Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Putting Together Playtest Documents

I'm slapping together a first draft for my playtest documents. I am looking for playtesters and will be setting out to Red Cap's Corner in University City, Philadelphia to see what I can do to recruit or at least to see if there's any interest. They appear to have a Wednesday night D&D specific night which focuses on Pathfinder and the like. As my game is OD&D derived and very much focuses on its tropes I may find some interest there -- I'll post on here the results!

To the design of characters. All characters start at Level 0 and are considered classless Commoners. The major decision to make has to do with your character's Race, which is more a selection of Culture/Ethnicity as the initial selections will be limited to the three to four common human races to the Mother Empire on the continent of Nod: Westmen, Hassan, Bantu and (possibly) Asherites.

After selecting your character's race you roll on a race-specific chart for your starting scores in the Three Ability Scores: Strength, Agility and Intellect. All races of Men have equal abilities, but in different ratios as Men have primary, secondary and tertiary foci afforded by their culture's history and environment of origin. This roll is made with a 2d6 roll against a referenced chart.

Ability Scores are, at the start, scored from 0 to 2. 0 is the poor, mediocre level which can indicate anything from extremely abysmal performance up to simply sub-par ability. 1 is the human average, nothing outstanding, nothing unsatisfactory. 2 is above-average, but just that. Ability scores above 2 are possible after a degree of advancement, which is considered extraordinary and a result of focused training and experience.

Strength is a measure of physical might, vigor. Strength directly influences a character's ability in hand-to-hand combat, modifying their "to hit" rolls in melee combat. Most weapons multiply their Scaling Grade by the user's Strength to increase damage. Strength also increases Hit Points. Starting characters get a bonus to Hit Points equal to their Strength divided by 2, dropping fractions. I.E.: A characters with a Strength of 2 gets 1 bonus Hit Point at starting Level 0. Additionally, most weapons and armor have a Strength Requirement for use without which a character will clumsily attack or be hampered in their movement -- especially tactical movement -- respectively.

Agility is a measure of speed, reflexes, balance and coordination. Agility directly influences a character's ability with ranged weaponry and targeting, modifying the "to hit" roll. Some weapons multiply their Scaling Grade with the greater of Agility or Strength to increase damage, E.G.: Light Blades. Some weapons, such as Bows require a certain degree of Agility for basic use. Agility also directly increases Armor Class: the number to be rolled when being targeted with physical attacks. Finally, Agility is used for Initiative rolls and is the character's individual contribution to the Initiative Pool during combat proper.

Intellect is a measure of a character's willpower, mental acuity, memory and reason. Intellect modifies how effective certain supernatural or extraordinary abilities are: increasing damage or healing effects. Intellect also increases a character's available Action Points, allowing for more uses of certain abilities. (Aside: I am including some terms that I will elaborate on in later posts, documents. Action Points are roughly analogous to "Energy Points" or "Mana" in other systems. There is NO system for "Fate Points" or similar in my system.) Intellect also directly increases a character's Special Resistance, the number to be rolled when being targeted by all manner of spell, strange or special effects and attacks.

Appearance, Personality and Alignment round out the six Character Traits. These final three traits are word-based and provide some guidance for roleplaying, if only to assist the players in imagining the character. Appearance and Personality are generated using a "Roll Then Choose" method on a table. Each of these are a simple one-word descriptor which can certainly be provided by the player him or herself instead of rolling / selecting. Alignment is selected from the nine alignments made up of one of the Three Methods: Lawful, Dominant or Chaotic combined with one of Three Motivations: Good, Dexter or Evil. (My alignment system is based in Hindu / Yogic philosophy. I will expand on it in a future post.)

I realize that there are a lot of terms up above that I will need to expand upon. My system is currently sitting together in a roughly-complete, albeit draft, form that writing in this particular way helps me with noting where different parts of the system reference each other.

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