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Campaign Creation => Homebrews => Topic started by: sparkletwist on October 19, 2012, 07:08:35 PM



Title: Q&D (Quick and Dirty) - 2nd Edition Revised
Post by: sparkletwist on October 19, 2012, 07:08:35 PM
Quick & Dirty - 2nd Edition Revised

Note: The Quickest and Dirtiest yet

Once again, I have made some comprehensive revisions to Q&D to address some issues the second edition had, most notably the complaint that it is sometimes not all that quick, and more dirty than it's worth. Major work done on the merits and flaws system was the biggest change. As before, though, it should still (hopefully) be recognizably Q&D, though.
The "Quick & Dirty System" was originally something I hastily threw together for a couple of games. It has since grown, thrived, and expanded, and I was pretty pleased with the result, which was Q&D1. I then made Q&D2 in an attempt to fix some of the issues, and while it was a partial success and did see some play, ultimately I felt there was still room for improvement. This revised edition of Q&D was thus born. Special thanks to Seraphine_Harmonium and the rest of our Cad Goleor group, Hoers, and SA for testing and suggestions for prior iterations of Q&D.

For those unfamiliar with Q&D, it is designed to be a fast, simple, rules-light system. Q&D's inspirations are the fast and simple approach of OD&D, adding in elements from Fate, Wushu, Apocalypse World, and other games that focus much more on creating a fun story and game together than worrying excessively much about crunchy details.

The principles behind Q&D are:
Simple and Fast
These rules do not attempt to be "simulationist" or accurately model anything. Simplicity is generally valued over ensuring absolute consistency. This is by design. Everyone is sitting around trying to tell a good story and have fun, and the main purpose for these rules is to allow for random elements (and the random whims of players) to take that story in fun and interesting directions that nobody thought of previously. As such, the "rule of cool" is very much in play, as well.

Transparent mechanics
Players and the GM should be familiar with Q&D's rules: there aren't many, so hopefully it's not too difficult. Q&D does have a decent number of tables, but, don't worry, this isn't Rolemaster, so they're pretty simple, too. The point of all this is to help keep the game "rules light" but avoid too much reliance on pure GM fiat for adjudicating outcomes.

Players act, NPCs react
What this means is, players are the ones instigating actions and throwing dice. Actions are resolved from their perspective; the complication system is rather PC-centric, and the idea is that whatever happens, the game system is designed to model what happens to them. For NPC-on-NPC encounters, the GM can try to roll and figure something out, but the best thing to do is just go with whatever is expedient for the story. For that matter, let players spend an AP to temporarily hijack an NPC, and they're then in charge of what happens.

Get to the point already. How does it work?
Task resolution in Q&D is based around the roll of a d20, plus a number of d6's. The d6's are called skill dice, and vary depending on a character's number of levels in a given skill.

The difficulty is then subtracted from this roll. Difficulty might be a static number, or it might be an opposed roll; situational bonuses and penalties will also affect the difficulty, of course. If the roll is opposed, use the opponent's skill dice. It helps to have two different colors of dice, so the entire thing can be resolved with a single throw of a handful of dice. Throwing around handfuls of dice is fun.

Using values other than just multiples of 5 is encouraged and fun. These are just examples.

0 = Mundane. Any idiot can probably do it. Maybe not even worth rolling.
5 = Average. A decently difficult task for an average person.
10 = Tough. It takes skill or luck, and preferably both.
15 = Hard. Most people can't manage, but intrepid heroes can.
20 = Heroic. A very difficult task for even heroic heroes!
25 = Climactic. How will they ever get out of this one?
30 = Epic. Perhaps impossible?!?!

(As mentioned above, vs. someone else, the difficulty is the opponent's skill dice plus whatever bonuses, though unimportant NPCs can just use static values for simplicity)

Skills
They can be whatever you want, really, but here's a good starting point:

Athletics - Physical tasks. Moving quickly, dodging ranged attacks, lifting, and so on.
Melee - Fighting physically, whether it's fists or swords, or defending against the same.
Ranged - Making attacks from a distance, whether it is guns, thrown weapons, or whatever.
Perception - Knowing what's going on. Spotting things that are amiss.
Charm - Talking to and getting to know people in a generally agreeable fashion.
Persuasion - Being a bit less agreeable. Presence, leadership or outright intimidation.
Deceit - Lying, cheating, and stealing. Also covers hiding and sneaking.
Knowledge - Science, lore, or whatever the character is good at.
Occult - Having a sense of that which is beyond. Useful to resist (and maybe cast) magic.
Willpower - Enduring and surviving, and otherwise dealing with hardship.
Vehicle - Operating a car, driving a carriage, or anything else involving a steering wheel.

Feel free to add more or less depending on what kind of game you want.

With this suggested skill list, around 20 points worth of skills makes a pretty competent character, 25 points starts getting into badass territory, and 30 points is for players who just want to be awesome at everything-- but who doesn't? You'll need to vary the points if you make big changes to the skill list.

Example!

For example, if Mr. Billingsley is attempting to punch Ugly Lucy, he would roll a d20 plus 3d6, because his Melee skill is 3. Ugly Lucy would roll 2d6 to oppose, because her Melee skill is 2. Thus, the roll would be d20 + 3d6 - 2d6. If he was instead trying to smash through a brick wall with his bare hands, no opposing skill dice would be rolled; instead, the difficulty would be... 20 or so, probably.

Results
Results are adjudicated as follows:
- 1 or less = Epic fail. Possibly embarrassing, and other bad things might happen, too.
- 2 to 7 = A regular and mundane (yet total) failure.
- 8 to 9  = Narrow failure. An AP can make it into a success.
- 10 to 13 = Success with a negative complication. (See below)
- 14 to 19 = Full success.
- 20 and up = A total success, with added bonus awesomeness. (See below)

Example, continued!

So if Mr. Billingsley rolls a 10 on the d20 and an 8 on his 3d6 and Lucy's 2d6 come up 9, the total is (10 + 8 - 9 =) 9. A narrow failure! He can spend an AP or just accept that he's not very good at punching women.


Sometimes it's more fun to just roll and see what happens, such as when a character is doing some tangential task really out of his element, or the stakes aren't really high but a roll would still help give the game some (random) direction. These are called Chance rolls. Chance rolls aren't connected to a skill, merit, flaw, difficulty, or anything like that. The character simply rolls a d20 and whatever happens, happens, according to the results table.

Sometimes this system is too complicated and you just want to know if you pass or fail.
A simple roll is... simple! Often, simple rolls are called for as part of a larger action.

Roll a d20 + skills and subtract the difficulty. Then:
- On 10 or less, you fail. Bad things happen.
- On 11 or more, you succeed. Good things happen.

So what's this AP stuff?
Awesome Points, usually known as AP, have a lot of uses.
Players can...
Spend 1 AP to "buy off" a negative complication, as long as you can narrate how.
Spend 1 AP to make a declaration about the current situation that is relevant to what your character is doing.
Spend 1 AP to get an extra action when time is of the essence.
Spend 1 AP to refuse a hard compel.
Spend 1 AP to compel an NPC. (The GM can veto anything too bizarre or out of character)
Spend 1 AP during some downtime to uncheck three merits.
Get 1 AP for reaching a significant milestone or otherwise advancing the plot.
Get 1 AP for accepting a compel.
Get 1 AP for roleplaying in a way that is like imposing a compel on yourself.
Get 1 AP when rolling a 6 on "bonus awesomeness."

Characters start the adventure with 3 AP. They then carry over from session to session.
You can only have a maximum of 10 AP, so use them or lose them!

What is a Compel?
A compel is a situation where the character carries out an action that is not in his or her best interest, but it's quite reasonably what that character would do. A character's flaws are, of course, a great place to start, and many of a character's compels should be based on flaws. However, a character's merits may also provide inspiration, as they don't always necessarily lead to good things. Once the group is more familiar with everyone's characters, situations where they may act in ways that cause themselves trouble start becoming more and more apparent, and compels can become more freeform, as everyone gets a sense of what a certain character would do. Mechanically, a compel should have about as much impact as a negative complication, a list of which is given below.

There are two types of compels, hard and soft.
- Hard compels can be accepted for an AP, and the player must pay an AP to refuse. These are for situations where a character's own nature suggests a certain course of action, or there is a tough decision to be made.
- Soft compels can be accepted for an AP, but it costs nothing to refuse them. These are for when the GM wants to dangle a tempting option in front of a player but make it a purely optional course of action.

But what if you have 0 AP and you want to refuse a hard compel? You still can. Players in Q&D should never be forced by the GM to act in a certain way. However, you'll be at negative AP, and you can't actively spend AP until you're back above 0. The GM can (and is encouraged to) give enemies a +5 bonus at an inconvenient time in order to "pay for" this negative AP. Each time an enemy gets this bonus against a character, one of that character's negative APs disappears.

Negative Complications and Bonus Awesomeness
If the GM has a good idea for what to do (or the players suggest one!) just do that instead of rolling, otherwise consult these tables.

Negative Complications:
(1) Less than expected = It's still a success, but it's not really the success that you hoped for. It's still not a total failure, though. Half damage, lackluster success, or whatever.
(2) Unfavorable circumstances = This success messed something else up. Your next roll (or the next one that seems appropriate) has a -5 penalty; another character can volunteer to take this penalty if it seems fitting.
(3) Extra problems = You succeed, but the GM introduces some additional bad stuff.
(4) Do it again = You have to make an additional simple roll, usually with a different skill. If you fail that one, you totally fail at whatever it is.
(5) Hard bargain = You can succeed, but it's going to cost something else. Spend resources, take damage, or whatever... or you fail.
(6) Tough choice = You can either fail, or succeed but have to do something you probably didn't want to do. Treat it sort of like a compel.

Bonus Awesomeness:
(1) Critical success! = Whatever you were trying to do, you do it completely awesomely. Roll an extra damage die, benefit from resoundingly successful skill use, or whatever.
(2) Favorable circumstances! = This success also made something else easier. Your next roll (or the next one that seems appropriate) gains a +5 bonus; you can also "pass" this bonus to an ally if it seems fitting.
(3) Extra goodies! = Something else unexpectedly good happens in addition to your success.
(4) Bonus action! = You succeeded so fast you have time to spare. Immediately take another action.
(5) What happens now?! = You get to take over the narrative for a short bit, sort of like making a declaration, or you can choose any outcome on this table.
(6) Awesome Awesomeness! = You did something that adds to your character's overall awesomeness. Collect an AP.

The idea behind these tables is that all rolls should be made from the player's perspective, as the narrative (and the game) should revolve around them.
These should depend on the situation, but here are some ideas:

Extra Problems:
- For an attack, the enemy adds some sort of combat maneuver for free.
- More enemies show up, or an enemy you're already fighting gets another turn right now.
- Move to the bottom of the initiative roster or lose your next turn.
- Immediately take d4 damage, or, worse, immediately suffer 1 harm.
- Maybe just give a -5 penalty to something, if you can't think of anything else.

Extra Goodies:
- For an attack, add some sort of combat maneuver for free.
- If allies are nearby, an ally shows up at an opportune time, or an ally who can help you gets a turn right now.
- If enemies are getting the better of you, move up the initiative roster to the top.
- If a character is hurting, recovering 2 stress is probably good.
- Maybe just give an AP or a +5 bonus to something, if you can't think of anything else.

Merits
While skills represent core competencies, merits represent those little knacks for certain things that can aid a character. The exact names for merits are chosen by the player: these can represent a profession, a hobby, a talent, a strongly held belief, or any other detail that adds some color to a character and can add an edge to a given application of their skills. When a merit applies to a given roll, the character gets to roll a bonus d6.

A merit should have a short list of two or three skills or situations where it's applicable, with the number allowed dependent on how specific the merit is in general. Players have a lot of freedom to define their merits, but the GM gets the final say as to what is an acceptable merit. In an opposed action, only one character is allowed to get a merit bonus, and the more specific merit always gets the bonus. Using a merit can lead to nice benefits when a character acts in a way that suits his or her nature, but players must also be careful that their characters do not become overly predicable or act in situationally inappropriate ways-- both players and the GM should remember that the use of merits always colors the action somehow.

Characters start with three merits. The first time a player uses a merit, place a checkmark by it. The merit is then said to be "checked." To use a checked merit requires an additional drawback, which can be something situationally appropriate chosen by the GM, or rolled from the table below.

It is sometimes obvious how the application of a merit might affect an action. If the mechanical impact is not so obvious, though, the GM can always just roll on this table:

(1) Compelling = You immediately receive a hard compel related to the merit. It can be taken to gain an AP or bought off by paying an AP, as usual.
(2) Pay It Forward = Your merit's bonus doesn't help only you. An enemy gets a +2 bonus on a future roll, too.
(3) Raise the Stakes = The merit's bonus applies, but, if the roll ends up failing anyway, the consequences of failure become proportionately more severe.
(4) No Pain No Gain = Suffer d4 damage, or you can't use this or any other merit on the current roll.
(5) Change of Plans = The use of the merit alters circumstances slightly. This can be mostly flavorful, but might have some ramifications for the game's story.
(6) Lucky! = The merit applies especially well in this situation. You just get its bonus and don't have to change or do anything.

Meritorious Example!

Mr. Billingsley is once again attempting to punch Ugly Lucy. This time, though, he'll roll d20+3d6+d6, because, as before, his Melee skill is 3, but this time we're also considering his Brash Man of Action merit. However, if Ugly Lucy had an Expert Pugilist or other such merit explicitly related to hand-to-hand melee combat, it would be more specific: she'd get her bonus instead, and Mr. Billingsley would not be able to use his merit at all. In this case, Mr. Billingsley's merit is not checked, so he simply places a checkmark by it and calls it a day. Had it already been checked, he'd have to face an additional drawback: for example, perhaps the GM rolls a 1 on the Merit Effects table and decides that in order to get this benefit, Mr. Billingsley will have to live up to being a "brash man of action," and compels him to charge into combat without any regard for his own safety. He can collect an AP to accept or, since is a hard compel, he must pay an AP to refuse.

Flaws
Nobody is perfect, and characters generally also have flaws. These are essentially the opposite of merits. Much like merits, flaws are chosen by the player, only this time they reflect situations where the character has problems or may not be quite so competent. Like a merit, a flaw influences the action it affects, only it reduces the number of d6's rolled by one, or imposes a -4 penalty if no d6's are being rolled. Other characters may suffer this penalty if it seems situationally appropriate to the flaw. Each time you suffer the negative effects of a flaw (even if it's someone else's flaw) you may uncheck one merit. There is no side benefit if you have no merits checked, so make timely use of them; it should generally be permissible for player to use a fitting merit without checking it on the very next action, thus "saving" up the flaw's benefit, but, in general, this sort of bookkeeping legerdemain should be kept to a minimum and not devolve into a sort of secondary meta-points system.

Characters should have to suffer the consequences of whatever flaws they choose, of course, but don't go overboard. Characters shouldn't have penalties continually heaped on them. Generally, the GM should only invoke a character's flaws once or twice per scene, and only in scenes where that character is doing a lot. In all cases, it should add color and challenge to the game, not just seem like a way to arbitrarily punish players for being clever and/or rolling well. The single exception to this rule is the (generally rare) circumstance where an enemy has a more specific merit that seems to directly oppose the flaw. In these cases, the enemy is assumed to have a special talent at exploiting that particular weakness, and can inflict a penalty every time it comes up, and the character does not get to uncheck any merits at all! (The GM should still not be too harsh; give more slack to a player who gets the hint and tries a new approach!)

Characters should start with two flaws. Characters can also choose to take one more flaw to get one more merit, starting with 4 merits and 3 flaws. Taking both merits and flaws related to the same thing is a good way to show a double-edged ability.

Flawed Example!

The GM points out Mr. Billingsley's flaw of Drunken Lout and states that since he's staggeringly around drunkenly, it results in him losing a d6 on his next Athletics roll. Alternatively, perhaps he accidentally shoves his ally, Madison James, giving her the penalty instead. As long as this chain of events is in effect, the GM won't punish Mr. Billingsley further for being a drunken lout (or cause Madison any further problems if she took the consequences) but other characters are still fair game, of course. Whoever got the penalty in the above situation would get to uncheck a merit, as well.

Damage, Stress and Harm
Characters in Q&D have two distinct ways of keeping track of bad things happening to them: Stress and Harm.

When characters take stress, it does not necessarily mean an attack has hit them, or at least hit them with full force. Stress damage represents fatigue, inconveniences, bumps, small pains, mental difficulty, and so on. On the other hand, when a character's stress allotment is used up, taking harm represents real physical (or serious psychological) harm. Most damage causes stress first, then inflicts harm. Characters recover all of their stress at the end of each fight or other scene, but harm heals more slowly, typically requiring medical attention or magical healing, or at least a good amount of rest. In terms of game time, harm should last an entire session of play, and contain at least one scene in which the harm negatively impacts the character. Harm also counts as a flaw and can (and should!) also be compelled, which will introduce further complications-- but also gives those characters another source of AP so that their wounds are not too crippling should they need to push onward.

In general, what exactly deals damage (and what kind) should be dependent on the tone of the adventure. Getting a pie in the face may count as a normal hit in a slapstick comedy adventure, but hardly mean anything in one based on gritty combat. Specifically nonlethal attacks may only ever deal stress damage, and inflict extra temporary flaws on characters who have no stress left. Anything else should just be handled with a normal roll and adjudicated appropriately.

Player characters can take (Willpower+10) stress and half as much (rounded up) harm before they are out of action. Enemies can just follow the 2:1 ratio without worrying about Willpower: moderately worthwhile enemies will have 8 stress/4 harm, while a boss enemy taking on an entire party might have 20 stress/10 harm. Other enemies need not even follow these ratios, like weak enemies with 5 stress/0 harm; these unimportant enemies could also simply be taken out by the first good hit.

Characters taking stress are not really affected by it in any game-relevant way, though players may occasionally roleplay a close call or a minor injury. It is ephemeral enough they are able to just shrug it off. On the other hand, any time a character takes harm, that character also suffers the equivalent of a negative complication for each two points of harm done. This is to reflect how the injuries suffered will negatively impact the character's performance. As mentioned above, a character that has taken harm also counts as having an additional flaw.

Characters that have taken all of their stress and harm are out of action and no longer participating in the scene. In the case of enemies, they are likely dead, or at least incapacitated. Most of the time, their fate isn't even important. As for player characters, they'll usually need some help getting back up. Should the group wish to involve the death of player characters, it is a good idea to talk things out beforehand and decide under what circumstances that will take place. (Don't wait until someone is on the ground before deciding what to do about character death in your game!)

Damage is dealt as follows:
d2 damage = Vermin and other nuisances.
d4 damage = NPC lackeys, improvised attacks, and other weak weapons.
d6 damage = A "standard" weapon used by a player or featured NPC.
d8 damage = A tough weapon, usually used by martially focused player or big monster.
d10 damage = A really strong weapon used by a boss enemy or huge monster.
d12 damage = An extremely dangerous attack, such as powerful magic or explosives or something like that.
(If there is need to increase a die above a d12, start adding dice: d12+d2, d12+d4, d12+d6, and so on.)

A "weapon" doesn't have to be a physical weapon. A kung fu master's fists are a perfectly acceptable "weapon," for example.

Characters also get bonuses for skill and luck. All of these bonuses stack.
- If the skill used in the attack is 3 dice or above, the attack does +1 damage.
- An attack that used a merit and/or targeted an enemy's flaw adds +1 damage.
- An attack that benefits from a previous combat maneuver adds +1 damage.
- In addition, an attack that hits at 17 or 18 does +1 damage. At 19 or higher, this increases to +2.
(Against player characters, that's a missed dodge 3 or 4 for +1 damage, and at 2 or less for +2 damage)

Stressful and Harmful Example!

Mr. Billingsley fails to dodge a shark attack, rolling low enough to suffer +1 extra damage. Worse yet, his enemy took advantage of one of his flaws and has a Melee skill of 4, adding two more damage. This means he'll be taking d4+3 damage, and, as his luck would have it, he rolls a 7 total. He's already been taking a beating in this fight, so he's down to only 3/12 stress. He loses that, and he'll also have to take 4 harm. He suffers two negative complications on future actions for this hit, as well being considered to have an extra flaw related to his injuries. He's in pretty bad shape with 0/12 stress and 2/6 harm, but he just got attacked by a shark, so he ought to be in bad shape.

Combat Maneuvers
Instead of attacking, a character can opt to perform a combat maneuver instead. Decide what you want to do, and pick an effect from the Combat Maneuvers table (an adapted version of "Bonus Awesomeness") that seems to suit it. Alternatively, describe a fun and audacious combat stunt and roll then a d6 and let the whims of fate decide. Either way, roll an appropriate skill (Melee, Ranged, Athletics, Deceit, etc.) against an appropriate defense (Melee, Athletics, Willpower, Perception, etc.), and apply the effect on a success. Any of those bonuses can be used for yourself, or "passed" to an ally who has a turn coming up.

(1) Expose a Vulnerability = One future successful attack made on the target will do +5 damage. It does not have to be next attack, but should be soon. This already includes the bonus for using a combat maneuver, but not any other damage bonuses.
(2) Get the Advantage = One future roll made against the target will get a +2d6 bonus, or the target will get a -2d6 penalty. It does not have to be next roll, but should be soon.
(3) Create Confusion = The player that created confusion specifies what the target does, as a sort of limited compel it must accept. The GM can veto anything too ridiculous.
(4) Stand Guard = Prevent the target from doing anything at all, or prevent all enemies from attacking a given ally or location. This lasts until the guarding player's next turn.
(5) Dirty Trick = Do something situational that gives you an advantage in combat. It should be similar in scope to the other effects listed here.
(6) Aid Awesomeness = Do something for free that would normally require spending an AP, or help an ally do the same. It still requires a turn if it otherwise would, though.

Special Abilities
In addition to their skills, merits, and flaws, characters in Q&D can get certain special abilities. These abilities are essentially Q&D's version of class features, feats, advantages, or whatever. A list of some possible choices is provided, but groups are encouraged to vary the available special abilities depending on the theme of the game, and players and GMs might even want to try making up their own once they have a feel for the approximate power level given by a special ability.

Starting Q&D characters normally get two special abilities, but special abilities depend heavily on the game, so this may vary.

Athleticism (Requires Athletics 3) - You get a +2 bonus to all Athletics rolls. You can increase this bonus to +2d6 for your next roll by spending an AP.
Berserker (Requires Melee 3) - You can go into a combat frenzy, during which time all of your melee attacks and maneuvers get a +2 bonus, as well as intimidation attempts using Persuasion, Willpower rolls to shrug off adverse effects, and other such things that would be aided by being in a berserk frenzy. In addition, no matter how badly you miss, you can always spend an AP to hit with a negative complication, which should be related to your frenzy. However, the frenzy ends when the combat does; it cannot be turned off at-will, and skills like Knowledge, Charm, and Deceit have a -5 penalty while it is active.
Center of Attention - You really shine when you are the star of the show. As long as you're the center of attention, you get +d6 on all your rolls.
Divine Favor - Someone somewhere smiles upon you. If you spend an AP and pray (or perform some other suitable ritual) for a short time, you can roll an extra d6 on the skill of your choice for the rest of the scene.
Extra Awesome - You gain 1 AP at the beginning of every play session, in addition to whatever other AP you might gain.
Fierce Attack - You attack powerfully and without hesitation. Your weapon damage die is one size larger. In addition, on a successful hit, you can spend an AP to add +5 damage or add an automatic combat maneuver.
Hexes (Requires Occult 3) - You can make combat maneuvers using your Occult skill, usually opposed by Willpower, but sometimes by the enemy's own Occult.
Jack of All Trades - You have a wide range of abilities, but are master of none. You get a +2 bonus on any skill roll made with 3 dice or less. If you only have 1 die in a skill, you can spend an AP to increase this bonus to +2d6 for your next roll. (i.e., you roll 3d6 for the skill)
Maneuver Master - All combat maneuvers you attempt get a +2 bonus, and a successful maneuver can, at your option, also deal d4 damage.
Meritorious - You get two extra Merits.
Natural Charisma (Requires Charm 3) - You get a +2 bonus to all Charm rolls. You can increase this bonus to +2d6 for your next roll by spending an AP.
Simple Soul (Requires Willpower 3) - You are not affected by the esoteric, subtle effects of magic. Attempts to resist enemy magic get a +5 bonus, and you can use Willpower even if you'd normally have to use Occult.
Sleight of Hand (Requires Deceit 3) - You can make combat maneuvers using your Deceit skill, usually opposed by Perception, but sometimes by the enemy's own Deceit.
Sneak Attack (Requires Sleight of Hand) - As long as it is plausible you could go unnoticed, before your attack, you can make a simple roll with Deceit vs. an enemy's Perception. If you succeed, you can immediately roll your attack with +2d6 and use one die size larger than normal for damage. However, failing the initial simple roll instead gives the enemy a +2d6 bonus to defense, or causes a -7 penalty against a static target number.
Toughness (Requires Willpower 3) - You are tough. Enemy hits have their damage reduced by one die size, and enemies can never score critical hits or get a damage bonus for your bad dodge roll. Pests rolling a d2 simply cannot damage you at all.
Vision (Requires Perception 3) - You get a +2 bonus to all Perception rolls. You can increase this bonus to +2d6 for your next roll by spending an AP.


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty)
Post by: Kindling on October 21, 2012, 01:48:46 PM
Love it! I've been mulling over the idea of the PCs always actively rolling against passive NPC/environmental difficulty ratings myself, but I think you've implemented it far more elegantly than I would have, and the Negative Complications/Bonus Awesomeness tables are great :)


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty)
Post by: Numinous on October 21, 2012, 03:02:02 PM
I like it a great deal.  Seems like it would breed Fiasco style games with more randomness from the dice, but that might just be the example combat interfering with my idea of the game.

The only point of curiosity and/or worry I have about it is the skill system.  I feel like having a variable number of existent skills in conjunction with a static number of points to spend could lead to problems of a character creating someone useless, although I guess that could be solved via communication about the style of game to be played.


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty)
Post by: sparkletwist on October 21, 2012, 03:11:13 PM
Thanks guys for the feedback. :)

Kindling

I've been mulling over the idea of the PCs always actively rolling against passive NPC/environmental difficulty ratings myself
I think it makes the players feel more involved, and kind of suits a game like this. I'm not sure how it would work in other games.

Numinous

Seems like it would breed Fiasco style games with more randomness from the dice, but that might just be the example combat interfering with my idea of the game.
The example combat is a bit zany, I admit. However, this game is designed to create a lighthearted, fun, cooperative game, so you might not be too far off the mark with that.

Numinous

The only point of curiosity and/or worry I have about it is the skill system.  I feel like having a variable number of existent skills in conjunction with a static number of points to spend could lead to problems of a character creating someone useless, although I guess that could be solved via communication about the style of game to be played.
That's a good point. I designed those numbers of points to be used with the provided skill list, or one very similar to it. If the skill list is drastically different, the points will have to be modified. I'll note that.


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty)
Post by: Bordermarcher on October 25, 2012, 10:33:41 AM
Not to mirror what other have said too closely, but I think this sounds like a fantastic system, especially for one-shot or xp-less games. The Awesome Points are definitely a nice touch, and they seem infinitely easier to use than a lot of similar mechanics (Cortex's Plot Points come to mind). Is there a way for players to earn APs other than getting an Awesomely Awesome result on a roll, or do you intend for the amount to be limited?


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty)
Post by: sparkletwist on October 25, 2012, 04:59:35 PM

Bordermarcher

Not to mirror what other have said too closely, but I think this sounds like a fantastic system, especially for one-shot or xp-less games.
Thank you!

Bordermarcher

Is there a way for players to earn APs other than getting an Awesomely Awesome result on a roll, or do you intend for the amount to be limited?
Yes, this is listed above:

AP

Get 1 AP for playing out a character flaw
Get 1 AP for accepting a compel from the GM
Get 1 AP when rolling a 6 on "bonus awesomeness."
What this means is, essentially, that you get 1 AP whenever you do something that would be in character but ends up harming you. If you originate the action (and the GM approves) then it's playing a character flaw. A compel is when the GM asks you to do something-- probably because it'll enrich the plot and create interesting complications. This concept is borrowed quite heavily from FATE.


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty)
Post by: Seraph on October 25, 2012, 07:24:21 PM
I really like this too, actually.  I definitely always love degrees of success and failure.  So much more interesting than one number being generic "You succeed" and one below being "You fail" without any other input.

I also really like that players roll for dodge (or block or whatever) when it is relevant and that this is still accomplished with just one roll total, even if it does end up being a shit-ton of dice (which as you mentioned can be fun too).


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty)
Post by: sparkletwist on November 06, 2012, 07:04:55 PM
Added a very basic stress/damage system.


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty)
Post by: Rhamnousia on November 06, 2012, 07:08:29 PM
I want to live in whatever Bollywood-pulp universe your example takes place in.


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty)
Post by: Seraph on November 06, 2012, 07:15:39 PM

sparkletwist

Added a very basic stress/damage system.
And in so doing, addressed a question I was just going to ask.


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty)
Post by: LoA on November 06, 2012, 07:29:12 PM
I love this system! You should make a pdf version of this.


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty)
Post by: Seraph on November 06, 2012, 08:09:21 PM
Actually, another question: do you plan, or intend for character flaws to be handled in a structured (or semi-structured) way, ala Aspects in FATE?  Or just let it be "any roleplaying that causes problems at the moment earns an AP?"


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty)
Post by: sparkletwist on November 06, 2012, 08:42:40 PM
Thanks for the kind words. :)

Seraphine_Harmonium

Actually, another question: do you plan, or intend for character flaws to be handled in a structured (or semi-structured) way, ala Aspects in FATE?  Or just let it be "any roleplaying that causes problems at the moment earns an AP?"
The second, mostly. It is quicker that way!
I've noticed that FATE compels are often shoehorned into what aspect most fits whatever the GM and/or players want to do at that moment anyway. So for a light system like this one, there is no need for excess structure.


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty)
Post by: Rhamnousia on November 07, 2012, 12:52:03 PM
Any plans for equipment rules?

Edit: Nevermind, just saw the bit about weapon dice that I'd missed the first time I read it.


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty)
Post by: sparkletwist on November 07, 2012, 12:58:33 PM
I changed the stress rules from fixed at 10 to being more flexible. More in the spirit of Q&D, I think.

As for equipment, it's designed to be sort of freeform, just like the rest of the system. Even the weapon dice are based more on narrative significance than what the thing actually is.


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty)
Post by: sparkletwist on November 13, 2012, 01:55:04 PM
(Nothing here at the moment)


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty)
Post by: Seraph on December 03, 2012, 12:05:50 PM
This is cool stuff.  I am surprised no one has commented yet.  I am currently working up some alternative class features that I intended to have show up in the CGQ&D Playtest, which I would happily share with you.

Also, at one point you gave a listing of what each skill rank "meant" as a point of reference, like "best in the room," "best on the block," "best in the nation," etc.  That might be useful to have posted.


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty)
Post by: sparkletwist on December 11, 2012, 01:56:50 PM
Oops, sorry for not replying!
I would like to see them, of course.


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty)
Post by: Seraph on December 12, 2012, 01:06:56 AM

In Character

Feats of Athleticism: Your Fenian training taught you to regularly perform feats that would seem impossible to others.  Spend an AP to describe an incredible feat of athletic prowess.  Roll athleticism at +10 for this action. 

Out of Character

This is based on the Fenian Cycle of Irish mythology, where Finn's band of warriors had to be able to leap over their height, duck under a log as low as their knee without slowing, run at full speed without snapping a twig, or without their hair becoming tussled, and any number of other feats of prowess to prove their worth.

In Character

Bard Song: Bards are well versed in magical songs. The Bard spends an AP and decides on a song, which is assigned a complexity by the GM: anything from 5 for a quick rhyme to 30+ for an elaborate ballad. The Bard then decides how many turns to break the Song into, rolling against a portion of the difficulty on each one. For example, a complexity 20 Song could be two turns of 10, or four turns of 5, or, if the Bard is very skilled or confident, could try to handle it all at once. The results are then adjudicated each turn of casting, except "Bonus Awesomeness" simply reduces remaining complexity by 2.  Song effects include debilitating laughter, sleep, grief, and fear.

Out of Character

This is essentially just a reflavored version of "Ritual," so not a whole lot to discuss.

In Character

Combat Prescience: In the midst of combat, you drift into a trance that expands your perceptions, allowing you to predict the movements of your enemies.  You gain +5 to any Melee or Athletics roll used to avoid an enemy attack.  

Out of Character

Celtic myth has a handful of warriors with mystical powers, including warrior-trainers with the ability to foresee future events.  This is meant to reflect the principle that such figures might have insight into what the battle had in store.


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty)
Post by: sparkletwist on December 12, 2012, 02:16:22 PM
Hmm. Interesting.

As a pedantic note, you seem to have swapped the purposes of your ic and ooc boxes. The ic box talks about mechanics and the ooc box has fluff in it. :D

Anyway, the big problem with "Feats of Athleticism" is that it's more or less what everyone can do anyway. One of the big points of AP is to buy off complications and even turn a narrow failure into a success. So, spending an AP to do an athletic stunt and get a better outcome is essentially core Q&D, not a special ability.

I think the other two are better. I don't have much to say about "Bard Song," because I don't know how Ritual will work in practice yet, but it seemed balanced to me when I wrote it, so Bard Song does as well. "Combat Prescience" also seems pretty good, although +5 to avoid all attacks might be a little too good if it is something of a combat-focused game. I tried to make it so that the "+5 to a thing" abilities would generally be invoked rarely enough that it seems special-- like, an opportunity for a certain character to shine. If combat is rarer, it might well be that case, too, though.

Those two would definitely be good things to throw into the "grab bag," if nothing else. :D


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty)
Post by: sparkletwist on December 15, 2012, 02:42:43 PM
With the talk of switching Cad Goleor over to Q&D, Seraphine_Harmonium and I played a short Q&D one-shot game, set in Cad Goleor.

Well, sort of. I was GMing it, and I'm far from intimately familiar with the setting, so it was more "generic Celtic setting that we're pretending is Cad Goleor." I guess I didn't abuse it too badly, though. Anyway, SH's character was named Brodan, a wandering warrior who had been disgraced. We began with him having been wandering for quite some time, and, with the day nearing its end, he was seeking shelter and especially something to eat. He was seen by a farmer (named Bigh Mac Anfrais... please don't throw things at me) who would've been happy to let Brodan wander on his way, but, oh, culturally speaking, it's just not right to not show a weary traveler some hospitality.

Brodan ate his fill (and then some, thanks to a compel on his boorish nature) and the farmer and his wife were getting quite tired of him, especially when he started frightening their young son, who always referred to Brodan as "the smelly man." In truth, Brodan was just one of their many problems lately, for it seems the fae had chosen their small village to torment.

The good meal was heavy in Brodan's stomach, and (thanks to a horribly botched Perception roll) he slept quite soundly. Soundly enough he didn't even notice the fae coming that night, and I'm sure the townspeople had something to do with pointing out their boorish guest. Better to take him away than some of the town's children, after all.

When he awoke, he was the guest of a sidhe woman with wild hair and even more wild eyes. She had the kind of figure that would've been appealing on a modern supermodel, but, for the time, probably looked on the skinny side. She looked like she could use a good meal-- unfortunately, she agreed, and from where she was aiming the long blades that she had instead of fingernails, Brodan was it. She was joined by a nasty little Redcap who didn't talk much, just mumbling "aghahaga" and similar noises.

A fight broke out! The evildoers had the early advantage, landing a couple of good hits that took away 7 of Brodan's 10 stress, but he landed a fierce hit on the Redcap, which, through the use of an AP and his warrior class ability, took it out of the fight in one hit. Another AP gave him an extra turn against the Sidhe, using a combat maneuver to knock her off balance, and then following up on his next turn with a mighty thrust with his spear, taking the Sidhe out.

It wasn't cold iron, so these two will probably survive, but they're no threat for now. And as for Brodan, he is lost in the middle of... well, where is he? A good place to stop, and a jumping off point for future adventures, should we decide to have them.

We got to test out both social mechanics and combat, and got to use some of Q&D's features, so I think it worked out pretty well.  :grin:


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty)
Post by: Seraph on December 19, 2012, 10:20:32 PM
I have a question about Stress: there is a mention of characters getting a full allocation of stress the next time they are "in action."  Now, this DOES follow a mention of the character being taken out, and you later mention recovering stress by resting or magic.  So my question is: Do characters always recover all stress from one encounter to the next, or just characters that get taken out?  If the latter, how quickly would could one expect to recover stress?  1 Stress/hour?  1/day?  Is there a skill roll involved that determines how quickly you recover?


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty)
Post by: sparkletwist on December 22, 2012, 05:15:39 PM
This is actually something I wrote up quickly, and probably need more consideration and playtests to actually come up with a worthwhile answer. I'm actually not quite sure what I meant!

So, let's think this through. The idea behind Q&D's stress is that you never have very much, but it recovers quickly. This makes combat quick and dangerous, but you're usually not dragging around lingering injuries, or having to wait long periods to heal up. I think that any time characters have a significant amount of downtime, like more than one in-game day of not adventuring or doing heavy labor or anything, they should get their full allocation of Stress back. Characters that have been taken out will usually need to rest up for a while, so they'll be back at full strength, too, reflecting the earlier rule but making more sense about it.

As for the exact timing otherwise, it should be up to the GM, determined by the theme of the game. In a cinematic game where the encounters are fast and furious, characters should get a full allocation every encounter. In a grittier game, where long-term attrition is more of a factor, then they should have to rest in order to get it back, and being worn down becomes more of a problem.


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty)
Post by: Seraph on December 23, 2012, 11:50:58 AM

sparkletwist

This is actually something I wrote up quickly, and probably need more consideration and playtests to actually come up with a worthwhile answer. I'm actually not quite sure what I meant!

So, let's think this through. The idea behind Q&D's stress is that you never have very much, but it recovers quickly. This makes combat quick and dangerous, but you're usually not dragging around lingering injuries, or having to wait long periods to heal up. I think that any time characters have a significant amount of downtime, like more than one in-game day of not adventuring or doing heavy labor or anything, they should get their full allocation of Stress back. Characters that have been taken out will usually need to rest up for a while, so they'll be back at full strength, too, reflecting the earlier rule but making more sense about it.

As for the exact timing otherwise, it should be up to the GM, determined by the theme of the game. In a cinematic game where the encounters are fast and furious, characters should get a full allocation every encounter. In a grittier game, where long-term attrition is more of a factor, then they should have to rest in order to get it back, and being worn down becomes more of a problem.
Though it would need a bit more book-keeping, I think Vreeg had an idea where half of the damage taken would be lifted as soon as the encounter was over, while the other half would linger.  Maybe something along these lines would show that there are some consequences to getting hurt or worn down from one battle to the next, while showing that a lot of the stresses of combat will go away when the battle is done.

Alternatively, perhaps rest and magical healing only apply to negative consequences of getting taken out?  Or the "other bad stuff" from an Epic Fail?  My understanding is that getting "taken out" refers to any injury that removes you from that combat.  In theory you need not even lose consciousness, as long as you are unable to participate.  So something like a bad stab wound, a broken bone, a concussion, and so forth could all take someone out of combat.  And while you could stop a puncture wound from bleeding, or set a broken bone, the effects of these would in actuality not go away once the battle was done.


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty)
Post by: sparkletwist on December 23, 2012, 03:00:43 PM
If that's the kind of idea that you want, a FATE-like system of consequences would probably be the best thing. This is what Asura uses, as well: you have HP that recover very fast, then you have Consequences that you suffer when you are (nearly) out of HP, and those recover more slowly. It also makes the bookkeeping a little more transparent, rather than having to worry about "how much Stress do I get back" and so on.

I thought that even this would be too complicated for Q&D, to be honest! I was deliberately trying to stay close to the simple albeit unrealistic D&D approach to damage. However, Q&D is pretty hackable, so I encourage development in this direction!


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty)
Post by: sparkletwist on January 04, 2013, 12:45:45 PM
I've added the "Profession" system discussed in the Cad Goleor thread.


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty)
Post by: sparkletwist on November 26, 2013, 09:17:40 PM
Archiving the old version here.
Quick & Dirty

Note: Yeah, like that

Like D&D. Only Q&D.
This "Quick & Dirty System" is something I've been throwing together for a little while now. It has gotten some semblance testing in a couple of impromptu games that happened on a chat recently, but, it's still quite rough. Not that it will ever be refined, but anyway! As many of you know, I'm a fan of FATE, and I have my own rather detailed FATE-like system called Asura. That is great and all-- I'm still a fan of FATE, and I'm not abandoning Asura-- but I was looking to do something a bit different. My inspirations this time around are as the name suggests, D&D, in particular, the simplistic approach taken by very old D&D games. Added to that are elements from Wushu, Apocalypse World, and other games that focus much more on creating a fun story and game together than worrying excessively much about crunchy details. I've also borrowed the idea of "point economy" from FATE, because it's just to good and allows too many juicy gameplay options to pass up.

The principles behind Q&D are:
Simple and Fast
These rules do not attempt to be "simulationist" or accurately model anything. Simplicity is generally valued over ensuring absolute consistency. This is by design. Everyone is sitting around trying to tell a good story and have fun, and the main purpose for these rules is to allow for random elements (and the random whims of players) to take that story in fun and interesting directions that nobody thought of previously. As such, the "rule of cool" is very much in play, as well.

Players act, NPCs react
What this means is, players are the ones instigating actions and throwing dice. Actions are resolved from their perspective; the complication system is rather PC-centric, and the idea is that whatever happens, the game system is designed to model what happens to them. For NPC-on-NPC encounters, the GM can try to roll and figure something out, but the best thing to do is just go with whatever is expedient for the story. For that matter, let players spend an AP to temporarily hijack an NPC, and they're then in charge of what happens.

Get to the point already. How does it work?
Task resolution is based around the roll of a d20, plus a number of d6s. The d6s are called "skill dice," and vary depending on a character's number of ranks in a given skill.
The difficulty is then subtracted from this roll. Difficulty might be a static DC, or it might be an opposed roll; situational bonuses and penalties will also affect the difficulty, of course. If the roll is opposed, use the opponent's skill dice. It helps to have two different colors of dice, so the entire thing can be resolved with a single throw of a handful of dice. Throwing around handfuls of dice is fun.

Using values other than just multiples of 5 is encouraged and fun. These are just examples.

0 = Mundane. Any idiot can probably do it. Maybe not even worth rolling.
5 = Average. A decently challenging task for an average person.
10 = Tough. Most people can't manage, but intrepid heroes can.
15 = Heroic. A very challenging task for even heroic heroes!
20 = Climactic. How will they ever get out of this one?
25 = Epic. Perhaps impossible?!?!

(As mentioned above, vs. someone else, the difficulty is the opponent's skill dice)

Example!

For example, if Mr. Billingsley is attempting to punch Ugly Lucy, he would roll a d20 plus 3d6, because his Melee skill is 3. Ugly Lucy would roll 2d6 to oppose, because her Melee skill is 2. Thus, the roll would be d20 + 3d6 - 2d6. If he was instead trying to smash through a brick wall with his bare hands, no opposing skill dice would be rolled; instead, the difficulty would be... 15 or so, probably.

Results are adjudicated as follows:
- 0 or less = Epic fail. Probably embarrassing, and other bad things might happen, too.
- 1 to 7 = A regular and mundane (yet total) failure.
- 8 to 10  = Narrow failure. An AP can make it into a success with a negative complication, if the GM allows it.
- 11 to 15 = Success, but with a negative complication. (GM's choice, or roll a d6)
- 16 to 20 = Full success in whatever was attempted.
- 21 and up = A resounding and total success. Add some bonus awesomeness. (GM's choice, or roll a d6)

Example, continued!

So if Mr. Billingsley rolls a 10 on the d20 and an 8 on his 3d6 and Lucy's 2d6 come up 9, the total is (10 + 8 - 9 =) 9. A narrow failure! He can spend an AP or just accept that he's not very good at punching women.

So what's this AP stuff?
AP (Action Points, or, as I prefer to call them, Awesome Points) have a lot of uses.
Players can...
Spend 1 AP to make a declaration about the plot or temporarily take over a NPC
Spend 1 AP to get an extra action in conflicts
Spend 1 AP to "buy off" a negative complication (must narrate how)
Spend 1 AP to refuse a compel from the GM
Get 1 AP for playing out a character flaw
Get 1 AP for accepting a compel from the GM
Get 1 AP when rolling a 6 on "bonus awesomeness."

Negative Complications and Bonus Awesomeness
Some results on the above table call for... more tables! But, don't worry, this isn't Rolemaster. They're simple.
If the GM has a good idea for what to do (or the players suggest one!) just do that instead of rolling, anyway.

Negative Complications:
(1) Less than expected = It's still a success, but it's not really the success that you hoped for. It's still not a total failure, though.
(2) Unfavorable circumstances = This success messed something else up and will cause a -5 on a future roll. Probably the next one.
(3) It got worse = You succeed, but the GM introduces some additional bad stuff. More bad guys show up or whatever.
(4) Extra problems = You have to make an additional roll of some sort, different from the first one. If you fail that one, you totally fail at whatever it is.
(5) Hard bargain = You can succeed, but it's going to cost something else. Resources/getting hurt/whatever, or you fail.
(6) Tough choice = You can either fail, or succeed but have to do something you probably didn't want to do. Treat it like a compel.

Bonus Awesomeness:
(1) Critical success! = Whatever you were trying to do, you do it completely awesomely. More damage on an attack, or a resoundingly successful skill use, or whatever.
(2) Favorable circumstances! = This success also made something else easier. Get +5 on the next roll, or, at least, the next one that makes sense.
(3) Extra goodies! = Something else unexpectedly good happens in addition to your success.
(4) Bonus action! = You succeeded so fast you have time to spare. Do something else on your turn.
(5) What happens now?! = You get to take over the narrative for a short bit. Tell the GM what happens next.
(6) Awesome Awesomeness! = You did something that adds to your character's overall awesomeness. Collect an AP.

The idea behind these tables is that all rolls should be made from the player's perspective. So, if the PC is attacking an NPC, roll to attack. If the NPC is attacking, have the player roll to dodge, instead.

These should depend on the situation, but here are some ideas:

Maybe an ally shows up at an opportune time, or you get to add some sort of combat maneuver for free.
If the character is hurting, recovering d2 stress is probably good.
If there's a damage roll and it's terrible, you get to maximize it instead.
Maybe a +5 bonus to something, if you can't think of anything else.

Stress
There is no specific system for tracking "hit points" or injuries or the like in Q&D. Instead, there is "Stress," which represents anything that could cause harm to the character. What exactly deals Stress should be dependent on the tone of the adventure. Getting a pie in the face may count as a normal hit in a slapstick comedy adventure, but hardly mean anything in one based on gritty combat. Anything that falls outside of the Stress system should just be handled with a normal roll and adjudicated appropriately.

Insignificant characters, like minions and other unimportant NPCs, shouldn't track Stress at all. One good hit, whatever it is, takes them out of combat. On the other hand, "important" characters start with the ability to take Stress. A weak hit in combat inflicts 1 Stress, a strong hit inflicts a weapon die, and a critical hit inflicts 2 weapon dice. When a character runs out of Stress, that character is taken out. That doesn't mean the character is dead-- indeed, the GM is encouraged to not kill off characters unless it's that kind of a game. Rather, it means the character is out of the combat and will probably suffer some added consequences as a result of being defeated.

Weapon dice are as follows:
[d2] - Vermin, improvised attacks, and other nuisances.
[d4] - NPC lackeys, and players' backup weapons.
[d6] - A "standard" weapon used by a player or featured NPC.
[d8] - A strong weapon, usually used by a big tough monster.
[d10] - An extremely dangerous attack, such as powerful magic.
A "weapon" doesn't have to be a physical weapon. A kung fu master's fists might be a d6 or even a d8 "weapon."

What about the skills?
They can be whatever you want, really, but here's a good starting point:
- Melee - Attacking with weapons or fists, and defending against attacks by same.
- Ranged - Making attacks with thrown objects, guns, or whatnot.
- Athletics - Moving around, dodging ranged attacks, carrying heavy things, and so on.
- Willpower - Enduring hardship, surviving, resisting temptation, and so on. Can defend against social skills.
- Charm - Talking nicely to someone, seducing, setting up a good relationship.
- Deceit - Lying, cheating, sneaking, gambling, and other tricky stuff.
- Persuasion - Getting someone to do what you want. It might be intimidation, but it might be a grandiose presence also.
- Perception - Knowing what's going on. Spotting things that are amiss. Useful to avoid non-social Deceit.
- Knowledge - Science, lore, or whatever the character is good at.
- Occult - Having a sense of the supernatural. Useful to resist (and maybe cast) magic.
- Vehicle - Operating a car, driving a carriage, or anything else involving a steering wheel.

Feel free to add more or less depending on what kind of game you want.

With this suggested skill list, around 20 points worth of skills makes a pretty competent character, 25 points starts getting into badass territory, and 30 points is for players who just want to be awesome at everything-- but who doesn't? You'll need to vary the points if you make big changes to the skill list.

Player characters should start with 10 Stress, but GMs who want to make skills matter more could change this to (8 + Willpower) Stress. Semi-important NPCs might have 4 or 5, and NPCs that are supposed to be roughly on par with the player characters could also have 10. Stronger NPC enemies like bosses and other important villains (and the like) should have more Stress, especially if they're going to be beaten upon by the whole party at once. Even 20 or 25 is not really unreasonable if they're going to be attacked repeatedly.

Combat Maneuvers
Instead of attacking, a character can opt to perform a combat maneuver instead. Decide what you want to do, and pick an effect from the Combat Maneuvers table (an adapted version of "Bonus Awesomeness") that seems to suit it. Alternatively, describe a fun and audacious combat stunt and roll then a d6 and let the whims of fate decide. Either way, roll an appropriate skill (Melee, Ranged, Athletics, Deceit, etc.) against an appropriate defense (Melee, Athletics, Willpower, Perception, etc.), and apply the effect on a success. Any of those bonuses can be used for yourself, or "passed" to an ally who has a turn coming up.

(1) Expose a Vulnerability = One future successful attack made on the target will do critical hit damage.
(2) Get the Advantage = One future roll made against the target will get a +5 bonus, or the target will get a -5 penalty to something.
(3) Create Confusion = If the target misses its next attack, then it hits one of its own allies instead. This is in addition to any other penalties.
(4) Stand Guard = Prevent the target from doing anything at all, or prevent all enemies from attacking a given ally or location.
(5) Dirty Trick = You do something situational that gives you an advantage in combat. It should be similar in scope to the other effects listed here.
(6) Aid Awesomeness = Do something for free that would normally require spending an AP. It still requires a turn if it otherwise would, though.

Another example!

A longer example of play

Dramatis Personae

Mr. Billingsley, a drunken lout who insists upon thinking of himself as a suave British secret agent.
Madison James, the 4th President of the United States of Antarctica.
Gupta Von Gupta, Half-German, Half-Indian master engineer and Bollywood superstar.
Frau Panzerfaust, Gupta's former housekeeper, until she defected to the USA (the United States of Antarctica, that is)

Ugly Lucy, the supervillainess the heroes are hunting down.

(OOC comments are in parenthesized italics)

GM: You have arrived at the lair of Ugly Lucy! She is surprised to see that you made it past her gauntlet of poorly trained mooks and overly elaborate traps, but, then again, that gives her the chance to try out her disintegration ray on you! And she's more than happy to do that!

Madison: You are in violation of the laws of the USA, Ugly Lucy! You are under arrest! Surrender peacefully and you will not be harmed! (I'm going to try to roll intimidation.)

GM: (Ok, but Lucy is formidable. She resists with 4 dice.)

Madison: (10 on the d20. I rolled a 9, and she got a 14. So that's... 5. Garden variety failure.)

GM (as Lucy): I am not impressed by your idle threats! Minions, attack!

Billingsley: Looks like we've got a fight on our hands. I guess it's time for a drink. I pull out my flask and drink! (+1 AP for playing to my character flaw)

GM: (Fair enough, but now you're so drunk you'll take -2 to rolls for the rest of this scene.)

Panzerfaust: I'm going to punch the nearest minion with my giant lady-fist of punching!

GM: (These minions aren't so tough. They only have a melee of 2)

Panzerfaust: (I roll... ooh, 15 on the d20, plus my Melee roll of 15. They only got a 6! So I have 24 in total. Give me some bonus awesomeness!)

GM: (Ok, d6 says... 5. What happens now, Frau Panzerfaust?)

Panzerfaust: I punch that minion so hard he goes flying into one of his minionly cohorts, and knocks the both of 'em out!

Gupta: While the others are fighting Lucy and her minions, I'm going to go try to sabotage her disintegration ray. (I can roll Knowledge, right?)

GM: (Sure. Use a difficulty of 15. It's some pretty fearsome technology.)

Gupta: (Ok, my d20 is 8... that's not going to help much. Knowledge came up 15. So I guess that's an 8. Can I spend an AP?)

GM: (Sure thing. So you just barely manage to sabotage the ray. The d6 says... 5. Hard bargain. Ok, so, you can sabotage the ray, but you get a nasty electric shock while you're doing it. Still want to do it?)

Gupta: (I pretty much have to. I've already spent an AP, and I don't want to fail now.) Yeeoch! I fall to the ground, smouldering a bit. I smell like burnt liverwurst mixed with curry!

GM: How... appetizing. Roll a d6 for Stress. Anyway, now it's Ugly Lucy's turn, and she doesn't look happy that you've sabotaged the ray. Unfortunately for you, she has another trick up her sleeve...

(The game goes on!)


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty)
Post by: sparkletwist on November 26, 2013, 09:18:05 PM
More archives.
Giving Q&D Some Class

With its reliance on player inventiveness and creativity and its rather fast and loose approach to having formalized systems for adjudicating anything, there is a certain "old school" quality to Q&D. So, what's more old school than a class-based fantasy adventure, probably with a healthy dose of dungeon crawling? Here are a few added rules to added classes rooted in a stereotypical fantasy setting using Q&D. This is a bit of a divergence from the example's weird 1960s spy movie setting, but then again, Q&D is well-suited to a lot of genres simply because it's so open.

So how does it work?
Q&D's classes come in two varieties, Standard and Custom, but they're actually pretty similar.

- To play a Standard class, simply pick one from the list below.
- To play a Custom class, choose a "Profession" and two other class features from among the class features in the Standard classes, then come up with a class name that describes what your new class is about.

You'll notice that these "class features" are more or less the same idea as Feats in d20, Stunts in FATE, or whatever. That's basically the idea, so players and GMs should be encouraged to make up their own somewhat along these lines, too. None of them should be system-breakingly-awesome, but just give a little edge to the things a character is expected to be good at.

Warrior

Warriors overcome challenges with cold steel and force of will. They are the foot soldiers on the battlefield, but they are also quite often the chieftains and commanders.

Profession: Commander - Warriors get +5 bonus on any Charm or Intimidation roll used to recruit forces, command troops on the battlefield, negotiate military alliances, or other similar uses.

Class Features:
  • Fierce Attack: Warriors are able to call up their strength and deliver crushing blows. A Warrior can spend an AP upon making a successful attack and inflict an extra d6 Stress, or, alternatively, something else the player and GM deem is suitable from the "Combat Maneuvers" or "Bonus Awesomeness" tables.
  • Armor: Warriors rely on their armor to protect them. Any Warrior in armor reduces the Stress from a successful non-magical attack by one die size. Magical attacks are handled on a case-by-case basis: a fireball would probably be reduced by armor, but a psychic blast directly into the mind would not. The exact flavor of the armor is up to the player; anything from a simple shield to a full suit of plate mail is mechanically identical.

Rogue

Rogues skulk around in the shadows or manipulate the levers of power from behind the scenes. Most live only for themselves, but others find strength in a higher cause.

Profession: Scoundrel - Rogues get a +5 bonus to Perception or Deceit when sneaking around is involved. This usually applies to Initiative, as well.

Class Features:
  • Sneak Attack: Rogues are adept at striking when an enemy least expects it. Before attacking, a Rogue can make an immediate Deceit check vs. the enemy's Perception, and, if it succeeds, the attack gets a +5 bonus, bypasses armor, and deals one die size higher damage. However, if it completely fails, the Rogue does not get to attack at all.
  • Disarm Traps: Rogues are used to sneaking into places and dealing with potential dangers. They can roll Deceit to disarm all traps.

Cleric

Clerics are the true believers, bolstering their strength with the power of their faith. Whether they serve a virtuous or wicked deity, they do so with passion.

Profession: Holy Man - Clerics get a +5 bonus on Willpower rolls in any situation where their faith can help them.

Class Features:
  • Holy/Unholy Power: Creatures of darkness cower in terror when faced with a good Cleric's holy power, or are mesmerized with awe by an evil Cleric's unholy power. Creatures of light feel the reverse. Whenever making a roll opposing any sort of strongly aligned creature, such as undead, angels or demons, spirits, or the like, a Cleric gets a +2 bonus. This applies to negotiations, threats, combat, and any other situation. By spending an AP, the Cleric can take on aspects of the holy or unholy power, such as glowing eyes, wisps of energy, and such. This increases the bonus to +5 for the rest of that scene.
  • Prayer: Clerics may directly petition their patron deity for aid. By saying a brief prayer for a turn and spending an AP, they may make a plea that will usually be answered, as long as it is in line with their god's agenda. Typical effects would be a one-die bonus for the rest of the scene on a certain skill, an increase in the damage of the Cleric's weapon for the rest of the scene, the fortuitous appearance of an ally, or other such things. The "Bonus Awesomeness" table would be a good reference, as well, but the effects should generally be a little bit stronger than those. However, most gods help those who help themselves; GMs are encouraged to temporarily forbid this power if players use it too much!

Wizard

Wizards research esoteric secrets and weave spells using forbidden knowledge. No one has the mastery of pure magic that they do.

Profession: Arcanist - Wizards get a +5 bonus on Knowledge rolls dealing with their arcane areas of expertise.

Class Features:
  • Cantrips: Wizards know lots of small, utilitarian spells. By concentrating on the spell for a turn and spending an AP, the Wizard is able to cast a minor spell to solve a problem. It should be something that can in theory be accomplished by mundane equipment, such as creating light, opening a door, lifting something, and so on. Sometimes a skill roll may be necessary; the Wizard can choose whether to roll the relevant skill, or Occult.
  • Rituals: Wizards can also carry out longer incantations, such as conjuration, summoning, divination, attack, and defense. The Wizard spends an AP and decides on a ritual, which is assigned a complexity by the GM: anything from 5 for a quick magical attack to 30 or more for an elaborate summoning ritual. The Wizard then decides how many turns to break the ritual into, rolling against a portion of the difficulty on each one. For example, a complexity 20 ritual could be two turns of 10, or four turns of 5, or, if the Wizard is very skilled or confident, could try to handle it all at once. The results are then adjudicated each turn of casting, except "Bonus Awesomeness" simply reduces remaining complexity by 2.

Barbarian

Barbarians are rough and rugged, from uncivilized lands. They lead simple lives, but opponents underestimate their cunning at their own peril.

Profession: Survivalist - Barbarians get a +5 bonus on Knowledge or Willpower rolls related to surviving in the natural world.

Class Features:
  • Rage: A Barbarian that has entered battle and either scored a hit or been injured can unleash a furious rage. The Barbarian gets +2 to Melee, Intimidation, and any other skill that would be relevant to battle, for the rest of the scene. In addition, if a raging Barbarian has just scored a hit and spends an AP to get another turn, the bonus is increased to +5 for that extra turn. However, Raging Barbarians also suffer a -5 penalty to Knowledge, Charm, Deceit, and other such skills. The Rage cannot be "turned off" at will; the Barbarian must wait until the scene ends to be able to calm down.
  • Simple Soul: Barbarians have simple and rugged souls as well as bodies, and are not nearly as affected by the esoteric, subtle effects of magic. Attempts to resist enemy magic get a +5 bonus.



Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty)
Post by: sparkletwist on November 26, 2013, 09:18:27 PM
Reserved for future archives or whatever.


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty)
Post by: sparkletwist on November 26, 2013, 09:18:36 PM
This post intentionally left blank.


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty) - 2nd Edition
Post by: sparkletwist on November 26, 2013, 09:19:02 PM
Reserved. Look at the first page (http://www.thecbg.org/index.php/topic,209736.0.html).


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty) - 2nd Edition
Post by: SA on November 27, 2013, 05:59:21 AM
I must have missed the 1st Edition last year, 'cos I don't recognise this at all. It's cool, if a bit freeform for my liking. Might take it for a spin.


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty) - 2nd Edition
Post by: sparkletwist on November 27, 2013, 04:08:54 PM
I am admittedly more of a rules-light sort of person, but I take slight issue with the label of "freeform." It's true Q&D allows play groups a lot of freedom in how they flavor its mechanical outcomes, because it's not trying to simulate anything. However, there is still structure underlying it-- the point of all those little tables is to actually provide clear mechanics that have discernible and (hopefully) mathematically sound outcomes.


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty) - 2nd Edition
Post by: SA on November 27, 2013, 05:23:20 PM
It seems "freeform" means a very specific thing in rpgs, which certainly wasn't what I was getting at. A bit "rules light" for my liking.


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty) - 2nd Edition
Post by: Humabout on November 27, 2013, 08:39:11 PM
Overall, I like what I see.  I just worry that the flaws and merits will dilute the Awesomeness of Q&D.  They seem to add complexity, and not necessarily for things that make your character Awesome.  Otherwise, I like!


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty) - 2nd Edition
Post by: Steerpike on November 28, 2013, 03:31:25 PM
Interesting take on the system.  I have some thoughts, and I'm curious as to your response, because I know you're a very deliberate sort of designer and it may be that I'm just missing something.

So Q&D stands for Quick & Dirty - implying an approach which is fast, minimalist, easy, and, well, sort of "sloppy" right?  The emphasis here is on functionality and ease of play rather than balance, precision, and/or elegance, right?  You've used the words "fast and simple" to describe the design goals.  Intuitiveness is a priority.  Outcomes are easy to discern and interpret rather than opaque or ambivalent.

My chief concern involves the number of rolls and the amount of mental arithmetic that needs to be done during things like combat.  I'll use Pathfinder as a means of contrast, because it has a reputation as a reasonably complex system (especially in the character-creation phase) but you could easily substitute other editions of D&D.

So in Pathfinder if I want to attack someone I generally roll two dice: one for attack and one for damage.  I perform two pieces of quick mental arithmetic to factor in bonuses to attack and damage.  I don't need to do any other arithmetic - the GM will tell me if I've hit (no math involved, really, just a quick glance at a monster's AC) and then if I've hurt the creature and by how much (check to see if it has DR or something, then a deduction of HP accordingly).  There might be some more rolls for fancy things like sneak attacks or saving throws vs. poison and as I level up I may get multiple attacks but these can be rolled simultaneously.  On a critcal hit I have to roll a couple of extra dice as well, but that's fairly rare.

Contrast wth Q&D.  Here, I roll an irregular number of dice depending on the nature of the attack, but it's probably going to be at least 2 and likely more.  If I'm a big bruiser type with a Melee skill of, say, 5 (not that crazy at all if we used the 25-point "badass" spread for character creation), that means I'm rolling 6 dice to attack.  Those dice then need to be added up.  So to begin with I'm performing a series of quick mental additions just to calculate my attack score.  But we're not done, because there's no static defence.  The enemy now rolls another varying number of dice, involving yet another quick set of additions/subtractions.  At last we get a result...

But we're not done yet.  There's now a table we need to consult to check what our result means, to interpret it, and we have a fairly broad range of possible outcomes, all with different mechanical implications.  Two of these results require rolling on yet another table (negative complications or bonus awesomeness) to figure out what actually occurs.  Several of these results require even more rolls (like the skill check on the narrow failure option, or the extra damage die).  Some of them require the GM to improvise something interesting on the spot, which can take a quick moment's consideration.

All this is before we start factoring in things like merit and flaw dice, using AP to make declarations that need to be considered and interpreted, compelling an NPC, which requires DM judgement, or extra rolls from special abilities, one of which (Sneak Attack) requires more opposed checks with multiple dice and tables and tables-within-tables.

Now we finally get to damage (hopefully).  Instead of a single HP pool we have two seperate pools.  We have to perform a little more mental arithmetic to calculate how much stress and how much harm damage is taken/given.  Damage here also doesn't act simply as a number to keep track of before passing out/dying.  It "counts as a flaw and can (and should!) also be compelled, which will introduce further complications."  More dice.  More tables.  More arithmetic.  We have to caluclate how many negative complications we have and the severity of our new flaw based on the amount of damage we sustained.  And to top it off they replenish at different rates.

Oh, and I forgot those skill/luck bonuses, too, the graduated scale of damage bonuses based on rolls, the interaction of merits/flaws with these bonuses.

I'm not saying the system is bad or uninteresting; it looks like it could create some really involved, dramatic combats with a range of detailed results and a very cinematic sort of feel.  I'm not math-averse, either, and individually the plethora of rolls and quick additions and subtractions and comparisons aren't daunting.  But taken as a whole something as simple as "I attack the Orc" can involve rolling handfuls of dice, consulting multiple tables, and factoring in a whole range of bonuses and penalties.  This just doesn't strike me as "quick" or "dirty" - it's actually a kind of precise, deliberate system with lots of varying levels of success and failure and mechanizations of personality and background and complex dynamics of player/GM control and compulsion.

In Pathfinder/D&D sometimes you attack and you miss and that sucks and you didn't do very much during your turn and it's kind of boring.  That happens.  The system has weaknesses; any system has tradeoffs.  But Q&D strikes me as being far slower and more involved than those systems, and given its design goals, I'm not sure that's how you want it to play.


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty) - 2nd Edition
Post by: sparkletwist on November 28, 2013, 07:36:30 PM
First of all, thank you for your thoughtful analysis.

I definitely think you've got a point here, but I think that making a comparison to Pathfinder and then using "roll to swing your sword at the Orc" as your test case is a bit of an oversimplification. In this case, it does make Q&D seem more complicated, partially because you expended far more words describing the process in Q&D. Things get more interesting (and start to bog down very quickly) in Pathfinder if you decide you want to grapple, or cast a spell, or make a two-handed power attack and also spend a usage of your 3+Int times a day bloodline ability to get a +2 circumstance bonus against an enemy that has DR that the weapon you're possibly using might get through while at the same time using your immediate action to use your Arcane Strike feat to get a further damage bonus. Or... one of the many other specific abilities given by feats or class features that can lead to things like this. And before you make too much of Pathfinder's static target number, keep in mind that your AC is not the same as your touch AC which is not the same as your flat-footed AC, and you have to know which of these your attack is targeting. Like, say, if it's a firearm, you target touch AC unless you're outside of the first range increment, then you target normal AC, unless you're using one of the Gunslinger's special abilities, which costs a Grit point... yeah.

In Q&D, on the other hand, things stay about the same. There is not this huge growth in complexity as character options grow, because the options are all rather informal and based around however you want to narrate them; mechanically, it all still comes down to Q&D's very simplified and abstracted version of combat maneuvers. In this way, in my opinion, it retains the ability to call itself "quick and dirty." Is it enough? I'm not sure. So far, it has worked well, but, admittedly, every game I've played of Q&D has been on IRC (or another chat venue) because I don't have a RL gaming group any more, so that means its somewhat wonky dice expressions are all crunched quite efficiently by the dice bot, and I might be somewhat underestimating the amount of trouble that rolling a big handful of dice and adding everything up could create. One possibility I thought of to make things even simpler was was a sort of "dice cancellation." That is, if the attacker rolls 3d6, and the defender rolls 2d6, the net result is that instead of rolling "d20+3d6-2d6," the attacker simply rolls "d20+d6." This creates a much flatter probability curve, and for that reason I'm not really sure if I'm behind the idea (and as such didn't include it in the initial post) but it is definitely a quick and dirty fix!

Anyway, as you observe, we're not done yet. After rolling, we need to consult a table. Will this slow things down? The thing is, this table of outcomes is the core of Q&D's resolution mechanic, and it will be used in just about every roll. Just as in every other RPG where there are things that may need to be looked up in a table that people internalize, the experienced Q&D player will eventually internalize the initial table of outcomes because it's used so often. I'm not saying it's necessary to actively expend effort on memorizing anything, of course-- Q&D's tables are simple enough that you could put them all on a note card and keep it close at hand, or pop them up in another window if you're playing online. There will never be any delays to go digging through the rulebook or whatever.

This may lead to more tables. It may also lead to the need for the GM to improvise. Hopefully, it won't lead to both too often. One of the core tenets of Q&D is that if the GM and/or a player have a better idea for how to adjudicate an outcome, just do that and don't bother with the table. The table is there so that instead of wasting time thinking or arguing, you can just roll a d6 and do that and be done with it.

Merits and Flaws are the big mechanical addition between Q&D1 and Q&D2. They add their own tables, their own complexities, and more dice. I'll concede that they have yet to be proven to be workable in an actual game environment. However, I should point out, they also don't figure into every roll. Not even close. One big problem with Q&D1's "Profession" system (essentially the predecessor to Merits) is that it was a bonus that was simply applied "when it was applicable." The game had to be paused any time it prompted a discussion (or, worse, an argument, but fortunately that never happened in any of my games) between player(s) and GM as to whether the profession's bonus might apply or not. Q&D2 adds a bit more mechanical rigor to its Merits and Flaws with the hope that it'll speed things up in the long run. That is to say, a bit less dirty, a bit more quick. Or at least that's the idea.

Adding it all up, a "simple combat turn" in Q&D might not be any faster than one in Pathfinder, or in FATE, or whatever. However, I contend that the label of "simple" can apply far more often in Q&D, and its reliance on a single core resolution mechanic based on a small set of simple tables will, at the end of the day, end up being faster than the ponderous reams of crunch required in a game like Pathfinder. It's quick because you're not reaching for the rulebook. It's dirty because a lot is left up to the whims of the group in the moment. I'm just trying to throw a little mechanical elegance in this so the system offers meaningful decisions and worthwhile outcomes: too quick and too dirty and there is hardly even a point of having a system at all, after all.


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty) - 2nd Edition
Post by: Steerpike on November 28, 2013, 08:41:35 PM

sparkletwist

Things get more interesting (and start to bog down very quickly) in Pathfinder if you decide you want to grapple, or cast a spell, or make a two-handed power attack and also spend a usage of your 3+Int times a day bloodline ability to get a +2 circumstance bonus against an enemy that has DR that the weapon you're possibly using might get through while at the same time using your immediate action to use your Arcane Strike feat to get a further damage bonus.

That's totally true - grappling is especially bad.  The core mechanic is very simple, but there are lots more complex manoeuvres.  My critique was more built around the most basic possible action in combat, which seems to me would take longer in Q&D than in Pathfinder/D&D.  It's possible that the Q&D process is quicker than the Pathfinder one when attempting a wider variety of moves.  Still, even without the Pathfinder comparison, it strikes me that the core task resolution/combat mechanic of Q&D isn't especially quick.

sparkletwist

So far, it has worked well, but, admittedly, every game I've played of Q&D has been on IRC (or another chat venue) because I don't have a RL gaming group any more, so that means its somewhat wonky dice expressions are all crunched quite efficiently by the dice bot, and I might be somewhat underestimating the amount of trouble that rolling a big handful of dice and adding everything up could create.

This struck me as well.  I think Q&D would be a lot better/faster online than face-to-face; counting and mentally adding up/subtracting all those die rolls for everything would be a lot more onerous at a gaming table than when a program can do it all for you.  It'd still take awhile to write everything out, but it's not as serious online.

sparkletwist

However, I contend that the label of "simple" can apply far more often in Q&D, and its reliance on a single core resolution mechanic based on a small set of simple tables will, at the end of the day, end up being faster than the ponderous reams of crunch required in a game like Pathfinder.

I'm not sure about this.  There's certainly a lot of character info in Pathfinder/D&D that involves large swathes of crunch, but it doesn't need to be kept in one's head at a time, and the core mechanic is incredibly simple : roll 1d20+modifiers, compare your result to the relevant number.  I'm not saying this is better than Q&D's approach, which has a lot going for it, but I think it might be simpler.  In Q&D you're going to be rolling a different number of dice for every roll you make; your margin of success matters; you have to consult 1-2 tables for everything you do.  I'm sure with practice this would become a well-worn, habitual process that would get faster over time, but it's not super-intuitive for new players, I think.

I do think the system is really interesting, and very well suited to a particular sort of game - action-heavy cinematic storytelling.


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty) - 2nd Edition
Post by: SA on November 28, 2013, 09:06:54 PM
Having GMed Quick and Dirty last night, I can say that it is leaps and bounds more streamlined than any D20 incarnation I have ever played. On the ground, running in realtime, the fact that the entire system can be referenced in your head (I memorised it in under half an hour) more than makes up for the more involved calculation for roll to roll. I don't prefer this to FATE (when I go rules light I go rules light) but it is Quick and it is Dirty. Like my ex.

EDIT: We played face to face but with diceroller apps on our phones. Sometimes we used them, sometimes we didn't.


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty) - 2nd Edition
Post by: Steerpike on November 28, 2013, 09:12:28 PM

SA

We played face to face but with diceroller apps on our phones.

A good solution to the "adding lots of dice together" issue that I hadn't considered!


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty) - 2nd Edition
Post by: sparkletwist on November 29, 2013, 12:08:59 AM

Steerpike

There's certainly a lot of character info in Pathfinder/D&D that involves large swathes of crunch, but it doesn't need to be kept in one's head at a time
It actually sort of does, or at least it needs to be looked up and retained before it's needed. Otherwise, if you need a particular bit of crunch and you don't know it, you're going to have to reach for the rulebook or ask the other players. And as soon as you start doing that, things slow down a lot!

Steerpike

the core mechanic is incredibly simple : roll 1d20+modifiers, compare your result to the relevant number.
I can't argue with you that rolling a d20 and adding a static number to it is going to be somewhat simpler and faster than rolling a d20 and adding a handful of other dice to it. However, I feel like this is simplifying things far beyond the point of being able to make a meaningful comparison, given the sheer amount of other factors that apply to Pathfinder/D&D/whatever that do not apply to Q&D.

And now I have SA's post to point to as evidence. :grin:

Steerpike

you have to consult 1-2 tables for everything you do
It's true that just about everything you do originally came off a table... but, like I said, the simpler outcomes become internalized very quickly, and the system always favors good improv over rolling on yet another table. If you roll an 11 and remember immediately that's a "success with a negative complication" and a great negative complication jumps right out of the scene that you're suggesting to the GM right away, zero tables end up being consulted and the whole thing goes pretty fast. And this kind of thing happens in Q&D games a lot... at least the ones I've been in.

Steerpike

it's not super-intuitive for new players, I think.
Compared to what? Pathfinder? I mean, if you are saying "Q&D is slower for me because I have very little experience playing Q&D and a ton of experience playing Pathfinder," well, then.. yes. But comparing apples to apples, i.e., the experience for a new player, can you really say Q&D fares worse?

Steerpike

I do think the system is really interesting, and very well suited to a particular sort of game - action-heavy cinematic storytelling.
Thanks!


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty) - 2nd Edition
Post by: Steerpike on November 29, 2013, 12:32:54 AM

sparkletwist

...it needs to be looked up and retained before it's needed.

I'll definitely grant you that.

sparkletwist

Compared to what?  Pathfinder?

I picked Pathfinder because it actually is a pretty complex system, I think, as roleplaying systems go - there's a lot of different rules, sub-systems, and information to absorb.  It's not a good example of a super-simple, intuitive system.  That was kind of my point - Q&D struck me as being more complex in its task resolution than even Pathfinder.  However, SA's phone-app-equipped playtest has made me question my thinking a little.  I only played a handful of sessions of Q&D in its first edition, so I'm not an authority.  I thought it seemed to run slow, but that could have mostly been because we were all adapting to it and the kinks hadn't been worked out.

In essence, here's my overall logic: as I see it, if you want a simple, fast, intuitive system, then ideally you'd want to strip out as many extraneous rolls, table-look-ups, and arithmetical operations as possible while still preserving the system's integrity.  For every mechanic you add in, every layer of complexity, the question "is this necessary?" crops up.  The more dice, tables, sub-tables, judgments, complications, and additions/subtractions you're asking players to make at the table, the slower the game is going to play as a whole.  It may be that in practice what I'm perceiving as a fairly intricate, granular system actually fades away into relative simplicity and that it's still sufficiently simple to be fast and loose; and it may be that the trade-offs in speed and simplicity that Q&D's multiple dice and tables engender are worth it.

It does seem to me that there are probably some more-unspoken design imperatives being implemented in the system, consciously or not, and while some them might not be incompatible with the "quick and dirty" mindset I'm not sure all of them are necessarily in aid of that mindset - which is absolutely fine, but it might bear thinking about.

If I recall correctly, the original Q&D seemed invested in a very old school D&D mentality - fantasy character classes featured, for example, if I'm remembering properly.  Has that aspect been abandoned?  Are you envisioning a different sort of game with Q&D now?  Or do you see the system as flexible enough to accomadate a diverse range of genres?  Are there genres or types of games you think it specficially wouldn't be good at running?


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty) - 2nd Edition
Post by: LordVreeg on November 29, 2013, 10:39:17 AM
There are so many good ways I have seen RPG rule sets broken down, and some would apply.   Not judging Pathfinder or Q&D2, just giving another prism to look at them,

One view that is interesting is the idea that every system has some level of a core mechanic system, a default, basic ideal that is pretty static.  Bonuses my change a bit by power level or circumstance.  And the prevalence and commonality of layers on top of that are what determines the complexity, do PCS just roll to hit 50% of the time or do they involve modifiers 80% of the time?  also Note Bene, that basic mechanic can be simple or convoluted as well, and that affects the layering.

One Level from that is Optionals that layer over this that the Player can choose, like once a day abilities, poisons, tactical rules (backstab) etc.  Basically, the player taking a pretty normal, known modifier layered ON TOP of the normal mechanic.

The Layer of complexity on top of that is the prevalence of atmospheric changes; spells by other characters and NPCS and foes, as well as the investiture of rules based on atmospherics like weather, formation, weapon choice (I know this is a PC choice, but it is part of the complexity of the outside world).

Then the last level of complexity is OOC complexity that the PC or others can layer on top of everything below, FATE points, etc, especially stuff that retros the affect of an earlier roll.  You missed your success roll on a spell and want to invoke an 'Action Point' to go back and have the spell work, that is another example. 


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty) - 2nd Edition
Post by: sparkletwist on November 29, 2013, 02:39:29 PM

Steerpike

I thought it seemed to run slow, but that could have mostly been because we were all adapting to it and the kinks hadn't been worked out.
Those early Cad Goleor games felt slow to me, too. Back when it was still Pathfinder, those games felt slow, too, so I don't know. The pace has improved lately, and I don't think it had much of anything to do with the system, but I'm not sure.

Steerpike

In essence, here's my overall logic: as I see it, if you want a simple, fast, intuitive system, then ideally you'd want to strip out as many extraneous rolls, table-look-ups, and arithmetical operations as possible while still preserving the system's integrity.  For every mechanic you add in, every layer of complexity, the question "is this necessary?" crops up.
That's a good general principle. Can Q&D be further streamlined? Probably. Part of the quickness and dirtiness of it is, admittedly, in its design process: not everything has been tested well, or even at all, and there are almost certainly still some bad ideas floating around. I tried to excise a lot of them in the transition from Q&D1 to Q&D2, but there might still be some lingering, or maybe I even introduced some new ones.

Steerpike

It does seem to me that there are probably some more-unspoken design imperatives being implented in the system, consciously or not
Probably. Q&D still has the shared-story and the player-empowerment undertones that I always dig. The quickest and dirtiest system around would run on nearly 100% GM fiat but that's not my thing at all.

Steerpike

If I recall correctly, the original Q&D seemed invested in a very old school D&D mentality - fantasy character classes featured, for example, if I'm remembering properly.  Has that aspect been abandoned?  Are you envisioning a different sort of game with Q&D now?  Or do you see the system as flexible enough to accomadate a diverse range of genres?
Not exactly. The "canonical" Q&D setting is the zany Bollywood-spy-thriller world of Mr. Billingsley and company. That setting is next-to-useless for actual gaming, though-- so it seemed to gravitate to more of an OD&D feel, and that's where the basics of its class system started. I like to think Q&D is flexible enough to run all sorts of games, though, as you observed, something with a rather cinematic feel would work best.

Steerpike

Are there genres or types of games you think it specficially wouldn't be good at running?
Anything purporting to be "simulationist" would probably be right out.

LordVreeg

Then the last level of complexity is OOC complexity that the PC or others can layer on top of everything below, FATE points, etc
From what I know of your opinion of mechanics like this, I understand why you'd think of this as the last or outermost layer, and in the case of something like Pathfinder's hero points, you'd be right. However, this ordering of layers is quite dependent on the game. In the case of FATE, since you used that as an example-- the fate points, invokes, and so on are probably right on top of the core resolution mechanic. They're virtually inseparable from how the "game of FATE" is played, and far more important to the core resolution mechanic than tactical maneuvers or atmospheric circumstances. As for Q&D, I would certainly consider its Awesome Points more vital to its resolution mechanic (more "inner," as it were) than the layer you've put beneath it-- things like tactical positioning or mechanically significant weapon choice don't really exist in a meaningful way in the Q&D system.


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty) - 2nd Edition
Post by: LordVreeg on November 29, 2013, 03:15:22 PM

Sparkle

LordVreeg

Then the last level of complexity is OOC complexity that the PC or others can layer on top of everything below, FATE points, etc
From what I know of your opinion of mechanics like this, I understand why you'd think of this as the last or outermost layer, and in the case of something like Pathfinder's hero points, you'd be right. However, this ordering of layers is quite dependent on the game. In the case of FATE, since you used that as an example-- the fate points, invokes, and so on are probably right on top of the core resolution mechanic. They're virtually inseparable from how the "game of FATE" is played, and far more important to the core resolution mechanic than tactical maneuvers or atmospheric circumstances. As for Q&D, I would certainly consider its Awesome Points more vital to its resolution mechanic (more "inner," as it were) than the layer you've put beneath it-- things like tactical positioning or mechanically significant weapon choice don't really exist in a meaningful way in the Q&D system
Oh, no doubt.  This was something I read a while ago, and the order was based on the perception of the person who wrote it.  They could be seen just as easily as parenthetical expressions to be added on.  I like that as it breaks down the levels of complexity into discreet areas, but the ordering?  Unimportant.


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty) - 2nd Edition
Post by: sparkletwist on November 29, 2013, 06:43:08 PM
Reserved (if needed)


Title: Re: Q&D (Quick and Dirty) - 2nd Edition Revised
Post by: sparkletwist on July 12, 2015, 01:31:51 PM
After a good deal of thought, I've made some changes, most significantly to make merits and flaws less fiddly. Hopefully more quick and less dirty.

First post has been updated. The old version of the post is archived here.
(i.e., don't read inside this spoiler looking for the changes, they aren't here)
Quick & Dirty - 2nd Edition

Note: Even Quicker and Dirtier!

I have made some fairly comprehensive revisions to Q&D to address some issues the first version had, as well as introduce some new concepts. It should still (hopefully) be recognizably Q&D, though.
The "Quick & Dirty System" was originally something I hastily threw together for a couple of games. It has since grown, thrived, and expanded, and I am pretty pleased with the result. However, although I am mostly happy with it, there was (and probably still is) always room for improvement: The skill system was a bit simplistic and one-dimensional and I wasn't at all satisfied with how Q&D handled damage. I also believe that certain fun crunchy mechanics to allow some tactical choices could be integrated into the system a little more even though it is a lightweight system. Hence, a second edition of Q&D! I want to thank Hoers for his contributions to Q&D2's design, as well as Seraphine_Harmonium and the rest of the Cad Goleor group for providing ample opportunity to test Q&D and plenty of good ideas about how to improve it.

For those unfamiliar with Q&D, it is designed to be a fast, simple, rules-light system. Q&D's inspirations are the fast and simple approach of OD&D, adding in elements from FATE, Wushu, Apocalypse World, and other games that focus much more on creating a fun story and game together than worrying excessively much about crunchy details.

The principles behind Q&D are:
Simple and Fast
These rules do not attempt to be "simulationist" or accurately model anything. Simplicity is generally valued over ensuring absolute consistency. This is by design. Everyone is sitting around trying to tell a good story and have fun, and the main purpose for these rules is to allow for random elements (and the random whims of players) to take that story in fun and interesting directions that nobody thought of previously. As such, the "rule of cool" is very much in play, as well.

Transparent mechanics
Players and the GM should be familiar with Q&D's rules: there aren't many, so hopefully it's not too difficult. Q&D does have a decent number of tables, but, don't worry, this isn't Rolemaster, so they're pretty simple, too. The point of all this is to help keep the game "rules light" but avoid too much reliance on pure GM fiat for adjudicating outcomes.

Players act, NPCs react
What this means is, players are the ones instigating actions and throwing dice. Actions are resolved from their perspective; the complication system is rather PC-centric, and the idea is that whatever happens, the game system is designed to model what happens to them. For NPC-on-NPC encounters, the GM can try to roll and figure something out, but the best thing to do is just go with whatever is expedient for the story. For that matter, let players spend an AP to temporarily hijack an NPC, and they're then in charge of what happens.

Get to the point already. How does it work?
Task resolution in Q&D is based around the roll of a d20, plus a number of d6's and d2's. The d6's are called skill dice, and vary depending on a character's number of levels in a given skill. The d2's are called merit/flaw dice, and added when a merit or a flaw apply to a situation.

The difficulty is then subtracted from this roll. Difficulty might be a static number, or it might be an opposed roll; situational bonuses and penalties will also affect the difficulty, of course. If the roll is opposed, use the opponent's skill dice. It helps to have two different colors of dice, so the entire thing can be resolved with a single throw of a handful of dice. Throwing around handfuls of dice is fun.

Using values other than just multiples of 5 is encouraged and fun. These are just examples.

0 = Mundane. Any idiot can probably do it. Maybe not even worth rolling.
5 = Average. A decently difficult task for an average person.
10 = Tough. It takes skill or luck, and preferably both.
15 = Hard. Most people can't manage, but intrepid heroes can.
20 = Heroic. A very difficult task for even heroic heroes!
25 = Climactic. How will they ever get out of this one?
30 = Epic. Perhaps impossible?!?!

(As mentioned above, vs. someone else, the difficulty is the opponent's skill dice plus whatever bonuses, though unimportant NPCs can just use static values for simplicity)

Skills
They can be whatever you want, really, but here's a good starting point:

Athletics - Physical tasks. Moving quickly, dodging ranged attacks, lifting, and so on.
Melee - Fighting physically, whether it's fists or swords, or defending against the same.
Ranged - Making attacks from a distance, whether it is guns, thrown weapons, or whatever.
Perception - Knowing what's going on. Spotting things that are amiss.
Charm - Talking to and getting to know people in a generally agreeable fashion.
Persuasion - Being a bit less agreeable. Presence, leadership or outright intimidation.
Deceit - Lying, cheating, and stealing. Also covers hiding and sneaking.
Knowledge - Science, lore, or whatever the character is good at.
Occult - Having a sense of that which is beyond. Useful to resist (and maybe cast) magic.
Willpower - Enduring and surviving, and otherwise dealing with hardship.
Vehicle - Operating a car, driving a carriage, or anything else involving a steering wheel.

Feel free to add more or less depending on what kind of game you want.

With this suggested skill list, around 20 points worth of skills makes a pretty competent character, 25 points starts getting into badass territory, and 30 points is for players who just want to be awesome at everything-- but who doesn't? You'll need to vary the points if you make big changes to the skill list.

Example!

For example, if Mr. Billingsley is attempting to punch Ugly Lucy, he would roll a d20 plus 3d6, because his Melee skill is 3. Ugly Lucy would roll 2d6 to oppose, because her Melee skill is 2. Thus, the roll would be d20 + 3d6 - 2d6. If he was instead trying to smash through a brick wall with his bare hands, no opposing skill dice would be rolled; instead, the difficulty would be... 20 or so, probably.

Results
Results are adjudicated as follows:
- 1 or less = Epic fail. Possibly embarrassing, and other bad things might happen, too.
- 2 to 7 = A regular and mundane (yet total) failure.
- 8 to 9  = Narrow failure. An AP can make it into a success with a negative complication.
- 10 to 13 = Success with a negative complication. (See below)
- 14 to 19 = Full success.
- 20 and up = A total success, with added bonus awesomeness. (See below)

Example, continued!

So if Mr. Billingsley rolls a 10 on the d20 and an 8 on his 3d6 and Lucy's 2d6 come up 9, the total is (10 + 8 - 9 =) 9. A narrow failure! He can spend an AP or just accept that he's not very good at punching women.


Sometimes it's more fun to just roll and see what happens, such as when a character is doing some tangential task really out of his element, or the stakes aren't really high but a roll would still help give the game some (random) direction. These are called Chance rolls. Chance rolls aren't connected to a skill, merit, flaw, difficulty, or anything like that. The character simply rolls a d20 and whatever happens, happens, according to the results table.

Sometimes this system is too complicated and you just want to know if you pass or fail.
A simple roll is... simple! Often, simple rolls are called for as part of a larger action.

Roll a d20 + skills and subtract the difficulty. Then:
- On 10 or less, you fail. Bad things happen.
- On 11 or more, you succeed. Good things happen.

So what's this AP stuff?
Awesome Points, usually known as AP, have a lot of uses.
Players can...
Spend 1 AP to "buy off" a negative complication, as long as you can narrate how.
Spend 1 AP to make a declaration about the current situation that is relevant to what your character is doing.
Spend 1 AP to get an extra action when time is of the essence.
Spend 1 AP to refuse a hard compel.
Spend 1 AP to compel an NPC. (The GM can veto anything too bizarre or out of character)
Get 1 AP for reaching a significant milestone or otherwise advancing the plot.
Get 1 AP for accepting a compel.
Get 1 AP for roleplaying in a way that is like imposing a compel on yourself.
Get 1 AP when rolling a 6 on "bonus awesomeness."

Characters start the adventure with 3 AP. They then carry over from session to session.
You can only have a maximum of 10 AP, so use them or lose them!

What is a Compel?
A compel is a situation where the character carries out an action that is not in his or her best interest, but it's quite reasonably what that character would do. A character's flaws are, of course, a great place to start, and many of a character's compels should be based on flaws. However, a character's merits may also provide inspiration, as they don't always necessarily lead to good things. Once the group is more familiar with everyone's characters, situations where they may act in ways that cause themselves trouble start becoming more and more apparent, and compels can become more freeform, as everyone gets a sense of what a certain character would do. Mechanically, a compel should have about as much impact as a negative complication, a list of which is given below.

There are two types of compels, hard and soft.
- Hard compels can be accepted for an AP, and the player must pay an AP to refuse. These are for situations where a character's own nature suggests a certain course of action, or there is a tough decision to be made.
- Soft compels can be accepted for an AP, but it costs nothing to refuse them. These are for when the GM wants to dangle a tempting option in front of a player but make it a purely optional course of action.

But what if you have 0 AP and you want to refuse a hard compel? You still can. Players in Q&D should never be forced by the GM to act in a certain way. However, you'll be at negative AP, and you can't actively spend AP until you're back above 0. The GM can (and is encouraged to) give enemies a +5 bonus at an inconvenient time in order to "pay for" this negative AP. Each time an enemy gets this bonus against a character, one of that character's negative APs disappears.

Negative Complications and Bonus Awesomeness
If the GM has a good idea for what to do (or the players suggest one!) just do that instead of rolling, otherwise consult these tables.

Negative Complications:
(1) Less than expected = It's still a success, but it's not really the success that you hoped for. It's still not a total failure, though. Half damage, lackluster success, or whatever.
(2) Unfavorable circumstances = This success messed something else up. You get a temporary 5-point flaw that disappears after it is inflicted upon you.
(3) Extra problems = You succeed, but the GM introduces some additional bad stuff.
(4) Do it again = You have to make an additional simple roll, usually with a different skill. If you fail that one, you totally fail at whatever it is.
(5) Hard bargain = You can succeed, but it's going to cost something else. Spend resources, take damage, or whatever... or you fail.
(6) Tough choice = You can either fail, or succeed but have to do something you probably didn't want to do. Treat it sort of like a compel.

Bonus Awesomeness:
(1) Critical success! = Whatever you were trying to do, you do it completely awesomely. Roll an extra damage die, benefit from resoundingly successful skill use, or whatever.
(2) Favorable circumstances! = This success also made something else easier. You get a temporary 5-point merit that disappears after you use it once, or at the end of the scene.
(3) Extra goodies! = Something else unexpectedly good happens in addition to your success.
(4) Bonus action! = You succeeded so fast you have time to spare. Immediately take another action.
(5) What happens now?! = You get to take over the narrative for a short bit, sort of like making a declaration, or you can choose any outcome on this table.
(6) Awesome Awesomeness! = You did something that adds to your character's overall awesomeness. Collect an AP.

The idea behind these tables is that all rolls should be made from the player's perspective, as the narrative (and the game) should revolve around them.
These should depend on the situation, but here are some ideas:

Extra Problems:
- For an attack, the enemy adds some sort of combat maneuver for free.
- More enemies show up, or an enemy you're already fighting gets another turn right now.
- Move to the bottom of the initiative roster or lose your next turn.
- Immediately take d4 damage, or, worse, immediately suffer 1 harm.
- Maybe just give a -5 penalty to something, if you can't think of anything else.

Extra Goodies:
- For an attack, add some sort of combat maneuver for free.
- If allies are nearby, an ally shows up at an opportune time, or an ally who can help you gets a turn right now.
- If enemies are getting the better of you, move up the initiative roster to the top.
- If a character is hurting, recovering 2 stress is probably good.
- Maybe just give an AP or a +5 bonus to something, if you can't think of anything else.

Merits
While skills represent core competencies, merits represent those little knacks for certain things that can aid a character. The exact names for merits are chosen by the player: these can represent a profession, a hobby, a talent, a strongly held belief, or any other detail that adds some color to a character and can add an edge to a given application of their skills. When a merit applies to a given roll, the merit's value is added to the roll as bonus d2's. In an opposed action, only one character is allowed to get a merit bonus, and the more specific merit always gets the bonus. A merit should have a short list of two or three skills or situations where it's applicable, with the number allowed dependent on how specific the merit is in general. Players have a lot of freedom to define their merits, but the GM gets the final say as to what is an acceptable merit.

Using a Merit can lead to nice benefits when a character acts in a way that suits his or her nature, but players must also be careful that their characters do not become overly predicable or act in situationally inappropriate ways-- both players and the GM should remember that the use of merits always colors the action somehow. It goes without saying (but will be said anyway, so there) that the GM should not let players overuse their merits, and instead encourage them to mix things up by presenting situations where different skills and approaches are useful.

Characters should get around 5 points of merits: this gives a 5-point "Profession," or some lesser merits, like a 3 and a 2, or whatever.

It is sometimes obvious how the application of a merit might affect an action. If the mechanical impact is not so obvious, though, the GM can always just roll on this table:

(1) Compelling = You immediately receive a hard compel related to the merit. It can be taken to gain an AP or bought off by paying an AP, as usual.
(2) Pay It Forward = Your merit's bonus doesn't help only you. An enemy can gain benefit equal to half its value on a future roll, as well. (Alternatively, the merit only grants its minimum bonus: +1 for a 1 point merit, +2 for 2 points, and so on)
(3) Raise the Stakes = The merit's bonus applies, but, if the roll ends up failing anyway, the consequences of failure become proportionately more severe.
(4) No Pain No Gain = Suffer damage equal to the point value of the merit, or you can't use this or any other merit on the current roll.
(5) Change of Plans = The use of the merit alters circumstances slightly. This can be mostly flavorful, but might have some ramifications for the game's story.
(6) Lucky! = The merit applies especially well in this situation. You just get its bonus and don't have to change or do anything.

Meritorious Example!

Mr. Billingsley is once again attempting to punch Ugly Lucy. This time, though, he'll roll d20+3d6+3d2, because, as before, his Melee skill is 3, but this time we're also considering his Brash Man of Action merit worth 3. However, if Ugly Lucy had an Expert Pugilist or other such merit explicitly related to hand-to-hand melee combat, it would be more specific: she'd get her bonus instead, and Mr. Billingsley would not get any. In this case, the GM decides that in order to get this benefit, Mr. Billingsley will have to live up to being a "brash man of action," and compels him to charge into combat without any regard for his own safety. He can collect an AP to accept or, since is a hard compel, he must pay an AP to refuse.

Flaws
Nobody is perfect, and characters generally also have flaws. These are essentially the opposite of merits. Much like merits, flaws are chosen by the player, only this time they reflect situations where the character has problems or may not be quite so competent. Like a merit, a flaw influences the action it affects, acting as a sort of mini-compel: the player must either modify the action in a way that plays into the flaw, or suffer a penalty to the roll of d2's equal to the flaw's value. Also like a merit, a flaw should have a short list of the skills or the situations where it's applicable.

Characters should have to suffer the consequences of whatever they choose, of course, but don't go overboard. Characters shouldn't have penalties continually heaped on them. Generally, the GM should only invoke a character's flaws once per scene, and only in scenes where that character is doing a lot. In all cases, it should add color and challenge to the game, not just seem like a way to arbitrarily punish players for being clever and/or rolling well. The single exception to this rule is the (generally rare) circumstance where an enemy has a merit of equal or greater value that directly opposes the flaw. In these cases, the enemy is assumed to have a special talent at exploiting that particular weakness, and can inflict a penalty every time it comes up. (The GM should still not be too harsh; give more slack to a player who gets the hint and tries a new approach!)

Characters should get around 5 points of flaws as well. Characters can take more flaws to get more merits, but don't let anyone go overboard: 8 points of each is a good maximum. Taking both merits and flaws related to the same thing is a good way to show a double-edged ability.

As before, sometimes, the effects of "modifying the action in a way that plays into the flaw" are obvious. When it's not so obvious, there's always another table!

(1) Risk It = Make a simple roll using a relevant but different skill, applying the flaw itself to the simple roll. On success, suffer no penalty due to the flaw. On failure, you face a hard compel related to the flaw that gives no AP if you accept it, but you must pay an AP to refuse.
(2) Pass It Along = Someone else gets hit with a temporary flaw equal in value to this flaw, which will come up on their own turn. They can always pass it back, but then you're stuck with it; treat it like "Impending Doom," below.
(3) Impending Doom = The flaw doesn't do anything yet... except maybe some foreshadowing. At some point when it's inconvenient, it will suddenly show up again, even if the new situation doesn't match the flaw's normal scope.
(4) Adding Injury to Insult = Something bad happens and you suffer d2 damage for a 1-point flaw, d4 for a 2-point, and so on, up to d10 damage for a 5-point.
(5) Slip and Fall = The flaw plays out in a mostly mechanically irrelevant way, but you end up looking sort of stupid. In a more serious game, this could be some appropriate plot-based punishment.
(6) Unlucky = Trying to mitigate the flaw just made things worse. Increase the flaw's penalty by one more die before you apply it; i.e., roll 2d2 for a 1-point flaw, 3d2 for a 2-point flaw, and so on.

Flawed Example!

The GM points out Mr. Billingsley's 2-point flaw of Drunken Lout. Mr. Billingsley's player states that since he's staggeringly around drunkenly, he accidentally shoves his ally, Madison James, giving her a temporary 2-point flaw. He also could have avoided these consequences for the flaw and instead just had his drunkenness cause a -2d2 penalty to his own action, but Mr. Billingsley decided chivalry is dead. This now gives Madison her own interesting choice on her turn. As long as this chain of events is in effect, the GM won't punish Mr. Billingsley further for being a drunken lout nor cause Madison any further problems-- but other characters are still fair game, of course!

Damage, Stress and Harm
Characters in Q&D have two distinct ways of keeping track of bad things happening to them: Stress and Harm.

When characters take stress, it does not necessarily mean an attack has hit them, or at least hit them with full force. Stress damage represents fatigue, inconveniences, bumps, small pains, mental difficulty, and so on. On the other hand, when a character's stress allotment is used up, taking harm represents real physical (or serious psychological) harm. Most damage causes stress first, then inflicts harm. Characters recover all of their stress at the end of each fight or other scene, but harm heals more slowly, typically requiring medical attention or magical healing, or at least a good amount of rest. In terms of game time, harm should last an entire session of play, and contain at least one scene in which the harm negatively impacts the character: harm taken counts as a flaw and can (and should!) also be compelled, which will introduce further complications-- but also gives those characters another source of AP so that their wounds are not too crippling should they need to push onward.

In general, what exactly deals damage (and what kind) should be dependent on the tone of the adventure. Getting a pie in the face may count as a normal hit in a slapstick comedy adventure, but hardly mean anything in one based on gritty combat. Specifically nonlethal attacks may only ever deal stress damage, and inflict temporary flaws on characters who have no stress left. Anything else should just be handled with a normal roll and adjudicated appropriately.

Player characters can take (Willpower+10) stress and half as much (rounded up) harm before they are out of action. Enemies can just follow the 2:1 ratio without worrying about Willpower: moderately worthwhile enemies will have 8 stress/4 harm, while a boss enemy taking on an entire party might have 20 stress/10 harm. Other enemies need not even follow these ratios, like weak enemies with 5 stress/0 harm; these unimportant enemies could also simply be taken out by the first good hit.

Characters taking stress are not really affected by it in any game-relevant way, though players may occasionally roleplay a close call or a minor injury. It is ephemeral enough they are able to just shrug it off. On the other hand, any time a character takes harm, that character also suffers the equivalent of a negative complication for each two points of harm done. This is to reflect how the injuries suffered will negatively impact the character's performance. As mentioned above, harm also counts as a flaw, equivalent to a number of points proportional to the severity of the damage, from 1 to 5.

Characters that have taken all of their stress and harm are out of action and no longer participating in the scene. In the case of enemies, they are likely dead, or at least incapacitated. Most of the time, their fate isn't even important. As for player characters, they'll usually need some help getting back up. Should the group wish to involve the death of player characters, it is a good idea to talk things out beforehand and decide under what circumstances that will take place. (Don't wait until someone is on the ground before deciding what to do about character death in your game!)

Damage is dealt as follows:
d2 damage = Vermin and other nuisances.
d4 damage = NPC lackeys, improvised attacks, and other weak weapons.
d6 damage = A "standard" weapon used by a player or featured NPC.
d8 damage = A tough weapon, usually used by martially focused player or big monster.
d10 damage = A really strong weapon used by a boss enemy or huge monster.
d12 damage = An extremely dangerous attack, such as powerful magic or explosives or something like that.
(If there is need to increase a die above a d12, start adding dice: d12+d2, d12+d4, d12+d6, and so on.)

A "weapon" doesn't have to be a physical weapon. A kung fu master's fists are a perfectly acceptable "weapon," for example.

Characters also get bonuses for skill and luck. All of these bonuses stack.
- If the skill used in the attack is 3 dice or above, the attack does +1 damage.
- An attack that used a merit and/or targeted an enemy's flaw adds +1 damage.
- An attack that benefits from a previous combat maneuver adds +1 damage.
- In addition, an attack that hits at 17 or 18 does +1 damage. At 19 or higher, this increases to +2.
(Against player characters, that's a missed dodge 3 or 4 for +1 damage, and at 2 or less for +2 damage)

Stressful and Harmful Example!

Mr. Billingsley fails to dodge a shark attack, rolling low enough to suffer +1 extra damage. Worse yet, his enemy took advantage of one of his flaws and has a Melee skill of 4, adding two more damage. This means he'll be taking d4+3 damage, and, as his luck would have it, he rolls a 7 total. He's already been taking a beating in this fight, so he's down to only 3/12 stress. He loses that, and he'll also have to take 4 harm. He suffers two negative complications for this hit, as well being considered to have a 4-point flaw for being reduced to 2/6 harm. He's in pretty bad shape, but this reflects him getting bit by a shark or something, so he ought to be in bad shape.

Combat Maneuvers
Instead of attacking, a character can opt to perform a combat maneuver instead. Decide what you want to do, and pick an effect from the Combat Maneuvers table (an adapted version of "Bonus Awesomeness") that seems to suit it. Alternatively, describe a fun and audacious combat stunt and roll then a d6 and let the whims of fate decide. Either way, roll an appropriate skill (Melee, Ranged, Athletics, Deceit, etc.) against an appropriate defense (Melee, Athletics, Willpower, Perception, etc.), and apply the effect on a success. Any of those bonuses can be used for yourself, or "passed" to an ally who has a turn coming up.

(1) Expose a Vulnerability = One future successful attack made on the target will be considered a critical hit and roll an additional damage die. It does not have to be next attack, but should be soon.
(2) Get the Advantage = One future roll made against the target will get a +2d6 bonus, or the target will get a -2d6 penalty. It does not have to be next attack, but should be soon.
(3) Create Confusion = The player that created confusion specifies what the target does, as a sort of limited compel it must accept. The GM can veto anything too ridiculous.
(4) Stand Guard = Prevent the target from doing anything at all, or prevent all enemies from attacking a given ally or location. This lasts until the guarding player's next turn.
(5) Dirty Trick = Do something situational that gives you an advantage in combat. It should be similar in scope to the other effects listed here.
(6) Aid Awesomeness = Do something for free that would normally require spending an AP, or help an ally do the same. It still requires a turn if it otherwise would, though.

Special Abilities
In addition to their skills, merits, and flaws, characters in Q&D can get certain special abilities. These abilities are essentially Q&D's version of class features, feats, advantages, or whatever. A list of some possible choices is provided, but groups are encouraged to vary the available special abilities depending on the theme of the game, and players and GMs might even want to try making up their own once they have a feel for the approximate power level given by a special ability.

Starting Q&D characters normally get two special abilities, but special abilities depend heavily on the game, so this may vary.

Athleticism (Requires Athletics 3) - You get a +2 bonus to all Athletics rolls. You can increase this bonus to +2d6 for your next roll by spending an AP.
Berserker (Requires Melee 3) - You can go into a combat frenzy, during which time all of your melee attacks and maneuvers get a +2 bonus, as well as intimidation attempts using Persuasion, Willpower rolls to shrug off adverse effects, and other such things that would be aided by being in a berserk frenzy. In addition, no matter how badly you miss, you can always spend an AP to hit with a negative complication, which should be related to your frenzy. However, the frenzy ends when the combat does; it cannot be turned off at-will, and skills like Knowledge, Charm, and Deceit have a -5 penalty while it is active.
Center of Attention - You really shine when you are the star of the show. As long as you're the center of attention, you get +d6 on all your rolls.
Divine Favor - Someone somewhere smiles upon you. If you spend an AP and pray (or perform some other suitable ritual) for a short time, you can roll an extra d6 on the skill of your choice for the rest of the scene.
Extra Awesome - You gain 1 AP at the beginning of every play session, in addition to whatever other AP you might gain.
Fierce Attack - You attack powerfully and without hesitation. Your weapon damage die is one size larger. In addition, on a successful hit, you can spend an AP to add +5 damage or add an automatic combat maneuver.
Hexes (Requires Occult 3) - You can make combat maneuvers using your Occult skill, usually opposed by Willpower, but sometimes by the enemy's own Occult.
Jack of All Trades - You have a wide range of abilities, but are master of none. You get a +2 bonus on any skill roll made with 1 die, and a +1 bonus on those made with 2 or 3 dice.
Maneuver Master - All combat maneuvers you attempt get a +2 bonus, and a successful maneuver can, at your option, also deal d4 damage.
Meritorious - You get an extra 5 points worth of merits.
Natural Charisma (Requires Charm 3) - You get a +2 bonus to all Charm rolls. You can increase this bonus to +2d6 for your next roll by spending an AP.
Simple Soul (Requires Willpower 3) - You are not affected by the esoteric, subtle effects of magic. Attempts to resist enemy magic get a +5 bonus, and you can use Willpower even if you'd normally have to use Occult.
Sleight of Hand (Requires Deceit 3) - You can make combat maneuvers using your Deceit skill, usually opposed by Perception, but sometimes by the enemy's own Deceit.
Sneak Attack (Requires Sleight of Hand) - As long as it is plausible you could go unnoticed, before your attack, you can make a simple roll with Deceit vs. an enemy's Perception. If you succeed, you can immediately roll your attack with +2d6 and use one die size larger than normal for damage. However, failing the initial simple roll instead gives the enemy a +2d6 bonus to defense, or a -7 penalty against a static target number.
Toughness (Requires Willpower 3) - You are tough. Enemy hits have their damage reduced by one die size, and enemies can never score critical hits or get a damage bonus for your bad dodge roll. Pests rolling a d2 simply cannot damage you at all.
Vision (Requires Perception 3) - You get a +2 bonus to all Perception rolls. You can increase this bonus to +2d6 for your next roll by spending an AP.