You know what, fuck rules. Fuck systems. Fuck limitations. Let's dial the tabletop RPG system down to its roots. Let's throw out every stat but one: Awesomeness. When you try to do something that could fail, roll for Awesomeness. If your roll is more than your awesomeness stat, you win. If not, you lose. If you are or have something that would benefit you in that situation, roll for awesomeness twice and take the higher value.
Just you and me and nature in the battlefield.
Etc. Don't think too hard. Let a roll of the dice decide if you are unsure.
Here are some probably balanced awesomeness base stats depending on what kind of dice you are using:
Here's an example character sheet:
Name: Awesomeness: Race: Class: Inventory: *
That's it. You don't even need the race or class if you don't want to have it.
You can add more if you feel it is relevant for your character. If your character is a street brat that has experience with haggling, then fuck it be the most street brattiest haggler you can. Try to not overload your sheet with information, this game is supposed to be simple. A sentence or two at most is good.
The World is a character that other systems would call the Narrator, the Pathfinder, Dungeon Master or similar. Let's strip this down to the core of the matter. One player doesn't just dictate the world, they are the world.
The World also controls the monsters and non-player characters. In general, if you are in doubt as to who should roll for an event, The World does that roll.
These are things you can do to make the base game even more tailored to your group. Whether you should do this is highly variable to the needs and whims of your group in particular.
So, one problem that could come up with this is that bad luck could make this not as fun. As a result, add these two rules in:
This should add up so that luck would even out over time. Players that have less luck than usual will eventually get their awesomeness evened out so that luck will be in their favor.
In this mod, rip out Awesomeness altogether. When two parties are at odds, they both roll dice. The one that rolls higher gets what they want. If they tie, both people get a little part of what they want. For extra fun do this with six-sided dice.
Use your imagination! Ask others if you are unsure!
This is not essential but it may help.
Okay so basically monsters fall into two categories: peons and bosses. Peons should be easy to defeat, usually requiring one action. Bosses may require more and might require more than pure damage to defeat. Get clever. Maybe require the players to drop a chandelier on the boss. Use the environment.
In general, peons should have a very high base awesomeness in order to do things they want. Bosses can vary based on your mood.
Adjustable awesomeness should affect monsters too.
Take a setting from somewhere and roll with it. You want to do a cyberpunk jaunt in Night City with a sword-wielding warlock, a succubus space marine, a bard netrunner and a shapeshifting monk? Do the hell out of that. That sounds awesome.
Don't worry about accuracy or the like. You are setting out to have fun.
Special thanks goes to Jared, who sent out this tweet that inspired this document. In case the tweet gets deleted, here's what it said:
heres a d&d for you
you have one stat, its a saving throw. if you need to roll dice, you roll your save.
you have a class and some equipment and junk. if the thing you need to roll dice for is relevant to your class or equipment or whatever, roll your save with advantage.
oh your Save is 5 or something. if you do something awesome, raise your save by 1.
no hp, save vs death. no damage, save vs goblin. no tracking arrows, save vs running out of ammo.
thanks to @Axes_N_Orcs for this
What's So Cool About Save vs Death?
can you carry all that treasure and equipment? save vs gains
Can you get more minimal than this?
when two or more parties are at odds, all roll dice. highest result gets what they want.
This document is really just this twitter exchange in more words so that people less familiar with tabletop games can understand it more easily. You know you have finished when there is nothing left to remove, not when you can add something to "fix" it.
I might put this on my itch.io page.
This article was posted on M12 19 2020. Facts and circumstances may have changed since publication. Please contact me before jumping to conclusions if something seems wrong or unclear.
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The art for Mara was drawn by Selicre.
The art for Cadey was drawn by ArtZora Studios.