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General Forge Forums => First Thoughts => Topic started by: Teh_Az on February 01, 2007, 02:08:20 AM

Title: Tactics Engine
Post by: Teh_Az on February 01, 2007, 02:08:20 AM
This is my first time posting here and I've been wanting to design an RPG since 6th grade just because I love the technicality of it all and the cool shit you could practically play with. Sadly though my tabletop experience has been nil as most of the games I've played are digital thus the stuff I'm designing right now has been influenced heavily by video gaming concepts.

I have scoured the net for various open source books of table top gaming including Core Element and Legendquest. I also downloaded the SRD DnD files just so I could base my work on traditional concepts which are simpler than coding concepts.

My game is basically a combination of Tactics, inspired by Final Fantasy tactics and wargaming, and RPGs inspired by Fable and adventure games that rely more on your hand eye coordination skill as a player and a little less on statistics.

So far my work has yet to be completed with most of my concepts still untested. Right now I'm trying to find open source terrain tiles to use and character portraits and planning to create a setting for the game engine.

My Game:

Tactics Engine


   Tactics engine is a set of rules and mechanics for playing table-top RPG/tactics games and may be used as a basis for the engine of gaming software. These rules and mechanics are based on traditional role-playing rules and miniature war-games with modifications concerning character growth, skill progression, and etc. Hopefully you the gamer will find it useful in your endeavors in playing a game of combined strategy, troop leading, and role-playing. Consider this as nothing more than an add on to the element of troop strategy and tactics to your regular games.

Main Concepts

   Mainly this game is centered upon you the player, the role you play in any setting, and the strategy you employ in leading battles using soldiers under your character’s command. Battles must take place in square tiles that depict terrain and elevation. Role-playing takes place as a story-telling game between you, your fellow players, and the game-master. The game-master depends upon you to define as long as he fulfills the following roles:
   He must ensure the fairness of game-play.
   He must quell quarrels concerning rules.
   He must make the game as enjoyable and challenging as he can.
   He must take charge of controlling NPC’s and opposing forces.
   He must make all dice-rolls openly for fairness and must be firm enough to maintain the result of such rolls.

The Game

   This game is heavily reliant upon player characters and the NPC’s that character leads. Players are symbolized by the characters they created in the game. They also control the actions of NPC’s they lead in battle but outside battle the behavior of these NPC’s is controlled by the game-master. This behavior is determined in part by the personality, loyalty, and several other variables concerning the NPC’s.

   The number of soldiers a character can lead depends entirely upon the leadership skill of the character. The leadership skill acts as war-band points that count the value of soldiers the character can lead. An example is a simple fighter whose value as a soldier is only one. A character with the leadership level of 8 can handle 8 of these men under his leadership. A soldier’s value grows as the soldier grows and if the soldier grows to the point that the character can no longer control the soldier the soldier can only be kept under leadership by either more money if a mercenary, or a measure of loyalty if a recruit. It may even be both.

   A soldier’s value is the average of all his abilities summed up and decreased by every successful battle and increased by every failed one. The loyalty and money variables are up to the game-master to ascertain but for those who wish to use this engine as a basis for software he may follow this mechanic:

      The Contentment Bar
This acts as a modifier to the leadership skill of the character. It is basically an averaging of battle’s won and wages given decreased by battles lost. You may add as many other modifiers as you want. This may also count as morale during battle.

The question of morale came only recently and the rules set have only been made up rapidly. Morale is the willingness of a soldier to fight during battle. Basically it is the increase of a soldier’s value during battle for every demoralizing factor endured. These variables depend upon the game-master to determine. Basically the variables concern health, sanity, and etc. Once morale reaches it limit the soldier ceases to be under command and makes a Rally Check every round of battle. Once the check fails the soldier will flee the battle to the nearest exit. If it succeeds the Morals returns to its edge upon the limit and back under the character’s control.

There are characters with the rally skill. When used this skill acts as a modifier to the rally checks demoralized soldiers do.

   The objective of the soldiers depends upon the set conditions of the battle. These conditions may be pre set or modified by the game-master. Over-all there is only one basic rule which must be followed unless proper exceptions are alighted. This condition is that if your character dies its game-over for you until the character is resurrected. Soldiers under your control are immediately demoralized unless there is another leading character in the battle who may or may not be their ally. Here the other hero may take control of them or force them to surrender and join his army.

      Surrender and Turn-Coating
This is a little rule concerning the event mentioned above. It’s still rough but hopefully it fulfills a bit of purpose. When your character dies the soldiers you control roll Rally checks and those that are successful flee while those that fail surrender automatically. Those that surrender can be given a choice by the opposing forces to either join or die, or can just be killed anyway or set free. They roll another rally check in which if they fail they will automatically join if not they choose the opposite option. There are certain modifiers for this depending upon the opposing forces’ skill if he chooses to use it. One example is speech or mind-control type skills that influence others.

Prisoners of War
Any soldier unable to flee after two turns from the combat area is considered a prisoner of war. Prisoners of war are subjected to the above mentioned rules.

   The game employs Action Points to produce actions during battle. Battles come in rounds were in each round players roll for the initiative. Initiative rolls determine who acts first during combat.

Initiative Sequencing
Initiative sequencing is the determining of who acts first in battle or events that require it. Most of the time battles are the only events that require it. Initiative sequencing is nothing more than a measure of each combatants DEX (dexterity will be discussed in the character chapter of this engine) trait. This measure however is not exact due to the conditions that prevail upon events, thus these unknown variable must be determined by dice. The formula is DEX + 1d6. The soldier with the highest score goes first and upon the event of equal scores rising those who have equal scores will either re-roll for their position or determine their sequence of action upon alternative means if they wish.
Battalion/Group Initiative Sequencing
You can also roll for initiative for more than one soldier. Doing this is called group or battalion initiative sequencing. This is only possible though if a number of these soldiers have been incorporated into a group. Once they have been incorporated into a group all their Action Point limits are summed and then averaged to set the amount of actions each soldier in that group could do in that turn.
To sequence for the group all the members’ DEX scores are summed and then averaged. Once averaged a value of 1D20-1D6 is added to the average but the added value may never be lower than one.
      Action Points System
This game uses a system that uses action points for actions like movement or attack rather than a sequence of actions you can do in a turn. These actions determine the actions you can do per round and these actions take up points. Once the points are gone the soldier or character can no longer act at all until the action points are regained.
The Table below presents the possible actions during combat.
Actions   Cost   Explanation

(1 sq. or 5 feet)    2   There is a limit to the number of squares a soldier could move and this is equal to the soldier’s DEX score.
Assault   4   When a soldier attacks the soldier does an Attack Check to determine the success of the attack.
Counter-Assault   4   When a soldier is attacked that soldier can attack back. That soldier may also attack before an attacker could even attack. Merely measure their DEX+WIS scores and add D6 to each. The one with the highest score attacks first. Treat attacks done here as normal attacks.
A soldier can only attack another soldier within range of wielded weapon.
Defend   3   When a soldier defends the soldier does a Defend Check.
Evade   2   When a soldier chooses to evade an Evade Check is made against an Attack Check.
Use Skill   4   
Use Item   3   
Pick Up Item   2   
Drop Item   2   
Equip Item   4   
Un-equip Item   4   
Incorporate into Group   12   This is the action of incorporating soldiers into a group. The action requires a success check of 2D6 against the number of soldiers being incorporated into a group. If the roll is lesser than the number of soldiers the action is a failure. If not it is a success.

Action Points Regeneration and Limit
Soldier’s and character’s regain CON number of action points every round. The limit and starting number of action points is equal to [DEX+STR+CON]ave.
Fatigue System
Fatigue occurs whenever the actions points a soldier or character has each round exceed a certain number. This is called the fatigue system and fatigue decreases a character or soldier’s stamina (measured by CON but will be discussed later). The penalties for this will be discussed later except the effect on action points. For every 3 points of fatigue a character or soldier has the action points regained are depleted by 1. Until the fatigue points are rested the depletion continues.
If 75% of the action points a soldier is allowed is exhausted the soldier receives 6 fatigue points. This will not stop piling until the action points are back to normal. If the limit reaches 100% the fatigue points received for that round is 12.
There is the option of resting. Resting is not doing any action for one round and the action points regained is doubled.

Title: Re: Tactics Engine
Post by: Teh_Az on February 01, 2007, 02:08:38 AM
The Soldier and Character Creation

Soldiers and characters follow a Sheet system based on traditional gaming concepts modified to fit the idea of tactics and troop management. The sheet system uses other subsystems for character progression to ensure a more realistic progression of traits, attributes, skills, and etc.

The Traits System
The Traits System is a measurement of your character’s integral characteristics related to game-play. These have been based from traditional gaming concepts modified a bit to fit the tactics concept of this game engine.
It follows six ability scores that define your soldier’s over-all performance in those aspects. These six values are categories of proficiency that affect all the actions your soldiers and characters could possibly do. These traits are Constitution, Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. These traits are based upon the mind, body, and soul of a person. The creation of characters and soldiers requires a measurement of these scores set to certain parameters that depend upon the setting of the game players are playing in.
The setting is integral because it determines the limits of these traits according to race, family, culture, genes, and the like. Without the setting there is no game, there is no role-playing, and there is no use for this engine at all.

Constitution (CON)
Constitution is the measure of a person’s physical endurance, stability, health, wellness, and over-all physical constitution. It determines your soldier’s survivability factor during battles, endurance to pain, and endurance to ill effects that plague a corporal body. It follows the following chart below for levels of measurement but note that this is merely an example and the player may change them if the player wishes to.
Level   Measurement in words
0   Non-corporal
Non-corporal means that there is no need for a measurement of bodily characteristics for the person in question has no body in the first place like a ghost or the like.
1   Weak
2   Sickly
3   Faint
4   Feeble
5   Normal
6   Tough
7   Hardened
8   Superior
9   Unnatural

Vitality Limit
The amount of physical damage a person could withstand without dying. This is equal to double of a person’s CON score. If the limit is reached the soldier is considered disabled from combat. If it reaches below the limit the soldier is officially dead. Bleeding is the misfortune of reaching 20% or more of one’s limit in one attack. Bleeding adds [10% of CON+STR] damage points every round until the bleeding is stopped.
Fatigue Limit
Fatigue Limit is equal to CON+STR.
Pain Limit
The amount of damage a soldier could take without gaining penalties. A soldier feels pain when his vitality limit is reached beyond 50% or when one attack deals 30% of damage. To ascertain whether the soldier could endure it or not roll a Pain Check [D20+the amount of damage taken]. Then roll an Endure Check [D6+CON+WIS]. If the former roll is larger or equal to the latter roll then the soldier feels pain. The soldier gain penalties equal to Pain Check decreased by the Endure Check and it last for D20 number of rounds decreased by CON but now lower than one round.
Hunger Limit
This is equal to CON+STR. Characters gain hunger points equal to fatigue points gained during combat and outside of combat divided by WIS. Once it reaches beyond the limit the soldier’s value increases equal to the value beyond the limit. These value increases also serve as penalties for actions.
Stress Limit
This is Equal to CON+WIS+INT. This is a measure of stress your character could withstand when doing mentally straining acts which include studying, casting spells and the like.
Insanity Limit
The amount of mental damage a soldier could take before breaking down. This is equal to WIS+CON. Once the mental damage rises up beyond this limit the character breaks down and is under the ill effect of crazy with the appropriate penalties.

Strength (STR)
The physical prowess of a person which measures physical strength, brawn, and over-all might.
Carry Limit
This is the maximum weight your character can carry. This is equal to your soldier’s doubled Strength in kilograms. The character suffers from weight penalty for each Kilogram beyond this limit. This penalty is for all Actions which require checks or rolls.
This is the amount of pure physical damage a soldier can inflict without weapons. This is equal to double your character’s strength and may never be lower than 1.
Dexterity (DEX)
This is a person’s physical agility, talent with a hands, coordination, reflexes, and balance. This affects success rolls using DEX oriented skills and success checks of attacks and actions which require dexterity.
Combat Session
When you attack, defend, or evade you make an Attack, Defend, or Evade Check [DEX+WIS+D20-(# of Armaments used*Penalties)]. The check must be higher than the opponent’s check to be successful. A successful attack does normal damage but if the check is higher by 50% the attack has a 50% bonus. If higher by a 100% the damage is doubled.
If the Defend Check is higher than the Attack Check by 100% that attacker’s damage reverts to the attacker but decreased by half.
If the Evade check is higher all damage is negated.
If the Defend and Evade checks are higher the soldier can opt to attack with decreased cost of actions points by half and has a bonus of D6 to Attack check while the attacker has a penalty of 2D6 to any Evade or Defend check done with increased action point cost by half. The Combat Sessions ends with the final attack of the defender.
Intelligence (INT)
The measure of a character’s potential for learning and analysis of logical problems.
Knowledge Limit
The knowledge or number of lore your character can learn at maximum. This is equal to your INT.
Skill Limit
The number of skill ranks your soldier can possibly learn is equal to quadruple the soldier’s INT.
Wisdom (WIS)
Wisdom is basically a category meter for a soldier’s foresight, willpower, focus, insight, powers of observation, and the like.
Charisma (CHA)
This is the measure of your character physical features, presence and personality.

After the Traits System the next system that fleshes out a character or soldier some more is the Bio System. The bio system is composed of a number of sections that describe the character’s identity.

The Bio System
This system uses the following sections below.

The name is the true given identity of a person.
This is the name a person chooses to use with others.
Gene Line
This is a complicated feature reserved for character’s role-playing the spawning of children who will grow into adults. The mechanics for this have sadly been forgotten but will be developed soon.
Birth Date
The Birth Date of the character.
Birth Place
The Place of Birth of the character.
The True Age of the character.
General Size
This is the space pattern the character or thing takes up on a battle map.
The Height of the character in ft.
The Weight of the character in kg.
Trait Potential
This is the innate talent for progression in one trait a character has. This reduces the limit for advancing the levels of a certain trait. Roll a D6 to know what that trait is if not ruled over by genes.

The second most important system is the Resume system.

The Profession System
The profession system controls the skills and knowledge of your character and soldiers. Skills and knowledge are two totally different aspects of schooled capabilities. Skills are abilities to do stuff which most people aren’t good at or need training to perfect. Knowledge is something studied to know something.

Skills are dependant upon setting being that the rules here are merely the mechanics for an engine of game-play. Basically skills will merely be given a template to follow for the game master or anyone to fill up according to a setting with examples below. When using a skill it is either against another character or against an environment. When against a character the game-master will have to set the character’s to roll checks against each other using the appropriate skills with the appropriate modifiers. When against an environment the game-master must set a difficulty level for the soldier enacting the skill to surpass. A skill check is [Skill Rank+Trait+D6-Penalties].

This is the name of the skill. It identifies the skill as a unique action separate from other skill of almost similar function.
This is the trait family of the skill. This shows what trait modifies the success of a skill and what trait the skill helps in growing
This is the proficiency level of a character in this skill. Rank may have as many levels as a game-master wants.
This is the function of the skill. It is either an active skill which acts as an action or a passive skill which acts as a modifier to other actions.

An Example

Name: Pistol
Family: DEX and WIS
Rank: Master (form Basic, Apprentice, Journeyman, and Master. Four level ranks)
Description: A passive skill actins as a modifier for attack using pistols. This is the measure of how good your character is using pistols.

Knowledge is something else. Knowledge is the academic area of expertise by which a soldier studies or steadily learns an area of knowledge. Since this is merely an engine these mechanics will only provide a basic template and an example for players to create their own settings for.

Scholarly Curve
This is the duration of time in hours for this knowledge to be learned. The value decreases by INT and increases with each progression of rank.

Basically I just ant to know whether the systems and concepts I'm using are fun, simple, balanced, and player friendly.

I'd like to know to if some of the stuff above is publishable under an open source license similar to the stuff I've seen in Free Roleplay Community.

I don't understand the whole Open Gaming Licenses and I wanna make sure I know what I'm doing.