Did My Worst Today

We are working on smoothing game play, and the character sheet, and spells, and cleaning up how the game runs in the real world. Yup that sounds like a lot, and it is. We are having fun making this table top role playing game. This week, we ran two more Worst RPG games. The goals were to clean up accounting of gained, and used weave energy points (WEP), that we use for spells and combat maneuvers, and test the new spell casting mechanism. I think we succeeded there.

Spells are cool in tabletop role playing games, but they can also turn their casters into over powered characters sometimes called “controllers” since they can clear a field of ghouls with a wave of spell energy. While melee types usually take down one enemy at a time in combat. In the RPG we are making here, every character can cast a spell, so everyone has a chance to “control” the encounter with magic. The difference is that magic is not predictable in the game, and that can be down right dangerous to everyone, or not.

When players start a new game, I tell them that they all found each other after being exiled from whatever community they originally hailed from. Their backstory is all fairly similar, that their friends and family had politely asked each of them to leave and gave you gear and a weapon to defend yourselves and some money, copper pieces mostly. The town folk asked that you take their gifts and not return, or to harm anyone in the community. The reason was that at some point, the player character found out she could weave spell energy, and tried it, and someone got hurt, or something got damaged, which scared the locals into action, to find a way to politely get you away from their homes and families, because magic is inherently dangerous and difficult to handle.

I tell the party this back story and they quickly find out when the game starts, and people start casting spells. In the Worst RPG rules, to cast a spell you must roll a D20 first; this represents the attempt to cast a desired spell, to weave it into existence, if the caster rolls any number 1-5 on the D20, the spells misfires. A player can burn 200 points of spell energy to create a wand that reduces miss fires by 1, so a roll result of 1 through 4 on a D20 will end up in a miss fire. A staff can be created for burn of 500 points to reduce the miss fire chance by 2, or a 1-3 on a D20.

When a spell miss fires, we created a random look up table, where you roll a D100 to see the result of the miss fire, from the caster’s skin turning red, an appearance of a third arm that is limp and useless, to loud thunder claps, and even fiery explosions.

In out test games this week. When the game started, the players cast spells, and explored in confidence, but when in one combat, a spell miss fired, the game dynamically changed, and players started being more apprehensive as team about magic and even scattered sometimes, when they heard a player was going to cast a simple spell like light or heal, as they had not gone well  in the past. They all cringed, when one character decided to cast a spell against a boss monster in the dungeon, and it miss fired; the resulting effect had turned the creature into a small bat that flew harmlessly off, out into the world, ending the combat suddenly, and everyone cheered at the table.

As for accounting for spell energy, first there is no experience points in the Worst RPG game, only gained energy from slaying monsters and only monsters or truly bad guys. If you slay a store clerk or a squirrel you get nothing, but a bad reputation, or maybe bad Karma, or both, but no energy to boost your spell power. If the clerk were a serial killer, or fiend, or the squirrel was undead, then yes, you get some weave energy points (WEP) that you add to your base at the end of combat. When you get a 100 points you gan gain access to an new color of weave magic (White, Red, Green, Blue and Black so far), and another color after you reach 200 points, and so on. You are always guaranteed to wake up the next day with your base energy that you started the game with, but you have to adventure to gain more than that, and if you use it, it is gone and does not come back, after rest, but you can always get more from more adventures. Also if you had 105 points and access to red weave, because you are a dwarf, you would gain access to another color, say white magic, which you would have access to until your power drops below 100 WEP. This is what we are testing next, to see how players react in an adventure. We usually vote up or down a rule, and if it passes testing, we add it to the rule book, that we are working on.

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About shent_lodge

Shent_lodge, AKA Jon, started this website, in 2000, initially as a player's guide to his home game. He has run through, and run for, hundreds of players of the Dungeons and Dragons game since 1980. These days he plays, or runs games using the WORST RPG rules set.