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Thread: D&D v.P1

  1. #1
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    D&D v.P1

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    ---(Full rules are posted in reply #8)---

    Dungeons and Dragons: Pen and Paper Games Edition.

    I was just watching a conference with some D&D bigwigs about their vision for 5.0. They talked about making things easy for the DM, since DMs make the game come alive. They talked about streamlining Skills, so things could be played on the fly. They said they'd be keeping the Big Six ability scores.

    And well, we've already seen some playtest versions of D&D Next, which, of course, we're contractually not allowed to share. Even with each other.

    But with those ideas, and appreciation for the past editions of D&D, can we come up with our OWN edition? We have plenty of rules lawyers. And probably an artist, web-publisher, or .pdf genius in our midst. What more do we need for D&D v.P?

    One thing we'll need: agreement. And for lack of a better idea right now, we should probably default to the tyranny of the majority.

    Who's in? And for kicks, what are the top three rules you want in the game?
    Last edited by DMMike; 01-07-2013 at 12:56 PM. Reason: Adding navigation help
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    Nice idea, Mike.
    I'd be up for this one!
    I have DMed for many years, but am a great fan of the mechanics, rules, and war game at the base of the game. But still...
    The first rule must be the old rule zero (The DM is always right).
    The second rule must be that this is an important social contract between all the players and the DM (we are here to have fun).
    Finally, everything should be upfront and understood (the rules are here for a reason and are not malleable after the start).
    Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.


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    I've done this in a formal way. Most people do it without the book of their own. Everyone house rules.

    Frankly I starting thinking Crunch, but Rabkala is right. The first things stated need to be meta concepts. Rule Zero, The social contract, and we play by the rules.

    I don't know any edition in which these are stated forthrightly. Some people need the cards on the table and this is a good start to that.

    After that we shred alignment.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    The Dean of Old School
    The Olde Phoenix Inn
    Metro Detroit Linux Users Group

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    Two replies and you guys are already changing my perspective. I knew you had it in ya.

    Rule Zero: seems to be an implied rule in D&D. It's probably between the lines in the section where they describe how the DM is the person in charge of bringing the game world to the players. So you're thinking it should be more explicit? Rule Zero strikes me less as a universal rule though, and more as a snark from DMs who don't like rules lawyers.

    Social contract: good point here, too. I've seen some RPGs talk about this as well. This and Rule Zero (convention, R000) can probably be mentioned briefly in an early chapter, no?

    Alignment: my vision is of a very streamlined RPG, which hopefully makes for fast, easy play, that has a modularity to it which is great for attaching stuff. Alignment should be one of those attachments. I'm asking myself: is this a rule that I can ignore and still play the game? In Alignment's case, that seems to be a Yes.

    Naming convention: the D&D rules are typically laid out in an expository way. Well, that's great for comprehension, but not construction. So let's actually number our rules, to facilitate adding, modifying, and subtracting them. This is pulled from the 3.5 PHB:
    R:
    000 - Rule Zero
    100 - Abilities
    200 - Race
    300 - Class
    400 - Skill
    500 - Feats
    600 - Description (Alignment, Religion, Vital Statistics, Looks, Background, Personality)
    700 - Equipment
    800 - Combat
    900 - Adventuring (Carrying, Movement, Exploration, Treasure)
    1000 - Magic

    I'm already seeing some streamlining potential here. Plus, these are for the player, and not necessarily the System. How about:

    R:
    000 - Rule Zero and Roleplaying Rules
    100 - Core Mechanics
    200 - Skills (Includes Combat)
    300 - Perks (Rule-Benders)
    400 - Physical Rules
    500 - Mental Rules
    600 - Metaphysical Rules
    700 - Modules (how to use them)
    800 - Lists (Equipment, Spells, Templates, etc.)

    It seems that lots of the PHB rules have two special purposes: applying the rules to your character (e.g. movement rules for a six foot, barbarian elf), and adding flavor (e.g. how to be a paladin). I think we'll move faster if we save those concepts for later, or for modules.

    And one thing for flavor: should we call our DMs something besides Dungeon Master or Game Master? (or Storyteller, or...)
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    Alright guys - I went haywire.

    The good news is that I've created a slim-and-trim ruleset, based loosely off D&D, that has the flexibility for EVERYONE here to expound on, and even create their own modules and expansions, spells, classes, or what-have-you, to make it his own.

    The bad news - I may have gone too far, and put mechanics in place that some or most of you won't agree with.

    That said, here's the skinny:

    - It uses the d20 system of making checks and modifying them with bonuses drawn from ability scores (3 to 18) and skill ranks.
    - It has three pared down ability scores - Physical, Mental, and Metaphysical, which can be expanded as desired.
    - It uses skill ranks for what your character does well, and ability checks for everything else.
    - I've eliminated Base Attack Bonus, Grapple Bonus, Armor Class, Hit Points, Cross Class Skills, and Saving Throws.
    - It has completely customizable classes, and room to add in the classes you know and love.
    - There is no Alignment in the core rules.
    - Feats have become Perks, with backward compatibility through Pathfinder, 3.5, 3.0, and maybe more.
    - Hero Points are included, used daily, and are closer to Action Points, which give you bonuses to your rolls.
    - I've eliminated Partial Actions, Move Actions, Swift Actions, etc. And you now need to use actions for defense.

    That covers most of the bases. One downside I expect to hear complaints about: there's renewed importance placed on DM adjudication. By trimming down the rules, I've created a lot of gray areas for the DM to fill in. However, these gray areas can also be filled in by community modules, so before you complain, consider making your own rules module first.

    Now three more questions:
    1) What are we calling our RPG?
    2) What are we calling our DMs?
    3) What's the best way for me to post this thing (work in progress) so that we can hammer it out until we "all" agree? (It's at 7 pages or so right now, with the core rules being probably 90% complete)
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    Being that I am in dire need of sleep - and can't get to see Mr. Pillow for another four hours - I'm gonna just start throwing wrenches... sorry.

    No BAB, AC, or Hp... how do I hit something? Will a newbie be able to hit the BBEG as easily as a veteran warrior? How are you getting around AC? Armor ratings/armor hit points? But, if you don't have PC hit points, then how/why Armor Hp? How much damage does a sword do? When do I die?

    Will the Braves win the pennant? Will Serge and Martha ever find true love? When will my inane questions stop??

    How about now?

    Oh, as for the questions...

    1. No idea.
    2. What's wrong with GM/Game Master? Game Operations Designer (GOD)??
    3. What's wrong with here?

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    How to hit something: roll d20, add your Physical modifier (like d20's Strength modifier) and hope you exceed your target's Defense roll. If you're trained in attacking, you'll be able to add your Attack skill bonus as well.

    Can the newbie hit as well as the vet? Probably not, since the vet will have a higher Physical score and higher Attack skill points.

    Getting around AC: you're not attacking an AC anymore, you're trying to beat your opponent's defense roll. Which is similar to an Attack roll: it's Physical modifier plus Defense skill plus d20.

    Armor hit points? Nope. You have no more hit points. Your HP were a measure of how far you were from death. Now your ability scores are that measure. Physical, Mental, or Metaphysical are the three minimum abilities (it's possible to add more in modules/advanced versions). If your Mental score hits zero, you go unconscious. If your Metaphysical score hits zero, you go unconscious. If your Physical hits zero, you die.

    Sword damage: same as in D&D if you want. But I recommend three levels of weapon damage - Light, Medium, and Heavy, or d4, d8, and d12. Same goes for armor: armor protects you by deducting attack damage - d4, d8, or d12.

    1. What do we call it? How about P&P (RPG)?
    2. Game master: um...I don't like Game Master, but Dungeon Master might be copyrighted or something.
    3. Lemme try and do a monster post... Edit: wow that's ugly. Try cutting and pasting it into a word processor. Note that the rule numbers will be unique and sequential (by category) when all the rules are in place.
    Last edited by DMMike; 12-31-2012 at 03:06 AM.
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    R000 - Rule Zero and Roleplaying Rules
    R000 - The DM is always right.
    R000 - Roleplaying games (RPGs) are for fun. While everything you do at and in an RPG doesn't need to increase everyone's fun, you should consider that no one should be detracting from anyone's fun.

    R000 - After-Session Review. After each game, the DM and players are encouraged to discuss what they liked and didn't like about the game. In particular, if any Skill or Perk seemed too powerful, or not powerful enough, the group should come to a consensus on how to modify that feature for the next game.

    --

    R100 - Core Mechanics

    R100 - All uncertainties are resolved with opposing d20 rolls. Some rolls receive modifiers which are added (or subtracted) to the result shown on the die. The higher result wins. In the case of a tie, resolve as a tie or a reroll, DM's choice.

    R100 - Nomenclature of rolls. A roll made against a character is a "contest." A roll made against fate, or a non-opponent, is an "attempt." A roll that might result in damage is an "attack," and a roll to avoid that attack is a "defense." The roll to determine how much damage is caused or prevented is a "damage" roll. Finally, the roll to establish the order used in combat is called "initiative."

    R100 - Contests. When a roll is made against an opponent, both sides roll in a contest. Each side adds its own ability score bonus and other modifiers to the results of its roll, in addition to any granted by the DM for the situation.

    R100 - Attempts. When a roll tests the success of only one character, that character rolls an Attempt against the DM's roll. The DM assigns a bonus to his roll based on the objective difficulty of the test.

    R100 - Difficulty bonuses. Some rolls, sometimes Contests, usually Attempts, are more difficult because the action they're simulating is a difficult one. For example, the monster that you're trying to trip has 16 legs. This beast would get at least +12 to its Parry roll, because it is highly unlikely that anyone could trip it. The DM adds difficulty bonus anytime a roll would be more or less likely to succeed, due to factors besides the actor's skill. The bonuses are as follows:
    Too Easy: automatic success
    Easy: +0
    Challenging: +4
    Difficult: +8
    Unlikely: +12
    Impossible: +16
    Divine: +20 or more

    R100 - Assumed results, or Take 10. Any roller may always assume the slightly less than average result of 10 on a d20 roll, or "take 10." The DM should take 10 anytime it would promote the flow of gameplay without harming it. To take 10, a player or GM should announce his intent before any dice are rolled.

    R100 - Order of rolls. The attacker or initiator of a roll should announce the purpose of the roll, announce whether he will be taking 10, and then roll any hero points that will be added to the roll. After the defender or responder has a chance to announce taking 10, the initiator should roll all relevant dice necessary. The responder must also roll hero dice first, and then roll all dice appropriate to the action.

    R100 - Ability Scores. All characters have three ability scores. Abilities affect the odds of success in all actions or rolls. In addition, abilities determine a character's ability to avoid death. The three basic ability scores are Physical, Mental, and Metaphysical.
    R100.0 - Physical. This ability score determines how well a character performs physical actions, from avoiding attacks, to flying, to chopping wood, to balancing on a beam. It is also a measure of his body's resistance to fatigue and blows.
    R100.0 - Mental. This ability score measures a character's mental aptitude, from concentrating through pain, to solving riddles, to reciting tax codes, to hearing a pin drop. It is also a measure of his consciousness, and ability to stay conscious.
    R100.0 - Metaphysical. This ability score indicates a character's otherworldly presence, whether that's emanating confidence, casting magic spells, or hardening one's ki. It is also a measure of his spiritual presence in the world.
    R100.0 - Ability Scores for characters are determined by rolling 3d6 for each ability score. The DM may increase the significance (or heroism) of these rolls by granting bonuses to starting rolls.

    R100 - Ability Score modifiers. Ability scores grant modifiers to be used when making a roll with that ability. The algorythm for these modifiers is as follows:
    (Even ability score - 10) / 2 or (Odd ability score - 11) / 2.

    R100 - Ability Score Minimums. If Physical gets modified to zero, a character dies. If Mental gets modified to zero, a character goes unconscious. If Metaphysical gets modified to zero, a character goes catatonic.

    R100 - Damage. Damage is the general term for getting closer to death. Anything that causes a character to get closer to death adds damage linked to an ability score. A character can take as much damage of an ability type as he has points in that ability score. For example, if a character has a Mental score of 11, he can take 11 points of Mental damage before going unconscious, as if his Mental score had been reduced to zero.


    R100.0 - Healing Damage. Absent magical, divine, or extraordinary intervention, a character heals one damage point per level at the following rates:
    Physical - Daily
    Mental - Hourly
    Metaphysical - each Minute

    R100 - Levels. Levels are a measure of a character's general superiority to other characters. A character gets an ability increase (+1), a skill increase (+1), a perk, and a hero point at each level.

    R100.0 - Gaining Levels. Level increases can be gained after a set number of achievements, as decided by the DM. Some examples are:
    - Surviving 15 encounters after which the party needed healing.
    - Completing 5 quests.
    - Gaining good (or evil) reputation in 5 villages.
    - Earning an ability increase, skill increase, and perk in-game. After which the DM can award a hero point to complete the level.

    R100 - Battle grids. Battle grids, each square designating 5 feet squared, mark the space occupied by the average combatant. See Physical Rules for more on grids and movement in combat.

    R100.0 - Battle Grid Movement. Movement rates are measured in squares for simplicity. A diagonal move or measurement is either 1.5 squares, or 1 square of movement followed by 2 for the next diagonal move.

    R100 - Hero Points. To simulate the heroic nature of the PCs, each PC has one hero point per level, per day. A hero point is the result of a d4 roll, rolled before the corresponding roll is made, as a bonus to that roll. Any number of Hero Points may be used at one time, not to exceed that character's daily total.

    R100.0 - Villain Points. To simulate a villain's ability to thwart heroes, the DM has the option of awarding his villains one villain point per two levels. Villain points have only one use: reducing the results of hero points. Each villain point is available daily, for 1d4 points of modification.

    --

    R200 - Skills

    R201 - General Skill Rule. A skill is something that a character does well. Characters use skill points as modifiers to improve their rolls when performing a certain skill. Each skill has a relevant ability, which improves the use of that skill. The following skills are listed with their relevant ability scores.

    R200 - Acquiring Skills. Characters gain skill points when they gain levels, to represent increasing knowledge or experience in a skill. Skill points can also be earned in place of new level perks, or as awarded by the DM.
    R200.0 - Max Points. When gaining skill points, your total points in a skill cannot exceed your level, unless modified by a perk.

    R200 - Selecting Skills. A skill is any individual task that has a useful outcome, can be considered challenging or more difficult than challenging, and can be improved by knowledge or experience. Players may choose any skill they like, provided it meets this definition. For example, Selina the Battle Wench chooses Sure Footing as a skill. She can use this skill for crossing slick tavern floors, but not for stacking cards, or balancing heavily-loaded serving trays. Her sister Seloopa cannot select Tavern Domination as a skill, because it incorporates many individual tasks.

    R200 - Using Skills. Characters may perform any skill that doesn't require specific knowledge or training, even if it's not listed on their character sheets. If the character has no skill points for that skill, he rolls his attempt or contest using only his relevant ability modifier. If the character has skill points in that skill, he adds his ability modifier and skill points to his roll.

    R200.0 - Specific Knowledge. If a skill requires specific knowledge or training, a character must have skill points in that skill to perform the contest or attempt. For example, Merlock the wizard must have specific knowledge to use Spell (Magic Fingers). He has skill points in other spells, but none in Spell (Magic Fingers), so he cannot try to cast the spell. Skills that require specific knowledge are marked with an "S."


    R200 - Fight - Physical. Fighting is a contest that an opponent contests with the Parry skill, involves the use of a weapon with a damage rating, and threatens the application of Physical damage to the opponent. Fight can also be used to trip, wrestle, or disarm, although these attacks are more difficult. All characters with physical bodies can Fight. The standard Fight contest gets the Physical modifier, Fight skill points, and difficulty bonus if the defender has impediments, like being restrained, or the attacker has enhancements, like great size or momentum. If a character succeeds in his Fight contest, he deals Physical damage, as appropriate for the weapon used, reduced by the damage defense of his opponent's armor. A successful Fight deals a minimum of 1 damage per weapon used.

    R200 - Parry - Physical. Parry is a skill posessed by all physical characters. It requires using a reserve action, triggered by an enemy's attack. If a combatant has no reserve actions for defense, he will automatically take damage when attacked. A successful Parry results in no damage. A failed defense (or no defense) results in taking the amount of damage rolled by the attacker, reduced by the damage of the defender's armor, for a minimum of 1 point of damage.

    R200 - Concentration - Mental. Concentration is the primary skill used to defend against Mental attacks. Concentration can be used to recite a prayer accurately while being harassed by a demon, while searching through a tome in a storm, or to ignore the magical music of a bard.

    R200 - Spirit - Metaphysical. Spirit is the primary skill used to defend against Metaphysical attacks. Spirit can be used to resist divine compulsion or maintain spellcasting ability when assaulted by magicians.

    R200 - Spell (name) - Metaphysical - S. Spells are the use of specially prepared supernatural power to change reality. The Spell skill is a catchall, and each spell is a separate skill, e.g. Spell (deepest slumber). Because Spells are strenuous on the spell caster, they deal damage to his ability scores, in exchange for tremendous effects. Because Spells require special training, they cannot be used by characters without Skill Points in that Spell. See the Metaphysical rules for more on magic and spells.

    R200 - Knowledge (type) - Mental - S. The Knowledge Skill covers the useful task of conveying or using information. Each Knowledge skill covers a single topic, like wilderness survival or court etiquette. As a character has more skill points in the topic, his depth of knowledge increases. This skill can be used to give a character information on what is the best action to take, if he is stranded in a desert or faced with a dragon, or needs to speak a foreign language. Alternatively, Knowledge can be used to provide appropriate answers if someone else, like an angry watchman, is asking. Note that all characters have general knowledge, so if a topic could be known by an average person, a character can use his Mental ability to attempt to recall that knowledge.

    R200 - Crafting (object) - Mental. Use the Craft Skill to make a category of useful items, like (weapons), (armor), or (poisons). While crafting requires special tools and accommodations, it also allows characters to acquire goods at significantly reduced prices.

    R200 - Movement - Physical. Movement is the skill used to move around on your feet. It is the primary skill used to change positions in combat. Each point of movement rolled translates to one foot on the battle grid, and results are rounded down to the nearest five feet. Terrain will sometimes be difficult, because it is slippery, or steep, or marshy. In these cases, you move one foot for each point of movement attempt that exceeds the DM's roll. A player can move faster by ignoring distractions, and comitting several move actions to one movement. Before a player moves, he can spend two actions at the same time to multiply his movement results by two, or spend three actions and multiply by three. A character can restrain another by using an appropriate Physical action to contest a movement action.
    R200.0 - Special Movement. The movement skill focuses on a character's ability to move through squares on the battle grid. It does not cover specialized types of movement, like climbing, flying, acrobatics, or sneaking.

    R200 - Repel Undead - Metaphysical - S. When a character channels the power of a deity, he uses this skill to scare away undead monsters. The channeler chooses how many d8s of damage he will take to his Metaphysical ability. Then he takes that damage with a Metaphysical action, and presents his holy symbol with a Physical action. All undead within 60 feet (12 squares) of the caster who have remaining Metaphysical points of what the channeler took (for damage) flee in terror for a number of rounds equal to the damage rolled. Fleeing in terror means that they must take three physical actions each round to get further away from the channeler. For example, Jose the Black Priest faces eight zombies. Rather than fight them, he chooses to repel them. He chooses to take 2d8 Metaphysical damage, and rolls 9. Jose takes 9 Metaphysical damage, and each zombie whose Metaphysical score, less Metaphysical damage, is 9 or less spends its next 9 rounds fleeing from Jose.
    --

    R300 - Perks

    R300 - General Perk Rule. A Perk is a personal addition to, or a bending of, the rules. Because these can affect gameplay in varying magnitudes, Perks should have the minimum possible scope and generally not affect rolls by more than +1 or -1.

    R300 - Evaluating New Perks. Three questions should be asked when introducing a new perk:
    1 - Do the other players accept the inclusion of this perk?
    2 - Would the player be comfortable with NPCs having this perk?
    3 - Does the perk meet the definition of a Skill?
    4 - Does the perk exceed the general power or usefulness of any other perks?

    R300 - Acquiring Perks. Perks are gained at each level. A perk may also be granted for being a certain race, or as part of a class benefit.

    R300 - Perk Substitutions. Upon gaining a new level Perk (not Race or Class), a player may choose to instead gain an ability increase, a skill increase, or a hero point, but abilities can only increase once each level, and skill points cannot exceed the character's level.

    R300 - Perk Stacking. Perks may increase in scope or modifier bonus if they succeed each other.

    R300 - Example Perks. The following are Perks granted from a race, a class, a story element, and party consensus:
    - Racial Perk: As an elf, Wohus gets to make a search attempt just for being near a secret door.
    - Class Perk: Stinky Al, the thief, adds +1 backstab damage whenever he attacks an enemy who is unaware of him.
    - Story Perk: Romnius saved the town from a fiend, so he gets +1 on all Mental checks made in that town.
    - Player Designed, with Party Consensus: Persules gets +4 on Attack Contests made with his family heirloom, the Barthus Longsword.

    R300 - General Perks
    Stubborn. Prevent 1d4 damage from Mental attacks.
    Stubborn 2. Increase Stubborn die to d8.
    Stubborn 3. Increase Stubborn die to d12.
    Enlightened. Prevent 1d4 damage from Metaphysical attacks.
    Enlightened 2. Increase Enlightened die to d8.
    Enlightened 3. Increase Enlightened die to d12.
    Expert. Increase your max points (but not total points) in a skill by one.
    Toughness. Take 3 extra points of Physical damage before dying.
    Opportunist. Forfeit your chance to move during the round to take your Tide of Battle at any point during your turn.
    Fleet Footed. Gain +4 to all Initiative checks.
    Fast Footed. Gain +4 to all Movement checks.


    R300 - Fighter Perks
    Weapon Training. +1 to Attack with a single weapon type, e.g. longsword.
    Armor Training. +1 to Defense with a single armor type, e.g. ringmail.
    Dodge. Gain one reserve action for Defense each round.
    Power Attack. Subtract 1 from any Attack contest to add 1 to that contest's damage.
    Dual Wielder. Your penalty to additional weapon damage when attacking with more than one weapon is reduced to -3.

    R300 - Thief Perks
    Backstabber. Gain +2 Attack and +2 damage to any Attack contest in which the defender was unaware of you, when using a light weapon.
    Treasure Hunter. Gain +2 to defense rolls against traps.
    Nimble Feet. Gain +1 Defense and +1 damage to any Defense in which you were unaware of the attacker.
    Lucky Day. If a physical attack causes you to reach max damage, reroll the contest once, and spend a Hero Point. Success means you luckily avoided the attack, failure means you die.

    R300 - Cleric Perks

    R300 - Wizard Perks
    Spellbook Use. Cast any wizard spell found in a spellbook, at +0 skill points. Using a spellbook costs an extra Physical action.

    --

    R400 - Physical Rules - energy types, special combat actions, creature size, flexibility of physical actions, grids and movement, carrying weapons and armor, damage of fists (natural attacks), two handed fighting,

    R400 - Character Death. A character can die from only Physical damage. Low ability modifiers simulate a character's approaching death, but when a character's Physical damage equals his modified Physical score, he is mostly dead. Mostly dead characters can be returned to 1 effective Physical score, or max damage -1, via a life-giving spell, miracle pill, phoenix down, or an impossible (+16) healing skill attempt.

    R400 - Combat. When two or more characters engage in more than one contest, they are in combat. Combat occurs in sequential rounds, about 6 seconds per round, and each round ends in a Tide of Battle.

    R400 - Actions in Rounds. A character's action options in combat are determined by his ability scores. Each round, a character can perform three actions, Physical, Mental, and Metaphysical, or any combination of three thereof. These are known as the unassigned actions. Characters gain an additional action per round for every +5 bonus they have in an ability score, and that action must relate to that ability. For example, Yurden the monk has a metaphysical modifier of +7. He takes one Physical action to move to his opponent, and trades his Mental action for another Physical to make an attack against his opponent. He has two more actions for the round, an unassigned Metaphysical that he can trade for a Mental or Physical action, and a Metaphysical action that he gains from having at least +5 as his Metaphysical modifier. He saves the former to use as defense against his opponent's counterattack later in the round, and the latter he uses with his Ki Armor class perk, which gives him +2 to Physical defense rolls for the round.

    R400 - Reserve Actions. Actions not used during a character's turn are held in reserve until the character's next turn. These actions take place either passively, like maintaining a spell, or when triggered, like waiting for an enemy to disengage from combat, or waiting to defend one's self. Reserve actions may not be combined with other reserve actions, so they are best used as responses or interruptions. A PC must not announce the intent of each reserve action in order to utilize them, but the action taken should correspond to the source of the action (physical, mental, metaphysical, or unassigned). A reserve action used to pre-empt another character requires a new Initiative check against that character. The DM must decide if the new initiative check is successful enough to achieve the character's objective. Unused reserve actions are lost at the beginning of the character's next turn. If characters want to use reserve actions at the same time, the character with the higher initiative acts first.

    R400 - Order of Initiative. All combatants choose an ability to determine the order of initiative, or who will act in what order. Make an Attempt with that ability, and then all characters take their turn in order of the highest result first. When all combatants have taken a turn, the round begins again in the same order. A character may choose to delay his turn until after another character has taken a turn.

    R400 - Movement in Combat. Movement is a skill possessed by all characters. Movement requires a Physical action, and can be contested by opponents who do not want a character to move. See the skill, Movement.

    R400 - Combat example. Ragnar wants to attack Ganrag, but still defend himself. He chooses Physical for his initiative, and his result is 13. Ganrag chooses Physical as well, for a result of 8. Ragnar begins the round. Ragnar must move to reach Ganrag, so he starts his round by taking 10 on his movement attempt, for a result of 10 feet. Ragnar uses another Movement, taking 10, to move another 10 feet to reach Ganrag. With one action left for his round, Ragnar chooses to save it for Defense. Next Ganrag acts. Ganrag had no weapon ready, so he uses a Movement attempt to draw his great axe. Then Ganrag attacks Ragnar, who is ready for the attack. Ganrag rolls 15, adds his Physical bonus of 2, and his Fight points of 4, for a total Fight contest of 21. Ragnar rolls 10, adds his Physical bonus of 1, and his Parry points of 2, for a result of 13. Ganrag wins the Contest, so he rolls damage. His great axe does 1d12 Physical damage, which he rolls to get 6. Ragnar rolls 1d8 for his steel armor, and 1d4 for his shield, for a total defense of 8. Ragnar's defense damage exceeds Ganrag's attack damage, but successful attacks always do a minimum of 1 damage, so Ragnar adds 1 damage to Physical. Ganrag saves his last action for defense. The round begins again, and Ragnar hopes to finish Ganrag off this round, so he uses his three actions for Attacks. Ganrag uses his one reserve action for defense, and wins. But Ragnar has two more attacks, which Ganrag cannot defend because he has no more reserve actions. Ragnar rolls his attack damage twice, for 10 total damage, and Ganrag rolls defense damage twice, once for each of Ragnar's unopposed attacks, for a total of 5, reducing Ragnar's attack damage from 10 to 5. Ganrag adds 5 damage to his Physical score, taking him closer to death.


    R400 - Attacking with Two Weapons. A character may make a Fight contest with more than one weapon, provided he has the limbs to properly wield those weapons. The resulting damage from a successful contest gains a damage roll from each weapon, with a -4 damage penalty for each weapon beyond the first. For example, Trognar the Three-Armed wields three scimitars with three arms. Trognar rolls 3d8 damage on a successful Fight contest, and subtracts 8 for wielding two extra weapons. Each weapon does a minimum of 1 damage, so his minimum damage is 3 and his maximum damage is 16.


    --

    R500 - Mental Rules - bardic music, hypnotism, sensing (spot listen), surprise, diplomacy


    --

    R600 - Metaphysical Rules - rules/limits on magic items...

    R600 - Spellbooks. Using a spellbook allows a spellcaster to cast a spell for which he has no skill points. However, using the spellbook is a physical action, in addition to the actions required for the spell.

    R600 - Acquiring Spells. Spells require special training to learn and use. If a character has access to special training (as established by the DM), he may purchase skill points in a spell when he gains a level. Some classes award extra skill points to be used for spells alone.

    R600 - Casting Spells. Casting a spell requires at least one Metaphysical action, and 1d8 Metaphysical damage to the caster. The caster starts a spell with the required Metaphysical action, and rolls his Spell skill for that action. His Spell result is the contest result for anyone defending against the spell. The caster then uses the remaining actions required for his spell, and when those are complete, the spell occurs. If the caster must take or distribute more damage for the spell, it occurs immediately after all spellcasting actions are complete.


    R600 - Defending Against Spells. Spells can cause damage of any type, Physical, Mental or Metaphysical. Defenders may contest any one type of damage with an appropriate reserve action, opposed by the caster's Spell roll. On a success, the defender takes no damage to that ability. On a failure, the defender may apply any applicable damage reduction to the caster's attack damage. If the defender doesn't have the appropriate reserve action, he cannot contest that part of the spell. For example, Krathos the Invoker invokes the spell of Soulfire. The spell causes the defender 2d8 damage to Physical and 1d8 damage to Metaphysical. Berny, the unlucky victim, has a reserve unassigned action, and he uses it for Physical defense. Berny's Physical Contest ties Krathos's Metaphysical Contest, so they roll again. This time, Berny succeeds, and takes no Physical damage. However, Berny reserved no Metaphysical action to defend against Krathos, so Krathos rolls 1d8 for 7 Metaphysical damage, automatically winning the contest. Berny has no Metaphysical armor, so he takes the full 7 damage.
    Spells that have other effects besides damage are contested with a relevant skill, or in the absence of such, an ability contest. If the effects are ongoing, i.e. the caster uses an action to maintain the spell, the defender may contest the spell in the next round. For example, Krathos casts the spell of Rage on Berny. Rage does not cause damage, but makes the victim begin attacking anyone nearby. Berny has a Meditation skill, which he uses to oppose Krathos's spell contest. Berny fails the first contest, and goes on a rampage. Next round, Berny can attempt another contest to defeat the spell, provided Krathos uses an action to maintain the spell. Berny must roll against Krathos's original Spell roll.

    --

    R700 - Modules

    R700 - Modules are changes or additions to the core rules, with an optional theme.

    R700 - Module format. Modules should use the following format:
    Section 1: module overview and thematic content.
    Section 2: changes to core rules.
    Section 3: additional rules.
    Section 4: miscellaneous content.

    R700 - Rule labelling. Module rules begin with M or special module initials, instead of R. For example:
    M101: The basic mechanic is the comaprison of a d4 roll to a d6 roll.
    M204: The Fight skill is removed under the rules of this module.

    --

    R800 - Lists (Races, Classes, Equipment, Spells, Templates, etc.)

    R800 - Armor.
    Light Armor Damage Misc.
    Leather Mail 1d6+1
    Shield 1d4 Cannot use two weapons
    Studded Leather 1d6+2







    Medium Armor Damage Misc.
    Chainmail 1d8+3
    Hide 1d8+1
    Scale Mail 1d8+2
    Tower Shield 1d6+1 Cannot use two weapons, -2 to Movement









    Heavy Armor Damage Misc.
    Field Plate Mail 1d10+2
    Full Plate Mail 1d10+3






    R800 - Weapons.
    Light Weapons Damage Range Misc.
    Bow, Short 1d6 Medium 2 Handed
    Club 1d6 Reach
    Dagger 1d4 Short
    Sickle 1d4+1 Reach
    Sword, Short 1d6+1 Reach
    Medium Weapons Damage Range Misc.
    Axe, Battle 1d8+1 Reach
    Bow, Long 1d8 Long 2 Handed
    Crossbow, Light 1d8+1 Medium 2 Handed
    Flail 1d8 Reach +2 for tripping or disarming
    Mace 1d8 Reach
    Morningstar 1d8+1 Reach
    Spear 1d8 Reach +1
    Sword, Long 1d8+2 Reach
    Warhammer 1d8+1 Reach
    Heavy Weapons Damage Range Misc.
    Axe, Great 1d10+2 Reach +1 2 Handed
    Crossbow, Heavy 1d10+2 Long 2 Handed
    Lance 1d10+3 Reach+1 Requires horse
    Sword, Two Handed 1d10+3 Reach 2 Handed





































    R800 - Classes. Classes are optional sets of benefits and hindrances that give characters more direction in their heroic development. A class should apply its features each time a character gains a level. Class names do not necessarily reflect a character's occupation; they are simply a reference to his benefits and hindrances.

    R800 - Class Examples.
    R800.0 - Fighter.
    Benefit: gains +1 to Attack or Defense each level.
    Benefit: gains a fighter perk at each level.
    Benefit: may use all weapons and armor.
    Hindrance: may not learn Spells.
    Starting gear: One light weapon, one shield, and player's choice of:
    - One light weapon and one heavy armor
    - One medium weapon and one medium armor
    - One heavy weapon and one light armor.
    R800.0 - Thief.
    Benefit: gains an extra skill increase per level.
    Benefit: gains a thief perk at each level.
    Hindrance: may use light or medium weapons and armor.
    Starting gear: one light or medium weapon and one light armor.
    R800.0 - Cleric.
    Benefit: gains +1 to a Cleric spell each level.
    Benefit: gains a cleric perk at each level.
    Hindrance: must serve a god for metaphysical powers.
    Hindrance: may only use light or medium weapons and armor.
    Starting gear: one medium weapon and one medium armor.
    R800.0 - Wizard.
    Benefit: gains +1 to a Wizard spell each level.
    Benefit: gains a wizard perk at each level.
    Benefit: gains a familiar at first level. A familiar is a small animal servant with half the levels of the wizard, rounded down, no hero points, and no Class. The familiar's starting ability scores are Physical 4, Mental 6, Metaphysical 10. The wizard may lend hero points to his familiar.
    Hindrance: may only use light weapons, and no armor.
    Starting gear: one light weapon, and a spellbook with one spell.

    R800 - Races. A race is a set of benefits and hindrances that make a character a different type of human, or a species other than human. The features of a race should apply once at first level, and at higher levels if the race can evolve.

    R800 - Race Examples. These are fantasy races that offer benefits and hindrances, in addition to their standard interesting appearances.
    R800.0 - Elf. Elves are frail forest-folk, with a fanciful demeanor.
    Benefit: Alert. +2 to listen and spot rolls.
    Benefit: Sleepless. Elves sleep only four hours per night.
    Hindrance: Frail. -1 to Physical score.
    R800.0 - Dwarf. Dwarves are sturdy mountain-folk, often with bad humor.
    Benefit: Darkvision. Dwarves can see sixty feet in pure darkness.
    Benefit: Hardy. Dwarves get +2 on nausea or poison resistance rolls.
    Hindrance: Bulky. Dwarves take -2 on all Movement rolls.
    R800.0 - Orc. Orcs are big, ugly savage folk.
    Benefit: Large. Orcs can reach five extra feet, once per round.
    Benefit: Thick-skinned. +2 to rolls involving temperature or weather.
    Hindrance: Dull. -1 to Mental score.
    Last edited by DMMike; 01-27-2013 at 09:50 PM.
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    Possible default magic rules, for your viewing pleasure.

    M600 - Disrupting Spells. When a spell caster uses actions to cast a spell, those actions must be successful for the spell to take place. If an action fails, the spell casting fails during that action, and the caster takes spell casting damage only for the actions completed. If an opponent contests a spell casting action,the caster may make a defense contest to complete the action. If the caster loses the contest, that action fails. A spell casting action can be disrupted only by an action of the corresponding type. For example, Stermit the Alternator casts a spell called Polymorph, which requires two physical actions, a metaphysical action, and the required metaphysical action for casting any spell. Stermit uses his metaphysical action to start casting the spell. This triggers Hondo's reserve action to prevent spellcasting, and Hondo moves to Stermit's position. Hondo saved one more action, an attack, which must wait until Stermit uses one of his physical casting actions. Stermit begins the physical motions, his first physical action, and Hondo attacks. Stermit rolls Defense and wins, continuing his spell. However, when Stermit begins his next metaphysical action, Seevaruu begins her reserve action to disrupt this by contesting with her Mind Whip. Stermit rolls metaphysical defense, in this case Spirit, and fails. Seevaruu reduces Stermit's next round metaphysical actions by one, with the Mind Whip, and Stermit is free to finish his actions for the round, but his first spell attempt has failed.


    M600 - Spell Creation. Players are welcome to create their own spells. The DMs approval is always required before using a new spell in-game. If a character has skill points to spend, he may use them to memorize the new spell as a skill. If not, the new spell should be enterred into a spellbook.
    Designing a spell is a cost-benefit process. Each spell has casting actions, caster damage, target damage, and an effect.

    • Cost:
      • Benefit:

    • Caster Metaphysical damage, 1d8,
      • required Ability to cast a spell.

    • Metaphysical action, Spell roll,
      • required Establish caster's success level.

    • Caster Metaphysical damage, 1d8
      • Target Metaphysical damage, 1d8.

    • Caster Physical damage, 1d8
      • Target Physical damage, 1d8.

    • Caster Mental damage, 1d8
      • Target Mental damage, 1d8.

    • Physical action
      • Reduce caster Physical damage by one die roll.

    • Mental action
      • Reduce caster Mental damage by one die roll.

    • Metaphysical action
      • Reduce caster Metaphysical damage by one die roll.

    • Metaphysical action, succeeding round
      • Continue effects of non-damaging spell.

    • Bonus to Spell roll opposition, +0/4/8/12
      • Cast spell range touch/short/medium/long.

    • Bonus to Spell roll opposition, +8
      • Cast spell around or behind obstacles.

    • Bonus to Spell roll opposition, +4/8
      • Attack non-adjacent targets/separate parties.

    • Reduce target damage die to d4
      • Target cannot defend against spell.

    • Reduce target damage die to d6
      • Target takes half damage on successful defense.

    • Caster damage corresponding to effect/level
      • Cast higher than spell effect tree level one


    M600.0 - Spell damage limit: one die per caster level.

    M600.0 - Spell target limit: one target per caster level.

    M600.0 - Spell effect tree. The spell effect tree is how a spell creator works backwards to discover the damage dice required to cast his spell. If a character wants to cast a permanent illusion of a circus, he can do that. He creates a tree of diminishing spell complexity levels like this:

    Full spell, permanence, intelligible sounds, movement, many entities, few entities, single entity, sound.

    With DM approval, this spell uses 8 levels of complexity, so it can be cast with 8 caster damage dice, in addition to the metaphysical damage requirement.
    Last edited by DMMike; 01-09-2013 at 12:00 PM. Reason: Post redundant, added magic
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  10. #10
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    i think i have a cat wrench for you. i like complex games. too streamlined = too little interest for me.

    for example, physical. how does one differentiate between speed strength and brute strength (white and red muscle)? what about manual dexterity as opposed to reflexes? how do you emulate someone with a high factor in one aspect of physical, but a low factor in another aspect of physical?

    and so on, but i'll stop for now.
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
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    Yes Nijineko, so far it's very streamlined. That's sort of the point though, so that there's room to add rules, tailor rules, and give the game personal flavor if you want to. My goal, and I hope I have some supporters here, is to create a rock-solid RPG foundation that we can collectively or individually build upon.

    Under the streamlined rules, the way you differentiate between speed strength and brute strength is to say so. Two characters have Physical 16. To make that speed strength, it's simply up to the player to call it that. So with few rules, there is a TON of flexibility. But that also means gray area, so it's up to the player to play his character as manually dextrous, but not quick with reflexes.

    If you want to turn some of that gray into black and white, you write up a rules module, or use someone else's. It might contain something like this:

    M105 - Expanded Ability Scores. Characters gain four sub-ability scores under Physical, replacing the Physical ability score. Each sub-ability receives a score of 3d6 + DM bonus. The ability scores, and their descriptions and uses, follow. Any usage of the Physical ability not covered by the sub-abilities should be rolled with the most applicable sub-ability, or treated as a Physical roll with an ability score equal to the average of all the sub-abilities.

    M105.1 - Speed Strength. This ability is used whenever a character engages in a white-muscle activity. The skills Movement and Defense use the Speed Strength ability. (See M202 - Defense and M204 - Movement.) . . .

    M110 - Levels. Levels are a measure of a character's general superiority to other characters. Each level, a character gains two ability score increases of +1, a skill increase of +1, a perk, and a hero point . . .

    Which brings me to a pretty significant change: the +2 skill points and 2xLevel max skill points were pretty arbitrary, and it seems that they turned the game into a 10-level game instead of a 20-level game. The intent was to make the skill increase more significant than the ability increase, since the ability increase had broader application. But +1 to a skill is still more significant than +1 to an ability, since each ability increase only gives you half a point bonus to rolls. Plus, with damage directed at those ability scores, you can pretty easily lose those increases, while you can't lose skill points.

    Agree/disagree?
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    your organizational system sounds a lot like rolemaster. which i also enjoyed playing and especially reading.
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
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    I checked out Rolemaster. Looks like a good system, but I think we have the simplicity edge on it, since I think it was using percentile dice and lots of references to tables. Or was it 3d6 for each roll, requiring more math than necessary...
    I also grabbed a copy of GURPS Lite, in an effort to see if the P&P system has already been done. I won't go over the whole thing for those of you who know GURPS, but I will mention that P&P focuses on addition, or going up, while GURPS frequently uses lower results as better results.

    I added Villain points to the R100s, or the villain's ability to negate hero points. I also moved most combat rules to Physical Rules, and spellcasting rules to Metaphysical Rules.

    Also added a Character Death section in the Physical Rules, which slightly increases your odds of surviving a deadly encounter, by adding the condition Mostly Dead.

    With some skeleton rules for equipment, classes, races, and perks, I think it's ready for some play testing...
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    Self-censorship: I pulled out my spellcrafting rules. They belong in a mod.

    The races and classes are labelled "example," and there is now a perk to prevent some damage (but not all) to each ability score.

    Hope it's easier on the eyes now, too.
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    Added some clarification on reserve actions - using a reserve action to respond to the enemy allows only one action, otherwise players would end up taking their turns during other characters' turns. Also, a PC can choose to take his turn later than on his given initiative.

    Spell rules: if a caster must contest a spellcasting action, he adds his ability mod and spell skill bonus. When the spell is complete, the caster's Spell attempt is used as the contest for whatever the targets have to contend with.

    On the other hand, maybe there shouldn't be any spell disruption in the core rules? Using multiple actions to cast a spell would then simply limit the number of spells a caster can cast in a round.
    Last edited by DMMike; 01-10-2013 at 06:33 PM.
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