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Title: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Necromantis on March 13, 2010, 11:37:08 PM
Hello. I am new to the forum. I am a member of a few forums though I read them more than I post myself. I found this wonderful sight tonight
and searched to no avail to find the help I seek. Maybe some experienced gamer will have something for me. Thanks in advance.

Now to preface this request with some back story. If you dont Care about the backstory skip ahead to where in all caps it says "NOW FOR MY PROBLEM"

I came late into my Geekdom. I have been playing Tabletop rpgs for around 5 years now Refereeing them for 4 of those.
The first system I ever played was 2nd Edition D&D. I Like it best out of most of the games I have played since.
I have recently been running a campaign with green ronins "song of ice and fire roleplaying" system (SIFRP) which I like a lot.
I feel however that it works well in that worlds setting only (well in a world like that at least) with there being no magic system in place etc.

This was one of the first games I had played with more than 6-8 abilities. 19 in fact. Thats a ton. Too many I originally thought.
Having had 2 long gaming sessions with the system I started having Ideas.
After playing D&D again (2e) I started noticing things that I'd like to Fix. That lead to this lead to that and Soon I realized that I should just make my own system - id&d - improved D&D (JK i wouldnt call it that)

could be helpful in getting help
I read somewhere on here that it helps others help you to state your games intent. That makes sense so I'll do that.

Objectives with my system:
1) Adaptable rules. - Meaning only that you dont screw the pooch when you leave one out or add one (d&d 3.5 is wretched because of this)
2) I'd also like the system to be universal  (not locked into one world type - like SIFRP)
3) It would be great but beyond me to minimize MIN-MAXing through character development
4) balance speed of combat with realism as much as possible.
5) fixing the nonsense that passes for armor class in the games Ive played. different armor was designed for different purposes
at least 3 AC values are needed. vs. Piercing, vs. slashing & vs. bludgeoning (not to mention unarmored / high ground etc)
Note that I see the realism factor as making the GMs life tons easier. Common sense is then used rather than looking something up/referring to a chart.

I am sure there is more but that will do for now seeing as how I am already stuck in the early stages. :)

NOW FOR MY PROBLEM

While coming up with my Abilities I stumbled across this issue.

I need something that relates to a priests divine magic. Something like devotion or Zeal or somesuch but I can't seem to make one work in my mind.
I am really pretty happy with my list so far and how they work in my mind. (I am not terribly confident that is relayed on paper however)

They breakdown (mechanically) like so

      Might- +/- to attack damage         
    Prowess- +/- to attack chance (to hit)
  Precision- +/- to ranged attacks and backstabs
    Agility- +/- to defense rating and initiative results
Forbearance- +/- to fighting while injured
 Heartiness- Effects Hit points   
  Knowledge- +/- to wizards spells    ---- What has been learned
  Reasoning- +/- to ??
 Leadership- Effects hirelings/henchmen/followers
 Comeliness- +/- reaction adjustment.

 
The hang up is that I think that reasoning is important. the counter to knowledge - the 2 basic types of thought. (recollection and logic)
example:
Someone could remember that 9 times 12 is 108 (like multiplication tables in grade school are memory based)
or could reason out that 9 sets of 12 is equal to 108


 I first thought of it as wisdom in 2Ed&d but immediately chucked that notion aside for not liking it.
The more I have thought about it the more I think they messed up with wis/int. but the model T wasn't a good car either. :) But the model T is no longer around where as WIS/INT is. ugh.
I am very fond of Forbearance although it seems to cause problems in this area for me as well.
Explanation:
Forbearance is like fortitude (infact fortitude was my original choice for the ability) - the ability to take a hit. to overcome. its like will power but more physical that mental. Some may disagree but I am modeling this after myself. For example I do not bruise. Hit me with a baseball bat. I wont turn blue 99% of the time. its more of a pain recognition level Not a pain tolerance level almost. But nevermind all that. It will mechanically affect how well your fight when injured and I really don't want to replace it (maybe a more appropriate title?) or combine it with another ability.

Now.
what about Reasoning.? what Mechanical role does it play. (aside from skill checks. that just isn't enough for me)
it doesn't fit the Priest problem I am having. Priests (i feel) need a defining attribute that would alter the effectiveness of their casting ability
which is the HEART of my real issue.
What about Divine Magic. What ability affects it?

I am sure you are wondering "what does that have to do with forbearance?"
Well heres the thing.
Zeal or Dedication seems too close to forbearance to me
Is the answer to make divine magic forbearance dependent?
I see Dedication/devotion as a problem also in this way. Would not Dedication be needed for any type of class or skill?
you need dedication to be more than average at anything. be it swordsmanship or needlework or playing a musical instrument
I hope I haven't made A mess of this. If so welcome to my head right now.
I cannot seem to find a solution that doesn't require what I would consider Cheating my system.
If I wanted to cheat I'd do what D&D did (Wisdom for priests) and just say Reasoning. ;)

any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Necromantis
South Carolina, USA


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Ar Kayon on March 14, 2010, 02:02:37 AM
I feel I can relate to you because we have similar goals for our designs. 
My system's primary attributes:

Fitness
Strength
Speed
Endurance

Coordination
Dexterity
Reflex
Agility

Perception
Awareness
Focus

Reasoning
Logic (deductive)
Insight (inductive)

Magnetism
Charisma


Why is this relevant?
The reason why I have a high granularity for my system is so that I may accommodate a wide breadth of skills with great accuracy.  This is good if you want your system to be adaptable and modular. 
To make an example: at first glance, it may seem that logic and insight are direct analogues to intelligence and wisdom, which are D&D attributes.  Why are they different?  Because logic and insight represent specific functions of the mind and intelligence and wisdom are umbrella terms.  If someone asked me, “What is intelligence?” I would say that it is the sum of someone’s spatial reasoning (awareness attribute), inductive reasoning (insight attribute; e.g. understanding an analogy), as well as deductive reasoning (logic attribute; e.g. doing a math problem).  Thus, two people who are equally intelligent may have differing strengths in regards to mental functions, which makes them better suited to different skills, which comes back to my original argument that granularity encourages modularity. 

”What about my problem?  You know, that red bar scrolling across the screen?  Remember that?”
So, you don’t like wisdom as a qualifier for your system’s design, especially in regards to divine spellcasting.  I don’t like it either.  Wisdom means sound judgment, but I don’t see how making good decisions directly relates to conjuring magical energies from the gods.  However, one of the tools involved in making good decisions that does relate well to divine magic is inductive reasoning, or insight.
Think about it: understanding things that you can’t directly observe requires a great deal of abstract thought as well as intuition.  In the Tao Te Ching, the first passage states,“The Tao that can be spoken is not the true Tao; the Tao that can be written is not the true Tao”.  “Tao” roughly means nature, the universe, or God.  Clearly, it evades logic.  So, with insight, the priest understands his god and its ways, and knows how to shape magical energies based on that understanding.
But how do you pull that crap out of the ether?  You can’t see it or feel it.  Pulling off such a feat would require a great deal of faith and willpower, wouldn’t it?  Your forbearance attribute could represent that. 
In conclusion, I believe your system as a whole would benefit from not using umbrella terms as attributes, and that you may utilize forbearance and an attribute similar to insight to represent divine magic use in a vivid manner, without appearing as if you’re copying-and-pasting from D&D.


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Necromantis on March 14, 2010, 03:06:16 AM
Wow! Thanks for such a quick response. You are very articulate and its easy to catch the subtle differences while "micro-tuning" these attributes. I don't mean that to sound like I'm saying we shouldn't "micro-tune". I think its totally necessary. Otherwise terms like wisdom would work without any problems.
I won't say that I have it all figured out by what you said but It was very helpful. I was doing that without really knowing it. Trying to nail down the exact function rather than use such broad all encompassing terms. More precision which I found takes more terms. 12 abilities instead of 6 or whatever.
This game design gig is all new to me and i really appreciate the help. I am interested in something about your system (not trying to steal it or anything - not in its entirety anyhow -- hahah jk)  but do you have 5 abilities and from there break them down into several sub abilities? or more to the point. Does each attribute get its own assigned number to perform checks/tests with?  for instance ..

(using d&ds 3d6 method for this example)

Fitness 16
Strength 12
Speed 16
Endurance 8                   ------      Similar to The "2.5 D&D players options rules?


or

More like

Fitness:
Strength 12
Speed 15
Endurance 9               ------       Where Fitness is the umbrella term from which the actual abilities are rendered?


another curiosity is how you fit your abilities to the mechanics of your game. for instance .. I would assume that strength would effect the damage dealt when/if using a sword/warhammer where as reflex would keep you from being hit so easily while being attacked, but what about ...say... hit points (or something similar)
which of your ability scores would provide a bonus there?Assuming of course that anything like that is in your system at all.

I am just looking to understand new things. I'm open to any knowledge those who have found some during their journney are willing to Share.
I am not looking to publish this new system if/when I get it sorted (unless its unexpectedly awesome) just for my players and myself to enjoy.
Thanks again.

Necromantis


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Necromantis on March 14, 2010, 03:15:51 AM
just an edit here. and it appears the editing is removed right now

Quote
(using d&ds 3d6 method for this example)

Fitness 12
Strength 12
Speed 16
Endurance 8                   ------      Similar to The "2.5 D&D players options rules?

I started with 16 then went to 12 and forgot to change the governing ability's number. OOPS ;)

so that the average of the 3 sub abilities would equal that of the governing ability. I had to fix it.


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Ar Kayon on March 14, 2010, 05:07:42 AM
The terms I use to categorize attributes, such as “fitness” and “coordination”, have no mechanical meaning to them; I was just using them to elaborate what I meant by the difference between umbrella terms and specific ones.  Therefore, each attribute under the related qualifiers has an individual numerical value, but the qualifier itself does not.
Example:
Fitness
Strength 12
Speed 15
Endurance 9

Strength doesn’t directly affect damage.  To maintain integrity, there is a secondary attribute, “Power”, which is the average of your speed and strength attributes.  What do attributes directly affect?  Your skills.  To determine the success of any technique, you compare the governing attribute of the skill you are using against the governing attribute of the skill your opponent is using.  So to swing a sword, it would be speed; to parry a blow is dexterity; to slip a blow is reflex; to throw your opponent is power; a takedown is agility; etc.  This high granularity of attributes allows me to model combat in a very realistic manner  (http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=29257.15).


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Excalibur on March 14, 2010, 11:37:55 AM
You have admitted that you've only been playing for about 5 years now so I'm going to give you a bit of advice. Play more games! Different games! LOTS of games! Diversify, it will help you to see different points of view through game mechanics. Why didn't Palladium Books stick with a straight d20 mechanic? Why did the Hackmaster series come into being? (Hackmaster is, btw, a re-imagining of AD&D) What's the difference between Hero System, d20, AD&D, Storyteller (Vampire, Werewolf, etc. by White Wolf), Fuzion, or Warhammer Fantasy?

That's the best advice I can give in terms of your relative newness to the RPG scene.

Now, about your initial question.

Ar Kayon hit it right on the head when he mentioned the Player's Options books for AD&D 2nd Edition. I have all of them and for a while played 2e strictly with those rules. They break down each of the different AD&D attributes into 2 aspects and allow the player to raise/lower the character's sub-attributes to differentiate between them.

Quote
Might- +/- to attack damage         
Prowess- +/- to attack chance (to hit)
Precision- +/- to ranged attacks and backstabs
Agility- +/- to defense rating and initiative results
Forbearance- +/- to fighting while injured
Heartiness- Effects Hit points   
Knowledge- +/- to wizards spells    ---- What has been learned
Reasoning- +/- to ??
Leadership- Effects hirelings/henchmen/followers
Comeliness- +/- reaction adjustment.

I actually see your list this way:
  • Might: +/- to attack damage
  • Strength: General lifting ability, thrown weapon range
  • Precision: +/- to attack chance
  • Prowess: +/- to AC
  • Agility: General bonus to skills involving balance, coordination, hand-to-eye coordination.
  • Forbearance: (I like this) Stamina, Fatigue, the general physical ability to push your body to the limits.
  • Heartiness: +/- bonus to hit points
  • Leadership: Hirelings/henchmen/followers (I have yet to see anything like this used outside of war scenarios and wargames)
  • Comeliness: Physical beauty, general good looks. +/- bonus due to attractiveness, first impression reactionary bonus.
  • Charisma: Personality. +/- bonus due to how well people like you (you can be awesomely beautiful but have the personality of a hag and people would hate you). Takes over the comeliness bonus after the first few interactions.
  • Knowledge: Knowing stuff, general knowledge. +/- bonus to skills (no spell-related junk? Why? see below)
  • Thaumaturgy: How much magical energy flows through your character? This would be a good "wizard or sorcerer spells per day" kind of stat. Since you need energy to cast them and magic, in the D&D sense, isn't about a character's energy but about "the weave" which is a magical energy flowing through reality. This could be replaced with Willpower if this is not the case and you could state that Willpower is the ability to bend "the weave" to produce spell effects.
  • Reasoning: This is inductive and deductive stuff. You might consider making this a bonus to characters when trying to figure out clues to a mystery or crime.
  • Piety: How devoted is your character to his god? I think this would be a good "divine spells per day" kind of stat. Since the spells come from divine interaction than from knowing.
I've never liked that if you didn't have a high enough "wisdom" or "intelligence" that you couldn't know a particular spell because you've "run out of space in your head". Instead, I like to use an intelligence-based skill:
Spellcraft: How many spells you know for your given class. This obtains a bonus from your knowledge and the higher the skill's rank, the more spells you know. This works for both divine and magic spell casters (as well as those who depend upon nature, song, what have you).

This is one way to go. I've always been fond of point-based systems of spell casting that allow the player to exceed those points by using a fatigue mechanic.

One of my favorite games of yesteryear was d6 Star Wars by West End Games. They had xd6+n associated with each stat and skills associated with those stats. The stats all had the base stat score (say 1d6+3) but you could increase the "pips" of the skills or the stat. Interesting system.

But, overall, for me, K.I.S.S. is my philosophy. :) Then again, I'm working with people who prefer TCGs over pen & paper RPGs.


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Callan S. on March 14, 2010, 12:02:49 PM
Have you had a chat with your game group about this, and how they would think it'd go?


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: stefoid on March 14, 2010, 07:43:19 PM
Hi

Q1) What do you mean by realism?   

Q2) why is realism one of your goals?


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Ar Kayon on March 14, 2010, 08:53:47 PM
When others speak of realism I have an implicit understanding of what it is they are generally referring to, and I'm sure others here do too although they may not readily admit it.  I think your question would be better if it were rephrased as, "What parts of your designs do you want to be realistic, and how do you intend to model that realism?"

I'm not trying to speak for the OP, but rather reinforce what I believe is his intent.  I think realism, from this implicit understanding, is a good design goal because it is aesthetically pleasing; it gets you excited about the game world and its internal logic independently of the GM's storytelling abilities.  A good violinist is a good violinist, but even better with a Stradivarius.


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Locke on March 14, 2010, 09:41:23 PM
why is prowess and precision different.  they sound the same to me...  i get it... if you want an archer you get the shootie thing and if you want the swordsman you take the melee thing and if you want the monk you take the unarmed thing...

but practically when a player makes a shootie character they OF COURSE will always take the shootie attributes.  so why have two sets for attributes?  who cares if the archer can swing a sward as well as a swordsman if he's never gonna use it.  also a swordsman will likely have more HP's to keep in combat longer and a whole list of other things to make him better at close combat.  so practically you don;t need a billion options for combat as the entire character can be defined in combat.  So really mechanically all you need is one combat stat to show how well the character attacks in general.  DnD does this through THACO or the base attack bonus, but them mucks it up with weapon specialization and crap like that.

Each character doesn't have to be exemplary as long as the group prevails.  The only reason DnD needs high stats is that it can be randomly generated by 3d6 and that attributes can take damage.  It makes much more sense to start attributes at zero and a 1 = +1 and a 2 = +2...  But many groups now default to a point buy system anyway as its more fair and balanced for all players.

Also what do these stats do?  do they add to skills and combat like pretty much every other system.  ie. vampire and shadowrun...  the agility + dodge = pool to dodge?

And combat reality is a joke.  Meaning that if you come to hit me and i don't want to be hit i'm not just gonna let you run across the room and smack me.  I'm gonna back away as you start to come toward me.  SO combat is really more like waiting for opportunity to strike when one person thinks they have an advantage.  But its very hard to replicate this on table top as you would have to add sub initiatives and actions that can go between character's turns thus making the system mechanically unplayable.

Also I agree that armor classes suck, but in the end it is just abstract.  DnD's combat is BASED on 3 things. 
1. armor ratings
2. dexterity
3. magic progression and attainment

These 3 things are controlled and all of combat is based around some scheme they have developed.  Rifts and my system (in sig) use actions through the round with active defense.  Some systems use an opposed check to determine a hit usually with armor being a second line of defense...  or some use an absolute if i make my roll then i defend myself.  The first is a bit better as you can incorporate trample damage and regulate a good hit is a really good hit, while the later says a really good hit can be mitigated by a barely made my dodge roll.

I would suggest NOT starting with attributes.  I would start by listing how you want combat to happen.  In order.  Then figure out what you need to make that happen.  Also determine how you want characters to be built, then start crossing the 2 until you make it work.

Attributes are so derived in games now and its hard to separate ourselves from how they should work.

here is what i suggest from what you've listed. Just about every system uses these but calls them different things.
Physical Strength
Physical Agility
Physical Endurance
Mental Strength
Mental Agility
Mental Endurance
Social Strength
Social Agility
Social Endurance

attractiveness is subjective as you can argue that presence is also attraction.  i would suggest making attractiveness a "feat".  same with precision.

For mechanics you could:
1. add the attributes to some skill (like dnd & pretty much every other game in existence))
2. add them together to make a composite skill... ie priest casting = Mental Endurance + Social Strength... (priests should need social strength)
3. make the attribute the skill and not have skills

Things to consider
1. how do feats interact the character
2. are character's built on class or on point buy?
3. how are these abilities increased? and how often?

It sounds like you want a DnD clone with a different and more robust combat system.  you might just want to make a character build modification and use 95% of whatever DnD system you like.

Do it first, do it better, or don't do it at all.  So really I guess after all of this I would ask "Why, how does creating this system better gaming?"


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: stefoid on March 15, 2010, 12:48:24 AM
When others speak of realism I have an implicit understanding of what it is they are generally referring to, and I'm sure others here do too although they may not readily admit it.  I think your question would be better if it were rephrased as, "What parts of your designs do you want to be realistic, and how do you intend to model that realism?"

I'm not trying to speak for the OP, but rather reinforce what I believe is his intent.  I think realism, from this implicit understanding, is a good design goal because it is aesthetically pleasing; it gets you excited about the game world and its internal logic independently of the GM's storytelling abilities.  A good violinist is a good violinist, but even better with a Stradivarius.

No, my questions stand as is.


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Falc on March 15, 2010, 02:32:50 AM
I've always felt that the 'Articles' link at the top of the page could use a bit more attention-drawing.

http://www.indie-rpgs.com/articles/9/ (http://www.indie-rpgs.com/articles/9/) seems nicely appropriate.


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Excalibur on March 15, 2010, 04:28:09 AM
Another option would be Palladium Books' Armor Rating system.

First off, roll a d20. If you roll 4 or higher, you hit. No ifs, ands, or buts.

You damage an opponent by having that roll higher than the opponent's armor rating (if I remember correctly).

It's close to Armor Class, yes, but you can add other stuff onto it such as damage reduction or armor points that reduce when the character is hit.

All-in-all, it was ThAC0 that I really hated.

In the case of realism vs abstractionism...Realism is nice to have if and only if it can be handled efficiently and not bog things down. Unfortunately, the more realistic you want the game the more bogged down the game gets. This is why abstracting the system to an easy and fast system is a desired goal. To up the realism factor, results can be narrated.

Personally, I do not like stat bonuses. I prefer straight stats and therefore enjoy what True20 has done. They've abstracted out the attribute scores (the 3d6) and use just the bonuses. Since, afterall, aside from a few mechanics in the d20 system, the character is almost always defined by his bonuses.

Now, I also dislike using strength to determine melee to hit bonuses. Have you ever seen a ridiculously strong person try to move or swing a baseball bat (just think back to the Conan movies with Arnold Schwarzenegger) they are neither fast nor more accurate than someone who is weaker in terms of strength. Actually, if you see many baseball players, they're more wiry and dexterous and far more accurate with throwing and swinging bats.

If you want realism, relegate "strength" to damage and "dexterity" to accuracy and precision.

Personally, I really like the idea of separating to hit for melee and ranged weapons out to skills which force a player to pick which one gets skill points at each level. I'm not a big fan of classes and their rigidity towards combat modifiers, that's why I like this system.

If I recall correctly, the old Runequest RPG had a d% mechanic for everything. When advancing in level, the player rolled d% for his skills. If the roll was higher than the skill's score, it went up. If it was lower or equal, nothing happened.

Just ideas that floated into my head...and I am no officially to sleepy to write much more coherent stuff.


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Locke on March 15, 2010, 08:18:13 AM
Another option would be Palladium Books' Armor Rating system.

First off, roll a d20. If you roll 4 or higher, you hit. No ifs, ands, or buts.

You damage an opponent by having that roll higher than the opponent's armor rating (if I remember correctly).

It's close to Armor Class, yes, but you can add other stuff onto it such as damage reduction or armor points that reduce when the character is hit.

All-in-all, it was ThAC0 that I really hated.

In the case of realism vs abstractionism...Realism is nice to have if and only if it can be handled efficiently and not bog things down. Unfortunately, the more realistic you want the game the more bogged down the game gets. This is why abstracting the system to an easy and fast system is a desired goal. To up the realism factor, results can be narrated.

Personally, I do not like stat bonuses. I prefer straight stats and therefore enjoy what True20 has done. They've abstracted out the attribute scores (the 3d6) and use just the bonuses. Since, afterall, aside from a few mechanics in the d20 system, the character is almost always defined by his bonuses.

Now, I also dislike using strength to determine melee to hit bonuses. Have you ever seen a ridiculously strong person try to move or swing a baseball bat (just think back to the Conan movies with Arnold Schwarzenegger) they are neither fast nor more accurate than someone who is weaker in terms of strength. Actually, if you see many baseball players, they're more wiry and dexterous and far more accurate with throwing and swinging bats.

If you want realism, relegate "strength" to damage and "dexterity" to accuracy and precision.

Personally, I really like the idea of separating to hit for melee and ranged weapons out to skills which force a player to pick which one gets skill points at each level. I'm not a big fan of classes and their rigidity towards combat modifiers, that's why I like this system.

If I recall correctly, the old Runequest RPG had a d% mechanic for everything. When advancing in level, the player rolled d% for his skills. If the roll was higher than the skill's score, it went up. If it was lower or equal, nothing happened.

Just ideas that floated into my head...and I am no officially to sleepy to write much more coherent stuff.

I have to agree a lot with what excaliber said, and I have employed a lot of this in my own fantasy game (in sig).  Step back from what you know.  Think about how things work.  DnD 2nd edition was pretty broken as far as things to do.  No real crafting rules or skills, non-weap profs were as close as it came to non-thief skills.  That's why 3rd implemented its skill system and using the d20 was just an evolution as the white wolf and shadowrun systems had mad skillz!

As we evolve as players we see that some things that were implemented were done so without much thought or reason.  Reduce reduce reduce!  Occum's razor! 

For example in my game (Age Past) I wanted to make a system where you could build any type of fantasy character that could do anything.  So I focused on a rolling mechanic that could be used across the entire system.  Leveling controls how fast characters build so a level system for monsters can be used and points are used to buy stuff to control balance.  I hated the fact that warrior types in most games generally can't do anything as far as skill so i implemented a system where a fighter can actually be a good sailor as well.  The dice and skill pool system allows for characters to get better at something quick then slow down forming an S-curve on a chart so it smart to invest to a point but only those dedicated invest to a greater value for a smaller return.

Now these don't make the game perfect, but make it good in some ways that other games lack.  I would suggest trying to find a way to do this as well.  Find a way to make this your own and design it from a holistic approach.  You've already gotten some good feedback... (more than I got, but I'm not bitter or anything...)


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Necromantis on March 15, 2010, 09:10:43 AM
Wow lot of responses.

Let me start by stating my appreciation. Thanks for all the help.

I am, in general a picky guy. I like what I like and can't help but be that way.

I have played (or any least read carefully the rules of) many of the games listed below (with the exception of white wolf - a big one i know but Seeing as Anne Rice and the frenzy she created ruin vampires and the like forever for me I have had no interest in trying them... though maybe I should look at the system)
Warhammer frpg I tried (Parts I like)
3rd edition (no love on the the system as a whole but parts were ok)
4th is horrid. impossible to kill characters - way overpowered and all characters are the same.
as I said I have tried and really like the song of ice and fire game (green ronin not the d20 system)

I should state that in general I don't like the d20 system.
I don't care for Feats. I feel like Character builds are a form of min-maxing and I hate min-maxing. Its a role-playing game not a video game.

To answer some of the questions (before my lunch period ends)

Realism.
As I stated in my original post I'd like a balance in speed of battle and realism.
I know its really easy to muck up a battle with too much realism. I have tried on the fly and it never goes well.
But if i can build it into the rules of the game I feel I can at least achieve something that you can use common sense rather that some chart that explains why something happens
Its a difficult line to walk and I don't have high expectations for gaining a lot of ground here.

one example of realism that I WILL be installing in the rules for my game is weapon types.
Through history weapons where designed to fight different armor types. and vice versa.
chain mail doesn't hold back the destructive force of a bludgeoning weapon well but against a slashing weapon it does.

OUT OF TIME HERE.
I'LL FINISH ANSWERING THE REST OF THE ?'S WHEN I GET HOME
thanks again guys for the help


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Locke on March 15, 2010, 09:19:54 AM
- 3rd edition to pathfinder have been seen as decent systems.  what about them do you not like?
- I, as well, don't like d20 rolling but why don't you?
- The way you describe feats they CAN be min/maxing or not depending on how you design the feats.  Image eating really bad ice cream.  Now image someone saying, "wow this ice cream stuff sucks, they should make some ice cream that tastes good!"  its the same for feats.  They don't HAVE to be anything and in DnD really just add flavor.  But remember there are two types of feats: class feats and general feats and you can't min/max class feats as they are assigned by class and designed.


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Callan S. on March 15, 2010, 01:29:22 PM
Guys, your at the forge - this is a place where instead of battling the terrible min maxing, it's recognised as gamist play (though it can actually be part of nar and sim, when dedicated to those purposes).

You don't battle min maxing - someone who wants gamism, at least at that moment, doesn't want what you want. You don't fight min maxing - you play with people who want the same game as you.

Rules that are min maxable don't exactly force players to min max them...they want to do it. It's what they find fun. They don't, currently, match what you want to do.


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Necromantis on March 15, 2010, 03:33:33 PM
alright... where was I.

I recall someone (Locke) asking the question "whats the difference between Prowess and Precision?
Thats a bit harder to answer than I expected. Prowess is almost a combination of other things. But I worked that around in my head a bit today at work and couldn't talk myself into getting rid of it or having it be the average of other abilities. (wisdom and strength and ??instincts??) So I guess its sort of an innate ability to attack... its not defensive. If anything I think Might and Precision are more interchangeable. Think Bruce Lee.. Not a ton of might but so precise he could knock the heck out of you. Precision of course meaning (in my mind) the ability to tell you body to do something and being able to do it as commanded. a perfect score in Precision would be that a Monk (with his hands or staff) or a fighter (with his sword/bow) could place his shot how he wants it.
I thought about dropping Might because of this but I realized that its just as necessary but in a different way.

But Locke I do agree with your Idea. Start elsewhere and deductively find what works. I might try that.
Also Excalibur might have given a better Idea than he (possibly she) thinks.
Or at least I have never thought about Piety in this way.
Maybe there is a way to make it some sort of minor ability.
If I use the 3d6 method (I am fond of it) but them have minor stats that apply only to certain classes..
anyone have anything like that?

Having played D&D and some of the other games I mentioned earlier I believe that there are empty stats
Stats that really don't do much as far as gaming goes but they are needed anyway. My thought is (great another goal)
To minimize that also. I'll give an example
Now let not get crazy I hope anyone whose played a game of D&D will understand what I mean here.
Charisma - I mean as far as the standard 6 of D&D go .. its the one that if it didn't exsist It would make the least impact.
8 out of 10 times  - girls that play consider this how hot they are.  In my different groups at least.
Rarely does it come into play.. did you convince the Alchemist to show you his poisons? Did you seduce the guard?
So its necessary but I mean really ... its a empty stat.. there is room for improvement. I think anyway.
I wonder if Piety can avoid this? I know comeliness cannot (I play with a pretty good amount of females - its over half the table most nights - not all but most of them are pretty cute.. now you can thank Harry potter. Thats about all hes worth to me - bringing hotties to the dark side :)

Not sure where to throw this in. So I'll do that here.
I have played some games that only use 1 type of die  - over and over ..
I understand the point in it. Simplicity for intuitions sake.
I don't dislike it but I don't want to use it either.
I think that if you limit yourself to 1 die (d6 or d% for example)
then you have to find cute little ways around using only those dice.
youre locked in. Plus Its fun to have different dice (and all my groups agree)
Who here doesn't have a favorite d20? - mine is yellow and black and name school bus
he will destroy you and people gasp when I bring him out. **insert evil laugh**


Now about my gaming group(s)
I have mentioned (during gaming sessions) "you guys .. does this seem broken to you? Couldnt this be better?"
and we kick it around a little. it will end with "hows your game coming along?"
To which I reply "slowly.. now lets get back to the game - Odonya! you were shouting Odins name to the heavens and calling a bolt of lightning to charge your sword, what is your attack plan?
(This is always my response haha .. shes if forever doing that... )
Basically what I have told them about my ideas they are all behind me .
Well my Min-maxing brother doesnt like anything that makes him less powerful or could get him killed easier.
I want a deadly game when I am done and he and a few others are worried about that.
I asked if anyone was interested in dropping the "knocked out at 0hp - dead at -10 rule"
and nearly all freaked. :) They freak out when I have them bleed out round to round and when they live they rejoice
without that drama is like a video game. You Have to fear death in my games. "if you don't sweat at the sight of a dragon.
You are playing 3rd edition" (a saying my group has adopted) LOL

I gotta run to the Store..
Thanks
Look forward to the comments and suggestions.

Necro.


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: stefoid on March 15, 2010, 03:55:26 PM
Realism.
As I stated in my original post I'd like a balance in speed of battle and realism.
I know its really easy to muck up a battle with too much realism. I have tried on the fly and it never goes well.
But if i can build it into the rules of the game I feel I can at least achieve something that you can use common sense rather that some chart that explains why something happens
Its a difficult line to walk and I don't have high expectations for gaining a lot of ground here.

one example of realism that I WILL be installing in the rules for my game is weapon types.
Through history weapons where designed to fight different armor types. and vice versa.
chain mail doesn't hold back the destructive force of a bludgeoning weapon well but against a slashing weapon it does.

Can you specifically answer what realism is to you, and why you feel it is an important aspect of your game design? 



Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Excalibur on March 15, 2010, 05:16:29 PM
OK, well, I should have asked this before and I try to ask it every time. So, here it goes...

What is your game about?

It isn't about medieval warriors in a fantasy realm with dragons and troll wenches. That's the setting.

Off the top of your head, without pondering the mechanics or the setting, what one or two words makes you think of your game?

Start with that question and then think about what attributes best exemplify that.

**************************************************
Now, on to more suggestions.

Personally, the more stats there are, the less interested I become in a game. There are a lot of attributes that can become skills or abilities (such as Physical Beauty, Charisma) and can be removed from the attributes list.

Actually, have you thought about removing attributes entirely and making everything skills? There is no Strength or Fortitude attribute that has a static or slowly changing score, but a skill that a player can increase, have decreased, and advance like anything else. Why shouldn't you be able to increase your Strength through practice? If that's all you concentrate on, you'll end up like your stereotypical body builder. If you concentrate on speed and precision then you might have a Bruce Lee character. Invest your points in Wit, Charm, and firearms and you have the indomitable Captain Malcolm Reynolds.

Sure, you could do that with Attributes, but just think of the wonders of a unified mechanic!

Better than skills, why not have everything be an aspect of the character. Give a list of "skills," "attributes," or "abilities" and have the character choose 5 of them. They then rank those 5 from 1 to 5 in order of most important to least important. Each aspect is then assigned a polyhedral die. If you want hard challenges to be high numbers, assign the most important aspect a d20, then a d12, d10, d8, d6, and finally d4. To succeed at a challenge, they roll the die associated with their stat to equal or beat the target number.

If you want more difficult things to be smaller numbers, reverse the order of the dice and roll under the target number.

I think that would be fast and you could narrate the realism as you saw fit.

Another option (a personal favorite) is each player rolls a number of d6s (or d10s, d12s, your choice). For every 6, they get 2 successes. For every 4 and 5, 1 success. 2 and 3 mean nothing. And 1 represents 2 failures. After the dice are rolled, remove any matching 1s and 6s or 1s and a combination of 2 4s, 2 5s, or 1 4 and 1 5. If there are any successes left, the player succeeds. If there are any failures, the player borks the challenge. Otherwise it's a failure (but not catastrophic).

In my current game, it's a combination of dice and cards and turned out to be pretty fun.


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Necromantis on March 15, 2010, 05:48:34 PM
Quote
Can you specifically answer what realism is to you, and why you feel it is an important aspect of your game design? 

I can try.


Realism: meaning imitating real life outcomes.

For example  - Initiative
Determining who goes when by rolling dice and adding modifiers (for speed and such)
The modifiers add an element of realism.

Messing with realism can however slow combat down (and its long enough most of the time)
for example - keeping initiative
everyone keeping the 1st initiative rolls and going in that order for the entire battle
Effect - saves time --- but is even less realistic. ( too consistent)

I would like to add as much realism as I can without destroying the pace of the game or being tedious
 
Example:

GM - Kaileg your initiative roll is a 6 but you have a bonus of +2 for your dexterity So you can go before The Duergar makes his attack.
GM - (switching roles) - You see a flash of light as the torch your holding glints off the drawn steel in the Grey dwarfs grimy hand. He smiles and begins to Fade before you very eyes. With your extreme Agility you are able to yank free your weapon and charge if you so choose.
Kaileg - I use my bastard sword as I already have it in hand. I drop the torch freeing my left hand for a two handed strike.   
Jeff (player) - does the fire go out?
GM - - Dice - No - Kaileg you need a 16 to hit
Jeff (player) - Shouldn't he take a penalty for charging and losing some precision? I mean I know it would add damage to the attack because of the charge but Seems like it would be harder to hit if hes charging.
DM: Jesus christ! - Kaileg  - 16 to hit. - Jeff Leave the DMing to me and stay in character or its xp docked.


I dont know if I can Make it more Clear than that.
I am not saying thats its clear
But I can do no better. :)

anyone pick up that I use to game with an annoying rules lawyer named Jeff - Aka Crunk the half orc barbarian? .. ugh... that guy.


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Aelwyn on March 15, 2010, 07:16:42 PM
Excalibur mentioned Runequest! Ah... you always remember your first love.

If you want a more realistic feel for armor, you might want to check out that system. It's evolved into Basic Roleplaying, sold by Chaosium, still available and being used with Call of Cthulhu. Runequest is also still being sold by Mongoose Publishing, but I don't know how faithful it is to the original. In BRP, skills are percent chances. Roll under your percent to hit, give the other person a chance to parry or dodge (also a percentage). Armor subtracts from damage instead of making it harder to hit. If you want to get really detailed, you can use hit locations tables, but that tends to bog down combat a lot. BRP has Special hits, Critical hits, and Fumbles that you might like. These depend on the type of damage--impaling, slashing, crushing. They also tend to slow down combat, but it sounds like you want detail and realism rather than speed. I think it's a nice combination of detail and ease-of-play, and you can start chucking rules if it bogs down or if you prefer use every crazy alternate rule in the book, including fatigue and sanity.

Then there are the many indie systems that don't try to simulate every single action in combat. You just have one roll (or whatever mechanic is used) to determine who wins, and maybe to what extent they win. Then the GM or the player narrates the whole combat based on that one die roll. Play tends to be fast, wild, and creative. You should try it. You'll either go, I don't get it, how do I know what happened? Or you'll say, damn, this is fun! Spirit of the Century and Mortal Coil are the ones I'm most familiar with, but there are many others. Most of the systems are designed for specific worlds but are so free-form that it would be easy to port them to anything you want to do. (Mortal Coil is a horror game, but I've used it for fantasy; SOTC is pulp, but I've seen it used for space opera; by adding or subtracting skills but not changing the system, you could use SOTC for anything you want.)

And for a completely granular, realistic system, check out The Morrow Project. If I recall correctly, hit locations included "toes of left foot" and "upper chest, right side." It is also still being sold, but I don't know if the 4th edition preserves the insane granularity of the original. I kind of hope it does. I found it completely unplayable, but you might eat it up. And if I've got The Morrow Project confused with some other game, please don't flame me--it's been 25 years since I played it. Although looking at their website, I'm getting a funny itch to climb into my Commando Scout and start looking for Snakeeaters.


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Ar Kayon on March 15, 2010, 07:48:01 PM
Quote
For example  - Initiative
Determining who goes when by rolling dice and adding modifiers (for speed and such)
The modifiers add an element of realism.

Messing with realism can however slow combat down (and its long enough most of the time)
for example - keeping initiative
everyone keeping the 1st initiative rolls and going in that order for the entire battle
Effect - saves time --- but is even less realistic. ( too consistent)

I would like to add as much realism as I can without destroying the pace of the game or being tedious

For comparison, here’s how I handled initiative:

Your reflex attribute determines turn order.  Combatants in the same turn order go by their speed attribute and alternate combat actions.  If your reflex is below 6 and you didn’t initiate combat, you may only use response actions in the first round and cannot make active turn actions (these action types both use combat actions, in which you get 3 total every round).  If you have remaining actions when the round is over, that improves your turn order for the next round.


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Excalibur on March 15, 2010, 08:50:34 PM
For comparison, here’s how I handled initiative:

Your reflex attribute determines turn order.  Combatants in the same turn order go by their speed attribute and alternate combat actions.  If your reflex is below 6 and you didn’t initiate combat, you may only use response actions in the first round and cannot make active turn actions (these action types both use combat actions, in which you get 3 total every round).  If you have remaining actions when the round is over, that improves your turn order for the next round.

Nice one. Fast and realistic I'd say. The more I think about it the more I like it.

Excalibur mentioned Runequest! Ah... you always remember your first love.

If you want a more realistic feel for armor, you might want to check out that system. It's evolved into Basic Roleplaying, sold by Chaosium, still available and being used with Call of Cthulhu. Runequest is also still being sold by Mongoose Publishing, but I don't know how faithful it is to the original. In BRP, skills are percent chances. Roll under your percent to hit, give the other person a chance to parry or dodge (also a percentage). Armor subtracts from damage instead of making it harder to hit. If you want to get really detailed, you can use hit locations tables, but that tends to bog down combat a lot. BRP has Special hits, Critical hits, and Fumbles that you might like. These depend on the type of damage--impaling, slashing, crushing. They also tend to slow down combat, but it sounds like you want detail and realism rather than speed. I think it's a nice combination of detail and ease-of-play, and you can start chucking rules if it bogs down or if you prefer use every crazy alternate rule in the book, including fatigue and sanity.

Then there are the many indie systems that don't try to simulate every single action in combat. You just have one roll (or whatever mechanic is used) to determine who wins, and maybe to what extent they win. Then the GM or the player narrates the whole combat based on that one die roll. Play tends to be fast, wild, and creative. You should try it. You'll either go, I don't get it, how do I know what happened? Or you'll say, damn, this is fun! Spirit of the Century and Mortal Coil are the ones I'm most familiar with, but there are many others. Most of the systems are designed for specific worlds but are so free-form that it would be easy to port them to anything you want to do. (Mortal Coil is a horror game, but I've used it for fantasy; SOTC is pulp, but I've seen it used for space opera; by adding or subtracting skills but not changing the system, you could use SOTC for anything you want.)

And for a completely granular, realistic system, check out The Morrow Project. If I recall correctly, hit locations included "toes of left foot" and "upper chest, right side." It is also still being sold, but I don't know if the 4th edition preserves the insane granularity of the original. I kind of hope it does. I found it completely unplayable, but you might eat it up. And if I've got The Morrow Project confused with some other game, please don't flame me--it's been 25 years since I played it. Although looking at their website, I'm getting a funny itch to climb into my Commando Scout and start looking for Snakeeaters.

You may call me Curt since people don't seem to like handles much here.

Anyway, there's an even more detailed system called Rolemaster. If you wanted to find out what kind of critical you would get if you hit the left foot ring toe with a toothpick, they had a chart for that. As a matter of fact, I think that's where iPod and Verizon got the idea for "There's an App for that" or "There's a Map for that." (though we know that Verizon is stealing Apple's thunder). Anyway, there was a chart for every single thing you could do in combat. Had a hafted, blunt weapon and needed to find out what kind of critical you did, look in Arms Law. Wondering what kind of damage you did with that vorpal blade? Look in Arms Law. You get the picture.

Needless to say, while the charts were cool and all, it bogged down play quite a bit.

Another good initiative/turn order system comes from Hero System, particularly Champions, the superhero version of the game. Everyone has a speed attribute and based in it and combat phases, characters were able to act at certain phases. I think the phases ran from 1-30. There were powers that could help you attack faster, there were circumstances that caused you to act in a later phase. It really makes things easy (though there were a TON of d6s thrown around the table).

Personally, I like Ar Kayon's reflex order best. Though, if you must have randomness, there is a pretty good alternative in the 3.5 edition of Unearthed Arcana. Basically, everyone draws a card from a deck and that's their turn in the game. I can't remember the full details, but it looked like an interesting system if you were tired of dice.

In my game, I use a combination of 2d10 and a card with a score on it. Each player has 3 cards in hand and when they roll, they can choose to modify their initiative or their maneuver with a card from their hand. Though they may choose to not use a card at all. If you win initiative, you get to go first in the combat. If you win maneuver (but lose initiative) you can choose your defense after seeing your opponent's attack or you may choose to attack after seeing your opponent's defense. If you win BOTH initiative and maneuver, your opponent does not receive a counter attack (IE they lose their next attack) because you completely outmaneuvered them and they are only able to defend against your superior attack. The card you play can help to improve your initiative, improve your maneuver, or swap the dice. I was able to playtest the majority of this initiative system in addition to cards only and dice only. Everyone who tried them or saw them liked the sacrificial I&M best of all the variants.


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: stefoid on March 15, 2010, 09:34:29 PM
Quote
Can you specifically answer what realism is to you, and why you feel it is an important aspect of your game design? 

I can try.

Realism: meaning imitating real life outcomes.

For example  - Initiative
Determining who goes when by rolling dice and adding modifiers (for speed and such)
The modifiers add an element of realism.


Hi.  OK so the other question is WHY do you want to imitate real life outcomes in your game?   


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Necromantis on March 16, 2010, 05:32:10 AM
Quote
Hi.  OK so the other question is WHY do you want to imitate real life outcomes in your game?

It just seems more intuitive.
Easier to suspend disbelief.
Easier for me to GM. Just ask myself what would happen in real life  - theres your answer Rather than looking it up in a book or chart.

I could be way off base when I say this. But does this line of questioning lead you a prepared speech about realism in rpgs?
I just get that feeling.
If so, lets hear it. I'm openminded. There is plenty of information on this website that I have yet to tap into yet. Plenty of folks with more experience than me offering their ideas. I am all for it.


On a different note. I have wanted to check out basic roleplaying. I saw a review and considered getting it.
Also call of Cthulhu is on my "to do" list. I just got excited about a game tailored exactly to me gaming style. Thats all.
Still lots to learn.


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Necromantis on March 16, 2010, 08:50:32 AM
I just went online an downloaded an illegal copy of basic roleplaying chaosism 4th edition. WOW. Looks great for the most part.
As I don't like PDF's and only use them to determine whether or not to purchase a book
(good example - looking at the 2nd edition D&D players options books. That was a "dont buy" senario :)

I will be buying this book. (EDIT: done - thanks amazon) Maybe I can get my group to try it out. (middle of a major plot twist unveiling in my regular campaign and they are reluctant to play anything else until that gets settled - (another 3-4 sessions is my guess)
But I think I will put my own system on hold until I can study my hard copy of BRP when it arrives later this week (i hope) or next week.

I will still be checking in here for your input however, sometimes Ideas hit me  --- sometimes those ideas are other people's ideas -- but they hit me all the same.

thanks guys (and girls)

Necromantis


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Falc on March 16, 2010, 10:23:05 AM
Quote
Hi.  OK so the other question is WHY do you want to imitate real life outcomes in your game?

It just seems more intuitive.
Easier to suspend disbelief.
Easier for me to GM. Just ask myself what would happen in real life  - theres your answer Rather than looking it up in a book or chart.

I could be way off base when I say this. But does this line of questioning lead you a prepared speech about realism in rpgs?
I just get that feeling.
If so, lets hear it. I'm openminded. There is plenty of information on this website that I have yet to tap into yet. Plenty of folks with more experience than me offering their ideas. I am all for it.

I sort of doubt stefoid was heading for a speech. To really, properly help you make the game you want, we need to know in exact detail what you want. It's very very easy, especially when having a discussion with nothing but written text, to get your wires crossed, to assume things about the people you're discussing with that just aren't correct.

Which makes it nicely ironic that I started that paragraph off making assumptions about stefoid :-)

To dig a bit further, you answered the first question by saying "Realism: meaning imitating real life outcomes". Already, it's interesting to note that you speak of 'outcomes' but not of 'situations' nor 'characters'. Was this a deliberate choice of words on your part, or not? If it was, why? If it wasn't, which of those 3 would you prioritize?


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: stefoid on March 16, 2010, 12:35:53 PM
Quote
Hi.  OK so the other question is WHY do you want to imitate real life outcomes in your game?

It just seems more intuitive.
Easier to suspend disbelief.
Easier for me to GM. Just ask myself what would happen in real life  - theres your answer Rather than looking it up in a book or chart.

I could be way off base when I say this. But does this line of questioning lead you a prepared speech about realism in rpgs?
I just get that feeling.
If so, lets hear it. I'm openminded. There is plenty of information on this website that I have yet to tap into yet. Plenty of folks with more experience than me offering their ideas. I am all for it.

kind of.  more a rant on game design with realism as the straw man.

in none of your answers did it mention "because its more fun", or "the players really dig realism!" etc...   ask yourself if 'more realism" was something that you really enjoy about any of the games you played?   I doubt it.

your answers themselves seem dubious - more like searching to justify a decision that you made without knowing why?  As an example , not to get hung up on and railroad the entire discussion, no two people would agree on what constitutes a "real life outcome", mostly because you, me and the average joe woulnt have a clue.  Our version of realism comes from 'cinematic realism" from movies and such, which has more to do with drama and excitement than anything else.    In short, your answers dont hold water.

Im not trying to pour crap on you.  The point is that you need to work out what are the bits you really want to see in a game, and WHY you enjoy those bits, and what are the bits that you dont like in a game, and WHY you dont like them, and then free yourself of any preconceived mechanics that you have already used, and try to model YOUR game on your own terms. 

Realism is a good start because I can see someone pouring a whole heap of mechanics into a game pursuing it, with misguided, unquestioned assumption that more realism is better, and accomplishing the opposite of what they really want , which is a fun game, by simply drowning their players in pointless crunch, and we all know that _pointless_ crunch is a really great way to bore players to tears.

rant over. 


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Necromantis on March 16, 2010, 03:32:30 PM
Realism to me.

Realism to me I think mostly happens in roleplaying and narration.
Some of the rules I have played with are at times  - to my mind and my group - seem ... hard to swallow?
I can't think of an example right now so I will say. I get the sense that among the forums here at the forge
Realism is a really hotly debated subject.
I think that perhaps My offhand mentioning of it maybe have been misinterpreted.
I think that the game that I play most (3 or more times a month) 2nd Edition D&D, Is pretty unrealistic a lot of the time.
That is probably due to the fact that it is so loose in terms of rules.
I think that with realism (could be wrong) you are hemmed in. Rigid. Lots of rules.
That is something that I am not fond of.
When I said (originally) that " balance speed of combat with realism as much as possible."
I meant it different than it sounds. You gotta think That I'm talking about fixing D&D

Take ar kayon's system.
That is a precise combat system that seems (to me at least) to be fairly accurate realistic system. It seems fairly complicated though.
Well more -- technical..is maybe the word. Like if a group of black belts played a RPG together. Theyd want the precision that his/her system provides.

I just want what weapon you fight with to matter.
People just use whatever weapon does the most damage in D&D
or they use something else based on their character design or for roleplaying purposes. (jack sparrows pistol in pirate of the caribbean 1)
and thats fine. but I think that it should make a difference when you hit certain armor types.
Based on history (that sort of realism)
whether your average joe knows it or not.
as armor evolved so did the weapons.
as weapons evolved so did the armor.
Still to this day (and if you can imagine it - in a cyberpunk world as well)
armor is used. Bullet proof vest protect against bullets. Right?
Do you think that armor piercing rounds would exist if vests weren't invented?
The entire time. This was mostly what I was referring to with realism.
That and some other things. my "forbearance" stat - making it harder to fight injured depending on your ability to Bear injury.
that kind of stuff.
 I don't think they are as major I get the sense that some of the guys here
who are perhaps going for ground breaking systems are.
Thats a good way to put it too. Ground Breaking. Cause Ive read some things here that seem to my low level of experience as ground breaking.
I hope that clears up what I truely meant by realism.

a quick word on min-maxing.

Someone said something along the lines of - play with people who play the way you want them too.
every min-maxer I have every played D&D with has come from a 3rd edition table. I think that system breeds min-maxing
but what i meant was I'd like to ensure (as much as possible) that my system does not do that. does not breed/support min-maxing
So what my brainstorming hs come up with is --- the seedling of an idea - but here it is. as close to all Abilities need to give some advantage
to a character no matter the class/role
ex - why shouldn't (in 2E AD&D terms) Intelligence and dexterity or even wisdom etc give a bonus to a "to hit" number or the "to damage" number
what if
intelligence gave a damage bonus
Wisdom gave a to hit bonus
and dexterity giave a to hit bonus
Maybe fighters wouldnt have stats that end up like this so often

STR - 17
DEX - 14
CON - 16
INT -  5
WIS -  8
CHA -  4


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Excalibur on March 16, 2010, 03:41:14 PM
Well, how about this idea: Your stats are your hitpoints. As you take damage, the stat associated with the damage is decreased. The more damage you take over time, the less effective you'll be in combat. Additionally, if the damage to a stat reduces it to less than 1/4 of the starting score, it is permanently reduced by one.

So, using D&D as an example, most physical combat is going to do Str, Dex, or Con damage. Magic could do damage to any stat.

What would this mean? Well, if your physical stats are reduced to 0 (or below) then you die. If your mental stats (conceptually Int, Wis, and Cha) are reduced to 0 you can go insane, become a vegetable, or be scarred badly (or all 3).

The problem with D&D is that darned Charisma stat. They slapped it onto paladins, bards, etc. just to give it a use. It makes sense to a point, but I take issue with it.

So, back to your re-imagining. Why don't you think about the kinds of damage someone will see during combat, through poison, etc. What would that damage affect? Is there any damage that would make someone less wise? Less strong? less intelligent? less charismatic? Then build your stats off of that. Everything else can be "feats" for lack of a better term at the moment.


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Ar Kayon on March 16, 2010, 07:42:34 PM
Fallout's SPECIAL system does a good job of balancing out stats.  I always blasted up my intelligence because it determines how many skill points per level you get (In F2, if any stat goes below average, you pay for it).  In D&D, intelligence only affects non-combat related skills, which is inconsistent and retarded if you think about it.


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Excalibur on March 16, 2010, 07:54:47 PM
Fallout's SPECIAL system does a good job of balancing out stats.  I always blasted up my intelligence because it determines how many skill points per level you get (In F2, if any stat goes below average, you pay for it).  In D&D, intelligence only affects non-combat related skills, which is inconsistent and retarded if you think about it.

Quite so. This is why I like to create skills for to hit: melee and to hit: ranged. Makes it more realistic, for the most part.


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: stefoid on March 17, 2010, 12:16:41 PM
I just want what weapon you fight with to matter.

absolutely!    that is the heart of it.  But to do that doesnt necessarily mean adding adding layers or 'realism' to a system.  You could accomplish that aim in many ways that involve adding layers of crunch or go the other way with a deceivingly simple abstraction. 


Quote
a quick word on min-maxing.

Someone said something along the lines of - play with people who play the way you want them too.
every min-maxer I have every played D&D with has come from a 3rd edition table. I think that system breeds min-maxing
but what i meant was I'd like to ensure (as much as possible) that my system does not do that. does not breed/support min-maxing

Again, I ask WHY?  Why dont you like min-maxing?  Isnt it just a case of players seeking characters design decisions that matter?


Quote
So what my brainstorming hs come up with is --- the seedling of an idea - but here it is. as close to all Abilities need to give some advantage
to a character no matter the class/role
ex - why shouldn't (in 2E AD&D terms) Intelligence and dexterity or even wisdom etc give a bonus to a "to hit" number or the "to damage" number
what if
intelligence gave a damage bonus
Wisdom gave a to hit bonus
and dexterity giave a to hit bonus
Maybe fighters wouldnt have stats that end up like this so often

STR - 17
DEX - 14
CON - 16
INT -  5
WIS -  8
CHA -  4


I understand what you want, but I dont think thats a good solution - danger is it could take design decisions away form the player  - what it dosnt matter if I am super tough or super smart, it just ends up that I do extra damage either way?

My suggestion is to start with a blank slate, and write down in priority order, what you are trying to achieve and most importantly why, why, why.   I think the reason you are stuck is that you intuitively want certain design goals, but you arent actively aware of what they are.  Once you have explicit design goals at all stages of the process, you can easily eliminate any idea that doesnt work towards them, or does but is unnecessarily complex.


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: greyorm on March 17, 2010, 02:55:05 PM
My suggestion is to start with a blank slate, and write down in priority order, what you are trying to achieve and most importantly why, why, why.   I think the reason you are stuck is that you intuitively want certain design goals, but you arent actively aware of what they are.  Once you have explicit design goals at all stages of the process, you can easily eliminate any idea that doesnt work towards them, or does but is unnecessarily complex.

Not that this isn't an excellent suggestion, Stef, (IT IS!) but given Nec's admitted unfamiliarity with game systems beyond a narrow range of D&D(ish) material, and hence familiarity with solutions outside those presented in that range, it may also be helpful for him to read and maybe test out a wider range of systems to see how non-D&D(ish) systems have approached and solved the same design issues he comes up with. (Since even if you can identify what/why your design goals are, if you have only ever seen one type of solution, not solving your problem in a similar manner is going to be difficult.)


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: stefoid on March 17, 2010, 03:11:22 PM
My suggestion is to start with a blank slate, and write down in priority order, what you are trying to achieve and most importantly why, why, why.   I think the reason you are stuck is that you intuitively want certain design goals, but you arent actively aware of what they are.  Once you have explicit design goals at all stages of the process, you can easily eliminate any idea that doesnt work towards them, or does but is unnecessarily complex.

Not that this isn't an excellent suggestion, Stef, (IT IS!) but given Nec's admitted unfamiliarity with game systems beyond a narrow range of D&D(ish) material, and hence familiarity with solutions outside those presented in that range, it may also be helpful for him to read and maybe test out a wider range of systems to see how non-D&D(ish) systems have approached and solved the same design issues he comes up with. (Since even if you can identify what/why your design goals are, if you have only ever seen one type of solution, not solving your problem in a similar manner is going to be difficult.)

Well, at least until he works out explicitly what he wants out of his game, nobody can help him there.  Oh, you want to accomplish that?  have a look at this for ideas.


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Callan S. on March 17, 2010, 11:01:15 PM
Quote
Someone said something along the lines of - play with people who play the way you want them too.
every min-maxer I have every played D&D with has come from a 3rd edition table. I think that system breeds min-maxing
but what i meant was I'd like to ensure (as much as possible) that my system does not do that. does not breed/support min-maxing
One thing that can happen is that a game doesn't actually do anything. So people start min maxing with the numbers simply for anything to do at all.

So one way to avoid that min maxing is to make sure your game does something - it's not just a set of table top wargaming stats then all the stuff where people invent imaginative stuff that happens is just whatever happens at the table...cause 'whatever happens' easily slides into min maxing.



Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Ar Kayon on March 18, 2010, 01:51:25 AM
Necromantis,

When I design techniques, I strive to create a "zero-sum" or "zero-difference" effect, which means that numerically, no technique is superior to another.  They are only superior by virtue of circumstance; the right technique at the right time.  This design criterion for skills, abilities, and even attributes may help you to prevent munchkinism. 


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Necromantis on March 18, 2010, 08:14:10 AM
Ar Kayon
Is there a place on the net or in a store or here at the forge where I can get a copy of your game? (assuming its finished)
While I admit that I think my goals might differ from what you have come up with, I am very curious about the character building and ... well all the rest.
I am new to the forum and my general perusing has not yet yielded a section in the forums that has complete games for people to check out and perhaps playtest.
Though admittedly I have not put a lot of effort into finding one. 
maybe I can even add to the play-testing section.



Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Necromantis on March 18, 2010, 08:23:47 AM
Ar Kayon
Is there a place on the net or in a store or here at the forge where I can get a copy of your game? (assuming its finished)

Man .. had I just looked down a couple of posts. --- Ignore that last post

Wow. just wow.



Title: progress.
Post by: Necromantis on March 21, 2010, 01:34:02 AM
So I think I have solved my Priest issue (communication-- see below) and along the way have realized some other things (with the help of others here at the forge) some other things I don't like about any d&d ability score system. I am trying to incorporate those things as well. I will explain what I mean by that in a moment. First let me state my goals concerning the characterists/ability score/statistics/attributes section of my RPG construct.

Allow me to say that The goals I have thus far set  concerning my characteristics (as I will henceforth call them) are subject to change. They are also a a stand alone element of my overall plan (which is not complete as of yet) by this I mean that I haven't worked out the ins and outs of how these characteristics relate to skills, or combat, or anything else....at least not to the point of confidence yet.

Now. My goals concerning my characteristics.
  • I want to describe all the different aspects of what makes a person an individual as accurately as I can and still be able to differentiate between the different attributes.
  • I want the characteristic's uses to reflect their entire uses in real life. More accurately I don't want the each score to have one function (as i originally did in this post)   An example would be Knowledge. - This effects more than just a wizard's ability to learn spells. It would also make a difference (though maybe not as large) to a fighters technique or an archers practiced aim. I hope this is clear. Its hard to describe accurately. One of the reasons I like this is because I think it will allow min-maxers (or, as i have seen people try to disguise it: gamists) a more balanced, realistic character. 
  • I will be using a 3d6 system - such as in D&D - I like the odds for failing or succeeding - and critical success or failure have the same chance. 1 in 20.
  • I want all my characteristics to have importance. Maybe not equal importance but, some importance beyond the occasional skill check. i'd like to avoid empty stats (see earlier in this post for what I mean by empty stats)

I would also like to add that I do understand and/or have tried out several dive pool mechanics for attributes/traits/what have you, and its not that I don't like them. I just (at this point) Prefer the 3d6 method, please don't waste time in an attempt to dissuade me from this or convince me of the benefits of a dive pool or diceless type system. I don't say this to sound mean or harsh. I just don't want to waste time on it. I have considered it well, asked my players, and weighed my options taking into account what is most fun (to my group at least) and 3d6 is the winner.

Currently I have not enthused by a point-buy type system either. This seems to be where most of the games I see coming out are heading and while Do like the idea of it i am not convinced its the right system for me... at least not yet.
I don't know most of the terms used around the forge to describe certain mechanics - so if i describe something - but title it incorrectly - please forgive that. I would think that people how are smart enough to design whole or partial systems for roleplaying games wouldn't get hung up over my calling something by the wrong title even if i describe it accurately. Correcting my wrongness is fine - and expected. "thats called _____  not ______" is sufficient"

A BREAKDOWN OF MY RPG'S CHARACTERISTICS

Might – The Physical strength of a person.
This characteristic dictates the ease in which a person lifts, pushes, swings weapons, carrys, Etc.

Prowess – Basic animalistic aggressive instincts.
This characteristic dictates a person’s natural instinct to attack a foe when the opportunity strikes. Think of when a dog feels threatened it knows to bite regardless of age.

Precision – Control of a person’s body.
This characteristic dictates the accuracy and economy of a persons movements, whether to aim a fist, weapon, parry, or ranged weapon.

Agility – Litheness, How quick a person is, also balance.
This characteristic dictates a person’s control over their equilibrium, quickness and flexibility.

Forbearance – Pain recognition and Pain tolerance, also will power and stamina.
This characteristic dictates a person’s ability to bear physical and emotional pain or strife. It also dictates the level of intensity it takes for them to register it at all. Forbearance also dictates the length of time a person can push their bodies past exhaustion.

Heartiness – General health of a person, wellness of body, also natural healing.
This characteristic dictates how much damage the body can sustain and still hold on to life. How much shock a person’s body can withstand without damage/consequence and how quickly one heals.

Knowledge – The accumulation of things understood, also Memory.
This characteristic tells of a person’s capacity to retain things learned, understood or observed. It also dictates how easily things are remembered.

Reasoning – Problem solving, critical thinking, also creativity.
This characteristic dictates a person’s ability to think, deduce and use logic. It also determines a person’s ability to think outside the box.

Communication – The ability to express one’s self, manners, also empathy.
This characteristic dictates a person’s leadership skills. It also determines how congenial others find the person. Empathy is Key in communication, therefore the communication characteristic dictates how well a person can put themselves into other’s shoes.

Appeal – the comeliness of a person, also Cleanliness.
This characteristic dictates how others view a person based on physical appearance and demeanor. Grooming, style, physical features,cheer and confidence all play vital roles in how appealing a person is.



In terms of what they do within the system.
Here is a quick breakdown - just general ideas - nothing in concrete yet.


        Might – affects damage dealt, Lifting, encumbrance
                Bending bars, breaking down doors

      Prowess – affects “to hit” numbers, Defense rating, natural                 
                movement type checks (ex: rhythm)

    Precision – affects called shots, “to hit” for ranged attacks,
                Backstab multiplier caps (ex: no more than x3)

      Agility – rogue-type abilities, number of attacks per round
                Balance – certain saving throws, acrobatics

  Forbearance – affects ability to fight while injured – will power                       
                checks – improves certain saving throws – stamina –
                affects priests-type classes extra spells per day

   Heartiness – affects hit point bonuses, poison-type saves, immunity
                to disease, a wizards spells per day.

    Knowledge – affects arcane spell learning ability, affects “to                         
                hit” in combat, arcane magic spell level cap. memory

    Reasoning – affects the speed of casting spells, solving
                puzzles/riddles, creativity-type skill checks, mind-
                affecting saving throws

Communication – affects certain class abilities (ex – effectiveness of               
                a bard’s songs or a priests communion with their               
                diety) – deception/persuasion-type checks, etc

       Appeal – affects deception/persuasion-type checks, reaction
                Adjustments – seduction checks.


sooo..... thoughts?


Title: Re: progress.
Post by: Necromantis on March 21, 2010, 02:56:16 AM
I would also like to add that I do understand and/or have tried out several dive pool mechanics for attributes/traits/what have you, and its not that I don't like them. I just (at this point) Prefer the 3d6 method, please don't waste time in an attempt to dissuade me from this or convince me of the benefits of a dive pool or diceless type system. I don't say this to sound mean or harsh. I just don't want to waste time on it. I have considered it well, asked my players, and weighed my options taking into account what is most fun (to my group at least) and 3d6 is the winner.

I am not sure how I typed that wrong twice.. maybe microsoft word "fixed it for me" I seem to recall typing it out as dicepool.

Either way - DICE POOL not DIVE POOL. ;)


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Excalibur on March 21, 2010, 08:47:50 AM
Man, and here I was hoping to go swimming...

Anyway, those stats seem pretty decent. I think, overall, the best way to tie knowledge into your to-hit is to simply make to-hit a skill and use knowledge & prowess/precision as the stat bonus for it.

That being said, I think you should unify your resolution mechanic so that everything uses 3d6 + modifiers (if I'm not mistaken, you're using 3d6 instead of 1d20).

Your Melee Combat: Swords (say) skill would stat that the character gains +x to hit an opponent based on the rank of the skill, the knowledge modifier, and the prowess modifier. The Ranged Combat skill would be the same only it would use precision rather than prowess. HECK! If you've got a unified mechanic, you could even support a backstab to hit that uses knowledge, prowess, AND precision.

Though, you might want to have the bonus be an average of the stat modifiers rather than adding.

I see that you have a stat which governs arcane spell learning and spell level cap. Why not do the same for divine spellcasting? I like that you've got stats that govern spells per day for each...Again, I might make this a skill or two. Thaumaturgy for arcane spells, Prayer (or similar) for divine spells. Afterall, you have to be skilled enough to learn the more powerful spells and rites associated with these systems. This is usually done through character level (which I detest) but I really like the idea of forcing a player to decide which is more important, swinging that dagger around or improving their spellcasting.

A few real world-ish examples:
Stage magicians don't automatically know how to perform different kinds of tricks (Prestidigitation is very different from Thaumaturgy, but this will work as an example). They have to practice (put points in a skill) the trick in order to learn it properly. You have this covered with your stats which give limitations based on a character's ability to learn and retain knowledge.

Now, look at the clergy of any given religion. They don't simply pray to their respective gods and know how to do the religion's rites or even the proper prayers. Some people who go to seminary, for example, fail because they are unable to memorize or learn the psalms or scriptures. They aren't able to learn all the prayers or rites the church requires of a priest. If you're striving for "realism" why aren't you bringing this into the game system? Sure, in the game, the gods do exist and impart their divine favor upon their priests but even though that divine energy is there why should a priest be able to cast "Holy Word" if they've never learned it?

That is one of the major issues I have with D&D (all versions that have clerics & wizards). While the Wizard needs to work his butt off in order to learn spells (in AD&D, they had to roll d% in order to learn a spell) the cleric simply "divines" the rites and words associated with a given spell. This is one of the main reasons clerics are slightly more powerful than wizards.

So, I suggest you do the following:
  • Add that divine spellcasters also have spell level limits based on a stat (perhaps this is where Piety comes in. You're not pious enough to obtain higher level divine spells).
  • Add that divine spellcasters also utilize knowledge to learn their spells.
  • Use a unified dice mechanic for everything where 3d6 is rolled for to hit, to learn spells, to perform a skill, etc.
  • Convert some of the AD&D game mechanics into pure skill progression rather than level progression. If you want "realism" you're going to have to do this since it will force players to make choices about what is more important to them.
  • Skills that I think would be good: Melee Combat: (Swords, Axes, Pole Arms, Clubs/Blunt, etc), Ranged Combat: (Bows, Crossbows, Slings, Thrown, etc.), Thaumaturgy, Prayers and Rites, Use Armor: (Light, Medium, Heavy, Shield), Dodge, etc.

Yep, you see me putting dodge in there. I would say that avoiding an attack is an important skill to have. Someone who has had years of practice in combat would be able to anticipate and learn how to dodge an attack while someone who is new to combat would not know how to do so at all. In 4th Edition D&D and in some alternative combat rules (Unearthed Arcana for 3E, Sword & Sorcery's Advanced Player's Guide) they introduced defensive bonuses to the classes. Again, based on level (bleargh) but it seems more realistic that someone with more experience would know how to defend better. I just added that the person has to want to learn how to defend better. Anyway, you could say that for every 5 points in the dodge skill you gain a +1 to your AC (or -1 if you're sticking with 2nd Edition AC rules).

You can also give certain classes better rates for their attack/defense skills to further display the different methods in which characters who are a part of these classes deal with combat. For instance, a Fighter might gain +1 to hit every 4 skill points, a Rogue every 5, a cleric every 6, a wizard every 7...Do the same for defense: A rogue gains +1 AC every 4 points, a fighter every 4, a cleric every 5, and a wizard every 6.

********************************* Idea for a unified dice mechanic *******************************

While reading your post, I kept remembering the pain in the butt THAC0 was and AC being a negative number (as well as 0). It got me to thinking. What if you reversed the idea that you needed high numbers in order to succeed? I think Alternity did this. You were given a target number that was usually 20 - <some number> and you had to roll below it based on a d20 and another die. I forget the exact mechanics, I just bring it up here to give you yet MORE research material to look into :) But what I'm getting at is this: I don't know what your mechanic is straight off (the 3d6, I assume it replaces the d20 roll in a to hit situation). I was thinking that it would be interesting to roll under the difficulty rather than over it like in so many other games. Your ranks in a skill add to the difficulty number, making it easier to roll under. AC subtracts from the difficulty number making it harder to roll under. The 3d6 has a nice statistical bell curve that makes (the statistical chance of rolling an 8 on 1d20 vs 3d6 are quite different, btw) for a good choice in this type of mechanic.

Though, that kind of thinking is different from what people expect: More is better. :) Just an idea that jumped into my skull.


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Necromantis on March 21, 2010, 11:09:39 AM
That being said, I think you should unify your resolution mechanic so that everything uses 3d6 + modifiers (if I'm not mistaken, you're using 3d6 instead of 1d20).

Being that I am new to the titles of the different mechanics - I don't know the name of the one I have chosen to use, but no, You will roll 1d20 and add modifiers for checks not 3d6 + modifiers. Sorry for the confusion.

I'll go ahead and add why here. There is just something about rolling that 20sider that appeals to me and my players. I think its because after anyone plays enough, you know that "1" is there and you know that "20" is there and through experience you know about how rare it is.. The feeling we get when a critical success/failure is priceless and while something like your misinterpreted 3d6 method offers the chance for critical success/failure, Its more rare. That system would seem to push the numbers towards the middle (7-13- range). I am not against exploring it though. Maybe I'll roll up a couple of sets (one of each type) and half-ass play test them.


Now, look at the clergy of any given religion. They don't simply pray to their respective gods and know how to do the religion's rites or even the proper prayers. Some people who go to seminary, for example, fail because they are unable to memorize or learn the psalms or scriptures. They aren't able to learn all the prayers or rites the church requires of a priest. If you're striving for "realism" why aren't you bringing this into the game system? Sure, in the game, the gods do exist and impart their divine favor upon their priests but even though that divine energy is there why should a priest be able to cast "Holy Word" if they've never learned it?

Like I said, I am still ironing out the wrinkles in what each of the characteristic actually do. The more each Characteristic does, the better, so long as they are somewhat balanced. Its looking like knowledge is swiftly becoming the most important. I do agree with you .. Knowledge should affect all spell casting, Except for maybe witches and sorcerers (who will in my system spend points determined by forbearance or heartiness - as they magic comes from within - sort of a blood magic type thing)
I am not sure I expressed this well but Communication (empathy somewhat in this case) is working as the link between a cleric and his/her god through this link - the priest is able to gather divine magically energies - the better at communicating they are the stronger the link (and therefore the higher the spell level cap - sorry - forgot to mention that) they do however will still need to remember the rituals associated with each spell. so knowledge will need to play a part. i am open to suggestions there.

Add that divine spellcasters also have spell level limits based on a stat (perhaps this is where Piety comes in. You're not pious enough to obtain higher level divine spells).


I thought about having something like piety but the problem with that is. Since I my system characteristics are going to be rolled then arranged (example in a minute) Then you are forced to have a certain level of piety. - what if the lowest score you roll is an 8 and you don't want to be pious at all - do you then for that characteristic only get to choose the number. I didn't like this so I threw it out. 

This is usually done through character level (which I detest) but I really like the idea of forcing a player to decide which is more important, swinging that dagger around or improving their spellcasting.
You detest character levels or that they determine the level of skill/rank etc that a character has (ex. more powerful spells and rites)?

Gaining a character level is a very exciting and long awaited event in my groups. We look forward towards to the culminations of our experience. 
We also assume that during downtime characters are putting in practice time and getting better at certain things.. for example
In 2e D&D at level 4 (i think) fighters get a new set of proficiencies (both weapon related and non weapon related) - you have to assume that in order to gain proficiency with say a spear - the character is practicing with it. as the GM I won't allow learning a weapon that they have not had access to - like mancatcher or katana - unless a party member or some other such reason permits it

A few real world-ish examples:
Stage magicians don't automatically know how to perform different kinds of tricks (Prestidigitation is very different from Thaumaturgy, but this will work as an example). They have to practice (put points in a skill) the trick in order to learn it properly. You have this covered with your stats which give limitations based on a character's ability to learn and retain knowledge.

I have not in my system - worked out how exactly I am going to do skills. (horsemanship - juggling etc)
but I do know that they will relate to the characteristics and make success more likely - example
Juggling - Precision check with a + for having the juggling skill
example:
Benny has a 12 in precision and has rank 2 in juggling - he will need to roll under 14 on a d20.
(the +2 added for his juggling skill)

This is just rough work here. and nothing set in stone. I am still researching other systems for different ideas. 

thanks for the input. Looking forward to more.


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Excalibur on March 21, 2010, 02:22:56 PM
What I detest is tying things to your character's level. To hit, AC, Saving Throws, Spells, etc.

True, levels are an abstract way to display how skilled a character is, but I don't fully agree with tying so much to the character's level. Instead, I prefer to tie the number of skill points someone receives to his level and then make almost everything that was tied to level a skill. Saving Throws are a strange bit and I might consider leaving them level-bound. But to hit, # of spells, thieving skills, etc. can all safely be made into normal skills. Since everyone should gain the same number of skill points per level, you are able to set up charts that show how many spells per day a character can know.

For instance, if you give out 10 skill points per level gained, a wizard's spells could be a function of his Spellcasting rank. It'll be a balancing act especially with min/maxers in the mix. The balancing factor is that if they pour all their skill points into spellcasting, they're not improving defense or other skills and may end up becoming a liability later on.

The same could be said about dumping all of your points into attack. While you'll be able to hit almost anything, you'll get hit more often. Defense is probably the most squirrelly because you'd have to deal with walls that are rarely hit, but rarely land a blow.

D&D 3E did a decent job of limiting these kinds of glass cannons by limiting Ranks to your level +3. While this is still level-limited, it does give far more choice. I believe in AD&D 2E, Thieves are given the ability to point points into whatever thieving skills they want to (with limits I think) so that rogues are more apt to be different from one character to the next.

Unless you don't want a skill-centric game I think this is the most flexible kind of mechanic around that still uses levels and has some limits based on level. Palladium Books' games tend to be uber skill-centric, probably too far into that realm (for my tastes). But they give every skill a bonus based on level (eg 20% +5% per level). They don't take into account that the character does not use every single skill every adventure and you end up with characters that somehow get 98% in Knowledge: Occult when they were dealing with military coverups most of the time.

Though, Palladium has a crap load of interesting skills and if you get a chance to check out the Palladium Fantasy RPG 2nd Edition, you'll find it very similar to AD&D but different enough to give you more ideas towards your own game.


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Necromantis on March 21, 2010, 03:21:58 PM
thanks for the input.

I am considering trying to balance some sort of skill point system with level based improvement.

I am going to attempt an off the cuff example here - please don't hold me to it.

Lets say Benny (a favorite name to throw out when a PC asks "whats his name" for a passerby-type NPC)
... lets say Benny is a level 4 warrior class who just leveled.

I'll just say you get 2 characteristic points to add to whatever you would like every level.
Maybe his  stats go (we will make your average joe a 7 out of a possible 20 for reference)

12 - might      +1 ---- the weight of his new splintmail has made Benny stronger
13 - prowess
 9 - precision
14 - agility
17 - forbearance
 6 - heartiness     +1 ---- and old injury to Benny's left leg has healed completely after months of favoring it.
13 - knowledge
 7 - reasoning
 8 - communication
12 - appeal


That along with - things like saving throws being locked into certain levels.
Getting a certain number of profiencies with new weapons
tying in the number of skills you can add points to character level.

for instance along with the 2 points to place on characteristics Benny might get
1 new weapon that he learned to use well enough to no longer have penalties while using.
He chooses Club
saving throws are made better according to a chart by level.
He gets to roll for more hit points.
he gets to add 2 new skills or add to current ones.
All this can happen as usual before beginning gameplay the session after benny gained enough XP to level.
its an exciting announcement for the Player who is playing benny.. which is something that is vital to my system.


since Benny is a warrior. Magic doesn't come into play
Magic might go something like this.

Benny's elven friend is a mage. We wll call her Sarah
So lets say Sarah is level 4 as well .. she also just leveled

Her Knowledge reasoning and heartiness will effect her - casting ability.
By Level.
I look at it as rank.
reaching a higher plane of understanding.
ex:
her Knowledge dictates her Plane of understanding  --- or how far down the rabbit hole she has gone. i.e. Level cap.. - she just unlocked 3rd level spells by reaching level 5 according to her knowledge score.
Her Reasoning dictates how quickly she can rattle off spells (using creative thinking to streamline spellcasting) - this isnt affected by her leveling unless she chooses to raise her reasoning score using 1 or both of her 2 characteristic scores gained by leveling.
Her Heartiness dictates the toll that the magic takes on her body (as perfroming magic is wearisome work and this only allows her to cast so many spells)
so according to the heartiness chart her spells castable for the day.

this is all really rough. I just came up with a lot of it off the top of my head. so be gentle with the flaws.


Title: armor.
Post by: Necromantis on March 21, 2010, 07:19:30 PM
a basic breakdown for my armor vs weapon type
To be clear the numbers are NOT the armor rating/class
They are guides for later when designing a combat system
The values are to represent the effectiveness of the armor vs certain weapon types.


Armor Type    Vs. Slashing     Vs. Piercing    Vs. Bludgeoning
Gambeson            1              0               1
Horse Hair Jack     2              1               1
Leather             3              2               2
Boiled Leather      4              3               3
Studded Leather     5              3               4
Chain Mail          6              4               2
Jack of Plate       6              4               4
King’s Chain Mail   7              5               3
Scale Mail          8              7               5
Banded Mail         9              8               8
Plate Mail          9              9               9
Full Plate         10             10               9


On the character sheet it will look something like this
(not proficient at making tables on here – have to use courier new)

    Armor class
   Vs. Slashing - ___
   Vs. Piercing - ___
Vs. Bludgeoning – ___
       Vs. Net* - ___


*armor is negligible in some circumstances - a different term to describe them would be great.



Thoughts -- potential problems?


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Excalibur on March 21, 2010, 08:19:17 PM
Take a look at Palladium's "Compendium of Weapons, Armor, and Castles" they do a darn fine job of looking at real historical armor and how well it stood up against cutting, chopping, thrusting (piercing), and impact (bashing) weapons.

I fully understand that you're still feeling your way around your design in terms of advancement and skills so I again give you the advice of playing/reading up on many, many different types of games.

When it comes to skills, AD&D 2nd Edition is not a good model to go by. I know you're still fleshing this out, but I HIGHLY suggest you look at Palladium Books (http://www.palladiumbooks.com/)' products (Rifts, Palladium Fantasy, Ninjas & Superspies, Nightbane, Heroes Unlimited, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Robotech, After the Bomb, Advanced Recon, Chaos Earth, System Failure, etc.) because they offer a good parallel to AD&D 2nd Edition where Skills start to dominate (not in the best way, but this is a model) and they've redefined the main stats.

I think you also need to read up on Hackmaster (http://www.kenzerco.com/index.php?cPath=25_94) which is an RPG directly derived from AD&D 1Ed/2Ed. They make quite a few changes to how the stats are increased (I think it's a good system for the AD&D player...everything gets the d% roll, not just strength) and provides a nice way to increase stats that are not based on stat points given at each level.

For a better skill-based system that has its initial roots in D&D, look at RuneQuest (http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/rpg/series.php?qsSeries=39). This is the version published by Mongoose publishing. The copy I have is the old blue box by Avalon Hill in 1984 (I couldn't find an original 1970's copy *sigh*).

Of course there's D&D 3E/3.5E and 4E which, while you may not be fond of the changes, provide for a good read and a new way to look at AD&D. For instance, after I read D&D 3E's PHB and DMG, I went to my AD&D DM and suggested he change the AC and THAC0 systems to reflect the new version. My old DM was confused with THAC0 and after the switch was much happier.

Man, I've played so many different RPGs over the years I still don't know where to send you, I would suggest all of them but 70% are out of print at this time. The above 3 may very well help you with advancement and skills. Of them all I am still fond of RuneQuest's skill advancement. The skills were d% based, as were many other skill-based systems of the time, and in order to advance in the skill, your GM had to tell you whether the use of a skill granted it an experience check at the end of the adventure (talk about happiness from the player!). When the adventure is over, for every skill with a check next to it, the player gets to roll d%. If the roll is above the current score, the skill increases. Here is an example taken from Cormac's Saga, an example in my blue book rules:

Quote from: RuneQuest Standard Edition Rules &copy; Avalon Hill, 1984
Cormac's Saga
While chasing a magnificent stag several years later, Cormac the Pict must climb a sheer cliff. He succeeds, using his climb skill of 54%. The [GM] agrees that the climb was stressful, and that Cormac's player should put an experience check in the box next to Cormac's climb skill. The next time experience rolls are allowed, Cormac's player tries to roll more than 54 on D100. he rolls a 67. Cormac's Agility bonus of 0% doesn't affect the result, and the experience roll succeeds. If the roll was a 52 and Cormac also had a 3% Agility bonus he also would have been successful.

The player has two options, roll 1d6 for a 1%-6% increase of the skill, or simply choose a 3% increase (he has to choose to do the 3% in lieu of the roll). All skills were under seven broad categories which gave "ability bonus". These ability bonuses are what are added to to the roll above. They were Agility, communication, Knowledge, Magic, Manipulation, Perception, and Stealth. Each category's bonus is determined with a primary stat influence, secondary stat influence, and negative stat influence. For instance, Agility above is influenced by Dexterity (+1 point per point above 10, -1 point per point below 10) as the Primary, Strength (+1 per 2 points above 10, -1 point per 2 points below 10...max 10%) as the Secondary, and Size (converse of the Primary so swap the + and -) as the Negative. Cormac had a strength of 17 (+4...you round up), dexterity of 8, and size of 12. That's why his bonus is 0%.

Experience is not the only way to do skill gain, however, and the player may train as well, spending time and money to do so. If he does, then he gets to either choose 2% or roll 1d6-2 which means that his skill may go down by 1 (at the worst roll).

Stats can increase as well with various formulae applied to give you your target roll.

The more I read RuneQuest again, the more I think you really ought to grab a copy from Mongoose and play with it. Even more so than D&D3E/4E. But play more games, even if it's only 1 or 2 gaming sessions worth. Creating the characters can be an experience in and of itself so you can get a feel for what works and what doesn't. If it takes 5 hours to create a character, there's something flawed there in my book.


Title: Re: armor.
Post by: Locke on March 21, 2010, 08:23:30 PM
a basic breakdown for my armor vs weapon type
To be clear the numbers are NOT the armor rating/class
They are guides for later when designing a combat system
The values are to represent the effectiveness of the armor vs certain weapon types.


Armor Type    Vs. Slashing     Vs. Piercing    Vs. Bludgeoning
Gambeson            1              0               1
Horse Hair Jack     2              1               1
Leather             3              2               2
Boiled Leather      4              3               3
Studded Leather     5              3               4
Chain Mail          6              4               2
Jack of Plate       6              4               4
King’s Chain Mail   7              5               3
Scale Mail          8              7               5
Banded Mail         9              8               8
Plate Mail          9              9               9
Full Plate         10             10               9


On the character sheet it will look something like this
(not proficient at making tables on here – have to use courier new)

    Armor class
   Vs. Slashing - ___
   Vs. Piercing - ___
Vs. Bludgeoning – ___
       Vs. Net* - ___


*armor is negligible in some circumstances - a different term to describe them would be great.



Thoughts -- potential problems?


-  The only potential problem I can think of is that when modifiers applied from magic are they gonna to be used across the board?  The player now has to track 3 different armor classes.  Also what would a dragon bite's count as?  Piercing, Slashing, or Crushing?  Because technically it does all three.

-  Ive also noticed that if you take the median armor bonus value is only a few points off in any direction.  A suggestion would be to give an armor one value.  This is the max  then devise a penalty/ or bonus scheme to the armor based on type of attack.

Meaning:  Scale mail has an armor of 8 and is vulnerable to crushing attacks (-2).

- I assume you are using a d20 system.  So plate mail's crushing penalty is essentially a -5%.  I would be sure you system doesn't go through a lot of trouble to incorporate penalties and bonus that just amount to a few percentage points of difference.

- also your chain mail has a worse crushing value than leather.  I believe that technically (historically speaking) leather was worn under the chain mail.

by 2 cents!
Anything else?,
Jeff


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Excalibur on March 21, 2010, 09:00:46 PM
Leather was not worn under the chain, actually, it makes it too stiff. Instead, chain mail is worn over a padded tunic. Leather is usually a part of the chain mail acting as support for things like the neck hole, ends of the sleeves, etc. to keep the chain links from coming apart.

I actually participated in creating a historically accurate (as accurate as we can given the times and instruction) chain shirt, and let me tell you that if you had leather under that thing it would have been a pain in the butt to move in it.

Though, ring and scale mail often were attached to leather and cloth.

In any case, the table does have some issues with things such as magic and attacks that do multiple damage types. I ran into this same issue when dealing with my current game. The problem was such that I decided to drop that aspect of the game because it made more sense to go a bit more abstract with the concept.

And on that note, I think Necromantis is thinking about damage types and not to hit. You see, AC in AD&D is abstracted and very unrealistic. This is what's going to trip you up. Palladium has a better way of dealing with it, but it's still screwy since armor doesn't make someone miss you at all.

Instead, you need to look at the idea of armor being a form of damage reduction. This was introduced in D&D 3E (it has been in other games) and I think it's an important concept for you to wrap your head around.

Basically, instead of AC determining whether someone hits you or not, it determines how much damage gets through. Your "dexterity" still determines your defense bonus (which replaces armor class for the THAC0 roll) but the AC of the armor, more or less, reduces incoming damage by a certain amount.

An example: Say you're wearing studded leather armor that has a DR (damage reduction) of 5 vs slashing, 3 vs piercing, and 4 vs bludgeoning (yes, the metal armors didn't really keep you from getting bones broken any better than the other armors, maybe a little less). This means that if the dragon bites you, you'd probably look at the best bonus (the average or median even) and reduce the damage to the character by that much. In this case it'd be 5 (or 4). But if someone were to try to slice you open with a knife you'd have a DR of 5. If they try to stab you instead it would be a damage reduction of 3.

So I'd have to say that the table that Necromantis puts forth is a good first step at damage reduction for different attack types, not for AC for which this system would be too cumbersome.


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Necromantis on March 22, 2010, 09:43:03 PM
So I'd have to say that the table that Necromantis puts forth is a good first step at damage reduction for different attack types, not for AC for which this system would be too cumbersome.

I can see how you would think I meant that as attack dampening but I did actually mean armor class. Though i might find a different Title for it if I find one that suits the purpose better. (ex: I think Appeal is much more appropriate than comeliness which I started with)

Quote
I think you also need to read up on Hackmaster

This was actually the 2nd system I ever played. Its fun. a little silly which is a great offnight switch for some of the really serious games I've ran.
It might be time to blow the dust off that book come to think of it. That thing has some crazy as charts eh?
haha

Quote
The player now has to track 3 different armor classes.

4 in truth. Don't forget - "Vs. Net"
In the games I have played there have been a more than a few keep up with
In my 2nd edition d&d games now. we use these ..
Melee      3
Ranged    4
Net          8
Rear        +2   (ac=lower is better --- thac0 system)
Mounted  -2

the last two are just modifiers.
I honestly don't think I would be difficult to keep up with (my new ac system).
When you buy/get new armor you check the chart and
write in the numbers on your char sheet.
I have a mini char sheet that I make up with everyones vital information that I fill out at the start of every game.
(great tool - plus I write the names in according to how everyone is sitting for the night - plus a have an area by everyones name that allows for roleplaying XP - when they especially well they get a check - each is worth 250xp)
In truth - I have my wife fill it in while I recap the last game (I give her the recap ahead of time)
So All the players need do is is roll the number I give them as I do all the calculations.

Example of how it might sound during combat at my table using my new AC system (for the players)

GM: Moira, It's your turn.
Moira: Moira is very angry that the Kobolds are scattering. With her 1st attack she drops her Long Sword to the ground and reaches for her Bow.
(Out Of Char) - I am going for the leader - Did we hurt Him at all?
GM: Yes When Vercengetorix called down lightning  - The leader was in the group that took half damage.
Moira: (OOC) Ok - I'm going to try and finish him off -- (IC) I snatch my long bow off my back - luckily its still strung from the beginning of the fight I pick an arrow from my Hip quiver and let fly. (ooc) whats my number?
behind the GM Screen - I would consult my charts. Take into account that his AC is __ against Piercing arrows - his chance to Dodge/parry is negated as he is running away. a bonus is added for attacking from behind (+2) - then negated for a moving target(-2) and a plus for being an elf (+1) and being specialized in the longbow (+2)
GM: You need a 15 (d20) after all your bonuses--- oh wait make that a 14 including Ike's Bless
[Laughter from all]
Ike: You remembered it for once. haha
[Moira Rolls a 19] Slight celebration [Rolls dmg - 12]
GM: As the Kobolds attempt to flee back into the cave they leaders ill-fitting Studded leather vest Does little to Stop the speeding arrow Now sticking out of his Back - With a unintelligible cry He Falls to the ground Burned and Pierced and Dead - You can barely hear his death rattle over the patter of bare kobold feet as the rest disappear back the mouth of the cave


Quote
Also what would a dragon bite's count as?  Piercing, Slashing, or Crushing?  Because technically it does all three.
Sounds like a bad situation to be in.
If that happened in my game. I would treat it the same as a giant or titan (something huge)
Grabbing the player. Which is a Vs. Net roll - You armor doesn't matter at all in this situation.
Your modifiers and dodge/parry abilities will be your best chance. Hopefully by the time the players are actually FIGHTING
a dragon in my game (and just just hiding/running/dieing) they would have enough evasion skills to stand a chance of avoiding that great toothy maul.

Quote
but I HIGHLY suggest you look at Palladium Books'
Downloaded some of these eariler today and have looked over them. Talking about thorough.
That system my by a little too details for my design purposes but you better believe that It will be my number one reference book. It looks like they did their homework.  Thanks a ton for the recommendation - to you and a believe a couple of others



Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Locke on March 24, 2010, 01:32:26 PM
Based on your "play scenario" are you sure you don't want to just make a mod instead of a whole game?   It seems to me you are using almost all of the old rules and just adding a point of difference here or there. 

I believe in that scenario that the piercing mod against the arrow is only providing a 5% bonus to the situation.  Technically an arrow should pierce all armor from padded up to chain mail, therefore offering no protection.

Also in DnD hit points represent life as an abstract.  Only critical hits really damage the character.  So when a giant swings and does 30 damage, its not actually damage but an abstract for the character just being able to get out of the way.

So if you take actual circumstances, most armor (up through chain) will have no protection against arrows.  And if someone was stuck it would be an automatic critical hit as the arrow WOULD pierce into the body.  Both these things are more realistic than DnD.  SO how realistic do you want to get?  Is the kobolt leader really moving fast enough to get a +2 bonus to armor?  How fast does the arrow fly?  How far away is he?

Crushing weapons actually cause plate armor articulation to become bound and seize, thus causing an effect other than damage.  Longbow arrows had no problem penetrating full plate, thus rendering the protection useless.


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Brian Leybourne on March 24, 2010, 01:56:47 PM
The problem you get when you start to try to break down armor types into crushing/slashing/piercing is where to stop. You start off trying to be more realistic than a single "class" of armor, but your attempted realism has so many holes it actually looks worse. Eastern-style bladed weapons were all about the edge with very little oomph behind them - slashing modifier all the way, but far moreso than your table shows. Meanwhile, a western style sword is a huge chunk of weight with an edge. It's more of a chop than a slash, and really needs to be represented differently because it will be affected differently by armor. An eastern sword would slice up leather armor well but just scratch a plate, while a bastard sword might actually not cut through really good leather (but you still get the crushing effect) but it would potentially stave in plate. See what I'm getting at?

Ditto for piercing - your table is semi-OK for slow piercing weapons such as a rapier or a spear but way off base for a bolt or an arrow. And in fact, when it comes to a spear I would rather have a good chain short on than a breastplate as the chain is more likely to stop the point while the breastplate may be sunered and the point go right through.

Realism versus playability yadda yadda of course, but if you're trying to be realistic, you probably need to consider:

cutting/slashing
chopping
slow piercing
fast piercing
bludgeoning
And then consider (as someone else suggested) special situations. What protection does my armor give when a fireball hits me? What about when a giant grabs me and starts to squeeze (or a snake, for that matter - it's not just bludgeoning, perehaps a "constricting" category is needed?)


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Excalibur on March 24, 2010, 04:04:43 PM
Again, this type of system has already been done in Palladium's Compendium of Weapons, Armor, and Castles. They're doing almost exactly what you propose and the book allows for you to use it with other game systems other than Palladium's. Why reinvent the wheel when it's already been done in almost exactly the same manner?


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Necromantis on March 24, 2010, 04:23:22 PM
Quote
The problem you get when you start to try to break down armor types into crushing/slashing/piercing is where to stop.
I am starting to see that.
But from the beginning I have said I want a balance of realism and speed of combat.
I realize that that is not very specific.
Buts its harder to explain than it is to show by example.
The chart I made Is an example (not to mention a first draft)
Its not meant to be 100% accurate.
But something new (to me at least I am sure its not an original idea at all)
that makes armor choice matter some.

Example (all in purple is an example and skip-able)

let say the party knows that they are going to have to fight a bunch of guards
the guards in this place have a standardized uniform made up of
chainmail over Dark Red padded jacks (chainmail) and armed with halberds and short swords. (or at least thats what Harren the scout said)
Lets say that the 2 fighters in the group are swordsmen but know how to wield other weapons
Jack is alright with a club and Diane is not to bad with a spear - so they decide to hide their swords in the bush
and cut a club and spear from a nearby tree using Barlow the dwarves axe (who says "I don't give a damn if they can't even feel a tickle from me axe - I'll bludgeon 'em to death with the haft 'fore I hit em with a piece-a-tree") before they attempt to rescue Merrit from the city jail.

(I love these examples - its almost like GMing -- i get carried away.. probably need to stop doing that.. but isn't Barlow lovable?)

Quote
Based on your "play scenario" are you sure you don't want to just make a mod instead of a whole game?   It seems to me you are using almost all of the old rules and just adding a point of difference here or there.

I was only making the point that It was not be hard to "track 3 different armor classes"- no harder than it currently is in my current D&D game.
I pulled this "play scenario" from a game a week or so ago. It was a D&D Game. My point was just to show how the difficultly wouldn't change when calculating AC. 

Quote
Also in DnD hit points represent life as an abstract.  Only critical hits really damage the character.
Perhaps this is so, but I have Never looked at it that way. When I started playing PnP Rpgs, the in game narrations of a fight would always state
"your attack made it through his defenses and blood runs from the wound at the orcs unprotected Shoulder" or some such Gm improvised explanation.
This type of gameplay is exciting and I wouldn't dream of changing it. Examples of it will be stated in the handbook (haha handbook - thats far off)
So In my New system in the works here. HP is life. also - 0hp is unconsciousness and fading and -10 is death.
Also (though "how" is still in the works) the lower your HP the Worse you fight (depending on your forbearance)

Quote
Longbow arrows had no problem penetrating full plate,
This is just simply untrue.
Thats like stating that bullets have no problem penetrating a kevlar vest.
Only certain types of arrowheads could do this and they were certainly not your everyday arrowhead.
The Bodkin arrowpoint is one such arrow head. It is akin to an armor-piercing bullet. which is also not your everyday ammunition.
Also the Bodkin arrowpoint was mostly utilized in flight shooting (arched volleys) and using bows with 200+lb of pull.
a heavy pull for a standard bow is 50-80lbs Most are much less. Mine is only 45lbs and my wife's is 30lbs.
A lot depends on the arrowhead as far as penetrating power. I have no confidence that my bow using modern day carbon arrows (perfectly straight)
and a standard head would have much chance of penetrating boiled leather armor AND the human body is such a way that would be considered a critical strike.
But I digress, I think all these mechanics would just weight down the system and slow down gameplay.
I am more than willing to sacrifice these minor details for speed of play. I do not think that my adding 2 more types of armor class will slow down gameplay much at all - if any. If you see a way that it might. please present it.


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Locke on March 24, 2010, 07:20:48 PM
English longbows (about 70 pound pull i think)... French knights...no more knights...

There's too much force.

In essence offensive weapon technologies have always been more advanced than defensive.  Except for maybe full plate for a few hundred years against certain types of weapons.  Footmans picks were held by militia so that after knights were dismounted they could punch through the armor.  you see this in Braveheart, thought they don't mention it.  They would tackle a knight and use needles to puncture the eyes or picks to punch through.  It was so hard to kill a knight they had to change how they fought to do so.  Archers commonly only wore head protection.  I don't believe that lighter weight armors were worn often in western society and the existence of ring mail is actually historically debated.

Kevlar vests are not very effective.  Kevlar helmets are designed to only stop 9mm rounds.  I know about personal ceramic armor plating and you can break it with your hands its so fragile, but it will stop a 223 round from the muzzle.  The problem is it is only designed to do this over a 6" area.  It is NOT designed to stop 2 bullets within 6" of impact.  There are assault riles that fire two bullets in sequence so quickly they can be shot through the same hole.  At this point any personal defensive technology is useless.

If you really want things to be realistic I would use a damage reduction system with certain damages (maybe over a con score) causing a critical hit.  The crit hit should escalate based on damage overage.  Also I would use a trample system meaning the better the hit over the defenders active defense the more damage it causes.  This means that a person being attacked unaware would be auto crit'ed since his defense score would be zero.


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Luminous on March 28, 2010, 11:58:20 PM
There's the new dragon armor vest that really is bulletproof for the most part.  Even multiple hits in the same area.


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Locke on March 29, 2010, 06:57:50 AM
yeah, im not sure how it stands up to multiple hits within an area as its not one continuous plate it doesn't crack up the same way.  It works by overlapping disks ceramic disks with beveled edges.  The disks are held in by a heavy cloth material.  Since the disks are individual only the disks affected by the impact are shattered.  The shattered material breaks up and falls out like beads or course sand.  I would guess a second hit in that area would penetrate the armor.  There are problems with the armor.  1. its heavier than a single plate, 2. if the material fails the discs can fall out.

we work with people that do testing on these things, and sold equipment for them to verify testing.

Anyway the point is that w/o armor a weapon can easily penetrate skin and do massive damage.  A sword doesn't need and sharpened edge to take a leg off.  Full plate was extremely difficult to penetrate with swords, axes fared better.  Longbows could penetrate anything.  Short bows could easily penetrate anything up to chain.

If you want to make a realistic system then make a realistic system.  The mechanics can be done to support this, but just not one's that mirror DnD since it uses very abstract mechanics to indicate what is happening.


Title: Re: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already
Post by: Ar Kayon on March 29, 2010, 08:37:24 AM
I agree with Locke about his points on D&D, and while it is a granular system that does many things well, there are also some obvious flaws in the realism.

After 2nd edition, hit points got out of control.  Yes I understand hit points are abstract values and represent more than just health, but even a direct critical hit with a two-handed sword doesn't kill a level 10 fighter.  This is absurd.  If I remember correctly, 2nd edition had a rule where if you do 50 damage in a single blow, you had to save vs. death.  This is a step in the right direction if you insist on using hit points.

However, I love how 3rd edition makes movement and sequence important.  Attacks of Opportunity are very realistic, and I've suffered a few as a boxer when I've been near the ropes and could only move laterally to get out of the way.  That said, rules for 5-foot-steps should stay as well (I have my own version in the Nevercast system, called "combat step"), as well as charging.

There are quite a few ridiculous feats in there, but there are some abilities which I believe an actual fighter of great skill would have, like Cleave, Power Attack, and the one where you trade attack rate for better AC.  Look into feats to determine how you can design your own robust abilities system.

3rd edition saving throws also make sense, in my opinion.  It's pretty awesome when you toss a fireball in a group of enemies while the thief who just backstabbed the mage completely dodges it.