terça-feira, 12 de maio de 2009

A little anedocte about The 101 rpg

The 101 rpg is a mad game full of hyperviolent action on surreal premises. It has been tested to good effect on a couple of seperate events, and it has grown to be a good, filler, game. We hope to make it grow even more into an adult stage with this revision.

However, the game has not always been like this.A while ago, say some 9 or 10 years ago, I was writting on a couple of portuguese roleplaying sites, when I got this thread about making a Portuguese rpg.

I quickly jumped into it, only to find it was more about making some D&D 3.x related exapansion, based on the Portuguese Discoveries, than an actual full fledged game.

Back in those days I was already high on lite systems, so I proposed something that was to become the bare bones of The 101. Of course, back then I wasn't even thinking of The 101, I never knew what it was.

The system was pretty simple, each character had a basic attribute called Destiny, and a couple of Traits. You had nothing compared with skills, mind, the only way to test how good you where at something was to see if your character was Destined to succeed. You rolled them bones, and if the result was lower than your Destiny, then you were meant to pass said test or conflict. If you failled, you had the option to buy the success with one or more of your Traits.

See, the Traits where something like past memories or achievements your character had, something he was known for. Say he had the Trait Fast Talker, that meant he was not only good at fast talk, he was known for it and had already a history of fast talking it, including, and that's where the Trait thingy really shined, that one episode where his fast talk got him out of trouble. So when the dice didn't fell your way, you could always recall the story of when you fast-talked those thugs and... you get the point.

However, despite me loving the system (I called it Destiny Awaits!), I somehow forgot about it, playing other stuff as it came.

Fast forward a couple of years. We were playing Feng Shui at the moment, and I was having, lets just come forward and say it, not a good time. You see, Feng Shui has a most exciting setting, but a terrible system. The system says that you have to describe your actions in a colourfull way, to make the game more cinematic. This is very exciting to me, as I love to colour my actions. I'm also an Exalted nut that way. However, the system also says that physics have an effect on your actions, so when I was describing my character running up and down walls shooting at bad guys, the GM was adding up the negative modifiers for my roll..., which was not a good thing, because, you see, I have a chronic bad luck chasing me. And also, there's this urban legend about Feng Shui where it's dice hate you and want you dead. And that's what was always happening.

So I got the idea of designing my own high flying game. However, it also had to cater to my tastes in lite games and account for my bad luck; also, it should be about people's descriptions and looking cool while fighting enemies.

That's when I remembered my old game Destiny Awaits!, and quickly got to thinkering with it. At the time I was also becoming an avid Warren Ellis fan, and a couple of his comic books became an inspiration, namely Global Frequency and Planetary. Combining them I got a game about a secret agency that fights to maintain the status quo, and it does it while looking cool.

You see, The 101 rpg only has the one stat, Cool Factor, which is directly based on Destiny, from Destiny Awaits!. Describe your actions in a cool manner and your character's Cool Factor goes up, does making the check easier. Just like it should be. Remember, not only does Neo not fail, but he's also the coolest cat in the block. The 101 rpg is just like that.

After a couple more years have passed, I met this guy with some insane ideas. So insane, in fact, I had to drop kick him into submission. I'm talking, of course, about my partner in crime, João Mariano. His ideas will, without putting too much pressure on his shoulders, make The 101 rpg the game I've always wanted to make. Hopefully, it will be yours, as well.

Until then, stay in touch.

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