At the beginning i will introduce myself.
I am the new member of the forum.
My names Peter. I’m from Poland.
I sign in coz I saw that someone already discussed his ideas of “own RPG system”.
A lot of people threw some alternative systems, some ideas, rules and modifications.
I don’t come with only “I want to”. I have an idea and I developed it a little.
Don’t be scared by WALL OF TEXT. It contains working ideas, not just speculations.
The things I want to accomplish with the system:
- not too heavy on the rules (lighter than some d20)
- not too light on the rules (heavier than WoD)
- combat turns not defined by time (I will explain it more later)
- solid attribute system with flexible skill system
It is something between typical storytelling system and heavy simulation/rule system.
I still trying to decide d6 vs d10 – but the system doesn’t depend on it.
Also I want to use it in steampunk setting but it is rather universal (maybe except skill list).
Any throws are made in WoD like fashion. You throw dices and any dice above a marker (5+ on d6, 8+ d10) is a success. To win a test you need to score the minimum of required successes. No innovation here. Let’s move on.
Also character development will be based on WoD – XP as currency to by stats.
Attributes although will be have high price – so you will want to carefully allocate them during the hero creation coz you gonna stuck with them for a while.
In this case skills are cheaper option.
Character is defined by 9 attributes. They are NOT evenly distributed (as 3 in physical, 3 mental, 3 social).
Strength – pure muscle strength
Dexterity – reflex, small (tiny) objects manipulation, sleight of hand, touch gentleness
Agility – full body flexibility, dance like movement, balance
Vitality – immunology, healthiness
Wisdom – capability to remember, knowledge “storage”, example: remember mathematical formulas and how to use them
Intelligence – capability to “create”, making new ideas from basic knowledge and observation, example: create a mathematical formula to describe some unexpected event
Perception – using senses to perceive the world
Communication – capability to deliver your thoughts to other person, linguistics, eloquence, expression
Charisma – the “this thing” factor, charm, credibility, IMMPORTANT: Charisma is NOT affiliated with beauty and looks, it’s more like “ugly is so ugly like hell I am scared of him” and “beauty is just mesmerizing, seductive” – players decide if they go in the “beauty” path or “scary/ugly” path
Skills. I won’t give a full skill list because in this system the skill list is tide to setting. Important note is that skills should be more “general”. They should allow for practical use and theoretical. It may be hard to understand but don’t be discouraged. You will know what it’s going just in few seconds.
I will jump now to how the skills and attributes work. It is very crucial for how the system is unique (at least I think so).
In any action you use a set of summary of 2 attributes (or doubled value of one attribute) and one skill.
You chose attributes depending on situation (skills are not attribute bound). For example.
As skill you use something like “acrobatics” and now you chose attributes:
- When you make an acrobatic thingy you may chose agility + strength – to balance things out.
- In second figure you want to make something else.. you may take agility x2 – you want to make I graceful but maybe with no high jumps.
- After the show someone asks you what was the figure called. You use Wisdom x2 – you search your memory to find the name of this extra unique “few know only” figure
- Then the person asks if it can be done with a monkey on your back and a grenade launcher packed in your shoes. You use intelligence x2 – to come up with some random idea or maybe intelligence + wisdom to try mixing old techniques with some modifications.
- and finally you want to show off and make the super-duper blonde from third row to faint – you take agility (for balance, you don’t want to trip while showing off do you?) and charisma (to make her heart stop with something like “romantic eyes”, “look at my square jaw” or “I have impenetrable titanium-inbounded chest”)
- and (I know…) you watch some your friend doing a very risky figure and you see his not gonna make it. You use your intelligence to come up with sharp solution to the problem, but everybody is so loud, music’s playing, lights are flashing, you NEED this message delivered so the second attribute is COMUNICATION.
I hope you got it. Lets continue.
So you have:
- summary of 2 attributes (or doubled value of one)
- skill value
The lower value is your CAPABILITY.
The higher value is your POTENCIAL.
Your dice pool is equaled to the CAPABILITY (lower value).
But you can buy extra dices using stamina/concentration points (driven from primary attributes, one is for physical actions the other for mental).
You spend 1 point for 1 extra dice – until you reach POTENCIAL – and then its 2 points for 1 dice.
I hope it’s clear enough.
Stamina and concentration are driven from primary attributes like HP.
Why potential and capability? Why it is in this way?
Well it’s how I model the world in my system.
The basic example I give is four players playing chess.
The skill is “chess” or something like that, attributes are some mixes of intelligence and wisdom.
First one is not the smartest but he read whole chess-gosu-pro-book (high skill, low attributes).
Second is born genius but never was interested in and games. (low skill, high attributes).
Third (as you may guess) is born genius who love to play chess and trained it a lot. (high both).
Fourth – sucks at everything
First one – will throw a lot of moves he just “programed” into himself, he is playing like a machine, BUT any extra move he read about is locked in his not good wisdom. He spends concentration points to recall them.
Second – at first he tries to catch up. Tries to understand this strange game. After a while he uses his great planning abilities and simple maths to get an advantage. He spends concentration points to use his intelligence although he doesn’t know any true strategy – yet.
Third – plays like a world class champion. Even the brightest of opponents doesn’t strain him. BUT at some moment he may need to win with an equal. Than he will use his concentration points (with the double cost coz his abilities are high and are matched with his skill) to surpass his own limitations.
Fourth – it is actually a mix of all above. He uses concentration to reach his potential limit (no matter how low it will be) and then uses the rest of the points to “overcome” the limit.
The regeneration of points is story driven.
In some calm stories a regeneration of
stamina – calls for some super, rest
concentration – idle talk, rest
In more intense (like full scale battle)
GM may consider a break between enemy waves enough to restore some points “catch breath”
In some hardcore/survival scenery
stamina – a sip of water
concentration – a rest in more decent conditions
Which can be tied up nicely In the game.
- a visit in a tavern may lead to some encounter
- players may be rewarded for taking care of the open gate during the siege, ore taking down siege towers, or siege ladders
- a long walk through the desert and some successful navigation may lead to the oasis
GM also decides of the consequences of depleting stamina/concentration.
In some cases he may say there are no negative consequences.
In other – he may give test penalty because the character is exhausted.
You may also notice I don’t say anything about “special feats” like WoD vampire disciplines etc.
It is because I don’t planed them.
In my setting I try to make everything covered by skills.
So maybe I was incorrect. This system fits for some pseudo-realistic settings maybe? Or it needs just little tweaking for something more unrealistic.
What I am actually struggling with is combat system.
I have some “cast in stone” rules and ideas about it and I just can’t find a solution to some problems.
Most important rule – a combat turn is not time defined – so one turn may take a second or 10 minutes, or hour
It depends on the storytelling.
Players make their throws – there are presented with resolution, which looks like:
“You were hit for 2 hp, he was hit for 1, you will have combat penalty X next turn”
Then they need to role-play the turn.
What did I say?
I sad that players get their combat resolution and need to figure out how to describe it.
The default rule is – The winner describes.
GM may deviate on this rule if he deems it necessary (for story for exmpl)
Players who will make an exceptional description can be rewarded (in XP for exmpl)
Why the turns are not strictly measured?
Many systems aims for different measurement. Although it deviates only in seconds.
I found a system made by people training fencing.
The combat was made so ultra-realistic that one turn took a split second and actually one strike took 2 turns (Something like Turn 1: I roll hit, you roll defense, you roll counter, Turn 2: You roll attack).
I wanted it to be a storytelling device. It also is player dependent.
If they want it to be like “split second” fights – it can be.
I just want It not to take too much turns (so it means it needs to be deadly, low hp or high dmg)
The skills I use are simple (I am a foreign and I am trying to make sense of the skills, their names are better in my native, or maybe not :P) .
Shooting (firearms, bow, crossbow)
Bare hands (any karate, street fighting, grapple, AND dagger, knife, broken bottle etc)
Damage = Your attack successes – Enemy defense successes – Some unique reduction (penalty for instance)
What attributes to use?
It depends on how you attack. You chose 2 (or double one). For each attribute you gain a bonus.
Strength – power attacks – can knock-over, break defense, or – firm defense (firm grip), harder to knock-over, harder to disarm, etc.
Attributes also determine you fighting style.
Strength – may correspond to strong, slow blows
Agility – “dancing” around opponent, dual weapons, fast strikes
Dexterity – fencing like maneuvers, disarming
Intelligence/wisdom – Carefully, “right moment”
Perception – adapt, study opponent, find flaws
Charisma and Communication have more special application
Charisma – used when you want to make an impression, not kill, scare off some weak enemies, win the love of the audience
Communication – training, instructing, warning – when you want to give someone a fighting bonus by instructing them
Actual bonuses are work in progress. They actually are also weapon type dependent.
Armor and weapons give extra successes but not instantly. It gives a “bonus” success if you have a enough your own successes.
An example will describe it better.
Item gives a +3 modifier.
You need at least 3 successes of your own to gain the additional 3.
If you will manage only 2 successful dices it will give you only additional 2 points.
If you don’t manage to get any successful dices – there is no bonus.
If you get for instance a lucky 5 successes – the item still gives it’s max 3 (not more).
Only passive items or “auto-lock” items give the bonus for free.
For instance an plate armor gives +3 successes to defense regardless of your own (in contrast to shield which needs your effort to work).
A heat guided missile may also have some auto lock features which gives you an instant attack bonus.
Some magical amulets, auras, spells etc.
It works all good in melee fights.
The problem is distance and any distance related weapon.
How to portray a target in
- faraway (alitilery distance)
- far (full horse charge distance)
- closer (full run charge)
- close (walk, jump)
- point-blank (right next to)?
It is a problem.
I thought of something like.
If it needs to run for
- more than 2 turns – its far away
- 2 turns – far
- 1 turn – closer
- it can reach you this turn but gets a penalty to his throws, or is in fight with someone else – close
- it can attack you in this turn with no penalty – point-blank
But I don’t rly know if it’s a good idea.
I am opened for suggestions.
Or just make a distance scale on the run for each encounter.
It has an advantage – no matter if you will fight with melee, bows, sniper rifles, jet fighters, space battlecruisers. – You will get a distance scale.
Disadvantage – you need to make a reasonable distance scale on fly during story.
There are some additional things to the system but I will leave them for now – it is a huge post already).
I didin't put any numbers coz it is also work in progres (more like "testing"/"balancing" stage).
I thought about something like.
Atributes measured from 1 to 5.
Skillse from 0 to 8.
maxHP = Vitality x2
maxStamina = vitality + DETERMINATION
maxConcentration = inteligence + DETERMINATION
Determination is also WIP (work in progres) - it is a "liquid" atribute or something "reward/penalty" - something similar to WoD humanity.
It rises during victories, exceptional play, inposible dice rolls.
Lowers during story driven, important task failour, incredibly unlocky rolls.
It can't be changed by XP.