Current Projects

Sorry for the delay folks. I’ve been diving into the job search pretty heavily lately, so my writing time has been limited.

Right now I’m looking to start up a new game locally. Here’s a rough list of what I’m looking for in a game system. If anyone has any suggestions let me know. I may just end up custom making a system. Right now Risus and Lady Blackbird look like good rules light bases, though they may need some tweaking to handle extended play. I might also adapt Mezzo, but the looming threat structure I’m going for is a bit different from the rising arc built into Mezzo.


Primary Features

These are must haves given the time I’ve got to work with.

Quick Start – The game should take no more than 10 to 15 minutes from opening the book to start of play. Think board game rules or rules light games (under a dozen pages?).

Quick Characters – Character creation should be fast and start with broad strokes. Ideally, it should take no more than a few minutes to whip out a new character.

Emergent Detail – Characters and setting elements should naturally gain additional detail and complexity through the course of play. This can include gaining new traits, abilities, and relationships as part of play and scene development.

Room to Grow – The system should allow for increases in character ability without breaking down.

Secondary Features

These are pretty important, but might not be essential.

Rise to the Challenge – The main character’s growth in power is in response to a more powerful threat or challenge.

Bonus Features

These aren’t strictly needed, but are definite marks in the system’s favor.

Team Growth – As the main characters progress, they should start forming a cohesive team. This may involve each gaining both tactical (fixer, protector, etc..) as well as relational roles (leader, team heart, etc..). Another option is providing traits that emphasize those shared bounds (ex. boosted recovery while allies are present).

Motive Hooks – Even starting characters should have a built in motive attached to their narrative function. For villains, they should have a motive for why they’re bringing the threat into play. For protagonists, they should have a motive for why they’re opposing the villain. Bonus points if the motive can provide surges of will and effort at dramatically appropriate moments.


I’m currently favoring the following for my game. This does seem to combine elements of the heroes journey, “zero to hero” growth, and heroic team or sentai oriented play.

Call to Adventure – Characters should start as relatively ordinary folks faced with an unusual situation that forces them to test their limits.

Power comes from Need – While characters can grow in power, they should generally do so to match an even more powerful threat. If the next threat is around their power level, growth should be more about increasing breadth and depth than about more power.

All for One, One for All – A strong sense of team spirit and uniting against a common foe have a definite appeal.

Published in: on October 14, 2011 at 11:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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