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- Join Date
- Dec 2011
Kelseyfinder - What Pathfinder Modern(ish) should look like.
I've toyed with guns everywhere settings many times before, but there are some issues getting Pathfinder to fit that combat style, combined with the fact that I tend toward thematic setting styles. Currently, I'm working on a medieval magitech setting, but with the way it is written it should be able to swap out that tech level for a late 19th century or even mid 20th century guns everywhere without needing too many modifications. So, it's a setting that accommodates multiple different technological preferences, depending on what I'm in the mood for.
What I need, however, is a good set of rules that emphasizes gun combat. I don't want to buy a different system for several reasons I don't want to get into here, so I need to write my own. I'm going with a Pathfinder derivative that lacks reverse compatibility, sort of like D20 Modern but with a very different design philosophy. First off, I'm using themed classes and archetypes, just like Pathfinder, rather than ability score based classes and advanced/prestige classes (my loathing of ability score based classes knows no bounds). Second, magic and multiple playable races are default assumptions of the system, and spellcasting is available from level 1. Spellcasters don't get that many spells, however, as they rely on metamagic to gain versatility, not massive spell lists. Martial classes are designed with ranged combat focused switch hitting in mind. Realism is not an aim of this system. It may be a technology and social era that looks like the 1960s, but we have elves, wizards, and dragons, so if the martial wants to dual wield pistols and actually hit the target I'm not pulling the realism card to stop them. The best way to envision what martial classes are like would be to compare them to resourced based Pathfinder martials (those who use Ki, Grit, Panache, and the like), though a lot of feat chains are consolidated into single feats.
One big thing is that higher levels of social and technological development do not lend themselves to traditional adventuring. Monster slaying, demon hunting, and rogue mage control are things the government has people for, and vigilantism is viewed as a threat to the state and it's citizens. In my opinion, the best solution to this is to let the players be those government people who handle these threats. So, any time there is a vampire stalking the red light district or a werewolf tearing up campers, the players get the call. Since they are relatively skilled professionals, superiors assume they can figure out how to handle issues themselves without micromanagement, so the players get a fair amount of leeway in the field and can decide how they want to accomplish their missions (unless they start blatantly crossing lines).
Basics aside, let's get into the system itself. This is a work in progress, and I am a busy college student, so this is going to be constructed piece by piece. It could take a while between updates, depending on my school workload, so my activity will rise and drop very eclectically. I have a Google Doc so that information can be edited as needed, and I'll post here whenever I make non-grammatical edits. I do, of course, eagerly seek feedback, and once the skeleton of the system is complete there will be PbP playtesting. No idea how long that will take, but it won't be soon. As I said, college student. To make the system faster to write, explain, and learn, it is written in relation to Pathfinder, assuming that the reader is already familiar with that game (or 3.5, at least) and highlighting what aspects of Kelseyfinder differ from Pathfinder (aside from the fact that it has a different class list and different spell lists, of course) instead of highlighting every rule and system in Kelseyfinder in depth. This is so that you don't have to read a whole new rulebook to understand how it works.
Here is the Google Drive folder for all documents. Each rule facet has it's own document.
The first thing to handle is ability scores. I'm going with the classic D&D layout, except Charisma is now Presence, so as to give a better impression of what it actually measures in Kelseyfinder. As you can see, ability scores all start at 12 during character creation, and can't go below 1 (playable races lack ability score adjustments). This is because people like the PCs have to be at least competent in all six areas, because if they are weak in one they lack qualities they need to do their jobs correctly. Professional monster hunters can't be weak, clumsy, out of shape, dumb, airheaded, or timid. Since I hate the idea of forcing players to buy certain options, I'm starting them off at what I feel the minimum stat for them should be.
Here is the Google Doc.
Skills are likewise handled a bit differently from Pathfinder. The minimum skill points for a class is 4 per level, and martials tend to have a higher number and spellcasters a lower number, barring spellcasters specifically intended to be skill monkies. I decided I want players to have knowledge and profession type skills, or maybe pick up a craft (note that the only magic item crafting players can do is consumables or class feature based) or perform skill for flavor, so I charge half price for these skills. I decided to completely do away with the idea of class skills and just have players buy what they want and always get the +3 bonus for being trained. Perception and Stealth have been removed as skills. This is because anybody trained in combat needs to have their eyes open and head on a swivel at all times and be able to notice threats. No exceptions. Since it is so vital, players shouldn't have to buy it. It is handled by a Wisdom check in a manner similar to Initiative. Stealth is removed as a skill both to be balanced with Perception and because a trained monster hunter should know how to be lightfooted and stay down. It is handled like Initiative and Perception, but governed by Dexterity. Acrobatics/Climb/Swim are gone, too, split into Strength (Jump, Vault, Climb) Dexterity (Tumble, Balance) and Constitution (Swim) checks. Another thing monster hunters just know how to do. New knowledge skills have been created, and Search is returning as a skill, since thoroughly ransacking something top to bottom is different from keeping an eye out for traps and ambushes or noticing random clues.
Here is the Google Doc.That said, I am an idiot, so I could be mistaken.
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