Forum > Design, Development, and Gameplay

Nutkinland 4.0: D&D sacred cows vs. design features

<< < (2/14) > >>

Xavier Lang:
First major change I would push for is a complete revamp of spell casting and magic items.

Currently each spell in D&D is a special case rule and everything has to be spelled out in the spell individually.  Toss that.
 
Create basic ideas such as Energy Attack.  Let players assign parameters to it, such as energy type, range, duration, shape, etc... at the cost of making it a higher or lower level spell.  

Instead of having feats that increase a spell level by increasing the range, for example, have feats that cheapen the cost to get better range with any spell or allow them to ignore the first x of increased cost when applied to range.

Xavier Lang:
Magic Item creation.

Allow for intelligent item creation the same way you do normal.  Let people pay for better intelligence, special abilities, etc...  It shouldn't be random.

Instead of EXP cost have a time/energy cost of magic item creation.
Allow modifiers of the gold cost, and depending on balance, the time cost based upon situation, materials, etc...

To make a +1 sword have it take the number of days to make that it would take to cast true strike or whatever spell you pick to be cast say 100 times.  If you can cast 5 first level spells, it takes 20 full days not just the time it takes to cast a 1st level spell 5 times.  Allow spell casters to work together on something.  So 3 wizards could finish it in 7 days but each has to cast all of there 1st level spells every day.  This would allow a mage's guild to build a magic item in a day or 2 if they have the incentive, and would allow apprentice mages to make low level items.  You could always restrict things so that one wizard, the one leading, has to have the feat of item creation but the others don't.  This would help explain why mages gather and why there are so many low level items for PC's to find.  If  while I'm doing research I can have a couple of apprentices make a couple of +1 swords a year, the apprentices can pay for themselves the way a journeyman or apprentice works with teh master on creating non magical things.

Gunhilda:

--- Quote from: Zalmoxis ---There have to be classes and ability scores. I don't mean to sound simplistic, but that's the first thing I thought of.
--- End quote ---
I will disagree with the first and agree on the second.

As Colonel Hardisson's thread shows, the ability scores in D&D were seriously weakened in 3e.  Personally, I'd reverse that trend for 4e.  Having a Strength of 18 should have more meaning than just a +4 bonus.

I'm still thinking about what to do about this.  In 2e, the stats mattered *too* much -- that's basically all your proficiency scores were based one.  I think a happy medium between 2e and 3e has to be possible.  :)

Classes -- I think that the recent overproliferation of "base" classes shows that the class system doesn't work well.  If you need an entirely new class just to do a new character concept, I have a problem with that.  Sure, it gives WotC more material to pad out books with, but I don't give a shit about that.  I want a more elegent design.

My proposal is to replace classes with archetypes.  (You could still call them classes as a nod to tradition, I suppose.)  In Shadowrun, you could make any character you wanted -- but you could also pick a pre-made archetype, like shaman or street samurai.  With D&D, you could have something similar.  You could pick a fighter or a wizard, with your initial powers and all 20 levels planned out, or you could create your own class, using some sort of point buy system.

So all the classic classes could still be there, but you could pick and choose and make something new if you wanted to.

ColonelHardisson:

--- Quote from: Gunhilda ---Classes -- I think that the recent overproliferation of "base" classes shows that the class system doesn't work well.
--- End quote ---


I disagree. Here's why: most of those new base classes are concepts that could have been achieved with multiclassing or even judicious and objective allocation of skill points and feats. There are a few exceptions, the warlock being the one that leaps to mind. Anyway, most of these "new" concepts aren't new, and could be handled by the game as is. WotC is just padding the books and not really explaining all this adequately to players. The problem, in my opinion, is a lack of imagination on the part of many players. There. I said it.


--- Quote from: Gunhilda ---If you need an entirely new class just to do a new character concept, I have a problem with that.  Sure, it gives WotC more material to pad out books with, but I don't give a shit about that. I want a more elegent design.
--- End quote ---


Back when I was participating in the Middle Earth d20 threads on Eric's old site, I would often state that some things could be handled pretty easily. You didn't need to create a whole new ranger class, or I would point out that a certain creature could be handled with an already existing D&D creature, or one that had a template added to it. That didn't satisfy some, who replied they wanted fully statted-out, new material. They seemed to feel that what was already in existence and wasn't labelled as being specifically from Middle Earth was just not right. I think the same principle applies here. For whatever reason, the majority of D&D players just don't want to be told that multiclassing and skill and feat selection will give them the concept they want. It's more "sexy" to have a whole new class, regardless of redundancy.


--- Quote from: Gunhilda ---My proposal is to replace classes with archetypes.  (You could still call them classes as a nod to tradition, I suppose.)  In Shadowrun, you could make any character you wanted -- but you could also pick a pre-made archetype, like shaman or street samurai.  With D&D, you could have something similar.  You could pick a fighter or a wizard, with your initial powers and all 20 levels planned out, or you could create your own class, using some sort of point buy system.

So all the classic classes could still be there, but you could pick and choose and make something new if you wanted to.
--- End quote ---


I don't have much of a problem with any of this, I suppose, but I think the basic D&D game needs to retain classes just to keep it recognizably D&D. Now, you could use the generic classes from Unearthed Arcana (warrior, expert, and umm, spellcaster, I think; they use them in True 20, by the way) as the base upon which to build the archetypes, and present the rest of the classic core classes as archetypes built upon them. Those three basic classes, along with the various customization options from the current DMG and Unearthed Arcana, could achieve what you propose and still retain classes, which are what I feel a very basic core concept of D&D.

I'd also include a very comprehensive, maybe even hand-holding, section on how multiclassing and skill and feat choice could achieve a wide variety of character concepts, including a number of examples.

Gunhilda:

--- Quote from: Maddman ---Fighters are guys with swords and armor.  Mages wear robes and cast magic missile.  Clerics heal and turn undead.  Rogues/Thieves are good at stealing and sneaking.  The world is pseudo-medieval full of environments where you will need all four of these skillsets to survive.  This is the default assumptions, a baseline that makes it D&D.  If it can't do the above, might as well call it something else.
--- End quote ---


I think those should be the default roles, yes, but I'm not so sure about the pseudo-medieval setting.  But I suppose that, for the default setting, you're right.  Personally, I'd do something like Karameikos, so you can have lots of wilderness and dungeons right next to what civilization there is.  And I'd also include the basics of the setting with the rule books.  Since I don't care about WotC's marketing strategies, I'm fine with hurting the sales of the setting books.  :D


--- Quote from: Maddman ---Overall my priority would be to allow the customization and detail in PCs that 3e produced, but have an asymmetric ruleset so game prep is closer to AD&D.  If your stat block can't fit on 2 lines, you need to try harder.  The full detail could still be given to important NPCs and antagonists, but for most monsters this could suffice.
--- End quote ---


Having DMed for 3e -- and attempted to DM for epic level stuff -- I am SO there.  I never want to have to put a half hour into a monster, only to have it suck when it came to game time, ever again.

Navigation

[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

[*] Previous page

Go to full version