First: A new Game-Fu contest begins on RPG.net on March 5th. The stakes couldn't be smaller -- three strangers on the Internet passing judgment on your game! -- but the point is to give yourself a deadline to produce a game you'd never thought of before. If that appeals to you, as it does to me, check it out.
Second: I'd gotten a little stuck on A Wizard Did It -- my working title for that "Discovery"-themed game I started to write for an EN World contest -- when it came to combat. Literally everything else quickly spun out of the original idea of a predominantly blank character sheet and PCs as newborn magical constructs, but when it came to combat I was left scratching my head. I didn't want to introduce anything as bland as hit points, or simple "wound boxes," or anything else that didn't stem directly from potential, functions, and specialties.
However! I think I've sorted that out.
Constructs that take damage accumulate Breakage dice. Once a construct has more than three Breakage dice, it's Broken -- i.e., taken out of play. Could be the equivalent of "dead," but it doesn't have to be. (It could be "Lose your highest function and any attendant specialties, then clear your Breakage dice." That'd be rough, but it beats dying... right?) When the damaged construct engages in an unopposed test or a conflict, add its Breakage dice to the 2d6 the GM (or opponent) would normally roll, then keep the best two dice.
But! Instead of taking one or more Breakage dice as damage, you can instead roll those dice and give the GM the resulting number of Mystery points (which the GM uses to fuel the opposition). So let's say you take a Breakage die, and you just take it. But then you take a second Breakage die, and you decide you don't want to get that close to being Broken -- so instead of taking the damage, you roll 2d6 (because it's your second Breakage die) and get a 9. The GM then gets 9 Mystery. The good news is you still only have one Breakage die. The bad news is that things will be tougher for you in the future.
Third: Was there a third thing? I'll try to think of something.
Oh, right! Leftovers is inching ever closer to publication (if you can call selling something on Lulu.com "publication" -- and I do!). I'm starting to think seriously about art and layout; Lulu has a 7" x 9" landscape format that I really dig. My friend Tony suggested it, actually, and I took to it right away. The plan is to get a first edition out by the end of the month.
That's pretty ambitious, but I think we can pull it off. I do have a fair bit of writing ahead of me, though... and there's that other Game-Fu contest I mentioned earlier... but what the hell, let's be ambitious.