Other Games, Development, & Campaigns => Design, Development, and Gameplay => Topic started by: Cyberzombie on June 30, 2006, 11:46:03 am

Title: Final Fantasy: Exalted
Post by: Cyberzombie on June 30, 2006, 11:46:03 am
I was sitting around one evening, and I asked Darlena what sort of game she wanted to play.  My last two tries were Traveller and Star Wars, and each fell apart for various reasons.  (Lack of time to prepare was a big one, especially for Traveller -- it's not really a DM-friendly game.)  Since I've been playing Final Fantasy VII (trying to actually finish it this time!) and we just saw FF VII: Advent Children, she decided on FF.

Now, I've seen some online rules sets; none of them are to my liking.  I thought briefly about moding d20 but, despite the fact that FF came from D&D rules originally, I don't think it would be the best choice.  So, since I'm playing Exalted, I decided to try it.  (I'm also stealing from the new World of Darkness in some parts.)  They both have a similar epic feel -- Exalts can wade through masses of extras and mooks and that's what FF characters spend most of their time doing.

So, the basic engine I'm using is Exalted, with some subsystems from WoD that I think would work a little better, and powers from the FF series.  Since I always buy the strategy guides, that part is easier than it might be.  :)
Title: Abilities
Post by: Cyberzombie on June 30, 2006, 11:57:19 am
My first step was to look at the ability scores.  I could have just used the Exalted scores, but I like the schtick of the new WoD ability scores.  They have three categories of abilities: physical, social, and mental.  In each category, there are three abilities: one for power (brute force in the physical, social, or mental arena), one for finesse (subtler actions), and one for resistance (opposing outside influence).  So I took those and changed a couple of the names to fit the stats in the FF games better.

So here are the ability scores, in power/finesse/resistance order:

Physical: Strength, Dexterity, Vitality.
Social: Presence, Manipulation, Spirit.
Mental: Intelligence, Wits, Resolve.
Title: Roles
Post by: Cyberzombie on June 30, 2006, 12:13:25 pm
In Exalted, each type of Exalt is broken up into 5 different castes.  There are 25 skills in the game, and each of the castes has five skills they specialize in.  You can also choose 3-5 other skills as Favored abilities; they're not the skills of your caste, but you're just as good at those skills.  So you could be a Battles caste Sidereal and choose Occult as a Favored skill so you can be a warrior-sorcerer.  Or you could pick awareness, stealth, and survival to make yourself a ranger-type character.  I find it makes customizing a character really, really easy.  :)

(Granted, you don't have *total* freedom -- if you're a Sidereal, for example, you HAVE to have martial arts as a favored ability.  But it's much less restrictive than a class system.)

So, since I'm using the Exalted engine, I wanted to keep things similar and keep it simple.  After kicking it around for a while, and running things by Mad Hatter and Carrot (both of whom have more Exalted experience than me), I came up with five roles: Fighter, Thief, Expert, White Mage, and Black Mage.  I think most FF characters will fit into these roles pretty easily and, with favored skills, they could add any needed abilities to their repertoire.

(As an aside, I'm not sure what to *call* the "roles".  Caste obviously won't work for the setting.  I thought about using the word class, but I'm not sure about that.)

Here are the skills availabe to each role:

Fighter: Awareness, Fortitude, Melee, Survival, and War.
Thief: Athletics, Larceny, Martial Arts, Stealth, and Streetwise.
Expert: Animal Empathy, Craft, Marksmanship, Pilot, and Profession.
White Mage: Lore, Performance, Socialize, Summoning, and White Magic.
Black Mage: Black Magic, Communication, Protocol, Red Magic, and Science.
Title: Die Mechanics
Post by: Cyberzombie on June 30, 2006, 12:48:54 pm
I'm using the die mechanics from Exalted, straight up.  The abilities have a rating from 1-5, while the skills have a rating from 0-5.  When you do something, you add the relevent ability and skill together and roll that number of ten sided dice.  For example, if you shoot someone, you add your Dexterity and your Marksmanship together and roll that number of d10s.

If you roll a 7, 8, or 9, you get one success.  If you roll a 10, you get two successes.  The more successes the better, obviously.  A task that needs one success is easy; a task that needs 5 is usually impossible for mere mortals.

One thing I'm thinking of adding, from the discussion in Dr. Avalanche's thread in this forum, is having each 1 rolled be a "complication" -- it doesn't take away from your successes, but it does mean that your plans don't work the way you intended.  I'm still thinking about whether I want to try that out or not.  The whole thing will be an experiment, so I don't want to overwhelm my players.
Title: Final Fantasy: Exalted
Post by: Dacke on July 01, 2006, 09:30:13 am
The problem I see with making 1s complications is that it means that the more skilled you are, the more unintended consequences you get.
Title: Final Fantasy: Exalted
Post by: Cyberzombie on July 01, 2006, 11:50:19 am
Quote from: Dacke
The problem I see with making 1s complications is that it means that the more skilled you are, the more unintended consequences you get.
Yeah, that's the big problem with that idea.  Currently in Exalted, if you have no successes, you get a botch (a bad failure) if you roll any 1's.  Botches become less likely the more dice you have, but they tend to be more spectacular when they happen.  That I can handle -- it's very much in the theme of an epic for the most skilled person to fuck up in the biggest way.

Similarly, I'm thinking that the complications don't necessarily have to be bad -- just annoying, and possibly requiring another roll.  But I need to bat that around more and see if it would really add something to the game, or just add complexity.
Title: Final Fantasy: Exalted
Post by: blakkie on July 02, 2006, 12:29:21 am
You might want to take a look at how SR4 handled it. They have two levels of Glitches. The first is if 1/2 or more of the d6 in the pool come up 1, but you have at least one success rolled (a 5 or a 6). This is a Glitch. A Critical Glitch is 1/2 or more come up 1, but there are no successes. I haven't worked out exactly how or how well it'd translate it to d10 and with the pool sizes you'll normally have. If you'd keep it as just 1 or go with 1 or 2. But that's a starting point of a possibility.

The Glitch is typically just an inconvience, and you can still succeed at a task when you Glitch, but the inconvience can cascade with other situations to become a real pain. The rarer Critical Glitch is something really bad happening. Like you accidentally shoot your buddy in the back. Note that in SR4 you can spend a point of Edge to negate any Glitch/Critical Glitch, although this is fairly expensive so people will still just eat Glitches anyway, especially non-Critical ones.

P.S. Now one downside to Glitches is a quirk where it is actually easier to roll a Glitch with 4 dice than it is with 3 dice. :imsorry: However there is a clever fellow that patched it up.  Check out page 3 here .  It is a bit more complicated, but not too bad.
Title: Final Fantasy: Exalted
Post by: Cyberzombie on July 05, 2006, 12:41:14 pm
Quote from: blakkie
You might want to take a look at how SR4 handled it. They have two levels of Glitches.

Thanks.  That gives me some ideas to think on.  I was thinking that the complications would not necessarily be bad (unless you fail the roll, too) -- but they do make your life more difficult, and probably make you do another roll with a different skill.