Project Pathmaster

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Lost Soul
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Project Pathmaster

Postby Rusty » Tue Mar 31, 2015 10:14 am

In this thread, placed nearby the video game design blog, we discuss our wish lists for a side project I'd like to work on, in which we create a video game compatible revision of pathfinder, and one or more of us create a video game using it.

Previous attempts to create video games using dnd have been met with limited success, see Temple of Elemental Evil and the Neverwinter Nights series. Given the actual terms in the Open Game License, as long we we're ok with the actual game system we're using being released as open game content, (we are,) we can make revisions, enhancements, addons and so on to the game system, just as has been done with pathfinder.

What my company needs for a fantasy tabletop experience on the computer is a robust game system that provides what is expected, and that is probably best produced by an existing game system translated into game format. I won't do pathfinder as is, because wow, what a mess. However, pathfinder is fixable.

I'd like this project to start with wish lists. What do you wish there was more of, wish there was less of, wish to see in a new, revised pathfinder, wish to play with more, play less of, and so on. Don't worry if your wish list conflicts with someone else's on here, this is about venting, brain storming, and sharing.

There will ultimately be two versions of the results of this project: a game system compatible with tabletop play which is much more streamlined than the existing pathfinder game, and a very very similar game system that has been adapted to be used in a video game. The differences are likely to be things like the specific numbers called for, such as instead of "roll a d20," you would "take a random number between 1 and 20" or something like that. There are things that computers can and cannot do that create differences with tabletop play. Don't worry so much about the computer aspect right now.

What are your wishes?

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Lost Soul
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Re: Project Pathmaster

Postby Rusty » Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:40 pm

A wish for a tabletop fantasy rpg simulator

The driving desire that has brought this project into being perhaps deserves some explanation.

We see in many fantasy video games the addition of dlc or mods that expand the "live in the world" elements of play, but to be honest, they never scratch the surface of what can happen at the tabletop with a willing gm.

A full featured tabletop experience can hare off in seemingly countless directions, social, economic, exploration, dungeoneering, kingdom building, warfare, espionage, religion, and that's just on your home plane. I want to see a game capable of delivering that breathtaking scope and possibility, while also delivering the attention to mundane detail that so many gamers seem to thrive on.

"Well that sounds like an insurmountable task."

It sounds that way. One step at a time though. For now, I want to look at game mechanics and revising pathfinder before I get into revising my vision for the project.

"If I can go anywhere in the planes, you have to have maps for that, right?"

Not necessarily. We can use the same tools world engine, fractal terrains, terrain composer, and planet composer use to make terrain, and give the game rules and variables with which to let it build its own cities.

More on this later.

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Lost Soul
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Re: Project Pathmaster

Postby Rusty » Wed Apr 15, 2015 3:01 am

Here's some of the things I've considered so far for this project:

These classes go away entirely:

(maybe a couple I forgot, have to look at like a master list or something)

ALL of the unique arcane casting abilities, such as summoner blood lines, wizard discoveries, witch hexes, magus arcana, summoner eidolon evolutions, and similar abilities gained through archetypes, get rolled into Arcanist exploits which get re-branded simply as Arcana. Arcanists get a moderate upgrade in spell level progression and spell preparation per day, since they no longer need to be balanced against wizards.

Divine spellcasting is re-mapped into new schools of magic aligned with domains. Divine spells that don't belong to any domains at all become arcane spells and are placed into the appropriate schools. Druid spells that don't belong to divine domains belong to the Natural Magic school, which is larger than most of the others. The element domains and the elemental schools are combined here. Note that alignment schools and element based domain schools will be larger than the other domains. This is appropriate as it actually represents the way those factors influence the realms of mortals in the world.

Arcanists undergo a process similar to specialization at character creation in which they select their schools of magic, though the list includes the traditional schools, the domain schools, the natural school, and the elemental schools. Arcanists choose 5 schools of magic; any spells that are not in the schools they picked they cannot prepare. If an Arcanist specializes in a school of magic, he chooses one fewer school of magic to begin with, but he gains a spell slot of each level for the specialized school, and Spell Focus for that school as a bonus feat. An Arcanist cannot specialize in more than one school of magic. The wizard specialist abilities are made accessible for purchase as Arcana to specialized Arcanists, in lieu of the Universalist school abilities which are available for purchase to all other Arcanists.

If desired, Arcanist can redirect studies from spells to other mysteries. By forgoing access to a school of magic, an Arcanist can increase access to Arcana. Informally considered the "arcana school," but inelibible for specialization, any arcanist can reduce their number of schools chosen by 1 and gain an additional Arcana whenever they gain access to a new spell level.

Finally, Arcanists are renamed "spellcasters."

All characters of great intelligence and wisdom are capable learning and casting magic. All characters gain spell slots with high intelligence or wisdom as per the bonus spell slots for having high statistics, but do not gain spells known automatically. Characters with intelligence may prepare spells from spell books using the spellcraft skill as though they were using someone else's spell book, and characters with wisdom may pray for spells from a domain their deity or ideology supports just as paladins do, using knowledge religion.

Characters faithful to a deity, such as though use of the Deific Obedience feat or through a Trait and supportive roleplay, are given access to one of that deity's domains and domain abilities. This replaces the cleric.

These classes are to be combined into one:
(That fucking weird ass hand to hand thing from the new book)

Ranger skills and two good saves, fighter feats, and choose a Technique every other level (opposite feat selections) giving access to "talent-ized" abilities such as Ki, rage, bravery, weapons training, grit, and so on. Similar to the Arcanist really in that the components of the above classes and their archetypes are broken down into modular abilities which are then made into a pool from which players can build many different unique characters from the same class. Spellcasting or a companion is a once and done selection made at the beginning and available all the way up. Choose one school of magic from the big list above in the "Spellcaster" section, OR choose a companion, such as a mount or an animal companion or an Eidolon, which is basically an Arcana, OR choose a magic weapon like a magus' black blade/arcane bonded item/legacy weapon which is also an arcana, OR choose who knows something else from a special list of things available at first level only. Higher hit die, another good save, something like that. Definitive shit.

This class is the "Warrior."

Finally, you guessed it, more classes getting mashed together.

Bard, rogue, ninja, bloodrager, swashbuckler, probably several I'm forgetting since the new book was full of nonsense.

Here's the most controversial decision I'm probably going to make. The bardic knowledge ability is going to go away entirely, as is the ability to substitute one skill for another as far as knowledge is concerned. "Just knowing everything" is not a class feature, it's a lifetime of work. Sorry. There's a class for that. It's a couple higher up.

I think we're getting the idea now. All the classes and archetypes get broken up into modular talents, in this case we keep the Rogue Talents format. We get rid of the minor magic rogue trick pathway entirely in favor of the Bard spellcasting option. I kind of want to keep the bard spell list just like it is because of it's dedicated support feel, but making it non-modular makes it either cost too much to get into and therefore it may as well not be a module, or it makes it too powerful. So, what it probably needs to do, is contribute to the domain/school breakup. There are bard only spells, and those need to contribute the creation of a Bard school. This should be more focused than the existing list and include mostly bard only spells and spells about sound, performance, enchantment, and other elements in theme.

Because we're expanding the class and increasing the options and versatility by adding rage, bloodlines, panache, spells, and whatever else, the rate of Rogue Talents should increase. I think existing features on the Rogue should be re-purposed as Talents, and they should probably get a Talent every level, since spellcasting progression should probably be a talent.

This character is getting a major buff from another change anyway, but they also need a second good save.

This is the "Rogue."


Some feats are going to become game rules that you don't have to purchase anymore. Here's some examples.

If you have a Strength of 13 or better, you may Power attack, using the feat at whatever your BAB is.

If you have an Intelligence of 13 or better, you may use Combat Expertise at whatever your BAB is.

If you have a Dexterity of 13 or better, you may use Weapon Finesse.

If you have a Dexterity of 15 or better, you may use Two Weapon Fighting. This automatically progresses to Improved and Greater at Dex 17 and 19 respectively.

Point Blank Shot is now included as a free feat any time a character gains proficiency with a weapon type for which it is applicable.

Improved Shield Bash is also being given for free to any character that is proficient with shields.


Another potentially controversial choice.

For all characters, BAB is now equal to 1/2 your character level + STR mod + DEX mod.

These feats functions differently now and needed this rule change in order to make sense:

Weapon Focus: Choose one Fighter Weapons Group. When using weapons from this group, calculate your BAB as your character Level + STR mod + DEX mod +1. Special: You may take this feat more than once, each time you take this feat, select a new weapons group.

Weapon Specialization: Choose a Fighter Weapons Group that you have selected with the Weapon Focus feat. When calculating damage with these weapons, add an amount of Precision damage equal to your STR mod +2. If you are using that weapon with the Weapon Finesse feat, or if it is a ranged weapon, use your DEX mod +2 instead. Special: You may take this feat more than once, each time you take this feat, select a new weapons group.

Greater Weapon Focus: Prerequisite: Warrior Level (x). Choose one Fighter Weapons Group for which you have the Weapon Focus feat. Increase the bonus provided by this feat by +2. Special: You may take this feat more than once, each time you take this feat, select a new weapons group AND increase existing bonuses granted by it by another +1.

Greater Weapon Specialization. Prerequisite: Warrior Level (x). Choose a Fighter Weapons Group that you have selected with the Weapon Specialization feat. When calculating damage with these weapons, double the bonus provided by Weapon Specialization. Special: You may take this feat more than once, each time you take this feat, select a new weapons group.

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Lost Soul
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Re: Project Pathmaster

Postby Rusty » Wed Apr 15, 2015 3:02 am

hmm, these look like definitive decisions.

BTW they aren't.

Also, looking at it and thinking about balance, I think the whole new Weapon focus dynamic should be Warrior only. Thoughts?

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