Saturday, March 29, 2014

Active Exploits, my new goto RPG

I recently decided to try a Diceless RPG.  On acount of it being available for free I chose Active Exploits.  And I've found it to be a lot of fun and really simple to play. the big advantage of no dice is that you can play it any time any where.

I strated a game with my son Saturday night, we made up aesetting using some random tables from Instant game.  and started an adventure.  I gave him the choice of using dice , in which case we would be playing Risus.
In a sligtly ironic twist he rolled a d10 to decide that no we would not be using dice.

His charcter is a pyrokinetic circus preformer.  Who owes the Ringmaste a debt whic he I working off.

So we played until bed time. then on Sunday morning we resumed our game while walking to the shops, something that we could not have done if we where playing a normal dice based game.  And it was still a fun game.  Right now we are in the middle of a battle in which the circus that his character is part of is being attacked by frost goblins.  He just defeated their snow golem but now one of the NPC's is about to be grabbed by two of the goblins.

Either he will have to go after her, or the ringmaster will discover that the stole all the circuse gold.  Either one will lead him to follow the goblins to their lair.

Playing dicelss does present intereting GM challanges, in that I have to be careful with what obsticles I set and keep the consequnces of failure in mind.  The game part of it comes in the form of resource management. Each character having pools of luck, discipline and expirence points to draw on.  There is also the neat feature in the system that you only get a defence total if you say you are defending.  Otherwise getting hit is almost certain.  This serves to bring an element of uncertainty back in.  A character who makes no attempt to defend can be taken downe even if their opponent is less skilled. You can try to do more then one thing in a single turn but doing so requires you to split your effort in some way.

The rules as given have a surprising amount of depth to them.  Quite detailed rules on weapon damage type and armour type, and even rules on sanity for horror type games.

About the only thing I don't like are an optional rule called accented abilities.  The notes say this is new in the 2nd edition and it feels tn me like a poorly conoeived patch that tries to solve a problem I havn't encountered as yet. At the moment this corner of the system feels broken to me so I'm ignoring it.  I also have a few quibbles about the main book being a t6oo vuage in places, but this can be solved by looking throught the rules for soem of BiG's other games, quite a few of which seem to more or less the same game with different die mechanics.  So you ahve genra Diversions which is a roll high 2d6 system, and Iron Gauntlets which uses a d10 dice pool . But all of them use the same terminology, and the same core abilities.

Other than that I'm really liking this system and I expect to playe more of it.  Anytime anywhere. I just have to remember to bring water. I was quite parched after that walk.