Thursday, November 1, 2012

Science Fiction

I sit here watching Red Dwarf I am thinking about what makes a space ship RPG work.

Red Dwarf's magic is that the ship is a mobile setting.

Some episodes are on the ship, fully contained, like that time Rimmer found a garbage pod.

In others they played pool with planets or pit wax droids of all of the most famous historical figures against one another.

There is room for Random. If I was making a red dwarf RPG I'd consider making a deck based adventure mechanic.  Draw some cards then go!

Fifty Two random ideas could be blended into a weekly game.

Now a Star Trek game that would require some more complexity. The setting demands it. Same with BSG or Andromeda; well season one and the first half of season two.

But this game needs less complexity because generally speaking I despise complexity.

But that has to do with remembering countless hours spent learning AD&D rules and trying to max out a level one to three characters.

So simple space ship show.

I think the secret is to avoid having the ship be a character.

If the ship is a character and it dies, so do the players. And lethality is the problem. Two or three bad rolls and TPK.

And not in the Eclipse Phase this is awesome TPK but in the brutal AD&D roll 3d6 six times and choose a class kind of way.

Firefly and Spaceballs has a way to make their ships work.

No guns. Well they had Jam but that's besides the point.

No guns on the ship make it into a RV which is perfect for the game because it gets the players close to their target without actually giving a story option where dice rolls take it all away.

That's all for now. Its 1 am and Red Dwarf is over for this week.

I love that show.



With the deadline looking to write, play test edit and publish* by the end of the month I have decided on the following schedule.

November 1st to 22nd Write.

Nov 22nd play test Number One.

Nov 22nd to Nov 29th Edit.

Nov 29th play test Number Two.

Nov 29th to Nov 30th Publish.

I'll just pretend that this is a University Project where I drink all month then cram in the last few days and some how get a B+

Maybe I should have gone to a better University.


Character Sheet

The character sheet.

I guess it is fairly basic. The whole point is to get all of a characters information on a single cue card.
(5 x 3)
I'm leaning to using a attribute and skill system but I haven't decided how I want to divide up each's importance.
I think I will assign D6s to one and D10s to the other.

I'm thinking skills will get the D6s that way they will contribute more to the overall success levels.

I haven't decided if I want to have linked skills or go with the more complex add stuff as needed system.

Health and Sanity are place holders right now. I have no idea what way I will run through that hurdle.

Gear is an even greater mystery.

But I have a month.



Primary mechanic:

roll dice

gain successes

then counter roll or arbitrary success target number

I know it sounds like storytelling

to make it better

I will use two types of dice

the d10

and the d6

and a success would be the highest two sides on the dice.  So an 9 and 10 or a 5 and 6.

leaving a 33% or 20% success rate depending on the die.

The character sheet will have a series of dots with circled dots

Setting Brain Storm

The future.

Space ships as set pieces.

Shields  no weapons.


Engines 3 types.



Ultra Fast

Pirates vs Coast Guard

Small crews, 3-5 with AI pilots.

Zipping out pulling ships out of warp.

Sword fights over blaster fights.


Human diaspora wormholes.

Years from now wormhole tech is developed.

A mono culture develops, dozens of worlds linked by wormholes and freight trains.

And then genuine FTL drives are developed.

There is a series of colony ships leaving the mono culture.

No Aliens.

The colony ships form their own copies of the central mono culture.

Then there was conflict.

Because there needs to be conflict.

First Post

This is the beginning and I am 15 hours behind scheduled because I discovered this challenge by accident.

Luckily as I was reading the main blog I had an idea.

I like space adventures.

I have tons of d10s and nearly as many d6s.

Now I just need to hammer a game together.

And then build a setting.

And mesh it together into something fun.