Saturday, February 28, 2009

4laCarte - alpha

What follows is my first draft for my piecemeal advancement system for 4e. Obviously, the two big pitfalls of such a system is munchkinism and gauging the power level of the characters, as now not all 4th level characters are the same.

The system will lead to higher to-hit scores at low levels. I thought this over a decided I don't have a big problem with it. Hopefully items that refer to my specific campaign rules such as hobby skills won't be too confusing.

Obviously this will need some tinkering. I am still editing the rules while I type this blog entry as things occur to me.

Okay, draft after the jump.


Character generation:

Build your first level character according to the existing rules except as follows:


Skills are bought on a rank by rank basis. First level characters receive an allocation of skill ranks to distribute among their class skills. This is equal to the number of starting skills under the regular system x5. So a Ranger, which starts with 5 skills under regular 4e, would have 25 skill ranks.

Characters receive a number of bonus skill ranks equal to INT-10 (minimum 0). These may be allocated to any skill.

If Hobbies (Secondary Skills) are used, a first level character receives a number of ranks equal to their INT.

No skill or hobby may have more than 6 levels allocated at first level.


Initiative (DEX) - used in place of the Initiative modifier. Class skill for Fighter, Monk, Ranger, and Rogue.

Ride (STR) - used to control a mount in difficult situations (such as combat). Class skill for Fighter, Paladin, and Warlord.

Weapons and Implements have skills that are used instead of attack bonuses. Each implement is its own skill, each weapon group is its own skill.

First level characters receive a number of ranks to allocate to weapon and/or implement skills.

Characters start with 2 ranks plus the higher of their STR or DEX bonus. Martial characters receive an additional 2 ranks.

Characters that use an implement start with 2 ranks plus the higher of their INT or WIS bonuses. Casting Freehand (without an implement) is a separate implement skill and may be purchased with starting ranks.

No character may start with more than 3 ranks in a given implement or weapon.


Instead of gaining levels, players spend xp to buy and improve components of their characters. It is up to the GM if a character may purchase something and how soon. Don’t expect the GM to let you buy Evasion for your paladin just because you find it mechanically useful. Also, non-level specific prerequisites still apply.

Ability Scores - new score x100
Defense Bonus - new score x100 (AC, Reflex, Fortitude and Willpower are all bought separate)
Feats, Heroic - 300
Feats, Paragon - 600 (must have at least 3 heroic feats and 1 paragon class feature)
Feats, Epic - 900 (must have at least 2 paragon feats and 1 epic class feature)
Powers - level x100 for main class, level +1 x100 for multiclass, level +3 for non-class but same power source, level +5 for non-class and different power source
Skills - Buying a new skill costs 100xp for a class skill, 150xp for a multi-class skill, and 300xp for a non-class skill. Increasing a skill costs new rank x10 for class, new rank +1 x10 for multiclass, new rank +3 x10 for non-class.
Hobbies - Buying a new hobby (rank 1) costs 50 xp. Increasing it costs new rank -1 x10.
Feature, Paragon - 200x the class level of the feature.
Feature, Epic - 300x the class level of the feature.

Hit points are gained by purchasing the Toughness Feat. The first time you purchase this feat you also receive additional hit points equal to CON bonus.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

More for the Star Wars...will this be rebuild from scratch (shudder...) or start from minimum XP for current level and spend from there (hope).

8:34 PM  
Blogger Oz said...

I'm leaning towards rebuild from scratch. Yes, it will take some work, but it will also let people tweak their characters in ways they couldn't in the traditional d20 framework.

1:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, my next question is...if building from scratch doesn't generate enough points to create the character as it has been, will there be a grandfather option?

9:09 PM  
Blogger Oz said...

No. There will be an in-game "event" that helps explain discrepancies, and my goal is to set things up so that the characters will be close to the current version, but folks may find they are unable to afford exact duplicates. I'll know more once I set values and do a test build or two.

3:24 PM  

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