Cogent RPG by Shad and Jazza

Some exciting news – Shad (of Shadiversity and giant sword making extraordinaire) and Jazza of the famed art Youtube channel have released an open game system – the Cogent RPG. The ruleset can be found for free online.

Does an RPG need any other recommendations besides “made by man with functional GIANT SWORD?”

My players at the East Bay Martian Society have not yet been able to playtest but we are aiming to do a space opera game with the ruleset soon. While we haven’t tested it yet, from the first reads it is getting good reviews for how streamlined and intuitive it is.

Rules (high level)

The rules use a d6 dice-pool system with 4-6 being successes. Players start with 2 points for attributes and 8 points for skills. A typical dice pool consists of 3d6+1d6 per Attribute point(s – if applicable) + 1d6 per skill points (if applicable). Amount of successes needed will vary based on task difficulty. Taking weaknesses and negatives can get you more skill points to spend at character creation.

Roleplay opportunities and player creativities open up with Assists. The name (imo) is a tad misleading as you are allowed to (and often will) assist yourself. What an assist roll does, is it allows the player to state they are using another part of their characters’ training as part of the current action (even if that action already has a skill).

In particular you can spend skills on “Vocations” which can be anything agreed upon between the player and the narrator (GM). Vocations are always used for assist rolls. If the player argues (to use an example given by Jazza and Shad) that their blacksmith training would help them find the weak point of the armor to strike, they would first do an assist roll against challenge level 3 (generally) with their blacksmith vocation. Any successes over 3 then get added to the main attack roll.

The iconic d20 does make an appearance for destiny rolls. These allow the narrator to determine randomly how well something goes when sheer luck is involved. If the players rob a noble’s house it may matter if the noble is home at that time or not. A destiny roll allows for this to be determined fairly by the narrator.

The book also includes modifiers for common armor and weapons found in medieval fantasy.

Jazza and Shad explain the system.

First impressions

System allows characters to be made quickly and allows for streamlined combat and for degrees of success. and is easy to pick up. The assist system allows for clever use of skills for specific situations. No major math is required and it can be used for any genre- all good things in a system. Once the Martian Society has its first play of the system will share how it goes.

I am considering releasing a tad more gritty version of my favorite alien-in-hiding premise under the system complete with a salvage-system that is similar to Hostile Sun’s currency ruleset.

Shad discusses the WotC OGL situation and his release of COGENT as an open game.

Speaking of Hostile Sun -here is some more fun I have been having with Photoshop:

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