Sunday, March 9, 2014

Using CROM for post-apocalyptic games

In a previous post, I made a short review of CROM from Matakishi's Tea House and commented on its suitability for solo play. Although it was designed to play heroic fantasy adventures, I do not think it is hard to adapt it to other melee-heavy settings. This includes post-apocalyptic worlds where enough time has passed to make most technology lost.

There are no character creation rules in CROM. Instead, they are described as possessing some capabilities, such as ranged attacks or certain magic spells. The rules describe how these are resolved in game. Therefore, I decided to expand or adjust the rules for a post-apocalyptic setting. Here is what I currently use:

Firearms: these ancient weapons use the normal rules for ranged attacks. Pistols and SMGs add 1 special die for this purpose; rifles and shotguns add 2. That is, every turn a figure with a firearm has that amount of bonus special dice to use. These are also the number of extra wounds that may be caused if sixes are rolled. However, after each shot a die must be rolled. On a 1, the firearm breaks. On a 2, it is jammed until the end of the scenario. Firearms reduce cover effectiveness by 1.

Energy guns: these are powerful ranged weapons from before the fall of civilization. Energy guns reduce cover effectiveness by 1. To fire an energy gun, a figure must use pairs of combat and special dice. Therefore, an attack will roll 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 dice at most. If the attack is successful, any 6 rolled on a combat die adds a wound. However, after an energy gun is fired, roll a die. If the result is equal to or lower than the number of combat dice used in the attack, the gun explodes, causing 1 wound to its user. For instance, after an attack with 4 dice, I roll one die and get a 1. Since this is less than 2 (the number of combat dice rolled) the gun explodes and causes a wound.

Psychic abilities use the Magic system from the CROM book. Some sample powers:
Mind blast - a target may defend with any available dice. A successful hit causes 2 wounds and the target is stunned (may only defend for the rest of this turn.)
Pyrokinesis - a target may defend with any available dice. A successful hit causes 2 wounds and a roll of 6 sets the target on fire.

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