Alternacy, The Roleplaying System is the first game I presented online. Originally located on a GeoCities website, it was introduced in late July/early August of 1997. Updated versions were produced the following October and February. The files available for download now are basically identical to the February version of 1999.
I’ve come to think of my work on Alternacy as an attempt to solve a number of problems I’d encountered in other games. My basic goal was a game containing a detailed method of quantifying character traits married to a flexible means of handling action resolution. I wanted a comprehensive skill list that was still flexible and reasonably brief, thus Techniques and Custom Skills were born. My desire for a detailed assessment of character attributes led to a whopping sixteen Talents. The system for determining the advance and decline of skills, both at character creation and during play, allows for a wide variety of skill levels tied directly to character activity and ability rather than a standard experience/character point approach. The dice mechanic provides centralized results more often than extreme highs and lows, and the ref’s tools for rating the difficulty of attempted actions is based on perceived challenge, allowing for varying power levels unique to each referee. In a sense, Alternacy is my attempt to refine and advance upon the accomplishments of traditional gaming.
In my view, Alternacy is a moderately complex game. Character creation and advancement both require a fair bit of time and effort, but actual play moves rather quickly. It’s a universal system, meaning it can be used to play in any genre or setting. As already mentioned, it strives to give players a detailed assessment of their character’s abilities, but leaves the details of game events to the discretion of referees. It includes some steps towards a rules-light approach, but I think I’d still classify it as a more or less conventional system.
I'm not sure if I'll be doing any more work on Alternacy or if it's current form represents the final version. I'd like to adjust the wound system as it seems more cumbersome than I'd like, and I've thought about going through and cleaning up the writing, hunting a few typos and making things more clear. I'd still like to make a magic system for it, and have toyed with multi-game magic tools that would be suitable. I haven't worked on it for ages, though, so it's probably complete, or at least very close. At any rate it is certainly playable as is.