Thursday, November 10, 2016

What I want to post in the following weeks...

I’m amazed to see that I got three posts in a month. This isn’t because I’m having any free time (quite the contrary) but mostly because posting stuff here is cheaper than therapy. So, what am I going to do now? I have a few things in mind to finish:

1.  For DCC RPG I’m creating a Thanagarian Class. More accurately, I’m creating the one type of Thanagarian that I know and love – those dudes from the awesome Justice League cartoon in the 90’s. Besides being pulpy (Flash Gordon!), the idea of “alien flying warriors with anti-magic technology that fights Cthulhu Mythos” is just so cool and metal that I feel obliged to create it for my DCC campaign (which is almost certainly to suffer an alien invasion given the consequences of a nasty and evil-minded PC wizard).

Favored Enemy: Cthulhu!
I believe news classes should often have unique mechanics or new ways of approaching the game, so I want to find a proper niche for my Hawkmen (the ability to fly is surely one). Similarly, I also have ideas for an Imp/Goblin/Gnome class and for a Martial Artist class – both using new rules, instead of being combination of previous classes.

This is my "gnome" class for DCC RPG. A slave/servant caste of the Elves.
2.  I’m a late comer to D&D 5E. I mean, I read it and run it for my players during the Playtest Packs and I even did a few one-shots, but unfortunately 5E is my eternal “second option” for fantasy games (the blame is mostly on DCC RPG). I always gravitate to other games (today DCC, but I’m equally tempted by 13th Age or just to return to Pathfinder and older D&D editions). I think that the solution to my “problem” with 5E follows similar issues that I have with 4E. I was never satisfied with my 4E games until I decided that I should create a homebrew built upon 4E’s idiosyncrasies. I believe that this was one of the main problems with 4E – the lack of a new setting that showed its strengths (like Eberron did for 3E).

I’ll try to create something for 5E. To accomplish this I started reading the Monster Manual to get the general feel of the “implied setting”. I think I’ll post my ideas here. Let’s see if this will work out.

They should have done a full setting with Nerath.
3.  Now, for Pathinder. First, a want to finish my Mastermind class. I’m a little obsessed with the idea of a “Tyrion Lannister/Sherlock Holmes” class: a PC class that is “brains over brawn” (check here to see my first attempt, for OD&D).

The Mastermind should be generic enough to fit concepts like sages, master spies, courtesans, tacticians, mountebanks etc. The Mastermind’s focus should be intellectual/social/party support, without resorting to magic to accomplish any of those goals (I want to stay away from classes like the Investigator).  Although I have Paizo’s Ultimate Intrigue I’m avoiding reading it until I finish the Mastermind.

4.  Again for Pathinder. The more I read d20 based RPGs the stronger my belief that races shouldn’t give bonuses/penalties to Ability Scores.

The way most d20 games treat ability scores these days I don’t think that race should modify it. By avoiding tampering with Ability Scores, you can keep the game mechanically simple and maybe more balanced. I believe that race should give you a list of racial benefits and disadvantages, some of which would be mandatory (a basic set of traits for 1st level PCs) and other that are optional or available at higher levels. In fact, I think that races should be represented mechanically as list of options you can choose along the character advancement (if you read Dawnforge you may have seen a similar approach, but I want something lighter). By providing a more open-ended approach to races and the opportunity to get new racial traits during advancement, maybe I can keep races interesting and meaningful during the entire game instead of just at the first levels.

OK. Now let’s go back to work.