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  1. - Top - End - #241
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Recent comments in the combat thread suggest it's going to be armor + bab. If that's what you want, then this is what you need to do -

    Balance these two sets of bonus sums to within whatever probabilistic tolerance you want to hit. If they match given equal levels, progressions, attribute modifiers, and misc modifiers then you have a 55% chance of hitting (assuming 10 + that as the DC setup). For each point that the defender is higher, then you have a 5% less chance on average. For each point that the attacker is higher, then you have a 5% greater chance of hitting.

    Anyway, the bonus sums are:
    • Attacker: bab progression + relevant attribute mod + misc modifiers
    • Defender: same bab progression + (possibly capped attribute mod + armor bonus) + misc modifiers


    I have left shields and masterwork weapon bonuses off, because I imagine you would want those to improve people from the default rather than be expected in it. You can add them back in if that's not the case.

    Assuming the misc modifiers are 0 (which isn't unlikely given the feat and gear comments earlier and the explicit removal of masterwork weapons and shields from the math layout), then things reduce to the attacker's relevant attribute mod against the defender's combination of capped attribute mod and armor bonus. Which looks like the defender pulls ahead in general, and hitting targets with similar stat blocks doesn't happen very often.

    [Edit] It also means that iteratives miss pretty much all the time against people in your same progression, and aren't much better against people 1 beneath it.[/edit]

    You can stick a standard penalty on the defense side to mitigate that, it's basically the same as reducing from 10+ to 5+ or something similar. If you were going to have other gear items that added a (possibly capped) attribute value and another defensive one, like amulet 'armor' that added to will saves instead of AC or whatever, then just going with a reduced base would be easy. Given the comments on not letting gear patch holes though, I'm not sure that sort of thing would be workable though.

    Otherwise you can play with the misc mods in a different way, revalue armor bonuses, accept the odds (and the implication that at high levels people with a worse BAB track basically hit you only on 20s), or figure out something that I missed.
    Last edited by tarkisflux; 2012-10-10 at 09:53 PM.
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  2. - Top - End - #242
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

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  3. - Top - End - #243
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    I suggest that, if you are going the route of letting each class give only one type of bonus... that you give some options to change what type of bonus you give.

    Why? For stuff like all-bard parties, or something.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    I suggest that, if you are going the route of letting each class give only one type of bonus... that you give some options to change what type of bonus you give.

    Why? For stuff like all-bard parties, or something.
    I think it'd be better to have options for bonus diversification, like DFI to turn +X attack and damage to +Xd6 damage. You don't want a four-bard party stacking +4X attack with different bonus types, you want +X attack, +Y skills, +Z saves, etc.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Something like Alternate class features, maybe. Bard class feature called "Tactician", gives competence instead of morale. Preacher cleric, gives morale bonus.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
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    lol, yeah. Sad thing is that it's actually a rather large simplification. Here's the current 3.5 bonus sums for comparison:
    • Attacker: bab + strength modifier (+ inherent and enhancement bonuses) + enhancement bonus (or masterwork bonus) + feat bonuses + misc bonuses (including, but not limited to, competence, morale, size, luck, sacred, profane, insight, etc.)
    • Defender: capped dexterity modifier (maybe + inherent and enhancement bonuses if you have a special armor type or a low dex to start) + armor bonus + shield bonus + armor enhancement bonus + shield enhancement bonus + deflection bonus + natural armor bonus + feat bonuses + misc bonuses (including, but not limited to, competence, morale, size, luck, sacred, profane, insight, etc.)


    The upside of that simplification is that it's harder to reach a point where enemies of your level can't hit you or can't miss you, and you can't do the same to them. The downside of that simplification is that you can't fix your numbers as easily if the basic math sucks, like it does in 3.x. Hence laying it out in an attempt to help get it right from the start.
    Last edited by tarkisflux; 2012-10-11 at 12:41 PM.
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    I prefer higher powered games, do not consider magic to be "special", and want non-casters to have similar levels of utility. If you haven't clearly said what your balance goals are, my suggestions generally reflect that. I'm pretty good with other balance points too though, so if I'm offering OP advice, let me know and I'll fix that.

  7. - Top - End - #247
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Something like Alternate class features, maybe. Bard class feature called "Tactician", gives competence instead of morale. Preacher cleric, gives morale bonus.
    i think the problem here is you end up creating that problematic preset role thing, that 4E did wrong, by limiting each class to one bonus type.

    too much inclass variety though also ends up limiting stuff too though.

    obviously Bard is supposed to be entirely Moral bonuses and Circumstance penalties. (Also, Dovahbard would be sweet)


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

    Of course, you could also have stuff like Bards enhancing the bonuses granted by other people (stuff like converting any existing +s to damage with an equal number of 1d6s of damage, letting you treat bonuses to AC as if they were armor for the purpose of Armor as DR, and so on and so forth.)

  9. - Top - End - #249
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by tarkisflux View Post
    Otherwise you can play with the misc mods in a different way, revalue armor bonuses, accept the odds (and the implication that at high levels people with a worse BAB track basically hit you only on 20s), or figure out something that I missed.
    Reducing armor values isn't a bad idea-- I kind of like the idea of having only a single stat block for light, medium, and heavy armor, since as-is there's practically no reason not to wear a chain shirt/breastplate/full plate, depending on your level of proficiency. Maybe something like:

    Light Armor: +1 AC, +4 max Dex
    Medium Armor: +3 AC, +2 max Dex
    Heavy Armor: +4 AC, +1 max Dex

    Or, if we want to have a bit more variety,

    Light Armor
    Leather: +1 AC, +4 max Dex
    Chain Shirt: +2 AC, +3 max Dex

    Medium Armor
    Chainmail/Hide: +3 AC, +2 max Dex
    Breastplate: +4 AC, +1 max Dex

    Heavy Armor
    Platemail: +5 AC, +0 max Dex

    That caps the armor-dex bonus at +5. With another +1 or +2 for a shield, that gives us a 7-point advantage over an attacker, if BAB and relevant attributes are even.

    If we lower the AC base to 5, the armor bonus basically becomes moot, which shields suddenly being an important factor. If we leave it as-is, you'd need a 17 to hit an armor-and-shield foe, which is probably too high. A 12 to hit the same foe is more acceptable.

    On the other hand, the -5 base AC/+5 armor bonus does make armor seem kind of... I dunno, useless, when you look at the math. Especially compared to just having a +5 Dex. If we go this way-- and it does seem like the best option-- I'd like to add DR of some sort, based on the heaviness of your armor. Maybe:

    Light: 5% DR, or DR 1/-
    Medium: 10% DR, or DR 2/-
    Heavy: 25% DR, or DR 5/-

    This way, heavier armor becomes a tradeoff of low-Dex-and-DR against ACP-and-weight. Shields remain useful, being a tiebreaker of sorts.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by Grod_The_Giant; 2012-10-11 at 07:01 PM.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    All of your (capped dex mod + armor bonus) armor bits only go up to +5. If you can get a larger dex mod than that, that person is going to be harder to hit than anyone in armor. If that's intentional or acceptable, you're all set. If not intentional, consider capping attributes at +5 or scaling armor back up a bit.

    The capped armor will also run into people with strength (or dex in relevant cases) of higher than +5 hitting since the defense side can't do anything to really counter that. Again, nothing to worry about if that's intentional or acceptable. It has the same solutions as the dex mod defense concern if you're worried about it.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    tarkisflux said basically what I was going to. Capping Armor benefits at low level is a good idea. But you need to let it scale at a similar rate to attributes. Remember Armor + Dex = Primary Attack Stat, when comparing offense to defense. Assuming 3.5 as a base, at level 20 you have a +12 primary attack stat, so your armor+dex should be sitting around there. On the other hand at level 1 your primary attack stat is around +3-4, so your armor values should be close to there.



    With my armor system I set the base at 5 points, and let it scale up as high as 8, but you can trade out one point of armor for 2 points of max dex. So a dex primary character might end up with 2 armor and 12 dex, while a dex tertiary character is probably sitting closer to 7 armor and 2 dex, for a total spread of 5 points between highest and lowest at level 20.* Also, I apply a max dex on shields, which generally discourages very high dex characters from using them, which tends to help lower that range.**

    *I compensate for this by having armor grant its value in DR, scaling with BAB/level. So a heavy armor character will get hit more often, but takes less damage when he does get hit. It roughly balances out, with the heavy armor guys generally being sturdier against actual damage, but dex guys being better against status effects and such

    **This method does overall weight things slightly in favor of armor+dexterity. This is helped by setting armor base value at 5 instead of 10. It is also important to recognize if you have bonuses available to various RNG things, characters are more likely to pick those up for offense before defense, so defense being a few points ahead at the start isn't necessarily going to kill the game. Though if you intend to rely on that you do need to closely monitor and balance bonus types across the board regardless of party compositions, which would be potentially difficult.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    If you guys want anything I'm developing to tinker with, feel free. I might have to link you to it though. Just PM me i guess.
    Last edited by Kane0; 2012-10-11 at 09:53 PM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by tarkisflux View Post
    All of your (capped dex mod + armor bonus) armor bits only go up to +5. If you can get a larger dex mod than that, that person is going to be harder to hit than anyone in armor. If that's intentional or acceptable, you're all set. If not intentional, consider capping attributes at +5 or scaling armor back up a bit.

    The capped armor will also run into people with strength (or dex in relevant cases) of higher than +5 hitting since the defense side can't do anything to really counter that. Again, nothing to worry about if that's intentional or acceptable. It has the same solutions as the dex mod defense concern if you're worried about it.
    Ooh, you're right. Hmm... it's a question of how high we'll let ability bonuses get under normal circumstances, really. Figure a +5 as the maximum starting bonus, after racial modifiers, and then... figure level-up bonuses at 4,8,12,16, and 20 for a total level 20 modifier of +1. Twice as good as armor. DR still might balance that out some, but...

    Maybe we need to cut attribute scaling back a bunch. That's what's really causing the problem...
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    figure level-up bonuses at 4,8,12,16, and 20 for a total level 20 modifier of +1.
    I'd advise against flat level-up bonuses, as they tend to skew things more toward favoring SAD classes. A better idea would be to grant additional points (as in point buy, extended to higher levels); I'd say points each level equal to that level should do it if you're removing easy enhancement and inherent bonuses; otherwise, I'd say one point per level, increasing to 2/level at level 12. That way, an SAD class can still get his usual boosts, but MAD classes can get more because it costs fewer points per ability increase.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    So, do we think we have the numbers more or less down, now? If yes, we should go clean up the magic and combat threads once again and the move on to class discussion.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    AC's still a little wonky, due to level-up attribute bonuses and capped armor modifiers. I suspect that as long as we keep the attribute bonuses under control-- no more than a 6 or 7-- and use armor-as-DR, it'll be ok.

    (On that topic, I suggest that we remove all level-up and magic item attribute bonuses, and make inherit increases a feat function instead).

    Otherwise... we're going with the progressions tarkisflux provided? Current BAB progressions +2 or +3? I've got no real problem with them...
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    AC's still a little wonky, due to level-up attribute bonuses and capped armor modifiers. I suspect that as long as we keep the attribute bonuses under control-- no more than a 6 or 7-- and use armor-as-DR, it'll be ok.

    (On that topic, I suggest that we remove all level-up and magic item attribute bonuses, and make inherit increases a feat function instead).

    Otherwise... we're going with the progressions tarkisflux provided? Current BAB progressions +2 or +3? I've got no real problem with them...
    If you're making attribute bonuses a feat thing, you 1) encourage number stacking if the option is competitive, or 2) have crappy, boring feats. If attributes need to increase, do it by level.

    I like the newer progressions. Except no progression, which makes me cry.

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

    The newer progressions should work.

    No progression is not something that should ever come up in player characters. That's for, I don't know. Very unique monsters. No reflex saves for immobile monsters. That kind of thing.

    Attributes as feats: please no. I think we all agreed that we didn't want numerical feats. I think we should stick with level-up bonus.
    If I can bring out an old suggestion again: I proposed race-specific level up bonuses. The player can choose: +1 to a stat of their choice, or a race specific ability. It would help make races a bit more meaningful.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    I'd like everyone to keep an eye on this, please. It's where I'll gather up the current rules as we discuss them.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    I'd like everyone to keep an eye on this, please. It's where I'll gather up the current rules as we discuss them.
    Groovy. You'll probably want to reserve a few more posts, though.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Aye. I'll do that once it comes up, though. As I've written in there: please no comments directly in that thread, comments here.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Attributes as feats: please no. I think we all agreed that we didn't want numerical feats. I think we should stick with level-up bonus.
    Fair enough; was just a random idea.

    If I can bring out an old suggestion again: I proposed race-specific level up bonuses. The player can choose: +1 to a stat of their choice, or a race specific ability. It would help make races a bit more meaningful.
    Might work, yeah. We probably shouldn't hand out too many of these, though-- maybe every 5 levels?
    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
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    • 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
    Reducing armor values isn't a bad idea-- I kind of like the idea of having only a single stat block for light, medium, and heavy armor, since as-is there's practically no reason not to wear a chain shirt/breastplate/full plate, depending on your level of proficiency. Maybe something like:

    Light Armor: +1 AC, +4 max Dex
    Medium Armor: +3 AC, +2 max Dex
    Heavy Armor: +4 AC, +1 max Dex
    I would strongly support this for a number of reasons. It better allows people to alter the setting without screwing up mechanics (For instance, heavy armor could generally mean plate in one setting, a mail hauberk in another, and even something like the hoplite cuirass in a third), it produces a valuable simplification, and it makes the system easier to devise. That said, there is a small problem regarding pricing, for which I suggest this:

    Poorly made: -1 AC, -1 max Dex (Minimum 1 for both). 1/2 price.
    Masterwork: +1 AC, +1 max Dex. Double price.

    The exact pricing could vary, but this does allow some variety in mundane armor within the constrains of the three armor system. It also creates a de-facto condition track for armor and shields, where they can be knocked down from Masterwork to Normal to Poorly made through damage, and then repaired. This improves sundering, improves the implementation of rust monsters and other creatures that can damage equipment, and makes it consistent with the other condition tracks. The same could apply to weapons, though the effects would be somewhat different.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    The basic idea seems solid, though I'd like to increase the max dex a bit. +6 for light armour, +3 for medium, +1 for heavy? Seems a bit nicer for me, that way an elven rogue (or something) can still wear armour in the mid levels without it becoming too limiting.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    You might also consider increasing the value of armor by giving melee classes the ability to retain more of their dex bonus with heavier armor, perhaps as a level-dependent thing. I figure that while you might not be able to gracefully dodge the goblin's spear in full plate, dexterity would still help you shift so that you take it on your breastplate at an angle.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    The basic idea seems solid, though I'd like to increase the max dex a bit. +6 for light armour, +3 for medium, +1 for heavy? Seems a bit nicer for me, that way an elven rogue (or something) can still wear armour in the mid levels without it becoming too limiting.
    Quote Originally Posted by Durazno View Post
    You might also consider increasing the value of armor by giving melee classes the ability to retain more of their dex bonus with heavier armor, perhaps as a level-dependent thing. I figure that while you might not be able to gracefully dodge the goblin's spear in full plate, dexterity would still help you shift so that you take it on your breastplate at an angle.
    The thing about the numbers I put out is that the total potential bonus is the same for all armor types- +5. If you get too far away from that, the AC-attack balance starts getting off, swinging more and more in favor of defense.
    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

    Actually, the armor + dex cap should probably be 8. That way, we get AC equal to 5 + 8 (armor + dex) +2 (shield) = 15 +BAB, vs an attack of d20 (average 10.5)+ Str/Dex + BAB, which is likely to be pretty close.

    So, with basic progressions down, we need to settle on a casting mechanism, consider skills, then launch into feats and classes! Monsters too, maybe, although hopefully we'll still be able to use 3.5 critters without too much conversion hassle.

    Casting Mechanic
    In the magic thread, we were talking about how between condition tracks and spell rewrites, we'd be able to kill a lot of magic's advantage. The last step was a proposed "base magic bonus" to replace caster level, and... some sort of casting check. I like a simple "roll BMB against 10 + SL*2 to cast," but there's been some more complex stuff proposed. Things involving BMB and inherent spell resistance and possibly replacing saves and suchlike. I dunno, the talk should probably be in the magic thread.

    Skills
    We talked about this a little bit, but I don't think we ever really got anywhere. Starting fresh, I'd like to keep skill points, and use the progressions to determine max skill ranks-- a good progression for your class skills, and poor or average for cross-class. Maybe have "focus skills" (good progression), "secondary skills" (average progression) and "cross class" (poor progression), to have a bit more flexibility during class design?

    Not sure where we go with number of skills. It could certainly stand to go down. Here's my suggestion for skills to lose, based on the fact that I've never or almost never seen them appear in-game:
    • Appraise
    • Decipher Script
    • Disguise
    • Forgery
    • Use Rope

    Disguise could go into Bluff easily enough. Decipher Script seems just... I don't know, useless. If it ever comes up, probably a straight Intelligence or Wisdom check. Appraise could be a function of Knowledge, and Forgery of Bluff. Use Rope... I dunno. Has anyone ever rolled for this, ever?

    Otherwise, I like merging Spot and Listen into Perception, Hide and Move Silently into Stealth, and Open Lock and Disable Device into, I don't know, Devices. I know they're not quite the same thing, but you'd almost never take one without the other, and it cuts the rolling for sneaky bits in half. You can always have situational bonus/penalties if it matters (-5 penalty to Perception checks to hear due to the noise of battle!). Unified "Athletics" and "Acrobatics" checks I can take or leave.

    Also: can we please please please steal Rich Burlew's Diplomacy fix for the base rules?

    And, I'ma stop there, because that's probably enough to mull over for now.
    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

    Agreed on Appraise, Decipher Script and Use Rope, those rarely come up. Disguise, though? That comes up every second session for me, at least (but then, I play shapeshifters half the time). Forgery a bit more rarely, but when it does, it's always awesome.
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    I want more mwa-ha-haaa and much less boo-hoo-hoo.

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

    Ideas for those skills:
    -Appraise can be done with either a profession (merchant) check or the appropriate craft check.
    -Decipher script becomes Decipher, which is used for not only figuring out a language you don't recognize, but also any puzzle-like thing. It can also be used to try to oppose someone's bluff check, but only if you have time to think the story over.
    -Use Rope is a bit trickier...I'd say use Climb for most of the uses, Craft (ropemaking) to splice a rope, and Escape Artist to bind another character.
    My general 3.5 balance fix.
    My psionics remix.
    My common-sense houserules.
    More minor homebrew (weapons, races).

    Complete system remake (under construction, barely started)

    Ever want to try your hand at optimizing, but dislike heavy emphasis on splatbooks and/or the rocket tag phenomenon?
    Come visit the Core Coliseum today, for a totally different style of optimization.

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

    Hmm... so how 'bout this list:

    • Balance
    • Bluff
    • Climb
    • Concentration
    • Craft
    • Diplomacy
    • Devices
    • Escape Artist
    • Gather Information
    • Handle Animal
    • Heal
    • Intimidate
    • Jump
    • Knowledge
    • Perception
    • Perform
    • Profession
    • Ride
    • Search
    • Sense Motive
    • Sleight of Hand
    • (Speak Language)
    • Stealth
    • Survival
    • Swim
    • Tumble
    • Use Magic Device


    EDIT: Also, thoughts on a potential primary/secondary/cross-class skill split?
    Last edited by Grod_The_Giant; 2012-10-14 at 12:04 AM.
    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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