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An Experiment with Semi-Abstract Mechanics



Way Back in 2002.....

Kaleidoscope was an ambitious roleplaying game design that went in different directions than I had in making Cosmic Synchronicity.

It was Built with an open ended die mechanic, using 2d10, with the intent of having an open scale to cover a wide range of setting and character possibilities and a template character build system for fast character creation.

It used a Card based damage tally system to add an element of randomness and 'color' to combat resolution, player tools for conflict tracking and a point based character growth mechanic that awarded growth for group amusement and story participation.

Finally it was designed to be small, compact, and easily expanded by the GM with setting based material. The final Alpha copy (sans art) ran a mere 72 pages.

It had a year long playtest with an overly large group in an experimental 'weird west' 1870s San Francisco where mystical power groups vied for power over the general population.

The goals of the players and the GM ended up at odds regarding the abstract nature of the base mechanics and the game system ceased further development after this point. In other hands, with a different play group it might prove a more sucessful game.

It's offered here for anyone that might want to try to take it and develop it further, or use its concepts to build something of a similar nature. Permission for derrivative work development is hereby given for anyone that wants to use it, as I hate for things to go to waste.