New OOTS products from CafePress
New OOTS t-shirts, ornaments, mugs, bags, and more
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 31 to 55 of 55
  1. - Top - End - #31
    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
    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.
    I definitely like the idea of 'XP' having a second use as opposed to just leveling up. In my games I like to use them as a kind of 'fateshifting' mechanic where characters can buy better odds on a particular roll of the dice in exchange for a few points (they still get to keep the XP towards advancement of course). You could implement a mechanic where they fade at the end of the session if they're not used (which would definitely keep players from hoarding them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    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.
    Some of the Stunts you could probably use in place of an attack action (like pushing someone), but what about the ones that let you target multiple enemies at once with an attack? Those would have to stay purely stunts, probably. Plus, you could totally have Awesome Points (or whatever you use) let you use a Stunt - make just roll the Dragon Die and consider what comes up as the points you get for the Stunt?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    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).
    It definitely depends on how you want to situate your game. Too much health compared to enemy damage will make players think they're invulnerable, while too much damage can prevent them from ever leveling up in the first place. Overall I'd recommend something along the lines of 3rd level D&D characters for your weakest player characters - about 15-25 health and attacks dealing somewhere around 4-10 damage each.

    Regardless of 'feel', you should aim for damage to increase at about the same rate at health, erring on the side of damage<health. Don't overdo it though - as good as Dragon Age is, levels 2 though 10 you get 1d6+Con hit points per level, averaging about +40 HP by level 10. Characters start with between 20 and 30 HP, and weapon damage doesn't scale up very quickly during those levels.

    In my game characters start out about 40 Health and their easily re-usable attacks deal anywhere between 2 and 20, averaging 11 or so. However, characters generally also have armor of some sort, further reducing the damage by about 4-6 points, depending on the character and the type of damage being dealt. However, more powerful attacks tend to average around 16 and 27 damage, respectively, so Armor is less effective against massive strikes. The most durable character in the group, the dedicated 'tank', has 62 Health and 6-8 Armor of every type, but she's also level 6.

  2. - Top - End - #32
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Jan 2009

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

    About Stunts and Awesome points (keep in mind the only details that I know about them is what you've said in this thread):

    If I get this, Stunts are dependent on the result of the dragon die? If yes, then maybe spend Awesome points to modify the die. Say, if the dragon die rolled a 1 and you wanted 3 for a particular stunt, spend a few Awesome points to treat the result as 3. Finding out how much of a change an Awesome point can cause, depends on the size of the dragon die and the average amount of points a character can have. Maybe give fighter-oid characters temporary Awesome points each combat to use for stunts. Hell, do this for all non-arcane characters. Give them free Awesome points to alter their performance. Magic users can use their magic to mess with the dragon die, so they don't get freebies. This helps differentiate the extraordinaries from the supernatural too.

  3. - Top - End - #33
    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 D-naras View Post
    About Stunts and Awesome points (keep in mind the only details that I know about them is what you've said in this thread):

    If I get this, Stunts are dependent on the result of the dragon die? If yes, then maybe spend Awesome points to modify the die. Say, if the dragon die rolled a 1 and you wanted 3 for a particular stunt, spend a few Awesome points to treat the result as 3. Finding out how much of a change an Awesome point can cause, depends on the size of the dragon die and the average amount of points a character can have. Maybe give fighter-oid characters temporary Awesome points each combat to use for stunts. Hell, do this for all non-arcane characters. Give them free Awesome points to alter their performance. Magic users can use their magic to mess with the dragon die, so they don't get freebies. This helps differentiate the extraordinaries from the supernatural too.
    The problem is you roll the dragon die with your other dice when you make an attack roll, but what if you're not trying to attack your target with a weapon? What if you just want to kick them off a ledge, or grapple them?

    One solution might be "You can spend Awesome points equal to the Stunt value of a Stunt to immediately attempt to use that Stunt on a valid enemy, rolling dice normally. If you roll doubles, the Stunt automatically hits and you get half your spent Awesome Points back". With Awesome points being a limited resource, this should make them usable and exciting without letting players do it whenever they want. Also, characters who specialize in a Stunt get a cost reduction in Dragon Age, making it easier for them to pull this off.

  4. - Top - End - #34
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Jan 2009

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronologist View Post
    ...what if you're not trying to attack your target with a weapon? What if you just want to kick them off a ledge, or grapple them?

    That doesn't sound like a stunt to me. Now hitting with a weapon and pushing or grappling in addition to the weapon damage might be stunt-worthy. Pushing and wrestling should be normal attack options, not special events.

    How about this (it helps with the many interchangeable choices design goal.)? Say that the stunt die is a d6. Each character can choose a number of stunts from 2 to 6. Then match every stunt with a result of the stunt die. If you want to be performing a particular stunt more often, you match it with more sides of the die. Players should be able to switch their chosen stunts fast, similar to a 3.5 Crusader's readied maneuvers.

    Stunting can either be activated by default, or cost Awesome points or whenever you roll doubles. You may also spend Awesome points to shift the stunt die by 1 per point, either higher or lower. So if the stunt you wanted was performed on a 2 and lower and your stunt die results in 3, you spend 1 point to shift it to 2.

    You can also change the size of the stunt die. Perhaps fighteroids have a d12 stunt die for combat. Rogueoids have a d6 for combat but a d10 for movement stunts. Mages have a d4 for magic stunts. Wild mages have a d12 and must have 12 stunts at all times. You get the idea.

  5. - Top - End - #35
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2008

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

    Well, one thing I note is that you don't need one or the other. You could have attacks that only deal damage, that only knock opponents over, etc. alongside Stunts that do the same thing. That is, if you want to just damage an opponent, you could roll for damage and knock them down if you roll a Stunt. If you want to kick an opponent off a ledge, you could roll to knock them off the ledge and deal some damage if you roll a Stunt.

    Some attacks would probably not make sense with Stunts, and should be restricted to just attacks (probably grapple). Some attacks would probably be better as just Stunts and not be attacks that can be freely pulled off (probably stunning).

    Also, I'd like to note that "roll doubles and get value X on stunt die" and "roll doubles and get value X on the doubles" is functionally identical, so you wouldn't need a specific stunt die in the system to make the mechanic work.
    Quote Originally Posted by darthbobcat View Post
    There are no bad ideas, just bad execution.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Thank you to zimmerwald1915 for the Gustave avatar.
    The full set is here.



    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

  6. - Top - End - #36
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2012

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronologist View Post
    I definitely like the idea of 'XP' having a second use as opposed to just leveling up. In my games I like to use them as a kind of 'fateshifting' mechanic where characters can buy better odds on a particular roll of the dice in exchange for a few points (they still get to keep the XP towards advancement of course). You could implement a mechanic where they fade at the end of the session if they're not used (which would definitely keep players from hoarding them.
    I like the way WaRP does it. Each character has experience dice, and their players can add each experience die to their rolls once per session. These dice can also be spent on improving character traits. It's quite similar to what you're describing, but it's just so damn elegant.

    Quote Originally Posted by erikun View Post
    Well, one thing I note is that you don't need one or the other. You could have attacks that only deal damage, that only knock opponents over, etc. alongside Stunts that do the same thing. That is, if you want to just damage an opponent, you could roll for damage and knock them down if you roll a Stunt. If you want to kick an opponent off a ledge, you could roll to knock them off the ledge and deal some damage if you roll a Stunt.

    Some attacks would probably not make sense with Stunts, and should be restricted to just attacks (probably grapple). Some attacks would probably be better as just Stunts and not be attacks that can be freely pulled off (probably stunning).
    I had a thought. Instead of trying to tackle this weird demarcation puzzle (which I suspect will give unsatisfactory results anyway), let's just avoid it altogether.

    What about a gambling mechanic of some kind? Rather than build some needlessly complex simulation of what might happen given various actors of given strengths, perhaps we should try to abstract that all away. Perhaps we should take the opposite approach.

    Instead of figuring out what the outcomes of an uncertain number of possible actions might be (each of which can be interpreted in a number of ways), I think we should consider what might be required to achieve a certain result. By determining how much risk certain results entail, you can give the player some odds on them.

    In short, instead of selecting an action and watching the consequences unfold, the players should select a result and figure out what they're willing to risk to make it happen.

  7. - Top - End - #37
    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

    Quote Originally Posted by D-naras View Post
    About Stunts and Awesome points (keep in mind the only details that I know about them is what you've said in this thread)
    Regardless of any knowledge you might have, I welcome you to the discussion! I like seeing how you handled the ideas you gave even with the very limited knowledge of the source material.

    Quote Originally Posted by D-naras View Post
    That doesn't sound like a stunt to me. Now hitting with a weapon and pushing or grappling in addition to the weapon damage might be stunt-worthy. Pushing and wrestling should be normal attack options, not special events.

    How about this (it helps with the many interchangeable choices design goal.)? Say that the stunt die is a d6. Each character can choose a number of stunts from 2 to 6. Then match every stunt with a result of the stunt die. If you want to be performing a particular stunt more often, you match it with more sides of the die. Players should be able to switch their chosen stunts fast, similar to a 3.5 Crusader's readied maneuvers.
    Hmmm, I think for some things you are on a good train of thought here. I don't want to make mundane combat maneuvers like disarming, tripping and pushing be too random, but the idea of assigning an amount of Stunts to specific results of the die might really work for offensive kinds of magic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grinner View Post
    I had a thought. Instead of trying to tackle this weird demarcation puzzle (which I suspect will give unsatisfactory results anyway), let's just avoid it altogether.

    What about a gambling mechanic of some kind? Rather than build some needlessly complex simulation of what might happen given various actors of given strengths, perhaps we should try to abstract that all away. Perhaps we should take the opposite approach.

    Instead of figuring out what the outcomes of an uncertain number of possible actions might be (each of which can be interpreted in a number of ways), I think we should consider what might be required to achieve a certain result. By determining how much risk certain results entail, you can give the player some odds on them.

    In short, instead of selecting an action and watching the consequences unfold, the players should select a result and figure out what they're willing to risk to make it happen.
    That kind of sounds like a mechanic I've heard of from one of the Cthulhu games, whereby the player rolls percentile dice and selects a number themselves, which dictates the chance of success and at the same time also dictates the chance of them going insane. It's not the exact same, of course, but from what you're saying it sounds kind of similar.

    From what you said at the end there though, it sounds like that would be, to use the DnD equivalent, rolling for your results first, and then thinking of ways to bring down the DC of the check, without knowing what the DC is. I'm a little confused as to your exact meaning in intentions for mechanics for that.
    Homebrewer's Signature | Avatar by Strawberries

  8. - Top - End - #38
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2012

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    That kind of sounds like a mechanic I've heard of from one of the Cthulhu games, whereby the player rolls percentile dice and selects a number themselves, which dictates the chance of success and at the same time also dictates the chance of them going insane. It's not the exact same, of course, but from what you're saying it sounds kind of similar.

    From what you said at the end there though, it sounds like that would be, to use the DnD equivalent, rolling for your results first, and then thinking of ways to bring down the DC of the check, without knowing what the DC is. I'm a little confused as to your exact meaning in intentions for mechanics for that.
    Honestly, I'm a little fuzzy on the details myself. Maybe that's why I'm having trouble putting it into words...

    Basically, it's the reverse of an attack in D&D. In D&D, a player might say "I move twenty feet forward and attack the goblin". Assuming he makes his attack roll, he would then roll for damage and add modifiers.

    With this mechanic, the player would say something like "I want to kill the goblin"* and "I'm willing to risk severe bodily harm to do so", representing an extremely aggressive move. Taking into account the player character's raw ability compared to the goblin's own martial prowess, the player's "ante", and any circumstances that could work for or against the character (like the presence of additional enemies in close proximity), you could work up some odds of success. From there, it acts pretty much like that CoC mechanic you've described.

    Again, I'm not clear on all of the details, like the calculation of the odds of suffering consequences vs being successful, but I think the basic idea is there. It also seems a bit math intensive at the moment, but I'm thinking of ways to simplify or streamline it.

    *Or maybe something like "I want to cripple the goblin." I don't know. The idea seems fluid enough; you just select what effects you want to inflict and work backwards from there.

  9. - Top - End - #39
    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

    Quote Originally Posted by Grinner View Post
    Honestly, I'm a little fuzzy on the details myself. Maybe that's why I'm having trouble putting it into words...

    Basically, it's the reverse of an attack in D&D. In D&D, a player might say "I move twenty feet forward and attack the goblin". Assuming he makes his attack roll, he would then roll for damage and add modifiers.

    With this mechanic, the player would say something like "I want to kill the goblin"* and "I'm willing to risk severe bodily harm to do so", representing an extremely aggressive move. Taking into account the player character's raw ability compared to the goblin's own martial prowess, the player's "ante", and any circumstances that could work for or against the character (like the presence of additional enemies in close proximity), you could work up some odds of success. From there, it acts pretty much like that CoC mechanic you've described.

    Again, I'm not clear on all of the details, like the calculation of the odds of suffering consequences vs being successful, but I think the basic idea is there. It also seems a bit math intensive at the moment, but I'm thinking of ways to simplify or streamline it.
    That actually sounds exactly like Rich Burlew's Diplomacy rules, except the Relationship doesn't matter and the Risk vs Reward Judgement is on part of the PC rather than the target. I already figured that to keep things simple I should make attacks and skills function the same way (actually so far it seems only DnD does them differently), so that's something that could be done. It probably is too complicated to GM with every single attack, but perfect for a combat style that exposes the combatant to greater risk to get greater rewards.
    Homebrewer's Signature | Avatar by Strawberries

  10. - Top - End - #40
    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

    Call of Cthulhu 6th Edition
    I like how the book opens and contains with a lot of fluff text and explanations, help and guidelines aimed at the playstyle best used for this particular RPG. Some of it is a bit superfluous, but there’s some things in the first few chapters that are very helpful for those who haven’t played this kind of RPG before. It sounds like players coming right out of DnD would have trouble with it, due to the opposite line of thinking involved.

    I find it a bit odd that the game has Size as a stat, especially since for all instances of its use it is combined with other stats, so it seems rather unnecessary to have. Intelligence appears to be more like DnD’s Wisdom, whilst Education is more like DnD’s Intelligence, and I actually really like the explanations for them here. “Edu measures information, not necessarily intelligent use of that information.” No Charisma stat, that’s left largely up to player skill, with the mechanics rolled entirely into a stat called Power that is used for magic (and from which you derive their Sanity stat, too). There’s also Appearance, for first impressions and can be used in combination with some skills on characters you’ve just met.

    It’s a bit odd and seems unnecessary that several stats are determined differently than others (Int, Size and Edu), but I guess this is meant to show that characters in this game are supposed to be intelligent and educated, or at least moreso than in DnD or other RPGs. I like the backgrounds and occupations being included the way they are, and determining the minimum age of investigators (the term used for PCs). I’m rather amused that the lowest age you can start with is 12 (minimum age is your Edu stat plus 6, and minimum Edu is 6).

    There are several stats derived from other stats, such as Sanity from Power, Idea from Intelligence, Luck from Power, and Know from Education. A lot of other things are also derived from these stats, and all derivations are basically of the formula “Stat x [number]”. Most of the time the number is 5, but it differs a lot, and could easily get confusing, I figure. I like the idea behind Idea (using it instead of skills when you don’t know which skill is appropriate), Sanity (great mechanic for adding depth to play), Luck (which functions kind of like Destiny in Edge of the Empire—which I’ve read through but not posted yet—but less reliable, as luck tends to be), and Know (no need for Knowledge skills, as they’re all rolled into one!—though apparently this game still has Knowledge skills), but they could’ve been better executed. Extra rules can make things more complex, but that can add more depth and fun to the game. However, they need to be consistent, and so far they don’t seem to be here. As they can all be written down, in actual play this doesn’t matter so much, but it slows down character creation for sure.

    Hit points are an average of Con and Size (could just as easily have been just Con). You go unconscious at 2 hp and die at 0 if you aren’t raised to 1 or more by the end of the next round. You heal 1d3 hp per week, though some skills can also heal 1d3 hp. This goes to show that combat is to be avoided as much as possible, because combat is quite lethal for characters with no more than 18 hp that die at 0.

    Starting skills get a number of “occupation points” equal to 20 x Edu, and “personal interest points” equal to 10 x Int. Occupation points can only be put into skills relating to a character’s occupation, whereas personal interest points can go anywhere. Now THIS is something that I really like about this system. It guides character creation towards something, but does so in a natural way. I don’t feel much for skills in their execution, but the way they work in character creation is ingenious and quite elegant. The reason I don’t much like the skill systems execution (each skill point adds 1% chance of success on a d100 roll, a roll of 00 always fails) is that you can’t go beyond. There’s always the same amount of chance of success regardless of how normal or hard the action would be in real life. There’s also no chance at all for characters to go beyond what’s possible in real life without resorting to magic (which drains Sanity), which is normal in a system that focuses on normal people, but records get broken all the time, and humans keep going beyond themselves, so it’s still a bit of a shame to me.

    What’s also good with the skills is the natural way in which they improve. If a skill has been successfully used during a session, it’s marked with a check. At the end of a session, the GM (the “Keeper of Arcane Lore”) rolls a d100 for each skill. If the result is higher than the skill, it goes up by 1. This makes it so that skills are easier to improve the less you know of it yet, which is very much in line with real life, and using skills is the only way to increase them during play as well, making it very natural, and it feels good to increase skills this way. Even moreso, acquiring 90% ability in any skill gives bonus Sanity points due to the self-discipline in learning the skill up to that point. This is only for the course of play, so starting out that high gives no bonus, which means starting several skills at 89% might be a very smart thing to do in the long run.

    Resistance Table rolls are bad because they use tables. They could’ve better been used like one player (or the keeper) rolling to set the target number required to beat it (the DC if you will) and the player going up against it then rolling to try and beat it.

    I like the combat rules, as they make good sense. They could be simplified in some places, but I wouldn’t want them too simplified, as too simple makes a game a little boring mechanically. The falling damage rules are exactly the same as in DnD, as are the dynamite rules (compare DMG page… 160, I believe). Those with drawn firearms effectively get a surprise round.

    I like that firearms and pointed weapons can impale a target and deal more damage that way. It gives something extra to their use, and it makes sense, as those weapons do deal more damage than bludgeoning attacks in real life. I like that it has easy to use parry rules and dodge rules, but the parry rules could be simplified a little further, as they function differently for each kind of weapon. The base skill for each weapon is kind of vague on one bit: do you need that amount to start using that weapon, or do you automatically get that base skill amount for each weapon without paying personal interest points at character creation? The same goes for all the other skills. I think it’s supposed to be that everyone has that base amount, so that nearly every skill is technically useable by everyone, unless it’s 00% (like Cthulhu Mythos, which is a skill that cannot be increased as other skills and lowers your Sanity). Many skills also look like they could easily be merged together, both realistically and from a gamist perspective, especially the combat skills.

    The Insanity rules are pretty easy to use (indefinite insanity is the hardest part, because it requires a little bit more math), but it seems that the Sanity stat itself has no use at all. Weird.


    Things I can take from this:
    Skill increases and natural character growth.
    Some of the combat rules, in their overall simplicity, at least the Parry rules.

    I wonder how it will compare to the d20 version, and to Trail of Cthulhu.
    Homebrewer's Signature | Avatar by Strawberries

  11. - Top - End - #41
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2012

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

    i personally wonder if there is anything one could take from Warcraft D20 (original third based)/World of Warcraft D20 (3.5 Based)
    Last edited by toapat; 2013-12-07 at 06:13 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

  12. - Top - End - #42
    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

    So, any progress on this recently Morph Bark? Read any good systems with mechanics you like? Have any ideas for creating your own system? Inquiring minds want to know! :P

  13. - Top - End - #43
    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

    There is! For a long while I was delayed, mostly because I was reading several at once, and so I had Edge of the Empire halfway finished before going on with Trail of Cthulhu, and then went this way and that, before really finishing any.


    Trail of Cthulhu
    Trail of Cthulhu is an RPG focused on investigation, just like Call of Cthulhu. However, in its mechanics, it's very different. Skills are named the same and do the same thing, but they are very different in play, and some even are effectively automatic in how they work. I really like how getting clues works, with simply using the right investigative skill at the right place automatically giving one, and Keepers (GMs) being advised to give the player who needs a moment to shine the most the clue if there is no PC with a very fitting ability for acquiring it.

    Keepers are even told to try and keep the DNs (Difficulty Numbers) low when the check is mandatory for an investigation (such as sneaking past a guard in order to get to an art piece to investigate), but to feel free to make it high when it's only optional and the players just ended up going that way or deciding to do something that wasn't necessary to solve the mystery. Another option is to always have the players succeed, but failure means a penalty of sorts, like injury. It's an interesting way to go about things, and fitting with the nature of the game as a more non-combat game than many other RPGs, but even so it feels off for me to do it that way, so I'd likely not use that optional rule. Good thing it's only optional.

    Checks are very simple. DNs range from 2 (hard to fail) to 8 (verging on the impossible). Points can be spent from one's skills to improve the roll (which is always a d6, so you need to spend points at all to get a result of 7 or 8 or higher). You can "piggyback" on someone else's roll in some cases, in a form of aid another, but you need to spend one point as a cost of it from your pool of skill points of the appropriate skill. If you cannot pay the cost, the DN goes up by 2. I think in some ways you can see this as subtly guiding parties towards its members being more specialized in certain things and teamwork, making it so that PCs will piggyback on each other's checks rather than individually always make certain checks. This only works for General abilities, but General abilities are also the only ones that work this way. Investigative abilities (skills, whatever you call them here) are automatic successes, but you have much fewer points in each.

    Getting damaged is easy, too, and combat is set up in an easy manner, but also survivable with how long it takes to bleed out. Combat is still harsh, though, as you don't have much to keep you alive, especially since PCs lack protective gear in the typical Trail of Cthulhu environment. I like that you can make checks to stay conscious even when your health is negative.

    Firearm rules, including those for full auto machinegun fire, are simple and elegant, but I'm not sure if they're good representations. Great abstractions, maybe, yes, though.

    For the Sanity rules, I think I need to read it again. Sanity rules are often a bit hard to understand, due to being messy, complex, or just quite different from all the rest and with specific terminology that makes it just a bit harder.


    EDIT: So I read through them again, and I like the divide they made between Stability (which is handled on a per-session basis) and Sanity (which is permanent, at least outside of Pulp games). Sanity purely deals with Mythos stuff, so it can just as well be taken out if you want to use Trail of Cthulhu for games not involving the Old Ones or Deep Ones or such. The Stability rules look like they take a little getting used to at first, but seem pretty easy to use overall, and they can be adapted to characters who are more used to certain situations that would shake up other people. The death of a friend or family member always really shakes up a character, but characters who've had it happen several times before may have gotten used to it, and the system adapts to that.

    I like that there are several ways to improve Stability, not just a lot of ways to lose it. Whether it's through following their Drive (the character's primary motivation), being reassured by other characters through psychology-related skills, or purely through great roleplaying and ability use. That last one's important to remember.


    Things I can take from this:
    Stability
    Investigative skills

    I really like the Stability rules, even seperate from Sanity. Sanity just feels tacked on, and it's hard to use right, especially since it otherwise might be fun to use in a non-Mythos game. It's just hard to figure out how Sanity could be used right without resorting to aberrations the mind cannot stand to fathom. That characters can recover Stability through great roleplaying with their uses of skills, I thought back to Awesome Points and the stunt dice that Exalted has. If I implement something like those, improving Stability would be one great way to use them.

    It's also been enlightening to read through an RPG that doesn't focus on combat in rules and play. While you can easily play any RPG with little or no combat, most do facilitate it and aim primarily for it in their rules and flavour text. This also showed me reasons why or how I could include skills not otherwise seen in other games, such as... well, seriously, Accounting? Where else does that ever appear? I think Trail of Cthulhu handles things much better than Call of Cthulhu, even if they use a lot of the same basic concepts (occupations, certain skills, sanity), and not just that, the book itself was fun to read through. A lot of times the writers just came out and said "look, the rules may seem wonky this way, but it's so that the game runs smoothly and remains fun" and other times go "okay, these are the rules as we wrote them, but feel free to use them in this or that way if it feels better for your group".

    Plus, there's the little bits of science in there, like the stuff about black holes in Azathoth's entry. And, of course, all the lore behind the Mythos.
    Last edited by Morph Bark; 2013-12-17 at 09:00 PM.
    Homebrewer's Signature | Avatar by Strawberries

  14. - Top - End - #44
    Titan in the Playground
     
    CarpeGuitarrem's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2008

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

    As an aside comment: if you can manage to get someone to play a few of these games with you for at least a session, that will do worlds to inform you. I've found that there's a number of games that become much clearer (especially with how their mechanics interplay) when you actually take them for a spin.

    You may also find that certain mechanics work together in surprising ways, or discover that what sounded great on paper wasn't really that good.

    (Case in point, Dungeon World seemed a bit "meh" to me, until I actually wound up in a face-to-face 6-player game.)
    Last edited by CarpeGuitarrem; 2013-12-16 at 09:01 PM.
    Ludicrus Gaming: on games and story
    Quote Originally Posted by Saph
    Unless everyone's been lying to me and the next bunch of episodes are The Great Divide II, The Great Divide III, Return to the Great Divide, and Bride of the Great Divide, in which case I hate you all and I'm never touching Avatar again.

  15. - Top - End - #45
    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

    Quote Originally Posted by CarpeGuitarrem View Post
    As an aside comment: if you can manage to get someone to play a few of these games with you for at least a session, that will do worlds to inform you. I've found that there's a number of games that become much clearer (especially with how their mechanics interplay) when you actually take them for a spin.

    You may also find that certain mechanics work together in surprising ways, or discover that what sounded great on paper wasn't really that good.

    (Case in point, Dungeon World seemed a bit "meh" to me, until I actually wound up in a face-to-face 6-player game.)
    Hmmm, I'll probably do that for some of these, though I don't think I can convince most of my group to do so more than once or twice. Is there a reasonable chance I could get a group of people from GitP together to do a game over Skype or other chat programs? (Likely with voice chat, as it's closer to the real experience.)

    Also finished up on that Sanity bit of Trail of Cthulhu. I certainly want to try that one out!
    Homebrewer's Signature | Avatar by Strawberries

  16. - Top - End - #46
    Titan in the Playground
     
    CarpeGuitarrem's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2008

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

    Hmmm. I'm not sure about GitP...on the flip side, RPGGeek tends to be a good place to gather players, and I think there's some Google+ communities which cater to Hangout gaming, if you're on that--but you may not be. It's definitely a case of finding people who want to try out weird/different games, as opposed to pitching a specific game.

    If you found the non-combat focus of Trail of Cthulhu to be particularly interesting, Golden Sky Stories might be worth a look. Fairly inexpensive at the moment, and the current Bundle of Holding has it as one of the "beat the average" games. (Native Japanese game that eschews a number of game conventions.)
    Last edited by CarpeGuitarrem; 2013-12-18 at 11:52 AM.
    Ludicrus Gaming: on games and story
    Quote Originally Posted by Saph
    Unless everyone's been lying to me and the next bunch of episodes are The Great Divide II, The Great Divide III, Return to the Great Divide, and Bride of the Great Divide, in which case I hate you all and I'm never touching Avatar again.

  17. - Top - End - #47
    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

    I can totally do a Skype game! Send me a private message whenever. I'm good at learning new systems quickly and giving feedback, just give me a day to get prepared.

  18. - Top - End - #48
    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

    Quote Originally Posted by CarpeGuitarrem View Post
    Hmmm. I'm not sure about GitP...on the flip side, RPGGeek tends to be a good place to gather players, and I think there's some Google+ communities which cater to Hangout gaming, if you're on that--but you may not be. It's definitely a case of finding people who want to try out weird/different games, as opposed to pitching a specific game.

    If you found the non-combat focus of Trail of Cthulhu to be particularly interesting, Golden Sky Stories might be worth a look. Fairly inexpensive at the moment, and the current Bundle of Holding has it as one of the "beat the average" games. (Native Japanese game that eschews a number of game conventions.)
    I'll poke around on RPGGeek when the time comes too, then, as well as other forums, such as Myth-Weavers.

    Hmmm, bundle sits at around 15 bucks now... I'll have to check how much money I got right now, and check the reviews on those game systems, because I'm quite nitpicky when it comes to spending money.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronologist View Post
    I can totally do a Skype game! Send me a private message whenever. I'm good at learning new systems quickly and giving feedback, just give me a day to get prepared.
    Awesome! I'll be sure to give you a message then. I won't be starting on it until 2014 (busy holidays and all), but I'll keep ya in mind.
    Homebrewer's Signature | Avatar by Strawberries

  19. - Top - End - #49
    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

    So over the holidays I've been mostly silent in this, as I put it on hold for a bit. I did play some video games with mechanics I could learn from though, such as Unepic, Long Live the Queen and Crusader Kings II. I've also had family over from the US and I've talked a lot with one of my cousins about my ideas and plans, as he also used to play tabletop quite a bit and has recently got a degree as a video game environmental artist. He suggested I look into Shadowrun too, and talked a bit about his experiences with it, which gives me the impression that Shadowrun has a very fun magic system, which I'm sure will be great to read through and learn from.
    Homebrewer's Signature | Avatar by Strawberries

  20. - Top - End - #50
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2012

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    He suggested I look into Shadowrun too, and talked a bit about his experiences with it, which gives me the impression that Shadowrun has a very fun magic system, which I'm sure will be great to read through and learn from.
    i thought Shadowrun's magic system came down to a Pallet of dice as opposed to Third's Brick o Dice
    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

  21. - Top - End - #51
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    sirpercival's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2011

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

    Morph, I'm going to add Dawn of Worlds and Microscope to your list. They aren't traditional rpgs by any means, but I actually ran a worldbuilding session using a DoW/Microscope hybrid and it was incredibly fun.
    (member in good standing of the troll-feeder's guild)

    I am the assassin of productivity.

    Super boss Muscle Wizard avvie by Ceika.

    gitp extended sig
    minmaxboards extended sig (more stuff)

  22. - Top - End - #52
    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've played Dawn of Worlds over the Christmas holidays in fact. Great fun, even with a lot of people! We've ended up with three worlds, each crazier than the last. In fact, it was one of the games I looked to when creating EMPIRE! to figure out the rules and improve them.

    Haven't heard of Microscope before, but I'll take a look at it. Thanks for mentioning it.
    Homebrewer's Signature | Avatar by Strawberries

  23. - Top - End - #53
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Gender
    Male

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

    So I have a few spreadsheets/random notebooks with stuff for a hypothetical trpg that I might spend the summer on. It would be level based and designed to feel like d&d 3.5, but without quite so many subsystems. I'm planning to use a d20 with degrees of success, and I've come up with two mechanics I really like:

    1) Proficiency Schools as skills-
    Basically, you're proficient with a bunch of stuff (a particular school of magic, a group of related skills, a class of weapons...), and your bonus when doing/using something in that school increases over your normal, level-based bonus. Leveling up allows you to improve your proficiency in some of the schools, and at certain key levels (1, 5, 10, 15, and 20) grants you new abilities. Each class would have a bundle of proficiencies (plus a few wildcards chosen when you first take a level in the class) and would be able to improve some smaller number of those proficiencies at each level. Classes probably also have class features so that you get some new ability at every level.

    2) Stances (I'm mentally refining this idea after reading Grinner's comments above)-
    During combat, some manuvers require you to change stance (a swift action). Stances are always offensive or defensive (default is neutral, strictly worse than offensive or defensive), and you can activate as many things as you like as long as you are going into the appropriate stance for each. For example, Parrying requires that you go into a defensive stance, and improves your AC-equivalent (I'm moving towards having armor only grant DR), while Tripping requires that you go into an offensive stance. Staggering an opponent (itself a manuver) knocks them out of whatever stance they were in, essentially making it more difficult for them to defend themselves.

    I might expand the stances to cover sacrificing defense for offense and vice-versa to a greater degree, though things need to be fleshed out a bit more before I do that.
    Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if, when he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls?

    Pokemon:
    Spoiler
    Show

    Friend Code: 4484-7979-9172
    DS name: Ben
    In-game name: Lief
    Friend safari: Charmeleon, Pansear, Ninetails


    Brew:

  24. - Top - End - #54
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2014

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

    @sirpercival
    could you give a brief explanation of how that microscope/DoW hybrid worked?

  25. - Top - End - #55
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    FarRealmorOblivion maybe
    Gender
    Male

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

    If you're still working on this, I have a system based off of D&D 3.5 that is designed a simulationist ideal mostly ideas from Unearthed Arcana mooshed together. Warning, it has never been playtested, it is most likely unplayable, but I think it's interesting anyway. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...7R6bkAiuXEll1o
    -Arjhan
    Last edited by Arjhan; 2014-05-21 at 09:33 PM.

Posting Permissions

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