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Games, Games, and More Games => Storytelling and Roleplaying => Topic started by: dndfreak on January 02, 2016, 02:48:23 am

Title: New RPG system?
Post by: dndfreak on January 02, 2016, 02:48:23 am
I thought of an idea for an alternate hp system today and I'm wondering if any of the more table-top savvy members know if this already exists somewhere or if I actually did stumble into something new.

Basically, it revolves around pain and tolerance. Each character would have pain tolerance, which depending on the setting would be split into multiple categories (mental pain tolerance for cthulu sanity, that sort of thing). When a character would suffer damage in any other game, in this system they'd receive a small amount of pain, which would count against their tolerance, and roll a d20 save to determine whether they can withstand their current pain level.

For example, let's say this is a fantasy game and you're playing a fairly squishy low level Wizard with a physical pain tolerance base of a mere 8. A goblin shanks you and you take one point of physical pain, which reduces your effective tolerance to 7. A d20 is then rolled, and if the roll is higher than your current tolerance, the pain overwhelms you and you fall unconscious. If you roll lower than your tolerance, the pain was not enough to overtake you and you continue fighting until more pain forces you to make another (more difficult) roll.

If you're playing a bulky high end fighter, however, you'd have a fairly different experience. A character used to taking a beating might have a large pain tolerance, like 25, so that minor scrapes from goblin daggers would literally never be enough to overwhelm them. The fighter would have to take six points of pain before it would potentially be enough to knock him down, and then only if a 20 is rolled.

A character knocked down that is dying out must roll each round, as if they'd taken more damage of the type which felled them. A knocked down character that fails one pain save becomes fatigued, which means that even if something causes them to recover they're going to be worn out and functionally useless for a while. A character which fails and was fatigued is now dead.

Healing a character removes pain. If a character is healed while knocked down, they get to make a pain save to attempt to recover. A success means they regain consciousness while a failure means the healing wasn't enough to rouse them, but the pain was still removed and so making future saves will be easier. A character healed to full tolerance wakes automatically. A character reduced to 0 tolerance dies immediately.

Does this interest anyone? Do you know of a system which already does similar things?
Title: Re: New RPG system?
Post by: Krakow Sam on January 02, 2016, 03:25:02 am
There are systems out there which are similar.

The only one that immediately springs to mind that I've played is Mutants and Masterminds. Instead of HP total characters have a Toughness stat and when you take physical damage the game calls for a Toughness save with a difficulty determined by the damage rating of the attack and modified by your Toughness.

A success means the attack has been harmlessly shrugged off, a near failure inflicts a "bruised" condition which reduces your Toughness by 1 (bruises are cumulative), a failure within a certain margin inflicts more serious debilitation (IIRC you can only take a half action every turn until healed and that sort of thing) and a failure by a large margin results in unconsciousness or death depending on the damage type (lethal/non-lethal)

It's the same principle as the one you're suggesting but it's a bit more narratively flexible because it's not representing "pain" exactly, but just a generic ability to resist damage and fatigue.
Title: Re: New RPG system?
Post by: dndfreak on January 02, 2016, 04:12:06 am
I guess. I looked at the MnM system and the thing with it is that a successful check does literally nothing. A character can suffer literally an infinite number of light hits without any drawback, whereas my 'pain' is added onto the character if they get hit, whether they succeed a save or not. The save is to still stand despite damage, not so make the damage disappear as if it never happened.

I've never touched MnM before (obviously) so I'm not able to judge the system firsthand but my initial impression isn't great.
Title: Re: New RPG system?
Post by: Krakow Sam on January 02, 2016, 06:19:21 am
Well it works perfectly well in the context of a superhero setting. When a superman or even someone like James Bond fights a whole load of regular style mooks he can take any amount of shots/punches and it doesn't affect him at all.

You have to think about why you want this mechanic of yours in the first place. What is it really representing?
Title: Re: New RPG system?
Post by: dndfreak on January 02, 2016, 02:04:41 pm
It's about taking a beating and a literal fight for survival. The idea is that after a point you're never sure whether the next blow will be enough to take you down and you're fighting to stay standing with each hit. I guess the best way to put it is that it's a setup for moments of Rocky Balboa proportions. Where a character is able to still stand, despite all odds, by sheer force of determination. Tolerance would not derive from Constitution (well, maybe in part), but from a measure of willpower.

It also exists to manage recovery from blows. A character in a lot of pain who recovers some of that pain is still very likely unable to be able to get up again immediately, unlike in most RPG systems. But again, the character's ability to get up after going down is based on will and determination.