1st topic: Share your houserules!

General topics such as design philosophy, style, tone, and the like.

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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby JaredGaume » Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:20 am

j0lt wrote:
JaredGaume wrote:Armor and Defenses
Our general discussion about hit points, damage, and everything else seems a little vague without having an idea about how they "click into place". I am assuming a SWSE take on defenses rather than a d20M.

A fifth model could be similar to a combination of 1 & 4:

Model 5 - Armor as Hardness and Defenses

Armor Class (AC) - Your ability to avoid getting hit by attacks by the protection of armor.
Physical melee and ranged attacks target your AC, if they fail you take no damage, if hit you take normal damage.
= 15 + Dex or Int Bonus + 1/2 level + Armor bonus + other bonuses

Fortitude Defense - Your ability to stave off physical effects like poison, etc...
"Unavoidable" impacts, this is you pushing back or "ignoring the pain."
= 15 + Con bonus + 1/2 level + other bonuses

Reflex Defense - Your ability to avoid effects or being hit.
Last ditch avoidance, the target of "touch" attacks that just want to see if they connect and don't care if they penetrate.
= 15 + Dex1 bonus + 1/2 level + other bonuses

Will Defense - Your mental toughness, sanity, and well willpower.
Target of psychological and many "magic" attacks, this is a measure of what is going on in your head at any given time.
= 15 + Wis bonus + 1/2 level + other bonuses

Note, that I changed it to base 15, due to the expectation that it should scale evenly with a trained skill (assuming we're basing this off Saga numbers). Physical attacks target either AC or Reflex Defense (whichever is higher), basically your character's armor taking the hit, or the character dodging the attack. This should keep balance between agile characters and tank types. Fortitude and Will are not affected by armor, except in certain cases for Fort (such as wearing a gas mask).


Hrm... no.
The point of defense 10 + ... is built off d20M/3.0 saving throws. In essense the defense value is averaging your save rate. Going 15 + becomes gamist and amps the power level of the game unnecissarily based on an assumption of how strongly characters can be front-loaded in the early levels.

That would mean (see previous post on Attacks and Skills) that the base defense terms aren't the problem. It is the ability to SO HEAVILY front load a character's power level that is the problem.

I would prefer to baseline the power level, i.e. hit points and defenses, then scale bonuses to match. This may mean overall a lower powered game than before, but with a much more solid grasp of how the numbers are affecting everything. When you get a +1 bonus to anything, that should be a big deal because you weren't getting that bonus before.

As I stated previously, at first level, most of your bonuses and benefits should come from your abilities. Only as you increase your experience and level do you start to gain a set of bonuses that can exceed your ability bonuses. Maybe only count on a TOTAL of +2 or +3 bonus points from various sources other than ability scores to any one stat at first level, later on you can slowly expand this.

Note, I am counting bonuses from talents and feats here. Like armor, we can include equipment that gives us situational or permenant bonuses in the use of our skills. So you could have weapons, tool kits, protective items, etc... that give you a +1 to +3 bonus on use.

j0lt wrote:
This defense model doesn't use saving throws in the traditional sense. Instead, attacks target their most "logical" target. As a player you are going to have better defenses than others. This creates openings that opponents may exploit. If you are a tough armored opponent, they may go after your poor Reflex or Will defense.
Saving throws are "roll d20, if you get 10 or more you save". Some abilties can improve this situationally, but largely it is a 55% save rate.


This is another 4e mechanic that I don't like at all. I feel there should be some progression to saving throws, for example: d20 + Ref/Con/Wis modifier + class bonus + 1/2 level

Of course, this makes it almost identical to the 3 defense scores, which means we're running two sets of numbers that do more or less the same thing. I'm starting to think we should go back to d20 Modern style Defense & Saves, but updated to suit the particulars of e20.


Either we have discrete defenses or discrete saving throws, otherwise it becomes horribly redundant. I favor defenses because it reduces the number of dice rolls.

Remember earlier that I wanted to get down to 1 dice roll per action. By adding more saving throws this increases the frequency in which actions are resolved by 2 or more rolls. I want to weigh my options and pick the one I think is going to work best, not get foiled by an endless series of dice rolls.

You use your saving throw to end something that is affecting you from round to round, like ongoing damage, or an insect that keeps buzzing you ear. You could spend an Action Point to get rid of it automatically, or you could take your chances and see if you get lucky (55% chance). When you make your saving throw, it is a one shot event, you don't just end one thing affecting you, you end everything affecting you at the end of your turn. You might get access to feats or talents that let you add a situational modifier to your saving throw when trying to end some effects.

I would advocate that most effects tend to not be ongoing in and of themselves. Most end automatically at the end of your turn. Or it is something you have to spend a swift action to keep it up round after round.

We could also just toss the whole idea of saving throws to begin with, and focus on defenses and other mechanics.

It isn't what you do, it's how you get there.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby GMSarli » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:05 am

Just to second Jared's thoughts here, if you have static Fort/Ref/Will defenses scaled by level, then "saving throws" (if included at all) can't scale by level or you're applying the same benefit twice.

Personally, I'm included toward something like this for Defense scores:
  • Primary: This is equivalent to 4E's Armor Class. Primary Defense is the default target of most weapon-based attacks that are directed at a single target (as opposed to area attacks). Armor also applies here. I'm currently leaning toward a hybrid armor system wherein armor provides three distinct benefits:
    1. a small bonus to Primary Defense
    2. a small amount of Damage Reduction
    3. an increase to your massive damage threshold
    (I'm thinking that these will have a fairly simple relationship wherein #1 + #2 = #3, e.g. +4 bonus to Primary Defense, Damage Reduction 5, and +9 bonus to massive damage threshold for a really heavy suit of armor.)
  • Reflex: Reflex Defense is the target of area attacks and environmental hazards (e.g. landslide, pit trap, etc.), and it also fills the "touch attack" niche from 3.0/3.5. (For unarmored characters, Primary and Reflex will be very closely related.)
  • Fortitude: Fortitude Defense is the target of attacks that directly affect bodily health (e.g. disease, poison, etc.) and anything wherein sheer toughness and bulk comes into play (e.g. resisting a bull rush, etc.). Note that, unlike Saga Edition, armor does not usually boost your Fortitude Defense.
  • Will: Will Defense is the target of attacks that are resisted by mental or emotional stamina and awareness. (I really like the idea of using Will for some of the same things that 4E uses passive Perception or Insight checks for ... personally, I'm inclined to keep the familiar name, but I'd be happy to put that up for a vote once we get to that stage.)
As for "saving throws," I might use something similar to 4E's set-up to handle recovery from lasting effects, but it would probably be more like this:

1d20 + [Dex/Con/Wis modifier for Ref/Fort/Will saves, respectively] vs. DC 10

That's extremely tentative, though. I definitely want the initial attack to have as close to one-roll resolution as possible, but something like this seems like a fairly simple way to handle effects that are supposed to last more than one round.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby j0lt » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:06 am

JaredGaume wrote:
j0lt wrote:
JaredGaume wrote:Armor and Defenses
Our general discussion about hit points, damage, and everything else seems a little vague without having an idea about how they "click into place". I am assuming a SWSE take on defenses rather than a d20M.

Note, that I changed it to base 15, due to the expectation that it should scale evenly with a trained skill (assuming we're basing this off Saga numbers). Physical attacks target either AC or Reflex Defense (whichever is higher), basically your character's armor taking the hit, or the character dodging the attack. This should keep balance between agile characters and tank types. Fortitude and Will are not affected by armor, except in certain cases for Fort (such as wearing a gas mask).


Hrm... no.
The point of defense 10 + ... is built off d20M/3.0 saving throws. In essense the defense value is averaging your save rate. Going 15 + becomes gamist and amps the power level of the game unnecissarily based on an assumption of how strongly characters can be front-loaded in the early levels.


(bolded for your convenience)
The reason for 15 is that GMSarli has expressed desire to use a "trained" level of skill as the comparative baseline, and in SWSE, trained is +5. Instead of 10 + bonuses + level, 15 (which equates to 10 + trained) + bonuses + 1/2 level scales much more evenly with the skill system. That was the example given, and that's what my example is meant for. Obviously we want to avoid how heavily front-loaded characters become, but until then, we work with the examples we have.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby j0lt » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:10 am

GMSarli wrote:Personally, I'm included toward something like this for Defense scores:
  • Primary: This is equivalent to 4E's Armor Class. Primary Defense is the default target of most weapon-based attacks that are directed at a single target (as opposed to area attacks). Armor also applies here. I'm currently leaning toward a hybrid armor system wherein armor provides three distinct benefits:
    1. a small bonus to Primary Defense
    2. a small amount of Damage Reduction
    3. an increase to your massive damage threshold
    (I'm thinking that these will have a fairly simple relationship wherein #1 + #2 = #3, e.g. +4 bonus to Primary Defense, Damage Reduction 5, and +9 bonus to massive damage threshold for a really heavy suit of armor.)
  • Reflex: Reflex Defense is the target of area attacks and environmental hazards (e.g. landslide, pit trap, etc.), and it also fills the "touch attack" niche from 3.0/3.5. (For unarmored characters, Primary and Reflex will be very closely related.)
  • Fortitude: Fortitude Defense is the target of attacks that directly affect bodily health (e.g. disease, poison, etc.) and anything wherein sheer toughness and bulk comes into play (e.g. resisting a bull rush, etc.). Note that, unlike Saga Edition, armor does not usually boost your Fortitude Defense.
  • Will: Will Defense is the target of attacks that are resisted by mental or emotional stamina and awareness. (I really like the idea of using Will for some of the same things that 4E uses passive Perception or Insight checks for ... personally, I'm inclined to keep the familiar name, but I'd be happy to put that up for a vote once we get to that stage.)

That's more or less what I was trying to say, yeah. Should we also include a ruling that critical hits bypass the DR from armor?

As for "saving throws," I might use something similar to 4E's set-up to handle recovery from lasting effects, but it would probably be more like this:

1d20 + [Dex/Con/Wis modifier for Ref/Fort/Will saves, respectively] vs. DC 10

That's extremely tentative, though. I definitely want the initial attack to have as close to one-roll resolution as possible, but something like this seems like a fairly simple way to handle effects that are supposed to last more than one round.

I like this idea a lot more than 4e's mechanic.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby JaredGaume » Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:28 am

Well, then what power level and curve should we be looking for in a Modern game?


I think the SWSE curve is way blown out by front-loading.

I advocate a total 1st level non-ability skill bonus of no more than +5, but more likely +3, from all available bonus sources.

Additional skill pumping bonuses should come at later levels (5, 10, 15?).

Maybe with this texturing (using a +3 max skill bonus at first level):

+3 bonus = Level 1 = +0 Level bonus + 1 training bonus + 1 Focus bonus + 1 class bonus
+8 bonus = Level 5 = +2 Level bonus + 1 training bonus + 1 Focus bonus + 2 class bonus
+12 bonus = Level 10 = +5 Level bonus + 1 training bonus + 1 Focus bonus + 3 class bonus + 2 Expertise bonus
+17 bonus = Level 15 = +7 Level bonus + 1 training bonus + 1 Focus bonus + 3 class bonus + 2 Expertise bonus + 3 Mastery bonus
+20 bonus = Level 20 = +10 Level bonus + 1 training bonus + 1 Focus bonus + 3 class bonus + 2 Expertise bonus + 3 Mastery bonus
Last edited by JaredGaume on Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:45 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby JaredGaume » Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:37 am

j0lt wrote:
GMSarli wrote:Personally, I'm included toward something like this for Defense scores:
  • Primary: This is equivalent to 4E's Armor Class. Primary Defense is the default target of most weapon-based attacks that are directed at a single target (as opposed to area attacks). Armor also applies here. I'm currently leaning toward a hybrid armor system wherein armor provides three distinct benefits:
    1. a small bonus to Primary Defense
    2. a small amount of Damage Reduction
    3. an increase to your massive damage threshold
    (I'm thinking that these will have a fairly simple relationship wherein #1 + #2 = #3, e.g. +4 bonus to Primary Defense, Damage Reduction 5, and +9 bonus to massive damage threshold for a really heavy suit of armor.)
  • Reflex: Reflex Defense is the target of area attacks and environmental hazards (e.g. landslide, pit trap, etc.), and it also fills the "touch attack" niche from 3.0/3.5. (For unarmored characters, Primary and Reflex will be very closely related.)
  • Fortitude: Fortitude Defense is the target of attacks that directly affect bodily health (e.g. disease, poison, etc.) and anything wherein sheer toughness and bulk comes into play (e.g. resisting a bull rush, etc.). Note that, unlike Saga Edition, armor does not usually boost your Fortitude Defense.
  • Will: Will Defense is the target of attacks that are resisted by mental or emotional stamina and awareness. (I really like the idea of using Will for some of the same things that 4E uses passive Perception or Insight checks for ... personally, I'm inclined to keep the familiar name, but I'd be happy to put that up for a vote once we get to that stage.)

That's more or less what I was trying to say, yeah. Should we also include a ruling that critical hits bypass the DR from armor?

Seconded.

Bypassing DR from armor?

If Critical hit damage = Max damage; then I vote yes.
Reason: max damage may not exceed DR enough to threaten MDT.

If Critical hit damage = 2x damage; then I vote no.
Reason: 2x damage can get past DR enough to threaten MDT.

j0lt wrote:
GMSarli wrote:As for "saving throws," I might use something similar to 4E's set-up to handle recovery from lasting effects, but it would probably be more like this:

1d20 + [Dex/Con/Wis modifier for Ref/Fort/Will saves, respectively] vs. DC 10

That's extremely tentative, though. I definitely want the initial attack to have as close to one-roll resolution as possible, but something like this seems like a fairly simple way to handle effects that are supposed to last more than one round.

I like this idea a lot more than 4e's mechanic.

Seconded.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby j0lt » Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:08 am

JaredGaume wrote:Well, then what power level and curve should we be looking for in a Modern game?

That's the million dollar question, isn't it?
I think the SWSE curve is way blown out by front-loading.

Definitely, but finding a way to balance out the curve is tricky.

If we lower the static bonuses from each level of training, the curve will flatten out, but it would also mean that a low level character's skill bonus and high level character's skill bonus won't be very different.

The basics we're going with are: Relevant Ability Score Modifier + bonuses from training/focus/whatever + 1/2 level, right?
What DCs do we want PCs to be able to hit at 1st, 10th, and 20th levels, respectively?
Once we set the DCs, we should be able to tailor the system to reach those marks.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby JaredGaume » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:39 am

j0lt wrote:
JaredGaume wrote:Well, then what power level and curve should we be looking for in a Modern game?

If we lower the static bonuses from each level of training, the curve will flatten out, but it would also mean that a low level character's skill bonus and high level character's skill bonus won't be very different.

That would depend on when those static bonuses can be taken. Under the current models the static bonuses are given right up front. That actually means that low and high level characters won't have much of a difference in static bonuses.

Example 1
If you start with a +8 static bonus and get only a +10 from 1/2 level bonus for a total bonus of +18 at level 20.
At level 1 with a +12 skill modifier (+4 ability + 8 static bonuses), you are routinely hitting DCs of 22 or less and threatening DCs of 27 to 32.
At level 20 with a +24 skill modifier (+6 ability + 8 static + 10 1/2 level bonuses), you are routinely hitting DCs of 34 or less and threatening DCs of 39 to 44.
At level 1 you have a character that can play in the same challenges (25 to 32) as a level 20 character, difficult at level 1, easy at level 20.

Example 2
If you start with a +3 static bonus and get +5 upgrades spread along the curve and get a +10 from 1/2 level bonus at level 20...
the spread becomes +3 at level 1 and +18 by level 20.
At level 1 with a +7 skill modifier (+4 ability + 3 static bonuses), you are routinely hitting DCs of 17 or less and threatening DCs of 22 to 27.
At level 20 with a +24 skill modifier (+6 ability + 8 static + 10 1/2 level bonuses), you are routinely hitting DCs of 34 or less and threatening DCs of 39 to 44.

At level 1 you have a character that can play in the same challenges (25 to 27) as a level 20 character, nearly impossible at level 1, and trivial at level 20.
The high level character is routinely hitting stuff the low level character can only dream about. Just with 1/2 level bonuses the low level character needs to reach level 10 before he is punching at the same DCs as example 1. Level 6 if you give him a +2 static bonus say at level 5.

The basics we're going with are: Relevant Ability Score Modifier + bonuses from training/focus/whatever + 1/2 level, right?
What DCs do we want PCs to be able to hit at 1st, 10th, and 20th levels, respectively?
Once we set the DCs, we should be able to tailor the system to reach those marks.

Just a thought:
Level 1 = Average DC 15, easy DC 10, almost impossible* DC 25+
Level 10 = Average DC 25, easy DC 20, almost impossible* DC 35+
Level 20 = Average DC 35, easy DC 30, almost impossible* DC 45+
* at almost impossible you basically have to seriously min/max to get above this.

The average DC is also what you would roughly expect from a character's defenses given armor, skill, bonuses, etc... I am assuming average means you hit roughly 50% of the time.

Average DC basically means your character's skill modifier would be 10 less than this. Assume modifier is equal to Ability bonus + 1/2 level + static skill bonuses.
DC 15; Average skill modifier +5, low +0, max +7 (assuming max ability score of 18 at level 1)
DC 25; Average skill modifier +15, low +5, max +18 (+5 from level, gotta find +4 more static points, got +1 more from ability upgrades)
DC 35; Average skill modifier +25, low +10, max +30 (+10 from level, gotta find +4 more static points, +8 total, got +1 more from ability upgrades, +2 total)

This would call for +1 to two ability scores at levels 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby j0lt » Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:49 am

JaredGaume wrote:Level 1 = Average DC 15, easy DC 10, almost impossible* DC 25+
Level 10 = Average DC 25, easy DC 20, almost impossible* DC 35+
Level 20 = Average DC 35, easy DC 30, almost impossible* DC 45+
* at almost impossible you basically have to seriously min/max to get above this.

The average DC is also what you would roughly expect from a character's defenses given armor, skill, bonuses, etc... I am assuming average means you hit roughly 50% of the time.

Those numbers look to be about right, and from them we have our target numbers for average defense scores, and it looks like they'll need to go up at a rate of 1 per level. This shows us that the way they did defense scores in Saga makes sense. It also shows us that our skills going up at 1/2 level require a +10 boost over 20 levels. This brings up the question: is this the right way to do it? Should we be using a different progression for defenses and skills?

This would call for +1 to two ability scores at levels 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20.


Agreed.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby JaredGaume » Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:40 am

j0lt wrote:
JaredGaume wrote:Level 1 = Average DC 15, easy DC 10, almost impossible* DC 25+
Level 10 = Average DC 25, easy DC 20, almost impossible* DC 35+
Level 20 = Average DC 35, easy DC 30, almost impossible* DC 45+
* at almost impossible you basically have to seriously min/max to get above this.

The average DC is also what you would roughly expect from a character's defenses given armor, skill, bonuses, etc... I am assuming average means you hit roughly 50% of the time.

Those numbers look to be about right, and from them we have our target numbers for average defense scores, and it looks like they'll need to go up at a rate of 1 per level. This shows us that the way they did defense scores in Saga makes sense. It also shows us that our skills going up at 1/2 level require a +10 boost over 20 levels. This brings up the question: is this the right way to do it? Should we be using a different progression for defenses and skills?


That makes me think of the different BABs from d20M
Best = +1/level
Good = +0.75/level
Poor = +0.5/level

The traditional model for attacks and defenses is that you:
1. Get up front class bonuses.
2. You get to take feats to make you better.

Gary is talking about using a skill based weapon system. By definition that is going to incorporate various attack bonuses. Some of them general, and some of them specific.
By extension that would mean you would take a weapon skill (get proficiency with a group of weapons), and use that skill bonus as your base attack with those weapons.
You could, and probably should, get some class feats and talents that bump up that bonus a little more.
The mix would be 1/2 level bonus + skill bonuses (feats) + class feat attack bonuses + talent attack bonus. The balance of that mix would give you your +10 to attack. Get up to +5 from various general feats. And the more combat oriented classes are going to help you more than non-combat (+0, +2, or +5 depending on class).

Defenses, it would then follow, would have something similar going on.

Armor - for the most part the defense bonuses granted by armor are your main scale, if you added armor skills that could improve this in a similar way as weapon skills.

It then follows that weapon skills might edge you a little higher than +10 to compensate for base armor bonuses. Note, some or all of that +10 may come from bonuses to Reflexes. So the actual level that you could increase this may be more like +0 or a very small amount comparatively speaking. So the actual armor skill may have more to do with granting you access to the full armor bonus to primary defense and other uses. Will have to crunch some numbers...
This could be in the form of weapon proficiency bonuses +1 for difficult but high damage weapons, +2 for most ranged and medium damage weapons, and +3 for light and light damage weapons. This doesn't fully make up for primary defense bonuses from the heaviest armors (maybe +5), but it doesn't cripple your attack hit rate either.

Primary Defense would get 1/2 level bonus + armor bonus + skill bonuses? (feats) + class feat defense bonuses + talent defense bonus. The balance of that mix would give you up to an additional +10 to primary defense. Get up to +5 from various general feats. And some classes may be better at primary defense than others (+0, +2, or +5).

Fortitude, Reflex, and Will defenses might be granted an upfront class bonus of +1 bonus to all three, +2 bonus to 2, or a +3 bonus to 1. At first level with average Ability bonuses this would get you in the ballpark of 15 defense, but at least better than 10. That would mean that we would have to find +7 to +9 more defense bonus points for each defense. We could get some from general feats, and some more from class specializations, prestige classes, and class feats.
So if we budget that multiclassing or taking a specialization and/or a prestige will give you some additional defense bonuses, similar to above, we can throw in a few one-take feats that give you say a +2 defense bonus. Like Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, and Great Fortitude.
Obviously some of your defenses are going to end up better than others.

Yes, will have to crunch some numbers....
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby Cyber-Dave » Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:42 pm

Starting with a "trained skill" frontload of +5, but also starting with defenses of 15, and having weapon training (like skill training) grant a +5 to hit instead of alleviating a -5 to hit, and adding only 1/2 your heroic level as a bonus to attack, results in (almost) the EXACT SAME attack bonus vs. defenses math as the Star Wars Saga rules as written, except that it makes the Star Wars Saga skills interact with those numbers in the exact same way. Jarred, I really don't agree with you. Personally, I think starting with a base Defense value of 15, removing the -5 to hit with untrained weapons mechanic, making Weapon Training grant a +5 bonus to hit, making it so that only 1/2 a characters heroic level adds a bonus to hit, and likewise adding in a "weapon focus" or "weapon mastery" skill that does what the star wars "Skill Focus" feat does, works and works well. That is what I did for the Land of Nod.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby j0lt » Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:25 pm

Yeah, the system does work. And it is front-loaded, but that's not necessarily a bad thing unless it becomes horribly abuseable. That being said, I'd still like to explore a few other ideas to see if we can't find something that works even better.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby GMSarli » Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:12 am

j0lt wrote:Yeah, the system does work. And it is front-loaded, but that's not necessarily a bad thing unless it becomes horribly abuseable. That being said, I'd still like to explore a few other ideas to see if we can't find something that works even better.


I don't think it's the front-loading itself that's the problem -- it's making sure that there's parity between defenses and skill bonuses at 1st level, and then making sure they stay comparable at all following levels. You could start with a typical skill bonus of +10 so long as your defenses started at 20 (assuming you're shooting for something around 50% success). Just FYI: I'd really like the average improvement from level to level -- including 1/2 level, raising ability scores, skill focus improvements, and so forth -- to come out to be about 1 point per level. (This makes it really easy for the GM to adapt stats on the fly -- if you need an NPC to be 2 levels higher, just add 2 to everything.)

That said, I'm not sure how big I want the "trained" skill bonus to be. Saga gives a +5, but I'm currently leaning toward +2 for training, with focus improving that to +3 at low levels and automatically improving to +4 and then +5 at higher levels. (If we went with training being worth +5, I'd instead want focus to be worth +1 at 1st and eventually improving to +5 at the high end.)

Why am I inclined toward +2 for skill training? Well, if you gain +1/2 point every level, then a +2 is the same as being four levels higher -- that's nothing to sneeze at. +5 might be overkill because it puts so much more room between trained and untrained -- if you have, say, a bunch of PCs on a starship and only one of them knows how to use starship weapons, the rest of the party members might feel a little bit useless if they're at a 5-point deficit. This is one of the weaknesses in Saga (i.e. starship combat requiring you to spend scarce resources just to contribute in any meaningful way), and it's something I'd like to fix here.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby MasterVega » Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:19 am

I have a whole bunch of D20Modern revamp homebrew stuff. Never got to sit down and put everything together, though. I'd rather not post everything here because... well it would take several posts. lol
Instead, I'll link everything so you just have to deal with what interests you.
Note: most of these are incomplete. At best one or two might be close to done, but in dire need of polishing. None of these have actually been play tested (to my knowledge).
Psionics as Feats. - I know you wanted to stay away from powers as feats, but I thought I'd share this anyway. The powers presented here are generally more flexible than your average D&D spell/psionic power.
Magic as Feats. - Same deal with these.
Hand2Hand Melee Combat System. - A different approach to melee combat, somewhat reminiscent of a fighting game.
Hand2Hand Disciplines - Fantasy - Move lists for Hand2Hand in a fantasy-style game.
My called shots system. - In the middle of a redesign to work with the ranged combat system below.
Edge Ranged Combat System. - Similar to Hand2Hand in style. Goal is to add some more fun to gunplay.
Special rules for guns and armor. - Gives different piercing values to guns and resistance levels to armor.

Also, I read someone's post complaining about advanced classes not using talent trees. I tried to fix that - Sorry about being so late to reply:
Physical Advanced Classes
Mental Advanced Classes
And finally the Psion and Mage classes to go along with the casting systems I mentioned earlier:
Psion
Mage

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Last edited by MasterVega on Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby GMSarli » Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:44 am

MasterVega wrote:I have a whole bunch of D20Modern revamp homebrew stuff. Never got to sit down and put everything together, though. I'd rather not post everything here because... well it would take several posts. lol
Instead, I'll link everything so you just have to deal with what interests you.


Thanks for posting! It will probably take me until tomorrow to look through all this and digest it, but I'll definitely read through all this. :)
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby MasterVega » Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:50 am

If you have any questions about any of my houserules (or if one or more of them are written horribly), I'll try to answer them. It's been a bit since I actually worked on these, though.
Thanks for looking at them. I hope you find something useful. :D
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby JaredGaume » Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:27 am

Cyber-Dave wrote:Starting with a "trained skill" frontload of +5, but also starting with defenses of 15, and having weapon training (like skill training) grant a +5 to hit instead of alleviating a -5 to hit, and adding only 1/2 your heroic level as a bonus to attack, results in (almost) the EXACT SAME attack bonus vs. defenses math as the Star Wars Saga rules as written, except that it makes the Star Wars Saga skills interact with those numbers in the exact same way. Jarred, I really don't agree with you. Personally, I think starting with a base Defense value of 15, removing the -5 to hit with untrained weapons mechanic, making Weapon Training grant a +5 bonus to hit, making it so that only 1/2 a characters heroic level adds a bonus to hit, and likewise adding in a "weapon focus" or "weapon mastery" skill that does what the star wars "Skill Focus" feat does, works and works well. That is what I did for the Land of Nod.

Yes, I think you are absolutely right on the base 15 defenses for SWSE. I like your Land of Nod because of that, and some other adjustments you made.

All I am saying is that if we have a chance to build a game system from the ground up, let's try to get the numbers right in the first place.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby Cyber-Dave » Fri Jan 22, 2010 6:27 am

I see. I can get behind that. I guess I am just saying that I think the starting number for defense is arbitrary. We shouldn't come with an attached preconception. If 15 is what works well mathematically, lets use 15! If its 10, lets do make it 10. The starting number for defense only matters in relation to the starting number for attack. What really matters is that attack values and skill values grow in sync.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby j0lt » Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:03 am

Why don't we set up a few different progressions and test which one works best?
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby JaredGaume » Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:01 am

Cyber-Dave wrote:I see. I can get behind that. I guess I am just saying that I think the starting number for defense is arbitrary. We shouldn't come with an attached preconception. If 15 is what works well mathematically, lets use 15! If its 10, lets do make it 10. The starting number for defense only matters in relation to the starting number for attack. What really matters is that attack values and skill values grow in sync.

Most deffinately.

j0lt wrote:Why don't we set up a few different progressions and test which one works best?

I put a skill progression for disscussion in the Skills topic thread as that seemed a more appropriate place.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby DTemplar5 » Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:38 am

I blink and I miss so much.

GMSarli's save idea sounds mostly like an attribute check for the most part. The only problem here is to prevent attribute inflation (especially in games where equipment can augment those attributes exist).

From what I can tell, saves are meant to recover from an effect, rather than ignore the effect (which I think would fall under the Defences). I think you might as well use the Endurance skill, rather than create a save mechanic.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby j0lt » Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:42 am

DTemplar5 wrote:I blink and I miss so much.

GMSarli's save idea sounds mostly like an attribute check for the most part. The only problem here is to prevent attribute inflation (especially in games where equipment can augment those attributes exist).

From what I can tell, saves are meant to recover from an effect, rather than ignore the effect (which I think would fall under the Defences). I think you might as well use the Endurance skill, rather than create a save mechanic.


...
That's a really good idea! Coupled with GMSarli's idea of decoupling ability scores from skills, you could use whichever appropriate ability modifier with the skill to make whichever save was necessary. I like it!
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby Felix Le Rouzes » Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:25 am

I'll second that bit about missing a lot.

First off, even though its pretty far away, I'll just add that I really want a module about Space Opera that's generic enough to emulate many different settings with a few tweaks. I always disliked how the modules in D20 Future tried to give you mini campaign settings. There was generally too little to go on flavor-wise and too little crunch-wise to be very useful.

My first impressions on the big rules ideas that have been posted:

- I love the idea of a hit point reserve to draw upon for healing.

- I agree with JaredGaume that we should avoid frontloading the skills too much, balancing their bonuses for a base defense of 10 + modifiers.

- I favor armor giving a mix of damage reduction and defense bonus.

I'll try to post something more helpful later on when I have more time. :oops:
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby JaredGaume » Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:20 pm

j0lt wrote:
DTemplar5 wrote:I blink and I miss so much.

GMSarli's save idea sounds mostly like an attribute check for the most part. The only problem here is to prevent attribute inflation (especially in games where equipment can augment those attributes exist).

From what I can tell, saves are meant to recover from an effect, rather than ignore the effect (which I think would fall under the Defences). I think you might as well use the Endurance skill, rather than create a save mechanic.


...
That's a really good idea! Coupled with GMSarli's idea of decoupling ability scores from skills, you could use whichever appropriate ability modifier with the skill to make whichever save was necessary. I like it!

Seconded, but with one reservation.

As you level the base save target must also go up. Save target = 10 + 1/2 level. Otherwise somewhere about level 3 to 10 you will just automatically "save", depending on your endurance skill.

:twisted: Sometimes when you catch fire, you should burn for a while. :twisted:
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby GMSarli » Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:24 pm

JaredGaume wrote:
j0lt wrote:
DTemplar5 wrote:I blink and I miss so much.

GMSarli's save idea sounds mostly like an attribute check for the most part. The only problem here is to prevent attribute inflation (especially in games where equipment can augment those attributes exist).

From what I can tell, saves are meant to recover from an effect, rather than ignore the effect (which I think would fall under the Defences). I think you might as well use the Endurance skill, rather than create a save mechanic.


...
That's a really good idea! Coupled with GMSarli's idea of decoupling ability scores from skills, you could use whichever appropriate ability modifier with the skill to make whichever save was necessary. I like it!

Seconded, but with one reservation.

As you level the base save target must also go up. Save target = 10 + 1/2 level. Otherwise somewhere about level 3 to 10 you will just automatically "save", depending on your endurance skill.

:twisted: Sometimes when you catch fire, you should burn for a while. :twisted:


Or, since we're decoupling things, the save could be your 1d20 + Endurance skill training modifier + appropriate ability modifier ... but, unlike a normal skill check, we could leave out the 1/2 level bonus. If we did this, I'd probably bump the default save up to DC 15 instead of DC 10.


BTW, the other save model I'd been thinking of was 1d20 + class bonus to Fort/Ref/Will (generally ranging from +0 to +2) vs. DC 10 -- the nice thing there is that higher ability scores don't completely blow the curve, so it would still work even if you had a superhero with absurd abilities. :)
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:16 pm

j0lt wrote:
JaredGaume wrote:
j0lt wrote:Borrowing something from Saga: Second Wind would work. Any time a character is below 1/2 of their total VP, they can use a second wind to regain either their Constitution score or 1/4 of their total VP, whichever is higher. In a game with Action Points, I'd say this should cost an action point. In a game without, I'd limit it to 1/day. However, I'm not a fan of x/day or vancian style mechanics at all. It just feels so arbitrary.


Don't limit "second wind" attempts. Make taking a "second wind" a standard action, by default that means this is all your character is doing for that round. For instance if your character was on his last couple of hit points, you grab cover for a few rounds, hope no one goes after you, and steel yourself to fight some more. Have a lower base threshold for the number of hit points recovered since you can do it whenever you like. Using Action Points to give you an extra action would allow you to spend an action point to take a "second wind" and still act normally on your turn. But you have some choices about how to knuckle down and get back in the fight.

Action Points shouldn't give you an extra action. That mechanic has only been used in 4e, and IMO isn't a very good one. d20M/Saga's Action Point mechanic provides more options for how to spend them.

Shawn Burke wrote:I don't like how Saga and Modern does the points by level. People seem to either forget or abuse them. I'd like to see some kind of point system that recharges by day and/or encounter.

I've been playing in a SWSE campaign for the past year, and am constantly using my Action Points. They've saved my character on more than one occasion! I'm not sure what you mean by abusing them, could you give an example?


I agree with Mr. Burke on the points per level thing but I disagree with the view that getting that extra action is a bad choice because I think its a fantastic choice...unfortunately, its the only choice in 4e, which is what I don't like.

I'd like an Action Point mechanic similar to Spycraft actually, where the players get their few points and its per die per level, they get them at the beginning of the game session. The GM gets his few Villian Points, based on like setting lethality and number of players or whatever. The players can spend the points on specific actions, or use them to get like an additional die roll, or spend two points at the same time to get an extra action in the turn. Maybe spend an Action Point to get an automatic critical hit on a normal hit or spend a point to offset a critical hit that targetted them, or whatever.

Combine it with the idea of different tiers of Heroism... Gritty you get 2 AP, Normal you get 4, and Heroic you get 6, and Superheroic you get 8 AP. Just examples. My two cents.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:40 pm

Maybe not houserules per se from me here, but my opinions.

The Reserve Hit Points idea is fantastic. Omg that's so neat, and elegent. So, by having Reserve Points, and your in combat, and your normal Hit Points (okay, maybe change the name of Reserve Hit Points to something else, because saying normal hit points and reserve hit points can become a tongue twister fast ;) ) but your normal hit points go down to 0, will you be including -HP in the game, which logically speaking doesn't make any sense at all because if your down into negative HP then shouldn't you be dead? Would the damage then go into the Reserve Points pool or how would that work?

I also think that some actions could target Reserve Points instead of Hit Points, possibly a talent or feat that lets you do that, or a spell or super power. Hey, that could be Stun Damage, hitting Reserve Points instead of Hit Points. Have Stun damage, well, Stun you, and if your Reserves hit 0, well, your totally Stunned, right?

Having the 6 Base Classes, pretty cool. This was a houserule, a few years ago we stripped the Advanced and Prestige Classes from d20Modern and just made their abilities Talent Trees that could only be picked by meeting prerequisites and it was so fun. We were even going to try to put them into the Base Classes but we got into other games so we didn't finish that.

Static HP at 1st level and static increasing HP every level after that is a good idea, but have those good ole Hit Die there for people who like the random element because some people do.

We can focus the "initial" game aspect on the modern world, but this core rulebook must have other genre's in it, it Must or else your tossing the book into the campfire before the goblins can take it ;) , and I say MUST because it is being advertised that way. It must have psionics and/or magic, and super powers, and mecha/anime. Well, maybe not mecha/anime, but if we can do that that'd be awesome.

Maybe most of what I said could have been in a different thread, idk, but I said it here since we are all talking about optional rules and ideas off optional rules.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby JaredGaume » Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:57 pm

Stacie_GmrGrl wrote: Maybe not houserules per se from me here, but my opinions.

The Reserve Hit Points idea is fantastic. Omg that's so neat, and elegent. So, by having Reserve Points, and your in combat, and your normal Hit Points (okay, maybe change the name of Reserve Hit Points to something else, because saying normal hit points and reserve hit points can become a tongue twister fast ;) ) but your normal hit points go down to 0, will you be including -HP in the game, which logically speaking doesn't make any sense at all because if your down into negative HP then shouldn't you be dead? Would the damage then go into the Reserve Points pool or how would that work?

I took it to mean that once both your hit points and reserves (maybe use those terms) reach 0 you are dying. No negative hit points at that point, the dying mechanic kicks in, or you are just dead. I think once you go into -HP, you are at 0 HP and the rest is hitting your reserves, you are also disabled at that point (restricted range of actions).

Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:I also think that some actions could target Reserve Points instead of Hit Points, possibly a talent or feat that lets you do that, or a spell or super power. Hey, that could be Stun Damage, hitting Reserve Points instead of Hit Points. Have Stun damage, well, Stun you, and if your Reserves hit 0, well, your totally Stunned, right?

Yes! Though I might modify that a little, when you are attacking someone's reserves you are basically setting them up to take a fall. While they have full hit points they can act normally, but then find when they need their reserves, they are gone. Getting stunned could be the outcome of a successful special attack, like with a talent.

Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:Having the 6 Base Classes, pretty cool. This was a houserule, a few years ago we stripped the Advanced and Prestige Classes from d20Modern and just made their abilities Talent Trees that could only be picked by meeting prerequisites and it was so fun. We were even going to try to put them into the Base Classes but we got into other games so we didn't finish that.

According to Gary this is the direction we would be going in, though probably a little better defined.

Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:Static HP at 1st level and static increasing HP every level after that is a good idea, but have those good ole Hit Die there for people who like the random element because some people do.

We can focus the "initial" game aspect on the modern world, but this core rulebook must have other genre's in it, it Must or else your tossing the book into the campfire before the goblins can take it ;) , and I say MUST because it is being advertised that way. It must have psionics and/or magic, and super powers, and mecha/anime. Well, maybe not mecha/anime, but if we can do that that'd be awesome.

Agreed. Most of the core rule book for the Modern game, several chapters devoted to "modules" to bring in different genres (like psionics, magic, super powers, mecha/anime, etc...).

Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:Maybe most of what I said could have been in a different thread, idk, but I said it here since we are all talking about optional rules and ideas off optional rules.

Yes, but I for one always like new and fresh perspectives.

Welcome aboard Stacie_GmrGrl.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby Kaldaen » Sat Jan 23, 2010 5:06 pm

I think everyone has already covered most of the things I wanted to lead off with. Serves me right for being late to the party. ;)

I'm really glad I found this post among the many that have already been written. I think GMSarli's outline here provides the best of both worlds between Saga and 4E's Defense systems, and I'd encourage him to run with it.

GMSarli wrote:Personally, I'm included toward something like this for Defense scores:

  • Primary: This is equivalent to 4E's Armor Class. Primary Defense is the default target of most weapon-based attacks that are directed at a single target (as opposed to area attacks). Armor also applies here. I'm currently leaning toward a hybrid armor system wherein armor provides three distinct benefits:
    1. a small bonus to Primary Defense
    2. a small amount of Damage Reduction
    3. an increase to your massive damage threshold
    (I'm thinking that these will have a fairly simple relationship wherein #1 + #2 = #3, e.g. +4 bonus to Primary Defense, Damage Reduction 5, and +9 bonus to massive damage threshold for a really heavy suit of armor.)
  • Reflex: Reflex Defense is the target of area attacks and environmental hazards (e.g. landslide, pit trap, etc.), and it also fills the "touch attack" niche from 3.0/3.5. (For unarmored characters, Primary and Reflex will be very closely related.)
  • Fortitude: Fortitude Defense is the target of attacks that directly affect bodily health (e.g. disease, poison, etc.) and anything wherein sheer toughness and bulk comes into play (e.g. resisting a bull rush, etc.). Note that, unlike Saga Edition, armor does not usually boost your Fortitude Defense.
  • Will: Will Defense is the target of attacks that are resisted by mental or emotional stamina and awareness. (I really like the idea of using Will for some of the same things that 4E uses passive Perception or Insight checks for ... personally, I'm inclined to keep the familiar name, but I'd be happy to put that up for a vote once we get to that stage.)


I had made quite a few changes to the SWSE armor system to try to simplify it, while reducing armor's numerical effects so that players didn't feel that they had to have it. The armor mechanic I came up with wouldn't quite fit with the system described above, but I think that this one here would have made the whole thing work much better.

On the other hand, I prefer the save model that Mr. Sarli wrote just a few posts later:

GMSarli wrote:BTW, the other save model I'd been thinking of was 1d20 + class bonus to Fort/Ref/Will (generally ranging from +0 to +2) vs. DC 10 -- the nice thing there is that higher ability scores don't completely blow the curve, so it would still work even if you had a superhero with absurd abilities. :)
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby JaredGaume » Sat Jan 23, 2010 6:32 pm

Kaldaen wrote:...

On the other hand, I prefer the save model that Mr. Sarli wrote just a few posts later:

GMSarli wrote:BTW, the other save model I'd been thinking of was 1d20 + class bonus to Fort/Ref/Will (generally ranging from +0 to +2) vs. DC 10 -- the nice thing there is that higher ability scores don't completely blow the curve, so it would still work even if you had a superhero with absurd abilities. :)

Agreed.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby Prom » Sat Jan 23, 2010 7:33 pm

I found that my players had trouble with movement diagonally in Saga and DnD 3.5. Everyone had to remember so many different rules for diagonal movement and in the end we adopted the 4th Ed rules on diagonal movement. It was easy to use and remember, even if it made very little sense logically.

Another house rule my group use is unlimited First Aid. I remember you suggesting this in the jedi counselling. Healing in Saga or any system always seems to be a problem. My players were not interested in taking Treat Injury as a trained skill then skill focus and surgical expertise, it started becoming like the cleric in DnD that very little people want to play. The group still need to have enough medpacs so it did use up resources and if I had a chain of combat encounters the group could just keep going.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby babs » Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:07 am

Wow,

I come back from my winterholiday, and I find a board with an exploded thread. Sorry, but I am not really go through all of them. Anyways, I think it also highlights a very major point: given the large amount of patron input so far it think it essential that we make this board very structured etc. etc.

We don't want to have multiple discussions going on in different threads. So, I propose we quickly create several subfora (what about a forum for each of the destined chapters in the book?) to streamline and guide the discussions. Also, if you got on off-topic idea, or want to discuss several houserules and if they are put in the book: new topic is your friend!

As for my houserules: I don't use any xp. I just level my players when they are level up. I use daily force points and have a nice list of custom talents.

Babs out!
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby bone_naga » Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:49 am

One houserule that my group really liked, both experienced and newer players, was changing the scale for ability scores (I believe True20 uses a similar system but it has been a long time since I read it). Basically, your ability score was also your stat bonus. So if you have STR 3, then you gain a +3 bonus to all STR-based skills and attacks. That way there was no confusion for new players between their ability score and their ability bonus. Players also liked improving their scores because they knew they would get a bonus every time they did so (and so long as everything scales appropriately it doesn't cause any balance issues).
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:20 pm

True20 did it where they just got rid of scores and used the ability modifiers... I never really played it so I don't know how well it worked but its an option that I can see possibly simplify things in some ways.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby Jimmy Plamondon » Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:57 pm

True20 had the right idea. I enjoyed building characters and planning games. The only thing that made me stop playing it was the very cumbersome toughness/damage system which required way too much book keeping IMO.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby j0lt » Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:27 am

Here's a basic design question regarding bonus progression:

Should e20 use an "analogue" (2/4/8) or "digital" (2/5/10) progression?
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby Prom » Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:37 pm

Another thing my group house ruled was the ability to re-train, talents, feats and force powers. This was mostly because people had little experience with the rule set and if they didn't like the characters abilities they could just tweek it.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby bone_naga » Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:51 pm

I like that. I think 4e had the right idea with building retraining into the system. Your character shouldn't suffer for his entire career because you chose the wrong feat/power/talent/whatever.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby Jimmy Plamondon » Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:55 pm

Retraining is essential. However, we found with 4th edition that sometimes, 1 retrain per level was not enough. So we house-ruled that "in-game" occasions that would trigger a change in a character's style/abilities could allow a total reworking of the skils/feats/powers.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby j0lt » Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:18 pm

Prom wrote:re-train
bone_naga wrote:retraining
Jimmy Plamondon wrote:Retraining

+1
My group adopted a retraining rule into our SWSE campaign and it was really helpful.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:28 pm

I'm most definately a minority here where I think retraining should be listed under optional at best, in a sidebar.

I personally hate the rule...to basically rework the character each and ever level for what purpose... I don't get it. I can see how others like it...me, it should be something done every three or four levels, not every level. If I have it at all. Or there is no sacrifice in the game, it just boils down to what is the best for me this time, and i guess in my way of thinking, total min/maxing munchkinism.

That's what I've seen from it so far in the majority of 4e games I've played it.

If its something that is use sparingly after a few levels, sure, why not... but if its every single level and you can retrain just about anythiing and everything from scratch each time, that's just way to much.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby j0lt » Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:36 pm

It IS optional. You don't have to retrain if you don't need to. The rule is there for cases where you've taken a feat or talent that you don't end up using and would like to swap it out for something more useful.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:50 pm

j0lt wrote:It IS optional. You don't have to retrain if you don't need to. The rule is there for cases where you've taken a feat or talent that you don't end up using and would like to swap it out for something more useful.


Ohhh... :) I never did retrain anyways unless it was really important conceptually. I guess I saw a lot of people retrain so much to get that last point to attack and/or damage and ignored character concepts that I started to dislike it.

Okay, thank you Jolt. I thought it was mandatory. My blonde moment of day.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby j0lt » Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:19 am

Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:Ohhh... :) I never did retrain anyways unless it was really important conceptually. I guess I saw a lot of people retrain so much to get that last point to attack and/or damage and ignored character concepts that I started to dislike it.

Okay, thank you Jolt. I thought it was mandatory. My blonde moment of day.

lol, no problem. I'm sure the rule does get abused like that, but it's really designed more as a safety net. You only get so many feats/talents for your character that if you've spent one and aren't using it, it's really a waste.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby Kaldaen » Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:24 am

I was always partial to high-ground bonuses in earlier editions. If my players are trying to use terrain or positioning to their advantage, I try to give them a +2 circumstance bonus to their attacks.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby Prom » Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:32 pm

GMSarli wrote:Just to second Jared's thoughts here, if you have static Fort/Ref/Will defenses scaled by level, then "saving throws" (if included at all) can't scale by level or you're applying the same benefit twice.

Personally, I'm included toward something like this for Defense scores:
  • Primary: This is equivalent to 4E's Armor Class. Primary Defense is the default target of most weapon-based attacks that are directed at a single target (as opposed to area attacks). Armor also applies here. I'm currently leaning toward a hybrid armor system wherein armor provides three distinct benefits:
    1. a small bonus to Primary Defense
    2. a small amount of Damage Reduction
    3. an increase to your massive damage threshold
    (I'm thinking that these will have a fairly simple relationship wherein #1 + #2 = #3, e.g. +4 bonus to Primary Defense, Damage Reduction 5, and +9 bonus to massive damage threshold for a really heavy suit of armor.)
  • Reflex: Reflex Defense is the target of area attacks and environmental hazards (e.g. landslide, pit trap, etc.), and it also fills the "touch attack" niche from 3.0/3.5. (For unarmored characters, Primary and Reflex will be very closely related.)
  • Fortitude: Fortitude Defense is the target of attacks that directly affect bodily health (e.g. disease, poison, etc.) and anything wherein sheer toughness and bulk comes into play (e.g. resisting a bull rush, etc.). Note that, unlike Saga Edition, armor does not usually boost your Fortitude Defense.
  • Will: Will Defense is the target of attacks that are resisted by mental or emotional stamina and awareness. (I really like the idea of using Will for some of the same things that 4E uses passive Perception or Insight checks for ... personally, I'm inclined to keep the familiar name, but I'd be happy to put that up for a vote once we get to that stage.)
As for "saving throws," I might use something similar to 4E's set-up to handle recovery from lasting effects, but it would probably be more like this:

1d20 + [Dex/Con/Wis modifier for Ref/Fort/Will saves, respectively] vs. DC 10

That's extremely tentative, though. I definitely want the initial attack to have as close to one-roll resolution as possible, but something like this seems like a fairly simple way to handle effects that are supposed to last more than one round.


I think the 4e system of save throws is really nice and simple, but your right the initial attack should not get a save throw; the static defense scores are enough for the initial attack.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby Kingreaper » Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:51 pm

One houserule I'm running is that "Skill focus" type feats give a (smaller) bonus to all your allies as well.

Maybe it's because you're always gushing about all the amazing architecture you encounter (knowledge: Arc and Eng) or because you give them a few hints on what to do if you're bleeding (heal) or whatever, but the fact that you are so awesome at this skill boosts the whole party.


It helps to keep the party closer together in terms of capabilities, mostly helping generalists in the areas where they're overshadowed.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby GMSarli » Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:37 am

Kingreaper wrote:One houserule I'm running is that "Skill focus" type feats give a (smaller) bonus to all your allies as well.

Maybe it's because you're always gushing about all the amazing architecture you encounter (knowledge: Arc and Eng) or because you give them a few hints on what to do if you're bleeding (heal) or whatever, but the fact that you are so awesome at this skill boosts the whole party.


It helps to keep the party closer together in terms of capabilities, mostly helping generalists in the areas where they're overshadowed.

I like this idea. Right now, I'm thinking that the specialist might be able to grant a comparable enhancement to allies; think about Cpl. Hicks giving Lt. Ripley a quick tutorial on how to use a pulse rifle in Aliens. :)
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby DTemplar5 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:37 am

GMSarli wrote:
Kingreaper wrote:One houserule I'm running is that "Skill focus" type feats give a (smaller) bonus to all your allies as well.

Maybe it's because you're always gushing about all the amazing architecture you encounter (knowledge: Arc and Eng) or because you give them a few hints on what to do if you're bleeding (heal) or whatever, but the fact that you are so awesome at this skill boosts the whole party.


It helps to keep the party closer together in terms of capabilities, mostly helping generalists in the areas where they're overshadowed.

I like this idea. Right now, I'm thinking that the specialist might be able to grant a comparable enhancement to allies; think about Cpl. Hicks giving Lt. Ripley a quick tutorial on how to use a pulse rifle in Aliens. :)


Like for any Skill you are Focused in you provide nearby allies within (some distance, probably 6 squares) away a +1 insight bonus to allies in that skill? The question is, should other people that are Focused in that skill benefit from it? Personally, I say yes if this is coming from a talent, but I can see why you wouldn't.
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Re: 1st topic: Share your houserules!

Postby Prom » Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:46 pm

Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:I'm most definately a minority here where I think retraining should be listed under optional at best, in a sidebar.

I personally hate the rule...to basically rework the character each and ever level for what purpose... I don't get it. I can see how others like it...me, it should be something done every three or four levels, not every level. If I have it at all. Or there is no sacrifice in the game, it just boils down to what is the best for me this time, and i guess in my way of thinking, total min/maxing munchkinism.

That's what I've seen from it so far in the majority of 4e games I've played it.

If its something that is use sparingly after a few levels, sure, why not... but if its every single level and you can retrain just about anythiing and everything from scratch each time, that's just way to much.


The house rule for retraining was not my idea, it was a player lead evolution. LOL.
I don't like retraining much myself, as it can be abused; but I do see a need to have that option. Some of my players are power-gamers and they will abuse retraining for sure, others are just muddling along. It's the inexperienced players that I want to be able to correct poor choices.
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