Salt Agora Rules (PDF)
The characters will play a Salt Trader, who begins a humble career in his quest for glory and gold. Players battle across a hex based desert to try to accumulate wealth.
Salt Agora was quite an early project for me. I think I basically wanted to update my first (serious) game “Horizon” to be in the desert with a more historical/real world theme. I still used hexes for the battles, and tried to move away from some of my “standard style” rules of the time. This meant randomly renaming attributes (Speed became “Gait”), trying a crazy generation method (Knowledge was a D100, minimum 10, max 90), scaling dice for attacks and defense, and a focus on more believable, non-fantasy enemies. I hadn’t seen the light of any order to phases yet, so you were stuck moving, then shooting, then doing close combat.
The combat system was roll Attack and subtract Armor (for ranged) or enemy Defense (for melee, and it’s rolled). The difference (if positive) between the rolls/values is the number of attacks that hit. Then you roll damage PER successful attack. Pretty neat system in theory, but I doubt it would have scaled well if your super experienced character is rolling D20 against a D4, and then potentially rolling 19 damage dice, haha. But the thought was there.
I will say the idea of Basic Gait, Running Gait, and Frenzied Gait might have carried across almost 20 years into “Panic Speed” with Dinosaur Cowboys. Since Frenzied Gait in this game was based on the idea of how fast/slow a creature would move once it had failed a Courage check.
I also enjoyed the more realistic world and setting. I definitely did a lot of internet research (maybe even some early electronic encyclopedia reading).
As with a lot of my early RPGs I stalled out when putting together a huge list of enemies, some of which you can see in the rules above. Ah back when I couldn’t format a document to save my life.
Don’t use D100 for stat generation, haha.