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Stumpydave

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Initial Ideas / Character Creation and Core Mechanic.

We've all done it, or harboured a wish to do it, but I'm going to try and coalesce some half formed thoughts into a workable game in this thread. Why be so open with it (beyond the need for validation and adulation of my peers)? Really its a cheap way of getting feedback (beyond "That won't work. It makes no sense. You suck!" ;)

My current though process is very much inspired by the likes of the Black Hack but I found some of those rules (particularly armour) counter-intuitive and I'm not a fan of using multiple types of dice. Setting wise I'm going take the original idea from the excellent "Long Stairs" thread (on RPG.Net). There are dungeons, they have traps, treasure and monsters. Only instead of adventurers, it's modern day and the Government sends in soldiers and scientists to try to make sense of it all.

Step 1. Character.

Characters are made up of 5 attributes and 2 derived attributes.
Brawn. (Physical feats, hand to hand combat)
Prowess. (Athletics and dexterity, ranged combat)
Intellect. (Perception, understanding)
Will. (Resolve)
Luck. (Gaining Advantage or Disadvantage)

Health (Brawn + Will)
Sanity (Intellect + Will)

Players roll 1d10 per attribute. Rolls of 2-9 are taken as their score in the first four attributes. They can roll one at a time or they can roll 4d10 and then spread the numbers as they wish.
Any roll of 1 gives a point to Luck. The player needs to roll again for the attribute.
Any roll of 10 subtracts a point from Luck and, as mentioned above, the player needs to roll again for the attribute.

Once the 5 primary attributes are sorted, the player needs to work out their health and sanity.

Example character - I roll 4d10 and score 10, 10 9 and 2. I reroll the 2 10's and score 10 and 8. I reroll again and score 9.
That gives me 9,9,8,2 for the four stats and -3 in luck. I split them up accordingly.
Brawn 9
Prowess 9
Intellect 2
Will 8
Luck -3

It also gives me

Health 17/8
Sanity 10/5

The second number in Health and Sanity is half (rounded down) of the total and will be explained later.


The core mechanic is that any task or challenge that needs to be resolved falls under one of the attributes. Players need to roll under the attribute to succeed. Its very much a binary system where success is great and failure is awful, there's not much in the way of granularity.

Now my example character is likely to succeed at most things but then his stats bring to mind a good soldier, hard, tough but not too bright. However, writing this post, I'm thinking there's little opportunity for improvement or growth. Maybe a point spend system would be better? Say, 20 points but you can get more by taking bad luck?

Thoughts?
 

Stumpydave

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Luck / Advantage and Disadvantage.

Unlike the first four attributes, Luck is used a little differently. Players don't roll against it, instead (if they have a positive score) they can use it as a pool for Advantage. Having an advantage lets them roll two dice and pick the best of the two.
If they really want to make that thousand yard shot at the shadowy thing that grabbed Hoskins, they can improve their chances by spending a bit of their luck

Having a negative score in Luck means the GM gets to brutalise that poor player character to a limit of their negative score per session. When is up to the GM or whenever a player says 'Wouldn't it be bad if their luck ran out now' or words to that effect.
The GM can either apply a penalty to a dice roll equal to the negative score or give that player a Disadvantage.
Disadvantages work the same way (roll two dice) except the player has to pick the worse of the two rolls.

A players luck refreshes each session. The only way to change their luck is through character advancement.

Advantages and Disadvantages are also used to reflect skills, backgrounds, equipment bonuses and situational effects.
 

Stumpydave

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NPC's.

I'm not a fan of statting out NPC's. I tend to run stuff on the fly rather than having prepared NPC's for every encounter. So instead, NPC's are rated Red, Amber or Green depending on the threat they pose. Green (2-4) pose little threat, Amber (5-7) a greater threat and Red (8-9) are a serious concern.
The number relates to their attribute scores (if they rolled dice, which they don't) and indicate the damage they inflict in combat.
This is doubled to form their Health score.
 

Stumpydave

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Combat and weapons.

Players roll against their Brawn for melee/hand to hand combat or against Prowess for ranged combat or to dodge. As mentioned above, NPC's don't roll.

Damage is equal to the players Brawn or Prowess or the NPC's rating.

Weapons give either an advantage or disadvantage depending on circumstances. So a character using a knife in a gunfight is going to have a disadvantage to hit. However the damage is not effected if the character is successful.

The only way to reduce damage is through armour or similar (which I''ll cover later).
 

Fenris-77

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So when you roll a 10 you get a brutalized by the GM point and no other benefit? Ouch. That's pretty punitive. For example, I don't think I'd want to play the character you rolled up. Who the heck wants to shat on three times per session because of bad char gen rolls? IDK dude, you may want to reconsider that.
 
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Stumpydave

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Heh. Yes it is rough, which is partly why I thought about a point buy alternative. But I like (really like) games where you succeed and survive in spite of your drawbacks. Its much like Bad Stuff in Amber - superficially not good for you but the also source of much drama and adventure. Certainly I will abuse the flaw system in most games to generate personal drama for my character.

Much of my posts here are really me talking to myself, trying to make my own heartbreaker. But I appreciate the input. Maybe give people a choice to take bad luck or drop an attribute score by 1 per rolled 10?
 

xanther

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Initial Ideas / Character Creation and Core Mechanic.
....
Any roll of 1 gives a point to Luck. The player needs to roll again for the attribute.
Any roll of 10 subtracts a point from Luck and, as mentioned above, the player needs to roll again for the attribute.

...

Thoughts?


That will work. It makes sense. You rock! :smile:

Actually like that, very cool and very appropriate, it is Luck after all. After you considered though instead of a re-roll a 1 becomes a 2 with a point of Luck or a 10 becomes a 9 with a -1 Luck? Could even make it an option, but not sure how important Luck is but if you mean advantage in the context of roll two dice and take the best, or worse, that is powerful.
 

xanther

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...

A players luck refreshes each session. The only way to change their luck is through character advancement.

...
Well that and becoming a good friend of the right fairies :smile:
 

Stumpydave

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I like making 1 a point of luck and a low attribute score. I'll consider that.
 

Stumpydave

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There's no such thing as the 'right fairies' <racks a round into a pump action shotgun>
 

Fenris-77

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Even removing the rerolled 10 from subtracting an additional point of luck would be better (IMO anyway). I like xanther xanther 's answer there as well.
 

robiswrong

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Personally, I'd go with keeping the 10 attribute score (or 1) and modifying luck accordingly.

Got a 10? Cool, but there's some bad luck to go with it.
 

Stumpydave

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The only issue with a 10 score is it's impossible to fail (I'd like to do something funky with 1s and 10's but so far they only exist as criticals - good and bad).

The luck thing isn't meant to punish players - just to justify some randomness and bad stuff (despite me using the word brutalise. I am a bad man).
 

Fenris-77

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How about a d8+1? Gives you numbers between 2 and 9....
 

Stumpydave

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But I like d10s!!!

Really it came from looking at the Black Hack and realising that there's little difference between a 3-18 split for attributes and rolling a d20 for tasks and a 2-9 split and rolling a d10. It really comes down to a personal desire to stick to one type of dice.

Thinking about it it would have helped if I'd explained more about the design goals. What I have in mind is a game where speed is of the essence in character creation and task resolution, character death is common and players survive rather than "succeed". Its meant to be a short-term meat grinder of a game. Something I can run for my friends between our more traditional games as a "palate cleanser". Live fast, die young, leave something behind for identification.
 

Stumpydave

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Don't get me wrong, its a good suggestion and I'll definitely give Chargen some more thought. I'm just wedded to the idea on dice to rule them all (and that dice is the mighty d10!!!!!)
 

Stumpydave

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Alternative chargen.

Roll 1d10 per attribute.
1234 =2
567 =3
89 =4
0 =5

Any score in Luck can be spent down to raise other attributes to a minimum of -1 luck.

For example. I roll 9,5,4,2,1 giving me Brawn 4, Prowess 3, Intellect 2, Will 2 and Luck 2.
I could drop Luck to 1 and raise Will to 3, or drop it all the way to -1 and raise Prowess to 4 and both Intellect and Will to 3.
 
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robiswrong

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The only issue with a 10 score is it's impossible to fail (I'd like to do something funky with 1s and 10's but so far they only exist as criticals - good and bad).

The luck thing isn't meant to punish players - just to justify some randomness and bad stuff (despite me using the word brutalise. I am a bad man).
Then 10 is a 9 and a bad luck, 1 is a 2 and a good luck.
 

Stumpydave

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Equipment.

Equipment (mostly) applies an advantage to rolls depending on the situation. Weapons are the most obvious example of this. For example, trying to open a locked door without a tool would require some sort of test against the relevant attribute (Brawn for just kicking it, Intellect for trying something clever). A lockpick provides an advantage to the Intellect roll, A big red key (those one/two man battering rams the cops use) provides an advantage to Brawn.

Whether the equipment provides an advantage depends on the GM. It is possible to gain a disadvantage from Equipment, again depending on the GM. Using Nightvision when the other side is using flashbangs gives a disadvantage. Trying to use rifles in confined spaces gives a disadvantage.
 

Stumpydave

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Character advancement.

Whenever a player fails a test, make a mark or note next to the offending attribute. At the end of the mission/quest (not just the end of a session - unless the mission only lasts for a session) roll d10s for each mark. If any score under the attribute, that attribute is raised. If none score under the attribute it's lowered. It is possible to get worse over time (constant improvement in other games is a bugbear of mine).

Luck is a little different. If a player has negative luck and has had that used against them, that counts as a failed test. They don't have to roll, their luck improves automatically.
Someone with a positive score in luck but whose use of a Luck fuelled Advantage still led to a fail marks that as a failed test against luck as well as the attribute that failed. They do have to roll and try to score under their luck to improve it and run the risk of getting worse luck.

Any change to Intellect, Brawn or Will will affect their Health and Sanity.
 

xanther

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Character advancement.

Whenever a player fails a test, make a mark or note next to the offending attribute. At the end of the mission/quest (not just the end of a session - unless the mission only lasts for a session) roll d10s for each mark. If any score under the attribute, that attribute is raised. If none score under the attribute it's lowered. It is possible to get worse over time (constant improvement in other games is a bugbear of mine).
....
Yikes! Let's hoping it's a bugbear of your players as well. My players would not play such a game, skills decreasing over time because they are not used sure, but this would never fly.

The mechanic is setting up for some wonky situations here, the rich get ricer and poor get poorer.

For example:
Players with high attributes are less likely to fail so fewer failures, but even if they do they are most likely to increase (score under) and less likely to lower (none score under).

Now if you have a low attribute, you better use it a lot so you get to roll a lot of dice as it is likely to get even lower. If I have and attribute of 2 and roll only a two dice it is likely my attribute will go down to 1 as likely none will be under the 2. Now you have a 1 attribute and it is even worse.

Perhaps you mean the opposite, if you roll over you current attribute then it goes up, and if none are higher than your attribute it goes down.


With attributes going from 1-10 you have little granulation and small dynamic range. Only 10 steps total, very little room for advancement especially if someone starts out at a 5, and the gains from advancement are major.

Alternatively, or in addition, if you want to make it increasingly harder to improve, maybe you need a number of marks equal to your current Attribute for each dice you get to roll. So if my Attribute is 5, for every 5 marks I get to roll 1 d10 to see if it improves. Allow players to save them up. If there is still the chance to have your attribute go down, I'd personally save up my marks until I got a fair number of dice to try to keep this from happening.
 
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robiswrong

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That mechanic seems a touch harsh - while skill degradation can be a thing, that seems like it'd be awfully harsh.

It basically says that skills that you use on a regular basis, but not heavily, are hte most likely to degrade. There's no way a skill to degrade if it's completely unused.

I'd be more likely to look at which skills aren't used at all in a given session and use that as the basis. That could be immediate (skills not used in a session get a roll or degrade), or even tracked (skills not used in <n> sessions degrade).

Also keep in mind the mechanical interaction of all of this that skills that, due to the mechanics of the game, are rolled more often for the same number of "in-game" uses are more likely to increase and less likely to degrade. Like, if bashing a door is a skill, and picking a lock is a skill, and it takes one roll to bash a door and ten to pick a lock, then overcoming a single door will likely make your lockpicking improve, but has a good chance of causing door bashing to degrade.
 

Stumpydave

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This came about because I dislike the constant advancement of other games. No one ever gets worse at something through lack of practice or injury or disinterest. One thing to remember is that this is intended as a harsh game. A meat grinder where bad things happen to good people and all that.

How about if instead of skills degrading through a bad roll, if your health or sanity drop to half or below (remember that second number?) you risk degradation to either your Brawn or Prowess (for Health), Intellect or Will (for Sanity).

So you get the end of a mission, you limp in with serious physical injuries. Roll under your remaining Health or Sanity. If you fail the roll (score higher than your current health or sanity), choose one of those attributes to take a knock. To reflect the lingering effects of the horrors you'll face.

Thoughts?
 

Stumpydave

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Flicking through some old reviews and I was reminded of something which I need to think on. Rolling under but rolling as high as possible. This could be an interesting tweak or it could open up a whole load of options and could mean a rewrite of what I've got so far.
 

xanther

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This came about because I dislike the constant advancement of other games. No one ever gets worse at something through lack of practice or injury or disinterest. One thing to remember is that this is intended as a harsh game. A meat grinder where bad things happen to good people and all that.

How about if instead of skills degrading through a bad roll, if your health or sanity drop to half or below (remember that second number?) you risk degradation to either your Brawn or Prowess (for Health), Intellect or Will (for Sanity).

So you get the end of a mission, you limp in with serious physical injuries. Roll under your remaining Health or Sanity. If you fail the roll (score higher than your current health or sanity), choose one of those attributes to take a knock. To reflect the lingering effects of the horrors you'll face.

Thoughts?
Generally would not like such a game. It would be one thing if attributes had a wider range but losing 1 point from an Attribute is a big deal, I'd say equivalent to losing 3 points on the 'ole 3-18 range. If Attributes went from 1-100 then could see it working.

Heck, a couple adventures and a person can be so crippled that's the end. Now that may be the goal, but why even have character advancement, I doubt their Attributes will survive intact enough after 3 or 4 adventures to have it matter. It's more a game of how many adventures can I get in before become so damaged it is suicide to leave the cottage.

On the damage triggering attribute decrease rolls. If you really want to see a 15 min adventure day this is the way to do it, everyone is going to avoid damage like the plague to avoid taking enough damage to trigger these rolls.

Think you'd have to have players really on board with this in spirit and want to feel the horror and watch their characters slowly fall apart. Otherwise can think of all sorts of ways players are going to try to game the system, avoid rolls, complain and eventually stop playing.

Slow and hard increase is one thing, frequent and large decrease really something else.

Not sure what else to say, you will likely need input from players who would want to play such a game.
 

Loz

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This came about because I dislike the constant advancement of other games. No one ever gets worse at something through lack of practice or injury or disinterest.

Speaking as a designer, publisher, GM and player, while this approach may reflect In Real Life, at the gaming table, it becomes NMF (Not Much Fun). From a player's perspective, having to constantly watch and juggle skills and abilities to prevent some degrading and ensure others advance becomes less about roleplaying and more about resource management. There are games that have taken a similar approach - usually from the FGU stable: Aftermath, Space Opera, and so on; and having played those games, while the harsh rules may have looked fun on the page, at the table, definitely NMF. Of course, play styles vary; but if players are constantly fighting with the rules - the game may be short-lived.

One thing to remember is that this is intended as a harsh game. A meat grinder where bad things happen to good people and all that.

Again, from a designer and GM perspective, this is something to be conveyed through the setting and scenarios rather than inflicted through the rules. While you certainly don't need to make things easy for the players and their characters, I do think you need to strike a balance so that they at least have a chance. If the rules dangle a constant threat of penalisation over their heads, and the scenarios may also be brutal, then you're really hitting the players and the characters with double amounts of hurt. As Xanther points out, players will find ways to game the system and avoid the penalties; but they'll also negate the whole point of playing too. So it's better game design to structure the rules to support the characters rather than constantly penalise them, (and thus gain their engagement), and introduce the grimdark via the scenarios.
 

robiswrong

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So I realized the issue I have with the Luck mechanic as proposed - it's tied to rolling attributes, but really is completely orthogonal. There's no tie between good/bad attributes and luck. You could keep the reroll for 1/10, and handle luck with a separate set of rolls, and it would be exactly the same.

Like, with the proposed system, I could roll a 10 on an attribute, get the point of bad luck, and on the reroll get a 2. This feels wrong. By doing them at the same time, it feels like bad luck is tied to good attributes, but in practice they're completely separate.

So I would want to either make them related (which is what my proposals were aimed at) or separate them completely if you don't like that.
 

Stumpydave

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I've been giving this a lot of thought and I think this is what I'm going to go for with character creation.

4 primary attributes, 2 secondary attributes and two derived attributes
Brawn
Prowess
Intellect
Will

Good Luck
Bad Luck

Health (Brawn + Will)
Sanity (Intellect + Will)

Roll 1d10 per attribute. 1s and 2s give an attribute score of 3 and a point to Good luck. 3-8 are taken as read. 9s and 10s give a score of 8 and a point to Bad luck.

Health and Sanity combine the primary attributes listed but the player needs to divide by 2 and round down. This will give a break point at which they suffer the adverse effects of injury and stress.
 

Winterblight

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This came about because I dislike the constant advancement of other games. No one ever gets worse at something through lack of practice or injury or disinterest. One thing to remember is that this is intended as a harsh game. A meat grinder where bad things happen to good people and all that.

How about if instead of skills degrading through a bad roll, if your health or sanity drop to half or below (remember that second number?) you risk degradation to either your Brawn or Prowess (for Health), Intellect or Will (for Sanity).

So you get the end of a mission, you limp in with serious physical injuries. Roll under your remaining Health or Sanity. If you fail the roll (score higher than your current health or sanity), choose one of those attributes to take a knock. To reflect the lingering effects of the horrors you'll face.

Thoughts?

I messed about with something similar in one of my own games. I had the initial idea that players had to spend a certain % of XP to just maintain their current skill base, the more skills the greater the %, but in the end I was never quite comfortable with the idea of the mechanics causing skills to get worse. What I opted for was any skill that wasn't used over a certain period (adventure), the player had the option of reducing that skill's value, which freed up a % of the XP used to purchase or upgrade it. This XP could be used towards upgrading skills that had been used (unsuccessfully) or toward purchasing new ones. Should the players ever decide to up the degraded skill again, the XP cost was less. This allowed the characters to evolve a little. It was only a homebrew system and I'm sure if it had been put into the wild folks would have gamed the hell out of it in some way as I didn't put a lot of thought into it other than "Why do skills always increase?".
 

Stumpydave

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Careers.
There are 3 careers characters can have. These are Soldier (Brawn), Specialist (Prowess) and Scientist (Intellect).
These are either determined by the player's highest Attribute or players can choose.
For example, a character with 4 in Brawn, 7 in Prowess and 5 in Intellect is likely to be trained as a Specialist.

Soldiers gain an advantage in hand to hand combat and a disdvantage when trying to use or identify anomalous artefacts.
Specialists gain an advantage to finding and disabling traps and a disadvantage in that they're the ones typically sent on point to find and disable traps.
Scientists gain an advantage when trying to identify or use anomalous artefacts but gain a disadvantage in combat.
 

Stumpydave

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Background and rationale.

I've mentioned how this is designed to be a meat grinder of a game, something akin to the dungeon crawling of my youth (traps, monsters and treasure that really wasn't worth the grief and anguish of getting there). There was a thread on RPG.net some 12 years ago (how was it that long ago!!!???!?!?) called Voices from Below/The Long stairs which -to summarise - posited an extradimensional dungeon realm accessed through holes punched in the space/time fabric by nuclear explosions/test sites. (If you can access TBP it's worth a read.) The only issue I had with it was that the initial fog of war and mystery was quickly undone by people sketching out the background so I want to return to that sense of exploration and discovery.

So the blurb the players get given is something like this.

'You are soldiers and scientists drafted by the government to map and investigate what the Brass are calling 'anomalous subterranean constructs'.

Classified Above Top Secret and codenamed Black Mesa (though Brass are unaware of the joke), theseA.S.C's were initially thought to be the work of an unidentified human organisation - either a state actor or revolutionary group - though recent discoveries are pointing towards non-human involvement.
What is known is that these subterrannean structures typically contain a maze-like array of corridors and rooms. These corridors and rooms are often designed to house 'booby traps' or otherwise harm those who would enter the room. They may also contain artefacts which bestow powers and abilities which defy the laws of physics. If it wasn't for the potential tech that could be reverse engineered from these artefacts, it's likely the government would seal off A.S.C's but the potential outweighs the risks.

Initially, it was a few trusted scientists and special forces types which made the first forays. However, the last mission to go 'underground' never returned. Retrieved drone footage appears to show a non-human entity - what appears to be a floating spheroid with short appendages emanating from the main body - attacking the patrol before disappearing back into the construct.

Your mission is to find out what happened to that patrol.


TL:grin:R Modern day soldiers go on classic dungeon crawls and try to make sense of it all.
 

Stumpydave

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NPC's, Monsters and traps.

I'm not a fan of fully statted NPC's. Mostly from the various points of view that I don't have the time, I don't have the headspace to create or remember the various skills and powers and differences of each NPC and a lot of them are throwaway characters, just wallpaper for the scene. And I'm bone idle. Thats the biggest reason.

I much prefer that NPC's have one or two notable hooks and maybe a single stat. (Obviously this works better for horde/mook rules than if you require a big bad - however, I refer you back to 'I'm bone idle'.)

To that end NPC's have a Threat rating - a number between 1-10. 1 being low to no threat and 10 being a massive risk to the health and safety of the characters.

A 'Goblin' (Official classification - ASC bioform fauna ref.18022002/Sierra Lambda) Short humanoid with grey/translucent skin. Observed to hunt in small packs with what appear to be rudimentary spears. Threat rating 3.

I'm in two minds as to whether or not NPC's roll dice or not. If they do then the Threat rating becomes their attribute. I'd use their hooks to provide advantages. However it might be that I go for the Black Hack route of NPC's not rolling in which case the Threat rating becomes the number they score with plusses or minuses generated by their 'advantages' and 'disadvantages' instead.
 

Stumpydave

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Basic Combat.

I can't remember if I've already spoken about this? Anyhoo, as you may have gathered by now, I'm not a fan of anything too rules heavy. I like quick and easy maths. Small number of Attributes, threat ratings for NPC's etc. The idea is that combat is quick and reasonably brutal. Rollto hit, work out damage, rinse and repeat.

Players roll against either Brawn or Prowess (maybe there's room for Scientists to roll against Intellect or Will is they are using anomalous artefacts?). Sucess equals a hit with damage equal to either the score of the attribute or - and I think I prefer this idea - the successful dice roll. Of course this would mean the players would have to roll both under their attribute for the success and as high as possible to maximise damage.

So a soldier with an smg and a prowess of 6 needs to roll under 6 to hit. They are shooting at a goblin and roll a 3, getting the success and wiping out the goblins threat rating in one hit.

My only issue here is that its counter intuitive to the roll under mechanic.

The other option is that the Soldier hits and inflict 6 damage - same end result but its a simpler mechanic and lacks nuance.

NPC's don't roll. If the player fails, they take damage equal to the NPC's threat rating.

Our soldier from above is attacked by another goblin during the firefight. He rolls prowess to dodge but fails and takes 3 damage (the goblins threat rating.)
 

robiswrong

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When it comes to gameplay and mechanics, consider starting with what decisions the characters will make, and then write the mechanics to support those decisions.
 

Stumpydave

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Ok. What do players do?
Well it's exploring labyrinthian trap and monster filled underground so...

Searching for traps (Intellect).
Shooting (Prowess).
Fighting (Brawn).
Resisting magic (Will).
Using magic items (Intellect).
Dodging incoming attacks/traps (Prowess)
Feats of Strength (Brawn).

What else might people get up to in a dungeon?
 

xanther

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Basic Combat.

....

So a soldier with an smg and a prowess of 6 needs to roll under 6 to hit. They are shooting at a goblin and roll a 3, getting the success and wiping out the goblins threat rating in one hit.

My only issue here is that its counter intuitive to the roll under mechanic.

The other option is that the Soldier hits and inflict 6 damage - same end result but its a simpler mechanic and lacks nuance.

NPC's don't roll. If the player fails, they take damage equal to the NPC's threat rating.
I like the first option with the variable damage, though it makes it even more of a meat grinder.

Our soldier from above is attacked by another goblin during the firefight. He rolls prowess to dodge but fails and takes 3 damage (the goblins threat rating.)

If you want to make the mechanics more symmetric, same whether PC or NPC, then PC damage would also equal their threat rating, Prowess I guess in this regard.
 

xanther

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Ok. What do players do?
Well it's exploring labyrinthian trap and monster filled underground so...

...

What else might people get up to in a dungeon?
Parley with the inhabitants.
Explore and map.
Take samples and find ways to better understand them.
Set up and maintain a base.
Tunnel, dig, modify, stabilize, etc. the dungeon.

If it wasn't for the potential tech that could be reverse engineered from these artefacts, it's likely the government would seal off A.S.C's but the potential outweighs the risks.

High tech artifacts? The only thing that would limit a government in exploiting this resource to the maximum is the need to keep it secret. Although the budget will need to be hidden, it will still easily reach billions for big states. The number of people involved is another matter, there can be compartmentalization and a limited number that get sent in. That being said, of those that are sent in all but fodder (who even if they survive will never again see the light of day, they are not told that of course) would be the best of the best.

I do not see this as being foray after foray as a typical dungeon crawl, or conducted by independent operators. This is a government operation meant to secure a strategic resource by any means necessary. Step 1, establish a forward base and lines of communication. All available tech that works will be utilized. The people sent in will be supported by a whole team. This won't be so much an exploration and forays ala D&D but a systematic invasion/colonization/conquest.
 

robiswrong

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Ok. What do players do?
What they do is a good starting place, but what decisions do they make?

For example, in old school D&D they make the decision "do we take the time to search for hidden doors/traps/treasure or not?"

If they do, they may find interesting things, but use supplies and run the risk of wandering monsters.

If they don't, they run the risk of missing things, losing out on treasure or running into traps.
 
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