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March 18, 2007 / jadettman

GotR: Mechanics Thoughts

Ok, here is a breakdown of my thoughts about how I’m going to change the d20 mechanics to work for Guardians of the Realm.

Ability Scores:

Leave them alone. Some folks like the idea of just using the attribute bonuses rather than keeping the usual 1 to 20+ opened ended scale. I’ve thought about it, but I don’t think the change is critical.


Divorce attack and defense from ability scores. Doing so will make balancing encounter easier.


Doing away with them. I’m going to use a crossbred system similar to the Traits in Iron Heroes and the human regional/lineage variations used in Midnight.


Streamlining the skill list similar to Skill Groups in Iron Heroes or the smaller skill list used in True20.


Innovating. I don’t like the way that feats work in d20, especially the way in which many feats taken at early levels become obsolete or have have upgrades that make required earlier feats obsolete. I’m going to work on a Feat Path system that allows a character’s abilities to increase as they move up in levels.


Streamlining. Either no multiple attacks, or limiting multiple attacks to 2/round with the second attack taking the place of a character’s move action.


Simplify and streamline. Do away with the Vancian magic system and replace it with a system similar to the Feat Paths that provide mages with spell-like abilities (and maybe some esoteric knowledge).

Magic Items:

Doing away with them almost entirely. There may be artifacts/legacy-items that heroes can gain control of but they won’t be freely available and they will each have a history that makes them unique.

Have I missed anything?



Leave a Comment
  1. Shawn / Mar 19 2007 1:36 am


  2. J.A. Dettman / Mar 19 2007 9:15 am


    Leave it alone or simplify it; haven’t decided which. On the one hand, initiative is a relatively simple (and necessary for combat) subsystem. On the other, does it really matter which hero strikes first? Maybe mooks shouldn’t ever roll for initiative while Named NPCs should? Again, haven’t decided.


    Have I mentioned before that I really hate tactical movement in RPGs? I really, really do. Simplify and streamline! How? Don’t know yet!


    Don’t get hurt. Seriously. I mean, I understand why healing magic exists in games but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. I’ll probably use something similar to Reserve Points from Iron Heroes to avoid healing magic.

    Encounters & NPCs

    Encounter & Villain Templates. Taking the idea of Villain Classes from Iron Heroes to their logical conclusion, I want to have useful and easy to use GM tools for creating encounters and antagonists with minimum prep time. Running a 4-hour game slot should not take an equal amount of prep time creating stat-blocks.

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