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Author Topic: Nano-calypse (forum game system)  (Read 333 times)

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Offline AutocadTopic starter

Nano-calypse (forum game system)
« on: February 20, 2015, 12:06:53 AM »


This system is meant for zombie-apocalypse gameplay in which a group of heroes must survive relentless onslaughts of waves of zombie-like monsters/enemies. The monsters try to infect the heroes through physical contact, while the heroes must hold them at bay using a variety of weapons and abilities.

This system is designed for play-by-post roleplay and attempts to streamline the action through turn-based combat with minimal interruptions (e.g. no attacks of opportunity), and abstracting the battlefield to minimize the need for a map (which is simple on a physical tabletop with miniatures, but much more hassle on a forum).

Flavourwise, this document assumes a high-tech futuristic setting where out-of-control nano-machines (“nanites”) take over their host body’s neural functions and try to infect other suitable creatures to spread. You can adapt the fluff to a more traditional viral/bacterial zombie-causing vector if you wish.

Dice Rolling System

A dice roll is usually given by “d” followed by the number of sides on the dice, e.g. d6 means to roll a six-sided dice.

Some situations are more or less favourable and give Advantage or Disadvantage to a dice roll. A roll with advantage means rolling twice and taking the higher result. A roll with disadvantage means rolling twice and taking the worse result.

Advantages and disadvantages can cancel each other out.  After netting, a roll with two or more advantages is Maximized, which means taking the highest possible result of the dice. Similarly, a roll with two or more disadvantages is Minimized, which means taking the lowest possible result of the dice. No additional bonuses or penalties are given for three or more advantages or disadvantages.

For example, a dice roll with three advantages and one disadvantage will net out to two advantages, which is a maximized roll.

The size of the dice generally depends on gear. Flat bonuses, added to the final result, are uncommon.

Character Creation and Skills

Character creation summarized:
First, assign 3 skill ranks.
Second, pick 2 pieces of starting gear (see equipment section further on).
Third, choose 1 ability (see ability section further on).

Characters have 0, 1, or 2 ranks in 6 categories of skills:

Heavy weapons: Gatling guns, flamethrowers, etc. Also used for operating fixed weapon emplacements, vehicle turrets, and the like.
Firearms: Rifles, shotguns, pistols, etc.
Melee: Sledgehammers, swords, etc.
Explosives: Grenades, etc. Also used for demolitions.
Hacking: Gaining access to an electronic device, including picking electronic locks. Also used to temporarily hack into an infected creature’s nanites to damage or slow it down.
First aid: Treating an organic creature’s wounds.

Rolls for a skill in which a character has 2 ranks are made at advantage. Rolls for a skill in which a character has no ranks are made at disadvantage.

Characters begin play with 3 ranks to distribute in skills of their choice (i.e. either 2 ranks in skill and 1 rank in another skill, or 3 ranks in separate skills).
« Last Edit: February 20, 2015, 12:15:40 AM by Autocad »

Offline AutocadTopic starter

Re: Nano-calypse (forum zombie-like apocalypse game system)
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2015, 12:07:21 AM »


Combat takes place over three ranges: Long Range (LR), Short Range (SR), and Close Quarters (CQ). Generally, long range combat takes place beyond 25 metres, short range combat takes place within 25 metres, and close quarters combat takes place when characters and monsters are within physical striking range of each other.

Firearms are generally useable across the three ranges, to various degrees of effectiveness, while melee weapons are generally only useable at close quarters. Some weapons have give advantage or disadvantage to damage rolls at certain ranges, which is given in the weapon description.

Flow of Combat

Combat begins when the monsters are detected, which is usually at long range for outdoor engagements and short range for indoor fights. If the monsters get the drop on the characters (as determined by the GM), they may start closer to the characters, e.g. at short range or even close quarters!

On their turn, the player characters act, usually shooting or taking other offensive action against the monsters. Then, it is the monsters’ turn. Usually, monsters at long range will move to short range, monsters at short range will move to close quarters, and monsters still surviving after the characters’ close quarters turn will attack! After the monsters’ turn, it is the characters’ turn once more, and so on.

Monsters at long range or short range move towards the characters, but not any particular one of them. On the other hand, at close quarters, each monster has its own target character which it will attack in its next turn, and the character knows which monsters are targeting them.

Monsters may not appear all at once, but may come in waves, spread out over the ranges with one wave appearing each turn.

Actions in Combat

Each character can take one action on their turn, usually attacking with a weapon. To roll damage, use the dice with the number of sides given under the weapon description, applying advantage or disadvantage if applicable. Each monster has a listed number of Hit Points (HP) given under its entry in the bestiary. When damage equal to a monster’s HP is dealt, that monster is killed, and any remaining damage is carried on to the next monster at the same range.

If there are multiple waves of monsters at different ranges, a character can only attack at one range at a time. Once a range has been cleared of monsters, any surplus damage is wasted.

If a character is being targeted by monsters at close quarters, they can only attack at close quarters, prioritizing the monsters targeting them first.

Other than direct attacks with a weapon, characters may also use other items or abilities – their particular effects are given under each item’s/ability’s description.

Hacking, etc. in Combat

Sometimes, the characters have to hack into a computer, while endless waves of monsters are bearing down upon them! In such situations, one character has to act as the hacker while the others cover them. The hacker uses their action to roll using the dice size of the hacking gear on their turn. The result represents the progress in hacking, which the GM tracks. When the cumulative result reaches the number needed, the hack is successful.

The same mechanic can also be used for other things, like setting up breeching charges to get past a locked door, healing a non-player character, etc.

Monster Attacks and Hit Point Rolls

If a monster at close quarters isn’t killed by the end of the characters’ turn, on its turn, it will attack! (For the games here on Elliquiy, that probably means rape.)

Each surviving monster deals damage according to its entry. Damage taken is cumulative and persists until removed by first aid. Monsters remain at close quarters and continue targeting the same character for attack on their next turn.

At the beginning of their next turn, the character makes a Hit Point roll, which for a starting character is usually d6. If the result is greater than or equal to their total damage taken, they remain standing and can continue to act. Otherwise, they are incapacitated, and can no longer act!

The consequences of an incapacitated character depends on the GM – in some games, they might merely be down until the end of the current combat, while in others, they might be gone for good… Monsters previously targeting the incapacitated character switch to other characters.

Elliquiy alternative: even after a character has been incapacitated, the monsters continue to have their way with them, until the character’s allies intervene…

First aid

A character may perform first aid on another creature or themselves. They make the roll for first aid, and the result is subtracted from the damage that the target has suffered, to a minimum of zero damage.

If the target was incapacitated, they may attempt to make another hit point roll, comparing the result to the newly reduced damage number, to see if they regain the ability to act.

First aid may be carried during combat, using up the aiding character’s action for the turn. If the receiving character regains the ability to act, they can do so immediately during the same turn.

For player characters, only one first aid attempt may be made on them per combat. Another combat must be initiated before first aid can be used again on that character.

Offline AutocadTopic starter

Re: Nano-calypse (forum zombie-like apocalypse game system)
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2015, 12:09:12 AM »

Item description comes in the following format: name, associated skill, dice size, and any special features.

Characters begin play with two items of their choice, chosen from the same categories as their starting skills.

Gatling Gun
Heavy weapon
Damage: d8
Special: minimized at close quarters, disadvantage at short range

Heavy weapon
Damage: d8 fire
Special: minimized at long range, disadvantage at short range

Assault Rifle
Damage: d6
Special: disadvantage at close quarters

Damage: d6
Special: disadvantage at long range

Damage: d4
Special: disadvantage at long range, can be dual-wielded

Damage: d10
Special: close quarters only

Damage: d6
Special: close quarters only, can be dual-wielded

Damage: d12 explosive
Special: cannot be used at close quarters, one use per combat

Stun Grenade
Damage: d6 stun (stun does not deal damage, instead, d6 monsters may not move or act on their next turn)
Special: cannot be used at close quarters, one use per combat

Hacking kit
Hacking roll: d6

First Aid Kit
First aid roll: d6


Characters with sufficient ranks in the required skills qualify for the following abilities.
Characters begin play with one ability of their choice that they qualify for.

Sustained Fire
Requirement: Heavy Weapons rank 1
Effect: You may attack on this turn with a Heavy Weapon at advantage. On your next turn, any attack with the same Heavy Weapon is at disadvantage.
Usage: This ability may be used once per combat.

Last Stand
Requirement: Firearms rank 1
Effect: You may attack with Firearms (but not perform other actions) even after you have been incapacitated. All damage rolls while incapacitated are at disadvantage. This effect lasts until you take any further damage.
Usage: This ability may be used once per combat.

Dual Wield
Requirement: Firearms rank 1 or Melee rank 1
Effect: When holding two identical weapons with the dual-wield property, you may attack with both weapons. The dice size is doubled (e.g. d4 -> d8) for damage rolls.
Usage: This ability has no usage limit.
Special: A character starting with this skill who chooses a dual-wield weapon as starting gear, gains a second copy of this weapon for no additional cost.

Requirement: Melee rank 1
Effect: Choose one ally. All monsters targeting that ally now target you instead. You may attack with Melee weapons with advantage on this turn.
Usage: This ability may be used once per combat.

Requirement: Explosives rank 1
Effect: You must not be already in combat, but aware of impending combat, to use this ability. You set up a mine with an explosive at short range or long range. If your explosive has limited uses per combat, this counts as a use. The first time monsters enter the chosen range, the explosive automatically explodes, dealing its damage and/or effects to the monsters at that range.
Usage: This ability must be used before combat.

Requirement: Hacking rank 1
Effect: Make a hacking roll. Choose a range. A number of monsters at this range, equal to the result of the hacking roll, are stunned and may not move or act on their next turn. This ability uses your action for this turn.
Usage: This ability may be used once per combat.

Rapid Aid
Requirement: First Aid rank 1
Effect: You may perform first aid without using up your action for this turn.
Usage: This ability may be used once per combat.

Requirement: None
Effect: All characters including yourself receive advantage for rolls made this turn. Using this ability does not use up your action.
Usage: This ability may be used once per combat.


Monsters come in hordes, usually of a single type of monster. (Advanced rules for hordes containing multiple monster types will be for a future edition.) Each monster has a listed number of Hit Points (HP). When damage equal to a monster’s HP is dealt, that monster is killed, and any remaining damage is carried on to the next monster. Monsters also have a Damage statistic, which is how much damage they deal to characters if they have the chance to attack.

HP: 1
Damage: 1
Special: none

Giant bee
HP: 1
Damage: 1
Special: Despite their name, giant bees are still small compared to a person and hard to hit, so they take half damage from attacks (keep track of decimals). However, they are vulnerable to area of effect attacks, so they take double damage from Fire and Explosive type damage, and Stun affects double the usual number of giant bees.

HP: 1
Damage: 1
Special: Slimes are dangerous because they combine. Whereas with most monsters, as damage is dealt the individual monsters drop, reducing the danger posed by the horde, the combined slime horde remains fully functional until damage is accumulated to exceed the horde’s total HP. As a silver lining, because they are combined, any Stun effect that affects part of the horde will affect the entire horde.

Character Advancement

Character may advance / level up / etc. at the GM’s discretion. A character gains 1 rank to put into any skill, 1 ability that they qualify for, and the dice size of their Hit Point roll increases by 2 (e.g. d6 -> d8).

Offline AutocadTopic starter

Re: Nano-calypse (forum game system)
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2015, 12:15:28 AM »
So this is an idea for a forum RP system I had in mind for a while now... inspired by games like Parasite in City and Hounds of the Blade (links NSFW), with hordes of onrushing enemies and not enough time to take them down before they get to you.

Feel free to comment, I'm taking suggestions and also play-testers to see how it actually plays out.