Friday, 1 June 2012

Infinity Engine Update 1

I think the news is out that I'm working hard on revising the FS3 VPS system into a new incarnation. That new incarnation I call the "Infinity Engine". I started out with a copy of the Game Mechanics Chapter form the FS3 Players Guide and chopped out everything that even remotely looked like it was HDi's IP. Then I cut away all the fat back down the bare bones and started to make revisions.

I'm not going to say that the FS3 VPS didn't do a good job, I think that it did, but it could be made to flow better with a few modifications. So why didn't I make these changes before? Simply put they would have deviated to far from the recognisable VPS system to reasonably be its successor. Now that I am no longer bound by those limitations I can really make the system work the way I always thought that it should.

What stays the same?

Attributes and skills are still rated from 1 through to 10, sometimes higher. Adding the two ranks together gives you a goal number. Once you have that you roll a d20, you want to roll high but not over the goal.

That all sounds very familiar.

As with the FS3 VPS, a roll of 1 is the possibility of a mishap, while rolling the goal number exactly is the opportunity for a critical.

So what have I changed?

In FS3 VPS you divided your score on your die by 2 to work out how many victory points you scored. I dumped that, whatever you roll on the die thats you degree of success, you roll a 12, your degree of success is therefor 12.

I also changed the way damage is calculated, by removing the weapons DMG value, all weapons are effectively same, and the skill of the user becomes paramount. I always thought it was funny that a broadsword did more damage than a dagger... both can kill you when used correctly. This also brings physical conflict in to line with social and mental conflicts, the effect is to harmonise the system. That said I recognise that weapons need to add something to the system and I'm considered a few ways that I might reintroduce some kind of effect to the type of weapon being used, more on that in a future post.

The way damage is taken has also been changed. Every character now has a standard set of Health Tracks with the same number of boxes on them. Instead of simply making off a number of boxes equal to damage, you reference damage against the characters thresholds to see what type of injury he has taken.

Physical Thresholds
 Blooded              Crippling                  Mortal
 Up to Vigor x2   up to Vigor x3           over Vigor x3
 OOOOO            OOOOO                  O

Blooded level injuries are basically ablative, they simply soak up small amounts of damage, but once all the boxes are filled any further blooded results move up to crippling injuries. Crippling injuries come with a -2 penalty to all further physical actions, so two crippling injuries give -4 etc. A mortal wound takes a character to deaths door and give a permanent wound effect.

Example: Cherish Valan has just been shot, suffering a 12 point injury. She has a Vigor of 5, so here thresholds are as follows: 1-10 Blooded, 11-15 Crippling, and 16+ Mortal. She suffers a Crippling Injury, crossing off a single box of crippling damage. Suffering a -2 penalty to all physical actions from this point on. 
In the following turn, she suffers a further two hits, 6 and 14 injury respectively. This causes her a level of Blooded and a second Crippling injury. She is now at -4 to all physical actions.

Of course armour and shields will have effects but I am yet to define how they will work with in Infinity Engine. Healing was also revised to work with the new way that damage and injuries work.
The health tracks for mental and social work in exactly the same way.

Still a lot more to be done before I can release a playtest document, bear with me.

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