Another Take on WoD/D&D

  • I've begun to feel that WoD and D&D don't quite translate well to a MUSH where newbies have to adapt to a new system that would normally require extensive research and immersion before trying to come into another genre. The two systems are built for face-to-face, and now you're trying to adapt them for online play. I know D&D since I was a kid, and even then, I can't get into even the best D&D theme. WoD, meanwhile, I dig the culture, and I'm into the entire lore of the worlds as a history major that knows a little bit of the psychology and philosophy behind some of the WoD character sets, but the rules bog me down.

    The rules, I think, are the problem. Why do we have all these separate statistics and variables, like one of those annoying spreadsheets I hated for D&D as a kid, or WoD's multitude of different, unique abilities?

    Why doesn't a system for a game, even emulating these things, take a few basic yardstick statistics, abilities, and traits, and allow you to combine them together, or specialize them along one line, to create various metrics? Even better, you could add a system of resistances to this system for the various elements, for game balance (the entire attack weakness mechanic I'd pass on, that's more of a specific game trait).

    It would be sleek to look at, intuitive to learn, and would have depth for a veteran.

  • I literally have no idea what you're talking about.

  • The same theme as D&D or WoD worlds, but with a different rule system?

  • This is kind of the approach I was taking with stuff I've been kicking around for a while, I think.

    As in, 'ability X' may have different flavor text for various character types, but one mechanic for all. So you have vampire regeneration and werewolf regeneration, but they use the same system, code, and mechanics, just with different flavor text explaining the how and why it's happening.

    HERO system does this, for the most part. It's just... really extra special on the spread-sheety-ness.

  • I was thinking, something along the lines of: you have a stealth skill, that can be used for silent or hidden maneuvers, that you can specialize for stealth kills, and you have a parkour skill, that you can specialize for burglary. You can combine stealth and parkour for rapid action stealth, and you can combine the specializations for assassination.

    That's for a D&D game. That is as a raw ability chart. You can use statistics, meanwhile, for stealth to ratchet upwards for hiding, to sneaking, to camoflague, with a parkour skill representing climbing, jumping, and entry. You can combine the two skills at the proper levels upwards to get different capabilities.

    Using traits, would be something along the lines of a rogue trait allowing amazing maneuvers, a thief trait allowing urban stealth, and a martial artist trait allowing physical feats of perfection. You could combine those together for various types of functions in game.

    It would be up to you if you organized them by class, or did away with the class system entirely. This could apply to a mythological creature game like WoD, forgive me if I can't produce examples.

  • @chet I'm not against using custom systems, the current project I'm working on we're settling on a custom RPG system.

    But in doing so, you should have a clear reason for what you're about, what you're for. What the mechanics of the system accomplish.

    At first i thought you were against the complexity of traditional systems (Storyteller and D&D), now I hear you having a parkour skill that you specialize for burglary.

    I don't understand, still, what you're about. Though this time don't find the words completely baffling; its intent and purpose I question.

    You say you think the traditional systems don't translate to a MUSH; I don't disagree. D&D practically can't run without a GM, ST allows too much argument without one.

    I don't think number of "statistics and variables" is the problem. I don't see how having a set of skills you "specialize for <action>" is easier. (What does specialization mean, actually mean, in mechanical effect?) If the problem is rules, mechanics, let's talk rules and mechanics -- specifically.

    If we're talking mechanics you start at the basic foundation of probability. How likely is someone to succeed at something they are skilled at? And does it involve a GM/DM/ST needing to interpret or set things like difficulty, target number, etc?

    @surreality I've nothing against custom systems, and the idea of (For example) unifying vampire and werewolf regeneration. But, story-wise, theme-wise, these two things are different not just to be different, but because in the WOD, a vampire healing and a werewolf healing are not just SFX on top of a 'regeneration' stat, they are qualitatively different things.

    The vampire must hunt; her blood must fuel the knitting together of flesh; but also the vampire heals the seeming passage of time. Cut your hair? Get a tattoo? Such a transient action does not lightly change the eternally unchanged. The werewolf is different: she heals in moments what could destroy lesser beings. She is a creature of pure life.

    I don't see how you can express the theme and story of these different sets of things that both 'heal', so can be called 'regeneration', as a basic, generic stat of 'regeneration' with special effects all that differ between the two races. Fundamentally, yes, the vampire can heal from great injury: but it is a limited resource, based on blood. The werewolf just heals, in an unlimited fashion.

    I'm gonna pretend no one mentioned HERO system so I don't have a stroke.

  • @ixokai Yeah, I don't see it working for different existing WoD game lines, because of what you're describing, unless it's all heavily house-ruled. I think a modern urban horror/fantasy game with a very similar feel could be done in that way, though, to make it easier to learn/etc. and keep the code a heck of a lot more sane.

    I promise, I only mention HERO 'cause it has that general take on powers -- the 'generic power, has mechanic X, use whatever SFX you like' -- in terms of its setup. All the conditionals it sets up for the powers and the rest of the game mechanics I... yeah, all the nope. It made my head hurt, but I am a fan of taking that approach in general to powers for a game someone's going to have to learn from scratch and want to learn quickly and jump into play in a spreadsheet-lite way.

  • Gurps Vampire

  • @cheesegrater

    God, I hate you.

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