Friday, October 21, 2005

Free WoD: Rulebook!

The new free book on DriveThruRGP is the World of Darkness: Rulebook! If you haven't yet read this book this is the time to give it a try. And if you already have the dead tree edition, an electronic version is always a good complement.

In my opinion, this is one of the best systems out there. Maybe it's because my general dislike for rules. The Storytelling system do not even try to be very innovative, it does what it should and keep out of the way the rest of the time. Compared to some of the other "modern" systems, it do not try to direct the game flow towards a certain style of gaming. Or maybe it does, just by not trying...

The best part is the combat system. There are numerous RPG:s claiming not to focus on combat, but most of them still have very detailed rules for it. In Storytelling, you basically make a skill roll and apply equipment and situation modifiers as for any other action. The dice only gives you the mechanical effect (damage on target), so you need to roleplay the specifics as with other skill rolls. It is more a system for violence than combat.

The rules are by no means perfect. There are some weird and unnecessary stuff about damaging objects, but those pages are easy to ignore. If you are sensitive about realism you may notice that the rules for firearms are a pretty bad approximation of reality. But, if you want a simple rule set, either as a backup when mostly free-forming, or for the tradition but not rules-fixated game, you should at least give it a try.

Note that this book is not only the basis for Vanpire, Werewolf and Mage, but is designed as a stand alone horror roleplaying game.


Blogger Kirt Dankmyer, aka Loki said...

Uh, the Morality system and Virtue/Vice system very much shapes play, and doesn't stay out of the way at all. When you gain Derangement for doing something the authors think is unethical, that's a pretty severe effect.

6:14 PM  
Blogger Jonas Barkå said...

I do not agree on the Virtue/Vice system. I give you that it is a way of rewarding players for roleplaying their characters, but I do not think it shapes play in a significant way.

But on the other hand you are correct about the morality system. I just forgot about it as I haven't really used it. That is probably because, as you say, it forces a certain morality on the characters. I can see myself using it in Werewolf, but the notion of going insane from stealing is a bit weird.

I should have mentioned it, and I would have put it under the "easily ignored" parts of the game.

6:30 PM  

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