View Full Version : Amoeba: the RPG

2011-03-07, 10:04 PM
This is a homebrew RPG me and my gaming friend have done some work on.

I'll also be posting this in somewhat greater detail at rpgamoeba.wordpress.com

I'll be updating roughly X-(Y/sin[kθ]), where X is my free time (seconds), Y is my energy level (joules), and k is a special constant (nanometers/beard-seconds^2) inversely related to whether I feel like it or not.


There are three things Amoeba will strive to be.
Firstly, it will be cross-genre. While it may at first lean towards a fantasy setting (since that's what we're most comfortable with), it should eventually branch out into sci-fi, modern, western, oriental, arena-style, or military. These different settings will may change more than just the name or flavor text of skills, but some of the game mechanics, to maximize the feel of the game for that specific genre.
Secondly, it will be modular. Do you want Nazis to use magic in your military game? tommy guns in your fantasy game? These crossovers should be simple and painless. This is mainly where the name amoeba comes from, the ability of the game to change shape and form while still having a very natural and flowing outline.
Thirdly, Amoeba will try to minimize rulebook-flipping. This is mainly accomplished by not actually printing a rulebook, but will be supported by easy-to-remember mechanics.

Core Mechanic
1. Roll a bunch of regular six-sided dice. The exact number depends on some stuff like skill levels and attributes, and whether the environment is conducive to your success.
2. Count the number of sixes you rolled. If you wanna get all technical, it doesn’t really have to be sixes, it could just as easily be the number of ones or fives you rolled. But make sure you decide on this *before* you roll. In fact, you should probably stick with one number forever.
3. compare the number of sixes you rolled to the difficulty of the task. If the number of sixes you rolled is equal or greater than that number, you succeed.
4. If you rolled sixes than you needed to, Good Stuff happens.

How do define characters and creatures (traits, skills, experience)

Every aspect of a character or creature in Amoeba can be split into three distinct groups.

Traits represent natural talent, innate powers, and other things out of the characters fine control. The player still has control of these things, but the character doesn’t necessarily.

Skills are what a character or creature has trained itself in, whether self-taught, knowledge acquired by another, or more typical schooling. This the field the character and player has the most control over.

Experience represents all the situations your character has been through. Over time, those add up and the character becomes more adept (or vulnerable) at something. The GM has more control over this area than the player, but not all.

Trait: Attributes

Attributes are a part of your character that effect how well something does almost anything they might try to do. Typically attributes range within 0 to 5 for a starting character. This can vary somewhat depending on your race.

There are ten attributes, five relating to the physical nature of a creature or character and five relating to their mental abilities.

Physical attributes:
Strength is your character’s might and mane. Characters or creatures who have a high strength could lift a heavy weight, snap a strong bar, or punch through a wall.
Agility is your character’s flexibility. Characters who have a high agility are good acrobats, escape artists, and thieves.
Alacrity is your character’s ability to connect his thoughts to rapid action. It is used for archery and reflexes.
Endurance is your character’s ability to keep pressing on even when he is exhausted. A character with a high endurance could run a marathon or work hard all day without tiring.
Vitality is your character’s health and vigor. Characters with a high vitality can take more damage in combat before dying and resist poison more effectively.

Mental Attributes
Intelligence is your characters book smarts or schooling. It is useful for alchemists and a lot of magic.
Perception is your character’s ability to notice and remember details. It is used to see through a disguise, or spot a certain person in a crowd.
Charm is your character’s force of personality and attractiveness. A character with a high charm is very persuasive.
Composure is your character’s ability to remain calm and think on their feet. It is critical for quickly changing your actions on the fly.
Willpower is your character’s mental strength and fortitude. It determines your mana, and your ability to resist mental attacks.

Trait: Race

Races are a Trait of your character. They are your born species. Your race can effect a variety of aspects of your character, including Attribute bonuses and penalties, raised/lowered maximum/minimum attributes, skill bonuses, skills at half/double rate, automatic specialties, Supernatural abilities (innate spells, heat vision, etc), Unlearnable skills, or Automatic resistances/weaknesses.

Skills outline

When you purchase skills for you character, you will choose your rank in a broad skill (up to 3 for a normal starting character), as well as one specialization per rank. Thus, a character with Awareness 1 could choose a single Awareness specialization. A character with Athletics 3 could choose three specializations from the list for Athletics. Feel free to make up your own specialization, as long as the GM approves it.

There will typically be six skills per genre, but you may not necessarily have six skills in you particular game if you choose to add skills from other genres. It is not recommended to remove skills from a genre that you are playing in.

Fantasy specific skills

Weaponry: disarm, trip, flank, weapon group proficiency, single weapon specialization, improvised weapons, deflect, single weapon special attacks

Athletics: sprint, balance, climb, jump, swim, acrobatics, marathon, contortionist, dodge, hand-to-hand combat, adrenaline,

Stealth: lockpicking, silence, hide, sabotage, backstab, pickpocket, shadows, stalk

Wilderness: track, gather food, predict weather, tame, plant knowledge, hunt,

Social: disguise, deception, persuade, barter, intimidate, charm, impersonate

Medicine: potion making, field dressing, surgery, curing diseases

Awareness: anticipate, reaction, spot, memorize, survey, body language

Knowledge: geography, history, architecture, religion, nature, magic, anatomy, etc.

Magic: unlike other skills, Magic is divided into two separate skills. This is not a constant split, but can very from campaign to campaign. The current supported magic splits are Natural and Mechanical, Good and Evil, Elemental and Wizard, Subtle and Flashy, and Arcane and Divine.
Once you have chosen which version of magic to take for your character (feel free to take both as separate skills), choose which schools or practices of magic to study. These are similiar to specialties, and, like specialties, you take a number equal to your skill level. For more details on magic, see the Magic post.

I would love to hear your ideas. I'm especially looking for general ideas for skills and races for a sci-fi setting.

2011-03-08, 04:37 PM
This is awesome.

The Glyphstone
2011-03-08, 05:15 PM
Truly, I was hoping to open this and find something like Spore in RPG form, where you actually play an amoeba/unicellular organism in your quest to multiply and evolve.

This is almost as good though.

2011-08-18, 08:17 PM
So, true to my above calculation, I didn't update Amoeba when I didn't feel like, and refused to feel guilty for neglecting it.

However, lately I have felt the the homebrew itch, and have steadily been making progress. Most of it is in note form, but a few concepts have made been complete enough to warrant a new post.

I'll still gladly update the rules on this forum, but if nobody posts interest in that I'll just go ahead and keep it all on the blog, which is at rpgamoeba.wordpress.com

2011-08-25, 11:33 PM
What you have laid out in terms of core mechanic and goals remind me of a game called BESM 3rd edition. I'm giving it a test with a friend and so far the mechanics for in-game actions match. To support the multigenre, the simplified the stats around body, mind, soul. If you can find a way in Amoeba to best capture the myriad of cool things a character can do, then you have a willing and waiting player right here.