I’ve finished my first priced game, space street, along with a discord community, and will launch on drivethrurpg later this week. I thought you might be curious about what I felt was good about the system’s mechanics, and what I might go back and change or add in a supplement.
You can find my game at: https://sr16.itch.io/space-street, it’s currently on a 75% of sale for just £1.25, catch it while you can!
I think the good part about the system is how it handles clues and investigation, a big part of the sci-fi film noir setting combination. We’ve all had that 5e sherlock game where the session stalls to a grinding halt because of a failed investigation check. In this game, similar to gumshoe, you automatically find any clues.
What I didn’t like about gumshoe (not that I dislike the gumshoe this is very much a subjective issue) is that I didn’t feel like what I rolled had a big enough impact on how I interpret the clue. I decided I would accept the basic premise of gumshoe (that an investigative game is not about finding clues, but interpreting them) along with the premise of dnd investigation checks (that higher rolls will be more beneficial).
I decided that based on how high you roll, you will be able to ask a certain amount of questions for the GM, who will answer in a way that works with what your characters could find out. For example, Deck, a rough and tumble investigator with a cybernetic eye and a big fedora, finds a black marble bird statue, and rolls a 4, so he can ask the GM 2 questions about it:
Deck: Okay, I ask if the falcon has any historical importance.
GM: You know from a childhood history lesson it was unearthed from an old Egyptian tomb in the 20thcentury.
Deck: Okay… erm… Is it stolen? No nevermind… why is it here?
GM: It’s here because the syndicate is going to give it to someone, you know because there’s some wrapping paper next to it.
I like how I did this mechanic because I feel it makes the players engage with information and seek out information they’re interested in, rather than being told information, the players take an active role in revealing the mystery through the mechanics. That being said, it comes with the risk the GM will be unable to give a good answer and immersion might break.
However, I’d say my biggest regret is not including more character creation rules in the game, I think in my desire to make the game more accessible, I threw away too much that the game would of benefited from. This partly comes from my history of making more one-page TTRPGs which need simpler rulesets than space street.
For example, I think Deck would be a cooler character if their player were able to actually give them a cybernetic eye in their rules, rather than it purely being Deck’s appearance, I’d also include some more rules in general, just to flesh out certain aspects.