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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 75 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Stone, Steel, and Steam Open Beta  (Read 334 times)
markgamemaker
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Posts: 4


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« on: February 24, 2010, 06:34:34 PM »

*If I have made a mistake in posting this here, a. I apologize, b. see Contradictions in the Stickies to understand my mistake.

Hi. New here.  I'd like to tell you about the game system I've been designing, answer your questions, invite you to try it, and request your feedback.

Premise
What if the Chinese had discovered America and not Columbus?  What if the Native Americans had developed more advanced technology and complex societies that were better able to resist foreign invaders?  This is not an alternate history - it's an alternate world with unique geography, cultures, and magic - but the core idea is a world having an Age of Discovery going very differently than the Columbian Exchange.

Setting
The setting is the real focal point of the game, based on years of world travel and historical and ethnological research.  It's fantasy, but each of these cultures feels like it could have existed in Earth's past and remixes several historical counterparts.  Magic is very subtle, more like ESP - a lot of sane, educated people don't believe it exists.  The most advanced nations have the equivalent of 1860's technology, and they've recently discovered and began to colonize a new continent with native Stone, Bronze, and Iron Age cultures.  Unprecedented changes are shaking up every society, and the time is ripe for adventurers to win their fortunes, make great discoveries, and tilt the balance of power.  The setting itself is morally and culturally neutral - the characters may be colonists fighting evil natives or natives fighting evil colonists.  There's plenty of room for diplomacy, intrigue, mystery, romance, exploration, action, and adventure in its original sense.

Mechanics
I didn't seek to break new ground in the RPG medium.  I've largely adhered to the conventions of GM/Player segregation, dice, character sheets, health points, and numeric skill values.  There are, however, a couple of original treats.  All of the Attributes have both combat and non-combat applications and can be recombined with almost any Skill, the result being that there is no 'dump stat,' simply different styles and applications of skill use.  A highly intelligent fighter is just as effective as a very strong one.

The whole thing is pretty much ready to go.  I probably should have come here earlier when I was struggling with fundamental mechanical design challenges.  All it needs right now is extensive playtesting to find and hammer out the kinks and beat the manual into its most usable shape.  Here's the Beta manual that's free to download and redistribute:
Stone, Steel, and Steam RPG Open Beta
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Stone, Steel, and Steam - Beta Testers Wanted!
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