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Tablespess Development Spotlight - The QRD

It's about time we posted some more info on Tablespess. We'll start with a quick rundown of the game and some of its important mechanics, features, etc. We're assuming you already know tabletop terminology with these posts. Everything here is subject to change as it’s still in development.

Tablespess is a d20-based tabletop roleplaying game set in the Spess universe. Its main design philosophy is to make everything as simple as possible while still providing a framework to let characters perform convoluted or outrageous things. Abilities and item effects are intentionally left open-ended (for the most part) to let players use them in any way they can imagine. The same goes for NPCs the GM controls.

There are 24 playable species in Tablespess, each with their own abilities. There are also 12 (more like 11, but we’ll get into that later) classes that provide characters with even more abilities.

Each class has a skill tree with three main branches, a general branch, and two extra branches. Each branch on the skill tree acts like an ability list, giving each class their own pool of unique skills that can do a variety of different things. We’ll describe the playable species at a later point. For now, here’s a list of the classes.

  • Beastmaster
    • Use animals and monsters to act and fight alongside you.
    • Main: Beast Whisperer, Space Shepherd, Monster Matador
    • Extra: Ratomancer, Puppeteer
  • Blademaster
    • Master a variety of bladed weapons and tools.
    • Main: Lumberjack, Paladin, Edgelord
    • Extra: Living Legend, Psychic Swordsman
  • Doctor
    • Use your knowledge in different fields to support yourself and your allies.
    • Main: Chef, Physicist, Space M.D.
    • Extra: Mad Scientist, Pseudoscientist
  • Elemental Hero
    • Control up to three different Elements.
    • Main: Heat, Water, Cold, Air, Earth, Plantlife, Electric, Hazmat, Metal, Light, Dark, Sonic, Explosive, Precision, Force, Beast, Neutral, Psychic, Nuclear, Phantasmal
    • Extra: Essence Extractor, Essence Infuser
  • Magicman
    • Use a variety of magics for combat and utility.
    • Main: Summoner, Witch, MOOSKLE WIZARD
    • Extra: Mathemagician, Plane Shifter
  • Reverie User
    • Summon a superpowered physical manifestation of your life energy to assist you.
    • Main: Potential, Control, User Utilities
    • Extra: Multi-Stage, Multi-Ability
  • Rogue
    • Sneak and snoop to get what you want.
    • Main: The Sneak, Private Investigator, Assassin
    • Extra: Heister, Hackerman
  • Soldier
    • Use the wonders of modern military technology to aid you and your allies.
    • Main: Intelligence Agent, Drone Keeper, Frontline Fighter
    • Extra: Pilot, Warcaster
  • Spess Mehren
    • Become a nutjob with a top-secret, ethically questionable super-serum and an over the top arsenal.
    • Main: Hoverhorse Archer, Space Crusader, Demon Destroyer
    • Extra: Accelerator, Heavy Weapons
  • Traveler
    • Take up a variety of professions that benefit travelling.
    • Main: Tinkerer, Hunter, Politician
    • Extra: Wrestleman, Thrill-Seeker
  • Trickster
    • Use a variety of tricks to accomplish different feats.
    • Main: The Clownforce, Scam Artist, Cuh-Ray-Zee
    • Extra: Troll, Veteran Rusemaster
  • Wildcard (This is the one that isn't really its own class)
    • Assemble your own Skill Tree out of the other Class’s branches.

More in depth descriptions of each class will come later. Character progression in Tablespess is tied to unlocking skills and acquiring new items. The items in Tablespess include things such as spellbooks, furniture, portable 3D printers, and canned gravity. We’ll go into further detail about specific items/types of items in later posts.

Tablespess shares many mechanics with other similar systems, so we’ll just go over a few Table-specific ones now.

Proficiencies in this game include things like perception, cooking, etc. Unlike other systems, these things aren’t affected by your character’s main stats. You simply choose a value between -1 and 5 for each proficiency depending on what you think would make sense for your character. You’re also able to modify what proficiencies are listed on your sheet however you’d like in case you need something that isn’t listed. Proficiencies (and stat checks) are rolled in reference to a chart for degrees of success/failure.

Ranges (for movement and item ranges) are abstracted in this game. Movement is an abstract slow, medium, fast, etc. while item ranges are close, medium, etc. The reference sheet provides some approximate distances in hexes, but they have some wiggle room to them.

Items don’t have specific stats tied to them. Characters can pick whatever stat they want to add to attack/damage rolls so long as it makes sense. If you want to use STR instead of AGL for a bow, go for it.

The Special stat, SPEC, acts as a catch-all for anything else the main stats don’t cover. It can be used for anything from magic to marksmanship.

Armor in Tablespess increases your HP alongside typical ttrpg armor mechanics. There are items that can reduce enemies’ armor, making it easier to hit them, but also reducing their max HP.

All weapons (or items that go in weapon slots in your inventory) have a durability value. You can choose to defend with one of the items in your loadout at the end of your turn, and it will take damage in your place. Items that are hit by attacks are disabled on your next turn while shields take two hits to be disabled. You can also instead choose to try and dodge incoming attacks using an AGL roll. Some class branches give you skills to perform dodges with other stats and effects. Enemies can target any items you have in your loadout and vice versa.

Hitting an enemy with something it's weak to will stun it. During combat you can perform an action against a stunned enemy even if it isn't your turn. This action doesn't count as a turn. Weaknesses can range from specific elements (Heat, Water, etc.) to things like bugs, insults, taxes, non-euclidean geometry, etc.

Below are some screenshots of pages from a blank character sheet and the reference sheet. Click the images to see them in full.

Blank Main Page

Blank Main Page

Blank Info Page

Blank Info Page

Blank Skill Tree

Blank Skill Tree

Reference Sheet

Reference Sheet