Thursday, June 4, 2009

Narrowing things down

I spent tonight watching Best of Japan 2001 puroresu tapes, and norrowing down what house rules I'm going to try and implement in my upcoming campaign. Well, I also watched Pittsburgh hammer the Red Wings first, and even though I HATE Pittsuburgh (as a lifelong Flyers fan), I want them to beat Detroit and win the Cup. Go figure.

Anyway, here's what I'm going to work with...

* I'm still debating about coming up with a unified experience point table. Basically, if I do, then that means I'm using free multi-classing. If I don't, I don' think I'll allow any multi-classing. Right now, I'm leaning towards unified XP table, and free multi-classing.

* I'm also toying with the idea only allowing fighters, clerics, mages and thieves to multi-class. In other words, you can ony multi-class using the four core classes. Previously (I think), I put down my thoughts here on multi-classing, with who can be what, and restrictions, like you can't take a paladin level if you have a hief level, and stuff like that. However, this way makes it a LOT easier to keep track of.

* I'm still juggling what to do with non-core classes. I think I'll keep rangers and druids for sure, and probably paladins. No one ever plays bards, so I'm not worred about them, and as much as I love monks, I'm still debating how to fit them in. Since the ability requirements for most of the classes will make them hard enough to qualify for anyways, I'm thinking I will allow them, but only if you start as that class, and that means you can't multi-class them. I really want to just roll druids into a specialty cleric class (like illusionists and mages), but I'm not sure yet. Maybe I'll make druids as specialty clerics who follow the Old Faith, and ONLY those druids can be "druids".... other druids are simply specialty priests of nature deities, and get none of the "druid" abilities.

* I'm allowing my magic-users to use edged weapons of up to long sword size without penalty. I'm also going to allow them to wear padded, leather or.... elvish chain mail armour without penalty. I figure that if the elves are so attuned with magic, then you should be able to wear the unencumbering armour and cast spells as well. Clerics can use edged weapons if allowed by their faith... otherwise, they can only use common weapons (staff, club, flail at BEST... no mace, no morning star).

* Magic-users and clerics have two options for casing spells. If they choose the traditional (Vancian) route, then they have to select and memorize their spells each day, BUT they can have extra spells as determined by high INT or WIS. Spontaneous casters can use a "spell point" system to freely cast any spell which is in their spell/prayer book withough memorization, but they cannot use exra spells from high INT/WIS. I am also giving spontaneous casters a bonus: spontaneous mages can opt to attempt to counter opposing mages' spells (INT check to identify opposing spell; if they succeed, they can expend a number of spell points equal to the spell's level to counter it; if they fail the INT test, then they either can't identify the spell, or misidentify it, leading to guessing how many points to use, and wild surge hilarity ensuing), while spontaneous clerics may atempt "prayers of desperation" (casting spells not in their prayer book; WIS check to be allowed to cast it, failed WIS check means CON check or lose ability to cast further spells until rested). I'm really interested in seeing how this works out.

* I'm going to use my skill check / proficiency system. Characters can determine their starting proficiencies, bu after that, pretty much ANYTHING they want to attempt will be governed by skill checks (with appropraite modifiers). Proficiencies will basically operate as skill check modifiers. When a characetr has succeeded at enough skill check of a certain "proficiency", then they get a level in that profinciency. Easy as pie... I hope.

There's what I'm using so far. I'm also thinking of timkering with the spells available for mages and clerics, making for a very low magic feel (only having maybe 6-12 commonly known spells/prayers per level, and making all other harder to acquire, especially named spells). I also want to make my magic items a little more unique, so every weapon has SOME sort of history or legend attached to it (even the lowliest sword +1... maybe it's more of a masterwork-type item).


  1. Badge: I was going to ask you what edition you are doing this tinkering for, but I suppose that is irrelevant.

    A unified EXP table does not mean you have to allow multi-classing. My latest quick play rules (read: dumbed-down) are going to feature a single EXP table with a bonus for playing a Human (or maybe a penalty for a demihuman), but no multi-classing.

    You lost me on the specialty classes portion. Looks like your playing AD&D 1e so far though.

    Speaking of Bards, I had one player make a Bard in my entire 30+ years DMing. I will say that I'll always remember that character. It was a long, hard road using the 1e rules. I just wish I could remember the character's name. I'll have to email the player now.

    I like the MUs using alernate weapons thing. I've done it and it doesn't make a big difference. In OD&D terms there are some balance issues (namely that Fighting-Men are the only class able to use Swords, which are always the best magic weapons). It's never been a deal breaker because Armor has proven to be a bigger factor in melee than weapons.

    But no Mace for Clerics? I know from a historical perspective those nasty flanged tools of war caused open wounds...but the Mace is the de facto Cleric weapon!

    Here's how I am planning to handle spells. Bonus Spells from INT or WIS are handled as spontaneous castings. I blend Vancian with this aspect. So, any memorized Spell can be cast for "free" by using a bonus slot from INT or WIS. The standard Spell Slots are done the Vancian way.

    For non class "skills" or actions I use a drop dead simple 2in6 rule and ad-lib from there. If all else fails I ask the player to roll 3d6 under a relevant Ability score.

    Have fun tinkering. Remember the more tinkering you do is a reflection of the amount of gaming you do. As for me, I tinker a lot because I don't play nearly enough. Bah.

  2. I always balk at wizards using swords (unless a figheter/MU), but then I think of the d4 hit dice and figure that any wizard of low level who wants to live by the swords is probably going to die by it.

  3. @Sham: I'm mostly using 2nd AD&D, but I'm debating about just using 1st Ed AD&D and having at it.

    I'm not sure if I want to allow multi-classing right off the bat... I might just go with single classing to start, and branch out to multi-classing later.

    I am SO torn on maces... I know they're the de facto weapon, but I have trouble reconciling someone who theoretically all about peace using pointy weapons to cause harm... but I'll probably get over it. 8)

    @bruno: I'm sure I can find a way to make big, heavy swords unappealing to to wizards who want to rely on them too much. ;)