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Everything posted by ncguthwulf

  1. Instead of focusing on what I don’t like, I want to focus on what I do like: 1) I like spells having a level The reason for this is that it creates a strategic decision on how much you want to commit to an encounter. For example, if your character has 3 direct damage spells, a low level one that she can cast 10 times, a mid level one that she can cast 5 times and a high level one she can cast 2 times, you have to make intelligent decisions as to how to break that up in a fight. Pepper the goblins because the fighter has the ogre, or focus fire the ogre and let the fighter tangle with the sea of goblins? 2) I like having combinations I like the idea of having a spell that say, soaks an area in oil slowing down my opponents movement and then another spell that does fire damage, but when combined, a greater effect occurs. 3) I like a mana based system over memorization, but I like having some form of restriction on how many of my abilities I can use at once. What I mean by this is that of your repertoire of spells you should only be able to access a certain number at a time based on some sort of rest and recover mechanic (sleep 8 hours, whatever). But once you have chosen which spells you want to use, you have a mana type system that limits how many spells you can use in a given battle but that recovers fast enough that you don’t have fight, rest, fight, rest, fight, rest style game play. Or even worse, fight, burn all spells, play rest of the dungeon level as a really low attack bonus crossbow wielding mage who ran out of spells. 4) I like systems that are not straightforward, magic should be complex. I think magic should be deep and complex. There are games, like diablo, where the magic should be easy and straightforward and fast because that is the pace of the game. For an RPG I want complexity, reagents that boost certain spells, spell combinations, spells that require certain weapons to be held in hand to be cast, spells that suck unless used in specific conditions or vs specific foes, spell resistance, buffs that require you to do some real cost/benefit analysis. 5) I like having some sort of skill or talent system that allows your mage to specialize. Choose the Healer’s Blessing skill to give you a 20% reduction in the mana cost of healing spells and a 15% increase in the cost of direct damage spells. Or choose a armored mage type skill that allows you to wear plate but all of your ranged direct damage spells have their range reduced to touch, etc etc etc.
  2. I remember in one of my earliest games of D&D my paladin found a spear +5. The DM was using random loot tables and got a lucky roll after we killed some drow. My level 4 character went from rolling d20 + 5 to hit, 1d8+2 damage to d20 + 10 to hit, 1d6 +7 damage. That means my average to hit roll went from 15.5 to 20.5 and my average damage went from 6.5 to 10.5. That single piece of loot increased my chances to hit by 30% and my damage by 50%. Once the novelty wore off I realized that in combat I was essentially a +5 spear being carried by a Paladin. And if the two parted ways, I wanted to keep playing the +5 spear regardless of who was wielding it. So, I put forth the question, how much of an impact do you want to see gear have on your character? I am a huge Conan fan. And in Conan he is a godlike fighter whether he is in a loincloth with a broken sword or wearing chain mail and wielding a magical blade. That is the type of game I like to play. Where gear matters more in the sense that you might need to find the silver sword to smite the werewolf because of its immunity to regular steel versus the ever growing progression of +1 to +10. Especially if the highest class bonus to hit being +20 and you can augment that by a full 50% from an item. I do want to get better loot as I go along but I also want to have a chapter in the story see me stripped of all my gear and still feel like a badazz because it is my class, skill, specialization and choices that I have made as I leveled up that made me badazz, not my Ebony + 10 Spear of Demonfire.
  3. How I would tackle the armour question. First, I must provide definitions. Defense: I refer to the classic idea of a 'miss'. If an attacker fails to defeat my defense score their attack fails to land and does nothing / fails to break my magical defense and doesn't turn me into a toad / goes sailing past my character's head leaving him unscathed. Mitigation: The damage that the attack would do to my hit points is lowered. Absorption: The amount of damage that a character can absorb before they die. Now the synopsis of the system. 1) attacks come in different types and different classes have a higher defense against those attack types: wizards are highly versed at turning away spells but not arrows, warriors are great against berserkers with axes but weak against devious sorcerers and their magic. 2) the bulk of a classes defensive score is determined by that class and level. The classic level 20 fighter, having just come out of a bath wrapped in a towel, is still very likely capable of getting out of the way of a feeble dagger thrust from a level 1 fighter (not reflected in their vast hp pool but instead in a high defense score). Throwing on a breast plate isnt going to make him get out of the way, it is going to: 3) mitigate! armour's primary job is to mitigate damage. 4) absorb! lastly, armour should provide a bonus to the amount of damage a character can absorb. 5) armour should also affect mobility, visibility and flexibility That being said you can then create armor that has different properties that appeal to different classes. Lets take the archer in light leather vs full plate. Lets say that the archer, at a mid way level in the game, has a 10 point defense to ranged attacks and a 2 point defense against melee attacks. Basically in his type of warfare, shooting arrows back and forth, he excels. Get up in his grill and the archer is much easier to dispatch. Plate armour could be designed to provide minor bonus vs melee, a serious movement penalty and moderate mitigation and absorption. Leather armour could be designed to provide a minor bonus vs ranged, no penalty to movement and light mitigation and absorption. In a situation where the archer can dictate the grounds of the fight (ranged) he is going to want to have maximum mobility and also maximize his ranged defensive attribute so that his foes could never touch him. Making leather armour the obvious choice. But, funny enough, if that very same archer knows he is going to have to go toe to toe with an enemy in a short hallway, he is going to choose plate. As armour grows in power it is important to ensure that it never provides a substantial bonus to Defense. Leave that to the class type. Give it instead, larger bonuses and penalties to movement, mitigation and absorption. Design your light armour wearing classes to want to be able to move quickly around the battleground and maximize their ranged defense. Design your heavy armour wearing classes to want to maximize mitigation and absorption at the cost of movement and defense. Design your light armour system to make higher quality suits (say hide armour vs basilisk hide armour vs dragon hide armour) retain the core bonuses (ranged defense, mobility) while providing higher mitigation and absorption than the earlier iterations of the suit. Design your classes to be able to take feats and skills that modify their defense. At the end of the day, with this type of system, you could have a wizard type character that is naturally good at defending against magic purchase skills that makes them a bit more difficult to hit in melee and they wear plate. They kind of look like this: Level 10 Wizard wearing plait: +10 defense vs magic (class bonus based on level), +5 defense vs melee (0 from class, 3 from elected skills, 2 from plate), +5 mitigation vs melee (again from the plate), +5 absorption (extra hit points from being encased in metal) vs the robe type wizard, let's say with some sort of spellweave robe that protects against magic and having elected class skills that make then even better against magic. Level 10 Wizard wearing spellweave robes: +15 defense vs magic (10 from level of the class, 3 from skills, 2 from spellweave robe), +5 mitigation vs magic (robe), +2 absorption (robes just dont provide as many hit points as plate) Your plate wearing wizard would be pretty hard to kill with magic and still kind of hard to kill with a sword. This is reflected in their 10 point magic defense score and 5 point melee defense score. Your spellweave robe wearing wizard would be near impossible to kill with magic but if you can right up in his face he can be taken out with a sharp stick. This is reflected in their 15 point magic defense score but zero vs melee. Also important to note is the plate wearing mage has zero mitigation vs magic. So in those fireball situations where you can't get out of the way and just have to absorb, the spellweave robe wearer is going to do better vs magic. And that's my ramble.
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