Tell Me About Your Favorite Mechanics


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Faolyn

(she/her)
I'm also a fan of zones vs grid. Both work and I more often run games using grids because that's what my table likes. But when I get a chance to use zones I am happy.
Is this zones like how Fate does it, where it's just sections (or rooms) of a larger area?

Because I like how Fate does it.
 

Is this zones like how Fate does it, where it's just sections (or rooms) of a larger area?

Because I like how Fate does it.
I haven't played FATE so I'm not sure. The way I've done it is a large room could have multiple zones within it. My go to example is: a dining hall with an entrance on the south side, a set of stairs leading to a balcony and some rooms on the west side, a large cooking pit in the middle, and a small door to the kitchen in the northeast corner. The zones are south side, north side, cooking pit (hazard), stairs (narrow), landing (narrow), kitchen, room 1, and room 2.
 

Sorry I meant between adventures, when they have a chance to recover in character you can add dice.
Yeah, I'll stick with actual counts. I know that a certain amount of 'glossing over' is necessary, but that's one thing I feel is necessary.

But when you plan to fill 50-70 weekly sessions, you have different standards than running shorter campaigns. I could see where that mechanic could be useful where table time is a constraint.
 

aramis erak

Legend
I haven't played FATE so I'm not sure. The way I've done it is a large room could have multiple zones within it. My go to example is: a dining hall with an entrance on the south side, a set of stairs leading to a balcony and some rooms on the west side, a large cooking pit in the middle, and a small door to the kitchen in the northeast corner. The zones are south side, north side, cooking pit (hazard), stairs (narrow), landing (narrow), kitchen, room 1, and room 2.
The zones in 2d20 and YZE are fairly similar to those in Fate -
YZE uses a set maximum size (25m in most YZE, 10m in T2k) - but smaller zones can be used when it makes sense to do so.
2d20 are fuzzier, but are flexible as well.
 

Darth Solo

Explorer
It's not terribly sexy, but I really like Take 10/Take 20. Having an absolute value you can point to that provides a reference for how skilled you are, given time and space to practice and err is very convenient, and take 10 is a solid mechanic for action outside of a clock.

I'd like to see a D20 skill system that defaults to using those values and translating them into actions players can take, moving rolling onto back burner as something only done when you're pushing your luck.
Agreed. Then there's the Skill Mastery feat that allows you to Take 10 even when you normally can't. Saves time and makes your PC look like a bad *ss.
That's a very good mechanic!

I'm going to go with Karma, as used in the old FASERIP Marvel Super Heroes and Earthdawn. So you this resource (in Marvel it was your xp, in Earthdawn it cost xp) that you could use to add more oomph to rolls when you really needed to succeed, but since using it cost xp that you could use to progress, players have a vested interest in being stingy about it, as opposed to using Karma willy nilly. There are times when a campaign can really hinge on whether or not a key roll succeeds or not, and I've always liked giving players a resource to use in case of such emergencies, but usually, they either never use it, because they have no direct way to get more of it, or they spam it like it's going out of style.

By tying it to progression, you have a very simple "you win but not without a cost" mechanic.
Agreed and I like how Karma is regained performing good actions like the PC spending time with friends or relatives or engaging in charity.
Mutants and Mastermind 3e's Extra Effort rules, specifically the Power Stunt. Its not uncommon for a superhero RPG to include some kind of ability to push your powers or do more than the character was defined as being able to do when they were created. But they usually don't give the player a chance to tap into fundamentally different potential like Mutants and Masterminds does. M&M lets a player specify an entirely different power effect from what's on the character sheet as an alternate effect of one of the powers they have. So all of those weird times a superhero pulled a previously undreamed of application of their power out of their butt? You can do that in M&M even with a character whose abilities are otherwise carefully described and purchased via build points.
Great mechanic and you could perform Stunts with Marvel Superheroes by spending Karma.

Also a fan of how magic works with Barbarians of Lemuria. It's very freeform and versatile, as opposed to being limited to spell lists.

SWADE's "exploding dice" is great fun and can lead to truly entertaining scenes rivaling the best action movies.

A little-known PbtA rpg, Uncharted Worlds, has some of the best rules for handling horror that I've seen anywhere. The exact horror rules are in the Far Beyond Humanity supplement.
 

I really like Affliction from Pathfinder (and Starfinder) to track Bad Things That Can Happen to PCs, like diseases and curses and such.

I also like Pathfinder Haunts -- actually scary things you can't just punch into submission.
I generalized the 4e disease track for that. You can also do stuff like "take a wound instead of that lethal damage" and such.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Just remembered another mechanic from Don't Rest Your Head. You play your sleeping characters psyches in a dream/nightmare realm. It is not D&D in terms that "encounters should be beatable" is not a thing. Some may be, but some nightmares a win is just to get the heck out of Dodge without getting too beat up.

Anyway, each character has three boxes that at character creation you mark "Fight" or "Flight". Each time there is an encounter, you need to check off a box. If it matches what you are doing, all is fine. If it doesn't, then you have penalties and problems. Once all three boxes are checked you reset them.

That means that if you want to ever run without penalties, you need at lest 1 out of 3 boxes as flight - 1/3 of the time (or more) you instinct and your only unencumbered course of action is to run away.
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
Just remembered another mechanic from Don't Rest Your Head. You play your sleeping characters psyches in a dream/nightmare realm. It is not D&D in terms that "encounters should be beatable" is not a thing. Some may be, but some nightmares a win is just to get the heck out of Dodge without getting too beat up.

Anyway, each character has three boxes that at character creation you mark "Fight" or "Flight". Each time there is an encounter, you need to check off a box. If it matches what you are doing, all is fine. If it doesn't, then you have penalties and problems. Once all three boxes are checked you reset them.

That means that if you want to ever run without penalties, you need at lest 1 out of 3 boxes as flight - 1/3 of the time (or more) you instinct and your only unencumbered course of action is to run away.
How do you "check them off"?
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
How do you "check them off"?
Based on your character's reaction to an encounter that turns hostile. If you hold your ground, push forward towards something, or otherwise embrace a "I'm here for this", it's a box for Fight. If you want to get the heck out of there, retreat, hide, or otherwise no engage/disengage, it's Flight. It's been a bunch of years, I think it's just when a scene has a major change. So if reinforcements show up you might get to re-pick, but if you fight and half way through change to run, you still might have Fight picked and have penalties.

Again, not a "level specific" game at all, and losing in a fight in that nightmare&dream world is IIRC just another fork of the story, not a story-ending TPK.
 

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