View Full Version : 3D system playtest and setting development

11-02-2013, 12:49 PM
Hi all,

A year ago (mid November 2012) I started to develop my own RPG system as a hobby that I was going to distribute online as a free PDF. November was NaGa DeMon (NAtional GAme DEsign MONth). I was posting what I'd come up with online for feedback. By the end of December a game publishing company (Gamer Nation Studios), contacted me about letting them PUBLISH it, so that says something about the quality of the system.

My 3D (3Dice) RPG is a rules light/simple/streamlined yet very realistic system with mechanics that strongly encourage both narrative and tactical play.

Here are a few game mechanical highlight. The core mechanic is a dice pool system with dice ranging between a d4 and a d12 (larger is better), you can use any three dice representing attributes, skills, or equipment that are narratively appropriate for the check (actually all checks have 1 required skill). There is an roll based "advantage" mechanic similar to that in Fantasy Flight Games' Edge of the Empire RPG. Each character gets one roll per turn that can completely resolve up to 2 actions; there are no standard, move, swift actions or readied actions because they just aren't needed. Most characters get 10 squares of movement per round. 3D uses a battle map for tactical movement in combat (diagonal squares count as 1 square), but I have to say that the movement system is really inspired; for equally matched opponents about 20% of chase scenes end (either with a narratively satisfying tackle or with the fleeing character escaping) in 1 roll, 50% end in 3 rolls, and 70% end in 5 rolls; the rolls represent distance traveled not endurance checks. Time tracking is very simple and a lot like that in Marvel Heroic RPG but with an initiative check to determine who goes first. I have a "themes" mechanic that is a lot like "aspects" from FATE, you get to make up your own theme if you like. Characters start with one frame for free and can acquire as many more as they like, but only one theme at a time can be used for a particular check. The themes of my current 2 players are "Mountain Man" (Grok'lar is a huge hulking man from the mountains, he gets favorable circumstances on most athletic related checks, including attacks, because of his theme) and "Fantastically Wealthy" (Armand is the son of shipping magnate, he gets favorable circumstances on all wealth related checks). The only resource in the game are character points, which are used for anything that provides dice, including equipment. Character points are also used to power magic and provide ammo (when you need to reload or "buy" more ammo depends on dice rolls, so you don't have to track shots), or to get a bigger bonus from your theme. The wealth skill can be used to purchase anything that doesn't provide dice, and for thing like bribing, in fact you can use the wealth skill in almost any social circumstance to represent throwing money at a problem. A pay day is represented by short term favorable circumstances on wealth related checks. The morality system is Karma based, Karma is like a cross between darkside points and destiny points in the Star Wars Saga Edition RPG in terms of what they can do (the can also be used by the players to exert narrative fiat like destiny points in Fantasy Flight Games Edge of the Empire Star Wars RPG), but Karma tracking is done like the destiny system in Fantasy Flight Games edge of the Empire system, there's a pool of double sided black white chips (I use othello tokens), players can spend white Karma which turns it black, the GM can spend black Karma which turns it white. I have a destiny pool mechanic whose closest analog is the Doom Pool from Marvel Heroic Roleplay but even that is not very close; basically you get to trade dice you roll with dice of the same size in the destiny pool and the destiny pool contains one die of each size from d4 to d12, and every player and GM gets their own destiny pool. Armor provides DR, it doesn't make you harder to hit. Oh and it's a skill based level-less system.

Also I got my PhD doing "uncertainty quantification" so you can trust me when I say it's well balanced and the statistics work out right, I've written short "throw away" programs to compute the statistics for different rolls and changed the mechanics until the stats did work out "right."

So if you look at that list of mechanics, my 3D RPG checks the box on pretty every desirable category; basically it's the first game system I know of that does EVERYTHING well, which is the reason that a game publishing company contacted me about it (I did not contact them). Don't get me wrong there are more narrative games and more tactical games, but this system hits the sweet spot in the middle. And the rules on whole are simpler, more flexible, and more realistic than Star Wars Edge of the empire. It's also a generic/universal system that can be used for any setting, from tradition fantasy to a post apocalyptic mega future cross over setting. In one mega future setting playtest, a player ran a man of steel knock off character, the character felt authentic in terms of how he played, did not imbalance the game, and it ran fast and smooth.

And speaking of settings, in order to get this game published I need to develop one for the first book published, and that's where you come in. The first book is going to feature a traditional fantasy setting, and I'm running a campaign to help flesh out the setting and more thoroughly test the rules. The setting is a primitive prison planet/penal colony (kind of like real world Australia was a penal colony for Great Britain) for a technologically and techno-magically advanced Galaxy... it has humans, dwarves, elves, halfings, half-elves, orcs, goblins etc... it's a little gritty, but not too terribly "dark."

I'm running the campaign over roll20 so you can be almost anywhere and still participate if schedules mesh. I'm in the mountain time zone.

Oh and to bribe you, I've spent a few weekends downloading hundreds of high quality maps for use with roll20.

I look forward to hearing from you.

11-03-2013, 11:38 PM
you can read more about the setting here http://www.d20radio.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=122&t=12745