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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2019 :  10:02:40  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
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)

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2019 :  13:45:38  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Critical is a big question mark. I've seen many numerous different implementations of a mechanic that is basically designed to give an extra boost for being lucky.

2e was just a straight 20 on a d20 roll that gave you double damage. 3e introduced a critical confirmation hit, so roll a 20 or a 19-20 and then you still need to hit and at that point you do x2, x3 or more damage.

I'm hoping to introduce a critical mechanic that works for all skill checks including attacks and casting spells. Something like roll a d20, if you get a 20 then roll again and if you hit then you add 1d6 or 2d6 to the related dice roll (damage or the skill check or the distance jumped), if you get another 20 then you add another 1d6 until you stop getting 20s.

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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6820 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2019 :  19:45:42  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
West End Games SWD6 turned into the OpenD6 System. And, without Star Wars license, OpenD6 Space Opera which is basically just a generic (not) Star Wars sci-fi. There's also OpenD6 Fantasy which is basically just a generic (not) D&D game.

Star Wars was later licensed to Wizard of the Coast, they made SWD20.

And when WotC lost Star Wars license it passed to Fantasy Flight Games, they made their strange hybrid D6/D20 system. (They also reprinted the original WEG SWD6 as a "30th Anniversary" collector item, so don't be confused.)

There's extensive wikis, forums, and communities dedicated to each of the three SW RPG versions. There's lots of fan-made sourcebooks and resources. The Rancor Pit, D6 Holocron, OpenD6 Wiki, and SWEU Timeline sites are all good starting points. Some stuff is too juvenile and amateur and munchkin for my tastes (SWD6 and Star Wars in general seem to attract a lot of children) ... but some stuff is meticulously and exhaustively crafted and playtested by groups of fanatically dedicated Star Wars experts who seem to know more about the setting than Lucasfilm ever did.

SWD6 was always a sort of quick-setup quick-action quick-resolution RPG. Deliberately simplified and limited, not really robust or detailed enough to support long-term character growth in depth. Adding complexity actually undermines the game, sometimes less is more. The game engine is awesome when characters (and stories) just come and go in a sort of episodic weekly adventure style ... but it's not well-suited for investing detailed involvement into long-term campaigns. Character advancement is quick at first but also quick to reach power plateaus, after a while the characters seem to stagnate in their primary skills and start piling on more and more secondary skills, they stop growing upward and start growing outward to avoid ever-diminishing returns - it's interesting and diverse but also eventually makes every character seem interchangeable.

SWD20 was the usual D20-rules-gone-overkill-and-overboard with piles of rules on piles of rules. If you could limit yourself to some "core" rulebooks then the game could be fast-paced and action-centric enough to still feel like Star Wars ... but if you want to include maximum immersion from every rulebook then you'll find the game bogs itself down under overcomplicated balancing acts and GM rules configurations galore. The happy middle ground is hard to find and easy to shift around, it requires a sort of tacit "cooperation" from everyone because one bad player can so easily tip the table overboard and kill the game for everyone. Character advancement eventually hits a power threshold which makes PCs somewhat invincible and unstoppable, almost as if long-term campaigns are deliberately designed to put the PCs into epic godlike galaxy-dominating roles - if this is what you want in your setting then these rules are awesome, if this is not what you want then these rules are broken.

I've never played the FFG version. All I can say is that exploring some of their wikis (stuff like lightsaber construction and combat) makes it evident the system seems very arbitrary, very contrived, and very heavy on stat min-max micromanagement chores. It definitely offers Wookieepedia-equivalent levels of Star Wars lore detail ... I'm just not convinced it does so in ways which actually make the Star Wars setting more immersive or the Star Wars gaming more playable. (Not trying to trash-talk the game since I've never bought, read, or played any of it - just offering my first impressions.)

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 01 Jun 2019 20:47:49
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2019 :  21:01:25  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I suppose I'm looking to make a system that is completely transparent, where all the systems interface seamlessly (unlike the D&D skills and combat separation).

It's just finding the best mixture of separate mini systems within the whole rules system. I know I want d20 because I'm a 3.5 player at heart, but that system is soooooo broken it's not worth using half the subsystems.
So I'm gonna make a new one from the ground up.

I suppose I'll have to do lots of research on each subsystem and I'll list all the different versions and see which one works best. Other peoples thoughts are always helpful so ill list them all here.

I guess the big question is where to start first. Combat or skills or magic or character creation

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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
5498 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2019 :  22:25:05  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think the big question is "Why?"

-- George Krashos


"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2019 :  22:32:26  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A personal quest to come up with something different. Also to see what rules people like and why, whether people like arbitrary rules or simplicity or realism. Or just because I've got a bit too much free time on my hands and I've had moonshae and old empires overload.

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Demzer
Senior Scribe

692 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2019 :  23:06:10  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

... arbitrary rules or simplicity or realism.



I'm not entirely sure what you mean by this but two alternate game systems I experienced and enjoyed are both based on "open" dice rolls:
- in Cyberpunk 2020 you use the d10 for all actions (skills, to-hit, etc...). Attributes and skills cap at a maximum of 10. You sum the result of the dice to the total of your skill+attribute and compare against the difficulty of the task, if you roll a 1 you fail regardless of your skill level, if you roll a 10 you roll again and add 10+new roll to the result. This opened a wide dynamic range that kept almost impossible tasks (difficulties in the upper 20s and above) to the really specialised or really lucky but made anyone able to do most normal things (difficulties 20 and below) with some luck. Of course there were some complexities like a Luck attribute you could use to boost your results or drugs and cybernetics to be superhuman and have attributes above 10 but I digress;
- Shadowrun is a different beast altogether, basically everything was done rolling d6, with 1 as automatic failure and 6 roll again adding 6+new result, but the kicker is that your skill/attribute/whatever rank determined the number of d6 rolled against the difficulty and the difficulty range to beat was somewhere between 2 for easy tasks and 15 for once-in-a-generation events. There were situational modifiers to rolls but you can see that you needed a couple of 6s in a row on the same roll to be able to do the most difficult stuff. There were situational dice pools, spells, racial boni (Shadowrun is the love child of both fantasy and cyberpunk) and whatnot but I remember it was extremely difficult to roll more than 10-12 dices for an action and in those cases rolling so many dices meant you were really an expert and/or going all in (i.e. in combat the same dice pool was used to boost both defensive and offensive actions, going all-in to hit your opponents left you without dices to survive a retaliatory strike or someone else shooting at you, so choices!);
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6820 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2019 :  03:01:51  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
... two alternate game systems I experienced and enjoyed are both based on "open" dice rolls:
- in Cyberpunk 2020 you use the d10 for all actions ...
- Shadowrun is a different beast altogether, basically everything was done rolling d6 ...



Cyberpunk was a good system but somewhat sparse: 1d10+n isn't very random when bonus/malus modifiers get high (n=15 vs n=16, for example). Shadowrun-type systems have a deeper flaw: it's not too hard to roll a couple 6s but it's nearly impossible to roll a couple 18s even if you pool together big handfuls of dozens of dice (and the sheer number of dice in motion was always fun at first but always became annoying after the novelty wore off). It made too many things functionally trivial or functionally impossible, an exponentially-difficult fashion instead of the intended linear-difficulty fashion of dice modifiers.

I think the best dice mechanics I've seen were in Earthdawn. It had some best of both worlds: dice counts kept under control while also permitting "random" value generation within bracketed numerical ranges, great ways to determine "quality of quantity" on results, open-ended results, fumbles, criticals, everything. But it also had the drawback of heavy reliance on charts (which always slows down gameplay unless all players always have perfect memory and perfect integrity).

A lot of RPGs limit things to D6 (or even D10/D20) simply because these dice are so common and polyhedral dice sets are less common. It really doesn't matter much these days but it profoundly influenced all the formative wargaming and RPG rules. (Many people study probability and statistics, combinatorial math, RNG and programming - and they know everything there is to know about six-sided dice but are surprisingly unaware that dice come in other geometries.)

I'm not sure how classic D6 rules could be made much more "transparent" and "seamlessly interfaced" - they already use very few generalized dice rolling mechanisms to produce very many specific results. The whole charm of the ruleset is its consistent, streamlined, and minimalistic simplicity: the story pace keeps moving forward, the characters keep up by being the heart of the action, things are sometimes maybe a little rushed and sloppy and improvised but somehow that just makes it seem to feel even more like Star Wars.
The players never seem to sit around half-idly flipping through papers and charts and tables, they tend to eagerly grab the dice and tell you what actions they want their characters to accomplish plus what their idea is about how the rules can resolve the action.

[/Ayrik]
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2019 :  19:27:48  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well i'm looking through some random rulebooks i've got lying around.

So first of all

Combat

Bablyon 5 is a straight copy of D&D

Call of Cthulhu - couldnt figure out the combat, i dont think its a major part of the game.

Warhammer RPG (the version i looked at anyway) involves special dice and a lot of charts, which is not ideal.

Cyperpunk is d10 skill based, all checks are 1d10 + a skill modifier, plus an ability modifier, combat is just an extension of skill checks. Combat is freeform

Shadowrun is d6 skill based and adds a dice pool to augment rolls if the character wants/needs it. Combat is freeform

Starwars WEG is d6 skill based, with force points as a dice pool. The combat is freeform.

Basic D&D is d20 based. Combat is highly structured, morale check, move, range attack, cast spells, melee attack. Many arbitrary rules for specific situations.

D&D 3.5 i know best with a more freeform combat than basic or 2e. D20 based but still many arbitrary rules that feel like add-ons to the main combat system (for instance sunder is only allowed if you have a feat for it, ranged weapons behave one way, but splash weapons slightly different). Combat is completely separate from skills with an entirely separate progression system.

D&D 4e seems to go towards what appears more freeform, with millions more actions to take, but in reality it is very structured, you move, you use a power and you're done.

Hackmaster seems completely freeform, d20 based, with a bizarre concept of initiative and time tracking of actions.

Mechwarrior is skill based, semi freeform (like 3.5) with 2d10 for dice checks.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2019 :  20:08:53  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Now i like the d20 system because i'm a D&D man at heart, but i don't like its arbitrary special rules (and then feats that break those special rules, and feats that break the special rules that break the special rules).
I prefer skills based combat because it makes the game more transparent and it also reduces problems like when you are fighting while climbing a cliff or flying (basically any situation where you would mix skill checks with combat - has anyone ever tried to figure out climbing rates and checks in D&D combat).


I like the idea of a dice pool (from shadowrun) or force points (from star wars WEG) or hero points (i know i've read that in another system a long time ago). Something that allows the players to boost their checks at a crucial time, but only a very limited amount.



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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6820 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2019 :  22:15:38  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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.

[/Ayrik]
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 04 Jun 2019 :  07:44:29  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 04 Jun 2019 :  10:18:43  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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).


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Starshade
Learned Scribe

Norway
230 Posts

Posted - 04 Jun 2019 :  10:42:23  Show Profile Send Starshade a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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...

Edited by - Starshade on 04 Jun 2019 10:44:38
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 04 Jun 2019 :  10:52:34  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 04 Jun 2019 :  12:25:04  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 04 Jun 2019 :  12:35:16  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 04 Jun 2019 :  19:43:33  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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.

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Sammael
Seeker

27 Posts

Posted - 05 Jun 2019 :  22:56:02  Show Profile  Visit Sammael's Homepage Send Sammael a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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.
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 06 Jun 2019 :  07:44:48  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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.

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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 06 Jun 2019 :  21:56:34  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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.

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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
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Posted - 06 Jun 2019 :  22:11:03  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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).

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Diffan
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USA
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Posted - 06 Jun 2019 :  22:29:55  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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Diffan
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USA
3595 Posts

Posted - 06 Jun 2019 :  22:38:08  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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?

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"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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Sammael
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Posted - 06 Jun 2019 :  23:47:26  Show Profile  Visit Sammael's Homepage Send Sammael a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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.

Edited by - Sammael on 06 Jun 2019 23:49:24
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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 07 Jun 2019 :  07:27:53  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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)

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