This forum is in permanent archive mode. Our new active community can be found here.

Cyberpulp Adventures - HARDBOILED

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 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.


  • If suitable time can be found I could try a one shot. I could also just look at the rules and comment on those, if you are willing to let "outsider" to see your child.

    Also based on your description about the system a few points raised a red flag on me. First of all I don't think skill penalties are ever a good idea for punishing the player. Answer for "I check for clues" should not be "Ok, roll your private eye skill with penalty of 34.", instead GM should answer with "Ok, what do you do?" or "Ok, where do you search?" or "Ok, what are you looking for?" Also for me simple and intuitive ammo tracking is one where I don't have to do it, but that's just a personal opinion, I don't like counting beans in my games.

    But it's nice to see that people are working on their own rpg systems.

    Also is the game really that system heavy that it needs something like Roll20? Google hangouts aren't enough?
  • edited July 2012
    The reason for the penalty is because I've noticed people get frustrated when GM's ask for more information about this sort of thing; they feel like they are being interrogated or something and "give up" more details. Rather, here the GM is encouraged and expected to just apply situational bonuses within preset guidelines depending on the details given, and everyone knows that is the case ahead of time. If the guy goes "I check in all the drawers", no roll is really necessary anymore to find the clue that is in the drawers, and if he is completely non-specific, rather than wasting time hounding him for details you tell him to roll and then let him know he found jack-all; THEN he'll narrow his search down of his own accord. While a player can't roll "I search the room" twice, there is no reason why, his initial search having failed, he can't decide that now he's going to start pulling up the cushions.

    Basically, rather than skill failures being treated as a full stop like in D&D, skill failures are encouragement for players to think harder about the situation... with the understanding that those failures take up ingame time, which they may not have a whole lot of when they are breaking into a mobsters office to go through his things!

    Ammo tracking is done by tracking whole clips at a time. Roll a one when attacking, replace a clip. This isn't a game of soldiers or commandos; the fact is that glorified citizens with revolvers will run out of bullets sooner rather than later if they are dumb enough to get in a real gunfight. Escalation of force and learning how to lose is a key feature of combat in this game; oftentimes it is better to lose a fistfight than escalate it to a knife fight and win. Gunfights are too risky for it to be the go-to option.

    I guess it doesn't really need Roll20; it's a really abstract system and it's designed to essentially have one rule that really matters, so there is no reason we couldn't use google hangout.
    Post edited by open_sketchbook on
  • I quite recently finished over a year long campaign that was played with a diceless system. "What do you do" was asked often and answering to it never got easy. I honestly think that it's the most important question that GM can ask. Also good GM knows when to ask more question and when to move to dice. Even though I listed a bunch of questions GM should only pick the most relevant one and go with that. But maybe that's just how I prefer to do things. For example I wouldn't plan that there is this clue in this place, but instead I would plan there to be some clue to that direction.

    If clue is absolutely in certain place it can create frustration when thing could seem arbitrary. "I look for clues" -> "Roll dice" -> Success -> Clue is found, plot moves on.
    Alternatively Failure -> Plot doesn't move on.
    "I look for clues in drawers." -> "You find clues" -> Plot moves on.
    "I look for clues under the bed." -> "You find nothing" -> Plot doesn't move on.

    In that kind of system the best thing for player to do is to list places where his character looks for clues until something is found and plot can move forward.

    And that's why I don't like running games with detective elements (looking for killer/thief/McGuffin), handling clues and pacing is annoying, difficult and hard.
  • edited July 2012
    We've ran into something similar in earlier investigation games, but that's why the trick to it is adventures where, most of the time, the players are fairly confident whodunit; avoid situations where the player doesn't know what they are looking for. The players aren't trying to find evidence who shot the peoples; they start with reason to suspect a couple of different people and they are trying to find conclusive evidence that it was one of them, for example. Or the players already know the mob boss is moving some vital macguffin and are looking to stop him. The plot is already happening, the investigation determines where the players will be able to intercept it.

    In our first sample adventure, the GM has a timeline of the criminal happens and the players goal is essentially to stop the events as early as possible. While he is the storyteller, the GM is also the mob boss trying to keep events on track.

    Murder mysteries are not noir stories. They are just how noir stories start.
    Post edited by open_sketchbook on
  • edited August 2012
    Going to shift my WIP stuff over to this thread so I stop taking over random comments.

    Here's a prototype of the page layouts. It was done in Photoshop, but I'll be using InDesign for the final product. The art isn't mine just FYI; it's for placeholderness only. Thoughts?
    Post edited by open_sketchbook on
  • Do you expect a trademark dispute over the Miller/Darrow comic of the same name?
  • edited August 2012
    No more than I expect one with John Woo. It's a literary term referring to a style of fiction and there isn't much in the way of imagery parallels or otherwise conflating elements to the comic in terms of tone. Additionally, the full title of the work is Cyberpulp Adventures - Hardboiled, which ought to be differentiation enough for it to be a non-issue.
    Post edited by open_sketchbook on
  • Do you expect a trademark dispute over the Miller/Darrow comic of the same name?
    Even if they found out about it (which is fairly unlikely) they probably wouldn't have any grounds due to the difference in medium.

    Anyway, I'm interested.
  • I was admittedly skeptical of this since I just though you where ripping off Problem Sleuth. However after seeing all the work done in on this I am super interested in this.
  • edited August 2012
    Problem Sleuth is actually the convoluted origin for this in a way; after I read Problem Sleuth for the first time just when it was wrapping up in 2009, it inspired me to get into old pulp fiction in a big way, just reading tons and tons of old pulp scans, detective stories, and other related media and then branching out into the likes of Doc Savage, Tom Swift, old detective comics, and other early 20th century pulp staples. Though I've sort of had those ideas on the backburner because my main project has been a Red Alert 3 mod that owes more to 60s, 70s and 80s sci-fi, it's always been burning away in the back of my brain, and I did an illustration for a class of a detective lady and her robot cop friend and showed it to an RPG playing friend and we spun it into a system and universe.

    This game owes a lot to those stories; the three games I have planned in this system invokes noir detective stories, globe-trotting adventure stories, and post-WW2 military-action comics respectively. This one owes heavily to Sam Spade, The Big Sleep, The Shadow and early Batman, a touch of William Gibson and a smattering of Indiana Jones.

    Though, yeah, the characters we're using in internal testing are all named after MSPA characters :P
    Post edited by open_sketchbook on
  • edited August 2012
    Character sheet concept + sample!

    Filled out sample.

    I wanted to get all the character information on one sheet but I couldn't think of a good way to do the cybernetic upgrades on the same sheet without it getting cluttered and D&D scary. Instead I'm going to have a really sleek sheet for it with a sort of Vitruvian Man thing going so you can write your cybernetics in where they go. It also made sense to me to put your equipment on that page. Stuff you ARE on one page, stuff you HAVE on another page.
    Post edited by open_sketchbook on
  • What is the expected length of an instance?
  • edited August 2012
    Do you mean like, individual fights? I'm getting my terminology a bit confused here...

    Individual rounds go by very quickly. Rounds are by team rather than by individual, so it's harder for one person to slow the game down with indecisiveness; the whole team goes at once, and the faster players will be going while the slower players think. You only have one action per round and things like movement are highly restricted in terms of distance, so much of the time you already know what you are going to do because you have been anticipating or planning for it in previous turns out of necessity. In test games my players have consistently finished their rounds in under two minutes and in as little as ten seconds, if they are doing actions that don't require tests. So keep that in mind.

    The game has this idea that there are three tiers of fights; fist fights, knife fights, and gun fights. Fist fights are fun, knife fights are messy, gun fights are scary, and knowing when to escalate, and more importantly when not to, is very important.

    From our limited tests, we've found fistfights take the longest because you have a lot of fun with it; you aren't afraid to do silly things like throw people from grapples or whatever because it's mostly consequence free, and they basically go until one side has enough, so dozens of rounds can pass. Basically a way to burn a good chunk of a session with fun combat.

    Knife fights take almost as long, because there are few outright lethal results with knives, just lots and lots of bleeding. Knife fights are true to the real life law of knife fighting; everyone gets cut, and our very first test resulted in one guy stabbing the other to death over six rounds and then bleeding out shortly after.

    Gun fights are actually the shortest; though players tend to think pretty hard about positioning and cover, the limited actions mean a lot of rounds the course of action is quick and obvious; I'm reloading/defending/shifting, and guns tend to disable very quickly once somebody is caught in the open or flanked or whatever. A gunfight might last just two or three rounds if everyone is in the open, or longer if players take cover early on. However, something to keep in mind is this isn't a war game; whenever guns come out, it's usually to cover an escape or to force somebody to run, and players will very, very quikcly learn to run away from fights they cannot win lest they need to roll on the critical damage table.

    One thing to remember though is that this is not a game of fair fights. It actually says so right in the introduction to the rules. There are no level-appropriate encounters, no minions designed for players to plow through, and not much in the way of bosses or monsters. If the players want to kill somebody, they meet with an arms dealer, buy a bunch of typewriters with incendiary bullets and drum magazines, and go kill that motherfucker. The part of the game that matters isn't that part; it's what they do after they've lit the poor dude's insides on fire. How they deal with the cops, with retaliation from his gang, with their reputation, how (or if!) they get rid of the evidence, etc etc.
    Post edited by open_sketchbook on
  • edited August 2012

    Second page of the character sheet. Write down your cybernetic upgrades, use the dudeguy to indicate cybernetics or serious injury. List your inventory types (pockets, hostlers, backpacks, whatever), holstered weapons, and ammo at the start of each session at the bottom. Actual ammo tracking is done with the chips, and most people already track their actual inventory on scrap paper in every single game I've ever played, that's the official way of doing it in this game. It sucks tracking that shit on your actual sheet anyway.
    Post edited by open_sketchbook on
  • If you have a beta, send me a GDrive link and I'll run it with my crew. They'll love this shit.
  • edited August 2012
    We'll have a beta which is readable to people who aren't us by weeks end. We're finally doing testing where one of us aren't the GM and we're sort of flailing to make sure we have readable text and shit. Right now the game exists pretty much fully, but spread out haphazardly over about thirty openoffice files! That's why I'm trying to get stuff like the character sheets done; it narrows our focus for what rules absolutely need to be in the beta.

    I'll definitely send you one though. The feedback from something like that would be fantastic!
    Post edited by open_sketchbook on
  • edited August 2012
    I meant how long would a whole game take? If it's under 4-5 hours, I could run it at a weekly board gaming meetup.
    Post edited by Victor Frost on
  • I will have some people in september if you need another beta group.
  • I see no reason a compact adventure can't be run in one sitting, especially if you did something cool like a terrible series of crimes in a contained environment like a zeppelin.
  • You guys should make a short, contained, pre-built scenario for people to try it out like The Sword.
  • Yeah I'm definitely going to as soon as I can.
  • edited August 2012
    I want to talk for a moment about an issue that is close to the heart of any roleplayer of systems with combat; the Called Shot. I think I have a mechanic that is sort of awesome and I want to share it.

    The theory goes that a Called Shot is a strike the player makes which increases the difficulty in some way, but allows them to hit the enemy where they want to. The problem with this is that most systems have no real distinction between parts of the body, so the benefits are never worth the risk. Nobody makes a called shot to the head in D&D, because it means nothing whatsoever in that system. Of course, D&D combat has lots of problems in that it has a ton of crunch involved but all that cruft does no actual modelling of combat or reduce the abstraction, but you get the point.

    However, there is value to the concept of the Called Shot, because, essentially, saying you are making a standard attack is nowhere near as cool as saying you are smacking that son of a bitch upside his head with your mace, or you swing low to cut the knees out from under him, or you shoot the crook in the hand to make him drop the knife. That shit is awesome and visceral and people enjoy doing it and no system rewards it. On the other hand, you don't want people making called shots all the time because it quickly loses it's luster, so you have to have a real trade-off to doing so.

    There is another system that has a system with Called Shots. Every time you roll an attack in Dark Heresy, you roll to see where the attack hits; this is important because the person may or may not have armour there. As you can imagine, this bogged down the game like nothing else; every single time you attacked, you rolled to hit (factoring in whatever modifiers involved), rolled to see where you hit (checking to see which limbs were viable from the cover they were behind). checked what kind of armour they had on that location, and finally rolled damage. The worst part was that outside of the armour, unless the guy was already on the verge of death the location struck didn't actually matter mechanically! More dice for bullshit that doesn't affect anything sucks.

    So I think I got something nice going here. In Cyberpulp Adventures, when you hit somebody, you roll the dice from the weapon plus your attack stat vs the difficulty of the shot + armour, which is pretty easy to calculate. If you match or beat the difficulty of the shot, howevermuch you beat it by is your damage value, which you check against a chart (the charts will come on quick-reference sheets and are short and to the point). Low rolls enact a small penalty like temporary stat reduction or minor bleeding and gameplay continues with just one roll.

    However, really solid damage results higher up on the chart result in Critical Hits. Critical Hits are basically lasting damage; you are already some variety of fucked if a critical hit comes up, now you find out how fucked you are. You roll 2d6 to find out where you were hit, then you roll 1d6 to find out how bad.

    How does a Called Shot work? Simple. If you spend a round Aiming your weapon, or take a -1 penalty in close combat, you can make a Called Shot. You declare what you are shooting for and attack. If you get a Critical Hit, you just roll 1d6 instead of the 2d6. On a 1-2, you hit the location on the chart under the one you were aiming for. One a 2-3, you hit the one you were aiming for. On a 5-6, you hit the one above it.

    Bam. Elegant Called Shot system where you actually roll one less dice than standard.
    Post edited by open_sketchbook on
  • edited August 2012
    Running a complete test game tonight, from character creation onward. If all goes well, beta rules are going up tommorow or the day after for you guys to test.

    Beta rules will contain character creation with all classes, combat and verbal sparring, inventory rules, and basic investigation/skill use rules, a file of basic weapons, clothing and armour, barebones lore and an initial list of perks. It will not have vehicle rules, advanced items, GM rules, campaign info, or full cybernetics details as we are still working that out.

    EDIT : Also, I just printed the character sheets out for the first time, and they look incredibly baller.
    Post edited by open_sketchbook on
  • Godspeed sir.

    I sat down with five friends to play our first session of HARDBOILED, running a WIP freeform module. We created characters and played a sizable session in just four hours, with plenty of joking and nonsense in between. A lot of problems were found and solutions invented, and great fun was had by all.

    Our team consisted of robot Sleuth Frankie Breaker, impatient Rival Chaz, deranged (male) Dame Buck Sexington, slightly psychotic Partner Dick Gumshoe, and definitely evil Professor Zelger Amaman. We had a mix of temperaments and inclinations at the table; the players of Frankie and Zelger were fairly serious, Dick was just in it for combat, Chaz was semi-serious, and Buck was doing it for the lulz.

    Quick bit of background. Union City, the city where HARDBOILED takes place, is opposite of and opposed to the Golden City, which is basically a pulp analog to Nazi Germany. Where Union City is all about cybernetics and robots, the Golden City is a eugenics-based slave state. Our professor, Zelgar, is an exile from the Golden City and is essentially biding his time in Union City, planning to return to his homeland and take over.

    Also, note Zelgar had spent his starting cash on a cybernetic upgrade to boost his intelligence to 4, above the maximum stating limit.

    So, the party meet in a bar (I know, I know) as old friends, trying to help Buck through a fugue state by reintroducing themselves to him. After the pleasantries are out of the way, I introduce the plot via the radio; another cop found murdered, police baffled. The team decide that this is their kind of case and head down to the crime scene.

    There I set up the basic idea, with a chalk drawing showing a body sliced in two and a handful of clues dug up by Frankie's sleuthiness skill. The team decided to head to the precinct, hoping to get permission to inspect the body. They use the Verbal Combat rules to convince the cop behind the desk to call his boss, Detective Inspector (that's his name. Well, Inspector is his name. Detective is a title) and then they convince him they are the right man for the job.

    (Verbal combat is based loosely on the Duel of Wits from Burning Wheel. It was a turn-by-turn attack and defense combat system for arguing and reasoning, but a much better system presented itself organically during play and we've adapted it.)

    Detective Inspector pointed them down to 39th street, the center of the radius of the spree killings. The PIs can bypass the red tape and suspicion preventing them from making headway there. They also inspect the body in the morgue; the Professor deduces through intelligence that the body was sliced apart by a great claw of some kind.

    The players poke around 39th street for a while. They test Contacts to look for any criminals they can squeeze for information about the underground, and notice a young man they realize is acting as a lookout. They confront him and a quick bought of verbal combat intimidates him enough that he confesses he is standing lookout for a pair of crooks doing a break-and-enter on a condemned gun shop. They press him and discover that a scientist of some kind had been offering low-level gang enforcers hundreds of dollars in cash for some kind of procedure, and the guy rumoured to have taken him up on the offer disappeared a few weeks before the killings started. The guy also freaked out when Zelgar talked to him; Zelgar's player correctly deduces that his character shares an accent with the scientist and that they both hail from the Golden City.

    Some of the team wants to press on with this information, but Frankie insists that they stop the B&E first. So they hatch a plan; they stand by the open alley window and Buck uses his voice emulator implant to mimic the voice of the lookout warning of oncoming cops, and then the team take them by surprise at the doors. Unfortunately, when Buck warns them, the crooks instead decide to hide out, and pull their "lookout" through the window with a grapple attack. The team leaps into action, busting in the front and back door and through the window. Buck fights off his attacker in the grapple, forcing him prone, and the other flees behind a partition and draws a firearm. Dick shoots him through the thin wall, mangling both his hands, and Buck intimidates the other into surrender.

    Chaz goes out to placate the beat cops running to investigate while Zelgar, who stole a heavy revolver on the way through the shop, interrogates the robbers. One of them is a small time mob operator who was approached by this scientist, but turned down the offer; one of the guys he did know took him up on it, disappeared, and now cops are turning up dead. After some more prodding, he gives up a name and an address of the warehouse he supposedly works out of.

    Meanwhile, Chaz blunders through his talks with the police, but Frankie shows up and convinces the cops of his good intentions. The cops haul the tree crooks away, and the team consider their plan of attack. Zelgar stalks off and searches the alleys near the warehouse for homeless people. I assume he's going to ask for info and I tell him that he finds a drunk man passing out in an alley; rather than ask him for anything, however, Zelgar fucking murders him by injecting him with air from his cybernetic syringe and dumping his body in a dumpster before going on a fantastic rant about how pissed he is that some other Golden City asshole is here stealing his thunder, how setbacks like this force him to live about the subhuman filth infesting the city, etc etc. Fantastic roleplaying. He then takes the hobo's clothes and sets himself up outside the warehouse, observing. The rest of the party catches up, and they too start their overwatch of the warehouse.

  • After they learn the pattern (truck leaves, truck comes back with covered back, drives into garage, drives out of garage with empty back) they spring into action the next time the truck arrives. After it drops off it's cargo and goes out to park, they jump the driver and drag him back. Zelgar asks for a few minutes alone with him and interrogates him in Esperanto (the language of the Golden City), learning of the project to monitor the genetics of the lower classes in Union City, and how it's lead scientist has become obesses with combining Union City cybernetics with Golden City genetic engineering and bio-enhancement. Zelgar and Frankie then get in an argument over what to do next, engaging in a drawn-out Verbal Combat over it. This actually leads to a change in the resolution rules, with head-to-head simultaneous turns with the GM moderating and declaring argument types rather than the attack/defend model, as it lead to much more organic discussion.

    Of course, while this argument is going on, Chaz promptly walks in the front door, bullshits the remaining guard about how he hear they are the best in the assassination business and he needs somebody dead, and then convinces, with the help of a six of Clubs, to let him see the boss, while planting the seeds of doubt in the underlings mind. So Chaz confronts our scientist enemy, who has grafted dozens of mechanical arms to his back and is slicing up some poor homeless dude with reckless abandon. The sight, mixed with Chaz's statements, convinces the guard to betray his leader, and he is fried with a heat-ray for his troubles. Chaz ducks back into the office, barely dodging a plasma blaster than burns a three-foot hole in the wall.

    Hearing the ruckus, the rest of the party run in, Zelgar and Buck through the front while Frankie and Dick climb a back stair to ambush from above. The scientist unleashes a gene-monster, the creature that has been killing cops; a massive abomination with giant shears for one arm, covered in armour, and it charges forward. Zelgar takes aim with his stolen magnum through the hole in the wall and fires once, a perfect shot that strikes the gene-monster in the head and kills it instantly. The scientist responses by, somehow, also rolling a headshot with his heat-ray, lighting his head on fire and popping his neural implants, causing him to faint instantly.

    The rest of the party swarm the scientist, shooting him and then beating him viciously. Eventually, Dick hits him so hard with a baseball bat it destroys his right leg, incapacitating him with pain. As Frankie calls the cops, Chaz gets Zelgar back on his feet, and the Professor makes his way to the screaming scientist before chewing him out for his betrayal of his nation's values and his selfishness (rich, coming from a fellow GC exile cyborg, but Zelgar never claimed to be a good guy. Zelgar pops open the safe that contains the research notes and begins to drag the body away, Frankie stops him, claiming they must turn in the killer. Zelgar points out the real killer is the giant monster they killed, and this guy would be a wealth of useful information.

    Of course, as the two bicker, Chaz takes the notes, loads them into the truck, and bails...

    So, in the end, we all had a good time. There was some serious balance problems, like Zelgars intelligence upgrade which let him roll way to many Verbal Combats and a few number issues, but it was fairly solid, everyone got a lot of screen time, and there were tons of neat moments encouraged by the rules! This isn't quite everything, there was a lot of other weird stuff like chatting to shopkeepers and infiltrating a run-down building, but it was the highlights.

    I'm going to write all the corrections based on that game, and I'll have the beta to you lot shortly!
  • edited October 2012
    Hopy fuck you guys, super rough beta!

    Download it here!

    This beta will be up for a week for download. Basically we took what we had so far, dumped it into a big word file and threw in the character sheets. I apologize for the poor organization; the final formatting will be very different, we've been running this game out of about a dozen different files. If there is a way I can make later betas more readable, let me know.

    This contains everything super basic to the game to various levels of fleshed out. There is really detailed combat and damage rules, skill rules, a preliminary pass on verbal combat rules, character origins and some associated lore. There isn't too much detail and things are NOT formatted, it'll probably be a bit of a nightmare to read and I apologize, I just promised beta rules a million years ago and I wanted to get this out.

    Its... not completely usable yet because of some gaps in the heavy lifting stuff. We haven't got many perks, and the item section sucks because it is going to be a seperate book eventually. There isn't any of the "between session" stuff, and nothing about cards at all. Worst of all, the fully detailed medical system is in... with no medical items and no cybernetic replacements. So, um, don't get hurt in test games?

    HOWEVER, you can use those rules to run firefights, arguments, and premade detective things to your hearts content. I desperately want your feedback on this; it seems terribly clever from my end and test games have gone well, but we are very biased so we need more opinions! We also need to know if it is a system that people can actually learn, as all the test games have been run by the designers which doesn't say much!
    Post edited by open_sketchbook on
  • edited October 2012
    We did a more combat-heavy test last weekend.

    To put it lightly, it was a fuckfest of exploding limbs.

    Damage was a bit too hardcore, so I've restructured it and folded the attack roll into the critical roll and location-based damage, but there was a deeper issue. The problem was, basically, that D6s offer too small a range of results. It was overly constraining characters and difficulties, making abuses of bonuses much more obvious, and making extreme damage results too likely.

    So, Hardboiled is now a d10 game. I regret the loss of the d6 and a bit of the gambling facade and the easy link between 6 sided dice and 6 shot revolvers, but playability comes first.

    There is a host of advantages I'm rushing to take advantage of, though. True probability is a big one, and larger numbers in the stats mean more flexibility in the issuing of skill points. Reloads are on 1s and 10s now, so a shot can be lethal and still require a player to reload. Reloading a bit more often is good too, because players were seriously holding down the triggers on their guns.

    Now, though, I have to restructure all the abilities and difficulties so that the math still lines up with human norms. Just when I thought I was down with that bullshit...

    ALSO new damage rules mean built-in rules for brain damage!
    Post edited by open_sketchbook on
Sign In or Register to comment.