Friday, May 4, 2012

I think I'm turning Japanese!

For quite a while I have wanted to game in the worlds of Hideyuki Kikuchi. His blend of wscience fiction, horror, supernatural, action, and Japanese culture seems tailor made for great RPG action. The question of course is what sort of rules engine to use. I have looked at several of the anime RPGs available, as well as horror, sci-fi and fantasy. Palladium Books' Rifts certainly provides all the needed tools, magic, mecha, demons, supernatural beasties etc. The problem with it is that I really have drifted away from the power gamer style and find the rules overly complex. There are just too many options. The same pertains to the various d20 rules sets. These are fine if you like crunchy detailed rules sets. Indeed I could see the various stunts and prestige classes of D&D working very well to model Demon City or Vampire Hunter D. However, I vastly prefer playing looser, more freeform games. So, my thought is that there is another game whose rules mechanics very well suit the style of game I want. That is Tunnels and Trolls. T&T? I hear you ask, isn't that just a fantasy dungeon delving game? Well, yes and no. It works well for that, but it has been adapted to sci-fi quite succesfully. Far more than most people realize the differences between sci-fi and fantasy are often just special effects. A "light saber" and a "vorpal sword" are pretty much functionally the same. A blaster and a crossbow both do missile damage at range. Armour is armour. A "force field" at it's simplest can just be given an armor rating. Psychic powers? What about wizard's spells? A space demon and a balruck are both large, evil nasties bent on your destruction. For the ultimate low crunch version of this grab T&T5, M!M! or BEAN! and assign dice ratings. For a slightly chrunchier version use 7.5 with special spite damage effects, specialists, etc for more solidly defined mechanics. In future entries I will stat up some of the creatures and characters from these stories, just for fun. I may even throw in an illustration or two.