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Old Screeds

A Year of Hard Work, Detailed

It's been a year since I updated my blog. Here's why.

My last update on my new game, Labyrinths & Liontaurs, was exactly a year ago. I have not been posting to my blog, because L&L has taken all my creative energy (and that's a rare commodity, spread thin, believe you me). But what HAVE I been doing? Here's a list.

Tweaking Combat Maneuvers (2023 | 2024) -- I added Reposition and folded Bull Rush into it, because Bull Rush is really just a subset of moving foes around. Overrun is now a full round double move (not a charge), because being able to move, knock a person down, and then attack them seems overpowered to me; it is like making a move action and two standard actions. I added Dirty Tricks but renamed it Snooker to better parallel existing maneuvers (they are all verbs); I also tweaked it to standardize results as "queasy, dazzled, or deafened."

People, Monsters, and the Universal System (fixed all over, but see here: 2023 | 2024) -- I'm standardizing nomenclature to settle on Creatures and Characters (the two terms mean the same thing) as the broadest category of living things with stat blocks ... and within that broader category, People and Person for Creatures who can have levels, and Monsters for Creatures who have no levels, just racial hit dice. Also in the last year, I have added the Universal System as my mechanism for leveling up, with the addition that People are explicitly aware of the System, and that they interact with it to choose classes, class abilities, and non-class abilities. This LitRPG trope does a better job of explaining what PCs know of their game stats and achievements, especially compared with the hand-waving and obfuscation of other RPGs.

Art, Art, and More Art (fixed all over) -- I've been playing with AI art generation sites, and I got some results I liked. See individual pages for classes, races, secondary classes, prestige classes, and the arms and armor page -- plus the thumbnails at the top of this page. I understand that AI image generators rely on the artwork of living artists to create the algorithmic models that then get used by the program. If I had a budget for art, if I intended to make money on this rules set, I would likely not be able to countenance the use of this art. But these rules are free, no charge, and shareable under the OGL. So I do not feel very guilty. I do have ideas for splat books to go with L&L in the future -- those will be for-profit, and I won't use AI art on them.

The Sorcerer Class (2023 | 2024) -- I tweaked this class, mostly reducing power. I limited weapons. I added a paragraph on saving throw DCs (as I did for almost every class). Added a paragraph on roleplayiong your summons. Reinforced that an eidolon is an outsider. Clarified/reduced evolution points at level 1. Changed evo point progression to +1/character level. Noted that combat summons are 1/day and tweaked the monsters summoned. Limited the eidolon to an alignment language, not common. Tweaked the Class Specials for eidolons. Decreased the allowed number of natural attacks. Added Legs and Arms evolution (removed Limbs). Noted that the Bite evolution removes the ability to speak. Added Magic Attacks, standardized natural attack damage across all attack evolutions, removed overrun, tweaked poison, and just fixed typos amd other little things all over.

Secondary Classes (2023 | 2024 click through for classes) -- A year ago I knew I wanted to add the secondary classes (what other versions of D&D call NPC classes, but I wanted to make them more viable and appealing as PC options. But back then I had only added the adept. Since then, I have finished the aristocrat, the commoner, the expert, and the warrior. As with classes, sucondary classes offer a new class ability every level. I'm proud of myself for stealing the expanded use of skills from a Pathfinder splat book and giving them to the expert.

Prestige Classes (2023 | 2024) -- I knew I wanted to add these, of course, but I did that and more. I changed the way you obtain a prestige class to focus on roleplay rather than mechanics. I ruled that you can have only one, to discourage the crazy power builds you saw everywhere in the heyday of D&D 3.5. In my multiclass rules, I really pushed to allow whatever combination of levels you want (in line with my thoughts on the "Quantum Level," but for prestige classes, once you take one level in a PrC, you have to continue without straying for five levels, 1 to 5; If you want to continue in the PrC after that, you have to take the next five levels also without interruption, 6 to 10. There's lots more I could say about PrCs, especially why I made the changes I did to each one, but I'll save that for a future screed.

Magic (2023 | 2024) -- Lots of little tweaks: changing character to people, concentration checks to activate SLAs, identifying a spell being cast if the spell has no copmponents, fix references to Perception, saves vs illusions, fix references to spells level 1-9 that should be levels 1-20, tweak to divine and natural foci, hard limit of casting one spell per round, touch spells, tweaks to rays and AoEs, fiddled with the rules for illusions, added detail on touch spells, save DCs start at 9 rather than 10, removed a lot of text related to spell preparation, arcane and divine writings, and other stuff not applicable after L&L's magic system overhaul.

Weapons and Armor (2023 | 2024) -- Added notes on the materials with which arms and armor are made, added wepon and armor art, fiddled with improvised weapons, altered weapon damages for balance and consistency. made new projectiles weapon category, added details on some weapons (bolas, gauntlet, whip), tweaked shields a smidge, and moved Special Materials to its own page, and check that out for a lot of work done on materials.

Glossary (2023 | 2024) -- The new section on people, creatures, and monsters is here (see above). I have an expanded section on the word "level." I tweaked the entries on class and spell-like abilities, updated a few references to Perception, and removed any reference to quickened spells.

Rewards and Encounters (new for 2024) -- These two pages are entirely new.

Spells and Feats (improved in 2024) -- I continue to work on these essential GoogleSheets.


Home | This screed was written on 23 March 2024.