Slow morning at the Inspector General. "Look at your horoscope," my supervisor wisely suggested. I decided to do something else: expand upon a silly idea that magneticwave
and I joked about last night. I find that some of the best ideas start out as jokes. But then, the entirety of my completed work could be described as "a joke."
Whatever. I'm enthusiastic about this project and I'm going to ride that wave until it crashes upon the cold stone shore of reality.
The idea is to create an RPG based on the beloved tropes of our childhood--that is, 1990s pop culture. The best example is the only example I have right now--the character classes.
I didn't watch Buffy. To be honest, there's a lot I didn't watch during the 90s (too busy reading!).
So I don't quite know what to do with this class. Vampire Slayers would get some bonus against magical creatures, such as...
HOGWARTS EXCHANGE STUDENT
None-too-subtle tribute to Harry Potter. Young wizards/witches would fight with a variety of basic spells derived from their imagination? That seems apt to me. bartlebyslament
has made some very astute comments
about magic systems which I'm definitely going to keep in mind as I develop this system. For now, I'm going to continue to borrow heavily from 4th Edition D&D: some spells you can cast all the time, others... you can't. We'll see.
So there was basically no way
there wasn't going to be a POKEMON reference here. Pokemon trainers have fewer than the typical +6 stats because obviously, their POKEMON will be doing most of the fighting for them! Duh. Assuming someone even decides to be a Pokeguy, I'll work out how those mechanics work. During character creation, the player picks one of six(?) POKEMON to start out: BULBASAUR, CHARMANDER, SQUIRTLE, EEVEE, PIKACHU, or ABRA. Pokemon would generally be very powerful, but have low SALUBRITY. Trainers would be able to capture wild enemy pokemon, or even steal defeated trainer's pokemon with a high enough COMPETENCY roll.
Or something. I'm flexible.
There's so much copyright infringement going on that we can afford to be totally ridiculous. No one is going to take this seriously, and I'm fine with that. Writing serious things is hard for me, because it requires me
to be in a serious mood. Writing horror is a little frustrating, because I sometimes refuse to go to those places, mentally.
This isn't exactly intrinsically 90s, persay. Small tribute to the superhero genre, specifically, Batman: The Animated Series and the rest of the DCAU which had a pretty tremendous influence on me when I was growing up. Batman and Justice League were basically the only shows that I really got into as a kid. Teen Wonders are relatively balanced, having benefited from the guidance of an older DO-GOODER.
This is kind of a boring class. Then again, I think every game needs a balanced character, and there ought to be plenty of fun to be had when it comes to playing with the secret identity/superhero dynamic. Nobody recognizes them if they put on glasses! Hilarious. Maybe.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLE
Originally, this was the POWER RANGER class, but I know shit about Power Rangers. By comparison, what I know about TMNT is immense: basically everything you need to know about them is in the title. And they love pizza. Cowabunga, dudes.
I'm like the only person I know who read Animorphs as a kid. It was a great series... for the first twenty-six books. I never read the whole series; I gave up a few books before it finally transitioned into the endgame and KA Applegate started writing the books once more. They're actually rebooting the series, removing a lot of the 90s references for the new generation. Blasphemy. For me, Animorphs is quintessentially and unapologetically nineties. Most of those stories couldn't work in a world with cell phones and instant communication, anyway.
The Animorph class is supposed to be useless, incapable of attacking while human. In order to be worthwhile in combat, they must transform into an animal of some kind. They would also be able to steal the DNA of enemies, assuming they could touch them while in human form. Of course, if they stay in any given morph for too long, they are trapped in that form, forever! Switching between morphs heals the characters.
SK8ER BOI / SK8ER GRRL
They're fast and frisky... and not much else. Somewhere along the way, someone decided skateboarding was cool and we have suffered for it
ever since. SK8ERS get XTRA movement and can also retreat after performing an action. Can't think of anything else to do with this class right now.
Young adult fiction rests solidly on the premise that a young tyke will have the imagination and the moxie to solve problems that adults can't. Which is why I gave this class lots of competence and pulchritude. This is designed to be a utility class, the member of the team who can pick locks or charm their way out of fights.
There's probably no way in hell this is actually balanced. We can adjust as we go. Hopefully, there will be something for everyone.
As for potential enemies, I have no idea. WILD POKEMON, UNRULY CLASSMATES, GOTH BARBARIANS are eventually outshadowed by HIDEOUS MUTANTS, INCOGNITO POP STARS, PLANETEERS, and of course the VICE PRINCIPAL. I don't think I've refined the system to a point where I can actually think about a story yet. Something goofy and fun that serves to teach a lesson in friendship and can be wrapped up in no more than four sessions.
A group of TEENAGERS WITH ATTITUDE discover a couple of thugs who are up to no good; searching for the LEGENDARY POWER GLOVE that will give them untold power over reality itself! Right now I'm more about interesting character interaction and gameplay than I am story. This is kind of a change for me. We'll see how it goes.