Seeking feedback for a 3d12 Homebrew System


Overall System
  • Name: "Z-Wolf" ... because I have an icon that goes well with it, and it's a pun on the German word for 12 since it uses d12s.
  • Genre and overall feel: a "fantasy heartbreaker," intended as a replacement for D&D/Pathfinder. High fantasy stories, ongoing adventuring campaigns including dungeon crawls, plenty of detailed combat rules, etc.
  • I may be ok with very complicated Character Creation rules, as long as the actual session gameplay is well-streamlined. I do assume that it will be played using Foundry VTT or a VTT of my own creation.
  • NOT BOUNDED ACCURACY. This is the big departure from the system I've worked on over many years. I decided I want creatures' Level to matter a lot to their power. So that a Level 20 god is incredible. (In my pre-reboot Z-Wolf, gods would have to be like Level 200 to stand a chance ...)
Dice Resolution System
  • Roll Nd12, take the second-highest result of the dice, and add one of the five Stats numbers on your character sheet to the number on the die. Compare the result with a Target Number (TN).
  • N=3 by default. "Boosting" a roll means you add another d12 to the pool; "Jinxing" a roll means you remove a d12 from the pool. If N<2, you automatically fail the roll.
  • If you fail and any d12 is showing a 1, it's a Crit Failure. If you succeed and any d12 is showing a 12, it's a Crit Success.
Progression Tiers
  • Each of your character's Stats that can be added to a die (or added to 6 to create a TN) will fall under one of five Progressions.
  • Flat Progression: +0. Always. Even then. This is mostly used for Liabilities, e.g. a character with an extreme phobia of spiders could choose that they always use Flat Progression for their Saving Throws against fear of spiders.
  • Basic Progression: Bonus equals (Level / 2), rounded down.
  • Moderate Progression: Bonus equals (Level * 3/4), rounded down.
  • Specialty Progression: Bonus equals your Level.
  • Awesome Progression: Bonus equals (3/4 + Level * 5/4), rounded down.
  • A character's TNs equal 6 + the bonus from the appropriate Progression.
  • of course all the above math will be summarized on a table so the players don't have to do the arithmetic; I just don't want to put a big table in a Reddit post.
  • Agility, Fortitude, Perception, Willpower.
  • These start at Basic Progression, can be upgraded to Moderate or Specialty Progression, although doing so will be fairly expensive in whatever currency I decide on for Character Creation.
  • Acumen (based on Willpower)
  • Athletics (based on the higher of Agility or Fortitude)
  • Brawn (based on Fortitude)
  • Dexterity (based on Agility)
  • Glibness (not based on an Attribute)
  • Insight (based on Perception)
  • Leadership (based on Willpower)
  • Performance (not based on an Attribute)
  • Stealth (based on Agility)
  • These start at Basic Progression. They can be upgraded as far as Awesome Progression. Upgrading them to the same as their base Attribute (or to Specialty if they don't have a base Attribute) is quite cheap. Upgrading them further than that is moderate in cost.
  • Things that don't fall under these categories will have rules about how to resolve them. For example, by default you use the worse of Brawn or Performance to Intimidate a creature. Talents can change that to using the best of Brawn, Glibness, or Performance.
Combat Basics
  • Tactical, played on a battlemap, but not with a grid. Distances will be measured in meters. For example, a Medium-sized token will be 1 m in diameter.
  • Rounds and Initiative work basically like in D&D5e or many other systems.
  • Per Round, a creature can use one Dominant Action, two Swift Actions (which must be different unless an Activity specifies that it can be done twice), and one Reaction.
  • Basic movement is done by taking the Stride Swift Action. It involves making a Speed Check against a TN determined by the distance you wish to move. (Speed uses Flat Progression by default, but can be upgraded to higher Progressions by special abilities.)
  • If you beat the TN of Striding by a certain threshold (4?), you can also use a Swift Action with the [Maneuver] tag as part of the movement. These will be things like drawing or sheathing a weapon, providing Flanking against a creature you threaten, or declaring your next attack a Precise or Mighty attack (more on that below).
Attack Basics
  • Attacks involve just one dice roll per target; the target rolls a Saving Throw against the attack's TN.
  • Primary attacks' TNs are based on Specialty Progression. Other attacks use Basic Progression. Character resources can be spent to broaden which attacks are considered primary.
  • For a normal weapon attack, as a base example, the target decides whether they will Evade or Tough the attack. If they choose Evade their Saving Throw is Agility; if they choose Tough their Saving Throw is Fortitude.
  • Still need to determine the consequences of Saving Throws against attacks in cases of Crit Success, Success, Failure, and Crit Failure, and based on other circumstances and what kind of attack it is. For basic Damaging attacks, that will involve settling on a Hit Points-equivalent system.
  • Not all attacks are Precise or Mighty. Evading enjoys being Boosted against Mighty attacks, and is Jinxed against Precise attacks. Toughing enjoys being Boosted against Precise attacks, and is Jinxed against Mighty attacks.
  • Shields give a Boost to Evading. Resistance gives a Boost to Toughing. Armor gives Resistance to bludgeoning/piercing/slashing attacks.
Battle Decks
  • A character has a Battle Deck of 6 Cards, which represent limited-use combat abilities.
  • When you roll initiative, draw 2 Cards. When you end your turn, draw 1 more Card, regardless of how many Cards you used that turn.
  • All hostile NPCs in an Encounter will pool their Battle Cards into one Deck. The GM will have more abilities to Draw Cards and "tutor" them than the players have.
  • When a PC starts an Adventure, when the GM throws an unfortunate Complication at them, or when a PC's Liabilities affects the story, the PC gains a Karma Point.
  • NPCs/monsters don't have Karma. When an NPC/monster uses an ability that would normally require a Karma Point, they instead award a Karma Point to the most-affected PC, as if their ability was a Complication.
  • Karma Points have a maximum value they can accumulate to (determined by character creation rules somehow). They are supposed to flow multiple times per session though, not be something super rare and hoarded.
  • You can spend a Karma Point to do many things: Boost a roll, have a convenient mundane item on hand, draw an additional Battle Card, shrug off a condition such as Stunned, power a Card that requires a Karma Point, use a Power that you don't actually have ... (basically, if you're familiar with Mutants & Masterminds, Karma works like Hero Points from there, because it's an awesome subsystem.)
  • Characters have a pool of Stamina Points (4 by default).
  • A Short Rest is about 5 minutes, and allows characters to spend a Stamina Point. Doing so lets them remove minor damage conditions from themselves, and become Suffused.
  • An Extended Rest is about 8 hours, and allows characters to regain their spent Stamina. They can also roll Fortitude to recover from more serious damage conditions.
  • Spells are combat-viable magic. Non-combat magic is handled through a separate Rituals system.
  • To use a Power with the [Spell] tag, you must be Suffused. If that [Spell] is an Advanced Spell, you lose Suffused after you use it, and generally don't regain Suffused until your next Short Rest.
  • Some Battle Cards let you make a check (type appropriate to the flavor of the character's magic, e.g. Acumen for a Wizard) to avoid losing Suffused when you use an Advanced Spell. (If you fail the check, you can decide not to use the Advanced Spell that turn, and the Card is not expended.)
Everything Else
  • I have way too many things figured out about the system to put in one post.
  • There's also a LOT I haven't figured out yet. Primary on my mind are the Damage Conditions system and the Character Creation costs system.
  • Feel more than free to ask about how I handle specific things! If I don't know, offer suggestions! If I do know, it will help force me to put my thoughts into print.
  • I am thinking that Character Creation probably has to be based on spending a pool of Build Points, much like Power Points in Mutants & Masterminds. But I'm still thinking about how I might be able to combine that with, e.g. a discrete menu of Ancestries that represent a character's species.

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