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View Full Version : Minerva [System, Concept Work]



Kuma Kode
2011-08-21, 12:08 AM
Minerva is a project that has undergone several iterations, each one (hopefully) better than the last. It arose from a desire for more flexibility in a D&D style game. I've looked into point buy systems, but many of them seem to lack granularity in skill levels, or that skill levels cease to matter after a certain point (such as the difference between rolling 20d6 instead of 15d6 to get 3 successes).

Originally I set out to patch D&D a bit with some homebrewed systems, but I realized that I was better off simply starting from scratch, taking ideas and executions I liked from other game systems and applying my own ideas to create a system I thoroughly enjoyed.

I've completed some of the basic mechanics and have started working on simple, specific parts (direct damage spells, simple +X to roll talents). One of my friends who has been working as quality control asked me why I haven't been posting my work here, since I speak so highly of these forums. So, here this is. If there's no interest in this, that's fine; no one likes to learn a new system, and worse yet, a system that isn't even functional.

Note that I like things a bit crunchy; simple rules have caused a lot of bizarre results in the past and I'd prefer a few extra rolls over looks of WHAT from my players and the DM shrugging in response (I'm looking at you, d20 Future starship battles (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=180050)).

The base combat system of phases comes from Ars Magica, and I will likely be using something similar to their spontaneous magic use.

Base dice rolling mechanic is similar to that of Feng Shui. The yin and yang motif is pervasive in Minerva and opposing die fits it well.

The scale of attribute scores mirrors D&D inadvertently. It just happened to provide the same granularity as I wanted.

For perspective, beginning characters can start with 5 or 6 points in a class-favored skill. By what would equate to level 20 in D&D, they can have up to 34 in an A-level skill.

Currently, the systems below are in note/sketch form.

2Design Goals2

Unity of Form. If two concepts can share the same mechanic, they should. This makes the system easier to remember.
Skill Basis. Character progress and evolution should be determined by choices a player makes, not by a table. These choices should be meaningful, and should not punish specialization nor make it mandatory.
Realism. A mechanic should be as simple as possible, but no simpler. The system is not rules-lite, and will utilize complex mechanics for concepts that require it. The game should avoid illogical results caused by over-simplified mechanics.
Modularity. The game should readily accept add-ons and provide room for modification.
Teamwork. Characters should be encouraged to work together to achieve goals, and be rewarded for doing so. The team should be more than the sum of its parts.
Meaningful Decisions. Players should have options and choices, even when the dice are determining an outcome. Options in character development and combat should be interesting, with no clearly superior choice.
Diminishing Returns. Improving strong abilities should be harder than improving weak ones, but not prohibitively so. Likewise, the rolling mechanics should have some sort of bell-curve probability distribution.
Philosophy. Good and Evil should not be readily discernible. The system should be able to accommodate moral decisions and grey areas.
Character-centered abilities. The character's own abilities should be the focus of the action. Equipment serves an ancillary role.
Rechargeable. Powers and abilities should avoid daily usage limits to avoid things like the 15-minute workday, where players adventure only a short time before being forced to rest to restore their powers.
Magic is common. Anyone with a teacher and the time and effort can learn magic. Everyone knows or has heard of the aspiring elementalist who can make pebbles levitate or the healer who mends their scrapes and injuries. The party soldier may pick up weak healing magic from the priestess for emergencies and some fire bolt magic from the elementalist to give him some more tactical options.
Magic is weak. Permanent magical effects are almost unheard of. Achieving powerful effects consistently requires dedication to the art, and a specialized caster has a limited scope. Every town may have a healer who can mend cuts and broken bones, but restoring life to even a dead insect is extremely difficult, and bringing life to dead people is a feat heard only in stories.


2Dice Rolling Mechanic2
Balance Die. Two d10s are rolled, one called the shi-die, and the other the wu-die. The wu-die's result is subtracted from the shi-die. Bonuses and penalties are added to the result and then compared to a target number, which has a baseline of 0 for "typical" tasks. Both die "explode" on a roll of 10; if a die comes up 10, the die is rolled again and added to the 10. Exploding can occur in sequence, as well: a roll of 10, followed by another 10, followed by 8, results in a 28 for that die.


1d10 - 1d10 + modifiers

This creates an unbounded, bell-shaped probability distribution centered around 0.

2Attributes2

Strength (Str) - Physical power and muscle. Ability to exert force.
Stamina (Sta) - Cardiovascular health and ability to endure harsh conditions.
Toughness (Tough) - Durability and body composition. Ability to maintain inner systems.
Dexterity (Dex) - Manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination.
Agility (Agi) - Gross motor functions and speed.
Reason (Res) - Ability to learn, understand, and notice patterns and relationships.
Intuition (Int) - Subconscious understanding and direct awareness of facts and situations.
Personality (Per) - Strength of identity and ability to connect meaningfully with others.


The attributes range from 5 to 20. 10 and 11 is average. Each attribute has a modifier that it adds to rolls relating to it, with the attributes below 10 having negative modifiers and the attributes above 11 having positive. Negative modifiers are 1 to 1; for every point below 10 the attribute is, the penalty grows by a -1 until it reaches 0 (-10). The penalty can go no further. The positive attributes, however, are unbounded, but suffer diminishing returns.

The point costs are defined on the table below.

{table=head]Attribute | Bonus | Point Cost
5 | -5 | -5
6 | -4 | -4
7 | -3 | -3
8 | -2 | -2
9 | -1 | -1
10 | +0 | 0
11 | +0 | 1
12 | +1 | 2
13 | +2 | 3
14 | +2 | 5
15 | +3 | 7
16 | +3 | 10
17 | +4 | 13
18 | +4 | 17
19 | +4 | 22
20 | +5 | 27[/table]

2Skills2
Nearly all aspects of character development focus on skills. Increasing skills requires experience points, and higher skill levels require more points. A skill family itself (Warfare, First Principle, Social, etc.) can also have points spent on it; a quarter of the family's skill level applies to rolls on all skills that fall beneath it. Every point placed into a family also grants a talent point for that family's talent tree.

Warfare - Martial combat. Skill in using weapons to harm.

Armor [Sta], Axes [Str], Blades [Str], Bows [Dex], Chain [Str, Dex], Crossbows [Dex], Dual-Wield [Dex], Firearms [Dex], Hammers [Str], Knives [Dex], Picks [Str], Polearms [Str], Shields [Str], Spears [Str], Staves [Str]

First Principle - The self. Identity. The body. Instincts.

Athletics [Str, Sta], Acrobatics [Agi, Sta], Dodge [Agi], Meditation , Mettle [Tough], Thrown [Str, Dex], Unarmed [Str, Dex]

Second Principle - The self without. Meaning and purpose. The cycle of death and rebirth.

Reparation [Res], Preservation [Res], Augmentation [Res], Deterioration [Res], Dissolution [Res], Distortion [Res]

Third Principle - The without self. Elements. Matter. Inanimate objects.

Fire [Res], Water [Res], Earth [Res], Air [Res]

Fourth Principle - The self within. The mind. Thoughts and perception.

Control [Res], Unity [Res], Fear [Res], Desire [Res], Will [Res]

Wilderness - Interaction with the environment and non-sentient beings.

Stealth [Agi], Ride [Agi], Hunt [Int], Swim [Str, Sta], Navigation [Res, Int], Perception [Int]

Social - Interaction with sentient beings.

Deception [Per, Int], Mingling [Per], Manipulation [Per, Res], Performance [Per, Res], Leadership [Per, Int], Linguistics [Res]

Mercantile - Economic abilities. Day jobs. Knowledge of society as a whole.

Bargaining [Per, Res], Knowledge [Res], Forgery [Res, Dex], Craft [Res, Dex, Str], Mechanics [Res, Dex], Medicine [Res, Int, Dex]

Vehicular - Interaction with a mobile, inanimate object.

Pilot [Dex, Int], Drive [Dex, Int]

You cannot have more than ⅕ your total earned experience invested in a single skill at any time. Because skills will have different point costs per rank for different classes, the maximum number of ranks allowed will vary from one character to another.

2Talents2
Every skill family has a talent tree. Talents are special powers, usually passive, that add modifiers, grant new options, or allow characters to follow different rules that are not available to untrained individuals. Every level in a skill family grants one point to be spent on talents; to buy a talent, the talent's prerequisites must be met. These are usually skill level requirements.

2Classes2
Classes help define your character's training, past life experiences, and aptitude. Your class sets your skill ranks, which in turn determine how expensive different skills are to buy. Classes do not define what you can and cannot do; they only determine the effort required.

2Health2
The character's overall well-being is distributed into four health pools, each one representing a different kind of resistance to injury.

Vitality represents the durability of the character's physical structure, such as bones and muscle tissue. It is equivalent to your Strength score plus your Toughness score plus your ranks in Mettle. Blunt weapons primarily attack this pool.
Wounds represent the internal workings of the character's body, such as the cardiovascular system or other chemical systems. It is equivalent to your Stamina score plus your Toughness score plus your ranks in Mettle. Piercing and, to a lesser extent, slashing weapons attack this pool. It is important to martial characters because it limits their acquired Valor.
Psyche is the character's mental structure and the soundness of their rationale. It is equal to your Reason score plus your Intuition score plus your ranks in Meditation. It is important to mages because it determines the amount of Focus they can store. Some spells, particularly those cast of the Fourth Principle, attack it.
Essence is the internal workings of the character's mind, also called their soul or identity. It is equal to your Personality score plus your Intuition score plus your ranks in Meditation. It can be utilized by mages to store additional Focus in a dangerous gamble called Overcharge. Those who utilize the Second Principle, as well as some monsters, attack it.

While this is somewhat more complex than many other systems, it helps to alleviate some of the illogical feel of standard hit points. There is no reason, for instance, a psychic assault should make a creature die faster from being stabbed. This also simplifies damage immunity and special circumstances: monsters can lack certain health pools. This does not mean they have a 0 in the pool; they lack the pool altogether, and ignore any damage directed at it. A skeleton, for instance, has no systems or internal workings. It would lack Wounds, and suffer only Vitality damage. A hammer would remain very effective, but a knife would become nearly useless. In fact, the knife wielder would be better off bashing it with the handle or dropping it altogether and using his fists, large sticks, or nearby rocks.

Creatures without bones or solid structures lack Vitality points. Ex: Oozes, Some plants
Creatures without internal systems lack Wound points. Ex: Skeleton, Golem
Creatures without a body lack both Vitality and Wound points. Ex: Wraith
Creatures without a mind lack Psyche points. Ex: Insects, Skeleton
Creatures without a soul or animating force lack Essence points. Ex: Clockwork machines

Health remains relatively low, only increasing slowly, point by point, over time. This prevents the game from becoming overly tanky and makes dealing damage relevant at all levels of play. The multiple attribute dependency of the health pools helps avoid what is known as "dump stats," statistics that are not relevant to a particular class and are typically dropped in favor of elevating other, more useful attributes. All attributes are useful to all characters, making assigning and boosting attributes non-trivial.

2Powers2
Special abilities called Powers can be learned by characters to utilize their skills in new ways. Many powers go beyond typical usage of the skill or allow the character to do things they could not normally do. Powers are usually found on scrolls, in dusty tomes, or taught by masters. Once learned, a power is remembered forever, but must be readied for use in one of the power slots available. Emptying a slot (if necessary) and readying a new power in its place requires fifteen minutes of practice, exercises, or reading to refresh the character's memory; once refreshed, the power remains available until it is discarded, with no usage limit or recharge period (Some powers, particularly Maneuvers and Spells, consume Valor and Focus).

Power slots are shared by all skills in a family and the number available to you depends on your highest skill in the family. Powers related to warfare skills are called Maneuvers. First Principle powers are called Masteries. Powers related to the Second, Third, or Fourth Principles are called Spells. Social powers are called Exploits. Wilderness and Vehicular powers are called Tricks. Mercantile powers are called Techniques.

Valour: This energy is the heroic surge that accompanies success in battle. For every point by which you beat your opponent's Defense roll with a weapon skill against an enemy (not simply a tree, sparring partner, or practice target), you gain one point of Valor. These deplete at the rate of 1 point per round and cannot exceed your current Wound.

Focus: Spellcasters collect ambient magickal energy in special pathways formed in their mind to cast spells. To collect Focus, a Meditation check is rolled against 5. The magician acquires one point for succeeding, plus one point for every two points by which they beat 5. Like sand grasped in the hand, Focus depletes faster the more it is gained. While Focus remains lower than half the caster's Intuition, it depletes at a mere 1 point per round. When Focus exceeds half Intuition but remains less than Reason, it siphons off at 3 points per round. If Focus exceeds Reason, it disappears at the rate of 5 per round.

Conventionally, Focus is limited to the caster's current Psyche, but it is possible to store Focus in Essence in a dangerous act called Overcharge. If done, the acquired Focus spills over and can use Essence as if it were Psyche. Overcharging by less than half the caster's Intuition causes Focus to drain away at the impressive rate of 9 points per round. If the Focus gained exceeds half Intuition but remains less than Personality, it instead fades away at a nearly insurmountable rate of 14 points per round. Once it exceeds Personality, not even an accomplished mage can overcome its cascade of 20 points per round.

When overcharged Focus drains away, it takes part of the caster's soul along with it, causing damage to the caster's Essence equal to the amount lost. It is for this reason that Overcharging is never done unless the Focus will be utilized promptly, and even then is only done in serious cases.

Learning Powers: You gain free powers when you gain a certain number of ranks in a skill. The rate is different for each skill. Warfare skills, for instance, grant a free maneuver for every two ranks in each skill, while Second Principle skills grant a new spell for every rank. The power selected must be one that requires the skill in which you invested points, and you must meet the power's requirements (you can meet them with the rank with which you acquired them, if necessary). Powers can also be learned during adventures from teachers, old tomes, or even through roleplay and experimentation if the GM sees fit.

Cross-Discipline Powers and Skill Fusion: Similar but unique, cross-discipline powers and skill fusion allow characters to marry two different skills to gain new and interesting powers. Cross-discipline powers require ranks in multiple, sometimes contradictory skills, giving generalists their own unique capabilities that even specialists would lack. Water and Earth ranks, for instance, grant access to acid-element spells that a single-skilled specialist would never acquire. Similarly, Knife and Dissolution could be combined into a sneak attacking maneuver that saps health from its target or deals Essence damage instead.

Skill Fusion is an even more powerful combination of skills, but instead of requiring ranks, it requires two or more powers. Skill Fusion cannot be done by a single character; the fusion requires multiple powers to be activated simultaneously in concert, a feat which can only be done by more than one person. Using skill fusion, a team of characters can work together and utilize each others abilities to create completely new effects that are more effective than what they could have done apart.

For instance, a necromancer and an elementalist are fighting a wraith. The elementalist, who deals physical damage with his magic, finds the wraith an insurmountable obstacle. Instead of standing around and watching the necromancer fight it on his own, the two decide to combine the necromancer's essence-damaging Necrotic Bolt and the elementalist's Fire Arrow, creating a unique fusion they call Blackfire Bolt. This blackfire deals essence damage equal to both the caster's spells, essentially converting the elementalist's fire into necromantic power and adding it to the necromancer's bolt.

If they had a soldier with them, they could try to find a way to incorporate one of his maneuvers into the mix to create an even more powerful combination.

2Combat2
Combat is done in phases organized by the type of action performed, not by the person performing it. Everyone in battle is assumed to be acting more or less simultaneously. Combat is designed to be more fluid in its descriptions and less specific as to exact location; this is because grids and maps have a tendency to suppress roleplaying and initiate a "video game" kind of feel. During complex battles, it can be useful to sketch a map, but only so long as it aides and does not detract from the creativity and engagement of the players.

Phase 1: Movement - All combatants declares where they intend to move, how they get there, and how long it will take. Expected courses of action are declared. Some quick non-movement actions can also be done here.
Phase 2: Missile 1 - After movement begins, characters attacking with ranged weapons make their first attacks.
Phase 3: Melee 1 - Once all ranged weapons have had their chance, melee attacks are rolled and calculated.
Phase 4: Missile 2 - If any ranged attackers are fast enough to gain a second attack this round, they do so after the first melee phase.
Phase 5: Melee 2 - If any melee attackers are fast enough to gain a second attack this round, they do so after the second missile phase.
Phase 6: Magic - Spells and other magic-related actions take the longest, and act last.
Phase 7: Clean Up - Any actions that have yet to be resolved that do not fall under any of the other categories, such as picking locks, is completed here, and the cycle beings anew.


Range
Ranges are not exact distances, and may vary depending on specific circumstances. These are guidelines, and the GM should be comfortable making exceptions. These ranges are used by both spells and weapons for convenience.

Touch: Physical contact or arm's reach. Generally no more than 1 meter.
Reach: Within range of a lunge with a weapon. Generally two sword's lengths away or 2-3 meters.
Close: Out of range of a standard melee weapon, but within range of a hafted weapon. Generally 4-8 meters.
Near: Outside of melee range. 9-15 meters.
Moderate: 15 - 30 meters. This is the maximum effective range of light bows.
Long: 31-60 meters. This is the maximum effective range of heavy bows, light firearms, and light crossbows.
Far: 61-100 meters. This is the maximum effective range of a heavy crossbow or most heavy firearms.
Distant: 100-300 meters. Few weapons can fire this far with any level of accuracy.
Beyond: No standard exists for distances beyond 300 meters. If something has a range higher than Distant, it will state its exact range.

Initiative
A character's initiative represents their reflexes and awareness of combat. It changes based on circumstances. Whenever the order of actions within a phase is important, those with the higher initiative go first, such as when one character moves to engage while their enemy moves to disengage.


[I]Initiative Bonus = Agility Modifier + Intuition Modifier + Conditional Modifiers

Movement Speed
A human's base movement speed per round is (10 + Agility modifier) meters. A person can move up to double this distance if they do nothing but move.


Base Movement Speed = 10 + Agility modifier - Encumbrance Penalty

Weapon Speed
How fast a character can attack is determined by Weapon Speed, which in turn is determined by several other factors.


Attack Speed = Agility Score + Weapon Speed + Encumbrance Penalty + Weapon Skill


Weapon Speed (Maximum +0) = Weapon Speed Penalty + Strength Modifier + Stamina Modifier


{table=head]Attack Speed | Attack on First Phase | Attack on Second Phase
-21 or lower | Every fourth round | Never
-20 to -11 | Every third round | Never
-10 to -6 | Every other round | Never
-5 to 5 | Every round | Never
6 to 10 | Every round | Every third round
11 to 20 | Every round | Every other round
21+ or higher | Every round | Every round[/table]

Making an Attack
To make an attack roll, you and your opponent both roll opposed skills. Usually, this is an attack roll of the type of weapon you're using, opposed by either your opponent's Dodge defense roll or a Shield defense roll (defender's choice, but never both).


Attack Roll = 1d10 - 1d10 + Total Bonus to Weapon Skill + Equipment Bonus + Miscellaneous Modifiers


Dodge Roll = 1d10 - 1d10 + Total Bonus to Dodge Skill + Armor Dodge Bonus + Passive Shield Bonus + Miscellaneous Modifiers


Shield Roll = 1d10 - 1d10 + Total Bonus to Shield Skill + Active Shield Bonus + Miscellaneous Modifiers

If your opponent's Dodge roll beats your attack roll, your attack missed. If the opponent beats your attack roll with a Shield roll, your attack was deflected and they may make a free counter-attack (see the Shield skill's description for more information). If your roll beats either one, you successfully strike your opponent and deal damage appropriate for your weapon.


Damage Dealt = Weapon's Base Damage + Weapon Skill Bonus + Strength or Dexterity modifier - Armor's Protection +/- miscellaneous modifiers

The weapon skill bonus is usually +1 per 4 ranks in the weapon's skill. For weapons held in the off-hand, this is determined by your skill in Dual Wield or in the weapon's normal skill, whichever is lower. For shield bashes, however, the bonus is +1 per 6 ranks.

Engagement
Historical melee combat often involved pairs or small groups of soldiers pairing up and fighting their own personal battles, seemingly independent and only vaguely aware of enemies outside their combat. Engagement takes into account the varying levels of attention characters give to other combatants. The enemy in direct melee range readying an attack, for instance, garners far more attention than a similar fighter fifty meters away occupied by two of your allies. In this example, the character is engaged with the enemy attacking them, but not engaged with the enemy in melee with their allies.

Engagement is a declaration of intent to fight another character. It is usually done as part of the opening attack, but it can be done separately. To engage an enemy in combat, you must be able to attack or be attacked by them. Two melee fighters thirty meters away, for instance, cannot engage each other, but a melee fighter and an archer could.

Disengaged Attacks: It is not possible to attack an enemy with which you are not engaged. It is, however, possible to attack an enemy that is not engaged with you, such as an archer firing at a distracted melee combatant or a rogue sneaking up on a guard. This is called a first strike.

First strikes are otherwise normal attacks, but the defender does not add their Agility or Dodge ranks to their Dodge roll, nor can they use active defenses such as shields. Once the first strike is resolved, the defender is considered engaged and can use their defenses properly.

Engagement at Different Ranges: Depending on their weapon choices, two characters may want to begin engagement at different ranges. If both combatants are aware of one-another, engagement is determined by the one with the longest range. If the character with the longer range is not aware of the other, the two make initiative rolls in an engagement contest; the winner determines the range.

The engagement range of a melee may serve one combatant well, but the other may be unable to attack properly at this range, such as a knife wielder in melee with a polearm wielder. If a character so chooses, he or she may attempt to forcibly adjust the engagement range, but this grants the opponent a free attack against them. If this adjustment attack hits, regardless of whether or not it deals damage, the character fails to change the engagement range and the round continues at the original range. A polearm-wielder, for instance, can attempt to keep a swordmaster at a range where he can attack but not be attacked. The swordmaster can do little else about this, save for being defensive and attempting to duck inside his opponent's range when the polearm fails to connect.

On the other hand, once inside the swordmaster's range, the polearm-wielder will find it difficult to create more breathing room. He may need to drop his polearm and draw a smaller, secondary weapon.

Ranged weapons never get to make adjustment attacks, but a ranged weapon wielder can still provoke them.

Multiple Engagements: Dividing your attention between multiple enemies is difficult. For every enemy with which you are engaged beyond the first, you suffer a -3 penalty to all Warfare rolls and to Dodge.

Attacking from Inside Range: Weapons are designed to operate at only a particular range. A polearm, for instance, cannot attack farther than Close range and does not function properly at Reach or Touch range. Against enemies closer than your effective range, you suffer a -3 penalty to all Warfare attack rolls and Dodge defense rolls per range category. A polearm, for instance, suffers a -3 against swords engaged at Reach range and a -6 against knives engaged at Touch range.

If your weapon can attack farther than its maximum effective range, such as most bows, firearms, and most other ranged weapons, you suffer a -3 penalty to your attack roll for the first increment beyond. The penalty doubles every increment afterward.

Caution/Aggression
When making a Warfare attack roll, a character may choose to be cautious or aggressive. When cautious, the shi-die is rolled twice and the higher value is taken, but any Valor gained from the attack is reduced by half. If aggressive, the wu-die is rolled twice and the highest result used, but Valor gained is doubled.

Damage Types

Physical Damage: Blunt, Slashing, Piercing, Ballistic, Concussion
Elemental Damage: Fire, Ice, Electric, Acid
Psychic Damage: Psychic, Eldritch
Spiritual Damage: Harmonic, Entropic


2Magic2
Magic is the manipulation of elements and forces of the universe to achieve various results, from destroying enemies to healing allies to creation of objects. While anyone can learn the techniques, few master them.

There are two forms of magic, each with their own limitations and uses: Spontaneous and Academic.

Casting Spontaneously
Spontaneous magic is, as its name implies, created on the spot. A caster simply wills the energies to do their bidding, making up a desired effect. No powers are necessary to perform spontaneous casting, and it is usually done when the caster lacks a spell that could do what they desire. The effect must, however, be within the confines of the skill being used. Preservation, the magic of protection, cannot be used to fly through the air or shoot bolts of fire, for instance. Aside from the limitations of the skill itself, the effect can be anything the caster desires.

To cast spontaneously, the caster must make a skill roll of the relevant magic (Reparation to heal, Dissolution to harm, Earth to levitate rocks, etc.). The roll is then compared to the table of example effects given in the skill's description. If the roll is too low, the effect does not take hold, though a lesser related one may occur.

Spontaneous magic does not consume Focus, since the required energy is gathered as part of the casting. You must, however, have at least 4 ranks in a magic skill to use it spontaneously.

For example, Weiland, the party's soldier, has a rather nasty gash in his leg due to an unexpected trap. Linea, the party's healer and moral compass, is pleased to find that it's not a lethal hit and could heal on its own. She's worried about infection, but she came prepared only for the soul-stealing attacks of the tomb's wraiths and the mindless bludgeoning of the animated corpses. Not wanting to leave her friend to hobble into battle, she decides to attempt spontaneous magic to heal him.

Linea's player rolls 1d10 - 1d10 + 6 (Linea's bonus to Reparation) and rolls a 7. She compares this to the table under Reparation. 7 is too low to heal even a point of damage (which requires a roll of 8), but is high enough to soothe pain. Her spell doesn't repair the wound, but Weiland's pain quickly fades, replaced by a cool tingle around the wound.

She could attempt this again if she so chose, but Weiland softly reminds her that he's had worse injuries in his training, and that he'll be fine.

Academic Spells
While it offers casters flexibility and versatility, spontaneous magic is difficult to perform; achieving even small effects requires training and experience to perform reliably. The vast number of variables and quirks of the energies makes manipulating and feeding a spontaneous spell a chore at even the best of times. It didn't take long for a mage to think, "What if I didn't have to figure it all out on the spot?" Thus, academic magic was born.

Academic magic is essentially a pre-calculated effect. Most of the experimentation has been done, and the most efficient method of creating an effect has been discovered. Only a few situational variables remain open, making academic magic significantly easier.

All spells are academic in nature. They do not require a skill roll to cast, but they do require the caster to harvest a pre-determined amount of magic to fuel the spell. This is done through the use of the Meditation skill.

Spells are powerful and simple to cast, but they lack flexibility. Most of the spell's effects have already been determined. Variables such as target, area, and other such exact situational aspects are open, but the spell's actual effect cannot be modified.

For instance, Wieland, Linea, and Uwriy the elementalist are preparing to attack a bandit camp in the middle of the night. Uwriy has the spell fire arrow prepared, which allows him to project a bolt of elemental fire from his hand, but the bandits have crates set up as a defensive perimeter and the trees are making aiming difficult for him. He glances at their bonfire and wishes he could have the bolts arise from the fire, against which they would have no cover.

If he were to cast spontaneously, he might be able to get some fire bolts from the bonfire, but it would be nothing compared to that offered by his academic fire arrow, which simply does not offer him the flexibility he needs.

Spellcraft
Academic magic can be modified and customized when it is prepared through spellcraft. Each spell has a spellcraft section that explains how it can be modified, and at what cost. Usually the cost is in additional Focus, but some spells require objects, gems, or even more esoteric components. If a spell requires an object, the object is completely consumed on casting unless specifically noted otherwise.

Customizing a spell is done when the spell is prepared, not when it is cast. For this reason, some spellcasters choose to prepare a spell multiple times, one with a low cost and another, stronger one. Minor Fire Arrow, for example, deals 1d12 damage to a range of Moderate for the measely cost of 4 Focus. For every additional 2 points of Focus, the spell can deal an additional point of damage, and doubling the total cost increases its range to Long. If the caster so chose, he could increase the Focus cost by 2 to increase the damage dealt by 1. A caster could choose to prepare one Minor Fire Arrow that deals 1d12 and costs 4 Focus and a second version that costs 8 Focus but deals 1d12+2.

Domriso
2011-08-21, 12:47 AM
Damn, I thought this looked good before it was formatted correctly. :smallwink:

I must say, I love a lot of the ideas you have. It all seems very streamlined and interesting. I'd be interested to see more of the crunch you have.

erikun
2011-08-21, 06:12 PM
Interesting and well thought out. I'd like to see how the system plays once it is complete, although there are certainly a lot of variables here. I doubt I'll be able to make meaningful responses to everything relevant, so I'll just stick to the items that jumped out at me.


Health

The character's overall well-being is distributed into four health pools, each one representing a different kind of resistance to injury.
Just a few notes.

Which health value does energy damage (fire, electricity) affect? I will assume that concussive damage is considered a "blunt" type effect.

Octopi are most certainly vulnerable to bashing or crushing effects; their mobility and underwater environment are primarily what keep this from being an issue.

Swords and other large, metallic objects are going to affect more than the Wounds pool. Specifically, for a weapon that is capable of severing bone, stating that a skeleton is immune to it feels ridiculous.

Actually, that does bring up one more point. Is it possible for a weapon or type of attack to deal damage to more than one health pool?


Conventionally, Focus is limited by the caster's current Psyche, but it is possible to store Focus in Essence in a dangerous act called Overcharge. If done, the acquired Focus spills over and can use Essence as if it were Psyche. Overcharging by less than half the caster's Intuition causes Focus to drain away at the impressive rate of 9 points per round. If the Focus gained exceeds half Intuition but remains less than Personality, it instead fades away at a nearly insurmountable rate of 14 points per round. Once it exceeds Personality, not even an accomplished mage can overcome its cascade of 20 points per round.
This paragraph makes no sense, because Focus in not limited by Psyche; the previous paragraph indicates it is limited by Intuition and Reason. (Actually, it says nothing about any limit, but it is implied that your Focus cannot increase past your Intuition.)

Similarly, I'm not quite sure what is happening here. Is there now two Focus pools? Is there one, with a new maximum value or Intuition + Essense (or Psyche + Essence)? Is the Focus turned into temporary Essense?

I'm also curious as to what kind of an action is required to gather Essence, because if it is the Magic action, then you will always need to hold it (and suffer Focus drain) for one round minimum.


Combat
There is a couple of things I note here.

First, any ranged weapon that can get through armor is going to be deadly. Unless they are forced to stop to reload, they will have no trouble cutting down large numbers of opponents. This may not be a concern if we are talking seige warfare, but unless you are focusing the game on that aspect, most RPGs center around small (~6 person) units against each other. Between this and First Strike, most combats will be a slaughter.

Simply choosing to engage a melee opponent with a ranged weapon means one free attack every time they try to get closer. There also doesn't seem to be any penality to retreating (increasing range increment), thus you can return to a more optimal range unless the physical terrain prevents you.

Kuma Kode
2011-08-21, 07:44 PM
Which health value does energy damage (fire, electricity) affect? I will assume that concussive damage is considered a "blunt" type effect.

Octopi are most certainly vulnerable to bashing or crushing effects; their mobility and underwater environment are primarily what keep this from being an issue.

Swords and other large, metallic objects are going to affect more than the Wounds pool. Specifically, for a weapon that is capable of severing bone, stating that a skeleton is immune to it feels ridiculous.

Actually, that does bring up one more point. Is it possible for a weapon or type of attack to deal damage to more than one health pool? I knew Octopi was a bad thing to put there but I couldn't think of anything else. :smallannoyed:

Most weapons and elements deal different amounts of damage to different pools. An axe could deal 1d8 Vitality and 1d4 Wound, while a sword can deal 1d4 Wound and 1d8 Vitality. Hacky swords would slide their damage toward vitality, while more finesse and slicing based weapons would slide toward Wound.

The skeleton would be pretty much immune to a knife or rapier, and would ignore a large part of a more flesh-wounding swords like scimitars and katanas. Broadswords and axes would only be partially ignored, while hammers would be pretty much unaffected.

Hammers & Fire - All damage is Vitality, with only a few coincidental points of Wound.
Axes & Acid - 2/3 of the damage output is Vitality, 1/3 is Wound
Concussion and Some Weapons - 1/2 Vitality, 1/2 Wound
Swords & Cold - 1/3 Vitality, 2/3 Wound
Knives & Electricity - All wound, with a point or two of Wound


This paragraph makes no sense, because Focus in not limited by Psyche; the previous paragraph indicates it is limited by Intuition and Reason. (Actually, it says nothing about any limit, but it is implied that your Focus cannot increase past your Intuition.) Your Focus cannot normally exceed your Psyche pool. I did not state this clearly, but that was what was meant by the line "It is important to mages because it determines their ability to accrue Focus." I appear to have lost the actual stating during the formatting (it's note form, after all; I knew what I meant). Since 1/2 Intuition and your full Reason score are components of the pool, it made a simple three-part division: Up to the smaller component, up to the larger component, then up to the maximum.


Similarly, I'm not quite sure what is happening here. Is there now two Focus pools? Is there one, with a new maximum value or Intuition + Essense (or Psyche + Essence)? Is the Focus turned into temporary Essense? There never was a Focus pool; think of it as charging your Psyche. When your psyche points are fully charged, you have the option of also charging Essence as if they were Psyche, but this causes damage (Psyche is not damaged by Focus loss).


I'm also curious as to what kind of an action is required to gather Essence, because if it is the Magic action, then you will always need to hold it (and suffer Focus drain) for one round minimum. It can be done instead of movement and is done as part of casting, so up to twice. This makes casters who are fortified (and therefore don't need to move around) dangerous.


First, any ranged weapon that can get through armor is going to be deadly. Unless they are forced to stop to reload, they will have no trouble cutting down large numbers of opponents. This may not be a concern if we are talking seige warfare, but unless you are focusing the game on that aspect, most RPGs center around small (~6 person) units against each other. Between this and First Strike, most combats will be a slaughter.

Simply choosing to engage a melee opponent with a ranged weapon means one free attack every time they try to get closer. There also doesn't seem to be any penality to retreating (increasing range increment), thus you can return to a more optimal range unless the physical terrain prevents you. This is all a horrible mistake caused by a failure to note that the free attack caused from adjustment only applies to melee weapons; you can close on a ranged weapon user without a problem, and they'll provoke attacks when they try to back away. This makes melee a slaughterfest for archers and mages, so it heavily encourages these characters to avoid that situation at all costs, and makes the melee units that much more useful.

So there's a lot of things I need to go back over and state more clearly. Since this has gotten a surprising amount of attention, I'll post some more detailed information about skills, what equipment I have, and some powers.

I greatly appreciate you taking the time to look through it and point out my mistakes. It's in pre-alpha right now, and can benefit immensely from different people poking at it from different angles. :smallbiggrin:

Jade Dragon
2011-08-21, 07:52 PM
What does the Third Principle stuff do?

erikun
2011-08-21, 10:20 PM
I knew Octopi was a bad thing to put there but I couldn't think of anything else. :smallannoyed:
Might I recommend vines and fungi? You could technically crush a vine with a hammer, but it would take a lot of work to do so.


So there's a lot of things I need to go back over and state more clearly. Since this has gotten a surprising amount of attention, I'll post some more detailed information about skills, what equipment I have, and some powers.

I greatly appreciate you taking the time to look through it and point out my mistakes. It's in pre-alpha right now, and can benefit immensely from different people poking at it from different angles. :smallbiggrin:
No problem; it does look interesting so far. There is still some stuff that isn't clear - anything involving Psyche or Essense will be hard to quantify - but the rest makes a lot more sense now.

SlashRunner
2011-08-21, 11:09 PM
An axe could deal 1d8 Vitality and 1d4 Wound, while a sword can deal 1d4 Wound and 1d8 Vitality.

Just pointing out, those are the same thing. I think you meant 1d8 Wound and 1d4 Vitality for the sword.

Kuma Kode
2011-08-21, 11:10 PM
What does the Third Principle stuff do?

Second, Third, and Fourth Principle are magic skills. Each skill, such as Fire, Air, Earth, or Water, is a school of magic.



Just pointing out, those are the same thing. I think you meant 1d8 Wound and 1d4 Vitality for the sword.

FFFFFFFFFFFFFFF- Yes. You are correct. Got ahead of myself typing.

TravelLog
2011-08-21, 11:30 PM
Certain skills have two ability scores it is based off. How does that affect modifiers?

Also, this looks fascinating and I'd love to see how this all comes together.

eftexar
2011-08-22, 01:52 PM
From what I see I would like to play a game with these mechanics (when its finished of course). I particularly like the combat and roll mechanics. And finally movement based off of a scores (an idea I have always had).
A question though. How do you plan to scale characters with levels? Will the leveling of players focus more on an increase in power (as in stats (hp, saves, bab, etc)), utility (as in abilities), or both?
To me it looks like it leans towards utility. Which is fine with me, as I never understood why gaming systems always increase power (and at such a colossally fast rate), when the coolest part of leveling is the new abilities you get. If all characters only have utility (with the exception of 'bosses' of course) it comes down to who can use their character better, what options beat what options, and who has more options.

Kuma Kode
2011-08-22, 03:46 PM
From what I see I would like to play a game with these mechanics (when its finished of course). I particularly like the combat and roll mechanics. And finally movement based off of a scores (an idea I have always had).
A question though. How do you plan to scale characters with levels? Will the leveling of players focus more on an increase in power (as in stats (hp, saves, bab, etc)), utility (as in abilities), or both?
To me it looks like it leans towards utility. Which is fine with me, as I never understood why gaming systems always increase power (and at such a colossally fast rate), when the coolest part of leveling is the new abilities you get. If all characters only have utility (with the exception of 'bosses' of course) it comes down to who can use their character better, what options beat what options, and who has more options.

Minerva does not have levels. You increase in power by gaining experience, which is spent directly on increasing your skills. A DM can start at a "higher level" by simply giving more points to the starting characters.

Minerva focuses primarily on the characters acquiring new abilities. Power increases in all ways, but it increases slowly. Every four ranks of a weapon skill grant you a +1 to damage with that weapon, for instance.

These +1's and such to damage remain important because health remains relatively low. A starting character will usually have around 20 to 25 health in their better pools (Vitality and Wound for martial characters, Psyche and Essence for magicians), increasing by 1 every time they put a rank in Mettle or Meditation. By the system's equivalent of D&D's 20th level, this ends up being 30 ranks for a character and class who specializes in Mettle (or Meditation); roughly about half his health.

The goal of battle is less hack and slash, since you can only take a few average hits and multiple enemies can quickly bring you down, and more about avoiding and mitigating damage and figuring out what ability, or combination of abilities, would be most useful.



Certain skills have two ability scores it is based off. How does that affect modifiers?

Also, this looks fascinating and I'd love to see how this all comes together.

Honestly.... I am not sure. I want skills to be able to use what is relevant, but I don't have a system for it, yet. I'm probably going to have different uses of the skill (since they're all quite broad) use different abilities, or have something where you use the lower (or highest) of both.

Kuma Kode
2011-08-22, 07:12 PM
[hr]Classes[hr]
Each of the classes modify the Levels of various skills, altering how expensive they are to increase. All skills default to C Level; skills the class does not alter will not be mentioned and should be considered C Level. If you add a new skill to the game, you will need to determine how it interacts with each of the classes. Note that the classes that follow do not restrict a character to particular skills. They only define how easy it is for different characters to grasp different skills. A soldier could buy points in magic skills and learn to cast spells, but he'll never be as good at it as a specialized caster. Similarly, a spellcaster's melee capabilities and physical health will never be as high as that of a soldier, but they can still learn it and even become competent.

It is suggested to work with or alter the classes that follow rather than design a new one for each character's concept (it is, after all, why these classes exist). If a concept is clearly not represented below, you should feel encouraged to create one that does. Be aware, however, that balancing them can be difficult. While all skills are useful, their synergy is important. A soldier having all weapon skills at A level is not as powerful as a mage class having all magic skills at A level, for instance. The soldier will, at most, only be able to use four warfare skills at a time (Armor, Dual-Wield, Axe, and Sword, for example), but all magic would be available to the caster at all times. Similarly, Dodge, Mettle, and Meditation should balance with each other; having all A or B level would indicate a class with no weaknesses.

The classes are organized based on the Principle they represent, as well as their creative or destructive affinity. A white or hollow circle ○ indicates a lean towards creative aspects, protection, and support. A black or filled circle ● indicates a lean towards destruction, damage dealing, or manipulation. A circle that is half and half ◓ indicates a class that is equally good at both aspects of their Principle. These affinities have no in-game effect but can provide guidance in how to alter classes and how to roleplay characters who possess these affinities.

[hr]Lead Classes[hr]
These classes are specifically designed with typical fantasy heroes in mind. They include powerful magic users, strong warriors, and skillful sneaks; the main characters of the story. Classes that represent more mundane, common people are outlined in the next section.

Sniper
(First Principle ●)
A sniper is skilled in ranged weapons of all kinds, as well as skills necessary for covering their tracks and scoping out their targets. They are not particularly good with people, though they can grasp magic somewhat better than other martial classes.

A Level Skills: Warfare, Bows, Crossbows, Firearms, Thrown, Perception
B Level Skills: First Principle, Acrobatics, Dodge, Wilderness, Stealth, Hunt, Craft (Fletching)
D Level Skills: Air, Fire, Control, Fear
E Level Skills: Second Principle and all child skills, Third Principle, Earth, Water, Fourth Principle, Unity, Desire, Will, Mingling, Manipulation

Soldier
(First Principle ●)
Soldiers are shock-troopers, focused on doing as much damage as possible to their enemies in battle with little regard for themselves. They are very tough and dangerous with weapons, but their defensive abilities are lacking. They aren't very good at much else, but do have a knack for impressing people.

A Level Skills: Warfare, Axes, Blades, Chain, Dual-Wield, Hammers, Knives, Picks, Polearms, Spears, Staves, First Principle, Mettle, Unarmed
B Level Skills: Athletics, Swim, Mingling, Leadership, Craft (Weaponsmithing)
D Level Skills: Mercantile, Forgery
E Level Skills: Meditation, Second Principle and all child skills, Third Principle and all child skills, Fourth Principle and all child skills, Mechanics

Rogue
(First Principle ●)
Rogues specialize in dealing quick, lethal blows to unaware opponents. They are good at getting into places unseen and operating alone.

A Level Skills: Warfare, Dual-Wield, Knives, First Principle, Athletics, Acrobatics, Dodge, Thrown, Wilderness, Stealth, Mechanics
B Level Skills: Blades, Bows, Crossbows, Firearms, Perception, Deception, Mercantile
D Level Skills: Distortion, Deterioration, Fear, Desire
E Level Skills: Second Principle, Reparation, Preservation, Augmentation, Third Principle and all child skills, Fourth Principle, Control, Unity, Desire, Will

Noble
(First Principle ○)
Nobles are Jacks of all trades, masters of none. Though they can dabble in many different fields, they focus primarily on duels, intellectual interests, and court intrigue. Due to their cerebral capacity, they pick up magic better than other martial classes.

A Level Skills: Social, Performance, Linguistics, Knowledge
B Level Skills: Warfare, Axes, Blades, Bows, Knives, Polearms, Spears, Staves, Mettle, Deception, Mingling, Mercantile, Bargaining
D Level Skills: Second Principle and all child skills, Third Principle and all child skills, Fourth Principle and all child skills
E Level Skills: Mechanics

Defender
(First Principle ○)
Iron Walls of war, Defenders specialize in avoiding and mitigating damage. Likewise, they are better at grasping recuperative magic and medicine than typical martial classes.

A Level Skills: Warfare, Armor, Shields, First Principle, Mettle
B Level Skills: Axes, Blades, Chain, Hammers, Picks, Polearms, Spears, Staves, Athletics, Manipulation, Medicine, Craft (Armorsmithing)
D Level Skills: Reparation, Preservation, Unity, Stealth
E Level Skills: Second Principle, Augmentation, Deterioration, Dissolution, Distortion, Third Principle and all child skills, Fourth Principle, Control, Fear, Desire, Will

Marshall
(First Principle ○)
Marshalls rally their troops and provide support and direction for their team. Despite their social prowess, they are capable frontline combatants, a trait which can earn them much respect from their allies.

A Level Skills: Blades, Polearms, Dodge, Leadership
B Level Skills: Warfare, Armor, Axes, Hammers, Picks, Shields, Spears, First Principle, Mettle, Social, Manipulation, Bargaining
D Level Skills: Augmentation, Stealth, Deception, Mechanics
E Level Skills: Second Principle, Reparation, Preservation, Deterioration, Dissolution, Distortion, Third Principle and all child skills, Fourth Principle and all child skills

Priest
(Second Principle ○)
Priests study the divinity of the world and the circle of death and rebirth. They focus on the lighter aspects of the omniverse and heal, restore, and preserve on their way to Enlightenment.

A Level Skills: Meditation, Second Principle, Reparation, Preservation, Augmentation, Medicine
B Level Skills: Social, Mingling, Manipulation, Performance, Linguistics, Knowledge
D Level Skills: Crossbows, Knives, Staves, Air, Fire, Control, Fear, Wilderness, Stealth, Mechanics
E Level Skills: Warfare, Armor, Axes, Blades, Bows, Chain, Dual-Wield, Firearms, Hammers, Picks, Polearms, Shields, Spears, Deterioration, Dissolution, Distortion

Druid
(Second Principle ○, Third Principle ○)
Druids master both the immaterial flow of the universe and the material aspects of its design. Their focus on life, water, and earth provide them with a deep understanding of living things. They are strongly opposed to wu-affinity magic.

A Level Skills: Meditation, Wilderness, Medicine
B Level Skills: Second Principle, Reparation, Preservation, Augmentation, Third Principle, Water, Earth, Ride, Hunt, Swim, Perception
D Level Skills: Bows, Knives, Picks, Spears, Staves, Unity, Desire, Will, Social, Mingling, Leadership, Drive
E Level Skills: Warfare, Armor, Axes, Blades, Chain, Crossbows, Dual-Wield, Firearms, Hammers, Polearms, Shields, Deterioration, Dissolution, Distortion, Air, Fire, Fourth Principle, Control, Fear, Pilot, Vehicular

Elementalist
(Third Principle ◓)
Masters of the material form, they can manipulate the basic building blocks of existence with ease. They are highly prized by military forces for their raw destructive power.

A Level Skills: Meditation, Third Principle, Water, Earth, Air, Fire
B Level Skills: Wilderness, Swim, Linguistics, Mercantile, Knowledge, Craft, Pilot
D Level Skills: Crossbows, Knives, Staves, Mettle, Deception
E Level Skills: Warfare, Armor, Axes, Blades, Bows, Chain, Dual-Wield, Firearms, Hammers, Picks, Polearms, Shields, Spears, Fourth Principle and all child skills,

Cabalist
(Second Principle ●, Third Principle ●)
Manipulating both death magic and the destructive elements of fire and air, cabalists are feared throughout the world. They can fling powerful attack spells as well as utilize undead pets and summoned demons. With their power and servants solving all their problems, however, their weapon skills and physical health have atrophied even beyond that of a typical magic user.

A Level Skills: Meditation, Deception, Manipulation, Knowledge, Medicine
B Level Skills: Second Principle, Deterioration, Dissolution, Distortion, Third Principle, Fire, Air, Leadership
D Level Skills: Dodge, Athletics, Unarmed, Wilderness, Swim, Ride, Hunt
E Level Skills: Warfare and all child skills, Mettle, Reparation, Preservation, Augmentation, Water, Earth

Necromancer
(Second Principle ●)
Decay and destruction are necessary forces, an integral part of the universe itself, but nevertheless those who use it are feared and hated. They wield magic that can attack souls directly, and animate undead corpses like twisted puppets. Because they frequently have their undead monstrosities protecting them from melee combat, they have a very poor grasp of physical weaponry.

A Level Skills: Meditation, Second Principle, Deterioration, Dissolution, Distortion, Medicine
B Level Skills: Deception, Manipulation, Linguistics, Knowledge, Craft
D Level Skills: Mettle, Unarmed, Wilderness, Swim, Ride, Hunt
E Level Skills: Warfare and all child skills, Reparation, Preservation, Augmentation

Warlock
(Second Principle ●, Fourth Principle ●)
Warlocks focus on the metaphysical, completely forsaking the physical world. With death magic they manipulate the soul, but their magic also extends into the mind, allowing them to incite fear and manipulate people like puppets. Like other mages, they are not particularly good at combat. They are not comfortable in a natural setting.

A Level Skills: Meditation, Manipulation
B Level Skills: Second Principle, Deterioration, Dissolution, Distortion, Fourth Principle, Control, Fear, Will, Stealth, Deception, Linguistics, Bargaining
D Level Skills: Crossbows, Knives, Staves, Wilderness, Ride, Hunt, Swim
E Level Skills: Warfare, Armor, Axes, Blades, Bows, Chain, Dual-Wield, Firearms, Hammers, Picks, Polearms, Shields, Spears, Unarmed

Illusionist
(Fourth Principle ◓)
Illusionists believe the most important part of the living experience is perception. For good or ill, the illusionist learns to manipulate the way others perceive the world around them, implanting fears and desires, strengthening or overriding emotional ties, or simply crushing the mind of another with their own overpowering psyche. Their ability to cause damage to the Psyche pool makes illusionists as dangerous to spellcasters as they are to non-mages.

A Level Skills: Meditation, Fourth Principle, Control, Unity, Fear, Desire, Will
B Level Skills: Social and all child skills, Perception, Knowledge
D Level Skills: Crossbows, Knives, Staves, Wilderness, Ride, Hunt, Swim, Medicine, Mechanics, Vehicular and all child skills
E Level Skills: Warfare, Armor, Axes, Blades, Bows, Chain, Dual-Wield, Firearms, Hammers, Picks, Polearms, Shields, Spears

Prophet
(Second Principle ○, Fourth Principle ○)
The powers of life combined with the theories of the mind allow the prophet to sense the path of living things. While many believe the prophet to be able to see the future, it is more accurate to say that the prophet senses what a person already desires and simply leads them toward it. Prophets are capable supporting spellcasters who can heal an ally's body as well as their morale, but they lack offensive capability and are not particularly good with the ways of war.

A Level Skills: Meditation, Navigation, Perception, Knowledge
B Level Skills: Second Principle, Reparation, Preservation, Augmentation, Fourth Principle, Unity, Desire, Will, Social and all child skills, Wilderness, Medicine
D Level Skills: Crossbows, Knives, Staves, Unarmed, Stealth, Mechanics
E Level Skills: Warfare, Armor, Axes, Blades, Bows, Chain, Dual-Wield, Firearms, Hammers, Picks, Polearms, Shields, Spears, Deterioration, Dissolution, Distortion, Third Principle and all child skills, Control, Fear

Paladin
(First Principle ○, Second Principle ○)
Paladins are warrior priests who study the ways of war as well the ways of the divine. While they are not as strong in their field as a devoted priest or a wardog soldier, they have more options and unique abilities that the others lack. Their split focus has left them with very poor ranged skills.

A Level Skills: None
B Level Skills: Axes, Armor, Blades, Dual-Wield, Hammers, Knives, Polearms, Shields, Spears, Staves, Mettle, Unarmed, Reparation, Preservation, Augmentation, Manipulation, Mingling, Leadership
D Level Skills: Bows, Crossbows, Thrown
E Level Skills: Deterioration, Dissolution, Distortion, Third Principle and all child skills, Fourth Principle and all child skills, Stealth, Deception, Forgery, Mechanics

Pagan
(First Principle ○, Second Principle ○, Third Principle ○)
Pagans are druids who apply their affinity for life to themselves, improving their martial capabilities and combining it with their magical skills. Because they have a three-way split in their focus, they are not particularly good at any of their respective fields, and rely primarily on their supreme flexibility.

A Level Skills: Hunt
B Level Skills: Axes, Blades, Bows, Crossbows, Dual-Wield, Knives, Spears, Staves, Mettle, Thrown, Unarmed, Reparation, Preservation, Augmentation, Water, Earth, Wilderness, Stealth, Ride, Perception
D Level Skills: Social and all child skills, Mechanics, Pilot
E Level Skills: Deterioration, Dissolution, Distortion, Air, Fire, Fourth Principle and all child skills

Demiurge
(First Principle ●, Third Principle ◓)
Typically found in the military, a demiurge is the martial variant of an elementalist, combining deadly magic with deadly swordplay. Their intense focus and training has left them with little knowledge of people and the natural world, however. They are most comfortable when they need not restrict their destructive capabilities.

A Level Skills: Mercantile
B Level Skills: Armor, Axes, Blades, Chain, Firearms, Hammers, Knives, Polearms, Shields, Spears, Staves, Athletics, Mettle, Thrown, Unarmed, Water, Earth, Fire, Air, Knowledge, Craft, Pilot, Drive
D Level Skills: Wilderness, Stealth, Ride, Hunt, Navigation, Perception, Mingling, Performance, Leadership
E Level Skills: Second Principle and all child skills, Fourth Principle and all child skills

Diabolist
(First Principle ●, Second Principle ●, Third Principle ●)
Soul-draining, undead servants, demons, fire, and a lethal weapon make the diabolist a dangerous spellcaster. Like the pagan, the diabolist has a three-way focus between dark magic, elemental magic, and martial combat. They rely on their undead allies and summoned demons to shore up their relative weakness against more focused combatants.

A Level Skills: None
B Level Skills: Axes, Blades, Chain, Dual-Wield, Hammers, Knives, Picks, Polearms, Spears, Staves, Thrown, Deterioration, Dissolution, Distortion, Air, Fire, Deception, Manipulation
D Level Skills: Mercantile, Craft, Mechanics
E Level Skills: Reparation, Preservation, Augmentation, Water, Earth, Fourth Principle and all child skills

Executioner
(First Principle ●, Second Principle ●)
The Executioner is the inverse of the paladin. Where the paladin crusades to preserve, the executioner crusades to destroy. The common folk incorrectly believe this makes them evil. Executioners can be indiscriminate slaughters of townsfolk, but they can also use their powers to punish those who have done wrong, acting as judge and jury where material courts have failed. They are not as strong in melee combat as focused soldiers, but they can use their magic to weaken an enemy's body or mind or simply attack their soul directly. The animated corpses of the innocents or criminals they've killed frequently assist them in combat.

A Level Skills: None
B Level Skills: Axes, Armor, Blades, Dual-Wield, Hammers, Knives, Picks, Polearms, Spears, Staves, Mettle, Unarmed, Deterioration, Dissolution, Distortion, Deception, Leadership
D Level Skills: Bows, Crossbows, Thrown, Wilderness, Hunt, Navigation, Mingling, Performance
E Level Skills: Reparation, Preservation, Augmentation, Third Principle and all child skills, Fourth Principle and all child skills

Nightmare
(First Principle ●, Second Principle ●, Fourth Principle ●)
The nightmare is a warrior who has learned the benefit of sowing fear through his enemies, and has learned the magic to do it. While this has atrophied his martial skills, he more than makes up for it with the ability to inject fear into his opponents, control them mentally, drain their soul, curse them, or animate their dead allies to fight for him. Like the warlocks they learn from and ally with, they are very uncomfortable in a natural setting where their powers of fear are useless.

A Level Skills: None
B Level Skills: Axes, Armor, Blades, Dual-Wield, Hammers, Knives, Picks, Polearms, Spears, Staves, Mettle, Unarmed, Deterioration, Dissolution, Distortion, Control, Fear, Will, Manipulation, Linguistics, Bargaining
D Level Skills: Bows, Crossbows, Thrown, Wilderness, Ride, Hunt, Swim
E Level Skills: Reparation, Preservation, Augmentation, Third Principle and all child skills, Unity, Desire

Inquisitor
(First Principle ○, Fourth Principle ◓)
Inquisitors are militarized illusionists, capable in battle but equally capable in social situations due to their magic and skill with psychology. They favor subterfuge, investigation, and manipulation over direct confrontation. In fact, they share much more in common with a rogue than a soldier or defender.

A Level Skills: None
B Level Skills: Axes, Armor, Blades, Chains, Dual-Wield, Firearms, Knives, Picks, Shields, Spears, Staves, Acrobatics, Dodge, Control, Unity, Fear, Desire, Will, Stealth, Perception, Manipulation, Performance
D Level Skills: Wilderness, Ride, Hunt, Swim, Navigation, Mercantile, Medicine, Vehicular and all child skills
E Level Skills: Second Principle and all child skills, Third Principle and all child skills

Theurge
(First Principle ○, Second Principle ○, Fourth Principle ○)
Theurges are similar to paladins, and are often found in the same social circles. They are martial prophets, who focus on supporting their allies with healing magic, but also acknowledge the need to maintain morale through guidance. Like a pagan, they maintain a three-way split in focus, which prevents them from being very strong in any field. They are very flexible, however, and are equally capable in combat and in social situations.

A Level Skills: Perception, Knowledge
B Level Skills: Axes, Armor, Blades, Chains, Dual-Wield, Knives, Picks, Shields, Spears, Staves, Dodge, Mettle, Reparation, Preservation, Augmentation, Unity, Desire, Will, Wilderness, Deception, Manipulation, Leadership, Medicine
D Level Skills: Bow, Crossbow, Firearms, Stealth, Mechanics
E Level Skills: Deterioration, Dissolution, Distortion, Third Principle and all child skills

[hr]Supporting Classes[hr]
Supporting classes are designed to model secondary, less important characters. These aren't the heroic barbarians and fire-slinging wizards that dominate the forefront; they are the blacksmith that supplies the warrior, the peasant the heroes save, and the librarian who keeps arcane secrets into which the sorcerer dives. Because they focus more on day-to-day skills that would be useful for an average member of the population, supporting classes usually make poor choices for heroic characters. They are not inherently weaker, however, and can make for interesting player characters.

Peasant
(First Principle ○)
Peasant is a simple class representing the average, city-dwelling individual. They are adept at a wide variety of mundane skills, but not truly capable of mastery.

A Level Skills: Craft
B Level Skills: Athletics, Acrobatics, Hunt, Swim, Navigation, Mingling, Performance, Bargaining, Medicine, Drive
D Level Skills: Warfare and all child skills, Second Principle and all child skills, Third Principle and all child skills, Fourth Principle and all child skills
E Level Skills: None

Smith
(First Principle ○)
Smith is the appropriate class for characters who craft metal items such as weapons, armor, and locks. Characters who work with other materials and creations, like basketweavers, carpenters, and book binders are more appropriately modeled by the Peasant class.

A Level Skills: Craft
B Level Skills: Warfare and all child skills, Athletics, Mettle, Performance, Linguistics, Bargaining, Mechanics
D Level Skills: Second Principle and all child skills, Third Principle and all child skills, Fourth Principle and all child skills
E Level Skills: Stealth

Erudite
(Second Principle ○, Fourth Principle ○)
Erudites are intellectuals. They may be advisors, librarians, wanna-be mages, wise hermits, and other cerebral characters.

A Level Skills: Linguistics, Knowledge
B Level Skills: Meditation, Navigation, Perception, Performance, Bargaining, Forgery, Craft, Mechanics, Medicine
D Level Skills: Athletics, Acrobatics, Dodge, Mettle
E Level Skills: Warfare and all child skills

Outdoorsman
(First Principle ○, Second Principle ○, Third Principle ○)
Farmers, hunters, and other characters who make their living interacting with the land can be modeled with the outdoorsman class.

A Level Skills: Hunt, Swim, Navigation
B Level Skills: Axes, Bows, Hammers, Knives, Picks, Spears, Athletics, Acrobatics, Thrown, Stealth, Ride, Perception, Medicine
D Level Skills: Second Principle, Reparation, Preservation, Augmentation, Third Principle, Water, Earth
E Level Skills: Fourth Principle and all child skills, Deterioration, Dissolution, Distortion, Fire, Air

radmelon
2011-08-23, 12:28 AM
I think I remember seeing this before, in the "Winds of Aether" campaign setting or somesuch. All I can say is: Wow. A tremendous amount of work has gone into this. I eagerly await more.

Kuma Kode
2011-08-28, 12:14 AM
Added some NPC classes and a section about Magic to the first post. Now all I need to do is research some weapons and armor to get equipment situated.

Domriso
2011-08-28, 01:57 AM
I'm loving this more and more as I see it develop. I already want to run a campaign using it, but I'm not sure I could with the gaps currently left (which is a shame, because I'll be starting my newest campaign in a week or two).

I have only one question and it is about clarification. In the entry on combat, you wrote the following:


If your weapon can attack farther than its maximum effective range, such as most bows, firearms, and most other ranged weapons, you suffer a -3 penalty to your attack roll for the first increment beyond. The penalty doubles every increment afterward.

When you wrote this, did you mean that the penalty which itself is applied to the rolls is doubled per increment beyond the first, or that the penalty simply increases by -3 for every increment? In other words, if I use a bow, and fire it at one range increment further, it would be a -3, at two increments further, it would be at -6, but at three increments further, would it be at -9 or -12?

It seems to me that my question might be phrased a little oddly, so if you don't understand it, I'll try to fix it when I'm not quite so tired, but for now I can't think of a way to do so.

Kuma Kode
2011-08-28, 02:57 AM
It's exactly as it says: the penalty doubles every increment afterward. The penalty would rise from -3 to -6, then to -12, then to -24, then beyond. This is partly because each range increment is actually larger than the previous one.

Domriso
2011-08-28, 04:00 PM
Cool. I'm looking forward to seeing this system in its full glory.