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Endrin Helrick
01-29-2004, 05:36 PM
In my group we are having some problems going from the low level 2E birthright to the very powerful 3E and 3.5E. I am trying to get some advice on how you guys are keeping it low level or are you adapting to the higher levels of 3rdE mainly because of the prestige classes. Some of them are almost to good to pass up.
Do you allow regents of countries to have the same prestige classes. If you bump up the levels of people in the books how do you know how high to go.
I know when 3E first came out they had a conversion manual that you could print out and i did and still use alittle bit.
Also what about epic characters. We have been adventuring 3 seperate campaigns and all 3 groups are approaching or already are at epic levels. What have other gamers and DM's done about this.
Need some advice thanks.....

Benjamin
01-30-2004, 01:34 PM
One way you can keep it low powered is to cut back on any magical items. If a treasure has it, give it a 50% (or whatever) chance of being there. If the roll is too high, then drop the magic item and forget that part of the treasure. Keeps down magic as well as money.

Another way to keep it low powered is to cut XP in half. That will slow advancement a lot, so players will realize a 7th level warrior is to be feared and respected.

It's all in how the DM handles things. If s/he allows lots of power, the PCs will become overwhelming quickly. If the DM limits treasure and XP, then things will stay balanced in a low power setting.

teloft
01-30-2004, 03:01 PM
Other way is to play the NPC/monsters like they have some wit. and by thet creating much harder encounters then there reward counts for.
But ofcours, cuting tresure where there is to much.

I dont remember the thum rule of standard D&D conversion.
but it was something like a 17 lv character in 2ed would be 22 lv in 3ed

CMonkey
01-30-2004, 05:20 PM
Originally posted by Benjamin@Jan 30 2004, 01:34 PM
Another way to keep it low powered is to cut XP in half. That will slow advancement a lot, so players will realize a 7th level warrior is to be feared and respected.

That's what I do.

I also use grim and gritty HP, so no matter what level you are a greataxe critical will probably still kill you.

Oh, and doubled the cost to create of magic items and reduced their occurences by a factor of about 10. ;)

CM.

Azulthar
01-30-2004, 05:59 PM
I also use grim and gritty HP, so no matter what level you are a greataxe critical will probably still kill you.
Amen. I use (a modified version of) the grim and gritty combat system as well. It fits so well with the lower-fantasy setting of Birthright, IMO.
Levels become less important (while natural attributes such as size become all the more important). Players will be very careful with a giant, no matter what level they are.

- Azulthar

teloft
01-30-2004, 06:30 PM
Originally posted by Azulthar@Jan 30 2004, 06:59 PM
Amen. I use (a modified version of) the grim and gritty combat system as well. It fits so well with the lower-fantasy setting of Birthright, IMO.
Levels become less important (while natural attributes such as size become all the more important). Players will be very careful with a giant, no matter what level they are.

- Azulthar
Do tell. How is your system. what housrules do you use.

kgauck
01-30-2004, 08:23 PM
I felt that the low character levels just left out too much potential for

character specialization, a role kits used to help play in 2e. So I really

don`t go for a low level world any more. You are right to consider

"adapting to the higher levels" because 3e really flowers at higher level.

And some PrC`s just are too good to pass up.



Bumping up regents. I wait until the game is under way and then start

migrating the regents up slowly. I also kill some off and start with

characters who are a few levels below the PC`s, but no higher than 5th or

6th level (unless I`ve been grooming a rival for the players).



PrC`s. I use them freely, because they make characters so much more

interesting. A lot are goofy (trans. not suitable for BR), some are

overpowered, but others are just what the doctor ordered.



I do like the low magic setting of BR, and so have ruled that spellcasting

level can only amount to half of a character`s total levels. I end up

making (or re-writting) PrC`s that swap spellcasting progression for

abilities that augment spellcasting, like skill points, item creation, and

low-powered/high flavor abilities. This makes it hard to be a generalist

mage, but specialists are still cool, because they have skills, feats, and

abilities that accentuate their specialization.



I agree with some of the other posters who reign in magic items, especially

permenent ones. I am currently working on rules that make more powerful

permenent magic items require master artisans to create better than

masterwork items to take magics better than +2 or equivilent.



I also recomend using more profound aging rules, so that older characters

experience what Ars Magica (another game system) describes as decrepitude.

As characters experience real aging (and with it increasing vulnerability)

its nice to encourage them to play their own heirs. This creates a

situation where rather than play imortal characters who just keep

accumulating levels, their characters begin to age and they "retire". Older

characters might run the realm actions while their younger heirs adventure.

Older characters can still come out to meet the gravest threats. But

eventually you want the older characters to die so the heirs can take over.

I recomend that PC`s look to marriage and producing heirs as soon as they

can, since you want at least 14 years to pass between marriage and the first

use of your heirs. Starting PC`s married with youngsters helps in this

regard. Spouses that are viable characters should either create

complications for the PC (mostly in time and obligation, not by putting them

in jeopardy) or alternatly count as a cohort. Spouses that are built as

pure noble class characters make excellent people to leave at court while

you are away.



I`m kind of getting away from the question asked, so I`ll stop here. But

ultimatly switching from the immortal who gains levels for a hundred years

to a family (dyanstic) model of play makes it easier to avoid epic levels or

super-powerful characters.



Kenneth Gauck

kgauck@mchsi.com

Endrin Helrick
02-02-2004, 07:18 PM
What do you guys think about epic characters in BR? Do you think that with there travels the Gorgon would try to assassinate them or even Ghore. Do you think a party of epic creatures could threaten the Gorgon and kill him if needed. Do you think any other Regents would be of epic level. At what level do you think most regents should quit adventuring and pay more attention to the kingdom?

Just some questions i would throw out for more conversation....

Azulthar
02-02-2004, 08:19 PM
Do tell. How is your system. what housrules do you use.
I'm sorry, but it's simply too much to fully describe here. You have hitpoints equal to your full Constitution score, with only a minor class level-based advancement. AC is called Defense Class or Dodge Class and is *not* increased by armor, but by Dex and class levels. Instead, armor gives a Protection score, which reduces damage.

For example: normally, a 3rd-level Fighter (Dex 12, Con 13) wearing Scalemail would have an average of 30 hitpoints and an AC of 16. Under the "grim-n-gritty" rules, the same fighter would have 16 hp (+3 from fighter levels), a DC of 13 (+1 from fighter levels) and a protection of 4 (scale mail).

This is a basic description of the core of the grim-n-gritty rules as I remember them. I've changed quite a bit in the meantime...


What do you guys think about epic characters in BR?
Scions only. Same goes for high level characters. In my campaign, non-blooded gain a 10% XP penalty per level, up to a maximum of 90%. So a 1st level character receives a 10% penalty while a 6th level character receives a 60% penalty. This makes high-level, non-blooded characters a rarity. But Scions advance using the normal rules, and can advance beyond level 20 as Epic characters (also impossible for non-blooded characters).


- Azulthar

Ariadne
02-03-2004, 05:20 PM
Originally posted by Azulthar@Feb 2 2004, 09:19 PM

What do you guys think about epic characters in BR?
Scions only. Same goes for high level characters. In my campaign, non-blooded gain a 10% XP penalty per level, up to a maximum of 90%. So a 1st level character receives a 10% penalty while a 6th level character receives a 60% penalty. This makes high-level, non-blooded characters a rarity. But Scions advance using the normal rules, and can advance beyond level 20 as Epic characters (also impossible for non-blooded characters).


- Azulthar
Ugh... up to 90% XP penalty for no-blooded? Who still playes one in your campain?

Generally I like epic characters (even in BR) and IMO there are enough "monsters" to chalange a higher level PC party. At first naturally awnshegs, but if you expand your campaign to the shadow world, there is enough space for new "unspeakable horrors". :D

Azulthar
02-03-2004, 07:18 PM
Ugh... up to 90% XP penalty for no-blooded? Who still playes one in your campain?
Well...nobody ofcourse :) If any player would like to play a commoner, I would have him start with the 10.5 average for Ability scores as well. I don't boost characters for being controlled by a player, I boost them because of what they are: Scions. PCs are not above-average, Scions are (at least in my campaign).

It makes no sense to me that common people can grow from farmers to ogre-slaying warriors in just a few months of game time. If you're non-blooded, 3rd level is already quite high, and 10th level could be considered 'epic'. This seperates Scions even further from their non-blooded kin, which I like. Non-blooded adventurers are rare, as the career is simply too dangerous for them. It also limits the power of non-blooded priests and magicians.

- Azulthar

Ariadne
02-03-2004, 11:26 PM
Yes, that's out of question. Scions are better, naturally... :D

IMC we only use scions (well, it wouldn't be BR, if not ;) ) and making them high level or even epic level is a play of years, but I see no problem with it...

Trithemius
02-04-2004, 09:50 AM
Azulthar:

> Well...nobody ofcourse :) If any player would like to play a commoner,

> I would have him start with the 10.5 average for Ability scores as well.

> I don`t boost characters for being controlled by a player, I boost them

> because of what they are: Scions. PCs are not above-average, Scions are

> (at least in my campaign).



I don`t agree at all.

Player Characters, in my opinion, are exceptional members of the society.

Blooded PCs might be -more- exceptional, but I prefer to emphasise this

through the use of the bloodline, not through making unblooded characters

utterly useless.



> It makes no sense to me that common people can grow from farmers to

> ogre-slaying warriors in just a few months of game time. If you`re

> non-blooded, 3rd level is already quite high, and 10th level could be

> considered `epic`. This seperates Scions even further from their

> non-blooded kin, which I like. Non-blooded adventurers are rare, as the

> career is simply too dangerous for them. It also limits the power of

> non-blooded priests and magicians.



It certainly does make no sense for everyone in a society to be able to go

from farmer to the best swordsman in the world. Thankfully in my games I

concentrate on between four to six individuals and need not worry about

everyone else on the planet.



I also think that Magicians are quite limited in power already. If you are

concerned about the proliferation of clerics perhaps you should do as some on

the list have suggested and make possession of a bloodline a requirement for

full divine magical powers. If you take this route then perhaps a divine

Magician-equivalent spellcaster needs to be designed for unblooded would-be

clerics?



--

John Machin

(trithemius@paradise.net.nz)

-----------------------------------------------------

"Nothing is more beautiful than to know the All."

-----------------------------------------------------

- Athanasius Kircher, `The Great Art of Knowledge`.

Azulthar
02-06-2004, 03:17 PM
I don`t agree at all.
Player Characters, in my opinion, are exceptional members of the society.
Blooded PCs might be -more- exceptional, but I prefer to emphasise this
through the use of the bloodline, not through making unblooded characters
utterly useless.
Well, officially you are 'right' and I am 'wrong'. The Players Handbook states that PCs are above-average heroes, yadayadayada. I simply don't like playing it that way. In my campaign, PCs are special, not better (more about this later). It's a personal thing, and I don't expect many of you to agree with me.


It certainly does make no sense for everyone in a society to be able to go
from farmer to the best swordsman in the world. Thankfully in my games I
concentrate on between four to six individuals and need not worry about
everyone else on the planet.
Well, in my campaign, if a PC can do it, an NPC can as well. All rules apply equally to all things in my campaign. So, in theory, I do have to worry about everyone on the planet when writing down a rule, as it will apply to all of them.

Still. the PCs can become the heroes of the world and have all the epic adventures, while NPCs of similar power can accomplish only minor feats. This is because the story is formed around the PCs, not the rules (which are a constant factor).

The only rule-advantage the PCs get (and some very important NPCs), is that they receive Fate points at character creation. I borrowed this system from WHFRP, and I love it. A Fate point allows a character to escape from a certain-death situation. This is the only rule that more or less sets PCs apart from NPCs of similar power, and represents them being more important to the story. They're not stronger, faster or tougher: they simply have a destiny to fulfill.


I also think that Magicians are quite limited in power already. If you are
concerned about the proliferation of clerics perhaps you should do as some on
the list have suggested and make possession of a bloodline a requirement for
full divine magical powers. If you take this route then perhaps a divine
Magician-equivalent spellcaster needs to be designed for unblooded would-be
clerics?
Well, I've handled the cleric thing. In short, some clerics can 'bond' with their deity (and thus receive spells), while others cannot. Blooded characters can always bond, due to their own divine heritage (so PCs, who always play Scions in my campaign, have nothing to worry about).


- Azulthar

irdeggman
02-06-2004, 04:33 PM
Here's a question how would you handle an encounter with bandits? If they are NPCs and have such a limited exp gain they would have to be lower level. If they are lower level, then they are a lower CR, if they are a lower CR then the PCs gain less exp and so on and so on.

Most encounters in BR revolve around human (or demi-human) NPCs, that is one of the beauties of the campaign. It is about power and the struggle for power not just a bunch of adventurers trying to rid the local village of a goblin problem.

Azulthar
02-06-2004, 05:37 PM
Here's a question how would you handle an encounter with bandits? If they are NPCs and have such a limited exp gain they would have to be lower level. If they are lower level, then they are a lower CR, if they are a lower CR then the PCs gain less exp and so on and so on.
True, although I don't really see your point. My group takes on lower-level/CR creatures all the time, even when I was playing plain-old D&D the way it was. It just means the PCs can take on more of those bandits at the same time (if you want them to gain enough XP), or can take on an equal amount for less experience (but also less danger).

And it's not that NPC's cannot climb above 2nd level or so. There are numerous non-blooded NPC's in the world who have seen far more action than the PCs. Non-blooded above 10th level are a real rarity, but consider how powerful a 10th level character is. There shouldn't be that many of them.


Most encounters in BR revolve around human (or demi-human) NPCs, that is one of the beauties of the campaign. It is about power and the struggle for power not just a bunch of adventurers trying to rid the local village of a goblin problem.
It could be. PCs don't have to start out as regents. I like to have my players climb their way up to that position. First experience the world up-close-and-personal, and then take on a role of leadership. Is that so out-of-sync with how Birthright is supposed to be?

- Azulthar

irdeggman
02-06-2004, 08:51 PM
]
True, although I don't really see your point. My group takes on lower-level/CR creatures all the time, even when I was playing plain-old D&D the way it was. It just means the PCs can take on more of those bandits at the same time (if you want them to gain enough XP), or can take on an equal amount for less experience (but also less danger).

True enough. The point I was trying to make is that if the NPCs are effectively lower level and the PCs are effectively higher level (I don't know whether or not you are using level adjustments for scions or not) then the CR tables as written won't work without substantial work by the DM.

This was one of the reasons for using level adjustments for scions (in the BRCS-playtest) and replacing them with scion-class levels in the revised Chap 2, to account for the inherent advantage that scions have over non-scions. It helps make it easier to use the encounter tables out of the books without a tremendous amount of DM fiat involved - something that was pretty prevelant in 2nd ed.


"Most encounters in BR revolve around human (or demi-human) NPCs, that is one of the beauties of the campaign. It is about power and the struggle for power not just a bunch of adventurers trying to rid the local village of a goblin problem."

It could be. PCs don't have to start out as regents. I like to have my players climb their way up to that position. First experience the world up-close-and-personal, and then take on a role of leadership. Is that so out-of-sync with how Birthright is supposed to be?

- Azulthar

Again true enough. The point I was trying to make here was that almost all things involved in BR revolve around power and the rulership that accompanies it. Whether or not the PCs are the ones making the strives for power or are merely the pawns of those who do, that is the intrigue of Birthright and what separates it from being just another Grey Hawk or Forgotten Realms clone.

Lee
02-06-2004, 09:10 PM
In a message dated 2/6/04 1:07:20 PM Eastern Standard Time,

brnetboard@BIRTHRIGHT.NET writes:



<< It could be. PCs don`t have to start out as regents. I like to have my

players climb their way up to that position. First experience the world

up-close-and-personal, and then take on a role of leadership. Is that so out-of-sync

with how Birthright is supposed to be? >>



IMO, no. IMC, it`s very hard to convince players or their characters

that they want the hassle of being a leader.



Lee.

Trithemius
02-07-2004, 03:10 AM
Azulthar:

> Well, officially you are `right` and I am `wrong`. The Players Handbook

> states that PCs are above-average heroes, yadayadayada. I simply don`t

> like playing it that way. In my campaign, PCs are special, not better

> (more about this later). It`s a personal thing, and I don`t expect many

> of you to agree with me.



"Official"? I was just saying what I think. Nice to see that the PHB has

finally caught up with some of us though! ;)



> Well, in my campaign, if a PC can do it, an NPC can as well. All rules

> apply equally to all things in my campaign. So, in theory, I do have to

> worry about everyone on the planet when writing down a rule, as it will

> apply to all of them.



That`s what I call "making more work for yourself".



> The only rule-advantage the PCs get (and some very important NPCs), is

> that they receive Fate points at character creation. I borrowed this

> system from WHFRP, and I love it. A Fate point allows a character to

> escape from a certain-death situation. This is the only rule that more

> or less sets PCs apart from NPCs of similar power, and represents them

> being more important to the story. They`re not stronger, faster or

> tougher: they simply have a destiny to fulfill.



By the same token, destiny might only apply to certain people. And the people

that destiny selects are exceptional, or become it as a result of the crucible

of destiny.



Fate points are a pretty neat idea, but I don`t see them as replacing what I

have mentioned, just emphasizing it.



--

John Machin

(trithemius@paradise.net.nz)

-----------------------------------------------------

"Nothing is more beautiful than to know the All."

-----------------------------------------------------

- Athanasius Kircher, `The Great Art of Knowledge`.

Azulthar
02-07-2004, 10:49 AM
That`s what I call "making more work for yourself".
I hear that a lot :)


By the same token, destiny might only apply to certain people. And the people
that destiny selects are exceptional, or become it as a result of the crucible
of destiny.
Fate points are a pretty neat idea, but I don`t see them as replacing what I
have mentioned, just emphasizing it.
IMO, there is a subtle difference between having a character &#39;born&#39; with higher stats and a character &#39;born&#39; with a destiny. It&#39;s true that characters with fate are exceptional/special. And this agrees with what you said about PCs being exceptional members of the society. But they&#39;re not better than the people around them. Fate has something in store for them, even if they&#39;re just lowly peasants. They still have (more or less) the same stats as Joe-the-scion next door.

There&#39;s also a difference for the characters. If you grow up with your stats on average 2 higher than the people around you, it will affect you. You&#39;ll grow up, knowing you&#39;ll often be smarter, stronger and tougher than the people you&#39;ll meet. You know about the fact that you&#39;re above-average, or special. With fate, this is not the case.

The bottom-line is that IMC PCs are still special, just not better.


IMO, no. IMC, it`s very hard to convince players or their characters
that they want the hassle of being a leader.
I&#39;ve run similar campaigns with this group before, and most of the times they took the bait. If it doesn&#39;t happen this time, so be it. :)


This was one of the reasons for using level adjustments for scions (in the BRCS-playtest) and replacing them with scion-class levels in the revised Chap 2, to account for the inherent advantage that scions have over non-scions. It helps make it easier to use the encounter tables out of the books without a tremendous amount of DM fiat involved - something that was pretty prevelant in 2nd ed.
I use scion-class levels, although slightly altered to fit with my version of the D&D-rules. The CR tables work the same as always, no adjustments needed. If the PCs are high in level, and their opponents low, they simply get less XP for killing them.


Again true enough. The point I was trying to make here was that almost all things involved in BR revolve around power and the rulership that accompanies it. Whether or not the PCs are the ones making the strives for power or are merely the pawns of those who do, that is the intrigue of Birthright and what separates it from being just another Grey Hawk or Forgotten Realms clone.
The world of Birthright is beautiful, even if you use it as "just another Greyhawk". I must confess that at the moment, that&#39;s just what we&#39;re doing. The PCs haven&#39;t come into power yet, nor are they concerned with claiming it. They&#39;re simply adventuring in Cerilia, although they&#39;ve already established a close relationship with the court of Coeranys, fought wars, etc. They&#39;re getting there, but slowly.

- Azulthar

geeman
02-07-2004, 08:20 PM
At 04:03 PM 2/7/2004 +1300, John Machin wrote:



>Nice to see that the PHB has finally caught up with some of us though! ;)



If this were the Dark Matter list I`d go into my conspiracy theories about

the WotC designers reading the BR community posts for ideas on game

mechanics.... In all seriousness, I`m on several of the



>Fate points are a pretty neat idea, but I don`t see them as replacing what I

>have mentioned, just emphasizing it.



This is one of the things that RP can be used to represent in a BR

campaign, and I`ve used them to that effect pretty successfully. Other D20

games have Action Points and systems even further afield use point in a

variety of ways to allow players to modify the results of various actions

at the adventure level of play. By extrapolation, using RP to change the

results of actions at the adventure level works well as an explanation as

to how they can spend RP to insure the success of domain

actions. Theoretically, the points may not match up (one could spend an

infinite number of them at the adventure level) but never actually happened

in my playtesting.



Gary

Trithemius
02-08-2004, 01:20 AM
Gary:

> This is one of the things that RP can be used to represent in a BR

> campaign, and I`ve used them to that effect pretty successfully. Other

> D20 games have Action Points and systems even further afield use point in a

> variety of ways to allow players to modify the results of various

> actions at the adventure level of play. By extrapolation, using RP to change

> the results of actions at the adventure level works well as an explanation

> as to how they can spend RP to insure the success of domain

> actions. Theoretically, the points may not match up (one could spend an

> infinite number of them at the adventure level) but never actually

> happened in my playtesting.



I used RP as "surrogate action points" after playing a bit of Spycraft myself.

Its been a while (a year or so?) since I ran any around-the-table BR though :(



--

John Machin

(trithemius@paradise.net.nz)

-----------------------------------------------------

"Nothing is more beautiful than to know the All."

-----------------------------------------------------

- Athanasius Kircher, `The Great Art of Knowledge`.

geeman
02-08-2004, 01:40 AM
At 02:03 PM 2/8/2004 +1300, John Machin wrote:



>I used RP as "surrogate action points" after playing a bit of Spycraft myself.

>Its been a while (a year or so?) since I ran any around-the-table BR though :(



Action points are interesting, but I feel like they are a little flaccid

when portraying RP. (Actually, I thought action points were a little

flaccid for most use. It`s the start of a good idea, but I think it needs

more work.) I kind of like using RP to allow the equivalent of a take 20

on any d20 check after the check is made, whether one could normally take

20 on the check or not. It beefs up the points quite a bit, and one can

see how/why one would use them at the adventure level to get results that

have an effect at the domain level.



Gary

Osprey
02-08-2004, 04:35 PM
Reminds me of Hero Points from Drakkar och Demoner (not that I expect most people to know about that outside of Scandanavia)...Hero Points were earned only for achieving heroic goals (saving a damsel in distress, slaying a mythical beast that had been terrorizing the land, etc., etc.), and were the real reward for great adventures.

Hero Points could be spent to acquire Hero Abilities, which resemble feats and special abilities (Endurance, Alertness, Nightvision, Danger Sense, Eagle Eye, Iron Will, to name a few). Hero Points were also the only way base attributes could be improved beyond the human norm (19+, same 3-18 scale as D&D), and were a way to rapidly improve skills to legendary (21+ on a D20 scale)

They could also be saved and spent for special occasions.

One Hero Point could be spent to guarantee a normal success on an action...more could negate a fumble, or allow success on a normally impossible action (like a called shot into the dragon&#39;s eye, an AC 40 shot in D&D terms).


A really neat system...one of my favorites.

Interesting to think of using RP in a similar fashion (also like Fate or Karma points)...however, RP can be so plentiful for strong regents that I think it&#39;s dangerous to make them too potent. Allowing automatic successes (or at least an auto. take 20) could make adventures kinda&#39; boring, even if it is a good way to bleed RP from regents...now if you limit the RP expenditure to skill checks only, then saves and combat are still risk-laden, and you still have a decent adventure:domain scale compatibility.

Remember regents already get bonus HP based on their domain power, so they&#39;re more survivable already. If you use scion class levels, they&#39;ll also get better saves, too.

If you really want to make scions more survivable, then make the scion class have all saving throws as High. In other words +2 to all saves at 1st level, +3 at 2nd level (monks and Outsiders haves these kinds of saves).

Hey for a nice 3e conversion, you could say that the scion class, as it represents the general strength/potency of one&#39;s divine essence, could really be an Outsider template if you want scions to be stronger than average people. High saves (all), High skill points (8+Int mod.), High BAB (as fighter)...

This is a decent option for those who want a good reason why Scions are a cut above the rest, but still not invulnerable or immortal...

Hmmm...you know, I really like that sort of option, especially since scions can only get a level or two like this and it&#39;s limited by Bloodline strength.

For some 3e balance, the tradeoff could be that scions no longer get the human bonus feats and skill points...though I might still grant Leadership as a bonus feat for Great scions (I scrapped Great Heritage and tainted bloodlines in my game, so there&#39;s only 4 bloodline strengths: minor, major, great, and true...I&#39;m on board with BRCS in saying tainted bloodlines are just really weak minor bloodlines).

Sorry if this throws a wrench in the 3.5 BRCS revisions, just wanted to plant an option for the "scions are superior" crowd who don&#39;t care as much about absolute adventure-scale balance (the way 3.x D&D fanatically supports).

-Osprey

Osprey
02-08-2004, 04:42 PM
Action points are interesting, but I feel like they are a little flaccid
when portraying RP. (Actually, I thought action points were a little
flaccid for most use. It`s the start of a good idea, but I think it needs
more work.) I kind of like using RP to allow the equivalent of a take 20
on any d20 check after the check is made, whether one could normally take
20 on the check or not. It beefs up the points quite a bit, and one can
see how/why one would use them at the adventure level to get results that
have an effect at the domain level.

Gary


Since Domain Actions require RP to be spent before a roll is made, shouldn&#39;t it work the same on an adventure scale? If they spend RP they can eliminate most risks and guarantee a success, rather than take their chances. If you allow them to "cover up" mistakes with RP, it really changes the game dynamics significantly, doesn&#39;t it? At the very least, if you allow such a thing, I would hope the cost of rearranging otherwise poor outcomes would cost much more RP than simply averting bad outcomes ahead of time.

Birthright-L
02-08-2004, 05:50 PM
> Hero Points could be spent to acquire Hero Abilities, which resemble

> feats and special abilities (Endurance, Alertness, Nightvision, Danger

> Sense, Eagle Eye, Iron Will, to name a few). Hero Points were also the

> only way base attributes could be improved beyond the human norm (19+,

> same 3-18 scale as D&D), and were a way to rapidly improve skills

> to legendary (21+ on a D20 scale)



::shrug:: Regency coukd be used to buy Blood Abilities by increasing

your bloodline. There`s a parellel.



> Interesting to think of using RP in a similar fashion (also like Fate

> or Karma points)...however, RP can be so plentiful for strong regents

> that I think it`s dangerous to make them too potent. Allowing

> automatic successes (or at least an auto. take 20) could make

> adventures kinda` boring, even if it is a good way to bleed RP from

> regents...now if you limit the RP expenditure to skill checks only,

> then saves and combat are still risk-laden, and you still have a decent

> adventure:domain scale compatibility.



The way I`ve always done it is a regency point can add +1d6 to any die

roll. Every round, you may use one regency point for a saving throw or

to oppose a skill check and one other point for any d20 roll you want.



> Hey for a nice 3e conversion, you could say that the scion class, as

> it represents the general strength/potency of one`s divine essence,

> could really be an Outsider template if you want scions to be stronger

> than average people. High saves (all), High skill points (8+Int mod.),

> High BAB (as fighter)...

>

> Hmmm...you know, I really like that sort of option, especially since

> scions can only get a level or two like this and it`s limited by

> Bloodline strength.



Huh. I don`t think I agree with this, but it`s certainly fun to think

about.



--Lord Rahvin

geeman
02-08-2004, 08:30 PM
At 05:42 PM 2/8/2004 +0100, Osprey wrote:



>
Action points are interesting, but I feel like they are a little

>flaccid when portraying RP. (Actually, I thought action points were a

>little flaccid for most use. It`s the start of a good idea, but I think

>it needs more work.) I kind of like using RP to allow the equivalent of a

>take 20 on any d20 check after the check is made, whether one could

>normally take 20 on the check or not. It beefs up the points quite a bit,

>and one can see how/why one would use them at the adventure level to get

>results that have an effect at the domain level.

>

>

> Since Domain Actions require RP to be spent before a roll is

> made, shouldn`t it work the same on an adventure scale? If they spend RP

> they can eliminate most risks and guarantee a success, rather than take

> their chances.



That would have a better parity with the RP concept, I guess. I like

allowing it to be done retroactively for three main reasons:



1. I find players are less likely to spend their RP (or hero points in

other systems) if they have to do it proactively, but if one can reverse an

failure they aren`t at all hesitant to spend them. It is one of the

features of several hero point systems. I don`t think that necessarily

should be an influence in this case, but I cite it as evidence that maybe

its like that in those systems for the same reason I`m suggesting

here--without allowing it to be done retroactively players won`t use them

very often.



2. Spending a RP at the adventure level is a big deal, so IMO allowing it

to have a bit more utility fits.



3. I resolve domain actions after adventure level play, so thematically

what the regents are doing at the domain level when they decide how many RP

to spend is looking back on their adventure level activities. The timing

of how RP are spent at the domain level is as much of an accounting of RP

spent as a proactive modifier. At that point there`s just RP spent to

insure success or in a bidding war which is the kind of thing one can do

with a bit more surety. That is, the process at that point becomes very

much a "do I want to insure the success of this action" or "how much more

RP is this guy going to burn?" kind of thing, and a retroactive use of RP

(at the adventure level) is a bit more justified since it is so intentional

and rational.



>If you allow them to "cover up" mistakes with RP, it really

>changes the game dynamics significantly, doesn`t it?



It does change the dynamics, but that`s kind of the point. It gives

players (though regent PCs) a much more interactive role in the outcome of

things, which is how I think RP _really_ work. I like to let players take

the lead in determining the action, and in this case it seems to fit into

that style of play. I`ll note, however, that unless the players are very

familiar with the setting, the game mechanics, and even had some experience

with DMing (or otherwise writing plots or something like that) it can be

problematic. My latest group had a lot of problems with the transition

from the "passive" role of the adventure level to the "active" role of the

domain level.



>At the very least, if you allow such a thing, I would hope the cost of

>rearranging otherwise poor outcomes would cost much more RP than simply

>averting bad outcomes ahead of time.



That`s a very interesting idea. I`ve tried to employ more dire "fumble"

results but not had a lot of success with it. One of the problems with D20

IMO is that there isn`t a very good scaling of success or failure. It`s

binary. There are some guidelines, but it`s not particularly dramatic,

particularly compared to other games that scale results to action check.



I neglected to mention, however, that rolling a 1 is always a

failure--meaning no RP can be spent to fix that check. Maybe I`ll let

players spend a RP to change that....



Gary

Osprey
02-08-2004, 11:11 PM
>At the very least, if you allow such a thing, I would hope the cost of
>rearranging otherwise poor outcomes would cost much more RP than simply
>averting bad outcomes ahead of time.

That`s a very interesting idea. I`ve tried to employ more dire "fumble"
results but not had a lot of success with it. One of the problems with D20
IMO is that there isn`t a very good scaling of success or failure. It`s
binary. There are some guidelines, but it`s not particularly dramatic,
particularly compared to other games that scale results to action check.

I neglected to mention, however, that rolling a 1 is always a
failure--meaning no RP can be spent to fix that check. Maybe I`ll let
players spend a RP to change that....

Gary


D20 (and BRCS moreso) does give a nod toward scaling things by 5&#39;s. "For every 5 over the base DC" is a good way to scale a net level of success on an action check. I&#39;ve adapted that idea to most skill checks.

In a corrective RP-spending sytem like yours, you could be generous and charge 1 extra RP per 5 they missed the check by. Seems reasonable for the adventure scale.

kgauck
02-09-2004, 02:50 AM
Putting a greater emphasis on skills, as opposed to other checks, and

viewing the other checks according to the paradigm of skill checks, one

moves much more toward a scaled set of results.



Consider the Flaming Sphere, a spell that normally does 2d6 points of fire

damage, but can be negated by a succesful Reflex save. A save failed by

five or less might only do 1d6 (or 1d6+1, or some variation).



I have let skill checks over-run the d20 system (most spells require a skill

check, with the spell itself just acting as a kind of magical modifier) and

let the model of the skill check overflow to other kinds of checks as well.



Kenneth Gauck

kgauck@mchsi.com