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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default The Worlds Simplest Roleplaying System

    I'm trying to come up with a system that will work, while preferably filling no more than a single page. Or so.

    My thought is that you get attributes and skills to which you can assign a value of low/medium/high, and everything else runs by rule of cool. At this point I'm undecided whether there should be dice involved, some sort of action points, or only storytelling.

    My draft is something like this:

    Attributes:
    Power (physical)
    Speed (physical)
    Wits (mental)
    Charm (mental)
    You must assign one as low and one as high, the remaining two are medium.

    Skills are free to design as the players choses - tho the GM must agree. You get five skills, with two low, two medium and one high.

    If I am to avoid dice, I'd say tests are resolved using attribute+skill vs. attribute+2 for defence. As in: John has Handguns 2 and Speed 2, for a total of 4 - his target, Alice, has Speed 2+2, which means she's hit (or she could be missed, I guess).

    Now, that's static and boring. Where it gets interesting is that you can modify your scores by roleplay, rule of cool and cleverness. John decides Alice is to nimble to hit - and instead wants to predict where she's going. Johns Wits is high, while Alice's is low. He gets to reduce her defence by 2.

    This has numerous problems. For instance:

    What to do about character advancement?!
    Can any attribute be used with any skill - freely?!
    Will adding dice be good - or is it better to encourage/force people to use their imagination?!

    Any and all input will be greatly appreciated.

    Also, a part of the point of making an extremely bare-bones system is to get players to greatly emphazise character backgrounds and roleplaying (even if there is a chunk of Stormwind in that assumption).

    Oh, another thing. I just might want to playtest in a PbP.

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    DruidGirl

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    Default Re: The Worlds Simplest Roleplaying System

    This system has the drawback of tempting players to fall back on the age old 'did not, did too!' argument.
    To be fair, it might work out alright if everyone is decidedly fair, but I think the whole thing will quickly deteriorate in something much akin to forum-roleplay, where people decide to do awesome stuff because they want to shine, and there is little to stop them from doing so. The result is a shouting match, where whoever shouts loudest gets to be the most awesome, and the centre of attention.

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    Default Re: The Worlds Simplest Roleplaying System

    I'd recommend adding a Karma mechanic.
    Each player has a pile of tokens they can spend to break ties and or push their existing attributes a little further.
    Also, being able to call on certain environmental or conditions or personality traits to add a little temporary oomph to your base stat helps keep the players immersed in their imaginary environment. Ex: I get a stick to create some leverage, or I take advantage of his wounded leg to trip him.

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    Default Re: The Worlds Simplest Roleplaying System

    Sorry if you're already familiar with this and it's exactly what you're trying to get away from, but just to make sure: Have you checked out Risus? It's 6 pages (or 4 if you ignore the optional variant rules), not one, but ... it might give you some ideas.
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    Default Re: The Worlds Simplest Roleplaying System

    Your system has the problem of switching between named values (high, medium, low) to numerical values (Speed 2). It also has the problem of Wits being pretty much the most valuable attribute - if having a higher Wits can reduce my opponent's stats, than a High Wits is just like having an extra point in all my other attributes!

    I would recommend checking over a few systems.

    FUDGE is a very simple RPG system that uses your "choose any skill" idea. The GM decides on what skills/attributes will be used and relevant, and each player assigns ranks based on how good they are in each. It does use Fudge dice, which modify a roll up or down one "point" for each die. It's also free.

    Warriors has a RPG system as well, under the "Games & Extras" heading. It only has three attributes (Strength, Intelligence, Spirit) and skills with modify "rolls". Unlike most systems, it is actually diceless - you get chips equal to the value of each attribute, and can spend them on related trials. For example, if you have a Strength of 3 and a Jump of +1, then you can easily handle any jumping tasks up to 4. You also have 3 Strength chips, and can cash them in for a +1 to a specific task. It is also free.

    I've also thought up two or three simple systems, although I don't guarantee they're complete or a single page long.

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    Default Re: The Worlds Simplest Roleplaying System

    http://www.mimgames.com/window/rules/quickstart.html

    The Window is an easy system without being overly simplistic IMHO. I've used it for some rules lite kind of homebrew stuff in the past.
    Long time reader and lurker turned poster

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    Default Re: The Worlds Simplest Roleplaying System

    There was a Ghostbusters role playing game about 20 years ago. The characters had 3 stats and equipment. No health, no skills, just those 3 stats (str, dex, int I believe) and your ghost busting equipment.

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    Default Re: The Worlds Simplest Roleplaying System

    Quote Originally Posted by Dryad View Post
    This system has the drawback of tempting players to fall back on the age old 'did not, did too!' argument.
    To be fair, it might work out alright if everyone is decidedly fair, but I think the whole thing will quickly deteriorate in something much akin to forum-roleplay, where people decide to do awesome stuff because they want to shine, and there is little to stop them from doing so. The result is a shouting match, where whoever shouts loudest gets to be the most awesome, and the centre of attention.
    Well - isn't the GM there to decide such arguments before they happen? Of course, I have no experience with PbP, so it might be different.

    Quote Originally Posted by DoomHat View Post
    I'd recommend adding a Karma mechanic.
    Each player has a pile of tokens they can spend to break ties and or push their existing attributes a little further.
    Also, being able to call on certain environmental or conditions or personality traits to add a little temporary oomph to your base stat helps keep the players immersed in their imaginary environment. Ex: I get a stick to create some leverage, or I take advantage of his wounded leg to trip him.
    I would definitely like something like that - a tool for players to (further) affect the outcome of their actions. So yea, a pool of karma points or similar is certainly worth considering.

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    Sorry if you're already familiar with this and it's exactly what you're trying to get away from, but just to make sure: Have you checked out Risus? It's 6 pages (or 4 if you ignore the optional variant rules), not one, but ... it might give you some ideas.
    Thanks - never heard of it, but I'll certainly give it a look.

    Quote Originally Posted by erikun View Post
    Your system has the problem of switching between named values (high, medium, low) to numerical values (Speed 2). It also has the problem of Wits being pretty much the most valuable attribute - if having a higher Wits can reduce my opponent's stats, than a High Wits is just like having an extra point in all my other attributes!

    I would recommend checking over a few systems.

    FUDGE is a very simple RPG system that uses your "choose any skill" idea. The GM decides on what skills/attributes will be used and relevant, and each player assigns ranks based on how good they are in each. It does use Fudge dice, which modify a roll up or down one "point" for each die. It's also free.

    Warriors has a RPG system as well, under the "Games & Extras" heading. It only has three attributes (Strength, Intelligence, Spirit) and skills with modify "rolls". Unlike most systems, it is actually diceless - you get chips equal to the value of each attribute, and can spend them on related trials. For example, if you have a Strength of 3 and a Jump of +1, then you can easily handle any jumping tasks up to 4. You also have 3 Strength chips, and can cash them in for a +1 to a specific task. It is also free.

    I've also thought up two or three simple systems, although I don't guarantee they're complete or a single page long.
    Wits isn't any sort of special attribute. Inventiveness and storytelling is what it takes - and you can use any attribute you like, if you can make a case for it. Or - that's the idea I'm working with currently. You want to use your Power to resist mind control? Ok ... explain to me how that's going to work out.

    How about character progression? Tonight, after I went to bed, I was thinking .... if there is a karma pool, you can use it to affect outcomes, or you can save it up and use it to purchase upgrades. Say that besides L/M/H there is also the option of getting an attribute to Superhuman, or similar?

    That would mean that your best stat could only increase once. Hmm.

    Other ideas, comment, or the like?

    If this was the system - would you want to play?

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    Default Re: The Worlds Simplest Roleplaying System

    Quote Originally Posted by Acromos View Post
    Wits isn't any sort of special attribute.
    You mention that the system uses four attributes: Power, Speed, WITS, and Charm. You also mention allowing higher "Wits" to provide bonuses.
    Johns Wits is high, while Alice's is low. He gets to reduce her defence by 2.
    Even if the bonus was just +1, it proves Wits to be the most critical attribute. The only way you'd lose with High-Wits is if you meet another person with High-Wits and a higher attribute than you (which will only happen with that one attribute) or if you meet someone with a High-rank attribute against your Low-rank one (in which case, you'll beat them in every other challange).

    Quote Originally Posted by Acromos View Post
    Tonight, after I went to bed, I was thinking .... if there is a karma pool, you can use it to affect outcomes, or you can save it up and use it to purchase upgrades.
    That sounds something similar to the Boons provided in the Faery's Tale Deluxe system. Whenever you help someone (say, by completing a quest for them) they owe you a Boon. Much like in typical fairy tale lore, you may exchange a Boon for a favor of equal value. However, Boons also have magically inherit value, meaning you can exchange them for items or even attribute increases/new skills.

    Anyways, the one problem I see with the Karma pool idea is that it becomes very easy to throw challanges that frequently consume Karma (meaning no leveling up) or use challanges that never require Karma (meaning too frequent leveling up).

    Quote Originally Posted by Acromos View Post
    Say that besides L/M/H there is also the option of getting an attribute to Superhuman, or similar?

    That would mean that your best stat could only increase once. Hmm.
    Take a look at the rules for FUDGE. The system uses seven different grades (Terrible, Poor, Mediocre, Fair, Good, Great, Superb) for this exact reason, with the optional Legendary being even higher than Superb. Attributes generally start off as Fair, while skills start off as Poor.

    Seriously, my choice of systems for this thread was not random. FUDGE seems to be almost exactly what you are trying with the High-Medium-Low system for skills and attributes. Warriors is a good look at a rather simple diceless system. You might want to give them another look.

    Quote Originally Posted by Acromos View Post
    If this was the system - would you want to play?
    Not really. Oh sure, I might give it a single session playthrough, just to see how things turned out. However, the system seems too static and too narrow to work with for extended periods of time.

    (To counter the "You can use your imagination to get around your character's faults" comeback, I point out that we could all run freestyle RPGs and accomplish the exact same thing.)

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    Default Re: The Worlds Simplest Roleplaying System

    The world's simplest roleplaying system has already been built: it's called "Wushu Open" and I really cannot imagine how it could possibly be simpler. Unless it were, say, Nobilis, which is about as simple as Wushu and diceless to boot.*

    *And you know what the problem with both of these systems is? Your imagination always needs to be on to run them. You can never half-ass, or let your prep-time do the work for you, or be the referee on an off day or a day where the group dynamics are right for it. Simple systems are great, and allow for incredibly imaginative, flexible group storytelling.

    They're also brutal and totally unforgiving.

    Simple can be good for the right kind of group, but the simpler your system the more mental energy you have to spend on every little detail. A robust, highly technical system resolves debates (even though it creates some) and provides answers to questions.
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    Default Re: The Worlds Simplest Roleplaying System

    Quote Originally Posted by Balain View Post
    There was a Ghostbusters role playing game about 20 years ago. The characters had 3 stats and equipment. No health, no skills, just those 3 stats (str, dex, int I believe) and your ghost busting equipment.
    It is a pretty simple, elegant system. Also, it is available for free here. It's by West End, so it involves big handfuls of dice.

    It's actually four stats: Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, and Charisma.

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    Default Re: The Worlds Simplest Roleplaying System

    Well - isn't the GM there to decide such arguments before they happen? Of course, I have no experience with PbP, so it might be different.
    In a way, yes. If possible. But a GM should have as little responsibility as possible for the successes and failures of the players. A GM just makes the story, the setting, the interaction.
    GMs are people too, and there's quite a lot of GMs who will make silly calls which favour either a player or themselves on the basis of 'But I want THIS to happen!'

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    Default Re: The Worlds Simplest Roleplaying System

    Quote Originally Posted by gkathellar View Post
    The world's simplest roleplaying system has already been built: it's called "Wushu Open" and I really cannot imagine how it could possibly be simpler. Unless it were, say, Nobilis, which is about as simple as Wushu and diceless to boot.*

    *And you know what the problem with both of these systems is? Your imagination always needs to be on to run them. You can never half-ass, or let your prep-time do the work for you, or be the referee on an off day or a day where the group dynamics are right for it. Simple systems are great, and allow for incredibly imaginative, flexible group storytelling.

    They're also brutal and totally unforgiving.

    Simple can be good for the right kind of group, but the simpler your system the more mental energy you have to spend on every little detail. A robust, highly technical system resolves debates (even though it creates some) and provides answers to questions.
    ^QFT.

    Games like this or Prime Time Adventures pretty much are the epitome of simplicity. There was one indie RPG I found where you basically resolve all conflicts with a single d6, adding any bonuses from any traits you want to call on (once per session), and that's it. Everything else is based on your description.

    The key to make that work there is that you need to (both player and GM) bid for consequences. What do you gain if you succeed? What happens if you fail? These are things that need to be negotiated before a dice is ever rolled. And we're not talking about nitty gritty stuff like, "do I hit him" but rather something bigger like "do I manage to humiliate my brother without exposing myself in his court?". Plot conflicts, not tasks resolution.

    I find that Spirits of the Century tend to be a much better half-way point game for people who are used to playing D&D and want to try something much lighter.

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    Default Re: The Worlds Simplest Roleplaying System

    Quote Originally Posted by elliott20 View Post
    The key to make that work there is that you need to (both player and GM) bid for consequences. What do you gain if you succeed? What happens if you fail?
    A bidding system, eh? Oh this I like. Will have to think *puts on thinking cap*

    Thanks - that is wonderfully clever.

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    Default Re: The Worlds Simplest Roleplaying System

    Well, the most basic form of this that I've seen is generally a metagaming negotiation between player and GM (or player and player, if the conflict is between two players). Basically, the two of you are just negotiating what are the acceptable terms to put on the table. It ensures that you only REALLY take risks when it's important to your character. And if you really don't want your character to take the risks that are being put before you, then you pretty much have to back down from the conflict.

    The key to making this sort of thing successful though, is that you have to make sure the player generate characters with enough motivation to do stuff and that players are motivate to set their own agenda. The problem with D&D is that it often conditions players to become entirely reactive instead of proactive, and when you have these players suddenly dropped into a game that uses this system, they end up making characters that are powerful but boring because they don't seem to want to do anything.

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    Default Re: The Worlds Simplest Roleplaying System

    Simple systems tend to be more exercises in cooperative storytelling than traditional roleplaying games. Players often have an extensive role in forming the narrative, not merely through their actions within an environment provided but also as creators of the story's larger fiction.

    (With regards to my big two examples, Wushu does this explicitly, with the players able to veto things to help create a better mood and narrative. Nobilis has players determine some of the most important things about the setting both in character generation and simply through existing.)
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    Default Re: The Worlds Simplest Roleplaying System

    And if you really don't want your character to take the risks that are being put before you, then you pretty much have to back down from the conflict.
    The problem here is that risks and chance of success are possibly too much in the GM's control. A system is there to ensure that even the GM is held to some guidelines (which she can alter as she seems fit indeed, but this rarely happens to a large extent because GMs shouldn't have enough power).

    An example for setting risks is:
    Player A steals a purse from a random NPC in a pub. The risk is to get caught. A reasonable risk. Then it may result in a fight. Still somewhat reasonable. The ensuing risk the GM puts down in front of her player is: The NPC kills the player's character. A very much unreasonable risk. Sure; it happens in the real world every now and again but a lot of people will see this as a reasonable risk in a fantasy setting. Of course; in DnD, the random NPC would have to be pretty bad-ass to even try such a thing, because player characters are like demi-gods. But in such a system as you propose, the result of any kind of encounter is basically comes down to the GM saying 'whatever the hell I want it to be.'

    Personally, I think the biggest flaw of this system is that you over-estimate people. It's easy to think of ourselves as rational, intelligent, fairly fair adults... But in reality, we're not. Not really. We're petty, sometimes incredibly selfish, and there really isn't a one of us who is good with any kind of power. That's why we've made rules and governed societies to begin with; what keeps us in check is generally other people's opinions and expectations, or, in the case of games and larger societies alike, the mechanics of the 'rules.'

    A point in case I would like to present to you is forum roleplay. You know; the creative writing of several forum members who all write out their own bit of story. More often than not, the character of each post, especially the author's character, is going to shine. They do awesome stuff, have awesome power, and at some point, especially in combat situations, authors amongst one another have conversations like: 'I do this!' "Oh yeah? Well; I can counter that by doing this!" 'Yeah, but I can do this!' and people will start bidding against one another by some awkward and childish display of misplaced testosterone (girls do it too, but slightly less) in order to prove themselves just as good as (read: better than) everybody else.
    Every single author will treat her own character as the absolute star, so posts will get fancier and more super-hero-like as they go along, each author bidding against the other authors in order to win the 'my-character-is-most-awesome-award.'
    Basically, having roleplay without a system is like the boys in the park playing soldier. All to often, one of them shouts 'Bang! You're dead!' The reply to which is, all to often: 'Am not!' and the bickering ensues.

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    Default Re: The Worlds Simplest Roleplaying System

    Quote Originally Posted by Dryad View Post
    The problem here is that risks and chance of success are possibly too much in the GM's control. A system is there to ensure that even the GM is held to some guidelines (which she can alter as she seems fit indeed, but this rarely happens to a large extent because GMs shouldn't have enough power).

    An example for setting risks is:
    Player A steals a purse from a random NPC in a pub. The risk is to get caught. A reasonable risk. Then it may result in a fight. Still somewhat reasonable. The ensuing risk the GM puts down in front of her player is: The NPC kills the player's character. A very much unreasonable risk. Sure; it happens in the real world every now and again but a lot of people will see this as a reasonable risk in a fantasy setting. Of course; in DnD, the random NPC would have to be pretty bad-ass to even try such a thing, because player characters are like demi-gods. But in such a system as you propose, the result of any kind of encounter is basically comes down to the GM saying 'whatever the hell I want it to be.'

    Personally, I think the biggest flaw of this system is that you over-estimate people. It's easy to think of ourselves as rational, intelligent, fairly fair adults... But in reality, we're not. Not really. We're petty, sometimes incredibly selfish, and there really isn't a one of us who is good with any kind of power. That's why we've made rules and governed societies to begin with; what keeps us in check is generally other people's opinions and expectations, or, in the case of games and larger societies alike, the mechanics of the 'rules.'

    A point in case I would like to present to you is forum roleplay. You know; the creative writing of several forum members who all write out their own bit of story. More often than not, the character of each post, especially the author's character, is going to shine. They do awesome stuff, have awesome power, and at some point, especially in combat situations, authors amongst one another have conversations like: 'I do this!' "Oh yeah? Well; I can counter that by doing this!" 'Yeah, but I can do this!' and people will start bidding against one another by some awkward and childish display of misplaced testosterone (girls do it too, but slightly less) in order to prove themselves just as good as (read: better than) everybody else.
    Every single author will treat her own character as the absolute star, so posts will get fancier and more super-hero-like as they go along, each author bidding against the other authors in order to win the 'my-character-is-most-awesome-award.'
    Basically, having roleplay without a system is like the boys in the park playing soldier. All to often, one of them shouts 'Bang! You're dead!' The reply to which is, all to often: 'Am not!' and the bickering ensues.
    Well, that's why there are guidelines for GMs on how to run this sort of game. The first is the notion that the GM will abuse their authority and basically stack the deck so that risk is always too much and thereby force the player into certain choices. That is the same problem as GMs who try to railroad their players by planting impossible obstacles before them in D&D games, except in these games, it's much easier to do. The key to resolving this is through three things: a plot armor type hit point track, consequence handling, and scene framing restrictions.

    The plot armor hit point track is fairly simple. AEGON uses this concept as does Spirits of the Century. What it does is that basically any time your character dodges a bullet or escapes certain death, they take plot armor damage. Take enough of them, and your character will be actual danger of being eliminated from the story. (not necessarily killed, but eliminated) In that way, the GM can't just say, "and then you die" as a consequence as clearly the character still has plot armor to stop that.

    The second is consequence handling, and this is more of a mentality rather than a rule. Here's the thing, Good GMs can make every failure into a potential for more story telling. Bad GMs make failure a zero sum game. In Prime Time Adventures, the book explicitly advises players that when they shape conflicts, they need to make sure that both consequences of the conflict can mean further plot development.

    Last one is scene framing restrictions, which is what Burning Empires use to help keep the tempo of the game. Each person in game (including the GM) is allowed to call on a certain number of conflicts per session and that's it. If the GM wants to get certain things done, and there are obstacles, at some point he will need to create a conflict scene himself, and will have to work with the players. If his terms are not reasonable, the players can simply reject it or counteract with their own unreasonable terms. Of course, this simply means that nothing gets done as both sides are unwilling to give concessions.

    As gkathellar said, systems like these are more like co-op story telling than adventure minutiae. So it should be self-evident to anyone using this system that the GM and the players need to work together to make the game work. If the GM and the player's relationship is so adversarial that the GM is willing to abuse the mechanic to get what they want, then maybe this is not the system for them in the first place.

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    Default Re: The Worlds Simplest Roleplaying System

    What it does is that basically any time your character dodges a bullet or escapes certain death, they take plot armor damage. Take enough of them, and your character will be actual danger of being eliminated from the story.
    Besides robbing the Game Master of some power (good) this mechanic also creates fail-safes for derailed play in a very... Mechanical fashion (bad). I personally don't think the price is worth it, but then: That's just me.
    The second is consequence handling, and this is more of a mentality rather than a rule. Here's the thing, Good GMs can make every failure into a potential for more story telling. Bad GMs make failure a zero sum game. In Prime Time Adventures, the book explicitly advises players that when they shape conflicts, they need to make sure that both consequences of the conflict can mean further plot development.
    This deserves a big Amen. Of course, I am of the opinion that sometimes, the consequence should be termination.
    Last one is scene framing restrictions
    So you're working on a count-down... Not my preferred way of doing things, because it lacks a certain.. Life, in my opinion. I've had previous game masters who stuck to a number of encounters per day (in-game), and it felt very robotic.

    One of the advantages over a solid system is a lack of control. Things can go wrong without people foreseeing it; players (and GMs alike) cannot always be in full understanding of the results of their actions, things can go wrong, and, especially, people can die. It is this risk that cautions people, but also keeps it realistic. And I don't mean 'realistic' in the sense of 'no magic and stuff,' but more along the lines of immersion. When nothing bad can reasonably happen to your character that isn't scripted, then the immersion factor will quickly fade away into nothingness. Of course, many systems, like DnD, have pushed aside this grand benefit of the danger factor. In DnD, it's relatively hard to die due to ever-increasing health-pools, and resurrection is incredibly common-place, should a character die. Not a good thing. But I feel any d20 system is a really bad example of the benefits of a solid system.

    Another great advantage of a solid system is that it quantifies and qualifies strengths and weaknesses, while allowing the player choice. A player can construct her character to suit her vision of said character, to a lesser or greater amount. Some games take the sandbox approach: Pick and choose (WoD is relatively sand-box). Other games cater to these needs by pumping out lots and lots of source book material character options (Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition is probably the best example of a zero flexibility game, while entertaining the illusion of choice). There are even games that are (nearly) fully scripted. There's a lot of indie RPGs where characters are pretty much pre-made, and the same thing goes for the story, plot and world.
    It is the sandbox character creation, though, that I wanted to empathize with this. The ability to pick abilities, physique and intelligence levels to fit the feel of your character, while at the same time limiting her power, preventing Drizzt Overload.

    What to do about character advancement?!
    This is a tough question. There are four possible ways to achieve advancement in a game:
    1: Levelling. Characters have power levels, and when they reach a threshold in story (or *shudders* XP) their power level increases by 1. This system is generally used for linear progression systems like d20, where the character attains a new power level in her role (by class).
    2: 'Loose' XP points, which can be spent on increasing the levels of attributes/skills. This system is more or less the same as system 1, with one huge difference: System 1 is a macro powerlevel system. System 2 is a micropowerlevel system. Each attribute/skill/ability effectively counts as a mini-class.
    3: Tech-level. This type of advancement is most prevalent in computer games. So much so, that other kinds of progression (innate progression or character development, if you will) is now the sole standard for deciding whether or not a digital game is an RPG. This type of advancement is completely gear-dependant, and revolves mostly around what the GM allows her players to have and gain within the story.
    4: Zero-progression. This is simply no progression at all. Characters are made, and then play a story. Very suiting for short stories or limited stories; there are actually quite a few ways in which to create a story that does not require any kind of character progression, even in systems that normally rely on progression. An example of this is the diplomacy-campaign, which revolves mostly around dark deals, cloak-and-dagger, and remorseless roleplay.
    Can any attribute be used with any skill - freely?!
    The answer to this is either yes, in which case attributes effectively no longer exist, and you should consider leaving them out entirely, or no, in which case an attribute becomes an archetype in and of itself. Not that the archetype does not need to be correct; being an acrobat does not make you a good archer (unlike the implications of the Dexterity attribute).
    Will adding dice be good - or is it better to encourage/force people to use their imagination?!
    Adding dice (a chance of failure) will surely raise the stakes, and will definitely remove at least some of the control from the players and GM. This is the reason for having dice: Change removes full control, which allows for a more... Alive experience. Having full control completely negates any notion of danger (since danger is fully artificial and can be imagined away at a whim without such a mechanic - see forum roleplay), but it also comes at the price of sometimes offering danger where it is least wanted (the hero could surely not get killed by a single goblin, right?)
    If your aim is purely co-op storytelling with a bunch of mary sues, then dice will not help your cause much. Dice do limit the superman capacity of any given character, after all. However, if you want the story to have unexpected turns, dynamics and edge-of-your-seat immersion, then sometimes, the characters have to be at least able to lose in a way that is not predetermined. And random chance does give that benefit.
    Last edited by Dryad; 2011-07-11 at 07:02 PM.

  20. - Top - End - #20
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    gkathellar's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Worlds Simplest Roleplaying System

    If your aim is purely co-op storytelling with a bunch of mary sues, then dice will not help your cause much. Dice do limit the superman capacity of any given character, after all. However, if you want the story to have unexpected turns, dynamics and edge-of-your-seat immersion, then sometimes, the characters have to be at least able to lose in a way that is not predetermined. And random chance does give that benefit.
    Saying that co-op storytelling is limited to mary sues and wish fulfillment is ... well, it's wrong, mostly. I'm not saying you don't encounter a lot of it, especially on the internet where people are sometimes ... yeah. But sometimes you have the rare pleasure of encountering it done well.

    That said, you're absolutely right that methods of conflict resolution are good. Even diceless games usually have systems for conflict resolution that allow players to make good or bad choices that have extensive consequences.
    Quote Originally Posted by KKL
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    DruidGirl

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    Default Re: The Worlds Simplest Roleplaying System

    Saying that co-op storytelling is limited to mary sues and wish fulfillment is ...
    I did not actually mean to imply that. What I meant to say is exactly what I wrote: If your aim is the mary-sue way, then dice might not be the way to go.

    Also, 'mary-sue,' while being a much despised method of writing, is hugely popular. It would be an error to assume it is automatically inferior, even if it isn't my cup of tea, and even if I don't expect to find many fans in the homebrew section. Its popularity proves that it must be the best method for a very large type of audience, many of whom enjoy roleplay just because of the mary-sue method: They get to be heroes, more-than-mundane, special.

  22. - Top - End - #22
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    Default Re: The Worlds Simplest Roleplaying System

    I know a simple system.

    Four words.

    "Rocks fall. Everyone dies."

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    Unless everyone's been lying to me and the next bunch of episodes are The Great Divide II, The Great Divide III, Return to the Great Divide, and Bride of the Great Divide, in which case I hate you all and I'm never touching Avatar again.

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