I'm thinking about revamping how I do HP for my homebrew: the GLOG. Here's what I'm thinking:
Level 1: HP = 1/3 of Con.
Level 2: HP = 2/3 of Con.
Level 3+: HP = Con.
And that's it. It never goes up. (It's still modified by class, of course. Barbarians are still going to have a boatload of HP.)
And then after you reach level 4, you start accumulating Luck Points.
Level 4: 1 Luck Point
Level 5: 2 Luck Points
Level 6: 3 Luck Points
Luck points can be spent to influence a roll by +/- 1 point, after it has been rolled. This works on both damage rolls and d20 rolls. This only works on rolls involving you.
You recover lost luck points when you get a good night's sleep or eat a good lunch (1/day).
This is interesting because Luck Points are--at a minimum--an HP increase. Since you can reduce incoming damage by spending Luck Points, a character with 10 HP and 10 Luck Points can survive taking 19 damage from a dragon's breath.
Except that they're much, much more versatile than that, and actually much more powerful than a mere +1 HP would be.
You can spend them to make your enemies miss (as long as they barely hit), and you can spend them to turn your near-misses into hits. You can spend them to make your Save vs Death.
And because you can always spend them, they become this little option attached to every die roll that you fail by a couple of points. "Do I want to spend my 2 luck points to dodge this orc's axe? Or should I save them for later?"
And because you spend them after the roll, and because nearly all rolls in the GLOG are d20 roll-unders, there's no more dice to roll or tables to consult. Just the question of "Do I want to spend my precious Luck Points here?"
And like HP, every class benefits from them. They're like the American dollar. Like HP, they're a reservoir that the DM must whittle down before killing a PC, but it's such an interesting little reservoir of potential.
That's good, since classes stop getting class abilities after level 3. This injects a powerful little ability into every character that they'll all benefit from.
And yet I tend to hate hero/action points. Go figure.
|by Jakob Eirich|
Alright, I've done skills a million times because I'm never happy with them. Fuck 'em. Here's my newest draft and it's perfect in every way, and I'm sure I'll never hurl it from the cliffside where it will dash its brains out alongside it's brothers below.
There is no strict list of skills. You can pick anything you want as long as it's not a social skill (no Persuade), a Perception skill (no Search/Sense Motive), or overly broad (no Magic). Likewise, the uses of each skill must be interpreted by the DM.
You start with 2 skills: one random one from your background and one random one from your profession. (Or just two random ones.) You gain these skills at a skill score of 6.
Like everything else in this damn game, you test your skill by rolling a d20 and trying to get equal-or-under to succeed.
At the end of each session, you can attempt to improve a single skill by rolling a d20 under your Intelligence. If you succeed, the skill score improves by 2 (up to 10) or 1 (when attempting to pass 10). You cannot raise a skill higher than 10+Level, to a maximum of 16.
You can gain a new skill the same way. Mention a thing you did this session "I tried to sail a boat and failed, but I think I might have learned from my experience", and make an Int check. If you succeed, you gain that skill at a skill score of 2.
If you succeed by 10 points (e.g. rolling a 2 when you had a skill score of 12) it is a critical success and you can apply an adverb to your attempt, such as "instantly" or "reversibly" or "stealthily".
Skills are used to achieve things beyond the ken of a standard adventurer. Adventurers are already capable climbers, swimmers, jumpers, and combatants. (For example, Indiana Jones is just an base adventurer with skill in Archaelogy, nothing else.)
This isn't very different from my previous skill systems. It's very easy to explain, which I like. And there's no tracking
I've been playtesting this for a little while, and I like the little Int tests at the end of each session.
While I'm calculating XP, the players are all rolling to see if they can improve a skill. This is good because (a) it gets them talking about what they did during the session, (b) it keeps them out of my hair, (c) it rewards higher Int characters by letting them learn skills faster, but not to a higher degree than low-Int characters, and (d) the only skills that improve are the ones that the players actually use in each session.
If you want to be a master linguist, you need to spend some time wrestling with merfolk morphemes.