Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Attuned Items and Luck

As I move towards the final draft, I’m going back to other things I’ve released and seeing which concepts from other systems can make the cut in Resolute. Here are two I’m working on right now- these may not make the core rules as such, but will likely make it into the game somewhere…

Attuned Items

Attuned items are special magical devices that only you can use. I had this as a character perk in Mythweaver, but since perks don’t exist in Resolute per se (they have been wrapped into applications), I didn’t really have a place for them. They felt quite like the odd man out in terms of their use in Resolute.

However, I was thinking about how companion gives you an ally built on 2x the CP total of the linked ability; with intuition +5 (9 CPs), you get a companion built on 18 CPs. Since weapons and armor are built on CP values, it seemed easy to layer the existing framework on top of attuned items; you purchase attuned item as an application (linked to your arms or aspect). At least half of the CPs would go into the base rating for the item, but the remainder would give you other abilities… here are some examples:

An attuned sword linked to your arms +6 (+8 melee/+5 missile/+5 armor) is linked to a 12 CP ability; even though you’ve tailored arms to be better in melee, you still have only 12 CPs invested in it; you have a 24 CP attuned item; you need to put 20 CPs into the damage rating to get it to +8, and you have 4 CPs left to invest in an ability (or more than one)… this sword could give you +4 CPs to might (this seems pretty reasonable), an aura of healing +3 (4 CPs), or invulnerability +2 (2 CPs) and water breathing (2 CPs) if this was from a tribe of lizard men… you have lots of options.

An attuned wand linked to aspect +5 (9 CPs) has 18 CPs in abilities; it gives +5 (9 CPs) to damage, and grants you +3 CPs each to lore, intuition and warding.

You can only take one attuned item, but I’d see most heroes having one of these; they are quite powerful, customizable, and they allow each hero to have a ‘special’ magical device without having to constantly troll through treasure troves looking for something great. You can get an attuned item from a quest, from a special monster encounter, or even from a powerful ally. This resonates more with literature like Lord of the Rings- Aragorn’s sword is an attuned item; he has to spend character points to rebuild it and activate it, but once he does, it’s an exceptionally powerful weapon; and, only he can use it. If Legolas tries to pick it up, it’s an above-average blade.

Luck

Luck allows you to re-roll a failed (or even botched) roll… I’ve previously reserved this for the ‘lucky’ race (either brownies or gnomes depending on the edition/system) as a once per turn/scene thing. In watching Tangled with my daughter, I was thinking of the Flynn Rider character and how everything he ends up doing is luck- or lack thereof. He keeps trying to do these incredibly stupid things and getting really lucky- and then his luck runs out and he suffers an epic fail. I’m not sure that this qualifies as ‘luck’, and I’m not sure how to incorporate this in the game. I’m thinking that rogues (which I don’t have in this draft, since I originally saw rogues as either fighters who have flair or stalkers with swagger) have this ability… it’s sort of a thing where everything you do well gives you progressively more impressive results- but when you fail, you fail big.

Let’s call it moxy for the moment… moxy allows you to take a cumulative bonus each scene to all of your action rolls, up to your moxy rating; however, the first time you fail, your foe gets to add your moxy to its roll… so, with moxy +5 and precision +3, you make your first sword attack of the round at +3, the second at +4, the third at +5, the fourth at +6, the fifth at +7, and the sixth (and each one thereafter) at +8… however, that’s not all- you make ALL actions, resists and results at +5 from round 6 onward; the problem is, once you fail any action, resist or result roll, your foe gets to take +5 to its next roll against you. After that, your moxy is done for the scene; you’ve used up your juju.

It seems like you cannot have both moxy and resolve… so as a chosen human, you can take the +1 bonus to either resolve or moxy. Paladins would never take moxy, and thieves would never take resolve. Moxy is swagger and bravado, whereas resolve is willpower and dedication. With resolve, you refuse to quit; with moxy, you constantly overestimate your abilities- and often find yourself living up to those expectations in spite of yourself.