Prime Evil

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Prime Evil last won the day on August 5 2016

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About Prime Evil

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  • Current games
    Mongoose RQ II, BNRP, CoC
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    Sydney, Australia
  1. I'm waiting to get paid so I can get a hardcover too - to sit alongside my copy of OQ2 in hardcover!
  2. Alternatively, you can reduce the difficulty of the skill test by one grade for each level of specialisation the character possesses. If an adventurer with Handguns 47% is making a skill roll against an average difficulty, there is no modification to the roll. But if they have a specialisation with the Walther PPK, the roll is made against an Easy difficulty. The beauty of this approach is that there is no need to keep track of separate skill ratings for each specialisation - specialisations become mere descriptors that reduce the Difficulty Grade when they are applicable.
  3. Yes. I didn't go down this path for exactly that reason. One issue is that is that the standard success level progression in most d100 variants isn't very granular. It normally goes Critical Success > Normal Success > Normal Failure > Fumble. By contrast, the old James Bond RPG assigned each successful roll a Quality Rating from 1 to 4 - so there were four different success levels. If you want this degree of granularity in d100, you might need a progression that goes: Critical Success Total Success Marginal Success Partial Success Failure Critical Failure / Fumble
  4. In addition, have a look at the Renaissance system publications "Dark Streets" and "Clockwork & Cthulhu" from Cakebread & Walton. The rules for Sanity, Horror, Mental Armour, and Mental Healing may be exactly what you are looking for. Plus they are Open Game Content, so you can bolt them onto other D100 RPGs if you are a publisher
  5. Thanks. I'm trying to develop an approach that provides decent flexibility without increasing complexity. One interesting thing about this approach is that it has implications for opposed skill tests - if one side has a specialisation in a skill and the other is resisting with a raw skill, the character with the specialisation has a significant advantage. This is not a bad thing! It also means that I've been developing specialisations for skills that don't currently have any. My view is that if a skill is too narrow to support a couple of specialised applications, it probably doesn't deserve to be in the game. Thus, in my variant, skills such as Sleight (renamed as Legerdemain) supports specialisation such as Cutpurse, Pickpocket, Filch, Prestidigitation, Juggling, and Concealment. Stealth has a couple of potential specialisations such as Shadowing and Ambush (and Perception gains an Alertness specialisation used to resist ambush and assassination attempts). I've also been toying with the idea of allowing characters to spend improvement points to purchase Stunts for individual skills. These are cool "cinematic" applications of the skill that require the expenditure of a Hero Point to activate during play. For example, the Perception skill might have a Deduction stunt allowing a character to perform the kind of incredible feats of observation and deductive reasoning associated with Sherlock Holmes. Of course, it would cost a Hero Point to activate the stunt whilst investigating a crime scene. However, I'm worried that introducing a Stunt mechanism like this makes everything too complicated again.
  6. I've admit that the traits system in RD100 has influenced my thinking in this area too, but in a slightly different way. I want more traditional skill specialisations to allow GMs to select the level of granularity they want in their skill system. If you look at MRQII / Legend, many of the "Advanced" skills are specialisations of the "Common" skills. For example, Acrobatics can be seen as a specialisation of Athletics and Seduction as a specialisation of Influence. There are a few oddities where one "Advanced" skill can be seen as a specialisation of another "Advanced" skill. And there are a few cases where a "Common" skill is a specialisation of an "Advanced" one. For example, I regard Track as a specialisation of Survival and Evaluate as a specialisation of Commerce. For my homebrew game, I follow the lead of RQ 6 / Mythras and drop the distinction between Common and Advanced skills. However, not all skills are usable by without training. Also, I draw a distinction between skills with mandatory specialisation (such as Language or Culture) and skills with optional specialisation (such as Athletics and Influence). Mandatory specialisations are completely different skills - just as Language (English) is separate to Language (Japanese). But optional specialisations are individual applications of the parent skill. Thus, Influence skill now contains multiple specialisations such as Deception, Haggling, Intimidation, Negotiation, Oratory, and Seduction. Likewise, Athletics contains specialisations such as Acrobatics, Brawn, Climbing, Jumping, Running, and Swimming, As a rule of thumb, characters can only choose one optional specialisation per skill until they raise the parent skill above 100% (at which point they may develop a second one). To keep things simple, my approach is that whenever an adventurer applies an optional specialisation to a skill, it automatically reduces the difficulty grade of the skill roll by two levels. Thus, a brawny barbarian with the Intimidation specialisation can reduce Influence rolls by two Difficulty grades but only when trying to bully or terrorize people. This isn't as flexible as the Trait system in RD100, but it is a bit simpler in play.
  7. Is this a trick question?
  8. I must admit that when I was working on the Spells of Legend project over on the Mongoose boards, I thought seriously about converting some of my favourite 3PP D20 spells. Converting Common Magic and Divine Magic spells is easy, but converting d20 spells to the Legend / Mythras Sorcery system is harder because the underlying rules are so different. But it can be done, provided that appropriate care is taken. Has anybody thought of porting the superpower rules from Mutants & Masterminds as those are mostly OGC? These days, I am quietly working on my own D100 variant that combines material from Legend and OpenQuest - my aim is to develop something that hits the sweet spot somewhere in between the simplicity of OpenQuest / Renaissance and the detailed rules of Legend / RQ 6 / Mythras. My personal taste is for something a little more complex that OQ (which is based upon the MRQI SRD) but not quite as complex as Legend. It sounds like the upcoming Runequest reboot may be aiming for a similar target, but will be tied closely to the Gloranthan setting. I'm aiming for something in between classic Swords and Sorcery and Dark Fantasy - with some hints of modern Grimdark for extra spice.
  9. Thanks! I was just playing around, but I'm sure that I could convert the entire OQ SRD to this format with a bit of work. I'll probably wait until Newt releases the revised version though. I might be tempted to do a custom version with a few of my house rules...
  10. How about something like the attached sample? I've just mocked up a sample page from the OQ2 SRD for fun The embedded font is EB Garamond (which is available under an open license thanks to the Google Fonts project). Sample Page.pdf
  11. But what about those of us who already own everything? Can you give us something new to buy?
  12. This looks interesting. I really like the attitude towards the Gods. It reminds me of the attitude in Kij Johnson's recent Dream Quest of Vellitt Boe (which takes place in Lovecraft's Dreamlands). Here is how she describes the Gods of the Dreamlands: "The gods of the dream-realms were vicious, angry, and small. History was filled with tales of their irrational rages and disproportionate vengeances, of cities buried in poisonous ash, of garden-lands laid waste. Annihilation. In her far-travelling days, she had walked in god-blasted wastelands. There were so many of them: a transparent plain that was a city buried in glass, the buildings intact and perfectly visible beneath her feet, but the bodies gone except for stained hollows in their shapes. An obsidian cliff a mile high where there had been farmland and fishing villages a scarce year before. Gardens turned to ash and poison, islands sunk. Once, she had found a child’s gold anklet, half-melted and still encircling a small, charred bone. There had been a charm hanging from the ring: Let no thing harm me. Everywhere, signs of the gods and their intemperate, petty angers." Vellitt Boe is worried that an angry god might blast Ulthar and discusses her fears with the Preist Nahst: Ulthar’s narrow streets and pretty squares, its houses and halls and temples: all blasted by god-fire and melted to slag, to glass; and its people—the students and wool merchants, the grocers and stable masters and dressmakers and every one of them—all food for carrion beasts and ghouls....because it is what gods did: destroy things and people. Nasht had been silent, watching her expressions; now he spoke. “Ulthar and more. Nir and Hatheg, and all the plains of the River Skai, even....perhaps Ulthar and the rest are just ants under the feet of fighting drunkards. Or perhaps a hate-filled god revels in destruction and pain, and causes it however he may. Veline, I’ve served them for twenty years, and I know little more than you.” She said with a tight laugh, “I was taught to worship them, but how can I? How can any reasonable person? Mathematics does no harm, at least.” “Worship? Is that what we do?” Nasht tipped his glass, watching the lamplight spangle through the wine. “We placate them, that’s all.” In this work - one of the better examples of recent Lovecraftian fiction - even seemingly peaceful areas show signs of divine wrath: Summer was ending, and the first gingkos flared brilliant yellow against the green of those garden lands. This was gentle country, comparatively free of great beasts, so the farms and orchards were large. The air that blew across the deck was rich with the smells of ripening fruit and grain. She had not come this way in years, but the landmarks came back to her: now a red-tiled riverside inn, now the acres of reedy backwater called Bakken, now the hillside orchards, a boatyard, a silver-walled temple, a misshapen oak tree isolated in a ploughed field and bound tightly in chains. But there were also differences: a swath of fields had been burnt to the ground and the soil scarred the dark blue that indicated divine fire; and the water downstream was for many miles stained black as tea. I haven't seen anyone do this approach in a mainstream fantasy RPG. In most cases, the relationship between deities and their worshippers is depicted as transactional in nature - it certainly isn't based upon the need to placate powers indifferent to human suffering.
  13. I'm really happy to see an aggressive release schedule for OpenQuest. It sounds like the game has a future! Are you thinking about crowdfunding a hardcover version or will you just be doing PoD? Could you give us an idea about what the changes you are making to the Combat chapter are? And how are you thinking about streamlining Spirit Magic? Have you considered doing an OpenQuest Bestiary at some point? And when you publish the Submission Guidelines, will you be looking for additional scenarios in the Empire of Gatan setting?
  14. Although some folk magic is indeed magic for the common folk - the kind of spells cast by hedge wizards and village wise women - it also includes spells taught by specific professions. Most artisan guilds will teach certain spells to members as they move up through the ranks. Some spells are closely guarded trade secrets only taught to insiders within a faction. Access to these secrets can an important benefit of membership in the faction. For example, I often restrict access to combat oriented spells such as bladesharp to members of specific mercenary companies or militaristic cults. I even refer to these spells as "battle magic" on occasion 😀 As an aside, I also treat Folk Magic as the distant ancestor of Sorcery and Theism. In this approach, it dates back to a time before the higher forms of magic developed. In particular, it pre-dates the clear distinction between religion and "magic" in the instrumental sense. Under this scheme, folk magic is a remnant of an earlier stage of development when the categories weren't so clear-cut.
  15. One of the best things that Mythras did to improve on Common Magic in MRQII / Legend was to eliminate the various spells that gave a flat bonus to skills. I understand the original intention of these spells, but in practice they resulted in a situation where adventurers wouldn't make any significant skill roll without buffing themselves first. The idea of using folk magic to improve the outcome of mundane skills is not a bad one, but the implementation was poor. I've fooled around with various ways of "fixing" this type of spell, but none of the solutions I've come up with have been entirely satisfactory. (One approach I considered was allowing spellcasters to add the critical range for their Common Magic skill to the critical range of the target skill. Under this approach, Common Magic / Folk Magic doesn't improve your chances of success, but does boost your chances of an exceptional result if you DO succeed...)