So, this week I’ve been thinking some about only a couple of things. Job hunting has been paramount, as I’ve had a couple of jobs pop up on my radar, and those have required some paperwork and phone calls, and that’s been on my mind more than StarSea. However, I have had some flashes.
One, in the comments section of a Gnome Stew article I was reading this week, the suggestion was made that Savage Worlds might not work for my setting. No, it wasn’t a comment specific to my setting, rather it was a comment on the magic system being a portion of the ruleset that is frequently house ruled. I need to read that section of the rules and make a decision for myself.
I’m also going to start looking into Fate Core or Fate Accelerated (or maybe even starting with Accelerated and moving on to Core as our group becomes more comfortable with the system). What little I’ve seen, I’ve liked. I looked at an old draft of Fate a number of years ago, but the little PDF pamphlet was pretty horrible in describing how task resolution worked. It’s getting good reviews, so I’m willing to give it another look. It might work well with what I have in mind for StarSea.
I’ve also given some thought to building a d20 game that might incorporate a lot of 4e into the system. I honestly don’t think it would be that hard, but it would be immensely time consuming. This idea is really low on my list. But I’m having troubles with the way 4e skills work, especially in relation to the DC Charts. My player’s characters are rarely really challenged when running skill challenges. I use the modifications of the skill challenge system presented by Rodrigo of Major Spoilers: 1) any skill that can be justified with an in-game explanation can be used; 2) you can’t use the same skill twice; and 3) you can’t use the same skill as the player before you in the initiative order. I don’t use the action point gets you a reroll, as I don’t use the normal action point economy. None of this negatively impacts the challenge. The issue is that DCs are simply too low for my PCs. The typical roll seems to be in the 30’s or 40’s, and the PCs have been 23rd level to this point. S0, for their trained skills, the PCs typically have a bonus to these roles of about 25, meaning a roll of 10 usually exceeds the medium difficulty by about 8 ticks.
I found this article today on the Pelegrane Press website, that offers a better way to handle backgrounds that the designers of D&D Next seem to be able to come up with (in my opinion). I won’t be changing my current game to this, but maybe for the StarSea. I could even see 13th Age work for StarSea in general, but I think I’d end up doing a lot of class building, again.
I’d also like to simplify some elements of the d20 system. I’d like to simplify armor down to three types, light, medium and heavy, rather than whatever multitude of armor types exists in the usual d20 systems. However, I understand that this kind of manipulating would be difficult, and robs the possibility of having armor really impact the aesthetics of the game. For example, the various bone and chitin armors of Dark Sun become more difficult to incorporate into the game.
On the other hand, I’ve also been thinking about assigning gear to characters as per Mongoose Publishing’s Wraith Recon (this setting was originally published for 4e). I really rather like the idea of simply giving the characters their gear as a package. Some of this is likely anyway, as I don’t think characters should simply own a main battle tank, which I want to have floating around.
I realizing that eventually, I’m going to have to focus and make some decisions. However, I don’t want to force the issue and find myself making decisions I’m not happy with down the line. I’ll make my decisions organically, and probably more intensely when my current campaign is complete. Then I won’t be splitting my thinking about both campaigns, and I can truly focus on the StarSea without distraction.
I think that’s plenty for this week. Until next time…