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Campaign Stuff

Post by Archengeia on Tue May 17, 2016 11:05 am

So first of all, I'm sorry I haven't been GMing properly. I've been so, so behind on everything and scrambling to catch up; the loss of that HDD really hit harder than I'd like to admit. I've also been made aware that Zeiss is out for a while, so I suppose this is as good as a time as any to 'pause' for a bit.

The real reason for the 'pause' is to inform everyone that we're re/undoing some of the mechanics of the game a bit. Rather than re-type everything I chopped up one of the more recent live videos which explains it a bit and am putting it up as an unlisted video just for you guys. If you have any questions, feedback, etc. please let me know, preferably here and not on the video itself, but either way.


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Re: Campaign Stuff

Post by Zeiss on Tue May 17, 2016 12:59 pm

Yeah, starting next week, I'll be out of the country until the end of July. I'll have access to Internet from time to time, so I won't be completely cut off. If anyone wants to ask me something, just send me a private message.

Don't worry Arch, I understand that the recent weeks weren't good moments for GMing. Work should come before D&D. And anyway, Kolson's computer seems to have gone kaput for now, so we might as well pause the Exchange bit. Before I leave, I'll give you some pointers as to what the Exchange would do if you need to advance the story because of the live party's progress.

As for the new rules, I don't have a problem with it. I suppose that as a rogue and orator, Zeiss will get a lot of attribute points and non-combat feats, and the woven magical items he possess would enhance his attributes instead (like a +1).

I was also thinking of streamlining the Exchange, and I thought that we could start by creating a "character sheet" for the Exchange, which I started designing as you can see in the other thread. Kolson and me talked about it, and we thought it would be a good way to get more feedback for our actions. Once this is done, we could simply generalize our actions instead of writing numerous paragraphs, making it more akin to playing a 4X game. The Superintendents would be the ones to micromanage everything, and Zeiss would sometime help with that, but I would only write "Help supervise the details". And let's say we truly meet the Queen and the Eleven, you could simply write one paragraph (like an event pop-up in Stellaris), and we go from there.

Just an idea. I figure that would be less work for you. Everything is on one sheet, and actions and summarized, leaving the details to the NPCs.
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Re: Campaign Stuff

Post by Essoje on Tue May 17, 2016 3:16 pm

Alright, time to get mah two designing brain cells rubbing each other and give some feedback.


  • On removal of skills:
    Not a fan of the idea, because of 'if it's not broken, don't fix it'. The skills are another layer of distinction between characters, and a good way of specializing on something. 5e way of doing it always bothered me to no end. This is a personal thing.
  • Career points:
    It raises problems with balance, and don't really make a character unique if you are giving straight ability score points, even if you are giving them a choice between one or another. Ability scores are very generic, very basic stuff ways of expressing a character. It is also too dependent on the GM, so prone to bias, because all GMs are still human. I'd leave this stuff to leveling.
  • On level boosting and revamped feats:
    It sounds bad. As in 3.5e and 5e leveling bad, but that's because you are thinking on D&D terms. I'll explain it better bellow.


Note that I'm not saying this to be negative or a dick, but because 3.5e is already a patchwork system itself, so anything you change has consequences bigger than first considered.

So, now that I said my piece, how I would go about making those changes work so Arch can have his streamlining while people like me don't feel like they are being cheated out of their gameplay and character building fun?

  • Streamline ability scores:
    It already works in strange ways anyways. You never roll ability scores themselves, ever. You always use the bonuses you get from them, so might as well just say goodbye to them. So instead of your character having 20 strength and 6 intelligence, your character would has 5 strength and -2 intelligence. There, that feels cleaner already.
  • Streamline leveling:
    Get rid of classes, but give the character plenty of choices so they can feel unique to each other (I have a few idea on how to approach the prestige class stuff too, so no worries on it breaking the setting itself). Each level should feel like a reward, but in 3.5e (and the current system) it feels like just a midway point most of the time where you get some HP so you are less likely to die until you get to the juicy stuff.
  • Now that we streamlined the stuff up there, get rid of 3.5e and 5e stuff entirely:
    No joke. The modified system of the modified system of the modified system is already a patchwork. Might as well think outside the box and start from almost scratch here, and I don't mean using the latest version of D&D. It still suffers from many design problems D&D always had. Hopefully we can start with the streamlined version of the ability scores and work from there.


Now, since I'm the one suggesting the radical change, might as well put my money where my mouth is and say that I'm volunteering to be at the frontline to work on it so Arch can work on the more fun parts of it. And I understand the idea doesn't sounds appealing since you are basically getting rid of something that you already worked for a long time but... Let's be frank, since we are going to chop off the arms and legs of the thing, might as well put it to rest instead and work on a new piece and stay true to the KISS principle from the start. I'll take less time overall too because we don't need to balance it all for a complex system anymore.

Edit: Oh, and I have a few ideas on how to approach it so you can easily translate the existing character into the new system.
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Re: Campaign Stuff

Post by Rory on Wed May 18, 2016 9:45 am

Skills = gone
All attribute based

On some levels, you won't hear me complaining, particularly on Deception, since that lumped Bluff and Sense Motive together, and I didn't put any points into it. Or did we decide that Sense Motive could be Awareness instead? I dunno.

This makes me uneasy. This means any two people who have a high score in the same attribute are good at anything governed by that attribute, like Disguise and Use Magic Device. I've never understood why that skill is governed by Charisma, it doesn't make sense... Now I wouldn't mind if it was applied to player characters, because you believe that PCs should be higher tier than regular folks by default. But not NPCs.

Most of all: a character can be very smart, but that doesn't mean he was the class valedictorian. A character can be very good at blending in where he's not supposed to be, but he's not sincerely intimidating. Without the mechanical layer of deception, I don't see how he can effectively intimidate someone without rolling a 20.

I don't know if there's a word or phrase, or a better way to explain that, but I hope I've done well enough to get my point across for an issue that you need to account for if you're going to make this change.

Career points
Feats that just added points to skills never appealed to me, I've been avoiding them in favor of something that would allow me to be better in combat, or break the rules in a way that benefits my build or allows me to advance it (the Dodge and Weapon Focus feats would probably be replaced by career points). Eg, having a significantly reduced penalty to hit when shooting from further distances, or Strength of a Warrior(a custom feat that allows me to swap Strength in for Dexterity when determining AC).

Then again, Weapon Focus makes you more reliant on a certain type of weapon because you're better with it. If you just get a +1 to Strength or Dexterity in lieu of that, where's the risk? What's so special about your character? If for any reason you're stuck in a situation without any weapons, you're not crippled by this. There's less of a dire reliance on the guy whose build would otherwise be focused on escaping locked rooms and (escaping) being tied up, or the guy who's backstory involves study of and experience with deciphering text.

Rory's Intelligence is +3, that puts him 1 behind Kolson, Zeiss, or Konrad when trying to do that. Skillwise, he's adept, but when it comes to intellectual pursuits and reasoning and logic, he's a meathead. How do you account for that?

Revamping feats
I'm leaning toward yes. But a feat you mentioned, like Gwydo's -10 Awareness and +10 AC(that's basically what it is)? Not into it. That crosses from the significant and powerful and into crippling yourself to make yourself oppositely and equally better in another way.

Minor example: being born blind. Taking a feat like that, to me, is akin to cutting out your own eyes so that you can adapt your hearing to a range greater than that of normal humans. No thank you! I'd rather be born that way, I'd rather take that one trait at the beginning of the game than take it as a feat, because it's not a feat! No! No. And Gwydo is automatically being given this -10 trait? What's the story behind that?
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Re: Campaign Stuff

Post by Snarg of Wildpaw on Wed May 18, 2016 12:02 pm

That was a joke, Rory. He's not going to have a feat like that.
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Re: Campaign Stuff

Post by Kolson on Thu May 19, 2016 4:22 am

Yup, computer is still kaput and I haven't made any progress on it since I've been out of town for the past week.

Anyway, I'm willing to give it a try. I rather like 5e overall and I like the way it generates iconic characters quickly. My questions are more concrete. How much of 5e are we talking here?

Stat cap at 20 (+5 if we only use mods)?

Proficiencies and proficiency bonus?

Backgrounds and Inspiration?

How will Weaving and magic items function now? I've invested heavily into it and made quite a few items for our crew so it's pretty important to me.

What would Rory's character look like under this new system based on his past exploits? How about Kolson?
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Re: Campaign Stuff

Post by Archengeia on Thu Jun 02, 2016 6:20 pm

Stat cap at 20 (+5 if we only use mods)?
Absolutely not. I hate stat caps anyways.
Proficiencies and proficiency bonus?
After some thought, no.
Backgrounds and Inspiration?
No again, at least not for the characters you already are. And Advantage is something I've already given out periodically for specific circumstances.
How will Weaving and magic items function now? I've invested heavily into it and made quite a few items for our crew so it's pretty important to me.
Weaving won't change overly much aside from the fact that Skills don't exist anymore. Existing items on the live party's sheets have already been converted over to the new system. Weaving in general will take place as a new career thinger (similar to Snarg's elemental experience)

What would Rory's character look like under this new system based on his past exploits? How about Kolson?
Well I don't have anyone's sheets in front of me but off the top of my head Rory would gain Advantage on Intimidate-style rolls and be allowed to use STR instead of CHA, and Kolson would gain a career thinger giving him bonuses towards actions involving management and tactics.

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Re: Campaign Stuff

Post by Kolson on Fri Jun 03, 2016 1:01 am

How about calling them Traits? That way they can be anything important to the character and act as a reminder of sorts for what we've done over the course of the game. So Kolson might have something silly like Tourist, even if it doesn't quite do anything most of the time, and Light Trial, for passing the Light Trial. Stuff like that.

Also, let's have a sticky-ed thread for our character sheets in each of the game's forums. That way everyone has access to the relevant data at all times.
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Re: Campaign Stuff

Post by Rory on Wed Jun 08, 2016 12:26 am

My sheet is the character sheet tab in my profile, I've been using that forever.

I'll reiterate what I've said earlier. The new system needs to accomplish what the previous one did, minus the flaws one feels were inherent - what makes us different, what makes us(or npcs) better and worse than each other at xyz, how I can't pick up a weapon I've never seen before and be able to cleave my way through ten enemies who have the same weapon and know how to use it. Instead of asking How is Zeiss better at Knowledge Politics, let me ask: how am I worse at Knowledge Politics than Zeiss?
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Re: Campaign Stuff

Post by Archengeia on Wed Jun 08, 2016 5:08 pm

I like the idea of Traits.

I should add these changes are happening period. This is a fundamental change to the Magusien Ruleset I've been thinking on for months. I'm just trying to implement it the best I can. I'm also currently debating another major mechanic being added to the ruleset, which is part of why I haven't been pushing forward any of the campaigns.

@Rory: The Knowledge Politics thing could be expressed in several ways, but the easiest way to demonstrate that in stats would be that Zeiss is sufficiently knowledgeable that he, for example, gains Advantage on rolls regarding Politics about the things he's worked with. By contrast Rory has shown such regular disdain for the mess that is Aluvian politics that in that case he might actually have Disadvantage, or perhaps a simple INT roll. It'd depend on the specific thing being pondered.

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Re: Campaign Stuff

Post by Rory on Fri Jun 10, 2016 6:34 am

'Kay. So how shall we go about converting our character sheets appropriately for this new system?
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Re: Campaign Stuff

Post by Archengeia on Fri Jun 10, 2016 11:34 am

Well, I've been converting everyone else's myself thusfar. Easier to translate gear and feats that way.

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Re: Campaign Stuff

Post by Archengeia on Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:55 am

No one's fault but mine on delaying here, been absolutely swamped lately. But I finally sat my ass down to convert people's character sheets.

I'll start with Rory's, because I can't edit it so I need you to do it natch.
Rory: 1 point to STR
New feat:
Human Inexperience: Automatically looked down upon by many of the 'civilized' races, but can be used to gain Advantage on rolls related to deceiving or misleading said biased people.

4 Career Points to distribute. As a reminder these can be put freely into Attributes, or made into custom Feats. All Feats need GM approval thanks to the new system.

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Re: Campaign Stuff

Post by Archengeia on Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:09 am

Javan yours is basically done. You get 4 Career Point to distribute, as per Rory's.

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Re: Campaign Stuff

Post by Archengeia on Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:09 am

Kolson, Higaide... not certain where you're keeping your respective character sheets.

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Re: Campaign Stuff

Post by Zeiss on Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:14 am

Kolson's sheet is the one integrated with the forum.
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Re: Campaign Stuff

Post by Archengeia on Wed Jun 29, 2016 12:28 pm

Well shoot, he took a bunch of skill Feats. Hrm.

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Re: Campaign Stuff

Post by K on Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:07 pm

I've been using the Forum sheet as my main as well. For other campaigns, i use separate files.
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Re: Campaign Stuff

Post by Kolson on Thu Jun 30, 2016 2:25 am

Whatever you end up doing don't forget Kolson is also a college trained Weaver for that old additional +4 you use to do.

Perhaps College Trained Weaver as a Trait?
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Re: Campaign Stuff

Post by Rory on Fri Jul 01, 2016 12:16 am

I would like Mobility and Deflecting Move.

https://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Deflecting_Move_(3.5e_Feat)

How much will that cost me?
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Re: Campaign Stuff

Post by Archengeia on Fri Jul 01, 2016 12:25 am

@Kolson: Uh since I can't directly edit your sheet, I'll need you to go in and add the Weaving thing. But yes Weaving remains a stat, technically separate from Skills.

@Rory: 2 of your 4 Career Points.

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Re: Campaign Stuff

Post by Kolson on Fri Jul 01, 2016 12:54 am

I'd be happy to but where should I put it? Feats?
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Re: Campaign Stuff

Post by Rory on Fri Jul 01, 2016 2:13 am

Done. I would like to create a custom feat that affects my temporary HP at the end of a Rage. It's between Recovering Rage or Zaeed's Gambit.

The player is considered to be at 0 HP as usual, but instead of disappearing, the temporary HP slowly trickles back in. There needs to be temporary HP left over for this feat to work its magic. Instead of a Downed test, 1 temporary Rage HP transfers over to my normal HP as a +1 heal. Every minute afterward adds +1 HP, until all remaining Rage health has been converted to real health.

All that I need from you is stat requirements and a yes/no.
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Re: Campaign Stuff

Post by Archengeia on Fri Jul 01, 2016 10:50 am

@Kolson: Up to you, just so long as you're aware of where it is.

@Rory: Done. 1 Career Point cost.

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Re: Campaign Stuff

Post by Rory on Fri Jul 01, 2016 12:22 pm

Renewing Rage. Gotta be direct with the name, unless one of you can come up with something that sounds cool.
Balance revision: does not remove Downed status.

Final point: Advantage on Sense Motive vs people allied with big institutions and sovereign states and other related factions native to Dereth. Examples: Aluvian Military, NOT (formerly) Stonehold, the Order of Summoners(?), any big business approaching corporate-level owned by non(former) Stonehold citizens or races.

On the fence with Olthoi(probably all Olthoi). Just sort of showed up and said, "ship's ours, 'kay bye!" Rory did not like that, so leaning towards inclusive in this advantage. Doesn't mean he hates them.

96 Powers: How are those different? With Reflex and Acrobatics gone (I still have a +1 Will save shirt), maybe Refined Control can give me Advantage to all Acrobatics. In addition to giving me ability+advantage to dodge thinks too fast for the naked eye, like lightning. Because 96 Powers grant superhuman abilities, so that makes me a little superhuman now.
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Re: Campaign Stuff

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