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Version 5 - Core mechanic text

PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 4:13 pm
by Rob Lang
I thought it might be nice/fun to share the text of Version 5 as I scribble it down. I'll do my edits here, showing the steps I make when editing. Also, it gives a change for feedback. This bit would be right after character creation.

Core Mechanic
The Core Mechanic is the way you tell if you succeed at an action. Most actions you take in the world pass automatically. Going to the toilet, opening an unlocked door and combing your luscious beard are all examples of things that have very little random chance of failure. When you want to do something that the Gamesmaster decides has a random chance of failure, you must perform a check like so:

First describe what you're trying to do. If you have any skills that you think are appropriate then tell the Gamesmaster. The Gamesmaster will tell you which Attribute to use and the target number. Add your Attribute, your Skill and a D10. If that sum is the same or more than the target number, then you succeed!


Setting the Target Number
By default, the Target Number is 14. The more difficult the task, the bigger that number will be. The Gamesmaster will use the table below as a guide.

10 Easy
14 Normal
18 Hard
24 Impossible!

When you roll 1 or 10
No matter how difficult the task, if you roll 1 then that is a critical failure. In this case something bad will happen. The Gamesmaster and other Players get to decide together what the critical failure will look like. If you roll 10 then not only do you succeed but you can decide to do something extra-specially splendid while doing so.

Bonuses
Icar has lots of equipment and guns that can give you a bonus to your roll. Bionics will change your attributes permanently (not always for the better) and equipment will give you a bonus if you're using it to help your action. It's up to you to remember that you have a bonus. As soon as you roll the die, then it's fixed.

Player versus player
When fighting other players, you both sum Attribute, Skill, Bonuses and a D10 and whoever has the bigger number wins.

Re: Version 5 - Core mechanic text

PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 3:59 pm
by Evil Scientist
So the new rules will be rather different, right? I'm not an ICAR expert, but I recall version 4 having percentage-based skills.

Rob Lang wrote:Player versus player
When fighting other players, you both sum Attribute, Skill, Bonuses and a D10 and whoever has the bigger number wins.

Is beating the other player enough to win?

I generally prefer to have an "objective" factor worked into the opposed tests as well: yes, of course, you have to roll better than the foe, but you also have to successful at what you are doing.

Otherwise it might lead to weird situations: you can beat another player's character in arm wrestling with a bad roll, given that he rolls even worse, while this very same bad roll wouldn't be enough for a standard test of strength.

Re: Version 5 - Core mechanic text

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 5:34 am
by Rob Lang
Yes! The whole rules in V5 are changing to make some things simpler and other things more complicated! I think the current system is a rag-tag of rules that I force to work together rather than something coherent that makes sense to new people.

I like you point about objective tests. It's an interesting idea that I've not seen done very often. In PvP moments then it doesn't really matter if you're strong (to use your example), it just matters that you're better. Odd thought that might be, I think I'll keep it simple for now and see how it plays out.

I'm currently writing up Close Combat, here's another section from the Core Mechanic section.

Optional - The Shared Pool
At the start of the game, the players have pool of D10 in the middle of the table, one for each player that is playing. If you fail (even critical) and want to overturn the result then you can take a dice out of the pool, roll it and add the result to your check. If you do something that is particularly entertaining then the Gamesmaster can put more dice into the pool. The pool refreshes at the start of every session.

Re: Version 5 - Core mechanic text

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 12:33 pm
by Evil Scientist
Rob Lang wrote:Yes! The whole rules in V5 are changing to make some things simpler and other things more complicated! I think the current system is a rag-tag of rules that I force to work together rather than something coherent that makes sense to new people.

I like you point about objective tests. It's an interesting idea that I've not seen done very often. In PvP moments then it doesn't really matter if you're strong (to use your example), it just matters that you're better. Odd thought that might be, I think I'll keep it simple for now and see how it plays out.

Yeah, if you intend to keep it simple, than the version as it is works completely fine!

The Shared Pool is an awesome idea for any game.

Re: Version 5 - Core mechanic text

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 1:31 pm
by Rob Lang
I built the Shared Pool as a 24 hour system and then refined it into its own system (here). I like the ability for the team as a whole to pool resources to use to help each other out rather than have a player say "my character is helping out this action" explicitly.

Re: Version 5 - Core mechanic text

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 3:31 pm
by Onix
I think you hinted at playing with this a while ago. I can see the utility of changing the size of the numbers involved for simplicity. What have you seen change with the skills adding together? Is there a lot of skill crossover?

Re: Version 5 - Core mechanic text

PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:19 am
by Rob Lang
I've not quite started the cull in skills but yes, there is crossover. I've more found that some skills are just not that useful. Where that is the case, they can be safely merged.

Technical skills are an excellent example, each area has Knowledge, Systems and Design Skill. Knowledge is just for knowing a lot, Systems for practical fixing and Design... as .... well, Design. In reality, this is a huge amount of Roleplaying Point (XP) effort for what amounts to a lot more effort for the players.

I also don't like how the skill points don't really fit in Close Combat particularly well. I like that having high Skill levels allow you to do more interesting Close Combat moves and build more interesting combos. I won't go into that too much as I've got the new Close Combat rules half written.

I wonder if - after the cull - there might be no need for the skill trees. Or less need. You certainly need to know First Aid before performing surgery. I'll wait until I've completed the cull (with a couple of additions) before I build the new trees.