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Writing and Worldbuilding with the Pip System

Posted on March 26, 2017 by Flames

The Pip System is a roleplaying system published by Third Eye Games and used in games such as Mermaid Adventures, Infestation: An RPG of Bugs and Heroes, and Camp Myth.

It was just recently released on Kickstarter, and I cannot be more excited. I had the opportunity to be on the writing staff for the book, and it was my first opportunity to work in a group writing format. I wanted to share with you some of the highlights for the Pip System and talk about my experiences with this amazing writing staff.

So the Pip System is designed for the Storyteller to be able to plug in whatever genre they are wanting to play. It is family friendly and able to adjust to any play style that is desired by the group. It uses six-sided dice in two different colors (the book uses black and white, but it can be any available combination of two sets) to determine the outcome of the roll. The white set are positive outcomes, while the black set are negative outcomes for the characters. There are other determining factors to adding different colored dice to each roll, but the basic system is that simple.

Character creation is also rather quick, with very little calculations. You can use the book archetypes, or follow the original content guidelines to create characters that work in your setting. What is also really neat about character creation is that there are also random generator charts for a variety of things with your characters. The items are generic enough to allow players to get detailed about what they carry, so there is some fun things you can do right from the start!

    Playtests for the system have had a huge spread from family friendly and light-hearted, to stories of blood and guts, to hard won victories over mortal enemies. The ultimate goal of the Pip System is to be reachable and engaging to everyone at the table, no matter what their age or interest is. With the base system, several different types of NPCs are introduced depending on what game you wished to play. It is easy for a group to superimpose those NPC styles over the characters and modify the mechanics to fit. So if a group wanted to do a zombie game, where PCs got to PLAY zombies, you could modify the archetypes to fit different zombie types (runners, crawlers, thrillers), then adjust the Skills and Qualities to have more zombie-like flavors. And with the nature of zombies, the randomized charts wouldn’t have to change much.

    Writing for the system was a really neat experience. I did have a lot of existing material to work with, so it was easy to reference previous games that used the system. Each writing group got a small part of the book to work on, and we each had our own ways of working on it. It was really neat for me to learn different collaboration styles, both of with worked well with the sections and individuals I wrote with. The experience, overall, was very enlightening and a really positive one. Since this was my first time working on game development with other writers, I saw this as an opportunity to expand my writing styles. One of the neatest things I got to experience was “live” writing on a working document, where we both discussed what we wanted to see and what our thoughts were, then one actively wrote it down. We took turns doing this and giving feedback. It was super productive and very fun.

    There are many settings that are coming for the Pip System, and many that will be included without the Stretch Goals, so please check out the Kickstarter for more details. There has been a couple of Podcasts done on it, as well as several blog posts and written reviews up on the system. I have been actively sharing this information on my own blog, which you can find at Facebook.com/CrystalMMazur. Any questions or inquires can be sent through there!

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