5th Edition rides again!

Changes to the latest 5th edition draft:

  1. The addition of a new attribute, Agility, I have used this as an attribute in some of my other games and it balances well with the other four.
  2. The removal of the Agility skill and the addition of Defence and Mobility, which have a consequence for Combat and Saving Throws respectively.
  3. The categorisation of weapons into light, medium and heavy to bring weapon modifiers to the simplified combat rules.
  4. The addition of the Ranger profession and allowing Humans, Elves and Half-Orcs to take it.
  5. The addition of the Hardman and Tracking professional abilities to the Barbarian and Ranger professions respectively.
  6. The introduction of the choice of spending destiny points or hard-won ducats to pay for training.
  7. Modified the Dodge spell to give a Defence skill bonus.
  8. Gone to town on the combat rules to make them more straightforward. Players now make an attack skill roll, modified by their weapon and, if they are successful, their opponent makes a defence skill roll, modified by their armour. So the rules on calculating damage and deducting the armour value from it are history – too bloody complicated to be honest.
  9. The addition of rules for simple saving throws against non-combat damage.

So, good people, what do you think? If you like it I shall have to work my way through all the supplements and modify them accordingly.

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About Craig

For those who need to know these things: - I'll never see 50 again. - I'm tall enough to see well in crowds and fat enough to leave a wake. - I'm well married to a woman with twice my smarts, three delightful and challenging children (er-hem), and one cat overlord. - I am Welsh. - I have to work for a living, but do nothing that makes me perspire.
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19 Responses to 5th Edition rides again!

  1. Gary Pilkington says:

    I like all of the changes though I was skeptical about the addition of agility. I liked the four attributes… and that it was only four attributes. However, I can’t argue against the new uses of DEX and AGI. I have to admit the use of AGI for defense and Mobility as a mix of STR and AGI makes more sense.

    So I will just grumble something about “the good old days with simpler rules” and get on with using the new edition. Just call me “Grognard Gary”.

    G

  2. Craig says:

    Hey there Grognard Gary 😉
    Now we released the kraken and gone to two sides of a single sheet of paper I’m able to add all these ‘refinements’. I need to rustle up some players now and playtest them…

  3. jcl says:

    I was looking at one page skirmish, and I think I’m going to adopt your game to do rpg’s with my son using 3-4 characters. I like the way you think. It seems to be all about dungeon crawl :). I had 3rd edition, and saw you already upped to 5th (just today!). Idk about the extra stat, I do know why you split it though, that’s a common issue in rpg’s. How to split up dex/str for combat.

  4. jcl says:

    I tried 4th edition borrowing your 5th edition weapon concepts. I like it. I don’t know if I dig the overall simple HP system (reminds me of warhammer). But I used it nonetheless. I merged your 5th edition armor checks into 4th. I would think some sort of sp system for wizards should be in play. Maybe a penalty that grows with each spell cast. Maybe spells are based on MV points? Maybe extra move is counted towards spell checks? That way moving in combat would limit spells. Idk I just think its a little weird that wizards don’t get exhausted. I like the ideas 5th bring but am not too keen on an agility stat as well as dex stat.

  5. jcl says:

    I swear I’ll probably post one more after action report. I slept and had some shower thoughts:
    1. Why not just use the agility skill (+Armor) vs new defense and agility attribute?
    2. Are two handed benefits lost now (for splitting into medium/heavy weapons)?
    3. Stat blocks for creatures: Attack (I called it BAB). I have a #(#) / #(#) melee(assisted)/shooting(assisted)
    Defense:
    Tough:
    That way I know what numbers I need to roll quickly. I was writing a separate block for wounded #’s, but I figured I’d do that one calculation manually in my head.
    4. Hit points. Allow full heal for priest spells (can only be used once per combat, once inbetween combats); or maybe 2 uses/combat, or maybe a -1 to his check per spell cast during combat?
    5. Toughness checks for after combat to raise wounds by 1 level. Toughness checks to raise wounds by 1 level once per day (i.e. sleeping). Logic behind this is to allow for “healing” over time. Similar to a lot of CoD games, also might make sense for allowing time to stabilize wounds.

  6. jcl says:

    okay, last post. I swear. The toughness skill check in your 5th edition still has word for word the 4th edition subtracting damage. I’m assuming from your notes (above), that this is a typo. As there is no tracking of damage supposedly. I agree, too complicated to keep track of dmg

  7. jcl says:

    I lied. This is my last post. 3 checks for v 5 is a lot. I did some % calculations and its basically check 1% (fighting + weapon) * check 2% (defence) * check 3% (toughness) to wound. Which isn’t too far off from just taking fighting+weapon and storing it as an attacker value to roll at. Ex +1 is 14. And then adding defenders defence + toughness bonus as a defensive value. Shows his hard it can be to hit characters but either way the probabilities were always within 5-10% of the formulaic value a*b*c and might be a lot easier to calculate and do away with an excessive amount of rolls

    • Craig says:

      Hi JCL,

      I wish I had this amount of feedback every time I published a new version – thanks 🙂

      I have used simple wounding system in a number of games and it works. I have given it another step in some, so Wounded (-1), Seriously Wounded (-3), KO’d then Dead.

      Spell point systems are a pain the ass honestly. They require book-keeping, recovery rates and once a wizard has expended all his ‘mana’ he’s pretty useless. It’s no fun being a low level wizard. In this system a wizard can cast one spell per turn from his spellbook of fairly simple spells.

      I have added Defence as a skill so it can be improved through experience and training.

      Two-handed weapons are now heavy weapons. I think I need to make it clear that you can’t use a shield and a heavy weapon at the same time – good catch.

      As these are the draft 5th edition rules I have not addressed stat block for creatures yet. Once I’m happy with the rules then I’ll slog through and produce a set of 5th edition supplements.

      On healing I am thinking that it will be difficult enough for priests to safely get to and heal a comrade in the middle of a melee without restricting his uses of the power per encounter. And it is not a spell.
      Maybe I need to have the priest make a suitable skill roll if an enemy is in base contact.

      The Toughness check wording – another good catch, thanks. I’ll reword that.

      One of the things I wanted to explore in fifth was more interactive combat, so attack and defence skills rolls. Many systems avoid these, but RuneQuest 2 had them and it made players more responsible for seeing to their defence.
      It also allows for more variety for characters and creatures. Thus you can have tough critters who are not very agile, and fighters who rely on their agility more than heavy armour etc.

      Excellent feedback. I look forwards to your thoughts on all this.

  8. jcl says:

    I’m all for an attack vs defense roll. I have my own game where I had two rolls, but I playtested with a friend of mine and he said in warmachine, they dropped it to just one roll (attack) and defender always assumes an average die roll (in your case 10.5 for d20). Therefore… that’s why I was proposing just storing the defensive value that the attacker adds to his roll to beat.

    Although, in an RPG, I think it’s not too big a deal to roll attacker/defender roll (in d&d, AC wasn’t rolled). However, I think 3 rolls is too much. My son was getting confused after the second roll. I.e. 1 roll to attack, one roll to dodge, 1 roll to wound.

    Although, I see why you wanted the extra rolls, because you can’t carry damage over. I too had a rule similar to that in a game of mine (http://www.apcrg.com/category/games/board-games/).

    Out of the 3 to 4 rpg’s I looked at, I like your’s the most. I’m a fan of HeroQuest myself. I’m not into long winded rpg’s, I just want something I can do a dungeon crawl in. I like your class/skill based setup. Although, I think the advancement is a little limited, but it’s a bit more than Hero Kids.

    I would propose a little more advancement options as an add on supplementary (similar to Warhammer Quest, default ruleset, and advanced ruleset). I understand your concern over not wishing to keep track of spell points. Maybe instead of spell points, a wizard can cast spells 1 level higher if he wounds himself or something.

    I feel your game does level 0 to level 1 characters really well, maybe level 2 characters somewhat well; but I wish I could get like

    • Craig says:

      Hi Josh,

      I read and answered your second post first, apologies, I picked up the comments on my mail account.

      “However, I think 3 rolls is too much. My son was getting confused after the second roll. I.e. 1 roll to attack, one roll to dodge, 1 roll to wound.”

      You only make three rolls if first the attacker hits and second the defender fails to dodge/parry. So most of the time you will not be making three rolls. Here is a suggestion, for mooks and minions only allow them either a dodge/parry roll or a Toughness skill roll. Such creaturs role in the game is to die entertainingly for the Adventurers.

      “Out of the 3 to 4 rpg’s I looked at, I like your’s the most. I’m a fan of HeroQuest myself. I’m not into long winded rpg’s, I just want something I can do a dungeon crawl in. I like your class/skill based setup. Although, I think the advancement is a little limited, but it’s a bit more than Hero Kids.”

      I have never played HeroQuest though I have been a long time fan of the now ancient RuneQuest 2, the first modern roleplaying game. In that game though the detail of the combat system could result in a single combat encounter lasting an entire evening. Something I have tried to avoid in DS.

      “I would propose a little more advancement options as an add on supplementary (similar to Warhammer Quest, default ruleset, and advanced ruleset). I understand your concern over not wishing to keep track of spell points. Maybe instead of spell points, a wizard can cast spells 1 level higher if he wounds himself or something.”

      Now more people are playing this game regularly I have been considering ‘higher level’ skills and class/race options. I shall keep you all apprised of my progress with this.

      “I feel your game does level 0 to level 1 characters really well, maybe level 2 characters somewhat well; but I wish I could get like…”

      Having run this quite a bit now in its previous editions I have found that players soon get used to the graduated improvement system. If you are running adventures with plenty of different challenges you can maintain interest. However, if you stick to ‘kick in the door, kill the monster and take the loot’ it will soon get dull.

      For Dead Simple I tend to run games in a television Scene-Episode-Series format. Some episodes advance the story arc, some are one-offs. I keep all ‘dungeons’ fairly small and capable of being cleared in 2-3 episodes, so not trudging through a ‘Ruins of Undermountain’ style massive, multi-level dungeon.

  9. jcl says:

    sorry, f’n pdf printer f’s up my typing (have to logoff/on again…), had to cut the last msg short…

    I wish I could get a feel for level 1 to 3 or maybe 1 to 5 from your game. I feel like I’m running around with villager’s who know how to use a weapon and cantrips. Which is great I guess, but it gets boring real quick. I feel like my son’s options while playing are very limited.

  10. Craig says:

    So start giving your players Destiny points and loot so they can improve 🙂
    This is not a game with levels, it is closer in spirit to RuneQuest 2, where characters develop continuously as opposed to in big leaps.

  11. jcl says:

    i’m a fan of Heroquest as well. I have a boxed set 🙂 I played with a group of people in San Diego once and I remember it as one of the better rpg’s I’ve played (I have this box atm http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/7e/RuneQuest_deluxe_3rd_edition_softcover_1993.jpg, and a big one print version of the extended). I’d say it’s in my top 3. It gave me new hope for skill based fantasy genre. I’m now looking into Burning Wheel and/or Savage Worlds

  12. Sean Jensen says:

    Craig,

    Once again, excellent product! What do you think about dropping the Tracking Professional Ability, since Survival duplicates and exceeds it?

    I know that you said that you were going to re-word the Toughness rolls, but I am trying to lock down my understanding of the Wounding process. Are you taking the attacker’s winning margin over Defense (i.e., attacker rolls 19, defender rolls 16, difference is 3), and using that number as a negative modifier to the hit opponent’s Toughness roll? Or does the successful defender not make a Toughness roll since he succeeded at his Defense? Just trying to sort it out. Thanks again for your thoughtful work.

    Sean

  13. Craig says:

    Good catch Sean I do not clearly state what the result of a successful Defence skill check is. My intent was that if your adventurer makes their defence skill check thn there is no need for a Toughness skill check.
    Likewise with the Tracking ability.
    Well back to the drawing board. Look out for a new revision soon…

  14. Snorb says:

    I commented on the Facebook group, but I thought of one more question: Would a fighter be able to use Double Trouble with a ranged weapon (like a bow)?

    And any chance of being able to spend Destiny/hard-earned gold on improving Double Trouble to, say, Triple Threat? =D

    • Craig says:

      Hi Snorb,
      Double Trouble is a close combat only ability, but I am putting some thought into a number of more advanced abilities, of which Double-shot could be one 🙂
      Indeed, I’d go as far as to say that Double-shot could be an alternative professional ability for Fighters who are dedicated to ranged combat rather than close combat. It’s the same as Double Trouble but only affects ranged weapons (not crossbows) shooting at enemies that are not adjacent to the adventurer.

  15. Hairy Dave says:

    Hi Craig,
    Have you considered doing a generic ‘Dead Simple Core’ to which rules for settings could be ‘bolted on’. This would probably reduce the rules to 1 page which you could get to know really well, with a second sheet for the setting material.

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