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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Assigning mechanics to powersources? (3e/etc)

    I'm working on a major rework of 3.5 to accomodate my own fixes (and some 4e material), and I decided I wanted unique mechanics to represent different power sources. Rather than most people using spells, but then having psionics, invocations, incarnum, shadowcasting, etc, on the fringes, I'm going to split it right down the middle, and make arcane, divine, and primal casters use different stuff right from the start.

    Arcane classes include a Mage (a single class with focused specialization into a Warmage/Necromancer/Beguiler-type) and a Hex/Dusk/Spell-blade type character. Their abilities are called Spells, regardless of what mechanic I end up with.

    Divine casters include the Priest, a light-armored type, and the Paladin, who starts off mundane but adds divine powers as he goes. Their abilities are called Prayers. (paladins will also have maneuvers, covering the mundane martial side.)

    Primal casters include the Shaman, which is more or less the Spirit Shaman from CD in concept, and the Ranger, who gets an animal companion and gains magic later. (druids aren't a single class concept here anymore, but rather a loose affiliation umbrella for all primal characters)

    Just to set the stage, I'm also using Eldritch as a 4th powersource representing innate (formerly Cha-based spontaeneous) casters (warlock, DFA, and my invoker bard), using 'Powers' (aka invocations at-will), and I'm throwing psionic flavor into high-level skill-tricks with variable usages, making the upper end of the skill system more magical.

    Now, the three mechanics I want to use are:

    • spontaneous slots, inherited from the Sorcerer
    • augmented points, borrowed straight from psionics
    • paths of abilities that increase in usages with improvement, borrowed from the Shadowcaster from ToM (Not sure if I want to use the fixed-path or the jumpable path fix from Mouseferatu) with domain-esque benefits rather than bonus feats.


    Which one should go where, and what makes you connect this mechanic to that flavor?

    I'll post my own possibilities in a later post.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Assigning mechanics to powersources? (3e/etc)

    Points could fit any, though they lean to wards the primal caster in my mind, The paths fit both the mage and the divine witht e mage you'd want them broard and would be alot of work of the schools of magic and their uses but would mean mages would end up very foucsed and so would gish builds. Spontaneous slots like points fit any but favour the primal and mage more. I'd likely keep the Arcane casting on the spontaneous slots system, Prayers on the paths and have the primal use points. Though Points and slots could be swaped and I can see arguments for it.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Assigning mechanics to powersources? (3e/etc)

    I don't understand how the third one works per se (I don't have ToM), so I can't help there with certainty.

    For the others, the real difference is really whether you can spend everything on the top-level stuff. I'd say that a mage makes the most sense for one where you can't (spontaneous casting), as the "greater magics" take power fundamentally different than the "lesser magics", while for the other types you're really channeling some sort of power or calling on powers, so it should be more tradeable, so spontaneous should be for the mage.

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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Assigning mechanics to powersources? (3e/etc)

    Arcane = Paths. Fits with the school/theme based variations (warmage/necro etc.) and has a bit more flavour than just grabbing whichever spell you want at each level.

    Divine = Spontaneous. With prayer lists limited by deity/cause/what have you.

    Primal = Points. Fits nicely with raw, untamed power. Learn a few tricks, then boost them as necessary.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Assigning mechanics to powersources? (3e/etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by hierophant View Post
    Arcane = Paths. Fits with the school/theme based variations (warmage/necro etc.) and has a bit more flavour than just grabbing whichever spell you want at each level.

    Divine = Spontaneous. With prayer lists limited by deity/cause/what have you.

    Primal = Points. Fits nicely with raw, untamed power. Learn a few tricks, then boost them as necessary.
    I think this might be the best, but the paths for arcane magic will need a lot of work at least one per traditional school if not 2 or 3 if you are wanting to allow something similar to how arcane casters play option wise out in base 3.5

    Paths also work out well in my eyes for Divine casters, though again you could be looking at a lot 1 for each domain and possibly a few more "class" focused.

    Who ever get's paths would be the most "limited" in versatility out of the 3 choices. So I guess that's the number one question what of the 3 do you see as being the lest versatile (this is going by how paths are currently with tweaking and the possible ability to re-pick them like "perpareing spells" they could have a very different feel)

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Assigning mechanics to powersources? (3e/etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Yitzi View Post
    I don't understand how the third one works per se (I don't have ToM), so I can't help there with certainty.
    Basically, all the spells are organized in sets of three, divided into levels, 1st/2nd/3rd, then 4th/5th/6th, and then 7th/8th/9th, and organized along a theme. (they're really tenuous themes in ToM, but they could be a lot more direct here.)

    At first, the 1/2/3 spells are useable 1/day. When you get access to 4/5/6 spells, the 1/2/3 get usable 2/day, and are treated as SLAs. Then when you get 7/8/9 spells, the 1/2/3 become supernatural abilities usable 3/day, and the 4/5/6 become SLAs useable 2/day.

    Normally, you get a new single ability of any level you can access every level. The book version has it that you can select whatever you want, but to select a level 2, you need to have the level 1 from that set, and to get the level 3, you need to have the 1 and 2. The number of paths you have access to is halved, and you get that many bonus feats.

    The fixed version has that you can select whatever you want, in any order (as long as you meet the level requirements, IE, must be caster 3 to select lvl 2 spell) but that each path you finish grants a bonus feat, encouraging you to do so.

    (I might implement a hybrid version, granting a minor benefit (skill bonus, maybe) for using something from a path, not a feat, but then a stronger feature when the path is completed.)

    Also, there are the Fundamentals, single abilities which start 3/day, and then jump to at-will after like 7th/8th level or so. 0-level and 1st level spells.



    Here's my own analysis of what could be done with each type for each power source:

    Arcane:
    • Arcane easily runs slot based, taking the structure of spells as fixed constructions.
    • Arcane could also easily be points-based, showing that it varies based on the power (mana) poured into the mixture.
    • It could also easily be path based, if I had a single Mage class that had different paths representing different focuses, like necromancy, evocation, or illusions, allowing you to effectively create your own necromancer, warmage, or beguiler. Instead of granting feats, path access/completion could grant class-feature-like benefits which reinforce that role.


    Divine:
    • Divine could run slots fairly well, representing that miracles from the gods don't come tailor-suited.
    • Points could represent that the priest gathers faith as an active energy, which he 'trades' with his god for appropriate miracles, suggesting a close affiliation.
    • Paths could work like mini-domains, with the path access/completion benefit granting stuff akin to domain-granted powers. This also allows the domains to more extensively determine the priest's abilities, like the reworked all-domain clerics I've seen floating around.


    Primal:
    • Primal could run slots, but I'm not as firm on the conceptual link there. Primal has less established flavor, aside from my own idea that it's basically communing with the spirits, derived from spirit shamans.
    • Points could work, playing on the more innate, natural feel, with the customization.
    • Paths are also workable in primal, perhaps representing an affiliation with particular kinds of primal spirits, like elementals or the spirits of particular animals, like cats or snakes.
    Last edited by RedWarlock; 2012-04-22 at 01:56 AM.

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Assigning mechanics to powersources? (3e/etc)

    Going to agree that Arcane paths sound pretty awesome and allow all the college/thematic specialization that hundreds of PrCs and BCs have tried to do.

    The basic reasoning behind spontaneous slots for Divine casters is also pretty sound, as gods are sentient and operate on a higher order of thought, drawing power from them should feel properly like they're responding to your needs (represented via the prayers).

    The point system for Primal casters is a little shakier I feel, but is the last one that makes sense, and could certainly pay off handsomely if it fits together.
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    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Assigning mechanics to powersources? (3e/etc)

    Going to agree that Arcane paths sound pretty awesome and allow all the college/thematic specialization that hundreds of PrCs and BCs have tried to do.

    The basic reasoning behind spontaneous slots for Divine casters is also pretty sound, as gods are sentient and operate on a higher order of thought, drawing power from them should feel properly like they're responding to your needs (represented via the prayers).

    The point system for Primal casters is a little shakier I feel, but is the last one that makes sense, and could certainly pay off handsomely if it fits together.
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    Default Re: Assigning mechanics to powersources? (3e/etc)

    I see:

    Arcane= Points. Mana or fatigue (for fatigue-based casters) is used in whatever amounts the caster wants, to get whatever effect he wants. Something like Wordcasting would work well for this.

    Divine= Slots. The Deity slaps an effect into reality at the request of one of its favored followers. Vanacian casting works well for this.

    Primal= Paths. The shaman follows the healing aspect of nature. The druid follows the adaptability. I wouldn't call this casting so much as understanding and using nature to a better extent than others do. You could plausibly make these all class features instead of spells.

    Psionics?= Paths. Psychokinesis moves things. Telepathy is mind manipulation. Class features would also work well for that, as a psionic character draws from their mind, not any limited energy source, but is strictly more limited than spellcasting.

    Eldritch= For your description, just like the two above.

    Some more potential magic systems here if you want them (posts 3 and 4)
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  10. - Top - End - #10
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Assigning mechanics to powersources? (3e/etc)

    Hah! I entirely forgot about a possible mechanic I could use. It's entirely flavored to best fit for Arcane, it only tangentially works for Divine or Primal... the Words of Power system from Pathfinder.

    Now, not exactly as-written. I would rather do a system that had the base effect with a given level, then apply spell-level adjustments based on the modifiers added, rather than free modifiers within a level. I'm going to be rewriting all magic and spell-levels from the ground up, so I can create my own standards rather than the existing system that had to try to match up to the oddities of 3.5.

    I'm also thinking that this system would have a different memorization and learning mechanic. It fits really well with Arcane, since my original plan for Arcane with slots was a sorcerer-style learned-permanently, mixed with the ability to substitute a portion of the daily list with spells chosen from a spellbook. (yes, inspired by the Wizard's spellbook mechanic in 4e, albiet implemented differently.) I could implement the same general concept here, have a number of spell words learned permanently, and then allow a word or two to be swapped in morning spell-preparation. (I'm also thinking that the mage will get to choose one energy keyword they know to become an at-will spellblast of raw energy, representing their general arcane focus.) Now the big decision is, do I use the system on overall constructed slots like they have for spontaneous casters, or do I rework the usage so they use some other limitation?

    This means that between Divine and Primal, now, I have Paths, Points, and Slots to decide with. I'm tempted to drop slots altogether, since the paths cast like prepared slots anyway, with extra features on top. I'm still not sold on points used for primal (my original idea for using points was Divine, with the single augmented Cure Wounds spell from the spell-point conversion I mention in the original post. It was just such a cool spell combination in my mind) but I think I can live with it. Divine paths as domains really sells well.

    So that means we have Arcane spell words, Divine prayers learned in domains (paths) and are cast more often with levels, Primal invocations that use ?? points (totem points? need a name..) and can be dynamically augmented, and Eldritch powers that are cast at-will. (Psionics isn't currently supported in my system as a unique power source, though it will show up as a flavor/keyword add-on to specific creatures and powersets.)

    Now I just need to cement my verbs. Cast is arcane, or generic? Call for divine? Primal gets Invoke by right of their spell term, perhaps. Eldritch must then loses invoke, what else could it get? Manifest doesn't really fit, despite the eldritch spell-counterpart being 'powers'. Do I need specific verbiage for casting? Or would 'Divine caster', 'arcane caster' etc work just fine? It would save on terminology.

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