Mashing up 4E and TSOY/AW

edited April 2010 in Story Games
Here's what I wanna do...

I want to take the basic mechanics of 4E and apply them to some of the concepts found in two other games: The Shadow of Yesterday and Apocalypse World.

Here's what I have done:

[*] The game will be strictly a heroic tier campaign - I've found that Paragon and above doesn't suit the kind of story I am trying to tell with regard to character power and I also notice combat length increases dramatically at these levels. I'm also using inherent bonuses with a hope to remove some of the focus on acquiring magic items.

[*] I've revamped 4E skills to functionally work the same (roll 1d20 + 1/2 level + trained, etc...), but with an emphasis on Apocalypse World style results. Here's an example "move" I've built for Bluff:

Fast Talk - You can quickly talk your way out of a situation temporarily.

Less than 10, you fail to gain the character's attention and they do not want to hear you speak. They'll usually tell you to shut up and may resort to violence if you don't.

10+ Success - you convince the character to listen to you and...

15+ Choose 1.
20+ Choose 2.
25+ Choose 3.

*They don't require a bribe.
*They don't ask a favor of you in return.
*They don't come looking for you later.

These are still in very rough form and I'm hoping will be molded and fleshed out during the early portions of the game. And, I'm hoping the players add to the moves and invent custom moves for skills. [/ulist]

[*] I'm also planning to steal and invent some AW-like moves for myself as a DM and really steal the Fronts and Countdown Clock ideas from AW. These will replace traditional "quests" and replace them with a more life-like world (I'm hoping to do a very pulp-noir style Eberron game).

[*] Without quests, I want to use the "Sweet20" Keys XP system from Clinton R. Nixon. My hopes is that this puts some focus on the non-combat scenes and we can develop some roleplaying - especially with regard to the new AW style skills.

[*] I want to develop a short "Skill Challenge" style combat resolution (where we don't use the battle-map, but just read the descriptions from the power descriptions and apply them in-fiction), but allow the players to "Bring Down the Pain" - where we zoom in, roll for initiative and begin typical 4E style combat.

[*] I'm using custom "death and dying" rules that are somewhat inspired by DitV Fallout - where we roll for death, injury or whatever at the end of the scene. If you wish to peruse those, the "final" version is located here.

I'm interested in feedback and comments on how you think the mashup might work out, if there's something I'm overlooking, any severe problems you see coming from this type of game.




  • Sounds like it's worth taking a shot at to me. Let us know how it works out for you.
  • I like the idea! What parts of 4th ed are you wanting to preserve? Not necessarily the details of mechanics, but what aspect of play do you feel 4th shapes in ways you want to carry over?

    For example, if you were to work the *other* way, and try to make AW more like 4th, what would you be bringing in that way?
  • I'd say, "Gamist Tactical Combat."

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