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KISS: Keep It Simple System $10.99
Average Rating:1.8 / 5
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KISS: Keep It Simple System
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KISS: Keep It Simple System
Publisher: Polyhedron Games LLC
by Matt R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/12/2011 03:21:44
You really are assuming too much of your audience, as one of the other reviewers here mentioned. I understand your using dice scores to get the stats (in D&D the dice scores ARE the stats, and what you call stats are equivalent to D&Ds modifiers), but I don't understand your use of the "pendulum" as a game mechanic. There is nothing here to suggest anything other than a decent dice roll can be marred by a poor skill, or vice versa, and this is the same as almost every other system out there.

I really would recommend that at each step you go through how the results are achieved, and what the actual use of the pendulum apex is for. I was rather concerned to read that the Keeper had decided to just add a bonus to one Mr. Rapscallions next attack without any indication that it was worth it past hitting solidly on his first swing. Is this part of the rules (i.e.; some sort of momentum?) or was it down to some method the character used that the Keeper thought should be rewarded, yet the readers were not privvy to?

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
Thank you, Matt. I must point out, however, that this is an old review before I took in all the criticism and reworked the product. Hopefully, I've made the system crystal clear and it's intentionally open-ended to allow GMs the widest latitude. I don't expect it to be the next big thing, but it's a nice little system you can put in your back pocket. Along with a spell list and monster list you have the makings of a full roleplaying session on a few sheets of paper. If some of you try it out and come back with reviews (hopefully good), but you see areas of improvement I'm always open. And I'm not trying to argue here. I'm just asking for another chance.
KISS: Keep It Simple System
Publisher: Polyhedron Games LLC
by Jeffrey V. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/09/2011 13:16:32
First off, you need to spend a little time explaining the rationale behind what you're doing. Instead, the first thing we see is that confusing chart with absolutely no explanation of how it works, or what happens when you get a number that is NOT on the table. Either change the table so that it is entirely self explanatory, or replace the "politically correct" statement with an in-depth explanation of the table.

Second, you are assuming too much knowledge on the part of your audience. Just because YOU know what you're talking about, doesn't mean we have a clue. Try sitting down and explaining what you're doing each step of the way as if you were teaching your system to someone who's never played an RPG before. Once you do that, you'll see if your system is as easy as you think it is.

Third, your examples managed to confuse me more. Even when I though I had a handle on how something was supposed to work, when I got into some of the examples, they left me scratching my head.

As a suggestion, take a rules set by someone like Steve Jackson (who is one of the most elegant rules writers I know of) or anyone else who's style you like, and use it as an outline you can follow as you draft your rules. You don't have to get as complex and erudite as D&D to draft a good solid set of rules, but as it stands, your rules are nearly unreadable. Break it out into headings (e.g., "Character Generation") and then describe the process from scratch, illustrating your description with easy, clear, well-written examples at each step of the process (a good example for this particular technique is "Call of Cthulhu" where they use a single player with an on-going series of examples that take you from creating a character through adventuring, gun fights, sanity losses, the whole shebang, using the same character throughout -- it provides a simple series of examples that you have walked through each stage of and also provides a clever introduction to the game as a whole; bottom line, use a technique that ties your system together and makes it as intuitive to us as it seemingly is to you). Also, take a few sentences at the beginning of your rules to explain why you did them, why they are an improvement over existing systems, and why your audience should care. Put this BEFORE the confusing die roll chart.

You are planning on selling these, obviously, so you need to take care of your customers by being thorough in your explanations and examples. Otherwise, you're just failing them and you'll never sell another game. Writing rules always seems really easy until the first time you try it. Once you start actually doing it though, you find out just how hard it can be. As a suggestion, keep a note-pad next to you as you type them up, because half-way through the exercise you'll suddenly think of something that should have been addressed earlier that you'll need to go back and put in. Jot it down in your notepad and then every evening go back through and see what you need to go back and fix. Also as a suggestion, try outlining your rules before you write -- then shuffle the outline around a bit to make the flow as simple and intuitively progressive as possible. For example, you might address character creation first since it is the first step in any RPG, then go on to movement next, followed by combat, followed by adventures or something like that. In a wargame, for example, I always address the maps and units first, followed generally by movement, combat and supply in that order, then go on to the chrome issues that make my wargame unique (armored effects, poison gas, alien invader landing -- whatever it might be). And always remember, your rules must be written (if you plan on anyone playing the game) with the newbie in mind -- the person who's never seen an RPG before in their life.

As far as play-testing goes, currently it simply isn't possible since I have no idea what is supposed to be going on here.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
KISS: Keep It Simple System
Publisher: Polyhedron Games LLC
by Gary W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/08/2011 22:57:20
Unfortunately, these rules are quite confusing, despite aiming for simplicity. I started to go "huh" as early as page 1 and the 7d6/7d4 chart. I am not sure what the 7d6 are for (action resolution, something about pips and apexes), but apparently the 7d4 are rolled to determine character attributes (or that's one of the ways. Too many options here cause more confusion. Pick one and go with it). Each total is somehow compared to this chart to determine my attribute. Seems if I roll a 9 I get -3, but what if I roll a 7 (each die comes up 1)? There is no 7 on the chart.

This baffling chart is immediately followed by an a justification for using "he," which if needed at all is definitely out of place here, when a reader is stil trying to make sense of the chart.

There is a surprising lot of detail in this brief document, and none of it gets any clearer than the chart. Honestly, I could not finish reading the book because the confusion was just a turn off. The books needs a major re-write for clarity.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
Thank you. This is exactly what I need, but since it's one view and brand new, I'll hold out for other opinions. Evidently I managed to get the font embedding right, so that's a plus. I still think it's rather elegant, but I could be all wet. That's why it's out there. Try a more careful reading. Not saying it's because you didn't make an effort, but the concept <i>is</i> a bit out-of-the-box. I'll try to explain in case others have problems with it. A pendulum can be swung from its null point, where it is straight down or its apex, its highest point. I've posited 7 points along its imaginary path, hence, the seven dice, giving a range from 0-6 or -3 to +3. The pendulum is used for all rolls in the game except character attributes. I'll need to check your question concerning a roll of 7. I don't <i>think</i> you can get a modified result of 7, but it's late and I'm just trying to take care of potential customers. I'm very old school and the disclaimer about gender was a knee-jerk reaction to publishers seemingly deliberately using the female pronoun every opportunity they could get! So, that gets scrapped> Again, thank you and please... take another look.
Well, it's morning and I've had time to reset my brain. The reason there is no "7" on the chart is because it's lower than 9. If one rolls higher than 9, then the result is pushed up to the next higher result. Not justifying my thinking here, just trying to make things clear.
KISS: Keep It Simple System
Publisher: Polyhedron Games LLC
by Craig B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/08/2011 13:13:27
It would be best to have your file uploaded before you put up your listing.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
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