I’ve been really inspired to work on Slime Story lately, both the stories and the RPG.
The Slime Story RPG has been a strange and at times annoying project. Very rarely do I wind up ripping something apart and starting over so many times, but each time I’ve accumulated more usable stuff. I’ve gone from a d20-based system to 2d6+Bonuses Roll-Over to a d6 die pool thing and back to the 2d6+ thing, but along the way I’ve settled on the game’s basic structure, on classes and cliques, and a bunch of other things.
This time I think I’m finally getting to where I can at least finish a first draft of the rules. As I had hoped, the Mouse Guard RPG really inspired me. This is partly just because it’s put together so incredibly well, and partly stuff like the way it handles conflicts, conditions, and goals. I really like the idea of “consequences” as a result of conflicts, and just plain using group consensus to decide on things like Beliefs and Goals seems simple and effective.
Slime Story is shaping up to be a hybrid of indie, traditional, and Japanese RPG design influences, though I don’t really see all that strong of a strong distinction between them unless I try really hard to step back. The relationship mechanics in particular look like certain bits of Yuuyake Koyake, Beast Bind: New Testament, Aitsu wa Classmate, Bliss Stage, In a Wicked Age, and Dogs in the Vineyard all thrown into a blender.
The weird thing about it is that the traditional and Japanese side of things has me writing up lots of crunchy bits. However, the Feats you can get by being of a given clique (Average, Geek, Jock, Popular, Punk, or Weirdo) mostly relate to social stuff, and I’m having to do come up with some pretty wacky stuff just to reach my goal of giving each one eight to choose from. Even writing up monster descriptions is strange because like a lot of things in the game I end up presenting hackneyed fantasy tropes through a pop-culture lens.
Things I learned about the Slime Story setting by writing a novel:
- Monster Mart sponsors a yearly convention called “MonsterCon.”
- Slime Cola tastes like cheap supermarket cola mixed with oil and window cleaner, but it is a really effective energy drink like they say.
- The “First Monster Hunter” was a housewife. She also is the inventor of the original recipe for healing potions.
- There’s more–possibly a whole lot more–to squishies (the little slime creatures) than meets the eye.
- The more gifted alchemists are coming up with all kinds of crazy things.
- There’s a professional monster hunting circuit, most notably the M-Crawl, which is kind of like American Gladiators with monsters. A lot of hunters don’t take it seriously.
- There’s an organization called PETM that is vehemently against monster hunting, and calls Monster Mart “Murder Mart.”
- Monster hunting has shown up on TV and such, but by and large hunters haven’t been too thrilled with the results. The “salamander crystal thing” on an episode of 24 is infamous.
- In that world Weezer did a song called “Monster Girl.” There are also a couple of bands that do all songs about monster hunting, notably a punk band called Wild Hunt and a nerdcore rapper called DJ Dragonslayer.