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Author Topic: Nutkinland 4.0: D&D sacred cows vs. design features  (Read 4121 times)

Xavier Lang

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Nutkinland 4.0: D&D sacred cows vs. design features
« Reply #60 on: June 13, 2006, 12:37:04 pm »
Willpax's idea seems a fine compromise to me.
 

Sigmund

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Nutkinland 4.0: D&D sacred cows vs. design features
« Reply #61 on: June 14, 2006, 09:44:30 pm »
I think to be DnD, the spell lists would have to stay mostly the same (although optional spell-building systems are most welcome), but I'd really love to see them drop Sorcerer, and then make the Spellpoint (or another non-vancian) system either the default system, or an option listed in the core rules. I've always hated that aspect of DnD, even though wizards have always been my favorite class.
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Radu the Wanderer

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Nutkinland 4.0: D&D sacred cows vs. design features
« Reply #62 on: July 08, 2006, 01:42:45 pm »
I'd like to see Turn Undead dropped altogether, or replaced with a simpler mechanic.  It's a little bit clunky, and unless you really skew your character towards becoming a turn undead master, it quickly becomes a useless ability.  Since undead have high HD and turn resistance as you go up in levels, your ability to turn undead quickly diminishes until you can only turn undead you have no problem dispatching without turns in the first place.

Same thing for Iterave attacks.  Nothing quite bogs down the game like a ferocious flurry of misses from a two weapon fighter, high level monk--- hell, just fighters in general.  I'd like to see something done about this.

I'd like to see more attack and defense options, and not in feat form.  Ideally, you'd be able to make a highly defensive fighter focused on evasion and deflecting blows, a balanced attack and defense, or an all out attack fighter and have them all be relatively equal in terms of combat playability.  I'd like to see attacks of opportunity go away or become much simpler.  The 5 foot step is just wierd.  ENTERING the reach of a spear wielder should provoke an attack, not leaving it.  Things like that.

I'd like to see more variation in the armor and weapons beyond number tweaks.  As is, there are only 4 armors in the game: leather, chain shirts, breastplates, and full plate.  I have never, EVER seen half plate used.  Or banded mail.  Likewise, I'd like to get rid of all the different types of weapons and have a much simpler way to handle them.

Perhaps something like this:  3 damage types (slash, pierce, bludgeon), 3 "size categories" (light, 1 hand, 2 hand), and the actual weapon size.  Maybe all two handed medium weapons deal 1d8 damage base, modified by your skill.  I'd like to see strange combinations made viable, as well as the classic archetype of the swashbuckler with only 1 sword in their hand.  I'd like to see spear fighters who are worth a damn.  I'd like to see swords fucking die already--- I'm starting to believe there are only greatswords and daggers in the game, with the occasional longsword to shake things up a bit.  I've never seen anyone use a greatclub, or a greataxe, or halberd, guisarme, battleaxe, warhammer, flail, or other weapons except as "oh, but I want to be DIFFERENT this time" weapons.

Maybe instead of a build your own weapons system, we could still have umpteen thousand varieties of killing tools, but with a sense of timeline attached.  Perhaps some weapons only become available in certain periods.  I know many DM's do this already.

I'd like to see the spells redone a bit... perhaps instead of only 9 spell levels, there could be 20.  That would allow more variety.  Say, 20 spell levels, you get access to new levels every time your casting class goes up.

Magic missile might be a super powerful 1st level spell, but as a 2nd it might fit.  Likewise Invisibility is the king of existing 2nd level spells, but in a new version it might fit nicely as a 3rd or 4th.  Rope trick would be a level 4 spell.

Perhaps we can even do away with vancian magic altogether and switch over to a more spell point based system like psionics.  I think psionics works much better from a balance standpoint anyway, and I love the scaling effects.  Charm Person and Charm Monster are really redundant, and could be collapsed into on spell, Charm.

I'd like to see fewer to no absolutes.  As the God of Sleep, I can't put an Elf to sleep?  As a paladin, I can walk right up to the God of Fear and Terror and have a nice chat?  Elves can't be charmed?  Effects like this shouldn't happen, but as written, they do.  Charm and similar effects should give you a hefty bonus to social checks, not automatically make friends.  Save or Die spells should either plain not exist or be severely revamped.

Dragons should be scary again.

Demons should be scary again.

Angels should be scary again.

Shapechanging!  SHAPECHANGING NEEDS TO BE FIXED, STAT!  It's bad enough I just flat out ban it in my games, even though with the players I have it wouldn't end up being abused.  The problem isn't with the idea, it's with the execution of the mechanics.  Some monsters are just better to change into (I'm looking at you, Solar.  And you, Mr. War Troll.)

I'd like to see more balance between magical classes and non magical classes.  I'd like to see magicians playable at early levels and non magicians playable at later levels.

I'd like to see less reliance upon magic items.


Some of these changes are fundamentally not DND, I know.  Magic items are so DND.  Wonky spells are so DND.  Dragons are so... well, you get the idea.  Most of these are things that appeal to me about other games, and some of the ideas there could be useful if we're doing a ground floor rebuild.
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ColonelHardisson

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Nutkinland 4.0: D&D sacred cows vs. design features
« Reply #63 on: July 08, 2006, 02:34:10 pm »
Quote from: Radu the Wanderer
Dragons should be scary again.

Demons should be scary again.

Angels should be scary again.


I think they still are. But YMMV.

Quote from: Radu the Wanderer
Shapechanging!  SHAPECHANGING NEEDS TO BE FIXED, STAT!  It's bad enough I just flat out ban it in my games, even though with the players I have it wouldn't end up being abused.  The problem isn't with the idea, it's with the execution of the mechanics.  Some monsters are just better to change into (I'm looking at you, Solar.  And you, Mr. War Troll.)


Have you seen the series of articles on WotC's website addressing the problems of polymorph? They tackle the issue head-on, but don't actually change the spell itself.

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/rg/20060502a

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/rg/20060509a

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/rg/20060516a

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/rg/20060523a
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4e definitely has an Old School feel. If you disagree, cool. I won't throw any hyperbole out to prove the point.

Xavier Lang

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Nutkinland 4.0: D&D sacred cows vs. design features
« Reply #64 on: July 10, 2006, 10:44:25 am »
Quote from: Radu the Wanderer

I'd like to see Turn Undead dropped altogether, or replaced with a simpler mechanic.  It's a little bit clunky, and unless you really skew your character towards becoming a turn undead master, it quickly becomes a useless ability.  Since undead have high HD and turn resistance as you go up in levels, your ability to turn undead quickly diminishes until you can only turn undead you have no problem dispatching without turns in the first place.


Your not going far enough.  Most religions presented in D&D shouldn't have some special ability to assault undead.  Sure, rework turn undead, but make it a potential cleric/paladin ability depending on the religion.  

Example: Make a special ability per domain and have the priest or paladins special ability based upon the domain(s) chosen.  Domain availability is by diety, but if the diety has 5 domains and you only get say 2 of them, you have the potential for different priests/paladins within the same religion.  Wouldn't that be a wierd twist, to have members of the same religion that weren't carbon copies of each other and with different outlooks or ideas about what is most important to the diety.
 

Nicephorus

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Nutkinland 4.0: D&D sacred cows vs. design features
« Reply #65 on: July 10, 2006, 10:56:13 am »
Quote from: Xavier Lang
Your not going far enough.  Most religions presented in D&D shouldn't have some special ability to assault undead.  Sure, rework turn undead, but make it a potential cleric/paladin ability depending on the religion.  

In 2e, the priests' handbook encouraged this. Then, in 3e, they went for simple - all clerics affect undead whether or not it makes sense.

I agree that tying it to domains would be a good way to do it.  Then DM's would have several off-the-rack special abilities to choose from.  This would require giving all of the domains interesting abilities - no more +1 caster level junk.

Radu the Wanderer

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Nutkinland 4.0: D&D sacred cows vs. design features
« Reply #66 on: July 11, 2006, 01:27:09 pm »
I'd also like to see mundane skills get a rework... not much but a bit.

Iron Heroes skill groups are awesome!  That's a great idea, and one I'd like to see incorporated elsewhere, except with magic in the mix it becomes WAY too powerful.

::Prepare for blasphemy::

I would like to see Heal in particular become more useful, and spells in general less so.  It would be nice if a party could survive without magic, and equally nice if magicians could survive without it.  They wouldn't neccessarily have to be very powerful without it, but it would be a step in the right direction.  I think the Warlock from Complete Arcane and the Ninja from Complete Adventurer are both steps in the right direction for this--- powerful stuff, but nobody's gonna write home about how they broke the game with either.
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Enkhidu

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Nutkinland 4.0: D&D sacred cows vs. design features
« Reply #67 on: July 12, 2006, 03:41:11 pm »
Quote from: Xavier Lang
Your not going far enough.  Most religions presented in D&D shouldn't have some special ability to assault undead.  Sure, rework turn undead, but make it a potential cleric/paladin ability depending on the religion...


My group (planning for the next long term game) is currently looking at this one. Right now we're leaning toward "turning like in the movies."

Turn Undead opens up for those who are devout members of the faith (and it is not longer a cleric/paladin only ability). Turning becomes a full round action, usable only with a holy symbol (using a makeshift symbol gives a -2 penalty to the check, masterwork gives a +2 bonus), but does not cause the undead subject to flee. Instead it provides an (Ex) Magic Circle like effect that hedges out the turned undead rather than outsiders. Maintaining the Turn is a full round action. In addition, the turner can make a touch attack against the turnee with their holy symbol (though this requires a standard or masterwork symbol) to either cause positive energy damage (maybe 1d6 for every two character levels or something similar?) or to bring the undead under their control (in the case of negative channelers).