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venerdì 15 aprile 2016

Seelie Knight a Swords & Wizardry racial class for the 2016 S&W Appreciation Day

This is my contribution to the 2016 Swords & Wizardry appreciation day, the entry for the 2013 appreciation day is here: Swords & Wizardry short review and new class.

In this article we propose an elven "racial class" adding a new class to the choice of character class for the S&W game and introducing the concept of racial classes in S&W. Racial classes can explore dungeons side by side with all the other classes present in the S&W rules as convincingly demonstrated by the excellent Fantastic Heroes & Witchery simulacrum.

Racial class add one or more distinctive class that are representative of the ideals of a certain race, the race in question have no level limits in its racial class while other races usually cannot progress in this class, half-races are the exception. For example Half-Elves can progress in elven racial classes but have level limits, human and other races will have stricter level limits. It's not possible to multi-class in racial classes.


The Seelie Knight

The Seelie Knight is a champion of the Seelie court, trained in combat (he fights as a Fighter) in poetry and gifted with glamorous magic. They fight for flowers and blood wreaking confusion in the battle with their magic.

Prime Attribute: Charisma 13+ (the character gains a +5% experience bonus if their Prime Attribute is 13 or higher.)
Hit Dice: 1d6/level (a Seelie Knight gains just 1 hp/level after 9th.)
Armor/Shield Permitted: Seelie Knight are able to use armor up to chain mail or any shield effectively.
Weapons Permitted: Seelie Knight are able to use any weapon effectively
Race: Only 
elves and half-elves (max 12th level, 13th with 18 charisma) may become Seelie Knights.



Table: Seelie Knigh advancement
XP
Faerie Spells
1st/2nd/3rd/4th/5th
Level
Hit Dice
Saving Throw
0
-/-/-/-/-
1
1d6
15
3'000
1/-/-/-/-
2
2d6
14
6'000
2/-/-/-/-
3
3d6
13
12'000
3/-/-/-/-
4
4d6
12
24'000
3/1/-/-/-
5
5d6
11
48'000
3/2/-/-/-
6
6d6
10
96'000
3/3/-/-/-
7
7d6
9
200'000
3/3/1/-/-
8
8d6
8
330'000
3/3/2/-/-
9
9d6
7
460'000
3/3/3/-/-
10
9d6+1
6
590'000
3/3/3/1/-
11
9d6+2
5
720'000
3/3/3/2/-
12
9d6+3
4
850'000
3/3/3/3/-
13
9d6+4
4
980'000
3/3/3/3/1
14
9d6+5
4
1'110'000
3/3/3/3/2
15
9d6+6
4
1'110'000
3/3/3/3/3
16
9d6+7
4
1'110'000
4/4/3/3/3
17
9d6+8
4
1'110'000
4/4/4/4/3
18
9d6+9
4
1'110'000
4/4/4/4/4
19
9d6+10
4
1'110'000
5/5/4/4/4
20
9d6+11
4
1'110'000
5/5/5/5/4
21
9d6+12
4
+130'000
per level
same progression
+1
+1/Level
4

Requirements and Limitations

Seelie Knight owe alliance to a Seelie Lord and the Seelie Queen, direct order from their lord cannot be ignored

Class Abilities

Weapon Training
Seelie Knights at 3rd level gain +1 to hit and damage with swords and spears

Spell Casting
Seelie Knights cast “faerie” spells from a specific list, with numbers as per Table: Seelie Kinght Advancement. Each day, the Seelie Knight can cast a number of spell from the standard list as shown in the table he needs not to prepare the spell and as long as has use he can cast the same spell over and over. 
Saving Throw Bonuses
Seelie Knights gain a +2 bonus on saving throws against being paralyzed and illusion.
Establish Seelie Stronghold
At 9th level, a Seelie Baron (9th level title) may establish a stronghold and attract 1d4 3rd level Seelie Knights and 2d6 1st level Seelie Knights who will swear fealty to the character as loyal retainers.

Spell Lists
1st level: Charm Person, Cure Light Wounds, Detect Magic, Light, Purify Food and Drink, Shield, Sleep,
2nd level: Detect Invisibility, Hold Person, Invisibility, Mirror Image, Phantasmal Force, Snake Charm, Speak with Animals, 
3rd level: Clairaudience, Clairvoyance, Cure Disease, Dispel Magic, Locate Object, Suggestion, Remove Curse, 
4th level: Charm Monster, Cure Serious Wounds, Neutralize Poison, Hallucinatory Terrain, Massmorph, Polymorph Other, Polymorph Self
5th level: Create Food, Feeblemind, Finger of Death, Hold Monster, Quest, Telekinesis, Wizard Eye,




mercoledì 13 aprile 2016

Continually spell slot recharging and sorcery for all

Rule

Spell-casters recharge spell slot as follows:
1) must be awake
2) must not be tired
3) 1 level of spell slot each 2 turns (20 minutes)
4) must be recovered first lower level spell slots then higher level ones 
5) while recovering spell slots spellcasters are more easily surprised (-2 on surprise rolls)
6) if a spell is cast spell recovery is interrupted
7) no more than 30 spell slot level day

Note: in effect all spell caster function as D&D 3.x sorcerer with the added benefit of recharging continually (but this is an hindrance at higher levels), and the possibility to change ready spell (but this take longer than before).
The number and levels of spell in a caster Spell Progression no more represent the spell a caster can cast in a single day but the maximum number of charged spell slot that the spell caster can have at any given moment. 

The number of ready spell is equal to the number of spells in the Spell Progression +2 for each level (a 1st level magic user in AD&D 1st edition can have 3 1st level spell ready, and 1 spell charge, at 3rd level it will have ready 4 1st and 3 2nd level spell and it will have 2 1st and 1 2nd level charge).

To change ready spell the spell caster need 1h*spell level with his book or in sacred place (if of divine nature) plus 10gp*spell level in ingredients, without his book it must engage in spell research or study under a mentor (that can also be a monster or extraplanar creature) in this case the time grows steeply:

  • book/sacred place: 1h*level + 10gp*level of spell to ready
  • mentor: 1day*level+100gp*level of spell to ready + service to be contracted with the mentor
  • research/meditation: 1week*level+1000gp*level of spell to ready

Examples

1) Toran a 5th level Spellsword can charge up to 
2 slot of 1st level, 2 of 2nd and 1 of 3rd.

In a tough encounter with a band of ogres Toran cast a Lightning Bolt and a Magic Missile discharging a 3rd level slot and a 1st level one. After 20' the 1st level slot will be fully recharged, after another 60' also the the 3rd level slot will be recharged. But while recharging Toran will be -2 on surprise rolls, and if after the first 40' (he recharged fully the 1st level slot, but the 3rd level one is still recharging) he need to cast Invisibility he will need to start recharging from 0 and after 40' will recharge the 2nd level slot and will need other 60' to recharge the 3rd level slot

2) Eward a 14th level Archmage can charge up to 
4 slot of  1st, 4 of 2nd, 4 of 3rd, 4 of 4th, 3 of 5th and 3 of 6th.

His tower sieged by powerful forces Eward must use all his magical power during the 1st wave of attacks, now he will slowly but continually recharge his spell slot but first he will recharge his lower level slots. After 2h he will have recharged 4 1st level slot and 1 2nd level slot. To fully recharge all his spell slot (since slot will recharge only while the mage is awake and not tired) he will need 146 turns or 24 hours and 20 minutes about 3 days without casting any spell (and he cannot recharge more than 30 level each day, so since the total of spell slot is 73 levels he needs more than 2 days to fully recharge).



Designer's Notes

This simple rule changes a fundamental assumption in the ACKS magical system (but also of the D&D 5th edition system and of the sorcerer spell system of D&D 3.x and Pathfinder) that spell-caster recover all their spell slot in the morning after one night of rest (and about one hour of meditation).

This assumption is derivative from 3rd edition D&D, in fact in 2nd edition spell caster needed to impress spell in their memory taking 10' for each spell level (and in 1st edition the time was 15' for each spell level as it is also in OSRIC and Adventures Dark and Deep). The strange thing is that this assumption makes things harder for lower level spell-caster and give way too much power to high level spell caster.

In ACKS a 1st level arcane spell-caster has 1 level of spell/day and at the 14th level arcane spell-caster 73 level of spell/day (divine spell caster are not so far off and the numbers are not so different also in D&D 5th edition or for sorcerers in D&D/d20 system like 3.x sorcerer or Pathfinder sorcerer) this means that we have a gigantic difference in raw power from 1st to 14th level, no other classes see such a difference in raw power.

Introducing this rule we have that magical capacity of recovery is constant during the day and independent from caster level with, at least, the following beneficial effects:
  1. spell caster will never be short of low level spells (a problem that in later edition of the game was resolved giving at will powers to caster and in previous edition with cantrips); 
  2. high level spell caster to get fully recharged need more than one day w/out spell casting (as in older edition) as you can see in our 2nd example where the Archmage Eward ned almost 3 day to get fully recharged;

I decided for 20' (or 2 turns) because in ACKS you roll for wandering monsters each 2 turns.

Trance/Meditation (ACKS)
To modify the Trance/Meditation Proficiency is a necessary rule change with the rule presented: While in a meditation spell caster recharge 1 level of spell slot each turn. The mage can use meditation up to a number of hours equal to the maximum level of spell he can use.

Wizard Spell Recovery (D&D 5th)
Wizard can keep this edge since it can be used a limited number of times each day.

NOTE: for the italian version of this one go here: Ricarica Magica Continua

mercoledì 6 aprile 2016

Martial Elf Ranger of the 1st Forest an ACKS Wednesday post

This is a class developed using the Martial Elf race for the Adventurer Conqueror King System RPG (or ACKS rpg in brief) using (at the best of my ability) the rules for building classes presented in the ACKS Player's Companion.

The Ranger of the 1st Forest is the first class I present for the Martial Elves, some of this classes will have "of the 1st" in the name since they are inspired by some classes of AD&D 1st edition.

The Ranger of the 1st Forest is built trying to mimic the 1st edition Ranger.

Prime requisite: str, dex
Requirements: wis 9, int 9
Hit dice: d6* (+1 at 1st level)
Maximum Level: 12

XP
Title
Level
Hit Dice
0
Runner
1
2d6
2'650
Strider
2
3d6
5'300
Scout
3
4d6
10'600
Courser
4
5d6
21'200
Tracker
5
6d6
42'400
Guide
6
7d6
80'000
Pathfinder
7
8d6
160'000
Ranger
8
9d6
320'000
Ranger Knight
9
10d6
500'000
Ranger Lord
10
10d6+2*
680'000
Ranger Lord
11
10d6+4*
860'000
Ranger Lord
12
10d6+6*

*Constitution bonus no longer apply




Level

Divine Spell

1st/2nd/3rd

Arcane Spell

1st/2nd

Additional melee Damage
bonus vs
Beastman & Giants

1
-
-
0
2
-
-
+1
3
-
-
+1
4
-
-
+2
5
-
-
+2
6
-
-
+3
7
1/0/0
-
+3
8
2/0/0
-
+4
9
2/1/0
1/0
+4
10
2/2/0
2/0
+5
11
2/2/1
2/1
+5
12
2/2/2
2/2
+6


Ranger Divine Spell repertoire (5 spell per level):
1st level: Cure light wounds, Locate Animal or Plant, Predict Weather, Pass w/out trace, Resist Cold
2nd level: Charm Animal, Delay Poison, Resist Fire, Snake Charm, Speak w/animals
3rd level: Call lightning, Cure disease, Eyes of the eagle, Growth of Animals, Water Breathing

Ranger Arcane Spell Repertoire: like a mage and needs a spell book (must find a teacher to learn spells or to change them), rarely a ranger will change his arcane repertoire

Ranger Skill list: as Elven Ranger in ACKS Player's Companion

A Martial Elf Ranger of the 1st forest can build an Elven fastness

In ACKS terms it is built as follow:

(1625) Martial Elf 3 +
(0625) Mage 1 (delayed availability Level-8)* +
(0250) Cleric 1 (delayed availability Level-6)**

*max 2nd level spells
** max 3rd level spell, +1 3rd level spell

as a five point class The Ranger of the 1st Forest has a level limit of 12

trade off
Unrestricted armor to Broad (+1 power) +150 XP
no turning undead (+1 power)
* & ** (+1 power)

total cost 2500+150=2650

powers:
+tracking (like elven ranger)
+bonus melee damage vs beastman and giants: ranger adds +1 to damage at 2nd level, 4th, 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th (for +6 that is cumulative to the +5 from fighting 2)
+bonus hd at 1st level (so he goes from 2d6 at 1st to 10d6 at 9th level + 2hp additional levels)

Designer's note
I eyeballed the value of some non standard trade-off but I think that I come close to ACKS standards.
Obviously any suggestion is welcome.