===== Micro-RPG =====
----- Challenge -----
This micro-system was developed to solve the following problems:
- Be usable without a character sheet
- Be usable without a pencil and paper
- Be playable anywhere
- Give a range of challenges of varying difficulty
- Attempt to limit repetitive testing (ie, rock, paper, scissors)
- Allow for some the player to have some limited freedom to affect
The only necessity is that you have a hand, or fingers more
A challenge is a combinatorial that happens on one hand. You set the
range of difficulty by declaring how many fingers the player may
choose from: 2-5, and then informing him/her how many possible
winning choices are available. To set up the test, you just hold
your hand behind your back and close the fingers that are winners.
(S)he guesses a finger, you reveal, and you see if it was a success
Throughout the challenge micro-system I will number the fingers in
the following way:
1 = Thumb
2 = Index finger
3 = Middle finger
4 = Ring Finger
5 = Pinky
Lets say you want to test if your player was able to jump over a
horse or something. You judge that the likelihood of that
succeeding is about 40%.
You say that will be a 2 out of 5. You put your hand behind your
back and close 2 fingers. You close your thumb and middle fingers
(1 & 3). He guesses 2 (Index). You reveal that he failed.
You could test 2 out of 4 as well, which tells him just ignore the
pinky as a possibility. A 2 out of 4 seems like it would be the
same probability as a 1 out of 2 and therefore unnecessary, but
you’ll why the distinction is important below.
== Challenge Table ==
Challenge Chance of success
4 of 5 80%
3 of 5 60%
2 of 5 40%
1 of 5 20%
3 of 4 75%
2 of 4 50%
1 of 4 25%
2 of 3 66%
1 of 3 33%
1 of 2 50%
Ten possible scenarios of varying difficulty, and all incredibly
easy to remember. Just pick the scenario that fits the difficulty
you want to set. If you need an NPC to make a test, set the
difficulty but have your player make the finger choices.
== Karma System ==
To enable the player to have some small input we have the karma
system. To use it you'll need to remember a number from 0 to 5.
Every time a player fails a test, they gain 1 karma. You can keep
track of these with your other hand if you're really bad at
remembering things. A player may never accumulate more than 5, nor
have less than 0. The one exception to the accrual of karma is in a
test where you have spent karma. If you fail a test when spending a
karma point, you do not earn a new one.
Before any test, a player may choose to spend 1 of his or her karma
points to add one additional success to the test. If the test was a
2 of 5, it becomes a 3 of 5. This is where 2 of 4 and 1 of 2 become
very different. A 1 of 2 would become a 2 of 2 with a karma point
while a 2 of 4 would only become a 3 of 4.
If a challenge is ever raised to the point where the successes are
guaranteed (5 of 5, 4 of 4, 3 of 3, or 2 of 2), it is an automatic
success. It is also possible to create a situation in which the
player has zero chance of success without some luck (or karma)
playing a vital role. To do this, simply make it a 0 success test. 0
of 5, 0 of 4, 0 of 3, 0 of 2.
Optionally, you may choose to have your players start with a number
of karma at the beginning of your game session. This way they don’t
feel they need to fail early on to stock up.
Also optionally, you may choose to allow your players to spend more
than one karma at a time. They may burn through their points faster,
but may also accomplish much more heroic actions in a pinch.
== Multiple Challenges ==
If a test should be extremely difficult, you might consider chaining
multiple challenges. Requiring a 1 of 5 followed by a 1 of 3, for
instance, provides more difficulty than either test alone. This
situation is best used for challenges that can have partial
successes, or take place over a period of time.
Note: multiple challenges can quickly approach impossible odds. Use
In a long-term challenge, you require that the player pass 4
challenges of 2 of 5. Every test will take 10 minutes in game
time. Success is guaranteed given enough time, but that may have
other consequences in your story.
== Integration with other Micro-Systems ==
If a player has the status condition, increase the number of choices
available in a challenge by one, to a maximum of 5. Status ailments
may be removed mechanically or through RP at the GM’s discretion.
If a challenge is set as a 1 of 3, a player with an ailment will
make a 1 of 4 instead. If the challenge were set at 1 of 5, it
will remain a 1 of 5.