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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Gary Dallison Posted - 01 Jun 2019 : 10:02:40
So, I'm trying to come up with my own rules system and I'm looking for some ideas and an indication of how other systems.

So first off let's start with the most used part of any rules system - combat.

I'm ideally wanting to try and integrate the combat and skills system like the old star wars WEG d6 system but using a d20 version.

I know 2e had the insanity that was thaco. 3e and 4e and 5e use the most sensible option of a d20 DC system (the DC often being the opponents armour). Are there any other systems that do something different.

At the moment I have it that you roll 1d20 and add a number of modifiers, including the skill bonus for the weapon type they are using (ranged, martial, magic)
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Gary Dallison Posted - 13 Jun 2019 : 19:41:27
I guess the big question i'm facing is, if all spells scale with each other based upon spell level, should all spells be available at 1st level.

A level 1 fireball does 1d6 damage to only 8 squares (i might even make it 1d4). A level 1 animate dead spell animates 1 HD of remains. I'm outright removing all instant death spells. Every spell has to succeed on a check to be cast, so they all have a similar failure chance to melee and other skills.

I cant think of any practical reason not to allow it.
Gary Dallison Posted - 13 Jun 2019 : 10:49:01
I think doing magic has helped solidify the approach for skills.

Your Skill Training Options determine your skill bonus with each skill (pick Skill Training (Arcana) 5 times and you get a +5 Skill Bonus to Arcana skill checks.

However, skills that have expertise (basically anything complicated with multiple fields of expertise - arcana, religion, nature, computers, piloting, martial weapons, ranged weapons) will only allow the character to apply his full skill bonus to Skill Checks if they have a specialisation for that skill and the specialisation applies to the skill check being made.

So if you are attempting to cast a spell with the Transmutation specialisation and you have Skill Training (Arcana) with a Skill Bonus of +5 and a specialisation in Transmutation then you apply +5 to your skill check, without it you only apply +2.

All spells have a Base Difficulty to cast so you will need to be able to achieve that with your Skill Check and a higher Skill Bonus will help. So specialisations are desired in that regard.

More importantly i think for every +10 Skill Bonus you can roll an additional 1d20 for your Skill Check and use the highest result. That way those who are specialised get to use this more often and have a better chance of getting a higher result.

Gary Dallison Posted - 11 Jun 2019 : 20:50:54
Trying to come up with a style for the spells
No longer using just schools of magic, because i want anyone to be able to specialise (wizards, druids, priests)
Since spells can be cast at any spell level it made no sense to acquire spells only at certain spell levels, so i've changed it to Caster Level (which is not guaranteed to be 1 per character level).
I'm also trying to better define initial effects of a spell and after effects (split into secondary effects that happen on a trigger, or continual effects that happen every end of round until successfully resisted).
And lastly i want wizards to be able to alter spells if they are skilled enough, so they can partly change the effects of the spell (detailed in the development section) but this makes the spell more difficult to cast.
Every spell has a base difficulty (5 per spell level) plus the Defence check result of the target if it is used against an opponent. Thus the more you alter the spell the less likely you are to successfully cast it.
Criticals are the same for spells as they are for melee, so roll 1d20, if its a 20 then roll again (with same modifiers) and if successful then roll 1d6 and add it to your damage or to the check result if you want (thus allowing you to cast harder spells through sheer luck).



Acid Arrow
Specialisation: Evocation, Acid
Caster Level: 2
Components: Verbal, Somatic, Material, Focus (steel dart worth 10sp)
Range: Long (20sq per spell level + 1sq per Ability modifier)
Target: Individual
Duration: Instantaneous
Effect: You infuse the dart with acid energy and propel it towards the target. If the Check is successful the spell deals damage as detailed below.
Check: Reflex Defence
Damage: 1d4 (Acid) damage per spell level + Ability modifier
Fail: Negates
Secondary Effect: If the Primary Check was successful, at the next End of Round the spell deals additional damage to the target as detailed below if the Secondary Check is successful.
Secondary Check: Fortitude Defence
Secondary Damage: 1d4 (Acid) damage + Ability modifier


Development
+1 damage (Acid)                        +2 Base Difficulty
Change Damage Type (Fire, Electricity, etc)  +5 Base Difficulty
Add additional Damage Type                    +10 Base Difficulty
+1 sq Range                                   +2 Base Difficulty
Add continuous effect (see below)            +20 Base Difficulty

Continuous Effect: If the Primary Check was successful, at each End of Round (if the Continuous Check is successful) the spell deals additional damage to the target as detailed below. This replaces the Secondary Effect.

Continuous Check: Fortitude

Continuous Damage: 1d4 (Acid) damage + Ability modifier
Gary Dallison Posted - 09 Jun 2019 : 20:20:32
quote:
Originally posted by Diffan

So I'm a bit late to the party on this:

Combat: So two schools of thought come to mind when it comes to combat in RPGs - Ease of use or in depth faux-realism. Both have their fans and their games/editions however, I find that a LOT of people prefer ease of use to the hyper-specialized mechanics that require either A) a LOT of different dice and checks OR table-upon-tables. Take 5e for example, it's d20 similar to most other versions of D&D BUT it doesn't require a LOT of other stuff to get going. 3e, by contrast, is a quagmire of rule-specific exception-based design (meaning that you either take a huge penalty or can't do something EXCEPT if you have this widget). For my preferences, I hated 3e/3.5/PF multitude of punitive aspects that basically said "If you don't have X, Y, and Z then you're basically wasting your time, my time, and everyone at the table's time in attempting something that has a significantly high chance of failing just to look cool." Basically this is what all the special attacks were - Bull Rush, Disarm, Grapple, Trip, etc. Not only did this require a significant portion of your resource allotment (ie. Feats) but it also had a negative return after a certain level (by level 8 and onward) because monsters got exceptionally stronger, bigger, and more resistant to where you never used these Options later because despite the investment, their use was negligible at best. If you're going to make a combat system, I beg you to think of the Martial warrior players. DON'T throw penalizing things into the game (ie. Iterative attack penalty, fighting with Two-Weapon penalty, arbitrary -4 to *insert cool combat trick* penalty). It doesn't make the game more fun IMO.

SKILLS Sometimes more is better, and sometimes less is more. In this category you have a LOT of free-form, and you're correct that D&D post-2E sort of handles Skills separate from Combat (well, slightly) because all it still requires is d20 roll +/- modifier to beat a DC (same as attacking in 3, 4, and 5e). But there's more variance in what skills you're good with or not good with (or can't try at all). I'm fairly ignorant of how other systems handle skills besides maybe GURPS and other d20-based games. I can say that I hated skill ranks and, again, hyper-specific skills that you have to invest in to get similar elements (like who really hides but doesn't want to be quiet?). I'd also keep crafting and Professions completely separate from this area. I think crafting needs to be it's own fun, unique, and flavorful element vs. well I have 10 ranks in Craft (basketweaving) so I can basically weave anything together bwhahaha. Same with Profession, I just don't get the need to have ranks in a skill that is almost entirely stated "You work 1 week, roll and see how much GP you get based on this arbitrary stats...?) I roll bad so....what the stocks are bad that week? I don't get customers because....? Its too much like SIMS and if I wnated to play SIMS, I'd buy SIMS, not a Fantasy RPG.

MAGIC You're correct, D&D's system is horribly broken. But it's two-fold in reason. The first is the Quadratic component, that you're 1st level Magic Missile just instantly gets an additional bolt of 1d4+1 at 3, 5, 7, & 9....cus why not for the same expenditure of resources (one 1st level spell slot). 4E capped the dice at the level it's cast and based their potential in Rider-effects (spell deals damage and has awesome effect) or has a bigger area, or only effects enemies, etc. But apparently that didn't allow wizards to feel.....ultra-powerful like before (because we couldn't have that now could we?) so 5E hit a nice little middle ground of using higher resources for better effect. The second problem is that magic is just too damn versatile and some classes just have too much access to everything. Specialization HERE wouldn't be a bad thing. As I look to "Fix" 3.5, I always thought that Wizard should've been required to specialize in a school and spells outside that school get cast with 1/2 their caster level and you can't use higher slots than what that spell is at anyways. you should also play up the requirement for resources in casting said spells.




Apologies, i missed this.

I'm hoping that i have met you're combat idea. I've made all those add on options part of the base system. Anyone can perform a bull rush, charge, disarm. There are no penalties to any special manoeuvre, you just perform the skill check and beat your opponent's defence and if so it's successful.
I have got penalties to iterative attacks, but it affects spellcaster and warriors and its a -2 cumulative penalty to all extra actions, so the more actions you perform the harder it becomes to succeed.
But as a bonus combat is deadlier because there are fewer hitpoints and vulnerabilities and resistances are ultra important to play (charging into a den of monsters is liable to get you killed, planning your approach, researching your opponent, and sneaking or bribing your way in will always be more successful).

Skills i want fewer skills but more actions available. Stealth allows you to just not be detected (no hiding or moving silently nonsense). Influence allows you to bribe, bully, negotiate, etc. Arcana allows you to cast spells and know about magic and perform rituals. Every skill has its own associated knowledge action, so you dont need the Knowledge skill to know things (but the Knowledge skill allows you to specialise in things you otherwise couldnt know).


Magic i'm still working on, but i'm going to rewrite all the spells. So magic missile would do 1d4 per spell level to several targets. Fireball 1d6 per spell level in an area. Cure would heal 1d6 per spell level. Stealth (to replace invisibility) would add +2 per spell level to any Stealth checks. Charm would add +2 per spell level to any Influence checks, etc.
To cast the spell you need to achieve 5 per spell level on your skill check + the opponent's Defence check result (if there is an opponent). You can also alter each spell to include bonus or different effects (change fireball to iceball, etc), but this would further increase the base difficulty to cast the spell.
Special Material components allow you to increase or Check result based upon the rarity of the component (which comes from the rarity of the monster it comes from). common gives you +1, Uncommon +2, Rare +5, Very Rare +10. You need to use skills to gather components from fallen foes (or you buy them).

I think specialisation of magic may be made important through skills. Those skills with a specialisation only give half their rank bonus if you do not possess a specialisation. So if your Arcana skill is not specialised then your Check result will be lower (not so important at lower levels, but a character with a +20 bonus from their skill will only receive +10). I can then add special bonuses to individual spells based upon the specialisation.
Gary Dallison Posted - 08 Jun 2019 : 08:32:08
Wow, that's basically the 2e system, and it was awful then.
Sammael Posted - 07 Jun 2019 : 22:53:06
Oh, there is something every level, it's just not skill ranks every level. You only get feats on even levels, for example.

5e has a very narrow concept of skills. You get a flat proficiency bonus that you apply to a very small number of skills that you are proficient with (most classes only get 2 skill proficiencies, and you get 2 more from background), and no bonus whatsover to other skills except your attribute. You cannot customize progression, and getting new proficiencies requires a feat (and feats are optional).
Gary Dallison Posted - 07 Jun 2019 : 22:28:33
Every other level does reduce the problem, but people like getting new things at every level (i remember several articles devoted to fleshing out dead levels without unbalancing characters).

Having not played 5e I have never played a system with too few skills. Is it the lack of possible actions and versatility that is a problem or that they can be maxed out quicker (thereby reducing the challenge of the game)



When I say I chose to ignore balance, it's more that I made everything the same. Every option, ability, spell, etc, all add +1 to things. So at any given level you have the same number of +1s as anybody else of the same level. After that everything is down to player choice.

If a character wants to put all his +1s into wielding a sword that's up to him. He will never be able to use another skill on anything more difficult than picking his teeth. As experience is rewarded for all skill checks his progression may slow because he is a one trick pony.

3.5 and all other editions spent so much time balancing classes and spells and feats and all the other separate systems that didn't quite fit together.
If they had instead come up with systems that all used the same mechanic then the balance would be there at the start and everything else is down to preference of play.

That's what I'm going for in my system. I don't have to worry about balance between different pieces because they all use the same framework and progression. A 9th level spell is only unbalanced because a character has chosen to devote 18 options into his caster level in order to learn that spell and another 20 options into his arcana skill to allow him to cast the damn thing. So yes it is really powerful, but it also required him to specialise to the point that he is not as versatile as other characters (apart from in the different spells he possesses), the rules didn't determine that path, the player did.

Not sure if I'm making sense here but it's just a maths problem where I replaced A + B + C to obtain an answer with A + A + A
Sammael Posted - 07 Jun 2019 : 21:21:15
10 ranks is a sort of nice, round number. It helps bound the bonuses to a manageable level and also corresponds to other stuff in my revision (e.g. there are 10 tiers of magic, so you have to have 5 ranks in Arcana to use tier 5, 7 ranks in Theology to use tier 7 prayers, etc).

To compare with 3.x, it was quite easy to get skill bonuses of +40 to +50 or so at high levels (23 ranks, +5 competence, +10 equipment, +6 from high stat, +3 from magic, and so on) which made rolling the dice meaningless and also created a sort of nuclear race between skills and DCs.

In my revision, the most you can reasonably have is 10 ranks, +3 from competence, +3 from equipment, and +6 from a high stat - still quite high, but not so high that DC 30 checks are automatic successes.

As for the number of skills, I tried to find a balance between too few skills and too many. 3.x and Pathfinder have too many skills which are meaningless, while 5e has entirely too few which are too broad for my taste. I am also not too fond of specializations; I tried it out in theory, but it either creates balance problems or it's not meaningful enough. Ignoring balance altogether is not good for the game, IMO (and neither is too much balance).

BTW, you get 7+int skill ranks every odd level. So, if you have, say, int +3, you can max out 10 skills at most.
Gary Dallison Posted - 07 Jun 2019 : 10:11:51
Hi Sammael, i can see an influence of the skill level from shadowrun or cyberpunk (one of them has 10 skill levels).

I personally chose to have as few skills as possible (merging many skills into broad categories but with specialisations/expertise that allow focus and access to specific areas (for instance brawl would be a specialisation of martial weapons or athletics and nether world would be a specialisation of arcana or knowledge).

I can see that with a 7+int and 10 skill levels and 28 skills you could max out every skill by level 28 (unless I've misunderstood). Just about every variation of skills I tried ended up with a ceiling limit and skills being maxed. In the end I decided to lump skill and feats and class abilities together so you could be skillful or have flashy abilities, then I ignored all balance and limits - if a character wants to have a +20 bonus to attacks with his sword then that's up to him, but it's all he will ever be able to do and the first fireball will probably kill him.

Gary Dallison Posted - 07 Jun 2019 : 07:27:53
What I have done so far is on my wordpress site, its first draft so very rough, but should be readable.

The criticals thing is rare in the beginning but because you can increase the critical threat range (from 20 to 19-20, to 18-20), it means that specialised characters can get criticals and critical chains more often and if they are lucky do far more than another character with a single check.

The order is, roll check, if it's a crit roll again, if that succeeds you are done unless it is also a crit in which case you roll again, if that succeeds you are done unless it is a crit in which case you roll again.

The number of crits you get in a chain determine how many times you add the critical bonus. Hopefully that makes more sense.

I've given players more freedom with the class, so they can pick their options/abilities and specialise their character how they wish along three very broad classes (magic, combat or skill)

Combat, races, and classes section are mostly done. Magic next, and probably skills last (as they are the most boring)
Sammael Posted - 06 Jun 2019 : 23:47:26
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

I'm attempting something similar, I'd be interested to see your version for inspiration.
Out of interest, did you implement critical success for skills as well or leave that purely for combat.
What did you do about magic, I am turning them into skill checks (basically attack rolls) so they also get critical.


I'm currently in the middle of a rewrite of what should (hopefully) be the final version before I attempt to publish it somehow (free beta if I can find people to test it, I'll bear you in mind).

After some experimenting, I got to a nice number of 28 skills total:

Acrobatics
Arcana
Artifice
Athletics
Brawl
Deception
Deftness
Endurance
Expression
Folklore
Healing
History
Insight
Intimidation
Investigation
Linguistics
Marksmanship
Melee
Naturalism
Netherlore
Perception
Persuasion
Profession
Resolve
Stealth
Survival
Streetwise
Theology

All characters get 7 + Int skill points every odd level. Ranks go from 1-10. Casting checks are skill checks (Arcana + Int/Cha for arcane spells, Theology + Wis for divine prayers, Naturalism + Wis for druidic invocations, Expression + Cha for bardic spellnotes). Attacks are skill checks, saves are a special type of skill checks (and there are six, one for each attribute).

Any skill check can be a fumble or critical success, although your proficiency may change the chance of this happening:

Degrees of Proficiency

Non-proficient
When you roll 1 on a check with this skill, you always suffer a fumble. When you roll 20 on a check with this skill, it only counts as a critical success if you had Advantage on the roll.

Proficient
If you are Proficient with a particular skill, you have a +2 competence bonus to all checks with this skill. When you roll 20 on a check with this skill, it always counts as a critical success.

Expert
You are considered an Expert if you have at least 5 ranks in a particular skill. When you roll a 1 on a check with this skill, you do not suffer a fumble.

Paragon
You are considered a Paragon after you attain all 10 ranks in a particular skill. When you roll a 1 on a check with this skill, it is no longer considered an automatic failure.
Diffan Posted - 06 Jun 2019 : 22:38:08
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Finished off my combat framework, got most of the different manoeuvres that you can perform and what actions it requires to perform them.


I'm curious to see what this looks like!

quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

For criticals i decided to use the hated 3e critical confirmation roll idea.


Lol, it was pretty hated for a reason. It trivialized natural 20s on the whole.

quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

So you roll a natural 20 on a check and then you have to roll another d20 with all the same modifiers. If the second d20 roll achieves success on the Check (i.e. equals or exceeds the DC) then you score a critical success and roll an additional 1d6 that is added to the result or a related roll (like damage). If the second d20 roll achieves another natural 20 then you roll a third d20 and if that succeeds you add another d6 (in addition to the first additional d6) to your result or a related roll. This repeats until you stop rolling natural 20s.


I'm going to ask a question: In your time playing d20 games - either as a DM or player - how many times can you count that you witnessed someone roll a natural 20 consecutively or even three times in a row? I've been playing since 98' and I think I've seen consecutive d20 maybe a dozen times in 20 years.

quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

The above can be applied to any check, whether its a skill
quote:
manoeuvre (performing an action with a skill), a melee attack, a spell attack (casting a spell).


Does casting all spells require a roll?

[quote]Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Anything that modifies the critical range for a particular type of check will mean a 20 or 19-20 or 18-20 scores a critical. Anything that increases the critical success dice (from d6 to d8 to d10 to d12 to 2d6) will apply every time that type of check achieves critical success.

It kind of merges the d20 critical with the skill based criticals of other systems where they can gain repeated criticals to achieve greater success with luck.



It's an interesting concept, in theory, but application might see something different. I'd at least try it out a few times before deciding compltely. See how often a Critical succeeds and note how many times it doesn't actually confirm and how many times a consecutive 20 is rolled.

Also, do you need to confirm the 2nd or 3rd natural 20 or are they considered confirmed?
Diffan Posted - 06 Jun 2019 : 22:29:55
So I'm a bit late to the party on this:

Combat: So two schools of thought come to mind when it comes to combat in RPGs - Ease of use or in depth faux-realism. Both have their fans and their games/editions however, I find that a LOT of people prefer ease of use to the hyper-specialized mechanics that require either A) a LOT of different dice and checks OR table-upon-tables. Take 5e for example, it's d20 similar to most other versions of D&D BUT it doesn't require a LOT of other stuff to get going. 3e, by contrast, is a quagmire of rule-specific exception-based design (meaning that you either take a huge penalty or can't do something EXCEPT if you have this widget). For my preferences, I hated 3e/3.5/PF multitude of punitive aspects that basically said "If you don't have X, Y, and Z then you're basically wasting your time, my time, and everyone at the table's time in attempting something that has a significantly high chance of failing just to look cool." Basically this is what all the special attacks were - Bull Rush, Disarm, Grapple, Trip, etc. Not only did this require a significant portion of your resource allotment (ie. Feats) but it also had a negative return after a certain level (by level 8 and onward) because monsters got exceptionally stronger, bigger, and more resistant to where you never used these Options later because despite the investment, their use was negligible at best. If you're going to make a combat system, I beg you to think of the Martial warrior players. DON'T throw penalizing things into the game (ie. Iterative attack penalty, fighting with Two-Weapon penalty, arbitrary -4 to *insert cool combat trick* penalty). It doesn't make the game more fun IMO.

SKILLS Sometimes more is better, and sometimes less is more. In this category you have a LOT of free-form, and you're correct that D&D post-2E sort of handles Skills separate from Combat (well, slightly) because all it still requires is d20 roll +/- modifier to beat a DC (same as attacking in 3, 4, and 5e). But there's more variance in what skills you're good with or not good with (or can't try at all). I'm fairly ignorant of how other systems handle skills besides maybe GURPS and other d20-based games. I can say that I hated skill ranks and, again, hyper-specific skills that you have to invest in to get similar elements (like who really hides but doesn't want to be quiet?). I'd also keep crafting and Professions completely separate from this area. I think crafting needs to be it's own fun, unique, and flavorful element vs. well I have 10 ranks in Craft (basketweaving) so I can basically weave anything together bwhahaha. Same with Profession, I just don't get the need to have ranks in a skill that is almost entirely stated "You work 1 week, roll and see how much GP you get based on this arbitrary stats...?) I roll bad so....what the stocks are bad that week? I don't get customers because....? Its too much like SIMS and if I wnated to play SIMS, I'd buy SIMS, not a Fantasy RPG.

MAGIC You're correct, D&D's system is horribly broken. But it's two-fold in reason. The first is the Quadratic component, that you're 1st level Magic Missile just instantly gets an additional bolt of 1d4+1 at 3, 5, 7, & 9....cus why not for the same expenditure of resources (one 1st level spell slot). 4E capped the dice at the level it's cast and based their potential in Rider-effects (spell deals damage and has awesome effect) or has a bigger area, or only effects enemies, etc. But apparently that didn't allow wizards to feel.....ultra-powerful like before (because we couldn't have that now could we?) so 5E hit a nice little middle ground of using higher resources for better effect. The second problem is that magic is just too damn versatile and some classes just have too much access to everything. Specialization HERE wouldn't be a bad thing. As I look to "Fix" 3.5, I always thought that Wizard should've been required to specialize in a school and spells outside that school get cast with 1/2 their caster level and you can't use higher slots than what that spell is at anyways. you should also play up the requirement for resources in casting said spells.
Gary Dallison Posted - 06 Jun 2019 : 22:11:03
Onto magic.

I've seen a couple of systems that are way out there and very free form.

Star wars WEG has some brief description of example powers but as long as you achieve the difficulty roll you can achieve just about anything.

Ive seen some systems that allow you to modify spells greatly from the base, and each modification increases the difficulty to cast the spell.

Then there are the vancian systems with highly parameterised spells, spell lists, and number of spells per spell level per day.


The goal i'm looking for is to create a system where any spell can be cast at any spell level, this will allow me to massively reduce the spell lists and make resource management easier for wizards (if you have 5 level 1 spells, 3 level 2 spells, and 1 level 3 spells, you dont have to put fireball in your level 3 slot, you can cast it at level 2 or 3 but it will do less damage).

Each spell makes it more difficult to cast it by 5 points per spell level for example (increasing the Defence Check result of the opponent it is cast against - but that is because spells are now actions that require dice rolls to succeed which is a necessity for a skill based system and also allows spells to achieve criticals).

You should also be able to modify spells on the fly, increase damage by one point, add or change the damage type (fireball deals electricity or cold damage instead or in addition), increase the range by 1 square, increase the area by 1, increase the number of targets by 1). Each modification again increases the difficulty to cast the spell.


Hopefully with that system i can have a lot less spells and much less resource management to overload magic users, but at the same time increase the usefulness of spells (especially non-combat spells) without making them game destroyers (better spells are more difficult to cast).
Gary Dallison Posted - 06 Jun 2019 : 21:56:34
Finished off my combat framework, got most of the different manoeuvres that you can perform and what actions it requires to perform them.

For criticals i decided to use the hated 3e critical confirmation roll idea. So you roll a natural 20 on a check and then you have to roll another d20 with all the same modifiers. If the second d20 roll achieves success on the Check (i.e. equals or exceeds the DC) then you score a critical success and roll an additional 1d6 that is added to the result or a related roll (like damage). If the second d20 roll achieves another natural 20 then you roll a third d20 and if that succeeds you add another d6 (in addition to the first additional d6) to your result or a related roll. This repeats until you stop rolling natural 20s.

The above can be applied to any check, whether its a skill manoeuvre (performing an action with a skill), a melee attack, a spell attack (casting a spell).

Anything that modifies the critical range for a particular type of check will mean a 20 or 19-20 or 18-20 scores a critical. Anything that increases the critical success dice (from d6 to d8 to d10 to d12 to 2d6) will apply every time that type of check achieves critical success.

It kind of merges the d20 critical with the skill based criticals of other systems where they can gain repeated criticals to achieve greater success with luck.
Gary Dallison Posted - 06 Jun 2019 : 07:44:48
I'm attempting something similar, I'd be interested to see your version for inspiration.
Out of interest, did you implement critical success for skills as well or leave that purely for combat.
What did you do about magic, I am turning them into skill checks (basically attack rolls) so they also get critical.
Sammael Posted - 05 Jun 2019 : 22:56:02
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

I think the big question is "Why?"

-- George Krashos




My own d20 variant also uses a unified skill system, and the reason is because I don't think combat is inherently more important than other aspects of the game. In my games (and most games I play in, regardless of system), there is actually less combat than exploration or role-playing. I saw no reason whatsoever why combat would require a completely different progression, so I now simply have the Brawl, Marksmanship, and Melee skills and my skill progression system is flexible/robust enough that if your character wants to be good at combat, he can be - but it doesn't come at the expense of everything else.
Gary Dallison Posted - 04 Jun 2019 : 19:43:33
Magic is next. D&D magic system is broken horribly in almost any edition. Most spells always seem to succeed, have totally arbitrary levels of potency and a very odd system that requires you to predict the obstacles you might possess with a limited number of effective spells at any level of potency.

Does anyone know why there are 9 spell levels and why certain levels are only available at certain spell levels.
Spells scale with spell level which presents a problem in moving away from a spell level system.

Any thoughts on alternatives. Psionics had a points based system, but this doesn't represent wizard learning particularly well. If I increase the number of spell levels (to 10 or even 20) I then have the problem of larger damage output (unless smaller dice are used) and determining spell slots per spell level.

I vaguely recall markustay mentioning a system with a 20 spell levels which I would be interested in seeing, but it was a long time ago and I cant remember the thread.
Gary Dallison Posted - 04 Jun 2019 : 12:35:16
So all the skills based games seem to eschew flashy abilities and focus on skills providing the action. They tend to be low magic and high tech, using tech to provide the wow factor.

Backgrounds and jobs also seem to be important in the skill based games, which have more emphasis on roleplaying, whereas D&D is almost entirely combat, with skills added on as a separate system.


I like skills and combat to be seamless, but the flashy abilities are an integral part of D&D. I'm thinking of making skills and feats all part of the same character creation process.

Also origin, background, jobs seem integral to skill based games, and contacts is a good addition. D&D tried something in FR with Regional feats but it didnt work well as the feats soon became unimportant in later games.
Gary Dallison Posted - 04 Jun 2019 : 12:25:04
Character Creation

Call of Cthulhu - Roll d6s to determine base stats, pick a background/job and then distribute points among skills. No special abilities. Pick gear

Cyberpunk - roll d10s to determine base stats, pick a job, distribute points among skills. Some special abilities determined by job (abilities are really just new skill options). Pick gear

Shadowrun - Choose Race, distribute points among base stats, distribute points among skills. No special abilities. Pick contacts, lifestyle, gear.

Star Wars - Choose Race, distribute points among skills. No special abilities.

D&D 2e - Choose Race, choose class, d6s for base stats. Pick non weapon proficiences, choose gear, choose spells. No special abilities

D&D 3.5 - Choose Race, choose class, d6s for base stats, distribute points among skills. Choose gear and spells. Lots of feats and abilities.
Gary Dallison Posted - 04 Jun 2019 : 10:52:34
At the moment i'm just looking at each system to see what they do and see which bits i like and could borrow.

Levels i think is an important part of D&D and one of the reasons why it is so successful, it gives regular flashy bits to reward people. However i definitely want to integrate skills and combat with the level system so BAB will almost certainly go, and skills may come to resemble a d20 version of cyberpunk perhaps.

Interesting that no systems as yet have a concept of critical rolls for skills checks, its always pass or fail.

I've also noted that D&D 5e is more popular for its reduced complexity of skills so fewer skills but with more uses of those skills seems to be the way forward. D&D 3.5 with its huge modifier tables was not popular, the more arbitrary GM deciding a DC seems to be better because it speeds up gameplay and reduces workload of the GM.


I'll look at character generation next, which is tied in heavily to skills.
Starshade Posted - 04 Jun 2019 : 10:42:23
You are going with a level based system, right? Not ditching levels, and going free of skills, as Gurps or Shadowrun?

CoC: it's main thing is the system of Madness. Even if they did add extensive combat, if your character gets one or two diseases on cluster A, B and C(as shizofrenia, borderline/historic and obsessive-compulsive), gets phobias and looses sanity, it's no help having the best combat system. The magic system rewards Mythos score, which limits sanity recovery... And induce madness... Rumor I've heard is the power gamers might do stuff as play nutty professors with glasses (which can be dropped asap, all professors are insanely nearsighted), all heard well, and is excellent at running and hiding, having eidetic memory and able to run out of buildings not seeing or understanding anything at all, while a lone policeman PC sacrifice himself to save his professor buddies...
If it's CoC and action you want, try find the d20 version of CoC, it's an quite different version, able to work as an D&D supplement as well...
Gary Dallison Posted - 04 Jun 2019 : 10:18:43
Skills

Call of Cthulhu uses d100 for skills. Its either a pass or fail. Lots of scope for automatic success or automatic failure. Skills are individually identified (no grouping), with arbitrary base percentages indicating a character's base chance of success. Difficulty check is entirely GM determined

Warhammer Roleplay uses a bizarre set of dice. Pass or fail again. Individually identified skills (no grouping) but with specialisations. Specialisations in skills add an extra dice to the roll (increasing success chance).

Cyberpunk is 1d10 for skills. Pass or fail. DCs are GM determined with a few modifiers suggested. 1 is a critical fail with additional penalties for fumbling. 10 is a critical success which allows another 1d10 to be rolled and added to the result (thereby allowing you to get lucky and succeed on things way out of your skill range). Skills are grouped and have a base modifier determined by your stat. There are many, many, many skills, too many perhaps.

Shadowrun is d6 based. You get more dice the more training you have in a skill. Specialisation further increases that number of dice. I can imagine having to roll 15d6 becomes a real drag in long running games. DCs are determined by the GM. No concept of criticals. System is success or failure.

2e D&D had non weapon proficiencies which were an entirely separate system from combat. lots of tables to determine success. 1d20 based. I remember failing most checks.

3e D&D is d20 based. Seemingly random selection of skill points for classes which caused no end of balance arguments. An ever growing number of skills with huge lists of modifiers requiring in depth calculation to determine DCs (really slowed things down). Completely separated from combat ability with different progressions (BAB).

Gary Dallison Posted - 04 Jun 2019 : 07:44:29
I do vaguely remember scale, not something that impacts D&D but an interesting idea.

I'll worry about implementation later, I'm just conceptualizing important bits like the mechanics.

Since combat relies heavily upon skills it seems like skills is the next logical thing to look at.
Ayrik Posted - 03 Jun 2019 : 22:15:38
The devil is in the details.

Shadowrun basically resolves damage by an "Opposed Resistance Test" - the attacker rolls dice (based on whatever weapon was used, mostly) vs the defender rolls dice (from Body stat, mostly), each has a target number equal to the number of dice used by the other. But what if the defender wears armor?
In 1E the rule was each point of armor counts as an automatic success for staging the damage down, in practice the attacker has to roll the successes to inflict any actual damage onto armored targets.
In 2E the rule was each point of armor adds another die when the defender rolls to stage damage down, in practice the attacker's damage roll doesn't really increase damage at all but the armored target's roll can reduce it by a little or a lot.

SWD6 has the concept of "scale". Character scale, vehicle scale, starship scale, capitalship scale, etc. Minor variations in how criticals inflict damage have great changes when multiplied across scales, it was one area which was carefully reworked every time they published an update or revision to the rules.

"d20" is sort of the worst system ever made simply because so many people have (re)created their own minor variations in the rules. Small changes often have great effects - they literally determine life and death for characters - and these tend to be casually disregarded (or flippantly dismissed) in favour of creating distinct new rules which promote distinct new flavours of what already worked so well. Not saying it's wrong to try and not discouraging house rules ... just saying that there's many different RPG engines out there, the best of these are collaborative and painstakingly tested products, and there's deliberate design choices built into them which are based on answers to questions I don't think you've asked.

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