.PATCH20 - my rules mod

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krank krank's picture
.PATCH20 - my rules mod

First of all: Yes, I am completely aware that many (most?) of you find the original Eclipse Phase mechanics superior. I am also aware that a substantial portion of gamers believe that any kind of modifications leads to madness, or at least it means that I'm "not playing Eclipse Phase". Please, feel free to ignore this post if modifications make you squirm.

Personally, I feel improvements can be made. So I made them.

First of all, I turned the percentile scale into a 0-20 scale. I hate doing subtractions on a scale of 0-100, or any kind of math really. And besides, most modifiers and things in EP are multiples of 5. So, dividing a lot of thing by 5 seemed like a simple mod. Much easier on the math. This also meant I could cut down on the scale of the points used during character generation as well. And while I was at it, I tried streamlining it a bit. The flexibility's still there, I've just done a bit more of the math beforehand.

There are other changes as well... Exceptional successes and such are handled a bit differently and I'm using a blackjack mechanic for my normal skill rolls (like the ones the original uses for contests; higher is better unless it's above the skill level), for instance.

The changes are documented in the documents below:

.PATCH20 basics

.PATCH20 character generation

Reference - backgrounds

Reference - morphs

Reference - Positive traits

Reference - Negative traits

Reference - combat modifiers

I've also made new character, morph and weapon sheets, but as those could be used with the original system as well, I think I'll make a separate thread about them...

Any comments? They are welcome. Either in this thread or as comments in the google documents. You should have commenting rights to all the docs.

Warning: Anarchist, postmodernist, socialist, transhumanist, feminist

Tyrnis Tyrnis's picture
Re: .PATCH20 - my rules mod

Did you start on this before third printing came out, or are you working from an earlier printing of the hardcover? The blackjack style of tests is the norm now on skill rolls, hence my asking.

This seems like a pretty workable rules modification. While it's not something that I'm going to incorporate in my own games (I'm fine with the existing system), I'd have no problem playing in a game that used it. If it makes the game more fun for you and your group, then I call it a win.

krank krank's picture
Re: .PATCH20 - my rules mod

Tyrnis wrote:
Did you start on this before third printing came out, or are you working from an earlier printing of the hardcover? The blackjack style of tests is the norm now on skill rolls, hence my asking.

Ah. Earlier printing - I have a PDF of the third, but I haven't read it yet. Thanks for pointing it out =)

Warning: Anarchist, postmodernist, socialist, transhumanist, feminist

puke puke's picture
Re: .PATCH20 - my rules mod

krank wrote:
First of all, I turned the percentile scale into a 0-20 scale. I hate doing subtractions on a scale of 0-100, or any kind of math really. And besides, most modifiers and things in EP are multiples of 5.

I thought about doing this for similar reasons, but decided against it because I like the existing critical probabilities. As it stands, your chance of crit success or crit fail are proportional to your chances of success or failure. Switching to D20 (and assuming crit on 1 or 20) your chance of any crit is still 1/10, but there is a 50:50 chance of it being either success or failure, regardless of your skill.

It is a minor thing to lose. But even so, I think it is a neat trick that the current rules provide for, and I didn't want to see it go.

The major change we made to the 3.0 rules is to re-introduce a feature from the old rules -- opposed checks (including fray) take the difference between two successes, thus making it harder to succeed by as great of a margin if someone is working against you. Also, it makes defense less of an all-or-nothing thing.

in practice, we just fudge most stuff.

krank krank's picture
Re: .PATCH20 - my rules mod

puke wrote:
I thought about doing this for similar reasons, but decided against it because I like the existing critical probabilities. As it stands, your chance of crit success or crit fail are proportional to your chances of success or failure. Switching to D20 (and assuming crit on 1 or 20) your chance of any crit is still 1/10, but there is a 50:50 chance of it being either success or failure, regardless of your skill.

I did consider this, but as I'm firmly against most Crit mechanics anyway - I don't find they add enough to the roleplaying experience to justify the extra system kibble - I prioritized system lean-ness. If my stated goal hadn't been to make .PATCH20 as compatible with the original rules as possible, I would probably have chucked the crits out the window completely...

puke wrote:

The major change we made to the 3.0 rules is to re-introduce a feature from the old rules -- opposed checks (including fray) take the difference between two successes, thus making it harder to succeed by as great of a margin if someone is working against you. Also, it makes defense less of an all-or-nothing thing.

Also, it means one more mathematical operation - and a subtraction, no less. In a scale of 1-100... Brrh.

I understand the reasoning but, well... I hate math. I really, really hate math. In a roleplaying context, at least. So I try to minimize it when I design stuff. I have a million things to do as GM, and they are all more fun than math =)

I'm a bit of a minimalist, actually. .PATCH20 represents my first attempt at simplifying EP's rules as much as possible, while retaining at least some compatibility.

The next step, I guess, is to begin chopping things off. Like the crits system. Or a few of the underused skills, that might be combined into others. And so on.

I've thought about just making some kind of makeshift rules mod for Ashen Stars (Gumehoe-based, pretty neat scifi system), but then I'd not be able to use any of the stats or rules in the various EP books.

We'll see. =)

Thanks for commenting, anyway.

Warning: Anarchist, postmodernist, socialist, transhumanist, feminist

puke puke's picture
Re: .PATCH20 - my rules mod

I don't want to derail too much here, but there is a mostly complete FATE based hack for EP already. You would probably dig it.

Personally, I'd mash it up with the stripped down (optimized) rules of Diaspora, one of the stress-free wound options out of Strands Of FATE, and maybe the alien options (for exotic morphs and mode) from SBA or Bulldogs.

I really like the Diaspora method of treating wealth as a wound track. Think it would fit the rep economy perfectly.

krank krank's picture
Re: .PATCH20 - my rules mod

Been thinking I should read FATE; though I'm not a big fan of neither verbal scales (they're just numbers and need to be converted into such while playing, so why not just use numbers?) nor Fudge dice (adding, subtracting...)

I have Diaspora in my bookcase, haven't hade the time (nor really the motivation) to read it yet... A question of priorities, I guess - I've a lot of unread rpg books by now, and some kind of reading order had to be established...

Warning: Anarchist, postmodernist, socialist, transhumanist, feminist

shadowninja shadowninja's picture
Re: .PATCH20 - my rules mod

I read the basics and is very good the simplification, but I must agree with puke, i like too the standard critical probabilities. I suggest do this: use two d10, not one d20, and keep the critical system (equal numbers is critical).

krank krank's picture
Re: .PATCH20 - my rules mod

puke wrote:
I don't want to derail too much here, but there is a mostly complete FATE based hack for EP already. You would probably dig it.

Reading Diaspora right now. Must say it really doesn't suit my tastes. Too much forced metagaming for me; I prefer games with an absolute minimum of player-rules interaction. And if the players interact with the rules, I like the interaction to be directly analogous to some action the character is making. I strongly dislike point economies, since they do not represent what the character is doing, but rather what the player wants. I'm very much a character-immersion-type of player...

Warning: Anarchist, postmodernist, socialist, transhumanist, feminist

krank krank's picture
Re: .PATCH20 - my rules mod

shadowninja wrote:
I read the basics and is very good the simplification, but I must agree with puke, i like too the standard critical probabilities. I suggest do this: use two d10, not one d20, and keep the critical system (equal numbers is critical).

Doesn't seem very efficient... Using one die just to make the crits work. I think my next step from the current .PATCH20 would be to remove crits altogether. I've never been very fond of such systems.

Warning: Anarchist, postmodernist, socialist, transhumanist, feminist

shadowninja shadowninja's picture
Re: .PATCH20 - my rules mod

krank wrote:
Doesn't seem very efficient... Using one die just to make the crits work. I think my next step from the current .PATCH20 would be to remove crits altogether. I've never been very fond of such systems.

I see any problem in keep two d10 and the usual critical system (the critical system don't change anything in Patch20 development).

Before see your work, I thinking in convert the EP to Shadowrun 4ed (very similar systems) but the Patch20 is better, more simple and easy to adapt to any EP materials.

puke puke's picture
Re: .PATCH20 - my rules mod

2d10 on a 2-20 scale? sure, but be aware that changing to a bell curve is a greater shift in game mechanics than changing from percentile to D20.

2D10 isnt very steep, but even so you need to be consious that interesting outcomes trend towards the middle. bonuses and skill gains offer different statistical value depending on where you are on the curve. A +1 for a average skilled character is powerful. A +1 for a very highly skilled or very lowly skilled character may make next to zero difference.

even with a flat-cost for skill gains, you end up with the effective gains being non-linear.

That can be okay, you just have to be consious of it while designing.

det det's picture
Re: .PATCH20 - my rules mod

nice one. There is a tabletop skirmish game which uses a similar mechanic and d20. I on the other hand adapted cyberpunk to go with this mechanic...works fine too, and there's more or less nothing to change.