Project Updates 6/16

Work for the summer has indeed begun for me. Ideas come in quick spurts in the brief moments of peace and I’ve tried my darnedest to collect them all. A couple of things have transpired in the RPG sphere for me in the last few weeks.

  • I’ve read a lot of Prose Descriptive Qualities (PDQ) system lately as an alternative to FATE as a generic system. For kids’ games and the like. It uses 2d6, which I like better than 4dF. It uses aspects like FATE, but they have ratings to go with them, which you don’t invoke. Having the aspects “Meathead Magee” and “WWE Superstar” would translate to “Meathead Magee +2” and “WWE Superstar +4.” PDQ, unlike FATE, realizes that not all aspects are created equal. The rewards structure is a little wonky, but XP and bennies are usually the first things to change with my designs.
  • Swashbucklers of the Seven Skies is a PDQ setting I’ve flipped through somewhat. I want some way to do the islands from Zelda: Windwaker each with their own problems mixed with air travel and sky ships… Maybe some Avatar: The Last Airbender to taste. A village-of-the-week kind of deal where players solve problems and help people out in a pulpy-adventure way.
  • Mouse Guard. I’ve had my eye on this game for some time as an Adam Koebel fan (here’s his “why Burning Wheel is great” video). I picked it up on a Half-Price Books run and it was worth it. There’s some great reading material in here. The biggest selling point: Mouse Guard/Burning Wheel has some GENIUS mechanics for PC-centric play. Players are actively rewarded for engaging in their character’s beliefs, instincts, traits, and goals. Where Oaths in World of Elements make you interact with people in the world and grow by doing favors for others, Mouse Guard/Burning Wheel has a whole system for engaging internally with what the PCs want and who they are. I have to see it in play, but it would make for some very interesting games of dramatic change for players, which is something I’ve missed in running an open table game without much character development. Not of this caliber, anyway. I hope to use this type of design for a small-group PC-led campaign.
  • Blood and Chrome has been under revision. I’ve enlisted friends to run corporations for the campaign. Faction rules are in the work. Currently, they’re a hybrid between Stars Without Number faction turns and Into the Odd’s large scale/warfare rules. The next major post will probably reveal my findings.
  • Pokemon Adventures has a character sheet now. It looks horrible, but I’ve found that free handing this nonsense makes it easy to create and scan in. I’m going to do the same for B+C just to get a sense of space for the character sheet design.

And that’s all for this update. Been busy these last two weeks or so. Keep thinking about games and keep designing!

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