I always wanted to make a nice game about ninjas. Ideally it would be graphical, but life has shown me that I neither have the resources or the time to produce art for that. I know there have been attempts (both me and LAYF had ninja game ideas) and I also know they didn't get far.
Thus, I'm only making a survey now of who would be interested in another attempt. I'm providing more info below:
- The game will be text based. I'm not the best GM so descriptions might lack, but feel free to ask for more details where necessary.
- The game has two modes: In story mode the players are free to move around and interact with each other / NPC / objects. In combat mode their actions are bound by the combat rules, and their character sheet stats matter. (Kind of like a classic Pen&Paper game. Or kind of like a LSN's game without the awesome art he always provided.)
- 5 Hit Points (HP): Representing their life. If it falls below 0, they die.
- 1 Strength (STR): Representing their physical strength. Modifies some weapon/skill bonuses or interaction with objects.
- 1 Agility (AGI): Representing their agility. Modifies weapon/skill bonuses or interaction with objects.
- 0 KI inner power (KI): Ki (or Qi) is the inner power of one. Basically mana in games that have casters. Only ones trained with KI can use it, they start with 3 KI. (See later at Interests).
- 2 tile combat movement (MOV): The amount of tiles a player can move within 1 turn in combat mode. This would be nicer in a graphical game, but I'll try my best to describe everyones position as best as I can. Maybe I'll be even drawing ugly combat maps. The amount of tiles that can be moved can be increased or decreased based on skills/feats/equipment/actions. (It will be stated appropriately.)
- 0 Perception (PER): Since it is a ninja game, the perception is an important feature. It is not a "stat" in the sense as it would constantly influence a combat, it is bound to perception checks. A perception check can be called either by the player or the GM, in which a player throws a D10 and the result will determine the success, the higher score, the better. The perception stat symbolizes a bonus to the thrown result, which can be further influenced by circumstances (like the presence of "noise" for an action (e.g. fog/smoke bomb for visual checks, creaky floor for stealth checks, etc. )
- 0 Defense (DEF): Physical defense provided by armor or skills. Reduces the damage taken. See Combat.
- A main interest: A reason they chose to become a ninja. Interests are basically the groups of skills/feats/traits a character can learn. There are 4 interests, and a character can only have 1. They are able to learn things from the other interests too later on, but far not that deep as they can in their chosen one.
- A family heritage: Each ninja is proud of their ancestors, and they hone the tradition their family brought them up with. Players are free to create their family heritage, which grants them 1 free skill/feat/trait, and 1 free item at start.
- Inventory: Since the ninjas will be on the move, they don't carry much: A basic set of ninja clothes (required for stealth), a starting weapon if they chose weapon mastery, the family heirloom, and special items (if they chose specific interests).
- Players post their actions for 1 turn. Their actions and the enemy actions will be evaluated in the order they posted, modified by certain events generally depending on the character's AGI stat or related skills/feats.
- Each action will have its effect calculated for the turn, even if the character dies in the same turn before they get to their action. (Except for surprise kills or successful "disarms".)
- Combat movement. Towards or away from somebody / something.
- Combat action. Generally an offensive or defensive move. Note that drawing a weapon initially counts as a combat action if it was concealed prior to battle. (A good ninja wouldn't hold their weapon in hand all the times, it raises suspicion. Also makes climbing more difficult, for example). Perception checks during combat do NOT count as an action as they will merely alter the results.
- (Further combat actions. There is only 1 action per turn initially, but some skills/feats will enable more further on.)
- Combat Evaluation. Calculation of dealt damages at the end of the turn.
The Way of One Self
- Honing the body. Developing a good strength or constitution is the base of a fruitful life. They start with +1 to one of the following of their choosing: HP, STR, DEF. They will be able to learn related feats, for example: quick regeneration, staggering blows, iron body, intimidation, etc.
- Honing the skills. Rather than wasting time on building muscles, they focus on getting good with the actual usage of their body. They start with +1 to AGI or MOV. They will be able to learn related features, for example: ambidextrosity, nimble moves, quickness, etc.
- Honing the mind. True knowledge in one self is exploring their mind as best as they can. They start with +1 PER. They will be able to learn related feats, such as: anticipation, eagle eye, concentration, etc.
- Mastering the body as a weapon. The followers of this interest don't look at their body as a "start" of their existence, more like a "means" to get the inevitable fighting done. They start with a +1 stat of their chosing (except KI). They can start learning combat skills such as: combat kick, disarming blows, locks&grapples. They also gain +1 to damage when unarmed in combat.
A masterer of a weapon can choose 1 mastery at start, accompanied by the appropriate weapon:
- Dagger mastery. Daggers are easily concealable weapons with short range. Hiding or drawing them costs NO combat action, but has to be stated in the text. Their effective range is 0 - 1 tile. (0 tile is close combat). The basic dagger deals 2 damage and ignores DEF stats. Damage can be modified by AGI and related skills. Related initial skills are: bleeding cut, precise stabs, defensive slice, etc.
- Sword mastery. Bigger weapons with a large variety of damage. Hiding or drawing them costs 1 combat action. Effective range is 1 - 2 tile (inefficient in close combat). The basic sword deals 3 damage but is prone to DEF modifiers. Damage can be modified by STR or AGI, depending on skill / situation. Initial skills can be: quickdraw, double slash, parry, hilt strike, etc.
- Staff mastery. Comes in 2 flavors: short staff and long staff. Hiding or drawing them cost 1 combat action. Effective range is 1-2 for short staff, 1-3 for long staff. A basic staff deals 2-4 damage regardless of size (depends on material) and prone to DEF modifiers. Damage can be modified by STR or AGI. Initial skills can be: quickdraw, wide swings, leg sweep, concussive strike, etc.
- Throwing weapon mastery. Throwing weapons can come in a range of size and type (Daggers, axes, shurikens). Hidig and drawing them costs NO combat action. Effective range is 0-1 if held in hand, 1-4 when thrown. Damage is 1 ignoring DEF in hand, while thrown they differ by type. Generally 1 - 3 damage which may or may not ignore DEF partially. Damage cannot be improved by raw stats but skills can modify it. Hitting an enemy in range might result in an AGI check. Throwing range can be improved by certain STR and AGI requirements. Characters not having throwing mastery can NOT use these weapons, only in handheld mode (except shurikens which might cause self damage). Initial skills: multiple throw, precise aim, evasive attack, feign throw, etc.
- Ranged weapon mastery. Such as blow weapons, bows, crossbows. Hiding ad drawing them costs 1 action, loading them too, unless managed to preload them. Effective range is 2 - 5. No melee use except for the bamboo staff of the blow darts (counts as staff). Damage depends on the projectile and cannot be improved by stats but some skills might modify it. Range depends on the delivering weapon (certain bows can have longer range) and STR. Hitting an enemy in range might result in an AGI check, especially if the character has no mastery with ranged weapons.
- Chain weapon mastery, such as ropes, chains, meteors, kusarigama. Hiding and drawing them costs 0 - 1 action, depending on size and whether they are wrapped around somewhere. Effective range is 0-3 depending on size / type. Damage is 1-3 and prone to DEF. The main utility of them are restraining the enemy (and easy way to hide/carry) with skills.
- Polearm mastery, such as naginata, scythe, lance. Hiding them on self is impossible, should be either always held in hand, or carried cleverly fixed to the back/side somehow. Are concealable if they are left "somewhere", e.g. pushing a cart of hay or something. Drawing them costs 1 action. Effective range is 2-3. Damage depends on weapon. Skills are similar to staves and swords.
- Special weapons mastery weapons that require additional training such as nunchucks, 3-part-staves, forked-daggers, etc. The usage of them requires the special weapon mastery, else they are unusable. Damage and related skills depend on the exact weapon.
Players can choose 2 of these upon start:
- Protocol and traditions: Knowledge of ninjutsu masters, clans, prominent families and related outsiders. Also the proper ways of social interaction, including the secret clan signs (all own signs +1 different basic clan signs).
- Weapon smithing and maintenance. Ability to create, repair and recognize weapons. The basic grasp of working mechanisms allows them to perform a basic attack with any weapon even without training.
- Item crafting and maintenance. Ability to create, repair and recognize items and tools. This includes gaining bonuses at creative (and ordinary) usage too, for example climbing attempts with climbing tools, etc.
- Poison and medicine. Ability to create or recognize poisons and herbs. These will generally require PER checks, which of course have bonuses for people with this interest.
- Trap mastery. Ability to create and detect items and weapons specifically used as traps.
- The art of stealth and concealment. Bonuses to hide weapons / self / company by knowing where and how to hide. Also basic knowledge of substances for similar effects (black blade coating, etc). Bonuses to PER checks when hiding or trying to notice someone/something.
- The art of speech and thinking. The ability to learn from and teach skills to other players when given enough time. Bonuses to story mode attempts at verbal interactions, combat skills consist of recognizing the enemies actions in time ("what would a ninja do") upon successful checks.
- Combat KI Training. Using the KI to alter stats in combat, temporary increasing base stats or recieved / inflicted damage.
- Healing KI Training. The recovery of self or company via channeling the eternal life force into the individual.
- Mind KI. Using the power of KI in creative ways, such as persuading enemies, increase awareness (PER checks) or temporarily gaining information or feats/skills.
Learning new skills requires using the already existing ones (in case of passive skills they will just generally add to the progress), and the GM will sometimes just say "a new (general) skill" can be learned, or sometimes "a new (specific) skill" can be learned, if the preconditions are met.
I'm waiting your opinions and / or applications! (If the latter: IGN, color, backstory (family heritage), main interest.) Taking 4-5 players in one group, or 6 that are in two groups. (State your preference. 1 group is coop, 2 group mode might not be.)