Sunday, 6 March 2011

Jupiter's Cock

It's a Spartacus RPG. Pretty much.



I.
You are a gladiator. Your stats are:
Head - dodge, wait
Arm - strike, block
Torso - resist, grapple
Legs - position, kick
By default all start at d8, except one, choose your strong point, that die starts at d10
in addition you can raise one by lowering another

Roar of the Crowd - both gladiators start at d8 by default. Winning an Exchange tips the scales like d8-d8->d6-d10->d4-d12 etc. The Crowd die is rolled into each exchange.
II.
EVERY TIME a die is rolled from your sheet (not including the Crowd die), you must tick it. Next time you roll that die, roll it as one step smaller for each tick. So a d10 that has been ticked once is rolled as a d8, ticked twice is rolled as a d6 etc.

Combat runs in exchanges. The first exchange starts when the beginning of the battle is declared. An exchange ends when someone draws blood.

If blood is drawn, the wounded rolls his Torso die and compares it to the result of the attack. If his roll is higher, he doesn’t have to tick his Torso die, despite rolling it. Otherwise tick. Either way, the exchange ends.

At the beginning of each exchange, a gladiator can erase ONE tick from ONE die on his sheet.
III.
So...battle begins. Each gladiator rolls their Crowd die and one of their ability dice, depending on what they’re planning to do.
The dice are summed, and the gladiator with the higher sum is considered to have the advantage. The loser can roll a gear or stat die, describing the “defense”. If his total is now higher, he has the advantage. If still lower, the victor can take the advantage and draw blood (if his action was such to allow it) or take the advantage forward and continue rolling into it. This back and forth continues until blood is drawn.

Weapons, when used for defense, count as one die type smaller. Defensive gear, when used for offense, counts as one die type smaller as well. So a d8 gladius, when used to parry, counts as a d6.

IV.
If the rules would require your Torso die to be lowered below d4, you are definitely defeated but not immediately dead.
If the rules would require your Arm or Legs die to be lowered below a d4, you lose an extremity and you are most likely defeated unless you're one crazy motherfucker, I dunno.
If your head die would go below a d4, you are decapitated.

Those are all pretty nasty so you can always opt to give up and ask mercy or just lie there.

Addendum: if you defeat and kill your enemy, please do describe his demise in the most appalling and gruesome manner.
V.
Gear:
Weapons - spear d12, gladius d8, knife d6, trident d10 everyone also gets a kick and fist d4 by default
Defense - net d6, simple helmet d6, murmillo helmet d8, shield d8, large shield d10, arm guard d4

Gear should be assembled so that the gladiators have more or less matching dice, but note that larger dice are generally better.

(More or less like this: murmillo: gladius, murmillo helmet, large shield, retiatus: knife, trident, net, arm guard, hoplomachus: spear, shield, simple helmet)
VI.
Victories in the arena increase your worth. Use your worth back at the ludus and your dominus’ household for leverage. I guess you can also invest your worth into starting off matches with a higher Crowd die by default.

This is subsystem no.1. There should be a subsystem for politics, a subsystem for commerce and trade, a subsystem for ludus management (like FIFA Manager) and a subsystem for TITS AND ASS.

10 comments:

  1. I just realized that having a high Torso might be totally completely broken, but hey, Theocles.

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  2. VII.
    Slaves have their own stats, Citizens their own. They don't need each other's because they don't do the same stuff. Citizens don't fight in the arena.

    In the case you do need stats for such an occasion, someone outside his element is all d4s with one d6. People who might actually have a knack for this (like soldiers) start out at all d6s with one d8.

    Transition between stations is possible, if rare. Citizens might become gladiators or slaves (like Varro), slaves might become gladiators (Crixus), gladiators might become slaves (Ashur), gladiators might become citizens (Gannicus). In such cases, use the reduced statblock, as above.

    VIII.
    Everyone has Desires. Desires are what you want to see happen in the game, what you want to see your character achieve.

    The stats are basically there to help you fulfill your Desires.

    Following your Desires is obviously rewarding somehow, but I don't know how exactly yet, because not all subsystems are in place yet.

    IX.
    Citizens have Wealth, Prestige, Power and Deviousness. I don't know what Slaves have, but it's cool.

    X.
    When you make someone else's desire your own (through oath, debt, allegiance, love or otherwise), you get a bonus die equal to his desire. Should you act against the desire once you have done so, anyone at the table may withhold a die of equal or lower value from you any time you roll.

    XI.
    Ludus management consists of Acquisitions, Training, Costs & Victories.

    XII.
    Love & sex exist as fulfillment, commodity and bridge between various stations.

    I think that's a playable draft right there, for my own personal uses. If anyone else wants this, ask if something doesn't make sense.

    A more complete text/ruleset sometime in the future.

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  3. [research material] Vincent said: "I was thinking about "people never accept their circumstances," but then, no, in fact people in Spartacus DO accept their circumstances, and way too readily, when they favor them. It's not quite that, it's broader, it accounts for both. But here's a thing I CAN say: when someone finally submits to you, that's the moment that you start to trust them, but it's also the moment that you can't trust them ever again.

    So what you have in Spartacus is a vast playing-out of this, in permutation upon permutation. Who imposes their will, and how; who submits, and how; who trusts whom, and how, and what comes of it; and all this across lines of class, status, sex, station and relationship. What happens to a friendship when one friend imposes his will on the other? A marriage? Master & slave? Colleagues? Lovers? Parent & child? When both are men, both are women, across sex lines? When there's a third person involved?"

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  4. Addendum for gladiators: there should probably be some way for gladiators to damage specific dice instead of just the Torso die, but I can't do that until I've crunched the numbers/played this.

    There will be a few other resources other than Gear to draw dice from other than Gear. Desire, Servitude and Training probably amongst them.

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  5. Winning in the arena can contribute to your dominus' Prestige and the training that his ludus bestows upon you can aid you in winning etc. Feedback loops.

    This is all just sketching out, I haven't really thought too hard about it.

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  6. Also, should use all the possible gladiator types and even unconventional fighters, like axe wielding dudes and stuff.

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  7. Will implement eventually. Additional gear: shin guards d4.

    Also, something I forgot to write: you can roll a piece of d4 gear, ticking it to 0, provided that it gets broken, disarmed or otherwise taken away from you.

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  8. Playtested a fight with Peter, it was fun and felt quite like the show, albeit it ran slower than expected. It drags a bit until the death spiral kicks in, then it's just a darn fastlane to hell.

    Design goal: get all the kick you get out of watching an episode of Spartacus in roughly the same time it takes to watch one.

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  9. From the playtest:
    *When you roll a tie, it's simply a tie. Roll as if starting a new exchange without any of the benefits of actually starting one.
    *Erase THREE ticks at the beginning of an exchange. If a gladiator has Crowd d12, for each extra exchange he wins, his opponent loses one refresh instead (so he erases only two, only one, none). This rule is still a bit weak.
    *Weapons will probably each have a specific little rule (although right now they work perfectly fine by description alone).
    *There MUST be some other resource from which the gladiators can bring in extra dice or reroll or whatever. As it is the death spiral is both too slow and too straightforward.
    *Actions need to be better defined in their effects. Stats should probably be renamed to something like Cunning, Prowess, Brawn & Speed - although I like the current naming.

    ReplyDelete