Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Death & Dinosaurs: Basic Rules of Play

This is part 2 of a multi-part series where I design a game that feels in play like the games I played when I first started playing. In the previous post, I laid out the basics of the setting and some of my ideas on how the game will go. Check it out if you want this part to make sense.

Basic Rules
Rule 1: Dice rolls matter. Whenever the GM calls for a die roll it should matter. There should be definite downsides to failing and definite good sides to succeeding. Basically set the stakes before you roll.

You will be rolling a twenty-sided die for most of the game. You use a D20 for skill rolls, attack rolls, and for the occasional defense roll. The other dice come into play for damage, initiative, and effect rolls(effect rolls are for duration, area of effect, and other variables).

The Combat Cycle
Step 1: Roll for initiative. Each class will tell you what the base initiative die you roll(1D4, 1D6, or 1D8). Add in your Prowess modifier to get your final initiative score. You only roll once for the whole combat. But the score can be manipulated by spells and class abilities.
Step 2: Though this will be step one for the rest of the combat cycle. You may move and take one action. You may move up to your alacrity rating in yards and still take one action. That action can be to move again. Your action can be an attack, a second move, or skill use.
Step 3: Compare attacks to defense rating, or compare a skill rating to opponents opposed skill rating. Your base defense against physical attack is your prowess modifier added to 10. You may also get equipment and special abilities that will modify this number. You can give up your action to add to your defense for the turn by 1D4. This can be affected by special abilities.
Step 4: Deal with ramifications. Deal damage(usually based off of equipment), followthrough with effects of spells and skills, and any other follow on effects from actions taken.
Step 5: Return to Step 2 and follow through until one side flees, gets taken out(runs out of hit points), or the situation change such that combat is no longer necessary.

What is roleplaying?
In this section, I would have an explanation of roleplaying. It would be specific enough that you would sort of understand how it should go, but vague enough that you are still uncomfortable and confused during your first couple of sessions. It would then have an example of play, where I would try to write how people play and end up with a really odd scenario that would never happen in play. As I am writing for folks who most likely know about role-playing games already, I can probably just skip this part...

What you need to play
Paper - on which to write out your character's stats and all notes and doodles necessary for the mind to play the game.
Pencils - pencils are great because they have erasers. During play you will be called upon to add, subtract, and change data on your paper. Pencils are our friends...also they count as a wooden stake. Should vampires attack during the game don't you want the security of knowing you can handle it?
Friends - This can be tricky. Warriors aren't the only ones who see charisma as a dump stat. You will need a couple of friends at a minim to play. At least one to play the Game Master and at least two to play the Characters.
Dice - Many different kinds of dice are used for this game.  are listed as a number of dice followed by a D followed by the number of sides the die has. This game uses the following dice: D4, D6, D8, D10, D12, D20. You can get these online or at hobby stores. They are pretty cheap unless you want some fancy ones. These can go for a fair amount.

Each attribute will be rated as a number between 3 and 18. This number usually comes from a separate roll of 3d6 for each attribute. Though there are other methods you might use. Assume 3D6 down the line, unless your GM says otherwise.
Ratings and modifiers follow:
3 :-4, 4 : -3, 5-6 : -2, 7-8 : -1, 9-11 : 0, 12-13 : +1, 14-15 : +2, 16-17 : +3, 18 : +4

Why eight attributes?
In this game, I will be using eight attributes, but I will be using the old standby of 3D6 for the range of attribute rating. You have to remember I am trying to get the feel of the games I first played in my youth. They all had attributes, and those attributes were all a sort of response to D&D. They would be similar but would sort of feel like a reaction to them. Often these were pointless distinctions or an odd picadillo of a specific group's play style. As such altering attributes and adding a couple extra attributes

Glamor: Grace, poise, and physical attraction. This represents your physical presence and your ability to control how people see you. This is not just your innate physical symmetry and grace, it is your ability to use that to its best effect.
Pull: Force of personality, ability to get people to do what you want. Those with a high Pull can control Their emotions and the emotions of those around them. This is one's ability to get what you want through sheer force of personality, charisma, and moxy.
Strength: Lifting, carrying, breaking things. This represents your ability to focus and utilize your raw musculature. You can lift Strength x10 lbs without incurring mechanical difficulty. you can lift double that weight as your maximum carrying capacity. When carrying more than your normal limit you can not use any strength bonus to skills, and any penalties are doubled.
Prowess: Muscle control and hand-eye coordination. The opposite end of the muscle spectrum. Your reflexes and fine motor control.
Fortitude: Health, endurance, toughness. Your ability to resist pain, disease, poison, Distractions, and fatigue. Those with a great deal of this can stand fast in the face of armageddon, those without much of this are easily distracted and easily pushed around.
Alacrity: Swiftness, Fleetness of foot. Those with a high Alacrity act first and cover the most ground. Those with high Alacrity are slim and swift, those without much are in someway slow and have poor reactions. Your Alacrity attribute number is the number of yards you can move per action, or double that if you take no actions.
Intellect: Intelligence, knowledge, and ability to learn and understand new data and skills. This also includes memory. Let's be honest this is the standard RPG understanding of intelligence. You know what this is for.
Willpower: mental strength, endurance, and resistance. Your force of will and your mental endurance. This also plays into your focus and perception.

When making a skill check you roll a d20 add a relevant attribute bonus or penalty as well as the skill rating. You compare this number against the success threshold. If you roll higher than the threshold you succeed; roll lower than the threshold and you fail. If you are using a skill against an opponent they would roll the relevant attribute and skill combo, and you need to roll higher then their roll and the threshold.

Skills have two variants, Trained Skills, and Hobby Skills. Trained Skills have a success threshold of 10(meaning you must roll higher than 10 to succeed). Hobby Skills have a success threshold of 15. Untrained skills have a success threshold of 21, you cannot critically succeed with an untrained skill. Your class will let you know what skills you have as hobby skills and trained skills.

Each skill starts at rank 0, at each level(including the first level) you gain 5+your intellect modifier in skill points which you can use to increase your skills by 1. Your maximum skill level is your current level. You can move an untrained skill to hobby level for two skill points, move a hobby skill to trained skill for double the current skill level in skill points.

Academics: Understanding of history, literature, and philosophy. This is book learning. Knowledge of how to attain information and who to talk to in an academic environment.
Acrobatics: Jumping, dodging, flipping, moving with finesse balance and control.
Animal Handling: Your ability to communicate with, control, and ride animals. A super Useful Skill in this strange dinosaur infused future.
Art: The creation of objects and expressions of ideas that serve a primarily aesthetic purpose, though there can be more to it than that. This is the creation of art. Discuss what that means for your character when you take this skill.
Awareness: The ability to feel, perceive, or attain consciousness of events, object, patterns, people, and the world around you.
Charm: Getting people to want to help you. You get what you want through making people like you.
Climbing: The ability to climb well. This includes free climbing, rappelling, rock climbing, tree climbing...all sorts of climbing, really.
Cookery: The art of preparing food for consumption. Anyone can do it, in fact, most cook to one degree or another every day. You, however, are a cut above. Your food is more than just sustenance, it is an experience.
Demolitions: Creation and removal of explosive devices. Don't screw up...BOOM!
Investigation: Directed and focused awareness. Seeking small but crucial details.
Disguise: The ability to alter your appearance or the perception of your appearance to others.
Engineer: Applied scientific knowledge and ingenuity. This is the skill of building and repairing things.
Escapology: The practice of escaping traps and restraints.
Etiquette: Knowledge of who to talk to and understanding of how things are done in high society.
Forensics: A scientific method for understanding the causes of death in a formerly living being.
Forgery: the process of making, adapting, or imitating objects, statistics, or documents with the intent to deceive
Intimidate: getting people to do what you want through the use of threats and fear. No one likes a bully, yet people do what the bully wants, so who cares?
Lore: Knowledge of magic theory, demonology, and an understanding of all things magical and superstitious. This is the knowledge of how to attain information and who to talk to in the Magical subculture.
Medicine: Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease and treatment injuries. If you get shot, 
Might: Lifting, breaking, the distance you can throw, bending. Feats of strength and endurance.
Melee Combat: This represents mastery of hitting things with other things. You are a master of using hand to hand weaponry.
Ranged Combat: Shooting stuff, throwing stuff, hitting at a distance. You are William Tell, Robin Hood, Buffalo Bill, Sergeant York, Wild Bill Hitchcock, or Legolas.
Running: The ability to move swiftly. This covers long-distance running, like marathons, and short distance running, like sprints.
Science: Like all the deadly arts it is divided into two schools of thought...Soft Science and Hard Science. When you take this skill you choose one of the styles of science and cannot take the other.
Stealth: Your ability to move unseen and conceal yourself from the eyes of others. The weapon of a ninja.
Streetwise: Knowledge of underbelly of society. This is a skill used to understand who to talk to and where things can be found within the criminal subculture.
Survival: Techniques used to gather the necessities of life within the wilderness.
Swimming: Mankind's primary weapon in its never-ending war against the menace of water.
Thievery: You are trained in picking locks, picking pockets, and cracking safes. One might say you are somewhat untrustworthy.
Unarmed Combat: Punching, kicking, gouging, scratching, and biting. When you got nothing else, you still have the weapons the gods gave you. At rank 1 you must choose either a hard martial art or a soft martial art. Hard means when the opponent attacks and fails, they take damage equal to your rank in the skill. Soft grants a bonus to defense equal to your rank.
Vehicle Operation: you can maintain and operate vehicles

And that is the rough outline of the core mechanics, the Attributes, and The Skill list. Next week I will go into the alignments and factions of the games. That should be fun. Right? I hope it is fun...

Let me know what you think, I am always intrested in comments critiques. 

No comments:

Post a Comment