24 January 2012

The Odds Are Against You: Dystopian Edition

I think this is the setting I want for The Odds Are Against You.

I think that a nice near-future dystopian setting would be a lot of fun to be an action hero, especially if you happen to be the kind of guy who thinks that jumping into the middle of a group of heavily armed soldiers wearing nothing but a ponytail, some kneepads, and a sweet bandana is a good idea.

The whole gist of The Odds Are Against You, of course, is that you're the kind of guy who's a bad enough dude to get away with it. You win against this situation because you've got explicit plot armor, these guys are faceless mooks, and you've got an awesome, awesome idea of exactly how you're going to get away with it.

If you don't remember, The Odds Are Against You is the game of action roleplaying, where you're dealt a hand of cards and you play them out every time your character isn't a Bad Enough Dude to get it done automatically. It's not a bad system in my oh-so-humble opinion, although it hasn't been playtested for shit yet. I aim to change that soon. But I digress.

The point is that I've been working on it for months and I just now realized where I want to go with it. And I'm going to release it, and soon. But not now. It needs work. You see:

  • Since the game is neutral when it comes to awesome versus mundane, you're encouraged to pick the awesome because it's awesome. However, there's no real explicit reason to do so, meaning some people might miss the point. Maybe some sort of "awesome incentive" is required?
  • The rules for injury don't cause enough injuries. Maybe some sort of penalty to maximum hand size would be better, or maybe even a penalty to the result shown on the card face. Injuries should mean something.
  • The mechanics for getting more cards are, basically, that you do something risky or jeopardize your goals. I'm thinking that riskiness should tie into your first card flip, where failure means you almost screw it up, you get hurt, and you can get a free flip. Succeeding on the second one means no more injuries and you win by the skin of your teeth, and failure means you're hurt further. 
  • Jeopardizing one's own goals is a risky proposition, and it needs to hurt to be effective. It should be HAMMERED home to the GM that he needs to make each card gained this way really, really suck. It shouldn't be an off-hand thing. It should be a "I really need this." And even then, it might not work the way I want it to. 
  • I think that at the end of each scene the players should regain a number of cards if they've ran below it. Heroes often just need a breather to go back at it again, harder, and the heroes of this game should reflect the fiction.
  • It needs a pre-made adventure and I'm not good at modern. Sorry, but it's true. There's a lot of variables for it.

I think it's time for a nap, my brain feels fuzzy again. 

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