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Dungeon Crawl RPG Design Discussion

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    I'm definitely not saying to use BESM as it is, but I am definitely recommending that what they already have in place gets a long look over with the mindset of how to alter it to work for your average medieval fantasy tabletop roleplayer. A d20 version of BESM already exists but it's just a port of 3.5 and it doesn't work well. The d6 version might make long-time d20 gamers leery to try it, but I'm confident it will win them over pretty quickly due to just how damn simple and crazy fast it is, Magrus.

    In BESM, you don't select a race and a class and take the pre-determined things that go with said race and class. Instead, you individually select each and every ability you want your character to have. This full customization makes each character completely unique. There's no XP. Instead, characters earn points to start boosting the abilities they initially bought or to buy more new abilities. So the option to have your own character's personal talents grow in power as the game progresses is already built into it, natural19. And there is this system of taking on character flaws that make gameplay a little tougher in certain circumstances, livens up the roleplaying, and rewards you for it with more points to spend on your beneficial abilities.

    In the game I played, we actually ran it without using the skills system at all and it honestly made the game even faster and more simple without even causing any real issues.


      My thoughts while sleep deprived and doing my insomniac thing for the day before they are lost on a route to go:

      1: Rolling just to throw dice is tedious, and I want to be rid of it as much as possible without harming the ttrpg feel.

      2: KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) is my goal where applicable, sacrificing that for depth and flavor where I feel it's necessary is the goal here. If there's a simple way to go, I want to do it that way unless I can get flavor and goodies for interaction and playability out of making things a bit more complex.

      3: Bearing 1 and 2 in mind, I want to rid the game of a Damage roll (IE the 1d8+X from DnD/PF) and supplant it with a KISS X-Y=Z here. This reduces a roll from each attack that hits to a simple basic math setup that even children can do in elementary school.

      4: I keep a roll for the "Attack Roll" which will be Accuracy (Agility+Modifiers of attacker) vs Dodge (Agility+ Modifiers of target) to simulate the flow of combat.

      5: Called Shot introduced in order to apply a Wounds system for depth of RP'ing your scout with a sprained ankle from a fall needing to make it back to camp wounded or things of this nature. Yes, it sucks being the injured guy, but these are the things one remembers as a part of the adventure for years to come fondly of how you struggled through it and overcame the challenge.

      6: Skills are a KISS thing here, rip out the chart. Replace with: Relevant Attribute+Modifiers check vs a challenge DC of some kind. Invest XP to improve the "Trained" portion of the modifiers so one can simulate training and expertise at say, being a proficient rock climber and acrobat.

      7: Gear will be setup with a "Proficiency" XP investment tree that one can "learn to use" a category. The base investment gets you a flat damage for the weapon, and flat armor for the armor sides of the tree. This means your "Light-Melee" category might be say, 5 XP to invest into as a random example. You might get 5 base damage, and this applies to daggers, short swords, light maces, combat knives, short spears, etc, they all get that same flat base damage. Investing further into this slides up the damage, and improves Accuracy via a small modifier to show you know how to use it better. So the guy who invest 25 XP might deal 10 damage with a +10% chance to hit over the guy who invested just 5 XP with the exact same weapon. Similarly for armors, you get a flat damage mitigation aspect on first investment showing you can wear it without taking massive penalties to movement. Investing further grants you bonuses to either increased Armor or Dodge chance while wearing it. IE Light armors will increase your fluidity of movement in the armor, boosting Dodge. Medium will be a hybrid of both. Heavy will grant a penalty to basic movement early on, and mitigate some of these penalties, while jacking your damage mitigation up being covered head to toe in protective gear.

      8: I think I will retain my seed system for magic. It's got serious potential and folks just didn't bother working with it here which is sad. It's another basic X+Y=Z setup that lets you on the fly create spells, and for a customizable, let players use creativity and tactics to surmount challenges, there's no better system to allow players to freely do their creative thing with the power of magic out there.

      9: I am going to use XP instead of a "You have X points, you spend a point to increase" pool so I can weight things. Some things will be worth more XP based on value and instead of balancing everything to a single cost, I just adjust cost to the value of the thing you are buying.

      10: Character creation should be limited to race>Spend XP on attributes>Purchase basic functional capabilities your PC needs to adventure with of your choice>Pick gear>Provide a pic and basic description and go.

      11: This is made to be based on me getting a response on a DM tier subscription so I can get my own forum to host putting up this system so it's entirely here, in a folder in a series of threads and posts to be navigated and hosted on this site. I haven't had word about that yet, and Fox has been busy or ignoring me for whatever reason, but if one of the staff could get back to me on that, that'd be super. The idea here is a system designed with the community, for the community and housed within the community is my goal here. So I intend on keeping things setup where I can do lists and basics right in posts like this on the site, not sprawling spreadsheets like my classless hack of pathfinder which I had setup for using a triple monitor with a 4k central one to navigate DM and character creation with. Not everyone has that, so goal being keep it all within a format that can be easily posted on the site here.

      12: Player actions will over time generate mechanic gains. Basically what you do in character will translate essentially like if you went to the gym and did Leg Day. If you constantly work the same thing, it will get stronger. If you regularly train to do something with a partner, you learn the in and out of their way of doing things and work in harmony with them better. This translates into a Bond bonus between you being granted. These things will be generally just granted situationally and organically without a chart to go by.

      13: XP will be granted for overcoming challenges and good RP in tandem with the DM handouts of #12 for a dual progression setup. The player spends XP on things they want, and the DM grants improvement on things like improvement of what you already have as you use it. This should provide instead of a linear growth like going from Fighter 1 to Fighter 5, a more spider web progression of a character progressing on several fronts all at once over time.

      14: It's looking like for now, ripping out rolls outside of Attack roll and Skill/Ability checks to see if you hit/succeed is the way we may go here. If this is the case, I am tempted to go with d100 for a percentile roll. If I were to do this, it would mean that handing out a +2 for consistent good RP of an action is not nearly as impactful as with a d20 setup. Allowing the DM to frequently reward a +1 or +2 to his players for doing things without turning them into gods as it's weighted 1/5th of a d20 modifier. If I went this route, I would need to consider how I handle a cap on Attributes, as they being the base of what is rolled on really affects things.

      15: If I cap Attributes you can purchase via XP at 50. Then cap Racial modifiers to 20. We hit a cap of 70 before magic. This gives wiggle room for the DM to go "You've been tumbling through enemies and dodging for their blows while managing to pick locks and avoid traps. You have earned a +1 to Agility" and reward a player doing their thing without bumping them up to 100% all in one reward for doing their thing. Long term, we'll end up with characters with super gear, capped out stats and buff spells on that bump their check to over 100 but there will be situations there are modifiers that mitigate this. Wounds for instance, and Called Shots will enact penalties. Weather and terrain, debuffs, obstructed vision, etc.

      16: "Critical Hits" are replaced by Called Shots. Tactically choosing to make a called shot gives the player the option to say "I aim for his head!" taking a massive penalty on the roll, but if you hit, well getting hit in the head obviously is more serious than a hit to the forearm and acts as a damage multiplier. Moving the choice up to the player when to try to crit farm instead of it being utterly RNG, it's a tactical choice now.

      Where I am thinking of going atm. Food for thought, and if folks have input, feel free to toss it.

      I've considered a d6 or d20 setup, but with the called shot setup I want, d100 percentile makes the most sense here I think after considering it for some time.
      Last edited by Magrus; 03-03-2021, 02:55 AM.
      Designing systems on no sleep. Classed games are boring af.


        With the framework you currently have, yes, I agree that d100 slots in the best. Here is a link to the forum requested in point #11. PM me if you need any sub-forums added to it.


          Thanks, I'll end up needing some down the road, but I can flood that with all the things instead of this forum for my system now. Hit me with a sub tier upgrade as needed, I get paid today. :)

          Within this framework I think is the way forward. I'll wait the rest of the week for last minute input to come my way before I start hammering out the bones of this system so if folks have something they want to add in, hit me with it. Maybe some of The Boyz will get a break and respond here after I harassed them on discord yesterday before then.

          I have started jotting ideas down in the thread Drew linked to get started, some mechanical basics WIP conceptualization going on here
          Last edited by Magrus; 03-03-2021, 09:56 AM.
          Designing systems on no sleep. Classed games are boring af.


            I have started jotting ideas down in the thread Drew linked to get started, some mechanical basics WIP conceptualization going on here which will be used to keep my brainstorming separate from discussion points. This thread will be used only until the weekend when I transfer fully to the forum linked above due to the just lack of input here. So get your ideas in here by the end of the week and then I am done with this thread. Thanks.
            Last edited by Magrus; 03-03-2021, 10:07 AM.
            Designing systems on no sleep. Classed games are boring af.


              Update with the site change, the previous link is broken.

              My brainstorming thread for where I am dumping my conceptualization thought processes.

              Discussion thread in case folks want to inject some idea they'd like to me add to the system or comment on things.

              Where the System Design process will occur once out of the brainstorming phase.
              Designing systems on no sleep. Classed games are boring af.