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!

 

Advertisements

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!

 

 

 

Update on the RPG

About a week ago I was able to get a quick playtest in with the final set of rules.  It was a quick run but it gave the players a sense of how the rules worked and how much control they had over the story.  The end result?  Everyone enjoyed it!   In turn, this only inspired me to get more focused on getting this thing done and out to all of you.  It feels good to be getting “serious” about this much fun.

I’m currently organizing another playtest with a group of friends that are a bit more experienced and hardened in the arena of roleplaying games.  I’m looking forward to getting their input and moving forward.

The only thing really left to get done is the formatting and a few of the appendices.  I’m going to supply the basic rundown of a magic system and include it in the initial rule set.  If nothing else, it will work as an initial example for other gamemasters to manipulate as they see fit.

Big week this week with two NPC’s of the week and hopefully the beginning of some solo play fun!

 

NPC of the Week – The Bush Pilot – Jan 23rd, 2016

(Argh.  I thought I had this set up for auto-post but I was tricked!  So, here’s the NPC for last week.  Bonus?  You get two NPC’s THIS week.)

I’m continuing on the NPC of the week series.  For this NPC I will be using Rory’s Story Cubes. I was just able to purchase the third set, Voyages, over the New Year so I’m anxious to give them a go.  I’ve placed all three sets into a central pile and will randomly pulling out three cubes.   After a quick roll I will have my three choices for each of the set of character elements below.  Here we go!

The Setting – We’ll stick with another modern setting, perhaps Superheroes, perhaps Pulp heroes?  Regardless, a modern setting from, let’s say, 1930’s onward?

1st Set of Cubes

Group1

Obvious NPC Story Elements
(Things that are immediately apparent about the NPC or that can be learned through casual conversation.)

The NPC’s role in the world: discerned by clothes, demeanor, initial introduction, etc.

Plane/Flying – At first I thought of this as an international traveller/athlete (see 3rd question below.)  However, I decided to be a bit more literal as it would be more engaging with the PC’s.  The NPC is a commercial bush pilot flying freelance jobs wherever and whenever needed.  The NPC might work for a big airline but I don’t think so.  I believe he/she is a bush pilot which will hopefully open up many more options for the PC’s.

The NPC’s current home or home-base: learned through initial introduction, casual conversation, etc.

Snowflake – The pilot lives in a northern clime like Alaska or Canada.  Again, the bush-pilot theme works here.  The NPC is used to the hardships and joys of living in colder, remote areas.  They know how to fly in unique weather which makes flying anywhere else kind of like a walk in the park.

The NPC’s signature/unique talent: learned through casual conversation, simple getting-to-know-you questions, etc.

Jumping Person – The NPC is a hardcore athlete who trains themselves almost daily with running and exercise.  They are incredibly fit and in excellent shape.  They compete in obstacle course races, marathons, mountain climbing and other outdoor events.   More endurance focused than strength.

Continue reading

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!

Continue reading

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Solo Gaming with Flight Simulator FSX

So, I was down at Nassau and taking a day off from the standard one or two hour runs.  I’d found a nice hotel on the beach and enjoying the spoils of my past employment.  In fact, I was watching some beautiful women on the sand, eating my lunch and drinking a rum and coke.  Life was good.  My cell phone buzzed with a text.  A text from my contact in “The Group” to be exact.  A job had come up and they were asking if I wanted it.  I was to check my email ASAP and then make a quick phone call.  I took a long pull from the rum and coke and watched the waves for a few moments.

Then, I checked the email and made the phone call.  Afterwards, I ordered another rum and coke.  I made sure it was a double.

Cuba.  Why did it have to be Cuba?

———————

At least that’s my overly creative imagination pictured as I thought about the next step my pilot would be taking in the FSEconomy virtual world.  I was down at Nassau after picking up some tourists (and some agents) from the lower Cays and bringing them back to “civilization.”  I wanted to fly another one of my homebrew assignments so I fired up Google Earth, grabbed the 6 x 6 template I talked previously and went to town.

I stretched it out all over lower Florida and the Bahamas.

CubanMission_Grid001

I wanted the chance for a longer flight.  My first roll was a dropout as it put me in the middle of the ocean.  What was the point in that?  Second roll?  The same.  The Third roll, however, a 2 and a 4, put me into Cuba. Now, I thought, this is getting interesting!

I zoomed into Cuban area and the initial square was huge so I resized the 6 x 6 grid to match the area I had just rolled and rolled again.

CubanMission_Grid003

Now, my favorite part, looking around on Google Earth to find something interesting.  I saw a few things and I immediately grabbed my percentile dice (2d10’s) and my love of the Mythic solo rules and started asking questions.  (Though it did not come up this time I was using the rule that doubles meant a random event!)

Was this going to be a pick-up mission?  I had no idea one way or the other so went with 50/50.  34.  Yes.

Was it going to be a water pick-up mission?  I imagined that it would be far more clandestine to do something like that and so gave it a higher chance.  I weighed things out and wrote down 75%.  The roll was a 27 so, yes, a water pick-up.

CubanMission_Grid004

Was I going to have it do it by flying normal assignments through the area?  This also made a lot of sense so I assigned it a 85%.  The roll = 56.  Yes.

And that was all I needed! I got to work looking over FSEconomy and found a run where 2 photographers and a model needed to go a place on the northern coast of Cuba called the Cayos Las Brujas.  The Witch’s Cay?  Does it get any more pulpy than that?!?  I couldn’t let it go and so asked, “Is someone in the group heading to the Cayos Las Brujas for another reason besides a photo shoot?”  What if “something else” was going on?  I gave it a 40% chance and wah-lah, 32.  There WAS something else going on.  But what?

I split up the three passengers on a d6 roll, 1-2, 3-4, 5-6 and rolled to see which one was up to something.  Of course, it was the model.  I realized I was also assuming too much and rolled the gender of the model.  1-3 = male, 4-6 = female.  I rolled a 5.  A female model up to something and going to a place called Cayos Las Brujas?  Truly, the random story gods were smiling on me today!  But there was more…

I pulled up my Mythic chart of Random Events and gave it a roll.  I wanted to see what the goal was of the model.  What did I come up with?  66. Carry and 53:Home.  Carry Home.  Nice!  She was carrying something home.  It was obviously something of value or why would she carry it home?  So, it was valuable.  Was it worth a lot of money? I gave it a 60% and rolled 81. No.  Not worth money.

Finally, realizing I had gotten lost in having fun with a story and not flight planning I asked the question that I had to ask.  “Was the model actually a witch?”  I made it fair and gave it a low chance at 20%.  Something was in the air because I then rolled a 03 which meant it was an Exceptional Yes!  Sweet!

I couldn’t resist a final roll filled with authentic pulpy, over-the-top goodness.  “Was the model/witch the contact for the “Group” my pilot was now working for?”  I gave it a modest 40% chance and rolled a 28.  I got a good chuckle out of that one!  Does she reveal to him that she is, in fact, his contact? 50/50.  Roll = 45.  Sometimes, the dice love you.

I put it all together like this…  The trio were heading to the town in order to do a special photoshoot of the model in her hometown.  Rustic shots at the beach and at the market, that sort of thing.  Our model, boarding the flight with her photographers, would insist on hanging on to her oversized purse, not allowing it out of her possession.  She then, offhandedly, would hand the pilot a business card and on it was a symbol or a drawing or something that would tell him her true identity.  Thinking fast, he would allow her to sit up front to “get a good view” and thus wearing headsets so they could possibly talk without being overheard.    And that was that!  One final question remained, “Was she actually involved in the assignment with the clandestine pick-up?”  Given everything so far, I gave it an 85% chance of yes.  I rolled a 92!  Nope.  Just making friendly agent-like contact as she flew home.  So be it, then.

CubanMission_Flight01I planned out the flight.  I would do the first assignment to the Cayos Las Brujas.  Then, I would head westward and over fly the pickup area, a large lake, with no passengers.  Along the way, I’d dip down, pick up the contact and keep going to my next destination.  When I got airborne, I would roll to see if the “authorities” had caught wind of the weird maneuver and would go from there.  I would then fly two more assignments and head north to Florida with my “assignment” in the back.  Wah-lah!  Assignment complete! (Hardly realistic, or perfect, but the goal here was to have fun and revel in my silliness.)

The flight down to Cayos Las Brujas was uneventful and I pulled off a stellar landing.  Since I had rolled she had nothing to do with the assignment I was flying, I waved goodbye to my mini-storyline and figured I could come up with another story down the line featuring the character of the model witch.  I got things prepped for the big job and aimed the Dehavilland Turbo Beaver westward for the pick-up and rolled into the sky! Weather was holding and I angled for the lake pickup.

It was at this point everything got VERY complicated!

To Be Continued!