Let’s Talk Mechanics


What’s your favorite ICRPG mechanic/rule and why?


I think my favorite mechanic is the LACK of mechanics! Keeping brevity in the forefront of the system allows the rules just get out of the way and let your players focus on the story/ doing cool and creative stuff. It also leaves the door wide open for all the beautiful hacks and home brews we all enjoy so much on this forum. But sincerely, if I had to choose just ONE mechanic I would go with the grid less distance and movement ranges. Close, Near, Far, and Double Far are all I need at my table. I actually made a post about how great this measurement system is a while back. A “Handy” chart on calculating distance . I am excited to see what all the other lumpy heads like as their favorite rule/ mechanic.


My favorite is the room target :stop_sign: for sure…meeting or beating that is simple and easy to keep track of for everyone.


Do we have to pick one and only one?


Effort, for sure!

It can represent progress on a large or granular scale. It can be damage sustained during a fight, favor within the halls of a guild, your razor thin lead in a race, or the tense place between someone hiding and someone looking for the intruder.

I use Effort everywhere to create a more crunchy level of gameplay, or to abstract large pieces of time to see what happens in that time. I love to assign tangible mechanics to gameplay, and this method really lets my players feel what they’re doing.


If I have to pick one, effort would be my first choice too for reasons @Chaologic stated above.


Non-scaling health — cuts down on fight times for sure and keeps the game feeling stressful all the time.


Hahahaha. Yep! Just one. :smirk:


While I think Effort is truly the most important central theme in ICRPG. My view of the best and most underutilized mechanic is LOOT.

If we stop, step back, close our eyes and take a deep breath before opening our eyes again, we can see that any level of complexity we wish to add to our game to give tone to the mechanics can be done through loot. In some ways the magic book, is just about loot. It’s almost the only part of mechanics that it truly plays with.

I really flipped my opinion on this, cause I thought of loot as loot in any game, but it is sooooooo much more. It is our biggest lever.


This. LOOT provides dynamics.


I do have to agree when I started using effort it was a total game changer. I use it all the time! I only chose movement because it seems to be more utilized by my table. Effort is so versatile for anything you wanna accomplish that takes more than 1 round to do. I love it


Ayup defo LOOT for me too.
It adds, changes and breaks the few rules that are already there.


I’ll go with the TARGET mechanic (plus it’s EASY and HARD variations)


If I have to pick just one, then I would say the death rules. They encourage the players to look out for their companions and drive tension and uncertainty into the game. When a character goes down, the others party members need to think hard about dealing with whatever they are facing or dropping everything to go to the aid of their fallen comrade.


Picking just one…it’d have to be TARGET. This took all the hard work out of GMing for me. Having 3 or 4 ACs on the board was unnecessary. Use the law of averages to your benefit and if a player wanted to do some simple or crazy task…EASY/HARD.

(Honorable mention…Effort.)


The Easy/Hard adjudication system is probably my favorite mechanic. It makes so many decisions super easy in the moment, so everyone can move on without a break in immersion.

But there are a few other awesome ones (in my estimation) that I haven’t heard yet, so I am curious to see if any other responses flood in.


Inventory rocks too: 10 carry/10 equip. I love how simple that is, so you don’t have a huge backlog of items you don’t intend on using or loose track of. That’s why I made LOOT cards, to just hold your inventory in your hands and “play” them like a card game. In other RPGs there are ridiculous carrying capacity rules or no method in place at all.


Definitely LOOT, it allows a more freeform structure for character building. It also makes classes so simple to hack apart and customize.

Though using hp for magic is my close second.


Ah good one!! I might have thought of that but we run with MP in our campaign because of the Final Fantasy trope mechanic


I would have to say the easy (-3) and hard (+3) target modifiers. This is so simple that it may be easy to overlook but its hard to ignore its elegance (see what I did there?). This is a perfect adjustment for levels of difficulty in my opinion. As a player this is cool but as a GM I can see it being even cooler!