Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Enhanced Abilities

A good archer can do more than launch an arrow
straight and true; he can slip it between the
branches of a tree and kill ya!
I am the Warden!!

Yesterday, I talked about changes to the Optional System's stats to their current, much more awesome form. For some players, it might not be enough, especially after you get a little experience under your belt or you're used to playing RPGs with a bit more substance to your stats.

Fear not, good gamer. The Warden has prepared an optional rule for implementing bonus features for stats, called enhanced abilities. While you may choose your stats based on character development and personal taste, enhanced abilities endow your character with an additional edge solely based on your stat selection. Sure, it makes sense for an archer to select Dexterity as a Body stat simply because she's an archer, but what does Dexterity really do for an archer?

Easy. For every +1d12 Dexterity focus dice an archer has, she can reduce a modifier's benefit by 1d10 circumstance dice on a ranged or burst attack once per series. For every additional focus dice in Dexterity, she can reduce the same modifier by 2d10 circumstance dice or save that second reduction for another modifier later in the same series. Once a new series begins, our archer can try this again. This allows her the ability to launch an arrow further than a normal character, ignore the Cover modifier, and more. Now we're talking, right?

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Focus and the Power of Stats

An example of Strength vs. Dexterity.
If you don't know who they are, shame on you.
I am the Warden!!

I've said it before and I'll say it again. One of my goals for the Optional System is to create a D&D-level of mechanics with the tone of an independent RPG. Disagree with this statement all you want, but the majority of major RPGs (meaning those released by big companies like Paizo, WotC, and Fantasy Flight) consist of locked rules, loads of charts, and enough pages to club your GM to death with. Independent games are built using minimal concepts, loose interpretations, and an emphasis on narrative rather than action. Fans of independent games love how they can "do more of what they want" without being bogged down by rules, while fans of major RPGs (man, I'm really hating that term) praise them for their clarity and precision. And here I'm looking to make some kind of hybrid. Good luck to me, right?

Flexibility seems the greatest difference between these types of games. There are elements to the Optional System I need to make clear and defined with no room for error, most of them relating to action and combat, but then there are others which should have room to twist, turn, and go nuts with. The player should be able to take their current selection of stats, skills, powers, and circumstance dice to describe their own actions in whatever original fashion they like. It is this ability for players to describe their own actions and participate in their environment to create mechanical benefits where I want this system to excel.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Redpill Diary #1: Identity

I am the Warden!!

If you didn't read yesterday's announcement of my first fully detailed Optional System setting, then this might be a bit confusing at first. Go ahead, click here, scroll down to the bottom, then come back. All good? Let's continue.

Seeing as the first question players ask when you tell them about a new game is "What can I play?" it only makes sense to make this the first priority for Redpill. What do the players play? As leading as the title to this project may be, I want to have as much variety and exposure to the entire world of the Matrix as possible. It's not just about playing everything exactly as the films, but creating a vivid, expansive universe where players can mix it up and try something new.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

A Look Back At The Last 49 And A Glance Forward

I am the Warden and this is my 50th post!!

Just over three months ago, my commitment to creating the Optional System truly began. It had been gestating for months before that and attempted at the table, though nothing had ever been written down on paper. The goal of this blog was to create a journal of progress, to motivate me to keep at it and think out loud when issues threatened to bring this game crashing down around me. To that end, it's been a rousing success.

I'd also be lying if I didn't admit to the need for attention to my work. Duh. To that end, it has been successful in meeting my first goal of playtesting: convince my friends. If my friends don't want to play it, what chance do I have of convincing strangers? I'd like to think I'm on course but I can't say for sure. Self doubt and all. Regardless, the game has evolved quite nicely over the last three months and there are parts of it I can't recognize compared to that first draft sitting in my mind.

To mark the occasion, I'm going to take a look back at the components of the Optional System and how's it changed since that first post on June 20th.