Lone Wolf Classes vs Core D&D Classes


How do they measure up to each other, and how compatible are they?

I don't really have a great feel for balance. It seems that the LW classes are specialized versions of the core D&D classes with feats built into them. So how well would a regular D&D Fighter, Rogue, etc, do next to a Kai Lord or Sommlending Knight? Would they be able to hold their own?

Could I take a normal D&D Fighter and have him adventure with a LW party, progress like a normal D&D fighter, earning regular feats and special abilities, and do just as well?

I realize there would be some problem with the magic-using characters, since LW has a much different magic system. I would probably want to stick with that, so I wouldn't include Wizard, Sorcerer, Druid, etc. But it seems like I could just drop the non-magical classes right in. I'm really just looking for a way to incorporate generic Fighters and Rogues that can keep up.

What do you think?
So far, i have had a kai lord adventure next to a half-elven druid and a halfling rogue, and no problems yet. We are playing in the forgotten realms I don't allow magnumund characters to get feats, and i make them spread out their skills into the various ones mongoose lumped together (althoug im toying with the idea of letting everyone lump all those skills together, perception checks are so much easier i find).

So far the campaign is low-level, so no major problems yet. However, psychic combat is a major point, and if i don't start giving certain opponents mindshield, the kai lord might become too popular. Maybe i will have an invasion of githyanki attack Cormyr, with their helghast servants!

thats all i can offer now. Probably going to introduce a npc crystal brotherhood soon.
There is a very nice comparison between a Lv 15 Kai Lord and a lv 15 Ranger, which you can veiw by clicking on this link here.

The post speaks for itself, I would say.
That comparison is very interesting: I would have thought a Kai Lord, at least in the latter levels, would blow a generic ranger away in close combat? Even without psi-surge.
Along similar lines, do you think the Algai'd'Siswai (Aiel spear-warrior) from WOTC's Wheel of Time would be balanced in Lone Wolf? I was toying with the idea of using it for a Masbate Warrior or Sadi Nomad class.
I have not looked at Wheel of Time in quite some time - general opinion here is that it deviated a bit from Jordon's works. As for play balance for a LW game as you mention....

(begins scavaging through assorted d20 to find WoT d20 so he can compare....)
I intend to do the same "mixing" as you described (i.e. including "normal" fighters, rogue and rangers in the LW world) and I've checked carefully both classes.

My opinion is that there is no real problems as soon as youp ay attention not to allow your kai player to "overuse" the psychic combat and to allow your "non-LW" characters to use the strongest feats provided by the Player's Handbook v. 3.5.

This is not a "playtested" opinion (especially for a high level campaign) but I think it'll match.
I'm pretty excited about having full D20 rules for Kai Lords and other Magnamund classes. They look like they should be pretty compatible with regular D&D classes, so long as they're not given feats. I'd think a Kai Lord might overshadow a regular Fighter in terms of pure power and versatility, but I'm also inclined to believe the Fighter would also retain a few advantages and unique tricks that the Kai Lord couldn't do, so the players of both should still have fun.

I think that's the most important thing - being sure everyone still gets to have their unique abilities so they can feel good about what they do and contribute to the group. Beyond that, balance usually sorts itself out, I find.

Psychic Combat is the biggest issue I think would arise...has anyone got any rules on how to handle that if, say, you allow Psions in the same campaign?

Brotherhood Counterspell is a very smooth ability for conversion, should work like a charm!
The game I am in has Kai Lords in it, specifiaclly me. We use mostly core d20 products with a mix of 3 and 3.5. In this world, all of the Kai are dead after a massive attack by the Darklords and their minions. In addition to having the Drakkarim, Giaks, and all of the rest of their normal servants, the Darklords also have access to the normal d20 classes and evil races like blackguards, etc. This combined with Right-Handed Magic and the Book of Vile Darkness makes for some very nasty foes. The Darklords now control almost all of Northen Magnamund, except for two cities in Sommerlund, Holmgard and Holmgren. The last renmants of the Knights of Sommerlund and the Brotherhood of the Crystal star, plus regular D&D types cower in the cities and await the last days.

Anyway, Kai Lord has been made into a prestige class, gaining the class abilities and scores from the main class in the Lone Wolf gamebook. In order to gain this class, 3 ranks in survival and Knowledge Nature were required, as well as finding the first Lorestone to empower my knowledge of the Kai. I started out as a psychic warrior, went up to 5th and became a 1st level Kai Lord. My quest is now to gain the 7 lorestones and recreate the monastery. My group consists of a dwarf prince who specializes in clerical and wizardly magic (a 3rd level priest/3rd level wizard/4th leve of mystic theurge), and a 5th level human paladin with 5 levels of anointed knight (a very nasty prestige class from the book of exalted deeds). And various NPCs to fill the group in. I have 5 levels in Kai Lord, and the most impressive ability so far is the Dangerous Whispers Sixth Sense ability. Combined with Tracking, this is a very dangerous sensory ability indeed. I have a +2 AC bonus when wielding either a great axe or a longsword, due to the bonus from Sixth Sense and 5th level Weaponskill. With the ability to boost my stats via animal affinity, I can make myself farily nasty quickly. Kai Lords follwing the psychic warrior path will find that multiple attacks and the lessening of bonus psionic feats are more than paid off with the higher level Kai Lord tiers. I also have use of three of the Lorestones, but it makes me a target that anyone can track if they have the proper scrying abilities.

The Kai compete very well, but become exceedingly nasty to deal with once they start getting Magnakai abilities.
A good way to balance the psychic Disciplines is to treat Willpower as Psionic Power Points and have all of the psychic abilities use Power Points, maybe even just 1/Tier.
It prevents things like a Kai Lord stopping every 15 feet to do a Sixth Sense scan for traps and enemies.
Armitage said:
A good way to balance the psychic Disciplines is to treat Willpower as Psionic Power Points and have all of the psychic abilities use Power Points, maybe even just 1/Tier.
It prevents things like a Kai Lord stopping every 15 feet to do a Sixth Sense scan for traps and enemies.

You can also borrow the Psionic Focus rules from the Expanded Psionics Handbook and require the character to maintain or expend psionic focus to use certain Disciplines.