Support the GITP forums on Patreon
Help support GITP's forums (and ongoing server maintenance) via Patreon
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 55
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Morph Bark's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Freljord

    Default Analyzing Tabletop RPGs: To Create a System Easy/Deep/Broad/Fast/Tactical/Social

    As a DM, I have a party that has gone from 2, to 6, and even to 7 players. Our current group has 6 players, and I may even end up with more in the future. Because turns take time, and during role-play segments not everyone can take part at once, players often get distracted, even during the times I've banned laptops from the table (save one, to allow them to look up stuff in the SRD or from Homebrew we use, and for background music).

    I believe this is partially because things go slowly. As I was already thinking of making a tabletop roleplaying game, I figured "why not make something that goes faster?"

    So I decided to make myself a list of goals to accomplish to start with, and go from there.
    • Play should be paced fast. The main aid is this that players should be able to make their decisions quickly. The best way to do this is to limit the options that they have at any given time.
    • Players should have a lot of options overall. They should be able to tackle a wide variety of problems in a wide variety of ways, rivalling that of Tier 3 DnD classes at the very least. To make it so that this goal doesn't clash with the first, players should be able to change (some of) their available options between encounters.
    • The basic rules shouldn't be hard to understand or complex, allowing a GM to keep 2-3 sheets with rules to reference without needing to have a whole book on hand. However, the system as a whole shouldn't be rules-light. It should require some investment of time and energy, and indeed reward mastery of the system, without making newer, less skilled players feel overshadowed. This ties in with the "lots of options to take, but limited at any one time", which also means players will have to make tactical and strategic decisions in what to take when.
    • The rules should be intuitive. Basic abilities should each cover a single aspect or task that a character can do or be good at. The system should favour a gamist approach over a simulationist one, while not neglecting any narrativist approaches. Partially to facilitate a narrativist approach, there should be mechanics that reward players describing their actions in more detail beyond the basics.
    • I like the structure that class/level-based systems give, but also like the freedom of systems that don't use those conventions. For this reason, I want to take the middle road of using "skill trees" of sorts. How to do this exactly, I haven't figured out yet.
    • Making sure there are many options will be lots of work. For this reason, I thought of simply taking inspiration or even direct things from other systems, especially DnD. If possible, I want to create ways to convert DnD material to this new system, but this is only as a goal to look at later. I want to keep it in mind, and thus am telling it from the start, but it's definitely not a main goal as all the others above here are.


    I think that's all for now.


    EDIT: I am now going through several tabletop RPGs, identifying their good and bad points, and seeing what I can learn from them and take along in the ride for the creation of this new system. A list of analyzed systems is here. Some don't have links yet and have yet to be analyzed. After their names and links is a short list of things that could be interesting or good to use in this new system. Some games may be removed later on from the list if they had nothing interesting or good to offer.
    • Arkham Horror
    • Basic Role-Playing (BRP): 2008 edition, Call of Cthulhu (Skill increases, Parry rules)
    • d6 System (list of books)
    • Dragon Age (Focus, Stunts, Backgrounds)
    • Edge of the Empire*
    • FATE*
    • Gamma World*
    • GUMSHOE: Trail of Cthulhu (Stability, Investigative skills)
    • Ironclaw: Squaring the Circle
    • Megaversal/Palladium system: Dead Reign, Mechanoid Invasion, Ninjas & Superspies, Palladium Fantasy Role-Playing Game, Rifts, Splicers
    • MEGS: Blood of Heroes, DC Heroes, Underground
    • Old School Hack (Awesome Points)
    • Song of Ice and Fire
    • True20


    *These systems have been recommended to me to take a good, close look at by posters in this thread, and that I haven't gotten to yet. I really should.

    Spoiler: RPG Geek top games
    Show
    Adventure:
    7th Sea (R&K system)
    Contenders
    Dark Champions (HERO System 5)
    Fiasco
    Hollowpoint
    Lady Blackbird
    Marvel Heroic Roleplaying
    Savage Worlds Deluxe Edition
    Spirit of the Century

    Animals:
    Mouse Guard

    Childhood:
    Grimm
    Monsters and Other Childish Things
    Norwegian Style

    Corporations:
    Nova Praxis

    Crime:
    Ashen Stars
    Over the Edge
    The Dresden Files Roleplaying Game

    Culture:
    Ars Magica 5th edition
    Feng Shui
    Legend of the Five Rings 4th edition (R&K system)
    - Legend of the Burning Sands
    Microscopes

    Fantasy:
    13th Age
    Dungeons & Dragons (5th Edition)
    Dungeon Crawl Classics Role Playing Game
    Dungeon World
    Earthdawn 4th edition
    HeroQuest (2nd Edition)
    Nobilis
    Numenera
    Pendragon (5th Edition)
    Rolemaster 4th edition
    Scion (Hero, Demigod, God)
    The Burning Wheel Gold
    The One Ring Roleplaying Game
    Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (1st edition? 2nd? 3rd?)

    History:
    Aces & Eights
    Castle Falkenstein
    Deadlands: Reloaded
    Hollow Earth Expedition
    RuneQuest (3rd Edition?)
    The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen

    Horror:
    Cthulhutech
    Dread
    The Shab Al-Hiri Roach
    Unknown Armies (2nd Edition)

    Modern:
    Alternity
    d20 Modern
    Don't Rest Your Head
    Polaris: Chivalric Tragedy at Utmost North
    Primetime Adventures (1st/2nd/3rd Edition?)

    Multiverse:
    Amber Diceless Roleplaying

    Religion:
    Dogs in the Vineyard
    Montsegur 1244

    Science Fiction:
    Apocalypse World
    Cyberpunk 2020
    Diaspora
    Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space
    Eclipse Phase
    Paranoia (edition?)
    Star Wars: Edge of the Empire
    Star Wars: Age of Rebellion
    Star Wars: Force and Destiny
    The Star Wars Roleplaying Game - Revised Edition (1996)
    Traveller

    Storytelling system:
    The (new) World of Darkness
    • Changeling: The Lost
    • Demon: The Descent
    • Geist: The Sin-Eaters
    • Hunter: The Vigil
    • Mage: The Awakening
    • Mummy: The Curse
    • Promethean: The Created
    • Vampire: The Requiem
    • Werewolf: The Forsaken


    Warhammer 40k:
    Black Crusade (2011)
    Dark Heresy 2nd edition (2014, original 2008)
    Deathwatch (2010)
    Only War (2012)
    Rogue Trader (2009)

    Retroclones:
    Labyrinth Lord
    Lamentations of the Flame Princess
    Last edited by Morph Bark; 2016-05-13 at 08:15 AM.
    YouTube channel:

    The Asobimashow thread |Homebrewer's Signature | Avatar by Strawberries

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    erikun's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Trying to Create a System: Easy/Complex/Fast/Many Options/Tactical/Social/Challen

    What systems are you familiar with? Because it seems like some other non-D&D, rules-heavy systems might actually work fine for what you are looking for. Dragon Age and Iron Kingdoms are two that immediately come to mind, although I'm not familiar enough with either to really recommend much about them.

    Looking over your goals, the biggest concern I have is that you seem to want wildly divergent aspects in the same system. You want lots and lots of options available to players but only a few options available. You want a whole bunch of rules that are quick and easy to understand. You want classes and levels but can still pick and choose the skills and abilities gained. I'm not saying that such different goals are impossible in the same system, just that it would require a lot more work to accomplish them both than to just accomplish one or the other.

    What is the ONE goal that you want to achieve? What is the ONE thing that you want the system to accomplish?

    The easiest way would be to find one system that does most of what you want well, and then work at modifying it from there.
    Thank you to zimmerwald1915 for the Gustave avatar.
    The full set is here.
    Quote Originally Posted by darthbobcat View Post
    There are no bad ideas, just bad execution.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Air Raccoon avatar provided by Ceika
    from the Request an OotS Style Avatar thread



    A big thanks to PrinceAquilaDei for the gryphon avatar!
    original image

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Trying to Create a System: Easy/Complex/Fast/Many Options/Tactical/Social/Challen

    So basically you want a system that does everything perfectly even if it's self-contradictory in several goals? Easy and complex at the same time. Sure, you may argue that the two are not per definition constradictory, but that's what they end up being in practise. The more complexity you have, the more you have to remember or look up. The more options, the more opportunity for error. You want players to have options, but not have options?
    I suspect you mean you want lots of options in character creation but limited options available in play - no encyclopedia of class features to remember.

    You might want to check out the R&K system used in Legend of the Five Rings (and another variant found in the olf 7th Sea game)

    - it's a mix between level and levelless. You increase Skills and Attributes independantly of level, but when you reach a certain number (culculated off those) you gain a Rank, which is basically a level.
    - It has classes schools, which grant various benefits. There are three major types: caster, warrior and courtier, each with numerous variations.
    - While social combat is lacking, there is a simple (too simple?) system for social interaction.
    - there is a very simple mass combat system which focuses on the characters in combat rather than making it into a wargame.
    - The basic mechanics are pretty easy. Once you understand the basics of R&K, which is pretty easy, the rest is mostly details. you will want to keep the core rulebook with you at all times, but most of the important information you will constantly be referencing can easily be placed on a couple of sheets of paper (or on the hand GM screen they have).
    - magic is powerful, but limited. Casters are awesome but can't really become godlike the way they do in D&D. Warriors remain releveant at all levels of play. You can theoretically learn all spells in the game but realistically have only a small selection. You have spell slots but can cast any spell you know. You could do the equivalent of blowing all your slots on 9th level spells if you choose.

    The cons are that while the basics of the system are picked up easily, there are details that usually need a little play to get. Also, the system is tied very tightly to the setting. Some of the mechanics, such as Honor and Taint, will probably be less useful for a more traditional fantasy game, and there are several schools and skills and spells that work off these, so you will either need to do some fixing or ignoring. the Alderac Entertainment Group boards have some homebrew for adapting the system to more generic settings, but I haven't really looked at them to see what they're like.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    Default Re: Trying to Create a System: Easy/Complex/Fast/Many Options/Tactical/Social/Challen

    Quote Originally Posted by BWR View Post
    So basically you want a system that does everything perfectly even if it's self-contradictory in several goals? Easy and complex at the same time. Sure, you may argue that the two are not per definition constradictory, but that's what they end up being in practise. The more complexity you have, the more you have to remember or look up. The more options, the more opportunity for error. You want players to have options, but not have options?
    This isn't entirely true. Through emergent complexity, it's possible to have a system that provides a wide variety options while still being comprehensible to the unaided mind.

    However, as erikun said, such a system wouldn't be easy to design. At their simplest, every emergently complex system is defined by the interaction of a number of smaller systems. Sudoku is a good example. Through just three simple rules, a wide variety of interactions form. It's difficult to gauge how a particular rule would interacts with others though, so the system requires a large degree of legwork or plain inspiration to develop.

    The other downside is that such a system is difficult to playtest. System mastery, gained through exploration of the possibility space, reigns supreme in such games. Further, once an exploit is discovered, it's difficult to correct, since the nature of emergent complexity is a delicate ecosystem of interaction. Change one thing, and you change everything.
    Last edited by Grinner; 2013-11-28 at 05:01 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Djinn_in_Tonic's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Stuck in a bottle.
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Trying to Create a System: Easy/Complex/Fast/Many Options/Tactical/Social/Challen

    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    I believe this is partially because things go slowly. As I was already thinking of making a tabletop roleplaying game (possibly as part of my challenge), I figured "why not make something that goes faster?"
    Cool. Color me interested, at least conceptually: you're an accomplished homebrewer whose work I enjoy and respect, so, if you're looking to actually make a project, I'd be happy to lend a hand.

    Play should be paced fast. The main aid is this that players should be able to make their decisions quickly. The best way to do this is to limit the options that they have at any given time.
    This also makes me think that a fast and universal resolution mechanic is probably best. One of the issues of, say, D&D is the sheer number of rolls necessary to accomplish an action. Then we have things like FATE, where everything is done with a single type or roll and usually resolved with one or two rolls, tops.

    The latter seems a bit more like something we want, although we'll want to make sure the resolution mechanic is meaty enough to attach complexity to.


    Players should have a lot of options overall. They should be able to tackle a wide variety of problems in a wide variety of ways, rivaling that of Tier 3 DnD classes at the very least. To make it so that this goal doesn't clash with the first, players should be able to change (some of) their available options between encounters.
    Tier 3 can be done with a fairly simple set of mechanics: the Tome of Battle classes aren't particularly hard to run, hit low Tier 3, and only require keeping track of, say, 15-25 abilities. The Warlock is another great example within this power range.

    I'm hesitant about the latter half: unless you have a very good reason for modular abilities on a character they feel...odd, honestly. Again, Tome of Battle does a pretty decent job with this sort of thing, but I imagine a Warlock-style system (having all abilities at all times) would be sufficient.

    The basic rules shouldn't be hard to understand or complex, allowing a GM to keep 2-3 sheets with rules to reference without needing to have a whole book on hand. However, the system as a whole shouldn't be rules-light. It should require some investment of time and energy, and indeed reward mastery of the system, without making newer, less skilled players feel overshadowed. This ties in with the "lots of options to take, but limited at any one time", which also means players will have to make tactical and strategic decisions in what to take when.
    This is trickier. This way lies the path of 4e, which tried to do exactly this. I imagine it can be done, but it's a very tricky balance.

    The rules should be intuitive. Basic abilities should each cover a single aspect or task that a character can do or be good at. The system should favour a gamist approach over a simulationist one, while not neglecting any narrativist approaches. Partially to facilitate a narrativist approach, there should be mechanics that reward players describing their actions in more detail beyond the basics.
    Alright. Let's rank this system: You have 20 points to divide between Gamist/Simulationist/Narrativist. How do you divide those points? This can give us a good idea of how much weight we want to place on each of these separate elements.

    I like the structure that class/level-based systems give, but also like the freedom of systems that don't use those conventions. For this reason, I want to take the middle road of using "skill trees" of sorts. How to do this exactly, I haven't figured out yet.
    Be warned that this can sometimes also feel limiting. It works somewhat in complex trees like that of Path of Exile (where there is only one tree and different starting areas), but otherwise (see the new Edge of the Empire game) skill trees can feel...flat and lifeless, I guess. In other cases skill trees end up feeling like classes.

    There's potential in such a system, but we'd need to analyze approaches rather carefully.


    Conclusion
    This seems like a fun (if daunting) project. I'm a bit concerned that some of the goals are mutually exclusive (or, at least, will compromise the intent of other goals), but I'm curious to explore the ideas a bit more.

    Ingredients

    2oz Djinn
    5oz Water
    1 Lime Wedge


    Instructions

    Pour Djinn and tonic water into a glass filled with ice cubes. Stir well. Garnish with lime wedge. Serve.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BlueWizardGirl

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Montreal, Canada

    Default Re: Trying to Create a System: Easy/Complex/Fast/Many Options/Tactical/Social/Challen

    Here's some advice I have for your system, just based on your main objectives.

    1) Fast Play -> One Decision per Round. Limit characters to one major decision (attack, use a power, defend, etc), and perhaps one minor decision (move, do something minor like drop something or open a door). Fewer decisions per round mean faster turnover between turns, hence faster play.

    2) Large # of Options -> Broad character creation. Let players select from a wider variety of abilities and options than, say, D&D 3.5 or 4E would give you. This means they can specialize at doing one thing really well while conceivably being decent at 2-3 other things.

    3) Simple Basic Rules -> Remove derived abilities. Someone wants to be more accurate? Improve their Accuracy bonus. Someone want to be tougher? Increase their Hit Points. In D&D 3.5, your average Skill is 1d20 + Attribute bonus (derived further from your actual attribute) + Skill ranks (compounded with trained or untrained costs) + Feat bonus + skill synergy bonus + racial bonus + circumstantial bonus or penalty + Etc. Instead, have it be xdx + Skill bonus, or dice equal to your skill if you're using dice pools. Want to know more about something? Improve your skill, not your derived values.

    4) Intuitive Rules -> Consolidate rolling and resolution mechanics. For example, look at the Dragon Age TRPG. One Defense value, and all rolls are 3d6 + Bonus, which is written plainly on your character sheet. Damage is different, but still just uses xd6 + bonus. The fewer types of dice and the fewer types of rolls you have to make, the better. World of Darkness does pretty well with its xd10, 8+ is a success, more successes = better system.

    5) Skill Trees -> Well, make Skill Trees! Start with a basic ability (like, say, Fire). With one ability learned you could deal fire damage with a melee attack. Then you could have a number of abilities in the tree you could learn - gaining fire resistance, igniting your weapon on fire for extra fire damage, tossing the fire at one target at range, having these effects target multiple allies/enemies etc. If you have all of these Skill Trees either have uses per day or run on a consolidated resource system (like Mana or Fatigue or something) you've got tons of customization. You could make some trees Active, some Passive, some a mix of the two, and you can make some of them unique to specific classes if you want to reinforce that notion.

    6) Drawing from many Sources -> Look at all the different mechanics in D&D! There's AEDU in 4E, and in 3E there's Maneuvers, Spell Slots, Power Points, Spell-Like Abilities, Invocations, Vestige Binding, Soulmelds, Rage/Enhanced States... there are TONS of ways to approach resource management in and out of combat. Find one or more you like and adapt them to your system. If none of them appeal to you, make up a new system! I made up one, called the Stamina System, that gave players a small pool of points they could redeem for additional damage dice, higher DCs, and damage reduction in combat. It moved things along faster and had players focus on quick, thrilling fights.

    That's all I have for now, good luck!

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

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Freljord

    Default Re: Trying to Create a System: Easy/Complex/Fast/Many Options/Tactical/Social/Challen

    First, to provide a frame of reference:
    Quote Originally Posted by erikun View Post
    What systems are you familiar with? Because it seems like some other non-D&D, rules-heavy systems might actually work fine for what you are looking for. Dragon Age and Iron Kingdoms are two that immediately come to mind, although I'm not familiar enough with either to really recommend much about them.
    I'm familiar with D&D 3.5, 4E, Pathfinder, Star Wars SAGA Edition, d20 Modern, Exalted, and to a lesser degree Strands of Fate, Mutants & Masterminds, and a few hands full of rules-light systems. I also feel like there's at least one I'm forgetting, but that's not as important. I am most familiar with 3.5, including extensively with tons of homebrew, such as my own, my players', and those of literally hundreds of other people. 3.5 and other d20 games are my strongest point of reference, but Exalted provides a good contrast, and therefore I'll mostly be referencing 3.5, 4E, and Exalted.


    Now, let me tackle the big question everyone's asking first:
    Quote Originally Posted by erikun View Post
    Looking over your goals, the biggest concern I have is that you seem to want wildly divergent aspects in the same system. *You want lots and lots of options available to players but only a few options available. *You want a whole bunch of rules that are quick and easy to understand. *You want classes and levels but can still pick and choose the skills and abilities gained. *I'm not saying that such different goals are impossible in the same system, just that it would require a lot more work to accomplish them both than to just accomplish one or the other.
    Quote Originally Posted by BWR View Post
    So basically you want a system that does everything perfectly even if it's self-contradictory in several goals? Easy and complex at the same time. Sure, you may argue that the two are not per definition constradictory, but that's what they end up being in practise. The more complexity you have, the more you have to remember or look up. The more options, the more opportunity for error. You want players to have options, but not have options?
    I suspect you mean you want lots of options in character creation but limited options available in play - no encyclopedia of class features to remember.
    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn_in_Tonic View Post
    This seems like a fun (if daunting) project. I'm a bit concerned that some of the goals are mutually exclusive (or, at least, will compromise the intent of other goals), but I'm curious to explore the ideas a bit more.
    So basically, it looks like the goals are contradictory. True, I can definitely see that. It's not something I hadn't given thought before posting this, however.

    Lots of options available to players, but few at once: By this I mean something like Tome of Battle, something which Djinn already pointed out. For those not familiar with it (lurkers and posters alike), it gives a characters the ability to use a selection of powers they learn, but they can't use all of them at any one time. They are limited to a number of "readied" abilities. They can change these abilities with 5 minutes rest, however. (Or maybe it was even just 1 minute.) Another example is a DnD 3.5 wizard who knows lots of spells, but only has a relatively small amount in his spell slots at any one time, available to cast. The difference here is that a wizard cannot change his spells readied as quickly, with only a handful of mostly obscure exceptions.

    A complex system that is easy to understand: Grinner was quite right in his explanation of this idea, with the concept of emergent complexity (though I admit I had no word for it, so thank you for using it). I am thinking of making most of the basic rules quite simple and easy to reference, as is the case with 4E. However, to add to that, I want to add complexity in the options and power choices that players can make in their character builds, allowing for complex characters in a simple system. I want to further facilitate easy use, by creating power cards with their descriptions. Tome of Battle had that online, and it's very handy to have, especially for a Crusader, but even for abilities in general, so you don't have to keep a book open at all times. 4E also had power cards, which came with miniatures, but they were random. I want them to be integrated into the system. Perhaps one of the skill trees could even utilize these cards as a special mechanic.

    Basically a kind of multiple levels of complexity. In 3.5, the problem is that with the basic rules there's tons of things to remember, which makes it so that it takes a while to learn. I started playing as a DM with two players in 2007 without ever having played it before, and only having heard of it months before that. It took us a few months to grasp the rules to play well, and several years later we still found little things in the basic rules that we hadn't ever noticed before. (Just a few months ago I was told that cure spells heal an equal amount of nonlethal and lethal damage, for instance.) 4E doesn't have that as much, by far, but it also feels very different. In 4E, you have options to choose from, but you can't ever change them unless you level up or something special happens, which is the case in 3.5. It might be that DnD Next is doing something great that I might need to look into, but the first things I've seen of it and heard of it through the boards and friends have given me the idea that it doesn't really depart from 3.5 or 4E in a meaningful way.

    Quote Originally Posted by erikun View Post
    What is the ONE goal that you want to achieve? What is the ONE thing that you want the system to accomplish?
    Well, this question is really a broad one, despite how narrow and focused it may seem. The ONE goal I want to achieve is that I want myself and my players to have fun. Most of the goals are in service to that. I believe it'll be easier to keep us in the game and keep having fun if it keeps us engaged, which is why I want it to be fast-paced. I want it to be easy to understand so that the players in my group who don't want to read tons of rules or don't have a head for that don't need to read a big book or spend several months' worth of sessions slowly learning the rules. 2/3rds of the group started with 4E, and still play 4E on weekends that we don't play 3.5 with all 7 of us, but it still took a campaign to fully teach them 3.5. They're having a blast and love all the options, especially with homebrew, which is why that is something I want to keep; and also why I want to--if possible--find a way to convert 3.5 material to this new system.

    The easiest way would be to find one system that does most of what you want well, and then work at modifying it from there.
    3.5 does the options well, 4E does the basic rules well. I'd love to check out more systems to see what they do well that fits with the goals I've set for myself, so that I can combine the bits. Skill trees and basic stats as they are in Exalted look very promising and easy-to-use to me, for one.

    Quote Originally Posted by BWR View Post
    You might want to check out the R&K system used in Legend of the Five Rings (and another variant found in the olf 7th Sea game)

    - it's a mix between level and levelless. You increase Skills and Attributes independantly of level, but when you reach a certain number (culculated off those) you gain a Rank, which is basically a level.
    - It has classes schools, which grant various benefits. There are three major types: caster, warrior and courtier, each with numerous variations.
    - While social combat is lacking, there is a simple (too simple?) system for social interaction.
    - there is a very simple mass combat system which focuses on the characters in combat rather than making it into a wargame.
    - The basic mechanics are pretty easy. Once you understand the basics of R&K, which is pretty easy, the rest is mostly details. you will want to keep the core rulebook with you at all times, but most of the important information you will constantly be referencing can easily be placed on a couple of sheets of paper (or on the hand GM screen they have).
    - magic is powerful, but limited. Casters are awesome but can't really become godlike the way they do in D&D. Warriors remain releveant at all levels of play. You can theoretically learn all spells in the game but realistically have only a small selection. You have spell slots but can cast any spell you know. You could do the equivalent of blowing all your slots on 9th level spells if you choose.

    The cons are that while the basics of the system are picked up easily, there are details that usually need a little play to get. Also, the system is tied very tightly to the setting. Some of the mechanics, such as Honor and Taint, will probably be less useful for a more traditional fantasy game, and there are several schools and skills and spells that work off these, so you will either need to do some fixing or ignoring. the Alderac Entertainment Group boards have some homebrew for adapting the system to more generic settings, but I haven't really looked at them to see what they're like.
    That looks promising! Thanks! I'll be sure to check it out and give it a good read-through. I'm a little bit familiar with the setting through Oriental Adventures and owning two Rokugan books, so that should help me ease into it and learn from it and pick what I need and can use from it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grinner View Post
    This isn't entirely true. Through emergent complexity, it's possible to have a system that provides a wide variety options while still being comprehensible to the unaided mind.

    However, as erikun said, such a system wouldn't be easy to design. At their simplest, every emergently complex system is defined by the interaction of a number of smaller systems. Sudoku is a good example. Through just three simple rules, a wide variety of interactions form. It's difficult to gauge how a particular rule would interacts with others though, so the system requires a large degree of legwork or plain inspiration to develop.

    The other downside is that such a system is difficult to playtest. System mastery, gained through exploration of the possibility space, reigns supreme in such games. Further, once an exploit is discovered, it's difficult to correct, since the nature of emergent complexity is a delicate ecosystem of interaction. Change one thing, and you change everything.
    The difficulty in playtesting will be tough, yeah. Especially to ensure that system mastery only makes it so you get better tools to work with, rather than increase power, especially exponential power increases as there are several of in 3.5.

    I recall there being an episode of Extra Credits that talked about this sort of thing. I should really look it up and re-watch it. There's also another Extra Credits episode on complexity versus depth, and perhaps I am better served by the use of the word "depth" rather than "complexity" here.

    Spoiler: A perhaps slightly confusing analogy
    Show
    Basically, I want a pool that's lots of fun to swim in, with a slow slope from the shallow end to the deep end, rather than a pool that's also a maze.


    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn_in_Tonic View Post
    Cool. Color me interested, at least conceptually: you're an accomplished homebrewer whose work I enjoy and respect, so, if you're looking to actually make a project, I'd be happy to lend a hand.
    Thank you for the compliments.

    This also makes me think that a fast and universal resolution mechanic is probably best. One of the issues of, say, D&D is the sheer number of rolls necessary to accomplish an action. Then we have things like FATE, where everything is done with a single type or roll and usually resolved with one or two rolls, tops.

    The latter seems a bit more like something we want, although we'll want to make sure the resolution mechanic is meaty enough to attach complexity to.
    I'm somewhat familiar with Strands of Fate, which I believe is a FATE derivative. I'll read a little more into FATE to familiarize myself more with it. I'm thinking for this I want to stick with one die type for ease of it, or maybe two (d6 and d20), but leave it at that.

    Tier 3 can be done with a fairly simple set of mechanics: the Tome of Battle classes aren't particularly hard to run, hit low Tier 3, and only require keeping track of, say, 15-25 abilities. The Warlock is another great example within this power range.

    I'm hesitant about the latter half: unless you have a very good reason for modular abilities on a character they feel...odd, honestly. Again, Tome of Battle does a pretty decent job with this sort of thing, but I imagine a Warlock-style system (having all abilities at all times) would be sufficient.
    My first idea (which I've had several times, for widely different reasons each time) was to just limit my players to ToB classes, Invokers and Binders. That doesn't solve all the little issues, though.

    I'm not sure how I will do the option-switching precisely, but I wasn't planning on doing it without good reason in both fluff and crunch. If I go with various skill trees, I'll likely make it so the reasons and ways to switch and how much can be switched be different, similar to the various magic subsystems of 3.5, in particular ToB, Invokers, Binders and Meldshapers.

    Alright. Let's rank this system: You have 20 points to divide between Gamist/Narrativist/Simulationist. How do you divide those points? This can give us a good idea of how much weight we want to place on each of these separate elements.
    Hmmm, a good question. I think at least more than half in Gamist, at least two thirds in Narrativist, and just a little over the bare minimum in Simulationist.

    Gamist/Narrativist/Simulationist: 11/7/2. I think that's a good spread of it.

    Be warned that this can sometimes also feel limiting. It works somewhat in complex trees like that of Path of Exile (where there is only one tree and different starting areas), but otherwise (see the new Edge of the Empire game) skill trees can feel...flat and lifeless, I guess. In other cases skill trees end up feeling like classes.

    There's potential in such a system, but we'd need to analyze approaches rather carefully.
    Hmmm. Good point. I'll certainly give it more thought. I don't want it to be a huge skill tree as some video games have (such as Path of Exile), but want it to be several smaller ones, to allow growth, but give choices straight from the beginning in which direction the characters wish to grow. Because I like the various magic subsystems of 3.5 and the many homebrew ones out there, I think I may make each kind of magic that will be part of the system be a seperate skill tree, which then spreads out into its components. I think Exalted may be a good example to take note from (possibly the other White Wolf TRPGs too, I hear they use similar things). I'll check out Edge of the Empire to get a feel for what NOT to do.


    EDIT:
    Quote Originally Posted by Chronologist View Post
    Here's some advice I have for your system, just based on your main objectives.

    *snip*

    That's all I have for now, good luck!
    Those are some very good points of advice. I'm sorry I don't have time to address them in detail, but I will do so later. Thank you!
    Last edited by Morph Bark; 2013-11-28 at 06:25 PM.
    YouTube channel:

    The Asobimashow thread |Homebrewer's Signature | Avatar by Strawberries

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    erikun's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Trying to Create a System: Easy/Complex/Fast/Many Options/Tactical/Social/Challen

    Well, alright then.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    Lots of options available to players, but few at once
    My suggestion would be to keep things vague enough to cover most of what a player would expect to be capable of, but specific enough that it gives players a clear sense of what they are doing with their action.

    For a quick example, if we are talking about combat, I would probably use four options for attacking something: damage, stun, knock down, and grab. Maybe with some modifications, such as using grab for wrestling items away from opponents. This seems better than the very generic "victory points" you get in general systems, where simply rolling better gets you closer to winning regardless and so it doesn't matter if you stabbed somebody or threw a towel over their head. On the other hand, it isn't the overly complex system that D&D3e combat has turned out to be.

    For combat specifically, you can look at different methods of using the attacks. One could be the D&D "choose attack, roll, compare to defense." Another could be to roll and compare to the defense, then choose the attack to use: any roll equal or greater than defense could deal damage, or one at defense+2 could knock down instead, or one at defense+4 could choose to grab. (I hope that was clear.) Specific example: Dragon Age uses a 3d6 mechanic, with one die being red. Whenever a roll has doubles, the number on the red die determines what kind of extra actions can be performed, such as extra attacks or moving targets around.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    I like the structure that class/level-based systems give, but also like the freedom of systems that don't use those conventions. For this reason, I want to take the middle road of using "skill trees" of sorts. How to do this exactly, I haven't figured out yet.
    One idea I've had is to start with what is effectively a skill-based system. Classes, then, get both basic skills leveled automatically and some "bonus skill points" which can be used to improve whatever other skills the player wants. That is, the warrior/knight automatically increases their skills with weapons and perhaps mounted combat, but can spend their extra skills at working with animals, or spotting as a good scout, or even a spell or two. The wizard/mage automatically increases skill in spells, arcane knowledge, and a few weapons like the dagger, but can use their skill points for knowledge in general areas, for surviving when out in the wild, or even for learning to use another weapon.

    Just some ideas.
    Thank you to zimmerwald1915 for the Gustave avatar.
    The full set is here.
    Quote Originally Posted by darthbobcat View Post
    There are no bad ideas, just bad execution.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Air Raccoon avatar provided by Ceika
    from the Request an OotS Style Avatar thread



    A big thanks to PrinceAquilaDei for the gryphon avatar!
    original image

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    Default Re: Trying to Create a System: Easy/Complex/Fast/Many Options/Tactical/Social/Challen

    I think some things should be addressed. While I think how you intend to deal with the speed and complexity of the system is fairly clear, there are other objectives that have not been dealt with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    The basic rules shouldn't be hard to understand or complex, allowing a GM to keep 2-3 sheets with rules to reference without needing to have a whole book on hand. However, the system as a whole shouldn't be rules-light. It should require some investment of time and energy, and indeed reward mastery of the system, without making newer, less skilled players feel overshadowed. This ties in with the "lots of options to take, but limited at any one time", which also means players will have to make tactical and strategic decisions in what to take when.
    These two goals don't seem reconcilable. If a player achieves greater system mastery, then his character is going to be better than the other. Period. It's possible that you can split up player responsibilities enough that they don't step on each others toes. However, this tactic only works with systems designed for small groups.

    You might also run into the issue of players without system mastery dragging the rest of the group down.

    One other thing to keep in mind is option paralysis, encountered by D&D 4e players. Players should be able to do what they need without much redundancy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    Making sure there are many options will be lots of work. For this reason, I thought of simply taking inspiration or even direct things from other systems, especially DnD. If possible, I want to create ways to convert DnD material to this new system, but this is only as a goal to look at later. I want to keep it in mind, and thus am telling it from the start, but it's definitely not a main goal as all the others above here are.
    I wouldn't count on it. People like that 3.P has so many character options, but it only has so many because each ability tends to do one specific thing. It creates a large quantity of rules by using inelegant design. This runs contrary to the idea of having a small number of simple, flexible rules.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    Default Re: Trying to Create a System: Easy/Complex/Fast/Many Options/Tactical/Social/Challen

    I feel like sticking to third Edition is largely useless to achieving these goals, at least as far as the correlation would be maintained.

    but that is my perspective and here are my 2 cents asto a few changes which, well not themselves fast in their implementation, would streamline the game a bit:

    Eliminate Strength, Charisma. One is a non-combat property, the other is a non-measurable idea.

    Consolidate the Skill system into related and useful skills. (for instance, Intimidate + Diplomacy + Bluff = Force of Personality)

    Grapple. dear god grapple.

    Damage Types: Simplify them similar to how league groups damage into magic, physical, or true (unmitigatable). Simplify the math related to defense as well.

    Bonuses: cut down to a small number of types or allow free stacking with no types.

    Simplify perceptions and how to block them

    probably a number of other rules could be simplified without breaking them.

    Consolidate Feat Chains
    Last edited by toapat; 2013-11-28 at 09:31 PM.
    My Homebrew: found here.
    When you Absolutely, Positively, Gotta Drop some Huge rocks, Accept NO Substitutes

    PM Me if you would like a table from my homebrew reconstructed.

    Drow avatar @ myself

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Just to Browse's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: Trying to Create a System: Easy/Complex/Fast/Many Options/Tactical/Social/Challen

    Intelligence is also non-combat and no stat is measurable.

    Also, a chunked-down Legend ruleset could be good as a starting point.
    Last edited by Just to Browse; 2013-11-28 at 10:19 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    Default Re: Trying to Create a System: Easy/Complex/Fast/Many Options/Tactical/Social/Challen

    Quote Originally Posted by Just to Browse View Post
    Intelligence is also non-combat and no stat is measurable.

    Also, a chunked-down Legend ruleset could be good as a starting point.
    Str: lifting Weights. However does not actually influence ones real effectiveness in trained combat.

    Dex: Reaction time, the boardgame Operation

    Con: Results of a standard Physical examination for a basic measure

    Int: logic puzzle series, tests.

    Wis: complex pattern recognition and extrapolation

    Charisma: Non-measurable.
    Last edited by toapat; 2013-11-29 at 01:44 AM.
    My Homebrew: found here.
    When you Absolutely, Positively, Gotta Drop some Huge rocks, Accept NO Substitutes

    PM Me if you would like a table from my homebrew reconstructed.

    Drow avatar @ myself

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2013

    Default Re: Trying to Create a System: Easy/Complex/Fast/Many Options/Tactical/Social/Challen

    I just read that you want to keep dice rolls. I was going to suggest getting rid of them entirely. I sadly can't recall who said to limit the actions to one major and one minor but I was thinking the same thing.

    The first thing that came to mind was chain attacks. What if you have everything at a fixed value as in the stats. Perhaps the stats can be rolled at the very beginning.

    I was also going to suggest to get rid of Itirative attacks. Everyone gets 1 attack. Everyone has their initiative set and that is where it stays until some level up changes it.

    As to the point of versatility why not have points that can be allocated to the stats and/or other specialties. In a sense anyone and everyone has the potential to be a wizard or a fighter or a rogue or anything inbetween. As to the level ups you can simply give each character more points.

    In a sense you are able to rewire your character if the situation warrants. Surprise rounds would be easy. Just half the surprised peoples initiative and then continue on.

    Would that work?

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Morph Bark's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Freljord

    Default Re: Trying to Create a System: Easy/Complex/Fast/Many Options/Tactical/Social/Challen

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronologist View Post
    Here's some advice I have for your system, just based on your main objectives.

    1) Fast Play -> One Decision per Round. Limit characters to one major decision (attack, use a power, defend, etc), and perhaps one minor decision (move, do something minor like drop something or open a door). Fewer decisions per round mean faster turnover between turns, hence faster play.
    That sounds like a good idea to implement. The concept of a full-round action should therefore also be thrown out, though some abilities may warrant the use of both the major and the minor action.

    2) Large # of Options -> Broad character creation. Let players select from a wider variety of abilities and options than, say, D&D 3.5 or 4E would give you. This means they can specialize at doing one thing really well while conceivably being decent at 2-3 other things.
    I was thinking of making abilities further up a skill tree cost more, so that you could be "level 20" so to speak in one skill, or "level 14" in two. I'd probably go no further than 10 levels/ranks/dots per skill/ability tree though, else it'll get too diluted and vague on where exactly something should be put.

    3) Simple Basic Rules -> Remove derived abilities. Someone wants to be more accurate? Improve their Accuracy bonus. Someone want to be tougher? Increase their Hit Points. In D&D 3.5, your average Skill is 1d20 + Attribute bonus (derived further from your actual attribute) + Skill ranks (compounded with trained or untrained costs) + Feat bonus + skill synergy bonus + racial bonus + circumstantial bonus or penalty + Etc. Instead, have it be xdx + Skill bonus, or dice equal to your skill if you're using dice pools. Want to know more about something? Improve your skill, not your derived values.
    I'm thankful that most of my players don't go digging around for every little bonus, but it can really get ridiculous in 3.5, and no doubt there are other systems that suffer likewise. Making skills as uncomplicated and easy to see how to improve them is certainly one of the things to strive for.

    4) Intuitive Rules -> Consolidate rolling and resolution mechanics. For example, look at the Dragon Age TRPG. One Defense value, and all rolls are 3d6 + Bonus, which is written plainly on your character sheet. Damage is different, but still just uses xd6 + bonus. The fewer types of dice and the fewer types of rolls you have to make, the better. World of Darkness does pretty well with its xd10, 8+ is a success, more successes = better system.
    The Storyteller system used in World of Darkness and Exalted is very good with this, and one of the things I wish to take along as an inspiration. LOATHE the combat system though (at least in Exalted). I'll certainly have a look at the Dragon Age TRPG to check that rule out and more.

    Quote Originally Posted by erikun View Post
    My suggestion would be to keep things vague enough to cover most of what a player would expect to be capable of, but specific enough that it gives players a clear sense of what they are doing with their action.

    For a quick example, if we are talking about combat, I would probably use four options for attacking something: damage, stun, knock down, and grab. Maybe with some modifications, such as using grab for wrestling items away from opponents. This seems better than the very generic "victory points" you get in general systems, where simply rolling better gets you closer to winning regardless and so it doesn't matter if you stabbed somebody or threw a towel over their head. On the other hand, it isn't the overly complex system that D&D3e combat has turned out to be.

    For combat specifically, you can look at different methods of using the attacks. One could be the D&D "choose attack, roll, compare to defense." Another could be to roll and compare to the defense, then choose the attack to use: any roll equal or greater than defense could deal damage, or one at defense+2 could knock down instead, or one at defense+4 could choose to grab. (I hope that was clear.) Specific example: Dragon Age uses a 3d6 mechanic, with one die being red. Whenever a roll has doubles, the number on the red die determines what kind of extra actions can be performed, such as extra attacks or moving targets around.
    Various basic attack options. Got it. A good idea, and I'll go with the approach of requiring the player to state up front which form of attack they wish to use. That's for the tiny bit of Simulationism, as it's more realistic to have the decision on what to do be up front (seconds before you actually do it), rather than in the split seconds you are doing it.

    That "victory points" scenario is definitely something I wish to avoid. I want to reward using different styles of play, not punish creativity by having all actions yield the same results. It's possible it will require a bit of Rule Zero in practical play, but it is already necessary anyway with most systems.

    Thank you for your ideas. Some have given some real inspiration on how to work out certain details.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grinner View Post
    These two goals don't seem reconcilable. If a player achieves greater system mastery, then his character is going to be better than the other. Period. It's possible that you can split up player responsibilities enough that they don't step on each others toes. However, this tactic only works with systems designed for small groups.

    You might also run into the issue of players without system mastery dragging the rest of the group down.
    I found one of the Extra Credits videos I was thinking of, specifically Balancing For Skill. While the series is aimed at video games, it's certainly also applicable to tabletop games. For instance, 3.5 was designed with some basic ideas in mind, utilizing healbot clerics, sword-and-board fighters and blaster wizards, and many inexperienced players will play that way. Meanwhile, experienced players have discovered way more powerful ways of play, or others have informed them about those, and they use those ways (though likely not the most powerful ways of play, unless they want to aim for a Tippyverse). However, many of them still play characters focused on sword and board, healing or blasting, but they do so much more effectively due to system mastery.

    I simply want to end up with a slightly higher baseline, and a lower ceiling. Instead of, to take 3.5 terminology into it once again, Tier 4-5 as a baseline and Tier 1 as the ceiling, I want Tier 3-4 as a baseline and Tier 2 as a ceiling.

    One other thing to keep in mind is option paralysis, encountered by D&D 4e players. Players should be able to do what they need without much redundancy.
    Noted.

    I wouldn't count on it. People like that 3.P has so many character options, but it only has so many because each ability tends to do one specific thing. It creates a large quantity of rules by using inelegant design. This runs contrary to the idea of having a small number of simple, flexible rules.
    Well, maybe not a direct port, at least for most things, like a lot of maneuvers and spells (especially spells) having overlap with higher and lower leveled ones. Inspiration will definitely taken from them though!

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    Eliminate Strength, Charisma. One is a non-combat property, the other is a non-measurable idea.
    I think I will do away with ability scores/attributes completely. I actually thought that Strength might be even possibly turned into a skill itself.

    Grapple. dear god grapple.
    Is there any system with non-contrived grapple rules?

    Damage Types: Simplify them similar to how league groups damage into magic, physical, or true (unmitigatable). Simplify the math related to defense as well.
    While I love how simple and clear-cut League of Legends has made damage types, I like the complexity of play that a simple bit of variety in damage types can bring. However, I plan on leaving them very vague in how they work, allowing players to figure out themselves how to utilize them and rationalize the way they work.

    Bonuses: cut down to a small number of types or allow free stacking with no types.
    Definitely.

    Simplify perceptions and how to block them
    I like Perception/Awareness as a singular skill, rather than split into Search, Spot and Listen. Possibly Sense Motive could be rolled into it as well.

    Consolidate Feat Chains
    One homebrew bit I like is Races of War, and I allow each of my players to take one of its scaling feats, which effectively eliminate feat chains, in our most recent campaigns. I won't make feats a part of this new system, however, but I want to ensure that abilities scale along with a character's growth, as I believe some feats and certainly maneuvers should do, to ensure that they remain relevant even late in a character's growth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Just to Browse View Post
    Also, a chunked-down Legend ruleset could be good as a starting point.
    Isn't Legend very much like 3.5 and mostly not that different? I haven't kept up with it, but seeing what its original goal was and all...

    Quote Originally Posted by EnemyTroper View Post
    I just read that you want to keep dice rolls. I was going to suggest getting rid of them entirely.
    May I ask why?

    The first thing that came to mind was chain attacks. What if you have everything at a fixed value as in the stats. Perhaps the stats can be rolled at the very beginning.

    I was also going to suggest to get rid of Itirative attacks. Everyone gets 1 attack. Everyone has their initiative set and that is where it stays until some level up changes it.
    Iterative attacks as they are in 3.5 bog the game down, and more important is that they don't even really work, so they've got to go. Abilities granting the power to make extra attacks when using an attack action will certainly be implemented instead, but I'll need to take care to not make them have the possibility of stacking.

    Initiative being set... hmmm, it's something I've considered doing before, to make the start of combat go faster. It kind of reminds me of Pokémon with their set speed. I used to think that was a bit annoying, but I came to see it as pretty handy and simple.

    I think for Initiative I will be asking the opinion of my players first before acting (heh). I can imagine rolling for initiative to feel pretty good and a great pre-phase to start for combat.

    As to the point of versatility why not have points that can be allocated to the stats and/or other specialties. In a sense anyone and everyone has the potential to be a wizard or a fighter or a rogue or anything inbetween. As to the level ups you can simply give each character more points.

    In a sense you are able to rewire your character if the situation warrants. Surprise rounds would be easy. Just half the surprised peoples initiative and then continue on.

    Would that work?
    I don't really understand what you mean. Could you try and explain this a little more?
    YouTube channel:

    The Asobimashow thread |Homebrewer's Signature | Avatar by Strawberries

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    Default Re: Trying to Create a System: Easy/Complex/Fast/Many Options/Tactical/Social/Challen

    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    I like Perception/Awareness as a singular skill, rather than split into Search, Spot and Listen. Possibly Sense Motive could be rolled into it as well.
    you replied to the wrong thing

    by perceptions i mean blind sight, tremorsense, low light vision, blindsense, scent, thoughtsense, and any number of other perceptions in the game.


    the point of League style Offense is that the abstraction is to allow faster math
    Last edited by toapat; 2013-11-29 at 05:07 PM.
    My Homebrew: found here.
    When you Absolutely, Positively, Gotta Drop some Huge rocks, Accept NO Substitutes

    PM Me if you would like a table from my homebrew reconstructed.

    Drow avatar @ myself

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2013

    Default Re: Trying to Create a System: Easy/Complex/Fast/Many Options/Tactical/Social/Challen

    What I mean by points is something similar to tge ozodrins points to focus on certain features, but more in line of the Chameleon's ability to change their focus. The points are for being more specific and more customization. When things look bad for a fighter or a wizard perhaps they reach out and pray to their god. Why shouldn't a god show favor on other classes.

    In a sense you shift points into faith and get a different B boon of abilities based on the god and number of points in it. Perhaps pure magic isnt working nor is your honed fighting skills. split tge points between and gish the beastie.

    did I explain it better this time?

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BlueWizardGirl

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Montreal, Canada

    Default Re: Trying to Create a System: Easy/Complex/Fast/Many Options/Tactical/Social/Challen

    In regards to Fast Play, yeah limiting players to a Major and a Minor action makes things move a lot faster. I use a Major, Minor, and Move system in my own d20 game and it works pretty well - minor actions are seldom used, and people tend to more around the battlefield a lot since it's a grid-based tactical game, so I kept that element in.

    For Skill Tree Costs, I'd advise you take a look at Edge of the Empire, a recent star-wars tabletop RPG where every class (and force users) get talent trees they can spend their points on. Each level costs more than the previous one (basically a 1-2-3-4-5-6 cost progression) and later abilities in the chain can improve the effectiveness, scope, and utility of the power in question. There's also a number of passive abilities thrown in there as well, so it's not all powers, which reduces the number of options players have at any given time without restricting their options in character creation.

    Making skills and other bonuses simple is a goal in all of my games - I cut out attributes entirely whenever possible and boil it all down to individual modifiers and bonuses. It makes the system much easier to learn when you don't have to check a spreadsheet just to figure out how much damage your attack does.

    World of Darkness has a great overall resolution mechanic for non-combat things, but the combat is god-awful. That's why I always like playing Changeling games instead - if you're rolling an attack in Changeling, you're doing it wrong

    I think your Tier goals are pretty good - 2-4 is a good range for most games. I think the objective would be to aim for Tier 3, with a small allowance for system mastery to increase the potency of characters (or, conversely, for unfocused or ineffective builds to still be in the Tier 4 range).

    Ooh, there IS a system with actually decent grapple rules! Well, not quite, but they're good enough. Gamma World (the recent one released by WotC in the vein of 4E) has the Machine Grip power for Androids, which on a hit Immobilizes both the user and the target until the end of the Android's next turn. If the Android moves after attacking the effect ends, so it basically holds them both in place for a turn. Gamma World, by the way, is a GREAT system if you're looking for something fast and fun to play with a decent amount of flexibility and a really solid core system. You could easily remove Attributes, instead giving characters a set of Skill bonuses and Defense bonuses based on their mutation types.

    That's all the advice I have for the moment, but when you start working on your system, give me a shout! I'd love to take a look at it and give you feedback.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Just to Browse's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: Trying to Create a System: Easy/Complex/Fast/Many Options/Tactical/Social/Challen

    Isn't Legend very much like 3.5 and mostly not that different? I haven't kept up with it, but seeing what its original goal was and all...
    It's much like 3.5, but most content and available actions are level-appropriate, and they have a decent scaling system.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    erikun's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Trying to Create a System: Easy/Complex/Fast/Many Options/Tactical/Social/Challen

    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    Is there any system with non-contrived grapple rules?
    Not that I know of, no. Most are either a mess (like D&D3e) or just an odd status change (like D&D4e).

    The biggest problem with grapple (and stunning, for that matter) is that they can be used against the PCs. While it's fun to pin down an opponent and prevent them from doing anything, it's not much fun to be the one pinned down.

    My thought would be to simply indicate what actions reasonably can't be done during a grapple. As in, you can't move freely; you either need to break the grab or force the opponent to move with you. You can't attack someone else without breaking the grab. You can't fire ranged weapons, like bows. You can't cast (most) spells.

    Note that "grappling" could potentially mean anything from being caught in a kraken's tentacle, down to having spiders crawling up your legs. I'd be more inclined to be more liberal with the potential actions, producing the occasional strange result (smashing a spider on your shin with a warhammer) rather than the overly restrictive results that the D&D3e system had.
    Thank you to zimmerwald1915 for the Gustave avatar.
    The full set is here.
    Quote Originally Posted by darthbobcat View Post
    There are no bad ideas, just bad execution.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Air Raccoon avatar provided by Ceika
    from the Request an OotS Style Avatar thread



    A big thanks to PrinceAquilaDei for the gryphon avatar!
    original image

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Morph Bark's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Freljord

    Default Re: Trying to Create a System: Easy/Complex/Fast/Many Options/Tactical/Social/Challen

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    you replied to the wrong thing

    by perceptions i mean blind sight, tremorsense, low light vision, blindsense, scent, thoughtsense, and any number of other perceptions in the game.
    Ahh, I see it now, I replied to the right thing, but I interpreted it incorrectly. I'll certainly keep extra senses to a minimum in the basic game, and make it so any others through abilities are active abilities rather than passive ones, so that they only come into play when a player decides to actually use them and so they or the GM don't have to be continually reminded that that player has them.

    Quote Originally Posted by EnemyTroper View Post
    What I mean by points is something similar to tge ozodrins points to focus on certain features, but more in line of the Chameleon's ability to change their focus. The points are for being more specific and more customization. When things look bad for a fighter or a wizard perhaps they reach out and pray to their god. Why shouldn't a god show favor on other classes.

    In a sense you shift points into faith and get a different B boon of abilities based on the god and number of points in it. Perhaps pure magic isnt working nor is your honed fighting skills. split tge points between and gish the beastie.

    did I explain it better this time?
    Yes, you did. It's much clearer now.

    The fluff reasons you give an idea for for the changing of options/abilities is a good one. I'll certainly keep that in as a possibility, but I probably won't tie it in too heavily. I mostly want to keep this setting-neutral, or at least capable of being used with more than one setting in mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronologist View Post
    For Skill Tree Costs, I'd advise you take a look at Edge of the Empire, a recent star-wars tabletop RPG where every class (and force users) get talent trees they can spend their points on. Each level costs more than the previous one (basically a 1-2-3-4-5-6 cost progression) and later abilities in the chain can improve the effectiveness, scope, and utility of the power in question. There's also a number of passive abilities thrown in there as well, so it's not all powers, which reduces the number of options players have at any given time without restricting their options in character creation.
    I didn't know there was another SW TRPG out there. Sounds like they do their talent trees a bit differently from SAGA. I'll give it a look.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronologist View Post
    Ooh, there IS a system with actually decent grapple rules! Well, not quite, but they're good enough. Gamma World (the recent one released by WotC in the vein of 4E) has the Machine Grip power for Androids, which on a hit Immobilizes both the user and the target until the end of the Android's next turn. If the Android moves after attacking the effect ends, so it basically holds them both in place for a turn. Gamma World, by the way, is a GREAT system if you're looking for something fast and fun to play with a decent amount of flexibility and a really solid core system. You could easily remove Attributes, instead giving characters a set of Skill bonuses and Defense bonuses based on their mutation types.
    Quote Originally Posted by erikun View Post
    Not that I know of, no. Most are either a mess (like D&D3e) or just an odd status change (like D&D4e).

    The biggest problem with grapple (and stunning, for that matter) is that they can be used against the PCs. While it's fun to pin down an opponent and prevent them from doing anything, it's not much fun to be the one pinned down.

    My thought would be to simply indicate what actions reasonably can't be done during a grapple. As in, you can't move freely; you either need to break the grab or force the opponent to move with you. You can't attack someone else without breaking the grab. You can't fire ranged weapons, like bows. You can't cast (most) spells.

    Note that "grappling" could potentially mean anything from being caught in a kraken's tentacle, down to having spiders crawling up your legs. I'd be more inclined to be more liberal with the potential actions, producing the occasional strange result (smashing a spider on your shin with a warhammer) rather than the overly restrictive results that the D&D3e system had.
    I'll look into Gamma World for their grappling rules then. I do agree that being pinned or stunned is no fun, but I don't want to take away the threat of it and the option to use it for GMs. Instead, for grappling, I want to make the rules simple and limit some actions (moving especially), while still allowing plenty of ways to deal with it as a PC.

    I don't want too big of a difference between players' options and those of their opponents in the game, which is most of the time the case with Exalted, for instance. At least in the basics, I want everything to be the same for everyone. Magic and combat styles can make for the differences.


    I'll be reading through some of the suggested tabletop RPGs in the coming weeks and analyzing what I like in them and perhaps want to use for this project. Dragon Age, Edge of the Empire, Gamma World, World of Darkness, Legend of the Five Rings and FATE. Possibly also 7th Sea, Call of Cthulhu and Warhammer.
    Last edited by Morph Bark; 2013-12-01 at 06:42 AM.
    YouTube channel:

    The Asobimashow thread |Homebrewer's Signature | Avatar by Strawberries

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Morph Bark's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Freljord

    Default Re: Trying to Create a System: Easy/Complex/Fast/Many Options/Tactical/Social/Challen

    Dragon Age
    So I've read through the Game Master's Guide and Player's Guide for the Dragon Age TRPG. It was very reminiscent of the d20 system used in DnD, with the d20 being substituted for 3d6--and thus making more of a bell curve in results, making higher DCs (TNs) harder to achieve and lower ones mostly trivial. The abilities are functionally exactly like DnD's ability scores, up to their range (-2 to 4 covers the same range as ability scores of 6 to 19).

    I think I'll need to re-read the bit about Hazards in the GMG. It sounded like a decent way to handle them, but also very narrow in their effects as described. I just didn't quite get them upon reading through.

    I like the mechanic of the Dragon Die that decides how well you've succeeded with something. It's a nice extra, without making that the only role of that Die. It does seem to me like you could just as well decide the rate of success by how much higher than the DC (TN) you rolled, and it also adds a bit of extra complexity to the game, so while it's a nice feel for a feature, it's a bit unnecessary.

    I very much approve of the one-page reference sheet for actions and stunts.

    The abilities are well-defined and seperated from one another. In DnD there's always a bit of confusion over "is this Intelligence or Wisdom?", but in Dragon Age, the two are spread across Cunning, Willpower and Perception. Also nice that Magic is it's own ability here, rather than magic depending on different ones. I probably won't be doing it that way, but it's a very simple and straightforward way to implement it and show the magical power of a character.

    I like the concept of Focus. They remind me of a similar mechanic in Exalted whereby you could put points into specializations that are sub-sets of certain skills (like Occult or Thrown in Exalted 2.0), but executed in simpler manner.

    Combat is well-defined and relatively simple. Easy to understand, to be sure. However, it seems that it's incredibly easy to become practically immune to damage by simply wearing armor that is good enough.

    The Stunts are a very good way to add more flair to combat and introduce combat maneuvers, and is the only instance in which I think the Dragon Die truly shines with glorious purpose.


    Set 2 has some interesting stuff as well, particularly how it handles the making of poisons and traps. The latter is especially better than in DnD. Set 2 also has Specializations, which appear to be highly similar to 3.5's Prestige classes, but always only 5-level ones. I like that Set 2 also introduces grenades and several stunts that deal with them and poisons. The Role-Playing Stunts are also fun, unique, and seem like they could be pretty hilarious in play. The Exploration Stunts are a bit confusing, as it's not quite clear to me how they should be used (some are, but not all).


    Set 3 mostly built further on the things introduced in Set 2, with the addition of special materials, some magic items, and titles. I like how they went further on some (normally) immaterial rewards and gave them a little substance. The special materials aren't that special, though, as they're just a different way of making weapons and armor scale up higher the way magic weapons and armor do in DnD.


    Things I may take from this:
    The concept of Focus.
    The Stunt system.
    The Backgrounds.

    The Stunt system is exceptionally great, and makes for some real tense and cinematic combat moments. Focus is a good way of keeping skills (or subsets of skills) simple. I certainly won't port Focus directly as-is, but I'll tweak it to fit. The Stunt system could easily be directly ported, I don't think it'd clash too much with anything else, and it keeps things simple and yet allows for great moments.

    The Backgrounds are another thing to learn from. Dragon Age doesn't distinguish as much between race and culture, or rather seems to focus more on the latter. For 3.5 I've once created a human race that had its abilities split up between ancestry-related and culture-related. I think I will stick to something like that for this system as a whole.
    Last edited by Morph Bark; 2013-12-01 at 06:32 PM.
    YouTube channel:

    The Asobimashow thread |Homebrewer's Signature | Avatar by Strawberries

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Just to Browse's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: Trying to Create a System: Easy/Complex/Fast/Many Options/Tactical/Social/Challen

    Those are good things to take from Dragon Age, but remember that stunts are a lot of things to keep track of.

    Dragon Age also has a problem of wizards winning everything.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Morph Bark's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Freljord

    Default Re: Trying to Create a System: Easy/Complex/Fast/Many Options/Tactical/Social/Challen

    I edited in some stuff to do with Sets 2 and 3. With how Set 2 added quite some, I think Stunts could easily become too much, but some can be removed without missing too much, and the ones introduced in Set 1 are pretty simple and shouldn't provide a big problem.

    Wizards winning everything I can easily believe. Not only with how armor reduces damage except for penetrating damage, which a lot of spells seem to do, but also because of the simple fact that it's the only class that gets something extraordinary. And I don't mean in the DnD (Ex) sense, as Rogues and Warriors do get their things, but those two classes are very much alike in many ways, whereas the Wizard is largely an incomparable factor. It's something that nearly always pops up in systems where there is only one class of magic-user. Incomparables are hard to balance, but it's worth taking the time to do that. It's good at least that Green Ronin got the playerbase involved in testing Sets 2 and 3, especially since if their 3rd-party DnD publications are any indication, they have a real shoddy sense of balance.
    YouTube channel:

    The Asobimashow thread |Homebrewer's Signature | Avatar by Strawberries

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Default Re: Trying to Create a System: Easy/Complex/Fast/Many Options/Tactical/Social/Challen

    If you exclude tactical, maybe, it sounds like World of Darkness could serve you well, if you go with pure mortals or lesser templates, as that's a good power level where everyone can contribute, while still having something of an easy, quick time to create a character, although like many systems Monte Cook has contributed to, it does have some options that are obviously more powerful than others and can reward specialization a bit much.

    Otherwise, Shadowrun can be pretty good, even if you're not doing a cyberpunk campaign, although it definitely functions to it's full potential that way. It seems pretty sound from what I've seen, and from friends who have played it, it's not hard to create a new character(whether from tweaking one of the existing pre-made characters or one from scratch), and can be quite tactical and fun.

    Both systems could give some stuff to draw upon or even be used with tweaks in your game. Hope this helps.
    Newest Work: Pyromancer - My submission for Base Class Contest X
    Vote here.

    Awesome Quotes:

    Quote Originally Posted by chess435 View Post
    May Chuck Norris smile upon you.


    Finall got an Extended Homebrew Signature, courtesy of Cipherthe3vil

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Morph Bark's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Freljord

    Default Re: Trying to Create a System: Easy/Complex/Fast/Many Options/Tactical/Social/Challen

    The thing is, there's an IF in there. IF you go with mortals, and I'd say that standard people are boring to roleplay in a tabletop game. I will be taking a look at World of Darkness, but I take issue with its imbalances and the slow combat that White Wolf holds true to.

    I'll take a look at Shadowrun, too, thanks for the recommendation.

    I've edited the OP to include a list of tabletop RPG systems that I will look into to analyze and possibly crib stuff from, and I've also marked the ones that have been recommended to me in this thread as ones to look into more than the others. I've also changed the title of this thread to better reflect its current purpose, though it's only a small step on the way to its eventual goal.
    YouTube channel:

    The Asobimashow thread |Homebrewer's Signature | Avatar by Strawberries

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Djinn_in_Tonic's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Stuck in a bottle.
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Analyzing Tabletop RPGs: To Create a System Easy/Deep/Broad/Fast/Tactical/Social

    Add Old School Hack to your system list. It's a surprisingly robust and innovative D&D-inspired hack-n-slash engine designed to emulate old school dungeon crawls while using modern, rules-light mechanics. Definitely worth a look for the zone system and combat wheel (I forget the actual name of what I've called the combat wheel, but you'll know it as soon as you see it) alone.

    Ingredients

    2oz Djinn
    5oz Water
    1 Lime Wedge


    Instructions

    Pour Djinn and tonic water into a glass filled with ice cubes. Stir well. Garnish with lime wedge. Serve.

  27. - Top - End - #27

    Default Re: Analyzing Tabletop RPGs: To Create a System Easy/Deep/Broad/Fast/Tactical/Social

    You should check out F.A.T.A.L. to see ways not to make an rpg so you don't make the same mistakes.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Morph Bark's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Freljord

    Default Re: Analyzing Tabletop RPGs: To Create a System Easy/Deep/Broad/Fast/Tactical/Social

    Old School Hack [link]

    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn_in_Tonic View Post
    Add Old School Hack to your system list. It's a surprisingly robust and innovative D&D-inspired hack-n-slash engine designed to emulate old school dungeon crawls while using modern, rules-light mechanics. Definitely worth a look for the zone system and combat wheel (I forget the actual name of what I've called the combat wheel, but you'll know it as soon as you see it) alone.
    I read through it yesterday within an hour's time at the car garage while waiting for the winter tires to be fixed, so it's certainly quick to read through and pick up.

    The entire system is quite basic and simple, which is one way to make a game easy to start with. The classes are very contained and still retain the natures of the old DnD stuff, such as races being classes. The one big notable thing I'd like to get into though is Awesome Points.

    A number of Awesome Points, represented by something physical, are put into a bowl (The Bowl) in the center of the table at the start of a session, typically 2.5 times the number of players. Every time someone does something awesome, anyone may give them one of the Awesome Points from The Bowl. Anyone but the player doing the awesome thing, of course. This can go on until The Bowl is empty, at which point nobody can grab Awesome Points from it to give to someone else. However, the DM has access to an unlimited amount of Awesome Points in his so-called "Stack", and he can add one or more Awesome Points to The Bowl at any time, though he is advised to do this sparingly, like only during good developments in the game.

    Awesome Points can be spent to do a number of things, but it's mostly just increasing the result of rolls or damage on a successful attack. The party levels up if everyone has spent 12 Awesome Points since their last level-up. This makes Awesome Points probably the defining mechanic of Old School Hack.


    Things I may take from this:
    Well, it's probably pretty obvious what I could take from this, namely the Awesome Points! Perhaps they could well be combined with the Stunt system from Dragon Age to include it that way. It sounds like a pretty elegant way to add the Stunts in.


    I was talking to a friend a while ago about ways to keep players focused on the game even when it's not their turn, and I think Awesome Points might help in that. Other ideas that came up through the conversation was including a lot of benefits from teamwork, and including a competitive, PvP-like mechanic. Not directly PvP, as in PCs fighting each other, but rather them being in competition with one another for certain benefits or achieving their goals, even as they work together. The idea of a kind of "cooperative PvP" of this sort sounds really appealing, though to include PvP in such a manner I'll need to give it great thought on how to work it in.


    Quote Originally Posted by invinible View Post
    You should check out F.A.T.A.L. to see ways not to make an rpg so you don't make the same mistakes.
    Good idea! And heck, for all I know I might find something in there that is good to take along.
    Last edited by Morph Bark; 2013-12-03 at 09:48 AM.
    YouTube channel:

    The Asobimashow thread |Homebrewer's Signature | Avatar by Strawberries

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BlueWizardGirl

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Montreal, Canada

    Default Re: Analyzing Tabletop RPGs: To Create a System Easy/Deep/Broad/Fast/Tactical/Social

    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    Old School Hack [link]



    I read through it yesterday within an hour's time at the car garage while waiting for the winter tires to be fixed, so it's certainly quick to read through and pick up.

    The entire system is quite basic and simple, which is one way to make a game easy to start with. The classes are very contained and still retain the natures of the old DnD stuff, such as races being classes. The one big notable thing I'd like to get into though is Awesome Points.

    A number of Awesome Points, represented by something physical, are put into a bowl (The Bowl) in the center of the table at the start of a session, typically 2.5 times the number of players. Every time someone does something awesome, anyone may give them one of the Awesome Points from The Bowl. Anyone but the player doing the awesome thing, of course. This can go on until The Bowl is empty, at which point nobody can grab Awesome Points from it to give to someone else. However, the DM has access to an unlimited amount of Awesome Points in his so-called "Stack", and he can add one or more Awesome Points to The Bowl at any time, though he is advised to do this sparingly, like only during good developments in the game.

    Awesome Points can be spent to do a number of things, but it's mostly just increasing the result of rolls or damage on a successful attack. The party levels up if everyone has spent 12 Awesome Points since their last level-up. This makes Awesome Points probably the defining mechanic of Old School Hack.


    Things I may take from this:
    Well, it's probably pretty obvious what I could take from this, namely the Awesome Points! Perhaps they could well be combined with the Stunt system from Dragon Age to include it that way. It sounds like a pretty elegant way to add the Stunts in.


    I was talking to a friend a while ago about ways to keep players focused on the game even when it's not their turn, and I think Awesome Points might help in that. Other ideas that came up through the conversation was including a lot of benefits from teamwork, and including a competitive, PvP-like mechanic. Not directly PvP, as in PCs fighting each other, but rather them being in competition with one another for certain benefits or achieving their goals, even as they work together. The idea of a kind of "cooperative PvP" of this sort sounds really appealing, though to include PvP in such a manner I'll need to give it great thought on how to work it in.




    Good idea! And heck, for all I know I might find something in there that is good to take along.
    Yeah, nothing good can come from FATAL. Trust me. That book is a cesspool of misogyny, racism, and rape. The system itself is just AD&D but made even more complicated (aka Fantasy Heartbreaker). There's nothing in there that worth taking away, not even as a cautionary tale.

    (awkward cough)

    Moving on to Old School Hack, I also read through it just recently (just for this thread, actually). Awesome points are a great experience system in my opinion; other similar systems make players choose between hoarding their points or using them for flashy benefits. Awesome points instead only count as Xp once they're spent, so you're still rewarded in a way for holding on to them, but you're also dissuaded from just hoarding them until a boss shows up (like some other point-based resources I know of).

    If you like that method of character advancement, check out Numenera by Monte Cook. XP is handed out when the DM intrudes in your game, and every 4 XP gives you one of four benefits. Once you have all four you've leveled up, and you get your general class benefits for leveling up. It's kind of like E6 in terms of character power and scope; my only issue with the game is that the task resolution mechanics are pretty terrible. You might enjoy it though, since it's pretty simple.

    By the way, I'm glad you took a look at the Dragon Age TRPG; I was kind of cautious when I first heard about it, mainly because they split the books up into three sets which I felt was unnecessary. On further reflection I see that they did it to remove unnecessary complexity from the game (though they could have just put all 6 books into one box, honestly).

    If Dragon Age has flaws, they'd be these ones:

    1) The Stunt system is too random, and players can't access it at will. What if I want to just shove a Hurlock into a ditch? Since it's a Stunt, I'd have to roll an attack and pray for doubles and a high enough Dragon Die. On 3d6, doubles/triples show up 4/9 of the time, but since you also have to actually hit, any roll less than about an 8 is going to be a miss, so it probably comes out to more like a 25% chance. There needs to be a mechanic in place to substitute a damaging attack for a tactical maneuver.

    2) Damage doesn't scale as quickly as hit points. You're going to have characters still dealing 2d6+4 damage when they have 25 or 75 total health, which means that in order to keep combat fast you have to balance enemies differently. This feels like the opposite of JRPGs where protagonists have a small amount of HP but deal tons of damage, and it makes the system unwieldy at higher levels.

    3) Mages win, not just because their options are better than warriors and rogues, but because they have more options than warriors and rogues When everyone can access Stunts, being good at Stunts is a vertical improvement, not a horizontal improvement. When a mage learns a new spell, they improve both vertically AND horizontally. Plus, mages can get Stunts just like the other classes, which are just as useful for them as they are for anyone else. In short, mages win.

    Otherwise I think it's a great game with a fast resolution mechanic and some of the fastest character creation I've seen in a while.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Morph Bark's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Freljord

    Default Re: Analyzing Tabletop RPGs: To Create a System Easy/Deep/Broad/Fast/Tactical/Social

    I discovered that there is apparently a 3rd edition of Exalted out as of this year. From the design goals I read here, it sounds very promising. I prolly should read through those books rather than 2nd Edition.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronologist View Post
    Moving on to Old School Hack, I also read through it just recently (just for this thread, actually). Awesome points are a great experience system in my opinion; other similar systems make players choose between hoarding their points or using them for flashy benefits. Awesome points instead only count as Xp once they're spent, so you're still rewarded in a way for holding on to them, but you're also dissuaded from just hoarding them until a boss shows up (like some other point-based resources I know of).

    If you like that method of character advancement, check out Numenera by Monte Cook. XP is handed out when the DM intrudes in your game, and every 4 XP gives you one of four benefits. Once you have all four you've leveled up, and you get your general class benefits for leveling up. It's kind of like E6 in terms of character power and scope; my only issue with the game is that the task resolution mechanics are pretty terrible. You might enjoy it though, since it's pretty simple.
    That part of Awesome Points was what made them really stand out, yeah. It makes their use have more than one layer, so they are a simple mechanic, but with a bit of complexity behind it, a mechanic with depth.

    I didn't know there was also a tabletop RPG named Numenera, so I'll certainly check it out. Monte Cook's created a ton of stuff, plus it'll be interesting to compare it to the video game once it's out.

    If Dragon Age has flaws, they'd be these ones:

    1) The Stunt system is too random, and players can't access it at will. What if I want to just shove a Hurlock into a ditch? Since it's a Stunt, I'd have to roll an attack and pray for doubles and a high enough Dragon Die. On 3d6, doubles/triples show up 4/9 of the time, but since you also have to actually hit, any roll less than about an 8 is going to be a miss, so it probably comes out to more like a 25% chance. There needs to be a mechanic in place to substitute a damaging attack for a tactical maneuver.
    I certainly would want the Stunts to be more reliable in use. The only problem I had with them was that you couldn't just use them instead of attacking and dealing damage. That's not too big of a problem though. I'm currently thinking of using the Awesome Points to provide dice that players can rolls alongside attacks to perform Stunts.

    2) Damage doesn't scale as quickly as hit points. You're going to have characters still dealing 2d6+4 damage when they have 25 or 75 total health, which means that in order to keep combat fast you have to balance enemies differently. This feels like the opposite of JRPGs where protagonists have a small amount of HP but deal tons of damage, and it makes the system unwieldy at higher levels.
    I want to keep damage and health scale at the same rate, of course. The only thing I'm net yet sure of is if I want to go epic (quick/high scaling) or gritty (slow/low scaling) in the mechanics for it. I'm a little torn, as my standard campaign setting can best be described as "gritty epic" (even if the party itself often contrasts that, which provides a nice sort of yin-yang balance).
    YouTube channel:

    The Asobimashow thread |Homebrewer's Signature | Avatar by Strawberries

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •