Saturday, April 14, 2018
I just playtested the very first version of the GUTS+ system with some friends today with great success! As we were playing, however, some questions came up about how stats were allocated and used. This led me to think about how I could refactor things to make them a little bit less ambiguous.
Regarding allocation, one friend asked if it was possible to allocate all 10 points to just 1 stat and leave the others at 0. While this is mostly a joke, it was indeed possible to do, which could lead to some interesting bugs in the gameplay. To fix this issue, I added a condition that stats were limited to a maximum of 3 points during the character creation process. In order to balance the stats a little bit more, I also decreased the number of points to allocate to 6 and now allow any stat, including base GUTS stats, to be set to 0.
I made some of the biggest changes to how stats are used and how they affect rolls. I’ve been wanting to distinguish stats in GUTS+ from other RPG systems by not simply having stats add or subtract from the values rolled, but in doing so, I originally made the stats hard to distinguish from the base GUTS stats. For example, if a character has a 3 in Gumption but a 0 or 1 in Weight Lifting, why would they ever roll using Weight Lifting? To fix this, I now emphasize the benefit a stat provides on top of the base stat. For example, having a 1 in Weight Lifting would add 1 point to Gumption if you were trying to knock over a tree. This not only increases the stat level you’re working with, potentially adding more dice for you to roll and influencing near successes in your favor, but it also adds a clear focus to your attempt and ties it back to the base stats.
One of my friends is also pointed out that while adding more dice increases the success rate for rolls, it also decreases the positive impact rate nearly as much as it doe the negative impact rate. To remedy this, he suggested adding a feature that allows you to add an additional die roll’s value to your roll whenever you roll a double. This increases the likelihood of positive impact for higher skill levels, which I believe reflects the character’s growth well, while at the same time adding a bit of luck to each roll that adds a more interesting “flavor.”
In addition to these changes, I also published the first version of the Getting Stronger page for the Player’s Handbook, which details how experience points earned and used. It is fairly small, but as I explore and test the system more, it is sure to expand with more details.
For now, thanks for reading, and I hope you like the adjustments!