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Thread: D&D v.P1

  1. #16
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    Playtest begun. Lessons learned, and questions pending:

    Tide of Battle (move one square if you take no other movements during your turn): if a character rolls poorly, or gets severely wounded, Tide of Battle becomes, effectively, a free movement action. Due to the limited nature of the movement, though, and the ability of all characters to use it, I'd still like to keep it as-is.

    Run action (characters taking three movement actions during their turn may double the results of those rolls): it seemed that a character might decide to stop running upon entering a new room and thus get to double one or two movements, sparing the third for, say, defense. Possible solution: choosing to run uses three actions immediately, and if you stop running, you don't get any of those actions back.
    Also, running and moving are tending to be a bit slow, with a double move, while taking 10, only getting you 20 feet away, and not getting to move anywhere on a bad movement roll. So far, it seems that like damage, a move action should have a minimum result of one (square), and that movement bonuses should be included with perks, probably racial perks.
    Also, with Physical being the relevant ability for movement, a character won't get very far when he's wounded. While that's a good impetus for escaping before one gets too wounded, it's also inspiration for another perk. Although that's another use for hero points: add some points to your movement check while running away!

    Take 10: it seemed unfair for the defender in a contest to be able to take 10 after seeing the attacker get a roll below 10. However, this is exactly what happens when using Armor Class under d20 rules: the defender starts at 10 and adds bonuses to defense from there. One proposed solution: parties must choose to take 10 before any dice are rolled in the contest.

    3 actions per round: these became much easier to keep track of once a counter was placed on the table.

    Too much die rolling: getting things done seemed to take a lot of dice rolling: roll to move, roll to attack, roll for damage, then roll to defend. The simple solution seems to be encourage more taking 10, but maybe some rolls can be removed?

    Wimpy thieves: our thief couldn't cause much damage with his d4 dagger, even if he were sneaky enough to get +1 damage from a backstab. This could be fixed by allowing thieves to use medium sized weapons, by giving the thief more sneak attack damage, or by changing the damage dice, say:
    Tiny weapons d4, light weapons d6, medium weapons d8, two handed weapons d10, and
    Shields d4, light armor d6, medium armor d8, heavy armor d10.

    Non-action rolls: Also, our thief wanted to sneak past an alerted guard (who was looking right at the doorway through which the thief wanted to move). So I rolled a Mental check for the guard, who failed miserably. For the player's sake, who rolled a terrible movement skill attempt which didn't allow him to get in the room anyway, I said sure, you can sneak up to him. But I had to wonder: does the guard need to use a reserve action to perceive the thief? Does it take a mental action to spot a rider, or a secret latch? I guess the answer to this is: does the action in question prevent you from doing other things, or take longer than an instant to perform?

    I'm told that Warhammer 40K has some rules worth looking at, so that's where I'm off to next...
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  2. #17
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    Revelation #1: countless RPGs already go straight from full ability to death (i.e. a character's tendency to perform like he's in perfect health, even though one more hit would kill him). Since the name of the game with P&P is simplicity and stability, real-time diminishing ability scores have to go.

    Next streamlining question: the game would be simpler still if there were no negative modifiers, since most people add better than they subtract. Is it possible, and is it worthwhile, to eliminate ability scores, and only have ability modifiers, starting at zero?
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  3. #18
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    I might suggest you look at the [Dragon Age] tabletop RPG and also at [Core Elements Toolbox], which is a deconstruction of the d20 system into its components, for essentially the purposes you're doing here - it might give you some additional ideas.

    Having done my own research over the years for different aspects of mechanics for game design, one interesting thing I came across is that by direct comparison, force is greater from a speed and torque perspective than from pure force, meaning someone who isn't as strong but can bring their muscles and coordination into line well, actually hits with more force than a bodybuilder who relies on wild baseball swinging on things.

    Rather than arguing the point, what about the possibility of characters having a "focus", either deftness or power, much like Initiative being based on Dexterity or Intelligence, so both can have their own avenue. I suppose the "attack skill" already mentioned could theoretically represent this coordination end of things, but I thought I'd introduce this for consideration.

    Relating to the addition being better than subtraction, I've seen these assertions too and they're probably correct, though there may not be enough practical difference to matter in the larger picture. Partially why I bring this up is because as far as damage, I personally feel that Degree of Success (DoS) provides a very consistent and logical but simple way to help modify damage, being the more accurately you hit, the more damage you do, so if your TN is 8 and you roll 15, your DoS is 7, compared to someone rolling 12 vs 8.

    Rather than using the full DoS, which could result in a large amount of extra (or base) damage, perhaps for every 3 or 4 DoS, you'd want to add damage. This works well in some games, mostly games that rely directly on DoS for damage rather than random damage, but in others it is of questionable inclusion.
    Abstruse Decapod

    "Why aren't i just be able to write adventures that don't require crap like an Amish rpg?" -myself

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpatterson View Post
    I might suggest you look at the [Dragon Age] tabletop RPG and also at [Core Elements Toolbox], which is a deconstruction of the d20 system into its components, for essentially the purposes you're doing here - it might give you some additional ideas.

    Having done my own research over the years for different aspects of mechanics for game design, one interesting thing I came across is that by direct comparison, force is greater from a speed and torque perspective than from pure force, meaning someone who isn't as strong but can bring their muscles and coordination into line well, actually hits with more force than a bodybuilder who relies on wild baseball swinging on things.

    Rather than arguing the point, what about the possibility of characters having a "focus", either deftness or power, much like Initiative being based on Dexterity or Intelligence, so both can have their own avenue. I suppose the "attack skill" already mentioned could theoretically represent this coordination end of things, but I thought I'd introduce this for consideration.

    Relating to the addition being better than subtraction, I've seen these assertions too and they're probably correct, though there may not be enough practical difference to matter in the larger picture. Partially why I bring this up is because as far as damage, I personally feel that Degree of Success (DoS) provides a very consistent and logical but simple way to help modify damage, being the more accurately you hit, the more damage you do, so if your TN is 8 and you roll 15, your DoS is 7, compared to someone rolling 12 vs 8.

    Rather than using the full DoS, which could result in a large amount of extra (or base) damage, perhaps for every 3 or 4 DoS, you'd want to add damage. This works well in some games, mostly games that rely directly on DoS for damage rather than random damage, but in others it is of questionable inclusion.
    Dragon Age: hellz yeah, they got rid of ability scores and used ability bonuses. This is intriguing...

    Speed and torque, focus: I think you're talking about doing damage here, and you might be right, too. But I think that level of detail belongs in a P&P module, versus the core rules. I like d20's use of Strength and Dexterity, and the associated feats.

    Degrees of Success: very important in something like Dark Heresy, since you're rewarded for rolling low, while your ability scores go up. I think d20 (and our current P&P rules) avoids this by making 'up' always the better direction.

    DoS for damage: this has potential. Dragon Age seems to subtract a fixed number from damage, so, let's say a dagger couldn't possibly harm someone in full plate mail. But really, there's a chance, right? DoS damage would work well in Dragon Age, since players roll a bell curve for results (3d6). However, we're aiming for simplicity, which means we want to roll as few dice, and do as little math, as possible. With d20 style rules, two opponents with equal modifiers to their attacking (defending) skills could roll a 1 and a 20, which would probably be a ton of DoS damage, even though they are equal combatants.

    So as it stands, an attacker's success is measured more in his damage roll, and his degrees of success are how many points he rolled over the defender's damage reduction. Unlike Dragon Age, we currently have a minimum damage of 1.

    What about adding a static number to weapon and armor damage, say one that doesn't exceed the average number on the die, like a dagger does 1d4 damage, and full plate prevents 1d8+2 damage? The point of adding static damage would be to prevent the situation where someone in full plate armor rolls a 1, making that armor no more effective than a light shield. Maybe we should stick to the lowest dice for normal weapons and armor, and use the higher dice for fantastic gear, like:
    die-----Weapon------Armor
    d4-----dagger-------Shield
    d6+1---short sword---hard leather
    d8+2---long sword----chain mail
    d10+3--great axe-----full plate
    d12+4--mithril scythe--dragon scale
    d20+5--excalibur------Zeus robes

    If we switch to modifiers only for abilities, and keep hit points out of the picture, we would need a way to bump up those modifiers or reduce damage, to keep characters from dying too fast. But since ability scores have a dual role of acting as hit points and establishing modifiers, and even if you have a crummy ability score the most you'll be subtracting is less than 5, I'm still happy to keep normal ability scores and derive modifiers from them (probably to the dismay of a fellow GM).

    I may have solved the thief's damage problem: increase Backstabber bonuses to +2. Want to do more damage? Take the perk again, or use a second dagger.
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  5. #20
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    Lots of small changes - the biggest one is that I've removed reducing ability scores, and each ability score now has a damage pool. If your damage equals your ability score, you're out for the count.

    Attack and Defend skills got renamed to Fight and Parry to avoid confusion.

    Disrupting Spells was removed for simplicity.

    Tide of Battle got moved to the end of the round, so that melee shifting could occur, but the player can't count on it saving his butt. Better yet, remove Tide of Battle...
    (R400 - Tide of Battle. Characters who do not move in a combat round may take one free square of movement, in reverse order of initiative,at the end of the round, to simulate shifting positions on the battlefield.)

    Reserve actions can interrupt or pre-empt another action, but you'll need to succeed on another Initiative check to pull it off. So your timing options are:
    - Conduct long actions before the enemy does.
    - Try to beat the enemy with a single reserve action, and a successful Initiative.
    - Delay until after the enemy has acted to respond.

    Added some Special Training Only designators to Skills. So if you don't have a single Spell point, you can't try to use the Spell skill.
    Last edited by DMMike; 01-27-2013 at 06:38 PM.
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  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpatterson View Post
    Is there any place to get this without a subscription? I don't mind paying for what I want. I don't want a subscription service.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    My favorite game console is a table and chairs.
    The Olde Phoenix Inn

  7. #22
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    It loads for me and I don't have a subscription, I'm just a member, but I've uploaded things I've made to there. Let me look. Because I think it might be helpful to projects like this one, I've uploaded it to my Googledocs.
    Abstruse Decapod

    "Why aren't i just be able to write adventures that don't require crap like an Amish rpg?" -myself

  8. #23
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    Thanks for that Core Elements link J. It's definitely a similar project, with some good ideas in it. Hopefully, we can pick out the parts we like and leave the ones we don't with some discussion in here.
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  9. #24
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    So I'm working on an easy-to-read version...

    http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/p-p-rpg
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  10. #25
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    Update: this project has come a long way. The above postings, and the Obsidian Portal link, are all outdated. One of the most current versions are here:

    http://www.penandpapergames.com/foru...y-Chat-New-RPG

    Major change 1: the name is Modos RPG (to distinguish it from my other Modos projects).
    New name for GMs: turns out i didn't have to change the letters. A Modos RPG game master can be called a General of Modos.
    Alignment: slashed, along with classes, races, class skills, and unnecessary arithmetic.

    I'm finishing up the rules catalog, but the rulebook is already playable (needs more spells and monsters). After that, I'll fill in the table of contents and index, and version 1.1 will be complete.

    Although the name has changed, the P&PG community is still invited to help out! Modos RPG needs playtesting, suggestions for version 1.2, and most importantly: rules and adventure modules! First I'll admit, the Modules chapter was written hastily. However, the concept still works, and Modos RPG all-but begs you to add your own rules and make it your own.
    Last edited by DMMike; 01-09-2014 at 09:07 PM. Reason: Rulebook is "playable."
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  11. #26
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    Over a year later, D&D 5E is out, but guess what? So is my game.

    Now I know, I started this with high hopes of getting lots of P&PG contributors. Well, some of their ideas are in there, such as:
    - rabkala's rule zero (rule zero)
    - rabkala's call for the rules being up front and accessible (rules catalog)
    - tesral's alignment shredding (alignment omitted)
    - Malruhn's call for a "GM." (called Guides of Modos)
    - Nijineko's call for complexity (rules for adding mods)
    - jpatterson's ability focus (numerous avenues, one called "weapon focus")
    - jpatterson's degrees of success - sorry. Didn't make the cut.

    But here's the good news: as a modular, streamlined game, it is ready and waiting to be modified by you. For example, plugging DoS into the game (and adding them to subsequent damage) is as easy as writing out the rule:

    M130 - Whenever a contest succeeds and results in damage (of any type), the damage roll gains a bonus equal to the excess of the attack contest over the defense contest, divided by two. If the defender did not use a defense action, his contest counts as 10 for this purpose. - Dependencies: R105, R116.

    The game, called Modos RPG, is still in an early version and needs plenty of playtesting and feedback, so if writing the P&PG RPG isn't your thing, please take this system for a spin and drop a line if you have time.

    The download is here:
    http://www.enworld.org/forum/rpgdown...ownloadid=1087

    And the wiki-in-progress is here:
    https://modos-rpg.obsidianportal.com/

    Happy gaming!
    Michael
    Last edited by DMMike; 08-21-2014 at 05:11 PM.
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