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Thread: The American Dream - A d12 System

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Oct 2006
    Redmond, Washington

    Default The American Dream - A d12 System

    So as I'm sure others have noticed the d12 is a sorely neglected die. I have one lucky d12 who just never gets to be used, and is very sad about it, so I decided to make a system based around it. Drawing inspiration from systems like All Flesh Must Be Eaten for a simplified universal resolution mechanic, and from systems like the D02 or RUP for a rules-light approach to skills and other thing like that I've created something I like to call the American Dream.

    Base Mechanic
    The base mechanic is roll a d12, add relevant modifiers, and 12 or more is a success. The base stat for heroes is 3, and there are only 3 stats. Bonuses like Background, Cause, and Equipment. A 12 is an automatic success, though a 1 is not an automatic failure. There is no exploding of dice or anything, though damage for attacks is based off the result of the dice minus the target number. Another concept that will be used is that of advantage from the 5th Ed. playtest, rolling twice and taking the highest result.

    Character Creation
    Character creation is very simple, with a standard build of 9 points for 3 attributes, and a max of 5 in any one stat. Otherwise the max stat is 9, giving only 1/6 chance of base failure, though generally enemies of that level have very high opposed checks. The minimum in a stat is 1, though mooks and civilians can have 0.

    Health is Guts x 4 + 12, healing generally heals 3 x Guts, though apple pie baked with love may heal more. Magic is Patriotism x 3 and is restored through patriotic ballads and defiant acts of heroism. Other stats like speed, initiative, saves, and skill points are either decidedly a base ability roll or are merely arbitrated. American heroes move as fast as they want, and always move first.

    After that role-playing is introduced with the concept of background directly affecting the game. Nationality gives +1 to one stat, such as general American giving +1 to Patriotism, but something like born in the streets giving +1 guts, or raised in the jungle +1 to Vigor. Anything that can have any justification can be used, and it does not necessarily have to be American or even geographical, any back-story can give benefits.

    The second part of back-story is the deed that made you great. It does not have to be something tat killed you, or something that defined you, but it does have to be extraordinary. Whenever you do something related to your deed, however thinly if the FM allows it, you gain advantage.

    Next is the character's Cause, why they do what they do and what they strive for. This is not only a defining aspect of a character but gives them a +2 bonus on any check which could be considered part of it. Example Causes include fighting for the Law, the rules of the lard are all that matters. Another would be Freedom, a near polar opposite and something many strive for when they already have it. All causes are for some nebulous concept that is never completely attainable, but small victories are possible.

    The final crunch step in character creation is choosing a piece of equipment. For the FM's benefit there will be tiers of items for a sense of progression. Items almost always add bonuses 1-3 to a check such as dodging or creation checks. Something such as an American Flag may give +2 to morale checks, or something like a baseball bat may add 2 to hit and damage, and do more on a MoF.

    Combat/Conflict Resolution

    Combat system at its base is player rolls, adds Vigor, and any character bonuses, if they get more than target's defense (base 12) they deal damage equal to their vigor plus how much they beat the defense by. This works, but results in a fairly boring combat even with detailed description. This is augmented through the use of patriotism, with spells available to everyone but more powerful more magical in nature. Defense is the same way, uses vigor for base attribute and miscellaneous modifiers from items or Cause. Magic can also augment this, with certain spells labeled as counters. Players go first, then the enemies, then any NPCs, and then whoever shouts the loudest or makes the best argument goes first amongst the players.

    Exact positioning is relatively unimportant, none of the spells or abilities deal with feet or squares or anything like that. Other things not dealt with are encumbrance, assorted equipment, and weapons or armor. All weapons that are not equipment function the same, anything from a stick to a handgun to a herring function the same, as long as the FM allows it. Armor is the same, from a loincloth to a fullplate it functions the same unless you deem it equipment and assign it formal stats.

    Every turn a player has one action, which consists of: attacking, magic, Patriotic Speech, Ignore Pain, or an equipment action. You can move, talk, eat dirt, spit, or do anything else that's reasonable as much as you want as long as it is not an action. A Patriotic Speech gains you Patriotism magic points, Ignoring Pain gives you Guts x 2 health. Other actions are defined by the individual actions.

    At the beginning of every battle/scene magic and health is restored, because it takes very little time to restore them out of combat anyway. When your health is reduced to 0 you gain a scar, while not necessary it is recommended to write down what gave you the scar. Every scar reduces health by Guts, up to 4 times. After than one more scare brings it down to 5, and one more is dead, ascension to heaven or hell. Scars are removed by either confronting and detecting what caused it assuming it was a major foe or obstacle, or by a long period of time determined by the FM.

    Now the magic system is not a traditional magic-users or wizards get it, everyone gets it and it contains a number of extraordinary maneuvers such as morale boosters and in combat things like hitting all opponents around you or leaping up to the sky. Larger scale or more expensive magic (10+) involve large firework displays to burn groups of enemies or epic ballads to lead a charge with.

    Format: Name-

    Some Basic Fluff

    Essentially when great heroes from any place in the world die, they go to a spaceship called the Santa Maria. It contains a number of heroes from America's past, such as George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, and Nikola Tesla. These people serve as friendly NPCS for the player, with Washington as the leader of the ship, dolling out missions and serving as a leader for all of the other heroes. Roosevelt is the drill sergeant, instructing new recruits about how the world functions and offering to train them. Tesla is the Q of the world, creating new equipment and acting insane.

    Basically the ship travels through space because everyone on board believes that it can, and the belief is what carries it to the right places. When arriving on a new planet or opposing ship a raiding party is sent out, generally consisting of the party, and often one notable historical figure, and they go in and defeat the forces of evil. These include vague threats like evil, or unhappiness, represented by physical things like demons or an enormous cloud of darkness, but others are are forces like a stereotyped Redcoat, British oppressors.

    So that's the base of the system, most of the mechanics are sorted out, though a lot of actual numbers need to be put in, so I'm curious what the playground thinks. Now the concept is not particularly political, though some of the fluff has some leanings towards that, so I'll avoid posting anything from the last 50 or so years.
    Last edited by Dumbledore lives; 2012-10-08 at 06:49 PM.
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