Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My Games Part 1b: Major Projects

Oddly enough, this is one of my most successful games, yet it started almost as an afterthought. One of my courses in college was technical editing, and the professor introduced me to Open Office and its formatting shortcuts. Gangland was the confluence of these two events - practice with the new word processor and applying my new understanding of layout and document design.

As the title implies, its essentially "GTA the RPG". Its very simple - there are only four attributes, and all tasks are based on a percentile roll. Guns are very powerful, ending combat quickly, and vehicles have only three stats - speed, handling, and HP. Guns are made from a type, a mod, and a caliber (ie revolver, snub, .357) to yield a range, accuracy bonus/penalty, damage, and capacity. Overall, the game is only 10 pages.

However, its gotten several E-mails from interested parties - including a long discussion from a GM in Argentina. I've written an addendum for another 10+ pages, and "Triage" which will add yet more new rules - martial arts, armored vehicles, multiple revisions/clarifications - and a half dozen 2 page micro settings is in the works.

Gangland and its first Addendum are available on from here. Also of note, is that another writer used the system (copy and pasted verbatim) to create an RPG based on the video game "Blood II: The Chosen".

Dead... And Back
Most of my games begin with a concept or story, and then work back to what type of system would fit that setting best. However, D&B is odd for running in the reverse - I had a jolt of inspiration for an elegant combat mechanic, and needed a setting to show it off. Since it was a one-roll combat system, I wanted something combat heavy - so I decided something with a target rich environment - hordes of zombies.

However, since there were more than enough standard survival horror games, I tried to take it in a different direction. The game is set in 2055, after a fairly utopian future that introduced acrologies, mag-levs, augmented reality, micro-factory "rapid production centers" and integrated nano-tech microsurgeons. Unfortunately, aliens show up, and its a confluence of their bio-weapons and our tech that produces nearly a dozen different kinds of "Reanimates". They still roam the land in their demon-like power armors, setting up enclaves protected by laser towers. Meanwhile, the world is split into Government Zones and the Anarchy Zone. G-Zones tend to have problems - over population, religious fanatics, social discord and so on - making life in the A-zone relatively idyllic in comparison. Rather than holing up in a city state, setting out for adventure is a good idea, a different kind of escape from the normal survival horror type.

D&B consists of three parts. The rules are for the most part free of setting information, and can be used for most mundane settings (there is no magic system). "Undead Fairy Tales" is an exploration of the environment through documents and interviews - a false historical archive detailing life in the new world. Conversely, "Cold Hard Truth" touches on the same areas, but in a manner more akin to traditional games or encyclopedias.

A number of stories detailing the D&B world can be found in my book at RPGLaboratory.com While the game is posted on 1km1kt.net, the most recent revision is at the lab under the label Redux, and while UFT/CHT are here. However, you need an account/to sign in to get the lab downloads, while anyone can get the 1km1kt version.

Well, this entry has turned out to be longer than expected, and its but the first in a series. With luck, I'll finish this group quickly and without a year and a half break - then have time to speak of these games more thoroughly.

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