A downloadable roleplaying game

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The rand() roleplaying system, or rand() for short (the parentheses are silent), is a traditional tabletop roleplaying game, with the exception that it replaces dice with a computerized random number generator (RNG). Think of it like a response to the perennial discourse around whether crunchy TTRPGs are good or not.

This  sketched-together toolbox game engine is an experiment in TTRPG design. There is a long practice of using “dice bots” for facilitating randomization in RPG sessions, yet dice bots still try to emulate physical dice, and TTRPGs tend to avoid making players do complex mathematics, even though most people have access to machines with a staggering capacity for doing math.

On a more meme-logic level, I aim to use rand() as a means to outdo games that have been mockingly described as games about doing math. My goal is that rand() becomes the first traditional-format tabletop roleplaying game that is unplayable without at least a scientific calculator.

The core resolution of rand() is the setting of a probability of success, which becomes the target threshold that a player must generate a rand() below in order to succeed. Typically, the probability is underpinned by a number between 0 and 1, and then multiplied by modifiers including Skills and other context-specific effects. That probability then becomes a threshold of success: if the rand() function returns a number below that threshold, the action succeeds. (A d100 divided by 100 can provide a similar function.)

Combat operates in Rounds, during which characters pick and execute actions at the unit of Ticks. Each Tick represents about 1 second of in-game time, and each Round has 5 Ticks. Each Round involves a Setup Phasein which all characters allocate actions within their five Tick slots, and an Action Phase, in which all characters' actions are resolved Tick-by-Tick, with no recourse for characters to course-correct mid-Round, leading to a combat system that prioritizes messy and chaotic action.

WARNING: The text you are reading is a prototype of a game. The core resolution and combat systems have not been tested, the Ability list and weapon list are underpopulated, and there is no established system for movement, cover, or leveling. The rand() role-playing system is barely playable, and its core concept is flatly absurd. If you play this game, you are conducting a playtest. Please tell me about your experience playing rand() by emailing me at bolt.rpg.engine@gmail.com


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rand() roleplaying system v02 document.pdf 913 kB

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