June 1, 2012

You are doing WHAT?

Because I just cannot stop making games, my next experiment is a fantasy heartbreaker dnd retroclone. I intend to use it to see how well some of GGG's conceptual strengths fare in a different context, as well as to try out some ideas I've had around for possibly improving the game next.

Anybody who is familiar with both DnD and GGG can tell the results are probably going to be terrible/amazing/hilarious. For now, it is just a short writeup, I will have to add proper rules later.

And no, it is not going to delay further updates, since they'll be on the simpler side of things for a while as previously announced.

Copyrights & Dragons

Mission Statement
To make a game that sticks to traditional D&D tone and feel while also taking the gameplay in a new direction.

Design Principles
-Stick to the legacy things I hate about D&D that I could maybe perhaps like if they were implemented differently, but throw away the things that are just plain annoying to play with.
-Much like how 4E made people care about the battlefield I want to give the game a twist, and I will be making combat revolve around timing your powers and using them at the right time during the ebb and flow of combat.
-Do away with the arms race style of traditional progression and focus on conditional abilities that add versatility instead.
-Streamline a lot, you should be able to remember all the rules after a single read through the book, disregarding individual abilities.
-Make it clear that PCs are heroes capable of taking on armies, with mechanics for them tending towards success, and to make combat fun whether it is versus hordes, bosses, or a duel against a rival foe of similarly mythic proportions.

Pretty minimalistic. You are a Hero, you might not be a well known one yet, but there already are bards singing tales of your exploits somewhere and you damn well deserve them. Only a few individuals become the stuff of legends, and it is rarely intentional. Some gained their fame after saving a community from a pack of raiders, others are rumored to be the bastard offspring of a Deity with a mortal, and a certain few are perhaps just lucky enough to be wielding items of untold power. No matter the origin, Heroes are the stuff epics are born from... if they live long enough to see their tales through.

-Characters have the six traditional Ability Scores, which are fixed after character creation. Then there's Hit Points (possibly to be renamed) and Action Points which are both variable. Ability Scores thusly serve as what other editions have as Skills, Defenses, etc.
-Core resolution is rolling a d20 under your ability score. This replaces BAB, Skill Ranks, etc.
-There are no modifiers for easier/harder tasks, but you may spend AP to succeed at any task whose roll you have failed and a 'harder' task makes it so you have to spend more AP. You are heroes, after all, you can damn well do anything you put your mind to if you try hard enough.
-AP are a PC's lifeblood. They can be regained by doing things according to the PC's Alignment (d20 Modern style Alignment) aka not-Aspects.
-Powers are in, nearly all of them require the spending of AP, and depending on their category repeating their use in the same combat will either be impossible, suffer heavy penalties, or be actually free to pull off.
-Combat (whether it is physical, social or otherwise) has a Flow system which keeps track of how many rounds have passed. Flow is a measure of the rising tension in combat as people make mistakes, enemies seize each other's weaknesses, and moves get easier to read. As Flow goes higher some of your Powers grow stronger, others become weaker, and things generally change a lot.
-Central to a PC is their Power Source, it serves as a template which they can use to channel their AP in different ways. Arcane PCs can enhance their Powers metamagic style with extra AP, Divine PCs are at best when taking action in name of their alignment, to give a few examples.
-Races and Classes both provide a PC with a tree of Powers to take after each level up. Controller types are better at high Flow when they can get their doomsday spells just right, Strikers rely on low-Flow hit and run tactics, and so on.
-Feats are out, everything that actually requires rules is a Power and is active. If it is not a Power, you can roll an Ability Check for it.
-As for items, you are assumed to possess most kinds of mundane gear, with magical equipment being equivalent in rarity and usefulness to a Power, and acquired by the same means.
-NPCs come in three forms: Minions, Elites and Mythics. Minions are unnamed and have minimal statblocks, Elites are named characters and just like PCs complete with having names and tales about them and everything, while Mythics are monsters of legend with puzzle-like elements to them.

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