23 December, 2012

RPGs and Ferrets

In my house live six ferrets: two males and four females (one of whom is blind).

We are also a house of gamers.

So when I heard about Kingdom: A Pen & Paper Space Exploration RPG, my interest was instantly drawn. I saw the words...

+Erik Tenkar on space ferrets: I think it is because one is and individual, two is couple,  three is invocative of the entire race, more then that is just clutter. 

...on a Google+ thread and had to take a closer look.

I looked at the Kickstarter (as linked above). I don't have high hopes for it.

Maybe it's not a game about ferrets after all. Maybe it's just a single persons attempt to create another generic sci-fi game that looks like a hundred other generic sci-fi games that I've flicked through at my local game store and put down because nothing really grabbed my attention in a positive way, and the few things that did stand out were the kinds of things that really irk me about an amateurish production.

The Kingdom Role-playing System relies on six sided die and percentile die. Players can either randomly generate the basic statistics for their characters or GM’s (Game Master) can choose to have a point buy system. Then they play through adventures run by the GM where their choices can inevitably and sometimes unpredictably have an impact on the galaxy at large.

For starters, it's a straight up "Players and GM" game model (nothing wrong with that, but nothing innovative either). It uses six sided dice and percentile dice....and that's the bit that gets me. Didn't Indie developers around the world spend the first decade of the 21st century developing games with coherent systems that use a unified mechanism? Perhaps it's a retroclone?

Then later..

GM’s will have many tools at their disposal in the book in the form of percentile charts that will allow them to randomize events that happen to their players and can act as plot devices. 

...oh dear, percentile charts. I know that some people love these, but I've just had too many bad experiences, as a player with GMs who would put a scenario on hold for a few minutes while they rolled up one table to get a cross reference on another table, which might have then been rolled to determine a story specific outcome (that may or may not have meshed with what we were doing), or might have led to another table again.

Maybe I'm reading too much into this.

Either way, I started my exploration of Kingdom with some good expectations, but everything I've read has been downhill. Maybe I'll have to write my own space ferret RPG.

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