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Aranai
2008-02-27, 10:22 PM
Well, I've finally gotten enough of a ruleset down to write out for my players in book form. What I want to know is whether or not these categories would make up a fairly decent knowledge base for the average character. Should other information be added? Etcetera. The list of what I've thrown in there is put in below, with subheadings for the most part removed.

Chapters added thus far:

Preface - Character Creation

Chapter I Character Attributes (Info on stats)
The Attributes
Strength
Constitution
Dexterity
Intelligence
Wisdom
Charisma
Fortitude
Willpower
Vigor
Luck

Chapter II Playable Species (Racial info; Info on halfbreeds)

Chapter III Premade Character Classes (For when you need a quick character; Or when you need a basis by which to work from)

Chapter IV Skills (Details about Combat Skills, Life Skills, and Knowledge Skills)

Chapter V Magic (Details on magic types; Includes complete spell list by category, alphabetical index is located in Miscellany)
[16 Branches of Magic: Offensive, Defensive, Healing, Biological, Elemental, Summon, Rune, Illusion, Mysticism, Transport, Nature, Alteration, Divination, Necromancy, Holy Power, Forbidden]

Chapter VI Character Flaws (And the mechanics thereof; Still workin' on this)

Chapter VII Deities (Details on the 2 Sa'al* and the 41 Tausa'al**)

Chapter VIII Gifts (Special abilities/bonuses given to Sa'al-Torah***)

Chapter IX Arcana (In essence, superpowers given to Sa'al-Torah***)

Chapter X Combat (How to perform combat)

Chapter XI Equipment (General weapon/armor list)

Chapter XII Items (General mundane item list)

Chapter XIII Miscellany (Mostly charts)


*Sa'al: Roughly translates to "God". There are two of these: Ashu'lynai (Supreme force of Good) and Gulakk (Supreme force of evil).
**Tausa'al: Difficult to translate out of Lenyan. Refers to various divine entities that are at once separate beings and part of the One (Ashu'lynai, Gulakk, or the Cosmos) that they derive from. Tausa'al have their own feelings, personality, and inhibitions, but are still all interconnected.
***Sa'al-Torah: Translates roughly as "God-Chosen". Refers to beings chosen by various deities to be bound in a cosmic contract. Sa'al-Torah are generally chosen by age 12-13.

Big thanks to anyone who takes the time to read this and help. :3

Also, if wanted, I can provide other materials for the sake of informing. :o

ShneekeyTheLost
2008-02-27, 11:13 PM
How about a chapter on non-combat mechanics? (movement, actions, effect of terrain on movement, etc...)

Aranai
2008-02-27, 11:24 PM
*slaps forehead* Oh dear God. I can't believe I forgot to add that. THANK you. XD

The_Dead_Legion
2008-02-28, 11:36 AM
Can you please clarify the differances between: Constitution, Fortitude and Vigor? They seem like a bit redundant.

Alfryd
2008-02-28, 01:46 PM
The Attributes
Strength
Constitution
Dexterity
Intelligence
Wisdom
Charisma
Fortitude
Willpower
Vigor
Luck
I dislike using luck as a permanent 'attribute', but that's something of an issue of taste. There's too much associative overlap between constitution, vigour, and fortitude, and perhaps between willpower/wisdom/intelligence, or willpower/fortitude. How are you defining these attributes, exactly?

Perhaps a little more detail on the setting might be of interest.

Aranai
2008-02-28, 02:17 PM
Ah, yes, I should explain those. I'll just pull these directly out of the attribute descriptions.

Charisma
"A character's Charisma value is a measure of how good he or she is in interactions with other people. Characters with high Charisma values will find it easier to get information out of other characters, get good bargains whilst shopping, and keep NPCs entertained."

Constitution
"A character's Constitution value is a measure of his or her body's resistance to negative effects, how healthy the body is, and hardiness in general. Characters with high Constitution values will have high Health values, and be difficult to inflict with Poisons or Diseases."

Dexterity
"A character's Dexterity value is a measure of his or her speed, accuracy, and precision. Characters with high Dexterity values will have higher Speed and Initiative values, find it easier to aim truly, and be able to utilize skills involving quickness easier."

Fortitude
"A character's Fortitude value is a measure of his or her emotional security and ability to adapt quickly to a sudden situation. Characters with high Fortitude values will find it easier to resist emotional-altering abilities, and will have higher Initiatives."

Intelligence
"A character's Intelligence value is a measure of how much knowledge is at the character's immediate disposal. Characters with high Intelligence will easily be able to discern information about a wide variety of topics, and use practical skills."

Luck
"A character's Luck value is a measure of how the Fates favor him or her. Luck factors into a lot of mysterious places, but it is not predictable, nor invokable."

Strength
"A character's Strength value is a measure of his or her physical prowess, musculature, and overarcing physical power. Characters with high Strength scores will have an easier time with physical feats."

Vigor
"A character's Vigor value is a measure of his or her total magical capacity. Characters with high Vigor values will have high Mana values, and will find it easier to cast certain types of magic."

Willpower
"A character's Willpower value is a measure of his or her ability to focus on a task until it is seen through. Characters with high Willpower values will find it easier to resist certain spell effects, activate Artifacts, and cast certain types of magic."

Wisdom
"A character's Wisdom value is a measure of how well he or she utilizes the knowledge they have available to the best of the situation. Characters with high Wisdom will find it easier to apply practical knowledges and skills."

That clear it up a bit? Sorry, I didn't really give the full information, eh? XD

4 Edits Later: I seem to be incapable of alphabetical order today. -_-;

The_Dead_Legion
2008-02-28, 04:52 PM
Thanks. That helps a lot. Is this a d20 system or what? How does magic and classes work?

Alfryd
2008-02-28, 05:00 PM
Classes are Evil. Evil!

Anyways, yes, that does clear things up considerably.

I don't think Fortitude has a well-defined area of specialty relative to Willpower and Dexterity/Intelligence, and doesn't accord terribly well with typical associations. You also seem to lack an attribute that mediates sense checks (spot/listen, etc.)

Could you give some examples of how luck would be used, precisely?

Rigon
2008-02-28, 06:03 PM
i would suggest different basic stats...
well that's me.

i case you want to read...

Strength = muscle powa' (for lifting stuff. punching stuff. and y'know... stuff)
Dexterity = aiming powa' (watch me aim, watch me parry, watch me balance in gracious glory)
Agility = speed powa' (i'm here, i'm there, i'm here, i'm there, no matter where you look, i'm everywhere! for the folk who don't like to get hit by stuff but like to hit stuff more often)
Vitality = life powa' (wounds, poisons, diseases and gravity might hurt, BUT THEY CAN'T KILL ME!)
Might = magic powa' (as in damage and resistance. boost this stat if you think that +1D6 to damage would make a difference)
Intelligence = complex thoughts powa' (as in spell complexity, i suggest low complexity for a runabout fireball and high complexity for a freaking animate dead. i kinda think "level" aint good enough to describe. well fireball would certianly need more might and less intelligence. but that might be just me. i do think that blowing up stuff requires less thinking than controlling dead flesh through half rotten neurons.)
Wits = mindspeed powa' (as in simple yet important situations when you have to say the right thing without the 3 and a half minute delay. should also help to realize when somethings not real. ooooh that fire didn't burn the bush?! itmustbeanillusion. normally such things don't require much intelligence but in the hassle of a battle you might try to escape such illusionary/imaginary fire in the direction of a deadly and REAL trap)
Energy/Pool = mana powa' (as in ammount of mana and mental health. and i think ghost and things without a body to slap at would take this as health.)


i would replace the name of VIGOR. in my humble opinion vigor stands for the vitality of the body. i suggest Energy or Pool... Vigor is a well chosen word for medieval settings but a rather badly chosen word for mental/magic stuff.

i also think that FORTITUDE is already a part of WILLPOWER (but could be separated as in concentration and emotional stability "astral").

for LUCK i think that matters of luck should be kept with the dice. my luck is my dice.

INTELLIGENCE and WISDOM seem to be the same thing with your definition (especially because they both end with "practical skills")... i suggest using intelligence for problems related to complex detail and wisdom for "oversight" and lexical knowledge)

STRENGTH, CONSTITUTION, DEXTERITY and CHARISMA work pretty the same as in dnd (as far as i can tell that is).

Aranai
2008-02-28, 08:12 PM
@The_Dead_Legion

No. I actually didn't know that the d20 system was "open-source" until about three months into development. That said, all internal mechanics are custom-tailored.
(Character sheet for the sake of explaination: Page 1 (http://www.box.net/shared/00xhaa5us0) - Page 2 (http://www.box.net/shared/6sg278u804) - Page 3 (http://www.box.net/shared/v5sf3vd0ks))
There are no classes. Character creation is freeform--You choose exactly the way your character is set up. Players have 110 points to distribute to their Attributes (With 10/11 being human average), and 80 points to distribute toward skills and abilities (I can go into greater detail on this subject if needed). Also, there are no character levels, only skill levels. All skills max out at rank 12, regardless of what it is. I'm currently working on a system update that allows for ascending to ranks above 12 in X number of skills, but I don't have to worry about that just yet. :P

The magic system is quite expansive. Bit of background information to start: All magic comes from the Tree of Life in the Plane of Creation and is channeled by direct metaphysical connection to said Tree. The Tree confers sixteen branches of magic: Offensive, Defensive, Healing, Biological, Elemental, Summon, Rune, Illusion, Mysticism, Transport, Nature, Alteration, Divination, Necromancy, Holy Power, and Forbidden. We'll use Offensive Magic as our example. We'll also assume that you as the player are at rank zero. There are two ways to train up to rank I from rank 0: Using "Fizzles" or reading a magic theory book. Theory books are easy to use, and can be utilized by anyone, but they take days to read in entirety (Exact duration is determined by the quality score of the book). A "Fizzle" is the utilization of a given branch of magic in its most basic state--that said, you don't know how to properly channel your body's Mana, and you don't know the various subtleties associated with the given branch of magic. Therefore, Fizzles are incredibly weak and consume vast amounts of Mana; However, they are not difficult to pull off by any stretch of the imagination. We'll assume use of a Fizzle for this explaination. I'll simulate for a moment.

We'll say you're trying to cast the Offensive Fizzle (Specific effect: Inflict 1d2-1 Nonelemental damage on target touched). You roll a 7. You have no Offensive skill, but you get to add your Vigor mod to the roll, as Vigor governs Offensive Magic. We'll assume your Vigor mod is +3 (Value of 16 or 17). 7+0+3 = 10, so you would meet the DC, thus ensuring a success. You would gain 7 XP toward Offensive Magic. XP is always the value of your natural roll, assuming success. So your spell succeeded. Now we'll assume you have enough Mana to cast one more Fizzle. Oh no! You rolled a natural 1... Which means you failed the cast (1+0+3 < 10). However, due to rolling a 1, the DM would ask you to roll Luck. Rolling a value 1~14 will result in a negative effect to happen, most likely to yourself. Rolling a 15 or better will allow you to escape said effect. We'll assume you've cast and read enough to gain 50 XP (Rank 0 to Rank I is always 50 XP, regardless of skill). Huzzah! You have reached Rank I Offensive Magic. At this point, you get a temporary direct link to the Tree itself, and the Tree gives you the option of learning one of the following as your first-level spell: Unseen Arrow (Multiple weak bursts of energy) or Entropy (Single strong burst of energy). We'll assume you took Entropy as your first-level spell. After awhile, you will have gained enough XP to level again. You've reached rank II--You have a connection to the Tree again. Spells that become available at Rank II are attribute-breaks: Atrophy (STR), Blight (CON), Stumble (DEX), Rancor (CHA), Lunacy (INT), and Witless (WIS). If, however, you do not like the spell selection at Rank II, you may choose any spell from a lower level that you have not already chosen. We'll assume you chose Lunacy as your second-level spell. Now, your first-level spell won't get outmoded. For your spell list at rank II would be Entropy I, Entropy II, Lunacy I, and Lunacy II. Higher-level spells have higher power, but higher DCs and Mana cost. A person cannot have more than twelve spells from a given Branch, so you must choose carefully.


@Alfryd


Indeed they be. About Spot/Listen/etc., they're what are called Life Skills (Check the character sheet). There's a chapter on premade classes just for the sake of people who want a basis on which to work. Premade classes aren't binding, nor are they rigid--You're actually encouraged to fiddle with the presented information. About the Luck stat, I answered part of it in the last bit. Luck is also rolled for natural 20's, to determine criticals or other special whatnot (DC:15 again). Luck is also rolled to give the party the chance to avoid something very bad happening, or to jump start something very good happening. It tends to give the players a feeling of being somewhat more in control of what's happening. For example: One of the players in my current campaign "drives" a Commuter Dragon. He has a silent whistle that he can use to call it at any time, and he called it in the middle of the capitol city, without bothering to find a safe spot to land it. I called a Party Luck Roll, with a DC set in my mind at 75 (Five players x DC:15 each, roughly). The DC was high due to the odds against them, and they did not succeed the roll (Though they were close--the total was 71), so the dragon landed on a civilian, killing her. The character had to plead his case to the captain of the guard in the palace that they just left.


That help?

Alfryd
2008-03-01, 12:06 PM
(Character sheet for the sake of explaination: Page 1 - Page 2 - Page 3)
Okay- Any character sheet that takes up 3 pages is probably a bad idea. I would try my level best to streamline and simplify the system when and where possible. For the earthsea d20 project, I've been trying to eliminate everything but 'feats', 'attributes', and a fatigue system, essentially.

About Spot/Listen/etc., they're what are called Life Skills (Check the character sheet).
I think it might be best to describe spot/listen as 'gifts' rather than skills, since they're mostly genetic rather than learned. A general 'acuity/perception/alertness' skill might be useful to bridge the gap and cover levelling requirements.

In addition, your character sheet probably doesn't need to list every skill available to all characters. There's nothing to stop the player from writing down a limited selection of skills they want to focus on, and totting up their levels accordingly over time. That would be my inclination, at least.

There are no classes. Character creation is freeform--You choose exactly the way your character is set up. Players have 110 points to distribute to their Attributes (With 10/11 being human average), and 80 points to distribute toward skills and abilities (I can go into greater detail on this subject if needed). Also, there are no character levels, only skill levels. All skills max out at rank 12, regardless of what it is. ...There's a chapter on premade classes just for the sake of people who want a basis on which to work.
Like templates? Sounds fair, overall. One thing- imposing arbitrary limits on skill ranks is suitable in some cases, but not others. If you're playing an 'epic' game where characters can advance in power almost indefinitely, you may run into problems, and Lore skills or the like do not have obvious upper bounds on their development. I'd have to know more about the general conflict resolution mechanic you're using.

Have you consider using a system where XP gain is specific to particular skills?

One of the players in my current campaign "drives" a Commuter Dragon. He has a silent whistle that he can use to call it at any time, and he called it in the middle of the capitol city, without bothering to find a safe spot to land it. I called a Party Luck Roll, with a DC set in my mind at 75 (Five players x DC:15 each, roughly). The DC was high due to the odds against them, and they did not succeed the roll (Though they were close--the total was 71), so the dragon landed on a civilian, killing her. The character had to plead his case to the captain of the guard in the palace that they just left.
I see what you mean, roughly speaking. For the sake of flavour, I would consider a mechanic involving rolling dice several times, and taking the best result. In addition, simply saying that certain characters are innately 'lucky' strikes me as odd. ...just a thought.

Aranai
2008-03-02, 12:21 PM
Answers to Alfryd's post.


Heh. Actually, the original sheet was one page, and it was so cluttered beyond reason that nobody could find anything. Not only that, but the players ended up keeping track of all sorts of other stuff on extra paper, so I've just given space for that on the sheetset itself to make it easier on them.

Maybe. I don't know.

Oi. We tried that. It...wasn't pretty.

Working on an "epic levels" system bit right now. Going to introduce the idea to my playtesters to get an idea of whether or not it should be implemented (That'd be for stuff above rank XII). If not, then I'll just remove the skill rank limits. I'll post that once it's ready.

Oh? Explain in more detail, please. :o

Eh, the Luck attribute is pretty well-around liked by the playtesters, so I'm leaving it as is. :P

Alfryd
2008-03-02, 02:34 PM
p.s, I suggest use of quote tags. ( (quote)(/quote), but with square brackets.)

Maybe. I don't know.
Well, perhaps you might Acuity instead of Fortitude? It's not a big issue.

Oi. We tried that. It...wasn't pretty.
What happened?

Oh? Explain in more detail, please. :o
Well, it's simple enough. You gain XP for a given skill when you use a given skill, and advance it's level accordingly. As opposed to doling out XP for killing/defeating things. Of course, this would probably be most practical if you just focused on a limited skill selection.

Eh, the Luck attribute is pretty well-around liked by the playtesters, so I'm leaving it as is. :P
Fair enough.

Alfryd
2008-03-06, 04:49 PM
Well, let us know how it turns out, in any case.

Aranai
2008-03-08, 01:51 AM
I return, after much busy-ness! Curse you, real life! *shakes fist*


What happened?

I'm just going to leave it at "Bad things." I don't want to elaborate, it'll take too long, and I don't want to go back into it. x__x


Well, it's simple enough. You gain XP for a given skill when you use a given skill, and advance it's level accordingly. As opposed to doling out XP for killing/defeating things. Of course, this would probably be most practical if you just focused on a limited skill selection.

That's how it works already. I've ALWAYS hated the "Kill-Stuff-For-XP" method of mechanics. I mean, it doesn't make much sense most of the time. How would killing a pixie result in a skill increase in Diplomacy? Plus, the KSFXP method forces characters into combat roles regardless of skillset, and that's just irritating.

Sorry about the late post.

Alfryd
2008-03-08, 01:57 PM
That's how it works already.
Oh. Missed that. Well and good.

I'm just going to leave it at "Bad things." I don't want to elaborate, it'll take too long, and I don't want to go back into it. x__x
I'm not trying to tweak you here, but I am hoping to use a similar system (of limited skill selection) for the RPG I'm working on, and I would genuinely like to know about possible pitfalls to the approach. Just a short summary would do.

Aranai
2008-03-08, 05:51 PM
I'm not trying to tweak you here, but I am hoping to use a similar system (of limited skill selection) for the RPG I'm working on, and I would genuinely like to know about possible pitfalls to the approach. Just a short summary would do.

Main reason I wanted to leave it at "Bad Things" was because I had typed out that same post eight times. Ze forum didn't want to post it for some reason. DX

Anyhoo, my playtesters absolutely LOATHED the thought that they had a major ability (Search, Spot, etc.) that was set in stone, inflexible, and not upgradeable. It led to much anger between me and the party, and an overall detriment to the environment of the game. Personally, I rather prefer to have most things being flexible like this.

Lyndworm
2008-03-09, 12:35 AM
This looks both fun and balanced. I'm designing something similar myself, and would love to see where this goes. Keep up the good work.

Alfryd
2008-03-10, 06:35 PM
Main reason I wanted to leave it at "Bad Things" was because I had typed out that same post eight times. Ze forum didn't want to post it for some reason. DX
I nearly always type replies up in a seperate text editor against just this eventuality.

Anyhoo, my playtesters absolutely LOATHED the thought that they had a major ability (Search, Spot, etc.) that was set in stone, inflexible, and not upgradeable.
I see your difficulty. Hopefully that wouldn't be such a problem in my case, since the system I have in mind makes attributes the main form of levelling, with skills providing a relatively small specialisation. If you had some way of measuring average 'character level', then you could use that as a basis for untrained skill checks.
I had a more ornate system of skill trees (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=69668) worked out some months back, but the details were devilish to work out. I'm not sure if it would help, and you seem reasonably happy with the current setup.

Aranai
2008-03-12, 12:56 AM
This looks both fun and balanced. I'm designing something similar myself, and would love to see where this goes. Keep up the good work.

Thanks much. :3


I nearly always type replies up in a seperate text editor against just this eventuality.

THERE'S an idea... *grumbles*

I've pretty much been in Magic-Making-Spaz-Mode recently. I'll definatly make a post once Magic is done, I can post a copy of the Magic section of the handbook for critiques.

However, the next thing that's going to be coming out is the species info. :P

EDIT: Whoo, Magic quotas. Put in a spoiler section for those of you who don't want to read it. :P

24/24 - Offensive
24/24 - Defensive
24/24 - Healing
22/24 - Biological
24/24 - Elemental
24/24 - Rune
24/24 - Summon
24/24 - Transport
24/24 - Illusion
21/24 - Mysticism
16/24 - Nature
14/24 - Alteration
24/24 - Divination
16/24 - Necromancy
24/24 - Holy Power
07/24 - Forbidden

Total: 336/384 Spellforms