Friday, March 1, 2013

Design Class Is Officially In Session...

It’s safe to say we’re still tweaking the core mechanics here.

Let’s port over some Resolute/Mythweaver system stuff. I had intentionally dropped this in the name of simplicity, but I see now the wisdom of including ability scaling in the core rules for those games. Resource allocation only matters if you have genuine choices to make. As of now, every character will be maxed out in every one of his four most important abilities, with a point or two in some other areas: not at all what I want from a design perspective.

So, we borrow the rating progression from Resolute:

Rating    1              2              3              4              5              6
Cost       1              2              4              6              9              12

This allows me to get rid of artificial ‘level caps’ on trait ratings. At level 1, you have 6 trait points; you can have six traits at +1, you can have three traits at +2, you can have a few at +2 and a few at +1, you can have one at +3 and one at +2 (or two at +1) –or- you can go all in and have one at +4. You can make your character the greatest ever with Stealth at level 1, but you won’t be good (or even decent) at anything else.

This I like.

This also keeps Saves in line, allowing that to progress automatically every other level, as per the current play test rules. Here’s a revision for Troy (from my play testing thread), using this…

He gets to keep his attribute dice ratings, since these do not change: Body D8; Mind D6; Prowess D10; Spirit D8

However, I’m going to play test a few new things.
- First, Attack is breaking up into Aim (for all ranged attacks, including thrown weapons) and Melee (for all hand-to-hand encounters). This will differentiate characters a little bit.
- I’m dropping Munitions as an attribute altogether. You will be issued a standard issue basic weapon (probably an AM-15). You can upgrade your weapon through clout. Each weapon will have minimum requirements for BODY (you have to be strong enough to wield this weapon effectively) and maybe MIND (you need to be smart enough to operate it well). This also means that Heavy Weapons as a unique specialty is on the way out, since that specialty’s only purpose was to get the better starting Munitions rating, and that attribute has been dropped.
- Armor is no longer a trait. Anyone can purchase armor with clout.
- Arms is no longer a trait, but Munitions will be (I like the name, so it's taking the place of Arms). Munitions will reflect how well you maintain and tinker with your weapon once it’s been issued to you; I loved the old weapon tinkering rules from 2E and 3E (that you mess with your weapon to make it better), and at least for now Munitions reflects this. If you take great care of your rifle, it’s going to be more effective. You will get to add your Munitions rating to damage with the weapon; however, each weapon will have a built-in modifier to its base damage that Munitions will stack with. For instance, a common AM-15 deals D8+1 damage. However, an AM-16B may deal a base D10+2 damage (I’m spit balling here). If you have Munitions +2, you get to deal D10+4 with an AM-16B. This allows me to build greater gradations into the differences between comparable weapons (one weapon deals D10+2 with range 5, while another deals D10+3 with range 4, yet they are comparable weapons with comparable clout costs).

At level 5, Troy has 18 trait points. He can purchase one +4 trait (6 points), two +3 traits (6 points total), two +2 traits (4 points) and two +1 traits (2 points).

I decide on: Aim +4; Medic +1; Melee +2; Moxy +3; Munitions +2; Security +1; Stealth +3

Wow! This is MUCH tougher. I went back and forth several times trying to find the right distribution for points, and I still feel like I’m left wanting. I’d love to have some more points. Now, my +4 attack bonus is not so awesome against a comparable foe’s +3 Save bonus to dodge. Holy snap but this solved several problems at once.

Troy Revised (150 XP; 29 Hits)
Commando 5; Staff Sergeant (A-6); Save +3
Body D8; Mind D6; Prowess D10; Spirit D8
Aim +4; Medic +1; Melee +2; Moxy +3; Munitions +2; Security +1; Stealth +3
Weapons: AM-16 (Attack D10+4; Damage D10+4; Range 6); AM-45 Sidearm (Attack D10+4; Damage D8+4; Range 3); Survival Knife (Attack D10+2; Damage D8+3)

Here are some weapons of the ant army, as of my thinking right now:

Knives deal damage based on your BODY + a modifier.

Boot Knife = +2 (standard issue)
Survival Knife = +3 (10 Clout)
Machete = +4 (20 Clout)


Cost: 10 Clout
Damage: D8+1
Range: 5
Requirement: BODY D6

AM-45 Pistol
Cost: 10 Clout
Damage: D8+2
Range: 3
Requirement: None

AM-16 Assault Rifle
Cost: 25 Clout
Damage: D10+2
Range: 6
Requirement: BODY D8

AM-60 Machine Gun
Cost: 40 Clout
Damage: D12+2
Range: 7
Requirement: BODY D10

AM-203 Grenade Launcher
Cost: 40 Clout
Damage: D10+2 (each round affects all targets in a 1 cm square)
Range: 5
Requirement: BODY D6; MIND D6

AM-F1 Flamethrower
Cost: 50 Clout
Damage: D10+1
Range: 3 (affects all targets in a line 1 cm wide and 3 cm long; cannot extend range beyond this)
Requirements: BODY D10; MIND D6

Already I like this better, because the differences between weapons are more pronounced, and I can build a wide range of medium-grade assault rifles that all have minor mechanical tweaks to differentiate them.