25 November 2012

Rules They Are A Changing

After quite some time spent playtesting and refining, after some very interesting meetings and chats with other designers, after some more playtesting and then finally some additional playtesting too... after all that I present to thee the latest and greatest version of my game!

Game structure is the same, and core mechanics are the same too (with a few exceptions) but so many other things received fixes that I wouldn't know where to begin!!!
Or I could post the changelog... yeah... that too u_u

Enjoy Tha Goodness Ye Freaks!
(I know, I shouldn't get carried away, sue me! :P)

TOps Beta Rules
TOps Beta Sheet

TOps change log:
- attempted some typo corrections and text editing
- expanded the Introduction info
- all new dice rolling mechanic!
- all Effort rules have been removed from the game
- “Simple” CharGen is now THE CharGen method
- fixed CharGen points for MODE, Tools and Perks
- the Social skill-group got renamed to Communication
- added a fix to the Multiple Characters in a Challenge section
- Mementos mechanics radically changed
- Support rolls work differently
- awesome Victory rolls can drop more than one Complexity point at once
- Complexity does not earn Influence anymore, but rises an Obstacle’s VP value
- various fixes to Soft Opposition effects
- various fixes to Hard Opposition effects
- fixed many Goal mechanics
- added a new Hurt as a Resource option to nullify Hard Opposition effects
- radically changed all FollowUp procedures
- Consumable option removed from the core rules
- changed the way Drawbacks work
- fully revised both Cyber Ops and Fantasy Ops appendix

4 October 2012

Sword & Sorcery in the language of Dante

Some love for our ITALIAN players... ecco la fiction prodotta durante una campagna fantasy di TOps della durata, al momento, di ben 5 sessioni!



17 September 2012

I told you u_u

As promised a few days ago I present to you all the latest BETA Rulebook and its unbelievably  improved Character Sheet!

And this is a quick list of all the main chnges and updates:
- attempted some typo corrections and text editing
- introducing the Dice-Card system, to use a deck of cards in place of the dice (NOT YET IMPLEMENTED!)
- cleared A LOT the communication rules about Detailing and Fiction Manipulation
- added a Nemesis step to the Scene Framing procedure
- Simple CharGen rules are now an official option
- MODEs no longer have a Defensive Way of action
- MODEs are now 0 to 5 instead of 0 to 3
- 1 Effort point buys 1 Action die
- Perks now cost 20 Influence for all levels, max 3 levels
- Inner Strength rules are now official
- Mementoes cost 20 Influence instead of 10, and can only be 5 in total
- adding a PC to a scene costs 5 Influence
- rising Complexity now earns +3 Influence instead of +1
- fixed stuff on all Hard Opposition effects
- Character Sheet and Game Summary Sheet are now merged into a single sheet, for ease of use and instant access to all important info
- small fix to how Drawbacks work
- big fix on how Consumables work
- removed the Revive option and fixed the Game Over rules
- fixed a few details in the FollowUp phase
- Defeat conditions explained
- Obstacle identity explained



EDIT 18-09-2012
I forgot that the Dice-Card system is not yet implemented!
Sorry for the error >_<

12 September 2012

After A Long Silence

The past few months have been quite hectic.
This, added to my natural lazyness, meant I had no time to post here.
But things happened... oh boy, YES they happened!

First of all I'm giving you the actual play of a two session game, in a fantasy setting.
It has lots of game-relevant meat, and is very slim on the resulting fiction, so it's a quick and dirty reading.
Enjoy it HERE.

Then I'm announcing ANOTHER actual play that took place during the italian game convention GnoccoCON, happened the 1st and 2nd of September 2012.
It was a 6 player game where I took part only as external facilitator.
But I'm keeping it hostage for now, you'll have it only on the next blog update!

Finally I'm telling you that the game rules have received quite some love in the past months, and a host of little (and not so little) changes have been brought into effect.
As the text is currently being revised I'm not yet gonna give you a new rulebook version, but I'll tease you with a partial change log:
- made some typo corrections and text editing
- introducing the Dice-Card system, to use a deck of cards in place of the dice
- cleared A LOT the communication rules about Detailing and Fiction Manipulation- Simple CharGen rules are now an official option
- MODEs no longer have a Defensive Way of action
- MODEs are now 0 to 5 instead of 0 to 3
- 1 Effort point buys 1 Action die
- Inner Strength rules are now official
- adding a PC to a scene costs 5 Influence
- rising Complexity now earns +3 Influence instead of +1
- fixed stuff on all Hard Opposition effects

- Character Sheet and Game Summary Sheet are now merged into a single sheet, for ease of use and instant access to all important info

12 July 2012

A Flash From The Past

What I'm giving you here is the English translation of the #1st Tactical Ops Actual Play ever made.
So, nothing new under the sun for my Italian fellows, but a juicy piece of gaming for the rest of the World! è_é

Fun Fact: when I was first designing TOps I thought that it would be a good action game, but it would N-E-V-E-R support an investigation.
Turns out that most of my playtests somehow become full-blown investigations, the first of which (that you can read with this AP) had a distinct "CSI" vibe with a heavy conspirancy undertone.

Amazazing! :D

Read the full Actual Play HERE.

8 July 2012

Marry Christmas and a happy new July

Seems that the release of a BETA document produced some interesting movement around the Tactical Ops project.
To thank everyone for the support and help I'm here going to deliver a double dose of goodness!

FIRST ... a new Actual Play (read it HERE) explaining why and how Google Hangout is, right now, not really exactly so much a good medium to play TOps :P
It also delineates a few bugs of the ruleset.

SECOND ... a new BETA release, with all the bug-fixes one can dream of, and especially those highlighted in the above mentioned Actual Play.
Download it HERE.

For the impatient and the terminally curious, the main fixes are two:
- fixed the Pitfall effect ... now it works properly
- added the new & shiny Soft Opposition structure of effects


27 June 2012

The Alpha and the Not-Yet-Omega

I've finally decided to get Tactical Ops out of the bushes and officially close it Alpha stage.
This means that from now on the current rulebook will be publicly available for the world at large!

The document is still just a very scrawny PDF with no graphic whatsoever.
But its clear and easy to read (I hope).

It is still a BETA, and as such is prone to changes and corrections.
But the game is all there.

As usual, ALL feedback will be very much wellcome and valued.
From typos to text organization, from doubts to critics ... and of course YOUR actual plays will be the most valued input of all :)

as of now there might be a few little discrepancies between the numbers in the Rulebook and those shown in the Game Summary Sheet ... use the Rulebook values.
An updated version is on its way.

22 June 2012

Doing It Again

The second and final part of the 4th Actual Play is finally online.
This time I chose to leave out almost all the fictional events and instead focus on what the Players liked or disliked.

Just follow the LINK and enjoy!

15 June 2012

Practice Makes Us Players

Actual Play!
Abemus a new Actual Play ... and this time ... it comes in english!

Despite the perils of Real Life and the nefarious influx of the ever malevolent "Job" I managed to have a quickye with the woman I love and in two hours the game was prepped, started and brought to a bit less than half completion.

Read all the details HERE!

13 June 2012

Character Sheets Day

Today is a day to be celebrated, for Tactical Ops acquires its official Character Sheet!
Now players will be able to record all their stats on a clear and easy-to-use central record-sheet.

Static values such as MODEs and SKILLs will be recorded all in one place, while the dinamic pools of EFFORT and INFLUENCE will be tracked with paper-clips, thanks to their "margin friendly" design.
HURT also has a big and comfy place in the middle of it all, with even some spare space for annotations.

Aaaaaand ... wait for it ... the New and Improved and Graphically Pleasing gaaaaaaame SUMMARY SHEET!
Yeah, no kidding, it's for real è_é


Thank You Filippo Porcelli !

12 June 2012

Let's Do The Time Warp Again

So I've been measuring the time it takes to create a bunch of Characters.
At first I was a bit perplexed.
I knew the char-gen process was damn easy and quick, with no number crunching, no complex tasks, no browsing through endless lists of stuff.
And yet every time I created PCs with other people it took about 1h to complete the process.

But after some time I noticed that that amount of time (1h) was constant.
It didn't matter that I was playing with just one other person or a group of five; char-gen always took about 1h.

Then it dawned on me.
I had always playtested with NEW people at the table.
The char-gen process IS much faster than 1h ... but THAT is the time it takes me to explain the basic functioning of the game to a degree which allows n00bs to make the choices required to build their character AND subsequently build it.

I'm now curious to test the game with a group of players already acquainted with its mechanics, in order to see how much time it takes to build a full team of characters without the need for introductiry explanations.

5 June 2012


For anyone that is interested, I'll have you know that the rulebook is being upgraded!

First and foremost, the Cyberpunk World color hack is now officially part of the book, in the 2nd Appendix.

Secondly, both Character Sheet and Game Summary Sheet are getting a huge facelift.
And the game logo too!

HuzzaH! è_é

3 June 2012

Not Dead Which Eternal Lies...

Do not despair, fellow players, the project is not over or in any way suspended! è_é
I'm posting from Granada (Spain) where I've lived in the past two months (and will still be 'till the end of July).
Real Life is kind of exceedingly busy right now, denying me the time to post with any degree of consistency, but I haven't given up!

To demonstrate this I'm now delivering a brand new (and incredibly ugly) Game Summary Sheet.

I'll also have you know that the Main Rulebook will contain two extra Appendices.
They will offer some pre-generated materials that will enable even n00b Players to immediately play into a generic Fantasy or Cyberpunk setting.

And with no further ado...

26 April 2012

New Revision & Playtester-Hunt

The Main Rulebook is, right now, a 23 pages long GoogleDocument.
At this stage the game is fully playable.
Leave a comment here with your email and you will be contacted by me (what a in incredible honour!) and will get access to the working files.


The latest revision of the Tactical Ops game text has finally ended.
The basic manual is now complete in all of its parts, also incorporating all the annotations and modifications that were produced by the first batch of playtests.

Many clarifications and bug-fixes have been added.
The most revised chapters are the Action PhaseChallenge and Equipment ones.

There is also a brand new Appendix introducing the basic ideas an concepts regarding future Setting-in-a-Box add ons.
It also explains and encourages a more structured use of the standard rules in order to achieve a true "World Building" effect during the game.

What it still needs is, in no particular order:
- an avalanche of EXAMPLES about, like, everything
- a new Game Summary Chart (the old one is obsolete)
- a good round of text readability and understandability tests

Also I'm officially starting to work on the first SiaB which, as soon as it looks ready, I want to include in the base rulebook.
Those who have followed my previous projects will be already familiar with this setting: DreamWake !


The Main Rulebook is, right now, a 23 pages long GoogleDocument.
At this stage the game is fully playable.
Leave a comment here with your email and you will be contacted by me (what a in incredible honour!) and will get access to the working files.

17 April 2012

The Perils of Real Life

Well sorry for the long delay, but LIFE happened and I got my ass from Roma (Italy) to Granada (Spain) and I've been spending the last weeks adjusting to the new everything.

What is the status of the game?
I still have to post the last Actual Play, but being my memory as bad as it possibly can be I'm starting to nurture some doubts about my ability to accomplish such a task after all this time :P

The good news is that while the experience was still fresh in my mind I took a lot of technical notes and have been implementing rule-changes based on them.

Now the text is almost completely revised in light of such annotations, and I have to say it looks pretty damn rad u_u

On a side note ... you may have noticed that ... WE HAVE A LOGO!!!
Thanks again to Susan Micale for that, she is the official winner of our latest contest ans she will be rewarded as such!

28 February 2012

Play Aid - Summary Chart

Tha Summary Thingie
So people buggered me about a cheat-sheet and I promptly (as in, after a few ages) answered.
THIS is one very ugly but very useful chart with all the important bits out in the open:
- how to make Influence
- how to squander Influence
- how to incur in Opposition
- how to grab Equipment
- how to waste your precious Ties

It also sports some VERY IMPORTANT "Reminders".


Alas the Tactical Ops Contest Part Two (dam'n I need a shorter name for this thing! >_<) is proceeding well, the first submissions are starting to land in my mailbox and OH BOY aren't they beeUtiful!
Keep em coming!
Carve your place into my game's history!

21 February 2012

Tactial Ops CONTEST - Phase #2 !

The current Tactical Ops logo is this sad thing here...

...a nondescript "action oriented" clip-art randomly taken from the vast sea of the interwebs.
To change this despicable state of affairs I started a Contest to crowdsource ideas for a new, original logo.

(meaning I was too lazy to think it up by myself :P )

Now we have a brilliant idea for a new logo, all we need is ... THE LOGO ... which is what you are going to provide!
That's right!
Tactical Ops Contest Phase #2 is a graphic-design contest to see who will be the best at translating ideas into images.

- - - - - -

Tha Rulez!
The rules are very simple.
Starting NOW you have until 12:00pm (Roma, GMT+1) of Sunday 11 March 2012 to submit your works to my mail: Brom00@gmail.com
Remember to use the "Tactical Ops Contest 2" subject and to include your name/nick and to actually attach the file to the mail!
(I always forget about it, but I know you are better than me, right?)

You can submit as many entries as you want.
You can use any graphic format you like, as long as it is something our limited human technology can compute.

Awe inspiring artistic representations of the logo are very wellcome, but you also get extra points if you produce a vector logo ... extra extra points if you do both!
(infinite scalability IS useful in these troubled times u_u)

- - - - - -

Tha Gold!
What you win is immortality through artistic representation, meaning that in the final version of my game you will get:
- a Special Mention (!)
- with an Honorific Title attached to it (!!)
- which can be anything of your own choosing (!!!)
- a character or location or creature or organization in my upcoming Dreamwake Setting-in-a-Box named (and shaped) after you! (infinite exclamation marks!!!!!)

- - - - - -

Tha Thing!
So, with no further ado, I tell you that the winning idea from Phase #1 of the contest is ... the one by Michael Tangherlini!

The concept is:

the name of the game (Tactical Ops) written with some kind of military-ish typeface.
The O in Ops is a crosshair.
And the whole thing is somehow inscribed/stamped on a dog-tag.

Extra points if the final image is a perfect square and looks awesome even as a Forum/Facebook/G+ avatar.

- - - - - -

So, what are you waiting for?!
Get cracking you mindles slaaaa... err... Go Forth Ye Bold Contestants! è_é

16 February 2012


In the Tactical Ops RPG you don't have a normal Character Sheet.
What you have instead is a deck of cards, or Character Deck.

It contains the following cards:
1 Identity card, to record your PC's name, race, training and Modes.
1 Score card, to record your current Influence and Resource totals.
1 Hurt card, to record all your PC's hurts and ailments.
1 Effort card, to keep track of all 3 Effort Pools.
3 Skill cards, to easily visualize all your skill Groups, Foci and Specialties.
1+ Perk card(s), to record your ever-growing list of Perks.

All these cards can be printed out from a single sheet of paper and then cut out and put into some oh-so-common protective card-sleeves.
A first draft can be downloaded from HERE.

Most cards require you to write stuff on them only sporadically, so you will not have to continuously take them in-&-out of their sleeves.
Some cards tally points that rapidly change during play... these cards are designed to allow for easy number-tracking using paper-clips.

Other cards that will be part of your PC are added on the fly as the game goes on.
Each one of your Character's Ties is represented by a single card, just like each piece of mechanically relevant Equipment.
These cards are simply post-it sheets folded on themselves to seal the glued edge and fit into a card-sleeve.

At the end of the day you end up with a slim deck of cards containing all there is to know (rules-wise) about your Character.

14 February 2012

Tactical Ops in 8 moves

So my new project Tactical Ops ... what the eff is it?!
I'll tell you in eight points...

1) The Hamsterless Engine
Do you know those "narrative" games where we just somewhat like chat with each other?
Forget them!
Imagine instead a game with a proper GM that cooks up an engaging story, a complex plot, contents tailored for your PC ... but without a GM, and without prep times, and without you being forced to be the director of the story.
Every participant just plays HIS character, with just little extra contributions here and there if/when you feel comfortable.

2) Fiction Mastery
The system is simple, so you don't have to study 300+ pages of rules and numbers BUT it is also articulated, so you can min-max your PC, watch it grow and develop, you can thinker with its "optimal build".
All this is aggressively rooted into the game fiction, rewarding smart ideas and out of the box thinking.

3) Low Requirements
The game works with just 2 players and as much as 5 or 6.
There's no prep time, except for Character Generation ... which is quite brief.
You only need normal 6 sided dice; 3 colors is best, but just 2 will work fine.

4) Character-in-a-Box
Stop filling in tax modules to record your PC's stats!
Now your Character is sheet is a deck of cards representing his abilities, equipments, ties and all other important elements.

5) Setting-in-a-Box
Thanks to how the game works it is possible to translate a whole setting into a little-tiny-compendium supported by a set of cards, condensing what used to be a 300+ almanac into ultra-lite materials 100% playable.
Every Box is composed by:
- a veeery brief introduction to the setting
- a veeery brief description (no numbers!) of characteristic "active" elements (places, people, creatures, organizations, things, etc)
- some short lists (almost no numbers!) of mechanical elements pre-packaged to fit the setting's flavour (races, weapons, powers)
- each element (not in the lists) should have a card containing the element's Name, page number on the compendium, and a big nice picture (potentially substituting some descriptive text, making the compendium even lighter)

6) OUR Setting
With or without the use of a Setting-in-a-Box the game works in a way that spontaneously produces setting.
Through the act of playing you'll define a series of Places, Persons and other Details unique to the fictional world produced at YOUR table.

- Yet to come, but coming none the less -

7) Achievements!
Just like in a videogame, you can friendly compete with your friends to earn "_Badges_" representing various game-related things.
Each badge will have special one-shot powers.
The game will offer a standard selection, but in time each group is expected to develop its own unique Achievements.

8) One Hour Play!
The game will have a special play-mode designed to make it playable from start to finish in 60 minutes through the use of pre-gen Characters, pre-gen Missions, special Achievements and other minor adjustments.

- Other Work In Progress Annotations -
The game is currently in ALPHA testing.
It has worked so far, but needs wider and deeper abuse.

There is no Setting-In-A-Box as of yet, but I'm tinkering with the SLA Industries universe as a celebratory experiment ... and a unique and original Setting-in-a-Box (DreamWake)will follow soon after.

Character-Cards are being designed right now :P

A New Beginning!

Things change, hopefully for the better.
This blog will be (once again) my repository for current game projects.
It used to be in Italian, but now it's in English.
Deal with it :P

So welcome everybody.
Feel free to have a look around, and keep your eyes open for updates.
Our next project in line is... Tactical Ops!

Un nuovo inizio!

Dopo anni di stasi gli ingranaggi si rimettono in moto!
Questo blog subirà una grossa riorganizzazione per riflettere la nuova direzione dei miei progetti ludici.

Innanzi tutto la lingua, d'ora in avanti posterò in inglese per poter raggiungere un pubblico molto più vasto e variegato.
Questo è dunque l'ultimo post in italiano che faccio, salvo saltuarie eccezioni.

In secondo nuovo, una bella sfoltita alla colonna dei progetti in corso.
Tutto ciò che riguarda lo PsychoSys RPG è ufficialmente discontinuato e resterà a disposizione di tutti in un'apposita sezione Archivio.
IT:BRB verrà riproposto nella sua versione attuale... e col tempo ci rimetterò mano per limarlo un pò.

E poi apparirà il mio attuale progetto: Tactical Ops.
Ne parlerò più in dettaglio prossimamente, con developer diary e schede e carte e materiali e (in)costanti aggiornamenti.

Buon 2012 a tutti.
Stay PsychoTyc :P