Music for writing today: https://youtu.be/7rclL_8Jf7w
So, now that the holidays are upon us and I've had a little more writing time, I've been doing some more work.
On mechanics. Because I know people go insane with this type of stuff, the mechanics are really simple, and function in the same manner for both non-combat and combat resolution.
For task resolution....Take the attacker/initiator's test pool (for combat, something like Physical + Marksmanship for shooting a gun or Physical + Unarmed for punching a dude/cutting him with the Evisceration power); for non-combat, something like Mental + Investigation) and subtract the defender/target's test pool/difficulty (for combat, something like Physical + Prediction for dodging said gunfire; for non-combat, a flat difficulty rating). This creates a Chance of Success (CoS)%. Generally, equivalent stats/difficulty will result in exactly a 50% CoS. As the numbers increase or decrease from equivalency, the percentage goes up or down, to a maximum of 85% and a minimum of 15% (this is with HUGE swinging differences, like someone with an Attribute at 2, the lowest starting stat, and no ranks in a Skill, attacking someone with an Attribute at 7/max and a Skill at 5-6/max., or vice-versa). There are Advantages that change up how some of the attributes combine into the pools (like an Advantage that makes your Ranged attacks and defenses key off of Mental instead of Physical, for example). The system rolls the appropriate check and tells you pass/fail. The system ALSO acounts for Advantage (granted by some conditions, basically roll twice and take best), buffs/debuffs, and such things like that. For combat, the system also applies any damage and all calculations based on said buffs/debuffs.
For damage...Everyone has an Endurance rating that starts at 100%. As you take damage/get hit, this goes down. It's a combination of actual hits and abstract other factors that render a character out of steam. At 0%, you're out of the fight; generally, this means that you are knocked out/rendered helpless in some manner. You can only be killed when you're at 0% Endurance. Damage is calculated based on the rating of the weapon or damage-dealing power (1 to 4), plus the applicable Attribute and Skill (and any power modifiers), and Resistance is based on any worn armor (again, rated 1 to 4), appropriate Attribute, and Willpower Attribute (and any power modifiers). Equivalence means a 15% base damage, with decrease/increase to 5%/25% at the highest/lowest differentials. So a guy Highlander'ing you with a katana (a medium weapon, so 2 damage) would be 2 + Physical + Weaponry (plus any mods) against your leather jacket (a light armor, so 1 Resistance) + Physical + Willpower (plus any mods). As much as I know people love things like called shots and aiming and stuff, I'm not bothering to code stuff like that. I may add it in patches down the road, but not starting out. Some of this will fall under qualities on weapons and powers though. Some powers have triggers based on Endurance being at below maximum, such as the Resistance power Pain to Power. Some powers also trigger automatically at 20% Endurance or lower (called Red for short, which will show up in your combat stuff).
For attributes and skills...
This stuff is pretty straightforward. The game features four (4) Attributes, in generalized categories and (at this time) 22 Skills.
The Attributes are...
The skills are...Academics (learnin'!) Athletics (sports and movement) Awareness (things going on around you) Computers (hacking and building hardware and software) Deception (LIES, subterfuge and persuasion) Drive (THE TRANSPORTER, The Italian Job, stuff that isn't standard cars and trucks and motorbikes; you get general drive competency, and each rank of drive you pick a Drive Training outside, like jets or helicopters or Flying Nightmare Horses) Empathy (reading peoples' moods) Evasion (dodge Unarmed and Melee attacks) Intimidation (duh) Investigation (duh) Leadership (duh) Marksmanship (guns, bows, Ranged attacks) Medicine (general medical knowledge) Melee (swords, knives, power-created Melee weapons) Occult (knowledge of non-vampire supernatural creatures and general occult knowledge) Prediction (represents general knowledge and observation of people who use guns, and predicting where they'll aim and when they'll fire to dodge) Security (larceny and thievery and security-related stuff) Streetwise (knowing the criminal and underground methodology) Survival (wilderness and tracking) Unarmed (punches, kicks, claws/bites) Arts (singing, dancing, performances), Crafts (working with your hands), and Science (mechanics, chemistry, etc.) are bought as separate skills, each with as as their own skill (so you'd have Arts: Singing or Arts: Piano, Science: Hematology, or Crafts: Painting, for example. Skills are assigned starting ratings, along the lines of Attributes. Set one at 4 (near mastery); set two at 3 (advanced training); set three at 2 (standard training); and set two at 1 (basic training). Skill maximums are normally 5 (mastery), though a couple of Advantages can increase the Skill Maximum to 6 (superhuman) per skill per time taken.
The skills may change, and the percentages and maximums and calculations may change once I'm moved out of alpha testing for the automation. So far though, things have been 'on target' mostly.
This is the thing that's taking the most time, rejiggering powers. But it's still going. I've got frameworks and things are easily folding into the automation (whether that me the 'attack' command or just the 'test' command). Pulling resources from all kinds of fun places (WoD, Anne Rice/Vampire Chronicles) has been eye-opening. Due to now making it where all powers 'rank up' from a base level, rather than things being done on a per-rank basis like WoD has made some rejiggering a little more difficult, and a few powers I had that were 'do this thing that doesn't increase in power level' don't work now. Which is fine.
Powers (and how weaponry is written in your combat layout, just because of consistency and need for how keywords trigger in code) are made up of:Rank (written as [X], where X is a 1 through 4; the Rank is also the Activation Cost in Vitalis, the blood-equivalent), for powers, the Rank affects the damage a little more weighted than a standard weapon does Activation (Instant, which uses your turn when you use the +command; or Reflex, which doesn't) Category (Ranged, Physical, Special, Buff, Debuff). Ranged uses the Ranged attack pool and equipped Ranged weapon; will fail if no Ranged weapon equipped. Physical uses the Melee weapon you have equipped or, if you have no Melee weapon equipped, defaults Unarmed. Special is typically used with powers that don't use a standard pool to achieve a non-buff/non-debuff effect, like the example Mentalism and Intensity powers below. Buff causes it to appear in your (or your target's) Bonuses list; Debuff (if successful) causes it to appear in your target's Penalties list. Any effects (target limits, such as things that can only affect yourself, are also listed here)
The are used in the character sheet as keywords/shorthand. When written up in the newsfiles, it'll have a descriptor of what it does. The keywords are used as shorthand and code triggers, but once you get used to the system the shorthand becomes really easy to translate.
Here are a few of the rejiggered powers, just as a teaser to whet your appetite:Pain to Power (Resilience): [X], Instant, Physical, Revenge The vampire uses the vitalis in her body to channel her pain into her muscles, granting a boost in strength based on the pain she is suffering. When activated, Pain to Power makes a normal Physical attack, with bonus damage based off of a percentage of the END loss the user is currently suffering, calculated based off of Pain to Power's Rank. This damage is applied before any damage reduction. Flesh of Marble (Resilience): [X], Instant, Buff, Reflect The vampire surges vitalis into her flesh; when she is struck, this vitalis hardens the skin for an instant, the attacker being treated to the sensation that they were striking a brick wall or some other hard surface, causing harmful reverb to them. When activated, Flesh of Marble grants the Reflect effect. (Reflect: When struck by a Physical attack that successfully deals damage, the attacker takes rebound damage equivalent to half of their inflicted damage, plus [X]%, where X is the Rank of Flesh of Marble. This damage is not reduced in any way. IE: A character struck for 12% damage, with Flesh of Marble , does 8% damage back to their attacker.) Psychic Assault (Mentalism): [X], Instant, Special, Ignore Reaching out with their psychic powers, the vampire uses their telepathic powers to reach into the mind of their enemy, assailing them with a barrage of mental energy, causing them pain that resonates from mind to body. Psychic Assault uses the standard Mentalism test pool (Mental + Awareness) versus the target's Mental + Willpower, ignoring any physical armor. (Ignore: The attack disregards any armor the target is equipped with.) Shockwave (Intensity): [X], Instant, Special, Burst Stagger The vampire's strength is brought to bear at range when utilizing this power, channeled however the vampire chooses, be it a thunderous clap of their hands that acts like an air cannon or a stomp sending the shockwave through the ground that explodes under her targets. Shockwave uses the vampire's standard Unarmed attack pool versus the target's Ranged defense (Physical + Prediction), can target up to three (3) targets, and may disorient the target. (Burst: The attack can target up to 3 targets. Stagger: Reduces the target's evasion by <undetermined formula>). Crimson Might (Intensity): [X], Reflex, Buff, Self Empower The vampire uses the vitalis that animates her to increase her strength, flowing extra life force into her limbs to increase her power temporarily. When used, Crimson Might grants the Empower condition to the user. (Empower: The target of Empower gains a bonus to their Physical Attribute).
WHEW! I'm writing, got a bug up my butt. QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS WELCOME!