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I'm backing a project on Kickstarter Embers of the Forgotten Kingdom - "A systemless, soulsian-inspired book of NPCs and creatures to take your games into dark new worlds."

Now because of stretch goals, the creators offer two free system companions (or monster stats block's) for the systems to be chosen among

  • D&D 5th Edition
  • Pathfinder
  • Shadow of the Demon Lord
  • OSR
  • Cypher System
  • Savage Worlds
  • Dungeon World
  • FATE

Which companions should I take to make it as easy as possible to use those monsters in my complete homebrew rules?

Homebrew Rules

Here I try to give an overview of my home-brew rules, especially those rules for which monsters have values which in an ideal case I could compute from one of those companions.

initiative) At the beginning of an encounter each participant PC makes an initiative roll to decide when they can perform an action, monsters just have a value, which can be adjusted to the situation. Then all initiative values are compared, the highest starts and then there is a ticks timeline on which all others are placed, according to the difference of initiative to the first one.

Speed armor penalty) Each action necessitates a certain amount of ticks, this is the amount of ticks the performer goes down on the timeline performing this action. There is a benchmark for very common actions during combat e.g. attack,dodge,defend,... monsters usually have an overall bonus or penalty which is applied to all actions. some penalties only affect parts of them. As an example, a heavy helmet only affects dodging. A helmet which covers the eyes, has a penalty on attack but not dodging...

stamina) To limit the use of special abilities I use stamina. Special abilities use up some stamina wich can almost not be recovered during a fight (except maybe with magic items or spells). So a monster has a maximal amount of stamina, the stamina used by abilities and maybe if it is a monster to be hunted down over days a stamina regain rate.

damage) Monsters have damage dice (if there are multiple attacks each might have their own) this is the dice thrown after a successful attack. Each die showing more than the armor class of the defender is one hit. The amount of dice shows how much damage it can make and the die side number shows how good it goes through armor. It might also be that some special attack is compared to something else than armor, poison might be compared to constitution and so on. An average person has 8 hit points and hence without armor would die immediately if hit twice with a knife 4d4.

armor) Monsters have an armor value. As explained above this is the natural or armor resistance when hit.

Hit points) Monsters also have Hit points in the completely classic sense.

Actions) Before I explain monster stats for action I explain actions in general. For each action the PC score is computed from his stats (how is not important here) depending on this number he then forms the dice pool. He can either chose to take the most sided die he can or to take several die but each with less sides, the total number of sides can not be bigger than the PCs score. He then proceeds to throw all dice. The three highest results are now compared to the difficulty of the action of the form (?,?,?) where each ? stands for a number. If one of the results is higher than the first number it is one success, if there is a result bigger than the first one and another one bigger than the second one then it is two success. Finally if for each number separately there are results higher than them, then it is a complete success. Most task demand one success. Further success in that case improve the result. Some very complicated task demand more than one success.

The idea here is that the player can chose to go for one success with high chances or for two successes with slightly less probability or even complete success. The players knowledge about the difficulty come in very handy, he might know how easily he will get the first success and hence that he's not taking a big risk taking more dice instead of the bigest possible. An example would be a PC attacks a Goblin, he computes his score using his stats and the stats of his weapon and obtains 22. He allready fought against goblins and knows they defend with a (6,0,0). He decides to take d12 +d10 (12+10 = 22), hence when he makes his throw, he only needs one of the die to show a higher number than 6 and imediately obtains two success. He could go even further and chose d12 +2d4, in that case he would rely on the d12 to land on a higher number than 6 but would have a complete success if this is the case. Which in that case just means cutting their throats in one attack.

Hence for actions monsters have always 3 values, this could look like that

  • defend (8,4,4)
  • attack (8,8,8)
  • dodging (10,0,0) (1 stamina)
  • hypnotize (6,6,6) (2 stamina)
  • ...

those are the values for the first, then second and finally third success and represent their style of fighting. defend(10,0,0) means they defend themselves but don't think about giving you the shoulder to avoid you cutting their head off. defend(8,8,8) means that they fight very strategically and would take a hit to the arm instead of rising a more damaging hit.

My knowledge

I played a lot of different games but somehow almost never the classics. Among those listed I only played AD&D and couldn't remember less. I read in the mean time about pathfinder, since it was suggested by SevenSidedDie but that's it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ please comment what you think is unclear, I got a cristal clear answer. This is no exact science, if I had a formula to be solved I would solve it my self. \$\endgroup\$ – YannickSSE Oct 20 '16 at 15:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ clarity of this question under discussion in Meta here. \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Oct 24 '16 at 12:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ As suggested by @DuckTapeAl I opened a chat room chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/47562/help-with-homebrew-system \$\endgroup\$ – YannickSSE Oct 28 '16 at 14:02
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None of these will really help you in the way you're hoping. Your house system is too unrelated to any of them. The most you could expect to gain from any of these is a Reflex score equivalent (an Initiative modifier) and a hit point total, which you'll get from the Pathfinder companion. All the other details about how monsters work in your game — armour, stamina, fighting style, damage numbers — are alien to these games and you will have to make up yourself from scratch. And even then, there's no guarantee that the HP and Initiative numbers will be in the right range for your system, so they will still only be minor guides to picking your own numbers.

Get whichever guides are for games you are most familiar with. If you still remember how AD&D works and feel comfortable translating AD&D monsters into your game, that probably includes the "OSR" companion, which will be directly compatible with AD&D. Then at least you'll have a rough indication of relative abilities, giving you a vague idea of what kind of creature it is, so that you will have a few clues that might help you homebrew it yourself.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This was fast! I'll definitely take the pathfinder one then, let's see if someone else see's something. I was hoping for some speed value I could use and stamina for special abilities. I didn't expect much for the 3 values for actions I just put it there because you never know. To find a formula to transform some value into what I need shouldn't be a big deal. \$\endgroup\$ – YannickSSE Oct 18 '16 at 14:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ Is it worth mentioning that OSR is similar to AD&D for familiarity reasons? \$\endgroup\$ – SirTechSpec Oct 18 '16 at 16:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ It is worth, since it also means that I would get similar information from both and hence should only take either if any of the two. \$\endgroup\$ – YannickSSE Oct 19 '16 at 13:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ actually I only understood now, that there is quite a difference between AD&D what I gamed and D&D 5th edition. Hence what you said is that OSR might be more familiar to me. Thanks again. \$\endgroup\$ – YannickSSE Oct 24 '16 at 13:47

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