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4e Clone − help create it!

Yaarel

Explorer
Foursome (4e Clone, 5e Update)

Contents
• Character
• Combat
• Appendix



[sblock="Notes to edit this post."]

Contribute to this 4e-style gaming system!

Use available nomenclature from 5e and 3e, or invent a new nomenclature. Avoid unlicensed 4e terms.

Keep the math compatible with 5e, so any creations here can also work in a standard 5e campaign. Note, this system consolidates into four abilities: Strength and Dexterity, and Intelligence and Charisma. You can still use just these four abilities for your character in a standard 5e campaign.

If choosing to translate the four abilities into six, then separate out from Strength the hit points adjustments and fortitude defense to create Constitution. Use the Athletics skill for both Athletics and Acrobatics. To create Wisdom, pull the perception skills from Intelligence, and the willpower defense from Charisma.

When making contributions, include any notes for fellow game designers in double brackets [[ ]]. For example, the term ‘profession’ is noted to be equivalent to the 4e term [[theme]] and the 5e term [[background]]. A final product would physically remove such comments.

It is ok for you to edit to ‘improve’ the 4e-style system according to your own taste. But please, in your posts, discuss any edits (and their locations) that are probably controversial. Ultimately, our community decides which aspects are ‘default’ and which aspects are ‘variant’.

When organizing categories, try use the ‘Rule of Four’. In other words, ‘Three Plus’. So there is never more than four things to consider at any one time. If there is, one of these four subdivides into a group of choices. For example, the list of races to choose from is 1. Human, 2. Dwarf, 3. Elf, and 4. ‘Other’, where other races can be found in Appendix Races.

[/sblock]



Character
[sblock="Create Your Character"]

To create a character, think of a concept that you want to play. Maybe reduce the concept down to six words, or a sentence or two. When you do the following steps of character creation, keep your concept in mind. Compare the broad concepts of style and realm, and how your character concept relates to these.

Choose your race, class, and ability bonuses.

Your race might include several cultures to choose from. Your class might require one of several archetypes to specialize in. Determine your ability bonuses. Some race and class options have a prerequisite that requires a minimum number for a particular ability bonus.

Choose your skills and equipment.

After choosing your race, class, and abilities, choose your skills [[4e theme, 5e background]], and equipment. Race and class might add certain skills and equipment.

Make an impression. Choose your physical appearance and personality traits.

Pull all of the aspects of your character together into your overall concept. When someone sees you, what is the first thing they notice? Describe your personality traits, including values and identity.

Decide your personal name, and any alias, nickname, and title.

Finally, describe your relationships.

[/sblock]



Styles and Realms
[sblock="Styles and Realms"]

When thinking about races and classes, each tends to specialize in certain styles and certain realms.

Styles are ways of engaging reality.
Worldly. The worldly style focuses on the experiences of our five senses, the powers of our bodies, and our ability to learn and exploit the physical properties of nature, and to invent and master new tools.
Arcane. The arcane style explores the mysterious aspects of reality, the interconnections between all that exists, the mutual influences, and the capacity to shift, distort, permute, and transform phenomena according to our attention and intention.
Void. The void style degenerates into the nihilistic and sometimes spooky possibilities, contemplating death, emptiness, oblivion, and nothingness. Void seems a special application of the arcane style, in a way that is the antithesis of the divine style.
Divine. The divine style contemplates being itself, often relating to aspects of the transcendent ‘fifth element’ that is understood variously as light, energy, space, time, consciousness, lifeforce, immortality, and force.

The realms are the phenomena that these styles engage.
Matter. The material realm is matter and energy. Arcanists often approach this as five mystical elements, grouping into earth-fire and air-water, plus energy and space as aspects of the fifth element. Earth-fire often specializes in minerals, chemicals, and properties of heat. Air-water often specializes in weather, and its winds, lightning, and thunder, its cycles of water, and properties of cold and ice. In a more worldly style, the material realm offers tools, mechanical apparatuses, and useful technology.
Mind. The mental realm is the transcendent mystery of consciousness itself − taken for granted and often unnoticed − plus the inner world of intellect and emotions. The arcane investigations of our minds, include telepathy between minds, the ability to mentally perceive, know, and influence phenomena beyond our physical bodies − even transcending space time in divine contemplation. Worldly approaches include empathy, emotional persuasion or intimidation, other social skills, as well as intellectual pursuits of knowledge and investigation. The five arcane elements can appear to worldly scientists as states of matter, being solid-plasma and gas-liquid, plus the fifth element in its aspects of energy and empty space.
Life. The life realm is an indivisible blend of mind and matter. The worldly style discovers the wondrous web of diversity of living organisms, including plants, animals, and we humanoids ourselves − and our ability to survive out in the wilds of nature. Our own body is a marvel of lifeforce, and our athletes push its limits with our enthusiastic celebration. Our body has an aura of vitality coursing thu and around it, sometimes called the lifeforce, the soul, the ‘form’, or the ki or chi. In the arcane style, some meditate to willfully reshape the flow of this lifeforce in order to shift the shape of a living organism along the new fields of lifeforce aura. Divine contemplation intuits the implications of life itself, including powers of healing that emanate from ones preexisting transcendent wellbeing.
Force. The force realm are the mysterious fields that pull our universe together and push our universe apart. Physical forces include gravity and elemental forces, yet seem to reciprocate the presence of a conscious observer, and ultimately entwine life itself. The divine style unites with the fundament of reality itself, and even to emanated wishes into existence. The arcanists generally agree force in these more miraculous potentials is ultimately the fabric of all magic, sometimes called the ‘Weave’, or simply the ‘Force’. The void style might study how to block out or even annihilate this vibrancy of magical potential. Many arcanists specialize in consciously manipulate these entwining universal forces for telekinetic effects, such as flying physical objects, or to conjure virtual objects made out of quasi-solid fields of source. The worldly style notes the experiences of magic as feelings of awe and eerie. The science of arcana seeks to understand or at least sketch out how the Force emanates as its myriad ways of magic. Likewise its models track other planes of being including otherworldly creatures who visit from there.

In sum, the four styles of changing reality are worldy action, arcane alteration, void annihilation, and divine emanation.

In some parlances of research, the four realms of reality comprise sectors of technology: matter mechanical technology, mind psychic technology (also called cybernetic technology), life biological technology, and force unification technology. In certain jargon: mekatek, psiteck (cytek), biotek, and unitek.

[/sblock]



Race
[sblock="Race"]

For your race, you can choose a human, dwarf, elf, or other. For an other race, including an other elf culture, see Appendix Races.

Depending on who populates your adventure setting, your DM might give you a different set of possible races to choose from.

Depending on the setting, each race or culture might have its own primary language. Every character is proficient in ones own primary language, whatever it is. To learn an additional language, you can swap out any skill proficiency for a language proficiency instead.

[[Note, this race format has an ‘Ability Prerequisite’. These are prerequisites, NOT improvements. In other words, the character must have a +2 Dexterity or higher in order to choose the wood elf. A +1 Dexterity or lower cannot be a wood elf. Prerequisites help the math of bounded accuracy and, importantly, allow most races to excel at any class, since there is no ability improvement that makes a certain race a must-have for a certain class.]]



HUMAN

Humanity is the measure of all things. And all things are in comparison to them. Humans tend to specialize in worldly classes. But individuals vary wildly, and almost any endeavor is possible.

Human Features

Ability Prerequisite: None
Average Size:
Medium
(roughly 5 feet 7, often males taller and females shorter)

Skill Proficiency: Any skill.
Tool Proficiency: Any tool.
Tool Expertise: Any tool that you have proficiency with but not yet expertise with.

Human Power: Any novice tier feat that you qualify for.



ELF

The Elf race divides into two main branches. One is more dexterous, one is more charismatic. Each branch develops its own cultures. Elves tend to specialize in magic. Ultimately, each culture adapts and evolves magically. The elven diversity can be remarkable.



Sylvan Branch

The sylvan branch are mainly forest dwellers, who perfuse the worldly style with magic, with high elf culture blending the arcane style, and wood elf culture blending the life realm.

Both high and wood prefer to inhabit the liminal thresholds between a human town and a pristine forest. They are fond of the human but protective of the wilderness. High elf tradition magically shapes luxurious treehouse towns out of living trees. Wood elf clans roam the wilds as nomads − camping in tents that are simple and magically comfortable.



HIGH ELF

High Elf Features

Ability Prerequisites: +1 Dexterity, +1 Intelligence
Average Size: Medium
(roughly 5 feet 9)

Trance
Cantrip
...



WOOD ELF

Wood Elf Features

Ability Prerequisite: Dexterity +2
Average Size: Medium
(roughly 5 feet 7)

Skill Proficiency: Whenever you gain a proficiency in a skill from an other source, you can instead choose proficiency in Athletics, Hearing, or Nature. If you have all three, you can instead choose Arcane, Scent, Stealth, or Survival.

Trance
Darkvision
Fleet of Foot
Elven Accuracy



Trance // Detection 2
Arcane Life // Short Rest • Day
Effect: conscious 1 hour short rest as 8 hour long rest
Elves cannot sleep. You are immune to the Unconscious condition. Magic cannot put you to sleep. Often you remain active all night. For an hour each day, you trance. Trance resembles meditation, dreaming lucidly as a mental exercise, while remaining fully conscious of your surroundings. After resting this way, you gain the same benefit that a human does from a long rest.

Darkvision // Detection Stealth 2
Arcane Life
Target: in close range
Effect: darkvision
Accustomed to nocturnal forest, you have extraordinary vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in darkness in close range (30 feet) as if dim. You cannot discern color in darkness, only shades of gray. Actual dim light at any range is as if bright light to you.

Fleet of Foot // Mobility 2
Worldly Arcane Life
Effect: Speed + reach
Effect: ignore difficult terrain
You move swiftly and precisely achieving an additional reach (+10 feet speed). You outrun most humans. Difficult terrain cannot slow you.

Elven Accuracy // Attack 2
Worldly Arcane Life
Trigger: when advantage on attack
Effect: can reroll one d20
The accuracy of elves is legendary, especially elven war mages, archers, and swordfighters. You have uncanny aim with attacks that rely on precision. Whenever you gain advantage on an attack roll, you can reroll one of the two dice.



Eladrin Branch

The eladrin branch are otherworldly beings. These elves tend to specialize in the magic of the arcane and divine styles.

The prominent eladrin cultures are the sun elf being hedonistic mages of art and science, and the moon elf being courageous explorers of people and places. The two cultures feel affinity with each other but tend to live separate lives.

The sun elf are quintessentially urban with advanced magical technologies, inhabiting self-sufficient cityscapes that float in the sky, or supertowers that pierce the clouds, often in an other plane. The moon elf wield magic to explore new lands and new creatures, in search of new magics.

[[Sun Elf might relate to Forgotten Realms Sun Elf, 1e Faerie, and 4e Eladrin. Moon Elf might relate to Forgotten Realms Moon Elf, 1e Elf.]]



SUN ELF

Sun Elf Features

Ability Prerequisite: +2 Charisma
Average Size: Medium
(roughly 5 feet 10)

...
Misty Step
...



MOON ELF

Moon Elf Features

Ability Prerequisite: +1 Charisma, +1 Dexterity
Average Size: Medium
(roughly 5 feet 10)

...



OTHER RACE

To choose an other race, including an other Elf culture, see Appendix Races.

[/sblock]



Class
[sblock="Class"]

Choose your class. Each class organizes by source. You can find other classes to choose from in Appendix Classes.

Worldly style
• Fighter
• Rogue
• Knight [[Warlord, Battlemaster]]
• Scout [[4e Ranger]]
• Sage

Arcane style
• Wizard
• Feyknight [[Swordmage, Bladesinger]]

Void style
• Warlock
• Necromancer

Divine style
• Cleric
• Paladin

Realm of matter
• Artificer
• Sorcerer

Realm of mind
• Bard
• Psion

Ream of life
• Druid
• Ranger

Realm of force
• Kinete



Depending on what is appropriate for your setting, your DM might give you a different list of possible classes to choose from.

[[See Advancement. Its table is the chassis to create a class, for each of the four tiers, novice, hero, master, and immortal.]]



Fighter class
...



Wizard
...



Other Class

To choose an other class, including an other archetype of the Fighter or of the Wizard, see Appendix Classes.

[/sblock]



Ability Bonuses
[sblock="Ability Bonuses"]

Your ability bonuses define the things that you tend to be good at. Your aptitudes. For example, a high Strength bonus makes you inherently good at various challenges that need you to be physically strong.



Physical Ability Bonuses

Strength represents your brute strength, toughness, and size.
Dexterity represents your precise motion, skillful athleticism, and dodging.

Mental Ability Bonuses

Intelligence represents your five senses, analysis, and intuition.
Charisma represents your social skills, empathy, and willpower.



Heroic Array

When you create your character, assign each number in the standard array in any order to fill out the four ability bonuses. Your choice of race or class might require a minimum number for a certain ability bonus.

• +3, +2, +1, +0



[[Note, abilities are probably the most important mechanics in the game. They need to be salient, balanced, and work well. For the sake that abilities that are equally powerful and equally useful, the abilities here consolidate to four abilities. These abilities (Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, and Charisma) thus function as the four 4e defenses (Fortitude, Reflex, Perception, and Will). When referring to earlier 4e publications, such as monster stat blocks, eliminate Constitution and Wisdom, and the rest of the stat block remains moreorless accurate.]]

[/sblock]



Skills
[sblock="Skills"]

Skills

Skills finetune your ability bonuses. In a challenge, when you are proficient in a relevant skill, you add your proficiency bonus to your ability bonus. Skills are mainly useful for noncombat challenges, but might be useful during combat too.

Each ability bonus corresponds to a skill set.



Strength skills

Constitution − stamina, avoid exhaustion, endure harsh environment, stay healthy
Weightlifting − pull, push, lift, carry, bend bars, break door



Dexterity skills

Athletics − run, jump, fall, balance, tumble, climb, swim, winged flight
Sleight of Hand − disarm trap, pick lock, pick pocket, palm item
Stealth − hide creature, conceal object, avoid detection, hide tracks



Intelligence skills

Cunning Lore

Alchemy − proto-chemistry, elementalism, acid, masonry, metalsmithing, jewelry
Arcana − detect magic, identify spells, planes
Crafting − create and repair item, technical skill, replica, forgery, disguise, illusion

Ethnos Lore

History − cultures, customs, religions, famous individuals
Language − discern gist of unknown language, use known language comprehensively

Natural Lore

Medicine − healing, anatomy, poison, disease
Nature − plants, animals, animal training, riding, tracking
Survival − geography, navigation, sailing, foraging, weather

Sense

Hearing − detect faint sounds
Seeing − visual acumen, far sight
Smelling − olfactory discernment and taste
Wisdom − prediction, intuition, hunch, extrasensory perception, clairvoyance, fate



Charisma skills

Intimidation − willpower, fear, force surrender, confuse, create diversion
Persuasion − charm, diplomacy, morale, esthetic performance
Empathy − telepathy, soul, mind, immortality, relate emotion, intent, motive, street smarts



Profession

Your profession [[4e theme, 5e background, PF2 skill feat]] determines which skills you have proficiency with.

What are your skills? How do you earn a living? How do you fit within your culture? Who are your associates, mentors, influential contacts, and special connections? What perks and privileges do you enjoy?

While your class mainly represents combat, your profession mainly represents noncombat. They might obviously relate, such as a Fighter who works as a Guard. Or they might seem unrelated at first glance, such as a Fighter who is an Oracle.

Your profession grants you two skills, a specialized capability, membership in an organization, a helpful contact, and a special perk or privilege. Additionally, your race and class might also add certain proficiencies.

Some professions can be unique to the specific culture of a race, thus exemplify a significant institution of that culture.



Professions

Artisan
Criminal
Entertainer
Farmer
Folk Hero
Guard
Noble
Oracle
Pirate
Sage
Sailor
Urchin
...

[/sblock]



Equipment
[sblock="Equipment"]

Armors
...

Weapons

Weapon Size. A Medium size creature can wield a Medium weapon in the mainhand; a Small weapon in the offhand; and must use both hands for a Large weapon. A creature of a different size scales accordingly. A Large size creature can wield a Large weapon in the mainhand, a Heavy weapon in the offhand, and so on.

• Dagger − 1d4 pierce, Tiny, finesse, throw (close)
• Shortsword − 1d6 slash or pierce, Small, finesse (gladius, seax)
• Sword − 1d8 slash or pierce, Medium, finesse (knightly sword, vikingsword, katana, rapier)
• Longsword − 1d10 slash, Heavy, versatile 1d12 (bastard sword, claymore)
• Greatsword − 1d12 slash, Larger, two-handed, reach (buster sword, bihaander)

• Staff 1d6 bludgeon, versatile 1d8 and finesse if two-handed (quarterstaff, jo stick)



Crude Equipment. Usually because of lack of technology or resources, crude weapons and armors might resemble standard ones but are less effective.

Nonmetal

Hide Armor
Wood Armor

Metal

Ring Leather Armor
Bronze Plate Armor



Tools
...

Vehicles
...

Trinkets
...

Other
...

[/sblock]



Impression
[sblock="Impression"]

What is the impression that your character creates. What are the first things that others might notice about you. Your physical appearance is probably first. Then your personality traits. Keep your overall character concept in mind when you describe these.



Physical Description

Race, size, physical abilities, muscularity, physique, posture, way of walking, esthetic style, eye color, skin and hair color, haircut, distinguishing marks, clothing preferences, jewelry, cosmetics, spectacles, or so on.



Personality Traits

Values
• Alignment
• Ideal
• Goal
• Flaw

Identity
• Significant Person
• Signficant Organization
• Signficant Place
• Quirk

Race, class, and profession might suggest personality traits. Or you might instead individualize your own traits. Alignment describes ones ethical outlook, such as Good (symbiotic) or Evil (predatory), or Lawful (collectivist) or Chaotic (individualist). Also add a sense of how your own actions tend to express your alignment. An Ideal is your core belief or value system that motivates you to take action. A Goal is a longterm goal that you strive to ultimately attain. A strong friendship with a sibling might be a significant person to you, while a strong identification with the honor of your clan might be a significant organization or even an Ideal. Adversarially, a signficant person might be your rival who you compete against, while a significant organization might be an enemy that harmed you or your loved ones. A Flaw is usually the darkside of ones ideal. A person who is courageous, might hate to play it safe. A Quirk is some weird fact about your character that conveys your character concept. Perhaps you read every book in the library while you were a young student. Perhaps you are obsessed with some hobby. Try to have at least one example for each trait.

[/sblock]



Name
[sblock="Name"]

You have probably already decided the personal name of your character.

Is there a nickname that friends have given you? Or an alias for some reason?

You might have a clan name as a family name. A tribe name. A city name, like Di Vinci.

Is there a formal government title or educational degree that an organization conferred on you? A byname referring to some wellknown event?

[/sblock]



Relationships
[sblock="Relationships"]

Now, that you have a sense of who you are. Who are the other members of your adventuring team? What do you all have in common? Why are you working together? Maybe you all study at the same school, or work for the same person?



Relationships

List the names of each person in your team, as well as any significant persons that you often have in mind.

Write down a brief description of what your character thinks of each one, as few as six words, or as long as a sentence or two.

[/sblock]



Advancement
[sblock="Advancement Table"]

As you adventure, you overcome challenges and gain competence. Thus you advance to higher levels, and gain new features and powers from your race, class, skill, and feats from personal experience.

Class features include standard class features such as every Fighter gains, as well as specialization features such as a Battlemaster Fighter gains.

You gain features from class and specialization features at odd-number levels, 1, 3, 5, etcetera.

You gain features from race, feat, and skill at even-number levels, 2, 4, 6, etcetera.



Tier

LevelProficiency
Bonus
Magic
Bonus
Features
+0Race
NOVICE0+1Talent
0+1Feat
0+1Class
0+1Skill
1+2Talent
2+2Feat
3+2Capstone
4+2Race
ARCHETYPE5+3Archetype
6+3Feat
7+3+1Class
8+3+1Skill
9+4+1Archetype
10+4+1Feat
11+4+2Capstone
12+4+2Race
MASTER13+5+2Mastery
14+5+2Feat
15+5+3Class
16+5+3Skill
17+6+3Mastery
18+6+3Feat
19+6+4Capstone
20+6+4Race
IMMORTAL21+7+4Immortality
22+7+4Feat
23+7+5Class
24+7+5Skill

[/sblock]



Feats
[sblock="Feats"]

While you advance in levels, you gain a choice of a feat at certain levels. See Appendix Feats for a list of feat descriptions.

[/sblock]



Combat

...



Size
[sblock="Size"]

Human size tends to be Medium, exhibiting a middleweight build. But many individuals are heavyweight, Heavy, or lightweight, Small. Exceptional individuals might even reach Large size.

A Large creature has at least Strength +4, hitting harder and carrying more.

Strength Prerequiste: Size
−4: Tiny
−2: Small
+0: Medium
+2: Heavy
+4: Large
+6: Huge
+8: Gargantuan

[/sblock]



Bonus Types
[sblock="Bonus Tyeps"]

There are five types of bonuses. If you gain two or more bonuses of the same type, they dont stack, so use whichever is highest.

Depending on changing circumstances, your DM might adjudicate on the fly to grant you an advantage, or penalize you with a disadvantage.

Your DM might also award you an Inspiration Point, for you to use to gain advantage, because of your playing true to your character concept or engaging the narrative in an interesting way.

Bonus Types
• Ability bonus (Strength, Intelligence, etcetera)
• Proficiency bonus (depending on tier)
• Magic bonus (available magic items and masterworks, but a setting might make it innate)
• Item bonus (technology, armor bonus, defense amulet, helpful tool)
• Expertise bonus (training, insight, instinct, cultural familiarity, Bless spell effect, etc.)

Advantage
Advantage or disadvantage.

[/sblock]



Grappling
[sblock="Grappling"]

Grappling represents wrestling, grabbing, pulling, and pushing.

To make a grappling attack, add d20 to whichever is highest, your Dexterity bonus (for agility and leverage) or your Strength bonus (for physical size and power).

To make a grappling defense, add 10 to whichever is highest, Dexterity or Strength.

However, always use Strength to keep a hold ongoing.

For example.

To break out of a hold, you attack via your Dexterity versus your opponents Strength.

To climb onto a Dinosaur, you attack via your Dexterity to grab on around a neck or a horn, and an unwilling Dinosaur attacks via its Dexterity versus your Strength to shake you off.

Grappling attacks are natural unarmed attacks, with or without proficiency.

[/sblock]



Health
[sblock="Heath"]

Hit points
...

Health Conditions
• Fresh (more than half hit points)
• Bloodied (half hit points or lower)
• Dying (0 hit points)

Rest
Periods of rest correspond to periods of performing a ritual, or other tasks.

• Rest (about 15 minutes)
• Session (about 1 hour)
• Sleep (about 8 hours)
• Week (about 7 days of downtime)

Hit Dice
...

Second Wind
...

[/sblock]



Appendix

Appendix Races

Appendix Classes

Appendix Professions

Appendix Feats

Appendix Spells

Appendix Magic Items


Appendix Beasts
 
Last edited:

Yaarel

Explorer
[Edit] The ability bonuses consolidated to four: Strength and Dexterity, Intelligence and Charisma. [/Edit]




Abilities and defenses are probably the most important mechanics in the entire game. They need to work extremely well.

Unfortunately, they are the most familiar mechanics, thus the most difficult to improve.

In the first post, in ‘Ability Bonuses’, I have added two more ability scores. So there is a total of eight ability scores. These are, physically and mentally:

• Strength, Constitution, Dexterity, Athletics
• Intelligence, Sense, Wisdom, Charisma

Surely, the addition will prove controversial. I leave it up to you editors to consider these abilities and to modify according to taste.

In any case, each of the eight abilities seem salient and intuitive to use.



With these eight, each ability becomes equally powerful and equally useful.

‘Athletics’ splits off from Strength, to cover grappling, finesse weapons, jumping, falling, and other types of movement. Thus Dexterity refers mainly to manual dexterity, including missile weapons and crafting. Strength can also suggest Size, so giants with extreme Strength also exhibit extreme Size.

‘Sense’ splits off from Wisdom to represent the five physical senses. Animals might have extreme Sense but not necessarily have high Wisdom or high Intelligence. Sense notes a description of a sensation, but doesnt necessarily know how to interpret it, which requires Intelligence. Thus Wisdom represents mental force and sanity, and the Intimidation skill. Charisma represents mental agility, social skills, and the Persuasion skill.

4e routinely refers to ‘passive perception’ as a fixed number. Here, Perception functions as one of the defenses. Perception defends against attempts to hide, to be invisible, to create illusion, to impersonate, and so on.

Discuss any ideas or concerns relating to abilities and defenses in the posts below.



Also check out the Advancement table. It essentially lays out the chassis for creating a new class. It also shows what levels higher-level race powers and features become available. Likewise what levels a profession makes skills and skill powers, and special perks available.
 
Last edited:

Zardnaar

Adventurer
Seems more like you want eple to design your loveletter over 4E. 8 ability scores for example is fairly pointless.
 

Yaarel

Explorer
Seems more like you want eple to design your loveletter over 4E. 8 ability scores for example is fairly pointless.
We will see how people feel about having 8 ability scores. But there are many good reasons to have these 8. They are equally powerful to each other. And salient to describe well various kinds of creatures and abilities.

Personally, in the traditional six, I find the fact that Dexterity is a super-stat while Intelligence is a dump-stat, to be frustrating.

This fundamental imbalance wont happen with the eight.

Anyway, feel free to change them if you wish. Maybe allow for some discussion first.
 

Zardnaar

Adventurer
The reason intelligence sucks is they don't assign anything to it in 5E and theres really only 1 class that can use it.

Extra languages and skill points are an option perhaps a bonus back ground, non combat feat etc are other options. Said clone would use int or dex for dex saves I assume that is another buff to it. Have some class like Monk that uses dex/int instead of dex/wisdom. 5E has a glut of charisma based classes most of which are also some of the best in the game.
 
Last edited:

Yaarel

Explorer
The reason intelligence sucks is they don't assign anything to it in 5E and theres really only 1 class that can use it.

Extra languages and skill points are an option perhaps a bonus back ground, non combat feat etc are other options. Said clone would use int or dex for dex saves I assume that is another buff to it. Have some class like Monk that uses dex/int instead of dex/wisdom. 5E has a glut of charisma based classes most of which are also some of the best in the game.
Abilities should be useful regardless of class.

Lore skills and languages are less satisfactory to make Intelligence worthwhile. Intelligence must include something frequently useful in combat.

4e made a good start at making Intelligence a more meaningful investment. It combines Intelligence with Dexterity for Reflex. But this combination still feels awkward. Intelligence still feels less important than Dexterity. And when Dexterity is a must-have, Intelligence gets dumped.

At the very least, Intelligence would need to get ‘Sense’, the five senses and the ability to detect and notice things. This makes Intelligence important to have, and by taking Sense away from Wisdom, Wisdom too becomes more balanced.

In the eight abilities, Sense is counted separately, as its own important ability. Intelligence is basically for interpretation, insight, reason, research, examination, and ‘investigation’. In combat, Intelligence might identify weakness and vulnerabilities. Wisdom is mental power, including psychic damage, and fear effects. Among these three abilities, Sense, Intelligence, and Wisdom, each one isnt too powerful, but are useful and about equal in worth.

Some animals, like Dog, have a very high Sense bonus. Some races might too, like Wood Elf (sight and hearing) and Gnome (smell). It is useful to assign a high number for Sense without assuming a massively high willpower because of Wisdom. For example, a Deer might have high Sense (to notice predators) but low Wisdom (fleeing in panic at a moments notice).
 
Last edited:

Zardnaar

Adventurer
Abilities should be useful regardless of class.

Lore skills and languages are less satisfactory to make Intelligence worthwhile. Intelligence must include something frequently useful in combat.

4e made a good start at making Intelligence a more meaningful investment. It combines Intelligence with Dexterity for Reflex. But this combination still feels awkward. Intelligence still feels less important than Dexterity. And when Dexterity is a must-have, Intelligence gets dumped.

At the very least, Intelligence would need to get ‘Sense’, the five senses and the ability to detect and notice things. This makes Intelligence important to have, and by taking Sense away from Wisdom, Wisdom too becomes more balanced.

In the eight abilities, Sense is counted separately, as its own important ability. Intelligence is basically for interpretation, insight, reason, research, examination, and ‘investigation’. In combat, Intelligence might identify weakness and vulnerabilities. Wisdom is mental power, including psychic damage, and fear effects. Among these three abilities, Sense, Intelligence, and Wisdom, each one isnt too powerful, but are useful and about equal in worth.

Some animals, like Dog, have a very high Sense bonus. Some races might too, like Wood Elf (sight and hearing) and Gnome (smell). It is useful to assign a high number for Sense without assuming a massively high willpower because of Wisdom. For example, a Deer might have high Sense (to notice predators) but low Wisdom (fleeing in panic at a moments notice).
That is because 4E and 5E added dex to damage. Remove that and give dex based stuff extra damage via sneak attack or multiple weaker attacks like the 5E monk or AD&D rate of fire on bows.

When dex is a major save, initiative, major skills (including combat ones hello sneak) and melee and ranged to hit and damage that is what made it uber. 4E had to resort to gating stuff behind powers which didn't work so well. Drop rapiers down to d6, or find something else for dex to do like rapid strike, dual wielding, accuracy or something.

OSR clones you dont get dex to damage, or dex to initiative. 3E,4E and 5E also went a bit over board on two handed weapons as well- 3E power attacj, 4E 1W, 2W etc benefit 1d12 and 2d6 weapons a lot and 5E GWM feat.
 
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Yaarel

Explorer
That is because 4E and 5E added dex to damage. Remove that and give dex based stuff extra damage via sneak attack or multiple weaker attacks like the 5E monk or AD&D rate of fire on bows.

When dex is a major save, initiative, major skill and melee and ranged to hit and damage that is what made it uber. 4E had to resort to gating stuff behind powers which didnt work so well. Drop rapiers down to d6, or find somehting else for dex to do like rapid strike, dual wielding, accuracy or something.
I am ok with removing damage from finesse weapons.

Note, in the eight ability setup:

Strength − melee attack bonus, melee damage bonus
Athletics − finesse attack bonus, grappling, Monk flurry attack
Dexterity − missile attack bonus, Rogue sneak attack

All three have different kinds of combat options. None are must-have.
 

Yaarel

Explorer
OSR clones you dont get dex to damage, or dex to initiative. 3E,4E and 5E also went a bit over board on two handed weapons as well- 3E power attacj, 4E 1W, 2W etc benefit 1d12 and 2d6 weapons a lot and 5E GWM feat.
Initiative probably belongs to ‘Sense’, whether Sense is part of Wisdom, part of Intelligence, or its own stand-alone ability.

In any case, Sense is the ability to notice something coming, whence the ability to respond early for initiative.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I gotta agree with Zard. Your 8 abilities are a neat idea and might have a place in a heavily 4e-inspired system. But 4e had 6 abilities. Adding 2 more and shifting around what the abilities each do puts your system solidly out of 4e clone territory. And that’s ok, there’s nothing wrong with trying to evolve 4e’s design. I just don’t think you should call it a clone if that’s what you’re doing.
 

Zardnaar

Adventurer
It also makes it harder for anyone else.

Stepb1 is picking an engine/foundation. We're not trying to reinvent the wheel a'la 5E. You're gonna be using powers, you're going to be using Microfeat etc but you need a frame to hang it on.

My home brew used 4E one then changed it to 5E. You can't design classes if you don't know the basic concepts.

Adding more abilities is madness. Tried that in 2E. I could understand reducing them to 3 perhaps, physical, agility, mental. Wouldn't do it but understandable.
 

DEFCON 1

Hero
This will not be a "clone" of 4E.

If you want to clone 4E, start by actually using 4E as the foundation. Every single section should already be filled out by what actually appears in 4E (using SRD terminology). Then, and only then, can modifications be made in an attempt to "balance" bits that are off.

You can't add the advantage/disadvantage mechanic and two new ability scores and call it a clone.
 

Zardnaar

Adventurer
With extra ability scores I would have to go through and rewrite a lot of stuff that is compatible. That is not gonna happen lol. My feats would have to be revised as they are for a different game but I think a few can be used as is.

Some critters, I think I have 20 odd maybe 50 IDK. I wouldn't use the minion rule from 4E (at least that term anyway) but you can functionally make them minions by lowering the HP down. Obviously some tougher version can be done. From the other thread a lot of fiddly modifier will be dumped so +2, +1d4 and advantage/disadvantage would be used instead. The +2 flanking rule from 4E can be used for example (the 5E one is terrible). .

Encounter powers that target NADs could just be redone to dex saves or even advantage to hit. Its basically the same effect maybe even better if an encounter power (slide it in) grants advantage to hit. Ima bit sick this week so are off work so could theoretically have something playable in a day or two with preconstructed characters. Should early monster design just be the ones in LMoP? Or is there a free adventure on the guild one could bang out a quick adaption for?

Said characters would be level 1 precons but it would test out the basic stuff and use 5E engine (round structure etc).

Goblin 1/4
Small Humanoid LE
Initiative +1 Senses Perception +3; darkvision 60'
HD 1d6-1
HP 3
AC 14
Abilities Str 8 Dex 13 Con 9 Int 10 Wis 9 Cha 8
Saves Fortitude +3, Reflex +3 Will +1
Speed 30'
SQ: Bushwhacker, Sneaky, Stealthy
Alignment Lawful Evil Languages Common, Goblin
Skills Stealth +3
Equipment spear, short bow, small shield, leather armor, 10 arrows
Bushwhacker: During the first round of combat, the goblin has advantage on attack rolls against any target that has a lower initiative.
Sneaky: The goblin can attempt to hide at the end of a move as a bonus action
Stealthy Goblins have advantage on stealth checks

Hobgoblin CR 1/4
Medium Humanoid
Initiative +0 Senses Perception +4; darkvision 60'
HD 1d8+1 hp 6
AC 15
Saves Fortitude +5, Reflex +3 Will +2
Abilites Str 13 Dex 12 Con 12 Int 10 Wis 10 Cha 13
Speed 30'
Attack: Melee +3 Dmg 1d8+1 (longsword) or
+3 ranged damage 1d8+1 (longbow)
Alignment LE Languages Common, Goblin
Skills: Perception +2, Stealth +3
Equipment: longsword, large wooden shield, studded leather, longbow,

Traits
Phalanx: Hobgoblins gain +2 AC when fighting adjacent to another creature with this ability.

Disciplined: The hobgoblin chooses a creature within its reach. The next attack roll made against that target by a friendly creature that also has this trait has advantage.

Just checked I have 22 critters but they need revised a bit as they are from an earlier draft and have not been 5E so much. Mostly just number checking, a few are not OGL or even from D&D (Giaks, Helghast).

Kobold CR 1/8
Small Humanoid LE
Initiative +2 Senses Perception -1 darkvision 60'
HD 1d6-1 Hp 3
AC 12
Abilites Str 8 Dex 14 Con 9 Int 9 Wis 8 Cha 10
Saves Fortitude +3 Reflex +5 Will +1
Speed 30'
Attack Melee +4 Dagger Dmg 1d4-1 or
Ranged +4 Sling Dmg 1d4
SQ: Shifty
Trap Sense The Kobold gains a +2 bonus to all defenses against traps.
Alignment Lawful Evil Languages Common, Draconic
Skills Stealth+4, Thievery +4
Equipment 3 javelins
Traits
Shifty (bonus action) The Kobold moves 5’ and doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity.
Light Sensitivity: While in sunlight, the kobold has disadvantage on attack rolls.
 
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Yaarel

Explorer
@Zardnaar, @DEFCON 1, @Charlaquin

It is worth having balanced abilities.

Rather than the eight abilities, it is possible to have four abilities.

• Strength
• Dexterity
• Intelligence
• Charisma

In this four ability setup:

• Strength includes hit points.
• Dexterity handles jumping and climbing.
• Intelligence includes the five senses.
• Charisma includes willpower and empathy.

In this way:

• ‘Strength’ equals exactly 4e Fortitude
• ‘Dexterity’ equals 4e Reflex
• ‘Intelligence’ equals 4e Perception
• ‘Charisma’ equals 4e Will

So, for example, it is possible for the 4e clone to talk about the ‘Strength ability’ and the ‘Strength defense’.
 
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Zardnaar

Adventurer
@Zardnaar, @DEFCON 1, @Charlaquin

It is worth having balanced abilities.

Rather than the eight abilities, it is possible to have four abilities.

• Strength
• Dexterity
• Intelligence
• Charisma

In this four ability setup:

• Strength includes hit points.
• Dexterity handles jumping and climbing.
• Intelligence includes the five senses.
• Charisma includes willpower and empathy.

In this way:

• ‘Strength’ equals exactly 4e Fortitude
• ‘Dexterity’ equals 4e Reflex
• ‘Intelligence’ equals 4e Perception
• ‘Charisma’ equals 4e Will

So, for example, it is possible for the 4e clone to talk about the ‘Strength ability’ and the ‘Strength defense’.
You could get it down to three if you really wanted IMHO.

For compatibility/what players expect I would just use the 6. All of the clones, Pathfinder, 13th Age etc all use it and there are lots of 5E players to borrow. Minimises having to explain everything. You can do whatever you want but I'm not rewriting everything I've done to invent a new game.

3 classes, 3 ability scores, and one saving throw could be used for a D&D cousin but its not really a clone and would be something else. After OSR and 5E I'm fundamentally opposed to making things more complex than they need to be for no good reason especially when there is other options.
 

DEFCON 1

Hero
If you are trying to "clone" 4E and not just create an entirely new game for yourself, it needs to be able to work with existing 4E material that people already have. Thus you can't reduce abilities down to 4 or raise them up to 8. Because if you do, every single adventure or additional product that a person owns that they would want to use with their "4E rules with the serial numbers shaved off", would require a ton of extra work. And that goes against the whole reason to "clone" a game in the first place.

Paizo made sure that their clone of 3.5 would work with people's existing 3.5 material. WotC's "Essentials" clone (which pretty much it is) worked with people's existing 4E material. If any clone is to be made here for universal-ish use (and not just a personal homebrew hack)... then you cannot make people's 4E material useless.
 

Zardnaar

Adventurer
If you are trying to "clone" 4E and not just create an entirely new game for yourself, it needs to be able to work with existing 4E material that people already have. Thus you can't reduce abilities down to 4 or raise them up to 8. Because if you do, every single adventure or additional product that a person owns that they would want to use with their "4E rules with the serial numbers shaved off", would require a ton of extra work. And that goes against the whole reason to "clone" a game in the first place.

Paizo made sure that their clone of 3.5 would work with people's existing 3.5 material. WotC's "Essentials" clone (which pretty much it is) worked with people's existing 4E material. If any clone is to be made here for universal-ish use (and not just a personal homebrew hack)... then you cannot make people's 4E material useless.
Maybe a 4.5 or alternative 5E. Theres no real point actually loning 4E when the PDFs are available and books are cheap and readily available, the rare books you can't clone anyway.
 

DEFCON 1

Hero
All right... if you're going to make an alternate 5E then just say that. Or if you want to make a personalized 4E variant then just say that. But if that's the case, then you have no need to worry about the D&D SRDs or the OGL. Do whatever you want with no expectation of publishing or publicizing it and keep it for yourself (which it looks like you, [MENTION=6716779]Zardnaar[/MENTION] have already been doing, which is great.)

But my presumption is that if you are coming onto EN World to work with other posters to combine to create a "4E clone" together (and not just your own personal hack)... then you actually have a desire to make it a more universal and faithful port that is OGL compliant and thus able to be "published" like so many OSR games are. And if that's the case, you cannot start the process by introducing all your own rule hacks to get rid of personal bugaboos. Because your personal bugaboos are not going to be other people's, and thus this game you are trying to make will already write off 98% of the people you are hoping to get involved and/or play it.

If you want to clone 4E, start with 4E. Write up the 4E Player's Handbook 1 (all the races, classes, themes etc.) in SRD OGL form so that you know you are compliant to begin with and you actually have a base game foundation to use and publish. Once you've done that... then start talking with other people about slight changes to help the game find a bit better balance.

But if that's too much hassle or you feel like its unnecessary because the game already works as-is... then you don't actually want to clone 4E, you just want to make your own house rules for 4E more well-known.
 

Jacob Lewis

Explorer
It is worth having balanced abilities.
Fourth Edition D&D balanced ability scores (among other things) better than any other edition.

If you go back to attributing a single characteristic to a specific defense, then you are giving those ability scores additional value over those that do not. The way 4e did it, pairing up the two closest-compatible abilities to each defense, players were less constrained in their character builds. For example, a player could explore cleric builds or concepts around a higher Intelligence without compromising the Reflex bonus he may enjoy for investing in more Dexterity (which, as you rightly point out, already has a higher value in the game).

Something else 4e does with placing more value on ability scores is making sure that the primary ability scores for *your* character is just as important in combat as everyone else's. Look at any class power. I can't verify every single one every created, but I can guarantee that the vast majority use the primary (and secondary, and sometimes even tertiary) ability score for that class to influence attack rolls, and usually damage rolls or other effects, like moving enemies or allies x-spaces + ability score modifiers.

If you're going a completely different route, that's fine. But by the looks of things, you're already heading in the opposite direction of 'balanced abilities'.

*Plus, there's too many people with too many ideas already working on too many versions of 4e clones at the moment. You might be better off writing your own version for the one perspective that matters the most in this particular project - yourself. Then present it for anyone else who might like your ideas, or even just get inspired enough to make their own revisions for themselves. Otherwise, you may be looking at an uphill battle trying to achieve group consensus for some of your most radical ideas. But kudos for effort! :)
 

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