Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Mass Combat rules (revision to Unearthed Arcana system)


(1) Every mass combat turn takes 10 minutes, not 1 minute. (This is an aesthetic choice to make battles feel right; choose a different timeframe if you prefer.)

(2) Use everybody declares/everybody acts resolution, like BattleTech or AD&D, instead of turn-by-turn resolution. This is important for resolving battles.

(3) There is no Attack action, only a Fight action. When a unit Fights another unit, both of them are fighting and either one can take damage. See below.

(4) Resolve movement before resolving Fights. You don't need to Disengage unless you were already adjacent to the enemy at the beginning of your turn (during action declaration).

(5) When a fight occurs, you total up the BR of all allies involved in the Fight on each side, and roll [B]3d6 * (BR/100[/B], not rounded). The enemy units in the fight must lose that many BR--the enemy commander(s)/players can allocate the losses wherever they chose. Whoever loses the most BR is the loser and must make a morale check or disband and be destroyed. There is a cumulative -1 penalty to the morale check for every 5% casualties the unit has taken. 

Example: If 200 BR of dwarves are Fighting 300 BR of Yetis while 150 BR of elven archers fires arrows at the Yetis, the dwarves and the elves roll 3d6 * 350 and the Yetis roll 3d6 * 300. If the elves and dwarves roll 11 and the Yetis roll a 12, then Yetis lose (11 * 3.5) = 38.5 BR, rounded down per usual 5E rules to 38. The elves and the dwarves lose 12 * 3 = 36 BR, which the dwarven commander allocates to the dwarves (because that makes sense, since the elves aren't in the melee and Yetis don't have spears). The DM is playing the Yeti commander and allocates all 38 BR to the Yetis. Since the Yetis took more BR damage, the elves and the dwarves win the field, and the Yetis must make a DC 10 morale check at -2 (they've taken 12% casualties) or be disbanded. The DM rules that the Yetis are normally Stalwart (+4), so the Yetis roll at +2 total. They roll a natural 14, for a total of 16, and remain intact. The Yetis and the dwarves will continue to fight next turn.


--
If I esteem mankind to be in error, shall I bear them down? No. I will lift them up, and in their own way too, if I cannot persuade them my way is better; and I will not seek to compel any man to believe as I do, only by the force of reasoning, for truth will cut its own way.

"Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else."

Sunday, January 29, 2017

5E old-school multiclassing rules

Old-school Multiclassing in 5E: rule variant

Remarks: with this variation, you gain some potential synergies that in some ways make a fighter/mage more powerful than a fighter and a mage working together. For instance, you can wear heavy armor and cast a Blur spell and Shield when hit, which is more than twice as good as either heavy armor or Shield + Blur spells by itself. But you're more fragile (fewer HP) than a fighter and a thief, you do less damage (get half as many attacks), and your attributes are spread thinner because you're only getting half as many ASIs to boost both your spells (Intelligence) and your fighting (Dexterity or Strength). It remains to be seen whether a party of three multi-classed PCs is stronger or weaker in practice than a party of six single- or dual-classed PCs, but it will certainly be more complicated and therefore potentially interesting! ~Max


Rule 0.) For purposes of this discussion and for historical reasons, 5E PHB-style multiclassing will be referred to as "dual-classing" and this proposal will be referred to as "multi-classing". Where ambiguity exists, this proposal may be referred to as "concurrent multiclassing" or "old-school multiclassing" to resolve the ambiguity.

Rule 1.) Dual-classing and multiclassing are mutually exclusive and must be decided at character creation time. You cannot dual-class and multi-class with the same character. Some DMs may wish to impose additional restrictions, e.g. only humans can dual-class and only demihumans can multi-class, or perhaps only certain multiclass combinations are available (e.g. paladin/warlock/rogue may not be an option). Do what works for your campaign.

Rule 2.) When you multi-class, you may have either two or three classes. You split your experience among them evenly and level them up simultaneously.

Example: John is a 1st level fighter/rogue. He earns 300 XP from adventuring, which gives him 150 XP as a fighter and 150 XP as a rogue. Since he needs 300 XP to reach 2nd level and has only 150, he does not level up until he gains another 150 XP in each class.

Rule 3.) You must meet the same ability score prerequisites as a dual-classed character, using the usual PHB table for multi-classing ability score prerequisites.

Rule 4.) At first level, you may take the best HP, armor and weapon proficiencies of all of your classes. You may select one of your classes from which to gain saving throw proficiencies--you do not gain all saving throws from all of your classes.

Example: Rupert is a 10th level Hunter/Battlemaster/Illusionist. Because Battlemasters are proficient in all weapons and armor, Rupert is too. Because Hunters and Battlemasters both have d10 (6), Rupert does too, even though Illusionists have only d6 (4). When he goes up to 11th level, Rupert will gain d10 (6) HP plus his Con bonus. Rupert is proficient in Strength and Constitution saves because he chose at first level to take his saving throws from his Fighter class.

Rule 5.) Class features with the same name may only be gained once. For purposes of this rule, "Nth level ASI" is considered a distinct feature. Spellcasting is an exception (see rule 6).

Example: Rupert is a 10th level Hunter/Battlemaster/Illusionist. He has one fighting style (Archery) chosen as a fighter at first level; he has earned 3 ASIs so far at levels 4, 6 (as a fighter), and 8.

Rule 6.) Spellcasting is tracked separately for each class. You cannot mix and match spell slots or spell points between classes unless they are the same type of spellcasting, i.e. come from the same class spell list. (So basically, Arcane Tricksters and Eldritch Knights are cumulative with wizards.)

Example: As a 10th level Hunter/Battlemaster/Illusionist, Rupert has 4/3/2 slots for Ranger spells (or 27 spell points by DMG spell point rules) and 4/3/3/3/2 slots for wizard spells (or 64 spell points). Wizard spell points/slots cannot be spent on ranger spells, and vice versa.

Example: Rupert's friend Durk Dursley is a 10th level Eldritch Knight/Abjuror. Durk has 4/2 wizard spell slots (17 spell points) as an Eldritch Knight and 4/3/3/3/2 wizard slots (64 spell points) as an Abjuror, which means he has a total of 6/5/3/3/2 (81 spell points) wizard spell slots (spell points) to spend on any wizard spells he knows as an Eldritch Knight or has prepared as an Abjuror.

Note: when Rupert's single-classed friend Olaf the Stout is a 17th level wizard with 240,000 XP and 107 spell points with access to 9th level wizard spells, Rupert will still be 10th level with 80,000 XP in each class and 91 total spell points with access to 3rd level ranger spells and 5th level wizard spells.

--
If I esteem mankind to be in error, shall I bear them down? No. I will lift them up, and in their own way too, if I cannot persuade them my way is better; and I will not seek to compel any man to believe as I do, only by the force of reasoning, for truth will cut its own way.

"Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else."

Thursday, January 26, 2017

5E: Trap Gremlins

IMC, that's why I created Trap Gremlins. Their one purpose in life is to create nasty-but-theoretically-solvable traps exactly like the ones which amuse evil DMs everywhere; more powerful Trap Gremlins create more creative and more deadly traps; various rituals can attract or even summon Trap Gremlins of varying strength, e.g. leaving junk food out after midnight may attract a few weak Trap Gremlins into your kitchen, but leaving a gigantic golden idol unattended in a stone chamber is almost guaranteed to attract a powerful Trap Gremlin, especially if you trace a pentagram around the idol made out of honey mixed with your own blood.

Therefore, a relatively cheap and easy way to create defenses is to perform rituals which summon powerful Trap Gremlins. True, it is less effective than setting a genuine, secure, deadly trap like dozens of Symbol of Death spells layered on top of each other... but it's also cheaper, quicker, and easier. Besides, you can always use both kinds of traps for really important stuff.

A Trap Gremlin can transform into the shape of an inanimate object, and when you fall victim to a trap, you may often hear a high-pitched giggling. However, disarming a gremlin's trap causes the gremlin to explode as if it were a soda can full of ugly green goop being squashed by a giant hammer, no matter what shape the gremlin is currently in, so if you solve a puzzle guarding a door and the barrel next to the door explodes into green slime, you have probably just slain a Trap Gremlin. (This is also why disarming traps often grants kill XP.)

TL;DR I invented a monster to explain why dungeons are full of traps that are amusing (to the DM) instead of lethal.

Read more: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?519194-UA-and-depth-of-complexity/page7#ixzz4Wukwxsrg


--
If I esteem mankind to be in error, shall I bear them down? No. I will lift them up, and in their own way too, if I cannot persuade them my way is better; and I will not seek to compel any man to believe as I do, only by the force of reasoning, for truth will cut its own way.

"Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else."

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Extending DNA with new codons?

This is quite interesting. There are some organisms in the wild that interpret DNA differently than humans do (kind of like running Apple IIe software on a PC--the same DNA produces slightly different proteins depending on what organism interprets it) but in this case they've managed to engineer a couple of extra possibilities. It's like going from binary to base three.

How interesting this is depends on how it affects the universe of possible proteins you can code, among other things. I don't know if this is significant. But I do definitely find this interesting.

http://www.sciencealert.com/new-organisms-have-been-formed-using-the-first-ever-6-letter-genetic-code

--
If I esteem mankind to be in error, shall I bear them down? No. I will lift them up, and in their own way too, if I cannot persuade them my way is better; and I will not seek to compel any man to believe as I do, only by the force of reasoning, for truth will cut its own way.

"Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else."

5E equipment cards

[RE: spell cards]

Equipment cards aren't a bad idea either, especially for new players. Have one card that says, "Here's a 50' rope. You can tie it to things to climb down holes, use it to clothesline horsemen, tie up bad guys, etc." 

Another one says, "This is a bad of spiky caltrops, shaped like jumping jacks straight from the pits of Mordor. If you scatter these on the ground, anyone who runs over them without slowing down may wind up injuring his feet. (DC 15 Dexterity check if not moving at half-speed; on a failure, take 1 HP of damage, lose rest of movement for this turn, and speed goes down by 10' until you heal at least 1 HP.) You can use them to run away or set up a trap." 

"This is a torch. It allows you to see well out to 20' (eliminating Perception penalties and combat penalties), and dimly out to 40' (eliminating combat penalties only) and it lasts for an hour; but things in the darkness can see you coming or even smell your torch burning."

"This is a horse. It has trouble squeezing through tight places (needs at least 5' wide corridors to move through at half speed, or 10' wide for full speed) but you can ride it to gain free movement: 60' of movement plus a Disengage or Dash that doesn't cost your own action. The horse has AC 11 and 19 HP and can be killed. It eats twice as much food and drinks three times as much water as a human [AFB so I just made that up -Hemlock]."

"This is a jar of oil. If you spend an action to dump it on the ground and light it on fire, it burns for two rounds in a 5' diameter puddle, dealing 5 points of fire damage to anything that passes through it. It weighs 2 lb. [AFB] and costs 2 sp to refill."

"This is a net. As an action, you can make an attack roll to throw it up to 15' at anto tie it up, preventing it from moving and making it easier to hit, and making it harder for it to hit anyone else. If you are proficient in Martial weapons you gain your proficiency bonus on the net's attack roll; barring special circumstances, the attack roll will always be made at disadvantage; the net cannot be used against a Huge or Gargantuan enemy; it is possible for an enemy to throw off the net with an action or to cut its way through with an slashing weapon. It weighs 1 lb. and costs 1 sp."

"This is a bear trap..." Etc. 

Those can be just as valuable as spell cards for new players.

Read more: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?518933-What-happened-to-one-off-games/page2#ixzz4Woctsp10


--
If I esteem mankind to be in error, shall I bear them down? No. I will lift them up, and in their own way too, if I cannot persuade them my way is better; and I will not seek to compel any man to believe as I do, only by the force of reasoning, for truth will cut its own way.

"Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else."

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Resolution

Oh, look, right on cue: a Democrat is no longer President, and suddenly the NYT notices the deficit again. Because the $9.35 trillion that Obama added in eight years is obviously TOTALLY different than the next ten trillion. Just don't expect them to mention the deficit again when it comes to covering people trying to do something to actually reduce it. No, at that point, the NYT will be back to moaning about all the projects that don't get funding and all the infrastructure that is slowly degrading under not-enough-funding.

Hereby resolved: if you see me talking about politics again any time in the rest of 2017, please kick me in the shins and remind me to instead do something productive or fun with good people. Let the spiritually dead and intellectually bankrupt bury their dead. I cannot save them.

-M.

--
If I esteem mankind to be in error, shall I bear them down? No. I will lift them up, and in their own way too, if I cannot persuade them my way is better; and I will not seek to compel any man to believe as I do, only by the force of reasoning, for truth will cut its own way.

"Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else."