So I have this system called Fantastic Tales.
Well, not really. I have concepts and ideas for a system.
It started off as a mod to Warrior, Rogue & Mage, Michael Wolf’s rules light fantasy game. At first, I attempted to increase the volume of the Talents by adding layers and Talent Chains. Then I tried to make combat more interesting by changing how dice work. Then I changed how skills worked.
It took several weeks to finally understand that I was just remaking the game from nearly scratch. at that point, I decided to switch to actually making a game.
The system started with no name, but after some thoughts on how it operated, it developed one: Fantastic Tales.
The primary concepts behind it are impressive epics, interesting characters and means for many ends.
The only thing it had at the time was visceral combat mechanics and nothing more. PCs were these badasses with all kinds of abilities and damage out the wazoo and were less fragile than the NPCs. The combat was versatile and deep and offered a lot of choices. It probably also was a major drag. I suspect it would’ve gone nowhere.
Between then and now, some time passed. I saw a few new systems and learned some new things.
And then came Legend. At first, Rule of Cool’s Legend seemed awesome. It was over the top and grandiose and humorous. It provided many options and many new ideas. I saw it develop some and took a lot of inspiration from it.
Yesterday, I ran what may be my last session of proper Legend. The combat drove me up the walls and I decided I do not wish to ever run d20 combat, or any other system’s combat if it was quite as heavy and tiring.
That got me started on rethinking Fantastic Tales. The combat was set out to be something that would take a decent chunk of time. While the mindset was for adventurers, it also left combat as a large, hulking part. I decided I don’t want to run that, and one should not design what one does not want to run.
I switched thought tracks and realized the game anew. Well, some of it.
Now, I want to share what I have so far – see what other people have to say.
Characters, all characters, are defined by their attributes. They have 3 of them:
- Physique – a measure of strength, health and toning of one’s body. It governs melee combat and physical actions. It provides Hit Points.
- Finesse – a measure of agility, precision and manual dexterity. It governs ranged combat and rogue-like actions. It provides Finesse Points.
- Intellect – a measure of intelligence, wisdom and understanding. It governs spellcasting and mind-based actions. It provides Mana Points.
Every character has skills that define their ability doing certain tasks. Skills have 4 essential grades – untrained, trained, proficient, master.
The game works entirely on d6s. I have grown a dislike of games that limit how accessible they are, physically, by using the dice set early games in the genre pioneered.
As such, the resolution mechanic also works on d6s.
Every character has an attribute score ranging from 1 to 12 in each attribute, and these provide the baseline for the resolution mechanic – the dice pool. A character has a dice pool of a size equal to the attribute being used in the action.
For every action performed, the proper attribute is decided and the corresponding amount of dice is collected.
The next step is Difficulty or Defense Rating – the prior for non-combat and the latter for combat. Either of them, represented simply by DR, reduce the dice pool of whoever is performing the action by that amount.
For example, a dice pool of 8 would be cut down to 4 if the DR is 4.
After the dice pool’s size is cut down, the next step is to roll the dice. Succeeding in an action takes to roll a single success in the dice pool. Success is decided by a character’s skills:
- Untrained skills require to roll a 5 or more on a d6 to have it count as a success.
- Trained skills require a 4 or more.
- Proficient skills require a 3 or more.
- Master skills require a 2 or more.
Only one skill ever applies to an action.
The above is the essence of the resolution mechanic. The 1 to 12 scale for attributes is for normal human characters. Different races may have different max amount and outside influence may permanently increase or decrease the max and effective totals.
That all I have right now, at least everything solid. Comments are well appreciated.