Class Tweaks?

sbarrie

Mongoose
After some weeks of play, I'm considering the following tweaks to the class and rules, mostly for what have been the less popular classes. One major change I've noticed from D&D is the demand for skill points. Most players when creating new characters (after that nasty business with the werejackals and the sacrificial pit) are putting their second highest roll into Intelligence.

Soldier
The Weapon Specialization feat increases both the damage and armor piercing of the weapon by 2. Ditto Greater Weapon Specialization.

1d12 hit points per level instead of 1d10. Straight battlefield training sacrifices your versatility in life (skill points) but leaves you tougher.

Borderer
6+Int skill points per level. [6+Int]*4 at first level.

Nomad
Nomads may take Weapon Specialization as a feat at 7th level or higher, but only with a regionally appropriate weapon and if they meet all other requirements.

Does anyone see any problems with these tweaks? What tweaks are you using, if any?
 

BhilJhoanz

Mongoose
I see little problem with the first two as long as your players are honest with their hp rolls (d12 gives +1hp/level over d10) but if they tend to somehow always roll better than average or you allow rerolls, just keep it at d10.

I'd hesitate on the Nomad change though. Weapon spec is the ONLY way to improve damage in Conan (there are no enchanted weapons) and in many ways is a special class ability of the Soldier -- by handing it out more freely you're robbing the Soldier of one of his special abilities.
 

argo

Mongoose
sbarrie said:
One major change I've noticed from D&D is the demand for skill points. Most players when creating new characters (after that nasty business with the werejackals and the sacrificial pit) are putting their second highest roll into Intelligence.
This is a very very good thing IMO.

Soldier
The Weapon Specialization feat increases both the damage and armor piercing of the weapon by 2. Ditto Greater Weapon Specialization.

1d12 hit points per level instead of 1d10. Straight battlefield training sacrifices your versatility in life (skill points) but leaves you tougher.
I don't know about adding AP to weapon spec. It seems to me that AP is already very closely balanced against DR, with the right weapon choice and a decent Str you should be able to pierce anything but the heaviest armor already. It almost seems powerful enough to be worth a feat in itself, imagine somebody walking around with a greatsword with an AP of 11! That should be reserved for something like a poleaxe.

As for the d12 hit die, I also think that is a mistake. A soldier's advantage is his feats, he can afford to buy toughness which is statistically the same thing.

Borderer
6+Int skill points per level. [6+Int]*4 at first level.
I have considered this myself, in fact I let a player make a test character who was a borderer with 6 skill points. He also gave himself a 18 Int and by the time he was done he had skills comming out of his ears on top of being an effective fighter. I am not sure if it was the 6 points per level or the 18 Int but he told me afterward that even he felt he had too many skills. I think this needs more playtest but I am currently leaning towards keeping him at 4 points per level based on that test character.

Nomad
Nomads may take Weapon Specialization as a feat at 7th level or higher, but only with a regionally appropriate weapon and if they meet all other requirements.
I agree with BhilJhoanz that wep spec should be left as a soldier-only bennie. What I have decided to do is change the Born to the Saddle ability so that with a little leg work a Nomad will be able to find a superior horse (more HD, better stats, max HP, etc) for himself. I think that that should just about make the class equal.

What tweaks are you using, if any?
The Noble is the class I feel needs the most tweaking. Keep in mind that I think that this is the best Noble class I have ever seen. Powerful in social situations without being unbetable and still able to pull its own weight in the dungeon. I just feel it could use a little help.
1) A good parry bonus (instead of a medium bonus). I think this makes sense given the noble's flavor as a "civilized" warrior, it has a nice symmetry with the Bbn who has a good dodge and poor parry, and it is balanced mechanically because for most nobles Str will be a third or fourth level stat. It also makes Noble a good multiclass choice for Soldier which makes sense for all those knights out there.
2) A Social Ability at 1st level. Three levels is too long to wait to recieve what is, IMHO, you class definning feature.
3) Rally is moved from level 16 down to level 8. At level 16 the range of rally doubles to 60' and the bonus doubles to +4. 16 Levels is just way too long to wait to be able to do the "To me men! Gather round me!" stunt. An 8th levle Noble should defenaetly be capable of that.


But honestly, I think all the classes are prety well balanced against each other. Yeah the Bbn is great, but once people get over it I think they will see each class has great potential so long as you play to its strengths.

Hope that helps.
 

Cranus

Mongoose
Two of my players have suggested a modification of the Pirate class. As shipboard combat tends to lead to crowding situations, wouldn't parrying be more important than dodging? Therefore, they argued that the base dodge should be switched with base parry.

What do you fellows think?
 

argo

Mongoose
Cranus said:
Two of my players have suggested a modification of the Pirate class. As shipboard combat tends to lead to crowding situations, wouldn't parrying be more important than dodging? Therefore, they argued that the base dodge should be switched with base parry.

What do you fellows think?

I say no, for two reasons.

First, for flavor reasons. Even though you are correct about shipboard combat being mostly close quarters the pirate class is still built as an agile, highly mobile class with features like Uncanny Dodge and Mobility. Their fighting style is wild and aggressive (supported by abilities such as fericous attack and To Sail a Road of Blood and Slaughter) rather than measured and deliberate. There is a clear pattern among the classes that the more schooled and diciplined your fighting is the better your parry, meanwhile the more savage and instinctive fighters have a superior dodge.

Secondly, for balance reasons. Looking simply at DV for a moment pirate synergizes well with barbarian, ok with soldier and poorly with noble. I think that this is deliberate and I like how it reenforces the setting sterotypes.


Anyway, I wouldn't worry about the pirates parry ability too much. I had a player who built a pirate around TW Defence and Intricate Swordplay, he had a parry DV of 23 at 8th level. Not too shabby, all things considered.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
argo said:
sbarrie said:
One major change I've noticed from D&D is the demand for skill points. Most players when creating new characters (after that nasty business with the werejackals and the sacrificial pit) are putting their second highest roll into Intelligence.
This is a very very good thing IMO.

Oh, absolutely. But the poor Soldier is getting ignored. :)

I don't know about adding AP to weapon spec. It seems to me that AP is already very closely balanced against DR, with the right weapon choice and a decent Str you should be able to pierce anything but the heaviest armor already. It almost seems powerful enough to be worth a feat in itself, imagine somebody walking around with a greatsword with an AP of 11! That should be reserved for something like a poleaxe.

Hey, if an expert greatsword wielder can't crack armor, who can? It's not like the armor still doesn't help.

But a separate feat isn't a bad idea either. While I'm at it, I should dig up my big list of SRD Combat feats and select a few for Conan...

Borderer
6+Int skill points per level. [6+Int]*4 at first level.
I think this needs more playtest but I am currently leaning towards keeping him at 4 points per level based on that test character.

I've already greenlighted this change, and nobody's complained about too many skills. :) Possibly they're just skill-greedy now, and will later will see the value of a couple of Soldier levels.

What I have decided to do is change the Born to the Saddle ability so that with a little leg work a Nomad will be able to find a superior horse (more HD, better stats, max HP, etc) for himself. I think that that should just about make the class equal.

A table of superior horses a typical dealer is likely to have would be useful too. The nomad could then select the best horses and get the best prices.

I seem to remember seeing a d20 supplement on horses at RPGNow. The more horse bits a campaign has, the more the Nomad should shine.

What tweaks are you using, if any?

The Noble is the class I feel needs the most tweaking. Keep in mind that I think that this is the best Noble class I have ever seen. Powerful in social situations without being unbetable and still able to pull its own weight in the dungeon. I just feel it could use a little help.
1) A good parry bonus (instead of a medium bonus). I think this makes sense given the noble's flavor as a "civilized" warrior, it has a nice symmetry with the Bbn who has a good dodge and poor parry, and it is balanced mechanically because for most nobles Str will be a third or fourth level stat. It also makes Noble a good multiclass choice for Soldier which makes sense for all those knights out there.
2) A Social Ability at 1st level. Three levels is too long to wait to recieve what is, IMHO, you class definning feature.
3) Rally is moved from level 16 down to level 8. At level 16 the range of rally doubles to 60' and the bonus doubles to +4. 16 Levels is just way too long to wait to be able to do the "To me men! Gather round me!" stunt. An 8th levle Noble should defenaetly be capable of that.

I like 3, but I'm wary about 1 and 2.

I've considered adding a Noble ability called Retinue, similar to Lead by Example. Retinue would give you a larger bonus when a follower uses the Aid Other ability to help you. Why should the working class get the glory of the kill?

Maybe if I halved the bonus for Retinue to +3/+4/+5.

Of course, I don't have any Noble player characters, so I'm not going to do anything until I see the original in play for a while.
 

argo

Mongoose
sabarrie said:
I don't know about adding AP to weapon spec. It seems to me that AP is already very closely balanced against DR, with the right weapon choice and a decent Str you should be able to pierce anything but the heaviest armor already. It almost seems powerful enough to be worth a feat in itself, imagine somebody walking around with a greatsword with an AP of 11! That should be reserved for something like a poleaxe.

Hey, if an expert greatsword wielder can't crack armor, who can? It's not like the armor still doesn't help.
The poleaxe wielder can? Remember, the weapons with big AP usually have smaller damage dice, they are giving up average damage against all opponents to gain extra damage against heavily armored opponents.

But a separate feat isn't a bad idea either. While I'm at it, I should dig up my big list of SRD Combat feats and select a few for Conan...
Right, adding AP to a good feat that people will want to take anyway is unbalanced. But I think that a soldier-only feat to increase AP would be nice. Off the top of my head I think it might look something like:

Penetrating Blow
Preq: Power Attack, soldier level 2
Benefit: you add +1 AP to all attacks with melee weapons which already have at least AP1

Penetrating Shot
Preq: Precise Shot, soldier level 2
Benefit: you add +1 AP to all attacks with ranged weapons which already have at least AP1

Borderer
6+Int skill points per level. [6+Int]*4 at first level.
I think this needs more playtest but I am currently leaning towards keeping him at 4 points per level based on that test character.

I've already greenlighted this change, and nobody's complained about too many skills. :) Possibly they're just skill-greedy now, and will later will see the value of a couple of Soldier levels.
Let me know how that works out for you. I doubt that I am the only interested party.

I've considered adding a Noble ability called Retinue, similar to Lead by Example. Retinue would give you a larger bonus when a follower uses the Aid Other ability to help you. Why should the working class get the glory of the kill?

Maybe if I halved the bonus for Retinue to +3/+4/+5.

Of course, I don't have any Noble player characters, so I'm not going to do anything until I see the original in play for a while.
I don't really see the logic behind retinue. The benefit you get from someone else's aid another is more dependent on their skill than yours. Besides, the traditional way for a proper noble to gain lots of aid another bonuses is to bring a horde of mooks along for the ride. :wink:
 
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