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Stonehenge: Roleplaying as a genre? I propose The 6:30 System.


Paizo Games


Hello all. For some reason, I think I hit cancel and didn't get this up, so I am reposting.

One thing that stuck out in my mind as an unexpected category in Stonehenge was the category of Roleplaying. I guess it is there for completeness, but I was curious what could be done. Pondering over this, I thought of a possible generic RPG system called The 6:30 System (6 colors, range 1-30), and the first world being the time in the past complete with Druids, miracle working Christian Monks (see St. Patrick), the Roman Empire and so on, starting around the area near Stonehenge (and also could throw in some aliens for tech). The game would center around the 6 colors of Stonehenge, and have stat ranges of 1-30. The different parts of the game, like the 19 space bluestone track, and also the 30 day and 30 night spaces would also be able to be other stats. Even the cloaked figures in the game lend towards character classes: Monks, Druids, Thieves, Ghosts (undead) and Aliens.

Just curious what people's thoughts are on this, and if it might be something Piazo would be interested in having associated with Stonehenge.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

DocReason wrote:
One thing that stuck out in my mind as an unexpected category in Stonehenge was the category of Roleplaying. I guess it is there for completeness... Just curious what people's thoughts are on this, and if it might be something Piazo would be interested in having associated with Stonehenge.

Oh, no, it wasn't there for completeness. It was there partly as a subtle challenge...


I think it sounds like a great idea and I would be more than willing to help you design it. Who knows, it could be the next expansion.


DocReason wrote:

Even the cloaked figures in the game lend towards character classes: Monks, Druids, Thieves, Ghosts (undead) and Aliens.

Just curious what people's thoughts are on this, and if it might be something Piazo would be interested in having associated with Stonehenge.

Being a longtime roleplayer and using many systems and even having written some (i.e. Game Chef) - I'm a big fan of NOT using classes (also a big fan of NOT using levels and NOT using "hit points"). It's never a good thing in roleplaying. It always leads to too much structure and not enough imagination (i.e. you may as well play a videogame).

However - what I propose instead is either archetypes or packages.

Have bunches of skills and skill sets - and then declare that a "Monk" type would have these skills at these levels, and a "Druid" would have these skills at these levels. I wouldn't force players to choose one of the archetypes, they could make up a mixture.

Being a bit of a fan of the Hero system as well - I'd like to see point-based generation. Special powers could be figured in as well.


Task Resolution idea-

If you have stats 1-30, the players could be dealt cards each session - a card based mechanic similar to my Versailles game (which I'd like to rip large chunks out of to save time here).
(sorry just had to pimp my game there)

Difficulty of a task = 1-30 (or more) based on GM decision.
Player can play one or more cards which get added together and must meet or exceed the difficulty of the task.

The total amount that player can play is equal to the relevant stat+relevant skill (e.g. Stat of 12 and Skill of 17 means the player can play cards up to the total of 29)

Trilithon cards could be trump cards and add +10 to the task resolution and may allow the player to exceed their limit of stat+skill.


Curufea wrote:
DocReason wrote:

Even the cloaked figures in the game lend towards character classes: Monks, Druids, Thieves, Ghosts (undead) and Aliens.

Just curious what people's thoughts are on this, and if it might be something Piazo would be interested in having associated with Stonehenge.

Being a longtime roleplayer and using many systems and even having written some (i.e. Game Chef) - I'm a big fan of NOT using classes (also a big fan of NOT using levels and NOT using "hit points"). It's never a good thing in roleplaying. It always leads to too much structure and not enough imagination.

However - what I propose instead is either archetypes or packages.

Have bunches of skills and skill sets - and then declare that a "Monk" type would have these skills at these levels, and a "Druid" would have these skills at these levels. I wouldn't force players to choose one of the archetypes, they could make up a mixture.

Being a bit of a fan of the Hero system as well - I'd like to see point-based generation. Special powers could be figured in as well.

You could treat them as archetypes or packages if you like. I believe classes would depend on the type of world you are in. In the time of Celtic Monks and Druids, classes might be more rigid.

Anyhow, I thought it might be worth picking up as a project. Stonehenge generates multiple "killer apps" in multiple genres, then it will take off in a big way. Icehouse, for example, does have Zendo, and some others.


Vic Wertz wrote:
DocReason wrote:
One thing that stuck out in my mind as an unexpected category in Stonehenge was the category of Roleplaying. I guess it is there for completeness... Just curious what people's thoughts are on this, and if it might be something Piazo would be interested in having associated with Stonehenge.
Oh, no, it wasn't there for completeness. It was there partly as a subtle challenge...

Ok, that made sense. I had thought you might as well cover the bases with people. So, would Paizo be interesting in getting an RPG based around Stonehenge's components published?


DocReason wrote:


You could treat them as archetypes or packages if you like. I believe classes would depend on the type of world you are in. In the time of Celtic Monks and Druids, classes might be more rigid.

I mean classes as in "class-based roleplaying systems" rather than social classes :)

I'm all for social class. I'm against "every player must belong to one of the classes only, and they have the following rule enforced limits and advantages and must never change"

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

DocReason wrote:
So, would Paizo be interesting in getting an RPG based around Stonehenge's components published?

Honestly, I can't image strong sales for such a product, but it might be fun to see.


Stat Blocks:
I've been working on 4+2 system for stats for another game I designed:

The starting player would be given 60 points to be split up between six stats:

Physical (Green), Mental (Blue), Health (Red), Psych (Yellow), Attack (Black) & Defense (White). No one starting player's stat block can be less than five points.

Attacks would resolve based on if it was a physical, mental, health or psych attack. The player's attack plus type stats would be added together and the attacking player/npc would draw a card. The defending player/npc would draw a card and their defense plus type would be added together. The highest score wins the attack. If there's a tie, defender wins.


Vic Wertz wrote:
DocReason wrote:
So, would Paizo be interesting in getting an RPG based around Stonehenge's components published?
Honestly, I can't image strong sales for such a product, but it might be fun to see.

It could be a free supplement or a two dollar pdf download :)


Professor Rabbit wrote:

Stat Blocks:

I've been working on 4+2 system for stats for another game I designed:

The starting player would be given 60 points to be split up between six stats:

Physical (Green), Mental (Blue), Health (Red), Psych (Yellow), Attack (Black) & Defense (White). No one starting player's stat block can be less than five points.

Attacks would resolve based on if it was a physical, mental, health or psych attack. The player's attack plus type stats would be added together and the attacking player/npc would draw a card. The defending player/npc would draw a card and their defense plus type would be added together. The highest score wins the attack. If there's a tie, defender wins.

Would the colour of the card be significant when adding to the same coloured stat? Some kind of additional advantage?

I prefer a hand of cards for each player though - gives players more of a choice in where to use their better cards and when not to (adds more narrative story control). Drawing a random card, especially with a range between 1 and 30 is a fair bit of random.


Curufea wrote:
Professor Rabbit wrote:

Stat Blocks:

I've been working on 4+2 system for stats for another game I designed:

The starting player would be given 60 points to be split up between six stats:

Physical (Green), Mental (Blue), Health (Red), Psych (Yellow), Attack (Black) & Defense (White). No one starting player's stat block can be less than five points.

Attacks would resolve based on if it was a physical, mental, health or psych attack. The player's attack plus type stats would be added together and the attacking player/npc would draw a card. The defending player/npc would draw a card and their defense plus type would be added together. The highest score wins the attack. If there's a tie, defender wins.

Would the colour of the card be significant when adding to the same coloured stat? Some kind of additional advantage?

I prefer a hand of cards for each player though - gives players more of a choice in where to use their better cards and when not to (adds more narrative story control). Drawing a random card, especially with a range between 1 and 30 is a fair bit of random.

For example, if they use mental attack and they play a blue or white card, it gives them a bonus. (I'm still working out the system, it's just a start)


Professor Rabbit wrote:
For example, if they use mental attack and they play a blue or white card, it gives them a bonus. (I'm still working out the system, it's just a start)

Heh, "still working out the system" is the story of my life :)

But on the plus side, discussing it gets lots of nice message posts on the board and looks good in its stats :)

That, and I can look like a pseudo-intellectual by using as many multiple syllable words as I can think of when talking game mechanics. Gives me an ego boost :)

Anyhow, actual useful things-
Game Chef for RPG design contests
1000 Monkeys, 1000 Typewriters for free roleplaying games

RPG game design advice-
The Importance of method
RPG System design
Design Patterns of Successful Role-Playing Games by John Kirk (zip of a PDF dissertation)


Curufea wrote:
DocReason wrote:


You could treat them as archetypes or packages if you like. I believe classes would depend on the type of world you are in. In the time of Celtic Monks and Druids, classes might be more rigid.

I mean classes as in "class-based roleplaying systems" rather than social classes :)

I'm all for social class. I'm against "every player must belong to one of the classes only, and they have the following rule enforced limits and advantages and must never change"

I know. What I am saying in the case of societies with strong social class structure, having defined character classes makes sense. In the case where you have a monk or druid, they wouldn't share much of anything, as they are different paths. There would be some general schools of knowledge.

Maybe put special abilities in certain schools of "magic" color coordinated. Depending on what archetype you are, you get access to certain types.


Vic Wertz wrote:
DocReason wrote:
So, would Paizo be interesting in getting an RPG based around Stonehenge's components published?
Honestly, I can't image strong sales for such a product, but it might be fun to see.

How about just giving a nudge in the right direction so it results in people buying supplies from Paizo to keep it going. The community could pretty much run with this. The trick, from the Paizo perspective, is to have the RPG community buy the Stonehenge game to play the RPG.


Professor Rabbit wrote:

Stat Blocks:

I've been working on 4+2 system for stats for another game I designed:

The starting player would be given 60 points to be split up between six stats:

Physical (Green), Mental (Blue), Health (Red), Psych (Yellow), Attack (Black) & Defense (White). No one starting player's stat block can be less than five points.

Attacks would resolve based on if it was a physical, mental, health or psych attack. The player's attack plus type stats would be added together and the attacking player/npc would draw a card. The defending player/npc would draw a card and their defense plus type would be added together. The highest score wins the attack. If there's a tie, defender wins.

I think you want the attribute blocks broken up into more general categories, and you can mix two or more colors together to get other attributes. In the case of attack and defense, I think black and white should represent more basic attributes, and you combine them with another attribute to get attack and defend. You want the system to be general enough, that you can run a wide enough range of genres, even factoring in there not being any combat.

I believe there should be one representing physical dexterity, and another one representing character or mental disciple. You have another one for intelligence.

There will be eventually seven colors with the Noc expansion coming along, so that other color can be used for whatever.

There is also day and night to be factored in also.


Curufea wrote:
Professor Rabbit wrote:

Stat Blocks:

I've been working on 4+2 system for stats for another game I designed:

The starting player would be given 60 points to be split up between six stats:

Physical (Green), Mental (Blue), Health (Red), Psych (Yellow), Attack (Black) & Defense (White). No one starting player's stat block can be less than five points.

Attacks would resolve based on if it was a physical, mental, health or psych attack. The player's attack plus type stats would be added together and the attacking player/npc would draw a card. The defending player/npc would draw a card and their defense plus type would be added together. The highest score wins the attack. If there's a tie, defender wins.

Would the colour of the card be significant when adding to the same coloured stat? Some kind of additional advantage?

I prefer a hand of cards for each player though - gives players more of a choice in where to use their better cards and when not to (adds more narrative story control). Drawing a random card, especially with a range between 1 and 30 is a fair bit of random.

You might want the cards sorted by color and then you draw from a certain color.


I was thinking the orange could be world effects, also I was that players could have the day deck and the gm could have the night deck.


DocReason wrote:


How about just giving a nudge in the right direction so it results in people buying supplies from Paizo to keep it going. The community could pretty much run with this. The trick, from the Paizo perspective, is to have the RPG community buy the Stonehenge game to play the RPG.

That's what I thinking to. Stonehenge could be combined with Gamemastery stuff. Just a thought.


Professor Rabbit wrote:
DocReason wrote:


How about just giving a nudge in the right direction so it results in people buying supplies from Paizo to keep it going. The community could pretty much run with this. The trick, from the Paizo perspective, is to have the RPG community buy the Stonehenge game to play the RPG.
That's what I thinking to. Stonehenge could be combined with Gamemastery stuff. Just a thought.

Well, the RPG system should also get people to buy the Stonehenge GAME.


RPGs are not a big market, compared to board games. But it would be a new market at least :)

Ideally, you want collectible and children as your market. MacDonalds has always had the right idea there. You want to target those with money - either Teens with part time jobs and no debts, or Parents (through their children).

I can't see a lot of potential crossover from boardgame to RPG, unfortunately. Not in terms of "attracting more customers".

However, that being said, it can be done in stages - introducing character development and scenarios. Talisman and Battlestations come to mind here.

What about reworking the published rules for a roleplaying version? With character development there is more potential replayability and there is a potential metagame across them.


Curufea wrote:

RPGs are not a big market, compared to board games. But it would be a new market at least :)

Ideally, you want collectible and children as your market. MacDonalds has always had the right idea there. You want to target those with money - either Teens with part time jobs and no debts, or Parents (through their children).

I can't see a lot of potential crossover from boardgame to RPG, unfortunately. Not in terms of "attracting more customers".

However, that being said, it can be done in stages - introducing character development and scenarios. Talisman and Battlestations come to mind here.

What about reworking the published rules for a roleplaying version? With character development there is more potential replayability and there is a potential metagame across them.

Character development in what way? Do you mean statbuilding, with the games played with the Stonehenge boardgame as a way to beef up stats, a bit like you do with Puzzle Quest serving as a way to combat? Maybe this could be done a cross between Barbu and Gipf.

The idea would be to have an open-source, free RPG system, that uses Stonehenge in some interesting way that is unique.

Actually, what might be needed now is microgames like Stackhenge as means of doing battles. Quick games you can do in less than 5 minutes, you use to resolve battles.

I think this could be an interesting way to go.


DocReason wrote:

Character development in what way? Do you mean statbuilding, with the games played with the Stonehenge boardgame as a way to beef up stats, a bit like you do with Puzzle Quest serving as a way to combat? Maybe this could be done a cross between Barbu and Gipf.

The idea would be to have an open-source, free RPG system, that uses Stonehenge in some interesting way that is unique.

Actually, what might be needed now is microgames like Stackhenge as means of doing battles. Quick games you can do in less than 5 minutes, you use to resolve battles.

I think this could be an interesting way to go.

Yeah, character development meaning stat building really - putting roleplaying elements in such as motivations, personality, histories and plots and what not would possibly be best handled later. Possibly a storytelling game using Stonehenge?

The main problem I see with Stonehenge for RPGs is the use of the board and pieces. Neither of which are common to RPGs which tend to use small amounts of game pieces that are more easily portable.

I like the idea of combat resolution though - a common feature in many games is the use of miniatures and maps to help visualise the combat, some RPGs even have rules that are specific to miniature use. I doubt every adventure would hinge on fighting within Stonehenge though, so it would need to be abstracted. Possibly the board could be used for non-physical combats? Such as magical combats?

Actually, that being said, combat is just another task resolution problem like the use of any skill, and they could all be symbolically represented on the board. We just need a reason why it would be good to use the board.


Curufea wrote:
DocReason wrote:

Character development in what way? Do you mean statbuilding, with the games played with the Stonehenge boardgame as a way to beef up stats, a bit like you do with Puzzle Quest serving as a way to combat? Maybe this could be done a cross between Barbu and Gipf.

The idea would be to have an open-source, free RPG system, that uses Stonehenge in some interesting way that is unique.

Actually, what might be needed now is microgames like Stackhenge as means of doing battles. Quick games you can do in less than 5 minutes, you use to resolve battles.

I think this could be an interesting way to go.

Yeah, character development meaning stat building really - putting roleplaying elements in such as motivations, personality, histories and plots and what not would possibly be best handled later. Possibly a storytelling game using Stonehenge?

The main problem I see with Stonehenge for RPGs is the use of the board and pieces. Neither of which are common to RPGs which tend to use small amounts of game pieces that are more easily portable.

I like the idea of combat resolution though - a common feature in many games is the use of miniatures and maps to help visualise the combat, some RPGs even have rules that are specific to miniature use. I doubt every adventure would hinge on fighting within Stonehenge though, so it would need to be abstracted. Possibly the board could be used for non-physical combats? Such as magical combats?

Actually, that being said, combat is just another task resolution problem like the use of any skill, and they could all be symbolically represented on the board. We just need a reason why it would be good to use the board.

Well the board and stuff can be used to represent a control panel for higher power beings to manipulate the affairs of the characters. You could also end up having different mini-games, like Stackhenge, to represent different types of challenge situations for players, with their stats giving them certain advantages when playing a certain minigame. I mentioned Puzzle Quest before, which uses Bejewelled to handle combat between a player and a monster in the game. It seems odd and abstract, but it works. Similar could be done for the 6:30 System (or whatever the Stonehenge RPG is called).

As for it not being typical, well uniqueness IS a selling point for people to try it.


I’m going to apologize up front, because this is going to be a relatively long post. I printed out the entire thread and looked it over and here’s some things I just caught:

Curufea wrote:

I'm a big fan of NOT using classes (also a big fan of NOT using levels and NOT using "hit points").


I prefer a hand of cards for each player though - gives players more of a choice in where to use their better cards and when not to (adds more narrative story control). Drawing a random card, especially with a range between 1 and 30 is a fair bit of random.

I was thinking the maybe the hand could be a type of life point/skills control mechanism. Each player get ten cards per “game day” and makes their decisions based on their hand and their skills. Also, their a “penalty” for being too aggressive with their action as it will wear them out sooner.

DocReason wrote:
[Anyhow, I thought it might be worth picking up as a project. Stonehenge generates multiple "killer apps" in multiple genres, then it will take off in a big way. Icehouse, for example, does have Zendo, and some others.

As a “Demo Rabbit,” that’s the hook of this proposed game. The minigame for each type of skill will draw people to play this game.

DocReason wrote:
I think you want the attribute blocks broken up into more general categories, and you can mix two or more colors together to get other attributes.

That’s what I wanted too. For the basic “stats” of the player, I was looking at a holistic view of the human condition based on other RPGs and thought how that might work in this system. You can combine physical and mental to get DEX for example.

DocReason wrote:
In the case of attack and defense, I think black and white should represent more basic attributes, and you combine them with another attribute to get attack and defend. You want the system to be general enough, that you can run a wide enough range of genres, even factoring in there not being any combat.

Yea, sorry about that. Attack and defense was a bad choice of words. I was looking for something more yin/yang. Black is an active color and white, for a lack of a better term, was supposed to be passive. I was looking at those two stats to be the foundation of the rest of the skills set. (I don’t know how yet, I’m still working on it)

DocReason wrote:
There is also day and night to be factored in also.

With regards to the cards, it is a 50/50 shot of getting one or the another. It could be “a hand of fate” or something like that.

Curufea wrote:
What about reworking the published rules for a roleplaying version?

I’m not sure what you mean by “reworking.” We can’t adapt other RPGs (even OGL stuff) to this system because of the “third-party” rule in the game creation license.

DocReason wrote:
Well the board and stuff can be used to represent a control panel for higher power beings to manipulate the affairs of the characters. You could also end up having different mini-games, like Stackhenge, to represent different types of challenge situations for players, with their stats giving them...

I was longing at the inner and outer ring as “power” of the character in a situation based what skills they have and the nature of the situation. For example, if it is a battle, the figure could position themselves on the outer ring based on their strength and the disks could represent different types of enemies. The bars could represent “friendly” npcs.

Wow, that was a long one. Two more points:
1.) We need to start writing some of this stuff in rule form.
2.) At GenCon, there’s a “design a Stonehenge game” (SEM00216) Sunday Aug. 19th Noon to 1 PM at the Embassy Suites (Chancellor 3). I think it would be cool if all of us were there working on this game.

That’s all


I would like to add I wish I could make Gencon and get involved. By NY state would view my going to Gencon as a convention and it would cost me unemployment money for the time I am there (I am out of work and job hunting). RPGs aren't a strong suit of mine. I would like to help input into it, but I am not in a place now where I would fully get into writing the rules. I am sort of a straw that stirs the drink.

What I am trying to work on now with the Stonehenge project is to get interest in the project pumped up, promoting it. I also want to get some support infrastructure in place so that playtesting would be easier, and also make it so that there was a way to do online tutorials on how to play the games, and get these tools in place. I also want to crank out a few more games in niches that aren't covered at this point.

If I could make Gencon, I definitely would be up to go. Shoot, Paizo hires me, and gets me there, I would definitely be up for it (hint hint) :-).

Hey, this might call for another Yahoo forum to discuss this? Anyone there want to fire one up and be an organizer?


Professor Rabbit wrote:

As a “Demo Rabbit,” that’s the hook of this proposed game. The minigame for each type of skill will draw people to play this game.

This is what I did with my Versailles game based on tarot cards - there's a minigame for repartee combat, and a minigame for duelling (two in fact, one for fencing, one for pistols.


I just had another point or two here:
1. The RPG system involving Stonehenge doesn't have to use all the stuff in the game. My game Stackhenge just uses the box lid (to prevent loss of pieces and the disks). My game Freecelt just uses the cards. The RPG system may not even use the board, but the cards, pieces and figures may be very important. Even the Trilithons could play a role in it.
2. I was thinking of taking The 6:30 System and allowing a seventh color for the game, and what it stands for would be world specific. It would be derived from one or more of the other skills in the game, and wouldn't be bound by the range of 1-30. This would allow a flexibility to the game worlds, and allow for a more flexible generic RPG system to handle multiworlds.

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