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The 1km1kt 24 Hour RPG Challenge

The 1km1kt 24 Hour RPG Challenge

As of 11:00 am (EDT) Monday, May 4th, I’m launching into the 1km1kt 24 hour RPG challenge. I’m in the process right now of reading through the list of topics available and I think I am going to try to use Geodesic Gnomes as my concept and see where that flows to.

My goal is to match the original 24 hour challenge – 24 pages in 24 hours. I’ll be putting it together using Open Office and will release the entire game under the terms of the Open Game License v1.0a.

As the day goes by I will be adding material to this post to document my efforts, trials and tribulations.

Geodesic Gnomes is DONE. You can see the final product (and download the PDFs) on the Geodesic Gnomes page.

(11:05) Geodesic Gnomes has me immediately thinking of little people living in the walls of geodesic domes. So I’m thinking of a game in a cyberpunk style where the players take on the roles of these mutated waifs living in the walls of arcology cities.

(11:10) Writing this with my girlfriend’s cat attached to me is difficult. She keeps trying to take over my attention by alternating her attacks between myself and my keyboard.

(11:42) With theme firmly in mind (Geodesic Gnomes – Redefining the High Tech Low Life), it’s time to start designing. Instead of starting with writing, I’m going straight into layout so I’ll have somewhere to put all the text I’ll hopefully write, as well as a look and feel to work around when I make the character sheet for the game. A quick hunt through stock photo websites for geodesic domes and an even quicker abortive hunt through DaFont for some cool fonts, and I’ve got a cover concept. I also think I’m going to use a digest format for the book – half of a letter page per page, so I can print it out and saddle-stitch it myself. And here’s a quick draft of the cover:

Geodesic Gnomes

Geodesic Gnomes Cover

(12:56 pm) I’ve settled on an interior layout and font choice I think I can live with and am hammering through the background material for the game before I really start on the mechanics. I want to be sure I’ve got the concepts firmly pounded into my brain before I start writing up stats and skills and stuff that don’t end up meshing with the proposed setting. I wish I could draw so I could illustrate some of my ideas to really get the feeling across. Further, lacking illustrations means I have to be more creative with the layout to break up the text so it doesn’t just turn into a giant block of text to grind through when reading the game.

Geodesic Gnomes - Interior Layout

Geodesic Gnomes - Interior Layout

(4:03 pm) IMO, a “winning” game has a system that complements the setting. So I’m working on something that is simple enough for me to make within the time constraints, but that also fits the feel of the game. Of course, this is all percolating in the back of my head while I pounded out the last of the basic background material. Now it’s time for a lunch break – although I’m glad to say I’m on page 6 and working on the character creation system.

(8:50 pm) I’ve finished character creation and advancement and even have a character sheet done. I’m about to do an “overview of character generation” page and then move on to the actual game mechanics. Overall production speed is way down now that my girlfriend is home, but still chugging along at a fair pace. Should be ready to rock by tomorrow morning when it’s time to upload it. Here’s a preview of the character sheet (screen capture from Open Office).

Geodesic Gnomes character sheet

Geodesic Gnomes character sheet

(11:10 pm) All mechanics are done including initiative, physical, social and political conflict, healing and even a sample of conflict that involves all three kinds of conflict… Just have to detail the sample city and adventure (with Keeton of course) and I’m done. But now to bed. 17 Pages + Cover + OGL + Character Sheet = 20 pages done… 4 to go.

(8:01 am) Back to the grindstone with 3 hours to go. All I have to do is the sample city and adventure. With only three hours to complete this and hammer through the final production process, I’m looking at the longest consecutive amount of time spent on the game so far. I’ve been taking eyeball breaks every hour or so yesterday, including a few hours to read, and some time spent with my lovely girfriend.

(10:21 am) 40 minutes to the deadline, and the game is done. And I feel really good about it. It’s got everything I expect in an RPG except for the “what is an RPG” section that we all laugh at when we pick up a game. Oh yeah, and it lacks a nice bell-curve illustration showing how the dice mechanics work like in the 1e DMG. That’s essential to “real” roleplaying games. I’m uploading it now…