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 Tarrantian D&D - A rewrite of 4e

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SgtFreakshow
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PostSubject: Tarrantian D&D - A rewrite of 4e   Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:57 am

Hello all.

For some time now I've been writing a full rework of the 4th edition rules, as much as I love 4e as it's written I simply cannot just play a RPG without wanting to mess around with it's rules and so now I'm getting pretty close to completely rewriting the 4th edition rules and so I'd like to share a presentation of the system.

It's worth noting that the system is specifically tailored towards the playstyle of me, my usual gaming group and my homemade campaign setting Tarrantia, but some of it might prove inspirational to other amateur game designers out there:

The basic changes from 4th edition to Tarrantia:

- The half level addition to attack, defenses and skill rolls have been removed.

- Characters no longer use ability modifiers to determine attack bonus, instead they use Weapon Skill and Spellcraft.

- The base bonus to weapon skill, spellcraft and trained skills equals the PC's mastery bonus which is +3 at level 1 and increases as the PC increases in level, however at a slower pace than the half-level progression.

- Enhancement bonus to items have been removed, masterwork items grants +1 to AC if armor and +1 to attack and damage if weapons, enchanted weapons and armor likewise, the bonus from masterwork and enchanted is cumulative.

- Retraining as a feature has been removed, at DM's discretion it is still possible, likewise the requirement for retraining to get higher level powers have been removed, as such higher level characters will have more powers to choose from.

- Basic character progression have been modified slightly.

- The escalation die from 13th Age have been included (though this is more of a personal houserule than anything else).

- New custom classes and races have been built from the ground up to fit the Tarrantia setting, part of this means the removal of most power sources, Tarrantia have only martial and arcane as base power sources with divine being a power source that cannot be accessed through base classes, the new classes are:
Martial: Berserker, Champion, Rogue, Slayer & Warlord
Arcane: Bard, Druid, Mage, Runesmith, Swordmage & Warlock

And the new races are:
Barghest, Dravar (drow), Dvergar, Dwarf, Firan (wood/high elf), Genasi, Gnome, Human, Orog (half-orc), Shadran (shadar-kai) & Tiefling.

- Hybrid rules have been removed, however multi-classing have been improved so a character that takes the full multiclass path including multiclass paragon path will feel much like a hybrid.

New features of the system includes:

- The divine power source is accessible through a new feature called Specialization paths, these are paths of feats similar to multiclassing that opens up the possibility to take the core concept of your class in another direction, Ranger, Duelist, Preacher & Paladin are afew of the possibilities open through specialization paths.

- Races have all been created with the standard 4e dwarf race as the balancepoint, all races should feel very unique and different from one another and the combination of removing ability scores from attack rolls and these new and improved races should make every race/class combination imaginable an attractive choice and different in playstyles.

- A return to a more old-school approach to magic items should make these alot more fun and memorable than they were in 4th edition, magic items can stack alot of different features depending on their power level without messing with the basic math of the game as the only way they will contribute to attack and AC is through their enchanted/masterwork bonuses.

- Almost every class have been created from the ground up with new and improved features, some of the classes have even been build as hybrids enabling a player to switch between defender, striker and leader playstyles, furthermore alot of design have gone into the basic class features to make the classes differentiate more between one another, playing a bard, warlord, runesmith or healing druid (these are the pure leader options) will feel VERY different from each other as only the druid have the classic "Healing Word" from 4th edition, the other leaders have different ways to use their allies' heroic surges for the benefit of the group.

- A slight reworking of paragon paths also means that the paragon path is less like an added feature tacked to a class and more like a full subclass you can add to your existing class.

- Most out-of-combat rules have been removed altogether, I know alot of people like out-of-combat rules, but I abhor them, I want a system that makes combat fun and fair without touching the out-of-combat roleplaying.


As I'm currently rewriting some basics of the system I don't have it up for showcase yet, but if anyone is interesting in seeing the specifics I'll have them ready in afew days.
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PostSubject: Re: Tarrantian D&D - A rewrite of 4e   Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:01 pm

I'd be interested in seeing some of the system.
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PostSubject: Re: Tarrantian D&D - A rewrite of 4e   Wed Jan 22, 2014 6:16 pm

I wouldn't mind seeing it myself. Some of your changes are things I would've liked to see in 4e.

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PostSubject: Re: Tarrantian D&D - A rewrite of 4e   Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:32 am

How is this coming along?

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PostSubject: Re: Tarrantian D&D - A rewrite of 4e   Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:42 am

Yeah, sorry I never updated.

Had afew occurences at work so I got delayed, should get it up for viewing sometime next week since work has slowed down again now.
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PostSubject: Re: Tarrantian D&D - A rewrite of 4e   Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:59 am

Alright, took abit longer than I would've thought it would, but anyhow! I've uploaded all my (more or less) finished documents as PDFs on a google drive:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] - Feats
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] - Campaign Setting
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] - Basic Rules
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] - Races
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PostSubject: Re: Tarrantian D&D - A rewrite of 4e   Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:33 pm

Looks good so far. Do you have any Ideas for monster design yet? Also, how are you dealing with multi-classing? Will it still require a feat?

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PostSubject: Re: Tarrantian D&D - A rewrite of 4e   Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:09 pm

Some of the multiclassing feats are already included in the documents uploaded. And yes, multiclassing belongs in a category of "specialization paths"; feat lines that radically changes the basis of your character. I rather liked the standard 4th edition multiclassing with feats, the only problem with it was that you sacrificed too much power for versatility by taking a bunch of feats that allowed you to swap between powers and that 4th edition's standard multiclass feats + multiclass paragon made you feel like your original class with weird powers, not a combination of your original class and your multiclassed class.

Monster design will like everything else be close to standard 4th edition, I'm working alot on the math of monsters at the moment in an attempt to figure out exactly how monsters should progress to stay relevant in power level to the characters without risking turning into bags of hit points at later levels. But I won't know that exactly before actual playtesting commences.

Furthermore it's worth noting that doing away with the half level bonuses does some changes to monsters, first and foremostly that you do not need monsters of equal level to the PCs to challenge them.
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PostSubject: Re: Tarrantian D&D - A rewrite of 4e   Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:21 pm

To elaborate abit more on the monster design now that I have more time to give proper answer:

I haven't decided on the exact math when it comes to the design of monsters yet, however here are some broad ideas of how the monsters are gonna be designed:

I am currently thinking about decreasing PC hit point per level and doing the same to monsters, as with the feat and item progression I have written the damage of PCs doesn't progress as hard as it does in standard 4e (as I am a fan of heroic-not-epic fantasy this is my preference, the PCs should never reach the point of near-godhood that they reach in standard D&D), the idea behind this is also to avoid combat dragging out at higher levels.

I'll be retaining the monster roles as they are in standard 4e as they work out pretty well, however minions will receive the axe, I never liked the way minions were implemented in 4e (I see the idea behind 1 HP creatures but not if there are less than 100 involved in a single encounter) their place as "filler monsters" will be replaced with lower levelled monsters (most monsters will like PCs get more abilities and more complicated abilities as they get higher level, thus low level monsters will stay relevant althrough the game as "simple" monsters. The removal of half-level bonuses will make sure that they can still remain a threat to the PCs when they come in large enough numbers).

Furthermore the Elite and Solo roles are being separated into 3 different roles; Champion, Hero and Lord creatures. Champion creatures are elites, Hero creatures are 'solos', boss monsters designed to be memorable opponents, but not designed to take on a full party without help and Lord creatures are true solos, creatures designed to take on 5 fully rested PCs and their henchmen with a reasonable chance of causing a TPK if the PCs don't bring their A game.

As for the actual monsters designed I will as I did with the class and race design be basing it completely off my own homebrew world, so some classic D&D monsters (like orcs) won't be featured while quite afew of my own creations will be part of it, I'm writing from my work at the moment, but when I get home I can upload afew of the statblocks I have made for a one-off combat playtest dungeon delve, got some undead and some redcaps designed for that I believe...
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PostSubject: Re: Tarrantian D&D - A rewrite of 4e   Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:58 am

This looks pretty interesting. I like the design goals of taking 4th ed as your framework and modify and improve it to fit your needs. I've just briefly checked Teuvir and dwarves. When I saw the Teuvir race I was a bit skeptical as to how they'd be balanced against dwarves but the feat boost and stubborn racial power seem to be about right.

I had a look at your multiclass feats and I was a bit unsure. Do I gain all of the benefits from the feat? Or do I only gain the first benefit and I have to take the feat multiple times to gain the additional benefits?
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PostSubject: Re: Tarrantian D&D - A rewrite of 4e   Mon Aug 04, 2014 1:10 pm

Anything new on this Project?

I know all my projects had to be put on hold temporarily.

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PostSubject: Re: Tarrantian D&D - A rewrite of 4e   Sun Jan 04, 2015 2:58 am

Interesting! I will be looking at this in greater detail...

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