KISS - Keep It Simple System

Role playing made fast and easy.

Many role playing games suffer from excessive complexity.

By combining the best of three d100 systems, I now have a game system that is simple and flexible, allowing you to play a unique character without penalties or game imbalance.

Armor and shields

We are using the Armor ( BRP page 399 ) and Shield ( BRP page 396 ) tables from Basic Roleplaying. In keeping with the concept of keeping things simple, I am not using hit locations, and I am also not using any randomized armor reduction value.



Campaign Overview

Science Fiction

Humans are common and dominant

Very much like the Firefly universe, as opposed to "alien race of the week" Star Trek, or the alien heavy Andromeda universe.

Return to the Age of Sail

Due to the details interstellar travel and communication, much of the setting should carry a feel very similar to the age of sail, where ships could journey for months or even years at a time without contact from higher authority. Some of the more distant colonies are isolated, and individualistic.

New Corporate Feudalism

CHARACTER CREATION and CHARACTERISTIC ROLLS

Every player starts in role-playing by creating a character.

The seven basic characteristics are Strength (STR), Constitution (CON), Size (SIZ), Intelligence (INT), Power (POW), Dexterity (DEX), and Charisma (CHA).

Strength (STR): A characters brute force, this has an impact on the amount of damage he does, what weapons he can wield, how much he can lift, and so on.

Constitution (CON): A measure of the adventurers health, this has an impact on how much damage he can sustain in combat, as well as resistance to poisons and diseases.

Size (SIZ): This is an indication of the adventurers mass, combining height and weight into one figure. This can impact how much damage a character can deal, and how well he can absorb damage. This stat is defaulted to 12 in the KISS system. A size of 12 will give your character a height of 5'8 to 5'10, and a weight between 100 and 240 lbs.

Intelligence (INT): An adventurers ability to solve problems, analyze information, and memorize instructions. The KISS system does not use 'Idea Rolls'

Power (POW): This is the measure of a persons life force, or force of will.

Dexterity (DEX): A measure of the character's agility, coordination, and speed. Useful in combat.

Charisma (CHA): More a measure of the characters force of personality than physical attractiveness.


The BRP system suggests rolling 3d6 to determine each of these stats. I prefer to default SIZ to 12 ask players to arrange the following attributes to taste: 18, 16, 16, 14, 14, 12.

Character Overview

Rather than pushing characters into preconceived roles or classes, you can create a character that closely matches your heroic vision.

Character Sheet

  Microsoft word file

Combat Actions (CA)

This is the number of actions an adventurer can perform in each combat round.
DEXCA
6 or less1
7-122
13-183
19 or more4
I took this rule from the Stormbringer game system, on the theory that it is more action oriented and might be suitable. So far I am not a big fan of how it has played out, but I will keep trying for now.

Conversions

Conversions to and from other systems

Crew

Alexandria: Medical expert
Gregory Redshirt: Gunner and ex-bank robber
Shero Ronin: Security and occult expert
Talia: Ship AI
Vosh: Computer expert
Zavier Clay: Captain and Pilot

Engineering Points (EP)

The character's starting engineering points will be equal to the characters POW. A character goes unconsious if EP reaches zero. If this happens, he will regain 1 EP after an hour, and regain consciousness. A good night's rest will recover all EP. Rest under difficult conditions will only recover 6 EP.
I wanted to have a scientific version of the idea of power points. So far this has not come into use, and I may remove it in order to keep things as simple as possible.

Gazetteer

Noun. 1. a geographical dictionary

It is always important to have some decent props, maps, and maybe some idea about what is where.

As this is a science fiction campaign set in the future, I went looking for science fiction star charts. This is what I found: 3-D Starmaps. Specifically the section on Two-and-one-half Dimensional Starmaps.

And I summarize: Jump drive is very popular in science fiction novels and games. It allows interstellar battles due to the choke points created. It also makes the actual three dimensional position irrelevant. The map may be reduced to a graph of nodes and their connections.

The author suggests a freeware program called yEd.
  yEd Graph Editor

My campaign map is still a work in progress, but at the moment, it looks like this:
Campaign star map .jpg format 861kb

You may note that the various star systems are controlled by various science fiction megacorporations. This is my list of corporate and political factions. Rather than making a lot of new ones, I skimmed the net and merged together a list of some common ones from science fiction. And yes, this list is somewhat tounge-in-cheek. This universe is a mixture of Alien, Dr Who, Firefly, HP Lovecraft, Unreal Tournament, Michael Moorcock and William Gibson.

Gazetteer

Hit Points (HP)

These determine how much damage the character can sustain before reaching unconsiousness or death. Calculate HP by adding SIZ and CON. This option provides more hit points than the standard game system, making characters less fragile. This might be due to my DnD background, cutting this number in half just seemed to not provide enough hit points. So far combat has been less central to my campaign than I expected, so I do not know if this was the right call or not.

Money

Each corporation has its own monetary system but due to corruption, the true value of these currencies fluctuate wildly.

Credits are a different matter, they are issued by a central authority on cards with varying amounts. The cards carry an encryption code that identify the block of credit on the card. They also carry company information with an encrypted corporate sign, and encrypted owner information as well. Card machines can transfer credits onto other cards, and the encrypted values are updated respectively. Only the central authority can create more credits, no other places can credits be created or destroyed.

In theory, the encryption can be broken, and false credits can be placed into circulation, but in practice, this takes a large amount of computing power. Three codes would have to be broken, the company code, the personal code, and the credit code. The penalties for breaking these codes are draconian.

Gas cards

This is slightly different from the credit system. These credits are backed by a commodity, "gas". Gas in this campaign is more abstract, it is sold in "day" units, as the amount of "fuel" required power a days travel in warp. The card is not accepted at all "gas stations", but when it is accepted, one unit on this card is worth one unit of "gas". Each gas station has a unique indentifer that goes into the card, as well as the corporate and personal identification of the person vouching for the gas credits. Interestingly, the fuel stations actually mine a nearby star for fueling, so the commodity is actually the time and effort required to harvest the fuel.

Opposition Table

Opposition Table

Skills

Skills - descriptions and ratings

Sources

There are several games that come close, but in the end I decided to start with a few simple rule systems as my core system, and prune and revise them as needed.

Basic Roleplaying
BRPS ( Basic Role Playing System )
  local html copy
GORE ( Generic Old-school Role-playing Engine )
  local zip file
  local pdf file

As far as campaign sources, the universe is a mixture of Alien, Dr Who, Firefly, HP Lovecraft, Unreal Tournament, Michael Moorcock and William Gibson. It is also has elements of older science fiction and space opera, and quite a bit of stuff that I just made up.

Strike Rank

This determines how quickly the adventurer reacts in combat. Strike rank is the characters DEX.
There were a number of alternative ways of handing strike rank, this one just seemed to be the simplest approach possible. The players actually go in a "first idea, first go" order by default, but when timing becomes critical, this rule comes into effect.

Weapons


Initially, I started with the weapon list from Basic Role Playing, but I am never content to leave well enough alone. I wanted to add a little Stormbringer flavor to the game, and strip out the extra information ( and weapons ) that I did not need, so I added some weapons to the list, and then simplified to suit my campaign.
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