Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Game Name Game

Back when 4E was looming on the horizon, I started working on what I called Project 39, my attempt to combine the best of what I had seen in the 4E mechanics with what I wanted to keep from 3.5.

4E hit, I blew up my campaign world to accommodate the huge shift it represented, and we converted our ongoing campaign to 4E. That last a few sessions until I hit on a way to do more granular advancement (something I frequently tinkered with in d20) and hit on the idea of 4lacarte, an a la carte advancement system where players bought powers, feats, skills and what not piecemeal, rather than a surge of power once in a while when they leveled.

Cruising the InterBlogs, I stumbled across Robin Stacey's Microlite system. The idea behind Microlite was to boil down D&D to its barest bones, with the basic rules taking up a couple pages. A small community developed around the idea, all doing their own takes on it. I realized it would be easy for me to distill down what I was doing into a simplified system, basically just expanding slightly on the Microlite idea but keeping my idea of advancement divorced from level. I called it MicroZ.

Microlite was bought by Seth Drebitko of Kobold Enterprise. Microlite20 or M20 continues to have its community and Mr. Drebitko is continuing to develop the system. However as thing progressed I could see his path and my development path were diverging enough that I felt that my system was not quite Micro and many of the mechanic introduced to M20 were not ones that met my needs.

I flirted with the name z20, a play off d20 and the z in Oz. But it isn't very descriptive, then I hit on an idea for a name that sums up the core of my iteration of d20. Skill20.

Advancement in Skill20 mostly hinges on Skills. While there is Stat (Ability or Attribute such as Strength) advancement, Stats don't change much over time. Skills are the driving force in this game. Hence the name.

I'll go into more details on Skill20 in a future post.

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