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One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
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Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
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    Canonfire :: View topic - What's YOUR take on GHd20?
    Canonfire Forum Index -> Greyhawk- D&D 3.0e/3.5e/d20/Pathfinder
    What's YOUR take on GHd20?
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    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
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    Tue Feb 01, 2005 10:09 pm  
    What's YOUR take on GHd20?

    Okay, I wanted to title this "d20 classes and races" but that was taken. :-| I'm fleshing out my GH campaign a bit, as the "Halflings" thread in the main forum indicates, and kicking around a few things.

    So, what have you "house ruled" in regards to GH to keep its identity?

    Some of this goes beyond the scope of GH specifically, but here's an overview of my "Rule 0" doc:

    I've already changed the description (but not the mechanics) of Halflings, made the Drow really, really, really evil, and gone after the innumerable Elf subraces with a dull chainsaw. Most of the other races have also received substantial subrace pruning. Dwarves are Dwarves, although the women are generally bearded.

    Orcs are shorter but stouter than Humans; Half-Orcs get Human height and Orcish muscle. Ettins, Ogres, and Orcs are related.

    "Magic Shops" do not exist. Period. Full stop. End of sentence. Almost all magical items worth more than 2,000 GP have a name and a history.

    Monks come in two varieties, urban and monastic (although I'm not brave enough yet to tangle with the rules). Urban monks are the Bruce Lee's of the world, trained fighters interested primarily in their own perfection. Monastic monks are the traditional Shaolin-ish or Wu Shu monks, interested in enlightenment, doing good, and raking rocks.

    Neither Barbarian nor Monk levels can be taken past first level, unless we're building higher level characters who have the backstory to fill it. These classes seem to be more like a cultural template than a class, anyway.

    No race, class, feat, or spell outside of the PHB can be initally taken. I may relax this later on, but this keeps me from having to buy a whole shelf of books, and explaining why a Fiendish Half-Dragon Drow Artificer is walking through a small town in the Yeomanry. Any non-PHB race, class, etc, can be taken only with DM approval and the requisite in-game research to find it.

    Levels in existing classes are automatically gained, but new classes require substantial in-game investment (time, money, or favors).

    OK, a lot of that was GH-independant, but there you go. What modifications have YOU made?

    Telas
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    Wed Feb 02, 2005 1:52 pm  

    Sorry 'bout stealing your subject line, Telas. Smile

    But I think one of the biggest changes that my GH players have noticed is the orcs. There are LOTS of orcs in the Pomarj, and in the remote places of the world. But since most people kill orcs on sight, and have been doing that for decades, orc populations in "civilized" lands are very low.

    So what took the place of the orcs? Humans mostly. Bandits, brigands, and other riff-raff.

    But the one that makes my players nervous, no matter what level the characters are, is hobgoblins. Hobgoblins in my GH are exceptionally militant, very organized, and I throw class levels on them for almost every encounter. The players know that facing hobgoblins means a fight where the enemy can be just as tough as them, and probably has better tactics than the party. Hobgoblin encounters usually get an Encounter Level (for you 3 and 3.5 folks) of 1 higher than a typical encounter.

    Otherwise, I heavily restrict the Prestige Classes, and make the players develop a history for any "unusual" characters. Dwarf Warlock? Sure, if you can write a good enough backstory. Otherwise, how about a Dwarf Fighter...
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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Tue Feb 08, 2005 6:55 am  

    I start by restricting initial classes to what is more in line with what was alloable in AD&D (and cleric, fighter and rogue are unrestricted). Any class that was then denied a character is allowable as a prestige class with teh following requirements 1, 5 ranks in any skill and a teacher willing to instruct the character. Instruction is required for every level until all abilities of the class are gained. Thus, a paladin would only need instruction through 6th level (or 5th level with a 12 or higher wisdom due to remove curse) when spell casting is finally gained. All other abilities simply build on what is already there. A monk OTOH would require instruction through level 20 because new, unrelated abilities are gained until that point.

    Rage is not a class ability of barbarians; it is a feat. Barbarians get bonus feats when they would normally get additional uses of rage, and yes Rage is on their list of available feats. The rest support specific lifestyles and combat techniques that the player should select based on the cultural heritage of the particular tribe. Thus Tiger and Wolf Nomads develop Mounted Combat and related feats, Rovers of the Barrens the same or Run/Endurance combinations, the Suloise tribes Rage and melee combinations, etc.

    And, like most I think, I have added some home-brewed prestige classes (the Bard of the Old Lore I posted is one) and re-wrote the ranger class.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 13, 2002
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    From: Orlane, Gran March

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    Tue Feb 08, 2005 9:23 am  
    GH Changes

    As to D20, I didn't feel it necessary to change a great many of the rules (except rewritting the Ranger, as and did; I still don't like the 3.5 version); what I have done is require a story component to almost everything.

    The "dramatic," changes that have upset so many AD&D compatriots didn't bother me, as we were using house rules for them anyway.

    The barbarian was outlawed except for NPCs, as it generally posed too much trouble for the DM. So, I guess my response to the theme of this thread is, use the Story... something like this: "Sure you can be a Shadow Dancer, Bob, as soon as you find someone to teach you. Can't find anyone, well that should make a good quest... who is up for a quest, for Bob? No one? Sorry Bob."

    Oh, and as to the purchasing of books... OF COURSE THEY CAN USE NEW CLASSES! Happy ! Just as soon as they buy their wonderful DM a copy of the original text and you approve it. Either, A) the problem self eliminates; or B) You get a whole new library Exclamation
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Feb 09, 2006 8:31 am  

    Hi all!

    Since this is the third rules change in my long-running game (1st ed->GURPS->3.5) I'm taking baby steps. I don't anticipate the game launch for two-three months, minimum.

      So far:
    • I'm also re-writing the halfling background with the mechanics unchanged.
    • Monk equipment list has been changed back to the 1st edition list [no nunchaku or kamas etc.]
    • I'm taking a hard look at the Samurai and Swashbuckler [From Complete Warrior] classes, considering using them as a template for a cavalier/knight basic class; but since the current crop of players has little interest in knighthood etc. NPC knights may be Aristocrat[DMG]/Cavaliers[Complete Warrior]
    • I'm agonizing over the Sorcerer class; with a well established history amazingly bereft of sorcerers, and many established named wizards, I don't know how they honestly fit.

    Anced_Math's comments on barbarians have me thinking; it will most likely be tightly restricted (to the Fruz etc., tribes, and some half-orcs)
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Sat Feb 11, 2006 10:57 pm  

    Barbarians have existed in Greyhawk since 1980 - Dragon #63, when they were introduced, specifically hailing from the Barbarian lands of those names, the Rovers, the Amedio, and on the Isle of the Ape. I also find them a useful class for humanoid leader types, like Orcs. Hobgoblins I use Fighters.

    The biggest issues to keep things 'Hawk are dealing with Dwarves and magic. No wizards, but clerics allowed. Same with Halflings. Gnomes were always good illusionists.

    I don't restrict things as much as they were restricted when I started in Greyhawk (folio...). But I do know where certain PrCs have to be, and you need to have a real story reason for class advancement and multiclassing/PrC choices. And sometimes a teacher.

    An example, I had a player of a 2E Enchantress. In 3E, she was wanting to do different things, and decided to take a level of Sorcerer to get around the limitation on scrolls and wands for specialists. I went with it, but in game, I decided that there was some entity involved - in the case Baalzebul. As time went on, she was granted a Wish by B that converted her from Wizard to Sorcerer - increasing her fire power, turning away from Enchantment. This is what the player wanted to play, and we found an in-game rationale. This led to her being "owned" by B (didn't know who granted the Wish, didn't read the fine print) and set up a conflict with her former teacher - Jallarzi Sllavarain. Jallarzi was po'ed that Jenna had given up "responsible, intelligent" magic for wild magic with no focus, from the gods know whose power base.

    Sorcerers are running around, and sometimes were confused with wizards in some cases - like the werewolf in White Plume Mountain. And there are many humanoid Sorcerers - instead of Witch Doctors sometimes.

    Many things that can or should exist in Greyhawk are detailed out there. Wild Magic is in the Faerun book, and some stuff on the Underdark from FR is also applicable to things like the Descent into the Depths series (like the restriction on teleport).

    Just look at each choice and see how you can incorporate it into Greyhawk. If it is just wrong, see how you can work with the player to move it around so it works. He wants to play a Ninja? How about an assassin...or can you detail more of the lands beyond the Sea of Dust into his character background to explain where he came from - and why he is here. Who was hunting him back there, that he came all the way to the Flanaess? Many, many things will still work in Greyhawk.

    ROB
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    Tue Feb 14, 2006 1:00 pm  

    rob_douglas wrote:
    <snip>Barbarian lands of those names, the Rovers, the Amedio, and on the Isle of the Ape. I also find them a useful class for humanoid leader types, like Orcs. Hobgoblins I use Fighters.


    In total agreement, a good fit.

    rob_douglas wrote:

    The biggest issues to keep things 'Hawk are dealing with Dwarves and magic. No wizards, but clerics allowed. Same with Halflings. Gnomes were always good illusionists.


    Much what I was thinking, I may allow a stray sorcerer or two for halflings or dwarves, but it will be rare. I don't have a real problem with gnomes playing a straight wizard or sorcerer either. As the rarest of the PC races, it won't hurt things.

    rob_douglas wrote:
    Sorcerers are running around, and sometimes were confused with wizards in some cases - like the werewolf in White Plume Mountain. And there are many humanoid Sorcerers - instead of Witch Doctors sometimes.


    I've come to the conclusion that sorcerers have 'always been around' for the purposes of my campaign.

    Re: humanoids - its a shame sorcerer is based on charisma, I'm rather unimpressed with the Adept NPC class overall.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Tue Feb 14, 2006 7:26 pm  

    callmeAndydammit wrote:


    Rage is not a class ability of barbarians; it is a feat...Thus Tiger and Wolf Nomads develop Mounted Combat and related feats, Rovers of the Barrens the same or Run/Endurance combinations, the Suloise tribes Rage and melee combinations, etc.


    The important thing to remember is that not all barbarians (small "b") are Barbarians (big "B"). The vast majority of barbarian warriors are likely to be Fighters.
    Barbarians would be a very limited group within barbarian cultures.
    It's just a matter of renaming Rage to be more cultural. Battle Ecstasy. Wolf's/Tiger's Fury.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Tue Feb 14, 2006 9:38 pm  

    There is no reason that they can't all be big-B Barbarians. It is not like that class is overpowered compared to a fighter. Actually, the vast majority will be Warriors - NPC fighting persons - of levels up to around 6th. But of the higher-levelled leaders, I see no reason that they couldn't or shouldn't be all Barbarians in those regions. A Fighter gets more freedom to generalize in capabilities, but doesn't get superior or inferior abilities.

    Also, they might have some PrCs beyond that. Frenzied Berserker matches some Fists. Some might multiclass with Ranger, or Druid to get more natural skills. Fighter is no longer the deafult "I don't know what to do with this fighting man character" class.

    ROB
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    Thu Mar 09, 2006 4:48 am  

    Delcar wrote:
    Hi all!
    [*]I'm agonizing over the Sorcerer class; with a well established history amazingly bereft of sorcerers, and many established named wizards, I don't know how they honestly fit.
    [/list]


    I am currently working on an article for Canonfire entitled "Sorcerers of the Flanaess", which addresses this problem (my own favourite Greyhawk PC is a sorceress, so I have a vested interest). Without giving too much away in advance, I will be propounding the following theories:

    * Sorcerers have, indeed, always been there, but there are factors which explain their apparent absence from canon.

    * The first factor (as you yourself have mentioned) is simple confusion with wizards. Most folk do not readily distinguish between the two, and use the same vocabulary indifferently to talk about them. Hence, for example, the Sorcerers' Nexus of Rel Astra (which is a bunch of wizards).

    *The second factor is suppression of the deeds of sorcerers in the historical record (both unconscious and with malice aforethought) at the hands of wizards. Wizards are usually more scholarly than sorcerers, and most of the standard arcane histories of the Flanaess are written by the former, not the latter. Hence the success in air-brushing out a rival breed of arcanists from the record.

    * Sorcerers, as the PH points out, usually have less to gain from collaboration than wizards. Hence the general lack of influential sorcerous cabals to counterbalance the Co8 (with the notable exception of the Silent Ones of Keoland).

    There will be more. Watch this space...
    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
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    Sat Mar 11, 2006 11:11 pm  

    Here are few alterations to the Players handbook I have made:

    Paladins:

    A paladin may choose two Domains of their deity just like a cleric does. The paladin gains acess to the first domain(and its powers) at 5th level. The second domain is gained when the paladin reaches 10th level.

    As paladins have a pretty restricted access to spells, do not cast them at a high level of abilty, and have very slow spell advancement, I have found that the above option has resulted in a nice level of added flavor without making the class too much better.

    Wizards:

    I do have a halfling wizard in my campaign, though he is an NPC(and actually is a human midget raised by halflings, so technically I guess I don't allow halflings to be wizards/sorcerers in my campaign Wink ).

    Bards:

    In lieu of creating a 3.5e version of the 1e bard(which I have been meaning to do, among many other things) I have decided that a bard who goes out of their way to receive training in the Old Faith may choose spells from either the Bard Spells list or from the Druid Spells list, but the first spell chosen from any level must always be taken from the Bard Spells list. Implementing the use of Druid spells for bards in this way adds flavor without any undo messing about with the bard class, for now. Also, only humans, elves, half-elves, and gnomes can be bards. All of the races like entertainment, but only those listed above are known for perfecting it beyond simple entertainment to an art form. Even still, I may be open to making exceptions in very very rare cases.

    Rogues:

    Add "sap" to the rogues list of known weapons. Duh!!!

    Dwarves cannot be Wizards, Sorcerers, or Bards.

    Any race can be a cleric, fighter, barbarian, ranger, or rogue.

    Only humans and half-breed humans(half-elves, half-orcs, etc.) can take a psionic class as a standard choice. While psionics are rare among humans and human half-bereeds, they are almost unheard of among the other races. Its always good to have some exceptions regarding psionics I think(a.k.a. "wild talents").
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    Mon May 01, 2006 9:03 pm  

    I like D20 a LOT. Many things are missing, so I added the following:

    1.Made the Greyhawk regional feats from Dragon magazine part of my campaign and encourage their use.
    2.Make the major languages for each region the only ones you can use as bonus languages (unless your class allows you another choice).
    3.Use the random encounter tables from the WOG box set as THE random encounter tables.
    4.Use only the classes in the 3E/3.5 Core books. Others only if they provide a specific nod to GH. Yeah none of them Red Wizards either.
    5.Based on the regional feats, I created Knowledge (Local - insert GH region) skills.
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    Thu May 11, 2006 3:34 pm  

    Delcar wrote:
    I'm agonizing over the Sorcerer class; with a well established history amazingly bereft of sorcerers, and many established named wizards, I don't know how they honestly fit.


    I do not think that would be as big a problem from 3E/3.5 rules. Some of the rulers from the WOG box set, to me at least do not seem like illusionists. I mean from some of the regions like the
    Tiger Nomads - Cligar is I3/F11
    Wolf Nomads - Bargru I5/F12

    Could be. Maybe it should have read as
    Tiger Nomads - Cligar is Sor3/Ftr11
    Wolf Nomads - Bargru Sor5/Ftr12
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