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    Default I got bit by the bug again: Z-Wolf 2023

    After months of playing around with adopting a different system to run a campaign, with heavy house rules, I've come back to the mad craving to build my own system. Fortunately I have lots of material to work with, either from my decade+ of work on earlier systems, or pirating material from the best systems I can find elsewhere, so development has gone relatively quickly. That said, there's still plenty that I need to work out/decide on.

    Overall Goals:
    • Fantasy Heartbreaker (i.e. a game that could hypothetically replace D&D)
    • Character creation is a process and a half, but the gameplay at the table is streamlined and quick
    • Creatures' scaling with level is steep, so higher-level creatures can munch dozens of lower-levels (this is the biggest change from the system I was developing before 2023)
    • Designed to be played on a VTT-like website of my own crafting.
    Last edited by Draz74; 2023-09-04 at 03:41 PM.
    You can call me Draz.
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    I have a number of ongoing projects that I manically jump between to spend my free time ... so don't be surprised when I post a lot about something for a few days, then burn out and abandon it.
    ... yes, I need to be tested for ADHD.

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    Default Re: I got bit by the bug again: Z-Wolf 2023

    Dice Resolution System

    Roll Nd12, take the second-highest result. Add a modifier from your character sheet to it. Compare to a Target Number (TN). Higher numbers are better.

    N=3 by default, but circumstantial effects can modify that number.

    Disadvantages are pretty severe in this system (N=2 will mean pretty low average rolls, while N<2 means you auto-fail). Advantages have diminishing returns, with the first one bringing your median result up from 6.5 to 8 (almost 8.5), the next bringing your median result up to 9 (almost 9.5).

    A failure in which any d12 rolled a 1 is a Crit Failure. A success in which any d12 rolled a 12 is a Crit Success.
    Last edited by Draz74; 2023-09-04 at 04:32 PM.
    You can call me Draz.
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    I have a number of ongoing projects that I manically jump between to spend my free time ... so don't be surprised when I post a lot about something for a few days, then burn out and abandon it.
    ... yes, I need to be tested for ADHD.

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    Default Re: I got bit by the bug again: Z-Wolf 2023

    Progression Tiers

    I want a character sheet to have only 5 numbers on it that you might have to add to a dice result. And those numbers only change when you level up. All of your stats have a level-based Progression that fits into one of these five Progression Tiers.
    Level Flat Prog. Basic Prog. Moderate Prog. Specialty Prog. Awesome Prog.
    1 +0 +0 +0 +1 +2
    2 +0 +1 +1 +2 +3
    3 +0 +1 +2 +3 +4
    4 +0 +2 +3 +4 +5
    5 +0 +2 +3 +5 +7
    6 +0 +3 +4 +6 +8
    7 +0 +3 +5 +7 +9
    8 +0 +4 +6 +8 +10
    9 +0 +4 +6 +9 +12
    10 +0 +5 +7 +10 +13
    11 +0 +5 +8 +11 +14
    12 +0 +6 +9 +12 +15
    13 +0 +6 +9 +13 +17
    14 +0 +7 +10 +14 +18
    15 +0 +7 +11 +15 +19
    16 +0 +8 +12 +16 +20
    17 +0 +8 +12 +17 +22
    18 +0 +9 +13 +18 +23
    19 +0 +9 +14 +19 +24
    20 +0 +10 +15 +20 +25

    Adventurers generally range from Level 3 to Level 14. Below that is reserved for weaker-than-a-normal-person monsters, and higher for godlike beings.

    Flat Progression is mostly something you can choose to use in cases where your character has a Liability.
    Last edited by Draz74; 2023-09-04 at 05:15 PM.
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    I have a number of ongoing projects that I manically jump between to spend my free time ... so don't be surprised when I post a lot about something for a few days, then burn out and abandon it.
    ... yes, I need to be tested for ADHD.

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    Default Re: I got bit by the bug again: Z-Wolf 2023

    Attributes

    I'm going with just four Attributes:
    • Agility
    • Fortitude
    • Perception
    • Willpower

    All characters have at least Basic Progression with these Attributes. They can be upgraded to Moderate or Specialty Progression at a pretty hefty cost. (If I stick with a Build Points system, I'm thinking of 5 Build Points per Progression upgrade.)

    Skills

    Similarly, I'm going with just nine Skills:
    • Acumen (based on Willpower)
    • Athletics (based on the better of Agility or Fortitude)
    • Brawn (based on Fortitude)
    • Dexterity (based on Agility)
    • Glibness
    • Insight (based on Perception)
    • Leadership (based on Willpower)
    • Performance (requires a specialty)
    • Stealth (based on Agility)

    Skills start at Basic Progression, and upgrading them to the same Progression as the Attribute they're based on is very cheap (1 Build Point per upgrade in my current Build Points-based rough draft). This is the same cost as upgrading Glibness or Performance, which don't have an associated Attribute. Upgrading the Progression of a Skill to higher-than-its-associated-Attribute is medium expensive (2 Build Points in the current rough draft), and can go all the way up to Awesome Progression.

    Side Note

    Other Stats that use the Progressions are Speed (more on how it works later) and your TNs, which are 6 + the modifier from the table above. For example, your primary attack(s) use Specialty Progression and have a TN of 6 + your Level. Other attacks, like if you pick up a weapon you're not proficient with, use Basic Progression and have a TN of (6 + 1/2-your Level rounded down).

    Virtual Skills

    Things like Gadgetry, Nature, and Intimidation weren't worthy of being separate Skills but are still related.

    Gadgetry checks, for example (to know how to tie a knot, craft an item, etc.) use Basic Progression, unless you get a Talent that lets you use your Acumen for Gadgetry.

    Nature checks use Basic Progression unless you get a Talent that lets you use your Perception for Nature.

    Intimidation uses the worse of Brawn and Performance by default. There will be at least a Talent to let you use Brawn, a Talent to let you use Performance, and a Talent to let you use Glibness to Intimidate.

    There will be more of these Virtual Skills. This is just a sample.
    You can call me Draz.
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    I have a number of ongoing projects that I manically jump between to spend my free time ... so don't be surprised when I post a lot about something for a few days, then burn out and abandon it.
    ... yes, I need to be tested for ADHD.

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    Default Re: I got bit by the bug again: Z-Wolf 2023

    Combat: Few Big Surprises in Measuring Time and Space

    Combat is assumed to be a big part of the campaign, and to be played tactically with a battlemap and tokens and measured distances (much easier with a VTT). I assume gridless combat, though, because I like it better.

    Distances will be measured in meters, rather than feet, because I'm a physicist. And it works better with TNs determined by distance (below). So, for example, Medium-Size creatures are assumed to take up a 1-meter-diameter space.

    Initiative, I still haven't found anything particularly revolutionary to do with. So it'll probably be basically the same as the industry-leading RPGs: roll Agility, get sorted by the results, go through Combat taking turns in that order until all creatures have acted, at which point you start a new round and repeat the same order.

    Per round, a creature gets a Dominant Action, two Swift Actions, and a Reaction.

    Normal movement is done by taking the Stride Activity, which requires a Swift Action and can only be done once per turn. To Stride a certain distance, you make a Speed Check against a TN determined by the distance you want to go. If you fail, you don't make it that far before your action ends. If you succeed by a certain threshold (4 maybe?), you get to also take a bonus Swift Action with the [Maneuver] Trait while you are moving.

    Speed uses Flat Progression by default. You can boost it to higher Progressions with special abilities.
    Last edited by Draz74; 2023-09-04 at 05:11 PM.
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    I have a number of ongoing projects that I manically jump between to spend my free time ... so don't be surprised when I post a lot about something for a few days, then burn out and abandon it.
    ... yes, I need to be tested for ADHD.

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    Default Re: I got bit by the bug again: Z-Wolf 2023

    Battle Decks

    Each PC has a six-Card Deck of abilities to use in combat at limited intervals, i.e. only when they play a Card, to facilitate per-Encounter-ish abilities. When you roll initiative, draw two of your Cards to have available. At the end of each turn, draw one more Card, regardless of how many Cards you used on your turn.

    Still working out how Battle Decks will work for GMs. Leaning towards each type of NPC in the Encounter having their own six-Card Battle Deck, which all get shuffled together, and the GM having more ability than the players to "tutor" effects out of their Deck or draw extra Cards.

    Card Examples

    The following are not intended to be balanced yet. They will have Prerequisites and maybe Build Point costs before they can be included in your Deck, as needed.

    Burst of Flight: Lets you fly for one Stride action. For characters (mostly low-level) who are developing flight but can't constantly fly yet.

    Deadeye Shot: Minor Action; for your next ranged Strike this turn, roll Perception and use the higher of the attack's normal TN or your Perception result. If you use the attack's normal TN, this card is not used up.

    Flash of Genius: Reaction; attempt a TN (12 + your Level / 2, rounded down) Acumen Check. If you succeed, Boost (add a d12 to) a roll.

    Pious Fortune: When you fail a Saving Throw against an attack, roll an additional d12 for that Saving Throw and re-determine the result. This version of this card has a [Faith] Trait, but other versions may have a similar effect with other flavor and a different card title.

    Raptor Agent: When a target that you have successfully Recalled Knowledge against this Encounter rolls a Saving Throw against your attack, Jinx (remove a d12 from) their roll. This version of this card has a [Faith] Trait, but other versions may have a similar effect with other flavor and a different card title.

    Stunning Blow: When a target Crit Fails a Save against your melee attack, as a Free Action, inflict Stunned for 1 Round on that target.

    Stunt Attack: Dominant Action; Stride, and Strike at the end of your movement, in the same action. If you make a (voluntary or required) Athletics Check as part of your movement, and the result of that check is greater than your attack's normal TN, you can spend 1 Karma to use that result as your TN for the attack.

    Tempest of Blades: Dominant Action; for the rest of the turn, you can make any number of melee Strikes as Free Actions (only one per target creature though).
    You can call me Draz.
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    I have a number of ongoing projects that I manically jump between to spend my free time ... so don't be surprised when I post a lot about something for a few days, then burn out and abandon it.
    ... yes, I need to be tested for ADHD.

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    Default Re: I got bit by the bug again: Z-Wolf 2023

    Basic Spellcasting Limits

    Spells are combat-focused magical effects, not to be confused with Rituals.

    Spells come in two grades, Basic and Advanced.

    When you take a Short Rest, you gain the Suffused condition. While you are Suffused, you can use Basic and Advanced Spells. After you use an Advanced Spell, you lose Suffused (and can generally no longer use spells of either grade until you take another Short Rest).

    Some Cards let you extend your Suffused condition upon succeeding a check, with a TN of (12 + your Level / 2 rounded down) and using a Stat appropriate to your flavor of spellcasting (Acumen for a Wizard, Nature for a Shaman, Glibness for a Truenamer, etc.). If you fail the check, you regain the Card at the end of your turn.
    You can call me Draz.
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    I have a number of ongoing projects that I manically jump between to spend my free time ... so don't be surprised when I post a lot about something for a few days, then burn out and abandon it.
    ... yes, I need to be tested for ADHD.

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    Default Re: I got bit by the bug again: Z-Wolf 2023

    Attack Resolution

    For a normal weapon Strike with nothing special going on, here's the process.

    The attack has a TN. For a creature's primary attack(s), the TN is equal to 6 + their Level. The attacker can make the attack Precise or Mighty, but doing so generally requires spending a Swift Action with the [Maneuver] Trait. (Neither Precise nor Mighty is the default option.)

    The target can choose to Evade or Tough the attack. If they Evade, they roll an Agility Saving Throw, which is Boosted if they are wielding a Shield properly. It is further Boosted if the attack was Mighty. It is Jinxed if the attack was Precise. If they Tough, they roll a Fortitude Saving Throw, which is Boosted if the attack was Precise, and Jinxed if the attack was Mighty. It is further Boosted if they have Resistance against the appropriate Damage Type of the attack (and Armor gives Resistance to bludgeoning/piercing/slashing).

    If the target fails their Save, they take ... well, consequences. Worse consequences than on a Crit Success or Success. I haven't worked out what exactly I want to do for a Hit Points-equivalent system. As a rough idea, on a Failure they progress one step along the following track:

    Uninjured > Bruised > Wounded > Dying > Dead
    Last edited by Draz74; 2023-09-04 at 04:45 PM.
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    I have a number of ongoing projects that I manically jump between to spend my free time ... so don't be surprised when I post a lot about something for a few days, then burn out and abandon it.
    ... yes, I need to be tested for ADHD.

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    Default Re: I got bit by the bug again: Z-Wolf 2023

    Karma

    Karma Points will work basically like Hero Points in Mutants & Masterminds. I.e.,

    When you start an Adventure, when the GM throws an unfortunate Complication at you, or when one of your characters' Liabilities affects the story, you gain a Karma Point.

    NPCs/monsters don't have Karma. When an NPC/monster uses an ability that would normally require a Karma Point, they instead award a Karma Point to the most-affected PC, as if their ability was a Complication.

    Karma Points, by default, can be used in at least the following ways:
    • Boost a roll.
    • affect the narrative in some way that is minor, but effective enough that it shouldn't be free, e.g. having a certain piece of common equipment on your character's person that you weren't tracking.
    • draw an additional Battle Card (1/turn).
    • shrug off a condition such as Stunned.
    • use to power a number of Cards, such as a Counterspell card.

    One difference from M&M is that PCs will have a maximum amount of Karma they can save up.

    Karma Points are not supposed to be rare, carefully hoarded things, but are supposed to flow pretty freely every session. The GM should look for opportunities to give them out. But they are still a limit on how often PCs can do abusive things.
    You can call me Draz.
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    Also of note:

    I have a number of ongoing projects that I manically jump between to spend my free time ... so don't be surprised when I post a lot about something for a few days, then burn out and abandon it.
    ... yes, I need to be tested for ADHD.

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    Default Re: I got bit by the bug again: Z-Wolf 2023

    Stamina and Resting

    Characters start with a pool of 4 Stamina Points, that are designed to make it so resting is somewhat verisimilar, but without the Fifteen-Minute Workday for Adventurers becoming a thing.

    A Short Rest takes about 5 minutes, and lets characters spend either a Stamina Point or a Karma Point to restore any minor damage they've taken (such as the Bruised condition, in the hypothetical/example Condition Track in an above post), and become Suffused for spellcasting again.

    An Extended Rest takes about 8 hours, and restores a character's pool of Stamina Points. It also lets them roll Fortitude to recover from more serious damage conditions (such as Wounded or Dying in the example above).
    You can call me Draz.
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    Also of note:

    I have a number of ongoing projects that I manically jump between to spend my free time ... so don't be surprised when I post a lot about something for a few days, then burn out and abandon it.
    ... yes, I need to be tested for ADHD.

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    Default Re: I got bit by the bug again: Z-Wolf 2023

    That's what I've got pretty solidly set so far. Beyond that, there are a great many questions, particularly around how characters get various abilities and Stat Progressions ...

    I'd love to do something as simple as a Class system, or maybe a Three-Track system, that chooses (most of) your Talents and Powers for you, but I have a suspicion that such a system will never satisfy my desires for customization and balance. On the other hand, I'm not sure a Build Points System like Mutants & Masterminds will ever satisfy my desire for elegance and ease of learning the system.

    I guess I'll detail some stuff that I've rough-drafted so far ...

    Tentative Build Points Stuff

    Characters have 30 Build Points to work with, plus 8 per Level.

    Upgrading an Attribute's progression is 5 Build Points.
    Upgrading a Skill's progression up to the related Attribute is 1 Build Point.
    Upgrading a Skill's progression further is 2 Build Points.
    Talents are 1 Build Point each.
    Powers ... actually, I don't want to spell out everything I've been using as rough ideas for Powers' costs, just going off of what things cost in M&M. I can give a few examples if people want to know how certain things work.
    You can call me Draz.
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    Also of note:

    I have a number of ongoing projects that I manically jump between to spend my free time ... so don't be surprised when I post a lot about something for a few days, then burn out and abandon it.
    ... yes, I need to be tested for ADHD.

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