Author Topic: My homebrew system.  (Read 451 times)


  • Yrthak
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My homebrew system.
« on: January 02, 2008, 09:14:39 PM »
This is probably the fourth iteration of an idea for a game system for use with the two settings I'm working on. It's a bit of a hodge-podge of mechanics from games like Star Wars Saga, Alternity, Unknown Armies, and others. The core mechanic is a roll under that adjusts for difficulty without a bunch of fiddly modifiers. You roll under your stat plus skill, with a number of ten sided dice based on the difficulty of the task (1d10 for pretty basic stuff, 5d10 for the absurdly difficult, and everything in between). The character creation and advancement is a lot like Star Wars SAGA, only classless (instead of base attack bonus, characters have combat skills; instead of saves, characters have derived values that don't change much; etc.). The combat mechanics have most of my original work, and went for a nice mix of fast pace and gritty detail, for a 'visceral' feeling combat. I also gave some love to various other rules subsystems for things like magic (in the fantasy), psionics (in the scifi), technology, computer use (in the scifi), and wilderness survival (probably only in the fantasy).

In any case, I think this one's good enough for use in both my fantasy and scifi games.

Sorry if its a bit cluttered... and I've got the graves of so many earlier efforts littering the site too. Hopefully, this is the final iteration. Or close to it. I'll get it better organized soon.

Ability scores run from 5 to 10 or thereabouts (there are special abilities that might modify this).

These scores are distributed between six ability scores. These scores are intelligence, wisdom, charisma, will, strength, and dexterity.

A character starts the game with a number of trained skills equal to his intelligence score. Each trained skill gets a +5 bonus. All skills get a +1 bonus at even-numbered levels.

A character starts the game with three perks. Characters get new features at odd numbered levels. Perks represent special abilities of all sorts, from psionics to mutations to (sometimes) cyber ware and giant robots.

A character may also start the game with three traits (some of which may be flaws). Traits are unique in that characters can obtain or lose some of them in the course of play (things like poverty, drug addiction, or military rank). So characters that start out more interesting have the potential to become more powerful. I may or may not end up using traits.

A character has three wellness meters that work kind of like saves. A character has three meters.

The mind meter is the total of intelligence and wisdom. It's used to resist things like hacking, certain drugs, illusions, and the like.

The body meter is the total of strength and dexterity. It's used to resist things like poison, disease, and stunning.

The soul meter is the total of will and charisma. It's used to resist thing like fear, possession, and insanity.

Things like sanity and disease can actually hurt a character's mind, body, or soul meters, making that person more vulnerable to further attacks.

Hit points would probably start at three times your strength. They'd probably increase by your strength score every level.

Damage thresholds would probably start equal to your strength score. They'd probably increase by one point per level or every other level. Also, add your armor to your damage threshold.

Initiative would be equal to wisdom plus dexterity.

Combat starts (like most games) with an initiative check. After that, the engine gets a little more unique. It's got an active defense mechanic, a hit location mechanic, a single pool of hit points, and a flexible and intuitive way to shift between cautions fighting and flipping out. What's even crazier is that with all this stuff, no one action ever takes more than one roll.

First off, make an initiative check. The difficulty is 2d10 (1d10 if you sneak up on your opponent, 3d10 if they sneak up on you). If you fail the check, you don't go in the surprise round. If you succeed, you do get to act in the surprise round. Beyond that, just go in order of whoever rolled highest.

Take out a 1d10 at the start of combat. This is your ticks die. It'll be explained in greater detail later. For now, just set it to your dexterity score (max ten'¦ '˜cause it is only a 1d10).

There are two kinds of actions in this game, and those are primary and secondary. You get one primary action every round when your turn comes around. You can take as many secondary actions as you'd like, whenever you'd like (even if it isn't your turn), but for every secondary action you lower the number on the ticks die by two.

Attack someone. Move two zones. Manifest a power. Pull some kind of stunt. Jump a fence. Refocus (move your ticks die to ten).

Dodge. Parry. Reload. Duck for cover. Counter a maneuver.

To attack someone, the first thing you need to do is to roll some dice. You can roll as many or as few as you want. Rolling fewer will give you a better chance to hit, but will likely result in less damage. Rolling more will deal more damage, but will make it less likely that you hit.

If you succeed on your check, you hit. If you fail, you miss. You deal damage equal to your attack roll. If you penetrated their armor, you add bonus damage based on your weapon. If you beat their damage threshold, you also deal a wound or two. More on wounds and armor later.

Maneuvers are just like attacks, but they deal no damage. You still choose how many dice you roll, which determines how difficult it is to counteract the maneuver if you succeed.

You can parry a melee attack or dodge a ranged attack. You can also dodge a melee attack or block a ranged attack, but at a slight penalty.

You roll as many dice as your attacker rolled.

If you deal enough damage to beat your foe's wound threshold, you inflict one or two wounds. To determine where you hit a guy, look back at the dice you rolled. Compare each 1d10 to the following chart. Pick any of the locations you rolled and inflict a wound (or two) there.

6-left leg
7-right leg
8-left arm
9-right arm

Every hit location except the head has three wound values: penalized, disabled, and destroyed. The head works the same, except that there is no 'penalized' box.

Weapons have three values (besides stuff like range, how often you reload, or how many hands you hold it in). Weapons have penetration, wounds, and bonus damage.

Penetration is a measure of how well a weapon does against armor. Add the number of dice you rolled to penetration on any given attack.

Damage is a measure of how much bonus damage a weapon deals if it penetrates armor.

Wounds is a measure of how many wounds a weapon inflicts if it deals enough damage.

Armor has two major values (besides the penalties it imposes'¦ I haven't decided those yet).

Armor has a protection value. You add this to your damage threshold.

Armor has a coverage value. This is the value a weapon has to penetrate.

Wealth works kind of like it does in D20 Modern. You've got a wealth level. You roll under it to purchase expensive things (like if you wouldn't auto succeed). If you fail, you can still get the thing, but your wealth goes down. Item prices range from one die to five dice.

Restricted items also carry a license fee equal to their normal cost. Once you get the license, you don't have to get it again for subsequent purchases of the same item.

Certain abilities a character might have can modify the way that character obtains gear. Poverty lowers a character's starting wealth. Affluence increases it. Debt requires that a person make checks to pay every month. Unrestricted (for police and military and such) lets a person buy restricted things without a license (GM's discretion, of course).

A character can make items on the cheap. Getting parts to make an item costs -1 die. If the character succeeds on his skill check to make an item, he can do so very cheaply. Even failure and subsequent skill checks might not cost so much if the craftsman succeeds on his wealth checks.

A character who wants to invent a new item must first succeed on a knowledge check to design the item, which is rolled in secret by the GM. If the check is successful, the device will work reliably forever (or until you or someone else breaks it). If the check fails, the device will also fail later, when you need it most. You can try jury-rigging it to get it to work temporarily, but after that the device will be ruined.

There's more than one reason you roll in secret. What may at first seem like a fair device to give a player may in fact be bad for the game in the long run. If this turns out to be the case, scrap the item and discuss it with the player when the session's over.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by beeblebrox »
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I don't believe in it anyway.
Just a conspiracy of cartographers, then?