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Author Topic: Let's Talk Mechanics  (Read 10386 times)
Krensky
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« Reply #60 on: May 31, 2011, 03:30:46 PM »

I'd like to see 3rd Edition's skill mechanic radically overhauled, even if only by a campaign quality.

One of the things I like about Star Wars Saga Edition is that skills are trained or untrained; however, untrained simply meant that you were less good at it intead of being rubbish because you get a level-indexed bonus to skill checks as you level up. I don't have my book to hand, but I seem to recall it was half-level for untrained skills, level+5 for trained.

The idea being that being the cinematic sort of hero that people were, a 10th level character would essentially by osmosis be able to do skill-related things a 1st level character wouldn't even if they were both equally untrained. The "school of life" approach.

Funny, one of the things I hate the most about SAGA and 4e.
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MilitiaJim
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« Reply #61 on: May 31, 2011, 04:38:35 PM »

I'd like to see 3rd Edition's skill mechanic radically overhauled, even if only by a campaign quality.
...
Funny, one of the things I hate the most about SAGA and 4e.
Sorry Mr. A., I'm with Krensky on this one.  I've not played SAGA, but the wholesale gutting of skills is one of the many things I dislike about 4e.
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« Reply #62 on: May 31, 2011, 05:11:53 PM »

Having to allocate skills is the least gavourite part of character generation for me, especially as d20's enforces the painfully idiotic tough+dumb/scrawny+smart dichotomy. You cou;d easily detech skill points from that equation and keep the vitality/class skill number inverse relationship as a balance mechanic
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« Reply #63 on: May 31, 2011, 05:28:46 PM »

In a ironic turn of events people at the D&D 4E site are clamoring for a combat system to be implemented or discussed not unlike Master Craft's. Someone actually mentioned Master Craft's combat system in generalities on the comments section of the article. I think its the one written by mike mearls. Link: http://www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ll/20110531

To add to the Discussion:
Con
I never ever want to see a Condition Track system like the one in SAGA, ever... that thing was the bane of our games.

Pro
I was reading over Spell Bound Kingdoms again and I really like the simple Organization rules they use.
Your "Force" score is how martially adept your organization is (like an order of Templar in a church). Shadow is it's ability to pull off covert missions and it's ability to not be found. Magic is it's knowledge of the Arcane and how much magic it can field. Efficiency is how quickly it can act as an entity (like initiative on a larger scale). And finally Scope is how influential or wide spread it is, lower scores I think mean more local influence and higher scores are more wide spread. Something like when it's Scope is reduced to 0 it doesn't exist as an organization anymore.  Anyway, I liked  it because it's a simple and straight forward.

@Mr. A, Krensky, and MilitiaJim: I think both systems have their uses, but neither gets under my skin as much as locked Class skills. 4E really makes me sad over things like the fighter knows fewer skills and has fewer skills to choose from.

Either way you do it, I think a characters skills should be more freely chosen and less restrictive. Origin Skills helped with this. I think Saga had a good skill list as a whole, Mastercraft gets a little cumbersome sometimes, and 4E is downright draconian while being really hard to find useful in creative ways. I think Mastercraft did a good thing by using skills in a way that could be useful in combat, it really helped more "skillful" characters contribute.
I'm on my second cup of coffee this morning, sorry if this all came out like brain vomit.
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Mister Andersen
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« Reply #64 on: May 31, 2011, 06:14:58 PM »

Yeah, the Fantasy Craft default lockout is rather irksome.

You know, I can possibilities in all skills being available to all classes, and the class skill list+origin skills are ones you get a bonus to
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« Reply #65 on: May 31, 2011, 11:40:18 PM »

@Mister Andersen:
This was something Pathfinder did well IMO. They gave a bonus to characters who invested in their class' stereotype(very nice if your stereotype of the class is the same as the designer, bad if you want to think out side of the box) .

For example max skill rank is equal to ECL (Effective Character Level). Instead of ECL + 3. So no x4 at level 1. If the skill is on your class list you get a +3 bonus to the skill. So Non class skills look like Total = Ability + Ranks + Misc and Class Skills look like Total = Ability + Ranks + Class Bonus + Misc

Effectively the same math as FC/3.5, but streamlined to be more logical. The draw back being you can't put a single rank in 4 skills at level 1. PF assumes you want to drop all your skill points into a skill.

Fighter characters still get hosed in terms of skills, and Perception is so rare a class skill on characters who really need it. I mean why are so many professional soldiers not Perceptive. Ugh. I'm trying to open d20 systems up a bit to be more forgiving. I think opening the skill list to all classes is a good first step.
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« Reply #66 on: November 22, 2011, 05:38:08 PM »

Thats one of the things I liked a lot about Pathfinder, the +3 to class skills.

Other recent mechanics I've liked- the initiative order in the Cubical 7 Doctor Who game: 1st go the talkers, 2nd the action takers, 3rd the movers and last the shooters. Kind of goofy, but fitting for that setting.

Another favorite mechanic is far from new, but I really like how BRP did skill improvement, you get a chance to increase the level if you've used them. A chance, which still might fail.
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Crafty_Pat
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« Reply #67 on: November 22, 2011, 07:24:30 PM »

Another favorite mechanic is far from new, but I really like how BRP did skill improvement, you get a chance to increase the level if you've used them. A chance, which still might fail.

I love that XP system. 'Course, I also love Elder Scrolls. Wink
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« Reply #68 on: November 23, 2011, 03:29:26 AM »

Funny thing is, I've never played the BRP with default skills-system, every-time I've played in a game the person running it has a house rule (I've never actually run it to comment).
Variants include:
Select 1 skill you've ticked beforehand which auto-increases.
You can get multiple ticks but only 1 increase each adventure (i.e. more attempts at raising).
You get x skillpoints to increase in addition to the rolls (justified as downtime/background improvement not covered by the adventure).
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« Reply #69 on: November 25, 2011, 05:22:03 PM »

One mechanic I enjoy is from the Dresdon Files RPG. After you make the basics of your character up you "guest star" in two other stories with two different members of the group.

This allows you have have a past and a connection with some people and avoids the "you all start in a tavern" story starter. One person calls in his two friends who call in their two friends who just happen to know the first guy etc.
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« Reply #70 on: November 26, 2011, 09:36:05 PM »

Yeh Diaspora (also Fate) does the same thing. I'm 4 sessions in and we still haven't gotten the PC's on one ship...but no-one cares the ability to compel other characters aspects* as a player and lots of PCs controlling minor NPCs seems to keep everyone busy.

*An aspect is some defining feature of a character.
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« Reply #71 on: November 28, 2011, 03:24:09 AM »

Another game that I think has great rules system is RuneQuest II (soon to be renamed Legend) from Mongoose. The system is pretty easy, like BRP (actually very similar). But the greatest thing that it has over BRP is it's combat system. When you get high enough margin of success over your opponent, you can have various combat maneuvers to choose from. This makes combat very ... graphic and it's not reduced only to using hit points. Sure, it still has hit points (not plenty of those).

I could very well see that combat system used with firearms and in (car) chases, too.

Another new(ish) game system is Savage Worlds (I don't remember if it is already mentioned). It falls pretty well to background and it is fast. Espesially NPCs are quickly incapacitated (like mooks in Fantasy Craft).

SW also has a benny economy where players can use bennies (poker chips for example). With these PCs can use various stunts and their edges. So, pretty easy system but also quite granule like Silhouette and for that equipment (read weapons and armor) doesn't have great variation.
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« Reply #72 on: November 28, 2011, 11:40:06 AM »

Another favorite mechanic is far from new, but I really like how BRP did skill improvement, you get a chance to increase the level if you've used them. A chance, which still might fail.

I love that XP system. 'Course, I also love Elder Scrolls. Wink
Same here. It's a stroke of genius. Burning Wheel/Mouse Guard did a similar thing: When you pass and fail a certain number of tests, you get +1 to that skill. Of course you then get the players who hate this as they don't think it's fair that characters get better skilled based on chance. Sigh...

Cheers! Cheesy
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« Reply #73 on: November 28, 2011, 12:05:03 PM »

Another favorite mechanic is far from new, but I really like how BRP did skill improvement, you get a chance to increase the level if you've used them. A chance, which still might fail.

I love that XP system. 'Course, I also love Elder Scrolls. Wink
Same here. It's a stroke of genius. Burning Wheel/Mouse Guard did a similar thing: When you pass and fail a certain number of tests, you get +1 to that skill. Of course you then get the players who hate this as they don't think it's fair that characters get better skilled based on chance. Sigh...

Cheers! Cheesy

I have a love / hate relationship with that style of progression system.  I love the concept (and it works fantastically in videogames), but in practice it's never worked well for me.

Then again, I'm not a fan of anything that doesn't give equal share to all players - including point based systems that have points for different actions, and players get differing totals.  Shadowrun always bugged me for this reason - one or two players would consistantly get more points then other players, which isn't really fair on the others.
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« Reply #74 on: November 28, 2011, 04:19:40 PM »

I've never actually played an advancement mechanic like that but they have always intrigued me.

One of my favorite mechanics comes from an independent re-working of FATE.  Strands of FATE presents the concept of the FATE Fractal.  That is to say that anything can, and should, be represented by closely linked, if not identical, attributes.  Thus, the same process that producers characters also produces vehicles, starships, corporations, religious groups, units (such as a SEAL Team or a group of Knights Templar) are all built using the same rules.



RE: Shadowrun
That game (and I love it) really isn't intended to be balanced.  It's a flavor-fest (assuming you like your cyberpunk crossed with magic) that brings back the future dystopia from the 80's.
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