Monday, September 14, 2020

Changes to the Rogue and to Spells

Updated beacon rules posted.  This is version 7.3 and has a bunch of changes.

Quick summary of some changes:

  • Add reactions,
  • Static weapon damage,
  • Dwarves get an initiative penalty, 
  • Halflings can't use heavy weapons,
  • Added some weapon and armour limits directly to the classes,
OK that last one needs some explanation.  Ten years ago I thought it was cool to allow all classes to use all kinds of armour and weapons and then build in complex feedback systems to balance the classes so you didn't have plate mail enchanters running around waving dual great axes.  So one hand gives and the other takes it away.  Now I think its way better to just limit the classes. Its a lite rules game, so there's no time for this kind of backroom shenanigans.  This stuff should be as clear and simple as possible.  So going forward you will see even more of a shift away from some of the old mechanics to use more streamlined stuff.  Keep this in mind when I redo movement and range in the future.  I'll probably do a whole post on how I think its time to relax some of the design that is there just for compatibility with 'standard' D20 material.  There's just so much out there now its not really needed anymore.  
  • Merged the Rogue and the Non-class class,

One of my players in the play-test said, "Rogues should have the most skills".  I thought about that and I decided that they were probably right.  Instead of having the unclassed character option, I should just give rogues more skills that they can spend on doing tricky stuff.  Climbing-  physical skill, sneaking - subterfuge, disarm traps - crafting etc.  This solves a long standing problem of what to do with the horrible "non - classed" class which was always needed but never used.  Merging these two classes means you can now be a sneaky merchant or a backstabbing assassin, or even a tricky sage type pretty easily in the game by choosing a rogue class.  In return I've also changed the equally terrible rogue surprise attack mechanic to be a simple "if you have advantage add your subterfuge to the damage", a blend of 5th edition and Microlight mechanics.  Hopefully this works as well as it looks on paper.   Its too bad really because I had finally resolved to rename the non-classed class to "Journeyman".  This does leave room for a third non magic class.  I was thinking of a ranger type but, Druids might become jealous and recently I had the idea some kind of Tinker might be more appropriate.

  • Arcane casters get a new spell every level,
  • Reworked a lot of the level 1-3 spells.

The other thing I've decided to do is to rework all the spells and bring skill points into a more prominent role for spell effect.  One of the big changes is that many of the spells with scaling effects are based on caster level and I am working on making these rather be skill based instead.  This means there is actually a reason for a cleric to pump points into Communication and for Enchanters to increase their Subterfuge or Knowledge skills.  I will try to base these changes on the nature of the spells themselves but obviously the classes will have more spells that use their 'primary' skills than others.  All arcane casters will benefit from having higher Knowledge, but Druids will benefit from having higher Survival as well.  I think the effect of this will be casters will be more diverse, even within the same class, and it will really add value to the skills.

There's a bunch of other stuff too.  Yes I am changing a lot more than I intended to change at the beginning of this year.  The old game was pretty crap actually... huzzah!

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