Draft - A Free Universal Role Playing Game

Draft

About
Draft is a free role playing game system. Free means that you can use and copy it freely without being charged for anything. Role playing game system means that it comprehends a rule set for being used for role playing. Draft does not provide a role playing setting or background - just rules. These rules have been designed to work with as many possible settings as possible, although it mainly covers human or at least human-like characters. Unlike Epitome, another home-brew RPG rules set, Draft's approach is to simulate the game world as realistic as possible, taking into account a certain level of complexity to achieve this approach.
Terminology
Previous versions of the project had no name at all. All references to its name have been represented by empty placeholders. The project itself has been called a "draft" per default. Halve a decade later, the project is still unnamed - and the placeholders have been kept. Thus the name.
History - The Past

Back in the late 1980s, when I was young and unforgiving, I longed for the ultimate role playing system as so many other role players do. In those days I preferred detailed rules and came across Rolemaster. I liked Rolemaster's level of detail, but disliked its way of asserting its rules. Rolemaster uses tables, tables and tables over and over again, indexing and cross-referencing them, thereby hampering the game flow and contradicting my style of playing. Because of this, I started building my own systems from scratch. I had done this several times before for smaller projects, but this time I took my duties more seriously. The project grew and thrived for several years - only to be given up when I came across Columbia Games' Hârnmaster in the beginning of the 1990s. Hârnmaster provided exactly the level of detail I liked in conjunction with usability I always longed for. It met (almost) all my requirements, yet need some customized patches here and there.

Some years later, my preferences changed, causing my requirements to be altered. With the appearance of narrative style RPGs, which had not been available to the public before, I made an attempt to descent back to my roots: RPGs with simple rules like D&D. However, I always disliked certain aspects in all of the systems I checked out. As a result I sat down again and modified Draft to meet my current needs. For the purpose of simplicity, Draft had to be downgraded seriously with most of its special rules and options being dropped. From version 0.2 to 0.3, I replaced the d100 core rules by d10 - a drawback of precision by the factor of 10 (!), but still more than enough to provide reasonable game mechanics. Soon, I started to fall in love with the simplicity, which unfolded in front of me.

Again, even before Draft had been finished entirely, I came across another fascinating system - FUDGE. Steffan O'Sullivan had created FUDGE to servce as a free, generic role playing system, too. FUDGE provided some mechanics that made it the first choice for people who wanted as much flexibility as possible, but still did not want to spend hundreds of bucks on GURPS. I liked FUDGE very much, but yet finished version 0.4 of Draft after some time.

State of the Art - The Present

After years of development and continuous changes, the progress meter has finally stopped ticking. There is no need for further development any more. First, because I more and more come to appreciate the role as a player, thankfully leaving the task of game mastering to others, and second, because Draft's purpose of existence has been replaced when my personal preferences and style of play shifted downwards on the scale of complexity.

Maybe one day, when I come back to monitor games in simulation style, I will take out Draft's manual once more out of the drawer. In this improbable case, Draft is likely to grow back to the state it was in version 0.2, an arithmatic riddle, waiting to be resolved. Until then, other projects deserve more waste of time: the also discontinued (and even obsolete) Hexatome for quick and dirty games with lots of action, which, too, gets more and more replaced by the wonderful works of Jonathan Tweed and Robin D. Laws, as well as the universally generic Epitome for narrative styles of play.

Copyright
The content of Draft is distributed under the OpenContent License. Please read it before downloading or redistributing it. Thank you.
Pick-up Point
The current version is 0.4. Feel free to download it here: PDF-file (207 KB). You may send your feedback to pm<at>ekkaia<dot>org.

Last modified by Pitt Murmann at 1970-01-01.