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Thread: Sburb D20

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    imp_fireball's Avatar

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    Default Sburb D20

    Who's ever thought of this?

    Sburb is a reality changing game playable in homestuck on mspaintadventures.com.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Sburb D20

    Abso-friggin-lutely.

    Hard to tell where to start, though. We definitely cannot use D20 modern, the base classes aren't quirky enough. In fact, it might be difficult to apply any sort of rules, because the GM is the one to handle all of the impossibly weird circumstances that can result from the horrible fractacular complexity of the whole shebang.

    How about a simple, loose rules system that leaves loose interpretation up to the GM and lets the GM reward creativity and awesomeness?
    Last edited by Thomar_of_Uointer; 2010-04-08 at 02:06 PM.
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    Default Re: Sburb D20

    I was thinking D&D.

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    Default Re: Sburb D20

    How about a simple, loose rules system that leaves loose interpretation up to the GM and lets the GM reward creativity and awesomeness?
    Sounds good.

    Except I wanna stay true to the actual comic. One player will be the 'server', the other the 'host' or however it works. The leveling up system won't actually involve leveling up - rather, simply getting perks and new funky titles in accordance to the comic. Base class can be anything from regular D&D (just using regular D&D to stick with the mechanics really - it's a bit of a hassle to create something new).

    Also, cover a basic idea of what the players can do - mainly with the alchemiter and the use of 'build grist' I believe.

    The main fun with the game (from what I've read so far) is simply creating new magical items from mundane stuff without the need of craft checks and in a matter of seconds assuming you can get the captcha log working right (and each player can basically invent their own captcha log system, assuming it balances with the other players).

    BTW, the universe is really screwy so because you haven't got arms, you can't pick stuff up. But you can captchalogue it.

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    Default Re: Sburb D20

    Bump.

    No one else interested in this?

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    Default Re: Sburb D20

    I'm totally with you in spirit, man. Homestuck is an absolutely brilliant comic.

    But I'm not sure if this can be done. And if it can, I'm not sure D20/D&D is the proper system to base it on. D20 is a solid, complete system, with rules, expectations, and power-balancing. Homestuck is so broad and spastic that you will need to either do away with most rules completely, or get so obsessive over them that the effort would bring you to near-Lovecraftian levels of insanity. So you would end up either breaking D20 or letting it break you. I think it would be both easier AND more effective to create a bare-minimum system that can be modified on the fly than to try bending and breaking D20 that much.

    So, mostly I'm agreeing with Thomar_of_Uointer: We need "a simple, loose rules system that leaves loose interpretation up to the GM and lets the GM reward creativity and awesomeness".

    For inspiration, I would check out Ken Burnside's Minimus, available as a free downloadable pdf from Ad Astra Games (http://www.adastragames.com/index.html). It's a complete roleplaying system in four pages, and the system of special abilities allows free-form spellcasting (need to lock a door in a hurry? just use your fire magic to make a welding torch) and encourages creativity and awesomeness in roleplaying. It also rewards you for making bad decisions if they're in character, which I thought was particularly brilliant.

    As for what makes the "game" fun - I would have to say that it's all about puzzles, improvisation/clever use of available items, and breaking the game. Also the way the story breaks my brain about once every month or so...but that's all story and not gameplay. Puzzles are easy - you can do that in any system. Improvisation and cleverness are largely dependent on the DM and players in question, but can be greatly improved with a system that encourages and enables such behavior (you can't really turn your entire inventory into a weapon in D&D, for example). And repeatedly breaking the breaking the game definitely requires a very adaptable system, so you can change the rules of engagement as often as your players. That way, your players can make Pun-pun the Mighty Kobold, and you can still challenge them.

    Anyway, there are a bunch of other issues, but they'll probably need to be taken one at a time. If you want help getting the basic system built, I'll gladly lend a hand. I have a really little bit of experience building minimalist roleplaying systems (I have one that I think is mostly complete, which is based on elements of Minimus, White Wolf/World of Darkness, Deadlands, and Ironclaw, but my gaming group meets only rarely, so I haven't been able to get them to playtest it, and I'm just getting started on a pen-and-paper Suikoden system for a friend who is a huge fanboy of the series)...not much, but enough that I'm not intimidated by the early stages at least.

    So...good luck, and keep us posted with your thoughts and ideas, and I'll try to lend a hand if it looks like I can be of use.

    Edit: One note for getting started - Don't try to make an engaging, strategic, tactical battle system. Make it as minimal as possible, almost an afterthought, and then hand out bonuses like candy - for descriptions of cool moves or creative uses of terrain and items or knowing about an enemy's weaknesses or making up new special attacks on the spot or anything else you think is worthy. It'll keep the game moving, AND you won't want to shoot yourself. Plus, that's a little more like the combat system in the game anyway...

    P.S. - Of course they have arms:
    http://mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=001907
    You just can't pick things up because you can't use items that aren't in your inventory. That would just be silly.
    Last edited by itastelikelove; 2010-04-12 at 11:22 PM.

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    Default Re: Sburb D20

    I mostly agree with itastelikelove, TBH.

    That said, I love Homestuck. XD
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    Default Re: Sburb D20

    Quote Originally Posted by itastelikelove View Post
    I'm totally with you in spirit, man. Homestuck is an absolutely brilliant comic.

    But I'm not sure if this can be done. And if it can, I'm not sure D20/D&D is the proper system to base it on. D20 is a solid, complete system, with rules, expectations, and power-balancing. Homestuck is so broad and spastic that you will need to either do away with most rules completely, or get so obsessive over them that the effort would bring you to near-Lovecraftian levels of insanity. So you would end up either breaking D20 or letting it break you. I think it would be both easier AND more effective to create a bare-minimum system that can be modified on the fly than to try bending and breaking D20 that much.

    So, mostly I'm agreeing with Thomar_of_Uointer: We need "a simple, loose rules system that leaves loose interpretation up to the GM and lets the GM reward creativity and awesomeness".

    For inspiration, I would check out Ken Burnside's Minimus, available as a free downloadable pdf from Ad Astra Games (http://www.adastragames.com/index.html). It's a complete roleplaying system in four pages, and the system of special abilities allows free-form spellcasting (need to lock a door in a hurry? just use your fire magic to make a welding torch) and encourages creativity and awesomeness in roleplaying. It also rewards you for making bad decisions if they're in character, which I thought was particularly brilliant.

    As for what makes the "game" fun - I would have to say that it's all about puzzles, improvisation/clever use of available items, and breaking the game. Also the way the story breaks my brain about once every month or so...but that's all story and not gameplay. Puzzles are easy - you can do that in any system. Improvisation and cleverness are largely dependent on the DM and players in question, but can be greatly improved with a system that encourages and enables such behavior (you can't really turn your entire inventory into a weapon in D&D, for example). And repeatedly breaking the breaking the game definitely requires a very adaptable system, so you can change the rules of engagement as often as your players. That way, your players can make Pun-pun the Mighty Kobold, and you can still challenge them.

    Anyway, there are a bunch of other issues, but they'll probably need to be taken one at a time. If you want help getting the basic system built, I'll gladly lend a hand. I have a really little bit of experience building minimalist roleplaying systems (I have one that I think is mostly complete, which is based on elements of Minimus, White Wolf/World of Darkness, Deadlands, and Ironclaw, but my gaming group meets only rarely, so I haven't been able to get them to playtest it, and I'm just getting started on a pen-and-paper Suikoden system for a friend who is a huge fanboy of the series)...not much, but enough that I'm not intimidated by the early stages at least.

    So...good luck, and keep us posted with your thoughts and ideas, and I'll try to lend a hand if it looks like I can be of use.

    Edit: One note for getting started - Don't try to make an engaging, strategic, tactical battle system. Make it as minimal as possible, almost an afterthought, and then hand out bonuses like candy - for descriptions of cool moves or creative uses of terrain and items or knowing about an enemy's weaknesses or making up new special attacks on the spot or anything else you think is worthy. It'll keep the game moving, AND you won't want to shoot yourself. Plus, that's a little more like the combat system in the game anyway...

    P.S. - Of course they have arms:
    http://mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=001907
    You just can't pick things up because you can't use items that aren't in your inventory. That would just be silly.
    I'm planning on using d20 3.5 rules as an outline. That way players will get the idea that not everything is entirely at GM discretion. That way, if you jump off a cliff, you die and that's final - unless the GM decides that it was all a dream.

    Also, lots of people are familiar with 3.5 and I'm not one for investing a whole ton of energy in inventing a new system.

    3.5 can be pretty minimalist too - particularly given this is largely homebrewed and that homestuck is such an open world that normal D&D restraints are entirely unapparent (your class can only do this and this; really the classes are just a means of getting to the actual things that do stuff 'ie. the alchemiter' faster).

    As for the actual system, I might only include a creation guide - some basic equipment and a description of how sburb works. That's really all it takes.

    And yes, I was planning for a minimalist approach.

    All I really need is your criticism.

    Thanks for the offer, anyway.

    EDIT: If players want to optimize characters mechanically in the game, they can easily be met by epic gods like in problem sleuth where it turns out your EPIC CHARISMA COMB RAVE really isn't good enough to stop the FINAL BOSS.

    Homestuck is so broad and spastic that you will need to either do away with most rules completely, or get so obsessive over them that the effort would bring you to near-Lovecraftian levels of insanity.
    That's if you do it the wrong way. I don't plan on introducing new feats and classes/PRCs for every little weapon/captchalogue/identity role for example.
    Last edited by imp_fireball; 2010-04-13 at 04:06 PM.

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