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Periphery!

Periphery!

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Project Blog by moji Cult of Games Member

Recommendations: 214

About the Project

Like many gamers, there were many games that I loved - or rather elements of them - but there was always something I'd want to change. I also wanted a 'catch all' ruleset that I could use for all my minis and terrain in multiple genres but mostly the 2000ad universes. Here's how I went about making this beauty.

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Mission 3

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The final mission in the intro campaign. It went pretty well as an intro campaign. Now I’m working on the first ‘actual’ campaign where characters might die.

It’s a branching campaign and depends on choices or performance. What I really needed was a giant cork board and a ball of red string.

I’ll be playtesting the RESYK campaign next week using these same characters. I’ll also be getting them better equipped and so on but spending the creds earned in the intro campaign.

Campaign design 101Campaign design 101

Does anyone have a good system/app for planning a multi-branch campaign? I had a lot of trouble (headache inducing and bad for motivation) planning the campaign. Now I really feel the Fighting Fantasy books were a work of genius.

Mission 2

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The next mission of the intro campaign. Fast and punchy!

Mission 1

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Inspirational Bling

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I had alot of fun making theseI had alot of fun making these

Previous versions of Periphery were peppered with illustrations to brighten up the pages, as examples, and to fill dead space. Those were mostly from Google image search so weren’t mine and were also stylistically all over the place.

This time I decided to go all out and take pics of my games. This started out as illustrations for rules examples, but I had so much fun that I used them throughout the rulebook as inspiration pieces, story hooks or just mood pieces.

As you can see I’m not that good at painting but I’m pretty inspired to get a game on when I see these pics.

If I can do it – you DEFINITELY can. What are you waiting for?

Index Fingering

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Oh, one more thing! If you write a ruleset more than a couple of pages long, MAKE AN INDEX. No ifs or buts.

And a quick ref chart – thankfully most games have those.

I’ll be plopping some vids of actual plays here sometimes. I already made a lot showing various stages of development. I use actual and virtual tabletops for convenience (no man-cave in my house).

A quick ref. Comes after the index. Which should be LAW.A quick ref. Comes after the index. Which should be LAW.

Intro Campaign

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Stat cards and table setup are included with every mission. For times when I'm in a hurry.Stat cards and table setup are included with every mission. For times when I'm in a hurry.

Rules complete, I wrote a mini campaign which grounds the team in the Dredd universe and give them a starting motivation and semi-easy intro to the rules.

The team starts in the Cursed Earth and gain access to Mega-City One where they set up base. From there they are ready to begin a more serious campaign.

I made sure to include stat cards for all the hostiles in the mission, plus an example of a terrain set up – sometimes I just can’t decide what to put on the table.

This campaign is quite linear, as the team must end up inside Mega-City One to gain access to the services therein. Further campaigns will be much more diverse, with multiple outcomes possible from each mission and multiple consequences branching off to different missions.

I've played this one so many times. Who doesn't like zombies.I've played this one so many times. Who doesn't like zombies.

Age of Actual Magic

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The Mongoose version of Dredd had skill trees. Have 'em!The Mongoose version of Dredd had skill trees. Have 'em!

I used to really like the skill trees in the Mongoose game of Dredd, so I incorporated them. For each skill I started with the name and description then built the rules to match – not worrying about being overpowered. If something was powerful, I made it more expensive.

I’ve played too many games where magic was flaccid! NO MORE!

This was perhaps the most time consuming as I had so many ideas and wanted a lot of options for characters to specialise in.

For simplicity and a bit of control, I did impose a couple of restrictions when building a team of characters. The team can only have one psi character (wizard), more can be hired later, and each team member starts with a maximum of two skills.

Skills can be trained later and is a whole ‘town phase’ thing where a character pays tuition (expensive) and skips a mission to train. Then rolls to see if they graduate, have to continue, or drop out.

Generating Terrain

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So the activation, combat, movement and so on were all finished. Checkout the full pdf on the FB group ‘Periphery – Alternate Rules for Dredd’

https://www.facebook.com/groups/219944645972217

Then I made a deck for generating terrain. When dungeon crawling, instead of plonking down all the terrain and seeing what’s coming, when a door gets opened I draw a DOOR CARD which has a pic of a piece of sci-fi furniture and rules associated with it. Multiple door cards can be drawn to generate more terrain, but for each door card drawn, a spawn card must also be drawn. This is a kind of push your luck mechanic as door cards can often be beneficial (crates and such). A spawn card says where to place the hostile.

The types of hostile, with stats, are detailed in each mission or can be generated to suit the models available using the point buy system.

I went with a punchy comic style cardI went with a punchy comic style card

Speaking of hostiles, I needed stat cards which can easily be read and linked with the models on the table. As this game is pretty much just for me or those who visit my house, I’m using actual pics of my models for the cards.

Kill Team lite

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The hits vs defends were inspired by kill teamsThe hits vs defends were inspired by kill teams

I played a few games of kill teams and even 40k and noticed the St vs T chart had gone and was replaced by a simple, easy to remember chart. I decided to incorporate a version of this into the combat and after a just a few turns I was able to remember it.

The combat is quite dynamic and also deadly, with any unit having a chance to do damage. Units get pinned which prevents them from moving unless they spend an action to shake it off. Stuns are more serious and need a test to remove. Stamina are basically hit points and having less stamina affects performance.

A unit that gets charged and hasn’t yet activated can run, hit the deck or shoot. Having this system really makes me think about whether or not to charge and also whether or not to activate a vulnerable unit.

Activations

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The tokens and dice from the Strontium Dog game are great so I decided to use them.The tokens and dice from the Strontium Dog game are great so I decided to use them.

I’ve always loved the Bolt Action style ‘pull a token from the bag’ activation system, and incorporate it into every ruleset I play – much to powergamers’ disgust!

The only activation system that tops it is the Strontium Dog one. It’s basically the same but with special characters (the main ones from the comic) generating ‘star activation tokens’ which have a chance of being put back in to the bag and re-used in the same turn. Powerful and simple stuff that has lead to cinematic moments and strategic plays.

I decided to use the Strontium Dog activation system and tokens in Periphery. I also decided to use the other dice and tokens from the game too as they were gathering dust and they’re really very nice. They also pretty much matched the statuses and situations existing in previous versions of Periphery.

The custom dice are simple, after having tried the Imperial Assault dice and frying my brain, and are D6s with three symbols – HITS x 3, DEFENDS x 2, and CRITICAL x 1.

As I’m not re-inventing the Stront game, but incorporating the dice and tokens, I have renamed some things which seem more intuitive to me.

Elements

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Having tinkered around with several versions of Periphery – so named because it’s sooo on the edge of the fringe of a niche hobby – I decided I wanted a game that could do these things.

  1. Skirmish AND solo, coop rules that don’t change the game
  2. Point buy stats to suit any model and weapon
  3. Simple combat that doesn’t involve arithmetic or several rolls
  4. Dungeon crawl capability with fog of war
  5. Rules for the all the sci-fi dungeon furniture that I have amassed
  6. Stupidly simple AI for hostiles
  7. Campaign and character development

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