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D&D 3E
I am currently writing a campaign/setting with an Ancient Greek feel… 
13th-Oct-2003 11:20 am
I am currently writing a campaign/setting with an Ancient Greek feel to it.
I am working on a concept of all-inclusive democracy whereby all intelligent races are considered citizens of the realm, are protected under law and encouraged to participate in the government of the nation.
Players will be encouraged to play non-standard races.

As part of this I am considering doing away with the alignment system, so that rather than being constrained to a particular code of conduct, players will have to roleplay according to their character description. I think this gives a lot more scope for characterisation, and there's something just slightly off about being able to detect evil in an ordinary person. It's rarely that cut and dried.
However, I was still going to use alignment for Clerics and Paladins, but not in a "you are LG and I can detect it" way, but in a "if you don't act according to your particular code of conduct, your patron god will be extremely put out" kind of way.

Also, I have always been bothered by the way the "favoured class" system worked with multi-classing penalties. The way it stands in the book a Dwarf with 15 levels of Wizard has a favoured class of Fighter! This guy wouldn't know the right end of a sword to hold, he's a Wizard! By this stage his favoured class is, and always will be, Wizard.
So, I toyed with making multi-classing work for all races the way it works for humans, first class = favoured class. But then, take a character that is Rogue 2/Wizard 14. If he took Rogue first his favoured class is Rogue, despite the fact that at a glance you'd call him a Wizard. That far along the Wizard track, his favoured class is definitely Wizard.

Therefore, the rule I have come up with is that your favoured class is always the class that you have the most levels in, meaning it can change as you multiclass.
If your highest levels are equal, you can choose which is your favoured class, but it still changes if you progress along the other class.
So, any race, Fighter 6/Rogue 7 has a favoured class of Rogue. Druid 8/Fighter 5/Ranger 6 has a favoured class of Druid. Rogue 5/Wizard 5 has a favoured class of either Rogue or Wizard (it makes little difference which, but it can't be both).

I also think that, in order to encourage players to choose non-standard races, monster HD shouldn't count for multi-classing.

Does anyone see any problem with any of these house rules?
12th-Oct-2003 06:48 pm (UTC)
You might find some nice dramatic tension by excludng some races. The greeks had democracy, and they had slaves. Slavery wasn't as racially based as it was in American history, but it did exist, and nations that lost wars provided some of the lower class.

I don't use alignment as anythign more than a guideline, except when it's important, like clerics and paladins. It's very skewed, because what is lawful in one culture isn't in another. A lawful Martellan in Ben T'ai could commit crime after crime, and remain within the laws and morals of his home culture. He'd never detect as evil, to another martellan, but to a local he'd be blackest evil. It's perspective.

With multiclassign you are weakening humans. Flexiblity is their advbantage and you have given it to everyone else. You should find something else to give humans.

If you don't count monster levels, you are making non-humans exceedingly powerful. If you don't mind a high power game that's fine. You run into a problem when calculating the experience awarded for defeating an NPC monster with levels though. If you calculate him according to the system you are using for PCs, he comes off as low XP, if you calculate him by the book, he will be high compared to the party. Not sure how I'd resolve that. I'd probably just count the monster levels, and admit I'm starting a high powered campaign. Nothing wrong with that.
12th-Oct-2003 08:13 pm (UTC) - Just a side note...an FYI if your will...
Humans and Half-Elves that multiclass don't have the first class they take as their favored class, it is whatever class they have the most levels in. See pg14 and 18 respectively, of either 3e or 3.5 PHB.
13th-Oct-2003 02:37 pm (UTC) - Re: Just a side note...an FYI if your will...
Ah, okee dokee.
You can see I never play humans.
Bloody boring lot they are.
13th-Oct-2003 02:41 pm (UTC) - Re: Just a side note...an FYI if your will...
Ah...you see, such is the benefit of humans, nice boring and unnoticeable. I've got a Human lvl 6 BRD/lvl 8 Assassin who just loves to blend into the crowd. Particularly after a little bit of wrong-doing.
13th-Oct-2003 03:01 pm (UTC) - Re: Just a side note...an FYI if your will...
Now that I think about it, the last character I played was a human, but he was in an evil campaign in a party of Drow and therefore didn't live long enough for me to remember him.
13th-Oct-2003 03:16 pm (UTC) - Re: Just a side note...an FYI if your will...
12th-Oct-2003 08:33 pm (UTC)
I'm sure a 15th level dwarven wizard is just fine and dandy taking all the wizard levels he feels like, but given his society, his upbringing, a little fightin's not gonna hurt him any. He probably does have pretty good ideas on which end to hold a sword by, just little if any practical application. It doesn't mean the class he favors isn't wizard, it means the class his race is more naturally and culturally disposed to is fighter.
13th-Oct-2003 04:04 am (UTC)
That's always been my take on it too.
13th-Oct-2003 02:45 pm (UTC)
Sure, but it still doesn't make sense that it's easy for him to multiclass as a fighter. Say that Dwarf was Wizard 8/Rogue 6, he's gone down a particular path yet it's easy for him to pick up a military path, just because somewhere in his childhood he was surrounded by military men? A Human, who's supposed to be so versatile, would have difficulty picking up Fighter at this point, yet, somehow, because this guy happens to be short and comes from a "culture" of fighting he has no trouble.

I come from a culture of football, but that doesn't mean that after living 22 years and never playing the game that I can suddenly take it up professionally.
13th-Oct-2003 04:09 pm (UTC)
Your comparison is a little awkward. If you never played, if it wasn't a standard part of your life and education, it can be assumed it's not as heavy a part of your culture as you claim. a Human Rog6/Wiz8 has no particular problems, while a Dwarf Rog6/Wiz8 is taking an XP penalty, that's the human's versatility. Vertical stature notwithstanding, the dwarf would be far more comfortable with fighting due to dwarven social attitudes, upbringing, and any other number of factors that make a dwarf far more inclined to hack things than say a halfling.
13th-Oct-2003 04:16 pm (UTC)
A majority of the other boys at school played it.
I never did.
Part of my culture.

But, then that makes me an exception, and if I wanted a Dwarven character that was an exception I could make one.
Raised by Elves, his favoured class is Wizard...
13th-Oct-2003 04:22 pm (UTC)
Raised by Elves, gains martial weapon proficiencies in longsword or rapier, and all bows. Loses Stonecunning.
Interesting roleplay opportunities, indeed, but hardly common and hardly worth warranting a banning on favored classes IMO.

And your definition of culture is matter of terms. I'm saying the dwarves were far more affected by a militant lifestyle as dwarves than you possibly were in your indifference to football.
13th-Oct-2003 04:43 pm (UTC)
Sure, and I've already conceded that it's probably best to keep the favoured class rule.

I'm just glad that the favoured class for Gnome was finally changed from the ridiculous 2nd Ed throwback of Illusionist.
13th-Oct-2003 05:04 pm (UTC)
I'm just glad the bard is worth playing now. They look pretty cool to me.
13th-Oct-2003 04:06 am (UTC)
I also think the favored class system is a bit strange, but I've decided not to bother changing it (for now). As I see it, the favored class isn't an individual thing but something cultural - if you're a Dwarf, you'll always be able to find someone to teach you fight, and you've seen enough of it growing up that you know the basics.

I agree that not counting monster HD for multiclassing is a good way to encourage non-standard races. (They should still count for ECL, though.)
13th-Oct-2003 02:54 pm (UTC)
I think I might leave the favoured class system as-is, since it would be taking something away from humans, as was pointed out to me. Also, it's kinda fun watching players squirm over whether or not to take multi-classing penalties.

I'm constantly surprised at the amount of multi-classing some players go through, and am also going to initiate a rule that all multi-classing must be "in character", in other words the character must show that they're training for a particular class.

Although, since I'm playing on starting with 10th level characters (or their monstrous equivalent) most of the players will probably begin with the multi-classing options they want.

Monster HD.
Yes, definitely for ECL.
I always just found it a little odd that, if you're a troll say, your favoured "class" is troll.

It basically means that all of the more powerful races are more stupid, or at least less flexible, than all of the single HD races.
13th-Oct-2003 03:39 pm (UTC)
I always just found it a little odd that, if you're a troll say, your favoured "class" is troll.

Hm. That's not how it works for the MM races - a Bugbear's favored class is Rogue, and a Troll's favored class is Fighter.
13th-Oct-2003 03:56 pm (UTC)
Even if it's not the favoured class, according to Savage Species it is counted toward multi-classing penalties, which basically dicks you out of multi-classing because you can never advance it to keep it in line with other classes.

"A monster class imposes an experience point penalty for multi-classing, just as other classes do (depending on preferred classes for creature or race)."

In fact, you're worse off if the favoured class is Fighter, because that means you can't be a Fighter/Rogue, or something since if you keep your Fighter and Rogue levels even, Rogue falls out of step with Troll.

It's a stupid rule and I'm dumping it.

But where do you find the favoured class for all the different races?
The only ones listed in my MM are the ones that are close to the standard races, things like goblinoids.
I don't know where you got Fighter for Troll, or are you using 3.5?
What's the favoured class for an Air Elemental?
13th-Oct-2003 04:22 pm (UTC)
It's a stupid rule and I'm dumping it.

Sounds reasonable. I haven't used Savage Species much... yet.

I don't know where you got Fighter for Troll, or are you using 3.5?

Sorry, I should have clarified. Yes, I'm using 3.5.

What's the favoured class for an Air Elemental?

They don't have one. Only some of the monsters have "X as characters" entries - maybe more than in 3.0, but still not that many.
13th-Oct-2003 04:47 pm (UTC)
Yeah, probably only the monsters that are "easy" to play have favoured classes.
But, it's easy to make an arbitrary ruling based on what the race is best suited for.
I think maybe Sorceror for an Air elemental.
Maybe Rogue.

An air elemental with any class levels is a pretty crazy character either way.
13th-Oct-2003 06:09 pm (UTC)
An air elemental with any class levels is a pretty crazy character either way.

Heh. True.
13th-Oct-2003 04:21 am (UTC)
When our group is starting a new game with new characters, our DMs (it rotates amongst us) Generally let us play whatever monster class we want (within reason, of course- we can be a Displacer-beast taur or a sprite[two of my characters] or an anthro blink-dog[one of Thed's characters] but we can't be a baatezu or an ancient Wyrm). We then usually completely ignore monster hit dice for character level mods and instead give the players with non-monster races (if any) more magical items or increased stats to make them more balanced out.

Kind of like, "Right, you can be a Kyton, but you don't get any magical items and everybody else gets 1d6 magic items".

But the reason this works for our group so well is that we have an incredibly creative group, and even the low-level humans can seem very overpowered simply because of how creative they are. Our usual DM, thed, usually has characters that are alchemists and trapmakers- and he's VERY knowledgable about chemistry and physics, so he therefore knows how to make a few things you'd find laying around in any household into some *really* nasty and easy to make traps- or how to mix common alchemical ingredients to make really caustic solutions.

During our experiences gaming, character level and character race makes VERY little difference at all- it all depends on the player's creativity, reaction time, and ability to make associations. Put the exact same "overpowered" character in two different player's hands, and you can be sure that there will be different power levels. If all a certain player can think to do is swing a sword (even if the character's intelligence is 15 and up), then their race doesn't matter all that much. Now, if the player knows how to use that race to it's greatest advantage, it's another thing entirely.

.... god I'm wordy tonight x_x
13th-Oct-2003 05:11 am (UTC)
Ooh, Displacer Beat taur *writes that one down*
13th-Oct-2003 02:57 pm (UTC)
Well, sounds like you've got a great group there.
I can imagine if I suggested that to some of the people I've played with.
There would be either:
a) tantrums all around
b) every character would be an uber-powerful monster
13th-Oct-2003 06:23 am (UTC) - Favored Class?
Dump it.

It's essentially what you've done anyway, so make it formal.

I would also advise adding the racial levels from Monte Cook. But instead of something folks would choose instead of a standard class level, make them something they get for free every three or four levels. You can find the standard races PDF on Monte's site. in among the AU stuff.
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