Dungeons and Dragons 6 beta
Unofficial DRAFT: Like a rough gemstone, this waits to be polished. The major ideas are "stubbed" out. If you're looking for current releases, please refer to the Wizards of the Coast for complete game materials. Contributors: add your name to the bottom of the document for inclusion in the next version. --Cedric the Bard
So you wanna explore some dungeons, do ye? Think you've the mettle to handle the gricks and grues you might encounter down around? Feeling a bit spunky? Well, ye better have your fab in order, because you won't find anyone to patch up your arm that got lobbed off or Saf-T-Kleen wipes to get that acid ooze off ya around there. This here version don't have safe-t throws, neither. You'll need to keep a quality herbal pack, if you be feeling the need for security.
Dungeons and Dragons--more than any other game--through improvisation, develops human creativity and imagination. It is a paragon in this regard and should not be glossed-over because it is a mere game. It is also superior to other RPG choices because 1) it’s the original and most evolved, 2) it`s world is most like our own which means you can map gameplay to lessons in the real world, a feature that can be useful in developing a World Game.
This preliminary copy of the next and GREATEST version of D&D aims to integrate and synthesize all the best efforts from the RPG systems that came before:
- from the ASCII depths of NetHack,
- the intrigue of ZORK and pure-text adventures,
- the ease and breadth of gameplay explorations from Internet text MUDs (hexonyx, genesis),
- the availability of Magic: the Gathering (thanks to GameOn and Berkely Games),
- the gravitas of existing D&D (and the best of many experiments from TSR Hobbies),
- the experiments of probably every other RPG minus a little styling (Savage Worlds, Warhammer, Pathfinder, Penny Dreadful, various post-apocalyptic and futuristic RPGs)
- the integrated philosophy of GURPs,
- the vividness of Tolkein's Middle Earth,
- the innocence of Walt Disney and various fantasy worlds created there (Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Peter Pan and Tinkerbell, the Apprentice...),
- the richness of J.K.Rowling's Hogwarts, and
- the nobleness of King Arthur and the Round Table.
...with just a little of Doctor Who thrown in to cross-check everything. It is radically different, yet it is solidly the same. It aims to make a complete class and gaming system to clear up fuzzy boundaries between player skills, class progressions, universal planes, and abilities. This will greatly simplify characters, while providing more well-rounded, stronger, and realistic abilities. In fact, enough to simulate a whole world--more than you've yet imagined I dare say, spritely warrior.
While the investment to change for old players may seem daunting, give a little faith and you'll find it goes twice as natural than before.
- You've been walking on a faint path for hours through a sun-lit forest. You turn a corner to find a iron gate in the face of the rock-side. On the doorway is a rusty sign written in some language you don't recognize. It looks like no one has been here for a VERY long time. Inside: IT IS VERY DARK. You are a party of 4 containing a fighter, a wizard, a healer, and a feary. The gate's latch is extremely rusted and as you approach it, it mysteriously breaks open. Now, you could run back home, back to safety, where there are plenty of chores to do, ...or maybe not. The question now, however, is: What do you wish to do?
You, sir or madam, have the noble role of guiding your wily players into true adventurers, of developing rich and imaginative campaigns, and ascending peaks of EPICNESS.
There are characters to fit every type of player: fighters, magic-users, naturists, healers. D&D players can be as young as 4 years old, (if they're playing with competent DMs) and is a good fun for many different kinds of children, even therapeutic: rowdy (cast as fighter), smarty-pants (wizard), do-gooders (healer), hippie kids (naturist), or just young ones along for an adventure (faery race). For children, start with pre-generated characters and an easy 2-4 hour adventure. Otherwise, you can dive right into complicated campaigns that might last many months. This version is written to please 4 to 400 year olds.
There are many types of adventures to engage many kinds of players. From:
- heroic and imperialistic (find the prisoner and rescue him/her, build the city),
- explorations and dungeoneering (make it through mirkwood forest, or mysterious unknowns/puzzle-solving),
- industrious (build a bridge to cross the chasm and open trade routes, or build the magic to hold open a portal from one realm to another),
- cast and slash (kill the dragon, eliminate the marauding goblins).
Settings start light or dark, functional or frenetic, respectively.
The rewards and incentives are various:
- abundance of money and better equipment,
- legacies of acheivement engraved in the cities of the realm, making you a legend,
- elite one-of-a-kind items (special gemstones conferring various abilities, Ring of Invisibility, Helm of Brilliance)
- or more XP to level!
You'll have interactions from leaders, nobles, wizards, or other adventurer-fighters. It's quite a ...simulation.
Campaigns and multiple D&D groups across cities can combine these and unite them at some later date for complex story-telling and high-stakes adventuring. Scores can be based on XP gained in comparison to other groups running the same campaign, special inventiveness, and such. Towns can vie for the one-of-a-kind items, like who gets to keep the Shield of Turil granting +10 protection of their city from marauders, or the Helm of Brilliance, granting +3 INT (and blessed protection against oppositely-aligned monsters), etc.
DMs should manage the synchrony of the game-world with the players. So that on each game night, players describe their state of affairs before you begin to ensure it's in-sync. The DM also manages the gods and besides being the referee, the narrator, and the player for NPCs, s/he also tries to help the gods advance their causes through subtle effects in the game world.
In short, major changes:
- DM gets tier-based equipment books dependent on how far they've advanced players. This keep special items out of game until their players are ready and rewards DM for their efforts. Books contain coinage (from cardstock) and equipment cards (serial-numbered) for prized items. Ideally, DM earns bank by helping players gain experience allowing him/her to offer higher quality and more unique items. They get 5% of +XP (not deducted from player) as cp, unless it's a Craftslan. Craftslans can "sell" interesting wares and made items to the DM, leveling as they go. The DM does not have to deduct from their account, but acquires the item in inventory. Such items represent genuine development -- but only if the DM offers a truly unexaggerated price. This prevents dilution of major items and helps teach economic theory. The DM sits above the realms, though, and can reproduce such items as much as they want (to build inventory for shops and guilds, for example). Players can trade items out-of-game for a small tax (10gp trade = 1 or 2 sp of tax, depending on how far away in the universe they are from each other. Same realm: 1sp, different realms 2sp -- 1 to each DM) to the pizza jar (but players pay their tax at 10% coinage conversion to the pizza jar, 10gp sale = $1US beyond their normal contribution for everyone at the game table).
- XP gets earned on anything that progresses player's development of wisdom and knowledge of the realms -- that means XP now gained on movement, healing others, using magic, and other things! It also means that players earn less XP killing the [nearly the] same NPC (continuing fractions: half as much for subsequent times), since you haven't learned much of anything (of course you can still eat them for food or who knows what other properties they might have). This information should be considered private and whether you invoke it or not should be concealed.
- Players don't get to know their XP, only their LEVEL. DMs should track that for each of their players. If they need of boost of morale, they can be told whether they are past the halfway point of the next level. They also should not be directly informed of spells/skills/etc gained on advancement. It should be learned through player lore.
Player-Characters are composed of various traits, Races, Classes, Alignment and Purpose, and Appearance and Gender. As they gain levels, they gain skills, receive gifts, accomplish feats, or learn spells, make laws, gain auto-experience, get peace-of-mindXXX, turn imagination into various powerups, get abilities -- sometimes more than one if they're multiclassed. The set of these level-specific abilities is called their Tier Path -- greater abilities rewarded as they climb towards epic achievements. In any case, players have a complete base in which to create solid and develop awesome characters. Guildmasters and DMs can make all the hybrids they want between these and should stay away from those designated for NPCs (like drows).
Whatever the race or class, all players and NPCs have eight core abilities. Here's where there's some new awesomeness. This will allow getting rid of extra skill tables and allow NPCs to be more interesting. Two new abilities allow better character definition: perceptivity (PER) and assemblage (ASM). ASM is the ability to create new value out of baser elements. This is useful in metallurgy, crafting useful potions, etc. The same player with the same ingredients but without good assemblage would form a far less effective result (a potion of little potency, for example, or a sword which cracks after use). INT is related specifically to language and abstraction, like a mage's ability to craft spells and name them with some arcana. PER is sensory ability that, in a Ranger, can develop an intelligence, without language (sometimes called peace-of-mind). What was called charisma is better called sophistry: the ability to influence with words and is now re-named, keeping only the three-letter abbreviation (CHR). Except in elves, what was called wisdom is better named Piety (PTY): towards the gods or other powers which give the character more power. It may be decided to set this in accordance with player desire. In every case (except Feral races), ability values cannot exceed 20 until Epic.
Creating Great Characters
DMs should try master typecasting (a skill from theatre) and limit race options based on player-type and their predilections so that gameplay can be more natural for them and more realistic for the game-world. Give them 2-4 options. There's a good reason to typecast. If they match their character type, they get an immediate +1 bonus on the noted positive ability score. If you want to be particular, for races which are the same race as the DM, give modifier only if the player is a better example at that trait than you for their first bonus (ex: If you'd cast yourself as Dwarf and the player wishes to play a dwarf, give initial +CON bonus only on players are hardier than YOU). Further, they gain an additional +1 on tier-level changes if (and only if) they remained in character for the duration; that means gaining as much as +4 or more points by the end of their career! If player argues about DMs decision, it's an automatic fail.
Typecasting: You’ve seen proto-dwarves in your world: they’re often in business, stocky build with reddish tones in their hair and like premium-crafted beer. Elves can be found too: they’re generally smart, lithe, have blonde hair, androgenous. Female elves tend to be incredibly intense (eyes) and intimidating with almost white hair. If you get a smile from them, you are charmed. Males tend to be geniuses. Dragonkind are somewhat rare and not something within the human experience. If they ever were--it has been lost in time. These personalities are like feys (in that they are misfits) but are feisty with fire-red hair (not the common red) rather than quiet and shy. They can be seen in those who have an activist bent--they have a hidden good, but chaotic, alignment. Afrikans have dark skin and are fairly obvious. Then there's the al Qadim for players of Spanish and Middle-Eastern descent. Færykind have deep, dark eyes, light-skin, and reddish or brown hair (in-game appearance can be completely different). They are quiet -- for they are not contemplative but are centered in the heart, not the mind. Aryans are light-skinned, light-haired, distinguishable from elves in that they are less extroverted and more sporty: quick in body rather than mind. Other races have been considered, but most are generally incompatible with the realm of D&D for various odd reasons.
Dragonborn have special characteristics. See dragonborn.
If a player chooses a gender other than their own, give them the challenge of appearance: make them ugly (1/2) and find the ways that make them beautiful/attractive (otherwise, they're probably just using a sort of "seduction" spell on your group--a vain attempt at a glory they haven't earned, ignorant of the real challenges of gender).
Ability rolls: Here's a little bit of awesomeness. No more ambiguity about it. There are two primary ways of rolling, depending on whether players want to specialize (and master ONE class) or generalize (be many classes):
- Players who wish to specialize: roll 8xd20 -- that's eight d20s or one d20 eight times. If DMs don't implement "ability affectations" (above), they can simply re-roll 1s, 2s, 19s, and 20s, to keep in the desired range. Otherwise,no, you cannot re-roll on a 1 -- that's the cost of the possibility for rolling a 20.
- For generalists, roll 8x3d6 (that means roll three d6s in a group, eight times).
PER is set in advance, depending on race or class, so unless you want to use a higher roll to increase it, you can remove lowest score.
How it works: There’s only one way to roll a 10 with a d20, but six ways when rolling 3d6s. So, a 10 is 6x more likely than rolling either a 3 or 18 with 3d6. That means d20 specialist rolls will have more extreme values to order their abilities, while 3d6 will be clustered more around the average. There are no re-rolls, but 1) PER is gifted as no lower than 13 for most classes, 15 for rangers, and 2) players order [a larger number of] dice as they please, so good and bad stats can be shifted around. Beyond this, they must accept the fate of the dice.
Class and ability pairs: DMs should note that classes have a dominant and subordinate trait. Fighters rely on their STR for battle and their CON for survival. Spell-casters rely on their INT to create spells and their DEX to stay safe in battle. Healers rely on divine WIS to help their party and use their PTY to survive, rather than slashing and risking the relationship with the gods. Naturists rely on PER to be attuned to their environment (and avoid problems) and ASM to get what they need when they need it. But players have to start by claiming one of the classes or the other, unless they’re multi-classing. In any case, Guildmasters and DMs can make all the hybrids they want out of these main types, and should stay away from from those designated for NPCs (like drows).
Multi-classing can be especially useful for small parties (2 or less). When multi-classing, an enhanced class-name should be given to the hybrid. Fighter x Carny becomes a Rogue, Magic-user X Druid = ArchMage, capable of augmenting their own abilities (w/potions), making a guild, etc.
Some feature set ideas: fighter + carny = rogue. Skills/gifts stealth, pick-pocket, lock-pick, cutthroat, trip. fighter + leader = governor. Skills/feats: oration, wordcraft (set in motion influence for villagers), fighter + spell-caster = wizard. Skills/spells: fumble at glance, befuddle, advice fighter + healer = prophet. Skills/feats: miraculous healing, soothsaying, raise dead, charm
You can lose a skill if misused and gain it back next level.
For each tier that is passed, the player class-name changes appropriately. First tier players are allowed to die to learn about how to manage their world better, but each time they must start over (back to initial level). This is what is now called a Death Saving Throw. Underlings get two at player creation, and one gets forfeited after each death or tier change, so they have to learn how to survive and learn what options are available (like herbal bundles, etc). For the players who chose a race like their own, they gain another ability point. If they reach the maximum for that ability, it can move to a secondary racial trait (Dwarf, Afriqan: STR; Faeruni, Faery: DEX; Elven, Azhian: PER; Dragonkind, Feral: CON). If you get past level 35, you'll have faced tremendous odds and will understand why they call it "legendary" -- very few have made it.
Tiers and levels:
- Underling: levels 1-7, learning levels,
- Strider: 8-15, introducing yourself to the gods
- Paragon: 16-35, gets to have their class in name
- Legendary: 36-65 gets to have legendary name modifier in title ("Conan the Unbeatable Warrior"), a one-time player-name change is allowed at the beginning of this tier. Passing into this tier, you can start building worlds.
- Epic: 66-100 a singular name, sigil, or insignia; that is all you need, because you are renowned.
- Gods & Dragons: 100+ beyond this, I can't tell you (and shouldn't have to). But if you get beyond 100, then YOU get to write the next version of Dungeons and Dragons.
Legendary characters commonly start guilds in a city of their choice or as suggested by some leader. In so doing, they not only share their craft and skills, they gain various benefits from their members, like shared mana (mage), percentage of profits (craftslan), higher PTY aura (healer), and PTY | PER | CHA gains (warrior).
Kills: For every NPC that you slay, you get most (minus some tax by the gods for life force conversion) of its XP (depending on initial condition, of course -- no prize for killing NPCs with HP=1). The rest of the value stays in the corpse. You can get that value in some cases by eating corpses of properly aligned, dissimilar-race NPCs. You can also get sick or gain magical powers (clairvoyance, tele-vision, ???) up to the other half of remaining XP/Mana. Corpses left alone give back their remaining mana to the game-world (which can gain it more abundance, or make it more ill if the kills were innocent animals, for example, and misused).
Whatever you armor absorbed, that should be subtracted from your AC or CHR
A party, then, is defined as 1 or more characters dedicated to some purpose. If there are more than two parties (your players + 1 group of), you're going to have to make notes. Battles happen in rounds to accommodate all parties. A round has Offensive and Defensive components. There are several components that come to bear:
- ability checks (of various kinds),
- offensive resources (weapons, spells),
- defensive saves (magical/physical armor),
- player wit (cleverness at interactions), and
- finesse from the DM and the gods.
Ideally, at least four ability stats would come to bear on each round, by each combatant, but this is too cumbersome, so we simplify. If player isn’t surprised, player consciously or habitually selects the main ability they’re going to use to engage the round (Offensive step:: CHR: sophistry, INT: distraction/spell, STR: physical attack, CON: Intimidation; Defensive step:: DEX: block, ASM: parry, PER: dodge, WIS: retreat). If not specified, reflex can decide. Ask character what they do (put up their shield, swing they’re sword wildly?), and store this info as their reflex for future reference.
Saving throws are no longer used. What happens instead are PER+PTY checks, plus some finesse from the DM. PER is awareness without thought/experience. Without PTY there's no dedication, no confidence, no purpose, no reason to engage. WIS gives awareness from experience. Wisdom = PTY + LVL; Challenge = PER + LVL. In theory, double the PER and you are twice as quick to find solutions in battle to your favor. A magical cloak for example might save you from nearly all magic to a certain level, your CON saves you, and your wit.
Each side has to determine the total Time-Slots for each side, if there are more than two sides, then each group. A party of 4 warriors might have 24 time slots amongst them, and their opponents 30. All time slots get used per round and you calculate the damage done. You can be vague if you don't want to do to much work and do battle based on group vs. group, adding all dice together at once, subtracting all defences and making it easy.
- Initiative starts, first to initiate we'll call P1, second P2, etc.
Determine 1st strike (PER check), first strike call P1, second P2, etc.
- P1 makes offensive move, calculates results:
- P1 checks for HIT
- P1 calculates DAM if hit.
- P2 makes offensive move, calculates results:
- P2 checks for HIT
- P2 calculates DAM if hit.
- PER can modify events depending on set-up time. A spell which isn't known well or a weapon which has to be swung by a weaker player, for example, can lose if their combatant's PER interrupts during the process (these were called saving throws).
The DM can declare a MISS if the Player takes too long (to encourage players to pay attention). Alternatively, player character may be stressed (stunned, surprised, bedazzled), depressed, weak from hunger and choose to finesse how that modifies HIT and DAM amounts.
DAM calculated by (HIT & DMG are magical modifiers independent):
- fighters: Fighter: STR/20*LVL/5*weapondice == [(STR * LVL) / 100] * weapondice -- fractions round down to next lower integer; modifier: DEX; special effect: crits
STR+weapon+LVL (must subtract relevant opponent AC)
- magic-users: Mage: (INT * LVL) /100 * (MANAused * spelldam); modifiers: PER (alignment with gods?) + LVL; MANA used * spell dmg/100 mana + LVL: special-effect: mana expended
- healers : PTY * LVL /100 * clericeffect ;modifier: STR; weapon; special effect: gods interaction
- naturists: ASM; XP: special effect: earth karmic additions
DAM based on . DMG = force at strike point (a 1 lb rock on 6' string = 6) weapon weight (in lbs) x piercing ability (1 (hammer) up to x5 (named sword)), and enchantments. Heavier weapons give more damage (DMG = Weight in lbs).
Proficiency in a weapon should be included in damage stat: if you are skilled +2, if you are a newbie -2. If your dmg makes your score go negative, just add it to your opponents on the next round. I.e. consider that your poor strike allows your opponent more damage.
Wield ability based on STR + DEX/2 - weight of weapon.
- NPC rolls d(DEX) if avoiding weapon or d(PTY) if avoiding a spell and Player rolls d(DEX) if wielding weapon. This means, roll the closest die that is equal or above the DEX score, and re-roll if you roll something above their DEX. For example, if NPC is DEX:5, then you roll a d6 and re-roll if you hit a 6 (i.e. must be within 1-5), if DEX:16, roll a d20 and re-roll on 17-20. If Player roll > NPC roll, you hit!
DAM: , . STR + LVL + Weapon DMG roll - (Enemy AC) (take disadvantage roll if NPC CON is > player CON). DAM: DAMage: Weight, piercing ability, enchantment. In battle, A needle has d1 damage, a dagger up to 15, while a short sword could give about 30, a greatsword 40-50. bludgeoning: multplle rolls of lower dice 3d6., spells: area spells multiple die
The basic idea of DAM is that it is a combination STR + innate weapon DMG (based on the tool used to strike) +/- (any modifiers from the gods) (could be +HIT weapon enchantment, or concealed DM modifiers) + lvl (up to MAX DMG of weapon) - (any missing score from dominant ability). A weapon can serve up to the level of its maximum damage ability. Beyond that you cannot add any more lvl modifier for use of that weapon, you have to get a greater weapon if you want more wielding power.
Fortitude is the accumulation of serious risks that you’ve survived.
Cleric: area spells affect allies within sight of their eyes.
Ability modifiers. Heightened awareness (like battle), it is assumed that various forces will be NPC must have a higher score to beat you. IDeally if the player is 15str
Anytime there is an interaction between the players and the game universe, for items in which the DM is not familiar and the fate is far from decided, we call that a "negotiation". Negotiations mean: dice rolls. For example, when their weapon hits their opponents armor, you roll dice. When you check to see if you understand the elvish writings on the cliff face. Good DMs can know enough that rolls are kept to a minimum. For example, they know that Tog knows like 1% of elvish language, and that the words used are not likely any he understands, so doesn't have to roll any dice and can say "You can't understand it". Or they know that the bedbug on the ground has SPEED 0.01 and player's weight and boot is sufficiently large that the outcome is certain: bedbug dies.
At underling level, battle rounds can be easy, take the DAM roll of weapon and cross with a die roll for the AC of opponent: for each element of armor, you get a die of equal value to the AC of that armor piece. If AC value does not have a die, alternate rounding up or down to the next die, depending on luck and player attitude. For example, a fighter with good luck and opposite-aligned opponent with a helmet AC3, gauntlets AC2, chain mail AC6 rolls: 2d4, 1d6. If it is less than the player offensive roll then s/he takes a hit equal to the difference.
- Fighter: Armor Defense: DEX + LEVEL + AC dice. Edge Weapon Offensive: STR + LEVEL + DAM dice.
- Negotiator: Banter Defense: INT + LEVEL + luck??? Offensive: CHR + LEVEL + disuasion dice
- Rogue: Fighting Defense: STR + LEVEL + AC dice. Offensive: ASM + LEVEL + piercing
- Wizard: Magic Defense: CON + LEVEL + AC dice. Offensive: INT + LEVEL + spell dice.
- Cleric: Pious Defense: PTY + LEVEL + . Offensive:
- NPC: Monsters: a
Players should not know beforehand all the skills or spells they receive at higher levels. They should learn through the lore of other player stories (cultivating a gaming culture), or through their effort and favor from the gods (finding books related to it). Player development should be a mix of skills/spells and armors/cloaks. So that a warrior gets their ability from combination of skills + fancy weaponry. Anything else will create an unbalanced character, resulting in problems.
NPC: -(AC + (d(STR + DEX))
Fighter: Skills: Force (get double damage), Parry (block), Dodge (+DEX (battle only)), Attunement (+PER),, Leaders: skills: Decider, you can make executive decisions and get advantage on dice rolls related to it. Knower of the Way (level 15) gets special information from DM about direction.
Rather than v5 figurines, players develop a 6-sided woodblock (or 3d-printed resin block) whose top face shows a sigil or face they design that represents their player. Other sides can have adhesives or painted with character race, alignment or guild, class(?), their visible inventory, and anything else apparent. Bottom face can show treasures held on person.
?No more skill lists. Instead there are now 8 abilities. Six of them remain as before, but two new ones: Perceptivity (Per) and Assemblage (Asm). All eight are pairs: superior and inferior (roughly: outer vs. inner). Each pair is affiliated with one of the four main classes. Assemblage is the ability to create new value out of baser elements. This is useful in metallurgy, crafting useful potions, etc. The same player with the same ingredients but without good assemblage would form a far less effective result (a potion of little potency, for example, or a sword which cracks after use).
Tiers: Several tiers of player development: Underling, Hero, Paragon, Legendary, Epic, and ?. Each passage takes players to a different type of game play. Some of these require interaction with the real-world. Battle rounds can get more sophisticated at each tier level. More on that to come.
Quests are now the main way to see experience. DMs develop quests: integrated plans to explore, solve puzzles, concoct, defeat/sway, and complete a grand task. It might be to restore the Spell Forge at Phandelver Mine--a complex tasks requiring swaying townspeople, moving rock, interaction with the Gods that tore it down, some engineering, and the influx of magic. Completing the task could earn a party 30,000 XP, while solving only parts of the task (removing the Orcs) might only get you a small lessor fraction below the parts. “Casting and slashing” the landscape won’t gain you more XP over clever negotiating and good sophistry. Once solved, a quest can turn into an automatic ability for any future encounters of similar nature if one has sufficient power to re-enact it.
This new version aims to move game play away from "cast and slash" variety playing to gain XP, to more quest-based, solving puzzles, developing player abilities, finding real treasures, and making the game-world better. There's much more after level 10, but best not to tell yet.
Modifiers: So then, with our new understanding, for warriors +HIT modifies DEX in battle, while +DAM modifies STR. So let’s just call them +DEX and +STR and say they only have their effect in heightened situations like battle or when entering a spooky wood. This removes the extra need for saving throws. Players will need equipment, luck, good ability scores, and wit. What are the equivalent for spell-casters? A Mage have blessed braces or special belt, for example, which gives +CON to give more force to spells. A cornuthaum can help provide +INT to help concoct more powerful spells. You can imagine the rest, warrior.
Luck is a combination of relationship to the gods, the karma towards your surrounding environs (XP valence/alignment), and any magical equipment you may have to augment it. Luck can give you advantage rolls and unluck can give disadvantage. Or it can grant you a +2 dispensation from the DM if you’re in good behaviors. See it thus: there’s refined luck (from the gods) and there is crude luck (from your DM).
A good DM should try to map his/her player's character development to the outer world. More on that complex topic later, as life isn't something you can learn in a book (or a website). It means, among other things, that as DM, you have to develop yourself, because you can't teach what you don't know.
Miscellaneous notes and merchandizing (not yet finished):
D&D Starter set (~$20) should include:
- starter guide (for training new DMs), DM campaign booklet that will equip new players and get them to level 5 (should include inventory of equipment and coinage), class-specific data up to level 5.
- 8 pregenerated character sheets of each different class, starting at level 1,
- 7 game dice,
- red transparency for placing over text to reveal treasure items in campaign books.
- lightweight game screen with artwork showing places in the starter campaign for players and for DM an easy-reference guide (XP and skills/spells to add for leveling classes, d12 godroll ref, -NPC stat blocks) for new DMs, (Or perhaps a sturdy screen with insertable artwork and info on both sides?)
- four (lightly-colored) small and 1 bigger (dark) wood block(s) with adhesives.
- 2 special item figurines, randomly inserted from a set of 8-16 in the starter kits, that is rewarded to players that accomplish tasks, tradeable.
- 400 gp printed tokens (intended for four players), tradeable after game-time.
Game materials should be printed for a target audience of 17 and younger. That means no sexual imagery or blood rituals (Demonology, etc). Such campaigns and material should be clearly marked for ages 17+.
Players or DM should be able to buy:
- DM Manual (~$50),
- Campaign books ($35-50) and booklets (smaller campaigns) ($10-12). New currency, equipment, and monsters are introduced into the game via these purchased materials. Campaign books should include game screens with artwork associated with campaign and cardboard coins that will be put into the economy.
- Monster and Equipment Manual (~$30),
- Class Manuals, comprehensive (up to hero), for each class (x8) in a 5-loop binder so sheets can be added or removed or tiered for nearly 0 cost at low-levels and more mojo at higher-levels, allowing personalization (character name, clear pocket for name on front, character artwork, personal notes detailing campaigns and foes fought, etc.), medium-bound. 5 copies of character sheets customized for the class (1 + 4 as spare or give to others who want to be the class). (~$12-$15 each).
- Higher-level class inserts and guild-sheets to add to their class binder containing spells and/or higher arcane knowledge (Fighter: weaponry; Craftslan: craft techniques, specific to guild; Cleric: higher-techniques for guiding use of power; Mage: spells, Leader: needs of people; Magistrate: needs of a city, equipment list for DM; MotE: basic herbal recipes; Druid: deed-examples). (~$10 -$15).
- Dice bags or calculators along with class-specific accessories.
- Game screens with different references on screen depending DM play-style.
- Figurines of those who reached Legendary or Epic status (~$5-$10). Bigger figurines for Diety (~$20). Figurines are for single-class characters who have specialized the class. Multi-class characters can have figurines, if they have named the class into a single name, but enhancements are divided. Bottom of figure should include LVL, character name, weapon name/sigil/guild name/holy symbol/insignia/flag/jewelry/special brew, if any and, if the person chooses, a printed list of all bragging rights. Players who possess them get an ability score improvement of that class (+1 legendary, +2 for epic). It's up to the DM to limit rewards if player has multiple figurines at the table. If player is already at 20 for an ability, they get good luck if alignment (of any other figures) are weighted in their favor. If they have multiple figurines of the same class and both are epic, player gets advantage for all checks that involve that skill. Other bonuses, if player and figuring are the same:
- Warrior figures confer +2 DAMAGE (if diety, otherwise +1 epic), if they have the same god (info should be included), +2 HIT (i.e. -2 from opponents armor stat) if they name their weapon after the figure (+1 for epic figurines).
- Magi should include a spell that the player made or perfected, list of other spells in their guild.
- Craftslan: a picture of their highest accomplishment. Diety figurines, a description of their proudest accomplishment that can be included in the game as a gift to the player.
- Healers a prayer + picture of their holy symbol (more MANA regeneration, if they have the same god) that they can include in inventory. Diety: nearly endless mana regen dependant on how many units sold 100 Mana surge per unit available per game-day,
- Leaders, +1 HP to MAXHP for every 10 levels they advanced to at time of figure. Diety: includes bio of deeds they performed, written in their own hand. The flag or their empire can be used in-game, if they wish to stake a claim. If they have retired the character, a ring with their insignia that they player can wear, offering +1 CON. If they haven't retired the character, just a copy of the sigil. This is for legendary OR epic.
- Magistrates: the name of their city and map. Tips on holding a kingdom. diety: inventory of their city, goods available, levels of adventurers they've served.
- Herbalists: pictures of flowers they developed, jewelry and what/how traits it confers. Diety: complete set of herbal unguents, essential oils inventory and their effects.
- Explorers: maps of the realms they've explored. Diety: +5 searching, finding caves, traps, and secret doors in the realms.
- Druids: figure made from stone representing their chosen alchemical element, positive bonus modifiers when player uses that element.
- The number of players using another player's figurines, powers the latter towards their final level: Deity. For these few players, their PTY turns to WIS. Further they receive ability modifiers depending on how many units are sold (adds 1/100ths of a point for each sold) and can be applied to all abilities without limit. Past LVL ~70, and the player gets listed in the deific pantheon for all D&D materials published.
Equipment cards that are copied can be used, but get 1/2 the power, so a 2d20 weapon gets 1d20, etc. Players who create artwork for equipment and campaigns can earn royalties on all purchases.
Hexonyx MUD, NetHack 3.5, J.R.R.Tolkein (Hobbit and LOTR), and of course Wizard’s of the Coast, Steve Jackson (GURPs), Walt Disney.
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