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Let's see what I can do in a day

PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:15 am
by DungeonExplorer
Hey guys,

I am currently on sick leave. I basically have two options: Play video games or create something.

So I thought I'd just create a game system. I'll have no qualms about stealing mechanics but I won't look up anything that isn't in my mind/memory. I'll stick to the KISS principle and it'll likely be D20-ish. Genre - Scifi, despite my name. I have LibreOffice and the title typed in (2 words, 14 characters plus one space).

This post basically serves as the "start timestamp". I'll report back in 24h maximum with a PDF.

Re: Let's see what I can do in a day

PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:56 am
by Evil Scientist
Good choice!

Genre - Scifi, despite my name

Sci-fi dungeon exploring would be totally fine in my book...

Re: Let's see what I can do in a day

PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:36 am
by kumakami
Genre - Scifi, despite my name

Sci-fi dungeon exploring would be totally fine in my book...



mine as well

Re: Let's see what I can do in a day

PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:50 am
by kylesgames
kumakami wrote:
Genre - Scifi, despite my name

Sci-fi dungeon exploring would be totally fine in my book...



mine as well


I too will echo this remark.

Re: Let's see what I can do in a day

PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 11:54 am
by DungeonExplorer
Haha... hmm. Well that is really more a part of the background and could perhaps be facilitated by gear etc, any game can be used for dungeon exploration. That said, the setting I have in mind should work for that.

Re: Let's see what I can do in a day

PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:46 pm
by Onix
Can't wait!

Re: Let's see what I can do in a day

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 7:20 am
by DungeonExplorer
Here's what I got so far. Yes, very, very drafty.

Lesson learned: Don't do design work when you are sick. It's surprisingly exhausting work.

Re: Let's see what I can do in a day

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:12 am
by Evil Scientist
Gave it a quick read-through! Good job, by the way. Of course, it's far from done, but you have outlined almost everything and now you have to work on filling the blanks (I'd really like to read about the inhabitants of the Moon and Venus!)

The game remotely reminds me of Space 1889 (the char.gen is profession-based, etc), but with a twist - instead of "steampunk", Earth is basically post-apocalyptic. I like the idea of a huge divide in tech level existing all over the setting.


Some problems:

There is a big discrepancy between the Race/Culture based skills (a total of 5 (!) points with a maximum rating of 3) and the Professional skills (25). You can use the general skill points (10) to increase the racial skills, bringing one of them up to 6 (I can only spend a maximum of 3 points on one skill). Seems kind of low in a d20-roll-under system.

E.g. I want a very smooth social character. I roll the possible maximum of 13 for Charisma, take the Martian Minor Noble race (+2 Charisma) = 15 Charisma, which gives a +5 skill bonus. So my char's maximum "Fast Talk" rating can be 3+3+5 = 11...

Of course, this can be solved by adding more and more diverse professions. Right now only Rogue gives a social bonus (so my Martian Minor Noble Rogue can get his Fast Talk skill up to 19, after all!).

All in all, the char.gen section needs some clean-up, in my opinion. There are a couple of different, slightly overlapping levels. Maybe you can add a final, short overview of the process, where you sum up how many points you get in each step, how do you spend them, etc...

Re: Let's see what I can do in a day

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:38 pm
by Onix
I like the world development. I agree it seems very influenced by Space 1889. Still it seems fun, I like the vaguely transhumanism that is suggested at. I'd like to see that better defined.

I like the idea that there are engineered species that have turned out mostly hostile. It would be interesting if that was something that is a systemic problem. For whatever reason, the engineered life may have been built with highly swappable DNA and bacteria and viruses have contaminated their genes over time and caused them to become hostile and maybe no longer serve their original purpose.

That could also apply to transhumans, maybe the lowlanders of Venus are an example of that. They started out a promising new branch of humanity but became corrupted.

Even more interesting is if say some of the altered humans are still okay, but the threat is always there that each new generation will fall to the madness.

Re: Let's see what I can do in a day

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:48 am
by DungeonExplorer
Thanks for the feedback. Yeah, it's very basic.

There's certainly a vague Space:1889 vibe, but that's mostly because both settings use the same source material - Early 20th Century planetary romances. I toyed with the idea of simply postulating that Venus, Mars et al were closer to what Burroughs and his contemporaries described. I thought this might be the work of aliens (you know, like the Ancients from Traveller), and while I like the basic premise (should make for a VERY interesting alternate cold war) I decided that I still wanted something that is not necessarily an alternate universe.

So instead, humans terraformed those planets and the result is somewhere between the planetary romances and "real" terraforming scenarios. I wouldn't be me if things were this straight forward, however, but I'll include it in an updated document instead of spoiling it all here.

@Evil Scientist, the skill bonus thing is not balanced through actual character builds at all, so it might be off. The basic idea was to keep bonus numbers low-ish and to have some sort of character definition through Profession selection. That is, your character is reasonably good at Profession skills, not completely incompetent at a few others, and completely incompetent at everything else. It would be just as reasonable to make the system completely class-less, though I was thinking of including some niche mechanics.

Your Martian Noble character should get a max of +3 (background, let's assume Fast Talk would be one for his package) +8 (profession) = +11, plus +5 for his 15 CHA, for a total of 16. General skill points should not be spent on any skill listed for the Profession you chose. I think I was aiming for high professional skills in the 12-14 range for characters not min-maxed too much.

I guess splitting skill purchases into three steps like that is perhaps a bad idea. To simplify it, I could just drop the purchase mechanic from the background packages and have them grant skill levels directly.


@Onix, Mh. The idea that genemodification (more or less inevitably) leads to problems is an interesting one, and fairly reasonable in that we simply may not have the foresight necessary to build something that is capable of a balanced existence in the long run. There's the danger of turning the setting into a political statement, though - this is supposed to be just a fun pulpy romp. For sentient creatures, it may well lead to an identity crisis.