The Simplest Role Playing System

I went to a social gathering the other night and someone asked if I’d brought a game. I hadn’t, so obviously I offered to run an improvised RPG. I had my phone with a dice roller so I was covered.

Turned out that I wasn’t needed but it got me thinking about how to create a simplified rule set that would be easy to remember and even easier to teach.

Here’s what I came up with… You need a coin or a dice (a coaster or other flip-able thing works too), a storyteller, and players. (Something to write on and with would help.)

Simple Rules: Each player chooses Body, Mind, or Luck as their characters specialty. They have 3 in that ability. (Ex. Fighters choose Body.) Their health and defence equal 4.

Complex Rules: Each person has 5 points to place in Body, Mind, and Luck. No negatives. Their health equals their Body plus their Luck+1. Their Defence equals Body plus Mind +1

Resolution Mechanism: When a character needs to do something the Storyteller decides if it’s easy (1), hard (2), ridiculous (4), or clownshoes crazy (7). The character then subtracts their attribute from the difficulty.

If the attribute is higher than the difficulty they succeed. If not they have to flip the coin 5 times and call it (if it’s a die have them call even or odd). Add every right guess to their attribute.

Combat: Each character does 1 point of damage if they hit something and take the same if they are hit. Death occurs at 0 health.

Everything else: The storyteller makes up.

Character Sheets: Available here!

I’d like to thank both XDM and Shadowrun for inspiring me.

Remember this when you’re at a bar or party and everyone looks scared or/and bored. Everyone will think you’re awesome! I promise.

*Rules updated July 7th, 2015 after a play test*

Short attempt at Cyberpunk.

Todays word is unreconstructed and yesterdays was CyberPunk. I used yesterdays word as my setting and an exploration of a character I’d like to play in an upcoming ShadowRun game.

Comments are always apreciated.

* * *

There wasn’t much to do in the great suburbs of North Bay for a young man that didn’t enjoy drugs. It wasn’t his fault really he had been cursed with a rare disorder making cybernetic implants impossible. All the best drugs played with you cybernetics but all they did to him was give him indigestion.

In the great spiralling cities of North Canada, all four of them, youths. or Tkeens as the media liked to call them, all felt they needed the newest apple cybernetics upgrade. It was the “kool” thing to do. This left poor Gereon pretty lonely

When he was younger, all he wanted to do was become a Jacker. He would pretend to connect to the home computer with his Bluetooth implant or track an illegal on the intertubes. His father broke the new to him when he was twelve and crushed his hopes of ever becoming a cop.

With time he learnt to accept that he would never be able to see the intertubes in the same way as his friends. Eventually he even learnt to work around it using self built remotes and gadgets.

Most Tkeens didn’t need to learn things the old fashion way, they would simply get the information transferred to their USB drives and spend a day groking it. This made society much more orderly everyone had their place and everyone had their job. He spent a lot of time having to learn things from books and on his displays. His father, before disappearing, had brought him boxes of real books. Gereon thought they had all been destroyed and knew his father shouldn’t have had them, it wasn’t against the law but it was frowned upon. “When Mother Frowns, The World Frowns” would say the great Mothercorp when advertising frowned behaviour.  

After your Tkeens were done, around 24, you’d take your place where the Mothermind told you. He had never been able to here the Mothermind, a side effect he assumed, but he was assured she knew he existed.

He was quickly approaching his seventeenth year and with little to do he would play with electronics and mechanical constructions. He had lots of time to develop his skills and his devices had a unique form to them as he was unique in his condition. He, most of all, enjoyed miniature bots that he could control from a distance with his interface.

Living alone wasn’t too bad but people always looked at him funny that is when they looked at him instead of straight through him. One day he was walking the city to see a little more of the world and he saw two Jackers walking towards him. Nodding politely he gave a half smile at the officers.

“Hey look Kan it’s an anti-tech, what you doing outside the reserve freak.” Said the larger and uglier of the two.

“I’m not an anti-tech sir, I have a medical condition would you like to scan my RF chip?” Said Gereon holding out his right palm. The Jacker’s looked down at his wrist and their ocular implants whirred for a moment before they looked at him again.

“Shoves a fake chip at us, lies, doesn’t even have the dignity to do it well. I’d say that’s a hostile act Pit.” Said the littler Jacker, or Moma’s Boy as the Tkeens called them behind their backs. He grabbed Gereon’s wrist and twisted his arm while the bigger man kicked him in the stomach.

They beat on him for almost a half hour, before they left the larger man said, “Let that be a lesson to you, you anti-tech garbage. Stay on the reserve or let go of your unreconstructed way of thinking.”  

Somehow through shear force of will he managed to crawl home and give a quick pre-programmed order to his bots. They carried him to bed and called the doctor. It was weeks before he could walk again and months before he could do so without pain. He too the time to investigate his chip, discovering that it was a fake and that he had no idea why. His father had implanted him with the non-invasive chip when he was a boy.

Where was his father and why had he done this? What else did he lie to him about? Gereon decided that he needed to find his father but in order to do that he’d need a better chip and some fake implants.