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Time Rats, in COLOR!

I've been teaching myself layout, and specifically baseline grids, so I decided to fancy-up Time Rats.


NOTES
I've fluffed it up a bit, adding enough information to make it an independent game that doesn't require having Maze Rats on hand—although it's still very terse, and will probably only make sense if you're to sort of person who reads gaming blogs.

The most significant mechanical shift from Maze Rats is the introduction of a Turn Sequence, inspired by the Doctor Who RPG, which is intended to make it viable to encounter rampaging death-machines with nothing more than a kettle and some bits of string.

This is not the final version. I want to finish up a 3-page adventure. The idea is to have a short document that will let you set up a single evenings-worth of adventure with brand new players in just a few minutes.

And I made the bestiary of enemies without much reflection. I need to consider their relative power levels a bit more.

Feedback and advice is appreciated…

Portcullis d6 Polyhedral Chart

I've been making little layout projects for myself, to brush up on InDesign. And I saw this Portcullis post for rolling polyhedral results with d6's. Thus:

I'm not sure that this has much practical value in the smartphone age, but it would have saved my 12-year-old self a lot of headaches (I remember spending a lot of time flipping through books to use page numbers as random generators. Weird how I only ever rolled odd numbers).

Anyway, this turns out to be a pretty good way to learn about making tables with InDesign.

Stats in Maze Rats and Into the Odd

One of the things that sets Maze Rats apart from other rules-light systems, even other rules-light 2d6 systems, is the Danger Roll. You only roll the dice when you've done something risky or ill-conceived enough that there could be some serious repercussions. The odds are stacked against you: you need to roll a 10 or over on 2d6. Attributes might give you a +1 or +2 modifier, and skills let you roll 3d6-keep-2.

This builds into the game an onus on the players to think problems through and create plausible solutions in the hopes that they can avoid the roll altogether.

Into the Odd is built around the same philosophy, but Saves are flat roll-under d20 versus 3d6 stats. Players with high stats don't need to be so motivated to think things through—they can just muscle through.

So: point to Maze Rats.

But Into the Odd has a combat system that I enjoy much more. Hit Points are an abstract defensive reserve to avoid serious injury. Once you're out of hp, you lose STR, and every …

The Doctor in the Maze

If you see this in time, there's a great deal of a Humble Bundle: The Doctor Who RPG, Sourcebooks for 11 Doctors, several adventures, and a few other Sourcebooks and miscellanea to boot. You can get the whole pile for $15. That's a lot.

The Doctor Who rpg is a fine enough system, but not really to my taste. But the Doctor-specific Sourcebooks are a real find. They include adventure breakdowns of each Doctor's TV episodes. So, decades of game-able material.

In order to make use of this treasure trove, I quickly knocked together a supplement to Maze Rats:

TIME RATS
I should say that I did this entirely off the top of my head, without reviewing either the Doctor Who rpg, or Maze Rats, so it might be ripe for correction or expansion. But it's enough to get me started.

Also, you can find even more material at the Cubicle 7 forum, where folks are compiling sourcebooks of each Doctor's extra-canonical adventures, including comics and so on.

An Exaltation of Rockets

I've been toying off-and-on with a rockets-and rayguns campaign/ruleset based heavily on the original Buck Rogers strips. I started working it up as a Black Hack, but I've since switched over to Maze Rats, which has become my ruleset of choice for Play-by-Post.

I don't have a good name for it. I want something that conveys the baroque majesty of science fiction in the 20s and 30s. "Planetary Romance" is an accurate description of the genre, but needs about 20% more pulp. Pseudo-pulp magazine names seem like a good way to go, but that's such an easy well to dip into that the results can sound pretty generic.

Request for feedback #1: On this particular morning, I'm enamored of "An Exaltation of Rockets," but it may not carry the right resonances. I'd be eager to hear from you what your first impression was when you saw that as the post's title. What sort of imagery did it conjure up? What sort of world does it belong to?

The premise of the …