View Full Version : An abstract [RPG system] I made

2007-02-18, 03:52 PM
I'm going to be running a zombie survival game in a few weeks, and I didn't want people to start stressing about character generation (It can take my group weeks to makecharacters. Go figure), so I made my own simple RPG system for use in it.


Each character has 3 stats: Strength, Agility and Intelligence. They are fairly self explanatory. The amount of points you get to spend on them depends on the campaign or GM. For my campaign I will use 10 points as the baseline

Skills (Optional)

Each character may, with GM permission, choose 4 special skills. These are areas the character excels at. They get -1 difficulty when making checks related to this skill. For example, if Robby Rocketpants chose Basketweaving as one of his skills, he would get -1 difficulty when making stat checks to do with Basketweaving.


Whenever a character wants to attempt an action where there is a chance of failure, the player makes a stat check. He rolls a number of d6's equal to their stat, and each dice that come up over the difficulty of the check is a success. The number of successes determines the success or failure of the check. More difficult checks have higher difficullties.

Discuss. More to come later.

2007-02-18, 04:00 PM
Nice. :smallsmile: I've been thinking about constructing an ultra-simple rules-system too and this is a real nice and clean way of handling it.

2007-02-18, 05:27 PM
I used to use a homebrew sci-fi game similar to this and it worked very well. Combat can be tough I would like to see how you handle it.

2007-02-18, 07:58 PM
Kind of reminds me of White Wolf's system, but simpler.

Or Wushu...

2007-02-19, 10:50 AM
Lots of systems use this idea. I'm just swiping it. No idea how to run combat yet. As most of the time the zombies won't exactly won't be in any position to attack back (if they're smart), I'll mostly just be calling for Agility checks,

2007-02-20, 12:45 AM
So far it sounds a bit like shadow run. But different of course. I'd like to see how this turns out.

2007-02-20, 07:41 AM
Lots of systems use this idea.

Oh yeah, definitely. I wasn't demeaning it just because other systems use it. More like saying "Look here for inspiration."

2007-02-20, 09:33 AM
OK, I have a basic idea: When you attack someone, you make an Agility check, with a difficulty equal to their Agility. For each success, you score 1 wound. Once they take a number of wounds equal to their strength, they go down.


2007-02-20, 11:16 AM
I like the idea- simple is definitely better. As for skills, I kind of think you should varying levels of skill possible- similar to PDQ or Wushu. As it stands, there is (unless I am horribly misreading your idea) only one level of skill, and it only gives you a slightly better chance of succeeding. Thereby, a master basketweaver gets the same bonus to basketweaving checks as an apprentice. Also, for clarity, I would apply the skills as a bonus to the character's rolls rather than a "penalty" to the difficulty level, and I'd probably make it +2 rather than +1.

Also, what is the purpose of the intelligence stat?

Also, how would you decide who went first in combat(may not be a big deal when the enemy is zombies, but for the purposes of system robustness it couldn't hurt)? How do weapons affect the amount of wounds you deal? Does my puny fist deal as much damage as the bad-a** katana I just picked up?

Finally, are all combatants supposed to be agile attacker-types? As it stands, strength has no bearing on your combat ability apart from how much damage you're dealing.

I realize that my post looks critical, but I want you to know that I really like the idea you've come up with- the questions are just those that popped up to me. Good luck with this and I look forward to more posts as you flesh the system out!

2007-02-20, 11:39 AM
Intelligence is for noticing things, working things out, stuff that is more to do ith logic and skill rather than manual dexterity or brute force, like picking locks, disabling traps etc. Its a catchall mental stat. If I were running a fantasy game, it would affect Magic.

Strength is like you hit points. It is also used for stuff like long distance running, swimming etc. I suppose you could opt to us it in place of Agility in melee if you wish. Or something.

Use highest Agility for initiative, with ties broken by highest Intlligence. Or something like that.

2007-02-20, 02:28 PM
I might rename the stats to allow greater flexibility. Maybe like Attack, Chi, and Insight. Therefore, a character with a high Attack might be a brute, or agile, or maybe has a surgical knowledge of pressure points on the human body and is particularly adept at hitting them or something. This way, the players can be creative about what their character does in combat- the stat just captures the overall effectiveness.

Similarly, Strength as Chi (or something less Asia-flavored) could allow for a greater amount of explanations- maybe the character is just really healthy, maybe they're very disciplined, maybe they are just plucky.

Finally, I would argue that the word Insight is more appropriate for what you're describing than Intelligence. I suppose that's pretty nitpicky, tho.

Again, this is awesome!

2007-02-20, 03:04 PM
I suppose you could rename the stats depending on the game. I've yet to try out the system, but I imagine it could work for most genres.

2007-02-23, 10:45 AM
Any ideas on how to handle Magic? I know I'll use Intelligence, probably making it a Skill.

2007-02-23, 06:21 PM
Are you aiming for any balance or not?

The problem with magic is not how to roll it up, but how to decide what it can do.

For combat:
Base difficulty to kill a human with your fists: 6
With a Club/Knife: 5
With a Sword/Arrow: 4
With a Gun: 3
etc. Extreme range makes it harder.

XBows and Arrows take a while to reload.

Some attacks admit defences. Which attacks and what defences there are depend on your genre.

KP are "kill points". After a player has 3 KP, they will die shortly.

1 KP: Roll strength vs DC 4. After that many rounds, take a +1 to all difficulties (wounded).
2 KP: Roll strength vs DC 5. After that many rounds, you are K.O.'d.
3 KP: Roll strength vs DC 6. After that many rounds, you die.

Damage is cumulative, so if you take 2 KP you have to make wounded and K.O.'d endurance checks. Roll for the worst consequence first.

2007-02-24, 11:17 AM
Hmmm. That might work.

2007-02-24, 12:30 PM
It is sort of neat, in that your characters know they are going to die before they do. So they can get all heroicish.

Oh: every KP beyond 3 causes your character to die/KO/be wounded 1 round earlier (ie, it eats successes)

So if you have a strength of 5 and a skill (die hard +1) and take 5 KP in damage...

Your DC is 6 (roll vs death)-1 (die hard skill)=5.

You roll your 5d6, and get lucky -- 3 of them are a 5 or higher, so you get to live for 3 more rounds.

Sadly, you have 2 excess KP in damage. This means you only get to live for (3 success) - 2 excess damage = 1 more round.

You then get to roll on being K.O.'d and Wounded.

A "mook" rule might be needed that has fewer rolls.

2007-02-27, 02:44 PM
OKay, I hae an idea for a more heroic injury system. You have a number of Wound Levels. They are: Light wound, Moderate Wound, Serious Wound, Dead. Every time you take a hit that deals more than your Strength in damage, you go down a Wound Level. Light Wound imposes a -1 penalty on all rolls,, Moderate Wound a -2 etc.