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A New Generic Fantasy System?


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20 hours ago, olskool said:

A quick and easy hybrid system of location HP and one HP total is to use Locations (rolled by D20 as per BRP/Runequest 2) with a "Damage Multiplier" and a total HP model.  So typical Damage Multipliers would be...

Head = X 2

Chest = X 1

Abdomen = X 1.5

Arms = X 0.5

Legs = X 0.5  

   These multipliers would then be applied to any damage and the total subtracted from the HP total. 

Another option is the GURPS ways. Damage is not multiplied depending on hit locations but major wounds have different threshold depends on location; HP/3 for limbs, HP/2 for the rest.  

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On 9/19/2022 at 8:31 PM, Mugen said:

That was also an option for NPCs in MRQ2. 

Mythras weapons also tend to deal less damage, and damage bonus also tend to be smaller.

 

19 hours ago, DreadDomain said:

Another option is the GURPS ways. Damage is not multiplied depending on hit locations but major wounds have different threshold depends on location; HP/3 for limbs, HP/2 for the rest.  

I looked into this rule in MRQ2 and it's pretty much what it does. Hit Points equals the average of CON plus SIZ, no surprise, and major wounds are inflicted if damage done is over HP/2. When it happens, you roll on a Major Wounds table. Basically, it's Stormbringer style damage in Mythras.

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On 9/18/2022 at 11:01 PM, Bilharzia said:

Strike Rank calculation! Sheesh you're telling me! Truly the bane of many a Mythras combat encounter. 

 

On 9/19/2022 at 4:53 AM, DreadDomain said:

Mythras never used strike ranks and even when its direct predecessors ...

Yes, yes, yes. Can we substitute action points for strike ranks and add in combat maneuvers?

The point is, if I'm looking for a generic fantasy rpg I want something fast and fun. I have no doubt Mythras is fun but it is not as elegant as Elric! or Magic World was. Seriously, Combat Styles was a stroke of genius compared to weapon types. No idea why it had to be muddied up with a bunch of other combat rules.

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3 hours ago, Chaot said:

Yes, yes, yes. Can we substitute action points for strike ranks and add in combat maneuvers?

Sorry, I don't understand the question.

3 hours ago, Chaot said:

The point is, if I'm looking for a generic fantasy rpg I want something fast and fun. I have no doubt Mythras is fun but it is not as elegant as Elric! or Magic World was. Seriously, Combat Styles was a stroke of genius compared to weapon types. No idea why it had to be muddied up with a bunch of other combat rules.

Of course, you prefer Magic World over Mythras and it is totally fine. I was simply replying because your previous post lead me to believe you thought Mythras used strike ranks à la RuneQuest. What RuneQuest 6 called "Strike Rank" and Mythras now call "Initiative" works pretty much like Magic World "DEX Rank".

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1 hour ago, DreadDomain said:

Sorry, I don't understand the question.

I said strike ranks to illustrate the fiddly bits of Mythras. I misspoke because it's been years since I've read the book. Hit locations, action points, and combat maneuvers is why I don't run Mythras at my table. I'm just not interested in tracking that stuff. Thus my preference.

Combat Styles was brilliant. The rest of it is unnecessary. At the end of the day I want a system that helps me tell a story. I really don't care if a die roll tells me if I hit someone in the right arm.

I'm a die hard brp fan and yet I haven't bought anything in years because there's nothing that is streamlined that interests me. I wish we in the brp community would get crazy again. I want the monographs back. I want people throwing things against the wall to see what is cool.

I don't want hit locations. Sorry, they never did anything for me.

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1 hour ago, Chaot said:

I said strike ranks to illustrate the fiddly bits of Mythras. I misspoke because it's been years since I've read the book. Hit locations, action points, and combat maneuvers is why I don't run Mythras at my table. I'm just not interested in tracking that stuff. Thus my preference.

Combat Styles was brilliant. The rest of it is unnecessary. At the end of the day I want a system that helps me tell a story. I really don't care if a die roll tells me if I hit someone in the right arm.

That's cool. Action points, special effects, and to a lesser degree, hit locations have been debated by many over the years. Funnily enough, even combat styles don't do it for everyone.

1 hour ago, Chaot said:

I'm a die hard brp fan and yet I haven't bought anything in years because there's nothing that is streamlined that interests me. I wish we in the brp community would get crazy again. I want the monographs back. I want people throwing things against the wall to see what is cool.

I don't want hit locations. Sorry, they never did anything for me.

I hear you. Hopefully Rivers of London and Lords of the Middle Sea will fill some of your cravings. 

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I like being able to customize PC's.

17 hours ago, Chaot said:

... combat maneuvers ...

note that CM's are really a player-facing option; the GM doesn't have to handle much extra complexity.

Also, some CM's can be made part of (unique to) particular weapons or Combat Styles.
Again, this increases players' options to customize their PC's (so I like the feature).

Streamlining too far results in everything (all characters, all NPC's, etc) winding up kinda same-y.

The "sweet spot" of crunchy detail vs smooth game-flow will differ from one person to another.

 

17 hours ago, Chaot said:

... At the end of the day I want a system that helps me tell a story. I really don't care if a die roll tells me if I hit someone in the right arm ...

See... you & I want the same "tell a story" result, but we come to opposite conclusions!

I love the hit-location mechanism because it helps me tell a dramatic story.

I find "Sack-of-HP" combats less dramatic, because the drama only occurs after you've whittled-down the size of the sack, and someone is at risk of being dropped; then they are out of the combat.

With hit-locations, in contrast, one solid hit (Special or Crit) can suddenly change everything, even on the 1st round of combat.  Is your "right arm" down to 1 HP?  Next hit there is gonna make you unable to fight back...

But someone with a disabled limb may still do stuff.  They are injured, vulnerable, less-effective... but the player is still engaged & at the table.

The situation is more dramatic.


YMMV (and obviously does)  😁
 

Edited by g33k
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15 hours ago, DreadDomain said:

... Funnily enough, even combat styles don't do it for everyone.

I do like Combat Styles... but only in some contexts.

My biggest criticism is the "regimented" feel they have -- all weapons in the CS at the same skill, all increasing in lockstep.  Every Knight looks very-similar, in mechanical terms, without scope for the one who leans-in on one weapon or another, and develops particular expertise.

There's no real way for the CS to reflect the one Knight who's carrying the same family-sword carried by his father, grandfather, great-grand, etc etc etc back to 500yr past when a lowly man-at-arms was Knighted for saving the King; the weapon carries an emotional weight and obligation, so that Knight will use that sword almost to the exclusion of any other weapon... and they will be the more-skilled at that weapon for doing so... and other Knightly weapons may just lag a bit.

There's also no real way to reflect "native talent," the rider who just takes to horses, and their lance-work is better than others.

Etc, etc, etc.

There is a reason that -- even in professional militaries -- there's generally different people teaching marksmanship & unarmed-combat...

I would expect "regular army" soldiers to be broadly & comparably skilled with all their regular weapons.  This seems the conceptual model for CS's, and I think it's highly-suitable for that context (although (as noted) I think veteran soldiers will often (not always!) have "standout" skills; and occasionaly even the new recruits).

===


The "urban street rat," though?  Maybe "dagger, cosh/sap/blackjack/etc, brawl" are their entire Combat Style.

But the "sap" is almost-entirely a stealth weapon with a "KO-not-kill" objective and an "unaware/unarmored" target (occasionally, it might be used to subdue-not-kill an unarmed foe who *is* fighting-back).  However, versus a more-deadly weapon -- and/or an armored foe -- it's a very  poor choice, a "weapon of last resort."  That's pretty damned specialized, to be honest, and -- outside a few specialist burglars &c -- I doubt it would "keep pace" with the other skills of the CS.

Keeping soldiers' CS skills all roughly on-par is one thing; individuals' skills are different.

Thus, I rule that -- absent an external evaluate-and-train regimen (such as soldiers get in an army) -- all the skills of a CS are broken-out into individual skills, once the "adventuring career" begins.

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12 hours ago, g33k said:

Thus, I rule that -- absent an external evaluate-and-train regimen (such as soldiers get in an army) -- all the skills of a CS are broken-out into individual skills, once the "adventuring career" begins.

One option here is that experience checks* are against individual weapons and formal training at the cult/guild/brotherhood/academy goes against the whole combat style.

 

* by the way, I prefer checks assigned on usage (like RQ) rather than a number of checks given by the GM (like Mythras) plus bonus checks to be distributed (like both RQG and Mytras).

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24 minutes ago, DreadDomain said:

* by the way, I prefer checks assigned on usage (like RQ) rather than a number of checks given by the GM (like Mythras) plus bonus checks to be distributed (like both RQG and Mytras).

Same for me. But I think the bonus checks accorded by RQG are intended to increase the integration in the society (and are a way to compensate the lower number of checks compared to lower editions).

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9 minutes ago, Kloster said:

Same for me. But I think the bonus checks accorded by RQG are intended to increase the integration in the society (and are a way to compensate the lower number of checks compared to lower editions).

From a mechanical perspective, I always thought the intention was to circumvent the habit that some players had to try to roll everything and anything in the hope to get a check. With the bonus checks, it is now less of an issue (although, you are right, it is done in a way to encourage skills that are connected with your position, occupation and community)

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12 minutes ago, DreadDomain said:

From a mechanical perspective, I always thought the intention was to circumvent the habit that some players had to try to roll everything and anything in the hope to get a check. With the bonus checks, it is now less of an issue (although, you are right, it is done in a way to encourage skills that are connected with your position, occupation and community)

I don't know if it was the (for me legitimate) goal, but if the case, it is from my perspective a complete failure, because players that had this habit continue to have it ... and in addition, take all the bonus they can get.

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25 minutes ago, Kloster said:

I don't know if it was the (for me legitimate) goal, but if the case, it is from my perspective a complete failure, because players that had this habit continue to have it ... and in addition, take all the bonus they can get.

The intention behind the rule is highly speculative on my part! I would not be able to judge of the success or failure since, while I read about the issue, I have never experienced any check chasing players in any BRP games I have ever played. 

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Just now, DreadDomain said:

The intention behind the rule is highly speculative on my part! I would not be able to judge of the success or failure since, while I read about the issue, I have never experienced any check chasing players in any BRP games I have ever played. 

You lucky guy. I had, and still have this kind of behavior. This is why I think it failed that goal, but only from my personal experience. If others don't have the problem anymore, that just means I am unlucky or that I don't know how to choose my players.

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On 9/25/2022 at 3:30 AM, Chaot said:

I said strike ranks to illustrate the fiddly bits of Mythras. I misspoke because it's been years since I've read the book. Hit locations, action points, and combat maneuvers is why I don't run Mythras at my table. I'm just not interested in tracking that stuff. Thus my preference.

I understand why people don't like the complexity of Mythras. I, for instance, don't want Localized Hit Points.

But Combat Maneuvers are just a way to have customized critical successes. Instead of having a list of effects that happens when you roll a Special or a Critical, you chose which ones apply, depending on the difference between success levels.

4 hours ago, DreadDomain said:

* by the way, I prefer checks assigned on usage (like RQ) rather than a number of checks given by the GM (like Mythras) plus bonus checks to be distributed (like both RQG and Mytras).

I prefer to give a number of checks, but assign half of those according to the events that took place during the session.

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37 minutes ago, Mugen said:

I prefer to give a number of checks, but assign half of those according to the events that took place during the session.

Having the GM that assign even part of the exp/checks seems plainly wrong to me. This takes away part of the interest of having a character evolution. I know that I would feel cheated.

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6 hours ago, Kloster said:

I don't know if it was the (for me legitimate) goal, but if the case, it is from my perspective a complete failure, because players that had this habit continue to have it ... and in addition, take all the bonus they can get.

The GM, IIRC, can veto getting any tick -- "no, doing that doesn't generate a tick for you."

My original RQ GM, back in 1980/81, tended to discourage tick-hunting behavior via in-world consequences:

On the road and your hunter has already filled the pot, but everyone wants a tick in their skill?

"Well, it's after dark and you're spreading out to hunt, let me just  roll a random-encounter  for each one who's stumbling around in the dark...  Ooooh, Joe, 2d4+2 trollkin looking to fill THEIR stew-pot!  Roll for surprise..."
 

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2 hours ago, Kloster said:

Having the GM that assign even part of the exp/checks seems plainly wrong to me. This takes away part of the interest of having a character evolution. I know that I would feel cheated.

Sometimes you learn something you did not expect to learn.

I've always thought that the two ways that exist in RQ3 to earn points in skills (experience and training/study) were mandatory in all BRP games.

Nowadays, I prefer to give ticks rather than use traditional rules.

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16 hours ago, Mugen said:

Sometimes you learn something you did not expect to learn.

This, I agree. That means having points or checks attributed by the GM in addition to those attributed normally, but not replacing them (for me).

16 hours ago, Mugen said:

I've always thought that the two ways that exist in RQ3 to earn points in skills (experience and training/study) were mandatory in all BRP games.

Agreed. But, I think those games can have extra ways, such as those proposed by RQG, or your idea of 'attributed by GM' checks.

16 hours ago, Mugen said:

Nowadays, I prefer to give ticks rather than use traditional rules.

On this, we differ.

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17 hours ago, g33k said:

The GM, IIRC, can veto getting any tick -- "no, doing that doesn't generate a tick for you."

Of course.

17 hours ago, g33k said:

"Well, it's after dark and you're spreading out to hunt, let me just  roll a random-encounter  for each one who's stumbling around in the dark...  Ooooh, Joe, 2d4+2 trollkin looking to fill THEIR stew-pot!  Roll for surprise..."

I am using similar tricks, but players are players and don't change easily their habits.

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24 minutes ago, Kloster said:

This, I agree. That means having points or checks attributed by the GM in addition to those attributed normally, but not replacing them (for me).

But it's exactly the same. The only question is how many points are chosen by the GM and the player.

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One thing I sometimes do as a player-reward is an "insta-check."

Rewarded for great role-playing, for doing something that (for metagame reasons) I really wanted done (or not-doing something I wanted them to avoid), etc.

I pick a (hopefully-relevant to the situation) skill, and...

Quote

Make a skill-improvement roll right now -- no tick, no waiting for seasonal improvement, no waiting for downtime, no wait at all.  You have that "a-ha!" moment; a flash of insight; divine inspiration.

If I cannot find a situationally-relevant skill, I pick one somewhat randomly; generally a lower skill, for a higher chance to improve.  Depending on what I'm rewarding, I might let the player pick the skill.

===


Otherwise, I use a mix:

For the seasonal/downtime "regular" improvement rolls that the whole group does, I use mostly RQ-style "ticks" (gained via in-use experience, i.e. learn-by-doing); but I also add some extra "player choice" skill-checks (so the players can shape their characters in desired directions, rather than in the directions shaped by the adventure(s) I presented), and sometimes some "automatic" checks, e.g. if they are caravan-guards who've just landed at a bazaar were the lingua franca is new-to-them, the entire party gets skill-checks to begin learning the language from exposure.

Last but not least, I sometimes allow "stacked" skill-checks, not just one-check-per-downtime.  For example, the in the "caravan at the bazaar" situation above, everyone gets a check in their "Obscure Dialect <X>" language, but someone who actively played "I am trying to learn this language" can get *two* checks:  realistically, they likely learned more than the ones who just picked up whatever they did from random exposure.  Typically, I only allow stacked checks for lower-level skills.

Edited by g33k
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