DEVELOPMENT TOPSHEET-EYES IN THE DARK
System V is a radical departure from my System-4. Many players have
really enjoyed System-4 for its generality, but working full time I do
not have time to spend the hours making characters and updating experience
as I'm sure you've all noticed! The fact is, I came to realize after
years of playtesting that the system I was using in my head to GM was far
simpler and more straigthforward than the system I had on paper, and I
said to myself "You're needlessly complicating things." Also, various comments
over the years from astute and adult gamers who couldn't fully comprehend
it told me I needed to simplify, so V is precisely that. V is built
on all the rigorous mathematics of 4 but simple, smooth and easy to play
and GM. It's an adult RPG system, adult in the sense of how much
time adults have to game.
System V is far from finished, but I've put together a minimal subset
to be able to test it out on I2D. It's premature, but I just
can't cope with -4 anymore.
System-V is based basically on a system of dice. I like dice, so
although I cculd have gone diceless, I kept them in. In V, each attribute
or skill is based on a rating of 1D to 5D. The dice V uses
roll from 0-10, so if you have any old d20s, these will do nicely.
Mark one 10 as 0, the other as 10 and you're all set.
Dice rolls are a simple addition. If you want to jump a fence,
you make a roll for Agility. The GM says your rating is 2D, so you
roll two dice and add them up. Basic challenges, difficulties and
so on are based on the following tables.
Designing a Character
in V amount to words, not numbers. Take your
character-concept or what you have played so far and put your old 4 sheet
aside. I'm gonna get irate if I see  terms spewed back at me,
though not as irate as if I saw White Wolf terms. Print out
the following sheet, and print on it your char-description.
The way to do it is to split it up. There are no right or wrong
keywords to put on the sheet, though specific game terms from 4 are frowned
upon. Just keywords as long as we know what they mean will do.
Here are a couple of ways to organize your thoughts:
Write down a list of all the things you think of when you think of the
character and pick and organize the most important ones until you have
Write a short paragraph describing your character in 2-3 sentences.
You should be able to pluck the main keywords out of that description.
Most characters are exceedingly simple when you come right down to it.
Next, organize the keywords into categories. Talents, Powers,
Other Stuff, and Depth.
Loopy is a new-age werewolf who was born and therefore thinks like a
wolf and is confused by human affairs. He is an empathic shape-shifter.
Keywords: werewolf, wolf mind, empathic, shape-shifter.
Dexter is a boy genius with a secret lab, and an annoying sister. Keywords:
Boy Genius, Impatient, Annoying Sister.
Buffy is the slayer, the chosen one put upon the Earth to slay monsters,
but this time the chosen one is a valley girl. Keywords: Slays
Monsters, Valley Talk.
Scully is an FBI Agent and a medical doctor, and an incorrigible skeptic.
Keywords: FBI Agent, M.D.,Skeptic
I'm available to advise on how to qualify your character.. If you don't
have a solid conception, I might.
Talents: Natural qualities that set this person apart from others,
like "Brainy" or "Likeable" or "Cunning". Characters should have
1 or perhaps 2. They can be good and bad. Here are a list of
some sample talents:
Seductive, Writer, Agile, Cunning, Expert something, Martial
Powers: Special abilities most folks can't have, like the power
to fly or change their shape. You needn't bother with the ability
to appear human, or regenerate, or great strength. All monsters have
Shape Change, Camoflage, Venom, Storage, Illusion, Manifest, Dream
Walk, Fly, Serpentine, Fire Breath, Weresomething, Flatten, Telepathic,
Empathic, Density, Gravity Cannon, Necromancy, Source, Chill
Other Stuff: contacts, people, items, secret bases and other resources
go under other stuff. A character should have no more than 5-7 Powers
and Other Stuff.
Agent, Wealthy, Book of Spells, Magic Item.
Depth: Anything that potentially acts against a character down in
play but makes them more interesting. Limit to 1 or perhaps
Innocent, Hunger for ... ,Undead,Anachronism,Unknown Origin
Alas, V has numbers! But not cp costs or skill levels. At the
bottom of your sheet you will see four boxes, Player Rating, Concept
Burn Max, Concept and Concept Max. Everybody starts with Concept
500 and concept Max 500. The exposition box leave blank, that fills
in during play, To know these numbers each player has to be rated
according to the following table:
||Novice, GM' Girlfriend "Can I play?"
||Skan, Janlop, Apollo
||Eg, Selene, Mordiken, Selenin, Janlop, Alex, Rak
||game designer, familiar with V
||pain in the ass powergamer, rules lawyer
You're better off being at a lower rating, cause you get to burn more
concept. These are my guesses. Some of them may move around
during play or as you progress.
While I'm at it, I want to reorganize our monster-mythos. But I'll
publish this page right away so you can get cracking, and finish up this