Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A Few Brief Thoughts on the OneDice System

I titled this post A Few Brief Thoughts on the OneDice System and then went blahhhhh all over the page.  So here are my few brief thoughts.  If you are interested in the blahhhhh you can read that afterwards.

  1. I really like the OneDice system.  Simple and effective even if it's not innovative.
  2. In addition OneDice Universal there are many setting/genre books.  Including a very complete quickstart.  (Everything but the magic.)
  3. You don't need any of the setting books if you are creative and have time but if you are lazy like I am they are wonderful.
  4. Each setting/genre book has the complete OneDice rules modified to fit the setting.  I think this is a very astute choice.  Others may be interested in only one setting and thus only need to buy one book.  I like the various setting and will buy more when they come out.  (I'm looking at you Space!)

Quit reading now if you don't want the blahhhhhh.

My love of rules-lite games continues.  I really like the OneDice system put out by Cakebread & Walton.  (I also like the name Cakebread, but that's a different story.)

The system is really simple.  Character creation is point buy, three stats, a couple of derived stats and skills.  Roll over a target number using one six-sided die (hence, OneDice) + stat + skill.  It isn't new or groundbreaking but it is simple and functional.  Advancement is a level system with fixed bonuses at each level or an optional free-form system where you trade your garnered experience points for higher stats or skills.

They system was first presented in OneDice Universal.  One of the nice things is that at the end of  each book (at least of those I have) the author presents several "skins".  Skins are a brief overview of how to use the rules for a certain genre.  OneDice Universal, for example, includes three skins, Fantasy, Supers and Space.  All in 15 pages.  These aren't full settings but contain enough to get you going.

C&W have also come out with several OneDice books devoted to specific settings/genres.  I have the PDFs for OneDice Universal, Pulp, Steampunk and WWI.  I plan to acquire Supers, WWII, Fantasy, Space (when it comes out) and Robin Hood (just published today.)  In addition to these C&W currently offers Cyberpunk, Raptors, Cold War, B Movies, Martinis and Masterminds, Cold War, Hauntaway, Twisted Tomorrow, Urban Fantasy and Pirates and Dragons as well as two licensed settings, Abney Park's Airship Pirates and Michael Scott Rohan's Winter of the World RPG.  So the really cool thing about all of these is that they are all self-contained.  Each volume contains the complete OneDice rules suitably modified for the genre.  No need to juggle various books to look up a particular rule.

It is this last point that actually got me started on this paean of a post.  C&W has many genre books for the system and more planned.  Thinking about it though, a person doesn't need any of these genre books.  All they need is Universal and some imagination and inventiveness.  You can take the simple basics and twist them into whatever shape you want.  You just need the time and energy.  But I think C&W have come up with a winning strategy for those who lack time and imagination or for those who are lazy (like me).  And by including the full rules in each volume you only need to buy the one you are interested in.

If you are interested they also have the OneDice Quickstart our for free.  Although they call it a quickstart it contains pretty much the full rules.  You can find it here.

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