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Author Topic: Catty's Houserules  (Read 1260 times)
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Catty Nebulart
Curious George
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« on: June 05, 2011, 03:03:07 AM »

Please comment and point out any obvious gaps; I'm currently putting together a game.
These are still a work in progress.

General

* Hit dice are always maxed. Rationale: the difference between dice is on average 1 hitpoint, since 1d4 averages to 2.5 and 1d6 to 3.5 and 1d8 to 4.5 and 1 d10 to 5.5. This means the fighter on average gets 3 extra hitpoints per level over the wizard on an otherwise similar chassis (2 skill-points, 1 good save). Maxing the hit dice doubles that to 6 per level.

* Base Skill Points are increased by 50%. So if you would get 2+int you instead get 3+int and if you would get 8+int you would instead get 12+int. Rationale: Int is too much of a determining factor in how many skill-points one gets which weakens the rouge compared to the wizard. Now skill-monkeys have at least a few more skill-points than the wizard.

* No 4x Skills at first level, but a +3 'rank' bonus for class skills with ranks in them. Skills are limited by HD. I dislike first level being special, and the complications of have different skill lists when building a character, so I adopted this pathfinder-ism. Now cross-class skills don't cost double ranks, but just one rank, but they don't get a +3 bonus for being class skills. The +3 bonus counts as ranks for the purposes of prerequisites and anything else that uses ranks.

* Psionics > Sorcerer Casting > Wizard Casting I prefer to deal with Psionics over Vancian casting, and if there is vancian casting sorcerer-like with a small fixed selection is preferable over wizard casting. Also one quick note on psionics, infinite power loops don't work.

* Nightsticks don't stack. They raise your maximum number of uses for the day, so if you use one and then drop it you can have more uses of turn undead used than you have as maximum and that's fine. This applies to all siomilar tricks like temporarily raising charisma and other abilities limited like turn undead. (eg use wis times per day, or con+3 times per day or whatever)

* Anything even resembling the polymorph subschool better have a good explanation for itself. This also covers wildshape and similar things. Alternate form and change shape will be subjected to scrutiny but are more likely to pass through. There might be a custom errata per instance for this ability, such as the succubus being limited to an approved set of humanoids but gaining the ability to also disguise their gear, or something while a Phasm would probably be banned outright.

* Homebrew is encouraged. But there are some ground-rules. First please make sure the class/feat/discipline/whatever is well written, eg unambiguous, it also helps if it has better grammar and spelling than my own writing. It helps if you write down your interpretation of the rules and how it compares to similar classes either in the party or in published books. It is preferred that you use homebrew someone else made, rather than your own, but if you wish to use your own you must tell me that you made it.

Quote
An example of a comparison, lets take the Disciple of Mym C'sil.
It's a charisma based factotum knockoff with a lesser skill selection and no spell like abilities but instead it gets all good saves and full bab in addition to a wide variety of fixed effects. This sounds a bit much so lets dig deeper.
He gets a monk-like but better armor bonus but is restricted from a wide array of magical item slots.
At 2'nd level he basically gets to imitate the psychic warrior Call Weapon, but it automatically scales and lets you select enchantment bonuses too. This is worrisome because it allows things like Bane (Current Enemy) but lets move on.
Beyond that he gains the ability to add cha again to AC for one round some DR/- and some teleport abilities (dimension door and a 1/day greater teleport).
In addition he gains a wide variety of minor abilities such as woodland stride and feather fall at will.
Clearly this is meant as a beatstick compared to the more versatile and sneaky factotum.

Verdict: Overall the abilities are level appropriate, the only major point of concern is the at will enchantment bonuses, shrinking it to an approved list takes care of that though, and depending on the rest of the party at will bane might very well be appropriate.

Tome of Battle

* The ninefold path. You can only have 9 disciplines, through any combination of effect whether they be learned maneuver, maneuvers granted by item or anything else there can't be more than nine, and they are not swapable. So if you gave up devoted spirit to use a homebrew discipline you can never again use a devoted spirit maneuver.

* The Prerequisites are maneuver level/3, rounded down. In short 1'st and 2'nd level maneuvers have no prerequisites, 3'rd, 4'th and 5'th have a 1 maneuver prerequisite and 9'th have a 3 maneuver prerequisite. Treat this as an errata to all maneuvers.

* Initiator Level is per discipline. So swordsage gives full level to 6 different schools while the Shadow sun ninja PrC only gives full level to Shadow Hand and Setting Sun and half level IL to all other disciplines. So if you made a 2 Swordsage/2 Warblade/2 Crusader build you would have an IL of 6 (2+2+2) for Stone Dragon Maneuvers but only 4 (1+2+1) for Iron Heart Maneuvers. Similarly the Swordsage Stone Dragon Maneuvers would count towards the prerequisites of the Warblade and Crusader selection of those maneuvers.

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Catty Nebulart
Curious George
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« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2011, 06:41:22 PM »

On Power Resistance and Spell Resistance

Most of the time there is transparency between the two, and creatures that have SR or PR have an equivalent amount of the other unless otherwise noted.
However spells or items that boost PR or SR will boost or grant one of the two will grant the other, not both. So you could have a circlet that granted PR and a cloak that grants SR and they could provide you with different values.

SR and PR work like saves in that you can choose to let your SR or PR be overcome if it is innate. If it comes from an item it will generally need to be lowered as per core rules.
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Bozwevial
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Developing a relaxed attitude to danger.


« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2011, 07:12:31 PM »

On the ToB section:

--The limit to nine disciplines seems extremely arbitrary. Why did you decide to do this? With prerequisites it just winds up punishing generalists even more.

--In general, I don't see a need for prerequisites at all. They're handled poorly in the rules; you can actually check to see if you meet prerequisites before and after you change your maneuvers when you level up, which makes character creation at higher levels a nightmare. They also don't adhere to the same standards to which WotC holds other classes. A wizard can just learn Meteor Swarm at 17th level if he's never cast so much as a Light spell before, but a swordsage needs to have three of the shittier maneuvers in addition to the two he actually wanted if he wants a ninth level strike (or something like that). Scrapping them entirely is much easier.

--I'm not fond of this change either. The Tome of Battle rules are intended to be friendly to multiclassing, and this change adds more bookkeeping for not very much gain. The fact that every discipline, no matter how obscure, all falls under the purview of Martial Lore gives me reason to think that the core of the teachings is similar enough to be applicable if you jump from warblade to crusader. You shouldn't take a hit to IL just because you haven't practiced with Devoted Spirit before; your Iron Heart training covered a lot of the same basics.
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Garryl
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« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2011, 08:59:42 PM »

Other than PrCs, Catty's IL house rule is actually a buff to multiclassing martial adepts. Normally, IL for each individual initiator base class is tracked separately. Under these rules (assuming I understand them right), you keep your full IL for the disciplines that overlap, rather than treating your other base classes as 1/2 IL/level with respect to each other base class. It does hurt PrC users slightly if they take multiple PrCs with different discipline access, if they go back to the base class when its over, or if the PrC in question grants access to disciplines that the base class didn't (such as Crusader into Eternal Blade).
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A Guide to Free D&D - A resource of free, official D&D resources on the web.
General listing of my homebrew.
Links to things I've worked on
Idiot Crusader, refreshing maneuvers for free every round.
The Opposed Checks Handbook - Under construction.
Adaptations Handbook - Under construction.
Bozwevial
Organ Grinder
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Posts: 4497


Developing a relaxed attitude to danger.


« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2011, 09:09:54 PM »

Other than PrCs, Catty's IL house rule is actually a buff to multiclassing martial adepts. Normally, IL for each individual initiator base class is tracked separately. Under these rules (assuming I understand them right), you keep your full IL for the disciplines that overlap, rather than treating your other base classes as 1/2 IL/level with respect to each other base class. It does hurt PrC users slightly if they take multiple PrCs with different discipline access, if they go back to the base class when its over, or if the PrC in question grants access to disciplines that the base class didn't (such as Crusader into Eternal Blade).
That's true. I was operating under the assumption that all martial adept classes added a full initiator level where everything else did not. My mistake.
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Catty Nebulart
Curious George
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« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2011, 09:49:41 PM »

Thanks for the feedback.
--The limit to nine disciplines seems extremely arbitrary. Why did you decide to do this? With prerequisites it just winds up punishing generalists even more.

Fluff, bookeeping and some abilities that depend on number of disciplines like the Master of Nine.
It also stops players from asking for too many disciplines and just cherry-picking the best maneuvers. Lastly it provides some niche protection.

But honestly fluff is the main reason, whenever you see a master of a hundred styles in fiction it's because his discipline is '100 styles discipline' and most other characters only have a small handful of schools, if not just one.

--In general, I don't see a need for prerequisites at all.


Here the multiclass friendliness of initiators comes back to bite them, I don't want people with only a single feat invested to pick up the best maneuvers from the school and nothing else.

It also reduces some of the incentive to take the initiator levels later, since you will still need some early maneuvers.

which makes character creation at higher levels a nightmare

This is why I made it consistent based on maneuver level that way you don't need to check per manuver you can just think 7'th level, I need two others. I have found it workable while creating higher level NPC's.

And finally the WotC assignment of prerequisites was shitty and random, this makes it more consistent and more streamlined.

Quote from: Garryl
Under these rules (assuming I understand them right),

Your understanding is correct.
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E: "Did they... did they just endorse the combination of the JSDF and US Army by showing them as two lesbian lolicons moving in together and holding hands and talking about how 'intimate' they were?"
B: "Have you forgotten so soon? They're phasing out Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
Bozwevial
Organ Grinder
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Posts: 4497


Developing a relaxed attitude to danger.


« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2011, 10:19:45 PM »

Fluff, bookeeping and some abilities that depend on number of disciplines like the Master of Nine.
It also stops players from asking for too many disciplines and just cherry-picking the best maneuvers. Lastly it provides some niche protection.

But honestly fluff is the main reason, whenever you see a master of a hundred styles in fiction it's because his discipline is '100 styles discipline' and most other characters only have a small handful of schools, if not just one.
Generally, disciplines require either the loss of another discipline (if you start with it) or seeking out someone to train under and the expenditure of experience (at least, that's how TheDementedOne had it). In either case, you're making a tradeoff.

Fluffwise, it really doesn't make sense to me for a Master of Nine to pick up an item granting a maneuver from another discipline outside the nine he knows and be completely unable to use it because he knows too much already. That's just me, however.

Here the multiclass friendliness of initiators comes back to bite them, I don't want people with only a single feat invested to pick up the best maneuvers from the school and nothing else.
See, the thing here is that acquisition of power shouldn't be like buying a car. You shouldn't have to save up in order to get the good stuff later and you shouldn't be allowed to get everything up front, because inevitably that leads to imbalance between party members.

So if someone has the requisite IL to take Stabbings of the Wyvern King via Martial Study but doesn't have any other Pointy Things maneuvers, I'm inclined to let them take it anyway. They've spent a feat to learn it and getting it that way is inferior to picking it up through an actual martial adept class. Plus unless you plan to go into epic levels, the absolute best you could get this way is a 5th level maneuver, which isn't much in the grand scheme of things.

This is why I made it consistent based on maneuver level that way you don't need to check per manuver you can just think 7'th level, I need two others. I have found it workable while creating higher level NPC's.
It's not so much the prerequisites themselves being inconsistent as it is the rules for swapping out maneuvers and leveling up. You can count a maneuver you are going to take and one you are going to trade away as prerequisites for another maneuver, which in turn can be a prerequisite for another. If you know Blood in the Water and trade that up for some arbitrary Tiger Claw stance that requires a single TC maneuver, you can leave it at that and have the stance just sit there with nothing to back it up. Even worse, you can qualify for something that requires two maneuvers with those two stances, one you haven't learned yet and one you're going to abandon. They essentially prop themselves up, which is when I decided prerequisites could go put dangerous and unwholesome things into their mouths.

At least, that's how I think it works. Even if it turns out to be saner than that, the entire system of requirements is so unnecessarily complicated that I refuse to use it in any games I run. It makes absolutely no sense to me that the designers are okay with a wizard who has spent all his life casting nothing but illusion spells going out to the store and summoning elemental monoliths the next day, but someone learning a new style of swordfighting has to start at the very beginning and claw his way up several mediocre rungs. It's more investment for less return, and that's just silly.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. Don't pay them too much heed if they contradict what you want for your game.
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