Archives for: July 2008
July 29th, 2008
Published on July 29th, 2008 @ 01:48:26 am , using 343 words, 464 views
It's happened. Today was an important day. Today, the four of us figured out disruption rules. It was a ruleset we added in the 3.5 edition but one I SERIOUSLY never wanted a DM to use. They were a threat...and really nothing more. Now we are trying to incorporate them in a streamlined way that makes sense and makes them a threat without making them frustrating. I'll explain them in more detail later this week.
We also have made Lifepaths and Paragon paths ready for playtesting, so the next stage will be starting soon, outside playtesting. This allows basic Heroic and Paragon gaming without including Amethyst-unique monsters or techan classes. Fight a Flameskull or something (worst monster in the game). We are still not certain how many of these will be making the cut and which ones will be held back for a later book. One aspect we HAVE decided is that the evil (EVIL) lifepaths, classes, and paragon paths will not be in the first book. They will be in the second book which expands the setting and options for both the DM and the Players. So although Nihilimancers and Neverborn will be available monsters, they won't be available for players...at least for now.
What else? I keep getting mails from the Ennie awards discussing ways we can promote our product to get votes even though we just got an Honorable Mention and not actually nominated.
A few people have shared their admiration for the Kannos Kavalier...I leave you with exclusive feats for the lifepath...
Speed and Elegance
Prerequisites: Kannos Kavalier
Benefit: You are able to mount and dismount your steed as a minor action. It does not provoke an opportunity attack.
Prerequisites: Kannos Kavalier, Mounted Combat
Benefit: You’ve trained your mount to act without direction. It can use a standard action without taking away your standard action. This allows your mount to use a standard action along with your standard action. You still only have a single minor and move action between the two of you.
July 26th, 2008
Published on July 26th, 2008 @ 02:55:29 am , using 634 words, 2159 views
In case any of you were wondering what the frequency of our entries is; the answer is "Buh?”
Basically, we volunteer something when we feel we must speak.
Nick Greenwood's footprint in the new book is increasing. Beyond taking on a new cover and company logo, he's also being tapped to create a new map. On that, I will apologize now for those who wonder where the detail had gone on our setting. The first book will feel a little spartan in comparison to the 3.5 book in regards to setting fluff. This is because...(cough) we need to make money. Seriously, with the new stuff we're adding, if we threw in everything from the 3.5, it would be 700 pages. We want to pace out the setting. Further books will go in even more detail than even the 3.5 edition did but we want the first book to be tight and less intimidating. Those who have read (end enjoyed?) the 3.5 edition will most definitely know more about the setting and the various secrets. Whole chapters are being mentioned only obliquely in this new edition.
You all read the Forgotten Realms Preview PDF released by WOTC this week? In it, they mention "Backgrounds", which offers additional bonuses depending on where you were raised. These bonuses are mostly skill increases but there are a few more aggressive bonuses (element resistance, for example). Am I angry? Not in the slightest. Seriously, the idea of Lifepaths, in my opinion, is a no-brainer. I imagine nearly everyone is going to try this in one extent or another. Our Lifepaths in comparison to the FR Backgrounds are more radically and even alter classes you may choose. Further, our lifepaths have additional exclusive feats and paragon paths available only to them. This is an extreme I doubt FR is going into. If anyone takes THAT idea, I still won't be angry. Amethyst won't be made or broken on the basis of a single crunch-point.
The book may feel techan-heavy only because we are not bothering making new fantasy classes since the 4.0 ED covered itself so well. On that, I almost broke that rule recently with the Kannos Kavalier. The Kavalier is a mounted fighter that gains abilities based on the mobility and speed of his horse and less on the lumbering around of a heavily barded steed and an armor-plated knight with a graped-up lance against his shoulder. The Kavalier is light on armour (both on the steed and the fighter) and would be able to do some amazing acrobatics while mounted. It began as a lifepath, with several feats, and a paragon path. By the end of the day, I had so many ideas written down, I could have made an entire class. That would be dumb. Why have a single class for the Kavalier and not one for a Custodian? In the end, I picked the abilities I liked the most and moved other abilities either to other paths or removed them outright. They still have more exclusive feats than any other lifepath (four). It’s kind of ironic considering the Kavalier never made it into the last book. I meant to, but I A) forgot, ran out of space, and C) ran out of time.
One of their attack abilities is listed below...
Equestrian Charge Kannos Kaptain Utility 12
Encounter Martial, Mounted
Effect: If your mount moves more than 4 squares, either in as an attack (charge or trample) or a move action, you can jump from your mount as a move action. You are considered running for the jump and gain a +5 bonus to the Athletics roll. Pick an unoccupied square in range to land into. You provoke no opportunity attacks as you jump or land.
"Wanna see a magic trick? I'm gonna make this pencil disappear..."
July 24th, 2008
Published on July 24th, 2008 @ 06:06:01 pm , using 307 words, 279 views
As an addendum to Slipstream's post below, I thought I would go into a bit of detail for what we are planning when it comes to everyones favorite Rifle-toting Bastion-dwellers. We were stuck, at a loss if you will, for how to deal with the Techan classes. Fourth Edition has done a great job in leveling the playing field when it comes to equipment and classes. No longer are we chained to our Holy Avengers, desperately clinging to magic in attempts to kill the Lich. No longer do we shed tears of anguish in an anti-magic field! Rise up, my brothers!
That said, that makes our job with Techans a tad difficult. Equipment has always set the Techans apart from Echans in Amethyst. Rifles, Pistols, and Plasma, oh my. With the advent of the new system placing more focus on the classes and characters themselves, we are now left with a plethora of options and interesting doodads to muck around with.
One of these options is to shatter the fantasy mold. Techans, more so than the most brilliant Warlord, are about control. By the very nature of the world, they are isolated and alone. By banding together and relying on their fellow man, the Bastions have cut out Empires across the globe. Not at all an easy feat when the prospect of Typhox Dragons and Pagus legions are taken into consideration.
What this boils down to is synergy. The Echan hero is a fantasy icon; Conan, Aragorn, Elric of Melniboné, Drizz't, and the list goes on. A Techan hero is a tad different. A Techan hero is part of a group, a unit that goes on to greatness, or disaster. Aliens, Firefly, the Matrix. The Techan unit works as an organism, each part lends strength to the whole.
Lock and Load, children,
It's about damn time.
July 24th, 2008
Published on July 24th, 2008 @ 03:03:31 am , using 296 words, 242 views
So where are we today? Well, I worked 9 days straight at my other job because of inventory and feel like the floor of a twenty year-old taxi-cab driven by an eldery man plagued by eczema. Also, because of my experiences with The Dark Knight on Monday, I can never look at another magic trick again.
Feats took longer than expected but at least we have begun working on techan classes. Just to remind, we're going to be sending out notices to playtesters by the end of the month. Art commissions have gone out and the game is still moving towards its release at a steady pace.
I wanted to mention Paragon paths for a moment. We should have about 8-10 but they won't be tied to a specific class. They won't even have recommendations. They are based from lifepath, not the classes. So a Custodian going into Fighter, Ranger, Rogue, or Warlord, could still go into the Guild of Ilm paragon path because the prerequsitie for the paragon path is being a custodian, and not the class. You can still choose their paragon paths, but why would you want to?
For today, I think I'll share one of our new lifepaths, the narros doppelshido:
Prerquisite: Narros, Strength 16
Double-Form: If wielding a weapon two-handed, you are counted as wielding two weapons for the purposes of applying the benefit of two-weapon feats. Choose one of the following weapons to be used with Double-Form:
Any versatile weapon OR
Any two-handed, non-reach weapon
You must be proficient with chosen weapon. Your chosen weapon is the only type of weapon you can receive these bonuses from. You may purchase magical versions later but the specific weapon type cannot be changed.
Next time, I'll upload some feats...
July 22nd, 2008
Published on July 22nd, 2008 @ 12:33:56 pm , using 289 words, 281 views
Feats are mostly done with all the racial traits and lifepath options done. After this comes Paragon paths. I am still unsure how to deal with Epic Destinies. They may appear slightly unusual since the divine element notorious in the Player's Handbook entries will be missing.
We are gearing the first book to be slightly less intimidating than the last one, at under 300 compared to the 400 from the first book. Yes, this means, those who had purchased the 3.5 version will have a greater eye over the entire setting but now we are looking towards to the long term plans of the franchise.
Meanwhile, monsters are being written up as well. Keeping the theme from 4.0 MM, we will present several different encounter levels of the same monster type. Expect nearly three times as many actual monsters in this book than the 3.5 version.
Playtesting will begin shortly. We will be sending out email to those that have expressed interest. If you haven't sent a mail and are interested, email us now.
There will be dozens of different lifepaths and I wanted to reveal one today but I was torn on which one. I especially love the Custodian but I want to keep that bottled up for now, so I figured I would share the Librarian, which is a Limshau path that is not combat based.
Prerequisites: From Limshau
Branch Expertise: You gain a +1 to History (Limshau and surrounding areas). You also gain an additional +1 to either Arcana, History (pick another named location in Canam), or Religion.
Selected Lore: Choose any number of creatures from the Amethyst Bestiary or from the MONSTER MANUAL equal to your Intelligence Bonus. You pass all knowledge skills when recalling about their lore.
July 15th, 2008
Published on July 15th, 2008 @ 01:45:43 am , using 423 words, 454 views
Sorry for the delay. I got all caught up on the new lifepath. It's looking like it's going to work but the bonuses offered aren't spectacular. They will, however, allow a greater range of feats later on. At 1st level, you choose ONE lifepath. It can never change and affects how your character lives through life. It does not force your journey, only influence it. Certain paths free up a whole group of new feats unique to that path. Some may even allow a paragon path also unique to that lifepath. What's important to note is that these are not balanced with others nor are they all the same. They are mostly regional though a few of the disciplines and supernatural lifepaths are not bound by a location. Some have a half dozen feats available while others have none. These may require some extensive playtesting to ensure some are not wholly more powerful than others. I am about half-way through them at this point.
For now, I leave you yet another race:
Let's post something fun. KODIAKS are now a playable player race. Let's show them...
Average Height: 6’4” – 7’2”
Average Weight: 350 -450 lb.
Average Starting Age: 15 years.
Estimated Life Expectancy: 80 years
Ability Scores: +2 Strength, +2 Constitution.
Vision: Low Light
Languages: Common, Kodiak.
Skill Bonuses: +2 Endurance, +2 Athletics
Enraged: When bloodied, you gain a +1 bonus to hit to any enemy that strikes you with a melee attack. This is not cumulative.
Bear Charge: You have a +2 bonus to Strength when making a Bull Rush and the distance pushed and shifted is doubled. (See the DND 4E PLAYER’S HANDBOOK on “Bull Rush” and “Charge”).
Natural Runner: If you drop what you are holding and run with all four limbs, you can run at your speed +4 (See the DND 4E PLAYER’S HANDBOOK on “Run”). You are too large and clumsy to ride a mount (and you are not shaped correctly to take a rider) but you can cover 40 miles a day without tiring.
Imposing Form: As a Kodiak, your body is not shaped like other humanoids. All armor costs +25% more as it must be customed to your body. You are also clumsy with many small weapons, suffering a -1 to hit with all weapons you wield one-handed.
Natural Weapons: Your claws are powerful weapons. You have a +2 proficiency bonus to hit with them and they do 1d6 damage. At 11th level, your bonus increases to +4 and they inflict 2d6 damage. At 21st level, the bonus increases to +6 and they inflict 3d6 damage.
July 8th, 2008
Published on July 8th, 2008 @ 01:51:06 am , using 309 words, 355 views
We had our first full session of 4ED today. I played a dragonborn ranger named Vinnias Hogsqueel that wielded two battlesaxes. Conan played a gnome warlock with a propensity of lighting forests on fire and Cam played a human warlord that basically kept the group alive. Apparently 3 level 2 kobolds and 4 minions accounts for a decent challenge for 1st level players, especially me, who couldn't roll above 6 for eight rolls straight. We called ourselves The Repo Men, under oath from our lord...the Repo Man.
The Racial templates passed Alpha and are moving to Beta, meaning we will start contacting potential playtesters soon.
As a preview, here is the beta slug for Gimfen:
Average Height: 3’3” – 4’3”
Average Weight: 30-40 lb.
Average Starting Age: 30 years.
Estimated Life Expectancy: 500 years.
Ability Scores: +2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma.
Languages: Gimfen, English
Skill Bonuses: +2 Bluff, +2 Theivery
Builder: Pick two of the following skills: Craft(electronic), Craft (mechanical), Craft (Power Armor), Craft (Techan Armor), Craft (vehicles), Craft (Techan Weapons). These become trained skills.
Disruption Reduction: Gimfen do not disrupt technology if held like all other echan races.
Techan Option: Because of your ability to hold technology without breaking it down, you may choose a techan class instead of a traditional fantasy one.
Scurry: You movement is not reduced if you crawl or squeeze. You can also drop to prone as free action. (See the D& 4E PLAYER’S HANDBOOK on the definition of “Crawl” and “Squeeze”).
Tiny frame: You cannot Bull Rush targets bigger than you. (See the D& 4E PLAYER’S HANDBOOK on “Bull Rush”).
Jump Charge: If you charge with intent of a basic attack, you gain a +2 bonus to hit and only need to move 1 square to initiate the charge.
Like the players handbook, we will have heroic and paragon feats for races as well.
July 6th, 2008
Published on July 6th, 2008 @ 01:16:43 am , using 130 words, 415 views
In the spirit of goodwill, we have setup this blog so readers can track where the Amethyst 4ed is heading. It will save us quite bit of hassle having to work through the forums or through dreamweaver in updating the website. Updates should pop up at least once a week, but not necessarily on the same day. We'll have artwork preview as well as current progress on fluff and crunch.
As of today, I have reached the Alpha phase on revised races. I'll have more once we are ready to start bringing in playtesters. On that, everyone who has donated 100$ will be receiving an email shortly to gauge their interest and dedication to playtesting the new 4ed Amethyst. Anyone else interested should contact management. First dibs goes to the donators.