Sunday, March 2, 2014

Non-D&D 'March Madness' Blogging Water Torture Day 3

3 Which game had the least or most enjoyable character generation?

Most would have to be the Dragon Half RPG. Roll your parentage (characters all had a high chance to be half - I rolled a half vampire - with HUGE effects on stats), choose a 'skill' - basically a profession such as 'cook, fighter, or prince', grab some gear and GO! At the time I thought the skill system was incredibly unfleshed out, but after discovering Risus I realize the game (1991 maybe?) was ahead of its time. Chargen was a nice minigame of chance, and unused characters were recycled as NPCs and significant others.

Least would have to be Ninjas & Superspies. My Zod it took hours for negligible effect. Only IQ affected skill percentage, so even strong or coordinated characters were out of luck if they were dumb. The whole thing felt like a con, which inspired the simplified chargen I included in my Palladium Patch. You know chargen is bad if it pushes players to create a different system.

Improved chargen works like this - forget rules as written. Characters start with  a number of skill slots ad determined by their OCC in games that include them, or the random roll background in games that don't. Players use these slots to 'make' skills, using the old Palladium nomenclature (without the arbitrary bonuses and percentages) or making up their own. For every slot spent, the player can choose one of the following:

- A skill percentage equal to an appropriate attribute x 1% (can be chosen multiple times for higher modifier)
- A + 1 to ONE combat roll (damage, dodge, parry, or strike, can be chosen multiple times as above)
- A + 1 to ONE attribute (can be chosen multiple times as above)
- For three slots, a character can get one extra attack)

For instance, you could recreate the original Palladium Climb skill of 50% + 5 per level for five slots, or make your own Climb skill of 30% plus + 1 to PS and PE for the same cost. Much more flexible, customizable and therefore fun.


  1. Good stuff! That is an awesome house rule for the skills. I just may have to use it.

    1. Thanks Charlie. I'll post the whole 'Palladium Patch' document again when it is done.

    2. I'm looking forward to seeing the Palladium Patch, since I've been unable to find it otherwise.

    3. I wonder if ole Kevin had something to do with sanitizing the net. I remember reading some good reviews of the Patch on the Palladium website. Anyway, I'll try to get it up as soon as I can get at it.