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Thursday, April 8, 2010

[RPG] Locus Points: Generation, Use, and Gain-

As I am writing the Ethnicity-specific CharGen pages, I have been thinking about how to go about implementing Locus Points for existing characters (such as those in my Playtest Campaign, or characters ported in from some Other Game).

What is Locus?-

Locus is functionally 'Luck' in a general sense, and from a game-mechanic-perspective, it operates in a way similar to so-called Action Points.

* If stated that a Locus Point (only ever one being used at a time for anything) is going to be expended, the roll that would normally be needed is instead waved and a 'success' is generated. In the case of a Strike Roll, the attack strikes. In the case of a Damage/Effect Roll, the average value is generated (to which modifiers are then added as per normal). In a Skill Roll, 100% is generated. Etc.

* If a roll is made, and Success or Effect is not generated on rolled (+ mods.) merits, a Locus Point may be expended to re-roll, with the better of the two results being used.

* If a Player expends one Locus Point, their PC stops 1-point of bleeding (Condition 3), requiring two concurrent Rounds in which Locus was expended to stop Heavy Bleeding (Condition 2).

* If a PC would go Unconscious (Condition 1), or is already Unconscious, 1 Locus Point may be expended to roll 1d6. If this d6 result is 4+, the PC becomes conscious, although possibly still (Heavy-) Bleeding, and can act at the standard Condition penalty (6 - Condition).

* If a PC is Dying (Condition Zed), the Player may expend 1 Locus Point to keep from slipping further (once the Zed DP have reached 0). For more permissive GMs of That Other Game who use 'negative x = dead', then this would prevent a PC from slipping into the (further) 'negatives'.

:: The above also apply to non-lethal, stunning effects (what UWoM terms Alertness Conditions: Vanguard, Alert, Unfocused, Stunned, In-shock, Unconscious, Comatose), such as results from waylaying, psychic-blasts, etc.

The Referee is encouraged to allow other significant (i.e., non-trivial) uses for the expenditure of a Locus Point, that I have not detailed, and will not detail in the rules.
--This becomes a Player-Referee dynamic mechanism that allows a bit more interaction in the gameplay apart from binary success/failure die-rolls.

(Re)gaining Locus Points-

:: As these points do not 're-set' at the start of a session/section/chapter, I suggest adding one LP each advancement, and in the event of significant and especially clever gameplay, or deeply moving roleplay, such as putting Duty above one's own life, etc.

* For new PCs, the Player rolls 3d6 seven times, placing six of the scores as desired into the six Abilities, and using the seventh score as the Locus Point total.
--This allows strategic choice in the case of (otherwise 'good'-) scores that wouldn't provide an additional bonus to be placed instead in Locus, with the lower score in a bonus-step (13 on a 13-15 score bonus scheme, for instance) placed in an Ability.

* For extant characters imported from Other Games, to simulate the likelihood of the Locus score being the 'discard', it would instead be generated with a 2d6+1d4 roll.

:: With many uses for (and few methods of re-gaining) Locus Points, I see this mechanism as a little nudge in the PCs favour in what would otherwise be a very deadly game (system).

Thoughts, concerns, objections, derisions?