So I’ve started hacking through my notes I’ve been writing over the past few years for a rules-lite Hubris. Years and years ago it was going to be Black Hack and then I just kinda sat on it, working instead on Barbarians, Orcs, and other projects.
A few weeks ago I finally read through Mork Borg and just fucking loved it… it’s been awhile since a ruleset and layout really inspired me and this kinda shook me out of my apathy/writing slump I’ve been in lately (yay burnout…)- well that and coincidentally playing Dark Souls 3 at the same time.
Anyways… I figured I’d take some time to go through what’s going on in my brain.
I’m very proud of Hubris and I dig DCC but… I just don’t have a drive to play it right now. DCC is great but I’m kinda burnt out on constantly flipping through the book to reference spell effects, critical hits, and fumbles. It makes it necessary to have multiple copies of the rulebook at the table and requires players that are more invested than the group of casual gamers and/or people who only get to play once a month or so like me. Another issue is that both books are 5 fucking pounds and I don’t relish carrying around 10lbs of books in my backpack.
I like things I can hold in one hand (insert inappropriate penis joke here) and use easily (stop it!)… I mean you can definitely see my gravitation towards this with my subsequent releases: Death is the New Pink, Starrunner Kit: Black Hole Edition, and Barbarians of the Ruined Earth. I guess it’s no surprise that eventually I’d like to do the same with Hubris.
I’ve decided to use my rules. Matt Hildebrand will begin developing the layout in the near future but you can find the playtest rules are on Drivethru right now. The basic premise though is- are you good at something? Yes or no? If you are, roll 1d20 and get an 8 or above. If you’re not, roll a 12 or above. There are no modifiers but there is Advantage/Disadvantage. No classes or levels. After character creation everything you get, including more hit points is gained through adventuring.
I’m going to be taking some inspiration from Mork Borg as well. I’m trying to find that balance of keeping Hubris flavor and fun but cutting the fat. I’m asking myself the questions like, do I really NEED 5 pages of equipment for players to peruse? What is the actual likelihood that players will actually open the fucking book and look at the equipment page…?
Side Tangent But Important: I write games for myself that I want to play. I do not just immediately try to write a new module or thing because I want to make money- in fact I’m exhausted by the constant stream of content that is coming out by the RPG community and I’m not sure it’s really sustainable, but that’s gonna be a whole post or video in the future… Anyways, I write for me and I’m very lucky and humbled that people find it worth a damn… so cool. So I tend to play with casual gamers and I guess you could consider me one anymore… and in my experience, casual gamers really don’t look in the book much and/or tend to forget abilities and powers and shit… One of the things I have noticed over the years is that players DO remember abilities and items they get in play (killing baddies, looting chests, getting cursed, etc.) much more frequently than all the stuff they start with (I talked about that in my YouTube vids awhile back, part 1, part 2, and part 3)…
Ok… so where was I…? oh yeah, equipment and Hubris! So I want to cut shit down. I don’t know HOW much but I know there are results in each territory’s Lay of the Land and Encounter tables that could axed. Do I need all the gear or is it just silly fluff? Do I need the level of fluff on the enemies or can trim that down. Obviously tables and charts will be trimmed as I’ll be getting rid of the funky dice results and Patrons, Invoking the name, and spells will have to be reworked to fit the new rules and respect DCC’s IP. So right now the goal is to just get the shit onto paper and then go through with a hatchet and take out the shit that isn’t needed, even the verbiage in the rules… Reducing it to where there is flavor and you hear my voice, but it’s also almost caveman grunts, “you roll now, dubmbass.” See- that’s TOTALLY got my voice in there! Fuck I’m so talented! Joking aside- I just feel too often authors fall in love with their setting and put too much importance on what is in their book rather than what their book can give to the GM and the players at the table when they are playing. Your book matters but only to a certain point…
Ok- done for now. Be well!