After some thought I decided to go with a percentile system for Project Mayhem. I believe a one-roll system will be faster and easier to implement when there is a lot of action going on. Plus, I’ve never ever designed a percentile system of my own and I’d like to try something new.
So far, what I have is a very basic system where you have to roll under a target number (usually equal to one of your attributes plus any modifers) on a d100. I’ve made the 00 result equal to 0, which gives an automatic success, while 99 is always an automatic failure. Now I know that in most percentile systems 00 is 100 and usually fails, but I like the idea of getting a special result when you roll double 0s or double 99s – it feels more consistent. To eliminate the 1-point advantage it would give to players, I made successful rolls count only if you roll under the target number; equal or over fails.
I want to build the system with speed as the main priority: it must be able to do things fast and preferrably with one roll only in most cases. To reduce complexity I’ve settled down on a number of very basic attributes for each character: Muscles (for strength and endurance), Brains, Moves (for dexterity and speed, as in “he’s got some wicked moves”) and Guts (for courage and willpower). I’ve been toying with the idea of adding a fifth attribute for charisma and personal interaction (maybe “Looks”?) but I’m still not sure if it’s a good idea. After all this is going to be a combat-heavy game and I want all basic attributes to be useful and not serve as a typical dump stat for players. I may skip a charisma attribute altogether and just add some skills for all the talking and bartering.
Speaking of skills, they probably won’t be rated like attributes. You will either have them or not. Each will give a bonus for certain rolls or perhaps a special benefit. I am thinking of organising them into skill trees, which will be useful if I decide to add character classes and levels to the game. This is a video game tribute after all and most ofnthem make use of class/level-based character progress.
While thinking the basics of the percentile system I had some difficulty with the issue of opposed rolls. Most d100 games will either use a chart for opposed rolls or require some sort of addition/subtraction (roll and add your attribute or figure out how much you’ve rolled under your attribute). Both solutions were unsatisfactory for me becausr they take up some time and like I said I want the system to be super fast (or at least able tonspend more time for other stuff like calculating double and triple criticals). So I came up with the idea of letting the highest roll win, but if you roll under your attribute you add 100 to the result. The highrst your attribute is, the bigger the chance you’ll manage to get the +100 bonus. I’ve checked the probabilities and they are very similar to more classic opposed roll mechanics.
That’s all I have for now, but I hope I’ll be able to share more very soon.