A couple of options I'm curious about with Trailblazer

ValhallaGH

Villager
I haven't read True 20. But, for me, levels that aren't really levels (i.e. they don't provide anything beyond skill points and/or feats) are an obvious design error. If these character features are meant to be available without levels, then they should be designed that way.
Dude, they're for Farmers, Merchants, and other people who only need skill ranks making opposed rolls (or reminding the DM roughly how good they are at the few things they do). A PC should never, ever, end up with Ordinary levels - Player Characters are extraordinary by definition.

A design error is an intentional choice that fails of its goal(s). The Ordinary role was a brilliant design choice that perfectly achieved its goals.
 

Vespucci

Villager
I will read True 20 before commenting further on its brilliance or error. Back to Trailblazer:

So just set a DC for, "Beat Mozart at his own game."
:) That's the same amount of work as giving him a skill bonus. In fact, it's the same thing.

Absolutely not. Whether the PCs can kill or protect Mozart (CP) has nothing to do with his stats. Mozart is the McGuffin. His guards might need stats; his assassins might need stats. Mozart-- not so much.
He's not the McGuffin. He's just Mozart. Again, I am not taking out my frustrated literary ambitions on the players.

Let's take another nuisance scenario: Given that he's a kid, it's not inconceivable that the player characters might end up his guardians, train him up to be an adventurer, and then - oh, wait, sorry kid, you can't have more skill ranks than your level. I suppose one might say that Mozart just didn't have it in him to be an adventurer, but that doesn't deal with the problem in general.

With respect to the rules serving me, and not the other way around, I am.
I suspect we disagree less about the rules and more about "story". My view on Mozart is that he should be a 0th level character (common man, whatever), with an extraordinary ability in music. That's not particularly different from what you've put across, with the point of difference being in how detailed a 0th level character needs to be. I will confess to taking the side of slavish simulationism and insisting that everything needs hit points.

Including the ground. ;)

Where we appear to differ is in referee style. You seem to be committed to only using Mozart to fulfill some kind of plot purpose. That's not old school, and has very little to do with the rules/referee situation.
 

Wulf Ratbane

Adventurer
That's the same amount of work as giving him a skill bonus. In fact, it's the same thing.
It's not the same amount of work if setting his skill ranks leads you down the merry path of wondering what level he is, what his BAB might be, and how many hit points he has.

Which it clearly has.

It's not inconceivable that the player characters might end up his guardians, train him up to be an adventurer, and then - oh, wait, sorry kid, you can't have more skill ranks than your level.
NPCs can do whatever they need to do to fulfill the purpose I intend for them.

Where we appear to differ is in referee style. You seem to be committed to only using Mozart to fulfill some kind of plot purpose.
No, I'm committed to doing as little work as possible to keep the game moving. If Mozart needs levels, then he gets levels. If he needs hit points or a BAB, he'll get those, too. (Though we clearly differ if you run the kind of game where a child NPC needs a BAB or hit points.) If Mozart just needs to be a musical prodigy, that's what he is.

Are you an engineer, by chance?
 

Vespucci

Villager
It's not the same amount of work if setting his skill ranks leads you down the merry path of wondering what level he is, what his BAB might be, and how many hit points he has.

Which it clearly has.
I think we're getting tangled up.

"So-and-so must be a given level in 3.X because they can do a particular thing" ranges between a running joke and a standard argument in D&D circles. We agree that this is silly and should be done away with. As I see it, the scrap is over how.

Actually, it's not even much over how. I mean, you're saying "most NPCs don't even need stats, except where relevant to the story", I'm saying, "most NPCs have a handful of hit points, no real combat ability and have skills appropriate to their profession".

So the distinction is just setting-oriented versus story-oriented gaming.

Are you an engineer, by chance?
Afraid not. Does that make me more or less credible? ;)
 

Papercut

Villager
How about just dropping feats for full caster classes and keeping them for martial/hybrid classes? The casters already have all those fancy spells. They have a huge power-up with the access to all spells and the rest mechanic. Huge power-up.

Taking away their feats could be a novel way to balance the systems just a bit more. The spine shows that casters still have a ~20% bonus in power over the feeble melee folk. How would one account for feats in the spine?

One more thing, I can only see two thread in this forum, I found this one thru google. Why is that, anyone know?
 
There are more threads if you change the time. Open it up to show threads back to a year and you will see a whole pile of threads. Just going through a drought atm.

When the Trailblazer monster book hit there will be a pick up again I bet.
 

ValhallaGH

Villager
How about just dropping feats for full caster classes and keeping them for martial/hybrid classes?
Remove them as class features or entirely?

As class features, it won't do a lot. The Wizard will drop down a little bit, the Sorcerer will drop to were the Wizard is currently, and CoDzilla will be unaffected.

Entirely ... well, that's a different kettle of fish, and a pretty difficult one to figure. Though it would make the full casters a much less interesting and varied bunch of characters, it won't do much to their raw power (though their hideous combinations will be severely curtailed).
 

Papercut

Villager
I reviewed the feats in TB slightly more closely, FWIW, I think a good compromise would be to remove metamagic feats from my game. The general feats would be acceptable, and divine feats seem ok and not too OP. Enlarged maximized magic missles (refreshing after each rest) seem pretty nasty, autohit and no save.

This would even out the power curve a bit at higher levels I think?
 

Papercut

Villager
I reviewed the feats in TB slightly more closely, FWIW, I think a good compromise would be to remove metamagic feats from my game. The general feats would be acceptable, and divine feats seem ok and not too OP. Enlarged maximized magic missles (refreshing after each rest) seem pretty nasty, autohit and no save.

This would even out the power curve a bit at higher levels I think?
 

ValhallaGH

Villager
Enlarged maximized magic missles (refreshing after each rest) seem pretty nasty, autohit and no save.
Really? You're worried about a 5th level spell (from a 9th+ level caster) that hits from ~100 feet away for 5 damage 5 times? You're worried about a 5th level spell that deals 25 points of damage?

....

I guess you're free to worry about whatever you want to. But my four-ogre attack squad can get into face-smash range before you kill more than 1 of them with multiple 5th level spells. So, I think you're worrying about the wrong stuff.
 

Papercut

Villager
Really? You're worried about a 5th level spell (from a 9th+ level caster) that hits from ~100 feet away for 5 damage 5 times? You're worried about a 5th level spell that deals 25 points of damage?

....

I guess you're free to worry about whatever you want to. But my four-ogre attack squad can get into face-smash range before you kill more than 1 of them with multiple 5th level spells. So, I think you're worrying about the wrong stuff.
You're probably right, I am a 3e noob, lol.
 

Papercut

Villager
Really? You're worried about a 5th level spell (from a 9th+ level caster) that hits from ~100 feet away for 5 damage 5 times? You're worried about a 5th level spell that deals 25 points of damage?

....

I guess you're free to worry about whatever you want to. But my four-ogre attack squad can get into face-smash range before you kill more than 1 of them with multiple 5th level spells. So, I think you're worrying about the wrong stuff.
You're probably right, I am a 3e noob, lol.
 

Papercut

Villager
I am editing the TB book down to a Trailblazer Basic book. I have pared it down to about 90 pages atm, but am not really sure how to deal with the spells. I cut out alot of the non player material, and it seems like something that could be have real fast character creation.

Still a work in progress though.
 

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