New d20 Sci-fi Game (Part I)

Hey all! So my most recent project I’ve been fiddling at is a new game system for my tabletop group. It’s going to be a sci-fi setting, and using a heavily modified version of the d20 rules. This is what I have so far:

  • The core mechanics of the system will be based on d20, using the Buy the Numbers system of character advancement.  I love this system because it frees characters from needing to select a certain class at the start of the game, and gives a lot more flexibility to both players and the GM when designing characters.  I’m also hoping it will stop players from falling into the standard set of roles, although I realize this might be a pipe dream.
  • I think I will also be implementing the aspect system from FATE.  Characters will choose 7 aspects for themselves, like in the Dresden Files RPG system.  I’m not sure exactly how many FATE points to give them yet.  I may only do the compel economy for them, and start each player with one.  Or I could tie it to individual levels.  Each FATE point can be spent for an action die, along the lines of Fantasycraft.  I think this system will be a nice driver for plot and a good way to have characters take solid, in-character actions.  At the same time, I don’t want it to overpower the other mechanics of the game, so there will probably be less focus on Aspects than there is in The Dresden Files RPG, Spirit of the Century, etc.
  • I originally started aiming for hard Sci-fi, but have been running into a few problems.  Like faster-than-light travel and communication, as well as artificial gravity and inertial dampeners not having any feasible explanations.  (Okay, so artificial gravity has a few, but is still hard to justify on what we think of as a spaceship.)  I will still try to keep as much as I can grounded in something resembling actual science, but I’ve decided to allow myself some wiggle room on a lot of the details.  Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, right?

That’s the main of what I’ve been working on right now.  As I finish certain aspects of the game, I’ll write up new posts introducing all of the basic ideas.  The goal by the end is to have some sort of source book put together, both for my players and the internet as a whole.  Although given the use of the Buy the Numbers rule system, I’m not sure how the legality of that will work out.  But I will try to find some way to share the end result.

That’s all for now, folks!  Now go have yourselves a happy new year. 🙂

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