Combat, Rules and System: Julien’s Ask Me Anything
You asked and Julien answered! Since our backers had some questions on the rules system, we decided to open up the comments and find out what you really wanted to know about. We're excited to provide you some additional information on how the rules were developed and how they work. While there were questions on Shards and Magic, we didn't get to in depth with those as there is a full update scheduled to go over them, so keep your eyes open, Chosen Ones, we have more to come!
How far are the rules developed and playtested?
Julien: As you guys might know, GODS rules are based on the TOTEM System I created for another RPG I’m working on-- a creepy post-apocalyptic one named Vermine 2047. The system wasn’t initially designed for GODS, but Bastien and I felt it would fit perfectly with the flavor we wanted for the game. I’d say we have almost 70 to 80% of GODS rules-to-be already developed, functional, and play tested, as they use exactly the same mechanics as Vermine. We just need to to make some tweaks to the TOTEM system for GODS, so we can find the best names for Traits, Skills, Specialties and options. However, we already have the rules, lists, and mechanisms stuff ready. And it works great!
How many attacks and actions can we get per combat round?
Julien: Only one attack is possible per turn, but you can defend and take as many actions as you want in a round. However, each additional action has its Difficulty increased by 2, up to a maximum of 10. So, if your opponent strikes first and urges you to defend, your attack’s Difficulty will then be increased by 2 – and if there's more than one and they attack you twice, you will then attack against +4. Only « Fast » weapons, such as darts or short knives, allow to hit more than once in a round, as well as advanced Combat Techniques such as Counter strike, All in or Charge, etc.
What are the basic initiative mechanics during a combat round?
Julien: Initiative in GODS is called Reaction and rolled only once before the first round. Players roll Reflexes + Awareness against 5, 7 or 9 according to their character’s state as the combat beggins – 5 if they actually start the fight, 7 if they’re armed and ready, and 9 if they’re surprised or unprepared. The more Successes you get, the faster you will act. If I get 3, my character will be able to take actions at 3. If my enemies rolled 4, they will attack before me. Reaction is rolled once and works for the whole combat, but each time a new round opens, you can tap in your Reserves to increase your Reaction rank and act faster in this round.
What will be the main Traits of weapons?
Julien: Gear Traits are not only for weapons, but also for armors and any combat-usable gear, as they summarize common combat technical effects such as heavy weapon, resistance to fire, or area of effect. We are considering 5/6 basic Traits and a few advanced/specific ones for the exotic stuff. Each Trait is a keyword followed by a value. An Heavy (3) weapon will request for a minimum 3D Strength value to be handled in combat or inflict a -1D penalty. An Area (10) spell or fire device will inflict its Damage in a 10 meters area. A Piercing (2) weapon will reduce the armor protection by 2.
What are the different « Damage type » you mentioned?
Julien: There are four kinds of Damage: Blade, Choc, Fire and Special. Each weapon, spell or effect inflicts a given type, and each armor or defensive spell ensures a more efficient protection against a given type. Swords, knives, arrows, bites, and claws all inflict Blade Damage. So, if you’re wearing a 2/5 (Blade) armor, any Damage you take will be reduced by 2, but Blade type Damage will be reduced by 5.
What will be the average soaking values for armor?
Julien: Average armors will ensure a 2/3 base Damage protection and a +2/+3 specific protection. A leather-based light armor would be 2/4 (Choc), and a good old fashioned full- plate metal armor provides something like 3/6 (Blade), with an Heavy (3/4) Trait coming along with a -1D penalty.
Will there be specific body zones that can be targeted?
Julien: No, we’re definitely not into that"let’s hit the 3rd unprotected toe" kind of game. We just want armors to cover part or all and to apply a (I) or (III) Handicap to hit an unprotected area, which will reduce the armor’s Damage protection to 0. If your opponent is fully-armored, you will need 3 more Successes to hit an unprotected area. If you succeed, its protection won't apply.
Are they rules to have a own “home” Castle, tower, etc?
Julien: No, not for now. The way we see the first scenarios, characters won’t be at home often enough to wash the dishes…
Is magic like a D&D grimoire or more like an personal creation of spells like Ars Magica?
Julien: Both. Not exactly like D&D nor Ars Magica indeed, but magic in GODS comes in very different ways: Divine magic and Favors inspired by the Gods; Sacrificial magic which always comes at a cost; and a more primal freeform magic.
Will Cultists be playable characters as well?
Julien: Sure! Why wouldn’t they? Who’s gonna hunt and kick these bloody Chosen One’s ass otherwise? : )
What are the Shards made of? How do they work?
Julien: Well, we would need a full chapter to deal with the Shards, but we can give a brief overview. Basically, Shards can be anything. Any item, weapon, helmet, jewel, book, or even coin can be a Shard, as long as it's made of something that connects its bearer directly with a God.
Once they’ve been found by a Chosen One, Shards do the Spiderman thing: great powers, great responsibilities. If you already had a look at the recent Parties & Characters update, I would say that Shards somehow work like a Party. The connection they create with their bearer provides Bonuses and Special abilities and becomes more powerful as its Level increases, but also comes with Goals, Rules, and Taboos. I was about to mention a basic "Evil War God Sword" Shard example to illustrate, but let’s make it easier: Elric’s Stormbringer as a Shard. See how the sword creates a bond with Elric? She feeds him with power, but she demands for souls in return, and she expects Elric to act according to her vision, if not her rules. And whenever Elric refuses to kill and stands against her will, she abandons him and stays silent.
How many different Gods are they?
Julien: Hundreds. Thousands. None anymore. There were actually one God for any single thing in any single community, but they’ve all disappeared - haven’t they?
Will there be options to create, define or shape new Gods?
Julien: Thou shalt have no other Gods before me! Hmm. Sorry for that. Well, we ARE considering some rules for players to create/custom/tune their own minor Gods through the Shards creation rules. We’re careful on this, however, as "let’s create some gods" it’s not the very purpose of the game. We’re more about "let’s wake up the Old Ones and celebrate!" : )