04 December 2013
A monster-hunter styled game where you can craft items out of the monsters you slay would be a lot of fun, and it wouldn't even necessarily have to be lot to keep track of.
Here's what I was thinking about.
If you go for a basic Target Number style system and use D6s, you can have characters decide their starting stats. I'm thinking no more than three stats: Muscle, Wits, and maybe Stamina? They should be close to each other, character-wise. They all represent reasonably competent human beings, at the prime of their lives. They're all savvy and strong, but it's fun to have different stats and each be responsible for a different part of the hunt.
In contrast to the simplistic stats of characters, gear gets a couple of different stats. The gear characters can start with should include inexpensive gear for different environments (cold-weather armor, warm-weather armor, basic metal/cloth armor for all situations, basic metal and bone weapons and shields, that sort of thing). To get better equipment, the hunters have to hunt giant monsters and bring the remains back to town, where they can carve off teeth, eyeballs, bones, and the like to create more useful equipment- which lets them tackle larger and larger monsters. What they can carve is randomly rolled, because sometimes the teeth aren't going to make a good sword, or the monster had a broken jaw years ago and it's not going to hold up as a good weapon, or its venom glands didn't have hardly anything in them by the time they got to butchering it; and so on.
So now instead of having a relatively dull set of Iron Armor, now this hero's got a cloak made from the rare and deadly (and aggressive) Giant Kraglod that gives her a substantial bonus to resisting paralysis. So, too, are her garments made of Kraglod silk, harvested from its spawn's cocoons She's wielding a long dagger she crafted from a Swamp Kronx's stinger that is both deadly sharp and retains the essence of the monster's deadly venom. The shoes are from leathery Balicrask hide, tough and yet supple, that's completely waterproof and has her finding herself almost never out of breath.
And so, game-wise, each piece of gear gives you a very concrete statistical bonus. And you can mix and match for the situation at hand. The Kraglod's cloak might give you +2 vs paralysis. The dagger might deal 2d6 damage and deal +3 poison damage (Which stacks each round! What a blade!). And so on.
Helping in this task are lesser types of gear- heroes can spend time searching for herbs to brew potions back in their home, or they can buy and create bombs and traps out of reeds, ropes, and meat that they brought (or carved on the spot), and a good couple dozen other items that you can buy or make.
I dunno, I'd play it. Maybe I should write a Basic Edition of it... sometime.