Chronicles RPG Core Rules

It is with great pleasure that I would like to introduce the roleplaying rules I have been working on for way too long.  The link below is to a PDF file for the 38 page ruleset.  Enjoy!

Chronicles RPG Core Rules_1.0

I think this bit sums it up nicely.

What you are holding is an organic document.  It was never my intention for this to be a static set of rules.  The minute you read it you will have your own ideas, your own thoughts on what you should do with the framework.  Here is what I want you to do… use them!  Make this game yours.  I promise you, I’ll be doing the same on my end and fully expect these rules to go through numerous small modifications and iterations as I prune, graft and grow them.

And from the last paragraph…

In addition, I wanted to give back to a gaming community that I’ve seen evolve and grow and blossom since I first walked the hallowed halls of Gencon in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin dressed up like a ranger and carrying a Crown Royale dice bag.   It’s a community that has given me fantastic experiences, inspiration and some of the best friends I have ever made.  This core ruleset is for them, for you, and, in the spirit of it all, will remain forever free.

Some key features

  • Allows players to have an influence in world building with the game’s host by letting players make Matrix game statements. (Thanks to Chris Engle at Hamster Press!)
  • Only the players roll in combat.  This frees up the game host to help tell the story.
  • Uses a narrative system for level of success.  It uses “Yes, but…”, “No, and…” etc.

Stay tuned and thanks for being here!

 

Roleplaying Update

In between all this X-com nerdiness, I have a happy announcement for those of you patient, roleplaying folks that have listened to me go on about my homebrew roleplaying game.  If all goes well, I’m happy to announce that over the past few years I will FINALLY be ready to be publish the ruleset here on the blog.  I’m going over the document now, making some editing changes and making sure it looks good for it’s PDF preview.

I’ve implemented one big change which I’ve implemented as sort of a “last turn of the wrench” before finally just telling myself to “be done.”  The big change was to change the XP system by turning it around 180 degrees.  Where as before it was based on the system’s version of Critical Hits it is now based on a character’s failures.  That is, after all, how we learn, right?

Overall, I’m very happy and excited for what is to come over the next few weeks!  Hopefully, your patience will be rewarded!  Thanks for hanging on this long!

 

 

 

NPC of the Week – The Courier – Jan 16th, 2016

Here we go with a new feature where I build an NPC from a series of random elements. Sometimes it will be Story Cubes, sometimes tarot cards, or, maybe, even wikipedia articles.  (Did you know there was a “Random Page” link?)  Heck, I might get crazy and combine all three!  I’ve done this before in the early stages of my blog and I enjoy the process.

I use a list of nine questions that were first created on a now quiet blog called Solo Nexus.  You take 3 sets of 3 questions.  Each set of 3 questions gets 3 random elements which you use to answer the questions.  Each set of questions has a level of intimacy with it which go in this order, Obvious, Personal and Intimate.  This helps give the NPC depth as the PC’s get to know them.  The random elements can be moved to fit whichever question you feel it works best with.  Once you’ve done the first set, you move on to the next one.  Mix in some creativity and, at first, you get a puzzle that is fun to solve and then you get a character.  Read on below and you’ll get the idea!

For this NPC, I’ll go with a modern superhero setting.  Who knows, I might use the character in the upcoming Supers sandbox?  Of course, the NPC will be generic enough that they could be fit into any setting with a little tweaking.   The other settings I chose from week to week will be based on whimsy and maybe an eventual random chart.

The random element for today will be the good old Ryder-Waite Tarot deck.  It’s a standard deck and it’s symbols are pretty clear to understand.  As I’ve said before, tarot decks are just pretty, colored  tools.  They work great for creative, visual thinkers like myself.  If you have a problem with them, I’m sorry, I’m still going to use them.  I’ll draw three cards for each 3 question set and then pick a card that I think fits or works.

At the end I will wrap it all up and present a quick write-up for the character as well as possible story hooks to involve the PC’s.

Let’s get started!

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Like a Cart with Square Wheels

As 2015 passes away and 2016 knocks us around a bit, I’m looking back over this blog and where I am with things.  Unfortunately, I see a lot of herky-jerky motion that does not make me happy.

In frustration, my response was to take a sledgehammer to it, knock it all down, burn it and start over.   “No, no,” says the wizened me,  “it’s still good.  It just needs a bit of love and attention.  Focus on the wheels.  You’ll see.”

square

It seemed to be a good answer so let’s get this moving one more time and carve a few corners down.

The Superhero Sandbox game – The bad news? I managed to use the idea of a Solo Sandbox Superhero game to inspire me to write an entirely new RPG for the past year or so.  The good news?  See the bad news.  End result – It’s still going to happen!  (I also realized I allowed myself to get a little stuck on the world creation before actually just, you know, playing.  So, I’ll be doing the micro to macro formula and we’ll build the world as we go.)

The Homebrew Roleplaying Game – There is actually no bad news here.  Hooray!  And you know what else?  It has a name other than “that homebrew roleplaying game thing” and, as much as it can be, it’s done!  I’m running a few more playtests as well as getting it prettied up for it’s PDF deput.  I’ll be happily posting it here.  The goal is Early Spring 2016.   To get things warmed up, I’ll be talking about it here and going over a few concepts.

Game stuff, Storytelling Stuff and Whatnot –   I’ll be doing some other solo play.  I have no idea what genre.  I also want to get back to the NPC builds and maybe a few maps.  I want to create things for folks to use or experiment with.  You’ll start seeing some NPC’s pop up here again.  The first question is what genre?  Should I go with the most popular, fantasy and science fiction?  Or, maybe, make it a reader’s choice?  Maybe both?  Let me know your thoughts.  (I love the word Whatnot.  It covers SO much.)

Also under Storytelling stuff we are going to start talking about what makes the art form work.  For the record, I do consider it on par with the actual form of storytelling and performance.  In some regards, it is the same.  In others, it is different as you also need to work the storytelling within a framework of rules as well as other players, other attendees, etc.   The best comparison at hand is scripted acting vs. improvisational.  They are both acting but are very different.   What makes a good storyteller?  Should a storyteller hold all the power in the performance?  Is the Storyteller a lord or a servant?

Finally, I’ve been doing this the majority of my life and I’ve got some stories to tell.   Look out, I’m going to do storytelling about storytelling!  I’ve got a few rambling tales to offer up about running games, creating games and selling games.  I hope they’ll be entertaining, and, hopefully, informative.

More to come!

I promise!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Question on Character Advancement

While spending time on my Flight Simulator, I’ve also been working on my RPG ruleset.   I even attain full geekery by working on the ruleset WHILE flying a long flight.  Geek Multitasking for the win!   The bulk of the basic rules are done and I’m scheduling a playtest in the next week or two to get some initial feedback.  The hope is it will be a fun, story based system that will convert well to Solo RPG play.  Earlier this week, I just finished up an initial run with it in a fantasy RPG setting and I feel it was successful which only energizes me to move forward.

Though nearly finished an important question has come up regarding character advancement.  I’m currently between two decisions and, since this will eventually be free for folks here, I thought I would put the question forward to see if anyone might be willing to offer feedback.

I am torn between two systems of character advancement.  Both have a focus on the fact that levels of Skill become increasingly difficult to attain and full mastery is very difficult and takes times.

DarwinShrugI’ll briefly describe both of them and then you can let me know your thoughts.  Which would be more fun to play?

Version A — A player gets a certain amount of XP awarded to him by the GM, typically between 2 to 4 points.  The player then can spend those XP points on making a roll vs. a difficulty number in a chance to raise the skill.  Low level skills have a low difficulty number, Higher levels are, of course, much more difficult.  This would most likely result in a player missing rolls and possibly burning all of their XP for “nothing but a chance.”  I don’t mind this idea too much but as a player I think it could get rather frustrating.

Version B — My system has “exploding dice” so anytime a 10 is rolled, the player may roll again and add that number to his new total.  If he rolls another 10, he rolls again and adds THAT.  The idea here is that anytime a player rolls an exploding die for any skill use he gets a “tally mark” next to the skill.  When that skill has built up enough tallies to reach the proper level that skill advances automatically, even if it is the middle of a session.  Also, at the GM’s discretion, he may allow a tally mark to be given if a player really bungles a skill roll.  We learn by failure, right?  The downside is that if a character is very focused on a particular skill there may be a bit of a “grinding” feel to it.

Also, it should be noted, players would not be allowed to do a repetitive task in order to try and gain more tallies with an exploded roll.  For instance, throwing a knife at a target over and over to try and get his skill tallies up.  (I understand, in reality, this would be the way you do it but it doesn’t make much of a story, right?)    I suppose I could include a rule that a character could announce between games they were doing such a bit of practicing to earn a single tally mark?

Those are the two versions right now.  What do you think?  Which would be more fun?

Thoughts?  Ideas?