After it was clear my computer wasn't turning back on, I decided to distract myself by creating an RPG system.
So far I have this:
A character is represented by ten pips, in four categories and two statistics. An example of the basic balanced character would be...
Death: 0 (there is always only one pip in death)
Offense: 0 (A bonus to your roll when attacking.)
Defense: 0 (A penalty to your attacker's role.)
Your sword is more than just a possession of your character. It is considered to have it's own soul. Finding a sword whose soul is compatible to your own is the mark of a swordsman. Any character not apprentice level, must name their sword at character creation.
The setting was a human colony on a distant planet, Meris, that had adopted a form of Bushido as official law. The players would take the role of Ronin in that world. A Ronin is a masterless Samurai, so you could easily work characters from mercenaries to bounty hunters, to warriors who basically work as legal "champions" for those who can't afford full time Samurai. Ronin tend to be cut off from the rest of society, making each other often times the only thing they really have to count on.
Ronin are not gender restrictive, men, women, and those not classified are all among their number. If they are taken under the auspices of a master, to serve as their warrior or general they are allowed to wear a short sword and are considered proper Samurai. The reasons for being masterless are as numerous as the Ronin themselves, some being punished, others having run away in shame, while still others having chosen the freedom of a masterless life. It also isn't uncommon for them to have been field commanders whose leaders were defeated in engagements far away from their command.
The traditional katana is still the main sword in use among the Samurai and Ronin, but a new breed of sword with a microfine edge is becoming more common. The microfine requires specialized equipment to be sharpened, and is therefore less common among Ronin who live most of their lives on the roadways. The major advantage of a microfine is it's ability to simply ignore armor, as there are no metals hard enough to prevent it's cutting them.
Combat is always a squaring away of two participants, if the numbers are uneven one side has to have someone sit out until a member of their side loses. You need a d20 per person and at least one d10 at the table. All rolls are simultaneous, and the effects of both rolls are carried out, meaning it is very possible for opponents to simultaneously kill each other.
The roll to hit is 1d20+your offense-target's defense: 1-15 = dodged, 16-19 = hit, 20+ = a hit that will gash instead of glance, and a natural 20 is an automatic down.
The roll for damage is 1d10: 0 = instant kill, 1 = down, 2-4 = gash, 5-9 = glancing blow
1 gash = -1 offense and defense
1 down = -5 offense and -5 defense, and if all down pips are full the battle ends. If there are no other opponents to occupy the winners time, they then have the choice of killing or sparing the loser.
When all the pips of one damage type are gone, a hit is automatically considered the next more damaging type. i.e. glances become gashes, gashes become downs, downs become kills.
Strange Sword: If you attack using any sword besides the one you named, you take a -2 offense penalty.
Sheathed: You may attack with a sheathed sword, which can only cause glancing blows and downs instead of gashes and insta-kills respectively.
Out of duel: If you and your opponent are not in combat i.e. you don't have your swords drawn, you take a -2 offense penalty when attacking.
Balanced build is: 1/1/3/5/0/0
Juggernaut build is: 1/2/4/3/1/-1
Nimble build is: 1/1/2/6/-1/1
No other builds planned at this time.
Armor can have a maximum of 2 points per item, chest, legs, hands, head, feet. An armor point is considered +1 glance pip, -1 defense, due to it's tendency to slow the wearer down. 4 points add an addition gash pip.
Every level(? don't have the leveling system totally worked out...) people select an ability, so far I have written down:
Dual Wielding: (requires a second katana to be in your possession) -1 offense, an additional attack is taken every other round with a Strange Sword penalty.
-Sheath Wielding: (requires Dual Wielding) An extra attack every other round in place of dual wielding. Sheathed, Strange Sword. Must be declared at the beginning of combat.
-Second Sword: (requires Dual Wielding and a second katana to be in your possession) You are allowed to name a generic katana, or to communicate with the soul of an already named katana in your possession. While using this katana as either your main or dual wielded sword you do not suffer from Strange Sword. This does not remove the native penalty for dual wielding.
Fast: +1 offense
Lithe: +1 defense
Counter: If an opponent rolls below 5 you automatically hit. Is possible for both opponents to use simultaneously.
Tough: +1 glance pip
Determined: (requires tough) +1 gash pip
Determinator: (requires determined) +1 down pip
Draw cut: You don't take an Out of Duel penalty when attacking.
Alert: You gain +2 defense when attacked Out of Duel.
Gambler: Call a number before you roll the d10 and state whether it should be a down or a kill, if you chose the correct number, it will kill/down the opponent. If you call the wrong number, your opponent gets an extra attack on you even if the roll would kill them. Will kill even when attacking with a sheath.
Light Armor Expert: You take no defense penalty when wearing 2 or less points of armor.
Medium Armor Expert: You take 3 less points of defense penalty when wearing 4-6 points of armor.
Heavy Armor Expert: Your defense penalty is halved when wearing 8 or more points of armor.
So far, I don't know what I'll use for levels, but I do have titles.
Apprentice: An apprentice does not begin with a named sword. Can only become a swordsman by RPing a situation in which they discover a sword with a compatible soul. It is suggested that GMs and players agree before hand on the scene, and should be used as an award for good playing or as the primary goal of an all apprentice storyline.
Swordsman: Begins with a named sword. Can be selected at character creation unless the GM explicitly states otherwise.
Sword Master: The legend goes that a swordmaster is one whose sword has tasted the death of a hundred swordsmen or that of a previous Sword Master. GMs should decide for themselves how this should be interpreted, and work it into their campaign as an event for a player they consider worthy.
Master Kuron: A title passed down between sword masters who are considered the greatest in the Cronin area. It can only be taken by an outsider by killing the current Master. It can be taken by any student of the master, of any rank, who can best him in a duel.
Master Shin: Same as the title Master Kuron, but for the Neo Shinjuku region.
Master Ken: A warrior considered the master of all things sword. Is generally given to a wandering master who holds no connection to the Neo Shinjuku or Cronin regions, but is considered to be at least on par with the masters from those regions.
Master Bushido: The title given to the head judge of a nation. Also a sarcastic means of telling someone they are too uptight and too exacting in the letters of the law.