TTU RPG Mechanics


"Heroic" doesn't quite fit the mood of TTU; but if not a traditional Heroic Urban Fantasy RPG, then what? What will be players' challenges? How will this intersect with their abilities?

Where will it fit in GNS theory?


Game should prob. be larger than TTU, offering it as a setting.

Riffing off of that:

"Collective choice" - if players are setting Patron, why not set Theme too?
General game design note to self: Be wary of complexifizicabilitization. Even elegant systems are scary to the uninitiated (cf. Fireborn), and new complex systems can be almost unplayable (cf. Fireborn combat). Minimize the number of unique factors players have to know; a unified mechanic throughout the game is preferable to one with lots of outgrowths, even if slightly deficient from a simulationist perspective. (Also, examples are VERY good things.)


Point-buy, definitely. (i.e. choose an overall power level for all players, then do what you want within it)


The standbys: Ideas further afield:
LIFE POINTS: 2d10? (i.e., two dice with four "steps" apiece: d10>d8>d6>d4>0). Maybe 3d10? Maybe add bonuses based on race?
For tracking purposes (people without buckets o' dice), might want to have life points and magic points be numeric (i.e. 4d10 = 4 x 10 = 40), have things do damage in multiples of 2? (Actually 10/10/10/10.)
Balance Issues

Theris? Mages? Avatars? vs. normal humans. Point-buy takes some of the slack, but ... theri/mage synergy, etc.

How much of the game will focus on magic? Traditional combat pales before it - a mage is worth (2^lvl) nonmages ...
I suspect this is a natural law of gaming: Any RPG containing a fully developed magic system is necessarily about that magic system.
(Where "fully developed" means "not limited by ridiculous arbitrary Vancianism to balance mages against everyone else")
Then this game needs to be about its magic system. Perhaps even including a way to balance non-mages, which would be a first. :-p


Savage Worlds/Ironclaw-style? (roll multiple dice of different sizes, your result = highest individual number out of that dice pool) That seems fairly balanced for magic ... needs a bit more oomph on the high ends though ...?

2 - Anything but a botch. Trivial tasks. i.e., "don't bother rolling" except when a failure has big consequences.
3 - (50% @ 1d4, 66% @ 1d6, 96% @ 2d10)
4 - (25% @ 1d4, 50% @ 1d6, 91% @ 2d10) - Limit of untrained rolls; general SW target number
5 - (-- @ 1d4, 33% @ 1d6, 84% @ 2d10) - Requires training
6 - (-- @ 1d4, 16% @ 1d6, 75% @ 2d10)

Complex rolls: Multiple successes? E.g. difficulty of (4, 2). Compare Risk-like: Match numbers in HTL order.
Something here seems to lend itself to a "Rule of Four": For non-trivial unopposed tasks, roll vs. 4. (As with SW, but that's because that's where the die balance lies.)
(Also: There are four main die sizes; your default untrained rolls will be 1d4; mages get 4 dice in their pools ...)


Something to reflect the exponential nature of the power levels.

[1pt] Insignificant -- d2? d3? (for primary school only?)
[2pt] Basic -- d4?
[4pt] Competent -- d6?
[8pt] Strong -- d8?
[16pt] Exceptional -- d10?
[---] (Unearthly) -- d20?

Power Levels Compared
V vs. V Face-off, w/ secondary dice:
Win Percentage for left-hand side (tie%)
B C S E U (4d20)
B (2d4) 33 (33) 15 (15) 4 (10) 1 (3) -
C (2d6) 70 (15) 39 (22) 20 (13) 8 (9) -
S (2d8+2d4) 86 (10) 67 (13) 41 (18) 23 (12) -
E (2d10+2d6) 96 (3) 83 (9) 65 (12) 42 (16) 1.6 (1.0)
V vs. V Face-off, NO secondary dice:
Win Percentage for left-hand side (tie%)
B (2d4) 33 (33) 15 (15) 9 (8) 6 (5) -
C (2d6) 70 (15) 39 (22) 22 (12) 14 (8) -
S (2d8) 83 (8) 65 (12) 42 (16) 28 (10) -
E (2d10) 89 (5) 78 (8) 62 (10) 43 (14) - is awesome

(Along top is 2d4, 2d6, 2d8+2d4, 2d10+2d6 as above)
Win Percentage for left-hand side (tie%)
B C S E U (4d20)
B.P (2d4+2d4) 45 (39) 20 (17) 6 (13) 1.6 (4) -
C.P (4d6) 89 (8) 52 (27) 28 (16) 11 (14) -
S.P (4d8) 97 (2) 85 (8) 56 (20) 33 (14) -
E.P (4d10) 98.6 (1) 94 (3) 90 (5) 57 (17) 2.4 (1.4)


Components of Magical Duels
DIRECT - Head-to-head power battle.
ENVIRONMENTAL - Indirect manipulation: creating physical hazards or distractions. TACTICAL? - I dunno, assigning dice is pretty tactical already.
PERCEPTUAL - "Roll for initiative." Loser must declare D/E split first, winner can react afterward? n.b. this could be OP if E. is big.


Power/Finesse/Environment/Speed. Assign d4/d6/d8/d10 in some order, roll to get values for that duel. Full round of defense = allows you to reroll one (style tweak) or reassign and reroll all (style shift).
Being ahead in one is an Edge, ahead 4+ is an Advantage. "Sacrifice your X" = move down your die so you're now tied.

Edge: You win tied rolls.
Advantage: You win tied rolls. You may sacrifice your Advantage to add 2 to a single combat result (!) (?).
Edge: ??
Advantage: ??
Edge: ??
Advantage: ??
Edge: You move first.
Advantage: You move first. You may sacrifice your Advantage to take an action AND a full defense in combat (but no style tweak/shifting).

Bad Things
FATIGUE: Any roll with two matching numbers - degrade 1 die by 1 step, starting w/ smallest die. (This will reduce dice pool down to 1 over the course of a scene)
BOTCHES: All 1's. (This makes botches more likely as fatigue degrades dice) At the least, roll = 0 and autofail (also any fatigue from matching 1's!); probably worse things as well

aka Chaos Magic?
When you HAVE to punch above your weight class ... Super risky move.
Roll ONLY 2dX (primary spheres) Doubles - botch+. If either die rolls max - botch++. Otherwise ADD your dice.
2d4: ~66% botch rate else 3-5, flat, 5 = 12.5%
2d6: ~44% botch rate else 3-9, slight bellcurve, 7+ = 22%
2d8: ~35% botch rate else 3-13, bellcurve. 9+ = 28%
2d10: ~28% botch rate else 3-17, bellcurve. 11+ = 32%

Note: Mechanic has a lot of potential beyond magic - perhaps a generic name like Double Down.
Melee combat: A lunge (or huge swing leaving you open).
Skills: something relying dangerously on luck (may not be applicable, as with Knowledges)
Knowledge Double Down: "Let's look this up on the Internet." ;)

\ Chaos magic, sum of 2d10, 0's botch and doubles botch
if ((min POOL) = (max POOL)) then 0 else
	if ((max POOL) = 10) then 0
	else sum POOL

Balancing Rate of Advancement for Higher Levels
Note that this would have to take into account the rarity of Exceptional mages: maybe you have to spend a certain number of points on magic to threshold? Advantages and Disadvantages per school (perhaps have a cost?)
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