Saturday, October 20, 2012

My non-D&D simulacrum - more musings

Two days ago I wrote a post about some old and some new ideas about 80s-style rules system. I'm still working on basic features of the game.
  • Many many games from the eighties have ornate and overcomplicated rules. Many many authors claimed that their game is all about realism (especially in combat). This lead to really long fights - roll to hit, roll to determine location, apply armor (or roll to armor!), do modifier math, bla bla bla. Hit location determination seemed to be shittiest element of the most games (at least if I remember correctly). Best thing was invented in WFRP - rock a dice then if you scored a hit switch rolled numbers and tadaa! You just determined hit location. I want to incorporate similar thing in my game - take the units dice result to determine it. 
  • Additionally - as I mentioned before - zero Hit Points (or rather Vitality Points in my game) can't kill you - you just lose consciousness. But! If you (or your opponent) score a double during determining to-hit, manages to hit you and inflict at least one point of damage, you (or dude / monster trying to kill you) score a critical hit. Same thing goes if you score a "01". Of course, if you score "00" - you failed miserably and scored a fumble.
  • To keep the game in vein of the products from the eighties, I plan to add lots of tables (remember MERP, not to mention Rolemaster? :D). But I want to make this game not overcomplicated. Probably I will run it (at least during playtests) so I need it to be relatively fast. Especially during combat. There is nothing worse that 5-6 second combat round that requires five minutes of real time. 
  • Contrary to combat rules, character creation may be not very fast. But still - most of the rules will be strictly optional - if you want to roll stats and jump in the middle of the war - you can do it. If you want to determine average length of your nasal hair - you can do it as well, but it's not obligatory.
  • Of course all these ideas may look cool right now but during playtests they may just break and collapse. We will see (or not!) if it works :D
Rules system is not the only "problem" that I have with this project. During last fifteen years I created lots of stuff about cities, cults, races, monsters and so on. It's inevitable that many of these thingies were later almost forgotten. So, I decided to exhume at least some of them and try to form some kind of setting. Despite the fact that I have some old ideas about the "virgin", never played game world (or even many worlds) I want to make it different. Not especially different from "everything that was created in RPGs during past four decades" - it will be just plain stupid (and one Synibarr is enough :D) but rather different from my other projects / worlds. Let me explain this - most of my fantasy worlds were pulpy and made similar to Frankenstein's monster - stitched from loose ideas, not necessarily compatible ones. But no one cared - it was fun! This time I want to make it logical. And - more importantly - not necessarily based on typical European fantasy canon. It will be problem because I'm not an anthopologist (luckily my girlfriend is studying cultural studies) but more challenge=more fun.

At the moment I can't tell you almost anything about the setting as I started to sort the material about ten hours ago and slept during about nine of them :D


  1. I am interesting in seeing your non-D&D simulacrum develop, as someone who has his own and is deciding how to work it out.

    1. Good to hear that - I'll post something more when I write it - now I focused my efforts on the creation of the setting. I suppose that I'll write something new about game mechanics within the next few days.

  2. I never read these posts, but this is quite interesting!

    I'm eager to see your nonD&D simulacrum one day..cheers

    1. As your blog was one of the main inspirations for writing this game, you'll be among the first to know about the end of work.