New RPG System

From: B. D. (Danny) Smith (dysmith@nscorp.com)
Date: Mon 20 Oct 1997 - 18:37:02 EEST


There has been alot of discussion lately concerning the new Glorantha RPG
being "scalable", from lowly farmer to Arkat type HQ'er.

I have been thinking about using a RPG system called WarpWorld (or
TimeLords) by Blacksburg Tactical Research Center out of VA. This system
uses basically a percentile resolution system which is truly percentage
based: if your skill in broadsword is 75 (for a 75 out of 100 to hit) and
you have an injury on your sword arm for 15%, the system gives your new
chance to hit as .75 * (1 -.15) or
64% (rounded). It's actually d20 based, so its percentile rounded to the
nearest 5% (example above is really skill of 15 with a -3 injury giving a
modified skill of 13).

The system handles magic in a way that is particularly scalable. Your
magical effect is related to your Power (innate magical str), your Will and
your Concentration skill. As an example, a person with Power 18, Will 15,
and Concentration 15 who wants to cast a spell would be resolved like this:

        Person spends 5 Power on the spell (if he spends more he suffers, but it
can be done)
         Person is in combat using broadsword skill, which takes 3 pts of will
(darn distracting trying to parry that blow and spellcast at the same time)
        Person uses the rest of his will on the spell (12 points)
        Will + Concentration skill = 12 + 15 = 27. Roll d20 (result is say 12).
            27 - (roll of 12) is 15. 15 x power spent of 5 is raw effect of 75.
        If this effect is targeted towards a person of power 10 the net effect
would be 75/10 or 8 rounded. So, if this was a disrupt, the target would
take a damage level 8 (or a 40% of body wound) result.

This system is scalable by increasing will, power, and/or concentration.
So you can have heros with power of 20, will of 20, and concentration of 20
who can get net effects on farmers (with power of 10) of 74 (20 + 20 = 40 -
roll of 1 x power spent = 19 = 741/10 = 74) for a damage level of 370% of
what their body can handle (a damage level of 20 or 100% will cut you in
two), or an armour value of 741 (non living things have a power of 1) for
virutally invunerable protection (unless your opponent has a magic sword
with a power of 20, in which case your armour would protect you for 741/20
or 37 - still PDG).

BTW, in this system, 10 is average characteristic, 20 is top of human
normally. Magic results are handled by net effects, so any spell result can
be duplicated. I would think the average non-priest warrior type would
have a Pow of 10, a Will of 12, and a concentrate skill of maybe 5, so a
reasonable raw effect would be 12 + 5 = 17 - (avg d20 roll of 10) x Pow
spent of 3 or 21. this would cause a 21/10 net effect of 2 on the average
warrior. The magic system is similar to the Hero system in the way you
construct spells. Other benefit of the system are combat realistic if you
want (you can be bruised thru armour and a dagger can kill you) and a
workable no hit point damage system.

I believe the company (BTRC) is no longer using this rule system in its
current products, so maybe the Chaosium guys would be interested in some
type of license agreement? Sorry for the long post, but I really like this
rule system and I really like Glorantha!

B.D.(Danny) Smith
Manager - Strategic Planning
Norfolk Southern Corporation

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