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Some rambling and some personal brainwave about RD100


Lloyd Dupont

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I finished my RD100 campaign a while ago.. and this year I am a player.. though I am also working on a scifi settings.. and also keep thinking about some Magic spells that made me unhappy in all variation of BRP / Mythras / RD100....

I was firmly set on BRP this time, and I kind if solved the magic issue eventually, and I was also tailoring combat rules... when I got a RD100 moment... First I remembered how it has the quickest simplest character creation rules (once you understand them :P ) yet it also feel so much more meaningful! ūüėģ¬†As in this stunt thing enable to smoothly put in all sort of "special powers" in a way no other D100 do quite as elegantly...

And then I thought of all the things I would "customise" if I went back to RD100 instead of BRP for my current setting in progress...
And I thought I could share here for discussion! :)
Please remember we are just talking about a game here... I might changes thing significantly... in a way that satisfy me more... If you don't like it, skip the rule. if you think it's interesting or badly worded, please pitch in with some feedback! :) 
Plus I thought I haven't posted here in a while, and Paolo is quite a nice guy, so would be nice to have a discussion going, perhaps?! :) 

- first... an advice (to self? to other?) be misery with XP! With RD100 you are good at your job straight away. Better score is not really needed and will really make character overpowered (as in: always succeed at so many things). I think RD100 is better for "one shots" (or "few shots")

- the magic problem. it's common in all D100 here IMHO... I would, and I feel I might be in the minority here, but I like it better that way so I'll GM that way, need 2 might for +1 with protection and damage boost. And elemental blast will do up to nD6 with a might 1 +(n-1)*3 (or something like that)(i.e. 1: 1D6, 4: 2D6, 7:3D6, ...).
I will also give a cost to spell: 5 exertion point, that can be reduced by spending levels (that cannot be used for might then!) (i.e lower intensity spell are easier)
And turn into a fireball might cast 2 might....
And Paolo once asked, "what about Dragon", well first one need to be good, and also armor doesn't protect much (only toughness) and then maybe get one of those newfangled +2D6 magic wand! :)

- save for spell / overcome: I might have done it wrong but the mental conflict in parallel.. gaaaah... I would just use good old BRP resistance roll willpower vs willpower. and give them both a bonus to their pow, defender: willpower/10% and attacker: spell/10%
(I also don't quite do the resistance table, but this is mathematically equivalent, I do Defender+D20 >= Attacker+11)

- magic and kilometres range.. make it an optional rule, which I won't use...

- would create a skill per "magic school" (some arbitrary grouping of some spell) (and for the scifi setting a science skill per science branch, where each tech is a speciality, I have like 100+ of them...). so for magic, more skill let the player learn more spells but not be good at all of them

- combat (my most controversial preference, I know!) I would definitely simplify it... toward more BRP like with a dash of effect, i.e. a very small select group of general combat effect and a longer list of damage type specific (i.e. weapon specific) and just use critical and normal instead of opposed rolls (I dunno if it's just me... but I am not big on opposed roll mechanic, even if mathematically sound, plus there is almost always a winner and few stalemate, I prefer more stalemate) (and also got rid of armor cover and use melee crit effect to bypass) and use BRP table as a guideline...
Some other minor tweak on engagement range, movement, etc.. not really worth mentioning...

-- oh yeah, most controversial, I might go only 1 attack per round, like BRP! (multiple attack might requires a stunt for each additional attack, i.e. better training)

- for HP... I guess this is one of those optional rule which has been use with great variation... I might go general HP = CON, and if a single strike does toughness x2 roll the location and see what's going on.
And also any damage below toughness will go as exertion point penalty.. it doesn't kill you, fine, but at least it will wear you down...

- one pitfall I had... one need to carefully study the armor, spell, weapon damage, toughness combination... it can easily go out of hand towards invulnerable or over squishy... (I had this problem :( )

And now I wonder... should I go RD100?! ūüėģ
Since I would keep weapon damage and effect the same as in my modified BRP, I only need to tweak Racial template (which are also quite easy in RD100).. mmmm....
Will see when I finish the spaceship device list! ^_^

Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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I haven't look in details all your alternate rules, but one thing is clear in the RD100 rules : there are tools which you can tweek if you like and adapt to your setting. For instance the Powers chapter begins with ""This chapter includes powers and power systems suitable for many fantasy and sci-fi environment, and the setting you use may integrate or replace them with more detailed subsystems. Whenever your power system or setting rules contradict the core rules, the specific rules take precedence." So if you want to make magic more difficult to cast or acquire, go for it.

I think that you can consider the associated numbers like adjustable parameters (eg. the cost for casting a spell, or the kilometre range...) while keeping the core concepts. For instance I find the ritual casting very nice, and if you want to reduce or just skip the enhanced range, it still work. Any adjustment will have an effect on the general flavour of your setting. Note that the side notes already propose some alternate rules, like the willpower opposed roll.

Overpowered characters is a matter of taste, but I'm sur you can modify the character creation (ex. decrease the profesionnal skill bonus and the number of traits). On the other hand, you can just improve the opposition's skills, or decrease the trait and support bonus to 20% (extract : "the rules allow and even encourage each group to use alternate rules to calculate Bonuses according to their preferences")

The magic schools should work. For instance you can consider powers as Stunts related to each Magic school. It is up to you to decide wether or not these Stunts use up a slot. This again depends on you setting's flavour. Note that the Powers will be changed a bit in the new version of the rules, but the core principles remain the same.

The advanced combat may be trickier to tweek, but you can import another one. In particular, the relative light effect of raw weapon damage is conpensated by the combat effects. So you have to take care to keep balance.

Another way to use RD100, and this has been included in the philosophy since the begining, is to pick some rules modules and to import them into another D100 game.

Your Revolution Will Vary.

Wind on the Steppes, role playing among the steppe Nomads. The  running campaign and the blog

 

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Thank you for sharing, Lloyd. Most of these points are relevant and other people could find them useful. Sparse comments:

On 11/6/2020 at 12:50 PM, Lloyd Dupont said:

- the magic problem. it's common in all D100 here IMHO... I would, and I feel I might be in the minority here, but I like it better that way so I'll GM that way, need 2 might for +1 with protection and damage boost. And elemental blast will do up to nD6 with a might 1 +(n-1)*3 (or something like that)(i.e. 1: 1D6, 4: 2D6, 7:3D6, ...).
I will also give a cost to spell: 5 exertion point, that can be reduced by spending levels (that cannot be used for might then!) (i.e lower intensity spell are easier)
And turn into a fireball might cast 2 might....
And Paolo once asked, "what about Dragon", well first one need to be good, and also armor doesn't protect much (only toughness) and then maybe get one of those newfangled +2D6 magic wand! :)

I still do not see the problem. A magician can do more damage than anyone else in a fantasy environment (not in Urban Fantasy), and more than once per round. So what? He willl overkill goblin#1 while goblin#2 impales him with a spear. My question: how do all these changes make the game more exciting? And how does having the wizard be "as intimidating as Gandalf" make the game less exciting?

On 11/6/2020 at 12:50 PM, Lloyd Dupont said:

- the magic problem. it's common in all D100 here IMHO... I would, and I feel I might be in the minority here, but I like it better that way so I'll GM that way, need 2 might for +1 with protection and damage boost. And elemental blast will do up to nD6 with a might 1 +(n-1)*3 (or something like that)(i.e. 1: 1D6, 4: 2D6, 7:3D6, ...).
I will also give a cost to spell: 5 exertion point, that can be reduced by spending levels (that cannot be used for might then!) (i.e lower intensity spell are easier)
And turn into a fireball might cast 2 might....
And Paolo once asked, "what about Dragon", well first one need to be good, and also armor doesn't protect much (only toughness) and then maybe get one of those newfangled +2D6 magic wand! :)

 

 

Careful here: these considerations apply to elemental bolts, not to damage enhancement and protection. Without Bladesharp 7 or 8, you can forget taking down big monsters. For each nerfing you apply, you will find something that becomes impossible and requires counter-nerfing.

On 11/6/2020 at 12:50 PM, Lloyd Dupont said:

- save for spell / overcome: I might have done it wrong but the mental conflict in parallel.. gaaaah... I would just use good old BRP resistance roll willpower vs willpower. and give them both a bonus to their pow, defender: willpower/10% and attacker: spell/10%

I am working on a simpler solution.

On 11/6/2020 at 12:50 PM, Lloyd Dupont said:

- magic and kilometres range.. make it an optional rule, which I won't use...

 

It already is, as it only applies to rituals, which not everyone can use.

On 11/6/2020 at 12:50 PM, Lloyd Dupont said:

- would create a skill per "magic school" (some arbitrary grouping of some spell) (and for the scifi setting a science skill per science branch, where each tech is a speciality, I have like 100+ of them...). so for magic, more skill let the player learn more spells but not be good at all of them

You can already do it, and in fact the new edition will greatly emphasize the importance of the Magic School Trait, which will come with several stunts for free.

Quote

-- oh yeah, most controversial, I might go only 1 attack per round, like BRP! (multiple attack might requires a stunt for each additional attack, i.e. better training)

This would most certainly break the system, unless you apply so many counterbalances that you would basically be rewriting the BGB. The game is built on the assumption that the first 1-2 attacks in a round "lower the defenses" in preparation of the finishing blow. If you take this away, the problem ofunbeatable parries at high level kicks back in.

Quote

and if a single strike does toughness x2 roll the location and see what's going on.

Which is exactly what the rules already say when you play without hit locations.

 

Quote

And also any damage below toughness will go as exertion point penalty.. it doesn't kill you, fine, but at least it will wear you down...

I really do not recommend it for two reasons:

  • it would force heavy bookkkeping; RD100 does not force you to track fatigue until an injury happens or you spellcast; in this way, instead...
  • the rule is already this if you are wounded and get hit on the same location; in thisway you would take away one weakness from wounded opponents: why?

 

Quote

- one pitfall I had... one need to carefully study the armor, spell, weapon damage, toughness combination... it can easily go out of hand towards invulnerable or over squishy... (I had this problem :( )

Exactly. What you wrote makes sense,  but you might end up breaking more things than you fixed. 

 

 

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12 hours ago, RosenMcStern said:

I still do not see the problem. A magician can do more damage than anyone else in a fantasy environment (not in Urban Fantasy), and more than once per round. So what? He willl overkill goblin#1 while goblin#2 impales him with a spear. My question: how do all these changes make the game more exciting? And how does having the wizard be "as intimidating as Gandalf" make the game less exciting?

I think you nailed our difference. It's not a rule mechanic issue! It's just a fundamental difference on the vision about what a wizard is or can be!
Maybe when I say there was a "problem" I used the wrong word... not sure how better I could have qualified it though...

I just do not like the powerful wizard fantasy. They can fly, teleport, polymorph... that's more than enough for me... The "problem" is even more pronounced in RD100 where they can almost do that at will, as a starting character! ūüėģ¬†

It's particularly grating to me when a starting wizard is already a lot more OP than other people.

And here, I will add if necessary, there is not any particularly more realistic option, it's all really just a matter of taste... so it might be confusing, I guess... But there is nothing wrong either way! :P 

 

I hope you understand now and see the point I was making when I specified it most certainly was a personal preference of mine! ;) 

Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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All clear. But in this case, why not drop the spells that you find more problematic, such as Teleport and elemental bolts, rather than trying to nerf the entire system in a way that may (or may not) work, and requires continuous rebalancing of options? RuneQuest does not have all these "flashy" spells and is still a fun game to play, with no risk that a specialised magician may outclass a warrior.

 

 

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Well... I like firebolt... though I'd like them to be around the strength of arrows... (I did consider them having no level and being fixed power like arrows)
And I like fireball but I am unsure how it would fit in there (which I guess was where the worst of my indecision really show)
I guess that summarise 50% of my latest various message on this forum... hahah....

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On 11/6/2020 at 11:50 AM, Lloyd Dupont said:

- first... an advice (to self? to other?) be misery with XP! With RD100 you are good at your job straight away. Better score is not really needed and will really make character overpowered (as in: always succeed at so many things). I think RD100 is better for "one shots" (or "few shots")

I am playing a variant of RD100 at the moment and I am, apparently, miserly with experience. My Players sometimes increase skills but usually add Traits and Stunts (I allow them their 10s digit in Traits and up to the same for Stunts within Traits, as I have a free and easy attitude to these). One Player does not spend on skills at all, merely adds to Traits, although that is because we use one pot for Hero Points and Experience Points.

 

On 11/6/2020 at 11:50 AM, Lloyd Dupont said:

- the magic problem. it's common in all D100 here IMHO... I would, and I feel I might be in the minority here, but I like it better that way so I'll GM that way, need 2 might for +1 with protection and damage boost. And elemental blast will do up to nD6 with a might 1 +(n-1)*3 (or something like that)(i.e. 1: 1D6, 4: 2D6, 7:3D6, ...).
I will also give a cost to spell: 5 exertion point, that can be reduced by spending levels (that cannot be used for might then!) (i.e lower intensity spell are easier)
And turn into a fireball might cast 2 might....
And Paolo once asked, "what about Dragon", well first one need to be good, and also armor doesn't protect much (only toughness) and then maybe get one of those newfangled +2D6 magic wand! :)

I much prefer RuneQuest-style magic, across all D100 systems. In my current game, I handwave magic anyway. 1D6 per Might seems fair to me. However, I have not checked the RD100 Magic rules for a while.

 

On 11/6/2020 at 11:50 AM, Lloyd Dupont said:

- save for spell / overcome: I might have done it wrong but the mental conflict in parallel.. gaaaah... I would just use good old BRP resistance roll willpower vs willpower. and give them both a bonus to their pow, defender: willpower/10% and attacker: spell/10%
(I also don't quite do the resistance table, but this is mathematically equivalent, I do Defender+D20 >= Attacker+11)

For quick and easy, I use Opposed rolls, it works reasonably well.

For more demanding situations, I use the mental conflict rules, but it has to be done quickly.

On 11/6/2020 at 11:50 AM, Lloyd Dupont said:

- would create a skill per "magic school" (some arbitrary grouping of some spell) (and for the scifi setting a science skill per science branch, where each tech is a speciality, I have like 100+ of them...). so for magic, more skill let the player learn more spells but not be good at all of them

That is exactly what I do. Each Faith or Magic School is a Trait with Stunts for spells. I have them under Concentration or Passions.

On 11/6/2020 at 11:50 AM, Lloyd Dupont said:

- combat (my most controversial preference, I know!) I would definitely simplify it... toward more BRP like with a dash of effect, i.e. a very small select group of general combat effect and a longer list of damage type specific (i.e. weapon specific) and just use critical and normal instead of opposed rolls (I dunno if it's just me... but I am not big on opposed roll mechanic, even if mathematically sound, plus there is almost always a winner and few stalemate, I prefer more stalemate) (and also got rid of armor cover and use melee crit effect to bypass) and use BRP table as a guideline...
Some other minor tweak on engagement range, movement, etc.. not really worth mentioning...

-- oh yeah, most controversial, I might go only 1 attack per round, like BRP! (multiple attack might requires a stunt for each additional attack, i.e. better training)

- for HP... I guess this is one of those optional rule which has been use with great variation... I might go general HP = CON, and if a single strike does toughness x2 roll the location and see what's going on.
And also any damage below toughness will go as exertion point penalty.. it doesn't kill you, fine, but at least it will wear you down...

- one pitfall I had... one need to carefully study the armor, spell, weapon damage, toughness combination... it can easily go out of hand towards invulnerable or over squishy... (I had this problem :( )

We use Toughness and it works really well. But, we also count the number of blows that did not exceed Toughness, for the purpose of wearing down opponents.

To be honest, combat rarely gets to that point in our game, as an Advantage means the opponent soon loses. PCs use Hero points to do things like reroll or flip the dice results, which gives them the edge anyway.

On 11/6/2020 at 11:50 AM, Lloyd Dupont said:

And now I wonder... should I go RD100?! ūüėģ

I would keep the Skills/Traits/stunts from RD100 in any D100 game that I GM. 

There are some things in RD100 that are truly excellent and that I would love in any game that I GM. There are also things that I ignore or don't use. However, this is not particularly a criticism of RD100, I have played enough D100-style games over the years that I have picked bits from each of them to make a game that works best for me.

 

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15 hours ago, soltakss said:

I would keep the Skills/Traits/stunts from RD100 in any D100 game that I GM. 

There are some things in RD100 that are truly excellent and that I would love in any game that I GM. There are also things that I ignore or don't use. However, this is not particularly a criticism of RD100, I have played enough D100-style games over the years that I have picked bits from each of them to make a game that works best for me.

Yeah this thought came to me as I thought I need to tidy up the MoO skill list once I finished the tech and equipment list...
But then I thought, my tidying up is never gone be good enough, but the general skill + trait is very forgiving and (as a nice bonus) gives an added mechanic to add non quantifiable abilities (i.e. stunts)...

As for the rest I am unsure... I might keep everything else BRP like.... (HP, resistance table/roll, powers, weapon damage, my custom combat effect...)(I stress combat effect, as opposed to combat manoeuvre.. same mechanics, but much shorter list, coming mostly from weapon damage type)

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On 11/9/2020 at 3:47 AM, RosenMcStern said:

This would most certainly break the system, unless you apply so many counterbalances that you would basically be rewriting the BGB. The game is built on the assumption that the first 1-2 attacks in a round "lower the defenses" in preparation of the finishing blow. If you take this away, the problem ofunbeatable parries at high level kicks back in.

Interesting...
I missed that because I gave them haste.. the PC were just too fast... (and I think I might have messed up the calculations as well..)

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  • 5 months later...

@RosenMcStern makes some really valid points, and not only because he's the one who wrote Revolution D100, but also because he addressed some really deep, root issues within the Basic Role-Playing, and to further extent Mythras (both are really awesome!).

@Lloyd Dupont The best thing about BRP is that you can just cross-utilise them in any way you'd like. Perhaps consider fine-tuning BRP to your own liking as sessions are ran, taking some time to think about what was awesome, and what could have been improved. Sharing each of your observations here is also awesome, because even while you might not get replies at first, silent readers do appreciate this kind of input, myself being one, however I decided to jump into these forums purely for Revolution D100.

Out of every BRP I've encountered, Revolution D100 is the smoothest one, despite not being so known yet (and even Mythras isn't 'so known' as well if I'd compare it to the mainstream RPG systems...).

 

One thing I can agree is that the parallel conflict for magic could become a momentum-breaking moment and slow down the combat a lot. I'm quite happy to hear that Paolo is working on another, simpler solution.

As to Project [Energy], I'd recommend that you use the Disruption Cantrip instead. Heck, you may even go Mythras-style and separate Cantrips from Divine Magic as a standalone magic tradition from which you could remain a hedgewizard, run a spellblade of sorts, or develop further into Arcane Magic or Divine Magic as a wizard or a priest.

Some of the things I'd recommend for any Game Master to drop is the Fly spell, as well as the Invisibility spell. These tend to go around many of the plot hooks and encounters which you might want your players to otherwise bump into, or at least take some consequences from. They're really powerful spells in their utility, that the wizard/priest can just scout ahead as much as they wish. Pretty much nobody flies or goes invisible on their own spell in the Middle-Earth lore, and you also don't see these in Harry Potter, or the Discworld, or Eragon, etc.
As such, they're a more-or-less Dungeons & Dragons approach to wizardly vast versatility to every situation, which is somehow manageable with spell slots and setting various invisibility-seeing sentries, which would just add a lot of additional bookkeeping to the GM in case they'd want to allow these spells.

The best thing? Every D100 system, including RD100 allows that, because you can fine-tune your magic as you wish and include/not include various spells.

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On 4/22/2021 at 11:16 AM, Averion said:

@RosenMcStern makes some really valid points, and not only because he's the one who wrote Revolution D100, but also because he addressed some really deep, root issues within the Basic Role-Playing, and to further extent Mythras (both are really awesome!).

Even if we think that Revolution D100 improves them in some points, both classic BRP and Mythras are great systems that i would fully recommend playing without hesitation.

Quote

One thing I can agree is that the parallel conflict for magic could become a momentum-breaking moment and slow down the combat a lot. I'm quite happy to hear that Paolo is working on another, simpler solution.

Except that it is not gonna happen. As soon as I started a basic playtest of this alternate rule, it became evident that it did not work, and above all that it was not necessary.

The point is that all our playtest experience clearly shows that the Overcome conflict does not slow down gameplay. If you are familiar with Rise of the Yokai Koku campaign, you might have noticed that there is a scene in which the adventurers must fight unarmed. In all games I have run of RotYK, the party's magician has managed to dispatch two or three bad guys with Confusion or Disruption within two rounds, which is more or less the time he would have spent to do the same in RuneQuest or Mythras. Like many of the RD100 rules, parallel conflicts are complex to explain, but very quick to execute. In other cases I have seen magicians palsying multiple opponents with one single action, faster than it would take in RQ or Mythras. Of course it takes skill and a good roll to succeed instantly, but the plain fact is that it does not break tension, it actually builds it. It's the "oh damn I failed the resistance roll, I must restart casting" that breaks momentum.

Quote

As to Project [Energy], I'd recommend that you use the Disruption Cantrip instead. Heck, you may even go Mythras-style and separate Cantrips from Divine Magic as a standalone magic tradition from which you could remain a hedgewizard, run a spellblade of sorts, or develop further into Arcane Magic or Divine Magic as a wizard or a priest.

This is in fact done in Rise of the Yokai Koku, where Buddhism uses cantrips and Shintoism uses divine blessings. You usually end up having both, but this is because many Nihonese follow both religions.

Another important point: do not be afraid of Projection spells. We have been playtesting this stuff intensively for three years and the results have been extremely positive. They give rise to amazing wizard duels, with creative actions taking place all the time (do I take cover against the firebolt, try to counterspell it, try to teleport away from its path or try to absorb it with a freezebolt? All these actions are possible, and each has a different effectiveness and chance of success).

It is your game and you are the final arbiter of what rules to use, but believe me: if you start nerfing spells before trying them RAW, you do not know how much fun you are missing. And no, your magician will not become OP. 

Quote

Some of the things I'd recommend for any Game Master to drop is the Fly spell, as well as the Invisibility spell. These tend to go around many of the plot hooks and encounters which you might want your players to otherwise bump into, or at least take some consequences from. They're really powerful spells in their utility, that the wizard/priest can just scout ahead as much as they wish. Pretty much nobody flies or goes invisible on their own spell in the Middle-Earth lore, and you also don't see these in Harry Potter, or the Discworld, or Eragon, etc.
As such, they're a more-or-less Dungeons & Dragons approach to wizardly vast versatility to every situation, which is somehow manageable with spell slots and setting various invisibility-seeing sentries, which would just add a lot of additional bookkeeping to the GM in case they'd want to allow these spells.

Correct. Fly, Invisibility, Teleport and Project Senses are spells that you can use to bypass skill requirements or obstacles that would otherwise require some creative planning. They are showstoppers and should be the province of highly competent magicians, if allowed at all. They should never be cantrips, and if allowed as arcane magic their access should be restricted to selected magicians. However, if you want to play the fantasy equivalent of Dr. Strange... why not?

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