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    Halfling in the Playground

    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Default Pokemon Conquest Rules Advice

    Hey, I'm building a game called Pokemon Conquest, set in a cross of sengoku/edo japan and the Pokemon world which is borrowed from the video game Pokemon Conquest. Mostly it is for some friends, and I shared it with a Pokemon community and they seemed to like it. Its design was influenced a lot by me being impressed with what I've seen of DnD next so far.

    Here is the google doc with the rules for online viewing.
    Here is a higher quality version for downloading.

    But anyway I'm trying out a whole bunch of novel mechanics in it and I wanted to see what you guys thought of them.

    So first, SKILLS

    In this game there are six general skills, which the players supplement by taking "field moves" which either help them complete a more specific task, or more often, guarantee their success at a very specific task.

    The skills are...
    Athletics: Self explanatory. Encompasses swimming, climbing, lifting, jumping, as well as things which would require constitution checks in other games.
    Lore: For basically all the knowledge checks, and understanding Pokemon when they speak to you.
    Awareness: This is perception, insight, and stealth. Sorry for my parlance, but I am more accustomed to 4e. This strange conglomeration came out of the fact that the game is very rogue and warrior focus. There is almost no magic in this game.
    Deception: Bluff, disguise, and thievery. Seems like a natural combination to me.
    Persuasion: Diplomacy & Intimidate. Doesn't seem like much, but in the game's I've been in these two are by far the most useful skills.
    Tinkering:For crafting tools and structures, disarming traps, picking locks, and forging documents. (I've been thinking of moving the last part into deception)

    Players get what amounts to one skill rank at the first level, one at the 4th level, and one at the 8th level. You can use one to move the rank of your skill up one. All skills start at untrained, then go to amateur, then veteran, than expert. Any class can take any skill.

    Task difficulties are tiered the same way that skill ranks are. There are untrained tasks, amateur tasks, veteran tasks, expert tasks, master tasks, impossible tasks, and absurd tasks.

    When you make a check to do something, what the target number is depends on your training, and the task difficulty.
    When you want to do a task one level below your training, you need a 1.
    When you want to do a task at your training level, you need a 5.
    When you want to do a task one level above your training level, you need a 15.
    When you want to do a task two levels above your training level, you need a 20.
    When you want to do something higher than that, you automatically fail.
    IF the GM wants to show that the task is unusually difficult or easy because of a spesific circumstance, they can give the player an advantage (roll twice and use the higher result) or a disadvantage (roll twice and use the lower result).

    So even though the training only goes up to expert, an expert can do something mildly impossible if they get a 20. Absurd is a category for GMs to put things into if they are things which simply could not ever be done.

    As for the field moves, players get three when they take a class to completion, and their Pokemon can take none or up to ten (depending on what kind of Pokemon it is). here is an example of one:
    Peasant Alibi: (Shuriken mastery tradition only) No one can discover that you are a ninja unless you or someone else tells them, or you attack them. You look exactly like a peasant, and your weapons look like peasant's tools.

    When I did this my goal was to...
    - Make it easy for the GM to assign a difficulty level to something on the fly in a fair way. (The game contains guides about what each difficulty tier can accomplish for each skill roughly, and lets the GM fill in the blanks)
    - Make it so people don't have to fumble with character sheets every time they want to pick a lock.
    - Make it easy for GMs to set up players for success at certain tasks, by catering to their field moves, without making it very obvious that they were doing so.
    - Stop skill monkeys from permeating, and allow everyone to participate in the parts of the game involving skill checks without feeling like they were sacrificing combat power.


    In this game there are two kinds of characters, humans and Pokemon, and each player gets one of each. Human classes each have ten levels, and there is no multiclassing. Here is the arch of a typical class:
    Level 1: - Miscellaneous information, like the gear and clothing you wear, a way for you to acquire small amounts of money dependably, and directions telling you to choose a skill to have at the amateur training level, and which table to take your stats off of. (these will be covered in the combat section)
    - Choice of two different traditions, and a combat power based off of that tradition. Usually this power radically alters the way that the class plays in combat. An example of something akin to this in DnD would be sneak attack dice.
    Levels 2, 6, & 10: - A choice of four different field moves at each of these levels, two of which are exclusive to a tradition (one for each tradition available)
    Levels 3, 5, 7, & 9: - A choice of two combat powers, one of which is exclusive to a tradition, essentially forcing each tradition into choosing the one available option on two of these levels, and giving them a choice of two on the other two.
    Levels 4, & 8: - A skill point. (If you haven't read the skill section, these are a big deal)
    The classes are Samurai, Monk, Performer, Ninja, and Merchant. The order goes from simplest to use to most complex to use, but the classes are approximately equal in power. It is just that samurais are at their full potential when they are spamming basic attacks (sort of) and merchants have to do a lot.

    With Pokemon, they have an experience cap of 25 effort value (EV) times their trainer's level. (so that a trainer could quickly train up another pokemon if it wanted to switch, pokemon get their EVs much quicker than trainers get their levels, but have a cap on them set by their trainer's level)

    Pokemon can spend EVs to get toggles (which add effects to their basic attacks), options (which are non-damaging things they can do instead of attacking), and intrinsics (which are constant benefits applied to them, such as immunity to a status condition of one kind or another). They can also spend EVs to evolve (which changes their statistics considerably) and improve their stats. (essentially, they can spend experience on just improving their damage, or improving their hit points) The options are all more or less gated by stat requirements, and usually also by the type of the pokemon (think fire water earth air, if you are unfamiliar)

    When I did this my goal was to...
    - Make it so that building a trainer and a pokemon at the first level was dumbfoundingly simple and quick (to do both, it takes about five minutes, and can be done without the GM helping you by a first time player) because complicated set up often deters people.
    - Make it so training pokemon could be very easy if you didn't want to invest lots of effort (just spend all of your EV on improving attack and HP, or whichever other sat) but complicated if you were inclined to make it complicated.
    - Have human characters be at a sort of set power and balance while the pokemon varied in power. (The GM is given options to nerf and buff particularly powerful and weak pokemon in specific ways)

    Later, I will write up a section on the combat system. I'm afraid I am a bit pressed for time at the moment.

    I would really appreciate any criticism. If I'm missing something that makes DnD fun, or opening myself up to exploitation, I want to hear about it. Anything that you think would make this better. Also tell me if you need more detail on anything.
    Last edited by Doccit; 2013-06-03 at 01:23 PM.

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