Until I get to playtest some more I’ve settled for v0.7 as the current, skirmish based release. My most recent changes are completing the Dinosaur section (including stats and costs) and a big reformat and edit of the main rulebook. Now the headers and subheaders and so on should be a bit more consistent in their style, and also I use standardized terms throughout the doc (for example to differentiate between human characters and dinosaurs).
I still need to insert an example Posse Roster and do some line breaks, but after that I’ll be in a state to post the rules. Look for v0.7 sooooon!
For now here is the latest list of Traits and the stats for Dinosaurs (click for the full size):
Traits are always fun since it’s easy to add extra ones later if I brainstorm some up. Right now I covered the basics pretty thoroughly I think, and there aren’t any huge glaring “TAKE ME FIRST!” choices, which is good. I’m happy that I went two 2 categories of Traits (Active and Passive) instead of my original 3 (Active, Boost, Passive).
The original Active basically were like custom Critical Hits in the sense that they activated on a certain attack roll (like 11+) and applied an effect. The downside is it’s lots of book keeping, both in additional rolls and all the extra status effects involved.
Anyways now Active are like Boost, which are just power ups that last for a turn.
As part of the Dinosaur section I did some work around Mounting/Dismounting, so basically it’s done in the Action Phase now. And I decided to keep Dinosaurs un-improvable, in the sense that you can’t spend Improvement Points to boost their stats. However you can spend money and buy a Dinosaur with higher HP ($50 per +1 HP).
In terms of the design idea I aimed to have herbivores have a different feel than carnivores. The main distinction was in the Attacks-Damage of each. Carnivores mainly go for one big attack that does a lot of damage (similar to how real world carnivores try to “bite to kill” or break the neck in one blow, etc.). So the big boy Titan is 1A-15D (the added bonus being a single hit can pretty much gobble up an enemy). Herbivores I decided would stomp and smash and use their natural weapons, so they have higher attacks and lower damage. An example would be the Longneck (herbivore equivalent of Titan in terms of size and cost) who is 10A-1D.
My other idea for Dinosaurs was to give them plenty of Hitpoints, since they could end up being a pretty big focus of attacks. Plus it helps distinguish them from plain humans by the sheer volume of attacks they can survive.
I’ve considered doing special equipment for Dinosaurs, and might get to that later. Basically treating Dinosaurs like Vehicles in other games, so then you can get cool upgrades like “Steel Ramplate” that does more damage on a Charge or “Extra Saddle” for more mounting space, etc. This gives more customization, and also an interesting approach of inexpensive “feral” dinosaurs who don’t have equipment, or high tech Dino-Riders style mounts.
Other Recent Progress
I’ve been making some great progress of the rules. Here are some highlights, biggest to smallest:
- Added Improvement Point system for creating characters
- First draft of Traits list (also removed the old Active category)
- Huge rework of weapon, armor, and equipment prices (all lowered)
- Increased Melee weapon damage
- Fear renamed to Bravery, higher is better
- Made Elevation apply to Melee as well as Ranged
Another recent change that I enjoyed was adding what I call “Brawl” melee weapons. These are attacks like punches, kicks, and shoves (actually those three exactly). Every human gets them for free, and always has them armed, so yeah, it can be a nice alternative to shooting in close combat. The damage isn’t toooo crazy, but I feel I split them pretty well. Punches are 2A-1D, Kicks are 1A-2D, and a Shove is 1A-0D with Knockback. I could see adding cool other attacks like Trip, Haymaker, Headbutt, etc. Maybe a cost in dollars to represent training that attack. But yeah, it lends a neat bar room brawl or street fighting feel to some of the melee situations.
I also put in rules that make Facing matter. So each character can only see and fire in the 180 degree arc in front of them. I’m not sold on this idea, so I’ll have to see. On the positive side I think it helps tactical play as you can outflank your enemies and actually see a bonus in that regard. On the downside measuring arcs can cause arguments, and a lot of other skirmish games seem to assume 360 degree vision/arcs. Like I said, we’ll see. I started a discussion on the DakkaDakka forum about facing in skirmish games, so we’ll see where that goes.
Anyways I’ll be posting revised rules soon (probably after finishing the Dinosaur section), so keep an eye out for that. Hopefully next week!