Todays random post, GoodReader with some RPG PDF’s. And yes, I’m totally using the video tag on an XHTML page, sue me.
Whenever my head hasn’t been flatlined in whatever spare time I’ve had over the last few days, and when I haven’t been playing Modern Warfare 2, which by the way is overhyped for what it is, I’ve been updating SilProb.
I’ve got a longer entry in the works on what I’ve learned about the Silhouette RPG system from doing SilProb and how that’ll help me write my own system, but until then I figured the least I could do was to let everyone know that yes, the rumors are true, as seen on CNN; I’ve updated the code.
First of all it’s a lot faster. Like, a lot faster. Secondly I’ve added various points of interest, like how much each level of skill is costing you in relation to how much you’re getting back. Cost Per Average Point Increase is in a sense an upgrade effectiveness meter, where lower is better. Also I’ve tweaked the graph to remain value consistent within each dietype, so that the comparison can be made between the various Reality Distortion Levels.
Again, if you’ve made it to this line, I have to wonder why, but I thank you for your interest…
My favorite pen and paper RPG system is Silhouette by Dream Pod 9, which powers what happens to be my favorite RPG world, Heavy Gear. It’s a fast-paced, mostly elegant and rather gritty system, which is flexible in all the right ways.
Unfortunately Dream Pod 9 has been reeling for the last few years, and their last release of this system, SilCORE from 2005, isn’t exactly the shining beacon of perfection it should have been, suffering as it does from complexity issues and a severe editorial malnutrition.
Steve Jackson Games and DP9 are allegedly working together on a fourth version of Heavy Gear, but to my knowledge, nothing has come of this yet, and so Silhouette flounders.
However, the core system is still solid, and I just for kicks I like to play around with it in my sparetime. To do that, because of the way the system works, a probability matrix for the resolution mechanics is a must-have tool. I plotted around with the official one and found it to have some rather odd curves here and there.
So I built my own simulation system, SilProb and created my own damn matrices!
And good thing I did, as the official numbers on all the cinematic reality distortion levels have apparently been calculated using a broken bonus system.
Also, I’ll be lucky if anyone has read this far. It’ll be a downright miracle if anyone but myself finds this even remotely interesting.
PS: You may get ‘script slowdown’ issues in your browser. I’ll fix it if I can.
PPS: I would re remiss if I didn’t mention Morten Heiberg, who was kind enough to write me a small program a while back which allowed me to take the first meager steps into the wonderful world of probability simulations. But he’ll have to talk to my lawyer about that…
Update: – Nov. 8th, ’09 I’ve ripped out the brute force method from the JS and replaced it with an exhaustive trip through all possible combinations instead. It’s much faster and perfectly precise.
Update 2 – Nov. 11th, ’09: I’ve redesigned the results to make more sense as a tool for figuring out what it takes to hit a given target threshold.
Update 3 – Nov. 12th, ’09: SilProb v4.
I run a small Heavy Gear campaign these days with a couple of friends. And while I love Dream Pod 9’s games—and their ‘engine’, Silhouette, they never did know how to do a proper character sheet. So I did one for myself, and tonight I made some revisions to it, the resultant PDF of which can be downloaded here:
If you’re a roleplayer, and we’re talking pen and paper here, then you should know that realistically there are two main cyberpunk RPG’s. There’s Cyberpunk 2020 and Shadowrun. And they’re both very similar and very very different at the same time.
Not going into game mechanics (as I don’t know the new editions of SR all that well), I was always a CP2020-guy, though I have been known to have both played and GM’d SR at times (though it’s a long time ago now!).
CP2020 is the more vanilla cyberpunk game. It deals with guns, cyberspace, corporations and lots and lots of metal under your skin. SR has a fantasy twist going on, elves, trolls, orcs, dragons, magic and so on has been unleashed in what is essentially a CP2020 world.
I always liked the playin CP2020 more, but I think that might mainly have been due to my inability to come up with interesting ways of using these fantasy elements in my games.
Now it seems Gibson has a thing or two to say (well just one actually) about SR which confirms that I should stick with CP2020 ;)
Oh yeah, CP2030 has been in the works for years and years, I wonder if Pondsmith is ever going to come around to releasing it. It’s like the Duke Nukem Forever of the RPG world.