So, I was putting together a DIY rpg for my players and we talked. They wanted something a bit more freeform and simple than I had going. I think they need a real palate cleanser after our last campaign (a run through Curse of Strahd that took us through the pandemic). As simple as 5E is, they are working folks who don’t need a mess of options and rules cruft. Still, they wanted a bit more mechanical joojoo than ICRPG and wanted to see things like skills and the like.
I always aim to please; so, I went back to the ole drawing board and came up with the following (recently revised):
- Its basically ICRPG (more or less). So, timers, tricks, treats, always in turns, cast to roll, etc.
- I let players choose which type of effort gets the d10, d8, or d6 (I have three that are higher than d4, weapons, tools and magic; basic is there but its locked at d4).
- Players get just two effort points to add to their characters at the start since they can shift around effort die values.
- I only have 4 stats: strength, agility, presence and intellect. None can be above 4 (you start with just 6 points to allocate). These core stats cannot be modified though I would allow players to shift these values a bit after an adventure.
- You mix base stats to get some derived stats. Strength and Agility gives Attack (attacking with weapons). Intellect and Presence gives Cast (casting spells). Agility and Intellect gives Evade (basically Reflex). Strength and Presence gives Resist (Combo of Fort and Will). This supports plenty of archetypes I think. These derived stats can’t be modified.
- Each base stat also has a bunch of associated actions (Sneak, Notice, Convince, etc etc). These are more or less skills. Each character type gets a set +2 bonuses to four of these. Like stats, I may let players shift these selections around as they play but they may only ever have 4.
- The lowest between Cast and Attack is added as a bonus to base DEF. This makes it so you can min max Attack or Cast but at a cost.
- Only 4 DEF can be gained from loot. The rest comes from their base value (see above). Players roll defense to avoid enemy attacks (against the room TN). Most loot that confers DEF just gives a +1 bonus.
- The d12 is only used for Hero Coin use and crits, basically.
- When they roll to recover (using Resist) and succeed, characters roll basic effort to see how much hp they get back (instead of 1+some stat).
- Loot is limited to 8 carried and 8 equipped.
- Characters are limited to 4 abilities. They start with 1 and can gain more with play. If they gain a fifth, they have to override one they learned before.
This should be compatible with most stuff in the ICRPG rulebook too.
So, fairly light weight and pretty easy to grok. I started with what I wanted to see in the character sheet and backed into the rules. My players gave me the thumbs up so we are a go.
Here is the sheet. Totally form fillable, auto-calcing and all that jazz. LINK
Edit: Sheet updated. Numerous changes. Able to click on the skills to “underline” what the character has proficiency in.