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Showing posts from January, 2012

Warriors & Mages, Experts & Sages

Combat is a significant part of D&D, and perhaps more so with recent iterations.  It may not be the defining aspect of the game, but physical conflict is a core element and it's presence generally much anticipated.  Further I'd put forward the idea that an adventuring class that has less useful in combat the ability to contribute feels a little lame while the combat monsters are dragging out the big guns.

But at the same time combat is not all there is to the game.  Some games focus also on exploration, investigation, realm building, social interaction, magical research, social interaction and other areas.  These aspects of course could simply be abstracted and left handled without direct rules support, but why not make some attempt to force characters a little bit to expand in other areas?


Adventuring Classes:  Warrior & Mage All characters gain one general feat (not warrior or mage specific) each level.
There are only two classes which adventurers may progress in:  …

Temporal Salvation

Reading the recent Alexandrian post on saving throws and following -C's comment link to a previous Hack & Slash post, has me thinking about saving throws again.

(For further related reading Hack & Slash: On New Old School saves is also of interest.)

I have to admit I'm a big fan of the 3E breakdown of saving throws.  I played a year or so under 2E and the abstraction -C finds so useful, I viewed as an incomprehensible mess with little rhyme or reason.

The applications of these saves aren't intuitively obvious to everyone.  I remember looking at the save tables in 2E baffled as to why characters got the saves they did.  And even in cases where it was easy to intuitively grasp why a character might have one given save better than another, I was still puzzled as to which save would best cover any given effect if it fell under the aegis of multiple categories.

When Fortitude/Reflex/Will came along in 3E it seemed like a breath of fresh air.
It may be that the level of …

Magical Artifact: The Little Alph

It will happen sometimes that when a cleric or magic user studies or meditates upon semiotics and the deeper meaning of language, a vision takes shape within their mind of the Alph.  The Alph is a magical artifact in the form of a single glyph or written character containing all associations of meaning and symbolism.  If paper, clay or some other recording media are available when the Alph manifests then the viewer may record the symbol, thereby producing what is colloquially known as a "Little Alph".

A little Alph can in theory replicate any spell related to symbols, communication or understanding language.  This includes:  arcane mark, break enchantment (written magic only), commune, command (all), comprehend languages, confusion, contact other plane, demand, discern lies, dispel magic (written magic only), erase, glibness, holy word, illusory script, lullaby, magic mouth, message, mnemonic enhancer, read magic, sending, sepia snake sigil, stone tell, suggestion, symbol o…