DOOM v0.7 Sneak Peek - Attacking

As I develop and refine the rules to DOOM RPG, and more importantly as I write those in a coherent fashion that can be easily understood, I will be previewing those rules here. At this stage in development, many core aspects of the game are solidified and have gone through initial testing. These game mechanics I can confidently say will survive into any expansive, semi-official rules releases in the near future. I hold back on others that are more experimental so as not to muddy the data streams with potentially false information. As you might expect from a ultra-tactical game such as DOOM, the Attack action is now grounded and in a state ready to be shown.


When a creature makes an attack, the active player rolls 1d20, plus a number of additional d20’s equal to the value of the attack modifier (-2, +3, etc.) If the modifier is positive, the active player may use any result rolled. A player can always choose to use a result from among the attack dice rolled that is of a lower value to activate a desired effect from the Attack Effect Chart. If the attack modifier is negative, however, the lowest value rolled must be used.

On a result of 10 or higher, the attack hits and deals its damage as indicated by the weapon being used. On every roll, whether a hit or a miss, apply the indicated effect from the Attack Effect Chart.

Example: Andy drops to the ground, Prone, and takes aim with his Assault Rifle to shoot a Flame Imp. He rolls a d20 for the attack, plus an additional d20 for the Assault Rifle’s Focused trait (+1), since he is Prone, and is able to use either die roll. He rolls a 13 and 11, both hits! He could hit with a 13, but he is lying on the ground Prone and is worried about a nearby Hell Knight stomping his head in. He wisely chooses to use the die roll of 11, allowing him to Stand Up and hits with his regular damage.

Multiple Targets, Multiple Attack

When an attack targets multiple targets, such as using a weapon with the Line or Auto-fire traits, use the following general guideline: once for the attack, once for the damage.

When attacking multiple targets, the active player must attack the target with the worst penalty to attack and apply that result against all targets. Similarly, damage is rolled only once and applied to all targets on a hit.

Held Weapon Only

A Marine can can only attack with his or her currently Held weapon, as indicated by the placement of the Items on his or her character sheet. A Marine can, however, activate any non-weapon Items in their inventory while keeping a weapon in the Held Item location.

Exception: An Unarmed attack may be performed no matter what the current Held Weapon is.

Demons have no such restrictions.


Gender Inclusive

Doom-Girl. by Kelsey Scamper

by armaina.deviantart.com

Female space marine by Retinal Eclipse

Aliens (1986)

DOOM (1993)


DooM RPG (v0.7) Character Sheet

This will be the character sheets going to DEFY DANGER EAST on October 3rd. Everything you could ever need all on one side of an 8-1/2"x11" sheet of paper. The mechanics of the game are getting honed every day and are close to a full scale release.


Live Action Report - DOOM RPG v0.666 playtest

After quite a bit of time designing DOOM RPG in the closed echo chamber, I have finally put this early phase through a much needed field test. The results were nothing short of groundbreaking with every single player standing around the table, too amped up to sit still. for record, we used a converted version of Colossus of the Shattered Moon as our test adventure.

First and foremost, our playtest proved the viability of the concept. DOOM RPG right here right now is a fun, action-packed, nightmare of explosions. It's a game That I would play repeatedly and enjoy it every time. It's something that I created and can be proud of.

Detailing all of the minutia seems rather pointless. Telling you of the old rules that got tossed, new rules that were introduced, and the revelations that came through actual play is meaningless as you, the reader, have no standard with which to compare. What I do want to write about today are a few glimpses into game mechanics that have proven to be indispensable to the aesthetic of DOOM RPG.

Firing Arc

Character facing, what DOOM RPG refers to as Firing Arc, is at the heart of its fast-paced, tactical combat system. This element forms the kernel with which we empower the players with the means to defeat their enemies. Combat in this game is not a drawn out slog. It is not a fair fight, it is not a test of character sheet building, nor is it at all predictable. The tide of battle crawls across a razor edge, with the Marines achieving devastating victory over their enemies, yet never for one moment feeling safe. They do this by the superior tactical skills of the players turning their Marines' Firing Arcs to the exact right direction at the exact right time. Gameplay feels like a panic, constantly running, dancing behind cover and out of sight of your enemies, reappearing to make a critical shot and plant a bullet in some fucked up demon's forehead.

Knee Deep In The Dead

The carnage of battle grows around the Marines as they blast their way through the unending hordes of Hell. Walls are painted red with blood and floors slick with gore. After each creature dies, it leaves behind a corpse, creating a square of Difficult Terrain. As the bodies pile up, the Marines find it harder and harder to get into position or to get themselves out of the enemies' sights. As the fight wears on, it gets more challenging by increasing the difficulty for the Marines to stay alive. Speed and mobility mean life. Slowing down spells certain death.

The final battle with the Cyber Demon Lich Lord.

Steven's Orange Marine gets ready to smash the Cyber Demon with a shot from his BFG9000 at point blank range.

A pack of slavering demons are herded through a narrow chokepoint turned killing field.

Par for each adventure is an indication of expected number of dead Marines. We were a bit disappointed with only 6 and decided that the Cyber Demon needs to increase its lethality by quite a bit.

Everything splayed out in a chaotic mess.


Hyperparticle Rydberg Pulse Puzzle

DooM Video Game was groundbreaking on many levels, but one of its most enduring legacies is its use of Puzzles and, related to that, Secrets. Few first-person shooters since then have committed to the same design philosophy, much to their detriment. Puzzles provide a welcome contrast to the unending slaughter, testing the players' abilities to analyze or deduce the solution under the stress of simultaneous combat. So, too, does DooM RPG stand above its peers in its exaltation of puzzles.

DooM RPG takes the clues, hints, and implications of its source material and strives to recreate or enhance it to be true to the spirit and intent of the original. A common pitfall made again and again during the design process has been sticking too close to the unnecessary details of DooM Video Game, being too literal, and not seeing the big picture. Puzzles are no exception.

Video game design in the early 1990's forced DooM to present puzzles in an abstract way. The true dream of the author had to be constrained by existing technology and computing capabilities. Thankfully, this is one of the areas where DooM RPG can excel past those previous limitations, if only we have the drive and imagination to do so.

When you see a switch in the DooM Video Game, what does that really represent? A mere button to press? A lever to pull? How droll. No, the switch is actually a shorthand in the narrative for a maddening riddle puzzle involving prime numbers and coordinates for demonic gateways, or a timed mosaic puzzle to rewire and reroute power to where it is needed or where it is not. When we stand at the gaming table, we are able to take that shorthand narrative and expound that into an interesting challenge, rooted in the game fiction, to test and stress the players' abilities to think creatively. The DooM Video Game also presented many puzzles as hidden doors, identifiable by only a slight shift in the wall texture. The original intent here is to challenge the players' abilities of perception. Can they spot the slightly distorted door among the uncountable surfaces in a map? In DooM RPG, we instead challenge the players' abilities to interpret the meanings of clearly marked clues and leverage the story narrative to their advantage.

Puzzles serve to reward intelligent players via Secrets. DooM RPG is a punishing game that offers impossible challenges which cannot be defeated by simply rolling well on dice. When players solve certain puzzles, Secret chambers full of weapons and other boons are revealed to them. This is a well-earned reward and the means for players to directly affect their odds of survival.

I've been spewing out some hot air from atop a soap box for a little while now. Time to show what I mean through an actual example, a piece of game design that you can take right now and slip into any game mechanics system supporting an appropriate narrative theme. The example below, and all follow-up articles relating to Puzzles, will be deriving inspiration chiefly from the Fourthcore Alphabet; P is for Puzzles, S is for Secrets, and X is for X Marks the Spot.



  • You enter a five-sided room with shining, polished steel walls and a dark ceiling.
  • To your left is a blackened and sealed circular hatch in the center of the wall; the only means out of this room besides crawling back from where you came. The hatch has a small, reinforced violet glass aperture about 1 inch around in its center.
  • A glass pedestal on a mechanized platform rises up in the center of the room when you step in, a small opening in the floor pulling away to reveal its formerly concealed location. The platform rises to be flush with the floor, and the pedestal is 3 feet tall.
  • On top of the pedestal sits a crystal clear, multi-facted Martian Tzo Crystal the size of your fist, held in delicate brass tines. The brilliant gemstone shape resembles a humanoid face with curled horned and an open mouth, screaming in terror. The crystal catches the room lights in odd angles, creating a mesmerizing display. Bits of ruddy Martian soil cling to its corners.
  • What look to be two gun barrels protrude from the center of the two walls directly opposite of the hatch, each featuring a line of five small, green lights. A small monitor and keyboard are embedded in the walls as well.


  • The Martian Tzo Crystal is known for its strange transformative properties, affecting the quantum membrane of reality. It is held fast to the pedestal and cannot be removed without damaging it.
  • The two gun barrels are, in fact, hyperparticle Rydberg pulse emitters. When the correct two particle types are discharged from the emitters and combined in the crystal, the hatch will safely unlock. However, an incorrect particle collision will transmogrify the crystal into antimatter, resulting in a cataclysmic explosion that kills all Marines in this room and opens this section of the station into the cold, airless Martian atmosphere.
  • The consoles adjacent to the emitters are able to manipulate the type of particle discharged by each emitter: Muon (Blue), Gluon (Green), Lepton (Red), Photon (flashing White), Neutrino (Yellow),Tau Particle (Orange), Z Boson (solid White), and Dark Matter (no light). When an emitter's particle type is changed, its lights change to match the related colors noted in parentheses. Both emitters are aimed directly at the Martian Tzo Crystal and can be fired simultaneously from the consoles.

Marines must manipulate the hyperparticle Rydberg pulse emitters so that one laser displays red, a lepton, and the other displays blue, a muon. Firing the red and blue particles at the Martian Tzo Crystal then produces a combined purple beam that strikes the violet aperture in the hatch, releasing it and revealing a Secret chamber.

Editing by Andy Kotch


Manifesto - go fuck yourself!

DooM RPG is a fast-paced, tactical roleplaying game that evokes the spirit of its 1993-era video game forbearer. DooM is visceral, brutal, and unforgiving. It presents complicated challenges on a fundamental level, testing the abilities of the players themselves in their capacity to act quickly, work for the betterment of a team, and execute intricate solutions to defeat both puzzles and more traditional enemies all while under extreme pressure. This game utilizes a wide array of tools to achieve its goals, integrating both traditional RPG dynamics hand-in-hand with player-versus-player, deathmatch style play.

DooM RPG is not a big, inclusive tent. DooM isn't here to be popular or to please any crowds. DooM doesn’t give a shit about your character’s emotional growth, lovingly crafted backstory, or even their fucking name. Instead, DooM exists to test you. This game explored how you, a real person, struggle with difficult mental challenges, what sacrifices you are willing to make for a greater goal, and how much risk you are willing to undertake in the pursuit of tantalizing rewards. It is some testosterone-filled macho bullshit.

DooM RPG serves as a low entry-threshold creative outlet, providing the basic framework from which every player at the table players can hang their fiendish designs, either as puzzles or as solutions to existing problems. With this, DooM goes far beyond what its digital competitors or older tabletop incarnations can offer with one simple fact; the entity creating your battleground is a living, thinking person that can easily create new and engaging challenges without the limits of processing power, network connectivity, or development time. During Deathmatch, DooM players are not competing against some anonymous nobody from across the globe, but are instead staring in the face of their enemy from across the table.