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Topics - Charon's Little Helper

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Like many other nerds, I've always thought of the original Deus Ex of having great pacing & level design - especially as it comes to having different ways to tackle problems & resource management. While this obviously doesn't translate directly into TTRPGs, I have used the vibe a bit when tinkering with my space western game: Space Dogs. (see my avatar for the art style - he's one of my iconics)

Anyway - my hacking system has just been a pretty straightforward skill check thus far. I always liked the idea of some sort of resource management in the vein of Deus Ex's picks & multitools - which I always felt were a solid core of that game. However, I thought that that wouldn't be possible in a TTRPG, as there's no way to keep the PCs from loading a backpack or three full of them every time they dock at a civilized space station. However, I was thinking about it again after playing Cyberpunk recently (which has issues - but still a lot of fun) and its ram system for hacking. The implementation of it has issues, but I really like the vibe.

My new thought is to keep the skill of Hacking in space dogs the way it is - which goes from Untrained up to Maestro (6 total ranks including untrained) giving you 1d10 die per rank (plus two attributes from 3-8ish each). The RAM (or some better term I think of) you get is equal to your skill rank. Rolling failures on your Hacking check will cause you to lose RAM (and dice to roll on future skill checks), and the most secure systems inherently cost RAM to hack into. (RAM all comes back after a night's sleep.)

The fluff of this is that you're actually jacking directly into the system that you're hacking with a cord from your brain. (There is already fluff in the system about jacking - which is how you jockey exo-suits & mecha as well.)

Now - I like the vibe right now, and mechanically it can work. However, it wouldn't be the first time that I come up with a cool new mechanic, and then only after I've put all the work to integrate it into the system do I realize that it's clunky. Or it would be too hard for GMs to balance. Or something else. Therefore, I'm coming to the brain trust to tell me if it sounds good, decent, or terrible.

Thanks much!

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In essence per the title: What sort of stuff are you looking for in the short scenario/module which comes at the back of a new TTRPG book?

Probably like a bunch of other people here, I've been working on my own TTRPG for the past few years: Space Dogs RPG - A Swashbuckling Space Western. (My avatar over to the left is a bit of art I commissioned for it - one of my iconics.)

Anyway, as I near the final lap the rules are pretty much done (though there is always more playtesting/tweaking that can be done). One thing that I have a rough version of but am now diving into is the short example scenario at the end of the book.

While my game isn't OSR, it definitely has more of a traditional RPG vibe, so I figured that users here are some of the best people to ask.

(Currently it's a scenario that throws you right into the mix as the PCs wake up to a mayday and find the isolated space station they're garrisoned on under attack. They're quickly forced to fight some hive mind aliens (zerg/tyrranid style), deal with their mentally unstable bosses (the alien species doesn't do conflict well), and then figure out that the bug-aliens (volucris) were led to the station intentionally as a distraction while a bit of corporate espionage takes place. And then take them on too.)


Some games, such as 1e Shadowrun, have the back-of-the-book module be little more than a quick fight. Others try to touch on every part of the rules like a video game tutorial - but I've found that those can feel awkward, and they are actually harder to play through since a new group may need to look up each new rule as it appears.

Is there anything in particular that you personally would be looking for. (sorry for the ramble)

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