Moral and Ethical Ambiguity, Part 2 of 4 – Morality
As I said in Part 1, this series deals with Morality and Virtue as we…
So after last week’s playtest, I decided to go back to the drawing board a bit to see how I could revamp the Moebius Adventures system mechanics to make them a) simpler and b) more consistent. I think I’ve hit upon a solution, but it seems to run counter-intuitive to how most other mechanics go (besides GURPS anyway).
To make a long story short, part of the issues stemmed from having too many details and part came from a lack of clear explanation on my part. So I’ve stripped the system down to its core three statistics – Mind, Body, and Soul. Mind would wrap anything remotely mentally-challenging – so tasks like reading, arithmetic, arcane magic, and so on. Body is pretty self explanatory – but would enc0mpass strength, endurance, dexterity, and so on. And Soul represents wisdom, faith, life force, etc.
I need some help to see if I’m totally nuts or not. I spoke with a good friend of mine whose concern is that this system focuses on having a low number whereas most focus on having a higher one. I think this is an artificial difference, but that’s just me…
So rather than splitting those three into 12 different characteristics (plus the 4 for Random characteristics like Luck, Beauty, Wealth, and Family for a grand total of 16) I’ve boiled everything back to basics. At most, this means a skill would have one main characteristic. For example – Literacy would be Mind-based. Swordsmanship would be Body-based. Prayer would be Soul-based, and so on… (There are some skills like Healing, which the player would have to choose either Mind – for first-aid type healing using your brain – or Soul – for laying on hands kind of healing. Same for Writing, and several others.)
So a character would be very simply the core stats of Mind, Body, and Soul, some derivative/secondary stats like hit points, reality check, etc., and a list of skills – some from childhood, the rest from backgrounds.
(The design question is all the way at the end of this bloody long post, so my apologies. But I work through the basics, define some mechanics, provide an example, and THEN ask for input at the end. Please bear with me.)
So a fighter character that used 20 points to split among Mind, Body, and Soul might look something like this:
A thief character might look like this:
So let’s take the new mechanic for a spin…
To determine the base target for a skill, take the characteristic and add the # of ranks. You want to roll below that on 1d20 or 2d10. (1d20 is more “random” but 2d10 has a better bell curve for results.)
If contested, you compare the two Quality rolls and the highest QoS wins. For example…
To resolve a combat action, take the offensive skill Quality and compare it to the defensive skill Quality. The difference determines the amount of damage done (up to the maximum of the weapon + any bonus for Body of 7 or better or penalty for Body of 3 or less).
Here’s a sample combat between the Fighter and Thief characters. The Fighter has a long sword, which does 8 points of damage as its potential maximum, but also gains +4 to damage for a Body of 10. The Thief has a short sword, which does 7 points of damage as its potential maximum, but he has a Body of 8, which gives him a +2 to damage as well.
So… Deep breaths. After seeing a couple of sample characters, describing the basic mechanic, and providing a combat example…
Does this make sense? Is it too hard? Is the Quality of Success vs. Quality of Failure thing too difficult a concept?
The potential problems that I’ve come up with are… With a characteristic and skill each maxed at rank 10, you have a target # of 20 before modifiers. If you roll a 20 on a d20 or two 10s on 2d10, it’s a critical failure. Is that a bad thing? I don’t think so. Even perfect people fail sometimes IMHO.
I’m curious to hear what people think about this. If I’m barking up the wrong tree, I want to know early so I can change trees.
Thanks in advance.