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Monday, March 16, 2009

[RPG] The Next Steps-

(c) Copyright 2009 Kyrinn S. Eis all rights reserved

After much calculation and tabulation, I think the Point-Design system for Character Creation is complete-enough to build all of the standard FRP trope 'Classes' (Fighter, Mage, Holy, and Rogue), as well as most, if not all, 'sub-Classes' (Assassin, Barbarian, Dedicated Warrior, etc.)
My next step is to collate the extant XP progression tables from my model RPG (Chris Gonnerman's excellent Basic Fantasy Role Playing Game), to create a 'generic' XP table to be used by the Referee for pacing purposes.

Pacing in the Point-Design system is important insomuch that it prevents outright distortions of the power ramp characters follow, as well as helping keep the entire party in a degree of parity (not true Balance, mind you). Thus, allowing more minor purchases to be made 'live' in-game (such as increasing Technical Skills such as those often attributed to 'Thieves': Trap Removal, Hiding, and so forth), but retraining rampant escalation of Spell Slots/Points or Fight Dice, etc.

In my Alpha Playtest Group (APG hereafter), the player controlling Tybalt the Bard purchased 9 Spell Points once we had converted the characters over to the P-D system. I thought about that over the week, and asked him to scale back the total to 4 purchased points (in line with a 2nd-Level M-U), but I then granted him the +2 from Tybalt's Charisma modifier. Though the difference was only three points, I felt as though things were less likely to spiral out of control should I not pay meticulous attention to the character's development. Likewise, other Ability Score bonuses had already figured in (Constitution toward Dodge Points, and Strength / Dexterity toward Attack Bonus, etc.).

As I have noted on the Dragonsfoot Workshop thread, I am reluctant to port over too many fiddly bits of Latter Day RPG design sensibilities, such as sharply-defined special abilities (Untraceable Steps, Vanish From View, or the like), and must now decide which, if any, will make the translation, and what sort of mechanic will address these sorts of situations otherwise.

Toward that end, I have already introduced -Focus-, which are generic points which the player may ask to apply to various established die-roll functions such as the Ability Test, Critical Tests (known in other games s Saving Throws), Technical Skills (in which case they are treated as +5% each), or the quirky 1d6 'Detect' or 'Surprise' mechanics so ingrained in the Old School systems. In the last case, given the mathematics of a d6, I have decided that it will take 3 Focus to emulate a +1 (worth roughly 16.67%) on the d6 rolls.
Also, in my initial write-up of the Devoted Warrior (a Paladin by another name), I have introduced the concept of the 'dedicated purchase' (currently at a 25% discount) toward such abilities as 'Smiting' a particular foe-type, or Dedicated Focus exclusively for detecting the foe-type. Furthermore, by simply dividing the cost by the 'number of times usable per day', a further reduction in cost is garnered.
I think these mechanics resolve most of the Latter Day special abilities rather nicely. We shall see...

I had asked on Dragonsfoot for some brainstorming assistance on the general topic of Perception, and how to handle it in the game.
Perhaps stimulated by that request, a poster started a General Discussion topic on the very subject, spawning the fairly typical demographic break-downs of: 'No need for a die roll'; 'Int or Wis'; and the occasional more unusual concept ('Int, Wis, or Cha, depending on the context' -- I especially liked that one).
So, now, I ask you for your input here. Thanks. :)

1 comment:

  1. I think with point based systems, it's okay to have arbritary purchasing limits; that is pretty much what you are doing when you asked the bard to scale back their purchase. Or perhaps have a soft ceiling, where it costs more once you reach a certain threshold.

    I think with perception, you just have to play it loose. If it's in plain sight and noticeable, let them know it. If it's hidden, make them search for it. When it really matters is when combat happens, represented by the surprise roll. I think that falls under the "no need for a die roll" option.