What is USOR?
USOR, or Universal Set of Rules, is a role-playing game system that is designed to handle any game genre. It has been designed from the ground up as a completely new gaming experience that allows players to not only play in any world they can imagine, but also play any character imaginable. The system is designed to allow players to play as fifty foot tall giants and tiny insects all within the same world and same party of characters. Characters are built using a point system (referred to as Character Points) to ensure that every player has a fair and balanced playing experience. Want to play the fifty foot giant? That’s going to cost you more Character Points resulting in a rather weak giant. Want to play a tiny insect in the same party of characters as the fifty foot giant? You’re going to play probably the most powerful insect that ever walked the planet! Or you might be playing in a game setting where every character is a 200 foot tall god. Any combination is possible.
What are Pen and Paper Role Playing Games?
Pen and Paper Role Playing Games have been around for decades. They are verbal story telling adventures told by a group of friends that are facilitated by a set of rules. These rules are designed to enhance and organize these adventures. In a traditional sense, these games were played by groups of friends sitting around a living room after work or after school, with one friend playing the story teller, or game master and facilitating the story with the other friends playing his/her own respective character. The story telling was done by using a set of books which would give players rules on how to play the game. These players would then roll dice based on these rules and depending on the outcomes of these rolls, the story would unfold.
What makes USOR different?
USOR attempts to capture this same spirit, but with the power and convenience of computer and internet technology. USOR is still a story telling game, but “pen and paper” no longer applies. As such, we are not a video game company and the main source of entertainment for our product is the friends you bring to your gaming session. And while many pen and paper games out there have been digitized and converted into online versions of themselves, USOR is unique from these other games in that it was developed in the age of computer processing power. Simply put, USOR is NOT a pen and paper game that has been digitized. It is an RPG system that was developed to take advantage of the computational power of computers. As such, there is no “off-line” version of this game. It was designed to be played by a group of friends sitting around a table, each with his/her own laptop or with a group of friends communicating over the internet via webcam.
Why not use computers?
The rules and mechanics of this game are handled by computers. This has two advantages: 1) less work on the players’ behalves, 2) better and faster rules. Players need no longer look up charts and rules for a story telling event…the computer will do so. It is our hope that players will be freed from the burden of having to look up rules and make rolls…that is for the computer to do. We simply want to make it easier for players and game masters alike to tell their stories, while letting computers determine the mathematical outcomes. At the end of the day, this is still a story telling game, NOT a video game, but it has the advantage of using the computation power of computers to create a better STORYTELLING experience for players.
The overall mechanics of the game is relatively simple and will be covered in the basic rules section of this site. In essence, the game involves characters acquiring Character Points to spend as they see fit on their characters to enhance and improve them. The Character Points essentially serve three purposes in the game: 1) As previously mentioned, they allow the player to grow and develop their character, 2) they act as a balancing system for character development. A player may choose to play a powerful dragon or a small dwarf. But choosing to play the powerful dragon costs more Character Points than a small dwarf and leaves less Character Points for the player to spend on other traits such as powers, spells, and special skills. and 3) they act as a gauge for determining the strength of a character. A character with 30,000 Character Points is much more powerful overall than a character who only has 15,000 Character Points.
Most attributes, skills, and abilities in the game have point value ratings. These ratings then translate into dice rolls called Event Rolls. Event Rolls are used to determine the success or failure of most events in the game. Generally speaking, the more Character Points that are spent on a particular attribute, skill, or ability, the higher its rating. The higher its rating, the greater the Event Roll.
The proof, as they say, is in the pudding
Okay, so all this talk. What are you really giving us?
Our character sheets are actual programs which do all the calculating for you. Our character sheets are NOT fillable pdfs. Our character sheets have validation errors which check for you to make sure you are following the rules during character creation. These validation errors inform the player that a number they input is either too high or low or should be left blank. Character points in this game are measured in the thousands. This would be near impossible for traditional RPGs. But with our game, the character sheet computes the Character Point cost in an instant, thereby eliminating this problem. By measuring Character Points in the thousands as opposed to in the single or double digits, greater diversity of game play is permitted. In our game, characters are built through a series of purchases with Character Points and some purchases are more expensive than others. To increase the Cooking skill from a score of 9 to a score of 10, for example, would cost only a handful of Character Points but to purchase the ability for a character to alter the very fabric of reality would cost tens of thousands of Character Points. Our character sheets will help track all of this for you.
We have a digital dice roller that can instantly roll a high number of dice for you. This is needed for our system as it relies on a high number of dice rolls. But in doing so, we have created a superior system with NO LIMITATIONS and every roll has a chance for success or failure. In fact, we are in the process of replacing digital dice rolls with mathematical algorithms which will provide a smoother, more balanced, and unlimited level of mathematical probability for determining outcomes of storytelling events.
Think of our system as a traditional storytelling game enhanced by the power of computing technology…we offer the best of both worlds!