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Good evening, afternoon, or whatever time it happens to be there, ladies and gents! I happen to be Andy, who happens to be a freelance web designer, musician, writer, and whatnot.

Roman Catholic, student of tabletop gaming, and someday soon I'll have my own designs in the field!

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Breakin' Down the Christmas Tree, Part 2

In last week's "Crunch" post, I discussed a little something called "Styles" and "Techniques", a replacement for most magic items, designed to avoid the "Christmas tree effect", that part of D&D where characters have to gather lots and lots of magic items to be most effective. I then promised a system that would allow any character to work just as efficiently as one with the proper magic items. Well, I can't say for sure if this succeeded, since I haven't gotten the chance to playtest it yet. But here's my ideas.

To have access to fighting styles and techniques, you first have to take a "School" feat. This represents a school of training within the martial community. Once you take the initial "Basic Training" feat, you then gain access to further feats from that school.

STREET TRAINING [BRAWLER SCHOOL]
Your training isn't pretty, but it works.
Prerequisites: Str 13
You gain the Brawler Style and the Tough Guy Technique. You may not take fighting style feats from another school. You may not gain the benefits of a Style on an attack made with a magical weapon, and you may not gain the benefits of a Technique if you wear magic armor or a magic neck slot item.

Brawler [STYLE]
"Take 'em hard, take 'em down."
You gain the following bonus to all melee attacks and damage rolls:
1st-5th Level: +1
6th-10th Level: +2
11th-15th Level: +3
16th-20th Level: +4
21st-25th Level: +5
26th-30th Level: +6
For each plus, roll 1d6 on a critical hit. Each time you bloody an enemy with a melee attack, deal extra damage equal to your Constitution modifier.

Tough Guy [TECHNIQUE]
"You really don't scare me. No, really."
While this technique is active, you gain the following bonus to your Fortitude, Will, and either AC or Reflex defenses (chosen when you activate this technique):
1st-5th Level: +1
6th-10th Level: +2
11th-15th Level: +3
16th-20th Level: +4
21st-25th Level: +5
26th-30th Level: +6
You also gain a +3 bonus to Intimidate checks.

DIRTY TRICKS [BRAWLER SCHOOL]
"Cheatin'? Well let's see how you like this!"
Prerequisites: Street Training, Wis 13
When you hit an enemy with a melee weapon attack, you may choose to deal only [W] damage; that enemy grants combat advantage to all creatures until the start of your next turn.

URBAN CHAMPION [BRAWLER SCHOOL]
"I'm no unschooled pup, that's for sure."
Prerequisites: Street Training, Cha 13
You gain the Champion Swagger Technique.

Champion Swagger [TECHNIQUE]
You know just what you can do, and you let everyone else know, too.
While this technique is active, you gain the following bonus to your AC, Will, and either Fortitude or Reflex defenses (chosen when you activate this technique):
1st-5th Level: +1
6th-10th Level: +2
11th-15th Level: +3
16th-20th Level: +4
21st-25th Level: +5
26th-30th Level: +6
You also gain resist 3 against damage from opportunity attacks.

This ought to give a pretty good taste of how these go. Check back next week, I'll have some samples from a vastly different style: the woodland guerillas of the Green Arrow.

(Don't forget to leave feedback in the Comments box below! I'd love to hear what you think of these, and if you've tried them in your own games!)

2 comments:

  1. Major problem: you're adding a feat cost here as an idea for treasure substitution. I suggest instead making it more story and treasure oriented in the first place. Have them need to find a school/master/guild. Tuition/training costs a certain amount(the original cost of the magic item you wish to emulate) this also gives the possibility of training as a quest reward, in the place of an item, making it much more fluid for the DM. Also, it would allow the players to choose their "styles" by simple skimming a treasure list in one of the many books, further taking work off of the DM. Also at each "treasure benchmark"(1-5, 6-10, etc. not to be confused with level tier) require further training, to match the treasure scale and keep treasure worth the while and not just scrap an entire part of the game. It lends itself to deeper character development, too. Also, requiring something for them to focus these different abilities through similar to a ki focus (with the assassin) could keep them from being non-materialists. In a way, it still puts a limit/mechanic to their power. It also keeps artifacts possible and keeps/makes magic items truly magical.

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  2. I like the idea of tying training into a treasure reward system. Perhaps it would best be served, then, as allowing a character to take these as feats, but also let them purchase them through GP...I like the idea of having them have to "train up" to reach the next level of fighting style, so that would obviously be the sole exception.

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