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hectorgrey
Oct 14, 2011


Bieeanshee posted:

I still love that the 3.0 Fighters Book added an entire chain of Toughness feats. I think the last one added a whopping twelve HP.

Yeah; of the stuff in that book, that was not the best. Close-Quarters Fighting would have been really useful for a few of my characters though.

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slap me and kiss me
Apr 1, 2008

You best protect ya neck


Bieeanshee posted:

I still love that the 3.0 Fighters Book added an entire chain of Toughness feats. I think the last one added a whopping twelve HP.

Per level?

Subjunctive
Sep 12, 2006

sparkle and shine



Oh, sweetheart.

Red Metal
Oct 23, 2012

Let me tell you about Homestuck



Fun Shoe


i wish

hectorgrey
Oct 14, 2011


D&D 3rd Edition - The Core Books

Part 2: Races and Classes

The second chapter of the PHB deals with the playable races. Humans are introduced first - they are the baseline of the races, receiving no racial bonuses to their stats at all. They do, however, get an additional skill point per level and an additional feat at first level (this will be explained later). They start off with only the common human tongue by default, but they are able to start with any non-secret langauge they wish if their intelligence is high enough (one bonus language per point of intelligence bonus). Where other races have a specific favoured class, the class that a human has their highest level in is counted as their favoured class for the purposes of multi-classing (which I will deal with later, under classes). As medium creatures, humans have a 30 feet per round movement speed.

Dwarves are gruff and reserved, but tough; receiving a +2 to their constitution and a -2 to their charisma. They are slower on their feet than humans, moving at only 20 feet per round instead of 30, but are otherwise considered medium creatures. Since dwarves live primarily underground, they can see in pitch darkness up to 60 feet. This vision is monochrome (which I would argue does not allow for reading stuff written on paper, hence why they still light their homes), but otherwise functions just fine. They get a +2 to fortitude saves vs poison, and since alcohol is a poison, they can hold their drink pretty well, they get a bonus to detecting strange stonework, they're resistant to magic and as such get a +2 to saves vs all spells and spell-like abilities, they hate orcs and goblins (and get a +1 to hit vs them) and have fought giants often enough to receive a +4 dodge bonus against their attacks. They also get a +2 to checks made to appraise or craft items of stone or metal, giving them a reputation as master craftsmen. They speak Common and Dwarvish by default, and can select goblin, gnomish, giant, orcish, terran or under-common (the underground trading language equivalent to common above ground) with their bonus languages. Their favoured class is Fighter.

Elves are agile but frail, receiving a +2 to dexterity but a -2 to constitution. Like humans, they are medium creatures and move at 30 feet per round. They do not sleep as humans do, but instead enter a trance; four hours of which gives them the same benefits as eight hours of sleep for a human. Because of this, they are immune to magical sleep effects. They are also resistant to charm effects, receiving a +2 to saves vs those. All elves are proficient archers, able to use any kind of bow (short, long, or composite version of one of the previous), and are proficient with either a longsword or a rapier. Those of you familiar with medieval weapons but unfamiliar with D&D should note that in basically every edition of D&D until 5th, the longsword is a one handed weapon like an arming sword, rather than the two handed weapon we call a longsword in modern terminology. Yes, it irritates me too. Moving on, elves have sharp senses, and as such get a +2 bonus to spot, listen and search. Their favoured class is Wizard. They speak Common and Elvish by default, and can select draconic, goblin, gnomish, gnoll, orcish and sylvan with their bonus languages. Finally, they receive low light vision, which allows them to see twice as far as humans in dim lighting, retaining colour vision and detail in these situations.

Half elves are closer in physical form to their human parents, and as such receive no racial bonuses to their stats. However, they inherit their elven parent's immunity to sleep, resistence to enchantment, keen senses and low light vision. Much like their human parents, they are able to learn any language, and the class they have the highest level in counts as their favoured class. Finally, for the purposes of spell effects and special abilities, they are considered elves (both for good or ill)

Gnomes are tough, but not very strong due to their size, receiving a +2 to constitution and a -2 to strength. As small creatures, they only move at 20 feet per round, and are limited in the kinds of weapon they can use. On the other hand, they receive a +1 bonus to their AC and a +4 bonus to hide due to their size. They have low light vision, and are naturally good at illusion magic - their favoured class is Illusionist (a kind of wizard), and all gnomes with a 10 intelligence or higher are able to cast prestidigitation, dancing lights and ghost sound once each per day. They are also good at alchemy, and have keen ears for a +2 in alchemy and listen checks. Much like the dwarves, they have a +4 dodge bonus vs giants, and they hate kobolds and goblinoids, receiving a +1 to hit against those races. They speak Common and Gnomish by default, and can draconic, dwarvish, elvish, goblin, giant and orc with their bonus languages. In addition to that, they can speak with animals for one minute, once per day.

Half orcs are stupid and rude, but strong - they receive a -2 to both intelligence and charisma, and a +2 to strength. They are medium creatures, and move at the usual speed. They have dark vision, just like the dwarves, and just like half elves are considered orcs for the purposes of spell effects and special abilities (meaning a dwarf would get their +1 to hit). Half orcs speak Common and Orcish, and may select draconic, giant, gnoll, goblin or abyssal (the language of demons) with their bonus languages (if they have any, with their low intelligence). Their favoured class is Barbarian.

Halflings, much like gnomes, are not very strong due to their size, but they are very agile; receiving a -2 to strength and a +2 to dexterity. They are also small creatures, receiving the same bonuses and penalties as gnomes do. Halflings receive a +1 to all saving throughs, to represent their natural luck, a +2 bonus to saves vs fear (which stacks with the previous) to represent their courage, and a +1 to attacks with thrown weapons, to show how good they are at throwing things. They also have keen ears, giving them a +2 to listen, and are very light on their feet, receiving a +2 to move silently, climb and jump. They speak Common and Halfling, and may pick dwarvish, elvish, gnomish, goblin or orcish with their bonus languages. Their favoured class is Rogue.

Following on from this, we have the chapter on classes. This begins with level dependent benefits: base save bonuses, and base attack bonus. The main fighting classes (Barbarian, Fighter, Ranger and Paladin) have a base attack bonus equal to their level; the Wizard and the Sorcerer have a base attack bonus equal to half their level rounded down, and everyone else gets a base attack bonus equal to three quarters of their level rounded down. Once this reaches +6, you get a second attack at 5 lower than the first, a third at +11 and a fourth at +16. Likewise, each class has at least one good save, with the rest being poor saves. The good saves start at 2 and increase at every even numbered level, while the poor saves start at 0 and go up every third level.

We also get the XP table here; to sum it up, a character receives a feat at first level and then every third level, +1 to any one of their abilities every fourth level, and may have a maximum number of ranks in a class skill equal to their level +3 (or half that for a cross-class skill - this is not rounded, as you can have half ranks in skills. To level up, you need your level * 1000 XP more than the previous level - so you level up to 2nd at 1000, to third at 3000 etc.

The skill points gained per level are based on class as well - Clerics, Fighters, Paladins, Sorcerers and Wizards gain 2 per level, modified by intelligence; Rogues get 8, and everybody else gets 4. Note that this means that a human fighter with 10 intelligence has the same number of skill points per level as a half orc barbarian with 8. At first level, PCs multiplay this by 4. They also receive maximum hit points from their hit die; every other level, they must roll it.

Following this, we have our classes. The first class is Barbarian. The Barbarian represents the stereotypical "noble savage", combined with brute strength backed up by pure rage, and as such are able to use simple and martial weapons. Because they are "savages", they may not be lawful in alignment. They receive class skills based on living off of the land, being athletic and being scary. They begin the game illiterate, and must spend two skill points on learning to read if they wish to be literate. They move quickly, receiving a +10 feet per round to their speed, get uncanny dodge, which gives them bonuses vs traps, prevents them from being flanked and allows them to use their dexterity bonus to AC even when they normally couldn't. At 11th level, they receive damage reduction which can't be bypassed, and have a hit die of a d12. They have a full base attack bonus, a good fortitude save and poor reflex and will saves.

Finally, their rage gives them a bonus to strength and constitution, meaning that they hit harder, hit more often, and have more hit points. It also makes them slightly easier to hit, but it makes them harder to affect with mind affecting spells. When they leave rage, they are winded, taking an extra -2 to strength and -2 to dexterity. They also lose the hit points they gained while raging, meaning that if they took enough damage, ending their rage might kill them on the spot. As a result of their class features, they are excellent melee combatants, can be useful in outdoor terrain and are semi-decent scouts if you don't care too much about them being noticed.

Bards are performers and storytellers who know a little of everything, can cast some spells and use all simple weapons and one martial weapon. Bards must be non-lawful, can cast up to 6th level spells, can achieve magical effects with their musical performances and through their bardic knowledge tend to know lots of obscure facts. They have a hit die of a d6, a three quarter base attack bonus, good reflex and will saves and a poor fortitude save. A bard can fill almost any role in a party in an emergency, but are unable to fill any of them as well as a specialist class could - they're excellent fifth party members, but not much good at being one of the core four.

Clerics are warrior priests of their deities. They are trained in the use of heavy armour and can use all simple weapons, they have a three quarter BAB, good fortitude and will saves with a poor reflex save, and they have power over the undead. Good Clerics can drive away undead, or at higher levels even destroy them; evil Clerics can command undead, and at later levels can even sieze control over them from whoever was controlling them already. Clerics can also cast divine magic up to 9th level, and receive two domains based on their deity. These domains grant extra abilities as well as additional spells - the trickery domain, for example, grants hide, bluff and and disguise, as well as a bunch of illusion magic, while the death domain adds a load of necromancy spells and gives a once per day touch attack, where you roll a number of d6s equal to your Cleric level, and if the result is equal to or greater than than their current hit points, they die (it does no damage if lower). Finally, they can use any one of their prepared spells to cast a cure spell of equal level instead.

At low levels, a Cleric is a decent healer, with some support or offensive spells to round them out, and slightly less combat ability than a Fighter of equal level. At high levels, their magic makes them incredibly dangerous, and their ability to wear the heaviest armour arguably makes them better at the Fighter's job than the Fighter just because of their ability to self buff while also doing their job as healer and support.

The Druid is basically a Nature Cleric, with slightly more skills, different weaponry, and the ability to wear heavy armour replaced with the ability to turn into wild animals. By default, they cannot cast spells with verbal components in animal form, and unlike in 3.5, Natural Spell does not exist in the core rules; as such, higher level Druids must choose between turning into a loving polar bear and outdoing the fighter at his job and doing powerful magic (whereas in 3.5, they get to do both at once). The Druid is still one of the more powerful classes in the game, with the ability to transform into animals making them excellent scouts in the wild in addition to being dangerous in combat and able to cast powerful magic.

Next, we have the Fighter. The fighter has a d10 hit die, full base attack bonus, a good fortitude and poor reflex and will, and lots of bonus combat feats. Unfortunately, they get little but bonus feats as class features. Their only class feature in addition to the bonus feats is that from 4th level onwards they get access to Weapon Specialisation, which is a fighter only feat that gives +2 to damage, but has weapon focus as a prerequisite. This means that while the Fighter is a formidable combatant at low levels, at high levels they're frankly loving boring to play, as very few of their feats grant them extra options in combat. In addition, their lack of skills means that they have basically no out of combat utility compared to the rest of the party. I would honestly not play this as a single class character if playing core only, and would in fact be unlikely to play it beyond sixth level.

The Monk is basically your Wu Xia unarmed combatant. They get the three quarter base attack bonus, but unlike other classes, they get their extra attacks for unarmed strikes and monk weapons at a lower BAB - 4, 7, 10 and 13 for a total of five attacks per round. Also, they do more damage with unarmed attacks than other characters, starting with a d6 at first level and eventually reaching a d20 at 16th level. As for saves, all three of them are good saves. They get lots of class features and quite a few class skills. They get all the athletic and acrobatic skills, both stealth skills, listen and arcane knowledge. In addition to this, they get higher movement speeds as they level up. Between their aptitude for stealth and their faster movement speed, they make excellent scouts. They also get evasion (no damage on a successful reflex save when the save would have given half damage), the ability to deflect arrows, immunity to poison and disease, reduced falling damage so long as there's a surface they can feasibly use to slow their fall (like a wall for example), among a bunch of other things. They cannot wear armour, and use very little weaponry, but at higher levels the fact that both their wisdom and dexterity apply to AC (in addition to a bonus based on level) means that while they're not quite as good at combat as fighters of the same level, at higher levels they can become considerably more durable and they are much more mobile. Once you've started taking levels in Monk, you're pretty much locked into this class if you want to gain further levels - once you take a level in a class that isn't monk, you may no longer increase monk. Monks must be Lawful in alignment.

The Paladin is essentially a Fighter without Weapon Specialisation or bonus feats, but with healing, immunity to disease, the ability to do extra damage against evil creatures (charisma modifier as a bonus to attack, provided it's positive, and extra damage equal to paladin level. At third level, they gain the ability to turn undead, at fourth level they gain the ability to cast spells (up to 4th level spells) and at fifth level they get a special mount. Overall, the Paladin isn't too bad, so long as you roll well on your ability scores. Ideally, you need a good strength, wisdom and charisma for the different class features. Paladins may only be Lawful Good, and in addition have an even more strict code of conduct than merely remaining lawful good. No dirty tricks, no lying, no knowingly associating with evil characters and no hiring anybody else who isn't lawful good. If you break this requirement, you may lose all of your class features - potentially permanently. Also, like the Monk, if you gain any levels in a different class, you may no longer gain Paladin levels (though you do keep the class abilities you already have, provided you keep to the code of conduct). The Paladin's spells are primarily healing and minor buffing.

The Paladin's Mount, incidentally, is a horse of unusual strength and intelligence, with natural armour and bonus hit dice. It gets improved evasion (half damage on a failed reflex save and no damage on a successful reflex save where such would normally allow half damage). At higher levels, it also gains the ability to command other animals of its type, and finally gets spell resistance of the paladin's level +5. The spell resistance is, honestly, a little bit poo poo - even without feats, a wizard of equal level will still successfully affect the mount 80% of the time.

If a Paladin is midway between a Cleric and a Fighter, then a Ranger is midway between a Druid and a Fighter. The Ranger has full BAB and a good fortitude save, track as a bonus feat and favoured enemies, which grant the Ranger a bonus to certain skill checks used against them and to weapon damage against them. The Ranger does not receive proficiency with heavy armour; just light and medium. When wearing light or no armour, they are treated as though they have both the Ambidexterity and the Two Weapon Fighting feats, which allow them much lower penalties when fighting with a weapon in each hand. Their spells are primarily utility, with a little bit of buffing. Honestly, even with their spells, the Ranger is mostly just a poo poo Fighter. They can do stealth reasonably well and they have some utility magic, but they often have a pretty low armour class, and there is very little they can do that either the Druid or Rogue doesn't do better.

The Rogue is exactly what it has always been in D&D - this is the slightly dodgy skill monkey, able to scout, find and disarm traps, open locked doors and a bunch of other things. Not to mention stabbing things in the squishy bits (aka sneak attack damage). They get evasion and uncanny dodge, and are able to flank people at least four levels lower than themselves who would otherwise not be able to be flanked due to uncanny dodge. In addition, they get four special ability from among improved evasion, opportunist (allows them to make an attack of opportunity against someone who has just been hit), defensive roll (reflex save for half damage against weapon damage, once per day when it would reduce them to 0hp), crippling strike (deal a point of strength damage in addition to sneak attack damage), skill mastery (may take 10 even in situations where taking 10 would usually be disallowed with a small number of skills - I'll explain taking 10 when I get to skills), slippery mind (second chance on will saves against mind affecting spells or effects), or a bonus feat.

The Rogue has a three quarter BAB and a good reflex save, as well as a d6 hit die. They are not very durable, nor are they as good at fighting as a fighter of equal level, having access to only light armour, light crossbow, hand crossbow, dagger, dart, light mace, sap, shortbow and short sword (medium sized Rogues also get club, heavy crossbow, heavy mace, morning star, quarterstaff and rapier, but small sized Rogues don't), but they are dangerous combatants who shouldn't be underestimated and their wide selection of class skills allows them to be helpful an a wide number of situations. If I started out as a Fighter in a game of 3e and it was core only, I would be very tempted to swap over to Rogue after six levels of Fighter - the much wider selection of skills, the wider variety of class features and the addition of sneak attack would mix pretty well with the four extra feats gained by level 6, the wider selection of weapons and armour, and the higher BAB.

The Sorcerer and the Wizard are very similar; they are both dedicated spell casters. Simply put, the Sorcerer gains magic from innate talent, while the Wizard gains magic from study. The Sorcerer chooses new spells at level up, and is only ever able to cast those spells, while the Wizard can learn new spells from scrolls and other spell books in addition to levelling up - as such, the Sorcerer usually knows fewer spells than the Wizard, since the Wizard can theoretically know every Wizard spell in the game, but the Wizard must prepare each casting of a spell in advance - if magic missile is only prepared once, it may only be cast once. They also learn spells from the same list, but the Sorcerer gains access to new spell levels one level later than the Wizard. They are both able to summon a familiar from first level, they both have the one half BAB, and they both have a good Will save. The Sorcerer can cast more spells per day, but knows fewer overall.

The Wizard, on the other hand, gets Scribe Scrolls as a bonus feat, allowing them to create scrolls of spells to be cast later. In addition, they get a bonus feat every fifth level to use on metamagic and item creation (these will be explained when I get to feats). Familiars are much like the Paladin's mount; they are magical beings rather than regular animals, and as such are smarter, tougher, and able to deliver touch spells on your behalf. They also sometimes give their master a bonus to a skill - cats, for example, give a bonus to move silently. Wizards get access to one feat that Sorcerers don't - Spell Mastery. This allows a Wizard to prepare a small number of spells from memory, rather than needing access to their spell book to prepare them.

The final thing that Wizards can do but Sorcerers can't is specialise in a type of magic. Specialist Wizards are named after the school of magic they specialise in; Aburation specialists are Abjurers, Divination specialists are Diviners and so on through Evocation, Conjuration, Enchantment, Illusion, Necromancy and Transmutation. Specialising grants a Wizard an additional spell per day of each level they can cast, but it must be used for their specialist school. In addition, they must choose at least one school (depending on which school they're specialising in) that they cannot ever cast magic from. The Illusionist, for example, may decide to either lose both Divination and Necromancy, or else any one of the others.

How much more or less powerful the Wizard is than the Sorcerer depends very much on the DM. If the DM doesn't provide opportunities for creating magical items and the Wizard never finds any scrolls or spell books, then the Sorcerer will be more powerful; if the DM allows a Wizard to find literally all of the spells and to have all the time they need to craft all the magical items they could possibly want, then the Wizard is basically unbeatable if given sufficient time to prepare. If a balance is struck in between, then the Sorcerer will generally have more raw power, while the Wizard will have far more flexibility by virtue of being able to swap out spells every day in order to suit the situation.

Multiclassing is explained next. It's really quite simple: when you gain a level, instead of increasing the level of your current class, you add a new class at level 1. From then on, when you level up, you may increase either class. If any two classes are more than one level apart, the PC takes a penalty to gained experience of 20% XP per class not within one level of their highest level class. The exception to this is the favoured class: this class is not counted for the purposes of XP penalties. As such, an Elf Fighter 6 Rogue 1 will receive a 20% penalty to XP until Rogue is at level 5 (assuming no Fighter level ups), but a human with the same levels will not (since their highest level class is treated as their favoured class for this purpose). All things considered, this is a bit of a pain in the arse to deal with, but it is pretty much the only thing deterring players from creating five class min-maxed monstrosities other than a sense of decency.

When you add a new class, you do not get the 4 * skill ranks that you do at first level, nor do you get maximum hit points from the hit die, starting gold or equipment (or an animal companion, if you're a druid). You get everything else you would get as a first level character of that class - base save bonuses and base attack bonus are simply added together. As such, a Fighter 6/Rogue 14 would have a BAB of +16 (giving all four iterative attacks), a Fortitude Save of +9, a Reflex Save of +11 and a Will Save of +6, would have 10+5d10+14d6 hit points (not including constitution), and would in all other respects be both a sixth level Fighter and a 14th level Rogue.

And so a second part is ended. The next part will focus on skills; and with the number of skills that 3e offers, this will probably only focus on skills, lest it end up far too long and boring.

DalaranJ
Apr 15, 2008

Yosuke will now die for you.


Bieeanshee posted:

I still love that the 3.0 Fighters Book added an entire chain of Toughness feats. I think the last one added a whopping twelve HP.

Was that the third or fourth feat in the chain? What a disaster.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012


Comrade Gorbash posted:

I feel like this comes up every time the Timmy/Spike/Johnny concept is mentioned, but once again: that the MtG team still fucks up and still often makes terrible or overpowered cards doesn't change that it's a good design insight.

They've also published several articles since on the topic of "Why do we make bad cards".

slap me and kiss me
Apr 1, 2008

You best protect ya neck


Subjunctive posted:

Oh, sweetheart.


I, Regdar the Fighter, just want to be loved.

Lurks With Wolves
Jan 14, 2013

At least I don't dance with them, right?


In Monte Cook's defense, the original ivory tower game design article was him admitting that it was a mistake and they really screwed up the whole Timmy/Spike/Johnny dynamic.

Not in Monte Cook's defense, he keeps making those exact mistakes in every game.

Terratina
Jun 30, 2013


XP thresholds in 3.0 is just Level*1000, huh? Makes me wonder why in 5th it's a geometric curve instead.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Night10194 posted:

Why does every d20 game want you to suffer for taking Toughness.

Because games like Pathfinder are still tied to the notion of arbitrary death mechanics, and so the notion of having people trade in character design currency for enhanced survival seems to make sense. The problem is that if they're too good, nearly everybody takes them (like Great Destiny in Legend of the Five Rings). And so Pathfinder errs on the side of making that mechanic too weak in order to be "fair" to those that didn't take it.

Of course, the real problem is that a game that claims to be about "heroic fantasy" punishes failure to calculate risk and luck with losing your character (or at least a time out and a fingerwagging). The real problem is less with Toughness and more the fact that it's part of a variety of ugly kludges the game sets up to try and triage the issues with its death mechanic.

slap me and kiss me
Apr 1, 2008

You best protect ya neck


Terratina posted:

XP thresholds in 3.0 is just Level*1000, huh? Makes me wonder why in 5th it's a geometric curve instead.

With fewer books, they really want you to be familiar with the content they have published, rather than outleveling everything and be left wanting more.

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

Alien Rope Burn posted:

Because games like Pathfinder are still tied to the notion of arbitrary death mechanics, and so the notion of having people trade in character design currency for enhanced survival seems to make sense. The problem is that if they're too good, nearly everybody takes them (like Great Destiny in Legend of the Five Rings).
My favorite one of those is from Vampire: the Masquerade, where you were a fool if you didn't buy the cheap merit (Iron Will) that effectively made you immune to mind control fuckery (which is only about 80% of how vampires interact and scheme).

hectorgrey
Oct 14, 2011


Terratina posted:

XP thresholds in 3.0 is just Level*1000, huh? Makes me wonder why in 5th it's a geometric curve instead.

In 3.0 (which I will get to when I reach the DMG), XP depends on level relative to the challenge. The lower level party members receive more xp than the higher level party members, and so will eventually catch up. In 5e, everyone gets the same, so the way to help the lower level PCs catch up is to use a (roughly) geometric curve. Editions of D&D prior to 3.0 did it that way too.

Terrible Opinions
Oct 17, 2013





Comrade Gorbash posted:

I feel like this comes up every time the Timmy/Spike/Johnny concept is mentioned, but once again: that the MtG team still fucks up and still often makes terrible or overpowered cards doesn't change that it's a good design insight.
While this is true, One with Nothing isn't a terrible card. It's actually fantastic.

DalaranJ
Apr 15, 2008

Yosuke will now die for you.


Terrible Opinions posted:

While this is true, One with Nothing isn't a terrible card. It's actually fantastic.

Yeah, I was going to say dumping a handful of swamp cards into the discard is pretty powerful.

Terratina
Jun 30, 2013


slap me and kiss me posted:

With fewer books, they really want you to be familiar with the content they have published, rather than outleveling everything and be left wanting more.

Well that's one cynical way of putting it.

hectorgrey posted:

In 3.0 (which I will get to when I reach the DMG), XP depends on level relative to the challenge. The lower level party members receive more xp than the higher level party members, and so will eventually catch up. In 5e, everyone gets the same, so the way to help the lower level PCs catch up is to use a (roughly) geometric curve. Editions of D&D prior to 3.0 did it that way too.

Thanks! The only pre-5e D&D-based system I've run is Beyond the Wall where XP doesn't really figure into it (unless you're going Further Afield). Got the 3.5e Players' Guide as well but I've no idea whether they go into XP rules there (it's in another house so I can't check.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Kurieg posted:

They've also published several articles since on the topic of "Why do we make bad cards".

The answer to that, incidentally, boils down to 'because this is a CCG, and bad cards are actually something the game requires to be more profitable, though not all bad cards are bad in a given limited environment' which is not an argument that applies to RPGs at all.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.


Terrible Opinions posted:

While this is true, One with Nothing isn't a terrible card. It's actually fantastic.
That's part of why I said "terrible or overpowered," but yeah.

Really what it comes down to is saying that the Timmy/Spike/Johnny concept and the design goal of making playable options for each archetype is good and was missed by the D&D design team isn't saying the MtG design philosophy is perfect and without it's own dumb aspects, or that the good parts are always executed well.

The MtG rationale for making intentionally bad cards is a separate concept, and one I don't agree with either. But even then it's not the same as what the D&D devs did with trap options, because of the inherent differences between CCG and TTRPG play, and because in D&D it also directly equated certain play style preferences with skill.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


And, of course, we all know the true system mastery is 'Wrote Cleric down at the top of my sheet'.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




Divine Power and its ability to replace an entire character class with a single action will never cease to be bleakly hilarious.

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





wiegieman posted:

Divine Power and its ability to replace an entire character class with a single action will never cease to be bleakly hilarious.

What does Divine Power do?

Prism
Dec 22, 2007

yospos


Joe Slowboat posted:

What does Divine Power do?

In 3.0:

Divine Power (D&D 3.0) posted:

Cleric 4
Duration: 1 round/level

Calling upon the divine power of the character's patron, the character is imbued with strength and skill in combat. The character gains the base attack bonus of a fighter of the character's total character level, an enhancement bonus to Strength sufficient to raise the character's Strength score to 18 (if it is not already 18 or higher), and 1 temporary hit point per level.

Congrats, you attack like a fighter and have health like a fighter now. The strength is nice too, though it doesn't stack with other strength buffs (including items) since they're all enhancement, and if you're a punchy cleric you may have a good strength already; the BAB bonus stacks with absolutely everything, and that's the important part here, since you get iterative attacks like a fighter too - those are calculated on BAB, which is why so few things give a bonus to it.

Edit: vvvv also that. You already have full armour and good weapon choices. And unlike Tenser's Transformation, it doesn't stop you from casting spells or using other class features; you're still a full cleric while it's running, you just also fight like a fighter.

Double edit: If you're a mystic theurge or some kind of prestige cleric caster that doesn't get full spell advancement, also note that Divine Power gives you the BAB of a fighter of your character level, not your caster level. A cleric 3/wizard 3/mystic theurge 4 still gets to have 10 BAB, not 7. Still probably not as powerful as just getting ten levels of cleric, but it's worth noting since very few spells scale to character level instead of caster level.

Prism fucked around with this message at 20:04 on Mar 12, 2018

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Also you already had fighter armor anyway. And a good weapon. I know Sean Reynolds defended continuing to make Clerics extremely good at fighting because 'I play a cleric in a group that doesn't have fighters so I have to be able to replace the fighter!' in Pathfinder.

Oh, also, being a Cleric you actually have saves, so that helps too.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




I've said it before, but a fighter should be able to take a single feat that has the same killing power as 3 levels of caster. Both of the cleaves, whirlwind attack, and maybe something that makes you fight harder when outnumbered should all be in the same feat.

A fighter should be able to cut down a dozen men with a single swing.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay: Dark Heresy: Part 8

Where nothing is mentioned, assume it works like WHFRP2e

My memory slipped up a tough; Chapter 7 is actually where the resolution mechanic is first introduced and all the meat of the game rules exist. However, most of those rules I've already covered in WHFRP2e. The Degrees of Success system, etc all work exactly the same. Fate is noticeably different, and in a way that kicks players in the balls: You can no longer spend Fate to get an extra dodge or an extra half action (and trust me, being able to toss fate at extra active defenses is really helpful when you fight a Bloodthirster or other high-tier enemies in WHFRP2e, and would be really helpful when more heavy weapons than you have dodges are aiming at you here!) and Fate is no longer regenerated per game-day, it is only per session. So you can't use it as freely. Like in WHFRP2e, the book tells the GM to use circumstantial bonuses (especially early on) to make up for players having base success chances like 32 or 40 (it's notable to me that many of the gameplay examples are of PCs with 35% or so chances at what they're attempting, and that most of those examples show them succeeding) but spoilers: The pre-made adventure in the back isn't going to do this any more than WHFRP2e adventures do. Also note that the book recommends doing permanent harm to a PC who Burns Fate, as opposed to just emphasizing that it lets them survive. Admittedly, this is in a setting with robot arms, so losing your arm is less lovely than in Fantasy.

One big change is that every stat has a stat bonus now, instead of just Strength and Toughness. Agility Bonus decides how far you can move (replacing Movement from WHFRP), Int Bonus does very little until later books, Perception Bonus is the same and honestly introducing a whole extra stat that is now separate from int for no reason is going to leave the later books in the line constantly scrambling to find some reason to justify Perception being a stat (seriously gently caress Perception), Willpower Bonus helps with a bunch of Psy stuff (and you're going to really loving want Willpower anyway), and Fellowship bonus tends to limit how many people you can use a social skill on at once. Really, only Agility, Strength, and Toughness bonus matter that much at this point, with WPB mattering a lot if you're a Psyker.

There's also a very pointless section on using skills in an investigation context, which seems to just suggest you should...roll d100 against a difficulty but maybe also assign it a time to attempt. I'm not really sure what this part actually adds to the resolution mechanics. Then we're on to combat. Surprise is covered first, and Surprise is every bit as lethal here as in Fantasy, granting +30% to-hit and a free turn. If you jump someone you have a huge edge up, especially with the addition of 'I hit him more if I had a higher to-hit' autofire weapons. Initiative is much less deterministic now, rolling d10+Agility Bonus+Talent Bonuses instead of d10+Agility Score like in Fantasy's RAW, which my group prefers to the point of backporting this into Fantasy. Just like in Fantasy, you get 2 half actions or one full action, and most of the actions are similar. One difference: Half actions to move move you slower, now, as do full actions to move without running. You move about half as fast as you would in Fantasy, and with the average PC having AB 3, you're also slower than a Mv 4 Fantasy human in general. Tying movement to Agility was a stupid idea that only made a useful stat way more important. Combine this with guns that can fire without penalty at 100m or more, and it becomes really hard to meaningfully maneuver in combat compared to Fantasy.

This is exacerbated by the new cover system. Attacks still hit hit-locations like they do in Fantasy, but this matters a hell of a lot more if someone is behind cover. If behind cover, even if you're firing back, attacks that hit your body or legs (which have also been shifted to be more of the hit location chart, while in Fantasy they were pretty equally distributed) will hit your cover. Your cover provides extra Armor, with examples like a concrete wall giving you 16 AV. If an attack gets through the AV of the object you're hiding behind, even if it can't pierce your armor and TB behind it, the cover takes damage and loses 1 point of AV. In a gunfight, you generally get to the best piece of cover you can and stay there until and unless grenades start landing behind your cover or someone gets within flamethrower range (Flamers ignore cover. This being 40k, flamethrowers are loving everywhere, and honestly I don't mind because they work well with the combat system at this level). If the movement and distance stuff was a little better, this would create a neat dynamic with flanking, cover ignoring weapons, etc being important. The potential is there. Cover also in theory reduces the effectiveness of full auto, but full auto hits walk up the body from the initial point hit...into the uncovered areas.

One important new action in combat is Suppression. Now I've been screaming that Willpower is Really loving Important for awhile. This is one of the reasons. A character with an automatic weapon (full auto only) can make a BS-20 test to lay down a 45 degree cone up to 1/2 their weapon's range. Note this test is only to see if they accidentally hit anyone within that zone. Every combatant in that zone needs to make a WP-20 test or become Suppressed. Yes, a -20. In a game where often, your soldier is going to have a 31 or so. And no easy way to buff this stat because Guardsmen don't get WP. Being Suppressed forces you to move into the nearest piece of cover and stay there. That wouldn't be so bad on its own; that's hardly a bad move as it is, and used as a means to make characters predictable it wouldn't be so awful. The character who is suppressed also takes a -20 on BS tests to shoot back. Very damaging, but not the worst effect. A character who is suppressed LOSES HALF THEIR ACTIONS and can only take a half-action a turn. Which also means they can only fire back on single shot at all. Also, suppression doesn't break until the character who is being Suppressed makes a WP test (the test becomes +30 if they are no longer under fire, but is not automatic) at the end of a turn, at which point they'll act normally next turn. Unless they get pinned again. You also break free of pinning if someone engages you in melee.

So yeah. Suppressing people and avoiding being suppressed is really loving important! As if autofire weapons needed to be even better.

Guns jam, too. A lot. Guns jam, generally, on a 96+ to-hit. Or a 94+ if they were firing semi or full auto (or being used to suppress). If you jam, the gun stops working until you make a BS test to clear it, then you have to reload, having ruined all your prior ammo. Ruining a heavy bolter belt this way can cost an Acolyte months of salary, which is pretty hilarious (and kind of dumb).

Two-Weapon Fighting was so simple back in the Empire. A sword and dagger just granted you a free Parry without having to use actions to set one up. Two pistols just let you attack twice without reloading. Here? If you don't have Ambidexterity you take -20 with both weapons, and it actually isn't clear if you can full attack with both weapons, or just get one extra attack with your off-hand weapon. If you dual wield machine pistols, you can make two full auto attacks in one Full Action, after all. If you're Ambidextrous, you take -10 instead of -20. If you get the high-tier Gunslinger talent, you now get -0 when attacking with two pistols and should feel free to fire two machine pistols while diving through the air at all times (except you can't move while firing so forget the diving). Gunslinging with dual pistols or using a machine pistol in your left hand to fire a full auto burst while attacking with a sword with your right is pretty common at the upper ranks of 40k RP.

Injury has also changed a lot. Remember how you had varying severity Critical Hits, but never actually went below 0 Wounds in WHFRP2e? Here, every time you take a hit that reduces you past 0, you take Critical Damage. You add up your Critical Damage, check which type of weapon inflicted the latest hit and to what body part, then check just how badly you got screwed. So, say you take a hit that takes you to -1 Wound. You'd take Crit 1. Then you take another that does 4 more damage. You'd take Crit 4. No table to roll on, it just builds up until one of the results kills you. The critical hit tables are, uh, inventive and kind of awesome at times, if a little full of permanent stat damage at the high end. To understand why people liked the critical hit table, let me bring in an example from a game I ran.

During a fight in a warehouse with separatist rebels, the party's sniper headshot one of them hard with his laser rifle. This inflicted a Critical 10+ result, which according to the book, 'Explodes the target's brain and head, causing the headless, on-fire corpse to run 2d10 meters in a direction determined by the scatter die, with any unit the target passes needing an Agility test to avoid catching fire'. The flaming rebel ran down the gantry he was on, set half his own squad on fire, and in their own panic, they fell off to their deaths. The sniper had thus killed 4 people in one exploding brain fire headshot.

There are also plenty of results that set off a target's munitions or grenades, cause their gun to go flying while their now-severed arm pulls the trigger and accidentally shoots other people, all kinds of crazy poo poo. It's gory and weird and zany but hilarious. The critical hit system creates really weird, memorable moments, up until later games when every gun just kind of vaporizes you if you're hit solidly. It also makes, say, a weapon that does Rending more valuable because it's likely to cause more dangerous critical hits. A Bolter's Explosive damage makes its crits much more severe, much faster.

The various 'special damage' rules like suffocation and falling damage are literally copy-pasted from WHFRP2e. Movement is much more restricted, but so is healing. Remember how someone is Lightly Wounded (and thus easily healable) until they're at 3 or fewer Wounds in WHFRP? Or how you could cheaply get medical supplies that would let you use Heal on someone who is heavily wounded as if they were Lightly Wounded still? Gone. Characters are Lightly Wounded until they've taken more than 2xToughness Bonus wounds, then they're Heavily Wounded regardless of how many wounds they have left, healing much slower. There are talents that will make you always Lightly Wounded, and Medicae the skill can heal you by the healer's Int Bonus+Degrees of Success (if you're lightly wounded only), but in general if you take a serious hit expect to need weeks of recovery.

I harp on these things because a lot of these changes are A: Things that make things tougher for the players and B: Don't have a reason to be here. Take the healing stuff. Having a good doctor along in WHFRP2e is a huge boost to a party, but when is the last time anyone liked the idea of stopping investigation for weeks because one PC caught a bullet and another didn't? If these changes are here for 'realism', uh, I want to point your attention to the above head explosion flaming running man hyperkill.

Finally, we have a hilarious table for how much gear you can carry based on your TB and SB, and it can get nuts. We had one hyper-buff Guardswoman in one of our games who was so buff she could lug around an Autocannon as a rifle even outside her power armor. Then finally some copy-pasted stuff from WHFRP2e about flying and lighting conditions, and we're done.

Next Time: We get the GM's section, where we talk about the game's themes, GMing advice, and the other reasons you really loving want a high WP.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


I recognize to this point much of the DH review is 'This is basically WHFRP, but with some serviceable but unbalanced gunfighting rules stapled to it and a little less well designed or edited.'

We are almost, almost to the fluff, where we will finally get to the actual interesting (and bad) parts.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!




The crits tables are the best part of the system.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


A bolter shot once set off a literal chain reaction of soldiers' grenades and stored ammunition such that it cleared an entire bunker.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!





"Praise be to the emperor, I think"

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


I strongly suspect the real reason for taking out mooks taking Critical Damage in later games was less to speed up combat and more to prevent things like my original group's 'Use explosives to turn our enemies into more explosives' strats.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

DalaranJ posted:

Was that the third or fourth feat in the chain? What a disaster.

Fourth, if you're including regular Toughness. It was:

Dwarf's Toughness (Fort +5) which gave 6 hp.
Giant's Toughness (Fort +8) which gave 9 hp.
Dragon's Toughness (Fort +11) which gave 12 hp.

Oh, and you could take any of those multiple times! Because why settle for a trap option when you could have a quicksand option instead?

We house ruled Toughness to grant +1 hp/level across the board, retroactively. Dodge remained utterly poo poo though.

Tibalt
May 14, 2017


Toughness should give DR 1/-, or like 3 HP per level. Feats should noticeably affect your character, and taking toughness should make your character a person who is defined by by their remarkable toughness.

Kaza42
Oct 3, 2013

Blood and Souls and all that

Bieeanshee posted:

Dodge remained utterly poo poo though.


This may be my atrophied 3.X system mastery showing, but why is Dodge poo poo? I mean, it's boring as gently caress, but +1 stackable AC (and doge bonuses are stackable) seems pretty strong. Just like how in 4e, the "everyone must take these feats, to the extent that most DMs just give you them for free" are the ones that are small but stacking bonuses to AC and accuracy

Red Metal
Oct 23, 2012

Let me tell you about Homestuck



Fun Shoe

the 3.5 dodge only applies to a single enemy at any one time

senrath
Nov 3, 2009

Look Professor, a destruct switch!




Also a couple of others reasons, too. First, in 3.X if you're not focusing heavily on AC it's probably not gonna matter at all past the first few levels, so that +1 will often be completely worthless because it takes you from "only missed on a 1" to "still only missed on a 1". Second, there are way better (and cheaper) ways to get +1 AC than to spent a feat on it.

Kaza42
Oct 3, 2013

Blood and Souls and all that

Red Metal posted:

the 3.5 dodge only applies to a single enemy at any one time


Red Metal posted:

the 3.5 dodge only applies to a single enemy at any one time

Right, this is what I was forgetting. I'm so used to 4e having actual math for stuff that I forgot that +1 AC is basically useless outside of stacking AC builds

Maxwell Lord
Dec 12, 2008

I am drowning.
There is no sign of land.
You are coming down with me, hand in unlovable hand.

And I hope you die.

I hope we both die.






Grimey Drawer

My understanding of Toughness was more that it was more for Wizards- it was part of the recommended "package" so now you have 7 hp at first level instead of 4.

That's still an edge case and kinda dumb but I never got the idea that it was for classes that already got lots of HP.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012


Maxwell Lord posted:

My understanding of Toughness was more that it was more for Wizards- it was part of the recommended "package" so now you have 7 hp at first level instead of 4.

That's still an edge case and kinda dumb but I never got the idea that it was for classes that already got lots of HP.

Yeah, but maybe games should be designed so that your level 1 characters aren't standing on a razors edge between life and death... and also die if the razor they're standing on rolls max damage.

I mean 5e is still fairly rocket-taggy with enemies getting access to multi-attack far before players can, or have the health pools to survive every attack in the progression hitting at once.

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Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

Now prepare yourselves! You're the guests of honor at the Greatest Kung Fu Cannibal BBQ Ever!



Red Metal posted:

the 3.5 dodge only applies to a single enemy at any one time

Which you have to declare on your turn, furthermore. Even at low levels where that +1 AC can save your bacon, it's such a small and boring effect that it's quite easy to forget it exists at all.

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