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Author Topic: A dark fantasy using the dice rank system  (Read 2404 times)
Ar Kayon
Member

Posts: 190


« on: April 13, 2010, 09:02:17 PM »

Concept
* Based on late 15th century - early 16th century Europe.
* As continental population exploded and social and cultural values were radically transformed, demonic influences became more accessible.  In an effort to improve military might without depleting resources on training, states chartered schools of magic which were affordable to commoners and churned out large numbers of brash and ambitious neophyte wizards.  Many of them were lured towards the quick and easy path of profane power.  However, the repercussions to nature and society would be deep and volatile. 
* Amongst others, players may take the role of displaced or landless nobles, holy warriors or black knights in the service of demon lords, experienced wizards or partially-possessed warlocks, or oriental mercenaries and emissaries looking to take advantage of lucrative opportunities and political instability.
* As a result of great turmoil combined with the new magic-economy, the adventurer class emerged.
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Locke
Member

Posts: 85


« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2010, 11:12:32 AM »

Sounds cool.  What makes this system or world unique?  It seems like a DnD module could do this.  Are you thinking of this as a module or a whole game?  Would you lean toward steampunk or a keep it more technologically and historically accurate?

It sounds like it could be more of a narrative political game than a hack and slash system.
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Thanks!
Jeff Mechlinski
Ar Kayon
Member

Posts: 190


« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2010, 04:54:02 PM »

Sounds cool.  What makes this system or world unique?  It seems like a DnD module could do this.  Are you thinking of this as a module or a whole game?  Would you lean toward steampunk or a keep it more technologically and historically accurate?

It sounds like it could be more of a narrative political game than a hack and slash system.
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MacLeod
Member

Posts: 216


« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2010, 06:50:26 PM »

Sounds intriguing though I'm not one for 'highly lethal' combat systems. At least, not highly lethal to the players.

I'm interested to know how you plan on mapping out the demonology aspect. How much depth will it have? What influences will you draw on? Will you make use of specific sources?
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~*/\Matthew Miller/\*~
Ar Kayon
Member

Posts: 190


« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2010, 08:13:51 PM »

I'm interested to know how you plan on mapping out the demonology aspect. How much depth will it have? What influences will you draw on? Will you make use of specific sources?

I plan on making strong analogues to Renaissance Europe, but the demonology will probably be less direct.  Although the majority will be brutal antagonists, many of them will be morally ambiguous at worst, and some may even be altruistic; after all, this world is more conducive to free thought and diplomatic means of settling differences.  The exception will probably be the asian demons - Tengu in particular.

Keep in mind that these are very raw ideas, and I have a habit of tearing my ideas apart.  My posts will be predominantly centered on system until I have fleshed out the concept some more.
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Ar Kayon
Member

Posts: 190


« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2010, 11:15:30 PM »

Combat Concept (without concrete distance increments)
It seems like a scout has exposed the Sir Elric's group on their way to the warlock's keep.  As they ride their horses over the hill, a group of twelve demons on horseback led by a Black Knight charge in a line down an adjacent hill towards them.  Elric, seeing as he's grossly outnumbered, uses his "leadership" skill to command his group into a favorable position, with his brother, Lord Vesperillo, in the center as he and his warriors fall in on both sides of the wizard.

Round 2 - Sir Elric and his warriors wait at the top of the hill as the demons continue charging.  Lord Vesperillo begins his incantation, which he is concentrating intently on.  It looks like it will be a powerful spell, but he doesn't bother to hasten it as the spell is naturally timed to hit the group as they start coming up the hill.  The player rolls a 3 (within the success range) on the standard dice rank (1d10), which means that the spell will be prepared on time.

Round 3 - Sir Elric's group wait.  The Black Knight's group starts travelling up the party's hill.

Round 4<Round 5<Round 6
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Ar Kayon
Member

Posts: 190


« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2010, 09:39:44 PM »

Melee Combat
There will be many modes of close-quarters combat.  Each mode has its own methods of use, so you would have to develop them individually.  There will even be secondary modes for significantly different methods of using the same primary mode.  For example, the long sword will have its standard fighting mode and an armored fighting mode (significant use of grappling and half-swording).  Sword and buckler may be another secondary mode.


Primary Modes Lethality - Lists the level of success for the given number rolled when attacking.
1. Terrible Lethality
   1 = Moderate Success
   2 = Minor Success
   3 = Minor Success
2. Poor Lethality
   1 = Moderate Success
   2 = Moderate Success
   3 = Minor Success
3. Standard Lethality
   1 = Critical Success
   2 = Moderate Success
   3 = Minor Success
4. Decent Lethality
   1 = Critical Success
   2 = Moderate Success
   3 = Minor Success
   4 = Minor Success
5. Good Lethality
   1 = Critical Success
   2 = Moderate Success
   3 = Moderate Success
   4 = Minor Success
6. Excellent Lethality
   1 = Critical Success
   2 = Critical Success
   3 = Moderate Success
   4 = Minor Success


Speed
In an attack vs. fight back scenario, speed determines who rolls first.  This is important because the faster combatant rolls first, which means that if he rolls within the moderate or critical success range, he will prevent the opposing roll of his opponent.


RangeArmor Penetration
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stefoid
Member

Posts: 319


WWW
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2010, 02:36:33 AM »

I reckon dark age is better than renaissance for the type of setting you describe.  Dark ages are just so much more interesting and potential filled, to me anyway.   Themes common to dark ages that offer great hooks for roleplaying:

1)  recent disaster(s) (whether natural, political or supernatural or a combination) that have resulted in the breakdown of the old civilization
2)  displaced and dispossessed peoples
3)  a search for new meaning since the 'old ways' have failed
4)  radical tilting of the previous balance of power and no new equilibrium yet established -> power struggle to achieve new world order
5)  a breakdown of law and order resulting in the growth of petty tyrants, warlords, pirates, brigands and freebooters
6)  an upswing in provincial and isolationist thinking since trade and learning have dwindled.

Its no coincidence that some of the most heroic and enduring myths have sprung from  dark ages such as the tales of Homer from the late bronze dark age and Aurthurian legends after the fall of Rome.

A mini-dark age cose to your intended period is the 1300s.  check it out:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crisis_of_the_Late_Middle_Ages
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Ar Kayon
Member

Posts: 190


« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2010, 10:54:43 PM »

I wanted something that I felt was more complex to work with; the late War of the Roses period to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I presents a setting concept rich in political and religious intrigue as well the potential for bloody violence.  Not only that, but I really would like to model the sophisticated martial styles of that time period in my combat system.   In addition, the church is quite the monolith at this point, and I felt that demonic subjects would be particularly relevant given the artistic expressions of contemporaries such as Hieronymus Bosch.

I also plan on integrating Chinese influence into the European motif.  The Ming dynasty saw a huge surge of interaction between the Europeans, and by placing stong emphasis on this idea, I can create an elaborate dynamo between European politics, the Church (witches really will be burned), supernatural abominations, and oriental imperialists (as well as their own brand of strange magics).

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Ar Kayon
Member

Posts: 190


« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2010, 09:06:38 PM »

More on Combat Mechanics

Shields and Bucklers
On offense, shields and bucklers give a combatant bonuses to open his opponent's guard as well as to close in on his opponent.  When actively defending, a shield or a buckler will improve your success rate.  When fighting back, you will have an improved armor check dice rank.  A buckler has smaller values, but will allow a combatant to use a weapon in a two-handed manner to improve lethality.

Armor
When an opponent scores an attack within the success range, you must make an armor check (standard dice rank).  Rolling within the armor's success range will reduce or nullify injury to your character.  Armor coverage will affect the range of success, whereas the strength of the armor will affect the degree of protection (from minor - moderate - critical) within the range of success.  The armor penetration value of a weapon will penalize the dice rank a combatant must roll when making an armor check.  Finally, the quality of the armor will affect the critical failure range of the armor check.  Should a combatant roll within the critical failure range, his armor will degrade in quality and the strength value of his armor may degrade as well.
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Ar Kayon
Member

Posts: 190


« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2010, 03:31:01 PM »

Combat Sequencing Mechanics (Pending)


Rationale
To devise a method that allows combatants to be easily mobilized and organized so that the system doesn't break down on larger scales.  Although complex, the sequencing method will make individual initiative rolls or static sequence values obsolete.  Thus, less rolling as well as bookkeeping will be required in combat resolution, which results in a net streamlining effect.


Concept
A combat round will be divided into distinct phases from first to last in the round: the command phase, the movement phase, the attack phase, the follow-up phase, and the spell/item phase.

Command Phase - This phase is reserved for characters using their leadership skills to organize the actions of their party (a leader must already be decided upon by the party before combat).  Those commands will be executed by the party in their respective phases.  Rotation is by individual.

Movement Phase - This phase is reserved for combatants who are moving as their first action for the round (command phase notwithstanding).  The rotation is by party, in which the party that initiated combat moves first, and then in order as determined by the GM.

Attack Phase - This phase is reserved for combatants who are attacking/fighting back or defending as their first action for the round.  The rotation is by group of combatants directly engaged in combat with one another.

Follow-Up Phase - This phase is reserved for combatants making follow-up attacks to a movement action and for combatants responding to follow-ups.  The rotation is the same as the attack phase.

Spell/Item Phase - This phase is reserved for combatants who are using items or casting spells.  Rotation is by individual.


How to Execute
When it has been declared that combat has begun, the GM asks the players what general action they will execute: command, movement/move-and-attack, attack/defend, or spell/item use.  The GM is then able to determine which phases of combat need to be acted out as well as the order of rotation within each phase.

*Once combat has been initiated, players will have no opportunities to collaborate with each other and determine a strategy.  The leadership skill, being the exception, will allow players to organize themselves in the chaos of combat.  If a group leader issues a command, the group members (including the leader) may change their actions in accordance with the command. 

*Otherwise, if combatants want to change their actions, they may suffer penalties (as a result of hesitation or not being prepared).

*The GM may use any manner of determining order of rotation within each combat phase.
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Ar Kayon
Member

Posts: 190


« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2010, 08:23:33 AM »

Tactical Provisions for Melee Combat

I. Engage (Attack) - To exchange blows or techniques in all manners, combining offensive and defensive movements.
   Skilled Maneuvers for Melee Combat
   1. Follow-up attack
   2. Disarm
   3. Open guard
   4. Covered attack
II. Defend - In preparation to ward off or evade blows and techniques.
   Skilled Maneuvers for Melee Combat
   5 Counterattack
   6. Traverse
   7. Close-in


Skilled Maneuvers for Melee Combat

1. Follow-Up Attack - Upon scoring at least a moderate success on your standard attack, you may immediately make a free attack.  You may not make consecutive follow-ups or follow-up after a counterattack.  Add the speed bonus of your primary mode to the attack.

2. Disarm - Instead of a standard attack, attempt to disarm the opponent at a +1 DR penalty.  Upon scoring at least a moderate success, you may immediately make a free attack.  This technique ignores all bonuses granted from the defend option, including any shield/buckler bonuses.  Add the maneuverability bonus of your primary mode to the attack.

3. Open GuardCovered Attack - Make a standard attack at a +1 DR penalty.  If your opponent succeeds the opposing attack against you (or an attack made after a successful defense), that attack must be re-rolled ( if successful, the re-rolled attack may not surpass the original degree of success).  Add the speed bonus of your primary mode to the attack.

5. Counterattack - If the attacker rolls a 7 when you are defending, you may immediately make a free attack.  Add the speed bonus of your primary mode to the attack.

6. Traverse - If the attack rolls a 7 when you are defending, you may immediately attempt to flank your opponent at a -1 DR bonus.  Upon scoring at least a moderate success,  you may immediately make a free attack.

7. Close-In - If the attacker rolls a 7 when you are defending, you may attempt to break the distance gap between you and your opponent.  Upon scoring at least a moderate success, you may immediately make a free attack.
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Ar Kayon
Member

Posts: 190


« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2010, 01:07:12 PM »

Working on adding horse mechanics to the game.  Here's what I got so far:
*Courser, Destrier, and Palfrey horse types. (Reading contradicting statements on the Destrier vs. Courser; I need to know which one was more powerful on the battlefield)
*Horses give the trained rider +2 skill vs. ground combatants; charging increases to-hit and power of attack, but exposes the rider to attack and extra lethality (from momentum) as well.
*Halberds and pikes are the best weapons against mounted opponents, with the former better against mounted opponents in plate armor.  (It's going to be a pain in the ass for your characters to choose the right weapon combinations for battle; I will impose a limit on how many weapons can be carried by a character at any given time.)
*Wizards can't cast very well while mounted, and oriental sorcerers usually can't use magic at all because very specific body postures are required for their expressions.  Thus, in such battles, it's best to keep the caster at the rear in a fixed position or have them simply engage the enemy in melee combat like everyone else.  (Notice how casters don't undermine melee combatants in combat potential.)
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Ar Kayon
Member

Posts: 190


« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2010, 05:16:57 AM »

New Play Concept

While at his estate, Lord Thomas Somerset is about to be arrested for conspiring to overthrow the newly crowned, barely legitimate king.  The Duke of Westhaven walks inside along with armed guards and explains to him that he will be taken to "The Spire" and that his coffers and lands will be seized by the crown as well.  Lord Thomas knows what's in store for him - a swift trial followed by an even swifter execution - so he decides to take his chances and fight his way out.

Quote
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Ar Kayon
Member

Posts: 190


« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2010, 12:09:46 PM »

Implications
*In spirit with my research on renaissance fighting methods, grappling is a practical combat option and is simple to understand and execute.  Grappling exchanges will commonly be mixed in with weapon exchanges, especially during armored combat.

*Aimed attacks are handled with simplicity and allow you the opportunity to bypass armor as you see fit.  If armor leaves large areas exposed, like a breastplate, then your aimed attacks suffer a +1 DR penalty; +2 for areas exposed by armor such as three-quarter plate; +3 for the miniscule areas left exposed by full Gothic or Maximilian-style suits of armor.

*Both combatants' skill and situational modifiers are scaled seamlessly using the graduated dice method.  In the example above, the player took advantage of situation and position to account for the disparity in skill.  In other games, he would not have been allowed such command over the circumstances.  I attribute this both to the inherent lethality of the system (many combat encounters are resolved in a coup de main; hit points blunt the importance of situation, as situation is not likely to help you take your opponents out of the fight in a single movement, and a higher-skilled opponent will be able to catch up to your advantage) and the numerically-reliable manner in which the dice scales. 
Thus, position and circumstance dictate the flow of action in combat rather than the personal power of each combatant.  These elements determine what weapons, manner of attack, and manner of maneuvering are best suited to the situation; there is no single tactic you can use over and over again to win every fight.
As a result, your character is likely to die in combat.  This is intentional.  However, character creation is also intended to be a very quick process, so you can get back in the action.
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