View Full Version : Assorted ideas for homebrew (rfc)

2010-03-08, 09:05 PM
There are quite a few mechanics I'm considering implementing, and I think it might be worth pitching a few of them to the playground.

These are generally intended for Starlight, my homebrew variant, and I'm not too concerned about having to adapt material to fit - partly because I don't intend Starlight to bear much resemblance to D&D.

Combat changes[hr]

The first change I have planned to combat is a reduction in the number of different action types to:

Major Actions. A major action takes up most of your time and effort in a round.
Minor Actions. A minor action takes up little enough time, or little enough concentration, that you can perform more than one per round. You may not perform the same minor action more than once per round, with certain caveats.
Defences. Each character has her own maximum number of defences per round. Defences are special actions which a character can use to defend herself against attacks, and sometimes counter them.
Full Actions. These represent things that require a character's almost undivided attention for the whole of a round.

Multiple Attacks will be mostly cut. There might be a talent or two granting an extra attack, but nothing major. Two-weapon fighting starts by granting an extra Defence each round.

Attacks of Opportunity

Attacks of opportunity are virtually non-existent, although an attack action against a character who has no defensive actions left is usually doubled.

Characters must burn defensive actions if they wish to cast spells or do anything similar - this makes some sense considering that the turn sequence is a construct that exists almost exclusively for convenience, and avoids the 3rd edition problem where attacks of opportunity are trivial to sidestep.

For movement, characters simply make a check and move at half speed while within a threatened area. A really bad failure costs a defence as well.


My plan for handling injuries to characters borrows a little from 4e, a little from iron heart surge, a little from True20, a little from Inquisitor, and a little from Fey Winds. The idea is as follows:

Each character has a statistic called 'Toughness', which works like a save.
After being hit, a character rolls her toughness to determine how well she does. A failed save imposes a -1 to future toughness saves. Additionally, for every five points by which a character fails her save, her condition becomes worse by one step on the condition track. This limits what the character can achieve.
Heroic characters are assigned a small pool of 'essence', one use of which is to keep going despite injuries. Essence can be transferred from one character to another using spells, and obtained from outside sources using various means.
Essence can also be used to recover from injuries. This requires mundane assistance, however, and is horribly inefficient.

Note: The main purpose behind essence is to allow narrators to set the pace of the game - if you don't mind characters healing rapidly, you can make essence sources readily available. If you want a grittier game, you can leave characters to make do with nothing. 'Healing' with a soft cap offers more flexibility than at-will healing.


While I haven't established a list of skills, I have an idea on how they will work:

Skills are broken into three different groups.
Some skills grant a bonus to checks to perform a specific kind of action, no matter where the character is. These are known as Talents.
Some skills grant a bonus to checks to operate in a particular environment. These are the Environment skills.
Some skills grant a bonus to skill checks pertaining to particular objects or entities. These are the Knowledge skills.
A character's total for a particular activity usually consists of Dice Roll + Ability Score + Sum of two appropriate skills from different categories.

Notes: The basic idea here is to reduce the need for artificial 'specialisations' or synergy mechanics, and to make the skill system a little less punishing - as long as you have at least some skill in a particular area, you can bring in another skill to help out.


I've been thinking about a way to handle magic item crafting and wealth by level that doesn't involve XP costs or hard caps, and I ended up with this system:

Characters have a 'funding' allowance. This reflects roughly how much mundane equipment and adventuring supplies a character can consistently maintain.
There is also a certain amount of magical energy available from the land under a character's control. This energy can be 'bound' into magic items and similarly permanent effects.
Although limited, the power of the land is self-renewing - thus, characters also have an allowance of points they can spend on magic items.


There's a work in progress write-up of Starlight over at Fax's wiki (http://wiki.faxcelestis.net/index.php?title=Starlight:introduction)
Older threads: Funding (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=125221)|YACS (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=108448)|YACS Combat (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=115128)|Starlight (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=133760)|Future Starlight (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=139181)

Any comments, criticism, or suggestions relating to any of the above would be greatly appreciated.

Please post any comments here rather than necro'ing old threads.

2010-03-10, 07:24 AM
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