3D&T Alpha by TheLovablePlutonis
IntroductionOriginal SA post
You know, after marathoning this thread I've been hankering to make a run of 3D&T Alpha. It's the latest version of the
Defensores de Tóquio
, which Cyphoderus reviewed on the first thread. It's a rejiggered version of the third edition of 3D&T, which was the most popular national RPG here in Brazil, and the first one played by many people (me included, back in 2001)!
So, let's start talking about 3D&T Alpha !
(The cover itself is a huge in-joke for people acquainted with the System and its history. It features characters from Holy Avenger, a comic that like the anime Slayers, was a pastiche of tabletop tropes with a somewhat dramatic story too. That Elven girl also was dressed in an outfit made just of belts which tells you a lot of what you'd expect from the comic. She's also a common cosplay target here in Brazil, which is astounding. )
The thing about Defensores de Tóquio is that it was conceived as A: A game that beginners would find easy to play and veterans would enjoy using and B: An incredibly modular system that one could use to adapt EVERYTHING. And indeed, as the creators also worked on the Dragão Magazine and later its competitor Dragonslayer, they released tons and tons of articles on how to use the game to run any flavor of the week Anime/Game/Movie/Comic Book around. On that matter it cribbed a lot from GURPS. It also had a semi-official setting, Tormenta, which the Holy Avenger comic was based of and also has a D20 adaptation which I may present here in the distant future.
Next Time: Part 1: The Hero!
The Hero (1 of 2)Original SA post
3D&T Alpha Part 1: The Hero (1 of 2)
This chapter starts with a nice introduction blurb for newbies to TRPGs, giving the primers on the concept of creating a character and giving you the option to either make something original or emulate a character from a videogame/movie/anime (which is a big thing on the system). First things first, new player characters start with a set number of points to spend on their creation. It has the following scale for the GMs to choose at their own discretion when setting rules for the CC.
Normal Person - Zero to four points, not recommended to PCs. Average people. They mostly have only one skill and can have one or two advantages or just a slight -1 disadvantage.
Newbie - A novice adventurer, they can also have up to -3 on disadvantages.
Fighter - Medium experienced adventurer, can have up to -4 points on disadvantages.
Champion - A veteran badass with a lot of experience. Up to -5 points in disadvantages.
Legend - Twelve points, with a maximum of -6 points in disadvantages. High powered level characters if you want to start things dangerously.
There are also rules for starting money, which is normally a 1d6 times 100 coins. A GM can fluff that on credits, zenny, what the fuck ever he wants. An interesting mechanic is that some advantages and disadvantages can actually increase or decrease the amount of cash you start with, such as Good Fame, Patron and Genius increasing the money you start with and Haunted/Cursed, Monstruous, Uncultured and Insane decreasing it. You can even start with a character in debt due to this, and he'll have to use the loot he grabs on adventures to pay his debtors! Of course there's also the Rich advantage, which nulls the other modifiers and lets you start with a whopping 1d6 HUNDRED MILLION COINS!!! You can't buy stuff that gives you advantages with the cash generated by Rich, however, although any logistic problems the party might encounter will probably be made null.
One of the things your starting points can be spent on are Characteristics, aka Stats. They make an outlier of how powerful you are, and to give you a sense of scale, normal humans have zero in all of those, with 1 being the humanly possible for someone. Two or more are already superhuman, which is the scale of a 3D&T adventurer. The Characteristics on the game are: Power , Ability , Resistance , Armor and Firepower . A starting character with 12 points can start with a 2 Pow, 4 Ab, 1 Res, 1 Arm, 3 Fir for example. One thing however, is that no starting character can start with more than five points in a single characteristic. (Which reminds me of the WW Storyteller system!)
Hit Points and Magic Points
Hit points are the meter for a character's health, and are normally calculated by multiplying a character's Resistance stat by five. Magic points work the same way, but they work as fuel for magical or supernatural abilities, or even to strengthen normal attacks if they have the correct Advantages.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Advantages and Disadvantages will be listed and explained later, but they are pretty much traits that can either cost or give you extra points on character creation. Instead of spending all your stuff in characteristics, you can spend a few points to grab some of those, and even get bonus character creation points by picking disadvantages to your character. There are also 'unique' advantages that are packed with a lot of smaller advantages and disadvantages, and pretty much serve to have you play as a non-human character, like a robot, dwarf or fairy.
Skills are special advantages that serve as a bunch of stuff your character knows about. Good to grab them if you want to play as something other than a fighting machine. There are eleven skills on this game, which are Animals, Art, Crime, Investigation, Language, Manipulation, Machines, Medicine, Sports, Science and Survival. More will come on the Skills chapter.
Some advantages also give a character the ability to use magic. Be a wizard, paladin, cleric, kung fu dude, you can use some cool spells. Of course, this only applies whether the GM gives you permission to include magic on the setting, and these rules can be pretty much ignored on non-magical ones. There are three kinds of magic in 3D&T Alpha, which are White, Elemental and Black. More will come in the Magic chapter.
After the brief resume of those things above, the book now gives you advice on observing your character sheet and seeing if it works with the concept you made in your head, and also encourages you to ignore verisimilitude. If your character is a little girl with 3 Power, you don't need to change it because why the fuck not? You might play with only rules, numbers and dice, but inventing stuff is the most fun part of the game, and 3D&T really makes a point of reminding you that. As a final touch, it also asks the player to make a drawing of your character or just grab a picture online to help you, the other players and the GM to know what he looks like.
Next: Building your character!
The Hero (2 of 2)Original SA post
3D&T Alpha Part 1: The Hero (2 of 2)
Building a character!
So, this is the second part of the first chapter, and it comes with a neat example of character creation that people can use as a guideline for their own concepts. It illustrates pretty neatly the whole process, which is why I'm highlighting it here.
Step 1: Concept.
In this stage you just need a basic idea of your character, be it a simple sentence or a whole background ready. In this example we have Tasha, the youngest daughter of a demon family who was bullied by her sisters and sold by one of them to a dragon. She then escaped and became a Mage apprentice.
That's what we have now! Now, while you can grab the unique advantage "Demon" that comes with the other Race advantages, the book says that you could play that concept without doing so, and having the whole demon thing as just an aesthetic effect.
Step 2: Points.
Remember the point step scale I told last? Well, that's the part the GM points which one you'll use in this campaign. While it states that someone's first game usually will have people with only 5 points, we are using 12 on this example.
Step 3: Characteristics.
Let's now choose those with the 12 points we got. Since Tasha is a scrawny thing that was bullied by her stronger siblings, she's starting with 0 Power . Grabbing 1 could be nice too, but it's better to economize for now. Now while she's not that strong, Tasha got some pretty quick wits and moves, and thus starts with Ability 4 (Ability IS the god stat of the setting much like Dexterity is on D&D. Kinda funny how the book even acknowledges how it's the most important characteristic too). As a Magic user, we want her to have a good amount of Health and Magic points, so she also has 3 Resistance . She also took a magic amulet from the Dragon who enslaved her that gives her some magical protection, therefore we also will give her 2 Armor . And to make her not completely useless in a fight without magic, Tasha can also shoot some fireballs with her demonic power, thus we also will give her 3 Firepower .
Step 4: Advantages.
So, we have a 0P, 4Ab, 3Res, 2Ar, 3FP array. That's 12 points already, but no worries, we can still grab some advantages. Since we are making Tasha a Magic User, we are grabbing useful abilities to her, such as Black Magic (2 Points) and Mentor (1 Point), which gives her access to all the initial spells and three bonus ones respectively. She also gets to be tutored by a NPC that she could rely on the future and Extra Magic Points (1 Point), which increase her maximum of MP to 25. Upon choosing her starting spells, she notices that costs only 3 PM and would deal a bunch of more damage than her normal Firepower attacks, and thus she backtracks and reduces her FP to one.
But her total points are still 14! Which brings us to...
Step 5: Disadvantages
We are now grabbing disadvantages to help Tasha go back to a 12 points total. Since she's a demon, people look at her funny, so Bad Fame (-1) is a good pick. That leaves us to another one, however, but upon reviewing her backstory, we can see that Tasha's history would leave her with some trauma of Dragons and Demons, thus we grab a subset of the Insane disadvantage, which is Phobia: Dragons (-1).
Step 6: Revision
This is where you look back at your stuff and think on whether your sheet should be editted or not. Want to grab the Demon unique advantage? Grab more disadvantages so you can min-max more? Cut an advantage you think won't be that useful? Up to you, but we are continuing with our stuff for now.
The following steps 7 and 8 deal with GM approval and adding quirks to your RPing. It shows you how your GM could nitpick stuff on your character sheet and demand for edits and some roleplaying tips to add to your character's personality and backstory.
And finally, we have the last part of the first chapter, which outlies the roles the characters can take on combat. Be it the Attacker , Leader , Controller and Tank . And while the system lacks classes per se, it gives you a bunch of good characteristic and advantage choices for whatever combat role your character wants to fulfill in the party.
The NumbersOriginal SA post
3D&T Alpha Part 2: The Numbers
Here there are more clarifications on crunch stuff and how the system works per se, as well as a more detailed explanation on your character's stats. Again, stats can go over the maximum 5, but that's reserved for lategame and such.
Power: Be it physical strength or just your capability to deal damage, this stat takes care of brutish stuff like that. Even if your character doesn't have sheer brute force, you can still get rid of heavy objects if you have a high number on this stat just by handwaving/fluffing it. While 0 in the stat means that you are just as strong as a human being, a 5 means that you can lift up to TEN TONS of crap.
Ability: The god-stat much like Dexterity was on D&D. The game even recommends that players have at least 2 points in that. It's used for both attack and defense rolls, so it's a good idea to do so. Ability encompasses both speed and intelligence, and it's mainly used for stuff like jumping from buildings to buildings and stuff. 0 Ability is what a non-athletic person has, while 5 makes you a goddamn super-ninja nigh-impossible to hit.
Resistance: Constitution and willpower. It denotes your capacity to resist from mind-afflicting magic and your own physical resilience as well. Like I wrote before, this stat is also important as it is used to calculate your starting HP and MP. 0 Resistance makes a normal human being something hilariously weak, that can be fucked up by a simple punch as they only have 1 HP. Meanwhile, 5 Resistance makes you something akin to the Heavy Weapons Guy.
Armor: Exactly what it says on the tin. Whether you wear plate mail, use a forcefield or you are Luke Motherfucking Cage, Armor serves as a stat to calculate defense.
Firepower: Used for ranged attacks. While stuff like ammo and range of attacks using this stat are mostly handwaved, GMs can rule that kind of stuff. Now, while FP 0 is the same as getting pelted with a rock, 5 is the equivalent of a Dragonbreath.
Characteristic Tests: During play, a GM will ask the player to make rolls on their characteristics in order to do certain actions, such as knocking doors, aiming on tiny targets, noticing a powerful enemy aura approaching... To do those you simply roll a 1d6. If the result is higher than your stat, you fail, if it's lower or equal, you succeed. Certain modifiers depending on the difficulty of the task can be added as well, which will give you either positive or negative points, so a task can actually be impossible, such as Power -3 test with a character with 3 Power.
Close to Death: Certain powers, abilities and such can only be used by characters who are close to death. It reflects on every Shounen trope ever when the Hero gets his ass throughly kicked until he goes fucking bananas on the last sliver of his life. A character is Close to Death when his current hit points are lower or equal than his Resistance stat. Chumps with R0 can't get like that because they are chumps.
DEATH: When a character reaches 0 Hit Points, it's either dead or knocked out. It's up to the GM to choose so, but it also can depend on the last thing that hit the character before his HP was depleted. He can also roll a Death Dice that will put him in the following conditions:
1 Weakened : You are conscious but your body is so damaged you cannot take any kind of actions that require any physical and mental effort other than talking, hearing and seeing. Someone can use the Medicine skill to let you go back to 1 HP immediately, though.
2-3 Unconscious : You are out cold but still alive. After an hour of rest or a Medicine skill test you wake up with 1 HP.
4-5 Semidead : You are so fucked up that you will die in 2D turns. A Medicine test can prolong life for 1D hours, but after that only Magic works.
6 Dead: Oh welp. Time for a ressurection!
Notice that if you are still with 0 HP yet passed a Death Dice roll, if you get any damage before healing up, you have to reroll Death Dice, and worse, you must take the new result if it's worse than the previous one.
Recovering Hit and Magic Points: Hit and Magic points can be restored fully after eight hours of rest, or with two hours rest, 1 HP and MP for every Resistance Point you have. A character with 0 HP, however, is too wounded and can't recover too fast. He needs medical treatment before being able to properly rest and recover. (See: Death .) Normally a place to sleep costs 30 Coins per person in most places, but depending on the furnishings and use of the Manipulation skill the costs can change. In dangerous places like dungeons, forests or the middle of the road, eight hours of sleep count as only two, and thus you only recover the equivalent to two hours rest. The GM can also crib from videogames and have statues/fountains/whatever that can fully heal you.
Up Next: Advantages!
Advantages and Disadvantages (1 of 5)Original SA post
3D&T Alpha Part 3: Advantages and Disadvantages (1 of 5)
Typical Con experience in Brazil.
This chapter deals with the advantages one can buy for their character. They are special traits that are bought in CC that give your character special attacks or traits to use during play. They can also be recieved in-game by getting special equipment and such. Some stuff like that is outlined on the Magical Items chapter that we will see later. For now, the Advantage list!
Acceleration (1 Point)
You run hella fast. You can add 1 to Ability on doing checks related to running away, pursue or dodge, and also can do two movement actions per turn, meaning you can run to someone, hit them then run away like an annoying bastard.
Ally (1 Point)
You have a NPC follower one rank under yours (As in the Character creation one, the Normal Person -> Novice -> Fighter -> whatever). Allies can't get experience points and won't obey suicidal orders and won't do stuff that goes against their natures.
(Fullmetal) Alchemist (1 Point)
You can do magic diagram doodles that make your magic and abilities less costly. By spending a turn to write them (You can still get attacked and lose concentration), you can write a magic circle that lets you use a spell/ability for half the MP Price.
Unthreatening Appearance (1 Point)
You are so cute you can take enemies by surprise and get an extra turn as combat starts.
Arcane (4 Points)
You can use White, Black and Elemental magic.
People are brought to another dimension where you can kick their asses. It costs 2 MP to use and has to be sustained for a number of turns equal to your ability, but inside the Battle Area your stats are augmented, can use special attacks without MP cost or you can cast spells by half the MP price.
Arena (1 Point)
You get +2 Ability points when fighting on a certain terrain.
Extra Armor (Special)
Your armor stat is doubled against certain kinds of damage. This advantage can't actually be bought, but it comes as a freebie on Unique Advantage packs or on items the GM might give you.
Special Attack (1+ Point)
You can spend 1 MP to get +2 in either Power or Firepower in an attack! You can also spend more points to add tags to the special attack you use, like making it homing, gain an area of effect or refund some of them by making it being only able to be used when you are Close to Death. An optional rule can also make your MP usage and power stronger as you level, so you can unleash a Spirit Bomb on motherfuckers
Multiattack (1 Point)
You spend 1+MP to do extra attacks using Power this turn. The number of attacks you make is equal to your ability stat.
Good Fame (1 Point)
Fluff advantage, you are basically known for being a good dude.
Cleric (1 Point)
You start with three extra magic spells, and can use magic with the Cleric tag.
Deflection (1 Point)
By spending 2 MP, you can double your Ability stat against one attack when calculating your Defense Power.
Elementalist (1 Point)
Magics of one element cost only half the MP to cast. Only one of the Elemental Magic elements can be chosen for that.
Extra Energy (1-2 Points)
By spending 2 MP you can FULLY HEAL yourself. The 1 point version can only be used when you are Close to Death, however.
Vital Energy (2 points)
You can use Hit Points to fuel magics and abilities instead of Magic Points. As two HP are the equivalent to 1 MP, that might not be the best of ideas...
Familiar (1 Point)
A little creature bonds to you. Familiars can give you advantages like the Partner advantage, but they are a bit limited and only Magic Users can get those.
Alternative Form (2 Points)
You can turn into another form with different powers! The alternate form have the same total points as the original one, but Skills, Disadvantages and Magic Spells are the same. You can buy more of this advantage to get more Alternative forms as well.
Genius (1 Point)
You smart. You add +2 to Ability when doing Skill checks, be that you were trained or not in those. At GM fiat you can also build stuff more advanced than the campaign's normal tech level!
Immortal (1-2 Points)
You can't die. The 1 Point version lets you come back from death after a long time (normally an entire adventure), while the 2 Point version lets you resurrect as soon as the dangerous situation that killed you ends.
Enemy (1 Point)
You get +2 Ability on all checks you do against a certain species.
Invisibility (2 Points)
You can spend 1 MP each turn to become completely invisible.
Up next: More Advantages!