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Thread: Modos RPG v1.21: the DIY RPG

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    Modos RPG v1.21: the DIY RPG

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    I am thrilled to announce that version 1.21 of my sharebrewed game, Modos RPG, is now available for your roleplaying pleasure!

    Lots of other great games out there, so why should you try this one?


    • It's free! Which means that all you have to do to get it is click a few buttons. It doesn't require battlemats, miniatures, or power cards, which means you can spend more money on pizza.
    • It's easy! It takes no more than an hour to teach the game AND make characters. With a Fast Play Rules appendix, learning the game goes quickly too.
    • It's flexible! There are no classes - you design your character as you go. Abstract abilities (like "mental") and skills (like "movement") allow players to customize elements to their characters. And spells are available to everyone - even if you call them "powers," "psionics," or "bloodlines."
    • It's modular! The game is streamlined to allow fast learning and play, but structured to accommodate adding your own rules, or the rules of other games. Plus, every core rule is laid out in a cross-referenced table, so you can drop the game into a spreadsheet, and seamlessly add or remove rules from there.
    • It's shared! The original concepts were designed with community input, and future revisions will continue to incorporate the will of the people, not the "internal playtesting team."


    Take it for a spin, kick it around, and see what you think. It's an early edition, so there are plenty of opportunities to give me priceless feedback! These rules will NOT be Kickstarting soon; they're my donation to the roleplaying community. The only "funding" that I ask is that you share feedback, and share it with a friend!

    Happy gaming,
    Michael Terlisner
    Powered by: Modos RPG, version 1.30
    http://modos-rpg.obsidianportal.com/

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    A wiki version, for those with too many pdfs:

    https://modos-rpg.obsidianportal.com/
    Powered by: Modos RPG, version 1.30
    http://modos-rpg.obsidianportal.com/

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    Playtest Feedback

    Open discussion on playtest issues follows (postures at end):

    3 action economy: very different from standard action+movement action, because you don't have to wait for your turn to act - you can respond at any time. Also, you don't have time to defend against any and all attacks - you must use actions to defend, or hope that your armor will handle the rest.

    Delay: waiting until after another character acts can be achieved by simply reacting to that characters actions (concurrently), or delaying. As the rules stand, there is an unnecessary cost of one action in order to change one's initiative. The effective price is either A) taking a lower initiative and losing some priority in action resolution order, or B) taking a higher initiative by waiting until the next round, effectively giving up your chance for a combined action in the current round.

    Spellcasting: the cast spell contest serves double-duty. It determines if your spellcasting effort was strong enough to make magic happen (minimum 11), and it sets the level that defenders of the spell must beat to successfully defend against the spell. The cast spell skill generally requires two more rolls than other skills - one for determining casting damage (spell points used) and one for preventing that damage (casting endurance/experience). Taking half is important in speeding up this process.

    Posture: Modos uses one-dimensional positioning to simplify and accelerate combat. All combatants have a posture which affects the percentage of damage that they inflict on opponents: offensive or defensive. Each posture is an abstract position: they're not a "where" on the battlefield, but a "what your character's doing" on the battlefield. More discussion can be found on pages 35 and 36 of the rulebook.

    The issue at hand: PCs are not allowed to offensively engage defensive opponents, who have an offensive comrade, without making a flanking maneuver - which usually requires movement and sneaking. Further, flanking creates two more classes of postures: flanking offensive, and flanking defensive. This creates a situation of, "while you're engaging the swordsman, your three friends are not allowed to directly engage the enemy archer (without flanking), because he's in defensive posture."

    Solution 1: remove postures in favor of numbered ranks. Each character has a rank, and opponents can occupy the same rank. Moving through a rank that contains an enemy requires a successful movement contest. Damage percentages are determined by -how many- ranks lie between you and your opponent, not what posture each character uses.

    Solution 2: each character occupies a column in addition to a posture/rank. If your column is not adjacent to an offensive enemy's column, you can engage defensive enemies without issue.

    Solution 3: ease the flanking rule restriction of requiring sneakiness. To engage the aforementioned archer (and get around the swordsman), a defensive PC must use one movement action to "leave combat," and another movement to re-engage the archer. This places the PC in "Flanking Offensive" posture, and requires extra actions to simulate his efforts to engage a defensive opponent while avoiding an offensive opponent. Those extra actions also grant the archer a chance (or two) to flee. It seems that a Flanking Defensive posture is unnecessary, because it would effectively act as a normal defensive posture.

    Solution 4: (your idea here!)

    Any and all ideas welcome!
    Last edited by DMMike; 09-07-2014 at 11:52 AM.
    Powered by: Modos RPG, version 1.30
    http://modos-rpg.obsidianportal.com/

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    Sample classes

    Two brave heroes enter a dark vault. The taller one strums a harp, singing “be thee afraid, lest thy skin be flayed!”
    In response, the shorter one gives him a shove. “Come, thou willt scare me, singing like that.” He squints into the darkness. “It is foe-less here, or I’ll be an elf.”

    Two more cautious heroes follow the first two into the vault. One, shuffling, bears a torch. She lifts a metal-banded flask to her mouth and drinks. Her other hand repeatedly curls around a set of metal knuckles.

    The other stops in the doorframe to examine the lock mechanism set in the door. His short stature places his eyes at the same level as the lock. “This is common-work. I thought as much whilst my Fingers were in it.”

    Once inside, the four huddle quickly. The drunkard’s torch illuminates a hole in the back wall. Debris makes it obvious that the hole was not originally planned for the wall.

    As the torch sways, the dwarf leans to avoid getting burned, and scowls. “It is likely to grow dirtier and more perilous beyond. Bard, we’ll need thy songs of slumber. Half-man, thou shalt sneak ahead whither the path is slight. Thou,” he says to the drunkard with some distaste, “dost not burn us. And follow me.” At that, the dwarf pulls a shield from his back, and turns toward the hole.

    The following character classes present level progression choices for characters following a particular archetype through Epic level. All classes include balanced survival choices, but each class also features some specialization. Players may choose to substitute any level point at any level for another valid choice (e.g. an ability point can be spent on a different ability, or a perk can be substituted for a skill point), but this might cause some class features to change or be delayed to later levels.

    P, M, and MP stand for the abilities: Physical, Mental, and Metaphysical. The number indicates the total of bonuses for that level.

    Prime is the primary skill for that class. The given number indicates the total for that level.

    Skill is the column for secondary skills. At any level, the character gains the highest bonus granted from that level and all previous levels.

    Perk lists the perk gained at that level. Characters of a given level have taken all perks from lower levels as well.

    HP lists the usage of hero points for that level. Characters of a given level gain this in addition to usages from lower levels.

    Special is the column for details related to level points. See class description for more details.

    Note: these classes include some small revisions from version 1.22.

    Bard

    A traveler leans against the signpost. He has set his light sack next to him on the ground, and begun to play a tiny harp. He begins singing a strange tune as you approach, one that implies that you are a gracious giver of gold. The fool; you carry only silver. Yet, your hand is filled with this silver, and already extending toward the bard.
    P M MP Prime Skill Perk HP Special
    1 0 1 0 1 Spell implement Reflexes Charm
    2 0 2 0 1 Defend (concentration) Specialize (artist) Armor
    3 0 3 1 2 Bonus M Sleep
    4 0 4 1 2 Persuade Mystic Ward Rumors Fear
    5 0 5 2 3 Bonus M Mute
    6 0 6 2 3 Concentration +2 Spell weaver Shell
    7 0 7 2 4 Toughness Lockpick Stun
    8 0 7 3 4 Persuade +2 Spell maintenance Dispel
    9 0 8 3 5 Specialize (concentration) Haste
    10 0 8 4 5 Persuade +3 Specialize (melee) Sleep2

    Prime skill: profession (artist).

    Spell implement: choose a musical instrument to be used for casting spells.

    Reflexes: at 1st level, the bard’s heroic luck allows him to use his hero points on fight (melee) contests when a blade is all that stands between him and certain death.

    Special: a bard may learn one spell per skill point in profession (artist). The spells known are listed at each level.

    Rumors: at 4th level, the bard has gathered enough rumors to use his hero points on knowledge contests when attempting to produce useful information.

    Lockpick: at 7th level, the bard has gathered enough knowledge from masters that he may use his hero points on larceny contests when attempting to pick locks. This requires lockpicking tools.
    Powered by: Modos RPG, version 1.30
    http://modos-rpg.obsidianportal.com/

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