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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 159 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Simple System sounding board  (Read 1541 times)

Posts: 54

« on: April 02, 2010, 08:58:05 PM »

Posting ideas to flesh out a universal system I've been kicking around. Feel free to jump on in.-

Simple System Core tenets

1. System shale be minimal on Mechanics, math, and dice rolls
2. System should function regardless of setting, with minimal to zero change of rules
3. The rules for System should be logical and consistent in all situations
4. Characters, regardless of composition, should be equally viable in the context of the game world (ie min/maxing has a fair pay off and cannot unbalance a character in relation to his peers, within the broad context of the setting)

Current Resolution Mechanics:
These formulas should hold true for all actions in game

Player vs. Player/NPC
(d10 + STAT + SKILL + MISC.) - (d10 + STAT + SKILL + MISC.) = N

Player vs. Task
(d10 + STAT + SKILL + MISC.) - (d10 + DC) = N

If N => 1, the Player has succeeded in their attempted action and is awarded  'Success'
Success = N/3 round up
Multiple Success may have different meaning depending on the action being taken.

Here I am torn on if/how to incorporate 'fumbles'. It would be very easy for a player to roll a result that is negative, but having any negative roll be a penalty would discourage any action at all. Setting up arbitrary rules like 'rolling a natural -9 is a fumble' don't sit well with me, but it would get the job done. Currently, rolling a natural +9 is it's own reward, since this goes straight into the character getting what they want.
I'm also toying with the notion that the first 3 negative Successes a.k.a. Failures do not count against the character, but the 4th one will. These means a character would have to have an N value of -10 or greater, meaning they attempted something beyond their skill level.

Character Basics:
All characters will have the following in common-
  • STATS- Basic characteristics, broken into three groups; Body, Mind, Spirit.
  • SKILLS- A numeric bonus applied to certain actions.
  • TRAITS- Aspects of a character that set them apart from others. Often changing the rules applied to that character in certain situations.
  • FOCUS- Consumable pool of points which allow the player to modify aspects of the game. What can be done is often based on TRAITS.
  • HEALTH- The physical status of a character.

How a Character is Created:

After a character concept appropriate for the campaign has been thought of, players will distribute STAT points. The Human average in a STAT is 0, with -2 being the lowest a character can have and still be functional and +3 putting them in the top 5% of the world population. STATs can go beyond these limitations according to the game setting, though the current campaign being written in conjunction with the Simple System is Low powered and Low Fantasy. The exact values used for character generation are selected with this in mind, though they could be easily changed to suit other settings. The three STAT arrangement is from my belief that traditional attribute breaks downs (D&D's STR, DEX, and CON are a good example) are unrealistic. Having more muscles and putting them through regular use (STR) will naturally increase your muscle control (DEX) and give you think slabs of meaty armour (CON)
After STATS have been assigned, the player selects 3 character TRAITS.
Here is another fuzzy area. I know I want TRAITS to be character defining, but I haven't tacked down exactly how I should go about that. I'm leaning toward aspects which you either have or you don't. An example would be someone that could use magic or have mutant powers in a world where that is not the norm for everyone. There is also a strong appeal to have TRAITS be a sort of mix and match character class system. I may include some STAT TRAITS such as 'Body Builder' to reflect someone what would have an abnormally high Strength, but that starts down the slippery slope of adding more STATS.
Players will then calculate HEALTH, SKILLS, and FOCUS with the following formulas
HEALTH = Body + 3
SKILLS = Mind +3
FOCUS = Spirit + 3
The Players will then choose SKILLS, getting as  many ranks as they have Mind + 3. SKILLS are broken up into meta groupings and can vary due to setting. Some SKILLS cannot be selected unless certain TRAITS are taken, all setting dependent. All SKILLS are given a 'yield value' which reflects how susceptible some SKILLS are to chance. Combat skills and many other physical skills have a yield of +1 for every rank  taken. Most social skills a have a yield of +2 and Crafting and Knowledge type skills are generally +3.

Posts: 35

« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2010, 09:21:46 PM »

This might just be a personal belief, but I think that having both parties roll adds an undesirable amount of randomness to a situation. Having one Player roll against a static value usually produces something a bit more reliable, as well as, I think, a little more desirable by players.

While having both sides doing something might seem fun, getting broken by luck even more than usual is usually not what a player is really looking for.

As for fumbles, I would say leave them out. A miss is already a penalty in and of itself, and you don't need more than that.

And for stats, you might be surprised. Muscle is not automatically flexible--that has to be trained. Not only that, but Dexterity in the D&D setting incorporates hand/eye coordination--a body builder isn't necessarily going to have the steadiness required for brain surgery just because he's got lots of muscle, for example. If anything, I'd say you aren't going to have a healthy BODY without the knowledge (MIND) and focus (SPIRIT) to keep in shape. Tongue

Posts: 54

« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2010, 04:55:06 AM »

The dice system is in place to reduce randomness. Having two d10s in opposition form a sort of Bell Curve (more a of pyramid) with a 10% chance of th dice generating a net '0' and only 1% of them generating either a +9 or -9.
The difficulty in getting a natural +7, 8, or 9 is roughly 6% and the player's reward is most likely getting more Success. This is basically how a Critical works in my system as opposed to exploding die or declaring one number more favorable than another (like D&D's Nat 20). When an extreme negative roll is made, nothing happens under the current rules. There are no jamming of guns, hitting friendlies, putting your foot in your mouth of having a wildly wrong perception of a situation.

Posts: 54

« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2010, 01:45:17 PM »

Current thoughts on SKILLS:
Skills should be in wide groupings but have as little overlap as possible. Skills put into opposition, such as between two characters, should have a logical connection. It is possible that an action does not have a logical reaction skill and will be put against just a d10 + STAT and any circumstantial modifiers. A clear cut example would be close range and far range combat. 'Combat Training' would cover all matters offensive and deffensive, armed or unarmed, within melee range. 'Ranged Combat' would cover the use of projectiles in combat, regardless of their form. If a character attacks another with a ranged attack the Resolution Mechanic would be set up-
(d10+STAT+Ranged Combat+Weapon-Range modifier) - (d10+STAT+Armour+Cover)
With a steep advantage in the attackers favor being able apply SKILLS where the defender can not.
Should the range between the two combatants close to Melee range the Resolution Mechanic becomes-
(d10+STAT+Ranged Combat+Weapon) - (d10+STAT+Combat Training+Armour)
Since defending ones self at melee range falls in the description of Combat training. While Combat Training can be used for defense, Ranged Combat cannot, giving the Melee combatant a steep advantage when on the attack.or
Skills which do not normally call for another character to oppose it have a static DC which is selected based off of the yield value of the skill it is meant to oppose. For instance an athlete trying to scale a wall would be using a physical skill with a moderate yield (+2). An 'easy' skill check would equal the value of a single rank in the base skill, ie 2. a moderate check would be 4 and a difficult check is 6.
Crafting and knowledge skills are generally high yield (+3) and would progress as 3, 6, 9, etc. This serves to scale the the difficulty proportionally to the character as well as keeping characters without any training from lucking through very technical problems.

Posts: 54

« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2010, 08:48:33 PM »

Brain Storm on Mechanics for TRAITS and FOCUS:
After not as much consideration as i would like I've tentatively settled on FOCUS being used by any character at any time to re-roll their d10 and select the better of the two rolls. I've always hated re-roll rules that left you stuck with the second result no matter what. It's like, why take an ability that is just as likely to screw you over as not? The  limitations are that you can only use one FOCUS at a time, so burning them all to try and get a 10 on one roll won't happen
TRAITS can change the rules and I think having a good portion of TRAITS effect what FOCUS can and cannot be used for would make for a start. Rather then make exact rules, I think TRAIT templates are in order.
(SKILL) Adept- When a FOCUS is used to re-roll this particular SKILL the player rolls twice instead of once and takes the highest result (in effect giving a player 3d10 to choose the best number from)
Magic powers- A FOCUS is used to initiate some special power or unique skill.
Additional Actions- Depending on how i settle with the flow of combat, a FOCUS can be spent to grant one additional action.
Meta game- A FOCUS is spent to make small changes to the game world

Hmmmm i know there are more options but it's late and my brain isn't working.

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