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marsuniversity

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Everything posted by marsuniversity

  1. wording of a rule

    I'm glad you found the discussion helpful. I like the idea of alternate "risk" effects for sustaining abilities - that could be fun to implement in a setting with multiple "magic" systems. If you're concerned about one or more powers assisting with resisting any of these effects, you could probably just set the ground rules that you can't use those powers to resist stun from sustaining spells (and what have you). For example, Shadowrun sets the guideline (in every edition I'm familiar with) that magic healing cannot heal stun or physical damage taken from spell Drain (damage from casting a spell in that system jargon). Its a quick, functional solution, but you could probably come up with a more thematic way to handle it within the setting if you wanted.
  2. wording of a rule

    I can understand that basic principle, but let me give a couple of examples to illustrate what I'm thinking regarding this. 1) You're sustaining a spell that benefits your actions only (it gives you +10 on any attack test, say). Its a Difficulty 13 spell, with a Fatigue modifier of +3, and you rolled a 20 when casting the spell. So the fatigue-modified difficulty of the spell will progress like this: Round 1 (Cast Spell): 13 (base difficulty) Round 2: 16 Round 3: 19 Round 4: 22 (Stun damage test, sustaining lost) Can I use the benefit of this spell in Round 3 and then drop it? Can I use it in Round 4 before it automatically drops? If the answers to those questions are "yes" and "no", in what situation would a character not just drop the spell after attacking in Round 3? The disadvantage goes from nothing (unless you count the casting and sustaining as two actions for multi-action penalties in Round 1) to 22 Stun (which is a pretty hefty amount to deal with), and you're going to loose the spell, either way. 2) As an alternative, lets look at a reactive spell (for example, something that gives +10 to damage resistance). We'll use the same difficulties, modifiers, and rolls as with Example 1 for simplicity. At first, there's an immediate reason to sustain the spell into the Stun damage round here: the player might get attacked between acting in Round 3 and loosing the spell to fatigue in Round 4. This is only really a reason if the advantage is greater than the potential risk (resisting 22 Stun Damage isn't the easiest test). How often will a +10 on an unknown number of damage resistance tests (if any) be preferable to just not dealing with resisting that (certain) damage test? Its a good, solid, simple concept, and it reflects something that you want to show about the setting, which is all great. Knowing players, though, I'd expect them to typically optimize when to drop the effect to go the longest with no potential stun damage. If you want that (or don't mind it), that's all good too. My biggest concern would be that the interesting story point (for me) is when the character has to start taking stun from a sustained effect, and I'd be looking for ways to encourage that or allow it to happen more frequently. Then, you get scenes where the mage is fighting to remain conscious because they're sustaining a spell that's weakening the big monster just enough for everyone else to take it down. You have someone in a psychic duel that is getting worn out keeping their mental defenses primed, but they can't risk taking a few moments to focus and reset them. In those cases, you have opposing needs and a difficult choice - hot, fresh drama. This is just a suggestion, but first thought would be to allow sustaining past the first damage round (provided the acting character is still standing). You can even keep increasing the Stun damage each following round, but would create a choice with some benefit: "do I want to risk damage to keep this going one more round?" If the effect is automatically dropped, then it would feel more like a punishment than anything to me as a player. A couple alternatives I'd propose (which could be combined with the above however you like): -Make starting a power more challenging. Have it be the only action that can be taken in a round (no defense or anything requiring action), have a "cool down period" where it can't be used (a few round or minutes, maybe), or have an innate cost (spending a finite resource, such as a pool of Mana Points or mystic doodads that get consumed). -Make it difficult to use a sustainable ability in a way where its "safe" to let drop. In the above "make weakening a monster" bit, maybe the effect keeps the caster front and center, in claw and bite range when it gets loose. Otherwise, just put the PCs up against threats that wouldn't give them a chance to pull off the effect a second time.
  3. Here's something I was looking for and couldn't find a thread on; PC-created super science devices. Specifically, things that would be beyond the base tech level of the setting. How would/have you handled it? Do you think this is best resolved in a single skill test, or with a few (say one to design, and one to construct)? How should difficulty be determined? I'm thinking either a simple guideline system (items a, b, and c would be difficulty x; while items d, e, and f would be difficulty y) using the GMs judgement, or a more complex system to try and maintain a higher level of balance (such as with the spell design system from OD6).
  4. professions

    I'll second that. Tying something else to the profession, like skill sets, is probably a good idea, to avoid abuse. If it makes sense in the setting, though, it shouldn't be hard to put in place. RPG players are so trained on classes that I usually have to explain D6's lack of classes to at least one new player in each game.
  5. Mad Science! (Or: My Other Pistol is a RAY GUN)

    If you want to get detailed, I thought of using the magic design system as inspiration for the weird science bits in my game. It would work well enough, but I ultimately went with general guidelines for common types of devices, allowing the GM to arbitrate what was fair for the Difficulty to create a devise. I felt that playing looser with creation led to more of a pulpy feel, which is what I was going for. The player specifies their intent and the GM sets Difficulty and what the "expected" abilities of the device are. Then the player must roll on three separate, set skills to construct the device in stages, all against the same general difficulty - one skill adds a bonus to effect on a high result, another to ammo/uses, and the last to reliability. To prevent abuse of the system, I also required paying for components (if using Funds, this is another test against the standardized Difficulty) and potentially finding rare components (quest excuses). Reliability comes up on any Complication on the Wild Die when using the device (you'd have to roll just a Wild Die if there wasn't a test built-in to using a device). You roll 2D on a chart, modified by the device's reliability, and the device loses a reliability afterwards (if it doesn't just explode in a huge fireball - looking at you, result of 2).
  6. wording of a rule

    It makes sense, I think. You might want to elaborate and add another example for reference if you want to put this out for use outside of your immediate circle, just to be sure (you never know what might confuse someone). As a player, I'd be a little concerned that a good initial test result could result in a worse stun damage value to resist later on. There is the balancing factor that you can hold something "up" for longer without taking damage, but you might want to detail the setting or game tone logic there. I'd also be curious about when you'd voluntarily sustain things (such as spells) over this boundary. If they drop immediately, and you have to resist damage, is there any advantage to doing so? If casting a spell (for example) at first was difficult or taxing in some other way, but you were allowed to maintain it while still resisting increasing damage each round, that could make for some interesting story opportunities.
  7. Asian mystic

    Sounds interesting. I wasn't sure from the reading, was Chi intended to be a pool of points, or another die code? If its a point pool, will each use give a +1/point modifier when applied to something else? When would these refresh - every round, or are they consumed until rested? If this is a die code, it might be simpler to just use the Spirit attribute, without figuring "Chi" (as it looks like they should always match, if I understand you) - or just call Spirit "Chi" instead, lending some flavor to the setting. As a modifier, whole dice can be really overpowering. I did something similar in one of my recent settings, but I put in some big disadvantages to offset the use of these powers - so you might want to think of a balancing factor if this is what you have in mind.
  8. attributes

    I've considered it a few times, especially when I've wanted a strong social and technical component to character design. Ultimately, I retooled my list to six Attributes in each case. Eight should work fine in theory, but six seems like a good fit for CP costs and keeping down character design complexity. For point of reference, look to the old Deadlands line, which clearly had some inspiration from D6, but used ten (I believe) attributes: there were 2 or 3 attributes that were synonyms for Agile - I noticed some player and GM confusion when trying to recall which was used for what with those new to the game. It probably comes down to how complex of a game are the players used to, and are you worried about players abusing one or more of those attributes as dump stats?
  9. magic system

    I can't recall any variant of the system that has a spellcasting stun/fatigue component. You should be able to add one easily, just add a test for damage resistance equal to (or half of) the casting difficulty after (or in place of) the skill test to cast the spell. For fatiguing spells, take the Result Points of that check and drop one (or however many you want) each round until there are no more.
  10. 1) I think either variant would work. (I'm curious - for variant 1, are you considering a permanent loss to their maximum Extranormal die code, or just a loss of the current code that can be "bought back" with Character Points later?) It really depends on how you want it to play out according to the fluff of your game setting, and I can't really think of a precedent for something similar in D6 off the top of my head. 2) Your math sounds solid there. Honestly, you can always tweak things to feel balanced to you - some of the customization mechanics are more guidelines than hard rules, in my experience.
  11. Mad Science! (Or: My Other Pistol is a RAY GUN)

    I'm hoping to have something out for this soon, if you want to re-purpose it (all part of the OGL, after all). I'd also be interested to see someone else's take on it, as well.
  12. Fires of Amatsumra

    I'd like to see it, if there's the potential for expansion of the setting. From my understanding, it's pretty close in tone to Firefly, so you'd loose the immediate player recognition of playing in that setting, but you'd gain a lot of development freedom from not working within an IP. It'd give you a ruleset and plot/setting ideas you could easily rework to the Firefly setting, if you wanted, as well.
  13. It's a mystery to everyone? Actually, this was an experienced SW GM playing a few sessions with players new to the game, so I assume he just avoided space combat to keep things simpler for the group. I'd probably do the same thing in his situation. For a short campaign or longer, I think it'd pretty much be unavoidable (except for very focused campaign concepts).
  14. I'm expecting them to push boundaries somewhat with the next two films. After the general response the prequels got, I don't doubt that everyone involved wanted to skew as close to A New Hope as possible before doing their own thing. I personally would have liked more focus on the fighter combat (especially with one of the principal new characters being a fighter pilot), but I get the feeling that the people involved didn't share Lucas' love of air action films - so no trench run equivalent scene in this one. That's all my preference though - I love that sort of thing myself. On board topic, my first SW D6 character used the Brash Pilot template, because, "I can fly an X-Wing? Done!" I could feel the GM inwardly sigh and immediately try to figure out how to work me into a party and decide whether to incorporate any space combat into the game.
  15. Magic & Flintlock D6 coming soon!

    Sorry, I checked as well. No luck with either link - looks like only group members have access.
  16. MiniSix Dark Sun

    Sounds like it would work to me. If you wanted to simplify things, maybe limit the number of spells they can prepare or cast for each day based on the dice in their spellcasting skill, so they get more spells as this gets raised? I think it'd cut down on the bookkeeping and character point costs for advancement., but you wouldn't have the option of having high versatility/low power and high power/low versatility elementalists. Just an idea.
  17. MiniSix Dark Sun

    That could work, but you don't really need a penalty if you don't want one for balancing or to add a fun risk to their casting. This one is really up to personal preference and the setting (which, admittedly, I'm not up to snuff on). This sounds like a good starting bonus to me. +3 is more or less the same as having an extra die in your skill while casting, which should be pretty tempting, without automatically letting a defiler succeed at a whole difficulty level lower (which you'd get with +5). From my understanding of the setting, as a GM, I'd definitely want it to be just enough that a PC mage would be tempted to do it with most tests, but only risk it for really vital ones. I think this would hit that sweet spot. The wider selection is definitely nice, I was wondering if you'd wind up with doubles or triples with the shorter table. A quick thought - if you're doing 2D6 for the table, results will be skewed slightly towards the middle, so you'll be getting more results in the 5-9 range and fewer for 2 and 12 (not sure if you anticipated this or not). Yeah, 5 result points come up a a LOT, in my experience - about half of the successful checks at my table make it by 5 or more. I was doing +1D/5 Result Points for the damage bonus when I started with D6 Fantasy, and I had a couple combat focused player characters that routinely succeeded by 15 or more against common NPCs. For story reasons, they really didn't care for the regional authorities, so there a few sessions that included a slaughter of the town guard and a subsequent flight from persecution. Like I said, I didn't expect the combat to be that deadly (I was used to the flow in WEG Star Wars from past experience), but its a nice fit if you want less cinematic fights. I'd love to try the game out, as I'm not getting my time in the player seat lately and I've never been able to take a spin through Dark Sun, but my schedule just won't allow it, unfortunately. I'll look forward to anything you have the opportunity to post on here, though!
  18. MiniSix Dark Sun

    I agree, it looks fun. I'm only passingly familiar with Dark Sun, unfortunately, but I have a few thoughts / questions after a quick skim: You show no special penalty for elementalists getting a 1 on the wild die when casting (the other special power characters have a penalty here) - is there an in-universe reason for this, or are you expecting that the smaller spell lists for these characters will help balance it out. I'm interested in how adding +1D to damage per 5 result points on an attack works out. I accidentally tried this (misread the rules) when I first starting running D6 Fantasy and combat was way deadlier than I anticipated, but that might be perfect if you want things grittier. Is this a standard MiniSix rule? The defiling boost/penalty doesn't seem very high. From my understanding of the lore, the wasteland setting is due to a lot of defiling magic, right? I couldn't see that many mages destroying the planet for +1 bonuses on spellcasting, and there isn't much to tempt a player to do it at the high social cost. If you're worried about players abusing the defiling boost, maybe eliminate it, but make the penalties for not defiling very prohibitive? For Wild Talents, having a roll of 1 be nothing could be a little boring or unbalanced. It could be a little disheartening to be the only PC in a group without anything from this. Maybe make a 1 just a mundane advantage, like an extra starting skill die or hero point? Just some input, use it however you like. Sound interesting wherever you go with it. If you get a game going, let us know how it went.
  19. d6 Earthdawn/Shadowrun etc.

    This bit reminded me of the system from L5R. In that, the attributes a broken into elemental "rings" (Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Void). Each contains a physical and a mental attribute themed to the element (except Void, which is kind of a bennie point/luck/special something attribute), with the ring's value being the lower of the two attributes. Spells are themed to elements, and you need a certain minimum ring value in an element to cast that spell. So, if you're "fluid" physically and mentally, you'll have a higher water ring, and be able to cast more powerful water-themed spells. Is this kind of what you're thinking (with or without the wuxia mind/body harmony bit)? Here's a few ideas to play with, if this strikes your fancy: I would create a magic/extranormal attribute (called Essence, or something else if you prefer). You can tie spellcasting/summoning/enchanting/etc. skills to this or to whatever attribute you prefer. I would associate four or five of the component elements to thematic attributes (or attribute pairs) in the system. My first idea is to have Spirit/Aether linked to Essence, but this could be changed if it becomes unbalancing. It might be good to set up your attribute set around these connections (four attributes, all with a linked element; or eight, paired up two to an element), so there's a balance and no dead (unassigned attributes). There's two-three ways I think you could use these links, when a spell uses that element's threads: 1) As a flat or die-based bonus to spellcasting. I.e. you get a +1, +3, +5, +1D, or whatever seems appropriate when casting Earth-thread spells for every die you have in, say, Physique (guessing at a linked attribute here). 2) As a limit on spellcasting. You can only use of your spellcasting skill when casting spells, limited to their linked attribute - this could be a 1-to-1 limit or some multiple of the linked attribute. I.e. you have a Physique (using the above example) of 3D, so you can only use 3D on spellcasting checks for Earth-thread spells (1-to-1), or 6D (2-to-1), etc. Alternatively, you could turn this into a cap on the check result, like 5 per die in the linked attribute. I.e. (following the above) you'd roll your full spellcasting die code to cast Earth-thread spells, but any result above 15 (5 x 3D in Physique) is ignored. 3) Rather than tying your spellcasting skill(s) to a single attribute, you assign dice to this skill independently, and temporarily assign it to the linked attribute that applies when casting a spell. I.e. following the above yet again, you have 4D in Spellcasting - when casting Earth-threaded spells, this goes off of your Physique attribute. In this case, it gains that attribute's 3D, and you roll 7D for this check. In any of these systems, when a spell calls for threads from multiple elements, I would use either the lowest or highest linked attribute. This is mostly for simplicity and to curb super crazy extremes of min-maxing characters. Just some initial thoughts. I'll chime in again if I have any other rant-like theories for the system, that's about 90% of my history on here.
  20. School me on d6 (high/low points)

    Its whatever you and your table prefer. I don't really care for hit points, but I don't think most of my players have a strong opinion either, so it works. If one of them ran d6 and wanted to use Wound Points, I think I'd be fine with that, so its really a matter of preference. If you want to keep the wound penalties with a hit point-style mechanic, what Grimace mentioned should do that. Alternatively, you could just move a character up a level on the Wound Level system every time they reached a certain multiple of Wound Points taken/lost. I'd suggest starting out at an average Physique roll (3xdice+pips) for each "level" - with 3D+1 in Physique, you'd be "Stunned" after taking 10 (3x3+1) damage, "Wounded" after 20, and so on. So, your maximum Wound Points would always be 6 x this threshold (Dead being the sixth Wound Level). I'd definitely have to play around with it after getting some gameplay experience to see how it works in game, though. Another potential concern with D6 that I've thought of since my last post is the lack of a mechanical drawback for armor. Arguably, this is true for a lot of systems, outside of those pulling from D&D, where some characters just can't/shouldn't wear armor or it becomes prohibitive to gain the ability to use armor. As with a lot of games, in-universe reasons are the main limiting factor for armor use. Without those, you get everyone wearing the best armor they can find quickly, in my experience. Since you've talked about using the system to run Shadowrun/Earthdawn, I'm assuming you have an idea of how to handle this already (social/availability limitations being the main thing keeping rampant armor use in check). Not sure if this'd become a problem with Earthdawn - I've only had short campaigns in that, but I get the impression that actual, physical armor becomes only marginally beneficial once a character progresses a few circles into their discipline. As to the magic system, I have to confess that I haven't fully read everything in your other thread yet. My suggestion is to figure out exactly what you want the magic system to do - lore-wise and mechanics-wise, and then you can build from D6's mechanics to achieve that. I'm familiar with the systems from Earthdawn and Shadowrun, and I have no clue what I'd build as a middle ground there.
  21. School me on d6 (high/low points)

    I think Grimace got most of the good points, but I'll swing in with a few points. I've offed the 5D simplification method as an option, but I've never used it at the table. My players have been very happy to roll small mountains of dice when burning Force/Fate Points, and quickly realize the diminishing returns for super high skill codes and just take the multiple action penalty or invest their Character Points more diversely in the first place. Yeah, body points would solve this - it gives you the option of having a "death by a thousand cuts" like D&D does. I prefer the Wound Levels method myself, and there are a few options you can try out for house rules to resolve this. I've seen making the "best" result Stunned (so there's some penalty for getting hit), making the Wild Die roll of 1 on a damage resistance check always take the highest other die or cause an automatic Wound, allowing combined fire (enemies focusing on a big, threatening target) for extra damage, and other solutions I'm sure I've forgotten. Personally, I just allow a bonus to damage based on the attack check Result Points, and haven't seen a problem with it. There's always story options, too - forcing the PCs into situations where damage resistance isn't a huge advantage, or just using a really big weapon or larger scale creature/vehicle against the party.
  22. Finally had time to make it out to the theater. Without spoilers, I really liked it overall. There were a few minor things I think could have been improved, but as a whole I think it was a good addition to the series. I'm really interested to see how they handle the sequels following it up, which might sway how I feel about this one. If there are any Star Wars D6 fans on here that are on the fence about seeing it, I'd recommend it to you.
  23. I'm too busy to see it for a bit, myself, and I hate opening weekend crowds normally anyway. So, I'll have to ignore anything related to the film online to avoid spoiling it (which I've been doing already with the upteen-million trailer news alerts out there) until I get a chance to leave the kids with a sitter and drive out of town to catch it at the nearest Alamo - because its worth the extra drive to go somewhere that still believes in kicking noisy people out of the theater (also, serving beer). I'll probably bring the older kid a week or so after.
  24. Magic & Flintlock D6 coming soon!

    I'm very interested - do you have an estimated release date at this time?
  25. Vade Mecum of Magic released for free

    I don't think there is - it was released for free and was still in mid-production, if I understand the situation correctly. If someone has fleshed the book out more on their own, I'm sure we'd all be interested to take a look.
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