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Waterbrick Down

Heroica RPG 2.0

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17 hours ago, Waterbrick Down said:

If I did that was in error. I should be clear, while I'm glad to put forth suggestions and comment on balance for new mechanics of a future game, I will not have the time to lead a Heroica 2.0. 

I wonder where I get these ideas...

On 11/30/2018 at 12:02 AM, Waterbrick Down said:

I know it's gone a little quiet lately, but I hope to do some Figbarfing and rules work this weekend for Heroica 2.0. Stay tuned

Well if you are to busy being a dad, that brings up the question who might be in charge. 

Well some of this sudden enthusiasm might of come from my brother of all places, because he asked me if I ever played D&D. Now this is someone I wouldn't think might be interested in D&D. Apparently he was watching some online D&D games and he thought it might be fun. I gave him some advice to where he could start. And I did mention this site (Heroica). I also mentioned the current in between the "game" is currently in, not that I am thinking the 2.0 is going to start tomorrow or even next week, but it does seem like "people" do want a 2.0 at some point. 

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6 hours ago, samurai-turtle said:

I wonder where I get these ideas...

Yeah, that was the intention of the dice pool idea. My apologies if it came across that I was going to have a full rules set.

6 hours ago, samurai-turtle said:

Well some of this sudden enthusiasm might of come from my brother of all places, because he asked me if I ever played D&D. Now this is someone I wouldn't think might be interested in D&D. Apparently he was watching some online D&D games and he thought it might be fun. I gave him some advice to where he could start. And I did mention this site (Heroica). I also mentioned the current in between the "game" is currently in, not that I am thinking the 2.0 is going to start tomorrow or even next week, but it does seem like "people" do want a 2.0 at some point. 

I know people would like a Heroica 2.0, but I think people also need to understand why Heroica 1.0 came to a close in order to address those shortcomings with whatever comes next.

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Not sure if anyone else would want to, but I'd love to get this ball rolling again, even if it's just super minor things.

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I wouldn't mind getting into some ideas. I've been meaning to look into some of the class and combat ideas, and I had some ideas for the elves, taking inspiration from Warhammer 40k and The Elder Scrolls. It was nothing concrete, but some loose concepts to work off of.

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Some thoughts/additions I've had from WBD's post about proficiences.

Level of Proficiency: I-IV, each level makes character more, well, skilled. Has a better chance of success with that proficiency in actions. So everyone can do everything, but if you want to have an edge, spec into a proficiency.

 

Ex. Non medics/clerics can attempt to heal an ally, but they might have a 15% chance of success. Medic/Cleric I has 25%, and up and up until Medic/Cleric IV has close to 100%. We could also make the proficiencies cost more on each level. This would eliminate specific classes (do we want that?), but allow everyone to try different things. This could carry over to basically any proficiency like engineering, hacking, shooting, piloting, etc. And if the game runs for a long period of time, possibly higher levels could be added?

 

Now since classes could be removed, that might eliminate Guild/Faction classes. Instead, perhaps reputation or completed quests with them result in an unlocked proficiency tree. For example, the Bonaparte faction skill you could unlock might be Navigation. Once you unlock that tree, even if you don’t start speccing it, you have it, even if you lose rep. This allows players to use abilities they’ve learned even if they make a character choice that goes opposite of former employers. The problem with Heroica’s class system could be fixed with this idea.

 

Now, what if you receive a sweet helmet from Faction A, but then they end up hating you? Maybe we faction-lock equipment. Another idea could be no faction-locks, but if you’re wearing their gear and they see you, you could be fined, attacked, etc. Though that seems more of a quest-by-quest basis. Just spittballing here. We could also proficiency lock equipment as well, making it where anyone can use any weapon, but as the game goes on, say you need to be Long Range Weapon Level III or above to use a specific gun.

 

Thoughts?

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Fully supportive of a Heroica 2.0 if there is enough interest, just let me know what I can do to help. :dsweet:In the meantime, you guys could always try out different rules in a sandbox-style one-off roleplay game/adventure, could be a good way to test things.

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1 hour ago, Dragonator said:

Fully supportive of a Heroica 2.0 if there is enough interest, just let me know what I can do to help. :dsweet:In the meantime, you guys could always try out different rules in a sandbox-style one-off roleplay game/adventure, could be a good way to test things.

I'm definitely agreeing with that idea. I could maybe have a small test adventure for three or four people on Sunday at the earliest. I've been working on various ideas for the combat over the past few days.

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On 4/19/2019 at 12:49 PM, KotZ said:

Some thoughts/additions I've had from WBD's post about proficiences.

Level of Proficiency: I-IV, each level makes character more, well, skilled. Has a better chance of success with that proficiency in actions. So everyone can do everything, but if you want to have an edge, spec into a proficiency.

 

Ex. Non medics/clerics can attempt to heal an ally, but they might have a 15% chance of success. Medic/Cleric I has 25%, and up and up until Medic/Cleric IV has close to 100%. We could also make the proficiencies cost more on each level. This would eliminate specific classes (do we want that?), but allow everyone to try different things. This could carry over to basically any proficiency like engineering, hacking, shooting, piloting, etc. And if the game runs for a long period of time, possibly higher levels could be added?

 

Now since classes could be removed, that might eliminate Guild/Faction classes. Instead, perhaps reputation or completed quests with them result in an unlocked proficiency tree. For example, the Bonaparte faction skill you could unlock might be Navigation. Once you unlock that tree, even if you don’t start speccing it, you have it, even if you lose rep. This allows players to use abilities they’ve learned even if they make a character choice that goes opposite of former employers. The problem with Heroica’s class system could be fixed with this idea.

 

Now, what if you receive a sweet helmet from Faction A, but then they end up hating you? Maybe we faction-lock equipment. Another idea could be no faction-locks, but if you’re wearing their gear and they see you, you could be fined, attacked, etc. Though that seems more of a quest-by-quest basis. Just spittballing here. We could also proficiency lock equipment as well, making it where anyone can use any weapon, but as the game goes on, say you need to be Long Range Weapon Level III or above to use a specific gun.

 

Thoughts?

I don't know if tying mechanics to faction alliances is a great thing to carry over from Heroica 1.0. While it helped to develop some character interaction with factions due to their faction accessibility, as a whole it seemed to more arbitrarily limit players or force their characters to go in a certain direction just because that was the only way someone could get a dragon. Sure factions can have perks, but tying important mechanics like classes or proficiencies, I think might be a little too much.

I like the idea of a percentile system, the hard part is allowing for enough granularity so that there's enough of a spectrum for success, but not so much that the math becomes tedious.

 

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1 hour ago, Waterbrick Down said:

I don't know if tying mechanics to faction alliances is a great thing to carry over from Heroica 1.0. While it helped to develop some character interaction with factions due to their faction accessibility, as a whole it seemed to more arbitrarily limit players or force their characters to go in a certain direction just because that was the only way someone could get a dragon. Sure factions can have perks, but tying important mechanics like classes or proficiencies, I think might be a little too much.

I like the idea of a percentile system, the hard part is allowing for enough granularity so that there's enough of a spectrum for success, but not so much that the math becomes tedious.

Percentile system for which mechanics? Combat? Skill checks? Everything?

Call of Cthulhu has an interesting percentile system which may be worth looking into if that's the direction we want to take this.

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2 hours ago, Waterbrick Down said:

I don't know if tying mechanics to faction alliances is a great thing to carry over from Heroica 1.0. While it helped to develop some character interaction with factions due to their faction accessibility, as a whole it seemed to more arbitrarily limit players or force their characters to go in a certain direction just because that was the only way someone could get a dragon. Sure factions can have perks, but tying important mechanics like classes or proficiencies, I think might be a little too much.

I like the idea of a percentile system, the hard part is allowing for enough granularity so that there's enough of a spectrum for success, but not so much that the math becomes tedious.

 

Yeah, that's why I mentioned faction equipment instead. Just spitballing.

As for the percentile, it definitely has more of a DnD flair I think, and as you mentioned the problem is making it not too math heavy, as some QMs (namely me) have issues with math. And then consider the idea of having the proficiency levels, do you add more proficiences or levels? More levels would force nerf a lot if the game continued.

1 hour ago, Kintobor said:

Percentile system for which mechanics? Combat? Skill checks? Everything?

Call of Cthulhu has an interesting percentile system which may be worth looking into if that's the direction we want to take this.

I was thinking percentile for combat. Skills could be a simple pass/fail system or up to QM discretion. I'm thinking for a test quest I might not do percentiles, just because I don't feel too confident in how they would work yet.

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16 hours ago, Kintobor said:

Percentile system for which mechanics? Combat? Skill checks? Everything?

Call of Cthulhu has an interesting percentile system which may be worth looking into if that's the direction we want to take this.

I'd say everything, a percentile system can have a lot of variations though. You can go straight percentile (like Call of Cthulhu), you can go the D&D route where everything is broken into 5% increments, or you can dice pool systems where in percentage is never really calculated but is a approximated by the number of dice being rolled.

14 hours ago, KotZ said:

Yeah, that's why I mentioned faction equipment instead. Just spitballing.

As for the percentile, it definitely has more of a DnD flair I think, and as you mentioned the problem is making it not too math heavy, as some QMs (namely me) have issues with math. And then consider the idea of having the proficiency levels, do you add more proficiences or levels? More levels would force nerf a lot if the game continued.

I was thinking percentile for combat. Skills could be a simple pass/fail system or up to QM discretion. I'm thinking for a test quest I might not do percentiles, just because I don't feel too confident in how they would work yet.

Sorry, I should have said that I agreed about the faction equipment portion. :classic: My suggestion would be to do away with levels all together and stick to a point system by which things like HP, Mana, proficiencies, can be increased. One of the issues Herocia 1.0 ended up having is that everyone felt pretty similar at higher levels aside from the distinction between spell casters and non-magic users. The only difference was equipment and that just lead to power-creep, gigantic inventories, unexpected/over-powered synergies that couldn't have been planned for. By limiting player power and uniqueness primarily to their actual stats, you allow for better customization and as long as the starting system is balanced, longevity without things going out of control balance wise.

Having skills be up to QM discretion is a hold-over from Heroica 1.0 that I think needs to go. While it does seem to superficially simplify things, it makes the job of the QM tremendously more difficult, because not only do they have to see if they're being consistent with their own previous judgments, but consistent with other QM's as well. What this means is that either people stop trying to use skills at all, they abuse them (i.e. diplomacy = mind control), or resentment develops because a player doesn't feel they're being treated fairly at either this particular time or by this particular GM.

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57 minutes ago, Waterbrick Down said:

Having skills be up to QM discretion is a hold-over from Heroica 1.0 that I think needs to go. While it does seem to superficially simplify things, it makes the job of the QM tremendously more difficult, because not only do they have to see if they're being consistent with their own previous judgments, but consistent with other QM's as well. What this means is that either people stop trying to use skills at all, they abuse them (i.e. diplomacy = mind control), or resentment develops because a player doesn't feel they're being treated fairly at either this particular time or by this particular GM.

On the test system I'm working on, I'm doing a modified version of your dice pool, which seems like it would be a good fix to the QM discretion. I think the test system won't be too broken, but it's still going to need playtesting and a lot of work. I'm going to post the entire ruleset for it up so everyone can see it as well and decide if they want to play test. I've had a lot of free time at work the past two days.:laugh:

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Alright, since I've had a bunch of free time the past two days, I've come up with a bit of a mishmash system taking from ideas that others have come up with on here, modifying them to an extent. Below are the synopsis, "reward," PCs and info that I would be using for this Test Quest. Four people would be preferable, but I think I could do fewer if necessary. If this needs pre-approval, let me know.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Infiltration - A Heroica 2.0 Test Quest

Four mercenaries are hired by a mysterious businessman to infiltrate a high-security building and steal a data card.

Reward: 10 credits for each party member

 

PCs

Landon, Elf - Soldier

Eva, Human- Hacker (rogue)

Igorat, Alien - Healer

Thrane, Alien - Caster (Wizard/tech)

 

Weapons and Armor/Shields

Energy: Damages Elemental Armor at 100% WP, damages other types at 50% WP

Kinetic: Damages Energy Armor at 100% WP, damages other types at 50% WP

Elemental: Damages Kinetic Armor at 100% WP, damages other types at 50% WP

       

Energy Armor: Weak to Kinetic Weapons

Kinetic Armor: Weak to Elemental Weapons

Elemental Armor: Weak to Energy Weapons

 

Weapon Types are categorized as Long Range, Short Range, and Melee. Long Range can only be used from the back lines to target mid or back lines. Short Range can be in the middle row and target Close and Mid lines. Melee attacks can only be used from the front to target the front. Reach weapons like polearms can only be used from the front but can target front or mid. Magic/tech can be used on any row, but it can only target the row that is its opposite, e.g. Long targets Melee, Short targets Short, Melee targets Long.

 

Character Creation

Starting Points: 10 points, 2 Proficiencies (Class takes up one automatically, second is player choice), 5 HP

Proficiencies cost: 1 point for Level I, 2 for Level II, etc.

Attributes (Skill and Smart) cost: 2 point

HP cost: 1 point

 

Skill functions as Initiative, Smart as a way to help with dice pool rolls. Below are the difficulty ratings. A dice pool would be using 10 dice.

 

Simple: 1 Successes

Skilled: 3 Successes

Difficult: 5 Successes

Impossible: 7 Successes

 

A QM would rate a specific encounter needing a dice pool. The player would then roll. The Smart attribute would then help change the amount of successes needed to successfully complete the task, such as Persuasion. Every 4 Smart points equals 1 die in the pool.

 

Proficiencies

These help adjust the rigid class system into more freeform style with player choice, and not penalizing them when they switch a class. Proficiency levels go from I-IV. To reach a new level after Level I, you must have a combined Attribute score of 4x the level. Ex, to reach Level II, a character must have a combined score of 8 in Skill and Smart. For example, that could be 8 all in Skill, 2 in Skill and 6 in Smart, or any other combination.

 

Short Range Weapons (Pistols, submachine guns, throwing weapons, spells/wands/staves); +1 for weapon power when using

Long Range Weapons (Rifles, snipers, bows); +1 for weapon power when using

Artillery (Cannons, RPGs, counted as Long Range in combat, takes a turn to load, but powerful); +1 for weapon power when using

Blade Weapons (energy sabers, swords, pikes, axes); +1 for weapon power when using

Blunt Weapons (Clubs, bats, nunchuks); +1 for weapon power when using

Tech (can be used on computers for hacking, repair items/shields and increases chances of success on repairs); +1 to Smart

Stealth (Decreases detection, can sneak); A Dice pool is needed.

Arcana (Increases Skill when using Magic); +1 Skill

Investigation (Increases chance of discovering things); A Dice pool is needed

Wisdom (Can be used for Smart); +1 Smart

Piloting (Increases level of ship able to pilot; Everyone can pilot personal ships and speeders, but cruisers, freighters, etc need higher level)

Medicine (Increases chance of healing an ally during combat); A Dice pool is needed

Survival (Regains Health outside of combat at a 10% increase)

Persuasion (Increases chance of success to influence NPCs); A Dice pool is needed.

 

Now let’s take a look at what a character sheet might look like at the start of the game.

 

Test Subject

Level 1 Human Healer

HP: 5/5

Skill: 3

Smart: 3

Proficiencies: Medicine I, Wisdom I

 

As you can see, Test Subject added no HP, spent 6 points on Skill Attribute and 4 points on Smart, as two points are needed for an attribute. Since Test Subject is a Healer, he automatically starts with the Medicine I Proficiency, and then he spent his other proficiency in Wisdom, resulting in +1 to Smart.

 

Combat

Combat is based on initiative now. Highest roll then lowest for battle order. After QM rolls dice for initiative, taking into account Skill modifiers, and the results are shared, players choose their targets. Enemies that are not targeted will perform a Free Hit, similar to the old Heroica model.

 

SP is back, but in a modified format, being now Shields attached to armor. Shields can be depleted during combat, which opens up a character’s HP. Specific weapon types can affect specific armor types more effectively, as stated up above in the Weapons and Armor/Shields section. Players can mix and match armor types. Not all enemies have Shields. Some have one type, two, or possibly even three.

 

Regarding mixing and matching, player stats will show multiple bars with each shield. Weapons automatically target the most effective shield first, and then work their way down once that shield is depleted. Below is our example of Test Subject’s stat sheet at the beginning of combat.

 

Test Subject

Level 1 Human

HP: 5/5

Skill: 3

Smart: 3

Energy Shield: 3/3

Proficiencies: Medicine I, Wisdom I

Equipment: Technowand (3 WP; short range, elemental), Plasma Armor (SP: 3; energy armor)

 

Now let’s look at fighting. Say Test Subject’s leisurely stroll to the disco was interrupted by a mugger. Let’s say Mugger has no Skill. After the roll of the d20, we see both have rolled a 7. Add in Test Subject’s 4 skill, he arrives at 11 and makes the first move. He can ATTACK, DODGE, CAST/HEAL, USE AN ITEM or RUN.

 

First, the combatants are arranged in Long, Short, or Melee rows. The Weapons section details what can be used to target what. Moving rows does not take a turn, and neither do switching weapons. Swapping equipment, or giving an item to a character, does take a turn.

 

Attacking is attacking the enemy target. Dodge is making a move to avoid your target’s attack back on you; a Dice pool is needed. Cast/Heal allows a character to attempt to heal themselves or an ally, repair shields, or use a spell/tech attack. Using an item allows the use of an item in the inventory, as well as swapping equipment or giving something to another character. Running is only possible if an item like a smoke bomb was used to escape.

 

ATTACK

  1. Critical Hit: WP Doubled attack

  2. Hit: Regular Attack based on WP

  3. Miss: No damage to target

  4. Miss: No damage to target

  5. Damage: PC takes damage from enemy

  6. Massive Damage: PC takes double damage

 

CAST/HEAL

  1. Critical Cast: WP doubled to repair a shield, cast a spell, or heal a character

  2. Cast: Regular cast based on WP

  3. Miss: No success

  4. Miss: No success

  5. Damage: PC takes damage from enemy

  6. Massive Damage: PC takes damage from enemy

 

Now let’s get back to the battle. Say Test Subject decides to attack Mugger, but he rolls a 4 and misses. Well, both miss. QM rolls initiative again, and let’s say Test Subject comes out on top. He attacks, and is successful with a Hit. Mugger would end up like this if he was wearing Kinetic armor:

 

Mugger

Level 1 Human

HP: 5/5

Kinetic Armor: 0/3

 

Fast forward the battle, and say Test Subject wins. He is then rewarded with a Level up. A Level up equals 1 point being given to the player. The player does not need to spend that point right away, as Attributes for example cost 2 points, as do higher level proficiencies. Players level up by one on Levels 1-9. After Level 10, players gain half experience from battles going forward. This will help reduce players who have played longer from waiting to get to their next point. As Proficiency Levels will cost more as the game goes on, this will also hopefully keep newer players in line with some older players.

 

After the battle, players’ shields will return to full strength, yet their HP does not. HP can only be fixed by healing during battle, health potions, or the best way, resting. NOTE: the Survival Proficiency allows a player to regain health after a battle by 10% of what their overall HP is.

 

Items

Items work similarly to how they did in Heroica. Items range from Smoke bombs, to shield repairs kits.

 

Regarding repair kits, these can help players control their shields in case a a caster is down, or one is not in the party. That being said, Repair Kits will only repair a shield by 2 points. This is also the case with health potions. Bombs target one row, unless otherwise stated.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So this is what it looks like. I think the combat system, while still very heavily based on Heroica's d6 system, I think it allows more options without becoming too complicated or bloated. Of course, this doesn't take into effects, but those made the combat very complicated, and there have been ideas on how to still include them but not too powerful earlier. This is just to be a simple test. Thoughts?

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Lots to discuss here, so I'll break it down into smaller sections.

3 hours ago, KotZ said:

Weapons and Armor/Shields

Energy: Damages Elemental Armor at 100% WP, damages other types at 50% WP

Kinetic: Damages Energy Armor at 100% WP, damages other types at 50% WP

Elemental: Damages Kinetic Armor at 100% WP, damages other types at 50% WP

       

Energy Armor: Weak to Kinetic Weapons

Kinetic Armor: Weak to Elemental Weapons

Elemental Armor: Weak to Energy Weapons

 

Weapon Types are categorized as Long Range, Short Range, and Melee. Long Range can only be used from the back lines to target mid or back lines. Short Range can be in the middle row and target Close and Mid lines. Melee attacks can only be used from the front to target the front. Reach weapons like polearms can only be used from the front but can target front or mid. Magic/tech can be used on any row, but it can only target the row that is its opposite, e.g. Long targets Melee, Short targets Short, Melee targets Long.

The armor weaknesses section is a little confusing. Some armor isn't necessarily "weak" to certain damage types, it just takes unreduced damage for certain types. Combining this with the way shields work in battle, I believe is going to get a little too complicated overall for the system. Regarding weapon ranges, logically it doesn't make sense to limit ranges arbitrarily, aside from melee attacks it seems very unintuitive. Everyone would need a chart to keep track of who they can and cannot target.

3 hours ago, KotZ said:

Character Creation

Starting Points: 10 points, 2 Proficiencies (Class takes up one automatically, second is player choice), 5 HP

Proficiencies cost: 1 point for Level I, 2 for Level II, etc.

Attributes (Skill and Smart) cost: 2 point

HP cost: 1 point

 

Skill functions as Initiative, Smart as a way to help with dice pool rolls. Below are the difficulty ratings. A dice pool would be using 10 dice.

 

Simple: 1 Successes

Skilled: 3 Successes

Difficult: 5 Successes

Impossible: 7 Successes

 

A QM would rate a specific encounter needing a dice pool. The player would then roll. The Smart attribute would then help change the amount of successes needed to successfully complete the task, such as Persuasion. Every 4 Smart points equals 1 die in the pool.

I'm not sure I like how attributes are merely just disguised level caps with a small bonus effect. It's almost always more advantageous to advance proficiencies rather than Smart as you'll get more effect for your points and unless combat is going to be very brutal where whoever goes first almost always wins, increasing Skill isn't really useful. Also, I'm not really too keen about having "classes". If we're moving away from them, I really think we should split entirely from them.

3 hours ago, KotZ said:

Proficiencies

These help adjust the rigid class system into more freeform style with player choice, and not penalizing them when they switch a class. Proficiency levels go from I-IV. To reach a new level after Level I, you must have a combined Attribute score of 4x the level. Ex, to reach Level II, a character must have a combined score of 8 in Skill and Smart. For example, that could be 8 all in Skill, 2 in Skill and 6 in Smart, or any other combination.

 

Short Range Weapons (Pistols, submachine guns, throwing weapons, spells/wands/staves); +1 for weapon power when using

Long Range Weapons (Rifles, snipers, bows); +1 for weapon power when using

Artillery (Cannons, RPGs, counted as Long Range in combat, takes a turn to load, but powerful); +1 for weapon power when using

Blade Weapons (energy sabers, swords, pikes, axes); +1 for weapon power when using

Blunt Weapons (Clubs, bats, nunchuks); +1 for weapon power when using

Tech (can be used on computers for hacking, repair items/shields and increases chances of success on repairs); +1 to Smart

Stealth (Decreases detection, can sneak); A Dice pool is needed.

Arcana (Increases Skill when using Magic); +1 Skill

Investigation (Increases chance of discovering things); A Dice pool is needed

Wisdom (Can be used for Smart); +1 Smart

Piloting (Increases level of ship able to pilot; Everyone can pilot personal ships and speeders, but cruisers, freighters, etc need higher level)

Medicine (Increases chance of healing an ally during combat); A Dice pool is needed

Survival (Regains Health outside of combat at a 10% increase)

Persuasion (Increases chance of success to influence NPCs); A Dice pool is needed.

 I like the options, not 100% I agree on implementation, especially when it comes to mixing systems for combat vs skills. The Arcana/Tech/Wisdom proficiencies may need to have updated descriptions as they don't quite make sense to me.

3 hours ago, KotZ said:

Combat

Combat is based on initiative now. Highest roll then lowest for battle order. After QM rolls dice for initiative, taking into account Skill modifiers, and the results are shared, players choose their targets. Enemies that are not targeted will perform a Free Hit, similar to the old Heroica model.

 

SP is back, but in a modified format, being now Shields attached to armor. Shields can be depleted during combat, which opens up a character’s HP. Specific weapon types can affect specific armor types more effectively, as stated up above in the Weapons and Armor/Shields section. Players can mix and match armor types. Not all enemies have Shields. Some have one type, two, or possibly even three.

 

Regarding mixing and matching, player stats will show multiple bars with each shield. Weapons automatically target the most effective shield first, and then work their way down once that shield is depleted. Below is our example of Test Subject’s stat sheet at the beginning of combat.

 

Test Subject

Level 1 Human

HP: 5/5

Skill: 3

Smart: 3

Energy Shield: 3/3

Proficiencies: Medicine I, Wisdom I

Equipment: Technowand (3 WP; short range, elemental), Plasma Armor (SP: 3; energy armor)

 

Now let’s look at fighting. Say Test Subject’s leisurely stroll to the disco was interrupted by a mugger. Let’s say Mugger has no Skill. After the roll of the d20, we see both have rolled a 7. Add in Test Subject’s 4 skill, he arrives at 11 and makes the first move. He can ATTACK, DODGE, CAST/HEAL, USE AN ITEM or RUN.

 

First, the combatants are arranged in Long, Short, or Melee rows. The Weapons section details what can be used to target what. Moving rows does not take a turn, and neither do switching weapons. Swapping equipment, or giving an item to a character, does take a turn.

 

Attacking is attacking the enemy target. Dodge is making a move to avoid your target’s attack back on you; a Dice pool is needed. Cast/Heal allows a character to attempt to heal themselves or an ally, repair shields, or use a spell/tech attack. Using an item allows the use of an item in the inventory, as well as swapping equipment or giving something to another character. Running is only possible if an item like a smoke bomb was used to escape.

 

ATTACK

  1. Critical Hit: WP Doubled attack

  2. Hit: Regular Attack based on WP

  3. Miss: No damage to target

  4. Miss: No damage to target

  5. Damage: PC takes damage from enemy

  6. Massive Damage: PC takes double damage

 

CAST/HEAL

  1. Critical Cast: WP doubled to repair a shield, cast a spell, or heal a character

  2. Cast: Regular cast based on WP

  3. Miss: No success

  4. Miss: No success

  5. Damage: PC takes damage from enemy

  6. Massive Damage: PC takes damage from enemy

 

Now let’s get back to the battle. Say Test Subject decides to attack Mugger, but he rolls a 4 and misses. Well, both miss. QM rolls initiative again, and let’s say Test Subject comes out on top. He attacks, and is successful with a Hit. Mugger would end up like this if he was wearing Kinetic armor:

 

Mugger

Level 1 Human

HP: 5/5

Kinetic Armor: 0/3

I'll be honest and say I wasn't a fan of the old Heroica 1.0 combat system. The d6 percentages make things too swingy and it takes all agency away from enemies. Having iniative be tied to a d20 also seems out of place as it's the only spot in the rules one is used. I like the idea of players having more options in combat, however the dodge action needs a little more definition. I like the idea of shield systems restoring after a battle and the tri-shield system is one that I think is worth developing more. I still don't know how I feel about casting/healing be the exact same as Heroica 1.0 as it definitely had its issues, I'm just not quite sure how to handle it yet.

3 hours ago, KotZ said:

 

 

Fast forward the battle, and say Test Subject wins. He is then rewarded with a Level up. A Level up equals 1 point being given to the player. The player does not need to spend that point right away, as Attributes for example cost 2 points, as do higher level proficiencies. Players level up by one on Levels 1-9. After Level 10, players gain half experience from battles going forward. This will help reduce players who have played longer from waiting to get to their next point. As Proficiency Levels will cost more as the game goes on, this will also hopefully keep newer players in line with some older players.

 

After the battle, players’ shields will return to full strength, yet their HP does not. HP can only be fixed by healing during battle, health potions, or the best way, resting. NOTE: the Survival Proficiency allows a player to regain health after a battle by 10% of what their overall HP is.

 

Items

Items work similarly to how they did in Heroica. Items range from Smoke bombs, to shield repairs kits.

 

Regarding repair kits, these can help players control their shields in case a a caster is down, or one is not in the party. That being said, Repair Kits will only repair a shield by 2 points. This is also the case with health potions. Bombs target one row, unless otherwise stated.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So this is what it looks like. I think the combat system, while still very heavily based on Heroica's d6 system, I think it allows more options without becoming too complicated or bloated. Of course, this doesn't take into effects, but those made the combat very complicated, and there have been ideas on how to still include them but not too powerful earlier. This is just to be a simple test. Thoughts?

Regarding leveling up and items, I'm still trying to determine myself whether or not having a logarithmic leveling curve is best. Sure it allows newer players to catch up quickly, but it has the downside of making higher level players burnout as the time they are investing really isn't translating into actual mechanical progression. As for items, this is a mixed bag, some of them were fine, but because they became the central part where by players distinguished their character, it certainly introduced a level of power creep into the game that I think would be best avoided.

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17 hours ago, Waterbrick Down said:

I'd say everything, a percentile system can have a lot of variations though. You can go straight percentile (like Call of Cthulhu), you can go the D&D route where everything is broken into 5% increments, or you can dice pool systems where in percentage is never really calculated but is a approximated by the number of dice being rolled.

Sorry, I should have said that I agreed about the faction equipment portion. :classic: My suggestion would be to do away with levels all together and stick to a point system by which things like HP, Mana, proficiencies, can be increased. One of the issues Herocia 1.0 ended up having is that everyone felt pretty similar at higher levels aside from the distinction between spell casters and non-magic users. The only difference was equipment and that just lead to power-creep, gigantic inventories, unexpected/over-powered synergies that couldn't have been planned for. By limiting player power and uniqueness primarily to their actual stats, you allow for better customization and as long as the starting system is balanced, longevity without things going out of control balance wise.

For book keeping sake, my suggestion would be to have a levelling system just as a means of keeping track how many points you should have.

Say your character is level 12. Therefore, your character should have 12 points to allocate into the skill system, or something like that.

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14 hours ago, Waterbrick Down said:

Lots to discuss here, so I'll break it down into smaller sections.

The armor weaknesses section is a little confusing. Some armor isn't necessarily "weak" to certain damage types, it just takes unreduced damage for certain types. Combining this with the way shields work in battle, I believe is going to get a little too complicated overall for the system. Regarding weapon ranges, logically it doesn't make sense to limit ranges arbitrarily, aside from melee attacks it seems very unintuitive. Everyone would need a chart to keep track of who they can and cannot target.

I think regarding "Weak" and such might be arguing semantics, unless I'm reading you wrong (there's a good chance of that). I think that while it's definitely complex, it can help reduce exorbitantly high SP. Regarding ranges, I would say have what row enemies are on to know who is where, it's somewhat still the old system, just with an extra row and limitations. I do agree the limitations are complex. Should row be gotten rid of altogether?

Quote

I'm not sure I like how attributes are merely just disguised level caps with a small bonus effect. It's almost always more advantageous to advance proficiencies rather than Smart as you'll get more effect for your points and unless combat is going to be very brutal where whoever goes first almost always wins, increasing Skill isn't really useful. Also, I'm not really too keen about having "classes". If we're moving away from them, I really think we should split entirely from them.

That was a concern I had when I was typing it up, the attribute system. Any suggestions at adjustments? Maybe attributes are what you decide when you start? Maybe we get rid of them all together and go just straight proficiencies? The only issue I have then is when someone levels is regarding their HP: do we completely remove that and no HP gain ever, or to we keep it? I would say maybe adjust the above system to you get 1 point every level, and a certain number to unlock a proficiency. You can then decide to save that point for a specific proficiency, or add it to your Maximum HP. So two people at Level 10 for example could have very different HP/class builds but still the same points. Maybe it's 2 skill points for proficiencies and 2 for HP.

The "Class" idea is more of a way to have someone start with something, that they can easily spec out of down the line. I know someone mentioned the idea of a respec option, which I completely agree with. The mini-class idea also is a way for this test quest to see balance.

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 I like the options, not 100% I agree on implementation, especially when it comes to mixing systems for combat vs skills. The Arcana/Tech/Wisdom proficiencies may need to have updated descriptions as they don't quite make sense to me.

I took the proficiencies from your earlier post (thanks for that), and renamed one of them and removed others that might not be useful for this test quest I had in mind. This is where I found Skill and Smart to be the most useful, not for rolls but for expanding your proficiency ability, but it does have the same issue with the old system. I think the combat vs "regular" skills is mostly fine, especially if skill and smart is adjusted. Many games have passive and active abilities, so that's where I was going with some combat and some "regular" skills/traits.

Arcana/Tech/Wisdom were definitely the three I was wanting to playtest, although combining them into one proficiency might be easier. Basically it was a way to have space magic and tech, allowing players to decide for their characters like a healer or caster/wizard was more tech based or more magic based. Some thing, just different explanations almost. Keep them equal but allow players to get into their characters for opportunity for tons of diverse characters.

Quote

I'll be honest and say I wasn't a fan of the old Heroica 1.0 combat system. The d6 percentages make things too swingy and it takes all agency away from enemies. Having iniative be tied to a d20 also seems out of place as it's the only spot in the rules one is used. I like the idea of players having more options in combat, however the dodge action needs a little more definition. I like the idea of shield systems restoring after a battle and the tri-shield system is one that I think is worth developing more. I still don't know how I feel about casting/healing be the exact same as Heroica 1.0 as it definitely had its issues, I'm just not quite sure how to handle it yet.

Maybe make initiative a d6? Or should everything be on d20? And Heroica 1.0 definitely has a swingy way of doing things, so I figured making everything a bit more even with those rolls would help. I'l be honest, I haven't played D&D proper in years, so I'm a bit confused on how to make enemies target PCs.  The shield system restore came from someone else (Zepher or CMP maybe?), and it's definitely Mass Effect like.

Quote

Regarding leveling up and items, I'm still trying to determine myself whether or not having a logarithmic leveling curve is best. Sure it allows newer players to catch up quickly, but it has the downside of making higher level players burnout as the time they are investing really isn't translating into actual mechanical progression. As for items, this is a mixed bag, some of them were fine, but because they became the central part where by players distinguished their character, it certainly introduced a level of power creep into the game that I think would be best avoided.

3 hours ago, Kintobor said:

For book keeping sake, my suggestion would be to have a levelling system just as a means of keeping track how many points you should have.

Say your character is level 12. Therefore, your character should have 12 points to allocate into the skill system, or something like that.

Definitely agreeing with Kintobor, that levels should be tracking points. See my above corrections/thoughts on that from what WBD said. The only issue with not having logarithmic is having lots of people be super powers in a short time. Then that would result, I think, in making more proficiencies, both horizontally and above Level IV, which I don't totally mind, but then there could be balance issues between a character with a Level IX proficiency and a Level II in the same proficiency. Factor in WP inevitably rising as players go on quests, and then we're screwed. That's why I think logarithmic starting at 10 and only gaining have experience from then on after a fight is fair. Players won't be stuck with Level 33.33 etc.

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I always thought of row as an approach not as an actual geographic placement. 

I.e. A character is either acting offensively, dealing and taking full damage, or they’re acting defensively, taking less damage, but unable to deal as much either.

Of course, that’s not how it worked out in the game, but if people are keen to keep front row/back row maybe it’s a suggestion. 

To summarise -row not as a function of weapon ranges or types but strictly a damage multiplier (set at either 0.25, 0.5 or 1)

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15 hours ago, Chromeknight said:

I always thought of row as an approach not as an actual geographic placement. 

I.e. A character is either acting offensively, dealing and taking full damage, or they’re acting defensively, taking less damage, but unable to deal as much either.

Of course, that’s not how it worked out in the game, but if people are keen to keep front row/back row maybe it’s a suggestion. 

To summarise -row not as a function of weapon ranges or types but strictly a damage multiplier (set at either 0.25, 0.5 or 1)

But what about ranged weapons like bows, etc.? Wouldn't those logically still deal full power at either row?

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9 hours ago, KotZ said:

But what about ranged weapons like bows, etc.? Wouldn't those logically still deal full power at either row?

It depends. I’d say in a SF setting that weapons kinda plateau, it doesn’t matter much if you die from burns, radiation, impact damage or something mystical, you’re still dead. Any weapons that don’t cut it will fall out of favour.  So for those committed to a whole slew of different weapons they need to keep track of, sure, ignoring the defensive stance bonus or being able do deal offensive damage in a defensive stance are both valid weapon perks.

For me I think the differentiation and interest in different characters comes from skills or abilities or traits or aspects or whatever, not about whether the stick they carry has three corners or four.

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On 4/25/2019 at 1:02 PM, KotZ said:

I think regarding "Weak" and such might be arguing semantics, unless I'm reading you wrong (there's a good chance of that). I think that while it's definitely complex, it can help reduce exorbitantly high SP. Regarding ranges, I would say have what row enemies are on to know who is where, it's somewhat still the old system, just with an extra row and limitations. I do agree the limitations are complex. Should row be gotten rid of altogether?

That was a concern I had when I was typing it up, the attribute system. Any suggestions at adjustments? Maybe attributes are what you decide when you start? Maybe we get rid of them all together and go just straight proficiencies? The only issue I have then is when someone levels is regarding their HP: do we completely remove that and no HP gain ever, or to we keep it? I would say maybe adjust the above system to you get 1 point every level, and a certain number to unlock a proficiency. You can then decide to save that point for a specific proficiency, or add it to your Maximum HP. So two people at Level 10 for example could have very different HP/class builds but still the same points. Maybe it's 2 skill points for proficiencies and 2 for HP.

The "Class" idea is more of a way to have someone start with something, that they can easily spec out of down the line. I know someone mentioned the idea of a respec option, which I completely agree with. The mini-class idea also is a way for this test quest to see balance.

I took the proficiencies from your earlier post (thanks for that), and renamed one of them and removed others that might not be useful for this test quest I had in mind. This is where I found Skill and Smart to be the most useful, not for rolls but for expanding your proficiency ability, but it does have the same issue with the old system. I think the combat vs "regular" skills is mostly fine, especially if skill and smart is adjusted. Many games have passive and active abilities, so that's where I was going with some combat and some "regular" skills/traits.

Arcana/Tech/Wisdom were definitely the three I was wanting to playtest, although combining them into one proficiency might be easier. Basically it was a way to have space magic and tech, allowing players to decide for their characters like a healer or caster/wizard was more tech based or more magic based. Some thing, just different explanations almost. Keep them equal but allow players to get into their characters for opportunity for tons of diverse characters.

Maybe make initiative a d6? Or should everything be on d20? And Heroica 1.0 definitely has a swingy way of doing things, so I figured making everything a bit more even with those rolls would help. I'l be honest, I haven't played D&D proper in years, so I'm a bit confused on how to make enemies target PCs.  The shield system restore came from someone else (Zepher or CMP maybe?), and it's definitely Mass Effect like.

Definitely agreeing with Kintobor, that levels should be tracking points. See my above corrections/thoughts on that from what WBD said. The only issue with not having logarithmic is having lots of people be super powers in a short time. Then that would result, I think, in making more proficiencies, both horizontally and above Level IV, which I don't totally mind, but then there could be balance issues between a character with a Level IX proficiency and a Level II in the same proficiency. Factor in WP inevitably rising as players go on quests, and then we're screwed. That's why I think logarithmic starting at 10 and only gaining have experience from then on after a fight is fair. Players won't be stuck with Level 33.33 etc.

I'm not 100% row should be gotten rid of. The advantage of ranged classes has always been that they're able to stay out of melee combat and usually wear less armor, but without an actual tactical grid, there's not really a good way to mechanically represent that advantage. As for SP, perhaps it wouldn't hurt to cap it and by extension WP, i.e. maybe the best armor only gives +5 SP.

I'd recommend giving people suggestions, i.e if they want to play a cleric the standard loadout would be: proficiency in Medicine/Religion/Diplomacy middling health/armor/weapon proficiencies, but I'd stay away from starting classes (even mini ones).

When I was referring to skills vs combat, we've got two different systems: dice pool vs. a d6 system, I think consolidate down to one and stick with it.

I think a d6 is fine, if we're trying to stick to something consistent make it a dice pool check. I.e. who ever rolls the highest number of successes with their skill dice and maybe some sort of relative proficiency, have that be the order of battle. As for aware enemies, the DM picks who the enemies would target. To be fair, the first round the DM would post who each enemy is targeting, the second round the party would post their targets first.

I can agree with the level = points correlation. I don't follow the super power example, but I realize I might be taking for granted that each level increase should not = a new point to spend, or conversely, each battle should not necessarily equal a level up.

55 minutes ago, Chromeknight said:

It depends. I’d say in a SF setting that weapons kinda plateau, it doesn’t matter much if you die from burns, radiation, impact damage or something mystical, you’re still dead. Any weapons that don’t cut it will fall out of favour.  So for those committed to a whole slew of different weapons they need to keep track of, sure, ignoring the defensive stance bonus or being able do deal offensive damage in a defensive stance are both valid weapon perks.

For me I think the differentiation and interest in different characters comes from skills or abilities or traits or aspects or whatever, not about whether the stick they carry has three corners or four.

I agree with Chromeknight. Row always had more to do with providing benefit to ranged characters in that they wouldn't take as much damage from normal attacks. In the absence of a tactical grid it was the only way to show how they kept their distance from melee fighters. The issue became that enemies couldn't respond to that advantage in a logically consistent way. Eventually we started including row ignoring enemies, but because enemies in Heroica 1.0 were passive, they could easily be avoided by having the ranged fighters never target the enemies that ignored row. If we can come up with a row system where in enemies can eventually close the gap and attack ranged fighters up close, I think we can stick with the row system, but until then fighting from the back row will always be preferable.

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I’d say a party cannot have more defensive stance members than offensive stance in a round. If the party is deficient in tanks, they’ll have to cycle through, each taking full strength hits now and then. If the party has extra tanks they can still swap to use items etc.

which leads to the suggestion that items like health kits can only be used when in defensive stance.

Add in effects like taunt (causes next action to be defensive stance) and enrage (next action is offensive) and there are options for preserving rangers uniqueness but also ways to negate them.

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20 hours ago, Chromeknight said:

It depends. I’d say in a SF setting that weapons kinda plateau, it doesn’t matter much if you die from burns, radiation, impact damage or something mystical, you’re still dead. Any weapons that don’t cut it will fall out of favour.  So for those committed to a whole slew of different weapons they need to keep track of, sure, ignoring the defensive stance bonus or being able do deal offensive damage in a defensive stance are both valid weapon perks.

For me I think the differentiation and interest in different characters comes from skills or abilities or traits or aspects or whatever, not about whether the stick they carry has three corners or four.

Ah gotcha.

19 hours ago, Waterbrick Down said:

I'm not 100% row should be gotten rid of. The advantage of ranged classes has always been that they're able to stay out of melee combat and usually wear less armor, but without an actual tactical grid, there's not really a good way to mechanically represent that advantage. As for SP, perhaps it wouldn't hurt to cap it and by extension WP, i.e. maybe the best armor only gives +5 SP.

The limiting could make sense. Then perks/abilities would be what can help increase your defense/power?

Quote

I'd recommend giving people suggestions, i.e if they want to play a cleric the standard loadout would be: proficiency in Medicine/Religion/Diplomacy middling health/armor/weapon proficiencies, but I'd stay away from starting classes (even mini ones).

Definitely a better idea.

Quote

When I was referring to skills vs combat, we've got two different systems: dice pool vs. a d6 system, I think consolidate down to one and stick with it.

I think a d6 is fine, if we're trying to stick to something consistent make it a dice pool check. I.e. who ever rolls the highest number of successes with their skill dice and maybe some sort of relative proficiency, have that be the order of battle. As for aware enemies, the DM picks who the enemies would target. To be fair, the first round the DM would post who each enemy is targeting, the second round the party would post their targets first.

I can agree with the level = points correlation. I don't follow the super power example, but I realize I might be taking for granted that each level increase should not = a new point to spend, or conversely, each battle should not necessarily equal a level up.

Ah ok. I like the idea of DM picking the first round, etc. That's a better way by far than Heroes first, then enemies and free hits, etc.

As for levels/battle, perhaps every battle won is a half point, and then quest rewards are up to the QM. The reward could be a full level (I would suggest no more than 1 level as a reward), money, etc. Maybe not even include the level bit if they don't want.

Quote

I agree with Chromeknight. Row always had more to do with providing benefit to ranged characters in that they wouldn't take as much damage from normal attacks. In the absence of a tactical grid it was the only way to show how they kept their distance from melee fighters. The issue became that enemies couldn't respond to that advantage in a logically consistent way. Eventually we started including row ignoring enemies, but because enemies in Heroica 1.0 were passive, they could easily be avoided by having the ranged fighters never target the enemies that ignored row. If we can come up with a row system where in enemies can eventually close the gap and attack ranged fighters up close, I think we can stick with the row system, but until then fighting from the back row will always be preferable.

15 hours ago, Chromeknight said:

I’d say a party cannot have more defensive stance members than offensive stance in a round. If the party is deficient in tanks, they’ll have to cycle through, each taking full strength hits now and then. If the party has extra tanks they can still swap to use items etc.

which leads to the suggestion that items like health kits can only be used when in defensive stance.

Add in effects like taunt (causes next action to be defensive stance) and enrage (next action is offensive) and there are options for preserving rangers uniqueness but also ways to negate them.

Chromeknight has a great idea here of swapping stances, etc. Health kits being in the back is fantastic, perhaps any "defense" item like health, shield repair, etc would be forced to be in the back.

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*stumbles in randomly, sees activity*

I could probably drop a few random thoughts even if I'm unlikely to actually join in.

 

I think the word "Level" has a lot of baggage attached to it from games in general, so if you're going for something a bit more freeform and/or trying to prevent the generational hierarchies that developed over the course of Heroica 1.0, it may be better to drop the term "Level" entirely.

I still like the suggestion I made somewhere of keeping something similar to the 1.0 experience gain system, but having characters then spend it back down in order to increase stats or special abilities; thus, a character could spend 1 EXP on a basic stat every time they gain experience, or they could spend a solid chunk of time stockpiling like 20 EXP for something huge and special.  (That said, I'd recommend no less than 1/3 EXP point as the absolute lowermost cap; Levels 20-30 were about the last point I ever felt like an individual battle meant anything to me in terms of level advancement in 1.0, and even that was pushing it; with my suggested system, 20 EXP would be 30 battles with either no advancement or maybe a little more than 30 battles with only small advancements along the way, so that seems like a decent price cap for a high-end special ability.)

Honestly, at some point there's going to have to be some level of visual representation for rows/range/etc.  I think if 1.0 had provided a simple visual template with four stacked rectangles labeled "Enemy Back Row"/"Enemy Front Row"/"Hero Front Row"/"Hero Back Row" that QMs could have pasted their enemy icons on top of, there would have been a lot less confusion over what Row meant.  However the system ends up working out, lots of blank visual templates available for QMs to use so individual QMs don't have to make it all on their own will help a lot.

(On a related side-note, I highly encourage you to encourage QMs to take "generic" pics of their sets without PCs or named/major NPCs and contribute them to some sort of community database, again to make things easier on QMs who struggle with the logistics needed for sets and photography.  Likewise, hosting a lot of building contests to generate more available pre-built locations would help both with generating interest in the game and in taking some of the pressure off of QMs.)

The shields/shield-types system sounds like a really good call for me, gives a good mix of letting characters take damage they can actually recover from (shield damage) while also providing for the existence of larger, more serious wounds that are a bigger threat to the characters (actual HP damage).

Having played/watched a lot of Persona lately, perhaps the Persona Q system would be a better way of handling effects?  That is, a single slot for actual Status (Poison/Panic/Fear/etc.) that can't be overridden until the status is removed or wears off, then up to three slots each for for stat buffs and debuffs (i.e. Power Up, Accuracy Up, Defense Up, Priority Up, etc. for positive stat buffs, and as an example if they were applied in that order Priority Up would push Power Up off of the stack).  (I'm ignoring the Binds and Magic Circles from Persona Q because WOW can that system be abused badly.  Salome's Kiss OP.)  Effects were both absurdly broken and an absolute nightmare to run in 1.0, especially since each one had its own definition, its own duration, its own mechanics, etc., so having some sort of codified template for what new effects can be and what mechanics they're allowed to use would help a lot.

...And on the subject of lessons learned from PQ that also apply to 1.0, for the love of all that is holy do not overcharge on SP costs/SP restoration items.  The 1.0 Tonic prices made Ether an utter nightmare for new players while being at most an annoyance for the overpowered high-tiers.  A dual-layered SP system like Persona Q has (which, now that I think of it, is actually pretty similar to the proposed HP/Shields system) would help a lot, but you'd still want to be careful about not making the costs for skills and abilities too high.  (It also might be a good idea to make SP be a universal stat on all characters rather than continuing the magic-vs-nonmagic dichotomy, with players who want to focus on that being able to invest more into it while those less interested can just stick with their existing basic pool.)

Anyway, best of luck!  I might pop in time to time to see how all this is going, but my main investment in roleplaying is still elsewhere.  Have fun, everyone!

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11 hours ago, Flipz said:

*stumbles in randomly, sees activity*

I could probably drop a few random thoughts even if I'm unlikely to actually join in.

It's you!

Quote

I think the word "Level" has a lot of baggage attached to it from games in general, so if you're going for something a bit more freeform and/or trying to prevent the generational hierarchies that developed over the course of Heroica 1.0, it may be better to drop the term "Level" entirely.

I still like the suggestion I made somewhere of keeping something similar to the 1.0 experience gain system, but having characters then spend it back down in order to increase stats or special abilities; thus, a character could spend 1 EXP on a basic stat every time they gain experience, or they could spend a solid chunk of time stockpiling like 20 EXP for something huge and special.  (That said, I'd recommend no less than 1/3 EXP point as the absolute lowermost cap; Levels 20-30 were about the last point I ever felt like an individual battle meant anything to me in terms of level advancement in 1.0, and even that was pushing it; with my suggested system, 20 EXP would be 30 battles with either no advancement or maybe a little more than 30 battles with only small advancements along the way, so that seems like a decent price cap for a high-end special ability.)

Rank instead of Level? Although that still has the baggage. The problem with dropping it entirely is I think people do like seeing how far their character has come at a glance. Although, BotBS seems to do this well, of not having levels. I'm not sure about the others, like GOH, but I think it's similar there.

Agree on the EXP/spending thing. I was thinking half points be lowest, but 1/3 makes sense.

Quote

Honestly, at some point there's going to have to be some level of visual representation for rows/range/etc.  I think if 1.0 had provided a simple visual template with four stacked rectangles labeled "Enemy Back Row"/"Enemy Front Row"/"Hero Front Row"/"Hero Back Row" that QMs could have pasted their enemy icons on top of, there would have been a lot less confusion over what Row meant.  However the system ends up working out, lots of blank visual templates available for QMs to use so individual QMs don't have to make it all on their own will help a lot.

(On a related side-note, I highly encourage you to encourage QMs to take "generic" pics of their sets without PCs or named/major NPCs and contribute them to some sort of community database, again to make things easier on QMs who struggle with the logistics needed for sets and photography.  Likewise, hosting a lot of building contests to generate more available pre-built locations would help both with generating interest in the game and in taking some of the pressure off of QMs.)

Was there confusion early on with rows? I joined a bit after Heroica 1.0 started. Blank visual templates definitely should be a thing with however the system works. As for the generic builds, I agree. Important buildings, like a Hall, faction buildings, etc. absolutely should have generic photos to be used. When I didn't have my collection, I used a lot of LDD, which is a great tool, but doing anything like Mafia games or Heroica is a maor pain. Building contests definitely would be fun and helpful in expanding the game's lore and interest.

Quote

Having played/watched a lot of Persona lately, perhaps the Persona Q system would be a better way of handling effects?  That is, a single slot for actual Status (Poison/Panic/Fear/etc.) that can't be overridden until the status is removed or wears off, then up to three slots each for for stat buffs and debuffs (i.e. Power Up, Accuracy Up, Defense Up, Priority Up, etc. for positive stat buffs, and as an example if they were applied in that order Priority Up would push Power Up off of the stack).  (I'm ignoring the Binds and Magic Circles from Persona Q because WOW can that system be abused badly.  Salome's Kiss OP.)  Effects were both absurdly broken and an absolute nightmare to run in 1.0, especially since each one had its own definition, its own duration, its own mechanics, etc., so having some sort of codified template for what new effects can be and what mechanics they're allowed to use would help a lot.

So Status is negative effects? A single slot seems like a good way to keep enemies from doing too much damage to a Hero for balance, and vice versa. Stat Buffs and debuffs also seem helpful. And yes, effects were horribly broken.

Quote

...And on the subject of lessons learned from PQ that also apply to 1.0, for the love of all that is holy do not overcharge on SP costs/SP restoration items.  The 1.0 Tonic prices made Ether an utter nightmare for new players while being at most an annoyance for the overpowered high-tiers.  A dual-layered SP system like Persona Q has (which, now that I think of it, is actually pretty similar to the proposed HP/Shields system) would help a lot, but you'd still want to be careful about not making the costs for skills and abilities too high.  (It also might be a good idea to make SP be a universal stat on all characters rather than continuing the magic-vs-nonmagic dichotomy, with players who want to focus on that being able to invest more into it while those less interested can just stick with their existing basic pool.)

Regarding spell power, that's why I left it out of the test quest I posted earlier. Although I think it would need names/actual spells/biotics to use.

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So on the combat front, I've been doing some tinkering. What if we reduced HP to simply a vitality score measured by the number of hits a character could take? Then the combat would simply be based on whether someone hit as opposed to how hard they hit. Character progression would be measured more on how often you hit instead of how much damage you did. Going with the dice pool system I suggested earlier, the character on offense would roll a number of dice equal to their weapon proficiency level, the character on defense would roll a number of dice equal to their defensive capabilities (evasion/skill/dodging/etc) and the number of successes would be compared. If the character on offense had a greater number of successes the character on defense would take one vitality of damage. Weapons, instead of boosting the amount of raw damage done, would simply guarantee a number of successes (i.e. standard weapon = 1 guaranteed success, improved weapon = 2 guaranteed successes, etc.) to be added to the offensive character's total roll. Armor and shields, instead of boosting how much raw damage they could absorb, would negate successes based upon the weapon type (i.e. if the weapon used was a kinetic weapon and the defensive character was wearing standard kinetic armor (1 success), their armor would count as a single success).

Example

Hero A
Vitality: 5
Strength: 2
Skill: 1
Smarts: 1
Proficiencies: Melee Weapons (2), Short Range Weapons (1)
Items: Standard Vibro Axe (Kinetic melee weapon, +1 Success, Strength Requirement 2)

Enemy A
Vitality: 2
Strength: 1
Skill: 2
Smarts: 1
Proficiencies: Melee Weapons (1), Short Range Weapons (2)
Items: Standard Blaster (Energy Short Range Weapon, +1 Success, Skill Requirement 2), Standard Titanium Breastplate (Kinetic Armor, +1 Success, Strength Requirement 1)

Round 1:
Hero A vs. Enemy A: [Melee Weapons (2) + Standard Vibro Axe)]- (Skill (2) + Standard Titanium Breastplate] = [2+1 success] - [1+1 success] = 1 Success, Enemy A takes 1 Vitality Damage

As for how to incorporate row, I like Flipz's idea of a standard template

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Melee weapons could only hit an adjacent square (or the closest enemy square), short range weapons could hit something two spaces away, long range weapons could hit something three spaces away, and artillery could hit anywhere.

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