Project number two is underway. While working on Puddles and Whiskers, I have been working on a role-playing game. Maybe the distinction is I have taken an old system and applied new skills, which resulted in a new look, new organization, and easier to understand.
The initial issue for me, the age of the file. Old Word files and new Word files do not always agree and on my Surface, most files do not agree at all. I could describe how the file looked when it finally opened; suffice to say words off the margins were easy to deal with.
Instead of fighting with an old program I started from scratch. At first, I thought starting a new file would be a larger pain than it turned out to be. I don’t know about other writers, but I do not enjoy transcribing from paper to screen anymore. Cut-n-paste has spoiled me, plus the amount of space on my desk is not large enough to set up a proper transcription: paper standing up for ease of reading while I type away. And for those wondering, cut-n-paste from old Word to new Word on a Surface did not go so well…thus transcription. 🙂
Happily, today I finished I the first section of the mechanics…rules. I do not like the word rule. Games should be fun. There should be guidelines, examples, and mechanics in place to ensure fun. Especially true for role-playing games where players will find themselves in and out of the “rules” all of the time.
The system is designed for simple and intuitive use (although there are some rough patches still). A simple die rolling mechanic allows players to quickly move through problems their characters encounter. Modifiers are kept to a minimum and designed for ease. For players who want a more complicated or “realistic” system, there are options…not that I have gotten to them yet…but they are there. 🙂
This is the first page, a quick introduction to the system and a character. Fast Kick Tommy is used in all of the examples. Using one character for all of the examples ensures familiarity for the reader and allows me to show situations with a character who is not optimized for the example/situation. Included is an explanation of the various parts of a character, which will come in handy throughout the book.
I am uncertain about the use of color. At the moment, the color is restricted to the first few pages. My initial thought was to continue the color scheme throughout the first section, hopefully readers see a color and word and remember the various mechanics. However, a concern is too many colors on a page is distracting instead of a mnemonic device.
This page is the first page of the combat mechanics. In the original file, the combat section topped out at 15 pages long. That is a bit much for anyone to learn and expect to use right off the bat. Some pruning and a lot of thinking about what is necessary, especially for the setting, reduced the page count to four. The rest, if relevant, will become the advanced mechanics; stuff players can use or not, to make the game theirs.
Off to print this back and front to see how the layout looks as a book. 🙂