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  1. - Top - End - #181
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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    Whereas I think the Green Star Adept-type concept works best as a kit, not a PrC.
    What is a "kit" in this context?

    In general terms, I've mused on the possibility of something that could be called "packages" or "kits", as a middle ground between class/level and total freeform point-buy. This is just brainstorming as opposed to details, but... each kit would cost so many XP/CP to buy, and cost so many XP/CP to improve to a new level (just for that kit) and gain new/improved abilities in that kit. Each kit would represent a background, or training, or service in some group, or a bloodline, or your species, or whatever.

    I mean, I'd still personally prefer total freeform point-buy to anything, but I'd also prefer a "kit build" system over what D&D-likes do.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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  2. - Top - End - #182
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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    What is a "kit" in this context?

    In general terms, I've mused on the possibility of something that could be called "packages" or "kits", as a middle ground between class/level and total freeform point-buy. This is just brainstorming as opposed to details, but... each kit would cost so many XP/CP to buy, and cost so many XP/CP to improve to a new level (just for that kit) and gain new/improved abilities in that kit. Each kit would represent a background, or training, or service in some group, or a bloodline, or your species, or whatever.

    I mean, I'd still personally prefer total freeform point-buy to anything, but I'd also prefer a "kit build" system over what D&D-likes do.
    That's not much different than how DnD 5e does it. The difference is, 5e has you earn experience as a whole rather than each individual part.

    What you're describing works...until any of your combinations of your "kit" happen to synergize together. If a level 1 Kit costs 100 XP, and one kit increases your attack damage to x2, and another kit increases your attack speed by x2, you just spent the value of 2 kits for x4 damage.

    Rather, a system like that would REQUIRE that the kits don't synergize. Or that they all do, equally. It'd be a mechanical nightmare to balance, and adding new content would be very restrictive to avoid becoming overpowered when combined with any other kit.

    I suppose what you could do is have each kit use its own resource that can't be used by any other kit. A Shadow Magic kit might help a thief sneak around, but the theif cannot use their Shadow Magic resource to fuel their Sneaky Gambits, or something. Adding more kits, rather than a few high levels ones, means more versatility, but not necessarily more power.

    Or, at least, that's how I'd play it out.

    5e assumes that multiclassing (or, in this case, getting a new "kit") is always a synergistic choice of some type, and that your power output increases with each new addition. Whether you leveled as a Rogue, a Fighter or a Wizard, it assumes you are now strictly "better", which is why it increases the experience requirement for each gain, including from multiclassing. A Rogue 1/Fighter 1/Barbarian 1/Ranger 1 is assumed to be just as powerful as a Rogue 4.
    Last edited by Man_Over_Game; 2019-06-06 at 12:50 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by KOLE View Post
    MOG, design a darn RPG system. Seriously, the amount of ideas Iíve gleaned from your posts has been valuable. Youíre a gem of the community here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post

    5th Edition Homebrewery

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    Adrenaline Surge, fitting Short Rests into combat to fix bosses/Short Rest Classes.
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    Fate Sorcery, lucky winner of the 5e D&D Subclass Contest VII!

  3. - Top - End - #183
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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    PrCs are just a failed concept in general. They were, I presume, meant to plug various holes in 3E D&D. Of which there were obviously many. One was the incredibly restrictive nature of the system, where your class locked in your progression from level 1 to level 20. Another was that some multiclass combinations were just plain bad - usually those involving casters. But not only did they end up replacing quality with quantity even more than 3E did in general, with tons of chaff no one would ever use, but they were also very player-unfriendly. You had to plan out your progression early on to take them, and often had to wallow in mediocrity until you got it. Mystic Theurge is an example of that.
    Last edited by Morty; 2019-06-06 at 12:46 PM.
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  4. - Top - End - #184
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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post
    That's not much different than how DnD 5e does it. The difference is, 5e has you earn experience as a whole rather than each individual part.

    What you're describing works...until any of your combinations of your "kit" happen to synergize together. If a level 1 Kit costs 100 XP, and one kit increases your attack damage to x2, and another kit increases your attack speed by x2, you just spent the value of 2 kits for x4 damage.

    Rather, a system like that would REQUIRE that the kits don't synergize. Or that they all do, equally. It'd be a mechanical nightmare to balance, and adding new content would be very restrictive to avoid becoming overpowered when combined with any other kit.

    I suppose what you could do is have each kit use its own resource that can't be used by any other kit. A Shadow Magic kit might help a thief sneak around, but the theif cannot use their Shadow Magic resource to fuel their Sneaky Gambits, or something. Adding more kits, rather than a few high levels ones, means more versatility, but not necessarily more power.

    Or, at least, that's how I'd play it out.

    5e assumes that multiclassing (or, in this case, getting a new "kit") is always a synergistic choice of some type, so it assumes that your overall power increases with each new addition. Whether you leveled as a Rogue, a Fighter or a Wizard, it assumes you are now strictly "better", which is why it increases the experience requirement for each gain, including from multiclassing.
    Then I guess I need to stick to actual point-buy.

    Also, every time you mention "shadow" it makes me want to go off on a tangent about trying to build some specific characters that just don't work in D&D, 5e or otherwise.

    And that reminds me of what might bug me the most about D&D and systems that handle character building in a similar way -- having to take extra levels and "powers" that are irrelevant to the character but appear at intervening levels, just in order to get to the actually relevant "powers" that show up at later levels.

    Spoiler: Just because you mentioned the "shadow" thing, the example character that bugs me the most...
    Show

    would need the extra actions from Fighter that take forever to get (but does not need ANY of the Fighter subclass abilities), a couple of sensory Invocations and a weapon-summoning gimmick from the Warlock, the "shadow teleport" from shadow Monk, some way to get the saves proficiency from higher-level Monk, the large number of Skills that's buried in Rogue and maybe parts of the tricksy movement stuff from that class... and some minor cantrip and ritual magic stuff. Obviously that would take some number of levels to get all that and be balanced... but by-the-book, to get all that, you'd need to take a ridiculous number of levels and pick up a lot of extraneous things that don't fit the character at all.
    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2019-06-06 at 12:58 PM.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

    The Worldbuilding Forum -- where realities are born.

  5. - Top - End - #185
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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    PrCs are just a failed concept in general. They were, I presume, meant to plug various holes in 3E D&D. Of which there were obviously many. One was the incredibly restrictive nature of the system, where your class locked in your progression from level 1 to level 20. Another was that some multiclass combinations were just plain bad - usually those involving casters. But not only did they end up replacing quality with quantity even more than 3E did in general, with tons of chaff no one would ever use, but they were also very player-unfriendly. You had to plan out your progression early on to take them, and often had to wallow in mediocrity until you got it. Mystic Theurge is an example of that.
    That's why I did stuff like nix the idea you had to be level 6/7 before taking a PrC and and allowed stuff like Mystic theurge to be available as soon as you could cast level one spells of either type (i.e. at level 1). ALSO has the advantage, still being only ten levels, that spell progression is delayed at the point spells are much more powerful (when you finish the class at level 12 as a 11/11 caster), rather than early on, where you suck most.
    Last edited by Aotrs Commander; 2019-06-06 at 02:10 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #186
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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Spoiler: Just because you mentioned the "shadow" thing, the example character that bugs me the most...
    Show

    would need the extra actions from Fighter that take forever to get (but does not need ANY of the Fighter subclass abilities), a couple of sensory Invocations and a weapon-summoning gimmick from the Warlock, the "shadow teleport" from shadow Monk, some way to get the saves proficiency from higher-level Monk, the large number of Skills that's buried in Rogue and maybe parts of the tricksy movement stuff from that class... and some minor cantrip and ritual magic stuff. Obviously that would take some number of levels to get all that and be balanced... but by-the-book, to get all that, you'd need to take a ridiculous number of levels and pick up a lot of extraneous things that don't fit the character at all.
    I'll be honest, there are a couple good ways you can do this, depending on whether or not you want to be the "assassin" or the "mage".

    Spoiler
    Show
    Mage: Hexblade 12, Whispers 5, Shadow Sorcerer 3. Heavy melee attacks that deal psychic damage, put shadows into their mind when you are alone with them, look like anyone, teleport adjacent to anyone you've cursed, cast a shroud of Darkness around yourself that you can see through....lots of good things.

    Assassin: Gloomstalker Ranger 3 with Shadow Monk 17 would do excellently. Gain Darkvision further than what anyone else has, turn invisible in darkness, have extra damage on your attacks, and shadow-port everywhere.
    Last edited by Man_Over_Game; 2019-06-06 at 05:35 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by KOLE View Post
    MOG, design a darn RPG system. Seriously, the amount of ideas Iíve gleaned from your posts has been valuable. Youíre a gem of the community here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post

    5th Edition Homebrewery

    Prestige Options, changing primary attributes while maintaining balance with default options.
    Adrenaline Surge, fitting Short Rests into combat to fix bosses/Short Rest Classes.
    Pain, using Exhaustion to make tactical martial combatants.
    Fate Sorcery, lucky winner of the 5e D&D Subclass Contest VII!

  7. - Top - End - #187
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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post
    I'll be honest, there are a couple good ways you can do this, depending on whether or not you want to be the "assassin" or the "mage".

    Spoiler
    Show

    Mage: Hexblade 12, Whispers 5, Shadow Sorcerer 3. Heavy melee attacks that deal psychic damage, put shadows into their mind when you are alone with them, look like anyone, teleport adjacent to anyone you've cursed, cast a shroud of Darkness around yourself that you can see through....lots of good things.

    Assassin: Gloomstalker Ranger 3 with Shadow Monk 17 would do excellently. Gain Darkvision further than what anyone else has, turn invisible in darkness, have extra damage on your attacks, and shadow-port everywhere.
    My intent was not to derail the thread with specifics, which is why I tucked it in a spoiler in my post.

    Spoiler: But...
    Show

    ...in both suggestions there, one of the problems I brought up with Classes and trying to build characters even with heavy MCing is evident -- the builds ends up with a lot of stuff that's either superfluous or contrary to the character.

    Both are also of the "when you get to level 20, you'll have the character you wanted at level 1" sort of "planned builds" that some were expressing dislike for.

    Plus the first one is CHA-based for a distinctly non-CHA character if I'm being specific.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

    The Worldbuilding Forum -- where realities are born.

  8. - Top - End - #188
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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    To paraphrase a dumb joke I've once heard, D&D 3E's class system heroically tackles problems not found anywhere else.
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  9. - Top - End - #189
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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    My intent was not to derail the thread with specifics, which is why I tucked it in a spoiler in my post.

    Spoiler: But...
    Show

    ...in both suggestions there, one of the problems I brought up with Classes and trying to build characters even with heavy MCing is evident -- the builds ends up with a lot of stuff that's either superfluous or contrary to the character.

    Both are also of the "when you get to level 20, you'll have the character you wanted at level 1" sort of "planned builds" that some were expressing dislike for.

    Plus the first one is CHA-based for a distinctly non-CHA character if I'm being specific.
    Spoiler: With that logic though...
    Show
    No game with any kind of growth would satisfy what you're looking for. Not when what you're looking for are an endgame's worth of features as early on as possible. Even a classless game starts somewhere, with a barebones concept, unless it's one that has you make an endgame character right off the bat with no growth, in which you could easily duplicate by just making a level 20 5e character.

    Both options can easily do "shadow"-esc things as early as level 3, which is to say, as soon as you start hunting things scarier than bears and dogs.

    Shadow Monk 3 is capable of starting the whole "shadow warrior" concept right off the bat, and Shadow Sorcerer 3 gets Super-Darkness, which is perfect for the whole concept.

    There isn't a whole lot that doesn't contribute to the concept. Ranger 1 lets you choose Underdark as your Favored Terrain, meaning that you fight even better in the darkness. Bard spells have a lot of manipulation and curses.
    Quote Originally Posted by KOLE View Post
    MOG, design a darn RPG system. Seriously, the amount of ideas Iíve gleaned from your posts has been valuable. Youíre a gem of the community here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post

    5th Edition Homebrewery

    Prestige Options, changing primary attributes while maintaining balance with default options.
    Adrenaline Surge, fitting Short Rests into combat to fix bosses/Short Rest Classes.
    Pain, using Exhaustion to make tactical martial combatants.
    Fate Sorcery, lucky winner of the 5e D&D Subclass Contest VII!

  10. - Top - End - #190
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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    So, while having cause to look into Starfinder, as one of my players has expressed an interest in running a game (on the one hand, yay, I get to make a character on the other hand... Dammit, Starfinder is basically doing the same stupid thing 4E did only marginally less overtly; I got so excited until I actually read the rules...), it has caused me to realise why I like 3.x/PF1's multiclassing systen and it is explictily BECAUSE it is like making something out of LEGO, where the bricks are class levels.

    (Starfinder, apparently, is more like... Tente. (THERE'S a reference I bet no-one will get...))

  11. - Top - End - #191
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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    Glibness aside, the main reason the 3E multiclassing is bad is because it rewards system mastery while punishing lack of it. An experienced player can use it to squeeze a lot more power out of their character. Someone who just wants to mix some abilities will probably end up with a messy, weak character that can't really do anything properly. Which, granted, is also easily achieved by just playing a fighter or a monk...
    Last edited by Morty; 2019-06-06 at 06:05 PM.
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  12. - Top - End - #192
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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post
    Spoiler: With that logic though...
    Show
    No game with any kind of growth would satisfy what you're looking for. Not when what you're looking for are an endgame's worth of features as early on as possible. Even a classless game starts somewhere, with a barebones concept, unless it's one that has you make an endgame character right off the bat with no growth, in which you could easily duplicate by just making a level 20 5e character.

    Both options can easily do "shadow"-esc things as early as level 3, which is to say, as soon as you start hunting things scarier than bears and dogs.

    Shadow Monk 3 is capable of starting the whole "shadow warrior" concept right off the bat, and Shadow Sorcerer 3 gets Super-Darkness, which is perfect for the whole concept.

    There isn't a whole lot that doesn't contribute to the concept. Ranger 1 lets you choose Underdark as your Favored Terrain, meaning that you fight even better in the darkness. Bard spells have a lot of manipulation and curses.
    Curses and manipulation aren't really what I'm after there.

    On the issue of progression, consider that my favorite system over all is still HERO 5th, wherein a typical superheroic-campaign starting character would be 300-350 points, and XP per session would typically be 3-5 points for that power level.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

    The Worldbuilding Forum -- where realities are born.

  13. - Top - End - #193
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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aotrs Commander View Post
    So, while having cause to look into Starfinder, as one of my players has expressed an interest in running a game (on the one hand, yay, I get to make a character on the other hand... Dammit, Starfinder is basically doing the same stupid thing 4E did only marginally less overtly; I got so excited until I actually read the rules...), it has caused me to realise why I like 3.x/PF1's multiclassing systen and it is explictily BECAUSE it is like making something out of LEGO, where the bricks are class levels.

    (Starfinder, apparently, is more like... Tente. (THERE'S a reference I bet no-one will get...))
    So Starfinder is really customizable, but the finished products are all basically the same thing and 1-dimensional?

    Or, at least, that's what I consider the difference between Lego and Tente is.

    Tente: "Enjoy our highly customizable assortments of Grey and Beige!"
    Quote Originally Posted by KOLE View Post
    MOG, design a darn RPG system. Seriously, the amount of ideas Iíve gleaned from your posts has been valuable. Youíre a gem of the community here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post

    5th Edition Homebrewery

    Prestige Options, changing primary attributes while maintaining balance with default options.
    Adrenaline Surge, fitting Short Rests into combat to fix bosses/Short Rest Classes.
    Pain, using Exhaustion to make tactical martial combatants.
    Fate Sorcery, lucky winner of the 5e D&D Subclass Contest VII!

  14. - Top - End - #194
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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    Glibness aside, the main reason the 3E multiclassing is bad is because it rewards system mastery while punishing lack of it. An experienced player can use it to squeeze a lot more power out of their character. Someone who just wants to mix some abilities will probably end up with a messy, weak character that can't really do anything properly. Which, granted, is also easily achieved by just playing a fighter or a monk...
    I think the issue here is that I, fundementally, WANT a system that requires mastery.

    I don't do things by halves - if I do something, I'll sink tens to hundreds of hours into it or not at all. (Which is why the game I play most "casually" BattleTech, still has me having over a hundred mechs and several pages of rules revisions - as opposed to, say starships, which I treat seriously and thus have 1400 of (and a day-job designing) and spent fifteen years writing and publishing a set of rules for.)

    (If 3.x had not existed, I would have eventually turned AD&D or Rolemaster into something like it anyway.)



    Yes, 3.x's poor core balance is certainly a problem - and it's one I've thoroughly addressed over the years to my satisfaction - but the inherent idea of multiclassing that way is... The single best idea I've ever seen in an RPG.



    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post
    So Starfinder is really customizable, but the finished products are all basically the same thing and 1-dimensional?

    Or, at least, that's what I consider the difference between Lego and Tente is.

    Tente: "Enjoy our highly customizable assortments of Grey and Beige!"
    Kinda, yeah.

    It looks superficially like Pathfinder, but the writers were sort of allergic to actual modifiers and seemed to have gone out of their way to make class features of different classes mutually exclusive1 with the sole exception that spellcsters can add up their caster level. (Which might sound horrifyingly OP, until you realise they beat casters with the nerf stick so hard I wouldn't play one. Max level of spells six, back to AD&D levels of ease of interruption and the spells themselves have been made non-scalar and, of course, you get them later.)



    1Stuff like not-Sneak Attack requiring its own special action which you can only use with certain weapons, so it is absolutely incompatible with other class' features in a way that wasn't even true of AD&D, where at least you could backstab with your multiclass fighter/rogue which whatever weapon you liked. (I think, it's been a looong time since I lasted played AD&D...!)
    Last edited by Aotrs Commander; 2019-06-06 at 06:38 PM.

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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aotrs Commander View Post
    Yes, 3.x's poor core balance is certainly a problem - and it's one I've thoroughly addressed over the years to my satisfaction - but the inherent idea of multiclassing that way is... The single best idea I've ever seen in an RPG.
    And one that would be completely unnecessary if the game didn't have levels. A lot of D&D's problems would go away if it got rid of levels, really. I've said before that classes get blamed for a lot of things levels are responsible for. If I pile up half a ton of rock in front of my door, I shouldn't get credit for trying to cleverly circumvent it.
    Last edited by Morty; 2019-06-06 at 06:35 PM.
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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    And one that would be completely unnecessary if the game didn't have levels. A lot of D&D's problems would go away if it got rid of levels, really. I've said before that classes get blamed for a lot of things levels are responsible for. If I pile up half a ton of rock in front of my door, I shouldn't get credit for trying to cleverly circumvent it.
    But I WANT levels - those are the buildsing blocks! I have never found a level-less system that was in any way satisfying or had any kind of worthwhile progression. (Even Warhammer 1st ed was in reality a level-based system, only the "levels" were called careers instead and a bit more variable.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aotrs Commander View Post
    But I WANT levels - those are the buildsing blocks! I have never found a level-less system that was in any way satisfying or had any kind of worthwhile progression. (Even Warhammer 1st ed was in reality a level-based system, only the "levels" were called careers instead and a bit more variable.)
    If you want levels, then multiclassing is probably the best you're going to get, I suppose. A kerosene lamp is cutting edge if you don't have electricity...
    Last edited by Morty; 2019-06-06 at 06:51 PM.
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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    If you want levels, then multiclassing is probably the best you're going to get, I suppose. A kerosene lamp is cutting edge if you don't have electricity...
    Look, dude, if my character doesn't have any meaningful mechanical progression, they're not going to get ANY progression. I am not a person capable of deep and meaningful character progression because I, PERSONALLY, am not a deep and meaningfully progressed person (and I use "person" in it's loosest possible definition.) You're only ever going to get a sort of caricature, because I'M pretty much a caricature and you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

    So, the only yardstick of progression is mechanical. Give me a levelless system (or a mechanically bland one, Sidewinder D20, looking at you) and it likely means my character will be directionless and because it doesn't have anywhere to GO, I... just won't really care very much. You;re never gong to get anything more than my most polite engagement. You want my full attention, you have to bring me Some Maths.



    The only class/levelless system I have played wherein progression was potentially more than "make skills very slightly higher" was BESM, and I'm not even sure that was SUPPOSED to have any character progression (and that campaign fell apart for unrelated reasons before we really got anywhere.) And that system was... Pants, really. The DM converted us from 3.x and my anti-paladin became very... Not what he was.
    Last edited by Aotrs Commander; 2019-06-06 at 07:18 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    Whereas I think the Green Star Adept-type concept works best as a kit, not a PrC.
    Straight-up, I don't think anything works as a Prestige Class. Every last one of them would have been better as a Kit or an Archetype.

    Or as part of the normal functioning of a better class system, in regards to MT.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FaerieGodfather View Post
    Straight-up, I don't think anything works as a Prestige Class. Every last one of them would have been better as a Kit or an Archetype.

    Or as part of the normal functioning of a better class system, in regards to MT.
    The original concept of prestige classes remains truely only in the name. They originally represented a mechanical tie in to the roleplay and setting. I think the red wizard of thay prc may have been one of the few that was close to being an original prestige class. You were expected to roleplay your way into the organization in the setting, pass some minor qualifications that you should already meet if the character reflects the roleplay, and the character got a mechanical benefit with a side of rp and setting tie ins that were as much a drawback as a boon.

    They did eventually turn out to mostly be paying feat taxes for power, patches to make charactet concepts work, or just screw-ups.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aotrs Commander View Post
    Look, dude, if my character doesn't have any meaningful mechanical progression, they're not going to get ANY progression. I am not a person capable of deep and meaningful character progression because I, PERSONALLY, am not a deep and meaningfully progressed person (and I use "person" in it's loosest possible definition.) You're only ever going to get a sort of caricature, because I'M pretty much a caricature and you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

    So, the only yardstick of progression is mechanical. Give me a levelless system (or a mechanically bland one, Sidewinder D20, looking at you) and it likely means my character will be directionless and because it doesn't have anywhere to GO, I... just won't really care very much. You;re never gong to get anything more than my most polite engagement. You want my full attention, you have to bring me Some Maths.



    The only class/levelless system I have played wherein progression was potentially more than "make skills very slightly higher" was BESM, and I'm not even sure that was SUPPOSED to have any character progression (and that campaign fell apart for unrelated reasons before we really got anywhere.) And that system was... Pants, really. The DM converted us from 3.x and my anti-paladin became very... Not what he was.
    And if you really think the only way to ensure mechanical progression is by levels, then there's not much I can say. I could bring up my characters in other systems that advanced mechanically, but I suspect you'd just dismiss them as, to quote, "make skills very slightly higher".
    Last edited by Morty; 2019-06-07 at 03:11 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    I don't mind an 'optionally random' lifepath system, but yeah. There should pretty much always be the option to just pick, because I've found that once most players get out of the D&D mindset then they'll start picking less optimal options for the sake of character.



    Yep, there's a difference between being an adventurer and being an adventurer. Sir Tim would fit pretty well as an adventurer in say The Dark Eye, where resolving the conflict is typically seen as better than just killing everything in site. Because Sir Tim has a lot of skills useful to a wandering band of mercenaries, just not many useful to murderhobos or people only interested in The Dungeon.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Curses and manipulation aren't really what I'm after there.

    On the issue of progression, consider that my favorite system over all is still HERO 5th, wherein a typical superheroic-campaign starting character would be 300-350 points, and XP per session would typically be 3-5 points for that power level.
    HERO System is great for what you describe. Frankly, for anyone with the general desire of 'I want this and this and this, and having to take that alongside disrupts my character concept,' it is top notch. There are specific complaints (the maths being the stereotypical one, but also that a point-buy game that isn't really balanced is kinda a problem), but mostly the only complaint I personally have is that it is too good at this, making progression in general feel like less of a success.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    And if you really think the only way to ensure mechanical progression is by levels, then there's not much I can say. I could bring up my characters in other systems that advanced mechanically, but I suspect you'd just dismiss them as, to quote, "make skills very slightly higher".
    Everyone finds their creative and fictional inspirations differently. Some people can feel and see progression without escalating numbers or explicit progression mile markers. Others donít, and they like having things like levels and progression systems that provide a significant bundle of changes in a single package. A game where you progress by way of accumulating character points and buying up skills feels different from a game where you gain a package of abilities and higher point values in a single go, even if both of them result in similar characters after X number of play sessions.

    A classic Traveller character certainly can and does progress, but they do so much differently than a character in a D&D or similar leveling RPG and I can absolutely see how someone who likes the feel of the latter would find Traveller characters to be largely ďnon-progressingĒ
    Last edited by 1337 b4k4; 2019-06-07 at 11:31 AM.

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    Yeah, but there are also games like, for example, Exalted or Monster of the Week, where you advance in a steady drip, but also pick up steadily more substantial super-powers as you do it. Exalted even gives you all the math you could ever want. Ever.

    It's a weird thing to say, "there's no mechanical progression in level-less systems" when there are so, so many level-less systems out there that have progression curves as steep or steeper than what D&D provides.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    Glibness aside, the main reason the 3E multiclassing is bad is because it rewards system mastery while punishing lack of it. An experienced player can use it to squeeze a lot more power out of their character. Someone who just wants to mix some abilities will probably end up with a messy, weak character that can't really do anything properly. Which, granted, is also easily achieved by just playing a fighter or a monk...
    As I like to put it, while 3.x's character creation isn't winnable, it certainly is loseable. There are some obvious power builds (you don't even need a lot of cheese to make a druid or cleric pretty strong), but a bigger problem is the various traps... things that may seem to be a good idea, or character-building, but are really poor in the math department.

    Quote Originally Posted by FaerieGodfather View Post
    Straight-up, I don't think anything works as a Prestige Class. Every last one of them would have been better as a Kit or an Archetype.

    Or as part of the normal functioning of a better class system, in regards to MT.
    I can think of a few, but they function more like Hackmaster, rather than 3.x does.

    Paladins. An optional, divine-infused, path for fighters to take (or a more martial take on clerics). It makes Paladin an aspirational status that one earns, rather than your default setting.

    Heirophant Druids. A different tack that druids might take, pushing them beyond the mortal world and into the world that builds the mortal world.
    Last edited by Mark Hall; 2019-06-07 at 11:55 AM.
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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Friv View Post
    Yeah, but there are also games like, for example, Exalted or Monster of the Week, where you advance in a steady drip, but also pick up steadily more substantial super-powers as you do it. Exalted even gives you all the math you could ever want. Ever.

    It's a weird thing to say, "there's no mechanical progression in level-less systems" when there are so, so many level-less systems out there that have progression curves as steep or steeper than what D&D provides.
    D&D-like levels make it so chunky and blatant that it's hard to miss.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Telok View Post
    The original concept of prestige classes remains truely only in the name. They originally represented a mechanical tie in to the roleplay and setting. I think the red wizard of thay prc may have been one of the few that was close to being an original prestige class. You were expected to roleplay your way into the organization in the setting, pass some minor qualifications that you should already meet if the character reflects the roleplay, and the character got a mechanical benefit with a side of rp and setting tie ins that were as much a drawback as a boon.

    They did eventually turn out to mostly be paying feat taxes for power, patches to make character concepts work, or just screw-ups.
    I think test-based prerequisites from 3rd Edition's Unearthed Arcana work like this. (As an aside, I'm not really a fan of 3E (I'd put myself pretty squarely in the camp that says it's multiclassing rules were a mistake, or at least detrimental to future development), but I have to admit its version of Unearthed Arcana actually contains a lot of neat design ideas, several of which are useful even outside of 3E or even D&D entirely.)

    Probably the best implementation I've seen of the prestige class idea is Dungeon World's Compendium Classes (so named because they were originally included in a compendium), which is basically like a test-based prerequisite, it requires a character to have had a certain experience, and then they can take the starting move when they next level up and then all the moves based on it thereafter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Friv View Post
    Yeah, but there are also games like, for example, Exalted or Monster of the Week, where you advance in a steady drip, but also pick up steadily more substantial super-powers as you do it. Exalted even gives you all the math you could ever want. Ever.

    It's a weird thing to say, "there's no mechanical progression in level-less systems" when there are so, so many level-less systems out there that have progression curves as steep or steeper than what D&D provides.
    The biggest difference between D&D and Exalted or other high-powered systems is that you can't go from "mostly normal" to "superhero demigod" just by beating up progressively stronger enemies in the latter. In D&D, you can theoretically go from level 1 to level 20 in the space of a single campaign, if you actually play that long. That is a feature one might feel is missing from other games... but also a source of major problems.
    Last edited by Morty; 2019-06-12 at 05:45 AM.
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    Phalanx Formation.

    In AD&D and 2E, squares are 10-foot spaces.
    A maximum of 4 characters wide, based on their equipment width.
    Since a spear and pikes has a width of 1-foot, up to 10 spears could face towards one direction.
    That makes a 3x3 man unit with a Squad Leader in the front line forming a 10-man squad.

    Yet, that's the basis of a Phalanx formation.
    You cannot do so in latter editions.
    Last edited by HouseRules; 2019-06-12 at 07:39 AM.
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