Custom ICRPG and pregens



Hey there! :wave:
So, I’ve made a custom ICRPG mod with a few rules from other systems while keeping it quite streamlined. It looks like this on Excel character sheets:!AlyK6ROGmb0PrSRrlMbGp78Z9l9b?e=wEoLSb

Future plans
And I have contacted @KaneDriscol to make some prettier sheets, which I can’t wait to see! He did an amazing job for another project of mine which I’m eager to present at some point, later… when I’m done with version 2.0. :sweat_smile:

Anyway, in the meantime, I ran a game of that custom ICRPG mod and will be running a second one next Saturday! God willing, of course!

Recap of the session
It was a very generic adventure: the Odin Foundation ordered the PCs to discretly go to some ancient temple we think is there, pick-up the macguffin and come back alive. It was set in my own version of Warp Shell, on a tropical jungle planet.

The players encountered the local life, frog men. Fought with the Snakemen soldiers and stole their spacebarge to fly to their destination. That was not too discret but we didn’t have enough time at the end of the session for that decision to matter. Which is fine.

They arrived at the ancient Snakemen temple, fought some more frog men who had made their nest in the temple’s reservoir, and that unti the snakemen golem rose to challenge them. Lots of fighting, they got a Warp Shell, punched in the coordinates to go back at HQ the moment that they had left… and decided to promptly deliver the sentient vessel to the Odin Foundation because when she spoke they did not trust her. Bwahaha! What a twist, I kinda found it funny. Then again, I made it a big deal that this was a Snakemen tool to accomplish a prophecy about controlling space & time. So, now I find myself excited to have my players go against the O.F. but not as bad guys, but just as people who want to keep them from messing up~ it’s kinda cool. :ok_hand:

Okay? What am I looking at?
Well, definitely at some sort of frankenstein system of multiple “D20 mechanics”. The goal of splitting a lot of things was to allow players to feel less restricted? So that their abilities are more prescriptive? I don’t know, it’s hard to explain: I just wanted the system to encourage them to tell me what they wanted to do and how rather than refer to a rule.

For example, Physical abilities are now Might, Dexterity & Speed. And instead of tying weapons to a specific ability, I made it that how you use them is what will determine the ability you must test: want to shiv someone with your daggers, thief? Make a Speed check. Want to slice the throat of someone? That’s Dexterity! Want to peel off the scale of a Dragon from his shoulder? That could be a Might thing.

While it all makes sense to me, I found myself having difficulties expalining it properly to my players. So… let me plug in that I’ll GM a game next Saturday on Cthulhu’s List Gaming Board if you wanna try it and give me some feed back! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
Or maybe you’d like to run it yourself, in which case I encourage you a lot to do! :+1: As long as you give me feedback, after! :grin:

Protection & Defenses
And while you may see something that resemble AC under the box named Protection, let me tell you that we did not use it except the Damage Reduction. In fact, my goal was to make it a roll to defend system. You can see those modifiers under Defenses.

I had a document that explained the difference between those defenses, but I can’t find it right now. So, here goes:
• Reflex was for blocking attacks, catching fast-moving objects and moving your head out of the way really fast!
• Evasion was for throwing yourself out of the way, moving quickly through a dangerous area or escaping.
• Fortitude was for resistance to poison, drowning, etc. I mean, we all know what this does. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:
• Spirit was for courage, your resistance to mind control and some effects of magic.

As you can see they’re not exactly tied to rules, I just think that with a couple of guidelines the GMs can make judgement call pretty easily.

Directly ripped from Prof. Dungeonmaster: he’ll explain it better than I can. But, in short, if you go beyond 3 Evil from making grave and terrible things, your character is revoked and becomes a villain that I command. Sometimes, if I feel like it, good and bad Ethos can be used as a modifier for spells or whatever else. I’ll leave that to the GM to do as he wish.

Changes to Effort
That’s just my favorite part: I changed the Basic Effort to Help or First Aid. I always found Aid to be a confusing action in most TRPG: do I have to beat 10 so my ally can get +2 on his own roll, or do I roll my own skill with his and we see who succeed which could potentially rob him of a success on the action he initiated? Blah, too complicated, in my system, you just roll D4 when you help and add the result to your ally’s D20 or Effort total. Isn’t that cool?

The Fray Effort die is pretty cool and comes from Godbound. In my game I made it that players still had to roll a D20 to beat the AC of the Lesser Foes, but in Godbound you simply roll your Fray die and deal the damage without a care. It’s a free action to immerse you in your status of godlike superhuman. I found it cool, and decided to add it.

Well, I don’t know, I might remove the D20 requirement to deal damage with your fray die because having players roll for both a normal action and a fray die was kind of slower. So, let’s say there’ll be a little change. Just something I’ve observed during gameplay.

Oh yeah, also: no more Ultimate Effort. It’s a GM’s tool for big explosions, now! Mwuahaha! :smiling_imp:

I changed it to rolling a D6 plus your modifier. Just a simple but fun change to me.

In the second tab of the excel pregens, you can see a bunch of lists that could look like skill lists. But they aren’t. Merely things the PC know at various degrees. From 1 dot to 3, 1 being the regular dealing within such domains and 3 being a professional or expert that trained or learned for most of their lives. I never felt like knowledge checks were required or even fun. So I made them passive and easier to read. And it flows much better! :ok_hand:

I just don’t quite know where to put the Pilot Knowledge skill since… pilot skill checks might be required? I dunno, what do you guys think?

As for the Miskatonic Studies skill… well… :smiling_imp: Using it might make your character mad or crazy, it is a dangerous skill to use in a world of entities like Cthulhu and whatever~ mwuahaha.

To wrap it up
I definitely had a lot of fun, My players told me they had fun, so I can’t wait to continue testing this. Can’t wait to keep you all updated, maybe in smaller posts however, haha! :v:

Keep up the good work, good luck with your projects and TTYL guys! :+1:


From what I can gather, you are on a quest to find your own RPG system. Good luck to you on your journey!

My random thoughts:
Ethos: Sure, why not? Maybe can prevent your apparently murderhobo players from doing random acts of violence. I doubt it but worth a try.

Help Action: No, I don’t think your approach is as cool as you might think. :smile:
In my games helping makes the attempt of the ally EASY. No roll required. Your approach gives +2.5 on average and requires a roll; mine gives +3 (duh) without rolling.
Rolling can be fun but it can also be slow. Rolling 3 & 4 for help is exciting, 1 & 2 is a bummer. My suggestion is, either upgrade the help die to d6 so helping is really powerful and bad results happen less frequently, or just make the attempt EASY for simplicity, predictability and speed.

Frey Die: I didn’t know about this but sometimes do this (not the free action part), especially when the party is surrounded by waves of mooks. Making players roll for attack/attempt is pointless in this case. Let them roll for effort directly and let them feel like gods for a change. Whether that should take an action is up to you. Not requiring an action for very weak foes is a good idea. Otherwise you’ll slow down the game for no good reason.

I omit attempt rolls for all sorts of other things as well. For some tasks, requiring both attempt and effort is unnecessary.

In case you wonder, yes, I occasionally forgo efforts as well. These are usually simple binary tasks or I require x number of successes (similar to D&D 4E skill challenges).

Sometimes I want to see the degree of success by looking at the difference between the target and the attempt roll, rather than a binary success/fail.

Knowledge: For me, knowledge is meh, passive knowledge is doubly meh. I prefer TAGS and I let the player make a roll. A TAG can be
Tribe’s Scholar: “Add 1D6 to your attempts related to history when dealing with dwarves.” Of course you can use EASY here as well or use whatever mechanic you think is appropriate.

Passive stuff is predictable and fast but has no excitement. I should add that I only request these kind of rolls from my players when they attempt to learn/remember/deduce something important. Requesting rolls for silly things is, well, silly.

Ultimate Effort: Sure, you can remove it. What happens when someone rolls a NAT 20?

As long you and your players have fun, keep going!


Oh! Thanks for the feedback! I’ll try to explain some of my decisions, but I’ll keep what you said in mind when I work on my project! :grinning:

Ethos? I don’t usually have murder hobbos in my games, but it’s another form of defeat for players: do terrible act and get the appropriate status, or examine too many Cthulhu glyphs and you might eventually be driven mad. It’s a good way for them to track progress, and try to fight it, if they want. And yes, it also does not encourage murderhobos! :grin:

The Help action: I wanted players the ability to stack these dice, if needed. Otherwise making a check EASY kinda stops at that. Maybe the first help could be EASY? I just don’t want it to become too complicated, I want to leave it somewhat open for the GM to decide what to do.

Can you tell me what you dislike about knowledge and passive knowledge? :smiley:

Oh yeah, Ultimate Effort is also for critical hits but the players just can’t put points in there, anymore. Speaking of which, if the PC you’re helping rolls critical, you don’t just roll 1D4, but 1D12 as well, just like him! :v:


Ah, you didn’t mention that help action can be stacked. In that case your approach is solid.

A more complicated option is to go with 1D6 for a single help where only one dude is helping another dude, and go with 1D4 for multiple helps where multiple dudes are helping one dude. This is so that single help is still very valuable but multiple helps aren’t overwhelmingly useful. I wouldn’t do this myself but maybe you will find this interesting.

For Ethos, yup that would work then. You might think about increasing the number of steps from 3 to something more to give your players more room to play in that case.

As for knowledge ‘skills’, they rarely come up and usually they are very specific, narrow and codified. Like I said, instead of knowledge, I prefer TAGS that adjust a roll type and/or that give special abilities (regarding knowledge in this case).

Another TAG example: “You know which tribe a goblin belongs when you see him, without rolling.”
Unlike milestones and other character improvements, TAGS can be awarded willy-nilly and each TAG adds a special and possibly a unique thing to a HERO. You can always award multiple TAGS to a player (however small and specific or however broad you want) who plays his knowledge in smart ways so he gets better at knowing certain stuff.

TL;DR with TAGS, the sky is the limit, with knowledge skills (or whatever one calls them) you only limit the game.


Ah! I never make people roll for Knowledge checks since they are most often unsatisfying, to me anyway. And, in my system, they aren’t skill checks. Or, at least they only keep some characters unable to make check to resolve certain things they just aren’t trained to do. Proficiency is a really cool tool and it’s really what I wanted in the system! :grin:


This looks cool! Some thoughts and questions:
(1) Where do the initiative and perception bonuses come from? (2) Are HD used like in 5e? (3) Are the consequences of the Miskatonics skill immediate?

I actually like Help as a substitute for basic work. It’s an easy way to make a bard or squire type distinct.

How does the game world respond to a character’s Ethos? Does it effect their reputation? Can loot react to Ethos? Is Ethos a consistent bonus to certain spells (Healing Word is always stronger if the user is Good) or is it circumstantial? (You can add Good to a spell if you’re attacking a fiend or healing a paladin)

If prescribed skills are what you want that’s fine, they’re a great way to make a setting part of the character sheet. Just keep in mind that you will have to call them out when introducing encounters and adjudicating actions (does anyone have Torton Society?) AND players may default to using their skills instead of describing what they do (this is a common problem in 5e: I want to make an Athletics check! Okay but what are you actually trying to do?)


The Initiative modifier comes from your Fray modifier!
And yes, not only is there the recovery action that the player can take to heal 1 HD during combat, but they can spend HD when they rest. One thing of note, however, is that when you lose consciousness you lose 1 HD. So it makes recovery harder. You regain HD when you go into a safe location. That… might require some more work on my part, but so far I am satisfied with how it works.

The consequences of the Miskatonic Knowledge can be slow or immediate. Temporary or permanent. It depends on the mission and the theme. For example, in Eyes of Sett, I’d say the effect is temporary, when the players look at the glyphs that makes them dizzy and see visions of horror. And, if they are experienced enough, I might even let them study these particular glyphs without consequences.

Players can’t default to using their skills. Knowledge is always passive. Think of the dots as proficiency levels. There’s nothing someone can do to remember better, as such I always let my players go and say:“Hey man, I’ve got the Tortons knowledge at 1 point, is there anything this ritual is telling me.”
It makes it cool for players who spent points in that particular knowledge (they get to shine) but it also helps resolve knowledge actions much easier than a roll. I can just say:“Oh yeah, that’s enough to know this simple ritual: they are actually worshipping their deity…”