We’ve already shared 4 of our Pip System settings with you all, but I bet you’re wondering how they will actually differ mechanically. If not, I’m still going to tell you, because that’s what I’m here to talk about.
As discussed in the Pip System Rules Basics blog post, the core of the system works on Skills and Qualities (Expertise, Advanced Qualities, Gear, Companions, Weapons, Armor, Tools, etc.). This is a lot of the customization comes into play as well. While the Skills are pretty general in their application, such as Aim being used for any ranged attack, a specific Sci-Fi setting may want to separate Aim into separate Blaster and Rifle Skills, to promote the difference between the training on these two weapons. Likewise, the Magic Skill may be switched out for a Tech Skill and Survival may be removed entirely and replaced with a Piloting Skill (instead of being a part of Coordination). Each of these changes show how easily the Pip System can accommodate different approaches will still maintaining a core set of rules and uses.
Qualities are also a way for players to truly customize their characters. While we give 3 Qualities per Skill in the Pip System Corebook, these are pretty much just examples. Players are encouraged to come up with their own Qualities to fit their characters. Let’s take the Athletics Skill into account. It’s three Qualities are Jumper (bonus when leaping distances), Sporty (bonus when playing physical games), and Sprinter (bonus when running). But a player could just as easily say, “I want my character be really good at mountain climbing” and put down Climber as a Quality instead.
And another big piece of the puzzle that I can’t believe we haven’t talked about yet are the Archetypes. These are your core concept when creating a character. In the Pip System Corebook, this includes Artisan, Hunter, Noble, Sleuth, and more. However, these can and should change based on the setting being played. For instance, in Mermaid Adventures, Archetypes become what type of merfolk you are, like Fishfolk, Sharkfolk, or Lobsterfolk. In Infestation, An RPG of Bugs and Heroes, it’s the kind of bug you are, like Spider, Ant, or Locust. For A Kid’s Guide to Monster Hunting, we’re going on the type of kid you are, like the Bookworm, the Leader, or Little Kid. Each Archetype comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, which makes their creation pretty important for a setting overall.
Taking all of this into account, hopefully you can start to see how easily adaptable the Pip System is, not only to publishers wanting to create their own games for sale, but also for GMs who want to apply tweaks to the game to better fit their group and its playstyle.
Until next time.