Making my own tabletop RPG

Discussion in 'Discussions' started by Kazuhiro, Nov 11, 2012.


Which class would you play?

  1. Channeler

  2. Shaper

  3. Gatherer

  1. Kazuhiro

    Kazuhiro Member

    Yeah, I haven't even put the already conceived sample feats in.

    I'll get that done, uh, eventually. Unless you actually want a sample feat. Though I think they're underpowered.
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  2. Kazuhiro

    Kazuhiro Member

    So, to-do:

    Work out Turbo's "booster pack" system because he seems to like it a lot

    Write Omni's Gatherer spells

    Work on the "drop system" for Gatherer spells or one of the other suggestions for filling Gatherers up

    Work on Omni's teleporting gatdens

    Get Turbo to think of a feat or decide upon one already suggested, because that potentially matters a lot

    Transcribe Shaper sample feats and do soul-searching on their power level The more Word 2s you have, the stronger it is to learn a Word 1, ditto for Word 2s when you have 4-5 Word 1s. And if BOTH Word 1 and Word 2 scale in power, we're talking multiplicative scaling. I am currently thinking that Word 2 will not have tiers, or it will have tiers that just get exotic instead of numerically nasty.

    Do some serious soul-searching about the idea of plants "maturing" into slightly different forms or being spliced into hybrids.

    Meditate upon priorities i.e. how much to grind out before a simple playtest

    @Kazeto: Feat to have a basic Gatherer attack, or feat to modify a spell and make it weaker, but it can be used every x turns for free.

    @Essence: D&D style forcing +1s into categories and making it so that multiple bonuses in the same category don't stack.

    @Vitellozo and pretty much everyone else: Support spells that call out other classes by name. Feels weird to me but I do have the whole idea of three classes encompassing everything. Classes are already going to have plenty of ability to put +1s on each other, but hm, that still feels a bit like "just doing your own thing," doesn't it?

    Thought: Forcing characters into MMO style roles. There is currently no drawback to being a Shaper who has the worryingly deadly Hammer attack, but also some powerful sniper attack that I haven't invented yet. Seems like this would homogenize characters. Actually, it looks like there are a lot of factors that would homogenize characters. Highly meaningful disadvantages on powerful abilities, like a Word 2 that seriously blows when it comes to melee combat, or a feat that lets Gatherers modify nice stuff onto their spells that are only good in melee combat might be good.

    Quick change: Because it matters all of a sudden: Holy Bless now does "Strike and Curse effects do nothing" rather than "and they can't cast."
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  3. Kazuhiro

    Kazuhiro Member

    Horrible, awful realization:

    Fire's Aid becomes incredibly broken if used by a character with a terrible Strength score.

    Aside from that, the system appears to make it so that your focus stat only makes a difference when you're slinging attack spells. One solution might be a lot of Shaper and Gatherer spells that fizzle out if you don't hit a target with an attack.

    Or I could just say "meh" and be okay with Shapers taking Word 2s that they'll be crappy at landing Strikes and Curses with.

    Suddenly I wonder how Channelers will be re: focus stats. I feel stupid for not realizing this before. Do I let Channelers play exclusively to their focus stats? Do I randomly generate half of their deck at character creation? Do I enforce how many spells they're allowed to have that are on the same focus stat?

    edit: idea for forcing people into roles: Go with considerably deadly spells (4-5 damage being moderately available to Gatherers) forcing people to spend resources on defense rolls and damage soaking. Then divide skills into 3 range categories: melee spells generally give good self-buffs; long range spells almost never do. Make most spells "full actions" so that standing within long range and outside medium range majorly sucks. Mitigate this effect with only certain spells having the ability to move and

    fuck it I refuse to balance that
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  4. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    I just noticed that if we're not using Counterspelling in this first round, Slash is kind of weak. Can we make it like a melee-range Bolt? (i.e. it deals +1 damage, but won't break my Stance) to make up for it?

    Nevermind. I realized just how nifty the whole "Change to Str/Qui" thing is. :)
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  5. Kazuhiro

    Kazuhiro Member

    Gatherer spells are coming together and I have settled on the system of Gatherers just finding weak spells like a WoW character finds vendor trash. My solution for now is that spells "refund" their energy sometimes in a while but not in the same form i.e. you find them on dead enemies or they appear in your bag if you use them for non-combat purposes. The definition of non-combat is questionable because non-combat spells will still roll against defenses, so we'll keep it subjective for now and see if an answer comes up.

    My throwaway idea for plants growing into other plants will run just fine but will be hell to create. I'm trying to think of a shortcut for "gatherers making custom spells." Maybe I'll cut this idea and stick with just amping up the power.

    Some of the Shaper word 2s had glaring (but specific, compartmentalized) balance issues. Good thing none of them are on what Essence has, except that one thing that I already decided what to do about.

    Essence has access to a strong Strike that's probably never going to miss, a very major turtling move, and the very rare ability to back up a fellow melee buddy. His special word is a weak debuff on all enemies, or the same moderate-good attack to all enemies. In my eyes that is nowhere near enough offensive options if he's forbidden from spamming Fire Slash and he already picked two words that mean nothing to non-combat. I had been thinking about "can't use the same spell for a while" before Kazeto even though of it and yes it is the best solution.

    That is my fault for making so many words meaningless to non-combat. On the other hoof, "forcing players into roles."

    Essence, take another Word 1. Having very, very limited Word 2s is looking like the way to go. Let's say you get a Word 2 once in a while for leveling up, and getting them with feats is very hard or nonexistent.

    I am still going to stick with only very simple Shaper feats for now. Again I'll transcribe them soon; I've been distracted with things like writing ponyfic and re-discovering Improbable Island.

    Shaper feats in case you're okay with choosing before they're well and truly finished:
    +learn a new Word 1
    +learn a new special word
    +double cast for a special word
    +Cast a special word whenever you feel like it. After THAT its cooldown starts.

    I don't fucking know what to do with Channelers. I decided that we can use something similar to Turbo's idea because 1) randomness is randomness and it's not so different from the original ideas, and 2) some of the original ideas sucked so we might as well pick something and try.

    I hate the idea of Channeler spells being in tiers.

    If all channeler spells are big-ish but nowhere near an amped-up Gatherer spell, getting the perfect spell still feels like a super spell because you were praying for it so hard. Turbo's system has you using only one deck for everything, with your feats letting you sideboard in what you need on the fly. This means jacks of all trades are going to get screwed all the time which in my eyes is okay. I think I will have a comprehensive list of first tier spells (one or two highly specific spells for whatever situations occur to me while writing) and have no restrictions at all on what's in your deck.

    With the powerup concept we have feats that increase your power but also your randomness. Then we have feats that reduce your randomness. Cool. That'll do for now.

    Sample feats:
    +give up your draw/cast to sideboard x cards
    +draw 2 cards, can't cast
    +draw 3, cast 1
    +topdeck and get a powerup on it
    +discard a card chosen at random, get a powerup on your cast
    +customize your powerup deck

    I... really thought I was closer to "ready" than this. Sorry. :/

    Essence and Turbo and everyone else already thinking about this: Universal Feats will be very good. Here hey are, and like Shaper feats they aren't likely to change much.

    +Get +1 on non-spell rolls with one stat
    +Get a permanent +1 to a defense
    +Learn a Universal Spell, like Outrageous Lie or Grapple or Read Minds. These represent either specifically trained techniques magic/borderline magic that there's no way you should be able to do with mundane stats.

    Would it be okay to have Turbo as Gatherer and Kazeto as Channeler? Not just because Kazeto isn't interested in Gatherer but also because Turbo is making me feel a direction for a "control group" Gatherer.

    I am so not looking forward to working on Channeler.
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  6. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    Updated my character sheet. New stats, spell list.

    [edit] -- and then I saw the post above. Will add a new Word 1 later tonight.
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  7. Kazuhiro

    Kazuhiro Member

    The big change to Holy isn't transcribed yet. No longer keeps you from casting, makes your Curse and Strike effects do nothing. Being that Shapers likely won't have anything to do except cast, that effect should probably never exist ever.

    EDIT: And I want to fix Fire Aid big time because I knew that was going to happen before I knew you were going to have the Heal spell. Am thinking about it. I think it will target the wearer's lowest Defense or something because obviously the randomness is the whole idea.
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  8. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    I'm totally taking Hammer.
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  9. Kazuhiro

    Kazuhiro Member

    Oh yes. This is without a doubt be single spell that wants playtesting. Also it'll be hilarious if/when you abuse it super hard. The main problem is inherent to multiplicative effects, always and forever. A bigger advantage than disadvantage (which Fire Strike has, tremendously) has a bigger gap when it gets multiplied, and because I *intend* to have multiplicative Word 1s, I can't be doing the opposite (bigger disadvantage than advantage).

    Holy is the best-designed handling of multiplicative effects that I wrote, I think. Doubling a debuff is meaningless half the time because depending on other factors a single -1 might turn a difference of 2 into a difference of 3 which is pretty much GG. Doubling a +1 on the other hand is just not fair.

    Wait, am I wrong about that? But anyway we'll test it, because currently the design is: Defense is underpowered, so defense buffs are much more available, so making someone not die is possible but requires resources.

    Let's add a nerf to Fire Hammer while we're here. Fire Strike's +1 doesn't stack with any effect that's native to the spell. Currently this... wait, ouch. This nerfs Hammer more than I thought it would, but I have a feeling that's actually okay because +1 matters anyway. This was a snap decision but it's surely better than the un-fixed version.

    Some effects don't work multiplicatively (which is fine) or become STUPIDLY HUGE REALLY FAST which needs fixed. With how Decay and Fire look, I may never put a triple effect on any non-super spell.
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  10. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    So Fire Hammer only nets me +1 to the attack, but still does 6 damage to them and 2 to me? Does Holy Hammer still give the enemy -2 to hit?

    I can handle that. If I Holy Heal myself, no one damages me, and then next turn I use Fire Slash, does Holy Heal negate the damage from Fire Slash?
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  11. Kazuhiro

    Kazuhiro Member

    And here we have hit the first example of Word 2 effects not being worded, or being outdated designs ALREADY even in the span of me deciding the first draft, or in this case not even being decided upon yet.

    There isn't an answer to this yet because your question is basically "Does Holy Blessing's trick also negate things that punish me or auto-counter me?" I hope I don't forget to answer this. This is one of the reasons the rubber duck thing is good.

    One last thing: Looking at what happens when you get Holy Bless and Holy Aid at the same time makes me realize what happens when one Word 2 is full of similar effects. Two options--either I'm not okay with this, or Gatherers get to do the same thing.

    One last LAST thing: You are also asking "Do Blessings affect me on the next turn that they

    the fuck am I talking about

    YES you are protected against punish and auto-counter effects BECAUSE WHAT IN CELESTIA'S NAME am I doing making it so that a buff "in the next round only" or "with a duration of 1" doesn't give you the bonus if you cast it on yourself? I don't know if this is the correct design, but because this is consistent with the decision that obviously has to be, this is how it'll work.
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  12. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    yeah, my biggest problem with the Word designs right now is that some of them seem to imply ongoing effects (Aura, for example), but none of them except Stance actually have listed durations -- and Stance seems short to me. 3-4 turns would be more reasonable; asking them to spend 1/3 of their combat turns just renewing their stances seems...harsh.
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  13. Kazuhiro

    Kazuhiro Member

    There is no such thing as a small buff; a duration of 3 means 3 spells cast with a buff on. Potentially crazy.

    ... also another argument to severely hamstring stacking bonuses. I tried to make non-native +1s highly specific, but I have a horrible feeling that that isn't what happened.

    Satisfied with: Fire being straight bad at some things and Holy being "not always meaningful" for some things.

    Realization: "Defense buffing being available due to base defense sucking" means defense DEbuffs should not be available. I do not think that giving all characters a base of 1, on defense plus their average, is the right decision. Having defense be an in-combat decision makes sense to me.
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  14. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    Hmm...point well made.

    So, next question: is my character actually that hamstrung without Hammer, then?

    Round 1: Fire Stance
    Round 2: Holy Slash
    Round 3: Fire Slash
    Round 4: Holy Aid, probably on myself after wading into combat and Fire Slashing.

    ...start over.

    Just thinking out loud.
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  15. Kazuhiro

    Kazuhiro Member

    No you're not, because nothing with a Fire Strike on it will ever be bad ever. What you just described is also godly at fighting single targets.

    Your character doesn't scare me TOO much (apart from how excited I am to playtest the stupidity of Fire Hammer) because your special word has no utility. You can AoE Fire Hammer with it, but you can't AoE Holy Heal with it.

    Oh I get it. I'm dumb, forgetting that you took Heal as well as Stance and thus being worried about you not having options.

    When you didn't have Hammer, you were making a sacrifice, you understand--your Fire Slash is not all that available and much of your power is from Fire Stance. Whatever. Let's have you play this way because having the number of options you have will be available to starting characters (and I imagine it will be the case a lot).

    You will not be happy having -1 Body while standing in a Fire Ward. Better stack that with an "ignore 1 damage" effect. 'course, the horrifying multiplicative fuckery that Fire Stance has with itself is already... not worrying so much as interesting.

    ... These problems aren't going to happen as often with the other two classes, are they?


    Now: The thought is that an amped Gatherer spell or the perfect-for-the-situation Channeler spell will have around the same scariness as Fire Stance (and Fire Stance has a drawback that looks like it might matter.) I do not think that you should deal increased damage to yourself with punish effects (Fire Strike) while standing in a Fire Ward, but on second thought, that actually is a nice nerf to Fire Strike in particular because the additive and not multiplicate change evens things out. Not going with it for now.

    Yet another thought that hit me while writing this: Self-damage as a drawback, even though it's unresistable, is no big deal when healing is as available as it is. Oh that's worrying. This might mean that words with reliable heal effects should suck at most everything else.

    ... Fire Aid anti-synergizes with Fire Ward hard. I don't think something should anti-synergize with itself because there is every chance that Aid and Ward will be on the same effect and it might already be the case, I can't remember. The anti-synergy on Ward + Strike is fun (again, not going with it for now) but this one's brutal. Maybe let Fire punish itself super hard in these situations after all i.e. I just changed my mind about something in the span of a single post because if you're worried about fire's extremeness (which is by design) you can just be careful with Fire effects.

    Plus, again, self-damage easily mitigated. That fact means I blew it big time on designing Fire Strike. But I said repeatedly in this post that I'm willing to give it a chance. Gatherers will be using turns and resources if they mitigate your weaknesses, Channelers won't always be able to, and you will be using turns on it (which... I think turns are precious to you. Maybe if I designed you around buffs NO BAD KAZU KEEP IT SIMPLE)

    THIS ISN'T EVEN THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF WHAT I HAVEN'T DONE. This GAME isn't even the most important thing for me to be doing. WHAT AM I DOING HERE. I SAID I WAS LEAVING 5 POSTS AGO.
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  16. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    Maybe I'm confused, but I took Judgement as my special word.

    "Also Strike the enemy and one of their defenses of your choice plus one of their attributes of your choice is reduced by 1 for 2 rounds."

    There's no AoE anything there -- but it means Fire Hammer of Judgement rains down 9 damage (3 to me), +1 on the attack, plus -1 to their defense and -1 to probably another defensive stat to see if I can get their defense to round down again. Or I can whomp them with a Holy Hammer for 3 damage and -3 to their attack(s) next round in addition to the -1.5 defense for 2 rounds -- that's fairly crippling. Again, supreme single-combat monster here. :)

    Just thinking out loud re: non-combat vs. combat utility. If D&D 3.X taught us anything, it's that character with no non-combat utility suck to play unless the game is mostly combat. If D&D 4.X taught us anything, it's that non-combat utility that's only flavor or is largely hand-waved makes the game highly dependent on GM trust, and crappy GMs can ruin everything in a hurry.

    I suggest something radical: completely divorce combat spell mechanics from non-combat spell mechanics. Don't have non-combat spells in a Channeler's combat deck. Don't let Shapers use non-combat words in a fight or vice versa. I have no idea what to do with Gatherers in this respect. But if you give each class a defined role in-combat and out-of-combat, you make sure that every player has a moment to shine. Don't make a 3.X Fighter or a 4.x Anything.

    In terms of Shapers, create a few out-of-combat words (Create, Scuplt, Destroy?) that have environmental effects, but take too long to cast to be meaningfully used in combat (like 12 rounds or something), and make them choose 3 Combat Words and 1 Noncombat Word. Or something.
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  17. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    Also, to keep up my motif, I'm probably taking my feat as Universal Spell: Unarmed Attack. Depending on how that looks, I might actually swap out Slash for some other Word 1.
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  18. Kazuhiro

    Kazuhiro Member

    I edited this post because I went on a train of thought that made a big oversight. The purpose of Slash and Kick are to be a weak attack that gives characters like you access to Strike effects that you'd normally never successfully hit with. So they don't overlap as much. Your Fire Slash serves an identical purpose to casting boot-to-the-head. It's Holy Slash that matters. As such, it's okay for Unarmed Attack to have power that you might want more than an attack that does nothing but Strike.

    Especially because you spent a feat on it. Cool. Duck philosophy wins again.

    I'll merge it with Grapple. As far as I can tell, actual fighting skill almost universally involves submission holds and takedowns. I don't know what grappling will do yet--I intended it to be mostly fluffy--but I think it will apply penalties on casting along the lines of the way you have a chance of losing your spell if you decide not to Cast Defensively, resulting in someone stabbing you in the face while you're casting a spell that's a full round action.

    I missed a Universal Feat. +3 hit points.

    With this I THINK the book is closed on Essence. Specific words have been addressed and his feat is looking good. Don't know if his 4 starting spells should be 3 with a feat or not and likely won't find out from playtesting. He currently stinks at deploying Wards and has no ability to Curse, and he makes sacrifices when he takes a support role. Were he to lose one of his spells he'd be short a major tool--even dropping the weak Slash would make him a bit weaker at delivering Holy Strikes and would limit him to Unarmed Strike and Hammer, and he spent a feat on that, and Hammer has an inherent drawback independent of the Strike effects. Fire Stance dishes out an unreal amount of carnage which is in a lot of ways better than an attack, but it has a considerably more serious drawback.

    Significantly, if we go for a flat cooldown of 3 on all Shaper spells, then you'd have to find some kind of use for a very high percentage of your spells, and what does that mean to non-combat Word 2s? How about characters who lack Fire Stance's ability to deal damage with a normally defensive components?

    We will take Essence's 4 starting Word 1s as standard for now. It's 8 spells, only a couple of which are worryingly amazing. At his current power level he has nothing on a Gatherer. Except the ability to punch their faces off with imbalance comparable to a low level Barbarian in melee range with a Wizard of the same level, but whatever.

    There are more words that, by design, are like Fire Bless in they do "opposite day" stuff. Considering splitting Bless into two different words, and each word having a defensive and an offensive buff i.e. "Shield" and "Strength." There will still be Shields that are offensive and Strengths that are defensive, of course--but this will put the hurt on strategies like "wow, Fire lets me have a major attack option in every round right from character creation."

    Like so many other things--a question for testing.
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  19. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    I'm afraid I understand none of that.
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  20. Kazuhiro

    Kazuhiro Member

    Slash is as basic as it is possible to be without doing weird things to it. It is not meant to be impressive--as such, it's okay for you to want to use Unarmed Attack instead of Slash, especially because you spent a feat on Unarmed Attack. Slash still has an appeal even if it sucks in that sense: you could theoretically deliver the effect of a Presence Strike with it. There will be a Curse equivalent to Slash--an attack that lets you sub in your core stat in order to deliver a weak Curse effect on a word that you normally suck with.

    Let me say that in an organized way.

    Slash is a weak attack, because it is part of what will be a series of skills that make you happier about Word 2s that you normally couldn't land Curses or Strikes with. A feature that costs a whole feat and does a boring attack is allowed to be better than Slash.

    Because said boring attack has the chance of getting obsoleted and feats shouldn't be obsoleted, it also has a feature that makes sense for noncombat and will also probably not be obsoleted in combat.
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