About Me

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Seattle, Washington, United States
I'm an old time roleplayer who became a soldier who became a veteran who became a developer who became a dba who became a manager who never gave up his dream of a better world. Even if I have to create it myself.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Revisions to Defenses

I tried two approaches to Defenses in playtesting, and neither felt right.  I've since realized that at least one approach was attempting to be too simulationist.  I was trying to design a system that took into effect which weapon group was better at what sort of defense, etc., and in the end I've had to remind myself that Phoenix just isn't that type of game.

My original design goals were to significantly accelerate RPG combat, giving time for either more action or more drama.  Drama and gamism are the two focuses.  Another game can deal with simulationism, perhaps even one I work on in the future.

Having cleared my mind and gone back to the beginning, I've sorted out simpler Defenses for the next playtest round.

There are now only six Defenses.   Some of them have a related attribute, and their base value is equal to Level + Attribute Prime (or just Level if there is no related attribute).

MartialBODY'Physical Weapons
ElementsBODY'Heat, Cold
EnergyMIND'Lightning, Psionic, Sonic
DivineSOUL'Corruption, Holy, Unholy
Blight-Disease, Zombies
Toxic-Poison, Venom, Acid

These Defenses reduce incoming damage, and also replace attributes on many defensive combat checks.

Each Defense has subtypes, such as Energy(Lightning) or Energy(Psionic).   However, I don't expect a character will have more than 2 or 3 specific subtype modifiers at any given time, which makes this manageable in play.

I'm looking forward to seeing how the players feel about this system after playing with it.


  1. Hello, I learned about your blog from the Gothridge Manor Newbie Blog Award. Welcome to the gang, I'm looking forward to how things come along with your game!

  2. Congrats on the newbie blogger award! I look forward to reading more!

  3. Hey, much congrats on your Newbie Award. Those are so fun. Cheers and boogie boogie.

  4. Congratulations on the award Mr. Blue. Well deserved.

    I like the limited damage realms, although I'd be more inclined to reduce them even further for simplicity.

    Not a big fan of holy and unholy being the same type of damage thematically. Blight and Toxic on the other hand, seem somewhat similar. Why not combine the two, and have a "Dark" or "Unholy" damage type. Or, I don't know, move Toxic into Elements and bring it to 5 defenses. Or keep it the way it is, it's midnight here and this is just stream of consciousness.

    You know, five minutes ago I heard the sound of a duck quacking. Seriously. In the middle of Sydney. A duck. Quacking.

    Okay I'm going to sleep.

    1. You might be right. Much like software though, sometimes the fiddling has to stop and a release has to happen (in this case playtesting). Let's see how it goes!


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