Adding and removing content

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Adding and Removing Content

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The balance of Gempunks is not particularly dependent on specific hard counters to things, so adding or removing content without completely examining the consequences will not necessarily throw the game into chaos. If you are the DM, do tell the players about any content you remove in advance, so they can try to make informed decisions when designing their characters. While you may wish to keep some of the content you add secret, so that the players have to figure out what's going on in game, once they do you should allow them to deploy those things in their own forces: learning and commandeering an enemy's mysterious weapons can be very satisfying.

Adding powerful content changes the game in significant ways. That's good; if you're adding something, presumably that's because you want the game to change. However, a strong enough hammer turns the game into whack-a-mole: the danger of adding powerful things is that it potentially renders many other options unusable and makes the gameplay much more trivial.

If you're not the DM, you are not supposed to add or remove content in this way, although talking to the DM and giving them ideas and encouragement about such things is fine.

Adding New Spells

Standard Spell List Page Here

Perhaps DM has got a great idea for a spell not on the list yet. Maybe one of the players has a character who's supposed to be a clever mage, and the campaign happens to have a long stretch of downtime going on, so they want to spend that time inventing a new spell. In any case, the DM should have final say on the spell's design, ideally with input from players.

There are two different concerns when balancing a new spell: game balance, and setting balance. A spell can have significant effects on setting balance without being very useful for solving problems that the players encounter; although a spell can't really make fights totally lopsided without drastically altering the setting's power dynamics. Take time skip for example: it affects the setting by letting people from the distant past pop up into the world seemingly out of nowhere, but a player character who uses it for such a long stretch of time essentially just removes theirself from the campaign, so in conflicts it's mostly only good for certain escape and sneaking maneuvers. If the goal had been to minimize its setting influence, it could easily have been made Legend tier instead; those escape and sneaking maneuvers aren't quite attainable by any other means, so the spell would still be somewhat useful for those few Legend-tier characters who could cast it. For an opposite example: imagine if bone bolts was far stronger: nearly every character who wanted to be good at fighting would have to be able to cast bone bolts a few times per combat; meaning that every faction would want to equip their army with white gems.

If the spell idea is sufficiently similar to an existing spell, strongly consider adding a Boost to the existing spell instead. The idea with Boosts is that they're a bit easier to learn, because each Boost does not diversify the character's power set as much as an entirely new spell does.

The color or colors a spell uses are somewhat important. Making a purely orange spell that creates a portal to another place in the world, for example, would be severely stepping on purple's toes, and would also be really confusing. Players who for some reason hadn't been explicitly told about the spell beforehand would have no reasonable way of making inferences about the caster from their strange spell invention, and when things stop making sense, people often become less emotionally invested in the game. Stepping on another color's toes isn't as big a deal if that color doesn't exist in the world, although removing a color and bringing all of its main effects back in is a bit like change for the sake of change.

Adding New Monsters

Standard Monsters Page Here

Statistically, monsters tend to stay pretty close to what a character of the same point cost could have, maybe 1 more Strongman here, and 1 less AD there, but not much beyond that. Lower-tier monsters don't tend to have both good carrying capacities and a fly speed.

The color descriptors of monsters are not particularly important. They don't need gems, and most monsters don't have any; the only reason monsters have color descriptors at all is to make it so a setting without a color of gem also automatically excludes monsters with powers similar to spells from that color.

Advancements are mostly provided as such for convenience and brevity. While making new advancements is fine, so is designing a totally new monster that's almost identical to an existing one.

Many games and shows like to do this thing sometimes called "Monster of the Week", where a previously unmentioned monster shows up and the heroes have to discover the monster's weakness in order to kill it. Because Gempunks allows the players to have monsters on their side, there are serious dangers with designing monsters that need to be beaten by exploiting overly specific weaknesses. Say you make a strange beast that can only be harmed by silver weapons and fire: once a player starts to play one, they're likely to be able to use it to stomp all over encounters with people who don't have silver weapons or fire; even if later opponents all come prepared, that seriously cuts down on the number of battles with lightning mages and non-[ Orange ] wild animals that the players will have to think to defeat.

Adding New Arms and Armor

Standard Arms and Armor Page Here

Magic weapons primarily aim to add utility to the wielder's abilities, rather than a straight boost to the wielder's offensive strength. Copper expenditure should mostly broaden the party's capabilities, rather than making them strictly more powerful; that's what points are for.

Since psychic items cost points or a fraction of a character's power, it's more acceptable for them to boost a character's power.

The Chakras are: Brain, for worn items on the head; Lung, for worn utility items on the body; Heart, for worn armor; and Foot, for worn items on the feet.