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Subject: Experiences, and some homeruled stuff you might like to try. rss

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Adam Piskel
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I've got a long ride to and from work, so Pocket Dungeon has been really nice to play in lieu of PSP or DS games. But, I wasn't really happy with the generic fantasy setting, so as Mr. Gilmour suggested in the core rules, I gave it my on flair.

First off, I was really interested in playing something a little closer to the X-COM variant rules, but I didn't really want squad-based combat. Having been on a Alternate WW2 setting kick due to some games of Tannhauser and Wolfenstein, I came up with my own equipment list that favored ranged weaponry, and flavored the enemies appropriately. But, in my playing, I came across some difficulties that I continually hammered on, trying to make everything fit.

Eventually, I came up with these alternate rules:
-Characters/items use the carry/weight rules, as per the X-COM variant.
-There are no classes, instead, characters start with S(trength)+5+d6 HP and two abilities from a long, long list. (See abilities chart at the bottom of this post)
-Characters start with any two of the following items (Luger, Combat Knife, Sacrificial Dagger, 1 Random Spell, 1 Spell of the player's choice)
-Spells need a hand to equip to, which takes up that hand, like any weapon.
-Characters regain their W(isdom) in AP when moving to Out of Combat from being In Combat.
-The Max a stat (S, D or W) can be raised to is 8.

I also messed with the Dungeon Generation tables, since I wanted things like cover and such from X-COM, plus I added a "loot" table that can be rolled on like the treasure table, but it's used once per enemy corpse. You can loot during combat as an action, or for free while out of combat.
I have both S(trength) requirements and Wt. on Armor, but I'm not completely sure they need both-- Weapons I didn't give S(trength) requirements, but I did want S(trength) to be a little more important in a game focused on ranged combat, since W(isdom) is important for Spells & Healing, and D(exterity) is for Movement, Ranged Combat, and thief-y abilities.

New DunGen tables:
__S__
1 - 3 (-2 to C roll)
2 - 4 (-2 to C roll)
3 - 5 (-1 to C roll)
4 - 6 (+1 to #M roll)
5 - 8 (+1 to #M roll)
6 - 10 (+2 to #M roll)

__#D__ (This stayed the same)
1 - 1
2-5 - 2
6 - 3

(My own personal rule is that if a new room overlaps an unexplored door, that door is counted in the result of the #D roll. Thus, if a new room has 1 door that was previously unexplored connecting to it, and you roll a result of 1, no new doors or added since there is already that previous door there. On a result of 2, you'd add 1 new door, and so forth.)

(I got rid of the DD table, only because I never used it)

__#M__
1 - 0
2-3 - 1
4-5 - 2
6-7 - 3
8 - 4
9 - 5
10 - 6

(You still only roll a d8 for #M, but it can go over, if there's a bonus from the result of the S roll)

__Mn__
1-3 Weak Enemy x____
4-5 Medium Enemy x____
6 Strong Enemy x____

(This is a new table, kinda! I disliked how enemies never appeared with each other, so this was my solution. At the beginning of a dungeon, a 15 is written into the blank spaces after the x, that's the "quota" of that type of monster -- weak enemy, medium enemy, & strong enemy are replaced with the monster's stats. The fourth line for the boss monster still exists, too. You roll on this table for each monster generated from #M, and as long as the number after x isn't 0, you add that type of monster and subtract 1 from the number. If it is 0, you pick the next lowest monster on the table instead, and if that's 0, you pick the next highest, subtracting as necessary. Now, when all three monster quotas reach 0, the chances normalize and instead a roll of 1-2 is a weak enemy, 3-4 a medium and 5-6 a strong.)

__C__
1-2 - 0
3 - 1
4 - 2
5 - 3
6 - 4
(Cribbed from X-Com, this is the amount of Cover drawn in a room. Cover is a line drawn between squares and provides a penalty of 1 (-1H for players, +1H for enemies) for anyone attacking someone directly on the far side of Cover. Cover can be moved over by spending 2 M(ove) instead of 1. Additionally, if less than 1 is rolled on the d6, due to the result of table S, treat it as if a 1 was rolled.)

__Tr__ (Another table that stayed the same)
1-3 - 0
4-5 - 1
6 - 2

__L__
1-2 - Locked
3-6 - Unlocked

(This table got flipped, since higher rolls should always be better for the player, as much as possible.)

__TC__
1-2 - Weapon
3-4 - Item
5 - Armor
6 - Special Item

(Items tended to be one-use utilities that it seemed the player should get more of, as opposed to armor which you hardly need. In fact, after getting a good weapon, you likely don't need a new one, so I may shuffle this table around more, later)

__Lt__
1 - Nothing
2 - Weapon
3-4 Item
5-6 Special Item

(An actual new table. The Loot table. If you defeat an enemy, obviously their armor is no-good. Also, any enemies like guard dogs or other animals or beasts should have the special rule that they can't be looted.)

__Weapons__
1 - Luger P-08 R2 D2 H1 1Hand, D(exterity)
2 - Mauser C76 R3 D2 H0 1Hand, D(exterity)
3 - Gewehr-43 R4 D2 H1 2Hand, D(exterity)
4 - MP40 R4 D3 H1 2Hand, S(trength)
5 - STEN MkII R4 D3 H2 2Hand, D(exterity)
6 - MG42 R5 D3 H2 2Hand S(trength)

(I really liked how X-Com gave heavy weapons S(trength)-based To Hit and Damage bonuses instead of D(exterity), so I duplicated it for my game. Additionally, the S(trength) based weapons have the rule that if you attacked with that weapon the previous round, you got an additional +1 to H when attacking.)
(This weapon list assumes you are attacking a Nazi-held area. You can replace the names with this list if you have access to an Allied Armory, or are attacking an Allied-held area: 1) Smith & Wesson 1917, 2) Colt 45 1911 A1, 3) M1 Garand, 4)M3 Submachine Gun, 5) STEN MkII (no change) , 6)Browning M1919 )

__Items__
1 - Morphine - One time use, no need to equip. After taking damage from an attack, you can restore 2+S(trength) HP up to your max HP.
2 - Med-Kit - Choose between: Three uses, Roll d8, if less than W(isdom), restores 4+W(isdom) HP | Two uses, Roll d6, if less than W(isdom), restores 2+W(isdom) HP | Two uses, one of each of the previous options.
3 - Unknown Syringe - One time use, no need to equip. Roll d6. 6: +1 to every stat (S,D & W) until End of Combat, 5: Restore 6+S(trength) HP, 4: +3 M(ove) until End of Combat, 3-2: Lose 6 HP, 1: Lose 3 HP & gain 1 Mind Control Token
4 - Night Vision Goggles - Nullify enemy bonus while in Smoke
5 - Hastily Scrawled Note - One time use, no need to equip. Roll d6. 1-4: It's a map of part of this area, reveal all rooms connected to the room you are in, including all enemies, chests, doors and such. 5-6: It shows the location of a hidden stash in the room you are currently in. Make 2 treasure rolls.
6 - Smoke Grenade - One Use. R(ange) 4. Roll d4 and make 4 adjacent squares Smoke, one of which must be within the R(ange), and none can be more than 2 squares away from that starting square
7 - Lockpick Set - 5 Uses, you may automatically unlock one door or chest per use.
8 - Ancient Artifact - Learn one random spell.

(Morphine healing based on S(trength) was another of those things I added to give S(trength) based characters a little boost. Since unlike with a Med Kit where you're bandaging your wounds and such where you need medical knowledge to heal better, the S(trength) stands in for your body's hardiness. The Med-Kit I messed around with to give low-W(isdom) characters a chance to make use of it in some way.)



__Special Items__
1 - Sacrificial Dagger R1 D2 H1 1hand, W(isdom)
2 - Combat Knife R1 D2 H1 1hand, S(trength)
3 - Throwing Blade R3 D2 H0 1hand S(trength), throwing daggers are automatically unequipped after use, though you may recover it at the End of Combat
4 - Egg Hand Grenade (Model 39 Eihandgranate) R3 D2 1hand Always Hits, Explosive
5 - Potato Masher (Model 24 Stielhandgranate) R4 D4 1hand Always Hits, Explosive
6 - Panzerfaust R6 D4 H0 2hand Explosive
7 - Elerium Blade R1 D3 H1 1hand S(trength), W(isdom) or D(exterity)
8 - Flamethrower (Flammenwerfer 35) R4 D4 H1 2hand Attacks all enemies in range in a straight line. Runs out of fuel at the End of Combat and must be discarded.

(Really, these are just more weapons. But, it was easier when developing these new rules and tables to remember S/P as "Special Items." In retrospect, calling them Special Weapons probably would've been better. Keeping the name Elerium Blade from X-Com was a tribute to how many ideas it really added to the whole Pocket Dungeon experience.)


__Armor__
1 - Fatigues 1A Wt. 1
2-3 - Helmet +1A Wt. 1 Discard after taking half your max HP in damage, even if that damage is healed at any point.
4-5 - Combat Vest 2A Wt. 2 Requires 3 S(trength)
6 - roll for Advanced Armor

__Advanced Armor__
1-2 - Helmet
3 - Combat Vest
4-5 - Combat Suit 3A Wt. 3 Requires 5 S(trength)
6-7 - Power Suit 4A Wt. 4 Requires 5 S(trength)
8 - Flying Suit 5A Wt. 5 Requires 5 S(trength)

(Found armor is not upgraded as usual with bonus points from rooms explored, instead, for every 2 points, an upgrade can be added to the armor from the Armor Upgrade list. Worn armor/helmet takes up 2 less Wt., to a minimum of 0.)

__Armor Upgrades__

* Nanoweave - No S(trength) Requirement to wear
* Forceblast - 2AP to activate. all attacks this turn are negated. Push adjacent enemies 3 squares away from the character.
* Distortion Field - 2AP to activate. +1 to ranged attacks against you this turn
* Exoskeleton - Carry 3 additional Wt.
* Actuated Legs - +1 M(ove)
* Actuated Arms - +1 To Hit
* Camouflage - Treat enemies as if they are in Smoke.
* Night Vision - Ignore negative effects from being in Smoke
* Motion Scanner - Ignore negative effects from shooting an enemy behind cover

(Nanoweave and Camoflague are the only upgrades available to armor that is not the Power or Flying Suit. The Combat suit Can additionally be upgraded with Exoskeleton. The Helmet can be upgraded only with the Night Vision or Motion Scanner upgrades. The Power and Flying suits can get any upgrades from the list)


__Spells__ (roll 2d6 and add them together for this table)

2 - Arcane Bolt - (1 AP) R5 D1 H1 - Two per attack
3 - Conflagration - (3 AP) R2 D4 H0
4 - Heal - Roll d6. On a 3-6, restore 4 HP for every 2 AP spent.
5 - Terror - (2 AP) R2 D0 H0 - Target flees character for 3 turns.
6 - Lightning Strike - (1 AP) R1 D3 H0
7 - Ritual of Passage - (1 AP) Five Uses. Unlocks a door.
8 - Spectral Chains - (2 AP) R4 D0 H0 - Target may not move for 3 turns.
9 - Razor Wind - (2 AP) R4 D2 H0 - Attacks all enemies in range, in a straight line.
10 - Bladestorm - (2 AP) H0 Attack all adjacent enemies with one attack roll, any enemies A(rmor) you beat with that roll are hit.
11 - Concealing Fog - D0 For every 1AP spent, make 1 square Smoke within your LOS.
12 - Disguise - (2 AP) Only usable when Out of Combat. No enemies can detect you. Roll a d6 for any enemy that you get in LOS. On a 3-6 they continue to not detect you. Once any enemy detects you, the spell ends.

(If spells have R,D,H statistics, those can be upgraded with bonus points. Ritual of Passage can upgrade it's total number of uses. Heal and Disguise may not be upgraded)


__Term Clarifications__

* End of Combat - If you are currently In Combat, then End of Combat is when you move to an Out of Combat state. If you are Out of Combat already, then End of Combat is when you next move from In Combat to an Out of Combat state.
* Mind Control Token - I really liked the Chrysilid ability in X-Com to convert troops, and I figured the Nazis would always be looking for new experiments to turn into Mutant slaves or whatever, but instantly killing the player sucks, so I made this token system, where if you ever get as many tokens as your W(isdom), you lose the game, having your mind taken over by the enemies.
* Explosive - One Time Use, does the D(amage) of the weapon -1 to surrounding squares and destroys Cover, Smoke, or Impassible squares.
Smoke - while in Smoke, anyone who attacks receives a penalty of 1 to their To Hit roll, and attacking someone else who is in Smoke grants a bonus of 1
* 1/Room - For every room that's revealed, you get one use of this ability. These are saved up through the dungeon, but are lost once you leave the dungeon.

__Attribute List__

* Large Build - Can carry an additional 3 Wt.
* Marksman - +1 to attacks with D(exterity) based weapons that have a R(ange) greater than 1
* Scout - May move and attack in the same round with a -1 penalty to the attack.
* Diehard - When you are reduced to lower than 1 HP, roll a d8. If you roll more than your W(isdom) and do not roll a 1, you remain at 1 HP.
* Psychic Control - As an action, make a W(isdom) based attack roll on a non-boss enemy. If it beats the enemy's A(rmor), you now control the enemy on its turn until it dies or until the player takes any action other than maintaining the control.
* Martial Arts - +1 To Hit with R1 weapons
* Trapper - 1/Room you can make a square Impassible
* Dervish - 1/Room you can make an additional attack roll on your turn.
* Thief - You may attempt to pick a locked door or chest. Roll d6, on a 5-6 you succeed. For every 3 points in D(exterity) that you have, add 1 to the roll.
* Possessed - You may take 4 HP damage to recover 4 AP
* Mystic link - Spend two actions activating this ability. You then regenerate 2 AP every turn. This ends if you take any action other than casting spells on your turn.
* Sixth Sense - Reveal all connected rooms, including doors, chests, monsters and such connected to any room you enter.
* Vicious - When you roll a 6 on an attack, roll the same attack again, but without your stat (S, D, or W) bonus or you roll another 6, your attack deals double damage.
* Shifter - At the beginning of your turn, You can increase any stat (S, D, or W) by 1 from the base, at the cost of decreasing any other stat by 1, or you can increase it by 2 from the base by decreasing bth other stats by 1. These changes do not change your base stats.
* Regen - You heal 1 HP whenever you reveal a new room.
* Third Eye - You have a third "hand" which can only be used to hold a spell
* Monkey Grip - You may hold a 2hand weapon in one hand, but it takes 2 extra Wt.
* Quick - Enemies get a +1 penalty to hit you if you moved your last turn.
* Stand Your Ground - You get a +1H if the only action(s) you did last turn was attack.
* Fey Blood - 1 AP recovered every other turn while In Combat
* Lucky - Every time a room is revealed, roll d6. On a 5-6 you gain 1 point that can be added or subtracted to any roll. Each roll can only be modified by a total of 1 point.
* Scrounger - 1/room You may shift any result by 1 (positive or negative) once per treasure roll.
* Fey Step - Your M(ove) is based on your W(isdom) rather than you D(exterity)
* Hardy - +3 HP
* Wise - +4 AP
* Mutant - Any armor you wear melds with your body, tripling its A(rmor) rating as it's new base A(rmor). It now takes damage to its A(rmor) rather than soaking damage done to you. If it runs out of A(rmor), it is discarded. While it still has a positive A(rmor) value, as long as it is at less than it's base A(rmor), it can be restored with anything that restores HP to you, up to it's base A(rmor). Any helmet worn is unaffected by this and operates as normal.

(Even though characters only start with two abilities, players can add one additional ability at the end of an adventure, as long as they still have three bonus points from killing monsters that have not been used.)



I know this is a lot of stuff, and hopefully I didn't forget anything. I hope to eventually compile it all into PocketMod format, along with some premade missions in the campaign I've been making for myself. The next big thing to do is make a nice list of monster stats to last over a campaign. Right now, a good scaling list of monsters with neat abilities seems to be the biggest wish on my wishlist for Pocket Dungeon.
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You have some great ideas. I like how you implement mind control. A token system might help fix the Psi-Op class in X-COM. Your method of mixing enemy types looks like it will work pretty well too. Hastily Scrawled Note is cool and imaginative. Lots of other stuff I want to try too.
 
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JonnyRotten
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Very awesome!
Some changes in there similar to things I've been thinking about doing for the new version of PD.

I really need to work on the content expansions, hopefully as things start to slow down here soon...

But very awesome work! I look forward to testing this out.
 
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Adam Piskel
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Thanks for all the positive feedback. I notice reading over it today I forgot to list most of the Weights. Oops. I blame the chicken scratches in my notebook. :V

The Hastily scrawled note, like a lot of stuff I included, was born out of wanting to include things or effects from the Tome of Equipment, but not having a suitable way to represent them as is, without just falling to "It's Thule Magic."

One of the things I've noticed with the game is that since there is a flat chance of rolling anything on the die, straight combat rolls are fairly random. Now, with spells and other abilities, I think there's enough variety that this isn't a problem. Still, I wonder if combat wouldn't be served better by having a bell curve statistical chance with either 2d6, or even d6+d8, which gives a flat plateau in the middle and makes the higher and lower numbers more rare.

In either event, giving monsters an attack stat, rather than just having them hit on a flat chance, no matter the player's stats, is the next fix-- modification that I'd like to try. I do worry a little about people finding builds that would reduce the hit and damage potential to 0, but that could be prevented by making sure there's always a chance of getting hit (a result of 1, or 2-3, if using multiple die) and either minimum damage, or only allowing damage to be prevented so far per attack.
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