Whats Different

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What whats different about Future Path? What sets it apart from d20 Future or for that matter any other Pen and Paper game? Well glad you asked!

1. d20+ System:

This is the resolution system. d20 or d10 systems are named such because they inform the person what the primary die used to resolve conflicts will be. d20+ is named because players will roll a d20 plus additional dice depending on their level and the situation. This system is based on 3 main concepts.
  1. Rolling more dice that are different is fun.
  2. Rolling less often improves the pace and flow of a game.
  3. Removing static modifiers allows for more dynamic play.
Together these statements form the base for a lot of decision making for the game rules. Static modifiers still exist but only for Ability Scores and items. While everything else is a die roll of some sort. The die has levels. Level 1 is d2 level 2 is d4 and so on until level 6 which is d12. Here the die levels split into two different level trees. The first branch loops back around so that level 7 die is 1d12+1d2 while the second branch keeps going with doubles so that level 7 would be 2d8 and level 8 would be 2d10 with the max being level 9 at 2d12. However, the first branch's max level is 12 at 2d12. Weapons and the Advantages/Disadvantage system uses the second branch of die levels while all other aspects of the game like Skills, for example, use the first branch. In this system, most situations are resolved by rolling multiple dies instead of just 1d20 + Mods. It is for example 1d20 + 1d6 + Mods.
You gain access to higher die levels as your Character levels up and improves.

2. Advantage and Disadvantage:

This is managed by a Character's "Advantage Die" which is a Die started with 1d2 and improves over time as the Character levels up. The idea being that as the Character is more experienced they are more likely to do more with an advantage. And in turn the bigger you are the harder you fall so the Advantage Die is also used when a character has a disadvantage for the opposite effect. This also means that just because your Character is in an advantageous situation, ie: flanking, has the high ground, is being helped by a comrade in arms, doesn't mean the Character can fully take advantage of it. They are given a die to add to their roll and that die could just provide a 1 or it could provide a 5 or even a 12.

3. Combat:

In FuturePath combat rounds are considered 3 seconds instead of the typical 6 seconds found in the d20 system. These means that players have only one standard action instead of two. This also means that Attacks of Opportunity no longer exist. Another major change is now all players deiced what their actions are together as a team and act all at once. Actions that do not require rolling happen first, then all the players can roll at once. Each team has a static Team initiative score which is determined at the start of play, not at the start of combat. This means there is no initiative roll to determine the order. All of this allows quick transition into fast pace combat rounds. The goal is to increase the speed of combat as well as introduce a cooperative combat system instead of one where players act alone without consequences.

4. Attack Bonus and Extra Damage:

This is a significant part of why this system is called "d20+". Instead of a "Base Attack Bonus," or some other flat bonus, an extra dice is used. The Die is determined by the player Class and level and can range from a d2 to a 2d12. This is called the "Advantage Die." It is also separate from how many attacks a Character can perform per round. Additional attacks do not exist in FuturePath. Instead, it is Extra Damage and it is determined on the Path and Level of the Character. Having a Character's accuracy improve over time be based on a random die roll instead of a static number gives an element of randomness and excitement. This also leans into the advantage system.

5. Skills:

Our approach to handling Skills may seem at first glance to be the same old same old. However, there are several major differences. There are 3 types of skills. Natural, UnNatural, and Rank Dependent. The "Rank Dependent" is a new addition to our rule set. The idea is that the rank of the skill determines the best possible outcome. Instead of it just helping to beat a DC by adding a modifier to your d20 roll it also predetermines how good your success is if you do indeed successful. The best example is with Language. Now Language is handled by having a skill rank for each Language you know. If you have a rank of just 1 in say "Common Human," then your best possible outcome is just being able to tell that what you are reading/listening too is indeed Human speech and maybe a few words here and there. Even if you succeed with a natural 20. Your Character is just learning the language. Higher the rank the better the best possible outcome will be. Many of rule sets sort of use this with Crafting by restricting how powerful the items a Character can craft based on their Craft rank. This is also the case here.
We also changed how skills level up somewhat. All skills have to be Trained before you can put ranks in them. Class skills are automatically Trained at level 1. However, in order to apply the Character's ability modifier to an UnNatural non-class skill, it must first be trained which costs a skill point. If the skill is a Natural skill can still attempt the action, but they simply do not add any bonuses to it.
To Learn more please visit the Skills Basics page.

6. Techniques :

In a lot of Sci-Fi Pen & Paper games, the aspect of casting magic is missing. Well although 'magic' as defined in most Fantasy realms is not present in the Future Path setting a similar game mechanic called Techniques is. This system allows for fantastical Sci-Fi elements to take shape and for Players to enjoy creating Characters that can still perform fantastical feats of prowess that to the untrained eye may seem like magic.

7. Wealth System:

A lot of P&P (Pen and Paper) game systems use a simplified way of handling wealth. The goal is to streamline gameplay and make it more about the story then about epic shopping. However, this forces the GM and the Player to role play in a certain way. What if you want to play out attempting to pay for the illegal substance or your new Star Ship. Buying a ship can be a major commitment and achievement for a Player. So why not have Players manage their money? Well... it's difficult when you get into modern finance. Things are more complicated. There needs to be a middle ground. We believe that our Wealth System is a good middle ground that helps to express a Players Wealth in a way that represents modern money without bogging down gameplay.
We use the Credit system. This allows players to own 'ISC' or Inter-Stellar Credits while also having a Credit Score which determines there monthly income (if that applies) as well as the ability to buy things vastly more expensive then normal. However, each time a Character buys something costly they lose 1 or more Credit Score points. There are only a few difficult ways to get a Credit Score back which means Players will have to choose what expensive things to buy.
Items in the game are all rated by the Procure Difficulty which is a way to sum up how both rare and difficult an item is to acquire. And lastly, all items also have an attribute associated with Tech Level. All these attributes when combined allow GMs an easy way to both control and convey the availability of items to players in an easy and quick way. Making 'epic shopping' experiences much faster. For example, a GM could tell the party when they walk into a weapons depot that there are only Tech Level 1,2 items with 0,1 and 2 Procure Difficulties available. That way the players can look at the list of items and know exactly what they can and cannot get in that store.

8. Campaign Setting:

What initially inspired creating this game was the severe lack of a Campaign Setting to explore for d20 Future/Modern. There was no Forgotten Realms or Golarion to explore. Although not wholly a bad thing it kept the d20 Modern/Future game from feeling whole. The galaxy FuturePath is set in is full of civilizations of all different technical abilities from alien planets with no sentient life to empires that spread across the stars. However, there still are largely unknown pieces of space with mysteries and dangers. Large amounts of explored space with civilizations all striving to prove themselves while at the same time massive amounts unexplored space and unsolved mysterious. The idea is that a GM can start there players in an established known part of the world but then not be tied down creatively as they can jump off into sections of the unexplored universe where unknown alien civilizations can exist.

9. Tech Level:

Technology is so cool! Sci-Fi is surrounded by the neat tech that unlocks wondrous impossibilities and brings them into the palm of a Characters hand. They can bring power and awe. People of lower understanding may simply view someone with advance Technology as a god. Or at least someone of great power that should be feared. This is full of fun storytelling possibilities. Technology and the belief in what could be possible is the fuel source of Sci-Fi stories and can be used to empower GMs and Players alike. In Future Path Player Characters inherit the Tech Level of the civilization they grow up in. The Tech Level effects what level of items a player can repair/modify/craft. And penalties are given for the use of items with Tech Levels too high for a character to understand. More on Tech Level here. They can also earn the ability to use, repair and even craft items of higher Tech level at certain points in the adventure. Giving something for a Character to strive for and the Player to look forward too.

10. Language:

As noted above in the Skill's section we treat language differently. You just do not add a language once you level up and instantly are fluent in it. There is a Language skill. This skill determines the number of languages a character can have. It also is added to any check that evolves comprehending a foreign language. Each language you use has its skill and skill rank. The rank of that skill predetermines the best possible outcome. Your role is simply to see if you succeed or fail to achieve that outcome. At rank 1 of specific language skill, a player is just learning that language. The rank is 1 through 5. 5 being that they are fluent in the language so much, so they the appear to speak and write it as if it was there the first language and they can manipulate accents.
All Characters have language as a "Trained" class skill. Whenever adding a new language the player spends 1 point in the main Language skill unlocking the ability to learn a new skill. Then they write down there new language as a new Skill under the main Language skill. This new language skill is automatically considered a "Trained" class skill and has a Rank of 1.
For the Campaign Setting, another twist is added. A lot of different pens and paper games have different philosophies on how to handle language. We want to make a system that can be flexible for both significant scenarios. One is that there is a common language and all Players speak it and most NPCs and other characters in the story does as well. Language barriers are rarely brought up. The other side of the fence is a more gritty/realistic approach and has language barriers be a common problem and even used as a plot device. Our approach will be to introduce a common language but have it up to the GM and Players on just how "common" it is in the universe. The official Campaign setting there will be two common languages. Low Common and High Common. Low being very simple and easy to learn. However, while its syntax may be the same there are different ways of expressing the words to facilitate species biological differences. Its simple in that it is used to convey only the most basic ideas. High Common is far more complicated with far more exceptions however with complexity you also gain the ability to express much more. Of course, there will be other languages, but these two are the best way to communicate with the average alien. Will you use this setup? It's honestly up to the GM. But more rules on language skill can be found in the Skills section and more about Low/High common can be found in the Campaign Section.