Let's start with PATROL because that is still my primary project right now. I'm not in heavy lifting mode on it though; I've done some minor language changes and such based on tester feedback, including getting in there and making an entire list at the back of the book containing all the equipment in hypercompressed lists for quick reference. It's all about testing now; as more feedback comes back, I can move to finishing it up entirely. If you are interested in testing, drop me a line on my twitter and I'll see about hooking you up!
I just finished and sent off a new version as I wrote this post, let's just get the quick changelog out of the way and we'll move on.
- Equipment got yet another pass for consistency. Caught some annoying weight values and XP nonsense, plus some repeating profiles.
- Rearranged some equipment stuff.
- General editing pass.
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5 Across the Heart
So, like, I basically didn't sleep at all in the past week. Just couldn't manage it. On Thursday, the peak of sleep deprivation, I achieved some kind of insane breakthrough and rewrote my Magical Girl game 5 Across the Heart from the ground up. It started as, like, a feverish scrawling, then some haphazard rewrites, and the next morning I woke up after a good long sleep, sat down and wrote a super compressed version of it.
This rewrite doubles down on the Scene system I was experimenting with earlier, uses a completely new dice system based on highest rolls, and refocuses much of the conflict towards what I'm calling "Petty Monsterhearts", basically encouraging players to snip at, squabble and bump heads with one another over various slight contradictions in their goals and methods, basically doing all the fun volatile friendship stuff from the Sailor Moon anime in order to build up Influence with one another, with the baddies, and with NPCs. Influence is this resource you can use to try and manipulate the other players into doing things your way and/or casting spells on one another; your support spells are literally powered by friendship, and everything the baddies have done to draw your ire fuels your Moon Tiara Action at the end of the day to blow them up.
As part of this, I compressed my old 8-point Emotion Wheel into a much smaller 4-point one, which will make character creation easier and leave things more up to interpretation. This way, I can use the real emotion wheel as a tool and guideline for players in the book and during creation, while actually using a much smaller-footprint system.
I plan to test and decompress this new system over the course of the week and see how it feels, but the game has never felt realer to me.
I Am Not Shitting On You
Oh yeah, during a particularly slow shift at my crappy job, I managed to write a microRPG on my phone. It's an ArnoldRPG based on the 1988 movie Red Heat, where he plays a Soviet cop sent to America. Basically, one player kinda plays the GM role as the American cop, and the other players Everyone is John the Soviet cop, inventing stupid communist quirks for him, forced to solve all problems through those lenses and incentivized to trade off even when it doesn't make any sense. It's Kinda Sorta GM-less; the American Cop provides prompts and the Soviet Cop provides solutions in equal measure, and both of them need to work together to Get Results and win. If I hit my 15 dollar goal, that's this month's RPG. Otherwise, I'll do a small version of the claustrophobic space horror game Apogee I've got kicking around.
I did a bit more on the d66 charts for Damage Control. It's a pretty sprawling set of charts and it requires a lot of creative thinking for humorous results so it's taking me a while.
Welp, until next week...