Gearing up to Run Creative Options Role-Playing Engine (CORE)

Seeking Free and Open Source Systems

In one of my game groups we’ve been talking about game systems and our personal values; in particular free and open source games.

One person recommended that we take a look at Tod Foley’s Creactive Options Role-Playing Engine (CORE 📖) system. I am early in my exploration, but believe that the CORE system is extracted from Tod’s DayTrippers 📖.

And hot damn did the CORE rules impress me.

You throw a number of six-sided dice equal to your stat; pick the highest roll and add modifiers. Compare that against the stated difficulty, and consult the Table 237: CORE Action Resolution Table.

Table 237: CORE Action Resolution Table
Roll ResultFictional Result
Miss by 2 or moreNo and something negative
Miss by 1No but something positive
Hit exactlyYes but something negative
Exceed by 1Yes
Exceed by 2 or moreYes and something positive

Pair that with the Character Development Scenes; which each player gets at most one per session, and you have fantastic opportunities to grow and develop your characters.

These are often “flashback” scenes, and there are four types.

Bad Realization
Introduce a new and problematic aspect to your character or group, and get XP.
Flash of Insight
Unlock a memory, training, bit of previously “off screen” planning, to get +1 to a roll.
Inner Voices
Tie life shaping events to the scene, and get an extra die on the roll.
Revealed Experience
Explain how your learning to place in the past to spend XP to advance a skill.

Those two bits of “tech” pair with some other narrative tech to create what appears to be a great foundation for emergent stories.

I’m looking forward to running this game and providing some feedback to support a game designer who’s releasing systems free and open. update: Tod has released the CORE Micro rules under the Creative Commons Attribution License CC-BY 4.0.

Having this shared modular space excites the hacking sensibilities of my game group.