Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Another Attempt at a Social RPG Game

I have been doing a lot of reading on how to run social games with less exploration-oriented adventures and more story/plot emphasis. I do this often enough in solo games, so theoretically, it should be possible for me to do so for others, right?

With that bit of questionable reasoning in mind, I've decided to give such a game a try as part of the whole "New Year, New Game" thing. 

Rules: USR

USR is extremely flexible and easy to teach and learn - a benefit when the player(s) don't own or want to read the rules.

I know from experience that it will easily handle the kinds of things Lady Shadowmoss likes to do in a game, without bogging me down with game mechanics I don't like, a pre-generated setting that I have to mentally delete, or handfuls of dice for skill checks - the latter, both Lady Shadowmoss and I dislike immensely.

We'll be using USR with many of my Moldvay-class ideas for USR, Labyrinth Lord for the spell lists and the optional USR Narrative Points system will be in play.

Setting: Post-apocalyptic science-fantasy (essentially Mutant Future + Labyrinth Lord or Gamma World + D & D, if you prefer). 

I have wanted to do this type of game for a very long time. 

The potential for gonzo/goofy is high, but since I tend to be farily light hearted in my treatment of RPG settings, I thought it would be nice change of pace to let a darker, bleaker world have its day in the sun (so to speak). 

In this case, we're looking at a desolate wasteland populated and fought over by nomadic tribes, warlords and slavers. Encounters with strange creatures are of course inevitable and will generally best be dealt with by running away.

As I know Lady Shadowmoss prefers playing casters, magic does exist - but it is a largely forgotten art among humans (only LL main rules spells available at start). 

Still there are libraries of ancient magic waiting to be discovered in the ruins of the ancient cultures. It is also rumored that in a handful of the few cities that exist, there meet societies of mages working to develop new spells and which they teach for a price. 

From a rules perspective, these "new" spells will come from the LL AEC's spell lists, which are a good deal longer than the basic rules.

In addition to magic, "ancient technology" will be found here and there - usually among ruins, although sometimes employed by NPCs; firearms, lasers, or simply old tires can all make appearances.


We haven't stat-ed her character yet but we have discussed the setting and brain-stormed some ideas. From that, she was able to come up with her basic concept.

She seems a great deal more enthused with the setting and direction than the LL fantasy campaign. If it goes well, we'll invite another player or two to join us.

I'm well under way with the first adventure's design and I'm hopeful that getting her involved early means less wasted effort on my part and a more satisfying game for everyone.

This post was written for the second annual New Year, New Game blog carnival hosted by Gnome Stew as part of the 2013 New Year, New Game challenge.


  1. Excited to hear how you get on with this!

  2. Me too! I've been tinkering with the rules for fantasy setting. I want to see how they play out.

  3. Please keep us updated. I use a super-complex (read GURPS) rules now and would be interested in how a really simple rules set with more flexibility works out.

  4. Thanks for the comments everyone!

    We're planning for an "official" character generation session for next week, where we'll discuss the setting in more detail and flesh out her character concept with list of NPCs important to the character, to help me with adventure creation. She'll assign her dice to her attributes, roll HP, equip her character and choose specialisms as well.

    I'll post updates as I have them!

  5. It is something competitive among other rpg and zombie fighting games.

  6. I like that great thinking... in fact I am also that curious as I am newbie making my own zombie fighting games online.