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Homebrew Primary/Secondary Attributes and Siege Engine Mod. 
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Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:04 am
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Post Homebrew Primary/Secondary Attributes and Siege Engine Mod.
I am hoping to get some feedback on the following ideas I've been tossing around:

Primary & Secondary Attributes
The rolled score for attributes is the normal distribution for attributes of a given race. The associated modifier determines whether one character is stronger, quicker, smarter, etc. than another. These things considered, the modifier for Prime Attributes is one higher than usual (e.g., a character with a 14 Strength score that is Prime has a +2 modifier instead of +1). Races that receive a bonus or penalty to an attribute apply that bonus or penalty to the attribute’s modifier, not the score itself. This can result in a maximum bonus of +5 provided that the attribute in question is also Prime.

The Modified Siege Engine & The Siege Bonus
The Challenge Base for all Siege Engine checks is 16, regardless of whether or not the associated attribute is Primary or Secondary. A character adds his Siege Bonus (half his level +3, rounded down) to Siege Engine checks involving his Class or Race Abilities, background skills, as well as to Saving Throws for his Primary Attributes. Tasks not associated with a character’s class or race (including Saving Throws for Secondary Attributes) instead add half the character’s Siege Bonus (rounded down) to Siege Engine checks.
Level(s) Siege Bonus
1 +3
2-3 +4
4-5 +5
6-7 +6
8-9 +7
10-11 +8
12-13 +9

The Challenge Level for most “challenging” tasks has a default of 0. The Challenge Level for difficult tasks (determined by the CK) may have Challenge Levels ranging from 1 (difficult) up to 10 (nearly impossible).

Overall, I wanted to make the Siege Engine seem a bit more consistent (or codified) for my players so that they don't think that I'm just pulling a number out of thin air. I also think it will help me with making fair and impartial rulings at the table. Do these ideas numbers seem feasible? What are some potential ramifications that I'm not seeing? Any input is greatly appreciated.

Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:43 am

Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:00 am
Posts: 13777
Post Re: Homebrew Primary/Secondary Attributes and Siege Engine M
You have to completely rework monster attacks that require a save as their HD is irrelevant.

This also modifies opposing spellcasters which reduces the effectiveness of being higher level than your foe.

It works for "dungeon level" and traps, though. So, if you decided "any monster encountered in the 6th dungeon level is a difficulty of 5" then sure... but what then when that monster is a 1 HP flittering?

Or, I guess you can pull a number out of the air for actual saves.... or roll a d10.

Fri Sep 07, 2018 6:07 pm

Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:04 am
Posts: 5
Post Re: Homebrew Primary/Secondary Attributes and Siege Engine M
You could use half the monster's HD as the CL, as the Siege Bonus I suggested scales on half the character's Level. If left as is I think it comes close to the save progressions from 1e and 2e, with a slight bonus to saves involving Prime attributes.

What about the increased modifier for Primes? Good idea? Do you think that it might cause any issues?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 6:40 pm

Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:04 am
Posts: 5
Post Re: Homebrew Primary/Secondary Attributes and Siege Engine M
And btw, thank you for replying. I'm going to be running a sandbox campaign stocked with a bunch of old tsr modules for a game that I have coming up, and I wanted to get as much input on these ideas as I could before we started playing. I wanted Primes to stay special and checks to align with the the expected values from the old modules, but wanted to keep modifications fairly small and easy to remember, plus I like to put a small stamp of my own on things. I don't know why I wrote the reasoning I did last night, other than I was pretty tired couldn't find the right words.

Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:13 pm
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Post Re: Homebrew Primary/Secondary Attributes and Siege Engine M
Honestly, having played through and ran numerous 1e modules, you don't have to change anything to use them. They play pretty straight. They do become a little more challenging at higher levels though. Which I like.


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Sat Sep 08, 2018 4:21 am
Greater Lore Drake
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Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:37 pm
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Post Re: Homebrew Primary/Secondary Attributes and Siege Engine M
Is the CKG also showing ways to slant the prime from +6 to or like +4 or +5 and the base save drops from 18 to more like 15?

Seems like prime vs non-prime which I love should not be so far apart.

Class abilities get to add level... say thief listen or hear noise... but anyone can do that so they.. roll but don't add level? Not counting prime vs not prime or score bonus... seems like class or race abilities should be a great deal better than those without those class or race abilities or just plain impossible aka spell casting, turning undead... those are safe no one does them but those classes... why does everyone get to hone in on the thief abilities?

I was thinking any character trying a non-class or non-race ability cannot do it at all for starters or if it is "possible" say listen, move silent, hide in shadow... then they do so at something like -6 or -10 and never add levels...


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Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:55 am

Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:04 am
Posts: 5
Post Re: Homebrew Primary/Secondary Attributes and Siege Engine M
I recall the CKG having an option for Tertiary attributes, which has 12 (Prime)/15 (Secondary)/18 (Tertiary) challenge bases. That's similar to what I wanted to achieve, along with getting away from adding levels just to subtract an equal amount to have an appropriate challenge (which is easy for me to forget to do). After deliberating, I think having the Challenge Base set at 18 for all checks, adding Siege Bonus for Class/Race/Background Abilities, and adding a +3 for Prime attributes is what I'd like for my games. Non-class abilities don't add the Siege Bonus. Characters start out being capable with their class abilities and improve gradually, Primes give it a boost. Slightly decoupling class abilities from Primes also has a certain logic to it that fixes what has always irked me in some way in regard to Primes, mainly because some classes (notably the Ranger) have to have certain Primes or be severely crippled. Plus it keeps the numbers very similar. I know some folks use the idea of "all class abilities use a 12 Challenge Base", but I wanted a slightly different approach. And that's really what it comes down to...preferences. I came across the idea for increased modifier for Primes idea after reading the Dwarf class in LotFP--I really liked the idea as it gave Primes an extra oomph.

Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:37 am
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