Sunday, April 10, 2016

Sola Scriptura X: Dungeon Fantasy 3: The Next Level, Chapter 2: Mixing Professions

Dungeon Fantasy 3: The Next Level

Chapter 2: Mixing Professions

Multi-classing. Well, this is GURPS, where there are no classes, so it’s more like multi-roles. Whatever. It’s multi-something, and this is the chapter.

The lenses are all 50-points, and distill the essence of the second template into that. As such, this review will be a little different than the others, but we’ll start with the traditional part.

First is Affording Lenses at Character Creation. Read: either start with 300 points, or spend some of your discretionary points on a lens. Adding Lenses in Play is spending earned points on a lens, either little-by-little, or all at once, if you can wait that long.

There is a sidebar about Niche Protection. Personally, if everyone is alright with this, you can screw niche protection. The easiest way to do this would be to let wizards cast Healing spells if nobody wants to play a cleric. That’s Lend Energy, Lend Vitality, Minor Healing, and a wizard likely already has Lend Energy to learn Recover Energy. Anyways, this sidebar is for theory of all this.

Taking Two or More Lenses is how to be an über-munchkin. My spell-checker wants to call that über-munchkin-munchkin, incidentally, which seems appropriate. The bit mostly notes that after a few lenses, this doesn’t add too much. Lenses and Improving Abilities means if you buy a lens, you can start raiding that lens’s base template for power-ups. Lenses, No Frames is how to handle all this in a game that doesn’t use templates.

Another sidebar, Saving Points on Multiple Lenses, comes at the bottom of this column. The example it gives says most of it: if you buy Combat Reflexes once, any lens with Combat Reflexes costs 15 points less. There’s a bit about akin skills—Alchemy vs. Herb Lore, and Esoteric Medicine, Religious Ritual, and Theology Specialties—and not spending too many points on them.

Interpreting Lenses starts us towards the lenses themselves. There’s a bit about Choice and Marginal Lenses, which tells us to go Bard-Wizard, not Bard-Barbarian. Attributes says the book gives attributes as bonuses, and remember secondary characteristics when upping them. Advantages says there will be a footnote about skill boosts from them. Disadvantages are mostly for Chi Mastery or Holy Might. Skills has a note about replacing Brawling with Karate, and Wrestling with Judo. Special Abilities are for points in those, like Druidic Arts. Special Skills lists two sets of these to save space later: Bardic Skills and Chi Skills.

Now for the lenses, all 110 of them. I’m not going to go into each one, as there’s 110 of them, each one already has remarks akin to what I would write, and there’s 110 of them. That’s 110 lenses, one for each class template combination, even silly combinations like Barbarian-Wizard. Instead, I’m going to write about what I found about these lenses when I reverse-engineered them a few years ago, and I’m sorting these in the order of the class into which the munchkin is multi-classing. The text instead sorts these by the first template, so this isn’t the same.

Barbarians are Strength above all: every Barbarian lens adds ST. The weaker ones (e.g., Bard-Barbarian) add HT as well; a few (e.g., Knight-Barbarian) add Per. Everybody who lacks it gets High Pain Threshold, and most everyone gets Outdoorsman. Their skills are the woodsman kind of skills.

Bards are IQ above other attributes, and everyone dumber than a Thief gets a point. They’re about their Bardic Talent, Charisma, and Musical Ability, and their skills are Musical Instrument, Public Speaking, and Singing. Everyone puts points into Bardic Skills and Bard-Song advantages, and into spells. The text gives Bardic Magery for those bards who want to have a bigger spell list, and Bard-Song Talent for wizards taking the Wizard-Bard lens, since they already can cast from a bigger spell list.

Clerics are also about IQ, much like the Bard. This is the same for all the casters: Bards, Clerics, Druids, and Wizards need IQ. Their key advantages are Clerical Investment and Power Investiture, and everyone who doesn’t already have it needs a disadvantage for Holy Might. Points go into Holy Might advantages and spells. 

We’ll break for a sidebar about Evil Clerics, which gives us a 0-point lens to make your clerics eeeeevil. Mostly, we call all their abilities “Unholy,” and swap a few skills to be a little more evil. Oh, yeah, and they have Social Stigma (Excommunicated) instead of being goody-two-shoes. As this chapter is about lenses, there’s a bit about Evil Clerics in Other Careers, which is for Evil Clerics taking a cross-class lens, and Is Evil Cleric Right for You?, which is about other templates taking an Evil Cleric lens. The next page has Evil Clerical Spells. They can’t heal, but can cast Mass Zombie and Summon Demon with enough Power Investiture.

Back to the list. Druids need IQ. Next to D&D, all casters seem more alike because they use the same attribute. Nothing like Wizards using Intelligence, Clerics and Druids using Wisdom, and Bards and Sorcerers using Charisma. They need Power Investiture (Druidic), use Druidic abilities and spells, and have a bunch of religious and nature boy skills, like Naturalist and Theology.

Holy Warriors have a broad base of attributes, and everyone taking a Holy Warrior lens has to buy at least one attribute, but it varies. Casters and Thieves get ST and HT, the others buy IQ. They have their Higher Purpose, Holiness, Schtick, and their Holy disadvantage. They have skills relating to being holy (Exorcism), being hunters of a foe (Psychology), and fighting (Strategy, Melee Weapon).

As Evil Clerics get a sidebar, so do Unholy Warriors. It has a 0-point lens to make a Holy Warrior bad, just like Clerics have. There’s New Horizons for Unholy Warriors, which handles Unholy Warriors taking a lens, and The Legions of Evil Want YOU!, which are for other templates taking an Unholy Warrior lens.

Knights need ST; casters and Thieves also take HT. Already strong folks like Barbarians and Holy Warriors take DX. Combat Reflexes and High Pain Threshold are the defining advantages, and those with spare points also take Born War Leader. After some complementary skills like Armoury and Leadership, most of the templates (other than Barbarian) goose up their Melee Weapon skill.

Martial Artists aren’t defined by their attributes at all. No template that takes a Martial Artist lens spends points to boost their attributes. Obviously, this makes lower-ST templates, like Bards, and lower-DX templates, like Clerics, less feasible as Martial Artists. They all take Chi Talent, Trained by a Master, and Disciplines of Faith, as well as points in Chi advantages and skills. Everyone also takes Karate and Judo, and usually Acrobatics and Jumping too.

Scouts tend to have good DX scores, so Barbarians, Holy Warriors, and the caster templates take a point of it. Some of the dumber templates take some Per. Everyone takes Heroic Archer; Thieves, emphasizing their skills, also take Outdoorsman. Everyone takes Bow and Fast-Draw skills, and most take others, like Camouflage and Survival.

Like Scouts, Swashbucklers have high DX scores. They have Enhanced Parry and Weapon Master as their key advantages; a few templates take Weapon Bond and Combat Reflexes too. Their key skills are Melee Weapon and Acrobatics.

Thieves have good DX and IQ scores, and everyone taking a Thief lens puts points in one or both of them. Everyone takes Flexibility, and most folks also take High Manual Dexterity too. There are many Thief skills, and folks will take many of them: Climbing, Forced Entry, Lockpicking, Pickpocket, Stealth, Traps.

Wizards have high IQ, and many templates take extra for a Wizard lens. The other caster templates take some extra FP too. Of course, anyone becoming a Wizard takes Magery, and points into spells. Alchemy, Occultism, and Thaumatology are the Wizard’s main skills.

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