Author Topic: Point-Buy Chassis/Class System- 1.0  (Read 10197 times)

Exelixi

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Point-Buy Chassis/Class System- 1.0
« on: September 28, 2013, 10:32:16 AM »
One of the few things I dislike about how Legend is designed is that it still ties itself to 3.5-esque "classes," when the whole point of the character design system is to let you get your ideal combination of content for a given character. This system is a small but substantial fix, balanced by application of SCIENCE!

The core design philosophy here is that all Legend classes are balanced, and they have different allocations of HP, skills, and BAB, therefore there must be some way to codify this balance. Myself and a few other dedicated fans poured over all the classes and worked out what is worth what, handily abstracted into allotments and costs of "points." Enjoy.

Point-Buy Class
First, choose your KOM and KDM. If they both key to the same save, you gain one extra point- note that down or keep it in mind, because it will be useful! (NOTE: Some people say that STR/CON or CON/STR shouldn't get an extra point. I heartily disagree. See why in the following post.)

Second, choose two saves to be your Good saves. The other save is a Poor save. This has no impact on how many points you get, but it is an important choice.

Third, choose three tracks to be your base tracks, or four tracks if you want to be Full Buy-In, by the normal progressions in any order you like. You may not choose Esoterica Radica or Judgement. Those don't want to be messed with, so I for one am not going to mess with them. You may choose a racial track (or more than one!) for this. If you do so, you must decide which, if any, of your "racial" tracks determine your actual race, or if they are all just tracks, no race attached. If you choose a track as a proper racial track, that doesn't mean you have to use the stats in the book, though they might help as a guideline. A racial track doesn't have to set your KAMs, either. If you have a track which sets KOM or KDM, change your KAMs from step one. If this would cause you to begin or cease having two KAMs on the same save, you gain or lose a point, respectively. In other words, no screwing around with KAMs for profit. That said, if a track references an ability but doesn't change a KAM to that ability, feel free to change that ability to your KOM, if offensive, or KDM, if defensive, at your discretion and your GM's. Go ahead, have Smiting keyed to Dexterity. It won't break anything, I promise. (Though you may want to key things like Dervish and Rage's durations to KDM. Use your judgement.)  Now, this is important: If you have a track which increases your BAB, such as Just Blade or Incantation, you lose one point. This is not some arbitrary distinction; I worked this out very carefully and then asked the devs about it.

Fourth, we finally get into point allocation. You start with poor BAB, 8 HP per level, and 5 skills. You have three points to begin with, plus or minus any points you've gained or lost in the previous steps. You may allocate points to any of the three factors, at a cost as follows:

One skill trained: One point.
Two HP per level: One point.
Good BAB: Two points.

I suppose you could store up unused points, but, frankly, that would be very silly, as you would then lack anything to do with them.

Final Step: This one is the simplest, and can be either really quick or really fun, if you like that sort of thing. The final step is to name your class whatever you like!

Character generation then proceeds as normal, with the exception that you cannot multiclass. You'd have no reason to, given as you just designed a class which has all the tracks your character wants anyway. To multiclass now would likely be for Shenanigans, which I will not have any part of.

One last thing: You can use Point-Buy Chassis to fiddle with other classes. In essence, just copy the data there to whatever degree and adjust as you see fit according to the guidelines. This is highly recommended for the Sage and Shaman classes, as they are now slightly weaker than other classes, as Shaman's Path and the Sage's KAM variability were the contributing factor in their weakness compared to other classes, and neither of those is actually useful now.
http://www.ruleofcool.com/smf/index.php/topic,1185.0.html - A point-buy chassis (class) system. Perfectly balanced by the judicious application of SCIENCE!

""Release your inner dwarf.  Then get him some ale!" -EspyLacopa
"I have no idea what Exelixi looks like. I just picture crow feathers and a claymore." -Fro

Exelixi

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Re: Point-Buy Chassis/Class System- 1.0
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2013, 10:32:38 AM »
There were comments last time that STR and CON paired together shouldn't get the extra point. I disagree wholeheartedly, and here is why:

Strength and Constitution have inherent benefits, yes. However, these inherent benefits do not make them more powerful than other stats. Strength and Constitution each only have one skill tied to them. As such, Damage Reduction and the 1/2 STR bonus to damage should be thought of as a balancing factor for that, not for being keyed to the same save. If you think about it, it would be rather a silly game if one stat was more powerful than another, wouldn't it? Every stat does something unique and interesting. That's why they're fun! However, I will always proceed as though, despite their myriad specialties, each stat is overall balanced with all others. If you want to get into a more in-depth discussion of this topic, kindly open a thread in Mechanics and Balance; this is not the place for that discussion.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2013, 10:36:56 AM by Exelixi »
http://www.ruleofcool.com/smf/index.php/topic,1185.0.html - A point-buy chassis (class) system. Perfectly balanced by the judicious application of SCIENCE!

""Release your inner dwarf.  Then get him some ale!" -EspyLacopa
"I have no idea what Exelixi looks like. I just picture crow feathers and a claymore." -Fro

Castodas

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Re: Point-Buy Chassis/Class System- 1.0
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2013, 12:48:40 PM »
I'm no scientist, but for esoteric radica and judgement, what if you tie a negative point for each with another requirement stating you may only have one or the other (not both)?
Just exploring the possibility; I think what you did and everyone who helped made something truly awesome.

Thank you!

Narsis

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Re: Point-Buy Chassis/Class System- 1.0
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2013, 05:11:29 PM »
curious but why the restriction on Esoterica Radica and Judgement?  I mean sure you don't want them to be able to be used together...but why not at all?
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Zaq

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Re: Point-Buy Chassis/Class System- 1.0
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2013, 06:46:06 PM »
curious but why the restriction on Esoterica Radica and Judgement?  I mean sure you don't want them to be able to be used together...but why not at all?

Really, you'd have to do some convincing to make me think that anything bad would happen if you DID put them together. ER is one of my favorite tracks (and it's arguably one of the game's strongest, just because of C3/C4 and the amazing things those circles do to the action economy, not that the other circles suck), but it's not like it seems like it'd be broken if you didn't have to have the Rogue chassis or anything. (This is doubly true because the Rogue chassis is so darned accommodating—between the BAB/skills choice and the fact that you can have whatever KAMs you please if you trade out the Rogue tracks, it'd be hard to find a character who doesn't like the Rogue chassis, unless you just desperately need HP.) Judgment is strong, but I don't see why there would be any problems if it didn't have weird legacy restrictions. And if anything from those two combines to make something that's brokenly better than other characters, I can't tell what it is.

The restrictions on ER/Judgment in Exe's system is probably just to make it more closely match base Legend, rather than for balance concerns. And really, I don't feel like the system is benefited from keeping around weird legacy restrictions, so I don't see why a system designed to break away from the (nearly vestigial) class system and keep things streamlined would want to keep them.

(I originally launched into a discussion about how Rogues are Different, but then I realized that the Rogue chassis pretty much perfectly fits the point-buy formula, so I didn't.)
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Narsis

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Re: Point-Buy Chassis/Class System- 1.0
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2013, 01:19:52 AM »
curious but why the restriction on Esoterica Radica and Judgement?  I mean sure you don't want them to be able to be used together...but why not at all?

Really, you'd have to do some convincing to make me think that anything bad would happen if you DID put them together. ER is one of my favorite tracks (and it's arguably one of the game's strongest, just because of C3/C4 and the amazing things those circles do to the action economy, not that the other circles suck), but it's not like it seems like it'd be broken if you didn't have to have the Rogue chassis or anything. (This is doubly true because the Rogue chassis is so darned accommodating—between the BAB/skills choice and the fact that you can have whatever KAMs you please if you trade out the Rogue tracks, it'd be hard to find a character who doesn't like the Rogue chassis, unless you just desperately need HP.) Judgment is strong, but I don't see why there would be any problems if it didn't have weird legacy restrictions. And if anything from those two combines to make something that's brokenly better than other characters, I can't tell what it is.

The restrictions on ER/Judgment in Exe's system is probably just to make it more closely match base Legend, rather than for balance concerns. And really, I don't feel like the system is benefited from keeping around weird legacy restrictions, so I don't see why a system designed to break away from the (nearly vestigial) class system and keep things streamlined would want to keep them.

(I originally launched into a discussion about how Rogues are Different, but then I realized that the Rogue chassis pretty much perfectly fits the point-buy formula, so I didn't.)

ER and Judgement were both made a bit more powerful than average to compensate for the restrictions placed on them.
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Zaq

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Re: Point-Buy Chassis/Class System- 1.0
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2013, 02:20:56 AM »
They're definitely strong tracks, no argument. But thankfully, they're not head and shoulders above the rest of the game, and they don't do anything crazy together that would actually cause problems if they were put on the same character, at least not that I can see. Legend's commitment to balance is strong enough that they're strong, but they're not so strong that they actually cause problems with any specific combinations.

And if ER is "restricted" in such a manner that implies that the Rogue chassis is unsuitable for just about anything, I'd like to know what it wouldn't work on, aside from MAYBE Poet, since HP is the only part that isn't made to order and perhaps best in class (so to speak). If anything, the Rogue chassis is restricted by being forced to have ER, rather than the other way around (ER is great for nearly every character in the game, but there have been times when I've wanted to have the Rogue chassis and can't spare a track for it, which is annoying). Plus, since racial multiclassing works the way it does, ER/Judgment aren't even 100% stuck to their base classes' chassis.

I read the article. I understand that there was a point in time when the restriction has made sense, but I maintain that the game has progressed to the point that weird legacy restrictions don't actually make anything better, and the general system flexibility has reached the point where pretty much any restrictions on the two can be mitigated or worked around if you try hard enough. Not 100% of them, but damn close. And the reason we're talking about it in this topic is because Exe's system is designed to provide an option that smooths out or minimizes one of the last bits of inflexibility the system has. If the chassis you can build with the point-buy method is no stronger than the chassis you'd get otherwise, and the tracks with weird legacy restrictions don't cause problems when mixed together (since you can mix them with any other tracks already, if you want to, so that can't be the issue), then why keep the weird legacy restrictions at all?
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Exelixi

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Re: Point-Buy Chassis/Class System- 1.0
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2013, 08:06:00 AM »
There are Reasons for not including Radica and Judgement, but they're classified. However, given that Judgement wants Bastion, you're already playing 2/3 of a Paladin; you can just use the Paladin chassis, and switch around KAMs if you like. Likewise with Rogue; in fact, Rogue provided the majority of the insights that let me design this system, and so it matches it nearly exactly, with the exception that you can't trade skills for HP. However, if you want to play a Rogue with same-save KAMs, simply give the chassis 2 HP per level.
http://www.ruleofcool.com/smf/index.php/topic,1185.0.html - A point-buy chassis (class) system. Perfectly balanced by the judicious application of SCIENCE!

""Release your inner dwarf.  Then get him some ale!" -EspyLacopa
"I have no idea what Exelixi looks like. I just picture crow feathers and a claymore." -Fro

Mystify

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Re: Point-Buy Chassis/Class System- 1.0
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2013, 03:10:50 PM »
one thing to consider is that judgement + ER does some crazy things to your saves.
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Zaq

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Re: Point-Buy Chassis/Class System- 1.0
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2013, 05:51:42 PM »
one thing to consider is that judgement + ER does some crazy things to your saves.

I'm happy to accept Exe's statement that there are Reasons and lay off that front, but Fortune's Friend can be combined with Judgment just fine, and the saves are just as nuts. (Swifts have a slightly higher cost than immediates, but add in the +2 to-hit and it seems not entirely unreasonable to compare the two.)

Either way, I wouldn't disagree if someone said I'm nitpicking, so I should probably just let go.
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Mystify

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Re: Point-Buy Chassis/Class System- 1.0
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2013, 07:10:51 PM »
one thing to consider is that judgement + ER does some crazy things to your saves.

I'm happy to accept Exe's statement that there are Reasons and lay off that front, but Fortune's Friend can be combined with Judgment just fine, and the saves are just as nuts. (Swifts have a slightly higher cost than immediates, but add in the +2 to-hit and it seems not entirely unreasonable to compare the two.)

Either way, I wouldn't disagree if someone said I'm nitpicking, so I should probably just let go.
ER gives rerolls. fortune's friend is also incompatible with acrobatic adept, which is the prime place to use save optimization.
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jared71

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Re: Point-Buy Chassis/Class System- 1.0
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2013, 03:09:14 PM »
Quote
If you have a track which sets KOM or KDM, change your KAMs from step one. If this would cause you to begin or cease having two KAMs on the same save, you gain or lose a point, respectively. In other words, no screwing around with KAMs for profit.

Why does a track that sets your KOM or KDM need to change your KAM from step one?  The racial track is not changing your KOM or KDM if you don't want it, why should it for a regular track?

Why not have a dervish that is Wisdom/Con?
« Last Edit: October 17, 2013, 03:13:17 PM by jared71 »

Mystify

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Re: Point-Buy Chassis/Class System- 1.0
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2013, 03:21:05 PM »
Spoiler
If you have a track which sets KOM or KDM, change your KAMs from step one. If this would cause you to begin or cease having two KAMs on the same save, you gain or lose a point, respectively. In other words, no screwing around with KAMs for profit.

Why does a track that sets your KOM or KDM need to change your KAM from step one?  The racial track is not changing your KOM or KDM if you don't want it, why should it for a regular track?

Why not have a dervish that is Wisdom/Con?
The tracks that set your KOM/KDM are not optional in the core rules.You have to make the switch invalid to avoid it. Getting a racial track does not carry a mandatory swift .You can get it in numerous ways that will let you retain your normal KAMs. Changing whether or not tracks set your KAM is no longer making a custom chassis, it is altering the rules for tracks. These rules are for creating a custom chassis. The track setting your KAM occurs separately from that. Accounting for that change when designing the chassis is there to prevent that discrepancy from being exploited.
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Exelixi

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Re: Point-Buy Chassis/Class System- 1.0
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2013, 04:36:05 PM »
For reference, if you are in a game which allows character generation via this system but you, personally, wna tto stick with a base class, the following changes are presented for certain chassis which are otherwise weaker than normal:

Barbarian: Good BAB, 10 HP/lvl, 6 Skills.

Sage, Just Blade: 10 HP/lvl, 6 Skills, good BAB via Just Blade. (Increase HP/lvl or Skills if you go INT/DEX.)

Sage, Arcane Lore: Good BAB, 8 HP/lvl, 6 Skills (Increase HP if you go INT/DEX)

Shaman: 10 HP/lvl, Good BAB, 6 Skills.

Sentient Construct: Good BAB, 10 HP/lvl, 6 Skills.

Utter Brute: Good BAB, 12 HP/lvl, 5 Skills.

http://www.ruleofcool.com/smf/index.php/topic,1185.0.html - A point-buy chassis (class) system. Perfectly balanced by the judicious application of SCIENCE!

""Release your inner dwarf.  Then get him some ale!" -EspyLacopa
"I have no idea what Exelixi looks like. I just picture crow feathers and a claymore." -Fro

Exelixi

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Re: Point-Buy Chassis/Class System- 1.0
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2013, 08:55:35 PM »
In light of Shenanigans regarding Origin Story, it should be noted that HP has a maximum of 12/lvl and a minimum of 8/lvl, and skills a maximum of 8 and a minimum of 4.
http://www.ruleofcool.com/smf/index.php/topic,1185.0.html - A point-buy chassis (class) system. Perfectly balanced by the judicious application of SCIENCE!

""Release your inner dwarf.  Then get him some ale!" -EspyLacopa
"I have no idea what Exelixi looks like. I just picture crow feathers and a claymore." -Fro