Sunday, September 22, 2013

Soldiers! Aliens! Carnage!

Sometimes I come across a movie and think: this is the perfect frame for a role playing game. Battle: Los Angeles is one of those for obvious reasons:

  • The title alone indicates a franchise (Battle: New York, etc.).
  • It's squad based, perfect for a rpg.
  • The viewer never knows more than the characters in the movie, so you get first impressions what the game should feel like.
  • Simple premise (get to the safe zone) with weird encounters to add suspension (what are the aliens up to?!).
  • End of world scenario (always nice to have in a rpg...).

I'm totally aware of the fact that many games could emulate a scenario like this, but I want to try my hand on this. A small and light rpg, driven by the D&D engine. And I finally have the balls to write in public about it. Blogging can do that to you.

So I'm working on it. Here's my thinking so far:

  • Rules for urban warfare without miniatures.
  • Rules for squad-based game-play.
  • Random City Block Generators.
  • Escalating Random Encounter Tables.
  • Rules for 3d Ruin Crawls.
  • Instant NPC recruiting if a character dies (but new Marines only at the base, in the wild you'll get civilians).
  • Characters used by players are safer than the rest.
  • A player can (and should) control more than one character. It effectively enhances his combat rank (like level would).
  • Communication will be key, the better your line to command is, the better are your chances to survive long enough (or call an air strike).
  • Machine guns! Flamethrowers! Pistols! Alien technologies! For D&D and friends!
  • And some aliens, of course.
  • It'll be free for all.

Instead of levels for individual characters, it will have phases (some sort of dooms-clock for the setting). The phases are:
Phase One: Attack

Phase Two: Colonization

Phase Three: Terra Forming

Phase Four: Enslavement

Only beginning with Phase Two Characters that have no military background will have combat skills. I'm not quite sure if I want ability scores or just skills (or a hybrid?). Maybe DM-less?

Right now it's some ideas in my head and some house rules I wrote about in the past (like Wizard with a Shotgun). But it already feels finished and I'm pretty confident that play-testing will start some time next month. Expect more posts about this after the challenge-thingie...

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