While considering what to do next of my Thursday serial I came up with the idea of doing a segment on building an RPG (Role-Playing Games). The idea has stuck with me, so I will be posting my musings on creating an RPG occasionally on Sundays.
I am using the name Runepunk for the project, although there is another RPG using that name, I doubt it will conflict with mine.
Why am I doing this?
- The main reason is that I have been running a Shadowrun 5.0 campaign for several years and the rules are grating on me. Shadowrun is a time-tested game, but it unless everyone is familiar with the sub-systems that are appropriate to their character it slows the game down. In fact, I have stopped using any of the rules beyond character generation, gear, and the basic dice mechanics. Our Shadowrun group is just too large and too inexperienced with the system to handle the system.
- As an aside, I truly dislike the initiative system. Characters who do not have reflex/initiative boosting are screwed. Not only do they act slowly, they are often ‘lapped’ by faster characters getting in their second and third actions. This punishes people for making non combat character, essentially giving them less turns during action sequences. While it would not be a problem for smaller, more experienced groups, it is here. One of the new RP’ers played an awesome face character, but decided to dump him for a combat character, and I suspect that the lack of turns had something to do with it. He was ok with being less effective, but not pleased with taking less turns.
- I was considering making a homebrew system for my alternate Saturday game, but we grabbed the new FFG star wars and people seem to love it so far.
- I love the Shadowrun setting; especially the idea of the Shadowrun itself — the modern dungeon run. On the other hand I find that placing it in the real world limits my creativity. I prefer a blank slate.
What are my goals with the game?
- The style that I need to run with is episodic with a strong focus on character. I think including narrative hooks in the character creation process will do well for me. Obviously I am also looking for a ‘punk’ setting, which allows the characters to be part of a distinct sub-culture.
- I need character advancement with enough depth to sustain a long running campaign with complex builds.
- I want gamified sub-systems that emphasize fun without being too cumbersome.
- I want an interesting dice mechanic.
- I want a complex economy that does not break when the characters get too much money. I want players that have a gear fetish to be able to indulge it and players who do not, not to suffer if they ignore it.
- I would like to have cool powers, but need these to be easy to use and easy to remember.
- I would like to have sweet monsters and a rationale for dungeon style missions similar to Shadowrun.
- I would like to have an attribute based system.
- A post-singularity setting. A powerful AI has gained sentience and fundamentally changed the world.
- The computer creates code that controls the fundamental aspects of reality. The pieces of that Code are Runes and Magic.
- The AI eventually explodes or runs off the rails, releasing Runes and Magic into the setting and altering the world.