Empire of Gold – Character Advancement

I have been thinking for a while about how level systems work badly in some ways, and what the other alternatives for character advancement are. I wasn’t sure about if I was going to use classes and levels for EoG, and I’m still not sure. I might keep the classes, or I might do some “organic advancement” thing, or a mix of both.

Organic Advancement

What do I mean by this? It’s when you do stuff and then you get better at that thing. Like… you hunt lots of deer and you get better at deer hunting. Maybe you get hit a lot, and get better at being hit. Or maybe taking a hit. You get the idea. Perhaps you find an ancient manual depicting secret rituals that you learn.

So what kind of improvable things could be needed in this kind of game?

  • Combat Skill – from defeating enemies, or just fighting at all?
  • Weapon Training – practicing with a new weapon probably.
  • Hit Points – you can get these by getting wounds possibly.
  • Specific Skills – these improve by use.
  • Special Abilities – acquired by finding objects or teachers.

Anything important I missed?

This probably replaces levels, for the most part. As the classes are more-or-less membership in organizations I think I’ll do goals for the classes to rank up in the organization, and by that method gain new class abilities.

First Draft Mechanics

Stats: TBD, possibly D&D-alike or similar.

Hit Points (grit): base is Constitution score, with a bonus based on the most harmful wound you have survived, and possibly some other strange sources.

Wounds: taking damage at 0 HP (or taking “massive damage” like half HP in one attack), the remainder rolled at a wounding table, getting a result.

Combat Skill: bonus to attacks, defenses, and maneuvers. Increases by +1 when you have defeated enemies whose total combat skill is greater than twice your own.

Weapon Training: you become proficient to use a weapon type when you have 10 marks on it. You gain a number of marks equal to your Combat Skill each day you practice with it, and twice that per battle you use it in. When you have 50 marks in the weapon type you master the weapon and gain its advanced move.

Specific Skills: I wonder if it’s worth having skills as specific as tracking, surgery, swimming, and pick-pocketing, or if one should go broad with Athletics and Knowledge. I’m thinking 2d6 plus rank here, from -1 (untrained) to +3 (the best). And then do something like 1-3 is the worst, 4-6 is meh, 7-9 is partial success, 10-12 is good, and 13-15 is excellent. Maybe you get marks each time you try the skill under duress, and then you can try to roll 1d6 over your skill level +2 or something.

Special Abilities: these are… special. How you gain them would depend on the ability.

That’s it for today, I assume. I’m sorry my notes are so chaotic at the moment, I guess I work chaotically in the beginning of projects. I’ll return later with more things probably. I wonder if this will actually turn out to be different from other similarly-styled hacks. Oh well, something will probably happen. Until next time!

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