Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Some bigger changes

Posting another update to the v7 rules.  You can get it on the Get Beacon page using the preview rules link (is stamped version 7.2).  I was trying to get this out to fix some issues with STR bonus for melee weapon damage but I also wound up making some pretty big changes, again based on the on going play-testing.  A bunch of stuff in this one but here is a summary of the changes:

  • The 'biggest' change is also the smallest, Clerics will use their CHA bonus for casting divine spells.  I thought that was a really good idea since it makes sense that divine magic comes from personality and not smarts and also CHA was the odd one out with little mechanical effect hanging off it.
  • Beastmen will be able to become clerics but they will also get a -2 CHA as a racial modifier.  I think this balances the extra HP but we will see.  I hated having Beastmen so limited to classes that I considered cutting them out, but I think this might work and give some more options while not inadvertently making them the go to race for clerics.  They still can't use arcane magics but everyone should be able to have a spiritual life.
  • I added in the encumbrance rules but I dropped the numbers a bit and changed the 'stone' to 'weight' as a custom unit of bulk.  Average PC can carry 6 weight of stuff and not the 10stone/100lb situation I was talking about before.  I also put in a table of common weights which should make it simple to track.  This hopefully will remove any cultural/realism overhead but accomplish the same thing as the stone system.
  • Made some additional balance changes to creature ACs, spell descriptions etc.
  • Changes to costs of some items, notably hirelings, rations and ammo.
  • I changed the way taking damage works.  Now you cannot choose to take STR damage instead of HP.  Casters can  however choose to spend STR instead of HP for spells.

So that last two obviously are obviously pretty big but I think that the system of choosing STR vs hp was not working at all and some players were burning out their STR and others were not and falling unconscious all based on how they saw the situation instead of arising from the situation.  I think this rule was totally destroying the feeling of immediate danger in combat and was forcing players to meta game at exactly the wrong moments.  It also was super confusing to those familiar with other d20 systems and it broke the whole low levels is deadly vibe I want the game to have.  Now you hit 0 and then the damage spills over to STR as you would expect.  

HOWEVER I don't want to entirely give up on the concept of pushing limits that the rule was supposed to foster so I also changed the casting rules allowing casters to choose to use their STR points for spells.  I think this accomplishes the same thing I wanted to have with the old rule but without the other bad effects.  It does give casters more spell power but the price is pretty high.  The new rules for STR damage conditions are still in place so casters using these points pay a high price with long recovery times and conditions.  Also since a critical miss or other situation could zap your STR unexpectedly using it for spells can be pretty dangerous, so this presents an interesting decision mechanic.  I may at some point figure out a feat for fighters to tap into this STR pool somehow for the same reasons.  SO I think that in the original rules the idea was good, but the implementation and the costing was bad.  We will see how this works out.


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