Since I was bored, I thought I might post some of the things I've been working on. I'd be curious if there was anyone on here that might be interested in some of them, which might focus my attention towards one of them over the others.
Since this post is fairly long already, here's a table of contents
Project 1: "Adventures of the Dragon Warrior" - Adventure Series/Campaign Setting
Project 2: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Lost World" - Adventure Series/Setting
Project 3: "Truerth" - Campaign Setting
Project 4: "Harn20" - Game System
Project 5: "Wrestle" - Game SystemProject 1: "Adventures of the Dragon Warrior"Premise
: Take the world and Story from the NES video game Dragon Warrior IV and adapt it for the purposes of a Table-Top Roleplaying Game.
The system I'm using is a home-brewed d20-lite (minimalist) system that uses just enough that anyone whose never played a TT-RPG can get into. Basically just enough rules that a new player can grasp in about 10 minutes.
The project will be designed and structured for 4 players, including the segments of the storyline that only feature a single character. For instance, in the original NES game, chapter 1 included only one character (Ragnar). I decided instead, that Ragnar would have 3 fellow soldiers as companions who were instead tasked with the mission of finding the missing children. Chapter 5 would with GM discretion either have the players choose one of the 8 main characters to play, leaving the 4 additional characters as GM controlled, perhaps allowing players to switch out different characters to give them the opportunity to try out different ones) or have each player control two of the main characters.
It's important to note that this game will not require players to spend hours wander around aimlessly stumbling upon random illogical encounters to gain XP to power up. In this respect this DW4 adaptation is more like your traditional RPG with scripted and unscripted encounters at various parts of the storyline.
Some of the storyline and locations have been modified so that players who may be familiar with the original game have a basic understanding of the premise, but can't just short-cut because they have out-of-game information. The draft I'm working on goes up to where the players enter Loch tower. If anyone would be interested in reading the draft, let me know.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Project 2: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "Lost World"Premise
: The Players join the return Expedition that Roxton and Malone are planning after the events of the original story. I may also eventually do a prequel adventure where the players can play the characters from the original story.
I'll probably be using a modified d20 System, though perhaps with some HM influences. See Project 4.
In addition to the Return Expedition, I'm also working on another adventure path where the players can take part in a shadow expedition led by a competing rival who wants to exploit the plateau/Lost World for their own ends. This could potentially work as a convention event where two competing groups of players compete against each other to see who will succeed, or perhaps the two rival expeditions cooperate and share the bounty offered by the plateau.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Project 3: "Truerth"Premise
: Truerth is an Alternate-Earth setting which uses the geography and world that we know to set fantasy adventures of magic and heroism.
Truerth started off in the late 90's as an AD&D shared Networld design project. After a few years, like many similar projects, the project suffered a slow death and collapse as people who were working on it moved onto other things. Original Truerth development was patchwork and illogical (but had some interesting ideas), such that you had a human kingdom somehow developing surrounded by dangerous monstrous threats. Parts of the land were carved off to different developers who while some attempted to develop connections between the various parts, development of various parts occurred in a vacuum.
In 2005 I contacted the original lead designer, and acquired access to all the original work that had survived including maps and writeups in html format. I stripped the entire setting of all the illogical parts, and put together a list of ideas that had potential. I put together a Primer on the setting dubbed Truerth II, but I didn't get very much further.
Fast-forward to 2009, I started from the ground up with a fresh re-write of ancient history. This was termed version 3, but like most gaming projects of mine fell by the way side.
Between 2010 and several months ago in 2012 I rewrote the history once again after not liking the ideas that had developed in version 3. This most recent version was termed version 4.
Fast-forward to two days ago (May 18, 2012), like any perfectionist game designer, I was not happy with the current version. After reading some of the ideas from versions 2 and 3, I tossed everything out, and am now working on a version 5 which will return to version 2 pantheistic aspects, as well as ideas from other settings that never got anywhere but will include all the good bits I've developed. I imagine that Truerth will always be a life-long project where I'll be writing and rewriting until my last days, and will take those who inherit my estate to say enough, let's just publish the damn thing
I can see the headline now: "Truerth, 50 years in the making... more unfinished work than Tolkien"
... not that I'm comparing myself to said author
Beyond that depressingly long history of rewriting, Truerth perhaps will have the most of my projects in common with Harn. Though it originally was a high-fantasy "D&D Kitchen sink" world, I'm aiming for a more gritty and realistic setting along the lines of HarnWorld. Though I'll probably include rules for other systems, I've always planned to include HM. With that said, when I got into Harn, I was inspired by the minimal intrusion of the rules into the core HarnWorld materials, such that game rules are purely optional when it comes to setting.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Project 4: "Harn20" or H20Premise
: To Harnify the d20 System to produce a game system that takes some of the good features of d20, and melds it with the good features of HM.
I am hereby officially claiming the term H20 for this project (There is also T20 for True20, and P20 for Perfect 20). And before anyone makes any puns, I just noticed that this could be called the "Water" System
Like anyone whose attempted to do a d20-Harn conversion document I've always liked the simplicity of the "roll d20 add modifiers to beat a specified DC". In 2003/04 I attempted to design a d20 mechanic that utilized the skill improvement mechanic (SDR's) to improve skill ranks, rather than using classes and levels. Skills would be capped at something like 15 ranks plus the applicable Ability Score bonus, so a character with a 16 intelligence (+3 bonus) would have a maximum skill rank of 18 on Intelligence based skills. The exact numbers will have to worked out through playtesting.
Each time a SDR is granted, the player rolls 1d20+Intelligence Bonus (plus perhaps the ability score of the skill in question) and attempts to exceed the current Skill rank. If successful, add one Skill Point to the skill. When a player accumulates 5 skill points in a specific skill, increment Skill Rank by +1. Thus each Skill point gained represents a +1% increase in skill (same as in HM's ML), but a character doesn't see any direct benefit until he acquires +5% worth of skill improvement.
Optional: Specialties would receive 2 Skill Points per SDR (same as in HM).
I plan to have something similar to True20's Toughness Save mechanic, or a lite version of HM.
Beyond the dice/task resolution mechanic which would be familiar to d20 players, I want H20 to have the same gritty feel while still feeling streamlined.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Project 5: "Wrestle"Premise
: Combine the aspects of Professional Wrestling meets RPG's.
I originally started work on this in 2002, and was planning a print release. I switched over to pdf distribution in late 2002, and got part of the core rulebook released in modules. I based the game off of d20 Modern, and used the Ability Score based Classes (Strong, Tough, Agile, etc). Wrestlers had skills, and feats, like d20, and also added wrestling moves. Sadly the game was rush through development. As I was going to school at the time (driving over an hour one way), I suffered burnout desperately trying to get it out.
Fast Forward 9 years to February 2012. I'm sitting unemployed with not much to do. I came across the pdf modules (all other development files including wrestler descriptions, and other content beyond that which was originally released), was lost to the sands of time on other computers. I started to feel nostalgic, and knew perhaps this time I could do the game better. At the time I came across True20, and after reading the quickstart rules, I was hooked. I splurged for the full True20 book (pdf only $10 at the time... don't know what it is now).
Originally I was planning to use classes and levels, but trying to work out how to handle wrestling moves (should they be like skills, or weapon proficiencies), I contemplated a Harn like skill improvement system as described in H20 above. After going back and forth on a few things, I settled on completely removing levels, removed saving throws (dex, con and wis checks work just as well), base attack, etc. Anything that had to do with level gain, and went with an organic training and experience system.
Every match a wrestler competes the player keeps track of every skill or wrestling move they used. The player gets an automatic SDR on the skill they used the most, and the player can choose 3+Int bonus number of other wrestling moves to get SDR's in. Outside of wrestling matches, depending on how much time a character has available to train (less if they have a full time job outside the business, or if they are on the road, etc) negotiated between Referee and Player. For each week where a wrestler can train, they get a certain number of points they can put to improving skills by giving them SDR's.
Feats ended up getting completely dropped since as characters wouldn't have levels, there was no way to define when and how characters got feats (since they were based on character level). The alternative was the player could spend training points to purchase new feats, but that posed a problem. Consider Weapon Focus (or Wrestling Move Focus in this case), which gives a +1 bonus to a Weapon. That's equivalent to 5 automatically successful SDR rolls. However much it'd cost to 'purchase' weapon focus, it should be equivalent to what the wrestler could do to improve Skill Ranks normally.