Thursday, May 28, 2009

Every one into the Pools!

Before I get into magic, or characters, or well much else.  There is the underlying ground work of the game.  I basically touched upon this when I posted my first post.  But there is allot more that can be covered really.  Now I am not going to give away the farm here.  But I can talk about some of the math, how attributes work, and the perennial favorite of dice pools.  Depending on how long I can maintain a relative level of quiet in the background...I may break this up and post more tomorrow.

As I said previously, manifest destiny is a additive math system using twelve sided dice as the random value.  This makes life really simple as things only fit into one of two categories, the roll modifier and the target number.  As you may guess, the roll modifier is anything positive that helps the person when rolling.  Things like skills, helpful spells, favorable weather conditions...and so on.  On the other side is the target number, this bad boy determines if you succeed or fail.  And it is based on a set value (targets relative size or a locks difficulty rating) and any other values that can hinder the character rolling.  Things like being wounded, loud noises when trying to concentrate, adverse weather.

This simple mechanic applies to almost everything in a simple and standard way, and while there are differences depending on what your doing.  They are minimal and are easy to see.  This really was the bulk of my work...and my first two notebooks really show the evolution of the system from one of complex math and gibberish.  To one of a functional and simple math that can handle the majority of what can be thrown at it.  On to attributes!

I have played many games, and read many more.  And I have always found attributes to be a sticking point in many games.  It has been my goal really to shift things around a bit.  This has lead to my having six attributes that are all used, these being Strength, Body, Quickness, Intelligence, Willpower, and Perception.  I am working to change some of these so not to invite lawsuits...but it has been hard since they are just so perfect for what they do.

Now you may see that one seams to be missing.  That ever loathed by GMs and always loved by metagaming players, Charisma.  Well it is no more, gone, kaput, so much dust in the wind.  I removed it, replacing it with Perception, because really charisma does nothing.  It is the appendix of gaming.   And I changed up social interaction so they utilize other attributes like intelligence (negotiation skills for example), Willpower (resisting influence of those talking to you), and Perception (testing to see if you spot that eyebrow twitching as they lie).  So I have spread out player interactions so that players can *gasp* role play.

Attributes on a whole though do many things.  The first and main part is that they determine the number of dice the player can roll for the appropriate test.  So if your trying to bash some ones head in, you use your Strength dice.  But more then that, your attributes determine the number of dice in three pools.  These being the Physical pool, the Mental Pool, and the Mana Pool.

The Physical pool is the average of the three physical attributes.  So Strength plus Quickness plus Body divided into a nice simple number.  Not to big to be badly abused, not to small to be useless.  Just right to keep you alive and kicking.  The mental pool works the same way.  The mana pool though is different in that it is multiplied and determines how much Mojo you have to cast spells with.  And before you wonder, EVERY ONE in Manifest Destiny can use magic!  In fact, the Mana pool is used for so will be tomorrows section.

To prevent the abuse of pools, they are kept relatively small and they will refresh over time instead of just all returning in one shot.  Players can use them to do anything that the pool suggests, so the physical pool is for smashing, bashing, or anything physical.  While the mental pool can be used for picking locks, chatting up a friend, or may be getting that bar maid in your bed.

Well I think I have rambled on enough for now.  It really is hard not to.  But I hope this also helps people to may eventually come here to have a grounding in what I am writing.  And as I said, I will write a little about magic in general.  I will keep the specifics for later.  Thanks for reading and hope to hear from you.

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