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Messages - cthughua

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I'll put my 2 copper in, I'm a huge fan of the Cypher System.  It's very rules light and story-driven.

The Rec Room / Re: Thanks Om!
« on: May 12, 2015, 12:19:53 AM »
<smokebomb> Ninja vanish!

The Rec Room / Re: Thanks Om!
« on: May 10, 2015, 08:21:14 PM »
Thanks Om, and thanks Colonel.

When I took over the site it was out of love for a thing I did not want to see die, but I admit I knew nothing of hosting or any of that shit.  So I kinda learned as I went and I'm sure I fucked some stuff up.  Believe me I was MORE than thrilled to let someone take over the reigns.  And he let me keep mod duties, so LOOK OUT!  Heh.

The Studio / Re: Variant 5e D&D spellcasting
« on: January 21, 2015, 06:56:21 PM »
Sort of.

Yes, theoretically you can cast infinite spells until you fail.  However, the Channeling DC for that 1st level spell is probably 13, most casters are going to have a 16 or 17 in their primary caster stat.   This means you'll probably get off 4-5 spells with an average Con.  Once you fail one it's like a freebie, now each time you fail you get a level of exhaustion.  Each level of exhaustion has some nasty effects, I suggest you check Appendix A in the PHB.  There are 6 total levels of exhaustion, the last level equals death.  So technically if you wanted to you could keep casting until you died.

The Studio / Variant 5e D&D spellcasting
« on: January 21, 2015, 06:24:39 PM »
I humbly submit this for you to use/tear apart.  Feedback welcome.

Fatiguing Magic
A variant spell casting system for 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons.

The spell slot system for D&D never quite jived for me.  I wanted a dynamic system where magic was an unpredictable force that spell casters were capable of manipulating but with sometimes disastrous consequence.  Where gods and spirits were fickle hoarders of cosmic power, capriciously doling it out to worshipers.

Yet it also had to be a complete system that blended seamlessly with the other rules of the game.  For me, Fifth Edition seems to be the pinnacle of streamlined play and consistent rules.  A perfect time to finally introduce some of my own thoughts regarding spell casting into the game.

Some of the changes in this text are mostly thematic, explaining some seemingly arbitrary rules.  Other changes allow a player to completely bypass those restrictions for a price. Most changes allow players a little more freedom in how and where their characters cast spells, trading reliability for power.

On the Arcane and the Divine
In many RPGs there isn't really anything separating arcane and divine spells, players select spells from one of two menus, arbitrarily divided. With this system, arcane casters learn magic through a system of formula and rote memorization.  Arcane magic is treated like physics, it is a series of constants and variables.   Divine casters on the other hand must beseech their patrons for their aid, often times with a series of ritual and prayer that to the outside observer may seem very much like arcane casting but in truth it is completely different.  A divine caster wields the power of their deity with blind devotion, never truly understanding the nature of how that power effects reality.

Spell casters no longer have spell slots, only spells known and prepared.  When you cast a spell of 1st level or higher you must make a Channeling check equal to the DC of the spell that you have just cast.  This is a special Constitution check that does not suffer from disadvantage from the first level of exhaustion. Failing this check means you suffer a level of exhaustion.  Rolling a 1 on this check requires a roll on the spell mishap table.

Experienced casters have a layer of insulation from this fatigue equal to their Total Caster Level.  To determine Total Caster Level add levels of bard, cleric, druid, sorcerer, and wizard together, half your levels (rounded down) in the paladin and ranger classes, and a third of your fighter or rogue levels (rounded down) if you have the Eldritch Knight or Arcane Trickster feature.  Each time a character suffers a level of exhaustion from a failed casting check they may instead expend a number of points from their insulation equal to the level of the spell just cast. See Appendix A of the PHB for effects of exhaustion.

Spell casters can recover spent Insulation by expending hit die during a short rest.  Roll a d4 for each hit die expended and add to Insulation up to the character’s maximum Insulation.  Spell casters automatically recover half of their max Insulation (rounded down) during a long rest.

Practiced Channeller
You add your proficiency bonus to your Channeling check.  Furthermore you add your highest casting ability score modifier to Insulation.

You can cast a spell at a higher level than you normally could, this is called over-channeling.   You automatically suffer a level of exhaustion for each spell level above the highest level you could normally cast.  Insulation cannot help you here, as this is a deliberate attempt to squeeze more energy into a spell than is normally safe to do.  You still make a Channeling roll, success means you over-channel with no added complications, failure means you roll on the spell mishap table.

Known and Prepared Spells
Some spell casters prepare spells whereas others cast from a smaller list of known spells.  Under this system, casters who prepare spells still do so, however they can cast any spell they normally could from a spell book or calling on their patron on a successful Arcana (for Arcane spells) or Religion (for Divine spells) skill check with the DC equal to the spell being cast. Failing this check results in an unpredictable surge of magic. Roll on the spell mishap table.  The spell is fatiguing as normal.  Any spell caster can attempt to cast a spell they have personally observed being cast but do not know, the DC for the check is increased by +5, however.

Alternate Class Abilities
Certain class abilities become more or less useful under this system or down right useless and therefore need some modification.  Other changes/additions have been made to alter the feel and role of each of the spell casting classes, further distinguishing them from each other.

Spell Weaving: By subtly inter-weaving their music with magic, a bard is able to concentrate on two spells at once however he cannot stop playing or singing while concentrating.  This makes stealth checks automatically fail.  A bard cannot maintain spell weaving and also countersong or use their inspiration ability.

Sotto Voce: At 15th level a bard learns to use sub-harmonics to remain near silent while maintaining two concentration spells at once.  He can make Stealth checks as normal.

Alumni Dues: As members of a bardic college, bards must pay annual dues equal their bard level x 100gp.  Alternately, a bard may return to his college to pass on his knowledge, this takes a month and his dues are waived for the year.  A bard who uncovers a particular piece of lore or a bard only magic item could donate it to the college, his dues would then be waived for a value equal to the full value of the item.

Divine Intervention: Functions exactly as written, however instead of using “duplicates a spell” as a rough guideline of the power scale of the intervention instead consider it to be a “we win” button for the players.  The manifestation of a deity’s will should be awesome and thematically in line with that deity’s domains.  A storm god smites all of your enemies with lightning, a god of life restores all slain comrades, a god of knowledge resets time to just before the battle begun but all character retain all memories of the past that never happened.  Get creative!  Offer spot bonuses (or penalties) to the chance the roll succeeds based on how well the player roleplays their plea or the environment.  Praying to the storm god indoors?  Give the player a penalty, -5% at most.  Really good roleplaying? Go as high as +15%.

Tend the Wild:  The balance of nature must ever be maintained; a druid must spend time in a natural environment a number of hours equal to her level each month, performing rituals, culling weaker animals and plants or nurturing young and growing flora and fauna (depending on her alignment).  Failing to do so weakens her bond with nature, she loses access to her highest level spells.  Thereafter, each week that a druid fails to perform her duties she loses her next highest level of spells. Atonement equal to the total number of hours missed is required before her spells are returned.  A druid can attempt to over-channel as normal.

Sacred Places: When a druid is within a stone circle or some other place considered sacred by druids (DM’s call) she has advantage on Channeling checks.

Raw Magic: A sorcerer’s access to the arcane is precocious at best, his magic wants to be used. If a sorcerer goes 24 hours without casting his highest level spell he must make a DC 15 Arcana check, failure means rolling on the spell mishap table as he loses control over his powers.  At 10th level the DC is reduced to 10.  At 15th level he no longer needs to make this check, his self-mastery complete.   The DM is free to impose this check on him any other time his magic might want to surge out of him, times of high stress, areas of wild magic, proximity to dragons, etc.

Over-Channel Expert: A sorcerer’s mastery over the raw nature of magic allows them to reduce the fatigue of any over-channel attempt by 1 (to a minimum of 1).

The warlock is a special case, they do not cast spells like most other casters.  Although truly closer to a divine caster they are even more so a conduit for the energies they wield rather than a conscious practitioner of the arcane arts.  This results in them often being looked down upon by other casters.  Furthermore, the rules as written provide no impetus for a warlock that is beholden to another power to adhere to any requests from their patron.  The DM is free to impose little side missions or quests, especially that coincide (or clash!) with the party’s current goals.  The agenda of their patron is often inscrutable yet certain patterns may come to light as the adventures progress.  A Warlock who refuses to obey their patron may find their spells and abilities fail them.  A Warlock who has mildly displeased his master must roll on the spell mishap table every time he misses with a spell attack. Additional failure will be met with the loss of invocations and spell slots.  The DM is free to determine a suitable act of atonement.

Arcane Recovery: Instead of spell slots, you recover that much Insulation instead.

Spell Mastery: The spells chosen do not require a Channeling roll.

Signature Spells: The two spells chosen do not require a Channeling roll.

School Specialist: At level 2 when a player selects a specialty school, that player also selects another school to be his least favored school.  From that moment on, the caster has advantage on Channeling rolls for the specialty school and disadvantage on the other.  Magic is fickle.

Spell Mishap Table
Roll d20.
1-10 Roll on the Wild Magic Table.
11-15 The caster is cutoff from magic until taking a short rest.
16-20 The caster suffers 1d4 levels of exhaustion.

The Rec Room / Re: Happy New Year!
« on: January 02, 2015, 12:02:23 PM »
Happy New Year to my PbPHouse family!

The Game Room / Re: Shadowrun: Returns
« on: October 07, 2014, 01:48:12 AM »
Sweet!  I didn't get too far in Dragonfall so that works.

The Game Room / Re: So! Who else got D&D 5th PHB today?
« on: October 07, 2014, 01:45:44 AM »
I've been running a FtF Numenera game on Sundays.  One of my players is starting up a 5e game, squee!  So I'll be playing that.  I likes what I have read.  But I agree about cookie cutter characters, but I think that will change with more books AND I'm always down to tinker with house rules so if I do run a game it would be chocked full of variants and options.

The Rec Room / Re: Guardians of the Galaxy
« on: August 09, 2014, 10:27:01 PM »
Saw it with the ex and the spawn of cthughua... spawn didn't want to go... 10 minutes in she was on the edge of her seat for the rest of the movie.  That is good enough for me.

The Game Room / Re: Shadowrun: Returns
« on: July 06, 2014, 05:29:57 PM »
Oh really?  Shoot.  Maybe I'll work that in.

The Game Room / Re: Shadowrun: Returns
« on: July 03, 2014, 09:36:48 PM »
I beat the original campaign with a human street sam with Dodge and Rifle maxxed and 6 body and 6 charisma.  Enjoyed the dialogue options.  Rolled a mage for Dragonfall, was not impressed, tried a shaman, also not impressed, then went back to my build from the original and really enjoyed it.  I guess "tough and shooty with a bit of charm" is my play style.

The Game Room / Re: Shadowrun: Returns
« on: July 01, 2014, 10:34:15 AM »
So I didn't enjoy the Rigger, just too much micro managing.  But that's because you're forced to take additional people in runs often, but after having played a bit, I think it's still a viable option.  I rerolled again (I tend to do that a lot when trying a new game.) And just made a street sam with tons of charisma, body, and quickness.  Tough and drops fools with full auto and also sweet talks his way in and out of all kinds of things.  Enjoying it, but realizing this game doesn't really require you to specialize, level 4-6 is great for most skills.  Although I imagine this is not the case on higher than normal difficulty.  Right now I'm kinda regretting spending any money on additional runners.

The Game Room / Re: Shadowrun: Returns
« on: June 30, 2014, 08:19:22 PM »
Just picked up the game and DLC for CHEAP for Steam Summer Sale. Made a sniper elf, spread my points out a but too much I think I'm going to retold a human decker/rigger w/ a shotgun.

The Rec Room / Re: Amazing Spiderman 2
« on: May 12, 2014, 04:40:05 PM »
I am looking forward to those as well, my daughter wants to see Guardians.

The Rec Room / Amazing Spiderman 2
« on: May 12, 2014, 01:58:23 PM »
Saw it last weekend, really good. I missed thew wise-cracking Peter Parker from the comic books in the last trilogy, glad to see he's back.  I'm really liking some of the changes in the Ultimate Marvel Universe.

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