A fellow Tasmanian, Craig Judd has created Powerframe – a universal RPG.
Tell us who you are and what you have designed?
I’m Craig Judd, a game designer and RPG freelancer from Tasmania. I have a background in graphic design and illustration, which is a definite advantage when producing your own games!
My major release, earlier this year, was the PowerFrame RPG, a generic action-oriented toolkit designed to help you build your own game worlds and create genre mash-ups. It’s a system my groups and I used for over a decade, and getting it into publishable form was something of a “white whale” project!
Being aware of Craig and his work toward this I actually have an electronic copy of this that I am going to review in the near future.
What is it that makes you want to design games?
I like exploring game mechanisms and seeing how they interact. I can absorb rulesets and get an intrinsic feel for how they work, how they impose order on the game world, and how that communicates the designer’s viewpoint and intent. So I tinker with game rules because I like to create rules that make sense from my point of view.
I love reading rule books. In fact it is rare for me to read novels these days. I always have my nose in one set of rules or another so I can see exactly the same thing and how I can adjust my games to make it more relevant for our group also.
What are the games that inspire you most?
In the 90s I mostly hacked R. Talsorian’s Interlock system. In the 00s, I was kind of insulated working on my own major project, but when I poked my head back up in the 10s I went on a quest to explore the new developments in indie games. Apocalypse World is a stand-out favourite that really changed the way I looked at writing game texts.
What makes Australian games different from others?
I don’t know that there’s anything unique I can identify about Australian games; I think with the internet, the RPG community is global, so ideas spread much more easily. The internet also means we can publish games internationally via PDF or print-on-demand as easily or easier than publishing them locally. But design-wise, I think most of the Australian games I’m familiar with follow a relatively traditional approach.
Where can we get your games from?
You can find PowerFrame Games on DriveThruRPG:
At the moment my PDFs are exclusive to DTRPG, but I could look at other venues for physical book distribution.
Are you working on anything at the moment?
Yes, I’m working on a new game called Thunder Hunters, which is about tribal hunters living alongside dinosaurs! I’m aiming for a feeling of danger and risk-management, where you can face down a massive predator with a spear and shield if you’re really good, but it’s smarter to use teamwork, preparation, and traps. I also want to provide ways for the GM to present a living, reactive world. I’m writing rough notes and doing a little internal playtesting.
Sounds interesting! There have been a rise of universal system in the past few years with FATE, Cypher system, Krendel and Powerframe all coming out. I am looking forward to reading your take on it in the near future! Keep rolling!
Tomorrow we move on to Phillip Tunstall and see what surprises he has in store for us.