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Character concepts class systems can't cover


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It may even have been Team Knight Rider that the RPGNet discussion referenced. Like I said, I didn't see the discussion myself; a friend told me about it.

 

Fortunately, while I saw Knight Rider and hence remembered it, I somehow never knew that Team Knight Rider existed. Apparently I am fortunate in this. Also fortunately, my poverty-row dial-up connection blocks the temptation to watch it on Google Play. <eyeroll> Fear not, Duke Bushido: My brain cells are safe from that threat at least.

 

Apropos of nothing, the only other time I've heard Knight Rider mentioned was on All Things Considered. The subject was a hazard posed by electric cars: They are so quiet that pedestrians don't hear them coming up from behind. Someone suggested that electric cars should carry speakers so that people would hear them. The show hosts invited listeners to send in suggestions for what sound effect they'd like for their electric car, and the KITT Theme topped the results.

 

Dean Shomshak

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I can't comment on the "Kane" series because I've never read it, but Opal reminds me of a discussion a friend of mine read on RPGNet: on the inverse relationship between literary merit and gameability

Here's another one.     Burned out wizard:  This is someone who knows a lot of spells, but has lost all of their magical ability in some way.  They probably have a lot of knowledge of magic-

I mean, you can do anything with a class-based system, but it require building an entirely new class to cover that specific build.

4 hours ago, DShomshak said:

I somehow never knew that Team Knight Rider existed. Apparently I am fortunate in this.

 

This will probably put me on outs with a large chunk of the fandom here, Brother Dean, but it had all the production values of first season Power Rangers........

 

 

4 hours ago, DShomshak said:

The subject was a hazard posed by electric cars: They are so quiet that pedestrians don't hear them coming up from behind.

 

Ah, that old chestnut....

 

It's ridiculous.  Tires are not silent, and cars have horns.  Brakes, also, are not silent, though we tend to think so because we can't hear them (assuming they are in good working order) from inside the cabin.  Also, if you have air conditioning, your engine is going to be running at anything other than a complete stop:" there are no allowances to turn the compressor with anything other than the crankshaft.  In the winter, you might have an argument, save for the point that, again: tires are not silent, brakes are not silent, and cars have horns.

 

This is from the same group of-- and I say this without malice, though because it's negative it does tend to come off as insulting-- sadly under-educated or non-attention-paying people in the motorcycle community who believe that "loud pipes save lives."  Thanks to the doppler effect, the only people who notice your loud pipes are all _behind_ you.  Granted, those of us behind you are _looking_ for a reason to run you over to make that pointless crap stop, but the people that you think they are saving you from actually don't hear them until you're passing their front fenders.  Notice that bikes with loud pipes are over-represented in accident statistics.  This is because people are putting too much faith in something that absolutely _cannot_ work and not making the effort to keep themselves safe.

 

But to get back to quite cars: how many times have you been walking through the parking lot at Lowe's (who encourages this ridiculous behavior every spring by setting up tables of bedding plants that spill right into the roadway) by a car with an engine running?   More than once, I bet.  

 

When the majority of cars become electric, people will learn to look the way they already should have.

 

 

 

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18 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

Ah, that old chestnut....

 

It's ridiculous.  Tires are not silent, and cars have horns.  Brakes, also, are not silent,

But they don't make nearly as much noise as internal combustion engines, which are more than loud enough to scare horses, which is why they should never have been allowed to have been operated in public, in the first place.

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15 hours ago, Old Man said:

I’d still have my electric car make the KITT sound though. ;)

 

I want the Cylon sound as the red "eye" moves back and forth.

 

That way my intelligent Cylon model car can do battle with all the KITT model intelligent cars.

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4 hours ago, Old Man said:

Veering back on topic, I checked and 5e D&D is up to 151 published subclasses.  It's sort of entertaining to see it head down the path of Pathfinder again.

 

Again? Pathfinder came after D&D 3.x, which introduced hundreds of "prestige class" options. (OK, a lot of them were published in DRAGON and so were not official, but there were still a heck of a lot.) I admit, Pathfinder multiplied character design options into even greater complexity by having both subclass options and prestige classes.

 

But I don't know diddly about D&D 4.0. Did it multiply subclasses, or some analogous concept?

 

Looking back at your original post, I'm pretty sure a lot of the listed subclasses were done for Pathfinder -- I know the game introduced over a dozen magic origin bloodline options, including fey, fiends and even aberrations. (My grand-daddy was a mind flayer??)

 

And it's not that these are bad ideas for subclasses. I dare say I could write up most of them. (And I wouldn't be surprised if other people had already done fanwork versions -- I've seen a dragon-pact warlock, frex.) I don't think it would be difficult to design subclasses that would hand;e your FH character concepts, either, especially if new feats and spells are allowed.

 

And writing up new spells and class options can be fun. It's just... how many do you need, fer Pete's sake? Especially if it ends up being done just to create one special snowflake character.

 

Part of the reason to use class-based systems is to give novice gamers a framework to begin character design. Hundreds of "classes" defeats that purpose.

 

Dean Shomshak

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Oh, and possibly the form of subclasses I like least is clerical domains. Sure, it's nice to give divine spellcasters some variety. Makes sense that gods would grant different powers to their mortal representatives. It's just... Domains lock in what sort of gods can exist. Again, many of the published choices are sensible: IRL one can find many examples of deities who might be treated as Knowledge Gods, Life Gods, Nature Gods, or whatever. But there are also plenty of gods that don't fit into easily gameable concepts. Like, what's the domain for the Kitchen God? Or Old Man's World Creation Superdraft god, Inscissivus? The God of Cutting might be shoehorned in under the War Domain because he's the god of blades -- but he's the god of a lot more forms of cutting, that aren't particularly martial. If one starts with a list of standard domains, one is less likely to engage in really creative theology/mythology.

 

Dean Shomshak

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2 hours ago, DShomshak said:

But I don't know diddly about D&D 4.0. Did it multiply subclasses, or some analogous concept?

 

I don't think 4.0 was around long enough for it to go down this road.

 

2 hours ago, DShomshak said:

And it's not that these are bad ideas for subclasses. I dare say I could write up most of them. (And I wouldn't be surprised if other people had already done fanwork versions -- I've seen a dragon-pact warlock, frex.) I don't think it would be difficult to design subclasses that would hand;e your FH character concepts, either, especially if new feats and spells are allowed.

 

Absolutely, most subclasses make perfect sense.  (There are a few that I really wonder about, though.)  And you're right, it wouldn't be hard to design a new subclass around a character concept--except there's no framework for doing that, so now you're not playing D&D, you're playing Calvinball.  Who is to say my new Domain of Magic Cleric subclass doesn't get to access both cleric and wizard spells or have twice as many spell slots?  Or that my Spellstealing Rogue can't cast any spell known by any spellcaster within 100 feet? 

 

And game balance aside, it's just really weird to plot out the future progression for any character over years of adventuring time.  It's unbelievably limiting, not to mention the insane amount of work involved.

 

 

2 hours ago, DShomshak said:

 

And writing up new spells and class options can be fun. It's just... how many do you need, fer Pete's sake? Especially if it ends up being done just to create one special snowflake character.

 

Part of the reason to use class-based systems is to give novice gamers a framework to begin character design. Hundreds of "classes" defeats that purpose.

 

I'd argue that it's the natural end state of any popular class based system.  As long as players can come up with concepts that aren't covered by the existing class options, there will be a demand for new classes that can.  And it works out well financially for Wizards, who have already put out at least two hardcover books (Xanathar's and Tasha's) that have oodles of new subclasses in them.  But there's no framework behind subclass design.  Every subclass is its own mishmash of proficiencies, casting tables, and feat-like abilities, and the game is already buckling under the weight of it.

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On 4/26/2021 at 2:32 AM, assault said:

The worst thing about clerical domains is it encourages "portfolio" gods. God of Something, rather than God of Somewhere.

 

The God of Somewhere might be a Sun God, for example, but they are also likely to have a far more general role, perhaps in conjunction with a small pantheon.

 

I don't think that's as true with the smaller number of core domains. A lot of gods have War clerics, for example. And Adventure League actually lets you pick your domain independent of your deity.

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On topic... 

 

Military wizard:  By which I mean, a trained wizard who is a specialist, most likely an officer, in a military unit.  Might not have more than rudimentary weapons training; might be highly trained in strategy, tactics, and logistics.  

 

Medical wizard:  By which I mean, a wizard who specializes in forms of magic that would be useful in medicine.  Tissue repair spells, disease curative spells, diagnostic spells, an x-ray vision spell, spells for sterilizing an operating field or cleansing a wound.  

 

Assassin who knows a few spells:  This person makes their living via murder, but has learned a couple of (what would, in D&D, be considered fairly high level) spells such as invisibility and teleportation, which would be extremely useful for a person whose profession is murdering for money.  

 

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Here's another one.  

 

Burned out wizard:  This is someone who knows a lot of spells, but has lost all of their magical ability in some way.  They probably have a lot of knowledge of magic-adjacent subjects: magical theory, magical creatures, spell components... but they can't actually cast.  May have picked up a few combat skills to protect themselves.  Probably acting as a magical teacher, possibly to an apprentice-level PC.  

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