Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What Time Is It?

Adventure Time!

Many fans of the show (and if you're not watching it, you should be!) have noted the numerous D&D references throughout the series. Finn and Jake have fought classic D&D monsters in their many quests. Good, evil and neutral alignments have been referenced in various episodes.

For all of these reasons, people have been trying to homebrew their own Adventure Time RPG. A lot of these hacks try to use some edition of D&D or a retroclone as a base. But I think that a slightly different base is in order: Adventures in Oz: Fantasy Roleplaying Beyond the Yellow Brick Road.

Why do I think AiO is such a good fit? (Other than the fact that this is my blog for shilling my game, that is?)

Fairly static characters. Like most characters in kid's shows, Finn and Jake do not grow significantly in ability over time. They become more complex characters with more backdrop and more depth, but generally stay at roughly the same power level. Putting them on D&D-style upgrade paths doesn't seem right to me.

Combat doesn't solve the problems. While Finn is a very heroic character who likes to fight and carries a big sword, he is not excessively violent. He prefers to help people rather than hurt anyone. He even plays fairly with his enemies, like his nemesis Ice King.

While I'm sure it's possible to start with D&D and start adding that sort of stuff in, why not save some effort and use a rule set that has it all baked in from the start?

Name: Finn the Human
Template: Child in Oz (I mean Ooo)
Size: 2

Basic Skills

Athletics: 4
Awareness: 3
Brains: 1
Presence: 2
Sneaking: 2
Wits: 3 (Brave heart)

Traits: Deadly Weapon

Friends List: Princess Bubblegum

Name: Jake the Dog
Template: Small Animal
Size: 1

Athletics: 3 (Stretching)
Awareness: 3
Brains: 2
Presence: 2
Sneaking: 3
Wits: 3

Traits: Stretchy Powers(see below) (1) Musician: Viola (1)

Friends List: Princess Rainicorn

 Jake's flexibility makes him an ideal candidate for an optional rule I've had in mind about "floating" Specialties. Even though a Specialty is associated with a specific Basic Skill, there are times when it makes sense to use the Specialty with another Skill. Jake's Stretching Specialty could be applied to Awareness as he stretches his eyes to look around corners or makes his ears bigger to hear better. Presence and Sneaking could allow Jake to disguise himself to fool people or get places that he shouldn't go.

Stretchy Powers

Power: Transformation, 2 points of changes (1)
Scope: Self/Person/Object (0)
Ritual: None (0)
Item: None (0)
Effect Power: 1

Design Notes: It does seem a little odd (even to me) that the ability to make 2 points of changes to yourself only costs 1 point. Though this is somewhat mitigated by the fact that this cost does not differentiate between positive and negative traits.
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