Tuesday, July 21, 2015

m20 Updates

I've updated the m20 document to version 1.1.8.  This is mostly just a fix of some typos and a few minor issues.  It's more of a clean-up and very slight rebalancing than it is anything else.

Of perhaps more interest is that I added a Supplemental and Optional section; not to the document, but to the wiki.  Once I have enough material here—a critical mass, if you will—I'll create a Supplemental document pdf and make it available as well.  But until then, you'll have to get the goods on the wiki, which conveniently, I'll give you the link for right here:


A few designer's notes, if you please.

  • The Shadow Sword class was one that I wrote up quite some time ago on this blog.  If you search the m20 tag, you'll find it, and it's not much (if any) changed from that.  
  • Optional class features: I'd already played around a bit with making a la carte classes, similar to how I did races in my m20 Star Wars game.  This more or less incorporates that.  Each core class has a major schtick, or core mechanical conceit, if you will: for the fighter, it's the bonus to hit and damage, for the Rogue it's Sneak Attack, etc.  Each also has a minor mechanical benefit, a +3 to a skill.  This allows for you to trade in your minor mechanical benefit for a different minor mechanical benefit, to get a customized version of the class.  It can be as simple as changing the skill which gets the +3, giving non-Experts limited access to an Affinity, or even giving any class the ability to gain an animal companion or familiar.
  • As an aside, there is some play in terms of what is a core mechanical bonus vs. a minor mechanical bonus.  The Outdoorsman really has three minor mechanical bonuses rather than a core and a minor mechanical bonus, so I'm treating two of them as if they are together a single core mechanical bonus.  The Affinity bonus of the Expert, if limited to only one affinity, can serve as a minor mechanical bonus even though when it's one to start with but more to come as you level up, it serves instead as a core mechanical bonus.
  • The Shadow Sword isn't subject to modification in this way, at least not without more work than I was willing to put into it at this point.  It's core mechanical conceit is a bit more powerful than most, being basically a core mechanical conceit plus about half a minor mechanical benefit too.  To accommodate this, the Shadow Sword's minor mechanical bonus is more limited than for the other classes, meaning that you shouldn't be able to trade it out for a regular minor mechanical bonus.
  • Although the Outdoorsman animal companion is meant to be switched out for more powerful animals, I can see that one might rather keep the same signature animal and have it grow in power commensurate with what a switched out animal would be, more or less.  Since an animal companion (also a familiar, although there aren't separate rules for them if that's what you want to call it) is now a electable minor mechanical bonus, I figured the concept needed some bulking up.  I also added a list of more animal stats, including a number of what I would consider to be the most traditional animal companion or familiar type animals.
I'm keeping this at the optional house rule level for now.  I have to admit, though—some of these rules changes I like enough that I may decide at some future date to incorporate them fully into the main rules, and if I do, that will finally be what brings me to consider it a sufficient enough revision to update the version to 1.2.

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