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Newt

Skyraiders of the Floating Realms in a Nutshell

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Currently funded as part of D101’s ZineQuest2 Two for One Zine Kickstarter along with Grogzilla issue 1. It is a zine sized RPG, which is the first pass of about 40-50 A5 pages tidied up, so it is playable. It’s a Zero Edition, with the full first edition coming this summer as a fully kickstarted game.

It comes in two blended-bits :

  • A colourful and action-packed setting, The Floating Realms.
  • A concise d100 system.

The Floating Realms

I wanted a setting that is immediate, easy to explain and sucks the players in. I know the idea of adventurers travelling from one sky island to the next in a post-apocalyptic setting, in search of adventure and loot gets me going. It has done since I came across Skyrealms of Jorune. There’s lots of weird fun fantasy game juice packed into even the Zero Edition. Peter Frain has pretty much nailed the spirit of the game in his front cover of two adventurers at the prow of a Sky Ship, with the New Sun and the Dead Moon in the background.

sky-raiders-zero-edition-web.png

The D101-System

At the beginning of the year, I sat down and over two days wrote a 20-page concise D100 system. It's written from the ground up, not from a SRD, because I wanted to get my idea of what I wanted from a D100 across. If you are familiar with OpenQuest it’s a continuation of many of the ideas I introduced in that game.

Characteristics are still the familiar building blocks, except for Size which I’ve dropped,  randomly rolled. I’ve dropped Size from the usual D100 list of characteristics because I never use in my games. Characteristics as well as being the basis of Hit Points (now Constitution) and being used to work out Bonus Damage, characteristics determine the starting values of skills, usually two relevant characteristics for each skill.

Characters have a previous career, which sets them up for play with a set of skills and three magic spells since everyone on the Floating Realms knows a bit of magic, and a default set of starting equipment. They are then individualised with by allocation of small number points to skills they haven’t already advanced with their career, and players get to pick an additional spell. They advance in free form manner, earning Improvement points that the player can spend on the skills and magic they want, as well as gaining contacts, skills and magic through completing missions for their organisations.

There’s one Skill test system. The skills list is short and concise, even compared to OpenQuest, and the system of simple difficulty modifiers is even more aggressively applied. In any given situation only one difficulty modifier applies from a set range (-40%, -20% , +20%, +40%).  And modifiers from magic trumps mundane situational ones.

Opposed skill tests are now so that only player rolls their skill, which is modified up or down if their opponent is more or less skilled than them. I realised I’ve been doing this instinctively for years since it gives similar results to both sides rolling and takes the pressure off me as Referee.

It has one magic system, one list of spells, and no magic points. Instead, you roll against Magic skill to see if the spell is successful and if you fumble the character can not use it again this gaming session. There’s a shortlist of straightforward and powerful spells in this version of the game.

Combat is straightforward, with characters acting in the order of the skill they are using, from highest to lowest, so characters who are more skilled get act first. There’s still attack rolls, followed by defensive reactions to prevent. Armour has a dice armour value, and weapons do damage ranging from 1d4 to 1d12. There are no hit locations.

I’ve moved the system away from resource management and ditched a lot of fiddly numbers. There are no equipment lists and counting of coins and the magic pointless magic system is another example of this.  If it's necessary to know the outcome, a simple skill test is applied to resolve the situation. So, for equipment acquisition the Referee either says yes to reasonable requests and moves on or makes the player perform a successful Trade skill test, modified for availability in the character’s current location, to gain the item they are after.

Overall this is a heavily modified version of OpenQuest, to the point that it’s become its own thing. Its been written from the ground up, and I won’t be releasing it under the OGL. If I had to give the system a name, I’d call it the D101-System 😊

 

 

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(As I already said on your blog):

Big yay to practically all of that! Skyrealm settings are always welcome, and this sounds really like the version of OpenQuest I’ve been waiting for. Ditching SIZ is definitely something I’m happy with, and so is rolled armor (good Stormbringer vibes there!). Just modifiying the skill of the PC according to her/his opponents resisting skill score for opposed tests also sounds very reasonable. And while Magic Points never really bothered me, I’m definitely on board with trying something different in that regard.
Now, if you also go with doubles (11,22, …) as crits/fumbles, this will probably be the perfect d100 system for me (and if you don’t, it still sounds like the near-perfect d100 system for me, which is close enough).
Just backed it and very much looking forward to it!

#And an additional question, because someone has to ask it: What you say about the system indeed looks very much like what we know about OpenQuest3 ... so will OQ3 become the D101 system? I would not be against it - you could keep OQ2 as it is, as a game that hews more closely to its RuneQuest roots, and have the D101 system as an alternative that stands on its own feet.

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Yes I have gone with doubles for crits and failuers :)

Yes this is a distillation of OQ3 re-written from the ground up, I literally opened up a Word Document the day after I did my tax return (in one day rather than five) determined to write down how I run D100 at my table, no more no less,. How this affects the future of OpenQuest I'll be making a formal announcement about it soon ;)

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Is this 1-100 d%, or is it 0-99?

I ask because of using Doubles; you have the problem of 99+00 being adjacent, both fumbles, and over-represented as fumbles...

Nothing with a roll of 10 or under can EVER get a Crit, and a 95%-skill Master has a huge portion of their misses as actual Fumbles.

 

The "obvious" solution is to make d100 into 0-99, which distributes doubles linearly in the rolling range; 00 becomes an always-crit best roll,  99 an always-miss fumble.

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1 hour ago, g33k said:

Is this 1-100 d%, or is it 0-99?

I ask because of using Doubles; you have the problem of 99+00 being adjacent, both fumbles, and over-represented as fumbles...

Nothing with a roll of 10 or under can EVER get a Crit, and a 95%-skill Master has a huge portion of their misses as actual Fumbles.

 

The "obvious" solution is to make d100 into 0-99, which distributes doubles linearly in the rolling range; 00 becomes an always-crit best roll,  99 an always-miss fumble.

Good point, although I tend not to think too much about stuff like this; a slightly higher chance for fumbles than for critical sucesses can be interpreted as a bug, as a feature or as just some rules artifact without much consequence - after all, there's no "rule" in real life that says that things should go extremenly well as often as they go terribly wrong in a linear relation to their chances of going moderately well or moderately wrong ...

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1 minute ago, Jakob said:

Good point, although I tend not to think too much about stuff like this; a slightly higher chance for fumbles than for critical sucesses can be interpreted as a bug, as a feature or as just some rules artifact without much consequence - after all, there's no "rule" in real life that says that things should go extremenly well as often as they go terribly wrong in a linear relation to their chances of going moderately well or moderately wrong ...

I don't generally find it too problematic for the vast majority of cases; slight modifications to already-long odds aren't much worth worrying about, IMHO.  When I first read about a Crit+Fumble on Doubles rule, my 1st impression was, "there's a clever bit of rules!"  But shortly, I realized that out at the edges of the range I really do find it problematic.

The "cannot crit" at the low end is ... (maybe?) OK ...?   I think everyone knows how incredibly-rare genuine excellence (such as a Crit) is from a total n00b, so just making it impossible is OK with me.  Probably.

But then the skill-masters' failing, however uncommon, has such a huge proportion of not-just-fail-but-Fumble; and I find this utterly unreasonable:  real masters of a skill just don't Fumble that much!  That one bugs me, and consequently I don't even USE a crit-on-doubles system RAW (which of course doesn't rule out a Skyrealms game for me; I can just do 10%-of-skill, because of course how-to-crit is just as easy to FrankenBRP as any other BRP-family subsystem.)

yBRPmv

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20 hours ago, g33k said:

Is this 1-100 d%, or is it 0-99?

I ask because of using Doubles; you have the problem of 99+00 being adjacent, both fumbles, and over-represented as fumbles...

Nothing with a roll of 10 or under can EVER get a Crit, and a 95%-skill Master has a huge portion of their misses as actual Fumbles.

 

The "obvious" solution is to make d100 into 0-99, which distributes doubles linearly in the rolling range; 00 becomes an always-crit best roll,  99 an always-miss fumble.

Its 1-100% with no skill going over 100 (which is considered mastery). Sure mathematically 10% and lower will never get a critical, but such low skills in my opinion shouldn't get one anyway.

Also 99 & 00 in the D101-System aren't automatic fumbles. If you are in the 100% range they are criticals, and the tiny advantage of two more crits at the upper end of the distribution makes sense,

Skyraiders is designed to be broadly compatible with other d100 systems, so if the way it does certain things does jelln't with you can swoop in you favourite subsystem. But its not a BRP Clone. BRP/RQ/early Chaosium systems are an inspiration but not the only ones ;)

 

 

Edited by Newt
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4 hours ago, Newt said:

Its 1-100% with no skill going over 100 (which is considered mastery). Sure mathematically 10% and lower will never get a critical, but such low skills in my opinion shouldn't get one anyway.

Also 99 & 00 in the D101-System aren't automatic fumbles. If you are in the 100% range they are criticals, and the tiny advantage of two more crits at the upper end of the distribution makes sense,

TYVM, Newt!

This looks like it could solve things...

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Just under a day and a half to go on the campaign. I've posted two blog posts about Skyraiders;

First off a small bit of gaming fiction that introduces the setting of the Floating Realms and give an idea of the tone and scope of the game. 

Then there is a character sheet of a starting character

 

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