Ninjas game (Text based, combat)

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Ninjas game (Text based, combat)

Post by Inspired » Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:54 pm

Hello Everyone!

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.)
The "basic" character has the following stats:
  • 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.
The "basic" character also has the following:
  • 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).
The Combat System (spoilered for brevity):
Combat takes place in turns which has the following elements:
  • 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".)
The combat actions happen in this order:
  1. Combat movement. Towards or away from somebody / something.
  2. 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.
  3. (Further combat actions. There is only 1 action per turn initially, but some skills/feats will enable more further on.)
  4. Combat Evaluation. Calculation of dealt damages at the end of the turn.
The 4 Interests that a player can choose from at start. Spoilered for brevity:

The Way of One Self
The individuals interested in one self seek to improve their physical attributes to achieve perfection. They initially focus on 1 of the following:
  • 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.
The Way of the Weapons
People always admire the flashy moves of the weapons. A true ninja is always mastering at least 1 weapon and the bigger show-off they can be, the better. And it also wouldn't hurt in knowing how to kill the enemy quickly and efficiently.

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.
The Way of Ninjutsu ("Ninjahood")
The body and the weapons are simple and secondary things for the true master of ninjutsu. They focus on the real art and craft of the trade that has many aspects and is deeply integrated to all parts of life.

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.
The Way of Internal Power (KI Training)
There are some people who can see that the world is much wider than the physical bounds, and the eternal life force, the KI is flowing through it. They learn to harness this flow of energy by learning one of the following at start:
  • 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.
Players chosing the way of the KI gain 3 KI upon start. These will be expended upon "casting" skills, but will be regained over time. The KI pool will grow slowly if it is used regularly and the effects will become stronger. There are secret/forbidden techniques than can be learned too later on which is the 4th, not listed bullet point for this interest family.
I deliberately did NOT list every skill and feat related to the Interests. I encourage every player who wishes to play to think up their "own" skill or feat and upon discussion I can give an "official" description of their thought-up ability. They can choose to accept that or look for another skill.

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.)
aka LooksAndSmiles, or L&S for short.

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Re: Ninjas game (Text based, combat)

Post by GathersIngredients » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:22 am

This sounds highly interesting to me. You also did a great job on the "skill trees"/main interest as you call it, I just read through them and I honestly don't know which one I would pick.

I would prefer the co-op, I really loathe PvP.

I don't have the time to come up with a char atm, as I will be leaving later today for a short trip. I should be back on Tuesday, but if the available spots are filled by then, I understand. :)
So, while I would be thrilled to play this, the main thing here was to give you feedback to your idea.

PS: "Welcome back" (I hadn't consciously seen you in quite some time, might be connected to the new handle) and I don't suppose you bringing back Minesweepers would be an option? o:)
Still getting used to the new forum, also waiting to post until it is "done".
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Re: Ninjas game (Text based, combat)

Post by Inspired » Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:35 pm

GathersIngredients wrote:PS: "Welcome back" (I hadn't consciously seen you in quite some time, might be connected to the new handle) and I don't suppose you bringing back Minesweepers would be an option? o:)
Yeah I'm lurking the comic and the forums rather irregularly, starting a game is intended to change this to a more regular event.

While I would love to GM the minesweepers again, unfortunately
1) All the relevant information was stored on the old crashed hard drive, I have to dig the backups in the hopes of finding the char/skill sheets and the art resources
2) Creating the accompanying art alone takes at least 1 hour for an update, I'm a slow drawer. I don't think I'm able to pull that off nowadays on a regular schedule. Since minesweepers is a fast paced game, I don't think dragging out updates to 3-4 days would be an option.
Some additional info for the game
  • Simple weapons do not require a fitting mastery to perform a basic attack (using the combat action to inflict the weapons base damage), so feel free to obtain a weapon of your liking (either as a heirloom or during the game). Who knows, you might find yourself proficient with it sooner or later...
  • Every ninja is trained in basic unarmed combat, which deals 1 damage (prone to DEF) in 0-1 range. The unarmed combat interest extends this to the possible limits of the character. (So if a player starts with this interest, they will already deal 2 damage unarmed (1 base + 1 from the interest).)
Here are some sample character sheets, to show some options:
A basic characterSPOILER_SHOW
Akira Wataro, (color: 0000FF)

HP: 5
STR: 1
AGI: 1
MOV: 2
DEF: 0
PER: 0

Interest: The Way of the Weapons
  • Quickdraw
  • Double slash
  • [Sword of the Young Wataro](Heirloom) - DMG: 3
The Wataro family is a well-known swordsman family. Many of their members became smiths, ninjas, samurai or teachers. They take great pride in their skills and weapons, and one could say they are quite eager to demonstrate this. Each family member learns the art of quickdrawing the weapon at young age, so they waste no time (combat action) in getting ready when it's about to get something (or somebody) done.

Akira was always mistified by the ninjas, and his personal hero is his great-uncle, Yemon, a well-known ninja who has been legendary by slaying 3 samurai clan chieftains in a single night when he ambushed them in a well-defended castle. Akira aims to learn everything about swordsmanship and he is proud of his double slash attack, with which he can attack the same enemy twice with the same action.
A character who traded the initial family skill to +1 itemSPOILER_SHOW
Jin Akitsuki, (color: FF00BF)

HP: 5
STR: 1
AGI: 1
MOV: 2
DEF: 0
PER: 0

Interest: The Way of Ninjutsu
  • Protocol and Traditions
  • The Art of Speech and Thinking
  • [Ring of Serenity](Heirloom) - +1 to stealth checks. The wearer is unlikely to being attacked first if there are other targets around.
  • [Silver Dagger](Heirloom) - DMG: 3 (ignores 2 DEF)
To be honest, Jin never wanted to become a ninja. She is the fifth daughter of a wealthy family and thus her life has been set in a marriage at a really young age. As it happens, coming to her adult age (and common sense) she decided she does not like the old, ugly fianc├® regardless of being rich or not. At a warm summer night she stole her mother's ring (which would have been the wedding gift), took a dagger at random from the armory cupboard, and left.

Soon she has been caught by ronins in the nearby forest, and surely would have met a gruesome fate, weren't for a young ninja who happened to be around, waiting for an important message coming through said ronins. It was a brief massacre when the expected price for the information and the views about genders didn't find a common ground, and the ninja and the girl left soon after. Jin was grateful for her life and obediently followed the ninja to his clan, but the bloodshed deeply scarred her. She despises fighting but she is quite bright and finds her way in getting out of sticky situations. She uses her intellect and womanhood to her maximum, both of which come handy with her knowledge of protocols and the art of speech.
A character who applied stat penalties to gain points elsewhereSPOILER_SHOW
Masao the one-eyed monk (color: 408000)

HP: 4
STR: 1
AGI: 0
MOV: 2
DEF: 0
PER: 0
KI: 5

Interest: The Way of Inner Power
Healing KI
  • Lay on Hands
  • Poison Resistance
Mind KI
  • KI Perception
  • [A Wooden Cup](Heirloom) - Grants the ability to disguise self as a beggar / travelling monk.
Masao was a young and proud ninja, always looking for trouble. On a faithful day, another ninja from a rivaling clan had enough of his antics and decided to kill him by poisoning his sake he so much loved to drink in a local night-house. The plan almost worked. Masao agonized for several days floating between the realms with his mind, but eventually came back to living. The poison had its toll: he lost one of his eyes and his health never quite returned.

But if you ask him, he might not be too troubled by that. The immense pain also opened something in his mind, soon after his returning he started to sense people around him, just by their life force, even if he could not see them. He also become quite resistent to poison, as he found out accidentally, when he ate a highly poisonous berry during his wanderings. He also noticed he can cure light wounds just by laying hands nearby the damaged area, which - along with the poisoning history - he took as a sign of the Gods to absolutely abandon his former self and dedicate himself in bettering the life of others and to train himself. He never abandoned the "ninjahood", but he focuses more on pursuing the knowledge of KI. He travels a lot as a simple beggar or travelling monk with his cup, and sustains himself on the charity of the generous or grateful people he meets.
I hope these examples get your creative minds going! Also to show that the rules aren't extremely rigid! You are free to create quirky characters, the game is meant to be fun...
aka LooksAndSmiles, or L&S for short.

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