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    Robyo

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    Getting started...

    Post  Robyo on Thu 28 May 2015 - 20:24

    Thank you for your interest in my Faction Wars idea. I'm still working put the details. If you want to begin making characters, here's the logistics:

    * System is D&D 5e with options in the DMG and houserules.

    * Setting is near-future / horror: Cyberpunk mixed with Cthulhu, with some other stuff. Intrigue and role-playing will be stressed more than combat. Very LOW magic, with some exceptions.

    PCs are limited to ritual magic spells only. Higher level spells can also be cast as rituals, but the long casting time effectively removes them from combat. I will allow a few spells that can be re-fluffed as class abilities (like hunter's mark or smite).

    While some spells in the PHB are plainly marked "(Ritual)", which is easy to understand, all spells take at least one minute to cast minimum. This effectively puts spells outside of combat. I'm allowing all the regular spells too, but you must add 1 minute/per spell level to the casting time. Cantrips also take 1 minute to cast. Maybe I'll cut off spell lists past 5th level... I just don't see high-level spells as really compatible with this setting.

    The only class that is allowed to effectively cast combat magic is Sorcerer (Wild Magic only), but the class is re-skinned as a Psion. All classes gain their usual special abilities. All other casters classes are allowed, but since they can't cast a lot of spells in combat, they may not be relevant. It's up to how you guys want to play within the restriction.

    I'm allowing all the regular spells too, but you must add 1 minute/per spell level to the casting time. Cantrips also take 1 minute to cast. Maybe I'll cut off spell lists past 5th level... I just don't see high-level spells as really compatible with this setting.

    The one exceptions is the Wild Mage Sorcerer, who is reskinned as a Psion. That class uses spell points and suffers randomness for their powers, but they can cast spells as written.

    High tech weapons like lasers and gauss rifles are available, but generally for military use or big budget corporate black ops.

    Earth is very similar by today's standard, but even more crowded and polluted and full of social problems. There are more wars and conflicts throughout the globe. Robots and mechs are common on the battlefield. Corporations have eclipsed nations as the sources of economic power.

    There are several space colonies through-out the solar system. Orbital stations, trading guilds, and terraforming is common. However no warp or hyper drives. Alien ruins have been discovered on some planets in the solar system, but there has been no "official" direct meeting as of yet.

    For reference, I'll be using some d20 Modern/ d20 Future sourcebooks for equipment and cyberware.

    * Human race only. Human Variant is allowed. Start at 3rd Level. Cybernetics and mutant powers are allowed but require disadvantages to offset.

    *I'll be adding a few new Skills like Piloting (DEX), and Computer Use (INT).

    *Along with Backgrounds, everyone requires a Faction. We'll be using the Faction and Re-known rules in the DMG. A faction can be anything you think of, but it is an organization that your character belongs to. They should be a well-funded organization with some pull in world affairs. Examples: The Catholic Church, Aztech Corporation, Confederation of African Warlords, MI5 Secret Service, The Agency for Meta Affairs, Knights Templar, Anonymous, etc.

    There is also a futuristic version of cyberspace that is both digital and ethereal. Mankind has figured out how to store data in a separate dimension.

    Finally, I am offering the Ritual Caster Feat for free to anyone who can manage the pre-reqs, basically a minimum 13 in Wisdom or Intelligence. Your characters are fairly familiar with the occult.

    Of course I'm allowing magic items and weapons. Cybernetics, and high tech are allowed (using d20 modern/future). Special equipment can be requisitioned from your faction, depending on price, mission, need, etc.

    I will allow anyone to roll for a random mutant or psychic power without taking disadvantages/flaws.

    That's it for now. It's a lot. Please assail me with questions.
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    Re: Getting started...

    Post  Chris on Thu 28 May 2015 - 20:56

    Ok, I am sure some of that will make more sense after I see 5e. I need Matt to resend that via dropbox or pando. I remember I got it once, but I think I deleted it since we never used it.... or maybe I just saw a preview, not sure.

    So are we in an era where individuals have space ships? ie a smuggler type?

    I know I have all the old d20 books, so are the classes\archetypes from those compatible with 5e?
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    Re: Getting started...

    Post  Robyo on Thu 28 May 2015 - 22:27

    Great questions! I wouldn't say 5e and d20 are totally compatible, but 5e is quite hackable. I'm thinking of grafting the d20 modern wealth check (for big items) on top of 5e's standard economy. But then I thought maybe D20 Future had a conversion of the Wealth rules to money? I'll need to check... Either way, big items (like a ship) would probably go under some kind of wealth check, or just an acquisition from the character's Faction. It's largely according to the character and the needs of the mission.

    Generally, a 3rd level character couldn't afford a ship. But it would be a cool quest to try and find or steal one.

    Occupations aren't really a thing in 5e, but there are Backgrounds, and I'm also adding Factions, so I could see a character gaining a wealth bonus from either.

    You can find the free version of the rules here: http://media.wizards.com/2014/downloads/dnd/playerdndbasicrules_v0.2.pdf

    That version only has the four traditional classes and no feats or multiclassing. Feats are optional in 5e anyways. And there's no official PDF of the any of the core books yet.
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    Re: Getting started...

    Post  Robyo on Thu 28 May 2015 - 23:05

    Some various helpful tables:

    starting equipment:
    " />

    firearms:
    " />

    d20 Modern Armor conversion:
    " />
    " />
    " />
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    Chris

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    Re: Getting started...

    Post  Chris on Thu 28 May 2015 - 23:17

    ok, that helps a bit.  

    I guess I am more wondering if you are going to be making adaptations to the d20 future rules to fit 5e or modifying 5e core mechanics (advantage, etc) to fit the d20 future rules?  (does that make sense?)

    I see the typical fantasy classes in 5e, all of which are 90% useless in a future setting.  Their skills are 1/2 worthless, their wpn prof.s are archaic, etc.

    But d20 Future builds characters in a very different way - you have a starting occupation (colonist, drifter, etc), then a core class (strong hero, smart hero, etc) and then an advanced class like Ambassador, General, dogfighter (with requirements of 6 ranks in a couple skills).  The starting basic class gives the core skills that you need to qualify for an advanced class.  The starting occupation gives some skills, a bonus feat and a wealth modifier.

    yes, d20 future uses the wealth check system (which I love!)

    So, I guess I am just confused.  Would we be lifting all the d20 future skills\feats\abilities and trying to cut & splice them onto 5e fantasy classes?
    Or using the d20 future class system but splicing in the mechanical changes of 5e, like advantage\disadvantage, dash\dodge, etc?

    BTW - this is exactly the same problem I had with trying to convert SW to PF.
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    Re: Getting started...

    Post  Robyo on Thu 28 May 2015 - 23:28

    Robyo wrote:* System is D&D 5e with options in the DMG and houserules.

    This will be an experimental game. I was thinking of adding more skills, but Investigation probably covers Computer Use alright. Technology is just an Intelligence check. This idea is continuing to evolve. I will be looking at much of the character's backgrounds and traits as inspiration in world-building.


    Last edited by Robyo on Fri 29 May 2015 - 0:00; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: Getting started...

    Post  Chris on Thu 28 May 2015 - 23:36

    Robyo wrote:
    This will be an experimental game.

    That's cool, I get that.  I am not trying to be difficult, I am just trying to figure out how to make a character cheers

    for example, if I wanted to make a smuggler type, I assume I would start with a 5e rogue.

    here is the 5e rogue skills:

    P r o f i c ie n c ie s
    Armor: Light armor
    Weapons: Simple weapons, hand crossbows,
    longswords, rapiers, shortswords
    Tools: Thieves’ tools
    Saving Throws: Dexterity. Intelligence
    Skills: Choose four from Acrobatics, Athletics,
    Deception. Insight, Intimidation, Investigation,
    Perception, Performance. Persuasion, Sleight of
    Hand, and Stealth

    Would we be trading out the martial melee wpns for futuristic martial guns?
    what about futuristic skills?  computer use, pilot, navigate, disable device, technology, demolitions, etc

    Futuristic worlds simply have more skill options and games built for fantasy don't give enough points.  

    A human today has more skill points than someone growing up in a medieval setting. This is a combination of exposure and education.  My kids are already better with tablets than I am because they grew up with one in their hands.  The internet didn't exist when I was 7, but my kids are just learning it as they go.  Anthony (7) can google search, email, insert images, copy hyperlinks, do basic photoshopping, etc.  

    He has no knowledge of hoeing a field, but neither does a rogue from their skill list.
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    Re: Getting started...

    Post  Robyo on Fri 29 May 2015 - 0:06

    I see your point, but Skills are pretty lite in this edition and can be easily folded into Ability checks anyways.

    You could certainly switch out a weapon proficiency for a modern firearm or a tool proficiency for something else, such as mechanics tools.

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    MAS
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    Re: Getting started...

    Post  MAS on Fri 29 May 2015 - 8:58

    Chris - do you still need a 5e pdf?

    Notes -

    Really like the setting idea!

    Potential snags - hybridizing systems creates a lot of rules friction. I'm willing to give it a try, of course, but there is so much that nests within a single system vs another, that you almost have to go through chapter by chapter and say "this vs that" and write it all down. Character generation and action resolution are bound to be very, very messy.

    That being said, Lets see how character generation plays out. We'll have a good picture of how it might flow from that.

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    Re: Getting started...

    Post  Chris on Fri 29 May 2015 - 9:32

    Rob sent me 5e, thanks!

    Ok, I will look at converting a Rogue to some kind of smuggler character.

    Faction idea - equivalent of working for the Hutt Cartel.

    at 3rd, he probably isn't going to have his own ship yet, so he works for other captains or local bosses. He is not the "muscle" type, more of a jack-of-all trades scoundrel for now, he has his eyes on being his own captain some day. he would rather out-wit someone than fight them, but if he has to fight, he likes to get it over with quickly and disappear.
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    Re: Getting started...

    Post  Robyo on Fri 29 May 2015 - 15:42

    Personally, I think the toughest challenge will be converting between wealth/gold/money/credits. Whew! I think we'll go with something like 1 Copper = 1 Credit. Thus, a 50GP item would be 5K credits.

    I don't think combat or task resolution will be terribly difficult. Augmentations like cybernetics will take a cue from d20 Future SRD. I'm using a version of Etherscope to run the VR/Matrix stuff, if it comes to that.

    Technology will be informed by magic items and the powers they have. For instance, a Stun Baton is a Wand of Shocking Grasp, A Disintigration Gun could be a Wand of Disintigration. A hovercraft is a Carriage of Flying. You get my meaning. There's a lot of refluffing that needs to take place, but the mechanics are there, I think.

    I agree it will take some work and trust to make it all sync. And I would be lying if I didn't say I was a little nervous too, but hey it's an experiment.

    I've run Weird West using the 5e rules and that was a snap. Doing a near dark future setting is a step or two beyond that though.
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    Re: Getting started...

    Post  Robyo on Fri 29 May 2015 - 15:59

    Chris wrote:Ok, I will look at converting a Rogue to some kind of smuggler character.

    Faction idea - equivalent of working for the Hutt Cartel.  

    at 3rd, he probably isn't going to have his own ship yet, so he works for other captains or local bosses.  He is not the "muscle" type, more of a jack-of-all trades scoundrel for now, he has his eyes on being his own captain some day.  he would rather out-wit someone than fight them, but if he has to fight, he likes to get it over with quickly and disappear.

    Chris, that all sounds fine, except there are no "Hutts" of course. Your guy could certainly be part of a space-faring cartel. You have a lot of experience with sci fi, so I'm sure you can flesh out a good one.

    Your Faction grants you Proficiency in Stealth and Deception. You may swap your tools proficiency with mechanics tools, if you wish. You also gain Magnetic Boots, which function exactly like boots of spider-climb, and you have a non-armored zero-G suit.
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    Re: Getting started...

    Post  Robyo on Fri 29 May 2015 - 16:01

    MAS wrote:Potential snags - hybridizing systems creates a lot of rules friction. I'm willing to give it a try, of course, but there is so much that nests within a single system vs another, that you almost have to go through chapter by chapter and say "this vs that" and write it all down. Character generation and action resolution are bound to be very, very messy.


    Duly noted. If we can get through char gen, which I think could be a really fun and creative process sunny , then we'll know if this hybrid idea will work.
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    Re: Getting started...

    Post  Robyo on Sat 30 May 2015 - 11:12

    No offense to anyone, but I'd like to keep this game smallish, so we can keep it moving briskly, and spend more time on individual character development. I think that three players is a good number and we now have that if Matt, Chris, and Bronson are all on board. Bronson a cool guy from our regular tabletop group.

    Recruitment is currently closed.
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    Re: Getting started...

    Post  Robyo on Sun 31 May 2015 - 17:46

    New updates:

    ~Generate ability scores using either of the following methods:
    1) Standard Array:
    ~It's about the same yield as point-buy, maybe even better.

    - or -

    2) Roll Dice:
    -two stats: roll 1d6 +12
    -remaining 4 stats: roll 3d6

    place the numbers however you wish


    ~Magic as High Tech:
    Spells are allowed as cybernetic enhancements. A Wizard can be built as a Technomancer, using the idea of their spellbook as some kind of data focus. Each day their focus can be loaded with programs (spells slots). The spells react and are relayed through his body's various implants.

    Besides the usual limitation on spells per day (which you could refluff as charges or raw processing power), the only other flaw would be a vulnerability to electrical and water attacks, because of the cybernetic nature of the implants.


    ~Magic inside the Matrix:
    No restrictions for Avatars using spells. Spells still function as programs and can be cast easily in combat. The vulnerability against electricity and water also doesn't apply.

    Stats of an Avatar are based on the "real" character's mental/social stats:
    Avatar / Character
    DEX = INT
    STR = WIS
    CON = CHA
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    MAS
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    Re: Getting started...

    Post  MAS on Wed 3 Jun 2015 - 19:40

    Misc -

    How much should we expect to find ourselves in the matrix?

    Cybernetics vulnerable to electrical attacks I can see - but they would have to be sealed against water to operate in the human body, its a pretty wet environment on its own. We've even got plenty of waterproof tech available at walmart and best buy right now!

    Have you considered using any mechanic for contacts? "Hey, I know this guy......"

    Can you give us an idea where (geographically) we'll be starting out, and what the legal environment is? For instance, how hard is it going to be to carry weapons?
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    Re: Getting started...

    Post  Robyo on Wed 3 Jun 2015 - 23:57

    MAS wrote:Misc -

    How much should we expect to find ourselves in the matrix?

    Cybernetics vulnerable to electrical attacks I can see - but they would have to be sealed against water to operate in the human body, its a pretty wet environment on its own. We've even got plenty of waterproof tech available at walmart and best buy right now!

    Have you considered using any mechanic for contacts? "Hey, I know this guy......"

    Can you give us an idea where (geographically) we'll be starting out, and what the legal environment is? For instance, how hard is it going to be to carry weapons?

    Kind of depends on what sort of character you want to make, on whether you go into the matrix or not. It's entirely possible to interface with the matrix using just a computer screen. You're aren't required to do any deck running.

    Water proof implants (like a heart pacemaker for example), I can see that. Water proof limbs, not so much. But this IS the future, so I'll say, sure that's fine. Cybergs are only vulnerable to electricity then.

    A mechanic for contacts is probably covered by Reknown, at least within your faction. You could make a Charisma check too... or we just roleplay it out. I'm pretty open to suggestions though. Do you recommended any other systems for that?
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    Re: Getting started...

    Post  Chris on Mon 8 Jun 2015 - 11:04

    Both Shadowrun and the Whitewolf system had good rules for Allies, Contacts and Associates. I am not sure how those would translate since they were both in the "point buy" realm of their character creation.

    You could keep it simple and just go for a CHA + reknown\faction rating and\or Streetwise (know) check and "create" new contacts as needed.

    or

    You could let everyone pick a set number of contacts, for example 3. So my underworld smuggler (thief) might choose a local fence to unload his goods, a corrupt customs agent that he has bribed in the past and a street-gang member that he has known from childhood.

    None of these guys are going to directly help in a fight, but they could provide story hooks for the GM and be a source of information for our characters.

    Personally, part of the appeal of using set contacts is in establishing a roleplaying relationship with the same NPCs. Instead of just a random Joe at the bar, these guys have personalities and ask for our help as well as provide help. Since this is a custom world and we don't see it (yet) the same way the GM does, these guys help provide the flavor and can explain things to us, so we understand your vision of the setting and genre.
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    Re: Getting started...

    Post  Chris on Mon 8 Jun 2015 - 12:00

    Robyo wrote:
    Chris, that all sounds fine, except there are no "Hutts" of course. Your guy could certainly be part of a space-faring cartel. You have a lot of experience with sci fi, so I'm sure you can flesh out a good one.

    Your Faction grants you Proficiency in Stealth and Deception. You may swap your tools proficiency with mechanics tools, if you wish. You also gain Magnetic Boots, which function exactly like boots of spider-climb, and you have a non-armored zero-G suit.

    right, no slugs!  

    Quick questions about character generation....  

    1) Are we playing with Feats?  (since Variant race gives 1)

    2) given your magic = cyberware comments, is Cyber Rogue (Arcane Trickster) an available option at 3rd?

    3) I see in your earlier post that we can choose a Background.  You gave me 2 skills as  "faction" bonus.  How does it work if the same skills are also the bonus ones from background?

    for example, Criminal background, also gives Stealth and Deception.  does the bonus double?  can I choose different skills?

    also, Criminal has the feature we were discussing earlier, as an example of how 5e handles contacts:

    F e a t u r e : C r im i n a l C o n t a c t
    You have a reliable and trustworthy contact w ho acts as
    your liaison to a network o f other criminals. You know
    how to get messages to and from your contact, even
    over great distances; specifically, you know the local
    messengers, corrupt caravan masters, and seedy sailors
    who can deliver m essages for you.
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    Re: Getting started...

    Post  Robyo on Mon 8 Jun 2015 - 19:19

    Feats definitely. Plus a reknown score and sanity score, as described in the DMG.

    I don't have a problem with you switching out redundant skill proficiences. Your characters are gonna be at least a CR higher, since you get bonuses from your factions. Which is totally cool.

    I posted an example character in the Deckard thread. Maybe I'll post some more. Interested to see how a techno wizard would work.

    Honestly, this game is gonna play a lot more like D&D than gritty cyberpunk, but that's okay.
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    Re: Getting started...

    Post  Robyo on Wed 10 Jun 2015 - 23:04

    I'm allowing cybernetics to fulfill magic abilities, that's fine. The only drawback your character suffers is vulnerability to electricity. Beyond that, I'm not requiring you do routine maintenance and there's no possibility of cyber-psychosis or anything like that. However, cybernetic implants are subject to critical hits.

    Cybernetics Critical Hit rule:
    Any critical hits your character receives, require the character to make a CONSTITUTION saving throw. A failed save results in loss of one of your highest-level spell slots. The effect is cumulative, so multiple crits can result in several lost spell slots, going from highest to low. The spell slot is permanently gone until a successful cybernetic repair check can be made.
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    Re: Getting started...

    Post  Chris on Thu 11 Jun 2015 - 10:43

    Robyo wrote:I'm allowing cybernetics to fulfill magic abilities, that's fine. The only drawback your character suffers is vulnerability to electricity. Beyond that, I'm not requiring you do routine maintenance and there's no possibility of cyber-psychosis or anything like that. However, cybernetic implants are subject to critical hits.

    Cybernetics Critical Hit rule:
    Any critical hits your character receives, require the character to make a CONSTITUTION saving throw. A failed save results in loss of one of your highest-level spell slots. The effect is cumulative, so multiple crits can result in several lost spell slots, going from highest to low. The spell slot is permanently gone until a successful cybernetic repair check can be made.

    Ok, just discussing this as a balance and conceptual issue....  

    I understand how you got here:  magic = cyberware.  cyberware has penalites, so magic now has penalties.  But magic was not balanced into the game system with those additional penalties.  Cyberware gives additional benefits in other futuristic games.

    That is 2 added penalties: double damage from electricity and the potential to lose a spell when you take a crit (on top of double damage).  

    Since fantasy mages suffer no such ill effects from electricity or crits,  do mages in this setting receive any additional benefits?

    Is the intention just to nerf\eliminate mages and thus cyberware in general?


    Non casters already have a huge advantage with the addition of guns and energy weapons.  A 1st level fighter (guard) does a lot more damage with a 3d6 laser gun at range (+dex to damage) than a 1st level fighter with a bow.  Mages are already balanced by having low HP, low AC, fewer weapons and a small number of interruptible spells per day.

    I like the conceptual idea of using magic rules to cover cyberware, but I don't see the need to impose additional systemic penalties on people for using their basic class mechanics.  Non caster classes don't seem to have any additional penalites and are actually getting a boon from access to weapons with higher base damage values

    It's your game, but I just wanted to express my opinion. (as usual) Razz
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    Re: Getting started...

    Post  Robyo on Thu 11 Jun 2015 - 20:35

    Your objection is duly noted. Personally, I think it's a rather inspired house rule.



    And so, the rule stands. If you don't like it, you can play a martial character with no spellcasting (cyberware).
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    Re: Getting started...

    Post  Chris on Fri 12 Jun 2015 - 16:20

    drunken nice .gif

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    Re: Getting started...

    Post  Robyo on Sat 13 Jun 2015 - 2:42

    I posted another character concept in the Tronik thread. This one is more of a cyborg net-runner, who also uses nanobots (for healing and buffs).

    Oh, and guys, please don't worry about Alignment. We won't be using it, nor any spells or items that detect of affect alignment.
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    Re: Getting started...

    Post  Robyo on Mon 15 Jun 2015 - 0:30

    Another word on Alignment. We're not using it, but I suppose spells like Detect or Protection from Good or Evil could be changed to how Radiance does it. Good = Celestial, Evil = Undead/Aberration.


    I'm thinking we'll be using a Connection Save for when characters are accessing The Matrix via their Avatars. A Good Connection gives Advantage on the save, a Medium Connextion is baseline, and Bad Connection gives Disadvantage. You only need to make a save when your character suffers a crit, massive damage, or is forced to make some other Save.


    The adventure begins in thread 1: A Tangled Web
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    Re: Getting started...

    Post  Chris on Tue 16 Jun 2015 - 16:49

    I'll try to get my guy finished up, I definitely want to play!
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    Re: Getting started...

    Post  Robyo on Tue 16 Jun 2015 - 19:39

    Good to hear! No rush, but looking forward to it. The way the story progresses, it's okay if you guys start off separately. Or you could all be in the same bar, it doesn't matter a ton. This is pretty much a sand box adventure.
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    Re: Getting started...

    Post  Chris on Wed 17 Jun 2015 - 11:33

    Robyo wrote:Good to hear! No rush, but looking forward to it. The way the story progresses, it's okay if you guys start off separately. Or you could all be in the same bar, it doesn't matter a ton. This is pretty much a sand box adventure.

    GM - can you give Nico a final check?

    I added a bit of background, but kept it light. Nico can start anywhere
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    Re: Getting started...

    Post  Chris on Wed 17 Jun 2015 - 20:54

    Rob - do you have the d20 Cyberpunk (future) book?

    It has a lot of equipment, weapons and stuff for this time period.

    for example:

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    Re: Getting started...

    Post  Robyo on Wed 17 Jun 2015 - 21:15

    I don't think I have that one. The table looks pretty cool.
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    Re: Getting started...

    Post  MrBrownstone75 on Wed 17 Jun 2015 - 21:41

    Rules question: Inside etherspace our physical ability scores are determined by our mental scores. So if one of us was trying to use stealth in etherspace, it would be modified by INT instead of DEX?
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    Re: Getting started...

    Post  Robyo on Wed 17 Jun 2015 - 22:55

    Correct.
    The Avatar's physical stats are substituted with the character's mental stats. This affects Skills too.
    Avatar / Character
    DEX = INT
    STR = WIS
    CON = CHA

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