Author Topic: Usable Forum RP System?  (Read 1454 times)

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Offline jpattnet

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Usable Forum RP System?
« on: November 18, 2005, 06:32:50 AM »
I had NO clue where to post it. Non Specific didn't seem right, and System Development is locked or whatever. Anyway, here it is.

Any feedback or thoughts are appreciated. =)

This greatly simplifies a number of attributes and skills in order to be easily used in a forum RP. This is just a rough draft. It is a highly modified hybrid of Dan Bayn's Wushu and The Ladder system.

Characters have a few things I call Traits, which cover broad applications.

Quote from: QUOTE
PRIMARY TRAITS
There are six Primary Traits - one of them, FIGHT, is an "umbrella" Primary Trait, which also includes Secondary or Sub-Traits, four of the Primary Traits are individual, and the last Primary Trait is Special.

1. FIGHT - this covers all hand to hand combat, armed and unarmed
- Brawn - strength, toughness, endurance, size, etc.
- Nimbleness - agility, general body dexterity, stealth, balance, quickness

2. THINK - wit, cognition, deduction, logic, reason, memory, trivia

3. NOTICE - perception, spot/hear, etc. clues

4. CHARM - debate, intimidate, converse, persuade, fast talk, lead

5. MAGE - paranormal abilities, aura, spiritual/magical/psychic Vigour

6. WILL - reflects overall mental, physical, social and spiritual Vigour, and basically determines general survivability and ability to "keep going", through torture, exhaustion, fear, mental stress or other condition. It is, in its way, the most important of all the Traits yet has little "active" application.

All Primary Traits are ranked by the following chart:

7+ Superhuman
6 Awesome
5 Great
4 Extraordinary
3 Remarkable
2 Ordinary
1 Trivial
0 Nil

All Primary Traits begin at rank 3 for normal Heroic games. The average man on the street usually have Primary Traits of 1 or 2, with a rare 3+ in a chosen dedicated area for professionals, etc.

WILL is generally always equal to a character's highest Primary or Sub-Trait, but may ALSO be increased.

SUB-TRAITS
Sub-Traits for FIGHT are all equal to FIGHT-1 (FIGHT 3 means all Sub-Traits are ranked 2).

BUILDING CHARACTERS / INCREASING TRAITS
Players are given a total of 20 Game Points (usually called GP or just "points")  to build their characters. Usually, at the end of most gaming sessions, further GP are awarded to each character for various reasons, from accomplishing certain objectives to entertaining playing or even just showing up. GP may be "stored" but should usually be spent when received, with the exception of keeping one or two out as "Floating" GP, which can be spent DURING play to assure a more favorable outcome to an action, etc.

To increase a Trait's rank, you must spend a number of GP equal to the total of all the ranks between your current rank and the desired rank. So if you have a rank of 2 (Ordinary) in Fighting and you want a 4 (Extraordinary), you'll need to spend 7 GP (3+4) to get it (all of FIGHT's Sub-Traits then also increase as well).

Traits cannot normally exceed 6 and in most cases it is best to disallow Traits higher than 5.

TRAITS AND TASK RESOLUTIONS / ACTIONS
So what are Traits good for? Anytime you want to do something whose outcome is uncertain could possibly have a relevant effect on the game, two normal six-sided dice are rolled and compared against a DIFFICULTY RANK and a TRAIT RANK for Task Resolution, to determine the intensity and level of success - this is called making an Action Check.

Every action has a Difficulty Rank, similar to the Trait Ranks.

Quote from: QUOTE
7+ Superhuman
6 Awesome
5 Great
4 Extraordinary
3 Remarkable
2 Ordinary
1 Trivial
0 Nil

To make an Action Check, roll two normal six-sided dice and consult the Difficulty Rank chart above (the GM determines what the Difficulty of a particular task is) and your own appropriate Trait rank. You are considered to automatically succeed at your given Trait rank, though dice still must be rolled.

Example: Louis the Footpad wants to snatch a noble lady's purse in a croweded street during a festival. The GM decides the lady and her husband are busily gawking at the acrobats and minstrels, and there are a lot of people making a lot of noise and distractions, so the task's difficulty would normally be 3-Remarkable, but the lady is savvy enough to be holding her purse fairly closely even though not paying much attention, so the task is 4-Extraordinary - for the Action, the Difficulty or Target Number (TN) is 4.

The GM and player agree that this is definitely a task which relies on Louis' Nimbleness and stealth - looking at his Sub-Trait of Fighting 3-Remarkable, we see his Nimbleness is 2-Ordinary. This means that his "automatic" success of 2 (his Trait rank) will have to be bumped up to 4 (the Difficulty) or more by the Action Check roll. This is the perfect reason that the player should have spent GP to increase Louis' Nimbleness Trait!

Quote from: QUOTE
2 -- -3: Action intensity/rank is decreased by 3 - Roll again
3 -- -2: Action intensity/rank is decreased by 2
4-5 -- -1: Action intensity/rank is decreased by 1
6-8 -- 0: Action intensity/rank is unaffected
9-10 -- +1:  Action intensity/rank is increased by 1
11 -- +2: Action intensity/rank is increased by 2
12 -- +3: Action intensity/rank is increased by 3 - Roll again

We see this means that Louis' player has to roll an 11 or 12 (not very likely!), since a 9 or 10 only yields a +1 result, which will only increase Louis' Nimbleness of 2 to a 3, still short of the required 4. The roll is made and, against all odds, an 11 results! Louis snatches the purse successfully without being seen and disappears off into the crowd a richer man.

Now, if the roll has been less than 11, the Action would have failed and Louis would have been unsuccessful - depending on the severity of the failure, he might simply have not been able to get a good opening and had to cancel his plans, or he might have been clumsy and bumped the lady and had both she and her husband be made fully aware of what was going on, etc.

If the roll had been a 12, the intensity of the success would have exceeded the Target Number of 4 by 1, giving a +1, which may be further rewarded by GMs in some circustances with even more favorable circumstances, such as also being able to grab a brooch, bracelet, etc. or perhaps there was simply more in the purse than there was originally.

Now, BESIDES exceeding the TN, a roll of double sixes allows the player to roll again, and add the result to this roll, with the possibility of rolling even more double-sixes, etc. In theory, someone with a rank of 1 could perform any Action is he rolled enough double-sixes.

Notice that boxcars (double ones) reduce the success of an Action and ALSO require the player to roll again, and possibly reduce it further, the opposite of the sixes.

Any time you roll double sixes, any further "roll again" rolls with negative results are NOT applied and are considered to indicate only that no further successes happened - the same goes for double ones - you cannot get favorable results which will actually increase success intensity on a "roll again" for an initial negative Action Check roll.

COMBAT
When player characters get into fights, it will usually either be against Individual Villains (Nemesis, Right-Hand-Man, Henchmen) or Mooks, which are amorphous and generic groups of vaguely competent thugs and attackers (gang members, ninjas, security guards, zombies, whatever), the kind which couldn't hit the broadside of a barn with a train, or hit a Hero with more force than a schoolgirl.

There are basically three "grades" of Mooks - Bargain Mooks, Retail Mooks and Deluxe Mooks - with Bargain Mooks being the most frequently used and encounterd. Bargain Mooks usually have a FIGHT of 3 (which also gives PCs a Target Number of 3), meaning anytime the PC's attack, their Action Check rolls need to be 3 or higher to succeed. For every level of success in a PCs attack, the Mooks' Quantity is reduced by 1. The Quantity of a Mook group is like its combined health or life or "hit points", and until its 0, each Hero is attacked once per turn - Mooks aren't described or measured as individuals, but a group, so some attacks may be made by Mooks who were assumed "out" of the combat, etc.

Mooks make an Attack Action Check with their FIGHT,  and a Target Number usually equal to the PC's own best relevant combat skill, usually FIGHT - this means Mooks are unlikely to actually do anything in most cases and only serve as heavy bags for PCs, though Retail Mooks and Deluxe Mooks (FIGHT 4 and 5 and usually higher Quantity scores) may pose problems.

Henchmen, Right-Hand-Men and Nemesis (Main Villain) are individuals and have their own Traits seperate from Mooks and usually do more than mindlessly attack.

When an attack against a PC succeeds, he makes a Wound Action Check with his own FIGHT score as his Target Number (meaning the higher, the harder it is to resist damage that is successfully dealt), and reduces the total success intensity of the attack by one for every success on his Check, possibly reducing the Wounds to 0. PC's may take as many Wounds as they have Will, without any adverse effects. Once their Wounds equal Will, further Wounds cause a -1 penalty to ALL die rolls of any kind made by the PC until healed (usually between "scenes" if playing a cinematic movie type game), meaning you're only really "out" of the game when your ability to make rolls is reduced to ridiculously low levels and you're worthless, or to a pre-set level which is considered "out of the game", such as +3.


Offline Sorloc

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« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2005, 09:06:44 PM »
Are you looking for comments / discussion?

Yes: Maybe add DIVINE and SCIENCE as areas, or maybe they can share a section with MAGIC.  Reasoning is that DIVINE magic is usually of a different nature than 'normal' magic, having its own set of rules / restrictions / benefits.  SCIENCE would cover not only wacky technology, but also gimmickry / gadgeteering, regardless of tech level - it would cover a 'netrunner the same as a Gnomish artificer who makes a three-shot crossbow.

No:  Sorry, just delete me.

:D

"Terrible what passes for a ninja these days" -- Pops Racer (John Goodman), Speed Racer (2008)
"How hard can it be?" -- Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford), Temple of Doom (1984)

Offline jpattnet

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« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2005, 09:43:26 PM »
Hey thanks for the reply! I also posted this on the rpghost forums just to see if anyone else would bite so ignore it there.

Yeah I was thinking about Science, though I was trying to keep the Traits broad, so Thinking/intellect would work, since tv show and movie heroes also "happen" to know about astronomy or chemistry or computers, when the need arises - still, I'll keep it in mind, and possibly Tech or Gadgetry... Hmm.

As for Divine/Arcane magic, in my opinion, thats a Setting matter and one of personal player character "color" that I probably wouldn't use a system mechanic to moderate - I could probably provide a couple of example methods which players could use but I'm not a fan of "spells" and components being so vitally important, unless its integral to the main story itself. For a simple forum RP system, for my own purposes, I prefer a consistent mechanic that can be used for "typical" mages, healers or psionics - I feel like all that is like ammo - you want to shoot guns/throw spells, not count bullets/eye-of-newt.

The simplicity is for the near effortless maintenance and moderation of a forum RP, so the GM only has to keep track of just a little more than the players do, which is why no real skills - everything defaults in some fashion to one of the existing ones or probably a universal "Other" Trait at 1-Trivial. I was considering being able to "buy up" extra things or get flaws which would lower sub-Traits or basically "create" non-standard system differences, such as "Small Stature" which would have its own set of GM arbitrated features/flaws/advantages, etc.

But the mechanic itself, what do you think? I'm thinking of redoing the increase/decrease setup a bit, to gear it more toward successful heroic actions.

STEPS
7+ Inhuman
6 Awesome (Near Impossible Difficulty)
5 Great (Arduous Difficult)
4 Extraordinary (Very Difficult)
3 Remarkable (Challenging Difficulty)
2 Ordinary (Routine)
1 Trivial (Poor Skill/Easy Difficulty)
0 Nil

2: -2 -- decrease Trait Action Check result one step, roll again
3-5: -1 --
6-8: 0 -- no change
9-10: +1 --
11-12: +2 -- increase Trait Action Check result one step, roll again

Each occurrence of a number for a 2D6 roll (like 7 can be rolled 6 different ways) is basically a 2.77% probability, so on an Action Check, getting an unadjusted (no change) intensity roll is 44.32% likely, meaning that as its own result, it is the most likely, so most people will perform at their listed Trait level, with 27.7% equal chances to perform better or worse (I think my math is right).

And if I hadn't made is clear enough, I feel like WILL should be the overall stat that measures the condition of a character. It is based on physical health, but also on mental stability and such, and whenever physical health (Vigour) is exhausted, you won't attack, defend, cast spells, or anything else, very well (the more penalties you get).

The only additional thing I can think of that might apply would be to intentionally lower Health or Will with each spell (basically like being Wounded /adding the die roll penalties) cast as well, which would make people much less apt to use magic frivolously - maybe have a Power Check to successfully cast a spell and NOT lose WILL so its not TOO unforgiving a mechanic... ?
« Last Edit: November 18, 2005, 09:47:34 PM by jpattnet »


Offline LadyCatreece

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« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2005, 10:01:40 PM »
I am thinking about the WILL thin when it comes to the magic aspect of the game. I think that perhaps, and it might add to the bookkeeping, but perhaps a Power Check thing, and that will, in turn, affect the WILL after a while.

I do think that having something to keep spells in check would be a good idea. Perhaps having a power check, and everytime it is used it adds up, and after so many spells or what have you, your WILL goes down. Because I like the idea that casting spells would wear a person out after a while, you know?

Oh, and I like the idea of WILL controlling some things.  I am not sure if I missed it, but what goes into a person's WILL? How do you come up with the WILL numbers?
Nya!

Offline jpattnet

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« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2005, 11:06:38 PM »
Basically, since I feel like all PCs/heroes will be the hardiest people in the game (comparatively), their Will is automatically equal to whatever their highest other Trait is, so it will be equal to FIGHT or THINK or whatever. That puts everyone on equal cinematic footing, rather than the musclebound barbarian being able to take five times the pounding of the frail mage - heroes all seem to have incredible amounts of Will, whether they're warriors, scientists or fops.

Now since WILL isn't normally affected until Vigour wears out, the more physical heroes (with higher Vigour) are going to be able to "last" a bit longer before getting penalties, but to me, that makes sense and is fair, since everybody still gets a more or less "equal" continuing abstract Vigour (being WILL).

The way I'm thinking is that when you cast a spell, you make a Magic check to cast it (including any penalties from Will or Vigour being exceeded), meaning your concentration isn't broken, you have enough mental energy and health, etc. The more powerful the spell, the higher the Target number, the more trivial, the easier. Also, the more or less powerful, the more or less potential "Drain" on Will a spell has.

I'm thinking along these lines:

A failed Spell Action Check, as long as it isn't 2 levels or more below the required Target number, is simply a failure and probably should be an automatic Will Drain. A severe failure (2+ levels) would mean you're done casting spells until well rested or a major scene shift, etc (you're basically "fried").

When successful, a spell has a potential Drain of 1, modified by the spell's difficulty, so if you're a newbie caster and decided to throw a 10x10' fireball and somehow managed to succeed, we'll say the Drain is 4. You would then need to make a Will Action Check against the Drain, with every positive "+" result REDUCING the Drain, so if you managed to get a +2, the Drain will go from 4 to 2, meaning you got off a lot better than you could have - so people with higher Will will generally be able to be less affected by Drain, which in turn effects Will negatively. Alternately, if you got negative "-" results on your Will Check, your Drain would INCREASE, meaning you pushed yourself beyond your limits, temporarily.

Drain is applied to Vigour if you have any, and then to Will. So Will acts nearly as avoidance, then "soak" then finally endurance, for "damage" - and all Wounds and Drain are basically die roll penalties, though some rules for knockouts and such could easily be made.


Offline jpattnet

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« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2005, 10:17:39 PM »
Here's a link to a rudimentary PDF I'm working on, mainly just for the heck of it, along these lines. Any further feedback is appreciated - obviously my PDF isn't finished - need to add explanations and character creation, combat, etc.

Don't worry, the click variable in the link below is for my download counter, not for any sort of linkfarming crap.

http://www.jpatt.net/ccount/click.php?id=1


 

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