Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Free Traders by Lari Assmuth

Free Traders by Lari Assmuth is an outstanding (free) little rpg that fits on two sides of a business card.

Influences named are Wing Commander: Privateer, WEG Star Wars d6, Firefly, Guardians of the Galaxy, Wander, Apocalypse World, Blades in the Dark, and Lasers & Feelings.

Your character has three stats with scores of 3, 2, and 1. You roll a number of d6's by applicable trait when things get hard and read the highest die. The results are trinary as in most ApocWorld games: it's bad, you do it with a complication, or you succeed. Each "job" you complete gives you one "payoff" which you can use to upgrade your ship or pay down a debt (not bloody likely).

Obviously it's hard to put a complete system on a business card (w/art!). I think the two biggest things the designer leaves up to the gamer are a) how to work stress/damage to a character and b) what to do with ships and their tags. 

I would handle the former fictionally, and perhaps by taking away a die or two from rolls for major stress until it is healed/relieved. At 0 dice in any ability I would consider the character incapacitated/out-of-action in some way. I guess I would treat ships like characters with relative consequences.

But of course one of the beauties of these microgames is that they are a starting point and each game could be tailored by/to the players.

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