Why Daring Adventures?
It’s been a long time since I last posted one of these. If you’re like me, you’ll think it’s worth the wait once I get rolling on this system primer. And just to be clear, this is a different series of primers than the one for Cinematic Fighting System. I’ve got a bit of backstory with this one, because it’s the idea that began all of this.
I had finished Eternal Shadows, and thought to myself that the next obvious Genre sourcebook for AGE should be a space opera game. I came up with the name Interstellar Odyssey, made a logo, then eventually a cover, a page layout, made a new cover and page layout which I like even more and so forth. I only got a little further than a table of contents with the rules when I stopped and thought about it.
I love AGE. I think it’s the best thing for nostalgic fantasy gamers my age that has ever been. I got to scratch an itch that existed for a long time and went unsatisfied because I don’t like D&D enough. I could name a major deal breaker (for me) about every edition of D&D made in the past, and I never bothered to try and figure a way around any of them myself. Chris Pramas managed to create a fun game which kills most of my problems in one fell swoop. Granted, it’s not perfect for all occasions but it’s a great game and it does what it does best very well.
But I had this idea that I’d want to see Space Opera similar to the 2009 Star Trek movie. Cautious introspection? Let’s limit that to the minimum required, this crew is competent and confident. Complex weapons with more settings than an oven? Nope. You get two settings, if that. Chesslike battle scenes? No, how about we have some set pieces for planning and execution, but make it entirely about action. Right then I thought, I could do this in AGE, but I could do it much better if I wrote a game myself.
So I broke down what I thought should be there. Larger than life heroes. Pulp action feel. Malleable tone (all the best game systems are useful outside of one genre even if they excel at one genre). Player control of the world to some extent. Lastly, I wanted a degree of crunch, while allowing for customization that wasn’t just crunch, although it has definite benefits in the game.
I decided that I would simplify everything I could, and what I came up with is Daring Adventures. In shorthand it’s a point-buy, cinematic, dice based adventure game. The long form description is probably a page or more. I know I go on for long minutes describing it in person. Since then the game has gone through three or four iterations in design, and has been fully written and gone through layout twice. Right now I’m thinking about beta testing, as it’s one thing I discovered while testing the game myself. Sometimes things don’t work as you envision them, so you need to go back to the drawing board.
I figure I’ll kick the public portion of this project off by posting Dr. Odd’s Daring Adventure stat block, so you can compare with a few descriptions.
Dr. Abraham Odd (Enemy)
Attributes: Agility +0, Strength +0, Body +0, Perception +2, Wits +2, Intellect +6, Spirit +4
Defenses: Dodge 12, Parry 12, Savvy 14, Vigor 12, Will 16
Statistics: Initiative +2, Speed 5, Toughness 8, Health 5
Backgrounds: Gentleman +2, Mastermind +3, Scientist +5
Powers: Combat Trance, Efficient Researcher, Mastermind, Quick Thinker
Resources: Scientific Community 3, Underworld Connections 5, Wealth 8
Weapons: Revolver (+2) 3D, Range: 30m, Scalpel (+3) 1D
Gear: Revolver, Scalpel, Wireless Transmitter
Attributes range from -3 to +7, but the average player character has attributes in the +0 to +4 range. Yes these are roll modifiers. Dr. Odd is an Enemy, so I don’t omit his +0 attributes for shorthand purposes.
Defenses and Statistics are derived characteristics, but there is very little math involved in most of them. Defenses are Target Numbers needed to affect the character, and you could figure them on the fly, but why do math at the table?
Backgrounds are another roll modifier, but this time tied to training, knowledge and experience in one or more fields or professions.
Powers correspond to Edges, Talents or Feats in other games. I didn’t see much reason to beat around the bush with the name however. One person can have amazing powers of memory, while another can fly, read minds or cast spells. Despite the degree of usefulness or potency between each of those examples, they are still things you can do that average citizens cannot.
Resources are the last intrinsic trait, and they are a pool of points you can add to rolls in play, but they only refresh at the beginning of a new session.
One thing I really like about the current version of the rules is that with backgrounds and resources you have a decent idea of what a character is really like. I mean from his attributes you can see he’s a genius, but that tells you nothing about how he applies his intellect. This system used to have a skill list, but that didn’t really tell you much either. I like backgrounds specifically because they give you insight and mechanics in one.