[Mosaic] Grim Adventures in Colonial Mexico

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[Mosaic] Grim Adventures in Colonial Mexico
« on: December 21, 2015, 09:21:57 PM »
Rules so far

It has been 52 years since Montezuma died.
Now his flowers begin to bloom in Mexico.
They smell of the Apocalypse.

Hi everyone, I am currently working on a pbtA-Hack set in 16th century Mexico, going by the title MOSAIC.
I uploaded what I have got so far, and would be very grateful for your help and feedback.

What's the game about?
Adventurers from different cultural backgrounds have to work together in a raw "New World", while the threat of the walking dead arises.

Selling Points
  • 5 Playbooks: Spanish Conquistador, African Freedman, Aztec Priest, Japanese Samurai and Chinese Wanderer
  • "Multiclassing" as standard: Playbooks are mixed according to individual cultural heritages of the PC (aka the Mosaic).
  • Character traits, bonuses to rolls, helping others and advancement fueled by one simple point economy.
  • Violence through misunderstanding: Pay to Interact with NPC - or there will be blood.
  • Trust and influence inside of the group deceide between cooperation and culture clash.

Design Goals
The basic idea is to build upon the colonial Mexico (City) as the first global melting pot. Thus, the so called Mosaic - the cultural diversity of the PC - is the foundation of this hack. The frontier-like (at times almost post-apocalyptic) backdrop of yet to be consolidated New Spain should provide a gritty sandbox in which the PC can find their places and leave their marks.

That being said, I tried to simplify the rules by standardizing the PC traits/character moves and eschewing complex, inverse-logic cascades in moves (hold X, spend X for ... a: "you don't get Y", b: "you don't get Z" etc.). I really like the potency for drama these moves have, but for Moscaic, I tried to go with something a bit more intuitive, to make it easier for new players. The plan is to keep the more complex moves for the later advancement options.
In the same venue, the focus of the game aims to be not so much about conflicts between the PC, as more about group building and learning about each other, so a bit more like traditional adventure RPGs. Of course there is potential for conflict inside of the group, but it should not be on the forefront.
The focus is on social interaction with NPC, with combat being just one of the dangers of this world (albeit an important one). So one goal is to make HP/Harm/Damage Clock a matter of fiction alone. At the same time, because initating peaceful Interaction costs points that could also be used to augment rolls or provide XP, violence is always a tempting option.

What's still missing?
So far, only the core of the hack is written down. The GM section is still very much under construction, and the setting info (travel map, power groups/fronts etc.) is missing as well, as are equipment and special rules concerning conflicts between PC and the advancement options. Also, the main supernatural element is not there yet: Mutants/Zombies with a theme of flowers/plants - Dia de los Muertos, anyone? ;)

But I would like to playtest the basics, before I proceed any further, so with this I turn to the hive mind of this boards! Thanks in advance for any help!

(Last but not least: Apologies for my poor grasp of the english language, I am not a native speaker.)

If you would like to look at MOSAIC so far, here are the Basic Rules (Google Docs), and here are the Playbooks (Dropbox PDF).
And if you are interested: Here is also a Pinterest wall, providing inspiration.

Cheers! :)