Sunday, April 2, 2017

Drafting the Appendices

I've finished writing Appendix A, which includes the following optional rules:
• Epic Levels (human characters 11th to 14th and demi-humans 9th–10th).
• The original E&E tech class, and a Vancian mage to match
• E&E's old Achievement Points and Favored Weapons systems
• How to keep the old Five Saving Throws categories
• Putting special racial traits for demi-humans back into the game, and a kind of fate-point/bennie/inspiration system to back them up

Now I'm onto Appendix B, the random magic item tables, and this one… is going to take a while. It won't be anywhere near as time-consuming as monsters, but it's still a pile of material to work through.  The main source of tedium is formatting the d% tables and tweaking each item's frequency of appearance.  It's still legitimately interesting, though, to finally have the opportunity to craft my own magic item tables, and to put my own spin on a full item system like this.

I can include things like "tonic of æther" and "extract of phœnix down" in the potion tables.  I can eliminate generic "+1, +2, +3" weapons in favor of naming them after fanciful metals (mythrill, orichalcon, adamant), as I'm wont to do in my campaigns.

And I can finally, finally do that shuffling of item categories I like to do which eliminates the whole concept of the "charged wand" as a storage for casting the same spell over and over until the wand dies.  I hate that.  It lacks flavor, it doesn't fit any fantasy or folklore.  So I do this:
• D&D "wands" become tomes, which are basically books whose pages are scrolls.  As you read a page (that sounds so much better than "charge") out of a magic tome, that page lifts itself out of the book, catches fire, burns up, and the magic happens.  You get tomes of fire, tomes of missiles, tomes of trap and enemy and treasure detection, etc.
• My wands are like pistols for magic-users. They fire a bolt of fire, cold, or electricity that does 1d6 points of damage, and they have 12 charges, but the charges refresh on an hourly basis.  The main advantage is that a mage can use a Cha bonus instead of a Dex bonus when rolling to hit with a wand.
• Magic staffs come in two flavors: the common variety is just a stronger wand, a kind of elemental bolt-shooting "rifle" that has better range, a greater charge capacity, and 1d8 for the damage die. There are also the cool wizard staffs like the staff of wizardry and the staff of power, but these are extremely rare, and any staffs like this that use charges have their mechanics changed to per-day or per-week uses (but otherwise unlimited).
• Finally, rods and clerical staffs (things like the rod of resurrection, rod of cancellation, rod of commanding, or staff of healing—items which either don't run out or have a single, spectacular use) get  moved into a new magic-item category, "orbs". You know: this kind of shit. It seems like the sort of thing a cleric would schlep around, am I right?  (And, of course, crystal balls get moved into this category too, just because.)

So writing all of this is going to be both extremely dull and really fun at the same time. (How frelling weird is that?) But once it's done, all that will be left for me to do will be:

• Appendix C (referee and character record sheets—I already have many such sheets designed; the trick is just fitting them into the margins of a book page)
• Index (a book this size does need one, and it's going to be the most boring step ever; no wonder I saved it for last. Oy.)

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