Threshold d20 Review: Archetypes Part 2

Also responding to John’s post “In Response…” (the second half, regarding archetypes).

“This may seem harsh…”

Ah good, a mature response.  I’ve been told I can be a trifle harsh (“you just told him his baby is ugly!”  “it’s got three eyes and two noses, I think that qualifies” – during a particular code review I was part of) so I figured I’d try to soften it a little.

I find the same thing you do – as long as it’s treated respectfully (where the definition of ‘respectful’ can vary quite a bit by audience; I’m a member of a forum where conversation might be described as ‘very robust’ (and by some as downright rude or vulgar), but I have to admit that the lack of formality is refreshing) I’m quite okay with people pointing out flaws in my reasoning or design, especially if they can suggest ways to improve the product.  That’s why I look for feedback; as gratifying as “this looks good” can be, a reasoned negative response helps me find and fix flaws in my work.

Regarding the Archetypes Section

Ah, this is more an analysis exercise than a design exercise.  That explains much.  I’ll leave off examination of this section for now then.

Actually, I think the feedback and suggestions in my review of the Talents section may be more useful than my response to the Archetypes section because most of my issues in the Archetypes section stem from issues I see in the Talent definitions and Talent list.



  1. GreyKnight

    All this talk of archetypes made me decide it might be a good idea to draw up some generic fantasy characters like these (4/11 so far). Had a bit of trouble with the fighter, since WRPS is oriented around building specific characters rather than generic ones, so I went with a Warlord/General theme for him which I think worked nicely. An advantage is that it gets a lot of actual concrete skills/traits/powers down on paper (or pixels as the case may be). I’m finding it to be a good driving force for getting things done, I highly recommend it.

    I see you’ve already got a plan to model D&D in Echelon, how goes that? I guess you are going to try and reproduce (approximately) the specific archetype implementations used in D&D? And hopefully the wizard will require more talent slots to do so than the fighter. :-)

    Incidentally, I’ve done another Echelon character, hopefully it is correct? I guessed in a few places (SLAs etc) based on my understanding of what you’re driving at. Do you think the natural weapon is worth a Basic talent? If so I can cut out one of the skill talents to fit it in.

  2. GreyKnight

    Scratch that last part, I made some changes based on an old post of yours to give some specific racial talents, and included the natural weapons. I proposed a talent approach for racial skills; you’d touched on it briefly here but I don’t know that the exact bonuses were ever clarified.

  3. On the face of it, your faerie appears to be pretty consistent with an earlier version, though the ability scores look a little high. I’ve since recalibrated the levels (you’re still correct for top-end Heroic, but that’s 12th level now — level bonus is +6 instead of +4, and with Con 11 and BAB +6 you’d have 66 hit points).

    At this point I’d mark any inconsistencies down to inadequate or incomplete information on my part. You seem to understand how this works, it’s the information that’s incomplete. Hopefully I’ll be fixing that at soon….

  4. GreyKnight

    Okay, will try to correct for that when I get home. I’ve tried to keep up-to-date with the rule changes, but I guess that website will make it easier when it’s done!

    I would be interested to see an actual example game run once things are suitably ready. I suppose just a simple dungeon crawl is your best bet, don’t want to get too bogged down in designing a setting and plot if you’re testing a new system. Goal artifact at the end of the dungeon can be the Book of Echelon. :^)

    Regarding racial talents: while reading that post about the Babau I thought that rather than having fixed racial stuff perhaps it would be appropriate to have a table of possible demonic talents and let each individual demon pick ones “a la carte”. You don’t really need there to be regular species, and in fact it’d be in-character for demons to be pieced together in all sorts of different ways. Works for aberrations as well. Reminds me of an option-laden template Violist and I came up with as a replacement for WotC’s pseudonatural creature. Speaking of Violist, have you seen him lately? I was trying to get ahold of him for something but no luck.

  5. It was the later contradictions and updates (and having to look stuff up myself) that convinced me I needed to get a ‘living document’ showing the current state of the system. I’ll still be posting here as I think things through (and expect to leave the older posts present).

    I’m actually working up a campaign (as time allows) to test with, since this isn’t entirely a dungeon crawl rule set.

    I expect to go both ways with racial talents. I think the core racial abilities can be best done as capstone talents, with specific abilities coming from other talents. Thus, a succubus (RSRD CR 7, high-heroic opponent) might have the ‘expert demon’ capstone talent — I could easily be talked into making it a CR8 monster instead and have it have ‘heroic demon’ capstone talent — and specific talents based around seduction and deception.

    The _Infernum_ rules from Mongoose does pretty much exactly this. There are numerous series of demonic powers (following various themes and related powers). Various demonic (and other) classes grant access to these powers, and demons can take them in addition (much as RSRD classes might give access to feats, and characters can take additional feats outside the classes). I expect to mine this fairly heavily when I get to this part….

  6. GreyKnight

    Okay, adjusted to fit the new tier definitions. I assume HP is now (Constitution * BAB)? Last note I saw had it at (Constitution + BAB*(6+mCon)).

    I’ve just used “+1 all abilities” as the capstone for each tier since I’m not sure how powerful they should be. You mentioned they would be a good place to fit vulnerabilities and things so perhaps can work in cold iron vulnerability somehow; something which is currently conspicuously absent!

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