Time away from a project certainly helps perspective. I'm reading through these (incomplete) rules now, and I'm actually pretty happy with them. It's got that story game feel I like, without getting too story-stick. I will very probably repurpose these rules (with changes, obviously) for Dinosaurs & Rocketships (the game I'm working on now).
YARRR! A Fun Game About Pirates.
Distribute 1d4, 1d6, 1d6, 1d8, 1d8
Swashbuckling - personal combat, acrobatics, speed
Seamanship - navigation, sailing, deck-swabbing, ship-to-ship combat
Parlay - social interaction, charisma
Savvy - wits, perception, education
Hardiness - muscle, health, physical size
Distribute 1d4, 1d6, 1d8, 1d10
Choose four (mostly) positive traits that describe your character. Can be a job, talent, character trait, relationship, or even a catch phrase.
You get to roll these dice along with your trait when the Advantage applies.
Distribute 1d6, 1d8, 1d10
Choose three (mostly) negative traits that describe your character.
Your opponent (or the GM) gets to roll this die when the Complication applies.
You get Doubloons the first time in an session when the Complication comes into play. 1d6 = 1 Doubloon. 1d8 = 2 Doubloon. 1d10 = 3 Doubloon.
Special items or equipment. Adds to relevant rolls.
Distribute 1d4, 1d4, 1d6
Choose three items.
A character's will to keep fighting, physically, socially, or mentally.
The average of the highest two of Savvy, Parlay, or Hardiness.
Can be used to...
Bump a die up a size for one roll.
Brand a condition
Are gained by...
Doing something cool.
First time in a session that an Complication comes into play (1/2/3, depending on the size of the complication).
Someone Brands a Condition to you.
You are Scuppered
Types of Characters
(Swabs) Extras: Unimportant nameless characters. Mooks. Easy to overcome. No Resolve.
(Mates) Supporting Cast: Named characters who aren't very important. Must only overcome Resolve once.
(Heroes) Star Characters: PCs and important named NPCs. Must be Scuppered by Conditions.
No character (PC or NPC) opposes you.
Take the die for the appropriate Attribute, plus any extra dice for Advantages, Treasure, Relationships, or your opponent's Complications or Conditions. The Captain rolls a die whose size corresponds to the difficulty of the task (plus any extra dice for your Complications or Conditions) If you get the highest number, you succeed! Re-roll ties.
If your one of you die is at least one die size higher than the difficulty demands, you win automatically.
Easy = 1d4
Average = 1d6
Damned Hard =1d10
Nigh Impossible = 1d12
Take the die for the appropriate Attribute, plus any extra dice for Advantages, Treasure, Relationships, or your opponent's Complications or Conditions. Your opponent does the same. Roll those dice! Take the highest number from each pool. The highest number wins! Re-roll ties.
This is used against nameless Extras. In combat, a single successful roll will take out a number of Extras equal to the number of dice you just rolled.
This is used, in different degrees, in conflicts between Supporting Cast or Star Characters. Roll dice as in a Contested Conflict. However, a single successful roll does not indicate immediate victory.
Compare the successful roll against the losing roll, and subtract the difference from the loser's Resolve.
Continue the conflict and make rolls until someone's resolve equals 0.
If that character is a Supporting Cast, they lose the conflict. In combat they are unconscious and may be dead or unconscious. In social conflict, they give in to the winner's will. In mental conflict they are burned out or exhausted.
If the character is a Star Character, the winner gets to give them a new, temporary Complication called a "Condition" with a value of 1d4. The Condition should correspond to the actions taken by the winner that round. The loser's Resolve resets to the maximum score.
You do not get Doubloons for Conditions (yet).
You aren't done yet. Your opponent is just weakened! Continue with the conflict.
If Resolve goes down to 0 again, you can give them another Condition, or bump an old one if appropriate. Resolve resets to maximum gain, and the conflict continues yet again.
If a character ever has a condition raised to 1d10, they are "Scuppered" and lose the conflict. If they are scuppered through a social or mental conflict, the character is burn out or mentally exhausted. In combat, they are unconscious, but not dead. They can, however, be killed later in the scene without rolling. That's kind of mean, though.
A scuppered character gets a Doubloon.
Conditions go away at the end of the scene.
However, you can pay the character Doubloons to "Brand" the condition, making it last the rest of the adventure. The cost of Branding depends on the size of the die. 1d4=1, 1d6=2, 1d8=3.
You cannot brand Conditions at 1d10 or higher.
At the end of the adventure, a character has the option of turning a Branded condition into a permanent Complication. He gets Doubloons equal to half the die size.