Saturday, May 3, 2014

Valoria d20-like - Character Creation, Classes and Advancement

So I said I'd post some thing about Valoria d20-like, so here comes some of it.
After I thought about what to retain from d20 games and what to ditch, I believe I have something solid now.

Character Creation
Among the things I've chosen to retain are the 6 attributes. They are not good, in my opinion, but they serve and they are familiar enough to get things moving quickly. Also retaining levels, HD and a relatively rigid class structure.
When creating characters, you first need attributes which range from -3 to 3 for humans. This is done in one of several ways:
  • Rolling 3dF is the best method, as it tends towards the center and provides a very easy way to generate a simple -3 to 3. Simulating 3dF with d6s is passable but not as good.
  • Rolling 3d6 for a point pool to assign from. Start from 0 and change as wanted, until all points are spent. Negative attributes give back 1 point per negative point (0 to -1 is 1 points, -1 to -2 is another point and -2 to -3 is a third point). Positive attributes require as many points as the score you're going into (1 requires 1 point, 2 requires 2 points and 3 requires 3 points).
  • A 12 point pool to assign from. Static and fine.
  • A standard spread, very likely 2, 1, 1, 0, 0, -1.
Notably, the low numbers on attributes have a very meaningful impact on rolling - much more than the 3 to 18 scale of standard d20 - but that I will cover in a later post.
After you have your attributes, apply any modifiers from racial choice, roll your HD based on race, choose your first class level and add anything the class gives you, like an HP bonus and advancement.

In Valoria d20-like, the choice of class is relatively definite and final. The class you choose at character creation defines the character very heavily and deviations become slight.
Unlike many other d20 games, classes in Valoria d20-like have a specific structure and interaction. The essential structure looks like a hexagon with a central vertex connected to all outside vertices. This structure defines who is neighbors with who and what type of multi-classing that class can do. In the center is the Jack (or Jane). The other six vertices act like a color wheel: primary colors are pure classes - warrior, spellcaster and rogue - while secondary colors are the complementary mixed classes to the pure ones - warrior-spellcaster, warrior-rogue and spellcaster-rogue.
The Jack is a unique class that has no attribute requirements. It's unlikely to ever become the core class of a character, but it is possible. Jacks advance in the smallest increments but do so much more quickly than the other classes.
The other classes require either double or triple the EXP than the Jack does, advance in larger increments and have attribute requirements.
Outside the structure there is a final type of class, tied to the "color" classes: specializations. Pure classes can specialize in only their own specializations and taking these specialty classes increases EXP requirements. Mixed classes may pick from their own special selection or from either of their pure neighbors. Jacks are unable to specialize, but may take more multi-class levels.

Advancement in Valoria d20-like is very simple: as you gain EXP, you invest it into a valid class (core class, multi-class or specialization). That EXP is taken from you and the cost of all valid classes goes up by 1 increment (2^[next level]*[base cost]).
Character receive their first advancement with their first level, so right off the bat. Each advancement provides Advancement Points, which may be spent on Primary Features, Secondary Features or Special Features. Primary and secondary cost 1 point each and special features cost 2 points, with the exception of the Jack.
Jacks receive 2 points, pure classes 3 points and mixed classes 4 points. Every specialization taken gives another point per level after it had been taken. Specialization levels don't provide points but rather give their special feature at the basest level.
There is no limit on how much of which features you take each level, except that you can't take the same feature twice in a level.
On the matter of multi-classing, you simply gain that level normally for that class, with all perks associated. The restriction is that you may not take more than a single multi-class level in any neighbor. Jacks may take 3 multi-class levels total while the other classes may only take 2. Humans receive another multi-class level to take.

I don't think I have anything else meaningful to share for now, so any comments and critique on what I have thus far will be very appreciated. Feel free to message me on Hangouts with any questions about the game.