Saturday, February 20, 2016

In a World Where Bricks Rule...

I recently posted some pics from a Lego battle I took part in a couple of weeks ago, intending to post the rough rules that we played by on this blog. they are...v0.5 of In a World Where Bricks Rule..., a super-simple, icosahedral set of skirmish rules that are ready to be added to, subtracted from, and just generally screwed with.  I first posted them to the web a few years ago, so maybe, just maybe (but probably not), there's someone out there who still has designs on playing it at some point.

Big thanks to my buddy JR Mounts for the awesome artwork.  I've worked with JR on the card games Ghoulball and Cop Salad.  He has a website where you can see samples of his comic work.  (There are some great stories about a fried pickle private investigator in a noir setting that...well, you kinda have to see it...)

In a World Where Bricks Rule…

Life is a constant battle. Or something kind of like a battle, anyway.  These rules will show you how those kind-of battles play out.


Characters are defined by four main attributes:

Level – an approximation of the character’s combat ability and toughness.

Class – lets you know what special abilities the character has.

Defense – how hard it is to hit the character with an attack.

Range – indicates whether or not the character is able to attack characters with which it is not in contact. A character either “has range,” or it doesn’t.

To create a character, follow these steps:

1. Pick out a figure to represent the character.

2. Determine the character’s level and class.  Just pick a level that seems appropriate; you’ll want each side to have about the same number of levels when all characters are added together.  Classes are listed toward the end of these rules (or feel free to make up your own).

3. Figure out the character’s defense value. This is typically based on the type of armor or protective clothing worn by the character, so feel free to outfit them with some extra equipment if you want. Higher defense values make a character harder to hit. Here are some examples to use as a guide:

• No armor: 10
• Leather armor, ice hockey equipment: 12
• Chainmail, SWAT body armor: 14
• Plate mail: 16
• Carrying a shield adjusts an armor value by +1.

4. Finally, give the character a weapon. Most characters won’t deal much damage without one.  It doesn’t have to be a “real” weapon; it could also be a wrench, a crowbar, a bat…whatever. If the weapon can be used from a distance, like a gun or crossbow, note that the character has range.


To begin each round, one player rolls four six-sided dice (4d6). All characters with a defense value less than or equal to the roll can act this round. Players (starting with the youngest) take turns activating one character at a time. When all characters have acted, a new round begins.  Characters can take two actions when activated.  They may move, attack, or perform an action indicated by a special ability. Characters may also leave any actions unused.  To move, a character is moved up to one full length, in a straight line. A length can be any convenient distance agreed upon by players and reasonable to the size of the figures. (For conventional brick figures, a 16-stud brick is pretty useful.) A character cannot move through or over tall objects (including other characters). Moving through difficult terrain (swamps, thick brush, etc.) requires two move actions to be spent for each move performed. If a character is in base contact with an enemy, one move action must be spent to break free. A move action may also be spent to pick up a weapon or other item, or to climb onto an object.

An attack may be made by one character on another if the two characters are in contact (at least base contact) or are within one length of each other if the attacking character has a ranged attack. To attack, roll a d20 and add the attacking character’s level (plus any modifiers indicated by special abilities or combat conditions). If the result is equal to or greater than the target’s defense value, the attack is successful, and the defending character is given one hit.

Attack modifiers:

• Melee attack by a character with range attack: -2
• Target is at a lower elevation: +2
• Target has ≥50% cover: -2
• Target is in contact with a character on the same side as the attacker: -2

When a character has sustained hits equal to or greater than its level, the character is knocked out and removed from the battle. The battle ends when only one side has characters remaining or when an agreed-upon objective is completed (such as capturing a base).

Character Classes

Archer: +3 to attack rolls with a bow or crossbow.

Brute: Deals an extra hit when an attack is successful; can sustain one extra damage before being knocked out.

Knight: Subtract 6 from defense for activation purposes.

Ninja: Ninja are assumed to carry shuriken and can be given a ranged attack even if they do not appear to possess a ranged weapon (no penalty to melee because of this).

Soldier: Subtract 3 from defense for activation purposes; +1 to attack rolls with a gun (firearm, blaster, etc.).

Space Trooper: Can move using a jetpack (or a magic ring or something) – not affected by terrain or characters that would block its movement.

Swordsman: +3 to attack rolls with a sword.

Undead: When knocked out, may still activate each turn by rolling a d6. On a 1 or 2, the Undead comes back at full strength and can be activated immediately.

Vigilante: When it hits with a melee attack, the hit character drops its weapon.

Wizard: As an action, you may roll a d6. On a 1-3, a character within one length takes a hit and can’t act this round. (Can only be used once per round.)

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