Monday, April 12, 2010

D6: They Shaved Rotwang!'s Brane!

UPDATE: I wrote this in a hurry at work. Therefore, it's even MORE stream-of-consciousness than my normal posts.

Yes, more D6 stuff. Specifically, that Spycraft thing and the cyberpunk thing. Yes, Erin Palette -- THE CYBERPUNK THING.

Okay. Car chases first.

Converting Spycraft's chase mechanics to D6 will, after some reflection, be easy but not as cut-and-dried as I originally thought. Reason being this: In Spycraft, the effects of a maneuver are often influenced by the results of an opposed roll (e.g. "Lead is increased by a number of length's equal to the prey's margin of success" and such). Now, in d20 games, your rolls are only gonna go so high; but in D6, that Wild Die can push totals up pretty far.

Trust me, I've seen it.

So I have two options, here: One, implement a rule that caps Wild Die results (inspired by Spycraft, incidentally); the other, to remove the "effects depending on margin" thing, in which case I'd need to rethink the effects of the maneuvers themselves.

Thing is -- I'm not a rules-monkey. In other words, I never really dream up alternate rules and stuff; my geni--uh, I really think more in terms of the presentation and the story and the shooting at pirates and the swooning and stuff.

I'm an artist, not a draftsman. Dig?

Still...what if...? So! Let's watch as I muse about this stuff out loud. Shall we? C'mon, it'll be fun. All the cool kids are doin' it!

  1. WILD DIE CAP: This is simple. With this rule in place, your first re-roll of a 6 on the Wild is free; however, if you roll another 6, it ain't gonna re-roll unless you pony up a Character Point. PROBLEM: Under the normal rules, a Character Point already gives you another Wild Die to roll. So this idea...I dunno. I mean, it sounds clever and stuff but...naaaah. Let's put this back in the oven.
  2. CHANGING HOW MANEUVER EFFECTS ARE IMPACTED BY BLAH BLAH: This might be the better way to proceed. It's possible that the range of rolls won't be THAT different, and at any rate, no driver/pilot/rider/etc. is ever going to make his car/plane/battlechicken move any faster than it possibly can go.
Hm. Playtesting...?

Now...the cyberpunk thing.

I have been struggling with my personal idea of a cyberpunk campaign for about...oh...ten, twelve years? I can never settle on a system, I keep waffling back and forth on the goals and activities for's a mess. It's in my head, but it's more of an atmosphere than a place.


Long story made short, Erin Palette talked me into not sucking and just saying OKAY DAMMIT I'LL USE D6 AS MY SYSTEM DAMMIT THAT'S IT DAMMIT DAMN DAMN DAMN (I added the second "damn") , so that's kinda taken care of -- kinda.

I say "kinda" 'cause -- look. Cyberspace, okay? Hacking. I want hacking rules. I want cyberspace cowboys to have neat, fun rules that are kind of a game in themselves; I want the 'deck to matter, I want the programs to matter. I want said cowboys to have options -- do I take a worm up against this data fortress, or do I want to smash at it with a jackhammer -- and how do these work in game terms?

That kind of thing.

I thought about a simple opposed roll mechanic with circumstantial bonuses being applied based on what programs are involved -- like, say, database so-and-so has a weakness that is easily exploitable by cypher jammers (whatever those are), so a hacker using one such might get a +2 or something. The idea is to make the activity of netrunning a kind of battle between the cowboy and the database, or AI, or other cowboy -- the better combatant wins, but everybody wants to have the edge when it comes to gear.

Very cyberpunk.

Peter Schweighofer kind of already did a lot of my work for me when he wrote up Dueling Blades, which is on that page I linked to just now. Dueling Blades works like this: Two fighters make opposed rolls, and the winner gets to have an effect on the loser. That effect varies by the margin of success, and the winner can choose any effect lower than the one he got, if that's what he wants. So is it just a matter of introducing a sub-mechanic in the form of those circumstantial mods that I mentioned before -- maybe expanding the chart a bit to make other things it in, too?

Pfffffffffffwwwwwwww. do you designy guys do this?!

Meanwhile, I have a little bit more of an anchor on my cyberpunk thing as a setting, and I owe it all to Walter Hill. Look:

See, Streets Of Fire doesn't take place in "The Real World" -- it's a rock-and-roll fable, set in another place, another time. To me, cyberpunk is the same: Where people say it's dated, I say it's its own thing. I say it's like rockets & rayguns -- a flavor.

And here's a bit of that flavor, the way it tastes on my tongue (not in visual terms but in emotional ones):