Thursday, August 23, 2012

I'm a bored dork who is dodging responsibility

So, this summer my teenaged daughter was kind of obsessed with the cartoon Avatar: the Last Airbender, and she watched all three seasons on NetFlix. I watched about half of it with her (she had a habit of staying up way late, and would watch a lot of it while I was in bed), and I really grew to enjoy the show. I may have to go back and watch the episodes I missed. If you’re not familiar with the show, I highly recommend reading the Wiki page above, and if it interests you, check it out on any number of video formats.

As anyone who has been reading my blog for any length of time can imagine, while watching this show, I was immediately struck by how easily it could be done as an RPG. So, I hit the internet, and behold…nothing.

Though there have been various attempts to adapt existing games to the setting (with varying degrees of success), there has never been an official game produced. As a life-long RPG player, I see this as a serious missed opportunity. But, considering the fact that tabletop RPGs aren’t nearly as popular as they once were, I can see why the effort was not made. Still, it seems like someone would have at least optioned the rights for a game. It would have cost the producers of the show nothing, and would have even made them a little chunk of change.

Regardless, my brain started working out the details of how I would do it. I’m not sure I will ever put the rules on paper, let alone actually play it. But it’s an interesting exercise in game-design. You have to come up with basic rules on Bending, and then you have to come up with ways to logically break those rules in order to create the Avatar, and to create new Bending techniques (like Blood and Metal bending), all the while maintaining game and player balance. Fortunately, there is only one Avatar (and would most likely never be a PC), so that part doesn’t need a lot of detail. But the rest is intriguing to think about.

Speaking of RPGs, I find myself thinking again about Life of Rage, my Orc RPG. I really only need to flesh out the setting information a bit more, and then some minor details. And of course, artwork. But it’s kind of playable right now. However, I am rethinking the core mechanic.

Right now, I am borrowing the mechanic from Alderac’s L5R and 7th Sea RPGs, but with modifications. Basically, you roll a certain number of dice based on your skill, then you keep a number of those dice based on your related attribute, and add the results together to try and beat a target number. It seems kind of illogical, as you should roll your attribute and keep your skill. But for the sake of game play, it works. My main modification is the die-type. I use d12s instead of d10s. However, I think I might reconsider that and go with d6s, just because I want to keep it all pretty simple.

This is where my brain goes more often then I want…


Joe Bonadonna said...

Better your brain goes there, than "out to lunch" or on a permanent vacation.

Kort said...

Funny, my wife used to illustrate for L5R and 7th Sea. Small world.