Author Archives: Kyle

Revising Hacking in Street Rats

Street Rats has actually been seeing updates the past couple weeks, despite me not posting about them here. Part of the reason for this is because there haven’t been a whole ton of progress on bits that I consider particularly interesting, more just on things that have to get done to get a finished  game out. There have been some adjustments in plans. First, most of the setting is getting cut from the main book; some brief blurbs will be available, but Phoenix in the UAS will be the only setting place to get wide coverage. I want to keep Street Rats’ total running length below 300 pages, and something had to be cut.

One of the other things getting “cut” is the hacking rules as they stand. Right now they are not only bulky, but they’re too similar to other games on the market that have widespread problems on account of… their hacking systems. Hacking should be both a robust experience and a quick one, so it is getting new and exceptional mechanics; this puts it a little outside the rest of Street Rats, but when dealing with cyberspace such things are necessary.

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FOURS: Fast, Open, Universal Roleplaying System

FOURS is a product of my mind last night. It’s a 24-hour game of very simple rules with a storytelling focus, and it’s free.

My main goals in creating FOURS were to make a game with a lot of simple mechanics, which would be accessible to a novice. It also serves as an attempt to translate the Hero’s Journey into GM instructions, and make a 24-hour game (technically, FOURS is more like a 6-8 hour game, but I digress) with full art, though some of that is limited.

Without further ado, may the FOURS be with you.

FOURS

Street Rats Alpha 2.0 Released

Keeping on course with the weekly update schedule I’ve been attempting, Street Rats Alpha 2.0 has been released. If you’ve been playing Street Rats already, you might wind up having (or wanting) to remake your character, as there have been significant changes to the character creation process and some of the Duties have been tweaked and rebalanced. More after the break.

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Thursday Review: Apocalyptia

I’m getting back into doing the occasional review; these will be rarer than they used to be, because I am no longer a featured reviewer on DriveThruRPG, but when I get around to getting a new game I will try to write a review of it.

Apocalyptia caught my eye as a free and open source tabletop game over at DriveThruRPG. Since it has a post-apocalyptic theme and I’ve been on a post-apocalyptic kick recently, I gave it a good look and it is fairly interesting, although it’s not necessarily a stand-out title.

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Street Rats Alpha 1.1

Street Rats Alpha 1.1 has arrived. It’s been a frantic week, but we’ve been able to do some things, including setting up a nice new forum which should make us a little more open to people and have our own little corner of the web, but mostly revolving around a pretty nice changelog (if I may say so myself). A lot of the things that really cheesed me off about the state that I released Alpha 1.0 in have been fixed (note that I try to release something every December 24th, which is why it was released as it was.

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Street Rats: Alpha 1.0 Released!

Good morning/afternoon/evening, everyone! I am pleased to announce and officially publish the alpha version of Street Rats, a cyberpunk roleplaying game that I’ve been working on for the past few months.

The year is 2098. As humanity prepares to move into the 22nd century, it must come to terms with the horrors and splendors of the 21st century. Nuclear war, the creation of digital sentient “life”, international identification databases, and the rise of corporations and secret societies behind the scenes have shaped the tide of world events.

Street Rats uses a core mechanic with a d20 and margins of success and failure, combining rapid single-die play with a hybrid class-based and point-buy system and quick lifepath character creation: you can get ready to play in a matter of minutes!

Download links after the break.

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Game Design: The False Dichotomy of Narrativism versus Simulationism

One of the underlying trends of modern game design (at least since I last reacquainted myself with the buzzwords) has been narrativism versus simulationism. Typically, these games have certain associations with them; narrativist games have a weak point of often falling into mechanical vacuums where characters never develop across sessions or where they fail to be distinct from each other, and simulationist games fall into a pitfall by becoming too heavily dependent on their own systems to allow flexibility and freedom, especially with regards to tabletop roleplaying. However, video games often offer a great example of a way in which all the traditional tabletop game design ideas have broken down over the years and ways to reinvigorate them.

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Loreshapers 2015 Competition Results Posted!

Let me take a moment to apologize for dropping off the radar for so long. I have now officially graduated, and the whirlwind of chaos that has been the past year has subsided. In this moment, I am pleased to announce the results for the Loreshapers 2015 competition, as well as leave a subtle hint about something significant coming up in the next couple weeks.

Without further ado, the full text of the announcement can be found below, or over at Loreshapers.

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2014 in Review, and Plans for 2015

It’s the end of 2014, and I’ve fallen behind on the blog (again) because of taking some teacher certification tests. Unfortunately, I didn’t get around to everything I planned to do this year, though there are some exciting things I did get done as well as things that will be going on.

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