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[Interest On] Experimental D20 System

EdcrabEdcrab Actually a hackRegistered User regular
edited March 2008 in Critical Failures
So, I'm pretty sure something like this has been attempted before, but I'm interested in GMing a homebrew PbP and seeing if anyone would like to participate.

It's a D20-derivate based around DCs and arbitrary GM-imposed checks- i.e., if there isn't an opponent or some other situation allowing for an opposing roll, then there'd be set threat-levels/difficulties depending on the challenge or the complexity of the task that the player has declared their intent to act out.

But most notably, this is entirely experimental.

Everyone should feel free to make their own suggestions- hell, you’re actively encouraged to do so! I've used this before in various incarnations but never, I should add, in forum-friendly form, so don't be afraid to hurt my feelings if you think something wouldn't work.

The setting I'm currently using is science-fiction based, but if that proves too unpopular I could always dream something else up. Think telepathy, telekinesis, the odd cyborg, and extra-dimensional mind-eating Cthulu wannabes. Right now though, everyone’s a human. Or at least humanish.


So, every player has six statistics (4 points is the average for a human), which represent the bonuses they're given when rolling for the relevant challenges. The system shares a similarity with Mutants & Masterminds in that there's a health check rather than hitpoints, but failing a health check will actually reduce the player's health stat by one point (and thus make it harder for them to pass future checks).

Health: Endurance, physical resilience, and resistance to bodily threats such as toxins or diseases. If Health hits zero, the character loses consciousness and is immobilised- a character must start with at least 1 point of health.

Strength: Raw physical power- influencing feats such as heavy lifting, grappling with an opponent, kicking down a door, or the traditional “break a club over the enemy’s head” technique. Strength can act as a buffer for Health, allowing a character to sacrifice a point of Strength in lieu of having to test their Health.

Agility: Agility determines athletic and gymnastic ability, as well as broader categories like reflexes or speed.

Focus: Focus governs your hand-eye co-ordination, your perception of the world around you and your overall concentration. Focus is essential for marksmen and skill-users, but is also significant for psionic characters.

Willpower: Think of this as “mental armour” to protect a character’s mind. Willpower represents a character’s morale under fire and their ability to push past the pain barrier or overcome their fears. Willpower is very important to psionic characters, or characters that wish to resist psionics.

Intelligence: Intelligence is a catch-all mental stat covering a character’s ability to reason and their general knowledge. Like Focus, Intelligence can give bonuses to psionic abilities. If Intelligence hits zero, the character is assumed to have lost their mind, leaving them open to attack.


A character can only die if their Health reaches a negative value- i.e., an unconscious character is physically attacked, or an insane character is mentally attacked, causing exacerbated neurological damage or something suitably dramatic. For the test run it’ll be pretty difficult to die.


Current special rules

I brought these in after noticing a few things...

Someone with a higher Intelligence doesn't have much of an advantage over a low Intelligence character in terms of suffering psychic damage: once a player's Willpower is depleted, Intelligence has a lot less effect in resisting mental damage (DCs will be much higher). This was to stop discriminating against players who wanted to field characters with average or below-average intellects.

As mentioned above, a player can choose to sacrifice a point of Strength rather than lose Health. They'll then be allowed to use their current Strength score rather than their Health for their saving throw. Note that if the roll is unsuccessful, they take the Health damage and they're down one Strength point.


Specialisations

These are definitely open to debate, and may not even be used if they complicate matters too much...!

To encourage people to chose something other than a psychic, they can elect to put skill points/equipment points/whatever in specialised aspects, to be used in conjunction with the bonuses allowed by their basic stats.

I.e., Melee +2, Marksmanship +3, Psi Defence +4... and so on. Conversely, it might be interesting to allow people to have negative specialities (i.e., weaknesses).

So within reason, players would be allowed a number of bonuses if they choose to live life without the namby-pampy braincell-frying abilities of those psychic pansies.


Psychic Abilities

This has always been where it's got interesting- i.e., complicated. The system allows psionic types a great deal of freedom: the player declares their intent, and the GM decides on the difficulty of the task. In much the same way that attempting to break a man's neck would take more effort/luck than merely kicking them in the shin, a psychic can expect to find it far easier to implant a suggestion in someone’s head than to mind-control them into being their butler for the rest of their adult life.

Difficulty examples:
Simple: <DC10
Challenging: DC15
Very Difficult: DC20
Virtually Impossible: DC35
Superhuman: DC50+

Telepathy: Boost Reactions, Suggestion, Deplete Will, Destroy Mind, Mass Mind Control
Telekinesis: Push Person, Shield, Crush Human, Throw Car, Sunder Building
Empathy: Soothe Will, Disquiet, Fear, Pain Immunity, Terror Aura

Telepaths and empaths (themselves just specialised telepaths) use powers with a predominantly mental component, while telekinetics can manifest their abilities in physical ways. Of course while telekinetics would be able to challenge psi-immune targets such as machines, their abilities tend to require significantly higher rolls.

As a general rule, psychics with higher Focus and Intelligence will be allowed more accurate abilities and more complicated effects. If a telekinetic has 10 Willpower but the rest of their mental stats are lacking, they can expect to shatter the average wall with little effort but they’d find it impossible to construct a lovely light show out of individual dust motes.


What to expect

While I’d shake this around depending on who wants to do what, I’d hope to have a campaign with a variety of situations, requiring combat, skill-use, and perhaps a little diplomacy or intimidation. But if everyone goes telepath I am so putting you up against angry robots.


Character creation

Don’t worry too much about whether you’re “allowed” to do something, the whole system is pretty much up in the air. Make a character you think’ll work but that more importantly you wouldn’t mind playing!
Stat Bonus - Points Cost
1-4 - - - - - - - - - 1
5-8 - - - - - - - - - 2
9-10+ - - - - - - - 3

You’re allowed 45 points for character creation, but it costs five points for every psychic skillset you want to access (it’s assumed that the other five are expended on the appropriate training/skills/genes). So a telepath who also had telekinetic potential would only have 35 points to throw around.

10 is pretty much the limit for a stat at character creation, but I wouldn’t object too much to seeing higher if the rest of the character comes across as balanced. After all, with a +10 bonus to a check, you’re passing the average task automatically (unless you critically fail, but hey, I’m not even sure if people want that sort of functionality yet).


So if you’ve read all that, kudos to you. I’d love to hear from potential players, but also from anyone prepared to throw a few ideas around :) Feel free to ask questions if I’ve left some blindly obvious issue untouched.

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Edcrab on
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    RyadicRyadic Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Those angry robots are going down...
    7 Health (-10)
    7 Stregnth (-10)
    5 Agility (-6)
    6 Focus (-6)
    4 Willpower (-4)
    4 Intelligence (-4)

    I guess +3 in Melee and +2 in Psi Defense

    Are there any special abilities for fighters?

    I think my math is correct, I think that adds up to 45.

    Ryadic on
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    EdcrabEdcrab Actually a hack Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    ...that was fast :D

    As for specials, you know how in D&D, in certain situations you're allowed to take ten or take twenty?

    I was thinking that fighters would have the option of taking ten (or maybe even taking twenty if the difference was great enough) if their Strength/Focus exceeded that of the opponent, simply because they've got superior combat training. Whether or not that's available to all fighters by default or only if they purchase a speciality, is something to be decided...

    Edcrab on
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    Super NamicchiSuper Namicchi Orange County, CARegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    this is certainly interesting stuff, ed. I've followed some of your work in WB (the workshop stuff? excellent) but I'm afraid I've got a lot of stuff to keep track of so I don't think I can participate...

    just chiming in to say this seems very interesting and that I will be following it with interest :)

    Super Namicchi on
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    RyadicRyadic Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Edcrab wrote: »
    As for specials, you know how in D&D, in certain situations you're allowed to take ten or take twenty?

    No, never played DnD. Actually never played a tabletop RPG at all. I'm in the Dark Heresey one, but our IC thread hasn't went up yet. I think one player still hasn't finished his character since he hasn't gotten his book yet.

    Ryadic on
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    EdcrabEdcrab Actually a hack Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Ah, well when you take ten or twenty in D&D, it's imagined that you made your skill roll and rolled ten or twenty: it's available in situations where you're thought to have a lot of time to complete a task (i.e., examining a room or crafting a weapon). In this case, think of it as the fighter/solider/whatever people want to call them automatically getting a roll of ten, because they're fighting an opponent who lacks their training.

    ...did that make any kind of sense? It's like trying to explain the off-side rule in football D: Oh, and yeah, that's 45 points by my count.

    Arcanis: thanks for the kind words :D Even if you don't get to play this time round I hope you get the chance sometime!

    Edcrab on
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    QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I think there should be some regulation of that method, because honestly there will still be times when an experienced person will slip up and an amateur will get lucky.

    Random example: in the Mutants and Masterminds game, I'm playing an uber-gymnast. After all her years of training and with her mutant ability added in, I would find it ridiculous that she would somehow manage to fail an acrobatics roll to do a simple cartwheel. However, that's kind of accounted for by her massively high Dexterity and her massively high Acrobatics skill. Even if she rolled a 1, she could do it, unless the critical failure rule is in effect.

    And it might be that critical failure rule that would need tweaking, depending on your perspective. You could say, for example, that if there is a large enough gap between the levels or attack modifiers or whatever of the two opponents, then critical failure isn't possible. You could also choose to enforce or ignore the rule based on circumstances--a fighter on his native turf is perhaps less likely (or more likely?) to screw up than a fighter out of his element.

    It also would depend on how you want the game to run. Do you want there to be a significant advantage to being more awesome? Ditch critical failures and institute your take ten rule for certain situations. Do you want the players to fear failure despite rocking the kasbah? Leave critical failures in.

    Quoth on
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    Super NamicchiSuper Namicchi Orange County, CARegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    well, one thing to note quoth is you can never critically fail on a skill check. attack roll or a saving throw, yes, but never on skill checks. for example if you have a +19 to your tumble check, rolling a 1 means you still got a 20 and can still tumble with ease, it just means you were slightly less spectacular this time around than the last couple times when you rolled a 10 and a 17.

    Super Namicchi on
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    EdcrabEdcrab Actually a hack Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Good points. What I did consider was to have, say, a requirement that you need at least X points in a stat to take ten, or at least X points in a stat to be open to critical successes.

    But reading what you've got there, I'm thinking critical successes should be available to all and sundry (because let's face it, it's the people with low bonuses that'll need them most) but that players can't critically fail if they've got at least seven points invested in a stat (just as an example, or alternatively it might require a speciality), or if like we said, there's a big enough skill gap.

    So essentially this is very narrative in nature, and the fact of the matter is yeah, I guess a lot of it will be based off how the GM wants to roll. I think I'll go with the D&D angle of never allowing CFs in skill checks, to boot.

    EDIT: ...actually, allowing critical successes raises a new issue for psychics. Some smartass might declare that they're aiming to destroy a planet with their mind, to which fate conspires to let them roll a natural 20. In which case: I reserve the right to tell them to go boil their head! :P

    Edcrab on
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    QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Funny, my last GM let us critically fail on skill checks. Must have been a house rule. You could critically fail anything in our game, often with amusing results. Like when my character shot another PC in the butt with an arrow, even though she had high Dex, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, and AN OATHBOW. But that was an attack roll, so perhaps it is not a good example.

    I think the point requirement should be somewhat level-oriented, so what's the d20 rule... level+2 points max? I'm too lazy to look it up. If so, then 7 points sounds good because that would put you at level 5, which seems like a suitable enough amount of time for the character to be awesome enough to not critically fail. But I'm not sure that a level 1 character should get access to this shortcut, I guess, unless they build some kind of Strength-twinked fighter I guess.

    But I'm all for circumstantial rulings. I think not enough GMs take advantage of their power in that respect. At the same time, you don't want to overdo it because then the players will feel like they can't try to overcome certain obstacles, and it becomes a game on rails rather than an RPG.

    Quoth on
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    EdcrabEdcrab Actually a hack Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    See, I'm thinking that for this run at least, the characters aren't really first level: they've clearly got training (and Ryadic at least is pretty buff :P). An average person would have about 4 in every category, so they'd be a 24-point build, so I reckon a 45-point build is actually pretty damn potent.

    Thing is, I imagine in this setting (or at least this particular scenario) everyone is pretty damn accomplished already, and I'm not sure levels suit the system. I mean someone's welcome to RP as a farmer from an agricultural world, but at 45 points, they'd probably have to be a farmer who put up with gigantic ravenous fauna to become one hell of a badass.

    ...unless they expended all their points on a +15 Farming speciality or something :lol:

    Edcrab on
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    QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    And at that point, they would out-farm everybody. Which is totally fine.

    But avoiding levels is an interesting thought. How would you advance people? Award skill-specific points based on use of skills, attack bonuses based on fighting, etc?

    I would think this system couldn't really have classes, the way you're proposing it. Which is kind of interesting in itself, because it avoids virtually all restrictions. However, maybe you want to impose some kind of minimum requirements, like "no driving skill unless your character is 16" or "no specializing in yoga and football because the two are mutually exclusive" or something.

    Quoth on
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    EdcrabEdcrab Actually a hack Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    On advancement, that's pretty much exactly what I had in mind. Although in practise, after a shortish campaign players have chosen where they wanted their point(s) assigned, and trusted that I wouldn't say "no you haven't done enough hopping for +1 Agility" or whatever. I only ever said no once, but that's because they wanted to up their Strength when all they'd done for the whole campaign was hang around at the back and look at artefacts.

    As for restrictions, the more I think about it, the more I think telekinetics should be expected to have a negative Psi Defence- i.e., so that despite the fact most TK PCs or NPCs will be played with massive Willpower, they're more vulnerable to psionic attacks than their telepathic counterparts: simply because overall a telekinetic has more potential than someone who can only affect minds.

    Bluntly psionic skillsets are the closest thing I have to classes right now, so coming up with interesting specialisations for non-psychics would be helpful too- things like, a 5-point cost "Expertise" specialisation that allows for combat re-rolls or denies the use of [whatever] - but balancing that sort of thing would be difficult so early in development.

    For example, forseeing a time that I ever introduce non-human builds, I wouldn't want someone making a psychic cyborg. Being a cyborg would probably boost your Psi-Defence significantly, but forever remove any chance you had of using psionic abilities yourself.

    EDIT: "Polymath" should totally be a specialisation. Rolling 2D20s for knowledge checks. I'll work that in somehow, I must I must!

    Edcrab on
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    Super NamicchiSuper Namicchi Orange County, CARegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    yeah actually, critical failures are in fact house rules. nowhere in the core book are they mentioned.

    I'd go into the whole philosophy behind why crit fails are terrible but it's a long and boring discussion, and would only derail this great great thread

    Super Namicchi on
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    QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Polymaths FTW.

    My initial thought on telekinetics is that perhaps they have to concentrate harder to get their power to work? Or perhaps it is harder to be a good telekinetic so they're more rare?

    I'm thinking Luke Skywalker when he was learning to levitate things... He kept having trouble with his own preconceptions of size and weight and so forth. Well, maybe it really is harder to lift bigger and heavier things, or maybe it takes more training to get past preconceptions.

    Quoth on
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    nefffffffffffnefffffffffff Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I'd like to get in on this. let me roll up a character. I should have it by tomorrow.

    nefffffffffff on
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    EdcrabEdcrab Actually a hack Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    glad to hear it nefffffffffff :D

    (damn that's a lot of f's!)

    Quoth: I like the sound of that. I guess needing more concentration etc. would explain why their DCs tend to be higher too.

    Plus, I was thinking that TKs (and perhaps all psychics) could expend a point of Willpower in order to take ten- or even expend two to take twenty- when it comes to psionic rolls. So a 10 Willpower TK could choose to automatically perform a DC30 act- i.e., ripping the arms off the ten-ton robot hassling the party- but in the aftermath, they're left with "only" 8 Willpower...

    Edcrab on
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    QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I'll try to put together a TK for testing purposes, since that seems to be where the questions are focused at the moment. I'll come back with thoughts and questions as I go through the process.

    Quoth on
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    RyadicRyadic Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Skill idea for "physical warriors" since you don't have classes, it's basically like what I created, those with strength in mind. Make it a temporary "berserker state" where their strength doubles and their Agility goes up 50% or something like that. I was thinking the same thing for Health, but that would be up to you. Have it last for 1 or 2 hours or whatever is reasonable with what you're trying to do with the way you work out time.

    Ryadic on
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    EdcrabEdcrab Actually a hack Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    See, that's the kind of idea we could do with, although that particular example might be on the strong side. 'Cos as it stands, I'm not sure a few measly additional points are a worthwhile trade-in for psionic skills.

    Edcrab on
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    RyadicRyadic Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Double the Str may be a bit overpowered, but that's something that can be play tested to see how it works out. I mainly threw it out there for the concept. It's the only thing I can think of that is a temporary effect that will give people a reason not to choose a psychic.

    Ryadic on
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    EdcrabEdcrab Actually a hack Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Oh yeah, it's definitely worth testing. Generally I'm hoping that the lower points allowance for psychics will help address the balance, but things like a berserk ability etc. would probably prove to make good purchasables- we'll have to see how your character fares.

    Edcrab on
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    QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Not to grossly complicate things more, but how do you think the cyborg stuff should be handled? In Shadowrun you have essence, which decreases every time you stick something weird in your body, but what would that affect here, if anything?

    Perhaps it could be dormant technology, like nanotechnology of some kind, that only activates at will and that burns health when it is used? Kind of like an adrenaline rush.

    Quoth on
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    EdcrabEdcrab Actually a hack Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Quoth wrote: »
    Not to grossly complicate things more, but how do you think the cyborg stuff should be handled? In Shadowrun you have essence, which decreases every time you stick something weird in your body, but what would that affect here, if anything?

    Perhaps it could be dormant technology, like nanotechnology of some kind, that only activates at will and that burns health when it is used? Kind of like an adrenaline rush.

    That's... that's really quite clever. I had considered that cyborgs (and robot NPCs) had Energy rather than/as well as Willpower (and it was used in a similar way, and that their superior abilities drained it steadily), but having to expend an existing stat to do their thing would probably work too.

    Hmm. Unless I brought in something between Psi Defence and Psi Susceptibility: some sort of speciality that couldn't be repressed, in the sense that it was a psychic "bonus" that was applied to everything psionic. A lot like how magic resistance could nullify beneficiary effects in previous D&D incarnations.

    I.e., you want to be a psychic cyborg? That's fine. But oh, hey, you've got Energy 9/whatever, so we'll deduct that from all your rolls. What's that? You just rolled -1? Then your head explodes!

    I mean I've got little difficulty imagining a psychic packing a bionic eye or maybe a prosthetic limb, but something about seven-foot armour plated killing machines flinging psionic death doesn't quite fit with my vision.

    Edcrab on
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    QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Well, how do you want to treat psionics? Is it an inherited genetic trait or is it latent in all humans/life forms and merely needs to be trained? Is it a decidedly physical activity centered in some portion of the brain, i.e. the prefrontal cortex or whatever it's called?

    You could argue that any kind of cyborg technology somehow fundamentally alters the physiology of the user, such that psionics are no longer possible at all. That would certainly be a balancing mechanic. Or you could make it a sliding scale in which the more tech you have, the less psychic ability you have. Also, what exactly would the implants do? Modify stats?

    How about some kind of Energy/Adrenaline thing based on your Health stat? Kind of like, er, power points or whatever it's called, where you can use one up within an encounter to get some kind of benefit, like berserker strength or extra focus or a psychic boost. But for people with tech implants, the energy/adrenaline thing is modified by whatever tech they have.

    Let's say a person with 10 health would automatically have 3 Energy points. That person gets a nano injection that raises their health to 15 when activated, for a maximum number of rounds equal to their energy points. If they choose to expend an energy point, then that number goes down.

    For psychic purposes, we can say that Willpower adds to the energy pool, but only if no nanotechnology is activated. That way, the cyborg gets no benefit from the implants if he is trying to use psychic abilities.

    I'm just spewing stuff here, trying to figure out how it might work. Sorry if I'm babbling.

    Quoth on
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    RyadicRyadic Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Here's something I thought of for all characters. Since you're not classing anyone, just letting them specialize in certain abilities (which technically would class them as a psychic, fighter, acrobat, etc...), instead of people spending their initial points at character creation on skills, they spend their stat points. For instance, I put +3 into melee fighting for my character, well instead of that, I use that +3 for STR or something, and then if I want to improve melee I have to deduct a point of strength. Then I deduct 3 points of AGI for berserker, which may have a level requirement.

    For your psychic characters, telekenesis would cost 2 intel, psionic blast cost 2 will power, or something like that. This way you don't have a fighter, like my character, purchasing telekenesis and other psychic powers. He doesn't have the intel to spare and would rather spend his points on STR to up his melee.

    This is pretty complex and would probably be more simple to say, "must have 10 STR to get berserker" rather than spend points like I'm proposing, but it's been done. Let's be innovative! =)

    -edit-

    Also instead of having energy points, or mana, you could just have certain abilities reduce your stat points by 1 or 2 or something for a certain amount of time. Telekenesis can be used x times without penalty, but beyond that you start to take -1 to willpower for each time it's used after x, unless you rest for 8 hours to replenish. I chose willpower because you described it as mental armor, and if you're using your mind to move objects, chances are it's gonna get vunerable after x times.

    Ryadic on
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    EdcrabEdcrab Actually a hack Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Quoth, babble away. This stuff is awesome. If it wasn't for you and Ryadic (not to forget Arcanis!) this'd probably fall dead in the water.
    You could argue that any kind of cyborg technology somehow fundamentally alters the physiology of the user, such that psionics are no longer possible at all. That would certainly be a balancing mechanic. Or you could make it a sliding scale in which the more tech you have, the less psychic ability you have. Also, what exactly would the implants do? Modify stats?

    This is pretty much what I had in mind. As for implants, yeah, I pictured them boosting physical or mental stats, but that most tended towards one or the other.

    In this setting, cyborgs with purely mental implants are called "muses", and they're frequently hired as advisors and diplomats and similar. Picture Dune's mentats but they're reliant on their implants rather than a chemical.


    EDIT: whoops, god I'm a slow poster. Ryadic: that's a clever way of getting around the character building issue, but part of how I wanted the system to work was that, say, a character could pick Melee +4 even if their Strength was quite poor- i.e., if they were roleplaying a finesse-based fighter.

    And yeah, I imagined greater powers draining Willpower in the manner you described- I think I mentioned that expending a point could allow you to take ten or similar.

    Edcrab on
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    QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Well, with a description like that, I would think that it would almost balance itself actually. You just make it so there are no implants that raise Willpower, which is the primary stat for psychics. Thus, anyone who wanted implants would be getting them in lieu of using their points on Willpower, so they wouldn't be able to have strong psychic abilities anyway. I think.

    Quoth on
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    EdcrabEdcrab Actually a hack Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Yeah, cyborgs probably won't be the problem I think they'll be. If anything, we'll have to come up with potential weaknesses, as overall they'll have better stats. But that's for another day...

    I still like Ryadic's earlier idea of temporarily expending stat points for attack bonuses or whatever- but maybe limiting it to people with higher stats. So if you've got 5 Strength or more, you've got the opportunity to lose one Strength for a turn to get +3 to attack, or taken ten, or whatever.

    And just to explain how PC on PC combat could work (as well as fights versus opponents important enough to be allowed rolls instead of static DCs). Spoilered for rambling:
    Resisting Melee with Strength requires Block.
    Resisting Melee with Focus requires Parry.
    Resisting Melee with Agility requires Evasion.

    Resisting Ranged with Strength requires Block.
    Resisting Ranged with Focus requires Prediction.
    Resisting Ranged with Agility requires Evasion.

    Resisting Psionics with Willpower requires Psi Defence.
    Resisting Fear with Willpower requires Bravery.
    Resisting Pain with Willpower requires Pain Resistance (what a surprise! Needs a better name).

    Notes: Evasion checks can only half Area of Effect attack rolls rather than nullifying them.

    In most circumstances, players are only allowed to resist an attack with one method- i.e., they can’t attempt to use Parry and Evasion. If they fail the resist roll, they’ll have to check their Health as normal.


    How combat works:

    Attacker has 6 Strength and Melee +2. They roll an 11, which becomes 19 with their two bonuses.

    Defender chooses to Block. They have 5 Strength and Block +2. They roll 10, which becomes 17 with their two bonuses.

    So Defender loses, and has to make a Health check against the Attacker’s roll of 19.

    In the event of a draw, the character with the highest specialisation (i.e., Melee or Block) is assumed to have won, then the highest stat (Strength). If it’s a total deadlock (equals specialisation and stats!), side with the defender.


    Notes: Evasion checks can only half Area of Effect attack rolls rather than nullifying them.


    Parry is the only resistance method that allows for Counter attacks. For example:

    Attacker has 6 Strength and Melee +2. They roll an 8, which becomes 16 with their two bonuses.

    Defender chooses to Parry. They have 8 Focus and Parry +3. They roll 16, which becomes 27 with their two bonuses.

    So they win the combat by 11 points.

    To Counter, a player must roll beneath this value with a D20, and their Counter specialisation (if they have one) is added to the difference value.

    So in this scenario Defender has Counter +2, boosting this value to 13. The Defender makes their roll- say, a 10- and so they successfully counter-attack, being allowed a free attack.

    Edcrab on
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    RyadicRyadic Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Edcrab wrote: »
    Attacker has 6 Strength and Melee +2. They roll an 11, which becomes 19 with their two bonuses.

    So, what would encourage someone to take melee over strength? Wouldn't it be better to just put that point in strength, where you will benefit outside of combat, than put it in melee? It would give the same end result in combat. Should give more incentive for putting one point in melee rather than strength. Off the top of my head, adding to melee increases your accuracy. Or it can increase your parry skill. This just came to me, instead of that totalling 19, it totals 16. 6 STR / 2 = 3. Still get STR bonus in melee combat, just not as great as putting the point into melee skill. But they will still put points into STR because it helps outside of combat, lifting objects, throwing them, breaking down doors, etc...

    Ryadic on
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    EdcrabEdcrab Actually a hack Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Well, the reason you'd sprinkle the odd point in Melee (or any speciality, really) is that, in that example, it's cheaper points-wise. With 6 Strength and Melee +2, you're attacking as if you had 8 Strength, but it's cost you 10 points instead of 12. And outside of character creation, it'd be a lot easier to up a specialisation than it would a base stat when levelling up.
    Stat Bonus - Points Cost
    1-4 - - - - - - - - - 1
    5-8 - - - - - - - - - 2
    9-10+ - - - - - - - 3

    Still, your idea might work out better. Plus, to encourage higher specialisation ranks, we should maybe consider making it cheaper to purchase them somehow.

    EDIT: Stupid numbers. I was right the first time!

    Edcrab on
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    RyadicRyadic Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Edcrab wrote: »
    Well, the reason you'd sprinkle the odd point in Melee (or any speciality, really) is that, in that example, it's cheaper points-wise. With 6 Strength and Melee +2, you're attacking as if you had 8 Strength, but it's cost you 10 points instead of 12. And outside of character creation, it'd be a lot easier to up a specialisation than it would a base stat when levelling up.
    Stat Bonus - Points Cost
    1-4 - - - - - - - - - 1
    5-8 - - - - - - - - - 2
    9-10+ - - - - - - - 3

    Still, your idea might work out better. Plus, to encourage higher specialisation ranks, we should maybe consider making it cheaper to purchase them somehow.

    EDIT: Stupid numbers. I was right the first time!

    Yeah, I forgot about how they went up. So yeah, that does make it fine the way it is. My mistake.

    Ryadic on
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    Super NamicchiSuper Namicchi Orange County, CARegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    well, I think relying on the success of your predecessors is a solid method of generating new ideas. we stand on the shoulders of giants, etc.

    therefore, instead of making stats get reduced (too similar to the 3.5 wilder's overchannel if you ask me, and 3.5 is not known for system elegance) you should just hit star wars saga on the head, steal its force power suite, and file off the serial numbers.

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    EdcrabEdcrab Actually a hack Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I've once flipped through a copy of the Saga Edition rulebook, but remind me how the force power suite works: that's where a player can choose to take a selection of powers (and take some more than once), right? I can't remember the specifics or how they're recovered, though.

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    Super NamicchiSuper Namicchi Orange County, CARegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
    well, basically everytime you grab the Force training feat you can add 1 + wis mod force powers to your suite. there's no limit to how many times you can select a power, or you can select a different one for each. everytime you select it you get an additional usage in the suite. so if I had wis 14 and took force training I'd get to pick 3 force powers. I select move object twice and force slam once, meaning I can use move object twice and force slam once per encounter. as per recovery, the general way is to get about 30 seconds of uninterrupted rest. kinda like a 'breather'. there's other ways but those are more specific to Star Wars (spending force points, talents, etc)

    I figure you could just make a buyable quality, like "psychic talent" and it could function exactly like force training does. you get 1 + X psi powers where X is the relevant attribute or whatever.

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    EdcrabEdcrab Actually a hack Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Hmm. That sounds good, but I'm not sure how it'd translate (i.e., how we'd steal it) into this pretty barebones concept we've got going here.

    If we go with your idea and make Psionics a speciality (with the usual +X bonuses) and a requirement in much the same way that Force users need Force Sensitive in Saga Edition. And from there players could purchase powers...

    I.e.,

    Health: 3
    Strength: 3
    Agility: 4
    Focus: 6
    Willpower: 9
    Intelligence: 6

    Psionics +2
    Telepathy +2
    Telekinesis +1


    So with that system this character could use two telepathic powers and one telekinetic ability per encounter. And I'm thinking that the Psionics and power specialities don't stack, you only get the benefit of the highest one (i.e., +2 to your Willpower throw for Telepathy, not +4).

    Edcrab on
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    Super NamicchiSuper Namicchi Orange County, CARegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
    well, i was going to say you could start compiling a list of abilities or talents or merits or whatever yah wanna call 'em that have fixed point costs and provide new abilities.

    like for example for a fightery dude...

    weapon focus: swords! you get a super special bonus when you use swords! cost: 5 points or whatever

    psi talent would be the same way. you get Y psi powers per whatever

    I mean Star Wars d20 pre-saga did separate force skills, similar to what's going on here, and it was clunky as hell

    i mean i dunno, this is just speaking purely from experience and whatnot, i like what you have going on with the basic attributes but using different psy specialties seems an awful lot to keep track of, not to mention granularity when there needs to be none... i mean if you wanted to split psions up into 'schools', have there be a different psi talent special thingy associated with each one.

    telepathic talent - you gain Y telepathy powers

    cost: 5 points

    or something

    this is just me shooting around ideas of course, it's your call and i can see it could work out either way

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    EdcrabEdcrab Actually a hack Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    ... i mean if you wanted to split psions up into 'schools', have there be a different psi talent special thingy associated with each one.

    telepathic talent - you gain Y telepathy powers

    cost: 5 points

    or something

    this is just me shooting around ideas of course, it's your call and i can see it could work out either way

    Yeah, I think that makes far more sense actually. Rather than having to "unlock" psychic abilities with a prerequisite, just have the seperate "schools" as individual ability sets- similar to the original concept.

    So you could be a telepath and a telekinetic, but you'd be down ten points (and having 35 points to put into attributes and specialities is a notable decrease).

    But I still like the idea of having the ability to expend Willpower to take ten or get a +5 bonus or whatever. Clunky as it might be, it'd help balance out TK abilities having higher DCs on average.

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    tastydonutstastydonuts Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    In taking "weaknesses", perhaps it should be possible for a player to gain more points (a la GURPS)?

    There should also be some skills for social characters who just have enough charisma to get what they want without poking into someone's brains. All you need is a smile, sometimes!

    tastydonuts on
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    QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I would think that Willpower would be an essential trait for a charismatic person. If anything, that may more accurately reflect the requisite intensity that Charisma typically covers. That would also free up the player to decide what the character looks like without being something of a slave to the numbers. Perhaps Focus would be the other essential trait for such a character?

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    EdcrabEdcrab Actually a hack Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Yeah, I should think the three "mind" stats would be involved in social interactions somehow. I didn't like the idea of a seperate Charisma stat, because as Quoth says Charisma tends to cover force of presence, and in this system that's pretty much taken by Willpower.

    I do like the idea of leaving a player some leeway. Want to be strong-willed but abrupt and a bit rough on the eyes? Give yourself a Socialise -5 or something (and get 5 other points to spend on specialities, natch).

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