Ascenders: A Sky High Espionage RPG

Feb 2018 to Present

Pen and Paper Roleplaying Game                                     Solo Project

(Image courtesey of Randis Albion,  https://randis.deviantart.com/art/Go-ZETAMAN-GO-135646962 )

A Pen & Paper Roleplaying game based on performing espionage in a world of floating continents. Aerogues contains a classless system that focuses on utilizing spy skills, making NPC connections and fulfilling faction missions. The game encourages multiple playstyles including pure stealth, diplomacy and violence. Unique NPCs are a core part of the experience and have variables for awareness and attitudes for players to exploit, adding to the super spy feel. All images here are for academic and demonstration purposes only. All images are property of their respective owners. 

(Image courtesey of  Space Battleship Yamato 2199  by AIC, TFC, Xebec and Bandai Namco Games. Website source,  https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/yamato/images/0/01/FloatingContinent2199.png/revision/latest?cb=20140831123049 )

(Image courtesey of Space Battleship Yamato 2199 by AIC, TFC, Xebec and Bandai Namco Games. Website source, https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/yamato/images/0/01/FloatingContinent2199.png/revision/latest?cb=20140831123049)

Game and Narrative Design:

Wrote a fully realized world with a relevant history, environments, characters and item economy that players and Game Masters(GMs) can directly interact with. 

Designed a suspicion and security system that encourages playing stealthily to avoid being caught by enemies. 

Designed a system for mission-critical NPCs which contain variable that can make exploiting them easier or harder depending on their attitude and awareness towards the player. This further encourages them to act stealthily or earn the NPCs' trust.

Designed a skill system independent of RPG classes, allowing for flexible growth and a myriad of approaches to completing missions.

Crafted physical materials for players to add to immersion.

(Image courtesy of  Onyx  by Chris Ryall, Gabriel Rodriguez and Fotos,  https://www.idwpublishing.com/product/onyx/ )

(Image courtesy of Onyx by Chris Ryall, Gabriel Rodriguez and Fotos, https://www.idwpublishing.com/product/onyx/)

Lessons Learned:

o Consider the different types of characters your players would like to control. Make sure the system is flexible enough to accommodate diverse playstyles.

o  Creating a diagram for a branching narrative and possible actions helps to find potential holes and inconsistencies. 

o  When writing descriptions, it's important to describe the actions and encounter in detail. This is how "show, don't tell" is used.

o The items that players interact with are part of the worldbuilding and should be consistent.

o  Talking with people about how your encounters play out and asking what they'll do is helpful for playtesting. 

o  It's always important to design encounters to allow for multiple approaches. This helps make it easier for the DM to adjust to player actions.

o  Writing NPC reactions to players can help make the narrative more engaging. Always think of common things players may say and do and write NPCs’ reactions to them.