--Aspects (ex. Mind, Time, Breath, etc., the second major component of character creation which begins to become a factor around level 4 onwards.
--Completion of several more Common (green) Sylladex cards for the 'starter' deck, and to provide a springboard for the Alchemy system
--The alchemy Item Creation system, which will be point-based by character level and allows bonus traits to be added to existing equipment, or for two whole items to be grafted together onto a single card.
--The GM-centric material for running campaigns, including story hooks, the monster stat-block templates for Imps, Sprites, Giclops, etc., character death scenarios, advice on "Land" terrain
--Possibly some sort of mechanical representation of Grist and Homebuilding.
--Others? Looking for suggestions on how to make this as complete a SBURB/SGRUB simulation as possible for the tabletop.
Trust a fa/tg/uy on this. There are settings of similar absurdity out there, and it's not impossible. It may be a bit more abstracted then literal in certain areas (certainly I have no intention of duplicating the functions of the various Sylladex Modii, instead relying on a randomized system for everyone), but I think you may be able to recognize something akin to Homestuck in the mechanics within. Right now it's mainly player-side stuff, but a lot of plot details basically boil down to adventure hooks for the GM to work with.
I don't see why it wouldn't be possible to simulate SOME of the sylladexi. Certainly the ones directly based on data structures (Stack, Queue, Tree, Hash Map, and it probably wouldn't that be hard to make up a "Line" modus) couldn't work. Likely the Tree would be the most difficult of it.
I think the best bet for a Homestuck RPG, just going by the sheer magnitude of individual items and objects that would require statistics, would be a looser system similar to Paranoia. I guess you could try to devise statistics for everything ala GURPS, but it would be a huge pain in the ass and probably not too fun to do.
As you should see explained in the in-progress rules document and the current To Do list, the objective is not to create an exhaustive list of items. As you suggest, that would indeed be totally absurd. Instead there will be a "Core deck" of the most common cards, such as the Smartphone, Pogo Ride, Weaponized Sylladex, Fruit Gushers (low-level healing), etc. THEN, Uncommon and Rare sylladex cards are created by the players through a point-based Item Creation system wherein they allot characteristics to their items, weapons, and armor.
In addition to this, there will also be combined items, such as Smartphone + Glasses, etc. that will create certain predictable outcomes (Hands-Free Mobile Computing Device).
Oops. That's a detail that should have been ironed out prior, although to be perfectly honest getting the synonym lists to perfectly dovetail with the comic hasn't particularly been the first priority. The Maid, at least as seen with Aradia's general reliance on overpowering psionic ranged attack, is probably best likened to the Seer or the Mage classes in their current state... She does have considerable strength in that robot body though, as seen in her scenes with Equius and of course [S] Make her pay. Hmmm... Maybe the Maid is best synonymous with the Heir, actually? That class has design room for a ranged character. We had a good thing going with each class corresponding neatly to two representative 'canon' characters, but it's hardly the end of the world if that balance is disrupted.
In case it wasn't clear much of the material for certain characters had to be inferred or simply created whole-cloth in order to fit the character generation system. Right now the Sylph is a melee-only class, because the imagery of the title as well as Kanaya's reliance on a rather brutal melee weapon suggested something most like a "Barbarian," and the entire reliance on charging aspect of the class would only work that way. That class may still change however as development marches on.
Advice: "Keep It Simple, Silly."
The more you try to simulate specific items & situations, the more of a headache you're going to cause yourself; i.e.: all the effort put into simulating the pogohammer, and anything alchemized from the pogohammer. You are crusing for disaster when you try to anticipate and have rules for EVERY possible alchemization or mix of variety of interests.
Instead, abstract inventory items as a collection of simple effects. A "level 1" item has one simple effect. A "level 2" item could be alchemized from two level 1 items, and can have two simple effects (including the same simple effect twice as strong). You could also alchemize-down something, so you can start with a level 15 item but remove/half effects until it's only level 3 and within your grist budget.
Then you only have to define the effects, and you can let players narrate the appearance and flavour of the alchemized items.
Here's a sketch of what I'm thinking of
"Shitty Sword" - you can't fight with this thing. (level 0, effect: doesn't even work). "SB&HJ comic" - you are stunned at how stupid this is (level -1, effect:distracts the user) "Shitty Sword + SB&HJ comic" = "Sord" Jegus, you can't even hold onto this thing properly (level -1: effect: distracts the user)
Hammer - flatten nails and heads (level 1, effect: hit things for X damage)
Pogo Ride - bouncy toy (level 1, effect: knockdown.)
Hammer + Pogo Ride = Pogohammer - bounce bounce POW! (level 2, effect: hit things for X*2 damage)
Shitty Sword effect should be "effect: none".
The Pogohammer effect could have been "(level 2 - effect: does X damage, knockdown)". The first kind of pogohammer does more damage, but if you use it for alchemizing, you can't use the 'knockdown' effect from the original pogo ride; only the second version of the pogohammer has the 'knockdown' effect. You could alchemize the first pogohammer with the pogoride again for "effect: hit for 2*X damage, knockdown" but then it's a level 3 item and costs more grist to make.
The problem I see with making specific special items in addition to generic ones, like the pogo hammer, is that you are kind of pressuring the players to imitate Homestuck. Like, people who use weapons that were used in Homestuck would have more access to unique weapons than people who decide to go with broomkind or whatever. It's very much in the spirit of Homestuck for someone who fights with folding chairs or computer mice to be as dangerous as someone who fights with swords or sickles.
Yes, that's the basic idea. Although this is just a spontaneous thought, something along the lines of (level - 1) Alchemy Points might work here. The players must then spread these among Weapons/Armor/etc. as they choose. It's important to note that the balance that I hope to achieve in the system should be coming from not one, but three competing factors.
1.) Card rarity. Uncommon cards are tricky to hold on to once you've used them, although once you have enough of them alchemized the effect isn't so bad because you can just try to draw another Uncommon. Every time the player draws a card, he rolls 1d10. On 1-4 they must draw from the GM's "common" deck and put up with something of debatable usefulness like a cellphone or a pogo ride. On 5-9 they get to draw from their own alchemized deck something legitimately useful they crafted themselves.
Rare cards are another ball of wax entirely and represent the penultimate punishing balancing mechanic for cards that are simply over the top in every way (which should be everyone's goal, really)
2.) The Point System for Gear cards. Ideally the players should be able to alchemize all of the wacky trick arms and floating gear tables they want, and those miscellaneous things should balance themselves through card rarity (above) as well as wacky "random failure" effects that keep them from being too dependably good. But some items will be Collectibles that enhance the player's raw stats in some way, whether weapon damage or skill rolls or resistances or some other way. Those will be regulated by a tighter points-based system.
3.) The card effects themselves. Stuff like "Roll 1d10, get the cool result you wanted on 5+ and fail miserably in some goofy way on 4-" should keep them relatively in line.
The Pogo Hammer is an example of what I'd like the endpoint of the system to be, rather then a special weapon that I intend to include (there won't BE a pogo hammer card or any similar thing necessary). The final version of the rules won't have any but a few extremely obvious Uncommon and Rare cards. Everything else is basically something along the lines of: a bunch of Common cards spliced together, or a weapon/armor/item generated organically from the creation system.
This is a goal, and is probably what I will turn my attention to after Classes (and to an extent Aspects) are ironed out.
Yeah, the pogohammer, Wrinklefucker, Homles Smell Ya Later, Fiduslance... these are examples of the system, not listed items.
I see alchemized items being as powerful as the sum of their precursor items, but alchemized items (a) take up only one captchacatalog card instead of two, and (b) all the combined effects happen at once, instead of having to take multiple actions to use each item.
Super simple example: alchemizing a hammer (effect: hit for X damage) with another hammer, you get the CROWN POUNDER (effect: hit for X*2 damage). Same outcome as if you used both hammers one after another, but the advantage is you can have both effects in only one action. The player can name and describe the item, and the DM can worry less about balance.
I see you want alchemizing to be a gamble, where sometimes it makes something ridiculous (like Magnetic Wodka ?). Thass cool. Watch out that players will get creative with the "useless" items -- they'll surprise you by making them useful!
A good example of "useless made important" is Morrowind (Oblivion's prequal, somewhat like a first person fable). At one point someone falls out of the sky and dies right in front of you. He has a journal and "scrolls of icarian flight" which let you jump 9001 feet. He forgot, however, to add a slowfall spell and thus was crushed on landing. It was intended to be a silly weapon but wound up being the speedrunner's heaven as they used it, jumped towards the final area, and cast slowfall on landing. Thanks to this gag item, morrowind can, theoretically, be beaten in under 10 minutes.
Okay yeah I got distracted but yeah, be careful about silly items. They can be useful. I mean, John made that kick-ass umbrella early on. He could do a lot of others, not to mention the PCHOOOOO code we all know people would alchemize to hell like the pchooes and pshwoop. I guess my point is be very careful about how you do it--homestuck can be effing confusing when it comes to things like this and huge item lists just makes a lot of work for you.
Sorry for the jumbled post, I'm tired and distracted and at school.