Thursday, April 21, 2011

Secret Project X-13

So I am currently working on the first ever new RPG I'll be designing from the ground up.

It's called Medical Mystery, and it's an attempt to emulate TV shows like House MD, ER, MASH and Scrubs.

The game has no combat.

Players are the members of a medical team, tackling cases that come their way, using their skills to advance through three stages of a case.

Cases (which are the equivalent of adventures in standard RPGs) are typically one "episode" comprised of three stages: Diagnoses, Treatment and Recovery.

Along the way players will make skill checks to successful tackle each stage. Failure in diagnosis and/or treatment makes recovery harder, and if the patient fails to recover the player suffers personal effects that impede his performance for a number of episodes.

However, Medical Mystery is not all about the current case.

As players move through the adventure, they can bring in complications from their personal lives to give them additional opportunities to succeed at a skill check.

Now, this might sound a bit like a soap opera, and certainly shows like House and ER had elements of that, but the three complications are Drama, Romance and Wit.

In Wit, you have elements of humor, which was especially important to shows like House, Scrubs and MASH (though all of these shows had soap opera drama and romance as well).

It's early goings for the game, but I will be talking about it more as the design progresses.

This is a very different sort of game than my usual, but I think this is a great genre that hasn't yet been successfully tackled in RPG form, and I think I'm up to the challenge.


Unknown said...

It's sounds a bit too limited in scope to be an RPG per say, but I think it sounds like a cool game idea. Sort of like a boards/strategy game with RPG elements. But maybe I'm missing something that could make it more of a traditional RPG.

Vigilance said...

Well, there will be ramifications for failure, and character advancement as you play the game.

It's definitely lacking some traditional RPG features, like "loot", but it won't require a board, has character creation, and character advancement, so I call it a RPG :)

Jason said...

This certainly sounds fantastic - I'm all for a game that gets rid of combat, and focuses on interaction and problem solving :) I hope you managed to crack the design.

Vigilance said...

I *think* I have.

A part of my brain has been working on this off an on for a couple years.

I know I first mentioned it publicly, on the Accidental Survivors podcast, a couple years back.

So I've probably been thinking about since BEFORE that.

This is one of those things I mentioned in the Dry County post, that I won't stop thinking about until I do it right.

mikelaff said...

You might take a look at Smallville RPG

mikelaff said...

it handles some of the same issues (ie emulating a TV drama around the table)

Desert Rat said...

We'll be looking forward to this. Heck, I might even get the Mrs. to run it (it's more her genre than mine, but I'll play anything).

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