So, no matter if I run the superhero game or the space opera, I'll be using a homebrew system that I put togeather. It's got a lot of 90s game design in it, but that's ok. I LIKE 90s game design.
Here's the basic primer for it. It should let player make significantly better than average people as their PCs.
Your reserve pools can be spent to increase the size of the die you will be rolling.
Without spending any Reserve, your dice size is d6. You can regain Reserve by resting for
and evening, suffering a flaw, or Holding Back (which reduced the size of your dice
to d4). Resting refills your reserve pools, while Holding Back gives a single point to
the pool you Held Back with. You can never go over your maximum, no matter how much you
hold back. You cannot raise the dice size over d20.
It is important to note that the difficulty of tasks starts at Target Number 5. And all dice explode.
Energy - Dice Size for rolls using physical stats
Will - Dice Size for rolls using mental stats
Power - Dice Size for rolls using powers
Abilities determine flat bonuses (or penalties). Abilities average at 0.
Abilities with a - cause any rolls they are involved in to automatically fail.
Abilities with a + cause any rolls they are involved in to automatically succeed.
These are rare for PCs.
Skills determine how many dice can be rolled for a particular challenge. Many skills
default to 1. If you have a 0 or less, you cannot attempt to use that skill. Injuries and
flaws can reduce your skills. Similarly, equipment and benefits can boost them.
[various]Knowledge [various]- Many default to 0
Perform [various]- Many default to 0
Added (06 Jan 14, 3:23 PM)
These are benefits and flaws that provide bonuses and penalties to
attributes and skills in specific situations. You can and likely will gain and lose traits during play.
Ideas for new flaws and benefits will be happily accepted.
Madness (flaw) - When your mental disorder comes up, roll Stability + Meditation against
TN9. If you succeed, you are at -1 stability until you rest, or you are no longer exposed
to your disorder. If you fail, all attributes are at -1, except for stability, which is
replaced with a -, until you rest.
Paraplegia (flaw) - Skills that involve using your body for things default to -2.
Paralysis (flaw) - Skills that involve using your legs for things default to -2.
Thrall (flaw) - Stability is a - when interacting with your master.
Pacifist (flaw) - can never roll more than 1 dice when attempting to cause harm.
Blind (flaw) - along with the obvious issues, Observation is set to 0 for sight challenges.
One Arm (flaw) - you fail at things requiring 2 arms, and have a -4 penalty on challenges
where two arms would be really helpful (i.e. swinging a baseball bat, climbing a rope).
Blood Debt (flaw) - a debt is owed to a mystical entity with the muscle to enforce it.
Fulfill the debt to the letter, or suffer -4 to your highest skill until the entity is
Nightmares (flaw) - When attempting to sleep, roll stability + meditation TN3. If you fail,
you get -1 to all attributes the next day, due to lack of sleep. Each consecutive
successful roll adds 1 to the TN.
Gremlins (flaw) - attempts to use technology of any sort suffers from -1 dice, and -2
attribute penalty. If it would be harmful, failed rolls break the technology you were
attempting to use.
Professional (benefit) - On rolls made while working specifically on your profession
(choose one to which this applies), you gain +1 attribute bonus, and +1 dice.
Spirit possession (benefit) - This grants 3 extra dice to a skill roll when performing
it is allowed to possess the PC. The effort of this reduces all subsequent rolls by
-1 until the PC rests.
Fabulously Wealthy (benefit) - People think you are crazy rich. +2 bonus and +1 dice
when attempting to charm, deceive, or threaten people who are impressed by that kind
Famous (Benefit) - People get +2 dice and a +2 bonus to know who you are.
Notorious (Benefit) - The Criminal Element gets +2 dice to know who you are, and trust you
but the police get +2 dice to know who you are, and distrust you.
Bloodlust (benefit) - Injury penalties are actually bonuses for you. Stability + Meditation
TN9 to stop fighting before your opposition is defeated.
Blessed (benefit) - demonic entities must roll perception + observation to notice you
unless you interact directly.
Fast Healer (benefit) - heal an extra level of damage each rest period.
These give your character political and social clout among various groups, along with
some various other benefits. Wealth and Housing default to 1, the rest to 0.
0 - No income.
1 - 30k income.
2 - 90k income.
3 - 270k income.
4 - 710k income.
5 - 2.13m income.
Allies can be called upon to perform a service once a storyline. They will assist you
to the best of their abilities, though they may also request a favor of YOU at some point.
One point per ally.
You have followers. They may be idiots, and they might misinterperate what you say, but at
least there are fanatical!
1 - 3 followers
2 - 10 followers
3 - 100 followers
4 - 1000 followers
5 - Many, many followers. Followers everywhere.
This is your ability to call in favors within a given industry. Think of this as a pool
that can be spent to add die size, bonus, or die number, on a roll that forces the
industry in question do something. The dice refresh each storyline. Each industry must be
purchased separately. Possible industries include:
0 - Homeless
1 - Crappy Apartment
2 - Decent Condo/townhouse
3 - Fancy Home.
4 - Large Estate/Penthouse.
5 - It's Good To Have Land. Own a whole plantation/high-rise/super-yacht, as befits your
Added (06 Jan 14, 3:23 PM)
1. Spend 9 points among your reserve pools.
2. Spend 4 points among abilities. You may gain extra ability points by accepting 2
(stackable) -1 penalties on abilities. You may do this twice.
3. Spend 10 points on skills.
4. You may select one flaw and/or one benefit.
5. Spend 5 points on backgrounds.
6. You have 10 bonus points to spend. Reserve and Skills cost 2. Abilities cost 4.
Flaws and Benefits cost 3. Backgrounds cost 1.
Characters have 3 health boxes at each penalty level, 0, -1, -2, -3, and Out. They heal at 2 boxes a night, except for the Out boxes, which heal at 1 box a night, and require successful Stamina rolls (one dice only) TN9 to heal. This roll can be replaced by someone else's Knowledge [Medicine]roll, if they spend the day watching over you. Each hit after going Out doesn't deal damage. Instead, it grants an injury flaw. You can also gain injury flaws by taking enough damage to skip over an entire penalty level. If you gain more than three injury flaws, and are Out, you die.
Combat occurs through contested rolls. Melee attacks can be dodged (Dexterity+athletics vs the attack roll) or countered (defender's attack roll vs attacker's attack roll). If you dodge, you can choose to attack someone else instead. If you counter, then you are fighting that guy. Ranged attacks can be dodged, if you don't think the cover you are hiding behind is good enough. Dodging negates any cover bonuses.
Added (18 Jan 14, 3:30 PM)
Single Point Telekinesis
Character has Telekinesis that functions on a single, unattached object weighing less than 1 pound, that he can see.
Switching to a new object takes an action.
Object controlled is considered to have Strength+ (if matched, compare intelligence) and uses character's perception for any agility checks (such as moving the controlled object in front of a gun to stop a bullet).
Three Phase Density Modulation
Character can become superdense, or nearly massless, at will.
While dense, the character takes no damage, weighs several thousand pounds, and cannot breath or move.
While massless, the character cannot interact with mass (energy attacks can still cause injury), can move at extremely high speeds (though can only change direction or retain momentum while maintaining "contact" with objects of mass. If the character runs off a rooftop, he will begin slowing down and dropping, as per gravity.), and cannot breath.
Character can, while in the presence of other humans, layer her personality and ego over theirs. This process merely requires that the target be within 30 feet, but interactions speed things up. Anything that reduces interaction (white noise generators to inhibit her voice, rebreathers to filter out pheromones, psi-blockers to reduce telepathic effectiveness, ect ect) increases the amount of time needed to take control, but if they are within range, and can perceive the character, she can take them.
Control lasts for 24 hours -1 hour per will die spent resisting the control, and another -1 hour for every die the character uses of her reserve pools through them. This timer only runs while the mind clone is outside of the 30 foot limit, and is reset if the mind clone re-enters the 30 foot limit.
Mind clones remember everything they experience while being controlled, but have no access to the character's personal memories. The mind clones use the reserve pools, skills, and mental abilities of the character, but use their own physical abilities. The character cannot access the memories of the mind clones either.
She can infect people through her mind clones, but they run off the timer of the clone that infected them until they enter the characters range.
Added (11 Apr 14, 11:12 AM)
Attacks do damage on a five tier scale.
Tier 1 - Punches, kicks, getting pegged with a baseball or a thrown rock.
Tier 2 - Baseball bat, knives, swords, clubs.
Tier 3 - Pistols, Rifles, Shotguns, chainsaws.
Tier 4 - Getting hit by a speeding car. Grenade going off next to you.
Tier 5 - Getting hit by a speeding train. Stack of Dynamite going off next to you. Having a house dropped on you.
Having Strength+ automatically increases an attack by 2 tiers. Being punched by a guy with Strength+ is as bad as getting shot with a handgun. If he takes a baseball bat to you, it would do about the same damage as getting hit by a speeding car.
Having Stamina+ reduces damage by 2 tiers. Damage can be further reduced by dodging or countering the attack. Someone with Stamina+ can basically ignore gunfire, with a little effort.
Having Dexterity+ means you fully dodge an attack, if it is an attack you are capable of dodging. Attacks against which you are unaware, or that cover more ground than you can dodge, effectively counter Dexterity+. Sniper rounds > inhuman levels of dexterity.
Armor, depending on quality and intended purpose, can reduce damage up to 2 tiers. Intended purpose is important. Wearing a Kevlar vest will not cause a train to do tier 3 damage, but it will lower a pistol shot to the chest down to tier 1.
Called Shots: You can declare a called shot to either achieve a specific effect (such as shooting a gun out of someone's hand) or to hit a weak spot (such as the throat, or an eye). Hitting a weak spot increases damage by 1 tier. It also increases the TN by at least one level. Shooting someone in the head would be a TN of 7 instead of 5. Shooting them in the eye would be a TN of 9.
Just a Touch: If you don't care about doing damage and just want to touch your opponent, the TN goes down a level. This can be combined with Called Shots i.e. Touching a guy in the eye would be a TN of 7. Examples of use might be shocking someone with a cattle prod, or hitting someone with a power that requires physical contact, but not necessarily force.
Notes on equipment: I'm not going to count your rounds. I do not care. If this comes up, it will only be because someone is abusing this rule. Legal equipment can always be purchased with money. Illegal or especially rare equipment will require pull to obtain.