R1 Picking Just One

image from pixabay

filed under game design on 05 Jun 2021
tagged rgame

After noodling on the one I really felt excited about for a while, I came up with a solarpunk/cyberpunk dual thing inspired by The Bureau for option #5 (The Fight & The Punk) but it’s robust enough, and enough fun to lay out, it’s hard to restrict it to this challenge! So instead I’ll backburner it and let it simer a little.

I decided to pick this one:

Introducing The Local Helm, a tabletop role playing game designed for playing fantasy stories set in a small community.

conflict resolution in this game involves rolling a d8 dice pool and adding up the result.

Character stats include:

  • Allegiances
  • Paradigm
  • Resources
  • and Alignment

My first thought is to ditch the d8 resolution, but it does say “involves” not “only” so instead I’ll crunch some numbers. Simplest would be to assign a number of d8s per stat, and have the total be against an arbitrary TN, but I think that’s missing the premise of this, er, premise.

The “… fantasy stories set in a small community” aspect combined with the abstractness of the character stats, tells me this could be story of many characters, interlocked, and interwoven, where the “play” is settling in one head for a while, and then moving to another.

My immediate thoughts are that we need:

  • A way to generate characters quickly and easily, as more will be better, and they will snowball out.
  • A way to test them abstractly on both task and full-conflict scales; sometimes a conflict will be interesting enough to play out, but other times it will be simply a turning point, thrown dice and move on.
  • GMless tools, similar to Archipelago's ritual phrases, perhaps.
  • External events chart, to drive events, and possibly a smaller one as well.

Fortunately, I have a handful of old systems I’ve read recently that I think I can extrapolate from and that meet some of the basic needs. Time to get started!