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[A Dirty World] - Useable for other genres?

Gametime

Registered User
Validated User
I recently became a big fan of the ORE system, especially as found in REIGN. I've had a lot of fun playing it, but occasionally I wish that there was a "generic" version of the system that I could use for whatever game I want to play. Then I read "A Dirty World" (the noir version of the engine) and it seems to me that it could be easily used for almost any setting or genre. I'm also really enamoured with how the game ties gaining and losing stats into the course of play, rather than making character development an afterthought. It has a pleasing symmetry to the way Companies (from REIGN) gain and lose points from Qualities based on taking certain actions or losing against other Companies.

What I'm wondering is if anyone has any practical advice or experience that might support or undermine my assessment. Has anyone here tried A Dirty World with genres other than noir? (I'm mostly interested in some version of fantasy and sci-fi, but the most widely applicable, the better.) Would using A Dirty World (plus REIGN's Company rules) work as a substitute for REIGN itself? Are there any general problems or pitfalls with the system I should be aware of before I start using it?
 

GregStolze

Go Play REIGN!
Validated User
I designed the Company rules in REIGN to be loosely coupled - you should be able to pry them off and stick them onto ANY system, if I did my job right.

As for using ADW for other settings, it's the core ruleset for BETTER ANGELS -- a sort of supervillain demon-angst setting.

-G.
 

Baulderstone

Registered User
Validated User
I think ADW is more about the style of story you are telling than any particular setting. As long as it is a story where emotional manipulation is a devastating physical conflict, and your own actions leave a mark on your personality, it should work just fine.

By that measure, I think it would work well with the company rules. If you wanted to run something like Reign that dealt mostly with intrigue and double-dealing, with less need for the combat and magic detail of Reign, it would be a good substitute.

Honestly, I don't really see any purpose in a generic version of ORE. I have Reign, Monsters & Other Childish Things, A Dirty World, and Wild Talents. Aside from the core die mechanic, they are very different games and cleverly calibrated to do their own thing. Smushing all the rules into one book as variants would just be a mess. Wading through them all to assemble something would probably more of a pain than just brewing up your own ORE variant.

That aside, I think Greg did indeed do his job right on making the Company rules easy enough to copy/paste into the game of your choice. If you look them over, the only way they intercept with the PC level of play is by giving bonuses/penalties when they PC do awesome/appalling things. Those actions can be taken with any mechanical system you choose, even if it isn't ORE. DramaSystem is the only other system I have played with such easy plug & play functionality.
 

10000kw Warlock

Registered User
Validated User
I have not yet gotten my hands on ADW, but I am fast becoming a staunch ORE convert. there is a universal toolkit this guy made, http://www.1km1kt.net/rpg/one-roll-engine-toolkit. I tried to use it when designing an ORE-based take on Aeon from White Wolf, but I found it to be of limited utility.
The Company rules were what drew me to ORE in the first place. I wanted to use them in Savage Worlds, but all they did was make want to stop playing Savage Worlds and go ORE. I've used them in Changeling to wonderful effect.
All that being said, some kind of universal ruleset would be awesome. Adapting ORE to a high tech setting like Aeon was a bear.
 

Brawndo

Murder Time Fun Time!
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I used A Dirty World to run a game where all the characters woke up on a spaceship with no memories, with heaping doses of "The Dreadful Secrets of Candlewick Manor" (and some ideas from "A Penny For My Thoughts") to give them things that would trigger memories of their lives which would then play out in flashback. It was heavily inspired by Lost (the TV series) and was really quite fun and amazing to see what came up when people starting fleshing out their own back stories in play.
 

zasvid

slow but irresistible
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I'd say it isn't the best idea to use it for different genres, but I see ADW as a pretty setting neutral system. Sure, the examples are all for 40s/50s film noir, but I've used ADW to run a cyberpunk noir game (think Blade Runner), it was quite splendid (even though that was my first approach to ORE and a bit confusing at times) and I haven't had to change anything system-wise, even One Roll Legal Problem I rolled up didn't require much effort to adapt. Currently I'm planning a A Dirty Mass Effect campaign and so far it looks it will be just as smooth.

By the way, One Roll Legal Problems generator is amazing. I haven't ever run a non-pregenerated mystery/investigative scenario before, because I never could think of a mystery that doesn't feel contrived and/or isn't too simple, but ORLP provided me with a spark that ignited my imagination to create a complex, interesting, subtle and surprising mystery that could be tackled from multiple angles. It'll probably see more use than the game itself, because I'll totally gonna use it every time I need a mystery in any game...

Also, since I've learned from this thread that REIGN's rules for organizations can be easily plugged into another game, it makes REIGN go from "I'm potentially interested in this" to "to the shopping list it goes".
 

Asen_G

#3 Anti-Illusionism Squad
Validated User
I recently became a big fan of the ORE system, especially as found in REIGN. I've had a lot of fun playing it, but occasionally I wish that there was a "generic" version of the system that I could use for whatever game I want to play. Then I read "A Dirty World" (the noir version of the engine) and it seems to me that it could be easily used for almost any setting or genre. I'm also really enamoured with how the game ties gaining and losing stats into the course of play, rather than making character development an afterthought. It has a pleasing symmetry to the way Companies (from REIGN) gain and lose points from Qualities based on taking certain actions or losing against other Companies.

What I'm wondering is if anyone has any practical advice or experience that might support or undermine my assessment. Has anyone here tried A Dirty World with genres other than noir? (I'm mostly interested in some version of fantasy and sci-fi, but the most widely applicable, the better.) Would using A Dirty World (plus REIGN's Company rules) work as a substitute for REIGN itself? Are there any general problems or pitfalls with the system I should be aware of before I start using it?
FWIW, the first time I considered using ADW/BA engine with the Company Rules for Reign was for running Exalted. It turned out my current campaign would last far longer then I expected, so I haven't tried it yet, but I don't expect any mechanical issues, and Exalted is quite noir-ish already;).
And IMO, if it can run the kitchen sink of Exalted, you can run most versions of fantasy and quite a bit of sci-fi with it:D!
 
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