Monday, June 10, 2013

More Thoughts on ACKS Midnight - Races

Funny that I hadn't really thought to apply the Player's Companion and Domains at War material to Midnight before last night...

One design goal is opening up the race/class combinations field a little bit, so most of these are written as booleans - one is a dwarf, or one is not (with a few dwargish exceptions).  That said, it would be pretty straightforward to expand them to varying-points.
  • Dwarves - the mountain fey are renowned for their toughness.  The simplest setup I can think of is +1 to HD value (ie, dwarf fighters -> d10 HD), +1 HP/level after 8th, +saves and stonecunning as usual, and max level 12th.  They're bad at magic, and so reduce the arcane value of any class by 1 point to a minimum of 0 (and recoup an XP discount as appropriate).  Possible add-ons, depending on how close to Midnight one is playing it, would include natural armor, Goblin-Slaying, Fighting Style, Craft, or Martial Training (Dorf Weapons).  Good classes include fighter, barbarian, bard, and thief.
    • Sidenote - pricing 'add-on' proficiencies in terms of XP value is tricky.  This has some rough guidelines that seem to work out more-or-less to about +40XP per set proficiency, with some rounding.  That seems like it might provide the basis for something like Midnight's hero paths in future...
  • Elves - I'm OK with making Divine the major thing for all flavors of elf, and just altering their spell lists and class profs a little for subraces.  Elf does come in levels, with with Elf 1 giving DV1 and min wis 9.  Elf 2 has DV2 and min wis 11, elf 3 -> DV3 min wis 13, and elf 4 -> DV4 min wis 15.  Now high wisdom does get you extra divine spells!...  at the cost of slower levelling.  Not really sure how scaling minimum ability score reqs would work with prime reqs; pretty sure it would be OK, since your XP-to-level would rise much faster than the prime req percentage, so elves might add Wis as a prime req too.
  • Halflings and gnomes - +thief value, small stature, some save bonuses, and some proficiencies that make sense.  Gnomes probably get Seafaring, Diplomacy, and Bribery.  Gnome min stat is Cha 9+.  Halflings are a little trickier, since Midnight's halflings have multiple flavors.  Something like Hide in Shadows, Hear Noises, and Climb Walls probably works for both, min dex 9+.  Halflings with Int 9+ can also qualify to pick up Arcane Value 1 at appropriate XP costs and reduction of max level.  Halfling thieves...  I dunno, maybe get Alertness, Skulking, and Cat Burglary instead.  This kind of ties in to how I wanted to rebuild thieves anyway, but that's another post.
  • Humans - I really just want to leave humans alone, with the exception of possible tweaks to class proficiency lists.
  • Orcs - +1 fighting value, some natural armor, min strength 9, inhumanity.  Still not sure how I want to handle dark/infravision yet.  I like that +1FV makes 1st-level orc fighters fight as orcs from the monster listings.
  • Half-breeds:  Not seeing a good way to differentiate some of these.  If you want to play a dwarrow, play a gnome or a dwarf and make it part of the fluff.  Elfling sort of likewise; might work as halfling + another point of thief value, but mostly it's just more halfling without being any different.  I know an elfling assassin player who would be very happy if they got Acrobatics.  Dworg...  might work as dwarf +1 fighting value and min str 9, with a great heaping dose of Inhumanity social penalties and daylight vulnerability.
Classes shouldn't change that much.  Cleric and bladedander go away, fighter doesn't change, explorer is a closer match to wilderlander than 3.x's ranger was anyway, elves get a monopoly on divine magic, mage -> channeler (considering toying with a spell point system, but that's not a surety), bard sticks around, assassin actually has some parallels with defender (swap out some weapon and armor proficiencies for improved unarmed combat and swashbuckling, and you'll be punching orcs in the back of the head for triple damage in no time; assassin is closer than mystic, I think, because defender doesn't really do anything mystical anyway).  From the PC, barbarian is in, and not a whole lot else.  The enemy has paladins, venturer might be a gnome-only racial class or something, and that's about it (actually, that might be a really simple solution for gnome - they're all thieves, bards, or venturers, and being a gnome of those just gives you small stature, Seafaring, and another prof or two.  Simpler than building a generalized race).

And then hero paths...  are hard.  Something for another night.


  1. The Sword of Head and Shoulders: +1 Vorpal, and gets rid of bladedander in its wielder.

    1. Took three reads before I got it. Slow today. Good pun, though.