Hi there! I'm Katuko, and I'm a tabletop gaming enthusiast. I've been the game master of a few campaigns, and after the fun I've had running my previous BIONICLE campaign, I got a craving for doing another BIONICLE campaign in a similar setting.
If this sounds interesting, keep reading!
Far to the south in the Matoran Universe, on the brink of the explored world, lies the island called Rangi Motu. Despite its remote location, notoriously bad weather, and resident Skakdi population, the island is still valued as a source of iron and other raw goods. Trade ships usually travel the long distance from the south to the mainland whenever the skies are clear, but for the past few weeks there have been no ships and no word arriving from Rangi Motu. A Matoran research team who went to the island on an archaeological expedition a month ago has not returned either.
As there has been unrest between them for years over the island's natural resources, the Turaga are worried that the Skakdi may have finally stopped fighting among themselves and instead turned on the Matoran villages. Rangi Motu is the prime source of ore for several forges, and would be extremely valuable for a war-loving species like the Skakdi.
With the war between Toa and Dark Hunters still raging there is definite interest from many parties, but no Toa have been available to go investigate. Instead, the Turaga have gathered several able-bodied Matoran on a small but hardy vessel and sent off on a mission to discover what's going on.
Currently en route to Rangi Motu, you will be landing shortly; but the wind is picking up, and the sea is rough...
What is this?
This is a cooperative roleplaying game where you take on the role of a Matoran sent to a remote island. Your mission: To investigate why the trade routes have gone silent and find out where the missing researchers have gone. During your stay you'll meet new characters, face dangerous situations and vicious Skakdi, and explore a setting much like the classic BIONICLE islands Mata Nui and Voya Nui. I'll be re-using much of my previous RPG campaign ("The Powers of Old"), this time with a team of Matoran instead of Toa, and a different play format.
Past experience with running a game live across multiple time zones (and all the issues that occur as a result) has led to the format of this game to be play-by-post (PbP for short). You describe your character's actions, and others react to them. The game master (me) will provide the setting and non-player characters, and judge the result of actions whenever there is any conflict. For actions with uncertain outcome, we roll dice.
The game will be hosted on RPOL.net, which is a site dedicated to PbP games. It has a simple setup for handling characters and dice rolling, and is therefore very convenient compared to a regular forum. It's also free to join.
The tone of the game will be rather casual, with not too big of a focus on the crunch of complex game mechanics. The rule system used will be Simple d6 (third edition) with a few modifications to fit the BIONICLE setting. It's an extremely simplified system compared to many other tabletop RPGS, and will be used mostly for the sake of introducing some classic dice rolling instead of having the game master decide the outcome of every action.
If you have never played in an RPG using dice before: Don't worry, it takes no time at all to learn.
In Simple d6, you use standard six-sided dice (but the website will handle that, so you don't even need real dice). When you attempt an action that has an uncertain outcome/chance of failure, you roll the die, and the result decides if you succeed or not (and to what degree). Your character will have a list of skills. For every skill that applies to a situation, you may add 1 die to the roll, which improves your chances of success. Some items and equipment may give a bonus to rolls as well.
For more information about the base system, see the Simple d6 page on 1d4chan, or just ask.
My setup for a BIONICLE game in Simple d6 will be as follows:
- The Aspects used will be Physical, Social, Willpower, and Combat. You start with 5 hit points in each Aspect, and 1 defense for each. Aspect points are gradually lost during play, and refill after your character rests for a while.
- A Quality is a very broad descriptor of your character's abilities. In this campaign, traits and skills gained from your Element and Profession take the place of having a Quality.
- Your Matoran may have any element except Light, Shadow, Psionics.
- Any profession that's not too out there is fine.
Details hidden in the drop-down section below, to avoid taking up too much space. You don't have to worry about the details here until you join, but I'll post them anyway so you get a notion of how the game mechanics will be.
Physical is used when you do arduous labor, make agile movements, use raw strength, or exert your body in other ways. Run out of Physical points and you will become tired and fatigued.
Social: When you argue, debate, haggle, propose daring plans, try to win favor with someone, etc., you are using the Social aspect. If you have no Social points left, people pretty much consider the discussion over and stop listening to you.
Willpower: When you put your mind to the test, attempt to meditate, resist mind-affecting powers, etc., you are using Willpower. Run out of Willpower and your head spins, or you succumb to whatever effect you were trying to resist.
Combat is about straight-up fighting, naturally. This aspect applies when swinging weapons around. If your Combat points fall to zero, you may sustain an injury or fall unconscious.
You were created with elemental energy in your body. While you cannot access it directly, it still grants a small boon. Choose your element, and your associated colors. You get the skill listed next to your element for free.
Element Skill Common colors
Water Excellent swimmer Blue, dark blue, pale blue, white
Fire Heat resistant Red, orange, yellow, black
Ice Cold resistant White, gray, pale blue, black
Air Light-foot and agile Green, yellow-green, teal
Earth Physically strong Black, dark gray, purple, orange
Stone Heavy and sturdy Brown, orange, tan, sand yellow
Lightning Shock resistant Blue, white
Magnetism Inner compass Silver, black, gray
Plasma Heat resistant Orange, white
Gravity Pressure resistant Purple, black
Sonics Sensitive hearing Grey, silver, black
Plant Life Understanding of flora Green, blue, teal
Iron Physical endurance Rusted red, silver, brown
As a Matoran, you have a profession, such as being a miner, merchant, fisherman, pilot, village guard, etc. Your profession counts as a broad set of skills, and therefore grants a bonus to any roll where experience in that profession would come in handy.
Example: If trying to calm down a wild Rahi, having worked as a Rahi Tamer would be relevant experience.
In addition to the one granted by your element, you get to pick a set of 5 skills. These are the things you know how to do well. Every relevant skill grants a bonus to rolls you make. Starting skills should be general, but not too broad. New skills can be obtained during play, to add new fields of expertise or to specialize within an existing skill.
On character creation you may sacrifice a Skill in order to boost an Aspect instead. Each skill lost adds either 2 HP to a single aspect, or 1 defense. You may exchange a maximum of 2 skills.
Example: A Po-Matoran is haggling the price of a statuette he wishes to buy from a stone-carver. He has listed the skills 'Carver' and 'Art knowledge'. Thus, through his work experience and knowledge, he knows exactly what the statuette is worth, and gains a bonus on his roll from both those skills.
A few suggestions are listed below, but you may name any skills you want.
- Knowledge of a topic, such as 'history' or 'Rahi'.
- Researcher within a field of knowledge.
- A craft, such as stone carving or metalworking.
- A learned practice, such as 'climbing', 'navigation', 'close combat', etc.
- Weapon training (choose a type of weapon, e.g. knife, pole-arm, disk launcher)
5) Starting items and equipment
You have a set of basic items you brought along. Choose 3. You may pick the same item multiple times if you want.
Lightstone Sea chart and sextant Welding gear and blowtorch
Heatstone Tools for record-keeping Extra armor
Hammer and chisel Collapsible tent Bundle of rope
Hatchet Drill Pocket money
Knife or short sword Pickaxe Air tank
Carrying sack Cool visor Lava surfboard
Spear Bucket and shovel Spare mask
Shield Sundial A simple musical instrument
Throwing disk Map sketch and compass Length of chain
Construction metal Telescope or binoculars Claws
Disk launcher Trident Saw
Helmet Kolhii ball Kolhii staff
Madu Cabolo fruit Amana Volo sphere Grappling hook
Figurine Marker flags Club, mace, or hammer
To sum it up: 4 Aspects (stats), an element, a profession, a set of skills, some items, plus a name and visual appearance. That's all!
After completing a task or goal, you may be awarded 1 to 4 experience points (XP) by the game master. Experience points may be spent as follows:
* 2 points: Buy a new skill relevant to something you did recently.
* 3 points: Add 1 HP to one of your Aspects.
* 4 points: Add 1 Defense to one of your Aspects.
In addition, when you reach a certain total of experience points earned, you level up. Your character level may influence how other characters perceive you, affect social status, and grant you access to new adventures. As an example, you may not be allowed to take on a dangerous Rahi hunt unless you are at least level 3 because the Turaga thinks you'll be unable to do it.
Example character sheets
(Make up your own though, don't use any official/canon characters)
Skills: Cold resistant, snowy wilderness survival, historical knowledge, translator, meditation
Items: Marker flags, heatstone, tools for record-keeping
Aspects: Physical 5 HP 1 Def, Combat 5 HP 1 Def, Social 5 HP 1 Def, Willpower 5 HP, 2 Def
Looks: Wears a Kanohi Akaku. Sand blue mask and feet, white body and limbs.
Skills: Excellent swimmer, traveler, kohlii player, puzzle solving, handling boats
Items: Carrying sack, tools for record-keeping, Kolhii staff
Aspects: Physical 5 HP 1 Def, Combat 5 HP 1 Def, Social 5 HP 1 Def, Willpower 7 HP, 1 Def
Looks: Wears a Kanohi Kaukau. Dark blue mask and feet, light blue body and limbs.
Profession: Guard captain
Skills: Heat resistant, close combat, strategic planning, diplomat
Items: Knife, shield, map and compass
Aspects: Physical 5 HP 1 Def, Combat 5 HP 2 Def, Social 5 HP 1 Def, Willpower 5 HP, 2 Def
Looks: Wears a Kanohi Hau. Yellow mask and feet, red body and limbs. Shield w/guard insignia.
Skills: Physically strong, dig a path, knows his rocks, determined
Items: Pickaxe, lightstone, pocket money
Aspects: Physical 7 HP 2 Def, Combat 5 HP 1 Def, Social 5 HP 1 Def, Willpower 5 HP, 1 Def
Looks: Wears a Kanohi Pakari. Black mask and feet, tan body and limbs.
Skills: Heavy and sturdy, snake oil salesman, sneaky, swift runner, short fuse
Items: Kolhii ball, tools for record-keeping, pocket money
Aspects: Physical 5 HP 1 Def, Combat 5 HP 1 Def, Social 7 HP 1 Def, Willpower 5 HP, 1 Def
Looks: Wears a Kanohi Rau. Black mask and feet, tan body and limbs.
How can I play?
If you wish to take part in this game, you should have an interest in playing a Matoran character, have the free time to do at least a couple of posts a week, and be willing to do a bit of creative writing. Individual posts in the game don't need to be very long, but a couple of sentences and some meaningful content is generally expected.
If that sounds good to you: Apply in this thread by making an original character (just a few sentences), and tell me what interests you about this game (another two or three sentences). The player behind the character is really the most important, after all, and your response will give me some insight in how I should run the game so that everyone may have a good time with it.
Example of a character (make your own though, don't use official ones): "Matoro is a Ko-Matoran wearing a Great Kanohi Akaku. He has a white body, while his hands, feet, and mask are sand blue. Having lived in the harsh climate of Ko-Koro as the Turaga's scribe, his main skills are survival in snowy wilderness, knowledge of history, and translation. He's brought along an ice pick and a few marker flags for this mission, just in case."
When/where do we start?
If accepted, I'll invite you to the game on RPOL.net and set up a proper character sheet for you. We can then work out the exact details according to the game system listed above. If there's a lot of interest in this game, I may split the players into two groups to avoid having too many characters cluttered in one place.
I expect December to be a busy month for many (me included) so the game campaign will start early in January.
Apply for a spot as a character in this topic.
If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask!