View Full Version : Known and Lost Worlds

Engineer Doramos
01-31-2008, 07:43 AM
I'm dying to DM something again, so since people havent show much interest in Fading Suns, I thought I'd try somewhat more familiar grounds. I'm by the South El stop on the Purple Line. I'm also more than happy to join an existing group if they feel like giving an old school dm with 26 or so years experience a chance.

I have a fantasy setting I have been working on since 1990 or so, its current name is Morterth. I decided to adapt it again to d20 rules, and came up with homebrew rules that I think are really cool. It is designed to be low magic in the sense that magic creatures and items do not abound. Spellcasters will be more common, but they tend to be secretive about their natures. The world is a cross between late middle ages and early renaissance europe with some other cultural influences thrown in. Gunpowder is a secret more carefully guarded than magic, so players will not have access to it, though they might come across a musket or something later on. Alignments have been replaced with Tendencies. You begin with no Tendencies, but with the appropriate actions, the DM will give up to five points in a direction on the old alignment compass: good, evil, law, chaos, and you can even gain points in balance. These tendencies affect alignment-related spells as well as divine spellcasting, npc reactions, and more. You can also gain Fame or Infame points, which go to a bonus of five as well, and these influence social skills. I also radically changed the magic system, in order to keep the mood of the setting intact. The only classes that remain from the PHB are Barbarian, Fighter, and Rogue. Wizard, Sorcerer, and even classes like Ranger and Monk are replaced by four base magic classes with several sub classes to them (Mage, Faithful, Trickster, and Holy Warrior). Each sub class has its own spell list, so a Mage Elementalist would learn elemental-related spells, like fireball and call lightning, and even fly; while a Faithful of a particular deity would have only spells that would make sense for that diety. Furthermore, magic has been changed a bit to be spontaneous, based on points instead of spells per day, and while a character in this system has less on-the-spot power, I have added a meditation skill and other ways to regain magic points during downtimes so that a caster can regain some energy and thus have more of a dynamic flow of spells. Spells can be learned when they are found during adventure if they are of the right subclass and class, otherwise, a character learns a few new spells upon levelup in a spellcasting class. I also did away with armor-induced arcane spell failure.

Players would begin with basic equipment (no miscellaneous items 50 gp or over, no masterwork arms or armor except where allowed here, and no alchemical items unless noted otherwise here), at level five, and no magic items. Fighters and Holy Warriors can have two masterwork items, arms and armor only. Rogues and Tricksters can have one masterwork weapon or armor, and have up to three expensive tools (50-200 gp value). Barbarians can have one masterwork weapon. Mages and Faithful can have up to three expensive tools, including alchemical items. Horses are restricted to the use of the upper class, so you need a feat to purchase one. This feat also makes you upper class, so the sky is the limit for mundane gear then.

I've played whole campaigns in this setting, so I'm pretty handy with the background details. I'm generally pretty flexible on how people roleplay, I can have fun either way, but I always like to keep the action or plot going whether its roleplaying or out of character talk. I liked Terry's rules for rolling, so I'll repeat them here: roll three sets of stats using 4d6, dropping the lowest die, then choose one of the sets, no mixing of numbers between the sets. For hitpoints, if you roll under average hitpoints, you may take the average instead. I am only using the 3.5 PHB and my own rules for character generation. If you have a prestige class you'd like to try, and it has no magic to it, feel free to ask. If you want to play a magic using class of any sort, just ask me and I can email you the information. If there is interest in this, I will put up a website on the world soon. I can't really post all the info I have on the world here since just the special classes skills and feats is a 26 page document.

I currently have a few leads for players, but I know more people at this point wouldn't hurt.

To illustrate, I made some level five characters. You can get more customized, but I thought I'd make some that mirrored the bard and cleric classes. Mages are the best spellcasters, for instance spellwise: a mage at this level would have 2 3rd level spells whereas a faithful only has 2nd level spells at that point. However, there are other advantages and disadvantages to both that I think make them work. I really tried to get a balance of power between the classes, and still keep the theme and feel of the setting I have.

Level 5 bard-type trickster (psychic path)

Str 12 Dex 16 Con 11 Int 13 Wis 14 Cha 17(+1 4th)

Charismatic Power - 1st, human bonus (this is a feat which only psychic paths can use, it replaces int with cha in regards to casting spells, available only at level 1)
Fascinate - 1st, level one feat (bardic feat - each path, divine or arcane, has bardic feats available - your prerequisites are the same ranks and levels as a bard needs to use the ability)
Weapon Finesse (rapier) - 3rd, level three feat
Combat Expertise - 4th level, trickster bonus

Skills: (6+int)x4 at first 6+int each level afterwards
Concentration 8 ranks = +8
Spellcraft 8 ranks +1 int = +9
Meditation 8 ranks +2 wis = +10 (DC 15 check to regain your level in power points after one hour of uninterrupted concentration, at 10 ranks this amount regained doubles and at 20 it triples.)
Bluff 8 ranks + 4 cha = +12
Listen 8 ranks +2 wis = +10
Perform 8 ranks + 4 cha = +12
Gather Information 8 ranks +4 cha = +12
Sense Motive 8 ranks +2 wis =+10

17 Power (1+cha* mod)xlevel each level
- Cantrips (1 power)
Detect Magic
- Level one spells (3 power)
Charm Person
*this is normally int mod, see feats

Masterwork Rapier
Chain Shirt (when adventuring)
Entertainer's Outfit (when in town)
Longbow, 20 arrows
2 darts
Masterwork Lute
Healer's Kit
Masterwork Flute
4d4x10 crowns (gp) in assorted coins

Combat Information:
BAB +3
Rapier: +6 attack bonus, 1d6+1 damage 18-20(x2) crit
Ranged: +6 attack bonus, darts (1d4 x2 20 ft) or longbow (1d6 x3 100 ft)
AC base 13 (+3 dex) 18 with chain shirt and buckler
Fort +1 Ref +4 Will +6
Hit Point average: 17 points

Level 5 cleric-type faithful (Aurion path)

Str 16 Dex 12 Con 15 Int 12 Wis 16 (+1 at 4th) Cha 14

Ordination - 1st, human bonus feat (This is a social feat available only to Aurion and Zoath faithful - you are a actual priest of these churches and enjoy social benefits like the upper class would)
Spell Focus - 1st, level one feat (This is a feat which allows you to create an object that when held in one hand, can be used to store or use stored power. For a faithful, this extra power is twice your level. There are improved and greater versions of this feat.)
Medium Armor Proficiency - 3rd, third level feat

Class Features:
Resistant to Fear (+4 to saves at 1st level, +1 additional every 4 levels)
Turn Undead
Turn Devil or Demon
Spontaneous Healer

Skills: (4+int)x4 at first 4+int each level afterwards
Concentration 8 ranks + 2 con = +10
Spellcraft 8 ranks +1 int = +9
Meditation 8 ranks +3 wis = +11
Diplomacy 6 ranks + 2 cha = +8
Heal 6 ranks + 3 wis = +9
Sense Motive 6 ranks +3 wis = +9
Knowledge (religion) 6 ranks +1 int = +7

25 Faith (2+wis mod)xlevel each level
- Orisons (1 faith)
Detect Magic
Purify Food and Drink
Read Magic
-Level one spells (3 faith)
Detect Evil
Divine Favor
Hide from Undead
Magic Weapon
Shield of Faith
-Level two spells (5 faith)
Bull's Strength
Eagle's Splendor
Hold Person
Remove Paralysis
Restoration, Lesser

Holy Water (1 vial)
Aurion Amulet (spell focus - 10/10 Faith stored)
Healer's Kit
Breastplate with Tabard of Aurion (when adventuring)
Monkly Robes (when in town)
Heavy Wooden Shield
Antitoxin (1 vial)
Heavy Mace
Light Crossbow, 10 bolts
4d4x10 crowns

Combat Information:
BAB +3
Heavy Mace +6 1d8+3 damage x2 crit
Light Crossbow +4 1d8 damage x3 crit
AC Base: 11 (+1 dex) 18 (Breastplate/Heavy Shield)
20 (with shield of faith spell)
Fort +6 Ref +2 Will +7 (+12 vs fear)
Hit Point average: 32

02-27-2008, 08:41 AM
I'm not overly familiar with Fading Suns, but I've heard good things and will typically give anything a shot. If you still have a slot open in your group let me know; I'd love to toss some ideas around at the very least.

Engineer Doramos
02-28-2008, 09:21 AM
Ok, I can go either way, Fading Suns or my Morterth setting. I guess it boils down to which generates the most interest at first. So, since I edited out my fading suns stuff above to put in Morterth stuff, I'll repost my special Fading Suns rules so people can see and make a choice if they're interested.

Fading Suns Homebrew rules

Dice: The system is a hybrid of White Wolf's d10 system and Holistic's Victory Points. Thus, d10 are used for determining victory points, while d6's are used for Effect Dice. If you don't know what that means, just keep in mind that you only should need ten and six sided dice.

System: Most actions can be resolved without rolling. Only actions which have a risk or chance involved should be rolls. The referee is the ultimate guide on what should and shouldn't be rolled.

When something needs to be rolled, you will usually take an attribute (like dexterity) and a skill (like shoot) and average them to find the number of ten sided dice to roll. The referee declares your target number (5 for tasks of equal challenge to an average skilled person who uses that skill) and you then try to roll as many dice under that number without rolling any tens. This is the reverse of White Wolf's system. Every ten is a botch, and cancels out a success. If there are more botches than successes, then the roll was a failure. If there are no successes and one or more botches, it is a critical failure and something bad happens.

1 botch: minor blunder, not hazardous but a drawback (1 turn penalty)
2 botches: serious fumble, acts to hamper or disadvantage you temporarily (~2-3 turns)
3 or more: dangerous error, possibly life or limb threatening (special)

As a referee I downplay fumbles, as they will tend to happen, I prefer them to be dramatic rather than bothersome or annoying. Any action considered possible should have a minimum target action of 1.

Initiative: Initiative is determined by the skill level of the first action a character does in a turn. In case of ties, the Wits rating is used. If these tie, the actions are considered to be simultaneous.

Effect Dice: Sometimes, the successes or victory points are translated into effect dice, like for weapon damage. A character can choose to apply some, all, or none of her or his victory points when rolling effect dice, similar to pulling a punch. A roll of 1 to 4 on effect dice is a success, while a 5 or 6 is a failure. Weapons, even fists will have damage dice which is added to any victory points and cannot be subtracted. Thus if a gun with five dice of damage is shot, and three victory points are scored, 5-8 dice of wounds may be rolled (an average joe might die instantly from 8 wounds).

Contested Actions: Simply subtract the loser's victory points from the winners. Critical failure botches add to the winner's success, as long as the winner scored one success. However, if a defensive roll botches and an attack roll fails, this is simply a fumble on the defender's part.

Number of Actions: Performing multiple tasks in one round, such as dodging and shooting, are done with a penalty of -1 to each action's target number for two actions, and -2 to each action's target number for three. Actions with difficulties of 2 or less cannot be combined with two other actions, nor can actions of a target number of 1 be combined with another action.

Sustained Actions: The referee may decide some actions take a varying amount of time to perform, such as defusing a bomb or conducting surgery. In this case, the referee decides on a number of successes to be achieved. The player then rolls, each roll adding to the clock, until all the successes are rolled, or a critical failure occurs.

Retrying Actions: You have three total attempts to do something, if you really want to try. There is a -1 to the target number for the second attempt, and a -2 to the third and final attempt. Keep in mind that lower target numbers increase the odds of critical failures.

Accenting Actions: In cases where the player wants to go for broke, or really try to be precise, they may spend a Wyrd point to accent an action. Multiple actions cannot be performed if you want to do this, as it requires a deal of focus. You may also not accent Lore skills. Accenting also applies a -3 to the initiative score for that turn. To accent a hail mary type of action, you may add 1d10 dice to your range, in return for a -1 penalty to the target number. To make an action less spectacular but more assured, you may subtract one 1d10 dice in return for a +1 bonus to the target number. You cannot reduce a target number to zero or raise it to ten in this fashion.

Drama Points

Ive taken Fate Points from the old Warhammer Fantasy Role Play game here and modified them a bit and renamed them. Drama Points are a few points you get at the start (1d4+1 for Humans, 1d4 for Ur Obun or Ur Ukar, or the changed, and 1d3 for Vorox or other aliens, or those who begin with cybernetics). You gain Drama Points when you do something important to change the plot. You spend them, either to save yourself from death via die roll, or to gamble on an important die roll. If you use them to save yourself from death, you are reduced to 1 wound, knocked unconscious and out until the danger is over (for good or bad...). If you use them to gamble on a die roll, you may choose one number that is less than your target number. Every dice that rolls that number counts as two successes.

Character Creation

Please do not max out skills/attributes without a very good reason. I am also restricting Vorox characters, other aliens, and other odd stuff until later in the campaign, if someone dies. This includes lots of cybernetics, a little bit of cybersin is acceptable if it is explained in the background. I want to keep the power level reasonable, so there is room for improvement. I will be keeping a tally of the xp awarded, so when a new character is made later, they have the extra points to be on the same level.