Monday, March 31, 2014

31 Posts in 31 Days

I am pretty sure that March has set a record for me for posting, since I have averaged one post a day... and most of them have been pretty substantial! With twelve days left in the Kickstarter Campaign (so get over there and PLEDGE ALREADY), I thought it would be a good time to recap some of the rules I have going for Saga of the Splintered Realm. I wanted to get a full play test edition out this last weekend, but I got about halfway through editing the draft and realized I have a whole slew of things still to tighten up before releasing it to the wild. While it is 'only' a play test version, I still don't want to put something in your hands (or on your screen) that I already know the errors in... it's rather pointless for ten of you to point out that I say that elves get +2 to sense on one page and +4 to sense on another page, when I'm already aware of that but was just too sloppy to fix the error.

The quick lowdown (with some of the newest flourishes I'm working on):

- Attribute scores range from 2 to 12 for PCs.
- One XP/level progression for everyone (and the same spell progression for clerics and magic users in their respective fields).
- One saving throw progression for everyone (although demi-humans get a bonus)
- The 'check' is the default non-combat system. Roll 1d20 + modifiers, target 20 for success. Examples: As a thief, you can pick pockets or foil traps as a check, rolling 1d20 + level +2 (target 20). As a cleric, you make a wisdom check to compel undead, modifying the roll by 2x the difference between cleric and undead level (a cleric 4 attempting to turn an undead 6 takes a -4 penalty to the check). Want to force a door? Strength check. Want to learn a new arcane spell? Intelligence check (there is no read magic spell). Want to see if your henchmen stay by your side after two of them bite it in a burst of dragon's breath? Charisma check.
- Class and race are separate options (this is a big change from my previous drafts of the game). Four core classes (cleric, fighter, magic user, thief), and four core races (human, dwarf, elf, stoutling).
- You can multiclass. If you want to multiclass, you divide xp earned by the number of classes you have. You progress in all classes simultaneously; as a fighter/magic user/thief, you only count 1/3 of all xp you earn. You are going to progress S.L.O.W.L.Y. but at the same glacial pace in all three classes.
- Levels cap out at 12 (a change from the working draft I had that went to 14). I am thinking of three 'tiers' of progression: low level (1-4), medium level (5-8) and high level (9-12). This means that HD can progress all the way to level 12 without ever breaking the game, and monsters of greater than 12 HD are truly beyond humanity - even the best of humanity. This also means that any ability or spell with a + Level modifier doesn't need an artificial cap on its progression; a burst of flame (i.e. fireball) deals up to 12d6 damage, because you will not have casters higher than level 12 (at least in the core rules...).


  1. I like all of this, though the traditionalist in me wants the 3-18 ability scores. Assuming that demi-humans have their usual racial abilities and can be any class, what mechanic will humans have to off-set the demi-human perks make them desirable to play?

  2. This is a tough one... the idea of the game world is that humans are chosen by fate as special - the fate of the world moves through the choices of humanity, not the other races. I'm a bit torn on this - I feel like the rules for Fate should be in the second book (since they are unique to the game world), but they have pretty considerable mechanical consequence, meaning that they belong in the core rules. The traditionalist in me wants to keep a fate mechanic out of the core book, but I'm leaning more and more towards putting that mechanic in the base ruleset.

    I can see two ways that fate works right now. Using a fate point allows you to replace any roll with the best possible result for that roll (a hit roll, check, saving throw, damage, whatever)... as a human, you get a free fate point per level. You will either:

    1. Get an automatic 1d4 fate points per level (1d4+1 as a human) -or-
    2. You spend xp to have fate intervene. The first time costs you 10 xp (or the first one is free as a human, 10 xp for the second one). The next costs 100 xp; the next costs 1,000 xp; the next (if you can afford it) costs 10,000 xp. This resets every level.

  3. I think a better solution than moving fate points to the core book would be to allow humans a higher hit die (Human Wizard, d6; Elf Wizard, d4; etc). One extra fate point isn't a big motivation to pass up dark vision and other perks but a greater number of hit points might work.