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View Full Version : Original System Wraiths and Ruins: Another Fantasy Heartbreaker



Anonymouswizard
2017-03-08, 05:32 PM
Okay, so some people might remember that about seven years ago I began writing a system I eventually called Wraiths and Ruins (originally A20, original thread for anybody interested, but almost nothing is being reused as it's rather bad (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?130275-A20-(a-new-type-of-D20-not-low-magic)&highlight=%27wraiths+ruins%27)) as my attempt to fix d20. That was mired in the problems of having played very little outside of D20 and a little bit of Savage Worlds, but was designed to run the kinds of worlds I like, that being high magic where fighters don't need magic items to keep up. I thought that with the benefit of several years, including playing in and running a larger variety of games, I'd resurrect the basic idea for a sort of WaR 2.0. So this is essentially me going back over my first game and turning it into something that isn't a massive d20 rip-off, and hopefully something vaguely unique.

So with that out of the way let's start. Feedback is welcome, but bare in mind that this hasn't been playtested yet.

Core Mechanic
This part is simple, roll 2d10, add relevant Attribute, Skill, or Combat Skill bonus, and try to beat the difficulty. A natural two/double one is a critical failure and bad things happen, while a natural twenty/double ten is a critical success.
I choose 2d10 over the d20 again for a couple of reasons. The first was that I wanted a bell curve so that you don't have to have invested lots into a skill to reliably beat an unskilled person, and to reduce the chance of a critical to about a 2% chance of either.
Attributes
WaR currently uses seven Attributes which range from -5 to +5, listed below.

Strength
Agility
Dexterity
Constitution
Intelligence
Willpower
Empathy

Essentially I've gone for a slightly altered version of the D&D attributes, Dexterity was split in two to try and reduce it's influence and Wisdom and Charisma were bashed together and then separated into Willpower and Empathy
There are also four derived characteristics currently important to the game, Health Points (HP), Fatigue Points (FP), Initiative, and Speed.

Health Points begin equal to ten plus the character's Strength score, and allow you to absorb damage.
Fatigue points begin equal to ten plus your constitution score, and drop both from physical exerstion and casting spells.
Initiative is what it is in most games, and is equal to your Agility plus your Intelligence.
Speed is a rough measure of how quickly you can move, and is equal to ten plus your Stength and Agility scores.

There's no mana/spell points characteristic, I want mundane and magical characters to be running off the same resources at the moment for simplicity reasons. It also encourages magicians to devote some resources towards pumping their physical stats, to counteract the cost of rituals.

When HP hit zero a character is 'down' and starts bleeding out, PCs only die when they hit negative health points equal to their maximum HP. A character who hits 2FP is tired, a character who hits 1FP is exhausted, and a character who hits 0FP is unconscious. The game effects of tired and exhausted haven't been written yet, because the system is still in alpha.

Finally, here's the current skill list and an outline of combat skills. Each skill has ranks and is based off of an Attribute, I'll write up a decent explanation when I have a useable system.

Acrobatics (Agility)
Alchemy (Intelligence)
Athletics (Strength)
Bluff (Empathy)
Demonology (Intelligence)
Detect Lies (Empathy)
Endurance (Constitution)
Engineering (Intelligence)
History (Intelligence)
Intimidate (Willpower)
Investigation (Intelligence)
Magic (Intelligence)
Metallurgy (Intelligence)
Notice (Intelligence)
Persuade (Empathy)
Ride (Agility)
Sleight of Hand (Dexterity)
Stealth (Agility)
Woodworking (Intelligence)

There are four characteristics defined as 'combat skills'.
Strike is essentially your character's to-hit bonus, and is based off of Dexterity. Melee Strike and Ranged Strike are different combat skills, although I haven't come up with a better term for Ranged Strike.
Dodge is based off of Agility, and is your character's defence against Ranged Strike.
Parry is based off of Dexterity, and is your character's defence against Melee Strike.

That's the very basics, I plan to get a draft of combat finished and an explanation of how classes work by sometime tomorrow so you have an actual system to review rather than a basic outline.

EDIT: well I have a basic outline of combat, the class system will be coming later.
Combat
Rounds
During combat action happens in rounds, each encompassing approximately ten seconds of in game time. During a round every participant gets one turn during which they can perform an attack, move, and minor action. Characters during a round act from highest to lowest initiative, once the final participant has acted in a round a new round begins and turns start from the top of the initiative order.
Initiative
At the beginning of combat every participant or group of participants rolls 2d10 and adds their initiative bonus, with the higher initiative bonus breaking ties.
Actions
During their turn characters can move and perform one attack action. In addition characters get one minor action such as drawing or stowing an action, interacting with the environment, or assessing the enemy.
Attacking
An attack roll is simply an opposed roll between the attackerís Melee Strike and the defenderís Parry, or the attackerís Ranged Strike and the defenderís Dodge. Whichever side rolls a higher total succeeds, with the defender succeeding on ties.

If the attacker succeeds they roll their weaponís damage dice (1d6 for a one handed weapon, 2d6 for a two handed weapon) and add their Strength before subtracting the total from their opponentís Health Points.


Magic is still a relatively long way off, one of the core ideas of the system is that magic is very hard to scale down, so you'll begin by learning a spell that can raze a city by chanting for an hour and then learn how to tone it down to a useful combat spell. Magicians tend to be either rather specialised or take a long time to do anything.

steelsmiter
2017-03-13, 02:02 AM
I'm looking over this, and your revamp is interesting. I love bell curves (have always been extremely happy with 3d6, even if GURPS failed me through money grubbing, but 2d10 is cool), I love how you do the Derived Stats. The short skill list is cool too. On the subject of Combat Skills, Fate Core uses Fight and Shoot. I think your game could benefit from that. Also, I'd base Parry off of either Melee Strike, or Dexterity. Also, do your skills default to a lower portion of an attribute where points haven't been devoted to them or are they just straight attribute?

Anonymouswizard
2017-04-03, 06:56 PM
As a small note I didn't work on this for a while because my dissertation ramped up and got in the way, but I have the class system very roughly drafted, it's a simple matter now of 'do I want to redraft the skill list before settling on the initial builds'. As it is the initial idea was for a very involved skill list, but looking over it I like the small version, although it might be added to in case I playtest this and find situations with no attached skill that would benefit from them. As it is another skill is being added ('wordworking') to cover a similar task to the metallurgy skill.

Part of the way the derived characteristics are set up is to make Strength a useful stat, affecting a lot besides melee combat (especially as carrying capacity is something I'm considering leaving out). Fatigue also powers everything tiring because having to keep track of too many sliding scales is annoying, if I implement Divine Miracles, Psionic Powers, Chi Techniques, or any other alternative magic systems they'll also draw upon Fatigue as their basic resource.

For combat skills, I might end up with fight and shoot, I'm not 100% certain yet. Parry is specifically not based off of Melee Strike in order to allow a offensive/defensive tradeoff, allowing a player more options as to how they build the character, but are based off of the same Attribute so that someone naturally skilled at one is naturally skilled at the other. There may or may not be limits as to how much a character's offensive and defensive skills differ.

I hope to have the class system sorted out by some point tomorrow, magic is always evolving but at the moment remains at the idea of 'powerful rituals that must be invested in'. I'm also considering Psionic Powers as an alternative system more like D&D spell magic (you begin with basic effects and can then learn more powerful ones), but that depends on how I end up developing the 'default' setting.

Zireael
2017-04-05, 10:23 AM
I like the use of 2d10.

How does one gain skills? Combat skills?

Anonymouswizard
2017-04-05, 11:45 AM
How does one gain skills? Combat skills?

Not entirely worked out yet, either classes are templates that determine how expensive things are in XP, or they give a certain number of skill, combat skill, and power points whenever the character levels up. Most likely the latter at the moment so I can have slowly increasing HP and FP pools, although I might always change to the former and make HP and FP purchasable with XP.

steelsmiter
2017-04-27, 07:09 PM
As a small note I didn't work on this for a while because my dissertation ramped up and got in the way, but I have the class system very roughly drafted, it's a simple matter now of 'do I want to redraft the skill list before settling on the initial builds'. As it is the initial idea was for a very involved skill list, but looking over it I like the small version, although it might be added to in case I playtest this and find situations with no attached skill that would benefit from them. As it is another skill is being added ('wordworking') to cover a similar task to the metallurgy skill.
Personally I think that has plusses and minuses. I'm not overly sure why you separated out metallurgy specifically, but you could also benefit from condensing of "Craft" skills with a special note that you might specialize in something like woodworking or metallurgy, or you could be a generalist "maker" who is not really a master of any particular material, but YouTube suggests they are a jack of all of them.


Part of the way the derived characteristics are set up is to make Strength a useful stat, affecting a lot besides melee combat (especially as carrying capacity is something I'm considering leaving out).
Encumbrance isn't really worth the hassle to be honest. Some systems keep it simple by giving abstract values (and varying them by "class" if that distinction proves necessary. Dungeon World does that fairly well, but if you look too closely you notice inconsistencies) Others use it as a way to nickel and dime you, or make you do tedious math. I am not entirely for ignoring it completely, but neither am I entirely against it.


Fatigue also powers everything tiring because having to keep track of too many sliding scales is annoying, if I implement Divine Miracles, Psionic Powers, Chi Techniques, or any other alternative magic systems they'll also draw upon Fatigue as their basic resource. At least you may end up not having to worry too much about carrying capacity affecting fatigue.


For combat skills, I might end up with fight and shoot, I'm not 100% certain yet. Parry is specifically not based off of Melee Strike in order to allow a offensive/defensive tradeoff, allowing a player more options as to how they build the character, but are based off of the same Attribute so that someone naturally skilled at one is naturally skilled at the other.
As I presented it, the existing option is not omitted, but an additional one is also permitted. I really meant it as an either or. You're either naturally good at Dexterity so you parry instinctively, or you've trained specific parrying reflexes that shouldn't be ignored (or rather, would be unrealistic to ignore) in training how to fight.


There may or may not be limits as to how much a character's offensive and defensive skills differ.
I think that it would be reasonable to require Parry and Fight to be within a certain value of each other. That would solve my problems without adding in a second default option.


either classes are templates that determine how expensive things are in XP, or they give a certain number of skill, combat skill, and power points whenever the character levels up. Most likely the latter at the moment so I can have slowly increasing HP and FP pools, although I might always change to the former and make HP and FP purchasable with XP.
I'm kind of iffy on classes in general, but if you do them I like the idea that each class has specified things that are cheaper. The biggest problem I have with classes is that it gets annoying when multi-classing is thrown in. I think that letting players pick specific categorical discounts without shoehorning them to classes has an advantage over that. For example, picking Combat skills would either make me a Fighter (or possibly a berserker depending on how you do abilities) and cut me off from Power based skills (Magic/Psi/Whatever) which I wouldn't object to if multiclassing didn't make that meaningless--or the idea of classes is a BS construct, and I can pick my Combat skills, but I pay through the nose for anything else I might want.

Then there's thoughts about how to divide skills.
You got 4 combat skills so those are an easy clean division
Would you allow a person to divide out say... the Agility skills as their niche? The Dexterity skills? The Intelligence skills?
The Thief skills? Is there a difference between Mage and Cleric skills?

On the subject of skill differences, is the game granular enough to have a difference between Notice and Investigate? (I'm a bit sketchy on this one myself, but to me, Notice is the "what am I aware of without providing details about how I'm being aware" while Investigate is "I go here and do this kind of rooting around, what do I uncover")