Azeroth Campaign

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Azeroth Campaign

Post by Archengeia on Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:54 pm

So I've been tossing this idea around for the better part of a year now and recently have found my designer's itch needing scratching so I figured I'd give another stab at it.  Thought I'd ask you guys what you think.

Here's what I have so far.  The ruleset would be a variant of the Magusien rules; one would pick a class to start, choose a specialization at some appropriate level (either 2, 3, or 4 need to do some math) and stick with that spec forevermore.  Each class has 3 specs.  Each level you'd gain new abilities which would function roughly like how existing abilities work, IE the same formulas behind them, with flavor and little touches added in to seperate them fundamentally as well as aesthetically.  There would be talents, though I need to debate a lot on how to implement them (there are many options here). 

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it would be set within Azeroth... and since I know that setting so well, there are many different options for WHEN to set it.  And yes, it would be possible to change history should your characters succeed in doing so... if you wanted to of course.  As for where and what specifically, that'd be more specific to the players and whatnot.

What do you guys think, thoughts, comments?  Hate-filled rage?

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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Kolson on Thu Oct 31, 2013 11:02 pm

I'd be willing to give it a shot. I'm not a master at the lore or anything but I can say I'm at least familiar with the events of 3 and Frozen Throne and I'm currently playing 2 right now.

I literally know almost nothing about the events post-Frozen Throne other than that Arthus is no more. I'm also willing to play in any era, just so long as you don't mind me pestering you with questions about people and places.
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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Archengeia on Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:18 am

First design question: Racials, stats plus abilities, or just buffed abilities?

Also at some point I'd like some volunteers to do a few test run 'modules' to number crunch for balancing sakes, trying out preset classes.  Any takers?

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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Rory on Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:39 am

This is a TRAVESTY

I'm also not familiar with Azeroth, but I'd be fine with trying it out once it's been balanced. If changing the events would be possible, I'd be all for setting it in the past just as much as the present or future. The possibility of altering a timeline and NOT using a time machine to reverse everything interests me. Damn time machines. And let's be honest, we probably would change the history, given that the official game's campaigns are completely linear, barring the player from any choice he or she may personally feel more inclined toward making. The only choice you ever make is Horde vs Alliance, and that doesn't even change the outcome.

I think the most sensible areas on the timeline would be those temporary lapses when the two factions aren't at odds with each other, or just before, allowing PC's of races normally aligned against each other to bond--tenuously or warmly--as an outlying group, an exception to the rule, who manage to unite against the real threat.

I think racials are a must. Can you elaborate on what "stats+abilities" and "buffed abilities" would each look like?
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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Archengeia on Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:46 am

In response to Rory's Racial question, an example.

Stats + abilities example: Tauren.  +2 STR, +1 CON, -1 DEX, -1 CHA.  Gains Warstomp: Use 1/c to force a Fortitude check DC 10+Level on all enemies in adjacent squares (and your own square if applicable) to avoid being stunned for their next round.

Buffed Abilities example: Tauren.  Gains Warstomp: Use 1/c to deal 1d4*Level physical damage to all enemies within 5' and force a Fortitude check DC 15+Level to avoid being stunned for their next round.

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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Rory on Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:52 am

Thanks, and I also realized that you weren't asking if we'd want racials, or stats+abilities, OR buffed abilities, but whether the racials ARE stats+abilities or buffed abilities. So I'm gonna vote stats+abilities.
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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Snarg of Wildpaw on Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:52 am

I'm in favor of buffed abilities personally. If we do buffed stats, I'd actually think it would be cool to apply those with the classes rather than the actual race. e.g. if you are an arms warrior, you get +2 STR and +1 CON, protection warrior gets +2 CON, +1 STR, and so on. Just example numbers only and just a thought I had.

Edit: to go further in to the actual reason, I personally don't like having the race factor majorly in to my decision to play a class. Not to say that I won't do that, but if there's a clear race/class combo winner then it actually doesn't appeal to me as much to play it. If the stats are too extreme or detrimental to a particular class, you're a lot less likely to ever play that combination. e.g. if you have a race that has +4 STR and -4 INT, are you going to make that guy a wizard? Sure, you can, but that's going to suck when all of your main abilities are nerfed because of it.

Now, I do believe there's a happy medium there. If you make a race that has benefits and downsides stat wise that's not too extreme or could be used with all classes in some way, then that's cool too and there are existing races in systems like 3.5 that do this; you get some unique benefits and downsides no matter which class you play. An example of this could be to grant slight bonuses to spellcasters and a slight bonus to martial classes. Then you do the same thing to penalties and voila! No matter which class you play, there's a unique little benefit that you get.

For a setting like Warcraft, however, I'm really in favor of making all races have an equal chance at each class. This is especially important because some races have a wide variety of classes that they could potentially be. For lore reasons some might not actually be able to be specific classes, but that can be hashed out later. What would suck is if I'm really inclined to pick a melee class as a Tauren rather than a spellcaster just because you get, say, a massive STR and CON bonus for that race compared to the others. It's the min-maxing temptation.


Last edited by Snarg of Wildpaw on Fri Nov 01, 2013 1:41 am; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Essoje on Fri Nov 01, 2013 1:06 am

I know little to nothing about the setting, names, important facts and so on when Blizzard games are involved. I have a very rough idea of what happens in warcraft 1 and 3, and that's it.

Which is perfect from my perspective: I can make a blank slate character and work from there, and not have to worry about meta stuff getting in the way of enjoying, and knowing the GM by now, I know he can make it work despite me personally having little care about the source material.

So yeah, interested. If you need help with the mechanical part of things, just poke me. ... Not because I'm going to magically solve it, but because I think I can help with that.

And personally, I'd make it just buffed abilities, for the reasons Snarg pointed out.

Edit: I mean, if the player wants to raise their orc mage's strength and lower their intelligence, it should be because it fits the character rather than 'because orcs are big and dumb' imho.
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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Kolson on Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:38 am

Great ideas, Third.
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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Zeiss on Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:01 am

While the idea of playing with Arch as a GM is attractive, I will decline this invitation because :

A : the Warcraft setting doesn't interest me (just not my taste).

and the primary reason :

B : I am already playing the Dereth campaign, Savagery and very soon, the one Kolson is preparing. Three campaigns are quite enough for me.

Still, you guys have fun.
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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Gwydo on Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:05 am

So I'll say; I'm interested, but......
Since I'm already involved in 6 games right now, this would have to be replacing either 3rd's D&D game, or the Disc world campaign. As it is still in development, it sounds like that is what you're aiming for anyway.

Having only watched WoW being played, and playing the CCG I've no experience with the world. (Like I told Arch a while back, it's not due to lack of interest, simply a lack of time I can devote to playing.)

Getting to the stats questions, while I feel the racial stats make more sense logistically (a Tauren WOULD be stronger than a Gnome) it is no reason to cripple a player who wants to play something specific (Gnome warrior? Sure, why not!). Like 3rd said, the min-maxing can become an issue.

Side note, will you be requiring the entire group be the same faction?
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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Archengeia on Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:33 am

In the actual campaign, once started, it's worth noting that whether or not there'd even be a given Horde or Alliance is debatable.  There's also other factions to consider into the equation as well.  That being said, I'm not going to outright disallow players to have loyalties to separate factions as long as they can provide an in character reason for working and continuing to work with one another (which, if you're paying attention, is something I require in basically every game I GM for ever heh).

I think I'm going to go with buffed abilities.  I like the idea of them being bonus powers you can use regardless of class (in actual fact my Tauren Druid, a healer, used Warstomp a lot in game as a pseudo interrupt when the dps wasn't on it). 

Next big question: Secondary resources.  This boils down to, do I use them at all?  For those who don't know what I'm talking about I'll give a direct, easy example; Paladins have a secondary resource called Holy Power. They can store up to 3 (or 5, later on) at once and spend it on various abilities pertaining to their spec.  Now keeping track of HP charges would be fairly easy all things considered, but the question is do I employ this at all or just flatten secondary resource usage into use/combat like I'm going to do with most non magical abilities?  The former adds a bit of variance and strategy into ability usage, the latter flattens abilities to make them a bit more simplified.

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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Essoje on Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:35 pm

As long as it doesn't become as complicated than 3.5's bookkeeping for casters (heh, as if), it should be fine having them. If everything is a use per combat, you always can shoot your biggest cannons with impunity, while having a secondary resource makes you stop to think when it should be more appropriated to use it.
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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Archengeia on Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:46 pm

If I've never made it clear, I loathe D&D's spellcasting system.  Always have, ever since AD&D, and that's part of why in the Magusien rules the one thing that was rebuilt from scratch was Magic.

That being said, I sincerely doubt this will be more bookkeeping.  If anything the idea is to have less.

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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Rory on Fri Nov 01, 2013 1:05 pm

I think that as long as there's something to keep that in check, then okay. Spells per day is DnD's way of forcing the limit on a spellcaster's magical expenditure from day-to-day. Mana is also an acceptable change, and more preferable to me. It makes no sense for a mage to have expended all of the level 1 spells he can cast for a day and still be able to cast some spells from the 6th or 7th level. Why?? I'm sixth level sorcerer and I can't sacrifice a 6th level spell-per-day to cast two third levels? That's INSANE.

So basically, so long as there's a logical(being the key word here) limit to spellcasters' ability to cast magic, do what you like.

And OKAY, we'll go with buffed abilities, but there need to be clear positives and negatives for picking certain races. Are Orcs big and dumb? If that's true, then have at least the racials reflect that in the game mechanic. If one race is dumber than another, then...make them dumber, or something.
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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Archengeia on Fri Nov 01, 2013 1:39 pm

Still debating the Secondary Resource question.  Couple other things to toss out there.

First, I've already decided to use my custom Threat rules (I've used them before, in 3.5 and in a few d10 games).  It's actually quite simple; some abilities have High Threat as a modifier, which is a duh.  In general, who has 'aggro' will depend on stuff I keep track of, but also situational circumstances.  Allow me to explain by giving an actual example; I had a campaign where Eric was playing an Elf Bard that had earned himself a blood enemy they were now fighting.  Charlie, playing a Paladin, had to try REALLY hard to keep threat on himself because of how much that Drow hated Eric's character, but it wasn't impossible.  In other words, it's not just static numbers, it's whatever makes sense.

Second, I'm debating if I should allow Interrupt rules.  For those unfamiliar it works like this; let's say Rory, Zeiss, and Third are all playing a Warrior, Rogue, and Shaman respectively.  Let's say they're fighting Mug'thol, an ogre boss.  Now the Initiative probably goes something like Zeiss, Mug'thol, Third, Rory.  So Zeiss smacks him or whatever, then Mug'thol decides to cast a spell.  With Interrupt rules, either Rory (with Pummel) or Third (with Wind Shear) may then use up their next turn's action to use that ability, interrupting the spell.  Then they basically skip their next turn.  Thoughts?

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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Archengeia on Fri Nov 01, 2013 1:56 pm

15th Draft.  Give or take.

Human: Human Spirit, 1/c, remove all debuffs and immune to debuffs for 1/level rounds.
Gain Advantage on any checks to convince others, aka Diplomacy.

Dwarf: Stoneform, 1/c, becomes immune to non magical debuffs and reduces all damage taken by 1d4/Level for 1/Level rounds.
Has a small but existent chance to get more or better loot to drop.

Night Elf: Shadowmeld, 1/c, goes into Stealth which also removes all threat.  May move 5'/level and not break Stealth.
Gain a stacking +1 to their AC per 2 levels (aka 1 AC at levels 1 and 2, 2 AC at 3 and 4, etc.)

Gnome: Escape Artist, 1/c, instantly removes any and all immobilization or speed reduction effects of any type and may move up to 5' per 2 Levels in any direction instantly without provoking attacks of opportunity.
Gain Advantage on all Knowledge rolls, and may not roll less then a 10 on any Knowledge rolls.

Draenei: Gift of the Naaru, 1/c, places a magical buff on a target that heals them for 1d6/Level per round for 1 per 2 Levels rounds.
Inspires nearby comrades when performing heroic feats, which can circumstancially give Advantage to said allies per GM's discretion.  May also give Disadvantage to enemies.

Worgen: Wolflight, 1/c, allows the Worgen to move double speed for 1/Level rounds.  While moving like this, gain Advantage on Acrobatics checks.
May as a full action switch between Worgen and Human forms.  While in Human form, gain Advantage on rolls related to Deception, Diplomacy, etc. but entering combat will trigger a Will save to avoid automatically reverting to Worgen form.

Pandaren: Quaking Palm, 1/c, allows the Pandaren to make a strike against a target which will Stun them for 1/Level rounds.  The target must make a Fortitude save of 15+Level to avoid the attack.  This can be done at range if wielding a ranged weapon or if you are a spellcaster.
Gain Advantage on any Saving Throws.

Orc: Blood Fury, 1/c, increases all damage dealt by 1d4/Level for 1/Level rounds.
An Orc may, once in a while, take some time (roughly one hour) to meditate and speak with Ancestral or Elemental spirits who care about that given Orc to seek guidance.

Undead: Touch of the Grave, 1/c, use this ability in conjunction with another attack or spell that does damage.  You heal for the full amount of the damage dealt.
Cannot be affected by mind altering abilities, magical or otherwise.  Examples include Charm, Fear, and Sleep.

Tauren: Warstomp, 1/c, does 1d4/Level physical damage to all nearby enemies, and automatically stuns them for 1 round. Enemies must make a Fortitude check DC 10+Level to avoid being stunned for 1 per 2 Levels additional rounds.
A Tauren may call on the blessings of the Earthmother once per day to change any roll of their choosing to have Advantage or Disadvantage.

Troll: Berserk, 1/c, may take one additional action per combat round for the next 1 round per 2 levels.
A Troll may automatically, without failure chance or check, contact a local Loa to enter into a bargain.  A Troll also has a higher chance of having that bargain be net beneficial to the Troll, though with the Loa there is no such thing as free.  As a consequence of this, a Troll would also be aware of a situation, unusual though it may be, where no Loa are present.

Blood Elf: Arcane Torrent, 1/c, explodes in magical energy in a 10' radius around the Blood Elf, dealing 1d4/Level Arcane damage and Silencing affected targets for 1 per 2 Levels rounds.  This may be cast as an Interrupt.
A Blood Elf may choose to consume a source of magic once per day.  This will heal the Blood Elf a variable amount relative to the power of the source of magic, and either drain or destroy the source of magic in the process.  Doing so also gives them Advantage for their next roll if done within 1 hour.

Goblin: Kajamite, 1/c, gain Advantage on a given damaging attack of your choice.  That attack automatically crits.
Goblins automatically gain Advantage on haggling rolls for buying and selling.  The player can, if they chose, extend this past the normal benefit to attempt to gain an even better deal, but doing so has a chance to provide a sub-standard result. There is no artificial limit to how far one can attempt to extend this, or how badly the result will be.

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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Snarg of Wildpaw on Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:12 pm

Hmmm, I'll have to look over the list when I get a chunk of time. That may not be until late tonight or early tomorrow though. Got a lot of thoughts on the various things, but I need a chunk of time to do a writeup of it all.

It makes no sense for a mage to have expended all of the level 1 spells he can cast for a day and still be able to cast some spells from the 6th or 7th level. Why?? I'm sixth level sorcerer and I can't sacrifice a 6th level spell-per-day to cast two third levels? That's INSANE.
You can sacrifice higher level slots to cast lower level spells if you want. There's no restriction on that to my knowledge except that, well, you lose a higher level slot in exchange. There's also a feat called "Heighten Spell" which makes this even more valuable.
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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Rory on Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:22 pm

Oh. Interesting. Nevermind.

I'm liking the interrupt option, though fairness would arbitrate that players be vulnerable to interruption as well. There's gotta be some way to resist it, maybe rolling fortitude or reflex(gotta choose one or the other), or possibly a will save against a magical/mental interrupt. But I am liking the possibility of the Shaman using Wind Shear and the Warrior seizing the opportunity to charge the Ogre. And then the Rogue does a thing, and so on.

Still, as it is, the players could possibly keep interrupting an enemy spellcaster each turn. There should be a penalty to the roll, or bonus to the opposing roll, or an attribute roll before the actual interrupt roll, every time the interrupt is used before the passage of an appropriate combat turn interval.
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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Archengeia on Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:43 pm

All Interrupt abilities would be 1/c abilities.  Use 'em or lose 'em.

Normal enemies (hereafter referred to as Trash) would be similarly limited or lack Interrupts entirely.

Bosses follow their own rules, puny mortal.

As for whether they'd hit or not, that is a decision I have to deliberate on still; Hit Chance.  I'm still rather torn on the subject.

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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Gwydo on Fri Nov 01, 2013 8:07 pm

Why not do a "chance to hit" which can increase with leveling or items?
Start at something like 12% at level one and increase by 3% per level?

Just the first thing that came to mind.
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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Essoje on Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:17 pm

Another way to go about it would be instead of having a 'This be my interrupt action', have each action have a natural chance to interrupting instead. So different actions would have different interrupt values, with a few of the big guns having specially high chances of interrupting, and some classes being better at it than others.

Now, you don't have to worry about the chance not existing, and I can see the players trying to act together in order to create a window of advantage for the guy that can interrupt the best and then the dice are rolled. And still, there's the possibility of failure... I don't know about you guys, but I like the idea.
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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Kolson on Sat Nov 02, 2013 1:07 am

Oh, that's interesting. I would love to at least try it out.
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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Snarg of Wildpaw on Sat Nov 02, 2013 1:23 pm

Sounds like you're attempting to make the game more like WoW (threat, interrupts, etc), which I'm on board with.

The abilities will probably need to be playtested a bit, although that's just the nature of these things. Going over it, Berserk might get a littie bit deadly if the fights aren't supposed to be longer than normal 3.5 fights. If I was trying to do a min-max, I'd probably pick a Troll a lot of the time just because you can take double actions. Don't get me wrong, the others are good too, but that one just stuck out at me. Also: are you allowing spells to crit? If not, then the Goblin one may be a little "meh" if you're a spellcaster. Looks pretty good overall though. I was going through them and thinking to myself if I could use them both as a melee, hybrid, or spellcaster, and most of the time the answer was "yes".

I will throw in a vote for not having hit chance, at least, not the way that WoW has it. If we're going to do that, I'd personally prefer you just hit or you don't through an attack dice roll. Keeps it simple, to the existing hit system, and scales with level. There's also an existing system in 3.5 for being damaged while casting (DC 10 + points of damage taken + the level of the spell you’re casting). I don't know if we really need to create another way to interrupt spells other than readying an action, attacks of op, and the new interrupts. Speaking of interrupts, how's defensive casting going to work in to that? At all?

Also: Turn Evil on the Forsaken is back, yeeeeeeah.
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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Archengeia on Sat Nov 02, 2013 4:07 pm

First, I like the idea of using Interrupt as a mechanic because it also means I can set up other spells as Interrupts too (even though they're not interrupting a spell, if... that makes any sense) so I think I'ma stick with my initial idea.  (for those who are aware, two examples of spells I'm making Interrupts are Power Word: Shield and Holy Shock).

Second, I admit I was torn on Trolls for longer then any other race, because there's only so much you can really do with Trolls when it comes down to it.  I'll debate it some more.  Oh, and yes, spells can crit.  Speaking of which.

Crit rules!  I've used these rules before actually, debated using them in Primus.  Put simply, every thing you do that either heals or does damage can crit.  The way this works is you (or I) roll a completely separate d20, and if it's a 20, congrats you crit.  The result is the net roll multiplied by a number, probably 1.5 based on some initial math.  This also allows gear which increases crit range to be a bit more useful and, further, to be valuable to you regardless of setup.

As for hit chance.  I put together a temporary hit system and then after some theoretical battles threw it out the window.  It's ultimately much easier to understand and easier for me the GM to just use D&D's existing system in a slightly different way.  Put simply; AC will still be AC (in WoW terms AC will be avoidance... dodge+parry+block) and DR will be more common on plate gear (and DR will always work, no penetrating it), and then plus to hit is (dramatic pause) plus to hit.  Which is already a thing in D&D.

Oh.  And Defensive Casting won't exist.

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