member, 358 posts
Tue 2 Apr 2019
at 19:12
Re: IC: Truly deadly dungeon with rp
You might be able to pull this off, but there are a few things to consider...

1. Players who tend to enjoy roleplaying a lot quite often aren't into character death. They want to see their character's stories develop and grow, and would rather not be cut down by a random trap or what have you. There are exceptions to this, but many will either not join at all, or get annoyed whenever their characters get torn apart by kobolds.

2. Conversely, players who love tactical, high death games tend not to get too involved in setting or roleplaying. They tend to enjoy treating the game more as a puzzle to be solved, and the same will go with character creation. Expect people to build more for efficiency than fun. Even if they do build a fun character, it won't matter if they can't make it through the grinder.

3. Consider your system carefully when making this sort of game. Something with quicker character creation, like Shadow of the Demon Lord, may be better than something like D&D 3.5, where character creation is such an intensive process that people will not respond well to losing them. What are your goals tactically? You mentioned homebrewing your own system, but what would be its nature and presentation? What sort of story are you specifically trying to tell? There are oodles of fantasy systems out there that can run a concept like this, make sure you try to find the right one.

4. With the equipment and scavenging element, what are you aiming for? Is it like Monster Hunter where the characters are trying to build better armor and weapons for themselves? Is it like Forbidden Lands or Mutant Year Zero where characters are trying to build up fortresses and settlements? Is it like Red Markets where characters are simply trying to survive? Is it purely goal oriented with players just being contracted to do a specific task in each adventure? Is it something else entirely?

5. Expect players to be extremely cautious and low-risk. If death is around every corner, people will make sure to SUPER DOUBLE TRIPLE CHECK every corner. And throw a rock. And aim for highly defensive tactics. And why wouldn't they?
 member, 1504 posts
Tue 2 Apr 2019
at 20:01
Re: IC: Truly deadly dungeon with rp
That last point ceaser is exactly what I'm going for. I'm not looking for a high death rate, but I do want players to be actually careful in trying to survive instead of this modern popular idea of nearly invincible characters, and for that, the danger must be real.

I want players who are careful to survive, while those who act like this is a video game should die horribly (and preferably entertainingly). I do want players to reach higher lvl, but for them to feel like it was a significant accomplishment to do it, that was a difficult but achievable thing.
 member, 17 posts
Tue 2 Apr 2019
at 20:04
Re: IC: Truly deadly dungeon with rp
Seems like you are asking for a contradiction a bit. You do not want super tactical game, but on the other hand you are looking to punish for a misstep. If I was to join a game lime that I would insist on well defined rules and total RAW play, no House rules or only well defined ones.
 member, 1505 posts
Tue 2 Apr 2019
at 20:37
Re: IC: Truly deadly dungeon with rp
The problem I have witn tnat is simple, most who are uptight about it pick "you can only do what the rules say you can do” instead of "do what you want and we’ll figure out a way to handle it.”

To me, the latter is the important point. Now I agree with well defined rules, and I'd like to think my houserules for d20 are defined well enough (the custom system needs to be played and refined, but if the players are judging possibility according to the wodld rather than mechanics, then I can handle that refining much less disruptively, if it gets noticed at all).

I very much agree with the Alexandrian when he says
I think the truth is that a properly structured rule system facilitates rulings

This point relates quite well to this article,

Truthfully, I very much like the Alexandrian, and understanding his articles on such things gives a good idea of my values as a gm (and player). Not sure if I'm as good a gm in practice yet, but that is what I work towards.
 member, 18 posts
Tue 2 Apr 2019
at 20:53
Re: IC: Truly deadly dungeon with rp
Perhaps, but you are also asking people to familiarise themselves with a rule system which will be used for only this one game. High risk, low reward.
 member, 359 posts
Tue 2 Apr 2019
at 20:55
Re: IC: Truly deadly dungeon with rp
One thing I will have to note though is that for dungeon descriptions you will have to be VERY detailed. In a play by post environment like RPoL, there is no chance to let players ask questions without excessive time being put on it. And if there are details that aren't described or specifically mentioned, it'll be hard to add them in after.
 member, 1507 posts
Tue 2 Apr 2019
at 22:17
Re: IC: Truly deadly dungeon with rp
@ darut
Might be, but I'm hoping to publish someday.

@ caesar
That is true, very true.
 member, 1508 posts
Thu 4 Apr 2019
at 15:54
Re: IC: Truly deadly dungeon with rp
So, there has been some questions and discussion, but how many remain interested? One thing I have noticed a lack of, is which answers folks wanted to hear, and whether anyone is interested with the answers given.
Isida KepTukari
 member, 259 posts
 Elegant! Arrogant! Smart!
Thu 4 Apr 2019
at 16:53
Re: IC: Truly deadly dungeon with rp
I am always up for a game with good RP, but for a game with high risks and high potential death (with little chance for resurrection or raising), that puts a damper on my enthusiasm.  I don't want to put a lot of effort into a character's backstory and interaction with other players just to have them squashed by a stone trap that we were unable to disable, one room later.

In this situation, I'd like to have multiple characters ready and waiting to go in the event of death (siblings or members of the same order or something of the sort) if this were in a more rules-heavy Pathfinder-like system, or a very simple character-creation system (like Cypher System) so I could make a new character easily.  Not that I wouldn't be cautious and fight to avoid dying, but if you're saying up-front that death is a real possibility, I'd like some character insurance so I'm not stuck starting over.

Your idea for your world looks quite intriguing indeed and something I'd be interested in playing, I'm just curious about the exact system and house rules that would be used, so I would know the upfront character-creation investment one would need to make to be prepared. :)
 member, 19 posts
Thu 4 Apr 2019
at 17:02
Re: IC: Truly deadly dungeon with rp
Agree with previous poster. Too many uncertainties to commit time to. Thank you for the offer, but no.
 member, 578 posts
Thu 4 Apr 2019
at 17:08
Re: IC: Truly deadly dungeon with rp
Being a bit of a Call of Cthulhu fan I would say that investing time to really RP a character with a full personality and then go through the pain of them dying is actually a bittersweet experience. But Call of Cthulhu is a horror game where PCS are kind of expected to die (or at least pick out a nice new straight jacket).

I don't have much experience with D&D (It was the first RPG I played but that was when I was still in my teens). What I do remember is that everyone was less concerned with role playing and more concerned with leveling up.

Maybe rather than making the traps extremely hard you could design them so that players have to co-operate fully to get past them. That kind of team work should foster good roleplay.
 member, 1509 posts
Thu 4 Apr 2019
at 20:51
Re: IC: Truly deadly dungeon with rp
I'd rather not get so lethal as to kill PCs left and right, just the occasional death.

In amy case, I'll post a detailed overview of the rules I'll be using tonight or tommorrow.

However, I'll link some rules from Alexandrian I'll be using, notably the death and dying rules,

Some other stuff from him that impacts my view on running a game, not so much specific rules though,
 member, 824 posts
 You can call me V, just V
 Life; a journey made once
Thu 4 Apr 2019
at 21:25
Re: IC: Truly deadly dungeon with rp
DLH, I'd love to play a game like this. Let me know if you create one.

This message was last edited by the user at 21:38, Thu 04 Apr.

 member, 1510 posts
Fri 5 Apr 2019
at 11:54
Re: IC: Truly deadly dungeon with rp
That's one person. :)

I've been up 19 hours now, so the following is hardly my best writing, but since understanding the rules was a big thing, I went with the 3.x mod. Sticking with core books, though each player can ask for one thing from either the d20srd or the pfsrd, though nothing is certain till I see what you want, but I'll honestly try to work it in.

The general idea of the rules mods,
4 major facets
1) Dice. This is the 3d6 and Variable Modifiers alt rules, but with a twist. Instead of 3 same sized dice, one is a d12, one is based on your ability modifier (these adjusted to always have a positive modifier), and one is either a skill rank (for skill checks, attack rolls, etc) or a second ability modifier (for saves). Other modifiers are still static.

This also uses the "players roll the dice" variant rule, except you roll for any actions you proactively take, while I'll roll for anything that happens to you (to reduce turn around on discussions, I won't generally ask you to make a check because something happened to you, but things you actively do will be your roll instead of me rolling to beat your DCs. This mostly affects magic, but other abilities that normally call for saves will now be you rolling to beat enemy saves).

There are two new Take 10 like options, Careful and Precise. Careful lets you assume a max result on your smallest die, but it takes twice the materials and expert tools, if any, and 10 times as long. Precise takes 100 times as long, 10 times the materials, and masterwork tools, but lets lets you assume max result on your two smallest dice. (this can be used for spells, disable device, open lock, etc).

2) Advancement
The numerical power is swapped to scale on attributes or the new Power stat, and thus levels can be gained faster and expand your options without drastically increasing numerical power beyond humanity into demigods. This also allows power to be adjusted based on narrative points (like finding certain things in the dungeon, hint, hint. That said, you are unlikely to reach 10 power).

In some ways this increases power at first level (more hp, more spell slots, etc), but also makes it grow broadly rather than deeply as the game goes on (you gain access to more spells but not many more slots).

Most of it is quite simply looking at a stat instead of level for certain numbers. Sneak Attack and similar progressions go by power, while max skill ranks starts at 4 and increases by one at lvls 6, 18, 30, 48, ... (a recurring progression).

At first level you start with your int score in skill ranks, and every lvl up you gain your int modifier in skill points.

Proficiencies are now skills and bab is your skill in a weapon. Thus attacks are literally skill checks. Armor skill ranks reduce armor check penalties and spell failure chance.

3) Health and Injury
The Alexandrian's Death and Dying rules are in use except modified as following, Hit points are your "non-lethal" points. You have a number equal to your Con score plus your con modifier for each of these levels 6, 18, 30, 48, 72, ...

Non-lethal dmg simply deals hp dmg. Lethal dmg over half your con score forces a fort save, failure and you get injured taking 1 con dmg and the injury leads to some ongoing penalty effect thematically appropriate (hit location rolled randomly, effects like slowed speed, -2 to movement skills, etc). If the lethal dmg was over your con score, then injuries can be severe, such as losing a leg, taking 1d6 con dmg, etc.

Note, just as PCs are being kept "down-to-earth," so are the monsters, so dmg values won't be skyrocketing like normal. That doesn't mean they'll be weak.

The threshold of death is your con score times 1+ your con modifier. Non-lethal dmg will generally knock you out long before killing you, but lethal dmg will usually cause your con score to go down to, reducing your death threshold.

4) Magic
Magic now requires a skill check to cast, with a magic skill for each spell (spontaneous casters) or spell school/subschool (for prepped casters).

Casting a spell simply requires the correct skill check to beat a DC 5*(Spell level +1). Margin of success dictates CL of the spell.

Any spell of a spell level less than 1/2 your power stat, can be cast indefinitely per day unless fatigued or exhausted.

If fatigued, and/or out of spell slots, you can cast a spell by taking 1d4 hp damage per spell lvl.

Most general metamagic feats are usable by any caster without a feat. In all cases, metamagic feats increase the DC to cast a spell but do not otherwise raise the spell level (meaning you can metamagic your highest level spells).

The DC of your spells (now a check on your part) uses your casting check result plus power. However, you can increase the DC by upping the difficulty of the spell (basically the heighten spell feat).

Note, summoning effects are altered in flavor, require expensive foci, and require choosing specific creatures. Also, mid to high level only.

This message was last edited by the user at 13:47, Fri 05 Apr.

 member, 1511 posts
Sat 6 Apr 2019
at 01:33
Re: IC: Truly deadly dungeon with rp
I forgot about initiative, just what is normal for me but should be clarified.

I use initiative only in the uncommon cases where order of events is important, such as whether the cleric got bless off in time for fighter to get the +1 to hit instead of miss, of if a monster dies that round, did they make their attack or not. Thus for pbp, everyone posts when they can for that round. I roll initiative for each instance that it actually matters. This makes initiative matter less often but on those occasions it does, high dex and Improved Initiative matters more than normal.

This also means that the last player to post/take their turn can still help the others in the same round. For example, the rogue misses by 1, then the cleric player posts casting bless. Then if their initiative was high enough, the rogue might benefit and turn that miss into a hit.
 member, 1512 posts
Sun 7 Apr 2019
at 11:51
Re: IC: Truly deadly dungeon with rp
If this doesn't interest anyone, I could alternatively use my own system which only a bit simpler but tailored to the gameplay I'm going for.
 member, 1495 posts
 Captain Oblivious!
Mon 8 Apr 2019
at 00:45
Re: IC: Truly deadly dungeon with rp
In reply to DarkLightHitomi (msg # 23):

It's really going to be a hard sell; because as far as I can tell, you're wanting to run a "death game".   Which doesn't really appeal to the vast majority of the player base for reasons that I've already touched upon.  As far as the system you're trying to create, I'd suggest looking at both Slayers d20 (for the rather wonky magic system) and Traveller d20 (for the health/vitality system).

That said: good luck!  ^_^
 member, 1513 posts
Mon 8 Apr 2019
at 01:39
Re: IC: Truly deadly dungeon with rp
I'm not really trying for a full on "death game," I just want something where players need to actually be cautious and not run around like invincible death gods with some strange expectation of surviving and defeating everything they encounter no matter how stupid their antics. And also keep things down to earth so-to-speak.

I've never heard of those systems, I'll take a look but I actually like fiddling with systems, so I'd rather shape something to my needs over taking an existing something that isn't quite what I want.

This message was last edited by the user at 01:42, Mon 08 Apr.

Isida KepTukari
 member, 262 posts
 Elegant! Arrogant! Smart!
Mon 8 Apr 2019
at 09:21
Re: IC: Truly deadly dungeon with rp
I was more or less with you until you put up your Dice and Advancement rules (msg 22).  I couldn't see those on the site you had posted, and I am a bit confused on how they work. Most of your adjustments make sense and don't require excessive changes to a d20 character, but those two rules sound like they make much more major changes.  Could you clarify those, please?

I am fine with having a possibility of death, as the hit point rules you've proposed make characters a little more sturdy, and the magic "save or die/save or suck" adjustments make dying from one bad roll less of an issue.  Your philosophy is clear, don't waltz in the dungeon like you're a video game character with unlimited lives, or a movie protagonist with Plot Armor, and I am very cool with that.
 member, 1514 posts
Mon 8 Apr 2019
at 11:27
Re: IC: Truly deadly dungeon with rp
The dice and advancement rules are my own creations. I'll give more detail tonight, but a few notes in the meantime,

The purpose of the advancement rules is to separate out raw numerical power so it can be manipulated separate from level, for many reasons, not the least of which due to the proposed setting needing power increases separate from skill and training. It is my alternative to e6, allowing continued and even perhaps faster progression while remaining in the desired scope of play (gritty, supernatural, wuxia, demigods, etc). The idea is that you can get 100 levels and still have the limits of real world humans if power is capped right.

The dice is something I put together before and had been using when I put together the advancement rules. I could probably skip it, but if I did, I'd want to at least use the 3d6 as I never liked the swinginess of a single die. It just never occured to me to not include it if I was going homebrew anyway.
 member, 1515 posts
Tue 9 Apr 2019
at 07:03
Re: IC: Truly deadly dungeon with rp
Alternate Advancement

Characters have a new stat, Power. Power represents a character's overall level of power in terms of abilities and such. Higher power means being more capable, having magic do more dmg and last longer, being harder to harm or kill, etc. Power is the scale from gritty "realism" to superheroes. Power is a flat bonus to max skill ranks, Saving throws, Caster level, and Racial Spell Resistance. Power multiplies both hitpoints and hit dice. Some abilities use Power as well, such as sneak attack.

Altered stats.
BAB is replaced entirely by the new skill Combat, which has a set of sub-skills (like knowledge, profession, etc), one for each weapon group. Any bonuses that apply to BAB in general apply to these skills instead. Obviously, attacking with a weapon requires rolling the appropriate skill. Proficiency is simply being trained in the appropriate skill. If using the skill untrained, you take the -4 penalty for being untrained. Class proficiencies designate class skills.

Saves are no longer a separate stat, instead when you roll, you add two abilities and Power. Fortitude saves get Str and Con. Reflex saves get Wis and Dex. Will saves get Wis and Cha.

Maximum skill points equals 4 plus Power for class skills. Cross class skill are 2 less than class skills.

Skill ranks cost a number of skill points equal to the rank, thus the first skill rank is 1 skill point, the second skill rank costs 2 skill points (for a total of 3 spent), etc.

Skill points are gained at a set rate separate from class. A character gets 1+Power+Int at each level after the first level. At first level, a character starts with their Int score plus Power in skillpoints.

ranks and total cost,

Hit Dice
Hit dice size is based on creature type (a d8 in the case of humanoids, 3.x rules have the hit die size for the different types and subtypes). You get a number of hit dice equal to Power.

Hit Points
A character has a number of HP equal to their Con score plus Power * (con modifier plus 6).

Spell Resistance
Spell Resistance comes in minor and greater varieties. Minor SR is 6+Power. Greater SR is 11+Power.
 member, 1516 posts
Tue 9 Apr 2019
at 07:38
Re: IC: Truly deadly dungeon with rp
Alternate Dice Rolling Method
This is a combination of the 3d6 and Variable Modifiers variant rules with a twist.

In this variant a character's stats determine the size of various dice. One die is sized according to a new stat, Tier. Tier is normally a d8 for average members of civilized races. Primitives like goblins generally have a d6 instead, and animals usually have a d2 to d4. Traps and other unthinking objects, should they ever make rolls, would have no Tier die unless magically imbued to adjust to the triggering creature/circumstance. Particularly capable individuals can sometimes have a larger Tier die, and often heroic individuals gain increased die size.

Ability scores determine the second die. However, the ability score modifiers are insufficient  (negative dice and no dice for average characters slows things down quite a bit), thus die size is determined from score according to the following formula. An ability score of 1-4 has no die, while scores 5-8 has a d2, scores 9-12 are a d4, and so on, for every 4 points the die increases by 1 size (even number of sides only).

The skill ranks directly set the size of another die. Dice go up by evens only, so the number of sides a die has is twice the rank of the skill. 1 rank is d2, 2 ranks is a d4, etc.

Thus, a roll would be three dice, the tier die, an ability die, and a skill die, with static modifiers added to the result.

An example skill check.
A character with a Tier of d8, a 14 Str (a d6), and 3 ranks in Tumble with a +4 tumble bonus from a magic ring. A tumble check would therefore be a D8+D6+D6+4.
 member, 1519 posts
Sat 13 Apr 2019
at 21:04
Re: IC: Truly deadly dungeon with rp
I've had questions and tentative interest, only one for certain interested party who didn't answer my pm.

So, if anyone likes this idea, pm me about it. Till then, I'll work on the next project.
 member, 1521 posts
Sun 14 Apr 2019
at 02:15
Re: IC: Truly deadly dungeon with rp
I've got someone who is fine with soloing but wouldn't mind additional players. So I'm setting up the game and will link here should anyone else have an interest.
 member, 1522 posts
Mon 15 Apr 2019
at 07:55
Re: IC: Truly deadly dungeon with rp
link to another game