Rapture & Ruin
How do traditional RPGs such as Dungeons & Dragons play into Rapture & Ruin?
Mechanically only. R&R is an attempt to get away from the tired themes and tropes of fantasy games and introduce some science-fiction flair instead, while encouraging players to approach the game more creatively. R&R should not “look” like Dungeons & Dragons.
Why forbid magic and allow psionics?
Ultimately these are the same thing – a preternatural means of changing the physical world. But magic is defined as something born of rituals, arcane maneuvers, and spell components. It’s heavily fantastic in flavor and that’s something I wish to avoid with R&R. Psionics is science-fiction and is often employed by different names in various science-fiction mediums – biotics in the Mass Effect trilogy or the Force in the Star Wars trilogy, for example.
Are players really allowed to Skin any race, class, power, weapon, and equipment however they like?
Yes and no. Players can apply any Skin to anything they like so long as it’s within reason and doesn’t change the numbers and mechanics. A longsword and long bow may be Skinned together as a gunblade as long as each respective portion conforms to the base numbers and it still requires the appropriate number of actions to swap between the two. Skins cannot be used to alter even the slightest mechanical detail. Likewise, a player could not Skin a crossbow as a one-man tank that deals a crosssbow’s worth of damage because it challenges congruency in item type and size – one is a handheld weapon and the other a vehicle.
What sorts of technologies are available in R&R?
Anything from wooden clubs to colossal flying mechs can be found around Ruin. The players shouldn’t worry about breaking any technology limits since The Rapture took place well into our own future and literally any technologies may very exist. For example, if a character has a power that includes teleported movement, it is perfectly acceptable to give that character a device that stops time for a brief period in order for him to relocate. Of course, he can’t use this device to do anything other than relocate. It’s only a Skin after all.
What is the purpose of The Fright and R.E.M.?
I believe that campaigns driven by story are more enjoyable than games which string together endless and weakly justified combats. But when a GM focuses on story building he or she inevitably spreads combats further apart. Most RPGs are balanced for three through five combat encounters per in-game day. The Fright and R.E.M. are a convenient method for maintaining that balance while not forcing every day to consist of combat – and it brings some darker flavor to Ruin. Now a GM may spread his combats over as many in-game days as he or she likes and allow the PCs to rest with the use of R.E.M. based on combat frequency. For example, the PCs might dungeon crawl and encounter five hostile groups in a single day and should be allowed to rest with R.E.M. at the end of that day. However, The PCs might also only engage in combat once per day for five days, and should be allowed to rest with R.E.M. at the conclusion of that fifth day. The Fright and R.E.M. are not a means to penalize the players and should never be used as such.