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-   -   New use for XP - Heroic Exploits (http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=160708)

TippetsTX 11-20-2018 05:25 PM

New use for XP - Heroic Exploits
 
I've been working on an interesting idea... what if you could 'purchase' special abilities that are neither spells or talents? For example, if you were looking for a way to add divine channeling (i.e. healing, turning undead, etc.) or quasi-supernatural martial abilities (i.e. multi-shot, shadow meld, wall running, etc.) it makes sense to me that these would be tied directly to character progression rather than derived from one of your attributes; optional 'powers' that can be unlocked over time.

You see, I like that the new ITL rules provide alternative uses for XP eventhough I'm not a big fan of a few of them (XP for gold? Really?). Ironically though, the spark for this was actually the new Staff spells... I like the idea for those, but not the implementation. To me spells should have viability and scale throughout the character's career and the Staff spells (which also break the rules for enchanted items) are essentially a one-shot deal that continues to take up space in the character's spell inventory. So I wanted to come up with another way to support the concept outside of the spell/talent paradigm.

The structure I'm envisioning for 'Heroic Exploits' would have abilities grouped into specific portfolios that each contain five abilities/powers that build on each other (like the progression of the five Staff spells). You can't select a higher tier ability w/o first having the ones under it and the XP costs will escalate with each ability the character chooses to unlock. There may also be other prerequisites like stat minimums or talents and of course, the Rule of Five will apply. This means a character can aquire all five abilities in a single portfolio or they could select five 1st tier abilities from five different portfolios (and any combination in between), but can never aquire more than five total Heroic Exploits.

Obviously, I still have a lot of specifics to figure out. I think that balancing the individual 'exploits' against each other, for example, will be critical. They can't be too powerful and I'll need to create several portfolios so that no single character archetype has an advantage over any others. Fortunately, I already have a baseline... the five Staff spells.

Thoughts?

hcobb 11-20-2018 06:15 PM

Re: New use for XP - Heroic Exploits
 
Add new talents with large enough attribute requirements to exclude starting characters (UC V!) and charge players 500 XPs per skill point.

IQ 12: Heroic Jumping(2) Preq: Acrobatics, ST 12, adjDX 12. Enables implausible feats of jumping. Roll two fewer dice when attempting a jump (over the one die from Acrobatics) and also suffers two fewer dice of falling damage.

larsdangly 11-20-2018 06:23 PM

Re: New use for XP - Heroic Exploits
 
Could you accomplish this with the Minor Wish rule, or are you thinking of things that wouldn't be covered by a minor wish?

TippetsTX 11-20-2018 06:58 PM

Re: New use for XP - Heroic Exploits
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by larsdangly (Post 2223412)
Could you accomplish this with the Minor Wish rule, or are you thinking of things that wouldn't be covered by a minor wish?

No, because lesser wishes will be more limited in scope and re-characterized as 'hero points' in my games. Plus I want something a bit more structured and defined.

For example, the first portfolio I'm working on will support positive energy channeling. The 1st tier ability will be something like Bless (+1 temporary stat boost), 2nd tier is Lay on Hands for basic healing, 3rd tier is Targeted Turning/Smite, 4th tier Positive Energy Burst, and tier 5 might be some kind of Restoration ability. It's all pretty rough still though.

TippetsTX 11-20-2018 07:04 PM

Re: New use for XP - Heroic Exploits
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hcobb (Post 2223409)
Add new talents with large enough attribute requirements to exclude starting characters (UC V!) and charge players 500 XPs per skill point.

IQ 12: Heroic Jumping(2) Preq: Acrobatics, ST 12, adjDX 12. Enables implausible feats of jumping. Roll two fewer dice when attempting a jump (over the one die from Acrobatics) and also suffers two fewer dice of falling damage.

You have the right idea, but I don't think talents are the right mechanism for the type of abilities I am considering. They should not be dependent on a particular IQ score and they will also represent capabilities that are beyond what can be achieved thru training.

Chris Rice 11-20-2018 07:15 PM

Re: New use for XP - Heroic Exploits
 
I allow the purchase of "Hero Points (HP)" in my games, as I've mentioned before. These aren't specific abilities, but rather "Wildcards"or "Bonus Points" if you will. The points are re-useable, except in case (3) below.

They allow the following special options:

1) Roll Again. Re-roll any dice roll the character has made for 1 HP.
2) Add or subtract a point from any die roll made by the character or a direct opponent. (1 HP per point).
3) Miraculously survive death. (Costs 3 HP permanently lost).

This allows characters to become more powerful after a certain level without increasing their attributes. It also leads to some interesting choices, which I like.

TippetsTX 11-20-2018 07:22 PM

Re: New use for XP - Heroic Exploits
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris Rice (Post 2223425)
I allow the purchase of "Hero Points (HP)" in my games, as I've mentioned before. These aren't specific abilities, but rather "Wildcards"or "Bonus Points" if you will. The points are re-useable, except in case (3) below.

They allow the following special options:

1) Roll Again. Re-roll any dice roll the character has made for 1 HP.
2) Add or subtract a point from any die roll made by the character or a direct opponent. (1 HP per point).
3) Miraculously survive death. (Costs 3 HP permanently lost).

This allows characters to become more powerful after a certain level without increasing their attributes. It also leads to some interesting choices, which I like.

That is essentially what I will be using in place of lesser wishes in my games, but the abilities I'm proposing as Heroic Exploits (I'm not married to that name BTW) will be more akin to specific quasi-supernatural feats or innate spell-like abilities.

hcobb 11-20-2018 10:53 PM

Re: New use for XP - Heroic Exploits
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TippetsTX (Post 2223427)
That is essentially what I will be using in place of lesser wishes in my games, but the abilities I'm proposing as Heroic Exploits (I'm not married to that name BTW) will be more akin to specific quasi-supernatural feats or innate spell-like abilities.

I could have missed something, but I'm fairly sure that my university didn't offer any alchemy training.

They're called talents, not skills for a reason.

IQ 12 - Blind Fighting(3) Preq: Acute Hearing. The maximum visual penalty the character suffers is minus one per hex of range to the target, despite darkness, blur, etc. I.e. even blindfolded the character attacks with missiles weapons with the same range penalty as thrown weapons and melee attacks against adjacent targets are at no more than -1.

platimus 11-20-2018 11:11 PM

Re: New use for XP - Heroic Exploits
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TippetsTX (Post 2223420)
No, because lesser wishes will be more limited in scope and re-characterized as 'hero points' in my games. Plus I want something a bit more structured and defined.

For example, the first portfolio I'm working on will support positive energy channeling. The 1st tier ability will be something like Bless (+1 temporary stat boost), 2nd tier is Lay on Hands for basic healing, 3rd tier is Targeted Turning/Smite, 4th tier Positive Energy Burst, and tier 5 might be some kind of Restoration ability. It's all pretty rough still though.

Will there be a cost associated with each use of these powers? Perhaps I'm misunderstanding something but from the other posts I gather that a character will purchase the Bless ability with some amount of XP -- sort of like purchasing a talent or spell. When the character uses the Bless ability, what sort of cost will it incur? Fatigue? more XP? Nothing? Or will there be an arbitrary limit on the number of times a power can be used within a particular duration?

Shadekeep 11-21-2018 07:41 AM

Re: New use for XP - Heroic Exploits
 
It's an interesting concept, akin to the "legendary feats" ability one sees in some games. It would be good to see your first example when you have it fully fleshed out, in order to evaluate how it functions mechanically.

I was working on something a bit similar for my "fighting schools" idea, which leverages the five-tier Unarmed Combat talent. Basically depending on the school one is a disciple of, one unlocks certain extra UC abilities at each tier. I think it's easier to tie such things to a core talent, but I do understand as well the desire to have exceptional abilities called on at times. These might be covered under the same house rule that changes lesser wishes, however.

As I say, I can provide better feedback once you have a concrete example ready. But it does sound promising.


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