Thinking on game systems, again…
Posted by docryder
So, this week I did very little thinking on StarSea until today. Actually, I started to think about some of it Friday, after running into an old friend I hadn’t seen in a while. Rob Lopez, creator of the online comic Forsaken Stars, and I have a few common friends, and one of them came into town this weekend, so we all reconnected. I’d mentioned to Rob that I’d kind of lost track of the metagaming thread, and that I might yet get back to it. Then, yesterday, I read on Wil Wheaton’s Google+ that he’d played some Savage Worlds and gave it a review. Comments therein lead me to a few other indie, rules-lite games to look at, as well as a couple I’d already looked at. So tonight, I thought I’d discuss some possibilities.
This morning, as I was stmbling around my room in the morning, I looked at one of my bookshelves, and I noticed a pile of paper that I knew was my pile of printed free indie games. I was inspired to go through them again (based on the other events I mentioned above) and take a peek, and maybe re-evaulate them for use with the StarSea setting.
One of the first I’m going to mention is Paladin, by Clinton R. Nixon. It seems that Anvilwerks is now a blank page, and you can no longer find the PDF version of the rules there, and the original rules only exist as an HTML file on the Risusiverse site listed above. Or if it does exist in its original form, Google can’t find it. As to the original, I like the integration of the moral codes into the mechanic, and that the only real work a DM would have to do for any setting is simply coming up with the moral codes of your “paladin orders.” The rules seem solid, but I haven’t really run the numbers to see how solid they are. At a con, Kenneth Hite once said of a game I was thinking of buying that he knew the author and thought the numbers would be solid because of him. They weren’t, so I don’t trust numbers unless I can run them myself. Nothing against Mr. Hite, just agains humanity in general. 🙂
Another I’ve got here in my hand is Above the Earth. It’s a system that I think could be adapted to a wide range of game styles, but at this point, it’s been a while since I read it, so I’m not sure how much work would be needed to make it work for StarSea. It is something I’ll be looking into. However, I like the idea of simply having 100 dice to roll per session…
I also have Cthulhu Dark as part of my list. That link goes directly to the rules, but this link goes to a Google search, and I know there are more “rules” that just the basic book. Another extremely “rules-lite” system, it seems so “lite” as to be pretty generic. I can see the insanity rules easily being converted to corruption rules. I have a host of the additional files that I may find myself looking into if I can’t find something more full featured. That’s one of the weaknesses I find with “rules-lite” games: Sometimes there’s too little guidance for the GM.
Warrior, Rogue and Mage is another one I want to look at more closely. I read it quite a while back, and I remember very little of it, but it seems a bit like Bare Bones Fantasy, which I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. Making “classes” into skills would fit the idea of the orders work very well mechanically. Either way, I’m going to want something mechanical to stigmatize players from one order living and using their powers within the realms of another.
The final one I’m currently re-reading is Dungeonslayer. I have the Third Edition printed, but I know that there is now a Fourth Edition available. It’s another game that I read quite a while back and don’t remember much of, so I don’t know if it’s something I can modify to what I want. But I’ll give it a look and see.
That’s pretty much all I have for this week. I’m going to maybe watch “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World” and remember Jonathan Winters, then start planning for next weeks game, which will include the friend from out of town I mentioned above, so I have to plan for a guest player in a very plot heavy game. I’ve already told my players were going to be showing the effects of the plot on the rest of the world, which means new characters and a good deal of other work for the harried DM, me. 🙂