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Monday, November 21, 2011

NaGaDeMo: DICE part 2!

Still plugging away on DICE. We'll see if I can get it completed by the end of the month...

Either way, it's a fun project and I definitely intend to complete it. Developing a system more-or-less from scratch gives you some interesting insights into the workings of your own brain. It's weird to realize how much time your brain spends working on an issue without letting you know. You may spend an hour or so agonizing over a particularly difficult rules-concept and then decide to come back to it some other time. Hours later an idea pops into your head more or less fully formed with a little note from your subconscious: "hey, here's that thing you wanted."

So far here's a few of the ideas that are hitting the walls until they stick:

Dice (i.e. your characters) are composed of four main parts:
  1. Your Core Dice...that is your (Level) d (Sides). So a 5th level d12 has a Core Dice set of 5d12. 
  2. You've got a Paradigm which is essentially a short description of your Dice's character concept: Savage Barbarian, Pirate, Mercenary, Illusionist, Hacker, etc. The Paradigm gives a bonus to rolls that fall under it (so the Barbarian gets bonuses to survival in the wild, hunting, etc while the Hacker would get bonuses to programming, computer knowledge, breaking security and so on). 
  3. You also have Skills which are player-created abilities that determine your training. The lower the die class the more Skills you have, but you can purchase them later. d4s are an exception, having only a small selection of Skills but they are "Esoteric Skills", allowing them to accomplish a wide variety of feats with ease. 
  4. Then you've got Tricks which are the Feats/Edges/whatevers of DICE. They're special moves or abilities that are triggered by spending Meta-Dice. For example, one Trick for d12s is Freak Out! which grants a scene-long bonus to offensive maneuvers but penalizes defensive ones. 

Other random ideas in no particular order:

Damage: There will be two core damage systems in DICE: "Classic" will feature traditional Hit Point mechanics. Every Dice will receive a number of hit points each level based on their die-type. This can be rolled, averaged or maximum as the GM chooses. Alternatively you've got a Wound system. Dice who suffer more damage from an attack than their die-type (so more than 12 for a d12, more than 6 for a d6) will suffer a Wound. Each Wound inflicts a cumulative penalty to rolls and once your Wounds exceed your Level then you're out of play.

Maneuvers: Special maneuvers (knock-downs, trips, blinding, etc) can be attempted by sacrificing Core Dice in an attack. So say you've got a 3rd level d10 who normally rolls 3d10 to attack an opponent. If he wants to attempt a disarm maneuver he's got to sacrifice 2 of those dice, leaving him with 1d10 but if he succeeds he'll disarm his opponent on top of any damage. A similar system will allow for magical "debuffs".

Multiple Actions: There is no set limit to the number of actions you can take but it must be possible to "group" them all into a single declaration and you receive a penalty based on the number of distinct actions. For example you may not simply punch someone in the face then kick down a door...but you could pick someone up and throw them through the door.

Opponents: As seen in the DICE outline I posted a while back monsters are classified by die-types as well. Here's a brief overview:
  • d4s are the small, annoying monsters that make up low-level encounters. Giant Rats, automated hover-drones, kobolds, goblins, annoying children. Etc. 
  • d6s are the "commoners". Your bartender, your town watch, your average orc. They're all probably d6s. 
  • d8s are the tough guys. They're either burly monsters like minotaurs or attack bots or they're well-trained enemies like elite mercenaries or highly skilled guardsmen. Undead that can be described as "shambling" probably fall into this category too.
  • d10s are your massive hulks: golems, battlemechs, giants, elementals, etc. If the words "hulking" "ginormous" or "slabs" apply then it probably is a d10. 
  • d12s are mythical beasts: chimera, gorgons, squid-headed humanoids, etc. Not only deadly but probably brimming with magical power as well.Ghosts, vampires, liches and other highly mystical undead fall into this category as well.
  • d20s are the major opponents: dragons, demons and devas (okay...angels...I just really wanted to keep alliterating there). Magical and physical powerhouses.
  • d100s are gods and avatars. Probably far off the map for most DICE games but by golly if they're statted someone is going to take it as a challenge and try and kill 'em. 
  • d3s are the Dice Which Should Not Be. Not demons or devils but some hideous, unspeakable other. They'll screw with the combat system (normal rolls are 1d20 + Core Dice...d3s roll 1d20 x Core Dice) making even low-level d3s horrific challenges. 
Obviously all of this is still pretty raw but it's beginning to take shape (and I'm only 2/3rds of the way through the month). I'm hoping to run a quicky session this coming weekend and if I can pull it off I'll make sure to record it. 

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