Thursday, November 1, 2012

Tea with the NaGa DeMon

Okay, so I finally figured out what all this talk of the "NaGa DeMon" is all about: November is National Game Design Month, which has it's own website.    Now, I have designed a set of RPG rules in the past.  It was based on a d20, with difficulty check breakpoints set at 6, 10, 14, 18, and 22.  I stole the skill tree concept from an early edition of Paranoia, and used Palladium's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a critter sourcebook.  The rest was sketchy notes and stuff I made up on the fly.  Later I worked up a separate bare-bones set of rules based on the five polyhedral dice (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12) and everything else also done in fives--I called the Five Elements Rules (clever, eh?).

But for NaGaDeMon I'm going to finally implement a concept I've had on the shelf for quite a while.  A long time ago I realized that to play an RPG usually requires at least one book and few dice.  If your players are very experienced with a particular set of rules you can probably jointly remember enough of the rules to put characters together and run with it.  But what if you have no special game products and the players don't have a common familiar rules set (or are new to gaming)?  Well, most people probably have a deck of cards handy or you can easily buy one at convenience store or other regular "high street" type stores.

So what I'll be presenting is a game which uses only a deck of playing cards, pen/pencil, and paper.  It should be easy enough that you can remember the rules after a bit of play.  Ideally the whole thing will fit on one sheet of paper at most, so that you can easily fold it up and take it anywhere, and all other materials should be easy to acquire almost anywhere you go.  I'll actually try to playtest them with my Wednesday group, but we'll see--the Firefly/Serenity type game my buddy Kaiser started running last session using the Mini6 rules was pretty cool and I'm not sure my "way super cool" playing card game can compete.

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