Modos RPG

They met in a tavern...

Several brave souls answered the king’s summons. In a small office within the castle, they met Aardak Silverbarrel, a retainer for the king, and as it happens, a valley dwarf. He explained the king’s special need: uniting the kingdom will be facilitated if the king has his own dracon. Most of the summoned parties accepted their task (and the rewards): Lilian, a treasure hunter, Forex, a young sage, Vrutus, a member of the king’s paladins, and the Mistress, an envoy. However, Gile Wolfworth, the only trapper to appear, thought the quest too dangerous, and turned down the king.

While following a map to the dracon’s purported location, the party stopped at a village inn to rest and prepare for a trek along the highway. Within, they met Tyriel, a grey elf who seemed to be acquainted with Lilian, and Aster, a mountain dwarf looking for prestigious work. Forex seemed uncomfortable with an open discussion of their quest, and retired to his chamber. However, the Mistress later discovered strangers lurking about Forex’s room, and the the party went to investigate, they were set upon by cloaked men…

Additional combat training: worthwhile?

As it stands, the Specialize perk does what Armor Training and Weapon Training do, but better. The Training perks have value; they’re the only way to improve an item’s progress die AFTER you’ve already taken Specialize. But…they still don’t seem to measure up.

Each could improve your progress die, and grant an additional +1 to that result. Or, maybe each is similar to Backstabber, and you get +2 progress when using that item.

In the latter case, a sneaky bastard could use Backstabber and Weapon Training to gain +4 damage to attacking unprepared opponents, with a minimum result of +5. If so, an opponent wearing some of the best armor (d12) would barely beat the attacker’s minimum damage by taking half, and the attacker’s maximum damage result of 11 (d6 +1 +4) wouldn’t exceed the range of the armor.

A +2 bonus is similar to guaranteeing the effects of a die increase, while the die increase just gives you the potential of a higher result.

Another possibility is to increase the range of the Training perks, like Armor Training applies to all armor of a certain Physical Penalty, or Weapon Training applies to all weapons of a certain Size.

Thoughts? Please share!

New Year's Resolution?
New stuff for 2017

A new year will obviously bring some new rules, but the question is for what are they? House rules? A rules module? A new version of Modos RPG?

Defend (parry): a Pro against a Fight skill ends your opponent’s turn (which also ends his temporary initiative advantage).

Profession: this should be renamed Produce, since that’s what the skill does.

Nova, perk: when you cast a spell that deals P or M damage, prior to rolling spell damage, you can choose to add a point of damage for each additional point of casting damage you take, up to your character level. (The idea here is to make the Mana perk more attractive.)

Lists: Skills, Perks, Gear, and Spells aren’t listed by name in the rules catalog. So what the heck are they? They’re part of Lists, which need to be added to the Modules chapter of the book, and are probably the easiest part of the game to modify. A GM could, in theory, make a completely unique game without touching any of the core modules, and simply creating her own Lists for her game.

Game Introduction

This covers most of the bases:

Your breath fogs in the night air as you stop to rest. You stand on a mountainside staircase, not fifty feet from the grand balcony that admits visitors to the palace home of the dwarf prince Rabi Guratf. Through no small effort of climbing, conniving, and collusion, you have passed several guard stations to reach this final obstacle.
Somewhere within the palace, Prince Rabi prepares for his momentous speech to-morrow. After months of preparation, his armies stand ready, and he will declare open war on the neighboring kingdoms of humen and mountain dwarves. He has forbidden all visitors on this eve of war.
Some of you are friends of the prince. He has listened closer to his war council than to you, and turned a deaf ear to peace. You are here to make a final plea to avoid the bloodshed.
Some of you do not know the prince, but you know that war is not the answer. You are here to help the prince’s friends reach him, for your own reasons.
Your planning for this adventure yielded three final paths: scaling the palace wall, entering through the dungeon, or walking in the front door. Any route would be difficult for a full-size party, but you’ll be able to manage if you split into smaller groups. You’ve also decided that the overnight guard watch is of a manageable size (about fourteen guards plus a sergeant-of-the-guard), but if an alarm should be raised, you would be quickly overrun unless you can hide long enough for the reinforcements to go back to bed.
Choose a hero, choose a party, and prepare to make history.

Makin' a one-shot

Modos RPG will be appearing at Arizona Game Fest! Which means I have some adventure writing to do. No big deal – writing a four-hour adventure for up to eight completely random players? Just kidding; I’ll take all the advice you have to give!

The adventure begins!

Across the kingdom of Corath, several brave souls have received notice: the king has a quest for you. Beyond this, no information was given. But the royal seal on the message, and the two kingsmen who accompanied the messenger left no doubt; this is official business. Those summoned prepared what they needed for their journeys, and traveled to the king’s palace: Highcourt.

There, they will receive personal audience with His majesty King Renholder, answers to whatever questions they might have, and items to aid in their quest!

Behind the curtain...are rules

I’m dreaming up module rules for the crunchier version of Modos (more positions in combat, but still not a full battle grid), which emphasizes an important point: there’s a line between the story and the rules. A curtain, if you will. And I’m thinking that a good, opaque curtain can improve the game experience for players by helping them to remain immersed in story, and worry less about the rules, or the metagame.

Where to draw the line? The obvious point is at the character sheet; if it’s not on the character sheet, then players don’t need to know it. Another line is around the rulebook: one for the GM, one for the PCs.

Feasible? I’ll let it stew in my head…

Stepping away from Failure

I shared some Modos wisdom with another game designer today: there’s no excuse for failure. Not in the sense that people who fail are to blame. This is completely different: roleplaying games don’t need to include the concept of “failure.” Failure isn’t fun, and it’s not interesting. “You try, you fail.” Well, a player who hears that just wonders what he was wasting his time for. I’d much rather hear my GM ask me, “you got a Con. What happens?”

Let’s stick with this whole Con/Unfavorable thing instead of Failure, and see where it takes us.

Welcome to the present!

I’ll be running my Roll20 game in the “present” now, so it’s a little more Game of Thrones themed and less Lord of the Rings. The technology levels don’t vary that much between stories, but Game of Thrones feels more socially advanced.

This doesn’t mean that previous societies didn’t have tech! All of those elven statues and dwarven mausolea must have been there for SOME reason…

Play Modos RPG - without voting

Real time roleplaying at the above link, Sundays. Swing by, check it out.


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