I need advice about a new campaign....

So, I'm thinking about starting a new campaign. It is basically 3e with a lot of 1e/2e flair - very gritty. In a nut shell, magic is feared (and therefore rare); gods are jealous and therefore religious wars are plentiful; elves are xenophobic and therefore rare and half elves even more so because of this. Gnomes are back to being dwarven cousins and a symbiotic relationship has blossomed (dwarves mine, gnomes farm and hunt).

I also want to make the money system more based upon copper than gold and give the feel of the vassal system of the medieval period.

I did level back the paladin a bit by making it a branch of the priest instead of the fighter. It plays out a lot like clerics (hospitalers) and palys (templers) which is part of that feel I'm going for...

I would like to have fighting classes and rogues base their starting packages on background and include station as part of the whole mix....

So my real question is - is there a system like this that already exists or should I continue plugging along with the house rules? I do like D&D (or at least d20) simply for familiarity sake. But may switch if it suits my needs. I will say that GURPS has never been a friend of mine and realism in combat doesn't need to be on the graphic level of Rolemaster, just something that encourages individual character development and the playing of an epic story arc (depending upon the choices the players actually make).

I say again, PLEASE tell me you opinions, I actually want them - also, everyone be mindful of forum rules - I would hate to have this shelved because people can't play nice.
 

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Dice4Hire

First Post
I see nothing there that cannot be done with 3.5 or 4E, with some character creation and world guidelines.

As I always say, do not believe that everything belongs in every world, as it just makes things a mess. Pick what you want, and explain to the players why you are doing it. I think most reasonable players will give a campaign a shot, even if some of their favorite bits are not present.

As for anotehr game system, a lotta people here know a lot more about than than I do.
 

Dice4Hire

First Post
I see nothing there that cannot be done with 3.5 or 4E, with some character creation and world guidelines.

As I always say, do not believe that everything belongs in every world, as it just makes things a mess. Pick what you want, and explain to the players why you are doing it. I think most reasonable players will give a campaign a shot, even if some of their favorite bits are not present.

As for another game system, a lotta people here know a lot more about than than I do.
 

Crothian

First Post
I'd stick with d20 since you know it and it is flexable once you know it.

To make magic rare and hard to come by you can make all magic classes prestige classes. There are versions of the Ranger and Paladin that are spelless.

When I run thieves World I make it based on the copper piece. I call it a bit and the coin can be broken into pieces so you can have half a bit and quarter bits. Banks would gather up the broken pieces and melt and remint them into coins. Everything in the PHb was in silver peices instead of copper pieces. It made things a bit more expensive but that went along with the gritty feel. My players with 8th level character were once happy to find a heavy crossbow. It was easy to have other rewards and ways to amke the players feel like they were acomplishing things without the need to have the best non magical equipment at 1st and 2nd level and magical from there on out.

Most of the changes you mention sound more with the presentation then the rules.
 

I'd stick with d20 since you know it and it is flexable once you know it.

To make magic rare and hard to come by you can make all magic classes prestige classes. There are versions of the Ranger and Paladin that are spelless.

When I run thieves World I make it based on the copper piece. I call it a bit and the coin can be broken into pieces so you can have half a bit and quarter bits. Banks would gather up the broken pieces and melt and remint them into coins. Everything in the PHb was in silver peices instead of copper pieces. It made things a bit more expensive but that went along with the gritty feel. My players with 8th level character were once happy to find a heavy crossbow. It was easy to have other rewards and ways to amke the players feel like they were acomplishing things without the need to have the best non magical equipment at 1st and 2nd level and magical from there on out.

Most of the changes you mention sound more with the presentation then the rules.

Thanks Dave - a lot of this looks similar to what I've already got in mind. True, most of the changes are fluff based, but once magic becomes "evil" it makes those folks that want to play mages a little more concerned about what actually happen (at least in my experience). There are some other ideas I have (including re-working the Feat trees based upon your station) but, they are just fleeting thoughts. My re-worked pally is pretty bitchin' if I do say so myself. (I may post it sometime)

Dice4Hire - yeah, I've never had any problems with people getting my campaigns. Most of em' scratch their heads at first, but love the final outcome (my last campaign ran 4 years with up to 13 players at one point.)
I don't mind doing the work, it's just if it had already been done, why re-invent the wheel? :)
 

SkidAce

Legend
Supporter
To make magic rare, ensure that the PCs are the only magic users. All others are legendary and nobody's actually ever seen them.

Then the population in the world digs crops and cures disease the old fashioned way. Muscle power.

I see no need to change any rules.
 

Theo R Cwithin

I cast "Baconstorm!"
Seems fine to me. Actually it sounds awesome, imho :)
Are you going the full 20 levels, or truncating to an E6/E8 or something?

I've never tried a copper-based economy, but I know a silver based one works fine, with almost no changes to standard prices. It simply makes steel swords and the like that much more valuable.

I've also pared back spellcasters in a couple ways. One is the same as Crothian's suggestion to turn them into prestige classes, and use non-magical variants for ranger and paladin. Another is to have a feat buy-in (eg, bloodline, pact, or something similar) for spell-casters.

The only other thing I can think of is purely flavor. If magic weapons are rare, make them sounds really, really cool-- even if it's just a +1 short sword that glows when goblins are lurking about. Additionally, you might consider letting a magic weapon "level" along with a PC if magic is *really* rare, so it maintains its usefulness to the party and doesn't get casually cast aside at some point.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Stick to D&D or your D20 variant of choice.

1) You might find Green Ronin's Book of the Righteous handy for balancing out your paladin...and making holy knights of other alignments.

2) You can really force the rare magic thing by making magic proficiency at least partially dependent upon feats that can only be taken at 1st level. For example, that might mean taking the DCv1 Bloodline feats or the CompArc/PHB2 Heritage feats and making them open to all PCs, but only at 1st level, and have those feats be a prereq for arcane spellcasting.

Divine magic, OTOH, is open to anyone willing to sublimate themselves to the will of divine beings. Conceivably, this could mean that there are noncasters and casters within the same clergy- monks (without alignment restrictions) & clerics, perhaps?
 

Thanks for all the comments so far...
I hadn't planned on making the PC's the only spellcasters, but even though there are others, they are still as rare as roc's teeth - say 1 in 500,000 (to include apprentices).

Magic items are also rare and "wondrous" - looking into the whole legacy weapons thing too - gives it that little bit of history I'm looking for.

I plan on going to 20 and beyond if they can manage it. :)

The casting/non-casting clergy seems to be a regular feature in my campaigns - at least as far back as 1987 that I can remember. Most people don't get it at first, but after a while they seems to get the point and the difference that PC's are - more along the lines of prophets and missionaries than priests.

I like all the ideas so far - thanks again and keep 'em comin'
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Given what you said about Rogues and Fighters, you might also want to include FR-style regional feats.

Some regions are more famous for their spear & shield fighters, others are known to be excellent with the short sword. Other regions may favor the bow...or even arcane mastery (think Melnibone and Pan Tang, for instance).
 


vagabundo

Adventurer
Warhammer RP or grab stuff from iron heroes?

Iron Heroes had an Arcanist class that looked interesting. The game gave me a Swords and Sorcery vibe, but it needs work.
 

No one knows the exact feel you are going for better than you. I would start with a base system that I felt very comfortable running and tweaking, then make the mods work.

Trying to heavily tweak a system that you don't know well rarely works.
 

Piratecat

Sesquipedalian
I'd probably use Warhammer 2e FRPG for this. It's my go-to system for "fun and gritty with creepy magic." Bad Axe's Grim Tales, based on d20 Modern, would also work well.
 




roguerouge

First Post
Try using the e6 or e8 house rule set. They're quite well thought out and fit what you're doing perfectly. Essentially, nobody can advance above level 6 (or level 8). After that point, every 5K XP, you get a feat. It models a grim and gritty campaign nicely.
 

Dagredhel

First Post
A couple of products come to mind.

Legends of the Dark Ages by Charles Rice has rules for social station. (I think they're called either bloodlines or lineages, and go from serf/slave up to high nobility.) I recall that it is very crunchy, with new classes, feats, etc.

Green Ronin's Medieval Player's Manual also sounds like it might be a useful resource.
 


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