Right, so, a friend of mine and I have been working these past few weeks on an RPG with a scratch-written system we're planning on publishing in ebook form called Hardboiled, and it's basically in playable form now. We wanna do some testing, but our local friends and such are way busy these days, but we don't want to turn this over to a big community like RPG.net yet, so I'm going to test the waters here. Is anyone interested in participating in some test games?
The game is inspired in part by Burning Wheel and in part by Dark Heresy, plus my own experiences of the failure of most D&D-like games to create combat with guns or fists that is either realistic or dramatic, and it's intended to create a game centered around investigation and crimefighting in a retro sci-fi noir universe. Think something along the lines of Penny Arcade's Automata plus Batman the Animated Series.
Players play as a private investigator and his comrades in a massive retro metropolis called Union City, a huge interconnected urban sprawl whose districts roughly match up with iconic American cities from about 1920 to 1950, except with sci-fi elements like lightning guns, robots running on magnetic tape, and cybernetics. They solve crimes and battle criminal gangs, corrupt officials and foreign agents in a city where it is eternally midnight.
The system uses a deck of ordinary playing cards, d6s, and poker chips in order to evoke the feeling of gambling. Stats and skills are handled as a singular entity and the numbers are kept very low, and there is little concept of a "high-level" character; though characters can increase their skills over time through use, a bullet kills you just as dead in any circumstance. Social activities and investigation is designed to be fairly involved; the system explicitly stats that vague statements like "I check for clues" are met with serious skill penalties, encouraging players to describe social and investigative actions in detail, while combat strays from the typical "5 second combat round" to something more like a 2-second combat round; players are limited to one action per round, and the definition of "action" is extremely strict, meaning that an action like pulling out a weapon will take up a whole round. Almost every attack action is resolved in a single dice role, and there is no concept of hit points; any attack can be lethal. Players also burn through ammunition at a rapid pace, but ammo tracking is simple and intuitive (using the poker chips) so it's not a hassle.
Player classes are built around narrative archetypes rather than combat roles, with each class having a built in roleplaying mechanic to generate cards which let you hijack the narrative; any time they place their personal objective or their class mechanic above solving the case or helping the team, the GM awards them cards. There are three core classes representing the "main characters" of a noir story (The investigation-centric Sleuth, the combat-centric Partner, and the jack-of-all-skills Dame) plus a bunch of oddball supporting characters (Mentors, who start skilled but level slowly and are encouraged by their mechanic to stay out of the limelight, Rivals, who have useful skills but are encouraged to try and upstage their team, Rats, a social infiltration class, Professors, a medical/gadget class, Short Stuff, sneaky infiltration who can't really participate in combat, and Coppers, an entirely combat-oriented bruiser class.) The idea is that the average-sized four-man group can have a nice and balanced team, larger groups can easily be accommodated, people can switch characters between "cases" with minimum hassle, guest players can take up an oddball class as a "Guest Star", and the game easily scales down to one or two players.
So, uh, sorry about that wall of text, but is anyone interested? We'll probably be using Roll20 to do it.