I was wondering if anyone has come up with an interesting fictional reason for the randomness of magic when playing Maze Rats. How are you or your players determining the source of the characters new daily spell, and how they know what it is/how to cast it?

My current ideas are pretty hand-wavy: Vancian-lite, chaotic energy, magical patron, and the old "it's magic, it doesn't need to make sense".

Just curious to see if it's come up at other tables.

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Spotted some Maze Rats love on Discord just now. "RPG Talk" Server - OSR Channel.
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I wanted to share a small extra rule I used on my Maze Rats session. We were making new characters and I wanted my players to make the most out of random tablez while maintaining the feeling that they created their characters and not only rolled them.

For their starting items, character features, names and background they rolled d66 but didn't pick which die is the first one and which is the second. I read them both options and they picked one of them. It wasn't too time consuming, players sometimes had tough choices to make and occasionly both die gave the same number leaving them with no choice at all which they also accepted.

Hey Rats! I have a rules/methodology question. How are you deciding what sorts of rewards to give out? I couldn't find any guidelines like "roll on the treasure table when the players defeat or get past a monster" or "a level two character should have about x gold." I get that there's a philosophy of "Wing it and do what feels right" in a lot of OSR-type games, but that doesn't actually help me.

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Nice review by +Pookie UK.
Rats in a Maze
Published by Questing Beast , Maze Rats is a simple, straightforward fantasy roleplaying game that is easy to pick up and easy to play. Never using more than three six-sided dice, it combines light mechanics with a plethora of tables to spur the imagination...

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So I put together my own character sheet for a small campaign of Maze Rats I'm planning on running. It doesn't have the charm of the original character sheet but I was needing something with a different style. Well that and something to support my house rules. Feel free to copy this for your own games :) 

INTENT CHECKS
I'm a big fan of Maze Rats not containing skill checks but I've noticed sometimes despite the groups best efforts the game ends up in a situation where a skill check is really the practical way out.
Additionally I like this as an option players can call on to contest when the GM has had to rule something as being outside the PCs natural ability. ('No you can not unlock the master safe.')
I'm going to trial this as a backup rule for my future games, I'd love to also hear what the community thinks of it:

When characters are in dire need of a stroke of luck or when to achieve the task at hand requires something greater than competence then characters may choose to make an Intent Check. Intent Checks are intended to be a costly and risky last resort so as to encourage players to still look for more practical and imaginative solutions to their predicament. If that fails for whatever reason then this move stands in as an abstracted skill check.

THE MOVE
The player in question states what their intended outcome is should their check be a success. If this is agreeable to the table then the player spends 1EXP to roll 2d6 and takes the sum of the roll.
They may have a +1 modifier to this roll if their character would for whatever reason be more capable at this check than a standard character. They may also have a +1 modifier if they choose to spend a second EXP before the roll is made.

The result of this roll is treated in Apocalypse World fashion;
10+ Their intent comes to pass.
7-9 Partial or costly success.
6- Things absolutely did not turn out in the PC’s favour.


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Evidence from this week's session in which the PCs lucked, bluffed, and murdered their way through the Anomalous Subsurface Environment's Moktar Lair .
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7/1/17
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I ran a session of Maze Rats at Origins 2017. I converted the D&D 4E adventure that Chris Perkins ran for the Robot Chicken creators (Can be found on youtube). The group had a good time - here are a few take aways.

1. Danger Rolls are great: I stuck true to the intent of the game and only had them roll dice when actual danger existed. They really liked this. They started getting more descriptive in their actions and appreciated the honesty and speed of play as a I revealed things as they explored.

2. Danger Rolls Usually Fail: The odds are, if they roll they are going to fail. Players need to actively seek advantage in every roll or they will soon perish. As a GM, I should bake in possibilities for advantage for those who are keen in looking for them.

3. Combat is Deadly: RAW, characters cannot last long in combat. So either combat needs to be less frequent than in other more traditional RPGs or there needs to be opportunity for healing provided, affecting game pace. Again, finding advantage is key - so the players should be observant and the GM creative.

4. Spells are Fun: The players loved the interpretive spells. I gave my spellcasters two starting spells because one spell a day isn't fun for convention play. Every player commented that they would want an option to remember a spell for use again, but appreciated the randomness too.







Hey +Ben Milton. I'm working on an espionage RPG that's (at least starting as a) hack of Maze Rats, Into the Odd and The Black Hack.

In addition to the actual mechanics and flavor of Maze Rats, I really love the compact but easy to read formatting/design.

Do you mind if I ask how you did it? In Wordpress? Adobe? Do you have a graphic design background?

Trying to figure if doing something half as good would require hiring a graphic designer.

Would love if you could expand on this (maybe a Qyestung Beast in it?)

Thanks in advance - Mark
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