Competitor Games

We are the Competition

Morty's Low Fantasy Sytem

For non-d20 system tabletop games.

Morty's Low Fantasy Sytem

Postby Morty » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:01 am

Here's the original thread.

Introduction:

Quite a lot of time ago, I posted a homebrewed system on GiantITP. It got some responses, some of them useful, some of them less - the most useful and inspiring ones in March this year. Things have changed since then, some of them due to the disscusion on these boards. Also, at least some questions were causes, I believe, by my not being entirely clear on the subject of rules. Due to all this, I post the revised version of the system, one in which I'll take great care to point out what is finished and what isn't - and much more things belong to the latter category. Hence, a disclaimer: it is not a finished project, nor do I make any claim of it being as playable as a released tabletop game or even some of the ambitious project people here are working on. I do hope that what I put together in my spare time for fun has some merit.
Without futher ado, the basic properties of the as of yet unnamed system:
It is a low-fantasy, gritty and realistic game. It's meant to support the stories similar to the Witcher series, Chronicles of Black Company, Song of Ice and Fire or Discworld if it was less funny and more dark and bloody.
The Basic Mechanic is a roll of a d100. To succeed, the player's roll must be within the Succes Rate, which is, by default 50% - from 1 to 50. Modifiers can narrow or widen the Succes Rate.
Example: Bob's character, Stefan the adventuring warrior, is trying to push a log out of the way of his party. The log's weight narrows the Success Rate by 15%, but Stefan's physical strength widens it by 10%. Thus, the Success Rate is 45%.

Your character:
Generally speaking, PCs in this system are supposed to be competent, but not superhuman, heroic or in other way a cut above the rest by default. Naturally, over the course of a campaign, characters can gain skills and renown and even become major personalities - they have to fight their way to the top. Similiarily, it's possible to play ineffectual and incompetent characters trying to get by in a difficult situation if the Game Master and the players want it. On the whole, your characters will remain within the human limit.
A character, whether he or she is a PC or an NPC is mechanically defined by Attributes, Race, Profession, Skills and Talents.
Attributes determine your character's basic abilities and are described in detail below. Race is your character's species, chosen from among the several that inhabit the game's world. As a general rule, nonhuman races are meant to be played by somewhat more experienced players.
Profession determines the training your character posesses in general terms. A character will definetly change professions as s/he gains experience. Skills and Talents are exactly what is says on the tin. Skills come in levels, talents are bought once for a certain benefit.

Here's a detailed description of the Attributes:
A character's basic value of each attribute is 5. It can be modified by racial attribute modifiers and a new character gets 5 or 6 points to distribute among the attributes, depending on whether the GM wants slightly stronger or weaker characters. An attribute's Modifier is 5% for each point above or below 5. Generally speaking, an average value of an ability for a human is 5. 4 is still average but a bit weak and 6 is decent but still rather average. Below and beyond that, you start getting into more extreme examples. 1 is extremely low; the ability in question is in atrophy; someone is anemic or mentally challenged. 10 is as high as you can get without some supernatural aid; someone is a world-class strongman or an incredible genius.

  • Strength measures the power of your muscles and your physical strength. It's used for lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling, damage and sometimes attack rolls in melee combat.
  • Constitution measures your toughness, resilience and ability to survive damage and harsh conditions. It's used for when your character needs to shrug off pain or other negative effects as well as does something exhausting.
  • Dexterity measures your sleight of hand, coordination and flexibility of your fingers. It's used for skills like sleight of hand or lockpicking(details later) as well as attack rolls in both melee and ranged combat
  • Agility measures your reflexes, mobility and flexibility. It's used for counting your melee and ranged defense, and skills including escaping bonds, acrobatics, athletics and resisting immobilizing magical effects.
  • Intelligence measures your capability of understanding, memory and quick thinking. It's used for things like knowledge, your character's attempts at remembering and learning stuff. It's important for casters, although differently for all three types of magic.
  • Will measures your cold blood, focus and concentration. It's used for attempts to focus on specific task in difficult circumstances, skills like cold blood or concentration, attempts to resist mind-affecting magic and measuring the power of mage's spells.
  • Charisma measures the strenght of your personality, personal charm and persuasiveness, but not necessarily physical attractiveness. It's used for skills including diplomacy and bluff, NPCs initial reaction to your character and for measuring the strenght of priest's prayers.
  • Perception measures the sharpness of your senses, awareness, and quickness of reaction. It's used for initiative rolls, rolls for seeing, hearing and searching, ranged attacks amd the strength of druids' psalms.
Some general fluff on the gameworld:
The games run in this system take place on an as of yet unnamed world - or rather on a single continent of that world. The continent is a fairly unified landmass and I might be able to provide a map if I manage to draw one using a computer drawing program that I'm satisfied with. The general themes of the world are:
- Belief is important. Although the mortals don't realize it, their beliefs influence the supernatural realms outside the mortal plane.
- The supernatural is distant and largely not undestood by mortals - they use magic, but it's just the tip of the iceberg.
- Non-human races are fairly different from humans - while they're somewhat tolkienesque, I try to make it clear their mentality and behavior are alien.
- Racial tensions are abound - sentient species can coexist and cooperate but on the whole, they don't like each other very much.
- The world is war-torn. Bloody conflicts erupt fairly frequently through the history.
And that would be all for the introduction. Specific elements of the game will be discussed in detail in futher posts.
Last edited by Morty on Sat Apr 02, 2011 9:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
Morty
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:31 am
Location: Poland

Re: Morty's Low Fantasy Sytem

Postby Morty » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:03 am

Races & Professions

Race:
Every character, whether PC or NPC, has a race. A "race" defines the sentient species the character belong to. It determines your character's appearance, abilties and mentality to a varying degree. There's a number of sentient species in the game world. By default, players are expected to play the humanoid races described below, though it might be possible to play a Giant or Beast race. Playing a non-human is meant to be something of a challenge, as it requires roleplaying a different mentality.
Note: The racial stat modifiers and talents are still work in progress. I will try to finish them and ask for advice.
List of Races:
Human: The most widespread race of the continent - however, in many places they're definetly in the minority and living in the shadow of non-humans. They rule supreme in several locations, though. One of the human nations is the last remnant of a mighty Empire of Mankind that spread over the entire continent before it crumbled, fell and drowned in blood. The former conquered peoples, human and non-human alike, still hold a bit of a grudge.
Benefits and drawbacks: None as of yet. They used to get a bonus to the XP they get until I decided it's too strong.
Elf: Elves are the descendants of proto-humans kidnapped by the Fey. After some time spent in the twisted realm of the Fair Folk, the elves managed to escape - or perhaps were allowed to leave, which is somewhat more likely - but were changed forever. They dwell in remote areas of the world, primarily in the large woodlands of the northern and southern fringes of the continent. They differ somewhat along this division. As a whole, elves are in touch with the natural world and everything that's primal, due to their fey ancestry. They tend to vary in size even more than humans, but are universally thinner than them. They have long ears(duh) and tend to cover their bodies in tatoos and paintings.
Benefits and Drawbacks: +1 Perception, + 1 Dexterity, stat penalties undecided. Get Glamour Perception talent which grants them a free reroll when trying to pierce concealment, disguises, illusions etc. once per day.
Dwarf: I'm still working on dwarves to give them a nice, unique spin. So, Work in Progress.
Dark Elf: Another race that was created from humans kidnapped by the fey. Unlike the elves, dark elves were captured by even more corrupt and bloodthirsty fey, and were twisted as a result. As a race, dark elves are taller than humans, dark skinned and dark haired, with pointed ears and teeth. They live in thick jungles of the southeast, both on the mainland and the islands. They tend to be agressive and headstrong.
Benefits and drawbacks: +1 Strength, +1 Agility, -1 Will, -1 Intelligence
Halfing: A small humanoid race related to dwarves. Living on vast steppes across the continent as either nomads or farmers, they're extremely brash and fearless as a race, with a tendency for agression, mostly directed at other species. They're much shorter than humans, very few halflings being taller than 160 centimeters. They have an affinity for taming horses and other animals.
Benefits and drawbacks: +1 Agility, +1 Dexterity, -1 Strength, small size. An agility-related talent.
Orc: Large humanoids dwelling in the harsh, unforgiving wastelands of the world. The major hubs of the orcis population are the northern tundra and forest as well as the central and southern deserts. As a result, orcs are tough as nails and extremely pragmatic. They tend to be around human height and broad-shouldered. They're covered in thick bristle in colors ranging from brown to gray. They have fairly large ears and prominent, blunt fangs in their lower jaws.
Benefits and drawbacks: +1 Strength, +1 Constitution, -1 Agility, -1 Charisma. An as of yet unspecified survival-related talent.
Goblin: Small race of undeground-dwelling inventors and con artists, related to hobgoblins. Goblins are very small, rarely going above 130 centimeters in height. They have gray or brown skin, large ears and orange, red or yellow eyes as well as pointy fangs in their lower jaws. They tend to be smart, shifty and cowardly. Due to living underground, they're vulnerable to sunlight. They probably lived on plains like hobgoblins before migrating underground.
Benefits and drawbacks: +1 Intelligence, +1 Dexterity, -1 Strength, -1 Will, Goblin Sneakiness talent giving them Hide and Move Silently as inherent skills. They can see in the dark, but sunlight blinds them and makes them uncomfortable, giving them some as of yet unspecified penalties.
Hobgoblin: The third goblinoid race(after orcs and goblins) that lives on plains - be it tundra, prairie or steepe. Some hobgoblins are hunter-gatherer nomads, but many bigger tribes lead a more stationary lifestyle - sometimes, several tribes congregate to form a large, permanent(or semi-permanent) settlement. Producing trackers and hunters without peer, the hobgoblin race is rather superstitious. They're larger than goblins but smaller than humans and their skin tends to range in coloration from green to yellow. They have flat noses, tusks and large ears - though not as large as goblins do.
Benefits and drawbacks: +1 Agility, +1 Senses, -1 Will, [another stat penalty or something else], a talent making them move quickier.


Profession:

A profession describes your character's calling and occupation. It describes the abilities and unique skills he or she posesses. A profession determines what kind of skills your character can learn and talens s/he can discover. Some talents are unique to certain professions.
Professions are grouped into four Tiers. Each profession allows entry into few professions of a higher Tier. Typically, a character starts on Tier 1. It represents characters that are somewhat competent in their chosen field, but far from experts. As they ascend into higher tiers, they gain new skills and talents from their new professions that represent their experience and broadened horizons. Tier 4 professions are reserved for masters of their respective callings. It will take PCs a lot of time to reach them. There's also Tier 0, used to represent characters who are unskilled - they're still learning or never learned anything.

List of Tier 1 Professions:
Warrior:

Warriors are people skilled in use of any weapons or even unarmed combat. Soldiers, bodyguards, wandering swordsmen and duelists all start from this class.

Primary Skills: Close Combat, Dodge, Fortitude, Military Training, Ranged Combat
Secondary Skills: Climb, Composure, Esape Artist, Intimidate, Medicine, Ride
Starting Talents:

Scoundrel:

Scoundrels get through their lifes using their wits and quickness. They aren't necessarily criminals - they might be conmen, predistigators or even spies in training.

Primary Skills: Bluff, Hide, Move Silently, Sleight of Hand, Larceny, Lockpicking
Secondary Skills: Acrobatics, Dodge, Escape Artist, Gather Information, Persuasion, Search
Starting Talents:

Vagabond:

A roamer, a traveller, a tracker. The class covers both professional hunters, trackers and bounty hunters as well as people who simply wander from place to place.
Primary Skills: Fortitude, Handle Animal, Search, Survival, Tracking
Secondary Skills: Climb, Hide, Medicine, Move Silently, Ranged Combat, Ride
Starting Talents:

Scholar

A character with an educated background, either academic or trained by a single master. They might be learned in both mundane and supernatural wisdom. Characters with magical abilities will most likely start as this profession.

Primary Skills: Arcane Magic/Mystycism/Duidism(only when appropriate talent is selected), Composure, Lore(Any Two), Medicine, Persuasion
Secondary Skills: Bluff, Craft, Gather Information, Intimidate, Search
Starting Talents:
Last edited by Morty on Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:54 am, edited 7 times in total.
Morty
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:31 am
Location: Poland

Re: Morty's Low Fantasy Sytem

Postby Morty » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:04 am

Skills & Talents

Skills are at the core of the system. Most of the times, a character's success will depend on a skill check - apart from plain and simple skill checks, most combat manuevers and magic procedures involve them one way or another. Thus, your character's capabilities are defined first and foremost by skills, talents and other thing supplementing them.
Talents are much more narrow and specific than skills and usually have more dramatic effect. They give a character one specific benefit. They're used to supplement skills and change the character in ways skills can't.

The way Skills work:
Each skill is tied to a single attribute; sometimes two. A skill check is a roll in which the Success Rate is modified by the Difficulty Rating of the Skill by 5% for each point plus the ability modifier. There will also be various circumstantial modifers, of course.

The (Most likely incomplete) list of skills:
Acrobatics - Agi - The art of jumping, tumbling and other such activities.
Arcane Magic - Int or Will - The skill used by wizards to work with their art. Used when attempting to understand or prepare a spell as well as during contested rolls involving the use of magic. More details in the description of magic.
Barter - Will The art of haggling and negotiating over prices, whether you're dealing with a single item or discussing a big contract.
Bluff - Cha This skill is used for lying, pretty much. When a character tries to conceal or obscufate the truth, he or she rolls for Bluff.
Climb - Str/Ag Used for climbing vertical surfaces of all kinds.
Close Combat The skill related to fighting in close quarters, whether using weapons or not. More details in the Combat section.
Composure - Will The measure of how calm and collected your character is in difficult situations. Used to resist fear and confusion both of natural and supernatural origins.
Craft - Int This skill represents training in a craft, such as blacksmithing, wheelmaking, pottery et cetera. It represents both the practical skills connected to that craft and the theorethical knowledge.
Dodge - Ag It is used do dodge incoming blows and even missiles. More details in the Combat section.
Druidism - Will or Per The skill used by the adepts of druidism to
practise their craft of attuning to nature. It is used by druids to gather their power and intone psalms. More details in the relevant section.
Escape Artist - Ag Measures your character's ability to escape restrains, squeeze through tight places and the like.
Fortitude - Con Your character's resistance to pain, hardships and poisons.
Gather Information - Cha or Int Responsible for gathering information and piecing it together.
Handle Animal - Int or Cha Used for, well, handling animals of all sorts.
Hide - Ag The skill responsible for all attempts at concealing yourself.
Intimidate - Cha This skill is used for any attempts to instill fear in others, be it by brute force or more subtle threats.
Larceny - Int or Dex The skill measuring your character's knack for dealing with the seedier and less than legal parts of society.
Lockpicking - Dex Used for picking locks, obviously, can also be used to disable other mechanisms.
Lore - Int The characters' knowledge in a given field.
Medicine - INt The art of healing wounds and diseases as well as some knowledge about physiology.
Military Training - Int The skill behind commanding units both small and large as well as theorethical knowledge of warfare.
Move Silently - Agi The skill responsible for moving about without being heard.
Mysticism - Will or Cha This skill is used my mystics to commune with their deities or other forces they draw - or thing they draw - their powers from. Described in detail in the relevant section.
Persuasion - Cha The art of convincing other people to your point of view.
Ranged Combat The skill related to using missile weapons, either bows, crossbows or throwing weapons. More details in the Combat section.
Ride - Agi The art of riding a mount, be it a horse or a more exotic one such as a wolf.
Search - Int or Per The skill responsible for actively searching for something hidden.
Sleight of Hand - Dex Related to pickpocketing and other tricks requiring dexterous and often discreet uses of hands.
Survival - Int The character's knowledge about surviving in the wilderness.
Tracking - Per This skill is responsible for following someone by recognizing the tracks they leave behind.


The Way Talents Work:
Each talent is purchased once and gives your character a tangible benefit. Many talents require others to be purchased; they may also be restricted to certain professions and races.
Last edited by Morty on Sat Apr 02, 2011 9:39 am, edited 7 times in total.
Morty
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:31 am
Location: Poland

Re: Morty's Low Fantasy Sytem

Postby Morty » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:04 am

B]Combat[/B]

Well, not all that much here. See, I've had combat worked out, but at some point, I decided I don't really like it. Now I'm trying to figure out how to proceed. First, here's the original model of combat:

  • First, initiative is rolled. It's a d20 roll to which you add your Perception and Agility modifier.
  • Each character has two actions in a round. Some actions require one action, some two, some even more and have to be performed across several rounds.
  • You can only attack on per round unless you have a talent that allows you to attack more frequently and it takes a single action.
  • An attack is a roll for Weapon Use, Unarmed Combat, Shooting or Throwing sill against the defender's Devense Value which narrows the Success Rate of the roll. DV is calculated as: Ag modifier + Shield bonus(if any) + Weapon Skill/Unarmed combat /2. During ranged combat, you don't use the WS/UC skill but add modifiers for range.
  • If the roll is a success, you roll for damage, add appropriate modifiers and subtract the result from the target's HP pool. Once you reach 0 HP, you die.
(I didn't have the Dodge skill in mind when writing it.)
Pretty straightforward, as you can see. I was going to add some things like penalties for losing HP, like in GURPS and change the rules of dying so you don't drop dead once you reach 0 HP. But as I said, I've been thinking that this method doesn't fit what I want to achieve in thisgame. HP with penalties work in GURPS, but GURPS is universal and my system has a clear focus - dark, low fantasy gritty game. So I've been looking at some other ways or doing it.

My main idea is, currently, some sort of "wound levels" system like the one used in WoD. Or perhaps someting similar to what's used in Riddle of Steel, namely that the wounds don't really stack but each succesful hit adds penalties and a succesful enough hit kills you. Obviously, I'm asking for advice.

Now, what I'm definetly going to incude are combat styles. There's only one Weapon Use skill, but it's obvious that a character will specialize in some sort of weapon. Each character is more or less proficient in a number of combat styles. It used to be that a character picks a combat style, but I decided it makes more sense for a character to be proficient with them to a varying degree. It'll require some thinking and changes in the class descriptions. Each weapon style will have manuevers associated with it. I figure some will be available by default and others will be learned. Manuevers are there, of course, to spice combat up and give the warriors something to learn and do.
Morty
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:31 am
Location: Poland

Re: Morty's Low Fantasy Sytem

Postby Morty » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:05 am

Magic

The game world is magical. Magic might be weak and not as prevalent as in other worlds, but it is there. There are many inherently magical creatures bound to the mortal plane or coming from elsewhere. Naturally, mortals discovered their own ways to manipulate the supernatural. However, the reality objects to being violated by mere earthlings - thus, all those arts are to varying degrees dangerous and difficult. Arcane magic can produce the most dramatic results, because it relies on a mage's will only. However, it is the grossest violation of reality and thus it's difficult and dangerous. Druidism is quite a bit easier and safer because the effects it produces aren't so unnatural. Mysticism is somewhere in the middle.

Arcane Magic
Arcane magic - also called wizardry and sorcery - is the art of shaping the ley lines of the magical field that covers the entire world, created by the friction of reality and unreality, by the strength of your will. Because mortal minds aren't strong enough to spontaneously reshape creation, they need to rely on rote, narrow formulas called spells.

It's a dangerous and unpredictable craft, but the power it offers draws many from all races to pursue it. The practicioners of arcane magics are called mages, but there are many ways of practicing the craft. Human and dwarven societies produce mages most often, though they can be seen among other races as well, although looking for an orc or hobgoblin mage would be a hard task. Arcane spells are divided into six schools(that I'll detail later).

Now, the crunch: To cast a spell, a mage have to:
-Obtain the spell inscribed somewhere. Usually it's a book or a scroll, but everything will do.
-Understand the nature of the spell, which requires Arcane Magic check governed by Intelligence with SR modified by spell's Power Level and takes 30 minutes/spell's Power level. If the mage fails the check, he can try later on the next day. The mage needs to do this only once- once understood spell remains so.
-Weave the spell from the ley lines of the magical field. This requires a succesfull Arcane Magic check governed by Will with SR modified by spell's Power Level and takes 5 minutes/spell's Power Level. By spending additional 5 minutes, you can widen the SR by 5%, but not more. Spells with PL lower than 7 can be stored inside mage's mind to be used later. The limit of stored spells is In x Arcane Magic x 2. Most spells take up one "slot", some more, some can't be stored at all.
-Cast the spell. It does not require any rolls, but the weave is undone and the spell needs to be woven again.
In addition, but due to the chaotic and reality-warping nature of the ley lines, casting spells can have unpredictable effects. If the mage casts a spell in the next round after casting another one, GM rolls d100. If he rolls 95-100, a Wild Magic effect appears. For every spell cast round by round, the probability raises by 5%. The same occurs when the mage casts more spells in one hour than his Arcane Magic x 2. Also, there are places where the magical field is tangled, which makes weaving and casting hard or even impossible.

Mysticism:
While it is not sure if the gods really exist, or if they're who the priests claim they are, the ones who preach their names can also perform miracles with their help - or so they claim. The truth that only few realize is that belief is powerful. Those who truly and strongly believe can use their faith to leave a mark upon the world. Sometimes they believe in gods, who are indeed formed from the faith of mortals. Sometimes they worship spirits that swarm the gauntlet between the mortal realm and the metaphysical supernatural planes. Sometimes their belief lies in some abstract philosophy. All of them are mystics, performing supernatural feats by imprinting their faith on the material realm just as everyone imprints their beliefs on the supernatural realms.

For his prayer to be heeded to, the priest needs to:
-Be pure in the eyes of his/her diety, philosophy of guardian spirits, which requires regular prayer or meditation and not commiting any grave sins against the faith or philosophy. Each missing on the daily prayer increases the difficulty of the Divine Favor roll and grave sin against faith prevents the prayer from being listened to at all.
-Know the prayer, which requires learning the text from another priest and meditating upon it.
-Perform the Divine Favor check, which SR is narrowed by prayer's Power Level as well as other circumstances and widened by Piety skill(Charisma or Will, depending on the diety) as well as faith and/or faithful being in grave need or sacrifices made for the diety.
Additionally, if the priest asks for more miracles in the day than his Piety skill x 3, the diety's patience runs out and Divine Favor check SR narrows by 5%.

Druidism:
Druidism is the art of attuning oneself to nature so deeply that it allows itself to be changed. Druids wield elemental powers and some of them strive to maintain a balance in all things and are similiar to priests of nature while others use these forces to achieve their own goals, making them akin to mages. In any case, practicioners of druidism shun civilization, seeking places strongly infused with primal elemental forces where their power increases.

Druids are most common among elves and hobgoblins, but they can be also found in other races' communities, although dwarven druids are rare and goblin druids practically unheard of. Druidic ways of controlling nature are called psalms and are divided into those that speak about water, air, fire and earth.

To succesfully speak to forces of nature through a psalm, a druid needs to:
-Know the psalm, learning it from another druid or some sort of inscription
-Draw enough raw elemental power from nature, which requires succesful Druidism check governed by Perception and one action/10 drawn points and being close to element's source. The limit of the points a druid can draw is Perception x Intelligence x Druidism. The point pool can be filled with the powers of four elements in any proportions. The power can be held until druid falls asleep. The point pool doesn't have to be filled in one go, but between two drawings larger than 1/4 of the pool there have to be at least 5 minutes.
-Spend the amount of power required by the psalm. Each psalm is tied to one element and can't be sung using the power of another one.
Additionally, if the druid is in place where the particular element runs strong, drawing its energies and singing psalms tied to it is easier- Druidism checks to draw power are easier and psalms require less power. If the power of the particular element is weaker in a place druid is in, the situation is reversed.

Two more magic systems are planned: Alchemy and Necromancy. Alchemy is about transmuting matter and unlocking hidden properties in substances. Necromancy manipulates the energies of the Underworld, where souls - or whatever it is that keeps living creatures alive - go.
Note: In the previous thread, a point was made by the poster Kushōsaku about the magic systems being unbalanced. Suggestions about fixing it were made and I intend to incorporate them somehow sooner or later.
Last edited by Morty on Sat Apr 02, 2011 9:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
Morty
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:31 am
Location: Poland

Re: Morty's Low Fantasy Sytem

Postby Morty » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:06 am

Well, that would be it. As you can see, it's far from being finished. Here's a list of things I consider my priorities:

  • Finish the combat system. I'm very open to suggestions since I have few ideas on my own.
  • Flesh out the skills. I have to figure out how many more I need and how they ought to scale - in original project, their levels went from 1 to 5, not sure if it's enough. What's more, I intend to change the way professions grant skills - the "class skills" lists will be longer and there'll be two categories of what's a "class skill" for a profession.
  • Decide about the Advanced Skill Uses. They're supposed to be mini-talents that allow you do perform something using a skill you normally can't or are swamped with penalties if you try. It's a way of spicing the skill-users up, since warriors have thier manuevers and magic users have their various magical procedures.
  • Come up with actual spells, prayers, psalms and talents.
  • Write up Alchemy and Necromancy.
  • Finish the profession progression.

Any ideas, opinions and suggestions are welcome. And I ask again: bear in mind it's not finished, so if you feel something doesn't make sense or doesn't seem to work, it might be because I didn't finish it, not because I want it to work that way.
Morty
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:31 am
Location: Poland

Re: Morty's Low Fantasy Sytem

Postby Morty » Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:11 am

So... any comments? Or is it too unfinished to be really commented upon?
Morty
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:31 am
Location: Poland

Re: Morty's Low Fantasy Sytem

Postby peterpaulrubens » Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:33 pm

Something I immediately dislike, unless I'm misreading it, is the "low rolls are good" aspect of the Success Rate. Because that way, a modification of a result that's a "penalty" actually mathematically ADDS to the number you're rolling. It's needlessly counter-intuitive. High rolls should be good, low rolls bad.

As far as combat goes... no system that lets you fight at your full capacity while "heavily wounded" is going to achieve any level of realism. Things fight less well when they're tired, wounded, and in pain. So, for the system to feel "gritty", you need the players to see their characters start to suck when they're getting beat up.

Something to avoid though, is to have a character take damage, and then have to look up their damage total on a reference chart to see what their penalty is. The penalty should be in exact proportion to the damage they took; i.e. you want to avoid any kind of threshold whereby a 9-point attack is somehow different than an 11-point attack, except by the natural and intuitive 2-point difference. If you have a threshold where you don't have penalties if you're less than 10 points wounded, then the 9 points of damage has no penalty, but the 11 does. That's bad - the 2-point differential has resulted in something more tangible than just 2 points of damage. You want the whole to be exactly equal to the sum of its parts.

From my comments here:
PPR wrote:If I was designing a system like yours what I think you're after, I'd have d100 as the core mechanic. An attack would be d100 + the attacker's current STR score, vs. the d100 + the defender's current DEX score. Ability scores for the average person would be roughly 25 or 30 rather than the median of 50 to give the "awesome" end a bit more room to grow (even low fantasy games rarely need the wheelchair-bound MS patient to be well-represented). Each non-lethal hit (fists, etc.) would do ability damage to one of the defender's physical stats - STR, DEX, or CON, with the defender getting to choose which one. Lethal hits (swords, axes, whatever) would have half of the damage go straight to CON, and the other half to a stat of the defender's choice (to represent the life-threatening aspect, but also to represent the idea that you can't fight as well after you're bleeding from an axe wound). A fist might do 1d10, whereas a sword might do 4d10 or more. STR would add smallish bonuses, say 10% to 20% of your current score, to your damage roll. When any score drops to zero, you're unconscious, and if CON drops to zero, you're dead. Feats/abilities/powers/whatever-call-em are opportunities to alter those mechanics ("use DEX as your to-hit score", etc.)

A d100 system gives you the granularity you're after, and an ability-damage system gives you the realism you're after - punches hurt, but not that much, but they do slowly erode your own combat effectiveness. Lethal weapons hurt A LOT and also erode your combat effectiveness.

I wouldn't bother with "armor as AC" either - armor would just add damage reduction. A guy wearing football pads doesn't have much to fear from being punched, but it's not going to save him from a sword thrust. So, football pads would add 8 damage reduction to STR or DEX damage, but only 2 to CON damage. Plate armor, however, would add 20 points of damage reduction to all stats - it's goddamn hard to hurt someone wearing plate armor with a punch, but a sword can STILL ruin their day.


If you initially have trouble thinking about a d100 system, just think of what your value would be in a d20 system, and multiply by 5 - i.e. a +1 bonus in a d20 system is a +5 bonus in d100. But the d100's ability to have a +8 bonus makes it superior in my mind, especially in a system where you're trying to establish grit. That allows things like a +2 bonus for a well-made sword - it's not a MAGIC sword by any means, but real warriors will recognize the advantage its craftsmanship provides, even if it's slight. But those slight advantages are what makes a world feel gritty ("It was a close fight. I only beat him because I was just a little bit stronger, a little bit faster, and had a little bit better steel in my blade. It could've gone either way though.").

Other thoughts, in no particular order:
- I like the distinction between Dexterity and Agility. Like, a neurosurgeon is clearly very dextrous, but he may be old and overweight. He's hardly going to be light on his feet like a gymnast or ballerina. BUT... I'm concerned it may be a needless complication, unless you REALLY want to be able to have slow fat plodding master lockpickers.
- The magic system is almost inscrutable currently. It needs a few spells and examples at least. I'd also hazard to say that if your world is supposed to have little magic, it's probably not the best idea to make it super complex to use. It'll end up being that Thar Be Dragons section of the rules; nobody will use it often enough to understand it well, and their lack of understanding will turn them off from using it. Off the top of my head, I'd say just make magic powers the equivalent of a Talent for another class - you buy it once, and you can use it. Just keep a very tight lid on how much power a given spell actually has.
- Several of the skills (Cold Blood, Flexibility, Fortitude) seem like they're exactly what their base attribute is - i.e. why is Flexibility separate from my Agility?
- The Professions seem.. forced. With that many skills, I'd want to make very broad Professions (Warrior, Diplomat, Mystic) and let the skill allocation describe a character's mechanics. A Warrior with points in Axemanship and Shield Defense (for example) is your prototypical "barbarian", and a Warrior with points in Acrobatics and Knife-fighting is your "rogue", etc.
- Terminology, and how it differs from 3.5. I'd say you have plenty of material that's just like 3.5. Climb, Craft, Gather Information, Intimidate, Listen, etc. are all ripped straight from the 3.5 skills list.. so why is Flexibility not just Escape Artist? Why are Professions not Classes? It seems like you're introducing more needless complexity. People shouldn't have to re-learn terminology just because.
peterpaulrubens
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:15 pm

Re: Morty's Low Fantasy Sytem

Postby Morty » Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:01 am

peterpaulrubens wrote:Something I immediately dislike, unless I'm misreading it, is the "low rolls are good" aspect of the Success Rate. Because that way, a modification of a result that's a "penalty" actually mathematically ADDS to the number you're rolling. It's needlessly counter-intuitive. High rolls should be good, low rolls bad.


The roll itself isn't modified, though - only the Success Rate. This way, a bonus moves the SR "up", widening it, so a bonus is still a bonus, so to say.

As far as combat goes... no system that lets you fight at your full capacity while "heavily wounded" is going to achieve any level of realism. Things fight less well when they're tired, wounded, and in pain. So, for the system to feel "gritty", you need the players to see their characters start to suck when they're getting beat up.


Definetly, yeah. I never considered a health system with no penalties for taking damage.

Something to avoid though, is to have a character take damage, and then have to look up their damage total on a reference chart to see what their penalty is. The penalty should be in exact proportion to the damage they took; i.e. you want to avoid any kind of threshold whereby a 9-point attack is somehow different than an 11-point attack, except by the natural and intuitive 2-point difference. If you have a threshold where you don't have penalties if you're less than 10 points wounded, then the 9 points of damage has no penalty, but the 11 does. That's bad - the 2-point differential has resulted in something more tangible than just 2 points of damage. You want the whole to be exactly equal to the sum of its parts.

*snip*


You make some very good points regarding switching to a d100-based mechanic. The increased granularity is tempting. It would take some work to rewrite the existing mechanics to work with a d100, though... but then, it'd probably make writing he rest of the system easier.

- I like the distinction between Dexterity and Agility. Like, a neurosurgeon is clearly very dextrous, but he may be old and overweight. He's hardly going to be light on his feet like a gymnast or ballerina. BUT... I'm concerned it may be a needless complication, unless you REALLY want to be able to have slow fat plodding master lockpickers.


That's a point I think... but I think I'll leave it as it is. It's not that much of a complication and I like the symmetry in attributes.

- The magic system is almost inscrutable currently. It needs a few spells and examples at least. I'd also hazard to say that if your world is supposed to have little magic, it's probably not the best idea to make it super complex to use. It'll end up being that Thar Be Dragons section of the rules; nobody will use it often enough to understand it well, and their lack of understanding will turn them off from using it. Off the top of my head, I'd say just make magic powers the equivalent of a Talent for another class - you buy it once, and you can use it. Just keep a very tight lid on how much power a given spell actually has.


I rather like the magic system... though I agree it's not very fleshed out right now. However, I'll refrain from tinkering with it for now. I'll get the other, more essential mechanics done and move on to magic.

- Several of the skills (Cold Blood, Flexibility, Fortitude) seem like they're exactly what their base attribute is - i.e. why is Flexibility separate from my Agility?


The thought did cross my mind. I suppose those skills could become checks for that attribute, yes... but then, two people can be more or less equally agile but one of them can have more practical experience with escaping bonds.

- The Professions seem.. forced. With that many skills, I'd want to make very broad Professions (Warrior, Diplomat, Mystic) and let the skill allocation describe a character's mechanics. A Warrior with points in Axemanship and Shield Defense (for example) is your prototypical "barbarian", and a Warrior with points in Acrobatics and Knife-fighting is your "rogue", etc.


I'm aware of that. I intended to rework the classes' acces to skills - broaden their list of available skills, to be precise. I never got around to it, though. I guess I'll start working on implelementing those changes now... and some of the Professions will be removed, definetly.

- Terminology, and how it differs from 3.5. I'd say you have plenty of material that's just like 3.5. Climb, Craft, Gather Information, Intimidate, Listen, etc. are all ripped straight from the 3.5 skills list.. so why is Flexibility not just Escape Artist? Why are Professions not Classes? It seems like you're introducing more needless complexity. People shouldn't have to re-learn terminology just because.


I can't agree with that. First, my system isn't a reworking of D&D or an alternative to it. It's a brand new game that happens to use d20 for rolls... which is becoming more and more likely to change. Professions are named that precisely because I wanted to differentiate them from D&D's classes. As for skill names... well, how many ways are there to give skills? If the name works, I don't worry that D&D uses it as well.
Morty
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:31 am
Location: Poland

Re: Morty's Low Fantasy Sytem

Postby peterpaulrubens » Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:33 pm

Morty wrote:The roll itself isn't modified, though - only the Success Rate. This way, a bonus moves the SR "up", widening it, so a bonus is still a bonus, so to say.
But I mostly think of my bonuses as adding to my roll. And they don't - they subtract it.

Anyway, just be clear about which side bonuses and penalties apply. As long as all bonuses add to the SR, and all penalties subtract from it, and nothing ever applies to the roll, you're good. But be very certain to be clear about it - the old BattleTech tabletop game mixed its terminology like that - sometimes it talked about adding to the roll, sometimes it talked about subtracting from the difficulty, and it was confusing as hell all the time.

Morty wrote:I rather like the magic system... though I agree it's not very fleshed out right now. However, I'll refrain from tinkering with it for now. I'll get the other, more essential mechanics done and move on to magic.
I don't like it or dislike it - I'm just saying I can't really grasp it yet. But yeah ... get the regular mechanics done first, because that will 100% determine what your magic should look like. You can't figure out how much a spell should enhance the damage of a sword if you don't know what the damage of a sword is yet.

Morty wrote:The thought did cross my mind. I suppose those skills could become checks for that attribute, yes... but then, two people can be more or less equally agile but one of them can have more practical experience with escaping bonds.
Sure. Just call that skill Escape Artist though, not Flexibility. Flexibility has a different connotation.

Morty wrote:and some of the Professions will be removed, definitely.
Cool.

Morty wrote:
PPR wrote:- Terminology, and how it differs from 3.5.


I can't agree with that. First, my system isn't a reworking of D&D or an alternative to it. It's a brand new game that happens to use d20 for rolls... which is becoming more and more likely to change. Professions are named that precisely because I wanted to differentiate them from D&D's classes. As for skill names... well, how many ways are there to give skills? If the name works, I don't worry that D&D uses it as well.

Ok. Yeah, my original comment was maybe a bit off the mark. It should've been more like, "be careful choosing names for things, because some of your current names seem to have other connotations".

Things that jump out at me that could maybe use better names:
-Professions. "Professions" brings the connotation of earning money. If warrior is your profession, then you're a professional warrior - i.e. you're actually paid by someone to go fight for them. Which maybe isn't true - it's pretty likely that a lot of warriors are "treasure hunters" by profession, and simply use their skills as a warrior to make that happen. Or their profession is "thief", but they use their warrior skills to keep them alive while they're thieving. It's for that reason that I think Class is a better designation.
- The "War" skill. Much too broad. Should be "Martial Lore", "Military Theory", or something.
- The "Cold Blood" skill. Cold Blood usually has the connotation of some kind of malice (or sunning your scaly self on a rock in the morning..). From the description it sounds like it should be Courage or Bravery or something.

Things that could be folded together:
- Gambling and Streetwise. I think Streetwise is an excellent catch-all for seedy nefarious things. Gambling is really specific.
- Bluff and Persuasion. Too similar to merit sinking skill points into both. Do you know people who are fantastic liars but never persuade people of anything?
- Weapon Use and Unarmed Combat. I think these could get folded into just plain Fighting or something, because the combat style will be the differentiator anyway. And really, you're not going to be an epic swordfighter and a completely inept pugilist. It just doesn't work that way - in reality, you have a base skill in fighting based on footwork, movement, distance, leverage, etc. Which I think is well-represented by a Fighting skill, and then augmented by a combat style.
- Shooting and Throwing. Similar to above. Could just be Ranged Fighting or something. But again, you've got a foundation in judging distance, movement of your target, velocity, etc.
- Hide and Move Silently. I've never liked that these were separated in 3.5; I've always felt they should just be Stealth.


Also, I'm looking forward to seeing Alchemy. I've always thought that in a gritty world, Alchemy seem very apropos. It loses its luster in a high-magic world (why make an exploding potion if your peers can create Fireballs out of thin air?) but in a low-magic world, it seems just right. I'm not sure how you feel about a gunpowder/steampunk feel for your gritty world, but the Alchemists could easily create something along those lines, without making it actually prevalent in your world.

I would hazard that Necromancy is probably too much to let a player have - it should be DM-only magic. Dead things walking is creepy for a high-magic world.. in a low-magic world, it's a level of magic which should only be spoke of behind closed doors, and only in known company.
peterpaulrubens
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:15 pm

Re: Morty's Low Fantasy Sytem

Postby Morty » Thu Dec 23, 2010 1:17 pm

peterpaulrubens wrote:But I mostly think of my bonuses as adding to my roll. And they don't - they subtract it.

Anyway, just be clear about which side bonuses and penalties apply. As long as all bonuses add to the SR, and all penalties subtract from it, and nothing ever applies to the roll, you're good. But be very certain to be clear about it - the old BattleTech tabletop game mixed its terminology like that - sometimes it talked about adding to the roll, sometimes it talked about subtracting from the difficulty, and it was confusing as hell all the time.


Alright. Besides, I'm seriously considering using a d100 dice instead, as I said. Thought it might also be a "roll below" method, like in WFRP. Not that WFRP is an example of smooth mechanics...

I don't like it or dislike it - I'm just saying I can't really grasp it yet. But yeah ... get the regular mechanics done first, because that will 100% determine what your magic should look like. You can't figure out how much a spell should enhance the damage of a sword if you don't know what the damage of a sword is yet.


Yeah. I went ahead of myself when I wrote the magic systems - all those things don't tell anyone very much when the core mechanics aren't finished.

Sure. Just call that skill Escape Artist though, not Flexibility. Flexibility has a different connotation.


Good point, I suppose. I'll think about it.

-Professions. "Professions" brings the connotation of earning money. If warrior is your profession, then you're a professional warrior - i.e. you're actually paid by someone to go fight for them. Which maybe isn't true - it's pretty likely that a lot of warriors are "treasure hunters" by profession, and simply use their skills as a warrior to make that happen. Or their profession is "thief", but they use their warrior skills to keep them alive while they're thieving. It's for that reason that I think Class is a better designation.


How about "careers", like in Warhammer Fantasy RPG? Whatever we choose is a purely mechanical term, anyhow, just like in all other systems using templates of some sort... well, except Earthdawn.

- The "War" skill. Much too broad. Should be "Martial Lore", "Military Theory", or something.


Sounds good.

- The "Cold Blood" skill. Cold Blood usually has the connotation of some kind of malice (or sunning your scaly self on a rock in the morning..). From the description it sounds like it should be Courage or Bravery or something.


Hm. I think that's a polonism on my part, so to speak. In Polish "zachować zimną krew", which means literally "to keep cold blood" means not to lose your cool and remain calm. But yeah, it doesn't work that way in English.

Things that could be folded together:
- Gambling and Streetwise. I think Streetwise is an excellent catch-all for seedy nefarious things. Gambling is really specific.
- Bluff and Persuasion. Too similar to merit sinking skill points into both. Do you know people who are fantastic liars but never persuade people of anything?
- Weapon Use and Unarmed Combat. I think these could get folded into just plain Fighting or something, because the combat style will be the differentiator anyway. And really, you're not going to be an epic swordfighter and a completely inept pugilist. It just doesn't work that way - in reality, you have a base skill in fighting based on footwork, movement, distance, leverage, etc. Which I think is well-represented by a Fighting skill, and then augmented by a combat style.
- Shooting and Throwing. Similar to above. Could just be Ranged Fighting or something. But again, you've got a foundation in judging distance, movement of your target, velocity, etc.
- Hide and Move Silently. I've never liked that these were separated in 3.5; I've always felt they should just be Stealth.


Thing is, thie system is much more skill-focused than D&D, so I thought more skills would be better. That said, folding fighting skills into Close Combat and Ranged Combat is probably for the best. The differences in combat styles will be handled separately. I can also agree on Gambling and Streetwise... I think they ought to be folded together as "Larceny" like in White Wolf games. Perhaps I could use specializations as a way of handling different focuses.

Also, I'm looking forward to seeing Alchemy. I've always thought that in a gritty world, Alchemy seem very apropos. It loses its luster in a high-magic world (why make an exploding potion if your peers can create Fireballs out of thin air?) but in a low-magic world, it seems just right. I'm not sure how you feel about a gunpowder/steampunk feel for your gritty world, but the Alchemists could easily create something along those lines, without making it actually prevalent in your world.


The overall level of tech isn't going to be all that high - 14th century or so, with some anachronisms that are good for the game. Basically, Alchemy is going to be how the medieval people imagined magic to be - complex formulae, potions, runes et cetera. Explosives are also within their abilities, especially among the goblin alchemists.

I would hazard that Necromancy is probably too much to let a player have - it should be DM-only magic. Dead things walking is creepy for a high-magic world.. in a low-magic world, it's a level of magic which should only be spoke of behind closed doors, and only in known company.


I intend to write up Necromancy one way or another and make it clear that most people of all races don't like it. But if a player wants to have a necromancer character who hides his or her abilities, s/he will be able to do so.
Morty
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:31 am
Location: Poland

Re: Morty's Low Fantasy Sytem

Postby DragoonWraith » Fri Dec 24, 2010 8:59 am

I'm afraid I have nothing in the way of detailed critique, but I'm curious - can you explain why you'd go with a "roll under" system? Rolling over just seems massively more intuitive - what advantage does a "roll under" system have?
"change the world..."
User avatar
DragoonWraith
Site Admin
 
Posts: 307
Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:23 pm

Re: Morty's Low Fantasy Sytem

Postby Morty » Sat Dec 25, 2010 8:59 am

DragoonWraith wrote:I'm afraid I have nothing in the way of detailed critique, but I'm curious - can you explain why you'd go with a "roll under" system? Rolling over just seems massively more intuitive - what advantage does a "roll under" system have?


*sigh* I admit that this is just something I decided on long ago and rolled with it. It doesn't make much sense, but I've never felt like changing it. I suppose it would be easy enough to flip the SR to 11-20 and tweak things so they fit the new way of rolling. That is, unless I decide to go for d100. I'm still debating myself as to whether it's worth it - I'd have to overhaul a couple of things, but it'd give me more flexibility with assigning penalties and bonuses. Do you think I should do it?
Also, I'd like to present the health measurement system I came up with.
  • First, a to-hit roll is made. It'll most likely be just one roll made by the attacker with the defender's defense value modifying the difficulty. I'd like to avoid multiple rolls unless they're necessary.
  • If the attack hits it causes a wound or perhaps more of them. The wound is either minor or major and I think a separate roll will have to be made for it... a test of the attacker's Strength and the weapon's properties against the defenders Armor and perhaps Constitution. It'll require some tweaking.
  • Failure means the wound is Minor. Success means the wound is Major. I think that I could use degrees of success - that is, how far away you roll from the target number - to allow attacks to cause more than one would. I'm thinking that rolling a certain number above/below the target would cause two wounds - thus, a strong attacker striking an unarmored and/or weak defender would have a good chance to deal two Major wounds - and rolling a 1-5 on the percentage die would cause three Major wounds - an equivalent of a critical hit and a devastating attack.
  • A Minor wound incurs no penalties, but three of them add up to one Major wound. Major wounds would give physical penalties and getting too many of them would result in death.
How does that look? Now, of course I also need to decide about what precisely is rolled for what, what penalties Major wounds give, whether exceptionally good rolls cause more than one wound and how many wounds can you get before dying. But that's a start, I suppose.
Last edited by Morty on Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Morty
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:31 am
Location: Poland

Re: Morty's Low Fantasy Sytem

Postby DragoonWraith » Sun Dec 26, 2010 4:58 pm

Wound systems can certainly work, and that looks like a good one to me.

As for rolling over/under - it doesn't really matter, I just see "roll under" systems as adding an unnecessary complication for no good reason. It's just extremely counter-intuitive.
"change the world..."
User avatar
DragoonWraith
Site Admin
 
Posts: 307
Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:23 pm

Re: Morty's Low Fantasy Sytem

Postby Morty » Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:38 pm

DragoonWraith wrote:Wound systems can certainly work, and that looks like a good one to me.


What I'm wondering is whether I should put a separate roll for dodge/block/parry for the defender to make. I don't like the idea of there being too many rolls, but I worry about hitting being too easy.

As for rolling over/under - it doesn't really matter, I just see "roll under" systems as adding an unnecessary complication for no good reason. It's just extremely counter-intuitive.


That's true. Not all of them are counter-intuitive, but the one I came up with is. Right now, I'm almost set on overhauling the basic mechanics to use a d100 - it'd still operate on the Success Rate - but I'm not sure how the attribute values should look like in such case.
Morty
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:31 am
Location: Poland

Re: Morty's Low Fantasy Sytem

Postby UniversalTank » Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:34 pm

I like the SR concept and I'd keep it even if you go to a d100 system. Putting it at the top of the die or the bottom is kinda moot. I guess rolling low doesn't really faze me much since in AD&D you had to roll high for some things (saves, attacks) and low for others (stat checks, % chance deals). the SR concept worked well in WoD, the only thing that having it on the upper bound does that roll-low doesn't is allow for 10-again situations where you can occasionally do really really well.

I admit that I've only just given this a quick once over, but it looks like it could be pretty solid with more work. One key thing that you might want to think about is the length of a combat round. I may have missed it if it was stated in the rules above.

I noticed that arcane spells take 5 minutes/Power Level to cast. This is doable, but that spell had better be worth taking the 5 minutes, 10 if you want to open your target range by 1. A mage, especially one in a low fantasy setting, is going to be very open in combat while he's casting. Usually they're considered all but defenseless. In D&D a round is 6 seconds, meaning in that system your spell would take a full 50 turns to cast. Now, if spells had more of a white wolf Exalted scale or like in Black Company which I noticed that you sited as inspiration, where they take a while to cast but they are very, very powerful I can see it working out well.

On the subject of magic, I like the reversal of the Dwarven archetype in that they are a race noted for being mages rather than incapable of becoming one. Most settings have them being resistant due to the fact that they are very close to reality and what is substantial. Taking away that, but maintaining the amazing focus and dedication they are usually attributed would make them great casters, better than elves who loaf around and get by on being partly magical anyway and humans that have relatively short lives.

As for your skill to resist fear, I think Composure is the term you're looking for. A character's general ability to "keep it together" under overwhelming odds or before something really friggin' scary.

A wound/health level system like WoD would work well. You don't want Exalted's, that's too tough, but WoD mortals are pretty fragile. I see a little bit of the new WoD / 2e Exalted influence in the use of DV rather than having a defensive stat roll. Personally, I don't like having attack rolls but set defenses simply because if both combatants are actually fighting and not just trading blows off each other's shields they both rely a bit on luck for attack and defense. In a fight you always have to wonder if your next attack is going to leave an opening in your defense and if it does, pray your opponent doesn't see it. It's possible to get hit not because your opponent launched a masterful attack but really just because you blocked or dodged incorrectly.

If you want to simplify defense stats slightly, you can consolidate block and parry since parrying is really just blocking with a weapon rather than a solid defensive tool. While that statement isn't entirely true, if a character is fighting without a shield, he'll have to parry and with one he'll probably favor blocking because that's what shields are for, so it's sort of just a matter of flavor and really, someone who is really good with a shield parries with it, making an opening by moving the incoming attack rather than just eating it. Sorry if that came off as, I dunno, "you're wrong"-ish, I didn't mean it that way, I just thought I saw a way of slimming down the combat skill list a little. Either way, dodge should be less effective that block or parry in a confined space.

Wow, that was longer than I thought it would be.
Stories are like artillery fire. Loud, indirect, and often off target. - Me

"I'm gonna monkey jump up there, and monkey kick his ass!" - Garidus Kerben, Dawn Caste, on action to be taken against a prison warden holding him captive.
UniversalTank
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:51 am

Re: Morty's Low Fantasy Sytem

Postby Morty » Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:12 am

UniversalTank wrote:I like the SR concept and I'd keep it even if you go to a d100 system. Putting it at the top of the die or the bottom is kinda moot. I guess rolling low doesn't really faze me much since in AD&D you had to roll high for some things (saves, attacks) and low for others (stat checks, % chance deals). the SR concept worked well in WoD, the only thing that having it on the upper bound does that roll-low doesn't is allow for 10-again situations where you can occasionally do really really well.


I'm still not decided if switching do d100 is worth it, but thanks. I think I'll come up with a d100 version of the rules and then work out which one works better. It's a matter of scale, really. It'll probably take some playtesting to see which method ends up being better.

I admit that I've only just given this a quick once over, but it looks like it could be pretty solid with more work. One key thing that you might want to think about is the length of a combat round. I may have missed it if it was stated in the rules above.


No, you haven't missed it, I don't have a set length of a combat round yet. I'm thinking that it'll be one, two or three seconds. Combat in real world is usually decided in seconds, after all.

I noticed that arcane spells take 5 minutes/Power Level to cast. This is doable, but that spell had better be worth taking the 5 minutes, 10 if you want to open your target range by 1. A mage, especially one in a low fantasy setting, is going to be very open in combat while he's casting. Usually they're considered all but defenseless. In D&D a round is 6 seconds, meaning in that system your spell would take a full 50 turns to cast. Now, if spells had more of a white wolf Exalted scale or like in Black Company which I noticed that you sited as inspiration, where they take a while to cast but they are very, very powerful I can see it working out well.


I think you missed the part about wizards being able to "store" spells after weaving them. A wizard who wants to use spells in combat would prepare them ahead of time to "fire" them in a single round later. Also, I plan on magic users being more useful out of combat.

On the subject of magic, I like the reversal of the Dwarven archetype in that they are a race noted for being mages rather than incapable of becoming one. Most settings have them being resistant due to the fact that they are very close to reality and what is substantial. Taking away that, but maintaining the amazing focus and dedication they are usually attributed would make them great casters, better than elves who loaf around and get by on being partly magical anyway and humans that have relatively short lives.


Yeah, that's one of my ways to give the races a different spin. Elves, on that note, don't use arcane magic very much. They're more fey-like and wild than magical.

As for your skill to resist fear, I think Composure is the term you're looking for. A character's general ability to "keep it together" under overwhelming odds or before something really friggin' scary.


Composure sounds good, yes. Thanks.

A wound/health level system like WoD would work well. You don't want Exalted's, that's too tough, but WoD mortals are pretty fragile. I see a little bit of the new WoD / 2e Exalted influence in the use of DV rather than having a defensive stat roll. Personally, I don't like having attack rolls but set defenses simply because if both combatants are actually fighting and not just trading blows off each other's shields they both rely a bit on luck for attack and defense. In a fight you always have to wonder if your next attack is going to leave an opening in your defense and if it does, pray your opponent doesn't see it. It's possible to get hit not because your opponent launched a masterful attack but really just because you blocked or dodged incorrectly.


It occured to me, yes. I agree that having opposed combat rolls is more realistic and dynamic, but I was worried about the combat becoming too long. Then again, since the combat is meant to end in two or three succesful hits... I was thinking about the attacker rolling a Close/Ranged Combat check with a 10 or 50 SR and then the defender rolling a Close Combat/Dodge check with the SR modified by how well the attacker rolled above/below the SR.

If you want to simplify defense stats slightly, you can consolidate block and parry since parrying is really just blocking with a weapon rather than a solid defensive tool. While that statement isn't entirely true, if a character is fighting without a shield, he'll have to parry and with one he'll probably favor blocking because that's what shields are for, so it's sort of just a matter of flavor and really, someone who is really good with a shield parries with it, making an opening by moving the incoming attack rather than just eating it. Sorry if that came off as, I dunno, "you're wrong"-ish, I didn't mean it that way, I just thought I saw a way of slimming down the combat skill list a little. Either way, dodge should be less effective that block or parry in a confined space.


That's a good point, I think. I'll definetly think about it. You're right about dodge, too.
Morty
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:31 am
Location: Poland

Re: Morty's Low Fantasy Sytem

Postby Morty » Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:57 am

Well, I did an overhaul of the Tier 1 professions. What I'm wondering now is whether the skills are properly spread around... I intend to give every character an additional free Primary and Secondary skill to increase customization. Do you think some skills need to be moved around? Or that some are missing or unecessary?
Morty
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:31 am
Location: Poland


Return to Other Tabletop Design

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

cron