GreyGhostGames

Bytes & Bob-ombs

Bytes & Bob-ombs

Edited for legality. I'm calling it Katanas & Rollerskates now.

Introduction
Katanas & Rollerskates is an RPG that asks, "What if real life were like a cartoon... or a video game... or a comic book...?" In KnR, your characters' feelings, influences, and fantasies are projected into the real world. With this comes everything you would expect, from characters acknowledging their attribute levels to getting in epic fights over a place in line. Often with over the top flair and flaming balls of death.

Setting

The setting is flexible. The only needed constant is Hammerspace. This is a sort of parallel dimension that is accessed through doors, bags, and even pockets that are usually marked with a recognizable symbol. It can be used for rapid transit, convenient storage, and the sorting out of mental baggage.

It is a mirror of the character's consciousness. Everything that is them is represented in Hammerspace. It relies on dream logic and often its effects leak into the real world. Your character is projected there when they dream and can even enter their own head through Hammerspace.

What does this mean for the characters? Well, if they have a proficiency called "Rapper" then they may be able to literally blow their opponents up with their crazy rap skills. Their world works like what they like and emotions have just as much influence upon reality as actions.

Story and Characters

The story and characters in Katanas & Rollerskates are intertwined. Drama comes from a character's backstory and their relationships with other characters and NPCs. Everybody has a unique relationship with one another and everybody reacts differently to each other. In KnR, this is the basis of the drama. NPCs should be tailored to the PCs.

Characters in KnR start with three things...

A Motivation - The character's main goal in the game.
A Secret - Something that they hide but is eventually revealed during gameplay.
And a Character Arc - Where the character is now and where they end up at the end. Optional.

The Secret is only known to the character's player and the GM and either may reveal it during the game. The Arc and Motivation may be private or known to the other players from the beginning at the GM's discretion. These are all used to better inform he GM's story decisions and make improvising a story easier.

You may wish to write these each on a separate note card in a physical game. Private messages could be utilized in an online game.

Character attributes are simple - just describe your character. They are based upon a 7 tier system, ranging from -3 (Lame) to +3 (Epic). The stats are...

Threshold - How much damage they can take before being KOed. It always uses the twelve tier system, regardless of whether you use the seven-tier system for the other attributes.
Body - Your character's base physicality.
Mind - Your character's mental strength, overall intelligence, and so on.
Soul - Their personality, how they perform under stress, and things like that.
Social - How they are in social situations.
Hammerspace - The strength and intensity of the character's influence on the world through Hammerspace.

This is the scale to use with the attributes and Proficiencies...

+3 - Epic
+2 - Awesome
+1 - Good
0 - Okay
-1 - Not so great
-2 - Blah
-3 - Lame

And this is the Threshold set...

+7 - Epic
+6 - Awesome
+5 - Better
+4 - Best
+3 - Greater
+2 - Great
+1 - Good
0 - Okay
-1 - Not so great
-2 - Blah
-3 - Worst
-4 - Lame

Characters are also granted a certain amount of Coins (fudge points) with which to buy proficiencies/deficiencies with. The amount depends on the GM's preferences. Proficiencies will generally cost two coins per tier. Taking on two deficiencies will buy you another coin.

Pro/deficiencies are conditions that add or subtract to a character's stats in certain situations or provide gameplay advantages and disadvantages.

Proficiencies and deficiencies are not limited to skills. Anything from knowledge to a weapon can be a proficiency. Weapons are usually an extension of a previously taken Proficiency. Weapons give more tier boosts than attributes, but are usually only active during combat.

For example, the Longsword proficiency gives +1 to a combat roll when using any old Longsword the character conveniently finds lying around. However, a specific Longsword as a Proficiency will give you a greater variety of specific tier bonuses and attached Proficiencies.

Let's say that Bell has the Longsword Proficiency and has picked up a sword, taken from one of Boss's minions during a battle. This simply gives her a +1 body roll against NPCs with glasses or something.

However, say she asked to spend a coin on her Longsword "Zangetsu" instead. during character creation, she made it give her bonuses like +2 body, +2 Threshold, and +2 Soul. This personal weapon gives her higher bonuses than the random sword that she took from some guy.

Weapons can only be brought out at first by using a Coin. The GM may decide when it is dramatically or structurally appropriate for a weapon to be brought out. Usually, this is during a moment of significant character growth during a battle.

Coins are awarded in game at the GM's discretion. They can also be used to buy proficiencies during the game as well, but the conditions for this may depend on the campaign. You could state that they can only come in during a dramatic moment, or that they cost more, or whatever.

Deficiencies may also be given by the GM in game, with or without the reward of coins.

Action Resolution, Coins, and Combat

Action resolution in KnR is standard Fudge. Nothing changed here. The same system is used for combat. Each tier that the attacker scores above their opponent's opposing roll+Applicable Stat tier, that amount of damage is taken from their Threshold for that battle. Once their Threshold reaches Lame, they are KOed. Bosses burst into a reward, such as a Coin, or a Proficiency, or a useless item.

Coins can be used for many things. An extra roll, reversing an opponent's attack, unleashing an awesome Hammerspace effect, moving a stat up a tier, inflicting a deficiency upon another character, and so on.

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Re: Bytes & Bob-ombs

Not an expert (and my internet is to bad right now to respond in length), but if it is in someone else's universe and it is not released to the public under a compatible license, I don't think you'll be able to release it here on the official site.

My Aliens & Predators RPG suffered the same fate. current/wink

Ann or Paul can probably give you the official stamp of approval or not.

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Re: Bytes & Bob-ombs

JonathanS223 wrote:

Not an expert (and my internet is to bad right now to respond in length), but if it is in someone else's universe and it is not released to the public under a compatible license, I don't think you'll be able to release it here on the official site.

My Aliens & Predators RPG suffered the same fate. current/wink

Ann or Paul can probably give you the official stamp of approval or not.

Well that's genuinely disappointing.

Though I could probably modify it into a general cartoon/comic game pretty easily.

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Re: Bytes & Bob-ombs

That's what I'm doing with AvP, but again, I can't be to sure until Ann or Paul says so. current/smile

I apologize for being such a rain cloud over your picnic. current/sad

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Re: Bytes & Bob-ombs

No, thank you. It's better to be disappointed now than to be in legal trouble later.

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Re: Bytes & Bob-ombs

A friend of mine publishes a quite successful (in a small publisher kind of way) RPG. I guess he has a dozen of so supplements out the door too. One day he got a letter from Hollywood.... It seems that the name of his game was also the character's name in a comic (I think it was) that someone in Hollywood put out many years ago (in a galaxy far, far away). I'd never heard of the character, and nor had anyone else of our acquaintance, but the lawyers had.  current/hmm

Faced with the threat of legal action, he agreed to change his game system's name and the lawyers generously agreed to allow him to sell out existing stock, so he didn't have to pulp anything. The experience illustrated to me that the lawyers are watching and probably rely on the fact that most people acquiesce and go along with their demands in order to avoid hassle?

In my opinion, JeanJazz, it's highly unlikely that a lawyer is going to bother chasing someone for giving something away for free on the Internet. But a viable solution is to:


  • Remove any obvious reference to a commercial source (such as names and places and terms).

  • Give it away for free, so you can't be accused of making money off someone else's property.

  • Just do it for the fun of it, for you and your group, as this avoids disappointment if you are asked to withdraw it.

  • Host the document on one of the many free hosting sites out there, or pay for your own hosting as it's so cheap these days. The hosting step gets commercial entities like Grey Ghost off the hook if you refer to it in a forum post.

--
Robbie

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Re: Bytes & Bob-ombs

Thanks, Robbie.

I'm not planning on selling it or anything and I can pretty easily change some terms around so that it's not so obvious. I have my own site, so I can pretty easily offer it on there.

Edit - Is there anything that's glaringly wrong with the rules themselves and how I've modified them? Do you see anything that needs to be improved?

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Re: Bytes & Bob-ombs

JeanJazz wrote:

Edit - Is there anything that's glaringly wrong with the rules themselves and how I've modified them? Do you see anything that needs to be improved?

Personally, I love seeing adaptations of Fudge to lighter Anime or Cartoon-type settings. I can't think of another game system more better suited to such settings. Your rule look just fine for a rules-light Fudge system. The only rules qustion that came to my mind upon reading was the statement "Once their Threshold reaches "That was horrible", they are KOed." Is it correct to assume that "That was horrible" is one step below "Lame" or -4? Or is Threshold on a different scale?

With regard to intellectual property issues, I defer to Ann. I love to see Fudge (or any RPG systems) applied to people's favorite functional settings. Who doesn't want to sometime play in the world of the favorite movie, TV show, novel or comic. I think the best way to do this and avoid legal complications in today's world were suing people is perceived as a get-rich-quick opportunity was stated in the first bullet of Robbie's post. Just remove specific reference to the intellectual property that inspired you and make the rules and setting more generic. I would imagine you can still state some where that "examples of this setting are x, y, and z" and reference the sources that your based it on (as long as its not a single source, because then it is obviously a direct adaptation of that piece of intellectual property)

Anyway - my personal two cents - not any official Grey Ghost Press position.

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Re: Bytes & Bob-ombs

Thanks, Paul.

I had originally gone for a thirteen tier system and "That was horrible" was the lowest tier. I just forgot to change it there. I'm going to give Threshold its own twelve tiers, since fights are going to be a lot grander, and would require more health tiers, than a seven tier system would allow.

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