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Monday, September 30th, 2002
12:57a
Stupid Gamer Tricks

At my biweekly game of 3rd ed. D & D:

GM: "You find a mace."

Gamers: (in unison, too excitedly) "MaceTM?"

GM: (sarcastically) "Yes, that's right. You find several cans of Mace TM."

Gamers: (look at each other, smile, sing in unison) "A-aaa caaase aaa-of Mace, how sweeeet the smell, that saaaved aa-aaah wretch liiiiii-iiike meeee..."

GM: (disgustedly) "Roll for damage."

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1:25a - Proposal for 3e Saving Throws
When gaining levels, with saving throws in mind, it can be a very munchkin-like tactic to multiclass to get the additional +2 on the main saving throw. I propose a more balanced, though more complex, means of determining it. As you all know a main saving throw increases every multiple of 2 levels, while secondary saving throws increase every multiple of 3 levels. I propose to maintain this, but to do so in that you increase it, not by the class level, but by the character level.
For example, Oleff starts out as a Ftr1, thus having saving throws such as +2 Fort, +0 Ref, +0 Will. After battling kobold after kobold, he gains the so wonderful 1,000 XP he deserves and get to level up. At this point, Oleff has ponder the more rogueish art of... well, rogues. So, for level 2, he decides to become a Ftr1/Rog1. Normally, he would gain a +2 to Reflex save, greatly boosting that throw, but I think that since he is originally a fighter, he wouldn't be that good as if he had originally studied to be a rogue. So instead, under my varient rules, his main saving throw would increase, since its level 2 (a multiple of 2, duh), by +1. Thus his scores would be +2 Fort, +1 Ref, +0 Will. After picking locks and stabbing goblins in the back from shadows, Oleff gains a well deserved 2,000 more XP, bringing him to 3,000 and enough to level up to 3. At this point, he misses the hack and slash methods of a fighter, and decides to become a Ftr2/Rog1. At this point, its level 3, a multiple of 3 and when the secondary saving throw(s) are increased. Normally, his Fort would increase from +2 to +3, but under this method, his Ref and Will would increase, thus making his saving throws +2 Fort, +2 Ref, +1 Will.
This method DOES give players a chance to plan which saving throws are strong, but I feel this can all so be used to make you character more to your desire by giving the player a chance to control his/her PC's strength/weaknesses. If you want a character who could resist any will save without even having to look at the dice, but will drop at even the mention of poison and fort saves, so be it.

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3:55a - Specialist mages (3rd ed D&D)
do the specialist mage rules for 3rd ed bother anyone else?
I keep reading them, hoping to find a benefit that stacks up to the penalty of completely loosing one or, usually, more schools of magic completely. In the basic rules for 2nd ed it was on of the few ways a wizard got bonus spells, which has much less of an impact now that everyone gets bonus spells for high stats. the other benefit is that you get a +2 to your spellcraft checks to learn spells (a rule that most of the people I play with forget as a matter of course, but wasn't even a significant bonus to begin with).
at low levels the bonus spell (or spellcraft bonus) might make a small difference- but what happens when a mage hits 18th level, and a substantial portion of a mage's power (variety) is just not available to him? at 10th level, in a battle (or other endeavor) against another mage, or even an average fighter, is one extra spell per spell level going to be a balance against the variety of spells you've lost?
perhaps the "new specialist" is supposed to be the sorcerer... but I just don't like that idea.

the only ideas I've gotten to balance this are; a) give additional bonus feats (like the ones all mages get at 5th, 10th, 15th, etc), except that's not a solution that carries to prestige classes while the penalty does. or b) give a bonus to overcoming SR and or bonus to save DCs, but for people like diviners that's pretty useless.

any ideas how to balance this? am I missing something that makes it worthwhile? am I just an idiot typing to hear the sound of my own keys? ;-) :-p

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1:07p - Mundane magic & otherwise useful spell/item ideas
As per usual, I'm giving very curt descriptions. It's assumed that the reader will extrapolate upon these cores.

* illusionary copy of your spellbook that can be carried around (if a wizard) - not immune to damage, but just puffs away leaving the home version OK, but can't be altered, and causes the home spellbook to act in the same way (e.g., someone can look at it and see what you've opened the illusionary copy to), and can be deterred by somehow impeding the home book (e.g., putting a rock on it - give the move-home-version minor effect a 1-lb force). Only responds to its master/creator, or someone who can best its magical resistance (spellcraft?). (Possible 'cheat': someone altering the home book in order to send messages... might leave alone, might give that a chance to kill the illusion copy.)

* psi: allow psis to manifest powers once out of PPs... at a huge price. e.g., taking temporary (possibly permanent) stat damage equal to the normal PP cost, in the associated stat of the discipline involved. E.g., 4 pts. Str dam. Good for those last-ditch attempts. One might even extend this to allow using this ability (in certain rare cases) for unkown, low-level, discipline-related powers.

* rural communities &etc.:
- spells to help the crop, and determine best planting/harvesting times
- determine (or choose) the gender of babies [the latter would have serious social implications]
- increase or decrease fertility
- alter sexual characteristics & functioning (hey, pumps don't work and surgery's gross, but magic makes it possible! [at a price, of course]) (note that this would also make a really meant curse)
- minor wards vs. natural predators for farms
- cheaper veterinary versions of the usual slate of healing spells
- self-working implements (hoes, buckets, wells, brooms, etc.)
- self-disposing (perhaps instant) chamber pots (eww!) [make sure restricted to its intended disposal; no instant corpse-remover]
- spells to enhance the nutrition of crops or prepared food (à la Super-rice)

* misc.
- reversed permanent-light spell; equivalent in strength to one anti-torch (i.e., it abosrbs one torch-worth of light around it) - useful for sneaks in a lit environment who don't want something too blatantly obvious
- Love Potion #9 (and other stereotypical witchbrews)
- spells to cause societal mishaps (e.g., farting, food control, etc.)
- finer-manipulation version of prestidigtation's 5-lb move (I interpret its use as anything you could do while wearing one of those huge foam hands, minus friction; it'd be useful to be able to "grasp" something, like to turn a key, manipulate a lever, etc.)

... I'll have more later. Comments? Suggestions? Ways to abuse?

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