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Some Houserule-y type stuff

posted Sep 21, 2014 03:33:10 by Nicholas Simpson
So here is a big compiled thing of some of the rules tweaks I would suggest for the system. It's probably too late to include them now, but I figured I'd throw them out for some discussion from other people.

Major and Minor Penalties
-Basically, this is a different way of applying difficulty modifiers that helps to cap them at lower values and means that you never need to track more than 2 at a time. You basically just look for how many minor penalties exist and how many major penalties exist and apply penalties based on below.
1 Minor: +0 Difficulty
2+ Minor: +1 Difficulty
1 Major: Ignore Minor, +1 Difficulty
2 Major: Ignore Minor, +2 Difficulty
GM Fiat: Add an additional +1 when there are a large number of penalties present or when one of them seems particularly insurmountable.
-Judging Major vs. Minor: This is typically GM's choice as to whether something is a major or minor penalty. Most penalties should count as minor ones unless they're scaled up versions of minor penalties.
-Scaling up: For penalties of differing intensities (e.g. range penalties), count them as minor penalties at level 1, and major penalties at level 2 and above. GM can add an additional +1 if appropriate.
-Adding Penalties: In general, DSP abilities that add difficulty penalties can be assumed to cost 1 to add a minor penalty or 2 to add a major penalty.
-Advantages: A player may use the existence of one or more advantages to reduce difficulty by 1, to a minimum of 1. Although advantages CAN be implemented in the same manner as penalties, it is easier for the GM to simply reduce difficulty by 1. In cases during which a character seemingly has a guaranteed likelihood of success, the player should not have to roll. The GM can spend 2 DSPs to force the player to roll at 1 difficulty, however.

Baseline Difficulty System
-A Note on Combat: Combat always assumes a baseline difficulty of 1. This roll will in turn be modified by additional penalties, meaning that combat rolls will almost never be at greater than 4 difficulty.
1 Difficulty: The most common or practiced use of a skill
2 Difficulty: Uncommon uses of a skill, those that have been occasionally practiced.
3 Difficuly: Rare uses of a skill, those that have been done once or twice but not practiced.
4 Difficulty: Very rare uses of a skill, those that only a few practitioners have successfully attempted.
5 Difficulty: Unique uses of a skill, those that have only been successfully attempted once or less in the history of the skill.

Basic Encounter System
-GM assigns baseline difficulty to roll
-GM adds a number of additional "barriers" each adding +1 difficulty to roll (these override the normal use of Major and Minor Penalties)
-GM may spend a DSP to turn a barrier into a "block," meaning the roll cannot be attempted until the block is removed
-Barriers can be overcome through successful rolls, successful roleplay, or spending player resources
-Blocks can be overcome in the same way, but if a player attempts to remove it and fails, the block becomes a barrier, still adding difficulty to the roll
-It is up to the GM whether he wants to tell players what the blocks and barriers are in the narrative. Players may have to use other skills or methods to find out.

Basic Encounter System for Opposed Rolls
-GM adds a number of additional "barriers" to the roll, each adding 1d20 to the NPC's dicepool
-GM may spend a DSP to turn a barrier into a "block," meaning the roll cannot be attempted until the block is removed.
-Barriers can be overcome through successful rolls, successful roleplay, or spending player resources
-Blocks can be overcome in the same way, but if a player attempts to remove it and fails, the block becomes a barrier, still adding difficulty to the roll.
-It is up to the GM whether he wants to tell players what the blocks and barriers are in the narrative. Players may have to use other skills or methods to find out.

A note on the Encounter System
-The encounter system uses barriers and blocks rather than the normal penalties. The reason for this is that the key roll for the encounter only has one chance to be resolved, and thus is more important than a single roll in combat. Because of this, the barriers and blocks involved are open to the players being able to subvert them, and thus increase their chance of success. This allows what could be a simple roll to be turned into a more strategic encounter for the players to engage with the mechanics more. Basically, it's an option for a GM who wants to make certain encounters more important or for players who would like to see more value for non-combat skills.

Time and Other Risks
-Many times, it may be appropriate to say how long it will take a character to complete a task, and use that as a restriction (e.g. how long to research a topic, search a room, or repair a car). For some stories, this may not be a usefully dramatic tool, as characters may want to do actions more quickly in order to move the story along, or there may be so much excess time available that players can take as long as they want. Here are some suggested alternatives that can be used to make actions more dramatic or more open to use. These include a description of the risk, as well as a table for different increments that can allow momentum to be spent to reduce the risk.

-Time: There should already be a table provided for how much time things might take, along with how you can use momentum to "buy" things taking less time. As it stands, there is a current equivalent of 1 minute equalling one round in an encounter. I would also extend this to having 1 hour be the equivalent of an entire encounter (whichever is shorter), and 1 day being the equivalent of an entire game session (whichever is shorter). In both of those cases, the item would only be ready at either the end of the encounter or at the start of the next game session. For longer intervals of time, I think it's important to consider whether the contents of a game session are actually going to take longer than a day of narrative time to resolve. In general, any roll that is made in a game should have its results come up within that actual session.

The same thing goes for recovery times. I'm honestly more of a fan of using "game language" than "naturalistic" language when it comes to recovering health. Something more like "recover all wounds at the end of an adventure," "recover X wounds at the start of each session," and "recover X wounds if you take time to rest during a session" along with instant healing methods like med kits or what have you. X should be tweaked to the level that the game expects characters to be dealing with injuries vs. being at full fighting strength.

-Health: Using health as a resource may mean that a certain action is risking injury, either mental or physical. Physical risk may come from attempting things in hostile environments. It may come in the form of gaining Penalties to your rolls, such as being exhausted. The same thing goes for mental health. This can represent researching dark or evil things, or from the stress of quickly completing something. You can use momentum in a couple ways for these.

The action will cause either a major hazard's worth of damage or a minor hazard's worth. You could also scale these down to being 1+1[DS] or 3+3[DS]. Each momentum spent reduces the hazard from 4-3-2-1, although you can start with a lower level of damage if you wish.

The action inflicts an ongoing penalty to physical or mental actions, either major or minor. The penalty disappears after a rest or at the end of the session. Each momentum spent reduces the hazard from major-minor-nothing.

-Resources: The action will cost X amount of resources. The game already references "Loads" for first aid kits and weapons. I would suggest that other equipment also start with a number of "Loads" that can be spent on rolls such as this. Things like toolkits, survival kits, disguise kits, and so on. Replenishing the Loads would cost 1/2 of the kit's cost. This could involve the player having to pay X loads, reduced by 1 for each momentum spent. Again, 1 or 2 momentum spent should be enough to clear out everything spent.

Another resource to be spent is Assets, which can be seen as "liquid assets" that are quickly available to be spent. These could also be assigned as basic costs for doing things, such as a bribe, although they may have a minimum cost that cannot be reduced by momentum.

Favours, Contacts, and Conflicts
-This is my idea for having a basic system for the above terms. In essence, having a Favour allows you to get something from a person and not immediately have to pay it. Contacts are person for whom you can ask things for, but that will want you to pay upfront. Conflicts are persons whom you owe for a previous favour, and are attempting to collect in some way. One person can shift between each of these states depending on how the PC treats him or her.

Hazards
-Major and Minor, deal 2+2[DS] or 4+4[DS], GM can add weapon qualities to them as appropriate.
-Suggested weapon qualities: Falling, Explosions, Drowning, Vacuum, Poison
-GM can scale these up or down if desired.

I'm curious to see what people think of these suggestions. They're based around the idea that players may want to have more strategic depth to non-combat parts of the game, while allowing the GM to maximize flexibility. It also sacrifices some simulationist ideas in favor of facilitating gameplay and storytelling.








[Last edited Feb 10, 2016 00:16:15]
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