The Vortex System

an alternate history pulpy retro-sci-fi space opera planetary romance. It's throttled up rocket packs burning radium on the long blast to the farthest reaches of the Solar System. It's hunting thunder lizards in the upland jungles of Venus. It's battling Ancient Martian killing machines piloted by the Deutsche Marserkorps across the baking red deserts of Mars. Learn more at our website: http://www.cubicle7.co.uk/our-games/rocket-age-2/
NIÑO
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon May 20, 2013 10:29 pm

The Vortex System

Post by NIÑO » Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:37 pm

Hello!

Having no knowledge about the nuts and bolts of Rocket Age (pun) I was wondering if someone would please care to help this rocket ranger wannabe understand the rules system, I believe it's called the Vortex System?


Thanks!
Ñ
Last edited by NIÑO on Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

KenSpencer
Posts: 461
Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 12:08 pm

Re: The Vortex System

Post by KenSpencer » Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:49 am

The Vortex system is the same system that powers Dr. Who Adventures in Time and Space as well as Primeval. The core mechanic of the system is the roll which is constructed thusly:

Attribute +Skill +2d6 +modifiers =result

Your result is compared to a Difficulty, either a static Difficulty based on the situation (example: repair a damaged rocket drive might be a Difficulty 12) or resisted by a target's roll. The amount over or under the Difficulty indicates the Degree of Success.

Here is where things get interesting, Vortex does not use a simple pass/ fail approach to action resolution, instead your degree of success is:

9+ Above: Fantastic, Yes you succeed and something else good happens
4-8 Above: Good, a pure unadulterated success
0-3 Above: Success, Yes you succeed, but something unexpected complicates the success
1-3 Below: Failure, you fail but things could have been worse or their is a glimmer of opportunity to turn things around
4-8 Below: Bad, you fail outright
9+ Below: Disastrous, you fail and things get worse

That's the core mechanic, let's open the floor to questions about the system and how Rocket Age alters parts of the system to better fit the setting.
Ken Spencer
Line Developer and writer, Rocket Age
Check out our Rocket Age events at GenCon 2014!

rulandor
Posts: 160
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 10:09 pm

Re: The Vortex System

Post by rulandor » Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:37 pm

According to the playtest threads, Rocket Age seems to retain the action round phases of DWAITAS. How does initiative and conflict resolution work?

Among my gamer friends, the traditional central role of combat in roleplaying games has made people weary. They embraced the DWAITAS procedure with enthusiasm. I therefore hope that Rocket Age retains some Talker privileges and also has not only combat rules, but "conflict resolution" rules, placing physical, mental and social conflicts on an even footing.

NIÑO
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon May 20, 2013 10:29 pm

Re: The Vortex System

Post by NIÑO » Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:39 pm

Thanks for the explanation! So, the better one rolls, the better it goes for the character, all-around? Are NPCs treated also like this or do they have other, NPCish, rules? ;)


Ñ

KenSpencer
Posts: 461
Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 12:08 pm

Re: The Vortex System

Post by KenSpencer » Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:48 pm

rulandor wrote:According to the playtest threads, Rocket Age seems to retain the action round phases of DWAITAS. How does initiative and conflict resolution work?

Among my gamer friends, the traditional central role of combat in roleplaying games has made people weary. They embraced the DWAITAS procedure with enthusiasm. I therefore hope that Rocket Age retains some Talker privileges and also has not only combat rules, but "conflict resolution" rules, placing physical, mental and social conflicts on an even footing.
Rocket Age uses the Vortex system for these very reasons. We use the standard Action Round phases, Talking, Moving, Doing, Fighting. The biggest change is that there are traits (both character and equipment) to allow combat oriented character to act out of phase at a StoryPoint cost. Other than that, there are not too many changes to the Action Rounds.

I agree about the traditional central roll of combat in RPGs. I think that climbing a cliff can be made just as exciting as shooting a RAY pistol in the Vortex system, and in fact more so. In a playtest last month we had a character stuck on a ledge on the side of a cliff while the rest of the party had to find a way to get him back down (those Failures can allow for a lot of interesting side effects, he didn't fall, but didn't get to the top).
Ken Spencer
Line Developer and writer, Rocket Age
Check out our Rocket Age events at GenCon 2014!

KenSpencer
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Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 12:08 pm

Re: The Vortex System

Post by KenSpencer » Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:51 pm

NIÑO wrote:Thanks for the explanation! So, the better one rolls, the better it goes for the character, all-around? Are NPCs treated also like this or do they have other, NPCish, rules? ;)


Ñ
For the most part NPCs are treated the same, however the Mook rules allow for groups of NPCs to have their actions and stats streamlined. A Mook is defined as any NPC who doesn't have a proper name but instead has a title and number, Thug #4 or Venusian Savage #2.
Ken Spencer
Line Developer and writer, Rocket Age
Check out our Rocket Age events at GenCon 2014!

rulandor
Posts: 160
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 10:09 pm

Re: The Vortex System

Post by rulandor » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:20 pm

You know, the more I learn about this game, the more I want it.

Even if perhaps only to take elements of it for use in other Vortex games, be they traditional Who or Primeval or something home-made.

This Mook thing, for example, seems promising.

On the other hand - the Whoniverse can swallow whole settings hook, line and sinker without getting any indigestion. Why not this? Perhaps put it in a pocket universe, where the TARDIS can neither travel through time nor through meta-spatial dimensions, perhaps only pop up there and return later to its universe of origin. The TARDISseers would then be dependent on Rocket Age's modes of travel as long as they adventure there ...

KenSpencer
Posts: 461
Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 12:08 pm

Re: The Vortex System

Post by KenSpencer » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:28 pm

rulandor wrote:You know, the more I learn about this game, the more I want it.

Even if perhaps only to take elements of it for use in other Vortex games, be they traditional Who or Primeval or something home-made.

This Mook thing, for example, seems promising.

On the other hand - the Whoniverse can swallow whole settings hook, line and sinker without getting any indigestion. Why not this? Perhaps put it in a pocket universe, where the TARDIS can neither travel through time nor through meta-spatial dimensions, perhaps only pop up there and return later to its universe of origin. The TARDISseers would then be dependent on Rocket Age's modes of travel as long as they adventure there ...
Sounds awesome! However, I am obligated to say that Dr. Who and Rocket Age are two separate things and their is no official crossover.

But when you do, post about here so we can all bask in the awesome. Unofficially bask that is.
Ken Spencer
Line Developer and writer, Rocket Age
Check out our Rocket Age events at GenCon 2014!

rulandor
Posts: 160
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 10:09 pm

Re: The Vortex System

Post by rulandor » Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:55 pm

KenSpencer wrote:But when you do, post about here so we can all bask in the awesome. Unofficially bask that is.
Certainly! :)

Jeffrywith1e
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 1:18 am

Re: The Vortex System

Post by Jeffrywith1e » Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:27 am

Another unique thing that I like about Vortex is the lack of Hit Points. I found taking damage right from the Attributes a very simple and practical alternative to many RPG systems.

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