Principles of the Dedcot game:
- Dedcot, your home town, is full of strange and fantastic things.
- Everyday life is dull and unforgiving.
- Adults are out of reach and out of touch.
- The vicinity of Harwell Loop is dangerous but kids will not die (unlike adults).
- The game is played scene by scene.
- The world is described collaboratively.
Create your kid:
- Choose your teen Archetype: e.g., Gamer Geek, Heartthrob, Sports Champ, Village Yokel, Class Clown, BMX Biker, Fashionista, Grease Monkey, Bookworm, Rocker, Science Swot, Chav/Hooligan. Collaborate to get a good range of different Types in the gang.
- Decide your age: from 10 to 15 years.
- Distribute the number of points equal to your age into four attributes: 1 to 5 points in each of: BODY, TECH, HEART, MIND.
- Determine your number of Luck Points: equal to 15 minus your age.
- Distribute 10 points in skills. You may take up to level 3 in three key skills of your Archetype. For other skills, a starting skill level of 1 is the maximum.
- Pick an Iconic 1980s item for your kid.
- Pick a Problem (1 of 3 Orange cards)
- Pick a Drive (1 of 2 Purple cards)
- Pick a Pride (1 of 2 Green cards)
N.B. These need not be secret, and you can trade cards. You can make something up if it’s cool.
- Define your Relationships to the other Kids (best friends, old friends, rivals, useful, indifferent, resentful, pity, crush, sibling, etc).
- Select an adult Anchor: (a: Mum or Dad, b: Dark Yellow card, or c: Light Yellow card.)
- Name your Kid and choose a birthday.
- Write a short description.
- Choose a 1980s favourite song as your kid’s theme song.
Do This Part Together:
- Define the group’s Hideout. This is an important place where the kids can hang out together, undisturbed and safe. It could be a den in woodland, a forgotten allotment shed, a wreck in an abandoned scrapyard, an old Anderson shelter, a rusting coach in the railway sidings… The GM cannot put you into Trouble when you are in the hideout. Players should agree on what their hideout is, and where it is located. (cf. Dedcot area map.)
- Answer the Gamemaster’s questions. Some will be for each kid, some will be for the gang as a group.
- Decide where you live. You all attend Dedcot Secondary School but school buses also collect kids from all the local villages. Biking to school instead is still very common.
Your Kid is defined by four attributes that tell you what you are good at and how you can cope with Trouble. The attributes are: body, tech, heart and mind. The attribute scores range from 1 to 5, and determines the number of d6 dice that you roll when you try to overcome Trouble.
Each attribute has three related skills. These are areas where the Kid is competent. The level of a skill varies between 0 and 5, and determines how many d6 skill dice you can add to your attribute dice when you try to overcome Trouble.
- SNEAK is the ability to hide and sneak.
- FORCE is the ability to lift heavy things, fight, and endure in physical situations.
- MOVE is the ability to climb high, balance, and run fast.
- TINKER is the ability to build and manipulate machines and other mechanical items.
- PROGRAM is the ability to create and manipulate computer programs and electronic devices.
- CALCULATE is the ability to understand machines and other technical systems.
- CONTACT is the ability to know the right person.
- CHARM is the ability to charm, lie, befriend, and manipulate.
- LEAD is the ability to make others work well together, and to help them when they are scared, sad or confused.
- INVESTIGATE is the ability to find hidden objects and understand clues.
- COMPREHEND is the ability to have the right piece of information or to be able to find it at the library.
- EMPATHIZE is the ability to understand what a person, animal or any conscious thing is feeling at that time.
Trouble is something that prevents Kids from doing something; it can be a bad thing about to happen or a possibility fraught with danger. It is the Gamemaster’s job to create Trouble, but the Kids can also get themselves into Trouble too. In fact, it’s expected.
THE BASIC RESOLUTION DICE ROLL:
Roll the number of d6 dice equal to the attribute + skill you’ll use. If there isn’t any suitable skill, only roll for the attribute. Every six rolled is a success. In most cases, only one success is needed to overcome Trouble.
FAILURE = SUFFERING CONDITIONS
You may suffer a Condition if you don’t overcome Trouble. There are five Conditions and the first four are mild: Upset, Scared, Exhausted, Injured and Broken. You decide what Condition to take in any given situation, and you get a -1 success on all rolls until it is healed. If you get a Condition that is already checked, you must choose another one to check. Additional Conditions are cumulative; two Conditions give -2 successes on all Trouble rolls, etc.
You can spend a Luck Point after a failed dice roll. A Luck Point lets you reroll failed dice (non-6s). You cannot spend more than one Luck Point on a single Trouble roll.
You may use your Iconic Item for a dice roll, when appropriate. It gives you two extra dice to roll.
You can use your Pride, once per Mystery. It gives you an automatic success. You can activate the Pride after a failed roll, or even after a successful roll to add a success.
If you roll more successes than you need, leftover success can sometimes be used to buy beneficial Bonus Effects.
PUSHING THE ROLL
When you fail a roll, you may choose to immediately retry the task. You must first choose a Condition that you feel fits the story. Then you reroll all the dice except those showing sixes. If the reroll also fails, you may not push again (but you can use a Luck Point or your Pride).