Classes (Revised) and Proofreading

Based on some feedback and my own thoughts on class-balance, I’ve fine-tooled the characters in a way that (I hope) brings them more in line with one another.

At this point I’m about 1/4 of the way through the proofreading stage and am, admittedly, terrible at self-editing. My eye tends to autocorrect errors as I read over the page… so I can’t promise perfection once I’m done.

After that I’ll post the finished book.

7 thoughts on “Classes (Revised) and Proofreading

  1. Two things: –
    You could reorder the classes so they’re NOT in alphabetical order, and more ‘in use’ order. So the order would be Fighter, Magic-User, Cleric, Thief, Dwarf, Elf, Halfling.
    In the class descriptions you could have the weapon and armour allowance rules as ‘bolded’ subheading, as that makes it easier to see.

    Could you let us know which programe you use for typing the rules up? It looks really good in the two columns and all on one page.

    1. Hi,
      I’ll definitely make the weapon and armor allowances stand out better. That’s something I meant to do earlier on.
      As for reordering the classes, I’m going to hold off. “Use” order is pretty subjective… so I’m going to keep it as is (at least for now).
      Thank you for the constructive criticism. I’m in the process of proof-reading, so it’s easy to tweak things while I’m doing that.

  2. Hi Chris, I responded to misomiso82’s reddit post about AD&D 3e with my short review of the system. I’ll copy it over here. It mainly concerns the resource management aspects, like unlimited cantrips, food, water. Here’s the thread:

    “I’m really glad to see another person find Perkin’s 3e. Here’s the link to the actual rulebook downloads, as well as character sheets, if anyone needs them:

    I stumbled on it about six months ago and have been running it for a group of close friends for about a dozen 8 hour sessions. It’s really good. I’ve only noticed 2-3 mistakes/typos across the entire line of books. I had multiple copies printed out for use at the table. Not expensive at all, about $15 per book.

    We just wrapped up the campaign and have taken a break for college. Here are some notes about things that concerned me.

    One thing in particular that might irk some DMs is that (specifically) Light, Purify Food and Drink, and Create Water are all level 0 cantrips. MU cantrips in particular can be cast an unlimited number of times a day. So if you have a magic-user, you never need to worry about torches or lighting. If you have a cleric, you never need to worry about where you’re getting water or food.

    My players frequently just would kill a random monster, carve them up, and purify the meat of any rot/diseases just to be safe, so they essentially never had to deal with hunger, thirst, or lack of light. There was never any real risk, and it removed a lot of time pressure from dungeon exploration.

    If you’re a more survival/resource management minded DM, I’d experiment with moving Light out of the magic-users cantrips back to first level to make it limited use. I’d also move all the other classes cantrips back into first level spells. And then finally, the HP recovery rule is quite powerful. It’s 2 + your attack bonus per night of rest (for an 8th level fighter that’s 10 HP a night). This is actually fine if you don’t allow PCs to rest in the dungeon and if you consider HP just as some sort of fate point that protects you from actually getting seriously injured.

    PCs in Perkin’s 3e are also extremely strong as they level. A 6th fighter with 18 Strength, weapon specialization which comes default, and a magic weapon can have anywhere from +12 to +16 to hit. In addition, fighters have a cleave ability once per round and a 2nd attack by 5th level. To tone that down from superhero to OSR, I’d recommend having PCs roll 3d6 to generate their characters, so that by the time they get there, they feel they’ve earned it. Also, never throw out random magic weapons.

    I ran a dream sequence for my party’s 6th level fighter; a 1v1 against a 13 HD Balor who had enmity against the party. The balor lost without any allies.

    If that’s the kind of campaign you want though, the system is all set up perfectly to be able to handwave resource management and focus on narrative, exploration, and epic combats. Wandering monsters certainly won’t trouble the party unless they’re roving bands of dozens of creatures. I ran Arden Vul for them, and the wandering monsters were never a threat to my party, especially because it never drained any of their resources (HP, light, time, food, water, spells) in a meaningful way.

    Otherwise, combat is simplified and intuitive. There are dozens of new spells, new spell list for bards, a standalone psionicist class, and a comprehensive item creation and spell research system. It uses ascending AC, but you can convert from descending with 20 – DAC. Attack rolls are d20+modifiers, no THAC0.

    A final note on the game; Perkins has been editing it and changing rules consistently, so a lot of reviews people have are out of date. For example, you add HALF your player level on skill rolls you are proficient in, and a QUARTER of your level on ones you are not, in addition adding +1 for all rolls for being human, as well as the relevant ability score modifier for that skill. There’s also no racial level limits now. In return, humans get two extra skills and +1 on all skill checks and saving throws, which are nothing to scoff at collectively.”

    A follow-up post as well:

    “You don’t have to worry about keeping the skill bonuses low in Perkin’s 3e. For all four level 6 PCs, the highest bonus they have is a +8, next highest is +6. The formula for proficient skills is 1/2 level + relevant ability score modifier (INT for history etc.) + any other misc. modifiers (like +2 perception for a raven familiar).

    With a Tough (DC 15) roll, that’s about 50/50 with no DM fiat modifiers. Also, it’s very easy for players in my experience to keep track of their bonuses as they are usually static. They would just add their d20 + bonuses and I’d see if that is equal to or more than the creature’s AC. Combat is very fast, especially if you just use group initiative. Typically five minutes for something like a 4 v 8.

    For cantrips, you could keep them as is, but I would at least change the cantrip “Light” to “Lesser Light” and have it be a 10′ radius light. That way you never have the situation where the party is lost in the dark and you have to spend hours of session time stumbling your way out, but they don’t get the full torch experience. Then add back in normal Light as a level one spell.

    Also, one thing I really like about the system is that more intelligent mages actually cast spells that are harder to save against. The DC of a spell save is 10 + spell level + INT modifier. This is the same for all saving throws actually, tougher monsters have higher save DCs that by default AFAIK is 10 + their HD, and you roll d20 + bonuses against that. Very intuitive and adds a new dynamic that was static in AD&D 1e-2e.

    You can certainly strip out the entirety of the skill system and just have them be proficient enough in all skills, relying on player description for the know-how. For a lot of the skills (like Perception and Insight) you will want to roll for them behind the DM screen, which I never did. I haven’t seen the ‘old-school’ flavor 3e so I can’t comment.

    I saw you commented on his recent blog post. I’ll copy my thoughts over there, thanks!”

    1. Hi,
      Thanks for the write-up of the game based on your game-play… it’s much appreciated.
      A lot of what you mentioned (cantrip utility, resource management being a non-issue, healing rates) crept into my rules due to constructive criticism from my players, who are used to playing both Pathfinder and 5th edition.
      Healing was bumped up, especially for fighter-types, because I wanted to give them boons so that they didn’t lag behind spellcasters at higher levels. Fast healing, meaty attack/damage bonuses, and the ability to cut through rabble (1HD creatures) are all attempts to make fighters more of a threat after level 5, when clerics and magic-users start to overshadow them in AD&D and 3E games. And yes, I definitely see HPs as a pool of luck and stamina that fighter-types are better equipped to replenish as they progress in level.
      You are spot on about the greatly reduced need for resource management. That comes out of my DMing style… where I tend to handwave such things most of the time.
      Magic-users getting unlimited cantrips came directly out of 5E and Pathfinder after my players pressed for that to be changed. I even added Elemental Bolt as a cantrip to give magic-users something to do in combat, hopefully from behind the front lines, after running out of spells.
      For a more “old school” feel, I’d ditch unlimited magic-user cantrips and, like you said, move some cantrips back to 1st level spells (though I’d beef up the duration/effects a little bit to compensate). I’d also use the point buy system, even though that totally goes against the grain for old school gaming. While 3d6 down the line could work, I’ve seen way too many players enter games with monster characters that they’ve rolled up (sometimes right in front of me) while other players are stuck with totally mediocre characters. The 24-point characters should be slightly better than what you’d roll on 3d6… an average of 12.5 in each ability as opposed to 10.5. I also found that using fixed HPs helped.
      Thanks again for giving your feedback on the game!

      1. Hi Chris,

        Thanks for the reply. I really like your work, and it was quite a journey here from Swords and Wizardry, to AD&D 1e, BFRPG, to excessive homebrewing, and then finally here. A lot of what I want is already in the three books. Really great job man.

        Just an editing note, in the Monster Manual under each dragon’s breath weapon damage, it goes from regular damage for age category 9, to extreme firepower at age category 10 and beyond. Ex. a gold dragon goes from 18d12+9 to 20d12+102. It was pretty funny seeing that typo on every type of dragon. The restoration spell also does not say it removes negative energy levels, although the energy drain section explicitly says that it does. There is also AFAIK no section on magical aging like the AD&D 1e DMG. Does casting wish, haste, etc. age the character like in AD&D 1e? Or has that been removed?

        Second, for the next edition (if there is one) that you put out for the rulebooks, could you please expand the domain/base of operation rules? They’re a bit sparse, and there’s no section on income. I do recall that the average laborer makes 2 sp a day, which I suppose is enough to go off of, but some more guidance would be appreciated without having to pull out a dedicated domain book that isn’t balanced for AD&D 3e’s economy.

        Lastly, the morale rules. This is the only part of the rules I don’t quite understand.

        Why does a (follower, retainer) have 16 morale while a henchman only has 15? You go over to the next page and say that followers get a +1 bonus, while henchmen get a +3 bonus for the type of service. Do I add this bonus so that it is 17 and 18 respectively? Also, what I’m worried about with this kind of distribution is that even an unwavering henchman with 20 morale can accept a bribe or testify against their liege. With DC 10 morale check, a level 1 Lawful Good Paladin with a Lawful Good Paladin master and unwavering (20) morale still has a 3/20 chance to accept a bribe against their liege, as their roll against it would be d20 + 5 (morale modifier) + 1 (proficiency bonus).

        What’s the reasoning here? Is there some hidden modifier here that would make this rarer than 15% of the time? That would mean 1 in every 6-7 bribes would be accepted.

      2. I honestly believe that one of the hardest parts of DnD is working out how to roll up characters.
        If you go for a dice based system you can have WILDLY different abilities in characters, but if you go for point buy you take the randomness out of it and it is not as fun!

        Also I find the Warrior classes tend to ‘need’ better ability scores than the Wizards; Ranger’s in particular flavour wise want good scores in all three physical attributes and wisdom, where as a Wizard can get by with high intelligence and maybe on other good score.

        For what it’s worth, in my homebrew I now give the ‘Man at Arms’ classes physical ability bonuses AND a mental ability bonus (for flavour RPGing), and I give the pure spellcasting classes ability penalties. This allows characters to have some very good attributes and gives the Warriors an extra boost.

  3. Thank you for pointing out errata… I’ll work on fixing it right away. I’m only seeing the breath weapon error for gold and silver dragons. Please let me know if you see if elsewhere.

    To answer your other concerns:
    There is no magical aging incurred through use of Wish spells or potions of speed, so magical aging should only occur when encountering ghosts.

    The domain rules are based off of those in 5th edition and are, as you said, light on details. The basic understanding for these simple rules (as far as I can see) is that player holdings are self-sustaining UNLESS the DM has a story reason to make it otherwise. More in-depth rules, in line with what you’re looking for, are given on pages 240-243 of the DMG in Appendix M.

    Morale is my attempt (for good or ill) to make bring the old rules in line with d20 Saving Throws/ability checks. I’ll definitely be thinking of how to streamline/fix this. One fix is that I’d give both Followers and Henchman a +3 modifier to their Morale Score. My rationale for the difference was that followers, while loyal, are not adventuring companions (sidekicks) in the way that henchmen are. I’d ONLY test morale in dire circumstances and will rethink some of the modifiers to the check DC (to make the checks slightly easier to pass).

    I’ll be working on this and appreciate that you took the time to point out these issues.

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