Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Standard Conditions

"There are many concoctions available to relieve the spirit and body -- some of these are Ancient, others are more Modern inventions of Alchemy. The harvesting of Black Leaf is a very Ancient Tradition going back to Eden which is written about in the Book of the Law. The leaf can be dried and smoked in cigarettes of slow-burning paper for an energizing effect. The root can be dug up and baked, then ground into a powder. This powder, when strained through scalding water, produces what the Hassan call the qahwah or wine of the root -- though in Mannish we call this coffee. This produces a similar effect to smoking the leaf, but is preferable to some for the flavor. Modern Alchemy has produced what is known as Dust -- a refined product of this plant that has a powerful stimulating and painkilling effect on the body and brain -- though it is dangerous to the health if overused."
-Stephen the Alchemist, Purveyor of Medical Goods

An Alchemist's Laboratory

EDITED (2/27/13 @ 8:12 PM): I applied the most recent version of my notes to the details of Poison and Disease as I was working off of old notes for this post.

The System and Setting of Sophia's Children has a set of standard Conditions. I have designed these Conditions as associated mechanics in that the names and descriptions of the effects translate directly into the setting and narrative of the Game -- at least that is my goal.

Each of these Conditions have particular game-effects which are described below. Before getting into the different Conditions, I should talk about how Saving Throws work in Sophia's Children as I have done something slightly different with it than what may be expected.

The Saving Throw & Durations

Saving Throws represent overwhelming external or internal effects that are not impact by individual ability. Deadly Poison is Deadly Poison. A 50' Fall is a 50' Fall. Dodging in Heavy Armor is Dodging in Heavy Armor. I have deliberately removed the granularity of the Saving Throw.

The Saving Throw in my System is used to not only shrug-off a condition, it also handles Durations of effects in the System -- there are NO effects that last "3 rounds," "end of the 4th round," "1d6+1 rounds" et cetera.

Every Character (PC or Monster) has exactly ONE save available to them when they take an Action. They can choose which effect to save against, but can only choose one.

Some Conditions may become Permanent if they are not removed in time. These effects, when applied, begin a "Three Strikes" count. Failing to remove the condition three times in a row, either due to failing the Save or choosing to attempt a Save against some other condition, causes the effect to become Permanent.

Certain abilities can provide additional Saving Throws against effects, others may remove certain effect entirely (such as Remove Disease). Generally speaking, if an effect is Permanent, an additional Save can be made by the application of Minor or Major Healing on that Character. Using one of these additional Saving Throws against an effect that has not yet become Permanent, does not count as a Strike.

Currently I am experimenting with two different methods of resolving the Saving Throw. The goal with the design is for the Save to resolve as quickly as possible in the real-time play of the game. Outside of the resolution method in specific, there are exactly three kinds of Saving Throws: Easy, Standard and Hard. An Easy Save has about a 75% chance of success. A Standard Save has about a 50% chance of success. And a Hard Save has about a 25% chance of success. When a Saving Throw is called for in the System, it will also indicate which kind (Easy, Standard, Hard) it is.

The Standard Conditions, A Sampling

Bleeding: Causes a Character to lose Hit Points at the beginning of his Action. This Damage bypasses Damage Reduction from Armor. Multiple Bleeding effects retains the highest value and the worst Save. Any amount of Healing allows a bonus Save against this effect. Bleeding is never Permanent.

Burning: Causes a Character to lose Hit Points at the beginning of his Action. This Damage can be reduced by Armor with Damage Reduction. Burning effects are expressed as a number of six-sided dice to roll for Damage and, as with Bleeding, the highest value and worst Save is retained when multiple Burning effects are applied against a Character. Healing does not trigger an additional Save as with Bleeding, but a Character can spend their Action attempting to put out the fire deliberately for an additional Save against this effect. Like Bleeding, Burning is never Permanent.

Poison: Causes a Character to immediately drop to 0 Hit Points or cut their current Hit Points in half, depending on the strength of the Poison. Poison is always a "3-Strike" Condition when applied. There are three Levels of Poison: A, B and C. "A-Level" Poison reduces current Hit Points in half after failing to remove the Condition a third time. "B-Level" Poison reduces current Hit Points to 0 after the third Strike. "C-Level" Poison is a special case in that getting a 2nd Strike results in halved Hit Points and a 3rd Strike results in 0 Hit Points. Multiple instances of Poison effects do not stack, but do increase the Save and Poison Type to the higher of the combined values. In addition, this applies one Strike against the existing Poison effect -- which will immediately apply the result of that Strike against the target as per the Poison Level currently applied to them.

Disease: Causes a Character to take double Damage from ALL sources. This comes in several flavors. Sickness is removed after receiving Damage from any one source -- any source of Healing or Resting will also remove the Sickness. The Common Disease can be Permanent (no Save) or be applied as a three-Strike effect. Any source of Healing or Resting will allow an additional Save -- but is removed during Upkeep. The Black Plague is a severely crippling effect that lasts until an Upkeep period (as long as the Character has access to Surgical or Clerical assistance), but Major Healing can allow for extra Saves to remove it. The Plague will also halve all source of Healing, in addition to doubling all sources of Damage. These three effects do not stack with themselves and are tracked separately from one another. The doubling of Damage only occurs once though, even if a Character is Sickened, is permanently afflicted with the Common Disease and is shaking off the Black Plague all at once.

No comments: