Unearthed Arcana



Apr 01, 2004 9:15:21
Anyone use any of the new rules from Unearthed Arcana? If so, which ones and what do you think of them? Which ones fit best for a Mystara-specific campaign?

I am using the Defense-rules for My Freeport/Ierendi campaign to encourage Swashbuckler type characters. If I'd thought about it then I would have allowed the Thug class aswell, but now I am reluctant to include more new rules mid-campaign.

Many of the rules are interesting, but I also find about half of them useless, at least for the kinds of campaigns Id consider for Mystara.



Apr 01, 2004 18:08:03
Originally posted by havard
Anyone use any of the new rules from Unearthed Arcana? If so, which ones and what do you think of them? Which ones fit best for a Mystara-specific campaign?

We use the "action points" system since a few games. That work well; however we "pile" action points faster than we use them, since these days progression is fast... But the idea is interesting.

I don't know wich rule would fit particulary with Mystara. Maybe specific bloodlines? ie bloodlines from races now errated (and on Hollow World). Just an idea.


Apr 01, 2004 19:48:09
Spell Points are nice, though not particularly suitable to Mystara campaigns. Defense rolls and the alternate skill system is quite practical in any campaign. The skill system seem more like the OD&D days where we could only pick the skill, not much more.
Power Components are nice, bringing old flavor back. I can easily imagine them bartered for in Glantri City`s Merchant Quarter, as well as being a great hook for adventures.
The XP system is also ok.

All of these are used in my campaign these days, and it works out fine. Minor change in a campaign is good, keeps players from getting too bored and set in their ways.


Apr 01, 2004 20:06:23
I'm going to have to check that book out, sounds interesting. One question first though, are all those rules like Defense, action points and power components in the Unearthed Arcana?


Apr 01, 2004 23:26:41
To my knowledge they are. I've only skimmed UA, however. Helpful, no?

I've had a Red Steel swashbuckling campaign in the works for a while now, that will use both action points and defense bonuses. I've also used the magic item scion classes before, but that was because I had the original book they were from (Artifacts of the Ages). I'd probably allow the various Paragon classes, altering them to duplicate Mystara abilities (elven immunities, halfling denial, etc).

Spell points would only be for Glantrian wizards, of course. And maybe Alphatians, you'd think they would have developed something like that by now.


Apr 02, 2004 4:47:00
I'm going to have to check that book out, sounds interesting. One question first though, are all those rules like Defense, action points and power components in the Unearthed Arcana?

Yes they are.
While UA has the potential danger of making DMs go crazy and include every optional rule there is, it gives alot of good ideas for making modifications to the standard rules to better fit the setting in question.

I recommend though, that any DM who wants to diverge from the rules presented in the Core Rulebooks, writes up a complete list of rules modifications and classes/ races allowed and not allowed. Also, options are not necessarily a good thing, a solid framework is also required. Im speaking from bad experience here, our old AD&D campaigns come to mind where we had ca 200 sourcebooks and allowed all classes/races/kits/combat maneuvers plus a handful of our own design. It was a huge mess.



Apr 02, 2004 13:33:31

I can't imagine coming up with such a document for the AD&D system. It was enough work producing a document detailing which alternate rules were allowed in my OD&D game. I guess that is why I am drawn to the OD&D system. The optional rules and magical items and monsters are manageable.

Regards and Best Wishes,

Donald Eric Kesler


Apr 02, 2004 19:19:18
I quickly checked out unearthed arcana in the store today but didn't buy it. From what I saw, I wouldn't use very much of it to warrant purchasing it. Maybe one of my players will find it interesting enough to buy . I've spent too much $ on those new miniatures - they're worth the money (IMHO).


Apr 02, 2004 19:23:30
I've used the RoleMaster system before and it was really fun at adding depth and I still use the spell system in my current campaign. I agree about keeping track of what rules you do use or alter, because I have done something similiar to what Havard described and it was a disaster.:sad:


Apr 02, 2004 19:44:12
I still use the spell system in my current campaign.

I've always disliked the "spell slot" system of picking fixed spells for the day. It seemed that a lot of the other non-combat spells got bumped. When I still played OD&D which was only a year or so ago, I found a system on the Vaults for a percentage chance of casting spells. When we started with 3ed, I converted it to a DC type system based on the percentage one.

Could of used the sorceror class I know, but this way a caster can get fatigued and even collapse casting some spells. I really like it so far but we're still play-testing it.


Apr 03, 2004 12:02:39
In the Role Master books there is the exhaustion feature where if you spend a certain percentage of your power points you begin to fatigue. I always enjoyed that. There is also a skill that can improve your Power Points (Magic) so that a player could choose wether or not they wanted to have more power. Even under the OD&D rules I used a Magic Point system that I got from Final Fantasy games back in the early days. I just added up all the levels of the spells they would have memorized and just gave them that number of points to spend. So they memorized the entire book, but physically could only cast so many times before exhaustion. Once I got my hands on RoleMaster though, the whole Spell List idea sucked me right in. Although they make magic based characters way too powerful, so what I did was used an experience point system, where a character could use skill points gained at each level to purchase spells and have to "buy" their way up the spell list instead of automatically learning every spell up to the characters level of evey spell list they know. I had a player in my campaign, who never improved any of his skills, and instead bought spells every level. He had nearly 500 spells and had to organize them on a chart so he could remember he had magic for this or that. It was hilarious. The chart was a tiny font, but he had to get all the descriptions and so on into it and it ended up being close to 20 pages. He even made a cover and wrote his characters name on the cover and then Spell Book below it. It was a cool effect that really got him into the game and also made him rely heavily on the other players when it come to anything not dealing with magic. This flexibility is why I still use the Role Master spell system.


Apr 06, 2004 23:36:19
Here are some UA options particularly appropriate for a Mystaran campaign:

1) Elemental races: Extrapolate from the material given to create subraces native to various alternate planes of existence.

2) Bloodlines: Suitable to represent the "Progeny" in the Glantri: Kingdom of Magic boxed set.

3) Totem Barbarians: Use the existing options and perhaps create others for Atruaghin, Hinterlands, and Neathar barbarians.

4) Battle Sorcerer: A logical candidate for most elves, if you either change their favored class to sorcerer or (better yet) create a "battle wizard" class by analogy.

5) Rake: Use the rogue variant of replacing sneak attack with fighter bonus feats and take no ranks in the Sleight of Hand skill and you meet the constraints of the Mystaran Rake class.


Apr 06, 2004 23:41:37
6) Transmuter Variants: Wizards who are students at Glantri's School of Magic might typically be transmuters who select the Spell Versatility and Transmutable Memory options.

7) Turning Undead Variant (Level Check): This option might bring the ability to turn undead back into balance with that ability in earlier editions of the game.

8) Prestige Paladin: A better option for Mystara than the core paladin class.

9) Weapon Group Feats: Another option that makes features from earlier editions of the rules more accessible.

There are a few other ideas in UA that I see some merit to, but my reasons for liking them have nothing to do with the specifics of the Mystara setting.