Archive for the ‘pen and paper roleplaying’ Category

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Why the Sailor Moon RPG is pretty awesome… because you want to know.

December 10, 2011

So after making a bold tweet one morning, it seems I confused a few of my Twitter followers.  I made the daring proclamation that the Sailor Moon RPG wasn’t, in fact, the worst game I’ve ever played.  Instead, I took it one step further and actually listed it amongst my favorite RPGs.

Why would I say something so nuts?  Well, to be honest, I was being a little sarcastic.  Perhaps this is not literally the best RPG I’ve ever played, but this game is certainly more solid than one would be lead to believe.  Licensed products are always hit and miss, as they can tend to be shells of rules that are just pushed out the door to capitalize on the fan base’s love for the product.  There are exceptions, of course, and this game is certainly one of them.

Why do I have such nice things to say about a game based on a sometimes hollow messaged kids’ show/anime?  Here’s my list.

1. The game’s rules don’t suck

The Sailor Moon RPG is actually a lighter form of the anime-inspired rules set named Big Eyes, Small Mouth.  BESM, as it’s known in acronym form, is a very freeform set of rules that can be used to mimic any anime setting.  But, while BESM is a little generic and sometimes overwhelming, SMRPG actually takes the initiative and cuts down on BESM’s clutter.

The skill system in BESM, which I always felt was a little tacked on, has been removed in favor of standardized statistic checks (also featured in BESM, but always modified by skills.)  These checks are made by using a single piece of their tri-stat system (which measure’s a character’s Body, Mind, and Soul from 1 to 12) or the average of two or all three stats for checks that may involve multiple stats (like pushing a block and solving a puzzle simultaneously.)  Players must roll below their stat or average stat on two d6, a common die that almost everyone owns at least one of.  The game also includes degrees of success, so a character who has a stat of 5 and rolls a 3 did better than a character who has a stat of 4 and rolled a 3.  Both characters succeeded in their task, but the player who rolled lower than their target value did better at it.  The same holds true for failure (so GMs can be inventive with their descriptions of the character’s actions.)

When it comes to dealing damage, SMRPG and BESM do the same thing — they rely on your pre-made weapon attacks (or Senshi/Knight attacks in this) to deal tons of damage.  No dice are rolled for damage steps, as the attacks themselves have an inherent damage value that will always be applied when the defender is hit.  If, for some odd reason, you’re punching or using a weapon, damage is simply your combat value (the number you have to roll lower than to hit) multiplied. Damage from a punch is simply your combat value in damage points.  Damage from a non-magical weapon is that multiplied by two. This makes dealing damage easy to figure out and calculate in the heat of battle.  (If you’re asking why non-magical weapons deal so little damage, it’s because the game’s focus isn’t on them.  How often are there guns in Sailor Moon? It’s a setting rule that I approve of, as it keeps to the spirit of the show.)

Finally, characters are built by using attributes.  Attributes are traits or features that are added to a character during character creation.  These traits define what the character is all about.  For example, taking the “Massive Damage” attribute lets your character naturally deal more damage in combat each time you take it.  Attributes are ranked from 1 to 6, becoming more powerful as they rank up, but they will also cost more character creation points.

Long description short, these rules are easy to use, fast to play with, and still provide a good amount of detail for both the players and the GM. Min/maxers have the option to uniquely customize attributes, or even take the “Unique Attribute” option to create their own attributes.  On the other side of the coin, new players can be set up very quickly, and their rules will not overwhelm them the first time they sit at the table.  It’s a perfect split for both play-types.

2. The game stays true to the universe

The point of a licensed game is to re-create your favorite universe, right? Well, the SMRPG does that too.  While the BESM rules have been cut down, the book made sure to keep the most relevant rules to the universe intact and even went so far as to add special attributes and rules that are unique to the universe.  We’ve already mentioned the “guns kinda do crappy damage” rule, because the SM universe isn’t about guns and armor.  Pulling a gun on a Sailor Scout, a magical force of nature, is stupid.  While they may not outwardly wear armor (and some people may rage over their sailor uniforms) there is a magical force that is protecting them and changing them when they are transformed. Ya can’t just write that off.

Other rules include special attributes for anyone who plays a Senshi/Knight character AND special attributes for players or the GM when they create Dark Warrior characters.  Yes, that’s right, you can pull out some Negaverse traits.  It’s not all happy kitties and rainbow attacks in this book, and I’ll get to that more in a future point.

3. The game is a idiot’s guide to Sailor Moon

I’m going to make another bold statement here — I’ve barely watched Sailor Moon.  Barely barely.  I know major characters, the general plotline, and that’s it.  I am no expert on this universe at all.

Yet, the book understands that people like me exist.  It’s the kind, knowledgable friend who will tell you whatever you want to know about the license’s universe in an organized way.

The game starts out by giving you the statistics for all of the major characters, and I mean ALL OF THEM.  It doesn’t pull its punches and give you only the “main ones.”  It goes into all of the major villains, the entire cast of Senshi (and the single Knight, Tuxedo Mask/Prince Darien, and yes I’m counting Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and Saturn), the Sailor Starlights, Queen Beryl, her cast of bad guys, Alan and Ann, the entire Darkmoon Family, Wiseman, Rini, Rini’s adult form of Black Lady, and… and… phew… Ok, it’s comprehensive, to say the least.  The write-ups even give you a full synopsis of what they did on the show.

Then the book gives you a write up of Tokyo, a few maps, and then a listing of major locations from the show.  That way you can call identifiable places and get an idea of where people are travelling.  After that is a FREAKING TIMELINE OF HISTORY that denotes when every major event takes place and shows you when exactly all of those episodes happened.  Then, after that, the book goes far enough to run down the first 82 episodes of Sailor Moon with plot synopses.  Intense is a good word for this section.

But, for those who really want to run a serious game, this information is super handy.  You get a perfectly clear picture of what happens and when it happens.

4. The game doesn’t hamstring the players

This is a critical one for me.  The game’s rules not only allow players to make their own unique character with attributes and defects, but it also lets them go beyond the “I’m a Sailor Scout, yay” mentality.  Did you want to play a completely evil campaign where all of the players serve Queen Beryl?  You can do that.  You want to play a one shot where everyone plays the Yoma who attack the Sailor Scouts?  You can do that.  You want to play a guy who turns into a female Sailor Scout when they transform?  You can… amazingly enough… do that.  (The Sailor Starlights actually started that whole thing, so it’s canonical. >.> Might as well insert a case where a woman can turn into a male Knight during their transformation as well. :D)

5. The game doesn’t short change the setting

Finally, the game doesn’t just go, “Oh, here’s Tokyo, have fun.” It doesn’t limit the players to the confines of the primary setting of the show.  In fact, it does what it can to find the loose ends in the universe and offer more insight into how GMs can create really unique campaigns that go beyond the show.

For example, the Negaverse, Crystal Tokyo, the Old Moon Kingdom (lulz, The Old Republic…) and other places are detailed as possible campaign settings.  The book offers the GM what information it can on these areas, and then begins to propose hypothetical questions to get the GM’s imagination running.  What’s 30th Century Crystal Tokyo like?  What trials and tribulations could your unique characters find there as they interact with the main cast?  What’s the culture of the Negaverse like?  Is it a mirror image of Earth?  Do all of its inhabitants support Queen Beryl’s relentless war on the Sailor Scouts?

This allows you, the players, the ability to not only re-create the events of the show, but move beyond it.  The setting is not only supported, but it is infinitely expanded to support your adventures.  That’s cool shit.

So there you have it.  Five long reasons as to why this game kicks ass at what it does.  It’s a simple, approachable system that can be used by both novices and experts to both re-create and move beyond the events of the show.  And, not only does it do that, it completely supports/encourages your own custom characters.  Plus, the book itself is a great resource on the show’s events and multiple settings.

This is a licensed RPG that not only lives up to its namesake, but moves beyond it in some ways.  That’s a good game.

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Avarice Industries: Gameplay Reveal

April 1, 2011

Hello everyone!  As promised, tonight I’m revealing some of the core gameplay mechanics of my brand new pen and paper RPG, Avarice Industries!  I’m extremely excited to finally get to this point, so I hope what we’ve been working on for the last year and a half will excite you as much as it excites us!

As stated before, Avarice Industries is the ultimate business RPG.  We are taking business roleplaying to the next level with our brand new core roleplaying system, Seven Virtues.  This allows you to act out any scenario that might occur in the office with relative ease.

The Seven Virtues are the core stats of the system, and are used as both attributes and skills simultaneously.  Each one has a different function in various business activites, and they are:

— Collating: The ability to collate papers quickly.

— Interwebz: The ability to use the internet to find your email.

— Slacker: The ability to use Facebook to make minutes disappear.

— Bullshit: The ability to make crap up in meetings.

— Keurig-fu: The ability to bend coffee machines to your will.

— Scheduling: The ability to use your Outlook calendar to remember things.

— Agree:  The ability to agree with what someone else said.

Each of these statistics are rated on a level from 1 to 5, and become progressively harder to level up in.

In Avarice Industries, you’ll take on the role of a mid-level employee in a powerful international business.  It will be your job to complete… well… your job, other wise you’ll find a fate worst than death — being fired.

See, in Avarice Industries, we’ve done away with damage or hit points as well!  Our game uses the truly REVOLUTIONARY PINK SLIP SYSTEM! (TM) Each time you fail at a task, you’ll earn a pink slip.  Should you earn five or more pink slips in a game session, you’re fired and your character is out of the game!

Each session, you’ll be given various tasks by the GM — the General Manager.  It’s now up to you to figure out how you’re going to accomplish the task by combining two of your Virtues together.

So, without any further delay, let’s jump into an example of a REAL PLAY SESSION during one of our internal playtests.

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GM Sera: All right, so you arrive on time for work at 9 AM sharp.  Everyone is already in their cubicles and at work.  What do you do?

Xavier: Steven Micshak, my character, sits down at his cubicle and opens up Outlook to check his email.

GM Sera: All right then!  So, to open your e-mail, you’ll have to roll Interwebz, multiplied by the square root of your score in Scheduling, divided by 10 because that’s how many fingers you have on your hands, rounded up.  This roll will simulate the dexterity required to push the keys on your keyboard with your fingers.

Xavier: So… ok… let me just perform the necessary math here…

((4 minutes later.))

Xavier: Ok, so I think I roll 1 die.

GM Sera: All right, 1d8 it is!  Roll it and try to get a 6 or more!

Xavier: *rolls dice* Oh, it seems I’ve gotten a 5.

GM Sera: OH NO!  It seems you’ve accidentally trashed your shortcut to your e-mail.  It takes you 15 minutes to get it back.  But it appears you’ve missed an important e-mail from your boss!  1 pink slip!

Xavier: Darn.  I was trying so hard to move my fingers across the keyboard.

GM Sera: Also, I’m assigning the debuff called “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.”  It will penalize you with a -2 on your die rolls involving Interwebz and Scheduling.

Xavier: Well… how do I remove it?!

GM Sera: Go see a doctor, obviously, duh.

Xavier: But… but… this company doesn’t give me benefits.

GM Sera: Sucks to be you then!  Looks like you need to work for your appointments!

Xavier: So, well, what do I have to do next then?

GM Sera: Well, you need to assemble a report.  Your cube-mate has already printed 10 copies out for the board, and you have to put them together with the stapler.

Xavier: All right then!  Doesn’t seem so bad.  I’ll use my Collating with my Scheduling, so I can put them together and save time!

GM Sera: All right, so we’re making a Report Building check.  That means we’ll take your Collating, divide by your scheduling because you’re trying to save time, multiply by the exact thickness of the paper (which is .081), and subtract three dice because you’re not caffeinated enough.

Xavier: I… um… don’t think I have any dice.

GM Sera: Oh, well, you always get 1 die for a check!  1d8 it is!

Xavier: *rolls* Um… I rolled a 1.

GM Sera: Oh no!  Critical failure!  It seems like you’ve stapled two of your fingers together!  Blood is now running across your report, ruining them.

Xavier: Er… but I don’t have any insurance to help my fingers!

GM Sera: I would worry more about those reports if I were you.  Woah boy, are they stained!  That’s like… two more pink slips!

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We hope you’ve enjoyed this first sneak peek at our brand new RPG!  We have much more to come, so enjoy the rest of your April 1st and we’ll see you soon!

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Using gameplay mechanics to support/tell your story

December 17, 2010

Hey everyone!  It’s been a long time, I know, but I want to get writing again on my blog.  It’s been a long time since I’ve written some of my thoughts on gaming down on digital paper, and I miss it so very much!  So, here’s to hoping that I can at least write a post once a week here… I’d like to get back in the habit!

So, I thought for my first post back that I’d tackle a topic of conversation that I was recently discussing on Twitter — using gameplay mechanics to support a game’s story.  My good friend and Avarice Industries co-author Xavier Fox Shandi pointed me to a video on The Escapist that started this whole conversation.  The video in question, “Extra Credits,” discussed how a classic arcade game could use only mechanics to tell its story.  Apparently, modern game designers don’t think that mechanics could be used in such a way.  If you have time, go ahead and watch the video here.  I highly recommend it.

So, apparently, some game designers still understand the correlation here.  Game mechanics, when used properly, can tell a story or support a game’s story on their own.  I find it to be a shame that some game designers don’t understand this basic concept — your game design/mechanics are the core reason you’re playing a game in the first place.  If they can’t be expressive enough on their own, then your game is missing a key component of what makes gaming, well, gaming.

This can even be done with the most simplistic mechanics.  Let’s use a first-person shooter for our example, if we may.  Shooting someone else is a pretty simple mechanic, right?  Can’t tell a story with it, right?

Wrong.

Let’s imagine a game with barely any graphics, no voice acting, no sounds, no nothing.  You start hidden behind a barrier with a few other AI players.  You have a pistol and only a few clips to reload.  There’s more ammo available, but it’s out  to the side from the barrier, visible to your enemy.  Your enemy is a group of red-uniformed men.  They are firing at you and your squad.  The goal of the game is to take out as many of these other men without dying yourself.  As you play, the waves of enemies don’t become harder, but there’s more of them.  More of them are firing at you.  It becomes harder to pop out around the side of your barrier.  Your AI compatriots are dying.  Eventually, you die, because it becomes too much.

That was all game play mechanics, but many of you most likely pictured a soldier making a last stand against an impossible amount of enemies.  You know you can’t win, but you’re going to do everything in your power to stop the enemy.  Your AI soldiers are useful because they’re helping you stay alive against the impossible odds, and you know that when one dies that the game is going to become a lot more difficult.  This leads to you almost “caring” for your AI buddies.  You know you need to keep them alive because they’re keeping you alive.  I didn’t need to give you a script.  I didn’t need for you to have explosions in your ears.  I didn’t need for you to have fancy graphics.  You got what I was trying to tell you because the mechanics are evoking imagery.

In writing Avarice Industries (the game formerly known as Wildfire Industries), I’ve been trying to do the same thing with pen-and-paper RPG mechanics.  Sometimes when playing PnP RPGs there’s a bit of a disconnect between playing the game as a story and playing the game with stats.  There’s no reason the two can’t collide to create something beautiful, yet our PnP RPGs are very frequently all about “tell story to a certain point, demand a check, see how successful check is, repeat process.”

While Xavier and I haven’t eliminated that problem entirely, I would say that our system does evoke the main themes of the game in order to create a better experience.  Let me lay it down for you all.

— Avarice Industries eliminates skills and attributes in favor or the Seven Virtues of Industry — Wrath, Greed, Gluttony, Sloth, Envy, Pride, and Lust.  These “Seven Virtues” are both statistics and skills.  They each encompass a domain that executives may use to get important tasks done.  The unique portion of the system is that we allow players to tailor the description of their actions to the GM so they may roll stats they are proficient in.  Basically, if you describe an action well enough that it falls under your preferred virtue, the GM will let you use that virtue in the roll.  Our favorite example of this is searching.  An intelligent character might pick through a person’s belongings carefully, which would lead the GM to use the intelligence stat — Gluttony — in the player’s roll.  A beefy tank character might rip through the apartment, tearing things apart to find what he wants to find.  This would lead the GM to use the strength/warrior stat — Wrath.

— Our other core mechanic is a character’s Motivation.  Motivation is very much like energy/mana/action points in that you spend it to use your character’s special abilities, called Traits.  However, Motivation differs from those examples in two ways:  You can only replenish it with good roleplaying and Motivation can be spent to improve die rolls.

At any point in the game, you may use a point of Motivation to “nudge” a die up or down a number.  In our game you roll d8s for your skills, and you get a success for every d8 that rolls a 6 or above.  Motivation can be used to “repair” crappy rolls, potentially turning horrible outcomes into stunning successes.  We did this because we felt that it was a perfect mirror for how business works — if you want to invest in a roll and put forth all of your character’s energy to make this work, then it will work.  How many times have we played RPGs where that one critical roll is botched and it turns the entire game into crap?

However, Motivation is a resource that should not be squandered.  That is something else we’ve done on purpose.  Investing Motivation is like any business investment — it carries risk.  Do you want to use that Motivation now, on this roll that you don’t want to fail on but can?  Or do you want to save your Motivation for when your character encounters a life or death roll?

We’ve noticed that players with high Motivation are a bit more carefree when they play the game — they take risks with their rolls  and spend Motivation freely.  But as the Motivation pool drops, they begin to seriously consider their actions, and each roll of the dice becomes a grim task.  The lifesaving net slowly evaporates as the game is played, putting your character closer to failure and losing everything if you don’t invest properly.  That’s the story of business.

And that’s how you use mechanics to support your story.

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America, America

July 14, 2010

Just felt like posting the introductory story to Wildfire Industries while I’m getting ready for this weekend’s second play test with the newly modified rules from Xavier Fox Shandi.  Should be interesting.

Of course, feedback on my writing is always welcome, and I hope you guys enjoy the short story.

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America, America

For an election night, Burning Forest was quiet.  The perfectly spaced trees along the downtown street were covered in midnight blue as the lone biker pedaled along the concrete river.  The red strobe light on the front of her bike turned the road into a patriotic disco, and the sound of the flag taped to her helmet laid down a tempo that matched only the beat of her heart.

She felt as if she could fly her bike right off the street and towards the stars.  The long, grueling election was over, and the nation had a new president — Blake Asgard.  The Warrior himself.  No longer did she have to worry about government regulating the corporation she worked for.  No longer did she have to worry about government tangling her workplace in red tape.  She was free.

She was the lead accountant at The Rainman Group, and the last thing she wanted to see in her office was the man from Washington looking over her books.  There were projects the government didn’t have to be concerned with hidden within those dollar values.  Projects that were better left as ink on the page, rather than as a man trapped in a testimony box.

The smile on her face was the brightest thing on the street on that cold night.

“O beautiful, for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,” she sang to the stars.

Her bicycle passed by the dilapidated store fronts, her voice resounding off of the foreclosure signs and tightly fastened wooden boards.  The downtown was a shell of what it once was, as many of the workers had been hired by the five mega corporations that now resided in the city.  Small business could not hope to compete against the signing bonuses that the new corporations were providing, nor could they ever hope to offer the benefits packages the corporations held out on fishing hooks.

“For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!”

She turned left on the corner of Main and Shady, passing the old Mayor Wisenberg Memorial Park.  The space had been sold by the city to Industrialized Industrial, where they quickly set up a briar patch of brass and steel that kept the steam mains of the city pressurized against their corporation’s heavy steam usage.  The corporation had given back to the community, however, by making sure that only 80% of the park space was used for their control station.  The remaining 20% housed a children’s playground, complete with requisite slide, sandbox, and merry-go-round.  All brass, of course.

“America!  America!
God shed His grace on thee,”

Two police officers were standing on the corner of Shady and Third Street, turning around as she drew nearer.  She reached inside her black blazer and produced two white envelopes, handing them out to the officers as she passed.  The burly officer on the curb grabbed them from her hand as she passed and gave her a friendly wave.  She turned around and nodded, smile still spread across her face as the officer’s partner lit the Molotov cocktail in his hand.  The flaming bottle smashed through the window of the Green Dragon owned building.  Light flickered on their faces as they opened their bounty, eyeing the checks inside of the envelopes. The sound of melting server architecture mixed with the air.

“And crown thy good, with brotherhood”

She turned onto Fourth, heading towards McClintock as her voice began to reach a crescendo.  She closed her eyes and took a long breath of the damp air.  Sirens began to break the quiet of the night, but she didn’t mind.  Everything was perfect.

She didn’t notice the silhouette woman on the roof, idly standing next to a darkened billboard.

“From sea to shining…”

The loud groaning of metal from above her snapped her from her trance.  She hit the brakes on her bike and looked upwards, towards the billboard.  It bent and snapped from its metal stand, the thick advertisement blotting out the stars, only leaving an empty, depthless rectangle in the night sky.

“…sea.”

The billboard marched towards her, shadow paired with the outline of a woman holding the huge object above her head.  She hurled the whole thing towards the biker on the road, her astonished face and dilated pupils explained why her legs weren’t moving.

As the billboard careened downwards, it slowly flipped in the air, briefly catching the light of the moon.  The painting depicted a happy, nuclear family having a picnic in the city’s main park.  Emblazoned across the beautiful, painted blue sky were the words “Burning Forest: An exceptional place to live!”

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The gaming update

October 6, 2009

So, I should make a post to you guys about the status of the two games I’m currently spearheading.  Yes, I said two.  Most of you have probably guessed at this point that I’m going to make Wildfire Industries, thanks mostly due to the comments on my last post being so undeniably positive.  Thanks you guys for being honest, and I’m working on making this game work.

Black Clover, my first love and major Pen and Paper Roleplaying Project, is currently sitting in a ditch and going back and forth to get itself out.  The problem is that if this game was a car, then the outside would look awesome while the engine would be a complete complex unworking joke.  Simply put — the lore and world is fantastic.  Everyone I talk to regarding this project has nothing but happy smiles, raised eyebrows, and a wish to know more.  I’m really excited to be putting all of these thoughts and concepts down on to paper and make a gothic steampunk game.  If this game could be completely lore driven, it would be great, but sadly that’s not the case.  The game is a game first and a world second, which leads me to saying…

The system sucks.

Perhaps it’s me, the author, just being overly critical but I don’t think I am.  Every time I try to sit down and work the kinks out of combat or work with the system, I either feel I’m cutting off roleplay by being too strict or not putting enough meat on the bones of the combat system to make it unique and original.  I feel as if combat should be a good portion of this game, especially as each “class” is limited to one “mythic weapon.” (Oh snap, I just revealed something, oh well.)  That weapon should provide a really wonderful and multi-talented use, as it’s the only weapon the heroes will get.  Why did I make that decision?  Well, it simply seems to fit another system in the game, which some people could potentially guess at but I’m going to leave out of this conversation for now.

Skill checks seem to work well in the context, but those too seem to be too reliant on the branching pathways of the classes.  Plus, I don’t want to put things out of order and make something too strong or too weak.  I need to bite the bullet and get cracking on at least getting things together in some working order so I can test for these types of power issues, but every time I start working on it I feel uncomfortable.  Perhaps I just need a break.

To make up for the problems with Black Clover, I have an awesome wallpaper to give out to you guys here on mah blog.  The art is done by my good friend Melissa, who is spearheading most (if not all) of the game’s artwork.  All in her spare time.  Throw your kudos to here on here, please, and let her feel some love for all of the work she is doing — especially if you use the wallpaper below.

Widescreen Version

Widescreen Version (1600x900)

Fullscreen Wallpaper (1200x1024)

Fullscreen Version (1200x1024)

Now, as for Wildfire Industries… well… things went together damn easy.  The system is insanely modular, and in the span of 2 hours I figured out a way to play the game as a traditional RPG, a cutthroat game of roleplaying where one person is declared the winner in one session and, interestingly enough, an expandable version that can hold up to 5 teams all playing against one another in either a one shot mission or a running campaign.  Now, you need one hell of a team of GMs for the 5 teams version, but it’s possible — especially if you can play it together on the internet.

This is thanks mostly due to the fact that skill checks are easily variable and not dependent on item use, simply on stat use.  If you want to be better at X skill check, spend points on it.  Or, you could spend the company’s money, which is a discussion for another time.  Checks are easily modifiable to either accomidate one player or a team of players working together (as some checks force players to team up to make them, which depending on the game type they may or may not want to do, resulting in hilarity.)  The game also supports secretive undermining right in the checks system, and that’s not even adding in the “traits” system which are the character’s publicly known and secretly hidden abilities.

Either way, the rules are done.  The game is simple, and I think it’s better for it because it leaves oh-so-much-room for sheer insanity on the parts of the players, much like Paranoia does. (Although I think Paranoia is much more complicated when it’s put next to my system.)  Now all I have to do is complete writing up the abilities that each character type has.  Then, it’s going out for a test run with my gaming group.  If it succeeds there, it goes for a test run at the local gaming club at the University of Pittsburgh.  Hopefully all of this will allow me to refine the rules and abilities, and then I’ll ask for testers here on line.

Then, with luck, I’ll get some inspiration and move forward on Black Clover.  Mmmm… Black Clover… *drools*

Anyway, sorry for the HUGE post, but I hope you guys enjoyed it!

~Sera

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Doing business, badly. Yey or nay?

October 1, 2009

So I need to poll the audience here, hence why I’m writing this post tonight.    I had one of those brain explosions that I rarely get, and I decided to act on this one.  It was the concept for a RPG/game-ish systems where players would effectively play a roleplaying game while simultaneously screwing one another over at the table, but in order to benefit the whole table.  It sounds fun (in concept, of course, as I haven’t exactly tried to test this yet) and it also sounds like a perfect system to plug into a game world that I’ve been working on for a long time now — Wildfire Industries.

WI was always built around the concept of pulling the stick out of the ass of business before shoving it violently into the head of business.  In short — it’s horrible corporate satire.  It’s the office politics you dread taken to a level of insanity and murder.  It was always a fun world for me to write/picture, and it even did quite well as a alternate reality game.

But just because it works well in one setting doesn’t mean it can translate to other settings, so here’s my question.  Would you play a pen-and-paper roleplaying game that centered on something like business?  Now, granted, it’s insane business, but it’s still business.  It’s still making contracts, securing funding, solving problems in the workplace, and things like that.  Sure the answer to all of these things might be having sex with the person you want to make the contract with, robbing a bank to secure funding, and killing everyone in a department to make sure there’s no more problems in the workplace, but it doesn’t work unless players want it to work.

So, would you want it to work?  Would you play a pen and paper roleplaying game centered around something as mundane as modern business?  Or would you believe that this system should be put to use in another type of game?

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I need some help from mah peeps

May 22, 2009

Okies readers, question for you:  Would you like to see the concept of hit points totally revisited to include injuries, or would you like hit points to remain just hit points — the number that goes down to show exactly how injured you are.

I ask this because I’m currently working on designing HP for my own pen and paper roleplaying game, and have two different concepts lying on the table.  One is the HP & Injury idea, where HP exists, but the focus is instead on injuries that can plague the character for long amounts of time.  This system makes the game much more complex, including different penalities for different types of injuries.

On the other side, my vision statement preaches simplicity and ease of access.  System 1 does not provide that, but instead provides an innovative mechanic that is innovative for the sake of being innovative.  Not the best reason to include something.  So, System 2 is just HP.  No other fancy additions, just some straight HP.  Perhaps injury can still be counted in this sytem, but it’s nowhere near as complex as the first system.
Comment away guys… I’m really interested in hearing your personal opinions on this one.