Monday, May 31, 2010

Cyberpunk V3.0 - One cool concept... on paper

I think Cyberpunk V3.0 is one of the biggest flops in rpg industry. It looks horrible, doesn't have same coolness that it's previous versions, it's hard to read, illustration sucks, rules suck... I haven't heard anything good about whole game. But still, in every pile of c..p there must be something good also.

What that might be in CPv3 then? Mike Pondsmiths forewords. Yes, they are utopistic when you actually hold the product in your hands, but still, the idea is quite awesome he visualizes in it. Let's take a lookin there.

Basically Mike tries to tell, how CPv3 is easy to start and easy to be interesting for today's PC- and consolegaming youngsters. He has _tried_ to make CPv3 as easy to start as starting a game with XBox. Or so he tells. You can beging gaming easily and when get experience about roleplaying and Cyberpunk, can advance the rules. And for old beards you can go to "advanced rules section" to flesh out the game.

Templated characters is one idea he tries to copy from computer games. It is basically nothing more but ready made characters players can choose from to play. Idea is, that in console and PC games you pick up your character, maybe (in rpg's) slightly change their few attributes and start your adventure. Same idea Mike is after. Grab a character, modify it if you will and start to play. Nothing new actually, but comparing ready-made characters to computer game's characters did start me to think about it.
Funny thing is, though, that real character creation is in advanced rules section.

Cool pregenerated stuff is munchkin's heaven! I quote the book: "Guns. Gear. Vehicles. No more of this fumbling around with big lists trying to buy everything and coming up short of cash. We're going to give you access to everything your character needs from the start - you just have to pick up the things you want." I smell cyber-pumped dual-minigun wielding granade packed dudes in cool shades and trenchcoats (reminder for self: don't forget katanas) driving armoured tank-sports-car-helicopters. In drugs.

Easy to use rules. Everything you do in game use the same system. Sounds cool? Yes. Point is, you don't have to think how rules work if player does this or that, everything uses same basics. But there is also advanced rules for advanced or more demanding players to use. Sounds good to me. But what I have heard, CPv3 rules suck.

That wasn't everything including in the text, but I pointed out few things. Sounds cool actually. Sounds like it's fast and fun. Easy to play but easy to get more details. Easy and fast to start. But in the other hand, I haven't read the book. And won't. Text and layout are horrible and too painful for my eyes so I don't want to even see myself is the game as bad as it is told to be.

I trust all the reviews. CPv3 is not worth my time. I just wish, that it would work like Mike promises in foreword. Bummer.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Sims, tool for rpg's?

(Note, in this post I talk about The Sims 2, as The Sims 1 is not advanced enough for this purpose and I don't have experience from Sims 3).

The Sims 2 is life-simulation/doll house game, where you create your sims and build houses and community places for them. Basically Sims 2 is building and decoration game but also advanced virtual pet.

So, how can one use The Sims 2 for roleplaying purposes?

I don't mean, that you could use The Sims for roleplaying in the matter of actual play, but you can use it as a tool. In a fun way.

I myself have sometimes troubles drawing a map. I am too "artistic" (read sloppy) person to use rulers, so usually I have problems with dimensions. Also another problem when drawing is how to array everything. I see only lines I have drawn and the visualization is a bit problematic especially when I don't have anything special in the mind what I want a place to look like.

Here The Sims steps in. As you know, quite big part in The Sims is building buildings. With The Sims you can quite easily build buildings for your roleplaying games. I have used it for:

- spaceships
- bars
- motels
- character's and npc's apartments
- warehouses
- etc

If you know how The Sims builder works, you can quite fast get your own 3D building done. If you are "advanced" roleplayer and use your computer as gaming assistant, you can easily show players in real 3D mode what kind of place they are in. Or you can take screenshots and print them out, what isn't bad option either.

Only problems are, that when you create houses, apartments, buildings etc. in The Sims, you actually "play" the game. And it takes time. So you don't necessarily put together the bar for next gaming session in 5 minutes, it can take even hours depending of the complexity of the building.

Good part is, that internet is full of custom content from new wallpapers to medieval weapons. Everything for your needs. You can make medieval castles, spaceships, wild west pubs etc.

And if you are really into playing with The Sims, you can make your NPC's and roleplaying characters into sims! It might be fun to create your cyber commando, 21th century vampire or even elven ranger for sims (you can easily find everything you need for this characters from internet). And if got humour enough, you can play with them making them do stupid stuff... Well, I don't go that far, I am builder type (my player has told me how this and this character did bully that and then bullied one cried...)

So, The Sims 2 can be a tool for rpg's. It is slow, takes time, but fun and you can easily build 3D buildings without knowledge of programming or advanced applications.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fading Suns meets Warhammer 40.000

Yes, time travel is the word of this campaign. First time-jump was 250 years into future. And second time-jump they tried to get back to past into their own time but what you know, evil GM screwed things up and they jumped further into future.

Where? What time?

I have been checking out information about WH40k Dark Heresy rpg and also looked at several WH40k pictures, so from Fading Suns setting year 4996 (actually should be 5010 as Fading Suns was published 1996) they travelled to year 5246 and from that they travelled to year... 40.000!

So, now I am having blast with super huge evil looking spacedestroyingships, power armors, cybernetics, dead planets and faded suns.

Fading Suns, the profecy is fulfilled. Most of the suns are dead. There is dark future... Fading Suns mix Warhammer 40k.

Why do I want to yell: IT'S OVER 9000!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Vitruvian man hit locations

Vitruvian man is famous piece of art from Leonardo da Vinci indicating the dimensions and measurements of a human. More information in Wikipedia here.

Few years ago I wanted to add a random hit locations chart into Vampire: the Masquerade to give a little "twist" into firefights. I thought, that chart-only with text is really dull and wanted to make it graphic. For some reason, Vitruvian man got my attention.

I have to admit, the artwork from da Vinci is brilliant. It is just cool. And works perfectly for random hit location chart.

At first, as I used this for V:tM hit locations used D10, but scale 1-10 was a bit too small so I changed it for D12 to give more odds for middle body and hands and less for legs.

So here it is, Vitruvian man hit locations.

That small "YDIN" logo in the corner, yeah, it's for my rpg project.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

D&D: What rules do I actually need?

For first, it's long time since I last time played any of Dungeons and Dragons. I think it was Advanced Dungeons and Dragons something like 10 years ago. And it lasted untill first fight when we changed system and continued the campaign. I am not sure was that the first time of AD&D, but it definaltely was the last. I have also played some version of old Dungeons and Dragons, but cannot remember what it was, how I felt about the rules etc. I remember, there was this map of dungeon and cardboard figures. Really old. We didn't play that game alot, just few times.

Then I got my D&D 3rd edition (well, it was cheap and I _cannot_ resist cheap rpg's) and have read it a couple of times. I quess rules are quite simple, but for some reason they are hard for me. Too much storytelling? Needless to say, even if I have had it for few years now, I never actually played it.

My only experience of newer D&D (3rd edition or above) is True20 system from Blue Rose rpg. I think it's like D&D but you don't have to keep account that much. It was quite ok, I have to admit, even if it wasn't my dish. Still, it worked okay.

So, if I would buy D&D 3rd edition with D&D kind of adventure with warriors, magic, treasure and monsters, what would I do with rules?

First, minis, figures, not my thing. I like game where you can describe things instead of making fights a mini-game with strategy from board games. I play roleplaying game, not figures strategy game.

Obviously because of above, I think I should strip some rules. Attack of opportunity, some reaches, and area effects would be not convient without figures (that's why they are there, duh), so I quess I'd just drop off them rules. I did that with True20, and not many game uses similar rules, so they aren't needed.

Now, I have a stripped version of D&D where you don't need minis! Would I play it now? There is one problem though. If D&D is now most popular roleplaying game, where you use different feats and advanced tactical combat with miniatures, what will D&D be without those rules? Why must I play D&D if I modify it far enough it not to be D&D anymore? Why cannot I take just some another fantasy game with rules I like more, and leave D&D alone what obviously isn't for me?

Well, there is many people playing D&D and who have played D&D. And I concider myself rpg entusiast, so it's just common knowledge to have played it.

And, it could be fun. Maybe I just keep minis and battle rules as they are. And don't take it that seriously. If I will and want to play Dungeons & Dragons, why wouldn't I play it like it is ment to play? There is thousands of games that I could play otherwise.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Writers, how do you get inspired?

I bet someone who reads this blog is also a writer in rpg scene. Do you write games, adventures, or something similar?

As someone might know, I am working on my own rpg system called Ydin. Today I got all the toughts together, opened my Open office, started typing title Introduction and then... bam. Zombies ate my brains. I tried to write several columns but only result was me hitting backspace until I was again at the beginning. I tried to make fun background design for the file and started typic again. i, n, t, r, o, d, u, c, t, i, o, n. Then watched screen for a decade, started to write total utter bullshit untill I yelled "goaaarrr", shut down writer and went to play Playstation 2.

So, problem is, I don't know where to start, what to write. I have already done 20 pages version of Ydin, but decided to re-write it. But now even if I know what I want from Ydin, when I start to actually write nothing comes in my mind. It's like... frustrating.

One person who did read one early version of Ydin told me that my writing wasn't that good. It was like reading a forum post or blog message. I tried to read it but didn't find the problem. I don't know... should I try to write as it comes into my mind. My work, my words, my thoughts. Or should I write it as über-pro ultimate rulesbook text? I think that writing my style would make it sound like me and my work, but is it good to read that way?

My well is empty. It took some time before I started (to try) to write Ydin down (again) but now I don't have anything to say. Well I do. I could tell the rules, but writing a booklet needs a bit more.

Maybe I should buy a bottle of red wine for inspiration.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

[Fading Suns] How to get new friends? Destroy their spacestation!

Heroes have discovered, that they are not lost in space, but actually jumped into future when entering the Jumpgate.

When they did the fatal jump, they were in hurry and didn't have enough time to calibrate and ensure the coordinates, and they didn't jump at their own turn but did cut the line. When they did the jump, they were lost. But here is what really happened.

They did get into the right spot where indended originally, just as they did make hasty jump without proper preparation, they did twist time and space and landed in the future. 250 years later. They have all the time been in their own world, but not their own time. They have seen the effect of "fading suns", some of systems are dead now. How did they find out about this timejump?

They got into a spacestation of Imperial Guardianship where they heard that theory. They did verify it by comparing the first time their map and the new map. There was enough similarities to verify the truth of timetravel.

At first Imperial Guardianship's officer Hans Zimmer gave this impression that he would help lost heroes crew to get back into their own world, but soon enough heroes found out, that Hans Zimmer was only interested in timetravel technology and hero crew was living proof that it was possible. Hans Zimmer didn't give them option to leave his spacestation, and wanted to use this knowledge to gain power. God complex you could say.

Character heroes did find out, that Hans Zimmer wasn't interesting into helping them but just gain this knowledge by using them. And they didn't like it, so they decided to escape the spacestation. And blow it just for laughs. Blowing it up was quite easy. Override core. It will blow up itself. Another problem was that they were attached to the station by really powerful electric magnet. Cut the power, they planned to get loose.

Override of the core was quite simple, but cutting the power out of electric magnet wasn't. They plannet to sneak into it by ventile shafts but when core started to overheat, the vents started to get really hot and filled with toxic gasses. They couldn't get the power out from the magnet, and were basically stuck on slowly exploding spacestation.

How to get magnet off without getting it off? Seal the hangar and rip your spaceship off. It will make damage, but atleast you won't be stuck on exploding spacestation. Another problem was, that Arpi and Sarwen propably cannot make it in time back to spaceship, and seems that they cannot get in the normal way. Gar the Vorox pilot is thinking, should they leave but hero (also PC) Chiasm refuses. They all will be saved, or destroyed. Waiting starts and they start to feel explosions with their bodies as exploding stations shakes their spaceship. After long wait and when counter starts to get into critical time they hear, that Arpi and Sarwen are in the ship. Chiasm first questions it, do they just say that so they could save others, but Arpi insists, they are onboard. Gar heats the engines, rips them out of spacestation and Chiasm runs to check out on Arpi and Sarwen, who both seem to be alive. A bit in bad shape, like freezed. As they fly away and spacestation explodes into Chiasm and the rest of the crew start to treat Arpi and Sarwen.

How did Arpi and Sarwen manage to get into the ship? They blew themself into space, hovered on top of their spaceship and got in. They had no spacesuits, so they get pretty cold in space temperature. Both survived without several injuries.

When they decided to get to safe planet they have visited before, they got a message. Message from Hans Zimmer who had survived the exploding spacestation. And he wasn't happy at all. Do I even need to tell you, that he want's to pay his new friends a visit in near future?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

What game next?

In previous post I told that current Fading Suns campaign is nearing it's end, and now I have to start to think what will be the next game to play to do some preparations. Preparations would include making character with player, learning or re-reading rules, getting idea of campaigns concept.

There are some options I have been thinking to run next.

My Life With Master is really interesting game. Rules are light enough, you can "win" the game without deciding the conditions for ending the campaign, and you got concept what you will gamemaster. Game is also ment to be quite short, so it would be nice to play in between of next longer campaign. My player isn't actually very interested in MLWM, but I could try to get her into it. Anyways, it would be short so she could give it a shot. I have also an idea for setting. Master will be a vampire in his castle near the village and player character would be his ghoul. My idea is quite World of Darness-ish, but it could work for WoD and Vampire fan player of mine.

Another game I would love to run is All Flesh Must Be Eaten. I started BBQ from Hell campaign I planned, but player didn't like it. Not sure didn't she like All Flesh Must Be Eaten, the campaign or wasn't the time just right. If BBQ from Hell isn't working for my player, I could run another AFMBE scenario for her. She is not as big of a zombie lover as I am.

World of Darkness is my favourite setting (particulary old WoD) and I think I never get bored of it. Vampire: the Masquerade is a game we will play again. We planned that we start new V:tM campaign when the fall comes, it's dark, cold, rainy and angsty. But for now we delay our favourite game. We did try to start a campaign of Werewolf: the Forsaken, but it died because I actually never ended reading the book. So I didn't have enough background information about the setting to make it interesting. And atleast I can say I have played it. Werewolves are quite interesting, so I decided to buy Werewolf: the Apocalypse. Maybe we never got into W:tF because there is something in nWoD that doesn't work for me. So, maybe Werewolf: the Apocalypse could be great game to start new campaign with?
Other games from nWoD what are interesting are Changeling and Hunter. Haven't read either of them though, but I've heard only good about Changeling: the Lost. Could be really interesting and magical yet grim campaign. Something like Tim Burton would do. I am not that interested in Hunter: the Vigil, but Slayer seems to be really cool.

We had one shorter campaign of Call of Cthulhu and it was quite enjoyable. It was long hard road to get my player into gaming it, and I gave him not that horrific mind shattering tentacle monsters from another dimension campaign, but more horror/mystery style. She did like the campaign, and asked if we could play CoC again some day. So, Call of Cthulhu it will be in the future.

Kult is a game where is setting I love. It is terrifying. Rules I don't like that much though. I have imagined grabbing Kult again, enjoying to read it, and enjoying to scare hell out of my player. Not sure is it going to happen ever though.

One game I would like to give a try, also one game system I don't like, and genre what is not for me... yes. Dungeons & Dragons. I have read 3rd edition once so I got basic mechanics somehow in hand. Some basic fantasy adventure could be quite fun. I have to give this a try some day. I also got AD&D 2nd ed. but that is just not for my taste.

So, here's the list for potential competitors for my next campaign:
  1. My Life With Master
  2. All Flesh Must Be Eaten
  3. Werewolf: the Apocalypse
  4. Changeling: the Lost
  5. Hunter: the Vigil/Slasher
  6. Call of Cthulhu
  7. Kult
  8. Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition
Give your vote, what I could play next!

Fading Suns - 50th session

Today we started our 50th session in Fading Suns campaign Lost in space. We played our first session of this campaign in February 25. So this far game has lasted around 3 months.

Sessions haven't been that long, one or two to six hours depending on weekday. But we have played around 4-5 times per week, sometimes less, sometimes more.

Many strange and adventurous things have happened. They have met space pirates, little spy Sha-Tzuu who accompanied them, hunted goatsucking monster, were kidnapped to harem... There has been adventures, talking, drama, partying.

I can't tell how many times we have used dice in this campaign. Many sessions we didn't use rules or dice at all, just told the story. Some sessions we did roll dice just for fun. In this campaign there hasn't been that many fights. Main character maybe has fired her laser gun without emptying a clip yet. But shooting stuff isn't the point here. But the story.

Fading Suns is a science fiction game with rich game world, but I liked to add this another world to invent my own star system with it's unique encounters and planets. I used Valérian and Laurine comics as inspiration for new races and planets and it has been working fine.

Story started when main character encountered Sarwen and got into his crew in a space ship. Sarwen and the ships crew were in hurry to take off from the planet. Main character Chiasm wasn't sure, what was going on, but soldiers were after them. They did hasty jump through jumpgate and got lost. When they checked out where they had gotten themselves into, got into trouble and decided that it's time to get back to home the jumpgate wasn't there anymore. They were totally lost in alien star system and the adventure begun.

At this point the campaign is reaching it's end. Somehow I feel a bit sad. When campaign is fun, it's not easy to end it. Still, the end will be when they finally find their way back home.

50 sessions with great game Fading Suns, with fun story and great adventure.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

YDIN - Explaining my idea of attributes and skills

Okay, attributes and skills:

Attribute high, skill high
- You are both stable and capable. Your critical hit rate is greater and you don't miss very often.

Attribute low, skill high
- It might be easy to hit and get criticals, but you stumble alot. Your fighting style is far from perfect. You know how to use a sword, but your physics aren't with you.

Attribute high, skill low
- You are good at it naturally, you hardly miss, but in cost of stability you botch often and critical hit seldom.

Attribute low, skill low
- You suck. You hit now and then, sometimes even crit, but botch quite often. Your physics and knowledge is not ment for swordfighting.

So, I think that attribute and skill balance eatch other. If I am very agile, but bad on swords, I got good change to hit (thanks to my natural dexterity) but I still got higher change to criticals, because I am not good with swords.

If I am skillful but my physics just don't work for it, I get critical hits usually... if I hit the target. Still, I don't botch that often.

If I am both agile and skillfull, I get high change for critical, low change for botches and hit most of the time. But if I lack both skill and psychics I might hit, or botch. My fighting is a stumbling and not at all certain.

I think, that maybe even if poorer dude can get higher critical possibility than better guy, it is because you suck with swords, you swing it like headless chicken running. You hit with LUCK well, but damn, you most likely hurt yourself doing it.
But if you have skills and are naturally good with swords (dexterity, agility what evah) you know what you do and don't hussle allaround. Your blows rarely hit yourself on the leg. You calculate your hits and don't just swing yer sword.

In many games systems you attributes + skills poor character cannot do a shit. Anyone played Warhammer Fantasy RPG 1st edition with 30% of hit change in the beginning of the game, and got 1000's of 1000's of xp spent to get it even to every third hit misses? Yes.

BUT IN MY SYSTEM your crappy dumb crippled character who is good at picking his nose actually can swing his sword and get a deadly blow (cross your fingers not to loose grip, or hit yourself with it).

Simple, yes. Fast, yes. Realistic? Nah, adventurous, heroine, fast paced, dangerous? Yes.

I mean, even if your character sucks, he can success. I hate in rpg's when what ever I try with my character he cannot do it. Fights take eternity when miss, miss, miss, yey hit duh 1 dmg, miss, miss... Or your character tries to navigate out from the forest without navigation skill and dies in a hole alone. In my system your character, the hero can do hero stuff. Even if he isn't hero material. He is just lucky (if doesn't botch).

I give a example here:

Attribute 6 vs attribute 1. Another is highest human can be, another near crippled. Both have skill level 1, what is D6.

So, Attr 6 + skill 1 tries to do something. He throws D6 against 7.
Okay, 1 he successes which is also critical (result equals skill is critical).
Results 2,3,4,5 he successes.
Highest number of any die is always a miss. So with result 6 he misses but it also is a botch alert! Throw D6 again and if you get highest possible result (6 in this case obviously) it's critical botch.
With his skill this attribute 6 dude is quite stable in successing, but his lack of skill makes him miss every 6th.

What about our 1+1 dude?
Okay, D6 against 2 means he gets critical with result 1 (equals to skill again) and hits with result 2. Results 1,2,3,4,5 and 6 he misses and 6 is also critical threat.

Attr 6 + skill 1
- Critical 1/6
- Hit 5/6
- Miss 1/6

Attr 1 + skill 1
- Critical 1/6
- Hit 2/6
- Miss 4/6

Which one would you bet on? Okay, Lower attribute guy does get 50/50 critical WHEN he hits. But in that time other guy hits in 5/6 propability.

What about highest skills? Our other contestent is Attribute 6 skill 3 monster, other skillful but weak Attribute 1 Skill 3 person.

Attribute 6 + Skill 3 = 9. With skill 3 you use D10. Let's see what happens now?

- 1-3 Critical hit (die result equals skill)
- 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 hit
- 10 auto-miss + change for critical

And then our Attribute 1 + Skill 3 = 4 (with D10 from skill)
- 1,2,3 critical
- 4 hit
- 5,6,7,8,9 miss, and
- 10 miss + critical change.

6+3 misses every 10th (might be much for pro, but hey, you don't need dice if you wanna hit all the time eh?) and 1+3 6 out of 4.

Let's take one more, average joe who knows what he is doing. His attribute is 3 and skill 2 = 5 (means D8):

- 1,2 critical
- 1,2,3,5 hit
- 6,7,8 miss with higest result as threat for critical.

Same with less skills:
Attr 3 + Skill 1 (D6)
- 1 critical
- 1,2,3,4 hit
- 5,6 miss. Change for critical increases alot.

What about skillfull average?
Attr 3 + Skill 3 (D10)
- 1,2,3 critical
- 1,2,3,4,5,6 hit
- 7,8,9,10 miss. And critical botch decreases dramatically.

As you can see, everyone has good changes to success despite your skill or attribute. Biggest difference is that:
Higher attribute makes it easier to success with smaller skill, but smaller skill also increases dramatically change to critical botches.
Lower attribute makes everything harder, and if you got skill, your body cannot handle it but atleast you don't botch often. If you lack both attribute and skill you even hit well or hit really bad (take a change, lucky shots, close your eyes and hit... something).

Maybe these rules aren't the most realistic available, but everyone has a change. And if lower attribute might get better change to critical hits, which would you get:

- Crit more, hit yourself with an axe more
- Stable.

This was ment to be comment to this post, but turned out to be waaaaay longer than just an answer. So I made it own post.

Sorry if text is unclear, a bit tired and started just to flow text here! Might include some mistakes in numbers, not sure :D Sorry for that in advance.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

YDIN - quick intro to my system


Characters at the beginning are above the average. Character your player gets isn't ordinary person, but a hero of the campaign. He is a bit more capable than average person, so you don't have to spend few first adventures, quests or missions to gain experience to get your character to be capable for doing something more than just kill those rats (for experience).
One thing what makes difference between your character and ordinary people is "gifts". Gifts are special abilities, advantages your character is good at. He might be tougher, more charismatic, cooler or naturally talented in repairing stuff. If you make a police officer, he might be good at spotting things at the crime scene what aren't right. Or if you make a hustler he might be more charismatic and thief could be nimble.
You can personalize your character with these gifts and decide where he is good at.


It is easily described as level based, but that is not the case. You gain experience points from various occasions and when you get enough of them, you can add points to your characters attributes, get new gifts or advace in skills. These levels are also a measure of your characters power. When you get experience, you don't have to think how to use those 10 xp points if attributes cost x times current rating etc. You get package what you can use. Your character's level is a measurement of his power. If your character is level 5, you know he is 5 levels more powerful than level 1 character despite how you spent his experience points. Still levels don't mean power like more hitpoints and things like that. They are still people and can die from a bullet shot (referring to D&D hitpoints). From leveling you can get more points to attributes, advance in skills or even gain new gifts.


Rules are quite simple to use. I am not going to the details how they work, but give a small overview.
Attributes range from 1-6 and skills from 0-3. In attributes 3 is an average person and in skills 0 means you aren't familiar with it at all, 1 is training and 3 is master at it.
When attempting something you need dice for resolution, simply add your attribute to skill and throw a die. Die is determined by the skill level. The lower the skill, the smaller the die.
Now you think, that the lower the skill is, the better the possibilities to success are. That is not true. Highest number of a die is always a miss, and also threat of critical. If you get threat of critical you roll the current die again and if score highest result possible again, it is a critical miss. Something goes wrong. So the lower the skill is, the bigger possibility to critical failure.

You can also decide to target over your skill. In that case if you score higher than your skill, it's critical success, if you score lower, it's critical failure. When your attribute and skill are high, you have better change to success when rolling under, as playing it safe. But when your attribute and skill are low, you might roll over as a risk. Even you success well, or fail miserably. So basically rolling under (normal roll) is playing it safe even if risk in failure might be bigger with poor attribute + skill, but when taking a change with rolling over you might get better change in success but your change in failing critically increases radically.

(If players think that deciding to roll under or over is too complicated, you might just ignore the rule to be able to roll over.)

Rules are quite simple, and they are more easy to describe fully without this extra blabber here.

Damage is not about hitpoints directly. Well, every character has hitpoints, what wear out when you get damage. But in addition if damage is much higher than your stamina, you take a wound. Wounds are the ones that kill you. If you take one point damage every turn (beating another with poor hits) you can take it for several turns, but if you get shot with a shotgun you certainly take wounds and could get killed right away (if shot is good).
So basically, more lethal (more damage weapon does) more likely your character is to be dead from fewer hits. But if you hit another with a stick, your opponent can take several turns worth of damage. Hitpoints resemble also poisoning and tiredness and general health of a character. So there is two ways to die. Your hitpoints go to zero or you get wounds.
For advanced use there is also mental damage for shock and scares. They don't kill you, but reduce your capability or even can make your character go insane. These are described in setting.

Harder and easier

If something is easier or harder to do, you don't calculate all those -/+ scores to your die roll. You just simply roll dice and pick best or worst result. There is 3 steps total.
Advantage 1 for slightly easier to advantage of 3 to peace of cake.
Disadvantage 1 to a bit harder to disadvantage of 3 to nearly impossible.
So basically, if your Attribute is 4 and skill 2, your number to throw under is 6 (when rolling under obviously). If act is slightly easier you throw dice 2 times and pick the highest result. So, no calculating what comes from slippery floor, fog and headache but good weapon and blinded opponent.

Greater successes and worse failures

Criticals does exsist. The better your characteristics are the easier you get critical success. The worse your skill is the higher possibility is to critically fail. Easy to remember, your skill tells what die results critical hit.

Last words

I did read this post and whoa, I can explain things in complicated way. Still, I didn't want to give all the details of my rules, so this post might feel harder than the actual rules are. The rules can be explained in less than 10 pages (with examples). Fast to play, not many things to remember and basically all numbers you need during gameplay are in your character sheet. Just throw a die and see the result. Little twist is in rule throwing under or over, but it is easy to understand and remember also. There will also be quick sheet for rules, so everything is in hand without need to read rules book(let) during the game. These rules in quick sheet are:
Easier and harder modifiers
Rolling under and over
What skill is what die

So, don't be intimidated because of this post. I am not good at explaining something when I don't want to reveal too much about this system. I assure you, it is way easier when you read the rules, not this mystery post about it.

One problem I have. Should I make separate rules and not include them in every setting, or put the rules in every setting I write? White Wolf did make only one set of rules in it's World of Darkness core book and every other book is only about setting specific rules. Same goes with GURPS for example. But both of those have pretty heavy rules books! That way you don't have to read or buy the basic rules all over again. Still, if I make these basic rules separate, it's hard to include the character creation. Or the skill part of it. I thought I add character creation for modern characters in basic rules, but then again, setting book(let) overwrites them every time. But still, rules are in less than 10 pages so it's not a big deal to copy paste them in every setting book. That way also if someone is interested in setting X he doesn't need to worry about getting separate rules.

That is one thing I need to think about... Still, if you got my setting X and got the rules there, and then get the setting Y and know already the rules from setting X you can easily just skip that section.

Hard thinking, hard thinking.

Poll: what is most interesting of these ideas?

Okay, I am writing my own system, and system is starting to be ready to go. It needs a bit game testing, but I am getting it right in my opinion. There is few points why I am making my own system:

1. As it is made by me I know it like my own pockets so it's easy to write ideas for it. If I get an idea about game, gadget or anything, it is easy to write for the system I know best, my own
2. It's fun to create. There is few systems I favourite, but own would be cool to use as it would be easy to adapt to any game setting I like. So with own universal system I could play almost any game setting out there without learning new rules every time I want to run a new game. Just need a hold of a setting and the twists of the game and characters.
3. If I like my system and I think it works for myself, I'd like to share it. I am not trying to make system what would suit for most of the gamers, mere I want to be part of indie games design. There is dozens of commercial games, but I personally like the idea that rpg culture and development isn't all about WotC and White Wolf. I like to see individual low budget home brew games, and would like to be part of making them.

Roleplaying hobby is interesting, as there is so many good stuff out there what is not commercial from big companies. And now as there is PDF marketing raising it's head on rpg markets, it's even easier for individual games designer to get his own product to share with other gamers.

Anyways, my system is starting to be ready, and will share it when I got time to put it together and test it. There will first be open test version, and when I get layout ready and put it in PDF format, I will start to share it in two ways.
1. You can download it for free
2. You can download it basically for free, but payment is optional. Prize wont be high, but if you like the product, and like to pay for it, or appreciate paying small fee as encouragment for me using my time putting it up, you are more than welcome to show it with a buck or two.

But when the system is ready, it would be good to have a tailored setting for it. Rules are universal, but maybe you would like to have a ready setting for the system also. But what is most interesting:

1. Survival horror. Yeah, there is dozen zombie games and I think All Flesh Must Be Eaten is a king of them all. So do you need another zombie game? This is not necessary about zombies. But take for example Resident Evil game, put your players character in survival situation against crazy cultists, zombies, mutants or other monsters. Small game, small restricted setting, lots of action and survival. Small game with big heart and lots of fun and possibilities to run your own survival horror campaing.
2. Psychic agents. There is a crime, a crime lord, a gang. Your 3 characters are a part of very special agency. You have to solve the problem using these 3 characters in order to get that mob boss out of the game and ruin his business. Spying, body possession, commando action. It's all there.
3. Struggle between heaven and hell. You take side, but what it will be? Will you be a saint or a sinner? To gain power, you must be good or evil. For sinner evil and sinister acts will give you more power and more powerful you become, you start to be demon-like in power. For saint good acts and saving other's souls will grand you angel-like powers. More good or evil you become, you will get attention of other part.
4. Lonely riders, cowboys, sheriff. Town middle of nowhere where law is in hand of criminals or one man with his revolver. Will you try to keep order, or do you make your law of your own? Or do you just try to cope in wild west? Western romance and action.

So dear readers, what is most interesting of these:

And they will run on my system YDIN (finnish, means CORE in english).

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Overwhelmed by rpg hobby

Strange enough, but I almost had burnout from roleplaying hobby of mine. How is that possible?

Too much. I like to play, and that is one thing I don't trade for anything. But also I am quite active at forum, try to blog, try to read rpg books, want to get more of them and on top of that I got kazillion ideas for rpg's running on my own system.

And ofcourse outside this fantasy world of roleplaying games I have real life involving job, daily activities, animals, friends etc. So, as rpg-ing became bigger and bigger but I didn't want to be outcast from "real life", I got into this situation that I didn't have time enough for everything!

So my rpg hobby started to grow too big. I had to back down. Small break in blogging, few days off from forums, iceing my game project(s), and just enjoying playing. I gotta say, as much as I love rpgs in general, this small backing down was good for me. I just played and didn't stress about developing or writing game, being active in internet on rpg related items and so on.

This is great hobby. It is not just playing, but can involve social enountering in internet, writing, planning, reading, sivilizing yourself with knowledge and so on. But also this hobby can take really big part of your life, and that started to be a slight problem.

Now I am happy. Happily gaming, and leaving game development into it's place of freedom not must. Now I have time and space and no stress to arrange time and inspiration to continue being active(-ish) in rpg community as in game development.

I am happy. And rpgs are my life. They don't rule my life, but are great part of me and they make who I am.