Hard and fast rules for a classless system

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Hard and fast rules for a classless system

Postby Darthmoe » Sat May 15, 2010 10:51 pm

It’s important to note that these rules were originally designed to cover SAGA into a type of CoC game. The beauty of a classless system is that all PCs are as equal as possible you can completely disregard the rules of class balance and open the door wide open to the kind of characters they want.

Skills: Skills are most often extremely important in classless game and characters without good skills are at disadvantage. For this reason I generally give the maximum amount of skills in this case that would probably be the Savant.
Weapons Skills: It really varies depending on how much combat you want. Generally speaking the middle of the row option would fit the best. If you want a party of elite combatants than give your PCs the maximum most likely that would be vanguard. If you want to PCs to be weaklings than give them the combat skills of the savant or envoy. In my game the PCs were highly trained police officers and I gave them a lot of combat proficiencies, it worked out fine.

Talents: You can forget about class restricted talents and just open, however if a talent has prerequisites you must fulfill all of them. If a talent is restricted to a having a certain number of levels in a specific class ignore that requirement and substitute it with a character level requirement of that same level instead. Class level requirements aren’t important here, but you don’t want to give the PCs powerful talents faster than they could normally earn them.
Hit Points: In my game which was a horror game I gave the minimal HP (in SAGA that was the scoundrel), middle of the row might be better for most games. There is no reason why you couldn’t give max HP if you wanted to.

Defense Scores: Details here are dependent on the final defense system. In my original PCs had 3 defense points that they chose to spend on reflex, fortitude, or will. They could not spend more than two points on any defense score. If we go with a more 4.0 defense score method than the PCs simply pick one defense score to be their ‘good defense’.

Bonus Feat: There are two options here. In my game the PCs were cops so I picked out number feats related to police work that they could choose to spend their bonus feats on. It takes a bit of work, but it is not so bad. Option 2 is you just declare that bonus feats are just normal feats and let the PCs go hog wild.
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Re: Hard and fast rules for a classless system

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Wed May 19, 2010 1:03 am

Yea, e20 will be easily modular and will be easy to institute a classless option but I'm going to wait a bit further till we see more Talents and stuff..the only thing where I am confused is how Defenses are calculated and the Defense Feats, which that is one area where I really do not understand how they work, and how they are tied to the Class system that we currently have. I really think that these Defenses should be combat skills as well, and make combat opposed rolls... Having combat skills for attack and yet keeping to the older Defenses Paradigm, that just doesn't make sense to me at all.

Once I understand better how these Defenses will function, than I'll be able to help with a classless option.
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Re: Hard and fast rules for a classless system

Postby Darthmoe » Wed May 19, 2010 1:17 pm

The old defenses are for stream lined combat. Making you roll defenses would basically be a throw back to the old saving throw system.

The main difference between the old saving throws and the new defense scores is that with the defense scores you are basically taking 10, instead of rolling a d20. To make defenses active instead of passive would be a simply change but it would prolong the duration of combat, by a considerable amount.

Anyway I was just stating the basics of how to do classless it's not exactly a high priority but at least we are working on the classless system. Some games I run as classless games, and others I have classes it all depends on what I want to do. It is however considerably easier to have a game with a class based system as the default, and adopt it to be classless than it is to do the reverse.
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Re: Hard and fast rules for a classless system

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Wed May 19, 2010 3:55 pm

Darthmoe wrote:The old defenses are for stream lined combat. Making you roll defenses would basically be a throw back to the old saving throw system.

The main difference between the old saving throws and the new defense scores is that with the defense scores you are basically taking 10, instead of rolling a d20. To make defenses active instead of passive would be a simply change but it would prolong the duration of combat, by a considerable amount.

Anyway I was just stating the basics of how to do classless it's not exactly a high priority but at least we are working on the classless system. Some games I run as classless games, and others I have classes it all depends on what I want to do. It is however considerably easier to have a game with a class based system as the default, and adopt it to be classless than it is to do the reverse.


How would it prolong combat? Both people roll at same time...and since everybody likes to roll, it gets both people more into the game. It wouldn't prolong combat. I know because this is a permanent house rule for most of my d20 games that I used to run. If there are opposed rolls for non combat skills and skill checks, and now we have combat skills, and yet we are using a Static Defense to keep track of Defense, which nobody is ever static, so even logically it makes zero sense to use static defenses, and I know we will because many like it, and I am not saying that I hate them, just stating a preference which I know won't really be playtested because we are going with Defenses...

Why have Opposed Skills rolls for non combat skills and not have Opposed skill rolls with combat skills? Why not just use the same system all around? -- this was my question for the older d20 games.

Of course, I don't know if we will have Opposed rolls for non combat skills or if everything is going to be based on the Static Defenses, than I guess since its all under the same system, that's okay too. :)

I think having Primary, Reflex, Will, and Fortitude, well, having one called Primary just doesn't make any sense to me. I will never understand this, Armor Class is such an archaic form of determining defense, but just because I don't understand it doesn't mean I won't use it, and even if I don't understand it, I'll still enjoy the game for what it is. I like the other three, I can see where they are coming from, and what they represent...
-- Reflex means to me how easy it is to move out of an incoming attack or area effect of a physical nature that could cause some form of impairment.
-- Will is the mental version that combines Reflex and Fortitude.
-- Fortitude means to me how physically resistant the body is to incoming effects that can cause some form of Impairment.

-- Primary........................ this I don't get. The name is just wonky. I'll still go with it, and house rule it from the game later when I get the final book in my hands. But...Primary...even Armor Class is a better name for what it is. What is Primary? The overall means in which a person defends herself...okay... wouldn't something that represents an overall means of defense incorporate both a physical and mental aspect of the character, since a person generally is using both mental and physical faculties to defend herself with. Or am I way off?
Primary also tells me that one form of defense comes before the rest, hence a Primary focus. Maybe...Maybe a Primary Defense can be one of the other three, and the Primary defense can be chosen at character creation by the player and gets a Primary Defense bonus as the character gains levels...

like one person would choose Fortitude as his Primary defense, and then gets a bonus to Fortitude or something... I don't know.

I'm rambling.
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Re: Hard and fast rules for a classless system

Postby Darthmoe » Wed May 19, 2010 5:38 pm

As I understand it primary defense is just reflex defense plus armor. The only purpose for primary defense being separate from reflex defense is simply for simplicity. Apparently it was easier for some gamers to keep track of when armor should be applied or not when armor was a separate mechanic from a regular reflex save. Functionally it makes absolutely no difference at all it was simply a change implemented to create a user friendly interface. If you house rule it out essentially you are not changing the games functionality at all.

As I said before it's a simple change to make passive defense scores active. Including that optional rule would probably take 2 or 3 lines of text. For that matter you used you roll your defense scores back in the 3.x days and they were simply saving throws. SAGA made them static and for whatever reason gamers liked that method better. Some say from a functionality perspective it helps GMs properly scale combat encounters, and that it also helps to make balancing easier because the results of certain attacks are more predictable. These are subjective arguments at best. What is clear is that the best information we have available to us says that people are likely to favor static defenses as opposed to random defenses.
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Re: Hard and fast rules for a classless system

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Wed May 19, 2010 11:30 pm

Darthmoe wrote:As I understand it primary defense is just reflex defense plus armor. The only purpose for primary defense being separate from reflex defense is simply for simplicity. Apparently it was easier for some gamers to keep track of when armor should be applied or not when armor was a separate mechanic from a regular reflex save. Functionally it makes absolutely no difference at all it was simply a change implemented to create a user friendly interface. If you house rule it out essentially you are not changing the games functionality at all.

As I said before it's a simple change to make passive defense scores active. Including that optional rule would probably take 2 or 3 lines of text. For that matter you used you roll your defense scores back in the 3.x days and they were simply saving throws. SAGA made them static and for whatever reason gamers liked that method better. Some say from a functionality perspective it helps GMs properly scale combat encounters, and that it also helps to make balancing easier because the results of certain attacks are more predictable. These are subjective arguments at best. What is clear is that the best information we have available to us says that people are likely to favor static defenses as opposed to random defenses.


Then I will go along with static defenses and not push for anything but :)
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Re: Hard and fast rules for a classless system

Postby Darthmoe » Thu May 20, 2010 1:27 pm

Well I'm saying that we can't or shouldn't state this unspoken optional rule. All defense skills including primary defense are balanced to assume that the PC is taking 10 on their roll. Some GMs might want to require rolling, or at least offer the option to take the risk of rolling to do so. Technically you actually use action points to temporary boost your defense scores, although I am not sure if this expressly stated.
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Re: Hard and fast rules for a classless system

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Thu May 20, 2010 1:49 pm

I do like opposed rolling because for every attack the attacker and defender are both rolling, and everybody enjoys rolling dice. I also understand how some people might just want to look up a number, and static defense works also. :)

I will argue that opposed rolling makes combats last longer..this is not the case. We all know that what makes combats last so long is players that don't pay attention and feel they have to make outside game comments between each and every action, and those players who don't know what's on their character sheets and those players who are not really paying attention and don't pay attention until it is their turn and then they have to ask what's going on... That is what makes combats last as long as they do.
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Re: Hard and fast rules for a classless system

Postby Darthmoe » Thu May 20, 2010 4:06 pm

Well in the end it's all pretty much the same thing. It's a little like arguing over if Coke or Pepsi is the better soft-drink really.
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Re: Hard and fast rules for a classless system

Postby migo » Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:09 pm

Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:How would it prolong combat? Both people roll at same time...and since everybody likes to roll, it gets both people more into the game.


This is a worthwhile point - people like to play with dice. The more opportunity to do so the better, but having static numbers does streamline things.
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