View Full Version : Original System The Other [working title...]

2018-08-02, 03:24 PM
I have been kicking around a game concept for some time and have even written a good portion of the rules and setting, I just have recent stopped to ask if this is something anyone would even be interesting in playing, is it even a good idea.

The concept is that when a player starts the game the only thing they will pick is there name and race, there are no classes to speak of, and I haven’t planned on having racial traits, its all athletics. All of their stats will be rolled by the DM. Known information given about the system will be basic info like that there are 6 basic stats, and 6 different skill trees. There is no leveling system just skills and stats will eventually improve as they are used. The amount of use for each skill or stat required for growth will vary from skill group to skill group and player to player.

All of the players will start with skills and stats at a range where if they really want to play a specific way they can and will eventually be skilled in doing so. The main idea for doing this is to encourage players to not only learn about the world, but about their char and the system and to figure out what they are “naturally” good at doing.

The only roll a player will ever need to do a d20, everything else will be figured out by the GM. I’m barrowing a lot of ideas from the Cypher system just for ease of use to the players, but I’m also pulling in ideas and inspiration from a bunch of other games and their systems.

The world setting is a mix of sci fi and fantasy just so I can play off of the, whole unknown factor for what can and might happen.

The idea was to try to do a game of about 3 to 5 players if there was an interest, or if it is a bad idea I’ll just leave it alone.


2018-08-03, 08:06 AM
If only the DM needs to know the system, you don't need to have a custom system for it. If you're an excellent DM and have players that are comfortable with roleplaying, any system will work. I've heard of people playing both 5e and Pathfinder with "Jason Bourne"/"Misfits" style games - where each player just sits down, all PCs wake up with no idea where they are or what their abilities are. They have to go and try and experiment to figure out what they're good at. Any system will do - as long as it's robust enough to keep up with the players - whatever the DM is most comfortable with will work.

2018-08-03, 09:32 AM
While there's certainly plenty of potential, if you're hoping for some detailed and constructive analysis I daresay we'll need a bit more detail.

2018-08-04, 05:27 AM
I think any system will work.

2018-08-04, 06:45 AM
So, let me resume your post, and correct me where I go astray.

1) Character creation is as the Game Master choose, with a suggestion that it rolls them.

2) There are stats and skills. Stats are static, skills have separate XP tracks. Player characters begin skill affinities that either reduce XP costs or increase XP earned.

3) It uses a die whose range of possible results and their distribution means what little choice the player has to make will be irrelevant vs. the power of the die.

It looks like a TTRPG based on Dwarf Fortress. Not a bad idea.

The only thing I really dislike is the apparent lack of player agency. It's no fun to play a character whose stats and skills don't match. Randomness will lead to character suicide as PCs request a reroll and/or players insisting to replay the same character again and again just to avoid having an incompetent character.

MOAR PLAYAH AGENCY AND COHESION. Yet certain amount of randomness *might* still be a good idea.

What you could do is to give a number of customization points for characters had poor stats roll. Not enough to compensate, but enough to not be incompetent in their chosen field of expertise.

Then have skills linked to relevant skills. For example, Weapon smithing could be linked to smelthing and bludgeoning weapons. So when a skill is rolled, while that skill is much easier to increase, linked skills follow. Players get to choose 1 specialty (needed for him to be relevant) and THEN enjoy discovering knacks.

His dwarven warrior (Axes, Block, Dodge) might be a potential skulker (stealth, leger-de-main, bluff) or a poisoner (Alchemy, Herbalism, Medicine), or a merchant (Appraise, Haggle, Socialize), etc.

If skills are all over the place, the randomness on their ONE character, along with lack of cohesion will be frustrating, and your system will serve for quickly forgotten one-shots.

Heck, I can't recall rolling for stats in DnD since we discovered point-buy!

P.S.: Think about adding a resource players can use to have a bit of narrative control. Study the concepts of Edge (shadowrun), Force point (Edge of the Empire), Force point (Star Wars Saga), and Willpower (WoD) are all such mechanics, and each have its own method of recuperation and effect with their own perks and quirks.

Edit: While deeply bound to its system, Dream Pod 9's Silhouette system's Emergency Dice was also awesome.

They're nice to have around.

2018-08-04, 06:50 AM
Also, 2d10 > 1d20 in all games but slapstick-humour-based games. Bell curve makes your skill more reliable, making the Nat 2 and Nat 20 occurences a mere 1% chance each, and an 11 a whoppin' 10%.

Compared to 5% chance of Max result, Min result and Median result, 1% / 1% / 10% makes player choices far more relevant.

2018-09-08, 09:31 PM
Thanks for the feed back, I need to reevaluate the system so that there is better cohesion among the stats and skills.

Also to help get the players more involved I think Ill let them pick an arch type that has flat base skills and stats to make sure they are good at something that they want to be good at.

What if there was a skill/stat buying system that the players have to discover how to do it in game? Similar to shadow run where you do things and spend time and karma in order to accomplish it, just the requirements are not told to the players?

The changing to a 2d20 is not a bad idea, however if I did that I'm more inclined to use a system like shadow run or savage worlds, still not a bad idea and adds a bit of transparency to everything...

Using one of those systems is probably a safe bet, though seasoned players will figure out what the system is fairly quick, and that might no be a bad thing...

Lots of good things to think about thanks all.

2018-09-09, 04:50 PM
It sounds like this system could work well if you want something lightweight
It actually works pretty good in practice the few times I tried it out. http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?565803-Who-the-f-amp-am-I

2018-09-12, 06:25 PM
It sounds like this system could work well if you want something lightweight
It actually works pretty good in practice the few times I tried it out. http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?565803-Who-the-f-amp-am-I

I like simple systems as well, and I think that would work as long as there is a good DM and the players are ok with that style.

I also have a lot to think about for the rules I had come up with...

2018-09-12, 06:26 PM
so these are the actual rules I had come up-with so far, still a good bit of flushing out to do...

The Other, utilizes player stats that are completely managed by the DM, it will composes of base + random stats that are never seen by the players. The players will be notified by stat changes through messages like “you feel more intelligent” or “you are in pain”. The messages will be in related to actions taken place in events. There is no EXP system, all stat changes are randomly, +1d4, rewarded based on actions taken by the players. All player actions rolls of the dice will be a d20. Player stats will directly affect the role +/- depending on the situation.

Revealed (to players), Stats [Growth: 3+1d6]:
Health = 8+1d4 [reaches 0, you dead] {+1d4 hp every 5 ranks of might}
Sanity = 8+1d4 [roll on the table(s) when below 8] {+1d4 san every 5 ranks of insight}
Intelligence = 6-1d4 [logic, reason, understanding, memory]
Insight = 6-1d4 [wisdom, perception, charisma]
Might = 6-1d4 [strength, endurance, ]
Agility = 6-1d4 [dexterity, flexibility, sleight of hand]

Hidden (from players), Stats [Growth: 4+1d6]:
Manipulation = 0+1d4 (if the score is a 3 or 4 they can use manipulation skills)
Luck = 0+1d4 (at 4 critical success rolls are 19 to 20, at 8 allows for 1 critical failure to be rerolled per day, at 12 critical success are 18 to 20)
Gifted = 0+1d4 (replaces any none hidden modifier, when when greater than that modifier)

Combat Skills [Growth: 2+1d6]
Block = 0+1d4
Unarmed = 0+1d4
Melee Weapon = 0+1d4
Ranged Weapon = 0+1d4
Stun = 0+1d4
Throw = 0+1d4
Grapple/Restrain = 0+1d4

Movement Skills [Growth: 2+1d6]
Dodge = 0+1d4
Sprint = 0+1d4
Jump = 0+1d4
Climb = 0+1d4
Swim = 0+1d4
Tumble = 0+1d4
Fly = 0+1d4

Crafting Skills [Growth: 2+1d6]
Blacksmithing = 0+1d4
Leatherworking = 0+1d4
Woodworking = 0+1d4
Clothing = 0+1d4
Cooking = 0+1d4

Survival Skills [Growth: 2+1d6]
Fishing = 0+1d4
Trapping = 0+1d4
Tracking = 0+1d4
Navigation = 0+1d4
Healing/First Aid = 0+1d4

Knowledge Skills [Growth: 2+1d6]
Reading = 0+1d4
Writing = 0+1d4
Translating = 0+1d4
Calculating = 0+1d4
Alchemy = 0+1d4

Basic Manipulation Skill(s) [Growth: 2+1d6]
Fire Magic = 0+1d4
Earth Magic = 0+1d4
Air Magic = 0+1d4
Water Magic = 0+1d4
Celestial Magic = 0+1d4
Void Magic = 0+1d4 + [1d4 sanity lost, only when first rolled]
Psychic = 0+1d4

Advance Manipulation Skill(s) [combined from basic, only available when the matching basic skills are 4 or more] [Growth: 3+1d6]
Lighting Magic = Celestial + Air -3
Plant Magic = Earth + Water -3
Ice Magic = Wind + Water -3
Volcanic = Fire + Earth -3
Myst = Fire + Water -3
Chaos = Psychic + Void [user loses 1d4 sanity, when a skill is used]
Arcane = Celestial + Void -4

Improving/Player Growth
Whenever a player successfully completes the set number of tasks that are related to the same skill/stat, that skill/stat is increased by +1d4. The tasks only count if the base difficulty is greater than the players total modifier (tasks that could only have completed rolling a d20).

The set number of tasks required to complete for stat or skill growth is depends if it is a skill or a stat, and each skill section has its own random modifier.

All stats and skills have a soft cap of 10.

Improvement keywords descriptions:
+1 to +2: improved
+3 to +4: greatly improved

All actions are resolved when every players has declared their intent for the turn/phase. Each player may choose to take an action or provide an assist/support to another player. Regular actions add the modifiers of a single skill, or stat using whatever is greatest, to a d20 dice roll for a difficulty check to complete the action. If the total is greater than the difficulty than it is a success, if not it is a failure.

If a player chooses to take an assist/support action they add their skill modifier to player who they are asistings roll. If the action is successful it counts as a success towards the skills growth.

If an action requires the use of multiple (3 or more) skills or stats this will be considered a complex action. In a complex action only the 2 highest modifiers will be applied, the difficulty of the task will be increased by 1 (example: from tough to hard), and the player is always required to roll a d20. If successful it will be counted for the 3 lowest skills/stats used towards player growth.

Players my attempt any non-complex action difficulty checks without rolling if they think that their total modifiers are high enough to complete the task.

Dice Role(s)
01 = critical failure, however the action may still be successful from modifiers, just have a negative after effect.
20 = critical success, unless base difficulty is heroic or legendary, then it adds a special effect. When related to damage, healing or dealing, it doubles the effect.

Base Difficulty Check(s)
(target #: 00) None
(target #: 05) Lesser
(target #: 10) Normal
(target #: 15) Tough
(target #: 20) Hard
(target #: 25) Heroic
(target #: 30) Legendary

Physical/Weapons: All weapons will have a range/reach with 1 to 4 damage modifiers. For melee weapons the players might adds to the damage. Ranged weapons have fixed damage, and the players agility affects their chance to hit. In addition to stat modifiers the skill most closely related to using the weapon only adds to the chance to hit.

The intent is for players to only roll once on an attack to see if it hits.

Manipulation (Magic/Psychic) if the ability would cause damage, the damage is equal to the level of the manipulation skill (example Fire Magic skill is 3, the damage is 3). The chance to hit with the an ability is the manipulation skill modifier plus a d20 roll.

Damage Resist
Manipulation (Magic/Psychic)

Minor Insanity [when sanity is first reduced to 6 or 8]
roll receives no modifier.
01 or 02:
03 or 04:
05 or 06:
07 or 08:
09 or 10:
11 or 12:
13 or 14:
15 or 16:
17 or 18:
19 or 20: The brief realization of your mental state leads to momentary clearity, the DM rolls a 1d4 to recover sanity.

Insanity [when sanity is first reduced between 3 or 5]
roll receives no modifier.
01 or 02:
03 or 04:
05 or 06:
07 or 08:
09 or 10:
11 or 12:
13 or 14:
15 or 16:
17 or 18:
19 or 20: The brief realization of your mental state leads to momentary clearity, the DM rolls a 1d4 to recover sanity.

Major Insanity [when sanity is first reduced to 2 or 0]
roll receives no modifier.
01 or 02:
03 or 04:
05 or 06:
07 or 08:
09 or 10:
11 or 12:
13 or 14:
15 or 16:
17 or 18:
19 or 20: The brief realization of your mental state leads to momentary clearity, the DM rolls a 1d4 to recover sanity.

Manipulation Spell/Ability List