Monday, February 6, 2017

You get a template and you get a template!

So I've been trying to separate race and class in LotFP. Why? Mainly it's because I think race-as-class only makes its way into OSR clones exactly because it was how they did it back in the day. Nowadays I think race and class as separate entities is way more engaging for players.

I play with a lot of people who come from 5th edition and they can get over the clean and simple cleric, fighter, specialist, magic user quartet but they have trouble getting over the troublesome dwarf, elf, halfling trio. "Why can't I be a dwarf and a specialist?" they cry.

"Because that's just how these old games work," is what I say. It's the truth but I still hate telling them that. Who am I to deny my players the opportunity to flesh out their character. Is this not the modern world! However it turns out separating race and class is harder than I thought.

I've tried taking the race-classes in the book and breaking them down. I've tried converting 5e races to OSR statistics. I've copied the statistics from OSRIC and Basic fantasy but they all end up being the same!

At first I thought this was a bad thing. Who cares about unique races if none of the races are unique? But then I started to realize that I had a template on my hands.

I've been on a template kick lately so why not throw my extreme desire to separate race from class into the bin:

Ability Score Modifier
Your race gets a +1 modifier to an Ability Score. However another Ability Score gets a -1 modifier to another score. No dumps stats here! It has to be thematic. If not there'd be a bunch of antisocial tribes mucking about.

Saves
Your race gets a +2 modifier to a saving throw of your choice; +4 if it's a save against something specific like poison, charm, sleep, etc.

Skills
Your race gets a skill that's 4-in-6 base or 2 skills that are 2-in-6 base each.

Weapon Proficiencies
Your race gets +3 to hit with a specific weapon or +1 with 2-3 weapons.

Make Something Up

Just do it. This is the thing that makes your race unique. Seven foot tall bipedal snub-tailed dragonman? This is your breath weapon. Don't worry about "balance" because we'll figure it out later.

Example:

Elves
+1 DEX, -1 CON
+4 to saves against charm. Immune to sleep (because elf)
Search 4-in-6 base
+1 w/ longswords, shortswords and stringed bows
Surprise 1-in-6 (just to integrate the LotFP class but you can do whatever you want like feystepping, magic powers, etc.)

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