Thursday, 24 January 2013

Ashes: Evolution of a system

Behind the Screen

So, as I stated a few posts back, I have recently (or rather, not so recently... but within the last year anyways...) taken it upon myself to develop my own set of RPG rules for gaming with my chums. Naturally, being the genius I am (and oh so humble), I have set out with one goal in mind: A simple system bereft of all but the most rudimentary math and utterly intuitive.

Aka: the same thing everyone else claims.

AAAAAAAAnyways, Over the next while I'm going to be charting some of my rules ideas, charts and other random stuff while I go about creating this (potentially catch-all) system. To start off with, I want to discuss some of the ideas behind the game and what I want to accomplish/Steal from other systems. First things first: Ashes

Ashes is the name of the game.

The concept of my system is to represent an idealized/stereotyped "end of the world" style game. I have named the game Ashes (evocative no?).

Setting wise, Ashes takes place in the not-so-distant future where, due to some mishap or another, the civilized world as we know it has ceased to exist. The Nukes went off, everyone died. The end of human civilization.
The world itself has, naturally, become little more than a burnt and irradiated wasteland. But not your typical desert madmax/fallout land... More akin to whats seen in the Road. Trees and grass still exist. Vegetation still exists...but it's brittle and sour and malformed. What little sun does shine through the blasted nuclear clouds does little to provide nourishment to the land and vast swathes of forests and grasslands have degenerated into dust and ash. Acid rain falls constantly, a product of the blasted sky, and leaves all it touches raw and shriveled. Trees are hollowed and rotten, their skeletal limbs grasping at a sun that won't show.
When its not raining, the sky weeps grey ash like it would snow, and the temperature has begun to drop world wide as the all encompassing radiation clouds blot out the suns warmth. Due to the withered and dried out flora, raging fires are a constant and, at any time, hundreds of hectares are encompassed in its fiery embrace.
Most major cities have been blasted to glass and craters, and most people have become little more than shadows on walls. The ecosystem has been irrevocably ruined.
This is the world of ASHES.

so... Rather bleak is what I'm saying. This is the world the game takes place in. It's set just a paltry few months or years after the bombs went off, and the players play as shell-shocked survivors in a world gone away. The aim is to make the game more about survival, about hunting for the little things to make life a little less bleary for a few hours. About battling other survivors for scraps and seeing just how far the players are willing to go to survive....
Admittedly its a pretty harsh concept. It's a world where combat has many more repercussions than "oh shit, I've been shot!".
If you get hurt, you have to worry about infection. If you are severely injured, there are no hospitals, so you're friends have to take care of you... and if you can't contribute... can THEY care for you without letting themselves starve... or is it better to leave you behind to fend for yourself (aka: roll up a new character). These are the coices the players will have to make.
I want to develop a harsh, brutal world where starting a community will take TRUE effort and willpower and strength... because if you manage it, there are always hose out there who will want it for themselves and aren't afraid to kill a man to get it.

On the other hand, I also want to include irradiated horrors, mutated monsters and other silly stuff...
which I'll probably collect all into one side module/book for people to use at their whim (Cause to be honest... Masta Blasta is awesome, and irradiated mutants are lots of fun).

Anyways, That's the basic concept. Next time I'll talk about basic dice mechanics and why I think the best ones have been put out to pasture (probably).

Until next time,
Make sure you stock up on canned goods...
Bean out~

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