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Battlequest: A Tabletop WIP

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#1 Ratcatcher


    Yes, I also handle elemental rats

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Posted 13 July 2019 - 06:59 PM

Presented via FAQ, until I can get it a bit more organized... If you're familiar with DnD or Tabletop Roleplaying, skip the first two questions.  :)


What is Battlequest?


Battlequest is a tabletop roleplaying game (RPG) with at least two people (recommended five or six) at a table. Like many tabletop roleplaying games, Battlequest is played with one of the players acting as a narrator, storyteller, and deitous force (known as the Game Master, or GM) over the rest of the players, who each play one character in a world cast with other characters played by the GM (known as non-playable characters, or NPCs). All that is needed to play are pencils, paper, and a variety of different polyhedral dice for each player and the Game Master.


Because of the nature and simplicity of Battlequest, there may be some discrepancies found between the rules of the game, expectations of the players, and playstyle of the GM. If such discrepancies occur, the ultimate and overriding rule is that the Game Master is always right. The rules of Battlequest are meant to be adaptable to fit the needs of the game, as seen fit by the GM. Such leniency is given to the Game Master because this player is sacrificing the right to play a character in order to make the game fun for everybody else.


How do I play Battlequest?


The play of the game takes place in three simple steps:

  1. The GM describes the situation, scenery, and setting
  2. The players (perhaps in a turn order, but definitely one at a time) describe to the GM how they would like to interact with the world
  3. If necessary, the GM has the player roll a 20-sided dice to check the success of the player's action

Rinse and Repeat.


What makes Battlequest unique?


Though Battlequest is played like many other tabletop RPGs, there are several unique aspects about it. Firstly, the players seven skills that encompass everything a player might do outside of battle. These seven "Quest" skills are Arcana, Athleticism, Awareness, Creativity, Deftness, Intellect, and Personality. The "Battle" skills are Archery, Dodge, Heavy Weaponry, Light Weaponry, Magicka, Shield Use, Thrown Weaponry There are no governing attributes for these skills. Players will improve their skills by using them, and especially by failing at them; this is the foundation of Battlequest. As players improve their skills, they will be able to select Talents that govern their skills and increase their odds at success in them. Because of the nature of these two separate trees, each player will have a "Quest Level" and a "Battle Level", both of which are equal to the amount of Talents in their respective trees.


How do I level up?


Leveling up in Battlequest is intended to be both interactive and easy. Each time you use a skill, you put down a "mark," and if you fail at that skill, you receive two marks. The number of marks you need to level up a skill are equal to double your next level. For example, if I'm trying to progress from level 3 to level 4 in Intellect, I need only 8 marks to achieve level 4. In Battlequest, you need only level 3 Quest Skills to receive a Quest Talent, or 3 Battle Skills to receive a Battle Talent. The catch is this: the Talent you receive must correspond to one of the three skills leveled (more on this later).


How do I use skills?


When you request an action and the GM asks you to make a skill check, the GM sets a number in his head that you have to achieve (known as a Difficulty Check, or DC; an average task usually requires a 15, a difficult task might be anywhere between 20-25, whereas a simple task might be 5-10). You will roll a 20-sided dice, then add your skill level in that check, then include any modifiers set by the GM or by your talents. For example, the GM asks me to make an Intellect check. My Intellect is 6, so when I roll a 17 on my 20-sided dice, I tell the GM that my total number is 23.


How do I create a character?


Ready to play? All of your Quest and Battle skills will start at 1. You have 9 points you can distribute to each tree (9 Quest Skill points and 9 Battle Skill points). You may also receive 3 Talents from each tree, provided that the talents you receive come from skills you put points into. For this reason, it is recommended you distribute your skill points three-at-a-time, and then take a talent in one of those skills, performing that process three times for each tree. An example of creating a character is provided below.




(Not challenging enough? Try Peasant Mode! You start all skills at 1 and receive no talents to begin with. You'll be bad at everything to start!!!)


What Talents may I select?

A WIP. Quest Talents are almost complete, but Battle Talents need some development. Any ideas would be welcome.





How does Combat work?

Yeah... that's a WIP. Here's what I want though:

  1. ALL COMBATANTS will make their attack AND defence at once, declaring who they're attacking, then who they're defending from.
  2. There will be an "initiative" mechanic to determine whose attacks land in what order.
  3. Weapon sizes will determine how you attack; smaller weapons get more swings, but do less damage, whereas big weapons get fewer swings with big damage.
  4. Armor will negate damage PER SWING. Meaning a dagger won't break through armor like a battleaxe might.
  5. Battle Talents will be provided to balance out semantics, for instance, flanking an armored opponent with a dagger

How does Magic work in this game?

I'm leaving magic up to the GM with Battlequest. There will be a fleshed out way to perform magic in combat, but as far as out-of-combat spells and rituals go, it will draw from the player's Arcana skill and be entirely GM based. Needless to say, WIP.


Feedback is much appreciated!

#2 Burger Warrior

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 12:31 PM

Huh, this isn't a bad system at a glance. I can really appreciate how you've put an emphasis on growing from failed rolls... however, I think the exact numbers could use a little bit of work. Speaking here as a long-time veteran of Pathfinder, DnD 4e and 5e, Mutants and Masterminds 3e, Savage Worlds, and a couple other systems, there can be a lot of rolling in just a single session. Many of those, particularly with your high 'average' DC of 15, will be failures. That's a ton of skill growth per session, and I'm not entirely sure this system would be at its best weighted down by the number bloat that will inevitably follow it.


You've taken a lot of care to keep this extremely simple, which I can respect, but constant leveling without much in the way of a limit - and with accelerated speed on failed rolls - could lead to adding giant numbers to dice rolls in short order. From experience, that tends to make things trickier for people fresh to the tabletop. Further, I'm of the opinion that being able to advance all your skills so quickly from doing poorly weakens the dynamics of a party; where typically most people in a group fill a unique roll or three.


I think to adjust that and still keep things simple you can either: change the rate of growth in skills (so you don't level up from 1 to 2 by a single failure), or use a 'proficiency' system so you pick a few skills at character generation that will grow from failure as your character is particularly bent to learn from mistakes in that area of their life (a typical barbarian probably doesn't care to grow their arcane stat even if they roll it reluctantly or as a joke). I'm personally a fan of the latter method, because it will help your party fill their unique niches and doesn't stray far from examples set in other systems.


Besides that, I think there should be clearer limits on things like out-of-combat magic and perhaps some sort of level cap so gamemasters don't have to continually escalate threats to challenge a party over a longer campaign, but that's more of a personal preference thing and down to what you want from your creation, here. I hope this all helps. ^^


#3 Ratcatcher


    Yes, I also handle elemental rats

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 09:43 AM

Thanks for the feedback! I didn't really see that issue before, thanks for pointing it out. Perhaps if I not only doubled the current trend, but maybe in character creation, players could select three major skills that they will definitely attempt to build more than others? Then only these "Major Skills" learn from failure. That's a really good idea, thanks Burger! ^.^


As I get further into development, it gets more difficult to see flaws and potential issues, so I always appreciate and take feedback very seriously. More often than not I will agree with your suggestion if it's been thought out, and I can tell you really thought this one out.


Directly after this post, I'm going to edit the original to have added Quest Talents, though they're not very exciting. I definitely want to add more perks for taking talents, much like feats from DnD, but it's not easy to think of perks when the game is still in such early stages. It's much easier to batch out general options, which is what I have, so BEAR WITH ME. :P



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