View Full Version : Grottos and Goblins (homebrew system)

2009-04-04, 07:45 PM
Well, I just had a thought.
I came up with a reasonably simple system, it's similar to Risus but a little more rigid.

There are 3 skill areas - Fighting, Magic and Stealth & Acrobatics, plus a stand-alone "skill" (in as much as it's bought the same way): Stamina containing skills (they'll be detailed later). Skills determine everything, your fighting prowess, your magical ability, basically, you need them. Skills each start at 0, but during character creation and in the course of the game, players get the chance to increase these skills by spending points.

Skill Values
A skill value determines how many and what kind of dice to use in a check. A player may roll 1dx where x = the skill value, or they may roll ydx where y+yx = the skill value. For example, if a character has a skill in... say, Martial Arts, of 10, they may roll either 1d10 or 2d4 (that's 2+(2x4) = 10); of course, they could roll 1d6, 1d8 or 1d4 as well, but it's not likely they'd ever want to do that.

Martial Arts - Covers hitting things with hands and feet
Archery - Covers Bows and Crossbows
One handed weapons - Covers use of light, one handed weapons, like swords and clubs
Two handed weapons - Covers use of heavier, two handed weapons, like spears and greatswords
Throwing weapons - Covers use of throwing knives and other light, thrown weapons

Druidism - Covers magic from the power of nature
Divinity - Covers magic granted by gods
Alchemy - Covers potion making and magical recipes
Psionics - Covers mental magic
Sorcery - Covers flashy, evocation style effects

Stealth & Acrobatics:
Sneak - Covers moving undetected
Dodge - Covers absorbing or dodging damage
Grab - Covers theft, and disarming
Backstab - Covers attacking unprotected areas for extra damage
Movement - Covers fast movement and jumping, especially in stressful situations

Stamina - Is basically hitpoints. How much punishment a character can take before falling unconcious/dying/being too incapacitated to fight.

Purchasing skills
At character creation, a character gets a number of points, usually around 35 to spread between skills. A character can spend any number of points on one skill, although spending all of them on one skill, while allowing crazy amounts of dice (in the region of 5d8 and the like) for that skill, making them completely useless in other areas. Stamina must also be bought during character creation, just like any other skill. Note that since d4 is the smallest kind of die used, a character cannot use a skill that they have less than 4 points in.

Pete is making a new created character. His DM is pretty generous and gives him 40 points to create a character. Pete chooses to be a fist-fighting, unarmoured, stealthy warrior, so he spends his points like so:
15 Stamina
10 (2d4 or 1d10) Martial arts
6 (1d6) Dodge
4 (1d4) Jump
4 (1d4) Sneak
He has one point left over, which would not be useful anywhere else, so he puts it in Stamina, giving him 16 Stamina. Since he has 0 ranks in the other skills, he doesn't bother to write them down for the moment.

Combat (or skills see some use)
Combat! The core of most Tabletop systems. I don't intend to be simulationist at all. Most skills are made for combat, even sneak.
Turns: The order for turns is generally decided by the GM. A turn represents around 15 seconds. Each turn gives two actions to each character. A character may use a skill once, move 4 squares/hexes (at 5 ft/square) or do nothing for each action. If they do nothing, they are considered to be resting, and gain 1 stamina (to their maximum).

Skill uses: Most skills (all of the fighting, plus all of the magic, for simple offense) are roll a check and add/subtract a small number, then that's how much damage they do (minimum 1). The numbers to add/subtract are below:
Martial Arts +-0, there's no real disadvantage, but no real advantage to using these
Archery -1, getting hit by one arrow is a minor wound compared to getting beaten with a club repeatedly, but they can shoot from up to 10 squares (50 ft) away
One handed weapons +-0, they are pretty much the baseline for other multipliers
Two handed weapons +1, they allow more strength behind the blow, but are harder to backstab with, giving a -1 penalty to backstab checks
Throwing weapons -1, they don't hit as hard as a longsword, but they have range, and can be thrown from up to 4 squares (20 ft) away, they are also quite hard to dodge.
Druidism -1, plants just don't hit as hard as axes
Divinity -1, though the gods are powerful, cold steel will cut a person more easily than divine wrath
Alchemy +-0, acids burn the skin and can really take it out of a man
Psionics -1, messing with someone's mind is useful, but not really damaging or tiring
Sorcery +1, blowing things up is where sorcerors shine. Kaboom!

Other skill uses:
Druidism }
Divinity }
Alchemy } can all be used to cast GM approved spells, examples coming soon
Psionics }
Sneak, to be successfully undetected, you must make a check of 10 - number of squares (or ft/5) between you and closest foe
Dodge, to absorb damage, make a check and divide by two, that's how much damage is absorbed and does not reduce your stamina. Arrows and thrown weapons cannot be absorbed, but they can be avoided completely if the dodge check (before being divided by two) is greater than the damage dealt
Grab, to grab a weapon, make an opposed skill check, using your grab skill and their weapon skill. To grab anything else, refer to the list below
Backstab, if the enemy is somehow vulnerable to your attacks (you're flanking him, for example) roll a backstab check as well as an attack. You do 1/2 of this damage in addition to the weapon damage, this does not cost an action
Movement, as an action, instead of moving the normal amount, you may move 3 + check value

Grab difficulty:
Head - 4
Pockets - 10
Held - 8
Worn - takes two actions plus a check >= 15

Finally, a character may take up to a +3 on their check on any skill in combat by spending that much stamina, it's a risky tactic, but it can pay off.

Example of combat:
Pete is well into the game, his character still as follows:
16 Stamina
10 (2d4 or 1d10) Martial arts
6 (1d6) Dodge
4 (1d4) Movement
4 (1d4) Sneak

He's sneaking around a goblin cave, he got a 3 on his sneak check, letting him stay undetected up to 7 squares (35 feet) away from a goblin. That's all it takes though, and he initiates combat. The first action he takes is a movement check, to try and get up close and personal with a goblin. He gets a 4, and can therefore close that 7 square gap. His second action is to whack the goblin with his fists. He wants to be consistent, so he goes for a 2d4 attack, and rolls a 7. This exceeds the first goblin's stamina (of 5, but Pete doesn't know that), so it collapses in a heap.

The second goblin then takes his turn, and shoots his bow. He has 8 archery, so rolls a d8. He gets a 5, which Pete attempts to dodge, but only rolls a 2, so he takes 4 damage, and his stamina is now at 12. The goblin shoots again, rolls another d8 and only gets a 1, so it's easy for Pete to dodge, rolling a 5.

It's Pete's turn again, and he makes another movement check to close the gap between him and the goblin. Rolling a 3, he easily gets close enough, and decides to punch the goblin with all his might, taking a +1 on his martial arts check at the cost of -1 to Stamina. He also chooses a d10 roll this time. Luckily, he gets a 4, which is modified to 5, and he manages to just knock out the goblin, but his stamina is reduced to 11.

Now, it's a little incomplete, and could do with some work, but what do you think so far? All I really need to add is spells, and tweak the balance, but it's late, and I need to get to bed. Any questions about the system are fine too, I've probably made it a bit unclear as it is, so ask away!

2009-04-04, 08:18 PM
This looks really cool! I love the dice system. It makes your players think about how many dice to roll. Would you rather roll 1d10, where you have a 10% chance of getting any value 1-10, or 2 + 2d4, where you have a 6.25 chance of getting a 4, a 13.5% chance of getting a 5, an 18.75% chance of a 6, a 22% chance of getting a 7, an 18.75% chance of an 8, 13.5% chance of a 9, and a 6.25% chance of getting a 10?

2009-04-05, 03:58 AM
It's good, but I' m not to fond of the fact that everything you do, you can only do in combat.

Also, did you steal the name from bully/canis canem edit?(grottos and gremlins).


2009-04-05, 04:12 AM
Thanks for the positive replies.

merlin: I mostly wanted rigid rules for combat, and want to allow the players and GM to come up with uses for the skills outside of combat, such as intimidation by breaking a table, and the sheer number of things to do outside of combat would be impossible to list. Also, I've not heard of the name (or anything similar) before... I used a thesaurus to come up with an alternate word for cave, then I chose an alliterative Monster Name.