Sunday, February 5, 2012

2D6: Some More Ideas...

As I grow older and find myself with all of these real world commitments, I desire smaller sets of rules to learn and use during my play time.  I just do not want hundreds of pages of rules to reference and argue about.  The 2D6 design I am working on is a possible remedy to that situation.  I am pretty happy with the ART presented in previous posts; it may need some modification later but I think it is a good start.  It can be put on the bottom of the character record sheet for easy reference also.  In keeping with my goal of simpler game design, further possibilities are presented below:

Character Classes & Races
My original concept was to follow tradition by having the players select a race and class out of the ones provided in the rules.  Of course, the race and class selection might alter the attributes, skills, etc. of the character.  Instead, the players will now just simply state the class and race of their character.  For instance, Thomas Lightbringer is a Human Cleric of Karnak.  There you have the name, race, and occupation of the character.

This is another area that I am trying to break with tradition.  Most games have a list of 6 to 10 attributes with labels such as Strength, Endurance, Dexterity, Agility, Intelligence, Will, Wisdom, Charisma, Luck, Perception, etc.  These attributes fill a specific purpose in their game system.  I would like to go with a condensed list of only 3 or 4 broad attributes such as Might, Reflexes, Intellect, and Will or maybe Physique, Mind, Spirit, and Influence.  I am not sure if either of those will be the list but that is the basic concept of what I want to express with the attributes.

If I have not made it clear yet, the attributes will not have a numerical listing but will have a rating expressed as -2, -1 (for below average), 0 (average), and +1, +2 (for above average).  

Talents will be skills, knowledge, etc. that give a character a specific focused advantage in certain circumstances.  Maybe a minor talent will be +1 to +2  and a major talent will be +3 or +4 BUT it will be specialized and applied ONLY in situations involving the use of that talent.  Some possible talents include  chivalry, computer programming, etc.

More thoughts later...    


  1. First off, putting the Action Resolution Chart (ART) onto the character sheet is brilliant.

    I, for one, have always broken down every game book I have ever had by writing or typing out basic game rule structures and photocopying game charts/tables. I have always done this in an effort to...
    a) better understand the rules, and
    b) to cherry pick the most relevant charts and give them to players for convenience sake.

    Great call there.

    Like yourself, I've no interest in rules heavy systems these (or any) days. My perspective is also influenced by my being a father and husband to my own little gaming group of females (lol); I need something lite (and light) in order to ever play anything!

    The more you talk about this system of yours, the more I dig it.

    The only warning bell - and again, this comes from a kid-friendly slant, is that negative numbers on attributes might be a tad confusing for younger folk to visualize.

    Of course, you could very well not want kids on your grass. In that case, to heck with the little cretins; I actually like the -2 to +2 scale.

    1. You can use it as a teaching experience. On the assumption that the kids are old enough to add and subtract, you just explain the -2 to mean subtract 2 when you roll the dice. +2 means you add 2.

    2. @Baker: Thanks! I have had similar experiences with chart based games and the books wearing out quickly from referencing them so I just thought putting the ART on the character sheet was the best solution.

      I have no objection to kids. My son is 5 so I am sure that one day I will be playing with him. That is one of the reasons I want it nice and simple.

      @Darius: A teaching experience could work very well with a simple system like you mentioned. It will probably be a few years but I am sure it is coming.

  2. What you are working on is for the most part, just for your use and that of course will limit the work you will have to do. There are at least three things you should consider, even if what you are doing is for home use only.

    Races/classes determine what a character can do. Without a list for people to use, then how are you going to determine what the PC can do?

    It seems like either the player just selects talents, or there are set skills by class. In case it is talents, then it seems you have moved towards a SKILL based game and not a CLASS one. Or, maybe the hybrid model I mentioned before or that is in Sword World.

    If classes do in some way determine what a PC can do, then someone has to be able to provide a list of what classes can be used and what talents they have access to. I am thinking more in terms of game design for consumers of a product and not people around my table. But if you let the players determine what that are going to do, they can just make up classes. I can give you many examples as to why this is problematic.

    The second issue I think you have to address before going any further is magic. Do players just describe spells or is there a list? If there is a list, are you just going to use what is in a book, or are you going to write you own?

    I have two suggestions to resolve these issues. First, if you are not going to have classes, then remove them from the game. Either move towards a skill system based on talents, or a hybrid system I mentioned before. The goal seems to be to have the players describe the character type they want to play instead of selecting them. If they want to play a fighter, then you push them to put things into stuff that makes them better at fighting, if they want to be a fighter and backup healer, then push them into fighting, but reserve some points for healing magic.

    In terms of magic, I suggest you stick with a description method of spell casting. You (the GM) then determine how difficult such spell would be, and then use the resolution tables to see if it works. This fits with the model you are trying to use and keeps you from having to write all of those spells.

    Anyway, sorry for such a long post.

    1. No worries on the long post. :-)

      I think the issue you brought up with the race & class portion is a valid one. I was just dotting down thoughts and wanted to get them out of my head; initial ideas and all. I think you are right on this matter. I think the best way to approach on the races would be a short 2 or 3 sentence description that also tells something about any special abilities. It should point out which (if any) attributes are exceptional, infravision, etc.

      On the classes, I think the best way to think of what I was aiming for is just a title; maybe call it a role. The actual skills would actually define what the character is capable of doing. There should be a pretty decent list of skills that will flesh out a character. Of course, it might wind up something like the cliches from Risus. I think the examples of Talents you mention above is pretty much how I want it to be done. The magic is exactly how I want to do things. Of course, there will be some guidelines for the GM to use in determining difficulty.

      Good ideas, Darius, and I look forward to see how your insights influence the design.

    2. I like the idea of a role. It got me thinking of MMOs, and how before that many a group would coordinate to build an optimal group. Anyway, for an MMO, you don't often look for specific classes, you look for people to play a role regardless of class.

      DPS - damage
      Tank - some to hold argo/take damage
      Healer - keeps the group alive
      Buffer - provides buffs to the group to keep them alive/increase damage.

      What you need is a table top equivalent of that. This is probably still too MMO, but

      Ranger - long range damage dealer, tracker
      Warrior - melee combat specializing in keeping monsters focused on him.
      Mage - caster who focuses on damage
      Cleric - caster who focuses on healing
      Shaman - hybrid caster/warrior. focuses on nature spells to heal and harm.
      Paladin - warrior/priest. Gives us some damage in favor of healing and better defenses.
      Thief - light tank, focusing on attacks of opportunity, has ability to pick locks, pockets, climb walls, etc.

      Anyway, once you have the basic "roles" you want, then you can give examples of more specific types of characters. A mercenary or samurai would be a warrior. A bounty hunter, assassin, or spy might be a thief.

      It seems the role would determine the basic abilities, and then examples of character types for those roles to aid in the "role-playing' aspect of it. At least if you are trying to keep things minimal.

    3. That is actually pretty much what I was thinking. It may be somewhat MMOish but I like the sound of what you have outlined in your comment. I like the idea of basic roles followed by fine tuning with specializations in unique areas. I may try to come up with some quick notes on this in the next few days...

  3. Here are my CFRPG and 2d6 ideas all mishmushing in my brain!
    Beyond the short description of the class all other rules are to be made up.
    Fighter: The front line soldier who is skilled in all weapons and armor. HP d10
    Cleric: A warrior priest capable of fighting and healing, protection, divine magic. HD d8
    Wizard: A master of magic spells that harm, alter and protect others. HD d6
    Rouge: A master of stealth, trickery and thievery. HD d6
    Barbarian: Big Strong warriors who use rage and two handed weapons to slice through foes. HP d12
    Paladin: A righteous holy warrior of divine magic and valor with holy sword and divine steed. HP d10
    Ranger: A humanoid slaying warrior that protects the wilderness with stealth, sword, and bow. HP d10
    Archer: A skirmisher who slays foes with his bow and trick shots. HP d8
    Samurai: An oriental warrior who is a deadly sword fighter. HP d10
    Hunter: A skillful hunter of beast and monsters. HP d8
    Druid: A priest of great power that worships and controls nature and can even morph into creatures of the woods. HP d8
    Oracle: A person gifted with the sight of the gods. HP d6
    Inquisitor: A priest that hunts down demons and cultist with blades and divine magic. HP d10
    Specialist Wizard HP d6
    Conjurer: One who conjures beast and creatures for service.
    Diviner: One who does scrying, prophecies, and magic to explore the world.
    Enchanter: One who charms and manipulates minds!
    Evocation: One who draws on the raw power of magic to destroy
    Illusionist: One who controls illusions and phantasms that confuse and trick foes.
    Necromancy: One who uses the power of the undead and negative energy.
    Transmuter: One who uses magic to change matter around him.
    Alchemist: A master of potions and mixtures of fantastic results.
    Witch: One who has mysterious powers from nature and the universe.
    Spellblade: A warrior and wizard that has the best of both skills.
    Elementalist: One who has the power of earth, air, fire, and water.
    Earth Mage: One who controls the earth.
    Air Mage: One who controls the wind.
    Fire Mage: One who controls fire.
    Water Mage: One who controls the water.
    Assassin: A rouge that has become a hunter and killer of men. HP d8
    Bard: An entertainer that uses magic and song to charm, inspire his allies and insult and demoralize his foes. HP d6
    Swashbuckler: An acrobatic warrior who uses his Reflexes over Might. HP d10
    Thug: A perfect mixture of Fighter and Rouge. HP d8
    Bounty Hunter: A hunter of wanted men who is skilled in combat and quickness. HP d8
    Ninja: An oriental shadow warrior that knows stealth and martial arts. HP d8
    Monk: An oriental trained martial artist of great physical skill. HP d12
    Psion: One who uses the power of his mind to blast and break foes. HP d8
    Races don't give any bonuses or penalties they are just from role playing flavor.
    Human: Mankind as we know them.
    Elf: The ancient people of the forest skilled in elf magic and swordplay.
    Dwarf: The short and stocky bearded race of miners and warriors that live deep underground.
    Halfling:The tiny people unadventurous of the hills who are found of farming brewing and feasting.
    Half-Elf: Half elf and half human these people are wanderers by nature never feeling comfortable anywhere.
    Drow: The lost race of subterranean black elves who relish in trickery and evil.
    Half-Orc: The tragic mixture of orc and human that is brutish and violent for the most part.
    Half-Drow: A true outcast from Drow or Human society.
    Drae – A tragic mixture of Elf and Drow.
    Droc – A fearful mixture of Orc and Drow.
    Olf – A malicious mixture of Orc and Elf.
    Roll 3d6 and take away the smallest dice OR roll 2d6 in order for

    1. I like it; there's a lot of potential there with minimum rules fuss. Very easy to handle. We just may have to explore that further...