View Full Version : The d12 system by Amanodel

2005-11-14, 09:37 PM
Still developing, I guess I could use some fresh brain about this. Comments are very welcomed! Sorry for the scrappy format, i had no luck with uploading (it looks so nice and clean on paper...) I tried to work as many 'color' rules of D&D as possible, they are well, hidden, altough.

And the nice colours aregone too. Please note when i say green it refers to skills as 'axe' or 'hide', and blue means 'light' 'scroll' or 'rogue'.

Ability Scores:

Bodily abilities:
Strenght [STR] - physical strenght
Endurance [NDR] - hardyness, constitution
Dexterity [DXR] - hand-eye coordination
Speed____ [SPD] - quickness of movement
Mental abilities:
Willpower [WLP] - force of mind
Wisdom__ [WSD] - common sense, sensibility
Intelligence [INT] - ability to learn, logical thinking
Charisma [CHA] - force of personality

The scale starts at 0, based on an avarage human. +1 good, +2 is very good. The strongest human is at +2 STR, the stupidest is at -2 INT. It ranges from -2 to +2.

Here are the ability scores of an avarage represent of the main races:
------ [STR] [NDR] [DXR] [SPD] [WLP] [WSD] [INT] [CHA]
Human:-- 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Half-elf: 0 -1 +1 0 0 0 0 0
Elf:---- 0 -2 +1 +1 -1 0 0 +1
Half-orc: +1 +1 0 0 0 0 -1 -1
Orc:---- +2 +1 -1 0 +1 -1 -2 -1
Dwarf:-- 0 +2 0 -1 +1 +1 0 -1
Gnome: -1 +1 0 0 0 -1 +1 0
Halfling: -1 0 +2 0 0 -1 0 0
Goblin: -1 -1 +1 0 -1 -1 -1 -1
Kobold: -1 -2 +2 0 -2 0 -1 -1

These can be increased later in the game, but not so easily.

Whenever something bad is going to happen to the character, he is allwed a saving throw. The saving throw bonuses depend on the circumstances. Is it a mental or a physical danger, is he trying to negate or avoid the effect.

| Avoid | Negate |
Physical: | [DXR]+[SPD] | [NDR]+[STR] |
Mental: | [INT]+[CHA] | [WLP]+[WSD] |

These can be increased later in the game.

Life Points:
The state of the character is measured by his current state of bodily and mental fatigue.

Health: 6+[NDR] at start. It decreases when the character got hit or becomes fatigued (subdual).
Mana: [INT]+[CHA]+[WIS]+[WLP] at start. It is used for casting magic. Also it can be used to improve a dice result.

These can be increased later in the game.


In this system skills governs nearly everything, from fightin to backstabbing and magic. Every skill has two governing attributes and two modifiers.
First you have to 'buy' a point of the skill groups, marked blue. With every rank, you'll be able to buy up to three points of skills marked green. You can put three points in any skil group.

For example, if you have two points in 'medium', and six points in 'blade', with +1DXR and 0NDR, the attack roll with a longsword would be the following:
Attack 1: d12 + 'medium' + 'NDR' + 'blade' + 'DXR' = d12+2+0+6+1=d12+9
Attack 2: d12 + 9 - 4 = d12+5

Fighting skills:
Common [SPD] -> Light [DXR] -> Medium [NDR] -> War [STR] |
Blade [DXR]| | | | |
Blunt [STR]| | | | |
Axe-- [STR]| | | | |
Polearm [NDR]| | | | |
Spear [NDR]| | | | |

Thrown [DXR]| | | | |
Bow-- [DXR]| | | | |
Crossbow [DXR]| | | | |

Unarmed [SPD]| | | | |
Wrestling[STR]| | | | |

Armor [DEX]| | | | |
Shield [DEX]| | | | |

Magic skills:
Focus [WLP] -> Scrolls [WSD]-> Prepare [INT]->Spontaneus [CHA]
Elemental[WLP]| | | | |
Healing [WLP]| | | | |
Mysticism[WSD]| | | | |
Necromanc[WSD]| | | | |
Transmuta[INT]| | | | |
Conjurati[INT]| | | | |
Enchant [CHA]| | | | |
Illusion [CHA]| | | | |

Rogue skills:
Thieving [DXR]
PickPocke[SPD]| |
Open lock[INT]| |
DisarmTra[INT]| |
EscapeArt[DXR]| |
Forgery [INT]| |
Disguise [CHA]| |
Read Lips[INT]| |

Stalker skills:
Stalking [DXR]
Hide [INT]| |
MoveSilen[DXR]| |
Sneak [WSD]| |
Backstab [SPD]| |

Athlete skills:
Athletic [STR]
Lift [STR]| |
Climb [STR]| |
Ride [NDR]| |
Swim [NDR]| |
Ride [NDR]| |
Jump [DXR]| |
Balance [DXR]| |
Tumble [SPD]| |

Perception skills:
Senses [WSD]
See-- [SPD]| |
Hear [DXR]| |
Smell [NDR]| |
Taste [DXR]| |
Touch [DXR]| |
Sixth [CHA]| |
Search [INT]| |

Wilderness skills:
Surviving [NDR]
NatKnowle[INT]| |
Wildernes[NDR]| |
Track [WIS]| |
AnimalEmp[CHA]| |
Rage [STR]| |
IntuitDir[WSD]| |

Labor skills:
Profession [WSD]-> Knowledge [INT]
Leather [DXR]| | |
Commerce [INT]| | |
Governmen[INT]| | |
Metal [STR]| | |
Healer [WSD]| | |
Farming [CHA]| | |
Engineer [INT]| | |
Seafarer [INT]| | |

Social skills:
Speechcraft [CHA]
Intimidat[CHA]| |
GatherInf[INT]| |
Bluff [INT]| |
SenseMoti[WSD]| |
Diplomacy[INT]| |
Artistic [CHA]
Sing [CHA]| |
Stringed [DXR]| |
Wind inst[NDR]| |
Act-- [DXR]| |
Dance [DXR]| |

Character developement:

During the game, whenn the character commits feats of heroism (or other thing which should be rewarded with XP) he gains a charcter point. These can be used to increase certain stats of the character. The game could also be started with every player having some character points to spednd it.

These points can be used to increase
- Health/Mana one point increase in one for one character point.
- Skill groups. These groups affect all the skills they are controlling. A group skill point worth ten character points.
- Skills, at a one-for-two rate.
- Resistances (mental, physical, avoid, or negate) also cost ten character poits.
- Attributes. Altough the costs are high. Twenty points when you are in your races limits, forty points for an increase if you've exceeded the avarage +2 value for your race.

2005-11-15, 04:07 AM
For beginners, this is the core of a class- and level -less system.

2005-11-15, 02:05 PM
Only 5 points of variance between the worst and best human? Not a lot of play room.

Still, it's a good as many other generic systems I've seen out there. If your goal is simplicity for the players then you may be onto something. Be sure to stress that storytelling is the main component of this system and that dice resolution is only for rare circumstances.

2005-11-15, 03:41 PM
So, you're designing a completely new system - that's good.

Hiowever, you should also design a new SETTING for it as well. As it is, it still has the exact same races as D&D and (though this is perhaps more understandable) it has the same feeling when it comes to skills, too.

If you're going to do something new, don't stop halfway. Create a new setting, and just as important, create a new FEEL for the game as well - players shouldn't feel that they're "playing D&D only with different rules".

2005-11-15, 07:00 PM
The d12 really needs some loving. More random than a d10, not as 1-20 as a d20. Can be used in conjunction with division (ritmatik for you southerners) to create a d6, d4, d3, or d2 (flip). The math is a bit harder (A +1 on a d20 is a 5% increased chance of success, while a +1 on a d20 ranges between 8% and 9%) but easier in some places as well.

Democratus has some good points. if -2 is a stupid human, what is the intelligence of a squirrel? A goldfish? If +2 is a strong human, what is the strength of a dragon? A positive/negative system is also tough because there is difficulty in rolling up the scores (something you may or may not do).

Premier is also very correct. A new system demands a new setting. Usually when I make an attempt at a setting, it contains only humans (I try and start from Chainmail and work my way up) and no magic. Magic is added afterwards or, if I feel that this should be a highly magical setting (Like Erathia), I set to work on magic almost immediately.

You have eight prime abilities, which is okay, if a bit much. I have played with some that have nearly 10 (I think the most ever was 10), but the skills do not work in the same way you are suggesting. Keeping track of 10 ability scores is rough, and as a DM that means that you have twice as many ability scores to keep track of.

An idea? Pick a middle ground. To use d7d as an example, 2nd edition had something like 8 or 9 skills. 3rd edition has upwards of thirty. I'd say if you are going to use more than 4-6 ability scores, have only a small set of skills (hide and move silently can be combined, etc). Having a skill for each of the 5(6?) senses is a bit overkill, but it's your system.

2005-11-16, 03:48 AM
He might be referring to the extremities for a human, you could decrease the stats further for more extreme cases. I'm trying to read more into it but that small type is KILLING my eyes.

I will note, I've played a lot of fun games on shadowrun and Savage worlds. SW has a variation on attributes like this d4>d6>d8>d10>d12, that's only 5 degrees on stats too, and it works, shadowrun has human attributes on a scale from 1 to 6.

For goldfish and animals both those system do a fudge on intellegence, the intellegence is listed aking to d8 (A) where a represents animal intellegence. The said critter might have perception abilities akin to that attribute, but the animal lacks the cognitave abillities of a human and just can't do certain things, like drive a tank.

A similar system could be applied here. I would comment further but I have to set aside time when my eyes are not straining to read such minute type.....

2005-11-16, 06:33 PM
Sorry, for the type, but with the usual letter style it was totally unreadable. I can upload a .doc or .rtf format if you're interested.

Of course, it has a setting on it's own. But seriously, wrining up a setting like the one at the d20 PhB is a matter of half an hour. I intentionally left out campaign setting, these are just the core rules. I have about a dozen settings in my head, but it seemed simpler to present it with a d&d setting. You can easily compare the two settings this way.

I don't see the point of the -2/+2 of abilities. d&d uses that one, too. They call it ability modifiers. It ranges from -4 to +4 for humans. I just simplified that one, to work with the dual ability modifying of skills and the d12 dice. I didn't think that a range of 5 is small. There are a lot of systems (shadowrun for example) where you use a d6 for abilities (sure, it takes away some of the munchkin possibilities and dynamics of d&d). Goldfish can have -8, or something. Much more versatile then d&d where a goldfish INT 1 (-5) is only one step away from the dumbest man (-4) and only four step away from the halforc.

Yes, I know eight sounds a lot, but just two bonus abilities. I've done quite a research work before starting, and there are systems with 9 or ten abilities, so it seemed okay.

Yes, the skill system is the one that kills me. (being honest, i started out from d&d) I tried to work feat stuff and BAB and spellcasting into skills. There was a beta version where i did it with a small number of skills, but game balance that favored rogue type characters slightly. This way it seems more balanced, but only test games will tell it exactly. (btw sixth sense is what d&d calls uncanny dodge :-) )

Thanks for commenting, and giving some ideas!

2005-11-17, 09:17 AM
I didn't think that a range of 5 is small. There are a lot of systems (shadowrun for example) where you use a d6 for abilities

Actually, you don't roll ability scores in Shadowrun (unless something's changed a whole lot), and they can go higher than 6 (troll's strength, for example). Your point is still correct, though - there's a whole army of games with stats ranging from 1 to 5 (or higher for incredibly really powerful NPCs). White Wolf's World of Darkness, that is.

Then again, those games use the "stat + skill" system (and roll for number of successes). Only comparing numbers and averages (average skills, average bonuses, average target numbers) will tell you how your system is likely to function.

Mind you, that's something that's not clear to me from your post: how does the system WORK ? What do you roll your skills against? How does combat work?

2005-11-17, 01:10 PM
In general, it works the same way as the majority of the games. Rolling againts each other, or against target numbers. For 'solo' skills d12+mods vs. target number (will need some testing games to set the target number correctly), for attacks and hide-spot checks d12+mods vs. d12+mods. Don't know why, but i prefer this one to the 'number of successes' systems.

(You're right no rolling in shadowrun, but human goes 1-6. orc is stronger, but in my -2/+2 system the orc has (-2/+2) +2, so 0/+4 (maybe -1/+3, still have to decide.) )

2005-11-17, 08:13 PM
Just be wary: the "dice + modifier VS number" -system is often regarded as one of the worst. It will create situations where a character has either 0% chance of success, or 100% chance of success. I usually prefer "roll dice, score under your skill number" (3d6 is my favorite, since the statistical distribution of results makes 10-13 the most useful skill range, and lets you manipulate odds magnificiently).

Anyway, yes - you'll have to do a lot of play-testing to determine what works.

2005-11-17, 08:43 PM
I like Cyberpunk 2020's system. You roll a d10, 1 is always a miss (Not a critical miss! You have to roll again for that). A 10 is not an automatic hit either, on rolling a 10 you roll again and add the two numbers together, on a second 10 you roll again, and so on (you of course only add your modifiers once).

Yes, I have once rolled something in the range of 7 10s in a row. IIRC it was with a snipers rifle, I hit straight between the eyes.

2005-11-17, 11:43 PM
I'll have to agree that your system seems very D&D-esque, but if you're playing fantasy, I'd say that it's been covered pretty exhaustively so you're left with little to no wiggle room with a lot of the mechanics.

That said, I'm partial to the Tri-stat system (d6). Tribble, if you're reading this, don't hate me becaue BESM has anime all over it! ;D Actually it's very flexible and they have a free PDF of the Tristat dX (where X is d4, d6, d8, or whatever) that does not have all the anime bits.

That said, I'm all for the development of your d12 system, Amanodel. I'm always interested in new ways of doing things. Sorry I can't offer more in the way of constructive criticism. Just have at it and have fun.

2005-11-18, 09:29 AM
Yes, indeed d&d-eque a bit. My favourite systems are d&d, shadowrun and the morrowind one, you can find a lot of similarities with these. (Some computer games have great systems, but they are complicated to match the 2ghz processor instead of a single dice.)

Hmm, you've got the point that the "roll dice, score under your skill number" systems can be more realistic then the d&d one, it's just my personal preference.
But going d&d or cyberpunk way, i can say that 1 is a failure, and 12 is a success always.

I chosen d12 for two reasons:
a) Not as static as d6, but not as dynamic and munchkinning as d20. Hoping to reach the middle ground.
b) Nobody uses it yet.

2005-11-18, 11:15 AM
How is one type of die more "munchkining" than another? They are just polygons! :)

2005-11-18, 12:34 PM
hey cut the guy some slack, its not easy to design from scratch. ive done it a few times and mathematically there are only so many ways to go that are feasible, and create a balance between ease of play and ease of use.

ease of play meaning that people can learn it quickly and the mechanic fascilitates role playing over roll playing. plus its got to be fun.

ease of use meaning that the mechanic is flexible enough to cover just about every conceivable situation and circumstance possible and that its not overly complex.

as for the setting. yes this is where a mechanic picks up a skin and attains a character of its own. this will go a ling way as to creating fun. theres lots to consider:

there has to be a reason the player characters are together. to combat a common enemy is a popular goal. weave it into the setting. in this way you can have characters of vastly differing types and backgrounds working together.

a rich history would be nice. nothing too long and ponderous and nothing too brief and vague.

intrigue, mystery, conflict, variety, and history.

so snap to it! yeah right.


2005-11-18, 11:25 PM
Cut him some slack? What thread were you reading? ???

Anyway, as far as ease of use goes, I think HeroQuest (née Hero Wars) must win there. Any and all situations can be resolved by picking a stat (or two) and rolling either a simple (climb a tree) or a extended (fight with someone, debate with someone, whatever) resolution. Of course, the utter lack of simulating anything at all may leave some people cold...

(Oh, and as far as Cyberpunk 2020 goes... love the world, hate the system. There's never been a worse system, and the flat 10% auto-fail leaves me cold; normal people don't mess up 10% of the time. The range of odds with GURPS-style 3d6 is still the best I can think of. Now, the rest of GURPS is just too cumbersome to play...)

Designing the system should go hand in hand with designing parts of the setting - you need to know your theme, the desired style of play, and some things about the world (magic system, technology levels) to craft a set of rules that fit it.

The biggest rule for rules systems, I think, should be "Keep it simple." If a normal person can't learn the most essential basics of the combat system in one session, then you're going to have trouble. If you can't resolve an attack without resorting to page-size tables, you're probably headed for trouble, too.

2005-11-19, 10:47 PM
Actually, it's pretty simple system. My opinion was to create something without the complexity of d&d, where you need to have the class progress table, the charsheet, the skill and feat descriptions and other stuff. Arguing about complex rules are soo bad.

I still don't want to include stting. I want to work with hi/low tech and hi/lo magic as well.

All the well-known systems are capable of handling many settings with minor modifications. With d&d you can play eberron, fr and low-magic low-tech settings as well. The PhB and the DMG don't say a word about the technology and magic levels, nor should I in my opinion. If it only can handle high-magic low-tech settings than it's scrappy. (for example you can use shadowrun to play a middle ages fantasy game)

Democratus: they are just ploygons, but still theres a difference. When you play a d6 system, your bonuses are usually don't go further than 1 or 2, so you can't build up some monster, while d20 or d100 gives you a lot of "moving space" bonuses go up, you can easily make them to create more focused munchkin characters. Not the dices are munchkinning, but the ssystem that uses them. (my games prove that, i never saw much powergaming in d6 systems. At least not as much as you can see in a standard d20 session.)

Ermmm.. what's "cutting some slack" means? I guess it wasn't mentioned at our English lessons. :)

About d10: normal, and even above-avarage people do mess up 10% in rush or in a threatening situation. You possibly won't mess up when you're turning a sommersault, but when you're doing it with a breastplate donned with a sword in your hand when you're between tow raging ogres... i guess you have a chance to spoil it no matter how trained you are.

2005-11-20, 02:31 AM
About d10: normal, and even above-avarage people do mess up 10% in rush or in a threatening situation. You possibly won't mess up when you're turning a sommersault, but when you're doing it with a breastplate donned with a sword in your hand when you're between tow raging ogres... i guess you have a chance to spoil it no matter how trained you are.

True. However you get GMs that apply this in all situations and this can break the realism of a system.

I am creating a system too. The basics of it are use a die that represents the attibute level (D4, D6, D8, D10, D12) and add your skill level to the roll (+0, +1, +2, +3, +4, +5). Versus the Difficulty level (D4, D6, D8, D10, D12) and add situational modifiers (+0, +1, +2, +3, +4, +5). You must equal or beat the difficulty roll to win.

Damage drains the attributes (Strength, Reflex, Health, Mind) and different effects ocure when an attribute is drained (eg 0 health = dead, 0 mind = unconsious).

There are also "Gifts" which act like attributes, in that the value represents a die to be rolled and they have various skills that are assosiated with them.

I too have not designed a specific setting that is to be used for the game, but have created a skill (and Gift) set that can be used for nearly any setting (specific weapon skills and rules are not included though).

2005-11-20, 03:30 AM
oh but i do believe that a setting should be included, its what sets your work apart and makes people take notice. it really doesnt have to be elaborate. besides, once you included the races and classes in your mechanic youve already hinted at the setting. why not take that next step and make something truly unique?

otherwise the feel of the game is like the white room in the matrix. just a little tease to make it interesting.

example: the goblins dont get along with the elves because they were once the same race. the goblins were once elves who were perverted by some dark power.now the goblins seek to destroy the beauty of the elves which mocks thier sorry state as a mutilated people in body and spirit, abandoned by the dark lord who seduced and twisted them and by their former kin. where serenity and a love of nature once were is a kind of madness and a desire to conquer and subvert nature to thier whim. they rip into the earth and create machines of devious ingenuity and destructive power, they hack down forrests to fuel the fires of their forges, they poison the waters with the refuse of their industry, and they befoul the air with the choking black smoke from thier engines of destruction.

how and when did this schism happen? who was that dark lord? are there ever good goblins? do they use thier ingenuity for good? just by answering the questions that come to mind a world developes. its fun.

actually the dmg does mention technology briefly.

cutting someone some slack means taking it easy on them.


2005-11-20, 10:34 AM
Edtharan: Really good idea of increasing the dice roll (d4 d6 d8 d10 d12) instead of working with modifiers, i love that one. It's like if you roll attack (strenght) than you roll d4 for a kobold, d6 for a human and d8 for an orc; plus your 'BAB' versus the reflex roll + 'AC' of the target? If so, than it's just wasome and unique. (How do you handle a dragon's strenght like this? The idea came into my mind as well, but since i couldn't resolve it I threw it away, my bad.)

Ray: IF the mechanics seems to work I will include a basic setting as well. But it's pointless to talk about elf-orc relationship when you can't even resolve a combat without problems. I'm afraid that the setting comes before the system, then they system will only be able to handle that one setting only. That's something i don't want to do. The non-mechanic thing i mentined in the first post are only there to help you comparing it to existing games. (if you're really just about settings, i've got one in mind to try with this system. It's based on that every humanoid race is related to an element. It's nearly ready but if i posted it with the mechanics than noone would give a damn about the maths, but rather they would comment on the setting.)

2005-11-20, 03:26 PM
I am creating a system too. The basics of it are use a die that represents the attibute level (D4, D6, D8, D10, D12) and add your skill level to the roll (+0, +1, +2, +3, +4, +5). Versus the Difficulty level (D4, D6, D8, D10, D12) and add situational modifiers (+0, +1, +2, +3, +4, +5). You must equal or beat the difficulty roll to win.

the "dice for a stat" model was used by earthdawn wasnt it? and is currently the mechanic used for the serenity rpg.

i know a lot of people that like it as a novel approach, but i find that when trying to resolve certain unorthadox situations it becomes problematical unless there are very clear and simple steps to resolve unforseen happenstances. in essense using multiple dice for task resolution is neat but can be more complex than desireable.

check the mesage boards for the serenity rpg for more info.


2005-11-20, 06:41 PM
Here's why I prefer 3d6 (odds rounded up/off normally):

Modified Skill / Chance of Success
3 / 0.5 %
4 / 1.9%
5 / 4.6%
6 / 9.3%
7 / 16.2%
8 / 25.9%
9 / 37.5%
10 / 50.0%
11 / 62.5%
12 / 74.1%
13 / 83.8%
14 / 90.7%
15 / 95.4%
16+ / 98.2%

You make 16, 17, and/or 18 fumbles. 3, 4, and maybe 5 are criticals.

You apply modifiers according to the difficulty of the task. Let's say -6 means "incredibly difficult." Now, someone with a 16 base skill has a 50% chance of doing that. Someone with an 11 base skill has a 9.3% chance. Someone with a 22 base skill has a 98.2% chance at it (which, obviously, makes a skill of 22 incredible in itself).

This makes skills at around 12-13 a good range for important skills that see a lot of use, but that aren't your greatest speciality. (In GURPS, for example, getting a skill at around 13-14 isn't very expensive/difficult for a character with a good stat. The usual starting range for a person who isn't handicapped in the relevant stat is 8-10, depending on how good they are and how hard the skill is.)

There's always a chance to mess things up, and almost always a chance to succeed, but the odds don't go up or down linearly.