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Classless Advancement (and Hello :))

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Post  Swunk Fri Apr 25, 2014 11:18 pm

Hello all! I've been logging in on occasion over the last few days IG as C1QP0X, this is just a sort of greeting (as my first post) along with a suggestion I was urged to share with the forums by ODA. This is a really far-fetched idea and a long read, but here goes nothing I guess..

Here is what I had in mind: a new, interesting system of "leveling" that could potentially set this server apart from all others and perhaps serve as a "breath of fresh air" to all those who may have become bored (or would like to try something else) of traditional leveling throughout the years of playing NWN and PnP games.

This system would do away with "character builds" and aide in roleplaying, here's a scenario of how it could help: Joe is a level 5 fighter and he finds a shiny longsword that does 1d6 fire damage, but he really wants to learn how to use warhammers better. Joe then kills a lot of monsters and he finally gains a level-up. Joe is now a level 6 fighter and he decides to take the feat "Weapon Focus (warhammer)".

Now, did Joe really earn that feat? Here's a scenario of what would happen in classless advancement: "Joe is an aspiring warrior and he finds a shiny longsword that does 1d6 fire damage. Joe leaves town and kills a lot of monsters with his sword and gains points in swordsmanship. Joe is now better at using swords, because he fought with one."

Now, how could this be done in NWN? My idea was: one would begin the game as a level 1 fighter (level 1 would be the cap) with no skill-points spent and all attributes would be set to 10 (one would begin with no hindrance, or bonus) and then would be stripped of any chosen (and racial) feats, then given all armor and weapon proficiencies (since anyone can potentially hold or wear anything, even if they're not skilled with it). The player character would also be given a "tool" that opens a conversation window, which allows players to track the progress of their character's "skills".

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Post  Swunk Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:41 am

Here's an earnest attempt at how I imagine that "conversation window" of "skills" I mentioned. Mind you, this isn't original (more or less using the skills from the game Ultima Online as an example) and doesn't quite cover everything needed.

1. Bardic:

1. Discordance
2. Musicianship
3. Peacemaking
4. Provocation

2. Combat:

1. Archery
2. Fencing
3. Mace Fighting
4. Parrying
5. Swordsmanship
6. Tactics
7. Throwing
8. Wrestling

3. Crafting:

1. Arms Lore
2. Blacksmithy
3. Bowcraft & Fletching
4. Carpentry
5. Cooking
6. Item Identification
7. Cartography
8. Tinkering

4. Creatures & Sensing:

1. Anatomy
2. Animal Lore
3. Animal Taming
4. Forensic Evaluation
5. Herding
6. Taste Identification
7. Tracking

5. Healing:

1. Healing
2. Veterinary

6. Magical:

1. Alchemy
2. Evaluating Intelligence
3. Inscription
4. Magery
5. Meditation
6. Resisting Spells
7. Spirit Speak

7. Miscellaneous:

1. Movement

7. Resource Gathering:

1. Fishing
2. Lumberjacking
3. Mining

8. Rogue:

1. Begging
2. Detecting Hidden
3. Hiding
4. Lockpicking
5. Poisoning
6. Remove Trap
7. Snooping
8. Stealing
9. Stealth

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Post  Valerion Sat Apr 26, 2014 3:22 am

Hmmm, I know this kind of levelling system from the game Anarchy online, it allows for a wider range, but still has racial bonusses, which should remain in my eyes, but the problem with that is also, that you sometimes get egg laying woolmilkpigs.

Another problem I see with such a system, we would have to change the monsters aswell, due to the problems without bonusses or feats and such, also the coding I think would take a long time and would be tedious, and I would not like to see our scripter loaden with such burden whilst there is enough other stuff to fix.
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Post  Absol 13 Sat Apr 26, 2014 4:07 am

first off- Hi there
The suggestions- It IS interesting, But like val said, it would burden our scripters It is interesting- but I can say I like personally i like NWN's lvling how it is

just my 2 Cents

EDIT I see where your coming from about using a ongsword and getting warhammer focus but I know I RP my character by well how they go, i've never done a particular "build" her, I mean my main is a half elf, bard Arcane archer and wizard- and the RP i was involved in pushed her that way. *sage nod*
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Post  GM_ODA Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:14 am


Character creation is hard coded into the game, eliminating that initial experience is not feasible from the scripter's POV. One could simply flatten the PC's stats and alter it after the fact, but it would be a bad feature that puts a PLAYER through PC creation as NWN does it only to wipe out all the PLAYER's choices (as it could infuriate some to waste their time, and also fly in the face of D&D convention which makes NWN so commonly accessible).

To be sure the notion is fully aired - I agree it may be a bit much to overhaul the whole of NWN but, we have three CLASSES that we are replacing (Harper, Champion of Torm, and PDK - the first one likely, the second certainly as it overlaps the dichotomy of Paladin/Blackguard, and the last one as it overlaps RDD and is just a bit over the top). We have plans to eventually replace one of these with 'PSIONICIST' and roll out a PSIONICS HAK later, but the other two slots are open to suggestion.

It is possible that we may be able to replace one of these with a 'noClass' Class. A 'noClass' PC might be able to access all or most skills but have no 'class skills' so all skills would cost more. Most Feats would be available to the 'noClass' PC but some specialized ones would make up a group of 'Epic Feats' perhaps.

Some features can be retrofitted to a game easier than others. Some things that may be simple to code into a game can be a bear to add by mere configuration change and/or script later. Being as weapons are tied to particular feats in groups, I am not certain we could make weapon skills as granular as the OP requests, though we could always generate some form of AB based on a database tracked variable that increments with 'kills using particular weapon type'. *shrugs* there are ways to make tasks easier, there are some tasks that will ever remain impossible, I shy from the latter but try to consider all ideas at least to determine where it falls in that scale.

Erin and I have plans to scratch-build some games someday soon, so it is possible we may unveil a very generic PC path system in one of our games someday. I've been building granular systems like that since the late 80's in pnp formats where a system is just some bookkeeping and maybe a few printed custom forms. In a cRPG it gets a little complicated in that it all needs coded, not all things are easy to code 'on the back of' the game.

For NWN some hybrid/compromise may be possible to allow something similar as a CLASS option. Being as we are working with Prestige Classes here a PC would have to start as a standard CLASS and then 'go ronin'. This would fit with a D&D style setting as in medieval times most everyone started either in their family's traditional trade (learning it as you grew up) or contracted to apprentice under some other trade as need and opportunities dictated. This could conceivably result in a PC starting having apprenticed as a wizard or some other base CLASS, thereafter not really pursuing their original training but going 'noClass' ... going ronin; a masterless one whose training becomes "guided by the ronin's life-journey" rather than by any formalized profession's standards / traditions.

*shrugs* IDK how closely this might fit with the OP's notion, but it is one way to approximate it within NWN, at least as I understand the proposal.

OP - THANK YOU FOR YOUR POST, I really appreciate your airing the notion here. When we chatted last night I confess I was a little groggy and did not want to go much into detail with you as I'd get foggy headed and forget details. Forum posts like this can also spur lively and insightful feedback from others, so KUDOS to you for helping us foster more of that. On the topic of my above offering... can you help clarify here if my notion is close to the mark? Would my proposal work given a similar progression to the FIGHTER class? Of course, given this is an established server, I'd not be keen on changes that void all the other existing PC, nor preclude those who want and expect "NWN/D&D 3.5ish" when they login to be shocked/disappointed... but, fitting in 'noClass' as a Class might be a happy medium. What's your take on that OP?  Everyone?

Be well. Game on.
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24x7 we bring the game.
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Post  Swunk Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:01 am

Thank you for the responses and just to clarify I had much of the same thoughts on this as everyone else here but I am glad to see that it got people talking a bit. So, ODA's proposal is a class or PrC that has no focus at all, unlike a warrior, mage or thief type of class. The question is, how does one build something such as that from scratch? What are a reasonable amount of hit die for the class? If it is truly customizable could one increase hit die by simply selecting a custom feat? Instead of multi-classing altogether one could make their (for example) "sneaky guy that's OK at unarmed fighting and runs around healing people through divine means" simply by playing this class? To cover all the character types you would need arcane, divine, melee, ranged and stealth possibilities!

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