Friday, December 8, 2017

666th Edition


A lot of people's versions of D&D are defined by either what they think should be emphasized or what they don't want to fuck with. Other times these versions are very concerned with protecting certain niches and modes of play or carving new ones. I'm not trying to make a better D&D but if I didn't have D&D to go on, just all the alter-D&Ds, and I was trying to make up my own connective tissue for each, what I'd mostly spend time doing is stripping away things until there was almost nothing left and trying to make that work. I'd want to see what I could put together in an hour that I could teach to people in ten minutes.

Aside: sorry that the whole thing has been "making games" lately instead of anything useful FOR games, I usually hate that but since I'm making a damn game right now allegedly, little side projects like these help keep the channels open on nights when my brain won't let me work on what I want....I expect that might be the secret behind a lot of internet rpg mechanic bloat, actually. These aren't my dream house rules or fantasy heartbreaker, this is just some mix of R&D and putting this Secret shit out into the world. If you use this or break it either way let me know.

Roll 3d6 for Strength. Any Strength bonus you get applies to your damage and is deducted from any damage done to you. You can use it for forcing doors or breaking stuff as you like. Subtract that number from 20. The remainder is your Constitution, a saving throw for your body resisting physical danger and effects and hazards.
Roll 3d6 for Instinct. Subtract that number from 20. The remainder is your Dexterity, a saving throw for avoiding physical danger and effects and hazards. Turn order in and out of combat is determined by Instinct.
Roll 3d6 for Intelligence Knowledge. This number, added to your level, is a chance out of 100 that you know a particular thing, including languages. Subtract that number from 20. The remainder is your Willpower, a saving throw for withstanding mental assault, manipulation, and psychic trauma.
Bonuses are BX style, +1 at 13 +3 at 18 style.
There's no such thing as an ability score based to-hit bonus any more.
AC is now static by type but there's more of a grade, and the best armor is priced way out of a starting character's range and must be adventured for.
You do not advance normally in combat ability.
You do not advance normally in saving throws.
You do not advance normally in terms of spells known or numbers of spell slots.
You do not advance normally in any acquirement of proficiencies or similar skill progression.
You do not advance normally in hit points.
Any class can use any weapon but all weapons do 1d6+Strength Bonus.
Everyone's HD is d6.
Humans get to just keep leveling after 10 and get +2 to any one thing they want at 1st level. You may add a lot of human variants as you wish, making each new variant +3 in one specific area.
Elder races (halflings, elfs, dwarfs, for example, but others too) each get a Mana Die at 1st level, a d12. Rolling over 8 on the d12 allows you to do something outside the realm of human ability, plying some paranatural ability of your kind, such as an ability to blend with forest shadow, to step without sound, to effortlessly find your way through different tunnels and strata by instinct, etc. All Elders work like this, so you may add in as many as you want as long as you give about a half dozen examples of cool unusual shit they might attempt with Mana. Elders may only add a point to their Mana Die every time they would normally level after 10, and then only for specific tricks (like "see in dark").

At level 1 Fighters are +1 to hit. At 1st level and each level after that they can choose 2 of the following: +1 to hit, +1 to damage, +1 to a save, +1 to AC, +1 HD, +1 to Mana
At level 1 an Explorer gains +1 die to a skill. At 1st level and each level after that they can choose 1 of the following: +1 to all saves, +1 die to a skill, +2 AC, +2 Mana
At level 1 a Hunter gains +1 die to Tracking. At 1st level they may choose one of the following, and successive levels allow them to choose two of the following: +1 HD, +1 to a save, +10 to Knowledge checks, +1 Mana
At level 1 a Magician Human gains a Mana die and an Elder gains +1 Mana. At 1st level they may choose any of the following, and subsequent levels allow them to choose two of the following: +1 Mana, +10 to Knowledge checks, 1d4 Spells.
At level 1 a Sage gains +1 die to Healing. At 1st level they may choose 1 of these and each level after that they may choose 1: +2 damage when fighting without something on the Weapons list, +1 to an ability score, proficiency with a new artform or added proficiency with an existing one, +1 Mana

Any of these class bonuses may be chosen more than once and more than once per level. "Skills" are just "reasons you make your players roll" and you can have as many or as few as you like and they can skew BX, LotFP, 5e, Pathfinder, whatever....the point is, nobody is especially better at these rolls than anyone else (flat advantage to a dynamic difficulty) but certain classes give you an extra die when you roll to beat whatever the DM's target is for this roll. This can compound, so maybe you get an extra die in a bunch of skills or maybe when it comes time to climb something slippery you roll 8 dice. Doesn't matter what the skills are or what kind of dice you're using.

You can clear 1 room/area a round when you're fighting or searching. You can clear 3 rooms/areas if you are carefully navigating. You can move through 5 rooms/areas a round if you are unengaged and uninterested, just booking it, and this is the number for road and open sea travel. Every 10 rounds of travel/exploration and after every combat you have to rest or be -1 to every roll until you do. Stopping to eat counts. A round of meals heals 1HP, a round of rest heals 3HP, and sleep heals up to 6HP. If you drop to 0HP the DM can do whatever they want to you unless someone is able to intervene.

All spells require a successful 9+ roll on your Mana Die, just like using Elder abilities. Failure almost always has consequences so you should roll for those simulteneous to your casting. Learning a spell after 1st level requires a Knowledge check to understand it. You can know as many spells as you want and can attempt to cast any spell at any time. However, after you've successfully cast 3 spells in a day future spells are cast at a compounding penalty, -1 for 4th spell -2 for 5th spell -3 for 6th spell etc. Some more powerful magic confers negative roll penalties of their own, and you can choose to incur a roll penalty in order to cast a spell faster or without speaking or whatever. This includes casting a spell backwards or changing elemental damage type. A character who isn't a Magician might still be able to find and cast a spell but it takes time and components and cannot be done in combat.

Advancement is roll based. You've got to end a session in relative safety in order to make an advancement check. Roll 1d12 and when you get a 12 you get to level up. Every 2 sessions that you don't advance you get +1 to your d12 roll. You can advance quickly in this game but since things don't automatically improve to scale you should remain squishy. Gold is its own reward. Instead of XP surviving monsters and traps and dungeons and shit just makes you more impressive generally, improving your status in the world. A king has like a million status.

Sort of related: controlling your forces for big manuevers or dangerous situations requires a d20 rollunder for your Knowledge, where failure just means that not everything goes according to plan. This might mean morale breaking and everyone running or it might mean some fool of a Took knocks some shit down a noisy well. You get a bonus to control people doing things that you're best at - Fighters get bonuses leading troops, Explorers get bonuses checking for traps, etc.

Character creation should be limited to 30 minutes, advancement should be kept to 5.

On the one hand this is very unforgiving but on the other #MOONSLAVE.