Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Monitors re-evaluation

I'm slowly working towards a point where I could actually roll some dice and see what happens with this project, but let's see where Monitors stands at the moment.

Basic ruleset

Okay, we have a basic mechanic for Doing Stuff with the d20-roll-under mechanic I outlined.

We don't, crucially, have any mechanic for opposing use of attributes. This is becoming increasingly evident as I look at spells, but also poses problems for many other situations, not least inter-party disagreement. I'm not looking for any actual party conflict, but there are other situations where PCs may want to contest against each other mechanically; the old "grab him before he presses the button" comes to mind. This issue is continuing to raise questions in my mind as to whether the mechanic I've proposed is actually the best option.

We don't yet have side-effects for spellcasting, except in the very broadest terms. There's no structure behind it.

Heat points I'm basically happy with, but some more work may be needed (eventually?) on outlining likely temperature situations.

Injury, both short-term and long-term, have been looked at and should be good enough for testing.


I provided some general information on the universe, as well as a random bit on languages. There's always more setting to do.

Stuff to do

...okay, you got me. This is a pretty damn gaping hole right here.


Playing a game requires some characters. So, let's see how possible it is to actually make a character

I've got some suggested archetypes going.


Right now, there are 16 attributes. This is a game where I encourage the use of modifiers, and where Monitors are genuinely competent. Broadly speaking, I'm aiming for a a situation where if you are facing something that is a moderate challenge and you're moderately good you will succeed half the time. Logically, it seems reasonable to allow Monitors a number of points such that they can have 50% in all the skills if they want to do things that way.

Allowing that the starting attributes for Monitors are all rated 4, and scale from 1-20, this means you need 6x16=96 points to reach that threshold. Okay, I'm probably going to want that to be a nicer number, but let's live with it for now.

Sensible distributions might look something like:

All-rounder: 12 12 12 12 14 14 10 10 10 10 6 6 8 8 8 8

Professional: 16 16 14 14 12 12 10 10 10 10 8 8 6 6 4 4

Specialist: 16 16 16 16 12 12 12 12 8 8 8 8 4 4 4 4

Expert: 20 16 16 12 12 12 12 10 10 10 10 4 4 4 4 4

There are more extreme options available, such as having six 20s and everything else at 4. I could introduce rules to prevent this, but... if people desperately want to play characters who are near-infallible at a small group of things and bad at everything else, and genuinely think this will be fun, why stop them by designer fiat? Plus, since I'm expecting modifiers to be relatively common in this game, a) people with a lower attribute can still achieve 20+ by dint of gear and conditions; and b) having a 20+ only means you'll succeed at averagely difficult things all the time, and you can still fail at hard things.

Other traits and stuff

We have some basic lineage traits, and I've talked a bit about backgrounds.


Right now I've got about ten spells, which isn't brill but is enough for a party of four to pick two each with two left over. Some of them definitely need some work (Emerald Sigil of Splendour, I'm looking at you) but while they may be broken in the balance sense, they should function within the rules as currently defined.


Okay, I've got bionic organ replacements (both compulsory and optional) and I've got weapons (admittedly I haven't yet published any, but I've got them). So far there are basically no gadgets or anything. For testing, I could roll with that and make up stuff on the spot, but I'd like to have something.


Definitely a work in progress. At the same time, not actually essential to the game at present, which does feature both magic and tech. You can't pick from what doesn't exist, though.


None so far. Easy enough to make in theory, but I should have some ready to go.

Anything I missed..? There's bound to be.

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