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General Forge Forums => First Thoughts => Topic started by: Sebastian K. Hickey on October 21, 2009, 05:31:36 PM



Title: [Hell for Leather] A bit of creative help? - PC Stats
Post by: Sebastian K. Hickey on October 21, 2009, 05:31:36 PM
Hi guys,

I need your help with player stats.

I’m writing a game for Nathan Paoletta’s Two Games One Name competition (http://rpgchallenge.wordpress.com/2009/10/19/the-assignments/ (http://rpgchallenge.wordpress.com/2009/10/19/the-assignments/)) called Hell for Leather.  It’s heavily influenced by Stephen King’s ‘The Running Man’ (the book, not the film…  NOT the film).

You play a team of contestants on an international game show called The Gauntlet.  You’re dropped off in the woods at night with a pack of supplies and a bag of cash.  After 6 hours, they’re going to send out the hunters.  Your name will appear on every network on the globe.  Every hour you survive, your family gets $5,000.

The game uses physical resolution (as per the competition requirements).  If you’re curious about that, you could look at the blog: http://cobwebgames.com/index.php/category/two-games-one-name/ (http://cobwebgames.com/index.php/category/two-games-one-name/)

PCs are going to have three sets of stats.  They’re going to work like a see-saw (so having a high score in one will negatively affect the other).  I need to figure out what sorts of pairings would be useful and interesting in a game about violence and pursuit.

Before I go any further, I’d like to say that I want this game to explore consequences of redemption.  In other words, I want this game to ask the question, ‘how far are you willing to go for your freedom?’  I imagine the PCs getting into hairy situations with the hungry public (who win cash if they betray the contestants to the network), and in resolving these conflicts I imagine a pretty high cruelty count.

Here are my pairings so far:

Defiance vs. Evasion
Empathy vs. Logic
? vs. ?


Defiance is for confrontation, Evasion is for evading, Empathy is the catch-all social bit, Logic is for ruthlessness, and also technology.  What am I missing here?  If you were playing a game about getting away, what pair of motivating stats would you expect?

Sebastian.


Title: Re: [Hell for Leather] A bit of creative help? - PC Stats
Post by: Callan S. on October 21, 2009, 06:40:12 PM
I reckon if your stats are about doing things in the physical realm of actions, then players will play it like a board game/in a gamist way, since the game focuses not on the inner battle, but the outer, physical conflict.

But then you've got empathy and defiance, so I'm not exactly sure what dimension your working in? I think if 80% of stats are internal qualities, like untrustworthyness, or cowardice, then play will probably 80% focus on the inner conflict. Is that what your aiming for?


Title: Re: [Hell for Leather] A bit of creative help? - PC Stats
Post by: Sebastian K. Hickey on October 21, 2009, 06:50:22 PM
Interesting point on the gamist perspective.  I've had a few tries at the physical rules of the game, and so far it doesn't feel like it impedes on the storytelling capacity of the game, any more than using a deck of cards would impede.  SO FAR.  In time, I'll get a better feel if that's actually fact or if it's me just hoping it works because I like it (read: bullshit).  I won't get a handle of the gamist reduction of immersion until I give it a better playtest. I think.

On your question about inner conflict, yes.  By yes, I mean, 80% internal conflict? Sweet.  I want an action game that asks you if all you're doing is worth the prize.  Is killing this gas attendant a good idea?  I know he'll ring the Network if I let him live, but really, is my life worth more than his?  Etc.  So, maybe I want to turn up the 'internal conflict' dial to 11, seeing as I'm reducing that kind of thought train by involving the physical resolution system.

Does that make any sense?


Title: Re: [Hell for Leather] A bit of creative help? - PC Stats
Post by: Sebastian K. Hickey on October 22, 2009, 04:15:01 PM
I'm going to keep it at the 4 stats, but maybe play around with the naming a little.  From the Story Games forum, Graham suggested

Fight vs. Flight
Head vs. Heart

I'll go with that for now.


Title: Re: [Hell for Leather] A bit of creative help? - PC Stats
Post by: Callan S. on October 23, 2009, 04:14:38 PM
Quote
Is killing this gas attendant a good idea?
See, I know it sounds pedantic, but I'd switch the wording of that from 'good idea' to 'morally right' just to be explicit about what your getting at.

Eg, in one of Rons tunnels and trolls games the group started considering buying a slave so as to transfer a nasty curse off of a party member (onto the slave). Was it a good idea? In a gamist sense? Oh hell yeah! Was it a morally right thing to do? Well, that's quite a question! (side point: Can you feel the kind of gear shift change that I feel, when you shift between one and the other? It's not important except it'd be nice to know)

I think how you ask the question is really important. :)


Title: Re: [Hell for Leather] A bit of creative help? - PC Stats
Post by: Sebastian K. Hickey on October 23, 2009, 04:25:09 PM
That was a poor choice of words.  Everything you said was correct.  Consider me chastised.

I'll be more careful in future. :P