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3.5 Design idea for "customization" of characters.

Light Knight

Villager
I am wanting to come up with a way to allow people to "custom" build their characters as they progress through the levels. I know the thought has a lot of potential of abuse, but as the DM, I can control this.

Here is my idea, instead of being locked into a class, when a character starts, I want them to be able to spend their starting design points.

Lets say for 50 points for initial build, I decide to take a d10 for my 1st level hit points, the 1st level feat, no BAB, +2 on all saves, access to light and medium armor. Wizard base weapons, and 1st level wizard spells, and 8 skill point base.

When I hit 2nd level, I get 10 points to spend, I choose to buy another feat, but limit it ot fighter feats, another d10 hitpoints, +1 BAB, 4 skill point base.



Not sure if someone has made a base idea on this yet..Or if I will need to design from scratch.

Thoughts? Suggestions?
 
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I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
Point-based character creation? I'm not a big fan myself (too fiddly, too prone to error and abuse, too reliant on quantifying the fundamentally variable), but I'm positive d20 has had more than a handful of point-based character creation somewhere out there.
 

Light Knight

Villager
Lots of character point systems..

However, i think most I've seen are more complete class base, and not level by level.

As for the abuse, again I am aware of that issue, hence why as the DM I will attempt to control it.

There is abuse all over the game, WITHIN the rules...soooooo
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
Get Mutants & Masterminds 2Ed and its supplements Book of Magic and Warriors & Warlocks and you're set for fantasy gaming with point buy in the d20 system.
 

Mallus

Hero
Take a look at the Mutants and Masterminds rules. They're a point-buy variant of the d20 system which work really well. The system was designed with comic book superheroes in mind, but it's easy to use for D&D-style fantasy.

In fact, given the system's greater granularity, (almost) any character you can do using 3e/[notranslate]Pathfinder[/notranslate], you can do using M&M (plus a whole lot you simply can't, given base 3e's fixed relationships between abilities).
 

I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
Ah, more point-based character advancement.

In that case, you might end up with characters that skew the system in weird ways. I'm thinking of characters with a d4 HP, but AC's that are nigh-unhittable from various bonuses, or characters who have a BAB of +0, but can cast True Strike before each of their attacks and so always have an effective BAB of +20...

But it would be a very organic method of character growth, if that's what you're going for. You might just want to bundle certain things together, like an overall "Defensive Training" package, or an overall "Fighter Weapon Techniques" package or something.
 

B.T.

Villager
It could work, but you're going to run into problems. A d10 HD isn't really worth that much in 3e because your Con bonus is so important. You can either over-value it (which hurts the characters who want to play fighters) or under-value it (which results in everyone having a d12 HD). Likewise, a +2 Reflex save isn't nearly as beneficial as a +2 Fort/Will save.
 

the Jester

Legend
I am wanting to come up with a way to allow people to "custom" build their characters as they progress through the levels. I know the thought has a lot of potential of abuse, but as the DM, I can control this.

Here is my idea, instead of being locked into a class, when a character starts, I want them to be able to spend their starting design points.

Lets say for 50 points for initial build, I decide to take a d10 for my 1st level hit points, the 1st level feat, no BAB, +2 on all saves, access to light and medium armor. Wizard base weapons, and 1st level wizard spells, and 8 skill point base.

When I hit 2nd level, I get 10 points to spend, I choose to buy another feat, but limit it ot fighter feats, another d10 hitpoints, +1 BAB, 4 skill point base.

Thoughts? Suggestions?
Did you ever play with Skills & Powers in late 2nd Edition?

I did, and boy did it sour me on using point-based character customization in a class-based game.

Just be sure you can't build an "inferior" cleric with fighter attacks, hit points, armor and weapon... and healing spells. Or a wizard who gets a few schools barred in return for 6 extra skill points per level, a d6 HD, sneak attack, rogue weapons and attack bonuses. Or any other thing were a class gives up a few points to get every ability granted to another class and still keeps some of its own stuff.

You can probably tell that I'm very leery of this sort of thing; I'd never go for it again in D&D as a dm, nor would I be especially interested in playing D&D that way as a player. There are plenty of other systems that will serve your needs better IMHO.

Not sure if someone has made a base idea on this yet..Or if I will need to design from scratch.
 

Light Knight

Villager
Yes, I did in fact use skills&powers and loved it...And to your other point, thats exactly what I think should be possible. I much prefer to play a completely open skill based system, that allows a wizard to be master swordsmen with enough practice, then a class base system. But most people play d&d or PF..so I am looking for a happy medium. And as a DM, I can handle just about anything thrown at me....
 

BriarMonkey

Villager
If you want point-based character creation and advancement, have you given any thought to using Hero or Gurps and using their appropriate fantasy based materials?
 

the Jester

Legend
Yes, I did in fact use skills&powers and loved it...And to your other point, thats exactly what I think should be possible. I much prefer to play a completely open skill based system, that allows a wizard to be master swordsmen with enough practice, then a class base system. But most people play d&d or PF..so I am looking for a happy medium. And as a DM, I can handle just about anything thrown at me....
The problem with all of the examples I gave is that the "inferior cleric" is actually a fighter plus healing spells, and the "inferior wizard" is actually a rogue plus wizard spells.

Be careful, in other words, that you can't tweak one class to make it a strictly better version of another class.
 

Light Knight

Villager
Hero Games or Gurps would be great, however a bulk of the players want D&D/PF rules.....so to allow both ideas...this is why I am looking for this.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
Hero Games or Gurps would be great, however a bulk of the players want D&D/PF rules.....so to allow both ideas...this is why I am looking for this.
HERO is my system of choice, and IMHO, M&M with those supplements will get you closest to HERO and/or Fantasy HERO.
 

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