With the release of Complete Control, many things about the way that characters are built are going to change. One of the biggest changes to be made is going to be in the area of class abilities and how they are purchased. Additionally, one of the most daunting aspects of any Game Master is going to be figuring out all the prices for various abilities. So, to alleviate that problem and to thank players for supporting the Complete Control product, a series of articles are going to be introduced. These articles are designed to provide a quick reference guide for Game Masters and players who are trying to convert standard games into Complete Control games.
Please note, however, that these articles can only say so much. For copyright reasons, the articles will not go into describing the mechanics of the abilities. The ability name will be stated, a suggested pricing guideline will be given, and the source for the ability will also be listed. The source will be broken down into the specific class/prestige class name as well as the book from which it comes. That way, any player desiring to reference the ability can do so in their own materials.
However, as you read these abilities you will notice that not all classes are referenced in their own blocks. For example, under the Animal Companion line for the Ranger, the source listed is Druid instead of Ranger. These alternate sources are listed to indicate the source for the lowest character level that a given ability may be gained. These differences in source listings are given so that any discrepancies between the expected pricing guideline and the suggested pricing guideline can be explained. In the case of Animal Companion, no player would use XP to purchase an inferior ability like the Ranger’s Animal Companion when it can buy a superior ability like the Druid’s Animal Companion for less XP. Thus, those alterations have already been made so that Game Masters and players alike do not have to worry about finding the lowest price for a given ability.
As you read through these blocks, you may notice that those class abilities which simply grant specific feats are omitted. This is done intentionally, because in Complete Control you must buy a feat the regular way and meet all of the prerequisites the regular way. You cannot purchase a class ability that grants access to a feat. Since those abilities are no longer valid in Complete Control, they have been omitted from the blocks.
Furthermore, class abilities that grant ability score improvements have also been eliminated. The Dragon Disciple class is a good example of such abilities. In Complete Control, ability improvements are purchased in the same fashion as feats or other aspects of a character. Just like you cannot buy a class ability that gives your character access to a feat, you cannot buy a class ability that grants your character access to ability score improvements. Such purchases would simply be means to circumvent the rules already in place in Complete Control.
Finally, a note about the content of the articles and guidelines that need to be established about pricing. First and foremost, Game Masters are in control of the guidelines at their games. No table online should overrule a decision from a Game Master. Second, for the purposes of these articles, only WotC and DSP created works will be considered for determining pricing. Therefore, just because another publisher comes up with a class that allows Hide in Plain Sight (as an example) as a 3rd level ability does not mean that the pricing guidelines for these articles will be changed. Again, Game Masters are allowed to reference the first rule, however. They are in charge of the pricing of an ability in their own game, of course.
I hope that these articles make using Complete Control more fun and provide more of a sense of ease in game play. Again, let me take a moment to thank all the players and Game Masters who have purchased Complete Control. Additionally, it is my understanding that these articles may be linked to a specific discussion thread where comments and questions can be added. Please feel free to utilize that option and discuss the information presented.
John [aka Nonlethal_Force]