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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Troll in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGirl

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    Nov 2008
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    Bristol, UK

    Default Starlight (d20-inspired WIP)

    I've been thinking up ideas for my own homebrewed take on d20 for a while now, and I felt like pitching some ideas to the playground before I go into full-on homebrew mode.

    I've posted an introduction and overview of the system over at Fax's wiki:

    http://wiki.faxcelestis.net/index.ph...t:introduction (Please examine and critique honestly)

    Among other things, I'm hoping to make this lighter and more portable than the existing rules, while also keeping things interesting.

    I also have a few other changes:

    Revised Magic:

    Well, that one was pretty obvious. My current plan for magic is to go with a system faintly reminiscent of verb/noun, although 'form'/'sphere' would be more accurate.

    A character's rank in any given Form determines how much power she has to spare of a particular kind (e.g. Fey, or Death), while her rank in any given Sphere determines how adept she is at working in a particular field (for example, Command or Stealth).

    The particular combination of sphere and realm determines exactly what the character ends up doing with magic (e.g. Death Command gives you undead hordes, while Death Attack lets you extract an opponent's viscera using a toothpick), and Forms also have some similarities to stances.

    With any luck, I should be able to pull that off without any accusations of 'sameness'.

    Revised Combat

    Attacks of opportunity will be modified extensively - moving round or past a character will simply be "no, unless you make this check", just like balancing, climbing, and swimming.

    On the other hand, characters who make themselves vulnerable - whether by casting a complicated spell, or simply by allowing an enemy to outnumber them in melee - now remain vulnerable long enough for enemies to exploit it, and risk being locked down and unable to fight back effectively as well.

    I also intend to mess around with action types in order to make the whole mess a little easier to understand.

    Revised Character Creation

    Characters will have five character archetypes to choose between: Survivor, Adept, Rogue, Commander, and Sage. Each has different favoured spheres, but plays very differently depending on which forms you use with them.

    You can also take cross-class spheres - the only restriction is that no cross-class sphere can be higher-ranked than a favoured sphere.

    Basically, pick a background, pick an archetype, choose some spheres and forms, then build the rest of your character by choosing feats, skills, and then advancing your character as far as the narrator wants you to.

    Injuries

    In the end, I decided to go with a slight variant on the True20 rules, where a character who suffers an injury drops a few steps on the condition track, but has the opportunity to reverse that at the start of her next turn.

    Aside from that, injuries are the same toughness save system as used in True20, although the nonlethal track has been butchered with a 300 kg sword straight out of your favourite anime.
    Last edited by lesser_minion; 2010-02-23 at 01:41 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGirl

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    Nov 2008
    Location
    Bristol, UK

    Default Starlight - index [WIP]

    Rough Framework - will be fleshed out as I add material.

    Introduction:
    1. Character profiles
    2. Checks and Totals
    3. Aptitudes and Traits
    4. Skills
    5. Feats
    6. Talents
    7. Confidence
    8. Templates


    Adventures:
    1. Checks and Totals
    2. Travel and Exploration
    3. Hazards and Obstacles
    4. War and Conflict
    5. Society
    6. Economy, Trade, and equipment


    The Mundane and the Magic:
    1. Heroes and Horrors
    2. Classes and Archetypes
    3. Feats
    4. Skills
    5. Using Talents
    6. Survival Talents
    7. Occult Talents
    8. Subterfuge Talents
    9. Martial Talents
    10. Common Talents
    Last edited by lesser_minion; 2009-12-04 at 02:10 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Default Re: Another homebrew system [ideas thread]

    Starlight is an alright name. It's memorable and I can't think of any similar named products to confuse me with. The name should match the material, though, so keep that in mind.

    I'm not familiar with True20 so I can't comment on the effectiveness of their method.

    For the talent system, keep in mind that some aspects of a level-based game should be fixed. If base attack were variable in D&D you'd a wide gap in power as monsters are usually designed with full points into combat and nothing else.

    Confidence is a misleading term. An expert warrior could completely lack 'confidence' in his own abilities. Your second bullet describes confidence granting bonuses similar to action points. In this case, the idea of a mechanic called confidence actually sounds good.

    If you ditch the idea of confidence being relative to power, you can make it modified by ingame events. Someone falling in battle is a major hit to confidence while single handily defeating a powerful foe has the opposite effect.

    I don't know anything about True20, but I think Mutants and Masterminds is a revised edition of the rule. With that said, characters roll against an attack with their defenses. If they succeed, nothing happens. If not they take a blow and a cumulative penalty to future defenses. A really powerful blow could stun someone or even knock them out.

    You have your work cut out for you. Starting a new game from scratch is no small task. I've tried several times and failed each. All I can say is not to stress the details at first. Get all your ideas on paper, select what you like, then work with it in tandem. Focusing too much on a single issue causes you to ignore others.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Anonymouswizard's Avatar

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    Default Re: Starlight (d20-inspired homebrew)

    Looks fun, I would like to see how it works out. I will be fine with playtesting the game, and I hope you have a lot of success.

    I can't comment on anything except for the fact that starlight is a decent name. But hey: at least you have one.
    Snazzy avatar (now back! ) by Honest Tiefling.

    RIP Laser-Snail, may you live on in our hearts forever.

    Spoiler: playground quotes
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Troll in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGirl

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    Default Re: Starlight (d20-inspired homebrew)

    As the game is d20-inspired, it shouldn't be as hard to write as a rules-heavy system built from the ground up would have been - saying that, I still might write it as something completely new.

    Saying that, considering the number of areas of gameplay that this touches, it could be pretty big.

    I'm going to try and get to work on the combat system (War and Conflict) at the moment, before moving onto the rest of the Adventures section.

    The problem with this is that I'm still drawing something of a blank on ideas for the injury rules. Does anyone have any suggestions at all?


    Note: While I'm planning to move many of the rules to Fax's wiki, I'm keeping this thread around so that the rules can be discussed, and so I can make announcements.

    I'm also going to try and whack together a PDF once everything's closer to completion and I start on converting the monsters.
    Last edited by lesser_minion; 2009-12-05 at 08:03 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Troll in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGirl

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    Default Re: Starlight (d20-inspired homebrew)

    Shameless bump.

    Quote Originally Posted by jmbrown
    Confidence is a misleading term. An expert warrior could completely lack 'confidence' in his own abilities. Your second bullet describes confidence granting bonuses similar to action points. In this case, the idea of a mechanic called confidence actually sounds good.
    First off, thanks for the comments.

    In light of what you've said, I've changed 'Confidence' to 'Spirit' - it has the same kind of implications, but leaves the door open for characters with low self-esteem. It's also a syllable shorter.

    Talents are a more flexible way of making each class good at a range of activities - each archetype gives characters different things to do with the talents from its class, and characters who change class still have to option of continuing with what they were doing before - they also don't lose out too much, because they add their Spirit score to all of their talents.

    Part of the idea is to pare down the number of different systems players have to learn - even if spellcasting and martial arts have completely different uses, players improve both in similar ways, using the same resource.

    I think the biggest danger is going to be characters trying to adopt multiple archetypes within one class - the effect of which is the equivalent of having a character go Wiz 3/Clr 3/Mystic Theurge 1 and getting casting as both a 7th-level wizard and a 7th-level cleric out of it.

    I know I haven't posted much explanation of the class system yet, but I wouldn't mind suggestions on how to get out of that pitfall, without banning single-classed multiple archetype characters or making different archetypes within a class so similar that there is little advantage to be gained.

    At the moment, there will be at least four different talents to a class, which should allow for a lot of variety between different characters with the same archetype.
    Last edited by lesser_minion; 2009-12-08 at 11:10 AM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Anonymouswizard's Avatar

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    Default Re: Starlight (d20-inspired homebrew)

    Quote Originally Posted by lesser_minion View Post
    I know I haven't posted much explanation of the class system yet, but I wouldn't mind suggestions on how to get out of that pitfall, without banning single-classed multiple archetype characters or making different archetypes within a class so similar that there is little advantage to be gained.

    At the moment, there will be at least four different talents to a class, which should allow for a lot of variety between different characters with the same archetype.
    Lets see. Looking at the last two paragraphs, I would go for something like this: make yourself 4-6 or 4-8 base classes. Than give each class 4 talents that they can spend points on. Then give them x+ability modifier points to spend on talents and sub talents. Then give each class the same number of archetypes, an optional rule that gives classes new abilities and bonuses to talents, maybe in exchange for special drawbacks or penalties to talents. Then instead of new classes you can make new archetypes. Except for new magic systems or the like. For example I have 5 classes (each with 4 archetypes) which are the expert (theif, something, something, and something (okay, I don't know what else you could do for this one), the fighter (barbarian, paladin, ranger and warrior), the magician (conjurer, sorcerer, warlock and wizard), and the priest (cleric, druid, monk and shaman), and the jack of all trades (only two archetypes: bard and untyped).

    I mentioned sub talents earlier, and what would I mean by these. If you took on this idea then each talent would be split into a number of smaller talents (magic would be arcane+divine+psionics or the similar). Yes, with the five example classes I set out above this would mean that the wizard could cast divine spells, so in using this there would be only 4 base classes: the expert (thief+3 x something), the fighter (barbarian, paladin, ranger and warrior), the magician (priest, shaman, sorcerer and wizard), and the jack of all trades (bard and untyped).
    Snazzy avatar (now back! ) by Honest Tiefling.

    RIP Laser-Snail, may you live on in our hearts forever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Zom B's Avatar

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    Default Re: Starlight (d20-inspired homebrew)

    Quote Originally Posted by lesser_minion View Post

    • Experience will be awarded on a much less formal and much more streamlined system - characters gain Confidence points whenever they demonstrate heroism or do something difficult really well. The word 'confidence' is used, because it explicitly ties character advancement to success. Otherwise, Confidence Points have a similar role to experience points, although they also help to restore a character's Spirit if it is lower than normal for some reason.
    • I'm hoping to change character advancement into something much more gradual - characters will gain several skill and talent increases spread out over the course of a level. This does introduce a little more bookkeeping, but I think it generally feels better to get something small, but frequently. It also isn't difficult bookkeeping.
    This reminds me a lot of West End Games' d6 system (used for their Star Wars RPG). You earn experience points that you spend directly to increase your skills. There were no levels or classes. There were some pre-made templates that could guide you towards having an archetype, but you were free to deviate from them. These experience points were awarded at the end of combat or at the end of session, so every session felt like you were doing something. This is kind of what I miss in playing d20, is the feeling of improvement. Sure, gaining a level is great and all but...yeah.

    • I'm having some trouble figuring out how best to represent injuries. Any suggestions on this would be appreciated. My first instinct would have been to use True20's injury system, but it has a few issues. I'd like to avoid hitpoints mainly because I like "only require d20s" as a design principle, and because I don't think "lose d20 + 4 hitpoints" works.
    Not to borrow too much from other systems, but the aforementioned d6 system did not have hit points but rather an injury severity system. Basically, the higher your check was in overcoming your opponent's damage mitigation capability, the more injured they were from the hit. From there the injuries stacked to become greater injuries. For instance, being Grazed too many times led to an Injury, or something like that.
    Zombitar courtesy of Djinn_In_Tonic.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Troll in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGirl

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    Default Re: Starlight (d20-inspired WIP)

    I've added a new overview of what a character sheet in Starlight looks like over at the wiki:

    http://wiki.faxcelestis.net/index.ph...t:introduction

    The article is nearing first draft, and is in serious need of polish. Please examine it, critique it, tear it to pieces, and assess it's suitability as an introduction.
    Last edited by lesser_minion; 2010-02-12 at 11:30 PM.

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