Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Chrome Dawn

Just before Mike left for Georgia Tech, he and I began discussing a new roleplaying system. Nothing crystallized since he and I were running around trying to get him ready to leave. However we did have some time available on the 3k car ride to Atlanta. Now as some of you may have heard, that particular trip didn't go entirely smoothly. But, we were able to come with a pretty awesome system, called Chrome Dawn.

Before I get too far into it, here is a link to a pdf version of our booklet: ChromeDawn.pdf.

The thing to know about Chrome dawn is that, as Mike likes to say, its a system for those of your who think current cyberpunk games are missing some cyberware. This is a hardcore game for really cyberpunk lovers. Once example of this is the power level, Chrome Dawn rangs from levels 1 to 10. We figure most other systems top out at level 2 and some manage to make it to level 3.

Perhaps it is better to take an example from the write up.

For instance, at level 8, the level at which you can modify groups of other people at will, the Dawn of Cyberspace and the Engine of Cyberspace Child Adept could read like:

With the power and wisdom of the King, the great net gates are built: orante magnificent archways that allow AI and man to pass freely from one realm to the next. Also forged are the great Cyberswords: Excalibur, Arondight, and others; physical weapons of pure cybernetic energy identifying the avatars of the King. These terrible weapons carry almost he full power of their creator - dangerous and powerful in both worlds and accorded great respect among all those who seek the favor of the king of cyberspace

I highly recommend reading through the examples of various cyberware, its a cool read and part of the system we spent a great deal of time on (starts at page 4 in the pdf).

I really like the system, in concept at least. Having cooperatively chosen realms of conflict (the first thing you do in the game is define the 3 dawns of cyberware that are the only areas in which you have stats / tests) is great. Having "Just In Time Character Creation" is another great thing. But I think one of the neatest things is having an entire character defined in terms of cyberware (the only stats in the game are all cyberware related).

We took this game to GenCon and played 3 games with friends. I think it went OK. Mike and I I think were both a little bit overwhelmed by the 4 days of driving we had just done, and I think our games suffered a little bit. Nevertheless there were some cool moments, and I really enjoyed the fashion dawn that occurred in one of Mike's games.

Anyway, I would love to get the opinions of some people out there, I know there are a number of roleplayers who read this blog, and I'd love to get your comments. I think there are some rough edges. In particular, I fear the Steel (the defensive version of Engine) may be too powerful. I also feel like the overemphasis on Engine means that chrome (smaller pieces of cyberware) fall by the wayside.

For those of you who aren't roleplayers, you may still get a kick out of the cyberware descriptions in the booklet.

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