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Prak
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Laertes wrote:
Quote:
Primarily the game is Monster Hunting, Investigation, and...Urban Politics? I want there to be games that aren't basically just gang warfare, where it's totally viable to defeat the mind flayer's plot by preventing him from taking over B(r)ain Capital through corporate measures, rather than running into his penthouse and Highlander-ing him (I'd have said "Colombian Necktying him, but do mind flayers even have tongues?). I mean, I want both styles to be viable, and maybe the endgame of Urban Politics is chopping off Mr. Brain's head, but if a group wants to play lawyers and corporate spies and go after shadowkin trying to take over Mundus through businesses in the boardroom and the courts, that should be something they can do and be supported by the rules in doing.


This is sort of what I meant when I asked what characters in the game do, because these are the things that your mechanics need to support, and the things that you need to dedicate the bulk of the character sheet space to.

Again, you seem to have missed one of my posts. I have it quoted and spoilered below:
Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


Quote:
In my experience, Monster Hunter style games are a lot of fun but are at least 80% investigation and will normally involve some form of fear mechanic. Investigative games are mostly legwork but also involve breaking & entering and background research. Urban politics... you can make a strong case for it to be MTPd, but if you want to mechanise it then an influence- and reputation-based system might be best.

I definitely want it mechanised, because it's actually a lot harder for people to adjudicate diplomacy and politics without rules than combat. Seriously, if combat has no rules, people can go steal another system, or break out nerf swords, but diplomacy and politics are highly dependent on the actual players' abilities if there's no system. Call me a bad RP'er, but I'd much rather roll some dice to convince an NPC to do what I want than MTP it because I suck with people.

Quote:
Start with the monsters. What sort of opposition will people face?

- Monster Hunting: There are, obviously, monsters. They are trying to get away from the PCs and do their monstery things. Defeating them will involve physically tracking them down and overcoming their attempts at stealth and trail obfuscation. It will also involve research to discover their weaknesses and to give clues as to where they may be headed next. Lastly, it'll involve combat to kill or trap the monster.

- Investigation: There are bad guys that have done bad things and may continue doing them in future. PCs need to use many different forms of legwork to follow a trail of clues, giving everyone a chance to shine. Defeating the bad guys will involve hiding the fact that you're onto them while you try to work out what they're doing and where they're headed. Lastly, it'll involve combat to kill or arrest the bad guys. Alternatively, as you point out, it may involve outmaneuvering them legally or corporately.

- Urban Politics: You have a power base. There are other people which have their own power bases. When your and their power bases come into conflict, you fight. Here the enemies are always temporary: you don't necessarily hate them, they're just in the way, and they may turn into an ally tomorrow just as your current ally may become an enemy. As such conflict isn't about killing or arresting your opponent: it's about weakening their power base until they back off. Better yet it's about demonstrating to them that you have the capability to do so.

Ideally, people will be able to convert D&D monsters quickly and easily. This means that things won't be entirely accurate, but I feel in the venn diagram of Quick, Easy and Accurate, it's the former two that are most important. Also the things that will break down are the broken parts of D&D so I'm ok with that. I want magic to be viable, but not the one true path to real ultimate power (also not suffer horrible page bloat).

I might be able to structure investigation and politicking like combats, and I tried to make a social combat minigame already. Ideally, investigations and politics would have statblocks, with things that can happen on "the investigation's turn" or when the organization takes it's turn in poliitcal/social encounters, and a deplete-able resource that declares one side's victory when the other's hits 0.

Quote:
These are the actions which PCs are going to be taking and which you need to model with your mechanics. For example, in two of the above genres combat is presented as a climax to the episode; if the PCs meet the monster early on they should either lose or they should be unable to permanently defeat it without knowing its weakness. As such you may want to consider doing what Chill does and giving PCs a cumulative bonus for successive encounters with the same monster.

That's actually an interesting thought, and similar to something that was suggested a while back in a thread about research minigame. So maybe each encounter gives the players an automatic clue for use in the research minigame.

Quote:
Something else you need to consider - and which I can see advantages to doing either way - is how specialised characters will be in their niche. Do you have one character who does all the research, one who does all the investigation, and one who does all the combat; or do you have a magician who does all three with magical skills, a vampire who does all three with vampiric skills, and a policeman who does all three with police skills?

Kind of a bit of column a and b. I'm looking at characters being specialized, but, say, the Investigation-spec'd Cop can still contribute to Combat and Socials in Cop ways. (which it that case is actually pretty obvious--clues, guns and legal threats, really the cop and similar is the generalist of modern games)

Quote:
In Shadowrun, for example, the game will often break down into multiple one-on-ones because each segment of the game can only be done by one character at a time. Naturally a good MC will do their best to circumvent this, and you should try to support them by giving other players things they can do to help. By contrast, in D&D every PC will be able to participate in combat and most will be able to participate in exploration scenes as well. This means that every player is involved to a greater or lesser extent in every scene, and it becomes much harder to eyeball level-appropriate encounters without accidentally putting in something which one PC is either very weak or very strong against. Naturally a good MC will do their best to circumvent this, and you should try to support them by making it harder to build a character which falls off the RNG in either direction.

Yeah, I dislike sequential play because it often leaves several players sitting there twiddling their thumbs for long periods of time. This is why I want all players to be able to contribute to all areas of the game.

zeruslord wrote:
I don't think I'd even have parrying melee attacks be a distinct game entity - if you've got something solid enough to block the other guy's attacks, have some room to maneuver, and you aren't flat-footed, an attack made against you needs to beat your Dex + Ancient Weapons + 10 because you're parrying or stepping out of distance or something, but we don't really need to specify which at the mechanical level. Unarmed defense might take a penalty unless you have a skill stunt, but I'm not totally sure.

That's fair. I really want redirecting attacks to be a thing, but it can be a feat or something, rather than a standard combat option.

Quote:
Redirecting ranged attacks is definitely a thing, but I'm not sure exactly what the rules for it would be. Maybe just "you can't make ranged attacks while engaged in melee".

or a penalty on your role or something, yeah

Quote:
For saves, I strongly dislike making them based off creature type - most PCs will be humanoids, and it would be good to have some party members have better will saves than reflex saves and vice versa. For HD, it looks like all playable characters except Undead and Fey have a d8 hit die, Undead have a d12 but no Con (if you're going with that?), and Fey have a d6. Not huge differences, especially if HP actually gets rolled, but I'd think about it before making Fey actually take a penalty relative to everyone else.

Yeah, I dislike the sameness of type based saves too. Types will probably receive some changes.

It also occurs to me that I could create another character creation resource- perks. Basically minor stuff that in the grand scheme isn't worth a feat, and either isn't worth a skill point or doesn't fit as a skill stunt, like, say, save bases. So maybe players can choose three perks from a list of twenty or so. I'd make "Better save" a single perk where you choose which save is better, rather than make "better save" three of the twenty or so perks.

Quote:
Skills... nobody should ever get 0 skill points in a category, which is a real risk if certain classes/occupations get just their mod. Maybe give everybody two or three for each category, and then add mod and class bonuses on top of that

Rather than multiplying? That could work.
_________________
Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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Laertes
Duke


Joined: 24 Apr 2014
Posts: 1021
Location: The Mother of Cities

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

My apologies for not seeing that bit earlier - yes, you did spell it out and I missed it.

I'm going to answer this in several blocks, so please be warned.

On social combat:
Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


On investigation and magic:
Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


On PC specialisation:
Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)
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Prak
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Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 16117

PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Re: Social Combat--
I will take a look at those games when I get a chance. Ultimately, I may wind up with a set of several objective based social minigames- something like, the Introduction minigame (good impressions, making people like you), the Persuasion minigame (seduction, intimidation, rallying) and the Contention minigame (argument and debate). They may have similar systems, or they may not. Don't know. I'd like to cover as many kinds of social interaction a game is likely to need to cover in as few minigames as possible.

Re: Magic--
In my mind, I'm looking at something that works similarly to D&D's magic, just with a lower inherent power level, and less page bloat. It will probably resemble Psionics a little bit, with a power point pool and augmentation. At the very least, I want characters to dynamically decide how powerful they want their Summon or Cure spell to be, rather than prepping Summon Monster 1-9 or Cure (light, moderate, serious, critical) separately.

So a spell in ToS might look something like this:
Quote:

Summon
Conjuration (Summoning)
Vocal and Somatic Components
Full Casting Time
Range- 5'+5'/Level
Lasts 3 rnds+1/level
1 pp

You call forth a creature of first level to fight for you. Commanding this creature is a Major action.

Empower: For every two additional power points spent to cast this spell, you may increase the level of creature summoned.

For an additional two power points, you may increase the number of creatures summoned by 1d3. All creatures summoned by a single casting of this spell must be the same sort of creature.


Re: Specialization: Use the google search bar at the top of the page to look for "After Sundown." It's a WoD fix Frank made, and I'm looking at "classes" being handled similarly to how AS handles it's vampires et al.
_________________
Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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Prak
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Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 16117

PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So, I have twenty minutes before I need to leave for my first day of Spirit management stuff, so it seems like a good time to type up a thought I had for damage and such. This is stream of consciousness and not at all a formal book text draft.

Soak Die
The basic idea is to avoid hit points, because while I can defend them, especially in a pure fantasy game, they're kind of dumb. And by kind of, I mean really. So I'm looking at doing a set number of health levels, like 10, with maybe a perk for an extra three to represent being really big and beefy, and possibly a neg for three less to represent being seriously tiny.

Then all weapon damage ranges between 1 (like, a dagger) and 10 (taking a cannon ball straight to the chest and worse), with maybe some outliers (like 20+ damage for ground zero of a nuclear bomb), and succeeding more on your attack can add dice, much like a WoD or AS combat system.

Soak would then be basically your level. The more powerful you are, the more damage you can potentially absorb just because the narrative of the world cares about you more. So your level is a dice pool for soaking damage, TN 5.

The specific dice you roll to soak depends on your type. So Fae roll d6s to soak and actually have a fair amount of difficulty with it. So yes, you can quite possibly kill a non-pc pixie by drop kicking it. It's rolling like 1d6 to soak your unarmed attack which has a base of 1 dam, plus whatever you add with your attack roll. Meanwhile, even a wyrmling dragon or a zombie has a 66% chance per soak die of ignoring damage. Most other characters have 50% chance per die.

I'm also considering modifying target number in one specific case. Yes, I know that varying both TN and dice number is bad, but you can't exactly roll a fraction of a die, so creatures that have fractional hit die would actually get their soak TN shifted up, basically anything with a half hit die would soak with a TN of 6, and anything with less than half a hit die would soak on a 7 (fae would just still soak on a 6). So kobolds and rats would only soak on a 7 or 8, and elves with no levels would soak on a 6+.


Now. I know that this is weird, especially given that it would be the sole dice pool mechanic in the game, where everything else is d20+mods. I know that the shifting TN for fractional HD/SD is poor practices.

But is this so bad an idea as to be unusable?
_________________
Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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Laertes
Duke


Joined: 24 Apr 2014
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Location: The Mother of Cities

PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The idea of avoiding HP is a noble one, because HP is both an ugly abstraction and also something that slows the game down with constant bookkeeping. However, anything that replaces it has to avoid those same pitfalls: it has to be elegant and it has to be fast. Otherwise you're merely replacing a bad system with another bad system which people are less familiar with.

Here you have a lot of moving parts in every attack step. Consider:

- Roll D20 to hit
- Calculate whether you hit or not, using attack bonus vs AC
- Roll DX damage
- Add extra damage for hitting by more than the expected degree
- Calculate damage, using bonuses and multiple dice and damage resistance et cetera
- Calculate how many dice and of what size you need to roll for soak
- Roll that pool
- Calculate how much damage you took

This doesn't just make every attack slow; it also slows down the process of working out what the best action to take in your turn is, and so makes combat even more of a maths exercise. If that's what you're into, great; but I suspect that it's actually counter to your goals.

What do you want combats to feel like? Short, sharp and scary? Careful and tactical? Deterministic? Random?
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Prak
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

When I wrote up combat, I hadn't even decided on my damage tracking system yet, so I didn't state a model for damage determination. If I went with set wound levels, damage would likewise be set, as mentioned in this hypothetical mechanic:
Quote:
Then all weapon damage ranges between 1 (like, a dagger) and 10 (taking a cannon ball straight to the chest and worse), with maybe some outliers (like 20+ damage for ground zero of a nuclear bomb), and succeeding more on your attack can add dice, much like a WoD or AS combat system.

Though I notice a typo, that should be "succeeding more on your attack can add damage".


Also, I think you overstate the complexity of the soak, as it would be a constant, your level.

So it'd be more like:

- Roll D20 to hit, add mods, compare to AC
- Add threshold to weapon damage
- Roll (level)d(size based on type), look for 5 or mores. (No player will ever be dealing with higher soak TNs)
- Subtract Soak hits from Damage.

I'm not sure what armour will do, whether it increases soak, or is autosoak, though I'm a bit tempted to go the latter route. Damage Reduction becomes straight auto-soak.
_________________
Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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radthemad4
Duke


Joined: 18 Nov 2013
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

How are you handling vehicles? If it's set in modern day, players will probably want to jump off of a speeding car right before it crashes into a monster, sending both plummeting off of a skyscraper.
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zeruslord
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Prak Anima wrote:
Roll (level)d(size based on type)

uh, that is a LOT of non-standard dice. Most players own at most two or three sets of dice plus some d20s and d6s, so every soak roll is going to end up involving passing dice around the table.

Prak Anima wrote:
so creatures that have fractional hit die would actually get their soak TN shifted up, basically anything with a half hit die would soak with a TN of 6, and anything with less than half a hit die would soak on a 7

I might make that vary more with type, or just deny fractional HD creatures a soak roll at all. As you present it, being sub-half HD takes a humanoid from 1/2 to 1/4 chance of soak, while an undead goes from 2/3 to 1/2. Not really sure, though.

Armor Realzarms
So, different kinds of armor do different things. Generally cloth, leather, and chain turn sharp chops into blunt impacts and distribute force over time and space, while plate deflects blows so they skip off, and then has padding underneath. However, modern armor-like things don't necessarily follow that pattern. In particular, football pads are plastic plates designed to cushion whole-body impacts, and I have no idea what they do when you hit them with a medieval weapon. Most other modern armors have pretty well-defined characteristics and medieval analogues. Motorcycle leathers are probably worse against swords than medieval leather armor, but pretty similar. Ballistic vests offer much worse protection against stabs than most historical armor, but better protection against bullets. Also, authentic medieval anti-armor weapons usually had specialized bits - a warhammer has a weird crown thing on it, because even though it's bludgeoning it needed to bite into plate instead of skipping off. If you want to be realistic, armors would end up having a bunch of different resistance characteristics - flat and rolled soak numbers against the D&D damage types plus bullets and possibly an AC bonus, and then certain weapons would have anti-armor characteristics against certain armor types. If you're willing to add some complexity but not that much, I'd probably pick either flat or rolled soak and give them variable resistance against different damage types, rather than mixing flat and rolled soak and making damage resistance the same to a club, sword, or bullet.
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Prak
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Hm, good point on non-standard dice. Sort of.

What we're looking at is
d6: Fae
d8: Aberration, Animal, Elemental, Giant, (Monstrous) Humanoid, Outsider, Plant
d10: Construct, Magical Beast, Ooze,
d12: Dragon, Undead

So fae are easy to roll soak for in this model. Most people loot d6s from their family board games when they start playing rpgs. The d10 types are easy enough, because a lot of people played white wolf and have a set of d10s kicking around.

d8 and d12 races are in a very different boat there though. I mean, sure, I have enough d8s that I could roll a high level character's soak, and enough d12s that a dragon or undead wouldn't be too obnoxious, but that's a good point. So there is that. So I might, instead of basing soak pool die type on creature type, use a set die type (perhaps d10, for granularity) and then just vary TN by type, so fae have a TN 7 soak, constructs, magical beasts and oozes a TN 5, dragons and undead a TN 4, and everything else a TN 6. Most characters will have a 50% chance per die to soak, fae have a 40%, golems, gryphons and black puddings have a 60% chance and the some of the hardest of the hard have a 70% chance to soak. Anything converted over that had fractionals in D&D would have the Neg "frail" which bumps their TN up by 1. So grigs and jermlaines soak even worse with a TN of 8 and only a 30% chance per die.

I suppose alternatively, I could have all soak be d6s, in which case the TN should be 5 for anything that has a d8 in D&D and then move a step for each size above or below that. Fractionals don't convert as nicely here, but to be honest, fae with fractional HD are kind of rare, so I could still use the "adjust soak TN by one" rule.

The other thing I could do is make soak rolled with a single d20, in which case type would again set your TN and level/HD would be a modifier.
_________________
Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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