December 27th, 2011


Catalyst - Part 0.3

Last time we had a system of 1-10 levels of success for powers, with some vague idea that there might be too much power being channeled. Unfortunately I was struggling to find a down side for too much power in most cases. I mean, oh look, I'm too brainy, or oh no I just smote the Bad Guy too hard aren't really downsides. I hated the idea of creating artificial negatives... and then I realised, we already had negatives in the form of Jacks.  Finally my brain came to the rescue: the downside of using too much power is giving beenies to the ST, to use when you DO reveal a Jack.

Rule: for each level above 5 used, the ST gets one beenie.  These can be used immediately on negative and wild effects.

I was also thinking about finesse and flexibility and realised that, even more than power, there was no drawback to getting higher results so what was the point?  Instead you can buy flexibility, but using it takes time. For instance, using 5 levels of flexibility takes, say, 3 extra rounds and removes a 9, 7, 5, 3 and 1.  Using flexibility like this made me realise that I would still need two suits per player (to allow for degrees of flexibility while leaving enough cards to be drawn) but that they mean the same thing. This retains the idea of having multiple bad, good and wild effects.

To summarise my thinking so far:
  • The core system is that of Houses of the Blooded (total x d6, set aside y as wagers (successes), aim for highest and 10 or more)
  • Uncatalysed humans can use aspects and style points largely as per HotB
  • Catalysed humans can only use style points on powers
  • Players have a suite of powers which have a shared flexibility score. The suite also shares face card effects that are bought or assigned (TBD).
  • Players buy levels of powers. They cost 5, 10 or 15 build points, with limitations/features decreasing/increasing the cost per level.
  • Powers always act before non-power actions. Any number card counts as a success with wagers equal to the number used. Probably add level of power, but level might instead/also act as ceiling.
  • Courage results can be used to modify the number used.
  • Each power has listed its default range, cost, typical limitations/features and sample uses of flexibility. And of course, what each level means.
  • Ranges are touch/20', whip, sight/100', sight/1 mile
  • Default time for most powers is 1 scene
  • Some work needs to go into working out under which conditions face cards can be dropped. Mostly, removing a Jack should mean removing a Queen. I'm thinking numbers shouldn't be removed except due to flexibility.
  • Some work needs to go into deciding if characters can be built that don't have the full two suits as default (e.g have 7-10 of one suit removed). I think it should be possible, but keeping one suit intact.