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Author Topic: A new system for mostly free-form play  (Read 501 times)

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Offline Darrow HuckTopic starter

A new system for mostly free-form play
« on: November 08, 2012, 06:43:59 PM »
So, I've been thinking recently about a system designed for mostly free-from RPs that just want a little bit of a system for resolving character vs. character actions.

The system should be based around three requirements:

1) Simplicity- character sheets should be short enough to fit in a signature-sized space, and the entire system should be explainable in about one page of text.

2) Unobtrusiveness- the system would not require a GM, just that players are being reasonable with each other (the system wouldn't work in competitive play). It would also require as few rolls as possible, to keep things moving quickly.

3) Extensibility- the system should be modifiable to new settings/powers very easily, preferably even by players coming up with new powers on their own.

The system would not be concerned with tactical depth or balance; it's just a way to add a little unpredictability and structure without having to use a "real" system.

Here's what I've come up with:

The Quasi-Free From RP System

Characters in this system have five stats and a relatively short list of skills.

Sample character sheet:

Strength              2           blade weapons (nim) vs Speed
Speed                 2           fire magic (focus) vs Willpower
Nimbleness        2          running (speed) vs Speed
Willpower           2
Focus                  2

Rolls
All rolls in this system are opposed. Each character chooses a skill that they are using. They each roll 2d6 and add the stat associated with the skill to the result. They do no need to have the skill in order to use it. If they do have the skill, then they add the associated stat x 2 to the result instead. Whichever character rolls highest has succeeded, and gets to apply whatever effect is associated with the skill to the other player.

If one player wishes to take no action, then he simple rolls 2d6 and adds the opposing stat to the skill being used against him.

The choice of skill for each player should shape the scene. One character using a bladed weapons skill vs another player using a running skill might mean that one character is trying to flee before the other player can hit him. If no logical scene can be constructed out of the two opposing skills (such as sneak vs bondage skills) then one player should simply default to rolling the opposed stat.

Skills
There would be a short list of "core" skills for the system, but a player can pretty much invent whatever skill he likes.
Each skill has a stat that it is based off of as well as an opposing stat. Two skills can even cover the same thing (such as blade weapons), only with different stats.

The skill also has associated effects that it can have on players it is used against. A bladed weapon skill would have the effect of "Apply a wound to the opposing player. The wound can range from fatal to partially debilitating ( a negative modifier to whatever stats the successful part wants) to very minor". A polymorph skill roll would have the effect of "Turn opposing player into an animal".

Skills which do not directly effect other players do not exist. Actions which are not opposed by other players should be handled free-form.

Defense Points
Each player starts any sequence of opposed rolls with three Defense Points. The player may spend a defense point to negate an effect being placed on him due to losing an opposed roll. He must do this immediately after the effect has been announced.

Equipment
All equipment merely adds to a stat when used. A broadsword might be +2 strength while a dagger might be +1 Nimbleness.

Misc
If the opposed roll is a tie, nothing happens that round and the fight continues.

If multiple characters are attacking one character, he may only apply an effect due to a successful opposed roll to one player. He must use the same skill against all opposing rolls.

This is a rough sketch of my idea. What does everyone think? Would you use it? Is there another system you know of that does roughly the same thing?

Offline MasterMischief

Re: A new system for mostly free-form play
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2012, 08:01:29 AM »
You might want to check out PDQ from Atomic Sock Monkey Press.