#RPGaDay 2018 – Day 22 “No Dice”

Week 4: Which         Prompt 22: Which non-dice system appeal to you?

Today’s prompt for #RPGaDay2018 concerns systems that do not use dice, either in the game you are currently playing or not, either as a primary mechanism of getting things done or not. There are many ways to accomplish what we started out in this hobby using dice for, and trying new methods have led to some very interesting games. Let’s talk about them.

It’s the journey

I had a hard choice about which game I would use my limited time to share and ended up deciding to draw a card to choose. I peeked at the card next to what I got and it was the very innovative and inspiring Ten Candles (which I talked about briefly last year on the topic of running shorter sessions). On the card I drew, however, was one of my favorite games of the past decade has been one by Greymalkin, Broken Rooms.

Broken Rooms is a dice-based game, however one major part of its system is the concept of Momentum (yes, Virginia, Momentum did not start with Modiphius). It is that aspect of its system that I will share in this response.

The conceit of the game is one of travel and how it changes a person. The game accomplishes this in ways obvious and subtle, right up front and…on down the road. Characters are people who, after a strange series of events, have a limited set of strange abilities, including the core ability to transition between different variations of Earth. Of course, as this is a game of change – each Earth is more horrible and horrifying than the last.

As characters travel between the variations, and as they experience what they experience, they begin to generate a resource called Momentum. Stripped of flavor text and in-world justifications, this is a pool of resource points that players can spend to enhance character performance. The options are simple, and useful, and most importantly – tied directly to the theme of the game. Momentum is about momentum, keeping things moving.

Dice rolls in the game generate Momentum, so to build the resource one must first get oneself in ‘motion.’ Once in motion, more and more Momentum will be generated and banked, which contributes to a character standing apart from normal people and leads to the need to keep in motion. The farther and more seriously a character has traveled has significant effects on them, and in addition to those changes, they gain greater ability to use their Momentum to have events in motion turn out the way that they want them to (by influencing rolls).

All in all, this lean and mean part of the system speaks volumes to the players about the experience of the character and is much more than a simple pool of resources to draw upon. Metaphorically and mechanically in sync, Momentum is the trail that leads the group toward the exploration of what it means to travel and what it means to stop.

Tomorrow

We continue the fourth week, “which,”  and turn to discussion of games we are not playing. The prompt for Thursday, Day 23 of #RPGaDay2018 is to discuss games we hope to play again.

YouTube

As has been my habit since the second year of #RPGaDay, I am also keeping pace with the prompts on video. The content of the videos and the blog overlaps, but is not exactly the same, and where the greater emphasis on detail resides varies from day to day.

#RPGADAY 2018

This is the fourth week of the fifth iteration of the monthly roleplaying gaming celebration launched by Autocratik for all forms of social media. Share your responses however you prefer to share. If you want to get involved, grab and share the infographic with the prompts and jump right in!

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