View Full Version : Lets face it; it's another Halo RPG

2012-01-21, 07:15 PM
A few disclaimers, if you will.
One: I'm posting this from my phone, so please ignore any typos and errors, until I get a chance to edit them. Long posts are kinda wonky, I might need a few other posts.
And Two: This is the 'Halo RPG'. I can't use that title, it's copywrited, and I really dont want it anyway. Now let me explain that...

I love Halo, I really, really do.
And I love roleplaying. Combining the two seemed perfect, a combat game rich in story and variety, and a combat genre that rewards variety with freedom. Match in heaven, and all that. When I decided to do Halo RPing, I didnt have much experience as far as game systems go, so I found current systems lacking, and decided to make my own!
A lofty goal, sure, but I was determined.
But not successful.
Years later, I still have a goal to design a system, tho my experience has broadened since then. Maybe I'll finally succeed.
For my own sake, I'll organize this into, lets say, 3 posts; Purpose of the game, Purpose of the board, and What I got so far.

The Purpose Of The Game
This one is easy. My goal is to make a hard science fiction roleplaying game (that's hard science, not a hard, sciency game) with a primary focus on ranged tactical and squad based combat, and a secondary focus on tactical skill based objectives. Social objectives are tertiary to none.
As far as the whole Halo thing... I dont have a fiction for the genre. I hope someday that I might, but thats a far loftier goal. Right now, I just want to play a crude proxy of the Halo fiction, using it's setting, characters and items. As I dont plan on publishing it, I dont fear legal retaliation, so I'm going ahead with it. In short, I want to make a working, playing Halo RPG.

2012-01-21, 07:28 PM
The Purpose Of This Board This post may evolve.
For right now, this board is everything. I hope to place down all my ideas here in the evolving 'What I got so far', and open it to the public.
I also ask for help. Nothing is solid, my whole premise is malleable, so I'm hoping, you, my colleagues, and brilliant home-brewers, will help push my project along. I'm looking for anything from one line advice, to loose ideas, to even what you want to see come out of it. Hopefully, a few of you might tag in as fellow collaborators in this, ones that will mold this game with me. If by this point you have anything to say, dont hesitate, let loose, and join in. I ask a few things, however, out of kindness. My game wont be perfect, may not even be original, but as much as I like hearing about new systems, please dont suggest I play that one you like best instead. My goal to build a system, really, not play a game. However, if that game you like has a really cool mechanic, by all means, give us the low-down, maybe it'll fit well enough to be implemented. I will always try.
Also, if you do wish at anytime to completely and fully collaborate, I ask, to keep this board managable, that I am PM'ed to discuss tiny ongoing things. I would hate for someone to get discouraged by reading thirty posts on the merits of a repair skill...
Finally, as a note to would-be suggestors, all names, terms, and mechanic specific lingo are all placeholders for now. If you dont like a particular word, suggest a new one, for a better feel.

2012-01-21, 08:15 PM
What I Got So Far This board will evolve as I get new stuff.

Right now, I got basics. Mostly 'cause it's hard to type long things on a phone, and partially because its what I got. I have all kinds of ideas floating around, but with nothing to attach it to, it's pretty useless. I'll put up the little things as we go.
For now, its two subjects.

The Core Mechanic.
A pretty concrete idea, my core mechanic is a d20 dice pool. Normally dice pools are d10, but I have serious doubts that the die type changes the difficulty of the math of the game. You're still eyeballing a number, and adding a bonus. The reason I wanted the d20 was for increased granularity. A +1 in d10's means a lot more than a +1 in d20's. I like a lot of little modifiers.
The core mechanic is this. Your pool is determined by your Ability Score, or Stats, or whatever. I'll explain those three later. Anyways, you'll have between 1-7 d20's to roll. To each die, you add your relevant modifiers. The main modifier is your skill level. Skills are the big focal point in my system so far. Most other modifiers are conditional. This roll is paired with two sets of difficulties, one being the target number, or TN, which rates how tough it is to do the action AT ALL, and the Success Number, the number of die that match or exceed the TN with all the modifiers. This number (1 thru 7) represents how tough it is to do the action EXCEPTIONALLY. Generally, you are given added benefits for each success abovecthe required Success Number (or SN.) Pretty Basic, huh? Lemme explain the difficulties a bit more. Say you want to fix your car. Its not hard to do, so it has a low TN, but once it's fixed, theres not much else you can do it with, so the SN might be pretty high, because getting more successes cant help. On the other hand, jumping a twelve foot chasm might be hard (a really high TN), but you can do it really well! It will have a low SN, so that additional successes give you perks, like distance, or even being able to move after the jump. All skill checks have a TN and an SN. There are NO opposed checks.
This skill-based dice pool is pretty set in my mind I wanna make this work, so here's the next part.

The Main Concepts Of A Character
This will turn into 'Your Character' later.
For now, we'll look at three defining pieces. Abilities, Skills, and Tracks.

Abilities. You got three of them, and they represent your genetic potential for growth. Body is everything physical, your strength, your constitution, and your resilience. A lot of physical skills are tied to this Ability.
Agility is the lithe end of the physical. How dexterous and graceful you are is your Agility. Ranged weapons, your speed, even how easy you are to be hit are tied to this.
And finally, your Mind. Everything from booksmarts to streetsmarts, this catch-all keys several skills, but its your skill choices that represent your kind of intelligence and wit.
The Ability scores range from 1 to 15 for a human, from wimpiest to peak of perfection. The average, sadly, is around 5. How many dice you roll for a skill is determinedby what your ability level is. Also, at certain levels, you gain the ability to buy Perks, a kind of feat related to that ability.

Skills. This is the bread and butter. I'm currently finalizing a list of skills, but I'm making sure any action, and response can be governed by a skill. Skill choices are a huge part of character building. You cannot be good at everything, and there will be a lot to be good at. Primarily, the skill level determines your bonus to your die (maxing out at 15), but some skills might give you extra uses for that skill, or a unique bonus at the highest levels.
Skills will be the biggest part to look at for me.

Tracks. Thats right, I saw Legends, and loved it. I'm using a similar track mechanic for my game. Each track has levels to progress (1-15, duh), and you progress all tracks at the same time. The number of tracks you get, however, is determined by the games power level. Each character must have ONE racial track, but may have more. All other tracks are class and Special tracks. An average human, therefore, would have two tracks. His Human racial track, and his profession, a Class track. A veteran warrior, however, might have two class tracks. Tracks give you everything as you progress. Your ability score increases, how many skill points you have, all your special manuevers and perks, even how much damage you can take, and its all outlined in your tracks. Customization is foregone, I admit, but at the expense of ease in building, leveling, and especially comparing. An average encounter is 1/2 of your characters track. That average human, therefore, could concievably take on the one track wolf. An equal mumber of tracks represents a hard encounter. Two wolves could kill him. The track level of all creatures in the encounter should be equal, for these easy calculations to be accurate. However, if the human has been training for years, and the wolf hasnt, the wolf might be at a lesser level, making it very easy to defeat.

The tracks are seperated into three different playstyles, Offensive, Tactical, and Intelligence.
Offensive Tracks are just that; Offensive. They are the main combat tracks and offer great firepower with little subtlety and skills. Key ideas are a lot of wounds, large damage bonuses, and weapon specific skills.
Tactical Tracks are the skill-monkeys of the military. Stealthy, decietful, and dangerous, these tracks play to the more subtle side. Not as tough as Offensive Classes, these prefer to avoid straight combat, using stealth, high to-hit bonuses, and striker-esque abilities to eliminate key targets without detection.
Intelligence Tracks refer to Military Intelligence, not so much book-smarts. These guys support the rest of the tracks, and make their job a lot easier. Remote reconaissance, healing, and morale buffs makes these guys a necessity. The other have the largest store of Resource Points.

All tracks have a capstone ability, that securely defines their purpose in late game. It makes me rethink whether they should level up together...

Track Ideas
Offensive Tracks
Rifleman: A Human track focusing on short to medium range with assault type weapons. Generally hardy, and an all around good choice when filling that extra slot.
Heavy Weapons Specialist: A Class track that offers large bonuses to health and Heavy class weapons. Also gives some Vehicular bonuses. The typical tough demolitions role.
Small Arms: A Class track that allows dual-wielding, and gives bonuses in the short range with small arms weapons. An Offensive choice good to pair with the Intelligence tracks.
Blood Of The Honorable: A Sangheili track that is similar to Rifleman in it's all around usefulness.

Tactical Tracks
Sniper: This Class track gives large to-hit bonuses and range penalty reductions to facilitate powerful, long-range strikes. At it's peak, it can kill anything in sight with a single shot.
Recon: This Human class focusing on stealth and quick movement, giving it the edge in either close or long range combat. Used for hit and run tactics, at its peak, a Recon operative can be all but invisible.
Blood Of The Swift: A Sangheili track that focuses on the use of active camo, and close quarters combat. It prefers swift strikes with a melee weapon before blending back into the background, a far more Offensive version of a Tactical Track. About as subtle as the Covenant can be.

Intelligence Tracks
Radio Operator: A Human support class, the RO carries around all the equipment needed to use the teams Resource Points in combat. Abilities include calling in airstrikes and weapon drops, in-field intelligence gathering, and at the peak, remote vehicle operation.
Medic: A Human support class, the Medic focuses on healing hurt comrades and providing a large morale bonus. The ability to keep a force fighting for weeks without support is it's major calling.
Engineer: A Human class that specializes in tinkering. Allows for upgrades on vehicles, equipment, and weapons, as well as on the fly adjustments to all. When your Warthog's missing an engine, the Engineer can get it working again.
Intelligence Officer: A Human ONI Spook, these low key officers use all availiable resources to make sure every knows exactly what they're going up against. Remote Recon and orbital assistance are within their realm of power, and their Capstone is an AI controlled ARGUS Drone, with all sorts of in and out of combat utility.
Nipple Master: This Unggoy class focuses majorly on supplying the Unggoy masses with their necessities; food, methane, and fun. And explosions. Grunts love to explode, right? High level Nipple Masters (like they'll live long enough...) are able to call upon huge reserves of equipment to supply the throngs of Grunts.

Completed Tracks

Currently Rejected Tracks

That's all I got for now. Next I'll throw down my damage system, probably. For now, please evaluate, critique, and create. Most importantly, communicate! Whaddaya say, playgrounders? Wanna help?

2012-01-22, 06:39 AM
Answe one question and I'll collaborate: Can I play a Grunt?

2012-01-22, 06:45 AM
Hah. Yes indeed. One of the glories of role-playing games is the unmitigated freedom, and I plan to do that justice. I hope to have full options for anyone to play any race, Covenant, Human and otherwise, along with a small instructional on how to make your own racial and class tracks.

2012-01-22, 03:10 PM
I'm not sure how much milage can be streached out of human racial tracks, but class tracks should be easy. Base them around the roles you see crop up in online multiplayer.
Things like Sniper, Agent, Rocketfriend, Swordsman... Albeit these aren't really low-level Marine tactics, we know humans are capable of handling them from ODST.

2012-01-22, 06:50 PM
I suggest, rather than play styles, have tracks associated with the loadouts and intended play styles in Halo: Reach.

Recon: faster than most, bonus to vision, etc.
Sniper (Active camo loadout): active camo ability, bonus to sniper rifles
Grenadier (Armor loack): bonuses to shotguns/explosives

And tracks for each individual spartan class and race

Spartan 1 (if the campaign is set before the current universe)
Spartan 2
Spartan 3
etc, etc.

Combat should be quick and efficient. Instead of the shields being extra health, they should add to the armor bonus of the character

2012-01-23, 03:32 AM
I think he intends (correct me if I'm wrong) to have a handful of Human racial tracks, and the different tiers of human just get more tracks. Marines get 1 or 2 tracks, ODSTs could get 2 or 3, Spartan Is and IIIs could get 3 or 4 and the high-yield grade-A Spartan IIs can net a whopping 5 or 6.

On the Covie side, Grunts get one of X 'Grunty' racial tracks, Kig-Yar take 2 from the Jackal list, Sangheli and Jiralhanae take home 4 from their lists and Hunters have 6, one of them culminating in SCARAB TIEM. It would represent the base-level of awesome for the different tiers.

Where do Prophets fit in, or Engineers?

2012-01-23, 03:46 AM
Yes, what Sar said. And for track counts, its not all just 'class tracks'. For instance, the shear might od the Lekgolo can earn 1-4 bonus racial tracks, from different forms, to even the Raciak Scarab tracks... Spartans II get the base Human track, and due to their history, also rack up a bonus Racial track 'Augmented: Super Soldier' that acts as a kind of racial template.

As far as class tracks, I'm lumping all classes into one of three 'playstyles'; Offensive, Tactical, and Intelligence. Each race will have a selection of class tracks to choose from, and you can choose from other races, if you so wish, but the fluff will be obvious as to where it should go. For instance, an Intelligence Class track for the Grunt is the Nipple Master.

The Nipple Master Intelligence Class
Prerequisite: Unggoy Racial Track
Methane is important to the Grunty community, as is food. As the Nipple Master, it's your glorious duty to ferry much needed supplies to the thriving mobs of thousands of Unggoy just waiting to be crushed underfoot. When playing a Nipple Master, your best chance of survival is to learn to run really, really fast...

Soon I'll post all the ideas of class tracks I have, and will welcome all additional ideas. Think of a track as about 1/3 to 1/2 a regular class.

2012-01-23, 03:53 AM
The Nipple Master Intelligence Class
Prerequisite: Unggoy Racial Track
Methane is important to the Grunty community, as is food. As the Nipple Master, it's your glorious duty to ferry much needed supplies to the thriving mobs of thousands of Unggoy just waiting to be crushed underfoot. When playing a Nipple Master, your best chance of survival is to learn to run really, really fast...

I will play this. And only this. Forever.

How many 'levels' will a Track have? Racial and Class.

2012-01-23, 10:42 PM
All tracks have 15 levels, mostly for consistency...

Ursus the Grim
2012-02-06, 11:08 PM
This sounds pretty ambitious. I hesitate to throw my hat into the ring with you on this one, Def, if only because I'd not be comfortable completely designing a system. I will, however, put my thread on hiatus for a week or so because its unfinished and you've got a lot more material. Wouldn't want to detract from your audience here, and nobody wants to see two threads on the same thing.

That being said, if you have any questions or anything I can help with in terms of story or canon, my pm box is open.