Let's talk about D&D and the World of Greyhawk...

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Pfr_Fate
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#21 Postby Pfr_Fate » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:26 am

What i was getting at was this: In AD&D1e the 1-minute round was divided into ten six-second segments segments. Now a spell would take several segments to cast.

My thought is that during the AD&D round, a melee can occur with several blows, parries, movements, etc. A spellcaster gets off one spell and has to stand motionless until it is completed (the segements casting time is reached.)

AD&D assumes that the minute is filled with attacks and the die roll represents the single best shot. A bow usually fires twice. However, there is still only ONE spell per minute.

Translating to a SW round of 6-seconds, then spells would take more than a round. However, a bow would also take more than a round (I guess AD&D assumes the 'Aim' tactic is always in use!).

However, for game-play sake, this conversion falls apart - who wants to take three or more combat rounds to cast any spell? Not very FFF. But I wanted to keep that 'feel' of having to remain motionless for a bit to cast the spell while combat rages around you. This would create very interesting tactics to boot, as Spell-casters require protection while they work. So, i compromised and made spells taking 1-3 segments use 1 Full Action, spells taking 4 to 7 segments take the entire actions for two rounds and trigger at the end of the character's Initiative Card, and spells with more segments, rounds or turns take minutes and full rituals to cast.

I also might consider change the range target number from base 4 to 6 to encourage Aim....



As to the ratio of Magic-users...I am tryng to find data on that. Remember that the City of Greyhawk has a number of temples, a druid circle and the University of Magical Arts.
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#22 Postby blusponge » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:47 am

Pfr_Fate wrote:Spells work as in AD&D: you have a certain amount of slots that you fill with spells that are good for one casting each until you've had time to replace them in your brain...


As someone who has converted GH to at least two wildly different game systems (Darkurthe Legends and Dragonlance 5th Age SAGA), I'm going to disagree with the Professor here. One of the great things about GH is that the world is very system neutral. The only implication it carries over is the AD&D ecosystem. And that means monsters, humanoids specifically. To a lesser degree, the alignments are at play (and those mostly in distinguishing the Horned Society, lawful evil devil worshippers, with Iuz, chaotic evil demon worshippers). Beyond that, you don't have to maintain ANY of the standard D&D tropes for Greyhawk to be Greyhawk.

So I would dump the AD&D system in its entirety and just use BTB SW. I'd add on the FC, naturally. But other than that, I wouldn't tinker with much system wise. If you absolutely MUST HAVE the named spells from the PHB (Bigby's, Tenser's, Mordenkainen's, etc) than you might convert those in broad strokes (the Bigby's hand spells, for instance, could become a single power in SW: Bibgy's Sorcerous Hand, perhaps). But I wouldn't go any farther than that.

Here's why: SW will never outdo D&D if what you're looking to play IS D&D. The underpinnings and assumptions (the level system and power curve) are just too different. Why in the world would you want to invest the time it would require to rewrite the entire SW power system to reflect D&D? It would make sense if someone else had done the work (like Earthdawn perhaps), but unless that's what floats your boat, why bother. And where do you stop? Pretty soon, you'll have transformed SW into a poor version of both D&D and SW.

I'm not saying the Professor's idea is wrong or bad – I'd be very interested in seeing a third party revamp of SW power system that made the whole thing less "wargamey" – I just think it's an awful lot of work for very little value.

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#23 Postby blusponge » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:53 am

Pfr_Fate wrote:As to the ratio of Magic-users...I am tryng to find data on that. Remember that the City of Greyhawk has a number of temples, a druid circle and the University of Magical Arts.


If you can score a copy, I can't recommend Gygax's Living Fantasy book enough for this. It pretty much lays out, in broad terms, how he envisions a pseduo-medieval magical society would function. It was written for d20/Castles and Crusades and for Lejendary Adventure, and shares many of the concepts set down in Dangerous Journeys: Mythus. It works just fine with the world of Greyhawk too.

BTW, according to all of these sources, 1 in 10 people are capable of some magic. Maybe 1 in 10 of those people would have been "full practitioners" in DJ, or spellcasters of 5th level+ in AD&D.

Of course, that's how Gygax saw things. If you want GH to be different, make it so. That's the beauty of that setting (the 1st two editions of it anyway).

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#24 Postby blusponge » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:59 am

Pfr_Fate wrote:Translating to a SW round of 6-seconds, then spells would take more than a round. However, a bow would also take more than a round (I guess AD&D assumes the 'Aim' tactic is always in use!).

However, for game-play sake, this conversion falls apart - who wants to take three or more combat rounds to cast any spell? Not very FFF.


Another potential solution:

Each Power is given an initiative modifier in the form of a "power draw." That is, if the player wants to activate a power, he has to draw a # of cards equal to the powers "power draw" score. The spell goes off on the lowest of these cards (how Quick and Level Headed work with this, I'll leave to someone else). The only exception is when the spellcaster is dealt a Joker.

In addition to this, carry over the concept that being hit during combat ruins your spell and costs you the PPs. Have a combat casting Edge that allows a roll to negate this.

While it won't have you waiting for several rounds for your spell to go off, it does feel more like SW while giving you something of the same effect.

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#25 Postby Pfr_Fate » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:19 pm

My intent is solely to get that odd-school feel without using the (now clunky) AD&D systems (like grappling...ugh!). I used to play AD&D as it began, but now found myself in with a new young crowd that did 4.0. I found it painful. None of the emphasis on story - all on minute movement of game pieces (aka the PCs).

So...I wanted to show them Greyhawk as I remembered it, but using SW.

however, a big 'thing' for D&D was the Vancian Magic system.

So, I am trying to get that Memorized and Forget Spell feel (akin to Jack Vance's Dying Earth books), which is a far different feel from the Power Points version...

And it is coming along. I write something, test it with the other internal systems, streamline it for FFF, re-write, re-test, etc....

When it is done to my satisfation, I will post!
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#26 Postby Dirty Ernie » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:29 pm

I'm kickin' myself for not hanging on to this stuff, but as we sit here, admiring our newly-arrived, E-Bay-purchased, pre-owned, decent-condition Map of the World of Greyhawk (that I used to own :1eek13:)...

...we're havin' a good time. :cool:

Thanks again, guys, for your response. Allow me to address you gentlemen individually.

Baiyo wrote:I got some decent mileage out of the City of Greyhawk boxed set in my younger years.

Had that too, back in the day. Wish I still did.

If I could snap my fingers, and restore only my top 5 favorite Greyhawk tomes to my collection, I would choose...

- The World of Greyhawk boxed set
- The City of Greyhawk boxed set
- The Temple of Elemental Evil super-module
- The Greyhawk Adventures 1st Ed. book
- The Greyhawk Ruins mega-dungeon

kronovan wrote:Something to bare in mind, is that the atlas on that site only covers central Flanaess.

Who d'ya think you're talkin' to? Remember, I'm an Old Fart. :1eek13: When I mention "The Map", that means the classic hand-drawn Darlene Map, hinterlands and all. :cool:

All kiddin' aside, that other map is really beautiful, but if you zoom in, the level of detail is almost overwhelming. It's truly a labor of love, and I applaud the artist. More power to her.

But this is the kind of detail I'd rather leave for us, as DM and Players, to fill in.

Bavix wrote:Honestly Dirty Ernie, if you can find them, I'd use the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer as the base setting book and the poster maps from Dragon Magazine from Paizo. They're the most up to date and consistent references out there for Greyhawk and I don't think the LGG has a single stat block in it—it's completely system neutral.

Yes, I actually have that book as a PDF download (no, not pirated). It's a great overall guide to the Greyhawk setting, but I think I'll have to sort out the pre- from the post- War material, which I'm not quite ready to do at the moment.

Which brings me to my next question for you fellas...

I (legally) paid for and downloaded some Greyhawk stuff, new and old, several years ago. I'd backed up most of it, but lost a couple of files along the way. Tried to find 'em again online, but to no avail.

Where'd it all go? I'm guessing Lawful Evil lawyers from the Great Empire had something to do with it. :1eek13:

More questions and comments forthcoming, after I get some rest and collect my thoughts. :wink:
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#27 Postby blusponge » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:23 pm

Dirty Ernie wrote:I (legally) paid for and downloaded some Greyhawk stuff, new and old, several years ago. I'd backed up most of it, but lost a couple of files along the way. Tried to find 'em again online, but to no avail.

Where'd it all go? I'm guessing Lawful Evil lawyers from the Great Empire had something to do with it. :1eek13:


WotC got tired of jerks pirating all their pdfs, so they took their ball and went home.

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#28 Postby kronovan » Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:32 pm

BluSponge wrote:
Dirty Ernie wrote:I (legally) paid for and downloaded some Greyhawk stuff, new and old, several years ago. I'd backed up most of it, but lost a couple of files along the way. Tried to find 'em again online, but to no avail.

Where'd it all go? I'm guessing Lawful Evil lawyers from the Great Empire had something to do with it. :1eek13:


WotC got tired of jerks pirating all their pdfs, so they took their ball and went home.


This, and I think WotC also didn't want competition for their newer Eberron setting. They could never get away from the Forgotten Realms due to its huge popularity and the size of the FR canon, but World of Greyhawk on account of it being so early in the D&D canon, was another story.

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#29 Postby Kristian Serrano » Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:35 pm

kronovan wrote:
BluSponge wrote:
Dirty Ernie wrote:I (legally) paid for and downloaded some Greyhawk stuff, new and old, several years ago. I'd backed up most of it, but lost a couple of files along the way. Tried to find 'em again online, but to no avail.

Where'd it all go? I'm guessing Lawful Evil lawyers from the Great Empire had something to do with it. :1eek13:


WotC got tired of jerks pirating all their pdfs, so they took their ball and went home.


This, and I think WotC also didn't want competition for their newer Eberron setting. They could never get away from the Forgotten Realms due to its huge popularity and the size of the FR canon, but WoG on account of it being so early in the D&D canon, was another story.

WotC pulled all PDFs regardless of what setting or system they were for when 4e books were being rampantly pirated. At that time, they had a large supply of PDFs across all editions, including 3e.

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#30 Postby Dirty Ernie » Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:32 pm

I figured that's what happened. It's especially sucky since I paid for those files legitimately, can see 'em in my DriveThru library, but can't replace 'em.

It's almost enough to make an honest man turn pirate. :1eek13:

It's no secret that all of that stuff is still out there on the 'net. Smart move, alienating fans with perfectly good money to spend. Especially when it comes to out-of-print material.

Well, anyway, water under the bridge. My fault for not backing up my stuff. They were crappy scans anyway :wink: .

So, moving on...

Question 1: What do you guys think about the Advanced Dungeons & Savages conversion? I've only just given it a once-over, but it seems to capture that Old-Skool flavor. Class/weapon/armor restrictions, levels, alignment, etc.

Question 2: Regarding Magic (which seems to be a sticking point), could one just have a slower Power Point recharge rate, to simulate the "cast & forget" style? Recharge only occurring during periods of rest, with access to one's spellbook.
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#31 Postby kronovan » Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:53 pm

Dirty Ernie wrote:Question 1: What do you guys think about the Advanced Dungeons & Savages conversion? I've only just given it a once-over, but it seems to capture that Old-Skool flavor. Class/weapon/armor restrictions, levels, alignment, etc.

I've read through it a number of times and I don't particularly care for how the races or classes are handled in it - seem quite unbalanced. To be fair to the document and author though, I think it was created before all the race creation details arrived in the FC and SWD. I guess my thoughts on it are that the guts of the document are damn good and impressive, but it needs some updating. There was an errata for it released in 2008, but IIRC it didn't update all the areas I was concerned about.

Question 2: Regarding Magic (which seems to be a sticking point), could one just have a slower Power Point recharge rate, to simulate the "cast & forget" style? Recharge only occurring during periods of rest, with access to one's spellbook.

It's been so long since I've played AD&D 1e that I don't rcall the Vancian flavor of it's magic too well. I guess my question would be, how much does the recharge rate have to be slowed to recoop that flavor? As it stands with the core rules, it takes 10 hours for most beginning novice Arcane practitioners to completely recharge their PP's if they previously exhausted all of them.

I know PFr_Fate has been working on the Vancian aspect for a while, so I'm sure he'll reply.

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#32 Postby kreider204 » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:25 pm

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#33 Postby Dirty Ernie » Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:27 pm

kreider204 wrote:Old School Magic System...

Thanks, I can see you've trod this path before. :wink: I had snagged this, but hadn't given it a thorough read.

I was thinking about an Edge to let a PC get away from the damn spellbook at higher ranks, and truly master spells without re-memorization.

Also, an across-the-board setting Hindrance that explains the Mage's armor/weapon restrictions. I'd rather not just outlaw these things arbitrarily, but penalize Spellcasting rolls when wearing/using them, and let the player decide if they're worth having.

Maybe treat Spellcasting as an Agility skill when it comes to Encumbrance. But then we get into the specifics of the spells themselves. Verbal/Somatic/Material components? Probably gettin' too crunchy... :1eek13:

Then, another higher-ranked Edge (perhaps call it "Warlock"?) to get around the armor/weapon restrictions, allowing casting without penalty.

We just had a Lord of the Rings movie marathon, and I keep thinking about the Nazgul and Sauron. Definitely warrior/mages.

Another thought: Spell storage. :eek: This probably gets into the realm of Creating Magic Items or Weird Science Devices.

Back to Lord of the Rings, Gandalf and Saruman are Smitin' the hell out of each other with their staves, Gandalf uses his staff to cast a Light spell in Moria (not to mention facing down the Balrog), and it's a big deal when the Witch-King shatters Gandalf's staff.

Anyway, thanks to you guys for puttin' up with my ramblings. You've been a big help. It's starting to come together. :)
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#34 Postby Tavis » Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:05 am

Simple Spelll Memorisation: You can still use Power Points - you spent power points in the morning when you memorise your spells - where spells have 'options' (like bolt) you choose those options when memorising.

As PP won't 'regenerate' through the day, you might want to give out 25-50% extra PPs.

Wizards don't wear Armour. Make the Armour Toughness bonus a penalty to casting. Don't include Magical bonuses. So a Ring of Protection grants armour with no casting penalty, but a Suit of Plate gives a -3 to casting. Magic Plate that offers one extra point of protection gives +4 toughness, but is still a -3 to cast. Add a "Warrior Mage" edge that cancels out the casting penalty for wearing armour.


I reckon Gandalf's staff has an in-built "Boost Trait: Spellcasting".
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#35 Postby kronovan » Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:57 pm

I don't care for the use of the Vow hindrance in Advanced Dungeons and Savages to prevent armor for magic users, but I do think the Quirk Hindrance works quite well for that. With a setting flavor idea that the use of the arcane conflicts with amor in some manner and triggers a quirk that can actually harm the mage.

I also don't care for the idea of penalizing the power rolls of the Mage if they wear armor. The idea with RPG's like AD&D and other settings that dissalow armor for acane characters, is that the dissalowal is comlete and there's really no way around it. If I were to change that I'd probably just scrub the whole idea of a Vancian-like powers system and use the AB's in SWD or the FC. I do like the simple Rituals Magic system in the FC for magic that requires verbal, somatic or material componetns. Its 1 round of delay before the powers cast seems to reflect the gesturing, incanting or readying of materials reasonably well.

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#36 Postby Mylon » Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:48 am

Baiyo wrote:Have you been to the blog of the Greyhawk Grognard?
http://greyhawkgrognard.blogspot.com/

Check out his free resources for download on the right-hand sidebar. Most are self-explanatory. "Castle of the Mad Archmage" is his own personal take on Castle Greyhawk. And it's even the size that Castle Greyhawk was always promised to be.

Then of course there's Canonfire: http://www.canonfire.com/cfhtml/index.php
This site practically replaces the World of Greyhawk Book in terms of world info.

These resources are all for older editions of D&D, but converting to Savage Worlds doesn't really take much effort. (In my my opinion anyways.)

I got some decent mileage out of the City of Greyhawk boxed set in my younger years. Never did much with the wider world of Oerth though.


A big giant megadungeon? I wish to know more! Unfortunately the mediafire link seems to have been taken down.

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#37 Postby kronovan » Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:28 am

Mylon wrote:A big giant megadungeon? I wish to know more! Unfortunately the mediafire link seems to have been taken down.

When I try to access the 1st "Castle of the Mad Archmage" link on that site my virus scanner gives me a warning. The 2nd link for the maps appears to be inactive.

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#38 Postby warrenss2 » Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:46 pm

Question 1: What do you guys think about the Advanced Dungeons & Savages conversion? I've only just given it a once-over, but it seems to capture that Old-Skool flavor. Class/weapon/armor restrictions, levels, alignment, etc.
Aye to this... But leave off the alignment stuff. Alignment is just good roleplaying to me.

Question 2: Regarding Magic (which seems to be a sticking point), could one just have a slower Power Point recharge rate, to simulate the "cast & forget" style? Recharge only occurring during periods of rest, with access to one's spellbook.
I'd leave it simply pure SW magic system.

Go for the world and the background... Let SW do it's thing. They'll love it!

Have you read "Quag Keep" & "Return to Quag Keep" by Andre Norton?

Plus the Fantasy Companion & the Fantasy Tool Kits would probably help you out too.
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#39 Postby Dirty Ernie » Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:36 pm

Well folks, it seems the party has reached a consensus. This week, we adventure in the World of Greyhawk...

...Savage style. :cool:

More on that later, but first, a few more questions/comments. Please bear with me, as I'll be skipping around a bit.

warrenss2 wrote:I'd leave it simply pure SW magic system.

Go for the world and the background... Let SW do it's thing. They'll love it!

BluSponge wrote:So I would dump the AD&D system in its entirety and just use BTB SW. I'd add on the FC, naturally.

BluSponge wrote:Here's why: SW will never outdo D&D if what you're looking to play IS D&D.

Just to be clear, I don't wanna fundamentally turn Savage Worlds into something it's not. I understand the "Convert the Setting, not the Rules" mantra. I love SW! :) However, for all the talk about leaving it as-is, almost every setting has its own tweaks to impart a certain flavor. It's a common-enough thing to have made its way into SWDeluxe.

For the most part, I'm sticking with SW as written, but would like to throw in a couple of Edges/Hindrances/Setting Rules to give it that nostalgic D&D/Greyhawk vibe. Don't worry guys, nothing drastic :cool: .

Tavis wrote:Simple Spelll Memorisation: You can still use Power Points - you spent power points in the morning when you memorise your spells - where spells have 'options' (like bolt) you choose those options when memorising.

As PP won't 'regenerate' through the day, you might want to give out 25-50% extra PPs.

Wizards don't wear Armour. Make the Armour Toughness bonus a penalty to casting. Don't include Magical bonuses. So a Ring of Protection grants armour with no casting penalty, but a Suit of Plate gives a -3 to casting. Magic Plate that offers one extra point of protection gives +4 toughness, but is still a -3 to cast. Add a "Warrior Mage" edge that cancels out the casting penalty for wearing armour.

Thanks, that's exactly what I'm lookin' for. :-D But why the extra PP's, and what Rank do you think these Edges might become available?

kronovan wrote:I also don't care for the idea of penalizing the power rolls of the Mage if they wear armor. The idea with RPG's like AD&D and other settings that dissalow armor for acane characters, is that the dissalowal is comlete and there's really no way around it. If I were to change that I'd probably just scrub the whole idea of a Vancian-like powers system and use the AB's in SWD or the FC.


I'm beginning to see how a Point-Build generation system works to balance characters (ie. if they put more points into magic skills, they have less to put into fighting, and vice versa), but there's nothing to stop a mage from buying as much armor as he can afford money-wise. I don't want a Wizard to become a spell-casting tank, yet at the same time, I don't want to make a blanket "You can't because I said so" class restriction. Hope I'm making sense at this late hour. :wink:

warrenss2 wrote:Have you read "Quag Keep" & "Return to Quag Keep" by Andre Norton?

No I haven't, but I've seen 'em on the shelves for years. Do you have a review for me? :wink: I've had a Used-Bookstore itch lately that needs scratchin'. Maybe I'll find some of those old Greyhawk novels that I used to own :1eek13: .

Baiyo wrote:"Castle of the Mad Archmage" is his own personal take on Castle Greyhawk. And it's even the size that Castle Greyhawk was always promised to be.

Dirty Ernie wrote:If I could snap my fingers, and restore only my top 5 favorite Greyhawk tomes to my collection, I would choose...

- The World of Greyhawk boxed set
- The City of Greyhawk boxed set
- The Temple of Elemental Evil super-module
- The Greyhawk Adventures 1st Ed. book
- The Greyhawk Ruins mega-dungeon

Mylon wrote:A big giant megadungeon? I wish to know more!

I've decided to forego payin' a fortune for dog-eared copies of Greyhawk Ruins and the Temple of Elemental Evil in favor of leaving those iconic locales for our gaming group to create/discover. We'll make 'em our own. :cool:

More tomorrow night, and thanks again!
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#40 Postby kronovan » Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:15 pm

Dirty Ernie wrote:
kronovan wrote:I also don't care for the idea of penalizing the power rolls of the Mage if they wear armor. The idea with RPG's like AD&D and other settings that dissalow armor for acane characters, is that the dissalowal is comlete and there's really no way around it. If I were to change that I'd probably just scrub the whole idea of a Vancian-like powers system and use the AB's in SWD or the FC.


I'm beginning to see how a Point-Build generation system works to balance characters (ie. if they put more points into magic skills, they have less to put into fighting, and vice versa), but there's nothing to stop a mage from buying as much armor as he can afford money-wise. I don't want a Wizard to become a spell-casting tank, yet at the same time, I don't want to make a blanket "You can't because I said so" class restriction. Hope I'm making sense at this late hour. :wink:

Ernie you're making sense and I think I'm with you there, although I didn't state that so well in my ealier post. I like the idea of magic users having some restriction to the armor they can wear, I just don't care for idea of using penalties on magic skill rolls as a way to achieve it. There's arleady many possibilities for penalties in the system and I find with newer players calc'ing additional penalties with rolls can at times detract from the FFF of it all. Hence my favoring using the Quirk hindrance as a way to limit the armor equipping capability of arcane characters. That quirk doesn't have to be all or nothing - it could only be triggered when the character equips metal amor like chain or banded, so they could still wear leather, etc.


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