Have I mentioned the Rumors of War Relaunch Project FUNDED?
See for yourself!

The new comic has started!

Last week brought the unbelievably cool development of the Rumor/Subplot system, which has in turn focused my design efforts — I’m interested in streamlining the cycle of adventure-loot-return-sell typical of dungeon crawls.

Because it’s fun, of course! …Oh, you didn’t ask?

Right. Anyway, I’ve got the process down to a few interrelated systems — the character development system includes creation and level advancement, the rumors and subplots system facilitates the whole “Call To Adventure” process, and public works supports the development of NPCs and settlements.

Beyond making the entire process of playing the game easier, these systems are designed to be used by all the players — not just the game master — which should not only make it possible to include all relevant play rules in one book…

…It should make GMing the game significantly easier because everyone is familiar with the rules for both playing and running the game.

Don’t know how to GM? Play a session. You’ll see the systems in action, and never have to memorize a monster stat block since you can use the character creation rules to build whatever NPCs and monsters you want to challenge the party.

While this is still highly speculative at the moment — it might be possible to run the game by yourself, for yourself, and it might be possible for a group to play without a game master at all. I would design a system to put me out of a job…

So, what’s the short circuit? (Referencing post title.)

In a happy accident, I now know exactly what I have to develop — character creation rules (races, classes, trades), rumor and subplot rules (objectives, relationships, complications), and settlement rules (creation, expansion, protection, destruction). Everything else takes a back seat for now.

Once I hammer out the rules for each of these things, the core game is done and everything else becomes an optional subsystem. Even (especially?) combat.

Lolwut? you might say. Well, yeah. I’ve expanded the PCs role in settlement life to the extent you might never need set foot in a dungeon.

Of course everyone will anyway, that’s part of the fun! But support of non-combat play will be supported right alongside deathtraps and meat grinders.

Actually, two subsystems that will provide an interesting distraction from the loot-sell cycle will be magic items and rituals. Both technically take a bite out of character development, since magic items replace standard GP acquisition and rituals have a direct GP cost — and spending GP is what advances the PCs.

But then you’ll have the option to blow up your enemies face-to-face when you prefer that intimacy, or via magical tactical strike!