Today, I shall continue the discussion on level 2 and introduce my ideas for level 3. Hopefully, after some discussion, I can develop this into a playtest 3-level class. More on that as things develop.
Additions to level 2:
Swift: This style focuses on speed and agility. A monk that follows this path is infuriatingly difficult to hit in combat. A swift monk’s attacks do less damage than those of other styles, but she is able to attack far more often and far more accurately.
Favoured Qi Flows: Qi Defense
Bonus Feat List: Agile, Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Mobility, Run, Quick Draw, Spring Attack, Snatch Arrows, Stealthy, Weapon Finesse.
Balanced: A monk that follows the balanced style combines both offense and defense into a highly adaptive fighting style.
Favoured Qi Flows: ???
Bonus Feat List (A balanced style monk may use her wisdom score, instead of her intelligence score, as the prerequisite for any of the feat): Blind-Fight, Dodge, Combat Expertise , Improved Disarm, Improved Feint, Improved Disarm, Power Attack.
Unarmoured Speed Bonus (Ex): At level 3, a monk gets a +10ft (enhancement?) bonus to her speed.
Enhanced Qi Strike (Ex): As she gains experience, a monk learns to better control her body and qi in order to deliver powerful attacks. The type of attack depends on the monk’s combat style.
Strong: After a successful Qi Strike, a monk may make expend 1 qi point as a free action to either make a grapple or bull rush attempt against the same foe. The bull rush or grapple attempt is resolved as normal (incurring attacks of opportunity if applicable).
If you succeed with a grapple attempt, you deal extra damage equal to your wisdom modifier.
If you succeed with a bull rush attempt, you may push your opponent back an additional distance equal to your wisdom modifier, rounded up to the nearest multiple of 5 feet. When moving your opponent this extra distance, you do not have to travel with him.
Swift: After a successful Qi Strike, a monk may make expend 1 qi point as a free action to make another Qi Strike against the same foe without having to deactive an additional Qi Flow. At level 3, you are limited to making only two Qi Strikes per round. At level x, you are limited to making only y Qi Strikes per round.
Balanced: After a successful Qi Strike, a monk may make expend 1 qi point as a free action to make either a disarm or trip attempt against the same foe. The disarm or trip attempt is resolved as normal (incurring attacks of opportunity if applicable).
You may add your wisdom modifier to your disarm attempt roll.
If your trip attempt is successful and you have the Improved Trip feat, you may add your wisdom modifier to the damage dealt to your follow up attack.
After thinking about it, I think Stunning Fist is a rather silly feat. TC made some comments about it in part 2, providing an alternative. I still need to consider this.
I am once again attempting to redesign the Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 Monk class. This post continues the project. See here for the design goals.
Just to let you know, I shall be compiling everything I’ve written about the monk (and the various comments and inputs from others) into one central place. I shall let you know when that’s done. For now, though, let’s have a look at the class skill list and my ideas for level 2.
A monk gets [(6 + intelligence modifier) * 4] skill points at level 1. A monk gets 6 + intelligence modifier skill points at each additional level. The following skills count as class skills for the monk:
Balance, Climb, Craft, Escape Artist, Heal, Hide, Jump, Knowledge (Arcana, History and Religion), Listen, Move Silently, Perform, Profession, Sense Motive, Spot, Swim, Tumble and Use Rope.
In addition a monk may choose one of the following to add to her skill list: Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate.
Now for level 2:
At 2nd level or higher if a monk makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if a monk is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless monk does not gain the benefit of evasion.
Combat Style (Ex)
At 2nd level a monk chooses to follow a particular approach to her martial arts training and development. Each style has a list of preferred Qi Flows. A monk may add +1 to her wisdom modifier when calculating the benefit gained from a favoured Qi Flow. A monk’s combat style also determines the list of feats from which she can choose bonus feats. A monk can choose from the following styles:
Strong: This style focuses on delivering individually powerful and damaging attacks.
Favoured Qi Flows: Qi Body; Qi Offense.
Bonus Feat List: Athletic, Cleave, Diehard, Endurance, Great Cleave, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical, Improved Grapple, Improved Overrun, Improved Sunder, Power Attack, Stunning Fist, Toughness, and Weapon Focus.
Swift: (still under development)
Balanced: (still under development)
Bonus Feat: At 2nd level, a monk gains a bonus feat from the list provided by her combat style. She still needs to meet all the prerequisites for the feat.
OK, this was missing from part one, but unless otherwise specified all class abilities are to be considered extraordinary.
I’m still unsure of how to incorporate Stunning Fist.
In fantasy literature, the hero’s sword often features prominently in the tale of the hero’s journey. Belgarion and the Sword of the Rivan King; Aragorn and Narsil (later reforged, of course); and Lion-O and the Sword Omens are all examples. However, within role playing games, the idea of the hero’s one sword doesn’t always translate well into the rules, especially when game balance, power levels, wealth per level tables and so forth are critical to the game’s rules system running smoothly. In these games (I’ll use Dungeons and Dragons as my primary example), characters often have to discard their older equipment (no matter the sentimental value) for better, sharper and more magical equipment. In doing so, magic items lose their quality of ‘specialness’, as the +1s are discarded as soon as the +2 comes along. This is a relatively old and well recognised problem, but discussion about it has recently popped up again.
One of the oldest fixes for this issue invloves the growth of the hero’s weapon alongside her own growth, or the ability of the hero to unlock more power from her weapon as she, herself, gains in power. I have often used this in my own games, with moderate levels of success. Today, however, I’d like to introduce two other ideas which may help put back the magic into magic weapons.
Idea 1: Change the world in which the heroes find themselves.
Make it easier for the hero to enhance or upgrade his own weapon. Over the years, WotC has releasesd several (prestige) class ideas that did just this. However, I would suggest that you wouldn’t need such classes if we made the ability to enhance your own equipment more easily acceptable to all classes. Perhaps in your game world, cultural restrictions (or enablers) may make owning and maintaining your one sword more attractive.
In our example game world, it’s culturally unacceptable to use or trade in stolen (or looted) weaponry. It is instead passed on to the owner’s beneficiaries, or buried with her, if no beneficiary can be found. Paying somebody else to forge or maintain your weapon is considered poor taste and reserved for the socially detatched nobles. Instead, the recipes and rituals required to enhance the weapon are acquired through ancient, hidden-away scrolls or are unlocked once a hero gains wisdom through experience and is better able to understand the artform of maintaining and using her weapon.
Idea 2: It is not the sword; it is the swordsman.
Once, long ago, I remember reading (can’t remember the source though) that character X could treat any weapon he wields as a magical weapon with properties A, B and C. I believe the article was trying to place a non-WotC-copyrighted heroic figure into the DnD ruleset. The author realised that for the character to still be effective in the DnD game, he needed to have kickass magical equipment. However, in the original works, the character got away with just using a barstool or some broken masonry. So, instead of relying on an external source of power, it all came from one internal source – the hero.
So, consider giving your player characters such abilities, especially for high fantasy, high action games. Perhaps you could balance it through cost of training or ritual, if you so desire. Tie some personal attachment to grandpa’s rusty old blade and you’re ready to play.
Some people enjoy working on potentially earth moving stuff in secret. I am not such a person. I tend to toss my ideas out into the open, testing their value based on the reactions of others, improving on them based on the suggestions of others, and, of course, determining what’s actually worth working on before spending too much time/effort on it*.
Alright, let’s get down to discussing today’s idea: Rock, Paper, Scissors (RPS the RPG).
The basic mechanic for action resolution involves players playing games of RPS against the GM (and each other, if appropriate). However, we do need to add a bit to the classic two player game to turn it into a viable RPG system. I should mention now that this is still a work in progress (in case you didn’t pick it up from the opening paragraph) and that it’s meant to be a beer-and-pretzels, rules light system (hopefully only 1 or 2 A4 pages of rules text).
Characters are defined by 3 attributes, namely rock (physical strength and prowess), paper (intelligence and mental agility) and scissors (manual dexterity and swiftness). For every encounter/scene/day/other definition of a time period, each character gets a number of throws for each of their attributes. For example, a character with R3, P2 and S2 can throw rock only 3 times in one encounter, paper and scissors twice each (actual maths and numbers still to be determined). There will, of course, be a refresh method, which also still needs to be determined.
In addition, I’m considering adding Fire and Water to the throw options. Only usable by PCs (and maybe very important NPCs), fire (only usable once per session/campaign/lifetime of a character automatically succeeds (unless thrown against another fire (a tie) or water (a loss)). Water can be used as often as you like, but loses against everything except fire.
Comments/suggestions? I did a quick search of the internet and I didn’t come across any RPGs that use RPS as the primary mechanic. I did ask around too, and though some people remember RPS being used for a RPG before, nobody could point me towards it.
* There’s actually a tricky balance involved here: how much effort do you need to put in before revealing your idea, so that others have enough information to make a decision, before it becomes too much effort in the event that the idea isn’t worth pursuing?
In honour of the homebrew carnival, here is a little homebrewing I have been doing for the board game Descent Journeys in the Dark. (Review can be found here)
After playing Descent JitD a bit, I realised that all layouts layouts are fixed per quest. This is not such a problem since each quest takes forever to finish and more can be downloaded from the website. Even with the campaign expansion (review pending) the dungeon layouts are still fixed. So why not make a random dungeon generator for Descent?