Expanding Options, Traditional Fantasy Races
Hello again. I recently had some revolutionary thoughts about two important choice-based aspects of the game.
As I've been working my way through the Spells chapter, I had a realization.
Currently, each of the classes lets you choose some kind of feat (cronk, spell, or stunt) at each character level. So if you're a warrior, at every level you automatically learn a new cronk. If you're a wizard, you automatically learn a new spell. If you're a rogue, you automatically learn a new stunt. For the sake of the rest of this update, let's call these "bonus cronks," "bonus spells," and "bonus stunts."
And there's a rule in the feats chapter that says "instead of the bonus feat granted by your class, you can always choose to learn a 'generic' feat, like Brew Potion, Diehard, or an armor training feat."
But what these rules actually do is limit warriors to learning a lot of feats, and if they want to learn stunts or spells, they have to train (with "downtime") with a PC or NPC to learn that. Likewise, a wizard who wants to learn a cronk or stunt would have to train to do it. So another way of looking at that warrior's bonus cronk is "you can pick anything EXCEPT a spell or a stunt." And another way of looking at that wizard's bonus spell is "you can pick anything EXCEPT a cronk or a stunt."
Because so much of what I'm trying to do with the game is to increase character options, that sort of limitation is pretty lame. So here's what I'm doing for the playtest:
Instead of warriors getting bonus cronks, wizards getting bonus spells, and so on, every class can pick one feat (of any type) at each character level. If you're a warrior and you decide to pick a spell at every level, that's fine. If you're a rogue and you decide to pick a cronk at every level, that's fine. Or any combination of cronks, spells, stunts, and generic feats that suits your character concept. And so on.
So the differences between the classes comes down to your Health per level, your martial and spell bonuses, your resist roll bonuses, and some specific class abilities (like your aura). Other than that, every class is "pick one feat at every level." And within that framework, you have an incredible amount of choices for customizing your character by choosing feats and spending your skill points.
Traditional Fantasy Races
There is a place for "traditional" races like elves, dwarves, halflings, and so on in a fantasy game. If you want to run a typical fantasy game, you prolly want stats for those races, regardless of the rules system you're using.
But my game doesn't have to be typical fantasy. Especially because there are a zillion games out there that already give you those races. There has been talk in the blog and here in the updates about unusual races like the dragon-like drachann and the spider-like arachnith, and the idea of a "race builder" set of rules. And I've already talked about the divine entities associated with the Five Moons, such as Lafreesh the Lynx Moon. And I've talked about the role of shapers in the setting.
So if you put two and two together, then the standard races for this game could be humans and human-people who took on traits appropriate to one of the moon-entities. So people who devote themselves to Lafreesh might have shapers give them more feline traits, either as an homage to her or in an attempt to become closer to their concept of perfection. One of the moon-entities is a lizard creature (which I hadn't revealed until now), which suits the drachann race. One of the moon-entities is a spider creature (ditto), which suits the arachnith race. Another is a plant creature (ditto), and the backers voted that they wanted a plant-like humanoid in the monster book, so I might as well make it a PC race option in the Corebook.
So the Races chapter will have 3E-like stats for humans plus these other five races. And it'll have a short section with game stats for traditional fantasy races as well, but the focus will be on humans and the five shaper races.
For now, gotta get back to getting these spells finished up (as it turns out, turning vancian effects into at-will effects usually requires a lot of rewriting and power-squishing).
(And speaking of plant people, here's a Gerald Lee sketch of how they might look.)