Great Way Adepts

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Solomoriah
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Great Way Adepts

Post Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:28 pm

Post your comments here for Luigi Castellani's Great Way Adepts supplement.

http://www.basicfantasy.org/showcase.cgi?sid=111
My personal site: www.gonnerman.org
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SmootRK
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Re: Great Way Adepts

Post Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:28 am

So, on a whim was looking at this. Is there any play-testing or usage of this class yet?

Here is what I am looking at personally. While they are supposed to be excellent warriors, I hesitate to make them better fighters than actual Fighters, at least through the bulk of their careers (meaning until the highest levels achievable).

AC - too much. By 10th level, the character is substantially better than a Fighter in platemail (17AC before any additional bonuses or magic). I would prefer slowing a tad. Perhaps 1 point every other level (on levels divisible by 2, ie 2, 4, 6, etc.) up to 10th level, then every 3 levels.

Movement, good idea, but faster than a race-horse or flying creatures?? Again, I might suggest starting the increase at 4th or 5th level, and slowing the progression down too. +10' at 4th, +20' at 8th, +30 at 12th, +40' at 16th, and ultimately +50' at 20th.

Qi - mostly good stuff here. I don't care for the speak with animals or plants, but the others seem appropriate.

Thief abilities - only change is that I would drop Hide from the list. These are not Ninja, but are more like "shao-lin monks" which I don't really think were any more prone to hiding than other classes.

Tumbling - I think the tumbling skill I put into the Bard (Showcase) would be ideal here. What is listed here ought to be called "safe-fall" or "slow-fall" or something... but should remain (in addition to the ability from the bard class as mentioned).
edit - here is that portion I think should be included as well:
Bards are also very inclined to acrobatic performance and dance, allowing Bards to Tumble and Evade quite well. When subjected to an area-affecting spell or similar situations, the Bard takes 1/2 damage if successful with his tumble check; 1/4 damage if the relevant Save (if any) is also successful. The tumble ability may also spare the Bard from situations such as parting shots by opponents when retreating. The Game Master may reference this ability for other such situations as he sees fit.
So editing for this endeavor:
Through the pursuits of their martial arts, the Great Way Adepts Tumble and Evade quite well. When subjected to an area-affecting spell or similar situations, the Adept takes 1/2 damage if successful with his tumble check; 1/4 damage if the relevant Save (if any) is also successful. The tumble ability may also spare the Adept from situations such as parting shots by opponents when retreating. The Game Master may reference this ability for other such situations as he sees fit.

Stunning Strikes - ought to be folded into the Qi abilities, perhaps set as something one gets later (perhaps replacing the Speak With Animals slot that I don't care for).

Monastery and Followers - I would remove this, as none of the other classes of BFRPG utilize such material in the core rules (though I certainly believe a "Followers Supplement" is something sorely needed by BFRPG).

I would relax the magical item (specifically the Armor portion) to allow bracers, rings, etc.

Also, I might suggest that some of the details of attachment be instead made into some sort of 'standard credo' and that the GM might create other similar sets of 'codes' that better fit his/her campaign or to allow for rival sects with subtle differences. (note I tried to do such when I wrote the Knight in the "Additional Fighting Sub-Classes" in the Showcase. Pure Shao-lin Monks might follow this 'as-is' but perhaps there are war-like battle monks in a rival nation, or yogi-monks of another region with subtle differences. I think the details of breaking the credo might be included here (losing abilities or even being relegated to Fighter class).

Limited Advancement - I would drop this too (druid as reference). Core rules does not really incorporate such, and increases all classes to 20 level progressions. Certainly there can be limits on the campaign side of things (note my last paragraph on credo), but that is more of a organizational arrangement than a player advancement thing (at least in my mind). Separating ability from 'rank' would be my way to handle this, but to each their own.

Lastly, I would like to see some analysis of the median/average damage/round type stuff for the unarmed attacks stuff. Like I noted earlier, I don't want them to be better fighters than Fighters, except at perhaps the highest achievable levels.... they need to be really good; just not better than the standard fighters through most of their levels.
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SmootRK
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Re: Great Way Adepts

Post Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:34 am

Anyone with differing opinions on my observations? I would love to hear other 3rd party views on Monks.
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Dimirag
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Re: Great Way Adepts

Post Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:56 am

This Monks "resembles" a lot to the one from RC so its shares its bad points. I personally divided the class in two parts: The Martial Artist and The Monk.

I agree with the AC problem, a good solution is using a slower progression and let the Monk wear magically enchanted robes/clothes I believe the high AC is to account for magical armors fighters are "supposed" to have at higher levels).

Never really liked the Progressive Damage, maybe give them a d8 for non-lethal combat and a d6 for lethal damage?

Speak with plants/animals should be erased.... I know the original monk is based on a character's book but that makes it really weird.

Movement: The original Monk and those from other edition have a lesser MR, these guys are just too fast!

Thief Abilities: Agree on removing Hide.

I like the Resistance feature, I wouldn't require an extra roll, its gained at 8th level or so. I use a damage percentage reduction progression for my Martial Artist.

For the slow fall I give the MA "lightened body" which reduces its body weight allowing better movement even jumps as seen on most wu-xu movies, the ability to move on fragile surfaces without breaking them, etc...

Ditch the level restriction.

It must gain some kind of meditation feature allowing to reduce penalties, cancel sleep necessities, control body temperature, simulate death, etc...

I would like to see the monk as a Cleric-Sub type with a modified Turning Undead feature...
For fighter-monks instead of allowing all weapons a list of "martial weapons" can be added and let them use any of them.
Sorry for any misspelling or writing error, I am not a native English speaker
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Re: Great Way Adepts

Post Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:36 am

+Dimirag, you seem to view them largely like I do.

I can see the Cleric connection (or perhaps as a fighter oriented class). However, I think the Turn Undead feature of clerics is not a good fit. That said, I think the basics of that mechanism might be usable, perhaps for the "killing touch" "quivering palm" etc. instead of how Artkid has it as 'automatic' once that level is achieved.

The meditation features, I think are rather there already, a sort of unspoken way that they achieve their various resistances and such (passive so to say). As an active ability, I think meditation to remove fatigue, used in lieu of sleep, or perhaps some others like you mention (feign death).

But yes, basically we seem to see this similarly.
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Dimirag
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Re: Great Way Adepts

Post Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:24 pm

Yes, it seems we do.

I use Class Groups and each of them have a primary ability, for clerics its the turning undead mechanic (clerics turn undead, druids befriends animals and and nature spirits, shamans controls spirits, etc), so initially I thought on using the mechanic for special abilities (using the ability "difficulty value" against the monk's level) but haven't come up with a good number of abilities I decided yo go for the TU with some modifications (based on other oriental monks).

For the Martial Artist I use Chi uses per day, gained as he advances in level, each use gives one of several benefits (some of them have a minimum level required).
Sorry for any misspelling or writing error, I am not a native English speaker
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artikid
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Re: Great Way Adepts

Post Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:07 pm

Hi all,
I'm surprised this is finally getting some attention after ... 2 years?

It's mostly a port of the monk from legacy editions (mostly 1e, BECMI/RC), it thus retains the same defects and the same good things.

The original monk was a very tough class with lots of fiddly things to keep some balance.
More or less the GWA is a lot weaker: lower unarmed combat damage, less thief skills, no % to kill instantaneously a foe (not by Gentle Touch).
The original Monk was in many ways a better fighter than the Fighter.
Also, as it stands, the GWA has rather stringent requirements if you go for 3d6 character creation (although not as hard as the original monk).

Some spot considerations:

- The limited advancement is something rather important to keep the monk in check.

-AC: by 10th level I guess most warriors will have magic armor/rings/ shields. The monk can never wear armor, use shields and use magic protections so that's why it raises so much in AC. You can't touch one of the two things without touching the other. My guess is that since a monk has less HP, if you lower its AC he is going to become minced meat. Also slower/limited advancement will keep this in check.

-Unarmed damage: I incredibly toned this down from older editions where you had Monks doing stuff like four 3d12 attack per round at 16th level. Keep in mind that the monk will miss enemies more than the Fighter (slightly lower AB bonus, no magic or specialization bonus). He could deal a lot more damage potentially, but he probably won't. Slower/limited advancement will keep this in check too.

-Movement: older editions' monks reached a top speed of 360'/round if my memory serves me right. Just as the GWA does. Basically no change.

-Tumbling: I did not want to introduce a new number/score such as a new ability, this is simpler. No rolls.

-Stunning strikes: yes could be listed as a Qi power.

-Monastery: BFRPG has a small aragraph on henchmen received at 9th level when you build a stronghold.

-Other stuff: this is a port, the originals had it and so the GWA does.

I wanted to do a port, and that's what I did; the GWA as it stands perfectly suits this purpose IMHO.
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artikid
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Re: Great Way Adepts

Post Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:16 pm

I reviewed one of the original posts in the workshop.
It seems at some point -under Solomoriah's advbice- I had thought of:

1- reducing the GWA's AB and saves to those of the Cleric
2- reducing the armed damage bonus (to+1/3 levels)
3- reducing the GWA's speed by 10' or 20'
4- removing other stuff as some immunities and the Gentle Touch.

As things stand now -given your input as well- I probably would consider points 1 and 2, maybe 3, but not 4.

EDIT: regarding weapons: almost all chinese martial arts include weapon training at some point.
This is not done -mostly- with some peculiar weapons, but with swords, sabers, quarterstaffs and polearms.
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Dimirag
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Re: Great Way Adepts

Post Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:39 pm

Form the RC, AD&D, 2EAD&D and 3EAD&D, the RC is the monk I like the most, thats why I like this class.
Sorry for any misspelling or writing error, I am not a native English speaker
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SmootRK
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Re: Great Way Adepts

Post Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:11 pm

artikid wrote:I reviewed one of the original posts in the workshop.
It seems at some point -under Solomoriah's advbice- I had thought of:

1- reducing the GWA's AB and saves to those of the Cleric
2- reducing the armed damage bonus (to+1/3 levels)
3- reducing the GWA's speed by 10' or 20'
4- removing other stuff as some immunities and the Gentle Touch.

As things stand now -given your input as well- I probably would consider points 1 and 2, maybe 3, but not 4.

EDIT: regarding weapons: almost all chinese martial arts include weapon training at some point.
This is not done -mostly- with some peculiar weapons, but with swords, sabers, quarterstaffs and polearms.
Bear in mind, my post was not meant necessarily to urge changes to this version of "monks", but just to gather observations/analysis as I look to build another version that better suits my particular paradigm of them. I don't particularly like constraining myself to pure "ports" of material, as I think the community is enhanced by having our own vision of some topics... but that is not to say that "ports" do not have value, as there are plenty of people who desire to "as closely copy/emulate" certain editions of a certain game.

So, I am clarifying my position that I am not trying to necessarily tear down this version. Just that I am looking for additional points of view while I build another.... and honestly, this makes a perfect base for me to use as I tweak things here and there. It is a wonderful version that captures what those game editions had.
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