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GryffonDurime
2007-05-13, 07:51 PM
Dragon's Dozen

Let me start by saying that I love the d20 system, it is great at what it does: a highly diverse, modular RPG that provides an--admittedly abusable--in-depth system.

But sometimes you don't want in-depth. Sometimes, you want something a little simpler. With an interest in creating a system that could both streamline the learning curve for play, provide more opportunity for cinematic roleplaying, and give players greater control over the random chance aspect of rolling, I present this work in progress, currently called Dragon's Dozen. The character creation process will be posted first, followed by an outline of the specifics of Talents, Attunements, Gifts, etc. This will be updated as new work is completed, and please provide any feedback you see fit, be it suggestion, critique, question, or idea. All "fluff" details provided will be for Dragon's Dozen's default setting: the Shattered Isles.


Rolling the Dice
In Dragon's Dozen, many of the mechanics of other RPGs have been pruned away: there are no explicit rules for how far a character can move in any given amount of time; in true cinematic style characters can feel free to do just about whatever they want, within reason, until they are forced into a contest.

Static Contests: A contest is any situation where an opposing power--a person, force, object, or enviornment--could cause a character to fail. If a contest is waged against a static obstacle, such as climbing a rock wall or swimming across a lake, the GM assigns a difficulty value to the task ranging from 2 (devestatingly easy, like picking daisies) to 12 (an amazing achievement of the human spirit) or even higher (for truly amazing tasks, a DV of up to 24 can be assessed). Characters roll a Talent check appropriate to the task, and may spend points from their Talent Pools to raise their check. Some Gifts may also add additional points to certain checks. All rolls are made on a d12 (or 2d6, see Relaxed Contests below)

Responsive Contests: Against opponents that can respond or change, however, a contested roll is made: players roll their Talent against an appropriate opposing Talent from their foe. For example, a contest made to hit a foe would have the player's Aiming Talent rolled against the foe's Agility. Either character may spends points as normal, and adds any relevant modifiers from Gifts. Some responsive contests are made with the same Talents: in order to see who would win in a race, both characters would make Agility checks as normal.

Relaxed Contests: Whenever a character is not in immediate danger of harm or distraction, they may make a relaxed contest and roll with 2d6 instead of 1d12. This precludes any chance of flubbing.

Flubs: Whenever a character rolls a natural one, it is considered a "flub." Flubs are immediate failures regardless of any modifiers or points spent on the roll, though players may make a Willpower check to overcome the problems presented by the flub and complete their previous check as normal. If the Willpower check fails or if the player accepts the flub, their character's action is interrupted by some absurd contrivance of fate--they notice a beautiful flower while aiming their bow, they are distracted by a puppycorn, or a sudden summer shower is localized over their head for about three and a half seconds.



Character Creation

Buy Attunements - The most essential statistics of any character in Dragonís Dozen, Attunements represent a characterís potential in just about any aspect of gameplay. There are six Attunements, and each is connected to two Talents--weíll worry about those later. The standard amount of points for Dragonís Dozen Attributes is twelve, though fewer or more points can be given at the GMís discretion.
Buy Talents - Talents represent a characterís training in one of twelve fields, with two Talents for every Attunement. Buying Talents works exactly the same as buying Attunements: you start with a set amount of points (typically from twelve to eighteen, but more or fewer points can be used at the Gamemasterís discretion) that you can invest in any of the Talents. You may never raise a Talent to more than twice the level of its controlling Attunement; ie. If youíve only got a Red Attunement of 2, you canít raise your Athletics Talent to more than 4.
Buy Gifts - Gifts represent a characterís background by allowing players the opportunity to give their characters unique advantages and capabilities. Gifts are divided into four major categories: Ancestral Gifts, Training Gifts, Genius Gifts, and Talent Gifts. Ancestral Gifts are only available at character creation and may not be purchased in-game. Characters begin with a standard of twelve points to purchase Gifts. There is also a final type of Gift: Mystical Gifts represent a magicianís spells, and can only be acquired by someone with the proper Training.
The Zen of Swag - Unless otherwise modified by an Ancestral Gift, all characters begin with 100 Shella, the currency of the Shattered Sea. Characters may spend as much or as little of their money as they wish to in order to purchase ships, houses, weapons, and the like.
Talent Pools - The final step in character creation is to fill your Talent Pools. Add your ranks in each of your Talents to their controlling Attunement; thus number is your Talent Pool, which refills to its maximum at the start of each scene. You may freely spend these points to increase dice rolls in-game; adding points before you make a roll can be done on a 1:1 basis, while adding point after youíve rolled can only be done 2:1.



The Attunements

Red: The Red Attunement is the Attunement of the body; it represents a character's physical shape and overall athletic potential. Thusly, it controls the Brawling and Athletics Talents. Characters with a strong Red Attunement will most likely be warriors or athletes, the kind of characters who'd rather kick down the door than open the lock.
Orange - The Orange Attunement is that certain spark, that...je ne sais quoi; the artistic spirit and personal magnetism that attracts the attention of others. It controls the Crafting and Charming Talents. Characters with a strong Orange Attunement are free spirits, artists, and charmers.
Yellow - The Yellow Attunement represents a character's mental acuity and precision. To that end, this Attunement controls the Lore and Aiming Talents. A character with a strong Yellow Attunement is studious and meticulous, and make fine archers or scholars.
Green - The Green Attunement represents a character's fortitude, both physical and mental. It controls the Endurance and Willpower Talents. A character with a strong Green Attunement is resiliant and persistant, often nearly impossible to disuade.
Blue - The Blue Attunement represents a character's reflexes and powers of perception. It thusly controls the Agility and Awareness Talents. A character with a strong Blue Attunement is both quick to act and nearly impossible to suprise.
Purple - The Purple Attunement represents a character's spiritual power and arcane aptitude, which are nearly one and the same on the Shattered Isles. It controls the Sorcery and Faith Talents. A character with a strong Purple Attunement often pursues either a life of devotion or a career in the Arcane, though the difference between the two is largely questionable.



The Talents

Brawling (Red) - The Brawling Talent can be invoked anytime you need to hit someone who can potentially hit back, and reflects your personal strength and combat prowess.
Athletics (Red) - Whether you need to jump across that chasm or climb that rope, you use the Athletics Talent.
Crafting (Orange) - It may not seem implicitly useful, but Crafting reflects a character's artistic talents, allowing them to do everything from perform to produce a weapon.
Charming (Orange) - When diplomacy fails, fast-talking can often succeed. Whether you need to lie, beg, or borrow; the Charming Talent is your go-to skill.
Lore (Yellow) - To know something, anything, Lore is used. Lore reflects a broad spectrum of possible topics--namely everything, ever.
Aiming (Yellow) - The Aiming Talent is used whenever careful attention is needed, be it in hitting a hard mark with an arrow or sword, or simply performing some intricate task.
Endurance (Green) - Endurance is perhaps the most important of all Talents, because without it...you die. When hit or otherwise fatigued, you make a roll against the damage done and if you fail, you collapse.
Willpower (Green) - Willpower is a versatile Talent that reflects a character's mental strength, allowing you to continue despite pain or to resist coercion.
Agility (Blue) - When you need to get out of the way of an attack or simply get from A to B, Agility lets you move as you'd like.
Awareness (Blue) - Those without good Awareness won't regret it; they probably won't live long enough to think to regret it. Awareness covers all methods of detecting threats and deceptions: sight, sound, and intuition.
Sorcery (Purple) - Typically reserved for the magical types, Sorcery reflects your personal magic power and can be used to cast spells...with the proper training.
Faith (Purple) - Faith represents a connection to the divine, be it to the Dragon Spirits, the Remnants, Leviathans, or Wraiths. Faith allows a character to seek divine favor under certain circumstances.



Gifts
Ancestral Gifts

Highmount Native - 2 Points - A Highmount Native was born and raised in the distant, sky-shrouded mountains of Kudar. All Endurance rolls made to resist the effects of cold or oxygen deprivation are made at +2, and all Athletic checks made to climb are made at a +1 bonus. You may not take more than one native Gift.
Sandwalker Native - 2 Points - A Sandwalker Native was born and raised in the desert wastes of Noa Ouria. All Endurance rolls made to resist the effects of heat or water deprivation are made at +2, while all Agility checks made in rough terrain are made at a +1 bonus. You may not take more than one native Gift.
Seaborn Native - 2 Points - A Seaborn Native was born and raised on or near the Sea, most likely on one of the islands of the Schism Archipeligo. All Athletics checks made to swim are done at a +2 bonus, while all Lore checks to know things about the Sea or seafaring are made at a +1 bonus. You may not take more than one native Gift.
Greensoul Native - 2 Points - A Greensoul Native was born and raised in the rare forests of either Silreh Isle or Ledin Island. All Awareness checks made in natural settings are done at a +2 bonus, while all Lore checks made to know things about animals or plants are done at a +1 bonus. You may not take more than one native Gift.
Caveheart Native - 2 Points - A Caveheart Native was born and raised in the Deep Cavern. All Awareness checks made to notice things in the dark are done at a +2 bonus, and all Charming checks made to deceive others are done at a +1 bonus. You may not take more than one native Gift.
Familial Wealth - 1 Point - You may take this Gift more than once. Everytime you take this Gift, add 150 Shella to your starting funds.
Sacred Heirloom - 3 Points - You may take this Gift more than once. You've inherited a special treasure from some old relative, and are charged with its protection. Heirlooms may be selected from any potential Equipment worth up to 1,000 Shella. If you loose or destroy an heirloom, you suffer a -1 penalty to all rolls until such time as you fashion or purchase a replacement and sacrifice it to the ancestor who originally invested you with that heirloom.
Legacy of the Hero - 2 Points - Your family tree includes some ancient hero, and those who know of the legacy are likely to treat you with favor or respect. Charming checks made to influence those who know about your lineage are made at a +2 bonus.


Training Gifts

Northern Wind Swordstyle - 5 Points - You've learned the art of battle from an heir to the Northern Wind Swordstyle, which traces its lineage back to the legendary bladewitch Ayna Orielle. Your attacks are swift and accurate; you may add points to Aiming checks after rolling without the usual penalty. Followers of other Swordstyles regard you as a rival at best, a foe at worst.
Southern Wind Swordstyle - 5 Points - You have studied the Southern Wind Swordstyle, which traces its lineage all the way to the great king Krais of Ouria. Your feet are unnaturally swift, and so you may spend points on Agility checks after rolling without penalty. Students of other Swordstyles regard you as a rival at best, a foe at worst.
Pyrus Brotherhood - 7 Points - You've entered into the service of the Pyrus Brotherhood, masters of the Sixth Sorcerous Art. You make Aiming checks at a +1 bonus when attacking with Dragonbreath. You are entitled to claim sanctuary at any Pyrus Monestary.
Battle Scholar - 4 Points - You've learned the history and science of battle and war from a descendant of the Sperrican Academy Swordstyle. You may make a Lore check to identify a character's style of combat; if sucessful you gain a +1 bonus when trying to evade attacks from that character.
Oath of the Leviathans - 6 Points - You have learned your mystic art from a pact with a Leviathan, and their eeriely beautiful song echoes forever in your heart and soul. You may learn Mystic Gifts from the Leviathan School, and all Leviathans regard you as a friend unless angered.
Vessel of the Remnants - 6 Points - You have offered your body as a vessel for the wild and untamed forces of nature that seek their retribution. You may learn Mystic Gifts from the Remnant School, and all Remnants treat you with respect unless angered.
The Order - 6 Points - You have taken the vows of the Order, and so you now serve the Wraiths as a prelate. You may learn Mystic Gifts from the Order School. While Wraiths treat you with respect unless angered, all other sorcerous are highly wary of you; the order has made no friends in their hunts of rogue magicians.
Student of the Deep Science - 6 Points - You've learned of the alchemies and mysteries of the Deep Science. You may learn Mystical Gifts from the Alchemy School. While all other Alchemists treat you as a friend, most others know nothing of the truth of alchemy and fear you for tales of your control over life and undeath.


Genius Gifts

Pugilist Prodigy - 1 Point - You recieve a +1 bonus on Brawling checks while unarmed. Requires 2 Red.
Sure Shot - 2 Points - You recieve a +1 bonus to all Aiming checks with ranged weapons. Requires 2 Blue.
Personal Magnetism - 1 Point - You recieve a +1 on Charming checks with males or females, chosen at the time you take this Gift. Requires 2 Orange.
Master Artisan - 1 Point - Choose one of the following to get a +3 bonus to Crafting checks on: Artistry, Performing, Inventing, or Smithing. You may select this Gift up to four times, choosing a different type of check each time. Requires 3 Yellow, 3 Orange.
Lightning Dancer - 3 Points - You recieve a +1 bonus on all Agility checks made to dodge attacks. Requires 5 Blue.
Perfect Physique - 2 Points - You make all Athletics checks at a +1 bonus. Requires 3 Red.
Skilled Swordsman - 4 Points - All brawling checks made with a favored type of sword (chosen at the time you take this Gift) are made at a +2 bonus. You may take this Gift several times, choosing a different favored sword each time. Requires 5 Red.
Nature's Heart - 2 Points - All Charming checks made to influence animals are made at a +2 bonus. Requires 3 Orange.
Arcane Eyes - 2 Points - All Awareness checks made against magic recieve a +3 bonus. Requires 4 Blue, 2 Purple.

mikeejimbo
2007-05-13, 08:37 PM
It looks interesting so far, but one thing I fear is that the characters will need too many Talents.

GryffonDurime
2007-05-13, 10:38 PM
It looks interesting so far, but one thing I fear is that the characters will need too many Talents.

Hmm...Yes, all talents are fairly useful, but really; investing in a Talent only offers you expanded points to spend on rolls...you can still roll any Talent even without any ranks.

DracoDei
2007-05-14, 01:11 AM
Needs more gifts and, above all a basic conflict/challenge resolution system. Not that such a fundimental mechanic should be in any way be rushed, but without it, it is hard to judge the other parts of the system.

GryffonDurime
2007-05-14, 09:43 AM
Needs more gifts and, above all a basic conflict/challenge resolution system. Not that such a fundimental mechanic should be in any way be rushed, but without it, it is hard to judge the other parts of the system.

I've got most of it "done", it's just a question of formatting and posting. Expect to see some more of the system itself soon...ish.

mikeejimbo
2007-05-14, 11:27 AM
Hmm...Yes, all talents are fairly useful, but really; investing in a Talent only offers you expanded points to spend on rolls...you can still roll any Talent even without any ranks.

Ah, cool. And I see you posted more recently.