Blade and Spell

First Age

D&D h@ck3r and Hopepunk
Staff member
Blade and Spell.jpg

In the background I'm writing a new fantasy RPG using the underlying Omni engine, with dollops of ideas from Talislanta 5th, Omega, and the new draft of Godsend Agenda. It's presently just jottings of ideas and systems to create a blend that I'd like to play and run at my table.

The core of the Omni system is largely intact, it's very recognisably part of the Talislanta lineage, with a preservation of the 'Effect Based' magic system with the numerous Modes and Traditions coming across with only a surface editing for legibility and consistency. I've made a change to the way Attack magic works, but otherwise it's untouched as I love it.

Dice are likely to move to the Godsend Agenda system from 1d20 to 2d10, with doubles kept and rolled again, unless 00, which is always a zero result. It ups the average slightly and always gives a character a chance to go off the charts and be awesome.

The action economy is quite important to get right. There is the mildest of Pathfinder 2 influence here, but otherwise it is 'you can do three things', encouraging movement and action. Another minor change is to recognise that all 'attacks' in the game are in fact simultaneous exchanges between two opponents. The character with the initiative gets to decide if they want to initiate the exchange, 'attacks' and has control of the dice roll and the likelihood of winning and inflicting damage. On a 'Failure' result for the exchange initiator they have to take half damage from their opponent and a Mishap result inflicts full damage to the initiator. As initiative moves from one protagonist to another, each gets to move or decide to initiate an exchange. Stamina and the expenditure of Hero Points may also play a part.

An exchange reflects a number of blows and attempts to parry. As per Talislanta 5th, you can choose to attack multiple opponents with a cumulative -5 to your skill rating per additional opponent, or flurry multiple blows at an individual, giving the potential for more damage. This can be partially offset by expending 'Stamina' a new secondary attribute for characters, or by spending a Hero Point for an additional free action at no penalty. Defending multiple opponents simply uses your core skill as a 'Degree of Difficulty' to the attacking opponent, though I think you could dial this down by applying a penalty to defending multiple foes. We have actions and resources interplaying here, and I think playtest will help to hone and balance the numbers to get a system where tactical choices matter, but play is fast. I'm also going for the 'you can take three to four good hits before going down' rule, Critical hits excepting.

There are, already, some nuances to the exchange system. You can choose not to actively oppose in an exchange, because you are trying to preserve your actions, or think you can 'take the hit'. I'm as yet undecided how to default the applicable 'Degree of Difficulty' for that and for other unopposed rolls.

Here are some secondary attribute tracks that I'm messing about with.

Health Ancestry Base + CON
Recover Health at a rate of 1+CON (minimum of 1) every day of full rest.
When at half Health your character is Bloodied and all physical actions are at -1.
When at a quarter Health your character is Wounded and all physical actions are at -3.
When at zero Health or less your character is Dying and cannot undertake any actions. Every 1+CON rounds make a Death Save with a penalty = to negative Health Points

Resolve Ancestry Base + WIL
Recover Resolve at a rate of 1+WIL (minimum of 1) every day of full rest.
When at half Resolve your character is Wavering and all Mental actions are at -1.
When at a quarter Resolve your character is Faltering and all Mental actions are at -3.
When at zero Resolve or less your character is Broken and cannot undertake any actions. Every 1+WIL rounds make a Madness Save with a penalty = to negative Resolve Points

Stamina Ancestry Base + CON
Recover Stamina at a rate of 1+CON (minimum of 1) every 10 minutes of full rest.
When at half Stamina your character is Fatigued and all physical actions are at -1.
When at a quarter Stamina your character is Exhausted and all physical actions are at -3.
When at zero Stamina the character is Collapsed and can take no action. The character must rest for 8 hours to recover to half original Stamina.

Anyway, I'm messing about with this at a game for Furnace convention this weekend, and running Tripod too, which means it's a full on playtest masquerading as games weekend!

Hope nothing breaks...

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