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Author Topic: [Notebook] Fantasy Craft Archetypes  (Read 2061 times)
Foghorn
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« on: March 15, 2012, 10:11:46 PM »

So I've had this idea rolling around in my for a long time now. I was looking to run a post-apocalyptic game with Fantasy Craft and one of my players loved the idea of playing an Assassin, but wanted so badly to have the more talky and less stabby core ability of the Faceman from Spycraft 2.0. Since the Assassin was sort of taken from a lot of the same ideas, I figured a core ability swap would be fine.

Unfortunately for me, this got the ball rolling. Minor alterations or new core abilities for all the classes started bouncing around in my head. I now have the outlines of 3 new core abilities for almost all of the classes (Mage, Priest, and Martial Artist are the ones hanging me up now), so I figured it was about time to start running these by the community at large and see if I can't tighten up the language on some and turn these into some fun options for my players when I start up a new game in a month or two.

So I'll try to avoid a giant post with this and just go through the classes one at a time with quick explanations behind what I'm trying to achieve with the new abilities.

New Campaign Quality - Archetype
Archetypes(Permanent)
   When choosing your class at Career Level 1, if you have the Interest listed with the Archetypes, you may replace your classís core ability with the one listed with the Archetype.
Quote from: Foghorn's Brain
The idea here is that with 2 free Interests in the beginning, the ability to swap out a core ability requires a minimal investment. And since part of my idea was to include a core ability for each class that requires an Alignment, it sort of just brings everyone in line with the Interest cost

Assassin Archetypes
Faceman
   Interest: Phraseology
   Doublespeak: You are an expert in manipulating people to gain their trust. As a free action, you may spend 1 action die to improve or worsen a targetís Disposition toward you and each of your allies by 5 for the duration of the current scene. This ability may not target any one character more than once per scene, nor improve any targetís disposition toward your or any of your allies to better than Supportive.
Quote from: Foghorn's Brain
This is the one that started it all. It's pretty much a straight port from the Spycraft 2.0 rules with minor tweaking to accommodate the new Disposition rules.

Poisoner
   Interest: Alchemy
   Poison Master: You decide long in advance how your marks meet their end. You gain the Venom Master trick and the Crafting (Chemistry) focus. The maximum Complexity of poisons you create and the number of Covert feats you are considered to possess when using the Venom Master trick are both increased by your starting action dice.
Quote from: Foghorn's Brain
Never played much with poisons and my players don't tend to take this route, but it seemed like a pretty solid assassin-y type so I thought I'd take a crack at it. This is also one of the first examples of how terrible I am at naming things, so feel free to chime in on ideas there, too.
Zealot
   Interest: Alignment
   Executioner: You pass judgement swiftly and mercilessly. Your base attack bonus is considered equal to your Career Level when you attack a character with an opposing Alignment, and your threat range against these opponents increases by 1. Also, your attacks against characters of the opposing alignment gain the aligned weapon quality (see page 176).
Quote from: Foghorn's Brain
When I first saw the Assassin's core ability, I was in love. I'm trying to capture the same idea here, but allowing him to lay waste to all manner of people who oppose his beliefs. Looking at again now, not sure if it feels quite right, but not sure how I want to change it, either.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2013, 01:11:14 PM by Foghorn » Logged
Coyote0273
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2012, 10:38:50 PM »

I'm not sure, it's an interesting concept, though I'm thinking these might work better as feats as they seem under powered (in my mind anyway) compared to other core abilities.
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Sletchman
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2012, 11:10:59 PM »

Neat idea man.  Poisoner looks a little weak IMO, but I think the others are one the money (perhaps because I miss Doublespeak - one of my favourite core abilities).  I think Zealot looks great for a Priest, so I'm curious what you're thinking for it's alignment-specific variant.  If I come up with any I'll add them.
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Desertpuma
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« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2012, 12:05:56 AM »

I do think these are interesting.... But the Martial Artist Core Ability should port over easily enough. As for Archetypes, you could go with either style (offensive, defensive), how hard/damage orientation it is (hard, hard/soft, soft), or weapon emphasis (blunt, edged, unarmed, etc)
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Crusader Citadel

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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2012, 03:16:46 AM »

Actually, I'd be tempted just to completely dissociate core ability from base classes and just let everybody choose one, the same way they do their origins
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Sletchman
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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2012, 05:49:34 AM »

Actually, I'd be tempted just to completely dissociate core ability from base classes and just let everybody choose one, the same way they do their origins

Under such a system, what would you do with Expert classes?
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SilvercatMoonpaw
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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2012, 07:22:05 AM »

Cool.  I once tried to replace the existing Explorer Core Ability with one that granted a free magic item, but I'm really not that good with mechanics.
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Mister Andersen
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« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2012, 10:07:44 AM »

Actually, I'd be tempted just to completely dissociate core ability from base classes and just let everybody choose one, the same way they do their origins

Under such a system, what would you do with Expert classes?

Leave them be; most ExC have cores that are sufficiently more focused that it would feel out of place to mix and match like that come 5th level
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Sletchman
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« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2012, 10:09:35 AM »

Actually, I'd be tempted just to completely dissociate core ability from base classes and just let everybody choose one, the same way they do their origins

Under such a system, what would you do with Expert classes?

Leave them be; most ExC have cores that are sufficiently more focused that it would feel out of place to mix and match like that come 5th level

That's what I figured.  Sounds like a pretty cool idea.
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Foghorn
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« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2012, 01:19:37 PM »

Quieter for a little longer than I intended, but had a great time with my family while they were in town. So, here's some responses to everyone.

@Coyote0273: Feat was the first thing that came to mind for me, but I have always loved core abilities and the flavor they add to the class. I've found that base classes are so broad in application, that I think having a few core abilities to choose from just enhances that aspect of things.

@Sletchman: I feel the same way about Poisoner, but I am having trouble coming up with something for it. I definitely feel like the assassin that favors poisons is a valid enough idea, I'm just having trouble carving the core ability out of the idea. Anything you can come up might help push my brainjuices in the right direction.

@Desertpuma: The Fantasy Craft martial artist is already close enough to the Spycraft version, that I don't think porting that over is going to give it enough of a shiny 'new' feel, but the weaponized martial artist might be an interesting idea I could take something from.

@Mister Andersen: Also something that I had kind of assumed would come up once I started allowing players to play with their core abilities. Some of the classes core abilities don't mesh up with different classes all that well, but I could definitely see allowing that in play. I also came to the same conclusion with Expert Classes for mix & match and even the archetype idea that I'm using for Base Classes.

@Burglar Archetypes: I thought I had these ready to put up, but looking at them again, I'm not quite happy with them yet. Give me a little bit and I'll try to suss out why
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Desertpuma
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« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2012, 01:27:01 PM »

@Desertpuma: The Fantasy Craft martial artist is already close enough to the Spycraft version, that I don't think porting that over is going to give it enough of a shiny 'new' feel, but the weaponized martial artist might be an interesting idea I could take something from.

My thought would be something along the lines of:
Alignment: A weapon style (blunt, egded, ranged, etc)
New Core Ability: Cleave Basics and/or Cleave Mastery for the chosen style
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Foghorn
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« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2012, 01:33:06 PM »

Or, rather than coming up with new Alignments, just having it key off of the Alignments current weapon...yes, something is definitely brewing in the brainbox now...just why does it smell like broccoli?
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paddyfool
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« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2012, 09:31:08 AM »

Poisoner... hmm.  I think I see the issue - it's more that it's Expert Class-narrow than ineffective.  How about this as a characterful boost (if you got the poison, chances are, you also got the remedy).  EDIT: Added an AD cost to the extra ability and put the extra text in red to clarify the changes.

Poisoner
Interest: Alchemy
Toxicology: You have an intimate knowledge of poisons, and decide long in advance how your marks meet their end. You gain the Venom Master trick and the Crafting (Chemistry) focus. The maximum Complexity of poisons you create and the number of Covert feats you are considered to possess when using the Venom Master trick are both increased by your starting action dice.  Also, 1/scene you may spend an AD to reroll either a failed save vs poison, a failed Medicine (stabilise poisoned character) check or a failed Medicine (treat poison) check.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2012, 04:10:59 PM by paddyfool » Logged
Foghorn
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« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2012, 07:15:19 PM »

Poisoner... hmm.  I think I see the issue - it's more that it's Expert Class-narrow than ineffective.

Yes. That's exactly the problem my brain could never get behind. Now I'm thinking of taking out the extra stuff and just including the Venom Master trick and involving it more of a person who likes to get close enough to use poisons (maybe some Blend/Disguise stuff). Some kind of courtesan-type thing (which seems to roll better as an archetype than 'poisoner' anyway)

That's not to say I don't like your idea and as it was mentioned earlier, these abilities tend to broach on the idea of feats a lot and I could see the train of thought here going towards a Poison B/M/S chain...but that's for another day.

Okay, so I'm still not happy with them, but I have to remind myself that's why I'm running them through the forum. Just a heads up, ever since the Quest for Glory games by Sierra (played it back when they still called it Hero's Quest), the thief type has always been near and dear to my heart. So, I tried to really think on something new for these core abilities but let's see what we can do.

Burglar Archetypes
Assailant
Interest: Dirty Fighting
Dirty Fighting: You’ve never seen the point of fighting fair. A number of times per scene equal to your starting action dice you may use your Reflex saving throw bonus in place of your Fortitude save. Also, you gain the Cheap Shot trick and the penalties your opponent suffers are doubled if you possess more Melee Combat feats than them.
Quote from: Foghorn's Brain
Trying to capture the more Combatant part of the Burglar's role with this one. I like the idea of Cheap Shot being a little more wicked with this ability, but not sure if the mechanic I came up with really works all that well with the way that PCs and NPCs are built differently and all.

Infiltrator
Interest: Breaking & Entering
Benefit: Just because they don’t see you, doesn’t mean you don’t see them. You gain the Basic Skill Mastery (Infiltrator: Bluff & Prestidigitation) feat. The error range of all Notice checks to notice you are increased by your starting action dice.
Quote from: Foghorn's Brain
This one has been a particular pain for me. I wanted to bolster the idea of the burglar being very good at getting into and around places without being noticed without treading on the very, very sneaky ability at Level 1. I kind of like the idea of core abilities granting a customized Basic Skill Mastery, but like paddyfool pointed out with my poisoner ability, I might be infringing closely on Expert Class grounds there.

Raider
Interest: Alignment
Heretic: It's hard to catch you off your game. You are never considered flat-footed against the attacks or traps of NPCs of your opposing Alignments.
Quote from: Foghorn's Brain
I had a really hard time coming up with the Burglar's Alignment archetype, but I think I could be okay with this one. Really, it's a fancy way of saying that you can try all sorts of combat actions without penalty for failure and evasion can't be sidestepped.

Thanks everyone for the input so far and I'm excited about the idea of finally locking down the Assassin's third archetype
Well, I'm pretty happy with where the Captain's at, too, so let's go ahead and throw those out since the Burglar took so long.

Captain Archetypes
Exemplar
   Interest: Alignment
   Benefit: People aspire to be like you. You like it. You may spend an action die to give your teammates and allies a number of skill ranks equal to your Charisma modifier in one of your Alignment skills for a number of rounds equal to the action die result. The action die may not explode on this roll.
Quote from: Foghorn's Brain
I like this idea, but it feels like it might be more appropriate for the Sage. I think I originally was coming around to this idea to try to connect with the battle planning ability which I view as integral to the Captain, so keep that in mind.
Maverick
   Interest: Risk Assessment
   Benefit: Never tell me the odds. Your Right-Hand Man ability counts Chance feats rather than Basic Combat feats towards your lieutenant’s XP value. Also, when you roll a 1 on an action die that has not exploded, you may spend 1 additional action die on that roll.
Quote from: Foghorn's Brain
Added the second part because I didn't feel like the Chance ability thing was enough for a full core ability so I tried to add something Chance-y and my first idea I realized was essentially the bold heroes campaign quality, so I tried tweaking it to be something awesome-ish while not being the same mechanic. Also, I was not picturing Han Solo with Chewbacca as his Personal Lieutenant while thinking about this archetype...promise.
Officer
   Interest: Commission
   Benefit: You enjoy the perks of having a base of operations. You gain a Holding that does not count against your maximum number of Prizes. The Scale of this Holding is equal to your starting action dice.
Quote from: Foghorn's Brain
I always get nervous with my short class abilities because I feel like that means that they aren't doing enough. This one is to allow for all those discussions concerning Holdings being large ships, floating islands, Firefly-class starships, etc.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2012, 07:45:37 PM by Foghorn » Logged
paddyfool
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« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2012, 02:03:51 PM »

I really like Officer and Maverick.

The courtesan idea in place of poisoner sounds good, too.  Although the archetype of a poison-and-subterfuge focused assassin feels more "femme fatale" or "black widow" than "courtesan" to me, but I'd feel uneasy about both these ideas as rather gender-loaded terms.  Tricky...
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