Hyper Light Drifter’s RPG Kickstarter is kicking into high gear and to celebrate we’re looking at their public playtest rules!
That’s right folks, earlier this year we talked about the Hyper Light Drifter RPG and how it was coming soon to Kickstarter. Now it’s almost two weeks in to its campaign, amd going strong. If you somehow missed out on this amazing game with an equally amazing soundtrack, you should definitely go pick it up. It’s a game (and world) made for exploration. Between phase-shifted swords, ancient ruins with killer machines, and puzzles, there’s plenty to fill any dungeon with.
The RPG has its own system and mechanics, which we’ve got on display for you today. Come and see how the different mechanics of the video game translate to the tabletop, including an interesting look at Energy amd Boosts.
So let’s dive in and take a look!
via Metal Weave Games
The world of Hyper Light Drifter is that of a post-apocalyptic, science fantasy. Remains of the prior civilization are scattered across the landscape, and below them lie vast networks of underground facilities. Among these ruins are a number of safe havens, sanctuaries, at least relatively safe.
Outside of the relative safety of the sanctuaries lie a dangerous and unforgiving world full of wild creatures, various mutations, and rampant automatons. But where there is danger there is always much to be gained.
The technology could be discovered that can be re-purposed to rebuild society, make life better, or make a few upgrades to yourself and your equipment. Valuable medicines and food, as well as new materials for crafting and re-purposing. The possibilities are endless in such a setting.
Drifter uses its own rule-set, inspired by other rules-light systems allowing for action, wild ideas, and facilitating the story. Let’s get started with our core fundamentals, these will get your character up and running first before we dive into other systems.
- Energy: Each character has an Energy Pool. Points from this pool are spent on making actions, or improving your rolls (see Boosting). There are various methods of recovering energy, including when the narrator changes scene, resting, some combat actions as well as some skills. Once you run out of energy, you need to start rolling [Fortitude] or [Resolve] skill saves to remain conscious.
- Attributes: Characters have four ability scores, each representing a different facet of a character’s capabilities, including Vigor, Swiftness, Insight, and Presence. When you want to perform an action, it costs you energy, and your ability score tells you how much you reduce the cost of that action by. If you reduce the cost of an action below 0 energy, you can gain a bonus to your roll.
- Rolling: If your character wants to perform an action or react to an event, you’re going to make a roll to see what happens. When performing what is called a check, you will need to pay the energy cost, if you’re reacting to something, known as a save, the action costs no energy. In Drifter, we use a twenty-sided die (also referred to as a d20). Your result is then compared against three thresholds (more below), determining the outcome of your action. If you’re not happy with your roll result, you can choose to spend more energy to succeed (see Boosting).
- Thresholds: Once you’ve made a roll, you can interpret the results. There are two key thresholds you need to pay attention to which lead to three possible outcomes.
–If your result is an 8 or below, you fail the task (Full Consequence).
–If your result meets or beats your skill group’s Discipline value, you succeed (Full Success).
–If your result falls between 9 and your Discipline value, you achieved a partial success (Success at Consequence).
- Disciplines: All skills in the game are distributed across four disciplines, Survival, Exploration, Combat, and Social. When rolling, your threshold for a Full Success is determined by your Discipline value. When you create your drifter, your Disciplines all start at 18 and you have points to reduce them as you see fit.
- Boosting: If you don’t like your roll result, you can choose to spend more energy to increase your roll result, we call this Boosting. To determine how much each additional point of energy boosts your roll result, you need to look at the relevant Boost score of the skill you are using: Grit or Nerve.
If your skill uses Vigor or Swiftness, you will utilize Grit, and if it uses Insight or Presence you will use Nerve.
A few things look real interesting, especially the systems being built to construct your own settlement/sanctuary, and figure out how you connect to the rest of the world. That’s one of the best ways to invest players in the world, so we’re excited to see that have such a prominent place in the game. You can follow for updates–and back now, while there’s still a month to go.