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Shadow of the Sun

A Homebrew RPG, of sorts...

Oh no! Dave's caught the homebrew bug!

Well, to be fair, I haven't really pinned down the mechanics perfectly, need to work in magic/psionics, but I think the general concept so far is pretty good.

Okay, shocker number one: The mechanics.

Anyone who has played a tabletop RPG will probably, right now, be expecting me to list off some stuff like d6, or d20, or hell, even dPi.

But guess what?

NO DICE.

I might be alone here, but I really don't like the concept of chance based roleplaying; it seems to remove the appeal. Also, I'm a bit of a sadist, and I LOVE forcing players to choose between two unpleasant options.

That's why dice are out on their ear to make room for what I call 'ante points'. An ante point is, basically, an all-purpose means of buying the difference between your stats and what you need to get past. Say, for example, my character is attacking a troll who happens to have a block skill of 7. My character has an attack skill (skills so far unfinalized and simplified for explanation) of 5. To make sure that my character can hit the opponent, I have to pay 3 ante points, to make up the difference.

Now, some of you might spot a flaw here. This is, probably, "Dave, you silly chimp, if you can just BUY the difference between skills, then what's the point!?"

Simply? Like I said, I like making players make hard choices. And, so, your pool of ante points is limited per situation/session/encounter, whatever. So, you can choose too: spend all of your points to completely kill this troll in one hit...and be useless for the rest of the combat, OR, spent a few points, keep your block skill useful, let the troll bleed to death, and stay alive. This also has the bonus of shutting up the munchkins, because someone who is creepily into overkill will likely get it returned to them tenfold.

Further, focussing on combat makes you a little useless in other situations.

Like I said, the skill set hasn't been finalized, but it's a lot like the DnD system, just more or less minus the...dice rolling. Stats, likewise, have an effect on skills, so good stats means less ante-points you have to spend.

And now, feats! When your character levels up, you get your hands on a certain amount of what I'll call 'gift points', for now. Basically, your gift points can be used for four reasons: first, to buy a feat, which might give you a specific skill most normals won't have, second, to buy more stats, third, to buy more skills, and fourth, to increase the amount of ante points you're allowed to have per situation/session/whatever. In the case of option four, this will be less than the bonuses you'd get if you chose a feat, or a stat upgrade, or whatever, because we don't want retardedly platter-power supermen who make the people who chose feats look like chimps.

The combat is probably gonna be something based around wound points, with bleeding-to-death being a very likely means of death.

Again, I stress this is just a rough idea, for now.

So, now we move to shocker number two, the alignment system.

As I said about, I'm a bit of a sadist, and like forcing players to make choices that they might not like, and my alignment system is an example of this.

Further, I hate the lawful-chaotic-good-evil grid idea in DnD, because I think it drastically simplifies morals AND allows the whole Lawful Stupid idea.

As such, it's out on it's ear.

Instead, there is what I'm going to call the 'ideals system'. What this means is: when you make your character, you have to choose a series of ideals (I'd say above three, no upper limit but the GM might slap you if you have 50 of them). Okay, so you've chosen your ideals, so now you have to give each one a number from 1 to 10, with 1 meaning that it means something to them but they'll abandon it if they have too, and 10 meaning that defying them will hurt them to their very soul.

Got me so far?

Now for the fun. There's a mechanical aspect to the alignment system (another quibble with the DnD system; having an alignment only has a minimal aspect on gameplay). Say, for example, my character has as two of his ideals, Justice 4 and Freedom 9. He's found a murderer, a fellow who likewise wants his freedom but still did a crime. Now, in this situation, my character's desire for freedom and his desire for justice intersect. So, now...to make my decision, I can either: let him go free, pushing my Freedom score up to 10 and lowering my Justice score to 3, OR, I can turn him in, paying 5 ante points to go against my main ideal, which changes my ideal points up to Justice 5 and Freedom 8.

I know that a lot of players might find this to be incredibly tiring and tedious, but I think it's more realistic: if you're forced to choose between two ideals that conflict, one is likely going to become stronger in your psyche, AND, I like the fact that this allows a dynamic morality system.

Any time an ideal hits 0, it's dropped because it no longer means anything for the character, and the player can either pick a new one, or just go with the lowered amount, which would kinda show that his morality is becoming less confused.

And now for shocker number 3, which isn't much of a shocker, but I like the thematic numbering: the metanarrative.

This one can vary from campaign to campaign, but the one that I thought of when I got the idea was: each of the players is a number of the powers-that-be, and they want something to happen in the mortal world. Now, they're not able to interfere directly, so what do they do? They choose a champion! If we look at it like this, the ante points become a quantifiable example of your favour and the amount of influence you can exert without the other powers-that-be (the other players and the DM) punting you between the legs.

Okay.

That's all I've got for now.

Like I said, I need to finalize this, design monsters, races, weapons, armour, work out magic and such, but this is the basic mechanics behind. If anyone would like to help me with this, I'd be much obliged, and if this becomes sold I'll try to find out who you are so you get part of the dosh.
Shadow of the Sun

Okay, I've got an idea for two feats. Remember, because I'm close to graduation and stuff, this isn't exactly gonna be quick, but we'll work this out.

First feat:
You'd Better Feel Lucky...
Cost: 2 gift points
Effect: Any character that has this feat and is utilizing a ranged weapon with repeat fire capacity (i.e. the ability to fire more than once before reloading) can, after their weapon has run out of ammunition, pay one (1) ante point too fire one more shot before having to reload.

Second feat:
Rapid Fire
Cost: 2 gift points
Effect: Any character that has this feat and is utilizing a ranged weapon with repeat fire capacity can choose to fire more than one shot in a round of combat provided they pay 2 ante points for each additional shot. Each shot may have a separate target. Further, the target(s) being shot at gets a bonus to 2 times the overall number of extra shots of blocking any of the given shots.
Most amateur shooters tend to ignore the fact that the cumulative recoil of an automatic weapon will generally completely ruin their aim. For this purpose, most expert shooters will fire one shot at a time, or, if that is unfeasible, in small bursts.
Shadow of the Sun

I'm doing this backwards, really...

I've got the fluff for the test campaign almost all worked out so far, while the mechanics are still behind.

Nevertheless, I give you: The Test Campaign Stetting!

Meheru

Creation Myth:

In the beginning, there was nothing. Not even a void. Not empty shapeless chaos, just...nothing. Beyond our comprehension. But as inevitable as the march of time, nothing turned to something, zero turned to one...

And there was God. And it was good.

And God was all. All that was, was he. He knew all. He saw all, he heard all, he was all. And yet, he was lonely. Nothing existed that was not him. He had no company.

And so, God decided to know himself.

Like a sphere of water exploding into billions of droplets, the universe was born from the flesh of God, from the soul of God.

And it was good.

Time went by. Planets formed. Stars formed. Life grew, plants grew, people grew. And all contained God. Some more than others. Some had the ability to appear like a shadow of the being from whom the sprang.

And so we called them Gods.

There was conflict. All were one, while all were separate. All wanted to truly be one again, while remaining separate. The battle of the Gods ravaged the world, burning the mortal folk, changing the world forever.

And it was not good.

The Gods, as time grew, learned that this was not the way. Their battles did nothing but damage the oneness that they shared, pushed them away from each other in an attempt to be one again. They pledged: to never directly interfere.

So grew the age of Man.

The Age of Man:

After the gods had left the world, their power still leaving scars and stains, the men of the world were lost. Afraid. They had no inkling of what had happened, where the Gods had gone, what might happen. And so they regressed to an early age, took refuge in the past.

The men divided up into tribes, growing over time further and further apart. Not just different ethnic groups, but different species. Each to fit their chosen environment. Their shared origin paled into obscurity, each group believing they were the first.

Until...

It was an accident, they said. Perhaps. We'll never know. But given the sheer coincidence of the happening, it is more likely an act of the Gods.

Magic.

The power of magic was spread to the people of the world, allowing them to tap the divinity that was born into their very forms. Magic, which caused a social revolution, magic, which pushed the world into an age of expansion, an age of nations, an age of change.

The Age of Change

This is the era that your characters will live in, an Era similar to the Renaissance of Europe.

Technology: The discovery of magic was the catalyst for the age of change, but it wasn't the only thing that advanced. Technology advanced, too, as those who could not learn magic entered and arms-race, of sorts, with the magic users, trying to keep up and reaffirm the status quo. Repeating weapons, such as the pepper-box, are not entirely uncommon, although very expensive and fragile. Due to the expense of said repeating weapons, the bow and arrow, crossbow, and sword still hold the main sway in the matters of warfare.

Society: Despite the increase in martial technology in an attempt to keep the mages from gaining massive amounts of power, the social order has more or less become a feudal system, with the mage-kings, their only right that they can demand by strength, ruling over all and oppressing all.

Medical technology and even the idea of regular bathing are more or less non-existent; the mage-kings tend to push down such knowledge so that they can manipulate the people with a monopoly on healing magic.

The Backdrop: Each player is one of those who have left the world, sworn not to directly interfere, but each has decided that the time is ripe for an exercise in manipulation. As such, each player has chosen a champion that they can back, to spread their cause: giving their champion ideas, 'luck' in combat, and more.

What is more, each player knows for sure only that they are the ones mobilizing influence. They suspect, to be sure, that the other gods are doing the same thing, but they do not know. They are blind in a sea of manipulation, each trying to further their agenda while stomping out the possibility of any other god's.

This isn't a game of Player vs GM.

This is Player vs Everyone else.

He who wins gains dominance over the world, the ability to direct it to their liking.

And, to allay suspicions, they have chosen the least likely champions they can find.

...good luck.

You'll need it.

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