'Barbarism is the natural state of mankind,' the borderer said, still staring somberly at the Cimmerian. 'Civilization is unnatural. It is a whim of circumstance. And barbarism must always ultimately triumph.'

-Robert E. Howard
Beyond The Black River

Corrupt Cliffs

Corrupt Cliffs
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Showing posts with label Rules. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rules. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Conan 2d20 RPG Overview: Protection.

In our last installment we talked about damage, today I want to talk briefly about protection from damage. In other systems, like D&D, characters, NPCs & monsters all have a designated armor class we roll against to determine if the hit is successful and damage is applied. This AC is generally derived from armor, shields, dexterity and skills.

As we saw in Conan 2d20, hitting an opponent is either a skill test or a struggle, armor is not part of that equation. In Conan 2d20 we have several types of protection, but all work more or less in the same way. As you may have guessed we broadly have two forms of protection; physical and mental. Each type of protection consists of two basic types, fixed and variable. Whether these are fixed or variable, mental or physical they are all collectively known as "Soak".

ArmorStatic value. Reduces physical stress damage by it's value.
CoverVariable value. Reduces physical stress damage by a value rolled on combat dice.
CourageStatic value. Reduces mental stress damage by it's value.
MoraleVariable value. Reduces mental stress damage by a value rolled on combat dice.

The amount of damage armor protects against can be reduced by various things, such as momentum spends and piercing effects, or if the protection is variable, it is possible to roll no protection. Lets take a quick look at a spear vs chain armor & a shield.

For example,
SPEAR 4cd, Piercing 1 vs. Heavy Armor soak 3 & Shield shield2.
We are assuming the spearman has successfully hit the armored combatant and we are now rolling damage.
The spearmen rolls his 4 combat dice and scores: 3 damage and scores a total effect of 2 piercing.
The target has a shield with a rating of 2 and so gets to roll 2 dice and add them to his total soak, this brings his total soak to 4.
The soak of 4 is reduced to 2, due to the spears piercing effects meaning the spear scores 1 point of damage (3 damage - 2 soak = 1 damage)

If you are interested in checking out the Conan system why not head over to DriveThruRPG and pick up a copy of either the Conan 2d20 core book or the Conan 2d20 quickstart pdf?

Monday, April 30, 2018

Conan 2d20 RPG Overview: Damage.

Many systems use a simple life counter to track how much life a character has. The most famous of these is of course Dungeons & Dragons and hit points. As your character gains experience and levels your Hit Point total gets larger. On it's surface it's simple, but what it represents is an abstraction. Your character can't actually take 100s of sword blows now, they are just more experienced in combat and their hit points represent how long they can stand in battle; stamina, avoiding blows. etc.

It is a common and popular way of tracking a characters life in combat. It is NOT what Conan 2d20 uses.
Broadly Conan 2d20 breaks damage into Mental and Physical, and then each of those into STRESS and HARM.
  • STRESS: This is determined by your characters physical attributes. Characters who are strong and trained in Resistance will have more physical stress than a weaker character. Stress represents getting tires, scrapes and small cuts in battle. It is generally refilled after a short rest.
  • HARM: ALL characters can suffer 4 harms before becoming incapacitated. A fifth wound results in death. These are actual damage. Taking physical damage increases difficulty in doing physical tasks. Likewise mental harm increase the difficulty of mental skills tests.
Ok, I am sure you are all asking, how does this all work? In it's simplest form, Stress works like HP, once they are at zero you start taking a wound. In short anytime your stress is reduced to zero or you take damage while it's at zero, you take a harm.

There is one exception to this. If you can inflict 5 points of stress in a single hit, not only does it reduce the targets stress by your damage, you also inflict a wound.

For example,
Round 1: Conal has 12 points of vigor (physical stress), and take 4 points of damage. He would have his vigor reduced to 8, but take no wounds (physical harms).
Round 2: Conal then takes another 5 points of vigor damage. His vigor is further reduced to 3, BUT he also received 5 points of stress in a single round and suffers a wound as well.
Round 3: Finally Conal receives 6 points of vigor damage. His vigor is reduced to 0 and he suffers a wound. He ALSO suffers a wound for receiving 5 or more points of stress in a single round. This blow causes 2 wounds, bringing his wound total to 3.

As characters are damaged and begin to suffer wounds they will find it becomes a quick downward spiral. If they were fighting in the dark, and a standard blow or parry was D2, physical harm quickly turns that to D3 or D4 in the space of a few turns. Things can go badly for characters VERY quickly in this system.

In up coming posts we will talk about the types of bad guys and their life expectancy.

If you are interested in checking out the Conan system why not head over to DriveThruRPG and pick up a copy of either the Conan 2d20 core book or the Conan 2d20 quickstart pdf?

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Conan 2d20 RPG Overview: The Struggle: Momentum, Not success.

Previous articles in this series: It's time to look at "The Struggle" at it's most basic this is an opposed roll. This is the mechanic we use when two entities are in direct competition with each other; Running a race, arm wrestling, tests of persuasion, as well as a myriad of uses in combat.

This mechanic is simple. I repeat, this mechanic is simple and I will do my best to not overcomplicate it. As I said. It is an opposed roll, or in other words, an opposed skill test.

So how does it work? Both entities roll their skill test and determine how much momentum each of them generated.
The entity that has the most momentum wins the struggle.

In the case of ties, the tie goes to the player, but the GM can spend a point of doom to win it in favor of the NPC or Monster. That's it in a nutshell.

There is one final mechanic that is important to the struggle. The winner has their momentum reduced by the momentum generated by the loser. It is possible for a player to win a struggle and end up with zero momentum. This means that losing a struggle, but succeeding very well at your skill test will result in your opponent's success being less successful

For example: Less Effective Success,
Scenario 1: Conal attacks a skeleton! ((Success 4 points of momentum))
Now Conal has 4 points he can use to add penetration, extra damagem re-roll dice, strike again etc.
Scenario 2 : Conal attacks a skeleton ((Success 4 points of momentum)), but the skeleton parries! ((Success, 3 points of momentum. Struggle Winner: Conal, remaining momentm 4-3 =1))
Now Conal only has 1 point of momentum, although his attack is successful it is FAR less effective.

One of the most common struggles you will come across in Conan 2d20 is the attack/defense dynamic, so we will use that as another basic example.

For example: Simple Struggle,
Conal strides forward, confident in his fighting prowess, the gladiator he faces is equally confident in his superiority. With a cry Conal strikes down at the Gladiator ((Success: 2 points of momentum)) who raises his shield and deflects the blow with ease. ((Success: 3 points of momentum. Struggle Winner: Gladiator, remaining momentum 3-2 = 1))

It is important to remember this test is a comparison of generated momentum, NOT SUCCESSES!, and because of this each side of the struggle might have different difficulties for their skill tests.

For example: Momentum not successes,
Conal creeps through the dark crypt, the only light comes from his torch. Ahead he hears the rattle of bones and soon an undead horror emerges out of the gloom. Conal casts his torch aside as he draws sword and shield to defend himself from the fiend. The only noise from the skeleton is a slight rattle as the ancient spear it carries is leveled towards Conal. Conal springs forward swinging to his sword to move past the spear of the skeleton ((D3 attack, 3 successes, 0 momentum)), with the click of bones the skeleton easily fends aside the misaimed attack in the darkness ((D1 Parry, 2 successes, 1 momentum. Struggle Winner: Skeleton, remaining momentum 1-0 = 1))

The Struggle gives us a mechanic to directly test two entities against each other, with varying skill levels and varying levels of success. The ability to opposed the test, lose it, but still have your efforts affect the outcome is a cool idea. The Struggle is pretty quick way to handles this. As always drop me a comment and let me know what you think!

If you are interested in checking out the Conan system why not head over to DriveThruRPG and pick up a copy of either the Conan 2d20 core book or the Conan 2d20 quickstart pdf?

Friday, April 20, 2018



We are going to steer away from Conan for a minute and give a quick shout out to Runehammer Games! When I came back to gaming a few short years ago there was a group of youtube channels devoted to RPGs. I liked quite a few of those channels but one of the channels I came across and started following was Drunkens & Dragons(now Runehammer), it spoke to me at a slightly different level.

The presenter was engaging and didn't take himself too seriously, most of all he looked like he was having a BLAST. He had videos on crafting, but as well, he had videos on theory and ways to make your game more fun. Although he played D&D he obviously wasn't tied to the system.

As I and others watched we got to know more about Hankerin' Ferinale. He did a few drawing streams, he talked about getting people to draw. He was and IS always encouraging and giving back to the community through his YouTube channel and his podcast. He talked about quick props drawn on index cards. Something I still use to this day when I need to hand my players an object. Sharpies and Index cards are awesome. This idea led to his first set of pre-drawn index cards that can be used to generate story ideas, or as location representations or as general props. (Hey Hankerin' we could use some cards for some sort of pulpy swords on mars game......)

And then finally he released his version of an RPG. His codified thoughts on playing a fun game. ICRPG was here officially.

ICRPG is light on rules and heavy on fun. There is an active google+ group as well as many many online games showing the mechanics of how the system works, as well as a quickstart guide available for FREE! I admit I have little time to game and it's been chiefly focused on 2d20, and haven't had time to do more than read the rules, which I like. Even if you never played it the advice in the book makes it worth the price alone.

He has continued to work on and expand ICRPG, Volume 2 and Volume 3 of index cards have been released. VTT assets have been added to the ICRPG core pack. He has released ICRPG Worlds which details three settings: Sci-Fi(Warp Shell), Fantasy(Alfheim) and a Weird West(Ghost Mountain). Just recently he even released a system agnostic set of characters with complete art called Heroes of the Hammer.

And now he has released ICRPG 2E. I haven't even had a chance to look through this book yet, but I wanted to post something about this awesome independent creator. Today we drink to your continued success!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Conan 2d20 RPG Overview: Doom & Momentum.

In parts 1 and 2 we discussed skill checks and the general idea behind how task difficulties are defined. Today's concept is the next part of that skill check system. Right now we know we are rolling 2d20 and trying to get below a target to gain successes. We also know that the difficulty can go as high as 5, which is impossible to achieve on a 2d20 roll. So what gives? How do we get more successes?

In a lot of games you succeed or fail. For example in a basic d20 system you are rolling a single d20 and adding a bonus and trying to beat a task's difficulty check. Roll too low and you fail, roll equal to or over that number and you succeed, nice and simple. In this example Conal has +3 in his strength roll and is facing a metal gate he needs to lift. The GM decides it's not overly heavy and so says the DC for this task is 13. Conal rolls an 18, and with his bonus scores a 21! Awesome. Conal lifts the gate! Any roll from 10+ achieves the desired result.

This is where the Conan 2d20 system differs. In the above example Conal, needs to lift the gate, and the GM says it's a difficulty 1(D1) task. Conal gets lucky and rolls 4 successes, awesome! Conal easily lifts the gate, BUT Conal also gains momentum, a measure of how well Conal and his party have been succeeding and how well things are going their way! If Conal had rolled a single success, he still lifts the gate, but he would gain no momentum.

Players can use this momentum to their advantage; learning more on knowledge tests, doing more damage, re-rolling dice, taking a second action or, as you might have guessed, rolling additional dice. It can also be stored temporarily and other members can capitalize on the success of each other. The Conan 2d20 Core Book has an outline of suggested momentum spends, but being imaginative and coming up with additional spends is encouraged!

As things rise, they fall. As heroes are heroic, villains are villainous! On the GM side of the equation we see the same measure of things going well for the bad guys. As players roll 2d20+ to determine if their heroes are successful, so does the GM roll 2d20+ to see if the monsters and NPCs are successful. Like the players, rolling more successes than they need results in momentum which they can use or store. They don't store this unused momentum in a momentum pool, instead it becomes "DOOM", essentially momentum working against the players.

One of the interesting things about Conan 2d20 is the idea that a player can almost always have their heroes succeed at all but the most difficult tasks. Players have the option of allowing their heroes to be larger than life whenever they wish, even if things aren't going their way at this exact moment. Most momentum spends can be purchased by paying the GM Doom. The players wishing for their hero to be heroic can do so, at the cost of things potentially going poorer for them down the line. Think of it as a simple karma system.

I will make a quick note here that some people consider this system to be completely meta, that it is outside of the experience of the characters. To that I would say that this system directly measure the overall feeling of dread or confidence experienced by the characters in the world. All things we wish to measure in an RPG are given a metric. This is no different. This system is a measure of things going well or poorly. Capitalizing on successes or being hindered by failures. It is a measure of characters potentially trying harder in more difficult situations. It is a measure of something that is perhaps intangible, but it is still a measure of something the characters experience.

So now we have, not only, a way for our heroes to complete tasks, but a way to measure how much success they have achieved beyond the simple pass/fail concept. We also have a way for the heroics of the story to build towards a, truly action packed, pulp worthy climax.

On the next installment of this overview we are going to take a look at what happens during conflict as we take a look at The Struggle!

If you are interested in checking out the Conan system why not head over to DriveThruRPG and pick up a copy of either the Conan 2d20 core book or the Conan 2d20 quickstart pdf?

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Quickly! To Barsoom!

Today Modiphius released the quickstart rules for John Carter. We get our first taste of the system.

I wanted to jot down what I see as the major differences between Conan 2d20,as I am most familiar with this system, and the mechanics in the John Carter game.

The system is the same as Conan in this.
2d20+up to 3 bonus d20s
combat dice are calculated the same, 1,2,0,0,effect,effect.

Accomplishing Tasks
The Same
Roll 2d20, buy up to 3 extras.
Roll vs 2 numbers, get under the TN = 1 success, get under the lower value = 2 successes
Opposed tests work the same. Each side rolls, if both succeed, the side with the most momentum wins.
The Differences
Skills vs attributes
Conan uses Attributes+Skills. Skills have an Expertise and a focus and these plus the attribute provide the TN and Focus to roll against. Example: Melee attack: Agility=9, Melee Ex=4, Fc=4. Melee TN=13, Fc4.
John Carter uses attributes. Each test utilizes two of the attributes. Daring+Might for example. The sum of these is the TN and the lowest of these is the target to gain a second success. Example. Daring=5, Might=6. Daring+Might test: TN=11, FC=5

Momentum, etc.
The Same
You gain one momentum for every point above your target difficulty. Task is Difficulty 2, roll 3 successes, momentum = 1
You lose one momentum at the end of each scene
You can spend momentum for various effects
The Differences
No group pool. Players are allowed to save momentum past their turn, but it is stored in a momentum pool with a maximum equal to the players lowest attribute. Players may contribute to another players momentum pool, but it can't exceed it's maximum. Doom becomes Threat
Fortune becomes Luck

The Same
The world is broken into zone vs measuring squares. Distances are therefore abstractions.
The Differences
New names for the zones
Immediate - Within arms length. (Melee)
Near - not next to, but easily reachable. (Same zone)
Away - areas apart from others either due to distance or obstacles. (Adjacent zone)
Far - Visible range (2 zones over)
Too Far - Out of visible range, beyond the ability to engage without special tech.

Action Phases
The Same
Broken into rounds and turns. Each round is composed of player turns.
Players go first in initiative. GM can interrupt for the cost of 1 threat.
The Differences
Phases are simplified. Movement, Conflict, spoken.
Movement allows moving to any point within away. Moving further costs a momentum..
Conflict actions. Generally things that require tests.
Spoken actions. Simple quips and spoken commands.
Free actions. Not listed in the quickstart, but references are made to it.

The Same
Essentially broken into stress and harm. Harms are renamed as afflictions.
Having an affliction causes a penalty on the appropriate stat.
Reducing stress to 0 = 1 affliction.
Causing 5+ points of stress in a single attack = 1 affliction.
The Differences
One additional damage category. Confusion. It's Affliction is called "Madness"
When characters take damage they look at the two attributes used in their defend reaction and choose which stress track to take the damage on. Ex. A character parries with "Cunning" and "Daring", this brings the "Confusion" and "Injury" stress tracks into play and either can take the damage.
Blacking out instead of death at 5 wounds.
Optional note that an affliction can be caused at EACH 5 stress if the GM desires

What other differences have you noticed in the rules between the various 2d20 systems and this "lite" offering? Drop me a comment below and let me know!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

My Advent on Mars

Like Conan, I came to Barsoom later in my life.  These early works of fiction eluded me.  I had certainly heard of Conan, but I head read none of the comics and NONE of Howard's writing till about 7 years ago.  I considered myself a fan of the character and the movie. 

Barsoom was different.  I have certainly heard of Tarzan, but not of Barsoom.  Maybe I saw the occasional comic cover here and there and didn't know what it was.  When they decided to make a movie, I looked into it more.  I became excited for the movie.  I *ENJOYED* the movie.  Did it have an amazing plot?  No.  Did it have a fun plot?  Sure!  Earth man on new world rescues the Princess and finds love.  What did it have?

Action.  Adventure.  Visuals.

This movie for me is visually stunning, and so the world created by ERB captured my imagination.  Hordes of inhuman, tribal, green Martians with 6 limbs doing battle against the Red human men of Barsoom.  A dying world of violence and conflict.  A world where airships glide across the skies like our ships on the ocean.  The movie showed me all of this and more. 

After the movie I immediately sought out and read the first three of ERBs books set on Barsoom.   They are of course different than the movie.  It seems obvious the writers were going for a more connected set of books starting from day 1.  They had an advantage over ERB in this respect.  They had all 3 books. 

So now I find myself a fan of John Carter of Mars.  The world captures my imagination.

I was delighted to learn Modiphius was planning a series of games centered around John Carter of Mars and I looked forward to the launch of the Kickstarter for the RPG.  The system is based around the same system as their Conan 2d20 lineup, which I am familiar with having played it for the last year and participated in the various forums for a longer time.

So come!  Join me on Barsoom and save YOUR Princess!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

John Carter of Mars: Adventures on a Dying World

"Instantly the scene changed as by magic; the foremost vessel swung broadside toward us, and bringing her guns into play returned our fire, at the same time moving parallel to our front for a short distance and then turning back with the evident intention of completing a great circle which would bring her up to position once more opposite our firing line; the other vessels followed in her wake, each one opening upon us as she swung into position. Our own fire never diminished, and I doubt if twenty-five per cent of our shots went wild. It had never been given me to see such deadly accuracy of aim, and it seemed as though a little figure on one of the craft dropped at the explosion of each bullet, while the banners and upper works dissolved in spurts of flame as the irresistible projectiles of our warriors mowed through them. "
-Edgar Rice Burroughs, A Princess of Mars

Modiphius is bringing another piece of classic pulp fiction to the tabletop.  This time we visit the dying world of Barsoom with it's Red and Green men.  With the constant war between peoples.  With it's Airships and hordes of Tharks.  With it's mighty cities like Helium and Zodanga.

It is currently LIVE! on Kickstarter right now!  It has more than met it's desired goal and is cruising through stretch goals.

The game uses a skill-less based 2d20lite system.  Instead of skills you will combine 2 attributes to determine the outcome of your action.  If you desire to run into melee combat with the Thark about to kill your lover, your GM will probably tell you to roll against your attributes of Daring and Might.  Daring deals with movement and Might physical combat.

Check out the cool character sheet!

I've not seen the whole system, but what I have seen I find exceptionally interesting with a lot of potential to increase narrative story telling.  I look forward to the quickstart rules arriving soon!

If you want to get in early on the community stop by the google+ group, it currently only has 14 members!

Check back often here and on youtube for updates as the kickstarter progresses and we get a chance to play the quickstart rules!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Conan 2d20 NPC Skill Map.

I was recently watching some guys playing their first Conan 2d20. The prologue section they play involves them running players using NPC stat blocks. During this time the GM would ask them to make skill checks and they would be confused as to what was what and what went where.

The NPC stat blocks, you see, list the basic attributes as normal, but then list 7 sets of expertise such as Combat, Movement etc. These are each generalized sets of Expertise and Focus for the various skills.

For example an NPC might have Agility: 9 and a Coordination: 8 listed in their attributes, and an Combat of 1 listed in their Expertise block. In order for the NPC to roll a melee attack they add the 9 from agility, where the melee skill is, and the 1 from the Combat to get a TN of 10 and a focus of 1. Likewise a ranged attack skill lives under coordination so we need to add the coordination to the combat skill to get our TN of 9 with a focus of 1.

For basic skills like Melee and Parry you get to know them pretty well and quickly, but for some of the others it can be a bit of a pain and for the first time player, it's quite the learning curve. After 11 games and constant participation on the forums it still drives me crazy.

The following 3x5 card maps these Expertise blocks to the Skills, which are then annotated with the ability score.

Need to make a survival check for the NPC? Survival belongs to the NPC fortitude Expertise block and uses awareness as an attribute.

I hope this is a helpful tool for everyone!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Conan 2d20: Thoughts on Zone Representation with Miniatures.

For those of you not familiar with the Conan 2d20 system, it uses an abstract concept of location. It uses no grids but instead action takes place within a zone of indeterminate size. A free action will allow a character or creature to move within a zone, ie move to a place where they can strike an opponent. A Minor action will allow movement to an adjacent zone and a standard action to sprint two zones.

If you have played the board game by Monolith you will have an idea of zones. In the board game Monolith has drawn the zones on the board and denoted a central point that is used within that rule system. If you are using a hand drawn map or a battlemap you could also do this.

However if you are using miniatures and props not having a grid or even measuring movement you have a potential problem, you don't necessarily want to place a zone on a modular piece of scenery, as it might change. Zones are generally defined by a piece of terrain, like a fountain, a stack of boxes, middle of a bridge, etc. What happens if you have a large area that is generally featureless? Do we call that area one single zone? You certainly could, but perhaps, despite it being barren you want it to represent distance and you don't want your heroes merely skipping across it?

I am going to suggest zone markers for this. These are going to be like the central white dots I mentioned above, and are only needed in zones that don't have an easily definable area.

A simple cavern with a well. 
Three zones are easily defined. 1: The Entrance, 2: The Well and 3: The Exit.

The above example is easy and you will often have areas like this that are easy to define. Lets take a look at a barren plateau with an entrance and an exit with some space between the two.

An empty plateau with more than three zones? 
How do we define the extra 4 zones we want on this barren surface?

The simple answer is to make them less barren. I am going to suggest some small pieces of scatter terrain placed in the middle of each of these zones. Not only will it allow you to mark zones but it will make your area look more interesting.

Some suggestions of scatter terrain
  • Pile of rocks
  • Crates
  • Minor vegetation, grass, bush, etc
  • Bones
  • Crater or cracks
  • Small patch of differing flock, ie patch of dirt or grass.
  • etc.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Sorcery in Conan 2d20

Been pretty busy, so I haven't had a chance to get much gaming oriented stuff accomplished, but I will be putting together, what I hope is an, interesting process video on my last project.

Until then, I have put together a video on Sorcery and Magic within the Modiphius's 2d20 Conan System, as well as a link to a quick guideline on Sorcerous complications.  Enjoy!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Modiphius's New 2d20 Conan System

Another video entry.  We are looking at the new roleplaying game by Modiphius as well as Conan in general.  This will probably be a 4-5 part series on the game.

Friday, March 13, 2015


As I worked on the rules and made a few changes, I started messing around with Roll20 and building a few units.

I came to the conclusion that it needs re-working, that for what I see in my brain the number of stats I have is too many.

This means some mechanics simplification and changes in ideas.  So for now my brain is chewing away on that and I am trying new ideas, some I love the idea of, but don't seem to work on paper.

In other news I have completed my first two command groups for my Dessert army.  Loosely inspired by the Fremen of Dune and largely populated with Sahadeen miniatures from Rebel Minis.

Based miniatures.

Primed and washed.

Base colors added.  Dark brown and flesh tones

Lighter brown jackets, washed with a dark umber and then dry brushed.
Command group with dessert bases.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Man & Machine.....

Still plugging away at the rules formatting and changing of a few things.  Currently looking at a way to simplify terrain and movement effects.

Other than that, which will be a significant re-write of the rules, I need to set up a stats card for mobs, fill out a table of contents and finish the points system.

Then I will have the Alpha version completed.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Man & Machine Update

Just a quick update this afternoon. Updated the order dial to be round.  Same order selection, but this will allow the addition of more easier.

Also picked up some new sci-fi art from RPGNOW.com, some example stock art, as well as continued to work on my own abilities so I can do the cover art.  I have a new idea for that.

Also did a little more formatting.  Booklet is looking to be about 20 pages right now.  Rules are pretty much finished and formatted.  Just need to finish the points system and put that in the rules and I should be pretty much at a playable alpha stage.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Man & Machine: The stats & more about Mobs

I am trying to keep the engine fairly simle, but I still want heros to be heroic and be individual. 

Currently the stats I am using are:

Actions: Number of actions a model gets.  As orders are given, models with a lot of actions will get moves at the end of an order phase while other models are unable to respond.
Training: Indicates target number needed for successful roll on a d6.  2+,3+,4+ and 5+ are typical and range from rabble to elite.  Most heroic models will probably be 2+ or 3+.
Prowess: How good is the model in melee.  Indicates number the base number of dice the model gets in hand to hand combat.
Accuracy: How accurate are they with a gun? Indicates the number of base dice used in ranged combat
Agility: How quick and agile are they? Indicates number of dice used when making opposed ranged combat rolls
Life: How much damage can the model take before they are killed
Skill: How many dice does a model get to attempt skill tests
Armor: How many armor dice do they get.  This stat is downgraded as a model takes damage and is denoted as 3/1.  As a model takes damage their armor will downgrade to their minimum roll.  Once at the minimum roll the damage goes to the life of the model. 
Heroism: A spendable stat.  Once a point is spent it is gone for an encouter.  These are used to simulate the luck of a hero on the field.  Spending a point will allow a model to change a singel die pool to all successes or all failures.  They can be spent at any time.  And the opponent may then spend one of their points to counteract the spent point if they choose.  This makes the dice stay as they were.

Machines have similar stats, but have no Heroism stat and no skills.  But they do have one specialized stat:  Mobility: Wheeled, tracked, Walker, Hover and Flight.  These will allow machines to traverse the battlefield quicker

Mobs are similar to the regular stat profile but have no Heroism, a training cap of 4+, no skills and armor that dosen't downgrade(for simplictity) but will end up being expensive.

I did a little testing with mobs last night too.  Just a few combat phases with a hero vs a mob of 5.  I will have a max number of dice per roll, as a large mob could roll a huge number of dice.  We can assume there is a maximum effective number of a group, over that they get in each other's way.

Combat stats like accuracy will start with the model's base stat and add one more die per member of the mob.

I may do hand to hand the same way, but I am not sure it will be necessary simply do to the self limiting number of models that can engage in combat.

For shooting at mobs, heros will have the ability to fire at a single member, or spread their fire over a number of models.  The mobs agility in these situations will be their base agility stat +1 die per each additional model.  ie A hero fires at a mob of security officers that have an agility of 3 and a training of 4+.  The hero has an accuracy of 4 and a training of 3+.  The hero decides to fire at 3 of the mob.  The hero rolls a base roll of 4.  The mob gets a base of 3 dice + 2 more dice for the additional targets and rolls a base of 5 dice. 

If the hero scores 2 successes in the above scenario then two of the models take 1 damage, that may or may not be stopped by armor.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Man & Machine: Mobs

Up until now the rules had two basic model classifications:  MAN & MACINE.

MAN was used to represent the heros on the field.  MACHINE was used to represent either small vehicles or non sentinet robotic units.

As the game has materialized in my mind and I have replayed various scenese from movies I decided I was missing something still.

If you wanted to play an assault against a shield generator, with the basic idea I had it could only ever be a unit of elites vs a unit of elites.  You could never have a group of troopers from an evil empire trying to hold out against a group of rebelious heros.  You couldn't even have a single guy controlling a bunch of troopers defending an airlock.

I came to the conclusion that often the heros are supported by lessers: Minions or helpful aliens.

And so I am going to add a third group of models that can be used.

The Mob will basically be single card for whole unit of models with 1 life and identical weapons and armor.  Basic coherence, simpler order structure, affected by the mental stat of a hero, or presence of a hero.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Yet more Man & Machine

I have been wondering about cover artwork for this project.  I am not sold on doing it myself, i'm not that much of an artist, but have been drawing a fair bit lately so I thought what the heck.

Some variation of this will probably make the Alpha rules at least.  I guess we will see what else I can come up with.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Man & Machine: Turn Sequence

Plotted out the turn sequence for Man & Machine.

I had thought to use a graphic showing a few models and their movement, but decided a flowchart was a simpler and more complete way to show what I was going for, has one small error, which has been fixed, but I haven't had a chance to upload it yet.  This still gives an idea for how I view the game turn working.

The rules are now formatted up to Turn Sequence.  I hope to have a basic alpha rule set for initial play testing in a couple of weeks.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Man & Machine: Example Illustrations

As I close in on having a basic first concept mostly put down on paper, I am turning to layout.  I came across this blog today which was fairly helpful in moving forward with what I want to do design and layout wise. http://the-dark-templar.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/how-to-design-rulebook-introduction.html.  I set up a basic layout in Scribus this evening and toyed with setting up pages.  I think it should look pretty cool.

One of the things I want to have is some simple, clear examples of the mechanics.

I spent part of tonight drawing a few top down views of soldiers and equipment and then set about digitizing them into the computer so I could use them as samples.

Two miniatures with a set of dice showing success and failure results.
Using the above graphics I can put together fairly simple, and I hope easy to understand examples of game mechanics.

Example showing Blue shooting at Red.  Highlights the relevant stats and any modifies, in this case +1 from the bushes.