The Journey Has Just Begun

on July 31, 2013 in GRUGS

It’s been a long hard road for me when it comes to the Grim Game.  I’ve only been kicking around these ideas now for 20+ years, so you would figure I’d be so much further ahead with the entire system by now.  The main excuse I’ve been using all these years has been that life kept getting in my way.  I have been working on these basic concepts since I was 16 or so, and back then it was because there was so much more to do than sit around and work on game mechanics.  After that in my 20’s it was getting my act together was priority over working on rules.  This was followed with the usual things like, find a girl, get married, get a house, have a kid, and keep it all together.  In reality the actual problem I had was that I just wasn’t satisfied with how the rules worked out.  I had all these basic concepts that I wanted for a game system, but each time I thought I had everything worked out, I ended up with a more complicated system that wasn’t very fast-paced or fun to play.  So revision after revision I would come up with some new game mechanics but they ended up the same each time.  I had good core concepts, but the execution would fall short of what I wanted.  So because I could never get the game to work exactly the way I wished it would, I wouldn’t waste my time writing everything out just so I would end up rewriting everything from scratch.

The problem I had was that I kept using the same old paradigms of how a tabletop system worked.  Everyone’s character sheet had a list of attributes that in turn told them what kinds of dice to roll for attacks and so on.  It was basically the Gygaxian model that everyone has been using for decades now.  Even though each rework of the rule set was technically doable, it just didn’t strike a chord in me as to how the Grim Reality System should be.  The rules just kept getting more and more complicated for them to be playable.  The more complicated the rules got, the more it dragged down the overall experience.  Crazy charts and random tables that had to be looked over was just time wasted for everyone playing.  I got smart one day early on and started making a Universal Physics Chart.  The goal was to have everything accessible from one single chart.  It worked great for the most part, and might revisit it again latter, but found that to be somewhat tedious at times too.  It just felt too much like the original Marvel Super Heroes RPG system with the whole crazy power level charts and what not.  The other thing I focused on for a great many years was the game dice.  Most systems used the standard set of game dice from d4 to d20, some used only percentile, some would only use a couple of d6 for everything.  I was mostly in the d6 for everything camp.  I tried a few other variations, but the math just didn’t work out.

After lots of trial and error I have found what I’ve been looking for.  In a nutshell, the players use what are called Action Dice to determine what actions are available to them.  The action dice are a special type of d6 that the players roll to act upon, react to, or use special abilities.  I am still amazed at how well this system is working out so far.  At any rate, I have started my work on outlining how everything plays out now.  You can find the latest updates I have posted under the “Grim Reality Universal Game System” menu.  This is all very rough right now so bear with me, it is going to take a bit to get it all straight and readable.  In the mean time, check it out and let me know what you think of it so far.

Getting closer to home…