Ok, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Future game (and thanks, once again, to Troll and Toad for sending it). It's the Palladium system. So, quickly, here is the dealy on combat for the uninitiated:
-weapons do D&D-comparable damage (d6, d8 etc.--the average pistol does 2d6--weapons beyond that are rare in this campaign)
-d20 to strike. Roll a above a 4 to hit, unless the other guy/other pornstar rolls above you to dodge or parry. (And sometimes there's an armor rating to roll over, but armor's uncommon).
-so: you get hit a lot more than in D&D
-stats are 3d6--that is, D&Dish
-starting characters have Endurance stat (3d6) plus d6 hit points. about 3-4 times what you'd have in D&D.
-so far, so good--you get hit more than D&D, but you got more hit points. No worries.
-HOWEVER, then on top of that you get, on average, 35 SDC (Structural Damage Capacity) (just like hit points) to start with and that's BEFORE you buy armor which adds more SDC.
Net effect: it's like an hour of karate and small-arms fire before anybody starts going "Hey, I'm kinda hurt, maybe I should start thinking before I roll these dice just so's I don't die." In my opinion, in any game, PCs should start thinking that as soon as they see anything made of metal.
Solution would appear to be:
A) Get rid of the SDC stat all together, except if you acquire armor and
B) Convince your players to be ok with that.
I'll let you know how that works out.
Other hacks already initiated to speed character generation that seem to've worked out fine:
-Instead of money (shopping takes more time than adults feel comfortable devoting to deciding what a talking iguana is carrying), PCs start with any 1 contemporary object smaller than a breadbox and 2 weapons--any ancient weapon or a pistol, plus they roll on all these charts which nobody minds 'cause it's fun. Hey, it's the post-apocalypse, nobody uses money anyway. So far the breadbox rule hasn't been munchkinized--it's hard to think of a handheld gamebreaker when electricity is rare and you never know what substance the next settlement will consider valuable.
-for skills, you get proficiencies in whatever weapons you're carrying, plus d12 more skills, whatever you want. As-published-TMNT has charts determining your background and thus what skills you have plus a whole category of "secondary skills". But, really, the apocalypse happened, all social order has broken down, cats and dogs live together (and own katanas), why shouldn't someone have sew, dance, pilot:hovercraft and implant cybernetics?
-i like that the system's skill-based--its one reason i don't just roll Mutant Future or something instead. All the skills like "read sensory equipment" make technology in TMNT the equivalent of magic in D&D--an arcane world of nooks and crannies. Only problem is figuring all your percentages when you're making your character and adding the modifiers (each skill has it's own percent chance to succeed, plus modifiers per level, plus ones based on your IQ etc.). So I just said: you have a skill, that means you can roll on the appropriate attribute once per level to do that thing. Pick locks at 2nd level? That means you can pick locks with a successful dex--sorry "physical prowess"--roll and you get two chances. That's how I do it in D&D. At high levels the GM just needs to remember that difficult tasks get monstrous negative modifiers.
Right about now you're probably wondering if that's the only thing I like about it and why I don't just use a million other systems. Fine question...
I also like the Bio-E system--where you have to buy your way up from being a regular animal--you gotta buy speech and hands and the ability to walk upright--or go halfway. It makes a player think about their little bastard in detail.
Plus I think--theoretically--I like having compatibility with all the other Palladium stuff. I am eying the martial-arts systems from Ninjas & Superspies for possible importation.
Plus, there's the player buy-in factor: the girls like the Turtles. We got the movie on VHS, and the Jim Lawson mutant animal pictures (of which I can find zero decent examples on-line) beat the hell out of the Gamma World ones for inspiration.
On Erecting a New Campaign
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