Alright, so this weekend I am starting my first D&D campaign, and it is a homebrewed Evolve themed tabletop dungeons and dragons campaign. There was some interest about it in the D&D thread, so I thought I’d make a separate thread talking about it so I don’t clutter the other one. So lets jump in!
So starting with mechanics. For people familiar with D&D, I am working with a middle ground between 3.5E and 5E. I really like the depth of the skills and feats of 3.5E, but I also liked the streamlining of 5E so I ended up combining a lot of the 3.5E skills into one (i.e. hide+move silently = stealth, spot+listen=perception, etc). Meanwhile, I am using things like rolling with advantage and disadvantage.
So here are the character sheets:
Lots to talk about on these. So first off, weapons. I wanted to emulate the uniqueness of Evolve’s weapons, so I worked out more detailed weapon mechanics. First, all weapons have ammo. This isn’t literally a resource in a traditional sense, ammo is unlimited just like in the game. However, reloading is important. Once a weapon is used a certain number of times, it must be reloaded. This is a free action, but the weapon cannot be used on the same turn it is reloaded. Also, switching weapons and using a new weapon reloads the last one used automatically. This forces some diversity during combat without being restrictive - it incentivizes having multiple weapons in your load-out so you can switch weapons every few turns. Second, each weapon can have a number of auxiliary effects (ie if somebody had a lightning gun like markov, it could have a branching property or a ramp up etc). I don’t like health sponge combat, so I want choices in combat to be more about tactical use of a weapon’s special effects than a straight up dps race. Players can hold up to 6 weapons, and they can borrow up to 2 from any member of The Crew they recruit during the duration of the game.
Spells work the same, but no magic is allowed - every effect is considered to be the result of some sort of technological source.
As for skills, after combining everything I could, I added a bunch of sci-fi skills such as hacking, knowledge (biochemistry, technology, physics, planetary), Craft(chemical, electrical, mechanical), pilot, etc. I also rearranged diplomacy into persuasion, intimidation, and bluff (my players have a habit of confusing diplomacy and mind control, so this is to prevent that). Finally, if a feat is chosen from 3.5E that effects a removed or changed skill, it will change to the equivalent 5E feat. (For example, if a 3.5E feat boosts hide and move silently, it will instead boost stealth and dexterity).
Next up are animal companions, vehicles, and mechs. Animal companions work the same as vanilla D&D. Vehicles work the same as animal companions, but must be piloted by a player character to function. While in a vehicle, their stats become the vehicle’s stats. Mechs are also piloted, but instead of having their own stats, they have a set of modifiers that alter their pilot’s skills.
Ok, so very obviously, I skipped over some details. Like that mystery skill. Those involve some plot related spoilers. Anything that spoils the plot, I am going to put in a detail tag and spoiler cloud. If you are one of my players, or if you intend to use this yourself one day as a player, don’t dip in there. It’ll ruin the plot twists that come with the campaign. You’ve been warned.
Ok, so that mystery skill is the equivalent of insight from bloodborne and acts as a sanity mechanic. I extrapolated the idea of Patterson being the driving force behind the monster invasion, and essentially turned him into a lovecraftian entity that serves as the final antagonist. Extrapolating Kala’s story, the more characters interact with things he left behind in the world, the more they understand the truth, and the more the truth influences them. For example, once insight reaches a threshold, they will actually be able to interact with Patterson as a somewhat ghost like entity. At extremely high insight, they will unlock specialized end game powers. I’ll elaborate on this more later.
Anyhow, that’s a lot of typing for now. I’ll come back and add more about races and classes next time I am at my desktop! If this holds people’s interest, I’ll continue posting progress reports on the campaign as I go, even after lining up the baseline mechanics for everybody. If you have any thoughts, questions, or suggestions, throw them my way! I’m always down to improve things!