Another 3d6 Game

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David Johansen

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3d6 Again

A couple recent threads elsewhere convinced me that there’s actually a bit of built up demand for a 3d6 universal roleplaying game. And since I’ve been banging on that drum for a while I took another stab at it. This one isn’t necessarily simple. In fact it involves quite a bit more averaging than I wanted. I could use an attribute bonus chart to hide it but for now I’ve left it as is.

Major Tomas Rocketman, Astronaut (I need to fix skills)
50 points
Characteristics:
Agility 12 (8)
Dexterity 13 (12)
Empathy 10
Intelligence 12 (8)
Perception 11 (4)
Speed 10
Strength 10
Toughness 10
Willpower 12 (8)

Perks:
Space Force Rank 2
Skills:
Athletic
Freefall +1 = 13
Pilot +1
Fixed Wing +1 = 14
Spacecraft +1 =14
Gunnery
Beams +1 = 14
Missiles +1 = 14
Technical
Reactors +1 = 14
Rockets +1 = 14
Sensors +1 = 14


3d6
Rolling three, common, six-sided dice and totaling them gives a value between three and eighteen with a bell curve that means three and eighteen each only come up one in two hundred and sixteen rolls. This curve ensures a more average and predictable range of outcomes. Generally 3d6 are compared to a Characteristic or Skill rating with a roll greater than the rating indicating failure.

Result Quality
The dice are also used to find the quality of the results with each six adding one point, rolls from two to five adding nothing, and ones subtracting one. So, a roll of one plus three plus six gives a success roll total of ten and a result value of zero. The result value is most commonly used to determine the damage of attacks. characters with higher ratings will generally get better results.

Die Result
1 -1
2 - 5 0
6 +1

Contests
If two ratings are being compared or one is resisting another add ten to the active party’s rating and subtract the opposed party’s rating to find the chance of success. The bell curve of the 3d6 roll makes broad differences very nearly a sure thing for the advantaged party.

Extraordinary Circumstances
Success rolls using Skills generally assume adequate time, workspace, tools, and materials are available. There is a -1 penalty to the chance of success for each of these that is inadequate and a -2 penalty for each of these that is unavailable, meaning that there is a potential -10 under adventuring conditions.

Unskilled Actions
If a character attempts an activity covered by a specific skill and has not spent at least one point on it, they only use half of their Characteristic rating.

Fundamental Skills
Some skills are automatically known to some level as cultural norms. These will vary from one culture to another but Climbing, Unarmed Combat, Swimming, Throwing, and one’s Native Language would be a common list. These skills don’t get one point in them automatically but they do use the character’s full Characteristic rating instead of half of it.

Learning New Skills
It takes 360 hours of training to learn a new skill and remove the unskilled action modifier. Requiring new skills to be developed through training is realistic and helps to give each player character room to shine in their chosen field.

Points Costs
Points are used to buy Characteristics, Traits, and Skills. These in turn qualify a character for the perks of professions and social positions. A basic character is built on 50 points. Characteristics start at t10 and cost 4 points per additional point. Skills are based on characteristic ratings and cost 2 points per additional point in a Skill Class or 1 point in a specific Skill.

Characteristics
Characteristic ratings are used as quantities and base chance of success. For example, the amount a character can lift is determined directly by their Strength without the need for a die roll and their chance of winning an arm wrestling match is determined by rolling under their Strength on 3d6.

Agility

Charisma
Endurance
Intelligence
Perception
Speed
Strength
Willpower

Agility
Muscular development, motor skills, balance, and flexibility allow the character to move around quickly, confidently, and even gracefully. Agility is used for many Athletic skills and Melee Weapons.

Charisma
That combination of looks, manner, and social empathy that makes an individual likeable and inspiring, Charisma is the base for Social and Performance skills.

Endurance
The combination of cardiovascular fitness, general health, and raw toughness that allows a character to overcome fatigue and survive injuries.

Intelligence
The capacity to reason, remember, and understand the world around them including general knowledge and education is used as the base for Academic and Technical Skills.

Perception
General sensory acuity and situational awareness, Perception is used as the base for Artistic and Awareness skills.

Speed
How fast a character can move is not use as the basis for any skills but can be vital from a tactical perspective. You don’t have to outrun the monster, you just have to outrun the next guy.

Strength
The combined effect of mass, build, and muscular development allows the character to lift, shove, and carry things but it is also the basis for melee weapon damage.

Willpower
Sense of self, confidence, patience, drive, and resolve are important when resisting stress and mind control, including the rather more mundane methods of media and indoctrination.


Skill Classes
Academic
Athletic
Artistic
Craft
Drive
Gunnery
Medical
Melee Weapons
Missile Weapons
Observation
Performance
Pilot
Technical
Social

Academic
These skills primarily deal with rote knowledge and book learning. They are used to obtain information on the specific subject matter in play.
Biology (Intelligence)
Chemistry (Intelligence)
History (Intelligence)
Occultism (Intelligence)
Physics (Intelligence)
Athletic
Physical activities and training increase a character’s chance of surviving dangerous feats.
Acrobatics (Agility)
Climb (Agility)
Free Fall (Agility)
Ride (Agility)
Sneak (Agility)
Swim (Endurance)
Throw (Strength)
Artistic
Practice and instruction in the creation of visual imagery in two and three dimensions.
Draw (Perception + Dexterity)/2
Illusion (Perception + Dexterity)/2
Graphics (Perception + Dexterity)/2
Paint (Perception + Dexterity)/2
Sculpt (Perception + Dexterity)/2
Awareness
Practical training in noticing and finding things.
Follow (Perception)
Locate (Perception)
Search (Perception)
Track (Perception)
Watch (Perception)
Craft

Practical training and experience in creating useful objects.
Carpentry (Perception + Dexterity)/2
Sewing (Perception + Dexterity)/2
Smithing (Perception + Dexterity)/2
Weaving (Perception + Dexterity)/2
Drive
Practice and training in controlling vehicles that primarily move in two dimensions. The Reflexes trait affects Driving skills.
Air Cushion (Dexterity + Perception)/2
Floatation (Dexterity + Perception)/2
Legged (Dexterity + Perception)/2
Tracked (Dexterity + Perception)/2
Wheeled (Dexterity + Perception)/2
Gunnery
Training and experience in blowing things up with heavy weapons mounted on walls and vehicles. The Reflexes trait affects Gunnery skills.
Ballista (Dexterity + Strength)/2
Beam (Dexterity + Intelligence)/2
Blast (Dexterity + Intelligence)/2
Cannon (Dexterity + Intelligence)/2
Missile (Dexterity + Intelligence)/2
Magic
The skill of violating the laws of physics through incantation and ritual.
each spell (Intelligence + Willpower)/2
Medical
The study of the body and the treatment of its ills.
Diagnosis (Dexterity + Perception)/2
Pathology (Dexterity + Perception)/2
Pharmacy (Dexterity + Perception)/2
Surgery (Dexterity + Perception)/2
Melee Weapons
Melee weapons that can be thrown include that ability in their training.
Axe (Agility + Dexterity)/2
Blunt (Agility + Dexterity)/2
Knife (Agility + Dexterity)/2
Spear (Agility + Dexterity)/2
Sword (Agility + Dexterity)/2
Unarmed (Agility + Dexterity)/2
Missile Weapons
Training with ranged weapons. The sight trait affects missile weapon skills.
Beam (Dexterity)
Blast (Dexterity)
Bow (Dexterity)
Crossbow (Dexterity)
Firearm (Dexterity)
Sling (Dexterity)
Performance
The art of remaining calm and not making a fool of oneself in front of an audience excepting those times when panicking and making a fool of oneself is the matter of the act.
Act (Charisma + Perception)/2
Dance (Charisma + Agility)/2
Orate (Charisma)
Sing (Charisma + Endurance)/2
Pilot
The practice and training needed to control vehicles that move in three dimensions.
Anti-Gravity (Dexterity + Intelligence)/2
Fixed Wing (Dexterity + Intelligence)/2
Rotary Wing (Dexterity + Intelligence)/2
Space Craft (Dexterity + Intelligence)/2
Submersible (Dexterity + Intelligence
Vectored Thrust (Dexterity + Intelligence)/2
Technical
The training and skill needed to repair and assemble technological devices.
Computers (Dexterity + Intelligence)/2
Engines (Dexterity + Intelligence)/2
Mechanical (Dexterity + Intelligence)/2
Reactors (Dexterity + Intelligence)/2
Sensors (Dexterity + Intelligence)/2
Social
The understanding and experience needed to work with other people and get results from doing so. Social skills are affected by the Aesthetics Trait when within one’s own culture or ones with similar values.
Convince (Charisma+Intelligence)/2
Deceive (Charisma + Intelligence)/2
Instruct (Charisma + Intelligence)/2
Lead (Charisma + Willpower)/2

Traits
Where characteristics provide a general gauge of ability represented by a rating. Traits focus ability with a modifier or provide a specific ability that isn’t found in ordinary humans.

Aesthetics
Appealing features like a square jaw, shapely physique, flowing hair, and a melodious voice are advantageous in social situations and performances but they are not universal across cultures and species.


Amphibious
The creature can function equally well on water and land.

Aquatic
The creature has evolved to live in the water rather than on land.

Hearing
Adds to Performance and detects ambushes.

Nocturnal
The creature regards day as bad light and night as good light.

Reflexes
Neurological feedback and awareness levels influence all Driving, Gunnery, Piloting, and Melee Weapon skills and Initiative rolls.

Sight
Adds to Artistic, Gunnery, and Missile Weapon skills.

Size
Being bigger makes a creature stronger and slower. Size is represented by increasing Strength and reducing Agility, Dexterity, Speed, and Reflexes.

Smell
Detects ambushes. adds to Tracking

Wings
Fly at up to 4 times Speed. Glide at Speed. Fall at less than Speed.

Combat
In a roleplaying game, the exact nature of the battle field can be pretty vague. Even fully modeled scenery and miniatures can’t really show everything. For this reason spotting and hiding are used to represent these factors. If the roll fails there was probably a clump of grass or cardboard box in the way.

Surprise
At the start of a battle, the readiness and preparation of each combatant may be in doubt. Roll Perception on 3d6 for each combatant to see if they are taken by surprise. Those who fail do not act in the first round. If the situation is a planned encounter where both sides have showed up to fight no surprise roll is needed.

Initiative
Each round roll 3d6 + Reflexes to determine the order in which the combatants take their action. This represents the ebb and flow of the action as they look for openings and watch what is going on around them.

Waiting
Sometimes the opportune moment hasn’t arrived when a combatant’s turn has. In such a case they can chose to wait. This allows them to attack out of turn with a melee weapon if a foe runs into their reach or to fire a missile weapon if a target crosses their field of vision. Waiting can be carried forward from one round to the next giving some hope to the slow and unlucky.

Movement
A combatant can walk or run while making most combat actions. This makes it harder to hit with missile attacks and involves certain risks when entering melee. Combatants move their Speed at a run and up to half that at a walk. Swimming, Climbing, and Sneaking are done at half Speed.

Facing
A combatant’s facing is flexible. They’re living beings who can look around and turn on the balls of their feet to face a threat. If a combatant runs, their facing is locked in the direction they moved.

Sneaking
A combatant can try to use available cover and concealment to move unseen right under the noses of their enemies. A successful Stealth roll indicates that a combatant is “hidden” and must be spotted with a penalty equal to the result points before they can be attacked. Sneaking can be done at half speed but suffers a -3 penalty.

Spotting
A combatant can try to see any sneaky, hidden foes. Roll Watch skill minus the sneaker’s result total on 3d6 to spot them. Spotting is penalized for range and light, just like a shooting attack.

Melee Attacks
A combatant’s target must be within the length of their weapon to strike a blow. Walking does not affect melee attacks. They can run towards their target but a waiting foe with a longer weapon can make their attack first if they do so. A contested success roll is made to determine if the attack hits.

Missile Attacks
The attacker must be able to see the target to make a missile attack. This means they must not be hidden and must be in front of the attacker. Shooting while walking suffers a - 3 to hit and running suffers a -6. The distance to the target also imposes a penalty which is doubled in bad light. Really large targets have a size bonus which matches and inverts the range penalty. For example, a target 100 meters long is attacked at +3. Attacks made at more than half the weapon’s Maximum Range suffer a -3 penalty.

Range Size Distance
0 0 1 - 3 meters
-1 +1 4 - 10 meters
-2 +2 10 - 33 meters
-3 +3 33 - 100 meters
-4 +4 100 - 333 meters
-5 +5 333 - 1000 meters
-6 +6 1000 - 3333 meters
-7 +7 3333 - 10000 meters
-8 +8 10000 - 33333 meters
-9 +9 33333 - 100000 meters
-10 +10 100000 - 333333 meters

x 2 Bad Light
-3 Long Range
-3 Walking
-6 Running

Damage
The amount of damage inflicted by an attack is the result value of the attack roll is added to the damage value for the weapon. This is first applied to the target’s armour and then to their wound total. Armour can absorb a fixed number of damage from each hit. If the armour is superior to the weapon it ‘resists’ the attack, subtracting its absorption value from the damage before absorbing any damage. When the combatant has taken more damage than their Toughness they are incapacitated or too wounded to carry on fighting. When they have taken more damage than their Toughness plus Strength they are dead.

Example: Joe is shot with an arrow. He is wearing a steel plate cuirass with an absorption of 3 and 30 damage points, he’s got a 12 Toughness. The arrow has a Damage of 3 and the attack roll is 3,2,4, for 3 result points making the damage total 6. The armour resists the arrow so it deflects 3 points of damage and absorbs the remaining 3 reducing the armour to 27 damage points.

Weapon Damage
Hand Axe Strength +1 Slash, Slow
Battle Axe Strength +3 Slash, Slow
Short Sword Strength -2 Slash or Piercing
Sword Strength Slash or Piercing
Great Sword Strength +2 Slash or Piercing
Club Strength Blunt, Natural
Mace Strength +1 Blunt, Slow
Staff Strength +1 Blunt, Long, Two Handed
Hammer Strength +3 Blunt, Slow
Spear Strength +1 Piercing, Long

Bow 100/200 meters Strength - 2 Pierce
Crossbow 150/300 meters Strength Pierce, Slow
Longbow 150/300 meters Strength Pierce
Sling 75/150 meters Strength Blunt

Pistol 50 / 500 meters 12 Ballistic
Rifle 250 / 2500 meters 15 Ballistic

Leather Armour 6 / 30 Resists Blunt
Chain Armour 9 / 45 Resists Slash, Resists Natural
Plate Armour 12 / 60 Resists Slash and Piercing, Resists Natural
Ballistic Armour 9 / 27 Resists Ballistic

Encumbrance
For the purposes of tk a character’s load is either Stripped, Normal, or Burdened. When stripped they have nothing more than the clothes on their back and a single item they can hold in one hand or stick in a pocket giving them a +3 to their Speed. If they are wearing heavy armour or carrying a loaded backpack they are Burdened and take a -3 to their Speed.

Fatigue
There are three fatigue levels: rested, tired and exhausted. If a character is tired they take a -3 to all actions. If a character is exhausted they take a -6 to all actions. Missing a night of sleep or working or traveling eight hours (four if Burdened) will make the character’s fatigue level increase by one step. So, they’ll be exhausted after a sixteen hour shift or a sleepless night and a full day of work.

Lifting
A character can lift a weight in kilograms up to their Strength times five.
 

Lofgeornost

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Result Quality
The dice are also used to find the quality of the results with each six adding one point, rolls from two to five adding nothing, and ones subtracting one. So, a roll of one plus three plus six gives a success roll total of ten and a result value of zero. The result value is most commonly used to determine the damage of attacks. characters with higher ratings will generally get better results.

Die Result
1 -1
2 - 5 0
6 +1

Points Costs
Points are used to buy Characteristics, Traits, and Skills. These in turn qualify a character for the perks of professions and social positions. A basic character is built on 50 points. Characteristics start at t10 and cost 4 points per additional point. Skills are based on characteristic ratings and cost 2 points per additional point in a Skill Class or 1 point in a specific Skill.

Damage
The amount of damage inflicted by an attack is the result value of the attack roll is added to the damage value for the weapon. This is first applied to the target’s armour and then to their wound total. Armour can absorb a fixed number of damage from each hit. If the armour is superior to the weapon it ‘resists’ the attack, subtracting its absorption value from the damage before absorbing any damage. When the combatant has taken more damage than their Toughness they are incapacitated or too wounded to carry on fighting. When they have taken more damage than their Toughness plus Strength they are dead.

Example: Joe is shot with an arrow. He is wearing a steel plate cuirass with an absorption of 3 and 30 damage points, he’s got a 12 Toughness. The arrow has a Damage of 3 and the attack roll is 3,2,4, for 3 result points making the damage total 6. The armour resists the arrow so it deflects 3 points of damage and absorbs the remaining 3 reducing the armour to 27 damage points.

Two points:

First, I'm confused about result value or quality. The first set of rules states that (for each of the three D6s rolled) a 6 adds 1 to the result quality, a 2-5 adds 0, and a 1 subtracts one. That means that the highest possible result value is 3, which requires a roll of 18 (6 on all 3 dice). But, in the combat example below, where Joe is hit with an arrow, the roll is 3, 2, and 4. By the result quality rules this should = 0, but the example says it = 3.

Second, concerning the cost to buy characteristics; should this be a flat amount per point above 10, or should it rise somewhat as the characteristic increases? I suppose that for initial character generation a flat scale is fine, since raising one characteristic to 18 would cost 32 points out of the 50 available. But for advancement once the game has started it might make sense if it became cumulatively harder to raise a characteristic as it approached the maximum.
 

xanther

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If understanding this correctly
To see if you succeed I look at contests to succeed : Roll Under = (Attacker +10) - Defender

Then Degree of Success is determined by "Results Quality" based on the Contest Roll?
Then you have some very non-linear effects here. That is in addition to having a harder chance to hit you also do less damage, while the opponent not only has a much better chance to hit but does more damage.
This can drastically constrain the types of encounters you have, and requires situational modifiers to have situations like surrounded by spearmen or crossbow against the temple have any meaning.

On armor absorbing damage, and being reduced in the process. Do like the idea, and used it for many years myself, yet found the benefit did not outweigh the book keeping of tracking each point. To the extent want to have armor get damages suggest more that is is render useless or needs to "save" if it takes too much damage.

When I used armor attrition, it was a pain to track that on each of a dozen orcs, players may forget, and even if they did not it just became a game of carrying spare armor because it always got chewed up so fast. So it effect, it increased the chance of the "15 min" adventure day. I believe for verisimilitude, a rarer chance for it to be rendered useless coupled with a "save" that can reflect quality etc. is enough as believe most armor only gets beat up beyond use after many, many blows. Armor attrition is a great idea in theory, many ways to do it in practice that work besides giving armor HP you need to track.

That being said, armor that takes damage gives a whole new importance to Mending type spells.


On skills, I am not sure if things like Draw and Graphics (under Artistic) , or Locate, Follow, Search, Track, etc. (under Awareness) are each separate skills or examples of what Artistic and Awareness can do. If they are separate skills that seems like way too fine of slicing, especially how are you going to delineate when something is Locate vs Search, or Track vs Follow? In a way that is meaningful for game play.
 

xanther

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On Armor you note

Leather Armour 6 / 30 Resists Blunt
Chain Armour 9 / 45 Resists Slash, Resists Natural
Plate Armour 12 / 60 Resists Slash and Piercing, Resists Natural

And if understand correctly that means Leather does not reduce slash, natural or piercing damage. I hope not because that is very much against verisimilitude, so much so would call it ludicrous. Similar concepts apply to plate for example, as it was never really just a piece of plate but had padding underneath.

If you mean that leather armor itself is not damaged by Blunt, but damaged by other forms of attack that makes sense and would be a neat reason to keep armor HP and why things like hammer are used against plate. More verisimilitude-wise hammers are less likely to break against plate and not get deflected so delivering more "damage."
 

David Johansen

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Armour's absorption rating is the number of points it will take from one hit. If the armour resists an attack type it gets damage resistance equal to the absorption and then also absorbs that amount so with the leather against a club, doing ten damage, six are deflected entirely and the armour takes four and nothing gets through. Bear in mind that Leather Armour is rigid like a saddle and can crack and splinter.

I think I also need a penetrates option for attacks where the armour takes maybe one point of damage and everything else goes right through.
 

xanther

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How does leather armor work against a sword? To see if understanding this.


Nice to see form follows function :smile: Yes when I implemented armor absorbs damage also include weapon penetration concepts. Not that these are new ideas in my recollection. Penetration is a nice way to differentiate between weapons and can capture a lot of their historic differences fairly easy, and I also use it for the superiority of magical blades and such.
 

David Johansen

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Here's a version of Characters that gets rid of the averaging it makes it possible for Dexerity and Reflexes to modifiy a lot of skills based on other Characteristics without the extra math. It's a bit duller...

Major Tomas Rocketman, Astronaut (I need to fix skills)
50 points
Characteristics:
Coordination 13
Intelligence 13
Perception 12
Resolve 12
Speed 10
Strength 10

Traits:
Reflexes +2
Perks:
Space Force Rank 2

Skills:
Athletic
Freefall +1 = 14
Pilot +1
Fixed Wing +1 = 17
Spacecraft +1 =17
Gunnery
Beams +1 = 16
Missiles +1 = 16
Technical
Reactors +1 = 14
Rockets +1 = 14
Sensors +1 = 14

Characteristics
Characteristic ratings are used as quantities and base chance of success. For example, the amount a character can lift is determined directly by their Strength without the need for a die roll and their chance of winning an arm wrestling match is determined by rolling under their Strength on 3d6.

Coordination
Intelligence
Perception
Resolve
Speed
Strength


Coordination
Motor control, balance, and flexibility contribute to physical tasks. Coordination is the base for Athletic, Melee Weapon, and Missile Weapon skills.

Intelligence
The capacity to reason, remember, and understand the world around them including general knowledge and education is used as the base for Academic and Technical Skills.

Perception
General sensory acuity and situational awareness, Perception is used as the base for Artistic and Awareness skills.

Resolve
The character’s force of will and personality is used to resist mind control and exert one’s will on others through more conventional means like propaganda.

Speed
How fast a character can move is not use as the basis for any skills but can be vital from a tactical perspective. You don’t have to outrun the monster, you just have to outrun the next guy.

Strength
The combined effect of mass, build, and muscular development allows the character to lift, shove, and carry things but it is also the basis for melee weapon damage.


Skill Classes
Academic
Athletic
Artistic
Craft
Drive
Gunnery
Medical
Melee Weapons
Missile Weapons
Observation
Performance
Pilot
Technical
Social

Academic
These skills primarily deal with rote knowledge and book learning. They are used to obtain information on the specific subject matter in play.
Biology (Intelligence)
Chemistry (Intelligence)
History (Intelligence)
Occultism (Intelligence)
Physics (Intelligence)
Athletic
Physical activities and training increase a character’s chance of surviving dangerous feats.
Acrobatics (Coordination)
Climb (Coordination)
Free Fall (Coordination)
Ride (Coordination)
Sneak (Coordination)
Swim (Strength)
Throw (Strength)
Artistic
Practice and instruction in the creation of visual imagery in two and three dimensions. The Dexterity trait affects Artistic Skills.
Draw (Perception)
Illusion (Perception)
Graphics (Perception)
Paint (Perception)
Sculpt (Perception)
Awareness
Practical training in noticing and finding things.
Follow (Perception)
Locate (Perception)
Search (Perception)
Track (Perception)
Watch (Perception)
Craft

Practical training and experience in creating useful objects. The Dexterity Trait affects Craft Skills.
Carpentry (Perception)
Sewing (Perception)
Smithing (Perception)
Weaving (Perception)
Drive
Practice and training in controlling vehicles that primarily move in two dimensions. The Reflexes and Dexterity traits affects Driving skills.
Air Cushion (Coordination)
Floatation (Coordination)
Legged (Coordination)
Tracked (Coordination)
Wheeled (Coordination)
Gunnery
Training and experience in blowing things up with heavy weapons mounted on walls and vehicles. The Reflexes and Dexterity traits affects Gunnery skills.
Ballista (Coordination)
Beam (Coordination)
Blast (Coordination)
Cannon (Coordination)
Missile (Coordination)
Magic
The skill of violating the laws of physics through incantation and ritual.
each spell (Intelligence)
Medical
The study of the body and the treatment of its ills. Medical skills are affected by the Dexterity Trait.
Diagnosis (Intelligence)
Pathology (Intelligence)
Pharmacy (Intelligence)
Surgery (Intelligence)
Melee Weapons
Melee weapons that can be thrown include that ability in their training. Melee Weapon skills are affected by the Dexterity trait.
Axe (Coordination)
Blunt (Coordination)
Knife (Coordination)
Spear (Coordination)
Sword (Coordination)
Unarmed (Coordination)
Missile Weapons
Training with ranged weapons. The Sight and Dexterity traits affect missile weapon skills.
Beam (Dexterity)
Blast (Dexterity)
Bow (Dexterity)
Crossbow (Dexterity)
Firearm (Dexterity)
Sling (Dexterity)
Performance
The art of remaining calm and not making a fool of oneself in front of an audience excepting those times when panicking and making a fool of oneself is the matter of the act.
Act (Perception)
Dance (Coordination)
Orate (Intelligence)
Sing (Endurance)
Pilot
The practice and training needed to control vehicles that move in three dimensions.
Anti-Gravity (Coordination)
Fixed Wing (Coordination)
Rotary Wing (Coordination)
Space Craft (Coordination)
Submersible (Intelligence)
Vectored Thrust (Coordination)
Technical
The training and skill needed to repair and assemble technological devices. Technical Skills are affected by the Dexterity Trait.
Computers (Intelligence)
Engines (Intelligence)
Mechanical (Intelligence)
Reactors (Intelligence)
Sensors (Intelligence)
Social
The understanding and experience needed to work with other people and get results from doing so. Social skills are affected by the Aesthetics Trait when within one’s own culture or ones with similar values.
Convince (Intelligence)
Deceive (Intelligence)
Instruct (Intelligence)
Lead (Resolve)

Traits
Where characteristics provide a general gauge of ability represented by a rating. Traits focus ability with a modifier or provide a specific ability that isn’t found in ordinary humans.

Aesthetics ( +/-2)
Appealing features like a square jaw, shapely physique, flowing hair, and a melodious voice are advantageous in social situations and performances but they are not universal across cultures and species.


Amphibious (+2)
The creature can function equally well on water and land.

Aquatic (-2)
The creature has evolved to live in the water rather than on land.

Charisma (+/- 2)
That combination of looks, manner, and social empathy that makes an individual likeable and inspiring,

Dexterity (+/- 4)
Fine motor control and manipulators are useful for many tasks including Artistic, Craft, Drive, Melee Weapon, Missile Weapon, Pilot, and Technical skills. As Dexterity is as expensive as a characteristic, it is primarily used to represent inferior manipulators: hands without opposable thumbs -3, Clawed Paws -6, Hooves -9.

Endurance (+/- 1)
The combination of cardiovascular fitness, general health, and raw toughness that allows a character to overcome fatigue.


Hearing (+/- 1)
Adds to Performance and detects ambushes.

Nocturnal (0)
The creature regards day as bad light and night as good light.

Reflexes (+/- 2)
Neurological feedback and awareness levels influence all Driving, Gunnery, Piloting, and Melee Weapon skills and Initiative rolls.

Sight (+/-2)
Adds to Artistic, Gunnery, and Missile Weapon skills.

Size (+/-1)
Being bigger makes a creature stronger and slower. Size is represented by increasing Strength and reducing Agility, Dexterity, Speed, and Reflexes.

Smell (+/-1)
Detects ambushes. adds to Tracking

Toughness (+/-2)
The ability to soak up damage is primarily represented by Strength because it is so tied to the character’s size.

Wings (+/- 4)
Fly at up to 4 times Speed. Glide at Speed. Fall at less than Speed.
 

David Johansen

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My intent for these rules is for them to serve as an open license game that people can use to create and publish their own stuff. A bit of hubris to be sure but there seems to be some interest in the idea. So accessability and ease of use is a core goal. Increasing Characteristic and skill costs would complicate the accounting more than I want.

I'm not totally sold on the 'result' mechanic as the best result, 3 sixes is reserved for those with a rating of 18. But I do want to get away from the GURPS style damage dice by Strength table and 'result' gives a nice -3 to +3 range and makes skill impact damage automatically without extra rules.

I played with the idea of 0 for sixes 1 for two to five and 2 for ones which is why the sneaking rules in combat don't quite line up.
 

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Here are some of the rules for technology, weapons, and vehicles. They're not done. The technology levels were written for an earlier attempt at a universal 3d6 game. The vehicle design rules came out of an on-line discussion. I never really found a home for them. The only thing is that I want to get rid of the design by hit location aspect of them. I've used it elsewhere but I want something a little more straight foreward.

Technology
With weapons and armor being handled in a relatively abstract manner in the basic game. The technology involved becomes crucial in determining armour penetration. The Technology Levels are Natural, Primitive, Ancient, Medieval, Age of Reason, Industrial, Modern, Advanced, Master, and Transcendent with weapons dividing lower levels of armour by two and with armour doubling against lower levels. A great deal can be made of the specifics but is not necessary in game terms. The cost of lower tech weapons and armour is halved. There is always a transitional period between tech levels where new technologies are being developed but the next level is not fully attained. These transitional technologies cost twice as much as usual.

Natural weapons are claws, teeth, horns, and pincers. These are not as hard or strong as stone, let alone steel. The transitional stage involves picking up rocks and thigh bones to hit enemies with.

Primitive weapons are clubs, stone axes, stone headed spears, spear throwers, slings, and self bows. Primitive armour is made of animal hides, bone, and leather.

Ancient weapons are bronze swords and bronze tipped spears, bronze tipped arrows and lead sling bullets. Ancient armour is bronze in cast plates or scales. Iron equipment exists but it is softer than bronze and prone to rust.

Medieval weapons are steel swords, axes, and maces, long bows and crossbows firing steel tipped shafts. Spears remain an excellent weapon but get married to axes and produce pole arms, bills, and pikes.

The age of Reason is the age of the musket, moving from fire locks to wheel locks and flint locks as manufacturing improves. Armour falls out of favor for infantry as the period progresses and even the cavalry reduce their panopoly to a helm and cuirass. Steam engines and rail roads are developed near the end of the period allowing for the rapid deployment of troops and supplies.

The industrial period begins with the advent of steam engines and repeating firearms. It is a time of massive growth and innovation.

The modern period sees the advent of rapid firing cartridge fed weapons. The horse finally loses its place on the battle field to internal combustion engines. Medicine improves with the discovery of antibiotics and blood transfusion but armour remains out of favour until the transitional period when ceramics and synthetic fibers finally produce reasonable protection from bullets.

The Advanced period sees the exploration of the solar system and wide spread computer automation. It is also the period most likely to see robot revolution and the extinction of the human species. Improved manufacturing technologies make weapons lighter and more accurate and heavy, early battle field lasers carve out a niche in missile defense. Composite laminate armour provides adequate protection from weapons but guided missiles and unmanned drones are the kings of the battle field.

The Master period sees the development of faster than light drives, anti-gravity devices, force fields on space craft, and personal energy weapons. Scramblers and ECM reduce the effectiveness of drones and make the hybridized powered armour soldier the king of the battle field.

The Transcendent period sees the refinement of reality shaping technologies. Teleportation devices, personal force fields, and disintegrator weapons become reality. A soldier belt and an antimatter power pack allow a soldier to fly, while protecting them from weapons fire. As armour becomes less relevant, melee weapons return as personal force fields must allow air and low energy objects like the ground to pass through them.

Vehicle Design
A vehicle is designed by making a list of everything that is in it and then building a box to carry it all. The easiest place to start is with the main role of the vehicle. Does it carry cargo? Guns? People? Figure that out first and it will be easier to figure what else you need.

This system uses cubic meters as its main measure and works out mass in a more abstract fashion. A lot of things like seat belts and running lights are assumed to be part of the structure of the vehicle. The point is to have a consistent method of determining reasonable performance information and provide tools for deriving game ratings for existing vehicles.

Armour
While armor contributes to the volume of the vehicle, it is dispersed and best managed as a modifier to the mass of the vehicle rather than being included on the hit location diagram. Vehicle armour is the portion of damage from a hit that is absorbed before internal system damage is caused.


Empty Mass = System Mass x Volume x Armor Factor / 20
Cost = Empty Mass x 1000 x Advances
Armor = Empty Mass/ (3√Actual Volume)2
Damage Points = √Empty Mass x 1000 (empty mass in kilograms)
System Damage Points = Slots Damage Points / 20

Level of Development
Each technology presented here can be improved by development. This is reflected by a reduction in its mass and other characteristics where noted.

Primitive

Standard
Advanced
Mass / 2


System Volume
Systems which can only be accessed from the outside of the vehicle or by moving other parts out of the way to get at them from inside are more compact and have a density of one cubic meter per tonne. Systems with internal space set aside to allow easy access have a density of two cubic metres per tonne.

External Access Volume = mass x 1m3
Internal Access = mass x 2m3

Structural Mass
A vehicle needs sufficient structure to withstand gravity and acceleration. Terrestrial vehicles need to withstand one gravity and few need more to compensate for acceleration. Spacecraft have some advantage in that they only need to withstand acceleration. Cargo, Rooms, Fuel, and vehicle bays do not contribute to the empty mass of the vehicle but they do contribute to the loaded mass.

Primitive Power Factor / 2
Standard Power Factor x 1
Advanced Power Factor x 2

Battery
Power Factor = 2.5
Fuel = 2 / hour battery
Internal Combustion Engine (Primitive Chemical)
Power Factor = 5
Fuel / Hour = 0.2 gasoline
Fuel Cell (Standard Chemical)
Power Factor = 5
Fuel = 0.1 Hydrox
Radiothermal Generator (Advanced Chemical)
Power Factor = 10
Fuel / Hour= 0.01 Radioactives
Fission
Output = 50
Minimum Size = 1000 m3
Fuel / Hour =10 years included
Fusion
Output = 500
Minimum Size = 1000kg
Fuel: 1 year included
Antimatter
Output = 5000
Mass = 1000kg Antimatter
Fuel = 1 year included


Structural Features
The mode of conveyance, like wheels or wings has a fixed relationship to the volume of the vehicle and is described in slots.

Contact Suspensions

Legs
10 Slots
Top Speed x 15

Tracks
8 Slots
Top Speed x 20

Wheels
6 Slots
Top Speed x 30
Air Frame
A primitive fixed wing, standard variable wing, and advanced dynamic wing affect the Minimum and Top Speed. Fixed wings can store half their volume in fuel or weapons. But the wing is also hit when those are.
Fixed Wing
4 Slots
Minimum Speed 100
Top Speed x 200
Hover
Air Cushion
8 Slots
Top Speed x 100
Rotary Wing
2 Slots
Top Speed x 100
Magnetic Levitation
2 Slots
Top Speed x 300
Anti Gravity
2 Slots
Top Speed x 300
Repulsion
2 Slots
Top Speed x 300
Propulsion
Power sources need to have the power transformed or transmitted to the motive system.

Propeller
Mass x 5 = Thrust Output
Rotor
Mass x 5 = Thrust Output
Transmission
Mass x 5 = Power Transmitted
Electric Motor
Mass x 5 = Power Transformed
Jet
Mass x 10 =Thrust Out Put
Fuel = 1% jet mass / hour
Rocket
Mass x 10 = Thrust Output
Fuel = 2% rocket mass / hour
Thruster
Power Requirement = Thrust Output
Mass x 5 = Thrust Output
Fuel = 0.1% thruster mass / hour
Repulsor
Power Requirement = Thrust Output
Mass x 5 = Thrust Output

Faster Than Light
Power Requirement = Warp Output
Mass = Thrust Output

Crew
In general assume that a vehicle needs one slot for crew. Some things like automobiles and motorcycles will have more crew slots but that’s mainly because the vehicle is pretty small and the crew isn’t getting any smaller.

Life Support and Accommodations
The main purpose of a vehicle is to transport people, cargo, and weapons. Small, short ranged vehicles only require a seat for each person. Longer ranged vehicles require a room per person. Vehicles operating in hostile environments and space will need a life support system. A short term system amounts to oxygen tanks and filtration equipment. Long term life support recycles waste and oxygen to produce food and oxygen. Assume that a long term life support system will function as long as the power plant’s fuel holds out.

Short Term
Supported Organism Mass / 100 hours
Long Term
Supported Organism Mass
Seats
0.5m3 / person

Rooms
About It is possible to pack as many as 12 people into one room with four bunks by having them sleep in shifts but this is really unreasonable and hard for humans to endure for more than a few days. If a vehicle has a top deck or makes port on a weekly basis it can work for a while. Bear in mind that rooms that are accessed internally take up twice the listed volume.
24 m3 /
25 m3 / crew station, room, and life support for 1.

External Grapple
If a smaller vehicle or pod can land and lock on to the surface of the hull it takes no internal volume but adds to the loaded mass of the vehicle and takes up surface hit location slots. This is essentially a hard point.

Landing Bay
Allow twice the volume of the largest vehicle you want to park inside the vessel.

Launch Catapult
A carried vehicle can be fired by catapult to increase its launch velocity. This is especially important for airframes with minimum speeds.

Landing Deck
Allowing a large flat area for smaller vehicles to land on is mainly viable for water craft. No more than 4 of a vehicle’s surface locations can be designated in this manner.

Cargo Bay
Allowing for cargo allows merchandise and provisions to be carried. An empty cargo bay can serve as a gymnasium or dance hall to help deal with cabin fever.

Fuel Tankage
The size and mass of a fuel tank depends a great deal on the fuel being carried. Radioactives require heavy lead or water shielding. Gasoline requires pressure management. Hydrogen is hard to store.
Gasoline
Hydrogen
Hydrox
Radioactives
Boron / Hydrogen
Anti-Hydrogen

Force Field Projector
A device that generates an invisible wall of cold plasma or exotic energy that absorbs and deflects impacts. Primitive force fields cannot block lasers and let them pass. All force fields can be made opaque, making them invisible and blind at the same time. Multiple force field units can be stacked, essentially creating layers. Force fields can be put in turrets allowing them to be angled to intercept attacks.

Mass = 100 tonnes
Power Requirement = 100
Damage Points = 10 x √Mass

Hard Points
Weapon mounts are generally installed on reinforced sections of the hull. Only significantly lighter weapons can be mounted without a hard point.

Weapon Mounts
Batteries of automated weapons require only a single gunner to fire them, though this limits target selection to a single target for the entire battery. Fixed weapon mounts can only fire directly in a single direction.

Stabilization
Vehicles that bounce around while they move need to mount their weapons in a gyroscopically stabilized cradle if they ever want to hit anything while moving.

Turret
Mounting a weapon in a powered turret allows it to hit anything in the arc on the side of the vehicle it is mounted on. Turrets will usually have a sensor mounted in them as well as a weapon. Rockets, jets and thrusters mounted in turrets provide vectored thrust allowing the vehicle to hover if it can generate more than 1 G acceleration. Hovering this way is fuel intensive as there is no point at which it is not cruising along rather than accelerating. A large section of the hull can be spun to simulate gravity by installing it in two turrets spinning in opposite directions.

Turret x 2
Stabilization x 2

Sensors
Sensors allow the crew to locate and target things that are beyond the reach of their natural senses from within the safety of the vehicle.

Magnification
Camera
Radar
Laser
Sonar
Spectrometer


These ships have been designed as general purpose, long ranged vessels. They could be outfitted for any role.

Volume:
Mass:
Top Speed:
Range:
Armor:
Damage Points:
Hit Locations

Bike
Volume: 0.75 m3
Mass: 450 kg
Armor: /0.82
Damage Points: 21
Top Speed:150 kph
Range: 4 hours
Hit Locations
1 - 3 Wheel
4 - 7 Batteries
8 - 12 Driver
13 - 16 Wheels
17 - 20 Passenger

Car
Volume: 5m3
Mass: 2.5t
Armor: /2.9
Damage Points: 50
Top Speed: 150 km/h
Range: 5 hours
Cargo: 0.5m3
Hit Locations:
1 - 4 Batteries
5 - 7 Wheels
8 - 9 Driver
10 - 11 Front Left Passenger
12 - 13 Back Left Passenger
14 - 15 Back Right Passenger
16 - 18 Wheels
19 -20 Cargo

Tank
Volume: 30m3
Mass:
Top Speed:
Range:
Armor: x2/9.65
Damage Points: 245
Hit Locations
1 - 5 Turret
Cannon
Commander’s Seat
Sensor Turret
Turret Mechanism
Fuel Cell
Fuel
Tracks


Stabilized Turret 4m3
Cannon 1t
External Access Seat 0.5m3
Camera 0.1 m3
Radar Turret 0.1 m3
Hull
Turret Mechanism 4m3
2 External Access Seats 0.5m3
Camera 0.1m3
Fuel Cell 250
Fuel 50
Tracks 400

Truck
Volume: 10m3
Mass: 5.5t
Armor: /4.64
Damage Points: 245
Top Speed:
Range:
1 - 5 Fuel Cell
6 - 8 Wheels
9 - 10 2 External Access Seats 1
11 Fuel
12 - 14 Wheels
15 - 20 External Cargo 3m3


Battle Robot
Turret
Pilot Seat
Life Support
Sensors
Advanced Fis
Legs 500
Arms

Raider
Volume: 500m3
Mass: 225t
Armor: /62.99
Damage Points: 474
Crew: 10 Long Term
Cargo: 50m3
Top Speed: 3 G acceleration
Range:

Roll Hit Location
1 Shield Generator
2 Quarters
3 - 4 Cargo
5 - 8 Wings
6 - 7 Lasers
9 - 14 Fuel
15 - 16 Reactor
17 Warp Drive
18 - 20 Rockets

Fighter
Volume: 40m3
Mass: 18t
Armor: /11.69
Damage Points: 134
Crew: 2
Cargo: 0
Top Speed: 4 G
Range:

Roll Hit Location
1 Shield Generator
2 Crew Cockpit
3 - 6 Wings
4 - 5 Lasers
7 Reactor
8 Missiles
9 - 16 Fuel
17 - 20 Rockets

Shuttle
Volume: 5000 m3
Mass: 1000t
Armor: /292
Damage Points: 1000
Crew:
Cargo:
Top Speed:
Range:

Roll Hit Location
1 - 10 Cargo Bay
1 Crew
11 - 14 Wings
15 - 16 Fuel
17 - 20 Rockets

Carrier
Volume: 20000m3
Mass: 8000t
Armor: /736.8
Damage Points: 2828
Crew:
Cargo:
Top Speed:
Range:

Roll Hit Location
1 Force Field Projector
2 - 5 Crew Quarters
6 - 8 Reactor
9 Weapon Batteries
10 - 11Fighter Bays
12 - 13 Cargo Bay
14 - 17 Fuel
18 Warp Drive
19 - 20 Thrusters

Cruiser
Volume: 20000m3
Mass: 11000t
Armor: 736.8
Damage Points: 3316
Crew:
Cargo:
Top Speed:
Range:
Roll Hit Location
1 Shield Generator
2 - 4 Crew Quarters
5 Landing Bay
6 Cargo Bay
7 - 10 Weapon Batteries
11 - 14 Fuel
15 - 17 Reactor
18 Warp Drive
19 - 20 Thrusters


Launch
This short ranged smaller craft can be armed with a fixed weapon in its hard point socket to act as a fighter and can carry missiles in its bay.

Advanced Airframe 200
Advanced Rocket Turrets 200
Rocket Fuel 200
2 Seats 1t
Advanced Short Term Life Support 1t (5 hours)
Advanced Batteries 1t
Advanced Sensors 1t
Weapon Socket 1t
Cargo Bay 94t
?
Volume:
Empty Mass
Top Speed: 5000thrust?
Range:
Armour:
Damage Points:

Transport
This long range vessel can land and take off from worlds. While it is primarily a freighter, it is fast enough and capable of mounting two weapons in the sockets in each of its three turrets.

Advanced Airframe 200
Advanced Thruster Turrets 200
Thruster Fuel 200
Fusion Power Plant
Fusion Fuel
4 Crew Seats 1t
4 Rooms
Advanced Long Term Life Support 400
Advanced Batteries 1t
Advanced Sensors 1t
Weapon Turrets 6t
Cargo Bay 94t

Carrier
This large, long range vessel is not fast or intended to make land fall but it has 12 twin turrets. It is normally equipped with two Launches on external brackets that can provide additional thrust. Its cargo bays can be outfitted as launch bays for fighters.

Advanced Thrusters 100
Thruster Fuel 100
Fusion Power Plant
Fusion Fuel
20 Crew Seats 20t
20 Rooms 1000t
Advanced Long Term Life Support 2000t
Advanced Batteries 1t
Advanced Sensors 1t
12 Weapon Turrets 48t
Cargo Bay

2 Launches On External Brackets


Weapon Design
While there are many ways to kill others and many more ways to die, weapons are designed using the following method.

The development level of a weapon decreases its mass. To create more powerful advanced weapons, increase their damage proportionately.

Basic Weapon
Mass = Damage2 x 10 grams
Ammo Mass = Mass / 10
Weapon Cost = Mass x Development x 10

Firearm:
Pistol, Grenade Launcher, or Mortar
Range = Damage x 10
Mass x 1
Rifle or Cannon
Range = Damage x 20
Mass x 4
Breach Loader
Ammunition = 1
Rate of Fire = 1/2
Mass x 1
Revolver, Pump, or Lever
Ammunition = 6
Rate of Fire = 1
Mass x 2
Semi Automatic
Rate of Fire = 1
Ammunition = 12
Mass x 3
Light Automatic (SMG, Assault Rifle)
Rate of Fire = 3
Ammunition = 24
Mass x 4
Heavy Automatic
Rate of Fire = 3
Ammunition = 96
Mass = x 8
Rotary
Rate of Fire = 6
Ammunition = 96
Mass x 48
Shot
Effective Rate of Fire = 6
Range / 2
Explosive
Damage / 2
Blast Radius
Rubber / Bean Bag
Resisted By Armour
Damage / 2
Tranquilizer
Resisted By Armour
Roll Strength - Damage or be sedated
Missile Launcher
Range = Damage x 5
Rate of Fire = 1
Ammunition = 1
Mass x 1


Magnetic:
Range = Damage x 10
Rate of Fire = 6
Ammunition = 48
Mass x 4

Laser
Range = Damage x 20
Rate of Fire = 1
Ammunition =48
Mass x 4

Particle Beam
Damage = Damage x 20
Range = Damage
Rate of Fire = 1
Ammunition = 6
Mass x 8
Plasma
Damage = Damage x 20
Range = Damage / 2
Rate of Fire = 1
Ammunition = 6
Mass x 8

Damage 100 Cannon With Auto Loader
300000g 6 shots Damage 100 Range 1000
Cost 3000
 

David Johansen

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I was thinking that an alternative damage system might be 3d6 + Strength -10 with a total greater than the target's Strength + Toughness + Armour Absorption indicating a target is eliminated. It would still work with hit points but would also eliminate hordes quickly.

The thing is that it'd probably need to reduce to 2d6 + Strength - 6 at 5 or so or low scores would be really bad.
 
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