Ideally, I want combat to use a minimal maths approach (maybe dice pool & count rather than roll & add?) and also the concept of a “poise” stat that tracks how in control of the fight someone is – poise would be used as a resource to power manoeuvres as well as “hit points”. eg: You perform a dodge by using a little poise to just side-step an attack, more poise to jump back, and even more poise to throw yourself to the ground, each step avoiding a better class of attack but requiring a higher loss of poise. Combat advantage & flurries of blows, as well as counter-attacks, would all work off the same poise stat.
I want people to be able to customise their character however they desire, so leveling-up core stats or mechanics is the concept.
Example: Let’s say we’re playing a mage/spellweaver. When it comes to magic, there are a few stats related to mana:
Note that each of the stats above can be exceeded but doing so takes a toll on the caster by way of burnback, ie. physical (or possibly mental?) damage, essentially converting hp to mana. When casting there is a similar breakdown (skill with magic/how complex the spell can be, strength of magic/how much damage it will deal, the magical defense of the target/how much damage is negated, etc). With all that said, that is building up to be a lot of stats & a lot of maths, although if a dice pool approach is taken it may turn out to be quite manageable.
- Starting mana level
- Maximum mana level
- Mana regen – how quickly can you regain mana each turn?
- Mana output – how much mana are you capable of pushing out in a round?
- Mana retention – when building up for a powerful spell across rounds, how much total built-up mana can you hold onto?
OK, so using the example above, how would a dice pool operate for a mage?
First, let’s say for now that mana is a finite resource (so that fights aren’t endless, or at least require recovery during the fight which will alter the pace). This means that to cast a spell mana must be spent. In the context of a dice pool, this could either be all dice rolled or just the dice that power the attack – I think I favour dice rolled as this means you can pour more mana into an attack for a greater chance of success/damage, but it is not gauranteed so you can’t just blow things away. That said, it now means that our mana pool = the total number of dice we can roll for magic attacks during this fight (ignoring recovery). This means a character can increase their magical stamina (how long they last in the fight without recovering) by increasing their max mana (long fights), or their versatility by increasing their starting mana (lots of fights)
Next, we can represent how powerful a character is by how many dice they roll and how skillfull they are by how likely each die is to succeed (eg: 4+, 7+, etc).