Is basic fantasy really for me?

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xBlackHeartx
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Is basic fantasy really for me?

Post Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:33 am

I know, most of you will probably say that only I can decide that. But really, I don't know.

What appeals to me about basic fantasy? The simplicity of it.

What don't I like about it? I don't really care for the old-school feel of the monsters, and the lack of character customization options. I'm used to 3.x. I'm used to there being no race/class restrictions, and the ability to multiclass and switch classes later on and stuff like that. Like, one example I saw in a pathfinder game on youtube was a guy who played a half-orc rogue (or thief if you prefer) who saw the light and became a paladin. His character had 1 level in rogue, and I believe 3 levels in paladin. So he was a paladin who still had some of the skills of a rogue due to his past. And he did use some of them. He had a sneak attack bonus, and he also was able to pick locks, which he did use to break into a tomb where there was a necromancer. He also had the 'dirty fighting' feat, which for those of you who don't know it gives you and AB bonus pretty much whenever you get to do a sneak attack. Obviously, basic fantasy can't emulate such a character. Oh, and another character from the books is of course Drizzt who spent part of his life as a barbarian, then a ranger, and I think he was something else before that. And this of course was represented in his official build. So all the places he had been in his life actually made him different from other rangers. Again, basic fantasy can't represent something like that.

I'm not bashing on the game, I can fully understand why someone would like a game where races don't have 10 different abilities and classes don't give you a new ability every 2 levels that requires a full page to describe. Also, I personally always saw feats as unnecessary (pretty much all feats do is act as per-requisets for other feats and occasionally prestige classes, and give your character an extra 10 fiddly modifiers to take into account in combat). And the skill system well is rather stupid. Really the only skills worth taking are the rogue skills (which only they are allowed to level in anyway, they may as well be class abilities really) and tumble, which people take solely because it also increases your AC every 4 ranks (and it makes it easier to avoid attacks of opportunity, or 'parting shot' as this game calls it).

I guess perhaps I need to relate what got me into this game in the first place.

I first got into the game through the computer game neverwinter nights. Of course, it ran off of 3.0 rules. On it I got involved in a role-play server that was very liberal. You didn't have to abide by the rules of the forgotten realms setting, nor did you even need to know anything about any setting. And they would pretty much let you play whatever you wanted. You could even play a good-aligned drow if you wanted. On top of that, they had a mod for their server that added in dozens of races. At first they were just different sub-races for the core races (such as the drow), but later they added in monster races like orcs, goblins, kobolds, faeries. I can't even remember what all they had. I think you could also play as an orgillion or a hob goblin. Aasimars, tieflings, and the genasi (half-elementals) were also available. Goblins and kobolds I remember were particularly popular.

This of course shaped my expectation of the game. To me it wasn't just about adventure and being social, it was about creative expression. I learned to like the freedom the system gave me in the kinds of characters I made. I myself played a drow (an evil one, mind you) on that server. I tried a variety of characters, but that drow was the only one I really stuck with for any length of time. I think I also made more drow characters than anything other.

Anyway, as we all know 3.x is insanely complicated, but its not so much of an issue when you have a computer program doing everything for you. All you had to worry about was how to make a character, heck you didn't even really need to know what all the numbers were for or how to roll anything to play that game. I understand the math, but I didn't really look into until I started playing on a pvp server.

I've been interested in trying to get into table top games since then, even though its been 10 years now since I last played on that server (let's just say the ppl who ran it were highly immature, I actually got run off just bc some troll got promoted to the administrator and he personally didn't like me). Problem is after looking at dozens of games, I find 3.x to be annoyingly overly complicated. I want something simpler, but because of how I was exposed to the game I still see it as mandatory that you can make pretty much w/e you want. I mean seriously on that server I had access to literally dozens of races, and somewhere around a dozen classes, and that's not counting the two dozen prestige classes (and no, they didn't add in any custom classes, they were thinking about doing it with red dragon disciples so you could be a half-dragon of other colors, but that never came about).

Anyway, should I really bother with basic fantasy? I keep thinking of modifcations I want to make to it. Including expanding the race options, removing race/class restrictions and allowing multiclassing to everyone. The quasi-class supplement also really appeals to me because it effectively multiples the number of classes available to 20. Want a paladin? Play a holy fighter. Want something more like a 3.x ranger? Play a ranger cleric. I also really like the barbarian thing. A setting I used to work on long ago had a them of conflict between tribal cultures and more advanced cultures. Problem is though that setting would've required a whole slew of custom classes just for the primitive cultures. This supplement fixes that nicely. Just take the fighter, change a few things, and voila, you have a tribal warrior. Want a witch-doctor? Barbarian magic-user. Shaman? Barbarian cleric. And a barbarian rogue could be a trapper or something like that.

Anyway, should I really bother looking into finding a game with someone else? I don't completely like the system as-is, and I doubt I would. I mean seriously, I hate the way the book makes halflings look like hobbits. Yes, I know they used to be hobbits, but they weren't in 3.x (I was actually shocked when I found out about their origins, I thought they were just a race unique to the game's setting like half-orcs), and that's the only core race I really cared for at all.
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SmootRK
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Re: Is basic fantasy really for me?

Post Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:38 am

Long post... best I can comment is that BFRPG is so very flexible, that you could really add in some level of just about everything you mention. You can even reconfigure the core rules themselves to meet your needs (albeit you might not have it in a nice hardbound book if you modify the core rules substantially)... so if you want "latter era Halflings" instead of the old school "hobbits", then you can do that.

Another thing I can say, is that you actually do have others around here that share interests akin to your own. I for one, am left lacking with race/class issues in core rule. Mind you, I wouldn't change a thing in core rules themselves; I rather like the fine control of having the alacarte supplements to work with. I expanded my game with many of the supplements and ideas you mention in your post, although often in very simple ways rather than the complex methods of later editions of a certain game.

I don't have my house rules document handy, but I will locate and share it so you can see how far I have modified the game to suit my tastes.

Also note you can find an improved Quasi-Class Supplement in the Showcase. http://www.basicfantasy.org/showcase.cgi?user=91
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SmootRK
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Re: Is basic fantasy really for me?

Post Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:10 am

Smoot House Rules:
Smoot House Rules Document.pdf
(298.45 KiB) Downloaded 162 times
Though I am unsure of how old or absolutely complete it is. Been a long time since I have bothered to update or revise it.
xBlackHeartx
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Re: Is basic fantasy really for me?

Post Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:40 am

I actually had an idea for a quasi-class that isn't in the book, or the one you linked to: unholy.

Yeah, I know, why have something like that? For making antagonists of course. I really like the necromancer class this game has. Yeah, I wouldn't let a PC play one, but its nice to actually have an official build for an antagonist. And its highly customizable! I even thought about having a character be a fighter/necromancer multi-class to create a kind of 'dark lord' character who was a decent combatant in his own right while also have an army of the undead at his beck and call.

As for my unholy quasi-class? I'm not sure what abilities it should have. As for what it would be used for, well, the holy quasi-class I would use to make paladins, theurges, 'prophets', and avengers. These are terms I came up with for holy fighters, magic-users, clerics, and rogues respectively. I also came up with unique names for each class for the barbarian, ranger, and unholy quasi-classes, along with all the possible multi-classes (using just the four core classes btw). This in total gives 26 classes. Okay, 16 of them are just slight variations of the core 4, but still. I think the quasi-classes would flavor them enough as is.

As for games, I have also looked at microlite20 in the past, though its virtually impossible to find games for that, and besides there's so many variations out there (the core rules are obviously imbalanced and were intended to be house-ruled) that trying to find a game may be pointless...

I also came up with a thought today of looking at 3.x again and whittling it down a bit. Simplifying races and classes, removing feats, possibly skills (or at least giving the list a major overhaul). I'd also like to get rid of vancian magic, but I think wizards would need to have their spell list nerfed for that. Like having fireball only hit for 3d6 at most, maybe less. Or possibly splitting up the spell list between different 'specialist' classes, like illusionists and necromancers. Though it may be more reasonable to just require wizards to choose 'domains' like clerics. They would be unable to use spells outside their chosen domains (or areas of expertise). This would prevent wizards from being the 'can do anything' characters they often end up being. Also, I would remove knock. I mean, why have a spell that completely replaces one of the classes? And my brother-in-law (who does play D&D btw) mentioned that rogues became useless later on once wizards got things like invisibility and knock. Besides, picking a lock is a highly complicated thing, I don't see why a spell would be able to do this. I mean, if you had a spell that could pick locks, then why couldn't it say solve a rubiks cube for you? Its just as logical.

edit: as for my unholy quasi-class. I did have ideas for abilities. They would use the same chart as the holy quasi-class but have the two abilities replaced. In place of 'holy burst' or w/e its called, they would be able to project flames like 3.x's 'burning hands' spell. I'm not sure what to replace 'lay on hands' with though. I was thinking of a kind of 'dark power' where the character could treat an action as if they had rolled the maximum possible (such as assuming they rolled the highest on the die, or automatically succeeded on a move silently check), but futhermore this could bypass limitations, like allowing a normal weapon to harm a monster normally immune to anything but silver and magic weapons. Or letting a thief succeed on the move silently check even while moving through a heavily crowded and brightly lit area. Though this all kinda feels like stuff a sith lord could do to be honest. And I suspect that something like this 'dark power' could be op. I really like the 'unholy flames' idea though.
black1blade
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Re: Is basic fantasy really for me?

Post Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:08 am

Knock is mostly for getting rid of wizard locks and also you can brute force thru a door. A cleric can also use their find traps spell to find traps but only the thief can actually disable traps.
black1blade
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Re: Is basic fantasy really for me?

Post Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:13 am

Also in bfrpg, wizards are a lot more limited than in 3.x. Wizards have a lot of disadvantages like low health and the fact their spells can be interrupted. They also have a smaller spell selection and don't get massive numbers of bonus spells for having a high int. If a magic user can only cast knock twice a day then after the first two locked doors, it's the thief's time to shine. Also who's to say a magic user will even prepare knock, there are far more generally useful 2nd level spells like web and phantasmal force. I know you are saying that you don't like vancian magic but it's a major balancing factor in the game.
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Dimirag
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Re: Is basic fantasy really for me?

Post Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:58 am

Knock works on more than simple locks, but, it just works once per spell used, so, while it can win over the opening locks skill of a thief, it will do it for lesser time and at the cost of learning or using other spells, its best used against things that a thief can't open.

As for BFRPG, its a great customizable game, just look all the options here, in the workshop and download page, specially if you just want to suit your need or taste.
Yes, it will take some work doing it, but unless you find a game that its exactly what you cant, then any game will require tinkering

Things like races and classes are easy to add, there are some around here already, there is also a Quasi Classes 2 supplement
Other rules can be changed or incorporated like using one xp table for everyone so you can do multiclasses (there's an alternative idea for that around here also)

I won't say BFRPG is for you, neither will tell you the opposite, my advice? Balance what you like, what you don't like, and the effort will take to change it, if you fell is doable and enjoyable then do it, go ahead, and even post here what changes have you done and how reflects them in the game.
Sorry for any misspelling or writing error, I am not a native English speaker
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Hernes Son
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Re: Is basic fantasy really for me?

Post Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:44 pm

It seems to me that where you're hung up is that you were drawn to BFRPG because of the simplicity, but find yourself wanting more complexity. And obviously there's nothing wrong with that, but consider that a baseline for discussion.

Personally, I came to BFRPG after many years of frustration with 3.x, and Pathfinder. Both as a player and GM, I found myself overwhelmed by all the options of those games, and they actively distracted me from having fun with them.

The advice I'd give you, is to consider BFRPG a "framework" rather than a set of hard and fast rules. Look at it, think about what you like, and then think about what you want presented differently. Go through the downloads section here, and see if there are any supplemental rules that could get you moving in the direction you wanted.

And then just make stuff up if you want. Your example of the Thief/Paladin above really doesn't need a whole slew of new rules. If a player in my game wanted to do that, I'd just tell them to stop advancing as a Thief, keep the abilities they've got, and start over as a lvl 1 Paladin.

The simplicity of BFRPG gives it strength, because it allows you to bend it in any way you want. Just give it a shot and see what happens.
The Hooded Man will come to the forest, there to meet with Herne the Hunter, to be his son and do his bidding.
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mTeasdale
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Re: Is basic fantasy really for me?

Post Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:29 pm

Though BFRPG is probably my favorite RPG, I'm not sure its the game for you. But as the rules are free, and you can get the printed rules with a 3 adventures module for like $15, my advice would be to try it for a few sessions to see how it goes.

About character developpment, all it takes is a bit of GM fudge. Your thief wants to become a Paladin for narrative reasons ? Just borrow dual class rules from AD&D. Your wizard makes a deal with a demon ? Maybe gives him some power from it, but maybe a penalty to some checks, because it makes people around him unconfortable. I don't think characters should start with those perks, but it will happen in game, following the narrative.

That being said, I think we love BFRPG a lot here, but if it doesn't work for you, I'm pretty sure some people here can direct you to something that you'll enjoy more.
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Longman
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Re: Is basic fantasy really for me?

Post Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:32 am

Maybe you (the OP) should begin with basic classes as expressed here, then slowly add in rules.

Examples -

- allow 2nd level fighters to spend extra exp to become 2nd level rangers or paladins if the player wants to.
- barbarians also begin as ordinary fighters and can become barbarians at a certain exp level
- cantrips are introduced at 3rd level
- begin with basic spell lists and then add in new spells as the game goes on

You get my point. I hope. You can build your rule-set to suit what's actually happening in your game, adding complexity where required, without importing a lot of rules that you don't need.

After all there is no point designing rules for how to play a barbarian ranger if no-one in your group actually wants to play one of those.

I'm not sure if BFRPG is for you but my advice would probably be the same no matter what game you decided to play. Just start with a few characters and develop from there. You don't have to worry about whether or not there are rules for everything, right from the outset.
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