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Drammor

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Requesting help with making a game
« on: August 01, 2011, 12:00:25 AM »
I'd been tossing around ideas here and there for years, thinking "You know, it would be cool if a game did/had ___________." on dozens of different topics. And then one day I realized that I had so many of those floating around that I could probably create my own RPG system out of them. So I did.

Or am, more specifically. The game is currently nameless except for the world it focuses on, called Raleyn. It's set on a post-apocalyptic fantasy world, where the tone is a bit on the dark and gritty side of the spectrum. Religion is founded on lies, magic demonizes people, the environment is inhospitable, and so forth.

Now that I've gotten a start on the game, though, I'm having some difficulty deciding on how to handle certain aspects, like how quickly characters should gain hit points or save bonuses, or how to handle skill checks.

If anyone might be interested, I would really appreciate some help with this. Someone to just talk concepts over with, input some ideas, point out when I've done something broken, help create skills and spells and so forth.

If this sounds interesting to you, these are some of the things I've done to try to make this system different from the norm:
[spoiler]Hit Points[spoiler]Hit points are not 'linear'. A character has 4 different kinds of hp: mortal, injury, stun and bruise. Characters start with 1d4+2 mortal points, 1d4+3 injury points, 1d6+3 stun points, and 0 bruises. Except for the bruises, that might all be subject to change as I figure out a good balance for the game. Sources deal damage to one or more these types of hit points. A longsword deals 1d3 injuries, a mace deals 1 injury and 1d2 stuns, and a sap deals 1d3 stuns and 1d3 bruises. Spells could do all sorts of things.

When a character is dealt damage, they make a vitality save against the damage dealt. If the save is successful, they accrue a number of bruises equal to the damage dealt. Each bruise penalizes future saves against damage by 1. When a character reaches 0 or fewer stun points, they're unconscious. At 0 or fewer injury points, they're staggered (which limits how many and what types of actions they can take in a round). At 0 or fewer mortal points, a character is dead. A character that isn't dead recovers a number of hit points each day, and more with rest.[/spoiler]

Classes
[spoiler]There are 10 classes in the game. At levels 1, 21 and 41, a character chooses one of the 10 classes, which is theirs for the next 20 levels. Each 20 levels of a class is called a block (for now). The level cap is 60. The classes are as follows: Fighter, Thief, Ranger, Engineer, Priest, Channeler, Healer, Magus, Seer and Witch. I'm not very good at explaining the next part...

Each class block has a number of class skills and features associated with it, which a character with that class gains as they progress through the block. When the character gains their next block, they gain the skills and feature of that block in order. To learn the skills and features of a 2nd or 3rd block, a character must have the block of that class that precedes it.

For example, if Bob chooses Fighter as his first class, then he'll have 20 levels of Fighter, over which he'll learn the Fighter skills up to level 20. Then, if he chooses Fighter again, he'll learn the Fighter skills up to level 40. If he chooses Healer, instead, then he'll learn the Healer skill up to level 20, even though his character level will progress up to 40.

Each unique combination of classes comes with 1 or 2 skills or features that are not native to either of the two classes in the combination. A Fighter/Healer will learn 1 or 2 skills that only a character of that combination can learn, and which will reflect the combination and synergy of the classes taken. A Healer/Fighter will not learn a different skill than the Fighter/Healer.[/spoiler]

Magic
[spoiler]Magic is fueled by mana. Names tentative, a priest has 2 kinds of mana: minor drain and major (not major drain). Any of the wizard classes (Healer, Magus, Seer, Witch) have 3 kinds of mana: minor drain, major and wellspring.

When a character casts a spell, it makes a check against their skill in the that particular spell. If the check is a failure, the spell is lost but no mana is spent.

If the check is successful, they cast the spell and make a spirit save against the spell's cost. If the save is successful, they accrue 1 minor drain, which penalizes future saves against magic costs. If the save fails, they spend 1 major mana. When a character has 0 or fewer major mana, they can no longer cast spells unless they choose (and have the ability) to use a wellspring mana.

A wellspring mana can be used for a spell at any time. When one is spent, the caster bypasses the skill check (and cost save, since they're choosing to pay the mana) to cast the spell, the spell's power gains a boost, and the character must make a spirit save against Descent. If the save is successful, the character gains 1 point of corruption. If the save fails, the character gains either 1 point of insanity or 1 point of transformation, determined randomly.

Corruption increases the power of every spell the character casts, but also penalizes the save against Descent by 1 for each point owned. Transformation makes changes to the character's body, giving them bestial or demonic features which become more pronounced as the character's transformation score grows. Transformations can sometimes provide the character with a bonus, but it usually comes at  the cost of a penalty. Insanity makes changes to the character's mind in the same way as transformation affects the body.

When a character accrues a certain amount of total insanity and transformation, it transforms completely into an insane, murderous spellbeast, and the character is all but lost, as the player loses control of their character. The only way that a character can be recovered at this point is to bring a powerful channeler into contact with the rampaging spellbeast and to siphon out all of the character's descent, which can take up to several minutes. Since spellbeasts absorb magic and are physically extremely hardy, this would require a dangerous effort from several different characters.[/spoiler][/spoiler]

There's more, naturally, but if no one is interested, I'd rather stop now.

KaNT

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Re: Requesting help with making a game
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2011, 05:25:16 AM »
I think your hitpoint system is a needlessly complex. I get that you are trying to do what White Wolf did with multiple damage types, and while I admire that, your of way going about it is confusing as hell. Also, what  determines the type of mana used? That has the potential to get really complicated, really fast.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2011, 02:18:03 PM by KaNT »
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mthor

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Re: Requesting help with making a game
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2011, 06:09:15 AM »
U know what would be random???
This
I think someone should do a dr. who styled dnd thingy.

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wotmaniac

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Re: Requesting help with making a game
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2011, 09:16:08 AM »
Play Rolemaster much?  :P
Okay, you've definitely put some thought in to this, so I'll give you some things to take back to the drawing board with you:

I'm gonna have to second the HP sentiment.  Weapons that do multiple degrees of damage simultaneously?  I can see this kind of thing working in a video game, where all this stuff would be tracked for you (and in that case, it just might be pretty cool); but in a TTRPG, I get the image that I'd need multiple slide rules just to track things -- I shouldn't need an abacus as part of my character sheet.  The game mechanics are just too obtrusive.

Classes:  As you have this structured, I think I see where you're going with this -- you want to try to keep the epic game playable (by keeping a PC from just piling all of their resources in to their one shtick).  The only way that your advancement concept will even be noticed is if you actually play long enough to start to approach the 60-level cap.  There are 2 basic problems with this:
- your games will have to stretch over several years of steady play (even if you start as late as 21st level -- which is when this would even start to come in to effect) .... I'd say that less than 1% of groups are actually able to do this, and it's never something that you should be able to expect.  But let's say that you are able to keep a game going for that long .... do to attrition, most of your characters/players aren't gonna have any meaningful connection to the game at hand.
- in order to combat the above problem, you'd have to condense everything so much that leveling-up will become virtually meaningless.  Either the game has become so finely granulated that you simply don't notice the effect of leveling-up, or the player simply will not be able to keep up with his character's advancement.

And I'm not even able to fully wrap my head around the magic system.  Again, this seems like something for a video game engine to manage.

[spoiler]
If you stop ignoring 289 pages telling what the intent is to stretch "more power" in your own god complexion of your interpretation trumps all to cover ability adjustments from aging then I will ignore a quarter page of rules that exist within a sidebar.
I think in this case the grammar is less important than whether the Str and Dex bonus provided to your created undead scales.

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More Savage Progressions[/spoiler]
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gtroc

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Re: Requesting help with making a game
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2011, 01:05:48 PM »
I sort of agree with the concerns put forth by the other responses. I have a few questions, though, in order to properly understand what you are trying to do.

1. What does your game do that is unique? I am not speaking in a solely mechanical sense. I would like to know why someone would want to play this over other games that have similar premises as this game. what makes it stand out? do the rules emphasize and enhance that uniqueness?

2. What do the player characters do in the world? In D&D you form an adventuring party and go into dungeons for loot and to slay monsters. In Star Wars you fight the empire/sith/Yuzan Vong(sp?). What do you envision the player characters doing? how do the rules emphasize this action?

3. Why did you make this rules set? what about all these rules that you have come up with over the years is so enticing? Why are they special to you? what draws you to this type of game?


I think that if I knew the answers to these questions I would have a better understanding of what you are trying to do here. right now all you have given is a bunch of rules. Admittedly they are interesting, though I am unsure of the playability of them. I think that if we knew why you think these rules are great/interesting/unique there would be better advice given in the direction you are looking for.
I saw a lady on T.V. She was born without arms. Literally, she was born with her hands attached to her shoulders... and that was sad, but then they said, "Lola does not know the meaning of the word 'can't.'" And that to me was kinda worse... in a way... ya know? Not only does she not have arms, but she doesn't understand simple contractions. It's very simple Lola, you just take two words, you put them together, then you take out the middle letters, you put a comma in there and you raise it up!
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Drammor

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Re: Requesting help with making a game
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2011, 10:53:28 PM »
I think your hitpoint system is a needlessly complex. I get that you are trying to do what White Wolf did with multiple damage types, and while I admire that, your of way going about it is confusing as hell.
I think I can see why the HP system seems so complex. It's not the simplest interpretation of a health system, wherein all damage is the same damage, but that system has its own inherent problems. There's probably not a perfect way to handle it, but this isn't the most difficult concept, either. A character has four different kinds of HP, and running out of any of the first three has its own problems; the fourth one just accrues, and with it comes an increased chance of suffering the other kinds of damage.

There may be more to the point that you're making, but I'm afraid I'm not familiar with the White Wolf system.

Quote from: KaNT
Also, what  determines the type of mana used? That has the potential to get really complicated, really fast.
The type of mana used is easy. A caster saves against a spell's cost. If they succeed, they accrue 1 minor drain, which penalizes future saves. If they fail, they spend 1 major mana. A caster without major mana can't cast spells unless they choose to spend a wellspring. A caster with wellspring mana can also choose to bypass the save by spending 1 wellspring automatically.

Play Rolemaster much?  :P
No, I don't (havent?). I hadn't heard of it before you mentioned it, just there.

Quote from: wotmaniac
Okay, you've definitely put some thought in to this, so I'll give you some things to take back to the drawing board with you:

I'm gonna have to second the HP sentiment.  Weapons that do multiple degrees of damage simultaneously?  I can see this kind of thing working in a video game, where all this stuff would be tracked for you (and in that case, it just might be pretty cool); but in a TTRPG, I get the image that I'd need multiple slide rules just to track things -- I shouldn't need an abacus as part of my character sheet.  The game mechanics are just too obtrusive.
Again, I'm not sure why this seems to complex to the players on here. Granted, it's not the same as just having hundreds or thousands of the same kind of point, but that system also comes with complications like a guy standing next to an angry polar bear might not think there's anything dangerous about that. I just want to avoid that situation.

Quote from: wotmaniac
Classes:  As you have this structured, I think I see where you're going with this -- you want to try to keep the epic game playable (by keeping a PC from just piling all of their resources in to their one shtick).  The only way that your advancement concept will even be noticed is if you actually play long enough to start to approach the 60-level cap.  There are 2 basic problems with this:
- your games will have to stretch over several years of steady play (even if you start as late as 21st level -- which is when this would even start to come in to effect) .... I'd say that less than 1% of groups are actually able to do this, and it's never something that you should be able to expect.  But let's say that you are able to keep a game going for that long .... do to attrition, most of your characters/players aren't gonna have any meaningful connection to the game at hand.
- in order to combat the above problem, you'd have to condense everything so much that leveling-up will become virtually meaningless.  Either the game has become so finely granulated that you simply don't notice the effect of leveling-up, or the player simply will not be able to keep up with his character's advancement.

And I'm not even able to fully wrap my head around the magic system.  Again, this seems like something for a video game engine to manage.
Admittedly, I hadn't considered the large span of levels to work with, but that can be easily modified. I can make each block equal to 10 levels, and it becomes much more manageable.

However, I'm not sure what you mean by "you want to try to keep the epic game playable (by keeping a PC from just piling all of their resources in to their one shtick)". Could you expand on what you mean, there?

I sort of agree with the concerns put forth by the other responses. I have a few questions, though, in order to properly understand what you are trying to do.

1. What does your game do that is unique? I am not speaking in a solely mechanical sense. I would like to know why someone would want to play this over other games that have similar premises as this game. what makes it stand out? do the rules emphasize and enhance that uniqueness?
I'm really hoping that this one sorts itself out with time, actually. I have some ideas, and for now I'm just trying to work out the game. In the end, isn't all fluff just fluff, and the rules what really make the game? I suppose I'm probably trying to engineer your question from the opposite perspective: I have concepts, and I'm trying to create a working ruleset from them, and I'll worry about fleshing out the pretty stuff once I know I haven't made something inherently broken.

Quote from: gtroc
2. What do the player characters do in the world? In D&D you form an adventuring party and go into dungeons for loot and to slay monsters. In Star Wars you fight the empire/sith/Yuzan Vong(sp?). What do you envision the player characters doing? how do the rules emphasize this action?
It's a bit like D&D in that regard: you form an adventuring party and go into ruins and dungeons for loot and to slay ehmain, but usually at the behest of your church or city, and in an attempt to gain status in your guild/order/temple/whatever. Or you could try to delve the secrets of the planet, too. That's cool.

Quote from: gtroc
3. Why did you make this rules set? what about all these rules that you have come up with over the years is so enticing? Why are they special to you? what draws you to this type of game?
Gosh, I wish I had a good answer for that. First, I wanted to make a sort of system that was more limited than my other game, which emphasizes customization and "limitless" options. I wanted it to be structured from more axes, as opposed to the relatively serial arrangement of games like D&D, wherein a character advances only along a single (albeit branchy) line.

Why it is "special to me" isn't really something I can answer. It has a certain appeal, but it's difficult to say why. I know that it's not going to be a system for just everyone, but I think it can appeal a lot to players who prefer grittier gameplay to shinier gameplay.



Does any of that help?

Bozwevial

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Re: Requesting help with making a game
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2011, 05:56:29 AM »
U know what would be random???
This
I think someone should do a dr. who styled dnd thingy.
The Dresden Files/Fate RPG handles this really well. I whipped up a Doctor-esque character a while back. Wizard's Constitution, Personal Demesne, Item of Power, etcetera. The consequence system even models regeneration really well. Take an extreme consequence, change your face and personality, keep on ticking.

SneeR

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Re: Requesting help with making a game
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2011, 08:06:14 AM »
I really like your HP system. It's nice to avoid such polar, binary systems as D&D.

I would of course, suggest that you stray away from very low values. By which I mean, use dice that actually exist (which the d3 does not). It's okay to roll 3d8 for a dagger, but 1d3 is unsatisfying to roll, since you need to tranlate a d6 to something smaller...

I also always figured Healer as a Priestly sort of class...

Your magic system sounds all right, but I would need to see some of the spell you invented and their costs to truly comprehend that mess of words.

One thing that I saw work in the game Demon's Souls was a very small number of spells, some of which were similar, but had differences between the Divine and Arcane versions, such as "Wrath of God" and "Firestorm."

I am very interested to read more!
The answer to everything:
[spoiler][/spoiler]
SneeR
[spoiler]
I don't know if the designers meant you to take Skill Focus for every feat.
Sounds a little OP.

The monk is clearly the best class, no need to optimize here. What you are doing is overkill.

It's like people who have no idea what a turn signal is. They ruin it for everyone else.
When another driver brandishes a holy symbol and begins glowing with divine light, seek cover or get spattered with zombie brains. I do not see what is so complicated about this.
[/spoiler]

gtroc

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Re: Requesting help with making a game
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2011, 08:32:21 AM »
I'm really hoping that this one sorts itself out with time, actually. I have some ideas, and for now I'm just trying to work out the game. In the end, isn't all fluff just fluff, and the rules what really make the game? I suppose I'm probably trying to engineer your question from the opposite perspective: I have concepts, and I'm trying to create a working ruleset from them, and I'll worry about fleshing out the pretty stuff once I know I haven't made something inherently broken.

Well there is fluff that is just fluff, and there there is fluff that is supported by the mechanics. I like that you are concerned with creating a solid baseline rules set. however, if your rules set lends it self to one style of play then it can be difficult to make it do something else if that style does not match your expectations. I have found, for me, that knowing the kind of action/conflict I am trying to emulate is a real help in sorting out what rules are appropriate for the game system.

Quote
It's a bit like D&D in that regard: you form an adventuring party and go into ruins and dungeons for loot and to slay ehmain, but usually at the behest of your church or city, and in an attempt to gain status in your guild/order/temple/whatever. Or you could try to delve the secrets of the planet, too. That's cool.

OK now to secondary questions. It is then assumed that the player characters will be working for these factions. And it is assumed that they will seek out to advance their status within those factions. Having looked through what you have provided of the rules I see no mechanical benefit to do such things. perhaps you should work on a status system, something that will give benefit to the PCs if they do what their faction does. Perhaps, if you want, you could add some sort of interaction between the factions(mechanically). then have a bit to the GM to encourage them to make the problems the players face easier if they use those faction benefits. also make it a real choice between factions. as the players go up in level, perhaps other factions begin to court them. you could even have a differing set of benefits that they would get if they are members of that rival faction. just a thought.

I saw a lady on T.V. She was born without arms. Literally, she was born with her hands attached to her shoulders... and that was sad, but then they said, "Lola does not know the meaning of the word 'can't.'" And that to me was kinda worse... in a way... ya know? Not only does she not have arms, but she doesn't understand simple contractions. It's very simple Lola, you just take two words, you put them together, then you take out the middle letters, you put a comma in there and you raise it up!
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SneeR

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Re: Requesting help with making a game
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2011, 10:11:13 AM »
I'm really hoping that this one sorts itself out with time, actually. I have some ideas, and for now I'm just trying to work out the game. In the end, isn't all fluff just fluff, and the rules what really make the game? I suppose I'm probably trying to engineer your question from the opposite perspective: I have concepts, and I'm trying to create a working ruleset from them, and I'll worry about fleshing out the pretty stuff once I know I haven't made something inherently broken.

Well there is fluff that is just fluff, and there there is fluff that is supported by the mechanics. I like that you are concerned with creating a solid baseline rules set. however, if your rules set lends it self to one style of play then it can be difficult to make it do something else if that style does not match your expectations. I have found, for me, that knowing the kind of action/conflict I am trying to emulate is a real help in sorting out what rules are appropriate for the game system.

Quote
It's a bit like D&D in that regard: you form an adventuring party and go into ruins and dungeons for loot and to slay ehmain, but usually at the behest of your church or city, and in an attempt to gain status in your guild/order/temple/whatever. Or you could try to delve the secrets of the planet, too. That's cool.

OK now to secondary questions. It is then assumed that the player characters will be working for these factions. And it is assumed that they will seek out to advance their status within those factions. Having looked through what you have provided of the rules I see no mechanical benefit to do such things. perhaps you should work on a status system, something that will give benefit to the PCs if they do what their faction does. Perhaps, if you want, you could add some sort of interaction between the factions(mechanically). then have a bit to the GM to encourage them to make the problems the players face easier if they use those faction benefits. also make it a real choice between factions. as the players go up in level, perhaps other factions begin to court them. you could even have a differing set of benefits that they would get if they are members of that rival faction. just a thought.



Well, sure, there is fluff that is just fluff, but nobody wants to shoehorn their games into certain plots.
Case in Point: Several D&D PrC's have affiliation requirements. Whenever you see them on these boards, people try to downplay (or ignore!) those requirements in favor of harder ones. I know very few people who want to deeply roleplay a character that needs to follow a certain path or behavior like reporting to the mage's guild for that certain class feature to stay active or dancing naked in the moonlight for a month to become a good elven swordsmen.

The better way to try and incorporate fluff into mechanics is this:
Do you want fast-paced battles? Will your system support moving battles? Long-term battles? Skirmishes?
Do you want an in-depth social system, or should that be purely roleplay?
What kind of character types do you want to be easiest to make?
Conana? Batman? Indiana Jones? Darth Vader? Robin Hood? Merlin? Goku? Inuyasha? Legolas? Gandalf? The Balrog?
Should the average player be able to do whatever he puts his mind to, or should he be struggling to stay alive?
What sort of enemies will they be fighting? Are we talking Greek mythos types? Shadow of the Colossus? Samurai battles?

For instance, I would personally like to see Shadow of the Colossus-type battles at much earlier levels in D&D. If you get that sort of fight at all, the CR is usually through the roof! I had to handmake a creature to fight the PCs in my campaign; to start the rules couldn't support something so big, but just sheer HP and BAB due to minimum HD made the thing CR 10 with no cool abilities.

The class blocks remind me of World of Warcraft. You definitely want to second guess shoehorning characters with mecchanics If someone wants to take every class available, or cherry-pick frontline abilities, he should be able to do that. Unless your XP system supports getting to Level 60 pretty darn quickly, People might start dredging through the levels wishing they couold mix it up. the best way to do that with multiple-level blocks is to have internal variation within a class.

So, think about the sorts of character concepts you want running about your worlds and work toward that. You are making a system, not a setting. Drop as few names as you can so that your players can run wild!
The answer to everything:
[spoiler][/spoiler]
SneeR
[spoiler]
I don't know if the designers meant you to take Skill Focus for every feat.
Sounds a little OP.

The monk is clearly the best class, no need to optimize here. What you are doing is overkill.

It's like people who have no idea what a turn signal is. They ruin it for everyone else.
When another driver brandishes a holy symbol and begins glowing with divine light, seek cover or get spattered with zombie brains. I do not see what is so complicated about this.
[/spoiler]

veekie

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Re: Requesting help with making a game
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2011, 10:25:19 AM »
^^
Fluff is Important though. It's what makes people want to pick up a new system, superior mechanics notwithstanding. No matter how objectively good your game mechanics are, its the fluff that draws players who are not you(unless you have a marketing department the size of Hasbro's). All people care about mechanics is that it works and that it not get in the way.
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[spoiler]
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[/spoiler]

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