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Saturday, February 14, 2009

The "System" (heh heh heh)

I say I'm running Tunnels and Trolls as a simplification. The truth is that I'm running a Frankenstein monster hybrid-game. The books I keep on or near the table during play: Tunnels and Trolls (5.5), Character Law, Spell Law, Player's Handbook (1e). I will try to explain what's what here. The fact is that during the last session, we never opened any of them...

First off, character sheets look mostly like T&T, but there are a few more stats, 6(!) to be exact.
The stats are Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intellect, Wit, Will, Power, Luck, and Soul. Characters have three 'aspects' (this for conceptual organization - not a mechanic/bug/feature):
Physical (Str.Dex,Con)
Mental (Int,Wit,Will)
Meta (Pow,Lk,Soul)

Then there are 3 derived stats
Charisma (average Str/Int/Pow),
Perception (average Dex/Wit/Luck), and
Discipline (average Con/Will/Soul).

Discipline is the odd man out. I have no idea what to do with this stat. I'm considering changing it into Health, or Determination or something. I dunno what yet. Characters with low Will are easily charmed/commanded. Characters with low Soul are easily possessed.

Stats are rolled with 2d6 + d12, in order.

Races DO NOT multiply stats. As of now race has no impact on stat scores, but I am considering different approaches here. I'm not using an 5.5 triples add-reroll stuff. At first I had plotted out stat scores giving bonuses/subtractions, but have decided not to do so anymore. Any, I'm not using Combat or Missile Adds. Or Speed. Or T&T combat. I'll explain more about that in a bit.

The race and class (along with 'social class' determine what 'categories' a character may choose skills from. There's a total of 13 'skill points' for a starting character: 3 from social class,
4 from race and 6 from class, and these 13 points are distributed among 9 'skill categories'. These categories are Combat, Magic, Stealth, Physical, Mental, Awareness, Social, Outdoor, and Technical. Here's a few lines from my table:

Hillmen 1 1 1 1
Half-Elves 1 1 1 1

Fighter 5 1
Thief 1 3 1 1
Priest 4 2
Warlock 3 1 1 1

Outcaste 1 1 1
Middle Class 1 1* 1 1*

Where there is an asterisk, the player chooses which category the skill point is used in.

Skills are varied. Some skills give constant bonuses. Examples:
Physical-Body Development - gives d6 or 3.5 Hit Points
Combat-Dodge - improves 'Armor Class'

Other skills apply bonuses to specific situations as a 1 rank:+1 on SR (Physical-Climb as an example)

Combat and Magic skills are a little more varied, and in fact, I think most skills could follow this same approach. A skill point can give a bonus (Combat-Blades: +1 to hit/rank) OR to allow
the character to perform an action faster (this gets into the time-frame of rounds which is a different subject, resembling Rolemaster FRP rounds (10 seconds, no phases, but each action takes up some minimum time of that round). Magic Skill points can be used to learn spells, to improve some parameter of a known spell (like decreasing the casting time, etc)...

I've tried to keep these things vague, hoping that players will come up with variations and improvements. I made a short list of skills by these categories, but stressed that these lists are by no means exhaustive.

Characters have hit points. These are initally the same as the character's CON score, but can be increased with skill points.

I use 'armor class' in the sense of how easy/difficult something is to hit. Rolls to hit are made on 2d10, trying to roll the target's AC or better. I'm trying the bell curve in combat. So far, I like it. Base armor class is determined by size.

Tiny creatures AC 15 (fairy)
Small creatures AC 13 (halfling, dwarf, goblin)
Medium creatures AC 10 (human, elf, hobgoblin)
Large creatures AC 7 (say, ogres, bugbears)
Huge creatures AC 5 (say, giants)

I am using T&T weapons and armor, so there's Hits Taken. Which is good. Since there's no comparison between combat totals, weapons do A LOT of damage. For the unfamiliar, a broadsword
is listed as doing 3d6+4 damage. In standard T&T, the combatants roll damage, the lower roll is
subtracted from the larger roll and the difference is applied to the loser of the round. This is not the way combat is working here. There is initiative, attacks are sequential. Being stuck with a spear means taking 4-19 points of damage...

1 comment:

Scott said...

Hey, Greg. I've added you to my blog feed and blogroll, and will be reading regularly. :)