Old Site Materials

Update March 6, 2011: I’ve incorporated as much material as I’m likely to from the old site.  It looks like the articles I’d posted to my old site have been migrated (look early in the archive, around 2003-2006), most of the rules documents I was putting together have as well.  The remainder was mostly works in progress or otherwise no longer meaningful.  I’m dropping the ‘/oldsite/’ directory here.

I’ve just copied all RPG materials from my old site (http://www.kjdavies.org/, before it got replaced with a WordPress site) to this server, under /oldsite/. Over time I’ll do a better job integrating it, but for now this will make the material available.

As things get better integrated, they will be removed from this area.

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  1. You’re on the right track with Devri Vannalat. Ability scores look to be 27-25-23 (with the floating +2 and the tier capstone). Saves are off (Reflex should be +2, you still get the level bonus, and Great Fortitude gives another +2 that hasn’t been accounted for — but isn’t a Basic talent, I think). Too many talent slots used, the table changed; you’ve already mentioned that. I’d want to look again at the Smite (Fire) — I’m okay with the ability, I’m not sure the bonus damage is right. I think Thread Focus started at Expert rather than Basic, so Basic Thread Focus (Detection) might not be valid.

    Overall it looks like you have the right idea, though. I’d need to look at the details of what I’ve written to really comment in depth.

  2. The description of Great Fortitude you gave earlier allowed it at Basic, did it change?

    I’ll probably take out the “Smite Fire” thing while adjusting Devri to the new slot table anyway, it’s kinda superfluous. I updated the slot table on the assumption that the pattern was (2, 3, 5, 6, 6, 6, 6, …) rather than (2, 3, 5, 6, 5, 5, 5, …) like in the article (typo?).

    Thread Focus I’d fiddled with ever so slightly, was meaning to suggest it to you; since Expert starts off giving you L2 spells, I thought maybe Basic could give you L1? Although the spell-slot table only allows XL0 characters cantrips/orisons, so maybe that’s just silly. On a related note, I put down an arcane and divine Caster Training because your original article seemed to talk more about wizards; I wasn’t sure if that was intentional or not.

    There are a few other bits where I’m not 100% on your meaning from the articles, but hopefully I remembered to label them all.

    The saves thing was just me failing at arithmetic, needless to say.

  3. Ah, *Basic* smite is +1d6 damage, okay. I was pretty sure I’d made it +2d6 per tier, for the ‘real tiers’ (of the time).

    Whoops, I sit corrected. Basic Great Fortitude was +2 to saves, Expert was +2 to saves *and* abilities of the Endurance and Diehard feats.

    The pattern is 2, 3, 5, 6, 5, 5, …; I wanted to have each level provide more than the one before. +2 slots of the new tier (but lose one of the previous tier), +1 slot and +1 level bonus, +2 slots, +1 slots and +1 level bonus and +1 capstone bonus to all ability scores does do this, I think.

    “+2 B – 1 A < +1 B + 1 LB < +2 B < +1 B + 1 LB + 1 CS" isn't too hard to justify, I think. I'll be adjusting spell casting a little, to be honest. I'm pretty sure cantrips will no longer be limited in uses per day. I'll consider the Basic Focus granting first-level spells, it gives a person a reason to take it. I don't plan to differentiate between 'divine' spells and 'arcane' spells; both can call on spirits and gods and whatnot. 'Divine Powers' are mostly handled through the domain talents rather than spell casting; you can have divine casters who know spells, but it is not necessary in either direction.

  4. Devri looks fairly comparable between the two versions, I think. Not exactly the same, of course, but comparable. Note that each of the skill talents you’ve taken will bring some baggage beyond the +5 to checks, though I might not have defined it in all cases. The Craft skills, you can make better-than-normal items of those types.

    You’ve got him with Caster Training +1; he can cast orisons and first-level spells (cantrips/orisons, and first-level Ice spells), at caster level 3.

    On examination I thought he looked a little light, but I see you’re quite a bit heavier on skills than I would otherwise expect. You could gain back three Expert slots if you trade back the skill talents — this would let you get your caster level back up (improved caster training), a bit better attack bonus (martial training), and access to another thread — if you wanted to get closer to druid behavior.

    OTOH, you might instead take wildshape; even at Expert tier it can probably be useful, though I haven’t finished defining it.

    Overall, I like it. Have you got D&D 3.x stats as a baseline?

  5. Insofar as there’s a baseline for these characters, it’s their description paragraphs. I should probably clarify what this intersystem test is intended to show: I want to see to what extent I can take a given character concept and produce something in each of the three systems that matches it. So it’s not so much that I’m trying to produce the same mechanics as such. In fact, given that WRPS varies quite a bit mechanically from the other two, that’ll probably be impossible.

    So far, the Echelon version of Devri is the closest to the concept; the Pathfinder one has better casting, BAB, and has wildshape and suchlike, but only because those are part of the baggage of being a druid (the closest class I could find). This is one of the things I like about Echelon; you don’t have all these things tied together, so you can take one without the other. Also you can have druids with a non-woodland theme (pet peeve).

    The skill-heaviness was on purpose, as he’s an adventurer-with-day-job. Having said all that, I did end up eliminating Craft(ivorywork) in favour of +1 caster level, since while there’s no actual shape ice spell in the core list, if there were I guess it might be an L2 spell, so may as well open those up. I guess creative use of create water and ray of frost could manage something, mind you.

    I think that’s him sorted, so will do Amren-ja next. She has a cohort, so two characters for the price of one! I suppose the Leadership feat would be a good candidate for a talent (there’s subject matter for a new post, if you like!), and of course the Mounted Combat chain is pretty self-explanatory.

  6. Ah, initially I’d only seen the actual characters, not their descriptions. I figured that if you were working on characters derived from D&D, to compare how these other d20 variants compared, you’d have D&D characters as a baseline. I misunderstood.

    Nice to know Echelon fits well.

    Wow, Delton’s going to be a bitch in most systems. Echelon’s not ready for him, though it should be relatively easy to graft in what’s needed.

  7. scale mail armor has a base armor bonus of +6. Dex 17 gives +3 more, Armor Focus as written in your writeup (I forget if I’d done one, frankly) would be +2 more. This gives a total of +11, for an AC of 21.

    According to the article you linked

    • Active Armor Class = 10 + level bonus + martial training bonus + ability score modifier + armor bonus + natural armor bonus, and is used when not helpless.
    • Passive Armor Class = 5 + armor bonus + natural armor bonus, is used when helpless, allows sneak attacks and coup de grace attacks.
    • Combat disadvantage causes a -2 penalty (possibly more than once for more than one disadvantage) and allows sneak attack against the target, but applies only to Active Armor Class. When using Passive Armor Class combat disadvantage is meaningless because the target cannot react.
    • ‘Touch Attacks’ from spells are resolved as normal attacks but may use the Caster Training Bonus in place of the Martial Training Bonus (but are not required to).
    • Armor provides a bonus to Reflex saves (+2 for medium armor, +4 for heavy armor).

    So, AC 21 against most things, 16 when helpless, 19 if someone has combat advantage (or advantaged character gets +2, more likely — and usually easier). Touch attacks are mostly gone; casters with spells resolved as touch attacks get to use caster level instead of BAB. Also, +2 to Reflex saves from the inherent cover, so saves would now be +5/+10/+7 (I need to review Iron Will).

    Talents that give straight bonuses are under review. I find them really boring, I’d rather see something qualitative than quantitative… but that’s another issue entirely.

  8. Oops, my mistake. She’s got +9 for BAB (not +4 for level bonus), +6 for armor, +3 for Dex, +2 for Armor Focus. This comes to a total of +20, for an AC of 30 (AC 28 if we lose Armor Focus, which I would recommend — originally it was written to add the martial training bonus, which now gets folded in automatically. I think; I really need to review my notes).

    If she were attacking herself, she’d have a BAB of +9 and Strength bonus of +2, for a total of +11. Yes, she’s getting hit fairly infrequently, but I’m okay with that — armor stays relevant, which doesn’t happen in RAW D&D 3.x (where she’d have an AC of 10+6+3 = 19, and get hit by herself rather more than half the time in spite of decent armor!).

    This is by design. The design may be broken, but this is how I intended it to work out.

  9. GreyKnight

    Scale mail is +4 armour normally, the +6 already includes the Armour Focus bonus. But I reran your demonstration and your conclusions still hold: she can hit her “shadow-self” at about the same competence regardless of level. So looks like you’re right! I guess I’m just used to D&D-style AC and so it looked strange to me.

    And, yes, I included Delton as a deliberate stress-test. Pathfinder is going to have immense trouble; I don’t even know what creature type to assign him, never mind anything else. Maybe Elemental or Outsider.

    Anyway, I got a WRPS version of Amren-ja in place, so onward and upward I guess!

  10. Man, I suck at memory today. I didn’t even look up the scale mail, I just went “+6? Yeah, sounds like the top end of medium armor” and moved on.

    Armor has a more or less static effect as you level. The ‘wizard’ (lowest BAB progression) will eventually be able to overcome a mook in full plate (at ‘Wiz20’ he’ll have a +10 BAB, enough to get past a normal person in full plate reliably), but he’ll have issues getting past the tanked-out ‘Ftr20’ (BAB +20 and probably high Strength)… though between ‘touch attack spells’ (using Int or Dex + caster level) and spells without attack rolls at all, using saves instead, he should be fine.

  11. And yes, the AC calculations don’t look the same as in D&D. Again, entirely on purpose. In D&D 3.x armor eventually becomes more or less useless, and there are a bunch of hacks in place to try to keep it in use… even though at high level it’s more of an impediment than a benefit. One of my peeves, to be honest, and if you check the history of RGFD you’ll see me take a few runs at keeping armor relevant.

  12. GreyKnight

    Well, I got the WRPS version of Delton. I’m intending to do an Echelon version next to help me figure out what to put in the base creature type of the Pathfinder version, since that’ll be the main pain in the neck. His WRPS character point total is about the same as that of Amren-ja, so on that basis I’m going to say he should finish up around a level 9 character.

    Any thoughts? Vulnerabilities/weaknesses (such as antimagic vulnerability) seem like the hardest part; I’m not clear how to handle this in Echelon.

  13. Jimlock

    Hello from Greece!

    Nice work on the new site by the way…

    I was looking for a feat under the name “Spellcaster” which featured on your old site (its the one that allows a character to gain one caster level for all purposes, including spells per day).
    Thing is i couldn’t find it on the new site.
    Does it still exist, or have you removed it completely?

    Thanks in advance.

  14. Hi Jimlock. Thanks for bringing this to my attention, it looks like I did miss a few things from my old site — I got the articles I wanted to keep, but evidently missed some of the stuff buried in the reference section. I’ll look into getting that other material up here soon.

    In the meantime, the feat you’re looking for:

    Spellcaster [Magic]

    You have developed better spellcasting ability.

    Benefit You gain one caster level for all purposes (including spell slots per day), to a maximum caster level equal to your Hit Dice.

    Special This feat may be taken multiple times. Its effects stack.

    If you take this feat and would end up with a caster level higher than your Hit Dice, the remainder is banked for later use. For example, if a halfcaster takes this feat at first level (and would end up with a theoretical “1.5 caster levels”, capped by his Hit Dice at 1), when he takes a second level of a halfcaster class the remainder gets used (giving him two caster levels when he’s got two Hit Dice).

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