I’ve been on a general hiatus since the birth of my son, but now I’m getting my game group rolling again.
I threw two pitches at them: Smallville or a sword and sorcery Runequest II campaign.
Although I did try to slightly tilt them towards Smallville, the majority of them seem to be in more of an ‘I stab you in the face’ kind of mood.
Now don’t get me wrong—I am pretty stoked about Runequest—but I’ve decided to splice in some of the elements from other games I’m digging at the moment. I mean, why bake a cake if you can’t eat it too?
So here are the houserules I’m cooking up at the moment:
To start, each player is going to have to come-up with:
- A Concept (steady-handed killer, escaped gladiator, Devoted Cultist of Hune)
- A Flaw (heavy drinker, sucker for a pretty smile, “I can take ‘em”)
- A Relationship with one other PC (“Zag can’t be trusted,” “Cybele is purty,” “I’d trust Lorne with my life)
When a player wants to spend a Hero point to:
a) get a 20% bonus before a roll or
b) a re-roll afterwards
c) get an additional Combat Action
they must invoke an Aspect. The Aspect can be one of theirs or, if the circumstances justify it, another PC or NPC’s. Unlike Fate, Hero points will not automatically restored at the end of each session, but may be handed out as rewards (along with RQII’s improvement rolls).
The other way to get Hero Points will be to have your Aspects compelled. Should an Aspect get a PC into hot water, the GM can bribe them with a Hero Point to take (or not take) a particular course of action. The player can always refuse the compel, but they will not get the Hero Point in that case.
Ok, stealing from Smallville, I’m going to make a small location/relationship map.
Each player will put a their PC’s initials on the sheet and draw lines between each PC. Then:
- Each Player will write the name of someone important to their character (an NPC), encircle the name and draw a line back to their PC. Along this line, they will write why they are important to the PC. (i.e. Thrax, High Priest of Gul- Mentor or Councilor Aurelian of Estades- wants me dead)
- Each Player will then write the name of a location or organization, enclose it in a square, and draw a line to their PC. Along the line they will write why the location is important to the PC (ie. village I grew up in, gives me sanctuary, I escaped from the Cult)
- Each Player will then draw a line between any of the above Circles or Squares (including those added by others) and any other Circle, Square or PC. The Player can then define the relationship between the people, places and things so linked (ie. Thrax is High Priest of the Temple, or another PC served under Aurelian). The general rule here is not to be a dick.
- Each Player draws their choice of a circle or a square and links them to their PC as above.
- Each player repeats step 3. After everyone has gone around once, each player can repeat step 3 again.
Each circle or square that leads to a PCs name should be written down on their sheet. These relationships can be invoked exactly like the aspects above (or if they are more complicating than positive, they can be used to earn hero points).
In addition, a PC can spend a hero point (and come up with a reasonable explanation) to:
- Have an NPC from their sheet show-up in the current scene
- Have an envoy, citizen, etc from a location or organization show-up
Further, if the GM (or a Player) can plausibly work a location or NPC into a scene in a way that will complicate the PCs life, they can earn a Hero Point as if the NPC or Location was an Aspect that had been compelled.
Hopefully, these rules won’t make my Players run away screaming and will add a little spice to the game.