Today I can finally reveal that development of "Beta" has truly begun in earnest. Oh, and I'd better mention that Beta
is a working title.
Beta is named for the fact that it arises out of the charred ashes of Alpha.
Alpha was developed a few years ago as the evolution of several previous attempts to design an RPG system that fits my own style of play. One of the key features of Alpha was that it operated a two-tier system of characterisation: a roleplaying level and a skirmish level.
The former level was the familiar RPG approach... but the skirmish level allowed players to run quick engagements or short scenarios utilising miniatures and terrain on the tabletop. This suited the Dark Reich setting, an fantastic WWII alternative world, because it opened up the same game to be played in a quick wargaming style too.
I'm not sure why Alpha stalled and failed. In the end, I think, it was just too much pressure to develop a game system plus a unique setting on my own.
Beta is already a superior development because I'm not alone: working with some very old friends, I'm able to get the benefits that arise from collaboration and feedback. Things are in the opening stages of a first draft... but the mutual support of three other gamers is a very great aid indeed.
What's the Point?
I've been pingling around with a lot of ideas which link back to Beta. I really want to evolve a game system that is quintessentially about how I'd like to roleplay.
Right now the Beta project has some serious parameters:
- it has to be relatively rules light, even a bit 'old school' in simplicity
- it has to be able to support my meta-setting, which is a genre blend
- character development is going to be fluid and a constant flow
- it needs to be beginner friendly, easy to grasp
- it needs to be GM friendly, with low prep complications
I need to swallow the pill: this is a new product; it needs to bring something new to roleplaying.
Finally, Beta has to be something which the players around me can buy in to: no players, no point.
First step is to finish writing the draft and then share that with the core team. From this I hope to publish a complete "beginner's game" version set in one of the many worlds of my dreaming.
Initially I am tempted to present the first part of my meta-setting through the medium of the fantasy-apocalyptic. More on that another time.
In the end, this is a project that is going to take time. It'll also need to discover some friends. To facilitate feedback we'll open a wiki space and invite interested parties to read, play and comment. If you're interested in trying this system out then I'd like to hear from you: pop a comment on below.
Until next time... well, I'd better go and write another section of the rules, eh?