Author Topic: Totem Spirits  (Read 1435 times)

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Drammor

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Totem Spirits
« on: July 25, 2011, 12:21:22 PM »
As I've mentioned, I'm making a couple of RPGs. The workload for one of them is incredible, though, and I could always use more help with it. Since you guys seem pretty sharp, I thought I'd bring up one of my current projects here. I am hoping that your experience in gaming and statistical know-how can provide me with creative insights and ideas that wouldn't normally be available to me.

I'm prepared to answer nearly any question you may have about the game, but until the questions are asked, I'm mostly going to be presenting the information as I use it in my own notes. With just a bit of prefacing.

Shamans are nature priests, usually without many deities, if any at all, preferring to revere and work with the essences of the world itself. In terms of flavor, they're similar to a blend of the druid and monk classes in D&D. They are decent, though not excellent, in combat, can cast nature-related and elemental spells, have good mental, response, stability and vigor resists, and have access to a few very unique abilities when compared to most classes.

All of the base classes in the game have two fixed abilities and three elective abilities. The shaman's fixed abilities are Command Essence and Totems. The first is a form of favor-fueled spellcasting, and the second is the object of focus at this moment.

A totem is an animal spirit which binds to the body and soul of a shaman. Totems are selected from a list as the shaman improves in level, although a shaman may also swap a totem they already have with another animal by making friendly contact with that animal and forming a bond of at least nominal trust, which can take amounts of time that vary based on the animal itself. When an animal is taken as a totem, its body disappears and an image of that creature appears somewhere on the shaman's body, similar in appearance to a tattoo.

When taken, each totem provides either a martial or a mystic benefit to the character bonded with it. Martial benefits are either purely physical or distinctly combat-related, whereas mystic benefits are either purely spiritual or distinctly magical. There's also a special benefit for each animal, which are are exceptionally powerful and can be either martial or mystic in nature. There are two methods of getting a special benefit from a totem: one is a feat that can only be taken once, and the other is through a high-level class feature that a character may benefit from only once.

Any given power provided by a totem must be related to the totem animal itself, whether it is the physical or literal nature of the animal, or it relates to some legend or mythology of the animal. There should be very few overlapping benefits.

Many totem creatures provide a "totem bonus." A totem bonus stacks with a totem bonus from a different animal, but not from another instance of the same animal.

In the event that anyone here would wish to help me come up with ideas, here's a list of the animal aspects that still need to be done, as well as a set of examples from animal aspects which have already been completed:

Existing Totems
Armadillo, Martial: The shaman gains a +1 totem bonus to defense.
Bee, Martial: Weapons wielded by the shaman gain +1 (1) additional wounding damage.
Parrot, Martial: The shaman gains +2 intellect and a +3 totem bonus on checks related to solving puzzles. Also, the shaman may perfectly reproduce any mundane sound heard within the last day by succeeding on a singing check: DC 10 for simple sounds and, DC 15 for complex sounds.

Asp, Mystic: The shaman can cast poison at the cost of 5 mana and 1 standard action.
Black Bear, Mystic: By sleeping for 1 day, the shaman may gain an extra resist against each disease or poison affecting them, with a +2 totem bonus against each one.
Sheep, Mystic: When the shaman would be dealt damage that would reduce their hit points to 0 or less, that damage reduces their hit points to 1, instead. This ability may be used once per day and is a nonaction.

Crocodile, Special: When the shaman scores a critical hit against an opponent with a melee piercing or slashing weapon or bite attack, on a called shot, he or she may attempt a DC 30 acrobatics check. If the check is successful, the shaman spins their body with the weapon embedded in the wound, inflicting an additional 4d6 slash damage. If a limb is crippled in this way, it is severed from the victim’s body.
Peacock, Special: The totem casts resurrection on the shaman, one round after the shaman dies, once per month.
Scorpion, Special: The shaman is immune to damage from high environmental temperatures, and is not at risk of heatstroke, heat exhaustion or sunburn.

You're probably familiar with many of the terms being used, but I hope that a short glossary of terms will alleviate any confusion. I'll do my best to reference analogs in D&D, since I'm sure most of the people here are already familiar with that system.

Glossary[spoiler]Dysona's Legacy: The name of the game.
Defense: Mostly the same thing as armor class. It helps to determine whether a character is struck by an attack or not. The base defense is 6, and the base attack roll is rolled on 1d10.
Additional Damage: Numbers applied to damage calculations after all other bonuses, multipliers and so forth have been taken into account.
Wounding Damage: Death-aligned damage which represents an agitated, festering or growing wound. If the first number of damage is dealt, then the parenthetical amount of damage is dealt on each subsequent round, until a successful Treat check is applied to halt the additional damage, or magical healing is applied.
Slash Damage: Physical damage inflicted by chopping, cutting or slicing. As a physical damage, it does not have an elemental alignment.
Element-aligned: Dysonan alignments don't work on good/evil or law/chaos axes. Characters, objects, spells and nearly anything can have an alignment, which is (usually) one or two of any of the following: Air, Balance, Chaos, Death, Earth, Eternity, Fate, Fire, Life, Mist, Order, Peace, Source, War and Water.
Intellect: Pretty much like Intelligence. A personal statistic that helps to define a character's capabilities and limits. Other personal statistics include Strength, Agility, Dexterity, Vitality, Wisdom, Charisma and Luck.
Acrobatics, Singing and Treat: Among the types of skills. Characters have ranks in skills, which provide bonuses to those skills types. Each skill is also keyed on two personal statistics, which modify checks with those skills. Most characters can have up to 20 ranks in their skills, which are not limited by level. Skill ranks can be earned either by spending skill points when a character gains a level, or by spending experience points on skills at any time. Up to (level*5) experience points can be spent to improve a skill during any given 8-hour practice session, and ascending figures mark the thresholds of each rank attainable.
Mana: A type of reserve statistics used mostly to determine the cost of spells, but can have other uses. Other reserve statistics include Stamina, Ki, Psi and Ardor.
Action: A character activity. Actions are divided into the following categories, in order from 'largest' to 'smallest': full-round actions, standard actions, swift actions, and mercurial actions. A character can normally use 1 standard action, 2 swift actions and 3 mercurial actions in a round, but can use a full-round action in lieu of all of these.
Resist: Sort of like a save. The different types are Mental, Response, Stability and Vigor.
Hit Points: Hit points. Most characters start with 24 hit points, +/- their vitality modifier, and do not gain hit points by gaining levels. Hit points can instead be gained by completing certain story arcs (per the storykeeper's call), or by completing tasks which should be near-impossible for their level. More commonly, hit points are gained from equipment, from feats, or from the temporary effects of spells.
Critical Hit: A type of hit that is more difficult to achieve than a normal hit. It inflicts more damage than normal, usually based on a multiplier ranging from x1.5 to x4.
Called Shot: An attack directed at one of the major areas of the body, which is made with an attack penalty. The body areas of humanoid creatures are the head, torso, left/right arms, and the legs. Each area of the body has a number of hit points equal to a fraction of the creature's total hit points. Inflicting damage to an area of the body equal to its own maximum hit points cripples that area, which can have various penalties for the character with a crippled part.[/spoiler]

And now, moving on to the animals and aspects which still need to be done.

Totems needing martial benefits
[spoiler]Ladybug
Moose
Moth
Mouse
Sheep[/spoiler]

Totems needing mystic benefits (longer list)
[spoiler]Caribou
Falcon
Hawk
Jaguar
Komodo Dragon
Moose
Mouse
Panther
Peacock
Porcupine
Python
Rabbit
Raccoon
Rhinoceros
Seal
Shark
Sparrow
Tiger
Turtle
Wolf[/spoiler]

Totems needing special benefits (most of the animals)
[spoiler]Asp
Auroch
Badger
Bat
Bee
Black Bear
Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Buffalo
Butterfly
Camel
Caribou
Cat
Chameleon
Cheetah
Chicken
Cobra
Coyote
Deer
Dog
Dolphin
Dove
Dragonfly
Duck
Eagle
Elephant
Falcon
Ferret
Fox
Frog
Goat
Gorilla
Great Panda
Grizzly Bear
Hawk
Hedgehog
Hippopoatmus
Horned Lizard
Horse
Hummingbird
Iguana
Jaguar
Kangaroo
Koala
Komodo Dragon
Ladybug
Lion
Llama
Monkey
Moose
Moth
Octopus
Otter
Owl
Parrot
Porcupine
Python
Rabbit
Raccoon
Rat
Rattlesnake
Raven
Red Panda
Rhinoceros
Salmon
Seal
Shark
Sheep
Skunk
Sloth
Sparrow
Spider
Squirrel
Swan
Tiger
Turtle
Wolf[/spoiler]

Don't worry if you feel you don't know enough about the game to contribute. I can adapt nearly any suggestion you can provide, so get as creative as you please. The more creative, the better. Just please don't be throwin' things at me from way off in left field.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2011, 12:42:25 PM by Drammor »

Prime32

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Re: Totem Spirits
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2011, 07:12:54 PM »
My work
The tier system in a nutshell:
[spoiler]Tier 6: A cartographer.
Tier 5: An expert cartographer or a decent marksman.
Tier 4: An expert marksman.
Tier 3: An expert marksman, cartographer and chef who can tie strong knots and is trained in hostage negotiation or a marksman so good he can shoot down every bullet fired by a minigun while armed with a rusted single-shot pistol that veers to the left.
Tier 2: Someone with teleportation, mind control, time manipulation, intangibility, the ability to turn into an exact duplicate of anything, or the ability to see into the future with perfect accuracy.
Tier 1: Someone with teleportation, mind control, time manipulation, intangibility, the ability to turn into an exact duplicate of anything and the ability to see into the future with perfect accuracy.[/spoiler]