Saturday, March 29, 2014
A rules light RPG from New Zealand at http://arsphantasia.wordpress.com/ . Written to introduce the the authors friends to roleplaying its core mechanic is both simple and elegant. Everything is resolved by attribute roles. Need to disarm a trap make a Dex check, need to bluff somebody make a charisma check. Normally I am not fond of attribute checks (especially the old roll a d20 and get under your stat kind), but the mechanics for this are bit different you are rolling a d20 and adding a bonus based on your attribute to hit higher than a target number. Target number is based on difficulty (seven levels from easy at 5 to uncanny at 30). There's a nice table that lists all the common things that adventurers often do and what kind of check they are. Reasonably straightforward so far, but here's the twist that makes it awesome, if the attribute is primary you get to add your level. What determines if the attribute is primary, why your character class of course! Fighters are good at strength things, Rogues at dexterity, etc. What struck me about the system (perhaps I'm just in a weird mode) is that it has given a mechanism for doing what what needs done while kicking to the curb all that talent, skill, feat, non-weapon proficiency crunch that grinds many modern systems to a halt, but still preserves unique roles for fighters, rouges etc. Magic is based on a spell point system Mages get charisma+1 spell points to start and an extra spell point every level. Spells cost 3 points per spell level (cantrips are only 1 point leaving one open to cantrip spam abuse but damage from these is only 1d3). No Clerics, healing spells are on the mage list. I did have a few things I didn't like, the most important one being if your longsword only does 1d8 giving platemail a damage absorption of 8 is going to make things tough. In general I found fixed damage adsorption a bad idea.One of the reasons I gave up on Runequest was that its damage adsorption both that most hits didn't count and that fight usually went to the first one lucky enough to roll a critical. I am working on a percentage damage reduction system, but since smooth implementation will require a chart it won't be rules light. Lack of artwork didn't bother me since the pages are well laid out in a nice font. All in all Mythweaver is definitely one of the better rules systems I have run across, and since it is currently a free download the price is right. Definitely worth checking out.