REWIRED Diary: Where We’re At, and Where We’re Going

So last post, I typed your eyeballs off about the different projects leading up to REWIRED.  Today I want to babble for a bit looking at where the project currently is, and where I’d like to go with it.

The Tenets

What follows are the design goals I’ve had since WYRED, and that continue into the new game:

  • “Quick & Dirty Role-Playing”
    There is a difference between rules “lite” and what I refer to as “Rules Necessary”: It’s a balance of crunchy details and speed of play. I want them to play fast and hard. If looking up a rule during game play takes longer than 8 seconds on average, I’m failing.
  • Character Creation: Get In, Get Moving.
    I don’t want players to have to read through hefty tomes and do complex mathematics in order to fill out a character sheet for the first time. I want everything lined out and in as plain of English as possible for them. I want them to have options, exciting ones, but not a condemning list of arbitrary nuances and stat nudges to make them feel they’re building their character “wrong.”  I want every perk or tag they write down on their sheet to be easy to remember. And I definitely don’t believe in flooding them with a catalog of equipment with crazy names and similar stats.
  • Combat As Fast as it is Deadly.
    Maybe it’s because I’m older, and now finding time to schedule and run RPG groups has become sparse, but combat sessions that last an hour have become tiresome to me.  I’m also tired of players scoffing at a hand pistol or a knife and thinking there’s no threat.  I want combat to be resolved in just a few turns, and part of that is I want combat to be deadly. Any punk with a gun and an attitude is a threat; playing stupid and not taking advantage of things like cover results in your stat crunched monster being dropped in a single shot by a sniper in the wings.
  • Run It On the Fly:
    I pride myself on showing up to a game armed with only a single page of notes, a few note cards of NPC’s and being able to run a complete 5-hour session. Statting out opponents by the seat of my pants should only take a minute or two, and the system is streamlined enough that it should be easy to decide what kind of dice checks are needed when.

So Why a New Game?

WYRED pretty much sprung up as “How can I modify the WyRM system to run a cyberpunk game?” I wanted it to be compatible with WR&M and RAG as much as possible, while offering some new mechanical twists and tweaks. I plan on keeping it that way; the WyRM rules is a fun system.

REWIRED, on the other hand, is an overhaul based on personal preference. It’s still rooted in its predecessors, but has forked off into its own mechanics and systems. There’s a lot of stuff still held over: a lot of terminology used in WYRED remains in play here. But a lot has changed, too:

  • Core Mechanic has been changed from a d6+Stat+Skill system to a 3D6+Skill or Stat system. There’s also no more exploding dice. I found the original system to be “feast or famine” with the results….either tremendous failures or ridiculous successes went down, rarely did we see a middle ground.
  • Skills are now flat ratings instead of bubbled in skill ranks. They’re also separated by Combat, Action and Knowledge Skills.
  • Augmentations are now treated as Perks instead of being bought. I like this because it makes enhancements a bigger deal, and makes players who’d rather focus on natural skills and talents shine just as much as chrome junkies.
  • Wealth is now a rated Perk, evolved from WYRED’s Lifestyle rules. Pretty much, this leaves the only “bean counting” in the game to an economy based on XP.
  • Damage is now tracked differently. Instead of using “wound” points, all characters have the same condition tracker. Damage is still derived from the base attack roll; now players use a Toughness rating to determine the threshold that roll-over damages the character by.
  • Combat is still a single-roll based system, but now takes in modifiers considering range, movement, cover and the like in more detail. Also, the system now uses ranged measurements instead of the abstracted Range Bands from RAG for more tactical play.
  • Other Stuff includes reworked Hacking rules, more detailed Vehicle and Drone rules, equipment modifications and even psionics.

WannaRideOilSketchWhere We Go from Here:

Draft v.12 is pretty much the completion of the framework for the REWIRED rules. This makes the core game system broken down into 5 PocketMod booklets, easy to distribute at the game table and broken up for quick reference. What it needs now is play testing, and lots of it.  Numbers need to be vetted, typos need to be reported. A good example is cybereyes in the Augmentations and Enhancements Guide….still references additional upgrades for $500 (a carry over from WYRED) that needs to be fixed for the new Wealth system.

Moving forward, as the rules get tested and tweaked, I’m beginning to work on a full fledged Core Rule Book. It’ll feature the same rules found in the PocketMods, but will be written in more detail to help new players get into the game. Character concepts, campaign ideas, a sample setting, guide lines for GM’s to keep things interesting, so on and so forth.

And once again, the game will continue to be published under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License.  This means you’ll be free to distribute the game and modify it for your own projects.

Want to help the project? Biggest help I can ask for is feedback.  Download the game and feel free to leave some comments here. You can also join the playtest community on Google Plus.

One thought on “REWIRED Diary: Where We’re At, and Where We’re Going”

  1. It’s looking pretty good so far! I hope in the future you can possibly add in power armor and maybe even mechs, as well as some example enemies. I’m currently looking for a good cyberpunk game, and yours is looking pretty good so far. I’m excited to see where you take it.

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