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Future Development of the DoubleZero System

Even though I’m not ready to begin work on the inevitable Guide Manual, I’ve been thinking a lot about future development of the DoubleZero System. My mission statement, roughly, is that this is a go-to system for settings that don’t feature magic or superpowers. There’s an action focus, because that’s the nature of the tabletop roleplaying market. It’s not strictly for espionage, as the system that inspired it allegedly was.

The settings already released are meant to reflect that. There’s conspiracy, retro-future science fiction, and comedic mystery. I want to show the potential other than “gunfire, gunfight, car chase, gunfight” ad infinitum. It’s one of the reasons why I cancelled The Gun List, a 96-page book that was nothing but supplemental firearms mechanics and weapon statistics. It’s off-brand for a number of reasons. Portions will appear in the Guide Manual, specifically the guidelines on writing up real-world guns. Showing you how to do things is more my vibe than selling you a catalog filled with tables and numbers. (Those “art for art’s sake” people that criticize me because I dare to have a profit motive for designing and publishing roleplaying material will never acknowledge how much money I’m leaving on the table there.)

Future Development of the DoubleZero System

There are three areas that I want to delve into more deeply: investigation, social mechanics, and chases. I have no idea what that looks like right now, but I would expect the Guide Manual to have a chapter expanding upon each of these. There will probably be a refinement or expansion of skills and concentrations to accommodate these. All of these can provide danger and excitement without combat. With the legacy system that inspired DoubleZero, I could run entire sessions with no fight scene, and the players wouldn’t even notice. Many of the novels, television shows, and movies that inspire me have little to no combat; when it does happen, it’s a big deal.

That doesn’t mean you can’t run a combat-focused campaign. The Core Book still supports that. It’s just that, moving forward, I’m more interested in exploring more subtle and nuanced applications of the system. I want the focus to be more on story and characters.

About the DoubleZero System

DoubleZero is a percentile based, skill-driven tabletop roleplaying system. It is designed to emulate the action thriller genre, things like the Die Hard movies, Jack Ryan books and films, and the grittier entries in the James Bond franchise. It can be used for any sort of “realistic” modern setting that doesn’t lean into magic, the supernatural, or superpowers. Info Page ¦ DriveThruRPG ¦ Our Shop

About Dancing Lights Press

Dancing Lights Press is a lo-fi publisher of tabletop roleplaying systems and system-agnostic creative aids, including the best selling Building series, the DoubleZero action thriller system, and Hippogryph, a fantasy story game system with traditional  roots. Our products embrace a minimalist aesthetic in design and presentation because roleplaying is an activity, not a collection of expensive rulebooks.

2 thoughts on “Future Development of the DoubleZero System

  1. Hello Berin,
    As the original system also had a large book about gadgets, as per the original franchise, you might want to contemplate a system or mechanic for making gadgets, computer programs, mechanical contraptions or just adjustments to already excisting gear. That would very much be in the spirit of for instance the A-Team and such, or McGyver. Or any story which has hacking in it. Not sure if this would be possible, as I am told the rules for this in GURPS either have holes in it, or have scaling problems, but it might be an idea to look into. And it would fit your modus operandi of providing rules, procedures and guidelines instead of ready made lists and examples. And if you need help, feedback or playtesting on this, I’ld be happy to help.
    Hope this helps!
    Louis

    1. Creation and improvisation mechanics are in my outline for the Guide Manual. I’ll keep the rest in mind.

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