Tuesday, March 7, 2017

FF3e Houserules pt. 2

New Abilities
It was suggested to me that I should hack some stuff from FFd6 for use with FF3e. The first one isn't strictly canon FFd6, but it helps to make interesting characters. My Magicite Infused Thief, Rachel would pretty much be impossible without it. Been thinking about redoing her as a Cross Trained Thief/Red Mage. (Some of the abilities have been renamed)

Non-Job Abilities
Cross Trained
Level 8+
Target: Self
Type: Support Ability
Pick a class. The character gains all level 1 abilities of that class, as well as weapon and armor proficiencies, and gain an MP dice if they don't already have one, but retain HP Accuracy, Skill points and Aptitudes, etc. If the new class also gives expertise, the character gains that.

Subtract level when the ability is learned from total level and add 1 to determine effective level for gaining abilities in the new class. For example, if the character learned this ability at 8th level they act as if they are 7 levels lower for determining what abilities they can learn in the second class.

Different Strokes 
 Level 1
Target: Self 
 Type: Support Ability
The character has developed an unusual way of doing some things. Pick two skills. The character may trade the default attribute in those skills for another.

Infinite Arsenal
 Level 1
Target: Self 
 Type: Support Ability
The character is a master of using improvised weapons. If using the standard rules for Improvised Weapons found on p. 190, use the full weapon tier of your default weapon rather than half. If you don't have a default weapon, or are using the houserules I posed above, use full material tier rather than half. Furthermore, you have such an awareness of your situation that whenever an improvised weapon is used up, you can find another as a zero action. This ability can be used as an alternative to the monk's Brawler ability.

Defy Gravity (A New Resistance)
6 Points: Conditions of the Fatal type and Gravity subtype that target the character have their CoS halved after modifying for Evasion or M. Evasion. In addition, the character gains a Skill Affinity for Acrobatics. If the effect includes an ejection, the character is not immune to that effect, and the effect doesn't protect a character who has heavy objects fall on them by virtue of gravity.
Additional Options
This rule inclusion makes certain assumptions of the game world that aren't traditional of FF, but aren't really unheard of either--the effects of gravity.
  • Falls from a tall ladder or scaffold are probably equivalent to a Gravity spell.
  • Falls from a taller bridge onto a dry riverbed or a fairly high cliff are probably equivalent to a Demi spell.
  • Falls off of a mountainside or canyon are at minimum a Quarter effect that Ejects the victim. If the victim survives at all.
Demolisher (Advanced Trait)
Effect: The character's Strength Based weapons count as explosives for the purposes of dealing damage directly to the Durability of structures.
-1 Point (Tied): By spending 1 Key Point, a character can use his weapon's Strength Multiplier in place of Explosives Grade (up to x10 in the interest of maintaining compatibility) to attack the durability of a structure.
+1 Point (Tied): For 1 Key Point, any miss while inside a structure causes damage to it and bits of the structure may start to crumble around the party dealing (usually earth) Elemental damage equal to 10% of their maximum Hit Points for each Round spent in the structure; calculate this damage during the Status Phase.

Objects, Improvised Weapons, and Destruction
Basically I really had to dig for rules. I found that all objects have durability ranging from 1 to 10. I think it's probably fair to use Material Tier for this number.

Regarding scale, it can go from 1 (a trash can or crate) to 30 (large buildings) as an environmental feature, but I'd rather keep this consistent with Size Grades. This can be done by assuming that normally an object uses its longest dimension for Scale, but it can use its smallest dimension if that is significantly lesser (this would the large 4 foot tall trash can made of thin flimsy materials at scale 1 where it won't do any sort of absurd damage)

To advance Size Grade past 10, we can continue where it left off and multiply by 1.25 every time (at least for simplicity sake) and come to these numbers (which are admittedly rounded at my whim)

Scale/Size Grade Measure (in meters)
1           .1
2           .2
3           .4
4           .7
5            1
6            2
7            4
8            8
9            12
10          15
11          18
12          24
13          30
14          36
15          45
16          60
17          70
18          90
19          110
20          140
21          175
22          220
23          275
24          350
25          425
26          535
27          666
28          832
29          1,040
30          1,301

Improvised weapons deal (ScalexAttribute)+xdy where x is 1/2 Durability (Material Tier) and y is either d6 for Size Grade 1-3, d8 for size grades 4-6, d10 for size grade 7, d12 for anything bigger.

Reality Check:
It should be noted that the largest buildings are under about a thousand meters in the real world but nobody cares about that in Final Fantasy. Also, minimum durability should be no less than 1/3 of Size Grade. Note this applies to materials normally of a lower durability too. If a building is Scale 11, but made out of Iron Girders, it should not be tier 1, it should be tier 3 or 4. As well as the same Durability.

Explosives deal damage to Durability directly, based on their tier (1-10) we'll leave that unchanged, although it's noteworthy that if you want to use anything that's... say 1600 meters tall, you should probably try exploding it first.

FF3e Houserules

So back in the day, I used to peruse the giant in the playground forums because I had a strong desire for something different from your standard RPG fare. I looked over everything from houserules for porting existing systems to other uses, to 1km1kt and other 24 hour RPG sites, you name it, I'd give it a once over. I found one on giantitp called FFd6 that said it was based on the idea of simplifying FF3e Both systems are beautiful, but FF3e is complicated, and never had a bestiary. I've been trying to play the game for ages now, but so far I get GMs start a game, and fall flat. Anyway, there's a bit of an abrupt stop in FF3e's rules, so I thought of something they missed as a way of expanding them. (these rules will be crossposted on my discord https://discord.gg/JQ6jTvP)

Limit Breaks
Characters in Final Fantasy are famous for flipping out. They are able to use power beyond the potential of most humans. This ability is often unlocked at dramatic moments. Sometimes it is called Trance, Desperation Attacks, or Overdrive. Nonetheless, FF3e doesn't seem to have a system to replicate this. Or does it?

I noticed that the Monster Creation System has a nifty little XP/Gil Modifier system for creating monster attacks. Since we don't want players to throw limit breaks willy nilly, we need to establish some provisions.

Characters only limit whenever they are in dire situations, or when they have a lot of power to burn. The default rules allow for Key Points to be spent on certain special circumstances. As a result, Limit breaks occur either on a critical hit at 25% HP or less, or with the expenditure of 3 Key Points per level of the break. This is slightly worse than SOS Gain.
Characters limit breaks automatically hit. End of story.
The two modifiers roughly cancel out, and they're always on limit breaks, so those modifiers should be ignored when designing limit breaks.

Now on to the actual building of Limit Breaks. There are two camps that I'm aware of regarding limit break quality and quantity. The first wants 3 limit breaks, the second wants considerably more.

If you want 3, the limit breaks are gained at 15th 30th, and 60th level and are worth "Limit Points" equal 3x the level they are obtained at using the XP Modifier columns.

If you want 6, they are gained at 15th, 30th, 45th, 60th, 75th, and 90th level, and are worth twice the level they are obtained at using the XP Modifier columns.

Appropriate Limit Break Abilities

Attack, as well as any modifiers other than Auto-Hit or SOS Gain.
Add Status
Auto Status (until the end of battle)
Critical Attack
Elemental Absorbance, Immunity, Potency, Resistance (until the end of battle, possibly in conjunction with Weakness)
Field Effects
Status Resistance or Immunity
or Steal Status

Lengthy Limit Breaks:
In doing a bit of research into Slow Actions for incorporating some FFd6 stuff into FF3e, I found out that spells don't seem to have CTs, but do seem as if they might tick off initiative. This is similar to my view of Limit Break cinematics inasmuch as they seem to take a while depending on the game, but nobody can really interfere. It is with this in mind that I make the following suggestion:

If your limit break is worth more than 35 points, it is "Extremely Lengthy" Feel free to be extravagantly lengthy with your description, and throw what you think is more than 1 turn of detail in there (additional details on pp. 188-189)

Advantage Rules
Maximum Advantages
When you make characters, the book suggests you should have a total of 0 or less in Advantages and Disadvantages. This houserule would change that by allowing your starting total to increase by 1 for every 10 levels. With these additional points, you may buy off disadvantages, or purchase additional advantages at the GM's approval.

Vehicles using Animal Companion
As with Animal Companion, Vehicles have 10 points per Advantage Point they are worth. The following Animal Companion features are appropriate for vehicles:

Sentient (2)
Summoned (2)
Packrat (3)
Flying (changed, see below)
Keen Senses (5)
Large (5)
Very Large (10) Extrapolating from this cost, a Multipilot vehicle could feasibly be 20 points

Additionally, vehicles may have the following:
Provides Rest (Varies)
If a vehicle is at least Very Large it can provide rest. A Fitful Rest costs 2 points, a Travel Rest costs 5 points, and a full rest costs 10 points. (This one may be appropriate for hideouts as well)

Combat Statistics
Hit Points/Mana Points-A vehicle has HP as a normal monster with a Hit/Magic Base of 1, 2, 4, or 8 for twice that number of points (e.g. 2, 4, 8, or 16 points). Otherwise, the vehicle just breaks when it breaks.

Calculate Acc, M. Acc, Eva, M. Eva, DEX, and Mind as if the vehicle has the character's attributes.

Armor and M. Armor Base is the same as a monster (.5, 1, 2, 4, or 6) for twice as many points.

Vehicles may purchase Attacks, Action Abilities, Field Effects, Reaction Abilities, and Support Abilities (except Comeback, or Minion) at full price.
Movement Abilities and Spells at half price (round up to the next whole number).

Use the Gil Modifier price to determine their point cost. Typically Boss Abilities are not appropriate for player created vehicles.

Due to the speed with which they are resolved and the large number of potential ‘safety nets’ players have at their disposal in the event of failure, physical challenges should not yield XP or Gil. Rather, they are best treated as obstacles to be overcome on the way to a greater reward.
That's debatable, but it leaves me context for my next point:
As with physical challenges, overcoming a social challenge rarely yields Gil or XP.
I don't like that. It contributes to a pure hack and slash game. If you have a conversation that has world or region changing ramifications but doesn't result in combat, it should be worth XP.
The effects of failure depend on the stakes; attempting – and failing – to intimidate a powerful political figure, for instance, could well land the entire party in jail indefinitely.
Be that as it may, it's not really a valid reason to disallow the player to gain XP or other rewards where appropriate (and successful). I'll concede that it may not be appropriate all the time (negotiating for a sword never is, nor is 'Roll play' Epically describing what happens on your end may be grounds for an award though).

Where appropriate, an XP or Gil award for a physical or social challenge is worth a little less than a monster: 25 EXP or 10 Gil x level.

For reference, here is the default rule:
Because FFRPG monsters have no Skills, they cannot use Awareness to spot or track a party. Instead, they use Senses as a When creating the monster, give each of these Senses a Rating from 0 to 100. If a situation arises where one or more party members are using Stealth to sneak by the monster, use the highest rated Sense in place of an Awareness Rating for the Opposed Skill Test to see whether the monster notices. Conditional Modifiers imposed on the characters sneaking by should be appropriate to the monster's primary sense. Wearing camouflage will do nothing to fool a creature using Life sense, for instance – the only way to completely disguise yourself is to cast Zombie.
I don't really buy that monsters not having skills is a good reason for not giving them a default Awareness rating. It would be fair to assume they also have a base 30 awareness to be further modified as follows

Add a number of points equal to the monster's level, so a 1st level monster gets 1 to spend somewhere and a 10th level monster can tweak one or more senses up to a total of 10 points.
You may add points in one sense after that, but should subtract points from another sense.
Alternately, if you aren't sold on base 30, there are 6 senses so you could spread 180+Level points among the senses as you wish provided you don't exceed 100 in any of them or go below 1. The main reason for this rule is that it feels less arbitrary. If you don't mind the arbitrary, you can always stick to the default rule.