In the Atomic RPG System, the separation of Power mechanics and role play is very important. This separation is the core of the Atomic RPG System Power system and is very different from other games such as Dungeons & Dragons. In Dungeons & Dragons, a Fireball spell not only has very specific stats but it also has a very specific description–both of which are vitally important to what the spell does, how it behaves, who can use it, and a pile of other details. In the Atomic RPG System, however, the mechanics of the Power are strict, but the descriptions are fluid. In Atomic, the mechanics determine what is rolled and the effect of the Power. The player chooses the description of how the effect occurs, but the description has no bearing on any other effects of the Power. The core of Atomic is to let you role play the way you want without it affecting the mechanics. This makes everything so much easier and more rational than other RPG’s like Dungeons & Dragons.
In Dungeons & Dragons, a Fireball spell has the following effects and cannot change: It does some damage at a distance, to a certain area. It is fire so it burns, sometimes. It nullifies some spells like Web. It may do double damage to some creature types. It might not even affect some creatures. It is a “ball of fire” so it attracts attention from many miles away. It always sounds like a boom. It is always hot. These characteristics become very important because the description of Fireball can make a huge difference in the damage it does or doesn’t do.
In the Atomic RPG System, you can build a Power that does the same things mechanically as the Dungeons & Dragons spell Fireball. It does some damage at a distance to an area, and in fact the Power can have the same name and description as the Dungeons & Dragon spell. And if the Atomic RPG System was like any other RPG out there, that’s where it would end. However, in the Atomic RPG System, we haven’t even gotten started talking about what this Power can do. The same Power, with the same stats, can have any number of names and descriptions–we could call this an Iceball instead, or Acidball, or Lightning Ball, or any other imaginary items whose damages are very similar to a Fireball. We could go into different genres, and call it a Mortar Round, or Suppressing Gatling Gun Fire, or even a Targeted Orbital Strike. Get a little more creative, and we can describe it as something like Mosh Pit where a group of people mosh in that area doing damage. If we wanted to be really silly, we can build a power called Kindergarten Bubble Barrage, in which a number of Kindergarteners appear and inundate that area (same area as the original Fireball) with party favor bubbles, terribly stinging everyone’s eyes in the vicinity!
I hope this helps to illustrate the open game play and flexible role play game system that is Atomic. With this one simple example, we have almost a dozen different Powers that may fit with any number of characters, but they all have the same mechanics, opening role playing games to the next level of gaming: players can name and describe their Powers however they want. What truly sets Atomic apart even more than the open role playing of Powers is the Atomic Power system itself. A player can duplicate a Fireball from Dungeons and Dragons and then modify the game effects however they see fit. Perhaps a player has resented for years the fact that a Fireball doesn’t knock anyone down or push anything back. With the Atomic Power System, the player can create a Fireball that does indeed blast enemies back. Have you always wanted that Fireball to also catch things on fire? Well it can in Atomic by giving the Power ongoing Bleed damage! Do you want the Fireball to also damage your enemy’s armor? It can do that by adding a Defensive penalty and Duration to the power. With the ability to add many different effects to a single Power, and choose from hundreds of different Power effects, there is almost no limit to the variety of Powers a player can create.
Atomic RPG System Power mechanics and role play separation are paramount to making a fun, fast, and flexible RPG. Remember this when gaming and Contribute some of your best Powers to show the Atomic RPG System community!
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