Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Cleric role

here's a rough draft of the cleric role. My intent is to make roles largely "class-neutral": the character could be a warrior cleric, an adept cleric, or an expert cleric (not happy with expert as a class name), though there will be clear advantages. Adepts get poor attack bonus and 1d4+1 hp/level; experts get medium attack bonus and 1d4+2 hp; warriors get good attack bonus and 1d4+4 hp. Adepts get the best spellcasting abilities; other classes, if they take a spellcasting role (one with a spell list) get a bare-bones ability to cast spells. Obviously a number of things need to be fleshed out, including tweaks to turning undead (& channelling power in general) and exact spell lists.

Considering using James Mishler's cascading d6 for Turn Undead (aka channel power) http://jamesmishler.blogspot.com/2009/12/cascading-d6-system-for-bx-etc.html

First-tier, second-tier, and so refers to the first tier at which a character takes on this role. A character that starts off as a cleric would be an acolyte at 1st and 2nd level, a friar from 3rd-5th level, and so on, while a character that becomes a cleric later in life (a fighter gaining religion, for instance), would start the first tier at a higher level, perhaps 3rd, 6th, or 9th.

With races becoming roles, this means demihumans will always lag behind humans in general roles, and won't ever reach the fifth tier in anything but their racial role, without level limits or penalties.

Clerics are holy warriors and scholars invested with divine power. They are more martial than most temple priests, and often undertake divine quests to defeat evil or chaos (or cause it!). They may wear light armor and wield blunt weapons.

First Tier: A first-tier cleric is known as an acolyte.
• Ascetic Life: Due to their regimented lifestyle, clerics gain +1 hit point each level they advance in the cleric role.
• Channel Power: Clerics can “Turn” the undead, making them flee from the Priest’s holiness (or, in the case of an evil Priest, bringing them to heel as servants and minions).
• Spells: Acolytes can learn the following spells:

Second Tier: A second-tier cleric is known as a friar, and expected to go out into the world to fight the enemies of her faith.
• Warrior-Priest: Friars gain a +1 bonus to damage with blunt weapons, and the ability to wear medium armor, thanks to their martial training.
• Spells: Friars can learn the following spells:

Third Tier: A third-tier cleric is known as a curate, and begins to take responsibility for the well-being of lesser clerics, as well as her religious faith.
• Power of Faith: Curates continue to increase their martial abilities, and gain a +1 bonus to hit with blunt weapons and the ability to carry a shield.
• Acolyte: The curate gains an acolyte student to assist her. Should the acolyte die, another will replace him the next time the curate gains a level. If too many acolytes die, or die under suspicious circumstances (ie, not in the cause of their faith), the cleric is likely to face investigation and repercussions.
• Spells: Curates can learn the following spells:

Fourth Tier: A fourth-tier cleric is known as a clerist. Clerists often lead a stronghold of their faith.
• Establish Stronghold: At the fourth tier, a cleric character may establish a stronghold and attract a body of loyal (or perhaps even fanatic) men-at-arms who will swear fealty to him.
• Staff: The clerist gains two acolyte assistants, and her former acolyte becomes a friar in her service.
• Spells: Clerists can learn the following spells:

Fifth Tier: A fifth-tier cleric is known as a high clerist, and typically is the head of, or embodies, her faith in the campaign world.
• Resurrection: A high clerist gains access to the resurrection ability. This ability acts as a raise dead spell, with the following differences: the person resurrected must be on good terms with the cleric’s faith, must have died since the cleric’s faith became established in the campaign world, and only be used once per month. The subject incurs no ill effects or penalties from the resurrection, but is expected to undertake a quest to benefit the high clerist’s faith at the earliest opportunity.

Darkwater RPG, take...three. Or four.

(reposted from a thread here http://www.swordsandwizardry.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=2284&start=0 )

I've been mulling over "my" rpg for some time, and had a burst of thought (and mild inspiration) in the past few days. So, I'm just going to sketch out some ideas here.

To make one thing clear, though, I'm building on S&W as the core framework, but it's not intended as retro-clone in any shape or form. It's a S&W + 3e + True20 hybrid. Simplicity with choice.

Abilities: I'm really mixed here; need more thought. I'd like to swap Charisma for "Presence", which I think is clearer and more in line with my take on it, but is it worth the confusion?

Classes: Classes are broken up into "Classes" (or maybe Roles), and "Aspects" (or maybe Classes"). Classes are more or less mechanical: warrior, adept, expert. Or warrior, mystic, rogue. Classes are "what" a character does (hit things, cast spells, other); Aspects are "how" they do it. Elf would be an aspect, as would Fighter, Barbarian, Knight, Wizard, Cleric, Druid, and etc. As characters progress, they can take on new aspects, or develop existing ones, so an Elf could become an Elven Wizard by taking on the Wizard aspect, or a High Elf, by taking on the High Elf aspect. See levels & tiers below.

Races: Subsumed into aspects, so a first level elf would be an Elf, while a 1st level human would be a Fighter, or Wizard, or Thief, or whatever. The Elf could take Fighter at third level, but will always lag a little bit behind in Fighter abilities.

Levels & Tiers: This is my eureka moment; I realize it may be not all that exciting to many people, however. I'm going to squish the game into 10 or 12 levels. Characters will get a new aspect at first level, third level, sixth level, and ninth level. Possibly 12th, if I go that high. These match up to the tiers: Adventurer, Heroic, Champion, Legend, (Epic?). Aspects will get new abilities, or refine old ones, at higher levels; other aspects will only be possible at higher tiers: Archmage at Legend, for instance.

Multi-classing: not sure of this. Have to think about it. I could ditch multiclassing if aspects brought certain abilities with them, so a Wizard warrior had some ability to cast spells or use magic, albeit at a much lower level than a Wizard adept.

Spells: Higher level spells are going to get seriously sorted and cut. I'm going to try and squish the levels down, but not necessarily spell power. Wish is pretty much out. Spell lists will be linked to aspects, with a base of "common" spells, so an elven adept will get common + elf spells, while a (human) wizard adept gets common + wizard spells.

Saves: probably a single flat save with bonuses/adjustments.

Damage: damage by class rather than damage by weapon.

Experience: one chart. Or, possibly, no chart. Use whatever chart you fancy. Or maybe using Achievement points, a la Engines & Empires.