Wednesday, December 24, 2008

genreDiversion 3e! Hooray!

I'm very much looking forward to the release of GD3 (genreDiversion system) right after the new year from Precis Intermedia. genreDiversion is the simple, modular system behind some of my favorite RPGs--HardNova and Coyote Trail, to name just a couple--but the next edition of genreDiversion looks to have a few new twists that should make it even cleaner and more robust. I was privileged enough to get an early look at GD3, and am very excited about what I see coming. Here's an excerpt from the website:

Go beyond just a diversion with this revised and expanded genreDiversion rules manual that is more versatile, more dynamic, more heroic, and more exciting.
  • Ability-Centric Characters
    Focus on a character's raw potential rather than his training to get things done. While skill refines a character's accomplishments, raw talent makes them happen.
  • Create Characters Your Way
    Characters can be built using a variety of methods, from random choices to arbitrary or controlled assignments. Custom species and vocations can be created as a framework for characters in a particular setting. New gimmicks can be devised to add special powers, such as for the supernatural and scientific enhancements.
  • Quick Resolution
    Roll dice (two six-sided) only for tough and contested challenges, maintaining a smooth progression of story. Resolve focused situations like combat using a simple scale of difficulty that can be influenced by various factors. Utilize optional elements like experience to gain the advantage or exploits to make the most out of success.
  • Vehicles and Monsters
    Apply the same basic mechanics to vehicles and monsters, from cars and starships to dragons and sea monsters. Engage in chases, dog-fights, and even desperate battles with larger-than-life creatures.
  • Miniatures and Maps
    Miniatures and maps can be used to better visualize combat and vehicle interactions. While this adds a more tactical feel for those who prefer such elements, it is not required.
  • Unbidden and Forsaken
    Dive into the action with a ready-to-use modern setting based on our older Unbidden game.
  • Compatibility
    Convert or interact with characters/elements from genreDiversion i, Iron Gauntlets, Story Engine Classic, and Active Exploits Diceless Roleplaying.

Changes from GDi to GD3 include:
  • Pursuits
    Skills are now known as pursuits and range from incompetencies to masteries (similarly to Active Exploits's skills), providing a bonus/penalty on related tasks and define the effects of most exploits.
  • Easier Dice Rolling
    The margin has been eliminated--simply roll equal to or greater than the difficulty rating to succeed (the ability rating is added to the dice total); difficulty values are now ten greater than their GDi counterparts.
  • Tougher Characters and Monsters
    Characters can use experience to directly affect play. They also possess greater levels of health, allowing them to take more punishment; these added levels can be easily ignored for more gritty games, maintaing the same scale as found in GDi.
  • Quicker Combat
    Difficulty values for contested actions in combat are quick and easy, typically adding an opposing character's ability to a base difficulty. Optional weapon gimmicks can also be utilized for more detail or ignored for super-fast resolution.
  • Scaling
    Not only can characters' abilities be scaled to super proportions, but guidelines are provided for mixing elements of different scales, including sizes and damage.

If you haven't done so by now, do yourself a favor in the new year and check out some of Precis Intermedia's stuff. In my opinion, they have been consistently outgunning and outperforming larger gaming companies left and right. It is a grand thing to be able to trust a company in that no matter what they come out with, you're guaranteed a quality product (and one reasonably priced to boot). There's not enough companies you can say that for.

Merry Christmas to All! May there be peace on Earth in your time, and unrefined mayhem in your dungeon crawls.

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