Thursday, 21 July 2011

Who Watches the Watchers?

The OSRPG character sheet, that's who.

Oh, sorry.

I am the Warden!!

Tomorrow is the next playtest for the Optional System and while I had originally planned to start the converted D&D-OSRPG campaign, we've altered the plans due to a player's GenCon attendance. (If you happen to be sitting down to a little Sword Noir, tell Fraser that Fish said shoot 'em in the foot.) Instead, we'll be picking up where another OSRPG playtest took off and I couldn't help but reward my loyal quartet of followers with a preview of where it's all headed.

The Optional System Character Sheet
This is, in fact, the 3rd rendition of the character assembled by the lovely and talented Mrs. Warden. (I asked what name she wanted rather than her own - who uses a real name on the internet? - and didn't give me one, so now she's "Mrs. Warden.") When you have a trained graphic designer/pre-press operator at your disposal who will work for clean dishes, you jump.

Seeing as we've discussed many of these aspects, let's break this bad boy down, shall we?

Dice Groups: One of the important additions we made to the sheet are the dice group columns, each one listing the essential elements to all the dice you'll be rolling in your game. Base dice (d20s) to the left, followed by trained dice (d6s), power dice (d8s), and circumstance dice to the right (d10s). By keeping each dice group on its own column, I'm hoping it'll make for an easier reference during game time when the Director says "You take a half penalty to all power dice."

Training Points: On the top right corner, we have the building blocks of the character. Training points. To monitor progress and balance, we've added a total training points score to track as the character's "level." Seeing as I've eliminated the concept of character levels in OSRPG, your total points are your gauge of success and power.

Stats and Master Stats: Seems like a lot of room, right? Perhaps, but I'm playing around with the idea of multiple active and opposing stats in each category. What if something happens to your Strength stat? Wouldn't you want another fallback stat to count on when your Strength is halved?

Hits: The bottom right corner features the hits tally. The standard character has 10 hits before they drop dead and so this handy checkbox system should do the trick. It also leaves room for some manipulation as I toy around with the idea of devastating hits, subdual hits, different damage types, and the like. Hence the "Conditions" to the left, for which I currently have no clue how I'm going to apply. For now.

Options and Reactions: At the bottom, there's a tiny space for a list of the trained options and reactions available to your particular character. I had originally envisioned a much larger space, but playtesting will reveal how necessary it is to provide space for 13 skills and powers. We're currently working on an index card-style design for every option and reaction similar to how D&D 4e handles their power cards to emphasize one of the main design principles behind OSRPG: you only need to know the rules that apply to you.

Watchers: The First OSRPG Creed
Oh, but there's more to this preview today. Tomorrow's playtesters will continue the drama from 2 months ago with their watchers, a band of rangers who patrol the outskirts of their town for orks, goblins, or other bandits up to no good. "Watcher" is a creed and that brings us to today's lesson.

Creeds are traits, master stats, skills, power, options, and reactions taught to a collective of individuals and applied towards a specific goal or means. While we've been using them for classes, a creed can apply to any number of possibilities shared by a small populace of your campaign world, including races. Creeds provide you with easy access to training possibilities taught through a guild, league, school, academy, or any other formal institution or culture. All creeds have a training point cost to enter and open up a number of possibilities. Some creeds offer access to options and powers available to all characters, but at a lower training point cost. 

This early draft of the watcher creed provides the playtesters with a quick and easy list of devices to spend their training points on, rather than flipping around all over the place looking for something that could fit the bill. These include defensive options (Block and Parry), the Wild Call option (from which you unlock a new master stat and mystical powers), reactions, and more. 

Enough reading! Click here to download this 5-page PDF containing the current OSRPG character sheet, character creation rules (including training point costs), and the watcher creed in all its glory. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to finish up a werewolf creed for tomorrow.