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Sir Brett Nortj
2017-11-14, 10:08 AM
I am not done with my role playing game yet, but I have been working on it for about twenty years now, and, it has been in and out of my mind. In my latest attempt to get people to play games my way, I am summing things up, with some problems I am trying to sort out. It is split into two parts for now, with more parts to come;

It is about twenty two pages at the moment, a quick read for most experienced gamers. Please give feed back?

aimlessPolymath
2017-11-14, 11:48 AM
Hello!

First off, some notes:
-You'll want to edit the OP to add the "original system" tag.
-The second document isn't shared publicly.

I'm going to do a quick read through, leaving my comments as I go.

Skipping over the setting information mostly, except to note that you have an extremely questionable decision in bringing in real religions, and especially in naming religious figures as "the god of X"- do note that most monotheistic religions describe their deity as presiding over the entire universe. If I were to attempt to have this published, I would edit those parts out, or change them to be less controversial.

This needs an editing pass. Like, a spell check, and then a grammar check.

So, you know more about this now, yes? of course, if you were to observe al this information, you
might think you understand but in fact do not really understand, which is quite common with young
people who think everyone will laugh at them if they do not understand.
Come on, this is just insulting and unprofessional. I'm just trying to do a review.

The decision mechanism for the system is the following, as I understand it:
-Identify between 1 and 3 relevant numbers for the task you are attempting.
-Then roll a d10 if you have 1 relevant number, a d20 if you have 2, or a d30 if you have 3. You attempt to roll under the sum of those numbers. Note that this is mathematically identical to rolling a d10 against the average of the three numbers.

Notably, this system doesn't seem to have room for "hard tasks" vs. "easy" tasks- you're just as likely to succeed on convincing someone that you have an appointment as that you're the branch manager.

The alternate method is that you add up your numbers, and you compare it to a flat DC, with no die roll involved.
This alternative sounds a whole lot like GM fiat, personally, unless you put up a table with example DCs. If you add up your numbers and tell the GM before they decide on a DC, it turns into the GM making a "common sense" check on whether you succeed or not.

Character creation!
You have a name, a "demeanour" (???), and a species. Looking down to "karma", it sounds like "demeanour" is a way for the GM to control how you play your character? Is that right?
I very much like the stats/skills/talents division. I do think that you need a good definition of the stats, because I can see that the "wisdom vs. intelligence" issue is still around, but worse because "intuition" and "harmony" have now been added.

Checks defined again!
Hold on, you add three of your stats together? Where do skills come in?
I had assumed that skills and talents would come in here in some fashion.

Merits and flaws are defined after this for some reason. Apparently they're tremendously overpriced after character creation.
Degrees are something else you can get later. They're like Merits except that you can buy them later.

~ yes, this game is vast so far!
I'm reserving my judgement on that.

Magic is written up, but it currently looks like an IOU for a system. Skipping it for now.

Archetypes are mentioned but not well defined.

Another IOU for content.

Oh! Character creation is here. OK!
Let's try making a character to test this out.
First, an Archetype. This seems to be your role in the world. You get points for tasks related to this.
I'm going to try making Han Solo, a Smuggler.
Demeanour... interesting. Seems like roleplaying XP, codified? I like the listed examples except for Convincing, which is more about your skill level than your personality. I rather hope that you can change these over time. Han Solo is Cunning.
Personality. No game effect. Come on, we all know Han.
History: Born in the Corellian system. (I'd need to find the Star Wars EU wiki to say more).

Okay, so all these factors determine how much roleplaying XP you get- in fact, there's no XP for anything else, it seems. That's a fine decision, though it will exclude some player types (as an introvert, I struggle with any part of the game where I need to interact with NPCs- I never know what to say).

Stat determination:
Three types! Wow. Let's just use the pool for now.
Looks like there's a typo in the example pool: 5+5+7 = 17, not 18.
Let's allocate as follows:
Phys 1 : Ref 8 : Sys 9
Will 8 : Wis 1 : Intel 9
Intu 8 : Harm 1 : Cha 9
That's a pretty lopsided allocation, but there's a reason for it, coming up. (if pool isn't used, pretend we had a similarly ordered set of stats- in any case, there's 40% odds that at least one 9 is rolled in five dice- so the second version of Rolling gives similarly powerful stats)

There's a weird bit on "it's important not to mix them up"?

Checks are determined elsewhere- OK.
Health: Level 1, times 1... oh dear.
Level is determined by session? Interesting. Very interesting.

Merits: Oh! I see. You have a flat number of points to buy them with, separate from your other pool of points. An IOU for content.
Feats... cost different amounts at different times? I disagree with this decision- a character shouldn't be better or worse depending on the order in which you bought their abilities, in my opinion.

Skills and Talents... I actually can't work out how they work, sorry. You add them with your stat to get a range to roll under? Oh! Difficulty of the check is made as a modifier to the skill for the test. It makes sense, though I'm not sold on the benefits of this compared to the d20 system. You should probably reorganize the description of action resolution using skills to be next to the one for stats. You have 40 character points to spend. I'm not sure how I can spend them yet.
Magic exists. Good to know.
Equipment has a quick sexist bit, which stands out.

Adventure points seem to be the same as character points.
Math works out such that ignoring Int, it costs (n^2) points to get a skill of level n. A table would be very helpful here, as I'm having a lot of trouble spending my stats
It's cheaper for me, though- since I have 9 Int, I ignore any costs below 9. This allows me to get every single skill to level 5, instantly, and every talent to 9 for free. Then I'll spend:
5+6 - 9 = 2 points bringing Firearms to 6
6+7-9 = 4 points bringing it to 7
7+8-9 = 6 points bringing it to 8
8+9-9 = 8 points bringing it to 9
That's 20 points on one skill so far.
I'll spend another 6 points bringing Pilot to 7.
Also, thanks to my 9 Sys, I can boost all my stats of 1 to 3 for free. I might as well spend the 3 points each to bring Phys, Wis, and Harm to 4- that's 9 more points.
35 points, and I'll leave the rest for something if it comes up.
That's 4 hit points, now, too.

I worry that this system can be "won" in character generation.

Next up: Checks.
A gigantic table of checks, most of which will never come up, and all of which are the sum of three stats. Many of them are splitting hairs: Understanding is different from Guess; Conscious is different from Stamina; Self Control is different from Inner Peace; Spot is different from Awareness

Hold on, there's a cap for skills (Aptitude)? That would have been good to have in the section on skills.
Hold on, there are characters who are better at Unskilled checks than Semi-skilled checks.
Oh! Here are the difficulty modifiers. And... they're crushing. An Easy task is literally impossible for someone with 5 stat and 4 skill; you need to roll under 9-9 = 0 on a d30, if I understand correctly.

Next up: Skills.
Note: The upgrade costs here are inconsistent with those in the Adventure points section.
I'll just skim over these for now.

Combat:
Alright, let's see.
Health is Phys * Level. As far as I can tell, this is the only place Level is used. Could you elaborate on this decision? It's not something I've seen before, but it's really interesting- the more you play as a character, the less likely they are to die, which is correlated with how attached you are to the character.

Combat tests: To be honest, I can't parse this paragraph.
Action points: Huh. Han has 26.
Edge: Looks fine as a "tiebreaker".
Damage: Sure.
Archetypes: An IOU for merits and skills- I'm not sure when I got my Archetype points to spend?

Finally, a bit of fluff. Apparently we use milimeters as the standard size of tiles when mapping? I'm not sure why I need to know this- it seems like a GM convention more than anything.

General notes:
Needs some tables for skill+stat costs.
Needs an editing pass for spelling, grammar, and organization badly.
Need to have the second document available; suspect there's a lot of content that I can't see.

Sir Brett Nortj
2017-11-14, 01:48 PM

Thanks for the feedback, I will begin editing soon.

aimlessPolymath
2017-11-14, 11:42 PM
Alright. While you make the changes, I'll glance over pt. 2.

mmmm.
I find Wisdom to be difficult to disentangle from player-level "common sense", but OK.

Action point calculation here is Ref+Int, but in the other doc, it was Ref+Int+Sys.
Han Solo Entire Encounters has either 17 or 26 action points, but I'm not sure which.

Also, casual unnecessary discriminatory text again:

Combat is the most fun thign for male players, as that is often the point of the game for the younger
people
That's going to drive some people away.

Are hit points Level + Phys, or Level * Phys? This is inconsistent between documents.

Apparently this system has facing, but I never noticed.
Action point costs, sure (also, Han Solo can run either 20 meters in a round or 32, depending on how you count actions).
Items, sure, whatever. I'm not going through them in detail- it just looks like a table of numbers. I can't tell the difference between any of the kinds of weapons- seems like as a player, I'm just going to grab the most damage-efficient weapon I can buy? I don't see much in the way of trade-offs between weapons other than costs on a cursory glance, and sometimes not even that- compare the Lepton Cannon to the Gauss Cannon. Will the ammo/clip cost difference ever matter? My money is on no.

Armor types, meh. Bonus HP is okay.

Mecha, meh. More bonus HP. Not seeing a lot of depth to combat beyond "deal loads of damage", right now.

Persistent typo: It's spelled "mecha", not "mecca".

Alright, general review of the RPG so far:
It's... okay. Not great. Not especially terrible. It's IMO, too simple to be extremely bad, though there are a number of questionable decisions I see throughout the system that would stop me from running it as a DM, and would be horribly exploitable as a player.
It's honestly pretty bland.

In detail, a critique:
If anything, it reminds me of something I read about Fantasy Heartbreakers (http://www.indie-rpgs.com/articles/9/), and it hits roughly 40% of the list, depending on how charitable you are:
-Wide skill list, with subspecializations to a degree which actually limits how well you can do things in general
-You get a pass on "randomized attributes", but you definitely hit "extensive set of secondary attributes"- there are an absurd number of derived checks, differentiated by various things, to the extend that they lose usefulness. As far as "lose significance" goes, this comes into play with the weird "add 3 stats, and roll under on a d30" thing. All that you accomplish is averaging out the contributions of any given number, making most such checks tend towards 50% (or whatever the average stat is).
-A large number of character species- each with their own advancement system. They're pretty unique, which I really like!
-Diminished levels- your level matters for exactly one thing. Hit points.
-Crunchified D&D combat- in spades. Action points, separate action costs for aiming/firing/firing more than once/reloading, changing facing has 3 different action costs depending on what you're piloting, etc.
-Surprisingly, there are no damage rolls or variable hits at all- you just hit. I attribute this to the barebones nature of the system.
-Dodges the "archetypes" of races, which is actually really cool. If there were something I would take from this, it would be the races.
-No magic at all right now.

Now, this isn't actually bad, strictly speaking, but it does bring to the fore one issue that I've felt throughout my read;
I don't really know why I'd play this, right now. It is entirely possible that this is a fantastic system, and it has a great deal of depth to it, but there isn't really any draw to it that makes me say "Wow! That mechanic seems like it would be really fun!", or "I want to make X character". There's a lot of promises it makes
~ yes, this game is vast so far! that it really fails to live up to, and it comes with a level of arrogance (see the quoted passage in my first post) that really makes me dislike it as I read.

Your other thread (on the d30 system) backs this up to a degree- you said that people "get lost in the game", but I'm not seeing much to back that up.

Sir Brett Nortj
2017-11-15, 07:40 AM
I have decided to dump it all here, and edit afterwards from your notes, polymath.

Here is my magic system;

The damages nad costs reflect how relevant the spells is to the sphere, of course. There are exactly ten by ten spells, with ten spheres, to allow for random rolls, and random calculations by game masters.

All spheres work differently, with gross changes to costs to stifle the progression to 'god modes' and such. I have basically raided dungeons and dragons spells and mixed it with other flavours with some spheres for combat, being rather expensive, some spehres being 'tedious but fluffy' and others being for adventurous players.

Tell me what you think?

noob
2017-11-15, 08:03 AM
I might read that thing entirely if you do fix all the orthography.
Also double check the grammar please.
I am bad at grammar and spelling but at least I try to check what I write.
Also please split the text in rules and put stuff in the order.
And I did read the spell and by picking up the right spells you can win even more in character creation.

Sir Brett Nortj
2017-11-15, 10:20 AM
I might read that thing entirely if you do fix all the orthography.
Also double check the grammar please.
I am bad at grammar and spelling but at least I try to check what I write.
Also please split the text in rules and put stuff in the order.
And I did read the spell and by picking up the right spells you can win even more in character creation.

Thanks man, here is some more of my ideas, basically 'fluff oriented stuff;'

https://archive.org/details/XTechCivilizationGearBuildingsMarkets15thNovember2 017ByBrettNortje

Sir Brett Nortj
2017-11-16, 03:29 AM
The most fun, and sometimes the most tedious things to do, was creating the races for x tech, my game!

[5] https://archive.org/details/XTech05AlienRaces15thNovember2017

Sir Brett Nortj
2017-11-16, 07:44 AM
And finally, the merits, demerits and feats, well, some of them;

[6] https://archive.org/details/XTech06Merits16thNovember2017

noob
2017-11-16, 07:53 AM
Basically will not most non strength based characters pick up weak for buying healthy and then buying back the strength thanks to how his higher system helps them to buy stats?

Sir Brett Nortj
2017-11-16, 03:49 PM
Basically will not most non strength based characters pick up weak for buying healthy and then buying back the strength thanks to how his higher system helps them to buy stats?

I suppose they could do that if the game master allowed it, hell it is a free country.

aimlessPolymath
2017-11-16, 07:40 PM
I believe the point being made is that the merits/flaws can be outright busted, which isn't a good sign for the system as a

The character point system, as written, violates a pretty standard rule of game design: characters of equal character point expenditure(or level- system dependent) should be equal to each other. While "equal to each other" can be subject to debate, it's fairly easy to see that two characters who gained the same # of character points can be strictly unequal. Examples:
-Character A takes Merit X during character creation. Later, he gains 15 character points, and invests them all in Skill Y.
-Character B invests 5 character points into Skill Y during character creation. Later, he gains 15 character points, and buys up Merit X.

Despite having gained the exact same number of character points, one of them is strictly better than the other.

My example character Han Solo has a similar thing going on, where he abuses Int and Sys to make buying stats and skills much cheaper (and incidentally, is much more efficient in his stat distribution than the average character). If he and another character start at different builds and attempt to build themselves in some direction, he is essentially guaranteed to get there first.

While an argument could be made that it's the GM's job to make sure that characters are equal, I really don't understand why it was built into the system in the first place. Most systems are designed so that someone with little system knowledge can still build a viable character, but this system can cripple people in ways that are not immediately obvious:
-As stats, Int and Sys are far more valuable than any other stat, to an absurd degree, Int especially.
-A highly lopsided stat distribution is far more valuable than an even one during chargen. In addition to the normal benefits of specialization, buying two average stats up 3 points is vastly more expensive than buying a low stat up 6 points. (suppose the distribution is 6/6 vs. 9/3. A quick run of a calculator program shows that it costs 340 points to buy the 6/6 distribution to 9/9, but 232 points to bring the stat of 3 to 9, assumming 0 Sys. A high system stat provides a miniscule advantage to the 6/6 distribution, assuming you have at least 13 Sys- otherwise, just reduce total cost by 6*Sys.)
-Character generation? Better dump _all_ your points into Merits, any merit that you think you would ever want, because this may be the only time you can pick them... unless your GM allows you to buy them for five times their original cost.
-Learn Sphere, Write Spell, and Conditioning are... exponentially more powerful than any other spell in the game? Not really sure why.

And it's been said twice, but I'm going to say it again.
The grammar, spelling, organization and overall tone of these documents needs an overhaul. It's riddled with typos, which could be easily caught with spellcheck; it actively insults the reader in places;

So, you know more about this now, yes? of course, if you were to observe al this information, you
might think you understand but in fact do not really understand, which is quite common with young
people who think everyone will laugh at them if they do not understand.
and it contains a great deal of outright contradictions.

when you buy merits, you pay point costs to get
more merits at three times the cost for them.

there is no way other than through hypntoic means and magic to gain merits after
you begin, unless the game allows the five times rule for buying them later.

Sir Brett Nortj
2017-11-16, 08:26 PM
Full game, as is, all my choice of bugs worked out;

https://archive.org/details/XTechroughByBrettNortje17112017

Sir Brett Nortj
2017-11-16, 09:37 PM
I believe the point being made is that the merits/flaws can be outright busted, which isn't a good sign for the system as a

The character point system, as written, violates a pretty standard rule of game design: characters of equal character point expenditure(or level- system dependent) should be equal to each other. While "equal to each other" can be subject to debate, it's fairly easy to see that two characters who gained the same # of character points can be strictly unequal. Examples:
-Character A takes Merit X during character creation. Later, he gains 15 character points, and invests them all in Skill Y.
-Character B invests 5 character points into Skill Y during character creation. Later, he gains 15 character points, and buys up Merit X.

Despite having gained the exact same number of character points, one of them is strictly better than the other.

My example character Han Solo has a similar thing going on, where he abuses Int and Sys to make buying stats and skills much cheaper (and incidentally, is much more efficient in his stat distribution than the average character). If he and another character start at different builds and attempt to build themselves in some direction, he is essentially guaranteed to get there first.

While an argument could be made that it's the GM's job to make sure that characters are equal, I really don't understand why it was built into the system in the first place. Most systems are designed so that someone with little system knowledge can still build a viable character, but this system can cripple people in ways that are not immediately obvious:
-As stats, Int and Sys are far more valuable than any other stat, to an absurd degree, Int especially.
-A highly lopsided stat distribution is far more valuable than an even one during chargen. In addition to the normal benefits of specialization, buying two average stats up 3 points is vastly more expensive than buying a low stat up 6 points. (suppose the distribution is 6/6 vs. 9/3. A quick run of a calculator program shows that it costs 340 points to buy the 6/6 distribution to 9/9, but 232 points to bring the stat of 3 to 9, assumming 0 Sys. A high system stat provides a miniscule advantage to the 6/6 distribution, assuming you have at least 13 Sys- otherwise, just reduce total cost by 6*Sys.)
-Character generation? Better dump _all_ your points into Merits, any merit that you think you would ever want, because this may be the only time you can pick them... unless your GM allows you to buy them for five times their original cost.
-Learn Sphere, Write Spell, and Conditioning are... exponentially more powerful than any other spell in the game? Not really sure why.

And it's been said twice, but I'm going to say it again.
The grammar, spelling, organization and overall tone of these documents needs an overhaul. It's riddled with typos, which could be easily caught with spellcheck; it actively insults the reader in places;

and it contains a great deal of outright contradictions.

Besides all these typos, grammar, contradictions, and, technical issues, how do you overall rate the concept?

Me and my girl friend, who is a digital artist, are going to work on the game, you see, and make a free game for the web, but then people will want to buy dice, so will probably buy the game too. This will grant us some meagre cash, and, then we can work on X Tech two! That game will be even bigger and better, well, besides, as you mention, all the problems...

So, what do you think of the overall concept of the game? It is supposed to be as diverse as white wolf publishing of old put into dungeons and dragons of old, how did I do?

aimlessPolymath
2017-11-16, 10:48 PM
Mm.

I would say that there's some good, but a lot of mediocre.
The mediocre:
-The die system you have is unnecessarily table-complex; it's mathematically identical to rolling a d10 against the average of three stats, and it dilutes the significance of any given one. Also, I rather doubt that people would buy d30s specifically from you vs. off Amazon, if they bought it at all. No real advantage to it.
-The combat system is bland, lacking any depth beyond "I shoot at him again", for all that you have a massive table of possible weapons
-The advancement system is unnecessarily labyrinthine, and quite likely to be broken & difficult to balance.
-Overall, the system doesn't seem to have any real advantages over its competitors.

The good:
-You have some very good fluff, if you put some work into it. Like, really good. Your races are unusual, and unique, and I find myself very interested in their cultures (or playing one, if not in this system). The tattoos(and associated clannishness) seem like something that could be expanded into something very interesting, as well.

What I would probably do, if you want to publish something based on this, is take some time working on the fluff and races, and expand it into a campaign setting. Scrap most or all of the system, look around at a few systems (Starfinder looks like it might be big), and then put together some crunch to go with it.