RPG Stuff

RPG Stuff

What's this?

Inspired by a thread on rpg.net, I decided to join in the fun. Maybe I'll get around to linking to some of the other blogs too at some point.Here's a guy named Christian's blog. It looks pretty good.

The basics

Blue LightPosted by Marius 14 Aug, 2009 18:46:20

Characters in Blue Light are defined by five Attributes:

Body: How strong and tough the character is

Reflexes: How quick and coordinated the character is

Intellect: The character's knowledge and intellectual problem-solving ability

Psyche: The character's intuition, awareness and general mystic ability

Presence: The character's charm, willpower or force of personality

All stats are rated from 5 to 10.

5 is very poor - the very lowest level of human capability

6 is poor - not catastrophic but enough that it's likely to be noticed

7 is typical - no better or worse than most people

8 is good - the character is probably known among his friends for being good at this

9 is exceptional - this is an unusually high level of ability for most people

10 is legendary - likely to be noticed by everyone and of universe-class ability

Player characters get 40 points to spread around their attributes making them quite exceptional overall.

When attempting a task, pick up 2d6 and try to roll equal to or less than the most relevant attribute. If you do, you accomplish the task succesfully. If you succeed with doubles, you get a critical success and succeed beyond your expectations. Higher doubles are considered better, so a double-5 is better than a double-3 (assuming both are succesful). If a task is particularly hard (or easy), the GM may apply a modifier to the success chance from -6 (outrageously difficult) to +3 (pathetically easy).

Player characters also get 3 Specialties for free at character creation. These are specialized sub-areas of an attribute at which the character is particularly apt. These three specialties must be from three different attributes. When you have a specialty relevant to the task you're attempting, roll an extra die and keep the two that produce the most favorable result.

Specialties are free-form and may be defined by the player. Here are some examples:

Body: Brawling, Lifting, Wrestling, Power-Mace, Drinking

Reflexes: Martial arts, blaster, spaceship piloting, climbing, acrobatics

Intellect: Starship engineering, life science, warp physics, administration, navigation, general knowledge

Psyche: Alertness, searching, tracking, sensory instruments, survival

Presence: Charming, intimidation, willpower, bluff, deceit

Characters also have one Special Attribute called Edge. Edge is the character's general level of experience and battle-hardenedness. Edge starts at 1 for all PCs (although it's possible to increase it with bonus points). I'm not going to go into how Edge works precisely yet save to say that it limits the character's ability to push himself.

Lastly, there are three Derived Attributes: Life Points (LP), Shock Points (SP) and Energy Points (EP).

Life Points is how much damage your character can tolerate before being incapacitated and is equal to Body+2xEdge. If a character's LP are reduced to 0 or less, he will lose one SP per round until unconscious. If it reaches its original value times -1, he'll die.

Shock Points is how much damage it will take to knock out or stun your character. It's equal to (half Body, round up)+Edge. If a character's SP reaches 0 or less, he's stunned until it gets back to 1 or more. If it reaches its original value times -1, the character is unconscious. As long as the character's LP is 1 or greater, he'll regenerate 1 SP at the start of each of his turns.

Energy Points represents fatigue and willpower and the character's ability to push himself. They are equal to Presence+2xEdge. The character may spend a number of of EP per turn equal to his Edge score. Defending against attacks cost 1 EP. Enhancing your chance of success with a task also costs 1 EP. A character can't spend EP that he hasn't got so he may find himself with no ability to defend himself once all his EP are gone.

That's the basics. Next: Assets and Drawbacks.

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Blue Light?

Blue LightPosted by Marius 08 Aug, 2009 17:52:14

Blue Light is a space opera RPG I've been creating in my head for a while. I figure I should start creating it on my blog instead and invite comments from whoever can be arsed to read it.

The title is a joke on what most technology in sci-fi movies and tv-shows appears to be based on: blue light. Starships create propulsion by firing blue light out the back. Weapons kill you by zapping you with rays of blue light. Medical technology heals you by bathing you in blue light. Blue light is all over the place.

One of the things that led me to start thinking about this system is how space opera characters appear to know how to do absolutely everything - they're rarely stopped by a lack of understanding how to use some relatively common item. If I were being chased by a pack of zombies and I saw a van parked with the key in the ignition, I wouldn't jump in the van and flee in that because I don't know how to drive. This kind of thing isn't usually an issue for space opera characters: If there's a convenient getaway vehicle standing around, they'll jump in and speed away because they know how to operate it. Even if it's a spaceship and they've spent their entire lives up to this point on a farm in the middle of a flipping desert and have never been near a spaceship let alone operated one.

I guess the controls on these high-tech thingies are just really intuitive.

Anyway, in most RPG's with a skill system, players will specialize and choose only the skills that are core to their character's concept which will typically limit the kinds of actions that they're able to perform.

In Blue Light, therefore, there won't be skills as such. Instead, there'll be Attributes, basic abilities that everyone has a rating in, and Specialties, narrower applications of an Attribute that they're particularly good at.

All actions will be based on rolling against an Attribute. With just an average level of ability, you'll have a pretty good chance of success. With a Specialty, your chance of success will be even better but it will never be a requirement for success.

Just for the record: I'm not writing the above to slag off other RPGs. I think the skills systems make perfect sense in most genres. It's just that in a more light-hearted, free-wheeling space opera game, I think this is a good fit.

Right, the other idea that's pretty fundamental here (although not, strictly speaking a part of the system per se) is the campaign map - a simple tool I've come up with to help the GM create a short but epic campaign ad take it from start to finish and adapt it to the PCs' choices and successes or failures.

And lastly, the other other idea is the setting or, if you will, the lack of one. I want to make it clear that the PCs not only can irrevocably change the setting - they're expected to do so. Bring down the Evil Empire. Expose the Sinister Consiracy. End the War. At the end of your campaign, the setting will have been altered, hopefully for the better. That's tough to do if you have a ton of setting material that becomes effectively invalidated if you allow the setting to be drastically altered. Instead, the universe is detailed in the sketchiest possible way and there'll be a way of creating a few details for the places that the PCs actually see. And a system for helping the GM come up with a new evil for the PCs to defeat and tie it into the campaign map mentioned above.

I think that's the basic ideas and concepts right there. I'll start getting into actual mechanics in my next posts.

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