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    Default Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Welcome to Gaols and Giants. Before we start getting to the actual rules, we have to agree on organisation. For now, I'll take over organizing this first post. However, there are a few points we need to address.

    Communication:
    An instant messaging medium with an archive would be very helpful. I propose Skype, but others might work too, if someone dislikes Skype for some reason.

    Leadership:
    Projects die without it. We need an organizer, and sub-organizers for various subjects.

    Contributors:
    Everyone who wants to be in this should probably drop a line here, and maybe mention some of the homebrew they've worked on, or what their qualifications are.

    Hi, I'm Eldan, I've been working on various projects, the largest of which to date is the rewrite of the Arcane Magic system in my signature. My Skype is eldan985.

    Other:
    To be suggested by members.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2012-09-24 at 03:34 PM.

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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Skype: Morpholomewy.

    Also am in possession of MSN, but use that more rarely. Don't have other IM programs any longer. Too much clutter.

    I suggest things are discussed broadly, but ultimately let people work primarily on a single field (or possibly two, if they can). Working in pairs is a good idea too, because two minds are better than one and can come up with more ideas and better mechanics.

    Fields:
    - Classes
    - Creatures
    - Magic system (tied to classes)
    - Items
    - Skills (minor, unless largely overhauled)
    - Feats


    First though, adress the large parts. What are the design goals? That's a prime thing that needs discussing.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Communication: I second the use of Skype. As I said on the other thread, we can set up a single skype group for the project for easy communication with the whole group, while also being able to message individuals that we are working directly alongside.

    Leadership: I believe that Morph suggested a 2-per system for the major tasks, and I like that, possibly adding more people for larger things (I foresee the magic system being a bit time-consuming). I don't see a need for a single person to act as THE leader, but rather a group of 2 to 4 particularly active individuals to oversee things such that the entire project isn't crippled when one person has real life stuff come up, as it inevitably does.

    So I think it'd look something like this:

    Small teams 2-3 on each task (Magic, feats, skill rewrite, balancing classes, writing overarching fluff, etc.) and then there's the Overseers that get status reports from the sub-groups. The Overseers are in charge of immediate balance and cohesion, and noticing developing problems, or amazing ideas to be integrated elsewhere. However, these individuals shouldn't have super executive power or something like that. Perhaps they could act as judges, but reasonable and equal discussions ought to be at the heart of this project. If there's questions or ideas, they should be handled in the Skype group or whatever we decide to use, such that everyone can contribute their ideas.

    Edit: I seem to have been swordsage'd!
    My Skype is, predictably, Welknair. I'm very active on it.

    Do we plan to include any other subsystems into G&G? There was a mention of integrating a ToB-style system for martial characters.

    As for goals, the first things I think of:
    1. Staying true to the feel of 3.5. Heavy emphasis on character building (I approve of using Feats and Skills to a greater degree, since they allow for more diversity between characters) as well as the ability for more content to be easily brewed for it. Add onto this whatever you feel makes 3.5 so enjoyable.
    2. Make it reasonably balanced, of course. Perhaps we could agree upon a target tier for characters?
    3. I'd like the system to be on the flexible side, to be able to accomodate a greater range of adventures and settings than vanilla 3.5. For example... Technological advancement options. I've learned a lot since the original Magitech. I could come up with some interesting options.
    Last edited by Welknair; 2012-09-24 at 03:40 PM.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    You forgot races.

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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Skype: BattleOfJerico

    One thing we'll need to do is match up time availabilities. If two people are assigned the same task and have opposite availabilities, it might not work so well.

    As Morph said, I'm great at fluff. I can take facts about something and churn it into a good explanation. Take my Magic Thread. I took a bunch of facts that welk and I came up with, and turned them into an explanation. I'll attempt to refrain from becoming tl;dr. I'm also good at races, I'm an artist by trade, and i've experience with 3.5 above the rest.

    for G's - Gazebos and Grumpkins

    However, we could make it E & E, since it's right after D & D - Enchanters and Elements (or something)
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    I can vouch for Wombat's drawing skill. Impressive stuff.

    Edit: We're going to need a definitive list of participants sooner or later. My idea for a registration form:

    GitP Username:
    Skype Username, if applicable:
    How much time can I contribute?:
    Skills and credentials:
    Preferred project:
    Do you wish to be one of the organizers?:

    GitP Username: Welknair
    Skype Username, if applicable: Welknair (Who would have known?
    How much time can I contribute?: An hour a day, perhaps?
    Skills and credentials: I'm best known for my Magitech and Bloodlines. I excel at seeing how pieces work together and predicting their impacts on both characters and a setting at large (IMO). Making my Bloodlines caused me to read many amazing brews on these boards, and learn them well enough to make derivitive work. I am decently versed in different tabletop games.
    Preferred project: I'd be interested in working on certain mechanics important to the way the world works (How does enchanting function? How is XP gained? How does character advancement work?) as well as perhaps rules for technological advancement. I have no clue if either of the positions are really needed, if we intend to stay close to the original 3.5 as opposed to expanding upon it. If nothing else, I can help with the classes.
    Do you wish to be one of the organizers?: If there's a slot open, sure. I'm not dead-set on it, though.
    Last edited by Welknair; 2012-09-24 at 04:00 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daverin View Post
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    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
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Right so. I think we should go about this by SRD chapters.

    Before we go into details, the basics.

    Do we have to change anything about the basic framework of the d20 system?

    This includes for me:
    Task resolution mechanic: d20+bonus-penalties vs. target value.
    Six ability scores, 10-11 being the basic value, negative and positive modifiers, bell curve distribution between 3 and 18 for humans, etc.
    Hit Dice.
    Base Attack Bonus.
    Saves.
    Feats and Skills (not what they do, just how they are gained).
    Action types: Free, Immediate, Swift, Move, Standard and Full round.

    Anything we need to change about that?

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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Grod here. I've worked mostly on base classes and system tweaks, with probably more success on the base class side of things.

    Communications: My Skype is, confusingly enough, grod_the_giant. Should work fine.

    Leadership: Working in groups is good. Probably teams of 2-3 people; anything more will probably descend into an argument.

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    Last edited by Grod_The_Giant; 2013-01-16 at 05:49 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Grod's Law: You cannot and should not balance bad mechanics by making them annoying to use
    Major Works:
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    • Chopping Down the Christmas Tree: Rules for low- or no-magic item games of 3.5.
    • D&D in M&M-- Balancing 3.5 by porting it lock, stock, and barrel into a more balanced system.

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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Reposting my edit:

    We're going to need a proper list of participants sooner or later. Perhaps a signup of some sort?

    GitP Username:
    Skype Username, if applicable:
    How much time can I contribute?:
    Skills and credentials:
    Preferred project:
    Do you wish to be one of the organizers?:

    GitP Username: Welknair
    Skype Username, if applicable: Welknair (Who would have known?)
    How much time can I contribute?: An hour a day, perhaps?
    Skills and credentials: I'm best known for my Magitech and Bloodlines. I excel at seeing how pieces work together and predicting their impacts on both characters and a setting at large (IMO). Making my Bloodlines caused me to read many amazing brews on these boards, and learn them well enough to make derivitive work. I am decently versed in different tabletop games.
    Preferred project: I'd be interested in working on certain mechanics important to the way the world works (How does enchanting function? How is XP gained? How does character advancement work?) as well as perhaps rules for technological advancement. I have no clue if either of the positions are really needed, if we intend to stay close to the original 3.5 as opposed to expanding upon it. If nothing else, I can help with the classes.
    Do you wish to be one of the organizers?: If there's a slot open, sure. I'm not dead-set on it, though.



    I think we should assume standard d20 framework unless we come across something that would necessitate changing it. We should use it as a starting point, but not have adhering to it be a requirement of the project.
    Last edited by Welknair; 2012-09-24 at 04:03 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daverin View Post
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    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: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Task resolution mechanic: d20+bonus-penalties vs. target value.
    Nope. Change that, and it ain't D&D.

    Six ability scores, 10-11 being the basic value, negative and positive modifiers, bell curve distribution between 3 and 18 for humans, etc.
    Personally, I'm in favor of dropping the ability score/ability modifier distinction altogether; let's merge them together and just use the "modifier." 2d4-4 gives a nice bell curve centered around 1.

    Hit Dice.
    Base Attack Bonus.
    Saves.
    Nope.

    Feats and Skills (not what they do, just how they are gained).
    I'd like for both skills and feats to do more, personally. Merge skill tricks and skills; and make feats add options rather than enhance them.

    Action types: Free, Immediate, Swift, Move, Standard and Full round.
    Nope.

    GitP Username: Grod_the_giant
    Skype Username, if applicable: grod_the_giant
    How much time can I contribute?: 1-3 hours a day, depending on course-load. More on breaks.
    Skills and credentials: I'm probably best known around here for my base classes. I think I've remixed every SRD base class but the bard and monk at one point or another, not to mention a number of originals-- the Beastman, Savage, and Legend probably got the most attention.
    Preferred project: I'd like to work on basic mechanics and base classes.
    Do you wish to be one of the organizers?: Sure.

    Also, I submit an alternate name, before we get too attached to Gaols: Giants and Graveyards.
    Last edited by Grod_The_Giant; 2012-09-24 at 04:14 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Grod's Law: You cannot and should not balance bad mechanics by making them annoying to use
    Major Works:
    • STaRS: The Simple Tabletop Roleplaying System; my attempt at a generic rules-light system.
    • Giants and Graveyards: My collected 3.5 revisions-- houserules, class fixes, ban lists and more.
    • Chopping Down the Christmas Tree: Rules for low- or no-magic item games of 3.5.
    • D&D in M&M-- Balancing 3.5 by porting it lock, stock, and barrel into a more balanced system.

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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Nope. Change that, and it ain't D&D.


    Personally, I'm in favor of dropping the ability score/ability modifier distinction altogether; let's merge them together and just use the "modifier."


    Nope.


    I'd like for both skills and feats to do more, personally. Merge skill tricks and skills; and make feats add options rather than enhance them.


    Nope.
    Right. Personally, I see the 3-18 attributes as a convenient way of attribute bell curve. 3d6->1-18 is just a simple visualization. But I can see just using modifier. (I.e. statblock looks like this: Grog the Mighty: STR +4, Dex +2, Con +3, Int -2, Wis +1, Cha -1).

    Skills and feats should certainly do more. Especially feats, I agree that they should add options, not numbers. Skills, I think, are basically fine, what they need is a line along the lines of "skills can do more than this, here's how to adjudicate things like that as a DM"

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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    GitP Username: TheWombatOfDoom
    Skype Username, if applicable: BattleOfJerico
    How much time can I contribute?: 5 to 10 hours a week, one to two a day.
    Skills and credentials: I've been writing fantasy and world building materials for twelve years, I have 16 years of D and D experience, I am a professional artist, I'm quite literate, and I play nice with others. The only things I have to show on the forums are my magic thread and an RP which deals with very immersive game mechanics. I'm good at filling in where needed.
    Preferred project: Some of the mechanics are a bit unbalanced, but I'm interested in bringing in a tier 3 with more immersive characteristics. Also - I'd like poisons to actually matter. That's a long way down the line, but they got pooped on, and I think that could be improved.
    Do you wish to be one of the organizers?: I think organizers should be in pairs too. I'm willing to follow for now, and perhaps be more involved later.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Okay...


    GitP Username: Eldan
    Skype Username, if applicable: eldan985
    How much time can I contribute?: Quite a lot, actually. At least for the next few weeks.
    Skills and credentials: I homebrew a bit. I made a new arcane magic system, a homebrew setting and assorted small bits and pieces.
    Preferred project: I like anything supernatural. The more out there the better.
    Do you wish to be one of the organizers?: I can. But I'm not the most reliable person.

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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Design Manifesto, by SRD chapter, as envisioned by Eldan:

    The basics: Keep them as close as possible to 3.5. The basics work.

    Races: I think races are too similar. They should provide more features, more features that are relevant over a longer timespan, more interesting, and more balanced.

    Base Classes: Every class should have: unique features that others can not easily reproduce. Interesting features. A choice between different, but thematically related features. The closest I can think of in core is the Ranger. Out of core, ACFs. These should be incorporated from the start. Classes should be as balanced as possible while maintaining their mechanical diversity. Balance isn't the strength of third edition, and not what I actually want from it. I want diversity and creative unbalance.

    Prestige classes: Go back to these being optional, specialized builds. Give base classes enough features to make them attractive on all levels. Make prestige classes give up something for what they gain (i.e. no full casting prestige classes. Look at the DMG: the archmage gives up spells per day.)

    Skills: Mostly leave them as they are, but incorporate skill tricks and other new abilities right into them. One big thing that annoys me is knowledge skills, though: they shouldn't depend on monster HD, but every monster should have an "exoticness" value.

    Feats: Feats should never just add numbers. They should add abilities. The difference between feats and class abilities is that feats are beneficial to several different builds, while class abilities are specialized.

    Magic Items: I'm not sure what to do with these, and I'll leave that to someone else. I would prefer less pure +number items.

    Combat: combat maneuvers could probably stand to be a bit simpler, but if we are honest, most are attack roll, then opposed ability check, which is to be expected. Anything else? Mobility should perhaps be easier and more emphasized.

    Magic: A few things. First, I dislike outright immunities, especially gained by spells. Second, no spells that are better than entire classes or replicate class features (invisibility, super-buffs, knock, find traps, etc. Especially a problem for skill monkeys). Third, what I did: make all spells that have large effects or permanently change something into rituals which are performed out of combat and take time and resources. 4E was on to something here, even if they did it wrong. Fifth, make spells easier to interrupt and resist at higher levels.

    Monsters: Not sure what needs to be done here, not my thing. Not that much, really?

    Types and Subtypes: Do any of these have to change? I remember someone showing how (Undead) could be a subtype, with humanoid (undead) vampires and construct (undead) skeletons, though that's going into details. Maybe have some of the types lose the straight immunities as well. Stabbing a construct in the weakpoint is perhaps harder, but not impossible.

    Monsters as races: Ah, the big one. So many people want it. So many people have tried it. I've never seen anything quite satisfying.

    Environments, et al: A few small things that are silly oversights like drowning, but overall okay, I think?

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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    The basics: Keep them as close as possible to 3.5. The basics work.

    Races: I think races are too similar. They should provide more features, more features that are relevant over a longer timespan, more interesting, and more balanced.

    Base Classes: Every class should have: unique features that others can not easily reproduce. Interesting features. A choice between different, but thematically related features. The closest I can think of in core is the Ranger. Out of core, ACFs. These should be incorporated from the start. Classes should be as balanced as possible while maintaining their mechanical diversity. Balance isn't the strength of third edition, and not what I actually want from it. I want diversity and creative unbalance.

    Prestige classes: Go back to these being optional, specialized builds. Give base classes enough features to make them attractive on all levels. Make prestige classes give up something for what they gain (i.e. no full casting prestige classes. Look at the DMG: the archmage gives up spells per day.)

    Skills: Mostly leave them as they are, but incorporate skill tricks and other new abilities right into them. One big thing that annoys me is knowledge skills, though: they shouldn't depend on monster HD, but every monster should have an "exoticness" value.

    Feats: Feats should never just add numbers. They should add abilities. The difference between feats and class abilities is that feats are beneficial to several different builds, while class abilities are specialized.
    Yup, yup, yup... I would like to combine certain skills, though-- Spot and Listen, Disable Device and Open Lock, Jump...

    Magic Items: I'm not sure what to do with these, and I'll leave that to someone else. I would prefer less pure +number items.
    Cut out every +X magic item, cut expected WBL to a quarter or so what it was, and replace them with more stat boosts gained through level-up?

    Combat: combat maneuvers could probably stand to be a bit simpler, but if we are honest, most are attack roll, then opposed ability check, which is to be expected. Anything else? Mobility should perhaps be easier and more emphasized.
    I was actually just working on this for the 3.5+ I was planning. My method involved stealing the CMB check from Pathfinder, removing all maneuver-provoked AoOs, and then simplifying when I could.

    Magic: A few things. First, I dislike outright immunities, especially gained by spells. Second, no spells that are better than entire classes or replicate class features (invisibility, super-buffs, knock, find traps, etc. Especially a problem for skill monkeys). Third, what I did: make all spells that have large effects or permanently change something into rituals which are performed out of combat and take time and resources. 4E was on to something here, even if they did it wrong. Fifth, make spells easier to interrupt and resist at higher levels.
    My thoughts:
    • I'd be down to phase out immunities.
    • Spells not replacing entire classes/features is an unqualified yes, although certain spells (such as invisibility) are too iconic-- and to fantasy as a whole, not just D&D-- to scrap entirely.
    • I'm not sure how to handle rituals. I like the idea, but I'm not sure how universal it should be. Personally, I like using them to replace prepared casting classes. My wizard fix, for example, gives spontaneous casting from a limited list, and rituals that take something like 10 minutes/spell level from a potentially unlimited list.


    I'll add my own questions, too.
    • Should we keep prepared casting? My thinking is no-- not only is it difficult to balance, my observation is that players tend not to like it-- but it may be too popular/iconic to eliminate completely.
    • Should we keep Vanician casting, or try to replace with, say, a spell point system? My vote goes for keeping it, but opinions may vary.


    Monsters: Not sure what needs to be done here, not my thing. Not that much, really?

    Types and Subtypes: Do any of these have to change? I remember someone showing how (Undead) could be a subtype, with humanoid (undead) vampires and construct (undead) skeletons, though that's going into details. Maybe have some of the types lose the straight immunities as well. Stabbing a construct in the weakpoint is perhaps harder, but not impossible.

    Monsters as races: Ah, the big one. So many people want it. So many people have tried it. I've never seen anything quite satisfying.

    Environments, et al: A few small things that are silly oversights like drowning, but overall okay, I think?
    Yeah, this all seems fine.
    Last edited by Grod_The_Giant; 2012-09-24 at 05:55 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Grod's Law: You cannot and should not balance bad mechanics by making them annoying to use
    Major Works:
    • STaRS: The Simple Tabletop Roleplaying System; my attempt at a generic rules-light system.
    • Giants and Graveyards: My collected 3.5 revisions-- houserules, class fixes, ban lists and more.
    • Chopping Down the Christmas Tree: Rules for low- or no-magic item games of 3.5.
    • D&D in M&M-- Balancing 3.5 by porting it lock, stock, and barrel into a more balanced system.

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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Just make them not outright replacements.

    I mean, would Invisibility utterly ruined for all time if instead of giving total invisibility, it gave a 10+1/2 caster level (or something) bonus on hide checks?

    For me, a giant yes for prepared casting. My favourite archetype by far. I love the mechanic, too. or the idea behind it. The wizard is the scholar of the game. The most intelligent guy around. He studies magic scientifically and prepares what he needs for the situation. I love it. It provides so many fluff opportunities too. Because I mean, really. Have you ever seen another mechanic that emphasises "this guy is smart" that much?
    Spellpoint systems make me go uuuurgh. They are so... boring.

    Skills: yes on open lock/disable device, but Seeing and Hearing are different things and should be different skills. But I don't think I've ever seen anyone use Appraise. That should just be a knowledge or craft skill or something.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2012-09-24 at 06:01 PM.

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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    While I don't have the time to contribute to this project, I do like following the progress of 3e revisions and I might comment from time to time. First comment: Finally, a revision that plans things out ahead of time!

    Second comment:

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Do we have to change anything about the basic framework of the d20 system?

    This includes for me:
    Task resolution mechanic: d20+bonus-penalties vs. target value.
    I notice you didn't mention bonus types. Bonus/damage types and stacking rules were two great innovations of 3e that made resolving even complex interactions fairly simple; problem is, the proliferation of types both in the SRD and in splatbooks (exalted bonuses and dessication damage, anyone?) made typing less meaningful. On top of that, being able to stack many different types of bonuses contributes to skill and AC breakability in 3e, and the fact that many bonuses are untyped both contributes to that and makes certain options more powerful than they should be due to being untyped.

    So I'd suggest laying down a short list of bonus types to stick with and not deviate from them, same with damage types. Off the top of my head, I'd merge sacred and profane (they're thematically the same "from an aligned power" bonus and can cause edge cases for people who can get both), drop alchemical as a type (enhancement should cover alchemical items just fine), and fold dodge bonuses into circumstance bonuses (they're fiddly and stack with themselves, two things that aren't necessarily good design) to start with. I've found that breaking all bonuses into five types (competence from equipment, enhancement from magic, inherent from race, insight from class, and circumstance for other stuff) works pretty well, but cutting things down that far could be too much depending on your other design goals. As for damage types, the five element types plus two energy types plus force work for me, but that's up to you folks.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Bonuses. Okay.

    Alchemical: can stay for all I care, but I can see the argument for kicking it.
    Armour: in.
    Circumstance: this is the generic +2/-2 the DM should hand out. I don't think spells and abilities should give it.
    Competence: important.
    Deflection: do we need deflection and shield? They are essentially similar.
    Dodge: Sure.
    Enhancement: yeah.
    Insight: Is this different from Competence in fluff?
    Luck: yes.
    Morale: yes, for bards.
    Profane/sacred: call it divine. Roll in anarchic and axiomatic (that was it, yeah?) too.
    Resistance: can this just be enhancement? It only goes to saves anyway.
    Shield: bit weak and specialized. My suggestion is making shields give a deflection bonus.
    Size: certainly.

    I'd like to keep a few more than Pair suggested. My list would drop shield, insight and resistance and merge the divines.

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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    I'd like to keep a few more than Pair suggested. My list would drop shield, insight and resistance and merge the divines.
    Sounds about right. Making shields provide a deflection bonus is a nice little buff to sword-and-board, too, since it lets 'em apply against touch attacks (and rightly so!)
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Magic-wise, I have a few ideas. Assuming that we're making substantial changes to that system (As opposed to individual spell fixes, which IMO is not sufficient) to bring it down to closer to 3rd-tier, I'd very much like to be a part of that brainstorming process.

    I'm in favor of check-based magic, along the lines found in GURPS. As was brought up in another recent thread, per-day features have some problems, especially when DMs don't make an effort to have 4 appropriately leveled encounters per day. Magic ought to convey the sense of mystery, uncertainty and risk that are trademarks of the genre in fiction. I am also in favor of having many spells have longer casting times and be more interruptable.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Welknair View Post
    Magic-wise, I have a few ideas. Assuming that we're making substantial changes to that system (As opposed to individual spell fixes, which IMO is not sufficient) to bring it down to closer to 3rd-tier, I'd very much like to be a part of that brainstorming process.

    I'm in favor of check-based magic, along the lines found in GURPS. As was brought up in another recent thread, per-day features have some problems, especially when DMs don't make an effort to have 4 appropriately leveled encounters per day. Magic ought to convey the sense of mystery, uncertainty and risk that are trademarks of the genre in fiction. I am also in favor of having many spells have longer casting times and be more interruptable.
    I'm like the idea of checks, and mystery and such, but... I recently played a sorcerer in Exalted, and it was... suboptimal. Sorceries in that game are have long casting times-- equivalent to two entire turns for lower-level spells, and more for higher levels. And let me tell you, I don't care how much fun I had describing magic, I don't care how powerful the spells are (they weren't), nothing is worth making a character spend an entire turn sitting idly, then get hit by some goblin a tick before the spell goes off and lose the entire thing. Seriously, I cannot describe how much it sucked. For such a system to be workable, magic would have to be three times as powerful as alternatives on an action-per-action basis: once for the normal turn, once for the casting turn, and at least once more to compensate the player for only getting half as many useful actions as his comrades.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Long casting times work for some spells. That's where my rituals come in. Go have a look at them, there are some of them in the Arcane thread in my signature, about four posts down.
    They involve checks, and a casting time of 10 minutes per level.

    However, this does not work for all spells. We always have to balance playability against fluff. And power balance isn't everything. Wizards need to have something to do every turn of combat, that's important. It can just be analysing monsters and giving helpful tactical tips, of course, but long casting times should stay far, far away from combat spells.
    That's where preparation comes in. Preparing, after all, is pre-casting the spells you need to fire off quickly, later.

    If we do checks, there should be an option to cast spells safely, though. Perhaps just at much lesser power, or only certain weak spells.

    The division in my system is simple, four categories:

    Cantrips: your basic nut and bolt spell. You can cast them as long as you have another spell prepared. Standard action to cast. These are the spells that you cast every turn.
    Invocations: your stronger, limited combat spell. You prepare them ahead of time and lose them when you cast them. Can be interrupted easily while casting, as they take a full round. These are the spells that turn combat around when cast.
    Mantras: your buff spells. You cast them ahead of time, and they stay up until you dismiss them or they get interrupted. A minute to cast.
    Rituals: the spells you don't cast in combat. Everything from magical storms to teleports to calling extraplanar creatures to lichdom. These also have skill requirements, skill checks and the potential for (sometimes catastrophic) failure.

    I do think it basically works. Though I do not use checks. What I did, instead, was limit the concentration skill to cantrips only. Other spells are interrupted automatically when the wizard takes damage.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2012-09-24 at 08:45 PM.

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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    while im not particularly good at balance, i will just throw out a Magic Item solution i made, as well as leave this link to my feats thread where i did a small bit of rebalancing to feats and came up with a few others.

    anyway, Undead should be a Construct subtype, and Construct (the entire type) should not grant critical immunity against bludgeon weapons unless incorporal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Bonuses. Okay.

    Alchemical: can stay for all I care, but I can see the argument for kicking it.
    Armour: in.
    Circumstance: this is the generic +2/-2 the DM should hand out. I don't think spells and abilities should give it.
    Competence: important.
    Deflection: do we need deflection and shield? They are essentially similar.
    Dodge: Sure.
    Enhancement: yeah.
    Insight: Is this different from Competence in fluff?
    Luck: yes.
    Morale: yes, for bards.
    Profane/sacred: call it divine. Roll in anarchic and axiomatic (that was it, yeah?) too.
    Resistance: can this just be enhancement? It only goes to saves anyway.
    Shield: bit weak and specialized. My suggestion is making shields give a deflection bonus.
    Size: certainly.

    I'd like to keep a few more than Pair suggested. My list would drop shield, insight and resistance and merge the divines.
    Alchemical: We dont have access to Artificer, this shouldnt be kept.
    Armor and Shield: Keep, even though you want to kick shield, it is different from deflection. Rebalance armor and shields
    Size: Keep it, but axe Size attack bonuses
    Competence, Circumstance, and Dodge: Roll together. These are litterally the same thing for AC purposes
    Deflection: Eliminate as an Armor bonus, instead make a % chance for blows/projectiles to go wild.
    Resistance: Roll into Protection (which incedentally, you missed)
    Sacred/Profane: No, keep em separate, and also make it so they cancel eachother out, and also corrispond to alignment specific bonuses or penalties. Figuring out a name for a L/C axis would be nice too


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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Circumstance boni are the DM's most important tool. "It's raining, +2 circumstance modifier to X" is essential.

    And I suggest making shield give a deflection bonus. Simply because, well, shields deflect things. And keep things from touching you. So they should apply to touch attacks.

    And why do you need specific profane/holy bonuses? You can only have one of them at a time anyway. You can just word it as "this spell gives a +2 divine bonus to AC to all good creatures" or some such.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2012-09-24 at 08:56 PM.

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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Circumstance boni are the DM's most important tool. "It's raining, +2 circumstance modifier to X" is essential.

    And I suggest making shield give a deflection bonus. Simply because, well, shields deflect things. And keep things from touching you. So they should apply to touch attacks.

    And why do you need specific profane/holy bonuses? You can only have one of them at a time anyway. You can just word it as "this spell gives a +2 divine bonus to AC to all good creatures" or some such.
    because it gives the DM ways to make the PCs rage, for instance when you get the profane Gauntlets of Ogre Power and they already have a Sacred Belt of Giant's Strength

    Just because it is part of the Circumstance bonus doesnt mean you have to completely limit it to Flanking's effects

    also, Deflecting things is NOT parrying. Change the name on Shields to blocking AC and use that.
    Last edited by toapat; 2012-09-24 at 09:03 PM.


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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    because it gives the DM ways to make the PCs rage, for instance when you get the profane Gauntlets of Ogre Power and they already have a Sacred Belt of Giant's Strength
    That's the entire point though. They wouldn't stack if they were both Divine. It would be much easier than having a special rule only for Sacred and Profane.

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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    That's the entire point though. They wouldn't stack if they were both Divine. It would be much easier than having a special rule only for Sacred and Profane.
    AS IMPLEMENTED in 3/3.5: Yes, there is no justification that they exist in PnP.
    AS I WOULD LIKE TO SEE: Ok, better example: The Paladin puts on the previously mentioned Profane Gauntlets, and promptly falls on their face because profane causes penalties instead of bonuses to good characters, same with the blackgaurd when they try on the sacred belt.


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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Well, it's an interesting idea. But I still think that's better handled just writing it down for the specific ability.

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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Well, it's an interesting idea. But I still think that's better handled just writing it down for the specific ability.
    well, you could dump the naming and instead just have it as Divine (Alignment). but removing them completely as separate? no.


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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Long casting times work for some spells. That's where my rituals come in. Go have a look at them, there are some of them in the Arcane thread in my signature, about four posts down.
    They involve checks, and a casting time of 10 minutes per level.

    However, this does not work for all spells. We always have to balance playability against fluff. And power balance isn't everything. Wizards need to have something to do every turn of combat, that's important. It can just be analysing monsters and giving helpful tactical tips, of course, but long casting times should stay far, far away from combat spells.

    Actually, long casting times should stay away from just about all spells. This is one of the really bad things in 4E, the rituals. Spellcasters need the ability to do things swiftly to be playable. And not just for combat spells, but for most spells. It just does not work when the player needs to say 'um, guys we need to hang around and do nothing while I cast my spell for 30 minutes.'

    Rituals work fine for big divination's, big abjurations and some other spells. But in most cases, there should be a ''quick version''. Casting detect lies should need not take 10 minutes.

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