Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Grognards and dragons

I could not help myself- all this gibber- jabber has me on a DND bend and I dusted off my half repainted pre-painted dnd minis and after a little knifework and liquid green stuff have them based and ready for painting. I also pushed a couple of the Ral Partha official AD&D minis up the queue to sate my grognardia. Lesser golems, golems and a chimera. Great sculpts, sadly the moulds where apparently destroyed when TSR went to WOC. Shame that.

Now completely off topic in response to a skulldred rpg.

So I have to confess I am now mentally poking around with an rpg system. Once something creative gets into my head its very hard to shake. Fortunately with Skulldred beta 3.3 going into testing I have mental space and time.
The thought process so far is to make an 0ed module compatible system in terms of spells and equipment prices, but gut the core D20 system entirely in favor for a clean, easy D100 'roll under stat' system using the face value of the dice as quality rating and double digits as double strong hits (11,22,33,44 etc). Rolling exactly your target number is a critical hit, rolling 100 a critical fail.
That means no roll-modify or subtract dice from target for quality. At a glance results.
Reading dragons at dawn, Dave Arneson seemed in favor of percentile systems originally so its kinda true to spirit. Regardless of the big mans opinion though, my rpg groups really loved them- it gives you an easy to visualize odds, and modify then roll under gives immediate results the moment the dice hit the table. Great for cheering players when the halfling makes that 02% chance jump!

Weapon stats bug me- if I like maces, but axes do more damage, well I have to buy an axe. I want to fix that with having all weapons simply give a bonus to your combat chance depending on their quality.
Damage is the first digit of your quality roll (eg 35 = 3 hits), with a minimum of 1 hit caused. Double digits and a critical roll doubles hits (22 =4 hits).
Therefore better weapons equal more hits, more crits and ultimately more damage.
Casting a spell drains your mage by about 5%, so the more spells you cast the weaker your chances of casting get. Perhaps you can strike otherworldly pacts for more power. No vancian magic for me.

Hows all that sound so far?


  1. Wow: I didn't think you were being serious! That actually sounds very playable. Simplicity is so often the key to fun gaming and this sounds easy enough, yet with enough 'meat' to satisfy. I look forward to watching this progress.

  2. I agree. This sounds great. Now what would make it even better would be an easy system for porting characters from Skulldred into the rpg system; that way one could write a narrative campaign that combines rpg adventure with skirmish wargaming. Keep mulling that thing!

  3. Looks good to me. I'm keen to see more!

  4. Good point- I don't see it being very hard to keep it skulldred compatible- since weapon mods are percentile and skulldred is essentially based on a 1-5 scale.

    Okay so I have the core rules down on a pad now. Next thing I really need is a new RPG group in sydney to playtest this with.
    I have heard tales of google + being okay to play on via webcam- whats everyones experiences of this?

  5. First edition AD&D clarified something about weapons that was a bit confusing in the earlier versions I think. Weapons didn't just do different amounts of damage but were also more or less effective against different kinds of armour. Maces are better at hurting things in heavy armour than a cutting weapon like an axe. Doing more (or different kinds of) damage against certain foes can add detail that's less about "realism" per se, and more about character and the flavour of the world. Something to consider.

    I think Mordheim did this really well - and simply - by having different critical hit tables for different weapon types, and keeping things the same otherwise.

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  7. It´s the same system that old warhammer, but his designers raised it better in mathematical terms. If you set out doble digits above or below your stat you will have an interesting critic range or fumbles that changes in consideration of your skill.

    I designed a very similar system long time ago, it was based on six stats...