Actual Play: 2D10 at Camp

Last week, I worked at a youth camp with an amazing group of middle school kids who were excited to play Dungeons & Dragons. One of them had received the Stranger Things box set and was eager to play. It was fun to help them learn basic rules, encourage them to try out stuff, and join in the excitement. About halfway through, I told them I’d run my own game – a quick round of 2D10.

Notes from the Session

Character creation was fast and easy. The players mastered the process quickly and went a little wild with their heroes. When playing a free form game, it is always a challenge to develop boundaries on special abilities (feats) as well as occupations. One player wanted to play a Necromancer, so we had to fine tune it. What can a Necromancer do and not do? Some of them wanted to be able to summon a giant eagle as their hero’s power. While I was resistant, I went for it. Would summoning a giant eagle work in the sewers? Does it take time for the eagle to arrive? This highlighted both the speed and flexibility of 2D10 but also some challenges. Can a less experienced GM know how to sort out boundaries?

With heroes in hand, I drafted a quick but messy adventure that challenged the players with moral choices over and over. The Golden King in his Golden City was besieged, so the King’s captain summoned the heroes from across time and space to aid or rescue their liege. Obviously, it was a one shot, so I didn’t have time for a deep origin story. The catch was that the heroes had 30 minutes before the castle’s defenses would be obliterated by winged demons. The heroes had to figure out how to enter the city to reach the castle, whether to save time by rescuing an abandoned child and her mother, barter with old colleagues and mysterious strangers, and then make an ultimate choice once they met the King and learned what was actually going on.

I’m being vague because I may write it up as a short 2D10 download.

While the adventure didn’t completely work since we ran out of time, the players did gain extra time throughout by promising to do things for their colleagues or for rescuing certain people. This allowed them to stretch their options for making choices. Battle wasn’t the only route to get to the interior castle and confront the King, but the lack of time also hampered the ability a bit to make the final moral choice really hit home. One of the players noted that the story didn’t completely fit. I’ll definitely tweak this when I write it up for others to have fun with.

Mechanical Stuff

I was really pleased by the dice rolling. Success was possible, but the players also rolled low enough to add some natural tension. It made things challenging. I am going to think about a passive type option, like 5E’s passive perception, since I don’t really like heroes rolling to find secret doors and stuff too often. Tedious rolling is lame!

We utilized the optional Magic Points rule, since most of their characters wanted to cast spells. We didn’t use it religiously. I’d really prefer for players to spend the magic points to add to rolls for success, making those resources finite. For this game, I asked them to subtract one for each spell they cast. It was simple, but magic points have potential for other uses.

However, if I plan to modify 2D10, I will change the Occupations modifier. The players forgot about the +5 modifier. Was it confusing? I can improve that with a simple character sheet or make it easier like doubling your attribute if you use the Occupation for a relevant action. Stay tuned.

My Conclusion?

All in all, though, it was fun to game with some youngsters! 2D10 was a blast to play!

2D10 RPG is now Creative Commons licensed

Another nice post of good news –

The 2D10 RPG, in all of its one page rules of glory, is now officially Creative Commons licensed. You can use it to create your own works of creativity and imagination, as long as you give some attribution. I am glad there are fans and writers who see it as something valuable to use to power your own games and creations.

(And special thanks to Shawn E. for encouraging me to make this change.)

I am linking a very simple formatted of the basic rules with the license embedded (via Dropbox), but I will find a more formal way to upload this on the 2D10 page soon.

If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments or send me a quick email.

2D10 Gets Some Fixes in This New Year

Thanks to some helpful eyes from a fellow fan, I was able to correct a couple of errors in the 2D10 RPG Rules and Extra Rules documents available on DriveThruRPG. It’s a New Year, so why not begin with this kind of bang? I am thankful for all the feedback I’ve received on these super simple rulesets, and I do have some more plans in the coming year, including a small printable compendium which will have some extra stuff in it.

In other industry news, Mystic Ages Publishing fully supports all efforts to make this a hobby that is safe, where abuse has no place. While I haven’t attended any conventions in years and am not really part of the industry (at best having a few PYWYW games), I support those efforts and will commit to only attending and supporting events that have clear procedures about working to build safe environments for vulnerable people. It’s important to me, and it should be important to all of us.

Stay tuned!

Updated 2D10 RPG Available

In honor of Teach Your Kids to Game week, I’ve updated the one page 2D10 RPG with a bit of editing, some slight adjustments, and font changes (hopefully to improve readability). You can get it for free from RPGNow. I still have been pondering a change to Occupations to turn the whole system into a dice pool – you roll an extra D10 if you use Occupations, Feats, and/or Special Items in play but keep the highest two rolls. Consider that a way to mess with the system if you find it is too easy for some heroes to wipe out goblins or space lords or whatever.

I will update some of the other PDFs and introduce a mini-setting in the upcoming week.

— Nathan