Monday, May 16, 2011

Rogue Space RPG Questions answered-kind of...

@Robert brought up number of relevant questions and criticism in a kind post yesterday evening.  I thought maybe these questions might be of broader interest so rather than hide them in a post I thought I’d take time to respond widely.

Technician-Robert was not sure the trade off was okay for low HP but more brain ability would be worthwhile.  I can understand that, but I was thinking of the trade off a person makes for brain power vs. brawn as plays into the Archetype.  You are sacrificing one for the other and the rules (as stand now) reflect that.  I see the technician as a Scotty, Spock, or Bones McCoy.  I don’t think of any of these guys as helpless or unable to fight, but they developed their brains to try to avoid that problem and their fields of pursuit took them out of the direction that would have lead to a more combat centric or physical pursuit.  A lot revolves around the referee frankly, and if his campaign is combat-centric then yes these guys are going to have to be well protected.  My goal is to make everyone equal in importance, that’s the referee’s job based on his campaign and playstyle.

Psionics-Robert brings up the (too?) open structure nature of Psionics being widely open to  interpretation and possibly needing more ruling.  Part of the openness is a limit of the rule books size, but part of it is my own thoughts on rules.  The structure is there, but its open to experimentation.  The Psi says what he would like to do, and the referee rules by giving a target number or juicing a Competitive Test roll.

Let’s take a look at Pyrokenisis.   A player trying to light dry tinder should have an easy target number ideally.  What about lighting off a ship’s magazine?  The weapons are filled with propellants so a spark in the right weapon should do it.  Fine, but now let’s look at the situation possibilities: Is the Psi on the same ship? Is the Psi in the same room?  Is he in a building on planet?  Or is he on the other side of the planet?  Is the Psi wounded? Has he been up for 36 hours straight? Has he used his psi power once this week or multiple times today?  Now let’s say an enemy Psi tries the same thing to the player’s ship…Okay now I’ll ask why make (or try to make) rules for all of that?  I’d rather leave it open for player and referee to work out the limits as best serves their ideal, not mine.  No worries, I have ideas on a Psi Stress chart modifier if people want/need it so I do have a bullpen answer.

Simple rules for things like aliens and droids could be next, star-ships seems to me like a logical next step, but maybe more fleshing out of Psi stuff is better-or even necessary.  I will put up a poll for you to voice your opinion tonight.

And for those who read this far, a sneak peak at a similar take on my Western Rpg BUCKSHOT-the attributes for a character spell out F.I.G.H.T.  


  1. Thanks for the additional background. After more thought, perhaps leave Psi as-is. You show right here how much fun a creative player can have with it.

    Although I totally got what you were going for with the Tech Archetype, my point was that getting only 4 HP for the +1 bonus makes the Tech risky to play. I'm the last gamer in the world to be a munchkin, but if we're using point pool it's going to be tempting to go with one of the other Archs ("I'm a Warrior Physicist!").

    But for now, I'm going to test play as-is with a mixed party in mixed situations, and see if my fear is unfounded. When the poll goes up, I'll be leaning toward starship rules, but the first thing I need to do is figure out how to stat-up some balanced creatures. I'm thinking a raid on a Weyland-Yutani-like bio-weapons lab might be a great starting scenario. I'll pass on the results!

  2. @ Robert, thank YOU for taking time to read and write your comments and concerns. Its the only way to make it better!

    There certainly is room to add more details, charts etc. to Psionics. That's one of the many benefits of leaving a lot of wide open space. Sure it can lead to confusion or mistakes, but I think that's better than lawyering the thing. It frees players and referees to play the game-not the rules.

    Yes it is possible to make a Hawking the Barbarian character...but I am not sure its any worse than the Conan the Librarian potential issue in Melee/ Wizard. I have some options to adjust it if necessary so let me know how it goes! If its a universal problem, then changes will be made!