[RPG] Preliminary rules prototype

As I mentioned in my last post this idea is on a bit of a hiatus. But I figured for completeness I’d share the rules so far. What’s funny is my favorite part is actually the combat resolution system, just like how that was one of the core features to survive in Dinosaur Cowboys skirmish from inception to today.

Anyway without further ado check out the very early Life of a Dinosaur Cowboy rules PDF

Some-RiflesAs for the resolution system I like, let me pour out some info on it:
The main idea is you roll 1D12 and try to get above a number. That number could be set, or based on the enemy skill, or against a statistic, etc. You can do the action quicker (“Hasty”) but then you roll 2D12 and choose the lowest, or take your time (“Focused”) and again roll 2D12 but choose the highest. In the case of combat there is a second step if you succeed on the roll. That is to allocate your Damage Pool between Fickle and Flat damage. Fickle means you roll dice, Flat means it’s added on. You’re rolling against the target’s Grit (say an 8). But the fun part, and where the mechanic really shines (and fulfills my hope of “resolution being as interesting as movement”) is you need to succeed with at least 1 Fickle roll to do any damage. But the Fickle rolls have a chance to fail, whereas Flat damage always comes through. Fickle can also Crit (on a 12), but can also Fumble (on a 1). So there’s a balancing act of how much Fickle vs Flat to choose depending on the target’s Grit.
That might have been a rambling explanation, but that’s why I’m posting the rules. So say I have a 6 Damage Pool and the target has 4 Grit. 4+ on a D12 is pretty easy odds, so I’d probably allocate only a single Fickle point and the remaining 5 pool to Flat, meaning I roll 1D12 looking for 4+, and if I succeed I do 1+5 damage. But what if their Grit was 9? Do I go all in Fickle? What if I had a skill that increased my Crit chance? Would I want more Fickle or would the potential Fumble not be worth the effort? So some neat decisions there.

[RPG] Example character sheet

I honestly CANNOT believe it’s been a month since my last post. Talk about time flying, that’s just unreal to me.

So what’s been happening with the Dinosaur Cowboy RPG? Well first of all I did get a solo playtest in with some rough mechanics. Like I said I like to get a playable prototype done asap. I ended up with a pretty well fleshed out character sheet, which you can see (and download) below:

dc-rpg-sheet-001
Download the DC RPG Sheet PDF

The playtest revealed a few stumbling blocks for me. First of all simulating 5 players plus enemies in a combat situation is extremely tough. Especially as a large part of the shared turns is the idea of player banter and group decision making, which is obviously lost with a solo playtest. And second I think I’m letting mechanics and ideas bleed over from one of my other recent brainstormed projects.

So what am I gonna do about this? I think I need to convince at least one or two friends to playtest with me. But it’s tough to get enough dedication or interest to try a prototype for any length of time. But seriously playtesting an RPG is really hard otherwise.
As for the mechanics the “activation pool” spent freely in a shared turn is very similar to the diceless Hackers game I mentioned before. Again in a wild sense of time flying that post is almost a year old. Normally if I’m starting to implement mechanics from another game it means I should finish the initial project first instead of cludging it into another game.

So I think I’m going to focus on that. Which means I’m as flaky as a high school teenager as I flip flop between ideas. I think having a blog like this is an upside for motivation, centralizing ideas, and putting down some concrete material. But the downside is I feel obligated to my imaginary readers to finish what I announce. But I think the playtest was pretty demotivating, and all it really did was make me want to finish the Hackers game.
Update: The game is called “Echo Death” and you can see the early workings at http://echodeath.wordpress.com/

I guess I’m saying I don’t know where the Dinosaur Cowboys RPG will end up, or whether I’ll fully finish the Hackers game, or what. But yeah, just not feeling it right now. We’ll see where we end up by the next post.