Principia Discordia

Principia Discordia => Propaganda Depository => RPG Ghetto => Topic started by: Kurt Christ on January 29, 2011, 06:43:39 pm

Title: Kurt's Homebrew Shitfest
Post by: Kurt Christ on January 29, 2011, 06:43:39 pm
I wasn't sure whether to put this here or Bring and Brag, so admins please move it back and forth repeatedly to piss each other off.
I made this for a timed RPG creation contest on /tg/, which had the stipulation that the core mechanic must use 2d6. Note that, due to time constraints, this didn't include everything I wanted to put in it (it's a very barebones system, and I wanted to throw in some examples for use or inspiration), but this is the version that was submitted at deadline. Also, the setting seeds were written by a collaborator, not me, but I wanted to present the entire submission to you spags.
Star Sopranos

Star Sopranos is a tabletop roleplaying game of space opera. To play this game, you will need two six-sided dice, some paper and a writing utensil. But, if you're here, it's safe to assume you know what a tabletop RPG is and generally how to play, so let's get down to the nitty-gritty.

Character Creation

Star Sopranos is designed to have a very simple character generation system, to facilitate creation of characters on the fly for impromptu games.
Step 1- Character concept
Space pirate with a heart of gold, rebellious half-breed son of an alien warlord, hotshot pilot looking to make his name in the space fleet. You fuckos know what a character concept is. Moving on.
Step 2- Attributes
This game has only two attributes for player characters- Body and Mind. Body rates your character's physical prowess, mind their mental and social aptitude. You have four points to spend on these attributes- you do not automatically start with points in either, but you are allowed to have a 0 in an attribute- you can still make rolls based upon it, you just do so without the positive modifier an attribute gives you.
Step 3- Skills
Skills in this game are very broad, both to make character creation and bookkeeping easier and to line up more with character archetypes than a real person's aptitudes are likely to. The skills are Nature (how well you can get along with animals, survive in wilderness unaided, etc.), Piloting (operating starships and other crafts), Astrography (knowledge of the places in the known universe and their associated cultures), Ranged Combat (shooting stuff), Close Combat (punching/chopping stuff), Science (technobabble), Socialize (smooth-talkery), and Crafts(making shit that doesn't qualify as technobabble). You have seven points to split between these.
Step 4- Equipment
The name of this section, while it describes the most common use of these points, is somewhat of a misnomer. Equipment points are also use to buy mutations, cybernetic implants, and psi powers. To represent the ubiquitous technology present in most space opera settings, players are given twenty-four points to spend on equipment.

When your character takes an action, roll 2d6 to determine the result. On unopposed checks, the result of the die roll is compared to a target number to evaluate success or failure. On opposed checks, if the defender rolls seven or more lower than the initiator, the action is successful. If the defender rolls lower than the initiator, but by six or less, the action fails, but the defender takes a cumulative -1 modifier on further attempts to resist the action until they have had time to recover. If the defender wins, the action fails outright- ties are considered wins for the defender. This type of check most frequently occurs in combat, in which a failure on the defender's part results in death or unconsciousness. Most rolls will be made using the following formula:
2d6 + Attribute + Skill + Equipment +(-) Situational Modifiers
Some rolls do not have a related skill, and only add an attribute. Some examples of what kinds of how rolls for each skill are handled:
Most Nature checks will use Mind as the attribute, such as foraging for food or calming an animal. Surving harsh weather conditions could be done with either Mind or Body, depending on how one's character goes about it.
Any maneuver made while in a vehicle uses Piloting as the relevant skill, with Body or Mind being chosen as the attribute based on the GM's felling of which best suits the situation (manual dexterity or fast-thinking). When piloting a ship with an advanced computer system, it's System ranking can be substituted for the pilot's Attribute. Piloting is used when operating a ship's weapons, rather that either normal combat skill.
This skill will almost never be used with Body. Astrography checks are used in plotting starship courses, recognizing alien species as what they are, and determining knowledge of the culture of far-away planets. For example, a failed Astrography check when encountering an exotic culture for the first time could lead to social a faux pas that causes a substantial penalty on Socialize rolls with members of the culture, while a failed check when navigating could throw your ship into the wrong sector of space entirely.
Ranged Combat
You use this to shoot lasers at people. You can also use it to shoot other things, too, but why would you want to? A ranged attack is made with 2d6+Body+Ranged Combat+your Equipment bonus. The defender rolls 2d6+Body+Equipment- there is no relevant skill for resisting ranged combat, unless the weapon is fired point blank, in which case Close Combat can be added to the resisting roll.
Close Combat
Punching people or swinging swords at them fall into this category. Attacks are resolved as 2d6+Body+Close Combat+ Equipment (if any), versus the defender's 2d6+Body+Close Combat+ Armor (if any). Close combat also add to a character's roll to avoid damage from point-blank ranged weapons.
Science can be used to work on space ships and robotics, to perform medical procedures, and various other applications of knowledge. In starship combat, Science rolls can be used to boost the power of shields or weapons temporarily, at the cost of depowering other features. Roll 2d6+Mind+Science+Equipment- difficulty 10 to give a +1 to one feature, 11 to give a + 2, etc. to a maximum of +10.Success either reroutes power from another feature, giving it a penalty equal to the bonus for the duration of the bonus (such as rerouting power from the thrusters into the main cannon- maximum duration of a day, but it can be ended early if desired), or overloads the piece of equipment, giving it a bonus for a day, then a penalty until it is repaired (with a difficulty of 5+the penalty on a Science roll). To perform medical procedures with a Science roll, you must succeed on a roll with a difficulty of (2 + accumulated damage penalties) to remove one point of the penalty. Rolls for this can only be made once per hour per subject.
This skill covers social interaction, especially trying to sway others in your favor. Its primary function is the seduction of green-skinned space babes, but rumors abound of it being used for other, arcane purposes, such as “diplomacy.” If your character is using true arguments to attempt to sway others, it is treated as unopposed with a difficulty set by the other party's hostility (9 for friendly, 12 for neutral, 15 for negatively predisposed, 18 for hostile). If your character is lying, whether the other party believes the lie is settled by opposing rolls of 2d6+Mind+Socialize. Unlike in combat, the defender only has to fail by one for the lie to be believed.
This skill is used to create and repair more low-tech items, as well as technology that has become extremely commonplace. Repairing damaged equipment can be done with a roll of 2d6+Mind+Crafts+Equipment with a difficulty of (4+the accumulated penalty on the equipment due to damage). I couldn't begin to cover all of the random shit people might decide to make here, so I'm not going to try. GM's discretion for the difficulty of crafting non-bonus giving items- items that give bonuses should be made at a difficulty of (4+2*the bonus given).

Equipment- this is the real meat of the game. Rather than attempt to stat every possible piece of futuristic hardware you could imagine, this game provides you with a generic set of bonuses and tags with which to construct equipment. Personal-scale equipment cannot exceed a +5 bonus; however, starships behave by a different set of rules than other equipment, given after the personal equipment rules.
Range weapons cost two equipment points per each point of bonus they add to attack rolls.
Close combat weapons cost one equipment point per each point of bonus they add to attack rolls.
Armor costs one equipment point per point of bonus it gives to rolls to resist damage.
Non-combat tools cost one equipment point per point of bonus they give to relevant rolls (generally, a tool should only be able to add to one skill, and bonuses it gives to other skills should be payed for separately).
Tags (tags are applied on top of basic the functions listed above):
Mutation/Obvious Cybernetic Enhancement: +1 Cost, cannot be disarmed, but the feature is easily noticeable by others as abnormal.
Psi power/Discrete Cybernetic Enhancement- +2 cost, cannot be disarmed, not easily detectable.
Ablative- this tag can only be applied to armor. Ablative armor gives two points of protection for each equipment point spent on it, and can be bought up to +10 on a personal scale, in exception to the normal rules governing personal scale armor; however, ablative armor accrues a -1 every time it adds to a roll, regardless of success or failure, and when the penalty to rolls exceeds the original bonus offered by the armor, it is destroyed completely. Ablative armor can be repaired before destruction by a Crafts roll as normal.
Obvious- this piece of equipment is nearly impossible to hide (probably due to size, but it might make noise instead). -2 cost for tools and close combat weapons, -1 cost for ranged weapons.
Nonlethal- your weapons knocks an opponent out instead of killing. +1 if you can choose between nonlethal and lethal damage for the weapon, -1 if it only deals nonlethal.
Multi-tool- items with this tag combine multiple Functions in a single item. You only need the one thing, but if you lose it, you lose all of the functions, and damage causes penalties to all functions. Cost +0
Multi-targeting- The weapon can target multiple enemies. Cost +3 for each additional target possible.
Vehicles, such a starships and mecha, are built somewhat similarly to characters. They have two attributes and their own features; however, they lack skills, and and have a slightly different set of attributes- System and Structure.
Equipment points can be pooled among a party to construct shared vehicles.
System can be bought at a rate of 3 per equipment point spent- vehicles without any computer can use the pilot's Mind or Body (whichever is more appropriate to the circumstances) in place of their system of 0 for rolls. System is added to rolls for attacking with ship weapons and to rolls for maneuvering.
Structure can be bought at a rate of 5 per equipment point spent. Structure is added to rolls to resist damage.
Features for a starship are equivalent to equipment, and some equipment tags can be used for them. Penetrating and Multi-targeting can be bought for starship weapons- starships have their own variant of ablative armor.
Weaponry for ships can be bought at a rate of +5 per equipment point spent, but weapons of +10 or higher bonuses, a round must be spent cooling down before the weapon can be fired again. At +20 it becomes two rounds, and so on at every increment of 10. It is therefor advised to have alternating weapons on ships expecting to see much combat.
Shielding can be bought at a rate of +10 per equipment point spent. Shields must be brought down before firing weapons, and it takes a turn's action to reactivate them.
Ablative armor for starships is bought at the same rate as shielding, but does not need to be removed before firing weapons. It has the same drawback as personal scale ablative armor.
Points in thrusters are bought with equipment points at a one for one basis. One point in thrusters enables travel at 10% lightspeed, two points in thrusters enabled travel at 25% lightspeed, three points in thrusters enables travel at 50% lightspeed, four points in thrusters enables travel at 75% lightspeed, fige points in thrusters enables travel at lightspeed, and six points in thrusters enables arbitrarily fast FTL travel.

Personal combat
At the start of combat, all participants roll 2d6+Body+Mind top determine initiative . Highest results goes first, then the order proceeds down until you reach the lowest result, and the highest rolle rthen goes again. Reroll to sort out ties.
Attacks are resolved by the attacker rolling 2d6+Body+(Close Combat or Ranged combat)+Weapon Bonuses and the defender rolling 2d6+Body+(Close combat if applicable)+Armor Bonuses. If the the defender wins (tie go to the defender), nothing happens and it moves on the the next character's turn. If the attacker wins by less than seven, the defender takes a -1 penalty to all rolls to resist damage until they have healed (naturally at a rate of eliminating one point of penalty per day). If the attacker wins by seven or more, the defender dies or drops unconscious, as appropriate to the damage type.

Vehicle Combat
At the start of combat all participants roll 2d6+System+Piloting (of primary operator if the ship has a multiple person crew) to determine initiative. Aside from the roll involved, this behaves the same as initiative in personal combat.
Attacks are resolved by the attacker rolling 2d6+System+Piloting+Weapon Bonuses and the defender rolling 2d6+Structure+Armor Bonuses+Shielding Bonuses. A defending ship is destroyed if it fails its roll by more than seven- if it fails by less than seven, it takes a cumulative -1 penalty on future rolls as defender until it is repaired.
I may update this thread with other homebrew projects, guaranteed to be (mostly) free of methanol.
Title: Re: Kurt's Homebrew Shitfest
Post by: Kurt Christ on January 29, 2011, 06:44:29 pm
Continued for length...this entire post was the portion I didn't do.
Setting Seeds
Manifest Destiny
Let the sweet fresh breezes heal me
As they rove around the girth
Of our lovely mother planet
Of the cool, green hills of Earth.
We've tried each spinning space mote
And reckoned its true worth:
Take us back again to the homes of men
On the cool, green hills of Earth.
The arching sky is calling
Spacemen back to their trade.
And the lights below us fade.
Out ride the sons of Terra,
Far drives the thundering jet,
Up leaps a race of Earthmen,
Out, far, and onward yet ---
We pray for one last landing
On the globe that gave us birth;
Let us rest our eyes on the fleecy skies
And the cool, green hills of Earth.

Robert A. Heinlein
As Mankind welcomed on the 22nd century, it seems as though we had finally uncovered every mystery Earth had to offer. We covered the globe in our civilization, destroying the unknown and replacing it with sleek metal-and-glass habitations. Even the oceans, once thought of as the last frontier Earth offered us, had been plundered, cities floating through the oceans at all depths, drifting through the dark bellies of the sea like spaceships. Earth grew boring, nothing more than a planet fully discovered and fully exploited. I suppose it was our hunger that led us to the stars, a hunger for a challenge, for things we had never seen.
The nations of the world had vanished midway through the previous century in bloody warfare, giving rise to a governing body that was only slightly descended from the governments of the Divided Earth, and instead mostly made up of the CEOs of various megacorporations who had been controlling the world for decades. It was these companies that started the second Space Race.
Aside from simple experiments with rockets and shuttles, interest in space had dwindled as the wars which equalized humanity grew fiercer. Now, however, the private sector took the remains of these spacecraft and quickly leapt to seed the stars with Mankind. In years, we had established a permanent city upon Luna. A decade later, terraforming started on both Mars and Venus, and after only twenty-seven years of work, three planets now teemed with humans and the animals we brought with us. But still, it was not enough.
Technology rapidly increased, as each company sought to please its stockholders with various achievements. Space stations in the orbits of gas giants, reheating the seas of Europa, mining operations in Sparkling Seas of Uranus, but it wasn’t until another fifty years had passed that we finally left Sol.
Six of largest megacorporations launched their own fleets of colony ships, departing along each axis of the three dimensions. Great metal crafts, filled with thousands upon thousands of people, the colony ships were a wonder to behold. Rather than wasting resources on the complex generation of stasis fields or with dangerous cryosleep, the occupants of the ships simply lived out their lives aboard their new drifting homes. Even at near-light speeds, it took decades for them to reach stars, longer still to find planets.
As the ships made their long voyage, with no true destination other than forward, humanity spread across the Cosmos, leaving in its wake rough frontier worlds, recently terraformed but still unexplored. Only handfuls of people were left to each planet, usually no more than five thousand.
Returning to Earth was not likely for any of these billions of explorers, but they saw that not as a downside but rather as true freedom. With the same frontier spirit that had filled American homesteaders who settled the West, these men and women would make their home in the stars, be it in the ships which marched ever onward or upon new planets teeming with new life.

The Star Wanderers
Have you ever been alone?
Fighting your own war?
Someone stole the life from you,
And now they're back for more.
Your heart is on the floor
Beating out of control;
Oh, I don't want this anymore.

So I'll be sailing on
Out into Bermuda Blue.
Compass needle breaks
Like the heart I gave to you.
I've been laying down in the Devil's lair;
Sailing into the sun, I'll be baptized there

Rarely is war kind to the losers, and this was certainly true of those who lost the Venusian Rebellion. They had been a motley assortment of the lower classes and criminals sent to a deadly world of sulfuric rain and constant volcanism, working for the remainder of their lives. The entire planet was a tinderbox, and a single riot in New Kimberley turned into an uprising in mines across the surface. Not even attempting an attack on Earth, the rebels simply attempted to eke out a living in the hellish landscape, but Earth never gave them a chance.
The invasion was costly for the soldiers of the New Earth Army, but despite the rebels familiarity with the planet, the NEA eventually won out. Rounding up every prisoner they could find, the citizens of Earth banished the rebels from Sol. Taking no chances that they might ever return, the prisoners were loaded into a single craft, the E.V. Exile, which contained a prototype Shift-type drive. Smaller tests had been done with this form of “propulsion” which essentially simply teleported the craft it was attached to a random distance and random direction away.
The Exile had enough power for ten shifts and the supplies needed to sustain exiles for several years. Without a moment's hesitation, the Exile was launched. As the Shift drive charged and fired, fifty thousand people had their lives changed forever. And they could not have expected what they would find.
The Exile had reappeared in the midst of an alien war, fought between the warlike Kaij, a race of scaled humanoids with an extra set of arms at the back of their shoulders, and the Compact, a small coalition of over thirty different species who simply couldn't hold their own against the Kaij. The exiles were lucky as their oppressors had not been entirely cruel and had given them enough weapons to defend themselves from threats they might have encountered.
The exiles quickly became the heroes to the Compact, already used to living in terrible conditions and most with military experience during the Venusian Rebellion. The war was far from one-sided, but the sudden appearance of the Exile shifted the tables towards neutrality. A temporary truce was established, and the exiles quickly learned all they could about their new home.
The Star Wanderers, as the Compact called the exiles, were now deep in a heavily populated arm of what earthly astronomers call the Andromeda Galaxy. It held countless habituated worlds which in turn supported a myriad of various alien races and cultures. The Kaij and the Compact were simply two of many, and rumors gleaned from Kaij diplomats spoke of a militaristic empire from the galaxy's core which was slowly pressing forward, sparking the Kaij to flee for safer space.
Aboard the Exile, the recent heroes still debate their course of action. Do they stay and attempt to fight off the encroaching empire, digging down and making a home for themselves where the first Shift placed them? Or do they power up the Shift drive and continue their journey, letting Luck and Fate steer their journey across the stars?