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RPG» Forums » General Discussion » RPG Design

Subject: WIP: Streetlights and Shadows - a Pulpy Noir RPG rss

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Kristopher McClanahan
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Hey everyone! I'm making this thread to document and get constructive feedback on my WIP RPG - I've been playing/homebrewing/playtesting the system and world for a couple of years now, but we are prepping a Kickstarter for early 2019 so I'm finally buckling down and doing final artwork and design for the game!

STREETLIGHTS AND SHADOWS is an old-school RPG based in the world of pulp and noir in the 1940's. It's been designed with my Story Card and Roleplaying System (SCAR System) which I've designed to utilize cards as part of the storytelling and play process. The world will be established in a series of paperback books, one for the "Director" a player archetype and creation book, a world and location book and one based on items and weapons. For each book there will also be a separate deck of cards featuring all of the parts, allowing you to play with both, just the books or buying the cards separately for use with other games and systems. The cards also add an element of chance for GMs. I've played entire cases just by winging it based on the card draws.

I'm really excited about it, I'm a massive noir and detective story fan and so far the system lends itself nicely to shorter, simpler campaigns (Cases) but still works for longer stories too.

This is a semi-final version of the Character Sheets, based on a 1940's newspaper and Grocery Advertisement. I love the way these turned out, allowing me to get all of my mechanics into them without being too generic. Now to actually fill them out and see what I've missed. hahah

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Hans Messersmith
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With your head held high and your scarlet lies You came down to me from the open skies It's either real or it's a dream There's nothing that is in between
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Twilight, I only meant to stay awhile Twilight, I gave you time to steal my mind Away from me.
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That is a great character sheet!
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Joel Salda
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That character sheet looks GREAT! Definitely captures the feel and puts the players right into the gumshoe immediately.

I do have a few thoughts / suggestions but wasn't sure if you are looking for comments at this point. I know how that is to be on a semi-final draft of a project haha.
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Michael Lawing
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This sounds rad!
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Benj Davis
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I really like the look of the outline hit location diagram.
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Christian Leonhard
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Wow, I never thought I'd be sold purely on the strength of a character sheet design but you've done it -- I'm in. Can't wait to learn more about the system!
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Kristopher McClanahan
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Saldamander wrote:
That character sheet looks GREAT! Definitely captures the feel and puts the players right into the gumshoe immediately.

I do have a few thoughts / suggestions but wasn't sure if you are looking for comments at this point. I know how that is to be on a semi-final draft of a project haha.


I'm always open to suggestions - I've already noticed one stat I need to integrate while transferring characters. haha
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Roger Hobden
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Really cool character sheet !

Well done !
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ld paulson

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I *think* that the text on the bottom is supposed to be "P 'n' P Green Stamps." Amiright?

Otherwise ... intrigued.
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Joel Salda
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Ok so here are my suggestions / thoughts:

1. The left side of the page feels less dominant than the right. I think its that the left page top margin has space where as the right doesn't. I think they should match. Or have the left one be dominant cause it does have your title.
2. I might flop the Character Info column with the title. I feel like I want to see the title as the first thing in the upper right. Right now, the first thing I see is the empty character portrait box. You have such great art here, front load it and onboard the player asap.
3. LOVE that injury tracker. Any way we could get that on the same page as stats?
4. Could the stats be arranged as an across chart? I feel like there is a lot of extra space in those boxes which makes some of the text a bit small / irregular sizes.

Nit picky things, but overall it looks AWESOME. Captures the setting vibe instantly which is something I wish more systems did with their character sheets.
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Kristopher McClanahan
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ldpaulson wrote:
I *think* that the text on the bottom is supposed to be "P 'n' P Green Stamps." Amiright?

Otherwise ... intrigued.


I need to change the font on that still, but it is PMP - It stands for Practice Makes Perfect - you get Green Stamps when you succeed at different skills multiple times and the stamps can be redeemed for new skills.
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Kristopher McClanahan
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Thanks for your suggestions!

1. The left side of the page feels less dominant than the right. I think its that the left page top margin has space where as the right doesn't. I think they should match. Or have the left one be dominant cause it does have your title.

~~That margin was going to have a headline along it... and then I hadn't decided on what that headline is.... It does seem less dominant - honestly, I plan for that page to be used less often it's mostly a bio page that will be filled in with background info and stuff like grudges and clues during the game, but I should look into making it more dynamic..

2. I might flop the Character Info column with the title. I feel like I want to see the title as the first thing in the upper right. Right now, the first thing I see is the empty character portrait box. You have such great art here, front load it and onboard the player asap.

Good points - Almost all of the newspapers I found from that era have the title in the upper right hand if they aren't full banners, because the fold is on the left, but I'll have to see how I feel about it once there's some character art on there.

3. LOVE that injury tracker. Any way we could get that on the same page as stats?

I really, really TRIED, but man... the photo of a chalk outline of a corpse did not fit with a grocery ad. hahahaha

4. Could the stats be arranged as an across chart? I feel like there is a lot of extra space in those boxes which makes some of the text a bit small / irregular sizes.

I'm not really finished with that area yet... it's the one spot on the playtesting we've tweaked the most.

Nit picky things, but overall it looks AWESOME. Captures the setting vibe instantly which is something I wish more systems did with their character sheets.

Thanks! I appreciate all of the feedback!
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ld paulson

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deeplydapper wrote:
ldpaulson wrote:
I *think* that the text on the bottom is supposed to be "P 'n' P Green Stamps." Amiright?

Otherwise ... intrigued.


I need to change the font on that still, but it is PMP - It stands for Practice Makes Perfect - you get Green Stamps when you succeed at different skills multiple times and the stamps can be redeemed for new skills.


Ah. Not having the ruleset to refer to in proofreading makes things such as this difficult/impossible to know.

Good luck!
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Kristopher McClanahan
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We had to take a break on development for a bit while I finished my first Tabletop Game, but we've started back in on this, did some preliminary art for the cards and started refining the official archetypes and skillsets that will be available in the game!
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