I'm been sick of late and it's slowed down my posting which is quite frustrating to me as I want to talk more about this idea.
I've gone from interested to excited to clearly obsessed with my Smurfs RPG concept and as such, I am preparing to run a campaign of it. The first session, if all goes well, will be this coming Saturday, from 12-6 pm roughly, at the Compleat Strategist in New York City. If you have both the time and an open mind, come on down and Smurf it up.
A few more notes on the setting...
While I intend to have things take place in a fictious kingdom, the guidelines for the campaign region are based on a faux-historical, early 13th century Flanders. While the cities to the North East of the campaign kingdom begin to show increasing trade and prosperity, our own home setting, situated just outside the border of Flanders, suffers under a curse of poor harvests, foul weather, ill livestock and infighting. It is, after all, 'The Cursed Land'.
I will be playing up the faerie angle a bit more, with opponents such as hags, trolls (who've obviously migrated South from Scandanavia and Denmark), Crogue-Mitraine (a particularly frightening french nursey bogey)and even dragons being the real threat Gargamel tries to be but can't quite nail down.
Still, I have some ideas from him as well...
On to the rules...right now this is the character sheet:
This is a rough draft. A preliminary sketch if you will. While it does everything I want it to do, it has me wondering, "Do I need Gifts and Connections?"
In Faery's Tale Deluxe 'Gifts' are the magical powers, abilities or whatevers of the various types of fae. Here in the Smurfs RPG however, pretty much everyone has the same chance of doing anything with the except of your Trait, at which you exceed. As always, moments like this get pondering the nature of skills in every game.
Does a fighter need climbing skill? Does a thief really climb better than a fighter. So, you've got a world class mountain climber and a high school guy teacher with not climbing experience of note. The world class mountain climber is definitely going to know more about the proper way to scale Mt. Everest. Let's say that instead of Mt. Everest, both individuals run full speed down an ally and need to climb up and jump over a fence. Is the world class climber's skill going to give them any real advantage?
Hear it's simple if both are Smurfs. They each roll their Body, which both have at 2D. But wait, I forgot to mention the participants in this example are a Smurf and Wild Smurf. Wild Smurf uses his trait of 'Raised By Squirrels' and probably double times it over the fence without braking a sweat. I can live with that.
So your Trait gives you +2D to any roll that involves using it or falls under it's parameters.
Which in turn got me thinking about Clumsy.
Clumsy, Grouchy, Lazy and Greedy...all Smurfs...all Smurfs with essentially negative traits. What if, by taking a Negative Trait, you gain a floating +2D you can put to any action at any time by spending a SMURF point. The catch of course is that the PC whose Smurf has a Negative Trait has to role play it and if he has no successes on a given roll he not only botches (heck everyone can botch) but his botch effects the party or at least those Smurfs smurfing closest to him (or her, but ya'know, it's the Smurfs so they're mostly hims).
So that brings me back to a listing for 'Gifts'. Do I need them? Can I actually run an entire campaign with everything boiling down to three stats and a special trait? The question is somewhat rhetorical...yes, of course I, Adam, can but will this just blow people's minds? Are we gonna need sanity checks on the "I just looked into Cthulhu's sock drawer" level?
I'm kind of torn. I can't believe I am going to say this but I'd like the game's mechanics to have a little more to them than that. Am I right? Hmmm...
As for the rest of it I am looking to rename of a few things.
The Boons section layout will be changed and expanded. It's going to be for things you have done for someone else or them for you and which one of you needs to pay back the other. I'm also thinking you'd start with a third one that could lead into a new arrangement. OK, like this...
"I built a new oven for Baker. He's going to make me my favorite pie."
"I borrowed some paint from Painter. I need to repaint my roof and give it back."
"Brainy said he found a book about designing better bridges, I could really use that."
So in one case, Baker owes Handy a Boon.
Handy owes Painter a Boon.
Handy wants to talk to Brainy to set up a Boon.
Personal Smurfs are items, things that you own. I want to find a way to create rules, or at least guidelines, for players to have their own Mushroom House, and what it contains.
Maybe a little SMURF point resource management so you can get stuff for your place. Perhaps Judo Smurf wants to add a Dojo or Cowboy Smurf needs a stable out back for his...um...what the heck do Smurfs ride? Ooh, I could take a page or two from my Gnomes book, and he the Smurfs highly involved in the societies of forest animals. Cool.
Charms & Smurf Magic refers to magical items, potions or things you may have found that maybe alchemy ingredients or similarly magically useful.
As far as Connections, originally I intended to make this a relationship mechanic area but now I'm thinking it seems redundant with Boons, which are more fun. Boons as used in the above description, could constantly change, with new ones being added and completed all the time.
OMS! (That's 'Oh My Smurf!' by the way) I love where this game is taking my head but I'm still not finished with the rules and I need to run this on the coming Saturday.
See, setting and adventure ideas - easy. I already have about three dozen of them. Rules? I've barely completed character creation.
I absosmurfly hate rules."
Me too Grouchy. I am with you brother.
More when I figure this out...