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  1. #11
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    ø Ignore der_kluge
    UofMDude - my DM accounted for this a little bit by giving us all a 0th level Commoner class. What that meant was that everyone started with 4+con bonus hit points, and 8+int bonus skill points.

    So, we're a little better than your average 1st level PC.
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  • #12
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    That's why I'm perfectly willing to let games start at, oh, 5th level or so. It's a nice power level for fairly experienced characters. Newbies should start with 1st level characters, but experienced players should start with experienced characters.
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  • #13
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    Originally posted by die_kluge
    UofMDude - my DM accounted for this a little bit by giving us all a 0th level Commoner class. What that meant was that everyone started with 4+con bonus hit points, and 8+int bonus skill points.

    So, we're a little better than your average 1st level PC.
    This is an interesting idea, I've not considered this approach before. In my group we normally start at 3rd level, so we bypass the first level woes. It's a valid point, though. At first level there are certain things you can't do in background.

    By the way, I like the central casting books. I have three and while I never use them to totally create a background they can be a good source of ideas for fleshing out, or creating NPC's with a little more flair.

    As for your question "Has anyone ever made a PC that transcended the classes? That just didn't "fit" the mold, as it were? " Yep, I have. My first three characters for 3rd ed DnD were pretty much unworkable, it's not tough to do. you don't even need to go into background too much. My first basic concept was a thief using martial arts. Lawful didn't fit so monk/rogue didn't work. Really, monk didn't work no matter how I looked at it. This is still a frustration of mine with the system.
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  • #14
    Here are my opinions on the classes mentioned. Yours will likely (or, obviously, rather) vary:

    First, an aside: As for the Bard with the Central Casting applied - I pity you, you poor soul, though you were lucky - so many central castings come out something like "your mother was the town mayor, and your father was the town gigolo, at adolescence you and an Orc were struck simultaneously by a magical falling star, that gave you remarkable constitution and made you mentally bonded; then at age 18 you were sold into slavery where you were marooned on a desert island with a slave tribe of Capoeria-dancers, and learned the skills of a 1st level monk."

    One guy, thanks to a creative DM, was a Human who was...violated at an early age, which reveled his powers as a lesser avatar of the god Tempus - suggesting to me that I will NEVER run through central casting with THAT DM!"

    The bard you decribed could EASILY be done up as a con-man. You have plenty of ranks for perform, bluff, sense motive, and gather information, and the spells could be interpreted in any fashion - even as oratory! Imagine just talking someone into better health, or charming someone without a single musical instrument. It's all possible just with the PHB description of the class. Add in rogue levels at every second or third level, and you have a con-man who can also sneak away when the going gets rough!

    As for the "martial thief," making him 1 part monk / 4 parts rogue means that you have a character that is much better than your average rogue at avoiding damage, and can kick butt on anyone who underestimates him.

    The basic premise of D&D now is that no one, NO ONE starts out great at first level; having a 2-page biography at first level is a bit of an inconsistency. I would presume that each half-page of character history would be the equivalent of one character level. So many people I see (present company excluded) lament about "Why their 1st level character can't be good at fighting, stealth, AND divine and Arcane spellcasting," and proceed to offer a character history that would read like a 12th level character's life story! They need to LIVE that story they just described, rather than write about it. I have seen many gamers in my time who write a life history, just for cajoling their DM into letting them have an advantage from class A, another advantage from Class C and Class D, etc.

    In this fashion, Central Casting, if abused by the DM, can give a character two or three levels worth of advantages just by phenomenal rolls.

    Die Kluge, Play that character to the most! Pick your bard and stick with it! Add some levels of other classes if it suits the need better, but enjoy your role most of all, no matter what the rolls hand you!

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  • #15
    Every time I play D&D, I find the character classes restrictive. It is pretty easy to create a character that doesn't fit well in the D&D rules. Last time this came up, it turned into a long series of threads comparing various RPGs.

    Current struggle for one of my groups is how to approach a sea based campaign. The skills Profession: Sailor, Use Rope, Balance and even Climb are likely to be very important in such a campaign. Swim isn't necessary, but sure would help.

    So now lets look at who gets or doesn't get these skills:
    Profession: Sailor: Not class skill for Fighter and Barbarian.
    Use Rope: Ranger and Rogue only.
    Balance: Bard, Monk and Rogue only.
    Climb: Not a class skill for Cleric, Druid, Paladin, Sorcerer and Wizard.
    Swim: Not a class skill for Cleric, Paladin, Sorcerer and Wizard.

    Only one who has all the skills is the Rogue.

    So looking at the normal group composition, we have:
    Rogue: Not a problem. Better take lots of Swim skill though, since you will be fishing all the other characters out of the water.
    Fighter: Best choice is Ranger, worst are Barbarian and Fighter. I guess the Vikings were not Barbarians.
    Cleric: Druid might work better, but is a bit weaker on the healing. Even if you take the Water domain, you can't swim.
    Wizard: Regardless of what you do, you are going to suck and everything except the profession skill. Alter Self helps a bit here, give you gills and fins, but you are still going to run into lots of problems.


    So now what do you do as a GM? Ask that everyone multiclass, realizing that they will not have the expected level of magic for their level because of this? Change all the class skill lists? Give up and go back to a standard dungeon crawl?


    I guess that Halflings, Half Elves and Humans rule the seas.


    The thing is there are all sorts of character concepts that would work just fine in a sea campaign if not for the cross class skills. Makes a lot of sense for the cleric of a deity like Posidean to want to be a great sailor, same for an Elemental Savant of Water or Air. Either they have to give up their spell power in exchange for rogue levels, or the GM has to modify the rules.

  • #16
    I'd like to point out the value of taking cross class skills. Most of the routine sailing checks would be pretty easy with a decent stat and 1/2 ranks. Add in some relatively cheap magic items and anyone should be able to do it.

    Also, for sailor characters, the DM might allow some classes to lose things like Ride that would have little place in a ship based game in exchange for a more appropriate skill.

    A Bard, especially with reinterpretations of the spell casting, would probably fit your character very well. Maybe you could conversation and sales pitch as perform skills.

  • #17
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    Originally posted by Henry@home
    First, an aside: As for the Bard with the Central Casting applied - I pity you, you poor soul, though you were lucky - so many central castings come out something like "your mother was the town mayor, and your father was the town gigolo, at adolescence you and an Orc were struck simultaneously by a magical falling star, that gave you remarkable constitution and made you mentally bonded; then at age 18 you were sold into slavery where you were marooned on a desert island with a slave tribe of Capoeria-dancers, and learned the skills of a 1st level monk."
    Henry, The DM made me roll twice on every table, and let me choose the result that made the most sense. At one point, I rolled military duty, which made no sense, so we went with the other. In a few cases, he ignored both results, and just chose something off the list himself. It ended up working out quite well.

    But, he did mention a character that he had done purely randomly and came out with something that was a lizardman that was raised in the circus, and whose parents were killed when a horse fell out of the sky and crushed them, or something like that.

    edit:grammar
    Last edited by die_kluge; Friday, 29th March, 2002 at 03:55 PM.
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    Originally posted by bret
    Current struggle for one of my groups is how to approach a sea based campaign. The skills Profession: Sailor, Use Rope, Balance and even Climb are likely to be very important in such a campaign. Swim isn't necessary, but sure would help.
    My friends and I brought up this topic a while back. Not the sailor aspect, but just skill choices in general.

    Actually, I find it quite rude of WoTC do dictate to me what skills I can and can't take as a character. I mean, they've already limited how "skillful" a PC is by giving them n number of skill points per level, but then to restrict the list even further is just overkill.

    I'd almost be willing to just say that, aside from exclusive skills (read lips, etc) that all skills are class skills. Maybe even apply the "expert" rules to all the PCs - that they can choose 10, and everything else is a cross-class skill.

    I mean, clerics was the argument I was basing this off of. If you made a cleric of a god of deception and lies, you'd still have to take bluff, disguise, and innuendo as cross-class skills. Makes no sense.

    My DM let my Bard take Spot as a class skill, since in the description it says that Bards are scouts and spies. Still not sure why Bards have Scry as a class skill. Just don't see Bards sitting behind crystal bards peering on their enemies all the time.
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    ø Ignore RogueJK
    Originally posted by die_kluge

    Still not sure why Bards have Scry as a class skill. Just don't see Bards sitting behind crystal bards peering on their enemies all the time.
    All casters with scrying spells have Scry as a class skill. It wouldn't do you much good to have a spell that requires a cross-class skill to function well.

  • #20
    Originally posted by bret
    Every time I play D&D, I find the character classes restrictive. It is pretty easy to create a character that doesn't fit well in the D&D rules. Last time this came up, it turned into a long series of threads comparing various RPGs.

    Current struggle for one of my groups is how to approach a sea based campaign. The skills Profession: Sailor, Use Rope, Balance and even Climb are likely to be very important in such a campaign. Swim isn't necessary, but sure would help.
    This is why p.94 of the PHB is your friend.

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