Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A d30-based RPG System

A few weeks ago I had a chance to visit/hang with my best friend from grade/high school. He was never a gamer type, but he didn't judge me for being one either. Better yet, he (in a weird, silent way) seemed to encourage it. In fact, on a trip to Colorado in the mid-1980s, he returned with a birthday gift from a game/hobby store he'd come across in the mall... one of Gamescience's original d30s, and a white cover edition of The Armory's 30-sided Dice Gaming Tables.

About the same time he'd given me that, I started to get into Champions and Car Wars and all of those other games at the time that forsook the polyhedrals that the birth of the industry had so wonderfully embraced. I'd even started to work on my own generic RPG using nothing but d6s. Needless to say, the d30 languished unused in my dice case, even as I started to re-embrace the d10s and d20s, and eventually even the d12s, d8s, and the lowliest of all dice... the d4 (though I still don't like the way the d4 "rolls.")

So after my recent reconnection with my friend, I decided to reconnect with my d30 as well. And as most people tend to do when they've run into an acquaintance, or met somebody at a bar, I googled it. I looked to see how available they were, and what my copy of the gaming tables were selling for. I found a few proponents, like The Order of the d30.

Then I looked to see if anyone had developed a d30 RPG system, and I found Nexus Arcana. I was a little more than disappointed when I looked through the basic rules and the first die I saw mentioned was the d8... then the d6... then finally the d30. So my new goal came to be an RPG that uses the d30—and ONLY the d30. But what genre? What era?

Well, between my unhealthy obsession with Boardwalk Empire, and PBS's recent airing of Ken Burns' "Prohibition" documentary, I started thinking gangsters, and that led me to pulp stories. What better era for a d30 game than the 1930s? So that's where I landed.

I have the basic mechanic developed and it uses the versatility of the d30 in  way reminiscent of Marvel Superheroes Universal Table from the '80s. Don't misunderstand, it will not handle the wildly diverse power levels of a comic book supers game. It does, however, seem to support well the pulp hero who is capable of taking out lackey after lackey and henchman after henchman without trouble, and take on stronger opponents without dying.

Stay posted for updates and previews!


  1. Wow! I am VERY interested to see what you can to to make the d30 more than just an oddball also-used die and bring it to the forefront at the gaming table!

  2. Where can I get a copy of this?