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Fatal Frame inspired PnP system


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16 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Eisenalex

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 01:43 AM

First things first:

- I wasn't too sure about the correct sub-forum to post this in. If this isn't the right one, please tell me.
- For those who don't know what PnP is: it stands for "Pen and Paper", a kind of role playing game where the playing group sits down at a table with one of them being the "game master" (from now on referred to as GM), someone who plans the game, tells the story, guides the players through the world and acts as a stand-in for NPCs, enemies and so on. The game is usually non-linear with many ways to accomplish your goal. Often times, almost everything imaginable is possible, as long as the GM and the specific rules of the system allows it. The game itself is played by using dice to determine the outcome and the success of an action or an attempt to do something (like an attack, pickpocketing, lockpicking etc) and you use a pen and some sheets of paper to write down your progress, your character's infos and stats, puzzle clues and everything you want to keep in mind. There's tons of existing systems, some are more combat focused, some more story focused. There are fantasy systems (like Dungeons & Dragons), Sci-Fi (Shadowrun), Horror (Call of Cthulhu) and pretty much everything inbetween.
 

While planning an entirely different (mystery) adventure for my group, I started to think about how a scenario similar to Fatal Frame or Dreadout could work in a pen and paper format - the manga shows very clearly similarities to group dynamics typically found in a PnP rpg party and the puzzles could very well be prepared for and solved during a pnp session as well.
But in which system? Systems like Dungeons & Dragons would be too combat heavy and would rely too much on different dice and rolling them, which could get the players out of the flow of a proper horror setting and more story focused systems could make it more difficult to implement gameplay elements like the camera obscura (both as a weapon and a way to solve puzzles), the wetness gauge of FFV and other things that differentiate Fatal Frame gameplay wise from other (supernatural) horror games.
So I did what (almost) everyone would do. Nothing and forget about it.

At least for a while and when I started talking to a friend about starting a new PnP group, I remembered my idea and started to work on a homebrew system. It's not finished yet - I'm currently working on a functioning combat system involving the camera obscura - but I wanted to show you what I have so far and I hope to get some feedback if you're interested in the project. This could, once finished, allow you to have your very own FF-adventure. Maybe an original story, maybe an alternate universe version of one of the games - you could make your fanfiction playable.

TL;DR: I started working on a FF inspired pen and paper homebrew system and want to use this thread to show my progress and get, if you're interested, feedback on it.
 

Spoiler

Edited by Eisenalex, 25 April 2017 - 01:33 AM.

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allt er orðið hlytt.


#2 OFFLINE   midwinter

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 01:44 PM

Ooh, what a cool idea! I've never played any kind of tabletop RPG before, but you explain it well, and making up possible scenarios in response to rolls of the dice sounds really fun.



#3 OFFLINE   Eisenalex

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 10:20 PM

Thank you.
I just updated the opening post with the "prototype" version of the combat system. It works so far but could probably be streamlined and tweaked to balance it a bit.
If you're interested in trying a thing or two out (like how it would work to build a character) but don't own any PnP dice, there are plenty of virtual dice-sets available:

http://www.wizards.c.../dice/dice.htm 
This one works perfectly fine and is hosted by Wizards  of the coast, the publishers of Dungeons & Dragons.

Edit:
Apparently the link doesn't work that well. This one should: http://www.roll-dice-online.com


Edited by Eisenalex, 27 February 2017 - 09:45 PM.

Helga stundin komin,
allt er orðið hlytt.


#4 OFFLINE   suprimeking

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 09:24 PM

this reminds me of stuff like D&D :3 but I agree this does sound intriguing


you brought this upon yourself mortal now you learn the way of darkness 


#5 OFFLINE   Eisenalex

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 11:53 PM

this reminds me of stuff like D&D :3 but I agree this does sound intriguing


Have you played D&D or another system before?


Helga stundin komin,
allt er orðið hlytt.


#6 OFFLINE   suprimeking

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 02:25 PM

eisenalex no that was before my time, i'm a 90's kid


you brought this upon yourself mortal now you learn the way of darkness 


#7 OFFLINE   Eisenalex

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 01:15 AM

It's been a while since I posted here. I was still working on it but I didn't have much to show off and I still don't have that much, to be honest - I was mostly testing the combat system and I think I'm now mostly happy with it. Of course, it's still not perfect, things like that need a lot of testing 
I'm working on it as a kind of short little guide/rule book in .pdf format. Since English isn't my native language, I would like to know if anybody would be so kind and be willing to correct my grammar and spelling, once I'm done with everything, so we can have a proper "release" of the homebrew system for BCL.

And of course, if you have anything to add or think anything should be handled differently, please say so
 

eisenalex no that was before my time, i'm a 90's kid


So am I, didn't stop me from getting into roleplaying, though.


Edited by Eisenalex, 25 April 2017 - 01:19 AM.

Helga stundin komin,
allt er orðið hlytt.


#8 OFFLINE   Meital

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 05:13 PM

Ohh this is interesting !

I've tried D&D before and so far this looks great ^^ The rules are explained it very well.

Would love to play PnP in Fatal Frame theme~



#9 OFFLINE   Eisenalex

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 08:55 PM

Ohh this is interesting !

I've tried D&D before and so far this looks great ^^ The rules are explained it very well.

Would love to play PnP in Fatal Frame theme~

Thank you!
There are enough tools available online to play PnP online, so I could host a game for BCL when it's done if people are interested in joining.
I'm currently working on a bestiary and it should be ready and completely playable by then.


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allt er orðið hlytt.


#10 OFFLINE   MacabrelleEnvy

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 03:33 PM

This is a fantastic idea and I can't believe I didn't think of combining FF with a PnP before! With two littles under two infortunately I haven't been able to play a tabletop in forever, but i'd love to see how this turns out. If you guys do get a session or two together would you consider live-streaming or recording it so we could all see it?

I love all that you've done already and can't wait to see how it turns out. As far as your pc stats, it looks like you've basically simplified them to the standard d&d saving throws and done away with base stats. Your somatic is essentially fortitude, psychic is will, and dexterity is reflex. I think using base stats to define a character and then just focusing on how those affect fort, will, and reflex would allow for more interaction in gameplay. Even having a short list of skills such as hide, knowledge (folklore), spot and search would add a little more depth. Then you could add modifiers that would affect puzzle solving or searching (Wisdom checks) differently than ones that would affect resistence to a psychic attack or overexposure (http://bcl.rpen.us/z...le=Overexposure) from the camera obscura which involve Will. If you can't tell I used to play a lot of D&D lol.

#11 OFFLINE   Eisenalex

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 04:42 PM

Thank you for your feedback, I really appreciate it!
I see where you're coming from. The thing is, while adding more modifiers, things could become too complicated in a way that it could take players out of the flow and the atmosphere. I never had a scary D&D session, not even in Ravenloft and even horror themed systems like Call of Cthulhu aren't intuitive enough in my opinion to effectively keep the players in the intended mood. I agree that the mods I currently use are very simplified and that a distinction between, for example, INT and WIS makes sense. I just find it hard to walk the line between them being over-simplified and not simplified enough. Ideally I'd like to create the scariest possible j-horror PnP system and I fear too many modifiers/stats could be distracting. If you have any other idea how to work around that, please let me know.
The skills, however, are a great idea and I want to incorporate something like that. Up to now I thought about letting the GM decide on additional boni/mali but that way it could be too... arbitrary, if you catch my drift. It could allow a GM to pick favourites among the PCs to give them additional boni. Thank you!


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#12 OFFLINE   MacabrelleEnvy

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 08:12 PM

I agree. Keeping things simpler might help the atmosphere, because I haven't ever played a particularly "scary" session either. I think sticking the focus on the ones you picked is a great option, especially since charisma wouldn't really be useful as a stat. So if you combine strength and constitution as a stat (somatic), intelligence and wisdom (psychic), and then dex by itself you're covering all the stats you might use.

As far as 6th sense its a little more complicated. A part of me wants to say its effected by the psychic (int/wis/will) stat but another part of me feels that connecting the two would be more complicated. For example, in the case of overexposure a character's ability to see ghosts (6th sense) increases the longer they use a camera obscura but at the same time their ability to fight off a psychic attack (will) would decrease. In the case of a status ailment such as fear, a character's will would take a hit and the ability to fight back (6th sense) would also be negatively effected. Imagine being under the influence of fear and having difficulty keeping track of the ghost therefore making your hits less precise and ultimately less effective.

Not to complicate things further, but I think having a strong 6th sense would increase the ability and strength of the camera. Think of Miku's double exposure ability in the 3rd game where she can double charge the power of the camera. Rei on the other hand has very little 6th sense and can only perform a "flash" which temporarily stuns ghosts. That might be an interesting mechanic to play with too, giving pcs a unique ability when using the camera based on their 6th sense stat. It would encourage the group to share and pass along the camera which then allows all the players a turn with it as well. Then you don't end up with one player (leader type role) hogging the camera and the other players taking the sidelines.
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#13 OFFLINE   Eisenalex

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 08:59 PM

That's kind of how I wanted "Fear" to work. Couldn't get to playtesting that ailment yet, though.

The 6th sense already affects the damage output. What would you think about the 6th sense as a kind of leveling system? The dice roll during character creation would be merely a bonus and every character with a low stat could level it up by using the camera for puzzles and (at the beginning less effectively) during combat. That way the players would have to consider putting themselves potentially at a disadvantage in the beginning so they can have a proper party where everyone can use the camera effectively when fighting a boss ghost. They'd have to manage their resources more cleverly and would have to try to level evenly. That way they could also decide on a party member to become a designated tank, for example, by not letting them level up the 6th sense: a character with a low 6th sense that doesn't get much damage from ghosts, compared to others, that could also be equipped with a talisman.


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allt er orðið hlytt.


#14 OFFLINE   MacabrelleEnvy

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 10:07 PM

That would be interesting! What if 6th sense had its own little set of skills you could level? You could choose to improve your spiritual defense (tank), spiritual offfense (dps), spiritual sight (puzzle solving), etc. Your initial role determines how many skill points you can apply at the start and then you add more through leveling. When reaching a certain number of points (5, 10, ?) in that category you get a special skill like Miku's "double". I would award skill points from successful puzzle solving, ghost encounters, and special items.

#15 OFFLINE   Eisenalex

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 10:43 PM

I like that idea. A 6th sense manifesting itself potentially differently for everybody. That would also encourage players to use the same characters for subsequent play sessions. But I think I wouldn't use more "sub-stats" than those three, since that would keep it simple enough while covering all important aspects of a 6th sense: Offense, Defense and Perception. (I just hope that won't lead to that typical D&D like "I role for perception!" everytime the party enters a room, lol.)
I would keep it like a traditional leveling system, since I still think that a high 6th sense should be rare and something you really have to earn. Maybe there could be several pre-determined growth rates. Simply use different exponential functions to calculate the level scaling and you could easily modify the difficulty for a session/campaign. One of the main reasons why I'd rather have a traditional EXP-system (for example: you gain 100 points for taking a photo of a clue, 500 after beating a ghost etc) is because I like to reward players for good and proper roleplaying with EXP.


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#16 OFFLINE   MacabrelleEnvy

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 11:17 PM

Sounds great! Are you going to keep the camera at a base level and just do the equipable lenses (kind of like Spirit Camera)? Or are you going to have that level up as well like in the main games? Since your character doesnt have stats in the games it makes sense for the camera to take that role. In a tabletop where characters do have stats I wonder if it might be too much and take away from the flow/feel of the session?

#17 OFFLINE   Eisenalex

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 11:31 PM

I thought about it but the only thing I planned so far regarding "leveling" the camera is receiving "spirit points" to use the lenses' special abilities. Leveling the camera up further could make some things a little easy, I'm afraid. Of course, I can always scale the enemy HP accordingly, but that seems like a cheap game design decision to me. Another possibility would be using these spirit points to either level up one of the camera's stats OR use the special abilities. That way the players could decide for themselves whether they want to use up the points for some quick additional damage or collect them and save them up to increase a stat and gain a permanent damage boost.


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