Draxia RPG – A Breakdown
Hello again! Today I will be talking about the Draxia RPG. I am going over the RPG as a whole, highlighting some of the more unique parts in it. I intend not only to provide information about the system, but give the reasoning behind it. In future posts this segment of the monthly blog will contain information about RPG game modules and new components being added to the system.
The core of the system is composed of a few key parts: dice mechanics, character creation, and the utilization of mana. Dice mechanics for the Draxia RPG system are exclusively D6s. In general, when dice need to be rolled, a player references the core attribute (such as strength) and rolls dice equal to the value. The result of the dice rolled is the sum of the dice plus any modifiers that may be present. If the result exceeds five more than the target needed for success, a critical success is made. If the result is five below the target for success, a critical failure occurs.
There are a few reasons I chose to make the dice system this way. First, it’s a simple system. Having a handful of D6s is easy to get, and rolling a couple of D6 dice and adding the values together makes a low barrier to entry to learn the system. In fact, at more than one convention I ran the systemfor a group of convention attendees where one or more had never played in a single RPG before. Within less than half an hour they were rolling dice confidently, taking their turn independently. The next reason I chose to use only D6 dice is for consistency. Rolling a consistent D6 set of dice and adding their values together provides a bell curve of scores, with the probability favoring the average of the dice. For example, rolling 3D6 gives a range of 3 to 18, with the majority of rolls resulting between 8 and 13. If a single D20 is rolled the range is from 1 to 20, with even probability for all values. Using multiple small dice allows for crazy low or high numbers to occur, but less frequently. Always using D6 dice provides a more consistent, balanced, and stable system.
Next up is Character Creation. Personally I find it frustrating when I play an RPG system that forces an archetype on me. I find a highly structured character class / leveling up system inhibits and limits how a Character develops. In order to allow players to do what they want with their Character, I created an Experience Point (XP) buy system. This means that a player is given Experience Points and is allowed to assign them wherever they want on their Character. For example, if you want your spell-casting wizard-like Character to have a lot of Health, you can spend Experience Points to increase his Health. Without designated character classes and levels, the player is allowed to create their vision for a Character.
The one downside to having this incredibly flexible Character Creation system is complexity. With three categories to spend Experience Points: Core Attributes, Skills, and Special Abilities, and multiple options in each category, there are literally thousands of ways to generate a Character. This can be daunting for new players. To help newer players (and experienced players who want the option to jump in with a different Character), I am in the process of creating numerous pre-generated Characters. I recommend novice players start with a pre-generated Character. As Experience Points are earned, it is simple to update Attributes, Skills, and Abilities to their base Character and gradually over time morph it into their own custom Character.
Finally, there is the use of magic in my system. I have spent countless hours pondering over how I want magic to work in Draxia. In last week’s blog post I went into great detail about how magic works and why. The challenge was developing an RPG system that kept the spirit of how Draxian magic worked, while maintaining a simple and easy to use mechanic. To satisfy both simplicity and depth, the magic system works by consuming mana out of an internal supply to fuel Spells and Abilities. During Character Creation, or Leveling Up, a player may spend Experience Points on mana-consuming Abilities and Spells. Each Ability and Spell has a defined mana cost. When a player wishes to use an Ability or Spell, they simply pay the mana cost from their internal supply of mana. If a player does not have enough mana, then the player must acquire more mana before they can use the Spell or Ability. To provide greater depth to my system, I developed comprehensive Spell Attribute tables. Through the use of these Spell Attribute tables, players can create custom Spells to fit their desired play style.
I consider the use of magic in the Draxian system to be the glue that holds everything together. By simplifying the cost of all magic down to an internal mana supply, it allows a seamless transition between physical and magical Abilities. Using mana as a universal power source means that both Spells and spell-like Abilities are limited by a player’s mana capacity. This simplifies a lot of bookkeeping many systems have to deal with. In most systems each Ability or Spell has a specific number of times it can be used each day. This means that every Spell and Ability must be tracked separately. In my system the only limitation to Spells and Abilities is how much mana a player currently has. In addition to mechanically simplifying Spell Casting, this system allows and encourages all players to use and enjoy magic, regardless of character type. The lore of Draxia says that magic is intrinsic to daily life, and the magic system designed for the RPG makes it a reality.
Here’s to Epic Dreams and Epic Ideas,
Lead Game Designer
Mythica Gaming, LLC
Have you heard? We officially launched our Kickstarter campaign for Legends of Draxia: Corrupted Mana! Don’t miss this chance to back us and get in on some cool rewards!