View Full Version : Original System Change is changing.

2014-03-21, 09:27 AM
I'm announcing, to the half dozen people here who might be familiar, a list of changes being made to my RPG system, Change. I'm also open to (but not really looking for) feedback on these changes, and a link to the system is in my signature.

Change's changes:

Removing alignments. (Complete.)
I feel alignments are too restrictive to characters' personalities and have a negative effect on the depth of the characters and the players' perceptions of the characters. 99% of the time they make a character completely one-dimensional.
Merging armour rating and energy defence.
These two do the same thing for different damage types and most common sources provide the same amount of each. I'm just going to make them the same and make it so when something need only impact penetrative attacks or energy damage, it'll just say so. For instance, a creature might now have +5 AR (Energy) instead of +5 ED.
Proficiencies are being replaced with skill sets.
To further balance multiclassing and make the system more fluid, I'm changing proficiencies over to a skill system. There will still be simple, martial and exotic weapons, but this will only affect how skill works with these weapons. Basically, if you are low on skill with weapons of each type (short sword, club, so on) you suffer a penalty dependent on your level of skill an whether the weapon is natural, simple, martial or exotic. In addition, each weapon type has special attacks that draw on your weapon skill to determine their efficacy. (IE: Power attacks not only get more damage based on your stats, they get +1 attack for every 10 weapon skill.) Armour also gives penalties depending on whether you have enough skill or not, and has special stances that trade one stat for another and are limited by your skill. (IE: Defensive fighting lets you trade attack for armour rating. With 10 skill, you can trade anywhere from 1-10 attack for an equal amount of armour rating.) In all cases, you get a certain amount to each skill automatically from your class levels, and you may use skill points to get more as it is basically a normal skill.
Changing the way negative counters work.
Negative counters will now be infinite and have a stacking penalty for every 100 points.
Adding descriptions for every class.
Too many classes lack these.
Adding primary/secondary attribute notes to each class, and favoured class notes to each species.
While it should be obvious what each class needs, and what each race provides, I think sometimes it just needs to be overtly so some people won't strain themselves thinking about it.
Dividing the classes into categories.
There are four basic categories already, (combatant, specialist, dedicated arcane caster and dedicated divine caster) but now it'll say which class is which and give a description. The former is so some people won't strain themselves trying to figure out the obvious, the latter is partially for that and partially to explain how these roles are different (often wildly) from normal RPG roles.
Adding in an enchanting system.
I cannot believe it took this long to get to it. All weapons and armour will have enchantment slots, and enchantment types are restricted based on what they're being placed on. Every time an enchantment fires it consumes charges, of which it has a limited number, which are slow to refill. When an item doesn't have enough charges to fire all the enchantments currently being triggered, it drains all charges remaining and does nothing. The number of slots is feat dependent, the number of charges is item dependent, and the rate of charge is skill dependent, but being an artisan contributes to all of these. Items are charged with energy from your body, which means that charging an item causes you to incur fatigue, although you may also use expendable items and power sources to recharge them, and there are enchantments that cause the weapon to slowly recharge from the environment. You can also enchant some items to transfer charge to other items, to store extra charge.
A set of universal trade currency will be created. Local currencies will be based off of this currency.
The new system has four coins. These are bronze, silver, gold and electrum. Bronze coins are decorative bronze, 10mm, 1g and worth ~0.01USD. Silver coins are pure silver, 20mm, 2g and worth ~1USD. Gold coins are pure gold, 25mm, 4g and worth ~100USD. Electrum coins are roughly half gold and half silver, 100mm, 200g and worth ~10,000USD. (Yes, I'm aware that modern silver prices are higher than that, specifically about 0.65USD/Gram and modern gold prices are lower than that, specifically about 40USD/Gram, but silver is more common and thus less valuable in Change, while gold is less common and thus more valuable. I'm also aware that a 100mm coin is huge and carrying large amount of it is a pain in the ass. Trust me, too many electrum pieces will NOT be a problem.)
Separating all actual content into its own, separate book.
This is done to save space. I'll be linking to the second book in my signature whenever I get around to this. This will have a LOT of detail, and the main rule book should be kept fairly light to make it easier to use.
To replace alignments, each world will list the local culture for each species, with regional variations.
I think this is a better, more comprehensive system for informing GMs and players of the behaviour they can expect from the species and individuals within these species than alignments are, and it addresses the fact that no species of thinking beings can ever be a cohesive whole.
Including the pantheons and some of the gods into the second book.
The gods are important, especially to priests. It's important to the roleplay to know who the gods are, which are worshipped where, and what kind of power they have. It's especially helpful if you're a playing a priest, at least from a roleplaying aspect, because you might want to worship a specific god and design your build around them.

2014-03-21, 12:53 PM
There's a few systems to manage alignment choice, but the main problem with alignments are how they are mechanically implemented. They should probably be handled DM side with a feartheboot group-template drawn at the beginning of their character introduction to determine what kind of influence they want to be, then draw alignment from the initial and the followthrough.

2014-03-21, 01:36 PM
The problems with alignments are too many to name. One of them, the idea that morality is objective, cannot be worked around. Another, which is the idea that a human personality is simple enough to label, also cannot be worked around. Yet another, which is that when a character is given an alignment every action is strictly determined by their alignment and nothing else, to the point where they're basically a set of extremely flawed logic, looks like it could be worked around but by now it's clear it can't. Those three alone are enough to make me ditch alignments.

2014-04-25, 01:00 PM
Removing alignment is totally fine, but anything with any alignment descriptor needs to be changed too.

Alignment is objective as physics are in dnd, it's as objective as the weave is.

A character's actions are not determined by alignment, an alignment is determined by a character's intent and, if a mistake, then how they feel about it afterwards and how much blame the gods and the character puts on herself.

Therefore, morality is as objective as it is perceived by all parties at the table with a few guiding rules.

User Hamishspence would do much better justice to the concepts than I, considering the class I work on has the Naught Morality (Ex) class feature and Hamishspence's avatar is an Inevitable.

2014-04-25, 02:22 PM
It's not coming back. The new system is better anyway, giving a good explanation of common personality traits without resorting to alignments. I feel I should expand on my argument. This may take a while.

I feel removing alignments WILL make for more realistic characters on all sides, since in reality people just don't work that way. Left to their own devices humans will always act in the interests of their bloodline first (and themselves as part of it) and their community second, nobody else entering into the equation. When it matters, people always do what they think is best for their family or community, and they don't do so out of malice. Any action without a positive effect was intended to have one, and ignorance is almost always to blame for a purely harmful action.

Nobody would, say, murder somebody over something as harmless as their sexuality if they didn't really think they were justified. They're wrong, of course, but they believe this is a moral action and everything in their body going "STOP! STOP! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING? STOP!" is fear/weakness/evil spirits/etcetera. They're not evil, they're just ignorant. That doesn't excuse their actions, but it always helps to understand them.

This is why the concept of morality is so different in different communities. It's entirely fictional. There is no moral absolutes, and people take on the moral outlook of their community. This moral outlook is often outdated, polluted with ancient ignorance and superstition, and has no bearing in the modern world, even if they seemed like a good idea at the time and possibly were.

We're receptive to the idea of morality for a reason, and it can serve a positive purpose. You should question and change your morals, adapt them to your situation, argue for them as you must, and do well by them, but you should also remember your morality is an opinion. It may be a good, well justified opinion, but it's an opinion nonetheless and treating any opinion as fact, no matter how justified it is, is a bad idea.

2014-04-25, 10:42 PM
You are speaking as if the tail wags the dog.

Also, I've never heard of the Well-Adjusted human sub-race or a universe populated by only them, including the abyss, far realms, baator, ect.

Unless your class features require alignment then it should be an afterthought to RESOLVE things such as smite evil.

2014-04-25, 11:42 PM
You are speaking as if the tail wags the dog.

You are either missing the point or ignoring it.

Also, I've never heard of the Well-Adjusted human sub-race or a universe populated by only them, including the abyss, far realms, baator, ect.

Seriously, where are you getting this? I didn't say people were well-adjusted. They're also not intelligent, rational or even sane. They do stupid, harmful **** that can't possibly have a positive outcome, for reasons that are flimsy in retrospect, then give excuses that only make sense until you think about them. Humans are ignorant, psychotic, violent, panicky animals that don't really understand what they're doing and don't care to.

The part you refuse to acknowledge is intent. They don't MEAN any harm, they don't UNDERSTAND the harm they do, and to top it off they are often DELUSIONAL about their actions, either believing there to be positive aspects there are not, or believing the damage they do either does not exist, is someone else's fault or is much less significant than it really is. This makes them stupid and irrational, but stupidity and irrationality don't make somebody evil. If you want to call stupid, irrational people evil you're condemning over eight BILLION people on this planet alone.

The better approach is to understand why they do what they do, and try to work around those triggers. That isn't to say you don't stop them, or hold them accountable for their actions, it's just that prevention is better than reaction and the best way is to focus on the causes, not the crime. "Evil" is NOT the cause, it's not even a thing. Dismissing somebody as "evil" is a damned good way to miss EVERYTHING important about their actions and their motivation, and fail to learn anything that could be helpful in preventing similar incidents in the future. It's dehumanization, and it's a STUPID idea, just like every single other knee-jerk reaction our ignorant, violent, paranoid species of naked apes whole-heartedly embraces.

Also, I see you missed the "original system" banner. Kinda important context, since you seem to assume this is D&D, and it is so far from being even remotely like D&D that I feel rather insulted by your automatic assumption that it is a clone of it.

Unless your class features require alignment then it should be an afterthought to RESOLVE things such as smite evil.

Uh, hello? Original system, NOT D&D, quit assuming it's D&D. There is no smite evil, there is no abyss, there are no far realms and there is no baator, because this is NOT D&D. STOP assuming this is a D&D clone, because it's NOT. If I seem irritated about this, that's because I am.

2014-04-26, 12:36 AM
Well if you've removed alignment mechanically then leave it at that, if you've removed it because the gods are most kind and understanding of mortal's plights then it's setting, not system.

2014-04-26, 12:41 AM
Well if you've removed alignment mechanically then leave it at that, if you've removed it because the gods are most kind and understanding of mortal's plights then it's setting, not system.

And if I said the gods were not kind or understanding, and were instead a collection of pompous, incompetent pricks just as clueless as mortals?

The gods do not justify a moral system. They aren't the source of one, either. In any reasonable moral system, the gods would merely exist within it, not be above it, the basis of it or responsible for it.

2014-04-26, 02:37 PM
Pantheons exist because of man, so there are certainly some settings where gods are no better, in OotS cosmology I believe they use the prayer rule where gods are made up of the mental/emotional granted energy (whether that be soul allowance or psionosphere or something vague) so if gods are concepts of men given sentience then surely they have some traits given to them by the collective flaws of man.

But again, setting specific.

2014-04-26, 03:40 PM
Here, it's pretty complicated and there are five types.

1. The Elder God:
A galaxy-spanning hivemind with over one hundred quintillion bodies (most of them, thankfully, are the size of rats and not too powerful but there are larger, more powerful creatures amongst them and one hundred quintillion anything should send a shiver down your spine), which has ruled the galaxy for longer than any civilization has recorded. Originally it was a weak entity, terrified of everything around it, doing everything it could to survive and build enough power to no longer be threatened. Now that it's the most powerful being in the galaxy it's become a violent, paranoid control freak threatened by change (no pun intended) and always terrified it might lose its power, which is believes will lead to losing its life. It can't grow any larger anymore, but it has figured out how to make slave species and bring mortals into its worship to continue increasing its power, if only indirectly, because it remembers how it came to power and is afraid another might come along, kill it and take its place. Thankfully, it's spread out across the galaxy and takes millenia to bring any serious force to bear on anything.

2. Avatars:
There exists a kind of entity called a "godrealm", a sort of magical biosphere. It's a collective consciousness created by the magical energies created by all life, which congeals in some areas into an intelligent entity. The godrealm usually manifests an avatar to aid in its undertakings, which becomes the seat of its consciousness, and the basis of its personality. Avatars are usually fairly small, but are immensely powerful and are functionally invincible due to the godrealm's ability to reconstitute them at will. The only godrealm shown is Ginnungagap and its avatar Wandel, which the thirteen worlds shown exist within. Wandel is a small boy, and while his form varies he usually has a yellow and blue colour scheme. (IE: Blond with blue eyes.) He wears purple and red clothing, and "carries" an assortment of weapons and tools he calls "toys", which rarely seem to be on his person when he doesn't want them, and most are too large to be stored in his clothes where he produces them from. (Oh, and they're 100% pop-culture references. Sonic screwdriver, lightsaber, sword of omens, wabbajack, sensu beans...) He is legitimately a child (by avatar standards) and has a fitting personality. He uses his form to his advantage, relying not only on his immense physical power but also his ample supply of cuteness to get his way. (Cuteness and other skills, then violence as a last resort.) Unfortunately, cute doesn't work on the elder god, and Wandel is sorely outmatched there.

3. Creature gods:
Most common beings thought of when "god" is mentioned, the mighty creature gods are common additions to the godrealms. They usually have defensive roles, keeping worlds safe from the elder god but not really doing anything else productive if they don't have to. Most are insecure bullies and like to take it out on the mortals inhabiting their jurisdictions, although only so much lest the other gods (or even the mortals, that can be done) crack down on them. Here in Ginnungagap we have six pantheons, loosely divided into "Norse", "Greco-Roman", "Egyptian", "Mayan", "Hindu" and "Miscellanious". I'm certain none of these need an explanation.

4. Guardians:
Guardians are the weakest, most common gods. Mortals granted increased power and tasked largely with custodial duties (and defence, but that's a secondary role) they are supposed to keep the peace but most do a terrible job one way or another. Many are corrupt, tyrannical, war-like, callous, or some mixture of these things. To their credit, most are just incompetent and are at least trying to do right by their people.

5. Divines:
Not usually considered gods, but frequently worshipped nonetheless, divines are creatures with divine power that usually serve the creature gods, but sometimes the guardians or even work independently. They include everything from chimeras and manticores to kappas and oni, to mighty dragons of all forms. They also range in power from "weak mortal" to "strong guardian" and are fairly common.

2014-04-26, 06:17 PM
Have you played STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl or Shadowrun (tabletop)? They have nice views of magic that are compatible with your setting.

2014-04-26, 06:24 PM
Have you played STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl or Shadowrun (tabletop)? They have nice views of magic that are compatible with your setting.

Yes to the former, no to the latter. I've already got the magic system worked out, though.

2014-05-04, 08:37 AM
There has been a considerable delay. My daughter fell on my laptop and totalled it. I just got a new computer, unfortunately a desktop, and since I lost all my files I had to download the latest update from Mediafire, which was quite old at the time of the incident. Then I found out that this incident also cost me my copy of Microsoft office. You know, because paying $100 for it once just wasn't ****ing good enough and I can't just redownload it. (On a side note: **** companies that do that. I shouldn't have to shell out another C-note on top of the $300 I just spent on a new computer because the people selling these stupid programs are a bunch of greedy *******s who will gladly charge hundreds of dollars repeatedly for the same product that costs them literally nothing to replace.)

I'm looking into alternatives, but while I was looking for a new PC I thought about the system a lot and I decided I had to make a couple extra changes.

1. Merging shock and incapacitation:
It really didn't make sense to keep these two separate as they had the same triggers and served the same purpose.

2. Making attack rate exclusively a factor of agility:
Strength is a bit more powerful than it should be right now. Removing strength's impact on attack rate and making it entirely about agility helps balance the system.

3. Returning to a more traditional, easier to understand round system:
Basically, everybody's turns put together is six seconds, like in most games. This way we don't need to figure out why you act less when more people are involved, although it also means figuring out how everybody gets to act for six seconds in six seconds' worth of time. I went with this instead of the system I originally had for simplicity, to balance healing (previously sorely underpowered) and of course because it's easier for new players to understand.

4. Reworking charisma to avoid it being useless:
Charisma isn't exactly useless in the present version, but it's a bit less useful than other stats are if you don't need it for your class abilities. I mean, it's not D&D bad, but it's bad. To compensate I'm making it boost save DCs on your spells, redoing the way it increases your defence and allowing it to transfer a free benefit to you and your allies, increasing their resistances to negative mental counters by its modifier.

5. Replacing vitality with soul barriers:
Vitality is complicated, doesn't make much sense and is hard to explain to new players. Soul barriers are not. Soul barriers just provide soul DR as long as your health and all body parts are at full and none of your negative counters is high enough to cause a penalty. Soul DR trades damage for fatigue, and doesn't work on natural weapons or sonic attacks. See? Took one small paragraph to explain that. Vitality takes considerably more.

6. Everything causes fatigue:
Every significant action now inflicts fatigue and most inflict exertion. Fatigue and exertion basically serve as an action cost now, and you WILL get tired or strain yourself eventually if you don't rest.

7. Increasing health/limb regeneration:
Health now regenerates by your heal rate each hour, limb integrity regenerates by your heal rate each day. Regeneration changes health to each minute and integrity to each hour, superior regeneration changes health to each round and integrity to each minute, ultimate regeneration makes them both each round.

8. Death is changed:
Reaching 0 health now causes unconsciousness, and VERY slow degradation (usually slower than regeneration). Reaching -25% speeds degradation up (enough to meet or beat regeneration), -50% more (enough to overwhelm regeneration and speedily kill you) and -75% even more (enough you might be dead before a healer can do anything). This system is more realistic and gives healers more time to act.

9. Adding an optional infection rule:
Just a small extra rule for the more hardcore campaigns that allows injuries to trigger potentially lethal infections. These damage health every hour and integrity every day, allowing an extra save each day to reduce and eventually remove them, but also growing when they deal damage. The result is an infection that can grow and turn lethal, or else shrink and disappear on its own, depending on your fortitude save. (Standing in for an immune response, obviously.) This is entirely optional, and personally I only intend to use it in situations where antibiotics would be unavailable, but there's no rule on where it should and should not be used.

10. Adding well-defined technology types:
Realms will now explicitly state their technological level and type. There are six tech levels, numbered 0-5, and three tech types, which are conventional, biotechnology and magitek. There is exactly one for each tech type and level combination, plus Wandelheim with 5 in all three. Items will now explicitly state what technological level is required to create them, and will usually be available in all three at differing levels. (IE: Rifles require 3C, 4B or 4M.) There will be no arguing about what kind of items should be available in what realm.

11. Adding six new worlds:
There is now a total of 19 worlds in the godrealm of Ginnungagap. These include nine worlds of death, nine living worlds and one special world. The nine worlds of death are Duat (0C, bronze age, Egyptian theme), Anineyah (0M, magitek stone age, native american theme), Mayta (OB, biotech stone age, prehistory/Cretaceous theme with intentional anachronisms), Xolobel (1C, iron age, Arctic theme), Dunyyit (1M, magitek bronze age, Persian theme), Hades (1B, biotech bronze age, Greco-Roman theme), Shinkai (2C, industrial age, feudal Japanese theme), Helheim (2M, magitek iron age, Norse theme) and Navan (2B, biotech iron age, Indian theme). The nine living worlds are Muspellheim (3C, conventional industrial, early modern theme), Vanaheim (3M, magitek industrial, steampunk theme), Jotunheim (3B, biotech industrial, great beast theme), Midgard (4C, modern, near future/post-cataclysmic theme), Asgard (4M, magitek modern, mid 20th-century steampunk theme), Niflheim (4B, biotech modern, alien civilization theme), Svartalfaheim (5C, sci-fi, interplanetary feudal theme), Alfheim (5M, magitek sci-fi, space fantasy theme) and Jinkozen (5B, biotech sci-fi, alien theme). The special world is Wandelheim (5CM&B, everything, unknown theme).

2014-06-30, 11:31 AM
New changes:

1. Abbreviations:
Descriptions will now use abbreviations to save time. Here's a few examples.
W=Base weapon damage, penetration and attack. (IE: 2W means the weapon damage, penetration and attack on the weapon listing are doubled.)
MOD=Modifier (IE: STRMOD means strength modifier.)
RNK=Rank (IE: AGLRNK means agility rank.)
BMS=Base movement speed (IE: 2BMS means twice base movment speed)
CMS=Current movement speed (IE: 0.75CMS means 0.75x the character's current movement speed)

2. Altering the way melee weapon grades work:
There's now 4.

Simple weapons, such as cudgels, are by far the strongest initially but get 1W in swings and 1STR penetration for thrusts until they reach 25 skill, then 2W in swings and 1.5STR penetration in thrusts.

Intermediate weapons, such as war axes, are much weaker when they begin than simple weapons and progress the same way, but also improve to 3W in swings and 2STR penetration in thrusts at 50 skill.

Advanced weapons, such as longswords, are somewhat weaker when they begin than intermediate weapons and progress the same way, but also improve to 4W in swings and 2.5STR penetration in thrusts at 75 skill.

Elite weapons, such as katanas, are slightly weaker when they begin that advanced weapons and progress the same way, but also improve to 5W in swings and 3STR penetration in thrusts at 100 skill.

Natural weapons explain how they work on their listings, although they frequently just fall under the categories above. Fists, for instance, are elite weapons while teeth are special grapple weapons.

3. Altering the way ranged weapon grades work:
There's no such goddamn thing. Every weapon gives required skill and penalties for not meeting them on it. There are no grades.

4. Changing the special attacks:
Power attacks now take two attack actions, provoke attacks of opportunity, use four times as much fatigue and get a much higher DC to avoid strain, and cost you your agility and strength bonuses to attack, but they also flat-out double damage instead of just doubling your strength bonus, and there are two feats to first make them not provoke AoO and then make then just as accurate, although they'll always be slower and more strenuous and thus only a good choice against high DR.

Flurries require dropping attacks to light attacks but losing the extra attack of light attacks, and change attack rate from 1+AGLRNK to 2+1.5AGLRNK, with a single feat to make that 3+2AGLRNK, making them do generally higher DPS and be effective against unarmoured enemies instead of just multiple weak enemies like they are without the feats.

Critical strikes allow you to trade 10 points of your total attack bonus (but NOT to take it into the negatives) to gain an extra point of critical threat. There are no feats for this ability, but it's plenty good for disposing with easy to hit enemies.

Rapid shot requires a feat and giving up your agility and perception modifiers to attack, but doubles your attack rate with manual and semi-automatic unconventional ranged weapons, making it great for dispatching easy to hit enemies.

Snap shot requires a feat and giving up your agility modifier to attack, but allows you to release an arrow in the same action as drawing your bow, making it great for dispatching easy to hit enemies.

Quick nock requires a feat and has no penalty, allowing you to nock an arrow in the same action as drawing your bow or nock a bolt in the same action you begin drawing your crossbow and is compatible with snap shooting for bows to allow you to fire in one action for civilian bows, or with two actions for war bows.

Draw kill allows you to attack in the same action as drawing your weapon. Very effective when combined with defensive draw (denying enemies an attack of opportunity when drawing).

5. Adding special stances:
Your stances are now "standard", "defensive", "offensive", "total defence" and "total offence". Standard has no benefits or drawbacks. Defensive means giving up your agility bonus to attack to double your agility bonus to defence. Offensive means giving up your agility bonuses to defence double your agility bonus to attack. Total defence means not attacking at all (you can still make attacks of opportunity) to double all your ability score bonuses to your defence and all saving throws. Total offence means giving up your ability score bonuses to defence and all saving throws to double your attack rate. (Total offence does not increase your allotment of attacks of opportunity.)