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Life is Tough
A Reality Debased Role Playing Game: 11/13/21
© 2022 James LaFond
I intend to spend another year developing this. So if you have any ideas, email me at jameslafond dot com at gmail dot com.
In Life is Tough, players generate themselves as characters for play in various settings, reality, alternate reality, science fiction, fantasy or time travel.
Player abilities are:
-Power, physical prowess in hand-to-hand combat and vigorous tasks
-Vitality, health and stamina
-Agility, athleticism, hand-eye coordination
-Smarts, intelligence and shot-calling
-Slick, gaming, slight of hand and other aspects of annual dexterity
Determining Power:
Base: -Weight, 1 point per pound
Plus -Height, 1 point per six inches
Plus -Months since last illness
Plus -Weight and reps of concentrated dumbbell curl
[For instance, James curled 20 pounds 8 times for a 27, and Tony curled 40 pounds 3 times for a 42. The first rep counts the weight, then each rep after adds to the count.]
Plus -Number of full correct three point push ups with toes and hands touching and chest going down to within a wrist thickness of the floor without resting in a plank position.
[James weighs 172, gets 11 for height, scored 27 on curls and 8 on push ups, placing his power at 118.]
Determining Vitality:
Base: Years less than 70, down to 13, with that difference serving as the base vitality
Minus -Years under 13 or over 70, subtracting 1 point for every year year
[Thus, a 9 year old would have a 57-point base, adjusted down to 53 by 4 years due to years under 12. A 70 year old would have a base of 0 and a 75-year old a base of -5.
Plus -Months since last respiratory illness
Plus -Miles you can walk without slowing or resting
Plus -Number of push ups
Minus 10 for each chronic condition such as asthma, high blood pressure, etc.
[James has a base of 12, has not been sick for 14 months, can walk 6 miles without his groin aching, did 8 push ups, and loses 10 for eye seizures, making his Vitality a cringe worthy 30.]
Determining Agility
Base: Each year of amateur or pro competition in sports. [James competed in Boxing from 1978 to 2002 which is 24 years, stick-fighting from 1996 to 2016, 20 years, baseball 1 year, football 3 years, wrestling 2 years, for a base of 50.
Plus -Each year under 60 or minus each year under 13
Bonus tests on 4 foot fence:
-Can climb +5
-Can leap with one hand and 1 foot touching top +10
-Can leap with one hand +20
-Can hurdle +40 with a running start clearing it without touching
-Can leap +80 from a crouch with no preliminary step
Can ride bike + 5
[James is 2 years south of 60, can climb the fence and can ride a bike so adds 12 to his base of 50 for 63 agility.]
Determining Smarts
Base: Grade average in school
D =10
C = 20
B = 40
A = 80
Plus -Years of school graduated, including trade school
Plus -Years of work
Plus -Years homeless
Plus -Years as a boss
Plus -Years in military
[James had a D average = a base of 10, plus 8 years graduated, 40 years of work, 3 years of homelessness and 4 years as a boss for a Smarts of 65.]
For a base we tossed 10 quarters from a set distance into a cup.
[James sunk 2, for a base of 2.Tony, Felix and Dominic, all leaned so far forward in their chairs that they dropped them in, successfully cheating for score of 6, 5 and 4 respectively. Tony felt bad about this and wanted to redo them. But James informed him that this is to determine shady dealings, thievery, bullshitting, lying, cheating and other capers, and therefor stood as a good clinical test.]
To the base quarter toss test is added:
Plus 1 a juggle of three items continuously made, using quarter from the coin toss cup for each time all three quarters are caught thrice.
Card shuffling:
-Can't = 0
-Like grandpa = 5
-Like a player = 10
-Like a casino dealer = 20
-Like a Magician = 40
[With a base of 2 and shuffling like grandpa, James has a dismal slick score of 7.]
Life Skills
For any work or training you have done, that skill will be rated like so per year:
-Going to school or training or pursuing that task as a hobby = 1
-Competing in that task or working that task for a living = 2
-Coaching, teaching or managing that task = 3
-Number of years recognized as among the best in the field = 5
Let's rate James as a grocer:
-No training years
-38 X 2 working as a grocer [76]
-4 years as a manager [12]
-5 years as a sought after manager [25]
as a grocer James has a skill of 113
Let's rate James in boxing:
-Training 1978-2002 [24]
-Competed for only 5 of these years [10]
-Coaching [2002-2017] [45]
James ranks at 79 in boxing.
The basic skill resolution system will be a roll of 0-99.
With a 113 grocer skill, any ordinary problem in the supermarket he is working is automatically resolved unless the game master has assigned a difficulty penalty of plus this or plus that. Let's say Thetis has caught his tie in the bailer and James has to rescue him as it ejects, the GM might add a +30 to James’ roll. James then rolls a 61 which becomes a 91 and he manages to deploy his case cutter in time to save Thetis!]
On the other hand, if James has to spar with a 16-year-old cave boy in the boxing gym, we will add a difficulty rating of 44 for the age difference. Fortunately for his old ass he rolls a 1 and he gets out of the sparring session unscathed at an adjusted result of 45.]
In terms of purely experienced based skills, like mugging, street fighting, street survival, for every year you mugged people as an activity, or any year in which someone tried and either failed or succeeded in mugging you, add 1 to that skill, as learning is aided by failure as much as success.
Other forms of resolution are all much more complex and fluid than skill checks and will be the subject of each of the following sections:
-Scams and Capers
-Fright and Flight
Before we continue, we need to arrive at some bonus stats:
-Will Power, what is the longest you have worked at a single job for the same company? If you are a youth and have not worked, what is the most number of seasons you have competed in a row in the same sport?
That number is your will power.
[James lasted 15 years at his longest held job for a WP of 15. So if some beautiful vixen tries to seduce him he has to roll a 15 or less out of a hundred… he rolls a 02%! His old ass withstands the temptation of Delilah, proving that Life is Tough, is just a game after all. For fun, let’s say she has a fat sister that tries to seduce James—roll old man! Oh, the dummy ain’t dead yet. He rolled a 40%, failing by 25% which means he gets laid and the first twin decides to ruin his life out of spite.]
Now, roll 2d6 to determine your lucky number. That number is always your lucky number. Additionally, you start play with that number of luck points, which, when used, one at a time for re-rolls, are expended.
'Aphrodite and The Dog'
the greatest boxer
advent america
search for an american spartacus
book of nightmares
fiction anthology one
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