Another possible 3.5ed campaign

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Another possible 3.5ed campaign

Post by Reverend Red on Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:52 pm

I'm thinking of another campaign, starting from our little posse. Currently, there are some pretty hefty houserules I've been working up from, and the basic idea is something like this:

Once upon a time, there was a huge-ass motherfucking interplanar empire or nation or some shit. Lots of planes of nigh-infinite spaces under one banner. There is another, one Sún-iverse you've briefly come by (at this point, in its earliest stages of world domination) and they wage war, which is, obviously, beyond any measure of warfare ever seen. In this war, non-casters are something like beefed up familiars, and casually sacrificed in the billions just to generate more powerful magical effects. The war is won by the good guys and the Súns are tossed back and large parts of their multi-planar territory taken away from them. God-Kings and fucking Witch Queens and shit now rule large portions of that which is infinite. But the war evokes rivalry between the arcane and the divine and a civil war starts, which, eventually, leads to:
-Psionic gods sucking up the mental powers of their subjects to be able to somehow keep up with their counterparts
-Arcane gods unifying into a creature called Magic
-Divine gods eventually whupping their asses (all the really big gods are much more conceptual than just dudes with stupid names)
-And eventually all the gods banished beyond reality or destroyed altogether. Magic included.
-Shit falls apart, worst case scenarios in a lot of the worlds, complete disorray, Súns seizing the opportunity with their High Tech Shit TM. Et cetera.

Here's what that means, which brings us to the houserules section.
-No arcane magic.
-No divine magic.
-Divine classes like Paladin is going to get fucked, since there are no gods. Almost all divine, non-casting classes are considered "ex"-versions of themselves.
-Psionics begin from point zero (like, level 35 psion builds of old are now level 1 psions or some shit.)
-All books are allowed, well, excluding a lot of wonky 3.0 stuff, non WotC-releases, Dragon Magazine, Ghostwalk and so on; with you guys (Sol specifically) you need to be pretty precise with this kinda stuff.
-Campaign setting specific material is completely fine, because you can be from any world.
-Specific class changes will be made - some classes deserve to exist, BUT! They will be reformed as Incarnum (usually arcane-based classes,) Tome of Magic (usually divine-based classes) or Psionic versions. The kinks of this shit will be worked, however, it's not the point of the deal.
-The stupid fucking point of this is to make a campaign entirely revolving around Tome of Battle, Tome of Magic, Magic of Incarnum and the Expanded Psionics Handbook. There are several reasons for this, all basically idiotic.

Anyway, then we create wacky adventures. Maybe a Persistent World-type of solution, with many games running at the same time, created by several DMs.

Everything but the underlying concept of removing 90% of the fucking game is debatable. So gentlemen, shall we begin?

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Re: Another possible 3.5ed campaign

Post by Solnath on Tue Aug 25, 2009 7:26 pm

Sounds legit. Where do we start?

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Re: Another possible 3.5ed campaign

Post by Reverend Red on Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:10 pm

Hmm, well, I suppose working on the setting and the kinks of the system. Some obvious problems come to mind, such as magic items (I suggest they're now incarnum-based, which again leads to problems, such as creating magic items and effects) and the whole bestiary (which apparently has to be modified on a case-to-case basis, and includes both fluff and mechanical confusion.) I think tech could be included, Eberron campaign setting has some good ideas for fantasy technology.

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Re: Another possible 3.5ed campaign

Post by Reverend Red on Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:24 pm

Scrolls and potions, yes. Well, arcane and divine spells no longer work, so neither do scrolls harnessing that power. Needs work. So does Artificier.

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Re: Another possible 3.5ed campaign

Post by Tshern on Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:29 pm

What happened to spell-like abilities? Warlock's Eldritch blast, for example, is an SLA. Removing that from Warlock's arsenal is going to undermien the already quite unimpressive offensive capabilities of the class.

Anyway, since we're going to run this online, I'd rather have a mid-high level game, which to me means anything from level eight upwards. It is not too easy to obtain reliable healing and, well, without a system for magic items the entire RNG becomes essentially useless. It's next to impossible to survive in a world where only a very small number of classes can fly (while all monsters eventually do) and damage reduction actually becomes a big issue.

Incarnum, as it is now, doesn't have anything that could be used to simulate item creation. The spells required for items don't exist there in any form for the most part. Artificers still have infusions, since they aren't arcane or divine at all. That could help a bit, but forcing everyone to play an Artificer is counterproductive.

Then there's the problem of monsters. Almost all outsiders get most of their powers from SLAs and removing them is problematic. If someone is ready to rewrite a great deal of the possible encounters, this could work though.

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Re: Another possible 3.5ed campaign

Post by Reverend Red on Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:43 pm

I did state the problem with monsters, and I think a tedious case-by-case approach to monsters is the only way to go.

SLAs and so forth are obviously a big issue. A lot of the whole game revolves around them. Of course, with the nerfed characters, it's not a bad thing if there are nerfed monsters as well. For example, a Solar would no longer be a death threat, it's only a flying, ability score powerhouse. A lot of CR drops would soon be perceived. Also, changing some of the, and let's not start fighting over this term, "believable" abilities into (Ex) ones could work, as well as turning, where possible, the SLAs into PLAs. The issues with many classes, Warlock being a GREAT example, need work. This setting is very fertile for warlocks, since the ability to fly, teleport and attack at range without concern over DR are barely reachable for most classes that actually stick around. I think, it being this sorcerous, intuitive power, it could be somehow incorporated into the concept of Incarnum (as those of you who've read the book know, it's basically "raw magic") and could work somewhat as it does now, but again, I urge you guys to bring in your two cents.

When it comes to magic items, I've only got a couple of ideas. For example, magic items that were still are. However, making them would be impossible, hence nerfing the artificier to a mechanic, which might be a good thing, since it was arguably the best class in D&D3.5, and in this setting, it would skyrocket into extents that are barely comprehensible. So, basically, the characters would begin with the same WBL and regular item purchasing ability, (would make sense with the high-level set up) but after that, gaining new items would be difficult and expensive. I am not unfamiliar with the problems this causes melee guys.

Thanks for the input Miika, you guys keep it coming. Help me out here!

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Re: Another possible 3.5ed campaign

Post by Reverend Red on Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:03 pm

The question of shadow weave has been roused. Comments?

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Re: Another possible 3.5ed campaign

Post by Tshern on Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:50 am

Then there's of course the Dragonfire Adept. A lot of invocations there, too. Of course allowing invocations, since even though they are spell-like abilities, they are usually unique, could solve the problem entirely. Making the Eldritch blast a supernatural ability is another option. The downside is that it would then automatically penetrate SR and it would disqualify itself from any SLA feats. Neither of those sounds like a problem to me though.

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Re: Another possible 3.5ed campaign

Post by Solnath on Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:00 am

The way I see the Warlock class is that its basically deriving its power from the gods' infernal counterparts. If they aren't in the game, then Warlocks cannot draw power from the infernal planes unless some sort of compromise á là "the evil in the world qualifies as the source of their might" or whatnot is agreed upon.

As for shadow-weaving, I would qualify that as magic, seeing how the setting is constructed plus the fact that technically it is just mimicry of magic itself, woven around a plane. I would assume that it had been integrated into Magic and thus would no longer be functional.

Outsiders, I reckon, probably should have mostly died out when the gods disappeared as they're extraplanar nature would have been quite closely tied to the fate of the deities. The way I see it, the only ones left would be the ones who were on the Material Plane at the time of the war's conclusion.

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Re: Another possible 3.5ed campaign

Post by Tshern on Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:21 pm

It's just flavour, which again is completely mutable. To me turning all the invocations and eldritch blast to supernatural abilities makes a lot more sense and it would keep two classes that are relatively balanced in this scenario in the game. There are only a handful of ways to achieve flying, for example. It'd suck to practically force everyone to play Psion/Ardent/Erudite/Psychic Warrior (I think there's an incarnum soulmeld that gives flight speed too) instead of all the other possible options. This is the other main reason I suggest we take this gestalt. The other is, of course, just plain fun.

Also, I thought we could use a Weapons of Legacy-ish option for our items. Everyone picks seven, eight items and decides what he needs and then plots a chart to describe how they advance when the character levels up. Requires some thinking, but at least we'd get rid of the entire magic market problem.

All outsiders are not tied to deities at all. You might've heard of, say, the Abyss.

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Re: Another possible 3.5ed campaign

Post by Reverend Red on Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:44 pm

I'm still adverse to gestalt. If everyone really wants to play like that, fine, but for now, I don't really enjoy the idea.

Warlock and Dragonfire Adept, as well as other highly similar classes/prc's someone might be kind enough to point out, will work - we're simply changing the Spell-likes to (Su). Some of that shit might even become (Ex.) The exacts of these will be run case-by-case. I can only assure that these classes and others akin to them will work. There is no demanding fluff reason for them to not be available - and their mechanics are great for the setting. I think, however, that Shadow Weave has disapperared. Can't really find a good excuse for it still existing.

Which brings us to the question about imbalanced monsters. Because of the setting, we're going to be using a vastly different encounter table. When you see a flying monster that can actually attack at range, it's going to be a shit storm, I mean, probably. However, the amount of flying monsters has decreased a lot. As said, each encounter will be re-done one at a time, so a vague, general ruleset for monsters is going to be hard to keep in check.

The Artificier question is still somewhat open. However, I think it'd be nice to have some sort of access to magic items, however, it's at war with the concept of the setting. I will work with you guys to make it work, though you may consider the class to be extremely nerfed.

The Weapon of Legacy-type of deal is under consideration, but I don't think that's how it's going to play out, especially if we're giving room for artificiers.

When it comes to divine powers and divine beings... I don't know. Outsiders have no reason to not exist - either Sol doesn't really know what an outsider is or he's asking for a fluff modification to them. Doesn't matter, the verdict is: they do indeed exist.

As magic items still exist, so do many portals. However, their behaviour has become erratic and unpredictable, so planar travelling is going to be a bitch.

Eberronesque steampunk stuff will be found in abundance and that as well as "mundane" alchemy could be extremely powerful alternatives. Will look into that.

I've settled to starting level 9 for MY campaign. Smapo has expressed interest in making one of his own, starting from level one. I'll post more details of the place we'll be starting perhaps tomorrow.

These are my views at the moment, but with solid arguments, they are debatable.

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Re: Another possible 3.5ed campaign

Post by Reverend Red on Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:21 pm

Okay, since no-one is particulary interested in suggesting anything fo the setting, I'll just start drawing it up myself.

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