21 October 2013

Warning: Ruminations

I feel like running a very low-magic fantasy game with a very simplistic resolution system. Maybe something with d6 dice pools, and some sort of way of making what you're wearing and being protected by important.

Maybe something where your character's level is defined by the number of d6s they have to spend, and your weapons and armor are their own sort of thing, so you could have a guy that had three dice in Sneaking and two dice in Suave and he's got a bow with Accuracy 2 and Power 1, and his buddy in the picture is a dude with Beardliness 1, Strong Arm 1, and Tenacious 3, and he's got a sword with Sharpness 2 and Crossguard 1, and his shield is Stout 1 and Sturdy 2, and so on.

It kind of seems like a good bit to keep track of, but it's really not so terribly bad. You could sort of nest it into each other in the same way, so that you could buy a Rank 6 sword and then assign the stats, and nobody really cares what your sword is like (other than its relative quality- I.E. its rank) until it's time to swing the bastard around a bit, just like nobody really cares how charming you are until the Duchesses' (or Duke's, whichever you like) undies need to hit the ground.

And that means that you could have a couple of sub-systems that get put away until it's time for you to need them, like in very old-school D&D. Like your character is Rank 7 and that means that you have 7 dice to distribute between your qualities, so you pick three Social qualities and two each of Physical and Mental, and you can drill down into each category depending on what's going on. So you've essentially got three different parts of your character, and each one can have different benefits and maybe even spill over to the next ones...

The fun part is that this can go up and down each way, too, so that if you ever get to the domain level of the game you can separate out your character's Leadership qualities and Personal qualities, so you can have a guy who's not really smart or really personable but knows a thing or twelve about how to lead, or maybe a Barbarian King who's a whole hell of a lot better at decapitation than at decisionmaking...

I'll play with it more. Don't mind me.


  1. Have you taken a look at Scott Malthouse's rules lite rpg mechanics USR? I think the simple mechanics cut to the chase for both contested, and uncontested actions with the ability to add as much chrome on top as the GM sees fit.

    1. I haven't, but now I absolutely must. Thank you for the tip!


D&D is a game about resources

Sometimes it pretends to be a game about stories, or adventures, but it isn’t. It’s a game about what you have- hit points, weapons, armor,...