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  • Red Ash: Call for Playtesters

    Hello all,

    I have been working on a generic rules set for RPG for some time. It is now at a Beta v1 release and I would like people to test the system and let me know what you think.

    What makes Red Ash different is it is designed from the start to make custom species, both playable and non-playable (encounters/summons/pets).

    Species are made using a point buy system that uses the start population as the points. The point you left over are not only the starting population in that world, but also affects your earned xp granted from combat. Playable species also come in 1 of 5 size categories. If you have played on a gaming board think of the smallest playable species, Tiny as taking a 1x1 space, Small is on 2x2, Medium is a 3x3 Large is a 4x4 and Huge is a 5x5.

    In addition to custom races Red Ash has a different view on weapon and armor.

    Weapons are not limited to just doing damage or a specific damage (i.e.: slashing) they can do many types of damage based on how he wielder uses it in combat. For example a Gladius (Design for the thrust and the slash) in the hand of a user can swing the weapons pommel down on the opponent head for bludgeoning damage. While this attack does not do as much damage as a slash or peircing attack your opponents armor maybe better protected against slashing and piercing damage. And besides a critical strike may damage their armor directly. Weapons also have speed adjustments that affect your position in from one round to the next. While a great axe does wonderful damage it is slower than a dagger. And lastly some weapons also have special features like most chain weapons can bypass a shield.

    Red Ash supports a multi-root, multi-tiered skill system. Even spells are skills.

    The Red Ash site has all the rules free to use. Please let me know what your think and what you feel needs adjustment. Keep in mind balance in Red Ash is no more than a fair price for powers and enhancements. This system is meant to be for those that want an unfair edge in combat, because to the victor goes the spoils!

    In the mean time I will be working on adding a LOT of new species to the system.

    All the Best!
    Chris J
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Red Ash; Free Game System started by Chris J View original post
    Comments 4 Comments
    1. Kane's Avatar
      Kane -
      Very cool! Sounds interesting. I've been writing a system myself for 20 years now and have only recently pinned the "feel" down. I will definitely peruse your work. Hopefully my system will be as presentable as yours soon!
    1. Chris J's Avatar
      Chris J -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kane View Post
      Very cool! Sounds interesting. I've been writing a system myself for 20 years now and have only recently pinned the "feel" down. I will definitely peruse your work. Hopefully my system will be as presentable as yours soon!
      I would welcome your thoughts once you do. As Red Ash is meant to be a generic system, I find I need to keep the "feel" out of it. I want the users to develop that depending on their campaign. What I am trying to give is more of an outline than a complete game...a complete will come later

      Let me know when you have your system up, I would like to have a look at it.

      All the best
      Chris J
    1. Krevon's Avatar
      Krevon -
      So how does one playtest this?
    1. Chris J's Avatar
      Chris J -
      Quote Originally Posted by Krevon View Post
      So how does one playtest this?
      Red Ash is a core rules system that describes the mechanics of the game. The adventure is up to the DM (Dungeon Master) who will design a campaign with the world the players will inhabit. At a minimum this is played with at least 3 people, 1 DM and 2 players. 4 players is ideal though and any more becomes harder to organize. The 4 player party is usually broken down into specific jobs (or classes depending on game system).

      1 is the tank and he is in charge of taking and dealing damage. The tank is physically strong. Then there is the rogue (or thief) which brings a large number of skills and is apt at opening locks and disarming traps. Then there is the arcane caster ( also called a wizard in some systems) that can cast powerful magics that can control a crowd or deal a lot of damage to a large group. They are also masters of obscure and sometimes forbidden knowledge. Lastly there is the healer that can heal damage and effects taken from combat or encounters (a trap for example).

      A class in Red Ash is meant to be a generalized guide to ability increases and skill point gain. I have tried to balance the ability scores and the skill points with a slight edge on skill points. I am also thinking of adding class based powers down the road.

      A DM will decide what species are in the world, what relationship they have with one another and what classes are available. This can be as simple or complex an environment as you want. I decided to go with species over races in Red Ash as races suggest to me a shared lineage...something that a I find hard with a minotaur and a kobold as they are defined in Red Ash. Races are supported inRed Ash, but they are related in some fashion, such the Elf and Eldrin are really races so are the Giant and Titan.

      For an example starting campaign world you can have only humans in the world and all other species, playable or not as monsters and the human populations are on a purification campaign. Or you can have the other species; Minotaurs, Kobolds or others and an invasion of a remote Human Kingdom that the players are a part of. Or you could flip the quest completely around and have the players a part of the "savage" species that is simply trying to protect a holy temple that those humans have decide they will plunder of its holy relics.

      Make a map as a guide to where things are laid out. areas that are not a part of the immediate quest can be simply labeled.

      Of course you can simplify this to just a small city the players have their adventures in. This makes preparation much easier for you. Quest can be as simple as clearing the sewers of an investation of rats to finding a murderer, to investigating a series of disappearances or simpler yet you can make the players simple arena fighters as a part of a team, vs other teams. I would be careful with this as it could get boring fast, so You may need to break it up with side quest.

      You should also have to consider the worlds view on magic as it can be a very powerful force. Some worlds may have a strict regulations and control, while others would hunt magic users as an abomination. These are a few simple ideas for a backdrop the players run in (the characters world). You will also need to make a story arc the players will be presented with.

      Next let your players make characters based on the species and classes you have OK'd and introduce them to the quest. This can be a simple jobs posting on a public notice board or you overhear a conversation in a tavern or the party is approached by a concerned citizen.

      While the players are in the adventurer keep them guessing and make them think. Hack-n-Slash is fine but I find players will tirer of quickly. As they move through the quest the players gain experience which will take them to the next higher level. WhileI'm on XP Gain the score of the same name is a bonus/penalty to experience a character gain from completing combat, solving puzzles and completing quest in game. The XP Gain modifies these values according to the power of the species played. One species with a 100% xp gain gets the full value of awarded xp. The one with 50% will get half of that while one with 150% can gain more. So XP Gain represents a species ability to learn from doing and some will learn better than others.

      All species and classes use the same xp chart to determine when one advances to the next level, even non-playable species use it. This should be balanced by the power inherit to the species. this is one of the main things that needs testing in Red Ash. Since the cost of a power directly affects the xp gain score. I may find I have a power to cheap for its in game benefit. So I may need to increase or decrease its cost.

      Let me know if any of this helps and I am always willing to answer any questions.

      All the Best
      Chris J.