What's O.L.D. is N.E.W. is the system powering three gorgeous, crunchy, compatible roleplaying games - medieval fantasy, 80s action heroes, and far-future science fiction. These games are called O.L.D., N.O.W., and N.E.W., respectively and are all open (as in open gaming content) and entirely compatible with each other. Designed from the start as a toolkit oriented game system, you are encouraged to design your own content using the extensive guidelines found in each book.
Elven musketeers line up in the rain to defend against an oncoming goblin horde. Weathered watchmen investigate a murder in a scummy tavern. Diabolists meddle with things that they shouldn't as they summon the most evil of beings from the depths of Hell. Pirates and swashbucklers battle for supremacy on the high seas. A heroic adventurer adds a moat to his ever-expanding castle.
Bounty hunters track down outlaws hiding in trader towns on worlds at the fringe of the galaxy. Starships explore unknown worlds, going where nobody has gone before. Great generational arks seek somewhere to call home. Detectives investigate a murder in a far-future solar system on a trail which will take them from Mars to Jupiter's moons. Agents infiltrate a criminal organization, going undercover to take down a galactic crime boss. A group of smugglers locates a new hyperdrive system to increase the speed of their freighter.
None of these games have a default setting (although each will be supported with settings and adventures). W.O.I.N. is a tool-kit oriented roleplaying game system which encourages you to create your own setting, whether that be a medieval fantasy or far-future sci-fi one.
You are encouraged to hack the system, mold it to your needs, even to publish your own creations for free or for profit. The entire WOIN Rules Reference Document is Open Gaming Content, and available for your use.
These games have extensive tools to help you do exactly that, and also to help you tweak dials of low-high fantasy, hard-soft sci-fi, and so on. These tools include rules for creating races, careers, planets, spell-paths, starships, monsters, and more.
The rules are designed specifically to accommodate a variety of settings and popular franchises and are very hackable. You can focus on fantasy, sci-fi, or modern action, or you can mix and match any or all of them to create urban fantasy, cyberpunk, spells-in-space, or any other combination you can think of.
The W.O.I.N. rules use a life-path system for character generation, d6 dice pools for task resolution, a freeform verb-noun magic system, and hex-based starship combat rules influenced by the best that the 1980s had to offer but updated to modern sensibilities.
O.L.D., N.O.W., and N.E.W. use the same system. Each book is different, however, containing different careers/traditions, equipment, races/species, monsters, and so on. Additionally each has chapters useful to it - O.L.D. has a magic system, herbalism and alchemy, stronghold building rules, a chapter on warfare, wilderness travel; N.E.W. has comprehensive starship construction rules, space combat, cybernetics, and N.O.W. has rules for supervehicles and martial arts.
All three games are rules-crunchy tactical roleplaying games.
Download N.E.W.'s first chapter!
Download the first 23 pages of N.E.W. for free. This PDF includes the table of contents, introduces the game, provides a short play example, a brief glossary, and some of the initial character creation process. Rather than including a setting itself, N.E.W. is very much pitched as a toolkit full of rules and guidelines which help you create your own setting or model your favourite TV, movie, or book setting. To that end, a full quarter of the book is devoted to world (universe) building. Simply click on the image below!
Download O.L.D.'s first chapter!
Download the first 12 pages of O.L.D. for free. This introduction section introduces the game, provides a short play example, a brief glossary, and a discussion of fantasy genres ranging from the gritty to high fantasy. Rather than including a setting itself, O.L.D. is very much pitched as a toolkit full of rules and guidelines which help you create your own setting or model your favourite TV, movie, or book setting. To that end, a full quarter of the book is devoted to worldbuilding. Simply click on the image below!
Download N.O.W.'s first chapter!
Download the first 12 pages of N.O.W. for free. This introduction section introduces the game, provides a short play example, a brief glossary, and a discussion of action genres ranging from 60s spy flicks to 80s muscle action and supercars. Rather than including a setting itself, N.O.W. is very much pitched as a toolkit full of rules and guidelines which help you create your own setting or model your favourite action TV show or movie. To that end, a full quarter of the book is devoted to worldbuilding. Simply click on the image below!
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is this an update of WEG's d6 system? No. Other than the fact that both games use d6s, there is little similarity between them.
- How crunchy is it? We call it "medium crunch". In context, a bit more crunchy than D&D 5E, not as crunchy as Pathfinder
- Can I produce content for WOIN? Yes. You don't need to ask! You can even sell it. There's more info here.
- Is this a universal system? Not really. It is designed specifically for medium-low-magic Tolkien-esque medieval fantasy, 80s action, and a Trekian to Warsian range of sci-f, and is built around rules systems designed to replicate those genres very well. You may be able to hack it to do other things (and you're welcome to do so), but those are the things it focuses on and aims to do well.
- What are the inspirations for each game? N.E.W. is inspired by Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Firefly, Babylon 5, the Alien franchise, and other science fiction shows and movies, along with the harder science fiction of Asimov, Niven, and Clarke. N.O.W. is all about movies like the 007 franchise, Rambo, Commando, Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, Mad Max, Indiana Jones, and TV shows like The A-Team, Knight Rider, Charlie's Angels, Buffy, and The Six-Million Dollar Man, with a healthy sprinkling of John Woo and Bruce Lee. O.L.D. ranges from gritty medieval fantasy of Glen Cook, the works of David Eddings and David Gemmell, Robert E. Howard, Le Guin, Abercrombie, Rothfuss, and, of course, JRR Tolkien. The combat system had some inspiration from the 2012 X-COM video game, along with various tactical skirmish tabletop games over the years, and the magic system is inspired by Elements of Magic by Ryan Nock.
- What's the feel of the system? WOIN has a fairly flat advancement progression, which means that while characters become more competent and more skilled, they never end up with piles of health and able to survive 200' falls or wade through armies of orcs. It's a bit grittier than that, with combat tending towards the tactical, magic tending towards the subtle, and magic items being quite uncommon.
- Is there a core setting? No. The WOIN system is very toolkit oriented. While it will be supported with settings and adventures, the idea is that the core setting is the one you create using the extensive worldbuilding guidelines in each book.