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General Forge Forums => First Thoughts => Topic started by: Tommi Brander on April 14, 2006, 01:37:43 AM



Title: Sim flags
Post by: Tommi Brander on April 14, 2006, 01:37:43 AM
So, my game is about shaping worlds. I hope it has clear ways of communicating player interest.

The easier one is a trait. Every player selects one trait. The player's character has it at full value. The "next" player has it at 1, which is quite low. Every player GMs for the next player (yes, rotating GM; the rest of the players play minor characters).
The point is to throw conflicts around the skill the next player is low on. As multiple dice give more narrative power, the point is to win the conflict and describe how it is done and what happens after it.
Each player also has one trait at high value. Throwing a conflict at that trait essentially asks "How does that trait help here? How do you use it?". That is, a request for explanation or information.
Every player should actually know about the trait he selects, or have strong vision about it. Otherwise, the game will break.

Does this sound functional? Am I missing something terribly obvious? Has this been done before?


Title: Re: Sim flags
Post by: Thunder_God on April 14, 2006, 03:35:01 AM
How does that tie into shaping worlds?

This piece of the system, because it does not seem as the full system, seems to be a useful Drill. Then again, I'm of the mind system-bits are drills.


Title: Re: Sim flags
Post by: Tommi Brander on April 14, 2006, 04:48:17 AM
It is a way of seeing how the shaping affects those worlds.

And no, it is not the entire system. I am, thus far, unable to clearly communicate the system as a whole.


Title: Re: Sim flags
Post by: Clyde L. Rhoer on April 14, 2006, 04:50:29 AM
Hi Tommi,

I don't understand what you are asking. You say the game is about shaping worlds. Can you give a few examples of traits you might be envisioning? Why do I choose a trait and have it at max and then GM for the next person who has that trait at one? I understand how that might create challenge for the next person, but why is it fun for me? It doesn't sound like it's very challenging on my part. How are dice used? How do more dice equal more narrative control? I'm sorry if some of the questions sound brusque, but there is alot left out, so much so... it seems to make addressing your questions impossible. We need a little more to work with.


Title: Re: Sim flags
Post by: Tommi Brander on April 14, 2006, 07:20:54 AM
Dice system basically works as Sorcerer/Donjon, but PCs, the setting and minor character have different die sizes. Each success gives one fact.
Traits: A skill, an emotion, a lifepath...
Trait with high value has said value equal the number of players.

Creating a challenge is not the primary function. The point is to beat the other guy and tell how it happens, thus explaining how the trait works/helps.
So, if you have karate as a trait and you get more successes then the current player (who has karate at 1), you get to explain how it happens. In some detail. The learning and teaching is part of the fun.

The rules that are used to shape the world use different "subsystem", which I will post about during the next week, hopefully.


Title: Re: Sim flags
Post by: Thunder_God on April 14, 2006, 08:47:48 AM
Erm, what use is having one Trait at Full Value, say 5, compete with someone at 1? We know who will win.
So this is made so Player 1 can get 0-5 facts and player 2 will get 0-1 facts narrated? You may as well just let player one narrate and player two add.

It's a rather one sided conflict.


Title: Re: Sim flags
Post by: Tommi Brander on April 14, 2006, 08:57:45 AM
Erm, what use is having one Trait at Full Value, say 5, compete with someone at 1? We know who will win.
So this is made so Player 1 can get 0-5 facts and player 2 will get 0-1 facts narrated? You may as well just let player one narrate and player two add.
Are you familiar with sorcerer/donjon?
Both sides roll a bunch of dice. The highest result wins. Each die that is higher then the highest of the opponent's dice is success, for this purpose.
Quote
It's a rather one sided conflict.
Exactly. That way the person who knows something about the subject gets to narrate it.


Title: Re: Sim flags
Post by: Thunder_God on April 14, 2006, 09:00:51 AM
I'm familiar with Sorcerer.

But then, why not just let a person roll against a static target? Why give someone a static high trait and someone else a static minimal trait?

I'm trying to get the why behind giving someone a low score at all if you're going for one sided?


Title: Re: Sim flags
Post by: Tommi Brander on April 14, 2006, 09:18:11 AM
Not all events are one-sided. Some are. They should be somewhat frequent, so making them strongly favour another side seems like a good way of encouraging them. Especially when the one with edge can also frame scenes.


Title: Re: Sim flags
Post by: talysman on April 14, 2006, 09:33:59 AM
I'm not sure how the mechanic you are describing connects to the subject title, "Sim flags", so I'd like to clarify:
  • Players each select an area they consider themselves experts in, such as "martial arts",
    "firearms", "Roman history". This is is the area each wants to GM, and is set to a score equal to the number of players.
  • Players then select which of these areas they want to experience through roleplaying. In essence, they are choosing which of the other players they want as their GM or, better yet, their teacher.
  • GM duties rotate around the table. Every player gets to GM a separate story based on the area of their expertise. Whoever chose that area as what they want to focus on has a main character who is the center of that GM's story. Other players play multiple minor characters during that story.
  • When the GM role switches to another player, an entirely different story is played out, with a different main character and probably an entirely different batch of minor characters.[ So, each player has a GM duty, a main character in someone else's story, and several minor characters, perhaps shared in common troupe-style./li]
    [li]The GM trait is not used to determine who wins in a conflict, but who gets to narrate how many facts into the scene. Either the focus player will win and narrate one fact, or the GM will win and narrates 1+ facts.
Is this what you are trying to do? Or am I completely wrong?


Title: Re: Sim flags
Post by: Tommi Brander on April 14, 2006, 11:13:45 PM
Very close.
The different narratives will come together through play.

Each player has each of the traits at some value, ranging from 1 to the number of players. I just can't explain the organisation in satisfactory way. It is intimately tied to the GM rotation.


Title: Re: Sim flags
Post by: Ron Edwards on April 16, 2006, 06:32:42 AM
Hi Tommi,

I guess I'm seeing Universalis with no conflict resolution. We talk, we bid, we roll, and rolling determines who gets to talk. Based on many many actual-play accounts, the best description of this sort of of process is dead boring. What I am missing?

Best, Ron


Title: Re: Sim flags
Post by: Tommi Brander on April 18, 2006, 04:44:31 AM
Every player selects one trait. Every PC has each of these traits. The player currently working as GM should frame scenes where these traits must be used. Preferably, in a creative or entertaining way. After playing, everyone should have learned something about some of these traits.
I do hope that is not dead boring to everyone.


Title: Re: Sim flags
Post by: Ron Edwards on April 18, 2006, 11:17:36 AM
Tommi, what do you mean by "learned something" about these traits? I have a guess.

I like the idea of every character being composed of the same traits, because that leads me to think that different people will combine the traits in different ways. Is that right? Everyone will really learn about one another, because of each person's individual expression or combination of the same traits?

Please read my posts carefully - I am not telling you that your work is boring. I am saying that the process as I understand it sounds boring. Can you correct my understanding?

Best, Ron


Title: Re: Sim flags
Post by: Dav on April 18, 2006, 11:30:02 AM
I've been reading and rereading all of this, and I guess my central question would be: what is the payoff?  This whole rolling and world-building sounds nifty and all, but it comes across more as some late-night thought-experiment over coffee, rather than any sort of functional game.  The fact that we are world building, and passing things around amidst other players is nice, but I guess I don't understand where or why I am doing it.  This sounds like the setup phase for a game, rather than the game itself.  I mean, do we get to take this created world out for a spin when we finish?  How long does this round-robin thing take? 

It seems like the group builds a setting, but setting is the cosmetic for a game... meaning that, if a game is a hot person, they don't need much in the way of cosmetics, unless it is to flavor the look... if your game is a ugly person, no amount of cosmetics will help.  Setting only aids those middle-of-the-road games, the "meh, whatever" games. 

I dunno, I fail to see any real conflict or reward... it sounds, very new-agey, which is probably (and by probably, I mean definitely)not a good thing.

Lastly, what the hell is a lifepath?  Occupation?  The bits that happen between birth and death? 

Dav


Title: Re: Sim flags
Post by: Tommi Brander on April 18, 2006, 11:40:45 PM
Quote from: Ron Edwards
I like the idea of every character being composed of the same traits, because that leads me to think that different people will combine the traits in different ways. Is that right? Everyone will really learn about one another, because of each person's individual expression or combination of the same traits?
That is exactly true.

I do not know how boring the process is. No playtesting yet.


Dav, this is not a complete game. Only one aspect of it. I will post more stuff, hopefully soon.


Title: Re: Sim flags
Post by: Dav on April 19, 2006, 07:50:36 PM
I would say, then, to finish the initial manuscript and idea, then take a look at the whole.  To design a system, piecemeal, and ask for advice outside of context doesn't allow for relevant feedback.  Start with explaining the character(s), and the players roles regarding those characters.  Then explain the core conflict presented by the premise of your game.  THEN descirbe your system, and how that system reinforces (through reward, tension, risk-behavior, what-not) and drives the first two points.  Right now, I think the general problem would be that your aren't telling us what you want your game to be about and to do.  World-building is nice, but it isn't a game, that's a setup. 

In essence: before anyone can realistically give adequate feedback, they must be sold on some concept of your game.  What is your pitch?

Dav