Saturday, November 25, 2017

Hackable: New Skill System for the Palladium Megaverse

Not long after starting to play Battletech and Champions 4E, my first miniature rules and RPG, I stumbled across one of Palladium's Magic of Palladium Books and it immediately hooked me. Soon after that, I bought Heroes Unlimited and realized, like so many others, that the system was a mess. 

As a novice gamer, especially after Champions' implicit rule for everything and how to build it, I was lost. Perhaps, if I'd had more exposure to games that empowered the GM I'd have realized that the gaps that were in place were there to be filled by your decisions.

While the system still bothers me, Palladium's Megaverse still fires my imagination. From my point of view, the designer feels the system is balanced through the skill system. A dragon, a thief, and mecha pilot all have very similar chances to succeed on what they are best at.

To that end, I've worked up an idea to adjust the skill system:
Instead of each Skill having a flat percentage chance and rate of improvement, the GM sets the percentage chance for the task at hand. Essentially, it's similar to D20 games, but instead of setting a DC of 15, you decide that there is a base 30% of success.

On the player side, you only look at the Skill bonuses at character creation and that bonus is added to the percentage chance to succeed. So if I had a bonus of 10% because of my OCC/RCC in a Skill and I had a 30% chance of success set by the GM, my total chance would be 40% or less.

As your character improves, starting at 2nd level you get an additional 5% at each even level in Primary Skills. Additionally, starting at 3rd level you get an additional 5% at each odd level in Secondary and all other Skills.

That's it.
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