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[DT] Pools of Radiance (for now)
or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Pool the Dice

The skinny: Dice pools need to be built for everything -- spells, skills, proficiencies, etc. Stats don't provide the dice for the pools; stats limit the pool.

The fat:
There are five Ranks of dice: d4, d6, d8, d10, and d12.
A set of one of each die {d4,d6,d8,d10,d12} is called the Character Pool (or just Pool, with a capital P).
Roll the Character Pool six times, once each for the paired stats Brawn/Combat, Intellect/Knowledge, and Fortune/Finesse, and record the sum of each roll.
Brawn, Intellect, and Fortune are your depth stats. They determine how large the dice can get in the pools that fall under the stat.
Combat, Knowledge, and Finesse are the width stats, determining how many dice can be in each pool.
Points in the depth stats can be exchanged at a 2:1 ratio (e.g., 4 points can be taken from Brawn to add 2 points to Fortune) but cannot be changed after character creation.
The stats for width can only be changed after character creation using Character Points at a rate of 5(?) CP to increase the stat by 1.
Depth                  Width
Score  Max Rank   %    Score  Max Dice   %
1-11     1st      2%     5        1     <0.01%
12-17    2nd     22%     6-7      2      0.1%
18-25    3rd     46%     8-10     3      1%
26-32    4th     27%     11-14    4      6%
33-39    5th      3%     15-19    5     23%
40       5th*    <1%     20-25    6     40%
                         26-30    7     23%
                         31-34    8      6%
                         35-37    9      1%
                         38-39    10     0.1%
                         40       11    <0.01%

*Multiple dice of any size can be added together to make a Success
A pool starts empty {}. Using Character Points, pools are filled with dice: 1 CP to add a d4 and 1 CP to increase a die in a pool by 1 Rank.
Two ways to earn Character Points.
The first is by completing Adventures. These CP can be used to improve any pool or increase any width stat.
The other is when every die in a pool is either a success or rolls the largest number on the die. A pool of {d4,2d6,d8} is rolled to beat a target number of 4 (more later on Target Numbers). The d6s and d8 are successes if the number rolled on each are greater than 4, which, in our example, they do, but the d4 cannot roll higher than 4, so if it rolls a 4 the die isn't a Success, but it does qualify the roll to an earned Character Point.
CPs earned through pool rolls can be spent immediately to improve the pool that rolled it, applied to improve the width stat that the pool is under, or held for later use, but it must be used on either the rolling pool or the pool's stat. A CP earned from a Combat stat cannot be used for Knowledge.

Health: I'm still working on this. It might be purchase with CP, related to the stats in some way, have something to do with dice pools, or something else entirely
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Target Numbers and Successes

Target Number: The number the roll of a die in a pool needs to exceed

Success: When a die in a pool exceeds the Target Number

The Target Numbers vary with the task at hand

The number of Successes required to accomplish a task varies by task

An obvious example: Combat. A mewling kitten won't put up much resistance and will have a lower Target Number than a Giant Velocitortoise. The kitten also has far fewer Health Points. Only one Success is necessary to kill little Mittens. Many are required for Myrtle.

Dice smaller than the Target Number can be added together to make a Success. They cannot be added to dice that are larger than the TN.

Dice that roll a 1 are automatic failures and cannot be used in any summing, comparisons, etc.

Some tasks requiring multiple Successes allow repeated attempts, such as lock-picking. As long as a roll of the pool results in at least one Success re-roll the pool, less any dice that rolled a 1, until the required number of Successes is reached. If a roll results in no Successes, the character cannot attempt that particular task again until a CP is spent on the pool, by either adding another die or increasing the Rank of a die. If the pool cannot be improved, for whatever reason, then it's the GM's call.

Example: Timu has {2d4,2d6} for Lock-picking and two locked chests in front of him. He rolls his pool hoping to beat 4 three times. The roll is {4,2,1,3}. The 4 and 2, being from the d4s, can be added together for one Success, so Timu rolls the pool again, but this time without the d6 that rolled 1. The second roll is {1,4,5}. Because the first d4 rolled a 1 it cannot be added to the 4. The third roll comes up {2,3} and while 2+3 does beat the TN, the d4 cannot be added to the d6 because the d6 is larger than the TN. In the end, Timu is unable to open the first chest and cannot attempt to pick the lock again until improving his pool. The attempt on the second chest results in {4,3,6,5}; three Successes: 4+3, 6, and 5. This does not earn a Character Point because that requires that each individual die be a Success or the largest number on the die. Had the roll been {4,4,6,5} then yes, a CP would have been earned.
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Race and Class

I'm going to go with a fantasy setting here, although I think the system could easily port to other genres like post-apocalyptic dystopias, space opera, or teen romance.

So, six Races:
Race   Health        Restrictions
Human     2
Dwarf     2     Brawn>18, Finesse<30
Elf       1     Brawn<26, Finesse>20
Gnome     1     Brawn<19, Fortune>25,
Orc       3     Brawn>25, Knowledge<25
Radiant   3     Brawn, Intellect, Finesse>26

And Eight Classes:
Class    Health      Minimums             %
Schmuck     0                            100%
Sorcerer    1   Intellect>22             50%
Warrior     3   Brawn>22                 50%
Adventurer  2   Finesse>22               50%
Mystic      1   Intellect, Finesse>24    13%
Crusader    3   Brawn, Intellect>24      13%
Scout       2   Brawn, Finesse>24        13%
Radiant     3   All>26                    1%

Schmuck - Cannot cast spells, the costs for Talents and weapons is increased by 1
Sorcerer - Can only use 1st and 2nd Rank weapons, cost for Weapons/Talents is increased by 1 and pools are limited to 6/9 dice
Warrior - Cannot cast spells, cost for purchasing Talents is increased by 1
Adventurer - Can know only two spells, which cost double to purchase, and can use only 1st through 3rd Rank weapons
Mystic - Limited to 1st and 2nd Rank weapons, weapon pools limited to 6 dice and cost double to purchase
Crusader - Costs for Talents increased by 1
Scout - Can know only two spells which cost double to purchase
Radiant - No limitations

Health: In this situation, Character Points are used to purchase Health, the amount received for each CP is dependent upon the character's Race and Class. A Human Warrior will receive 5 Health/CP, a Gnome Sorcerer gets 2, and an Elf Schmuck (redundant) gets only 1.

Radiants: Radiants are a separate Race/Class unto themselves. Many stories and rumors exist as to what they are and from where they come. They are all wrong and the Radiants aren't sharing.
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(04-13-2014, 03:31 PM)Kersus Wrote: Fumbles?

Wasn't planning on any. If anyone plays this they'll houserule it in. They always do.

Combat and Weapons
In combat, the weapon's pool is split into attack and defense sub-pools, either of which can be empty. At the beginning of a combat turn, both sides declare their action and all actions occur simultaneously, so it's entirely possible for two combatants to slay each other. The target number for the Attack is the Defense score. As stated before, any dice smaller than the Defense score can be combined to make a Success if the sum is large enough. All Successes for the Attack then have to face the Defense pool. Any dice that rolled higher than an Attack Success negates the Success and again, smaller dice can be combined. (I'm thinking of making this any Defense dice can be combined, regardless of size. Excluding 1s, of course.) Defense dice that do not exceed an Attack die can be paired against it making the successful Attack a Hit. Any unopposed Attack Successes are Wounds. As always, any dice that roll a 1 are not used for comparison.

Xian has {d4,d6,2d8} in Long Sword, as does Janko. Xian and Janko attack each other and each has a defense score of 3. Xian uses {d4,d8} for Defense and {d6,d8} to Attack. Janko is attacking full out with all dice and not using any for Defense. Xian rolls {4,5} on Defense and {5,7} on attack, and Janko rolls {1,5,4,4}. Janko takes two wounds. Xian uses the {5} to negate one of the {4}s and uses the {4} to reduce another Wound for a net of 1 Wound and 1 Hit.

Difference between Wounds and Hits: During combat, none, but after combat, Hits go away with rest while Wounds stick around until healed. When the total of Wounds and Hits in combat exceeds a character's Health, the character falls unconscious for a number of Turns equal to the difference, during which time anyone who makes the effort can finish the job with no roll required. The time required to recover one Hit is a number of Turns equal to the total damage. So if Janko were stupid enough to agree to Xian's call for a break, after two Turns Xian would be down to only one Wound while Janko still had two.

Subdual Damage: Unopposed Successes are only Hits and opposed Successes are negated.

Some weapons are good for defending, others not so much. Some weapons have the potential to do devastating damage, others....

Example List
Weapon   Rank Defense
Dagger     1   Any
Mace       2   1/2
Spear      3   1/3
Battle Axe 4   1/4
Maul       5    0

The pool for Dagger can only have d4s, but any dice in the pool can be used to defend. The pool for Mace can have d4s and d6s, but only half of the dice, rounded up, can be used for defense. And so on to the Maul which can have dice of any size in its pool but none of them can be used for defense.

Ranged Weapons
I'm still working this out

Type     Defense
Leather     2
Scale       3
Banded      4
Chain       5
Brigandine  6
Plate       7

As with Ranged Weapons, I'm still working on this. Either shields provide bonus dice to a weapon's defense sub-pool or shields require a proficiency pool like weapons.

Multiple opponents: The defense sub-pool needs to go a long way.

Note on earning Character Points: In the combat example above, Xian's two attack dice were both successes, but that doesn't earn him a bonus CP; the attack dice are only a sub-pool. It's that in addition to the two successes, the d8 for defense was a success and the d4 rolled the largest number on the die that earns the CP.

Further note: Negated Successes are not Successes, but Hits are. On defense, negating a Success is a Success but reducing a Success to a Hit is not.
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Right now there are only five spells, but each spell has five Ranks. The largest die in a spell's pool determines which Ranks of effect are available.

When casting a spell, roll its pool. Any die that roll 1 is reduced by one Rank. Any d4s that roll 1 are removed from the pool. This can affect the Rank of the spell for subsequent castings.

A 12-hour period of uninterrupted rest and meditation will restore one d4 or one Rank of one die for each spell.

Spell         1st Rank       2nd Rank       3rd Rank       4th Rank       5th Rank
Harm         Shock          Punch          Stun           Throw          Blast
Healing      Recuperate     Lay on Hands   Cure/Mend      Regenerate     Resurrection
Morph        Liquid         Stone          Necrotics      Plants         Animal
Move         Transvection   Telekinesis    Apportation    Teleportation  Bilocation
Psychic      Empathy        Read           Communication  Communicate    Mass Communication
                             Thoughts                      w/Animals

Note on Harm: 10'/Die means 10' for every die in the Harm pool.
Shock - Target's Strength Rank - Target touched is unable to make an offensive move for one Turn for each Success.
Punch - Target's Strength Rank - Target touched is takes one Hit for each Success.
Stun - Target's Strength Rank - As Shock, but sighted target within 10'/Die does not need to be touched.
Throw - Target's Strength Rank - As Punch, but sighted target within 10'/Die does not need to be touched.
Blast - Target's Strength Rank - As Punch, but affects all targets within 10 square (cubic) feet/Die. Target area/volume can be a straight line, a cone, a disc, or a sphere. It cannot be irregularly-shaped.

Recuperation - Number of Wounds (and Hits) - Heal 1 Wound (or Hit if cast in combat) to self for every Success
Lay on Hands - Number of Wounds (and Hits) - Heal 1 Wound (or Hit if cast in combat) to someone else for each Success
Cure/Mend - Variable - Cure illness or disease, repair broken bones, torn muscle/ligaments, etc. Some ailments will require a number of Successes
Regenerate - Variable - Grow new organs, limbs, body parts, etc. Number of Successes required dependent upon missing body part
Resurrection - Variable - Bring a dead person back to life.

Note on Morph: The spell changes the shape, not the mass or nature of material manipulated: a silver coin can be turned into a silver ring, but cannot be changed to gold; the spell transmorphs, not transmogrifies.
Other note on Morph: Most definitely still a work in progress.
Liquid - xxx - The character can cause liquid to flow, freeze, or thaw. Only affects material that is normally liquid within the normal ranges for temperature and pressure, i.e., will not melt stone or iron
Stone - xxx - Can heat or cool stone, dirt, metal, etc. as well as reshape. Will only melt the material if it has a relatively low melting point. Tin, yes; steel, no.
Necrotics - xxx - Dead plant or animal material, such as boards or dessicated bones. Does not affect anything living nor enable ambulation.
Plant - xxx - Cause a plant to grow, flower, wilt, etc.
Animal - xxx - Change an animal's appearance. Yes, people are animals.

Transvection - 3 plus 1 for every 50 lbs. of equipment - Allows the character to levitate or fly for a number of Turns equal to the number of Successes of the casting
Telekinesis - 4 - Allows the character to move objects without touching them. An additional Success is required for every 50 lbs of the object over 20 lbs. Multiple Successes can also allow either more time moving the object or additional objects.
Apportation - 6 - The character is able to make a known, non-living object move from one location to another without occupying the space between (teleport the object). The object and the locations do not have to be seen, but must be known well if not seen.
Teleportation - 8 plus 1 for every 50 lbs. of equipment - The character is able to teleport himself to a known location. Each additional Success allows him to take another person.
Bilocation - 10 - The character is able to be in more than one location at once. Requires a Success for each location, i.e., a minimum of two. The character can move around, but he's only one character; he cannot walk down a south corridor at one location if there's a wall in the way at the other.

Empathy - Target's Intellect Rank - Character can read the feelings and emotions of another person.
Read Thoughts - Target's Intellect Rank - Character can “hear” what another person is thinking. Does not translate unknown languages.
Mental Communication - Target's Intellect Rank - Character is able to hold a mental conversation with another person. Language is no barrier and mis-communication is not possible, although one can try to deceive the other.
Communicate w/Animals - Target's Intellect Rank - As Mental Communication but with animals. Communication is limited to the mental capacity of the animal.
Mass Communication - Target's Intellect Rank - Character is able to create a “mental party line.”
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I'm still on the fence with weapon pools, whether I should have separate pools for each and every weapon, or to go with weapon tracks, like spells above. Using tracks, other than Race or Class restrictions, a character would be able to use the pool for any weapon in the track.

Example Track: Dagger, Short Sword, Long Sword, Bastard Sword, Claymore

You know, on second thought, forget that. I'd have to force Hammers and Maces onto the same track just to get five Ranks and what happens with polearms? Stupid thought.

Another thought that I'm trying to talk myself out of or into: Allow continued spellcasting a la Talents when multiple successes are necessary.

Also, Chain-casting. Easily enough done when all characters are spellcasters who know the spell. But how about those who don't? Or taking power from non-spellcasters to cast a spell? Top of my head, I'm thinking that in the first case, the chained spellcaster uses his Character Pool, with any dice above the maximum Rank for Intellect being suppressed to the max. Rank. Non-spellcasters would have all dice suppressed to d4. Needless to say, the focus of the chain would have to know the spell and have at least five dice in the pool. But then, it would be needless if chain-casting isn't in the game.

Gaining Character Points: Each die in a pool must be a Success or the largest number on the die, but there are times when this requirement is a rather low bar, like rolling {5d12} to beat a 1 or 2. So I'm amending the rule as follows: the GM can deny the CP. He must explain why he's denying it and the player can correct his mathematics if the GM is an idiot who doesn't know how probability works. (In the example above the probability of 5 Successes is 65% to beat 1 and 33% to beat two.) Unless there is an overriding reason, a CP shouldn't be denied if the probability to earn it is under 5%.

Next up (hopefully): Skills
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(04-15-2014, 05:11 PM)Oedipussy Rex Wrote: Next up (hopefully): Skills

You know what? I'm not going to call them skills. Instead we have two versions.

Fall under Finesse. New talents can only be added between "adventures" (the GM determines what constitutes an adventure. It could be the completion of a mission, or simply getting to the next level of a dungeon.) Unless otherwise stated, the cost for Talents is 1 CP to add a die to the pool or increase a die one Rank.

Use of a Talent is accomplished when a roll of its pool meets or exceeds the required number of Successes. The Target Number and required Successes usually varies by the circumstances.

Below is what I have so far. There's more, but I haven't written up anything on them yet. Not even disjointed word mumbles.

Alchemy - Character is able to identify substances by studying their alchemical properties -- Fool's gold, fake gems, acid, etc. With enough skill (and financing), the character can create said substances.
Animal Handling - Allows the character to handle and train pack and draft animals.
Mimic Animal - Imitate the sounds animals make.
Assimilation - Pick up the small nuances of a culture -- the mannerisms, speech patterns, taboos, etc.
Blind-Fighting - When fighting in near or complete dark, use this pool instead. Costs 2 CP.
Boating/Sailing - The character learns the skills to truly handle boats and ships. Not just how to paddle from hither to yon, but how to sail a ship safely through coral reefs or survive in a canoe going down rapids.
Camouflage - Allows the character to make himself, others, or objects appear to be a part of the landscape.
Cartography - Map-making. Yes, surveying, but also includes the ability to hraw a map while on the move.
City Familiarity - Character knows the ins and outs, the ebbs and flows, of a city. He knows what streets to avoid if wanting to go somewhere quickly, and what bazaars to hit when needing to get lost in a crowd. He knows the alleys and rooftops, and what groups control them. Must be taken once for each city.
Direction Sense - The character has an uncanny ability to know what direction he's facing, even in places where the usual clues don't exist, like in a cave or dungeon. Can only be taken during character creation.
Disguise - Change one's appearance.
Distance Sense - Character is able to determine distance traveled. This skill does not take into account turns, hills, etc. Such a character could tell you that he traveled 6 miles, 305 feet to get from a village on one mountain to another across the valley, but he couldn't tell you that the distance is only 1 mile 872 feet as the crow flies.
Funambulism - As any fan of Ə knows, tightrope walking.
Linguist - This talent allows the character a chance to add a new language when encountering it for the first time. If the attempt fails, it cannot be tried again until the pool has been improved. To make an attempt, a roll of the pool must result in an award of a Character Point (all Successes or Max number on the die). The Target Number depends on the difficulty of the language, the similarity it has to a known language, etc. This CP is used to create the new Language pool. Linguist can only be taken at character creation and costs 2 CP.
Time Sense - The character knows what time it is and thus knows how much time has elapsed. Can only be taken at character creation.
Tailing - An urban skill where a person is followed at a distance without being aware that he is being followed.
Tracking - A wilderness skill. I really shouldn't have to go into it.
Weapon Improvisation - Character is able to use a chair leg, broken bottle, etc., as a weapon. Costs 2 CP.
Weather Sense - By studying the current conditions, noticing how certain animals react, etc., the character is able to predict future weather conditions.

There's the Knowledge stat and there are Knowledge pools. Work the same way as Talents.

Again, a brief list.

Heraldry - Knowledge the crests and symbols of a land, family, religious order, etc., and basic facts about said entities.
Herbalism - Not just the names of plants, but also the beneficial, benign, and malignant qualities of the different parts of the plant.
Languages - Know a different language. Must be taken for each language.
Numeracy - Complex computations won't go awry. Can take a quick look at others' computations and determine if the result is feasible.
Reading/Writing - Must be taken for each language. Does not have to be a language the character can speak.
Sign Language - <insert dry description here that no one will read because it's pretty obvious>
Toxicology - Knowledge of toxins, poisons, their antidotes, and how to make them.

At this time I want to try to clarify something about Character Points: there are essentially two kinds, adventure CP and pool CP. Adventure CP are earned for completing an adventure. Again, the GM determines what constitutes an adventure. Adventure CP can be spent on anything -- creating new pools, improving pools, increasing Health, or improving width stats. Pool CPs, Character Points earned from rolling a pool and each die is either a Success or the largest number on the die, can only be spent on the pool that earned the CP or the width stat that the pool is under (except for the Linguist pool as explained above).
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Here are some more Talents, many of which do not have a description because writing descriptions sucks.

Dowsing - Character is able to find lost and hidden things, like the car keys or the left sock or traps or secret doors. And water if it's around.
Escape - Ability to escape bonds, menaces, etc. Costs 2 CP
Forgery -
Free Climbing - Climbing (near-)vertical surfaces without the aid of ropes, pulleys, scissor-jacks, etc. Very useful when trying to climb a wall without all that racket.
Healing - Through use of splints, sutures, poultices, medicinal teas, etc. the character can speed up the healing process or delay poisons and toxins.
Hiding - Yes, sometimes in shadows
Hold Breath - Extend the duration beyond normal
Jumping -
Lock-picking -
Mimic Bird -
Mimic Noise - Non-animal noises like a creaky hinge or twig snap
Mimic Voice - Rich Little, but with talent.
Mining - Estimate depth, slope, etc., also the stability of a tunnel or shaft.
Mountaineering - Aid climbing. Doesn't have to be a mountain. Works on bluffs, foothills, and mounds, too.
Night Vision - Doesn't improve sight; improves discernment of objects in low-light situations. Can only be taken at character creation.
Prestidigitation - Sleight of hand.
Reading Lips - Can only read known languages. Does not work on creatures without lips, even if speaking a known tongue.
Riding - Mastery of riding a mount. Can calm it when spooked or coax it to make a jump where it would normally balk.
Rope Use - Yay, knots!
Set Snares - Actually outdoor snares and traps of all sizes, and if you can set it, you can disable it.
Singing -
Spelunking - Different from Mining in that Spelunking is for natural caves and caverns and Mining is for worked tunnels
Swimming - The serious stuff, like not drowning in armor.
Tumbling/Dodging - Can be used in combat but character cannot attack and is in a vulnerable position if unsuccessful
Ventriloquism - Actual throwing of the voice
Whistling -

Unskilled Attempts - When attempting something for which the character does not possess the relevant Talent, the player rolls a pool of as many d4s as the Max Rank allowed by Finesse. Brunby has a 20 Finesse but does not have the Lock-picking Talent, so if he wants to make the attempt he rolls {3d4}. Yes, this often means that an unskilled attempt has a better chance of success than for someone who has taken the Talent, but unskilled attempts never gain Character Points and do not get continued attempts.
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(04-13-2014, 05:55 PM)Oedipussy Rex Wrote: Ranged Weapons
I'm still working this out
Ranged Weapons cost 2 CP and the Target number increases as the distance increases. Weapons that can be missile or mêlée weapons require separate pools for each use.

(04-13-2014, 05:55 PM)Oedipussy Rex Wrote: Armor
Type     Defense
Leather     2
Scale       3
Banded      4
Chain       5
Brigandine  6
Plate       7
Changing this to either
Type     Defense
Leather     2
Scale       4
Banded      6
Chain       8
Brigandine  10
Plate       12
Type     Defense
Leather     3
Scale       5
Banded      7
Chain       9
Brigandine  11
Plate       13
Yep. Facing someone in Plate armor means having to combine dice to score a Wound or Hit. But that's ok. I'm thinking of giving Dragons a Defense of 20 or 25.

(04-13-2014, 05:55 PM)Oedipussy Rex Wrote: Shields
As with Ranged Weapons, I'm still working on this. Either shields provide bonus dice to a weapon's defense sub-pool or shields require a proficiency pool like weapons.

Shields require their own pool.

Strictly optional rule for a more deadly combat: 1s are removed from the weapon/shield pool. The dice are replaced after combat or if a rest is taken during combat. In the latter case, a further option of not eliminating Hits during the break can be made.
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