Friday, September 4, 2009

The Birth of a Zombie

RPG mechanics can be divided into two broad groups: the portable and the distinctive. For this game, the distinctive rules are those that maintain the structure already described, such as the rules that make catastrophes distinct from flashbacks. Portable mechanics aren't unique; it's stuff like "how to determine when someone's dead".

For my portable mechanics, I plan on using the character description and action effect modules that I've been developing, with just a tiny few setting-specific tweaks. In particular, character generation will be very light:
  • pick a couple broad backgrounds, like "sailor" or "physician";
  • define how many years you've spent in each;
  • add 15 years, set that as your character's age. Maybe add a cushion of years, since you can improve during flashbacks.
You can add up to two labels (descriptors that act as both advantages and disadvantages.) Then pick a broad class of goals/methods your character works towards (a class) and add a distinguishing adjective. Finish with a name, homeland, and any other short descriptive phrases that make the character distinct. It's all semi-freeform.

The big question, at this point, is whether I feel the need for generic abilities. Once that's settled, it's on to the non-portable, distinctive rules that define the structure.

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