Years ago, I developed and play tested a simple RPG system, in which magic-alike powers were driven by 2 parameters, namely Power and Precision. Like, with high precision and minimal power you could burn a specific card in a standard 52 cards deck without charring any other card. With high power and minimal precision you could easily burn a house, maybe even a village, but with a risk of burning the wrong one. There were also specific techniques to be used, but that’s besides the point for now.
Playtesting was showing that what we lacked was Distance – how far PC would be able affect things. What we decided would be OK was the non-linear progression from only being able affect one’s own body and the things he touches, to the whole globe. Like, high Precision, high Distance, minimal Power should make a great messenger-type character or seer. Self distance would be good for shapeshifters, touch for healers, etc.
We got this rough sketch we never playtested properly, but it was in storytelling terms and had a big hole in it, and I was wondering if / how to turn it into numerical values, like meters or kilometers. Preferably with a simple equation and not just arbitrary table.
- One’s own body
- Immediate area
- Town or City
- A continent
- Whole world
Numerical or not, this progression seems totally uneven. I expect and want each step to be bigger than previous one, but I want them to feel natural, feel “not arbitrary”, for the lack of better words. Sorry, not a native English speaker.
So how to make this progression feel more natural?
By “feel natural” I mean that your average player wouldn’t be shocked or taken aback by it. Ideal answer would point to other systems that already solved similar problem, your own playtested homebrew experiences, or design guidelines from a reputable source I could use. Seeing your specific solution, be it table or equation, is less important than the process that lead to it, or one that confirmed it works.