This is more in the FKR vein of games, though I will be assuming you have two things sorted already. I’ll probably write posts for each of them at some point
- A core resolution system. I will use the words advantage/disadvantage to show when a character should have an improved or lessened chance of something, though I’m not necessarily talking about the ‘roll two take the best/worst’ definition. It could be a modifier or whatever.
- Some sort of battling system. It could be rules light or glog-y or what have you.
- Some sort of levelling/evolving/advancement system
Popplio used bubble
In the pokemon anime popplio uses bubble to attack other monsters but also to envelop pikachu so it can search underwater and it makes a massive bubble to stop the fall of some pokemon from a team rocket gondola.
That got me thinking about how a well enough written legamon move could be used in a wide number of situations outside of combat, or even in lots of different ways in combat. They might only need one or two moves overall.
Vineapple used Vine Lash
Vineapple is a plant-based monster which looks like a pineapple but with vines coming out of the top.
Okay I know that’s dumb but stay with me.
Vineapple has one ability, Vine Lash. Like all abilities, Vine Lash has some obvious qualities – as you will infer, the vines at the top of Vineapple lash out at a target. As it’s a plant-based ability, we’ll give it the Verdant tag. As I can’t really visualise it working well in melee, we’ll give it the ranged tag.
Vine Lash: Verdant, Ranged
^That’s the whole ability. Done.
Explicitly, Vine Lash has limited capabilities
- It can be used to make Verdant ranged attacks
Implicitly, Vine Lash can do many things
- Swinging from tree-to-tree
- Tripping opponents (though it might have disadvantage/no chance against opponents who can fly, who are fiery or who slither like a snake. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, follow the fiction – rule whatever makes sense)
- attacking with vines at close range (though this might be at disadvantage)
- grappling opponents (though it might have disadvantage against particularly strong opponents or those who are fiery)
There are some uses of vine lash that are good ideas, but a bit of a stretch, for instance, whirling the vines around quickly enough that Vineapple makes a defensive/protective shield.
Enter the rest of the tag system.
Tags for abilities
So you might want a monster to do something with its ability that is ‘a bit of a stretch’. When the monster levels up/evolves/advances or when it is dietetically appropriate, for instance when you’ve been training a Vineapple to whirl its vines around, choose an ability and add a new tag to it.
Tags can be words or phrases. They cannot be rules-lawyered, that goes against the spirit of this sort of game, a game run on consensus and player trust in the GM’s model of the reality of the fiction.
- Whirling Vines: Vineapple can now cycle vines in front of itself to try to shield against ranged attacks. I’d also say that it can attack in melee without disadvantage now, though it also tires itself out when it does so as whirling the vines takes a lot of energy
- Sleight-of-Hand: Vineapple is now precise enough with its vines (the word ‘lash’ before implied some imprecision) that without disadvantage it can pickpockets, flip switches, grab small items etc.
- Razor Sharp: Vineapple’s vines are razor sharp so they can cut through things now.
- Cracking Lash: The vines now crack as they lash out, the noise can be distracting or draw attention
- Metal Vines: Vineapple has evolved into Zincanut, a metallic coconut who has metal vines above its head. The tag metal should be added and the tag verdant removed.
- Wicker Weaving: Vineapple can weave its vines back and forth to make a wicker item, then dis-attach them. It takes a while for the vines to come back to full strength
- Powerful Lash: Vineapple’s vines are powerful enough that strong monster could be grappled now, and weaker ones with advantage. Any other logical extensions of the vines being more powerful would also occur. Maybe it does more damage in your battle system
- Hover Vines: Vineapple’s can hover through the air by spinning its vines above its head. I might allow this tag to occur by itself, or I might say it needs one or both of the Powerful Lash and Whirling Vines tags already.
So the new ability might be written thus on the character sheet
Vine Lash: Verdant, Ranged, Whirling Vines, Razor Sharp
or following a different route
Vine Lash: Metal, Ranged, Powerful lash, Hover Vines
That’s all we need to write ‘cos that’s all we need to record, the rest is in our heads.
The risk of that is when an alternate move use becomes a Magic Key that Solves All Problems Ever
On the glog discord Spwack said ‘ The risk of that is when an alternate move use becomes a Magic Key that Solves All Problems Ever’.
I absolutely agree.
Looking at you, Minor Illusion.
It’s a classic problem of having an optimum solution to every problem. Having dynamic goals in the game (not just fighting in a blank arena (or just fighting for that matter)) goes a long way to solving this. Another long way is gone (?) if we all agree to disavow a magic key if ever we find one. As I said before, the game should be run on consensus.
But what kind of ways could an ability be modified?
- increased power
- increased precision or nimbleness
- decreased precision for an area of effect
- modifiying light/vision levels
- changing sound levels quieter or louder
- change in speed
- applying conditions/statuses grapple/paralysis/sleep/fear etc.
- flight or other increased mobility (swimming/moving through earth/lava)
- increased size or scale
- constructing items/objects/consumables
- human actions (such as the weaving)
- changes in type (verdant to metal etc.)
- etc. I mean its your game jeez
But I can’t think of any abilities for this legamon
|vine lash||shell shrink||flame tail||silk string|
|poison shank||wing flap||gnaw||peck|
|zap tail||curl up||unfurl||constrict|
|wrap||magnetism||rock roll||rock yeet|
|ethereal form||pinch||shock fur||chatter|
|coordinate||mystic punch||fire kick||egg roll|
|lava dive||crush||stampede||cute look|
I think I’ll probably make my own monster types and do a post about ‘catching’ monsters and evolving them.
I mean what am I meant to do with this
Idk use it or something