Monday, October 19, 2015

Fendojon Part 2: Character Creation and Classes

So the next step is to talk a little about character creation and such.

I have a strong fondness for everyone starting out the same, so as has been typical for many of my campaigns, this one will use the point buy system for ability scores. Additionally, normally a character's ability scores cap at 20. I don't like that. If a race is innately stronger or faster than humans, which are the baseline, they should have a higher cap on that particular ability. So I'm going to rule that the cap on ability score is 22 if a race has a bonus on that ability score. So a human that puts one of his +1s towards Strength will have a max of 22 in Strength.

Because of my love of equality, everyone will use static hit point gains modified by their Constitution score as they level up.

I like the backgrounds of 5th Edition. It's a really neat way of tying RP and character story into the process of character creation. I think they're a little limited though, so I may expand on some of them a bit. We'll see. Part of me also wants to institute a flaw system similar to what I did in my Pathfinder campaign. Something along the lines of if you take a flaw, you gain proficiency in one weapon, one armor, one skill, or one tool. If you take a two flaws, you may gain a feat at first level. I'm not sure. With the main race being human, giving out extra proficiency options and feats may be overkill. I'm not sure. We'll see. If I do end up instituting a flaw system if will follow the design guidelines of previous editions: flaws impart a penalty that cannot be overcome simply by taking a feat. For instance, in 3.5 there were flaws that gave a -3 to your saving throws, or maybe it was -4. I forget. Regardless, you couldn't just solve the penalty by taking Iron Will or the other two feats to bump saving throws because they only offered a +2.

Leveling will session/story based advancement. The more goals the players have and the more of them that they achieve, the more leveling they do. The caveat to that is that there must be an element to a challenge that they overcome. If there is no element of risk and no expenditure of their resources, they don't advance as quickly. This doesn't mean they don't find loot or gain other rewards for the time they spend doing stuff, it just means they're not really learning enough from their challenges to justify the sometimes sizable power increases that come from leveling up.

Classes will need a bit of modification. Since this is primarily a faux-European setting, Monks have no real place among the classes, so they are unfortunately out unless a player can significantly reflavor them through an explanation of their background. Monks are way too magical and unique and eastern martial artist flavored to be justified by saying your character just likes punching things. If someone really likes the concept of punching dudes into submission, I can happily create a brawler type archetype for Fighters or Barbarians.

Since there are no gods in this campaign, Cleric and Paladin are obviously out. Neither can be reflavored sufficiently to divorce them from the core concept of them being enslaved to deities. Rangers will remain an option, but they'll do so without spells. I have mixed thoughts about Druids, but they are likely to remain with a bit of reflavoring and modified mechanics to make them more Wizard-like. Bards are likely to be removed. Sorcerers will be completely removed, as there are no races that are innately magical due to some magical creature being an ancestor.

The Eldritch Knight and Arcane Trickster archetypes will need to be reworked a bit to more resemble the Wizard class. Right now they work more like Sorcerers with limited amounts of spells known and no spellbooks and that sort of thing. If I keep the Druid and the Bard, they'll need to have similar changes made to them. If I do keep the Bard and Druid, they'll be more akin to specialty Wizards than anything else. If I could conceive of a way to condense them both down into Wizard archetypes, I would, but I'm not sure that is feasible.

Warlock is a class that at one time existed, the Sorcerer Kings were actually Warlocks. But there are currently no Warlocks on Fendojon. Characters are not banned from taking levels in such a class, but they will need to first find one of the Numen and enter into a pact with them for power before they can do so, so it will be more of a mid to late game class than a starting class. It will also have been modified to be the most powerful magic using class in the game. Hehe.

I also intend on using the spell point system outlined in the DMG for magic using classes, rather than the standard spell slot system found in the DMG.

The class that will be most significantly altered will be the Wizard. But I'll elaborate on that in the near future when I talk about magic a little bit more in depth.

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