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Jakob

BRP homebrew ideas

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Since I'm still kind of looking for the BRP that hits my exact sweet spot somewhere near Stormbringer/Magic World, I decided to give hombrewing a shot. I don't know if this is going anywhere, I just want to write it down somewhere and see if I get feedback. I'll take the new SRD as starting point.

One of my main gripes with BRP games has always been the sometimes weird role of characterstics and the x5 rolls in relationship to skills. E.g., as an example for situations in which a DEXx5 roll might be appropriate, the BGB mentions climbing - which, however, is a skill in its own right. Mythras solves this by getting rid of characterstic rolls, which is an elegant solution, but I'd like to try something else

The GM may (actually, should) allow the player to roll a characterstic x5 roll even in situations where a skill would be more appropriate; however, a success at such a roll is always considered as "just scraping by", and you can never achieve special or critical successes this way. I'd even allow to use STR (for big, heavy weapons) or DEX (for smaller weapons) this way in combat, with some caveats: The damage die size is reduced by one, you can't bring a positive damage bonus to bear, and more importantly, you can only attack OR parry OR dodge in a round - basically, taking a combat action with a x5 roll instead of the proper skill takes up your whole round, because you are using your weapon in the most primitive way.

That way, you can actually get a lot of things done with high DEX and INT; but a specialist with a high skill score will usually outshine you, and in combat, you'll have little chance against anyone who know how to use his or her weapon.

 

That's for the start - other ideas are about major wounds and skill category bonuses, but I still need to do some thinking on those ...

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I don't think the GM "should" do anything...
But I love tinkering too, so I will bring here my own related ideas here for you to ignore! :P

- INT and DEX (for example) already have a strong game impact, so one should not be to worry too much about them.. ;) 
- I don't like simple skill check that fail way too often, which remind me that BRP action difficulty (page 175) suggest doubling the skill for easy action
- I was having the same personal complaint for APP to be fair, and I also didn't like how 18 was only 1.8 times better than 10, so after much soul searching, I settled on each skill having a special (so called leading) characteristic that is used for its skill improvement, where the experience roll bonus, instead of being INT/2 is (Leading Characteristic - 10)

Other than that one could also do like Mythras and update skills starting percentage to be based on something like characteristic x2

Edited by Lloyd Dupont

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31 minutes ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Other than that one could also do like Mythras and update skills starting percentage to be based on something like characteristic x2

I thought about that, but then I noticed that I actually like the idea of having the skill scores being more independent from characteristics. I don't know if it's realistic or anything, but I like the idea that someone might generally not be very agile (DEX 7), but still a great climber (climbing 80%). The guy with DEX 16 and climbing 40% will have about the same chances of success based on his natural agility, but he probably still won't be able to achieve as remarkable a result if he just depends on his characterstic score; however, he could try to remember what he has actually learned about climbing, roll on his skill and maybe achieve a special - but chances are that his little knowledge will actually confuse him and he'll be better off just trusting his instincts (by rolling DEXx5).

BTW, by the GM "should" I mean that a rule like this makes little sense if the GM only applies it when feeling very generous. If one would use it, one would have to use it regularly.

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Ha, I see!

In my homebrew, in progress, MoO thing every skill starts at 20%. Very simple to understand for everyone! ^_^
I do have professional and standard skill (like in Mythras, again!)

Mm... listening to you I came with a another wild idea (one which I partially use, BTW :P ) ... hangon, it's going to be wild, wild as in quite different from BRP basic mechanics.... (not suggesting you do that, just giving you food for thoughts!)

What if.. most skill will be used as contest on a Resistance table like mechanic?

For example, to do power resistance I do POW+Willpower/10% vs POW+Magic/10% on the resistance table (though I don't use the resistance table, I do D20+resist >= 11+attack)

For you climbing skill it will then be DEX+Climb/10% vs Cliff Difficulty

 

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Another wild idea... which is similar but more percentage friendly... How about you give DEXx5% bonus to all agility skill, but also include a difficulty penalty (typically 50% or more) to all said skill at the same time!

So all those agility skill become Skill% + DEXx5% - Diff%, or maybe Skill% + (DEX-Diff)x5%?

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2 minutes ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

What if.. most skill will be used as contest on a Resistance table like mechanic?

For example, to do power resistance I do POW+Willpower/10% vs POW+Magic/10% on the resistance table (though I don't use the resistance table, I do D20+resist >= 11+attack)

For you climbing skill it will then be DEX+Climb/10% vs Cliff Difficulty

 

I probably wouldn't depart as far, but interesting. It actually sounds a little like HeroQuest/Questworlds.

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One idea you might consider is to make the characterstic rolls the base rolls for skills. For instance if Climing were DEX based then it would start at the Agiliy roll, and then increase from there. Note that if you did that you'd probably want to start the rolls lower, say stat x3%.

11 minutes ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

What if.. most skill will be used as contest on a Resistance table like mechanic?

There was an old article in one of the gaming magazies, perhaps HEROES, which did that. It also changed skills from 1-100 to 1-20. So a character would compare his Climbing skill of, say, 14, against the difficulty of the climb to get a success chance.Or, you could take it a step further and just use the Pendragon method.

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48 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

One idea you might consider is to make the characterstic rolls the base rolls for skills. For instance if Climing were DEX based then it would start at the Agiliy roll, and then increase from there. Note that if you did that you'd probably want to start the rolls lower, say stat x3%.

 

While this makes a lot of sense (again, it's pretty similar to the Legend/Mythras/OpenQuest approach), it's not quite what I'm aiming at. I actually like the idea to have skill scores represent expertise that is relatively independent of the characteristics (though I do entertain the idea to use skill categories and skill category modifiers, but more along the lines of a characteristic of 15+ giving +5 to relevant skill categories).

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2 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

What if.. most skill will be used as contest on a Resistance table like mechanic?

For example, to do power resistance I do POW+Willpower/10% vs POW+Magic/10% on the resistance table (though I don't use the resistance table, I do D20+resist >= 11+attack)

For you climbing skill it will then be DEX+Climb/10% vs Cliff Difficulty

 

Nephilim had a mechanic like this applied to different things (police heat, for example). It used the stat POTency as resistance.

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7 hours ago, Jakob said:

While this makes a lot of sense (again, it's pretty similar to the Legend/Mythras/OpenQuest approach), it's not quite what I'm aiming at. I actually like the idea to have skill scores represent expertise that is relatively independent of the characteristics (though I do entertain the idea to use skill categories and skill category modifiers, but more along the lines of a characteristic of 15+ giving +5 to relevant skill categories).

THe big difference between this and Mythas is that they use a formula for each skill. I'm proposing using the stat rolls as overarching categories. So someone with a high DEX ends up being good with all DEX based skills. Plus 1 point of stat only means 1% in Mythras (unless it's changed a lot from MRQ), where with STX times something it could be worth more. But if you want another approach, let me throw a few more ideas out there:.

  • What if a Stat roll could give a bonus to a skill roll? For example making a idea roll might give a character a clue to something that could help them Fast Talk their way past a guard.THe two stage process might be a bit cumbersome, but it might also give you new ways to present obstacles. 
  • Or what if a player could opt to default to a attribute roll at increased difficulty rather than a skill roll? Something along the lines of making a swim roll or making a Difficult (1/2) Agility roll.
  • Or what if a player who failed a skill roll could make a second attempt if they make an attribute roll? For example someone tries to pick a lock and fails. Normally the hat would mean the lock is too tough for them to pick, but if they make a DEX roll they could try again.

 

Generally attribute rolls have suffered when they overlap with skills. Every time there is a new agility skill, the Agility roll loses a little. So it's hard to make attribute rolls better without making skill less important. 

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