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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Man, Djinn & Dragon -- an RPG in 500 Words or Less!

This creation was inspired by this contest, where the writer challenged us to create a complete roleplaying game (rules, setting and all) in under 500 words. We were to use two dice not added together, include a token, and have a countdown mechanic. Well, I hit two of those, and got in just under the word count.

I may expand on this later, but not much -- I like the bare bones feel of it. Until then, feel free to run with this and have fun!

You have left the realm of spirits and the confines of lamps to live on earth. But now dragons have invaded Arabia! As a Djinn, you and your kind are the only ones that can protect humanity and the sacred deserts of your homeland.

To play you need paper, pencils, a white d6, a red d6, a Wish Token (a blue glass bead), and an adventurous soul. There should be one Sultan (game master) and at least one player.

Create Your Djinn
You have 12 points to spread between your elements (minimum of 1, maximum of 5 in any element).
Fire: Anger, strength, determination.
Sand: Quickness, cunning, adaptability.
Stone: Resolve, hardiness, stamina.
Glass: Perspective, reflection, proficiency.
Wish: The magical power to make your will manifest. Only Djinni have Wish.

Game Mechanics
You have two dice: A white skill die and a red conflict die.
Skill Test: Most purely personal tasks involve a skill test: Lifting an item, hitting a target, solving a puzzle. Roll skill under your element to succeed, or “hit.”
Conflict Test: When facing an opponent or contest – wrestling, racing, riddling – roll the skill under your element and the conflict above your opponent's element. You must hit on both dice to score a hit.
Experience: You gain one point to add to an element at the end of each story.

Conflict Resolution
These rules apply to combats, debate, or any sort of conflict. Describe conflicts in creative and fun ways.
* Roll skill and add Glass. Characters act in order of high results to low. Each character acts once.
* When your turn comes up, make a conflict test: Roll skill under your Fire and conflict above opponent's Sand to affect him.
* If you hit, roll conflict above foe's Stone; a hit means foe takes a Hit, failure means no effect. Three Hits means foe is out of the conflict.

Once per story, a Djinn can claim the Wish Token and make one wish, either for himself or another. Wishes are open-ended and minor effects that can do anything within the Sultan's discretion. A selfless wish that benefits another (“Blessings upon you.”) requires just a Wish skill test. For a selfish or harmful wish (“Curses upon you!”), roll skill under your Wish and conflict over your Wish! Your “bad wish” is granted with only one hit, but in a back-handed way; two hits mean the wish is granted as desired.

Who you protect, and your allies. Create as Djinn, but with 9 points; they may not have Wish. Two Hits take them out of a conflict.