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Critique my Character Creation Guidelines

theredrobedwizard

First Post
Starting up a new Age of Worms game, and would like some feedback from the masses. Note, I'll be running the AP as stated in the modules, except in Eberron. I've got a group of 3 players, if that makes any difference. I've also borrowed some rules from Star Wars: Saga Edition to help make things more streamlined.

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Character Creation Guidelines:

- Character Attributes: Due to the high difficulty of this adventure path, you'll have the choice of three attribute arrays (all 38 point buy): - Standard Ability Scores: [16, 16, 14, 14, 12, 10] - Focused Ability Scores: [18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8] - Jack of All Trades: [15, 14, 14, 14, 14, 14]

- Races Allowed: Any LA +0 from a WotC published source.

- Classes Allowed at Campaign Start: Any 20 level WotC published class (except Spelltheif, Ninja, and Samurai; because they suck hard), Racial Paragon Classes (Unearthed Arcana). Alternate Class Features are allowed, as are Racial Substitution Levels. Special rules apply for RSLs, ask for more information if interested in taking them.

- Alignments: Any non-evil.

- Starting HP: Three times class Hit Die + Con Modifier. A Fighter with Con 14 would start the game with 32 HP. Further HP/level uses the Roll (minimum half) method.

- Standard Equipment Package: Backpack, Bedroll, 2 Sunrods, Waterskin, 5 days Trail Rations, 50' Rope, Potion of Cure Light Wounds, Flint and Steel. This is in addition to maximum starting gold based on your class.

Extra Rules:

- Characters may take up to 1 Flaw and 1 Trait from Unearthed Arcana. Taking a Flaw grants you a bonus feat, as normal.
- Action Points: Instead of Eberron's "5 AP per level" rule, we're using Mutants and Masterminds "3 AP per session" rule. Heroic Spirit gives you one more AP per session, and may be taken multiple times.
- Destiny Points: At character creation, each PC gains on Destiny Point (also referred to as I Have Done A Silly Thing Tokens), which can be used for any of the following effects: Automatically score a Critical Hit (no attack roll required), Automatically cause an attack made against you to miss (even once the attack is resolved), Act out of turn (changing your position in the initiative order), Take damage that would otherwise harm another character within your reach, Add +20 to a skill check or saving throw. Destiny Points are awarded for acts of dramatic heroism.
- Diagonal movement costs 2 squares, instead of 1-2-1-2-1-2, simply for ease of use.

Altered Feats:

- Toughness: +4 HP or 2x your Constitution Modifier (So, for a character with 16 Con, this feat would give them +6HP). You may not take this feat more than once per level.
- Dodge: +1 Dodge bonus to AC against all opponents OR +2 Dodge bonus to AC against a target you designate. Later feats in the Dodge tree may require you to use the second option.
- Skill Focus: +5 bonus to the skill chosen, instead of +3.
- Combat Casting: Gives you the option of using your Wisdom modifier instead of Constitution for making Concentration checks, in addition to the normal benefit.

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Thoughts? Comments? Considerations? Hate mail?

-TRRW
 

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kaomera

Explorer
Nice. I've been thinking of going to arrays for ability scores myself, as points-buy can get fiddly and still seems to produce mostly cookie-cutter characters.

Some thoughts: You're giving PCs a lot of hit points. Are you doing this for NPCs / monsters as well? I'm not saying you should (I think I'd want to leave most NPCs as is, if I was going to do something like this), just wondering about the intent. Also: are you doing anything about save or die effects?

With Skill Focus set at +5, have you thought about removing the +2/+2 Feats? On the one hand it seems unlikely anyone will actually take them at that point, on the other you're looking at possible ~+15 skill bonuses at 1st level. Of course, it's probably not that much of a problem in most cases, if you're going to spend the extra feat you might as well be really, really good at that particular skill...
 

theredrobedwizard

First Post
NPCs/Monsters aren't getting more HP. Save or Die effects have always been kinda rare in my games, so it's not really that much an issue. I had thought about removing the +2 to two skills feats, but in the end, they don't get taken in a regular D&D game, much less a higher powered one.

The only downside to this is a practice character I whipped up. Dragonborn [Mongrelfolk] Barbarian. Taking the altered Toughness feat and Improved Toughness, he started out with 59 HP. I highly doubt that anyone will make such a beastly character, but its a possibility. We'll see how it pans out after I talk to the players.

-TRRW
 


theredrobedwizard

First Post
We haven't rolled for stats since 2000 or so, so saying that point buy is embraced is kind of an understatement. I've talked to a couple of the players, and they were a bit taken aback by the 38 point buy (I think the average we'd used before this was 28), but I think they'll manage.

-TRRW
 

Li Shenron

Legend
I think they are all fine. I'm not particularly fond of a couple of them, but that doesn't mean they should be changed.

The next one I don't fully understand:

theredrobedwizard said:
- Starting HP: Three times class Hit Die + Con Modifier. A Fighter with Con 14 would start the game with 32 HP. Further HP/level uses the Roll (minimum half) method.

Do you mean that your characters start the game at level 3 with max HP?

Or do they start at level 1 with x3 HP than normal? And if this is the case, what happens when they reach level 2, do they get more hp (rolled, min half) or do they have to wait until lv 4 for more hp?

Also I would suggest not to ban something simply because it's weak (those 3 classes). I think it's best to ban stuff when it's too strong/problematic, or if it doesn't fit with your setting or with the party concept.
If they really are underpowered, players can simply ignore them (but another player may still take a couple of levels in them and be fine).
So if you ban Samurai, I think you should do that just because you don't want Samurai to exist in your setting. This also spares you from debates...
 

theredrobedwizard

First Post
Li Shenron said:
Do you mean that your characters start the game at level 3 with max HP?

Or do they start at level 1 with x3 HP than normal? And if this is the case, what happens when they reach level 2, do they get more hp (rolled, min half) or do they have to wait until lv 4 for more hp?

No, they just start at 1st Level with three times their class Hit Die in HP plus their Con modifier. When they reach level 2, they roll their Hit Die and get a minimum of half on the roll plus their Con modifier. It's a rule I pilfered from Star Wars SAGA. Makes the heroes into big damn heroes instead of slightly big heroes.

Li Shenron said:
Also I would suggest not to ban something simply because it's weak (those 3 classes). I think it's best to ban stuff when it's too strong/problematic, or if it doesn't fit with your setting or with the party concept.

Sorry, I should have been more clear. Ninja and Samurai use the Oriental Adventures/Rokugan versions of the classes, not the crappy Complete Warrior/Adventurer versions. Spellthief could be allowed in, if people are really gung-ho about playing one, it was more of a side joke with some of my players.

-TRRW
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
In general looks good. I specifically like the choice of three arrays.

theredrobedwizard said:
- Starting HP: Three times class Hit Die + Con Modifier. A Fighter with Con 14 would start the game with 32 HP. Further HP/level uses the Roll (minimum half) method.

I think that if you're looking at making the characters more survivable, I'd add a flat amount of HP (just like you add a flat list of equipment). For example, sans Con a Barbarian would have 36 HP and a Wizard 12. While this really does show the difference in their classes, I think it makes the low HD classes a lot less survivable if you'll be throwing challenges that will deal with tanks at the higher end. This gets more pronounced in a few levels when area of effect spells come out. 5th level is 3 HD at max, and four more HD at half to max. That's means starting HP is on average a little more then half your total HPs - but those fireballs and the like will be hitting everyone. So either the fighter types can ignore them with their high HPs if you balance vs. the low HD types, or the other way the low HD types are toast if caught in one.

This also changes character creation choices. Someone wanting to play a melee casters might want wizard 1 then pick up fighter 1 for their character history, but they lose out on 18 hps vs. if they go fighter first then wizard.

If you just across the board give everyone 15 HPs, you'll get more low level survivability and keep starting class free of that much bias. Because of the "minimum half" rule for future hit dice, HD size will still have a big effect.

theredrobedwizard said:
- Dodge: +1 Dodge bonus to AC against all opponents OR +2 Dodge bonus to AC against a target you designate. Later feats in the Dodge tree may require you to use the second option.

There are a few feats and class abilities that apply to the "opponent you declared dodge vs." +1 vs. all makes those more powerful. Though I agree - dodge as is is pretty weak. Would you consider leaving it single opponent but making it scale with level?

Good luck,
=Blue(23)
 

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