Sunday, 11 January 2015

An overview of the new game mechanics

The game mechanics for version 7 build on what was done in version 6 and have completely changed from those of Lycadican 5. Lycadican version 5 incorporated the use of 30 sided dice (d30's) in a very AD&D 2nd edition type game. In version 5 you had a number of different rolls using different types of dice (four sided: d4, six sided: d6, d8, d10, d12, d20, d30.... that's a lot of D!) In version 7 we have moved to a d10 (ten sided die) based system with a focus on streamlining the mechanics to make them earlier to learn. Part of the motivation for this was to focus more on the story of an adventure while spending less time rolling dice and focusing on mechanics. The other motivation has been the rise of computer based RPG's (Computer RPGs.)  CRPG's have become so prevalent that kids growing up today have almost always heard of Skyrim, but have almost never heard of Pathfinder or Dungeons and Dragons. Less have actually played either of the latter. Taking a 300-400 page manual and dropping it into a teenagers lap is not going to be conducive to getting them involved in the classic tabletop FRPG (fantasy RPG.) I have 2 teenage boys... I assure you....

But I digress....

Some basic concepts for new players:

  • The d10 is a 10 sided die that can be purchased at any hobby/game or comic book store
  • When we talk about game mechanics whenever we roll a d10 we usually (not always) add the value of some character statistic or special rule (usually called modifiers) from the outcome of the roll to get what we call a result
  • The result is usually compared to some other number. This number is referred to as the target number. Sometimes we want to be higher than the target number and sometimes we want to be under the target number.

In Lycadican 7 there are now only 3 types of rolls, each one using the d10.

  • The procedural roll is a simple roll of the d10. Whatever the result you add applicable modifiers and that's it.
  • The boundless roll is a roll of the d10. If you roll a 1 you roll again and subtract, if you roll a 10 you roll again and add. You continue until you don't roll a 1 or a 10. 
  • The percentile roll is the same as in a classic RPG. You roll 2 d10's with one representing the 10's place and the other representing the 1's position. This gives you a value range of between 1 and 100. This roll is limited to charts and tables within the manual. For those new players here how a percental roll would work. Let's say you have a Blue d10 and a Red d10. You roll both of them together with the Blue one specified as the HIGH die and the Red one specified as the low die. Let's assume that the result of the rolls is as follows: Blue = 9 and Red = 4. The final result would then be 94. It's that easy.
The procedural roll is commonly used for what is called a Check. A check is meant to quickly check whether a character has been successful at executing some action based on his innate physical attributes or basic skills. Let's say we have a very strong character that wants to pick up a boulder. Instead of spending a lot of time trying to figure out whether he could do it the Realm Master, RM ( or GM or DM or Storyteller or Referee for those of you from other game systems) would just ask for a Strength Check. Strength is one of the core character attributes and each Lycadican character will have a Strength score from 1 to 10. In a check we want the result of the procedural roll to be less than the target number (the value we want to roll under.) So a roll with a result of 5 for a character with a Strength attribute value of 8 would be a successful Strength Check.

The other mechanic we would used other than a Check would be a Feat. Feats are actions that are riskier, dangerous and have more important outcomes than those normally decided by a Check. For a Feat we compare the result of either a procedural or boundless roll (with appropriate modifiers and character statistics added to the final result) to a target number. The goal with a Feat is to exceed the target number. The target number is assigned by the referee but can the statistic of the character or that of an opponent or creature. In combat, for example, the statistic most used is an opponents Defense Rating.

Now, with all of this said, I am curious, as to how many people would be interested in having the system switched to be d20 compatible? Let me know your thoughts and why. I'm not that familiar with the d20 system especially in the D&D 4th edition or Pathfinder rules, but I know that it is widely played.