Design Diary: My aims with STAR6
I mentioned STAR6 in passing over on rpg.net, and someone asked for more details on what I was doing. This was a very good question, but one I didn’t have a prepared answer for! Sure, I know in my mind what I want to accomplish with it (and obviously what is already typed up), but getting those ideas all down in a list wasn’t something I had done yet. This diary entry is an attempt to fix that. I’ll start with my general aims going into the project, and then go onto a few system details.
Foremost, I wanted to have a system book that I could work off for Polgarus Games projects, both current and future ones. I’m focusing on one setting at the moment (a sci-fi setting not surprisingly), and I wanted to be able to include the rules with the setting book. So the rules are primarily being developed for that setting.
But since the Legends system is a solid one, I wanted the rules to be available as a stand alone book so that others who liked the system (or found that they liked the system) could use it for running their own games.
My second aim (which ties in making STAR6 stand alone) was to present a game that could be picked up and used straight away. The huge strength of the D6 System is that it is very adaptable to many settings and genres. Unfortunately, to do that it has to provide lots of options. I decided I was going to avoid the toolbox approach, and with STAR6 simply say “this is the system, now go play”.
My third aim is a strange one – I’m not trying to cover everything. There will be some things that initially, STAR6 won’t have rules for. Psionics/magic, better-than-human cybernetics (probably), ship construction (see below) and world building won’t be included. I’m sure there are other areas that I’ve forgotten as well. Why? To be honest, because I don’t need them straight away! The one exception to this is ship construction – I haven’t looked at that yet, so I’m unsure at the moment if it will be in the first release of the rules. And even when it is, it will be a simple system (certainly no where near the level of detail that GURPS Vehicles or Traveller’s Fire, Fusion and Steel were).
But the great thing about STAR6 being OGL is that anyone else can come up with and publish (on the web or via PDF) their own rule additions if they like. Or take STAR6 and mould it to their own preferences. The choice is there.
My final aim is to not just limit myself to D6 Legends as a base – there are a lot of neat ideas in the other D6 rulebooks, and in the OGL in general. If they don’t impact the other aims and add something to the game (IMHO of course), then I see no reason why they can’t be used.
So those are my overall aims. What can I say about system details at this stage?
- It (naturally) uses the usual D6 Legend method of rolling dice – a 1 or 2 is a failure, 3-6 is a success, roll your skill+attribute and try to get as many successes as you can.
- It will have the Wild Die and exploding sixes, but rolling a 1 on the Wild Die isn’t automatically a Critical Failure (nor does it cancel out successes like it can in some D6 versions).
- Fate Points are gone, and Character Points are no longer used to roll more dice (just for improving your character). Replacing this is the chance to Test your Luck, which I’ll talk about in the future.
- There are seven attributes – Strength, Agility, Perception, Knowledge, Presence, Health and Luck.
- For humans, starting attributes will be capped at 4D (other species could have a higher or lower cap of course). At the moment, starting skills (for all races) will be capped at +2D.
- Currently I haven’t included skill specialisations, but I’m going back and forth on this point.
- There are advantages and disadvantages, but keeping to the D6 Legend method (not the new ones added to D6 Adventure/Space/Fantasy).
- Robots as characters will be supported (at this stage).
- Rolling well to attack someone increases how much damage you do to them.
Since everything is still being worked on, a lot of other details at this stage are still up in the air (or I just haven’t thought about adding them to the list yet!) For example, should I use body points or wounds for taking damage? I don’t know – there are pros and cons to both (and also people who love/hate one or the other).
So that’s everything at this stage. If anyone has any questions, I’ll be happy to answer them.