Would like some feedback on my homebrew system, Fortitude is Magic.

#1
Hi all! New here, and noticed that there isn't an "Introduce Yourself" board, so I will do that here. I have been playing D&D off and on for decades (always either 1st or 2nd edition) and a few years back tried to run a 2nd edition campaign over IRC. It was a nightmare... So I decided to make my own system, one that relied on die rolls vs character stats for most things, instead of massive tables like older D&D has. This resulted in an interesting way the roll is handled:
For most actions, the standard roll is composed of a raw roll* + GM Modifier** compared to the RELevant Stat. (or RelStat).
* Typically a d20, but heartier enemies can be a d24 or d30, you will see how this scales below
** GM Modifier is either an enemy's AC or a challenge rating for a test (such as how slick an incline is, for instance).
Say a character wants to lift a large rock, they roll 1d20, and the GM will add the GM Modifier to the roll to get the true roll. If this roll is from 1 to and including their Strength stat, it is a success. Yes, 1 is critical hit, and 20 is critical failure. Requiring a d24 or d30 makes it less likely to get the RelStat or lower.

Anyways, I see no way to upload the PDF that I have so far, but it can be downloaded at my site: http://fortitudeismagic.boards.net/ . You have to join to download stuff there, but you can just use a junk email if you want. If there is a way to upload attachments here, please let me know.

Thank you for any advice in advance. BTW the current form of the game takes place in a My Little Pony world, but the core rules for it will eventually be spun on its own to fit any type of game world.
 

eeldip

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#3
google docs is a good option, viewers can even comment directly on the doc, which... can be nice?
 

eeldip

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#4
quick thought, is this too ON THE NOSE, but maybe just 6 stats, each one the "prime requisite" of the 6 main characters?

STR (applejack)
INT (twilight)
DEX (rainbow dash)

those were easy.

TALENT? (rarity)
HEART? (fluttershy)
CHARISMA? (pinkie pie)

OK, that is pushing it. But that is my first thought... gotta get back to work work though.
 
#5
I tried with GoogleDocs, but there is no way to upload PDF's to them.

I like the idea, eeldip, but I will be converting this system in to a general purpose tabletop system as well. It just got its start due to the impossible-ness of doing 2nd edition "pony edition" D&D over IRC. I look forward to any suggestions if you have time :)
 

eeldip

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#6
yea, you would have to paste it in as text into google docs... probably too much of a PITA, only would make sense if you were writing it in that format to begin with. i'll try to set aside some time to read... due to having a 10 and a 6 year old in the house, i have plenty of background on the setting!
 

Hituro

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#7
My first thought is, why the insistence on hidden difficulty? While I understand the occasional desire for hidden information for verisimilitude (e.g. not instantly knowing the AC of a target) you seem to have baked that into all rolls. Why deny the players (not the characters) the need to know what their target number is (which is what the GM mod does)? It seems adversarial, and extending it to things like Initiative (so that players can't even call out their own initiative) just seems self-defeating.

My second thought is that your roll-under system appears to be pretty much identical to a DC system where player's roll + ReqStat >= DC, since you are using linear dice rolls. In general adding is considered to be easier than other operations, so Roll + Stat vs. DC is a tiny bit easier than Roll + DC vs. Stat, but not much :D Still, I'd put as much of the job in the player's hand and just have them announce a total to compare to your hidden DC.

My third thought is that the use of different dice sizes, in a DC based system, doesn't add much. Using different dice sizes for a pure roll-under is a way of modelling difficulty — more difficulty rolls use larger dice. The GM Modifier is another way of modelling difficulty — more difficult rolls use a larger mod. You don't need both.

My fourth thought (and the last I will number) is please consider changing the QStat and HStat terminology! You aren't being restricted by word count. Just call it "Quarter Stat" or "Half Stat". In fact, since these values are just modifiers derived from the stats, in the same way that most D&D derives stat modifiers, I'd consider changing to that much more normal terminology. Call it "Speed Modifier" or "Sped Bonus", so that the standard damage roll becomes XdY+Speed Bonus. On that note, having the same stat used for both rolling to hit, and damage, is fine — D&D does it — but you might want to consider using different stats to spread out the dependencies (I can see you do that for things like the Griffon Slash though).

Final thought. From your intro it seems that your experience is with complex table/chart driven RPGs like early D&D, or Rolemaster. There are many RPG systems of more recent vintage that are far simpler, and your rules are still on the complex end for many people's tastes, with levels, skill points, multiple derived stats, different dice sizes, and skill/power lists. Right at the start you say that you prefer something simpler. If you look around you will find many still simpler systems, and might want to borrow or steal from them as well.
 
#8
My first thought is, why the insistence on hidden difficulty? While I understand the occasional desire for hidden information for verisimilitude (e.g. not instantly knowing the AC of a target) you seem to have baked that into all rolls. Why deny the players (not the characters) the need to know what their target number is (which is what the GM mod does)? It seems adversarial, and extending it to things like Initiative (so that players can't even call out their own initiative) just seems self-defeating.
Hmm yes, the idea that may not have come across is that for things that are not AC-tested (such as climbing a wall) the difficulty would be given in plain language, and the players would be able to figure out roughly what a "steep and slick" wall ended up as for a GM modifier. I don't know if I like telling the players "This wall has a difficulty of 3", I prefer plain language. I am curious as to how you handle giving out such "insider" information such as specific difficulties. When it comes to the initiative, in the games that my friends and I have been playing we have been using the option rules in the manual (IE the same as for D&D, except that lower is better). Maybe I should remove the primary stated way of deciding initiative? The players did seem to like rolling for initiative and then realizing what they rolled compared to each other (I keep the enemy's initiative roll secret though).

My second thought is that your roll-under system appears to be pretty much identical to a DC system where player's roll + ReqStat >= DC, since you are using linear dice rolls. In general adding is considered to be easier than other operations, so Roll + Stat vs. DC is a tiny bit easier than Roll + DC vs. Stat, but not much :D Still, I'd put as much of the job in the player's hand and just have them announce a total to compare to your hidden DC.
The real reason for the roll-under system was because I was playing with the ideas of higher die sides for some enemies, and had a concern that my system would not be able to scale beyond 9th or so level (I have seriously considered not having levels in the system, I added them in the last few months. Any suggestions on how to handle a system with no levels, but where they can systematically learn new abilities? I was thinking of using exp more like "school credits" that could be spent getting special training to improve some stat, or get a new spell or skill). Any thoughts on that path

My third thought is that the use of different dice sizes, in a DC based system, doesn't add much. Using different dice sizes for a pure roll-under is a way of modelling difficulty — more difficulty rolls use larger dice. The GM Modifier is another way of modelling difficulty — more difficult rolls use a larger mod. You don't need both.
I would agree with you... And would have, as I included the d24 and d30 stuff in case the system didnt scale well (turns out I was wrong about that, but I digress), BUT when the characters encountered a giant dragon that was chained down and started fighting it, they thought things were easy. I ended up rolling that the dragon got partially free from the chains, and then handed them a d24 to do the rolls. Their eyes lit up! Like, "Ok stuff got real!" kind of a reaction. So they will be in the game as an optional rule set (I also gave the players a scroll that gives one player "d24 protection" for a full day, which is fun to play with. Necessary? No. Fun? Hell YEAH! (oh and when the dragon got completely free, they needed to roll a d30. Dont worry, they were victorious.)

My fourth thought (and the last I will number) is please consider changing the QStat and HStat terminology! You aren't being restricted by word count. Just call it "Quarter Stat" or "Half Stat". In fact, since these values are just modifiers derived from the stats, in the same way that most D&D derives stat modifiers, I'd consider changing to that much more normal terminology. Call it "Speed Modifier" or "Sped Bonus", so that the standard damage roll becomes XdY+Speed Bonus. On that note, having the same stat used for both rolling to hit, and damage, is fine — D&D does it — but you might want to consider using different stats to spread out the dependencies (I can see you do that for things like the Griffon Slash though).
The reason for Qstats and HStats is to prevent having to have tables for bonuses. If you know your stats, you know your Qstats and Hstats. If you noticed how gameplay is handled, it relies almost entirely on stats (and their Q and H variants) and die rolls. I could add something in to suggest some other names for it, but it is called after what it is, and they exist for the very specific purpose to replace "bonuses" as those usually require a table. As for what the stat for a to-hit as well as damage is concerned: Small and ranged weapons the stat is speed, heavy melee it is strength. Spells it is usually Intelligence (unless otherwise stated), and skills it is Wisdom unless otherwise stated, so as far as special abilities it utilizes all of the stats. The physical attacks are more limited with their speed and strength based rolls, tho.

Final thought. From your intro it seems that your experience is with complex table/chart driven RPGs like early D&D, or Rolemaster. There are many RPG systems of more recent vintage that are far simpler, and your rules are still on the complex end for many people's tastes, with levels, skill points, multiple derived stats, different dice sizes, and skill/power lists. Right at the start you say that you prefer something simpler. If you look around you will find many still simpler systems, and might want to borrow or steal from them as well.
I'm kinda curious as to how much simpler a codified RPG game can get without being free form, but yes, I come from ed 1 and 2nd edition. Cut my gums playing darksun, played 2nd ed through the 90s, then found a DM who only uses OD&D and has some 1st edition, who has been the on again off again DM for some friends. Again, I would like some suggestions on how to handle advancement without levels, spending exp maybe? As per the derived stats, those are to limit the number of tables. If you know your stats, you know your "bonuses" (Qstats and Hstats). By different dice sizes are you referring to the optional use of d24 and d30 rolls, or dice other than a d20 at all? For the d24 and d30, they are optional. For the d4's d6's d8's d10's and d'12's, well I like rolling dice and so do the players. Maybe I should rewrite my intro tho, maybe simple isnt the work, sped up is more accurate. No tables to look up during combat, no tables for most things, and of course most things can be handled through the standard roll with no need to look up tables. Streamlined? Quick Turns? But yeah, I get the impression simple is not the right word for it based on what you said. (Trust me, this game runs at a good click, with little to nothing to have to look up and the standard roll mechanic it does not get bogged down much). As per the skills/spells: Gotta have them, they make your character special in a coded way, they are the "Tiger Uppercuts" and "RyuKens" in this system. One could play without them, maybe I should add a suggestion for that, but gotta have the cool moves! (also the SP system was a simplification over the older DnD stuff of having to keep track of which spell you have memorized.) (Also, also, the reason why spells and skills are treated exactly the same mechanically was to help streamline things. No matter what race/class you get special cool stuff to do on a limited bases.)
Anyways, thank you for your feedback, and hope that we can bounce back and forth a little bit on this. I showed one of my players (who had trouble with 5th edition, and could not functionally learn to play OD&D) seem to think that your comment on the system being complex being strange, she was able to grasp it easily. Then again, I am there to explain any questions she has, you went in blind with just the basic book with little explanation from me. Anyways, hope to hear from you again soon. /)
 
#9
yea, you would have to paste it in as text into google docs... probably too much of a PITA, only would make sense if you were writing it in that format to begin with. i'll try to set aside some time to read... due to having a 10 and a 6 year old in the house, i have plenty of background on the setting!
I would love to hear your opinions on the system (and even suggestions for content as you know the source material for the setting :) ). There is a small Friends and Foes document that has some of the enemies I have been using thus far, which is available in the first link in my first post (the forum link). Anyways, once you get a chance, I'd love to hear your thoughts.
 

eeldip

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#10
i don't inherently mind the complexity. in some sense it is at odds with the source material (a kids show!), but it fits nicely with the fandom aspect of the show (a kids show loved by tons of adults). so you have those two layers, a cartoon outside and a fussy inside. i would like to see a bit more of the themes of the show baked into the rules though. otherwise, you might as well do My Little Pony GURPS.

so to the terminology, agreeing with above in that its a bit much. ("Rel. Stat, QStats (such as QStr or QSpd) and HStats (such as HStr or Hspd) is a set of terminology in this game system.") I also see it as a missed opportunity to add some *in world* flavor to the rules. I would be inclined to think, "what would Twilight Sparkle do?" in this case. what is the game she would make and what terminology would she use?

as for the hidden target number, this I actually like quite a bit in that it reinforces the setting. characters are always a bit naive, they are adults, but children. they are overpowered. maybe it could use some simplification/streamlining. but its great for the setting, picturing here a moment where someone super strong rolls into the picture, big mcintosh type character steps up tries to say push them away. player decides to use strength to push, they know they have a nice high target number. they roll really well, then turn to the DM and say, "is that enough?". that feels very much like the setting to me.

this would be a huge change, but maybe dice pools are better?

anyway, still reading!
 
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