Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Matrix Awakened

Idea for running a game in the world of The Matrix.

Regular humans have 1 dice.
Expert humans have 2 dice, as do humans capable of being awakened.
Awakened humans have 3 dice and can leap from building to building.
Masterful awakened humans (like Morpheus) have 4 dice and can dance swan lake on the back of moving semi.
Agents have 5 dice and can dodge bullets.
Neo has 6 dice and doesn't need to.

You don't know what type of character you "truly" are. When you attempt an action, you specify how many dice you are rolling (which also determines what you can do). If you are rolling more dice that your character type allows and you fail the roll, you die (possibly with a penalty for rolling more than 1 dice over your level).

The only way to find out what level your character occupies is to interpret the subtle hints of the GM, or to die.

The GM's job is to carefuly subtly lead the characters from the role of ordinary human to ultimately acheiving their destiny, whatever it may be, through the use of carefuly crafted situations and subtle hints as to their true abilities.

Some Sugested Rules
  • The stakes aren't necessarily death, but something chosen by the GM, for example, Morpheus is captured.

  • If you've got a gun, you get a re-roll.

  • If you've got the advantage (e.g. surprise, position, a helicopter, or someone's helping you) you get another re-roll.

  • In a training simulation, you don't die, but you also never get re-rolls.

Morpheus is fighting an agent. Morpheus attempts to roll 3 dice to kick the agent across the rool (because he can). The agent attempts to catch his foot and throw him through the brick wall, rolling 4 dice (because that's reasonable for an agent). They dice off, the agent has one extra dice AND can do nastier stuff.

Having been thrown through the wall, Morepheus elects to dust himself off, stand up, and roll 4 dice punch the agent 42 times in the chest in one round (reasonbale for a 4 dice character). The agent elects to take whatever Morpheus throws at him, laugh, and then throw him through the other wall. Now they're rolling at an even level, but if Morpheus loses, he loses it all.

Monday, May 23, 2005

1000 Blank White Cards: The RPG

Introducing 1000 Blank White Cards: The RPG! Incredibly simple, extremely brilliant.

Saturday, May 21, 2005


So apparently the term Dungeonpunk was NOT just invented by me while I waiting in line for my coffee this morning. Nevertheless...

While working on a series of Dungeoncrawls with an "Xcrawl" sort of theme (i.e. in the far future, Dungeoncrawls are the biggest sport in the world), and also playing Anarchy Online (which now allows basic subscription for free), I realized that the combination of Cyberpunk (which IMHO has never been done quite right in an RPG) and dungeon crawls was exactly what I was looking for (see also, Dreampark.

The essential idea (and a nod to John Harper for part of this), is to simulate dungeon crawling in a non-dungeonesque world. I propse to do this using cyberpunk metaphores such as cybernetic implants and nanotechnology. The game will also have an emphasis on skills (as per sci-fi games in general) and a de-emphasis on feats.

This could be disastrous, so here's how I propose to avoid a confusing mish mash of a game system. The "fantasy" aspect will be grafted onto the cyberpunk (not to be confused with Cyberpunk. aspect. The characters are people from a cyberpunk world where dungeoncrawling is a popular sport and hobby. They're "regular" cyberpunk characters with an assortment of cyberimplants and nanotech designed to allow them to play dungeoncrawl. Just think of anyone you know who's a paintball enthusiast and you'll start to get what I mean.

What I hope is that this will reinvigorate the familiar dungeoncrawl theme with some modified gameplay and an interesting meta-game.

OK, I'm off to the store to buy looseleaf.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Must... Surprise... Players!

Quite a while ago, Ron Edwards said something about Conflict Resolution and Director stance as it relates to player/character surprise. I've been talking about CR with Phil and Matt D. lately, and they both brought up concerns in this area, so I though it would be nice to revisit this post:

Conflict Resolution and Surprise

I'd love to talk about this or related issues around CR.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Sea of Stars Turn 9

Hi all, just posted a new turn to my space PBEM, Sea of Stars.

The news this turn? A leading delegate accusing the galactic assembly of sitting "on its hand, tentacles, books, and leaves, now calling for insane bureaucracy to put off the issue even further" while the galaxy is in mortal danger.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The Mighty Atom

Everyone has a personal game design blog these days. Now I do too:

The Mighty Atom

Named after one of Tony's ideas for a newspaper in Rocket City. I'll be discussing the ongoing design of Danger Patrol on this blog. Feel free to join in the discussion.