Character Creation & Notes

(originally posted on Sept 14th, 2016 @ palladiumknights.com)

Character Creation Notes

Attributes – Players roll 3d6 for each attribute. If you roll 16-18 roll an additional d6. Add these numbers.

Backgrounds – Players will select a background to indicate their character’s parent’s occupations. This will give the character a number of skills that they picked up from their parents before setting out in the world.

Occupation – Players select an occupation for their characters now. And use the OCC skills provided in the core book. Do not included, related skills, or secondary skills, just OCC.

General Skill Points – If your parents were Peasants – you get 3 General Skills; Guildsmen – 4 General Skills; Nobles – 5 General Skills. These can be any skills.

Skills – Background Skills and General Skills begin at Basic Proficiency Levels. Occupation skills start at levels shown in the core book. Each skill will be based on and ‘rooted’ in one of the attributes. You will add your attribute level to each skill also. I’ll post that in a later update. – Remember that WP’s are independent skills to roll now.

– Example: Bow is ‘rooted’ in Physical Prowess. If the beginning Bow skill is at 25%, and the characters Physical Prowess is 14, then the effective skill percentage is 39%.

Equipment/Weapons/Armour – For now these are done as standard. Except if it tells you to select like 27 weapons. Just choose the key weapons to your character concept. Remember to factor armour encumbrance penalties to skills. If wearing splint, plate and chain, or full plate. Loose one attack per melee.

Figuring Armour – Take the AR of your character’s armor and multiply it by 5. This is the percentage of the Torso location. -10% for the head, legs, and arms locations. See example above.

Figuring Injury Levels – see post above.

Money – Standard

Did I forget anything?

Weapon vs Armour – stuffs for detailed combat resolution.

Armour – as noted above figure your character’s armour’s effective percentage by taking the AR and multiplying it by 5. This number will be the torso area of the armour. Subract 10% for all other locations (head, arms, legs). This is the percentage rate rolled by the defender, as per combat example above, when the armour is absorbing the blow.

EX: Full Plate had an AR of 18. Thus its percentages would be – Head 80%; Torso: 90%; L Arm: 80%; R Arm 80%; L Leg 80%; R Leg 80%.

Weapons – Some weapons that are especially effective against penetrating armor -such as Footman’s Axes, Horseman’s Hammers, Maces, Arrows, Spears, etc, – percentage ‘versus armor’. This percentage will be between 10% and 20% and will effect the effective percentage of the armour when this specific weapon is hitting the armour, or damaging the armour.

An example is needed: A Mace has a ‘versus armour percentage’ ( VAP ) of -20%. When a character is using it against someone in full plate, the full plate’s effective percentages are each subtracted by 20%. This shows the Mace’s effectiveness against the armor.

I’ll do a list of weapons and their VAP’s in a future post.

Weapon Lengths – more stuffs about detailed combat

I kind of want to add modifiers for weapon length. When a fighter is using a shorter weapon than her opponent, she’s often at a disadvantage. Im worrying though that we’re getting rules bloat, and its becoming over complicated?

Basically the idea is that weapons would be categorized by weapon lengths –
– Hands, Short, Long, Longer, Ranged.

– Hands: Hands, Knives, Shields
– Short: Short Swords, Hand Axes
– Long: Long Swords, Maces
– Longer: Spears, Pole-Arms
– Ranged: Arrows, Quarrels, Sling shots, Thrown

Fighting an opponent with one category longer than your weapon imposes a penalty of -5% to your weapon skill.
– So One step is -5%; Two Steps -10%; Three Steps -15%; Four Steps -20%

Example: A knight with a long sword fights a guard with a halberd. Because the guards weapon length is one category above the knights, the knight is at -5% to her sword skill.

A bandit with a short sword going up against the same guard would be at -10% penalty, because he is two lengths in difference.

Notes about Conflict Resolution

These rules for combat, are not intended to be used in every fight. These rules are for the when fight really matters. When the adventure rises to a climax. For when the character’s very beliefs are being tested.

Otherwise, if its a fight with some goons, a simple skill roll can cover combat. State your intent, and roll.

Attribute Tests & Magic

(originally posted on Sept 13th, 2016 @ palladiumknights.com)

Attribute Tests

Palladium has never had Attribute Tests for when it comes up in the fiction that character might need to use her prowess to cross a narrow ledge, or her strength to hold open a falling door. I’ve broken these tasks into the following categories:

Very Easy, Easy, Moderate, Hard, and Very Hard. – Each one of these will add a different multiplier to the Attribute being tested. Very Easy tests will add a x5 multiplier. Easy tests x4, Moderate tests x3, Hard tests x2, Very Hard tests x1.

You will multiply the Attribute being tested by the multiplier to figure the percentage of success.
For example when the knight has to hold open a portcullis to allow her friends to escape, the Gm may decide its a Moderate Strength test. She takes her strength of 14 x 3 (Moderate) = 42%. A Very hard test would show her at 14%.

this leads me to…

Sorcery

Im stuck. To a certain degree. I dont want to rewrite Magic from the ground up, yet I dont like the way that Palladium handles spell casting. Sorcery is something wild to be dominated and controlled. Albeit, its a dangerous task. Having PPE or a ‘mana pool’ seems way too much like buying abilities. Its too ‘video-game’y.

Im keeping some of the spell list. Not all those spells are necessary. Casting will be based on a Sorcery skill. Roll successfully, cast successfully. The question that I’m struggling with, is the ramifications to the magic. It should have a cost. Either in limiting the amount of spells per day, or the endurance required. Does magic take a physical toll on the body? Or can only a certain amount be held on to at a certain time?

This leads me to two options:

Physical Cost – with this option, the Sorcery would have a chance of being physically drained by harnessing these eldritch arcane powers. After each successful casting the player would need to make a Moderate Physical Endurance Test.
On a failed Endurance test, the sorcerer would take an injury equal to the ‘level’ of spell as follows:

A level 1 or level 2 – Superficial Injury; Level 3 – 6 – Light Injury; Level 7-9 – Severe Injury; Level 10+ Traumatic Injury.

or there’s a less damaging but more ‘mathy’ version. Playing with d100 causes the mathiness.

Assume that Attributes are listed as 1-20. That would be 5% assigned to each point of Attribute. You then could have the Physical endurance test the same as above. The margin of failure could then be divided by 5, and that number be ‘taxed’ from the character’s physical endurance. This would cause the sorcerer’s next casting to be more dangerous, as the caster’s Physical endurance would be smaller.

An example may be needed. The sorcerer casts a fire bolt, and has a Moderate Test with a PE of 15. 15 x3 (Moderate) = 45%. A roll of 73 would be a failure. 73 – 45 = 28, so we could assume a margin of failure of 25%. Dividing that by 5% would lead to 5. So the caster’s PE would be ‘taxed’ by 5. When the next spell is cast the Endurance test would test off the new PE of 10.The new Endurance test would then be at 30%.

The risk of the magic user then injuring himself would come when the physical endurance was taxed into a negative number. And injury level would be assigned to the sorcerer equal to every negative point of physical endurance. Therefore if the PE was taxed to -1 Superficial, -2 Light, -3 Severe, -4 Traumatic, -5 would be Mortal.

Its a little too ‘mathy’ for me. But it works.

Optional number two would be more about Mental Space Cost

This is more of the standard DND, you have a spellbook and only can keep so many spells memorized. I honestly feel this is more of a re-write, as i would have to figure out how many spells you could initially keep and remember per day. I like the first option better.

Thats what I’ve got for magic. Maybe I’ll post later for Faith.

Injury

(originally posted on Sept 9th, 2016 @ palladiumknights.com)

Figuring you Character’s Wound Tolerances:

First you want to take the character’s HP at what would be first level. This is essentially 4d6. (3d6 from P.E + 1d6)
Rolling 3d6 we assume a character’s P.E. averages at 11. plus 1d6 averages to 4 (per dnd standards). So lets assume a ‘first level character’ has a starting HP of 15.

A character’s Mortal Injury Tolerance is equal to HP x 2 = 30.
Taking an Injury that would equal 30 damage will cause the character to take a Mortal Injury.

A Character’s Superficial Injury Tolerance is equal to 10% of the Mortal – so 3 damage.
A character’s Light Injury Tolerance is 25% – 7 damage
A character’s Severe Injury Tolerance is 50% – 15 damage
A character’s Traumatic Injury Tolerance is 75% – 22 damage

So this character’s Injury Tolerances are set at 3/7/15/22/30

You do not count HP, but you stack Injuries as a character is wounded.

What do Injuries do?

a Superficial Injury is a cut, a scrape, a bruise, or minor burn – Subtract 10% from all Skills
a Light Injury is a deep cut, a bruised rib, a ripped ear – Subtract 20% from all Skills
a Severe Injury is a broken bone, a torn tendon or muscle, a deep stab wound – Subtract 30% from all Skills
a Traumatic Injury is a punctured lung, or a lopped off arm – Subtract 40% from all Skills
a Mortal Injury kills the character at the end of the scene

Severe, and Traumatic Injuries Bleed.

If a Severe Injury’s bleeding has not been stopped by the end of the session, it bleeds out to a Traumatic Injury
If a Traumatic Injury’s bleeding has not been stopped by the end of the scene, it bleeds out to Mortal.

Treatment?…Healing?

First Aid can be used to Treat Superficial and Light Injuries.
– a TREATED Superficial Injury heals immediately after successful treatment. or 24 hours after failed treatment.
– a TREATED Light Injury heals 24 hours after successful treatment, or 3 days after failed treatment.

First Aid can stop bleeding for Severe, and Traumatic Injuries.

Combat & Notes

(originally posted on Sept 8th, 2016 @ palladiumknights.com)

Of course all of these are notes. This is the first time I’ve actually written them down. They’re more just thoughts floating around my head. I’ve worked out new combat and armor rules, while trying to keep it Palladium at the same time.

Do you think there would be any interest here on the boards of playing Palladium Fantasy using these rules to see how they change the shape of the game? I’d be interested in running it, perhaps.

Here’s what I’ve come up with for combat:

Combat:

Engagement:

When starting combat each character engages against an enemy. Several characters may engage each other in several different configurations.

Fight – Attacks per Melee and Volleys

Each character that is engaged then scripts a number of actions equal to his character’s attacks per melee in between 3 different volleys. The scripted options available are: Strike, Parry, Dodge, Block and Strike (with Shield Training only), Charge/Tackle. Each side will script these in actions divided evenly amongst the 3 volleys. Then, one volley at a time each side reveals their scripted actions and combat plays out as these actions are resolved.

Ex: Knight scripts; Strike, Block and Strike, Parry
Bandit scripts; Strike, Strike, Strike

Volley one would have both characters striking against each other with independent skill rolls, volley two would have a block and strike vs a strike, and volley three would have a parry vs strike.

Scoring a Hit

Assume from the example above that each character is using a sword. During volley one, strike vs strike is played out. Each character then rolls her Sword Skill, if they roll under their percentage ability they score a hit.

In volley two a block and strike was scripted vs the strike. The Knight here, gets two actions due to his training. The first will test his shield skill vs the bandit’s sword. The second will test the knights sword skill, unopposed. Shield training is quite useful.

For the bandit to score a hit against the knight in volley two he must achieve a success to strike, while the knight does not. If the knight scores a success on her block, then the two tie, and the rule of defenders comes to play.

Rule of Defenders

Defenders always win ties.

Armor and Scoring Wounds

Once an attacker scores a hit, the defender chooses where the hit lands. The defender knows his stance, and knows what’s open to hit. Therefore, the defender chooses where the strike lands.

Most likely the defender will choose a heavily armored section of the body and hope that the armor deflects the blow. Our knight will choose to get hit in the left arm. Her Full Plated Mail has a score of 80% in this location. The knights player rolls percentile, the bandit’s rolls for damage.

If the knight rolls successfully (under 80%), the armor absorbs all of the sword’s damage. The percentage of defense of that piece of armor though is reduced by the damage absorbed. For example, if the sword does 7 damage, then a gash is sliced into the armor. Its defense rating then drops from the 80% to 73%.

If the knight’s armor fails (above 80%) then the sword finds its way through a gap in the armor, and the bandit scores a wound. The damage rolled is 7.

– Note: Maces and other blunt weapon do not damage Padding, Leather, S. Leather, or Chainmail as they flex. The weaons will crush the bone underneath, but not damage the armour.

Determining Wounds

The damage rolled is seven and the knight compares the 7 to his wound scale. The chart advises him that he’s been hit with a light wound.

Hacking Palladium Fantasy

(originally posted Sept 6th, 2016 @ palladiumknights.com)

So I have this weird relationship with Palladium Games. I ‘grew up’ with Palladium, with it being the first system that I really got to dig into and it was the first system I played consecutively, and ran campaign play with. Because of that it has a soft spot in my heart. I get nostalgic when thinking of those early games.

After playing Palladium solely for several years, I took a big break from table top games all together. I was reintroduced through new games. These new games thought, and acted differently that Palladium, and through playing them i began to be able to look at games critically, knowing what it was that i was looking for a game to have.

So I thought about it, and want to hack Palladium Fantasy. Non of this has been play tested, and basically is just floating around my head. Let me know what thoughts you might have on. Tell me whats cook, tell me whats rubbish. These are in no particular order.

Palladium Hacks

[*]I want to change the task resolution of the skill set to a conflict resolution. This changes the way that skill checks work, at a fundamental level. Instead of making the roll for a binary ‘pass or fail’, you would now roll for a ‘pass…but’. Another way to look at it would be to think of it as, not rolling to see if your task succeeds of fails, but to see if resolve the conflict at hand successfully. This is kind of the ‘why’ behind rolling for the skill. For example, if you look at the ‘pick locks’ skill, we’re no longer wondering ‘if’ you pick the lock. We’re more concerned with the why; with the conflict at hand. Are you able to pick the lock before the guard sees you, or are you able to pick the lock to quietly enter the Duke’s chambers?

[*] I dont want failure to ever be a dead end. This ties into the conflict resolution above, just a bit. I never want a roll to be, no you dont open the lock. Thats boring. Thats a road block, a dead end. Neither the fiction, nor the game play move anywhere from there, and I dont like playing games like that. Every time the dice are rolled, something should happen. “nothing happens’ – should never happen. Examples would include allowing the character to succeed at task, but perhaps fail at the conflict at hand. Yeah sure, you pick the lock and enter the room, but the guard totally saw you, and he’s sounded the alarm. Now what do you do? Or you could allow them to ‘fail forward’ and take something from them, while they get what they want. Yes you pick the lock, but you destroy your thieves’ tools in the process.

[*] “Let it Ride”. This ties directly into the previous two. When you roll the dice, the results stand. No re-rolling until you finally pass. This protects the players too.

[*] I may want to remove the d20 all together, and resolve everything with percentile dice. That way we can resolve all tests using one die mechanic.

[*] This ties in above, but I would replace WP’s with individual weapon skills.

[*] Add social skills. I dont know why on earth, or on the palladium world there are no social skills. And dont come to me with crap about ‘well if you’re MA’ is supernatural you have like a 20% chance of intimidating someone.’ Thats a bunch of crap. So you cant get someone to see the way you see things unless your supernaturally disposed? I’ll add in Persuasion, Manipulation, Intimidation, Oratory, and Haggling. Having social skills changes the entire dynamic of the game. When you can convince someone with your words, you’re a lot less inclined to have to use your sword to do all your talking.

[*] I’ll remove classes, for a more ‘path’ related option. You could think of this similarly to the skill sets available in Heroes Unlimited. You would pick a ‘path’ related to your parents’ occupation, and open skills from there, then from your current occupation, and then pick from a general pool for remaining skills. This allows more customization.

[*] I want to rework combat in order to do away with initiative. The old school turn order initiative system is archaic and slow, dull, drab, and boring. I’d like to switch it out with an engagement and scripting system. Engage your target, and then each combatant scripts out their moves equal to attacks per melee. Then they resolve each action against each other, one at a time. This leads to an almost ‘rock paper scissors’ or strike vs block, strike vs parry, and strike vs strike. This creates tension and suspense with chaotic, tactical combats.

[*] I want to rework the way armor is damaged. I want different weapons to have advantage against different sets of armor. Also the SDC of most armors is too high, and will be lowered.

[*] I’d like to break down the faith mechanics and add additional effects priests can provide. Many of the ‘miracles’ could be broken down into separate mechanically beneficial abilities.

[*] I’d like to rework magic so that it requires a roll of a Sorcery or Summoning skill to successfully cast.

[*]I’d like to remove HP and SDC and implement a wound system. Something like take a character’s HP as a pool and figure something akin to taking 10% damage induces a superficial wound, 25% damage inflicts a light wound, 50% a severe wound, 75% a traumatic wound, etc. Wounds then would stack and their given penalties would be cumulative. Then for healing each wound would heal individually. This makes combat deadlier and once again gives players reason to solve problems without always resorting to violence as a first step.

[*] Removing levels from the game would mean being able to test unskilled and would mean having to be able to learn skills through play. A way to do this would be to have a player test unskilled a certain amount of predetermined times, and then having the character learn the skill once it was tested unskilled, the correct amount of times.

[*] I would like equipment to have mechanical benefits in game. Say for the pick locks skill. Thieves tools should be required. You could have a penalty that halves percentile chance if the correct tools, or workstation (for smithing and such) are not available. Then having appropriate equipment – like ropes, and pitons for climbing; maps for orienteering (Land Navigation); evidence for debating; poultices for healing, etc – should give a mechanical bonus to the skill being rolled.

[*]Help. Players should be able to have their characters help each other in game through positioning themselves fictionally. This would work two ways. First a player should be able to have his character us Cartography to make the map that will mechanically benefits another player’s Land Navigation roll. Or a player should be able to fictionally position his character to be able to help another character. This should be something like a player with ‘hunting’ being able to describe how knowing the paths and trials of animals in the area, be able to fictionally position his character to help the character making the Land Navigation test, and you should get a mechanical bonus for this.

Like I said before, this is just general musings as to what I’ve been thinking could help the game system. I know more will be required for this to work ( like new advancement systems, because Im getting rid of experience points). This also is not meant to be the ‘end all be all’, but Im only wishing to start discussion.

So please talk with me about game system.