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Author Topic: Maths and Comic Lovers, Assemble! (System Advice)  (Read 543 times)

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Offline ScribblesTopic starter

Maths and Comic Lovers, Assemble! (System Advice)
« on: January 13, 2015, 11:03:57 AM »

So, I hate systems, with a passion, but I've learned that many see them as critical to a fair game, especially one where prowess and power are the central themes.

With this in mind, I've tried to create something which is simple enough to not overwhelm anyone -- such as myself -- while allowing for some progression, some RP, some balance, some creativity and some forethought. It may be minimal on all accounts but the primary goal is to create a basic and fair system while allowing for as many possibilities during character creation as possible.

Unfortunately, my maths is as bad as my understanding of systems, so any help would be appreciated. I'm looking for advice to stamp out any possible exploits, to help me sift through any redundancies, to spot mistakes and to suggest any awesome ideas! On the other hand, if you can suggest a system which suits my needs perfectly, please don't hesitate to share!

The current system I have in mind is for a heroic RP, one with lots of powers and abilities which generally makes any form of control an absolute pain. The idea behind the system was snatched from an earlier RP (pretty much word for word) which unfortunately fell flat...

Fingers crossed that the same won't happen to the system after a bit of keen scrutiny!

To begin, you have five primary points and four test points to distribute amongst the abilities listed below, test points can never outnumber primary points during placement. During creation, you're not allowed to exceed four primary points into any single ability, or three test points into any single ability. (Scribblings: These are a set of creation rules which I hope to make flexible from game to game...)

Primary Stat The primary stat shows the number of dice you're permitted for any rolls when utilizing this stat or its sub stat (test stats), this is where you place primary points...
Test Stat The test stat is a sub-stat of the primary stat and is where you place test points, it shows the number of extra dice you're permitted to roll whenever the test stat is specifically involved in an action, these dice don't add to your primary roll but you can swap dice between the primary and test rolls. Test stats fall under primary stats (Agility is a test stat of Body, for example) and also often grant bonuses to the characters in question...

Power: (Power encompasses any superhuman abilities, whether destructive, elemental, physical, martial, magical, mental, etc...)
Level: (This measures the capability of your ability, it can be used to attack or defend...)
Charges: (Some powers can only be used a limited amount of times every few minutes, such as teleporting, invisibility, phasing, replication, mimickery, lightning speed, etc. Each test dice added, increases your character's base charge of two by one...)
Neutral: (This is a dump stat for abilities which have no measure of power, such as invulnerability, immortality, affluence, etc. Every time you put a point into this stat, choose a neutral power...)

Body: (Body encompasses all feats which rely on nothing but the character itself and its natural talents...)
Willpower: (Defends against Mind or Manipulation powers, the number of points in this stat is added to the defensive roll...)
Endurance: (Allows you to stubbornly resist defeat, each test dice in endurance gives you another life point...)
Agility: (Defends against Mechanic and Power Damage, the number of points in this stat is added to the defensive roll...)
Skill: (This measures how fast your character is, how accurate their aim is, how high they can jump, and other purely RP skills as opposed to combat abilities...)

(Scribblings: I'm torn on how to add the additional defensive traits (Agility and Willpower), I've been hovering between extra test dice and a fixed number for some time, possibly to be used outside of their primary stat whenever the mechanical or power stats are used for defence...)

Mechanic: (Mechanic encompasses any armour, weapons, gadgets, etc...)
Armour: (Defends against Damage, each test dice in armour gives you another armour point...)
Energy: (This measures the strength of your weapons, shields, nullifiers, etc, it can be used to defend or attack...)
Utility: (This measures the capabilities of your utilities, such as speed, flight, and other purely RP utilities as opposed to combat abilities...)

(Scribblings: The below field, Social, can pretty much be left out of most games but it's something I like to keep in mind, especially for games where you can't take two steps without bumping into an NPC...)

Social: (Used purely for RP, not applicable in combat...)
Communication: (Measures how likeable and convincing your character...)
Awareness: (This determines a character's ability to spot lies, determine agendas or avoid falling for a few sweet words...)
Influence: (Whether by connections with government, military, or underworld figures, influence can go a long way to pressuring others into letting your character have their way...)
Education: (Education can open many doors, especially if the matter at hand falls into your character's particular field of study. You may add this traits dice to your test dice in combat when dealing with your character's speciality, for example, if your character is dealing with a mechanical foe and they happen to be a student in engineering...)

Life Points: (This is your physical and mental health, even if a mental attack doesn't always physically hurt your character, it can still exhaust them. When this drops to zero, your character has lost the fight. You can only gain life by adding points to Endurance...)
Armour Points: (This is your armour, enemies have to deplete this stat first before they can hurt your life points, with the exception of mental attacks which go through any armour below level three. Any armour matching three or above protects against mental abilities, meaning it has to be lowered by the required points before mental attacks can have any effect.)

(Scribblings: I'll generally assert that the base life and armour begins at one, although I've toyed with two life and one armour as well, I feel this base might encourage players not to simply pump everything into one area...)

Elaboration on Armour: Armour is what your character is currently wearing, so as it lowers it generally means that your character might be suffering a bit of a wardrobe malfunction. As you create your character, you also need to try match your character's clothing to the rank in armour you've picked. For example, you can't rank up armour with a ton of points and say that the chainmail bikini your character is wearing suffices as max armour.

When attacking, your opponent needs to pick whether to defend or attack in their own post. If they attack and equal your dice rolls, both sides lose an armour or life point. If they attack and score a lower roll, they lose a point. If they defend, their current life and armour points are added to their dice rolls. If they defend and equal or surpass your dice roll, then no damage is dealt to them. Defending also negates critical damage, turning it into normal damage. Attacking and Defending rolls utilize either the Power (primary dice) - Level (test dice), or the Mechanic (primary dice) - Energy (test dice). Defending also can use the Body (primary dice) - Willpower, Agility (test dice).

Critical Damage:
If your own dice roll is double or more than your opponent's, you strike two life or armour points away from your opponent.

Fate Points:
These points can be used to swing an event or action in your favour, you gain one fate point at the end of each chapter or after a significant event in the story. Methods of use include...
  • Cancelling out a fate point used by your opponent...
  • Rerolling a single primary dice...
  • Forcing a success from a failed roll, only useable against NPCs or Events, not against Players...
  • Increasing a successful attack into a critical success, must be used before the attack is made in which case it will fail if the attack does, overrides a defensive stance...
  • Spending a fate point to add one primary point, or two test points, to any ability of your choosing. This lasts for the duration of the chapter after which you lose the stats. You may not spend a fate point in the same trait again, for one chapter.

« Last Edit: January 13, 2015, 12:02:55 PM by Scribbles »

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Re: Maths and Comic Lovers, Assemble! (System Advice)
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2015, 08:51:31 PM »
For a pretty stripped down and simple system you might want to look into the O.R.E.  (One Roll Engine) for the games Godlike and Wild Talents.  It was designed for superhero/mutant/superpowered games and has a set of primary like body, coordination, mind.  Simple skill lists, and the ability to make custom powers and abilities.  It is resolved in one roll so you aren't playing Yahtzee for one action while making a lot of rolls like some systems.  It can be hard to wrap your head around the matching system if you are engrained in systems like DnD or WoD but its pretty straight forward.  Just a suggeston and you could likely strip down O.R.E. even more for your needs.

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: Maths and Comic Lovers, Assemble! (System Advice)
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2015, 07:03:25 AM »
Ok, so the system in the first post is R(Stat+Specialisation)K(Stat). Nothing wrong with that.
I don't like the approach to Social, though. Why would you have them covered with the skill system, if it's never rolled? Either make it its own minigame, or leave it to roleplaying, if you can't imagine a dieroll informing the social interactions. Just don't make it a choice between having actually useful stats and having some unrolled stat where I don't know how it's going to impact the game, if at all.
This brings us to my biggest objection. The system also lacks meaningful consequences. OK, I roll "Agility" to run around you and wrap you with a cord. What's the mechanical effect of that? Rolling to get to "GM decides" again is one unnecessary step away from "GM decides".
Why does attack lead to both of us being equally hurt?
And who would choose defence if it gives no bonuses? Someone who's stalling for time?

I'd also recommend something like ORE. StarORE can do what this game is trying, it is free, and it's less than 15 pages long. Just re-write the skill system, shortening it to taste (and adjust the XP cost for stats to match that).
Granted, the fights are usually over rather quickly, but I'm not persuaded that's a problem for a forum game :P!

Offline ScribblesTopic starter

Re: Maths and Comic Lovers, Assemble! (System Advice)
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2015, 07:25:25 AM »
Thanks for the input guys, I'll have a peek at this ORE system!

It's been a month since I glanced at this so it's difficult to recall my thoughts behind most of the stuff, it was meant to be a system for a game someone was developing.