Sunday, March 15, 2009

Basic, Simple, and Advanced

I was looking at my weapons list and realized that I'd basically created three tiers of choices.


Slashing - Single Edged Blades (daggers only)
Bludgeoning - Clubs & Staves
Piercing - None
Ranged - Slings
A few melee choices and one ranged option. Not all the weapon "schools" are fleshed out yet.

Slashing - Single Edged Blades
Bludgeoning - Maces
Piercing - Spears
Ranged - Crossbows

Add another ranged option and fully flesh out three solid "schools" for weapons (piercing, bludgeoning, and slashing).

Slashing - Swords & Axes
Bludgeoning - Hammers & Flails
Piercing - Picks & Lances
Hybrid - Advanced Polearms
Ranged - Bows
Break each school into two sub-choices (Hammers & Flails, for example), and add a superior ranged option (bows) as well as a hybrid choice (polearms).


Why don't we do the same with spells? We'll basically parcel out our Power Words (verbs) which can be combined with the various nouns. This ensures that serious casters have access to just about all of the Power Words despite their noun selections.

School A -
School X1 -
One or two "power words" that can be combined with a noun. Perhaps "ward," so a not-very-magical character who knows the Art of Fire can ward himself against heat and flame.

School A -
School B -
School C -
School X2? -
Three fully fledged schools of magic with basic, entry level capabilities. Perhaps, "know," "create," and "destroy" or something like that. Our restorative magic also needs to reside at least at this level.

School A1 -
School A2 -
School B1 -
School B2 -
School C1 -
School C2 -
School X3? -
Break each school of magic into two sub-schools that have more refined capabilities.


Characters can be assigned proficiencies like so:

Weapons: All
Spells: Basic only

Weapons: Basic-only
Spells: All

Weapons: Basic & Simple only
Spells: Basic & Simple only

This system would leave room for 3-4 primary "schools" of magic, with a total of perhaps 1-2 basic power words, 3-4 simple power words, and 6-8 advanced power words. That's a total of about 14 power words maximum split into three or four broad schools. Any character could know a number of power words equal to 1 + INT modifier, so dumb characters may not know any, but a smart wizard might know 3 or 4. You might allow higher level characters to know additional words, which gives more advanced players more choices. Allow known power words to be swapped out on a daily basis, just as a fighter can swap out what kind of weapons they carry.

This keeps any one character from getting overwhelmed with options. Fighters will have about 6-8 weapons choices, but only perhaps one or two spell choices (if any at all). Magic-Users will have about 6-8 Power Word choices, but only one or two weapon selections. Clerics will fall in the middle, with about 3-4 selections from each.

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