Hubris Dev Blog #1- A General Overview

Well I suppose I should put down some words about the new Hubris and all that shizzy… so yeah- here we go!


There are three Edges- Melee, Ranged, and Magic. You choose one of these to be good at. Same target numbers as mentioned above. 


Choose what species you want to play. 


Roll 1d8+4 HP and roll starting weapon, armor, and three starting items. Then roll why you’re adventuring. 


There are no classes. No levels… you start with whatever abilities the species you’ve chosen gives you (or unique ability if you’re human) and anything else after that is gained through adventuring

While adventuring, If you’re being smart about something, strategizing, or have magical help- you make rolls with Advantage. If you’re being stupid, overpowered, or being hindered by magic or something, roll with Disadvantage. 

Disadvantage almost always trumps Advantage. That’s it. 

WHAT’S THE POINT?

As I’ve mentioned previously part of this unfolded when both David Black and Chris McDowall announced new versions of their rules, The Black Hack and Into the Odd, and people started asking/pressuring me to update Barbarians of the Ruined Earth and Death is the New Pink and I was like… ummm no.

You can read the previous posts here and here.


Additionally my groups tend to be casual gamers and/or peeps like me who are fucking busy. 

We don’t have time for builds and optimizations and all that shit. I have 2-4 hours (usually it’s 2 1/2) to engage my players, attempt to kill their characters in the most horrific way possible, and have some fun…. It can’t be sitting there rehashing the rules. It can’t be flipping through manuscripts looking for spell results or critical hit generation…


So I wanted to whittle the rules down to base components and then give tools for generating shit on the fly (like the main philosophy of Hubris)…


Thus far I’ve been pretty happy with how my mechanics have performed and decided that I wanted to make a lighter/one book version of Hubris. 

HUBRIS CHANGES

SPECIES 

So the first thing was nixing race as class and classes in general. Choose from one of the species and jot down the info: Avarian, Ekrask, Human, Klind Exile (new), Lupine (new), Murder Machine, and Mutant. 


I nixed half demon… just felt to 5e to me and I’ve had enough of tieflings for awhile. 


CLASSES

Gone. Simple as that. Classes have started to irk me as of late. If it’s super rules lite like Barbarians or something, fine- but other that that I ain’t got time for that shit. But in general classes and levels have caused escalation issues in games that, at least for me, break immersion and make shit feel cookie cutter/same-o, lame-o. 


Also- most of the time I’ve noticed casual player forget most of their powers and abilities during play and have to be reminded… however they remember the weapons and abilities they go by achieving something- and I don’t just mean leveling up… that’s just accounting/filing TPS reports. 


So for my groups- I figure why really have them. 


Instead of classes, I created Organizations as an entity the players can interact with, gain adventures and prestige AND be taught cool powers or whatever. 


I’ve created several of these in my rules, but you can see two examples below:

THIEVES GUILD

Where there are the rich and affluent, there are the desperate and downtrodden.  When folks gather, there is always one with keen eyes looking for an easy mark.  And where there is money to be had, a thief is always there, trying to take it. 

Fence: Those who filch must sell their goods to vendors who don’t ask questions.  The Guild has a fence that will buy stolen goods from members at a higher amount (roughly 50 to 75%, depending).  The fence will happily take hot items off the thief’s hands, and best yet, won’t inform the local law enforcement.

Guild Locations: The knowledge of guild locations has been revealed to you.  These hideouts have supplies that can be purchased at a discount and contracts for various deeds for which a thief may be needed.  Contract Activity – roll 1d6: 1) Theft; 2) Collect debt (blackmail, protection, gambling debt, etc.); 3) Rough someone up; 4) Spread misinformation; 5) Spy on target, possibly follow them; 6) Bribe guards/officials in certain area.  Reward – roll 1d6: 1) Very Easy, 25 gp; 2) Easy, 50 gp; 3-4) Average, 100 gp; 5) Hard, 200 gp; 6) Deadly, 500gp.

Stealth: Guild thieves become experts at stealth, making all Agility rolls to hide and move silently with Advantage. 

Shadowjump (highest level): This technique is taught by the Guild Master to those who have proven their extreme worth to the organization.  Once per day, the thief can manipulate the very darkness itself, creating a portal that transports them to another patch of darkness or shadow up to Not Close Enough distance.  Using this ability is a Move action. 

UNDEAD SLAYERS

Undead Slayers are a special brand of crazy.  Where most people flee before zombies and skeletons and shy away from the vampire’s lair, Undead Slayers have sworn to actively seek these horrors out and destroy them. 

The Code: Those who swear allegiance to the Order of Undead Slayers know there is no going back once welcomed into the fold.  Undead Slayers live by a code to hunt and destroy undead and protect the living from these fiends.  Failure to do so will often be met with the harshest of reprisals from others in the Order. 

Equipment: Fresh members are granted a special blade: a sliver longsword.  Additionally, they receive two vials of holy/purified water, a hand crossbow with 10 bolts, five stakes, and a vial of  alchemist’s fire (pg 22).

Tainted Blood: Not only do these individuals swear an oath to always hunt and destroy undead, but they drink a concoction created from the blood of several undead monsters.  The potion is highly toxic, and not everyone survives (be nice, let the PCs survive).  Those that do are full-fledged members of the Undead Slayers.  These individuals can sense undead in a Not Close Enough radius should they concentrate for one minute, although they do not know what type of undead they are sensing.  Additionally, any test to resist an undead special effect or power is made with Advantage. 

Undead Knowledge: Tomes and stories of undead are passed between the Slayers.  Focus tests are made with Advantage to recall information or identify an undead.  The Network: Undead Slayers have a network of like-minded, but not necessarily moral or even good, individuals who have their ear to the ground with the local area: rumors, odd jobs, even where to obtain needed supplies to fight the undead… all for a fair price, of course.


TERRITORIES OF HUBRIS

These aren’t going anywhere… The only thing I’ve done is trimmed a little of the fat, taking the Lay of the Land and Encounter tables from a d100 to a d66. In the end, only 8 results from each area are being axed. And some of those I’m adding to other results- so it’s all good. 


I’m cleaning up a little bit of the wording/fluff that I’m not happy with and/or changing some of the plot hooks. 


A goal I have is to add a unique table to each area similar to the mushrooms table in the Bogwood Swamp, but I’m not sure yet if I’ll do that. 


GODS, CLERICS, and INVOKE THE NAME

Honestly gods in games have never really been a thing I’ve enjoyed in games… too often they are Deus Ex Machina. Or just stupid ass quest givers… also I’m a die hard Atheist so the thought of gods has little interest to me. But I get them having useful moments, inserted fluff, and plot hooks. 


So basically each deity will be an organization and if a player wants to join, they’ll be able to. When the PC has shown their devotion they will learn how to Invoke the Name. Calling forth the power of their deity to aid them in combat. 


Deities themselves- most likely they won’t be “present” on Hubris, only the link to their shrines or whatever, keeps their power linked to the world. Otherwise they’d fade away like a receding hairline. 


PATRONS

This is going to take some reworking as I won’t be using DCC and their Invoke Patron rules. Again- most likely this will be an cult-style organization the group can stumble across and begin to learn cult-like shit from them. As they prove their worst, they’ll be granted abilities, magical items, etc. 


MAGIC

This is another thing that will be changing completely in Hubris.  Gone are mages and wizards. “Old” magical relics, items, and scrolls can be found and used to no real detriment to the players… but they are rare and worth a bunch of gold, so a knife in the back from a cut purse is just as likely. 


Instead of magic, I’ve created Flesh Weaving. Creatures, called Flesh Weavers, take monster flesh and weave/graft it onto a living person (except Murder Machines). This flesh is nasty and has a strange, unique scarification, representing the spell. 


When a player wants to use their Flesh Weave, they Marist succeed a Magic test.  If they succeed, they suffer 1d4 damage and the spell goes off without a hitch. If they fail, they suffer 1d6 damage and the spell goes off just fine. If they Fumble, they suffer 1d8 damage and something horrible happens. A critical success means they suffer no damage and spell damage or duration is doubled. 


Blood-soaked Scrolls are where a cloth linen is laid upon the characters flesh weave after they have cut into the scarification with a silver knife. The shall soaks up the blood, showing the symbol. The character looses 1d6 damage that they do not regain until the blood soaked scroll is used and consumed. When a scroll is consumed, there is no roll- the spell just occurs.


MONSTERS

This will also require some major rewriting to nix the funky dice mechanics and shit. Basically all monsters are good at “something” so they have 1-3 Attributes they roll an 8 above on and same with Edges. 


Enemies have 1-10 HD. One mechanic I’m adding is Nasty Outcomes (below). 
Here’s how enemy stat blocks will appear. 

Goblin

HD:1Damage:1d8
HP:8Weapons:Any (but pretty much always crappy)
Attributes:AArmor:1 (light – crude cloth or leather)
Edges:R  

Description: Goblins are strange beings.  They are always chaotic and lawless, but some can be kind, friendly, and inquisitive, while others are cruel, vindictive, and vile.  More often than not,  goblins are pushed to the fringes of society, serving as minions for bandits, orcs, and ogres. 

Special Abilities: Swarm: When more than one goblin attacks a single target, their attacks are combined into a single roll made with Advantage and deals 2d8 damage.

Chaotic: It the beginning of each round during an encounter, roll 1d6: on a result of 4 or higher, one or more of the goblins do something unexpected before getting right back into the fray – roll 1d10: 1) laugh at a fallen or wounded comrade; 2) stop and picks nose; 3) viciously attacks something not threatening (tree stump, rock, backpack, etc.); 4) swears a blood oath against PCs to avenge the fallen; 5) begins dancing, believing they are casting a spell; 6) begins reciting a poem of absolute beauty and loss; 7) all start singing a song about what kind of magic spell to use and the power of a baby; 8) starts beatboxing dubstep; 9) pulls out a puny bomb (1d8 damage) from its underwear and throws it at a PC; 10) pulls out a potion from its underwear and drinks it… what does it do?!

Oozekeepers: The Oozekeepers are considered prophets and heralds.  The Oozekeeper will dissolve living creatures, most often other goblins, but captives are always preferred, in order to divine events from the bubbling and melting of their flesh.  These goblins have 3 HD and have a jar containing an ooze (pg 56).  The Oozekeeper is the one creature the ooze will not attack or attempt to consume due to their strange relationship (best not to ask).  In combat, these goblins will release their ooze from its bottle to join the fray.  Oozekeepers also carry 1d4 bottles of acid on them, because why not?   


Well I think I’ve blathered enough for now.

Be well all!

Author: Mike Evans

I am the dude behind DIY RPG Productions. I have a fuck all punk rock attitude, love meeting new people, doing nature shit, and gaming (tabletop and console) and having a good time. I love craft beer (maybe too much), punk, grunge, and industrial music. I write books. Good for me.

One thought

  1. I like these changes! I much prefer the term “species” to “race”, and also the idea of stripping away class and instead making abilities something that are acquired meaningfully.

    It seems to be a trend with some of these more NSR-esque systems like with Mark of the Odd to remove or alter traditional advancement and instead have it be based on context, or on items, but I don’t remember offhand if I’ve seen someone build it into factions as you’re suggesting here.

    I especially like that idea. I’ve seen other systems before where there are various factions, and usually some faction-specific class, or items, or some special faction-specific abilities you can get if you do X or Y, but because it’s just one more sub-system on top of a bunch of other stuff, it often ends up being an afterthought. Baking it into the game seems like a cool way to really make that a core part of the gameplay loop, and it can also be used as a means of making Social Intrigue a core part of the gameplay loop as well, which I really enjoy.

    I’m actually now thinking I may want to experiment with this idea for my own game! I often add elements of “Domain-play” into my games, so this feels like a natural extension of that.

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