I've been bouncing this idea around in my head for quite some time, now. I wanted to share the basics and gauge interest in this. This is by no means even a beta document, it's more of a framework for ideas right now.
A quick note: The place holder variables ($foo, $bar, $baz, etc) represent undefined numbers right now.
- $foo is the number of ability webs a character begins with.
- $bar is the number of ability points gained at each level
- $baz is the number of ability webs that must be leveled to gain a character level
Classless d20 System w/ Ability Webs & FeatsIntroduction
document begun: 6/28/2012
by: Alec Nikolas Reiter
The Classless d20 System w/ Ability Webs & Feats (CdwAWF?) serves to create a Skyrim-like leveling system independent of attributes or stats other than health, endurance and magic.Attributes
There are three attributes:
- Health: This represents how resilient your body is to damage.
- Endurance: This is a representation of much stamina your body has and how much can be exhausted before it collapses.
- Mana: Magic potential is measured by mana.
Health begins at 100 and endurance and mana begin at 50. At each level (including 1st), you may select one of these and increase it by 10 points. The other two increase by 3 points.Ability Webs
Ability webs contain a set of abilities. Each one is unique in its application. Ability webs are divided into four types:
- Magic: This concerns most any ability that is supernatural in origins, be it healing, shapechanging or creating an illusion, it'll be found here. Abilities in these trees are not spells. Those are learned separately (possibly in the vein of Tome of Battle's maneuvers).
- Physical: These Ability webs cover all physical activities from combat to thievery to smithing.
- Social: Ability webs under the social header concern interaction between players and non-player characters.
- Prestige: A prestige web tree is one granted by virtue of having prerequisite abilities. These Ability webs are not available at first level, but are instead earned through leveling other ability webs. A prestige web may be a magic, physical or social web.
A skill tree is modified by two values:
- It's ability web level (tracked independently of character levels); and
- Ability points (a representation of how much investment has been put into a skill)
Abilities in a ability web should be seen as a combination of class features and feats from a D&D 3e/3.5e vantage point. They grant power than modify how spells act or give bonuses to certain actions during combat or skill checks.
Ability webs are just that: a web. Rather than presenting a straight path towards other abilities, a web branches out and allows separate paths to be taken. Think Dragon Age II's skill trees.Gaining Ability Points
You gain ability points by leveling up. At each character level you gain $bar ability points to spend on ability you meet the prerequisite for (some abilities require you have a certain level before you can take it). In order to level your character, you must level $baz ability levels.Learning Ability Webs
At first level, you select $foo ability webs. These webs form your class. You may gain extra ability webs by taking the feat Extra Ability Web or a prestige web by taking the feat Prestige Ability Web (you must meet any prerequisites for that prestige ability web).Leveling An Ability Web
Instead of a character having a direct pool of experience, each ability web he has gains experience when an ability in its purview is successfully used (or maybe each character gains a pool of XP to spend on webs?). The formula to determine how much experience is needed for the next web level is (n + 1) * 100, where n = current level. Ability webs top out at level 100 (so 505,000 experience is needed to level a web from 0 to 100).
This limits a character's level to ($foo * 100)/$baz levels (if I did my math correctly).Feats
The way these function will pretty much stay the same. Since ability webs will be in place, feats will stay at one at 1st level + every 3rd level.Extra Talent TreePrerequisite:
Character level 3Benefit:
You immediately gain access to another talent tree. If you have any ability points, you may spend them on this new tree.Special:
You may only take this feat up to $baz times.Prestige Talent TreePrerequisite:
Character Level 6, SpecialBenefit:
You immediately gain access to a prestige talent tree. You must meet all of the prerequisites for this tree. If you have any ability points, you may spend them on this new tree.Special:
You may only take this feat up to $baz times.Ability Trees
Right now I feel like I'm trying to cover too broad of an area with each web (and with some, too narrow). I'd like to find a happy medium where I don't have ten frafrillion (as Kristie would say) webs but I also don't want so few that everyone turns out the same.
Destruction/Elements/Evocation [Magic] These are magics focused on employing the elements by using your will. (Elements: Air/Earth/Fire/Light/Water/Shadow)
Abjuration [Magic] These are magics that interact with magics. A metamagic school. Abilities here will provide protection and the ability to enhance or destroy spells and magic abilities.
Conjuration [Magic] Summoning stuff. Maybe two branches: summoning and teleporting?
Divination [Magic] Pretty much yeah, the ability to spy on things and tell when someone's lying. I my ditch this whole school and use it as rituals or something instead.
Transmutation [Magic] Abilities here will augment a character's spells that let them transform into stuff and change other things. I'm seeing two branches here: general transmutation and polymorph.
Necromancy [Magic] Abilities here will let characters animate more dead or make them more powerful or maybe even change themselves into undead.
Healing [Magic] Abilities here will augment healing magics and do other things. Add fast healing? Negate ability damage? Iunno. This might be merged with Necromancy, but again Iunno.
Enchantment & Illusion [Magic] These two will merge together to form a single ability web.
Athletics [Physical] Invovled with increasing move speeds, granting new move speeds, improving climb/jump/swim
Survival [Physical] This web will be concerned with things like tracking, wild empathy, maybe an animal companion?
Two Weapon Fighting [Physical]
Berserker [Physical] ...rage, The Hulk, Frenzied Berserker, et cetera.
Interaction [Social] Needs a better name, but this will cover diplomacy, intimidate, bluff and gather information
Eldritch Knight [Prestige] Form the powers of might and magic into one.
Arcane Archer [Prestige] Enchanting arrows on the fly, dealing spells through a well placed shot, becoming more accurate with ranged spells, et cetera.
Rage Mage [Prestige] Combining the rage web with magic ones.