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Thousand Suns™ Update

March 26, 2007

As I noted earlier, Thousand Suns™ is going classless, with a single choice of race, homeworld, and occupation/training granting all the things normally associated with a class. Race is fairly easy to deal with, since we have lots of models for that in existing D20 materials. Since I have an alien race creation system in place, it’s pretty easy for people to make up new aliens for their games. I’ll provide several sample ones (including human clades) that are part of the default Thousand Suns setting, but I won’t flesh everything out so as to allow lots of room for individual creativity.

The big questions pertain to homeworld and occupation. Between these two things I need to give every character a base combat bonus (the renamed base attack bonus), a Defense bonus (if any — most characters won’t have one), core (i.e. class) skills, feats, and starting saving throws. Now divvying these things up isn’t too hard in principle. The trick is ensuring that they’re all more or less equal, so that I can choose, for example, one homeworld for a character and one occupation and have that character be balanced against a character from a very different homeworld and occupation. Likewise, I want to ensure that, say, a space marine from one homeworld is equal to a space marine from another homeworld.

For that matter, even deciding what things a character gets as a result of his homeworld remains to be seen. I expect some core skills and possibly a feat or two (Thousand Suns™ characters will have many more feats than standard D20 characters, if only because former class abilities are now represented by feats). Beyond that, I’m not sure. Part of it is that I’m not yet sure how much variation I want to allow. Should the hydrography of a homeworld matter? Probably not unless you’re from a waterworld in which case I’d expect it makes a difference. Same goes for things like gravity, tech level, etc. How much of this kind of information is useful? In an ideal world, every detail of a homeworld that I track in the world generation system would have some impact on the homeworld “ability package,” but I’m not sure that’s possible. Maybe it is. Need to think more about it. My main worry is that it’d get too complex. On the other hand, being able either to generate your own homeworld during character generation or to take an existing world and then go down its attributes to create an ability package has a certain appeal. Hmm.

Decisions, decisions.

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