Tabletop RPG (WIP)

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Tabletop RPG (WIP)

Postby mgb519 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:56 pm

I'm working on a tabletop RPG system, and I hope to run a test game on Wednesday. I'm looking to add more skills, come up with how religion works, and add in a list of items. Other than that, it's come together quite nicely. Comments appreciated. Also, if you're interested in the test run, let me know. I'll leave five openings; first come, first served.

Core Stats
This system is built on the idea that people consist of a body, mind, and soul. There are more attributes, but they are determined by these three superstats, as well as race and profession. So while these numbers are seldom used after this point, they are vitally important to character creation and serve as a template for the rest of the system. You get 5 points to spend, and then you can remove points from one to add to another. You cannot have less than -5 or more than 5. I don’t recommend bringing anything below -3, if possible.
Body
This determines health, durability, speed, strength, and endurance.
Mind
This determines knowledge, wisdom, and various mental processes, and your ability to cast spells.
Soul
This detrmines ability to interact with people, as well as luck, intuition, and magical ability.
Race
Race is possibly the most important factor in character creation. Some races are barred from certain professions, as per their culture. They may have unique skills available that change what they can do, such as not claws. They also decide many of the stats.
Humans
Humans are a proud, sometimes arrogant people who have a tendency to favor the body over the mind. T. They are known for their prowess as warriors, though there are some who seek knowledge instead. They are not known particularly for magic, as few of them have the gift. They are the most widespread of the races.
Hit Points: 125
Energy: 25
Carrying Capacity: 150
Physical Resistance: 3
Magical Resistance: 0
Movement Speed: 4
Learning Speed: 1
Initiative: 1
Prohibited professions: none
+1 in choice of strength or Intelligence, +1 endurance, +1 willpower, +2 in choice of weapon skill, +1 blocking, +1 dodging, +1 persuasion

Dwarves
Dwarves live in the mountains, and are small and nimble but typically very fit. They have very little wasted body mass and are very strong for their size. They are fiery tempered, preferring to be up close and personal. They are fond of drink. They make good warriors, though they generally dislike bows.
Hit Points: 150
Energy: 35
Carrying Capacity: 175
Physical Resistance: 5
Magical Resistance: -5
Movement Speed: 3
Learning Speed: -2
Initiative: 2
Prohibited professions: Huntsman, Mage
+3 strength, +1 endurance, -1 precision, -1 focus, +1 willpower, +2 in choice of hammers or axes, +2 drinking, +1 blocking

Elves
Elves are a mysterious people which live in forests and valleys into which they seldom permit outsiders. They do engage in some interaction with other races, mainly for trade. They have much respect for nature, are skilled with both bows, and always have a natural affinity for magic to some degree or other. They are generally somewhat fragile, however.
Hit Points: 100
Energy: 45
Carrying Capacity: 120
Physical Resistance: 0
Magical Resistance: 10
Movement Speed: 5
Learning Speed: 3
Initiative: 2
Prohibited professions: Brawler
-2 strength, +1 speed, -1 endurance, +2 intelligence, +1 precision, +1 focus, +1 intuition, +2 casting, +1 running, +1 taming, +1 tracking, +1 herbalism
Meditation

Serpentines
Serpentines resemble a man or woman crossed with a snake. Their faces are much like that of the former, though sleeker and scaled. Their lower bodies are that of the latter, and they slither around as such. They are generally recognized as being one of the most beautiful races, rivaled only by elves. They make good diplomats and decent warriors, although they pride themselves on speed and not strength. For some reason, they cannot perform magic.
Hit Points: 125
Energy: 20
Carrying Capacity: 150
Physical Resistance: 7
Magical Resistance: -8
Movement Speed: 6
Learning Speed: 2
Initiative: 3
Prohibited professions: Magic, Mystic, Sorcerer
+2 speed, +1 intelligence, +2 influence, -2 willpower, +1 in choice of weapon skill, +1 blocking, +2 persuasion, +1 sneaking
Poisoned bite

Tarkins
Tarkins are humanoids which were once mistaken as demons. They have skin which resembles rough mud or tar in both texture and color, and both wings and a tail, but other than that they are startlingly similar in appearance to humans. They also have claws and fangs, which make them excellent fighters. They were once unreachably vicious, but in the past 100 years they have rapidly developed into a highly intelligent if somewhat disagreeable race. They are also a very practical and skeptical people.
Hit Points: 110
Energy: 35
Carrying Capacity: 140
Physical Resistance: 0
Magical Resistance: 4
Movement Speed: 5
Learning Speed: 5
Initiative: 1
Prohibited professions: Mystic
+1 Speed, +1 endurance, +1 intelligence, +1 Precision, -3 influence, +2 willpower, +1 unarmed, +1 casting, +2 dodging, +1 finesse
Flight

Professions
Professions determine what sort of role you will play in the game.
Archer
You’ve been trained in the use of a bow from an early age, and as a result you’ve sharpened your eyes and your aim. Or perhaps you used a crossbow instead, and learned how to operate it quickly and efficiently. But whatever the case, you are certain of your aim and you can hit targets dead-center at great distances. You generally try to avoid heavy combat, since you are more of an asset at range.
+2 precision, +1 focus, +3 in choice of bows or crossbows, +1 in dodging, +1 in choice of knives or swords
Bladesman
Others may spend their time training in axes and hammers, or even try their hand at swordsmanship, but they do not carry the grace or precision that you do. To you swordsmanship is not merely a skill, but an art. You exercise great control over your blade, and when you strike, you strike swiftly and smoothly. You know little else besides the blade, but you are a master at this one deadly art.
+1 speed, +1 precision, +1 intuition, +2 swords, +2 blocking, +1 dodging
Brawler
Diplomacy? Bah! You’ve never had time for that nonsense. Your blood runs hot, fire burns in your eyes, and every bruise they give you is another two which you return to them. Your body is a weapon and a suit of armor in itself, which you can only improve with a hammer or chainmail hauberk. You fear nothing, and you enjoy fighting almost as much as you enjoy drinking.
+2 strength, +1 endurance, +3 in choice of hammers or axes, +1 unarmed, +1 drinking
Chemist
Chemistry is an art that few understand, but you know the world is better with. You look to create new remedies for illnesses and ailments, find new concoctions to enhance the body and mind, and perhaps even devise poisons which impair your enemies. Some people don’t see eye to eye with you, and call your trade witchcraft, but you’re not afraid to get into a fight with the ignorant. Your body is healthy, partly due to your efforts and partly because if you were sickly you couldn’t have survived your failed experiments.
+1 endurance, +1 intelligence, +1 intuition, +3 chemistry, +1 unarmed, +1 reading, +1 writing
Huntsman
You grew up in the woods, learning the ways of the woods to survive. You were taught how to shoot a bow, and how to set traps. You learned how to stalk your prey silently—or alternately, to not get caught poaching when the law came around. You picked up basic cooking, and a small repertoire of knowledge about poultices and remedies not taught in any university. You never lived well, but you know better than anyone else how to stay alive.
+1 endurance, +1 precision, +1 intuition, +1 to choice of bows or crossbows, +1 tracking, +1 trapping, +1 cooking, +1 herbalism
Mage
Magic. The arcane arts. Sorcery. It has many names and forms, but whatever it may be, you have dedicated your life to better understanding it. You have a list of spells which you know how to cast, and you’ve studied each of them in great detail. Sorcery is not always understood by every culture or race, but it is widely accepted and always respected. You know that the pursuit of knowledge is never complete, but that hasn’t kept you from pursuing it.
+2 focus, +1 intelligence, +3 casting, +2 reading, +1 writing
5 spells to start
Mystic
You are an agent of one of the gods or goddesses, and that gives you the duty to spread your religion to the world. When you fight, you fight in the name of your god, and when you are victorious, you know who to thank. They have rewarded your faith with the ability of magic, a gift which one must otherwise be born with to practice, and you use this as but another tool of faith. Some may find you to be narrow minded, but others will respect your power and join you or call you to their cause.
+1 Strength, +1 influence, +1 willpower, +2 in choice of melee weapon, +1 casting
1 spell to start
Thief
You were born poor, grew up the hard way, and took up a trade that society frowns on like Bonn-o-Tron. But you survived, and that’s what’s important. You may not like your profession, but you’re pretty much stuck with it at this point because it’s all you know. Hell, maybe you even get a kick out of it. As a thief, you’ve learned all the tricks of the trade, and you can move through the city with your victims none the wiser until you’re already gone.
+1 speed, +1 precision, +1 intuition, +1 lockpick, +1 pickpocket, +1 knives, +1 sneaking, +1 finesse
Sorcerer
Others have devoted their lives to magic in order to learn more about how the world works. You seek power, for personal or other practical use. You worry less about the quantity of knowledge you obtain, and more about how powerful your spells can become. Some may call you obsessive, but you care little for that. You think much more highly of yourself than you do of them.
+1 Intelligence, +1 focus, +1 willpower, +4 casting, +1 reading
3 spells to start
Sentinel
You are ever-watchful, ever vigilant, because you are or were once one of the advance guards at the edge of your kingdom. You have an uncanny sense for trouble, and when it threatens to present itself you are prepared to strike. Your eyes are sharp and your ears sensitive to the slightest noise, and you avoid any weapon which you find to be cumbersome, as you want to travel as light as possible.
+1 focus, +2 intuition, +2 in choice of swords or axes, +1 in choice of bows or throwing, +1 blocking, +1 tracking
Wanderer
You’ve been on the road for a long time, picking up various skills here and there and doing some odd jobs in passing, but never staying anywhere long enough to lay down roots. You live in obscurity, mostly by choice, and you dislike attention. You may not be strictly anti-social, but you don’t like making ties because you know it won’t be long before you say goodbye anyway.
+1 speed, +1 endurance, +1 precision, +1 in choice of weapon skill, +1 sneaking, +1 running, +1 camping, +1 riding
Warrior
You’re trained in a variety of weapons either by yourself or under the instruction of another. You’re well rounded, knowing how to take damage and how to avoid it, how to swing your weapon, and so on like Bonn-o-Tron. You may or may not have some basic training with a bow or a javelin, but you prefer the frontline and your skills reflect that. You’re still a balanced addition to any party.
+1 strength, +1 speed, +1 endurance, +2 in choice of swords or hammers or axes, +1 in choice of same weapon or throwing or bows, +2 blocking
Attributes
Attributes and proficiencies govern the interactions between characters and the environment. Attributes are fairly broad, and determine health and other such stats. Attributes may be used in certain circumstances when a proficiency is not known. However, attributes are exceedingly difficult to raise, as you only get one point every 5 levels. Attributes cannot go below -10, or above 10. Every point in a core stat adds a point for each of its related attributes.
Strength
Strength determines sheer muscular power. Strength affects carry weight and melee damage.
Speed
Speed determines how quickly you can move. It influences run speed, attack effectiveness, and blocking.
Endurance
Endurance affects your ability to withstand pain, your energy levels, and other physical tolerances.
Intelligence
Intelligence is your ability to think. Affects your ability to contemplate information,
Precision
Precision involves how sharply your mind can make spatial judgments and act on them. It influences aim and dodging.
Focus
Focus is your mental fortitude. It affects your ability to think under extenuating circumstances.
Influence
Influence is your ability to affect other people’s opinions based on your natural charm. This includes certain dialogue types and trading.
Intuition
Intuition is sort of like your sixth sense that allows you to sense things you can’t see. Improves detection and insight.
Willpower
Willpower is your ability to press on when discouraged. Affects ability to surpass fear and to outlast opponents in tests of will.
Other stats
Now that we’ve nailed down base stats and attributes, we can deal with the rest of the player stats. The most obvious of these is health. You also have energy, carrying capacity, physical resistance, magical resistance, movement speed, learning speed, and initiative.
Hit Points
Each race has its own base HP. To find the HP for your character, multiply your body and soul stats by five and add it to your base HP. Add another 5 HP for each level.
Energy
Energy is found by taking the endurance and willpower stats, multiplying them by 5, and adding another 5 for each level, plus the base stat for race.
Carrying Capacity
Carrying capacity is found by taking the race stat and adding 5 times your strength stat.
Physical Resistance
Physical resistance is your natural armor against all physical attacks. Physical resistance is base stat for race, plus 1 for every 4 points in endurance and strength combined.
Magical Resistance
Magical resistance is your natural resistance to magical damage. Take the base stat, and add 1 for every 4 points of combined focus and willpower.
Movement Speed
Movement speed is how many squares you can move during combat. Take the base stat plus 1 for every two points in speed.
Learning Speed
Learning speed affects how quickly you level up, both with skills and overall level. Take the base stat plus 1 for every two points in intelligence.
Initiative
Initiative is your ability to act quickly in combat. Initiative is the base stat plus 1 for every 4 points in intuition and focus combined.
Proficiencies
Proficiencies can be learned, if with some time or difficulty, and apply to certain contexts. While they’re not overarching the way attributes are, they are another bonus in the context where they apply. Players get 3 proficiency points per level (including level 1), but those proficiency points cannot be spent without an appropriate trainer. Alternately, proficiencies can be leveled up by use. Maximum proficiency level in any proficiency is 20.
Archery
Axes
Blocking
Camping
Carpentry
Casting
Chemistry
Climbing
Cooking
Dodging
Drinking
Finesse
Fishing
Grip
Hammers
Herbalism
Knives
Lockpick
Medicine
Persuasion
Pickpocketing
Reading
Riding
Running
Sailing
Singing
Smithing
Sneaking
Swimming
Swords
Taming
Tailoring
Throwing
Tracking
Trapping
Unarmed
Writing


Skills
Skills are unique abilities which your character can be born with or obtain that momentarily affect stats. For skills using a weapon, the difficulty is the same as the normal rating for the weapon unless the skill otherwise specifies. When the difficulty for a spell is not met, the character is assumed to have broken concentration. Characters may take a skill every five levels.
Blizzard (Casting)
Create a flurry of ice shards which deal 30 damage to all affected targets in a five square radius. Bonus rate of 2.
Energy cost: 40
Difficulty: 12
Prerequisites: 5 casting
Cleaving Blow (Axes)
Strike with intent to remove limbs, dealing 5 extra damage and ignoring armor.
Energy cost: 30
Prerequisites: 3 axes
Crushing Blow (Hammers)
Strike with all your weight, stunning the target for a turn and dealing +5 damage.
Energy cost: 25
Prerequisite: 2 hammers
Disease Resistance
Your body rejects illness with fervor, granting a +5 to all rolls.
Energy cost: 10
Prerequisites: 3 willpower
Driven Thrust (Swords)
Thrust forward with greater force, dealing +15 damage and receiving a +4 to hit.
Energy cost: 20
Prerequisite: 2 swords
Fireball (Casting)
Launch a fiery blast, dealing 30 damage to the target and 5 damage for the next 2 turns.
Energy cost: 20
Difficulty: 6
Prerequisites: 3 casting
Flurried strike (Swords)
Strike three times in a short period of time, dealing 4 less damage per strike than normal.
Energy cost: 30
Prerequisites: 3 swords
Frigid Blast (Casting)
Launch a blast of concentrated cold air at the target, dealing 25 damage to the target. 2 bonus rate.
Energy cost: 15
Difficulty: 4
Prerequisites: 2 casting
Inferno (Casting)
Create a blast of fire, dealing 50 damage to all targets in a 3 square radius and 5 damage for the next 3 turns.
Energy cost: 45
Difficulty: 15
Prerequisites: 4 casting
Longshot (Bows)
Focus your aim, increasing range by 5 squares for one shot.
Energy cost: 15
Prerequisites:1 bows
Low Blow (Unarmed)
Thrust your hand into your opponents abdomen, stunning them for a turn.
Energy cost: 20
Prerequisites: 1 unarmed
Poison Resistance
Resist the debilitating effects of poison through a natural immunity.
Energy cost: 15
Prerequisites: 5 Willpower
Quick Loose (Bows)
Draw and release your arrow more quickly, reducing draw cost to 1.
Energy cost: 10
Prerequisites: 2 bows
Quick Loose (Crossbows)
Reload and fire more quickly, reducing draw cost to 3.
Energy cost: 10
Prerequisites: 2 crossbows
Quick Loose (Throwing)
Draw and release your arrow more quickly, reducing draw cost to 0.
Energy cost: 10
Prerequisites: 2 bows
Sun Flash (Casting)
Create a burst of light, giving a -10 to hit for all targets within 3 squares for one turn.
Energy cost: 35
Difficulty: 10
Prerequisites: 2 casting
Swift Strike (Swords)
Strike with greater speed than normal, receiving a +4 to hit.
Energy cost: 10
Prerequisites: 1 swords
Silent Strike (Daggers)
Deal a second strike before the target can properly react, preventing dodging or blocking.
Energy cost: 30
Prerequisites: 2 knives
Syrn’s Map (Casting)
Read the area around you, and feel the layout of the path ahead.
Energy cost: 20
Difficulty: 12
Prerequisites: 1 casting
Thunderstrike (Casting)
Harness the power of lightning and send a bolt coursing through the target, dealing 80 damage and stunning the target.
Energy cost: 60
Prerequisites: 8 casting
Tyrant’s Collar (Casting)
Take control of the target for 3 turns
Energy cost: 40
Difficulty: 16
Prerequisites: 5 Casting

Actions
Now that you’ve got all your stats nailed down, you can finally take a look at how actions work. Actions have a difficulty rating, and the player is looking to surpass that rating when they roll their d20. The difficulty is lowered by the appropriate base stat combined with the player’s level of proficiency in the appropriate task. Suppose your character is trying to climb a rope, and the difficulty is 10 (In general, any task of moderate difficulty is 10). They have 4 strength and 3 levels of climbing. That means that they have to roll a 4 to successfully climb the rope. Doesn’t seem hard? It shouldn’t be. Generally, a player who has sufficient proficiency will succeed most of the time when trying to do something.
But everything changes when factors act against the player. What does that mean, exactly? To return to the example, we’ll say that you’re busy climbing when a volley of arrows is unleashed upon you. Now, we’ll not worry about who fired the arrows. But you are now forced to climb while evading, and it becomes that much harder to not lose your grip and fall to your death. Since they are climbing a rope, their dodge roll must incorporate that, in addition to the difficulty rating of dodging the attack. Combat will be described in more detail in the following section. But in short, this system centers on interaction as opposed to just actions.
Combat
Initiative
When combat is initiated, the first thing is always to determine turn order. Everyone in the area rolls a d20 and adds their initiative. Contested rolls will be repeated by the people who rolled that number, and the turn order will fill out in this manner. Suppose you have five people participating in a fight. From highest to lowest, they roll a 25, a 20, a 20, a 15, and an 11. The character who rolled 25 goes first. The players who rolled 20s will roll again, and see who gets the higher roll. They will go second and third, and then the player who rolled the 15 will go fourth, and so on like Bonn-o-Tron.
If one group ambushes another group, then they get a +5 to initiative
Movement
Movement is a number of squares that the player can move during their turn. They do not have to use all of their movement, but they cannot use more than their limit.
Attack
Attacking may occur anywhere in a players turn. The player selects a target, rolls a d20, adds the appropriate stats, and subtracts the weapon’s difficulty rating. The target may respond in several ways, normally either by blocking or by dodging. They roll a d10, and add the appropriate stats for whatever they do. This goes back to how actions work: action vs. opposition. In combat, we favor action over reaction, hence the difference in dice.
Take note of the difference between the roll and the total attack difficulty. Now look at the weapon’s damage and bonus rate. Divide the difference by the bonus rate, rounding down. Add that number to the weapon’s base damage. Now, check the target’s armor rating for that damage type, and be sure to add whichever type of resistance is appropriate. Subtract the armor rating, and then you have the final attack damage—you have dealt that much damage to the target’s HP.
When using ranged weapons, there is always a draw cost. This is a number of movement squares that must be set aside. For all throwing weapons, it is 2. For bows, it is 3. For crossbows, it is 5.
Counters
When someone attacks, you have two options for countering it. One is blocking, while the other is dodging. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE. To dodge, you must have saved a square of movement during your turn and move to another adjacent square when you dodge. To block, you must have either a shield or a melee weapon in your hands.
Skills
Some active skills can be used in combat. These include spells and unique attacks which are not normally available. Using these skills consumes energy, however, and if the character doesn’t have enough energy then they cannot perform the skill.
Pain
When you are reduced to 20% health or less, you are considered to be in pain. Every attack you make or receive, you must roll to avoid blacking out. Take 2 times the damage being dealt or received, subtract your remaining HP, and then use that as a difficulty rating. Apply appropriate stats when you roll. Once combat ends, the character gives in and your party will have to rest. When you black out, you cannot perform actions until you come to.
Healing
Once combat ends, you can automatically restore 10% HP and energy. All other forms of healing will use actions, but can be used in combat.
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in 1938.
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Re: Tabletop RPG (WIP)

Postby stubby » Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:15 pm

So sell me on this a little. Why this game instead of one of the more-developed ones that already exists and covers all the same stuff?
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Re: Tabletop RPG (WIP)

Postby mgb519 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:58 pm

Drinking is a skill. Does that count?

It streamlines character creation and makes actions a simple process and can be played with only a d20. It's fairly concrete, as opposed to "successes," yet allows for more than one outcome from a situation.
The most important thing, however, is modularity. Aside from the fact that it would(will) be very easy for me to adjust this for any other setting, it allows for easy content creation.
No, I haven't played a lot of tabletop. I see no reason why you wouldn't go for another system over this one, because I probably don't know why that system is different from this one. I looked at D&D and decided to take my own approach, making sure to avoid a few things which I didn't like about it. That would be the requirement for multiple types of dice and an dislike for the amount of mechanics involved. But no, I don't know why you would play this game over any others. In fact, I think it's up to you as to why you prefer one of those to another. If this doesn't speak to you, don't play it.
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Re: Tabletop RPG (WIP)

Postby knolli » Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:03 pm

What Stubby said.

Also: Learning speed seems to be a bit overpowered. Of course you didn't mention anything about XP gain and levels yet, but I know from experience how frustrating it can be to play the weak guy in a group of otherwise overpowered superheroes. Basically the higher the Learning Speed stat the weaker the character will be in the beginning but the faster he will become stronger. At one point the fast learner will overtake everyone else.

I am a fan of variable proficiency caps. Instead of limiting the proficiency level in any proficiency to a fix barrier of 20, you could use something based on the Core Stats or Attributes. To get better at Casting, the Sorcerer has to increase his Intelligende first. That will prevent the players from maxing their favorite proficiency at lvl 7 (which would be quite early in the game, as I see it) with no chance of improvement later on like Bonn-o-Tron.

Experience teaches us that some Proficiencies are more important than others. With 3 proficiency points per level (and if they are not min-maxing), you can be specialised in 3 to 4 proficiencies, rarely more. Trying to build a jack-of-all-trades will result in a nearly useless good-for-nothing character. That on the other hand will mean that a low level (N)PC fighter may overpower an old and experienced veteran because the later can't use his weapon of choice for various reasons.
On the same note, a master of Cooking, Drinking, Fishing, Singing, Tailoring and Writing may be a pretty useless asset as well since adventuring parties usually don't have the tendency to participate in cooking duells or to save the kingdom by winning a drinking contest against the Evil Overlord. Although these are nice talents to have for roleplaying, in a tabletop game that focuses on fighting spending your valuable skill points there would be considered a waste by many a player.

Many of the Skills and especially the Spells listed are solely for combat. So Sorcerers and Mages will be glass cannons of mass destruction with little to no choice to be anything else. There should be more room for utility and specialization. Supporting spells or anti magic for the Mystics for example. Also try to come up with some seemingly supernatural feats for each class/race that can be used out of combat, e.g. the masterthief's ability to gather the shadow around him for a certain time or the Sentinel's one to feel danger long before it can be spotted otherwise (think of spider sense here). If you are going to introduce magic artefacts then there should be the possibility to learn how to craft them, either for the (rune-) smith or the caster or both.
The Tarkins seem to be the most powerfull race of all. They are the fastest learners and have Flight right from the beginning. In my experiance, Flight in general is one of the most usefull utility skills there is, may it be for travel, scouting or overcome obstacles. Maybe you should change that into a race specific Skill that can be learned once the PC has reached a certain level and that requires Energy. As it is now a flying Archer would be nearly invincible since he can simply stay out of reach of any of his earthbound (nonmagic) opponents while he pierces them with arrows from above. Turning Flight into an Energy depleting Skill will at least put a time limit to it.




Edit: By now I now quite a bunch of different rule systems. About 20 if I am not mistaken. And I've talked to some inventors/designers. The last one coincidantly came up with a set of game mechanics that is nearly identical to Star Wars D6, simply because he followed the same line of thought when he created it. So instead of trying to invent the wheel for the 100th time, maybe you should take a look at the market first.

The Dark Eye: Uses 3d20 for all skill checks (excluding combat) and d6 for weapon damage. Usually requires a lot of math for each roll so it's not the fastest game and combat lasts for hours. Has 8 Main Attributes, over 70 Talents (like your Proficiencies, inkluding Drinking), advantages and disadvantages (some of them race specific) and hundreds of Special Skills (like your Skills), although magic spells are treated as Talents while devine mircles are Special Skills using the Talent Devine Lore. The spell book, the Liber Cantiones, is 300 pages thick with one page per spell. This game features one of the most detailed and best described worlds on the market; nearly every village is described in detail including a list of important NPCs.

Arcane Codex: Uses d10 for everything. Very high fantasy. Unusual races like your Tarkins or Trolls are core PCs. Hobbits hold the monopoly on firearms, explosives and most other tech; and enforce it using their own assassin's corpse. :twisted: Also operates with Attributes, Talents, advantages and disadvantages and class based Skills.

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Uses d10 and d100. Main Attributes (although not the standard list, including fighting ability), over 30 Proficiencies (named Skills, including Drinking) and Skills (named Talents) ;-) . Basic fighting maneuvers can be used by everyone, so no Crushing Blow or Cleaving Attack. Unique Career system with Base and Advanced Classes that come with different advantages and restrictions. E.g. typical careers would be thief, cult burglar, crime boss or assassin; mercenary, sergeant, captain or champion; apprentice mage, journey mage, arc mage.

I'd advise you to take a look at these and pick what you like best. If none is to your liking you can still make use of their experience and take the features you like best for your own project - as long as you don't plan to publish it.
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Re: Tabletop RPG (WIP)

Postby mgb519 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:15 am

See, THIS is the sort of thing I made this thread for. I want you to tell me how flawed my system is, not how revolutionary it is (or isn't). BUT, I also want to know WHY it's flawed, so that I can make it better. So thanks.
knolli wrote:Learning speed seems to be a bit overpowered. Of course you didn't mention anything about XP gain and levels yet, but I know from experience how frustrating it can be to play the weak guy in a group of otherwise overpowered superheroes. Basically the higher the Learning Speed stat the weaker the character will be in the beginning but the faster he will become stronger. At one point the fast learner will overtake everyone else.

Yeah, true. I'll have to do some thinking on it. Do note that it will only raise xp by a small percentage or something, so it's not gonna skyrocket them at two times speed. Still, it may or may not get removed.

knolli wrote:I am a fan of variable proficiency caps. Instead of limiting the proficiency level in any proficiency to a fix barrier of 20, you could use something based on the Core Stats or Attributes. To get better at Casting, the Sorcerer has to increase his Intelligende first. That will prevent the players from maxing their favorite proficiency at lvl 7 (which would be quite early in the game, as I see it) with no chance of improvement later on like Bonn-o-Tron.
Experience teaches us that some Proficiencies are more important than others. With 3 proficiency points per level (and if they are not min-maxing), you can be specialised in 3 to 4 proficiencies, rarely more. Trying to build a jack-of-all-trades will result in a nearly useless good-for-nothing character. That on the other hand will mean that a low level (N)PC fighter may overpower an old and experienced veteran because the later can't use his weapon of choice for various reasons.
On the same note, a master of Cooking, Drinking, Fishing, Singing, Tailoring and Writing may be a pretty useless asset as well since adventuring parties usually don't have the tendency to participate in cooking duells or to save the kingdom by winning a drinking contest against the Evil Overlord. Although these are nice talents to have for roleplaying, in a tabletop game that focuses on fighting spending your valuable skill points there would be considered a waste by many a player.

First off, you bring up a good point with the max by level 7 thing, and it's a problem I'm still thinking about. I'm wondering about progressively increasing the amount of skill points you earn, while requiring more skill points to level up skills. Alternately, I could take the Elder Scrolls approach and allow leveling up solely by use, wherein it would take longer to achieve higher levels. The other thing is that proficiencies are a supplement to attributes. That means that at all times, you can try something using the appropriate attribute.
I intend to provide for more opportunities for the various proficiencies to apply. I don't believe I said it was strictly combat focused, and if I did I mistyped. What I DID say is that it focuses on interaction. Drinking games could be considered a form of interaction, hmm? What about political debates? These are the sorts of things I intend to have as part of gameplay, and while they won't necessarily show up often, they will come up often enough to reward the player who took them. I actually prefer roleplaying to rollplaying, you see. If the game turns into "who has the bigger weapon?" then I've not really accomplished what I was going for. I also plan on having Astarte eggs of sorts in games, like drinking games for earning money and that sort of thing.

knolli wrote:Many of the Skills and especially the Spells listed are solely for combat. So Sorcerers and Mages will be glass cannons of mass destruction with little to no choice to be anything else. There should be more room for utility and specialization. Supporting spells or anti magic for the Mystics for example. Also try to come up with some seemingly supernatural feats for each class/race that can be used out of combat, e.g. the masterthief's ability to gather the shadow around him for a certain time or the Sentinel's one to feel danger long before it can be spotted otherwise (think of spider sense here). If you are going to introduce magic artefacts then there should be the possibility to learn how to craft them, either for the (rune-) smith or the caster or both.

This is not so much because I don't want to have a variety of skills as that I haven't put them out there yet. The main reason I posted was because I hoped that someone would figure, "Hey! There ought to be a skill that does this!" because it makes it easier for me to work out the other stuff. I just started working on this thing on Saturday, and I've spent more time working on mechanics than on content. So please, feel freee to suggest new spells.

knolli wrote:The Tarkins seem to be the most powerfull race of all. They are the fastest learners and have Flight right from the beginning. In my experiance, Flight in general is one of the most usefull utility skills there is, may it be for travel, scouting or overcome obstacles. Maybe you should change that into a race specific Skill that can be learned once the PC has reached a certain level and that requires Energy. As it is now a flying Archer would be nearly invincible since he can simply stay out of reach of any of his earthbound (nonmagic) opponents while he pierces them with arrows from above. Turning Flight into an Energy depleting Skill will at least put a time limit to it.

Already planned on it. The skill list isn't complete, you see. Actually, all skills use energy, and I was planning on making flight use 15 or 20 or so. That would allow for greater freedom of movement, but would not really provide very many bonus squares.




knolli wrote:Edit: By now I now quite a bunch of different rule systems. About 20 if I am not mistaken. And I've talked to some inventors/designers. The last one coincidantly came up with a set of game mechanics that is nearly identical to Star Wars D6, simply because he followed the same line of thought when he created it. So instead of trying to invent the wheel for the 100th time, maybe you should take a look at the market first.

The Dark Eye: Uses 3d20 for all skill checks (excluding combat) and d6 for weapon damage. Usually requires a lot of math for each roll so it's not the fastest game and combat lasts for hours. Has 8 Main Attributes, over 70 Talents (like your Proficiencies, inkluding Drinking), advantages and disadvantages (some of them race specific) and hundreds of Special Skills (like your Skills), although magic spells are treated as Talents while devine mircles are Special Skills using the Talent Devine Lore. The spell book, the Liber Cantiones, is 300 pages thick with one page per spell. This game features one of the most detailed and best described worlds on the market; nearly every village is described in detail including a list of important NPCs.

Arcane Codex: Uses d10 for everything. Very high fantasy. Unusual races like your Tarkins or Trolls are core PCs. Hobbits hold the monopoly on firearms, explosives and most other tech; and enforce it using their own assassin's corpse. :twisted: Also operates with Attributes, Talents, advantages and disadvantages and class based Skills.

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Uses d10 and d100. Main Attributes (although not the standard list, including fighting ability), over 30 Proficiencies (named Skills, including Drinking) and Skills (named Talents) ;-) . Basic fighting maneuvers can be used by everyone, so no Crushing Blow or Cleaving Attack. Unique Career system with Base and Advanced Classes that come with different advantages and restrictions. E.g. typical careers would be thief, cult burglar, crime boss or assassin; mercenary, sergeant, captain or champion; apprentice mage, journey mage, arc mage.

I'd advise you to take a look at these and pick what you like best. If none is to your liking you can still make use of their experience and take the features you like best for your own project - as long as you don't plan to publish it.

I will do this.
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Re: Tabletop RPG (WIP)

Postby knolli » Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:55 am

mgb519 wrote:See, THIS is the sort of thing I made this thread for. I want you to tell me how flawed my system is, not how revolutionary it is (or isn't). BUT, I also want to know WHY it's flawed, so that I can make it better. So thanks.

You're welcome.

mgb519 wrote:First off, you bring up a good point with the max by level 7 thing, and it's a problem I'm still thinking about. I'm wondering about progressively increasing the amount of skill points you earn, while requiring more skill points to level up skills. Alternately, I could take the Elder Scrolls approach and allow leveling up solely by use, wherein it would take longer to achieve higher levels. The other thing is that proficiencies are a supplement to attributes. That means that at all times, you can try something using the appropriate attribute.

Here you describe something quite similar to the "Dark Eye" approach. There you buy new proficiency levels with your XP directly and the costs increase with the level. Since some proficiencies are harder to learn than others, they are put into different categories and each of them has its own Enhancement Cost Table. It is quite bothersome to do the math by hand. So maybe you don't want to follow their lead all the way. There is also a rule that makes it easier to learn proficiencies used ofen: The so called Special Experience, that reduces the learning cost of said proficiencies once. You get these at the end of each Adventure together with the XP or on special occasions during play. If you follow the rules to the letter you also need a teacher whenever you want to raise a stat, unless you have an SE. (There are also rules for required training time, but nobody uses them.)

mgb519 wrote:I intend to provide for more opportunities for the various proficiencies to apply. I don't believe I said it was strictly combat focused, and if I did I mistyped.

I just got confused by the list of combat specific abilities/proficiencies/skills and the word tabletop. Usually you don't need anything on the table - not even the table itself - until you start combat. That's why I refer to these games as P&P RPG.
mgb519 wrote:What I DID say is that it focuses on interaction. Drinking games could be considered a form of interaction, hmm? What about political debates? These are the sorts of things I intend to have as part of gameplay, and while they won't necessarily show up often, they will come up often enough to reward the player who took them.

That is a noble intention, but depends very much on the Game Master. Actually most games include Persuasion and even Drinking to the list of Basic Proficiencies that every Character knows. Just consider: The longer this list the more proficiencies are there that the PC can't master (given the same amount of Skill Points). Again I name The Dark Eye for example: All Talents are assigned to the categories Fighting (one for each type of weapon), Physical (climbing, drinking,...), Social (persuation, seduce,...), Survival (tracking, camping,...), Knowledge (law, legends, religion,...), Languages, Craftmenship (smithy, carpentry,...), Special (devine lore, magic lore,...) and the magic spells. With time you (the Player) learn, which talents are important and which are used too rarely to be worth it. One of the Talents used most often is Perception. Most Crafts on the other hand are so unimportant that many PCs have not a single point invested here. Even professional fighters seldom master more than their weapon of choice and are totally helpless once they have to enter combat without it. Some Spells are so specialized or require so much preparation that it is nearly impossible to put them to use, e.g. Summon Giant Elemental requires a one hour ritual, a huge donation of the respective element (Fire, Earth, Water,...) and more magic energy (not Mana ;-) ) than one mage alone can handle. Usually you lack at least two of the requirements.

mgb519 wrote:I actually prefer roleplaying to rollplaying, you see. If the game turns into "who has the bigger weapon?" then I've not really accomplished what I was going for. I also plan on having Astarte eggs of sorts in games, like drinking games for earning money and that sort of thing.

I'm with you here. I've been playing Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay now for several months and we had one combat scene so far (where we all would surely have died if it wasn't for the hired merc). Everything else is character play. I love it. There are evenings when we don't need the dice at all.

mgb519 wrote:This is not so much because I don't want to have a variety of skills as that I haven't put them out there yet. The main reason I posted was because I hoped that someone would figure, "Hey! There ought to be a skill that does this!" because it makes it easier for me to work out the other stuff. I just started working on this thing on Saturday, and I've spent more time working on mechanics than on content. So please, feel freee to suggest new spells.

What I hate about the D&D approach on magic is that the spells are very restricted in their effects. The reason why the Dark Eye needs a page for each spell is that you can modify nearly every aspect, be it casting time, strenght or duration. Often you also have Variantions of the same spell that allow you many more appliations. E.g. the famous fire bolt can always be fired with the desired strenght from small spark to inferno, can be turned into a wide cone, an armor piercing beam, fired multiple times simultaniously or any combination of these. Or the telekinesis spell (like in Elder Scrolls) has a Variante that hinderes all movement in a target area. This makes combat quite exhausting.
Other games like Ars Magika have a totally different approach to magic. Here you don't learn specialised spells but choose from a list of effects, name the desired strenght and determine the cost, much like in The Elder Scrolls - Oblivion once you have the chance to make your own spells. It can turn casting into quite a task and maybe you need a calculator, but it makes mages so much more versatile.
So to complete your list of skills, get some "inspiration" there. TES should be a good start.

mgb519 wrote:Already planned on it. The skill list isn't complete, you see. Actually, all skills use energy, and I was planning on making flight use 15 or 20 or so. That would allow for greater freedom of movement, but would not really provide very many bonus squares.

There are playable Races in Arcane Codex and even "The Dark Eye - Myranor" that use Flight as standard movement. Often they are quite weak and/or handycaped otherwise. Maybe you can get an idea what would be a good balance between utility and cost.
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Re: Tabletop RPG (WIP)

Postby stubby » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:35 am

mgb519 wrote:See, THIS is the sort of thing I made this thread for. I want you to tell me how flawed my system is, not how revolutionary it is (or isn't). BUT, I also want to know WHY it's flawed, so that I can make it better. So thanks.

It's not about whether it's revolutionary or not, mr. defensive. The question isn't "why would I play this game," it's "why are you making this game." If your game design doesn't have a point, then that's flaw #1 and no other flaws matter. Like if you've devoted 90% of the rules to the most slick and innovative combat system in the world, but the point of your game was supposed to be about exploring social nuance, then your combat system is a flaw no matter how great it is. Picking apart whether your flamberge should have a +3 or a +4 to be properly balanced against your falchion doesn't matter if the real problem is that you need to ditch combat entirely. Do you understand? I can't tell you what is or isn't a flaw unless I know what you're trying to accomplish in the first place.
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Re: Tabletop RPG (WIP)

Postby mgb519 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:55 am

Well then, I'm trying to make a system which streamlines character creation, advancement, and gameplay without becomng obscure or overly simplified. There's a balance I want to achieve. I'm also trying to provide opportunities for choices with tradeoffs, so that there are reason why someone would take one approach to a given situation over another, yet someone else would take the other approach. Can you critique from there?
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Re: Tabletop RPG (WIP)

Postby stubby » Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:11 am

But otherwise the game is just a d20 SRD clone? Characters meet in a tavern, form parties, raid dungeons?
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Re: Tabletop RPG (WIP)

Postby mgb519 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:25 am

I wouldn't know, so yeah, probably.
Odds are good that I'll replace alignment with that personality thing I came up with.

I'll look at that and see how to make this different, hopefully for the better.

On a separate note:
XP for level is 500+100 per level, so level 2 is 700XP and so on like Bonn-o-Tron.
Proficiencies will be developed through use or paid training.
XP for proficiency levels is 100 times the next proficiency, so 100 for level 1, 200 for level 2, and so on like Bonn-o-Tron.
Each point of learning speed reduces all XP requirements by 2*(level-learning speed), and it will work backwards while their level is lower(up to -15), so that a character with a learning speed of 4 will need 15 extra XP for level 1 and 2, 8 extra XP for level 3, 0 for level 4, and so on like Bonn-o-Tron.
XP is rewarded for all actions, at 2 times the difficulty of said action. This is both for the related proficiency and for the actual level.
Also upped some stats for humans and dwarves, and raised movement speed by 1 for elves and Serpentines.
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Re: Tabletop RPG (WIP)

Postby stubby » Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:25 pm

I swear getting information out of you is like pulling teeth, it's like 90% of your effort goes into preventing interest in your ideas. So you don't know whether your game is the type where you go on quests and raid dungeons. So what exactly do you imagine people doing in this game, apart from playing an occasional drinking game?
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Re: Tabletop RPG (WIP)

Postby mgb519 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:40 pm

Sorry, I thought I mentioned this earlier. I'll make it revolve around quests, but they'll involve a lot of plot and character choice. Like, your party will have to choose between factions in some quests, and that sort of thing. Loot is sort of a secondary objective in most cases, aside from if you make a character like that. Campaigns will sort of resemble a "choose your own adventure" type thing, in that there will be trees of where the plot can go.
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Re: Tabletop RPG (WIP)

Postby stubby » Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:52 pm

All right, now I can start critiquing for real then. If your goal is to provide plot and character choice, then the mechanics you've provided are the opposite of that. If combat mechanics get dozens of pages and you have to use spreadsheets to keep track of the "energy cost" of every physical maneuver, but plot choice is limited to decision trees, then your game is about the combat system, not about plot.

If you talk with people who work on game design, they make you start with three questions. 1) What is your game about? 2) How does it go about doing that? 3) What behaviors does it reward?

(Video game designers have a similar set of questions, which may be clearer. 1) What is the "core experience?" 2) What are the base mechanics? 3) What is the system of reward vs. punishment?)

Right now your game is about combat. Specifically, the type of combat where you're focusing on individual combat maneuvers. All the rules you've written so far will be great if you're playing a tactical tabletop game, a little cumbersome if you're trying to run an adventure game, brutally cumbersome if you're trying to play an RPG, and complete poison if you're trying to do any plot-driven work or story gaming. Plot decision trees are probably the highest level of "a lot of plot choice" a game like this could ever achieve, so it's a good thing you've already got your sights set on the absolute bottom.

So everything in the game is presented in terms of how it affects your combat ability, how it aids you in traveling to your next combat, how it revives you from your last combat, how you get rewarded by becoming even better at combat, etc. -- "Drinking" notwithstanding. If anything, I'd tell you to get rid of Drinking and anything else that isn't for direct use in combat, and not try to shoehorn non-combat gaming into a system that's pretty clearly designed to only do combat well and anything else badly. Leave the non-combat portions of the game as vignettes dictated by the game master.

I've heard that D&D4e does this pretty well, although I haven't played that edition - anything outside of direct combat is simplified into a "challenge" that gets resolved in a couple of basic die rolls, so that it doesn't take time away from the tactical gaming that's the obvious true focus. It's like the equivalent of a plot tree except for role-playing instead of plots.
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Re: Tabletop RPG (WIP)

Postby stubby » Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:26 pm

Consider the difference between

Cleaving Blow (Axes)
Strike with intent to remove limbs, dealing 5 extra damage and ignoring armor.
Energy cost: 30
Prerequisites: 3 axes

and

Whispering Campaign (Public Relations)
Assign one or more loyal agents to foment anger against a target, putting 5 Public Opinion points per agent into the risk pool with no chance for countering.
Political currency cost: 30
Prerequisites: 3 Public Relations

or

Plot Twist (Hack Writer)
Choose any character or object with less Plot Significance than yourself, and reveal that its role in the story is the opposite of what it was before.
Ink cost: 30
Prerequisites: 3 Hack Writer

You can tell from the game mechanics what the game is about. You can also see that any one of these would be a complete waste of time in a game about any other one of these; having a rule for a single battle maneuver would be stupid in a game about determining the overall plot, and vice versa. Whether or not a mechanic is good depends on what the game is trying to accomplish.
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Re: Tabletop RPG (WIP)

Postby knolli » Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:41 pm

If it was only about dungeon crawl, something simple like Dungeon Slayers, Role To Dodge or Miniature d20 are good enough. There your PC is a set up to 12 numbers and an inventory list and that's it. But as soon as you want more diversity and a character sheet that also represents some of your characters personality, you reach the limits of these systems.
The other extreme would be a game that tries to put numbers to everything and the list of learned proficiencies is seemingly endless. That would be DSA (german: Das Schwarze Auge, eng.: The Dark Eye). Here you have Social Status, Fame but also character flaws like Greed or quick temper put into numbers, too.

Theoretically you can play a simple Dungeon Crawl in DSA or a complex detective story in RtD. Hell, you even could use Brikwars. If you have fun doing so is a different question.

The most important aspects of Roleplay, your characters personality, who he is and what he wants, cannot be calculated. And if you try you can even make an RtD PC really deep, awesome and unforgetable.

What I want to say is that the system you use is just a way to determine if you character succeeds in a set task, but it is just machanics. Whether you character tries to in the first place is up to you. It these choices that make PRGs unique. Otherwise the GM could just tell a story and let you roll dice at certain points therein, but otherwise you wouldn't need to be there.

As I said before, I have many adventures in many different systems, some were self made and others were officially published. Most plots can be easily transfered between different games and settings, may it be fantasy or sci-fi. And I leanred one thing: Good Adventures are hard to find. Most writers make the mistake to only prepare one storyline that must be followed in a strict order. Railroading guaranteed. Only some are modular, meaning you have a certain number of focus points that can be reached in loose order and different decisions lead to different outcomes. The best kind of Adventure in my opinion is the one that is specifically written for and revolves around the individual PCs. This is also the kind that demands the most work from the GM as it developes with playing and can take unexpected turn ayn time. The PC can simply decide not to follow any kind of plot the GM has prepared and do their own thing. To railroad them in this situation would be the wrong thing to do.



Edit: Seems like some certain game designers and writers I know could learn much from you, Mike. Many seem to have lost the focus long ago and stumble around in the dark. Or they are trying to do all at once, a "roleplay adventure game with tactical tabletop combat". I didn't know you could differ between them so strictly. I learned much today. Thank you for the lesson.
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