JohanR
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Joined: Tue 02 Mar 2021, 23:34

Reforged Power

Wed 03 Mar 2021, 00:37

Now released:
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/35 ... dden-Lands

Was previously:
Hi, everyone!

I have taken the time to put together some expanded rules for the Forbidden Lands, fully usable in the original setting.

The rules include:
Talents: Both new and old, can all now be increased to rank 5. This includes professions, magical paths and even Kin talents.
All professions have also been extended with one path up to 4 (or 5 for druids), except for sorcerers, that already had 5.
Survey the Lands: Rules for searching for special attributes of your current Hex and any nearby dangers.
Crafting materials: Rules for using exotic materials when crafting and expanded crafting options.
Powerful NPC combatants: Rollable NPC combatants with functional talents combinations.
Alternative rules for: Pushing rolls, Character creation, Willpower, XP, Combat, Critical wound modifiers, Weather, Magical mishaps.. and much more.

They rules are quite extensive (over 100 pages), and English is not my native language, so before I put up a link without the "draft" text, I would like your help as a community to read through it and comment on errors, etc.
For small errors, typos, notes or suggestions, you should be able to comment directly in the shared document.. and if you would like to discuss things in detail, you can do it in this forum post.

Some notes:
Covid has prevented me from actually playing the game. So I have neither played the game nor used these modifications. So I could have waited with posting these until they were more fully tested.. but it seems like covid isn't going away soon.. so better share them now I guess? But this makes me even further ask for your help to read through them.

Also some rules have been almost straightly copied from others posts here (see the credits on page 3), if you want me to remove them, just send me a message.
Last edited by JohanR on Thu 25 Mar 2021, 21:21, edited 1 time in total.
 
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michael
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Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Re: Reforged Power

Wed 03 Mar 2021, 12:50

:o

Wow. That's a lot of content I must go through.

Looks both promising and very interesting. I will absolutely try and get back to you, but there's a lot of interesting stuff in there so give me a few days.
"To fall in hell, or soar angelic, you need a pinch of psychedelic."
 
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Re: Reforged Power

Thu 04 Mar 2021, 01:04

Wow, that's a lot of content.

Read through it all and I do have some thoughts. Overall I'm impressed at the quality. Due to the size of it I have skimmed over minor things. I'll focus on the things I'm interested in. I'll use this post for the discussion and use the comments in the document for stuff like errors or stuff that's unclear.

The character creation with optional XP is excellent. SImple and effective at rewarding the random destiny.

I like the change to the costs of skills. Makes true mastery a bit more expensive while rewarding early specialization. I'm not sold on doubling the costs for magical talents though. Magic is already dangerous enough. Why not keep it costing double only if you lack a teacher? Does it have to do with mixing professions?

On mixing professions: I'd add some form of cost or limit. Skills are their own reward and it seems like such a small investment to just have to pick up a few specific ones. Maybe say that you can pick one from up to two other professions and learn it at double the cost? That means you can get a talent at like rank 1 for 6 XP, which is reasonable if you consider the potentially very big benefit from grabbing what are effectively the most powerful talents in the game.

On languages: I'd suggest moving literacy from lore to a talent of its own. Just seems more... correct. Literacy just feels so much like a talent. Writing isn't a big part of the Forbidden Lands, but in another setting it could be relevant.
* Rank 1: You can read your known languages.
* Rank 2: You can write in your known languages.
* Rank 3: You have +d8 when attempting to manipulate through text or decipher something with insight.
* Rank 4: You can spend willpower for extra successes after the first when writing a text, no matter it's function.
* Rank 5: ???

The willpower threshold being tied to Wits and Empathy seems like it could cause some headaches in calculation. If you're damaged in those attributes then does your threshold get reduced? If so you'll have to do some work to figure out your willpower at different points during the day.

I had another idea to change the willpower system which was to say that it resets to 0 after a Rest. In compensation you roll a Condition roll after a rest, which is just a roll with 10 dice with boons based on things like food quality, good weather and so on. Each success is one point of willpower for the whole party. (Obviously it can't be pushed). Adapted from the condition check in Ryutaama. Something to consider.

Resting restoring only 1 in each attribute is something I've considered. I concluded against the idea on account of the many abilities that allow a character to restore attribute damage up to any amount but only if they were broken. Attribute damage is simply not meant as the type of long-term damage that you'd simulate with this type of rule. It'd be more in line with the rest of the rules to rewrite the injury tables to have more time-limited simple injuries higher up on the list, even if that is way more work. I've been thinking of doing that, along with changing the rules for injuries. Instead of d66 you roll d36 the first time you suffer and injury and gain the injured condition. While injured you roll d66. The injured condition in turn takes 1d12 days to recover from which can be halved with healing. This allows combat to be a bit less deadly-out-of-nowhere while still being dangerous.

Weather and temperature seems just great. I've been working on a similar weather table but yours does the same thing but better. Gonna steal these wholesale =)

On the skill use in detail. I love what it essentially a list of suggestions for specific but reusable complications for pushing rolls. I think the list would be better if it was more compact though. This would be something that you'd refer back to quite often. Since it doesn't recap the whole text of the main rules you'd still have to refer to the rulebook at the side. Thus the entries for failure doesn't add much imo. I think it would be better if it was just a compact list of the effects of pushing each of the rolls. If it could fit on one page then that'd be really handy to have as a reference.

Seeing additional ranks to the talents I was dreading reading about all manner of flavourless or overpowered stuff but it seem really neat. I'd probably be hesistant to add it to my game because of the added complexity, but I'll be sure to return to look at these when I have players with high level characters and nothing to spend XP on. They'd serve well as epic boons.

I like the change to consumable consumption. Though I prefer just making it a matter of crossing items off the list (1 food as a light item that you eat in a day) it is undeniably a bit better to count d6's than having to bother with the whole dice ladder thing.

On the note of inventory, a rule to consider: Readied items. You can keep a number of readied items on your body (that can be drawn directly with the draw action) equal to your Sleight of Hand skill + 1. Good for if you have stuff like potions and the like. Might be an unnecessary nerf to dual wielders though.

Nothing to comment on the reworked item and resources, besides saying that these are excellent. Great work.

On learning spell: Consider changing the cost of learning from risking mishaps to XP. Many mishaps have little effect when they occur in the safety of one's home while XP is a solid cost. Maybe make learning magical talents cost as any other talent but have spells cost their rank in XP to learn. Double cost of spells as well if you don't have a grimoire or teacher to guide you.

Spells I won't comment more on but to say that I'm very glad to see that most of the new spells are not combat spells. At a glance they seem balanced as well.
 
JohanR
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Re: Reforged Power

Thu 04 Mar 2021, 14:08

I'm not sold on doubling the costs for magical talents though. Magic is already dangerous enough.
+
On learning spell: Consider changing the cost of learning from risking mishaps to XP. Many mishaps have little effect when they occur in the safety of one's home while XP is a solid cost. Maybe make learning magical talents cost as any other talent but have spells cost their rank in XP to learn. Double cost of spells as well if you don't have a grimoire or teacher to guide you.
Well since there now are more spells, its easier to regain Willpower (but harder to retain more) and its slightly less danger in rolling mishap dice, I felt that they should cost more xp?
On top of that magic is diverse, like getting a path in magic allows you to do so much more even without all these extra rules, than a rank in, lets say minstrel.. But I can only base this on feelings, I have not played the game yet.
I didn't add a xp cost to spells, as I thought that was a bit far from the core rules, so I instead increased the cost of the talent.
I also though a money sink was better than than an xp sink here, as a magic user might not have the same need for high quality equipment..
I just guess that you would be more frustrated if you gamble and lose xp, rather than money? And I want the game to feel as fun as possible.
Like having a player going "why cant I find a magic teacher?", he can pay his x3 XP, but that will make him feel cheated and dislike his unfair dungeon master..
That's will not be fun... at least not in my regular gaming group.
With my rules you could spend your xp, learn the rank (although it might take a couple of rolls), but still look for the teacher in order to learn new spells.
That said, are the cost for learning new spells balanced? I have no clues on player economy. Like would a base price of 5 silver and double it per rank be better? That would make a rank 5 spell cost 80 silver instead of the current 25.. but on the other hand, you are more likley to fail the roll to learn a rank 5 spell... so it will on average cost a lot more than 5 times a rank 1 spell.. so fine I guess..?

On mixing professions: I'd add some form of cost or limit. Skills are their own reward and it seems like such a small investment to just have to pick up a few specific ones. Maybe say that you can pick one from up to two other professions and learn it at double the cost? That means you can get a talent at like rank 1 for 6 XP, which is reasonable if you consider the potentially very big benefit from grabbing what are effectively the most powerful talents in the game.
I agree that profession talents are very powerful.. but having more does not really allow you to use them (much) more? Since they all cost Willpower Points?
Again.. I have no play testing to base my assumptions upon. That's why I ask for help :)
The rules are on purpose a bit point-buy (don't loose out on xp), so that players that would play a Rogue turning into a Fighter, ending up gaining more Fighter talents.. wouldn't want to perform seppuku, just to roll a new Fighter character specializing somewhat as a Rogue and in doing so ending up with a better character.
Doing it my way might reduce realism, but I think that is a price to pay, if it increases the amount of fun in playing the game?
The thing I was most worried about was that it only required 8 skills, it felt a bit low, it could be 10.. but my gut feeling was to rather go low than high.. 4-8 skills are what a young PC would have, and not even they will likley place all that in accordance to their profession. So with 8, you still have to gain more than what a young PC normally has put in.
(PS. A rank 1 talent now cost 5, so double cost would be 10)

Edit: i have now put some more thought into this, and the proposed multi classing rules are bad.
2 classes have 4 synergising skills: Fighter + Champion, 4 classes have 3 synergising skills: Druid + Rider, Minstrel + Sorcerer, Peddler + Sorcerer and Rider + Champion.
Out of all combinations Minstrel + Sorcerer is perhaps the most game breaking, as it gives the Sorcerer a very easy way to gain party heal.

An extra XP cost could be introduced to gain access to a class. But it might still lead to a min-max game. Like always go 1 talent in Minstrel if Sorcerer.. or it instead becomes so expensive so that no one wants it (or really falls behind if they do it) and then the rules could as well be scrapped.

An alternative would be to have at level 2 in all skills related to your new profession.
This would solve the Sorcerer multi classing as Minstrel problem, as they as a minimum would need to level up Performance and Healing to 2.
And then even if they might be min-maxing somewhat, at least they will now feel more like a Minstrel.

It kind of solves the Fighter->Champion and Champion->Fighter problem.
It is fully possible to gain multi-class fast here, if you are young and place your 8 skill points toward your other profession, you only need 10 XP (2 ranks in crafting or survival) to complete to be able to multi-class.. or if you are an adult, you only need to gain 5 XP... to pull this off..
..but then again, I can't see any game breaking combinations here... so If a players really wants to do this.. let them have their fun?

I think this is a better option. It makes multi classing harder (but not impossible), especially for professions far away from each other, like Druid+Fighter, Sorcerer+Fighter or Druid+Sorcerer, and that is probably good. These would need at least 20-40 XP before they could pull it off.. and if they really wants to work toward such a goal.. probably not game breaking?



On languages: I'd suggest moving literacy from lore to a talent of its own. Just seems more... correct. Literacy just feels so much like a talent. Writing isn't a big part of the Forbidden Lands, but in another setting it could be relevant.
Yes, but it then felt a bit like stepping on the core rules, they probably assumes everyone can read, just as everyone can swim?
There are books (and libraries) in the game, and you could probably loose some elements from the game if so many would be illiterate?
Also people in my player group generally hate to be illiterate.. they wouldn't at least not be happy with such a change.

The willpower threshold being tied to Wits and Empathy seems like it could cause some headaches in calculation. If you're damaged in those attributes then does your threshold get reduced?
Yes, it should probably only change from permanent changes to the ability scores and definitely not from damage.
I should really fix that! Good find!

I had another idea to change the willpower system which was to say that it resets to 0 after a Rest. In compensation you roll a Condition roll after a rest, which is just a roll with 10 dice with boons based on things like food quality, good weather and so on. Each success is one point of willpower for the whole party. (Obviously it can't be pushed). Adapted from the condition check in Ryutaama. Something to consider.
I agree, it could be interesting. I would need a more fleshed out system, more feedback, and probably play testing to try out what works best/is more fun, though.

Resting restoring only 1 in each attribute is something I've considered. I concluded against the idea on account of the many abilities that allow a character to restore attribute damage up to any amount but only if they were broken. Attribute damage is simply not meant as the type of long-term damage that you'd simulate with this type of rule. It'd be more in line with the rest of the rules to rewrite the injury tables to have more time-limited simple injuries higher up on the list, even if that is way more work. I've been thinking of doing that, along with changing the rules for injuries. Instead of d66 you roll d36 the first time you suffer and injury and gain the injured condition. While injured you roll d66. The injured condition in turn takes 1d12 days to recover from which can be halved with healing. This allows combat to be a bit less deadly-out-of-nowhere while still being dangerous.
The reason was more of a, if you run a marathon, you will not be fine to run another one after 6 hours.
I have no problem with for instance having Strength being restored more if you are broken, it is then more like an adrenaline rush and new count down to your next wound, instead of having a low Strength score that hinders you, you now have a wound that hinders you..
But there are flaws, currently you could be encouraged to break yourself. That is not good. I should probably add a penalty for breaking yourself.. (a light critical wound? no WP gain? harder to heal a character that breaks themselves?)
There are also a flaw in that breaking for example Agility, have no penalty.
I need to think more about this. Input on the subject is ofc more than welcome!

Weather and temperature seems just great. I've been working on a similar weather table but yours does the same thing but better. Gonna steal these wholesale =)
Edit: They are a bit on the negative side though. Perhaps there should be something positive as well? Like Sunshine + Rain = Rainbow, gain 1 Willpower Point (over your limit) / once per day?
Could perhaps also add something about the trails faintly visible on the map, like giving a +2 bonus to lead the way, if you follow them. (only +2 if you consider them as mostly gone after a 1000 years with almost non-maintenance.. otherwise the bonus should probably be higher.. like no roll needed?)

I love what it essentially a list of suggestions for specific but reusable complications for pushing rolls. I think the list would be better if it was more compact though. This would be something that you'd refer back to quite often. Since it doesn't recap the whole text of the main rules you'd still have to refer to the rulebook at the side. Thus the entries for failure doesn't add much imo. I think it would be better if it was just a compact list of the effects of pushing each of the rolls. If it could fit on one page then that'd be really handy to have as a reference.
I agree... I should probably change this. Not sure on how to do it.
It could also be a reference page, like the back of the book Journey reference thing?

On the note of inventory, a rule to consider: Readied items. You can keep a number of readied items on your body (that can be drawn directly with the draw action) equal to your Sleight of Hand skill + 1. Good for if you have stuff like potions and the like. Might be an unnecessary nerf to dual wielders though.
Interesting.. I must say that I like it.
On that note, I have probably mixed up the word "readied" instead of "drawn". Need to go through the document and fix that!


Many thanks for the input!
I'll add you to the credits.
Last edited by JohanR on Tue 09 Mar 2021, 14:04, edited 2 times in total.
 
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Re: Reforged Power

Fri 05 Mar 2021, 15:20

Looks like there's a bunch of discussion threads. I'll reply to one at a time and try to name them, so that others can more easily jump in with comments as well. Overall I commend your dedication to playtesting and keeping to the spirit of the game system.

Learning magic
So your rule is that it's more difficult (costs more XP) to learn the magic talents but the cost for learning spells is instead monetary and with a risk of magic mishap. (And magic mishaps are less dangerous).

Well since there now are more spells, its easier to regain Willpower (but harder to retain more) and its slightly less danger in rolling mishap dice, I felt that they should cost more xp?
On top of that magic is diverse, like getting a path in magic allows you to do so much more even without all these extra rules, than a rank in, lets say minstrel.
I agree that any individual magic talent is now more powerful thanks to new spells, but at the same time you're already compensating for that by removing the automatic access to all spells and gating spells behind a cost. I think the result is probably a bit too heavy on the restrictions for the magic users. Very expensive to get into and even then you must have the appropriate skills (lore) and good Wits to stand a chance at learning the spells you want, and then you risk blowing yourself up when you try to learn the spells. Having to risk magic mishap even when reading from a grimoire would kind of dull the reward of discovering one (even if they are good rewards still).

I didn't add a xp cost to spells, as I thought that was a bit far from the core rules, so I instead increased the cost of the talent.

I also though a money sink was better than than an xp sink here, as a magic user might not have the same need for high quality equipment..
I just guess that you would be more frustrated if you gamble and lose xp, rather than money? And I want the game to feel as fun as possible.
I think fundamentally there's nothing wrong with a material cost for learning spells, but it is important to consider how this impacts the game. Unlike XP, coin is something that players are starving on at the start but have in plenty in the late game. By making gaining new spells tied to money you are ensuring that new magic users will be starved for spells while magic users in advanced parties will have like all the spells. The progression becomes exponential and starts out very slow rather than linear. I think this might be counterproductive, since from a player perspective a steady drip of new spells would mean you get a new toy every now and then to play around with. That's why I suggest having an XP cost for learning spells.

It wouldn't have to cost anything if you failed the roll. You could write it that succeeding on a test to learn a spell allows you to spend XP to learn it. Then the main thing preventing you from attempting could instead be time or something. With learning spells being cheaper when done from a spellbook or teacher this would mean you were encouraged to pick up the spells you found around while not being completely locked away from spells that you desire. It would also mean each magic user will develop an unique repertoire based on the spells they think it's valuable to learn.

I also though a money sink was better than than an xp sink here, as a magic user might not have the same need for high quality equipment..
I think here you should do another take. Magic users in this game are not the wizards of D&D. They want full plate armor just as much as the fighter, good melee weapons, good camping equipment, good mounts and so on. They just happen to be able to cast magic in addition to doing anything else, at the cost of not being the best at fighting or scouting or stealing or riding and so on. They are rogues and scoundrels like the rest of the party and they are in fact in just as big a need of high quality equipment as everyone else. The cost of spells would just mean they'll be poorer and behind everyone else, or that the party must funnel their wealth into the magic user.

That said, are the cost for learning new spells balanced? I have no clues on player economy. Like would a base price of 5 silver and double it per rank be better? That would make a rank 5 spell cost 80 silver instead of the current 25.. but on the other hand, you are more likley to fail the roll to learn a rank 5 spell... so it will on average cost a lot more than 5 times a rank 1 spell.. so fine I guess..?
I think you might actually want to decrease the costs. Look at the price list for equipment in the player's handbook and adjust your expectations. A potency 3 deadly poison costs 5 silver. A shortsword costs 6 silver. A large tent costs 5 silver. These are expert tools. Buy a bunch of them and you've got yourself a fully kitted adventurer. If it costs 5 silver for just a chance at a single spell you're probably always better of focusing on getting equpment first before trying for more spells, as long as you've got like one or two useful spells. The default is that you have access to all the spells that you can cast after all, so making it this expensive just to learn them is a pretty big step away from the core rules imo.


"Multiclassing"

You're right that dipping into the Minstrel for that powerful ability to heal might end up becoming a problem. It's an ability that more than many others can turn the tide of a battle.

I think for the purpose of this it's important to think about what the effects of multiclassing actually are, so we know where we stand. The core game has professions be absolute. This means that when you are in a profession you are safe in the knowledge that you will be able to contribute something to the party that others will never be able to replicate. I think this is fully intentional. Everyone can fight, but the fighter will always be best at it (if they invest themselves) thanks to their profession paths. Everyone can ride, but the rider will be best at it. By allowing anyone to invest in any talent path that niche protection is effectively loosened. If it is too easy then it is removed wholesale. If you value niche protection then multiclassing is something you'll want to be careful with. In the base game currently the situation is thus that even for an experienced party a noob can be useful because they can join with a profession that no one has and thus contribute something special. This is not true if multiclassing is in play. Then it will be necessary to boost the new player to the XP level of the others for them to be able to make an impact.

An alternative would be to have at level 2 in all skills related to your new profession.
I like this requirement. It seems very reasonable and is easy to keep track of. It also makes a bit more sense in the world that after you've learned the skills of the profession you can start to dabble in its specialities, while someone trained in the profession can go straight into specialization. In my game I would still tie it to it being more expensive to learn talents from another profession, to ensure that it's more of a rare thing add a bit of extra spice to your character. I would sooner tie class fantasy abilities to in-game items so than talents. If anyone can cast a weak spell from a grimoire then you can be a swordmage by being a fighter who also happens to have a grimoire in their backpack. That seems very appealing to me. A sorcerer can be a knight in shining armor per the base rules by just having a horse, plate armor and a shiny weapon. The actual need for multiclassing is quite slim in my opinion, so I'm opposed to making the rules too extensive.

Yes, but it then felt a bit like stepping on the core rules, they probably assumes everyone can read, just as everyone can swim?
I don't think they do. I think they rather assume that no one needs to read and that anyone with lore will be capable of reading. But I may be wrong. Universal literacy is a pretty new concept though. I think it's kind of unfair to give it to everybody while irl it was kind of this superpower that you could learn. Everyone having it does kind of diminish how it was something special.

Having it be a talent and then just giving everyone a rank in the talent could achieve the same result, if desired. I'll be adding it to my game anyway, though it's completely fair to not have it. It's increased crunch that may well not be very meaningful.


Injury
But there are flaws, currently you could be encouraged to break yourself. That is not good. I should probably add a penalty for breaking yourself.. (a light critical wound? no WP gain? harder to heal a character that breaks themselves?)
This is kind of the issue that I've run up against. The current rules makes it so that if you're at 1 or 2 in an attribute it's possibly better to break yourself through strain and be healed by some ability than to wait and rest. It's rare that this is worth it given the current rules because rest is relatively accessible, but if you make rest less efficient that might push the calculation in the wrong direction. As you see, trying to solve it by making breaking yourself expensive will require more than one rule and it's entirely possible that it will have other unforseen consequences that in turn will need to be adressed.

It is true that your rules for short rests kind of alleviates this a bit, but also it seems like they might even make long rests superflous. If you can heal whatever attribute you happen to be damaged in by just eating a bunch of food then that might be way more efficient than spending 6 hours. Is there a limit to how much you can heal during a short rest? As it stands it seems like the rules make long rests into just more resource-efficient short rests.


Weather
They are a bit on the negative side though. Perhaps there should be something positive as well? Like Sunshine + Rain = Rainbow, gain 1 Willpower Point (over your limit) / once per day?
Could perhaps also add something about the trails faintly visible on the map, like giving a +2 bonus to lead the way, if you follow them. (only +2 if you consider them as mostly gone after a 1000 years with almost non-maintenance.. otherwise the bonus should probably be higher.. like no roll needed?)
I don't think they're too negative. They would apply to foes as well, no? And with good equipment they're very surmountable, as they should be. 4 of the 6 results are just fine and dandy. I think it'd be better to leave stuff like rainbows giving willpower out of the rules and in the hands of the GM. It might well fit at the right dramatic moment while if it happened every time it might feel kinda contrived. What if a character doesn't like rainbows, do they still get willpower? And referring to the map would mean those (like me) who play without giving the players a map (they don't get a GPS for free, they have to navigate) would have less use for it. I think the compact size is an asset already.

One idea for a positive could be to write out explicitly that you can navigate by the stars when sun/moon is rolled after sun/moon. Maybe it removes or lightens the penalty for lead the way during darkness?

It could also be a reference page, like the back of the book Journey reference thing?
A reference page would probably be a good way to do it. Then you could leave what is as is and just add the complications.

Many thanks for the input!
I'll add you to the credits.
Cool! Happy to be useful :)
 
JohanR
Topic Author
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue 02 Mar 2021, 23:34

Re: Reforged Power

Sat 06 Mar 2021, 02:40

Learning magic
Halving cost and making spells cost xp is nice.. I really though about that a lot.. but the problem with spells costing xp is that there is almost no reward for finding a teacher then? except to learn spells more quickly? It is also a bit sad if a player finds a grimoire or teacher or so and simply goes, "no I don't want to learn that spell.. I already know a similar spell from another magic school.. so learning this will only make me weaker".

The monetary cost was also more intended as a shortcut for players.. I intended that they still should try to seek out teachers and grimoires for spells.. but maybe learn a single spell they really really wanted in between.
If it might make low level characters have a harder time to learn spells that late characters.. but finding low ranked teachers should also probably be more common? It depends a lot on the DM though. Like seeking for a specific rank 2 teacher in a village I would give perhaps a 1/6 chance, but then allowing a roll for Lore to know of another nearby village with near certainty of having such a teacher..
And you are right that a spellcaster equally wants arms and armor.. it is still their primary way of fighting.. it was more of a "now you have more options", improve equipment, learn more spells or seek out a teacher and get both.

So I still need more arguments here.. not fully convinced of chancing this yet.

Multi-classing
I agree... and perhaps there should be an added cost, but if so then probably only for the first rank in a new profession.. It is most often (but not always) rank 1 or sometimes rank 2 that makes a difference.. gaining more will not make you significantly more powerful (well there are exceptions, like the Champion). So paying additional xp after this is likley only a "waste"... and if someone really wants to play two profession, I don't want them too feel far weaker then the rest of the party either... again a balance of fun...

You could add a talent. Like "rank 1" multiclass into 1 other profession, etc.. but such talents are a bit anti-fun, as they do nothing except being an xp-sink.. and might trigger min-max gaming feelings.
That's why I wanted the skill levels to be an xp sink, they probably cost you a lot of xp, xp you likley would not have spent like this, but at the same time they make you slightly better at stuff.. so you avoid the feeling of being cheated.

And I agree on it making low level characters weaker in a party of high level characters.. but playing with much differences in player power is likley not fun anyways? Or it could just be my gaming groups that tend to be like that?
The furthest I would go as a DM is to perhaps not give a new character all the xp of the others at once, but double their xp per session until they catch up.
I would likewise pool all xp and then distribute it out equally in the group.. and if someone misses a session, I would just double their xp gain until they catch up. If they are really far behind, I'll give the xp straight away.. but they would still probably need to find teachers and Rest and so on in order to spend it.

With talents up to rank 5, I seriously doubt anyone would multiclass into more than 1 profession.. and then hopefully just to fill missing party-roles.. and if not and they multi-class into the same professions (if they are on equal xp terms), I still think there is enough room in the game to make everyone feel unique.

Injury
I guess you most often would break your own Strength or Agility?
Agility could cause a loss of a Hygiene die? If this causes you to become Filthy you are also (per the Reforged Power rules) likley catch a cold or something. I think this sounds like an OK penalty for overexercising yourself?
Strength could make you take a Strained "critical injury"? Strained: You must pay 1 WP each encounter (15 minutes), or you can only take 1 action per round. Willpower cost stacks if you Strain yourself again. Removed upon Rest.
If something were implemented for Wits and Empathy, they could probably be called "Stressed out" and "Disheartened".

You can only take a Short break once per Quarter Day, and a Short rest can at maximum restore 1 to each Attribute (and 1 Willpower Point), double you are a Halfling who likes to eat (kin talent rank 2). So a Rest where you also take a Short break to snack would be the best way to heal up. And the rules actually does not hinder you from taking a Short break just before and then just after the Rest.. so you can still heal up pretty quickly.

Weather
Great ideas, I will try to add that! And I fully agree on the rainbows :P
If there is anything else please comment.

The reason for cloudy+sun to increase temp, was mostly because no clouds at all means high air pressure, and air pressure becomes high when it is cold (air clumps together tighter), so sun/moon x2 might not be the warmest weather (even do it probably feels nice).
Clouds also helps to mitigate radiation during nights. So I just added the sunshine with some "nice weather-clouds" as the way for things to feel at its warmest..
 
Acquaintance
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri 27 Dec 2019, 13:43

Re: Reforged Power

Sat 06 Mar 2021, 16:18

Learning magic
Hmm, it is true that even a relatively cheap cost for spells might make it a bummer when encountering a teacher or grimoire. At the same time if it is free then that will mean that all spellcasters in the party would want to know the same spells, being different only by their magic paths. Then there's little point in having spells not all be known from the start.

What are the benefits with limiting which spells a caster knows? It allows for a bit more differentiation between characters, as not all characters would have the same spells. It might add some versimilitude, making the spells themselves seem more magical and not just tricks anyone with the correct path can practice. It allows spells to be handed out as rewards, giving the GM another thing to give to players.

I think those are some decent benefits, but they're not super massive. The spell learning system should be pretty simple and efficient to not overstay its welcome.

How about this:

1. You can learn any spell by spending a QD and twice its rank in XP to deduce it from first principles and some good inspiration.
2. If you have access to a teacher or the spell written down in a grimoire or scroll or such the cost is halved.
3. Additionally, you can attempt to learn it through experimentation. Per rank of the spell, expend 1 QD of work and 1 silver and make a WITS or EMPATHY check. Gain an opportunity to learn the spell for 1 XP cheaper per success on the roll.
4. If you have a teacher or written down version of the spell you can expend a quarter day and attempt to cast it. If you succeed at casting it at a power level equal to its rank +1 without safecasting you learn the spell.

This means you always have at least two options (paying the full cost or gambling on the experimenting) and with a teacher you have it much cheaper and possibly for free (if you're willing to risk a mishap). The experimentation rules could probably use some work. I imagine something like a function of the stronghold or magical places found while exploring would provide bonus dice. You would at baseline have the option of either playing the safe mage who sits in their tower experimenting away on spells or they could walk down the dangerous path of learning spells by risking terrible consequences.

As a new character you'll mostly be looking to learn low rank spells anyway, so even if you have to pay "full price" in XP these would be relatively accessible. These rules would be combined with the magic talents not being more expensive than the others.

Multiclassing
You're right that having some form of feat tax talent would probably feel pretty bad in play.

Maybe something as simple as saying that you need to have the rank of the talent you want to purchase in all skills of the profession before you can get it. So rank 1 is achievable from the start, but rank 2 requires you to have rank 2 in all the skills of the class and rank 3 requires you to have rank 3 in the skills and so on. That makes it easy to dip into another class profession but makes specializing in what they should be the specialists in difficult. It's also an easy rule to remember. If rank 1 is too cheap a price you could make it that you must have a higher rank in each of the skills, so it starts out at needing rank 2 and then goes up to being able to get the talents at rank 4 as highest.

Injury
In my game one player made a dwarf rider. He throws rocks and breaks his agility throwing them every round. This lets him deal pretty significant burst damage. By being a rider with path of the companion rank 2 he can get back up when he goes down.

I'm in favour of something simple like the injured condition I wrote about. Getting broken in strength or agility wouldn't do damage but it would give you the injured condition. The injured condition in turn makes you roll d66 instead of d36 when broken by some other form of damage. Very easy to keep track off, which is important.

Only one short rest per quarter day sounds good. Then I'm totally behind it. I don't think you should be able to gain willpower that way, but it's something that's easy to leave out.

Weather
It's really neat how much variation in weather it manages to capture in a really short amount of text. I'm Swedish so I know precisely the weather you're talking about.
 
JohanR
Topic Author
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue 02 Mar 2021, 23:34

Re: Reforged Power

Sun 07 Mar 2021, 00:36

Learning magic
...then that will mean that all spellcasters in the party would want to know the same spells, being different only by their magic paths. Then there's little point in having spells not all be known from the start...
Yes, but this is true also in the original rules. (Side note: A bit boring party though? It is just like having multiples of ANY profession in the party choosing the exact same Paths?)
I have no problem with a spell caster wanting to know all the spells. In fact the reason for not learning all the spells at once, was on order from most to least importance:
  • That this solution makes finding grimoires and teachers useful.
  • It can be easier to get to know your own character and your spells if you don't learn them all at once. Getting everything at once is a bit of "information overload".
  • It adds a feeling of realism? That each one needs to be trained separately?
I still wouldn't have all the teachers know all the spells, perhaps all of a lower rank than theirs, then half the spells of the same rank (roll 1d6, has it on 4+), and if asking for a spell 1 rank higher than their path, well perhaps they know it if you roll a 6... no rolls are actually needed here, and all this it is ofc completely up to the DM. This is more of how I would solve it, just so that the player's can make the rolls, it then adds a feeling of giving them control over the situation and reduces any anger towards the DM just because no one knows the spell that they really wants to learn.
1. You can learn any spell by spending a QD and twice its rank in XP to deduce it from first principles and some good inspiration.
2. If you have access to a teacher or the spell written down in a grimoire or scroll or such the cost is halved.
I wanted the system to go with the mantra "with the same amount of xp, you can always have the same character". This was mostly to avoid the feeling of being "cheated out", of for instance paying a higher xp price for a spell, just to find it in a grimoire the day after and permanently feel weaker because of that.
It is of course more realistic to loose out on xp, but I value player happiness higher.

And with your system, even if you somehow always learn all your spells from a teacher, magic would be more than twice as expensive for your first magic path, if you count all the general spells as well. That is if you on average want to learn 3-4 spells and 2-3 general spells per rank in your main magic path...
I'm not saying it would be bad though.

Multiclassing
So rank 1 is achievable from the start, but rank 2 requires you to have rank 2 in all the skills of the class and rank 3 requires you to have rank 3 in the skills and so on.
This has some flaws:
  • The first or second rank can be among the most powerful in a profession. This would make a lot of min-max characters want to go for easy first ranks, like taking Path of the Blade rank 1. This could likley hurt game balance (as everyone can begin play with 1 point in any skills).
  • The third rank and higher would become VERY hard to gain.. That makes for combinations like Champions double dipping in Fighter much stronger than Fighters double dipping in Champion.
  • If you want to change profession in the real world, if think it the initial threshold that is the hardest one to overcome.. like if you first are a nurse before becoming a school teacher, I don't see your progress as a school teacher becoming much harder later on though, just because of your previous profession (except that we humans maybe tend to acquire less xp as we age?).

Injury
Your injury system.. care to elaborate more? If you break Wits, do you take a d36 horror injury? If you break your Agility.. or Empathy, do you also become injured? Do you also become injured if you break yourself? And still, how does it solve the Dwarf problem, as you gain no injuries from breaking Agility, so he could still just keep doing that?

That said, I'm not so sure about these rules.. it alleviates risk of dying and severe injury when first downed.. but I'm not sure I want combat to be a little less deadly..? I like grittiness..
.. and it also strange interactions with Lucky rank 2 (with the core rules, not my alternative rules). As turning that roll will have a higher chance of it being bad than good now.

Side note: I would not completely discourage the Dwarf tactic. It is foremost a bit cheap on not having to repair items.. and also the downside of needing to get up again and drawing a new stone, can both become free actions with talents.. but he is vulnerable to attacks while down, and it also costs him all the gained WP, giving the tactic a net cost of at least 1 WP per extra push for using the dwarven racial ability (although even pushing once for free every round is probably very powerful here). Rule-lawyers might say that the Dwarf, as he becomes broken still is on his turn, and can therefor call on his animal as a free action, and get up for free with rank 3 Steady feet on the same action (as it is still his turn)... yes, could turn a bit ugly perhaps..
I would probably try to give him a reputation at some good opportunity for being known as the "great rock-tosser", or something. And enemies that from that point forward rolls a successful reputation check (all accumulated rep), can then know about this and focus shots while he is down (if he ever is down), and at least really try to get into close combat, perhaps employing other tactics you find useful against this? My rules also treat ranged attacks as stabs if you parry with a shield (granting a +2 bonus) this could help, and non-monster enemies can push a parry as well.
I still think adding something like loss of a Hygiene die, on breaking Agility, would work well here? Then it would incur a "resource" loss, like I think pushing weapon rolls were intended to be.
Perhaps also adding a rule that if you become broken, your turn also ends..?

I also do not fully like my proposed "Strained muscle" injury.
I could also just allow a roll for a lessened critical injury.. but then the Lucky talent would just keep being the solution.. and it is good enough as it is.
Edit: New idea. "Strained muscle", pushing a roll now cost you 1 Willpower, lasts 1d3 day.
Edit 2: Could also be that breaking yourself could cause something like:
"Strained muscle": You can no longer push Strength rolls.
"Exhausted": You can no longer push Agility rolls.
"Stressed out": You can no longer push Wits rolls.
"Disheartened": You can no longer push Empathy rolls.
A Dwarf can still use True Grit.

Side note: The reason for the critical damage modifier were more a solution to the problem that Lucky 3 was too powerful, now, you do not get a simple nose-bleed (or the equivalent) if you fall straight into concrete from a 1000 meters height... you would die. This was changed, so that a player with Lucky rank 3 would not always feel safe.
 
JohanR
Topic Author
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue 02 Mar 2021, 23:34

Re: Reforged Power

Sun 14 Mar 2021, 13:06

No more comments in the document? Not any typos or so? I'll add you all to the credits if you can help out.
It is OK to say some things in it are plain bad too :)
And all rules are "house rules" and most should be individually scrappable by a DM.

If not, I'll start making a final version in around 2 weeks I guess.
I'll then also add the things mentioned by Acquaintance.

Magic
Unless I hear more arguments, I'll think I'll keep magic at always x2 cost.
It is more inline with the original rules of it costing x3 without a teacher.

It could be x1 and with individual cost for spells also, the best thing with this approach is that it spreads out xp spending and that is actually good.. so I might add that as a optional rules box..

Edit: No, I'll probably add a cost for spells instead. You have convinced me!

Trivia
I have based a lot of the content on actual things mentioned in the game.
- Meteorite Iron, page 139 in BR, this also mentions its properties (bullet list on roll of 4), meteorite steel on page 66 and 72.
- Stone wood, based on "dead but sturdy trees into stone pillars " page 57 in GG.
- Extensive use of tobacco and narcotic plants/mushrooms, multiple pages in GG.
- Spells: "Fog" page 62 in RP, "Bend Reality" page 8 in TSoQ, "Recall" page 35 and 178 in RP, "Vanish" page 23 in RP, "Pass Crack" page 139 in RP, "Machine Soul" page 135 in RP, "Mold Flesh", "Redirecting Barrier" page 30 in GG "using sorcerous barriers, he directed them", and many more.
- I have also tried to use fluff to inspire Kin talents of higher ranks, as far as I could.
 
JohanR
Topic Author
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue 02 Mar 2021, 23:34

Re: Reforged Power

Thu 25 Mar 2021, 21:45

Now released:
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/35 ... dden-Lands

I did in the end reduce the magic xp cost. So now all skills and talents shares the same xp cost. And instead added an xp cost to spells.
It does indeed have a lot of advantages doing it that way. So, many thanks again for your input, Acquaintance.
This also made the kin talents drop in cost, and while those could probably now become quite powerful(?), a good DM should hopefully be able to adjust the challenge to compensate... and there are also a lot in there that increases challenge, like nerfs to free actions.
Also added your idea for Readied Items on page 11.. and your idea about the weather result to Sun/Moon/Stars, so that now gives a stacking bonus to Lead the Way and Hiking in darkness.

Added some minor critical injuries for Broken Attributes.
Also added some info that Artifacts can be rendered unusable if their non-artifact item dice breaks, page 47.

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