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OOC General D20 and Tabletop RPG Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Role Playing Resource' started by LightWarden, Mar 5, 2005.

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  1. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    Continuing with the discussion of classes, here we go with some more...

    Psion: Well, people wanted a different magic system, so WotC created the Psionics Handbook. Except people were confused by the system and it was kinda broken, so they remade it with the Expanded Psionics Handbook for 3.5e. The staple of psionics is the psion. Like a sorcerer, a psion has a list of powers that he can use, and can use any of them at any time. Unlike a sorcerer, a psion has a pool of power points, and can change the amount of points spent to determine the strength/effect of the ability. Going all out, a psion can out-blast just about any other character in the game, though that will usually result in the psion hemorrhaging power points like there's no tomorrow. Like a sorcerer, a psion's power selection will determine his role, be it buffing, blasting, controlling, creating, or whatever else he feels like.

    Psychic Warrior: Somewhere between a cleric and a fighter, a psychic warrior is a warrior... with psychic powers. A smaller pool of powers and points compared to a psion, they are tougher and more heavily armed and armored, usually buffing themselves up before wading in and beating the crap out of someone.

    Soulknife: Option number two of the psychic fighters, the soulknife eschews actual powers for the ability to create swords with his mind and stab people with them.

    Wilder: A slightly less squishier psion with far fewer powers, but the ability to overclock those powers to ridiculous levels.

    As you may have noticed, we've gotten to the point of brief summary. The rest of the classes will probably be similar, unless I feel the need to ramble about new magic/ability systems (like Tome of Battle's crazy wuxia/anime attacks. Who doesn't want to fly into the air and shoot fireballs from his sword?).
  2. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Just to rudely break into Lightwarden's excellent overview of character generation for a moment, while I'm not trying to heavily restrict people's choices on characters, I should say it's highly unlikely I'd be running psionics in the campaign. This is mostly because I have no experience with either GMing them or playing them, and things are (IMHHHO) involved enough with the "vanilla" classes available without going into the field of mental combat. I would very much encourage people to consider playing one of the "simpler" 11 classes, if for no other reason than preserving my sanity :)

    It occurs that some of the folks who've expressed interest have some familiarity with the D&D system generally, or even with the d20 system. For those who've never played D&D before, please keep on with Light's excellent introduction. But for those who are more or less on foot with the overall system and want to roll up their own character post haste, may I recommend this Forgotten Realms online character generator. It's called "Forgotten Realms" since that's the world we'll be "playing" in, and as such it has particular bits and pieces that other worlds don't. The generator takes up one webpage, and is much more devoted to the mechanics of it, but as you complete one section after the next it calculates things like what special abilities are available to you. I've found it useful for me. And needless to say, CS approval will still apply before entry to the game.

    I will say the array of information there is large, though, and if there's queries about anything on it, I'm more than happy to try and answer them -- or Light may see fit to. ;) And of course, if you're interested in doing it in conjunction with me, or Light, or even giving one of us an idea for a character and having us assist you put it together, that's available as well.

    In terms of where the RPG is headed from here, I'd say people should keep reading Light's summaries. Once he's done with classes I'd plan to sum up character Alignments, which broadly speaking indicates the moral compass your character has at his core. Meanwhile, I plan to begin a thread in the Non-Star Wars RPG forum shortly to start us up. It looks like we've got about three people interested, and I guess that'll do at least for the demo scenario. We'll run the demo scenario, and then move on to the actual campaign immediately thereafter. I truly hope that those of you who've expressed interest will stick with us for this, because it's something I've not tried before and which I'm anxious to bring to the group for its overall betterment, and for (mainly) our enjoyment.

    PM me if details are needed. Back to you in the studio, Light. :D
  3. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    Okay... wow... [face_hypnotized]

    I like it so far. :D
  4. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    Since I have the time, how about a few more classes? As I said earlier, all you really need is the core books to play this game (ok, technically, you could play it with just the PHB, but it's probably easier if you have examples of stuff from the Monster Manual and the Dungeon Master's Guide).

    Samurai: The samurai is a variation of the conventional fighter. They receive fewer feats (representing combat options and enhancements and stuff), but in exchange have more skills and a stronger will, representing a social focus on culture and the strength of conviction to honor.

    Sohei: Sohei are warrior monks, somewhere between a cleric and a paladin. Some combat abilities, some spellcasting, plus good armor and weapons.

    Healer: The healer is a class that is focused on healing and only healing. They do it well, but you will probably want to kill someone with your unicorn if that's all you ever do in the game.

    Marshal: The marshal (curse my spelling errors) is a class that happens when you take the rules for miniatures (such as people having command auras) and apply them to the D&D game. They boost the powers of their allies, but they're not exactly versatile.

    Hexblade: The hexblade is a lightly armored fighter who specializes in weakening his opponents with powerful curses, making it easier for his allies to mop them up.

    Samurai (again): Confused? Let me explain. The Samurai was introduced in Oriental Adventures, and was later re-introduced in Complete Warrior, just as other Oriental Adventures classes were reintroduced in Complete Arcane (the Wu Jen) and Complete Divine (the Shugenja and Shaman). Except the new samurai class is incredibly different from the old one, so I usually count them separately. Anyways, this guy is focused on fighting with the katana and wakizashi, as well as intimidating opponents. I kind of prefer the old class, on account of the fact that you can build it up any way you wish (Iaido!).

    Swashbuckler: The Swashbuckler is a light-melee fighter, who works with finesse and light armor and such, it's sort of an alternative to the rogue. Fun for running around and acting like Errol Flynn (which you can also pull off rather well with a rogue).

    Warlock: Another option for casters, the Warlock represents the natural conclusion of the progression from wizard to sorcerer. A very small selection of generally useful spell abilities called "invocations", but unlike his counterparts, he can use them as often as he likes, so you can always reach out and set someone on fire if you're in the mood.

    Warmage: One of the complaints about spontaneous casters is that you never get to have enough spells known. The Warmage is one of three classes that answers that complaint. Instead the warmage has a large (but most fixed) list of spells that he knows automatically and can spontaneously cast as long as he has slots remaining. In the case of the war mage, it's a list of spells that all deal with the art of blowing things up. Since warmages are capable of casting in armor and aren't quite as squishy as normal mages, they can blow up lots of things.

    Wu Jen: A wu jen is a wizard, except his spells are focused on the five elements of earth, water, fire, metal and wood.

    Favored Soul: Sorcerer:Wizard::Favored Soul:Cleric. It's a spontaneous divine caster. Makes for a good utility spell user, such as healing and buffing.

    Shugenja: A shugenja is a spontaneously casting cleric-y magic user that specializes in either earth, fire, wind, or water magic. No, I don't get it either.

    Spirit Shaman: This is a spontaneously casting druid-y magic user, but the difference is that the shaman selects a new spell list each day, allowing more flexibility while still allowing for repeated usage. Also comes with a variety of spirit-based techniques, such as bringing allies back from the dead without any sort of penalty.

    Ninja: Because every
  5. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Once you've decided what you want to do with your life, the next step on the road is deciding your character's Alignment. It determines your character's general personal and moral attitudes, and is as much a roleplaying tool as it is a "rule" tool. Alignment is essentially the moral compass of your character.

    There are nine available alignments, running across two "spectrums": Good vs. Evil, and Lawful vs. Chaotic.

    Good vs. Evil is probably an easy spectrum to understand: good guys are altruistic, regard other people's dignity as important, etc; evil guys serve themselves, have no regard for others, and so forth. To be neutral on this scale means you have compunctions against killing the innocent, but don't make sacrifices for others, either.

    Lawful vs. Chaotic is not that complicated, either. Lawful characters are honourable, trustworthy, respect legitimate authority -- but can also be closeminded, judgemental traditionalists. Chaotic characters are more adaptable, flexible, and "free spirits" -- but they can also be reckless, irresponsible, and also disregard legitimate authority. To be neutral here means you respect authority and feel no compulsion to rebel or obey.

    Dealing with the nine alignments in detail:

    Lawful Good, or the "Crusader". Basically the epitome of a good guy; he's honourable, keeps his word, respects orders, hates to see the guilty go unpunished. He's all about truth, justice, and the American Way. Many paladins are lawful good.
    Neutral Good, or "Benefactor". Devoted to helping others but doesn't feel beholden to kings or magistrates. To be cynical about it, this is usually the class most people pick when playing computer RPGs because it allows you to be a good guy without having to respect the cops. As opposed to a certain Son of Krypton, Batman probably fits best into this category -- because he still believes in good though he doesn't feel beholden to the law as such.
    Chaotic Good, or "Rebel": one might think of the archetypical Robin Hood as Chaotic Good, since he steals from the rich (i.e. doesn't care about laws or regulations) and gives to the poor (i.e believes in his own goodness and right and acts on it.) He hates intimidation and being told what to do.
    Lawful Neutral, or the "Judge" -- he follows a code, law, or tradition, and order and organisation are very important to him.
    True Neutral, or just plain "Neutral" or "Undecided". Does just what seems to be a good idea. Doesn't feel strongly about good or evil or law vs. chaos. Generally lacks conviction or bias.
    Chaotic Neutral, or "Free Spirit": Follows his whims. Individualist first. Protects his own liberties but not those of society at large. Spontaneous but annoying. :)
    Lawful Evil, or "Dominator". Best way to think of this guy is as the principled villain. He cares about tradition, loyalty, and order, but not about freedom, life, or dignity. For example, won't kill in cold blood (but will allow his servants to do it for him.) It's methodical, intentional evil.
    Neutral Evil, or "Malefactor". This guy does whatever he can get away with, and has no regard for rules or law in doing so -- essentially a sociopath. Out for himself, pure and simple.
    Chaotic Evil, or "Destroyer". If the neutral evil villain is a sociopath, the chaotic evil villain is a psychopath: he does whatever his greed, hate, and lust for destruction drive him to do. He doesn't just want to destroy good; he wants to destroy order as well. Fortunately he's not particularly organised about it, though.

    I should say alignment's not set throughout the game -- it depends on actions. A neutral good character who routinely tortures prisoners probably isn't going to stay a "good" character for terribly long -- because, oddly enough, his character is growing and changing.

    In terms of game mechanics, some classes -- notably paladins and monks -- must as a matter of their training and life outlook -- be of a "lawful" alignment (wh
  6. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    Yeah, alignments are a general idea for the most part, and guidelines for certain character classes that represent an embodiment of that spirit of discipline or devotion or freedom or whatnot. Don't let yourself get too caught up by them, because then people get annoying.

    After that, you pick your skills. You get a number of skill points per level based on your class (2, 4, 6, or 8) plus your intelligence modifier, then you assign them to skills. Usually, it's easier just to pick a number of skills and maximize them.

    o Appraise
    o Balance
    o Bluff
    o Climb
    o Concentration
    o Craft (you pick something like pottery or shipbuilding, or blacksmithing, or whatever)
    o Decipher Script
    o Diplomacy
    o Disable Device
    o Disguise
    o Escape Artist
    o Forgery
    o Gather Information
    o Handle Animal
    o Heal
    o Hide
    o Intimidate
    o Jump
    o Knowledge (you choose between Arcana, Architecture & Engineering, Dungeoneering, History, Local, Nature, Nobility & Royalty, the Planes)
    o Listen
    o Move Silently
    o Open Lock
    o Perform (you choose between the categories of Act, Comedy, Dance, Keyboard Instruments, Oratory, Percussion Instruments, Sing, String Instruments, Wind Instruments)
    o Profession (you pick a job like cook or whatever)
    o Ride
    o Search
    o Sense Motive
    o Sleight Of Hand
    o Speak Language
    o Spellcraft
    o Spot
    o Survival
    o Swim
    o Tumble
    o Use Magic Device
    o Use Rope

    Since this part is boring, it may be good to go play with a different set of rules.

    Then you pick feats. Normally, you get a feat at 1st level and every multiple of 3 (3rd, 6th, 9th, etc), though I like to award my players feats at 1st and every even level since there are kind of a lot of them. This is about the point where you ask the GM for recommendations if you're new.

    Then you make sure you have your equipment, background, personality, appearance and vitals in order. This is about where alignment comes in as well.

    Whee.
  7. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    In our campaign, we'll be running skills and feat selections a little differently.

    For skills, the system we'll be using is as follows: depending on which class you choose, there are a certain number of skills that you are granted as learned, and you're assumed to know as much as you can about that skill for your level of experience. Your skill modifier (i.e. the amount you add to the d20 roll when you're trying to use that skill to do something) is equal to your character's level plus 3. So Arthur the Artful Dodger, being a level 6 rogue, has the skill of Forgery. He therefore adds 9 to any roll which calls on his rather literal ability at making money: 6 points from his level, and 3 from the rule as above.

    So what about when you try to do something which you don't have a skill in?

    Well, if it's something that you can do, or at least attempt, untrained -- like riding a horse, or listening for something -- your skill modifier is simply half your current class level. Arthur the Artful Dodger, for example, has never ridden a horse in his life, so when he's attempting to ride a horse, or do something that needs some skill at riding, his modifier is only 3 -- he's level 6, and 3 is half of 6.

    If it's something that you can't do untrained -- like Conan the Librarian attempting to cast a spell when he isn't a magician -- then you simply can't do it. It's impossible.

    Feats, incidentally, are special things that your character is able to do, whether it's "power up" a spell so it does more damage than usual, or deflect arrows flying at you -- these are little "doodads" that help to make your character just that little bit more unique or effective. In my campaign we'll be using Light's rule of additional granted feats at every even level.
  8. SephyCloneNo15 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2005
    star 5
    I've got a feeling that on your quest you'll have my bow. Ranger with the "Good with Bows, not wasting time with dual melee weapons" feat was so much fun (and given my Dwarven Disposition towards Waraxes, dualies would've been kinda pointless), even if I failed all three of my arrow attack rolls. Unfortunately, that campaign was swallowed up by the increased workload of this semester before I got to have too much fun with my ranger.
  9. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    Dibs on a Rogue-type character. Or a Warmage. :D
  10. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Sounds like we've got the back line sorted, then. :p
  11. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    The thread for the campaign is up. It's right here, actually. See you all over there! :)
  12. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
  13. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
  14. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
  15. Kev-Mas_Colcha Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 15, 2002
    star 5
    Wow, that is pretty cool. The InitTool will prove especially useful for helping me when I DM for my group of friends, as I am a bit slow on the draw, and that helps speed things up a lot.
  16. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    We're going to try and give it a whirl in "Tide of Flames" to see how effective it is in the post-by-post format, too :)
  17. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    MapTool looks very very cool, especially in combination with TokenTool. Character portraits, anyone? :D
  18. CmdrMitthrawnuruodo Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2000
    star 6
  19. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    Well, I've got maps for most of the encounters up through the end of the act, then I'm moving on to map the next few acts, I've also got tokens for your opponents, though I don't have any pictures for you guys.
  20. CmdrMitthrawnuruodo Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2000
    star 6
    Im certain we all can find something good on deviantart.com

    Ive seen some nice graphic drawings of Tiamat on there. Hard to find though since Tiamat is a real Babylonian goddess and a lot of drawings are of that version as well as junk drawings.
  21. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    For Tiamat, just search up Takhisis. Same god, different world. :D
  22. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    I'm not exactly comfortable with the idea of using other people's artwork for your own, but that's not my call to make. In any case, I don't need to go that far for your opponents when I have this weapon in my arsenal. Wizards of the Coast galleries + Token Tool = Good Times.

    See? It's easy to find official art. It's the unique individuals you have to watch out for.

    Not to mention the galleries themselves can be quite entertaining.
  23. CmdrMitthrawnuruodo Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2000
    star 6
    Cant decide on either this one or this one for Zanaek.

    I like the first one. Couldnt find a decent cleric in chainmail. I spotted some Paladins of Torm (which I think the first one is also) on deviant, but they're b/w. Kinda wanted color.


    As for using other artists work of art... I'm an artist myself and I can speak for some that dont care so long as you dont claim it as your own work and so long as you give them credit whereever you use it. Besides it is of my opinion that if you post it on the internet, its free for you to use. Just give credit where credit is due and make no money off of it.

    As for using official work... its no different from using freelance work really. Its not yours. You still have to give credit to the artist/company that created it.
  24. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    I like the first one, Mitthy. Seems more dynamic, especially since we only need the face for the token anyway.

    I don't really like the official art to be honest. Too ... not really my style. Might use something from Guild Wars ... this perhaps (recoloured so the hair isn't blue), or this. Or heck, even this - I don't like the pose but cropped to just the face it's not bad.

    Do we want square tokens or round? What size?
  25. CmdrMitthrawnuruodo Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2000
    star 6
    Have you guys seen this



    Okay, i'll use the first image then.
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