Better late than never (AKA My Theme Phrase)
So, Sunday I got to messing around with my desktop computer, which is largely a file server for me. It had started acting weird, so I started backing things up, and eventually, in the back up process, one of my hard drives failed. As well, I have another desktop machine that’s slightly faster, and so I decided to Frankenstein the two together Sunday. Sadly, a lot of this plan failed, but I did replace the failed hard drive and some other “improvements.” However, my skills with hardware aren’t that great, so the entire project took all day. Other projects (job hunting, chauffeuring, and a couple of other duties) took up yesterday, so I didn’t get around to things until today. So, here we go.
Monday, around 3AM, I got a brainstorm on a possible way to do corruption rules, that would primarily work for 4e, but I think could be adapted to other systems. A lot of the basic ideas are from Star Wars d20 RPGs, but with some adaptation based on Heroes of Shadow for 4e. I’m thinking corruption will take it’s toll on a character’s healing surges, rather than his Wisdom. That does mean that controller-roles are likely to meet corruption faster than other roles. However, I’m foreseeing a host of potential “temptations” for this system. 4e lends itself to these ideas, but any game with a power points resource system would work. Right now, I’m thinking of corruption points being used for bonuses to hit and/or damage, as well as possibly recharging encounter or daily powers, or power points for psionic characters. Corruption (which I’m thinking of renaming simply “the Dark,” especially as it’s quicker to type) might also be applied to saving throws and skill/ability checks. In fact, any d20 roll is probably applicable. In other systems, the power of corruption could be used to affect die rolls and negatively affect healing, however it’s accomplished.
However, the end results of Dark Seduction won’t be a just a fall from your order’s grace, but will be a fall unto undeath. This has been part of the setting for a while: the elder empire that spawned the Divine Order fell because they turned to undeath. I want the effect of the creeping influx of the Dark to be more profound than anything mentioned in Heroes of Shadow. HoS simply presented Shadow as a source of power. Certainly one that corrupts, but I want a more grasping Darkness, one that has the potential to pull people in who abuse it’s power.
Otherwise, I’ve spent more of the past few days going through some of my old artwork and swipe files, looking for aesthetic inspiration. I’m thinking that the Divines look like Baroque or Gothic nobles, the Arcane will look even more Gothic and intimidating, the Primals will look savage? Rustic? and I’m thinking the Psionics look more simple and common. That would fit the idea, as I want the Psionics, with their humanistic ideals, to be more in touch with the commoners than the Divines and more positive in their attitude than the Arcane (who are slavers). However, I also like the idea of including crystals into the Psionics’ panoply. The association of crystals to psionics is pretty old, going back to E. E. “Doc” Smith’s Lensmen series, at least, and maybe even further. I want to maintain that connection, so there will be at least some examples of gemstones embedded into psionic gear, if not frequently being the primary composition.
Something else I’m thinking of is a new variant for a psionic striker. To me, monks aren’t really psionics in 4e. I had thought for a while about some of the home grown variants on the Soulblade for 4e that I’ve seen, and I’ve thought of cooking up my own version, but I’m not enthusiastic about it, because I see a lot of the old Soulblade in the Battlemind. I also had an idea for a more Movie Hawkeye-style sniper-striker. I could see this guy as using psionics to hit things he can’t necessarily see, or making bank shots with bows, crossbows, and/or guns, or maybe even using an ally as the point his attack starts from rather than his actual position. I’m not sure I could come up with 100 powers that would make sense, though. As well as feats, Paragon Paths, and Epic Destinies. This might be an easier concept to work out in other systems. And I may tinker on it just for my own satisfaction.
I am still looking at other game systems. I mentioned a criticism of the magic system for Savage Worlds, and I looked into it, and I see the writer’s point. I think the issues I see could be easily house ruled, so SW may still be in the cards. I’m still working on get around to reading FATE, but that may be a while, with all the other irons I keep in the fire. I did get a spark towards an old d20 rules set from the defunct Guardians of Order called Everstone. It’s got a neat setting, but I think the rules set (in which characters get points to buy feats and powers) might work to emulate what I’m looking for, but I think the point-buy system would overcomplicate things, both at the player level and the DM level, as I’d need to write up a set of rules to adapt the system to 4e. Using Everstone with another system would be pointless. I’ve been digging through a host of other systems, but too many of them are Old School Renaissance, and I’ve already gone on at length as to how disinterested I am in those systems.
So, for now, that’s where I’m at. I’d like to more mechanically work on this setting, but like most artists, I skip around from area to area, working towards the final product. Eventually, the project gets done. Sooner or later, I’ll have something playable.