Swords against tentacles!
(Removed double posting.)
Just as a ultra-quick reminder, let me bring up a few points - trying to focus on things brought up by others, not merely by me.
You still include the advice about removing alignment despite being told many times that from the perspective of a 5E gamer it comes across as simply outdated and unnecessary. Please trust your audience: the best approach is to remove it altogether; 5E alignment ALREADY is where S&S needs it to be.
Instant Death: please remove the rule altogether. As FXR wrote: "it adds nothing to the game and actually goes against some of the usual themes of S&S".
More alarmingly, responding "it has been discussed before in this thread; it has been made clear the rule is optional" completely misses the point. Please don't miss the point!
Wounds Heal Quickly: About the only reason to even have this section, is because you have had it in your rules for other game systems. But since it now amounts to exactly nothing, the natural thing is to remove it. (You're saying natural healing should be accelerated, but that assumes acceleration from a previous-edition baseline. You then say there's no need for special rules. All of this reveal an author still writing from a point of view that isn't 5E)
Treasure Should Be Spent: I see you have responded here, removing the decidedly Pathfindery xp and gold amounts, and for that you deserve acknowledgement. Kudos!
I still think it would be more natural to first choose Culture, then Race (since your options for race are informed by your culture). There should totally be a cross-reference list "which races have Nomad members"? More importantly, it would put the emphasis on Culture. After all, whether you're Jairanian or, I dunno, Khazrajite matters much less (for everybody else than yourself) than the fact you're a Nomad. Everyone not from either of those two nations/areas likely won't know the difference unless the adventure is set in that particular corner of the world, they would just see a Nomad.
Just a final note to say I won't regurgitate our discussions on gender politics. I should also say I haven't looked at your class design. I see people say great things about your Cultist class!
You're telling me to remove the whole section on alignment, I disagree. There may be new players, unfamiliar with S&S, that actually find it useful to be told that "A common high fantasy concept, that of inherently evil races (such as orcs and drow) doesn’t make much sense in the mainly humanocentric World of Xoth." And GMs may want to know why NPCs don't have any LG/CG/LE/whatever alignment listed in the stat blocks. This section is still necessary.
That said, there are certain supernatural creatures and monsters, such as demonic outsiders and most undead, whose alignments can be labeled as «cosmic evil» (CE). A protection from evil and good spell works against these kinds of monsters and certain other types, as noted in the spell description.
First off, thank you for your well-reasoned reply.Do you really think that "5E alignment is where S&S needs it to be" ? Really? The 5E core rules (Alignment - 5th Edition SRD) lists the 9 alignments with very specific traits, and then goes on to talk about "races [with] strong inborn tendencies that match the nature of their gods (...) and are thus inclined toward evil"... none of that makes any sense for me in a S&S setting. It's explained in the Player's Guide why I think this.
Well, a much more 5E:y approach would be to say nothing, and to feature alignment on monsters normally.You're telling me to remove the whole section on alignment, I disagree. There may be new players, unfamiliar with S&S, that actually find it useful to be told that "A common high fantasy concept, that of inherently evil races (such as orcs and drow) doesn’t make much sense in the mainly humanocentric World of Xoth." And GMs may want to know why NPCs don't have any LG/CG/LE/whatever alignment listed in the stat blocks. This section is still necessary.
The core rules variant of Instant Death has some impact at low level. A little, not much. At higher levels, it has absolutely zero impact. Trust me, things do not become slightly more deadly for higher-level characters, because higher-level characters never interact with Instant Death.Instant Death is a rule from the 5E core rules (Damage and Healing - 5th Edition SRD). I have suggested (as an optional rule!) a slight tweak that changes the threshold from (negative hit points) to (negative Con + level). The effect should be to make things slightly more deadly for higher-level characters. How you or any others can feel that this tweak "goes against some of the usual themes of S&S" is beyond me...
The reason I'm getting "worked up" is because...:I'm afraid I'm missing the point because I don't see how you can get so worked up about a minor tweak that can easily be ignored. It's not like this is the defining feature of the whole Player's Guide...
That's fine.I agree that because there is no need to change any rules, the whole section is a bit pointless. Except this chapter is also, as mentioned above, about educating players and GMs new to S&S. So I don't think it hurts to have some text here to explain that the S&S genre is typically not about spending weeks to see your wounds heal.
No need to get passive-agressive. You're a ttrpg publisher, I'm sure you have thick skin.I think I mentioned before in this thread that a house rule I use personally is that a long rest restores ALL hit dice (not just half as per the core rules), because it seems uncessarily fiddly to keep track of that. So I might throw that in there just to have some actual rules crunch in that section. Although I'm sure some might protest against that too, just for the sake of argument.
Never said that. I specifically meant what is quoted above.In any case, I don't agree that having a section without crunch "reveals an author still writing from a point of view that isn't 5E".
Okay Point made.Actually, as far as I can remember the 5E version of the Player's Guide never had those rules for spending gold to upgrade abilities. I think you must have mixed it up with the Pathfinder version. But anyway, at least we are in agreement here!
Now there's an argument I buy completely!This is a good point, and I like the idea. To be honest, the required work to reformat the chapters weighs more against this than any resistance to the idea itself. But I haven't ruled it out.
I just might. Busy with PF2 at the mo', though.Thanks, I'm pretty happy about how the Cultist turned out myself. Looking forward to more feedback if you get to reviewing the Classes chapter.
Your design decision to throw out alignment seems right to me. I did the same with my own S&S setting. However, the explanation given does not strike me as convincing or useful. All D&D 5e characters are defined by their motivations, ethics, bias and ambitions, regardless of their alignement. Also, unlike alignment, these traits have a direct impact on the gameplay as they are used to award inspiration.
I would suggest an alternate reason to not use alignment. Alignement makes sense when there is a huge metaphysical conflict: Law vs. Chaos, Good vs. Evil. Xoth doesn't feature such a conflict, so alignement is not used.
Also, the following paragraph is confusing:
Protection from Evil and Good works against aberrations, celestials, elementals, fey, fiends, and undead. Despite its name, it has nothing to do with evil or alignement. It works just as well on a fire elemental that on an demon prince, a cute pixie or a mindless zombie.
Also, since you don't use alignement, what's the purpose of listing every creature as unaligned?
First off, thank you for your well-reasoned reply.
I might come off strong, but that's because I care.
For instance, my immediate impulse to reading this would be "this sounds like someone just reading the PHB, not playing the game". But I won't write that. Instead I will explain that every practical consideration of alignment that is anathema to good S&S:y gaming has been removed.
So while yes the introduction of the PHB still discusses alignment, there's a world of difference as to what it means in actual play.
What it means in actual play is that every reservation you rightfully had in this section of your book is gone, taken care of, no longer a problem. 5th Edition already plays like a S&S:er wants alignment to play.
It's time to fully immerse your document with 5E sensibilities, Xoth. In other words, it's time to lay down your reservations against alignment, since they come off as quaint as best to a 5E gamer.
Trust me, things do not become slightly more deadly for higher-level characters, because higher-level characters never interact with Instant Death.
But more importantly, it makes heroes vulnerable for the wrong reasons. It means (at least at low level) that some random roll could kill you. It means your last hit points are worth less than your first hit points. (Being at only 9 hp is always worse than being at 29 hp obviously; but with Instant Death there's an extra reason to not heroically press on when you're low on hp). The only effect this has is making heroes cautious and trepidatious. Exactly what you don't want S&S heroes to be!
I would still replace
"To make up for the scarcity of healing spells and restorative magic, the natural healing rate should be accelerated in a sword and sorcery setting.Since the fifth edition standard rules already include the concept of short rests, which allow all characters to heal quickly by the use of hit dice, and long rests which restore all hit points, there is no need for any special rules for healing in the World of Xoth."with simply
"The default rules of 5th Edition work perfectly for the World of Xoth."
No need to get passive-agressive. You're a ttrpg publisher, I'm sure you have thick skin.
Not sure where you are quoting from, but version 1.6 (which hasn't changed for the last several months) contains the following text: "...there are certain supernatural creatures and monsters, such as demonic outsiders and most undead, whose alignments can be labeled as «cosmic evil» (CE). A protection from evil and good spell works against these kinds of monsters and certain other types, as noted in the spell description."
So the spell works as described in the rules, plus if you have a creature that's not already one of the types listed in the spell description, but it has the "Cosmic Evil" alignment, that is affected by the spell as well.
Does Xoth feature a particular creature which would not normally be affected by the Protection from Evil and Good spell but should be? I bought XP1 and XP2 and I don't remember these adventure modules featuring such a creature.
Again, with respect, an instance of not truly embracing 5E, like the difference between a foreigner speaking English really well, and a native.This would admittedly be rare, and does not feature in any of the published books. But let's say you wanted to use a roper, which by the 5E standard rules is classified as a "monstrosity", but have this be more of a Lovecraftian alien being from beyond the stars, you could designate this as a "cosmic evil monstrosity" and the Protection from Evil and Good (aka The Sign of Xoth, see page 41 of the Player's Guide) would work against that creature even though it's technically not an aberration, fiend, etc.
Players Guide to World of Xoth said:Step 2—Pick Your Race: Next, pick your character’s race.
Again, with respect, an instance of not truly embracing 5E, like the difference between a foreigner speaking English really well, and a native.
A conversion product that is truly brought up to par with 5E sensibilities retains alignment, since it it no longer anything tangible in-game: it is truly only the role-playing crutch it was originally conceived as. (Don't mistake this for me actually defending alignment! I still think it is a crude and blunt tool. Here I am merely arguing for the line "actually, with 5E you don't need to remove alignment from a S&S setting any longer")
Instead, the straight-forward approach, that truly works within a 5e context, here would be to feature a Roper whose type has simply been changed to aberration or fiend, since "cosmic evil monstrosity" is precisely what those two terms are made to be used for!
There is no need to invent a new game term when 5E already provides the tools you need, or your conversion product comes off as "non-native", as it were.
Yes, the difference might be considered subtle.
But we're not providing feedback because your product is a broken mess that needs fixing. We're providing feedback to polish off those few remaining stains from the sparkling jewel you have produced!
Because you're basing this particular incarnation of your world on 5E rules, and there removing alignment comes off mostly as a protest against alignment rather than serving a purpose useful to current gamers, your intended audience.As I've said before, even though there is no longer any real "crunch" related to alignment, the whole concept needs to go, because words and terms such as "lawful good" and "neutral evil" have no meaning in an S&S setting.
Why are you opposed to removing something that you yourself say is "a crude and blunt tool", which serves no purpose other than to remind/confuse players that perhaps this is a world with some kind of grand alignment conflict like in typical D&D settings?
Now you're just grasping for straws. Unless you're prepared to argue the World of Xoth needs and depends up on a game rule concept of "cosmic evil", why not just accept that "aberration" and "fiend" ARE the intended 5E game terms for cosmic evil?Until you want to, say, invent some new spells that target "cosmic evil" entities... oh, you can't, because you lumped these together with all other aberrations or fiends.... When 5E has subtypes as specific as "humanoid (grimlock)", I certainly don't see the problem in using "monstrosity (cosmic evil)" as a subtype.
As an aside: The "evil" in "cosmic evil" is of course only when seen from a humanocentric point of view, in reality these creatures are more "alien" or "unfathomable" than "evil". (See Cosmicism - Wikipedia - "Lovecraft never conceived of them as supernatural, but extraterrestrials who understand and obey a set of natural laws which to human understanding seem magical. These beings — though dangerous to humankind — are portrayed as neither good nor evil, and human notions of morality have no significance for these beings".)
You're welcome. Thank you for having the patience to deal with this.Thank you, that is a great compliment!
Loved John Carter of Mars. Great movie. Everyone should watch it.Thanks! Credit where it's due: The artists are Mark Allen, Kent Burles, Storn Cook, Tommaso Galmacci, and Steve Lines.
I fully agree with everything you said there and in the following paragraphs. That said, I think that GMs and players could (and should) shake up the genre stereotypes if they feel like it. Every barbarian doesn't have to be healthy and wholesome, you could have evil barbarians and good sorcerers for that matter. As long as the table is having fun, run with it.
I actually think it was a pretty good movie, although it would of course have been totally awesome if they made it something like "Game of Thrones in Space"... ! Same with the Tarzan movie from a few years ago, so much opportunity lost by not making it more true to Burroughs. And don't get me started on the Conan movies (all of them, actually), it really bothers me that they can't just make a Conan movie based on an original Howard story. Instead they just take the name and replace the content with some BS written in Hollywood, and it predictably bombs every time. Imagine Peter Jackson using the name "Lord of the Rings", but replacing the story, do you think it would be a success? All right, I think I have to end my little movie rant here...