Night Shift: Burton Tested, King Approved


It’s the last week of the Night Shift Kickstarter and yes I’m only a backer and yes I’m still ranting about it. But this one has got me excited and, heck, it’s my blog sooooo.
I’ve already did a little overview then some NPC’s and a whole rant about the genre. This time I want to a deeper dive into the Quick Start and the Kickstarter. Let me say this first. This is based on the Quick Start and things I’ve seen, bit of speculation, and a whole lot of opinion. If anything is inaccurate then just post in the comments.
Most of the mechanics are familiar if you’re used to old school games. Heck even newer editions the base mechanics are familiar. Six stats, classes, AC, HP, and so on. It does use descending AC but in a way that makes it understandable to those who aren’t used to it. There aren’t Saving Throws per se but instead you just Attribute checks. In that way you see some of the DNA of both Castles & Crusades and dare I say it 5E. Now one of the really old school things is the skill system.
Like old D&D, the skills are all percentile based. You know like the old Thief class. While I understand the design philosophy of keeping with some of the old ways, I’ve always preferred a skill system that is more unified with the other mechanics of the game. But this is really a no brainer when it comes to tweaking. Just take those percentages and divide by 5. Take that as a modifier, roll a d20 and get better than 20. No problem. This was even mentioned on the chat held by the designers. Of course, somebody will say that you have to do it as written. Sigh. Doesn’t affect the math of the game. It’s a personal preference of mine. And speaking skills. Spell casting is a skill too. That’s one thing I really like over the Vancian system that we’re so used to. Now one thing that’s bug me in old games is that there thing that every character is going to try but is some other class’s skill. Most notable is sneaking around. For those situations, Night Shift uses the Rule of Two. Basically, 2 in 6 chance to get away with it.
So what about classes? Well, the easiest three are the Veteran, the Survivor and the Spell Caster. If you want very rough equivalents to your standard fantasy classes then you’ve got Fighter, Thief, and Magic-User respectively. Then there’s the Sage. I dunno but it put that almost in the Bard type wheel house for equivalent. They are the font of knowledge and all that. Then there’s the Psychic/Medium class that good with spirits and for the life of me I can remember what it’s called but that’s not in the Quick Start. So this one really doesn’t have any similar type class. Then there’s the Chosen One. You know what mean. One in every generation. The one foretold in prophecy and so on. Based on what I’m seeing in the Quickstart, it looks like the design has some bits from both the Monk and the Paladin. Now this is my guess but it works for the genre. Of course, there’s got to be races right? Yeah there are but you won’t a super human supernatural. From what I’ve read, the character basically starts with an XP deficit to earn those extra abilities. There is a stretch goal for a totally point buy system.
So what about weapons? This goes all the way back to White Box. Everything does a d6. I know some one will it’s not realistic. Two things. First, it still is a fantasy game. Second, it makes the character more important than the gear. It gets really bad in modern games when there is an alleged gun expert at the table who argues over every mechanic. Sigh. But then who says you have to do modern. With little or no work, a GM could do a campaign probably any where from Ancient Rome to the Near Future. And even a wider range is they want to do a little more tweaking.
Now, I know a lot of this stuff has been said before and I even posted some of this in my first rant about the project. So please just take a look over on Kickstarter and give it chance.
And really folks. I can’t wait to get the full game write up those two guys. Thanks for stopping by.

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