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OK! Lets Talk Systems


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#1 Hal

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 03:05 PM

Hey folks,

Looks like we might be having a Post Apocalyptic setting for out lovely game so I think is time to probe the pros and cons of systems :P

Lets start with a nice chat about what folks like and what folks hate about systems. I'll start :P

DnD is too much like a wargame now, there is no room for roleplaying.

I like hit locations as they promote roleplaying.

The system should never be 'stronger' than the setting (example Original L5R as opposed to Oriental Adventures for D20)

If you can shot in the face then chances are you are dead. Realistic damage is important unless players are superhuman or othewise shiny and special.

All classes should be able to contribute (see Bard)

Theres a few for starters :P

Hal :hal:
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#2 Lindsay

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 03:19 PM

If i start contirbuting to this, does that mean i lose my crown of roleplaying ignorance?
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#3 Hal

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 03:34 PM

You are not ignorant of roleplaying - you know more than you let on! You are always talking about how to improve systems and how rules can be made better ;)

I think you would be a most useful addition to this discussion :D A more outside view would be superb to a systems discussion :D

Hal :hal:
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#4 errand

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 03:58 PM

I like the idea of chosing locations. Plus if the players are always going for the head shot, so can the DM (see Rat Bastard)
It reminded me of today's paper
http://www.theprogre...id=610716&more=

[/url]
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#5 EegahInc

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 05:09 PM

I agree on hit locations. One of the things I liked from the original D&D that got weeded out was hit charts. It just made sense that if you took an arrow in the leg, you might not be able to run away at full speed.

I also kind of liked morale saves for the enemy. I just don't buy that every single thing will fight you to the death every single time. Most things want to live and eat another day.

I know these are possible variants in the d20 system, but I liked them right there in DM guide.

I've mentioned in other threads that I like lower level characters because the threat of quick death forces the players to be a little more thoughtful and careful. I'm all for low hit points.

Personally, I can live very happily without prestige classes, half-whatever templates, and all of that Munchkin stuff. Keep the classes focused and clearly defined. If they ain't broke, don't break'em.

In a PA setting, some sort of sanity or mental fatigue stat might make sense.

Getting long-winded, I'll think about it some more, and ramble on later.
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#6 N-kun

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 09:07 PM

hmm how about a simple dice + skill + stat system with a TN based on the difficulty of the action? (this is used in a number of games and is fairly unobtrusive)

As for classes, does the game need them? why not assign everything a points cost and have a number of points to spend on character creation, this allows for differing power levels (ie a standard character gets 50pts at character gen, a more experianced desizen of the wastelands would get 75pts and so on)
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#7 Salubrai

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 02:40 AM

I personally support the idea of making firearms equally as able to become "legendary" or "special" weapons as much as bladed or bludgeoning weapons. Too often this is poo-pooed because of the natural inclination of roleplayers to favour a "magic sword", but in a post apocalyptic situation I see no reason why there can't be a "magic gun" in the way that the Gunslinger Series portrays the way in which the revolver becomes an extension of the self of Roland in a very mystic way - not in the "Action movie hero being fantastic with guns" way. You have a post-apocalyptic setting? Use that - make certain technology by virtue of its function take on a different place in society.

Some games have Blademasters, I say... why no Gunmasters?
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#8 EegahInc

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 06:20 AM

As for classes, does the game need them? why not assign everything a points cost and have a number of points to spend on character creation, this allows for differing power levels (ie a standard character gets 50pts at character gen, a more experianced desizen of the wastelands would get 75pts and so on)


Thats a pretty interesting idea. Would you have caps on the points which could be applied to any skill? You know, something to prevent one member of the party from taking 50 points in firearms and mowing down everything that comes nearwhile the rest of the party does everything else.
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#9 riddles

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 07:27 AM

I also far prefer hit locations.

I also like "fixed" low amounts of hit points (a la Runequest), rather than having to add rules in to fudge the issue of 20th level barbarians not dying from 1000 ft falls. :(

What sort of random element do we want?

None (e.g. Amber Diceless RPG)
d2 (Coin) (e.g. Underworld)
d6 or multiple of (Fudge, West End Games d6 system, GURPS, Shadowrun etc etc)
d10 White Wolf
d20 (can't think of an example of this one... :P )
d100 (Rolemaster, runequest)

Also, do we want a linear probability distribution or a bell one?

Then we get to do we want to randomly roll characters or a pts based system or a combination of the 2?
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#10 Lindsay

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 07:51 AM

Not sure what game its in (Rolemaster?) or if, indeed i have made it up but i quite like the tables, where you role for a hit location then role to see what actually happens i.e. "you take a severe slice to the right arm", gives far more to the story than a "you lose 12 hit points".

I also like it when the rules allow for player ingenuity, so a good plan isnt scuppered by "well, the rules dont mention that, so you cant do it".


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#11 Hal

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 09:09 AM

Yes my love, it is indeed Rolemaster with the shiny Crit Tables of shiny :D I like the idea that a wound has an effect as well as just losing some abitary number of ephemeral points.

Does anyone have any dice conventions lying around anywhere?

I have some I wrote a while ago somewhere around here! I will dig them out and I will post them and you can see what you think :D I think it might have been a One-Of-Every-Die systems similar to Earthdawn if I am not mistaken (though I might be :D )

Hal :hal:
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#12 EegahInc

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 10:02 AM

MUST HAVE DICE! I never bought any, but it seems I even remember there being some hit dice with pictures of body parts on them. Too silly maybe?

As long as we're throwing everything on the table. Does anybody like perks and traits. You know, something like getting five more skill points to spend if you take a trait like BLEEDER where other players get a -1 to any heal or first aid roll they make for your character.
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#13 N-kun

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 10:13 AM

crit tables are overly complicated in my book and are one of the reasons i dont particularly like rolemaster. perhaps something like Godlikes locational hit table would be better, you role for a hit location and damage is applied there each location can take so much damage before it spills over into the torso, if you fill your torso or head with damage you die. If you fill your limbs with damage you loose the limb.

As for dice why not the venerable d12? it doesnt get used much and could do with some love.

I like the idea of a merits/flaws type system because they add flavour and encourage roleplaying.

Finally i dont like the idea of magic in a post apcalyptic setting but thats just me.
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#14 Thing

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 10:25 AM

You are not ignorant of roleplaying - you know more than you let on! You are always talking about how to improve systems and how rules can be made better ;)

I think you would be a most useful addition to this discussion :D A more outside view would be superb to a systems discussion :D

Hal :hal:

I've noticed this trend in other "geeky" things like computers. People exclaim that they are ignorant, almost as a point of honor. my wife used to do that around with computers, complaining how people at work came to her with their problems and she knew nothing, but could help them out.

Rules mechanics and roleplay often but heads. People often overlooked the 1 paragraph in the AD&D Dms guide that advised you to not let yourself be Rules lawyered.
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#15 Keener

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 10:26 AM

Just a suggestion I have always felt that the Hit Point System for Cyberpunk 2020 is very realistic With a set amount of hists for every one, the possibility on death opr at least passing out with every hit, specific hit locations(off a hit table) and limb loss after a certain amount of hit point done to that area(death if it is the torso or the head). As for dice rolling I have always been partial to percentile die, or Dice+Attribute+modifier also like Cyberpunk 2020 and limiting the skill points to 10 or somthing like that. I have to admit I am a fan of the D10. I agree with N-Kun on the magic in a Post Apco. setting.
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#16 Thing

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 10:34 AM

At Close Quarters is an add on combat system a friend of mine co-wrote. It uses some fairly good dice mechanics along with movement points for a fairly realistic combat system. originally designed for adding on the Traveller, he remarked when playtesting that the first time players tried it they would just spend all their points and end up exposed and uanble to move, and quickly switched to holding most of their points in reserve to react to things and making short movements from cover to cover just like most new army folk.

Pretty good system to look at, and a cheap. I already have a copy and can post some info. It is also one of the only systems to have rules for a thrown penguin as a balistic weapon.[/url]
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#17 Thing

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 10:44 AM

I like location based damage and criticals. More realistic combat rules can make players fear combat, avoid it and seek other solutions.

I feel that if you have a more realistic combat system you need to have advancement in skills or class happen through areas besides combat. the BRP system of Call of Cthulhu handles this well with the skill based system, but it can be a bit of accounting if you use all your skills in a session and it can make balancing encounters a bit harder as you don't have a direct level - chalange rating style comparison when building your encounters.

Also more realistic combat needs a good amount of available healing, which is hard to do realistically without handwaving magic/alien tech/nano bots. Without healing you will face high character mortatily through combat or maimed characters that keep getting weaker as they loose limbs, eyes, ears etc, which can weaken their whole group.
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#18 Salubrai

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 10:53 AM

I was a big fan of the Fallout 2 Perks / Optional Traits system. They had comedic value as well as important game function.

ie: Optional Traits
Bloody Mess
Bruiser
Chem Reliant
Chem Resistant
Fast Metabolism
Fast Shot
Finesse
Gifted
Good Natured
Heavy Handed
Jinxed
Kamikaze
One Hander
Sex Appeal
Skilled
Small Frame
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#19 Hal

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 11:15 AM

I love Fallout 2. It was ace :D

On the CoC system front I am not a fan of percentile systems as they automatically assume that there is an upper limit to skill even when the skill is something like Rifle Shooting. The best marksman in the world will miss 1 in 100 shots in the CoC system (it is just not realistic). It also gives everyone a small chance at most things, which I don't really like. Most folks today could not actually Track or shoot anything, let alone 1 time in 100.

I like open systems, where the upper limit is a suggestion for the human maximum and there is room for things which are not human above that.

Hal :hal:
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#20 Lindsay

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 11:17 AM

I just dont think im very good with rules and sytems, my memory is pretty iffy at the best of times.
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