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Author Topic: d6 -simple but crunchy- heartbreaker  (Read 1492 times)
Warrior Monk
Member

Posts: 85


« on: April 15, 2010, 02:00:19 PM »

I'm making a heartbreaker (yeah, again) half to satisfy my group of players and half to make my life easier as a GM. I've been trying a lot of different mechanics and kept the ones that work the best for the group. Yet I'll be happy to hear from any game or mechanic that could help me reach closer to this utopian goal.

What I have to deal with is:
-Players love a good story over fair rules, but will ruin the fun if they get too much control over it, so giving narrative control to the players is out of the question.
-Most of us went munchkin on D&D once and liked it way too much. So I have to include tons of crunch but keep the game balanced. Something as close to "munchkin proof" as it can be.
-Players (and GM) hate feats that limit what character can attempt, they prefer to be able to try anything and fail miserably for not having enough bonuses for that particular action.
-Players (and GM) hate tactical rules that doesn't filter through common sense, like opportunity attacks and so. Now you know why we aren't playing D&D anymore.
-Players and GM can deal with basic math, but we can't make fast calculations so having a system with fractions or too many operations to calculate results is out of question.
-I'd prefer to keep dice count low, so GM or players won't roll more that 10 d6 or d10 anytime. Having massive amounts of any other kind of dice is out of the question again.

What I can do as a GM is:
-Prepare a good story ahead of time. I tried story generators for one-shots but my improvisational skills aren't good enough to turn them into a good game withouth further preparation, so I learned my lesson and now I do my homework.
-Yet my improvisational skills are good enough to come up with response to players random actions (which they love to do) Perhaps a quick way to generate interesting npcs will come handy. I have one that needs to be redesigned, it's still too slow and doesn't make memorable characters. Perhaps some mechanic that gets the players do part of this job, on the run.
-Have enough authority to run a game but not enough to built a dictatorship government.

Now what I've got so far and need critics/opinions/questions/resources from other games you know/etc on:

CORE SYSTEM
-8 characteristics: str, agl, dex, con, perception, int, will, charisma. Each can have three levels ranging from poor (1d6), common (2d6) or good (3d6). So you get to throw 1 to 3 d6 +bonuses against a set difficulty or opponent roll.
-you get to add the results of every dice, but 6's also count.Every 6 increases critical level or just add flavor to the interpretation of the results. Same with 1's but with the opposite effect.
-Character has Health levels like WoD, instead of hit points; lowest health levels add penalties on rolls.
-armor shields against different types of damage over different body parts. protection goes from 1 to 6 per piece, the number stands for the difficulty required to damage through the armor. Of course there are aimed attacks with a penalty, against unprotected areas.
-The crunch consists of bonuses for especific tactical options or plain damage, that can be stacked up to the maximum value of dice available for that particular action. Say, if character has 2d6 of dexterity, he can pile bonuses up to +12 for that roll. Bonuses on top of that won't count on the roll.

Let's try an example:

-Larry attacks a demon with his axe using everything he has for 2d6 +8. He rolls an 18, against a poor blocking of 10 from the demon. Larry got one 6 on the roll so his attack sends the shoulder armor of the demon flying away (attack wasn't aimed so this was obtained from a random target table) and he gets bathed in demon's blood... so now he's gotta roll his constitution to see if that has any effect on him...

Ok, now the demon health has gone down one level, even though his armor had a degree of protection of 6. That 6 rolled by Larry meant that armor part got trashed and the blood loss might stun the demon for a round. If another 6 had been rolled that could make the demon's health go down two levels instead of one, and if larry had 3 dice of str and had rolled 6 dice, the whole demon's arm would have been sewered.

Piece of cake system so far, but now I'm wondering about dual weapons, area attacks and other tactical stuff... not ot mention magicks, which would end being partially free-form and partially a huge spell list.

Feel free to point your finger and rant at anything you see here, providing you have a useful suggestion to solve the problem. Many thanks!
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chronoplasm
Member

Posts: 286

Kevin Vito


« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2010, 03:15:44 PM »


-Character has Health levels like WoD, instead of hit points; lowest health levels add penalties on rolls.
Death spiral, eh?
Would it be possible for some characters to ignore penalties with their mighty endurance or whatever, or even gain bonuses with "berserker rage" or something?
Quote
-armor shields against different types of damage over different body parts. protection goes from 1 to 6 per piece, the number stands for the difficulty required to damage through the armor. Of course there are aimed attacks with a penalty, against unprotected areas.
Blunt weapons like maces and hammers were often used in medieval warfare to inflict damage on armoured knights, as the force from a blow is enough to cause damage without even penetrating the armor. Does your system account for this?

As far as magic goes, here's an idea...

Maybe characters have spiritual or mental armor in addition to their physical armor. Whenever you make a magical attack against a creature, you can target a 'mental hit location' (ego, subconsciousness, etc.) or a spiritual hit location (whatever that means).
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Warrior Monk
Member

Posts: 85


« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2010, 08:45:11 AM »

thanks for the comment! ok, yeah it's a good ol death spiral, just limited because penalties come only on the last level (of 5 health levels, so I think is fair enough)

Yet I'm still wondering if I should multiply the health levels by the constitution score, so a character with con 3 will actually have 15 levels of damage. Like he would have to check each health level three times instead of just once. Looks like a bit too much, that's why I'm not sure. Another way would be to include a roll of Con against damage taken. Maybe that could be applicable only to blunt damage... I'm not sure yet.

Hmm, the mental health levels idea looks nice! Perhaps I should list 5 levels of mental damage. Then I could include some psionics on the game, besides of mind affecting magicks... good call!

Let's see: mental health described as levels could be like:
-Sensorial edge
-Perception of Reality
-Self Esteem
-Self Control
-Self Preservation

ok, I agree this doesn't look good but it's a start. The idea is to put specific mind features on each health level just to make it harder for a wizard/psionic to affect characters on ways that could make the game too easy for them. Like mind-controlling a powerful warrior or worse, a powerful wizard, to do the player's will. So what feature of the human mind should be harder to control? Which should be easier? that's why this list is a first attemp at that. This also keeps in mind the idea that this damage or control should not be permanent. Another way would be just to limit mental health descriptors generic from normal to insane. What would be totally out of the question would be to add characteristics to describe mental features of the character, that would be way too complicated...

Thanks again!
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Jim D.
Member

Posts: 20


WWW
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2010, 06:14:49 AM »

Quote
I'm still wondering if I should multiply the health levels by the constitution score, so a character with con 3 will actually have 15 levels of damage. Like he would have to check each health level three times instead of just once.

That could get out of hand really fast.  You end up with Con 1 meaning a normal guy, and Con 5 being someone who can take a tree trunk to the eye and not blink.  (Presumably.)  I'd either go with a linear progression (like, say you get one extra HP for every Con point), or do the White Wolf thing and do soak rolls; reduce damage by one for every success on a Con roll, or whatever.
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Draco
Registree

Posts: 2


« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2010, 08:13:22 AM »

Just a question / tipp,

do you know the system used in BRAVE NEW WORLD?
It's a nice little, quick action focused d6 system.

You might want to take a look.
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Locke
Member

Posts: 85


« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2010, 09:20:35 AM »

be careful with called shots...

they can create a statistical advantage or disadvantage which means they will always or never be used.

What I mean is that if the damage is increased but the attack is decreased the % of damage might stay the same.  If it does than there is no reason to roll a called shot.  If there is a great advantage than there is no reason to ever roll w/o making a called shot.

just a though...
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Check out my game Age Past, unique rolling system, in Beta now.  Tell me what you think!
https://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0B-7APna9ZhHEZmRhNmFmODktOTgxNy00NDllLTk0MjgtMjI4YzJlN2MyNmEw&hl=en

Thanks!
Jeff Mechlinski
Warrior Monk
Member

Posts: 85


« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2010, 03:09:22 PM »

Ok, after reading the "Thoughts On A Fencing Mechanic Part 2" thread posted by Gurnard I'm thinking on going back to a concept I applied previously: d6 dice pool and resource managment of those dice. But I think I can keep the modifiers applied on those dice, providing the dice pool doesn't escalate out of proportion for the players. It could go like this:

CORE SYSTEM
-8 characteristics: str, agl, dex, con, perception, int, will, charisma. Each get a different starting bonus ranged from 0 to 3, including racial bonuses. Characteristics bonuses can go up to 3 more points per level. So on level 1 you can have Str up to 3, on level 2 you can rise it up to 6, 9 on lever 3 and so on.
-You roll one dice per character level + relevant characteristic bonus + relevant skill bonus. Dice can be spent on different actions such as movement, defense, adittional attacks or they can be rolled for a single action.
-you get to add the results of every dice, but 6's also count.Every 6 increases critical level or just add flavor to the interpretation of the results. Same with 1's but with the opposite effect.
-Levels go up to 5 and that's all. Bonuses can still be stacked then, up to +15.
-armor protects from different types of damage Except blunt damage -against that only constitution works over different body parts.
-Called shots incur on penalties and are required to attack a body part unprotected by armor, unless armor covers less than 60% of the body. On that case armor is used as a shield: it must be used on a defensive movement to be of any help.
-Character has 5 Health levels on both phisic and mental level, instead of hit points; only last health level adds a penalty of 1 dice on rolls.
-Damage depends on the weapon+characteristic+skills
-Dual weapons require to roll 2 dice minimal but that's all, you need to cover no additional requirements.

I'm still looking for the BNW book. Thanks for the help so far!
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Warrior Monk
Member

Posts: 85


« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2010, 11:35:02 AM »

Ok, New question:

I've been working with a 'virtue' system, which works a bit like alignment but not exactly. Alignements are used in two ways: as a guide to roleplaying and as a limit to roleplaying. For my game i need neither, but just a way to compell players into action sometimes.

Thus I tried with virtues: each player chooses one virtue for his character. Each time they roleplay it and it affects another character, they gain an style point which they can spend to have the gm describe any action they just made in a totally epic fashion, despite how good or bad they rolled the dice Cheesy
Of course, it also allows me to compell players into action and getting them in trouble. For such end, all virtues listed must be active, so for example being Humble doesn't work.

So far in the list I've got
-Courageous
-Defender of the weak
-Optimistic
-Generous
-Diplomatic
-Merciful
-Honest
-Just

So far the last three have never been chosen, perhaps I shoud change Just with Honorable. Anyone has another idea for an active virtue I could add to this list?

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Warrior Monk
Member

Posts: 85


« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2010, 02:06:48 PM »

I still wanted to try a pool system and came up with this optional mechanics:

-Players distribute +1, +1, +0, +0, +0, +0, +0, -1 on their character's abilities. For conflict resolution they roll 1d6 per character level + modifiers.

-The same dice pool would be used for attack or defense on the whole turn, so players should manage it with caution.

-The roll to strike is the damage at the same time. Successes over the dificulty number and the difference are all that counts, you don't get to add the dice rolled.

-Each sucess diminishes the health levels of the body part attacked. If it wasn't a called attack, the location of the hit is chosed by the defender/randomly determined (I'm not sure yet, perhaps If I add a drama die on that roll, that dice can decide the location)

-Weapons would require a minimal amount of dice to be used. Let's say daggers require one dice, swords two and axes, maces and polearms 3. On top of that, called strikes/shots require more dice on top of that depending on the targeted area. Like, an attack to the throat would require 2 more dice.

-Weapons don't add anything to the roll unless they are magical, and magical bonuses doesn't stack with abilities bonuses.

-Players should start adventuring at level 3, when their characters are 14 years old. If you want to play a prologue when the characters are younger, they would roll 1 dice at age 5 and 2 at age 10. For a one-shot campaign perhaps an optimal level would be 6.


Ok, so what do i get by using this system? combat becomes more complex a a bit more realistic in some way, since it forces players to manage their resources carfully. Perhaps they would play on the defensive on the first rounds and go for it only when they see an opening. Since the dice pool of every player has the same size, they all can be roughly equally lethal, despite the speciality they have. Wielding an axe is gonna be as lethal as using a knife in the proper way, an not even armor can help too much against a dagger used with precision. Now I've gotta put all of this together an playtest, but if you have any questions, critics or coments it would be helpful. Many thanks!
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