View Full Version : Point-Buy 3d6 Tabletop System

2014-01-25, 09:11 PM
So, I've been working on a quick, simple point-buy system for about two weeks now, and it's in a decent enough place at this point that I'd like to post it. There's no working title at the moment, and constructive criticism would be much appreciated.

Character Creation and Advancement

Characters have a number of Experience Points, or XP, which they can spend in several ways. Below is the list of what they can purchase with these Experience Points. Characters should, be default, start with around 20 XP, and should gain XP as they accomplish important tasks and progress the narrative. All characters should be within 2-5 XP of each other at all times. 150 XP is an approximate maximum for most characters.

Character Quality Cost

Quality Cost by Bonus|+1|+2|+3|+4|+5|+6|+7|+8|+9|+10
Fortitude Defense|0|1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9
Reflex Defense|0|1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9
Will Defense|0|1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9

Quality Cost by Value|1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9|10
Purviews Known Total|1|2|3|4|5|7|9|11|13|15
Foci Known Total|0|1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9
Asset Value (each)|1|2|4|7|10|-|-|-|-|-
Bond Value (each)|1|2|3|4|6|-|-|-|-|-
Ward Value (each)|0|1|2|3|4|-|-|-|-|-

Pool Cost by Total|5|10|15|20|25|30|35|40|45|50

Character Quality Description

Accuracy is a measure of your co-ordination, speed, might, focus, or anything else you use to attack others. It does not determine how hard you hit, only how accurate those hits are. Characters with low Accuracy will find themselves missing enemies frequently, while characters with high Accuracy will hit enemies more often.

Damage measures how much additional damage your strikes do, on top of the damage your weapon naturally inflicts. Higher damage means you can knock more powerful enemies out of the fight faster, lower damage makes it harder to KO enemies.

Fortitude, Reflex, and Will are your Defenses. You roll Fortitude to avoid sudden impacts, poisons, and other brute-force attacks. Reflex is used when you need to dodge attacks, like arrows, explosions, and traps. Your roll Will to shrug off attacks that target your mind, morale, or confidence. Lower defense makes you more vulnerable to those kinds of attacks, higher defense makes you harder to affect.

Health is a measure of how much punishment you can take before being knocked out. All kinds of damage, from fire to stab wounds to psychic attacks, reduce your Health. Low Health means you’re easily injured, higher Health means you can take a ton of punishment before going down. Characters with 0 Health are KOed, and cannot take actions of any kind. Characters continue to take damage once KOed - when they take enough equal to half their maximum Health, they are dead. Some enemies, once reduced to 0 Health, are killed immediately instead.

Aspect refers to the sum of your practical skills and dominant qualities as an individual. With every point of Aspect, you gain one Descriptor Word, which can be any specific noun, adjective, or verb. You should avoid broad terms like ‘smart’, or ‘strong’, instead going for things like ‘arcanist’ or ‘athletic’. Professions and races work well as nouns. Whenever you attempt something risky that’s not attacking or using a special power, you can roll 3d6 and add your Aspect. If one of your descriptor words clearly applies, add your full Aspect to the roll. If it only partially applies, add half your bonus instead. If it wouldn’t apply at all, add nothing.

Assets give you Strike X against anything they would apply against, all the time, where X is their Rating. If they would only partially aid you, add half your Asset’s value as Strike. In addition, once per Sequence per point of Asset you have, you can gain an Edge on a single action that you would apply your full Strike against.

Bonds give you a +X bonus to all rolls when applied against the subject of your Bond, where X is their Rating. When you act against or on behalf of the subject of your Bond, you can apply Strike X AND Guard X to all conditions you face for one round. You can do this a number of times equal to your Bond Rating per Story.

Wards give you Guard X against any effect that would cause you to violate your Ward, where X is its Rating. If you intentionally violate your Ward, you suffer a -X Complication, where X is the strength of your Ward. Wards so violated are out of commission for the rest of the Story.

Characters have between 3 and 7 Wounds, or none if the GM desires it. A character can spend a Wound as a Minor Action once per Scene to regain 1/5 of their Health immediately. Characters may spend Wounds at will outside of combat. Characters with 0 Health are KOed and can’t take Major or Minor actions. Characters who take damage at 0 Health lose a Wound instead of Health. Characters reduced to 0 Wounds are killed when reduced to 0 Health, and characters with 0 Health who are reduced to 0 Wounds through damage are also killed.

Potency is your all-day supernatural ability. Potency determines the Power of your Foci, and the likelyhood of your Purviews functioning. Characters with high Potency can use multiple powers at once, and their abilities are stronger throughout the day. Characterws wtih lower Potency are unable to use supernatural abilities well without expending Mana, or even at all!

Purviews are the broad sets of ability your character has. Every Purview contains one or two Knacks and five specific functions of that Purview. Purviews include things like Fire, Mechanics, Mind-Control, Lightning, and the like. Purviews are often draining and take time to use. Characters with more Purviews are able to control more aspects of magic, and are thus more flexible. Characters with fewer Purviews will find themselves unable to do much outside of their mundane abilities, except in combat.

Foci are the narrow abilities your character has. They faster to use than Purviews, and function differently. Major Foci are used as a Major Action, and do something immediate and useful. Often, their effectiveness is based on your current Potency. Minor Foci are used as a Minor Action, and generally last until you choose to stop using them. However, they reduce your Potency as long as they’re active, including the turn you use them and the turn afterwards. Characters with many Foci have more tactical choices in combat, and can approach fights differently, even exploiting enemy weaknesses. Characters with few Foci will find themselves relying on Attack actions and without many choices in combat.

Mana is your pool of supernatural energy you can tap into to fuel your abilities. You can spend up to 1/5th of your Mana as a Free Action, and you improve your Potency by that amount until the end of your turn. However, if you do not use a Major Foci that turn, your Potency increase instead lasts until the end of the Scene, until you use a Purview, or you use a Major Foci, whichever comes first. Characters with large amounts of Mana will be able to push themselves that much farther when needed, while characters with little to no Mana will often get into sticky situations without the Mana needed to brute-force out of them.

2014-01-25, 09:17 PM
Combat, Wealth, Weapons, Armor, and Shields


When a fight breaks out, players make an Aspect check, with the most relevant skill applying. For example, Perceptive might help out in an ambush, while sneaky might aid you if you were starting an ambush. Characters with the word “initiative” in their Aspect ALWAYS add it to Initiative.

The character with the highest initiative goes first, then the next, and so on. A character may choose not to act on their initiative, and can later take their actions at any time they wish before the end of the turn. Their Initiative value does not change due to this.

On each player’s Initiative, or Turn, they can take one Major Action, two Minor Actions, and any number of Free Actions.

Major Actions: Making an Attack, using a Major Focus, using a Major Magic Item
Minor Actions: Move 6 Meters, using a Minor Power, making an Aspect check, using a Minor Magic Item.
Free Actions: Talking, drawing weapons, switching weapons, standing up, and other minor things like opening doors and the like.

To make an Attack, a character selects one enemy within their weapon’s Range and rolls 3d6 + Accuracy, versus a Defense based on the weapon used. If their roll is higher than the target’s Defense, they hit and deal their weapon’s Damage, plus their Damage bonus.

When Attacked, players roll 3d6 + their Defense bonus, depending on what kind of attack it is. If they roll higher than the target’s Attack total, they don’t take damage. If their roll is equal or lower, they take damage, and sometimes something else happens as well. Not every Attack from an enemy will deal damage, however.

When you’re Attacked or you Attack, make sure to look at the dice you roll. Some enemies have special abilities that Trigger on certain dice results, so be on the lookout.

Oh, and if you roll a 15 or 16 with your Attack roll (before adding your Accuracy Bonus), double your Weapon Dice rolled (and their bonus to damage). If you rolled a 17 or 18 with your Attack Roll (again, before Accuracy), triple your Weapon Die and weapon bonus to damage instead.


If you use a fantasy game with coinage, consider each Value Point one Copper piece, with 10 VP equalling on Silver Piece, 1000 VP equalling one Gold Piece, and 100,000 VP equalling one solid platinum bar.

If you use a modern game with modern currency, each Value Point is worth ten dollars (or roughly 1,000 Yen).

If you use a sci-fi game, each VP should be worth 100 Credits.

VP per Conflict Scene per Tier Given:
Heroic: 15
Paragon: 50
Epic: 100
Exalted: 150

Weapons, Implements, Armor, Shields

Weapons, Implements, Armor, Shields

All of the above are built using Structure Points (SP). All items have between 5 and 20 SP, which is used to buy their properties. Their Value (or VP) is how much they should cost, relative to the currency in the world. For more, see the Wealth section.

{table=head]SP |Value (VP)| SP| Value (VP)
5 |10|13| 160
6| 16 |14 |230
7 |23| 15| 320
8 |31 |16| 432
9 |40| 17 |568
10 |50 |18| 730
11 |72 |19| 620
12 |108| 20| 1140[/table]

SP Cost| Damage |Range |Accuracy |Assets
0 |1d6-1 |Adjacent |+0 |0
1 |1d6 |Reach |--- |One 1-point
3 |1d6+1 |Close |--- |Two 1-point
6 |1d6+2 |Medium |--- |One 2-point, One 1-point
10 |2d6 |Long |+1 |Two 2-point[/table]

SP Cost |Physical Armor| Non-Physical Armor (purchase individually) |Move Speed |Assets
0 |0 |0 |2 |0
1 |1 |2 |3 |One 1-point
3 |2 |4 |4 |Two 1-point
6 |3 |-- |5 |One 2-point, One 1-point
10 |4 |-- |6 |Two 2-point

SP Cost |Fortitude Defense| Reflex Defense| Will Defense| Physical Armor |Non-Physical Armor (purchase individually)| Damage Penalty
0 |+0 |+0 |+0| 0 |0 |-4
1 |---| --- |---| 1 |2| -3
3 |+1| +1| +1 |2 |--- |-2
6 |--- |--- |--- |--- |--- |-1
10 |+2 |+2 |+2 |--- |--- |-0

Common Assets among weapons might be “I’m very durable” or “I’m good at tripping people”. There is no Asset for simply dealing more damage or being more accurate - choose the relevant SP ability instead.

2014-01-25, 09:27 PM
Aspect Checks, Character Size, Edges / Glitches, Purviews, Guard and Strike

Aspect Checks - Variable Success
{table=head]Roll compared to Difficulty |Result
+3 Higher |You succeed, and you gain an Advantage
1-2 Higher |You succeed
Equal or 1 Lower |You succeed, but you take a Complication
2-3 Lower |You fail, but you gain an Advantage
4-5 Lower |You fail
6- Lower |You fail, and you take a Complication[/table]

Advantages are a slight benefit in your favor - they give you a temporary Edge at certain tasks for the rest of the Scene. Complications are a slight drawback that makes things harder for you - they give you a temporary Glitch at certain tasks for the rest of the Scene. If you net a second Complication doing the same task, it lasts until the end of the Sequence instead. If you net a third one, it lasts for the rest of the Story.

{table=head]Type |Difficulty |Description |Example
Routine |5 |Almost impossible to fail |Lift 10 kg.
Very Easy| 7 |Very unlikely to fail, but possible |Throw 10 kg.
Easy |9 |Not terribly difficult, but failure can happen |Lift 30 kg. weights
Average |11 |A coin-toss for unskilled people |Throw 30 kg. weights.
Hard |13 |Difficult for unskilled people |Lift an average person
Very Hard |15 |A challenge even for skilled people |Knock an average person across the room
Formidable| 17 |Almost impossible for unskilled people |Throw a 200 kg. weight
Inhuman |19 |Training and a a lot of luck is required. |Throw a car
Fantastic |21 |It falls within the realm of myth and legend |Lift a house
Deific |23 |As it says, only a god could try doing this |Throw a house
Impossible |25 |Even gods would struggle trying to do this |Lift a skyscraper[/table]

Character Size

Medium characters occupy a 2x2x2 meter square. Small creatures occupy a 1x1x1 meter square. Large occupy a 3x3x3 meter square, etc. For the purposes of the number of targets, a Small creature is 1/2 a target, a Large creature is 2 targets, and every step above or below doubles the number of targets required (or halves, if you go down).

Edges and Glitches

Edges and Glitches happen when you have a slight advantage or disadvantage in a situation (respecitvely). Edges let your roll 4d6 and take the three highest numbers. Glitches make you roll 4d6 and take the three LOWEST numbers. Edges and Glitches cancel each other out.

If you have an overwhelming advantage, you have a Critical Edge. If you have an incredibly bad disadvantage, you have a Crushing Glitch. Critical Edges let you roll 5d6 and take the three highest numbers. Crushing Glitches make you roll 5d6 and take the three LOWEST numbers. Critical Edges and Crushing Glitches cancel each other out.

Critical Edges override all Edges and Glitches as if they didn’t exist. Crushing Glitches overide all Edges and Glitches as well.


Purviews are composed of one or more Knacks and five other Effects you can use. Here’s Fire, for example.

Knack|Light a stick or torch you’re holding
7 |Maintain a small ball of fire in one hand, giving light like a candle
9 |Maintain a large ball of fire in one hand, giving light like a torch
11 |Project flame like a weapon, inflicting damage on an enemy
13 |Speak with one or more intelligent Fire-based creatures, like elementals
15 |Speak with an inanimate flame, gaining knowledge of what has happened in its vicinity[/table]

You can also increase or decrease the Difficulty of these checks, should you wish.

Roll 3d6, add your Potency (plus anything from spent Mana, minus anything from Minor Foci), and check the Difficulty. If you roll higher, you succeed, just like an Aspect check. When in doubt, use the Apsect Check tabel to the left to determine any problems that arise from your Purview use.

By default, a Purview Effect targets yourself or one Adjacent target, has a Power of 1, takes 1 minute, and requires you spend a Major Action every turn to sustain it. Knacks always take a Free Action to use, and never require a Difficulty Check. If you choose to raise a Knack’s Difficulty in some way, it has a base Difficulty of 3.

{table=head]Difficulty Increase|Targets |Range |Power |Duration* |Casting Time
0 |1 |1 |1 |Major Sustain |1 Minute
+1 |2 |3 |2 |Minor Sustain |3 Rounds
+3 |3 |6 |3 |Scene |Major Action
+6 |5 |10 |4 |Sequence |Minor Action
+10 |8 |15 |5 |Story |Free Action[/table]

{table=head]Difficulty Decrease |Mystical Components |Mundane Components |Casting Time
0 |0 MP |0 VP |1 Minute
-1 |1 MP |100 VP |10 Minutes
-2 |5 MP |500 VP |1 Hour
-3 |25 MP |2,500 VP |4 Hours
-4 |125 MP |12,500 VP| 1 Day[/table]

*The Duration of Knacks is always Free Sustain. Scene Duration is DC +1, Sequence Duration is DC +3, and Story Duration is DC +6. Knacks can be made Permanent with a DC increase of +10.

{table=head]Potency |0 |1 |2 |3 |4 |5| 6 |7| 8| 9 |10 |11 |12 |13 |14 |15+
Power |0 |1|1 |2|2|2| 3|3|3|3 |4|4|4|4|4| 5[/table]

Characters are encouraged to make their own Purviews, so long as they have one Knack and 5 Effects. They should also follow the Five Maxims.

{table=head]The Five Maxims
The Maxim of Focus: All Effects must be tied together with a single Purview, which should be narrow, and the five Effects must have a thematic link between them. Preferably, some of the Effects should be greater or more useful iterations of other Effects.
The Maxim of Progression: All Effects in a Purview follow the same progression: Knack, Difficulty 7, Difficulty 9, Difficulty 11, Difficulty 13, Difficulty 15.
The Maxim of Entropy: Effects that destroy are less difficult than effects that create. It is easier for a wall to be torn down than for a wall to be built, and it is easier to injure or afflict than it is to heal or restore.
The Maxim of Imperfection: Effects cannot do anything ‘perfectly’. There is no perfect invisibility, no perfect disintegration, no perfect knowledge gleaned form the future. There will always be flaws, fragments, or loopholes to any Effect.
The Maxim of Degeneration: Restorative Effects cannot last forever. Only Knacks may be permanent - an Effect will end at the end of the Story, unless it resulted in greater Entropy (for example, death). Resurrection magic cannot, and should not, last forever. Of course, healing magic tends to fade after the body has knitted itself back together naturally, and the removal of disease is itself ‘destructive’ in its own way.[/table]

Guard and Strike

Guard and Strike

Guard protects you from natural or supernatural abilities that would violate it. Anything with Power less than or equal to your Guard can’t affect you. Strike bypasses Guard. If you have Strike equal to someone’s Ward, you bypass it and can affect them as normal.

In situations where your Guard only mostly protects you from the ability that would violate it, you gain a Critical Edge to your roll. In situations where your Guard only somewhat protects you from the ability, you gain an Edge instead and the Rating of your Guard is halved (rounded down), making it easier for Strike to bypass it.

2014-01-25, 09:31 PM
Reserved for List of Major and Minor Foci

2014-01-25, 09:32 PM
Reserved for Monster and Antagonist Rules

2014-01-25, 09:33 PM
Reserved for Magic Items

2014-01-25, 09:35 PM
Reserved just in case.

2014-01-25, 09:58 PM
This appears to be the lovechild of D&D and Nobilis.

I'm not sure whether it should hailed as work of genius or your hard drive be incinerated. :smalltongue:

So did you want anything in particular criticized?

2014-01-25, 10:10 PM
This appears to be the lovechild of D&D and Nobilis.

Yes, it's something along those lines. Guard is a bit like Auctorias or however that's spelt, and it mainly comes from Wards taht are a bit like Afflictions, honestly. Fort/Ref/Will is clearly D&D inspired, so yeah, I'd say that's a pretty apt description. However, it doesn't really play like other game, at least from what I've tested so far.

I'm not sure whether it should hailed as work of genius or your hard drive be incinerated. :smalltongue:

Hopefully only the first of those :smallbiggrin:.

So did you want anything in particular criticized?

Well, I know from experimentation that the relative costs of most of the qualities are pretty well balanced. Mainly I'm looking for people's thoughts on the Aspect, Asset, Bond, and Ward system. I'm also working out the kinks of the supernatural system, which I posted some of in another thread. The specific rules for the Major and Minor Foci are on the way, as are the rules for creating monsters.

I guess overall I'm just looking for impressions and perhaps advice or input on what you'd like to see changed or added to the system?