Saturday, July 31, 2010

I want to oldschool, now please.

Why, oh god why do I want to kill orcs and skeletons in a dungeon without wondering, why are those poor bastards there?
Why do I want to find old swords to trade for few copper pieces and candle jacks and diamonds to sell for money my character doesn't actually even need?
Why do I want to swing a sword and throw a dice to kill stuff because some random hooded dude at the inn told so?
Why I kill or find everything I am told to without hesitation?

I so much would like to oldschool right now. I don't care about what is the exact defination for "oldschool rpg", but what ever. I want a character. He is trü adventurer who will do everything he is asked for and what is worth gold and experience. He will be greedy and gross searching dead guy's pockets for extra dime. He will kill evil things, for example skeletons and goblins because... he is character and it's his function. He will get xp and money and better stuff. Also when he finds a chest, he will roll dice to see what's in there.

I want simple roleplaying game action, like it was almost 20 years ago when I was younger. Simple adventures and no questioning why would my character do that and such nonsense. Most rewarding of the game is to level up or find really neat magical sword, not to develope your character's feelings towards something. Mark it down or character sheet or it is nonsense.

I want that. I am generally not that kind of player, mere a bullshit-storyteller but hey, even I want to crash skulls and loot stuff sometimes!

Friday, July 30, 2010

[Characters] Private detective for YDIN N6 Mini

Test character for my system YDIN.

NAME: Simon Weston
LOOKS: A bit overweight round faced with brown hair and eyes. Wears weary suits.
ROLE: Private detective

Power: 2
Dexterity: 3
Body: 2
Perception: 5
Intelligence: 4
Charisma: 4

Hitpoints: 16
Wounds: 4
Initiative: 8
Defence: 3

Light firearms: 3
Medium firearms: 1
Hand to hand combat: 1
Dodge: 1
Academics: 1
Sneaking: 2
Light vehicles: 1
Information search: 3
Computers: 1
General knowledge: 2
Persuade: 2

Cardgames: 2
Piano playing: 1

Alcohol tolerance, under influence of alcohol no negative modifier 2 point
Spotter, in search tests +1D 1 point

 .44 magnum PO5D2
Shadowy hat and dark trenchcoat
Notebook with phone numbers for people who know things
Encycopledia series

Simon is at his 60's and back in old good days was a great detective in police forces. Back then ways were different. Cops did walk the streets and talk to people. Even bribed for information letting little fish go to catch the big ones. Times changed, police force started to keep an eye on cops with shady methods. Even if those did make results.
In late 80's when computers started to take place replacing the traditional detectives work, Simon tried to learn the new ways of investigation. But computers didn't have the same feel than going into a bar, taking a few drinks and talk to people. Or go to an alley and beat the shit out of a drug dealer just to get bigger dealer's name.
Simon blames, that computers ruined his career. He never got into the fastly rolling wheel of advanced technology. He hated sitting in his office staring flickering computer screen and quit the job.
Few years he was depressed, and started to drink. One day his friend asked Simon to find his lost stripper girlfriend and Simon started to investigate it. He thought, that this would be the last time. But he enjoyed it like in good ol' days.
Not long after that Simon started his own private detective's office.

(Note: Made few modifications in character creation, what I saw didn't work. Mostly point buy system's starting points and calculation of secondary attributes.)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

YDIN N6 Mini beta 1 out there!

Yes, I have this main project of my own rpg system, but it is really time consuming, as I am making whole mechanics out of a scratch. So writing, calculating, thinking, giving current ideas out to evaluate and stuff. It is fun, but slow work.

So, I decided to do this mini version of Ydin. Basically it uses similar rules and is compatible with my main project. Only difference is, that I finished beta version of it already.

Basic rules contain 8 pages in pocketmod format, (check out here what pocketmod is) so it is quite compact system. Of course it cannot cover everything, but in different supplements there will be some extra rules.

With basic rules of Ydin N6 Mini beta 1 you can create your own character, do tasks and fight. Everything you actually need for simple game. And the size of it is very small. It can easily fit in your pocket or wallet.

Today I printed few copies of it and folded them. Looks really, really nice.

I haven't tested the rules in actual play, only in theory. And at the moment Ydin N6 Mini rules are only in finnish. You who have been following or reading my blog see, that my grammar in english is quite... unique. In the bad way. So if I'd like to get it translated to english, I'd need some outside help for it. But that is the problem I will deal in the future...

So, basically Ydin N6 Mini mechanics is this:
- You only use D6, but might need several of them
- Your character's attributes are the target number
- Your character's skill level is the amount of dice you throw
- You try to score lower than your attribute with any of the dice in your pool to success

There are also critical successes and catastrophical failures included in the system.

Characters have attributes, secondary attributes, skills and gifts. That's about it. Nothing too much.

Damage system is quite unique and works like task tests. Basically when you hit, you check weapon's damage. Damage is shown as power, what works like attribute and D what show's how many dice you throw. Every die resulting under weapon's pow is a damage. Every die is cumulative to total damage amount.
Using only D6's this makes nice variety for damage. For example hitting your target makes damage your character's power with D6 under the score indicating points damage made. Daggers are PO(wer)3D3, so you throw 3D6 and every score under weapon's PO is damage equal to result calculated together.
More powerful the weapon, bigger PO ie. success value weapon has. More powerful weapon more dice you roll.

In damage system character has two values. Normal hitpoints what decrease when damage is taken, and wound what decreases when hit is higher than character's wound value. So with smaller amount of damage character dies slower, but massive damage kills character faster.

Currently I am writing a post-apocalyptic setting with extra rules for example in combat. They will also be in pocketmod format with 8 small pages total, so there will be different booklet for every topic, like "clans", "equipment", "characters" etc.

Also the character sheet is small. I fitted four of them in single A4. So when you print out this one sheet, you will get totally 8 of character sheets. And using them, you got plenty of space on your gaming table, as sheets do't take much space.

So, Ydin N6 Mini is a small roleplaying game with lots of love from it's creator. And btw, that "N6" means "D6" in finnish. And as someone might know, word "ydin" is "core" in finnish.

Here is a couple of pictures:

Size compared to a lighter and a pen.

Character sheet (translated in english).

Monday, July 26, 2010

How heroes kick multiple asses?

I use Dynasty Warriors console/PC game as an example. There are those normal enemy forces, what you kill whit few hits. And in one scenario, you can easily kill hundreds of them.

But how is it in rpg's? You kill few mobs one by one, hitpoint by hitpoint.

I have dreamed of making a game of legendary warriors, whose swordsmanship and battle skills cannot be compared with common folk and soldiers. Those, who run through battle field and swing their sword. Instead of taking 10 blows to one enemy, they kill 10 enemies with 10 blows. Fast and furious and deadly.

But how to make this work? Seriously, in rpg's combat usually is quite slow phased, and you don't get these situations, where in few turns hero character has cleared one room full of guards.

I am not aware, if there already is a rpg system what can handle mass combats. Where is one agains tens. Or hundreds.

I have a small idea though, what I am working out to make this happen. It is just idea, what I need to write down and test it.

I hope, some day my player can be asian warrior with a sword, who can run through the battle field to attack the main boss. And kill or wound several minions with less to no effort.

I think the concept of system I am working on could be universally adapted to any system, but I will also make it additional rule, or even legendary hero supplement(tm) for Ydin.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

What makes good rpg system?

The big question. There are hundreds of rpg systems and some of them work better than others. Still, what games I don't like several people find great. It is just a question of taste. There is no ultimate truth for good system.

This is just a personal taste, what makes a good system. Everyone has their favourites and those, they don't like as much. And even those they hate. I read this* blog, and got idea to share my description(s) of good rpg system.


Easily learned rules
You learn rules fast or at least are able to play quite quickly even if you aren't familiar with all the rules of the game. I don't prefer very complex rules but rules, you learn easily and can get to gaming part quickly enough.

Rules easy to adapt and solid
If there is different rules for everything you do in rpg, remembering them can be quite hard. Optimal is when rules mechanic is as solid as possible in every area of the game. Also preferred is that if GM doesn't remember how something exactly works by the rules, he can easily fit the rules he already knows for the current situation. This ensures, that the flow of the story is smooth without unecessary breaks flipping through the rules book for some particular game mechanic.

As obvious as it is, proofreading is really important. It doesn't affect the system straight, but can make serious difference in rules. What I hate most are the rules where is several typos, indications to pages or tables that doesn't excist and so on. So I think, that well proofreaded product is also a good basis for working rules.

Fun to play
This is harder to define.ämä on hieman hankala vaatimus. How can you say what is fun to play and what is not? You just know and feel it. There is no real mechanic to define it. It is just a opinion. Some games feel right, some doesn't. Sometimes even totally different kind of games could both be fun to play in your opinion.

Not great amount of calculation before rolling dice
For example, if there is huge amount of different variables, bonuses, minuses etc. before you actually get to roll the dice to determine your success, it is not fun to me. When my character does something, I want to roll the die and see did he success, not spend several minutes before calculating every possible odd. If there is variables in system, I prefer them pre-calculated on character sheet, if possible. And odds I like in simple one variable, not 10 different you calculate together to get this one what affects your roll.

If all the previous needs are somehow filled, I don't actually care what or how many I roll these little buggers. I like Fading Suns where you use one type of die. I like Storytelling system where you roll fistful of dice of same type, I like BRP where you use several dice. I like dice. They cannot cause problem, I quess.

Book keeping not so detailed
Over detailed book keeping can really be annoying. I personally want to focus on adventure and story, not on how many items my character can carry and stuff. I don't want to spend my gaming time writing numbers with my pen. Also in some games combat book keeping can be annoying. You write down turns which everyone does his action(s), but sometimes different actions give minus for initiative, so you need to re-calculate and so on. I like fights as action, not figuring out who does what and when with numbers involved. But I am not against initiative in general. I just like it simple. See who does what and when and do it.

Experience and characters advancement are fun. I am not sure, what would be my preferred experience system. I got nothing agains level based system, but still also buying skill points with experience points work for me. I am not too picky with experience system, but one criteria there is. I want to see my character advance. For example BRP experience system Isn't the best I know. You advance really slowly, and when you do, few % doesn't make much of difference.

Witty idea
I always like, if there is some witty idea in system. For example Praedor is very simple system but I like it's "deep wound" rules(1). I also like Fading Suns Victory chart. And of course I have to mention my own system Ydin's "Over/Under" system.

Advanced and optional rules
Several game has basic rules as text, but optional and advanced rules are presented for example in boxes. You can freely and easily choose, what of these optional rules you use, or can start to use them when you are familiar with basic rules. It makes it easier to learn rules, when you see what you most definately need, and what are advanced and not necessary to run the game.

(1) In Praedor, there is characteristic called "Deep wound". Every damage what goes over character's deep wound number is concidered as critical hit. If for example character's deep wound characteristic is 8 and damage is 11, you refer deep wound chart from column 3 to see the additional result.

Originally posted similar topic in forum here. I just translated and slightly edited it poorly into blog.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Skill lists, what a pain!

I got this inspiration rush towards my rpg project Ydin. I know how mechanics work, but currently I am re-writing it and also layouting it. All evening and night last 5 hours I have been writing and struggling with technical issues (my noobism doesn't affect it at all) but making progress.

As I know everything about the rules (hey, I made them) I am currently writing them out in the order they are presented in index. But currently my inspiration died. Skill list! I have previous skill list, but I am not 100% happy with it.

I want my games skill list to be all covering as possible, but not complicated enough. That is pretty hard task. As the rules are generic, the task is even harder. So, I decided I should check out rpg games I own, write down skills in those, rip off doubled ones and combine those that are close enough each other.

Would that be stupid? To take model from other rpg's but alter them dramatically? I think, that is easier than invent the wheel from the beginning.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

GTA: Vice City to rpg

I know, that GTA: Vice City is older game. But it is great fun. Point here is, that when I did read GTA: Vice City's manual, I couldn't but to think about making this 80's Miami Vice style game into Vampire: the Masquerade.

I wanted long time to run V:tM in oldschool. 90's would be great, as V:tM is product of that time. But running Vampire setting in 80's? How awesome is that?

Basically Vice City is about reputation and controlling town. Doesn't that suit into Vampire very well? Also the manual is written like travel procure, so it is easy to convert into V:tM setting city.

Now I am not going to write about it, but I will. This is just a taste, what I am feeling now. So, GTA: Vice City converrted to Vampire: the Masquerate? Rad kicks!