Spelljammer Stargate/Spell Com/Spell jammer another balance thread (+)

So I am working on a pitch for a spell jammer game (a few of us are) and I am doing a dark 'world in danger' idea... but it ends up basically being star gate but with the world having 1 experimental spell jammer and sending SC1 (spell Com team 1) out into the astral.

I took some idea's from a Mongoose press setting from 4e. We had played it twice, and everyone (including people no longer with us) loved it... but as I mentioned the pitch to my 2 groups (with a lot of overlap) I got an old (especially here on enworld) complaint but one I didn't think of...

"IF this is like star gate we can't play jack"

So if you don't know star gate sg1 the main team leader is the guy without any special knowledge or training... and sometimes comes off as a dumb fighter. Of course he is anything but dumb, he is a trained pilot a tactical (maybe) genius. He just isn't trained in physics or ancient cavillations or alien tech (the other 3 members are)

The problem is that would in D&D translate into making a character without magic. And as I have said before that is a big ask for our groups unless we set up good ground rules... in the past we have used no caster (or really limited caster) games but this time this has caused a debate we have not really had before...

1/3 of the group (almost not exact number) says we should run it with no full caster just use artificer, a modified ranger, and the arcane trick and eldritch knight (we have done this before)
just under 1/3 of the group said no lets just go no non casters, reflavor hex blade and bard for fighters (we have done this before as well)
but for the first time some members have asked (that about 1/3 left) Maybe we should just not run it in D&D?

this subset then counter pitched using oWoD rules... have the PCs make mortals and maybe use some of the add on stuff for mortals as 'magic' (so refluff kin, ghoul, and hedge wizard) or if we do it in person maybe TORG (running that on roll20 would be hard with all the cards)

but this finally lead to the question I had hoped 1D&D would put off... "Are we done with D&D?"

so Long and short of it is I don't WANT to be done with D&D... but my group would splinter if we went to older editions (some want 3e and wont play 4e, some want 4e and wont play 3e... all of us old enough to have played liked 2e but will never again do Thac0) BUT going to other systems threatens to do this as well.

So I know we already have a "what do you do to make martials feel better" thread and a "what do you want out of a martial fix" thread... but in this case I am looking for hope and ideas for my group. If we WANT to push D&D more and stay in it, how do we?

Enworld has it's own optional D20 system that is A5E and I have been thinking about it... but that would mean abandoning the best part of useing roll20 (importing) and a sizeable number of us(if not all of us) buying a new book.
People have recommended the new Rokogon book maybe if it is something I could buy as a DM to make adjustments (again if we want to keep with roll20 it has to be VERY compatible)

I made this a (+) thread not to shut down discussion, with 1 exception, please do not come in just to tell me my group is wrong... it doesn't matter if it is in the book or in our heads, WE do not find 5e balanced (not even 1 of us), so we HAVE to do something like no full casters or no non casters just to keep us close.
 

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this is the world I took the idea from I really wanted to mix with spell jammer and some Cthulhu like stuff
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
Thinking of SG1 (more specifically SG: Atlantis) -

a bit ham-fisted but you could have anyone playing the fighter have your campaign's version of the Ancient's gene. So magic items just work "better" for the character. That, plus a few nice specific items can bridge most gaps.

Plus both Sheppard and O'neil are "weirdness magnets," something that in a 5e game can be represented in various ways for the non-caster character(s).
 

a bit ham-fisted but you could have anyone playing the fighter have your campaign's version of the Ancient's gene. So magic items just work "better" for the character. That, plus a few nice specific items can bridge most gaps.
that is cool idea... one of my firends pitched an GOO warlock that way.
Plus both Sheppard and O'neil are "weirdness magnets," something that in a 5e game can be represented in various ways for the non-caster character(s).
I mean thats just PCs right?
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
My first thought for a quick and dirty "Jack" class might be to take the Fighter and the Ranger, mash the best parts of both together, remove the spells, and delete the "defender of nature" fluff.
 


Mort

Legend
Supporter
you know someone suggested a hybrid fighter rogue... maybe this is the answer for now... I will add it to pitch

There's a question. Will a hybrid fighter/rogue (essentially Gestalt character from 3e, with the full benefits of both) be able to keep up with the full casters in ALL 3 tiers of play?

I'm curious to see how that would go.
 

There's a question. Will a hybrid fighter/rogue (essentially Gestalt character from 3e, with the full benefits of both) be able to keep up with the full casters in ALL 3 tiers of play?

I'm curious to see how that would go.
Yeah I expect combat to be short deadly but not often... so the exploration and social and puzzle solving will be more important.
 

Stormonu

Legend
I think in this case the paring down of the skill system may be one of the issues. Jack O'Neil may not have a lot of Knowledge skills like Daniel or Samantha, but he has a fair bit of Insight, Tactics and other military skills that D&D just sort of glosses over. He'd be a good canidate, as you mentioned - as a Fighter/Rogue sort of class, but also Warlord would fit him well. As I recall, you are fond of 4E, and this would be a good excuse to lift that class into 5E and get it working there (and share it here :) ).

If you want to keep with D&D, you might also want to consider slow advancement, and capping leveling at 9th level or so (that's pretty much what I do), and find some other way than the standard D&D levels to keep characters interested in rounding out their characters between leveling and at the level cap. Or, if an older version of the game is more your jam, don't be afraid to go back to it - if everyone pretty much agrees to it. You can retrograde Spelljammer to older versions fairly easily.
 

I think in this case the paring down of the skill system may be one of the issues. Jack O'Neil may not have a lot of Knowledge skills like Daniel or Samantha, but he has a fair bit of Insight, Tactics and other military skills that D&D just sort of glosses over. He'd be a good canidate, as you mentioned - as a Fighter/Rogue sort of class, but also Warlord would fit him well. As I recall, you are fond of 4E, and this would be a good excuse to lift that class into 5E and get it working there (and share it here :) ).
yeah when we played the mongoose press setting i mentioned we had 1 warlord in 1 game and 2 in the other... and several of the players talking about moving on from 5e are saying that is what they would want...

as far as my own homebrew I have general note but nothing really nailed down.

I agree you can do a rogue daniel with history and some social skills as his expertise... sam as a caster and telc as a half caster (just making the tech magic)
If you want to keep with D&D, you might also want to consider slow advancement, and capping leveling at 9th level or so (that's pretty much what I do), and find some other way than the standard D&D levels to keep characters interested in rounding out their characters between leveling and at the level cap. Or, if an older version of the game is more your jam, don't be afraid to go back to it - if everyone pretty much agrees to it. You can retrograde Spelljammer to older versions fairly easily.
 

HammerMan

Legend
you know someone suggested a hybrid fighter rogue... maybe this is the answer for now... I will add it to pitch
Yeah we let someone play a gestalt. She dominated every combat damage wise but still was hit or miss on every other type of encounter.

I would suggest take the bard, remove spell casting THEN gestalt that with fighter.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
Yeah we let someone play a gestalt. She dominated every combat damage wise but still was hit or miss on every other type of encounter.

I would suggest take the bard, remove spell casting THEN gestalt that with fighter.

This makes sense. ALL the classes are very good (in different ways) in combat, so a gestalt non-caster would be even better (only limited by action economy). But outside combat the weak points remain.
 

Yeah we let someone play a gestalt. She dominated every combat damage wise but still was hit or miss on every other type of encounter.

I would suggest take the bard, remove spell casting THEN gestalt that with fighter.
This makes sense. ALL the classes are very good (in different ways) in combat, so a gestalt non-caster would be even better (only limited by action economy). But outside combat the weak points remain.
Yeah giving 1d6 sneak attack per 2 levels AND extra attack seems might be too much.

I sent a text to the group and a gestalt set of noncasters mixed with non gestalt casters may be the middle ground but they want to do a short playtest before a full campaign.

in my worlds for a while I have allowed for 2 subclasses (warlock only gets 2 pact or 2 patreons not both) but only for 1 class. (so a fighter/wizard can be an eldrich knight and battle master and warmage, or can be an eldrich knight and warmage and spell singer, but not 2 subclasses for both) so allowing both to get 1 subclass instead on a gestalt is something we are talking about.

We also are talking about making the casters take the 2014 backgrounds but letting the non casters take the new playtest ones.
 

HammerMan

Legend
Yeah giving 1d6 sneak attack per 2 levels AND extra attack seems might be too much.

I sent a text to the group and a gestalt set of noncasters mixed with non gestalt casters may be the middle ground but they want to do a short playtest before a full campaign.

in my worlds for a while I have allowed for 2 subclasses (warlock only gets 2 pact or 2 patreons not both) but only for 1 class. (so a fighter/wizard can be an eldrich knight and battle master and warmage, or can be an eldrich knight and warmage and spell singer, but not 2 subclasses for both) so allowing both to get 1 subclass instead on a gestalt is something we are talking about.

We also are talking about making the casters take the 2014 backgrounds but letting the non casters take the new playtest ones.
All of that sounds great.
 

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