4ENCLAVE

A new home for the 4th Edition of the Worlds Oldest Roleplaying Game
 
HomeHome  CalendarCalendar  GalleryGallery  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  MemberlistMemberlist  UsergroupsUsergroups  RegisterRegister  Log in  

Share | 
 

 I'm not actually dead (4E legacy project update)

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
Go to page : 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
AuthorMessage
Chris24601
Epic Adventurer
Epic Adventurer


Posts : 453
Join date : 2013-05-17
Age : 43
Location : Fort Wayne, IN

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: I'm not actually dead (4E legacy project update)   Mon Nov 24, 2014 12:02 pm

I know its been nearly a month, so I thought I'd share that the project hasn't gone away or died out. I've just been up to my elbows in design guts and with my dad in PT and starting dialysis I had to choose between pushing forward on the design and giving updates here, because I didn't have time for both (thankfully he's being discharged on Wednesday so will be home for Thanksgiving and I should start to have time to both update and design after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Here's a bit of a mini-update on where things stand...

-I had to go back and redesign several of the races to cover all the possible stat combos my classes ended up using and, in the process get a better feel for how they fit into the included campaign world. In the process, I ended up consolidating the two elven races I had into a single race (with more variability in feature choices) and the half-elf and half-orc (along with a half-giant and half-dwarf) are now build options for humans. This actually gives me room for a few extra races that I didn't have room for before because an extra elf and the two half-breed races were taking up more mechanical space than they needed to.

-Due to my desire to make multi-classing available, I've re-assessed my plans for the spellcasters and have been working their focus expenditure options into the attack spells (as the stances did for the martial classes) rather than a second set of options so that all the classes level the same way (or as close to it as possible). School Specialization for the arcane classes will fit into the same multi-classing slot as weapon specialization did for the martial classes while the minor action/class role features are the only thing you'd have to expressly select from one specific class.

-Most of the non-combat options for the arcane and divine power sources are now a part of the 'Arcanist' and 'Religious' backgrounds. If your desire is to be able to work utility magic while still sticking to weapons and armor for combat, then a martial class with the arcanist or religious background is for you. Alternately, if you wanna be a warmage whose only focus on magic is in combat spells and is otherwise a soldier then making a mage with the Military background is the path for you.

-I've come to the conclusion that I may not NEED feats as a separate category of options given the amount of flexibility and choices available in the base classes, races and backgrounds. Even without feats you'll be getting at least one new benefit from your class at every level and from your background at nearly every level and there's at least one choice to make every level from one of those two categories every time you level up. As such, I'm currently incorporating a few critical items that would normally be feats (mostly related to proficiencies in weapons/armor/skills/languages) as "universal utilities" and have moved actual feats into the stretch goal stage of design.

I've got more than a dozen pages of hand-written design notes (not counting easily twice that many of brainstorming that were refined down into those notes) to show for the past month and will begin transcribing those over the holiday weekend. With luck I should have another PDF to share by early next week.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Garthanos
Moderator
Moderator
avatar

Posts : 935
Join date : 2013-05-25
Location : Nebraska

Character sheet
Name: Garthanos
Class: Arcadian Knight
Race: Auld Worlder

PostSubject: Re: I'm not actually dead (4E legacy project update)   Mon Dec 01, 2014 2:34 pm

Good to hear.. err read. Life has been keeping me busily distracted here as well.

Cant wait to see a pdf!!!


_________________
Born To Be Kings and Heros -- From the Ashes Phoenix
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.dyasdesigns.com/kingsmagic.html
Honorbound
Heroic Adventurer
Heroic Adventurer


Posts : 108
Join date : 2013-11-12

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: I'm not actually dead (4E legacy project update)   Mon Dec 01, 2014 4:39 pm

Same here, on all three counts.

As far as the design changes you've posted here, everything looks good. Condensing the elves makes sense to me - I always looked at the elf/eladrin split as being unnecessary, like the githyanki/githzerai split. And folding the hybrid races under the humans' banner is something that should have been done before.

I also like how you're redoing the focus boosts for the spellcasting classes - it simplifies things, streamlining them the way 4e did to 3.5. I like the idea of school specializations and divine domains being on the same level as weapon specializations - I could see a multiclassed spellblade/fighter having both evocation and heavy blade specializations, for example.

As for scrapping feats, I say full speed ahead, as long as the "universal utilities" are covered. I would go so far as to revive the role-focused benefits that you posted a while back for 4e itself and implement them underneath this universal utility banner.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Chris24601
Epic Adventurer
Epic Adventurer


Posts : 453
Join date : 2013-05-17
Age : 43
Location : Fort Wayne, IN

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: I'm not actually dead (4E legacy project update)   Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:45 pm

Universal Utilities currently include Armor, Shield, Weapon and Skill proficiencies, Linguist, Toughness, Durable, Skill Specialization and limited access to Weapon/School/Domain/Spirit Specializations (first level of specialization only unless actually possessing the proper power source).

All of the role-focused benefits I created for 4E have actually been rolled right into the classes themselves so you don't even need to pay a feat tax to use them. Part of my design philosophy is that if its something everyone would pick for a given class, then it should just be a feature and not pretend to be a choice.

The Mage actually turned out much better than I was expecting it to given the number of options I was limiting myself to. Each of the at-will spells feels more like a collection of spells since each one not only has a base effect, but a way to make them into an AoE (ex. Fireball can trade 2, 5 or 10 damage to turn it from a single target with a 1 square damage zone into a burst 1, 2 or 3 with corresponding damage zone respectively). Throw in a few focus effects (along with the universal spend 1 focus add one die of damage) and you've got a whole suite of effects that might be half a dozen or more spell selections in previous editions.

Throw in School specializations on top of that and you can really get a wide variety of effects. For example, Basic Evocation lets you swap the damage type of a spell with that of the damage done by any other spell you know... wanna play Elsa, Tim the Enchanter or a Storm wizard? Pick Ray of Frost, Fireball or Chain Lightning and Basic Evocation and you can have all your spells deal the right thematic type of damage.

The other thing I'm happy with is that, rather like the Rogue's Tricks, I've got a switch in the Mage's minor spells that changes them from control (wizards get an extra selection, better range and more targets) to damage (sorcerers deal extra damage equal to their CHA+1/2 level to every target they hit with a minor spell).

I also refined the implements a bit to reflect those who study to use magic and need physical implements to channel it best and those for whom magic is in their blood. Wizards get proficiency with blades (high one-handed damage), staves (average damage plus a defense buff), tomes (high two-handed damage) and wants (average damage plus an accuracy buff). Casting without any implement is possible, but a bit inferior to actually having an implement (basically about as good as a traditional fighter having to use their fists instead of a sword).

Sorcerers on the other hand gain proficiency with their own blood and choose an elemental bloodline as their implement (bloodline of fire does the most damage, bloodline of earth offers a defense buff, etc.) and can use a different damage die depending on whether they are casting with one or both hands free.

And all of this is just class side. All of the utility spells are a part of the Arcanist background. Mages can always choose a utility power from the Arcanist background (though they don't get the extra benefits of the background), but they're also available to anyone regardless of class. Want a Fighter who uses blur, scrying, cantrips and can activate teleportation circles while fighting in plate armor with a humongous sword? The Arcanist background is for you (Similarly, the Religious background will offer divine themed utility powers to any class... the low-magic version of the Paladin would actually be a fighter with the Religious background).

One HUGE change I've decided to make after discussing things with some of my friends is to move Necromancy out of the Arcane power source entirely. Its a stretch goal at this stage (and if it doesn't materialize I will include some type of option for the arcane classes), but between my general world concept where undead are universally evil and my belief that there is enough design space inside the Shadow concept, I'm actually going to be creating a separate set of shadow classes (The Necromancer is going to be the Controller class with their various control effects delivered via summoned undead... paralysis via summoned ghouls, weakness via summoned shadows and so forth) for those who want such things available to the PC's. The Guardian class will be a Death-Knight/Vampire/Revanant class where you've died and come back from the grave with unholy power at your command while the Enabler class is going to be based on life-stealing (granting buffs and healing to their allies by stealing life from their enemies).

Another major design development is two-fold.

First a brief review... your action now consists of a Standard Action, a Minor Action and the ability to move before, between or after those actions up to a limit of your speed (ex. you could move 2, use your standard, move 2 more, use your minor and then move 2 more for a total of 6 squares of movement).

The first half is that I've refined the Dazzled, Dazed, Stunned and Held conditions. Dazzled prevents reactions. Dazed is no reactions, you only get your standard action and are slowed. Stunned is no reactions, you only get your MINOR action your speed is 1. Held is no actions at all and is extremely difficult to achieve without focus-firing control effects onto a target.

The second half is that I've added an ability to ever class that will allow them to perform the basic purpose of their role so long as they have at least a minor action... even if they can't do everything they'd like to do, they'll at least contribute something on their turn unless several monsters have focused on putting them completely out of action for a turn.

Guardian Fighters get the ability when they'd normally be denied reactions to still perform reactive strikes at the cost of their next minor action. Slayer Fighters and Rogues can, if stunned, still make a single attack dealing half damage. Slayer Rangers can still use their offhand or beast attack as a minor action (which does right around the same damage as the half damage hits from the slayer fighter and rogue). Controller Rangers can make a quick shot that applies their control effects to one or more targets. Enabler Rogues can still apply their Tricks/Healing to their allies and Mages can use their minor spells to inflict control or damage respectively.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Honorbound
Heroic Adventurer
Heroic Adventurer


Posts : 108
Join date : 2013-11-12

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: I'm not actually dead (4E legacy project update)   Wed Dec 03, 2014 2:16 am

The Universal Utilities sound like a decent spread of essential stuff. Looking back at your old thread, I can see that you already rolled the role features into the classes themselves.

The way you've set up the Mage's spells look promising so far, with each power being sort of a limited “build-your-own spell” toolbox for each at-will power.

On the subject of school specializations: Basic Evocation looks freaking awesome. I would have killed for something like that in 4e. You can literally reshuffle the damage types of any spell you know? Sign me up. My only question is whether you can swap it on the fly like some of the Elemental Pact Warlock's stuff or if you have to pick the spell's damage type when you first learn it.

Having the mage's minor spells be able to switch between controller mode and striker mode like the rogue tricks is another nice innovation, one I hope to see in the other classes.

Separating out the shadow classes seems natural as well. Necromancers are obvious shadow controllers, and having the shadow guardian be a revenant-like figure is a damned neat hook for the class. The only tricky part in my opinion is going to be the enabler. What kind of fluff/precedent are you going to draw on?

Your method of revising the daze/stun conditions and the role-based action economy is brilliant – as you said, it allows a character to participate even if they are suffering all but the worst effects. Also, having the worst of these effect only occur via stacking of weaker effects is a nice way of averting instant monster/player lockdown thanks to dazes and stuns. Players can still do it, but they have to work for it.

I look forward to the next pdf.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Chris24601
Epic Adventurer
Epic Adventurer


Posts : 453
Join date : 2013-05-17
Age : 43
Location : Fort Wayne, IN

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: I'm not actually dead (4E legacy project update)   Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:39 am

Basic Evocation is indeed an 'on the fly sort of casting, but the key point is that you can only swap it to the damage types of other spells you know. So if you know chain lightning (which does storm damage) and phantom foes (which does psychic damage) you could use chain lightning and deal psychic damage or phantom foes and deal storm damage, but you can't do fire damage unless you also have a spell that already deals fire damage (like the minor spell 'combust'... which creates a zone that deals fire damage if you enter or end your turn in it). The main advantage it gives is letting you use the effect you want against a create that would otherwise be resistant to the damage (or that is vulnerable to a particular type of damage).

Its other main, story-based, purpose is to allow someone to easily play an energy themed caster (ex. you could make Elsa who does nothing but cold damage). You can either wait to level two to pick it up, or you can choose it as a 1st level utility from the universal utilities and start with it.

Quote :
Having the mage's minor spells be able to switch between controller mode and striker mode like the rogue tricks is another nice innovation, one I hope to see in the other classes.
Wherever I can, this will be a thing. It already comes into play with the rogue and the mage. The spellblade is going to be using a similar system (blade spells work as mark punishment and wards to protect for the guardian build and deal more damage as the damage-dealing feature of the slayer build) as will the Gadgeteer (see my Essentials article, but the minor action deploy gadgets feature will be rather like the Sneak Attack vs. Team Player split... the slayer will buff themselves while the enabler will find it more efficient to buff their allies).

I'm not far enough into the divine class builds to know whether the trend will continue there as well, but my notes on the Primal classes do include such switches (The Shaman, for example either blesses as an enabler or curses as a slayer with a focus on numeric buffs for their power selections... a blessing might be +2 to AC while the same selection as a curse would be -2 to AC).

Quote :
Separating out the shadow classes seems natural as well. Necromancers are obvious shadow controllers, and having the shadow guardian be a revenant-like figure is a damned neat hook for the class. The only tricky part in my opinion is going to be the enabler. What kind of fluff/precedent are you going to draw on?
The main fluff I'm using is the concept of life-stealing. The enabler rips the life energy out of a target with an attack (dealing damage) and then grants benefits to its allies with that stolen energy. Mechanically many of its enabler features will be tied to its at-will attacks, with its minor actions being used to buff those effects rather like my hunter build of the ranger (which will be in the next PDF).

Quote :
Your method of revising the daze/stun conditions and the role-based action economy is brilliant – as you said, it allows a character to participate even if they are suffering all but the worst effects. Also, having the worst of these effect only occur via stacking of weaker effects is a nice way of averting instant monster/player lockdown thanks to dazes and stuns. Players can still do it, but they have to work for it.
One of my favorite things about 4E is the team synergy aspect. CharOps is more about how you can make your party work together to pull off things it otherwise couldn't. Held/Petrified/Compelled (the only conditions which completely remove a target's turn) can only be achieved by teamwork or other multi-turn strategies (the current mechanic for something like the medusa is that each time it sustains an effect (my version of the save system) it moves the target up the track (slowed/immobilized/restrained/petrified), but instead of ending when it fails to sustain, it drops it a level (if you were immobilized you become slowed... if you were slowed you'd become unaffected). The Medusa, incidentally, is definitely going to be a solo monster (its AoE gaze alone is enough for that).
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Honorbound
Heroic Adventurer
Heroic Adventurer


Posts : 108
Join date : 2013-11-12

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: I'm not actually dead (4E legacy project update)   Thu Dec 04, 2014 4:49 pm

If I ever get a chance to play a spellblade in this version, I'm taking Basic Evocation first off, because that is a badass effect. Speaking of the spellblade, does it have regular at-will attack spells like the mage, or do the bladespells function as fighter stances?

Also, your condition track is an excellent evolution of 4e's scattered conditions. I can't wait to see them all.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Chris24601
Epic Adventurer
Epic Adventurer


Posts : 453
Join date : 2013-05-17
Age : 43
Location : Fort Wayne, IN

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: I'm not actually dead (4E legacy project update)   Fri Dec 05, 2014 10:57 am

The spellblade is a bit of a hybrid. They provide a stance-like effect in that they modify the damage of their melee weapon (ex. the Burning Blade spell causes their melee weapon to deal fire damage), but they also have at-will effects you're able to cast as a free action when you hit as well (and you don't have to use the one affecting your melee weapon... so you could use psychic lure to pull a target when you hit even if your blade is doing fire damage). If you need to make a ranged attack, you can apply the free action effect to the target of an energy bolt that deals less damage than most blades, but easily matches the capabilities of a javelin, throwing axe or similar heavy thrown weapon a 4E fighter would usually rely on.

Their minor actions are also spell-like; either casting abjurations for the guardian (their version of marking) or damaging energy bolts for the slayer; both using the same basic effects but flipping between the immediate damage and effects of the slayer and the more potent damage and effects of the guardian that only activate if the target violates their mark.

ETA: One of the main reasons for the basic evocation specialization is that elemental based damage types are among the most resisted energy types amongst monsters (because there's a LOT of elemental bits to the setting) and I wanted something a bit more fun than 4E's "your evocations ignore energy resistance" that could do double-duty for themed casters. The big advantage of it though is that most elemental themed monsters are also going to be vulnerable to their opposite number so an evocation specialist can exploit vulnerabilities more often, while a basic pyromancy specialist can simply ignore fire resistance.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Chris24601
Epic Adventurer
Epic Adventurer


Posts : 453
Join date : 2013-05-17
Age : 43
Location : Fort Wayne, IN

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: I'm not actually dead (4E legacy project update)   Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:21 pm

So, even though its not as complete as I'd like (there are a couple of backgrounds in it that just outlines instead of complete and I ended up working on a lot of back-end mechanics so less progress was made on classes, but races are pretty much done) I've decided to drop the latest iteration of my design notes simply because feedback is good for the project.

4E Legacy Project Notes

Bare in mind this is in no way the final format of this stuff. Rather its a hyper-condensed block that outlines the general aspects of different game elements so I can look at elements side-by-side before actually turning it into a polished project (its the equivalent of a film's concept art from before the camera even starts rolling).

That said, comments and criticism are not only accepted, but openly encouraged. The point of even sharing all this stuff is to keep this project from being just a self-reinforcing echo-chamber.


Last edited by Chris24601 on Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:20 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Honorbound
Heroic Adventurer
Heroic Adventurer


Posts : 108
Join date : 2013-11-12

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: I'm not actually dead (4E legacy project update)   Wed Dec 17, 2014 3:57 am

It says that I have to request access to view the document. I've sent a request, but just a heads up.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Chris24601
Epic Adventurer
Epic Adventurer


Posts : 453
Join date : 2013-05-17
Age : 43
Location : Fort Wayne, IN

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: I'm not actually dead (4E legacy project update)   Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:21 am

Sorry about that... Link Fixed above and here's a new one just to be sure...

Link
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Honorbound
Heroic Adventurer
Heroic Adventurer


Posts : 108
Join date : 2013-11-12

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: I'm not actually dead (4E legacy project update)   Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:37 am

4e Legacy Project 2.0 Review

Fighters: About the only changes I see are the results of the previous thread's discussion, specifically the berserker and the guardian's defense styles. Also, guardian's resolve is an awesome effect: you would literally need to have the monsters focus fire on you to force a condition that would negate this, and if that's happening, the guardian fighter has bigger problems, like the sudden lack of hit points from focus fire. The same goes for determined slayer.

I also like the two-weapon specialization branch you added – it adds more emphasis to dual-wielders than just the guardian defense feature.

Rogues: First, I'm glad that you moved inspiring words into the class features section. I should have mentioned it in the last thread, but it's something that every enabling rogue's going to take, so why make them pay for it? Also, great idea in having its class defense bonus vary depending on the sub-build selection, and on basing its focus pool off of charisma.

Rangers: I would label the beastmaster, acrobat, scout, and hunter with what role they are supposed to serve. Looking at the mechanics, you can see it, but the extra label would help identify the intended role at a glance.

Speaking of the acrobat, I see bits of the 4e monk in there, only as a controller. Nice work there.

I would recommend swapping the acrobat and berserker's secondary stat, so that the acrobat is Dex/Con and the beastmaster is Dex/Wis, for several reasons. One, it lets a Dex/Wis ranger be either a controller or a slayer, instead of just a controller. The same goes for Dex/Con rangers. Second, it allows the beastmaster to have nature lore as a possible background, which makes sense given that the character has tamed and is caring for an animal companion. Third, it allows the acrobat a little more long-term endurance, which is a benefit given that its close-range tendencies mean that it's going to go through more healing surges.

The hunter's archery features and the improved control feature are freaking awesome, but the trapsmith feature leaves me stumped on a fluff perspective. Perhaps it's my ignorance, but what traps can be set up that quickly at that kind of range, save caltrops? I know I sound like a pre-4e edition warrior complaining about martial healing, but I have to ask.

The explanation for ranger's rebound says fighter's action; it looks like just a copy/paste mistake, but just a heads-up.

Also, hypothetically you could build a Strength-based ranger (controller or slayer) by deliberately ignoring the agile attack feature and sticking with strength, sort of how a sniper's watch fighter can ignore strength and be a ranged defender.

Backgrounds: Standardizing skill expert is interesting, something for everyone to look forward to.
Barbarian and courtier appear unchanged, so I'll focus on the others for now.

The arcanist and religious features look pretty basic, save arcane reserves and divine reserves, which I can see getting a lot of use with certain utility powers. I also like the sway the faithful feature – it makes perfect sense in terms of roleplaying.

I'm a little leery of military and monastic's level 4 features, combat expert and unarmed expert. With these features, any martial class can double-dip stats, like a defender fighter using Constitution for their melee attacks, thereby letting a potential player have extra stuff that you were leery of when working with Constitution. The fact that it doesn't come online until level 4 saves it from being a problem, but for games starting at paragon tier and above, it could be a problem.

The Mage: The mage looks pretty solid. Incorporating part of the arcanist background into the general benefits makes sense, given that there's no difference fluff-wise between a mage and arcanist. Allowing the mage to double down on the arcanist background via the range increase is a good solution to the problem of redundancy.

Some might complain about the narrow range of attack powers, but they only seem narrow. With your minor-action powers, built-in area of effect alteration, and the base evocation effect, you can easily customize your powers.

Races: The first thing I noticed is that you had the beast-man choose from two of four different stats, which is a good idea, since it allows players to further customize their gnoll/bullywug/minotaur/whatever. Having the lycanthrope option in there eliminates the need for hengeyokai/shifter races – I like that idea. Incorporating dragonborn into dragons using the same option is a stroke of genius.

Speaking of the beast-man's stat bonuses, I would propose that you allow the other races to pick two of the three listed stats, to allow a similar degree of customization.

Also, I noticed that you removed the baseline human's attack bonus, instead giving them one extra focus and  an extra background utility – in the racial write-ups you listed near the beginning of the old thread, you gave humans the heroic feature, which granted a +1 to attack rolls, defenses, and saving throws. I'm guessing that was because you wanted to avoid characters starting with a +5 to attack and damage rolls without suffering from crippling overspecialization in terms of defenses.

As a side note: the warrior golem's feature is incomplete, listing only a skill bonus to perception.

General:

With the mage entry, I noticed that you listed in the general benefits that Intelligence is used for the attack and damage rolls. Parsing out the attack and damage lines from each class's attack is one hell of a space-saving measure.

For stuff like conditions and the encumbrance, I would recommend organizing them into charts in the final release. Conditions could be organized as a flow chart, showing how they stage from one to the next. I'd make encumbrance a chart simply for ease of reference. Again, this is all polish/final release stuff.

One last thing I want to say is that I love the fluff you've made for the races, especially dragons, dwarves, and halflings.

Having dragons be powerful fallen spirits who “birth themselves into the world” both explains their physical presence and establishes them on a supernatural level. These aren't just big, winged lizards, but powerful supernatural entities that create their physical selves, fully formed, in order to pursue their objectives. I'm willing to bet that it isn't a reincarnating process like what deva have, but more like the dragon spirit making a gamble on a mortal life.

Dwarves as a former slave race is a neat hook, providing them with a creation story that connects with the 4e idea that dwarves used to be enslaved as a race, and that they don't want to be slaves again.

Finally, the whole idea of halflings being born from the shadows of children is a neat idea, sort of a dark counterpart to the 4e fluff about pixies being born when human children are born. These guys have to be creepy as hell to some people.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Chris24601
Epic Adventurer
Epic Adventurer


Posts : 453
Join date : 2013-05-17
Age : 43
Location : Fort Wayne, IN

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: I'm not actually dead (4E legacy project update)   Thu Dec 18, 2014 3:24 pm

I had a much longer post, but the internet ate it, so I'm just gonna work backwards without quoting.

Yeah, halflings are creepy. One of the things I've decided on in the default setting is that orcs, goblins and similar shadow races don't just come from any shadows... they come from the shadows of those who die before their time. Normally these orphaned shadows would appear just a few at a time and would be quickly found and eaten by other, more horrible denizens of the Shadow World, but when a cataclysm happens and countless lives are wiped out in quick secession (such as occurred with the ending of each of Man's great empires) you get populations of orphaned shadows large enough to protect themselves from the usual dangers of the Shadow World. The shadows of the adults have enough echoes of adulthood to understand that they have been murdered and because the shadows lack the soul of the person they were once attached to, they are twisted by the desire for revenge into monsters.

Children though lack the understanding of their own mortality the way adults do and so their orphaned shadows also lack the rage that twists an adult and their passions instead, like the Lost Boys of Peter Pan turn more towards mischief and indulging the typical urges of childhood... play and sweets and mischief and 'adventure'.... things that led them to stumble into and experience the Mortal World. They are dangerous and unpredictable and live in the shadows of human civilization as urchins and thieves, but some have enough echoes of a human soul to rise above their base childish impulses (if only barely) to become true heroes (i.e. PC's).

-----------

Regarding dragons, you've got the gist of it... entering the Mortal World IS a gamble to the fallen primordial spirits, but a necessary one. You see, the Outer Darkness to which the fallen spirits were banished is a realm of emptiness and echoes... the fires are but dying embers, the air is stale and toxic, the water is acidic brine, the ground is naught but lifeless dust. Nothing is ever created there and what life and light exists there is life and light stolen from the Mortal world which is bathed in the light of the Source.

Demon Lords survive on the souls of the damned who make pacts with them for temporal power, but dragons were engines of destruction and terribly selfish... not so suited to bargaining to give away bits of their power to obtain that power back with interest when the debt came due. They want it all, they want it now and there's no way they're sharing it with anyone. So instead they use ancient rituals to birth themselves into the world. Their purpose? To gather up as much power to themselves as possible and then, at the end of their mortal life, consume it all and so return to the Outer Darkness with sufficient power to sustain themselves in the hierarchies of the Void for another eon.

But some dragons instead see entering the World as a chance for something even greater... Redemption. These dragons do their best to fight their selfish and destructive natures by engaging in acts of heroism to protect the Source's Creation from the forces of darkness. By doing so they hope to prove themselves worthy of being forgiven their past transgressions and be allowed to return to the living primordial spirit realms that were their home before the Fall.

-------------

Humans lost their attack bonus because it was simply TOO good. That said, they might also lose the across the board improved defenses down the line too, because I've been re-thinking humanity a bit and how best to portray that mechanically.

Along with 4E's notion that humanities weakness is corruption, the positive human trait I really wanna push relative to the other races is that even greater than their tendency to fall is their penchant for picking themselves back up again and coming back even better. The extra focus (even if its mostly to make up for the lack of a second stat bump that would often give that to other races anyway) is a part of reflecting that and while they certainly need at least a bit of improved defenses to make the math work (maybe not +1 to all though) I'm thinking something else, like an extra heroic surge maybe, might be an even way of expressing the song line that I think best encapsulates humans... "I get knocked down, but I get up again. You're never gonna keep me down..."

--------------

The monastic and military level 4 features were specifically designed to let a player use their level 1 feature if they're not normally a weapon using class. One other thing to factor into things in whether its even a problem at higher levels though is its a lot harder to dump Strength with the revised encumbrance system than it was in 4E (where even an 8 Strength was enough to handle plate, heavy shield and weapon with 10 pounds to spare).

You can't even wear padded armor without encumbrance penalties if you have a -1 Str (penalties ever 10 lb. and padded weighs 15 lb.) and even partial armor plus a bow, quiver and a melee weapon is going to right up against the edge of what a character with a +1 Str can carry without penalty and that's without any other gear like a backpack, rope, rations, et cetera.

Since my fighters that use Con are either heavy armor (who need at least a +2 Str to avoid severe encumbrance penalties for their armor) or Berserkers (who would be more likely to use the stat savings on Dexterity than in maxing out their Con and STILL need a +1 Str to wear partial armor and carry a two-handed weapon without encumbrance penalties) I'm not terribly concerned at this point (the same goes for the brigand/marshal builds... both get their AC's from heavy armor it takes a given amount of strength to wear effectively), but if it does turn out to be a problem, I think the easiest solution would be to change it to use your class' key stat instead of simply your highest stat.

------------------

The hunter's trapsmith feature is meant to be a combo of 'Green Arrow' style trick arrows and MacGyver-like traps built at the speed of plot (i.e. the plot requires you to cobble a trap together before the bad guys get around a corner... that's exactly what a hero like MacGyver would be able to pull off... so a heroic hunter can too). You can also spend focus to make them long duration when setting an ambush.

------------------

The reason the Beastmaster uses Con instead of Wis for a secondary is that, at present, I think he needs the extra surge or two it will give him to help keep his beast companion up and running (since they currently share heroic surges). Remember too that the wilderness connection would really only apply to a Barbarian themed Beastmaster. One with the military theme might be more of a 'Master of the War Hounds' type whose knowledge of nature outside of breeding war dogs for battle is extremely limited (and might be best represented by History... as in the historical methods for breaking and training a dog into a weapon of war).

------------

I'll have some more comments in a bit. For now let me end this with a hearty thank you for taking the time to review the material. Even if I ultimately don't change something based on a suggestion, I appreciate having to think the reasoning of my decision through... sometimes it leads to a valid change, sometimes it leads my thoughts off in other tangents entirely.

The Military/Monastic level 4 features are definitely going onto a watch list to see if there are any particularly abusive combos possible. I think one of the first things I'll try is building a Str-dumped Defender and Berserker to see what level of Strength will still be needed to keep their AC intact (at 3x their encumbrance load they become permanently flat-footed which is a huge problem for maintaining the appropriate level of defenses).
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Chris24601
Epic Adventurer
Epic Adventurer


Posts : 453
Join date : 2013-05-17
Age : 43
Location : Fort Wayne, IN

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: I'm not actually dead (4E legacy project update)   Mon Dec 22, 2014 12:12 pm

After running some test builds I'm prepared to say that I don't think the level 4 Military/Monastic stat replacement features are going to be much of a problem. If anything, the most optimal use of the feature is to allow a Strength build to use a better ranged weapon (ex. using a longbow with Strength instead of Dex) than in trying to dump Strength to double-up on the secondary ability score.

There are a couple of moving parts that actually end up making this so. The first is simple point buy economy. At 75% of your points (9 of 12), starting with a pre-racial +4 in a stat is almost never going to be worth the cost (unless you're building a character where the racial bumps don't line up with the primary and you're using your racial bumps to get the secondary up to a +3 and to close the hole in your defense caused by putting so many points into one ability score).

Now couple that with the most common stat array (+3/+3/+1/+0/+0/-1) already netting you a +3 (if the stat bump doesn't line up) or +4 (if it does) to your primary and secondary ability score so even if you do hyper-focus to get a +5 in your secondary you're still only looking at a net +1 bonus to hit/damage/focus over a more traditional build.

And where it comes back to bite you is that every class with a Strength primary and a Constitution secondary is also a class that relies on heavy armor for its AC and, due to the changes to encumbrance, anything less than a Strength of +1 is going to be extremely hindered by heavy armor or even light armor plus modest gear.

Consider plate armor, a heavy shield, a weapon and just 10 lb. of additional gear. That's an 80 lb. load. That's no problem for a character with a Strength of 4. They only take an encumbrance penalty for every 100 lb. of gear they carry. With the right utilities they won't even have armor check or speed penalties while carrying that type of load.

Drop your Strength to 2 or 3 though and now that -1 to checks/speed happens with every 60 or 80 lb. of gear. The penalty isn't greater than the penalties of the plate armor, but any utilities to reduce the penalties from the armor are now worthless since your encumbrance penalty will override it.

Drop your Strength to a 1 and you get a penalty every 40 lb. so you've either gotta drop some gear at the start of each fight (to get you below 80 lb.) or you've got a -2 to checks and your speed is 4 instead of 5-6 and no armor specialization will help that. Risking losing your food, water, money and anything else you're carrying in your pack if you have to flee to fight with only the armor check penalty is something any DM should plan to exploit.

Strength 1 is also the cutoff point for anyone planning on using partial armor without penalty. At 25 lb. plus weapons and gear you can hit 40 lb. and a -1 to checks and speed pretty quickly.

At Strength 0 you're looking at a penalty racking up every 20 lb. so even just plate, a heavy shield and a dagger is going to put you in at 66 lb. and a -3 to checks and speed... and since you've been slowed by your gear you also become flat-footed for as long as you're carrying that load... so -2 to AC, Fort, Reflex and Will. Even Chain armor is 40 lb. so you're looking at a minimum -2 to checks/speed if you try wearing chain armor with a Strength 0 and a -1 to checks/speed from partial armor. Padded armor and a single weapon weighing 4 lb. or less is about the most you can carry and fight without encumbrance penalties at Strength 0.

While a Chaladin in 4E might have been able to get away with a -1 Strength modifier and carrying 80 lb. of gear without penalty, a character with a -1 Strength in mine can't carry more than 10 lb. without getting check penalties. That means even padded armor (15 lb.) hinders them the same way chain armor hinders a guy with a Strength 2+ (-1 to checks/speed).

The net result is that being able to use Con instead of Strength for a class like the fighter is only going to net you a couple of points to put into some other stat because they're going to need at least a +2 Strength to keep from gimping their AC in the process. Plus, they only get to use Con instead of Strength for that ONE WEAPON and their bonus with other weapons is going to suck (since those still use Strength or Dexterity). Unless its a thrown weapon (in which case it tops out at a 1d6 damage dice) they're going to be limited to only melee or only ranged attacks and if they ever have to use a different type of weapon for some reason, they're basically useless.

By far the most effective non-strength use I've found with it is for Bow Skirmisher or Striker build where their primary attack is the bow with a +4 Dex, +3 Con and +1 Strength (for partial armor use). With their Strength where it is, they don't generally use shields so it basically swaps the starting 14 Fort (+4 Str) and 13 Reflex (+1 Dex, +2 heavy shield) for a 13 Fort (+3 Con) and 14 Reflex (+4 Dex) and then pick a melee weapon (or unarmed for monastic) to use their Dex with for their level 4 benefit.

Equally as effective for both the Fighter, Brigand and Marshal builds is choosing a longbow for their weapon and using Strength with it at level 4. Its also useful for a mage (or other non-weapon using class) who wants to use Intelligence for their melee attack with a staff or other signature weapon.

The combination of stat presumptions (secondaries already being nearly on-par with primaries) and the limitations of armor without sufficient strength have made the other variations pretty blah (the costs to defenses, skills and flexibility outweigh the marginal benefit to accuracy/focus).
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Honorbound
Heroic Adventurer
Heroic Adventurer


Posts : 108
Join date : 2013-11-12

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: I'm not actually dead (4E legacy project update)   Tue Dec 23, 2014 12:01 am

Yeah, your analysis makes sense given the change-up. I'm still used to 4e's encumbrance rules.

Some other thoughts on the document:

The Ranger: yeah, I forgot that the beastmaster's pet would rely on surges. Shows how much I played with pet classes. And thanks for clarification on the trapsmith feature. I never grew up watching those heroes, so I didn't have a frame of reference to go off of.

For humans, I think you could solve the problem the same way you did with mutants with redundant ability score bonuses: extra focus and a +1 racial bonus to two defenses of choice, possibly with the extra heroic surge that you mentioned.

This new information on halflings doesn't just make them creepy, it makes them tragic - children forever trapped in childhood. With this information, you could illustrate a region's background by its halfling (and orc) presence - the more halflings and orcs there are, the darker and bloodier a region's history. They are like ghosts, echoes of their previous selves, only manifested as living, breathing beings. Thinking on it now, I could see DMs or players reskinning halflings as goblins, though using the new origin, simply to match up the shadow remnants' appearances.

On the universal utilities, this is a dumb question, but I assume that you've ditched the "feat at every level" idea you had in your early design and have opted to let people select universal utilities whenever they would get background utilities?

Also, I like the skill specialization utility: with what you've done in terms of applying a straight level bonus to skill checks, it makes this particular utility actually useful compared to 4e's version. Also, having it apply to two skills makes it even more versatile. I daresay that with this utility, you don't need items or anything else that would substitute one attribute for another in skill checks (save allowing divine classes to use Charisma for religion checks). If you want to Intimidate, but don't want Charisma, just grab skill proficiency and you're good.

On another subject, I got a look at your posts on rpg.net's "So any 4e clones?" thread. I love the idea of light and heavy armor paladin and cleric varieties. Not only have you allowed well-established archetypes that D&D hasn't handled (the light-armored priest), you've preserved 4e's avenger. On top of that, the variant builds for the shifter have preserved the warden. I had thought that the shifter was exclusively a beast-shaper. If I may be so bold, I would recommend a similar approach to the spellblade, having both light armor and heavy armor versions for the guardian and slayer spellblades.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Chris24601
Epic Adventurer
Epic Adventurer


Posts : 453
Join date : 2013-05-17
Age : 43
Location : Fort Wayne, IN

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: I'm not actually dead (4E legacy project update)   Tue Dec 23, 2014 7:26 am

Yeah... I wanted to make my halflings distinct with several elements that could be played off; if they were just creepy other dimensional echoes of real children it'd be too prone to stereotypes and also to humans thinking of them as pests to driven out or wiped out. Throw in the knowledge of their origins though and you're not driving out some pest, you're driving out the last echoes of someone's child. Yeah, they cause mischief and steal apples off the merchant's cart, but that's something that can be born by a community because even if it is only an echo, its still the echo of someone's child.

Even orcs have a sense of tragedy to them, but they are dangerous enough that you can't just let them live like you can a halfling. As to goblins, I figured they would be either the shadows of the dwarves (who are an offshoot of humans) or that goblins/orcs/ogres would exist on the same continuum that the low/common/high elves who are the reflections of men do... with the halflings essentially being the shadow equivalent of the dark elves (i.e. the outcasts).

On universal utilities... yeah, 1/level feats went away when I dropped feats as a separate element specifically because it was just too much stuff piling up every single level. The universals can be picked in place of any of the specific background utilities... two a 1st and then one additional at 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11 and 13.

In case you're wondering... every class gets power choices at 2, 4, 7, 9, 12 and 14 (some get them at other levels, but everyone get them then), so the utility choices come at any level where a class might NOT get a choice so that there is at least one choice (but probably no more than two choices) to make about your character each time they level up.

And yeah, between Skill Expert and Skill Specialization you can totally make up for starting with a +0 in a skill's ability score. Indeed, that's enough to get you to a 55% chance of success against the toughest DC I've got built into the game (DC 35) if you're at max level.

The fact that the backgrounds are largely class (and therefore ability) independent meant that I couldn't really design ones that let you sub one specific ability in for another specific ability because that might not actually be a benefit to a given character. That's why they always either gave out bonuses to checks (often conditional actions), allowed re-rolls, or added new uses to ability (the flight utility allowing you to make an arcana check to reduce falling damage for example).

As to preserving the avenger, my goal is to have a true reflection (as opposed to being 'in name only') of each of the 4E classes somewhere within each of my class builds. Avengers and Wardens are definitely design elements that I think are worthy of preservation. Even the Seeker has a home in the system (Hunter-build Ranger with a Barbarian or Primordial background).

Psionics are the only really odd ducks in that regard, and other than the monk (who gets his own background) I'm not quite sure how to preserve them since the 4E versions seemed way too wrapped up in their unique thing being the Power Point mechanics rather than something that couldn't just be a refluffed bard, swordmage or wizard. There was plenty of fluff related to the battle against the aberrations of the Far Realms, but that's not something I'll be able to use as it was setting specific to Hasbro-owned properties.

In terms of a light and heavy armored spellblades, I could certainly include a heavy armor option, but I don't know how many will take it since their key stat is Intelligence which makes partial armor already as good as scale armor for them (which is about where slayer AC is supposed to be). Still, Strength was going to be one of their secondary stats so some builds would at least have the ability to pull off heavy armor without encumbrance issues and depending on how I set up the attacks (i.e. how many riders would be based off Intelligence vs. a secondary stat), a Strength primary with Intelligence secondary might be a viable option.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Honorbound
Heroic Adventurer
Heroic Adventurer


Posts : 108
Join date : 2013-11-12

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: I'm not actually dead (4E legacy project update)   Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:04 pm

When I came up with the idea for a heavy-armored spellblade, I was stuck on the part where it wouldn't be as effective, given Intelligence's interaction with light armor. Perhaps you could give them scale armor proficiency and cover the difference with an AC bonus to cover the difference between scale and plate, sort of how you did the harrier fighter's AC bonus and how you're likely doing the light-armored spellblade's AC.

On the subject of goblins, if reskinning halflings wouldn't work, I would simply put goblins, orcs, and ogres in the same continuum, like you suggested, and stick with the idea of them being shadows of adults. Also, I wonder if halflings have the memories of the children they split off from, or if they are entirely new beings.

As for psionics not being preserved in your system because they are wrapped up in their mechanical definition, well that makes sense, given that throughout D&D's history, people have had a hard time justifying the existence of psionics on a fluff level. Hell, I've always thought that you could kill the battlemind and have the swordmage eat it. The same goes for the psion and the wizard. And people throughout the 4e fanbase have said that the ardent is nothing but a psionic warlord (when in my opinion it should have been implement-focused). I would say that you've preserved a vestige of psionics in your system on a deeper level than classes, in the form of your focus system, only it's actually balanced.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Chris24601
Epic Adventurer
Epic Adventurer


Posts : 453
Join date : 2013-05-17
Age : 43
Location : Fort Wayne, IN

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: I'm not actually dead (4E legacy project update)   Wed Dec 24, 2014 8:29 am

I'd want something more interesting than just swapping out the armor... if they're wearing heavy armor they need a solid amount of strength (scale is 45 lb. on its own), and they're basically rendering a good chunk of their primary stat's utility (providing a bonus to AC) worthless in the process. The minimum strength they'd need would also be within one point of the attack and damage bonus their Intelligence would be giving them via class feature.

Another thing to consider is a bit of the fluff. The people with the intelligence and confidence to become an arcane caster (particularly one as focused on abjurations as a spellblade) are going to put their faith in arcane magic over mundane steel to protect them. Strength may help you to climb and leap and perform mighty feats, but why hinder that strength with massive plates steel when your mind and magic can create a weightless shield that is every bit as strong?

The point being, there has to be a real benefit to a spellblade wearing heavy armor for it to be a viable build. Something worth not using your primary ability score for AC and worthy pumping enough points into your secondary that you could just use it instead of your primary ability for weapon attacks. Because, mechanically speaking, heavy armor only exists to get non-Dex/Int classes to their AC targets.

Light and Heavy armor variants work for the Fighter (Str+Con/Dex), Rogue (Cha+Str/Dex), Cleric (Cha+Str/Int), Paladin (Cha+Str/Dex) and Shifter (Wis+Str/Dex) because only some of their builds have Dex or Int as key ability score. The Ranger (Dex+Con/Wis) and all the Arcane classes (Int+various) mechanically just don't need heavy armor builds because their ability scores make light armor the most viable option for them (Dex/Int +4 and padded is as good as chain armor for less than half the weight and no check/speed penalties).

A final thing to consider on the fluff front is that partial armor isn't 4E's hide armor in appearance. Partial armor is chain shirts, half-plate (it weighs in at half of what plate armor does), brigandine or any other sort of metal armor that covers between a third to half of the wearer's body. An overt suit of half-plate armor (instead of brigandine where the metal plates are concealed beneath cloth or leather) would probably be more than sufficient for the heavy armor LOOK without needing a true heavy armor BUILD.

I'm not ruling out a heavy armor spellblade, but if I do one I need to think a bit on how to arrange the class features (and how that arrangement affects the standard light armor builds) so that wearing heavy armor both means something and can't be used as a cheap way to dump Intelligence for Strength (basically repeating the problem with Rogues when Strength determined their Focus score).

Right now for a Spellblade to be able to dump Intelligence for Strength (and going with a Strength +5 in that case would be a viable option) it would take two utility choices to get proficiency in scale armor to make up for the AC loss from having a lower Intelligence. That's a not-insignificant cost, but it gains you a +1 to hit/damage, +1 focus and +1-2 to Fort so it might be worth the loss of two utility powers.

A final thought on heavy armor arcane casters... remember that the Arcanist background is open to anyone and none of its powers are tied to any stat. If your vision is of a heavy armored weapon wielder who uses magic for more utility purposes (flight, conjuring items, non-combat illusions, scrying and so forth) then a fighter, brigand or marshal with the Arcanist background might be more in line with the concept you're looking for.

---------------

Regarding goblins... sure, you could choose to reskin the halflings as them, but to my mind there is something mythical about the innocence of children that keeps their shadows from being the sort of monsters that goblins, orcs and ogres are. To my mind goblins are the shadows of dead men who's greatest negative trait was their pettiness, greed and small-mindedness. The man they were once attached to was petty and small of character so their spiritual shadows are too small. Orcs are the shadows of warriors and despite warriors being generally rarer among men, the number who fall before their time in battle creates disproportionately large numbers of orcs. Ogres are the rarest of the lot... the shadows of fallen champions and lords... they retain the mighty stature of the man they were once tied to and their hunger for power is unchecked by the soul's conscience so they invariably become petty and shortsighted tyrants, bullying anyone weaker than them and toadying up to those more powerful than them that they see as an avenue to greater power.

----------------------

Good point on Focus being an echo of the power point system and that Psionics has ALWAYS been a murky fit with D&D. I think I'll still look for some way to express it, but it'll probably be a stretch goal behind my Shadow classes options (which I think have much stronger concepts in both fluff and mechanics).
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Honorbound
Heroic Adventurer
Heroic Adventurer


Posts : 108
Join date : 2013-11-12

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: I'm not actually dead (4E legacy project update)   Wed Dec 24, 2014 10:17 am

The heavy armor arcanist was just something that popped into my head when I read your rpg.net post. Like you said, with the ranger and arcane classes always having a stat that boosts AC, it's really not necessary. I guess it was more of a light bulb moment that didn't pan out.

As a side note, it's nice to see a preview of the cleric, paladin, and shifter's stat variations.

----------------

Now that's an interesting way to differentiate goblins, orcs, and ogres. I also like how you've made ogres more than generic piles of muscle. And yeah, I didn't think about the halflings' relative innocence keeping them separate from goblins, or goblins being the shadows of petty, pathetic men and women. I think that works much better than reskinning them.

-----------------

I wouldn't worry about psionics. Like I said, you've already got the core of it built into your system. Anything else is just going to be redundant with the classes you already have.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Chris24601
Epic Adventurer
Epic Adventurer


Posts : 453
Join date : 2013-05-17
Age : 43
Location : Fort Wayne, IN

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: I'm not actually dead (4E legacy project update)   Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:02 pm

Don't discount heavy armor for a spellblade entirely. If I can make it an interesting option, I'm all for having it available, I just want to make sure I don't pull the mistake I did with the brigand/marshal (or with the original bladesinger from which a chunk of the mechanics derive) and make it a universally better option to tank your Intelligence for Strength or some other stat to make your weapon attacks with and get rewarded with more focus than planned in the process.

Regarding the cleric, paladin and shifter stats... the plan right now is for the paladin and shifter to be rather like the rogue in that the build specific stat (strength or dexterity as the case may be) is the actual primary stat for attacking/damage while static stat (Cha and Wis respectively) is the secondary stat which determines focus and various power riders. One of the big advantages over 4E's design is that because I separated out the attacks rolls from the powers, its a LOT easier to make a functional V-class where every power is a good choice for either build.

------------

Regarding the Ogres, yeah... I remember a lot of the old AD&D stuff in the Monster Manual made a point that ogres often acted as bosses for bands of orcs (because they were bigger and meaner) and so I wanted to play off that a big by giving them the personality type that would actually make that a common thing.

Another point is that because these monsters generally lack the higher virtues, they are quite easy to manipulate by unscrupulous villains (just offer to indulge their dark urges). The clerics of the dark gods of tyranny, slaughter, greed and so forth are keen to recruit such beings as agents to help spread their master's aspect (because the gods' power comes from the degree to which its aspect is reflected in the world not its actual number of worshipers), especially because acts of tyranny greed and slaughter breed even more of the monsters for them to recruit (its also why heroes who can cull such monsters in large numbers without dying themselves are so critical to the survival of the civilized races).
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Chris24601
Epic Adventurer
Epic Adventurer


Posts : 453
Join date : 2013-05-17
Age : 43
Location : Fort Wayne, IN

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: I'm not actually dead (4E legacy project update)   Fri Feb 06, 2015 6:29 pm

Well, I've realized its been more than a month since my last update on progress. A good chunk of the reason for that is the holidays, but the other is that, before I continued much further into class and background design, I decided I needed to slog through the extremely boring, but totally necessary step of reverse engineering the skill system. While not as 100% black box as actual reverse engineering, I did avoid even referencing the 4E skill system beyond the names of the skills and a list of any named actions they covered while writing up my skill rules so that the language and even how the task resolution was expressed would be entirely my own. Between that, adding Engineering and the dropping of Dungeoneering and Thievery (its sub-actions were split between Engineering and Stealth) I should be free and clear in terms of IP issues.

The main reason why this step was important at this stage was that, as I continued to lay out utility powers, I needed to know just what the skills were going to allow so I didn't end up designing something that would be trivially easy to just use a skill for. I don't have the time to waste on designing worthless abilities. The good news is that the slog to create ten extremely dense pages of rules is now complete, giving me a solid base for building additional options onto.

Here is the actual list of Skills and sub-actions for which there are mechanics;

Acrobatics (DEX)
-Balance
-Breakfall (Proficient Only)
-Catch Yourself/Others
-Escape Artist
-Stand Up
-Performance
-Stunt

Arcana (INT)
-Knowledge
-Detect Magic (Proficient Only)
-Mask Spell (Proficient Only)
-Ritual Casting (Proficient Only)
-Use Magic Device

Athletics (STR)
-Climbing
-Escape Grab
-Jumping
-Pursuit
-Swimming

Bluff (CHA)
-Create Diversion
-Disguise
-Fast-Talk
-Gain Advantage
-Impersonation

Diplomacy (CHA)
-Cooperation
-Fitting In
-Negotiation
-Sway Emotions

Endurance (CON)
-Go without Sleep
-Resist Disease
-Extended Swimming

Engineering (INT)
-Craft Item (Proficient Only; non-proficient may jury-rig temporary items)
-Disable Device
-Knowledge
-Open Locks
-Repair Device

Heal (WIS)
-Diagnosis
-Autopsy
-First Aid
-Treat Disease

History (INT)
-Knowledge

Insight (WIS)
-Analyze Clues
-Hunch
-Read Emotions

Intimidation (CHA)
-Aura of Intimidation
-Cow Target
-Goad Target
-Interrogation

Nature (WIS)
-Knowledge
-Forage
-Find Shelter
-Handle Animal
-Stay in the Saddle
-Train Animal

Perception (WIS)
-Notice Details
-Surveillance
-Tracking

Religion (INT)
-Knowledge
-Ritual Casting (Proficient Only)

Stealth (DEX)
-Conceal Object
-Hide
-Pick Pockets/Sleight of Hand

Streetwise (CHA)
-Knowledge (bonuses to checks for time spent interacting with locals)

One other particularly good thing to have come out of the process is that I've finally nailed down just how Rituals fit into my game engine in a way that makes them a bit different from 4E.

Specifically, Rituals are now a particular category of magic item that anyone trained in either Arcana or Religion are capable of using (no feat or class feature required). Now since training in those skills is required and a good INT helps both, its not like everyone will be performing ritual magic left and right, but it does mean that if your character concept has 'perform non-combat magic' while still needing some background other than Arcanist or Religious, its totally doable via rituals.

Related to that is that Arcana is also the key skill for being able to operate various magical devices that require more direction than just 'on/off'... anyone, even someone non-proficient, can attempt to puzzle out the controls of an arcane airship or know the the proper sigils to activate in order to connect one teleporation gate to another (my version of permanent teleportation circles that once linked the fallen empires of the past are a bit more 'Stargate' inspired in that anyone who knows the proper sigil sequence for the target circle/gate can activate them. There's no special proficiency or power expenditure needed (focus or surges) precisely because their placement and knowledge of the sigils needed to open one are entirely GM controlled so players can't just use them to bypass various challenges unless the GM lets them.

I've also completed the Spellblade and Gadgeteer classes (completing the Arcane set) and, after careful consideration (and a number of people requesting it) have found a place for the Gnome race in the core races (they are the opposite number to the Halflings in that they are the reflections of children... think Peter Pan's Lost Boys for the general concept of their lifestyle and 'culture').

I've got a couple of more things to clean up and add before I do my next update to the PDF preview... specifically, I'm far enough along now that I want to commit at least a few basic monster designs to 'paper' so that those of you actually following this project can actually try out the rules in an actual session if you desire. I'm thinking a couple of different types of goblins and orcs and an ogre, plus maybe a necromancer and/or some common undead as a stretch goal would be enough for people to be able to at least play around with it a bit.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Garthanos
Moderator
Moderator
avatar

Posts : 935
Join date : 2013-05-25
Location : Nebraska

Character sheet
Name: Garthanos
Class: Arcadian Knight
Race: Auld Worlder

PostSubject: Re: I'm not actually dead (4E legacy project update)   Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:50 pm

Cool you should have a set location of your pdf preview (or a web site hosting the project)

_________________
Born To Be Kings and Heros -- From the Ashes Phoenix
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.dyasdesigns.com/kingsmagic.html
Chris24601
Epic Adventurer
Epic Adventurer


Posts : 453
Join date : 2013-05-17
Age : 43
Location : Fort Wayne, IN

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: I'm not actually dead (4E legacy project update)   Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:24 pm

There's only been two so far, but going forward I will definitely do a set link for the preview PDF.

I have hit a bit of a design snag though that I really only noticed when I started statting out the opposition.

While my defense and accuracy numbers are working flawlessly... my hit points/damage values for both simply are not. The short version of the problem is that my HP increases for PC's were based off of basically doubling the rates from 4E (i.e. guardians get 12 hp/level while 4E defenders get 6/level), but my damage math has been based off adding only your level to the damage which, as you can imagine, resulted in the length of the fights to skyrocket very quickly.

Spending Focus was supposed to be a part of keeping the damage numbers up to snuff, but the problem there is that for my damage math to work you'd basically have to spend all your focus spent on an attack just to boost the damage rather than for fun things like sliding, dazing, immobilizing and so forth.

I'm not 100% certain on what the best solution to this issue is... do I reduce the hit point values, increase the damage or both?

One prospect I'm mulling is to move the damage I expected to come from Focus directly into the base damage values (+1D/tier to damage), cut the size of the focus pool a bit (probably Stat + 1/2 level instead of Stat+level) and make Focus effects more about conditions and other tactical effects rather than significantly increasing the damage dealt (although a few power's focus effects will surely be damage boosting since ongoing damage and damaging zones basically require focus expenditure).

The reasoning here is that the expected damage is falling short by about 1/level and +1D/tier would add about +5 damage every fifth level. Since the math would no longer require you to spend focus for damage on practically every attack having less Focus to spend would hopefully see it used more tactically (there would no longer be enough to simply spend the maximum on every attack).

Likewise, when spending focus for damage to end fights faster is off the table, it makes the choice of spending Focus on things other than attacks more viable (ex. immobilizing a target with an attack or using a utility to fly for a round both have tactical merit in hindering an enemy's ability to harm you).

Finally, it also greatly reduces the options complexity of many of the attack powers such as where you'd have to weigh the options of spending nothing for the base effect vs. 1 focus for dazed vs. +1D damage vs. spending 2 focus for stunned vs. dazed+1D damage vs. +2D damage. Instead the options would be spend 1 focus for dazed, 2 for stunned or spend nothing and get only the base effect.

Any suggestions on this are welcome. I'll keep plugging at it in the meantime in the hopes that something will click and I'll get some better hp/damage mechanics to go along with the properly working attack/defense mechanics.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Honorbound
Heroic Adventurer
Heroic Adventurer


Posts : 108
Join date : 2013-11-12

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: I'm not actually dead (4E legacy project update)   Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:27 pm

So in your first solution, the damage dice would be 2[D] at levels 1 to 5, 3[D] at levels 6 to 10, and 4[D] at levels 11 to 15? If that's the case, I would simply reduce the damage to a point where a 1/2/3[D] per tier would work just fine for damage. This not only keeps the damage simple for he lower levels, it preserves your idea of reserving focus for tactical effects as you proposed.

Granted, I've never dug deep into the damage math, so I don't have a proposal for just what amount to reduce the hit point increase by.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Chris24601
Epic Adventurer
Epic Adventurer


Posts : 453
Join date : 2013-05-17
Age : 43
Location : Fort Wayne, IN

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: I'm not actually dead (4E legacy project update)   Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:31 pm

Yeah, I guess I should clarify that my +1D damage per tier was meant to kick in at level 6 for the exact 1/2/3D per tier you mentioned. The biggest issue I have with that solution though is that it makes damage a bit spikey and that it really only catches the damage up to where it should be at 6 and 11, but remains falling behind during levels 2-5, 7-10 and 12-15.

I also misjudged the scope of the damage shortfall. If hit points for PC's remain as they are then the monsters will need a 2.5 to a 3.33 per level increase in damage per hit just to keep up with PC gains (depending on how many surges you want them to burn per battle to keep up with the damage being inflicted) and even the .5/level shortfall results in falling 2.5 damage oer hit behind where it should be while a 1d6/level damage increase would only just barely match the the 3.33 needed to keep up.

Basically, damage scaling is a mess atm.

My guess is that, in addition to adding a scaling damage die, I'll also need to downgrade the hp/level to 6/8/10 from their current 8/10/12 they currently have. That should drop the average increase to damage per hit down to 2/level... Which makes the math work in a vague sense but still has the scaling issues I mentioned above... which I'm not a fan of... but I'm a fan of high level damage rolls being 1d6+25 (versus say 3d6+18) even less.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: I'm not actually dead (4E legacy project update)   

Back to top Go down
 
I'm not actually dead (4E legacy project update)
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 5Go to page : 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
4ENCLAVE :: 4th Edition :: 4e General Discussion-
Jump to: