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View Full Version : Original System VENTURE! An EMPIRE! spin-off RPG [PEACH, brainstorm]



Morph Bark
2014-03-04, 11:37 AM
The following is a simple rules system based off of EMPIRE! (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=335042) and will be used by me to run side-adventures to that game.

The goal is to create an RPG that's relatively simple to use (for both real-time games and PbP games) and quick to learn. This requires all the modifiers to be known by the players to their checks at all times (or at least have the ability to quickly find out), so they can know the results of their rolls right away.


The Attributes
Player characters have five attributes: Diplomacy, Military, Curiosity, Faith and Luck. To determine the scores for a starting character, roll five times 1d4 and arrange them to you liking. After that, you may add +1 to two of the attributes of your choosing. When a PC has completed two ventures, they may increase one of these by 1. Attributes cannot go higher than 10.

The attribute increase effectively functions the same as it does in Empire, with two actions to a related attribute increasing that attribute. Venture does not have interaction with Empire mechanically, however, so your attribute increases in Empire function separately from Venture.

Diplomacy
The Diplomacy attribute handles most social skills. Flattery, haggling, bluffing, gentle coercing, subtle social manipulation, social insight, gathering intelligence.

Military
The Military attribute handles most raw physical skills. Attacks in combat, resisting pain, athletics, intimidation.

Curiosity
The Curiosity attribute handles most intellectual skills. Knowledge, mechanical manipulation, riding, sailing.

Faith
The Faith attribute handles most of the senses, including sense of self. Perception, willpower, detecting lies.

Luck
The Luck attribute handles everything that is not the direct purview of the other attributes, which are usually more the result of luck than anything else. Escaping detection, for example.


Abilities
Abilities are special skills a character has learned throughout his or her life. A character starts with 5 abilities (3 if they're not yet adult) and acquires a new ability at the end of every venture.

The second post has a list of abilities so far.


Checks
When needing to make a roll for an attribute check, the player rolls 1d6 and adds the relevant attribute score. Equipment may add minor bonuses.


What constitutes a "venture"?
It is left a little vague what constitutes a "venture", as this is to be left up to the GM to decide. In general, it is a single session, or two sessions if the session was short or left hanging in the middle. For a PbP game, the GM should decide when a venture is over, or make a certain number of pages count as one venture.

Morph Bark
2014-03-04, 11:39 AM
Abilities (continued)
Yeah, there's not much here yet. :I

Morph Bark
2014-03-04, 11:48 AM
Equipments

HisHolyAngel
2014-03-04, 11:48 AM
As a partaker in EMPIRE! I'd like to say how cool an idea this. An RPG spinoff based on a world-building, diplomacy game? Sweet.

I'll be happy to help brainstorm mechanics, and really look forward to how all this turns out.:smallsmile:

zabbarot
2014-03-04, 11:49 AM
So what sort of things will abilities be? Like circumstantial modifiers? Ie sword fight ability gives bonus to Military rolls for fighting with swords?

Edit: are we posting too soon? Prepared to delete, captain ( '^')7

WaylanderX
2014-03-04, 12:03 PM
Abilities for Toukai Arashi (EMPIRE! fighting style, Kasumor)

Prerequisites for all abilities of this style: Must wield a Kasumori Basket greatsword.


Eternal Nightmare

The adept attacks the target with the force of a meteor, however this attack requires lots of preperation. You can only use this ability when you have used at least two other Toukai Arashi abilities. This ability deals damage equal to 2 times your Militairy score per Toukai Arashi ability used before this manouver in the last 3 turns. This ability, due to the strain it causes, can only be used once per encounter.


Sudden Gale

This move is used when you are attacked. You can make an opposed Militairy check. If you win, you disarm the opponent. If the opponent wins, the attack goes through like normal.


Upcoming Gust

The adept attacks the target with great force and momentum, dealing 1.5 times your Militairy score damage. When a Toukai Arashi ability is used in the previous round, the damage increases to 3 times your Militairy score.


Sudden Hail

The adept attacks the target with the pommel of his basket greatsword, dealing Ĺ Militairy damage and forcing the foe to make a Militairy check DC 3+your Militairy score or be unable to act next round (stunned). When a Toukai Arashi ability is used in the previous round, the stun DC increases to 4+Militairy score and the damage increases to once your Militairy score.

Arutha
2014-03-04, 12:22 PM
Ability ideas:
Second Guess: Re-roll a faith roll when attempting to detect lies.
Right Tool, Right Job: Substitute Curiosity for Luck or Military.
Ember Dance: +1 Military if armed with a Buckler and Short Sword.
Wheeling Pyre : (Pre-req: Ember Dance) If fighting more than one opponent, +2 Military.

More to come.

Tychris1
2014-03-04, 12:24 PM
Abilities:

Command Abilities:

Cohort: What great hero doesn't have a sidekick, or two, or twelve? This ability allows a character to gain a Single cohort, an NPC who follows you around and follows your orders. Cohorts generate stats by rolling 1d3 for each of their stats, and then adding a +1 to a stat of your choice. A Player Character cannot have more Cohorts then he has Diplomacy score.

Gang Up: This ability can be used when the Commander and atleast 1 other Cohort are engaged in Melee against an opponent. The commander makes a Military check with an extra +1 for every cohort above the first who assists in the move. This check is opposed by a Military check by the opponent. If the Commander beats the opposed check, then for each 2 whole number that the Commander beats it by, he gets an equivelant bonus to his next check.

Ex: Ferrus and his 3 Cohorts gang up on a Minotaur. They intiate gang up, and roll off. Ferrus has a military score of 5 and has 2 extra cohorts helping him, so he gets a +7. The Minotaur has a Military score of +6! They roll off and Ferrus rolls a 5, giving him a 12. Not bad. The minotaur rolls and gets a 2, leaving him at an 8. 12-8=4. 4/2=2, meaning Ferrus' next Military Check has an extra +2.

ImperatorV
2014-03-04, 12:42 PM
I feel a simple system of skill checks would be good.

Ie. Trying to convince a guard to let you pass would be d6+diplomacy+bonuses.

Combat could be resolved the same way, but I'd like to make a more advanced system. Something like:

Health=Military+Luck

Attacks are resolved by d6+military and if you roll higher than the opponent's d6+military you hit. Damage is done according to weapon, just postulating here but I'd do it in increments of d3, ie dagger is d3 long sword is 2d3 greatsword is 3d3.

Dropping to zero health results in a permanent loss of military score and if you take additional damage you die.

Additionally, there could be traits hat provide additional benefits. Something like:

Zealot: you add half your faith score to attack rolls.

If people are worried about balance, we could introduce an optional point buy system, assigning point values to traits and stat increases, and GMs can set starting point buy and award additional points to players for certain actions if they so desire.

Also, we should make a compendium of famous historical events from Empire! So non-Empire players have something to base campaigns off of.

Fighting styles from the Scrolls of prowess could be traits, as could be Tychis1's suggestions.


...Ideastorm over. What do you all think?

lt_murgen
2014-03-04, 01:59 PM
Please take no offense, but I often find myself playing the part of the loyal opposition, and I will do so here.

MY first concern is comparing the D4 roll for ATTRIBUTE (ATT) with the D6+ ATT for a skill check. On average, D4 gives you a roll of 2.5 and a D6 roll is 3.5. That implies a huge weight to attributes over the randomness of the D6 roll. For example a 1 ATT against a 4 ATT has a 3/36 chance to win, 2/36 to tie, and 31/36 to lose.

I would recommend 2D6 + attribute for the roll. I canít do the math right now, but that should keep the significant benefit of a high ATT while not making it overwhelming.


Another way to do it would be to define a series of actions for each ATT and do away with skill checks entirely. For any given interaction, you get to select an action for each number you have in your ATT. Then all you would have to do is create a table that cross references the activities. Essentially, it becomes a rock-paper-scissors-lizard-spock game.

For example, military could have: Bluff, parry, block, lunge, strike, and so on.
If I have a 2 in military, I could choose 2 blocks. MY opponent, with a 4, selects a bluff, block, and 2 strikes. The bluff consumes 1 block (I fall for it), and 1 block one strike. The second slips pass my guard and wounds me.
Example 2: Diplomacy.
Actions: Bribe, threaten, demur, haggle, prevaricate.
I choose to bribe, then haggle. They choose to demur, then threaten, then bribe. So I offer money, and they say they wont take it. I try to raise my bribe, and they threaten to tell the authorities. I am out of ideas, but they offer to do it for a huge sum, so I pay them.

Itís a different style, less mechanical based.

Then skills add additional actions for free (for example a skill with swords might give 1 free lunge action each round, or lie detecting give one free prevaricate a round)

Then equipment also gives actions for free (such as a shield giving a free block action or nice jewelry allowing a free haggle)

zabbarot
2014-03-04, 02:42 PM
Another way to do it would be to define a series of actions for each ATT and do away with skill checks entirely. For any given interaction, you get to select an action for each number you have in your ATT. Then all you would have to do is create a table that cross references the activities. Essentially, it becomes a rock-paper-scissors-lizard-spock game.

The only problem I can see with the rock-paper-scissors-etc version is that RPS sort of relies on both parties revealing their actions at the same time.

So that could get a bit tricky. For fairness sake in a competitive situation people would either have to have a strict alternating turn order*, or have to submit their actions to the GM to prevent an escalating edit war : P I mean I want to believe that that would not happen, but... it's hard to have that much faith.

*Player 1 -> Player 2 -> GM -> P2 -> P1 -> GM ...


Edit: I do agree that there is a need to change the dice to lower the weight of the Attribute scores on rolls though. 2d6 is nice. 2d6 has an expected value of 7 with a standard deviation of ~2.4 so in general, if you are within 2 of an opponents attribute up or down you have a fair shot of success.

SamBurke
2014-03-04, 02:43 PM
The only problem I can see with the rock-paper-scissors-etc version is that RPS sort of relies on both parties revealing their actions at the same time.

So that could get a bit tricky. For fairness sake in a competitive situation people would either have to have a strict alternating turn order*, or have to submit their actions to the GM to prevent an escalating edit war : P I mean I want to believe that that would not happen, but... it's hard to have that much faith.

*Player 1 -> Player 2 -> GM -> P2 -> P1 -> GM ...

Edit wars would certainly happen.

lt_murgen
2014-03-04, 03:25 PM
The only problem I can see with the rock-paper-scissors-etc version is that RPS sort of relies on both parties revealing their actions at the same time.


True. I wont argue that. But I will mention that ANY play by post has the edit war potential. Player A posts her actions and rolls. Player B sees the power of the rolls and then posts his actions to counter it. WIthout some PM/Spoiler/locking convention, I'm not certain how you get around that. Unless, of course, you turn all the die rolling over to the GM. But even so, edit wars can occur.

Rain Dragon
2014-03-05, 12:48 AM
I actually prefer the point buy system vastly to the 2d6, but I also prefer the 2d6 a lot more than the 1d4. I already view the 1d4s in the original world-building project more as what my empire can do than the attributes of my ruler alone.

As for skills I want to see, I definitely want to see some secret and intrigue-based skills for more political minded campaigns. It's /really/ easy to see a situation where several rulers are together discussing stuff which a lot of the other's are not supposed to hear. It already happens.

In a smaller scenario, the Yorukuninin are famous for their GoT-like shenanigans, though honestly my writing /really/ fails to highlight that.

Even smaller still... Uhh, there are examples but my brain is not putting them together correctly.

What the stats do and the suggested things they do look good to me, though faith seems the most departed from EMPIRE!'s corresponding stat. It does make sense, it's just something I wanted to note.

Yikes, there are a lot of people suggesting combat stuff.

As for how ventures are run, when or if anyone's interested in running them I'd prefer not PbP though I really, /really/ want to see some sort of system to mitigate much of the edit wars' effects. At the same time, a certain level of trust is something every player should be allowed. There is something cool about rolling your own stuff 「though any GM making my rolls would be doing me a favour. I am infamous for rolling critical failures!」.

EDIT - I can't entirely take credit for it and it's probably fairly common sense but I'd like to give it more voice. Abilities and equipment derived from in-game stuff would be cool. Like, I think there's Kuroyume and soon maybe Night and Song if the action's not too rubbish and/or against the rules. The abilities have been noted quite a few times above in the form of the Scroll of Prowess. There are some legendary non-combat things. I don't know what properties the rock sent to Tekorva had. There's this 'sacred leaf', the peppers of Genivana. 「Genivana?」 Umm, there's surely other stuff in fluff as well somewhere. 「I'm so lazy and never pay attention...」

Morph Bark
2014-03-06, 09:35 AM
So here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=17124386) is a short thread listing stuff from a test venture I ran yesterday. The basics were hashed out quickly and run with and seemed to work alright. We went with HP = Military + Luck, Armor is equipment-based and essentially functions like temporary hit points, and Slippiness was the dodge/block/parry stat that was 4 + half Military + shield bonus. It seemed to work alright, at least for the players against the NPCs. Considering three of the players had really high Military scores, it is likely because of that that things were pretty easy. NPCs all had stats of 1d3 and a weapon for their equipment. One-handed and ranged weapons dealt 1 damage, two-handed dealt 2 damage, adamantine weapons dealt 1 extra damage.



So what sort of things will abilities be? Like circumstantial modifiers? Ie sword fight ability gives bonus to Military rolls for fighting with swords?

Edit: are we posting too soon? Prepared to delete, captain ( '^')7

Abilities:

Command Abilities:

Cohort: What great hero doesn't have a sidekick, or two, or twelve? This ability allows a character to gain a Single cohort, an NPC who follows you around and follows your orders. Cohorts generate stats by rolling 1d3 for each of their stats, and then adding a +1 to a stat of your choice. A Player Character cannot have more Cohorts then he has Diplomacy score.

At ease, Scotty. :smalltongue:

Abilities could do a variety of things, I figure, similarly to spells, or maneuvers in DnD's Tome of Battle, or Exalted's Charms. Granting a bonus is one way to do it, certainly. I'm personally a fan of abilities that do non-numerical things that give an advantage, like crowd control, transportation, inflicting conditions, and so on. Tychris' Cohort ability is also a good example, though I'd limit it a little bit more in some ways (like limiting the amount of times you can take it), but perhaps boost it in others (by giving it a line of follow-up abilities).

I figure abilities could use prerequisites of a certain score and some other abilities as prerequisites, similarly to feats in DnD. That way, essentially the scores would function both as ability scores and class levels for abilities, though I'm thinking to limit the amount of total abilities a character has to something like 5 + highest attribute + half second highest attribute. And that a character can never have more than their attribute in amount of abilities tied to that attribute as a descriptor.


Please take no offense, but I often find myself playing the part of the loyal opposition, and I will do so here.

MY first concern is comparing the D4 roll for ATTRIBUTE (ATT) with the D6+ ATT for a skill check. On average, D4 gives you a roll of 2.5 and a D6 roll is 3.5. That implies a huge weight to attributes over the randomness of the D6 roll. For example a 1 ATT against a 4 ATT has a 3/36 chance to win, 2/36 to tie, and 31/36 to lose.

I would recommend 2D6 + attribute for the roll. I canít do the math right now, but that should keep the significant benefit of a high ATT while not making it overwhelming.

I had to think on this a bit, but perhaps you're right. My main concern with 2d6 (or even 3d6) instead of a single die is that, while it gives the lower attribute a chance where it otherwise might not have, in places where it would have had a chance before, their chances are decreased due to lower chances of rolling higher, because you're usually around 7 with the roll.

Perhaps some math might be necessary with the chances for success/loss if we'd use 2d6 instead of 1d6.


I actually prefer the point buy system vastly to the 2d6, but I also prefer the 2d6 a lot more than the 1d4. I already view the 1d4s in the original world-building project more as what my empire can do than the attributes of my ruler alone.

I want to keep the 1d4 for stats, because it's in line with Empire's ruler stats. However, I can implement a point buy system to be useable at the player's option. (Such a point buy system won't be implemented in Empire, because it would only suit unrelated new rulers and might throw newcomers off with multiple rules for the same thing.)


As for how ventures are run, when or if anyone's interested in running them I'd prefer not PbP though I really, /really/ want to see some sort of system to mitigate much of the edit wars' effects. At the same time, a certain level of trust is something every player should be allowed. There is something cool about rolling your own stuff 「though any GM making my rolls would be doing me a favour. I am infamous for rolling critical failures!」.

Definitely with you on the trust. I will look into ideas for making it useable in PbP easily, but for now will focus on hammering out the basics. Others are free to brainstorm that part, of course.


EDIT - I can't entirely take credit for it and it's probably fairly common sense but I'd like to give it more voice. Abilities and equipment derived from in-game stuff would be cool. Like, I think there's Kuroyume and soon maybe Night and Song if the action's not too rubbish and/or against the rules. The abilities have been noted quite a few times above in the form of the Scroll of Prowess. There are some legendary non-combat things. I don't know what properties the rock sent to Tekorva had. There's this 'sacred leaf', the peppers of Genivana. 「Genivana?」 Umm, there's surely other stuff in fluff as well somewhere. 「I'm so lazy and never pay attention...」

Certainly! That would give more heart to this little spin-off game, fun little references, plus gives something cool and useful to use in the ventures.

HisHolyAngel
2014-03-06, 01:41 PM
So clearly everyone else seems to know exactly what is expected here, but I'm confused. What type of characters are people creating, and where do they get them from? Am I just out of the loop?

Morph Bark
2014-03-06, 02:47 PM
So clearly everyone else seems to know exactly what is expected here, but I'm confused. What type of characters are people creating, and where do they get them from? Am I just out of the loop?

I presume you refer at least in part to the testrun. 4 out of 5 characters of the testrun were ex-rulers from EMPIRE, so they already had stats (and which is why several of them have scores of 10). The fifth, Eljak, was rolled for like a new character, and was previously an NPC.

They started with no abilities, because I hadn't created any yet and it was a testrun to see how the basic system would work in play.

Outside of established characters from EMPIRE, any non-magical character concept that can work in a pre-Industrial setting is open if you want to go for it. (Because that's the kind of setting EMPIRE is, though this simple system can also be used for games run in modern settings, or even with magic with some adaptation for including magic.)

SamBurke
2014-03-06, 02:57 PM
So clearly everyone else seems to know exactly what is expected here, but I'm confused. What type of characters are people creating, and where do they get them from? Am I just out of the loop?

They're creating any characters they want. For now, it's mostly just leaders, but there's a lot of potential. :smallwink:

HisHolyAngel
2014-03-06, 04:48 PM
I presume you refer at least in part to the testrun. 4 out of 5 characters of the testrun were ex-rulers from EMPIRE, so they already had stats (and which is why several of them have scores of 10). The fifth, Eljak, was rolled for like a new character, and was previously an NPC.

They started with no abilities, because I hadn't created any yet and it was a testrun to see how the basic system would work in play.

Outside of established characters from EMPIRE, any non-magical character concept that can work in a pre-Industrial setting is open if you want to go for it. (Because that's the kind of setting EMPIRE is, though this simple system can also be used for games run in modern settings, or even with magic with some adaptation for including magic.)

Oooooo this sounds super exciting!

Rain Dragon
2014-03-10, 05:09 AM
I was thinking either alongside or instead of Sanctuary coming with an army to help my allies deal with the heretics we could try out a venture? It means an action more focussed on rooting out the Order of Fire and whether Umajin truly had done such a horrible thing 「though there is quite a bit of evidence against him already」. EDIT - If called, I'll still come with and help get rid of the terrorists. Yorukuninin would prefer /they/ were the only ones doing despicable things thank-you-very-much.

Maybe a PbP one if it's soon enough so Morph has more data on how they work over the various mediums. 「Of course, if Morph wants to run it. If he doesn't well... I guess no venture, it'll just be fluff」.