When Tom, Nimue and I initially discussed the mechanics of a Hopeless RPG we all agreed that the game system had to be simple, straightforward and easy to customise. The aim was to make a game that people who had never even contemplated playing an RPG before would be able to pick up, spend a few happy hours reading, and then settle down with friends and start exploring the Island.
I’m pleased to announce that, as things stand, this is what seems to be appearing.
The core of the game will comprise of two books, one for players (called the Traveller’s Handbook) and one for the person running the game (called the Master of Ceremonies’ Handbook). The aim is that players should not buy the MCs Handbook unless they decide to start running games. This will mean that Hopeless’ secrets are kept, well, secret.
The Traveller’s Handbook will contain everything required for a player to create a Traveller and play the game. It will have rules for constructing the Traveller (physical and mental characteristics, background events, Professions, Hobbies and skills), how the game system works, combat, magic and rules for inventing stuff.
The MCs Handbook will contain more in-depth rules on how Professions and Hobbies are used, the effects and components of magic, the problems and joys of inventing, rules for what happens when things break / blow up, a Bestiary, how to fight spirits and demons, a plethora* of information on physical locations, and a sample scenario or two.
The beauty of this is that the basic game will be very quick to pick up and will have enough information to create and run scenarios of sufficient depth to allow a huge amount of creative freedom for both Travellers and MCs alike, and all in an environment that should provide plenty of surprises for players.
It also means that, over time, we can produce more books going into much greater detail on things like magic, that will be entirely optional.
This is going to take some time – I fully expect the books not to be ready for about a year. So – ever onward and more power to lighthouses everywhere.
*Such a good word.