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Game Mechanics and Making A New Game Using The OGL

webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the InternetRegistered User regular
edited September 2016 in Critical Failures
Hey Everyone!

There has been a lot of hot discussion in the D&D 5th edition thread about game mechanics. One thing I have come to realize is that there are a lot of Table Top RPGs out there that I love, but none of them cater to exactly what I want.

So this thread is twofold. One is to talk about all the mechanics we love, the mechanics we hate and explain both. Secondly I think I’m going to try to start piecing together my own game using the OGL and I’ll periodically post updated releases once I make sure all my contents unique (I don’t want to steal!). I’m going to need help though, especially with balancing the math.

So let’s start with some of the various things I love from different systems.

Let’s start with Weapons. I love how “Legend” (See Link) does weapon creation. All weapons do base 1d6 damage per level, and then at creation you add 3 modifiers. For example my friend made a flame thrower. 1d6 base damage, then for his weapon traits he took “Magical Damage: Fire”, “Reach” and scythe. So you have a weapon that does magical fire damage 10ft out from a character than can also catch other adjacent enemies in the attack. Seems like a flamethrower to me, and it took all of a few minutes to come up with, and fits perfectly in the framework of the game.

Next up is 4th Edition Character/Encounter design. What I love in this system is that all the characters mechanically have the same actions during a turn. Everyone gets Standard actions, Movement Actions and bonus actions, and they are explicitly called out. Along with that everyone gets standard attacks, encounter attacks and daily attacks. I love this design because it makes playing any class real easy. You just have to focus on the unique things about that class and it’s flavor, and not on the underlying mechanics of the game itself. Now of course this design is not perfect, especially with character progression being so closely tied with magical items and random bonuses. I’m a big fan of “you’ve got this big awesome sword that has its own history etc…”. When you’re constantly changing out magic weapons so you can hit the bad guys you can lose that uniqueness. They addressed this in a great way with inherent bonuses though. Every level or two you gain +1 attack/damage. Pretty straight forward but I think that whole issue could be designed out in early design of a game now that it’s been identified as an issue.

Finally, in an attempt to keep this OP short, is I love how in 13th age you are big damn Heroes. I’ve come to have a beef with the rest mechanic in D&D games. The games want you to be these big heroes exploring these super dungeons, but the 5 minute work day and finding places to rest 8 hours in a dungeon, or leaving always felt weird, and the exact opposite of being a big damn hero. In comes 13th Age. Make it through 4 tough (or equivalent) combats? Congratulations, you’ve dug deep and found the will to keep going, to persevere. You regain all your abilities and HP and can continue to kick ass and take names.

So yea, let’s talk about the things we love, and the things we don’t like! Let’s keep it light and none of that "you’re playing it wrong” shit. I want to hear why you think something is great, backed up by reasons with the same rigor that’s applied to tearing apart a mechanic.


Links!

OGL FAQ

OGL Text

Pathfinder. The D&D of OGL games. Plays like a more streamlined 3.5 with less trap feats and player punishment. At least browsing an optimization forum is recommended though, and god help your DM if you make it past level 11. 26 d6 rolled on successful sneak attacks. Mmmmmm.

13th Age, one of many of the new guard Table Top RPGs trying to bridge the gap between old school D&D and a lot of modern game design philosophy. Arguably one of the most popular of the new games too.

Dungeon World, a more rules light TTRPG with a focus role play and theatre of the mind. Enough rules and systems to sink your teeth into though. Want to pick up a system and have a great time from the word go? Here you are!

Legend by Rule of Cool. They are pretty much dead in the water but by god they were able to squeeze out a 1.0 version. Free to download from the website! I love their character creation and class design, as well as weapons. It is also dead simple to pull D&D 4th ed monsters over to this system with just a little tweaking.

Edited for spelling and Grammar

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  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    webguy20 wrote: »
    I’m a big fan of “you’ve got this big awesome sword that has its own history etc…”. When you’re constantly changing out magic weapons so you can hit the bad guys you can lose that uniqueness. They addressed this in a great way with inherent bonuses though. Every level or two you gain +1 attack/damage. Pretty straight forward but I think that whole issue could be designed out in early design of a game now that it’s been identified as an issue.

    13th Age does this with it's weapons. Magical weapons are rare and unique and they aren't created by a wizard in a weapon shop, they gain their properties from the their experiences. And they gain a bonus when you level from Adventurers, to Champion, to Epic Levels. But I do like the way weapons are created in Legend. I've never heard of that before.

    So... Things that I love in roleplaying games... I've enjoyed games with crunch, especially in combat focused game. It makes it easy to create fights and know how hard they are. But that requires good balance between the classes and monsters and traps and that is a hard place to find. D&D 4E did this by making every class the same and while that might be great for balance it was... boring after awhile. 13th Age creates each class as it's own mini-game, some classes work with a massive list of spells, other have feats that have a mix/match quality to them, and then there is druids... which while I love them as a concept, have pretty much an insane amount of options.

    Another thing I love from games like Marvel Heroics, FATE, and 13th Age is stuff like Distinctions, One Unique Things, Aspects which makes your character's background part of mechanics of the game. 13th Age has background points that replace the old concept of skills and helps me as a DM know more about your character without even having to read a paragraph about how you are the seventh son of a seventh son. And Marvel Heroics has Milestones, which basically is personal quests that the player gains xp for when they actively pursuit them. All these things help flesh out characters better than Attributes and Powers.

    One thing I know we talked about in the general roleplaying thread was that most games focus on one thing, such as combat, and leave the other parts of the game simple, like social interactions and exploration. If you are going to make your own game, think about making all aspects of the game just as complex or simple and engaging.

    Fuselage
  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    Thinking about that weapon thing gives me an idea...

    So when you start your adventure, you have normal gear; d6 dagger, armor that gives you +2 to your based AC, ect. When you complete major story arcs, personal milestones, whatever, you earn an equipment upgrade that you can apply in different ways, increase weapon damage, add type damage/resistance, whatever. By the time you reach max level, your d6 dagger could be a 3d12 Blade of Avatar of Chaos, that deals holy and demonic damage, has demonic poison, holy leach, and returns to the wielder's hand when thrown.

    webguy20
  • MorkathMorkath Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2016
    I was always a fan of the 2e shadowrun character creation method (although the rest of the systems were kind of eh).

    "My character is going to be statistically oriented, so I get to add more points to my stats, but he is poor so I get less starting money, skills, etc."
    or
    "I am going to be a richboy, so I start with a million credits, and am educated, but low stats."

    It let you really focus on how you wanted to create your character, rather than relying on die rolls to have the chance to build the character you wanted to.

    e:
    I'm always a proponent of point buy systems for stats, rather than die rolls also. Less chance of envy at the table to the guy who rolled 3 18's or whatever during creation, to your straight 11's.

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  • FuselageFuselage Oosik Jumpship LoungeRegistered User regular
    edited September 2016
    I like the idea of hacking in crunchier Social encounter rules to 5e, but what would make more sense? Opposed rolls that give that player an active chance to disbelieve what's happening or a Social Defense Score a la 13th Age where you take Insight, Investigation, and Deception scores and choose the middle one plus proficiency (if you have it) to make a DC that anybody else would have to pass? I'm intrigued by A Song of Ice and Fire RPG mechanics because it's a bigger deal in that system, but I'm less interested by the system itself as I know it's had a rough go of it.

    So what makes for more interesting gameplay, opposed rolls or Save DCs?
    Physical Stats
    STR
    DEX
    CON

    Physical Skills
    Acrobatics (DEX)
    Athletics (STR)
    Sleight of Hand (DEX)
    Stealth (DEX)

    Mental Stats
    INT
    WIS
    CHA

    Mental Skills

    Animal Handling (WIS)
    Arcana (INT)
    History (INT)
    Investigation (INT)
    Medicine (WIS)
    Nature (INT)
    Perception (WIS)
    Religion (INT)
    Survival (WIS)

    Social Skills

    Deception (CHA) - Offensive
    Insight (WIS) - Defensive
    Intimidation (CHA/STR) - Offensive
    Performance (DEX/CHA) - Offensive
    Persuasion (INT/CHA) - Offensive (Int uses Logic)

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  • MorkathMorkath Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Opposed rolls are better, they give the player something to do, but also still allow the DM to obscure their side for ambiguous player actions.

    Detecting traps? I will make the roll and tell you what you find. You getting to see what the number is lets you know if you actually failed, when you should actually think you succeeded but failed.
    Swinging your sword at someone? You can roll that, you can immediately see what the result is yourself.
    Trying to intimidate someone? You can roll your side, you know how well you THINK you did. Gonna hide my roll though, so you don't know how well you ACTUALLY did.

    This also has the benefit of allowing you to easily fudge the roll to either adjust the difficulty up or down as needed. Poor guy keeps rolling 1's? Well, you can cut him and a break and let him pass this time anyway, so he doesn't get frustrated and stop playing.
    Guy is being a jerk/ruining the difficulty for everyone? Critical failure, your doohicky explodes.

    Fuselage
  • FuselageFuselage Oosik Jumpship LoungeRegistered User regular
    Morkath wrote: »
    Opposed rolls are better, they give the player something to do, but also still allow the DM to obscure their side for ambiguous player actions.

    Detecting traps? I will make the roll and tell you what you find. You getting to see what the number is lets you know if you actually failed, when you should actually think you succeeded but failed.
    Swinging your sword at someone? You can roll that, you can immediately see what the result is yourself.
    Trying to intimidate someone? You can roll your side, you know how well you THINK you did. Gonna hide my roll though, so you don't know how well you ACTUALLY did.

    This also has the benefit of allowing you to easily fudge the roll to either adjust the difficulty up or down as needed. Poor guy keeps rolling 1's? Well, you can cut him and a break and let him pass this time anyway, so he doesn't get frustrated and stop playing.
    Guy is being a jerk/ruining the difficulty for everyone? Critical failure, your doohicky explodes.

    Thanks for the insight, I definitely think rolling against each other amps up the intensity of the scene after thinking about what you said.

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  • webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    edited September 2016
    One thing I know we talked about in the general roleplaying thread was that most games focus on one thing, such as combat, and leave the other parts of the game simple, like social interactions and exploration. If you are going to make your own game, think about making all aspects of the game just as complex or simple and engaging.

    I was thinking exactly this! I'm almost tempted to make important social encounters their own "combats" with specific stats. The verbal fencing, battle of wills, feints and half truths. I believe these kinds of things can be codified and used for big important set pieces.

    Now intimidating a guard? He might have a simple list of saves and can't "attack" on his own. I definitely want both combat and out of combat encounters to be well defined.

    I'm also a big believer in the "No combat unless it's important" theory of game design. I don't like random encounters. I have limited game time and I would rather raid a pirate ship in an attempt to get the awesome ancient relic than fight random badger encounter #4. It all comes down to style of play though, I don't like random encounters in my Fallouts or Final Fantasies either. This philosophy applies to combat and non combat encounters.

    I think I might add to the first post with the themes I'm going to try to get across in my game to give people a better idea for what I'm shooting for, and the type of system I'm making.



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  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    If you're looking for detailed Social encounter schemes, Burning Wheel has Battle of Wits, which seems pretty thorough and like it would be satisfying in play.

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  • webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    If you're looking for detailed Social encounter schemes, Burning Wheel has Battle of Wits, which seems pretty thorough and like it would be satisfying in play.

    That's one system I've never really dug into. I'll have to take a look.

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  • FuselageFuselage Oosik Jumpship LoungeRegistered User regular
    I'll absolutely look into that. For me the hurdle is trying to figure out 'To What End'. If your character beats someone else in a battle of wills, what mechanically happens? What happens when you Social Grace (like Hit Points) drop to zero? I'll read up on Burning Wheel and other systems that have mechanics for social stuff. I like the idea that if you're playing a dice rolling game, you're rolling the whole time. Obviously that could slow it down too.

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  • webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    edited September 2016
    Fuselage wrote: »
    I'll absolutely look into that. For me the hurdle is trying to figure out 'To What End'. If your character beats someone else in a battle of wills, what mechanically happens? What happens when you Social Grace (like Hit Points) drop to zero? I'll read up on Burning Wheel and other systems that have mechanics for social stuff. I like the idea that if you're playing a dice rolling game, you're rolling the whole time. Obviously that could slow it down too.

    I think most people are rolling already, using intimidate, persuade etc... I think having it codified would help because then you have turn order and could potentially stream line stuff if a lot of the party is trying to do a bunch interaction with NPCs. Keep them from talking over each other. The most important thing will be making everyone useful in a big social situation. 7 Seas had interesting social mechanics as well.

    For basic stuff If you want to let people roll for it I would rock the "Just roll me a D20, 1-4 you fail, 5-9 you succeed, with negatives, 10-14 you succeed, and 15-20 you succeed with positives".

    This would work if the party is trying to subdue a single guard, or haggle with a vendor over a Kabab. Or if they are bad ass enough, they just auto succeed.

    Against the God King and his Vicars? Social Combat time. If your social HP runs out then maybe it gets physical and you start combat. The party might have a group HP pool for social stuff. That could make it better and it would be less weird than if one person ran out way before everyone else.

    "To What End".... More Favor, rewards, information. Maybe you're up against someone you suspect is evil, but they are the kings right hand. If you win the social encounter maybe they drop some clue about a nefarious deed going down, but if they win they drop the same clue, but it's really a trap for the party to get them out of the guys hair.

    I think while codified, the non-combat combat would be more streamlined and hopefully faster.

    Going to look at Burning Wheel first though before going too far down one road.

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  • FuselageFuselage Oosik Jumpship LoungeRegistered User regular
    webguy20 wrote: »
    Fuselage wrote: »
    I'll absolutely look into that. For me the hurdle is trying to figure out 'To What End'. If your character beats someone else in a battle of wills, what mechanically happens? What happens when you Social Grace (like Hit Points) drop to zero? I'll read up on Burning Wheel and other systems that have mechanics for social stuff. I like the idea that if you're playing a dice rolling game, you're rolling the whole time. Obviously that could slow it down too.

    I think most people are rolling already, using intimidate, persuade etc... I think having it codified would help because then you have turn order and could potentially stream line stuff if a lot of the party is trying to do a bunch of stuff. Keep them from talking over each other. The most important thing will be making everyone useful in a big social situation. 7 Seas had interesting social mechanics as well.

    Instead of Dex to Initiative do you have Cha to Conversation?

    Also I found this, it may be relevant to our interests.

    http://www.seannittner.com/actual-play-the-duel-of-wills-4192010/

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  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    I think you can do most "social combat" as being against the equivalent of minions who just kind of go down in one. These are your incredulous city guardsman or tangentially interested partygoer types. A moderately more complex combat-like scenario could play out for minor players that aren't just walkovers, then the whole shebang could be boss-fight style.

    I could also see physical combat playing out the same way, with some encounters being just walkovers for the PCs, with others being real speedbumps and then the true challenges at or near the end.

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. Now With Ninjas!

    They tried to bury us. They didn't know that we were seeds. 2018 Midterms. Get your shit together.
  • FuselageFuselage Oosik Jumpship LoungeRegistered User regular
    If social scenarios are turn based what happens when somebody eventually draws a sword? Would you use the social order or reroll initiative, or just start initiative with the sword drawing member at the top and everyone below that organized by initiative mod?

    I imagine some players wouldn't have much to do or say during a social encounter, would you let them Help the face like in 5e combat to grant advantage?

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  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    If I'm making social interactions this much of a thing in the game, I'm probably going to take steps to make sure everybody at the table at least has basic tools to help out. Just like combat in D&D.

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. Now With Ninjas!

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  • webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    edited September 2016
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    If I'm making social interactions this much of a thing in the game, I'm probably going to take steps to make sure everybody at the table at least has basic tools to help out. Just like combat in D&D.

    Yup. To take Legend for example. It has a track system for class advancement. I'm thinking a track like system for social skills as well. Have a few different tracks for different kinds of social "classes" with some modular spots so people can plug their own from feats or options or whatever comes up. These would be the "attack and defense" actions used in a social interaction.

    Keep in mind as well that social isn't all talking, its body language as well. I would want to keep abilities vague. The abilities don't describe what you say or do specifically, but how you say it or do it. Like an ability could be "Lean in - You're aggressively in a persons space" and the player can RP that action. "I step up to the count face to face, and being 6 inches taller I stare down my nose at him".

    Things like that.

    I really need to get a design doc going so I can get my arms around this.

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  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    I'm quoting myself from the General RPG thread because I talked briefly on the concept of balance among all parts of the game during our "Crunch: Does it kill Roleplaying?" debate. This is not to start that debate again, but to share my ideas on what makes a Roleplaying Game. Note the Bold.
    jdarksun wrote: »
    admanb wrote: »
    Crunch and RP are not at odds -- see Burning Wheel -- it's just that the more crunch a game has the more likely it is to push you towards certain styles of playing, potentially at the expense of RP -- see D&D.
    I have yet to play a crunchy RPG that didn't gleefully sacrifice the RP portion of the acronym on the burning pyre of positional combat modifiers, weapon type bonuses/penalties, and hundreds upon hundreds of pages of spells.

    I've been watching too much Adam Ruins Everything and with this RPG argument going on, I feel like I need to do a Roleplaying Game episode!

    The reason you think Crunch kills Roleplaying is because of the grandfather of the RPG has trained you wrong!

    As we all know, Dungeons and Dragons came from war games, where you control armies to fight other armies. D&D brought the scale down to have heroes fight evil guys, but it was created by guys who enjoyed war games, so it was, of course, built around the idea that the most complex part of a playing a game about Heroes saving the World was going to be combat. Because who needs rules on how to convince someone to let you through a gate when as one simple roll would do. Those weren't the interesting moments to Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, epic battles were.

    RPGs are all built from it and while we are seeing a wave of new games that give combat less emphasis because they either don't focus on it or want to not deal with complex battle simulators, the games still have the same DNA. But while those "narrative-focus" games also use less rules, because of easy of play, they still believe the fact that social interactions are simple, a mind set that comes from their grandfather game that they can't quite shake. So we think that the "Roleplaying" is harmed when we think of adding any complexity to the them but really, we are harming it.

    RPGs are made up of 4 parts: Social Interactions, Combat, Exploration, and Progression. A "Crunchy" game that gives all four parts the same amount of attention, customization, and options would be amazing, but we haven't truly explored it. We either dumb everything down or focus on one and forget the rest. And we continue this wrong mindset of Crunch takes away Roleplaying Freedom.

    I was part of a Playtest for @The Sauce's game Triptycho, which was a card based RPG where your character was made up of 3 classes, one for social interactions, one for combat, and one for exploring. It was great because when I wanted to talk to someone, I had cards that I could play that I could then improve to something. Like I was a Merchant/Thief/Archer, which pretty much meant Rogue. I could bribe people with something shiny as a Merchant, I could sneak past them as a Thief or I could shoot them as an Archer. Each part had the same amount of rules and dice rolling, and social interactions were as complex, intense, and fun as combat.

    So in short, it's not Crunch that is killing Roleplaying, it's your old D&D training that has you set on old habits that are killing the Roleplaying in RPGs.

  • FuselageFuselage Oosik Jumpship LoungeRegistered User regular
    edited September 2016
    I'm going on record right now to say that any system that has a Barbarian social track adda an ability that forces a Barbarian to make a Will/Wis save or become Enraged after losing a social encounter/battle of wills.

    Let the Wookiee win.

    Edit:
    Race Track (How the world sees you, gives racial bonuses to RP and Combat), Background Track (How you got here, gives RP/Exploration peeks), Personality/Social Track (How you interact with the world. If you want ultra crunch you make 16 possible social tracks based on Myers-Briggs), 3 Class Tracks (these are all class/combat crunch. Three total if you want to multiclass using the Legend system).

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  • Fleur de AlysFleur de Alys Biohacker Registered User regular
    Glad to see more people starting to go down this path! Ever since we started playtesting Triptycho with full combat-equivalent systems for interaction and exploration challenges, it's been really difficult to go back to games that just give lip service with a couple dice rolls here and there.

    I took a card-based approach, so anything you do here with the OGL and pen-and-paper based play is going to wind up being quite different. Still, I'd be happy to share what I've learned in the 2-3 years or so I've been doing this, and hopefully I can pick up some cool ideas from you in return!

    One thing I can pretty strongly recommend is having completely separate stat blocks when you're interacting with something versus trying to kill something. This is really handy for several reasons:
    1. The DM has only the relevant situational information to look over. If you're dealing with 4 different creatures, having all their information for attacking them, interacting with them, and potentially sneaking past them (if like me you choose to make that a third grouping to promote group stealth as viable play and reasonable combat alternatives) would lead to massive stat blocks. That's too much information to sift through if you're just trying to run a combat, for example.
    2. It lets you mix-and-match as needed. For instance, you can have generic combat blocks for armed soldier-type humanoids, then generic interaction blocks for various types of personalities (gruff ruffians, thoughtful scholars, carefree tricksters, etc). You could have two guards that use the same combat block but different personalty blocks, or two NPCs with similar personalities but wildly different combat styles (like a pair of ruffians, but one's a swordfighter and the other is a crossbow marksman).
    3. Expanding on the above, you can freely mix and match across power and threat levels. A wizened old king might not be much of a combatant but could be a high-level interaction challenge. If you prefer not to scale threat by level (and instead use something like 4E's solo/elite/standard/minion keywords) then that king might be a solo in interaction (or an elite paired with an elite advisor) but a standard or minion in battle (with his royal guards making up the primary challenge if combat breaks out).
    4. You're going to have to do this anyway for things like traps and hazards, especially for things you want players to deal with outside of combat (like trying to navigate a labyrinthine forest, scale a mountain, or escape from a water-filling room). Separating everything lets you be more organized and consistent.
    The one disadvantage to doing things this way is that it becomes difficult to mix elements from each type of situation into a single encounter. For instance, trying to use intimidation or diplomacy in the middle of combat is cumbersome at best; you'd need to grab another set of stats for both the player and the creature, then find some way to concurrently run what's basically two separate engines.

    I'm experimenting with some ways to mix-and-match, but my default approach is just to avoid those situations. The players must stick together and play the same game. If we're fighting, then we're fighting; everybody breaks out the weapons and implements and gets into battle. If we're chatting, then everyone's chatting -- not just one "face" while everyone else pokes at their phones. If we're sneaking past dudes, then everyone is sneaking past dudes -- not just the one rogue that has enough relevant skills to succeed while everyone else's attempt merely gives away the suddenly-hapless rogue.

    As a consequence of this, it's key to make sure that every player has competency in all areas. Players should be limited in how much they can invest in one thing at the expense of the other things (like making a skill-monkey that's useless in interaction and combat, or a brute that's hopeless outside of fights). My method has been to bake core competency into every mechanical character build (or "deck" in my case), then allow players to allocate their gear and items if they want to specialize a bit in one area or another. I've still run into situations where some builds are occasionally useless, but that comes along with making a deckbuilder.

    A traditional P&P style game can probably avoid that problem entirely, but it'll be a lot of effort to provide interesting differentiation between the PCs. Combat detail will necessarily suffer, I expect, lest your game materials become simply too unwieldy, your character sheets eight pages long. But that's perfectly fine if you're providing an interesting chassis for other forms of play so the game doesn't effectively boil down to "how fun is it to kill the things."

    Triptycho: A card-and-dice tabletop indie RPG currently in development and playtesting
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  • FuselageFuselage Oosik Jumpship LoungeRegistered User regular
    Hell, if that's the case I'd just format the character sheet to be landscape and split it up into thirds. The header would have name, class, and stats. Left side is combat, traits/features, middle is skills and stuff, right side is social stats, features, and clothes. If you flip it over there's a cheat sheet on what actions (still in 5e context here) you can take for each three columns.

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  • webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    Thats awesome Sauce! I plan to break combat down like 4e as far as roles go, fighter, striker, controller, defender etc... I want everyone to be useful, and not just a race to do the most DPS and I feel 4e did pretty well in that regard.

    I always liked this description of the Warlord for example... "I don't hit the enemy with my axe, I hit him with my rogue". I always loved playing a Warlord and giving my rogue lots of extra attacks. It was great.

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  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    You and I are way different because I hated the Warlord.

  • webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    You and I are way different because I hated the Warlord.

    Haha I loved being able to move around the party, set up flanking, give extra attacks. I thought that was a blast.

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    MorkathFleur de AlysAuralynx
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    Warlord was the perfect class for the tactical thinking person at the table. The one that really gets off on building a plan on the fly and executing it.

    I loved it.

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. Now With Ninjas!

    They tried to bury us. They didn't know that we were seeds. 2018 Midterms. Get your shit together.
    MorkathElvenshaeAuralynx
  • MorkathMorkath Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    webguy20 wrote: »
    You and I are way different because I hated the Warlord.

    Haha I loved being able to move around the party, set up flanking, give extra attacks. I thought that was a blast.

    Warlord was awesome, because it was, "Lets take a fighter, and give them something to do in combat besides saying, "I swing my sword."

    I almost played one, last time I played pathfinder. But ended up going with a warlock instead, for the lawls of infinite shatters.

  • webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    So that brings up a mechanic I'm not a fan of, and that Pathfinder is full of for the Martial characters. The Multiple attack Mechanic. At level 11 (this was from a few years ago) My rogue was doing 6 attacks each round when hasted, which she always was. It was just tiring. It was cool at first rolling like 26 d6, but I eventually just downloaded a dice roller to speed the game up. Also it dragged out combat to a great extent rolling each attack, checking to hit, all that.

    5th ed is better because you don't get as many attacks unless you are a fighter, but I prefer the multiple weapon damage dice that 4th used. One attack roll, hit does full damage and miss does half.

    One of the hardest things I think about making this game is going to be streamlining combat enough to be able to add in the social challenges without making combat seem like fluff, or make it just too much going on to manage. I imagine that will be one of the biggest things during play testing.

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  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    One thing I've always wondered about is when it comes to combat, why kill everyone? Like, some things, like mindless undead, will keep coming even if you killed 100 of their friends, but most animals run once you kill enough of them. Most people run once the fight looks like a lost. Why not have a surrender mechanic where once X people die, you can roll to see if the rest run or surrender?

  • webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    I've always tried as a DM to play my monsters realistically. Mercenaries attacking you and you start wiping the floor with them? They retreat. Unless the big bad would do far worse to them for losing than just dying to the players!

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  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    Usually I retreat them to the next battle (or at least tell my players they are the guys from the last fight) unless my players can stop them from reporting their presence. Or have them call in reinforcements if the place is less dungeon crawl of a location, like a camp or battlefield.

    webguy20
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    Multiple attacks is just a bad way of representing martial prowess. Damage bonuses and miss damage get you to the same place of average and spike damage without requiring a dozen rolls and limiting tactical options to attacking a bunch of times or bring kind of irrelevant.

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. Now With Ninjas!

    They tried to bury us. They didn't know that we were seeds. 2018 Midterms. Get your shit together.
    Elvenshae
  • MorkathMorkath Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Mutliple attacks are a good thing, up until a point, d&d does get kind of ridiculous once you start factoring in haste and whatnot.

    Giving an extra attack or two, is a nice touch. Kind of a "You are becoming so skilled you find more openings in your opponents defense, allowing you to sneak in an extra attack." You aren't suddenly better at piercing through that platemail (extra tohit or dmg), but you are definitely starting to notice that when someone drops their elbow a bit they leave themselves open and you can take a swing without retaliation.

  • CarnarvonCarnarvon Registered User regular
    @webguy20 I would highly recommend you read through Fantasy Craft. If you're looking for cool ideas, FC is literally brimming over with them.

  • Void SlayerVoid Slayer Very Suspicious Registered User regular
    One thing I've always wondered about is when it comes to combat, why kill everyone? Like, some things, like mindless undead, will keep coming even if you killed 100 of their friends, but most animals run once you kill enough of them. Most people run once the fight looks like a lost. Why not have a surrender mechanic where once X people die, you can roll to see if the rest run or surrender?

    It becomes one more thing to keep track of during combat, so putting it in mechanically might be something to just slow down the game. But it should certainly be something considered when designing encounters.

    Maybe set up ahead of time who will drop out under what situations? Like minions 1-5 will drop if the leader dies, 6-8 will run if 4 guys are killed, 9 is stupid and will keep fighting forever, 10 will literally run away if you just shout at him.

    He's a shy overambitious dog-catcher on the wrong side of the law. She's an orphaned psychic mercenary with the power to bend men's minds. They fight crime!
  • Fleur de AlysFleur de Alys Biohacker Registered User regular
    edited September 2016
    webguy20 wrote: »
    One of the hardest things I think about making this game is going to be streamlining combat enough to be able to add in the social challenges without making combat seem like fluff, or make it just too much going on to manage. I imagine that will be one of the biggest things during play testing.
    Streamlining someone else's design so that it suits a different purpose is indeed a difficult challenge.

    I think you might actually find it easier to just start from scratch here. Make a whole new combat engine that focuses intently on the specific things you want to model, the specific gameplay decisions you want your players making.

    Abstractness is the key to keeping it simple. Focus entirely on the gameplay mechanisms, as though you were making a board or video game rather than a tabletop RPG. Then, write your descriptions / explanations of the mechanics in such a way that it ties the mechanics to your intended flavor. It's a lot easier to tweak and twist prose and language rather than math and mechanics. Of course you should have the game's flavor in mind when you're creating the initial mechanisms so that it isn't too jarring or fake-feeling, but avoid the traps of trying to model inconsequential detail or starting with the familiar because that's how it's been done before.

    Fleur de Alys on
    Triptycho: A card-and-dice tabletop indie RPG currently in development and playtesting
    Elvenshae
  • FuselageFuselage Oosik Jumpship LoungeRegistered User regular
    Fuselage wrote: »
    I'm going on record right now to say that any system that has a Barbarian social track adda an ability that forces a Barbarian to make a Will/Wis save or become Enraged after losing a social encounter/battle of wills.

    Let the Wookiee win.

    Edit:
    Race Track (How the world sees you, gives racial bonuses to RP and Combat), Background Track (How you got here, gives RP/Exploration peeks), Personality/Social Track (How you interact with the world. If you want ultra crunch you make 16 possible social tracks based on Myers-Briggs), 3 Class Tracks (these are all class/combat crunch. Three total if you want to multiclass using the Legend system).

    I was half joking about using the MB types, but based on their popularity I think they would be a pretty good starting point if you wanted to make someone's personality or social options "crunchy". At a minimum, this might make roleplaying your character feel a little more real because they'd be stronger in some reactions and situations but weaker in others.

    https://www.16personalities.com/personality-types
    Using this I'd make four different trees, roughly named after the options here (everybody calls these different names anyway) or even go with the Four Humors from antiquity. That would be pretty good for a medieval setting, right? Once you pick the tree you could have options based on what's different to those types, like Introverted (+2 Perception) or Empathetic/Feeling (+2 Insight). It's an intriguing idea to me, if difficult to codify.


    I know the Myers-Briggs stuff isn't the most accurate and people don't fit in neat boxes. Hell, you could just take all the traits and flaws from The Sims and make those options for people to build themselves.

    o4n72w5h9b5y.png
  • webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    Been reading a few things and I think I'm going to use one note to lay out the outlines of my system. Should let me build up the specific modules inside itself with some flexible tools for organization.

    I already subscribe to office so might as well take advantage of the tools I have. Hell I might even make a gannt chart for a timeline. I fucking love those things. I think thats what I'm going to do through this weekend. Get the pillars of my game figured out, read the the OGL documentation to see what I can and can't do, and line out onenote to match the pillars of my game, and make the timeline so I have something to stick to.

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    Fuselage
  • MorkathMorkath Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    What genre are you going with webguy? I don't see it actually listed (I may be blind and just missing it).

  • FuselageFuselage Oosik Jumpship LoungeRegistered User regular
    I ran a one off completely out of OneNote and thought it was the best thing in the world. I can't wait to see what you come up with, I'll have more to say once I get home next week.

    o4n72w5h9b5y.png
  • webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    Morkath wrote: »
    What genre are you going with webguy? I don't see it actually listed (I may be blind and just missing it).

    Initial setting is going to be Eberon/13th age equivalent. One of the goals though is to divorce the core mechanics from the setting, so it will be easier to do something in the future in a different setting if it ever gets to that.

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    Fuselage
  • FuselageFuselage Oosik Jumpship LoungeRegistered User regular
    webguy20 wrote: »
    Morkath wrote: »
    What genre are you going with webguy? I don't see it actually listed (I may be blind and just missing it).

    Initial setting is going to be Eberon/13th age equivalent. One of the goals though is to divorce the core mechanics from the setting, so it will be easier to do something in the future in a different setting if it ever gets to that.

    Would you consider having three tables of armor and weapons for Past, Present, and Future settings? I've been mulling over "the perfect system" in my head and for ease of use I think it would make sense to include those rules. I feel like we're probably fighting the same fight here.

    o4n72w5h9b5y.png
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