I have played Saints Row 2 a lot. It is an awesome game. Lots of fun and lots of things to do. While playing it I keep thinking how cool it would be as a pen and paper roleplaying game. In my previous post I wrote about Vampire: the Masquerade sanbox campaign inspired by Saints Row 2 but I want more. I want Saints Row 2 roleplaying game.
Lately I downloaded Dungeonslayers rpg (a couple of posts back I write about it) and like its simple system resolution. Last night I kept thinking about Saints Row 2 roleplaying game. It didn't help me to get some sleep because I played it before going to sleep. Then I started to think about Dungeonslayers and got an idea. Make a Saints Row 2 roleplaying game using Dungeonslayers as an inspiration. And it clicked together.
At first I was thinking modding Mobsters (download from Burger Games homepage here). It is a roleplaying game about mafia in USA what I thought could be modified to modern days. But I didn't find it's skill based system suitable for videogame to roleplaying game convertion good enough.
In video games you shoot, run, jump, talk and so on with simple system. You shoot and you hit or not and so on. I think the action doesn't need several different skills. Because of that Dungeonslayers system would be easy. You have 9 attributes and abilities you combine to do stuff and several different talents to do certain things better. Basically there are no skills but to make a difference you do it with talents. Sounds great.
There are firearms rules for Dungeonslayers but even though I haven't yet read them I bet if they don't suit my taste they are easy to re-write. Basically firearms use ranged attack value with weapon bonus from weapon as in rules. Few extra rules to write are three round burst, full auto and aiming. Some other basics in addition you usually use in roleplaying games.
Range modifiers would be easy (if needed). Just give short, medium and long and possibly extreme ranges for weapons and add modifiers of difficulty. Aiming can be done with modifier to certain hit location (very difficult to hit head with bonus damage) or to make shooting easier (one difficulty rank easier per turn aimed). Three round burst would be modifier to all three shots at difficult modifier -2. Full auto I have to figure out.
Also I am not sure how defence value should be handled with firearms. Should both attacker and opponent roll as in melee fight? Or when shooting does only attacker roll but opponents armor is decreased from attack? You could dodge but it means you jump down and gain negative modifier unless you stand up.
Some rules should be added though. I was thinking morality system from World of Darkness. But it wouldn't be morality but respect. You gain and loose respect during the game based on your actions. Some actions may rise or decrease your respect. Winning other gang members or burning down their property will give you respect but loosing fights will decrease it. Cool clothing will rise it when armor will decrease it and so on. But what is the effect of respect in game system other than player knows how cool his character is ( your opinion on this is highly valued)?
Leveling up and experience would be from Dungeonslayers as it is. But talent could be followers also. How many other gang members you can take as retainers to help you out. These are player used NPCs to help out in combat. Possibly low hitpoints but good help in fights. Talent could be bought three times for example. One step for one possible follower. But maybe respect can affect this? First follower needs 5 respect, second 7 and third 9. If you have three talent ranks for three followers but only got 4 respect no one will follow you. This could be one use for respect.
Money is important. You can buy cool clothes to get respect, buy ammo and weapons, lofts and invest in business to gain income. And buy cars. Cars give you respect if they are cool. You can also pimp your ride for extra respect. Rules for vehicles are needed. Vehicle combat and pursue rules. I also was thinking that more your armor protects you more respect it lowers. If armor gives you 3 protection it decreases your respect by 3. It's not street credible to wear tough armor is it? Also additional respect can be gained from special weapons. .50 Desert Eagle is indimidating but if it's golden respect is ensured.
Respect would be big deal so it needs other rules than just how many followers you get.
Character's gang would need its own "character" sheet also. How big the gang is, how many turfs it owns etc. to keep track of. Maybe resources to be used and so on. I was also thinking about mission generator possibly. There are several small missions in Saints Row 2 what can be used in rpg. In downtime player character could do an extra mission (street race, fight club etc.). In Saints Row 2 manual these are introduced and I just have to take what suit best for p&p. Could respect affect how many downtime missions you can do and how often? One downtime mission per three points of respect? These are basically for extra money and extra respect.
I think this will be easy to accomplish. Dungeonslayers needs a little re-writing to suit modern gang world. Respect needs its rules. Equipment list must be written. Downtime quests executed. Gang statistics worked out. Not that much work.
Basically game would be a sandbox gaining experience, wealth and respect for your character. Also making your gang more powerful. But it wouldn't be hard to make a campaign for this with a plot and actual role playing. There could be rules to create a gang for player character. Like point buy system to use to get area, retainers, better leaders, resources etc. Getting big area is away from other things and so on.
Saints Row 2 wiki (found here) could be used converting things in game into rpg. As Dungeonslayers rules are easy the main focus wouldn't be in actual rules but more in fluff and content. Also some ready made gangs could be good addition for own gaming purpose and also if this would be shared for ready-to-play content.
I think this is not impossible to do and could be pretty fast to write. Most of the work would be writing equipment and fluff. Rules are there to just re-write with some additions.
Now the problem is should I use my time and energy writing this? I really, really would like to play Saints Row 2 as a roleplaying game so this would be written to be used asap. So it would be material for myself. But when writing material for myself could I just use some extra effort to make it in a form to share it with others who could be interested in it? I see this as a write through but when I start writing something it takes much more time that I initially estimate. I really should think about this because I really want to play this. Usually I play games with minimum preparation so this would be different for my usual games.
Now the big question is will I write this or not.