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Worldbuilding: Frustration

06 January 201301:32PMworldbuilding

Here's a selection of ways I've tried to start off this post.

_

"There is a reason that this has taken a day or three to show up, and that reason is that I've been bashing my head against the stubborn and inconsistent brick wall of Pathfinder's magic subsystems."

"This system is doing to opposite of growing on me."

"If you were building a magic system from scratch, what would it look like?"

"The crunch, such as it is, is a fusion of a simplified spell point system, Words of Power, some concentration checks and... wait for it... hit points. No, really. Bear with me here."

"What I want is something elegant, flexible, and easily accountable. What I have is forty years of bedraggled cruft which has been copypasta'd from edition to edition since tie-dyed shirts and minivans were pretty damn cool."

_

I think it's pretty obvious that things aren't working out between me and Pathfinder.

Pathfinder is fine, if you're familiar with its 3.5e heritage and if you don't mind using pre-built classes. It's not so great at being customisable. Wait, that's not quite true. It's not quite so great at being customisable with a minimum of effort while staying balanced and relatively streamlined.

(Gee, I don't ask for much.)

It's the Windows Vista to 3.5e's XP. It's too concerned with keeping backwards compatibility, not just with years of material but with years of players' thinking and playing styles. And when it does try something new, the whole system becomes so fragile and barely bolted together that it becomes very difficult to do anything really interesting with it or it'll bluescreen horribly.

So here's my plan. I'm gonna keep writing this stuff, without any particular system in mind. I'm just gonna make it the coolest world I possibly can. And then, I'm going to try out a bunch of systems, and see which one fits the setting best. Take a look at some of those and let me know what you think. Or heck, if someone can point out an easy way to make Pathfinder work...

Anyway, setting-independent from now on. I'd really rather worry about the mechanics later.

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