Monday, May 16, 2011

Other Mechanical Changes

With that core engine in place, I can begin looking at the rest of the Shadowitz system and see what needs adjusting. The answer is a whole hell of a lot.

Remove Methods
First of all, it's now gone to a roll over vs a roll under system, and Punk and Demon have become the core character attributes. Methods don't mix into that well, and so I think they've got to go. Just straight out gone. A character now has knacks and a single target number he's looking for on all dice, regardless of his approach.

New Dice Rules
Speaking of which, impairment dice need an overhaul too. If higher dice are better, and the target number is 5, what do we do about injuries. I still think changing the pool composition to keep the possibility of action alive but  less likely is a solid mechanic. So let's change the target number to 4, make d6 the base die, d10 the edge die, and d4 the impairment die.

1s glitch instead of 6s.

Finally, I'd like to shift the degree of success away from luck and into the realm of player choice. So I'm going to take the raise mechanic I used in 7th Sea and introduce it here. Any roll gives you basic success, regardless of the margin by which you beat the target threshold. If you want to achieve more, you need to raise.

Remove 1 die from your pool for each raise; it doesn't matter if it's a d6 or a d10, but you can't remove d4s to raise. You're stuck with them. If you succeed in your roll, you can get additional levels of performance based on the raises you made. In combat, this means raising is the only way to deal additional damage. An attack deals base damage + raises.

Fewer Aspects
In the original game, you started with 5 aspects. That's a lot, and they didn't get used much because there was a lot else going on. Now, you get 2 plus your demon. If you want more you can get more later, but start with 2 and learn to work them both.

Likewise, starting karma (which used to be called Edge) now starts at 2 points, not 5. A smaller pool means you're more likely to work those compels more often to earn more karma.

Shot Clock Revision
I've rejiggered the shot clock to give it multiple tracks. Now, your initiative score doesn't reduce the number of shots an action takes, but tells you which track you're on. Higher tracks have more spaces, meaning you still proceed around the clock more slowly, and thus get to act more often than slower opponents. This lets everyone use the same list of shot costs without the need to do any calculations that might foul things up or slow them down.

Knack List Revision
Resources is gone as a knack, since it's now based on your Worldliness score. The knack pyramid remains, but with the loss of methods, I'm wondering if making knacks more specific and increasing their number is a good idea. When making a few NPCs, I ran out of knacks to take a few times. Food for thought.

Contacts Overhaul
With Fixer gone, there needs to be some other way of making contacts important to the characters. Fixer was a neat idea, but it always bothered me that contacts were still only capable of doing the things characters could do already.

So now, every character gets 5 contact aspects. They can use these to build their contacts, giving them access to knacks (probably different ones than the character has himself), as well as certain other abilities like resources and position. These are part of the character sheet though, and a character can spend money and experience to increase his contacts just like he can himself. While the GM might play the contact when the character speaks to him, the player is responsible for the mechanics, advancing the contact, and making all the necessary rolls.

No comments:

Post a Comment