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Author Topic: Simple sfrpg  (Read 450 times)

David Johansen

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Simple sfrpg
« on: March 13, 2008, 03:17:38 PM »
Whenever I look at Nebulon or Starcluster I get a little depressed and stop working on Galactic Adventures 2.0 (at the moment that's the title and Galaxies In Shadow is a setting, wait five minutes and it'll change)

They just cover so much of the same ground, never mind Traveller, Star Frontiers, GURPS, and Spacemaster.  So I often find myself starting on a fast and simple sfrpg more in line with Savage Worlds but with a harder, more mathematically direct approach.

Here's what I'm playing with right now

Stats

Physique: Physical Quantity
Grace: Physical Activity
Resolve Mental Quantity
Wit: Mental Activity

Grace and Physique are used for all actions that aren't covered by a skill and serve as skill maximums.

A human character starts with a five in each stat and gets 3 points to spend.  The maximum they can raise a stat to using skill points is 2 above their original value.

Once their stats are purchased they get 20 points worth of skills.  These can't exceed the Activity stat that applies to them but skill points can be spent to increase stats by a maximum of 2 points.  If a character has the right skills they can qualify for a profession and recieve a gear package.

Note that the skills, while descriptive of a profession, also cover lesser degrees of training.  Firstaid would be a rating of 1 or 2 in Physician and a technician would have a low rating in Engineer.

Artist (Mental)
Athlete (Physical)
Ecologist (Mental)
Engineer (Mental)
Fighter (Physical)
Leader (Mental)
Marksman (Physical)
Performer (Mental)
Pilot (Physical)
Physician (Mental)
Scientist  (Mental)
Scout (Physical)

Success is determined by subtracting the appropriate skill or stat from a difficulty level to find the roll needed to succeed.  Yes this is the same as roll over difficulty system, it's just the calcualtion everyone actually makes.

On a roll of one, ten points are added to the difficulty and on a ten, ten points are added to it.  It is only possible to roll open ended once.  Somethings really are impossible.

Simple 8
Average 12
Difficult 16

Initiative is by side and determined with a simple contest of leadership with sides alternating activation of individuals and squads.

Damage is subtracted applied against Physique.  Armour is a big hit point suit with a rating that indicates the maximum number of points it can absorb from a single hit.

Points can be swapped out from skill to damage.

Vehicle Design uses the Armour and Structure of the vehicle to calculate its volume and then placing systems into hit location slots.

A vehicle has twenty slots, ten to the front and ten to the rear.  Most attacks from the side can hit all 20.
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Age of Fable

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« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2008, 04:49:23 AM »
I like Galaxies in Shadow as a name better.
free resources:
Teleleli The people, places, gods and monsters of the great city of Teleleli and the islands around.
Age of Fable 'Online gamebook', in the style of Fighting Fantasy, Lone Wolf and Fabled Lands.
Tables for Fables Random charts for any fantasy RPG rules.
Fantasy Adventure Ideas Generator
Cyberpunk/fantasy/pulp/space opera/superhero/western Plot Generator.
Cute Board Heroes Paper 'miniatures'.
Map Generator
Dungeon generator for Basic D&D or Tunnels & Trolls.

Age of Fable

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« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2008, 04:50:57 AM »
With the one setting, you could emulate Star Trek and Firefly, depending on what side the characters are on.
free resources:
Teleleli The people, places, gods and monsters of the great city of Teleleli and the islands around.
Age of Fable 'Online gamebook', in the style of Fighting Fantasy, Lone Wolf and Fabled Lands.
Tables for Fables Random charts for any fantasy RPG rules.
Fantasy Adventure Ideas Generator
Cyberpunk/fantasy/pulp/space opera/superhero/western Plot Generator.
Cute Board Heroes Paper 'miniatures'.
Map Generator
Dungeon generator for Basic D&D or Tunnels & Trolls.

Kyle Aaron

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« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2008, 06:20:16 AM »
I think a good breakdown of attributes is six of them: Strength, Agility, Fitness, Education, Perception and Confidence. None of these are "intelligence", by the way; there's just how much the character notices, how much they know generally, and how much "stick-to-it-ness" they have.

Skills are a bit harder to figure out a good number for.

In his Risus Companion - well worth the $10 even if you're not interested in Risus, just for the GMing and play advice - S John Ross talks about the dozen basic things adventurers do. He breaks them down into,
  • Athletics
  • Persuading
  • Communication & Protocol
  • Detection
  • Driving, Riding & Piloting
  • Gadgeteering
  • The Medical Arts
  • Wilderness Mastery
  • Scholarship
  • Intrusion
  • Combat
  • Magic
If all you have is that dozen, what you've basically got is not skills but character classes: athlete, face-guy, etc. If you want that, great! But if you want some diversity in characters, you need skills rather than character classes. So you need more than a dozen.

What you can do is decide what's important in your game, and split off each area as appropriate. So in a gladiatorial combat game you'd probably have twenty or thirty combat skills, maybe a couple of driving skills, half a dozen athletic skills - but wilderness stuff, scholarship and so on might just be skills all by themselves. Whereas in a game of internal university politics... you get the picture.

Me, I split each into three,
  • Athletic: Acrobatics, Climbing, Swimming
  • Combat: Brawling, Fire, Melee
  • Communication: Languages, Speech, Writing
  • Detection: Interview, Search, Tracking
  • Driving: Aircraft, Landcraft, Seacraft
  • Gadgeteering: Engineering, Handicrafts, Technician
  • Intrusion: Burglary, Deceit, Stealth
  • Magic/Psi: Body, Elements, Mind
  • Medical: Physician, Psychology, Veterinary
  • Persuading: Acting, Diplomacy, Intimidation
  • Scholarship: Liberal Arts, Law & Society, Sciences
  • Wilderness: Hunting, Navigation, Survival
That gives us 36 skills. Some of them vary a bit according to the campaign's technology level - in an iron age campaign, "landcraft" would include horses but not Star Wars-style speeders, but in a space age one vice versa. In a medieval fantasy campaign you'd effectively have just 33 skills, since the Gadgeteering ones wouldn't be relevant; in a modern realistic-themed campaign, no magic/psi skills.

If only 3 to 6 of the skills are any use at all in your campaign, again they become effectively character classes, so if you want them to remain skills, you'd have to split them out a bit.
Rules for effective DMing:
1. Bring snacks.
2. The dice are always right.
3. I master the game, the game does not master me.
4. Momentum over perfection.
5. The game must go on!
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John Morrow

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« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2008, 02:21:31 PM »
Quote from: Kyle Aaron
I think a good breakdown of attributes is six of them: Strength, Agility, Fitness, Education, Perception and Confidence. None of these are "intelligence", by the way; there's just how much the character notices, how much they know generally, and how much "stick-to-it-ness" they have.

I'd call "Education"->"Knowledge" because it doesn't imply formal learning ("knowledge" is, after all, what you know) and consider changing "Confidence" to something a bit broader like "Cool", "Psyche" (strength of personality) or "Presence", all of which also have some utility as a "Charisma" attribute in certain contexts, too.

I'm actually pretty cool with the four originally given (those 4 and your 6 are similar to the lists I'm currently waffling between), though I'd call "Wit" "Wits".  Basically "Wits" is "Education" + "Perception" while "Resolve" is "Confidence" plus possibly part of fitness.  I'm a big fan of using Physique as a combination of Fitness and Strength since the two are generally not very independent variables in real people.

Quote from: Kyle Aaron
In his Risus Companion - well worth the $10 even if you're not interested in Risus, just for the GMing and play advice - S John Ross talks about the dozen basic things adventurers do.

I bought the Risus Companion earlier when Kyle suggested it and didn't regret it.  I second this recommendation, even if you never plan on playing Risus.

Quote from: Kyle Aaron
If only 3 to 6 of the skills are any use at all in your campaign, again they become effectively character classes, so if you want them to remain skills, you'd have to split them out a bit.

Skills operating at a character-class level might not be such a bad thing, though, for a simple game.  So before you split them out, make sure that's what you really want.
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Age of Fable

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« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2008, 10:10:48 PM »
Quote from: Kyle Aaron
In his Risus Companion - well worth the $10 even if you're not interested in Risus, just for the GMing and play advice - S John Ross talks about the dozen basic things adventurers do. He breaks them down into,
  • Athletics
  • Persuading
  • Communication & Protocol
  • Detection
  • Driving, Riding & Piloting
  • Gadgeteering
  • The Medical Arts
  • Wilderness Mastery
  • Scholarship
  • Intrusion
  • Combat
  • Magic


Great list!

You could go the other way as well of course, and combine them. For example Magic, Scholarship and Gadgeteering could be Natural Philosophy, Detection, Persuading, and Communication & Protocol could be Diplomacy.
free resources:
Teleleli The people, places, gods and monsters of the great city of Teleleli and the islands around.
Age of Fable 'Online gamebook', in the style of Fighting Fantasy, Lone Wolf and Fabled Lands.
Tables for Fables Random charts for any fantasy RPG rules.
Fantasy Adventure Ideas Generator
Cyberpunk/fantasy/pulp/space opera/superhero/western Plot Generator.
Cute Board Heroes Paper 'miniatures'.
Map Generator
Dungeon generator for Basic D&D or Tunnels & Trolls.

David Johansen

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« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2008, 02:29:12 AM »
I guess I'll get into the philosophy behind the project a bit to clarify where it's going and coming from.  A while back, a thread about Middle Earth gaming inspired me to do a very simple sketch of a game based loosely on ICE's old Lord of the Rings Adventure Game.  I've felt for a long time that it was actually the best Middle Earth game ever designed it just got ruined by the format and the condescending tone of the introductory text.

I've also been agitating on the sjg boards to have a Triplanetary / Ogre ultimate sf wargame pack.  Naturally sjg ignores my brilliant vision of hovering Ogre MK Xs holding off invasions by alien mecha.

Jump to the recent thread on simple rpgs and I got to thinking how I'd apply something of the sort to science fiction.  Why?  Because most sfrpgs aren't simple and there's lots and lots of sfrpgs out there.  So, the game I'm toying with here is intended to be on the complexity level of Toon and Twerps.

Some day I want to do a build your own action figures set tied to a simple game.  I believe that such a project would be a breakaway hit if it was done right.  Since getting plastics produced is a little out of my range I'm starting with the simple sfrpg.
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David Johansen

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« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2008, 03:23:50 PM »
Vehicle Design:

A vehicle's volume is equal to the cube of its Structure rating.

It's Mass is the square of its Armour rating times its Structure rating.

The vehicle's modes multiply the available volume by a fixed factor.

Wheels 0.2, R = 20
Tracks 0.3, R =15
Legs 0.4, R = 10
Bouyant Hull 0.2 (in this case this is required empty space), R = 20
Hover Fans 0.4 (required power = 0.25 vehicle mass) R = 30
Rotary Wing 0.2 (required power = 0.5 vehicle mass) R = 30
Anti Gravity 0.1 (required power = vehicle mass) R = 60
Fixed Wing 0.2 (stall speed = 100 kph) R = 40
Swept Wing 0.25 (stall speed = 150 kph) R = 50
FTL Drive 0.1 - 0.5 (required power = vehicle mass x 1-5)

Power Plants
Volume x n output
Volume x n /100 fuel consumption per hour

Rockets x 2 output x2 fuel consumption
Jets x 2 output
Batteries and Capacitors are just power plants with recyclable fuel.

Acceleration = motive power / vehicle mass
Top Speed = Acceleration x R

Weapon Mounts
Turret x 2
Retractable x 2
Stabilized x 2
Arm x 4

Weapon Statistics

Damage n to the fourth power / n= volume
Range = Damage squared / n
Power Requirement = Volume

Eg damage 20  (n 10) laser cannon: 1600 cubic metres / power, range 40

Damage 20 plasma cannon (n 40): 400 cubic metres / power, range 10
Fantasy Adventure Comic, games, and more http://www.uncouthsavage.com