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Silencer
16 August 2001, 04:06 AM
Ok, I need some help here.

Basically, I'm trying to set up an e-mail RPG game set in another universe based on the Thief Series computer game.

However, while trying to come up with NPC stats and the like, I've been repeatedly frustrated by the D20 system - having to trawl back and forth through the book to work out basic stats, usually based around the 'level' system - for simple NPCs and enemies. Since I'm working in another universe the existing templates are of little use to me and so I'm having to create new ones, but the D20 system basically makes this a pain in the backside. I can't imagine how I'd come up with stats on short notice during the game.

So, I'm almost set to go back to D6, but the D20 combat system is so much simpler.

Basically, I think levels are annoying and unrealistic (if your player is an engineer and hardly touches a blaster, why should his reflexes, base attack bonus etc. begin to rise just because he's been involved in some high-scoring missions?). So I want to do one of two things -

Remove levels from D20 OR

Streamline the D6 combat system so its closer to it's D20 equivalent.

I need some help to do this, as it obviously involves some major reshuffling of rules. I'd also like to know which is the better idea. Personally I'd like to keep D20 and get rid of the levels system, making saves and attack bonus' etc. reliant on training or skill development rather the amount of time you've managed to survive in the galaxy.

Anybody up for it?

Peeper
16 August 2001, 09:37 AM
I'd love to help you out with that. I always liked the skill-based system of WEG, but prefer the simplicity and ease of play that d20 provides.

I'll brainstorm a few ideas for a skill-based d20 system later on. Send me any ideas you might already have.

BTW, if you still have some room in the email game, could I join up? It's so hard to find players of SW in my area.

Dr_Worm
16 August 2001, 12:40 PM
Hey...If I could kill the levels from D20 I might actually try to play it. I actually posted this question in another forum. I got only one response, so it you do better than I do...please post the nre rules so that I can give it a shot. I've had suggestions, but no game mechanic ideas.

Armadious
16 August 2001, 09:41 PM
I have several ideas on this path - mostly on spreadsheets - I will dig them up and send them to you via E-mail.

Silencer
17 August 2001, 03:27 AM
Basically, what we need to do is find skill-based equivalents for the attributes that rise via level - Attack and Defense bonus', as well as the saving throws.

That's an easy start, the problem lies in tying the skill points into it; if you bought extra ranks in Saving Throws and the like the same way you did skills, players would become invincible.

Earning skill points should be simple though - GMs can award them just like they did CPs in D6, rather than when they raise a 'level'.

Peeper, I'm not actually going to run a SW game just now - in fact I'm doing one set in a universe that is the backdrop for the 'First Person Sneaker' games Thief and Thief II. I'll be using the Star Wars system for it, and there will be some SW games in the future.

Shadowdancers
17 August 2001, 12:53 PM
why not try using the white wolf system, it's all d10 and skill based, with stream lined combat.

Peeper
17 August 2001, 01:08 PM
d20 has plenty of streamlined ways of dealing with things. The only problem some of us have with it is that it's level-based. If it were skill-based like WEG or White Wolf, then it would do a better job of capturing that Star Wars feel.

Silencer
18 August 2001, 03:51 AM
Here's some more ideas.

Turn Defence Bonus and Attack Bonus into skills;

Defence Bonus = Dodge

Attack Bonus = Combat Training (OR could be split into seperate Ranged and Melee Combat Skills)

Earn ranks in these the same way as any other skill - since the Defence Bonus AND Attack Bonus' will be much higher, they should be balanced...

If the Attack Bonus' are split though, advancing in both skills might been they are unbalanced with the Defence Bonus. Any suggestions how to get round this? Maybe the Defence Bonus could be half the number of ranks in 'dodge'?

The DC could also be raised if the same was done for Saving Throws.

I can see a few problems arising out of this method however - another alternative is raise the cost of ranks in for BA and DB, so far more skill points have to be spent to earn them, hence keeping the numbers down.

Unfortunately I'm not able to playtest these ideas and I've only played one game with D20 so far, so I'm not in a good position to judge the effects these modifications would have on the game.

Comments from more experienced players?

Tao
18 August 2001, 05:58 AM
Those ideas actually could work... I'm not sure if it may result in more munchkins, but that's a risk in any revision... I'd say it'd need to be playtested before anyone'll know for sure.

wicker95
18 August 2001, 09:37 AM
Originally posted by Silencer
Here's some more ideas.

Turn Defence Bonus and Attack Bonus into skills;

Defence Bonus = Dodge

Attack Bonus = Combat Training (OR could be split into seperate Ranged and Melee Combat Skills)


So, in essence, the Defence Bonues becomes a Dodge skill, and Attack Bonuses become Blasters, Lightsaber, Melee Weapons, etc.?

That's a really good approach-- it takes it right back to a skill base.

Another thought -- Feats could be purchased with Character Points, or whatever-- say, 20 CP or so will buy you a new feat or ability. I started wondering how the additional feats and abilities that a character gains as they level up might be available without the levels.

But, how do you manage the increases to Saving Throws? Allow the characters to add to their stats and use the base modifiers? That would be unbalancing in other respects...

Chris Curtis
18 August 2001, 09:58 AM
I remember seeing a couple of alternate, more skill-advancement-oriented proposed soon after the new system was released. A little searching got me what I was looking for.

Take a look at the following thread. I particularly think that the second proposal (third post) is intriguing.

http://holonet.swrpgnetwork.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1598

Perhaps this could be used as a base to work from...

Silencer
18 August 2001, 11:05 PM
That looks interesting, and along the same lines of what I've just been doing.

I came up with this simple equation really ::

CLASS = Can remain or be removed (if they remain they can be used to determine which dice is rolled for vitality, and which skills are class or cross-class. Or you can do away with them and use the same vitality dice for everyone and have no cross-class skills)


IMPROVE BONUS/SAVE = 1x BONUS/SLAVE RANK

E.g: Keran Ouka wants to improve his Defence Bonus from +4 to +5. Since his current score is +4, he needs 4 skill points to advance to +5. At +10 he needs 10 skill points to advance to +11 and so forth.

And that works for AB, DB and Saves. They're not exactly skills here, and I still have to work out exactly when you can increase your vitality, or how much it costs.

I'm not entirely sure of this method yet, and I'll have a closer look at some of the stuff in that previous thread. With this current one, character advancement still proceeds at a rather fast pace.

Whichever way its done, its clear that the amount of skill points awarded after mission will have to be much higher.

Aldaron
19 August 2001, 04:24 AM
Ummm...isn't all this a little like re-inventing the wheel?

I mean, if you take the levels out of d20, and replace the attack / defence bonuses with skills, and allocate skill points instead of XP...well, why bother?

Seems to me it'd be a lot easier just to stick with the d6 system! :) It's already established, the combat system is certainly no more complex than the d20 one (just a lot more dice involved - but at least they're all the same!).

Seriously, though - seems like a lot of work just to get back to a system very similar to d6.

Anyway...my wife tells me I'm lazy - maybe that's it...:D

Tao
19 August 2001, 07:22 AM
I just finished writing up some non-class d20 rules... we're playtesting them now, but they seem to be working extremely well so far. As soon as we finish the testing phase I'm going to put it up for everyone. Check my site in about a week for the finalized rules and info. (Sorry, but I've been too busy to work on my page much lately... and I don't put ANY untested stuff up there. Thanks for your patience.)

wicker95
19 August 2001, 07:34 AM
Originally posted by Aldaron


Seems to me it'd be a lot easier just to stick with the d6 system! :) It's already established, the combat system is certainly no more complex than the d20 one (just a lot more dice involved - but at least they're all the same!).

Seriously, though - seems like a lot of work just to get back to a system very similar to d6.

Anyway...my wife tells me I'm lazy - maybe that's it...:D

Actually, I've been trying to ditch D6 for years. I even wrote up a conversion for SW to the Shadowrun system, back in the day.

As for the D6's games combat system-- well, that was the biggest problem for me. I ran the game, I played the game, and it never made sense to me.

Plus, as someone mentioned on another thread the other day, have you ever seen a character in D6 shrug off a proton torpedo, or take down a tie fighter with a blaster pistol?

We'll keep modifying the game here in our little corner, and you can keep playing D6. Everybody will be happy and no one will mind. :-)

Dr_Worm
19 August 2001, 11:55 AM
I agree with wicker95. Plus I would add that all new material that comes out will be for D20 so if we can make some simple changes to the D20 system, we can avoid complicated (and inaccurate) conversons from D20 to D6 later.

Silencer
1 September 2001, 05:10 AM
Right - I'm back from a two-week training/evangelism course so I should have some new stuff to post in the near future.

XavierDrgn
22 March 2003, 03:29 PM
wicker95 do you have the conversion that you were talking about available to send to me?? id love to see what you accomplished. im trying to bring SR into D20 and need some insight. you know the Dark Side clouds everything...

Hope to hear from you

Clouded by the Darkside
Xavier D'rgn:raised:

wicker95
23 March 2003, 06:03 AM
If you've got Excel, I could send you everthing I had done with it. Never actually got to the point of playtesting it, and I had only a vague idea of how the force was going to work (assigning a drain to each power, if you will).

But sure, I could send it to you. Just let me know if you can read Excel documents...

XavierDrgn
23 March 2003, 07:18 AM
dont know?? my ranks in comp use are very low. id say send it along and ill try and figure it out?

email is bevis3of16@yahoo.com

if not dont worry, ill try and play with it while im off.

Yours in the Force...

Kryl'thar
23 March 2003, 03:02 PM
If you're attempting to create a purely skills based system, you might look at the Alternity rules for some inspiration. A character's base attack, saves, and skills can be similuated by using the Alternity system without levels. Now I'm not actually suggesting that you switch to this system, but I think perusing the rules might give you an ideal about the balance needed in skill point assignment amongst skills, saves and attack abilities.

wicker95
23 March 2003, 06:45 PM
The document is on the way.

If anyone else would like to take a look at it, let me know. I had finished more of it than I thought I had...

wicker95

Dr_Worm
23 March 2003, 06:50 PM
WOWIEE! I have not seen you aroud here in a dogs age, Wicker. Nice to have you back.

wicker95
24 March 2003, 11:17 AM
Gee, don't take this the wrong way, but I kinda gave up on Star Wars.

Not because I don't like the game, or the universe, or the rules, or anything else. Just because I can't find a group to play the game with.

<sigh>

Wanting to play and not playing can really sap all your enthusiasm away from something :-(

lynnlefey
24 March 2003, 04:03 PM
Hey Wicker,

I'd also be interested in seeing the document. I've used point-buy systems, and generally prefer them to character-class systems.

XavierDrgn
25 March 2003, 12:26 PM
thank you very much wicker95. this thing is very indepth. and as im trying to bring SR into D20 this should help with the legwork involved in converting.

thanks again for such extensive detail and if i try anything out in here...ill let ya know what happens.

Yours in the Force

wicker95
25 March 2003, 06:28 PM
Originally posted by lynnlefey
Hey Wicker,

I'd also be interested in seeing the document. I've used point-buy systems, and generally prefer them to character-class systems.

Since there's been more than one request for the material, and since you didn't leave me your e-mail address lynnlefy :-), I'll post the material here as an attachment.

This document is a Word document, and it has embedded Excel tables. All you need is Word, though, no guarantees for anything else.

The intent of my conversion was to port Star Wars into the Shadowrun II gaming system. Most of it was easy, since both use the metric system for distances. A lot of it was made up as I went along. And none of it has ever been playtested.

Your mileage may vary, but I'd like to hear what happens if anyone plays with it...

Lucas Carr
27 March 2003, 04:48 AM
If you want to look at already existing games, you have GURPS, Hero, and CODA. I might have some more specific comments later when I've thought about it a little more.

I'm working on a system of my own, which is a mix of several RPGs including the ones listed above. And I have made a conversion of D20 Star Wars to this system, but the System is not finished yet. And it's not playtested either.