Sunday, March 5, 2017

Skills and Skill points

Skills and Skill Points

Every character has the ability to perform skills. In most cases, character's aren't particularly good at any skills, but have at least some chance of success. Skill rolls are only necessary if the Referee determines that there is a chance of failure if attempted. Otherwise, the Player should be able to role play the situation without needing to roll dice.

Skill level is ranked from 1 to 6. All characters start play with a 1 in 6 chance (around 16%) to successfully attempt a skill and is resolved by rolling a d6 and rolling equal to or less than the skill level. Certain skills are affected by a particular Attribute Modifier, and in that case the modifier is subtracted from the die roll, not added to the skill level. If a skill should advance to a 6 in 6 chance of success, then two d6 are rolled, with failure only occurring when double sixes are rolled.

The names of the various skills are:
  • Bushcraft: Bushcraft shows the chances of your character being able to survive in the wilderness through foraging or hunting, and identifying tracks, plants, and animals.
    • A successful Bushcraft check can mean that foraging or hunting for food takes less time and produces higher yields.
    • A character's Wisdom attribute modifier applies to Bushcraft.
  • Climb: This skill is rolled when a character is climbing under adverse conditions or attempting to scale a vertical surface that would be more difficult than the average person could reasonably attempt.
    • Climbing a tree or cliff with numerous hand and footholds would not require a roll against this skill. Climbing a ladder of any height would also not require a roll.
    • Attempting to scale a cliff face or castle wall with few hand or foot holds would require a roll against the Climb skill.
    • Situational modifiers can be applied, such as having (or not having) proper equipment, being encumbered, the weather, duress, etc.
    • A character's Strength Modifier applies to Climb.
  • First Aid: This skill is used for minor healing when a safe place to rest is not available. First Aid can only be used on a character once per encounter, or once per injury. Based on the skill created by James Young at
    • On a success, the character can heal a number of Flesh equal to the die roll.
      • For example; if your skill is 3 in 6, and you roll a 2, then 2 points are healed.
    • On a failure, the character takes an additional 1 Flesh damage for every point they failed the roll.
      • For example; if your skill is 3 in 6, and you roll a 5, then 2 points of damage are inflicted.
    • A character's Intelligence modifier applies to this skill.
  • Language: Language skill indicates the chances of the character to be able to understand a particular language.
    • Every time a new language is encountered, the character rolls against this skill. Success means they know the language.
    • Failure means the character does not know the language and may not roll again for that particular language until the character reaches the next level of experience.
    • A penalty of +3 to the character's roll is applied for obscure/dead/cryptic languages, and a +2 penalty modifier for exotic languages from other realms.
      • For example; a character has a Language skill of 3 in 6 and rolls to see if they somehow know the language of the Cult of Duvan'ku, which hasn't been spoken in centuries and was little known when even back then. They roll a 2, but with a +3 penalty, their total roll is 5, which is a failure.
    • A character's Intelligence attribute modifier applies to Language.
  • Navigation: Navigation is the character's ability to not get lost while traveling. Following roads and paths does not require a skill check, but travel through the wilderness or on the high seas does.
    • A character's Intelligence attribute modifier applies to Navigation.
  • Search: Searching is the ability to discover hidden items and clues.
    • Searching a 10ft area takes a single 10 minute Turn.
    • If you fail your roll, you may not search the same area again until your next level of experience.
  • Sleight of Hand: Sleight of Hand includes hiding objects on one's person, picking pockets, readying a weapon without an observer noticing, and other such actions.
    • A character's Dexterity attribute modifier applies to Sleight of Hand.
  • Sneak Attack: Unlike other skills, the skill level of a Sneak Attack does not indicate the chances of success or failure, rather, it indicates the amount of damage done in the attack.
    • A single rank in Sneak Attack means 1x normal damage. Two ranks means 2x damage. Three ranks means 3x damage, and so on up to 6x damage.
    • Sneak Attack bypasses Grit and inflicts damage directly to Flesh.
    • A Sneak Attack can only be attempted on an opponent who does not know the attack is coming.
    • Any character, creature, or opponent who is eligible to be the target of a Sneak Attack is also considered to be Surprised for the purposes of the Sneak Attack.
    • There is not an attribute that applies to Sneak Attack.
  • Stealth: Stealth is the ability of the character to move or hide themselves or an object, and remain undetected.
    • Stealth is always considered an Opposed Skill Check (see below). If the situation would not require an Opposed Skill Check, then success (or failure depending on the situation) is considered automatic.
    • A successful Stealth check to sneak up on someone means that they are considered Surprised for your next attack. This also means that a successful Stealth check can lead to a Sneak Attack.
    • A character's Dexterity attribute modifier applies to Stealth rolls in situations where the character is attempting to physically hide themselves or sneak up on an opponent.
    • A character's Intelligence attribute modifier applies to Stealth rolls in situations where the character is attempting to hide an object from visual inspection.
  • Streetwise: This skill is similar to Bushcraft but for urban environments. It allows the character to find food, shelter, and people within a city or town.
    • A character's Intelligence OR Charisma modifier applies to Streetwise.
  • Swim: This skill is used when a character is attempting a difficult feat when immersed in liquid.
    • Attempting to cross a raging river or swim across a pond while while encumbered would require a roll against this skill to avoid sinking and possibly drowning.
    • Attempting to swim a long distance would require a roll against this skill in order to avoid tiring and drowning.
  • Tinker: Tinker is a loose term used to describe the ability to manipulate mechanical objects. This can be used to pick locks, disarm traps, use unfamiliar machinery, build a wrist watch, and similar.
    • A character's Dexterity modifier applies to Tinker. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Strathos Setting Update: part tres

Playtested last weekend. Here is the skinny:
  • Ran the players through Tower of the Stargazer. A quick, 1st level adventure by Lamentations of the Flame Princess. 
  • Got the players to try out the new Wizard, Fool, and Yon classes. 
  • The Wizard died after losing a game of Blackjack with a ghost.
  • They took to the three-save system immediately.
  • Flesh and Grit took a little bit longer to understand, but I used Palladium's HP/SDC system as guide - they are old Palladium players, so it made more sense to them with that example.
  • Didn't get to try out the new firearms rules, as no one had a gun. 
  • Didn't get to use Shields Will Be Broken, although we've used that in the past, so no big deal.
  • I got good feedback on my rules document and character creation document. By "good," I mean I now have more ideas on how to improve those documents. I play with people who ask a lot of questions and aren't afraid to tell me what they don't like. Which is great! It's refreshing to receive constructive criticism instead of just hearing that everything is wonderful.
  • Didn't get to playtest the Muscarn Mushroom Men, as I'm still working the kinks out of the class. There was a nice amount of interest in them though, so that makes me happy.
  • Looking back, I think the player who used the Fool class didn't fully read the Level Up section, because I don't think they rolled on the table at level 1. Which I should have noticed while playing, but didn't think about until afterwards. I'm rewriting and reorganizing the Fool class to make it easier to read AND make it more in tune with the setting, and less like the source material I took it from. 

Next up, I'm going to publish the Three-Save rules I came up with, and how to convert LotFP classes to it. I'm also going to publish the firearms rules I'm using. And yet another write up of the Yon class, Wizards, the Fool, Shaman, Barbarians, and maybe more setting specific stuff.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

New Class: Shaman

Shaman are the spiritual leaders of the Picts of Strathos. They are a combination of warrior and magic user, in other realms called a Cleric.

In fact, there isn't any fundamental difference between a Strathos shaman and a cleric from elsewhere other than faith.

Speaking of faith, all Shaman have a totem animal, which is the same totem animal as their tribe. By praying while holding or wearing the skin of that animal, the shaman can polymorph into that animal for a short period of time.

New spells:

1st Rank (I use the term Rank, rather than level, as I find it is less confusing)
Skin Change
For one 1 minute Turn per level of experience, the shaman can polymorph themself into their totem animal. The skin of the totem animal must be held or worn at the time of casting. The shaman retains their reasoning capability and may end the spell before the duration at will. Otherwise, the shaman loses all other powers while the spell is in effect, but gains the natural abilities of the totem animal.

3rd Rank
Group Skin Change
Same as Skin Change but affects a number of participants equal to the shaman's experience level. The duration is a single ten minute Turn. Same effects and rules as the 1st Rank spell.

6th Rank
Superior Skin Change
Same as the first level spell, but duration is 1 hour per level of experience and the shaman can speak and cast other spells as normal while polymorphed.