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Tuesday, 10 September 2013

An OSR-inspired storygame

I was bored, and hence another RPG was born. This one is for GM-less/rotating GM/Simultaneous GMing in Play-by-post games.

First, pick a genre and setting. Any genre and setting work, as long as your group has a shared understanding of what works and what not.
Next, write a 100-150 description of the characters. Underline (or note in bold) any quality, like "fast with blades", that's helpful. Underscore (like this) anything that might hinder you. If a quality could be both, use both of them. These are called your descriptors/traits. The beneficial ones I call advantages, the negative ones are flaws. Simple as that - character creation is over!

Ah, but I must first start with the GMless part.
In each scene you will have one or more of 7 things. An antagonist-1, a reward-2, something unusual-3, a plot twist-4, an unexpected challenge-5, something bad/harmful-6, or nothing (red herring)-7. If you roll an 8, pick one thing and roll another die. (That part was inspired by the OSR wiki).
Now go and narrate what's going on, not including anything but what you rolled. The one that rolls chooses how many dice to pick after the first roll.
You roll 3d8 to start the first scene, then we go from there. At the end of every post, you offer me rolls I could make, or stakes. I do the same in my post.

And since we got to the rolls themselves...
For these, the players roll 2d6(exploding at 6, but a maximum of 3 dice)+1 point/advantage-1 point per flaw that applies, looking to get a 6 (and both advantages and flaws might be a result of the fiction, if we both agree). If you squeeze by 1 or hit it barely, you only get whatever is at stake, but at a cost. If you get an 8, it's a clean success. For every 2 over 8, so at 10, 12, 14 and so on, you get a bonus perk, as offered by the GM. Maybe an enemy is impressed with your knife skills and now would consider hiring you. Maybe you kill the guy outright. Maybe someone thinks they own you a debt for killing the guy.
However, if you don't get even a 6, it's a clean failure. At 4, 2, 0 and so on, the GM gets to add a complication that makes the PC's life miserable.
The good part is, whenever you fail a roll due to the flaws on your character sheet (so, it would have been 6+, except for the minuses), you get to add a new trait, or cross off a flaw. What did you learn from your mistakes? Roleplay it!
And yeah, you might remove flaws, but the smart move would be to overcome them towards the end of the game. Just like in 1234567890 Hollywood flicks...

I was thinking to allow re-rolls for failure or the like. But re-rolls being the bane of PbP, I chose against it.
So, that's it. Simple, isn't it?

Oh, and if you want to play it, feel free to. But please, send me an e-mail or even better, post somewhere how the rules work in play, and send me the link! I'm curious myself.