|#1balican_gigoloJan 24, 2007 1:32:06||I don't know if it's the best place to post this but since it is definitely dark sun, I figured I'd give it a try.|
I've been thinking lately how annoying that my cactuses have absolutely no chance of killing my level 10+Pcs. I mean, yeah you're stronger and more experienced, but you could still make a mistake and a cactus could get you. couldn't it?
Anyway what I'm trying to do is incorporate the rules from the white wolf system and use them for dark sun.
This would mean:
Feats, skills, upping attributes, etc all bought with experience points.
Classes basically just a title and nothing else really.
The main problem I have is trying to decide how to run magic and powers. should I make it the same way as mage: the ascension, just with mana to limit the number of times they can use magic, or do I have them 'buy' each spell with experience points.
Has anyone ever attempted this?
Anyway one advantage of this is how you could customize your PC 100%. You could be a mainly combat feats oriented 'fighter' who just happened to know how to read and has spent a certain amount of time studying, therefore knows, let's say, one spell. This is just an example...
I just feel that this way it would kind of make Athas even more difficult for the players because even a PC witht he equivalent of a level10 in power could be brought down by a guy with a lvl3-4 in power if the latter was prepared enough. Seems highly unlikely with the d20 system.
|#2ashantiJan 24, 2007 6:58:18||Seems like you want to do a major change to the system. You would also have to look at mosters and villians as well as pcs.|
Why not create an uber cactus that is more of a threat? When you think about what you can do with advancing mosters, you should be able to brew up a variation on the cactus theme with the added advantage of it comming as a complete surprise to your cactus savy players.
|#3j0ltJan 24, 2007 8:30:44||You could just tone down the Hit Dice.|
1d4 > 1d2
1d6 > 1d3
1d8 > 1d4
1d10 > 1d4+1
1d12 > 1d6
|#4zombiegleemaxJan 24, 2007 9:58:24||Hi,|
Maybe you can use the alternative HP system from Unearthed Arcana?
They give each character a basic HP value according to the constitution score (I don't know how it's called in third edition). this is constant and doesn't change as the character gains levels. When it drops to 0, the character dies.
The rest of the HP is called VP (vitality), and this is the "damage" a character can take, which can be looked as how long can it survive.
Critical hits or special hits reduce HP, so even a 10th level character can die if someone hits it well enough.
I also think this is a more natural way to use HP, as D&D in general has a problem with it (IMHO).
|#5KamelionJan 24, 2007 10:23:42|
I don't know if it's the best place to post this but since it is definitely dark sun, I figured I'd give it a try.
Lord Doomspike is your friend.
|#6j0ltJan 24, 2007 10:52:57||Braxat2000 - That's called Wounds and Vitality.|
It's used in the StarWars RPG, and works quite well.
I'll try to explain:
A regular hit takes down your Vitality points (which are the same as HP would be at any given level). Once they are gone, you have a number of Wound points equal to your Con score (there are feats to increase this).
Critical hits bypass VP and go directly to Wounds, but are NOT multiplied.
A greatsword wielded in both hands (assuming 14 Str) that does 2d6+3 on an ordinary hit will still only do 2d6+3 on a crit, but if you have a Con score of 12, you'd better hope they roll low, 'coz if they get lucky you might get dropped in a single hit.
I like to use this system in my d20 Modern campaigns as well. It basically makes it possible for lower CR characters to take out higher CR characters should they land a lucky blow. (example: An unlucky high-level adventurer being killed by a cactus)
|#7dirk00001Jan 24, 2007 11:45:09||Given that you really posted 2 separate questions, let me give you my 4 bits, total:|
1) As Ashanti pointed out, advancing monsters can do wonders...especially if the advancement increases their size by even 1 level. In an upcoming adventure for my group I've got an advanced sand cactus that has just enough HD to make it huge rather than large - if I'd put this cactus into the adventure as an actual opponent rather than an "environmental hazard" to spice-up an encounter it would wipe the floor with my group of 7th-level characters. Advancing by a size makes creatures that rely on poisons, grappling and/or physical attacks - such as every cactus I can think of - much more potent than their normal counterpart. The poison's save DC is going to go up by quite a bit, their grapple checks are probably going to be on par with the PCs simply form the Str and size bonus, and of course even their overall to-hit and damage goes up dramatically. So anyway, try doing this and I think you'll find that, although "normal" cacti might not phase the PCs anymore, they'll constantly be asking "...are there any unusually-large cacti around?"
2) The easiest way to do this would be to get rid of XP penalties for multiclassing, get rid of favored classes as well, and just let PCs take whatever they want. That way you could be a Fighter 3, wizard 1, bard 4, etc. without even having to touch PrCs. Another option (without completely dismantling the d20 system that is) is to check out some of the OGL optional and variant rules at d20srd.org. The Generic Classes variant is similar to what you want, the Variant Magic Rules list all sorts of possibilities for changing spellcasting, etc.
|#8ruhl-than_sageJan 24, 2007 12:40:15||I would have the spells be individually bought with expirience, but keep them cheap. The expense should come from leveling up the stat necessary to cast spells of a given level and that should be extremely expensive and grow in expense considerably with each increase.|
12xcurrent level or some such.
I'm working on a conversion of DS that is a level less system based on Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. The most difficult thing in a conversion is always the magic systems.
|#9zombiegleemaxJan 24, 2007 14:43:36||actually, i had the same issue, so i decided: why not make this a little bit better.|
At first i had the same line of thought as you, thinking that the best way to do this would be to convert it to the "WORLD OF DARKNESS". It just didn't quite have the feel I wanted.
I am currently at the point in the creation of my system (based off of the Riddle of Steel) that i am RIGHT smack dab in the magic problem.
Magic in the riddle of the steel is HARD, Dangerous, and unbalanced. Mind you, this was all intentional because they felt that magic should be much more powerful.
This is not condusive to the player's concerned with balance, but i believe that the mage is already far far ahead of everyone else in the DS world so i am working on that.
With my system for psionics almost done and my system for magic in the baby steps, you might wonder, what do i have planned for the weapon conversions and what not.
Actually, i've got that figured out too. Their combat system has been made so that it is as realistic as possible without having to spend all of your time looking at tables. The man that usually lands the first hit wins, and pain and bloodloss are factored in.
I've got the races done (with the exception of halflings) and i feel that it is meant to be for my gaming group.
Magic i would say that you buy levels, and then you need to find the spells. You can only have so many spells as your intelligence (i don't remember what was their memory attribute in that game) per day memorized. This allows playrs with capabilities akin to that of spellpoints while still forcing them to carry that big old book by their side. If you feel that intx1 is not enough, multiply it, add a number to it, be creative.
If you are interested in seeing anything to do with how i've worked stuff out, you can email me at [email]email@example.com[/email] or PM me.
Sorry if i wasted your time but it was just an idea.
|#10zombiegleemaxJan 24, 2007 14:52:48||We tried to convert Dark Sun to WoD, was interesting and we had a lot of neat ideas like giving fighters "Rage" etc., however, Dark Sun is best for World of Darkness when it's a mage game. Sure, you can be a "Fighter" or a "Thief", but the ones with the most power are the mages. |
I also ran a were-wolf Darksun game were most were either kinsfolk or one of the changing breed, all servants to a powerful Mage Sorcerer King.
*Thinks of his "City of Wonders" Dark Sun game translated to WoD Mage system*
|#11zombiegleemaxJan 24, 2007 15:04:35||Oh PS: If a character receives a major wound, say half your consistution according to the unearthed arcana, they are probably going to die. Medicine is not as advanced in D&D and the PC will most likely bleed to death, die from infection after a few days of misery or from a combination of the two. Once you get a major wound, like a knife to the belly or an arrow through one of your lungs, it's pretty much over for you. If you do survive, you'll horrible scared and maybe crippled for the rest of your life, however long that might be. If your arrow to the lung doesn't kill you, your lung will surely be collapsed. You'll be weak and out of breath for the rest of your life. If you loose a hand or a leg, you cannot work and you'll be forced to beg on the streets of Tyr, making a starving living living in the warrens. You'd be lucky if you survived ten years after your wound. |
Clerics are very important to Dark Sun (And D&D in general if you eliminate hit points). I'd say, a low level cleric can heal an arrow wound to the lung, but it would take an advanced spell to make the lung not collapsed.
|#12balican_gigoloJan 24, 2007 19:24:20||wow, thanks a lot everyone. I got more information and insight than I had even hoped for. This is great.|
I never read unearthed Arcana so this wound/vitality rule is very interesting. I'll have to think about it. It would also be the idea with less work. I wouldn't have to redo the whole system, just change that.
I understand the ideas for advancing monsters, but what if you have a mixed level group of PCs? the low level ones would just get smacked.
although lord doomspike is pretty neat. x)
|#13xlorepdarkhelm_dupJan 24, 2007 20:11:25|
I don't know if it's the best place to post this but since it is definitely dark sun, I figured I'd give it a try.
I have considered a level-less and class-less system. I've toyed with the idea of using a system similar to White-Wolf's Storytelling, or possibly the Exalted system, or something else I make up myself. The problem is the drastic levels of min-maxing of the system that players can pull off typical of such a system, and the problem of making a gamesystem that is too complex and unwieldy.
|#14zombiegleemaxJan 24, 2007 20:13:17||There seem to be two things you're looking for: Greater chance of peril from common ("minor") mishaps, and a system that allows for more flexible (ie. "classless", "levelless") character advancement. These aren't necessarily linked, although I personally like the idea of both.|
Folks here have already mentioned alot of good stuff, but in addition to those ideas there are a few others I've found here and there that might be of use:
1) Unearthed Arcana ("Injury" system) - If you're just looking for a hit point alternative that makes things more risky then the "Injury" system from Unearthed Arcana could work for you. This system removes hit points and makes disability and death possabilities that could take place at any time. Basically characters have to make fortitude saves against the damage they've taken and a failed save indicates some form of injury.
2) My Stuff - Although not doing much to aid your search for classless-ness I did come up with a couple combat-related systems that may provide the requisite deadliness:
Injury rules (and it's followup) - A modification of the Injury system from UA. Seemed to work pretty well in the one playtest I did.
Armor Damage Reduction - There is also in UA a system that allows armor to do some damage reduction. I wasn't satisfied with the system as written of course so this is an attempt to tweak it up a bit.
(Also available a character sheet designed around the rules variants mentioned above, and an alternate magic system that has pretty much nothing to do with your request.)
3) Mutants & Masterminds - Almost all d20 games are inherently level based by their nature. If you really want it classless I think your best bet is to convert the entire thing to Mutants and Masterminds. M&M uses an injury-saves system similar to the one I mentioned from Unearthed Arcana. It would be alot of work to convert everything at once (and some spells and powers would be strangely low cost compared to d20), but M&M is so frickin' elegant man!
4) Other Resources - A few other relevant sources I've found, mostly from RPGnow. None of these have I read all the way through but they look like they could be of use. I don't think any of them will give you what you want by themselves, but in some combination (ie. "System 1 wacky HP" + "System 2 class/level variation" = "your system good") they might:
Grim-n-Gritty Hit Points and Combat Rules - I remember seeing these kicked around a bit before they got published in an official format. As I recall they don't change classes much but do make things alot more deadly.
Character Customization - This doesn't seem like a way to get rid of levels alltogether, but appears to be a way for players to re-arrange the components of classes to come up with any combination of abilities-per-level that they want.
Buy the Numbers - From what I understand this is a straight up attempt to convert the abilities of the core classes directly into XP values. It sounds closest to what you're looking for on a "getting rid of levels" front.
Classless d20 - This I haven't looked at closely at all so I can't say much about it. But hey, it's free!
I took a crack at a classless system awhile back under 3.0 rules myself though I hesitate to point it out as inelegant and unplaytested as it was.
|#15ZardnaarJan 24, 2007 20:33:16||I thought of adapting the d6 system to Dark Sun but it involved alot of work. A few of the mechanics don't work that well in 3.5 ed IMHO.|
|#16balican_gigoloJan 24, 2007 23:07:41||kisnerp, thanks a lot. the 'buy the numbers' book looks like what I've been looking for. I think I'll get it. looks really interesting.|
woohoo! I don't have to build everything from the ground up.
|#17zombiegleemaxJan 25, 2007 6:12:26||It's not always bad to build things from the ground up.... *Sniffle* some of us enjoy it.|
|#18zombiegleemaxJan 25, 2007 6:54:56|
kisnerp, thanks a lot. the 'buy the numbers' book looks like what I've been looking for. I think I'll get it. looks really interesting.
Just glad to be of use.
It also occurs to me that if "Buy the Numbers" works like I think it does then you could probably achieve deadliness by just limiting the total number and size of Hit Dice a character could ever buy, maybe linking it to their size category.
...but I bet that was your ingenious plan all along, you clever little Tari. ;)
It's not always bad to build things from the ground up.... *Sniffle* some of us enjoy it.
Oh, sure. Personally I love it.
But it's no substitute for having it ready to go right now.
I've run fewer games because I, "just wanted to fix up a few problems I had with the system first", and then ended up re-writing the system entirely or starting from scratch to design a new system.
(sigh) Some people get addicted to crack or meth, for me it's game design.
|#19hidaakiraJan 25, 2007 7:03:55||I've been playing classless/levelless d20 for nearly 3 years now.|
There have been many changes during this time. The current incarnation looks like this:
everyone starts with their Constituion score HP. you spend XP equal to the new HP score in order to by up. So Con 10 means you start with 10 HP, and it costs 11 XP to advance to 11 Hp, 12 Xp for 12 HP etc.
Feats, saves, BAB: all these things have a base cost of 100 xp, +100 for any prerequisite they might have. So BAB +1 costs 100 XP, BAB +2 costs 200 xp, etc.
the Dodge feat would cost 200 xp (100xp for base, +100 for the Dexterity 13+ prerequisite)
Class abilities are a bit harder to determine, but I treat them as feats: you follow a path that allows you to learn certain abilities.
Prestige classes: are treated the same as classes, but you must pay an entry cost (100xp +100xp/requirement) in order to enter.
Improving basic attributes. You determine your starting abilities according to the preferred method (I like the 4d6, keep highest 3, place as desired).
you pay 400 xp for the first increase, and +100/increase (400 xp for +1, 500 for +2). Once you reach the base racial maximum (18 in all stats for humans, etrc.) you must pay +200 per increase instead of +100.
I kept the basic system in order to minimize the need for creating a new magic system.
Basically, you pay 600 xp for the first caster level of sorcerer, wilder, psychic warrior, bard, shugenja and other innate casters, then +100 per level (700 xp for level two, etc.)
700 xp for first level for wizards, psions, etc.
The first spellslot of each spell level is free. All others cost 100 xp, and you cannot have more higher level spell slots than lower level ones. (50 xp for 0th level slots)
Innate casters (sorcerers, psions, etc.) can learn as many spells as they like, but must pay 100 xp/spell level (50 xp for 0th level spells). the first spell known of every spell level is free.
Each Power Point for psionics costs 100 xp.
Bonus spell slots/PP for ability modifiers are applied as normal.
The way I do it now is each skill point costs 20 xp for each skill point ranks 1-5, 40 xp ranks 6-10, 60 xp ranks 11-15, 80 xp ranks 16-20, 100 xp ranks 21-25 etc.
Certain feats like Great Fortitude and Toughness and the various skill boosters suddenly become very attractive. Pay 100+ xp for each additional hit point or pay 100 xp for three? hmmmmm.
These simply become equivalent to regional feats that can only be taken once, and then only a character creation.
Some people think that it is unfair that you don't get bonus skill points for high Intelligence or bonus hp for high Constitution.
You can simply say that for each 10 points of either, you gain your ability modifier. Bonus hp from Constitution do not count for the price of purchasing more HP.
For those who wish sorceres to have more spell slots, they can pay 75 (or even 50) xp per spell slot rather than 100 xp.
For campaigns where some forms of magic are supposed to be easier to master (such as maho in Rokugan and defiling in Dark Sun), simply reduce the xp cost for caster levels, spells known and spell slots.
I generally make these forms of magic a 25-30% cheaper.
Star Wars Force skills and feats cost twice the normal price.
It's not a perfect system, but it has worked well enough.
Playtest notes: spellcasters/Force users have to spend a lot more xp to become better compared to combat types. not only are they paying a lot for caster levels, they are paying a lot for spell slots (and in some cases spells) so they cannot afford much by the way of skills or other class abilities, much less feats, HP, saves or BAB.
I intended it this way. I like magic/psionics to be expensive and difficult to master.
|#20balican_gigoloJan 25, 2007 17:57:54||very interesting HidaAkira, I'll have to think about using these rules. I also agree that spells should be more difficult to master. clerics in dark sun are overpowered in my opinion so to have them spend more for spells sounds good. and for wizards, well I'll attribute it to the difficulty in finding new spells and having to hide oneself from the public eye.|
|#21flipJan 26, 2007 11:14:53||Back in my pre-ds3 days, I was working on a conversion Athas for Fudge ( http://www.fudgerpg.com/ , http://www.panix.com/~sos/fudge.html ) ... is a nice skill based system, very granular, and very much an "out of your way" kind of system. Never managed to get both magic and psionics to a point where I was happy with them though ...|
|#22brun01Jan 26, 2007 12:03:59|
I would suggest using gurps 4th edition for that....
|#23xlorepdarkhelm_dupJan 26, 2007 13:19:47|
Back in my pre-ds3 days, I was working on a conversion Athas for Fudge ( http://www.fudgerpg.com/ , http://www.panix.com/~sos/fudge.html ) ... is a nice skill based system, very granular, and very much an "out of your way" kind of system. Never managed to get both magic and psionics to a point where I was happy with them though ...
I had completely forgotten about Fudge.
|#24zombiegleemaxJan 30, 2007 21:00:58||How about using Runequest?|
D&D to BRP Translation.
I've used Elric! with the Runequest magic system grafted on and it worked beautifully. Very dangerous, very gritty.
[goes back into lurker mode]
|#25draggahFeb 04, 2007 22:33:29||Check out Savage Worlds. I convert all my fantasy gaming over to it now. There are people working on a Dark Sun conversion right now. It's extremely easy to use and to convert to.|