Author Topic: Coming up with a proper Table Top style Role playing system  (Read 960 times)

Ron P

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Coming up with a proper Table Top style Role playing system
« on: September 30, 2018, 02:17:38 AM »
I know there are people in chat/game that do some role playing, basically old school like table top D&D just in world using the built in dice rolls etc.
I was talking to one and they mentioned a system like Mutants and Masterminds. Or it could be a home brew version of something more connected to COH up to and possibly including actual powers in game and the like. Not sure if there is a way to get a hold of things like damage ranges and hold durations and the like in game or approximate them. But at the same time there is no reason why it couldn't have more. Really computer "RPG's are inherently limited compared to table top ones.

I made some prototype macros (talked about in another thread in here) which can be used for powers and rolls. use of such things would streamline the experience.

How much interest is there in creating a uniformed set of RPG rules. It shouldn't and doesn't need to be too complicated. Any thoughts? interests? I am currently building a few mobs and villains for fun that could be used. My first RPG experience in Paragon Chat was actually quite fun even though it was a quite simple sorta arbitrary game mastering due to the lack of structure.

Thoughts ideas? If you know anyone into role-playing in world, or table top please send them to this thread to help in the discussion.

Nyghtshade

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Re: Coming up with a proper Table Top style Role playing system
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2018, 04:34:33 AM »
I know John Dee is posting in the CoH Alumni Facebook group about a "Mighty Protectors" Superhero campaign he's running based on City of Heroes. 
He's posted a series of youtube vids of the game sessions, if you want to check them out:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6flFoEB9MEzhDdMEo18YLItPi7m8cVH2

Ron P

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Re: Coming up with a proper Table Top style Role playing system
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2018, 05:03:53 AM »
I thought I saw a mutant's and mastermind book in that first video but the resolution is so low and bad it's hard to tell.
But I was thinking about doing the reverse of what they were doing which seems to be bringing COH to the table top rules (established rules or home brewed rules) and bring table top rules into paragon chat for skill checks positioning and obviously eye candy and back buildings etc.

Crazyleo

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Re: Coming up with a proper Table Top style Role playing system
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2018, 04:51:14 PM »
I was planning on using the Champions/Heroes system for my CoH homebrew

emperorsteele

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Re: Coming up with a proper Table Top style Role playing system
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2018, 01:55:48 AM »
I've been brewing a CoH tabletop system myself, and BOY is it hard work!

My biggest "mistake" so far (that I refuse to fix) is that I wanted to introduce a stat system (Your basic STR/CON/DEX etc sort of thing), and have each stat be useful in some way in combat: Power (strength) increases damage, Perception (Wisdom) adds to attack rolls, Agility (Dex) gives a character a defense bonus, Toughness gives some resistance to all attacks, and Intelligence and Charisma affect Buffs/Debuffs and Controls. And unfortunately, between all that and enhancements, the gulf in power between any two same level characters can get pretty big. Also, it doesn't scale well, especially in a D20 system. Like, +1 damage at level 1 is significant, but at level 50 (assuming one doesn't ever invest in increasing that stat)? Not so much. Also, a few points of resistance is no big deal for a Tanker, but for a Controller, it's HUGE.

So I've had to put hard limits on things. Part of the issue is that I'm trying to keep the stats and the bonuses they give 1:1. So if a character has a Power of 3, they get +3 damage to their damage, and +3 to any kind of strength check... Which in and of itself is an issue because how powerful your mental blasts are doesn't necessarily translate to being able to arm-wrestle someone, but mweh. Though I run into issues where I don't want Blasters to out-control Controllers or out-debuff Defenders just because they put a point in the relevant stat and tossed a debuff enhancement in their power, but I don't want to make their controls and secondary effects so weak as to not be worth using. HOWEVER, I also don't want Defenders to absolutely melt things at level 3 or for Controllers to have unbreakable mezzes that last all of combat, either. One thing I've done is made it so that your stats can't give something a higher bonus that it's base amount, but you're still talking about doubling the effectiveness of some powers right out of the gate.

I mean, take Dark Blast. Giving a foe -1 to hit is fine. But -3 after stat buffs and a single enhancement (assuming enhancements give full round numbers and not fractions...)? Do I allow that to stack? Currently I only have a chance for debuff occurring on Blasters, but for Defenders who start with a higher base number, that can be up to -5 accuracy after one attack and that's just disgusting. Also, it would eventually be NOT fun. Like, in a video game against NPCs, it's no problem to lay down a few mezzes and debuffs and go to town, but what does a real live GM do to challenge their players and keep them interested?

And then there's the bookkeeping. Keeping track of endurance and what powers are on cooldown/recharge is making the use of "power cards" a necessity, but at that point I might as well be designing a CCG instead of an RPG! Not to mention the sheer NUMBER of powers and abilities one gets access to later on... just contemplating what a character sheet would look like is giving me a migraine!

Ron P

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Re: Coming up with a proper Table Top style Role playing system
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2018, 03:24:29 AM »
My line of thoughts were to keep it simple given the limitations and abilities in Paragon Chat. City of heroes really never had "Fighting" skills. just powers. I am kind of curious how the math worked out in game though.

Here are the in chat dice limitations. D4 D6 D8 D10 D12 D20 D100 all of which can be rolled between 1 die to 10 die each.

Not based on any system but here are my initial thoughts but keep in mind I did none of the math or check for issues that might occur

Assuming you wanted to go with 50 as the traditional highest level in COH. You can have the levels 1-5 have a skill check to only roll one die. 6-10 would be two dice , 11-15 three dice etc on up to 45-50 at 10 dice. To account for enhancements the number of sides of the die roll would come into account. So if you have no enhancements you would roll the D4s, two enhancements D6s three enhances D8s, etc. I would probably stop at D12 because D20 is quite a jump unless you save them for super high levels. Those could be spread out also to make them more even.
Something like that would be easy to work into a macro so the attack roll would be just one click and as you level up you edit the macro as you go.

If you wanted to account for inspirations you can just have them and use them as needed as number modifier or just a bonus die to roll

For damage, I suppose would be just a basic attack roll has to beat defense roll and damage


Ron P

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Re: Coming up with a proper Table Top style Role playing system
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2018, 03:34:13 AM »

And then there's the bookkeeping. Keeping track of endurance and what powers are on cooldown/recharge is making the use of "power cards" a necessity, but at that point I might as well be designing a CCG instead of an RPG! Not to mention the sheer NUMBER of powers and abilities one gets access to later on... just contemplating what a character sheet would look like is giving me a migraine!

On "Cool down" I would just say give a power a flat number of rounds for cool down of a given power. On Endurance that is trickier. I would want to downplay that because there is no easy way to track that sort of thing like the game did.

One issue is COH didn't really have "Stats" other than health and endurance to speak of. They just had powers which effectively their "stats" were all buried in making it one thing.  I don't think it is easy to make a complete direct translation, especially if you are using it in "Chat" to run it.

emperorsteele

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Re: Coming up with a proper Table Top style Role playing system
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2018, 04:54:41 AM »
Yeah, but the problem with downplaying/ignoring these things is that there are a LOT of powers which affect endurance and recharge, both buffs and debuffs. So any such powers would have to be completely redone to make up for the fact that the thing they're changing doesn't exist or has been radically altered.

My line of thoughts were to keep it simple given the limitations and abilities in Paragon Chat. City of heroes really never had "Fighting" skills. just powers. I am kind of curious how the math worked out in game though.

For to-hit, at least, they used a simulated % die that went up to at least 2 decimal places, none of which really mattered because of several hard caps put into place. For instance, if an attack ever rolled 5% or below, OR 95% or above, the attack would automatically miss, or hit, respectively, despite the defenses of the opponent. This is the same math as on a 20-sided die, assuming that a 1 is an always-miss and a 20 is an always-hit.

This, along with a minion's default chance-to-hit being set to 50%, is why the "Defense softcap" was "+45%". There was always that 5% chance they would hit you no matter what, so building your defenses beyond that threshold was meaningless (except if you were expecting to suffer a defense debuff and you wanted some cushion)


Starfighter

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Re: Coming up with a proper Table Top style Role playing system
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2018, 10:46:45 PM »
This is a subject I have some real identification with and compassion for: Jack Emmert has been very clear that CoH's conceptual predecessor was Villains & Vigilantes, second edition.  As a number of posters have noted, there is YEA difference between a pen-and-paper RPG and online digital gaming.  Big advantage with the online stuff: You've got visuals (often superb, as was the case with CoH from beginning to end) that are a literal in-your-face and audio points that can end almost sustaining the game in and of themselves; for God's sake, Paragon Chat is continuing on, sansany sort of interactive/point-accumulating/power-level advancing gameplay whatsoever approaching six years after the game itself was unceremoniously hanged.

Other, successive superhero RPG systems following V&V 2e have had, in my opinion. their own strengths and weaknesses; M&M 2e, the iteration I'm most familiar with, had an excellent point-based system for character creation and power level differentiation, along with some very strong powers guidelines.  Problems, for me, with M&M 2e included the sheer damn complication of creating any character, hero or villain who wasn't a pretty much straight out-of-the-box archetype, and the throat-cuttingly counter-productive Damage/Toughness chart, which produced such inconsistent and nonsensical results that I had players giving up (during our one outing with the system) out of sheer frustration.  Steve Kenson's next effort, ICONS, is a much more agreeable, straight-forward work; my only real points of disagreement are the 1-10 Attributes pyramid (doesn't leave a lot of room for Strength differentiation between characters like Superman and Captain Marvel, although this is, from a gaming point of view, fairly minor) and not having a Power attribute, as in V&V, to chart the route toward character exhaustion...although, again, this is a fairly minor consideration.

Again, to duplicate CoH as closely as possible, I'd probably stick with V&V 2e, although I'd do some serious house-rules regarding Invulnerability, and altering Carrying Capacity so that it has the option of noting what a character can actually lift, but might be different from damage actually determined in hand-to-hand.

Ron P

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Re: Coming up with a proper Table Top style Role playing system
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2018, 02:28:12 AM »
To do a proper superhero system a lot are pretty much point based creation. Basically, so you can customize things as the Superhero genre lends it self to. It is easier to make characters like that using a spread sheet so you don't have to get super mathy yourself