As they count the votes for the Ennies this year, I thought it would be the perfect time to revisit Score, which has been nominated for Best Rules. Obviously I really like Score, it was my first "big game", meaning it fit on more than 1-2 pages. The core mechanic is one I'm proud of, and all of the resources in the book are what I look for as a GM trying out a system.
So why mess with it? Wellll, the advancement system is just ok. What I wanted to emphasize with Score was the idea of choosing what to do in the face of inevitable failure. As rolls didn't go your way, you had to choose whether to own up to the mistake and make things harder for yourself, or spread the problem out to the whole crew and hope you all can deal with the consequences. Failure mattered, and you chose why it mattered. Neat, right?
Well, if you decided to take the blame, you got this thing called Heat, which was basically a die you'd roll every time you rolled, and it could possibly cause you even more trouble. Heat was based, and you pooled up Heat the longer the heist went on. But! Between jobs, you would spend that Heat as currency for character advancement. You learn from your mistakes. Any Heat you couldn't spend carried on with you to the next job.
Like I said, it's fine. The premise of learning from our mistakes makes sense, we hone our craft through our failings. But the Heat carrying over, and playing the game of taking Heat just so your character could advance felt weird. You almost wanted to fail some rolls, just so your character could "level up." Feels bad, right?
Cut to now. I've been working on a cyberpunk hack of Score for a bit. I had intended on using the exact same rules as Score and just changing some words to fit the new genre. But then I realized, now is an opportunity to go back, and start to reshape some of the rougher edges of Score. And thus NeoScore began.
NeoScore is recognizably Score, in that it keeps the same core mechanic of rolling Good and Bad dice, comparing them to some difficulty number and seeing how things shake out. But I have streamlined advancement, made Prep more interesting, have created a fun way to shape a "campaign", and a few other things along the way. I'll be sharing those details with you in the coming weeks as they start to take shape on the page. Based on what I wrote above, I think the next post will be about how advancement has been changed and improved. Until next time,