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[E.rpg] Worked out some kinks, and developed a new focus.

Started by timfire, March 31, 2004, 06:55:53 PM

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Well, I feel I've worked out the major kinks in my reworked heartbreaker, E.rpg. Here are the basics of the system. I still have to finish writing everything out, but if anyone wants to see what what I have right now, I would gladly share it with them (PM me and I will send it via email.)

For reference, here are the other threads. (Note, I've changed a few things since those posts were made.)
[E.rpg] My Fantasy Heartbreaker
[E.rpg] Alpha playtest

Anyway, how does my system sound? Do I have a coherent vision? Will the mechanics support my vision?

Here's the run down...

E.rpg is a somewhat basic, combat-heavy fantasy dungeon crawl, with a mix of DnD-style fantasy and steampunk technology. It is meant for challenge-oriented gameplay. I also envision it for light-hearted play, where players joke around and use their BP (see below) not just for personal gain, but to cause trouble for other players as well.

The focus of my game is on tactics, or more specifically about creating abnormal advantages for yourself. "Advantages" & "Tactics" are largely left undefined (an ambush could be considered an "advantage," for example), though I do state that "tactics" are not limited to combat actions only. I basically just want players to come up with imaginative and innovative actions.

This focus is reinforced by a number of features:

1. Players are rewarded for "tactical actions."
Players are rewarded in 2 ways: Bonus Points (aka, Story Points or Narration Points) and Character Points (aka, advancement). The examples of "tactical actions" I give in the text are:
- Creating new and innovative tactics.
- Sound application of known tactics.
- Flamboyant tactics. (This would require a bit of discretion - there's a difference between flamboyant and outright stupid.)
- Talking , negotiating, or otherwise "role-playing" your way through difficult situations.

1a. Bonus Points
When players perform "tactical actions," they are immediately rewarded with BP. BP may be spent to boost rolls, but they may also be used to buy narration priviledges (ie, director stance). This can, of course, be used to narrate story elements, but I explicitly state that they can also be used to narrate yourself advantages, or alternatively to narrate disadvantages for others.

1b. Character Points (aka, point-buy advancement)
Advancement runs parallel to BP. For every BP earned by tactical actions, the character also receives a CP. CP may be spent to improve a character's abilities. Also noteworthy, everything is point-buy, including equipment. Thus the only way to advance your character in any manner is by gathering character points, and the most significant way to gather character points is by making "tactical actions."

[ Oringinally, I had BP & CP as the same resource, but I decided instead to have them run parallel. I wanted players to feel free to use narration priviledges, and I thought that the prospect of losing advancement would deter alot of its use. ]

2. Mechanically, both combat and magic are stacked against the character
They are not overwhelming stacked, but hopefully they are stacked just enough to encouraged players to either use BP or develop their own advantages (ie, tactics).

3. Combat is geared towards tactical thinking.
I use an initiative system (I didn't make it up, and I'm not sure who did) that seperates declaring actions from resolving actions. Declaring is done slowest to fastest, but resolving is done fastest to slowest. This allows faster combatants to plan their actions according to slower combatants, and interrupt them if desired. Initiative can be further manipulated for various effects.

4. Magic is geared towards tactical thinking.
Though not as complicated as combat, magic is largely freeform, and though it functions like normal task resolution, it can be manipulated for various effects.

[I realize there is a potential to burn-out players if they are forced to be creative with tactics all the time. But I don't intend to award BP/CP for every action a player makes. I what to award BP for key actions mainly. Maybe 1 or 2 BP per scene at most. ]

That all said, here are the stats:

Task resolution: [ (player) 2d6 + skill  vs. (GM) xd6 (+ modifiers) ] where the number of dice the GM rolls is dictated buy the difficulty of the task. Degree of success is sometimes used to determine the degree of... err, success/ failure.
Point-Buy Character generation: (already said that)
Peusdo-statless: There are the equalivent of stats, but they default to 0 and don't factor into skills.
Peusdo-classless: There are races which dictate skill costs (like a class), and skills are organized into occupation-like "packs," but players do not pick a static occupation-like "class."
A single roll for attack & damage: [ 2d6 + weapon - Opposed roll = damage dealt ]
Magic is skill-based and semi-freeform: Magic is largely freeform and functions like normal skills (sorta said that already). Characters can memorize specific spells to increase their chance of success. Casting time and the possibility of fumbling keeps the use of magic in check.
--Timothy Walters Kleinert


One other feature I thought I should mention. I state that BP/CP is awarded according to group consensus. Any player is allowed to nominate another player, and then (theorectically) the group makes a quick vote. This makes alot of play implicitly about impressing your friends.

Would there be any issues with that I should be aware of?
--Timothy Walters Kleinert