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lacco36
2016-02-18, 02:43 PM
Based on the idea of Mr. Mask from this (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?477363-Party-Point-Buy-Pool) thread...


Here's a neat little idea, but by no means a good one. You have a point-buy system for your characters. However, your points are shared between all the members of the party. Similarly, when a character earns more points, anyone can use them.

Theoretically, you could really optimize your party, and could give the wizard a larger share of points so you can get a useful spell early on, or etc.. Similarly, you might have high-point classes and low-point ones. Let's say one of you plays a goblin fighter, that might not require many points to make them a workable member of the party, and then you have more for your wizard and alchemist.

This is probably a system that wouldn't be popular, and it may not be wise on many levels, but it would be a novel idea and might even make for some interesting mechanics.

Had another thought. Rather than each picking a character, you might all decide how many and what sort of characters you want in the party, then decide which one you want to play as and customize them a bit further. This'd allow you to make a more cooperative story between your characters, where you might feel less like a collection of protagonists wrestling for the spotlight. You might even trade or trade-in characters as the campaign progresses. Or, the group of players plays as the whole party, alternating between characters as often as they please.



...I started to build a point-buy system for game focused on adventuring party - one that has limited amount of members (consisting of player controlled Heroes and GM controlled, but player-influenced Hirelings) and certain goal. Thus the Expedition was born.



Please, feel free to comment, give feedback and if there are people interested in playtesting, let me know. Be gentle, it's my first homebrew design I post :smallsmile:.

The rule system I will be using for this is Riddle of Steel with some homebrew (specifically - classess, skills and magic), but hopefully it will be possible to adapt it to any system.


WARNING!
The premise of this playstyle assumes that the players are willing to cooperate and will fight against the environment. While it could be played as PvP, it will largely diminish possible enjoyment.

You have been warned.



So far I have this:

The Expedition

The Expedition is commissioned by the Adventuring Guild (or any equivalent thereof), who provides certain amount of starting resources (starting build points, from which the players build the expedition) and give the players basic information (i.e. map of area including pointers to few dungeons). The expedition starts by the first meeting in a tavern (as traditional), where the Players select/vote/choose the Expedition Leader and then decide the composition of the party and their base camp. After this part is finished, the Heroes are moved to the camp and first week may begin.


Party Leader

A party leader will be selected/voted/chosen at the beginning. Party leader has only one power - if the players can't settle on decision in any matter, his vote breaks the ties.


Time

In Camp the game time will be counted in weeks for the purposes of easier provisioning. While in dungeon, the play will slow down and will take the pace of normal dungeon crawl.

Build Points

In the beginning, there will be only one resource – build points. They represent all kinds of resources that the Adventuring Guild used for procurement of everything the expedition needs.
Assume 800 build points for the beginning (don’t worry, it’s not so much). From these, they will have to furnish their Base Camp, sign up Heroes and hire Hirelings.

The Camp

The base camp starts as a campfire in the middle of a meadow.
If players want to upgrade the camp, they have to spend build points in the beginning (or effort/materials/money during the game). For examples see below. This list is non-exhaustive, new options may be provided later.

Living space
Tent - 2 comfortable or 4 crowded places (1 point); protects against wind, cold and precipitation
Pavillon - 4 comfortable or 8 crowded places (3 points); protects against wind, cold and precipitation
Wooden housing - 6 comfortable or 12 crowded places (10 points); protected against elements, may include fireplace for heating/cooking (additional 2 pts)
Stone housing - 6 comfortable or 12 crowded places (20 points); well-protected against all elements, includes fireplace for heating/cooking

Sleeping area
Sleeping bags - 1 point per 10
Simple cots 1 point per 5
Bunk beds - 1 point per 2 beds (4 places)
Comfortable beds - 1 point per 1
Food
Storage room - 5 points
Cellar - 10 points
Cooking area - 3 points
Field kitchen - 5 points
Dedicated kitchen - 10 points

Protection
Stockade - 10 points
Wall - 20 points
Moat - 30 points
Watchtower 5 points
Tower - 15 points
Armoury - 10 points (less chance of stolen weapons)
Treasure room - 15 points (less chance of stolen treasures)
Traps - 3 points per area (entrance, armoury, tower, treasure room, etc.)


Crafts & arts
Basic tools and workbench/table - 2 points (allows basic repairs and enhancements, prerequisite for good quality items)
Small toolshed and workplace - 5 points (provides small bonus to repairs, allows assistance, prerequisite for fine quality items)
Workshop - 10 points (provides large bonus to repairs, allows assistance, prerequisite for masterwork items)


Miscellaneous

Campfire - basic, provides place to sit, talk, relax, unwind
Tent with bar/tavern - 10/30 points, place for 4/15 people to drink and unwind
Gambling tent/gambling den - 5/25 points, place for 4/15 people to gamble
Library - 10 points, stores books, provides place for research,
Training place/pit for fighting - 5/20 points, allows safe place to work out aggression and improve fighting skills
Shrine/small church - 5/20 points, place for 4/10 people to attend to their spiritual needs
Merchant caravan/shop - 10/25 points, provides shopping opportunity every 4 weeks/permanent shopping opportunity
Courier station - 10 points - provides messengers
Stables/kennels - 2/1 points per one animal

Healthcare
- basic - 3 points (one or two beds, some herbs and bandages)
- advanced - 5 points (4-6 places , quality equipment)
- infirmary - 10 points (10 places, fully equipped)




Heroes and Hirelings

Heroes are controlled by players. They are the PCs. Hirelings are controlled by the GM.

There are two costs listed at each class/concept. The first one is for Heroes, the second for Hirelings.
Heroes have all attributes at their minimum (2), one skill packet of their choice at 6 (competent), one weapon proficiency at 3 (half-trained), one professional skill as beginner, as well as the advantages and flaws written in text.

Hirelings are pre-generated with attributes (average or better), skills at level 6 (competent) and listed flaws/traits. Players can invest more points into them or add flaws to gain more points, but it is not necessary.

Starting equipment of a hero consists usually of one dull basic weapon, backpack and set of peasant clothes if not specified.

Special skill/Profession skill is a skill that is not available to other concepts/classes or is available at larger costs.

First concept is the "blank slate" - adventurer. For players that want to customize everything.


Adventurer
"Blank slate" hero, no advantages, no disadvantages. Fully customizable.
Comes with a dull basic weapon, backpack and set of peasant clothes.
Hero cost - 30 Hireling cost - Not Available
Advantages: No disadvantages
Disadvantages: No advantages
Skill packet (Special skill) - None
Equipment - Dull basic weapon, Backpack, Set of peasant clothes


Other concepts/classes below.


Academic/Scholar
Thinker, the "know stuff" class. Knows ancient languages and is able to read future from the stars. In camp/city can research information about dungeons and their denizens.
Hero cost - 35 Hireling cost - 36
Advantages: Buys Knowledge/lore skills with "pay 1 get 2" discount, one starting knowledge skill at 5
Disadvantages: None
Skill packet (Special skill) - Academic (Research - allows the academic to provide information about dungeons, threats, areas or items via research; Astronomer - allows reading of future/omens)
Equipment - Quarterstaff or Dull small dagger
Set of freeman clothes
Personal library
Writing utensils

Alchemist
Practicer of alchemy. While in camp can prepare concoctions of various magical or mundane effects. Cannot master any other type of magic.
Hero cost - 39 Hireling cost - 40
Advantages: Herbalism at -1. Can practice alchemy
Disadvantages: Cannot master any other type of magic
Skill packet (Special skill) - Ritualist (Alchemy - allows preparation of potions at camp or during resting; Herbalist - knows and collects useful herbs)
Equipment - Quarterstaff
Small dagger
3x Potion of healing (power 3)
Field laboratory
Ingredients
Small wagon and mule

Healer
Practicer of healing arts. Knows both ancient secret healing techniques as well as the "modern" surgery and is able to cure any wound, poisoning or disease if given enough time.
Hero cost - 33 Hireling cost - 36
Advantages: None
Disadvantages: None
Skill packet (Special skill) - Healer (Ancient healing knowledge - speeds up healing; Surgery - may be able to revive fallen characters right after combat)
Equipment - Quarterstaff
Small dagger
10 bandage kits
Satchel with herbs (12 portions)
Surgery kit



Guardsman
Militiaman or guard. Able to handle a weapon, but his main strength lies in the knowledge how to effectively guard (and not fall asleep).
Hero cost - 34 Hireling cost - 36
Advantages: Additional proficiency point (Sword&Shield, Mass Weapon & Shield, Poleram/poleaxe)
Disadvantages: None
Skill packet (Special skill) - Guardsman (Guarding - guards get 1/2 fatigue for guarding and add to security by allowing their skill to substitute for camp perception rolls to notice trouble)
Equipment - Bent spear
Rusty mace
Banged-up wooden shield
Leather armour

Bladeslinger
An adventurer, who prefers to use his sword and wits, not only strength. However, he is easily provoked into violence...
Hero cost - 40 Hireling cost - 40
Advantages: Can improve his starting proficiency to 9 (by paying 5 points). Additional +1 WIT and AGI
Disadvantages: Must take "Troublemaker" minor flaw
Skill packet (Special skill) - Swordsman (Read Body Language - provides bonus on defence; Style Analysis - is able to estimate manuevers that will be used)
Equipment - Arming sword or bastard sword
Leather armour
Oil and whetstone
Small dagger
Riding horse

Fighter
Fighter lives for the fight and tries to master several weapons. His greatest virtue is his flexibility in fight.
Hero cost - 40 Hireling cost - 39
Advantages: Each proficiency with 6 points in it gains 1 free point (to 7).
Disadvantages: None
Skill packet (Special skill) - Soldier (Tactics - is able to provide tactical advantage in combat)
Equipment - 3 weapons (tier 2, good quality)
20 arrows/quarrels or 3 javelins/throwing axes
Up to light mail armour
Tools for weapon maintenance
Riding horse

Warrior
Clan or wildling warriors, feared for their physical provess, for their skill with weapon and for their fearlessness. Poor as they can get, but proud.
Hero cost - 45 Hireling cost - 44
Advantages: Additional +1 and +2 to ST or TO (players choice), Trait "Quick healer"
Disadvantages: Must take "Overconfident" minor flaw
Skill packet (Special skill) - Clan Warrior (Courage - is able to better withstand fear effects)
Equipment - 2 weapons (tier 2, bad quality)
10 arrows/quarels or 1 javelin/throwing axe
Leather armour

Mercenary
This one fights for money - and he expects a lot of it will come out of this expedition. However, he is skilled with a weapon and has no qualms about using it.
Hero cost - 43 Hireling cost - 42
Advantages: Additional weapon proficiency points (3)
Disadvantages: Must take "Paid to Work" minor disadvantage
Skill packet (Special skill) - Mercenary (N/A)
Equipment - 3 weapons (tier 2, 1 good and 2 poor quality)
10 arrows/quarrels or 1 javelin/throwing axe
Up to light mail armour, of poor quality
Work horse

Squire
Knight-in-training. He wants to test his mettle, but learns rather quickly.
Hero cost - 37 Hireling cost - 36
Advantages: Trait "Quick learner"
Disadvantages: None
Skill packet (Special skill) - Knight (N/A)
Equipment - 2 weapons (tier 2 and 1, poor and good quality)
Riding horse
Up to scale armour

Knight
A full-fledged knight. His armour may not be shiny, but he has a good horse, a strong arm, hard head and a set of ancestral armour.
Hero cost - 48 Hireling cost - 54
Advantages: Free destrier horse
Disadvantages: Must take "Code of Conduct" and "Wows" minor flaw
Skill packet (Special skill) - Knight (N/A)
Equipment - 3 weapons (sword/hammer/axe, spear/lance and shield, good quality)
Plate armour (poor quality)
Large tent, personal servant on mule

Crusader
A holy warrior. His touch can heal his allies and destroy his opponents and he wishes only to rid the world of evil and fulfill his mission.
Hero cost - 50 Hireling cost - 54
Advantages: Can practice paladin magic
Disadvantages: Must take "Code of Conduct" and "Wows" major flaw
Skill packet (Special skill) - Knight (Purification - can provide morale to his allies)
Equipment - 1 good quality weapon
shield
mail armour
warhorse


Entertainer
This jester can sing, dance, tell bawdy or inspiring stories. The best companion for evenings around campfire or for marching. Just having him around can benefit good mood...
Hero cost - 32 Hireling cost - 37
Advantages: One starting "Perform" skill at 6
Disadvantages: None
Skill packet (Special skill) - Entertainer (Entertain - can entertain and thus increase morale of people in camp)
Equipment - 1 musical instrument (lute, flute, lyre or bagpipes)
1 good quality light weapon
leather armour
riding horse
book of poems

Rogue
Rogue is something between travelling performer, street entertainer and professional cutpurse/thief. He is a funny companion if you are not his mark.
Hero cost - 38 Hireling cost - 42
Advantages: None
Disadvantages: Must take "Cleptomania" flaw
Skill packet (Special skill) - Thief/Entertainer (Cutpurse - when in town, is able to provide income; Rumormonger - player devises a rumor to improve morale - if this proves to be true, it enhances the next rumors; if proven false - will not be able to use this skill for 4 weeks)
Equipment - 1 musical instrument (lute, flute or lyre)
1 poor quality light weapon, good quality small dagger
lockpick set
rope (50') and grappling hook

Burglar
Burglar specializes on getting inside of closed rooms, opening closed doors and - especially - for getting valuables stored or stashed somewhere. His trap-finding senses are something to value in a dungeon.
Hero cost - 35 Hireling cost - 39
Advantages: None
Disadvantages: Cannot go to the city.
Skill packet (Special skill) - Thief (N/A)
Equipment - 1 poor quality light weapon
good quality small dagger
lockpick set
climbing tools
rope (50') and grappling hook
prybar

Assassin
A figure in dark clothes, looking at everything with cold calculating stare. A killer. Someone who gets paid for killing. He can make anyone disappear without a trace.
Hero cost - 37 Hireling cost - 42
Advantages: None
Disadvantages: Must take "Paid to Work" major disadvantage
Skill packet (Special skill) - Assassin (Silent Death - can dispatch troublesome persons...in camp, city, or even dungeon)
Equipment - 1 large dagger
vial of poison
lockpick set
set of black clothes
climbing set


Scout
Good rider with good eyes. Scout is able to spot enemies from afar, and find the shortest route possible through nearly any terrain. He starts with a good horse.
Hero cost - 32 Hireling cost - 40
Advantages: Free courser horse
Disadvantages: None
Skill packet (Special skill) - Woodsman (Scouting - can discover new locations and encounters)
Equipment - Basic equipment
Set of low freeman clothes.
Spyglass
Courser horse

Ranger
Skilled hunters, foragers and survivalists, rangers prefer to work alone. They are able to track and hunt down their prey, but are also able to fight various animals and monsters. A ranger can often find locations that are well-hidden.
Hero cost - 33 Hireling cost - 44
Advantages: None
Disadvantages: Must take "Loner" flaw
Skill packet (Special skill) - Woodsman (Pathfinding - speeds up overland movement)
Equipment - Spear/one melee weapon
One ranged weapon
Leather armour

Hunter
Hunters are exactly what it says on the tin - they hunt animals, bringing their meat and skins to the camp. They prefer hunting from afar and often use traps.
Hero cost - 32 Hireling cost - 42
Advantages: None
Disadvantages: None
Skill packet (Special skill) - Woodsman (Hunting/Trapping - may provide additional food)
Equipment - Low quality spear
One ranged weapon (good quality)
Woodsman clothes
5 traps


Craftsman
All professional craftsmen belong to this concept. From butcher, blacksmith, to masons or carpenters - each has a skill that can contribute to the party.
Hero cost - 35 Hireling cost - 37
Advantages: None
Disadvantages: None
Skill packet (Special skill) - Craftsman (Blacksmith, Armorer, Leatherworker, Fletcher, Tailor, Cook, Butcher, Bowmaker, Engineer, Mason, Carpenter… ... e.g. blacksmith can repair several items or increase their effectiveness while in camp, cook uses food to increase morale...)
Equipment - One weapon
Small wagon with mule
Assorted tools and materials

Laborer
"Unskilled" workforce. The people that carry out simple tasks and perform services under someone's lead. Their primary purpose is to assist with tasks in the camp, but they can take up adventuring…
Hero cost - 25 Hireling cost - 30
Advantages: None
Disadvantages: None
Skill packet (Special skill) - Labourer (Workforce - can be assigned to work with craftsmen or other tasks, will increase effectiveness of these tasks)
Equipment - Basic tools

Page/servant
Pages and servants usually only assist people. They can increase the comfort of people in the camp, by taking on the menial tasks that slow people down and bore them.
Hero cost - 25 Hireling cost - 30
Advantages: None
Disadvantages: None
Skill packet (Special skill) - Steward (Assistance - can assist with menial tasks, improving morale or effectiveness of these tasks)
Equipment - Basic equipment

Steward
This concept combines a quartermaster, servant, cook and general assistant. While having no fighting provess, the steward is able to haggle with traders, talk to nobles, prepare feasts and organize everything in the camp.
Hero cost - 30 Hireling cost - 38
Advantages: None
Disadvantages: None
Skill packet (Special skill) - Steward (Cooking/Stewardship - large increase in morale)
Equipment - Basic equipment
Writing utensils



Ritualist
Ritualist is a specialist mage, who casts spells only as prepared rituals. He needs to prepare the rituals for quite long time, however he can counterspell quite quickly.
Hero cost - 40 Hireling cost - 50
Advantages: Can cast arcane spells (LVL 2 of all schools for hirelings) Automatically gains ""Universal"" spells at highest school LVL
Disadvantages: Must take "Geas - rituals" major disadvantage
Skill packet (Special skill) - Ritualist (Ritual Spellcasting; Counterspelling; Symbol Drawing; Arcana)
Equipment - Writing utensils
Spellbook
Various spell ingredients
Small silver knife
Small dagger

Cleric
Clerics wield the power provided to them by gods. They need to follow teachings of their deities and must pray each morning/evening to gain their spells. Their main advantage though lies in ability to channel the divine magic to heal their allies, while assisting them with their formidable combat prowess.
Hero cost - 45 Hireling cost - 50
Advantages: Can cast divine spells (LVL 3 of each domain and LVL 3 of universal cleric spells for hirelings)
Automatically gains 2 Domains, including Domain Spells (1 per level) and special Domain Power
Disadvantages: Must take "Code of Conduct" minor and "Wows" major flaw
Skill packet (Special skill) - Clergyman (Prayer - can provide morale boosts; Healing Power - speeds up healing; Turn Undead)
Equipment - Good quality weapon
Up to scale armour
Heater shield
Holy symbol

Mage
Mages wield the arcane power, harnessed by their willpower. They need to study their spells, but can cast any of them with ease. However, most of them lacks any combat training. They are quite versatile and can be used well in dungeons or in camp.
Hero cost - 50 Hireling cost - 50
Advantages: Can cast arcane spells (LVL 3 of all schools for hirelings), automatically gains ""Universal"" spells at highest school LVL
Disadvantages: Must take "Geas-gesture" and "Geas-voice" minor disadvantages
Skill packet (Special skill) - Ritualist (Spellcasting, Ritual Spellcasting, Counterspelling, Symbol Drawing, Arcana)
Equipment - Mage staff
Robes
Writing utensils
Spellbook
Spell ingredients
Small silver dagger


For magic users - each spell level costs according to following:
Mage/ritualist - each school level costs 2 points. Schools are equivalent to schools used in 3.5.
Cleric - each domain (including "universal") costs 3 points. Domain levels are equivalent to domains as used in 3.5. "Universal" means standard cleric selection of spells.

Traits and Flaws

These may be assigned to both Heroes and Hirelings.

Fore heroes, minor version of flaw provides 3 build points, major (if available) 6 points.

For hirelings, minor version of flaw provides 2 build points, major (if available) 5 points


Drunkard
Gambler (or Bad Gambler)
Lecher
or other Addiction
Claustrophobia
Curious
Dark Temptation
Afraid of Darkness
Demonomania
Fear of Eldritch
Fear of Unholy
Hieromania
Necromania
Nocturnal
Sickly
Slowdraw
Stress Eater
Unquiet Mind
Weak Grip
Winded
Bloodlust
Rage
Bad reputation
Kleptomania
Ugly
Chicken (= fears combat, not actual animal)
Greedy
Overconfident
Phobia (needs to be specified)
Shy
Sleep Disorder
Tormented
Fearful
Bossy
Argumentative
Bully
Cold-hearted
Competitive
Critical
Cruel
Dishonest
Fidgety
Gloomy (automatically major = gains 1 stress point every morning, penalty to morale in camp/party)
Grouchy
Hopeless
Immature (stress can be removed only by "playful" activities)
Loner
Jealous
Pious (can only remove stress by praying/religious activities?)
Lazy
Selfish
Picky
Clumsy
Secretive

Traits list is under construction.



The Equipment
Build points can be traded for money used to buy equipment. Equipment lists from RoS core book are valid (to be posted). Money exchange rate is: 1 build point = 5 gold pieces (ducats).

The party can take at maximum 10 gold pieces to the start of the game. Money over this limit which not spent for equipment are either transformed back into BP, or forfeited.

The Area

Camp is located in area away from the nearest town - it takes full week to get there and full week to get back on foot. You can buy nearly anything there - and you can also sell captured treasures there (e.g. jewelry, artifacts...).

It is located relatively near to village - it takes a week to get there and back. You can buy basic supplies there.

At the beginning, there will be only few dungeons visible on the area map - the rest is up to the players to find. Some can be discovered by dungeon delving, some by research, some will be provided by questgivers and some will be only found by scouting the area.

lacco36
2016-04-08, 08:27 AM
Reviving since there is finally some interest :smallsmile:.

fireinthedust
2016-04-08, 10:56 AM
Question: what setting would this be in? Standard RoS, or your own? I would enjoy running a game that's sword & sorcery, and I'm enjoying rewatching Clash of the Titans.

I like what I'm seeing of RoS, so keep that in mind while I start this discussion? I'm guessing you're like me, and have been hoping to talk shop on this game for a while.

RoS is a crazy system. There are things that are intended but contradict other rules. This is old school, and needs hand-waving. Example: the social status lists slavery as F, but if you're a human then your race is F; so as written it says only non-humans can be slaves.

I also think the combat system is confusing. Basically I have a combat pool and can choose how many dice to use on an attack or on defense during a given round, right? And some moves have a dice-tax just to activate them even before you allocate dice for that round? Not bad, though it's the sort of thing I'd want to be at a table seeing you show me and then using it for a night of gaming before I understand. It's different.

Sorcery seems like it should really be its own priority, and it's pretty complicated as-written.

I also think the different ability scores are just too numerous. Some seem like they're only there for one aspect of one thing. I don't think much of Constitution in D&D, but now we've got four dice pools based on it? It's similar to World of Darkness, but even for that game they don't have so many scores.


Also: I think we should start with our own characters first. Also, as a GM and designer, I think the Diablo 3 travelling village was a great idea: you "buy training" for the blacksmith and other NPCs, and they can make better items, heal you up, that sort of thing.

For a Star Trek game you'd be doing this for the ship: better medical bay to regenerate limbs, cure diseases, as well as things like shields or weapons.

Anyway, on to the expedition. Who do we have?

lacco36
2016-04-08, 01:26 PM
Question: what setting would this be in? Standard RoS, or your own? I would enjoy running a game that's sword & sorcery, and I'm enjoying rewatching Clash of the Titans.

This is just the draft of rules - just first draft and work-in-progress. Setting? My own, "generic" sword & sorcery world basically.


I like what I'm seeing of RoS, so keep that in mind while I start this discussion? I'm guessing you're like me, and have been hoping to talk shop on this game for a while.

RoS is a crazy system. There are things that are intended but contradict other rules. This is old school, and needs hand-waving. Example: the social status lists slavery as F, but if you're a human then your race is F; so as written it says only non-humans can be slaves.

It's a system full of holes, but quite solid one. As for the slavery, the explanation in Companion was, that the "upper" levels of Human were "more than human", usually resulting in characters touched by magic, fey, or just having some advantage.

Blade of the Iron Throne ("daughter" game) uses Cultures instead of races (ranging from Degenerate to Enlightened, giving disadvantages at low levels, advantages at the upper ones).


I also think the combat system is confusing. Basically I have a combat pool and can choose how many dice to use on an attack or on defense during a given round, right? And some moves have a dice-tax just to activate them even before you allocate dice for that round? Not bad, though it's the sort of thing I'd want to be at a table seeing you show me and then using it for a night of gaming before I understand. It's different.

It sounds confusing as written, but if you go through one or two combats at table, it's really easy. You just need enough d10s :smallsmile:.

If you want, I will set up a "practice" arena for everyone who wants to test the combat.

As for your assumptions, they are correct.


Sorcery seems like it should really be its own priority, and it's pretty complicated as-written.

Sorcery as written is unusable. Trust me, I tried.

I was thinking of porting D&D-style vancian magic into play, already have some ideas. I'll write them in next post.


I also think the different ability scores are just too numerous. Some seem like they're only there for one aspect of one thing. I don't think much of Constitution in D&D, but now we've got four dice pools based on it? It's similar to World of Darkness, but even for that game they don't have so many scores.

Four dice pools?

And not, they are there for multiple skills, some of them come up often during play. While they could be simplified, I am too used to the system to do that :smallbiggrin:


Also: I think we should start with our own characters first. Also, as a GM and designer, I think the Diablo 3 travelling village was a great idea: you "buy training" for the blacksmith and other NPCs, and they can make better items, heal you up, that sort of thing.

For a Star Trek game you'd be doing this for the ship: better medical bay to regenerate limbs, cure diseases, as well as things like shields or weapons.

Anyway, on to the expedition. Who do we have?

I'll open a recruitment thread over the weekend and we'll see who joins us. I agree that first the characters should come into play - and then we can set up the camp.

fireinthedust
2016-04-13, 05:19 AM
sorry for the delay: crazy sick, plus couldn't find the thread on my phone.


Still re-reading the book, and reviews of the system. Neat ideas. I'd love to see the thing in play. Spiritual Attributes are a great RP system, and motivate in-character thinking and actions. I suppose that using them increases the number of dice in the pool? And then you spend those to "level up", and later replenish your pool by acting according to your passions/drives/etc.? Very neat system.

lacco36
2016-04-13, 05:45 AM
sorry for the delay: crazy sick, plus couldn't find the thread on my phone.


Still re-reading the book, and reviews of the system. Neat ideas. I'd love to see the thing in play. Spiritual Attributes are a great RP system, and motivate in-character thinking and actions. I suppose that using them increases the number of dice in the pool? And then you spend those to "level up", and later replenish your pool by acting according to your passions/drives/etc.? Very neat system.

No problem - I have also some delays due to my workload, travelling and generally being busy.

As for the system in play - check my signature. It's still ongoing, which is nice. Maybe you could even join it if you want, but I would need to discuss that with the players first.

Or I can still post the recruit for expedition... :smallsmile:. Theoretically I could ask some players that I know that would like to play more RoS if they want to join... what's your take on this approach?

Battlemage
2016-04-13, 03:40 PM
So, after getting into the rules of RoS a bit, I'm hungering for more. I'm willing and ready to both help in figuring out the rules and definitely play in any game you're cooking up. I have no experience with creating homebrew rules of any kind, though, so I'll just be giving my unqualified comments. :smallwink:

Anything in specific that is currently being debated/looked at?

lacco36
2016-04-14, 05:17 PM
I'm at first looking at the magic system. My idea is to port a vancian magic to RoS, since the "freeform" style that the game has now feels really unwieldy - and it hurts just to read it (at least to me).

So my idea is:

Ability to use magic has to be bought by gift (minor for specialized/weak mage/major for more universal).

Spell slots are bought with "proficiency", which works sort of like "level", and provides a part of Sorcery Pool.

Derived attributes:
Art- tells you how large the dice pool for spellcasting is (Art + Proficiency = Sorcery Pool). Calculated as (AGI+SOC)/2.
Draw - tells you how fast you "draw mana" = how fast you gain dice to the spellcasting pool. (WIL+HT)/2
Discipline - tells you how many spells you can learn. (WIL+MA)/2
Form - tells you how powerful your spells are basically. (ST+EN)/2
(the calculations are work in progress)

Example spell:
Marangir's flame darts: (evocation).
Required proficiency: 1
Difficulty 6 (0)
Sends one or more darts made of magical fire, which fly from fingers of the caster to his target. They are not easy to hit, but once they do, they continue to burn for one more round, which means they may set their target on fire.
Roll AIM to hit, ATN is equal to 7. Target resists with 1/2 TO and his armour/clothes may catch fire.
Base damage: WIL+1 per proficiency (up to value of Form)

So if you want to cast it, you can do it with (Art + Proficiency) dice. Each round/exchange (up to us to decide) you gain Draw dice to your pool. When you cast it, you select as many dice as you see fit and roll against 6 (difficulty of a roll) - if you get one net success, you succeeded.
Add your successes to attack roll (AIM against TN 7).

This is my first idea, will post more tomorrow.

Your ideas?

Battlemage
2016-04-14, 05:43 PM
My first couple thoughts, in no specific order:

I'm not sure if minor/major gift isn't too cheap to become a caster. But that probably depends on how powerful spells get. I like the basic RoS idea of making spellcasting ability take up a high priority at character creation (unless you want people to be able to learn spellcasting mid-game, then that doesn't work so well). Maybe priority A for full caster, B for specialized/weak caster, with a certain amount of SA to spend instead if you want to learn it during the game. Or maybe magic ability is inborn and if you didn't get it during character selection you're out of luck.

I think basing magic attacks on the missile weapon rules is the only way to keep it working with the combat system, so I like the idea. But in general I feel that a sword&sorcery system like RoS doesn't fit too well with heavy combat/blasting/d&d-style magic. I feel it would fit the system better to make magic mostly indirect support and utility spells, curses, calling on spirits, wild animal shapeshifting, ritual spells that take too much time to cast in combat, that kind of stuff. I honestly don't like the idea of d&d level super powerful magic in RoS. For me it overshadows the whole simulationist melee combat aspect. I can't imagine keeping the system as engaging as it is, where even highly skilled fighters are in danger when they are surrounded by three lesser fighters and everyone needs to fight smart and tactically, when there are also wizards throwing fireballs that hit 5 people (or more) at once. RoS is simply too simulationist/gritty for a high-magic setting to me.

Base damage of the flame darts seem really high (especially for a ranged attack). You can easily throw 13+ dmg darts at character creation, and enemy only gets half TO against them, and then they catch fire on top of that. Seems almost a certain kill when they hit.

But in general I just don't really like the idea of flashy high level magic in RoS. Killing in RoS should be by steel, not spell. Magic should do other, more subtle things. But I'm always willing to give things a try and be convinced otherwise.

lacco36
2016-04-15, 03:07 PM
At first - thank you for your comments. I have been thinking about reworking the magic system for so long I am getting stuck in the circles, so this helps a lot.


I'm not sure if minor/major gift isn't too cheap to become a caster. But that probably depends on how powerful spells get. I like the basic RoS idea of making spellcasting ability take up a high priority at character creation (unless you want people to be able to learn spellcasting mid-game, then that doesn't work so well). Maybe priority A for full caster, B for specialized/weak caster, with a certain amount of SA to spend instead if you want to learn it during the game. Or maybe magic ability is inborn and if you didn't get it during character selection you're out of luck.

I don't plan on letting players learn magic during play. Technically - that could be the "minor" gift. Latent magic abilities - you suddenly find out that you do some magic during play.

As for getting a gift in game, you have to pay 20 SA points for a major gift, 10 for minor. And that's only after GM agrees to it.

But my view of magic for Expedition: you need Talent (with capital T) = it's not just something you can learn.


I think basing magic attacks on the missile weapon rules is the only way to keep it working with the combat system, so I like the idea. But in general I feel that a sword&sorcery system like RoS doesn't fit too well with heavy combat/blasting/d&d-style magic. I feel it would fit the system better to make magic mostly indirect support and utility spells, curses, calling on spirits, wild animal shapeshifting, ritual spells that take too much time to cast in combat, that kind of stuff. I honestly don't like the idea of d&d level super powerful magic in RoS. For me it overshadows the whole simulationist melee combat aspect. I can't imagine keeping the system as engaging as it is, where even highly skilled fighters are in danger when they are surrounded by three lesser fighters and everyone needs to fight smart and tactically, when there are also wizards throwing fireballs that hit 5 people (or more) at once. RoS is simply too simulationist/gritty for a high-magic setting to me.

I wouldn't like the system to become a heavy blaster style magic - while I like spells such as burning hands and magic missile from D&D, I would like to have a system that allows you to combine spells to gain unique effects, but until now I couldn't find anything.

So maybe if we focus on the indirect magic spells and provide one or two combat spells (one ranged, one close combat, one area) and just re-fluff it element-wise, it should be enough.

Oh and I personally hate animal shapeshifting in games :smallbiggrin:. But that's just me.

The first question is - do we want to use vancian magic (=you learn spells, when you use them you forget them, you get a certain amount of spells per day/rest and then you need to re-learn) or stamina/mana based magic (= you cast spells from your lifeforce, once you get too tired it may kill you) or corruption-based magic? The last one is already done in Blade of the Iron Throne and I remember reading through it, but don't know really...


Base damage of the flame darts seem really high (especially for a ranged attack). You can easily throw 13+ dmg darts at character creation, and enemy only gets half TO against them, and then they catch fire on top of that. Seems almost a certain kill when they hit.

I agree, I made that one on the spot, while sitting in a train :smallbiggrin:. I'm bad at balancing sometimes.


But in general I just don't really like the idea of flashy high level magic in RoS. Killing in RoS should be by steel, not spell. Magic should do other, more subtle things. But I'm always willing to give things a try and be convinced otherwise.

Hmm... ok. Let's present the Blade of the Iron Throne sorcery a bit...
- 6 lesser mysteries (magical proficiencies usually known by "smaller" practitioners) -
- 2 greater mysteries ( )-
- arcane secrets (powerful magic)
- sorcery pool consisting of your mystery rating (= proficiency in the mystery) and power (they have different attributes, but it would boil down to (WIL + MA + HT + bonus)/3; where bonus is equal to number of mysteries you know or (if lower) the highest mystery rating)
- sorcery pool split among the casting check (if you can make the eldritch powers work) and containment check (if you can make them obey); TN comes from your priority check
- containment check is at TN 7 and you need as many successes as you had on the casting check; if not, you acquire taint
- the more taint you have, the more dificult is it for you to cast and the more "otherworldly" or disturbing you seem to other people, in case you fail containment check, you may even hurt yourself - and you'll certainly suffer some consequences from wild magic...
- taint fades each 12 hours (if you don't get any more within last 12 hours or at certain time points) or you can use Faith SA or cleansing rituals
- if you acquire lot of taint at once, you may get "backlash" - you get a curse on you, but your taint goes down by half...

Lesser mysteries:
Cursing - you place additional negative spiritual attribute on a person (something like "anti-destiny"), taking away dice and making bad things happen to them
Enslavement - you force your will on the person, either giving them commands or changing their perception of a certain fact (e.g. "that's not a sword, but a snake you are holding!")
Mending - recovery from injuries, lifting curses, curing diseases... or causing pain.
Prophecy - allows you to make prophecies and again, place spiritual attribute called "omen" on someone/something
Scrying - astral travel, which allows you to look at distant places...
Witchfire - practically a magical attack (which may not be fire at all...).

Greater mysteries:
Goety - summoning of demons to do their master's bidding.
Necromancy - summoning souls of dead people to learn forgotten secrets.

Arcane secrets:
...you really don't want to know. These are usually very specific rituals or spells, which are... powerful indeed. One allows you to curse a whole land with a blight. Another to rip an organ from a body of your enemy. Or you will know when your name is spoken...

Would this work for you?

Battlemage
2016-04-15, 03:30 PM
Again, I have pretty specific likes and dislikes for magic in a system like RoS, so keep in mind that I'm biased. :smallwink:

Personally, I'm always a big fan of casting spells from your own energy, so every spell makes you more tired, making the caster fatigue themselves over the course of the day, and having to think about when it's worth to cast.
I really like the corruption idea too, but I haven't found good rules for it yet. It's often either so harsh you don't want to cast, or just fluff that makes you look a little evil but doesn't really do anything. Little middle-ground. The BoIT version seems on the lighter side, doesn't seem to difficult to manage taint on first glance. But it does have some potential negative effects and could definitely work.

I really like the BoIT approach to spells/mysteries. That seems more like Conan-style magic. I especially like the negative spiritual attribute, the changing of perceptions, and the omens. Those are really awesome and exactly the kind of magic I like for sword&sorcery.
I'd prefer if witchfire isn't as effective as using weapons for combat, because why play a warrior when casters can do all that "breaking the perceived laws of nature" stuff and still fight just as well. I'm not a big fan of area attacks at all, I think it might easily break the RoS combat balance if you attack many people at once. It could work if the spell requires setup and preparation time, so you can't just throw it out at will.

In general I think spells should be extremely difficult to cast if you're being attacked, so groups will really have to protect their casters.

Summoning demons and undead souls seems very fitting also, but it should be hard to do and rare, so you don't encounter them everywhere (like d&d skeletons that are in every crypt). But that seems to be the case since they are greater mysteries).

Arcance secrets sound like just the type of stuff that a group of heroes sets out to prevent the antagonist from completing. These should probably be rituals that have long casting times (from hours and days up to weeks and months) and be cast by multiple people (an extremely powerful master sorcerer might be able to do it alone).

lacco36
2016-04-15, 05:02 PM
Personally, I'm always a big fan of casting spells from your own energy, so every spell makes you more tired, making the caster fatigue themselves over the course of the day, and having to think about when it's worth to cast.
I really like the corruption idea too, but I haven't found good rules for it yet. It's often either so harsh you don't want to cast, or just fluff that makes you look a little evil but doesn't really do anything. Little middle-ground. The BoIT version seems on the lighter side, doesn't seem to difficult to manage taint on first glance. But it does have some potential negative effects and could definitely work.

Well, if you're not carefull, it can get ugly soon. If you don't "contain" the spell, your GM is free to hit you with any crazy idea - your arm doubles its size, your eye bulges, you get deformed by the taint... however, these are the worst case ideas.

Let's say you have SP equal to 12 (which is around CP of a normal combatant) and you cast each round a spell, which gives you 1 taint.

round 1 = 1 taint = -1 SP
2 = 2 taint = -2 SP (...and since SP goes down you either get more taint per round or you cast less powerfully...)
3 = 3 taint = still -2 SP
4 = 4 taint = -3 SP
...but now you get 2 taints per round due to lost dice...
5 = 6 taint = -3 SP
6 = 8 taint = -4 SP
7 = ...technically, you get "tired" very fast, faster than an average (EN 4) fencer in leather armour (loses 1 CP each 8 rounds).


I really like the BoIT approach to spells/mysteries. That seems more like Conan-style magic. I especially like the negative spiritual attribute, the changing of perceptions, and the omens. Those are really awesome and exactly the kind of magic I like for sword&sorcery.
I'd prefer if witchfire isn't as effective as using weapons for combat, because why play a warrior when casters can do all that "breaking the perceived laws of nature" stuff and still fight just as well. I'm not a big fan of area attacks at all, I think it might easily break the RoS combat balance if you attack many people at once. It could work if the spell requires setup and preparation time, so you can't just throw it out at will.

Witchfire is effective when it hits. You get DR equal to your successes + your net successes, which is great. But...
...your ranged attack is equal to your casting successes,
...for every range band you need to pay 1 point activation cost (point-blank = 0, normal = 1, long = 2...) and since it has "really low accuracy" I'd use the thrown spear distances (2/4/8/16/30),
...it can be blocked or evaded, if you are not surprised.

So in general, it is as powerful as a thrown spear thrown by a skilled warrior- if it hits, you are most likely dead. If not...

If you need to attack more people, you need to cast it separately for each one...or you need to pay activation cost equal to the area covered (3 people would be around 5-6 dice...and they get to dodge it if they are not surprised).


In general I think spells should be extremely difficult to cast if you're being attacked, so groups will really have to protect their casters.

Summoning demons and undead souls seems very fitting also, but it should be hard to do and rare, so you don't encounter them everywhere (like d&d skeletons that are in every crypt). But that seems to be the case since they are greater mysteries).

Arcance secrets sound like just the type of stuff that a group of heroes sets out to prevent the antagonist from completing. These should probably be rituals that have long casting times (from hours and days up to weeks and months) and be cast by multiple people (an extremely powerful master sorcerer might be able to do it alone).

Casters cast once per round, usually in the beginning of the next round. It doesn't get harder to cast when you are in combat, but if you have closed eyes and chant, and the enemy is swinging his sword, you are most likely dead, not casting anymore... :smallsmile:.

The greater mysteries and arcane secrets are usually the stuff normal PC sorcerers don't get to very soon. In BoIT if you choose A proficiency in magic, you can get 1 arcane secret and 1 greater mystery. But I'd allow that only to be found during game.

So priorities for magic would be:
A - sorceror - greater mysteries and lower mysteries (all)
B - journeyman - lower mysteries (up to 4)
C - appretice - lower mysteries (up to 2, max proficiency 3)
D - dabbler - lower mysteries (1 max = e.g. a healer)
E - mundane - nothing
F - mundane (or cursed) - lowered magic resistance or begins with a curse

Battlemage
2016-04-15, 05:10 PM
The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of going with this system. The corruption thing sounds good and thematic to me. Seems to be at just the right danger/fatigue level. I didn't realize that taint reduces your SP, that makes the whole thing work quite well.

I also like that you can be magical to various degrees, and use it to support other concepts. It's not just mage or non-mage. A swordfighter that throws witchfire instead of javelins if he needs a ranged attack, a thief and conman that can influence other people's perceptions and make them unlucky, etc.

I think this is a good way to go with it. Sounds exciting!

lacco36
2016-04-15, 05:31 PM
The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of going with this system. The corruption thing sounds good and thematic to me. Seems to be at just the right danger/fatigue level. I didn't realize that taint reduces your SP, that makes the whole thing work quite well.

I also like that you can be magical to various degrees, and use it to support other concepts. It's not just mage or non-mage. A swordfighter that throws witchfire instead of javelins if he needs a ranged attack, a thief and conman that can influence other people's perceptions and make them unlucky, etc.

I think this is a good way to go with it. Sounds exciting!

Well, if we go with this one, it will make starting the game easier, it's only necessary to adjust attributes (they use different set of attributes).

The question is, how to proceed? Shall we go full-expedition mode, or "small party that acquires assets over the time"?

And - priority-build or point-build?

Battlemage
2016-04-15, 05:50 PM
Personally I'm more of a fan of using the point-buy for everything except the player characters, which are created normally. As a player I'm very much into balance and equal power between the players, so that just reflects my preferences.

My personal favorite would likely be 'small party that aquires resources over time', but I can imagine that that would take to long to actually become an expedition.

This is what I could see as being a lot of fun:

Start small as a relatively normal adventuring group. Maybe get sent on a small fact-finding/exploratory mission by the adventurer's guild to find out if the giant expedition into foreign lands that they're planning will actually be worth it. In this small "preliminary" adventure players can get used to the rules and we can see how the additions work (magic etc).
Afterwards if the guild decides to go ahead with the expedition, that's where the point-buy comes into play. Here the party will have to manage everything by distributing points from their pool (manpower and hirelings, how many guards, cooks, scholars, guides, hunters etc are needed, transportation like horses, carriages, etc, supplies and provisions, equipment/gear, trading goods for encountering foreign people etc etc). The beginning pool could be relatively limited, meaning the group has to decide on which areas to focus and which to leave a weakness that has to be worked around or patched up during the game.

lacco36
2016-04-15, 05:57 PM
Personally I'm more of a fan of using the point-buy for everything except the player characters, which are created normally. As a player I'm very much into balance and equal power between the players, so that just reflects my preferences.

My personal favorite would likely be 'small party that aquires resources over time', but I can imagine that that would take to long to actually become an expedition.

This is what I could see as being a lot of fun:

Start small as a relatively normal adventuring group. Maybe get sent on a small fact-finding/exploratory mission by the adventurer's guild to find out if the giant expedition into foreign lands that they're planning will actually be worth it. In this small "preliminary" adventure players can get used to the rules and we can see how the additions work (magic etc).
Afterwards if the guild decides to go ahead with the expedition, that's where the point-buy comes into play. Here the party will have to manage everything by distributing points from their pool (manpower and hirelings, how many guards, cooks, scholars, guides, hunters etc are needed, transportation like horses, carriages, etc, supplies and provisions, equipment/gear, trading goods for encountering foreign people etc etc). The beginning pool could be relatively limited, meaning the group has to decide on which areas to focus and which to leave a weakness that has to be worked around or patched up during the game.

So, I would say a standard character generation as per RoS rules, except for:
- Race/Magic will be split into Race/Culture and Magic columns.
- Column Status/Wealth will be ignored, mainly because you will start with whatever the adventurer's guild will provide.
- Better starting equipment will be possible via gift/flaw system (basically, you can exchange a minor gift for an upgrade of equipment).

Battlemage
2016-04-15, 06:04 PM
So, I would say a standard character generation as per RoS rules, except for:
- Race/Magic will be split into Race/Culture and Magic columns.
- Column Status/Wealth will be ignored, mainly because you will start with whatever the adventurer's guild will provide.
- Better starting equipment will be possible via gift/flaw system (basically, you can exchange a minor gift for an upgrade of equipment).

Yep, this sounds good to me.

lacco36
2016-04-15, 06:06 PM
Yep, this sounds good to me.

Ok, will prepare a priority table tomorrow.

lacco36
2016-04-15, 06:27 PM
It's already tomorrow... :smallsmile:.


Character creation steps 1-2

Step 1: concept
Think about what would you like to play. Discuss it with your GM and other players. Especially important are connections - you can start as a group where everybody knows the other ones, so we need to build the connections. Did you meet in a tavern? Are you friends? Are you family? Are you acquiatances? Or did you join forces at the adventurers' guild?

Example concepts:
Scout, explorer, academic, antiquarian, berserker, bladeslinger, bodyguard, graverobber, priest, cleric, nun, druid, witch doctor, laborer, crusader, highwayman, bandit, entertainer, occultist, skald, bard, plague doctor, duelist, gambler, con-man, roadwarden, marshall, ranger, woodsman, thief, cutpurse, burglar, knight, alchemist, healer, guardsman, warrior, mercenary, squire, rogue, assassin, hunter, craftsman, servant/page, steward, adventurer.


Step 2: philosophy

Philosophy is the character's approach to life. It is a quote/saying/code to which he turns when tough decision occurs. Best philosophies are those you will enjoy acting out.
Of course, as a GM I will suggest a philosophy if you can not think of one, or we can wait until later to get one.




Step 3: priorities

This one's going to be a bit longer, so get comfortable and take a cup of tea/coffee/whatever you like.

(Rule of thumb in divisions - if you need to divide, round down.)

Starting characters get each priority - ABCDEF.

The higher priority, the better result (e.g. in attributes, the higher the better, in skills it's the opposite - the lower, the better).

The A priority should go to the strongest part of the character. A bladeslinger should be proficient with a sword, a thief should be able to sneak around and be skilled in getting through traps-and-locks-infested dungeons. The question is - what is the strongest part of your character? Do you want a good fencer? Or GREAT fencer? Do you want to be fast? Or do you want to have snake-like lightning reflexes?


A wild Priority Table appears!


Priority
Race/culture
Magic
Attributes
Proficiencies
Skill packets
Gifts & flaws and assets


A
Enlightened/Exotic Race (5 race traits)
Sorceror (all lower and 1 higher mystery)
47
14 (max 8 in one)
6/6
2 major gifts


B
High Men/Half-orc or High Elves/Noble Savage (3 free traits)
Journeyman (all lower mysteries, max 6 in each)
43
11 (max 7 in one)
6/7
1 major gift


C
Civilized/Half-elves or Dwarves (2 free traits)
Appretice (up to 2 lower mysteries, max 6 points in one, 4 in others)
40
9 (max 7 in one)
7/7
1 major gift, 1 minor flaw


D
Civilized (1 free trait)
Dabbler (1 lower mystery, 3 points max)
37
6
8/8
1 minor gift, 1 minor flaw (or none)


E
Decadent(1 trait, one flaw)
Susceptible (1/2 resist magic) or Cursed (starts with curse), may learn magic during play
35
3
9/9
1 major flaw, 1 minor gift


F
Degenerate (no traits, 1 flaw)
Mundane (no magic)
31
0
9
1 major flaw, 1 minor flaw








Dwarves - bearded, small, gruff, but loyal and love fine craftsmanship. Dwarf get minor flaws "little" and "bad temper", while getting +1 to ST, +2 to TO and Craft skill (e.g. smithing, mining) - skilled.

Halflings - are "half-fey", an offspring of human parent and fey parent. They are cast-outs of human society, which shuns them. A half-elf gets minor flaw "bad reputation", while getting +1 to PER and AGI and infravision.

Half-orcs - strong and extremely tough, but hated by most people. Half-orcs get major flaw "bad reputation" and minor flaw "ugly", while getting +2 to ST, +2 to TO and +1 to EN and HT.

Elves - aloof, calm. Some people revere them, some hate them. They are immortal as far as age is considered, but may fall prey to poison or dagger. Their memories are long, but their ability to learn is curbed by their overly calm approach to anything. They never hurry - only in cases of danger - as they have all the time in the world. +1 AG, WIT, PER, -2 MA, sneak skill at 7. Each elf may dedicate his time to studies of magic or combat. If he chooses the first one (requires Magic priority at D+) gets 2 additional proficiency point for any lesser mystery (although only the "dark" ones take up Cursing); for the second one he gets 2 proficiency points to invest into Cut&thrust weapons or Archery. However those who do so begin the game with only 4 SA points instead of 7.

The "Culture" descriptors are not just fluff - these tell us what kind of country you come from. These are valid for humans. Following may be taken as examples:

Enlightened = +1 to WIL, WIT and SOC. Magically-active characters get +1 proficiency, other characters get 2 skill points. Double the life span.

High Men = 2 additional attribute points. One additional proficiency point.

Noble Savage = +1 to ST, TO and EN, -1 MA, 4 skill points to be distributed between survival, climbing, animal handling, animal guise, tracking, hunting/trapping and scrounging. Begins game illiterate and can't improve starting equipment.

If you choose to build your own "race" or culture, the amount of free traits tell you what you can build. You can spend these to:
- get a special gift (e.g. low-light vision? thermal vision?)
- get a +1 to one attribute
- get a +1 to one proficiency
- get 1 skill on 7 or 2 skills to your higher skill packet value
- get a discount on improvement of one aspect of character

Oh, I'm not going to allow avian and underwater races. So don't ask for wings and fish please :smallsmile:.


Anyone who studies magic (gets D+ in his Magic priority) may invest proficiency points into the Mysteries of magic.

There are 7 lesser mysteries:
Cursing - you place additional negative spiritual attribute on a person (something like "anti-destiny"), taking away dice and making bad things happen to them.
Enslavement - you force your will on the person, either giving them commands or changing their perception of a certain fact (e.g. "that's not a sword, but a snake you are holding!").
Mending - recovery from injuries, lifting curses, curing diseases... or causing pain.
Prophecy - allows you to make prophecies and again, place spiritual attribute called "omen" on someone/something.
Scrying - allows you to see the true nature of things, as well as to travel astrally at distant places.
Witchfire - practically a magical attack (which may not be fire at all...).
Telekinesis - allows moving of items with the power of sorcerer's mind.

There are also two known greater mysteries:
Necromancy - communication with dead, allowing the sorcerer to gain knowledge already lost.
Goety - summoning of demons, to do their master's bidding.

For the most powerful sorcerors there are arcane secrets - feats of magic that reach over the usual effects. These can be learnt only via play. As for examples... you really don't want to know. These are usually very specific rituals or spells, which are... powerful indeed.

Rules so far:
- sorcery pool consisting of your mystery rating (= proficiency in the mystery) and power (
- power is calculated as (WIL + MA + HT + bonus)/3; where bonus is equal to number of mysteries you know or (if lower) the highest mystery rating)
- sorcery pool split among the casting check (if you can make the eldritch powers work) and containment check (if you can make them obey); TN comes from your priority check
- containment check is at TN 7 and you need as many successes as you had on the casting check; if not, you acquire taint
- the more taint you have, the more dificult is it for you to cast and the more "otherworldly" or disturbing you seem to other people, in case you fail containment check, you may even hurt yourself - and you'll certainly suffer some consequences from wild magic...
- taint fades each 12 hours (if you don't get any more within last 12 hours or at certain time points) or you can use Faith SA or cleansing rituals
- if you acquire lot of taint at once, you may get "backlash" - you get a curse on you, but your taint goes down by half...



There are 10 basic and 5 derived attributes. The higher they are, the better. Average is 4, for "average joe" 3.
Physical:

Strength - ST - physical strength. Determines damage, carrying capacity, influences movement speed.

Agility - AG - physical agility, coordination of movement and dextrity. Influences lot of skills, combat reflex, aiming, movement speed and balance.

Toughness - TO - ability to withstand damage. Determines damage resistance and influences how hard it is to get your character unconscious.

Health - HT - ability of body to heal, withstand illness, poisons, etc. Influences how fast you bleed out.

Endurance - EN - determines how fast fatigue impacts your character.

Mental:

Willpower - WIL - determines how stubborn, self-controlling and determined the character is. Influences magic resistance, resistance to provocation/persuasion, as well as knockout of the character.

Wit - WIT - mental reflexes. Determine how quick-thinking the character is, influence character's reflexes and are used with several skills that require fast thinking.

Mental Aptitude - MA - ability to learn, understand and analyze. Influences how fast the character learns skills, starting number of free skill points, how "learned" the character is. Important fact - this is not "intelligence" - the low MA characters may still be smart, but not learned.

Social - SOC - ability of character to socialize, use words for his purpose, whether it is persuasion, intimidation or seduction.

Perception - PER - awareness of one's surroundings, influences aiming and is used mostly to determine what the person sees, hears, feels, etc. Is used mostly with skills that should "notice" something.

Derived:

Reflex - REF - exactly what it says on the tin. REF is a basis for character's combat pool. It is (AG+WIT)/2

Aim - AIM - basis for character's ranged combat pool. It is (AG+PER)/2

Knock down - KD - how easy it is to knock your character prone, lose balance, lose grip on sword, etc. Calculated as (ST+AG)/2

Knock out - KO - how easy it is to knock your character unconscious (TO+1/2WIL)

Move - MO - how fast the character moves (in yards per exchange). MO = (ST+AG+EN)/2

You have to distribute the points from prioritization to 10 basic attributes. No starting attribute may be lower than 2. One of them needs to be higher than the others and you can not get more than 7 on attribute during character creation (this does not take into account "country" or "race" improvements).




Proficiencies are weapon skills – specifically, they are styles of combat, sometimes including several styles over one weapon. A longsword may be used with sword&shield style, longsword/greatsword, even with cut&trust (not very effectively).
Here you distribute the points you got into individual weapons skills to calculate you CP (combat pool).
Defaulting is important part. When you train one style, you may gain proficiency in some other styles, similar to the one you train. Through defaulting, you can not raise your proficiency over 6.

Melee proficiencies are:



Sword and shield – covers the traditional combination of one-handed or hand-and-half sword with a personal shield on your arm. This offers good defensive options.

Longsword/greatsword – covers use of long swords, usually used with both hands. Long range and good cutting power.

Cut and thrust – light swords, focused on thrusting - short swords, backswords, sideswords, usually in combination with other hand free, small personal shield, cloak or power glove, in some cases also two swords. Emphasis on thrusting or draw-cutting, fast swordplay.

Rapier – use of rapier, smallsword. Quick and deceptively deadly.

Case of rapiers – simultaneous use of two rapiers. Extended range and good attack potential.

Sabres, scimitars - curved blades, especially good for mounted combat, very effective against lightly armoured opponents.

Daggers – easily hidden, popular as civilian weapons. Carried almost by everyone.

Polearms – spears, pikes, quarterstaffs. Good range, good piercing attacks and cheap.

Poleaxes – especially effective against armour, used by both hands. Includes famous guisarmes and glaives.

Mass weapon and shield – axes, flails, hammers. One or two-handed, particularly heavy on the “bussiness” end.

Pugilism/brawling – punches, kicks, dirty tricks and some grappling. Good for close combat, bad if the opponent has range and doppelhander.

Wrestling – specific focus on getting the opponent pinned, thrown to the ground and there immobilized/killed by bare hands. Good as a last measure, fine in unarmed fight. May be good idea against some opponents, immediate death against other.



Ranged proficiencies are:

•Bow
•Crossbow
•Darts
•Slings
•Spear/Javelin (may get "defaulted" from polearms)
•Thrown Knives
•Thrown Axes
•Thrown Rocks (and other irregular objects)


Basically, each weapon/style is deadly. As the book states, you wouldn’t want to get stabbed by a dagger – so why would your character ignore it?
Proficiency 3 means basic training (basic training), 6 is for trained person (e.g. soldier), 9 for elite and 12 for masters.
Proficiencies give you access to manuevers. We will discuss these later.




Skills represent target numbers (TN) for skill checks, rolled with Xd10 dice, where X is the value of respective attribute. This means, that the lower the skill value, the better.
In the character generation, you pick skill packets, representing the “occupation” or training you received. You can also suggest your own skill packets if you find the ones in the rules lacking.
The numbers in the priority table represent skill packet values – e.g. 6/7 means you get one skill packet with TN 6 and one skill packet with TN 7.
After that, you receive skill points equal to your MA attribute, which you can invest in any skill you want. First point invested will give you the lower TN from your skill packet values (e.g. in our case it would be 6).
You can choose from following skill packets:

•Academic
•Assassin
•Beggar/Street urchin
•Bandit
•Bounty hunter
•Clergyman
•Courtier
•Druid/Ritualist
•Entertainer
•Guardsman
•Highwayman
•Knight
•Laborer
•Manservant/Butler/Seneschal
•Merchant/trader
•Peasant/craftsman
•Pirate
•Thief
•Sailor
•Soldier
•Spy
•Swordsman
•Warrior (clan/tribe)
•Woodsman/ranger


Other skillpackets may be produced on demand. If you want to take one skill packet twice, it will lower the TNs of all skills by one.

For spending of MA points there is full skill list (more skills to be updated):

•Acrobatics
•Acting
•Ancient languages
•Animal guise
•Animal handling/herding
•Appraisal
•Arcane theory
•Artillery
•Astronomy
•Battle
•Boating
•Body language
•Breaking and entering
•Camouflage
•Climbing
•Combat/Weapon art
•Craft/Trade
•Dancing
•Diplomacy
•Disguise
•Etiquette
•Farming
•First aid
•Folk lore
•Forgery
•Gambling
•Games
•Heraldry
•Herbalist
•Hunting/Trapping
•Intimidate
•Intrigue
•Juggling
•Language (nation)
•Law
•Leadership
•Lockpicking
•Lore (knowledge area)
•Meditation
•Musical instrument
•Navigation
•Orate
•Orienteering
•Panhandling
•Persuasion
•Pickpocket
•Read & Write
•Research
•Ridicule
•Riding
•Ritual Magic
•Sailing
•Scrounging
•Search
•Secret Language (specific language)
•Seduction
•Sincerity
•Singing
•Sneak
•Stewardship
•Strategy
•Streetwise
•Style analysis
•Surgery
•Survival
•Swimming
•Symbol Drawing
•Tactics
•Teamster
•Theology
•Tracking
•Traps
•Weather sense


If there are any questions about application of skill, I’ll answer them, however – start with skill packet. The additional skills will be selected easily.



Gifts&flaws add some interesting choices to the game. This list is can be extended if there are interesting ideas.
Some gifts & flaws may be acquired or removed during play.
Gifts:


20/20 - perfect vision (minor)
Absolute direction (minor)
Accuracy (major or minor)
Alert (major or minor)
Allies (major or minor)
Ambidextrity (major)
Animal kin (major or minor)
Area knowledge (minor)
Beauty of legends (major or minor)
Careful (major or minor)
Driven (major)
Exceptional hearing (minor)
Good reputation (major or minor)
Great presence (major or minor)
Hardy (major or minor)
Heir (major or minor)
High pain threshold (major or minor)
Intuition (minor)
Intellectual (major or minor)
Jack of all trades (major)
Light sleeper(major or minor)
Linguist (minor)
Marksman (major)
Nimble (major or minor)
Patron (major or minor)
Quick hands (major or minor)
Quick healing (major)
Quick wits (major or minor)
Resolute (major or minor)
Social butterfly (minor)
Tireless (major or minor)
True leadership (major)
Wealthy (major or minor)


Flaws


Addiction (minor)
Amnesia (major or minor)
Amputee (major or minor)
Bad luck (major)
Bad reputation (major or minor)
Bad temper (minor)
Bleeder (minor)
Bloodlust (major)
Chicken (major)
Compulsion (minor)
Enemy (major or minor)
Evil twin (major or minor)
Greed (major)
Lecherousness (minor)
Lingering injury (minor or major)
Little (minor)
Nearsighted (major or minor)
Obese (major or minor)
Overconfident (major or minor)
Phobia (major or minor)
Poor (major or minor)
Rage (major)
Shy (minor)
Skeletons in the closet (major or minor)
Sleep disorder (major or minor)
Telegraphed techniques (major or minor)
Tormented (major or minor)
Troublemaker (minor)
Ugly (major or minor)
Wows (major or minor)

lacco36
2016-04-16, 04:04 PM
One question to the magic: in this case, I'd like to have there something like "prestidigitation" in D&D - simple magic "tricks". Also, telekinesis would be interesting in this case.

As for equipment - it is assumed that at the beginning the players can go "shopping" before the expedition. The food will last them 1 week after they reach the base camp.

Starting character gets:
Pouch with 1d3 silver and 2d12 copper coins to spend as he likes before the expedition
Backpack
Bedroll
Food (enough for 1 week)
Waterskin
Tinderbox (+flint & steel)
Torch
A dull dagger (can be exchanged for a tool set, another 2 torches or
A basic low-quality weapon (arming sword, short sword, longsword, quarterstaff, spear, shortbow & 10 arrows, light crossbow & 10 bolts...)

Then choose 3 of:
Another pouch (1d2 silver, 1d12 coppers)
Worn leather vest
Banged-up shield
A work horse
Mule
10m of rope and hook
Lantern & oil
Tent
Additional weapon (low quality, basic - e.g. shortbow, arming sword, longsword, saber)
Tools (e.g. thieves tools, armourer's tools, mage's book)

If you take "Better Equipped" as asset, you will get basic equipment with higher quality appropriate for your concept/skill packets (e.g. a crusader will get a horse, sword, shield and mail armour with surcoat).

Battlemage
2016-04-16, 04:32 PM
In regards to prestidigitation you can probably write up a small set of tricks that anyone who uses at least one mystery can do. Telekinesis I would only do "mage hand" style where you can only move small objects and nothing that someone else is actively holding.

About the proficiency table: looks good in general, but I think priority F in magic should be mundane. In this system with so many possibilities of picking up a little magic I feel choosing to be a total non-caster should at least get your your worst priority filled. Maybe put a step between dabbler and apprentice with 2 lower mysteries. Also, is dabbler restricted to a certain proficiency rating? It doesn't say.

Question about races: How do elves work? You say they can study any lesser mystery, does that mean they don't have to put magic at a certain priority to cast? I don't quite understand.

lacco36
2016-04-17, 06:45 AM
In regards to prestidigitation you can probably write up a small set of tricks that anyone who uses at least one mystery can do. Telekinesis I would only do "mage hand" style where you can only move small objects and nothing that someone else is actively holding.

About the proficiency table: looks good in general, but I think priority F in magic should be mundane. In this system with so many possibilities of picking up a little magic I feel choosing to be a total non-caster should at least get your your worst priority filled. Maybe put a step between dabbler and apprentice with 2 lower mysteries. Also, is dabbler restricted to a certain proficiency rating? It doesn't say.

Question about races: How do elves work? You say they can study any lesser mystery, does that mean they don't have to put magic at a certain priority to cast? I don't quite understand.

The longer I think about it the less I feel it will be necessary to introduce the prestidigitation.

Telekinesis has been added as one of the mysteries - if you get really powerful, you will be able to launch people, but a beginning mage will be able to e.g. hold a door closed with the will of his mind.

I agree with the magic priority - F will be mundane, E will be "cursed" - you can learn magic during play (not begin with a magically-active character), but you'll start with a curse and will be susceptible.

I took the elf description from RoS and then did not check/update it - I was too tired to think anymore. So now it's re-done. They still need to pick magic, but their fey blood provides them with bonus.

Thanks for the comments, I finally feel that we are moving forwards with this :smallsmile:

Battlemage
2016-04-17, 10:48 AM
Another question: Are the maximum mystery proficiencies listed for the different priorities (eg. 3 for dabbler) only for character creation or for the whole game?

In general I'm really liking this process. It's fun and I think it will lead to a great game.

lacco36
2016-04-17, 12:47 PM
Another question: Are the maximum mystery proficiencies listed for the different priorities (eg. 3 for dabbler) only for character creation or for the whole game?

In general I'm really liking this process. It's fun and I think it will lead to a great game.

Only for character generation. During the game there are no upper limits.

lacco36
2016-04-20, 06:18 AM
Still with me, guys? :smallsmile:

Another idea - how to do it with the "points".

Since these will be mostly expeditions to ancient places, I assume no "current" currency is produced. However, you can bring back interesting items, rare materials, relics, artefacts... lots of stuff. Knowledge, also.

You will be able to get some money out of the coins you bring back, but you'll have to pay the taxes/tithes/adventurer's guild fees, so you'll end up only with some money. However, the guild will provide you with provisions for your camp (which you can also build by your resources) in exchange for the things you bring back.

The idea is, that every time you find something (e.g. artifact or stone tablet, new dungeon), you get an offer. Either you keep it (e.g. the magic sword can be useful), you sell it (getting money for followers/henchmen, standard items, provisions) or you provide it to the guild (getting points to improve the camp).

Your ideas on this thought?

Also, magical swords will be a thing here, as opposed to RoS. Though they will usually also provide some roleplaying opportunities.

Cursed items will be mostly given to the guild - you can get at least something for them. If you can part with them... :smallbiggrin:

Battlemage
2016-04-20, 06:47 AM
Yeah I think that's a good way to handle it. Keep stuff if you want it for yourself. Sell it for money on your own, which means you can get good deals if you have the right skills, but of course not everything you might want is available for money. Or trade it in with the guild for services they can provide to improve your expeditions (= points).

I'm now expecting a sentient sword full of hilarious quotes, that taunts my enemies in combat and gives sarcastic comments on our plans.

lacco36
2016-04-20, 07:45 AM
Sentient swords or even talking swords are the last ones in my list :smallsmile:. But they are possible.

See below for example of a relic.

Makor's Deathwish
Cursed Relic Longsword
This reddish blade once belonged to Makor of the Blackrage clan. This fearless warrior was known also as "Death Incarnate" - his name was whispered around campfires with almost religious respect, as he was able to slaughter a small squad of enemies, with three or four arrows stuck in his chest. He never declined a fight and only died after being stabbed to death by his enemies, while drunk and sleeping at an inn.

It feels unlikely light in hand, is a very fast weapon, and is able to cut through most armours. The blade has a reddish tint.

The blade is ancient, older than Makor, or Blackrage clan. It was forged originally as an axe, by a mad dwarven blacksmith, given as a gift to dwarven king. After he slaughtered his kin, it was broken into pieces and hidden. It was found and reforged after an age passed. The blacksmith who reforged it killed himself few weeks after.
It slowly influences the wielder to lust after blood, to ignore pain, to kill his enemies. And later, friends.
It grows stronger with each act of violence, and as its will is imposed on its wielder, he will become fearless... and will gladly disregard his life.
The blade has lower ATN and is armour piercing (ignores 2 points of AV). It also has its own SAs connected to violence, providing additional dice in fight.
It will modify the perception of its user to view every remark as insult, every group of enemies as weaklings, each fight as easy to win.

Battlemage
2016-04-20, 07:49 AM
That was a joke. :smallwink: I'm actually not a big fan of talking items at all (unless they're done very well).

I really like items that influence their wearer in a subtle way though, so that sword sounds awesome!

lacco36
2016-04-20, 08:03 AM
That was a joke. :smallwink: I'm actually not a big fan of talking items at all (unless they're done very well).

I really like items that influence their wearer in a subtle way though, so that sword sounds awesome!

Well, it's a standard magicursedsword, nothing special about it.

Where someone will see six orcs, a threatening sight of six large humanoids, wielding dangerously looking large sabers, the hero wielding that sword will see only six bumbling orcs, green fat piggies, something he could easily overcome, with blunt blades.

Battlemage
2016-04-20, 12:59 PM
I like that sword. I don't see it causing any problems whatsoever.

While thinking about my character I cam upon the following and thought it was smarter to clear it up in this thread:


sorcery pool split among the casting check (if you can make the eldritch powers work) and containment check (if you can make them obey); TN comes from your priority check

What's the priority check?

lacco36
2016-04-21, 01:10 AM
I like that sword. I don't see it causing any problems whatsoever.

While thinking about my character I cam upon the following and thought it was smarter to clear it up in this thread:



What's the priority check?

A remnant from TfOB - they assigned the TN for magic as fixed to magic priority. I plan on giving it as a skill, or rather set of skills.

I also thought about adding a lesser mystery - Warding (creation and manipulation of temporary or permanent wards - shields, walls, etc.) and Mana Manipulation (greater mystery, title is still open - e.g. Distillation or Crystallization, able to create mana crystal/solid mana to create temporary items from, also to "hoard" mana to create areas with high magical potential).

Skills for magicians should be:
Assensing (determining mana background, detecting magic and its nature)
Disrupting (ability to counter or dispell)
Ritual magic (long rituals allowing several rolls and cooperation for more powerful effect)
Siphoning (for containment checks and mana manipulation)
Spellcasting (standard spellcasting)
Weaving (for greater mysteries since you "combine" lesser mysteries)

Battlemage
2016-04-21, 04:52 AM
I like the idea of magic connected to skills. Though I think the casting TNs should be capped at the best rating from the original setting (not go lower than the ones from the highest priority in the original). Otherwise balance will probably break apart completely.

Also would likely be a good idea to make it clear in teh character creation guidelines that you might want high skills if you want to be able to cast very well from the start.

I'm liking where this whole thing is going.