted by EXAMPLE
    Awesome McBadass decided that he wanted Survival +2, and invested in it. He makes two Survival Checks; one to determine if a rampaging Bulette was dangerous, and the second one to heal faster after it mauled him. Each time he makes these checks, he rolls, and fails. Since this seems like a pretty useful skill, he wants to level it up. So, the next time he can, he makes a survival check to see if a plant is poisonous. Sadly, he fails this.

    On the brighter side, he can now make a Survival: Heal check to recover hit points, which allows him to roll a D3. The tension is thick: his -1 penalty from having a penalty to Wisdom is counter-balanced by his investment in it. Then, things look up! He rolls a 3, and now has Survival+3.
    NOTA BENE: This does not apply to Perception, any skill that is used for your destiny abilities, or other skills at GM Discretion.
    GMs, please be aware that there is a possibility that someone will try and cheat this system. If someone spams an ability, or such, then it may be necessary to limit or hinder the ability, or up the modifier. It is also recommended that less used abilities, such as Survival or Heal, be allowed to progress faster, or get a higher bonus.


    Morality
    COMMENTARY:
    Anybody actually like the DnD system of morality? Anybody? Anybody? Beuller? Beuller?

    Didn't think so.

    With that out of the way, a serious analysis of such morality can come to light. Well, it makes sense to me that morality should be as open, and immersive, as anything else. Now, there are two ways to do this:

    First, completely disregard any open system of morality. While this is appealing, and easy idea, it's not going to work, because that leaves a lot of spells with issues. So, we have to figure out a way that both makes sense, AND works with spells. Easy thing, right?

    Second, develop a system that rewards the player for playing their character. As seen above, the Immersion Project is precisely that: you get XP when you play your character. So, how is it done? Well, DnD has given us a few useful things, which can be applied to its spells: The axes. Axises? Axese? The lines of movement for a character.

    One last note: I've left off one of the components of alignment: EVIL. Well, that's for good reason. Whilst with this system, it wouldn't be difficult to set up, I don't believe that players should be encouraged to be more evil, ever. In addition, it just messes up things (for example, being both selfish and selfless at the same time, and getting XP for either one) That said, let's look at the remaining three components, and some keywords for them:

    GOOD
    Chivalry, Kindness, Protecting, Friendship, Generosity.

    LAWFUL
    Honor, Loyalty, Conformity, Unity, Respect, Tradition, Honesty.

    CHAOTIC
    Freedom, Independence, Progress, Science, Achievement, Pride, Personal Goals, Strength, Laughter.

    A few further things must be noted:

    GMs- This system can be abused, as it is based on the idea of roleplaying, which is subjective. Please, please, be careful, and allow latitude. The penalty for roleplaying against the character is there to prevent people from abusing RP or trying to game the system: do NOT set moral traps with XP penalties. Feel free to have moral choices, but do NOT penalize the players for your scenario.

    PLAYERS- This system relies a lot on the honor code, and can be broken. Please don't.
    Last edited by SamBurke; 2012-09-01 at 01:01 AM.
    James/TheDoge Avatar by Ceika!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TravelLog View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SamBurke View Post
    *snip* ...Hands down the funniest class critique ever... *snip*
    I cannot tell you the number of times I laughed while reading this.

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  3. Top - End - #3
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    Default Re: Yo, DM, I Heard you Liked Immersion

    Destinies

    Well, then, time to actually, FINALLY, get these bad boys up. Nothing I can do to stop it.

    Absolutely nothing.

    Since we have ourselves a character named Awesome Mc Badass, ex-soldier, now butt-kicker, we gotta have him DO stuff. But what stuff? Well, let’s lay out a few choices, shall we?

    BUT WAIT! Can’t do that at all, until we have a system. Here’s how it works: everyone gets two character points per level: these can be used immediately, or saved for a few levels for better goodies. The idea here is to create roughly equal “feats” if you will: as they’re called here, Destinies.

    Each destiny is theoretically purchasable at any level by any character, with a few caveats in the way of number of previous destinies purchased, similar to the way manuevers work in ToB. That means creating a gish or combination character is fantastically simple, following the more familiar -and more intuitive- “multiclassing” more prevalent in video games.

    Quote Originally Posted by EXAMPLE
    Awesome McBadass has got himself two points, at first level. He wants to get a few Destinies, and so looks through the list. He likes two that his GM his made: One about fist-fighting, and another about magical growth. Problem is, the one for enhanced growth costs all two points, and he really wants that fist fighting.

    So, he decides to be a fist-fighter, telling himself he’ll get the other one later. Next level, he gets two more points -in addition to whatever extra points the gm may give for roleplay- which means he can buy the magic growth, and still have a point left over.

    Lucky man.

    All these possibilities and the open character design is counterbalanced by the fact that each player has incentive to get new things fairly often: they have to keep up, and do something new. It’s just human nature to get something now instead of waiting: bird in the hand, if you will.

    NOTE: You'll find that most of these destinies are suspiciously similar to current system abilities. This is on purpose: I'm not re-inventing the wheel... OK, I am re-inventing the wheel. But I want this to look like Pathfinder and thus DnD when I finish. So Fury looks like Rage and Precision looks like Sneak Attack. They hopefully make more sense from an immersion perspective, but work the game in the same ways.

    Martial Destinies

    Berserker
    A crushingly unstoppable force, a Berserker doesn’t need to protect himself, as none survive long enough for that. Those who ascribe to a Beserker’s Destinies are strong in battle, cutting down their enemies, with neglect for themselves. They rain blows with power, or skill, with stealth or speed or strength or allies, but they do the damage regardless.
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    Fury, Adrenaline, Blood Rage, Battle Rush
    The primal rush of adrenaline powers any warrior. But for some, it’s far more. Strength and stamina surging, a warrior in his battle rush fights ever on.

    Requirements:Medium or Good Attack.
    When in fury, +4 Constitution, +4 Strength. However, because of the impulsive nature of battle, you also take -2 Wisdom. Fury lasts for up to Con mod +3 rounds and may only be used for twice a day. You are fatigued after ending it, and cannot begin. Activation costs 0 Action points.
    Cost: 2

    Fury Power, Unlocked Potential, No Bounds
    When in the throes of battle, strange things happen. Weaklings become men. Men become heroes. Heroes... well, they live forever.

    Only usable when in Fury or Focus. Same as Pathfinder’s Rage Powers.

    Requirements: Only one Fury Power per two levels.
    Cost: Depends

    Focus, Serenity, Calm Experience of War
    While the young rush to their deaths, experienced soldiers know to attack precisely, with skill.

    Requirements: Cannot use Wisdom as a casting stat.
    While in Focus, +4 Dexterity, +4 Wisdom. However, because of the time spent in focusing thought, you also take -1 Action Point per round. Focus lasts for up to Wisdom modifier +3 rounds, and may only be used twice a day. You are fatigued after ending it. You cannot take this and Rage.
    Activation costs 0 Action points.
    Cost: 2

    [b]Greater Fury, Veteran’s Battle Rush[b]
    When you fight and fight, you learn the the right points to attack, the right ways to survive.

    Requirements:You must have at least 4 Fury Powers to use this Destiny.
    Fury now grants +6 Strength and +6 Constitution, and -2 to Wisdom.
    Cost: 3

    Greater Focus, Seasoned Serenity
    Every battlefield could be the death of any man, but it is never yours.

    Requirements: You must have good Attack rating (Full BAB). You must have at least 4 Fury Powers.
    Focus now grants you +6 Dexterity, +6 Wisdom, and +2 to all saves. You still take the penalty to your action points.
    Cost: 3

    Stamina, Great Constitution, Lengthy Battle
    Other soldiers may weary when wielding the blade, but you never will.

    Requirements:Constitution 16+. Greater Focus or Greater Fury.
    You are not fatigued after using Focus or Fury.
    Cost: 4

    Powerful Blow, Stunning Strike, Staggering Punch
    Every blow of a seasoned warrior is measured, slowing or even stopping his enemies with deliberate, powerful, blows.

    For one extra action point on a turn, force your opponent to make a 10+1/2Level+Strength mod Will Save from a single melee attack.
    Cost: 2

    Rush, Leap, Vault
    Warriors, rogues, and any who know the arrow or blade know the importance of being able to move quickly.

    Jump up to 15 feet of space, or ten feet upwards for one action point.
    Cost: 2

    Vet’s Strike, Greater Blows, Cutting Smite
    Every battle hardens the muscles, trains the eyes, and prepares a great warrior: and so he grows.

    +1d6 damage on weapons damage from a full attack per point spent.
    [b]Cost: 1[/i]

    Commanding Presence, Powerful Voice, Intimidating Stature
    Great warriors are known, and their deeds travel before them. Thus may many lesser men quake in fear, hoping only to be on the same side.

    Requirements:
    An additional +3 to Intimidate for every point spent.
    Cost: 1

    Whirlwind Assault, Spinning Attack
    The blade can be used in a variety of ways, and this is certainly one of the more interesting ones: blows rain from every angle, in every direction.

    Attacks may be made at any number of adjacent targets, as long as you have the attack points for it. This includes Attacks of Opportunity.
    Cost: 1

    Push, Shove, Throw
    The sheer physics required to push a warrior in full armor back five or ten feet is astounding... unless, of course, you do that as a matter of habit.

    Push against opponent’s Reflex save. For every 5 above the initial DC, push him back an additional five feet in the direction desired, or prone.
    Cost: 1

    Leaping Attack, Running Blow, Battle Speed, Pounce
    In war, the only thing more important than stopping your enemies is mobility: you have both.

    Requirements:Rage, three other Berserker Destinies. Good BAB. Move Speed at least 30’.
    Movement costs only 1 Action point on any turn where you attack at least twice.
    Cost: 4

    Resist, Inspire, Bolstering Cry
    The sound of the ancient horns, the primal yells of the hordes or tribes, all of these have their place; to strengthen, empower, and send onwards their armies.

    Take half of your Intimidate bonus, not affected by Commanding Presence, and add it to one roll per encounter. This can be used, bonus halved again, by anyone within 30 feet of you.
    Cost: 2


    Juggernaut
    The undaunting strength of battle, each any who would stand between those whom he loves and danger is a true juggernaut. The one who defends, protects, and roars through death without a care in the world. Nothing can stop them, nothing can hurt them. Truly great warriors.
    Spoiler
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    No Pain, Bloodless, Damage Reduction
    When one stands in battle, paltry wounds cannot distract: and they do not.

    One less point of damage is taken from an attack per 2 Destiny points spent.
    cost: 2
    Toughness, Long Life, Greater Vitality

    Requirements10 Constitution, +2 for every time this destiny is chosen. (12 Con, 14 Con, etc).
    +1HP per level per point spent.
    Cost: 1

    Delayed Damage, Damage Pool, Steely Resolve
    Dealing with pain is for lesser men and weaker soldiers: you fight wars and THEN patch up, the way true warriors fight.

    You gain a delayed damage pool equal to 5x the number of points invested. When you take damage, you can put it into the delayed damage pool until it reaches maximum. Damage taken becomes effective immediately after the encounter ends, or after Conmod rounds are up, whichever is quicker.
    Cost: 1

    Shield Wall, Legion’s Defense, Shield Brethren
    Discipline is just as important as strength: each man protecting the one beside him goes ‘round to protect all. And that’s invincible.

    Must be using a shield
    For every ally adjacent to you, you get +2 AC. They get +4 for being next to you.
    Cost: 1

    Shield Another, Protect, Defend Allies
    You stand between your allies and any who would harm them: all comers, foe and death, must cross you. And that’s just dangerous.

    When an enemy would move towards or attack an ally of yours, you may take one of two actions: move towards them for one Action Point (taken from your next turn), blocking all attacks from that source towards them, or take all their damage for them. If you take their damage, it is halved. Using a shield gives you DR1/-Epic, Magic against the attacks blocked.
    Cost:1

    Fast Reflexes, Quick Responses, Improved Initiative
    A Juggernaut is always first to see battle, and always first to charge into a fray. He’s just that fast.

    +4 to Initiative.
    Cost: 1

    Shield, Sword and Board, Knight’s Style
    The shield is a classic strength of any soldier, and it aids him throughout his life, no matter the foe or danger.

    Requirement: Use a shield.
    Each time you invest in this Destiny gives you a further +1 Shield AC, Stackable, as well as +1 damage on attacks made while using a shield to defend. Every fourth, you also gain +2 Attack.
    Cost: 1

    Translocate, Blink, Battle Jump
    Mobility takes many forms. Including instantaneous line-of-sight teleportation.

    Requirement: Must have a type of magical source (casting, magic item, magical beast companion, etc)
    Teleport as a free action 5’ per level of the item or source (by spell level, not character level).
    Cost: 2

    Dodge, Reflexes of War
    Jumping out of the way saves the lives of many a man, and you do it none too slowly.

    +2 Dodge AC, +1 to Reflex Save, +1 Initiative per 2 points spent.
    Cost: 2

    Blood Rage, Pain’s Power, Bloodlust
    Some warriors not only shrug off the damage, they use it to power themselves; hatred, strength, whatever it may be, it’s formidable.

    Damage taken may be converted into temporary hit points for [Constitution modifier] rounds. At the end of that time, it is taken, doubled.
    Cost: 2

    Switch Places, Transpose
    Moving into others’ places keeps them safer, and gives you more battle, as it should be.

    You may switch places with any ally within your move distance for one Action Point (taken from your next turn). If carrying a shield, they get a +2 Shield Bonus to AC, and you get +1, Stackable.
    Cost: 1

    Lightning, Fighting Instincts
    You move with speed, dodging spells and fire with ease.

    +4 to Reflex Saves.
    Cost: 1

    Steadfast, Hardy
    No poison or blow can fell you, no matter how strong.

    +4 to Fortitude Saves.
    Cost: 1

    Strong Mind, Piercing Eyes
    Illusions and mind-dominating wizards may do their worst. It just isn’t bad enough.

    +4 to Will Saves.
    Cost: 1

    Well-rounded, High Saves, Strong of Mind, Body, and Soul

    Requirements: 11+ on Dexterity, Wisdom, and Constitution.
    You gain +3 to all saves.
    Cost: 2

    Drunken Rage, Stuporous Fighting, Barroom Bred Battler
    Whether you got it before or after a soldier, you’re more at home when you’ve got a mug in one hand, or a belly full of firewater, destroying enemies with inebriated carelessness. Pain does not hurt, and nothing is safe from being thrown or destroyed.

    RequirementsNot using Focus or Rage.
    Drink alcohol as a Move action, or before a fight (lasts for one hour), to gain Drunken Rage. While in Drunken Rage, you gain DR 2/-Epic, Magic. In addition, you gain +4 Strength, immunity to fear, emotion-destroying spells, and the benefits of the Throw Anything and Improved Bullrush feats.
    Cost: 4



    Twin Blade
    A whirling, flashing, storm, each blade’s path matters but little in that deadly, deadly, dance it weaves, as each foe falls at his step.
    Spoiler
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    Second Sword, Twin Cuts, Double Blow
    Wielding one blade takes a life of constant study... to take two, to wreave and rend with one then the next, takes unimaginable skill.

    Requirements: Dex 12
    Whenever you would get an attack with your primary weapon, you gain a second attack with your alternate weapon, at a -4 Attack Penalty.
    Cost: 1

    Triplicate, Great Two Weapon Fighting, Triple Slice
    Dashing in for the attack, your great blade cleaves, and cleaves again, punctuated only by the deadly slices of the second sword.

    Requirements: Second Sword, Dex 16
    You may make a third attack when you would have two from Second Sword. If using your alternate weapon, take a -7 penalty. If using your primary weapon, take a -4 penalty on all attacks with it for this turn, due to the difficulty of maneuvering.
    Cost: 2

    Perfect Two Weapon Fighting, Fourth
    Dicing and slashing, your blades are not a blur. Such would be too common for the miracle of death-giving that now anoints your twin destroyers. Choose a name as you see fit, for none can say nay.

    Requirements: Triplicate
    You may now make a fourth attack according to the rules of Triplicate.
    Cost: 2

    Sword and Board, Knight’s Array, Shield
    Your second weapon is no mere sword, but a sturdy defender, the weapons of a seasoned veteran. You carry them with pride, and they are in your hands and ready in an instant.

    You can use any shield without penalty, including a Tower Shield, with a one-handed weapon. In addition, you may draw your shield and sword as a free action.
    Cost: 1

    Shield Bash
    Warriors know to use every advantage, and the shield is no exception: it is not just a defense, it is a weapon of its own.

    Requirements: 14 Strength.
    You may make an attack with your shield for 2 Action Points, to do one of 2 things: First, deal 2x Str Mod damage. Second, push them back 5’ if they fail a Reflex save of your Strength Mod + 10 +1/2 your level. For each 5 they fail their save by, they are moved back an additional 5’.
    Cost: 2

    Shield Daze, Punishing Bash
    The smash of solid steel, iron, and wood leaves any foe hit by your shield senseless.

    Requirements: Shield Bash
    For an additional Action Point, when using Shield Bash, you may force your opponents to make a Fortitude save, equal to 10+your Level + your Strength bonus.
    Cost: 1

    Defending Dagger, Parry, Dueler’s Stance
    The second weapon is no mere crude weapon of assault, indeed, it can interpose between its wielder and other blades.

    Requirements: Second Sword.
    When using Second Sword, you can choose to have it instead make defensive blocks and parries. Make an attack roll against any attack of your opponent’s, at the normal penalties. If you equal or exceed their attack, you parry. If you later take Triplicate or Greater Two Weapon fighting, you may make up to two or three parries respectively.
    Cost: 1

    Cleave, Sliding Cut
    Your blade sinks through one foe, then the next, cleaving through enemies’ mere flesh.

    When you make a successful hit on one opponent, you may also make the same attack at the same bonus to anyone standing adjacent to him and in your reach, at the same penalties and bonuses. For each additional point spent, you may do this twice more.
    Cost: 1

    Whirlwind Assault, Spin Attack, Blade Circle
    Your weapon crushes all those around you... literally.

    Requirements:Cleave
    You may attack anyone in your reach with the assault from Cleave.
    Cost:1

    Combat Jump, Quick Move
    Your speed across the battlefield is unbelieveable, and that leaves enemies bewildered, outwitted, flanked... and dead.

    Add 10’ to your movement for each time you ascend to this destiny, as well as 5’ to your 5’ step, up to twice. This means that for investing two points, your move speed will be 20’ greater, and your Five Foot Step will be 15’.
    1

    Leaping Attack, Running Blow, Battle Speed, Pounce
    In war, the only thing more important than stopping your enemies is mobility: you have both.

    Requirements: Move Speed at least 50’
    Movement costs only 1 Action point on any turn where you attack at least twice.
    Cost: 4

    Translocate, Blink, Battle Snap
    Mobility takes many forms. Including instantaneous line-of-sight teleportation.

    Requirement: Must have a type of magical source (casting, magic item, magical beast companion, etc)
    Teleport as a free action 5’ per level of the item or source (by spell level, not character level).
    Cost: 2

    Dimension Dervish, Blinking Blade, Swordsman of the Planes
    When you teleport, leap, jump, or run, you stab from every side of an enemy without a second thought.

    When moving for less than 1 action point, you may do so without any penalty, such as being dazed. In addition, your attacks are considered flanking, and your opponent looses his dexterity bonus to AC.
    Cost: 1

    Bleed, Bleeding Strikes
    Long, open wounds left by your weapons are not merely painful once, but for a long time afterwards, thanks to a slow, slow, bleed.

    When you make an attack, you may sacrifice your Strength Damage on that turn to get ½ your level as damage to that enemy for a number of turns equal to what your strength damage would have been.
    Cost: 1
    Last edited by SamBurke; 2012-08-31 at 07:20 PM.
    James/TheDoge Avatar by Ceika!

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    *snip* ...Hands down the funniest class critique ever... *snip*
    I cannot tell you the number of times I laughed while reading this.

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    Default Re: Yo, DM, I Heard you Liked Immersion

    Implementation and EXTRAS!


    This system is just a guide: as long as it helps to make your game more immersive, it's succeeded. Here are a few ways to help ease people in:

    Describe Yourself, thanks to RealmsofChaos
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    Ever wonder why dating sites ask you to describe yourself? I still do, because it's useless for dating, but it does turn out to be extremely helpful for RPGs. Maybe you need a quick way to introduce characters, or an easy handle for them, a character bio or the like. This is a fantastic way to do it.


    Hello, my name is ______________(name). I am a(n) young/adult/middle-age/old/venerable ____________(race) and it is nice to meet you. My hair is ______________, my eyes are __________________, and my skin is ___________________. I am __'___'' tall and I weight _____ lbs. I worship __________. I am (a [bit]) sickly/fragile/wimpy/average/sturdy/buff/tough/juggernaut so far as my endurance is concerned and I have the strength of a mouse/child/weakling/average human/laborer/warrior/ox/giant. My movements seem crippled/clumsy/slow/average/quick/graceful/alacritous/precognizant. I have the mind of a(n) newt/idiot/child/average human/merchant/scholar/professor/genius and my wit can be described as dim/rash/impulsive/average/rational/shrewd/wise/enlightened. When dealing with others, I am pretty sociopathic/antisocial/gruff/average/friendly/charming/influential/beguiling. Using (insert list of "power sources" here), I act to (insert list of "jobs" here). When forced into the fray, I fight using my ___________________(weapon) and I wear no/light/medium/heavy armor. I also carry __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ______________________________________________ on my person at most times. My particular talents outside of combat include _________________________________________________ (list of skills).

    One of the best ways to do this would be to ask people to fill this out before they come to the first session of the game. It's not too much, and it doesn't require numbers. Plus, they get to write about how cool they are. Shouldn't be too bad.


    Interviewing the Suspects:
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    If you prefer the Bioware game opener, you could always have the characters in trouble, being interviewed and documented by the police. Alternately, about to get hired for a dangerous job, or for some sort of promotion in the guards. All in all, you just need an excuse to INTERVIEW someone.

    Basically, just ask a few questions about who they are, their skills and experiences. It may even be a chance to build backstory off the top of your head: the best kind.

    Just be careful when applying this to not leave out the other players for too long: this may be better done beforehand, as a group, or in extremely short times.


    Toapat provided this tongue-in-cheek method of generating a skill set, expanded on a little:
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    {table=head=Skills] Description | Skill | Point Cost
    "Parkour. Plain and simple." | Acrobatics| 2
    "I know a guy for that."| Appraise| 1
    "You know, the knockoffs look more realistic then the actual Holy Grail."| Bluff| 3
    "Ook."| Climb| 1
    "Look, this war has cost your kingdom thousands of gold, take the deal!"| Diplomacy| 5
    "Ok, red wire is live, blue wire is ground. Or is it the other way?"| Disable Device| 1
    "Why hello my dear, I was oh so fortunate to be in the county only to stumble upon your divinity"| Disguise| 1
    *Batman cut*| Escape Artist| 1
    "It's a bird! It's a plane! Nope, Chuck Testa playing a 5th Level wizard."| Fly| 1
    Fluttershy. That is all.| Handle Animal| 1
    "Come on, stay with me Jim."| Heal| 1
    "There are a thousand ways i could kill you right now, and 946 of them hurt."| Intimidate| 3
    "Yes, that's what magic is. Not Friendship, SCIENCE."| Know: Arcana| 2
    "That's not a floor, it's a choker!"| Know: Dungeoneering| 1
    "It's gonna blow!"| Know: Engineering| 1
    "His name is Inigo Montoya, from Guilder."| Know: Geography| 1
    "You killed his father."| Know: History| 1
    "His favorite words are, 'Prepare to die.'"| Know: Local| 3
    "That's a creeper. You should run."| Know: Nature| 3
    "Like a Sir."| Know: Nobility| 1
    "Nope. Definitely not a demon. Noooooope. That's a devil."| Know: Planes| 3
    "So... we probably *shouldn't* have taken that deal from Asmodeous?"| Know: Religion| 3
    "Ok, so the Orcish word for candy is the Common word for child, I wonder why that is?"| Linguistics| 1
    "Hmm, something flashed in those shadows."| Perception| 0
    "So, this one time, I got in a staring contest with a Basilisk."| Perform| 1
    *Clang**Clang**Clang**Hisss*"Ok, heres your Excalibur"| Profession| 0
    "Hi ho, Silver, Aw.. What do you mean, that can't be my battle-cry?"| Ride| 1
    "I know that you know that i know that you know that i know..."| Sense Motive| 2
    "What Maguffin?"| Sleight of Hand| 1
    "He wants to cast Magic Missile. At the darkness."| Spellcraft| 3
    "Hes behind me isnt he."| Stealth| 3
    "Ok, Purple is poisonous... You just drank it, didnt you."| Survival| 2
    "Oh, so heavy armor is *not* good in water...?"| Swim| 1
    "Ooh, what does this button do?" *Explode*| Use Magical Device| 4
    [/table]
    Last edited by SamBurke; 2012-07-20 at 12:07 AM.
    James/TheDoge Avatar by Ceika!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TravelLog View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SamBurke View Post
    *snip* ...Hands down the funniest class critique ever... *snip*
    I cannot tell you the number of times I laughed while reading this.

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    Default Re: Yo, DM, I Heard you Liked Immersion

    Quote Originally Posted by SamBurke View Post
    That begs the question: can it be done with classes?
    THIS is the question. This is the reason why I didn't immediately post my own.

    Progressive Start works best with atomistic character elements - Ability scores being a good example. Skill points, and even feats could be done similarly. The real challenge is the CHUNK of classes.


    And to have a true Progressive Start, at least the way I have it envisioned, you hand the players their papers and start right there. As the first game session goes on, they create their character sheets through the course of play. They may (And probably should) start with a basic idea of who they want to be, but the actual traits are chosen essentially on-the-fly.

    A good example of this is the Nine Princes of Amber series, by Roger Zelazny. Or at least the start. The main character wakes up with amnesia, and has to figure out who he is. He doesn't know what he can do, how strong he is, etc., but as things go on he slowly figures it out. He's slowly filling out his character sheet.

    You have a good start, and I'm eager to see what you do to add to it.
    Avatar by Araveugnitsuga

    Fourthland: A Game of Abstraction
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daverin View Post
    Welknair, you are like... some living avatar of win. Who's made of win. And wields win as if it were but a toy. Win.
    Quote Originally Posted by Virdish
    Welknair you are a god among men. Thank you for creating a playground for the completely insane.
    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark
    There have also been times where I was jealous of your ingenuity and skills.

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    Default Re: Yo, DM, I Heard you Liked Immersion

    To be honest, I'd expect a system like the above would actually work best with a classless system. Mainly as that would allow you to pretty much tailor the character based on how you envision it, rather than having to shoehorn it into the closest approximate pre-set ability group you can find (not that there wouldn't be limiting factors with a classless system, just that there would be less). Not that I don't like classes, it just is that they aren't quite as well suited for this.

    Owrtho

    My Homebrew
    [creature]Shiny: Monster Competition XXXVI entry.
    [class]Wisp fire guide: Follow me. I have such sights to show you.
    [class]Ozodrin: A class to play as an eldritch horror.
    other hombrew

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    Default Re: Yo, DM, I Heard you Liked Immersion

    Quote Originally Posted by Owrtho View Post
    To be honest, I'd expect a system like the above would actually work best with a classless system. Mainly as that would allow you to pretty much tailor the character based on how you envision it, rather than having to shoehorn it into the closest approximate pre-set ability group you can find (not that there wouldn't be limiting factors with a classless system, just that there would be less). Not that I don't like classes, it just is that they aren't quite as well suited for this.

    Owrtho
    /Agree.

    The idea was originally meant for a classless system. Point System=Atomism.
    Avatar by Araveugnitsuga

    Fourthland: A Game of Abstraction
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daverin View Post
    Welknair, you are like... some living avatar of win. Who's made of win. And wields win as if it were but a toy. Win.
    Quote Originally Posted by Virdish
    Welknair you are a god among men. Thank you for creating a playground for the completely insane.
    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark
    There have also been times where I was jealous of your ingenuity and skills.

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    Default Re: Yo, DM, I Heard you Liked Immersion

    It would be much better for classless, I know... I'd just have to develop a classless system, first.

    While I do have an idea for a unisystem like that, I'm trying first to see if I can make more sense of Pathfinder, bless its soul.
    James/TheDoge Avatar by Ceika!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TravelLog View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SamBurke View Post
    *snip* ...Hands down the funniest class critique ever... *snip*
    I cannot tell you the number of times I laughed while reading this.

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    Default Re: Yo, DM, I Heard you Liked Immersion

    Quote Originally Posted by SamBurke View Post
    It would be much better for classless, I know... I'd just have to develop a classless system, first.

    While I do have an idea for a unisystem like that, I'm trying first to see if I can make more sense of Pathfinder, bless its soul.
    Turning Classed D&D to Classless? This I'd like to see.


    Actually.. I've just had some more ideas. Hmm. I may need to type these up.
    Avatar by Araveugnitsuga

    Fourthland: A Game of Abstraction
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daverin View Post
    Welknair, you are like... some living avatar of win. Who's made of win. And wields win as if it were but a toy. Win.
    Quote Originally Posted by Virdish
    Welknair you are a god among men. Thank you for creating a playground for the completely insane.
    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark
    There have also been times where I was jealous of your ingenuity and skills.

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    Default Re: Yo, DM, I Heard you Liked Immersion

    This thread could also be aptly titled "Yo, DM, I heard you Liked Adjectives".

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    Default Re: Yo, DM, I Heard you Liked Immersion

    I suggest you look at this system called The Window.
    Currently Holds the Title of "Earl of Innocence"

    My Homebrew (200+) Not up to date

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    Default Re: Yo, DM, I Heard you Liked Immersion

    Quote Originally Posted by SamBurke View Post
    It took me weeks of studying the SRD to understand what was really going on with the game I was playing, and that was fast compared to my failures at other systems.
    It's a reference document, not a rulebook. Actual rulebooks make this sort of thing much easier, as they have a lot of information included that SRDs generally don't.


    Quote Originally Posted by SamBurke View Post
    That's how you start the game. A blank piece of paper. No character sheet needed.
    If you have a sheet of paper on which you are going to write your character's information, isn't that a character sheet?[/pedant]


    Quote Originally Posted by SamBurke View Post
    Personally, I think the best way to create a character is to ask a player what they want to play. Have them describe who their character is, what he does, what he wants to do.

    *snip*

    We have a gruff ex-soldier, hardened by his experiences in life. Nevertheless, because of the war, he's got quick reflexes and a tendency to run into battle whenever needed. Despite this, his incredible strength and toughness keep him safe as he kills his enemies.
    I'm really not sure how this is any different from teaching someone traditional D&D. If you are trying to help a new person create a character, you're not going to be asking "What Strength score does he have?" - you'll be asking "What sort of character do you want to play". Eventually you'll have to reach "Ok, so how strong is your character", but when they say "Well, he's an ex-soldier, so he's going to be pretty strong, lugging all that armour around all day" you can then advise that they take a strength of 14 or +2 or whatever the strength score of a typical soldier in your system is. All adding a list of words to describe the modifiers does is raises questions over how people interpret different words. "Is my character 'buff' or 'tough'?'" is a significantly more difficult question than "Does my character have an extra point in constitution?", because 'buff' and 'tough' have no real difference when presented with this list of words (similarly 'influential' and 'charming', 'shrewd' and 'rational', 'strong' and 'muscular', 'quick' and 'speedy', 'genius' and 'brilliant'), wheras the extra point in constitution means something concrete (i.e. your chance of succeeding at a constitution check has just increased by 5 percentage points, your get 1 more hit point per level, etc. Incidentally this is one of the things that I like about psionics over Vancian magic - going from Intelligence 18 to 20 is the same increase in power as going from 42 to 44).

    Marrying words with numbers is destined to be misrepresentative of the system unless you give verbose descriptions of the capabilites of an individual with said numbers. Saying a character with 8 dexterity is 'Slow' provides no real information - they don't move any slower, they just take longer to react. They also have a harder time opening locks and shooting things, which goes unmentioned. A patient sniper/lockpicker with a leg-wound taking 'Slow' because he likes to take his time with things and walks with a limp is now penalised in the two areas he wished to specialise in because he didn't know the system. Saying "Dexterity: -1" means something - yes, you might have to look up what Dexterity affects, but you're not in a position where your character can't compete in the area he wants to.


    Quote Originally Posted by SamBurke View Post
    That begs the question: can it be done with classes?
    Don't class based systems do this already ("I want to be a wizard/soldier/tribal savage/priest/thief")?
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    Quote Originally Posted by elpollo View Post
    I'm really not sure how this is any different from teaching someone traditional D&D. If you are trying to help a new person create a character, you're not going to be asking "What Strength score does he have?" - you'll be asking "What sort of character do you want to play". Eventually you'll have to reach "Ok, so how strong is your character", but when they say "Well, he's an ex-soldier, so he's going to be pretty strong, lugging all that armour around all day" you can then advise that they take a strength of 14 or +2 or whatever the strength score of a typical soldier in your system is. All adding a list of words to describe the modifiers does is raises questions over how people interpret different words. "Is my character 'buff' or 'tough'?'" is a significantly more difficult question than "Does my character have an extra point in constitution?", because 'buff' and 'tough' have no real difference when presented with this list of words (similarly 'influential' and 'charming', 'shrewd' and 'rational', 'strong' and 'muscular', 'quick' and 'speedy', 'genius' and 'brilliant'), wheras the extra point in constitution means something concrete (i.e. your chance of succeeding at a constitution check has just increased by 5 percentage points, your get 1 more hit point per level, etc. Incidentally this is one of the things that I like about psionics over Vancian magic - going from Intelligence 18 to 20 is the same increase in power as going from 42 to 44).

    Marrying words with numbers is destined to be misrepresentative of the system unless you give verbose descriptions of the capabilites of an individual with said numbers. Saying a character with 8 dexterity is 'Slow' provides no real information - they don't move any slower, they just take longer to react. They also have a harder time opening locks and shooting things, which goes unmentioned. A patient sniper/lockpicker with a leg-wound taking 'Slow' because he likes to take his time with things and walks with a limp is now penalised in the two areas he wished to specialise in because he didn't know the system. Saying "Dexterity: -1" means something - yes, you might have to look up what Dexterity affects, but you're not in a position where your character can't compete in the area he wants to.
    I have to agree with this. I feel that most players quite intuitively grasp the stat system when the stats are explained to them (especially with the fact that 10-11 is the human average). And your proposed system does away with the multi-faceted attribute system: Dexterity is speed, but also manual dexterity. An aged watchmaker isn't fast, but he sure as hell is dexterous. Wisdom and Charisma are other stats that have that sort of dual nature to them, and this system seems to overly simplify that.

    I'm curious to see what you have in mind for the other parts of character creation but, while this was an interesting read, I can't see this helping any player I've had at one of my games, because it's an overly simplified version of what I feel a DM *should* be doing with a new player.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SamBurke View Post
    That begs the question: can it be done with classes?
    D20 Modern sort of went this route by having a base class for each stat (Strong Hero, Tough Hero, Fast Hero, Smart Hero, Determined Hero, Charismatic Hero IIRC). While not a classless system, it's sort of a continuation of the idea. (On top of that more traditionally focused classes was available as Prestige Classes).
    Last edited by RebelRogue; 2012-04-16 at 03:11 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RebelRogue View Post
    D20 Modern sort of went this route by having a base class for each stat (Strong Hero, Tough Hero, Fast Hero, Smart Hero, Determined Hero, Charismatic Hero IIRC). While not a classless system, it's sort of a continuation of the idea. (On top of that more traditionally focused classes was available as Prestige Classes).
    Too bad that D20 Modern screwed it up by, among other things, having a ridiculously small number of talents for each class.
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    Default Re: Yo, DM, I Heard you Liked Immersion

    For balance reasons, I would advise setting the point cost so that a more rounded character has a higher total than a more focused one, but this basic approach looks great for pushing for a more roleplay-oriented game. (Of course, if someone is determined to min/max, it won't stop them.)
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    Default Re: Yo, DM, I Heard you Liked Immersion

    Quote Originally Posted by Milo v3 View Post
    I suggest you look at this system called The Window.
    Hm... that looks a lot like what I'm trying to do, only it's without a system. My goal here is to make Pathfinder (and hopefully, thus, 3.5) a little more intuitive from a roleplaying perspective.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yitzi View Post
    For balance reasons, I would advise setting the point cost so that a more rounded character has a higher total than a more focused one, but this basic approach looks great for pushing for a more roleplay-oriented game. (Of course, if someone is determined to min/max, it won't stop them.)
    That was one of the problems I saw: because I'm a min/maxer by nature, I knew that the weak point would be dropping stats down to boost others up. That said, I really wanted to reward someone who was legitimately trying to create a character with a weakness or disability.

    Any suggestions on how to fix it?


    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn_in_Tonic View Post
    I feel that most players quite intuitively grasp the stat system when the stats are explained to them (especially with the fact that 10-11 is the human average). And your proposed system does away with the multi-faceted attribute system: Dexterity is speed, but also manual dexterity. An aged watchmaker isn't fast, but he sure as hell is dexterous. Wisdom and Charisma are other stats that have that sort of dual nature to them, and this system seems to overly simplify that.
    I also understood that there would be problems with Wisdom and Charisma's naming: especially in Pathfinder, there are a whole metric crapton of uses for Charisma: Force of Personality, belief in self, Influence, Beauty, etc, etc.

    In addition, I was worried about the interpretation of words and so on.

    As to the inherent understanding of the system, it's not as easy as you'd think: especially with how they interact with the rest of the game, it just doesn't make much sense. Take for example Welknair's notes about the system's gaining of skill points, here.

    Besides that, the point is not just to make the system more intuitive: as the title says, it's to build immersion. Like that system Milo brought up, telling them their abilities in words, instead of numbers, builds a game based on words, not numbers. First impressions matter quite a bit in defining a game, and doing so in this manner as opposed to numbers will define a more character-centric campaign.

    So, here's my suggestion to fix these problems: have a list of words or descriptions in each box, to generally describe it. Say, three or four; enough at least to define several of the more complex stats, IE, all of them.

    What do you think?

    EDIT:
    Quote Originally Posted by elpollo View Post
    Don't class based systems do this already ("I want to be a wizard/soldier/tribal savage/priest/thief")?
    I'm actually going to be taking it a slightly different angle: you can "Create your own classes", more or less. The words will sort you towards a class that does what you want it to, not what it says it can.

    In other words, if you wanted a kung-fu hero, you wouldn't go to the monk. It claims to be that, but it isn't. Take the swordsage instead. The "create your own classes" part will come a bit later when I have a good few hours to post stuff.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SamBurke View Post
    That was one of the problems I saw: because I'm a min/maxer by nature, I knew that the weak point would be dropping stats down to boost others up. That said, I really wanted to reward someone who was legitimately trying to create a character with a weakness or disability.

    Any suggestions on how to fix it?
    There is no way to fix it, other than having rules known only to the DM (and for that to work more than once, the DM has to be making up the rules himself.) If there is a way to reward something, then optimization will cause that approach to be taken if the reward outweighs the cost.

    The second-best way to reward good roleplaying even at the cost of optimization is via some sort of "roleplay points" assigned by the DM on an ad-hoc basis. The best is to set things up so that the best optimization for your game is good roleplaying (probably by making your game a sufficiently good simulation of the game world.)
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    FATE can actually do on the fly character creation like this extremely well.

    In FATE, a character is defined by skills, aspects, and stunts. Skills represent everything from diplomacy to fighting ability, and each skill is about as valuable as the next. Stunts are basically their version of feats, which lets you do extra things. Aspects are unique. They're flavorful descriptions of your character, like, "Wizard, rogue, dashing hero, clumsy, oblivious, secret agent of HYDRA, son of Darth Vader" etc. You can invoke an aspect when it's relevant--you could invoke "Wizard" to gain a bonus to casting a spell, or "rogue" to gain a bonus against a flanked target as your sneak attack--and whenever it's a hinderence, it can be compelled to give you FATE points, which you can spend on more invokes.

    This makes it easy to make a character on the fly. You start with a general idea and start playing, then, when you want to do something, the DM tells you what skill that is and you put it on your sheet at whichever level you think is most appropriate, from best to worst. Whenever your character does something interesting, you can write it down as an aspect. And after the first session, the GM can suggest some stunts that would help polish off your character.

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    Updated with the principle and character advancement.
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    By giving people less XP for doing things that are out of character makes sense while at the same time stops people from ever having character development as they will get less XP with every slight change.
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    This project definitely comes off as a bit in need of a list of objectives:

    1: Better structuring of the adjective system, this system screws up charisma, dex, and wisdom

    {table=head]Strength|Dexterity|Constitution|Intelegence|Wisdom|Charisma |Cost | Attribute

    Weakling|Sloth|Frail|Crude|Lemming|Unintelligable|-3|4

    Wimp|Badger|Tempramental|Lemming|Rash|Uncivil|-2|6

    Waif|Klutz|Soft|Fool|Sheepish|Gruff|-1|8

    Average|Average|Average|Average|Average|Average|0| 10

    Toned|Cat|Tough|Sharp|Sound|Friendly|+1|12

    Strong|Rabbit|Sturdy|Cunning|Careful|Influential|+ 2|14

    Beefy|Fox|Resilient|Exceptional|Wise|Manipulative| +3|16

    Mighty|Viper|Implacable|Genius|Sage|Suductive|+4|1 8[/table]

    2: To adapt PF and 3.5 classes, flaws, feats, and skills to expanded versions of the generic classes from UA

    3: Rebuilding of XP awards and the leveling system to better support Roleplay, and to tone down dungeoncrawling's value.

    Asto commentary: i think this system works to introduce someone to the games. I think the best way to set this up is have everyone start the game in the middle of a raid on the caravan they have been traveling on/in/with/as guards with, although you still require a bit of foreknowledge about the game then. It seems really fun, but the first few times would be hell to pull off


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    Default Re: Yo, DM, I Heard you Liked Immersion

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    This project definitely comes off as a bit in need of a list of objectives:

    1: Better structuring of the adjective system, this system screws up charisma, dex, and wisdom

    {table=head]Strength|Dexterity|Constitution|Intelegence|Wisdom|Charisma |Cost | Attribute

    Weakling|Sloth|Frail|Crude|Lemming|Unintelligable|-3|4

    Wimp|Badger|Tempramental|Lemming|Rash|Uncivil|-2|6

    Waif|Klutz|Soft|Fool|Sheepish|Gruff|-1|8

    Average|Average|Average|Average|Average|Average|0| 10

    Toned|Cat|Tough|Sharp|Sound|Friendly|+1|12

    Strong|Rabbit|Sturdy|Cunning|Careful|Influential|+ 2|14

    Beefy|Fox|Resilient|Exceptional|Wise|Manipulative| +3|16

    Mighty|Viper|Implacable|Genius|Sage|Suductive|+4|1 8[/table]

    2: To adapt PF and 3.5 classes, flaws, feats, and skills to expanded versions of the generic classes from UA

    3: Rebuilding of XP awards and the leveling system to better support Roleplay, and to tone down dungeoncrawling's value.

    Asto commentary: i think this system works to introduce someone to the games. I think the best way to set this up is have everyone start the game in the middle of a raid on the caravan they have been traveling on/in/with/as guards with, although you still require a bit of foreknowledge about the game then. It seems really fun, but the first few times would be hell to pull off
    I actually like that table quite a bit; it captures the essence of what I was looking for. The Generic Classes are *similar* to what I'm looking at, but the whole classless thing is the real goal/challenge.

    And that last bit is precisely what this is for: even if you just use this for one session to introduce a player to the ideas gently, it'll have been well used.
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    For the class/classless system have you looked at how Legacy Items abilities are selected when designing custom legacy weapons. It seems like it would work well. As you could choose abilities which slowly scale with relatively good balance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milo v3 View Post
    For the class/classless system have you looked at how Legacy Items abilities are selected when designing custom legacy weapons. It seems like it would work well. As you could choose abilities which slowly scale with relatively good balance.
    Hm... What book are Legacy Weapons from?
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    Legacy weapons have their own book. It is called Weapons of Legacy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milo v3 View Post
    Legacy weapons have their own book. It is called Weapons of Legacy.
    What a terrible name! Who'd ever figure out what it was about?

    From what I heard, they didn't work well RAW... did anyone do a homebrew "fix?"
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    Quote Originally Posted by SamBurke View Post
    I actually like that table quite a bit; it captures the essence of what I was looking for. The Generic Classes are *similar* to what I'm looking at, but the whole classless thing is the real goal/challenge.

    And that last bit is precisely what this is for: even if you just use this for one session to introduce a player to the ideas gently, it'll have been well used.
    I aimed to make a good looking table for the qualities of each attribute, there are some weak ones, like lemming showing up twice, but i attempted to better describe them in relation to their level.


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    Quote Originally Posted by SamBurke View Post
    What a terrible name! Who'd ever figure out what it was about?

    From what I heard, they didn't work well RAW... did anyone do a homebrew "fix?"
    That is more the weapons themselves as you get severe penalties if you want to use them. I am more suggesting the method that DMs use to determine the abilities they gain as they level up.
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    I'll be out over the weekend, contemplating this.

    On Monday Night, I'll have a pretty big update.
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