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The Awesome System is an rpg that is in the final stages of
completion. I began working on it over five years ago, and have extensively
playtested it with dozens of players and refined the quality of the rules over
and over again. In the entirety of playtesting, players who enjoyed the unique
and exciting flavour of the rules were in the vast majority, and some asked for
permission to use the rules themselves to run their own rpgs! My rpg's
development has been a success story far beyond what I could have originally
assumed possible, leading to my desire to spread it to the public.
So some of you might be wondering: What is this thing exactly?
Well, geniuses like John Tynes and the late Gary Gygax have written pages and pages of brilliant prose in an effort to describe the noble art form of pen and paper roleplaying games, but we don’t have time for all that, so we’re going to make this as simple as possible.
Basically, a roleplaying game is when you get together with friends and tell a story that you think is Hella Cool. A Gamemaster, or GM, describes the circumstances affecting the players, and they make corresponding decisions in response and they will often need to roll enough fistfuls of dice to justify highly improbable acts along the way, These acts are usually either hilarious for the players, who've just ripped their GM’s plans to shreds, or the GM, who will need a new paper shredder at the rate he is killing off their characters. The best games are the ones where everyone is getting equal shares of sick pleasure, however, which is what we've tried to work towards here.
Basically, a roleplaying game is something you can do in between mouthfuls of beer and pizza. They are a way to kill orks and fly spaceships. In between grabbing soft drinks, you can triumphantly yell that you've rolled enough dice to drive a semi-trailer through someone’s house or that you've saved yet another hot princess from some moustache-twirling jerk.
Basically, roleplaying games are, or at least they should be, about having fun. This is pulp. This is excitement. You win if you have a larger than marginal amount of fun with some friends. If you’re more into using RPGs to create a perfectly accurate simulation of mundane day-to-day life than, say, having fun, this isn't the game for you. When you play this particular game, have a good time and don’t take it too seriously.
What Is The Awesome System?
During the play testing of the Awesome System, we tackled science fiction, fantasy, spy thrillers, prehistoric cavemen, pirates, ninjas, smugglers, horror, b-movies, rock ‘n’ roll bands and many others. And despite this wide range of genres we tried out and experimented with, the system never lost its flavour. The Awesome System is not a generic system. It’s a rules set that can be used for any setting you could ever dream of, but it possesses immense flavour, charisma, wit and grace hard-coded into the very rules themselves. In the Awesome System, having a fun game is inescapable.
Want to understand it a bit better? Think of any movie starring Bruce Campbell or Jackie Chan, or Sylvester Stallone. That feeling of fun, adventure and excitement you get from those movies is what we've captured here in one of the simplest, easiest to use rules sets you’ll ever play with. It ensures you can make the kind of character you want to make, rather than your personality being dictated by the rules or, worse, your class role, but thanks to the Stunt System and the clever new combat system we've included, you can still have fun when getting into the crunchier aspects of the game, regardless of whether your character is optimized for it or not.
So what’re you waiting for? Experience every setting you've ever wanted to, but in a totally new light.
Why Play The Awesome System?
I enjoy the "exploding dice" mechanic that has become a mainstay of the RPG industry and I wanted to take a typical RPG concept and expand on it, which is where stunts and the speed dice system come into it. So, I'll try to explain what makes The Awesome System different from other rpgs here.
So, for a typical dice roll, you'd be looking at something like the numbers below.
This gives you a roll of 10, which is pretty normal so far, right?
Anyway, if you spend 2 Awesome Points to make the ability a Stunt, you get the following:
Basically, stunts are the glue that hold the whole system together and open up all the cool stuff you can do. I wanted to take it a step further by making Stunts able to be picked up for free under the right circumstances, which is the direction I took the combat system in. In combat, you roll your Speed Dice, which is based on how much Speed you purchased for your character and can be anything from 2 to a million, and place them on the Action Grid to see what kind of actions you're taking. Here's a pretty cool mock-up of how it's going to appear on the character sheet.
The chart there has "Stunt Levels", because the higher your Stunt Level, the better the Stunt is. Basically if you spend your Awesome Points on extra dice, you get a number of bonus dice multiplied by the Stunt Level. So you know, like you spend 3 AP on a Quadruple Stunt, you get 12 bonus dice, for example.
So if you rolled your Speed Dice, you could be looking at something like:
... which, as you can see, would give you two stunts to play around with for free. High dice rolls directly translate into more damage dealt on a 1-for-1 basis, so a large part of combat is planning your combat actions around responding to the kind of roll you got on your Speed Dice. Some weapons have high "Handling" scores, which allow you to move the positions of your actions around, so if you're not happy with your roll you can spread the actions out or bunch them together by spending more Awesome Points, while other weapons can't Stunt, so there's that sort of back-and-forth play and you're doing something different every round. If you have a Stunt at the start and then some regular actions after that, you might want to use your fists or a high-accuracy pistol at the start, then switch to a weapon that can't Stunt quite so well, but has great base damage, like a rocket launcher or a Sledgehammer, for the rest of your actions.
It's really my personal response to the situation in a lot of rpgs right now where every combat round is exactly the same, and you're plugging away at the same kind of attack every time your turn comes up, and it kinda makes you think on your feet. Everyone I've played with has always found it really exciting and used the system to kinda grandstand and blow these crazy actions out of proportion, or do silly stuff like push all their actions into one turn with Handling for a super-mega-ultra stunt that blows all their points.
Do You Want an RPG That Is Fast?
The Awesome System is fast. Players are be on the edge of their seat, anxiously waiting for their next action, hastily rearranging actions and trying to work out if they want to go for that Stunt or spread their actions thin.
Do You Want An RPG That is Customizable?
Players are able to make anything.
Do You Want A Cinematic Game?
Characters are able to plough through Mooks and Henchmen like there's no tomorrow. They hang off chandeliers, slide down banisters and kill three guys in the time it takes to eat an apple.
Are You Afraid Of Unstoppable Player Characters?
While the characters are able to surmount any ordinary foe, there are things lurking out there in space that could make even the strongest Player Character cower in fear. If the players are built with 30 points, build monsters worth 3,000. If the players are built with 100 points, build monsters with 10,000. The game is very flexible!
Do You Like An Epic Scale?
Players are be able to play a game of any Power level and events will flow just as smoothly whether they're a bunch of pint-sized 30 point characters or city-crushing 500 pointers.
An everyday occurrence in The Awesome System.
What's The Pozible For, If The Book Is Already Complete?
The actual book writing part is maybe a quarter of the entire project. It takes dozens of VERY talented artists, editors and graphic designers to deliver the product that is deserved by the fan base.
In the event we exceed our targeted goal, two things will happen to the extra money. One, it goes straight into the Awesome System, making the book bigger, better, cooler and more accessible. Two, that money is put into an Awesome System follow-up project! I've begun preparations for a follow-up sourcebook for The Awesome System if it is successful, titled The Mayors Of Fight Town. As well as exploring the dangers of Fight Town, the shadowy group that controls it and the evil Moon Tanks they fight alongside, it will also include a campaign-length adventure in which your party will play out the craziest action movie you've ever seen. The original blurb from 2007, back when I was still coming up with the very basics of the Awesome System, is below!
Mouths to Hell opening all over the world plunged Earth into a black time of chaos. Terrorist action in New York turned the city into a land of demons, Fight Town! Now the people, along with the President himself, are held captive by the Mayors of Fight Town and their evil minions. Not even the government can fight them, as long as their strange force field protects the town!
In the Explosion Motel, the world's most dangerous criminals are being roused from slumber. It's up to them to break into the city, take down the forcefield and rescue the President. If they can destroy the badguys, they could become...
The Mayors of Fight Town!
Finally realize your inner dreams of crushing pathetic meatbags!
What Will Happen If The Pozible Goal Isn't Met?
You'll have your money returned to you and we'll look into alternative ways to release The Awesome System. It's a high quality product and people deserve to be able to purchase it. It will likely make the process more difficult to complete and take more time, however.
What Will Happen When The Goal Is Met?
The remainder of the production of the book will be taken care of and it will be made available to the contributors. I'm really excited for this moment, as it will be the end of a huge part of my life story, and the culmination of years of effort to complete a lifelong ambition.