Monday, 27 March 2017

Six backgrounds, Six talents, and a note on HP armor

Something I'm working at the moment. I think I have to boost the Doctor and the Rogue talents to make them more activelly useful. I asked my mother (she's a doctor) if her career helps her in her common life somehow, and she said that the doctors are good in reading through people's masks. I think she's got a point. 

What were you before you turned into a bountyhunter?

1-Noble (or a Noble's hand)
2-Officer (lawkeeper or any kind of public servant)
4-Guildsman (you choose what your guild was about)
6-Forestman (you can choose to be an animal if you wish)

Which talent has helped you survive until now?

1.fighter: You can attempt extraordinary feats with your favored weapon (pick from the weapon list, you start with it), like cutting down a wall, striking many enemies or shooting at great distance. When you miss an attack, you can still deal or prevent d6 damage.

2.acrobat: You can perform all kinds of acrobacies and to be stealthy with the smallest distraction. You start with a grappling hook (d6 damage), some smoke bombs or a log decoy (activate at anytime)

3.healer: You can diagnose and treat illnesses (enabling a full rest) or perform first aid (instant small rest). You get a doctor bag: you can search it for useful potions, herbs or chemicals.

4.tinker: You can fix, build and rig things. You get a bag of tools and a mysterious device you've been working on. Reveal it's purpose at anytime: on a success, it is perfectly suited for the task and has no major drawbacks for now.

5.mage: Spend time on a proper ritual (or a lighter one and 1d6 hp) to call for a small favor, an answer or to put an enchantment on a target (an aid to a task, +1d6 armor*, enhanced damage. Enchantments on groups tend to dispel faster). You get a book on your spells theme (Angels-Chtulhu-Seasons-Old Ways-Hades-Atlantis), it influences their ways and possible side-effects.

6.rogue: Once per day, you can state retroactivelly how you prepared for this very situation (you have set a trap, bought an object, asked for help). Roll now to see how well you did it.

*Bonus track: A note on armor to be developed later.

Armor adds extra Armor points to your HP. Combat damage takes your HP first, then starts taking your armor. Armor points do not refresh on a rest: you must get your armor repaired or find a new one. If a strike does damage that could take all your AP at once, they don't decrease, but you're hit and must pass a Save to keep on the fight. Non-Physical sources of armor, like spells, can create a communal Armor over a group of people; which will protect whoever needs it at a given time.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Some Abstract Wealth system (for a Cowboy Bebop style game)

There are four money ranks:

Characters start at: 
Poor (you depend on other people's favors)

Once you steal a purse or perform a small job, you become:
Good (you can afford inns, beers, tools, ammo, common equipment)

When you do a good heist or hunt a prized bandit, you become:
Wealthy (you can afford a good weapon, armor, an inn for a good while, repairing a ship)

When you get hands on a great treasure, inherit a patrimony or you do a service for a king, you become:
Fucking Rich (You can afford a house, a three mast ship, a masterwork katana)

You cannot afford anything that is over your rank unless you trick somebody or do something in-game that makes sense for it.
You can automatically buy something from a lower rank; just ask for it.

When you buy something from your rank, or a whole lot of things from a rank below you, roll +Wisdom.  
On a 10, You get it
On a 7-9, You get it but your rank will go down if you buy something expensive before you get a new income
On a 6, you can get it, but your rank will go down.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Game types and preparation economy

When I prepare a game, I like having the PCs start as members of an established group, with common goals. From the point of view of a GM that likes to cut down preparation to the minimum, this has two great advantages:
The first one is that it is easier to fit them in the story narratively, and they're much more predisposed In Character, (and maybe even Out of Character) to the kind of story that is about to begin.
The second one is that you can focus on polish the parts of the game that you're most likely to use, or you think that will have more weight.

So I made an exercise; which consists in gathering all the group types I could think about. They have each some subdivisions and twists. Making a game about each one of them will make you focus on a different part of the design. Also you can use this list as a random table to decide what should you run next!

1. Monsterhunters: The group was funded to hunt monsters of a specific kind: (behemotic beasts - human impersonators - otherwordly haunts - unstable weirdos - reckless predators - cute pets. Twist: they get a second type unexpectedly)

Preparation: the creature's looks, habits, weaknesses, drives, powers and all possible impacts on society.

2. Knights: The group acts as the executive hand of a higher power: (the local laws - the righteous king - a corporation - a nature force - a guild - a belief. Twist: you're not universally considered the good guys)

Preparation: Give the boss an agenda, with one-two main objectives, and a handful of secondary ones. Maybe some code of honor they should follow, too. You don't have to reveal all it's motives in the start, they can be revealed later, maybe even clashing with the PCs best interests.

3. Resistance: You're folk heroes who stand against the tyranny of... (A king, a corporation, a nature force, a guild, a religion, invaders. Twist: The tyrant is actually loved by the majority of the population, for legit or wrong reasons)

Preparation: What kind of trouble have suffered the PCs by the hands of the enemy? What makes it so powerful? How has society changed because of it's impact? Why would somebody back the invading force?

4. Mercenaries: You're set to attain wealth through... (warring combats - hunting criminals - performing heists - delivering goods - playing gigs - raiding dungeons. Twist: You might need to accept alternative jobs sometimes)

Preparation: A good way to manage wealth, equipment durability and buying upgrades. Money is what they'll be after, so you need to give them a fair way to earn it and a good reason to get it mechanically (maybe making it the access to better gear or new skills)

5. Investigators: Your group's goal is to uncover mysteries. You're mainly interested in... (Ancient magical books - precataclysmic technology - exploring new lands - researching the truth behind a story - solving crimes - . Twist: Roll sanity, it's a chtulhu campaign)

Preparation: Write lots of lore about that subject, specially parts that can be used by the PCs somehow. Make up the rest of the world without contradicting that lore; or even subtly enforcing it. Just write lots of it, even if unconnected, let them find pieces as they progress. and make sure it's good. Maybe ask the players for help in this one, so they can secretly to each other, state a fact that is true about the subject and hand it down to you; then you can adapt them as you see fit. This is maybe the hardest type of the five, but I guess that it's the best for people who already likes worldbuilding in itself.