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Ess' Project Class #10: The Fighter
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Maj
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 9:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Ess' Project Class #10: The Fighter Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

What if you combined Lago's card style idea with a fighter...? Write up "spells" (feats) of certain levels that are comparable in effect (but not flavor text) to spells? Maybe even add some things from the spell lists (like Greater Magic Weapon) to the fighter abilities... Change the flavor text so the effects are non-magical and voila.
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Lago_AM3P
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 3:44 am    Post subject: Re: Ess' Project Class #10: The Fighter Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
What if you combined Lago's card style idea with a fighter...?


Oh, hellfire, Maj, don't use that weird idea. I'm trying to write up some example cards right now and they are extremely, extremely hard to balance.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 5:03 am    Post subject: Re: Ess' Project Class #10: The Fighter Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Ah... yes it is. It's the ultimate answer to the question of open-multiclassing in a leveled system, and not difficult to play with. But designing it from scratch takes a detailed understanding of calculus and the capacity to simultaneously contemplate the entire range of combat states allowable to the third son of the baker, the hydra of the thorn tree, and the sorceress queen of the Svartalfs. And everything in between.

Consider a simplistic set-up:

You have states between opponents, and you have personal states. A between state would be something like Intervening Walls or Distance. Abilities exist to create those between states (Wall of Force, Flight), and abilities exist to destroy them (Teleport, Flight). But more importantly, some abilities allow you to attack enemies in spite of those between states (Voodoo Doll, Archery). A personal state would be something like Shield, where you can't be hurt by Force Effects for no reason and this does not impinge upon you in any way. Or incorporeality, where your attacks still work fine and other peoples' don't.

Before you can write even a single card, you have to decide what all of those states are going to be, and what the range of possible enemy numbers there are. And how many arbitrary attack types there are going to be. And how much, proportionately, someone should have to pay off of one of their cards to bypass a state that would otherwise limit or eliminate the effectiveness of their action.

So it takes a huge investment in mentation before you can even do a single sampler set. And you know what else? It's not really expandable once that's been done, because any new states or energy types you add will completely unbalance the cost/benefit value of all the previously written stuff. The only way you can add things is to either do completely cosmetic new stuff, or to write-up stuff that was implied by the original rubric that just never got a full-text description the first time around.

-Frank
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Neeek
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 6:22 am    Post subject: Re: Ess' Project Class #10: The Fighter Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So you are saying that it'd take a genius(actually, most geniuses couldn't do what you're suggesting) to pull off, and if said genius DID pull it off, it would have to be rebuilt from scratch if you ever wanted to add anything new?

Sounds like a lost cause.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 6:51 am    Post subject: Re: Ess' Project Class #10: The Fighter Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Well... actually it could be parted out to multiple people, and have a group of people who were collectively a genius make it. And it would only have to be reworked from the ground-up if you wanted to add Dark and Steel types and have the overall game be balanced.

If you don't care if it stays balanced, no problem. And if you want to extend it by adding new conjuration cards that summon monsters with different card set-ups as defaults - you can keep adding new cards for a very, very long time.

And if you hand out cards in sets, then with slight reshufflings you could write-up hundreds of trillions of options. All of the options that can be balanced are defined by the initial parameters - but if you can write flavor text to accompany hundreds of trillions of options - it's close enough to infinite as makes no odds.

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I_mongo
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 12:11 am    Post subject: Re: Ess' Project Class #10: The Fighter Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

You could just mash all of the fighting classes together and have abilites that are gained at every odd level (or whenever it seems appropiate).

For exampe, at every odd level, a fighter chooses one ability from this list:

1. Rage

You become a combat machine. The effects of rage depend on your figher level.

Fighter Level 1: Rage 1/day
Fighter Level 4: Rage 2/day
Fighter Level 8: Rage 3/day
Fighter Level 11: Greater Rage
Fighter Level 12: Rage 4/day
Fighter Level 16: Rage 5/day
Fighter Level 17: Tireless Rage
Fighter Level 20: Rage 6/day, Supreme Rage


2. DR

You gain Damage Resistance. You must at least a 5th level fighter to take this ability.

Fighter level 5: DR 1 / -
Fighter level 8: DR 2 / -
Fighter level 11: DR 3 / -
Fighter level 14: DR 4 / -
Fighter level 17: DR 5 / -
Fighter level20: DR 6 / -

3. Natural Born Leader

You gain major and minor auras per the Marshall class (Complete Minatures Handbook, p.13). [Sorry, but I'm too tired to type out the list of benefits.]

Etc. Just choose abilities from a prestige class and turn them into a Fighter class ability. Add a fighter level requirement, if necessary.

mongo
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Essence
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 3:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Ess' Project Class #10: The Fighter Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

OK, Neek:

You may get far less strikes/maneuvers than a caster gets spells, but keep in mind that, like a Warlock's invocations, these are intended to be fully at-will, so you're never going to run out of a particular strike/maneuver.

And yes, the reason I'm not making them fighter-only bonus feats is that I intend even the Least strike/maneuvers to be stronger than any individual feat, by a significant amount.

I don't really have enough material with me to create a full style, but, for example:

(Oh, a side note: Strikes are partial actions; Maneuvers are MEAs to activate or deactivate.)


A Sword and Board Fighter might, for example, have a set of abilities that looked like this:

Least:
Predict attacks (maneuver): You gain an insight bonus to AC equal to one-third your class level. (equates to Shield of Faith)
Shield batter (strike, requires: shield): You strike a foe with your shield, dealing 1d6+Strength+1/2 class level damage and forcing your foe 10' backwards unless he succeeds at a Reflex save (10+1/2 char level+Str). (Roughly equivalent to Forcewave)
Shield Optimization (maneuver, requires: shield) Your expertise with the shield grants you 50% concealment, giving you a 20% miss chance. (just like Blur)

Lesser:
Batter Back (maneuver, requires: shield, the Shield Batter strike) Whenever a foe attacks you and hits, you may make a Shield Batter attack at him as an attack of opportunity. (akin to Fire Shield, with less damage but a knockback effect)
Stopping Power (maneuver, requires: Shield, Dex 13+) You are trained to dramatically lessen the impact of blows against you by maneuvering your shield across the path of the blow. You gain Damage Reduction equal to one-half your class level. (akin to Stoneskin, but without the 150 HP limit, so reduced in effectiveness).
Shield Master (special): This is not a maneuver or a strike. Rather, by taking this ability, the Fighter gains an enhancement bonus to his shield's AC, attack rolls, and damage rolls equal to +1 per four character levels. This enhancement bonus is not considered a magical effect, and it cannot be dispelled -- it originates in the Fighter's absolute mastery of his shield, which nothing can take away from him.

Greater:
Swashing (strike, requires: shield): You spend a moment striking your weapon upon your shield and generally making a ruckus, shouting encouragement and instructions to your allies and berating your foes. Your allies gain a morale bonus to attack rolls and AC equal to one-quarter your class level, and your foes suffer a the same morale penalty to saving throws and damage rolls. Both of these effects remain for the rest of the combat. (Roughly like Recitation.)
Block Lesser Magic (maneuver, requires: shield) Your proficiency with the shield has become so great that even magic halts itself at it's face. Any spell effect of 4th level or lower that attempts to affect you or enter the space you occupy simply fails, though any effects it has outside your space still function normally. (Globe of Invulnerability).
Defensive Brilliance (maneuver) You gain the ability to effectively use the most subtle advantages of your environment, weapons, clothing, friends, and body to your defensive advantage. You gain a +10 armor bonus to AC even with just your skivvies to protect you. (Ectoplasmic Armor)

Supreme:
Turn Magic (strike, requires: shield, Block Lesser Magic) You take a moment to focus your defensive efforts on any spellcasters you are facing. This strike acts just like spell turning, except that it is an extraordinary effect.
One with the Shield (maneuver, requires: shield) Your shield is everywhere, and you are it. You gain benefits as though you were made of the same battleready iron that your shield is. You gain damage reduction 15/adamantine. You are immune to blindness, critical hits, ability score damage, deafness, disease, drowning, electricity, poison, stunning, and all spells or attacks that affect your physiology or respiration, because you have no physiology or respiration while this maneuver is in effect. Finally, you take only half damage from acid and fire of all kinds. (Iron Body)
Stand Firm (strike) You spend a moment bracing yourself against whatever may occur in the next few seconds. Until the beginning of your next turn, you are unaffected by any effects, harmful or helpful, whether they are already in place over your body or just being applied, excluding this one. You are immune to attacks of any form, and you cannot take damage of any type from any source. (Timeless Body)


Thatís an example of the kinds of powers Iím talking about. What do you think?


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RandomCasualty
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 9:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Ess' Project Class #10: The Fighter Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Essence wrote:

Thatís an example of the kinds of powers Iím talking about. What do you think?


Well, some of the early ones are really cool, others I think are a bit overpowered.

Swashing sounds very powerful, a +5 to attack and AC for all allies and a -5 to damage and saves for all foes, without a save. That's more or less too good IMO.

One with the shield is pretty crazy too, I don't know if it's a good idea for someone to run around with a permanent iron body, because for a fighter there's no drawbacks. You don't have any 50% arcane spell failure or anything.

Stand firm is just pretty much crazy too, though that's because timeless body is crazy. If you want an ability like that, make sure it takes up a full action plus the swift action, to ensure that nobody can abuse it. Otherwise all you need is something to fire quickened attacks, then you just sit there, using that every round and using quickened stuff.
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Neeek
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 10:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Ess' Project Class #10: The Fighter Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I disagree. They are not too powerful. They are COMPETITIVE with full casters. Honestly, even with that sort of thing, I'm not sure Fighters aren't still too weak, afterall, these aren't changable once selected. Of course, the full list would have to be available to determine the overall power level anyway.

Looks good as far as conceptually goes. Might be a pain to implement, though.

If I understand correctly, Defensive Brilliance, Predict Attacks and Stand Firm would be available to *any* fighting style, correct? I understand that these might change, I'm just trying to determine whether or not you intend to have some "vanilla" powers, and some "style specific" powers. Either way is fine, though it seems to me that this REALLY forces fighters into a single style of fighting, more than WF/WS/GWF/GWS ever did.
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RandomCasualty
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 3:36 am    Post subject: Re: Ess' Project Class #10: The Fighter Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Neeek wrote:
I disagree. They are not too powerful. They are COMPETITIVE with full casters. Honestly, even with that sort of thing, I'm not sure Fighters aren't still too weak, afterall, these aren't changable once selected. Of course, the full list would have to be available to determine the overall power level anyway.


Well it really depends on how powerful you want casters to be. The problem is that when we refer to a "caster" for the purposes of balance nobody is quite sure what we're talking about, because a caster can be anything from the Wish and the Word to something fairly mundane.

And if you're playing with the Wish and the Word, then this fighter type is still severely underpowered, and pretty much nothing short of an "I win, you lose(Ex):" ability is going to make a difference.

It's tough dealing wtih a fighter because first you've really got to figure out what kinds of things you want your casters doing. Trying to compare fighters to casters is pretty much a lost cause until we've nerfed casters down to a point where they don't have a "win D&D" ability that makes all comparisons moot. Because really you can make a fighter type more powerful and powerful but some chump is still going to be able to wave the Wish and the WOrd past you and make you look like crap.

All I can compare now is against creatures of equal CR. And it seems that the abilities give this fighter a significant advantage over them.

Create a fighter type that's competetive against monsters then balance casters around him, not the other way around.
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MrWaeseL
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:07 am    Post subject: Re: Ess' Project Class #10: The Fighter Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Abilities that copy spells may need to have counters, so that blur example would be defeated by True Seeing.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:11 am    Post subject: Re: Ess' Project Class #10: The Fighter Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Am I the only person who finds spell counters to entire branches of magical thought to be a really shitty idea? The whole thing where one spell - True Seeing - can make an Illusionist cry, is crap. The whole thig where one spell - Protection From Evil - can make an Enchanter cry is crap too. The branches of magic are supposed to be big, and having single spells that invalidate them undermines everything.

-Frank
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MrWaeseL
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:21 am    Post subject: Re: Ess' Project Class #10: The Fighter Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
Am I the only person who finds spell counters to entire branches of magical thought to be a really shitty idea? The whole thing where one spell - True Seeing - can make an Illusionist cry, is crap. The whole thig where one spell - Protection From Evil - can make an Enchanter cry is crap too. The branches of magic are supposed to be big, and having single spells that invalidate them undermines everything.

-Frank


I sorta agree, but IMO you need to be consistent. If Blur is countered by True Seeing, then a fighter ability that mimics Blur should be countered as well.
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Neeek
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:50 am    Post subject: Re: Ess' Project Class #10: The Fighter Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

MrWaeseL wrote:

I sorta agree, but IMO you need to be consistent. If Blur is countered by True Seeing, then a fighter ability that mimics Blur should be countered as well.


Why is that? If the fighter is just moving really fast, then True Seeing would just see him moving really fast. It doesn't negate concealment, so if a fighter was just REALLY good with his shield, True Seeing would have no effect.
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RandomCasualty
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 11:50 am    Post subject: Re: Ess' Project Class #10: The Fighter Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm alright with the fighter having abilities that aren't removed by magic, in fact that's probably the direction we should be going with the fighter. Instead of trying to hand him a bunch of high level spells, he can just have low level spell effects which can't be countered.

And low level spells can be quite powerful too. Stuff like blur or displacement give powerful advantages, and I think it'd be ok to have fighters be able to get a 50% miss chance or something because they're that good with a shield.
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Essence
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2005 12:24 am    Post subject: Re: Ess' Project Class #10: The Fighter Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Neek wrote:
Defensive Brilliance, Predict Attacks and Stand Firm would be available to *any* fighting style, correct?


There was never an intention to break the powers up into specific "styles" that Fighters were forced to choose between. The only requirements for a Fighter to choose a particular ability are listed under that ability's name. And having access to abilities of that rank, of course.
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Neeek
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2005 12:38 am    Post subject: Re: Ess' Project Class #10: The Fighter Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Essence wrote:
Neek wrote:
Defensive Brilliance, Predict Attacks and Stand Firm would be available to *any* fighting style, correct?


There was never an intention to break the powers up into specific "styles" that Fighters were forced to choose between. The only requirements for a Fighter to choose a particular ability are listed under that ability's name. And having access to abilities of that rank, of course.


Hmm. It just seems to me that once you have a power that requires "unarmed" then taking anything that requires "2 handed weapon" is probably going to make your character worse in the long run, thus forcing fighters into choosing *now* how they are going to fight 8 levels from now.

Does that sound right to you or am I missing something?
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2005 12:56 am    Post subject: Re: Ess' Project Class #10: The Fighter Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List


Neeek wrote:
Hmm. It just seems to me that once you have a power that requires "unarmed" then taking anything that requires "2 handed weapon" is probably going to make your character worse in the long run, thus forcing fighters into choosing *now* how they are going to fight 8 levels from now.

Does that sound right to you or am I missing something?

That's certainly how it looks to me. If you walk in there with three stackable Blue abilities, the ability to "choose" between a new Blue ability and a new Red ability isn't even a choice. It's just a question of whether you want to suck.

There's a certain room for taking a Bow-based strike, an Unarmed-based strike and a Sword&Board-based strike, but there's no point at all in getting any of those passive abitities that don't apply to the thing you got strikes in - or vice versa.

-Frank
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Neeek
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2005 3:25 am    Post subject: Re: Ess' Project Class #10: The Fighter Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Of course, all that means is you would want to create as many "vanilla" powers as possible, and have maybe 1 per style per power level of the style specifics.
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Essence
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2005 5:23 am    Post subject: Re: Ess' Project Class #10: The Fighter Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

And/or allow Fighters to trade out powers as they level.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2005 7:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Ess' Project Class #10: The Fighter Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I had a similar idea a while ago for a Wuxia style game, which involved putting fighters on a slot based system. In fact, the idea was to ditch distinct classes altogether. There would be only one class, which had a slot-progression (similar to a standard caster in DND).

Every attack you can make (even a normal sword swing) is an ability which uses a slot (of a certain level). You learn abilities as a wizard learns spells, by spending time (and possibly money), but use them spontaneously as a sorceror casts spells. Buffs are free-action activates and are always active, but permanently consume a slot while active. Debuffs are usually tied to attacks and have a duration. All abiliities scale with character level, so 0th level slots are still commonly used at high level. Slot regeneration requires an action...call it "refocusing" or whatnot...this is the lull in a duel when the two combatants sling insults at each other...they're regenerating ability slots. Smile

To make the whole mess easier to balance, abilities are tied to styles (and possibly substyles, like stances...that might be too complicated). That way, you can design an infinite number of fighting styles that have various combinations of abilities, etc, but abilities in one style can't be used in conjunction with another style. Switching styles would be some kind of action. Balancing only requires that you make sure your style's internal combinations are on the same power level as another style.

Anyway, it turned out to be too time intensive to develop, so I haven't done any work on it...but I'll throw it up here as a sacrificial lamb.

Frank, go ahead and rip it to shreds. Sick
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User3
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2005 11:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Ess' Project Class #10: The Fighter Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

In continuation, an example...not at all refined, but I think illustrative of what I mean.

Activating a strike is a standard action, guards are free-actions in response to attacks, buffs are free-actions at any time. Certain abilities link to other abilities; after the first ability is executed, you may activate the second ability as a free action. This is a combination, requiring a full-round action.

Berserker style:
0th level abilities:
Wildling Gear[Buff]: Gain proficiency with light armor, medium armor, and martial melee or thrown weapons.
Charge [Strike]: As the PHB manuver, less the attack at the end. Links to: Any other strike.
Wild Swing [Strike]: Make a single melee attack against a single target with a two-handed weapon or a one-handed weapon wielded in two hands. Add two times your strength bonus to damage instead of the usual amount. Links to: Cleave or Power Attack
There is No Pain [Guard]: Gain (5+level) temporary hitpoints, which last until your next action.

1st level abilities:
Endurance [Buff]: Gain a +6 enhancement bonus to Constitution.
Berserk Rage [Buff]: Gain a +(4 + 1/3* level) enhancement bonus to Constitution and Strength, and a -2 penalty to AC. You are fatigued for one minute after this effect ends. While this is active, you take 1 point of damage per round, on your turn.
Cleave [Strike]: Make single melee attacks against enemies in (2 + 1/5 level) continuous, adjacent squares. Only one hit may be scored, and only one attack may be made against each enemy. Links to: Whirlwind
Power Attack [Strike]: Make a single melee attack against a single target with a two-handed weapon or a one-handed weapon. Subtract a number up to your level from the attack roll, and add twice that amount to damage. Links to: Knockdown Blow or Bull Rush

And so on and so forth...
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