The Evolution of Apocalypse ~ Highly Customizable, Modified 3.5e Game System

Old Mar 16 '11, 6:13am
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Zuriel Zuriel is offline
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The Evolution of Apocalypse ~ Highly Customizable, Modified 3.5e Game System

The Evolution of Apocalypse - Forum
Dungeons & Dragons 3.5e
Estimated Members Requested: 6

(As you read this introductory narrative, picture the text scrolling slowly up the screen, accompanied by a classically composed and sincerely memorable soundtrack.

Now if your first reaction to that is, "oooh, cool, is this going to be a sci-fi story set in a far-away galaxy with spaceships and lasers and attitudinal droids?? ...sorry, the answer is no.

But if you were to ask if this is the first chapter of an epic trilogy, well... then you might be on to something... but now I'm getting ahead of myself.

So without further ado... cue the music...)

Long ago, on a plane of existence far, far different from our own...

It has been two-hundred and fifty years since the legendary Kulta Korath first seized the seat of power in the glorious city that has since become known as Korath-Tul, and transformed a once peaceful Republic into a rapidly expanding Empire.

After centuries of warfare, the great Kingdom of Gaul has fallen under the weight of the Korathi onslaught, as have the Wild Elves of the Whispering Wood, the hardy Gray Dwarves of Statuary Bluff, and the noble warriors of the ancient Shinjon Dynasty.

The relentless Imperial Legions of Korath have spread throughout the land, conquering the entirety of the vast continent of Allura, and subjugating its people to the Emperor's authority.

Now under the rule of Emperor Kessia Korath III, the people enjoy a period of relative peace and prosperity. The relentless drumbeat of war has given way to a decadent society, with a population free to pursue their many sordid vices.

This progressive atmosphere, along with an abundance of resources, has opened the door for a variety of enterprising individuals and organized criminal elements, who regularly engage in all manner of corruption and depravity, all under the watchful eye of the Imperial Guard, and the subtle scrutiny of the Emporer's secret police, known as the Surok'hai Sentinels.

It is truly an incestuous arrangement that more often than not has resulted in high drama.

But no sooner than the Imperial war machine has gradually ground to a halt, new challenges have appeared on the horizon. Within the last decade, Korathi explorers have discovered an entirely new continent far to the west across the Great Sea.

The Emperor, driven by greed, and a demand for expansion, has sent forces to immediately establish a foothold in the new world, and after facing formidable resistance, a settlement has been secured at Fort Khumai, on the eastern side of the mainland.

The fighting continues as Imperial commandos attempt to drive deeper into this untamed land, but the once massive military has now been replaced by a new breed of warrior; highly-trained specialists whose main purpose is the exploration of unknown worlds; an assorted group of mercenaries, thrillseekers, and treasure-hunters, each one possessing limitless ambition.

Having recently landed along the coast east of Fort Khumai, a group of such warriors approach a cavern in the cliffs along the Great Sea, following orders to clear it of its native inhabitants...


My name is Zuriel, or "Z" for short. I am an avid gamer, and have been a member of Myth Weavers for a couple of years now. I am currently participating as a player in several games here, but this will my first foray into running my own PbP game.

The homebrew world in which this game takes place, and the story that it will begin to tell, are elements that I have been working on for quite a while. The modified game system that we will be using is a much more recent development. It is based on DnD 3.5e, and uses a majority of the core rules of that system, but offers what I hope will be some interesting optoions focused on character customization. I will also be instituting some house rules meant to bring about a more enduring, balanced and enjoyable level of gameplay.

I invite you all to come inside and take a look, and, if it seems suitable to your tastes, to join my game as well.

Who I'm Looking For:
This game would be looking to attract players who are...
  • interested in being able to have an
    as far as D&D 3.5e is concerned
    unprecedented ability to customize their character's abilities,
  • interested in bringing to life a whole new world and participating in weaving an epic tale within it,
  • willing to learn an alternate rules system and maintain their characters within that system,
  • interested in participating in detailed tactical combat scenes,
  • looking to participate in a cooperative effort to bring about a level of balanced, enjoyable gameplay,
  • not interested in exploiting loopholes in the game system to their advantages, but rather working together to eliminate those loopholes.

Also would be interested in recruiting a co-DM who could help in any/all of the following ways...
  • help with rules lawyering, approval/disapproval of content,
  • help set AP pricing for the many PrC features that will be available,
  • help design the bevy of beasties and enemy NPCs that the PCs will face in this game,
  • possibly run your own parallel game using the same system and world, effectively doubling the number of players involved.

Before I go any further into the details of the game itself, I will explain a little bit more about the game system:

Basically, what I'll be creating is a system that employs the resources offered by D&D 3.5e, but allows the player to cherry pick abilities from those resources to create unique characters that wouldn't otherwise be possible. Here are some of the highlights. More detailed information on each item to follow.
  • Characters will be afforded some free LA, so you'll have the option of making characters that are monstrous in nature.
  • Characters will be built using an alternate form of the gestalt system, eliminating actual base classes, and instead offering one side purely for spellcasting, and another for martial abilities taken from the Tome of Battle.
  • Most importantly, characters will be able to "purchase" other abilities using a new form of currency called Aptitude Points (hereafter referred to as AP). These points will be used to buy anything from innate ability score boosts, enhancement bonuses, skill boosts, class features, bonus feats, innate weapon/armor enhancements, and more...


Ability Scores:
  • Ability scores will start out as a 38 point buy.
  • Max for starting characters in any single ability will be 18, before racial adjustment.
  • Level-based, inherent ability score boosts will be 2 points to any one score every fifth level, instead of 1 point every fourth level.
  • Additional inherent boosts and enhancement bonuses will be available by spending AP (details below).
  • Inherent bonuses, gained through level-based boosts and AP cannot exceed +10 per score.

Other Basics:
  • Players will be starting as level 9 gestalt characters.
  • There will be no alignment, and no direct interaction with deities.
  • Feats will be gained at level one, level two, and at every even level thereafter, rather than at every three levels.
  • All skill points will be assigned on a 1:1 basis. There will be class skills, determined by the martial class you choose, and each class skill will give you a +3 inherent bonus to the related skill. Otherwise, your max ranks will be equal to your character level. UMD will be the only skill that cannot be chosen as a class skill.
  • Hit Points will be max/level based on your martial class.
  • Saves will be chosen by the players, with each character having two good saves, and one bad.
    • You can choose Fortitude & Reflex, or Will & Reflex as your good saves at no cost.
    • You can choose Fortitude & Will as your good saves, but it will cost you 5000 AP, and your level 2 feat.
  • Death will not occur until you have reached -100 hp. You will still fall unconcious below 0 hp, but can be revived as long as there is no TPK. However, any hit points below -10 cannot be healed by magic, or any other means other than normal rest.
  • All PCs will have the equivalent of fast healing 1 when not in combat. This healing also cannot heal HP damage a character has taken below -10.

Races, Templates & LA:
  • All characters will receive 3 LA for free to use for races/templates/RHD.
  • You will be allowed a maximum of 7 total LA/RHD, but anything over 3 must be taken on one side of your gestalt build, in place of class levels.
  • For each free LA that is not used, you will receive 1 bonus feat and 3 bonus skill points, or 5000 bonus AP and 3 bonus skill points.

PCs build will be gestalt, but will not use traditional base classes or PrCs.
You will have one spellcasting side, and one martial side.

Spellcasting Side:
  • All spellcasters will be spontaneous with a limited number of spells known.
  • You will choose between Arcane, Divine or Druidic Spellcasting, and once chosen, you will not have access to the other two spell lists.

Martial Side:
  • All martial classes will be derived from the Tome of Battle.
  • Important: Initiator Level will not begin to progress until you begin taking levels in a martial class, even regarding the level of maneuvers you can learn. Please note this if you take LA or RHD on your martial side.
  • Which martial class you choose will determine your HD, bab, class skills, skill points, weapon/armor proficiencies, and your available maneuvers.
  • There will be three martial classes available; Aegis, Avenger & Adept.

There is much more detailed information on how each of these classes will work in the House Rules forum. A link will be provided below.

Aptitude Points:

The Aptitude Points system is the most experimental part of this game, and therefore is the most incomplete component. It will take some trial and testing to figure out, in detail, how best to make it work. The initial game launched using this system will be an effort to do just that, and thus, many of the details will be subject to modification.

That said, the following is a rough idea of how it will work.

Aptitude Points (AP) will be gained at a rate of 2:1 as compared to regular Experience Points (XP) that advance your level, plus an additional 1000 AP earned at character level one.

To be clear, your characters will earn both XP and AP.
XP will be static, and will add up as your character levels.
AP will be expendable, and will be replentished only when you earn more points.

There will be three major areas in which players may spend their AP: Feats, Class Features, and Enhancements.

AP can be used by players to purchase bonus feats, at the following cost/feat:
  • 3000 AP - first bonus feat purchased
  • 6000 AP - second bonus feat purchased
  • 9000 AP - third bonus feat purchased
  • 12000 AP - fourth bonus feat purchased
  • 15000 AP - each additional bonus feat purchased

The number of bonus feats purchased can never exceed the number of feats gained normally through character level progression.

Class Features:
You will be able to use AP to purchase additional class features for your characters. Generally, the cost for class features will be one-thousand times the level at which the feature can be chose, however there are some exceptions.

In most cases, you will not be allowed to purchase class features until you have reached a character level equal to, or greater than, the lowest level at which the feature would normally be available, however some exceptions could be made.

Prestige Class Features:
In most cases, for PrC features, you will calculate the lowest possible level at which the ability would have been gained, based on the lowest possible level at which the PrC could have been entered.

I have not yet determined how pre-requisites will affect the choosing of features available only to PrCs, if at all.

It will be assumed that every person in this gameworld will have certain innate magical gifts, and that those abilities will improve as your characters progress. For the most part, these innate enhancements are meant to *replace* the matching abilities that would normally be gained through magic items, and sometimes feats as well, thereby freeing up those resources to be spent on more unique items and valuable feats.

There is also a lot more information on exactly how Aptitude Points can be spent in the game forum. The information above is just a basic idea of the system. If it sounds interesting to you thusfar, I would suggest at this point taking a look at the entire system in a lot greater detail, as well as the house rules for the game.

It is imperative that you know exactly what you are getting into before you decide to apply, so that you will have the tools necessary to build your character. I understand that I may be asking a lot from you, but hopefully there will be a significant payoff. For more detailed information, here are some links to the appropriate sections in the game forum. Please take a closer look:
<Aptitude Points Catalog>
<House Rules>

What to Expect from This Game:

So if you've made it this far and you're still interested, here are some additional details about the game itself.

The PCs will be part of a mercenary band called the League of Discovery, contracted by the world's most dominant Imperial force to explore a newly discovered continent. As such, you will most commonly play the role of antihero in this story, as opposed to a more noble cause. The story will begin with the party having just disembarked from an overseas journey, and upon arrival in the new world, being immediately given an assignment to clear a cavern of a menacing band of Cave Trolls. It is up to you how your characters will feel about being put directly to work after such a long voyage, but since refusing the assignment would basically end your game before it's started, I'd expect you to play along. Also, since the trip to the new world is such a long one, you can have your characters be as familiar or unfamiliar with each other as you'd like. In fact, once players have been selected, and we are hammering out the character's mechanical details, I may open an RP thread to represent your interactions on that journey.

As far as the game's story, there will be an overarching plotline and a preconceived endgame, but the details of what will bring the characters from start to finish has yet to be exacted. Therefore, while I wouldn't go so far as to call it a sandbox, there will be plenty of opportunity for the party to determine their own course, and plenty of room for character development. In addition to RP opportunities and storytelling, the game will have a very high level of action. Combat will not always be unavoidable, but you can count on lots of it, and when it happens, it will be carried out in great tactical detail.

I'd say that, during this game, you can safely expect your characters to level from their starting level nine, to around level fifteen, at the very least. Obviously this will depend on the amount of tangential gameplay. The more we divert from the main plotline, the higher the potential for ultimate advancement.

And one final thing... you can also expect that the enemies you will face in this game will be enhanced to a level that will be a sufficient challenge to characters of your significant level of power. Don't be surprised to find NPCs or creatures that may be templated, or gestalted to include spellcasting or martial sides of their own, or given their own pool of aptitude points with which too improve their abilities... or all of the above

How to Apply:
When you are ready to apply, you will start your own thread in the appropriate forum, found here: <Character Application Forum>

Also, there is some world information that may provide you with a nice backdrop when developing your character, found here: <Encyclopedia>

If you are interested in the co-DM position, it's probably better for you to contact me via PM.

Note: I still have some work to do on the game forum, but I thought I'd get this up in the meantime so you all could take a look through the game system info and start to generate some ideas.

Commonly online weekdays, 12 - 2 am and 12 - 2 pm, eastern time, and more frequently on weekends.

Last edited by Zuriel; Mar 17 '11 at 6:57am..
Well now, this certainly seems fascinating and beyond specifying what sources may be used to acquire equipment, feats, spells and Prestige Classes, I'd say the introduction is perfect for the game.

EDIT: Ah, permitted sources are found in the House Rules section. Fair enough.

Wow. You've obviously put a lot of time and effort into this. I definitely want in.

One question (so far) about the spellcasters: I assume their pools regenerate every time they prepare spells?

souds intresting - but a lot of reading to do...

p.s. i see you err "borrowed" both from ithamar's rules for the arena and my additions for my own thread. Iam thinking towards a caster/tank (lockdown).

some questions:

How open is the empire to the wierd since iam leaning towards some kind of anthro animal - oh - and will you be okay with antor animals not from SS but made using the rules there? i can fluff it appropriatly - possibly as a magical eugenics program.

in order to power Metamagic feats you mentioned we will use points gained as a factor of level+Charisma - can we homebrew a Feat to give some extra points?

Quite interested... partially stacking on templer10's idea... I've a build-out for an anthro-serval (they're in Sandstorm) for a small humanoid feline race that I'm thinking thematically of as a desert wind rogue (i.e. Druid caster (wind) + Adept (skill-monkey) with a mix of monk/swordsage/rogue class abilities.

Looks like a very well thought out set of houserules. I'd defiantly like to play and help you check it out in game. Reading through what I've managed to so far I think I would like to rebuild one of my unplayed characters to your system.

He was a warforged beguiler going into the shadowcraft mage prc (using classes to help me express it). A main feature of his was the dark creature template [ToM] combined with the darklight crystal; the crystal isn't on your approved reading list (secrets of sarlona) plus it uses psionic points to power it. If it can be adapted great, if not I have a couple of other character ideas I could throw onto the drawing board.

Zuriel - Only Aegis has "Special" class features. The other two have none. Is that on accident?

Z- Is it your intention for this game to essentially be a monster game or is that simply one of the options the rules overtly position themselves for? I understand the want to play a monster (i.e. nontypical D&D races) because of the rarity in which the opportunity arises, so I am not surprised to see many of the immediate posters before me suggest that is exactly what they plan to apply with. However, I find it's healthy for both DM and players not looking to play a monster race to have that line drawn in the sand early on.

This is in no way a judgment on those who want to play unique race/class choices. It's merely a reflection of my genre tastes and I like to have the DM's opinion on the matter before looking further into the advertisement. I find that when I enter a game with a concept prepared to interact with PCs socially and then find out after the selections have been made that half the party couldn't get into the local tavern without a leash rather disheartening.



Heh, Basil, I'd be just as inclined simply to run with any of the typical humanoid races myself. Simply the desert version and with that theme applied. Such as a desert gnome, halfling, goblin or kobold. The anthro-serval is simply an incredibly well suited fit for the desert wind druid theme naturally.


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