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Mon, Jul. 19th, 2010, 11:40 pm
"Sneak Attack!"

I'm going to be posting again here and there. I hope that's okay with everyone.

Furthermore, since I'm in a D&D campaign with friends, I feel like writing about it. Tee hee!

Not about the campaign directly, mind you. Just about D&D in general. Actually, nix that, I will write about the campaign. It's thetakogun's show this time. He had fond memories of the Rym campaign he ran way back when, so he fired up another one. It's pretty enjoyable thus far! It's a bit strange, though. For one thing, we have only three people, so we're a bit reliant on an NPC fourth character, and it's also rather house-ruled.

That's a bit euphemistic. To get right to it, we're using a alternate class module, what the creator called a "forced multi-class system". If you're not into D&D, that was word soup. In order to understand what it does, I'll have to explain the basics of what a player character in D&D is.

A player character in D&D is a mostly defined by their abilities, which they get mostly from taking class levels. Usually, those levels are in the same class, so you have, say, a level eight fighter or something. They get the rest of their abilities from their species, the equipment that they obtain in their adventures, and also the feats they gain with levels. There's more to it than that, but as to how they operate in the world, those are the major things.

Way back when, one of our friends grew frustrated with way that the classes grew and their contents. He noticed how some classes have multiple 'things' going on in them. So he designed a hack of the system to let people define their characters a little better, as well as ensure that every level was interesting and meaningful. I actually know what he was talking about: in third edition, sometimes a character goes up a level and all they get is a another base attack point. That's not a lot of fun. That problem is non-existent in the Forced Multi-Class module.

Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that: this campaign is in third edition. Forgot to mention that.
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Wed, Jul. 21st, 2010 12:59 am (UTC)

Aww, thanks. Sometimes I get a bit of a losing streak with online interactions, and I start to think that silence is an almighty virtue, you know?
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Tue, Jul. 20th, 2010 10:09 pm (UTC)

My friend pitches FUDGE at me every time I bring up something that uses a D20.

I'm usually less worried about the system and more about who I'm playing with. xD Fun can be had in some aaaawful systems.
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Wed, Jul. 21st, 2010 01:10 am (UTC)

A d20 system really doesn't mean anything except that you roll a d20 a lot while using it, in my experience. Same way that you roll a lot of d6 in a d6 system. I've seen d20 systems that were quite unlike D&D, too. I think every dice-based RPG has the basic idea of roll dice and add numbers to the result to determine outcomes, mostly because I can't think of what else the dice would accomplish otherwise.

Although, heh, I'm playing a rogue right now? And so let me tell you, D6 are going everywhere. I'm rolling more of those than I am the D20. Hee hee!

I think our friend was trying to both solve some of the problems with third edition at at the same time of making the whole game more to his unique taste with his module. I'm all for both of those! Overall, it's a workable module, although it has... consequences.
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Wed, Jul. 21st, 2010 04:52 am (UTC)

I know what you mean. D20 is kinda the popular kid on the block, and it's tough for other approaches to make it.

Although that thing with Deadlands that you mention is interesting, I don't think I would want to play it, sadly. I would be one of the people that would prefer the simplicity. That's unlike me!

Tue, Jul. 20th, 2010 10:07 pm (UTC)

Or is it 3.5? I'm never really sure on that distinction. I like the freedom this system gives you to multiclass, even if I don't feel like the classes themselves are divided perfectly. Or excellently, for that matter. It was kind of a monster in the original. In 4.0 it was... interesting? But golly it was limited.

If you want to play a 'pure' class in this it gets kind of funky. I think... hm. I should break this down.

Barbarian: Some combat features moved into Scout.
Druid: Wild Shape removed and placed in the Shifter class.
Monk: Split into Monk & Martial Artist
Paladin: Technically not split up, but some abilities are missing. Then again, I might have deleted them by accident so I'm not sure.
Ranger: Seems to have taken the worst, a couple abilities removed, animal companion inaccessible unless you're a druid. And I've never really been a fan of the favored enemy feature, for some reason.
Rogue: Non-combat abilities tucked into Scout.
Left Alone: Bard, Cleric, Fighter, Wizard, Sorcerer, Warlock (I think)

So you can basically re-assemble anything but the Ranger if you want a pure D&D experience. The whole classes are at least half of the selection. o.O I like using them to create (somewhat) unique combinations. I've also found that the more broken it is, the more you have to band-aid them together with feats. xD I'm somewhat terrified of the idea of a Fighter/Barbarian or Fighter/Rogue.

As it is, I'm debating what to make my cohort, class-wise. There's a lot of Useful stuff they could be doing. I'm just not sure if I want them to be tanking, or a delicious skill-bank + support. Tank-Bank?

Wed, Jul. 21st, 2010 01:29 am (UTC)

Rogue actually gained a little weirdness in the split. For one thing, you lose out on some skill points, because the pure sneak attacking Rogue classlet gets less. To compensate, the Scout has damage reduction. I keep forgetting that I have a point of that now. Otherwise, there's some wonkiness in the growth (why I have such strange saves but a high BAB) but it's close to the core experience.

To be honest, I've always felt deprived of the core experience. Nobody around me seems that interested in it, which is too bad: far as I can tell, just playing a class straight is pretty fun in itself.

But I was thinking about Fighter/Rogue, and it doesn't quite work that easy. For one thing, you have a high BAB and the sneak attack dice, but you have to be using a light weapon and rely on weapon finesse. That means that you're playing a Dex fighter, which is alright. At that point, there's a strong argument just to right for Ranger, so you get two weapon fighting along with it, plus some nice stuff with the bow. But then with the ranger, you're getting into a different niche skill-wise. On the other hand, the skill rogue is all tied up in the Scout anyhow. So that's well enough. Rogue/Ranger is just some stabitty asshole that lives in the wilderness. I guess the strongest argument for Fighter/Rogue with the FMS would be the things you can do with the bonus feats.

As for Barbarian/Fighter, all you get out of it, because of the armour restrictions, is a big BAB and some bonus feats, a lot of which are behind a Int 13 wall. Playing a straight barbarian in this system is... well, you can't. The most effective combo is Barbarian/Shifter, which is a pretty damn effective from the cursory glance I took at it. But if you don't WANT to be a raging bear, well. Hmm.

Anyway, I'm thinking the FMS could use the addition of more base classes, rather than the PHB1 stuff (plus the warlock). It couldn't be that hard to do Shaman (which gets a split between their unique healing abilities and their other stuff), and other things.