View Full Version : The City - My homebrew system

2006-08-12, 03:35 AM
The City is a campaign setting I created for D20 modern, but then I realized that the campaign setting had so much, that making everything I wanted would require far too much work to adapt successfully to the D20 system, it would be an almost complete overhaul. So I decided to make my own.
I’ll also clear something up now. The idea behind the creation is made to be quick and simple. There are no character sheets, so you just scribble these down where you’ll remember them. The idea is that this way the GM can make every enemy personalized without hours of work.
Also, I don’t er…take criticism well. Not just bad, but good as well. I’ll try my very best to take it all in my stride, but don’t be surprised if I sound kinda…weird if I reply.
Also, this isn't finished yet, but progress has been slow, so I wanted to get some feedback now, so I can work in ideas while I finish it.

Character Creation

When you first make your character, you chose your name, three primary stats, and then your system.
Your primary stats are made up of 2d6 rolls for each stat. 6 is considered average for a regular person.
Body governs how physically fit you are, how strong you are, and the general state of your body. If there is a task that requires physical activity, you use the body stat.
Mind governs how intelligent you are, whether you can use psionic abilities, and anything else in which you need the mind.
Governs your knowledge and power of magic or superpowers depending on your choice.

There are three systems.

To use the powers in this system, you require a magic skill of above 8.
The powers in this system are dubbed spells, and you may cast any amount of them per day. However, you must use mana points. You calculate your mana by multiplying your magic stat by 3. For example, a Magic stat of 10 would give you 30 mana points. Mana is recharged by spending a few minutes connecting with the mana stream.
Damage: Strike your enemy with mana, fire, water, earth or wind. Each point you spend inflicts 1 point of damage of your chosen element.
Shield: Cloak yourself in a shield made of mana, fire water or wind. Each point of mana allows you to resist 1 point of damage from the chosen element.
Heal: Heal yourself, an ally or an enemy. Each point you spend heals 1 point of Health. Spending 2 points gets rid of poisons or diseases, and 3 points will fix broken bones and detached limbs.
Resurrection: Raise things from the dead. Each point you use gives the thing 1 point of Health. They are however nothing more than a zombie or other undead. If you have 100, you can bring someone truly back from the dead, with their regular health.
Affect environment: Everything from making a tree grow, pushing/pulling an object, lifting something, to forcing a door open. This spell costs 3 points on anything human sized, 2 points on anything child sized, 1 point on anything baby sized, 4 points on anything car sized, and 5 points on anything bigger.
Affect creatures: The same as affect environment, but affects living creatures and everything is one point more.
Teleport: Opens a portal allowing you to transport from one place to another. Costs 5 mana points per mile.
Summon: Summon a person or creature to you. Costs 5 mana points to bring them. If you use another 10 mana points, they will serve you if their mind stat is below 4. If you spend 20 points, they serve you if their mind stat is below 8. If you spend 30, they serve you if their mind stat is below 12. Creatures with a mind stat of above 12 cannot be mind controlled.

By collaborating with your GM, you can create new spells of your choosing, and assign appropriate mana costing.

Super powers work in a different way to magic. You can have either a permanent super power, such as super strength or speed, or a power you activate at will, such as control of fire, or ice powers. When you have selected your powers, you then chose how you use them. These can be in the form of energy points that you recharge via your chosen method, or permanent with a weakness to balance. For example, Superman chooses a lot of powers, and takes weakness to a good number of objects from his home world. A second example, Volt chooses control over electricity with an energy point system, and decides to recharge this by sending electricity through his body, such as attaching himself to a plug.
Your energy points would be worked out as your superpowers stat multiplied by 3, the same as your mana stat.
You are restricted to 1 power per 10 energy points if you use the energy system, and if you use the permanent system, you are restricted to 1 power per weakness.
Super strength: Whenever you need to make a body stat check for something involving your strength, you may multiply the body stat by 2 if you have a permanent power, or you may increase it by however many energy points you spend if you are using the energy system.
Super speed: Whenever you need to make a body stat check for something involving your speed, you may multiply the body stat by 2 if you have a permanent power, or you may increase it by however many energy points you spend if you are using the energy system.
Super intelligence: Whenever you make a mind stat check for anything not including psionic abilities, you may multiply the body stat by 2 if you have a permanent power, or you may increase it by however many energy points you spend if you use the energy system.
Flight: You can fly for as long as you like as a permanent power, and can do the same by spending 10 energy points for a take off. If you initiate flight when falling, it only costs 5 points.
Control: Allows you to control a form of energy, element or other such things. For example, you could chose control over fire, ice, magnetism, electricity, gravity. As a permanent power, you may do whatever your chosen thing can do. Using energy, you spend certain amounts of points based on scale. Using Volt as an example, switching a TV off by shutting off electricity to it only costs 1 point. Turning off a whole house would be 10 points. Shutting down a neighbourhood would be 50. Shutting off a small town would be 100. And so on and so forth.
Blast: Shoot off a beam/explosion/other such projectile of your choosing. The typical laser blaster would be kinetic energy, though it could also be something else. It must however be something you could also use Control with. You deal 1 point of damage depending how much energy you spend on it, or 10 with a permanent power. This beam may be shot out from a place on your body of your choosing, usually the hands or eyes. Heat vision is this ability with the heat energy chosen as the weapon.
Shield: This functions very much like the spell shield, in that you form a shield out of a chosen element (usually whatever your have chosen for control), and then making a shield of however many points you have spent. If you choose it as a permanent ability, you form a shield of 20 points.
Super ability: This is the equivalent of the super strength/speed/intelligence powers, but with an attribute of your choice, such as swimming, sight or aim. It functions the same as the other super powers, but just whenever you need to make a stat check attributed with your super ability.

You can arrange other powers and appropriate costs with your GM, as you can with spells.
If you have chosen to use the permanent system, for every power you take, you must choose a weakness. You choose a weakness for something such as a kind of object, a form of energy, an element or even a kind of person. This weakness means whenever you are confronted with your chosen weakness, all your powers ability are halved. For example, you would only gain 1.5 times your body stat check with super strength. You can juggle your weakness though. If you take a lot of powers, you put all the weaknesses into one big one. For example, a kind of rock could kill you after prolonged exposure. This is completely up to the GM and your decisions. A good idea though is to take two powers, and then have one weakness that renders you powerless.

Psionics is the noble art of powers of the mind. Willing things to happen with just your thoughts, and probing the minds of others. In order to use the psionics system, you need a mind stat of 9. This system is split into two main powers which allow you to do many different things. Both use the psionics point system (mind stat multiplied by 3). With this point system, if you drop to 0 points, your mind has in a way died. Your body will continue with basic motor functions and will perform actions if instructed to do so, but it takes a week for your brain to recover (at which point you regain all points). Meditating for an hour will bring back all your points.
Telepathy allows you to probe others minds and find information. Probing someone’s mind is a simple skill for an accomplished telepath. If the subject is willing and gives consent, it costs no points to enter. If they are unwilling it costs twice their mind stat to enter. Once inside you can perform many actions.
You can search their memory for 3 points. If the subject has suffered from amnesia or some other method of memory loss, this is increased to 5. They would then regain the memories. This cost however is for one singular memory, which might be a bank code, their location at a certain time, or even where they left their keys. To completely restore all their memories would depend on age. For each year you’d want to restore, it would cost about 10 points.
You can implant memories for the same cost as finding one. Replacing them would be the same as doing both.
You can temporarily possess someone and make them do what you will by spending 10 points per minute you intend to possess them.
You can also inflict pain in much the same way as you would with other abilities. Every point you spend to inflict pain is dealt as damage. If you chose to inflict 10 damage, they are rendered unconscious.

You may perform other telepathic abilities by collaborating with your GM on them.

The art of telekinesis allows you to lift, move, throw and do other such actions with your mind. Skilled telekinetic are able to perform all their daily tasks with no real input from their limbs. Most however prefer to keep themselves physically fit; just in case they burn themselves out.
Lifting an object and making it perform an action is very simple. By spending a certain number of points depending on size, a telekinetic can make an object perform actions. However, prolonged activity (usually over a minute) forces them to spend additional points.
The telekinetic can push, pull, lift, move, and even break objects with just his mind. This ability costs 5 points on anything human sized, 4 points on anything child sized, 3 point on anything baby sized, 6 points on anything car sized, and 7 points on anything bigger. Anything smaller than a baby costs no points to move.
With a mind score of 12, a telekinetic can even make objects combust, at the same size scale cost, with an added 5 points.

Once you have all that worked out, you now just need to work out your Health and your Fighting Skill, and maybe choose some equipment.
Your Health is equal to your body stat times three. For example, a body stat of 6 (the average) would then give you 24 health. If you go below half your health, you are considered badly hurt. If you go below a quarter of your health you are considered seriously hurt and in need of medical attention quickly. If you go below 2 health you are unconscious and cannot do anything until you are healed. If you reach 0, you have died. If you are struck from above badly hurt to below seriously hurt, you are rendered unconscious as well.
Your Fighting Skill determines what order you act in battle and what your opponent must beat to hit you. Your fighting skill is based on your body and mind stats. A score of 6 in either gives you 1 point. For every two points after you gain another point. An example, a body stat of 10 and a mind stat of 6 would give you 4, 3 from body and 1 from mind.
Equipment should stick true to your character concept, so a mild mannered librarian shouldn’t be packing a mobile missile launcher. It is entirely up to your GM what you can own.

You now have your character.
For further examples, we will use the following characters;
Body: 8
Mind: 5
Magic: 2
Health: 24
Fighting skill: 2
Equipment: Handgun, motorbike
Dr. Jibar
Body: 4
Mind: 7
Magic: 10
Health: 12
Fighting skill: 1
Equipment: Arcane book, Swiss army knife
Mana: 21
Body: 6
Mind: 6
Superpowers: 10
Health: 24
Fighting skill: 2
Equipment: High intensity light proof goggles, lightning rod
Energy: 30
Powers: Control Electricity, Blast Electricity, Shield Electricity
Jonathan the Amazing
Body: 6
Mind: 10
Magic: 2
Health: 24
Fighting skill: 4
Equipment: Acrobatic pole
Psionics: 30

“Levelling up”

In this game there is no conventional means of levelling up. You don’t accumulate experience points that result in a level point. Instead, your GM will decide when you have done a task that would be the equivalent of a level up. This could be by solving a mystery, catching the plot’s bad guy, saving the world. In these occasions, you would ‘level up’ and gain 3 points to put in your stats. This is basically the same as improving your skills by practice and experience. You can only put 2 in one stat though, so you can distribute them as 3 1s, or a 2 and a 1.


Equipment is the stuff you carry around with you, such as your clothes, a briefcase, a gun, a knife, night vision goggles, climbing equipment, first aid kit, your car keys. I can be practically anything, and so you are only restricted to what your character can get.
For example, Michael is a biker with a license to own weaponry so he may ride up to a gun shop and purchase weapons and ammo. He cannot however access tanks, as he is just a civilian. Volt the superhero can access all sorts by either using his powers to steal it, or by working with the Superhero Council to acquire it legally.
To perform a professional action such as treating a wound or picking a lock, you would need to use certain equipment, but you don’t always need it, and the GM will assign appropriately high stat checks for doing it without the equipment.
Weapons, while there is a wide variety, can be classed into basic groups. You and your GM can decide on bonuses or minuses by using a certain kind of weapon. Listed below are the weapons, their damage, their max ammo, and their range. Melee weapons have no range as it all depends on how you wield them. The range on ranged weapons is how far you can aim it and still have it be accurate.
Any gun which is used in one hand, or in some cases two to steady it. The classic examples are revolvers, Desert Eagles, and Berettas. They are more easily hidden than other guns.
Damage: 8
Max ammo: 6-12
Range: 30ft.
A gun that fires off a large number of rounds when you old the trigger. They come in one handed models, but most are two handed. Some examples are the AK47, mini-guns, and Uzis. Automatics allow you to hit your opponent 10 times in a round; however, you do have to roll for each bullet.
Damage: 5
Max ammo: 30-50
Range: 40ft.
Sniper rifle
Designed for long range combat, and quick disposal, these guns end to be large and cumbersome. Some examples are the Berretta sniper, SSG 3000, and the SG550 Sniper. Sniper rifles actually have a minimum range of accuracy, as they are designed almost exclusively for long range.
Damage: 15
Max ammo: 6-8
Range: 40ft
Designed to do maximum damage and be brutal about it, they’re usually used in close combat, he bullet breaks up, and long range leaves the gun almost useless, though the shards still do a good amount of damage. Some examples are the Birmingham Pump-Gun, the Martial, and the Spas 12. If a shotgun is shot out over 10ft without hitting the target, the shards spread out in a cone, and each deal half damage if they hit.
Damage: 20
Max ammo: 4-8
Range: 10ft.
Anything from longswords and bastard swords to claymores and katanas. The sharp edges, pointy tips and wide assortments of ways to wield it has made the sword one of the most popular weapons in the world and a deadly weapon.
Damage: 15
A simple blade attached to a shaft, its chopping potential is very useful. While most axes have been replaced by chainsaws, hatchets and fire axes can still be found widely.
Damage: 18
This includes knifes, shortswords and swiss army knives. Designed to be small and easily transported yet still stay deadly, they have found common use today to cook with and as weapons.
Damage: 8

2006-08-15, 10:23 AM
Dude. This is really quite good.

2006-08-15, 05:19 PM
This is quite interesting. I'm curious as to whether you plan to implement this is the similarly named game you have going.

2006-08-15, 05:55 PM
Cool system. One suggestion, though:

Control: Allows you to control a form of energy, element or other such things. For example, you could chose control over fire, ice, magnetism, electricity, gravity. As a permanent power, you may do whatever your chosen thing can do. Using energy, you spend certain amounts of points based on scale. Using Volt as an example, switching a TV off by shutting off electricity to it only costs 1 point. Turning off a whole house would be 10 points. Shutting down a neighbourhood would be 50. Shutting off a small town would be 100. And so on and so forth.

This seems vague. In order to reduce the amount of potential player/DM bickering ("I have control over electricity, and thoughts are carried by electrical impulses, so I should totally be able to control people's minds!"), maybe you want to limit this a bit.

You could give the sphere of influence a specific diameter. Start at one foot, and double the diameter for each point invested. An electrical guy could shut off a small TV for a single point. For five points, he can shut off all electrical objects within 16 feet; for eight points, his diameter expands to 128 feet, and so on. Also put a definite time limit on the power - the effect only remains so long as the character is able to give it his undivided attention.

Maybe the control power should only be able to intensify or nullify effects, too, and they shouldn't be able to "aim" this power. If you spend ten points to nullify gravity, then all gravity within 512 feet is nullified (not reversed, just removed). If you spend ten points to intensify ice, then everything within the same radius is covered with a film of ice. While imagination is a fantastic thing, players are a wily bunch who're always looking to break the game, and this ought to prevent some abuse.