View Full Version : see jukashi's thread, (please delete)

2008-03-25, 08:43 PM
Here ya go, lovely system by jukashi, reposted here for convenience

Ok, I think I've got the rudiments of a system. Borrowing mostly from Exalted and Risus, with some other stuff thrown in.

Characters begin at 1st level with 10 tropes defining their character. You don't need to fill all your available space; at each level your character drops and adds tropes depending on how they've developed as a character (your fellow players and GM, as the audience, tell you what they think is suitable). Some tropes need to be justified; you cannot have a Bizarre Alien Biology if you're supposed to be an ordinary human, for example. Tropes come in four kinds: Use Tropes, Advantageous Tropes, Disadvantageous Tropes, Defining Tropes and External Tropes.

Use Tropes are those that help you perform certain tasks. For example, a Knife Nut finds it easier to pull off feats with knives.

Defining Tropes mostly provide plot points by defining your character in the eyes of the audience, though other tropes also provide plot points. Occasionally the GM may rule that they affect the amount of plot points you need to spend.

Advantageous and Disadvantages Tropes are tropes which affect the amount of plot points your are required to expend. A character who is a Magnificent Bastard loses less plot points than other characters when he reveals he had a secret plan "all along". Similarly, someone with an Incurable Cough of Death loses more plot points when they do strenuous physical tasks. Disadvantageous Tropes still give you plot points (though not necessarily many) and allow you to take extra Tropes.

Finally, External Tropes do not relate to the character, but to the world and story; events, places and objects are all formed from External Tropes, and are not available as part of a character's set of Tropes. However, a character can still invoke them by spending plot points; need the Magic Hat to give you a clue? It will, if you give up some points. Discover you need a certain item? You can pull it out of your Hyperspace Arsenal, and even get a discount if you're Crazy Prepared.

All Tropes give plot points, to greater or lesser degree based on each trope and your level. You will need them, because plot points are all. Plot points are your health. Plot points are your mana. Plot points are the level to which you have pleased the audience. Plot points are mother. Plot points are father. Plot points will conquer cybertron and lead the decepticons to glory!

Description is also everything. Whenever you perform a task, it is up to your descriptive ability to invoke your tropes; for example, saying "I lift the huge boulder out of the way and toss it aside" invokes Super Strength. If you instead say "I take a stance and breathe deeply, focusing on the rock before suddenly striking with a mighty punch, shattering it into pieces", you invoke both your Super Strength and your Kung Fu. Each trope invoked gives you 1d6 to roll per level. You compare the result to the Difficulty of the task as decided by the GM; if you have surpassed it, you accomplish the activity. The more you surpass it by, the more awesomely you have done so. If you do not reach it, you fail... but all is not lost. You can choose to spend plot points to expand your power, straining the credulity of the audience. The base price for a boost is 3 points; this can be reduced down to a minimum of 1 by advantageous tropes or up to a maximum of 5 by disadvantageous tropes. Each expenditure of this price increases the level of one of your tropes (selected by you) by 1, essentially allowing you to roll an additional d6 and add it to the number you already achieved.

Descriptiveness also increases your chances of victory; you get to roll an additional d6 for spicing your action up a little, 2d6 for a description that makes use of surroundings and/or is in-line with the characters' motivations, and 3d6 for unique, supremely awesome descriptions. If such stunts are pulled off successfully, you also get the opportunity to roll the dice it granted (again) and regain the resulting number of plot points.

So long as a character has plot points, they cannot die. Whenever they would otherwise take damage, they manage to block, dodge, roll with the hit, shrug it off, activate their energy shield, grab a fortunately-present branch or otherwise avoid being seriously hurt in some way. However, they lose plot points whenever that happens, particularly if it is not within the scope of their Tropes to do so; characters can invoke Tropes and stunt to defend themselves, using the result to reduce the amount of points they lose. If they run out of plot points, however, the next real attack or seriously damaging effect will kill them. Until then, though, they still have the opportunity to regain some plot points through stunting or gaining a level.

Characters gain levels not through experience but by accomplishing important deeds. At low levels, they might level up by defeating a local henchman of the big bad; as they become higher in level, they can be awarded level ups only for progressively more difficult accomplishments, such as finding an ancient hermit for a mentor, winning an internationally-famous court case or successfully taking over the world. When characters level up, their Tropes become more powerful and grant more plot points.

That's what I've got so far. It probably needs some tweaking, and some rough outlines made for plot point availability and the difficulty of various tasks. What do you think?

and rules for plot points

I've been thinking about plot points and what I've got thus far is this: At 1st level, Use Tropes and Advantageous Tropes give 4 plot points each, Disadvantageous Tropes give 6 plot points each, and Defining Tropes give 8 plot points each. At each additional level, each trope gives you an additional number of plot points equal to half the starting allotment. So the character I made, for example, would start the game with 54 plot points.

combat demo

Now let's see her deal with an enemy.

"It's always the same," the baron sneered, " I just finish building my Indignance Ray when some idiot turns up. You want to try and stop me, girl?" "Well actually..." she replied, adjusting the tiki-like mask that hung above her grinning mouth, "I'd rather just stay home... but if no-one else is gonna stop you from flooding the newspapers with angry letters, I guess it's up to me. So I'll give you one last chance to turn off that thing and come quietly."

"Never!" he yelled, turning to grab a lever. "The editors of this city shall pay for publishing that tawdry scandal story on me!" "I guess there's no helping you, then," she said quietly, her smile fading and her long ears flattening back against her head. "HA!" the baron scoffed, "What makes you think you can stop me, waifish beast-girl!?"

She didn't reply with words... she just punched straight out to the side, right through one of the four pillars that decorated the square. As it toppled over, she caught it in one arm and rested the 10-foot column easily across her shoulders. Calm eyes locked on his, she took it in both hands and swung it around behind her, winding up like a baseball bat.

"Oh," he said, face falling.

To this I attach an OOC note explaining what she's going to attempt; knocking the baron's machine into the stratosphere.

The GM says that the Indignance Ray is pretty big and that this is a Difficulty 25 task. The GM rules, however, that using the pillar as a bat is cool and awards a 2nd-level stunt; in total, the character has invoked her Super Strength, Cute Bruiser and Tranquil Fury tropes, adding to the stunt to give her 5d6 total to roll. She rolls pretty high, getting an 18... but that's still not enough. So I decide to spend plot points to increase the level of Super Strength by 3; 6 plot points to be exact (Two for each level, thanks to Mask Power and Lets Get Dangerous). I roll 3d6 and get 11, increasing my result to 29, which is more than enough to succeed; the GM describes how the ray goes flying into the sky, trailing components, to disappear with a shiny ping. Finally, because this had a 2nd-level stunt, I get to roll 2d6 to regain plot points; I get nine, not only regaining what I spent but getting 3 more plot points besides!

This is a simple example. If she had targeted the baron with the attack, he would have gotten the opportunity to protect himself; he is a crazy science man and could probably pull out some sort of gadget, and would likely add at least 1d6 extra because 1st-level stunts are very easy to get. As a named villain, he could then have powered himself up with plot points (mooks don't get any plot points); he would have rolled his dice and subtracted the result from my character's result to determine how many plot points he lost from the attack.

My character as described above is a strong combat character; she has several stackable use tropes for fighting and her advantageous tropes are geared towards increasing her combat effectiveness. If she was to engage in other tasks, however, she's in trouble; she doesn't have any tropes for dealing with technology or magic. She is slightly effective socially, however; her Closer to Earth trope would help her keep her cool and persuade others of her point of view. Fortunately, she has a good set of Defining Tropes, which increases her plot points considerably; she can use them to make up for her shortcomings if need be.

I think that's it, have at it:smallbiggrin: !

2008-03-25, 08:59 PM
Ver, I already made a thread.

2008-03-25, 09:09 PM
oh, well, poo:smallfrown:

2008-03-25, 09:10 PM
There needs to be a clearly-defined limit on Descriptive Tropes. Otherwise, you could get things like this:

Verjinya Wulf (or "Jeane" for short) is the daughter of a human woman and Dogular the Wolf God. She was born an anthropomorphic dog in a remote villiage where such creatures are respected. However, she wanted to move to America, and knew that she would be feared if seen by normal humans. Thus, she went to a Sacred Spring to be turned into a human. This was successful, save for the tiny fangs she still carries, but has a horrible side effect: Every full moon, her suppressed canine nature takes over, and she transforms into a vicious werewolf. Once she reached America, Dogular was displeased by her perfidity, and so he cursed her. Now her canine nature is locked away, inaccessible.

Now, with this simple backstory, I've created a normal foreign human girl with pronounced canines. That's it. Yet I've invoked a handful of tropes:

Spell My Name With An S
Steven Ulysses Perhero
Whatever trope covers gender-ambiguous names
Half Human Hybrids
Blessed With Suck
Involuntary Shapeshifting
Our Werewolves Are Different
Cursed With Awesome
Cute Little Fangs

If I wanted to, I could give her a single red eye to invoke Boat Lights and Red Eyes Take Warning. You see the problem.

2008-03-25, 09:19 PM
I'd prefer if used the thread I made... I'll put my response to you there.