Fable DnD? Heroics and Disciplines, Discuss

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Fable DnD? Heroics and Disciplines, Discuss

Post by Rory on Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:44 am

I've recently just come out of a playthrough of Fable Anniversary. I really loved the lore and presentation of the first game, and I really started getting to thinking(with the theme by Danny Elfman playing on yourepeat). I wonder if anyone's thrown together a homebrew FATE-Fable frankenstein monster?

I'm not proposing anything, just having a little fun outlining this and coming up with what-ifs. I'd speculate that it would be very similar to Javan's recent homebrew setting, where you're basically one of three things: very talented/gifted in one of the three disciplines, adept in another to an extent, and only dedicated to one ability(or two spells/magic power etc) in a discipline; evenly balanced in two disciplines with scant or no attention paid to the third; or solely focused on one discipline and none of the others.

Strength - aptly named
Physique: Strength of body. Allows for stronger melee attacks.

Health: Constitution. The bonus to HP gained per level-up. Bonus to Fortitude.

Toughness: Resistance to physical damage. One prominent though mundane distinction between Heroes and normal folk is the ability to shrug off gorilla punches and completely recover(bones and all) with ease by comparison to the common man. Determines recovery time and damage resistance("normal" DR).

Skill - For the roguish types.
Speed: Run, swim, attack, fumble with your flask--do it all faster with this stat. Bonus to Initiative and Reflex.

Accuracy: For most, it's as easy as see man, hit man. Those lacking in the strength to hurt man hard and quick need look no further. A favorite among duelists and snipers(both near and far). Bonus to hit when aiming at enemies of diminutive size, parts of enemies of regular size and higher, and any object requiring a degree of pinpoint precision.

Guile: Do you prefer skulking in the cool shade? Is your name Sam? This ability dictates all things illicit. Sneak soundlessly, fumble with your poison without anyone seeing you. Deftly press the tumblers of a lock into place. Last but not least...haggle better!

Will - Magic *snort*
Magic Power: Want to do more magic stuff in combat? Get more mana. Want more mana? Increase this stat. Also dictates defense of mind, and number of spells you can learn.

Spells: Pick from a list of available(balanced) spells to learn, or create one of your very own! Spells must be submitted for approval and fit predetermined requirements set by the DM in order to be included.


List of in-game spells from Fable thru Fable 3(almost all spells have a single and "area" version for targeting:
Lightning - channel electricity into your enemies. Single target, or choose a second enemy for the lightning to jump to after the first for a pseudo-AoE. Higher levels add additional targets.


Flame - shoot a fireball at your enemy, or spread the flame out over an area catching all in its blaze.
Battle Charge - use your sheer will + strength for a powered up version of a normal charge to do physical damage to a single target while knock them flat to the ground. Enemies that succeed the fortitude check only take half damage. AoE: charge dissipates from first target(who does not get knocked down) in a wave outward from the impact, dealing half damage to all.


Multi-strike/arrow - your next strike adds a second automatic, simultaneous hit mimicking the original, critting automatically if the original is also a crit. Higher levels add more hits, but each hit after the first mimicry must have a to-hit roll along with a Willpower check. Enemies that succeed in their Will check take half damage if hit. AoE: designate the enemy(2nd or more) to be hit, and choose one among them to be automatically hit by the first mimicry.


Karmic Tantrum - cosmic attack of an alignment of your choosing. Must choose from among your own alignment(E.G. Neutral Evil Bob must pick either Neutral or Evil). Power manifests as your true/dominant alignment, everyone witnessing the casting of this spell will know your true colors.


Physical Shield - Protect from damage, either focusing on yourself or spreading it among others at a reduced capacity. Protection in the form of 1-2 negated attacks, or a threshold of damage added to be depleted before HP.


Berserk - Dramatically increases Strength and Skill attributes(save for Guile), but dramatically decreases your socializing skills and Will faculties. Spread out among willing participants for reduced effect. Spread out amongst a mass of participants to give a minor boost and dramatic increase in morale at no mental or social penalties.


Blink(Assassin Rush) - Move insanely fast, charging with no strength or head start required, to a maximum range determined by spell level. Targeting an enemy in range will allow the caster to rush behind them, also granting a bonus to hit and treating the enemy as flat-footed. AoE: split the Rush among a number of enemies equal to your BAB within spell's limit of each other, allowing you to rush behind each one for a strike. You lose the bonus to hit, but they are all treated as flatfooted for the attacks.


Heal - Recover HP. AoE: multiple targets regain some HP. Cannot be used to heal major injuries, which require treatment(bones must be set). Some major injuries(such as eyescream) can be healed, circumstances permitting.


Ghost Arms - Materializes a phantom "arm", either a weapon of the caster's choosing or an actual arm of significant strength, indefinitely curled into a fist. Phantom arm(sword, bow, etc) attacks whoever the caster marks, and dissipates after a time, or when its corporeal threshhold is breached. Higher levels add more summoned arms.


Force Push - Physical damage and knockback with knockdown chance to an individual target from a distance. AoE: centered on caster, repels all within range indiscriminately(reduced to knockback chance and no knockdown chance).


Dilate Perception("better" Slow Time): Slows down caster's perception of time while speeding up everyone else's within range. Single target: target's perception of time is significantly increased with no change to the caster's.


Summon - conjures a spirit from the netherworld, taking on a transparent, corporeal form mmicking that of a nearby deceased creature. Summoned for a limited time, telepathically accepts caster's commands. AoE: more spirits. Higher levels allow for more spirits at a time at less decrease to power.


Turncoat - Dominate someone's mind to temporarily be your obedient ally in combat. AoE: multiple targets.


Drain Life - Heal life, except you're stealing the "heal" part from someone else. Literally drain your enemy to dessication. AoE: multiple targets centered on the caster.


Chaos - Heap illusions upon your enemies to distract them in combat. Hilarious results may ensue.


Gale("Vortex") - Sheer power of wind lifts the target up in a whirling gale, rendering them prone. AoE: multiple targets per gale, increases mana spent.

Chill - Freeze the enemy with a blast of frost in their direction. AoE: centered upon caster or target of their choice.

Or, an overhaul the spells list and how they work may be in order.

Setting
Best time, I think, would have to be before the events of Fable. Reading up on the Old Kingdom, I'd say during the first construction of the Spire, the completion of which culminated in the Crawler being set loose. Sealing it away cost three veteran Heroes their lives, paragons of their time. Alternatively, we could set it during the aftermath of the Old Kingdom's fall, before the Hero Nostro and Scythe founded the Guild of Heroes, at a time when the Heroes were either living in secret or were yet unknown to the public at large. Or, the setting could be away from Albion, in one of three/four possible locations: Samarkand, the Cities of the West, Aurora, and possibly the South Islands, if they're vast enough. I'd guess not, though.

I'll admit I kinda fumbled on the Disciplines. I'm sure you guys could find a way to make it balanced and fit right. Maybe set up the Hero Disciplines as the equivalent to governing attributes for different skills. Physique specifically could govern Athletics, while increases to the attribute generally make attacks more powerful. So while your "Guile" isn't very high, it wouldn't need to be if you focused on the skills it governed. I don't expect you to get to building on this with all seriousness, nor am I making a request for yet another campaign. This is just speculation, and also wondering what kind of Hero I could make if I were to create a Hero "avatar" of me, mainly because I love the game's lore on magic. I also had fun with the descriptions of spells/disciplines.

Also to hear your thoughts on this, because wherever they're going with the franchise now, there's something about the lore and the setting that's always intrigued me.

And screamers. They made those things less frightening than they ought to be, as described by the school teacher in Bowerstone. I did zoom in on the face of one though. Eugh.
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Re: Fable DnD? Heroics and Disciplines, Discuss

Post by Kolson on Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:41 pm

I don't know, I never really thought about doing anything in the Fable world. If I did, I'd set it between Fable 2 and Fable 3 and do something on the high seas when they have guns and cannons available. I'd make it episodic by focusing the game around exploration and trade and fighting off pirates and such. Maybe something about an old idol and an ancient evil...

Anyway it's not really something I'd be interested in doing any time soon. Have you thought about giving it a whirl yourself Rory? If you are interested, I can start training you up.
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Re: Fable DnD? Heroics and Disciplines, Discuss

Post by Rory on Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:18 pm

I don't think I could. I'm a good idea man, but DMing requires management on a colossal scale with A B and C plus good improv skills. There's this mechanic, that mechanic, this roll, that roll, and stopyou'rescaringme!

I suppose guns is fine, if you can make it work. There's got to be things in place to make guns not viable and easy every time. I guess making a headshot hard to pull off, give people light but resilient armor, and make Physical Shield an alternative which would make headshots less than fatal to magically protected enemies. I admit I do like the idea of a maritime adventure. Maybe visiting the South Islands involving an idol of corrupting power. But I would really like something having to do with the times leading to the formation of the Guild, especially with all the different factions that splintered after the Old Kingdom(or just remnants of those factions) vying for power. Because they never did say just how Nostro and Scythe reunited Albion. Maybe they meet the party and send them on missions or "quests" to aid in their goal, as well as to find more Heroes for training/recruitment, or gifted men and women to be recruited under Nostro's command(the guy had an army).

I wasn't bringing this up with the intent of "look at how awesome this is, let's do this soon" cuz we already have quite a bit on our plate: Primus, Dawn of Defiance, and don't think for a second I've forgotten about the Savage campaign.
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Re: Fable DnD? Heroics and Disciplines, Discuss

Post by Kolson on Thu Oct 23, 2014 10:52 pm

Fair enough. It's just I've seen games start from less. All it takes is some momentum on the part of the GM. Smile

You've also definitely identified a good hole in the lore ripe for a game. Right amount of chaos, the work has already been done on the big name heroes, and well defined "class features."
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Re: Fable DnD? Heroics and Disciplines, Discuss

Post by Rory on Fri Oct 24, 2014 1:05 pm

I've been working on this system as best as a player type like me can. I'm just into it, I love messing with it. I've ended up merging the games' combat system into the tabletop system, but separated from the roleplaying, bringing in the DnD skills. Trying to create Mana progression and Mana cost mimicking Arch's magic classes(replaced with the standard magic-using classes, except the Sorcerer is just called "Mage"), but I want the characters to have a bit more mana. I feel like I'm gonna need help with that...I may even remove Ultimate spells because that's cutting it kinda close, but I am including what I call Ritual Spells, so that may also address the "Ultimate" spells. I also added this 1/day power called "Heroics" to replace action points.

Order of Priority
Nostro grew under the tutelage of Scythe, then recruited people from all over Albion to found the Guild of Heroes, taught them, and then took the fight to the entire rest of the country. From the Wikia page on Will:

"It wasn't until a mercenary and bandit by the name of Nostro met an old man named Scythe that Will power returned to the world... Scythe taught Nostro how to be a leader of men, which included tutelage in the Powers of Will. Nostro then went on, with Scythe's sage counsel, to establish the Heroes' Guild. It was here that, amongst other things, that Nostro taught other Heroes to use Will power. Thus, Will users were reborn into the world."

Important detail: It may be possible some of his Guild graduates left him to abuse their powers of Will, or join up with rival factions offering the usual worldly incentives. This can set up rare encounters(storied, even) with packs of renegade Heroes, a bandit raiding party led by a Hero(possibly second-in-command of a nearby camp), or even an encounter with a lone, gifted Hero.

The information from the Wiki(and I recognize it from an official website) implies that anyone, or some outside the Bloodline, can learn to use magic, and that the Bloodline of William Black just had a natural talent for it. One important mention: Whisper implies that the Guild training is actually pretty grueling.
Fable Spoiler:
"You know you talk in your sleep? Sounded like a bad nightmare. Happens to a lot the first week. Some don’t even last that long. You won’t either if you don’t get moving." That segue makes it clear that some people don't last as long as a week of training, not coping with nightmares of their hometown burning to cinders.

To fulfill your naval combat fancy, the setting could be after the establishment of the Heroes' Guild, during which the player Heroes are trained, and then Nostro's proper conquering of the entire country begins, during which he sends out ships, with the party assigned to ships of the fleet destined for the same locations. The party's mission is to harass port settlements of rival factions, create blockades, and recruit and/or press defeated troops into service. The party could start the game there, quiet night, sailing for the next port to harass.

For projectiles, the ships could carry ballistae firing blunt iron-tipped shafts, or just heavy rocks. Heroes can shoot magic and arrows from two fighting towers(collapsible, placed at bow and stern), as used by the ancient Roman navy.

Side Rant:
I am also surprised that in the bronze quest "Book Collection", the Creatures of Albion series, Balverine Slayer, Maxley, Pale Balverine, and Love Story were eeevil books. He asked for them! I thought the kids would love to hear about my awesome sauce, monster-hunting mother, and Creatures of Albion really was supposed to be educational, he said so himself. I thought there were supposed to be some hidden morals in the Tale of Maxley and the Pale Balverine. Whatever, I got my bright wizard hat, so in your face, wikia.

This link goes to the document I'm working on. It's just crazy.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1q1jijSoTZ_LPQPuykpPqO6nq-zc0OY6hZ8TseHZvIMU/edit?usp=sharing
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Re: Fable DnD? Heroics and Disciplines, Discuss

Post by Kolson on Fri Oct 24, 2014 8:32 pm

No, that's very different from what I had in mind in both scope and tone. I'm not interested in tying the players to any specific fleet or military actions. My idea would be purely civilian. If anything your idea would make for some solid enemies of the players. Especially given the influence of Nostro's wife.

How many spells can they currently cast per day by level of power and what do you want it to be at?
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Re: Fable DnD? Heroics and Disciplines, Discuss

Post by Rory on Mon Oct 27, 2014 3:15 am

Okay. So non-magic class characters each automatically have one spell at lvl 1. I'd like for them to have the mana needed to use that spell at least twice. Maybe three times. Jury still out on whether these spells need to be purchased with points to be able to cast per level above 1. <Yes.  This way pure warriors can ignore magic if they want to. The idea here is that everyone be capable of at least one spell they can master, to encourage the use of Will, because "Will" is central to the premise of what it means to be a Hero. Not just having potential to be extraordinary in comparison to your average Albion citizen, but having the knowledge and practice to use magic as well, if you choose to practice it. As for the spells of magic-using classes, they follow the same spell formula as the Primus system, except they may learn any and all spells, and they do not automatically gain use of five, three, two, etc of their choosing but must spend points on them. The only formula used is that of the Yellow Mage, with the levels where "all" spells is replaced by the number equal to the total available to the Yellow Mage(10 Basic, 7 Medium, etc). This is so that a Mage may learn as many spells from this formula as possible and from any element or school of magic. The learning curve for each of the other classes is used as well, with the exception that at the first level for Paladin and Ranger, "White" magic spells are mandatory. Other appropriate spells may be submitted for DM approval.

I wanted to allow for little things(in comparison to combat uses) from prestidigitation to uses outside combat to be easily allowed depending on the nature of the spells a Hero has learned. For instance, knowing a Fire spell and something involving telekinesis(or that ghost weapon thing) would allow you to manifest a flame functioning as a mana-fueled torch. A mana cost that would either cost less than either of the original spells, or the same cost that gets subtracted from mana per half an hour to an hour. However, considering that I'm allowing the original spells from DnD sans healing, damaging, buffs and debuffs, I may have to scrap that. I'll go through the DnD spells and create a new list after omitting the ones I'm talking about. -I've decided that the comprehensive library of tomes on "ritual"(DnD) spells is maintained exclusively by the Guild of Heroes as only magic users can cast this stuff. Any debuff, be it Daze, Cause Fear, or Paralyze, either can be cast as a low cost version of a Will spell or is already a Will spell at its DnD-designated spell level(or equivalent in this system). Essentially, this reduces the comprehensive list to utility and warding spells, such as Quench, Cat's Grace, or Detect Magic, Bless, or Comprehend Languages. During the Fall of the Guild, however, the few Heroes who flee had to scrape together as much a travel-ready collection of said books of spells since they predicted(correctly) that the citizens revolting would burn whatever they found inside the guild. Any tomes that managed to survive on the mainland were discovered and used towards selfish purposes by gifted "witches"(of which there were few and far between) and people pretending to be witches(who were ironically suspected to be real and persecuted). To handwave this, characters learning ritual spells have either memorized or written a comprehensive list of the spells and their materials needed which they wanted to learn on their way to mastering the use of magic.

Because players are capable of learning Will spells a la Primus in place of most DnD spells, players may prepare any ritual spell from the revised list as long as it is no higher than their current character level. Non-magic classes may prepare 1 ritual spell per day of a level one-third their current character level(rounded down) or any cumulative combination of lower spells(eg: lvl 9 Fighter may prepare 1 lvl 3 spell, or one lvl 1 spell and one lvl 2 spell), but the number of spells prepared may not go higher than their character level divided by 2(e.g. lvl 9 Fighter may not prepare more than 4 ritual spells). In this equation, Cantrips are 1.5 of a lvl 1 spell, e.g. two lvl 1 spells may be replaced by three Cantrips. In addition, pure non-magic characters have a spell failure chance to overcome whenever they cast a ritual spell: 5% X spell level(e.g. said Fighter casting lvl 9 spell, success of 55%). Illiterate Barbarians must deal with an increased spell failure chance by x2(e.g. lvl 9 Barb casting lvl 3 spell, fail chance of 30%). All other spell failure chance rules of standard DnD apply, including handicap by way of removing somatic or verbal components(same Barb wearing chain shirt, 30%+20% for 50%).



All semi-magical classes(Paladins, Druids...Bards??):mostly the same rules. However, they may prepare a spell the level of which is half their current character level or any cumulative combination of lower spells per day(e.g. lvl 9 Druid may prepare one lvl 4 spell, or one lvl 3 spell and one lvl 1 spell). Also, they suffer no spell failure chance. Number of prepared spells may go no higher than three-fourths their character level rounded down(e.g. lvl 8 druid may prepare no more than 6 ritual spells per day).


Spellcasters(sorcerers/arcane classes): may prepare a spell the level of which may not exceed their character level, or a cumulative number of lower level spells(lvl 9 Sorcerer, one lvl 9 spell, or one lvl 5 spell and one lvl 4 spell). There is no limit to the number of spells they may have when following this rule. They suffer no spell failure chance.


Materials are required for ritual spells. These materials may be bought and generally handwaved as having what is needed, but there is no generic "bag of components" that, for the sake of the system, is all-purpose. Each spell's components must be bought and reserved solely for that spell. In addition, materials may be looted from corpses or treasure in the form of "you find the components you need for an Evocation spell of your choice"(player/party must choose at that moment and the decision cannot be reversed).



Players are encouraged to innovate with their Will spells to cast the desired effects/buffs/debuffs they want. E.g. Mage Hand may be cast and held for a per hour or half hour at a lower mana cost for its effects if the caster has learned at least the first level of Telekinesis(Will spell). The same is true of an illusion spell, though after a determinant time based on the subject's willpower, the subject is allowed periodic saving throws to shake off the illusion, will succeed eventually, and will gain a bonus to saving throws against Illusion(similar to diminishing returns of Intimidation).


On Illusions: this is a Will spell. Every 2 levels from lvl 1 grants one additional "sense" of the human mind to trick when casting an Illusion. For example, at first level, only one sense may be chosen, such as sight. At Illusion lvl 3, a character may pick a second sense, such as sound. Thus, when at first level said character would only be able to cast a visual illusion, the same character at level 3 may cast an audio-visual illusion. In addition to the higher strength that comes with higher levels of Illusion(as well as more encompassing of the senses, a character must choose a preferred type of type of Illusion: so far, the types of illusions are categorized into Dementia(fear, suspicion, hysteria, etc), Mania(calm, morale, etc), and External. This preferred type increases in effectiveness for the character, while the others decrease. More than one may be chosen as the character increases their Illusion spell level(with a requisite character level), the penalties from the previous levels negated with each choice, until she masters all three.

Setting:
Alright. Better idea. Set after the reunification of Albion. In fact, it could be set during the fall of the Guild, when the only handheld firearm mechanism was flintlock. First adventure is leaving the mainland to avoid being lynched by the medieval-turned-Texan, gun-toting population. The Heroes have heard word of ships at the ports of Albion either owned by enterprising Heroes or being the premeditated targets of commandeering. They must hide, fight, and flee in the direction of port cities, climb aboard one of these ships, and sail off. I mean, frankly I've seen enough of Albion anyway.

more lore and geography:
The Western Lands, or Cities of the West, can become the new mainland for the Heroes to trade and adventure in. After all, there's no mention of Heroes from any of the lands apart from Albion, save for Whisper's homeland(the South Islands), but they may exist apart from the structure of and affiliation with the Guild of Heroes in Albion. But I'm curious about how you'd manage to keep the players glued to adventuring on the open seas.

What's frustrating about this "timeline" is that it heavily depends on expressions of time, with few solid numbers, like they just handwave it with "whatever, that happened a hundred years ago...fifty...'many' years, whatever". So it's difficult to tell where exactly you are on the timeline when exploring parts that were only briefly covered, or the in-between bits. On top of that, it seems like they can't decide what pseudo-RL cultures are which regions, with katanas and warrior monks originating from Samarkand but also being imported from the Western Lands. And there is also an established order of warrior monks in the north! Who and where, make up your mind! Aurora is something all of its own though, I'll give them that.

Geographically, Aurora is also situated south of Albion across the ocean. Perhaps the South Islands are more closely located to Albion, south of Wraithmarsh and close to the mountain range on the east of the country the games take place in.

Since anyone can become a Hero and taught the ways of Will, I've considered that maybe all enemies/NPCs have varied, though limited, Discipline stats. Only enemies who can cast magic will be able to use any spells(other enemies don't have that training and thus don't know any spells). Limits because Heroes have more potential than the common folk. A barbarian Hero may already be more powerful than a barbarian NPC of the same level.
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