View Full Version : My Rough Draft of a Dangan Ronpa Homebrew System

2013-10-01, 10:30 PM
So I got into Dangan Ronpa recently, and of course it immediately struck me as something that was easily RPable. So I went and checked out the Dangan Ronpa RP scene, but all I found was games of Mafia with Dangan Ronpa Flavor. And while Mafia is similar to Dangan Ronpa, they aren't the same thing. So, I decided to try to make an RP that was more like the original source material. Ultimately I ended up patching together a homebrew system for it.

For those not familiar with Dangan Ronpa, the plot is that sixteen "Super High School Level Students" -- this being defined as someone who is at the top of their chosen field despite being in High School -- wake up in a sealed building and are informed that the only way they can leave is by killing another student and getting away with it. When a student is killed, the remaining students are given time to investigate the murder, at which point a school trial is called. The students have to hold a debate, then vote for who they think the killer is. If they vote correctly, the killer is executed; if they vote incorrectly, everyone except the killer is executed, and the killer gets to "graduate."

The system I came up with is very simplistic, trying to use role-play from the players to fill in the gaps in the mechanics. It's something I put together over the course of an hour or so, so it's kind of shoddy -- and really, I won't be surprised if it turns out to be unnecessary and a total waste of time. I'd like to think that it's a decent attempt at turning the original game into a multiplayer experience, rather than just re-skinning a pre-existing game without making any changes.

Anyway, here's what I have, more or less ripped straight from my notes. Please tell me where this needs improvement -- and if you have any ideas of your own, please, please share them.


Anyway, the game has five different stats, and players get thirty points to allocate between them. Those stats are Will, Intelligence, Charisma, Paranoia, and Hope. I'd explain what each one is used for, but it wouldn't make much sense without the context of how the game is played, so I'll instead sum up once I've explained gameplay.

To provide context for the next part, each player upon character creation lists five "preferred items" for their character, items that they would love to have. These items are important for the Social aspects of the game (WHich are also the parts that are the most confusing and poorly designed, in my opinion).

There are three different segments to the game, each with different mechanics.

Normal Days

The default segment for the game. During this segment, you are allowed to explore freely, purchase items, interact with other characters -- and plot murder.

During each day of the Normal Days segment, each player can select two objectives for that day. The first objective is performed between breakfast and lunch, and the second between Lunch and Dinner. The objectives are as follows:

Solve: The area the player's are imprisoned in is full of Puzzles and mini-games. If your current objective is "Solve," you may attempt them. Your number of attempts is determined by your Intelligence and Will stats -- you have a number of attempts equal to your Will stat, and you can spend those attempts on a number of puzzles equal to a third of your Intelligence Stat. Solving a puzzle may get you Monobear coins, Items, or clues to the RP's overarching mystery.

Interact: You can interact with other characters regardless of whether you select this objective or not. However, those who select the "Interact" objective can get rewards for doing so: Hope Shards. When you interact with someone while you have the "Interact" objective, Social Combat begins! The player you're interacting with can attempt to trip you up and prevent you from obtaining a hope shard in a number of ways.
The default way for someone to fight back against an Interact attempt is to bring up one of their likes or dislikes from their character sheets. If the attempter gets facts wrong about things that person likes or states they dislike it, or if they claim to like something that their target dislikes, they lose one point from their Social Meter. If the social meter runs out, the attempt ends and you get nothing (Your Social Meter has points equal to half your Charisma, by the way). However, there are other ways to decrease your Social Meter, and each player has their own unique social defense, so watch out!
Each time the defending player attempts to damage your social meter but fails to do so, their own Social Meter decreases. Unless the defending Player selected Interact as their current objective, their Social Meter has a number of points equal to a quarter of their Paranoia or Will stat (Minimum of 1), whichever is higher. If their social meter becomes zero, you can offer them a gift; give them a gift on their preferred gifts list, and you get one of their hope shards. If you obtain all five of a person's Hope Shards, you automatically learn their unique skill, which can be very helpful. Of course, Hope Shards have a large number of other uses as well. Once you get a Hope Shard from someone, you can't make another attempt to get one from them until you start your next objective. The number of people you can attempt to talk to during a single Interact Objective is equal to one tenth of your Hope Stat, rounded up.

Detect: If you select Detect as your objective during the Normal Days Phase, you can obtain "Evidence Bullets." Normally Evidence Bullets are obtained during the Abnormal Days Phase, and used during the Trial Phase. However, during the Detect Phase you can try to obtain Evidence Bullets before a murder even occurs, thus increasing your advantage during the trial. To do so, you must find things that you think will be used in a murder, and turn them into evidence bullets. Alternatively, you can try to gather evidence about the setting itself and how you ended up there. Doing so is the only way to actually look at the clues you obtain by solving puzzles, so this is very important! You can only obtain a number of Evidence Bullets equal to half your Paranoia rounded down with this objective, so people who aren't paranoid probably shouldn't try it. Also, when the Objective Phase ends, you must discard Evidence Bullets until the amount you have is equal to your intelligence.

Murder: This is the objective you should select if you want to kill someone, of course! If you select this objective, your current objective will be listed to the other players as "detect" or "interact," depending on your choice. During this objective, you may obtain "Murder Bullets," things that you can use for a Murder! When you actually attempt to kill someone, your murder scheme can only use things that you obtained as Murder Bullets -- with the exception of the Murder Weapon itself (This allows you to kill someone without performing the Murder Objective first. If you do so... well, see below). As a result, your chances of winning through murder are much higher if you do a few Murder Objective Phases first. The number of Murder Bullets you can obtain during this objective is equal to twice your Paranoia, but if you have less than three paranoia, that amount is six, just to be fair. If you start a Murder Objective when you already have Murder Bullets though, all of your pre-existing Murder Bullets are deleted -- so no building up a stockpile!


You aren't limited to doing things during the Objective Phases, however. During Breakfast and Lunchtime, you may do whatever you please, so long as you aren't performing something exclusive to an objective. There is also Night-Time. Everyone is supposed to be asleep between ten PM and seven, but there isn't actually a rule against being out and about during that time. You can attempt any Objective during night-time, but you receive a penalty to your stats the next day due to lack of sleep. If you're caught out and about during this time, you get a penalty to Charisma when interacting with the person who caught you, and they get a bonus to Paranoia when interacting with you. Furthermore, there is a minimum Paranoia requirement for attempting an objective at night. This requirement depends on your in-character reasons for attempting this objective, as well as the current state of affairs in-game. Attempting the Murder Objective has no such requirement of course, and you can still attempt to do things that don't require an objective.

During the Normal Days Phase, you may also purchase items with Monobear Coins. You may put these coins into the Monovender Vending Machine to obtain a random gift item for use during the interact phase. You can also use Monobear coins to buy items that will replenish your stats -- for example, you can purchase and drink an energy drink to regain Will for mini-game attempts, or you can purchase and use a make-up kit to restore a few points of your social meter. These points refill automatically at the start of every objective phase of course, but you can use these items at any time, even mid-conversation! Lastly, Monobear Coins and Hope Shards can both be used to purchase skills and upgrade stats (Though each gets you different skills and stats -- for example, Monobear Coins can't be used to upgrade hope, while hope shards can't be used to upgrade Paranoia).

Killing Someone

The next part is, of course, how to kill someone. As stated above, the only things that you can use when killing someone are the Murder Weapon and anything that you turned into a Murder Bullet.

So then, what happens if you kill someone without collecting any Murder Bullets? Do you have to leave the crime scene as it is?

No, that would be unfair. If you kill someone without having any Murder Bullets, the Cover-Up Phase begins! You can create a number of Murder Bullets equal to your Hope Stat, and then use the things that you turned into Murder Bullets to cover up your crime. If your Hope Stat is lower than four, you get four murder bullets, so don't worry about that either.

A murder can occur at any time, during any phase. However, The Normal Days game portion will continue until the body is discovered.

Discovering the Body

The Abnormal Days section of the game begins when three people discover a body at once. In order for this to count, three people must all be observing the body at one time; if one person discovers the body and leaves, and then the body is discovered by two other people at once, it doesn't count.

Once the body is discovered, a murder is announced and everyone is notified, starting the Abnormal Days portion of the game. If the body is not discovered by the end of the next Objective Phase after the Murder, then the announcement is made at the end of that phase and the Abnormal Days begin.

Abnormal Days

Once the murder announcement occurs, the Abnormal Days begin. All players may collect Evidence Bullets, gaining a number equal to either their Hope Stat or Paranoia stat, whichever is higher. Each player can gain a minimum of two, however.

A person's testimony -- their account of how events occurred during the murder -- can be turned into an evidence bullet. However! You cannot turn your own testimony into an evidence bullet.

During the Abnormal Days section, you may choose to "Investigate" something. Doing so will cause the GM to reveal a number of things present that can be turned into Evidence Bullets, and you can choose whether to turn them into bullets or not. You can do this a number of times equal to a quarter of your Intelligence, rounded down. If you're out of uses, you'll have to select your bullets without the GM pointing out which stuff is important, so use this carefully!

During Abnormal Days, the Murderer may obtain additional Murder Bullets, as if he were collecting Evidence Bullets with the rest of them. He can use these bullets to tamper with the crime scene, similar to how Murder Bullets can be used during the cover-up phase. It is very important not to be caught doing this, however! You can also use this time to find any evidence you left behind -- if you left some blood somewhere during the murder and didn't notice it for example, you can take the time now to turn it into a Murder Bullet.

The Abnormal Days section ends when all Players have obtained their maximum number of Evidence Bullets, at which point the School Trial begins.

School Trial

When the School Trial begins, you will all be placed in a circle of podiums, overseen by Monobear himself! Your goal: to correctly determine who the murderer is or, in the case of the Murderer, get someone else found guilty of your crime.

Rather than simply outlining how you think events occurred straight from the start, you instead take the time to determine how the murder occurred one fact at a time -- narrowing down suspects, determining the murder weapon, etc. Each time you prove a fact about the murder, it is added to the Murder Outline; once the Murder Outline contains a full account of what occurred during the murder, the players may call for a vote to end the trial.

The School Trial has two Phases: Discussion and Debate. Once per Discussion Phase, someone may present an Evidence Bullet to everyone else. Doing so causes everyone else to gain that evidence bullet.

Once at least three players have decided on a portion of the murder they want an answer to -- such as what the murder weapon was, or where a person was during the murder -- the Debate Phase begins. Everyone who thinks they know the answer may state their opinion of what the answer is, and anyone may make an argument against it. However, the real point of the Debate Phase is the Evidence bullets. When someone states their opinion on the question at hand, someone may shoot their statement with an Evidence Bullet. At this point, a new discussion Phase starts, during which the person who fired the evidence bullet must explain why the evidence bullet they used supports or contradicts the voiced opinion. If no players object, then the opinion in question is consider "proven" or "discredited," and is added to the Murder Outline.

However, another player may object to the argument of the player who used the Evidence Bullet. At this point, a Counterargument Showdown occurs! The Challenger presents their argument for why they think the defender is wrong, and the defender may defend themself... However! Both sides must present their argument one sentence at a time, so that their opponent may counter their arguments as they make them rather then after they are finished (Alternatively, they may use a chat client such as AIM to argue the point, so long as they present a copy of the debate to the GM). Both sides may use Evidence Bullets on each other's arguments during this time, allowing them to add multiple conclusions to the Murder Outline. The Counterargument Showdown ends when one of the participants agrees that their opponent is correct, or when one of the participants runs out of credibility. If neither of these things happens after a certain number of posts, a GM may step in and end the Showdown. In this case, the Player with the higher Charisma stat wins, and chooses whether to remove the contested point from the outline, while the one with the lower Charisma stat loses, and loses half of their maximum credibility rounded up.

What's credibility? Well, each Player starts the trial with Credibility equal to their Charisma. When your opponent adds an argument to the Murder Outline during a Counterargument Showdown, when one of your statements is shot down by an Evidence Bullet (Whether it's during a Showdown or the Debate Phase), or when you incorrectly agree with or disagree with an argument via using an Evidence Bullet, you lose a point of credibility. If you have no credibility, you cannot participate in the Debate Phase or initiate a showdown. Presenting an Evidence Bullet during the Discussion Phase gives you back one point of credibility, however.

If the Murder Outline is judged to be complete, a player may call for a vote. If at least one third of the players present agree that a vote should be called, then all players are given a chance to shoot the vote declaration with an evidence bullet. If they do, they are allowed to present an argument for why they think the vote should be delayed. If at least a third of the Players still think that a vote should be called after this has occurred, all players vote for who they think the Murderer is. If at least three quarters of the votes are correct, then the Murderer is executed, losing the game, and the game returns to the Normal Days phase. However! If the majority of the votes are for the wrong person, everyone except the murderer is executed, and the Murderer wins the game!

If the correct murderer is selected however, the remaining players are awarded Monobear coins depending on how well they performed. Every argument they make that is proved by an evidence bullet gains them coins; every argument they shoot with an evidence bullet, whether to prove or discredit it, earns them coins; every Counterargument Showdown won earns them coins; and correctly voting for the murderer earns a small amount of coins as well. And while losing credibility doesn't detract from your reward at the end, attempting to disprove a true argument or prove an incorrect one with an evidence bullet will, so conserve ammo if you don't want to risk losing coins! Furthermore, if a trial is ended with an incomplete or incorrect Murder Outline, everyone receives a very large coin penalty. These coins can be used to upgrade your stats and buy new skills, so the relatively large number of coins you would get from a well-played trial will give you a sizable advantage over the other players. As such, the secondary goal of all players during the Trial Phase should be to be to personally solve as much of the case as possible!

Of course, you can also present incorrect opinions and arguments to lure people into losing coins supporting them, so that they won't have as big of an advantage later... but you'd never do that, right?

Playing and Winning the Game: A Note for GMs Only

A large part of the above mechanics is to give the players a choice between competing or cooperating without them realizing that the choice is being offered. The players are awarded Monobear Coins for competing and Hope Shards for cooperating, and the things that can be purchased with these primarily help with their associated goals. For example, players are encouraged to try to prevent other players from obtaining their Hope Shards, since it would allow that other player to gain an advantage over the other players. There's always the option of not mounting a defense so as to help the other player, but the rules are worded so that the thought won't occur to them.

When done properly, a game in this system should have two win conditions: The first win condition is when someone successfully gets away with Murder. That Player Wins, and the rest lose. The second method should involve the players side-stepping the system entirely; rather than killing each other, they investigate the mysteries of the place they're locked up in, figure out why and how they ended up there, etc. In the original game, this occurred when the players decided that they'd had enough and weren't going to play the Mastermind's Game anymore, at which point the mastermind challenged them to a final school trial where, instead of a murder, they were solving the game's plot. You can try for something similar here.

Oh, and to sum up the different stats:

Will: Your willingness to keep trying things, even as the day drags on. If you select "Solve" as an objective, then you can make a number of attempts to solve puzzles or play minigames equal to this stat. However, the number of separate puzzles you can attempt is equal to a third of your Intelligence. If your Will is higher than your Paranoia, it determines the size of your Social Meter when warding off Social Attacks. Furthermore, you gain a 1 point bonus to your Charisma for every four points you have in Will.
Intelligence: This stat also determines the number of times you can use the "Investigate <Item>" option during Abnormal Days, and also determines how many different puzzles you can attempt. Furthermore, you gain a 1 point bonus to Paranoia or hope (Whichever is higher) for every four points you have in Intelligence. It also determines how many Evidence Bullets you can keep during Normal Days.
Charisma: Your skill with speaking, and how you look to other people in general. Charisma determines your Social Meter while on the offensive, and your Credibility during the School Trial. Also, in the event of a dispute during the School Trial with no clear winner, the one with higher Charisma is the victor by default.
Paranoia: Can be used for collecting Evidence or Murder Bullets, both before and after a Murder occurs. Can also be used to determine the size of your Social Meter when warding off Social Attacks (Will is used instead if it's higher). This stat also allows you to attempt a third Objective Phase during the Night Hours.
Hope: Can be used to collected Evidence Bullets once the Abnormal Days start, or can be used to collect Murder Bullets if you kill someone without planning to. It can also allow you to talk to multiple people during a single Interact Objective Phase. This stat should have a secret advantage to having it if the players are going for a cooperative victory -- such an advantage should only crop up during the endgame, however.