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Friday, January 24, 2020

Power 10 for 5E D&D.

As I play more and more fantasy role-playing games, especially D20 variants, I find that some of my favorites are the ones that boil the entire leveling experience down to only 10 levels. One reason is, I feel that leveling should be a major milestone rather than an incremental slog.

Going hand-in-hand with my post about redesigning character creation for 5th edition, I proposed the idea of condensing everything in 5th edition dungeons & dragons into 10 levels.

When I go back to running 5th edition I plan to use this alongside with my character creation redesign.

Combine every two levels, at first level characters get everything they would normally get from levels 1 and 2. (As well as the three extra feats from my character creation redesign. Optional)

Combined every two levels after into a single level. So everything I care to get at levels 3 and 4 is now level 2.

1+2= level 1
3+4= level 2
5+6= level 3
7+8= level 4

The amount of experience needed to get to each of the levels is equal to the higher of the two levels that have been combined. So for example 14,000 to reach level 3.

An additional option I plan to use is, when the option comes up to either improve ability score or take a feat, do both. Rather take a +1 to any one, 
And chose a feat. That way weaker feats that give a smaller ability plus a + 1, will actually give a plus +2 and the feat. Stronger feats give no bonus but characters still get a +1. This in no way breaks the math of the system (in my opinion) but also doesn't make the player choose between a feat and an ability score increase. This will create a little bit more of a power curve, I personally okay with that.

As always, comments and criticisms welcome.

Redesigned character creation for 5E D&D.

When 5E D&D was announced and the D&D next playtest became available my group jumped on it. We've played our fair share or it. We really enjoy the underlining system, there is a great deal of what we like. It was even the first game that I got a chance to be a player in a very long time. 
But there has always been something about 5E that doesn't sit right with me.

I am currently running a 13th age campaign, a game I really enjoy and my players all find very enjoyable. I also recently read through the newly released Pathfinder 2nd edition. And I feel like both games have really shined a spotlight on one of the things that I like the least about the 5th edition of dungeons & dragons. The lack of customizability and options at level 1. 

The first three levels of 5E, along with character creation are so unimpressive. Much like character creation are very uninspiring. Besides a few minor choices all characters look pretty much the same, any two characters of the same class have very little that distinguishes them. Sure they may have different a racial ability and different backgrounds, a few skills and possibly a feat different. but by and large characters of the same class feel pretty much the same for the first three levels of play. so much so that it has actually been recommended that players start at level three or four, even hinted at by the designers of the game.

As has been pointed out many times, most D&D games do not make it past 12 level. I would say in our groups experience this is true. And I will admit to my personal bias to enjoying lower level play. While I run my 13th Age game I plan to do some changes to 5E, make the game I plan to run when/if (and I'm sure we will) my group does jump back to play 5E D&D. 

One of my ideas is to condense all the fifth edition down to only 10 levels, but that is a different blog post. 

There are two unearthed arcana articles, that are critical to my new design choice. One is the release of the racial feats. The other is skill feats. 

All characters at level one get a general feat. All characters at level one get a racial feat. All characters at level one get a skill feat that makes sense to either their racial heritage or their background. 

That's it. I believe this is enough to add a greater degree of character customization. Making beginning characters more interesting and unique. It does add a small amount of power to the characters, but not much in my opinion. 

As always, comments and criticisms welcome.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Cast Resurrect Spell

I'm back. I will probably post mostly about 13th Age for a while, that is the game that I'm currently running. But I have ideas and adventures planned for a few other systems as well. Please be patient with me as I crawl out of this shallow grave, and kick the dirt off.

Thank you,
The Gaming Ronin

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Initiative in Index card RPG.

I've had some time to think about some of the workings of ICRPG. Being a tinkerer at heart I can't help but want to come up with material for it.

I'm also a big fan of highest roll starting, then going clockwise after them as advocated in the book, it's already my favorite method in other games. But I know that method may not be everyone's cup of tea, having options never hurts. The one change I make to the core method is I like using a d10 instead of d20.

My first idea was giving a scene a target based on having the drop or advantages in combat. Surprise attacks and having the high ground could both be examples of having advantage. A straight stand off in the streets would be a 10 as neither side has advantage over the other. While a group of goblins jumping out in ambush could be an 18 for the players as the goblins have the upper hand. The idea is whether or not the round is stacked in the players favor to act first. If the players get the drop on some foes lower target to 8 or possibly 6. The idea here is every player rolls an attempt against the target number. Those that succeed go before the opponents do, those who fail the target number will go after. The order stays the same until the situation changes, as having the drop usually only lasts a round. Unless the players or ambushing goblins were just so effective in the first round,  their momentum gave them advantage in the second also.

The second idea I had was keeping the clockwise from the initiative winner as core, but instead players anounce their intentions and would roll the corresponding effort die (with no modifiers) connected to the action they plan to take. If a player plans to cast a spell he would roll the spell effort die, if a warrior is attacking with her sword she would roll the combat effort die. If a player is doing some simple action that normally would not require an effort roll then they roll 1d4-1. In this method the lowest roll would go first. Then go to the next player going clockwise as normal. This method can be more complicated if that is something the party wants and instead each player acts in the order of their roll from low to highest.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

ArcanaPunk for Index card RPG

I'm toying with the idea of a setting for Index card RPG. Inspired buy my favorite Cyberpunk settings including Shadowrun. A mix of fantastic Transhumanism as well as magical spell slinging.

The first thing to consider is how magic and machine do not matter how perfect a synthetic body is, it can't be a conduit for magic. To cast magic, you must be in a meat suit.

The classes available from Alfheim will be Guardian, shadow, priest and Mage.
The classes from Warp shell will be Ronin, Ghost, and Gunner.

Magic will work on a Spell burn mechanic like on page 69 of the core book, and a push mechanic. Using a d4 to track. But instead of rolling when spell burn hits 4 spell burn a mage can use a recovery action to move the counter down a level.  every spell cast in an encounter moves the spell burn counter up one.

Mages can push spells adding a d4 of effort to a spell per level of push. Each level of push moves the spell burn die up another step. At a maximum of 4 on the burn die. When the burn die is at maximum the character is burned out and can't cast any spells for the rest of the encounter as long as the burn die is at max. Only way to lower the spell burn level is a recovery action.

Implement and fetishes.
Mages use implements while casting, a mage implement is a wand or rod. If a wizards casts a spell without an implement its always at hard (-3).
Fetishes, these hand crafted (loot) items are linked to an individual spell. Mages must have the fetish associated with the correct spell in hand to push a spell more than once on a single casting.

Counter magic in Arcanapunk works just like the core rules, but instead of having it's own timer die it moves the spell burn counter up one.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Synth sleeves (common) Genesys Rpg

I'm putting together notes for a game I would like to run centered around a lot of transhumanism themes. I'm trying them out for the Genesys rpg.

I'm toying around with work-ups for synthetic sleeves. My first step is making "core sleeves" that can be upgraded.

TK-131 "tic tok" Alpha
This model is a basic synthetic sleeve made by Takihashi Korp. It's cheap and available on the open market. Has a limited number of legal structural upgrades available from TK. The number of cosmetic upgrades is almost limitless. Alphas are the least likely of any model to pass for meat.
Brawn (2) Agility (2)
Wound Threshold (18)
Power threshold -Strain- (14)
Two levels of skill chip set space available.
Upgraded synth musculature, +1 brawn.
Upgraded stabilization cortex, +1 Agility.
Level 1 reinforced frame, +5 wound.
Level 2 reinforced frame, + 1 soak.
Power cell upgrade, power threshold +5.
One of 8 optical upgrades.

TK-231 " Brute" Beta
Created as a labor sleeve. Standing at 6' 6" these sleeves are built tough and durable. They come with all the same upgrade options of the alpha but zero cosmetic options off the showroom floor. Plenty of mod shops have packages available. Brutes almost never pass for meat.
Brawn (4) Agility (2)
Wound Threshold (30)
Power threshold -Strain- (18)
Vital system shielding Defense 1
Upgraded synth musculature, +1 brawn.
Upgraded stabilization cortex, +1 Agility.
Level 1 reinforced frame, +5 wound.
Level 2 reinforced frame, + 1 soak.
Power cell upgrade, power threshold +5.
One of 8 optical upgrades.

TK-500 "Exod" XO-XDT
This is the premier synthetic. Cosmetic options are almost limitless and can pass for meat very easily. Standard with top of the line synth flesh that looks and feels like flesh in every way. Comes equiped with improved nerve clusters that can be dialed up or down to enhance or diminish the users sense of pleasure or pain.
Comes as a bare bones model to be upgraded and modified to the customers desires.
Brawn (2) Agility (2)
Wound Threshold (20)
Power threshold -Strain- (20)
4 levels of skill chip set space available.
Vital system shielding, Defense 1.
Upgraded synth musculature,+1-3 brawn.
Upgraded stabilization cortex,+1-3 Agility.
Level 1 reinforced frame, +5 wound.
Level 2 reinforced frame, + 1 soak.
Level 3 reinforced frame +2 soak.
Wired reflexes, +1 Defense.
Power cell upgrade, power threshold +10.
Biogen auto repair system.
Quick up link data core interface.
One of 8 optical upgrades.

Combat maneuvers for Basic fantasy

I'm working on some optional combat maneuvers for Basic fantasy. Instead of making making generic ones I feel it would be more fun to make them more class specific. I reference stepping up or down damage dice. The step scale is d2,d4,d6,d8,d10,d12.

Cleric Maneuvers.
Inspiring strike: after rolling a successful attack a cleric can rebuke his target, stepping down his own damage die to give all other party members a +1 to hit until the start of his next turn.

Smite: after making a successful attack clerics can sacrifice a casting of a spell to step up the his damage die a number of steps equal to the level of the spell sacrificed to a maximum of d12. If the step would take the step above d12 then roll 2d12 and keep the higher of the two.

Fighter Maneuvers.
Defensive stance: a fighter can choose to step down his damage die on an attack to gain a +1 AC for himself and one ally standing very close by until the start of his next turn.

Unbalancing strike: fighters can down step his own damage die to give a +2 attack to the next attack against the same target.

magic-user Maneuvers:
Ward of protection: magic users can place a ward to protect on himself and all allies within close range. All effected allies get +2 to all saving throws against spells until the start of his next turn.

Counter spell: magic users can sacrifice a casting of a spell and save the magical energy to counter a spell. When a spell is cast against an ally/allies within close range the magic user can expend the energy allowing all effected allies of the spell to use his own spell save modified by the level of the spell saved and his own intelligence.

Thief Maneuvers:
Trickery: a Thief can down step his own damage die in an attack to step up the next attack die by an ally to attack the same target.

Vital Strike: when making a sneak attack the thief can forgo his +4 attack bonus to instead step up his damage die 1 step.

Power 10 for 5E D&D.

As I play more and more fantasy role-playing games, especially D20 variants, I find that some of my favorites are the ones that boil the ent...