Monday, July 16, 2012

Genre RPGs Made to Order in 30 Minutes: Pirates!

2004 for Atlas Games.
In my free fantasy RPG, Dungeonteller, your PC doesn't have stats, he has ten actions: Battle, Magic, Make, Muscle, Notice, Resist, Shoot, Sneak, Stunt, and Talk. My intent was to replace the STR/DEX/CON/INT/WIS/CHA abstract-ability-score-metaphor with a list of the actions your character is most likely to use. Bye-bye ability scores, bye-bye skills.
Early on, I figured out that you could revise the action list to create a game for a different genre, but using the same mechanics pretty easily.
Let's pick a genre -- instead of dungeon explorers, the PCs are going to be pirates. This is going to be a game with lots of fighting, so let's parse that out into at least two actions, or what about these three: Brawl, Duel, and Shoot. This is a low-magic or no-magic game, so Magic's right out. Muscle, Notice, Sneak, Stunt, and Talk all seem genre-appropriate, but let's pick a new action that really speaks to the game's flavor: my nomination is Flash, which you roll to inspire, ingratiate, or impress other pirates.
The final action list for "Pirateteller":


Some possible character classes:
The Brute:  Brawl 5, Flash 1, Muscle 6, Notice 1, Sneak 1, Shoot 1, Stunt 1, Talk 1
The Captain: Duel 3, Flash 5, Muscle 2, Notice 2, Shoot 2, Stunt 2, Talk 4
The Scalawag: Brawl 2, Flash 2, Muscle 2, Notice 4, Sneak 5, Shoot 2, Stunt 3, Talk 4
The Swashbuckler: Brawl 1, Duel 5, Flash 4, Muscle 2, Notice 2, Sneak 2, Stunt 3, Talk 2.

Compare to a typical pirate crewmember:
Brawl 2, Muscle 3, Notice 3, Sneak 2, Shoot 2, Stunt 2, Talk 1.

Have at it, matey!


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