I’ve posted a roleplaying game from the archives for you to download, read through, and enjoy. Consider this post the feedback thread if you want to share ideas or questions.
Extinction was an entry to a Mecha RPG Design contest. I cobbled it together fairly quickly based on some ideas that had been ruminating. While the game is mostly playable, it’s pretty simple and a bit of a mess. The rules could be more tightly focused and simplified. I’m not sure the premise is the most unique, but there are some sweet ideas in there.
I had been working on an updated version of this, but for now, I’ll just put this “ashcan” version out in the wild again. Enjoy!
I am proud to introduce WATERHACK, a game I’ve been working on in the background for a while and decided to just get it over the finish line.
WATERHACK is a post-apocalyptic roleplaying game set in a quasi-future where water and liquids are really scarce, and everyone is thirsty. It uses some inspiration from David Black’s Black Hack, which is a great take on OSR fantasy roleplaying, with six stats and a roll under on a D20. Add in some Jack Vance style humor, gonzo journalism, irreverence, and recognition of the struggle for water. Oh, and fun!
It will drop on DriveThruRPG on Friday, March 19.
Here’s a preview:
The greatest environmental collapse of Earth didn’t happen overnight – the disaster unfolded in slow motion. The rain stopped coming, for all kinds of reasons. The scientists admitted it was probably humanity’s fault, but it wasn’t permanent so no one should get worked up about it. Water sources were drained rapidly over the next hundred years or so. Lush forests turned brown and crackled under the heat of the blistering sun. Rain faded to a distant memory. Only the rich could waste their precious drops on a shower. The lack of hydration became the new normal.
Add in an unhealthy dash of war, violence, and nationalism. Once wells and lakes dried up, the people packed up and moved to where they could get a drop or two of refreshment. Limited supplies meant harsh measures. Harsh measures meant anger, desperation, and chaos. Bombs, tanks, guns, spears, hockey sticks, dirty socks – whatever people had at hand became a tool to secure nourishment for their families. Some supposedly decent types even resorted to unthinkable and disgusting means to slate their parched bodies.
Whether nuclear bombs actually dropped at some point is a matter of debate. Some travelers have claimed to witness giant craters where cities used to be, tingling waves of energy melting your hair off in less than ten seconds the closer you got. Others think they’re just seeing things and need a drink.
Typically, whenever someone does find water, word gets around. People in armored cars roar in, claiming they got there first and if you don’t like it say hello to a sawed off shotgun. Religious cults descend in droves with bombs made out of old potted plants, smiling to win you over and dropping edicts that label you a heretic by morning. Cousins and aunts you didn’t know you had show up for hugs and handouts and a long sip.
Of course, this is where the heroes of this story come in – Accountants. Accountants are unlikely heroes who waltz in and out of danger to keep everything fair and negotiate some kind of peace. When wasteland warlords or drought- plagued mayors need help, they call in the nearest wandering Accountants to make life… a little easier. After all, water is life.
You get to play an Accountant, and if you’ve got the guts and ingenuity, you’ll leave the world a little less thirsty and a little safer for everyone else.
Welcome to the Waterless Wastes.
As with all of my products, I’ll be looking to respond to feedback and make adjustments for balance, gameplay, and fun.
In 2016, I released Debate Night in America based off of a Halloween game night of Cthulhu-inspired fun, mixing horror and election season tension. Because it’s been four years and we are back in the midst of a contentious election, why not revise it a bit? While the adventure still has great bones, I spent the day fixing some grammatical errors and adding some tidbits here and there to fill plot holes and round out possibilities for the adventure. Ultimately, you get about 5 more pages of goodness in all.
Elections really do matter, and while this little adventure is fun and a bit hectic, let’s not pretend that your vote won’t make a difference. It will! We can stop fascism! We can stop hate! We can make the world lurch one more step toward equality and care for all people.
It’s a small update, but it corrects some typos, missing periods, and slight layout issues. I definitely have a few more things to work on along those lines, so look for a future update which makes the layout a little cleaner (or more interesting).
The rule fix is that wizards and clerics now can only cast a number of spells each day equal to their maximum hit points. In addition, I cleaned up and simplified the Rest section which added confusion to the spell casting rules. Now, a rest can either provide full HP back, half HP, or no HP, depending on the difficulty and unpredictability of a party’s evening.
I also added a sentence or two.
Long term, I am still working on the teachable character sheet, but I am also thinking about completely changing the defense roll aspect when it is the monster’s turn to attack. In this route, your Defense roll would not go against Dexterity, making it the most important stat of the game, but a new stat that is a combination of armor + hit points + any other bonuses. This would make things both more difficult for heroes and interesting for everyone else. A Warrior would still have a clear edge, but spells and special abilities could really help other classes too. We’ll see how it shakes out.
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.