Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I guess this would be a topic of concern given I have already mentioned firestorms over cities. Ideally that would be a level 100 character and not some level 20 bandit out in the woods. But beyond just balance, the question arises for me, how much magic? Where is magic in the world? How does it apply to the players? And equipment? And NPCs?

Basically only specific folks will get magic. Those being leaders, heroes, players, villains and dedicated NPCs.

Leaders are kings, generals and other distinguished leaders. A patrol captain probably wont have magic by default, but all distinguished leaders will have a form of magic, how else could a barbarian player really hope to compete with a mage in army on army combat?

Heroes, folks with the stuff of leaders, just they don't have the army. Same theory, possibly they don't like leading, suck at it or whatnot.

Players, assuming players find a way to not be one of the above two, their abilities would still classify to some degree as magical.

Villains, basically the opposite of heroes.

Dedicated NPCs. These would probably be the only casters without names, and shouldn't exactly be common in any but large armies and wealthy groups. That or just cloisters of mages and whatnot. They could take the form of a healer stationed with every platoon or a bunch of mages put together to salvo from a hill like artillery or something like that.


So I'm still considering how this plays out. As it stands now, I'm simply putting a margin in my max values for effects by gear on players. From a video game standpoint, it's basically, if a player only got the best gear of every kind to improve their intellect, this is what that bonus would be. If it goes down, I don't care, but I don't want it to go above that point, that amount is the maximum I think a player should get a bonus from items. I'm using a similar system for stats improvements and skills improvements. However, I'm not 100% at this point what those core maximums will be. I think they're going to end up in the 100s for sure.

Flying ships and automatons marauding around? Zombies in every graveyard and demons in every pentagram? Elixers of life and gods walking the realms? I don't think so. I mean demons and zombies, maybe, but I think the flying ships and automatons are out. I had a concept originally that each class would attract or create particular kinds of followers, but decided that was stupid. A charismatic person can attract any kinds of people, like minded or not they can still work well together. Of coarse my concept of mages summoning constructs to run their kingdom does go out the window with that one... For now. Early on at least, I intend for the main competition to be the other races and the occasional apocalypse beast.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Real Plan

So the ultimate goal is to create a system that accounts for the growth of the player as a natural leader of those around them. Eventually running a camp, small town, city, then kingdom or anything in between. Ideally it would allow and even guide players towards situations where the players go solo away from their people, or let them simply send their underlings. The key in the system however, is scalability.

With a system bearing 100 levels (in my head ideally) so as to allow slow development overall but still have many landmark points. The stats could become very biased as specialists get huge bonus' and huge weaknesses and generalists become good at nothing causing difficulties for encounters (with skill checks, combat or whatnot) being hard to gauge. Part of the challenge is to help ensure there are limits (prerequisites) that establish peaks in power till the next level or whatnot, but the ability to let the players still feel like a specialist and build a character they desire.

Also is the difficulty in finding an appropriate dice system. There are plenty to choose from, Savage world DX system, D20, Success based D6, GURPS D6, Success D10, flip a coin, roe sham bo, put a bunch of dice in a bag and pull one out whenever you need to come up with a die for the player to roll... Right now I'm looking at a D10 system. As in if I had to choose a die to use alot it would be that one, either solo or in it's D% role. Since most people think in a base 10 system, and it's a lot easier to calculate the odds of rolling multiples, it should work best and probably would be very scalable.

Scalable is important. As it stands in my head I have multiple areas of the game with multiple levels of scale. Single fighters to armies, local prices to world economy, level 1 targeted abilities to level 100 enhanced citywide firestorms. The trick and challenge is keeping it easy, simple, powerful, balanced and scalable. The rules for a party of characters should not differ too much from the rules for army combat, but should be different enough to allow the players to experience the scale. Ideally introducing no more than a few new rules at each scale level and not jumping scale levels too often.

More to come...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Insert Overused Pun On Class Here

Classes, as enticing as trying to piece together a game without classes seems. I must admit I don't think I'd trust my ability to create a desirable balanced system alone without a backbone like classes.

Down to it I'm only thinking of implementing 3 classes. It doesn't sound like much, but if needed it can of coarse be expanded. Of coarse after this explanation, I wonder if any more would even be needed.

Basically I'm thinking that each class will simply be given a large number of abilities and bonuses with themes. (currently only 3 per class planned) Each of the abilities and bonuses may have prerequisites, however none of them will require another ability. Each level a character will be given points to spend between these abilities and bonus. One point in an ability gives you the ability, then after that additional levels of the abilities will require additional prerequisites such as level and increase the ability generally. Each ability will also have modifiers, probably about 2 each (not finalized) that will boost particular parts. Bonuses will follow the same theory, except for the modifiers, and they may not have requirements to increase.

This way, anyone in the realm of warrior can put points into Berserker abilities, Defender abilities or Inspirant abilities at every level. However, due to the innate bonus' and traits of each ability it's likely more useful to stick to one or the other.

Trouble right now is, how to come up with enough abilities that are unique and interesting. Easy for casters, working on the warriors and theif types.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Heroes And Everyone Else

Not pretending anything I do in my system is unique or new, I plan on making the clear and definite distinction between the heroes and everyone else. Heroes will have more detail and statistics, and generally will be more powerful than any one person in an at level encounter. Exceptions being the villains and 'boss' opponents heroes are supposed to combat. Ideally my goal is that the players will use two sides of a piece of paper at most, important persons one side and no names at most half a side of a piece of paper. Considering that no-names will be replicated as needed one stat block could of coarse apply to 10,000 warriors. More on that number later I'm sure. This means my combat system needs to be able to be broken down into a few lines with few having to look at base stats. One of my worries with this is that it will become too plain. More to come...

Friday, September 3, 2010

On Races

One of my biggest complaints with role playing games is the integration of race. In a world with elves, dwarves and catpeople, I feel like the race is essentially an aesthetic choice at the beginning, eventually overwhelmed by class abilities and only invoked by the DM every time they want to inflict some level of racism. Similar to Familiars, they don't exist till the DM want's to inflict 1d4+1 con damage as they die.

In a world of +6 to Con belts, temporary hit points and +whatever spells, a +2 to health is a bit of a joke.

One of the main goals in the system I'm developing is to have races granting the possibility of new abilities and bonus that can be unlocked as the character progresses. Almost as if it were a mini-class. I guess I'll have to explain my current theory on classes to make that more clear. And that's where it's less settled.

This would make implementing new character races a lot of trouble. However, I have some tricks in mind to keep enemies less complex. More to come... I think I've got about 2-3 more posts just from this one.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

On Economy

Inspired by my ever present desire to create my own system for a role playing game, I've taken some baby steps forwards towards developing an economic system.

This is being done in parallel with a more creative than mathematical system of developing the core character and ability system which is kicking my ass.

A bit of history first I guess for the sake of first postiness.

I'm a young guy, in my early teens I was introduced to the wonderful world of pen and paper role playing games. Immediately afterwards I set out to develop my own and play it with my friends. Obviously having only seen six and twenty sided dice at this point, I was ill equipped to say the least. A few years later I discovered DnD 3.5. This was my first system, and inevitably the version of the DnD series I cling to. Still however, I spent much time adapting and rewriting the rules to other simple systems.

A few years later I took it further and started to expand my collection of systems, learning and trying to develop my repertoire of rules, systems and ideas. I've collected realism and rules heavy systems like GURPS, and even very simplified versions like Savage Worlds, and have even saved systems friends of mine have created/adapted for inspiration. And now I'm taking my steps forwards to create something from scratch with a very specific goal. More on that later, right now I'm talking about Economy.

Not going so far as to build an advanced economy as some I've read about, I'm searching for a generic system that can serve as a strong backbone for a simplified system. Currently it breaks down all goods into 9 core types. Once the demand and supply for each type is established, each object would be assigned a value according to those types in resource units with non-resource currency being relative by resource unit.

As of this moment, I've established some basic formulas establishing; population-> consumption and production rates, terrain, average skill, and faculities -> production modifiers, production modifiers + consumption -> supply/demand, supply/demand to cost modifiers and city production -> region demand. I'm thinking that regional demand rates will have a reverse effect on city value rates. This would represent the scarcity of a good in a region causing all prices in the region to go up as well as scarcity in a city causing prices to go up. Whether or not this will go to a global scale I am unsure.

The importance of this economy system is hopefully going to be great once all is said and done. This is because I expect players to have a strong effect from mid to high levels on the economy. Possibly further posts in the future to elaborate. As of now it's not all pinned down.