@Skitzophrenik: I'm very tempted to upgrade your character concept to a "tribe" now (which I already did with Kavonde's medical tribe) -- some kind of oil-raiding hilbilly bandits who are a thorn in the BoS's side. Is that okay?
Regarding what direction I'd like this to go in; I'm not sure that I would actually want to DM this game on these forums, sorry. I'm really into developing this setting, but I'm also booked up to run the next Paranoia campaign. To that end, I'd really love it if somebody volunteers to co-DM this one. If you want to do so, I'll start by sending you a spiel on the secret motivations of every major faction and the (hopeful) ultimate direction of the main plot. We can brainstorm the plot, you can poke holes in my logic and come up with new ideas, and hopefully between the two of us we'll figure out how best to run the game.
So here are my thoughts on the basics of the character/gameplay system. This is based loosely on Jace911's homebrewed system that he sent me (woo thanks man!).S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Stats
Every character gets 40 Character Points (CP) to divide between the 7 SPECIAL stats; Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck. Every SPECIAL stat has a range from 1-10, and it can never leave this range for gameplay purposes (no matter how many bonuses or penalties you stack). However, all of your bonuses and penalties will be tracked for determining the final score.e.g. Pete has a base AG score of 9. He equips a hat which gives him AG+2. This takes his effective AG up to 10, because it can't exceed 10. However, if Pete later takes a -1 penalty to AG, his AG is still 10, because 9+2-1=10.
A "stat check" is a dice roll to determine how well you do with a raw stat (i.e. you're just using the stat, not modified by a skill). For example, gambling might require a Luck check, while resisting addiction requires an Endurance check. Stat checks are rolled on a d10, and you must roll lower than
your stat to succeed (rolling equal to your stat is a failure). This means that if you try to make a stat check against a stat of 1, you will automatically fail. The good news is that stat checks are fairly rare; you'll mostly be making skill checks.Derived Stats
Derived stats are additional statistics which are figured out from your base stats. They determine some pretty important things.
Regarding evasion and damage resistance; I'm attempting to fix one of my biggest problems with most RPG systems (D&D being the biggest offender) where they conflate how good you are at avoiding attacks with how good you are at taking attacks. In my opinion, your ability to dodge should be a completely different stat to your ability to take a hit; for a great example, see the "DEF/ARM" system in Iron Kingdoms/Warmachine/Hordes. This is kinda-sorta represented in the old Fallouts with "AC/DT", but AC will make people think of D&D, so I'm using "Evasion" instead (which is what it was called in J. E. Sawyer's RPG). As things stand, light armour will add to your EV, heavy armour will add to your DR, and medium armour will add to both.Skills
- Critical Failure Score: How likely you are to score a critical failure on a skill check. This starts out equal to 90+LU.
- Critical Success Score: How likely you are to score a critical success on a skill check. This starts out equal to LU+1.
- Damage Resistance: How good you are at taking a hit. This starts at 0. When you take damage, the damage roll is reduced by your DR. Wearing heavy armour adds to your DR.
- Evasion: How good you are at not getting hit. This starts out equal to your AG value. Wearing light armour or taking cover raises your Evasion score. When someone tries to hit you in combat, they add your evasion to their d100 roll. Characters who have been surprised (or are particularly foolhardy) may have negative evasion.
- Hit Points: How many hits you can take before you go down. This starts out at 5xEN. Every time you level up, you gain your EN in hit points.
- Initiative: How fast you act in combat. This starts out at (AG+PE). In combat, everyone moves in their initiative order (highest initiative goes first, next-highest initiative goes second etc.). If two characters have the same initiative, at the beginning of the combat, they roll off to see who goes first; this result runs for the whole combat.
- Perk Rate: How many levels you must gain before getting a new perk. This starts out at 3, meaning you gain your first perk at level 3, your second at level 6 etc.
- Radiation Resistance: How good you are at not dying when irradiated. I'm not sure how radiation should work at all.
- Skill Rate: How many skill points you gain per level. This starts out as INT+10.
Skills represent the meat and drink of your day-to-day interactions with the wasteland. Skills have a range of between 1 and 100. At first level, your skills are all equal to ([base stat x 2] + [LU/2]). You also choose three skills to "tag"; tagging a skill gives you a +15 bonus to that skill, and also gives you bonus starting equipment (e.g. tag Small Guns and start the game with a 9mm pistol; tag Examine and start the game with a magnifying glass, etc. etc.). When you level up, you get new skill points to distribute as you see fit.
- Athletics (AG): Jumping, climbing, swimming, or swinging on a trapeze.
- Deception (CH): What they don't know can't hurt them. Use this skill to convince someone of something by obscuring the truth.
- Examine (PE): Looking at something really, really closely.
- Explosives (PE): How accurate you are with weapons that go boom. Does not include weapons which fire an explosive projectile (e.g. rocket launchers), although I'm sure that if you're clever you'll figure out a way to throw those projectiles at people instead.
- Handguns (AG): Your accuracy with any gun that you can hold in one hand, be it a 9mm pistol or an AEP7 laser.
- Heavy Guns (EN): Sometimes, you need more gun. This is your accuracy with any gun which shouldn't by rights fit in two hands; shoulder-mounted weapons, weapons with a backpack attached, and so forth.
- Heavy Melee (ST): When in doubt, get a bigger stick. This is any melee weapon which takes two hands to wield.
- Intimidate (ST): Talking is hard, but being scary is easy. Use this skill to terrify people into giving you what you want.
- Light Melee (AG): For those who would bring knives to a gunfight. This is your accuracy with any one-handed melee weapon.
- Lockpick (PE): Possessions are fleeting -- more so if you have bobby pins to spare. Use this skill to bust open a lock or two.
- Medicine (IN): Sure, shoving a stimpack in their leg fixes most injuries, but you need to know what part of the leg to shove it into. This skill governs how good you are at fixing people up.
- Persuasion (CH): The truth will set you free! Use this skill to convince people without lying per se.
- Repair (IN): There's a lot of broken stuff in the world, and this skill will let you patch it up.
- Rifles (PE): Guns of average size. This is any gun which takes two hands to hold, but isn't unduly heavy.
- Science (IN): Hack your way into computers, figure out weird technology, and understand technobabble.
- Sneak (AG): Keep to the shadows. This skill lets you get past people and steal their stuff without them noticing.
- Survival (EN): Keep yourself alive in the wilds. This skill is used for stringing things together out of natural components and finding food and water in the wilderness.
- Unarmed (EN): For those who know kung fu. This is how accurate you are when fighting with your fists.
A "skill check" is a dice roll made to determine whether or not you succeed with any given skill. A skill check is rolled on a d100. You earn a regular success if, after applying modifiers, your result is lower than either your skill or your Critical Success Score. If you roll lower than both
of these numbers before
applying modifiers, you have earned a critical success. A critical success ignores all modifiers and gives you an automatic success on the task at hand. In addition, the GM is encouraged to think of special additional bonuses which can be applied to the task; for example, a critical success on a Deception check might lead someone to see you as incredibly trustworthy, and they'll go along with everything you say. In combat, a critical hit deals the maximum amount of damage possible for that attack (i.e. treat it as though you'd rolled the maximum number on every die).
If you roll higher than or equal to either your skill or your Critical Failure Score, you have failed at the task. If you roll higher than or equal to both of these scores, you have critically failed. The GM is encouraged to think of special additional penalties which can be applied to a critical failure; for example, a critical failure when firing a gun may cause it to jam, or might cause the player to fumble and drop the gun.Traits
Traits are special abilities that you can take at character creation only. Every character gains racial traits, and also gets to choose up to 2 general traits. (You're allowed to choose general traits that aren't on this list of you think of them, so long as they're reasonably fair
- Addictive Personality: The effects of addictive substances last twice as long for you, but when they wear off you have to make twice as many addiction resistance rolls.
- Carnivore: When you eat meat, any bonuses you get (health, stat gain, etc.) are doubled in magnitude (not duration), while penalties (radiation, stat loss, etc.) are halved. However, when you eat food which is plant-based, the opposite is true; bonuses are halved, penalties are doubled. Heavily processed food, food which isn't meat- or vegetable-based, or food with both a meat and a vegetable component has its normal effects. To avoid doubt, ask the GM about any food you're not certain of.
- Dangerously Curious: You gain a +5 bonus to your critical success score, and a -5 penalty to your critical failure score.
- Demoman (Requires Explosives as a tagged skill): You can dual-wield one-handed Explosive weapons (grenades, dynamite etc.). However, your dual-wielding penalty is always +10.
- Glowing One (Ghouls only): You've absorbed so much radiation that you glow in the dark. You emit dim light at all times. You emit a low level of radiation, and your unarmed attacks do minor radiation damage. You can't get bonuses for sneaking if you hide in shadows.
- Hoverbot (Robots only): You can hover up to 1 metre above the ground. You are never slowed by difficult terrain, and don't take any damage from dangerous terrain or from falling. You can't climb vertical surfaces (like ladders) unless you get some kind of boost. You aren't humanoid in shape and therefore can't wear normal armour. This trait could also be applied to wheeled robots if you so desire.
- I Get No Kick: When rolling to resist addiction, you can roll twice and take the better result. However, the effects of addictive substances only last half as long for you.
- Kamikaze: You get a +5 bonus to Initiative, but a -5 penalty to Evasion.
- Large Frame (Requires ST or EN > 8): You can carry Rifles and Heavy Melee weapons in one hand, and dual-wield with your free hand (this doesn't affect which weapons are available to dual-wield with). You deal d8 base damage with Unarmed attacks. Your base Evasion is halved, and you can't wear armour which isn't crafted for your frame without modifying it.
- Perky: Your perk rate is increased by 1, but you gain 5 fewer skill points per level.
- Skilled: You gain 5 extra skill points per level, but your perk rate is reduced by 1.
- Tight Nuts (Robots only, EN>5): You're built to weather damage. You can add your EN to your DR, but any repairs only restore half as many hit points.
The only difference between races is that they all give you bonus traits. These don't count towards your trait limit, and you don't have to meet any prerequisites to get them. However, the GM has the right to veto characters with ridiculous stats (e.g. a Super Mutant with ST 1, EN 1).Humans
- Dangerously Curious: Humans always have the Dangerously Curious trait.
I probably need something else for Ghouls...Super Mutants
- Rad-Powered: Ghouls do not suffer from radiation poisoning, and heal damage when exposed to radiation. If they reach a sufficiently high radiation level, they become Feral. They heal only half as much health from any other source.
- Healthy: Super Mutants begin the game with 6 x EN HP and gain 1.5 x EN HP per level.
- Large Frame: Super Mutants always have the Large Frame trait.
- Radiation Resistant: Super Mutants can absorb twice as many rads as humans before suffering the effects of radiation poisoning.
- Carnivore: Gatormen always have the Carnivore trait.
- Large Frame: Gatormen always have the Large Frame trait.
- Man-Eater: Gatormen begin the game with the Cannibalism perk, ignoring the prerequisites. In addition, because Gatormen are basically expected to eat people, they won't lose Karma when cannibalising, and anyone who witnesses the act won't become hostile unless they knew the victim.
- Thick Skin: Gatormen add their EN to their DR.
- Mechanical: Robots are robotic! They cannot be healed and are not affected by radiation. They cannot consume food, drink, or chems. They gain +5 to DR against bullets, slashing, and flame weapons, but are vulnerable to EMP damage. They can be repaired using spare parts and Repair checks.
- Moddable: Robots are assumed to be basically humanoid at character creation -- they have two manipulator appendages and two locomotory limbs. However, given the right parts and a smart mechanic, they can get some... interesting capabilities. Simple examples of modifications you could carry out include attaching a gun to your hand or bolting armour to yourself, which would require relatively simple Repair checks, but the only limits are your parts, your access to people with high Repair and Science, and your imagination. We can't cover all of the possibilities for robot-modding here, so collborate with your GM if you need ideas.
- Purpose-Built: Robots are designed with particular capabilities in mind, which may limit their capacity for other work. A robot has only two Tagged skills at character creation, and only gets a +10 bonus to Tagged skills. Robots may Tag up to three additional skills if they designate another skill as Barred. A Barred skill begins with a value of 0, and cannot have any points invested in it. Any attempt to use a Barred skill will automatically fail. If a robot is Modded to remove a Barred skill, that Barred skill is set to 1, and the robot can gain points in it normally from there on.
You get perks at certain level-ups, equal to your Perk Rate. The easiest way I can see of running this is to PM people a list of available perks when they reach the appropriate level.CombatWhen it comes to blows, I'm not going to run a detailed combat simulation -- I'm just going to ask you for your combat tactics and run the combats myself. To some extent I feel safe in assuming certain things about combat -- a character with a sniper rifle and high Rifles skill is probably going to head for high ground, hunker down, and blow the heads off things. This is a pretty basic guide.
In combat, you get one Standard action, one Movement action, and one Swift action per turn. You can take them in any order.Standard actions
- Make an attack
- Use a concentration-intensive skill
- Take a Move or Swift action
- Move normally
- Fall back a short distance out of combat (to avoid taking an attack of opportunity)
- Reload a manual-loading gun
- Stand still and Aim, increasing your accuracy with ranged weapons
- Stand still and Guard, increasing your defence against melee attacks
- Take a Swift action
- Reload a cartridge-loading gun
- Draw or stow a weapon
Attacks are made in two stages; a roll to hit (d100 + target's Evasion + other modifiers, aiming to roll under your skill), and a roll to damage (damage dice - target's DR = damage to target's HP). Weapon damage is expressed as a dice type. When the skill is at 1-19, you roll one die of that type; when it reaches 20, you roll 2 dice; when it reaches 30, you roll 3, and so on. Some weapons might have 2 of a particular dice as their dice type, in which case you roll 4 dice at skill 20, 6 dice at skill 30 etc. Melee damage rolls add the attacker's ST.
Characters have, by default, one attack per round. A character can make any number of Additional Attacks if they have rules which allow it, but every Additional Attack you make carries a cumulative +5 penalty. Some weapons automatically make Additional Attacks (e.g. automatics, shotguns, chainsaws).
A character wielding a one-handed, non-Explosives weapon can Dual-Wield a Pistol or Light Melee weapon in their other hand. A dual-wielding character takes a +5 penalty to attack rolls with either weapon (the dual-wield penalty); however, they can make an Additional Attack with the second weapon (in D&D terms, dual-wielding attacks are made at +5/+10).
A character wielding any one-handed weapon who leaves their other hand free can make an additional Unarmed attack with their free hand. The character takes the Additional Attack penalty, but not the Dual-Wielding penalty.
A character wielding a one-handed, non-Explosive weapon can hold an Explosive in their other hand, but this is not considered dual-wielding, as explosive weapons require some concentration to throw; the character simply chooses to either throw the explosive or use their other weapon.AddictionFor the Cuftbert fans in the house...
When the effects of an addictive substance wear off, make one Addiction Resistance roll (an EN check) for every dose of the substance you took. For every EN check you fail, you gain one Addiction Point. While you have Addiction Points, you will suffer the withdrawal symptoms for that substance unless you consume doses of the substance equal to your Addiction Points. You will not gain any other effects from the substance unless you consume more than your Addiction Points, but if you do that you'll need to make new Addiction Resistance rolls.
If you tough out the withdrawal symptoms (by going without the substance for the same amount of time as one dose would last), you can make another Addiction Resistance roll. If you succeed in this roll, remove one Addiction Point. If your Addiction Points are at 0, you are no longer addicted
(For example, if you drink two bottles of whiskey, which lasts for let's say 8 hours, and fail both Addiction Resistance rolls, you will be addicted to whiskey with two Addiction Points, and immediately begin suffering withdrawal. If you consume two more bottles of whiskey, you will no longer suffer from withdrawal, but you won't gain the positive effects from the whiskey either. If you make 8 hours without drinking any whiskey, then you can make another Addiction Resistance roll to reduce your Addiction Points to 1).