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View Full Version : Extreme Realism, Gritty medieval siege



MrEdwardNigma
2012-01-07, 09:37 AM
When the current game I'm running on these boards (a silly structured game where the players are mages with powers that our mostly destructive for themselves) is over I'm looking to make a much more serious game focusing on a medieval siege.

The game would take place in a no-magic setting and the player characters would be lowly footsoldiers in the army that besieges a great city. This would be the kind of game where you have more chance of dying of the infections a swordcut causes than the actual swordcut. Poor hygiene, diseases, lack of nourishment and such would plague the party.

I would like to go for a realistic medieval siege as much as I can, and thus I need some advice on game elements I migth want to introduce.

The system would be mostly homebrew, based off of GURPS. One of the major things I'd like to change is the way weapons and experience are handled.

I want players to be able to get very small amounts of experience out of everything they do. Every time they for instance try to mend a wound, i want them to gain a very small amount of experience in it, instead of levelling up every so often and gaining a large amount of experience in certain things.

Say a player fights ten times, has three conversations where he needs to lie, mends two wounds and climbs once until he would normally level up (purely theoretical figures), at which point he could for instance use the credit from levelling up to be a somewhat better fighter. Instead I would like him to gain very slight amounts of experience in everything he did, so that to get better at something he'd simply have to do it a lot. This should promote organic growth of characters.

As for weapons, I'd like to introduce a series of stats which get better every time a player uses a weapon. Take a player using a shovel as an improvised weapon as an example. Experience would be gained in the following way:

Every time he uses the shovel for any purpose he should get a small amount of STRENGHT and/or DEXTERITY. Dig trenches all day and you are bound to get stronger.
Every time he fights with the shovel, he would get generally better at FIGHTING. This stat would apply even if he would fight barehanded or such.
Every time he fights with the shovel, he would get better at using SIMILAR WEAPONS. Fight enough with a shovel, and I'm sure you'd learn some tricks that would apply to fighting with an axe as well.
Every time he fights with a shovel, I want him to be able to gain PROFICIENCY with this specific type of weapon. Should he find another shovel to fight with, certainly he'd be better at it relatively than a weapon he's had no training with.
Each time he fights with the shovel, he should get SPECIFIC PROFICIENCY. Every shovel is slightly different, has a slightly different weight balance, and thus unless some other shovel has specific advantages over this one, he would be best of using a weapon he's used to.
Should the player use the weapon for something else, for instance digging, he should get GENERAL PROFICIENCY with the weapon. He wouldn't learn as much about fighting with the shovel as he would when he was actually using it as a weapon, but surely some skill with the implement must be gained when using it? The inverse would of course also apply, by fighting with the weapon he would get ever so slightly better at digging with it.


Of course, this seems terribly complicated. In a way I guess it is, but it's nothing the players would have to be concerned with. If I would use, for example, a d1000 to determine chance to hit and weapon damage. Then I could use very small modifiers: when the PC would use an axe in a third fight, he would get +2 for fighting, +2 for being used to this category of weapons, +5 for strength because of all the digging he's done, +3 to dexterity for some dodging he's been doing, but none of the bonuses he would have gotten if he had been using his same old shovel. On the other hand of course, the axe would have better INTRINSICAL VALUES than the shovel ever would, being more useful as a weapon.

It would mean a lot of math for me, but in a play-by-post there is easily enough time for it, and I could keep the data in an excel file.

I would like comments on this system, as well as advice on other ways to use it (outside of combat for instance) and ways to expand or simplify it.

Other than that, I'd like my players to be able to factor stuff like difficult terrain, having the high ground, fighting in tight quarters, etcetera, etcetera in their tactics. I would also like to focus on elements of warfare that are often forgotten. Any ideas in that area are also very welcome.

pasko77
2012-01-07, 12:02 PM
Basic rpg does this, iirc.
anyway, the engine of old school call of chtulhu and elric has exactly this advancement rules. every time you use an ability, you get a chance to improve it.

Spiryt
2012-01-07, 12:10 PM
Dig trenches all day and you are bound to get stronger.

If there's "lack of nourishment" involved then you aren't, really, assuming that character wasn't complete couch potato before.

Pushing your organism with strenght excercises when it doesn't have nice stuff from meat to beans to rebuild itself isn't going to bulk anyone up.

"Toughten up", improve endurance,grit etc. very possibly, but not really strenght.

Just for example. :smallwink:

What is the setting, anyway?

Actual medieval Europe somewhen, or some other setting?

MrEdwardNigma
2012-01-07, 12:36 PM
If there's "lack of nourishment" involved then you aren't, really, assuming that character wasn't complete couch potato before.
By "lack of nourishment" I meant that there is a lack of nourishment in the setting, so that it would be important for characters to find a means of sustaining themselves, not that they would by default be undernourished. I could possibly inflict some sort of strength-growth penalty when they are, in fact, undernourished. So sure, good idea.


Actual medieval Europe somewhen, or some other setting?
The setting isn't actual medieval Europe, but comparable.


Basic rpg does this, iirc
Does what, exactly? Also, what basic rpg? When looking for Basic RPG, I found this (http://basicfantasy.org/main.html), which has a leveling system like DnD, a basic rpg. Most basic rpgs in fact do, and it's not really what I'm looking for.

I'm also not looking to revamp Call of Cthulhu into a Medieval Siege game. besides, "having a chance" to upgrade an ability whenever using it really isn't the same as upgrading it very slightly every time you use it, and I doubt Call of Cthulhu divides it up like this, or even similarly.

What I'm looking for really is ideas to expand on the mechanic, and more information on the day-to-day workings of a siege. And perhaps comments on whether the idea I'm working on appeals to anyone (as a system to play, not to GM).

pasko77
2012-01-07, 02:10 PM
Does what, exactly? Also, what basic rpg? When looking for Basic RPG, I found this (http://basicfantasy.org/main.html), which has a leveling system like DnD, a basic rpg. Most basic rpgs in fact do, and it's not really what I'm looking for.

I'm also not looking to revamp Call of Cthulhu into a Medieval Siege game. besides, "having a chance" to upgrade an ability whenever using it really isn't the same as upgrading it very slightly every time you use it, and I doubt Call of Cthulhu divides it up like this, or even similarly.



My bad. I Remembered that "basic" had the same percentage mechanics present in chtulhu. Must have switched a name in my memory.

Anyway, what I wanted to say is that your request about xp is handled, more or less, in chtulhu, and it is worth a look, if only for inspiration.
Hope it helps.

Mark Hall
2012-01-07, 04:58 PM
One of my favorite bits of trivia is that a not-uncommon siege weapon ammunition was a beehive. Medieval beehives were big and ceramic. Smoke the bees, move the hive, let them start to wake up and BOOM.

Those bees that survive the sudden deceleration at the end of the trip are very, very upset. And the large ceramic hive makes fun shrapnel.

Dingle
2012-01-07, 08:19 PM
Basic Role Playing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_Role-Playing) (BRP) is the system used for d100 cthullu, and does have advancement directly related to skill use.


It'd be remarkably easy to modify GURPS to work the way you want.
have little or no general XP, and instead track xp for each skill.

put a tick next to each skill for each use,
decide how many ticks are equal to an XP.
you can remove ticks to spend the xp to raise the skill.

Attributes can be raised by removing ticks and up to 1 level each of any or all skills dependant on the stat. (The GM might want to limit when you can do this (eg. no str gain without adequate food))

you might want to consider some or all of HP, FP, Will, Per, Lifting ST and so on as skills for the purposes of ticks and raising attributes.

also take a long look at the familiarity rules. I think this'd work OK for specific profeciency.

General proficiency should come from defaults, which are already there.
(I don't like the example much though. I'd consider "fighting with a shovel" to be more closely related to "fighting with a frying-pan" than "digging with a shovel")

MrEdwardNigma
2012-01-08, 05:38 AM
General proficiency should come from defaults, which are already there.(I don't like the example much though. I'd consider "fighting with a shovel" to be more closely related to "fighting with a frying-pan" than "digging with a shovel")
Well, obviously it is, but that's why you raise fighting, and fighting with similar weapons. That's two stats you raise, and thus a higher raise than you would get by digging with a shovel.

pasko77
2012-01-08, 08:07 AM
Basic Role Playing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_Role-Playing) (BRP) is the system used for d100 cthullu, and does have advancement directly related to skill use.


thanks, I was right after all! :)

Riverdance
2012-01-09, 06:02 PM
The system you're describing sounds a lot like the leveling system in skyrim (minus perks although perhaps feats could apply). There is another thread on this subject here if it helps at all. http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=226589