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Phonelobster's Mousetrap 2015 Edition
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PhoneLobster
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Judging__Eagle wrote:
However, can the PCs enter a barracks itself? or are they more like RTS style structures you hit with a sword until it goes on fire, and then collapses?


It's poorly realised/explained, but the cut off between the long term troop supporting role of something like a barracks and it's direct combat map interaction works a bit like...

So, long term role it's a flat cost, usually Treasure, then you get your "free" troops from it (you might still need to perform specific recruit actions to get the right "sort" of troops in it, you can use it as blank space to "summon" troops into, etc...).

If somehow it is "destroyed", and we will get to that in a moment, then the long term benefit of "supports troops" goes away, this means the game now treats the (surviving) troops "left behind" as it does any NPC hangers on who the party tries to recruit without some sort of base room supporting them. It makes them subject to basically just wandering off at the GMs whim, and over some small but arbitrary number of Strategic Turns they WILL leave. But at least you have the chance to put the barracks room back into operation first.

Now in combat events with maps that PCs interact with rooms and structures are placed on the map and built out of (somewhat arbitrary) selections of Furniture and zone layouts. A barracks "room" could very well be several zones full of bunk bed "table" furniture items surrounded by "wall" furniture items with some windows and a door. If its "active" squads aren't assigned to anything they will be hanging out there ready to fight.

PCs can interact with those locations on the map, or the strategic role of the "room" in a few ways other than flat out attacking the guards/walls/furniture, like strategic recruit actions to manipulate the staff generated by the barracks, possibly direct/be involved in the actual construction of the site for various minor customization benefits, (accidentally) use drift mechanics to just hang out there (when ninjas attack), or as a place to go and have less flighty combat encounters like social stuff or trivial information gathering.

In the event of a (detected) incursion the active squads will follow standing orders and potentially respond to alarm information propagating to their location. Or simply defend themselves if they come under attack.

The barracks itself could potentially be destroyed, burn it down, demolish some walls and make the ceiling collapse (which does have rules support to some degree), destroy all the internal furniture, whatever.

How "bad" that destruction is and how costly it is to repair (negligible damage for not cost at all? free in treasure but a little build time? new partial treasure cost required? whole thing needs to be built from scratch? maybe not just the "room" but also a portion of the "structure" itself needs repair?) is basically GM arbitration.

The barracks could also be, maybe, "looted", I probably need to work on looting mechanics a bit, but the idea is at least some rooms in a base CAN be greyhawked, but a barracks is pretty time/volume intensive just to basically get a major discount on the same room in your base, or materials to sell for a smaller amount of cash treasure.

What doesn't happen is barracks destruction having a direct effect in the current combat encounter. If you blow up the barracks first then the only troops lost (for this combat event) will be the ones caught up in the explosion. Unless the barracks was being kept empty for summons, in which case I guess you maybe screwed over the summoner, but that's probably a good thing. So you MIGHT target the barracks to eliminated reinforcements during the "RTS" segment of the game... but you mostly only do so by actually directly eliminating the reinforcements you find there yourself...
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Nearly Magicked Out
More of the "werido" hack job magic sets completed.

Animating generic junk
Now we have... Animancy... the art of animating... stuff. That lets you just pick up random junk, throw it at your enemies, or shape it into walls or minions or whatever. It's a weirdo "generic" element that lets you pick up enough items or other element material lying around and just use that for your attack profile or the profile of the things you create.

It's a bit hacky.

Teleportation
Has some relation to space alteration, so I decided to let it share training rooms (a number of different option sets share training rooms like this).

It gives you all the best options for moving around including offensive teleports and opening of teleportals, it can interact with the "lesser" options for teleporting from other elemental sets, but you probably mostly want to use it with it's own superior dedicated teleporting.

The offensive teleporting... might be too good? I included additional range penalties based on how far you teleport things. So teleporting things way up into the sky so they fall and die is doable but penalised, the "cheaper" ways to do it being things like flying in the air and bringing your targets up to you, with default falling timing giving them chances to mitigate damage, fly, or attack you before falling.

Includes a number of long range boosting base structures, and means by which to basically open up portals or bring in troops from your remote base and stuff.

Demonology
Gets to be a moderately generic "creating actual life!" magic, and you can pick your life form theme then shoot things with demonic tentacles of your life form theme, or summon up minions of your life form theme. There isn't all that much else to it... but it ties into the mutation magic stuff and essentially fits in as the "and make monsters from scratch" bit of that other skill set where you "turn enemies into monsters".

Mutation Magic
Gets it's rewrite, finally as "transmogrophy".

Its a fairly standard "blast people and defeat them by turning them into mutant potatoes, upgrade to turn them into angry attack mutant potatoes with tentacles and teeth or something". Leaves plenty of room for customizing your mutant potatoes by interacting with standard forced retrain and monstrous item stuff.

Mutation magic felt like an option set that you might want to heavily flavor for various settings. So there are some cheap/trivial/free options that do that.

You can make your mutation defeats more stubborn and hard to heal. You can make your mutation effects more "random" (by giving the GM thematic demands and letting them pick the specific mutation options applied), you can make them "unstable" and "unpredictable" in an entirely fake way by having them give out a backfire critical fail that lets the victim mutate themselves, or giving out the permanent "I'm a mutant" option that lets them advance or retrain as a mutant later, that then lets the PLAYER voluntarily control and select mutations (if any) while they PRETEND that their character is a tragic victim of terrible involuntary "random" mutations that just happen to give them awesome attack claws and laser vision.

Oh and you can combine it with the whole demonic creation theme thing so that maybe your culture/crazed cult only teaches you how to do monster insect mutations or something arbitrarily themed like that instead of just "turn stuff into other stuff, whatever" that it mostly is by default.

Using mutation vs mind control to turn enemies into allies is marginally more skill/build expensive but you get to shape your victims into monsters and stuff so... yeah there are some added benefits.

Healing mutation could be a real bitch. By default it's easy as hell, but the duration extenders are there, and have been joined by a couple of really bitchy duration extenders that basically say "you think you are healed... not quite entirely!"... but also a "screw those things" healing option.

If a GM was an asshole you could select and exclude certain options or manipulate rarity to make mutations pretty much permadefeat/permamesswithpeoplescharacters but you do not have to, the options to allow appropriate levels of "heroic" recovery are readily out there, and that isn't even the default scenario. Even the "bitchy" not quite healed options have in built "outs" like semi regular healing to keep it away or a conditional involuntary alternative form effect that the victim and healer get some say in the trigger for so as to mitigate it.


Next up is swarm control magic and Necromancy... then it's pretty much the magic section done bar looting whatever little is left from the old "proffession" metamagic sets like Sorcery and Witchery... and frankly I think there are very few skills left in those to loot that aren't in some way already covered or otherwise rendered redundant at this stage...

It will be nice once "moar magic" is finally basically done.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So Close You Can Taste The Anti-Magic
So yeah. Oversights. Like an Anti-Magic section. That's not done yet.

But what is done...

Diseases
Totally forgot, I put in some hooks in healing and stuff for disease attacks and mechanics, but didn't actually have the disease mechanics or attacks yet.

So now the game has disease mechanics. They use the alchemy mechanics so disease are like a type of poison (with the disease keyword instead) that have contagious delivery mechanisms.

Then there is a skill set for infecting people with diseases as magic attacks similar to the alchemy set though perhaps a little simpler and briefer.

Swarm Control
It required some minor special tweeks. But it ends up working a lot like the metal control etc.. abilities... only the things you can pick up and throw with the primary attack as a bonus effect are swarms instead of weapons. So since you were interacting with a character type for the various abilities it was all a bit different.

Necromancy
Actually gets a lot of flat out reprints of monstrous life draining abilities and stuff. But also death magic, raising the undead, things like that.

So yeah, antimagic needs doing, and the magical warrior stuff that I think is the primary thing I'll be taking from the old magic profession sets might end up in fighting styles instead of magic stuff. So it's so very very close to nearly done with the magic section here...

Oh yeah, and I was considering maybe doing a small amount of material for fertility cultists... hrm... not sure they really need it... damnit...
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Wait... did I just finish magic already
And suddenly it seems really weird that completing those last things leaves magic largely completed.

Huh.

Anyway, yeah anti-magic gets a reprint of a bunch of monster stuff from the magic eater bit, and its own undamaging magic blocking element so you can shoot people with "you can't use your magic". I should probably add in some anti magic character attack and damage bonus things too... but... eh... and I think I sort of covered those elsewhere, going to have to check on that.

I looked at the fertility cultist angle and decided they had almost all he required building blocks out there already... except for one really stupid option, so I wrote up that really stupid option. Job done.

Magical warrior stuff to lift from the old magic professions... turned out to be one skill, so it just went over with the generic magic options.

Now its combing the rest of the magic professions for any other stray skills, and moving on to non-magical sections again at last.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quick And Dirty Generic D&D Races With Mousetrap
OgreBattle asked about this somewhere else.

I was intending to write some premade "race" stuff up as sort of REALLY late in the piece material eventually, but he wants to know how Mousetrap would treat things like, well, elves and dwarves and junk. The monstrous document, while certainly likely to see revisions, is largely done, and the bits to cover something as simple as say, the standard D&D races are totally there and fairly stable as far as the material goes.

This post has entries intended more to match a "conversion" of something vaguely in line with the d20SRD players handbook races. Personally if I ever get around to doing the generic sample fantasy races as I originally intended to the elfs and such from that are going to look just a bit different and be closer to my personal preferences and mousetrap system conceits.

Dividing People And Culture
D&D races are a mixture of physical genetics and cultural learned skills. Mousetrap does not do that. You get your physical form stuff as People options, you get everything else you ever do from Cultural options. So we will start with just the physical ones.

Short form vs Long form
OK, technically the monstrous document goes over a LOT of potential things you can write on your character sheet for free, like what you are likely to eat, drink, how you sleep, where your limbs and eyes are at, things like that.

In theory you COULD write all that shit out. But, as covered in the monstrous document, the idea is actually for the kinda trivial background crap like that you just record the exceptional stuff, and when you put down "animal" on your biology list it's just assumed that you get a bunch of standard animal survival traits about diet and things, and that you put "Basic Humanoid" somewhere in the write up, and that just means you look and are the same as a generic zero upgrades human in body layout and basic capabilities, except for whatever is in your People write up.

Sample People Layout Name
[Biology Keyword] [Body Material Keyword] [Body Hardness Keyword]
(These keywords go straight to your defenses. Your biology keyword influences assumed survival traits, your body materials and hardness only go to defence when enough of your body is exposed by your top layer armours etc...).

Cosmetic Details
(Some cosmetic fluff options/guidelines)

Compulsory Options
(People options that are almost always taken, you technically can bypass even these with individual variation, but generally thats considered pretty weird, and for peoples designed for playability you shouldn't even need to).

Potential Options
(People options you can take, they may also have a listed rarity of Common, or Rare, to indicate how frequently they seem to occur in populations, rarity does not effect the individual, they can just take the option or not by player choice then pretend it was random lucky genetics)

And thats it for the people side of things...

Humans
Animal Flesh Soft

Cosmetic Details
Humans look like humans. If you want to break your "Peoples" up into ethnicity instead of species you might add more to this.

Compulsory Options
Basic Humanoid

Potential Options
You could put a lot of the minor crap in here... but actually to be most like D&D... you wouldn't put anything and humans just go spend more on cultural crap.

Elves
Animal Flesh Soft

Cosmetic Details
Elves are all slim and posh looking. They probably come in lots of colors and flavors, but your copy cat generic elf is a pretty much vanilla flavored and colored elf.

Compulsory Options
Basic Humanoid
NA - Long Ears Long ears like a rabbit, elf, or elf rabbit. They donít do anything.
NA - Slow Aging Your life span is longer than human you mature to adult and elder later.
NA - Night Eyes You can see well in the dark in a purely non-mechanical manner.

Potential Options
Common - Long Ears Upgrade 1 Skill - Sonar 2 to SDef when not deaf.
Common - NA - Lithe May require custom clothing fits, at no extra cost. -1 Hit Point and +1 Energy Point.
Common - Night Eyes Upgrade 1 Skill - Night Vision Add Night-Vision to your SDef, ignoring Shadow bonuses to stealth attacks against you and gaining the ability to see in total shadow.
Rare - NA - [Mental] Resistant You are oddly resistant to an element type keyword, (Mental) in a non-mechanical manner. You are potentially allowed to combine this with My Only Weakness, but NOT if the element keyword (ie ACID or POISON) completely overlaps with your only weakness.
Upgrade 1 Skill - Unlimited free blocks vs Weak damage from your resistant element keyword, and 1 free Block per turn against Non-Strong damage from it, AND Action or 1E per 1 Block vs Strong damage of that type.
Upgrade 1 Luxury - Increases to unlimited free blocks vs Non-Strong of your resistant element type. 1E for a Perfect Block against your resistant element type.
Upgrade (Maintenance High) - You are just flat out immune to all damage and attacks of your resistant element type.

Dwarves
Animal Flesh Soft

Cosmetic Details
Dwarfs are all beardy and stocky and stuff. We don't really care.

Compulsory Options
Basic Humanoid
NA - Slow Aging Your life span is longer than human you mature to adult and elder later.
NA - Night Eyes You can see well in the dark in a purely non-mechanical manner.

This is an opportunity for me to point out how bad slow aging is as an RPG trait and to refuse to put it on any of the other samples. Mousetrap mentions the issues and suggest about twice human is probably pushing the problematic boundaries already. And while I'm here, its god damn stupid how everyone in D&D gets various night visions. Just make lighting rules not matter already if that's what your really want.

Potential Options
Common - NA - Hefty Might require custom clothing fits, at no extra cost. +1 Hit Point and -1 Energy Point
Common - Night Eyes Upgrade 1 Skill - Night Vision Add Night-Vision to your SDef, ignoring Shadow bonuses to stealth attacks against you and gaining the ability to see in total shadow.
Rare - NA - [Poison] Resistant You are oddly resistant to an element type keyword, (Poison) in a non-mechanical manner. etc...
Upgrade 1 Skill - Unlimited free blocks vs Weak damage from your resistant element keyword, and 1 free Block per turn against Non-Strong damage from it, AND Action or 1E per 1 Block vs Strong damage of that type.
Upgrade 1 Luxury - Increases to unlimited free blocks vs Non-Strong of your resistant element type. 1E for a Perfect Block against your resistant element type.
Upgrade (Maintenance High) - You are just flat out immune to all damage and attacks of your resistant element type.

Gnomes
Animal Flesh Soft

Cosmetic Details
Gnomes are tiny humans. They are supposed to be quirky or something, I don't know, for some reason D&D gives them constitution, which is crazy, because its the halflings that get the tubby descriptive fluff. So when it comes to it, we're giving gnomes Lithe instead of Hefty, they're the small elves, not the small dwarfs, at least this time around they are anyway.

Compulsory Options
Basic Humanoid
NA - Long Ears Long ears like a rabbit, elf, or elf rabbit. They donít do anything.
NA - Night Eyes You can see well in the dark in a purely non-mechanical manner.
NA - Small Adds Small 2 to NDef, Unarmed Attacks add Small, Physical Attacks with Very Small add -2 vs Big and +2 vs Small Small sized weapons one handed, normal sized 2 handed, cannot use big. Wears small sized clothing and armour.

Potential Options
Common - Long Ears Upgrade 1 Skill - Sonar 2 to SDef when not deaf.
Common - NA - Lithe May require custom clothing fits, at no extra cost. -1 Hit Point and +1 Energy Point.
Common - Night Eyes Upgrade 1 Skill - Night Vision Add Night-Vision to your SDef, ignoring Shadow bonuses to stealth attacks against you and gaining the ability to see in total shadow.
Rare - NA - [Illusion] Resistant You are oddly resistant to an element type keyword, (Illusion) in a non-mechanical manner. You are potentially allowed to combine this with My Only Weakness, but NOT if the element keyword (ie ACID or POISON) completely overlaps with your only weakness.
Upgrade 1 Skill - Unlimited free blocks vs Weak damage from your resistant element keyword, and 1 free Block per turn against Non-Strong damage from it, AND Action or 1E per 1 Block vs Strong damage of that type.
Upgrade 1 Luxury - Increases to unlimited free blocks vs Non-Strong of your resistant element type. 1E for a Perfect Block against your resistant element type.
Upgrade (Maintenance High) - You are just flat out immune to all damage and attacks of your resistant element type.

Is this a good place for me to point out how obviously from the crappy generic write up just how much I dislike "blah blah generic resistance to X" as a "race" option? Well I don't like it, I especially don't like it when it ends up being half the race options on half the races (gee thanks 3.x D&D) Personally, these races would all be better just flat out minus the resistance options, save that for more exotic guys that actually live in god damn swamps made out of deadly acid or lava or something next time.

Halflings
Animal Flesh Soft

Cosmetic Details
Halflings are like gnomes, only more hairy and with optional tubby descriptions. This time round they actually get tubby in their mechanical options. Instead of dexterity. Because what the hell?

Compulsory Options
Basic Humanoid
NA - Small Adds Small 2 to NDef, Unarmed Attacks add Small, Physical Attacks with Very Small add -2 vs Big and +2 vs Small Small sized weapons one handed, normal sized 2 handed, cannot use big. Wears small sized clothing and armour.

Potential Options
Common - NA - Hefty Might require custom clothing fits, at no extra cost. +1 Hit Point and -1 Energy Point
Common - 4c Monstrous Item Sneaky Feet Boots Light Soft - When bare footed (except for these monstrous boots) you add an additional +2 vs Non-Sonar to your Hide and Sneak actions. (on top of the default +1 for being bare footed).

Hey look, Halflings got the first (and probably only) monstrous item in the list! And actually sneaky feet are a pretty good place for that, because they are item equivalent in a lot of ways and are somewhat exclusive against other beneficial shoe items.

Half Elves
Half breeds don't actually GET their own people write ups in Mousetrap, not usually anyway. The standard treatement is instead that halfbreeds use the Individual Variation mechanics and just take the people details of both parents and pick whichever they like from either.

This means you don't have to actually write endless hybrid permutations, but you CAN just generate them on the spot whenever you like.

Half Orcs
Same goes for half orcs too. Only we don't HAVE an Orc write up this time. Orcs would basically just be humans with Night Eyes and maybe light sensitivity. Buuut... I haven't actually got light blindness in Mousetrap, half-orcs don't have it anyway, and what I DO have is something under the name "light sensitive skin" and it's more for vampires burning up in the sun sort of thing.

Missed and Implied Options
OK so there were some things I couldn't bring myself to add, because they are conceptually stupid, there are a few that don't fit in, or aren't in, mousetrap, and there are a bunch that really belong in cultural options instead.

But one thing worth noting is SIZE SKILLS. There are a number of D&D things that these "races" can emulate with learned cultural skills that rely on their people based size trait. So small guys and medium guys CAN get giant killer junk, but it's cultural.

Mousetrap doesn't have the movement granularity to cover movement speed differences from D&D. But those were pretty shitty anyway.

One thing mousetrap CAN do, but I didn't do is give Peoples a "genetic bias' toward a specific Good or Bad trait (or even a small selection of them)... but that just means sticking something like "Common - Strong Good Trait" on the Orc Potential Options list.

But even as advised in the mousetrap document, even that is a bit racisty in flavor, or at least could be once you start making the wrong people "Common - Stupid Bad Trait" and stuff, and there is very little actual value in it. So I just didn't do that with these guys, much as I rarely if every use that option for anything.

Creating An Individual From These "Races"
OK. So you want to be an Elf? Maybe even a special snowflake elf?

You get your Elf people entry. You take all the compulsory stuff. You take what you want/can afford so far from the potential stuff (note that often a potential option has a "free" entry point, generally if you intend to buy the costed stuff later, you are intended to take the free entry point on character creation).

But you say, I don't LIKE my stuff, I want to mess with it! Maybe you want to be that one Hefty elf. Well, then MAYBE you can.

Basically you ask the GM. He almost certainly says "yeah, elves totally can have such a minor individual variation occasionally" and you just get to be that one Hefty elf.

BUT you say, what if I want my special snowflake elf to have something really bullshit like SIX ARMS! The option IS in the Monstrous document after all.

Well then you go the the GM/Group and say "I want my elf to have six arms!". However group consensus is handling setting design for the campaign in the end they have three options.
1) No. Elves don't get to depart that far from standard.
2) Yes. You can just do that, there are a few elves like that around.
3) Yes, but you are a explicitly a mutant with I'm A Mutant free trait to explain it, essentially specifying in your background that you have undergone one of the many fantasy effects that can create or modify a character into something kinda monstrous. As a bonus I'm A Mutant lets you pick up further bullshit later.

I'm a mutant is technically a costed option, but costs a Trivial point, so you can trade out something worthless for it, or beg the group for an extra trivial point, which they can give you if you are annoying enough because trivial points don't really matter very much.

Anyway. The point is that you can support a few different ways to handle "out there" mutants or aberrations from the standard physical forms, depending on the relatively minor campaign detail of whether one or two special snowflake elves get to have six arms or not.

And it's worth noting also... if you don't give the elf six arms but make the mistake of putting mutation magic wizards in the setting... not only have you got a bit of a conflict in your background choices (if mutation wizards are a thing, a minority of mutant elves are a thing) but also that guy is just totally going to pay for the mutation later anyway.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Adding Culture
I'm... not going to do full cultural write ups for the D&D knock off guys. In part because I'm still working on large sections of the cultural document. In part because I don't like the cultures involved but here are a few things about that.

The D&D Humanoid Alliance Mega-Culture
There are kind of a lot of things from D&D that mousetrap would treat as cultural knowledge, a whole bunch of fairly basic skill options and stuff. And a great deal of those would be common to all the D&D knock off humanoids.

So clearly they are probably all part of one greater culture as far as mousetrap is concerned... aaand that's not actually too far off how D&D treats it.

Then you just have a bunch of REALLY racist sub cultural castes where everyone is part of the humanoid alliance culture, but only elves really get into the elven racial subculture that gives out some extra bow stuff and sword stuff.

There is No Long-Sword Proficiency
Mouse trap, sort of, doesn't have long sword proficiency. There are some proficiency equivalent "special item" skills, but they are intended more for really exotic much more special weapon effects like running around doing that thing Scorpion does with the harpoon, only using a special harpoon that gets to have other options on it as well without breaking the standard item ability limits because you paid for a portion of it with skill points instead of just money.

ANYWAY. Long and short of it is that at least for now there is no long-sword proficiency. So when Dwarves get their axe thing from culture, it basically has to be either the generic bonus to attacks with weapons, or a specific special maneuver well suited to axes. And the generic attack bonus one is sort of shitty as a cultural option since actually it's so basic it's pretty much available to EVERYONE anyway.

Or ideally the dwarf subculture just flat out manufactures a lot of axe items.

Or all those things.

In Mouse trap ALL learned Skills come from somewhere
OK so in theory in mousetrap you don't actually just get to take any skill off the list. There ARE training rules, you have to get the skills from somewhere. Mostly you get them from cultures, organizations, other individuals or skill manuals (possibly ancient/secret/lost knowledge ones). Typically the role of cultures is to have some flavorful and probably weaker or more limited selections, you get the good stuff from organizations or notable individuals and stuff.

Cultural Skill Set Size Is Variable
Mousetrap cultures could be just five or six options, or ten or thirty. Generally the more cultures you have the smaller the desirable size of the option sets they give out, but its a big part of setting design that would greatly influence the focus on hunting training and knowledge and stuff.

But just to mimic the D&D players hand book races? The individual "race" sub cultures would be pretty damn tiny in their skill selections, and not all that big (and weirdly focused on specialist mid range gear) in their item markets. The pan humanoid meta culture, might be REALLY large in its skill set if you wanted to use that as a proxy for many/most feat/spell/class ability selections or something, and would have a really wierd huge selection of items including a bunch of generic low tier trash and then all the random bullshit magic items. Mousetrap would be REALLY bad at emulating D&D items (or spells) though, mousetrap just doesn't handle either in remotely the same ways.

Mousetrap Languages and Literacy
I think I've summarized it already somewhere in the thread, the way mousetrap does language and literacy stuff. It's simple. It's nice. And its probably designed for optimal use in a world with like one or two major languages, a small handful of minor ones, and one to two dead languages tops.

The structure, but also the sheer number of D&D languages... probably wouldn't be well represented with Mousetrap. It wouldn't look TOO bad just doing the players handbook races and their actual own race languages like you know ACTUAL Elven rather than all the bonus crap. But even just including the bonus crap on the players hand book races and you almost certainly have too many damn languages.

I could add some mechanics to mousetrap to upgrade to "screw it, you can just speak ALL the languages" at a bargain basement price... but the right solution is to cull some god damn languages from your setting already.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Thanks. The halflings having "soft boots of sneaking" by default is a neat way to give them a racial trait while still keeping it accessible to non-Halfling thieves.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

And Now, Special Materials
So, items are made out of a template, a material, up to one item ability of each tier, and maybe some special options you need skills to properly activate without penalty.

This lets you make some fairly elaborate items, within limits. The roles of the different elements of an item vary. The LT, MT, and HT abilities are largely for extra damage on weapons, extra blocks on armour, and "special" effects, the template itself (on weapons and armour) is the main source of bonuses to attack and defense, the special skill requiring extras are basically more "special" ability options, leaning towards LT value paid for as much with skill costs as wealth costs.

The materials component has been reserved to do a few things, but until now has only been partially laid out.

Materials for a start provide you with your basic material and hardness keywords to stick on an item.

Materials have been reserved as a place where items can get "enhance" options similar to the enhance options provided by (Element) options and the Magic Strike skill, so you can get a "Fire Steel" Sword and it will work just like adding lightning to your sword using the Magic Strike skill, (and is exclusive to doing so, so you can't do both, without more skill).

This lets weapons boost up their attack bonuses a bit and is a fairly important source of those bonuses.

Having just completed the Element options the first thing on the list was reforming the Elemental materials stuff, so there are some generic options there that let you make that there "Fire Steel" or even just "Raw Fire" sword, and they just let you slot in whatever element, and so yeah, that technically means that Scented Petal hammers or Mud axes might technically be a possible thing, but remember each of these combinations represents a potential material in setting, you still need to find a scented petal iron mine before you can make your scented petal steel heavy plate armour, and if there isn't such an ore in setting, then no you can't.

And while onto the mine/resource aspect... the other thing you can get from Materials is, a few other token special abilities (or penalties), copper and bronze are crap, super metals are better, copper probably breaks when you hit it with real steel, (because yes that's not entirely right but it's a good mechanical penalty) and real steel probably breaks when you hit it with fictional Super Metal of your choice, and that's represented with some basic "superior/inferior material" rules that let you drop makeshift item penalties like "breaks on hit" onto various items for being made out of crap, or for being hit by something superior to normal.

These and a few other minor special abilities are intended as minor mechanical rewards that slightly exceed the standardised "Template+1 Ability per Tier+Things you pay for with Skills" so as to marginally reward players for finding "item of super rare material" or securing "mine of super awesome material". What, it any, mechanical limit there is on the power is unbalanced and the only limiting factor is the in game cost of securing rare items or resources.

The idea being the players find a super nifty adamantium armour or something, bam, extra reward beyond standard items. They then hunt down and secure the adamantium mine, clear out monsters, put a base on it, employ rare adamantium smiths and start production, and hey now they can have the reward of making all their god damn stuff out of adamantium super metal and GET something out of that.

Though the various material enhance options could use some work.

And I still have several material categories to do.

The end for now, more forever.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Is the magic stuff up anywhere? The "fuckload of elements" thing sounds pretty fun. Also, are the docs linked from the first page the current version? It seems like there's some stuff mentioned in the thread that I didn't see in there.

Having skimmed the rules ... I think I need to go back and read it more carefully to get a sense how it would work in play; some examples would be useful. The idea of integrating bases and kingdoms into the character's direct power is interesting though. Given how poorly many games handle it, being functional at all in that area would be pretty sweet.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Ice9 wrote:
Is the magic stuff up anywhere? The "fuckload of elements" thing sounds pretty fun. Also, are the docs linked from the first page the current version? It seems like there's some stuff mentioned in the thread that I didn't see in there.

In theory the linked documents should always be the most current, I think.

The cultural document is a gigantic mess in progress, and frankly to be usable for play is going to need to be converted into some shorter split reference materials. But it does contain the majority of the more current stuff I've been referencing, all the magic junk is at the bottom just before the several pages of depreciated materials and reminder notes. The contents at the top in theory should work as right click then click the ugly link to get you there.

What else can't you find?

Quote:
Having skimmed the rules ... I think I need to go back and read it more carefully to get a sense how it would work in play; some examples would be useful.

Examples come much more last, at least that's my intention. I mean I'm still only half way at best on the materials for clothes, armours, weapons, fighting styles, and a number of miscellaneous sections.

In theory there is enough stuff in there I could do some combat examples, progress examples, even base management examples. People examples are also doable, character building and culture generation however while doable, is currently limited with, right this moment, a strong bias towards magic options and relatively little choices in other fields.

But in the end writing that stuff up is time lost from working on completing the actual rules.

Quote:
The idea of integrating bases and kingdoms into the character's direct power is interesting though. Given how poorly many games handle it, being functional at all in that area would be pretty sweet.

I'm pretty sure (most of) the conceptual structure should work, and most of the accounting should be reformed to manageable levels. But some of the numbers have, for now at least, be entirely pulled out of my ass. The income rate for treasures from managing kingdoms and stuff is basically entirely a wild guess at this stage and might turn out to be way too much or too little. It could be regulated somewhat in a very sketchy way because maintaining rulership of your town/city/kingdom has entirely arbitrary GM controlled risks and costs in the forms of enemies and encounters, but still. The income number is a guess at best.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Anyway special materials is done with for now. I should probably consider improving it, it's sort of poor, and there are a couple of sections waiting on other item rules to be completed before being done, but its done for now.

So I'm moving on to accessories. Hats, boots, gloves, cloaks, stuff like that.

That immediately resulted in me running into what I had done with Chainmail Hoods... and I'm thinking that needs fixing. So... fixing helmets may be the next thing on the list right now. Then its all the other accessory items. Then its Armours. That should then let me go back and cover Furs, but then its weapons before I go back and finish the "last" of special materials.

At some point I need to go and properly finish the prosthetic section, it might not be bad to slip in somewhere in the process of the accessories.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Fixing Hats, adding prosthetic brains
OK. So hat stacking is fixed. Bored

No really. There was an issue with hat stacking, and it was fixed. The "experimental" stacking rules for defense layering have been appended to the core rules formally, and they include the option for accessories to NOT limit your evasion. So now accessories like helmets that add to defenses don't HAVE to have an ENTIRE defense profile. Instead they mostly give a small bonus up to 3 at most, that isn't actually stacking with (same typed) bonuses, so you only really get something out of wearing an Armour helmet if you aren't getting Armour from your suit, and then you only get a bit.

It once again introduces some potential for defense stacking builds to grow that extra few points, but at the cost of more keywords for attack match ups.

Prosthetic brains are a thing now. Because I filled in at least the basics for the prosthetics section. There are a lot of potentially permanent and crippling injuries you can pick up, and while all readily healable, the more options for mitigation and repair the better. And now prosthetics goes all the way up from peg legs to bionic arms to seeing eye trinkets to flat out replacement brain shenanigans.

It still feels a little sparse, but technically it's a doorway to just investing outright in cybernetics and monstrous options and stuff so actually with minimal meat and some references it could open a lot of prosthetic bird man doors.

I'm already working on Glasses (which is why I skipped back to prosthetics because I was all like "well prosthetic eyes could also use these upgrade abilities...") And I'm not sure I want to do much more with masks other than reprint the existing ones and make the base mask template available for generic trinket and social upgrade abilities.

So next up is, more accessories, belts, cloaks, boots, gloves, jewelry etc...
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Crime And Punishment
Well, that's now gloves, boots, cloaks, and belts done, at least for first pass.

Half way through accessories and moar ethnic dress stuff I decided to resort to flipping back to "things that barely matter" and fill out more oppression related material, specifically crime and punishment, genocide, and imprisonment.

The first two were just mostly fluffy bullshit for "hey yeah, your culture could work like this..." But imprisonment has real options in it. Because one of the things we actually want is for players to have a reason to at least sometimes throw the bad guy into their own personal "ice prison" or something in order to receive some sort of benefit that might be worth the risk of said bad guy one day staging a break out attempt.

So... now there are prisons, and modifiers for prisons, and guidelines for benefits from prisons.

Oh yeah, and torture, torture chambers are a thing now. Not one many characters can benefit from, but we want them there so that the good guys (hopefully the PCs) can blow them up and rescue people from them and stuff. And this gives bad guys (hopefully not the PCs) some reasons to build them.

Of course, I still have more accessories and stuff to go...
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Minor Thread Reform
The opening post now has links to all four documents in the same place.

Also, apparently the giant "document 3" in the document 3 post actually read "document 4" so I fixed that. Bored

And more minor junk
Jewellry, bags, pouches and pockets, holsters/sheaths, and skimpy clothing are done.

Skimpy clothing was a bit underwhelming, since potential skimpy items are laced through other options already so it was mostly just a partial reprint of some relevant ones a skimpy clothing culture might take.

Light and Heavy armour are going to face a similar issue when they get attention. Unlike skimpy clothing however, they are likely to have more unique skill options of their own, while skimpy clothing, at least for now, mostly just relies on other existing relevant skills from seduction and stuff for skimpy clothing relevant abilities.

Meanwhile, jewellry is only just this side of useless, and mostly just opens up moar items you can put magic trinket upgrades on, sheaths and holsters develops the basic "reason to have a sword sheath on your inventory", and bags and packs gives us basic bag functionality and ways to carry lots of coins at once.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2015 12:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Moar Clothes
So, more clothing an accessories, skirts/dresses/robes, high collars, big cuffs (probably should just be in bracers), ruffs/pompoms/tassels (probably should just be in puffy clothing), and a bunch of stuff which is mostly just references and notes for extreme magical fashions, bathing suits and night wear.

It's stuff we don't especially care about, but its options for things to wear that the next zany fantasy culture over doesn't, its options telling you that you can potentially influence what comes up on your equipment profile for bathing or sleeping if you come from/have adapted to a somewhat eccentric culture.

Skimpy Accessories Are broken
And right now there is a minor issue with accessories having the skimpy keyword. Which they really shouldn't for a number of reasons. So that's going to need some fixing at some point.

Next Up
Probably finish off illusory clothing and an illusory item material, then I've had enough trying to think of eccentric bits to throw into ethnic dress and it's off to do something marginally more important in the field of armor and defensive options.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2015 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Oh yeah, and someone flagged a suggestion on the Warden skill, I didn't notice until now and ended up rejecting it, because as far as I could tell trying to interpret the comment thingy, the suggestion was an empty space at the end of the paragraph.

I'm thinking it was an accident, or the suggestion came in while I was working on it or something. But maybe they were just trying to flag warden as a questionable option.

Which to some extent it is. As it is a trivial point expenditure that can reap you rewards in actual luxury points...

...but like a few other similar options, the idea is that it genuinely is trivial and if anything worth even less than it's 1 trivial point cost, because you are SUPPOSED to have access to luxury, prices for luxury aren't supposed to be particularly different, and stacking them all from one source mostly just makes you more boring (and in this case more in danger of mass break out events) rather than technically making you any more powerful at all.

And THAT reminds me that I need more god damn diverse luxury sources in the game and THAT means sticking some luxury clothing, bathing, housing and other luxury stuff in some intended gaps before going on to armours and stuff. GOD DAMNIT.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The upper limits of improper furniture placement
Well, stuff reminded me I needed more luxury sources, a number of them have always been intended to be included in the long planned architecture section covering various wall and furniture stats and a bunch of rooms, structures, and other actually rather important junk like that.

So anyway I grabbed some of the relevant stuff from the core document and worked from that for some wall defenses and... realised it was poorly placed.

While a lot of this stuff is a mess for referencing purposes, there are limits. A bunch of furniture related rules already exist in core, and there need to be more related pieces of material that need to live in the culture document. But... the right stuff needs to go in the right places, and the way the basic defense profiles for walls and furniture are working out... they probably need to exist back with similar material in core about how various furniture rules work while the cultural options should be more about rooms and structural options.

So now there needs to be some basic furniture placement reform before finishing up the architecture stuff and maybe THEN finally getting on to armours.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

After some messing about I decided to leave some wall/furniture defense profile guidelines in the cultural section for convenience, despite them covering the same ground as broader furniture defense profile materials in core.

Then I added all sorts of reasons to add water, air and other service tunnels to your base that ninjas could infiltrate in return for plumbing and air conditioning luxury and stuff.

I also added very few very minor tweaks to ethnic dress and things that don't matter, and added a ethnic dress category for third party modesty by way of curtain wall/palanquin/guards carrying a curtain in front of you stuff. Because why not.

I'm temporarily bogged down on ornamentation luxury then gardens, and a few other bits then the architecture section will be sufficiently done to move on from it.

edit: Though... I have been meaning to include some generic "Elemental pool/pit/hazard for luxury/hazard benefits" so that you can take all your crazy magic elements for your crazy magic element characters so the lava priestess can fill her fortress with lava for ninjas to fall in and for her to gain luxury from. This WOULD be a good place to put that stuff...
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Well that's furniture done for now. Though mostly it just ends up reminding me of various "miscellaneous" sections that still need doing, like traps, mechanized items, blaster guns, siege weapons and vehicles.

Still, I think it's finally back onto armour next
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 5:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Google Documents Reform
Well, Google Documents Performance has been becoming an issue somewhere around the 200 page mark of the bloated cultural options document.

AND SO... I decided it was time to split the document for performance reasons. It's now going out to 4 parts, opening/Misc, Clothing/Armour/Social, Mobility/Fighting/Professions, and Magic Stuff.

Performance was so bad that even selecting and deleting more than 10 or so pages at a time well near crashed the thing and caused browser warnings about inactive pages.

The original cultural document is now considered "depreciated" it will still be there (mostly just in case I deleted something I shouldn't have) but all further updates will now only be applied to the split documents instead.

This isn't the same as the speculative creation of some shortened "quick reference" document versions in future, this is flat out a reduce page count/file size split that was pretty much forced on me by Google Documents performance issues.

The new split document links are...
Cultural Document 1 : Opening and Misc
Cultural Document 2 : Clothing, Armour, Social Options
Cultural Document 3 : Mobility, Fighting, Professions
Cultural Document 4 : Magic Stuff
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2015 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Slogging Through The Armours
So I've been running through the armour section, making some corrections, removing skimpy from accessories, removing multiple uses of the keyword
"armour" in the same profile, filling out some missing copy/paste similar skills. Correcting some stuff back in ethnic dress to match/better support stuff in armour and adding some additional armour sections as I go.

Right now I would say armour is about half complete.

Suit Reform
Not sure I'm going to do this, but in the long term I really should. The game goes on at lenght about the layerd "armour/clothing" slot and items that go into the "armour/clothing" slot as "armour/clothing" items... and its a terrible long messy term and now that I've come up with the term "suit" I really want to change it all to "suit" and it will suddenly use less text and be more clear all over the place...

...but it's pretty damn wide spread, for now I'm trying to use the new "suit" terminology in newer material, and eventually reform the rest, I'll try some reform on this as I go... but this one might not get done on this pass because it is EVERYWHERE.

Armour/Clothing Defense Bonuses
I worry the armour/clothing defense bonuses just aren't right.

There is some clear differentiation between "stuff you shouldn't really wear if you can help it" racking in at less than or equal to about 4, good stuff, ranging from 5 to 7, and a few really good options ranging from about 7 to 9 (usually with lots of keywords).

I worry about that differentiation a little, even if most things fall in the mid range.

I worry that the numbers are maybe just flat out too big.

And I worry that the few stacking incremental bonus sources out there could be "collect them all" combined with them to push things too far off the RNG and if I kept armour/clothing (yeah I know, suit) defense bonuses smaller there would be extra margin for that... at the cost of skewing things lower for characters that don't collect them all on raw numeric bonuses...

But right now I feel bringing the sections to some sort of completion is more important, and if it just comes down to a potential defense bonus nerf later in the piece zipping through and tweaking the numbers on the profiles to meet some new standard base lines is one of the easiest potential edits to later make to the material.

Needs More Modular Simplicity?
The fact is that the way the templates in particular are set up there are rather a lot of them for the purposes of covering lots of themes and lots of potential synergy across item/skill sets. So a lot of sets end up with extra templates so they can cover themes like "tight", "partial", "light", "heavy" etc...

To some extent this bloat on item options all has to exist... but it COULD exist with a smaller set of base templates with some small set of (stackable) modifiers to cover the themes and their effects.

Drawing the line on where to add pre-existing bloat (that makes building items faster), and where to apply risky simpler modifier stacking (that makes items building items slower) is serious businesses, and not easy. It's already well and truly "somewhere deep in the middle", but nudging it either way might be a good idea, or not.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Suit Reform Is Go!... Maybe
I've decided to bite the bullet and attempt broad suit reform.

Maybe, I'm giving it a shot and seeing how it goes.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Suit Reform In Progress
So anyway, while I'm somewhere in the middle of suit reform I'm going to take a brief break to talk about it.

Suit reform was triggered by eventually getting sick of near duplicate item profiles and skill options. In particular the "Armour type X Block ability and attendent upgrades for armours that enhance it". Those especially are now gone, and reduced to three generic block types based on the three common armour/not-armour defensive keywords of Evasive, Armour and Obfuscating.

The rest of the changes are a switch to a more generic simpler set of stat blocks that you alter with modifiers to create basically the same large range of items previously presented.

Part of this meant facing again the "difference between a +1 and Increase by 1" notation issue, which I "solved" (very much in quotation marks) by explicitly creating an item modifier type called "Style" that has certain rules about how it applies it's modifiers.

Notably one thing a lot of "Styles" do is add a few keywords and marginally increase your defensive bonuses (and maybe let you swap around some of your existing basic item profile bonuses). This then brings in the issue of Style Stacking... which hopefully is headed off by stringent prerequisites for Styles which increase bonuses that generally invalidate each other to prevent more than intended stacking. Hopefully, because there is bound to be an oversight.

Also I'm dumping the somewhat gauche title of "Ethnic Dress" and rolling it all in as a single Clothing and Armour section in one go, along the way eliminating some annoying issues like how some things got to appear only in clothing and some only in armour, but some had to appear in both...

All in all the new in progress Clothing/Armour section is looking a lot better and sleeker. Oh yeah and the suit keyword thing is now definitely being properly implemented, leaving (I think) references in need of fixing in core... and not many places other than that.

Buuut... there IS going to be an end point cost on this when you get to item creation and you need to step through Material+Template+STYLE+abilities/misc. A process previously (sort of) devoid of the STYLE step, which with it's option to redistribute bonus points is a marginally long step.

Still, the alternative cost of bloated near duplicated write ups and the difficulty of wading through them just got so big that I decided I had to eat that cost at item creation by preference.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I still think this looks interesting btw; planning to check out the new cultural docs soon. But when Pathfinder burned me out with its disappointing-ness, the collateral damage took out my interest in crunch, temporarily I hope. So that's why I haven't gone into it more yet.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The clothing and armour section is now back to about where it was before the reform. Only now reformed.

Which puts it as somewhere in between very nearly complete and lacking vast swathes of overly specific things (hell, I put in ribbons and corsets, so there's room for a LOT of stupid clothing/armour ideas to be added).

For me for now the main fields to still cover are spiked and bladed armour, environmental protection suits and related stuff, Shields (which aren't clothing/proper armour but get into the section based on it covering primary defensive options)

And of course "Misc" category which since the reform will probably eventually get rolled into the generic armour/clothing options up top. It's intended to potentially cover a wide range of item ability options that don't really need to be associated specifically with any single armour or clothing type. But mostly it's intended to be a place holder to dump new ideas as I go after "finishing" the clothing/armour section.

Then its onto probably a review of social and deciding if I'm moving on to the Socially Developed sections or the Weapons/Fighting sections.
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