Okay, what's the plot you have in mind?
I like to tailor the plots of my games to the player's characters. For example, a group of players who wanted to be mostly a band of merchants and their caravan guard played a resupplying role for a small military that spiraled up into them being full on reinforcements at a key placement that would have shifted the world into a darker direction if they did not succeed. Fortunately, they fended off the attackers and then led a short crusade to drive the attacking army back to it's nations borders.
Another started off with a few peasants becoming nobles and playing the diplomacy game, dealing with assassinations and managing their own governing areas.
A third started as a one-shot game that brought about a creation story to why the world is in such bad shape magic wise.
Each plot is dependent on what the players provide character and roleplay wise. I won't make a plot until I can get a gist of the characters planned to be used. If you can't decide on a character to play, or depend on what the plot is, then we can look at the other player's characters for a basis as to what I would be planning plot wise from there. :3
No, I meant if it was Science Fiction or High Fantasy or Realistic Fantasy, that sort of stuff.
Oh. Well the setting is a Steampunk, Clockwork, Crystal punk, and High Magic ordeal. Firearms are rarely seen, but are still known to be used in the more civilized areas. Stated later, there's a lot of room to work with race wise, since almost everything in this universe can be a character. There's a creature known as a sand whale and it's the same size as a Blue Whale (largest creature that lives on Earth btw) and it can be a race for a character, but you'll mostly just be transport for the rest of the group, or possibly an improvised ship. It's a moderately free-range imagination sandbox, or just a sandbox of moderately free-range imagination. e u e
What's the system?
The game system is a Grade d6 system.
Now a Grade system means that the statistics on the character are a 1:1 ratio, such as follows: 1 = 1 dice, 2 = 2 die, 3 = 3 die, etc. A d6 system means that the main die rolled will be the six sided variants. So combine the Grade with the d6 and you get 1 = 1d6, 2 = 2d6, 3 = 3d6, etc. :3
What's the custom universe? What races are allowed?
As for the universe, it's mostly anthropomorphic (which means humanoid creatures with animal qualities are allowed) but is not restricted to anthro's or furries. You can be the generic races (Human, Elf, Dwarf, Halfling/Hobbit, Half-Orc, Gnome, etc) and even one of the races native to the universe. (Reptilian, Amphibian, Aquatic, Avian, Mammalian, etc) If this turns out to be a small group (2 or 3 people) then I'll allow these people the option of being a Mythic. (A mythic is a creature of legend that innately has magical affinity or abilities, such as Dragons and Elementals)
Can I be a: Vampire, werewolf, shapechanger, overpowered creature?
No. You can, however, be a human or humanoid that can temporarily alter their form via magic. The users of this type of magic (normally used for combat and infiltration) tend to have the Wild title before their assumed class. Wild Fighter, Wild Rogue, Wild Caster, Wild Ranger, Wild Crafter, etc etc.
How about something that could help us understand what you're expecting from us. Statistics?
The statistics will be easy for anyone who knows about Dungeons and Dragons:
Str: Strength (carrying limit, melee capabilities in attack and damage, brute strength, running strides)
Dex: Dexterity (hand-eye coordination, agility, grace, and running speed)
Con: Constitution (endurance, health, natural immune system, healing abilities, casting endurance)
Int: Intelligence (ability to retain knowledge, ability to reproduce information, memory, crafting, secondary casting attribute)
Wis: Wisdom (willpower, perception, comprehension, manipulating information, optional primary casting attribute)
Cha: Charisma (personality, persuasion, secondary luck attribute, portraying information, optional primary casting attribute)
Okay, so how do we figure out our character's statistics?
Pretty simple actually. You start off with 1 in each statistic, and get 8 extra points to spend, with a maximum of 4 in any two statistics. An example Character Base Statistic Block will look like this after the points are spent (though not necessarily in this exact way of spending them) (Total of 14 when including the free grade points)
Okay, I got my statistics written up. What about modifiers?
Actually, you remember what I said earlier about Grade? Well the current numbers you just put down in your stats are your Grade. Taking the example above, the character has two Grade 3 abilities (Str, and Con) and the rest are Grade 2 abilities (Dex, Int, Wis, and Cha) Unlike D&D, there is no standard modifier for each number, and there is no penalty for having any statistic higher than 1.
Okay, so all of our rolls from stats will be just rolling d6? That doesn't seem balanced.
Just having you roll d6 without any modifiers is indeed unbalanced. That's why you get another 15 points to spend amongst your stats, but do not add these points to your Grade. These extra points are your Secondary Grade, or Secondary modifier. Their mechanic will be explained in a bit. For now, enjoy the example character with their 15 Secondary Grade points alloted:
Str: 3 (+3)
Dex: 2 (+3)
Con: 3 (+2)
Int: 2 (+2)
Wis: 2 (+3)
Cha: 2 (+2)
Alright, I have those typed/written down. What do they do?
Secondary Grade Modifiers (aka the Mods for this system) are a constant bonus to the total number rolled, but cannot increase the Base Grade of that Statistic. If you really wanted to, you could put your starting 8 all in Str to have a consistently (and extremely) strong character, but that will leave your other statistics open for luck to decide what happens to your character. As a general rule, it is best to not put more Mods into a single stat than twice the Grade it has, because a +4 on a Grade 2 means that your minimum is 6 and your maximum is 16, with an average of 11. Now that minimum will guarantee any Grade 1 challenges will be passed, and that average of 11 is another guarantee of passing any Grade 2 challenge that you come across, excluding combat and new spell component casting. However, putting a +5 or higher is a waste, as your Grade 2 limits the Challenge Grade that you can automatically succeed on, even with enough points to always succeed just by your total roll. You can still attempt Grade 3, and even Grade 4 challenges, but don't expect to always succeed on them.
Wait wait wait, Grade Challenges? Challenge Grade? What are these things!? *armflail*
A Challenge Grade is the minimum Grade that you need to meet in a challenge to have to roll your dice. As stated before, a Grade of 2 in a statistic means that your Challenge Grade is 2. Combat Challenge Grades, on the other hand, are the same as your basic Challenge Grade, but subtract one grade from it. (aka CG 2 = CCG 1) If your Challenge Grade (or Combat Challenge Grade) meets or exceeds the Grade required to attempt, then it is an automatic success, save Prolonged Actions (Crafting, larger spell conjuring, endurance tests, etc) and Surprise Actions (Grenade-like weapon explodes, Trap is triggered, caught Unaware by an opponent, Blinded, etc) which will ALWAYS require a roll to be made, unless Assisted on (for prolonged actions) or you negate the Surprise Effect (for surprise actions).
@_@ Okay, what about that Grade Challenge?
A Grade Challenge is simple, it's a challenge to your Grade. Combat, aggressive social actions (such as lying, intimidating, or persuading someone) and Strenuous Activities (mostly just hastened versions of passive actions like casting a spell or drawing a map/creating a quick item)
A Grade Challenge will normally have a Prerequisite Grade to be attempted. Simple ones, such as lighting a torch without magic is a Grade 1 Challenge. As a passive, this is an automatic success no matter the character. Now, Hastening an action cuts the amount of time required down to half, a third, a quarter, or only three quarters of the time allotted. This increases the Grade Challenge by 1. So say you have a candle and a couple of matches, you easily light the candle with the first match, but a window opens and freely lets the wind blow out your candle. Your character hastens to light the candle again, but has a chance of wasting the match in favor of being in the light once again because more room for error is allowed from hastening. HOWEVER: Hastening a Grade Challenge does not increase the Grade required to perform the action, so someone who has Grade 2 can perform a Hastened Grade 3 Challenge, but it will be counted as a Grade 4 Challenge when rolling comes around.
Got it. You mentioned Spells?
Why yes I did. Now unlike other universes where you get mandatory spells that are ALWAYS the same when prepared and used, I have a more non-linear system. This Spell system is a Component system. You're probably asking 'What the eff does a Component system mean?' and you'd be smart to be thinking that. A Component system entails that your spells are normally made of different attributes, or Components, that garner that spell's effects. Much like putting a character together, a spell requires three main attributes: a range that it can be used on (self, touch, close, medium, long, and far-cast) an effect (damage, poison, paralysis, sending a message, etc) and a trigger, aka a requirement for the effect to be implemented through (attack, creature/object/targets in area of effect, saving throw, eye-contact, trap line, extended casting time, material focus, etc)
So how would we even cast a spell?
Simple. First you would have to select from the components you know for each section, then say you want to cast a spell using those components. Then when you cast the spell you set the trigger, which when activated unleashes the effect.
A few examples:
An easy to use crowd control spell, like sleep, paralysis, or smoke screen will normally have a Medium or Long range and only target a few creatures, or have a really close range such as a circle centered on the caster and target a good number of the creatures in range.
A simple damage spell can have a varying level to its range, but the closer it's restricted to the higher the damage allowed. Secondary effects, such as Burn, Frost, Shock, or Difficult terrain can be added in place of a portion of the damage.
Manipulation spells, like unlocking a door or identifying an item, tend to be at really close range as most of the magic is concentrated on the item or act of manipulating. Easier manipulations such as sending a message over the wind can have much farther ranges, even as far as Far-caster.
The number of components you may know per required group is equal to your Int Grade. The number of components you can use per spell is equal to your Wis Grade. The number of spells you can create consecutively (as in constantly casting a spell either every few seconds or casting a potent spell throughout a day) is limited to your Con Grade. Modifiers are not to be included.
Thanks for the information. Does this mean I can make my own spells?
Yes, yes it does. I would advise asking me for permission to use a specific component, as it might be a combination between two or more other components that you might already know. I can also dismantle spells from TV shows, Video games, and Roleplay games into their basic components, so if you want to manage a spell that you saw somewhere else, just ask. :3
Alright, we got spells, and base statistics out of the way. What about people who don't use magic, or dominantly use weapons for self-defense?
Each weapon belongs to a weapon type, and each weapon type has a standard selection of what abilities it can be used for, and what benefits it grants. The following weapon types are the basics:
Melee: Str + Dex Grades to Atk Str + Con Grades to DmgGauntlet
: Least amount of damage provided (+1 Mod to damage) but no Penalty on Attacks. (-0 Mod to Atk)Knife
: Minor amount of damage provided (+1~3 Mod to damage) but a minor penalty to Attack (-1~2 to Atk) Some are specifically made to be thrown, most are balanced or light enough to be used both for melee and thrown.Shortsword
: Minor amount of damage (+2~3 Mod to damage) and a minor penalty to Attack (-1~3 Atk)One Handed Swords
: Moderate damage when used in one hand (+3~4 Mod to dmg) +1 to dmg when used with both hands. Moderate penalty to Attack. (-2~3 Atk) Penalty is decreased by 1 when used with both hands.Two Handed Swords
: High damage, two hands required to wield. (+4~6 Mod to dmg) Moderate penalty to Attack. (-3~4 atk)Axe
: One handed, can range in statistics between Knife and One Handed Swords. Can always be Thrown. (Sometimes two hands are required to throw)Greataxe
: Two handed. High Damage, and High Penalty to Attack. (+4~6 Mod to dmg, -4~5 Mod to Atk)Shield
: Varies in size, can cover the forearm (buckler) the torso (light shield) from the chin to the knees (heavy shield) or all of the body (tower shield) Can be readied against attacks to add a Penalty to the opponent's Damage and a bonus to the user's Defense total. (Buckler +2, Light +4, Heavy +6, Tower +8) Can provide cover against ranged attacks. (Heavy provides minor cover for the entire body, Tower provides Full cover for the entire body) A Shield Bash can be used if all damage is negated from an attack either through a high Defense total or the damage is absorbed into the Shield.Shield Bas
: Cannot be used with a Tower Shield. Can be used in place of a one handed weapon for a Multi-Strike. User makes an attack with a -2 Mod to Atk. If it hits, Minimum Damage is dealt (aka Str Grade x1 + Str Mod) and target loses Defense equal to the amount of damage taken.One Handed Bashing
: Statistics are the same as a Shortsword or One Handed Sword, can be Thrown. +2 Mod to dmg against armor and shields.Two Handed Bashing
: Statistics are the same as a Greatsword, cannot be thrown. +4 Mod to dmg against armor and shields.
Ranged: Dex Grade for Atk. Dex Grade for dmg.Bow
: Ranged, uses Arrows for ammunition. Wis Grade added to Atk. No penalty on Dmg.Crossbow
: Ranged, uses Bolts for ammunition. No penalty on Atk. Wis Grade added to Dmg.Launcher
: Portable Catapult that throws objects such as bottles and vials as far as an arrow or crossbow. No penalty to Atk and no bonus to Dmg.Thrown
: Throwing an item or weapon. -1 penalty to Atk with one handed and smaller weapons. -4 penalty to Atk with Two Handed weapons. Str Grade replaces Dex Grade for dmg, add weapon's damage bonus as normal.
Wow, that was a lot of weapons to choose from. What about something like the morningstar, or the flail?
Simple. A morningstar is counted as a Two Handed Bashing weapon and a Flail is a One Handed Bashing weapon. Weapons that are serrated, spiked, or otherwise are vicious get a +2 dmg bonus when dealing with lightly armored or unarmored opponents/targets. However, vicious weapons tend to break, get stuck in items, or injure the wielder more often than sleek weapons.
Are there other weapon abilities?
Why yes. Thicker weapons are the hardest to break and deal more damage, but have a harder time hitting enemies and cause fatigue on the wielder faster than other weapons. Curved weapons have less striking range but deal a little bit more damage and also can be used to trip or disarm opponents more so than straight weapons. There's also Pole-arms, which are basically two-handed or one handed weapons with reach that are useful for keeping enemies at bay, but require more room to strike and are not as effective against shields. I've already explained Vicious weapons, no need to repeat that. Then there's the more frail ability: Hollow weapons, which allows for faster swings and attempts to disarm opponents, but are the easiest weapons to break and require a regular upkeep to prevent such. Gauntlet type weapons can only be given Thicker, Vicious, or Hollow as an ability. A Hollow Gauntlet allows unimpeded used of the hands while wearing the gauntlet instead of allowing for a disarm attempt.
So what about Armor?
Armor has a Resistance Grade with the simplest and least effective armor (but not useless) having a Resistance Grade 1 (like padded armor, or a thin leather jacket) for the area that it is equipped to. So if you don't have enough money to buy a whole Chainmail set yet enough to purchase some of it, but you've got Breastplate already, you can mix and match items of armor. Compatible armor (aka the actual armor set) garners a +1 RG for all items in the set because it fits together and doesn't hinder the body as much as a ragtag grouping of armor bits.
Resistance Grade, btw, is an automatic decrease to the amount of dice that are rolled with physical Damage. The only exception to this rule are items that are solid pieces, like most chest pieces. So let's throw a knife at a guy in the full breastplate set (moderate plating on the shoulders and waist, strapped chest piece, boots, greaves and gauntlets) and the knife wasn't aimed at anything specific. It accidentally hits the torso piece of the breastplate, which has a Resistance Grade of 2, and the knife (from a weak throw) has Damage Grade 1. The damage is fully negated, so the knife is deflected or falls harmlessly to the ground after hitting the chest piece. Now, if that knife went after the arms (which normally have RG 1 outside of the set, but it's RG 2 because of the set) it would suffer the same effects since it's a part of the set. However, if the armor on the upper appendages was not fully completed as part of it's set, then their RG is only 1, which ties with the poorly thrown knife. In the case of a tie between DG and RG, any bonuses towards armor or damage totals goes through, but the rest is negated.
Is there a set number towards how high the Resistance Grade on each piece of Armor is?
Not really. Since you can actually make multiple pieces of armor from the same materials, and yet have them not covering the same amount in each respectful area, the Resistance Grade for each item of armor will be based on the Effective Materials used (aka the parts that are not decoration) and the Effectively Protected Area.
You're wondering how you figure this out, and you don't. I'll be giving out the RG increase for each item, therefore if you really felt like having a Chainmail Bikini being your only piece of armor, your RG is going to be pretty low since Chainmail without padding of any sort only blocks the cut and not the impact, let alone how little area the bikini would cover.
As for Enchanted Items, they are basically one of the following:
-The item in question has a crystal able to contain spell components within it.
-The item itself is made partially of crystal.
-The item is made of a rare metal like shined iron, dampened gold, or stone wood. (stone wood is considered a rare metal because it's able to be mined)
-The item is specifically made to only contain a single (sometimes two) component.
-The item is intelligent (a soul borne inhabits the item and garners its own abilities into the item. they're like specters that for some reason attune themselves to items and help/hinder the people that use said item)
-The item in question was crafted by a Mythic, and is therefore considered an artifact and is unheard of for anyone who is not a mythic to use.
Enchanted Items have spell components embedded in them, and are able to be used with their predetermined triggers, which can range from damaging an opponent, or stating a specific word. Items that have been enchanted are rarely easily identified as to what their trigger and effects are, and are rarely ever fully figured out. For example, a sword that bursts into a vibrant light when the user is defending something they hold dear could also have the ability to repair a broken item if its blade is held parallel to said object, but the person who is defending his village will most likely not discover it's other ability.
What about starting Classes?
That part is pretty easy to understand: There are only three, because everyone starts off at the average NPC's statistics, and the currentl NPC classes are pretty well-rounded in their own sense.
Combatant, Adept, or Caster.
A combatant is the sort that shies away from using magic, but can still use and employ minor spell components to either better their physical attributes, or to balance out their resistance towards magic. You get two extra weapon group proficiencies, or can forgo the additional two weapon groups for a single uncommon weapon, or exchange all proficiencies with weapons for a specific weapon type not listed. (This is the only way to obtain firearms and manage to use them without a month's worth of training and a crap ton of penalties) Heavier armor sets can be worn, and all combatants understand the use of a shield, including the cover granted from a tower shield without severely dampening their abilities. Combatants gain nothing towards their spells, and are otherwise limited to standard spell learning and component casting rules. Combatants can choose Con instead of Wis or Cha for their casting limitations/bonuses.
Casters forgo the abilities in physical labor other than endurance training to better their abilities in magic. They can learn, cast, manipulate, and set triggers for components at higher effective rates compared to a Combatant or an Adept. A caster gets a Casting Mod bonus to Int, Wis, and Cha towards any spell components used, but otherwise does not effect their basic statistics and Mods. This bonus is equal to the Base Grade of the respective statistics. (Int grade = Int casting mod bonus for example) A caster cannot perform magic in heavy or medium weight armors, unless using stone wood. A Caster can choose between Wis or Cha for their primary casting statistic. Casters gain the ability to amplify a spell with two of the following components equal to their Primary Casting statistic: Widen (rays become lines, cones increase their spread by 10', lines increase their width by 5') Strengthen (Add double Primary Casting statistic's Mod to any damaging spell component, can only be used on one damaging spell component, cannot be used on any damage over time spell components such as poison) Shape (can decrease the number of effected targets in an area of effect component to a minimum of one equal to Primary Casting Statistic's Grade) Combine Elements (adds a secondary element to any element type component, but does not increase damage. Opposing elements cannot be combined) Vicious (Primary Casting Mod is added as a penalty to all target's effected towards Defense. If this is used on a Damaging component, it instead can deal damage directly to the effected targets if not of any element type) Efficient Repair (Doubles range and repairing abilities of any healing or mending component) Sanction (If used on a spell that has no damaging or damage over time components, caster's Defense Grade, Resistance Grade, and Casting Defense Grade are increased by the number of effect components used) Merciful (can only be used on a spell with damaging components. this spell cannot kill any living creature, instead knocking the effected creature unconscious if they would be dealt enough damage to be killed. This spell deals double damage to nightmares and fiendish creatures. This spell cannot damage soul borne constructs and items.)
Once you choose those casting boons, you cannot change them later, but can use one repeatedly instead. You can gain more boons through training.
And then the Adept: A balance between the Combatant and the Caster. An Adept can choose between Con and Wis for their primary Casting statistic. They can choose one extra weapon proficiency, or only have one uncommon weapon proficiency. They can wear medium and light armor, and can use all shields save the tower variety. An adept can choose one of the following abilities: Infusion (Can cast spells without an open hand through the item that the caster is holding, but its range will always be restricted to touch) Shielding (add Primary Casting statistic's grade as a Mod to Defense, Casting Defense, and Resistance for 1 minute, stacks with armor and shields, not with parrying) Parry Casting (expend Effect spell component to deflect or negate an Effect component casted as part of a spell at you, counts against spells casted before rest) Crystal Sympathizer (Immediately understand if you know any compatible spell components for crystals, can replace spell components without a ritual, immediately recognize if an item is made partially of crystal, can sense general direction of crystals and even distance if close enough to the crystals) Free-form Soul (if slain, the adept can choose to attune themselves to an item, assembled armor set, or weapon with the same effects granted via soul borne, but can only re-attune themselves a number of times equal to their Int Grade)
Adepts can choose one of the Caster's component empowering abilities, with the following options: Distance (increases range by one incriment) Hollow (can allow a spell to only effect larger creatures) Adept Smite (can only be used on any non-damaging spell component. can only effect one target per spell. That spell avoids Defense and Resistance Grade, and instead directly effects Casting Defense with an Attack Grade equal to the number of Effect components used. Failure to exceed the target's CDG or tie and win over via Mods renders the spell useless, as well as all of the spell's effects. If two or more effect components are the same, they do not add up together towards the effective Attack Grade.)
Those classes look like they're only meant for combat. What gives?
You have it partially mistaken. In this universe, everyone knows how to survive. This can be done by fighting, fleeing, creating, exploring, researching, and trading with others. A combatant is best summarized as the person who uses brute skill, force, or endurance to reach their goals and survive. A caster will use magic, intelligence, willpower, or a means of manipulation, for the same outcome. An adept will mix together the aspects of the combatant and the caster as they are needed, though this does not mean that an adept is any more open minded than a combatant or caster, and vise versa.