I had an epiphany last night, I don't like battles in pbps, I probably don't like battles in tabletop either, come to think of it. So what can I do to minimize battles and eliminate unneccesary mechanics mostly geared towards combat and encourage roleplaying?
All dice used are six sided.
Base Dice 2 Standard six sided dice given for each roll.
Blue Dice - These are positive rewards for good roleplaying/ideas or given to further the agendas of another player, if their interests coalesce. The blue die's add to the base roll total.
Red Dice - These are negative penalties for lackluster roleplaying or to sabotage a roll.
Each player is given 2 Blue and 1 Red Die for every scenario to hand out to the other players, they cannot be used on your own rolls.
The GM is given 3 Blue and 2 Red for every scenario to hand out at will.
Each die must come with a motivation when given.
The actual roll happens once all potential Blue and Red Dice has been handed out.
Combat Rolls are normally best out of 3, but each roll needs to have a brand new action, IE you cannot say I attack, I attack again. It needs to be a different solution to the problem.
At the start of the scenario, the turn has come to Bob, Bob decides that his avatar Duke Herrington shall issue a reward to adventurers willing to clear the king's highway of bandits, he makes a little speech promising his oldest daughter's hand in marriage and a plot of land, plus a modest monetary reward. He asks the GM what roll is required, and gets the answer a Wealth roll is the most suitable.
The other players at this point, makes their intentions clear. Susan liked Bob's little speech and decides that he is worthy of a blue die.
Tim on the other hand, decides that he doesn't want the trade road cleared, as his harbours are making more money that way, so he gives Bob a red die to try and thwart his plans. The GM decides neither to help nor interfere but decides that an easy roll of 8 will suffice, and so Bob makes his roll.
He starts out by rolling his two base dice (2d6), he gets a 1 and a 2, not a very good roll at all.
He then adds his Wealth Score to the roll, Duke Herrington is very rich with a 5 in wealth, so he gets to add 2 from the modifier.
He also has the Wealthy Feat, giving him an additional +1, so now he's up to 6, still not enough though.
Luckily, Susan was generous enough to give him a blue die, so he rolls another d6 and gets a 5!
Now he's up to 11, things are looking good, he even passed the Normal DC, and could expect some additional goodies.
Unfortunately, Tim was not so generous, and so Bob now has to roll his 1 red die, another d6, and gets a 2.
He subtracts 2 from 11, and ends up with 9. He no longer passed the Normal DC, but all is good as he still cleared the Easy DC, and so Duke Herrington manages to hire adventurers to clear the trade road, much to Tim's chagrin. But all is not lost, as Tim no doubt will try other ways.
If you're rolling against an established DC and reach the next tier, additional benefits may occur, pending GM discretion.
No skills whatsoever. Only roleplaying and quick thinking.
All attributes have a maximum of 5, which would give +2 modifier to a roll related to such an attribute.
Semi Random Point Buy : You start by rolling a d4 for each stat, you then get 10 Points to spend in Point Buy. If this is a secondary character, such as an heir, you also get to add +1 for two attributes, namely one of the highest stats for each parent. You also take a -1 penalty for two attributes, from one of the lowest stats for each parent.
Full Point Buy : 25 Points to distribute as you wish throughout 9 attributes.
There are a number of ways to distribute the points, either specializing in a few areas or go the jack-of-all-trades route.
Remember, no attribute can be higher than 5 or lower than 0.
0-1 You're disabled or impaired in some manner. However, certain special feats may actually benefit from low scores in certain abbilities.
2-3 Is the normal range for an average person.
4-5 Is above normal, may even have a special reason.
Strength (0 = Paralysed, 5 = The Hulk ain't got nothing on you)
Constitution (0 = Dying or morbidly obese, 5 = Healthy as ten horses)
Dexterity (0 = Missing finger(s)/thumb(s)/hand(s)/arm(s), 5 = Your fingers are so bendy they might even bend backwards)
Intelligence (0 = Retarded and/or illiterate, 5 = Geniuses come to you when they get stuck)
Wisdom (0 = Insane or really really naive, 5 = You used to sit on a mountaintop somewhere delivering sageyness)
Charisma (0 = Tourettes/Severe Aspergers or just an uncurable arse, 5 = I love you, no really I LOVE YOU)
Foresight (0 = You're surprised every time the sun rises, 5 = You're never surprised, in fact you probably planned the whole thing)
Wealth (0 = With a good mortage you might afford a beggar's cup someday, 5 = Even the Gods owe you money)
Appearance (0 = Deformed, horribly scarred, 5 = A living Adonis/Aphrodite)
Humans - Gets 1 Bonus Feat.
Tieflings - Gets +1 Charisma (Cannot exceed the maximum limit of 5).
Additional Races may be added due to Player actions, but are not available at the start of the game.
Certain Feats may also exist to give an edge to certain situations. Each player starts the game with 2 Feats. Additional feats may be awarded because of certain actions or at the end of a scenario, pending GM discretion. Each feat can only be chosen once.
Agile : +1 To climbing, crawling, contorting and evading.
Athlete : +1 To running, jumping and swimming checks.
Brawler : +1 When engaged in fisticuffs.
Cunning : +1 To outsmarting, losing tails and seeing through schemes.
Equestrian : +1 To riding related checks using a horse or similar creature.
Fencer : +1 To attacking or defending while wielding a sword.
Fire Resistant : +1 Against Fire or smoke damaging effects (Tiefling Exclusive Feat).
Human Ingenuity : +1 To invention and innovation checks (Human Exclusive Feat).
Human Perseverence : +1 To endurance checks brought on by exhaustion or straining (Human Exclusive Feat).
Iron Guts : +1 To resist poison, alcohol, fear and most negative food related effects.
King Maker : +10 To increase the chance of having a male heir (Queen Maker cancels out this Feat).
Large Horns : +1 To intimidation checks, charging enemies and unarmed combat (Tiefling Exclusive Feat).
Lockpick Artist : +1 To open locks, doors and handcuffs. (This skill does not stack with Prehensile Tail).
Mad Scientist : +3 To invention and innovation checks, cancels out Wisdom penalties, (Your Wisdom must be 0, does not stack with Human Ingenuity or Brilliance)
Marksman : +1 To any ranged attack made by you.
Mentor : +1 To teaching and aiding another's skill check (must be present to do so).
Prehensile Tail : +1 To open locks, escape from bindings, trip or disarm enemies (Tiefling Exclusive Feat).
Queen Maker : +10 To increase the chance of having a female heir (King Maker cancels out this Feat).
Silver Tongue : +1 To bartering, diplomacy or cooercing checks.
Strong Blood : +10 To increase the chance for an infant heir to survive onto childhood.
Strong Genes : +10 To increase the chance for an heir to inherit Feats from the PC parent.
Wealthy : +1 To hiring, purchasing and renting.
Generating an Heir
When creating an heir, start by rolling 1d100, an infant generally have a 60% chance of survival, with some possible beneficial/detrimental factors such as enviroment, general wealth of the province, investments from the parent or specific Feats. So anything from a 1 to 60 means the infant survives.
Once you've gotten that far, roll another 1d100 : 1-50 = Male, 51-100 = Female, depending on certain Feats, such as King Maker or Queen Maker, these numbers could change to increase the chance of a specific gender being born.
The age of the heir is determined by this formula; 1d(Youngest Parent's Age -15), OR if you don't have access to a chatroller, (Youngest Parent's Age -15) / 6, rounded down. Roll that many number of d6s, that's your heir's age.
Side Note : This step is only neccesary at the start of the game. Other heirs born during game time will age as normal.
Next, do the Semi Random Point Buy generation for abbility scores, remember to add a +1 and a -1 from both parents (this might be something you need to consult the GM about).
And finally, in alphabetical order, you roll a d100 for every Feat the PC parent has. Once again you have a 60% chance (1-60) of inheriting the Feat, unless the PC parent has the Strong Genes Feat, in which case it's a 70% chance (1-70).
You can only produce one heir per year, unless the female in the relationship has a miscarriage. You need not neccesarily spend time with your spouse for this, as your PC could always produce Bastards on the side.
Wounds, Lack of HP, and More About Heirs
First of all, there is no HP. That doesn't neccesarily mean you'll get one-hit-killed, but the potential certainly exists. Instead, if worst comes to worst and your ruler meets un untimely end, your oldest heir will act as a sort of Continue. As long as you have heirs you can continue playing. But of course, succession is a tricky business, and siblings, parents and other nobles are all potentially eager for your throne. If you do get booted out of your castle, the game still needn't end. If you can rally allies to reclaim it, or maybe you just end up going Robin Hood or what have you.
When you create your character, you also roll for starting heirs (1d6). You can have as many as 5, all in possibly different ages. If you roll a 6, you have no heirs. Then you roll another d6 to see if you have any bastards on the side, you can have as many as 4 bastards, 5 or 6 means you have none. Bastards are special in the sense that they also act as continues, but if their lineage is found out, it's very likely a scandal, with the possible exception that the normal bloodline has been wiped out. Obviously it's much harder for a female to have bastards on the side, and in those cases the bastards will replace the normal heirs. A man on the other hand could have slept around in any number of taverns and noone would be the wiser. This is of course terribly unfair, so if you do not agree with this, some magical means of a covert conception could possibly be deviced, or maybe just call it fat and use deception, there are ways available.
Wounds, when you take a wound, your ability scores are lowered. Temporarily or permanently depending on the severity of the wound. This is true for ALL ability scores, including Wealth, in the form of debts.