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Dragonlance - D&D fantasy setting

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Been working on this as a DL primer and supplement for Genesys. 

PDF can be found HERE

**UPDATED PDF-12/31/17** can be found HERE

**UPDATE-12/29/17** Decided I'd go ahead and share the spreadsheet I'm using to compile all of this before creating a PDF. Just be warned, this is where I do all my theory-crafting but as some folks want to help flesh out Dragonlance for Genesys I figured I'd share it to collaborate more. Find it HERE.

Next to tackle are setting specific talents (which will also be used to reflect many of the organizations found in Dragonlance such as the Wizards of High Sorcery and various knighthoods). A bestiary, magic item section, and a location/kingdoms section will eventually be added too. 

As a DM I want to be able to hand this document to a player as a resource for both DL and Genesys both. 

Appreciate any feedback! Particularly when it comes to balance - the draconian death throes were fun to think about but would appreciate some feedback. By no means am I an expert in the Genesys system! 

One other quick question I'd love to ask....I feel like 8 skills just quite isn't enough...especially when it's a fantasy setting where the players will need to invest in melee and ranged weapons. At the moment I have 2 melee skill types and 2 ranged....but am also giving the careers pretty much a free knowledge based skill (predetermined though).  Does that sound alright? Game breaking? Any other way to tackle it? I know we could make them just single melee and ranged skills but I would prefer to retain the flavor of splitting them into Heavy/Light.

**UPDATE** I appreciate all the feedback and insight. I've made some alterations to the skills and have made some consolidations. I've toned down some of the racial special abilities and lowered available XP to many of them as well. Hopefully this will get more of them in line balance wise with what the community and FFG intends. Please let me know if there's any other suggestions you might have! Also feel free to point out my dumb copy-paste mistakes :D

This week I'll begin tackling the setting specific talents. There's such great content coming out right now that I don't feel I need to create a ton of talents, just ones that bring out the flavor of Dragonlance.

 

Edited by genXesis

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Looks great! Wow!

Don't think you need both Mechanics and Craft as separate skills.

What is Operating for? Boats?

What differentiation did you want to make between Ranged (light) and (heavy)? Is it necessary? I'll admit that I kind of want both, but really, I don't think the game needs it.

That's a lot of Magic skills...would it be possible to have flavor variants on fewer skills, or are the different skills going to actually alter which spells are available, or how they work?

Elven Weapon Training is too much, I think. If you look at the Star Wars species very few gain any combat-related benefits, and they're weighted very heavily. In addition, you're basically double-dipping for the elf on archery, since they already start with higher Agility. I also don't think it's necessary. I gave elves Keen Eyes, removing a Setback from Perception checks, but that may feel redundant with the inclusion of low-light vision. Not sure what I would replace this with.

Kender's Fearless is waaay too much for a racial ability. That's essentially two ranks of the Confidence talent, which, at best, is worth 15 XP, but probably more like 25 or 45 XP, depending on where you rate Confidence in Genesys. I have it at tier 2, so that's 10+15 XP. Plus, since you're not actually granting the talent, it's ostensibly worth even more since a character could still buy the talent for its cheapest price.

I kind of just glanced through the rest of the races after that, but the big thing jumping out at me as that you're giving every race too much for zero XP penalty. I would suggest reading through the section on creating races to get a better idea of what starting XP costs should be, keeping in mind that humans are basically the baseline, so if something is getting more than a human, they should be losing XP. The big ones are I see a lot of races getting a rank in two skills to start, which is 10 XP if those skills aren't tied to the characteristic they're good at, and some of them are definitely doubling up on those goodies.

One of the strengths of this system is that it's less concerned with tons of minor abilities and bonuses, leaning more towards using one or two things to differentiate races. I'll admit, I wanted to port over all the racial abilities from Pathfinder/D&D 3.5 when I was trying to put together races, but I went back through them and deleted a lot of the stuff I wrote. My races conversion is here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1UeRxFXCklpwXZOYvWE8xt0yy_SatT0-H/view?usp=sharing

And while I still think I went a little overboard with a couple, I think I'm within 5 or 10 XP for the most part. I'm also trying to solicit feedback on those here:

 

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Overall, this looks really nice.

If you look at the sample settings, each of them either splits Melee or Ranged. Those with Gunnery have 5 combat skills, but otherwise, they're limited to 4 skills. The default fantasy setting doesn't split Ranged, since it's just not dominant enough to justify being two skills. Genesys isn't a simulationist game, so the fact that knowing how to throw a knife is totally different than knowing how to shoot a bow isn't important.

I'd also worry about how fragmented the Knowledge skills are. This can serve a role, where you want different party members to each have their own Knowledge skill, but you run the risk of making each of them insufficiently valuable. Instead, you're likely to just have one player with a high Int that makes all the rolls, and doesn't bother investing XP. I think it's hard to justify more than a couple Knowledge skills without it becoming a trap option, but certainly in a game where the characters are all scientists or scholars, it could work. The playtest had more Knowledge skills, but they trimmed it back to one for the book. In D&D, there are 4 knowledge skills, but those aren't competing for the same XP as the skills that are applicable in combat.

Casting skills don't run into this issue, since players generally only take one of those. If you allow a character to take two different casting skills, the increase in versatility may justify the additional expense in XP. It does mean that you need to design magic systems and flavors for all of them, though.

You may also want to remove Operating, and roll that into Survival (piloting a ship) and Mechanics (operating gnome constructs).

I think players are expected to pick a couple skills outside of their career, but your setting does end up with more skills than normal. That shows up as an issue with the 8 career skills not seeming sufficient, but it will also be an issue when spending XP. Players will need to level more skills, which makes advancement slower, and the initial characteristic spread more defining.

From a formatting standpoint, it's nice to use the skill's proper name (capitalized) when possible, since it makes it clear that you're calling out a specific game term.

I agree that an advantage die on bow attacks is really strong. If this were limited to a variant bow that was lower damage than the normal bow, this would be fine, but I don't think this is the case for Dragonlance. Removing a setback die is better, but that might still be too strong, given that a lot of opponents will have defense, so it's usually applicable.

The low light vision description for the Half-Dwarf mentions half-elves instead. Goblins have a similar issue with half-ogres, and Centaur references elves.

The Minotaur's Brutish Strength, and high Wound Threshold is probably a little too powerful given the XP cost (I think the D&D Dragonlance setting had a similar issue with Minotaur being overpowered). Bonus damage is pretty strong, and even the Centaur's bonus is probably undercosted.

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That is awesome! The quality is great and in line with the Genesys look.

I agree with previous comments and say that having Mechanics and Crafting is redundant. I beliebve you should put Crafting in the General skills and remove Mechanics. In addition having Ranged Light and Heavy is unnecessary and leads to skillbloating. This is agravated by having too many knowledge skills. My suggestion is too limit them to 4 or 5. Adventuring, Geography and Local could be combined in a single skill. I would even include them in the Lore a skill. My final list wouls be Arcana, Forbidden, Lore and Religion.

In any case thanks for this great work!

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Thanks for the feedback everyone. I tried to use the human as my basis for points but perhaps my starting XP was miscalculated...I don't have the spreadsheet open but I want to say that 360xp was what I was going off of....is that about right or too high? 

I'll look over the skills with everyone's thoughts and make some adjustments....as I think you guys have provided a lot of great advice. Thank you!

I've had a couple questions about what I used to layout...it was actually an online service called Canva....it's primarily used for quick and easy graphic design but I've found it to be pretty flexible...the art resources are just ones that have been shared around online and the fonts were about as close as I felt I'd come (some I got from Dafont.com). 

Thanks again everyone!

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I'll go against the grain on racial abilities and argue for their inclusion. As long as every Species/Race has an ability of equivalent strength there really is no point not to include them. Yes Genesys base rules advocate for them costing XP, but they feel like they could be a good use for the Tone rules as those are already stronger than base features.

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9 hours ago, Cyvaris said:

I'll go against the grain on racial abilities and argue for their inclusion. As long as every Species/Race has an ability of equivalent strength there really is no point not to include them. Yes Genesys base rules advocate for them costing XP, but they feel like they could be a good use for the Tone rules as those are already stronger than base features.

Same here. Right now I am converting D&D races and I like that the racial abilities are a bit stronger than suggested by Genesys. Basically all this does is raise the starting XP a bit. As long as all the races are balanced to each other I don't see a problem. I'm not even going to lower any characteristics, just +1 the ones that are +2s in D&D and lower the starting XP accordingly. So my Dragonborn with +1 Brawn (from +2 Strength) and +1 Presence (from +2 Charisma) start with 50XP. The players can change around the characters the way they want anyway.

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Going with stronger abilities is fine, if everyone is essentially on the same level, but that's not the case here. Humans get left waaaay behind, because they're unchanged, then dwarves are in basically the same boat, elves are slightly ahead of the curve, and then everything else overshoots them considerably.

 

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12 hours ago, genXesis said:

Thanks for the feedback everyone. I tried to use the human as my basis for points but perhaps my starting XP was miscalculated...I don't have the spreadsheet open but I want to say that 360xp was what I was going off of....is that about right or too high? 

I'll look over the skills with everyone's thoughts and make some adjustments....as I think you guys have provided a lot of great advice. Thank you!

I've had a couple questions about what I used to layout...it was actually an online service called Canva....it's primarily used for quick and easy graphic design but I've found it to be pretty flexible...the art resources are just ones that have been shared around online and the fonts were about as close as I felt I'd come (some I got from Dafont.com). 

Thanks again everyone!

The race building is that everyone starts at 100 XP with +1 to one stat, and -1 to another, then you add or subtract from that...kind of. Humans' stat change isn't read as no bonus, it's -30 (taking one stat from 3 to 2), and +20 (taking one stat from 1 to 2), which is a net -10 on XP spent, so it ends up at 110 XP. How they calculated in the skill bonuses, I'm not sure...unless I missed something as well, but that's basically it.

Adding a skill rank is worth the cost of a skill rank (5 XP), unless it's for a characteristic the race has a bonus to already, then it's 10 XP.

For other abilities, compare them to existing talents--that's what I did with the Kender.

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Sure, balancing all that is the hard part. For now I start humans off with 4 rank 1 non-career skills in addition to their Ready for Anything ability. That`'s 10 XPs worth of extras so maybe that's enough.

I don't really understand the reasoning behind the 10 XP cost for skill ranks that are tied to characteristics with bonuses. Characteristics don't affect skill XP cost later on, so why here?

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8 hours ago, yeti1069 said:

The race building is that everyone starts at 100 XP with +1 to one stat, and -1 to another, then you add or subtract from that...kind of. Humans' stat change isn't read as no bonus, it's -30 (taking one stat from 3 to 2), and +20 (taking one stat from 1 to 2), which is a net -10 on XP spent, so it ends up at 110 XP. How they calculated in the skill bonuses, I'm not sure...unless I missed something as well, but that's basically it.

Adding a skill rank is worth the cost of a skill rank (5 XP), unless it's for a characteristic the race has a bonus to already, then it's 10 XP.

For other abilities, compare them to existing talents--that's what I did with the Kender.

With the newest version I think I've gotten things a bit more balanced but I'll look over it all again with these calculations in mind. I think my calculations may have gotten off with the thresholds. 

I agree that as long as they are balanced together then it should be okay but I did take the human straight outta the book so I want to make sure the others are level with them. 

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8 hours ago, siabrac said:

Sure, balancing all that is the hard part. For now I start humans off with 4 rank 1 non-career skills in addition to their Ready for Anything ability. That`'s 10 XPs worth of extras so maybe that's enough.

I don't really understand the reasoning behind the 10 XP cost for skill ranks that are tied to characteristics with bonuses. Characteristics don't affect skill XP cost later on, so why here?

Yea honestly I might have completely missed the bit about it costing extra. Going to have to comb through for those. But ya, sounds arbitrary to me too.

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2 hours ago, genXesis said:

Yea honestly I might have completely missed the bit about it costing extra. Going to have to comb through for those. But ya, sounds arbitrary to me too.

For Wound and Strain thresholds, they start at 10, then going up or down is basically worth as much as a talent: +2 wounds or +1 strain is worth 5 XP, -2 wounds or -1 strain is worth 5 XP. +1/-1 wound may not change starting XP at all.

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One change I've made recently was to take careers like Noble, Mariner, Entertainer etc and folded them into an expert or "Master" career...something reminiscent of the 3rd edition Dragonlance "Master" class found in the War of the Lance 3rd Edition DnD Sourcebook.  Back in the day of 3rd ed. Mariner was its own class and could probably still be it's own career here but I figured it's enough of an occupation that it fit with Master career. 

Also adjusted starting XP and brawn for some of the races to better balance them. 

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On 25-12-2017 at 9:21 AM, yeti1069 said:

Kender's Fearless is waaay too much for a racial ability. That's essentially two ranks of the Confidence talent, which, at best, is worth 15 XP, but probably more like 25 or 45 XP, depending on where you rate Confidence in Genesys. I have it at tier 2, so that's 10+15 XP. Plus, since you're not actually granting the talent, it's ostensibly worth even more since a character could still buy the talent for its cheapest price.

Disagree, as that talent is a MAY reduce, this is a MUST and therefore also a curse in your character not being scared when that would be very wise.

 

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17 hours ago, Neanie2 said:

Disagree, as that talent is a MAY reduce, this is a MUST and therefore also a curse in your character not being scared when that would be very wise.

 

Or maybe we are all looking at it at it from the normal point of view. While this is flipped for something that does not feel fear. So the meaning of a fear check for a true kender might not be 'can I act?' but "Do I recognize this as something scary or is this just very very fascinating?" Then we do not even have to modify the difficulty. It does mean a DM needs to set a difficulty for both questions, so one for true kender and one for all the others. Possibly something like 6-'difficulty for the others' as things become easier to recognize, the scarier the monster or situation is for others.

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Why is Medicine & Operating missing from your skill list? What do you use when treating someone's wounds or taking care of them when they are sick? What do you use when driving a carriage pulled by horses, steering a ship & using a catapult? 

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Ok. I read through version 5 around xmas but had some things that I though might be explained by reading a bit more in the genesys book so it took a while to make this post. I try to check if my comments have already been fixed.

(I think for concepts added to Dragonlance with the SAGA system I think that the way they are described there should be leading and not later ports back to DnD 3e. Especially as SAGA is closer to genesys then DND)

  • I am very much missing a flavour difference between the priest(divine)+wizard(Arcane) magic and sorcery(wild)+mysticism(hart). I see a number of ways to introduce this:
    • As already mentioned on facebook, wizardry is influenced by the moons
    • Hart magic seems a bit lost in the current description and list of skills, just a paragraph in the divine section
    • In SAGA depending on your training you had 1 or 3 schools. I think something like this should come back in the Sorcery and mysticism. Possibly as a stackable talent that a career sorcerer get the first for free and starts at lvl2 or so? And have the list of schools and Sphere's directly from saga: (From dragonlance nexus fandom, baby sleeping on me so cannot get to my saga books to confirm)
      • Sorcery: Aeromancy, Cryomancy, Divination, Electromancy, Enchantment, Geomancy, Hydromancy, Pyromancy, Spectramancy, Summoning, Transmutation
      • Mysticsim: Alteration, Animism, Channeling, Healing, Meditation, Mentalism, Necromancy, Sensitivity, Spiritualism
    • Maybe this is already described somewhere but I missed it then. Can we do something with the speed of magic? In SAGA you could influence the difficulty by how much time you took but could be basically instantaneous. So then sorcery and mysticism are default a maneuver and can become easier when taking more time, while wizardry and priestly is more ritualistic and by default an action? And compensate this by having the whole wands and staffs bonus thing more of a wizardry trick?
    • What to do with combined spells? In SAGA that was the way to go to get really kickass effects that you could not do on your own, to the point that combining all talents was the way to go to hurt dragons. So maybe yellow dice can be counted together when people cooperate?
    • Actually the SAGA magic of sorcery and mysticism seems closer to the genesys Idea then DnD, but I think a lot of people have been looking in merging in dnd so maybe there are already some good idea's out there for some tweaks that make it feel more like the dnd magic and still being close to genesys.
      I would almost say a stackable talent that would unlock rows on a secondary 'talent map' where you can fill slots with spells of a certain difficulty? (or link that to ranks in the skill?) So let the spell creation be as free form as genesys but do not do that at casting time but when levelling up your magic?
  • Dwarfs: Klar are usually not hill dwarfs: http://www.dlnexus.com/lexicon/13765.aspx http://www.dlnexus.com/lexicon/13762.aspx
  • Gnomes:
    • Description, 2nd paragraph misses beginning of sentence
    • I am missing the gnome curse! Maybe something that the difficulty of all their mechanics checks is always upgraded once or twice(but never more then the base difficulty)?
  • Kender:
    • Reword this to try to stay as far as possible from the 'kender are thieves' concept to avoid players focussing on that and ruining them: "and the kender seems unaware that he is stealing." -> "and the kender is unaware that he is taking them."  Which also means it might be more likely the DM that can inform the kender player that he discovers something of a party member then that the kender player decides that.
      We need to make sure we focus on their lack of focus for anything for more then 5 seconds, friendship and loyalty and not at annoying way some people played them.
    • I need to check if afflicted kender still have this as well, I thought not.
    • The already mentioned fearlessness.
  • Minotaurs description seems way to negative. It seem in line with the nexus pages I noticed but that is not the feeling I have off them, and especially of single adventuring kind this is not true. And I thought their priority was honour first, even before Sargonnas. Need to check this in different books to see
  • The ordering of races seems a bit off to me. Centaur and minotaur seem more common player races then any half-something other then half-elf. So I would put them between the half elf and the other half things.
    With half kender being a thing in some novels I like it that they are here.
  • I would place draconians in the enemy section and not playable races. But I guess there are people liking this kind of thing. But I do see some weird things here and there:
    • Aurak explosion seems week to me. Again something I need to check in the saga books, I thought they exploded with the strength of the spellpoints they had left, which could be easily 30, 40 or if you surprised him 70 exploding damage, which is a huge amount in that system. I think I remember a case where we finished one of by teleporting him away and up in the air such that the explosion was far enough away.
    • Sivaks:
      • The shapeshift is stronger then documented. They can change once into the last person they killed
      • I am missing that they are the only one with true flight.

Things I am planning to check when I have the time and freedom:

  • Afflicted kender and fear
  • Dragonlance minotaur descriptions in saga and dnd, if my feeling is correct or not.
  • If that aurak explosion is really that dangerous in SAGA

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3 hours ago, Neanie2 said:

Ok. I read through version 5 around xmas but had some things that I though might be explained by reading a bit more in the genesys book so it took a while to make this post. I try to check if my comments have already been fixed.

(I think for concepts added to Dragonlance with the SAGA system I think that the way they are described there should be leading and not later ports back to DnD 3e. Especially as SAGA is closer to genesys then DND)

  • I am very much missing a flavour difference between the priest(divine)+wizard(Arcane) magic and sorcery(wild)+mysticism(hart). I see a number of ways to introduce this:
    • As already mentioned on facebook, wizardry is influenced by the moons
    • Hart magic seems a bit lost in the current description and list of skills, just a paragraph in the divine section
    • In SAGA depending on your training you had 1 or 3 schools. I think something like this should come back in the Sorcery and mysticism. Possibly as a stackable talent that a career sorcerer get the first for free and starts at lvl2 or so? And have the list of schools and Sphere's directly from saga: (From dragonlance nexus fandom, baby sleeping on me so cannot get to my saga books to confirm)
      • Sorcery: Aeromancy, Cryomancy, Divination, Electromancy, Enchantment, Geomancy, Hydromancy, Pyromancy, Spectramancy, Summoning, Transmutation
      • Mysticsim: Alteration, Animism, Channeling, Healing, Meditation, Mentalism, Necromancy, Sensitivity, Spiritualism
    • Maybe this is already described somewhere but I missed it then. Can we do something with the speed of magic? In SAGA you could influence the difficulty by how much time you took but could be basically instantaneous. So then sorcery and mysticism are default a maneuver and can become easier when taking more time, while wizardry and priestly is more ritualistic and by default an action? And compensate this by having the whole wands and staffs bonus thing more of a wizardry trick?
    • What to do with combined spells? In SAGA that was the way to go to get really kickass effects that you could not do on your own, to the point that combining all talents was the way to go to hurt dragons. So maybe yellow dice can be counted together when people cooperate?
    • Actually the SAGA magic of sorcery and mysticism seems closer to the genesys Idea then DnD, but I think a lot of people have been looking in merging in dnd so maybe there are already some good idea's out there for some tweaks that make it feel more like the dnd magic and still being close to genesys.
      I would almost say a stackable talent that would unlock rows on a secondary 'talent map' where you can fill slots with spells of a certain difficulty? (or link that to ranks in the skill?) So let the spell creation be as free form as genesys but do not do that at casting time but when levelling up your magic?
  • Dwarfs: Klar are usually not hill dwarfs: http://www.dlnexus.com/lexicon/13765.aspx http://www.dlnexus.com/lexicon/13762.aspx
  • Gnomes:
    • Description, 2nd paragraph misses beginning of sentence
    • I am missing the gnome curse! Maybe something that the difficulty of all their mechanics checks is always upgraded once or twice(but never more then the base difficulty)?
  • Kender:
    • Reword this to try to stay as far as possible from the 'kender are thieves' concept to avoid players focussing on that and ruining them: "and the kender seems unaware that he is stealing." -> "and the kender is unaware that he is taking them."  Which also means it might be more likely the DM that can inform the kender player that he discovers something of a party member then that the kender player decides that.
      We need to make sure we focus on their lack of focus for anything for more then 5 seconds, friendship and loyalty and not at annoying way some people played them.
    • I need to check if afflicted kender still have this as well, I thought not.
    • The already mentioned fearlessness.
  • Minotaurs description seems way to negative. It seem in line with the nexus pages I noticed but that is not the feeling I have off them, and especially of single adventuring kind this is not true. And I thought their priority was honour first, even before Sargonnas. Need to check this in different books to see
  • The ordering of races seems a bit off to me. Centaur and minotaur seem more common player races then any half-something other then half-elf. So I would put them between the half elf and the other half things.
    With half kender being a thing in some novels I like it that they are here.
  • I would place draconians in the enemy section and not playable races. But I guess there are people liking this kind of thing. But I do see some weird things here and there:
    • Aurak explosion seems week to me. Again something I need to check in the saga books, I thought they exploded with the strength of the spellpoints they had left, which could be easily 30, 40 or if you surprised him 70 exploding damage, which is a huge amount in that system. I think I remember a case where we finished one of by teleporting him away and up in the air such that the explosion was far enough away.
    • Sivaks:
      • The shapeshift is stronger then documented. They can change once into the last person they killed
      • I am missing that they are the only one with true flight.

Things I am planning to check when I have the time and freedom:

  • Afflicted kender and fear
  • Dragonlance minotaur descriptions in saga and dnd, if my feeling is correct or not.
  • If that aurak explosion is really that dangerous in SAGA

Thanks for the feedback...I'll digest it all and make some additions. I agree on expanding on magic, just didn't put time into doing that yet. If you are interested and wanted to tackle that it'd be awesome! 

Racial things: Ya gnome curse it tough, cause you want them to SORTA be good at mechanics but then again they suck at it.  lol so ya, what niche are they really filling; The Klar I had as mountain at first then read they were hill....seems conflicting sources atm, will need to do more research, but love their craziness :) Ya I like your thoughts on kender, I think that's probably a better way to design them. If you want to shoot me some recommended changes please do so, would dig that. The ordering really wasnt thought out and can be changed, it was more willy nilly than anything when I was laying it out. Probably need to move all the monsterous races into their own section with a disclaimer. 

Big thing for me is that I never played Saga, so bringing it's 5th age flair is something I'm going to have to spend some more time reading, again, welcome any recommendations. Playing with the speed for instance is not something I have done in rpgs like DND but maybe in Genesys we could do some things with adding difficulty etc to alter the speed of the casting and maybe even speed of recovering strain? 

Btw, anyone interested in helping (and I much prefer a team effort) can email me at jeremie.wade@gmail.com. 

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I haven’t really read through the whole thing so maybe I’m completely off here, but on the issue of gnomes, I would look at making then decent at mechanic checks, but providing a small, gnome specific, chart for spending threat and despair when using gnome contraptions. 

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2 minutes ago, Forgottenlore said:

I haven’t really read through the whole thing so maybe I’m completely off here, but on the issue of gnomes, I would look at making then decent at mechanic checks, but providing a small, gnome specific, chart for spending threat and despair when using gnome contraptions. 

I had actually thought about converting over the Tinker chart in the 3e source books, you are right using threat/dispair along with that chart may be the route to go. 

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