The Costumed Adventurer Simulation Engine: a Role-play Intensive Pastime
The Costumed Adventurer Simulation Engine (CASE) is a role-play intensive pastime (RIP) based primarily upon a classic, heroic role-playing game (RPG) first released back in 1984. While long out of print, its last official product having been published almost a decade after the first, this venerable RPG nonetheless has countless fans who still utilize it to this very day. Fans who yet hunger for new content.
With that in mind, numerous authors have released retro-clones of this old system, a retro-clone being a rewritten compendium of rules that strips the ingrained intellectual property from the old text so it may present those rules anew. Some of these hew very, very close to the original source material, while others drift far apart from it. The CASE is a retro-clone, occupying a middle ground between these two extremes.
The idea behind the CASE was to craft a system that is mainly compatible with the original rule set, while at the same time adding numerous additional ideas to the mix. This was implemented by presenting the game's concepts in a deliberate, linear fashion, streamlining the existing bits of the system somewhat, while greatly expanding the options players may use to generate their own characters in the game.
The CASE was built this way with customization in mind. Itself the result of considerable alterations to an existing, albeit abandoned rule set, the CASE can readily be altered to suit the needs of whoever uses it at their gaming table. This way, players may utilize the CASE as-is, borrow select parts from the CASE for use in the original system, or seize bits and pieces of the CASE to forge their very own RPG.
The product of on-again, off-again development over several decades, the CASE is a perpetual work in progress. It has been rigorously tested by especially clever players, a merciless band of insidious rules lawyers who did their level best to exploit each and every crack in the CASE to bust it wide open. The best (worst?) of these include Christopher Acers, William Lockwood, Aaron Ortiz, Corey Poulsen, and Darrin Freeman.
Similarly, the primary authors of the original system that the CASE is based upon must be acknowledged as well, for without their dilligent work there would be no CASE. Those who primarily influenced what would become the CASE include Jeff Grubb, Steve Winter, Kim Eastland, David E Martin, and Allen Varney, while other previous authors whe contributed include Bruce Nesmith, Tony Herring, Scott Davis, and Steven Schend.
Last, but not least, the author of the Costumed Adventurer Simulation Engine would like to thank everyone that has given feedback and/or suggestions about the implementation of its various components. There are simply too many of these folks to name, some of which are no longer among us, but let it never be said that constructive criticism isn't appreciated - whether by myself or by authors around the world!
The Big Idea Behind the Costumed Adventurer Simulation Engine
Now you know what the Costumed Adventurer Simulation Engine is, but in the event that you've never enjoyed a role-playing game before, you may find yourself asking what the heck you do with this thing. Simply put, the idea behind the CASE is to allow players to assume the identity of at least one character, and play out his, her, or their activities in a setting decided upon by all the players involved.
Most CASE players assume the role of just one character. This character is referred to as a player character (PC). This is the player's avatar in the setting, the means by which they interact with everything within. Keep in mind that a player should talk and behave as that character would, not as the player themselves might... unless the player's character is some variation on their 'real' self.
On the other hand, one player must assume the role of the Judge. They adjudicate all of the rules during play, and handle the roles of every character encountered that is not managed by the other players. A Judge's characters are hereby referred to as non-player characters (NPCs). It is the Judge's job to present a scenario for the other players to operate within, as well as to manage all of the action.
Therein lies the beauty of a role-playing game: it is not inflexible fiction, but instead a collaborative effort. The Judge sets the stage for events, and all the other players act out their roles, taking their characters wherever their personas and circumstances dictate - for good or ill. It is a truly active form of entertainment, one which draws all its participants into the limelight, and lets everyone influence the story.
And that story can take place almost anywhere! From ancient realms lost to legend to distant planets in the deepest reaches of space, the CASE allows its players to adventure wherever they wish, limited only by their imagination! Furthermore, these stories can take the form of solitary tales, a one-shot sort of thing, or instead expand into an entire campaign, a series of adventures that tells a much larger tale.
While the former can be good fun, the latter allows a group to fully explore their characters and the setting presented to them by their Judge. But either is an acceptable use of the Costumed Adventurer Simulation Engine, for both can be equally entertaining. This is just a choice that a group of players needs to make beforehand - though that group can surely mix and match between the two as is desired!
But what is required to utilize the CASE, you ask? Not much, really. All that's essentially necessary are these rules - and a set of percentile dice. Percentile dice are two ten-sided dice, which can be used to generate a number ranging from one to one hundred, though these dice can be hard to come by outside of professional gaming stores. To this end, here is a simple d100 number generator, if you need it.
Other than that, all you need is a tiny bit of creativity - and the desire to have fun!