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Freedom Oriented Roleplaying and Combat Engine (FORCE) [take 1.1]

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
So (I think) I've just about completed my extremely basic, hopefully easy to use RPG system. I've yet to do any testing, but here is the basic formula.

(start with 2 points in each attribute,
you will have an additional 12 pts to spend)

[it might be wise to limit the number of points spent in any one attribute, but I'm not yet sure how best to do that]
[maybe setting a maximum number of points spend on a single category would suffice]

A player also choses "talents" based on his/her character which will be used to determine how well that character functions in and out of combat.
examples of skills: medicine, unarmed combat, swordplay, mounted combat, archery, assault rifles, sniping, close quarters firearms, black powder rifles, lying, acting, diplomacy, intimidation, torture, telepathy, telekinesis, pyrotechnics, engineering, ninjitsu, and anything else a player can dream up and convince their GM to allow.

Dice Cost 1dx 2dx 3dx 4dx 5dx 6dx 7dx 8dx 9dx 10dx
d4 (3pts) 3 6 9 12 15 18 21 24 27 30
d6 (4 pts) 4 8 12 16 20 24 28 32 36 40
d8 (5pts) 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
d10 (6 pts) 6 12 18 24 30 36 42 48 54 60
d12 (7 pts) 7 14 21 28 35 42 49 56 63 70
d20 (10 pts) 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

This table functions just as it did in my last blog entry.

A player starts with 1 primary skill, one secondary skill and one tertiary skill. (each of their choice)
The players have 40 points to spend on dice using the above table to determine the cost of dice.
(A GM may allow for more or less points if they so chose.)

Primary talents use d10s or d12s.
Secondary talents use d6s or d8s.
Tertiary talents use d4s.
A player may not buy more dice for a tertiary talent than they have for a secondary talent.
A player may not buy more dice for a secondary talent than they have for a primary talent.
[I might also limit skills to having no more dice than the player has points in an associated attribute.]

(I'm not sure how to best make rules regarding a players ability to add primary and secondary skills/talents, some input on this would be great. The problem is, if a player is free to have as many primary skills as they want, they can essentially make their secondary skills count as "primary" and work around the limits to secondary and tertiary skills.)
So far, what I've decided to do about this is say that a player must have at least one secondary skill for every primary and must have more tertiary than secondary skills.
[another possible method to consider is to have players use skills associated with their highest attribute(s) as primary skills, their next highest as secondary, and the rest tertiary. [2p-2s-2t, 1p-2s-3t or 1p-1s-4t; who knows?]]

A player can also have "abilities" which are essentially feats/perks, though I'm not entirely sure how these should work. I think it is best to leave these characteristics to the discretion of the GM, since they should be dealt with on an individual basis. A good ability for a sniper type player might look like this:

When firing any type of projectile weapon, a player may add one die of the size associated with that skill to the skill/attack roll. The hit threshold for this attack is raised by the highest roll possible on this size of die.
(example: if a player has 3d6s associated with that skill, they roll 4d6s and their hit-threshold increases by 6.)

I'm not sure that this explains "abilities" as they relate to this game very well, but I'm having a rather difficult time trying to explain them. A player should not have many of these abilities, but some may be far stronger than others, so I think it is best to leave them to the GM to deal with them on an individual basis.
These should essentially be signature moves which allow players a slight advantage under certain conditions. For instance, the sniper might only be allowed to use this ability when he has cover/concealment or for some reason has time to line up a shot without putting himself in danger.

The way that combat works is simple.
First, remember that combat is an excellent setting for roleplaying, and this system is designed to allow roleplaying to carry over into combat. A player tells the GM what action their character would like to preform, and the GM has them roll and appropriate number/size of dice.
Generally, this roll will be based on a characters talents and modified by their attributes, abilities and any circumstantial effects.
A player will roll their talent dice and add a number equal to the points in any associated attribute (only one attribute mod may be used)
This will be compared to a hit threshold set by the GM to determine whether the action is successful or not based on the level of difficulty of the talent involved. If an attack roll is higher than the hit threshold, the player deals damage equal to, or based on, the result of the roll. Likewise, a healing spell or medical attention will heal a character by an amount based on, or equal to, the result of the roll.

Circumstantial modifiers (such as an enemy's cover or concealment) should also be accounted for. I'm leaving these mostly at the GM's discretion, but I recommend adding or subtracting a single die from the number rolled.

This system is still pretty rough, but it is starting to take form and I would like to get some kind of input as to what it might be missing. Keep in mind, it is intentionally vague in order to allow the players and GM to adapt it to fit the type of game they want to play. It is also vague so that players are encouraged to continue to rollplay through encounters rather than simply pick from a list of pre-written spells or powers. I'm sure many people will dislike this, but hopefully some will find it usefull, or at least an interesting concept. (after all, those are the people I'm writing this for)

Ideas for names: I really want to keep it "F.O.R.C.E."
Free, Omnifarious Roleplaying and Combat Engine (is the word "omniferious" too obscure?)
Fundamentally Oriented Roleplaying and Combat Engine (since it is meant to be as basic and open-ended as possible)
Freedom Oriented Roleplaying and Combat Engine (this might be the best so far)

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  1. Ao's Avatar
    I like what I've read, however I have one problem with the title... Freeform, by definition, has no rules at all I thought. Correct me if I'm wrong. I really like the acronym you created for this too. However, I'm not sure if 'freeform' is the right 'F' term to use.
  2. sexyfunkymonkie's Avatar
    You might be right, the original goal was to create a system that was essentially a way to roll dice to add some form of randomness/unpredictability to freeform games. Since then, the system has evolved into something very different, making the name a bit inaccurate.
    I guess I'll work on figuring out a better name.
  3. DarkisnotEvil's Avatar
    Interesting enough. Feels like a halfway between Marvel Heroic and Fate.
    One flaw that appears immediately to me, however, is the point-based system. From what I can see, d20s cost less per average value than d4s, despite the fact that d20s both have a higher cap and an average value more than four times greater than a d4's. Statistically speaking, a d20 is worth more than 3d4, and about on-par with 4d4 (trade the lower cap for a higher minimum). Are you expecting a higher number of dice to be used at later levels?
    I know this was posted in 2010, but I was wondering whether you'd be interested in discussing game mechanics. I'm trying to develop my own system, and I'd like feedback and help if need be.