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DMMike
2013-06-02, 12:28 PM
Modos RPG is at 90% rough draft. Check it out for:

- No hit points. You take damage against ability scores, so fighters can't rely solely on their Constitution.
- No armor class. Want to dodge? Roll your Parry skill. Want to ignore a kobold on your heel? Let him deal with your armor's protection die.
- No classes. Build your own perfect class. However, if you really want a class, some benefits and hindrances have been suggested.
- No cost. This RPG is intended both as a fully playable game, and as a free solution to the ever more expensive set of books that seem necessary to play other RPGs.
- Community contribution. The modular ruleset makes it easy for players and GMs to add their own rules, so Modos can become what the community wants, not what the publisher wants.

Modos RPG:
http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/p-p-rpg/wikis/main-page

CosmicOccurence
2013-06-02, 01:37 PM
So there are classes, you just get to create them yourself?

DMMike
2013-06-02, 05:19 PM
Well CO, let's do this first:

Character Class, noun. A classification for PCs that awards them a small subset of rules, usually benefits, to guide their advancement as characters.

So no, there are no required classes. What you design yourself, in Modos, is your character. Call it a class if you want, but more importantly, your character should be able to describe himself in-game by a particular occupation.

"Fighter? Yeah I'm a fighter. But I'm also an officer. And we Red-Brigade officers have troops to do our fighting for us."

The classes that appear in the Lists section are purely optional. I'm not sure that I would personally go for them, because it would be nice to build a heavily-armored lightning-bolt thrower, and still sleep well at night.

DMMike
2013-06-06, 11:32 PM
The lack of interest here makes me suspect that roleplayers are actually looking for more complexity, not less.

Which strikes me as odd, since Grappling, Polymorph, and Opportunity Attacks were some of the most complex parts of 3.5, and widely regarded as problem areas.

Be honest: will I get more PEACH attention after I add a full fantasy module, with more classes, more races, more ability scores, more skills, and of course, more spells and monsters?

Grod_The_Giant
2013-06-07, 12:25 AM
Reviewing an entire system is a pretty big time investment-- such threads tend to get a lot less response than, say, a class. (As someone whose posted his share of big system things, I've seen it happen).

Similarly, people tend to be less willing to follow links to material. Dunno why.

Taking both things into account, you might get more response if you posted subsections independently.

Mutazoia
2013-06-07, 12:41 AM
Modos RPG is at 90% rough draft. Check it out for:

- No hit points. You take damage against ability scores, so fighters can't rely solely on their Constitution.
- No armor class. Want to dodge? Roll your Parry skill. Want to ignore a kobold on your heel? Let him deal with your armor's protection die.
- No classes. Build your own perfect class. However, if you really want a class, some benefits and hindrances have been suggested.
- No cost. This RPG is intended both as a fully playable game, and as a free solution to the ever more expensive set of books that seem necessary to play other RPGs.
- Community contribution. The modular ruleset makes it easy for players and GMs to add their own rules, so Modos can become what the community wants, not what the publisher wants.

Modos RPG:
http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/p-p-rpg/wikis/main-page

At this point you might want to just pick up an old copy of the Amber Diceless roleplaying game and go at it....

erikun
2013-06-07, 01:38 AM
So it looks like D&D3e, except with all the variant rules and a few changes. However, one biggest problem is that I don't see much reason to run this rather than D&D3e. I mean, I already know that system, already have others who know that system, and already have a ton of content for that system. I'm sure it would be easier to simply introduce Hero Points and Armor as DR and a modified skill system if that's all I wanted.

I would strongly recommend looking into a more open skill system (and playing some!) to get some ideas for your own. HeroQuest, Fudge, and Fate Core are all games where GMs - or even the players! - create their own skills. They have rules and guidelines to keep such skills from getting out of hand, which seem to be what you are searching for.

Still, that may not be too helpful for what you're trying here. Let's look at this section-by-section.

R000 Role Playing
Not much is said here. "The GM is always right" seems like it could be problematic, and is spread throughout your ruleset. "After-session review" sounds like a good idea, although right now it feels a bit like an in-game attempt at patching the ruleset.

R101 Levels
Levels, right now, seem very poorly planned out. The general purpose of levels is to boost characters to a similar level of power and to provide a "package" that ensures they don't lack necessary abilities during the game - ensuring they don't forget to level BAB for combat, for example.

Your levels seem to be handed out randomly by the GM, and the benefits for a level are not at all sufficient for the level increase. One skill point is kind of silly, given that most characters would want to level at least a few skills. One hero point for an entire level - 15 fights - grants a single d6 bonus to a roll. By contrast, one ability score increase is nearly the benefit of a skill point, but for everything that ability involves. One perk will generally be far better than any one skill.

R102 Abilities
I see we're going with the Tri-Stat method of Mind-Body-Spirit, although with different names. I see little reason why you're still using the D&D3e method to determine ability score bonuses, unless you need those half-bonuses to work with the rest of the system.

Contrary to the comment in the first post, it doesn't look like you've removed HP and take damage straight to ability scores. Rather, I'm seeing a Physical HP, Mental HP, and Metaphysical HP, with any dropping to 0 resulting in the same as dropping to 0 HP regularly.

R103 Damage
The idea that you mean mental stress or "metaphysical damage" (damage from magic attacks) slower than physical injury seems noticably bizarre. I'm not sure why one is considerably different from the others.

Reducing Damage mentions making a contested roll to avoid damage alongside a protection roll to reduce damage, but only if the character has a reserve action. I do not think that a reserve action is mentioned anywhere, nor are contested rolls to avoid damage (beyond a general statement that all rolls are PvP or PvGM).

You have some odd confusion of terms. You have Damage, which is then put into a Damage Pool, which is then filled up to the limit of your Max Damage. Your Health is the difference between your Max Damage and current Damage Pool. Needless to say, you have no need for this many terms. You could just say Current Damage and Max Damage, and get rid of all the other terms.

R104 Hero points
Just to point out how useless the "one hero point at gaining a level" is, a character gains one hero point per level, per day. In other words, if a character jumped from 1st level to 20th level in the span of one day, they'd get more hero points with the overnight rest than they got from all the levels they gained.

There also seems to be no cap on hero points gained. "I spend a month studying and training", says the 5th level PC character, gaining 150 hero points for the next session.

Villain points seem rather pointless and just annoying. Not that losing the d6 is such a problem, but just throwing up a "NO YOU CAN'T" at a player is a pain to deal with. If villains are going to have points to manage, have them used for interesting stuff - or better yet, don't use them at all, because GMs aren't supposed to be doing resource management for one-time NPCs.

R105 Rolls
Your basic D&D stuff, the two biggest differences are Difficulty and Take Half.

Difficulty seems like an odd way to just create DCs, and I'm not sure they work out very well. Your 20th level character will, after all, likely have +20 (skill) +10 (30 stat) bonuses when going up against Divine challanges. I rather suspect that most things a character focuses on will be in a similar position.

Take Half looks to be the new Take 10, but by taking half the total of the maximum roll rather than half the maximum roll. Not sure how this affects gameplay, as I would probably need to see it in action to be sure.

The rest of core mechanics are jut modifiers (things you add and subtract from dice rolls) and segmenting ("You may need to break skills down."). Not much to say about either one, as that is almost literally all they say.

I think I'll take a break here.

DMMike
2013-06-07, 10:13 PM
Similarly, people tend to be less willing to follow links to material. Dunno why.

Taking both things into account, you might get more response if you posted subsections independently.
Noted, and implementing.


At this point you might want to just pick up an old copy of the Amber Diceless roleplaying game and go at it....
I've heard about that one, and if I checked it out, I evidently decided it was worth forgetting.


So it looks like D&D3e, except with all the variant rules and a few changes. However, one biggest problem is that I don't see much reason to run this rather than D&D3e. I mean, I already know that system, already have others who know that system, and already have a ton of content for that system. I'm sure it would be easier to simply introduce Hero Points and Armor as DR and a modified skill system if that's all I wanted.
First, thanks for an excellent review.
Next - you're right. It's a lot like 3e. In fact, it's supposed to be capable of BECOMING 3e, if that's how the users want to modify it. Or they could keep it as-is, or modify it in a different direction.


I would strongly recommend looking into a more open skill system (and playing some!) to get some ideas for your own. HeroQuest, Fudge, and Fate Core are all games where GMs - or even the players! - create their own skills. They have rules and guidelines to keep such skills from getting out of hand, which seem to be what you are searching for.
I have a copy of...Rune Quest? Is that the same as HeroQuest? Anyway, I'll look at Fate again, because I didn't get a feel for its skill-design system.



R000 Role Playing
Not much is said here. "The GM is always right" seems like it could be problematic, and is spread throughout your ruleset. "After-session review" sounds like a good idea, although right now it feels a bit like an in-game attempt at patching the ruleset.
Rule 0 (01) is important - it keeps the game moving, instead of turning into a argument session. If a GM isn't worthy of this rule, it's possible he should try being a player more.


R101 Levels
Levels, right now, seem very poorly planned out. The general purpose of levels is to boost characters to a similar level of power and to provide a "package" that ensures they don't lack necessary abilities during the game - ensuring they don't forget to level BAB for combat, for example.

Your levels seem to be handed out randomly by the GM, and the benefits for a level are not at all sufficient for the level increase. One skill point is kind of silly, given that most characters would want to level at least a few skills. One hero point for an entire level - 15 fights - grants a single d6 bonus to a roll. By contrast, one ability score increase is nearly the benefit of a skill point, but for everything that ability involves. One perk will generally be far better than any one skill.
Modos is sacrificing structured class levels for character flexibility. Let's admit it: a D&D wizard's BAB of +5 at level 10 is almost useless. Why not spend those 5 months (or whatever) of combat training on being a better caster instead?

I'm guessing you mean that levels look to be handed out arbitrarily, instead of randomly. Since DMs are encouraged (in D&D) to hand out XPs for achievements beyond killing monsters, I'd say XP awards in D&D are probably more arbitrary than you'd think. Personally, I'd like to see characters get a level up every three sessions, provided they've all been making a decent effort.

Skill points - I'll address this later...


R102 Abilities
I see we're going with the Tri-Stat method of Mind-Body-Spirit, although with different names. I see little reason why you're still using the D&D3e method to determine ability score bonuses, unless you need those half-bonuses to work with the rest of the system.

Contrary to the comment in the first post, it doesn't look like you've removed HP and take damage straight to ability scores. Rather, I'm seeing a Physical HP, Mental HP, and Metaphysical HP, with any dropping to 0 resulting in the same as dropping to 0 HP regularly.
D&D system for bonuses: three reasons.
1) It leaves ability scores large enough to act as hit points.
2) Under the theory that positive numbers are easier than negative ones - it means that players don't have to deal with negative ability scores, just negative modifiers.
3) It's well known by 3e and Pathfinder players (like d20 rolls), so it's already widely understood.

The ability scores aren't exactly hit points, because they stay the same throughout the game. Also, hit points are usually generated under a separate method than ability scores are. More on this later.


R103 Damage
The idea that you mean mental stress or "metaphysical damage" (damage from magic attacks) slower than physical injury seems noticably bizarre. I'm not sure why one is considerably different from the others.

Reducing Damage mentions making a contested roll to avoid damage alongside a protection roll to reduce damage, but only if the character has a reserve action. I do not think that a reserve action is mentioned anywhere, nor are contested rolls to avoid damage (beyond a general statement that all rolls are PvP or PvGM).

You have some odd confusion of terms. You have Damage, which is then put into a Damage Pool, which is then filled up to the limit of your Max Damage. Your Health is the difference between your Max Damage and current Damage Pool. Needless to say, you have no need for this many terms. You could just say Current Damage and Max Damage, and get rid of all the other terms.
Please note that Metaphysical damage comes largely from casting spells, but spells themselves tend to do Physical or Mental damage.

Are the Modos combat terms worse than the D&D combat terms? Let's look:
Modos: Damage, Damage pool, Max Damage, Health
D&D: Damage, Max HP, Current HP
Not bad, if you consider "Health" is just an easy way of saying "Damage I can take before something bad happens," or "Current HP."


R104 Hero points
Just to point out how useless the "one hero point at gaining a level" is, a character gains one hero point per level, per day. In other words, if a character jumped from 1st level to 20th level in the span of one day, they'd get more hero points with the overnight rest than they got from all the levels they gained.

There also seems to be no cap on hero points gained. "I spend a month studying and training", says the 5th level PC character, gaining 150 hero points for the next session.

Villain points seem rather pointless and just annoying. Not that losing the d6 is such a problem, but just throwing up a "NO YOU CAN'T" at a player is a pain to deal with. If villains are going to have points to manage, have them used for interesting stuff - or better yet, don't use them at all, because GMs aren't supposed to be doing resource management for one-time NPCs.
I may need to reword hero points, since you've misinterpreted them. Each character gets his level in hero points - every day. So on Tuesday, Grislore the 3rd level orc ranger gets three hero points, and on Wednesday he gets three more. To be an orc ranger, Grislore might best spend his hero points on long-range bow shots, and Profession-Healer attempts.

Villain points: I'm open to suggestions here. The goal is to keep villains from being a cake walk when hero points are involved. I imagine more complaints from players when a villain uses villain points to increase his damage against them, than when a villain uses them as a countermeasure to hero points.
Side note: a villain isn't a one-time NPC. A villain is someone who continuously makes PC lives miserable, making it that much sweeter when they finally conquer him.


R105 Rolls
Your basic D&D stuff, the two biggest differences are Difficulty and Take Half.

Difficulty seems like an odd way to just create DCs, and I'm not sure they work out very well. Your 20th level character will, after all, likely have +20 (skill) +10 (30 stat) bonuses when going up against Divine challanges. I rather suspect that most things a character focuses on will be in a similar position.

Take Half looks to be the new Take 10, but by taking half the total of the maximum roll rather than half the maximum roll. Not sure how this affects gameplay, as I would probably need to see it in action to be sure.

The rest of core mechanics are jut modifiers (things you add and subtract from dice rolls) and segmenting ("You may need to break skills down."). Not much to say about either one, as that is almost literally all they say.
You'll notice, in D&D, that most skills have a lengthy list of DCs. To me, this was wordy, unnecessary, and very impersonal. Plus, it channels player decisions into a small set of possibilities. With Difficulty, a player announces what he wants to do, and instead of having to reference a table, the GM takes the time to say, "how hard would this be?"

Your Divine challenge example brings two things to light:
1) Modos is more of a 15-level game than a 20-level game.
2) Characters at high levels have a high need to diversify.
So what's more likely than a 20th level character with 20 skill points in one skill, and an ability of 30, is a 15th level character, highest skill at +8, and highest ability at 24. This is because with 1 skill point per level, and one ability point per level, a well-balanced character will have to spread these points out (over several skills and abilities) or risk being lop-sided. Min-maxed.

Again on one skill point per level: first level is very much an Amateur, Commoner, or Young Hero level. One skill point is expected, but if a first level character REALLY needs to stand out, he can spend his perk on the Skill Specialist perk, and get another +3 somewhere. Otherwise, a 2nd level character has two skill points, and two opportunities to specialize in skills. 2nd level is much more of a full-timer level.

Take half: what this does, effectively, is a) speed up gameplay by removing about half of the die rolls, and b) require either the player OR the GM to do the rolling, since only the side rolling higher dice stands to benefit from taking half. If you're rolling d6s and the GM is rolling d8s, and you take half, the GM can take half as well, effectively guaranteeing that he out-rolls you. If the GM takes half, you know you'll be beat if you take half, so you'd best start rolling.


I think I'll take a break here.
Well earned. Thanks.

Knaight
2013-06-09, 09:32 AM
Modos RPG is at 90% rough draft. Check it out for:

- No hit points. You take damage against ability scores, so fighters can't rely solely on their Constitution.
- No armor class. Want to dodge? Roll your Parry skill. Want to ignore a kobold on your heel? Let him deal with your armor's protection die.
- No classes. Build your own perfect class. However, if you really want a class, some benefits and hindrances have been suggested.
- No cost. This RPG is intended both as a fully playable game, and as a free solution to the ever more expensive set of books that seem necessary to play other RPGs.
- Community contribution. The modular ruleset makes it easy for players and GMs to add their own rules, so Modos can become what the community wants, not what the publisher wants.

Looking at the pitch, most of this really isn't that special. If you're trying to get people to play, you might want to highlight something else. Outside D&D, much of this is basically standard.

Regarding the game:

The organization is generally pretty iffy currently. It's a very rough draft, but you might want to redo this.
A character creation section that goes through everything would be helpful.
The point pool method should probably explicitly ban having 0 points in an attribute. I'd also note that it is significantly weaker than the 3d6 option (down 1.5 points on average), particularly once one considers variable character mortality by attributes and the way random attributes thus typically have a higher than average distribution.
I'd recommend attaching Hero Points to a per-session and not per-day unit, simply because it is a metagame mechanic which will probably work better away from game time. I'd also note that there are a lot of points very quickly, and you might want to tone them down; playtesting will be necessary. The ability to stick as many on a roll as one wants could also be problematic - perhaps restrict this by level?
The segmenting description is vague and unhelpful.

DMMike
2013-06-09, 08:17 PM
Looking at the pitch, most of this really isn't that special. If you're trying to get people to play, you might want to highlight something else. Outside D&D, much of this is basically standard.

Regarding the game:

The organization is generally pretty iffy currently. It's a very rough draft, but you might want to redo this.
A character creation section that goes through everything would be helpful.
The point pool method should probably explicitly ban having 0 points in an attribute. I'd also note that it is significantly weaker than the 3d6 option (down 1.5 points on average), particularly once one considers variable character mortality by attributes and the way random attributes thus typically have a higher than average distribution.
I'd recommend attaching Hero Points to a per-session and not per-day unit, simply because it is a metagame mechanic which will probably work better away from game time. I'd also note that there are a lot of points very quickly, and you might want to tone them down; playtesting will be necessary. The ability to stick as many on a roll as one wants could also be problematic - perhaps restrict this by level?
The segmenting description is vague and unhelpful.



Modos is rules-light and public domain. It'll probably look flashier with a few modules behind it, like a Combat-Simulator, Mega Man, Gauntlet (yes, the video game), and maybe a secret agent module. But really, it's a saturated market (even for free RPGs), no?
The organization method is rough draft, true. But it's also intentionally rules-only, to make them easily modified, and to reach a working draft sooner.
Character creation, mundane combat, and spell combat examples are probably in order soon.
I'll have to throw in recommended ability ranges: say, 3 to 18?
Fair point about the metagame nature of hero points. However, they're not only intended to make characters heroic every once in a while, but they can easily mimic class features when used consistently. (Like using hero points on Knowledge-Scholar as if it were Bardic Knowledge, or adding them to certain attack rolls like a Smite Evil effect.) So I'm not sure how to maintain that feature while reducing the frequency (?) of the hero points.
Segmenting is a very loosey-goosey part of the game. I'll dog-ear it for re-writing.

DMMike
2013-06-10, 01:18 PM
Character creation example:
http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/p-p-rpg/wikis/charex