member, 1434 posts
Mon 3 Dec 2018
at 01:53
IC: Enter the magical VR 3-Day endurance XP race

The Narrative premise
The idea here is that players are contestants for the latest Virtual Reality system update that connects all the city networks across the empire. The contest is a 3 day endurance run, where the contestants spend 3 days without exiting the system and try to beat the other teams by acquiring more XP and wealth before the time is up.

The players are randomly (in the narrative) formed into teams. Leaving the system, breaking the rules of gameplay (the stuff that would get you moderated or banned), or joining forces with other contestants will disqualify you.

Most monsters are of course just AI entities, but there will be other players in the VR game, some of which are rivals for the prize, others are not part of the contest.

Heavily modified Pathfinder.
The advancement and leveling is reworked so instead of 1-20 levels with a wide numerical power disparity, you get 1-100 with growth being more amount abilities while numbers grow slowly.

A few additional Ability scores to represent the difference between the "player" and their avatar's stats.

Math for many things is reworked but for the most part, the abilities remain the same.

An exception is that attacking and casting spells are now skill checks. Proficiency with weapons is simply having skill ranks using said weapon. Armor skill is generally not rolled (except for perhaps donning quickly) but instead reduces armor check penalty which in turn improves bonus to AC.

Armor as DR, 3d6 instead of d20, and spellpoint rules akin to those from Unearthed Arcana 3.x will be used.

An aspect of action economy, basically, if two actions can be done concurrently, then they can be done in the same round even if both are standard actions, but if they can't be done concurrently, then you can't do both in the same round even if they are standard and a move. Doing two actions will impart a penalty to the skill checks depending on the action types (standard actions are heavier penalty than move actions for example) though some actions don't get penalized such as moving over normal terrain.

A few spells will get reworked (though I'm only going to bother with most of them when they get selected by the players), though most changes should be rather obvious for "video gamizing" them, for example teleport requires "marking" a location as selectable for teleporting to later.

Purchase items requires finding them, or buying them on the VR auction house. Otherwise only basic items can be purchased from shops.

Damage types, Health/HP, and Resistances are reworked. Resistance works the same across all types, meaning DR is actually three resistances, Piercing, Slashing, and Bludgeoning, which work exactly like energy resistance. Bludgeoning doesn't do much but easily gets past armor, Slashing has lots of trouble getting past armor but is very lethal against unarmored targets, and piercing falls in between. Sonic is never resisted by equipment and is very good at AoE but tends to do little damage. Electricity is much like Sonic but with higher dmg however it is harder to hit with being touch or rays and never AoE. Fire is easily resisted or blocked but does the most dmg and is decent at DoT. Cold is easily resisted or blocked but instead of dmg is easily paired with secondary effects or dmg types. Acid is the middle of road jack-of-all-traits.

And lastly, the truly unique mechanic, is a double fatigue system. The point of it is to really make players feel the 3 days, as "Stamina" in the VR game usually only regenerates while logged out, but Stamina actually fills a smaller "Fatigue" bar which basically limits per-encounter usage. All magic and #/day and similar limited use abilities run from this Fatigue bar rather than slots/rests. Combat and other actions can suck up fatigue as well, which can then be modified by circumstances, such as being hot like when wearing a bunch of armor or fighting in a volcano, consumes more fatigue.

I really don't like railroading, but many of the scenarios I got as a Humble Bundle gift have a fair bit of railroading. The solution is what inspired this whole idea, basically, if the player's characters see them as game quests, then the narrative of the scenarios becomes separate from the narrative of the PCs, and then the scenarios can be completely railroaded without railroading the players, and some additional fun can be had with them as well that normally wouldn't be possible except in comedy one-shots.

Basically, I have a bunch of scenarios which I will reskin as quest lines in the VR game the PCs are playing, and quests are the fastest way to gain XP and loot. Though dungeons (sort of questless areas with lots of monsters and loot around a central theme) are good as well, though loot in dungeons is generally hidden or otherwise made difficult to find and acquire.

"Winning" the contest is the motivation for the PCs, and XP and gold are the two meters by which the winner will be determined.

There won't be any maps in general. I might use a few smart grids if I really need to for a scene, but mostly just going to rely on theatre of the mind.

Posting speed will be at least 4posts/week, though I can usually get a post every day, and even twice a day some days, however my schedule is chaotic and constantly changing, hence the 4posts/week benchmark.

Looking for 4-8 players preferably.


So what do you guys think?

Obviously, I need to type up more details on the mechanics, but I figured I'd check for interest before taking on that level of workload, after all, why do a bunch of work if no one is even intrigued, right?