YAOSC (Yet Another Old School Clone)
If you are new to tabletop role-playing specifically, or YAOSC in particular, you may want to go here for an overview of conventions or a glossary of terms.
Elements of Play
The alpha and omega of play in YAOSC is dialogue; players describe their characters’ actions, and the YAM describes the world they experience around them. (There can be exceptions, but this is the basic dynamic.)
Sometimes, though, it can be more interesting to leave something to chance instead of YAM fiat or player declaration. In these cases, dice are used to resolve the uncertain situation. Using dice is known as a roll. There are two kinds of rolls: checks and challenges; see here for a more detailed explanation.
Dialogue, checks and challenges are the core rules of gameplay; everything else is just specific descriptions of special cases. In broad terms, these special cases can be divided up into categories such as:
But before play can properly get going, you probably need a PC.
Elements of a Character
Each character should have a physical appearance that is immediately apparent to any they meet, and a personality that is revealed to those they spend time with. Each character should have motivations, fears, goals, and quirks. Each character should have a name (or at least an alias) and a history. These elements may be sketched out briefly or detailed lovingly depending on the player, the YAM, and the tone and demands of gameplay.
YAOSC espouses no cosmic Good or Evil, no metaphysical Order or Chaos. All sentient individuals are judged by their intent, their actions, and their results. Character attitudes towards ethics and morality should be described as elements of persona.
Beyond this “flavor text,” though, there are a number of essential components to each character, as seen below. Most of these will be determined before play begins, although some will change during the course of play.
|Ability Scores||Species||Classes||Core Stats|
0. Create a persona: this can be done at any point of the character creation process. Perhaps you have a concept from the very beginning, which the character will do their best to live up to with the abilities chance gives them. Perhaps the fall of the dice, or a novel race-class combination, will inspire you.
1. Generate ability scores: roll 3d6 and assign the results as desired, or in order if you want to be inspired by random luck. Note the associated modifiers. YAMs may allow a re-roll (if the sum of the modifiers is negative), limited reassignment of points from one score to another, or other modifications, as they see fit.
2. Assign species and class: if the character meets various ability-score requirements and the player wishes, the character may be a non-human species; otherwise the player is assumed to be human. The player then chooses a class, and notes any special abilities or requirements the class carries. Priests should choose their deities and devotions; sorcerers should choose their known spells and arcane tools.
4. Assign skills: The character has a pool of skill points to spend according to their class and level. Although the class offers set benefits at each level, skill points allow customization and a guideline for facing tasks not specific to a given class role.
5. Assign equipment: each character begins play with 3d6x10 silver coins’ worth of wealth, representing their life savings to that point. (The YAM may raise, lower, or fix the exact amount as desired to fit the needs of the game.) This wealth usually comes in the form of equipment in the character’s possession; while it may be tempting to think of a character’s starting wealth as a purseful of cash that they spend on weapons, armor, etc. at the start of the campaign, it is usually more accurate to say that they have in their possession a handful of coin plus a set of gear that would cost X amount if purchased on the open market.