Spell of Preservation/Cultural Pride in D&D 5E

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Havard
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Spell of Preservation/Cultural Pride in D&D 5E

Post by Havard » Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:40 pm

I never liked how the SoP worked when it came to cultural equipment. The worst thing is how it nerfs some classes more than others in BECMI since some classes or more dependent on equipment than others.

Here's an idea on how to handle things quite differently in D&D5E:

CULTURAL PRIDE
HW Characters deciding to follow their cultural limitations with regard to equipment get the following advantages:
  • 1) Once per long rest, the character gains a point of inspiration if adhering to their cultural limitations
  • 2) Characters with a proficiency in heavy armor gain a +2 to AC while unarmored or wearing any light armor allowed by their culture.
  • 3) The characters may ignore all penalties for having items of inferior materials (See below).
These benefits are lost if the character uses a weapon, armor or other equipment not allowed by their culture in combat or an other situation where they would benefit from this equipment. The ability may be restored through atonement (see below).

ATONEMENT
  • A character may atone for violating a cultural taboo. The DM may allow the player to spend down-time activity on atonement, or may require the PC to go one session without the Cultural Pride advantage while strictly adhering to his cultural restrictions.
INFERIOR MATERIALS
  • Characters wielding weapons of inferior materials against superior armor suffer a disadvantage. For instance a character wielding a bronze axe against a steel plate mail or a character wielding a stone spear against bronze armor.
  • Characters wielding superior weapons against inferior material armor/shields gain advantage.
  • The Cultural Pride ability (see above) allows characters to ignore the effects above while within the Hollow World due to the Spell of Preservation.
GOING NATIVE
A character from the Outer World or a HW character from a different culture may chose to adopt the local culture and gain the Cultural Pride Ability of that culture. The DM must decide how long this takes and may design trials and adventures required for the locals to accept the newcomer as their own. PCs who have abandoned their old ways and seek to return to their original culture may also go under such cultures, but the DM should make things even more difficult for a character who has abandoned his old ways for a long time and not made any attempt to atone.

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Re: Spell of Preservation/Cultural Pride in D&D 5E

Post by Cthulhudrew » Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:48 pm

My biggest problem with the way it was presented in the HW was that it was negative reinforcement; if you don't roleplay a certain way, your experience points are penalized and you will be behind others in the group.

I think a better approach would be positive reinforcement- experience bonuses for roleplay in keeping with the culture you chose to begin play as. As you note, there are already disadvantages (lesser equipment, losing cultural "bonus" abilities), so why should they be penalized further?
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Re: Spell of Preservation/Cultural Pride in D&D 5E

Post by Havard » Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:27 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:48 pm
My biggest problem with the way it was presented in the HW was that it was negative reinforcement; if you don't roleplay a certain way, your experience points are penalized and you will be behind others in the group.

I think a better approach would be positive reinforcement- experience bonuses for roleplay in keeping with the culture you chose to begin play as. As you note, there are already disadvantages (lesser equipment, losing cultural "bonus" abilities), so why should they be penalized further?
Ideed. Positive reinforcement is a really good term to describe what I am going for. The way things were written, playing HW characters would ultimately be a letdown for players. Dragonlance had a similar problem. And the fact that the same limitations apply to everyone doesn't really help since D&D parties will be fighting monsters at least half of the time anyway.

BTW, just realized no culture in the HW is allowed to use Plate Mail or Suit Armor. That means all the cultures in the boxed set should get the +2 AC ability.

It seems that Allston & Co were going for a more gritty, low level feel style for the HW, but to be honest I dont think that is playing up the strengths of BECMI or D&D in general.

Also, the SoP can easily frustrate the players and you will end up with the players hating the SoP and the Immortals. While I guess a campaign where the PCs end up destroying the SoP could be interesting, I think the player reaction you want from the start is that exploring the HW should be awesome :)

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Re: Spell of Preservation/Cultural Pride in D&D 5E

Post by RobJN » Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:47 pm

The Hollow World is one of those settings that has to have total player/DM buy-in from the get go to work properly. If one player isn't on-board, then the can of works of the SoP gets turned over.
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Re: Spell of Preservation/Cultural Pride in D&D 5E

Post by Cthulhudrew » Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:44 am

Havard wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:27 pm
It seems that Allston & Co were going for a more gritty, low level feel style for the HW, but to be honest I dont think that is playing up the strengths of BECMI or D&D in general.

Also, the SoP can easily frustrate the players and you will end up with the players hating the SoP and the Immortals. While I guess a campaign where the PCs end up destroying the SoP could be interesting, I think the player reaction you want from the start is that exploring the HW should be awesome :)
The more I've looked at the Hollow World and running campaigns there, the more I have come to think that the real problem is with the way the HW is presented. We get this great big overview of this new setting where things are like a museum and there are many different cultures of wildly disparate technology levels. Which is a great way to introduce a setting for outsiders, much in the way that the various source inspirations come from (Pellucidar, Warlord, Savage Land, etc.). Having this wild, hodgepodge to introduce Outer World characters into to explore freely and have different experiences each session is great and works as is.

But then you get rules for how to play natives, and that's where the mechanics issues come in: trying to ensure that players play "in-character" (which really should be a roleplay issue that IMO doesn't even need to be enforced; players should be free to play as they wish); trying to balance the different technology levels for natives, etc.

In reality, it seems to me that a HW campaign will/should be relatively local for most/all of the campaign. Nithians should probably largely be playing within the confines of Nithia itself, rather than traveling all over the inner sphere. In other words, each nation is really a mini-campaign setting that is balanced within itself. It's when you start to try and make it a global setting that it starts to become more difficult when playing with native characters (whereas it is easier to run that sort of campaign in the Outer World or even with Outsiders as your PCs).
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Re: Spell of Preservation/Cultural Pride in D&D 5E

Post by Cthulhudrew » Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:45 am

RobJN wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:47 pm
The Hollow World is one of those settings that has to have total player/DM buy-in from the get go to work properly. If one player isn't on-board, then the can of works of the SoP gets turned over.
RobJN put it a lot more succinctly than I did. :lol:
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Re: Spell of Preservation/Cultural Pride in D&D 5E

Post by RobJN » Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:32 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:45 am
RobJN put it a lot more succinctly than I did. :lol:
I blame I-forget-how-many-semesters of newswriting in college. Yeah, my English/Lit professors loved that. :roll:
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