Candlekeep Forum
Candlekeep Forum
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Active Polls | Members | Private Messages | Search | FAQ
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 Forgotten Realms Journals
 General Forgotten Realms Chat
 Rules Debate
 New Topic  New Poll New Poll
 Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Previous Page
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 2

Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 07 Jun 2019 :  10:11:51  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Sammael, i can see an influence of the skill level from shadowrun or cyberpunk (one of them has 10 skill levels).

I personally chose to have as few skills as possible (merging many skills into broad categories but with specialisations/expertise that allow focus and access to specific areas (for instance brawl would be a specialisation of martial weapons or athletics and nether world would be a specialisation of arcana or knowledge).

I can see that with a 7+int and 10 skill levels and 28 skills you could max out every skill by level 28 (unless I've misunderstood). Just about every variation of skills I tried ended up with a ceiling limit and skills being maxed. In the end I decided to lump skill and feats and class abilities together so you could be skillful or have flashy abilities, then I ignored all balance and limits - if a character wants to have a +20 bonus to attacks with his sword then that's up to him, but it's all he will ever be able to do and the first fireball will probably kill him.


Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions Candlekeep Archive
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 1
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 2
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 3
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 4
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 5
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 6
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 7
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 8
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 9

Alternate Realms Site
Go to Top of Page

Sammael
Seeker

27 Posts

Posted - 07 Jun 2019 :  21:21:15  Show Profile  Visit Sammael's Homepage Send Sammael a Private Message  Reply with Quote
10 ranks is a sort of nice, round number. It helps bound the bonuses to a manageable level and also corresponds to other stuff in my revision (e.g. there are 10 tiers of magic, so you have to have 5 ranks in Arcana to use tier 5, 7 ranks in Theology to use tier 7 prayers, etc).

To compare with 3.x, it was quite easy to get skill bonuses of +40 to +50 or so at high levels (23 ranks, +5 competence, +10 equipment, +6 from high stat, +3 from magic, and so on) which made rolling the dice meaningless and also created a sort of nuclear race between skills and DCs.

In my revision, the most you can reasonably have is 10 ranks, +3 from competence, +3 from equipment, and +6 from a high stat - still quite high, but not so high that DC 30 checks are automatic successes.

As for the number of skills, I tried to find a balance between too few skills and too many. 3.x and Pathfinder have too many skills which are meaningless, while 5e has entirely too few which are too broad for my taste. I am also not too fond of specializations; I tried it out in theory, but it either creates balance problems or it's not meaningful enough. Ignoring balance altogether is not good for the game, IMO (and neither is too much balance).

BTW, you get 7+int skill ranks every odd level. So, if you have, say, int +3, you can max out 10 skills at most.
Go to Top of Page

Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 07 Jun 2019 :  22:28:33  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Every other level does reduce the problem, but people like getting new things at every level (i remember several articles devoted to fleshing out dead levels without unbalancing characters).

Having not played 5e I have never played a system with too few skills. Is it the lack of possible actions and versatility that is a problem or that they can be maxed out quicker (thereby reducing the challenge of the game)



When I say I chose to ignore balance, it's more that I made everything the same. Every option, ability, spell, etc, all add +1 to things. So at any given level you have the same number of +1s as anybody else of the same level. After that everything is down to player choice.

If a character wants to put all his +1s into wielding a sword that's up to him. He will never be able to use another skill on anything more difficult than picking his teeth. As experience is rewarded for all skill checks his progression may slow because he is a one trick pony.

3.5 and all other editions spent so much time balancing classes and spells and feats and all the other separate systems that didn't quite fit together.
If they had instead come up with systems that all used the same mechanic then the balance would be there at the start and everything else is down to preference of play.

That's what I'm going for in my system. I don't have to worry about balance between different pieces because they all use the same framework and progression. A 9th level spell is only unbalanced because a character has chosen to devote 18 options into his caster level in order to learn that spell and another 20 options into his arcana skill to allow him to cast the damn thing. So yes it is really powerful, but it also required him to specialise to the point that he is not as versatile as other characters (apart from in the different spells he possesses), the rules didn't determine that path, the player did.

Not sure if I'm making sense here but it's just a maths problem where I replaced A + B + C to obtain an answer with A + A + A

Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions Candlekeep Archive
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 1
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 2
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 3
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 4
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 5
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 6
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 7
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 8
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 9

Alternate Realms Site
Go to Top of Page

Sammael
Seeker

27 Posts

Posted - 07 Jun 2019 :  22:53:06  Show Profile  Visit Sammael's Homepage Send Sammael a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, there is something every level, it's just not skill ranks every level. You only get feats on even levels, for example.

5e has a very narrow concept of skills. You get a flat proficiency bonus that you apply to a very small number of skills that you are proficient with (most classes only get 2 skill proficiencies, and you get 2 more from background), and no bonus whatsover to other skills except your attribute. You cannot customize progression, and getting new proficiencies requires a feat (and feats are optional).
Go to Top of Page

Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 08 Jun 2019 :  08:32:08  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wow, that's basically the 2e system, and it was awful then.

Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions Candlekeep Archive
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 1
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 2
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 3
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 4
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 5
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 6
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 7
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 8
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 9

Alternate Realms Site
Go to Top of Page

Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 09 Jun 2019 :  20:20:32  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Diffan

So I'm a bit late to the party on this:

Combat: So two schools of thought come to mind when it comes to combat in RPGs - Ease of use or in depth faux-realism. Both have their fans and their games/editions however, I find that a LOT of people prefer ease of use to the hyper-specialized mechanics that require either A) a LOT of different dice and checks OR table-upon-tables. Take 5e for example, it's d20 similar to most other versions of D&D BUT it doesn't require a LOT of other stuff to get going. 3e, by contrast, is a quagmire of rule-specific exception-based design (meaning that you either take a huge penalty or can't do something EXCEPT if you have this widget). For my preferences, I hated 3e/3.5/PF multitude of punitive aspects that basically said "If you don't have X, Y, and Z then you're basically wasting your time, my time, and everyone at the table's time in attempting something that has a significantly high chance of failing just to look cool." Basically this is what all the special attacks were - Bull Rush, Disarm, Grapple, Trip, etc. Not only did this require a significant portion of your resource allotment (ie. Feats) but it also had a negative return after a certain level (by level 8 and onward) because monsters got exceptionally stronger, bigger, and more resistant to where you never used these Options later because despite the investment, their use was negligible at best. If you're going to make a combat system, I beg you to think of the Martial warrior players. DON'T throw penalizing things into the game (ie. Iterative attack penalty, fighting with Two-Weapon penalty, arbitrary -4 to *insert cool combat trick* penalty). It doesn't make the game more fun IMO.

SKILLS Sometimes more is better, and sometimes less is more. In this category you have a LOT of free-form, and you're correct that D&D post-2E sort of handles Skills separate from Combat (well, slightly) because all it still requires is d20 roll +/- modifier to beat a DC (same as attacking in 3, 4, and 5e). But there's more variance in what skills you're good with or not good with (or can't try at all). I'm fairly ignorant of how other systems handle skills besides maybe GURPS and other d20-based games. I can say that I hated skill ranks and, again, hyper-specific skills that you have to invest in to get similar elements (like who really hides but doesn't want to be quiet?). I'd also keep crafting and Professions completely separate from this area. I think crafting needs to be it's own fun, unique, and flavorful element vs. well I have 10 ranks in Craft (basketweaving) so I can basically weave anything together bwhahaha. Same with Profession, I just don't get the need to have ranks in a skill that is almost entirely stated "You work 1 week, roll and see how much GP you get based on this arbitrary stats...?) I roll bad so....what the stocks are bad that week? I don't get customers because....? Its too much like SIMS and if I wnated to play SIMS, I'd buy SIMS, not a Fantasy RPG.

MAGIC You're correct, D&D's system is horribly broken. But it's two-fold in reason. The first is the Quadratic component, that you're 1st level Magic Missile just instantly gets an additional bolt of 1d4+1 at 3, 5, 7, & 9....cus why not for the same expenditure of resources (one 1st level spell slot). 4E capped the dice at the level it's cast and based their potential in Rider-effects (spell deals damage and has awesome effect) or has a bigger area, or only effects enemies, etc. But apparently that didn't allow wizards to feel.....ultra-powerful like before (because we couldn't have that now could we?) so 5E hit a nice little middle ground of using higher resources for better effect. The second problem is that magic is just too damn versatile and some classes just have too much access to everything. Specialization HERE wouldn't be a bad thing. As I look to "Fix" 3.5, I always thought that Wizard should've been required to specialize in a school and spells outside that school get cast with 1/2 their caster level and you can't use higher slots than what that spell is at anyways. you should also play up the requirement for resources in casting said spells.




Apologies, i missed this.

I'm hoping that i have met you're combat idea. I've made all those add on options part of the base system. Anyone can perform a bull rush, charge, disarm. There are no penalties to any special manoeuvre, you just perform the skill check and beat your opponent's defence and if so it's successful.
I have got penalties to iterative attacks, but it affects spellcaster and warriors and its a -2 cumulative penalty to all extra actions, so the more actions you perform the harder it becomes to succeed.
But as a bonus combat is deadlier because there are fewer hitpoints and vulnerabilities and resistances are ultra important to play (charging into a den of monsters is liable to get you killed, planning your approach, researching your opponent, and sneaking or bribing your way in will always be more successful).

Skills i want fewer skills but more actions available. Stealth allows you to just not be detected (no hiding or moving silently nonsense). Influence allows you to bribe, bully, negotiate, etc. Arcana allows you to cast spells and know about magic and perform rituals. Every skill has its own associated knowledge action, so you dont need the Knowledge skill to know things (but the Knowledge skill allows you to specialise in things you otherwise couldnt know).


Magic i'm still working on, but i'm going to rewrite all the spells. So magic missile would do 1d4 per spell level to several targets. Fireball 1d6 per spell level in an area. Cure would heal 1d6 per spell level. Stealth (to replace invisibility) would add +2 per spell level to any Stealth checks. Charm would add +2 per spell level to any Influence checks, etc.
To cast the spell you need to achieve 5 per spell level on your skill check + the opponent's Defence check result (if there is an opponent). You can also alter each spell to include bonus or different effects (change fireball to iceball, etc), but this would further increase the base difficulty to cast the spell.
Special Material components allow you to increase or Check result based upon the rarity of the component (which comes from the rarity of the monster it comes from). common gives you +1, Uncommon +2, Rare +5, Very Rare +10. You need to use skills to gather components from fallen foes (or you buy them).

I think specialisation of magic may be made important through skills. Those skills with a specialisation only give half their rank bonus if you do not possess a specialisation. So if your Arcana skill is not specialised then your Check result will be lower (not so important at lower levels, but a character with a +20 bonus from their skill will only receive +10). I can then add special bonuses to individual spells based upon the specialisation.

Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions Candlekeep Archive
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 1
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 2
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 3
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 4
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 5
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 6
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 7
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 8
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 9

Alternate Realms Site
Go to Top of Page

Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 11 Jun 2019 :  20:50:54  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Trying to come up with a style for the spells
No longer using just schools of magic, because i want anyone to be able to specialise (wizards, druids, priests)
Since spells can be cast at any spell level it made no sense to acquire spells only at certain spell levels, so i've changed it to Caster Level (which is not guaranteed to be 1 per character level).
I'm also trying to better define initial effects of a spell and after effects (split into secondary effects that happen on a trigger, or continual effects that happen every end of round until successfully resisted).
And lastly i want wizards to be able to alter spells if they are skilled enough, so they can partly change the effects of the spell (detailed in the development section) but this makes the spell more difficult to cast.
Every spell has a base difficulty (5 per spell level) plus the Defence check result of the target if it is used against an opponent. Thus the more you alter the spell the less likely you are to successfully cast it.
Criticals are the same for spells as they are for melee, so roll 1d20, if its a 20 then roll again (with same modifiers) and if successful then roll 1d6 and add it to your damage or to the check result if you want (thus allowing you to cast harder spells through sheer luck).



Acid Arrow
Specialisation: Evocation, Acid
Caster Level: 2
Components: Verbal, Somatic, Material, Focus (steel dart worth 10sp)
Range: Long (20sq per spell level + 1sq per Ability modifier)
Target: Individual
Duration: Instantaneous
Effect: You infuse the dart with acid energy and propel it towards the target. If the Check is successful the spell deals damage as detailed below.
Check: Reflex Defence
Damage: 1d4 (Acid) damage per spell level + Ability modifier
Fail: Negates
Secondary Effect: If the Primary Check was successful, at the next End of Round the spell deals additional damage to the target as detailed below if the Secondary Check is successful.
Secondary Check: Fortitude Defence
Secondary Damage: 1d4 (Acid) damage + Ability modifier


Development
+1 damage (Acid)                        +2 Base Difficulty
Change Damage Type (Fire, Electricity, etc)  +5 Base Difficulty
Add additional Damage Type                    +10 Base Difficulty
+1 sq Range                                   +2 Base Difficulty
Add continuous effect (see below)            +20 Base Difficulty

Continuous Effect: If the Primary Check was successful, at each End of Round (if the Continuous Check is successful) the spell deals additional damage to the target as detailed below. This replaces the Secondary Effect.

Continuous Check: Fortitude

Continuous Damage: 1d4 (Acid) damage + Ability modifier

Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions Candlekeep Archive
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 1
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 2
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 3
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 4
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 5
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 6
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 7
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 8
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 9

Alternate Realms Site
Go to Top of Page

Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 13 Jun 2019 :  10:49:01  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think doing magic has helped solidify the approach for skills.

Your Skill Training Options determine your skill bonus with each skill (pick Skill Training (Arcana) 5 times and you get a +5 Skill Bonus to Arcana skill checks.

However, skills that have expertise (basically anything complicated with multiple fields of expertise - arcana, religion, nature, computers, piloting, martial weapons, ranged weapons) will only allow the character to apply his full skill bonus to Skill Checks if they have a specialisation for that skill and the specialisation applies to the skill check being made.

So if you are attempting to cast a spell with the Transmutation specialisation and you have Skill Training (Arcana) with a Skill Bonus of +5 and a specialisation in Transmutation then you apply +5 to your skill check, without it you only apply +2.

All spells have a Base Difficulty to cast so you will need to be able to achieve that with your Skill Check and a higher Skill Bonus will help. So specialisations are desired in that regard.

More importantly i think for every +10 Skill Bonus you can roll an additional 1d20 for your Skill Check and use the highest result. That way those who are specialised get to use this more often and have a better chance of getting a higher result.


Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions Candlekeep Archive
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 1
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 2
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 3
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 4
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 5
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 6
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 7
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 8
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 9

Alternate Realms Site
Go to Top of Page

Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 13 Jun 2019 :  19:41:27  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I guess the big question i'm facing is, if all spells scale with each other based upon spell level, should all spells be available at 1st level.

A level 1 fireball does 1d6 damage to only 8 squares (i might even make it 1d4). A level 1 animate dead spell animates 1 HD of remains. I'm outright removing all instant death spells. Every spell has to succeed on a check to be cast, so they all have a similar failure chance to melee and other skills.

I cant think of any practical reason not to allow it.

Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions Candlekeep Archive
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 1
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 2
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 3
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 4
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 5
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 6
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 7
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 8
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 9

Alternate Realms Site
Go to Top of Page
Page: of 2 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Previous Page
 New Topic  New Poll New Poll
 Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Candlekeep Forum © 1999-2019 Candlekeep.com Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000