17 April 2014

Warpforged: Scifi Robot Characters

Kit-bashed from +Josie S Lindsey   's Kalak-Nur: Droid Race/Class and Machine-Bonded (class for old school RPGs) , and Flaming Oil's Mechaborg - A race for OSR-based Japanese-themed future/postapoc games , and inspired by the Warforged of Eberron.

Prime Requisite: INT
Requirements: None
Hit Die: 1d6
Maximum Level: 12
Advances as: Mage

Warpforged are one of the main mechanical “peoples” in the known lands. These vaguely humanoids are said to be the remnants of an ancient human empire that possessed a much higher scientific knowledge and technology than today. Others argue that they are invaders from other plane of existence like the Sheens and the Mechtauren. Unlike the Mechtauren, they are highly variable in appearance and condition, and unlike the Sheens, their variability has no apparent rhyme or reason. The Warpforged are essentially countless varieties of mechanicals that have a common underlying technology.
As technological rather than magical constructs they have some unique weaknesses and strengths.
While they do not breathe, they still require a fluid medium to carry off excess heat. Treat them as humans in airless environments, taking into account that a system wide shutdown will occur before death by overheating, so they cannot be killed in that manner. They take maximum damage from any electrical attacks and will be stunned for 1d6 rounds afterwards. Even though they are not technically alive, they can consume organic food for sustenance, and derive some benefits from potions. However, they do not heal like living creatures, and cannot be healed with clerical magic.
Any Warpforged with a mechanical Craft proficiency can heal itself or another Warpforged as if they had the Healing proficiency except that they can do 1d3 hp per hour and each 1d3 hp will require 10gp of specialized materials, and any non-Warpforged with appropriate technological Craft proficiencies AND tools can do the same.
They start off with built-in light armor, and any new armor must be custom made for them, either to be semi-permanently fixed to their chassis, or to be donned like normal armor. This custom armor costs at least 5 times as much as equivalent normal armor.
As each Warpforged is bizarrely unique, roll 1d30 twice on the table below for the unique construction of your Warpforged. As each Warpforged has the same underlying technology, and are highly adaptable, they can add extra modules from other Warpforged, Sheens, and any other high or ancient tech construction.

1.       Made to Last: increase HP by 1 per level, or armor one step up, or is proofed armor.
2.      Scavenged: -25% repair costs, -1 Con.
3.      Made to Order: +1 to one Ability Score.
4.      Heavyarms: 2 attached shoulder guns (small) may attack with one or both, but no other attacks at the same time. Firing both provides +1 to hit or +1 damage, chosen before the roll. Consumes ammo normally. Not initially proficient. Provided larger ancient guns can be found, they may replace the originals with larger ones. Can't use superheavy plating. These are ancient style guns that use cased ammunition; as such replacement ammunition is only available in the Warpedlands. Starts out with two 50 round box magazines and 8d6 rounds in each magazine.
5.      Mighty: one arm (1d2: primary hand, offhand) is a pile bunker. Can use as an attack for 1d10 damage, but can't use the round immediately after. Arm has no hand. Pile bunker may provide a bonus to open doors at DM discretion.
6.      Built In Weapon: Choose a melee or non-firearm ranged weapon that can be held in one hand. The Warpforged PC has the equivalent built into their body. The Player chooses how this looks and where upon the body it is located. Ammunition is still exhausted, but can be reclaimed and reloaded if the PC takes time to do so. This does not subtract from a PC’s starting funds. (if you roll this again: choose another weapon, OR get +1 to hit OR ranged weapons get 1d6 quantum ammo per day)
7.      Flying Fist: You can fire off a body part to make a missile attack once per combat, but you gotta go get it later. Roll this again and the body part is attached by a tough metal cable, so it returns next round.
8.      Seismic: Your stomps really stomp. Once per combat you can knock everything 15 feet in front of you prone if they fail a reflex check or Breath save. Roll again and you get one more use per combat.
9.      Shocking: once per combat you can do Chain Lightning. Roll again for another use per combat.
10.   Welding Torch: sheds light as a torch, 1d6 damage on a melee hit, can weld 1 ft of metal per 5 rounds.
11.    Scout: Can't use two-handed weapons. Limited to light and medium plating. +1 surprise, infravision. Small. Can split-move and fire ranged.
12.   Sniper: Initial proficiency with all projectile weapons. No initial proficiency with melee weapons.
13.   Battle Droid: Attacks advance as a Fighter in either Melee or Ranged. If you roll this again, advances both.
14.   Grabby Hands: you can Pick Pockets as a Thief of the same level, and once per combat you can attempt to do so while you hit someone. Roll again and get another use per combat.
15.   Heaven: Go berserk when below quarter HP or when you fail a save vs a fear and/or madness effect. During such: Unbreakable morale. Fight for 3d3 rounds, attacking as if they had 18 str and going after enemies first and closest targets after. Continue fighting for the indicated amount of rounds, even if brought to 0 or below (if at 0 or below at the end you die.) Collapse and remain inert for 1d10 turns after, if not dead.
16.   Robo: Can combine with 1 other Robo-type Warpforged at a time, which takes 1 round.
·         Note the the individual mechaborgs' current original hp totals, halve the higher, and add it to the lower.
·         Count as large while combined.
·         Ability scores are the highest prime requisites of both, with average of both for the others.
·         AC is the higher of the two.
·         Held items and gear held by one drop (roll off if you can't decide.)
·         The two players roll d6s and add their cha mod, rerolling ties. Whoever has the highest controls the combined Robo on the first round after combining, and then alternates.
·         Saves, To-hit, spells, and other class abilities apply based on who currently has control for the round. Either one may end this; splitting the suffered damage while combined between each of their noted individual HP amounts.
17.   Vehicular: Nonhumanoid. Can affix one crossbow or gun at a time to body at triple cost. Triple Land move speed. Can carry double the normal capacity, and can carry 1d3 passengers (can't be changed). Count as Large size. Up to you whether you're a tachikoma, tank, robo-buggy, herbie or something else.
18.   Medic: Once per day for each Warpforged level, the PC may spend an entire round tending to a wounded creature or item. This has the effect of a Cure Light Wounds or Mending spell. Perhaps you’re full of nanobots. (If you roll this again, you can Cure Light Wounds one extra time per day.)
·         At 2nd Level, you may Delay Poison with one use of this ability instead of Cure Light Wounds.
·         At 3rd Level, Cure Disease with two uses.
·         At 4th Level, Neutralize Poison with two uses.
·         At 5th level, Cure Serious Wounds with two uses.
·         At 6th level, Heal with two uses.
19.   Sensors Indicate: you gain the Dwarf’s senses or Elf’s senses. (If you roll this again, gain both.)
20.  Silent Running: You may Move Silently as 6th level Thief (12+). If you roll this again, you may Move Silently as a 10th level Thief (4+).
21.   Built In Storage: You have a medium pouch worth of storage space inside your body, either spread out or all in one spot. (If you roll this again, a backpack’s worth of space.)
22.  Climbing Apparatus: You Climb Walls as a Thief equal to your level.
23.  Translation Droid: you may understand one language per day per level as if the Comprehend Languages spell was cast. Unlike the spell, you may also speak it.
24.  Hacker: you may gain knowledge from any piece of advanced technology as if casting Identify, Legend Lore, or something similar. How many rounds this takes will be determined by the GM and vary by the complexity of the technology or piece of information sought. Warpforged and other technological mechanicals have to tell you the truth if they fail a save vs. Spells. You have to touch the subject and wires extend from your body to theirs. Additionally, if the subject fails a save vs. Spells they are affected by either a Command Word, or Charm Person spell.
25.  Force Field Generator: You generate fields of force equivalent to the spells below. Effects cannot be used simultaneously. (If you roll this again, reroll)
·         1st level: Continuous Mage Hand, 1/day/lvl, (choose one when the ability is used): Feather Fall, Floating Disc, Hold Portal, Shield, Unseen Servant
·         4th level: 1/day/level, choose one: Telekinesis, Wall of Force
26.  Cloaking Device Engaged: You may become Invisible as the Spell once per day per level. At level 3, you may use Improved Invisibility once per day. Please note that the PC will be visible in mirrors/smoke/liquid/infravision.
27.  Extra Limb/Aerodynamic: Either double movement or gain an extra action each round. (If you roll this again, reroll)
28.  Rocket Pack: You may fly your movement rate each round in any direction, but after 2 rounds the effect ends and takes a round to recharge. (if you roll this again, recharge every 5 rounds.)
29.  Independent Limbs: Your may detach your limbs from your body and operate them independently. Your arms cannot see and your head cannot walk or anything like that, but sticking your head on your arm might get a functional you into some tight places. (If you roll this again, each limb has some form of sensory input equivalent to very dim lighting that is relayed to the Warpforged PC’s brain.)
30.  Self Repair: you regenerate 1 HP per round. If you are unconscious, you must pass a System Shock roll to regain consciousness and HP above 0. One time for each level gained (NOT per day), you may spend a round to will yourself to full HP. This can only be done while conscious. If you are struck while attempting this, it fails and the use is lost. (IF you roll this again, regen 1HP/rd/Level.)

06 April 2014

Random versus Fixed Hit-points

Last night I and my wife played the first session of a brand new Pathfinder story arc with our primary group. It's a high level game as we all started at level 10. She's playing a kobold cavalier riding a velociraptor, and I am playing a damphir knight of the sepulchre antipaladin.

But what we and the rest of the part are actually playing isn't precisely pertinent to this post.

The GM for Pathfinder has this extremely weird idea giving everything fixed hitpoints, more specifically fixed maxed hp. He claims it makes things easier to balance, and makes encounter construction faster, which I guess it does because MAX HP. But there an obvious side-effect to this. combat encounters take a long time, primarily because of how long it takes to whittle down anything, especially since he makes nearly every encounter a serious encounter.

Musings on combat for my home game.

 I have several goals with my home game.
  1. Maintain easy compatibility with D&D, such that it is just an overlay and I can just plug and play old-school modules. 
  2. Be intuitive to new people, both in how the mechanics work out of game, and in way they perceive the results from an in game perspective.
  3. Be fast. 
  4. Prevent the excessive bonus bloat I see in the post 3.5 era of D&D. 
  5. Make attributes matter, but not too much. If attributes don't really matter then there is no need to roll them ya dig. 
Point 1 is why I have been fighting to stick with derivatives of D&D instead of going to RQ derivatives. I just simply don't want to do the conversion work. It is tedious and not fun, unlike this constant spiraling around  making D&D make sense to me and my players.
Point 2 is why I went to armor reducing damage instead of making things harder to land a telling blow.
Point 3 and 4 are parts of the same thing. I myself hate doing constant double digit addition or subtraction while gaming, and I am a former math minor.
Point 5 feeds into 4, and is why I like the B/X highest bonus is +3, although I thinking of going to OD&D's highest being +1 or +2.
Points 4 and 5 are also why I removed strength and dexterity bonuses to hit and dexterity bonuses to armor class (or defense). But I am starting to think that having dexterity affect defense might be ok, that way strength increases melee damage, dexterity makes you harder to hit, and constitution makes you able to take more damage.

The Six Ability Scores
Strength is a measure of a character’s raw power. Strength modifiers affect a character’s damage in melee combat, ability to open stuck doors, and any other instance in which physical strength matters.

Intelligence is the ability to learn and apply knowledge. Intelligence modifiers add to a character’s learn languages roll, the number of extra starting proficiency slots, and an arcane spell caster’s number of spells per day.
For arcane spell caster it affects the time (and thus expense) required to research spells and create holy items, as well as influencing the success of the Cleric’s spells.
When a character comes into contact with another language, his chances of knowing the language is 1 in 6. There is a –1 penalty if the language is not local to the culture, –2 if the language is exotic, and –3 if it is an ancient, dead language. A character gets one attempt to know any particular language this. If that one attempt fails, the character simply does not know the language. Magical languages cannot be known using this method.
Any language determined to be not known this way can still be learned later with the acquisition of a tutor and expenditure of money.

Wisdom is the measure of a character’s connection to the greater universe, and the strength of the character’s spirit. Wisdom modifiers apply to saving throws caused by spells or magic items. This would include, e.g., a save versus Blast against a fireball or a save versus Death from a finger of death, but not a save versus Petrification against a medusa’s gaze.
For divine spell casters it affects the time (and thus expense) required to research spells and create holy items, as well as influencing the success of the Cleric’s spells.

Dexterity is the measure of a character’s agility and reflexes. Dexterity modifiers add to the Thief Skills: Open Locks, Remove Traps, and Pick Pockets.

Constitution is the measure of a character’s health, vitality, and toughness. 
Constitution modifiers affect a character’s Hit Points, and fitness for certain physical activities such as traveling long distance. A negative constitution modifier cannot reduce gained Hit Points below one.

Charisma is the measure of a character’s ability to influence and lead other people. Charisma modifiers affect the character’s ability to hire retainers, the loyalty and morale of those retainers, and reaction rolls. The maximum number of henchmen a character may have at any one time is four plus their charisma modifier (between one and seven henchmen).

But hit points are bugging me. Does it really make sense to have both an improving defense and improving hit points? If I were to have improving hit points, they would improve much slower than would be expected, a small fixed number every level, because people who do any kind of martial activity, they do become tougher and less likely to be taking down with one hit. I've been thinking of constitution be the base number of hit points with an small amount added every level based on class.

Character and Monster Combat Advancement Table
Attack Bonus
Defense score

Less than 1 HD
1+ to 2
2+ to 3
3+ to 4
4+ to 5
5+ to 6

6+ to 7

7+ to 9

9+ to 11

11+ to 13

13+ to 15

15+ to 17

17+ to 19

19+ to 21

21+ and higher

  Hey look a handy table compiling things. Defense score is obviously descending AC, and the ascending attack bonus obviously so I can use the two together with the Target 20 scheme of determining success on a hit.

I've also be thinking about armor and firearms since I am including early modern firearms (EMF). Basically, rigid metal armors can be purchases normal and proof against the guns of the day. What this means is that, firearms will ignore the unproofed armor, but proofed armor provides its full protection. This also means that theoretically, I could "scale" this upwards so that armor proof against EMFs, will not be proof against higher tech weapons, like lasers or higher velocity firearms.

Armor Class
Light (Leather or Textile)
1 (1d2)
Medium (Mail or Breastplate)
150gp-proofed Breastplate
2 (1d4)
Heavy (Plate and Mail Armor)
3 (1d6)
Super Heavy (Full Plate)
4 (1d8)