Free RPG Day played a big part of me getting into RPGs so I was very happy it wasn’t canceled this year. Unfortunately I am unable to meet in person to play RPGs right now (and probably for some time) so I was looking for something a little different. It has to be a rules light, story first system that is faced paced with little upkeep so that it can be played in a Discord chatroom. The system I have been using is a Fate Accelerated system but the problem is the aspect mechanic. Playing in a chatroom, it is very easy to lose track of all the aspects created. Anyways I was looking at the offerings for Free RPG Day this year and Level 1, an Indie RPG anthology with 15 games seemed promising.
One thing I really hate is reading RPG rulebooks. I usually have to slog through it but Level 1 is actually fun read. There are a lot of weird games there though (which can be a good thing). You can role play as dice and their relationships, migrating birds in space, algae in a tank or moose on psychedelic mushrooms. There is also some interesting mechanics like a social deduction game that remind of the kids game 7 Up but of course in a Hellevator and a game that ends with a game of liar’s dice. I am unlikely to play most of them but one I want to try is Savage Sisters which uses the Polymorph system.
Basically in the Polymorph system each player only rolls one type of dice for the whole game, d4, d6, d8 or d10 and this represents the different classes so you don’t really need a stat sheet. Basically there are four types of challenges which pairs well with one of the four types of dice. If a player hits a target number it succeeds and if not they fail. For example, a wisdom test (called book) target numbers are 2 and 3 so a d4 has the biggest advantage here and on the other hand a constitution test (called bones) the target numbers are 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 so a d10 has the biggest advantage. Also a 1 always succeeds so you always have a shot. It is quite clever and of course, there are more rules but that is the main selling point.
All in all, for me Free RPG Day is another huge success and I can’t wait to try and tinker with the Polymorph system with my own setting and stories.