We’re really excited about – and backing! – two soon-to-end roleplaying-related Kickstarter projects.
OVA (Open Versatile Anime) is our favorite rules-lite system, and has what may be my favorite dice mechanic. This is the KS is for the long-awaited Revised edition.
The game is definitely anime-flavored, but since the word anime covers such a huge variety of genres, the game is designed to handle them all. It doesn’t have stats, just abilities and weaknesses. Abilities for starting characters are generally ranked from 1-3; weaknesses at -1 to -2.
Those numbers tell you how many d6s to add to or subtract from the base two when making a roll (not surprisingly, negative dice are bad). To make a roll you toss the appropriate number of d6s, then add up any that match; the result is the single highest result among them. For instance, if you have “Attack! 2”, you’d roll 4d6 to attack someone, whether it’s with your fist, laser eyes, or BFG 2000. If the result was 2,2,3,6, the possible results are 3, 4, or 6, so you rolled a 6. That number is opposed by the defender in combat, and compared to a Target Difficulty otherwise.
One of my favorite things about the game is its physical size. The first edition’s book is so small and thin that I carry it around everywhere in one of the flaps of our backpack so I’ve always got it for a pick up game. OVA Revised is supposed to be about the same size.
As I write this, OVA has 6 days to go and has long since reached its goal, but now is the prefect time to get in on the ground floor of the new edition, and get some exclusive d6s in the bargain.
The other project we’re excited about is a story game called Kingdom. That’s right, the confirmed GURPS geeks are enthralled by a story game – that should tell you something!
I can best describe the game using a gameplay example from the Kickstarter itself:
We’re playing with a colony ship as our Kingdom. We’re still years from the target system when we pick up the signal. Could this be first contact with an alien intelligence? Unfortunately, it’s light years out of our way. This is our Crossroad: do we change course to investigate?
The colonists are excited even if it means abandoning our carefully calculated settlement plans. But by now all the players suspect that Captain Browning (ahem, *Acting* Captain Browning) cares more about looking like a good leader than being one. He’s in charge and he wants to keep it that way. My character tells the Captain that the data’s conclusive: the signal is definitely not natural. But she also mutters that if we’re abandoning the plan and just making things up as we go along, pretty soon everyone is going to want a vote.
I’m Perspective so what I predict is true. A Touchstone character showed us what the people wanted. But the Captain has Power. He decides what we do. And I just told him that if he does what the people want his precious authority is going to be a thing of the past.
Captain Browning carefully straightens his uniform, then flips the switch to make a ship-wide address…
To get a really good handle on the game I suggest taking a few minutes to read over the rest of the Kickstarter. Being as unfamiliar with story games as I am, I simply can’t describe better than he does.
We’re excited about using the game in two ways. First is to combine it with Microscope (Kingdom‘s predecessor and companion) to really flesh out the backgrounds of our game worlds (especially since my primary game world is the world of what I hope will be my first book).
Our second use is one suggested by Ben Robbins on the KS: Take an occasional break to investigate other parts of the world in detail. For instance, if the party just captured a lieutenant in an evil organization, once they’ve broken him we can switch to Kingdom to roleplay out the events he’s describing instead of the players just sitting there listening to the GM.
Kingdom has nearly two weeks to go but has likewise reached its goal (by more than 600% already!), but some of his bundles, like getting both the PDF and deadtree of both Kingdom and Microscope for $45, are unbelievably good values.