10 March, 2015

Varying my thoughts

I've been thinking about problems in System 4, and that has led to a major revision in my thinking.

New version of System 4

All characters are made up of 6 stances, each of which has a range of verbs associated with them. Characters have a number in the 6 stances, an assortment of verbs that they are practiced at using, a short list of adverbs that might be used to enhance those verbs, and a short list of adjectives (some of which they may have an affinity to and some of which they may have an aversion to).

Pick a number of d6s equal to your character's stance. These dice are rolled through the turn as you declare you character's actions. 

If you declare an action based on your stance, you roll the d6. If you have an advantage appropriate to the situation or a verb you've mastered, roll a d8 (if you have both, roll a d10). If you choose to perform a verb action not associated with your stance or have a disadvantage, roll a d4 (if both, you just can't perform this action at this time).

Every time a die is rolled, an advantage point may be gained (on an even roll), or a disadvantage point (on an odd roll). Advantage points may be granted to allies, allowing them to roll an extra die on their next action (using the better result). Disadvantage points may be granted to enemies, allowing them an extra die to roll or the GM might spend one of your disadvantage points and explain how your action has caused complications for one of your allies (forcing them to roll 2 dice and use the worse result).

You may also interact with adjectives and adverbs by spending advantages and disadvantages. (Every odd die roll earns a disadvantage, every even die roll earns an advantage...these may be saved over multiple actions for big effects). In most cases, you may exhaust one of your character's adverbs to gain an automatic success to an already successful action. If you spend one of your accumulated advantage points, you don't need to exhaust the adverb and you can apply it to another action. All adverbs have a chance of refreshing at the end of the turn (if you have any unspent disadvantage points, the GM may spend these to prevent an adverb refreshing).

Over the course of a turn, you might choose to accumulate a number of advantage points (or might find a number of disadvantage points gradually building up against you). Some weapons or character benefits might allow "Awesome" critical effects if two or more advantage points are spent at once, otherwise the GM might invoke really nasty side effects be spending two or more disadvantage points against you.


These ideas are starting to sound closer to what I originally had in mind, without becoming overly complicated. They link the idea of a grammatically based resolution system, and simple die rolls that can be read multiple ways to drive the story in interesting directions.

I just hope it makes sense to other people, and hope it makes a good fit for the mutant animal game "Other Strangeness" without needing too many more changes.
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