Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Daen-Ral Rule Books

I've been compiling a Player's Handbook pdf that I can just pass out to players if they don't have one. I started with 1e AD&D because that's what I know and like - I've never been a fan of the "race is class" bit of Basic/Expert D&D - though I used those rule books for just about everything else...

So, classes - I pulled the multiclass as class article from DF's Footprints (don't remember which issue) and killed the assassin combos (no assassins in Daen-Ral). And someone posted a Friar (as opposed to the traditional monk) class. I'm looking for a bit more variation for thieves (I have, of course, Paladins and Rangers plus the Hunter class from Gygax for fighters, Illusionists and Sorcerors plus possibly Elemental Mages for Magic Users and Druids and Friars for Clerics). So I have the...what were they, Savant, Jester, Mountebank and...something else that Gygax proposed but never created but someone did a writeup for Footprints. I'd like possibly a Thief Acrobat, but the UA version never really sparked it for me. Oh, and I want a bard. A bard that is it's own class - not even a sub class of another. Just the Bard. (That was the class my wife wanted to play the one time she tried to game with me...maybe 20 years ago - and it started off so well...but I didn't let her roll the dice enough...go figure).

Races - well, right now it's pretty standard. Humans are the most common. Elves, Dwarves, Halflings, Half-elves. No Half-orcs (orcs are reproducing creatures in Daen-Ral - they're the spawn of darkness and chaos and evil - and magic, of course - so they don't eat, sleep or reproduce - no little orclets to worry aboutg - nor do they die a normal death). I'm considering some other races, but I'm too focused on a humanocentric world that I don't know if it'll work... I might, in the tradition of Sword and Sorcery, dump the demi-humans (at least as player races) and use different racial types of humans for racial bonuses and penalties...dunno yet.

Speaking of bonuses and penalties, while the lower limit of ability scores will always be 3, there is no upper limit in Daen-Ral and at character creation a PC could be created with an ability score of 19 (though in the case of Demi-humans, some ability scores can NEVER exceed 16 or 17 - even magically). Like I said, humanocentric world.

Character creation is taking more pages than I had intended (since I have to suss out every multiclass combo I will allow) but I'm hoping it will still be pretty quick compared to what I hear about these later editions. Gripe as some will about players building a character these days, we did the same thing back in the day. We'd play an elven fighter/magic-user/thief to get the cool abilities and armor and...well, you know the drill. If we happened to roll 18 for strength, we'd ALWAYS play a figher (paladin if we could get away with it) to roll that bonus strength. So, there's a part of me that gets wanting to kind of build a unique character, but I don't like the "a rule for every situation" skill stuff that started in 2e and just went insane with the player's options stuff. So, I have a little blessings and flaws list that gives PCs a few possible bonuses/penalties, there are racial bonuses (and penalties) and I'm still on the fence as to whether or not I'll use a "secondary talents" or whatever list (you know, you were a blacksmith's apprentice so you understand the basics of smithing...or whatever). I think I'd prefer the players to come up with a background based on the blessings/flaws list and their own imaginations.

The Monster Manual is in a useable draft for me to begin, though I haven't plotted the general locations of the creatures therein (some I have - for example, I'm using Aarokroka - however you spell that - the bird men, but they're VERY rare, just a few tribes in the Barrier Mountains and a few in the Southern Mountains near the Fortress of the Spire).

I'm pulling some interesting houserules and sorting through them. One thing I think I like is making spellcasters more flexible. We've always houseruled that clerics could cast any spells they knew, they didn't have to "prepare them" for the day. I'm thinking that Magic Users can do something like that...I have a house rule here somewhere - anyway, they prepare spells for the day, but can potentially cast any spell they know - just unprepared spells will cost them. And since magic works by channeling lifeforce or spirit or whatever (fae), the MU will also run the risk of hurting him/herself in the casting. I guess the same could be true of clerics who want to cast something they don't "know"...hmmm, thinking.

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