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

    Well, to try to address some of the goals...

    A generalist should have a roughly 50% chance of accomplishing a level-appropriate goal-- hitting a dude in melee, picking the lock, and so on. A specialist should have maybe a 60-65% chance, with a poor progression having maybe a 30-40% chance. (1/3, 1/2, 2/3, I guess, would be an easier way to think of it).

    All progressions should start in the same range-- maybe a 5-10% difference-- and diverge over time. Not too much, but enough that the difference is marked. I think Eldan disagrees with me here, but the 20-15-10 BAB spread seems to be about the right range to me.

    Gear should not be a major factor in any of the math. Feats should allow you to patch weaknesses and add new abilities, but not necessarily to add much linear power.

    It would be nice to have everything scale at similar rates.

    Does that answer the goal questions?

    EDIT: On the subject of secondary attributes and saves, perhaps we could take a page from 4e and allow the best of two stats to each save?
    Last edited by Grod_The_Giant; 2012-10-09 at 10:45 PM.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Does that answer the goal questions?
    it sounds pretty good

    im still of the opinion that for the purposes of combat, Int-Wis-Cha should be transparent when it comes to saves


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

    wOkay, a few points:

    On progressions:
    I think we should have a more unified progression system, as Grod proposes. I think a low, medium, high progression for everything is a good start. I also still think that starting the high progression at a greater value is a good thing, so that there's more of a difference from level one. Look at saves: good saves start with a +2, and that makes quite a difference. I propose starting low at +0, medium at +1 and high at +2.
    Having a general caster level progression, similar to base attack bonus and as proposed in the magic thread is also a good idea. It makes multiclassing between caster and non-caster classes a bit more viable.
    Decreasing the variance, as Seerow suggested, between high and low also isn't a bad idea. However, I think leaving a really bad progression for some things (a fighter's caster level, a wizard's base attack bonus) is not a bad idea. I think the medium and high progressions should probably be closer together than 5 points, but having a half-progression for totally untrained people isn't that bad. For absolutely vital things like saves and AC, we simply only use medium and high progression (I could see the one or other exception, say, bad refles saves for oozes).

    On attributes:
    I think the six attribute spread works well, and it makes a good base for a system. It is also extremely iconic to D&D, even 4E kept it. I also think that making ability increase much shallower over level is a good idea. Drop the +2/+4/+6 items, especially. I think increases from level, race and the occasional buff spell are quite enough. That way, we can keep differences in attribute relatively tight.

    Skills:
    Drop generic bonuses to these. In fact, see point on bonuses below. Competence items and generic skill bonus spells can die in a fire. In special cases, I could see it, like knock giving an arcane bonus to open lock, or invisibility being an arcade hide bonus, but no generic ones.

    Bonuses:
    One thing I want here, and only just occured to me now? I don't want any generic bonuses. A monk's AC bonus is competence. A paladin's divine grace is charisma. No nameless bonuses at all, please. If we are worried about bonus stacking, I'd like to propose another thing as well: every class can give one kind of bonus, and only that. Wizards only hand out enhancement bonuses. Bards only morale. Clerics only divine. Fighters give themselves a competence bonus. Druids shapeshift for a racial bonus. That kind of thing. That means that, in a group with four classes, you also only have four kinds of bonus.

    Equipment: lower the importance of it. Give the +2 masterwork bonus from good equipment, and beyond that, get rid of most numerical equipment. Make magic items give new abilities, not higher numbers.

    MAD: everyone should be mildly MAD, at least. Two abilities minimum, in addition to those you need for saves, HP, etc. Casters? Charisma for Save DC, wisdom for amount of spells per day! Rogues? Dexterity for combat, intelligence for special abilities! Paladins? Strength and Charisma! It's a good thing, I think. We can still let them specialize with class features later.


    In summary, let me answer tarkis' questions:
    I think the basic aspects should be this:
    I want to increase the numerical differences between characters at low levels, and decrease them at high levels. Overall growth should also be slowed. That should be the main goal for the numbers.

    Do you start with significantly better numbers in your primary shtick than someone who has it as a tertiary thing, or do you all start in roughly the same place?

    Yes, I think. Differences should be there from the start.

    As you grow in level, do you get better at your primary shtick relative to people who have it as a secondary or tertiary shtick (ex. you start 5% etter and end 25% better)? Do you stay the same relative to them (ex. you start 15% better and end 15% better)? Or do they get better relative to you (ex. you start 25% better and end 5% better)?

    Yes, I think. (I know I said different things earlier, but I changed my mind.) The medium progression should probably be the basic assumption. Other class features grow over level (i.e. a bard starts giving +1 with inspire courage, and ends up giving something like +5 or +6), why shouldn't the Fighter's "I'm better at hitting things" grow?

    Can you stack gear on yourself to function as if you had the numbers of a higher level character with your primary shtick? Can they make you stronger than your level would otherwise be basically.

    Gear should have less influence. I think a good point someone made was that equipment makes up for shortcomings in attributes and values, not replaces them. Armour is good for characters with low dexterity, to reach parity. It allows the fighter to dump dexterity and buy heavy armour, instead of having to invest in all physical attributes. I think more equipment should work that way. Kill magical numerical bonus items.

    Can you stack gear on yourself to function as if a tertiary shtick was a secondary or primary one? Can you use them to patch weaknesses and shortcomings basically.

    I think that's not gear's job. That's a thing for feats, buffs and class features. Changing your stick should be the result of character building, not a shopping trip.

    Can you stack feats on yourself to function as if you had the numbers of a higher level character with your primary shtick?

    Very much no. First of all, I find feats that give higher numbers simply plain boring. Second, if you want to have another class' shtick, take levels in that class, or a prestige class. If people really want it, we could have an "Improve value" feat that lifted you up one scale, from the low to the medium or medium to low in any stat.

    Small things that came up:
    Armour and BAB to AC: I think they should stack. AC already impacts your maximum dexterity. If it also limits your class bonus, it becomes entirely worthless pretty soon.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2012-10-10 at 08:41 AM.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    MAD: everyone should be mildly MAD, at least. Two abilities minimum, in addition to those you need for saves, HP, etc. Casters? Charisma for Save DC, wisdom for amount of spells per day! Rogues? Dexterity for combat, intelligence for special abilities! Paladins? Strength and Charisma! It's a good thing, I think. We can still let them specialize with class features later.
    doesnt work for pure casters. being specialized in one thing should work, but so long as you can prepare Summon Monster Q so many more times, it doesnt matter what your save DCs are, or if you are throwing around sleeps, it only matters that your first sleep spell puts everyone out.

    the best way to limit Casters i would imagine would be to force a Fortitude save with a certain DC (such as your own casting DC + Modifier as result of time spent casting) or be stunned on your next round.


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

    One stat for power points or slots, and one for maximum spell level and DCs? That might work.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    One stat for power points or slots, and one for maximum spell level and DCs? That might work.
    they tried that sort of with FVS: it didnt work because it just means you are going to build the character to be all Save or Sucks/Save or Dies. Favored Soul was better built as one who throws alot of spells, not a small number of precision application spells.

    Now, id be all for that, if it had been shown that it could work, but it doesnt.

    its why i feel that for any one given character, you should be able to dump two of the three mental stats without penalizing your will saves because it simply means we narrow the total number of attributes a single classed character could need (IE, no outliers like how paladins have Wisdom casting, or Monks have an ability that non-sensically runs off of charisma (this one might be DDO though))

    Having the 3 mental stats be there is good on the RP end, it's the Gameplay/combat end that they should act as 1.


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

    Another one: most people in the magic thread seem to be arguing for some kind of spellcasting check. So, one stat to determine how many spells you get, another to determine how often you succeed at casting? Then you can put max spells on one of them and saves on the other.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Another one: most people in the magic thread seem to be arguing for some kind of spellcasting check. So, one stat to determine how many spells you get, another to determine how often you succeed at casting? Then you can put max spells on one of them and saves on the other.
    *Reiteration of why Artificial limitation is not a good thing*

    I feel a good action penalty for spellcasting would go a LONG way to balancing out them


    I think this got skipped over, but i suggest allowing weapons to get additional weapon dice, like how spells get additional dice.

    i have no idea how that would change the math though.


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

    On the subject of casters: a little bit of MAD will help. Save-or-suck spells will get less powerful with condition tracks, along with a potential boost in saves. Boosting non-casting classes will also help. Addressing the most abusive spells and cutting down on prepared casting (the T1 mechanic) will also help.

    And in all honesty, I'd rather leave casters potentially more powerful than force them to use unfun mechanics, like save-or-stun or long casting times. I'm pretty sure I've said this before, but I played a caster in Exalted (which uses long casting times), and it was horrible. Limiting actions does go a long way towards limiting power, but it also limits fun, and, when you get right down to it, this is a game. Fun is always the most important consideration. Keeping classes relatively balanced does tie into fun, yes, and it's an important element of design, but not the key.

    On progressions: I disagree with the only-medium-and-high progressions for most things: having weaknesses is not necessarily a bad thing. I dunno about making the good progression equal to medium+X, though. I feel like that'll cause problems somewhere down the line, though I may be wrong.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    the best way to limit Casters i would imagine would be to force a Fortitude save with a certain DC (such as your own casting DC + Modifier as result of time spent casting) or be stunned on your next round.
    As Grod noted, this isn't a fun way to balance casters because it punishes them from using their main class feature. I'm always surprised that people tend to disapprove of crit fumbles for fighter-types but people tend to suggest status effects and other penalties to balance casters. Neither one is a good idea, and for the same reason.

    You can't balance casters by leaving them at their current power level and then inflict penalties for casting, steal wizards' spellbooks, micromanage divine casters' spell selection as their god, and so forth. If you do that, then casters who find a way to remove or mitigate the penalties (immunity to stunning, warded spellbooks, using powerful spells in line with their god's portfolio, etc.) are at full power while the ones who don't are at reduced or no power, which leads to the people who want to break a caster getting around the penalties while casual players are hit hardest.

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    its why i feel that for any one given character, you should be able to dump two of the three mental stats without penalizing your will saves because it simply means we narrow the total number of attributes a single classed character could need (IE, no outliers like how paladins have Wisdom casting, or Monks have an ability that non-sensically runs off of charisma (this one might be DDO though))

    Having the 3 mental stats be there is good on the RP end, it's the Gameplay/combat end that they should act as 1.
    Again, I think this is a bad idea for many reasons. First of all, Cha is already dumped a lot because classes don't have a use for it; extending that dump-ability to Int and Wis makes things worse, not better. Second, reducing the mental stats to being only RP guides limits the mechanical diversification you can use in creating classes and undermines the desire to make classes MAD. Third, it makes things worse for the martial types, because they'd need all 3 physicals and 1 mental while casters need 1-2 physicals and 1 mental. Fourth, it's inconsistent: you might as well just have one "Body" stat and one "Mind" stat at that point, and if you think that's oversimplifying, well, the same arguments apply to simplifying the mental stats.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    @ Grod

    That's pretty clear, except for the gear part. "Not being a significant part of the math" does not necessarily preclude people from getting gear to bring a shtick from tertiary to secondary, or secondary to primary. It does suggest an upper limit on the bonuses that gear can add to a thing (likely +2), and suggests that all gear provides bonuses of the same non-stacking type though. You may need an exception for armor and shields (as they are gear with substantial impact at present), but that can probably be discussed in the combat thread.

    @ Eldan

    Also clear, and largely compatible with Grod's comments. Since that's the case, I will be throwing numbers at the thread in a bit.

    As to Dex bonus to AC and heavy armor parity, I suggest rethinking that part entirely. Dex to AC could be a bonus of the one hand free style, not a thing that everyone gets. And Con or Str to AC could be a bonus of carrying a shield. And so on. If you want people to have different physical builds, there's lot of ways to go about doing it.

    And the eventual worthlessness of armor was discussed as a feature in the combat thread, not a bug, because it allowed higher level warriors to run around without armor if they wanted to (or had to due to capture or whatever) without significant drawback. It becomes something that low level characters and those without mid to high level specialist combat training wear to protect themselves from those with mid to high level specialist combat training. Combat specialists might still wear it for a special property or magic bit, but they wouldn't need to. It wasn't made clear in the thread, but such a setup should be paired with a decrease in armor penalty such that it didn't hurt you to put it on if you weren't going to receive a significant benefit. If you make it add to BAB instead of replace it (if lower), then you just have a mandatory armor game. Which is fine if that's what you're going for, it just needs to be clear that that's what you want because it impacts how you tune the numbers from the base math.

    On attributes, reducing the available bonuses will tighten things up. You will still see people put all of their points into an attribute or two though, whatever ones they get the most mileage out of. Options for keeping things tighter still involve putting an upper cap on attribute scores, or giving out +1s to all of them when they are gained, not just some of them. The latter option makes higher level characters slightly more stronger than they would otherwise be against lower level characters because they get universally bigger attributes. The attribute cap means that people are forced to increase other things under some circumstances, and also may mean that some buffs are inapplicable to some characters.

    On saves, well I really think the need to wait until the spell thread has been sorted. If your spell check has a reasonably high chance of failing, then a save with a reasonably high chance of blocking or reducing your spell on top of that is a really really big spellcaster nerf. So the role of them will probably need to be rethought after that gets sorted, and any work on them now is likely premature. And despite posting a spell check mechanic, I don't think they're necessary in the slightest personally.

    @toapat

    There's enough spells and spellcasting changes being thrown around that I suspect a MAD caster could be made to work, despite it's previous issues.

    And the idea of boosting damage as you grow in level may have gotten lost, but it'll probably come back up sooner or later. It's not tied to the base numbers, but the damage numbers and the length of combat goals. It's step 2 basically.

    ----

    Promised numbers:

    Good progression: Starts at +4, grows by 1 per level, ends at +23. Is equivalent to current good bab progression +3.

    Moderate progression: Starts at +3, grows by 3 points every 4 levels, ends at +18. Is equivalent to current moderate bab progression +3.

    Poor progression: Starts at +2, grows by 1 point every even level, ends at +12. Is equivalent to current poor progression +2.

    No progression: Starts at 0. Stays there. You don't use this stuff outside of low level if you can avoid it.

    Rolls: d20 + progression value + relevant attribute + misc modifiers Vs. 10 + progression value (or replacement value) + relevant attribute + misc modifiers.

    These are not very different from the core 3.5 numbers, but that's what you've said you want basically. They will keep people with the same progression within the variance of their attributes + misc modifiers however. And that has a lot of implications for misc bonus design. For example, if you can grab a +2 gear bonus and a +3 bonus from something else, and you suddenly have a character performing at or near the next highest progression. If characters with the good progression can do this, expect them to and to over specialize in stuff (like people do now). If characters with the good progression can't do this, then they are likely going to patch other holes and weaknesses.

    The bigger the bonus totals due to stacking, the more likely people are to over specialize in my experience. If bonuses don't stack at all then you get people who spread things around a lot more, boosting their primary stuff and patching holes as their resources allow.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    And the eventual worthlessness of armor was discussed as a feature in the combat thread, not a bug, because it allowed higher level warriors to run around without armor if they wanted to (or had to due to capture or whatever) without significant drawback. It becomes something that low level characters and those without mid to high level specialist combat training wear to protect themselves from those with mid to high level specialist combat training. Combat specialists might still wear it for a special property or magic bit, but they wouldn't need to. It wasn't made clear in the thread, but such a setup should be paired with a decrease in armor penalty such that it didn't hurt you to put it on if you weren't going to receive a significant benefit. If you make it add to BAB instead of replace it (if lower), then you just have a mandatory armor game. Which is fine if that's what you're going for, it just needs to be clear that that's what you want because it impacts how you tune the numbers from the base math.
    Still. I think it's rather sad if at high levels, armour becomes a heavier second cloak to enchant with specials and gives little benefit on it's own. There's plenty of archetypes that still wear armour at high levels in many depictions. With that system, even full plate no longer offers a benefit after level 8, and I'd still want, say, a Paladin or Knight to wear full plate into the high levels, even while they fly around on angelic wings or ride golden dragons. That's a flavour choice, sure, but it shouldn't be mechanically useless. "Well, I can either use my BAB to gain +10 to armour, or I can wear heavy armour, get a small penalty, carry a lot of weight, and gain a +8 to armour, oh, the difficulty."

    On attributes, reducing the available bonuses will tighten things up. You will still see people put all of their points into an attribute or two though, whatever ones they get the most mileage out of. Options for keeping things tighter still involve putting an upper cap on attribute scores, or giving out +1s to all of them when they are gained, not just some of them. The latter option makes higher level characters slightly more stronger than they would otherwise be against lower level characters because they get universally bigger attributes. The attribute cap means that people are forced to increase other things under some circumstances, and also may mean that some buffs are inapplicable to some characters.
    A suggestion. Based on something I've read earlier, though I don't know where it comes from:
    You can increase your attribute normally, to the maximum starting attribute for your race (or maybe that +2 or something). Above that, you get into something we could call "Heroic" or "Extraordinary" or "Epic" or whatever attributes. They are much harder to get (a feat, maybe, or only certain class abilities, templates, etc.).

    Of course, from what I gather, up to second edition stats were capped at 25, so that might be a thing too.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2012-10-10 at 01:18 PM.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Again, I think this is a bad idea for many reasons. First of all, Cha is already dumped a lot because classes don't have a use for it; extending that dump-ability to Int and Wis makes things worse, not better. Second, reducing the mental stats to being only RP guides limits the mechanical diversification you can use in creating classes and undermines the desire to make classes MAD. Third, it makes things worse for the martial types, because they'd need all 3 physicals and 1 mental while casters need 1-2 physicals and 1 mental. Fourth, it's inconsistent: you might as well just have one "Body" stat and one "Mind" stat at that point, and if you think that's oversimplifying, well, the same arguments apply to simplifying the mental stats.
    My preference is for keeping 6 attributes, but having only Physical Save and Mental save, combined with a class design that has everyone want one physical and one mental stat for their class features/abilities. Still have individual stats tied to other things, but major RNG bonuses should be mostly based upon your highest attributes.

    The reason is that it's flat out impossible to balance the RNG meaningfully if one guy can be adding +12 from his stat while another guy is adding only +2. (I mean it could theoretically be done, but it would mean removing every other possible bonus or penalty and only using attributes, kind of like what 5e is doing except without capping stats at 20(+5). I personally find this unsatisfying). For example, you can balance a dex based class if he doesn't get his dexterity to damage like a strength character does. It is much harder to deal with if he doesn't get his dexterity bonus to hit. This is why I liked the Legend solution of just having every class predesignate the attribute they use for their hit bonus/save DCs. It's basically what everyone did already, but it formalizes it and gets rid of the taxes needed to get basic functionality. You could possibly take this all the way, as you mention, having the best mental attribute apply as not just your mental save stat, but also your magical ability DC/Attack stat. Same for physical ability/physical attacks. The dex based character automatically uses Dexterity for hit and physical saves, the str based character automatically uses str for those things.


    But anyway, the argument for continuing to separate the 6 primary attributes despite the consolidation mentioned would be to differentiate skills and perks for each attribute. The trick is finding a set of perks that each attribute offers something unique, potentially interesting, and distinct. Often I find the biggest issue comes from Dexterity/Con. Dexterity covers too much space, while con covers both too much and too little at the same time. Constitution improves HP, which is vitally important. But outside of that, it does very little. No real skills, no general active use abilities it adds to. It's a very passive attribute. On the other hand, dexterity covers far too much ground, providing boosts to a large number of skills and also many key combat checks. Personally I favor rolling constitution and strength together into Body, while splitting Dex up, creating a new Reaction attribute, to help spread skills and perks around a bit. But I have no idea if people think that's too radical a departure to roll with or not.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Oh, and for bonuses, I point back to my earlier post, that idea seems to have gotten lost a bit:

    Let every class only ever get one kind of bonus, and remove items that give bonuses entirely. Bards only ever give morale, wizards only ever arcane, clerics only ever divine. Cap these bonuses by level, say, +1, and another +1 every four levels or so. Not explicitly spelt out, just in how the spells and abilities work out. Assume a four character party where everyone has some ways of buffing something, and bang, you have more or less controlled stats.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Oh, and for bonuses, I point back to my earlier post, that idea seems to have gotten lost a bit:

    Let every class only ever get one kind of bonus, and remove items that give bonuses entirely. Bards only ever give morale, wizards only ever arcane, clerics only ever divine. Cap these bonuses by level, say, +1, and another +1 every four levels or so. Not explicitly spelt out, just in how the spells and abilities work out. Assume a four character party where everyone has some ways of buffing something, and bang, you have more or less controlled stats.
    Sounds about right.

    I can see splitting Dexterity into Dexterity (hand-eye coordination) and Agility (whole-body coordination). I can see merging Strength and Constitution. I'm just not sure we want to depart that much from 3.5. I much prefer adding different ways to substitute stats. Maybe take a page from 4e, and offer two stat choices per save?

    Also, a minor dexterity nerf: with BAB adding to AC, could we maybe take off Dex to AC as a default feature?
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Still. I think it's rather sad if at high levels, armour becomes a heavier second cloak to enchant with specials and gives little benefit on it's own. There's plenty of archetypes that still wear armour at high levels in many depictions. With that system, even full plate no longer offers a benefit after level 8, and I'd still want, say, a Paladin or Knight to wear full plate into the high levels, even while they fly around on angelic wings or ride golden dragons. That's a flavour choice, sure, but it shouldn't be mechanically useless. "Well, I can either use my BAB to gain +10 to armour, or I can wear heavy armour, get a small penalty, carry a lot of weight, and gain a +8 to armour, oh, the difficulty."
    I think you missed the parts where I said "you get the greater of you bab or armor bonus" and that "it works best if you reduce the penalty of wearing it while it provides decreasing benefits" (which I also admitted to forgetting in the original suggestion on the combat thread). Under a "greater of two options" setup, wearing a suit of full plate with full penalties is notably worse than wearing nothing and having +4 Dex as soon as you have +4 BAB. That's not cool, so the penalties need to be proportional to the benefit. And that also means that when you're not getting a benefit from wearing it, like when your BAB is greater than the armor bonus, that it doesn't have any penalties at all. So by level 8 your full plate would not provide you with an armor bonus at all, but also not impose an ACP or an ASF or an movement reduction. It's a fluff choice at that point, not a mechanical one.

    The alternatives are:
    • Reduce the base DC value from "10 + stuff" to "5 + stuff" to accommodate the extra expected additional bonuses from armor (which screws light armors slightly)
    • Reduce the bonus granted by armor sharply (light +1, medium +2, heavy +3; assorted misc benefits for piece differentiation)
    • Add in weapon attack bonuses between +2 and +5 to deal with the increased values on the other side of the hit equation (because you can't add a relatively large number to one side of the equation without balancing it and expect the odds to remain the same)
    • Accept somewhat smaller hit chances for fighters fighting each other in armor. Since armor adds around 4 points of defense on average after max dex is applied, this reduces odds to around 1 in 3 instead of 1 in 2. Shields exacerbate this problem.

    Pick the flavor you like most (or dislike least), figure out something I missed (which happens), or start from scratch on the math basically.

    As for your class bonus thing, those will need to add to attack and defense to not just provide a ridiculous offensive buff. And it has weird implications for groups of enemies as the number of classes present grows. For example, if you were fighting a group of 8 creatures 6 levels lower than you (an EL equal to your individual CR under current math) would have 8 different stacking bonuses that were between 1 and 2 points smaller than yours. At low levels this means that their bonuses will be about equal to yours (you get 4 x +2, they get 8 x +1), and at higher levels they have a bigger one (you get 4 x +5, they get 8 x +4). I don't think the stacking aspect of it will work out well as a result. It also causes a substantial mechanical penalty for groups who don't all pick different classes, and that's not something I agree with on playstyle reasons.

    [Edit] Let's ignore the numbers in the armor discussion above. They were written with old BAB in mind, not proposed BAB, and the numbers would look a bit different with proposed BAB. Armor would probably provide a larger benefit under proposed BAB in a "greater of two" bonus setup.
    Last edited by tarkisflux; 2012-10-10 at 01:52 PM.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Note: the current number is 5 + armor + dex + etc etc. Most of the good armors wind up in the same general armor + dex range, so heavy and light even out there. (I think?)
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by tarkisflux View Post
    And the eventual worthlessness of armor was discussed as a feature in the combat thread, not a bug, because it allowed higher level warriors to run around without armor if they wanted to (or had to due to capture or whatever) without significant drawback. It becomes something that low level characters and those without mid to high level specialist combat training wear to protect themselves from those with mid to high level specialist combat training. Combat specialists might still wear it for a special property or magic bit, but they wouldn't need to. It wasn't made clear in the thread, but such a setup should be paired with a decrease in armor penalty such that it didn't hurt you to put it on if you weren't going to receive a significant benefit. If you make it add to BAB instead of replace it (if lower), then you just have a mandatory armor game. Which is fine if that's what you're going for, it just needs to be clear that that's what you want because it impacts how you tune the numbers from the base math.
    As Eldan said, there are plenty of people who'd want armor at higher levels thematically.

    I don't know if you're familiar with Star Wars Saga, but that system does something similar to the best-of-BAB-or-armor approach: you add your heroic level to Reflex defense unless you're wearing armor, in which case you add your armor bonus. So by default armor is good for mooks and bad for mid-to-high level heroes. The Soldier class offers an Armored Defense talent that lets you add the higher of the two, so a high-level soldier can still use an armor's abilities without penalizing Ref, and the Improved Armored Defense talent lets you add half your armor bonus to your character level.

    The problem is that, while the mechanic does a very nice job of encouraging the armored stormtroopers/unarmored heroes look, it means anyone who wants to wear armor has to spend two talents for the privilege, which is basically 3 levels of class features. As a consequence, most SWSE groups I know of give at least AD and sometimes IAD to soldiers for free at a certain level, which makes wearing armor not a stupid option at higher levels but puts soldiers right back on the "get the best armor possible" treadmill.

    So I think the same would hold for that mechanic in this revision: either you can't get around that and no one wants armor because it tanks their AC, or you can get around that and everyone wants armor because of the special abilities. You'd probably need a more granular system (different AC calculations by armor type or armor-usage class features or something) to get it to work out right.

    You can increase your attribute normally, to the maximum starting attribute for your race (or maybe that +2 or something). Above that, you get into something we could call "Heroic" or "Extraordinary" or "Epic" or whatever attributes. They are much harder to get (a feat, maybe, or only certain class abilities, templates, etc.).

    Of course, from what I gather, up to second edition stats were capped at 25, so that might be a thing too.
    In AD&D stats also cost more to raise. A wish would get you from 12 to 13, or 1/10 of the way from 17 to 18, with proportional costs in between. If you did the same here, then unless the PCs get a bunch of free wishes or something it'll be more beneficial to spread out the stat boosts than to sink it all into their prime requisite.

    I also favor either the "+1 to all stats every X levels and no other way to raise them" approach to prevent PCs from having too-lopsided stats at higher levels or the "+1 to your X lowest stats every Y levels" so you automatically boost your weak stats and have to work to boost your strong stats, but some might not like those.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    Dexterity covers too much space, while con covers both too much and too little at the same time. Constitution improves HP, which is vitally important. But outside of that, it does very little. No real skills, no general active use abilities it adds to. It's a very passive attribute. On the other hand, dexterity covers far too much ground, providing boosts to a large number of skills and also many key combat checks. Personally I favor rolling constitution and strength together into Body, while splitting Dex up, creating a new Reaction attribute, to help spread skills and perks around a bit. But I have no idea if people think that's too radical a departure to roll with or not.
    I don't think Dex needs to be split or Con consolidated to spread the love around, necessarily. I could see moving some of the Dex skills to Int (having nimble fingers is great, but you can't Disable a Device if you don't know how it works), moving initiative to Wis (physical reaction time is good, but you need to have a good mental reaction time to take advantage of it), etc. and giving some of the endurance-type skills to Con (Athletics if you have it, Survival, maybe Swim) along with AC in medium and heavy armors as I suggested before.

    Or you could do a best-of-two-stats system for skills and initiative like someone suggested for saves. Disable Device or Engineering is Dex/Int, Athletics is Str/Con, initiative is Dex/Wis, and so on, so smart rogues and nimble rogues can both do their thing well, archers (who usually are either Wis-based or Dex-based) will all have good initiative, etc.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    @Grod - I was working with the math proposed above, not the math in the combat thread (except for the parts where I wasn't in the example to Eldan, because I'm silly). You can do the 5+ thing, but you'd either want to do it everywhere for consistency (workable if the unrolled defense side consistently has extra modifiers that the attack side doesn't) or accept a system where you don't have a unified DC setting mechanic.

    @Dice - Possible mechanical reasons for wearing armor that doesn't provide a bonus to not being hit or penalties to assorted things: Magical properties only available on the armor (greater fortification, flight, etc.); Armor bonus is turned into DR as it is replaced by BAB bonus; etc. If you need a mechanical reason to wear heavy armors at level 20, there are lots of ways to get one that don't involve allowing substantial increases in being hit because you didn't have a chance to put it on in the morning and that also don't stretch the expected target DC space.

    That said, if people want armor to be mandatory, there are options for that and I have listed them. I admit to it not being my preference and part of the reason I am still attempting to explain and justify the alternative, and I'll drop the matter as it seems to not be what people more invested in the game want. So, another option for math it is.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    No one is saying that armour should be mandatory. Only that it should still protect you at high levels. Which is what armour does.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Personally, I really like armor-as-DR, but I know that Eldan has argued against it as useless. Maybe combine a +1/+2/+3 AC thing with DR? That way, it doesn't throw off the AC math too much and doesn't require a silly base-5 check thing (though I can accept that, ultimately).

    I would argue that it's actually more in line with what armor really does-- it doesn't make it harder to hit someone, it makes it harder to hurt them. Otherwise, it makes touch attacks less good.

    And, you know... it's going to be effective on lower-level mooks, because you'll have to spread attacks more to be sure of putting them down. It'll be effective against big crowds of low-level mooks, or guys with lots and lots of attacks. (I remember in my last campaign, even DR 5 was enough to make the shapeshifted-into-an-octopus character very sad). You'll be sad if you lose it, but not doomed.
    Last edited by Grod_The_Giant; 2012-10-10 at 02:21 PM.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Oh, I like armour as DR. It would just have to be DR that scales in some way. Either a DR progression, whihc sounds complicated, or percentage DR; which is apparently to much mathematics for some people.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Oh, I like armour as DR. It would just have to be DR that scales in some way. Either a DR progression, whihc sounds complicated, or percentage DR; which is apparently to much mathematics for some people.
    It's not hard math, just "requires a calculator to do quickly for a lot of dudes" math. Percentage DR solves some problems, but loses the cool "I can just ignore these attacks" bit of classic DR.

    Still, these could work. I'd like to see a more fleshed out example of how they'd work with armor, though, especially scaling.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by tarkisflux View Post
    @toapat

    There's enough spells and spellcasting changes being thrown around that I suspect a MAD caster could be made to work, despite it's previous issues.

    And the idea of boosting damage as you grow in level may have gotten lost, but it'll probably come back up sooner or later. It's not tied to the base numbers, but the damage numbers and the length of combat goals. It's step 2 basically.
    actually, it is simply how spellcasting works, the only real way to even force casters some semblance of limitation by attributes is by splitting Required Attribute, DCs, and Extra Spells up entirely. and that doesnt work at all because it means that the way you scale (your number of To Hit with spells and your Spell Attack bonus) dont even level with the attribute you need most.

    in other words, MAD doesnt solve casters, it just makes them worth less and worthless.

    the only real way to nerf them without ruining them is to have spellcasting carry penalties. Yes it is unfun to lose rounds, its still a pretty easy way to force a level of balance between the guy who can throw plasma spheres and the guy who can only stab people


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

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    the only real way to nerf them without ruining them is to have spellcasting carry penalties. Yes it is unfun to lose rounds, its still a pretty easy way to force a level of balance between the guy who can throw plasma spheres and the guy who can only stab people
    The way to nerf them is to fix the spells. A wizard who can cast shapechange but is stunned for a round thereafter is still casting shapechange and making the fighter feel small in the pants. As can be seen with the tier 3 and 4 casters, it's possible to have SAD casters with useful class features and good spell lists that can still play nicely with the martial types.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    No one is saying that armour should be mandatory. Only that it should still protect you at high levels. Which is what armour does.
    Yeah, I probably exaggerated or shorthanded the position. What you are actually arguing for with the 'armor always adds to the DC of an attack to hit' you position on top of your other stated math preferences and a 10+ DC setup is more accurately that "armor is an approximately 20-25% reduction from the base 55% chance of you being hit by an enemy of similar progression and level that your enemy cannot easily counter due to the reduction in attack side bonuses". While not mandatory in the sense that you are free to ignore it and can function without it, I do not expect that many people will do so willingly. And that is problematic for keeping expected success chances in the ranges previously indicated. It doesn't work well and something needs to change if you want armor to add to you AC defense over all levels. Hence the suggested math and replaced armor benefit alternatives.
    Last edited by tarkisflux; 2012-10-10 at 02:52 PM.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Oh, I like armour as DR. It would just have to be DR that scales in some way. Either a DR progression, whihc sounds complicated, or percentage DR; which is apparently to much mathematics for some people.
    I know I'm not really involved in this venture, so sorry if I'm stepping on toes here. But since this is an attempt to basically redo everything you could flatten out how much damage is dealt by attacks and magic so that DR actually is worth it.

    Or if that is too against the more epic 3.5 feel, you can do a quick and easy DR progression: Light, Medium, and Heavy armor each having their own progression with each type of armor actually getting different abilities about them to make them useful in different ways.

    The other suggestion would be go the SAGA route so that physical damage actually can have other negative consequences (much like the spells condition track that Grod posted) so every bit of damage that can be negated would be useful. Of course this would mean having to scale damage with (to continue the SAGA comparison) Fortitude Saves. Of course this also would mean rolling saves every time someone damages someone else.
    Last edited by Dienekes; 2012-10-10 at 02:49 PM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Dienekes View Post
    The other suggestion would be go the SAGA route so that physical damage actually can have other negative consequences (much like the spells condition track that Grod posted) so every bit of damage that can be negated would be useful. Of course this would mean having to scale damage with (to continue the SAGA comparison) Fortitude Saves. Of course this also would mean rolling saves every time someone damages someone else.
    I was actually sort of considering a damage track of sorts. Something like:
    100%-75% health: fine
    74%-50% health: wounded
    49%-25% health: badly wounded
    24%-1% health: dying on your feet
    0% health: enter dying track
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    You know, I designed a 4-step Vulnerability-Normal-Resistant-Immune spread that actually worked pretty well for D&D; Vulnerability adds 50% to the damage you take, Normal is, well, normal, Resistant halves the amount of damage you take, and Immunity outright blocks all damage that you take from that thing.

    I also had it auto-scale so that you treated someone as if they were one grade lower for every 4 levels you have higher than them (so a level 17 Sorcerer could blast a Level 13 Fire Elemental and actually deal damage.)

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

    I can see splitting Dexterity into Dexterity (hand-eye coordination) and Agility (whole-body coordination). I can see merging Strength and Constitution. I'm just not sure we want to depart that much from 3.5. I much prefer adding different ways to substitute stats.
    Yeah, it's a relatively big departure, but I feel it's for the best because frankly constitution doesn't add enough to be worth an attribute. Its sole contribution to character concept is how likely you are to not die. While this is important, it is vastly and fundamentally different from all other attributes, which is a big red flag to say it shouldn't exist.

    Maybe take a page from 4e, and offer two stat choices per save?
    This solution still means on average you have one save that has no bonus at all. And all DCs are still going to be based on the highest stat. So you're looking at as much as a 10 point spread on your RNG before even factoring in divergent progressions or any other bonuses.



    I don't think Dex needs to be split or Con consolidated to spread the love around, necessarily. I could see moving some of the Dex skills to Int (having nimble fingers is great, but you can't Disable a Device if you don't know how it works), moving initiative to Wis (physical reaction time is good, but you need to have a good mental reaction time to take advantage of it), etc. and giving some of the endurance-type skills to Con (Athletics if you have it, Survival, maybe Swim) along with AC in medium and heavy armors as I suggested before.
    Int already has a large number of skills, and has the perk of granting extra skill points. Offloading dex stuff to int just turns int into the super stat instead.

    Wisdom already has several skills, and perception (which I think should be separated from skills personally).

    Moving Athletics away from Strength to con then makes it so that strength lacks any skills associated with it. If you add strength and con together, they still generally have fewer associated skills than most other attributes. That's part of the problem. Shifting stuff between them just makes the other one more useless.



    Also, a minor dexterity nerf: with BAB adding to AC, could we maybe take off Dex to AC as a default feature?
    This doesn't really do much without altering the system further. All it does is take characters with light armor off the RNG (unless you go with the currently standing suggestion of BAB overlaps with armor).

    Similarly, all adding con to AC in medium/heavy armor does is skew the RNG such that medium/heavy armor wearers are far ahead of light armor wearers.

    The reason Armor sort of works right now is because Armor/Max Dex is designed such that your Armor compensates for any protection your dexterity cannot provide. As it stands, a character with a dex of 10 can have the same AC as a character with a dex of 26, because of how armor works. If this is to be changed, it needs to be done with a reason, and in a way that leavs the RNG somewhat in tact. Right now someone with a dex primary can end up with a +2-3 AC advantage over someone with dex tertiary and mithril full plate. That is probably roughly what should be aimed for.
    If my text is blue, I'm being sarcastic.But you already knew that, right?


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