Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Hobby - writing out systems no one will play lolz. Its really Prototying Mental Models

I realize I am able to create very good mental models when I create new categories and able to group certain ideas together better by fixing up their characteristics. Its basically an exercise of prototyping and holding ideas in my head long enough that more sophisticated models arise.

Brokedown Professions into two parts: Profession and Specialization. 

Profession = Work (a series of duties and responsibilities the character carries out that allows them to earn a living). While Specialization is their function in the work (saying which actions they excel at). You can have Guardsman/Legionnaire/Mercenary/Auxiliary/Raider + Archers/Heavy Infantryman/ Shock Troop/Scout/Skirmisher/Bodyguard/Killer.

This has been a problem for a while since I was trying to create background systems - not every merchant is into Retail, not every Noble is into Management, not every soldier is a Heavy Infantryman. Its in this playing around did I have a prototype.

Another Fun part was differentiating Roles. Again its about whats fun within my comfort levels.

  • Differentiated the roles served by Medium and Light Infantry as : Skirmishing (engaging and disengaging, skilled in mobile combat or running battles) vs Shock Troops (shock and awe tactics). 
  • Differentiated Shock Troops and Heavy Infantry. 
  • Differentiated Scouts as more stealth-based and a softer target as compared to skirmishers. 
  • Archers are more "artillery" as they are better positioned then left to shoot to kill. Still Scouts and Skirmishers can use ranged weapons. 

Defined Game Balance

My definition of Game Balance is to keep things interesting not to represent the game. It's not meant to "represent the real world or model a living world" that can be easily pursued by just creating the System that makes certain classes weaker than others perpetually. Since this is a game I want that people would want to play and try out different Race + Profession + Specialization + specific player tactics. I have to make a trade-off to having suckier equipment and that seems to be "talents" that make the character better under certain circumstances.

Example Guardsmen have the best equipment, while Auxiliary and Raiders have the worst. Poorer Professions have more interesting talents like Standard Bearer, Night Harrier (because I have a bunch of different night time advantages), Versatile, etc...

Having some fun, I decided to create a specialization called Killers - based on Bron and many of the Thugs in GOT and how some writers point out that some characters are just Killers. I don't want to use "Assassin" which is done to death and really should be done with a Scout or more indirect specialization.

Game balance Considerations are like

  • how am I going to abilities for Specializations, not just Weapon proficiencies? Abilities that make sense when I rewrite it for an TRPG?  
    • Bodyguard Abilities/Mechanics? 
  • What if Auxiliaries get weapon advantages with sickles and other mixed-use implements? 
  • Raider Killer/Shock Troop to be a very complimentary combo. Shock troops have some Raider Talents. 
  • Pros and Cons Guardsman Killer and Bodyguard. 
  • Mercenary and Legionnaire heavy infantry, and archery 
  • A weird combination like Auxiliary, legionnaire, or raider bodyguard. 
  • Some opportunity for Nuance for how each profession differs in their Scouts, with guardsmen and mercenaries being more like spies (Procopius History of Wars). 


  1. People will be bored with Arena Combat after 2-3 bouts. Especially veteran players who can do the Doctrine in their heads. 
    1. Random Character combinations of Race + Profession + Specialization will become a challenge for the bored. They will want to measure handicap.  
  2. Wilderness Combat would be more popular with the Veterans Players if done in a way that allows Strategy. The strategy being Actions done at the start of the game that builds up over the late game. 
    1. Like no armor or shields. 
    2. Choosing ropes and certain equipment, vs weapons. 
    3. Ability to Coordinate in the wilderness, especially beyond the line-of-site. 
  3. Mounted Combat will scaled up combat. HOrse archery and Medium Cavalary will be deferred. 

Keeping the System simple and not

Keeping it Dice + Modifiers (Stat + Proficiency + Condition). Condition is the character's condition. Allowing for Death spiral in the system. As well as making it Dice bloated with a roll being made up of 3d6 + damage die + 1d20. (success die, damage die, and effects die). 

Reminiscing our Airsoft Wilderness Hunting games allowing Raiders and Auxiliaries who are Skirmishers and Scouts to excel.

As well as wondering Just a simple mechanic where PCs skip the wading through monsters/mooks/ to fight the big bad boss in poor or worse condition.

I end up making one of these when I read a system and I get the urge to tweak it constantly.

Favorite Take Away So far

The Effects Die (EFD) or the D20 I roll alongside the 3d6. Its like the Confirming Die in D&D 3.5 but much more. It works like the confirming die, that it has to also beat the Difficulty and the Success Roll (3d6 plus modifiers) has to succeed first. Adding the Same Modifiers to the EFD.

  • It allows me to Simplify the Margin of Failure and Success so that it Takes on the Job of measuring or determining other effects. 
  • Used for how many Additional attacks Hit in Numerically Superior Adversaries. 
  • Rapid Shot (for Archers). You need to hit in the 3d6 and you need to hit in the Effects die. 
  • Allows me to Differentiate Critical Success and Automatic Success as well as Automatica Fail and Critical Fail. 
    • 3d6 has Automatic Fail and success at 3 and 18. 
    • failing and succeeding with the Effects Die along with the 3 or 18 determines if its a Critical Success or Fail. 

Ghibly Art (wish but unlikely)

if this is like playable, criteria I have to define I'm going to use my Ipad 6 and apple pen 1 and the Pinterest of Tales of Earthsea and Ghibly to make art for this. Basically, the Races, Professions, and Specializations. 2" x 4" at 600dpi portraits should be easy enough I cannot make excuses. All the Equipment on a Nausicaa-like  Heroine, Tough old lady Dola (Castle in the Sky), Old Mercenary, and young male hero. I guess to save effort 3-5 items per Portrait.
The aesthetic would be 6C Rome with some anachronisms prevalent crossbows, the economic wealth of high middle-age Italian City-States.

200410 GITB Combat System Only

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