Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Back in the Saddle

Well, it's been forever since I've posted, mostly because I haven't had anything interesting to say. That comes from not gaming. However, this past weekend I got started in new campaign of a game I never thought I'd be playing again: Live Action Vampire the Masquerade.

I've probably mentioned that I'm an experienced Larper, but I haven't been involved in a Vampire Larp since the mid 1990's.  It took me a while to refamiliarize myself with the World of Darkness setting, and the live action rules (we are using the Laws of the Night revised). It's nice to be able to have all the rules available in PDF on my phone!  The game stood out for a number of reason: A good, interesting and complex story, great players and lots of them (40+), and the fact that got to play in nightclub.

The reason for my post is actually the rules from Mind's Eye Theatre. There's a nice system that they use that I'm guessing most OSR gamers aren't familiar with that I think would work very well with a rules light system. Characters have 3 general stat pools: Physical, Mental and Social  Instead of just assigning numbers, players pick adjectives that describe their character. For example, physical traits include quick, brawny, dexterous, fast, stalwart. Mental traits are things like knowledgeable, observant, determined etc. Social traits are things like seductive, witty and commanding. Characters can also have negative traits.  For each negative trait you can get another positive trait.

Conflict, or challenges, are resolved by each side declaring a trait that is relevant to the task, and then playing rock, paper, siscors. The winner succeeds in the task, and the loser fails and loses the use of the declared trait for the rest of the session. Ties are resolved by looking at who has the most traits in that ability pool. There are some other intricacies to the system, but it is still fairly simple.

In game systems that don't use a skill system, like most OSR games, we often default to test against one of the basic stats. I'd like to come up with a hybrid system that uses stat adjectives along with the stat check. I think it would give more life to the characters, without adding a complex skill system.

So goal for the next post; come up with a simple workable system.

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