View Full Version : A Homebrew Universal-Setting Rule System (PEACH)

2009-12-06, 03:43 PM
This (as yet unamed) system is meant to be quick, easy to learn, and useful for any setting without a threatening list of rules providing a barrier for new players. The default rules have a strong bias towards grit, but that's easily changed.

All of the character creation rules are here already, combat and special rules will follow shortly.

Basics and Character Creation

Task Resolution:
All tasks except for determining damage are resolved with a single d100 roll plus the relevant ability and/or skill modifiers. If this roll beats the target number (TN) the check succeeds. All damage is determined using one or more 10-sided dice. If your combined skill/ability modifier is greater than the TN you succeed automatically and need not roll.

Effortless: 20
Mundane: 30
Easy: 40
Average: 60
Challenging: 80
Hard: 100


Each player character has eight ability scores these are:

Durability: Physical toughness—also directly determines hit points
Will: Mental toughness--also directly determines insanity points
Strength: Physical power
Dexterity: Agility and manual skill
Intelligence: Mental ability
Presence: Force of personality and charisma
Perception: Awareness of the world around your character

An ability score has a ‘modifier’ equal to its tens digit (i.e. the modifier of a human with an Intelligence of 36 is +3. This will come up later.

Ability scores are typically out of 100 with 25-35 being the human average. Ability scores are determined by rolling 2d10+20 for each stat. You may swap any two rolls with each other, and may reroll any one roll, taking the highest result of the two (ability scores are further modified by your character's background.


All character’s background represents their training and life experience—a character’s background determines what skills he finds easy to learn, his abilities, and other character personal attributes.

When determining your character’s background, do the following:

*Distribute two +5/-5 pairs to any ability (i.e. +5 str/-5 int) You may apply two +5s or two -5 to the same ability score (therefore, the

*Select five favored skills. These skills only cost one character point (CP) for your character to learn (all other skills cost two CP)

* Spend five CP on perks or skills. These CP are independent of other level-based CP, but may not be used to exceed any level-based limits without paying the noted costs. Background CP may not be combined with the CP gained at first level unless they are banked (See Levels)


This system is a compromise between level and point-based approaches to character creation. A level represents a general guideline for appropriate power levels and abilities, though these limits can be exceeded by paying additional CP.

Each level, a character receives 10 CP so spend on skills and perks. Typically, a character may not exceed his level in the number of skill ranks he posses and may not take the same unranked perk more than once unless otherwise noted. In each case, the CP cost for the skill rank or perk is increased by 50% per instance (round up). In other words, a character who wanted to to increase her HP by 15 points would pay 5 points for the first +5, 8 for the second, and 12 for the third—making 25 points in total (this is typically an impossible example, and it would be more cost-effective to wait until the next level and buy another +5 to the ability for 5 CP)

A character may also ‘bank’ his CP for use at later levels should he want to buy a perk that costs more than 10 CP. For each five CP banked, the character ‘loses’ one (leaving them 4 CP to spend later) A character always loses a minimum of 1 CP though they need not bank CP in increments of 5. In most games this is an extremely rare occurrence. Superheroic characters find the most use for this ability.

A character may also hold their CP in reserve at no cost as long as they are spent before a character advances. Typically a GM will require training time for many abilities, but this is best dealt with on a case-by-case basis.


There are several ways for characters to advance in level throughout a campaign. A GM may use one or more of these methods to advance characters, but these are only guidelines, not hard rules.

A character requires 100xtheir previous level XP to advance (i.e. a 3rd level character requires 300XP to advance to fourth level and a 0th level character requires no XP to advance to first level.

No Advancement: Characters do not advance throughout the campaign. This is typical of episodic games or extremely low-powered or short campaigns.

Challenge-based: PCs receive XP for overcoming their enemies. For every encounter resolved (this is at the GM’s discretion, and all numbers are merely guidelines) Each character receives between 10 and 100 XP (rate the challenge on a scale of 1-10; 100xp encounters should be extremely rare.) Note that this system deliberately slows advancement of higher level characters.

Goal-Based: Have each player write down two or three of their character’s major long-term goals or ambitions. Any action taken towards these goals that inconveniences the character in some way or directly contributes to the goal (use the 1-10 scale) should be rewarded accordingly. If a character achieves their goal they should decide on another or perhaps decide that it is time to retire their character. This approach is very useful in some games (particularly those involving intrigue) and not very useful in others (survival-horror).

Trait-Based: Each character should pick 5 traits which would impose some inconvenience to the character (this could be heroism, demonic possession, ugliness rage, etc…) Every time a character roleplays one of these disadvantageous traits well or they somehow inconvenience the character, use the 1-10 scale to award XP. A character should not go overboard with playing up their traits (the GM is the final arbiter on XP). On the other hand a character who fails to play their traits does not gain (and may even lose) XP. This can be used strategically as a sanctioned form of metagame action and represents the character acting against their nature somehow in the interest of self preservation or some other cause. If it is played up this can be very interesting. A character may change any one of their 5 disadvantages with permission from the GM and appropriate role-playing. A character must always have 5 disadvantages.

Improving Your Character:

After a character levels up, select 10 points to spend on skills or perks. You may also spend 5 CP to increase one of your ability scores by +5. That’s all there is to it.


Skills typically cost 2 CP (except for a character’s favored skills, which cost one) Skills are also classed as either simple (can be used untrained) or complex (receive a -50 penalty if the character has no ranks in the skill). Complex skills should be marked with an asterisk. Each rank in a skill provides a +5 bonus to the relevant d100 ability check.

Because this is a universal system, listing every possible skill is impossible, but skills should be kept general (i.e. ‘pilot’ is an acceptable skill while ‘commercial aircraft pilot’ is too specific)

Certain skills are vital to the game or simply universal. These are listed below:

Heavy Lifting

Melee Defense
Reflex Defense
Melee Weapons
Special Melee Weapons*
Unarmed Combat
Ranged Weapons
Special Ranged Weapons*
Sleight of Hand

Fire Control*

Fast Talk
Gather information
Mental Attack (Melee)
Mental Attack (Ranged)
Psychological Warfare*

Detect lies


Perks represent general mechanical advantages a character might have that aren’t necessarily reflected by a character’s abilities and skills. Some perks may only be taken once, while others have a number of levels. Generally, a leveled perk may only be taken once without an increase in it’s cost (see the Levels section for the rules on this). Exceptions are marked with an asterisk.

Some perks make much more sense when taken during character creation. These cost twice as much when they are not bought with either the 5 bonus background CP or the 10 1st level CP. The GM is free to veto any selection of these powers. All such powers are marked with a plus sign.

Leveled Perks:

Ally (5 CP/level): An ally is an NPC who is willing to serve and assist your PC. They are generally helpful, and will follow your character into battle if nescesary. This can also be used to represent pets or familiars. An ally may never be more than half the level of your PC. An ally increases in power as you spend more ranks in this perk.

+Attractive (1 CP/level): In situations where your character’s appearance would improve an NPC’s reaction to him add a +2 bonus per level of this perk to the relevant skill.

Contact (3 CP/level): A contact is a useful NPC who can provide services to the PC with a successful skill check (negotiate, intimidate, etc.) A contact’s level is equal to the rank of this power. You may purchase several different contacts at different levels, and with the GM’s permission you may advance a contact by buying another level in this perk.

*Improved speed (2 CP/level): Add 1 meter to your base speed

*Increased Melee Damage (3 CP/level): Add +2 to your melee damage

*Increased Ranged Damage (3 CP/Level): Add +2 to your ranged damage

*Luck (3 CP/level): For each rank, you get one reroll of a d100 per session.

Means (2 CP/level): This determines your means level (wealth, ability to requisition gear, or some other appropriate quality) which in turn determines what equipment you can own.

Means Exemption (1 CP/level): This allows you to own an item that costs more than your means score (a house, car, or magic sword, etc.)

*Rank (1-3 CP/level): Rank gives you limited authority over a group of people. Often, this comes with immunities as well (to be purchased separately). Typically, you may take up to ten levels of rank (level 1 would make you a sergeant in the army, while rank 10 would make you a 5-star general)
An example of the costs of different types of rank is shown below:

1: Social Rank
2: Corporate rank
3: Military Rank

[B]One-Off Perks:

Feature (1 CP): This is covers minor character benefits (makes great origami, trivia expert, can beat anything in a drinking game, etc.)

Immunity (varies): Your character is immune to something inconvenient. This is a very general power, and covers many things. You may not purchase an immunity costing over 10 points without GM approval. Many immunities are supernatural in nature—if this is inappropriate in your game do not take that immunity. A few examples follow:

1 CP: Immune to certain mundane responsibilities
2 CP: Legal immunity to misdemeanor criminal charges
3 CP: Immune to poison
5 CP Immune to stunning
8 CP: Does not need to eat, drink, sleep, or breathe
10 CP: Immune to barriers—can walk through thin walls, windows, etc.

Melee finesse (3 CP): Add your dexterity modifier to melee damage instead of your strength modifier.

Power (Varies): This allows your character to do something outside the human norm. Typically the cost depends on the game, and must be negotiated with the GM.

Ranged Finesse (4 CP): Add your dexterity modifier to ranged attack damage

Integrated Gear (1 or 2 CP): A particular piece of equipment is attached to your person (i.e. a computer, or a secret compartment. Integrating a weapon or armor costs 2 CP. This perk combined with Means Exemption can be used to represent natural weapons and armor.

2009-12-07, 05:30 AM
The One Universal Setting System? :smalltongue:

Looks like a psudo-percentile system. I say "psudo" because it isn't really a "choose percentage and roll to attempt," it's a "choose a difficulty, add your bonuses, see which is higher."

Speaking of which, why base it off of 100 and d%? And if so, then why is "all damage is determined using one or more 10-sided dice"?

Task resolution seems simple enough, just a d% variation of d20. Is there any particular reason for the choice in your abilities? I see no "magic potential" or "psychic potential" ability - are these things that would be added on, depending on the game?

I'm not sure what the ability modifier refers to, as it doesn't come up later.

You only have seven ability scores, not eight.

I'm not too sure about character creation. Between background and levels, the rules seem... odd, if not necessarily confusing. Multiplication and division for buying skills and banking looks complex - something that would be easily handled in a video game, but more troubling to work through on a sheet of paper.

If a character starts at level 5, do they just get all their CP to spend at once? Or do they have to go through each level, banking any buying skills available?

The rest are harder to determine, as I'd need to see the system in question to tell how relevant they are. You've repeated used "+2 bonus" without having given us any indication as to what that means. The value of rerolls per session can vary wildly between group to group, as some only play for an hour or two while others can play a game all day.

There is still no stats for health (HP).


Overall, I'd like the see how the system works before worrying about character creation. I can't tell you how accurately you can generate a realistic character without knowing what "realistic" would be it the system, after all.

2009-12-07, 05:22 PM
To adress:

d100 and d10 because it means you only need one dice type and you can have +2 modifiers as well, which a d20 doesn't deal well with.

Magic is still being hammered out (a graceful way to do it without being too vauge or writing out large spell lists is in order) It would be independant of abilities.

Ability modifiers mostly come up in combat.

Explain how they're confusing. Background is pretty easy, I thought, and multiplication/division with banking or exceeding limits should only come up very rarely--it's always divide by 2 and round up or 1 point per 5 minimum 1.

You would advance at each level normally, so yes if you wanted to buy something that cost more than 10 points you'd have to bank points.

Rerolls are tricky in any system, but it's the only good measure for them.

This is the curse of system design--I need character creation but to judge it there need to be other rules

HP is determined directly from toughness (this comes up in combat rules, but I should probably add it here as well.)

2009-12-07, 09:50 PM
More unusual than confusing. Skills cost 1 CP or 2 CP... unless you're buying high ranks, in which case they cost 50% more, rounded up, cumulative each higher level. Actually, let me get this right... a level 4 character trying to get one to four ranks in a (non-favored) skill spends 2 CP. Getting a fifth rank costs 3 CP. Getting a sixth rank costs 5 CP. Getting a seventh rank costs 8 CP. And so on, as long as they are still level 4.

Why the sliding scale? I mean, it isn't immediately obvious how much CP to spend for a 10th rank skill at level 8.

Perks are like skills, except with slightly larger numbers. In fact, it doesn't look like you'll ever spend more than 5 CP on a standard perk, outside of (variable) ones like Immunity and Power.

The "CP Bank Tax" seems like it needlessly penalizes someone who isn't sure what to spend CP on. It's either "dump the extra into favored skills" or lose part of it to the Bank Tax.

Character creation should really be one of the later steps in designing a system. After all, if you create the system and find that 25-35 in stats in doesn't give an "average" result like expected, then you need to either redo the system or redo character creation.