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Links To Shit As We Start Writing Things
paper seed Paper Playtest S Phase 2
Monster Dolls
(Most of this crap is still more or less just ideas, but this page itself is pretty big so)
S Races S Classes S Equipment S Statuses S Attributes S Items S Skills

(that said I can't figure out how to move threads to whomp-whomp :()


So! A Role Playing Game, or at least one set for more typical fantasy adventure stories at least, needs to interact with the player in three ways: Finding a spot in the narrative for the player, Interacting with the world on a small scale, and a method of Aggressive conflict resolution (ie combat). This time, we're going to actually think about all three of these things, instead of primarily focusing on the later and kind of handwaving at the other two. Or at least, that's the goal. Although most of the effort is still going to wind up going into combat just due to its nature of being a somewhat complex minigame with a lot of rules. anyway

Finding a place in the narrative

The major way we're going to do this is with TRAITS. Traits look a whole like like S2 Skills, or 3e … actually I guess they were called traits in 3e! Traits tell everyone a lot about who your character is, and where they came from. It's one part personality, two parts background! Things like "from a noble family", "can communicate with spirits", "ruin delver", "part of a gang" or whatever! They're written to be a little more interesting than I'm making them sound, since this is more peter's area of expertise. But it's a good way for the GM to get a feel for your character a glance and figure out how they fit into the setting and narrative, and give the player a bench mark to use when roleplaying their character. In addition to that, traits all have some mechanical effects! Sometimes they're as simple a giving you bonus drive or luck, sometimes they can trigger a CONDITION (covered later), and other times they might even give you the power to directly alter the direction the narrative is headed in! These all have some costs, limits and/or specific triggers required to happen, of course, so it's not a constant think. Actually that's not totally true, the Scope aspect from S2 is probably around (ie 'this is what im about and i can just do these minor things'), but I mean. You know.

When you pick traits, there's either an upper limit to the number you *can* take (you won't be required to take that many, though it's likely recommended), orrr traits might be worth varying amounts of points and you have a point total you can go up to, if we don't want to worry about traits all being exactly as meaningful as one another. Options!

Your selected Race obviously plays a part in this too, though in a less tangible way. Unless we give races a free skill, which we might. Or might not. We'll see.

Small scale interactions with the world

Actual SKILLS you roll to interact with more mundane, tangible things in the world are back. You use a skill when, for example, rather than going "Yes, obviously I have a car. It's parked right around the corner", the GM points out an abandoned car on the side of the road and you go "alright, I'm going to hot wire that sucker!". When you're making a skill check, the result of what you're trying to do is up for debate! You could pass, you could fail, there could be some combination of the two. Degrees of success might be something we look into, since it seems like a popular thing recently even if I'm not always super into it. Regardless, this is primarily how you take care of small problems in the world, especially small problems that can't be solved with a liberal application of violence. there's probably not any social skills though they make me barf and I think we can maybe sneak those into traits where they're more appropriate anyway

So there'll be a big ass list of skills. You'll put points into them in order to make passing easier! How we do this hasn't had much discussion yet; it could just be a big list like D&D or 3e. It could be categories of skills with further specializations like Seed, who knows! Not me.

I don't *think* your choice of Race will interface with skills.

And then the combat system, of course.

So this is the main thing we're working on, at the moment. Some bullet points:

  • We're moving back to Round based combat, with one turn per PC/Enemy per round.
  • - Quick abilities probably still exist in some form or another though ('smaller effects you can pop on your turn without it taking your turn, only usable once a fight').
  • Initiative is rolled in advance, and doesn't change for the remainder of the encounter naturally (ie don't roll each round). That said, there's a number of ways in combat to change an actor's place in the initiative list. We're referring to this as "Turn Markers".
  • Battle formations! There's two rows, a front and a back. Enemies have their own front and back rows, as well. Melee attacks can only hit from one front row to the other front row. long range attacks can hit from anywhere. This is going to result in the backrow feeling a bit safe, and damage being more concentrated on those in the front.
  • Attributes are still player allocated to a degree, and influence your characters stats. Different attributes will naturally lead to different builds that your character favors, so keep them in mind and look ahead a little bit.
  • Named, commonly used status effects are coming back. As for how long they last, they'll come in two flavors depending on ability: Brief Statuses, which last until the end of the targets turn, and Long Statuses, which last until the end of combat, or until the status is cleansed. Peter seems to be making noise to the effect of statuses also having SECOND FORMS, TWICE AS POWERFUL AS BEFORE!!!, so be prepared for that I suppose!
  • Probably a note about Shields and Barriers here (see note below), that we're using instead of THP.
  • Elements are back! There's technically six! Physical, Fire, Water, Lightning, Earth, and Supreme. Generally speaking, when someone refers to 'elemental damage' they mean Fire/Water/Lit/Earth, though. Targets can be resistant/weak to those four element, which causes them to do +/-50% damage. Physical damage is instead susceptible to Armor and reduce that way. Supreme is kind of like our "non-elemental" damage, but also inherently comes with the power to ignore barriers, I guess? Supreme is probably mostly found on Overdrives. While physical damage is usually ATK based, and elemental damage is usually MAG based, this isn't always the case!
  • We're going with a class system again, because they're probably the easiest thing to design in a meaningful way, especially if you want to attack a little bit of fluff and flavor and thematic to them. While there'll probably be melee, mage and support options available in all classes, it might not be as pronounced as it was in Seed2. A couple compelling reasons to not completely dump your non-primary ability attributes, at the very least.
  • Overdrives! You have a gauge, you fill it up through out combat, and when it's full you can use one of the Overdrive abilities you know immediately, before taking your normal turn. They're free, they're cool, and you can probably think of them as limit breaks, as they're a little similar. (You won't have very many OD options to choose from during combat, though you will have choices on what to take when building your character.)
  • Races return. Race give a specific passive ability and an overdrive, both of which can potentially alter how you approach combat with your class and character.
  • Currency is back! Spend it
  • Inventories! We're back to personal inventories. You buy your own stuff with your own money, keep track of your own gear and items. Easy peasey.
  • Equipment! This is being handled a lot different from normal. Basically, all equipment has a weight. The amount of weight you're carrying effects your drive gauge in some way, making it harder to activate and overdrive the heavier your crap is. That said you can carry as many weapons and shields and implements as you want, and swap between them as needed. I'm pretty sure you can only wear one suit of armor at a time though!
  • -also magic equipment/relics are coming back! In the form of weird loot you can find which the GM probably made up on the spot. Kinda old school D&Dy, they don't really make you much stronger or anything, but they'll give you neat little extra powers to play around with. Possibly in the form of 1/encounter powers, small passives, or maybe even Charges that you pay to refill.
  • Items! These are once again going to be handled a lot differently. Basically you're going to have a handful of slots, probably in the 2-5 range but we haven't talking about it a ton yet. You'll be able to fill one slot with one item, and spend a turn using them in fights. Items will be a lot more powerful than they usually are though, since we're basically turning them into consumable "Daily" type things.
  • Tiers/Scaling are probably still out! It's so much easier to get a handle on running monsters when you're always looking at similar number ranges.
  • Making being KOd a little less brutal. you're Dazed, not knocked out. it still sucks, your action pool is severely limited and what's left isn't as good, but you're never really out of the fight and wind up falling asleep if a fight turns sour and the rest of the party can't find time to get you back up!

What about levels and progression tho

a valid question! I think we're bringing the concept of levels back, but it won't really be about increasing attributes or stats, in so far as giving us more control over which abilities you're learning, and when. One one level you might learn a class ability, and at another level you might pick an passive from a pool of common choices available to all classes. We haven't really solidified plans here too much, but that's the direction we're leaning in. Abilities you can learn might have level requirements, or different levels might only have certain selections available. not sure yet.

Retraining might exist? Personally I don't super care about it too much in general but I imagine someone like Doman or Moku or whoever is a lot more into the idea of gettings limited do-overs. Probably just do it exactly like D&D does and let you swap out one pick each time you leave up for another in the same power tier?

I'm pretty sure when making a character though, you're going to get…
a choice of one overdrive between two or three
you'll probably have a choice of 1 quick ability between two~four, that'll help you fill a role (DD/Tank/Support) niche
two abilities between a group of like, probably 6+ options, with some leaning towards certain roles over others
and probably one passive ability out of two or three to help define your playstyle more so than your combat role
and finally, one "Dazed" skill, out of a choice of one or three maybe. You're "Dazed" when you have 0 HP - and are only capable of taking Dazed actions. You also aren't a valid target for anything other than Life effects!
…all dependent upon your class. Well, probably. The passive might be between two different pools (Warriors vs Mages) and each class would fit into one of those two depending on how we wind up working things, but anyway.


Less is probably more? Nothing crazy like in S2 although the idea of monster roles still appeals to me on some level. But it definitely needs to be easier to create simple trash mobs that aren't terrible complex or require a lot of forethought and complexity, which is better served by wacky/weird bosses and the like.

anyway the main reason I jot this down is because A) we were just talking about it B) more specifically thing thing about monster provokes. We can probably pair them down to like 3 or four, give them distinct names and effects and call the statuses, so that they're something easy for PCs to identify and look up. As for what those are… probably
Provoke - If they ignore the monster, they take damage!
Taunt - If they ignore the monster, the monster gains +Drive! or maybe the PC loses drive if you wanna keep everything in terms of 'the pc is punished' instead of 'the monster is ignored, then gains a bonus', idk. still in idea phase so i don't need to know tho
Challenge - If they ignore the monster, their attack is less effective!

also monsters don't spend LP like PCs do. They use it differently, like in S2. Spend LP for Quick type effects, and/or to activate combo bonuses. Yes, monster combos are LP cost'd rather than being encounter powers.

Bringing it all together

CONDITIONS are kind of where all three of these things intersect, in kind of a light but still mechanical sort of way. We've been using Moods to refer to them before this, but we'll probably actually call them Conditions, unless someone else has an even better term. I should probably explain them better here, but my focus is slipping like crazy after writing everything else down. Well I'll try I guess.

So a condition is three parts strong encouragement to RP your character a certain way, and one part a mechanical effect. Maybe your character is angry! Maybe your character is feeling excited. Maybe your character is sick! Traits can easily lead to certain conditions coming into play, but they can just as easily be handed out by the GM, depending on how events are transpiring at the table, from how the PCs and NPCs are interacting with one another. Sometimes conditions just have narrative effects. Sometimes they might effect your skills. Sometimes they might have mild effects during combat. Some could even do multiple things! They're both positive and negative. You can even be under multiple conditions at once, though that probably shouldn't happen a lot without someone deliberately activating a lot of conditions from traits all at once, or something going spectacularly good or bad I suppose. I imagine a lot of conditions or last for the duration of a scene or two, some might last until you rest. I'm not sure if we want super long lasting conditions that need to meet specific conditions to fix, but that's a distinct possibility too. I realize I just used a lot of words to go "they do a lot of things" and that maybe that didn't explain much, but, well… they're probably kind of hard to articulate with words, without examples, unless you already get it from this bit of rambling. Oh well.


I think in Seed2, we did a lot of mad science without actually checking what people wanted to play.
That's fun, but it doesn't serve to make a workhorse game that everyone can easily run stuff in.
So! Let's slow down and talk out our ideas with people.
On this page, we're going to lay out specific technology proposals.
And we'll shop them around! And then we'll make a game out of them.


Though it's served us well, I actually think that Seed's ticks *may have been a bad idea*. As such, we're axing them!
Everyone acts once per round in some order.

Three proposals:

Turn Markers

Generate an initiative at the start of the battle. It pretty much stays in place! Turn markers can get shoved up and down and trade places.

Static Order

Generate an initiative at the start of the battle. Use that for the whole fight! However, some abilities are RUSH actions: You shout you're going to use it at the start of the round, and that lets you act before others that round. Some abilities are SLOW actions. You choose them on your turn, but they resolve at the end of the round.


All the PCs act, then all the monsters act, all at once! When monsters act, they drop attacks on people, and then those people have to roll to defend or dodge.


In Seed, a 40D action lets you act five times in the space that a 50D-actor can act four times. That's kind of neat, but we don't actually want to give people multiple actions, because then it's unclear when you need to pay attention.
Instead, we introduce drive. Drive is a meter that goes up every action. After about five actions, it's full, and you perform a SPECIAL ACTION that round in addition to your normal one. Basically, you get 1.2 actions per turn, and that 0.2 sometimes adds up to a whole new action, which is real good.

Drive is public knowledge, and enemies have it too. They might charge it in different ways!
Also, you can hit someone and knock a chunk out of their drive gauge.


I think Seed2's scaling-less advancement works really well. However, we might want to bring back levels - they don't make you numerically advance, but sometimes you get a new ability, sometimes you get more skills, etc. Something to explore. Should your HP still go up?


Budget was a fun experiment, but I think it might be worth bringing back money. However, I'd like to save on bookkeeping - never let you get to the point where you're sitting on a bunch of items and have more potions than you know what to do with.
As such, I'm thinking that:

Characters have very limited carrying capacity

You can hold like, four things! Or, actually:

Carrying Weight Maybe A Thing?

Carried and equipped items have Weight. Each point of Weight slightly reduces your generated initiative and increases the size of your overdrive gauge.
That is, people who are carrying lots tend to act later in the turn, and they also activate Overdrive slightly less often. More powerful weapons and armor are heavier but more effective.

Items are extremely potent

Like, the basic potion is a full ST heal.

Equipment Might Come Back

Maybe even accessories?


Luck points are great. It's coming back more or less unchanged.


Named statuses are back! I think we went a little crazy with conditions.
Some effects might inflict special conditions, but it will be much more rare.
Generally, when an effect is on you, you'll know what it is already.


Should elements come back? If so, I want some sort of automatic logic for when something has weaknesses and resBuristances.
Alternately, we could axe them. If elements are back, they're first-class citizens, however.

Our elements are probably:

Normal (or Physical) - Physical attacks and magic involving manipulation of physical objects. Affected by Armor.
Fire (or Shining) - Magic of burning and light. Burns out corruption.
Associated with Burning, which inflicts damage over time.

Water (or Flowing) - Magic of water, ice, and shadow. Drowns out raging energy.
Associated with Chill, which suppresses Overdrive.

Air (or Storm, or Howling) - Magic of wind and thunder. Inescapable power.
Associated with Shock, which increases the failure rate of actions.

Earth (or Nature, or Growling) - Magic of rock, root, and vine. Shatters the solid.
Associated with Shatter, which causes you to take increased damage.

Supreme - Overdrive-only damage type. Cuts through defenses.

Abilities tend to interact with elements, and might include combo riders - for example, a fire spell might have a bonus effect if an Earth spell was recently cast. These are specific to the ability, and might trigger only once per battle.
Like in Mana, elements have styles and themes, and might have specific statuses. Being resistant to an element protects you from its status.


Welcome back to +25%, Baby!

Shields Instead of T.HP

Some sort of shield effect replaces T.HP. Some options we were considering:
Auras: Ignore damage below a certain value. Dissipates when struck by a strong attack. Might apply damage reduction to the attack that pops the bubble, or ignore it entirely.
Shields: Reduce damage from the next hit.
Barriers: Reduce damage from all sources until the end of the next turn.

We probably aren't going to use all three of these, but they're all tech in consideration.


More ordinary. Difficulties or target numbers are back.

Die Pools?


Regular task checks?

Just to keep everything working the same? So luck works the same on it?


This is where the cool S2 skill technology goes!
They interact with your DRIVE GAUGE in addition to (or instead of?) LUCK.
Also, they can affect your MOOD. Or… whatever we end up calling it.


You know in Persona 3 when you could be SICK or PEPPY?
How about that!
Moods (real name pending) are basically difficult-to-cure, remain-after-battle status conditions. They're less powerful than a normal status! They stick around longer!
Like, if you're Sick, your drive gauge drains after the end of a battle.






Regular Rows

You know, -25% back row penalty.

Hard Rows

What if the back row penalty was just NOPE?
We'd need more ability support for that, then.
Also, we could make squishier characters squishier, since they're safer in the back row.


Like, 3x3?




Probably keeping them. What do people want to see?

I think I might try prototyping six first:

FIGHTER: All-around attacker. The Lodestone. Destruction.
MAVERICK: Agility / support attacker. The Cassiterite. Joy.
IRONCLAD: Heavy stalwart attacker. Jumps, flamethrowers. Little bit Lodestone, little bit Malachite.
SAGE: Arrogant genius healer. Barriers, hits that prepare effects for later spells, spell combination options. The Pyrargite. Genius.
MYSTIC: Spirit-themed caster of the natural elements. Lots of combos! Calaverite. Harmony.
MAGUS: Time/Space caster specialized in ST damage. Flexibility and status management are a specialty. Anglesite. Wisdom.

Julian wants some sort of anti-magic knight?
Something that jumps!
Something probably has summon-magic themed overdrives

Things Which Are Definitely In:
-Skills are back! we're leaning towards dice pools and difficult rating/target numbers of them atm, though it might wind up just being d100 rolls if people balk at dice pools (they're so cool for skills though :()
-Traits are still around! They're cool, but they'll probably interplay with other mechanics a bit, particularly ADRENALINE/OVERDRIVE gauges, and MOODS/CONDITIONS, but also still the neat narrative stuff they already do in S2 / 3e
-Money/Loot is probably back :(
-Personal Inventories are back. Although ITEM SLOTS are a thing limited how many you can carry, and they're probably kinda stronkish, like D&D daily powers I guess.
-Actual Statuses Are Back Bitches
-Rounds, Because Fuck ATB
-Luck is still around and owns
-Adrenaline/Overdrive - basically you have a gauge and it fills up! When you fill it up all the way, you take a BONUS ACTION on your turn, in addition to your normal one, chosen from a limited number over of OD abilities that you've learned from your class! You can kinda think of these as limit break adjacent. You fill the gauge up generally by taking turns, and usually you get 1 per round, with 5 being a full gauge, but there's a lot of different ways to mess with it, even though equipment perhaps (light/weaker weapons might have smaller gauges to fill, for example), and statuses and what have you. Importantly: the gauge doesn't reset between encounters! Monsters have adrenaline gauges and overdrive abilities too, but different monsters might charge their gauges differently, and have different sizes and what not.
-Moods/Conditions - okay so these are kinda like, longer term statuses I guess? Slighter, more minor effects that persist for a while, and can theoretically effect out of combat stuff as well as in combat things. Peter used Person 3's health indicator as an example of what this might look like, with something simple like 'being sick makes your OD gauge reset to 0 after battle' as the first idea that came to mind. So, things like this. They probably suggest RP effects as well, and there'll be both positive and negative moods or conditions. Likely not inflicted by monsters in combat, it's more OOC stuff that effects your character for whatever reason.
-we probably still hate levels and stat treadmills

Things We Were Thinking About And Are Up For Debate / Community Polling:
- handling turn order! It's probably either digger adjacent with init markers that can be messed with to a limited degree but otherwise persist between turns, OR it's Party Based and all the PCs go at once, and all the monsters go at once. If we go with the latter, the PCs definitely have Defensive Maneuvers / Rolls, rather than monsters having attack rolls because fuck making the GM do all that shit. Actually PC defensive rolls might be a thing in either case.
- Formation / Positioning! So there's probably two ways we could do this since I don't think anyone wants pure abstract since it's always less interesting. So option 1 is doing something kinda similar to Clarion, with a small grid of a couple of different spaces you can move between, which opens up a lot of room for tactical movement and positioning and AoE handling, without it being overly complex. 1Move/Action a round, and you have to move before acting. this is kinda want I'm leaning towards most, but. The OTHER option is just doing rows. BUT. The Rows are a lot more restrictive! Instead of a damage penalty across rows, they probably hard lock targetting. Maybe multiple rows and Suikoden it up a notch? (short/medium/long ranges) Maybe not. This basically just makes formations a little more important, and puts a bigger emphasis on melees being able to soak damage, and people in the back and afford to be more class cannony and what not.
- Elements! Do we really WANT to bring these back? I know I'm generally in favor of nixing elements and focusing more on different/unique mechanics, but maybe you guys like having different flavors of things and hitting into weaknesses and whatever? Peter says if we bring 'em back, what elemental properties monsters have need to be super obvious somehow.
- De/Buffs may move back to 25%s? or do something different than %s? we're not sure!! there's a lot of ways to do things but percentages are really easy with dice bots
- Races/Themes/Backrounds! May or may not be a thing, depending on how we wind up handling other shit. I kinda like the idea of how they're handled in 4e though; kinda weighty and can influence your play style a bit, more narratively and mechanically, but not weighty enough to discourage mixing and matching

shit ice was making notes about before he and peter got to talking later:

3x3 grid for positioning/movement. aoes hit spaces

2AP / turn. Spend AP on movement or actions.


Focus. Gain dice each round, spend them on extra damage, techniques, or to lower damage when hit. Two styles, one refreshes dice at the start of turn and increases die sizes, the other refreshes dice as the end of the turn and and use them to low damage against anyone in their space

Ammo. Weapons have limited ammo, but either deal larger damage or have range. 2AP action to reload. abilities are probably tied to weapons.

Mana. Have abilities that consume different kinds of mana, generally 1-3 of one type, sometimes of mixed types. Gain a handful of mana at the start of each battle, then two random ones each turn. Probably 4 types of mana.

Cards. Basically CCG decks. You can have multiple decks and swap between them, and build different decks depending on the abilities you know. Each ability is a different card!

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