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Archive => Indie Game Design => Topic started by: MathiasJack on April 23, 2003, 04:30:41 PM



Title: FLaW: Fate Luck and Will
Post by: MathiasJack on April 23, 2003, 04:30:41 PM
This is the continuation of my thread below called "Threads of Destiny". Spooky wanted me to show some examples of the three stats, and how they exactly worked within the game.

As to those who haven't read the below thread, the game's mechanic is a bunch of stones in a bag, the stones being of three colors, each representing one of the three cosmic forces of meaning, Fate Luck and Will.

Each character has only three stats.
Fate
Luck
Will
Each of the three stats represent several things at once, and have several components:
1) Cosmic Aspect: what cosmic force the stat represents and basic use
2) Being Aspect: what part of the being the stat represents
3) Social Aspect: what part of social interaction is covered by the stat
4) Combat Aspect: what part of combat is covered by the stat
5) Ability Components: what knowledges, talents, skills a character has and what stat rules what

1) Cosmic Aspect: As the stat calls it.

Fate is predestiny, the order and meaning of the cosmos. Sometimes confusing, obscure and obtuse, it is always relentless and ponderously driven. When faced with a threat or obstacle, the character can use Fate as a flat rate against the threat. If the current Fate stat is higher in number than threat, the threat is nullified for the moment. It costs one Fate to use it thusly.

Luck is randomness, the chaos and spontaneity of the cosmos. Sometimes confusing, spastic and unpredictable, it is always changing and new. When faced with a threat or obstacle, the character is allowed to make a draw from the bag in stones equal to the character's current Luck stat. If the number of Luck stones pulled are higher than the threat or obstacle, the threat is nullified.  It costs one Luck to use it thusly. While not as reliable as Fate or Will, sometimes Luck can win you a more spectacular feat.

Will is purpose, the choice of living consciousness. In other words, Will is the voice in the head of the Cosmos, and the Cosmos can't quite get rid of us. A weird blend of Fate and Luck, it is quantum physics among the cosmic forces of meaning, especially since it is more individual than cosmic. When faced with a threat or obstacle, a character can spend a point of Will to overcome the threat by spending more Will than the threat's threshold. It is one point of Will for every point used. Usually Will is used to resist Fate or Luck, and/or increasing a character's stats on a physical level.


Title: FLaW: Fate Luck and Will
Post by: MathiasJack on April 23, 2003, 04:44:28 PM
2) Being Aspect: what part of the being the stat represents
3) Social Aspect: what part of social interaction is covered by the stat
4) Combat Aspect: what part of combat is covered by the stat
5) Ability Components: what knowledges, talents, skills a character has and what stat rules what

2) Being Aspects:
Fate covers Mind, represents mental endeavors: Math, science, etc. Make a draw, similiar to how I describing pulling for Luck in the above post, except this time Fate limits the number of stones you can pull and you want to pull as many Fate stones as possible.

Luck covers Heart, represents emotional endeavors: Art, empathy, etc. Make a draw, wanting Luck the most.

Will covers Body, represents physical endeavors: Athletics, running, etc. Make a draw, wanting Will the most.

3) Social Aspects
Fate covers in general, Etiquette, Negotiation, the how in interaction with people. Make a Fate draw.

Luck represents Charm, Charisma, the way to when someone over. Make a Luck draw.

Will represents Leadership, Intimidation, the force of personality in exchanges. Make a Will draw.

5) Jumping to the last, Ability Components:
Fate covers knowledges the character has, spreading the points in Fate over a number of open Knowledges the player chooses for the character. Fate also covers general knowledge with a Fate pull.

Luck covers talents and creative endeavors the character has, spreading the points in Fate over a number of open Talents the player chooses for the character. Luck also covers something the character has never done before with a Luck pull.

Will covers skills and learned capabilities the character has, spreading the point in Will over a number of open Skills the player chooses for the character. Will also covers learning a new skill with a Will pull.

When trying an Ability, a character makes a pull based on what stat covers the Ability, adding the points in the Ability as a bonus to accomplish that task.

4) Combat will be covered in my next post, I'm just out of time now...


Title: FLaW: Fate Luck and Will
Post by: Spooky Fanboy on April 23, 2003, 07:47:57 PM
Well, I have to admit: this is one hell of a comprehensive breakdown you have here. I'm impressed by how smoothly and comprehensively you managed to get everything correlated; there isn't much of anything that made me look at this and say, "Why did he put that there?" I hope, however, that you'll clarify for the players the differences between, talents, knowledges, and skills in this game.

I want to make sure I'm getting this right, though: By spending a Fate point, you get all of your Fate to overcome a threat. By spending a Luck point, you get to draw chips that may or may not be Luck chips. Assuming Fate and Luck are equal, for the moment, how does using Luck give you the possibility of getting "a more spectaculat feat" than using Fate? Also, you spend a point of Will to spend more Will to neutralize a problem.

My point is that it doesn't seem cost-effective to invest in anything besides Fate. Or is Fate only reactive while Luck and Will are proactive? Or are you assuming that characters are going to lead with their strengths anyway, only advancing their weaker stats to improve them?

Just seems kind of unbalanced, although for the most part everything else seems to be coming together nicely. I look forward to your combat post.


Title: Draws, Invoking, and Abilities
Post by: MathiasJack on April 24, 2003, 02:50:22 PM
Let me take a step back before entering combat. I want to clarify draws so that the confusion in your last post, Spooky, is taken care of. Rereading my posts, I did a poor job of explaining.

BASIC DRAWS:
Find out what stat covers what you want to do. This covers from some ability you have, some social engagement you want to do, or something  in the general areas of mental/emotional/physical you want to accomplish. The ruling stat determines two things for you: the number of stones you can pull, based on the stat's permanent rating for your character; and, secondly, which type of stone you are hoping to pull the most of. That makes a draw always one of three types: a Fate draw, a Luck draw, or a Will draw.
Ex: Jonas the Red Shirt just walked into a bar, and smiled at the cute waitress. That's a social aspect, and since it deals with charm, falls under the domain of Luck. His Luck stat is 6, so he pulls out 6 stones, 3 of which are Luck. That's 3 for success.

INVOKING:
Invoking means using the stat's cosmic aspect for something special. This is the main area needing clarification.

Fate: If you choose to use Fate (can one really /choose/ that?) to accomplish an action or feat, then you do not get to make a basic draw. Without knowing the difficulty of the action, you are throwing your current points in Fate up against the difficulty. Kinda of like a yes, no, meant to, not meant to, situation. Either you have enough to beat the diff, or you don't. And you don't know till you try. But it'll always cost you a Fate point to find out. Fate is usually Invoked only for Passive Actions or those knowledges Fate covers as an aspect.

Luck: If you choose to use Luck to accomplish something, make a basic draw for the action. Now make an Invoked Luck draw on top of that, no matter what type of basic draw it was earlier, this time the number of stones based on the number of current points your Luck stat has rather than the permanent stat. The number of Luck stones made in the Invoked Luck draw add to the number of your success in the first draw. You don't know if you succeeded until after the Invoked Luck draw is added in. It costs you a Luck point to chance a better success. Luck can be Invoked for both Active Actions (redundant?) and Passive ones, or those talents Luck covers as an aspect.

Will: If you choose to use Will to accomplish something, make a basic draw for the action. Now you can spend Will points to increase the number of successes drawn in your basic draw. Each Will point costs one Will point, and raises your draw one success per one Will point. You won't know if you beat the difficulty of the action until you decide to stop spending Will. The cost of Invoking Will is the points you used. Will is usually Invoked only for Active Actions or those skills Will covers as an aspect.

I'm considering making Invoking also only applicable to the Aspects in Being or Social or Abilities that they cover; ie, Fate over Mental endeavors, Luck over Charm, Will over Skills listed. For right now, let's go with that ruling: One can only Invoke Fate, Luck or Will over an Aspect each respectfully covers.

Active Actions: An action a character can make a difference about; ie, lock picking, fixing a motor, fighting.
Passive Action: Something that requires a stat check for a character but does not involve the character being able to make a difference about; ie, knowing something (you either know or you don't), absorbing damage.

The above description of Basic Draws is based entirely on one point of success for each appropiate stone drawn. Since I haven't really played around with probability yet, there are some other concepts I've been tossing around to include within the Basic Draw:

Narration concept - One of the main ideas is that the narration is described by the characters dependent on what they draw. But maybe they get to add successes by describing how the other stones not applicable to the basic draw factor into the resolution of the action. Borrowed heavily from the discussions on Aisling.

Dominance concept - Fate overwhelms Will, Will overpowers Luck, and Luck undermines Fate. When making a Fate draw, Fate is 2 points, Will is 1 point and Luck is -1. Luck draw: Luck 2 points, Fate 1 point and Will -1 point. Will draw: Will 2 points, Luck 1 point and Fate -1. Another idea borrowed heavily from Aisling.

RoeShamBoe concept - Or do away with numbers all together, and simplly know Fate beats Will, Will beats Luck, and Luck beats Fate. GMs get a draw number based on diff, and the player makes a draw based on their permanent stat without worrying about what type of stone to pull. The draw is called a Fate, Luck, or Will draw based solely on what is the most stones in the draw. And does that type of draw beat the type of draw the GM made?

ABILITIES:
Lastly, skills, knowledges and talents are really just an open range of abilities that a player can choose to add on to the character for color and bonuses. Ultimately, the player can place an ablility under any stat they want to as long as it makes sense.

I tried to keep knowledge of information, science, and academics to the realm of Fate, which covers mind and thusly mental pursuits. Knowledges are something different than applicable skills, so if you have a Knowledge of Lockpicking, you can't actually Lockpick unless you have that skill. But if you have both, you could make a Knowledge of Lockpicking Fate draw, and every two success add to the successes on your Will draw of the Lockpicking Skill (thanks Shadowrun).

I tried to keep creative endeavors, arts and talents (innate abilities) to the realm of Luck, which covers the heart and thusly emotional pursuits.

I tried to keep hands-on skills, trades and learned applicable abilities (rather than learned book ones) to the realm of Will, which covers body and thusly the physical pursuits.

Sometimes a talent might look exactly like a skill, but changes if the character wants to learn rather than simply practice. Example: Jonas has a Lockpicking talent rather than skill. He's always been a nature at picking Locks, able to invoke Luck, and increase the talent via Luck increases. But he wants to go get mentored by the local thieves guild. It means his Lockpicking will become a Will based skill over time, being able to invoke Will for success, and increase through learning  and applied Will. More reliable, but less chance for faster increase. This starts getting into improving a character, a whole other discussion. Essentialy, Will Skills increase slowly and steadily with schooling, while Luck Talents increase fast with greater chance of losing talent as well.

Remember, what ever stat you place an ability under means certain things:
1) That the stat determines how many points you can spend on all the abilities placed under it,
2) Using that ability uses a basic draw based on the stat it is under, adding the points in the ability as a bonus to the draw.

Next: Combat


Title: Combat
Post by: MathiasJack on April 24, 2003, 03:49:54 PM
I've given a lot of thought to the Combat aspects of Fate, Luck, and Will, attempting to make a streamlined, fast paced combat system. But doesn't everyone try to do that?

4) Combat Aspects:
Fate reacts as one's health and stamina rating within combat. The lower it is, the closer you are to meeting Death. Damage is delivered to the character, subtract Fate for the damage total for absorbtion, what damage is left lowers Fate by that many points.

Luck acts as one's dexterity and agileness in combat. It allows someone to dodge and how well you place your damage. The higher the Luck stat, the better the character will be at avoiding damage or hitting that nerve on the neck. Luck also covers Ranged combat, like throwing those darts at the bar after five drinks.

Will is force and strength in combat. It allows someone to punch someone harder or swing that sledgehammer with more force. If you want to hurt someone, you use Will. In combat, you can Invoke Will to add to any of your combat draws.

Hand-to-Hand/Melee Combat Draws:
Combat Draws act just slightly different. You silently declare what type of draw you are going to make by pulling a stone from one of your stats. You hide the stone in your fist, then show it for stance:
Luck - Neutral Stance
Will - Offensive Stance
Fate - Defensive Stance

Luck - Neutral Stance:
Make a basic Luck draw, except what constitutes as successes change. Each Will stone counts as two points of damage you give your opponent if they came in for attack. Each Fate stone subtracts two points from opponent's damaged if attacked. Eack Luck stone represents your caution, does not add or subtract anything.

Will - Offensive Stance:
Make a basic Will draw, except what constitutes as successes change. Each Will stone counts as two for the number of damage you go in to attack your opponent for. Luck stones represent placement of your damage, essentially adding Luck stones to your damage. Any Fate stones contribute to nothing in your recklessness to strike.

Fate - Defensive Stance:
Make a basic Fate draw, except what constitutes as successes change. Each Luck stones adds to your nimbleness in avoiding and blocking, subtracting any damage caused by your opponent. Fate stones subtract as double from damage as usual as you concentrate on defense. Every two Will stones subtract another point of damage, as you concentrate everything on remaining safe rather than causing damage.

Special Features:
Certain combinations of stones could be used to purchase certain moves from the contents of a draw (if your character knows the move!). This allows for martial art schools.
Example: Jonas knows Star Trek Federation Fighting Style , and takes an offensive stance against the punk in the bar who has thrown down. Jones makes a Will draw, his Will being 5, and pulls out 2 W, 1 L, 2 F. Normally the Fate stones would be lost with an offensive stance, but in this case, Jonas knows the Spock Neck Pinch. It costs 1 Luck and 2 Fate, so Jonas goes in for less damage, but the opponent doesn't know what happened as he slumps to his knees.

Again, Will points can be Invoked for any of the stats during the combat, adding to Will, Fate, or Luck. Will rules the body, and you don't get any more physical than in hand-to-hand.

Weapons would give bonuses to Will or Luck. Armor would give bonuses to Fate, maybe subtracting from Luck dependent on type.

Ranged Combat:
Honestly haven't thought too much about Ranged combat beyond the fact that Luck covers it. Probably make a basic Luck draw to see if you hit, each two Luck stones adding to damage. Whatever Will stones are in the draw add to damage. Fate does nothing. Ammunition adds bonuses to Will or Luck based on type. Range might subtract Luck. Luck or Will could be invoked (but not both at once!). Overall, I just wonder how useful guns or mechanic weapons could be against opponents who can wield Luck and Fate as weapons.

Overall, I like the feel of the hand-to-hand combat. I like how it determines everything at once with room for options. It seems to go two ways though: really deadly or really pussy. With how Fate works right now for subtracting damage before applying and how I originally had Will and Luck apply damage (only one stone for one damage, rather than the two now),  no one ever got hurt. Now it seems possible to hurt someone, but it starts off really hard until someone makes a hit that sticks, then it goes down fast from there. The details need twinking. It would help if I actually playtested this thing, if I had some willing people. I'll have to start working on getting people for that if I really want to push the game to the next level. Let me know what you guys think...


Title: Re: Draws, Invoking, and Abilities
Post by: Spooky Fanboy on April 24, 2003, 05:26:51 PM
Quote from: MathiasJack
If you choose to use Fate (can one really /choose/ that?) to accomplish an action or feat, then you do not get to make a basic draw. Without knowing the difficulty of the action, you are throwing your current points in Fate up against the difficulty. Kinda of like a yes, no, meant to, not meant to, situation. Either you have enough to beat the diff, or you don't. And you don't know till you try. But it'll always cost you a Fate point to find out.


Okay, so for a Fatalist, it's generally all or nothing. Makes sense, and now that I dwell on it, I think it balances out. You don't ever really risk Fate giving out on you (unless you're injured), but there's nothing you can do to make it better.

Quote from: MathiasJack
If you choose to use Luck to accomplish something, make a basic draw for the action. Now make an Invoked Luck draw on top of that, no matter what type of basic draw it was earlier, this time the number of stones based on the number of current points your Luck stat has rather than the permanent stat. The number of Luck stones made in the Invoked Luck draw add to the number of your success in the first draw. You don't know if you succeeded until after the Invoked Luck draw is added in.


So for Luck, you "double-dip" to see if you succeed. Do any Will stones drawn during the Invoked Luck draw subtract from your initial successes? Do any Fate stones add a success? Or do only the Luck stones drawn add any successes? I'd stick with the latter; otherwise it would bog down play and get confusing. I'm not sure that that wouldn't make Luck a little overpowering, though...


About Will: when does Will refresh in this game?


More later, as I have time to dwell on this. Damn you, Real Life! Daaamn you!


Title: FLaW: Fate Luck and Will
Post by: taalyn on April 24, 2003, 08:37:33 PM
A coupla things:

- breakdown of the Three: awesome. A little simpler than Aisling, obviously, but seeing the breakdown by categories has given me something to aim for in bringing the color symbolism in A. together.

- draws: simple enough. but Invoking - ick. This doubling up Luck thing doesn't seem intuitive to me - it's at a different logical level than the rest of them. Also, the way Invoking is measured doesn't seem very useful or realistic to me (as much as realistic matters - or not!). If I never know what the threshold is, then how do I know if I'm doing well? Usually, I have some kind of clue, some 'light at the end of the tunnel' that lets me know I'm almost there, which is when will really kicks in (trust me on this! ;)

I like the way that the je-ne-sais-quois of FLW influences how invoking is done, but... All the ideas I'm having at the moment are just as complex, so I'll have to think some more first.

- I think the rule about only Invoking for Aspects the FLW covers isn't fair. Unless anyone can Invoke? But still, given the way they interrelate, it seems to me that Fate should be able to overcome Luck or Will, or any other combination. The issue would be that given the circle of relationships you've established (the Fate beats Luck sort of thing), it would just be harder to Invoke with fate against Will, or somesuch. The whole relation makes me think of Chinese WuXing (I studied acupuncture for a year), which gives me the beginnings of a bunch more ideas...let them stew...

- The definitions of Active or Passive Actions confuse me. I don't think they're necessary to state either - Luck will gravitate to certain kinds of action without the need for any explanation on your part.

- Narration ideas: coolness! I've expanded the role of Boons in Aisling along the same sorts of lines, allowing a Boon to entirely erase a level or two of damage, introduce a new skill at average, add an Aspect, introduce a tool (S**T, I forgot my gun! Okay, I'll use a Boon to find one in the glove compartment...), and such like.

- Dominance: very cool! Introducing it will change a lot of how other draws work. One thing I discovered very early is that it can be very easy to run into zero values. Be careful.

- RoShamBoe: I like this best for your game - it hints at the interconnectedness in the face of overt separation.  If you do go with it, let me know, and we can chat about Luck repercussion of messing with Fate.

- Defining skills within the Three: in the rules, you need to offer some concrete guidelines on how to decide what is what. Not a fix necessary, just an observation.

- Combat: nice and simple, the way I like it. I particularly like how damage goes direct to the "stats" - since Fluxers (aka Benders aka...) aren't like your normal humans, they wouldn't deal with a Health stat per se. I've been trying to figure out a way to do the same with Aisling, but I can't figure out how to make it work without getting complicated - there are humans in Aisling, after all. That, and everything I come up with unbalances or has no effect.  Oh, and your ideas on ranged attacks seem right on to me...

   two extra things: A better name than FLaW - Slipstream, about the guys who slip between the streams of FLW and direct them as they want. And a name for the Benders - Caesura (pl. Caesurae), from the term for a mandatory gap (word boundary) in a line of poetry. Just some ideas....

Aidan


Title: FLaW: Fate Luck and Will
Post by: taalyn on April 24, 2003, 11:05:02 PM
Boo.

I've decided I'm using Caesura in Aisling, as the name for the so-called Veil between the worlds. So, feel free to use it if it speaks to you, but be aware I'm using it too!

Aidan


Title: Re: Combat
Post by: Spooky Fanboy on April 25, 2003, 07:30:24 AM
Quote from: MathiasJack
Honestly haven't thought too much about Ranged combat beyond the fact that Luck covers it. Probably make a basic Luck draw to see if you hit, each two Luck stones adding to damage. Whatever Will stones are in the draw add to damage. Fate does nothing. Ammunition adds bonuses to Will or Luck based on type. Range might subtract Luck. Luck or Will could be invoked (but not both at once!). Overall, I just wonder how useful guns or mechanic weapons could be against opponents who can wield Luck and Fate as weapons.


Without playtesting it, I'd say this is a good default regarding ranged combat. And yes, if the other shooter is a Bender, a ranged weapon is as good as brass knuckles against another Bender. Thus, you do need to mention it. You might want to scale the rules so that ranged is less accurate than hand-to-hand, to reflect the topsy-turvy nature of the game. I like the hand-to-hand combat system: I think it answers most of the questions anyone might have.

I'm still dicey on the effects of Invoked Luck, though. It not only seems a touch inelegant, as taalyn pointed out, it might also be too powerful if not reigned in.

Quote from: MathiasJack
Overall, I like the feel of the hand-to-hand combat. I like how it determines everything at once with room for options. It seems to go two ways though: really deadly or really pussy.


Which accurately mimics combat in real life, IMO. Either it's much ado about nothing, or (if the combatants have training, are sociopathic and violent, or are in the grip of homicidal fury,) someone's going to get hurt bad. Nicely emulates that gritty feeling you're shooting for, in that combat successfully done becomes a death spiral, otherwise it's primary purpose is intimidation.  

Quote from: MathiasJack
The details need twinking. It would help if I actually playtested this thing, if I had some willing people.


Hark! Could that be a call to greatness I hear? ;-) I'd love to playtest it if you'd assemble all of this into an easy package. It might be awhile, as my regular gamers are a superstitious, cowardly lot. But the one guy's big on systems, so he'd be good to run this by.

And I think that's "tweaking," by the way. Unless your faith in the average gamer is a touch lower than mine. ;-)

By the way, I'm curious about something: is it possible for a player to use their Fate/Luck/Will to attack another's F/L/W directly, instead of roundabout through weaponry and outthinking the opponent? In other words, is it possible to hex/curse/put the whammy on someone?


Title: Invoking...
Post by: MathiasJack on April 25, 2003, 01:41:57 PM
Alright more chunks of details flying about. This post is to address Invoking...

Spooky sayeth:
Quote
So for Luck, you "double-dip" to see if you succeed. Do any Will stones drawn during the Invoked Luck draw subtract from your initial successes? Do any Fate stones add a success? Or do only the Luck stones drawn add any successes? I'd stick with the latter; otherwise it would bog down play and get confusing. I'm not sure that that wouldn't make Luck a little overpowering, though...


Spooky sayeth:
Quote
I'm still dicey on the effects of Invoked Luck, though. It not only seems a touch inelegant, as taalyn pointed out, it might also be too powerful if not reigned in.


Well, first of all, Invoking is a troubled abstract mess. I wanted the essence of each stat "invoked" in their special use. Luck became the trickiest. It is not intuitive like Fate or Will, but making an entirely new draw came the closest to random luck I could think of. And originally, I wanted Luck to be good or bad, so yes, originally every two stones of Fate and/or Will subtracted a point of Luck - so Invoking Luck could really add to your success or make it a failure. Maybe I should keep it the original way. Unless there is another idea on how to represent the special nature of Luck? Ideas?

taalyn sayeth:
Quote
- draws: simple enough. but Invoking - ick. This doubling up Luck thing doesn't seem intuitive to me - it's at a different logical level than the rest of them. Also, the way Invoking is measured doesn't seem very useful or realistic to me (as much as realistic matters - or not!). If I never know what the threshold is, then how do I know if I'm doing well? Usually, I have some kind of clue, some 'light at the end of the tunnel' that lets me know I'm almost there, which is when will really kicks in (trust me on this! ;)


As far as Invoking being "unrealistic", can you give examples of what you mean, taalyn? I only gave description of Invoking against ordinary threats and obstacles. As far as not knowing difficulties, I honestly did not know how else to make the bluff of using Fate, tense. I agree that knowing the difficulty with Luck or Will is useful and doesn't ruin anything, so that's alright in knowing. Luck is a gamble, and Will becomes a choice of spending those points. But I don't want Fate to be unpredictable or a matter of incremental points. It should be an all or nothing, a mechanic that does differ from the other two, at least in my mind. There was something intriguing there about Fatalists being all about knowing, maybe even predicting moments of powerful Fate (the best time to use it for your own favor), yet at that very moment, not knowing if they would succeed or not. Ideas on improving Fate?

taalyn sayeth:
Quote
- I think the rule about only Invoking for Aspects the FLW covers isn't fair. Unless anyone can Invoke? But still, given the way they interrelate, it seems to me that Fate should be able to overcome Luck or Will, or any other combination. The issue would be that given the circle of relationships you've established (the Fate beats Luck sort of thing), it would just be harder to Invoke with fate against Will, or somesuch. The whole relation makes me think of Chinese WuXing (I studied acupuncture for a year), which gives me the beginnings of a bunch more ideas...let them stew...


Only Weavers can Invoke. Fatalists, Ecstatics, and Free Ones can Invoke all three forces, but their names imply their strengths and focus. It is the most basic of special powers that comes with facing death and walking away. I established the relationships in a tritary manner of RoeShamBoe, and something /had/ to beat Fate. I figured it is the mercurial nature of Luck that works like wind and water on stone that undermines the monolithic nature of Fate. It is that monolithic wheel of stone nature that Fate has that just overwhelms Will. But in small ways, each individual who uses Will makes a foothold for order to take grasp within the swirling choas of Luck. No, I don't think this should /always/ hold true, sometimes the submissive force /does/ overcome its dominant force. That is why, while the RoeShamBoe nature seems intriguing, I've stayed away from it. And on your last point, you bring up a subject I haven't yet - while I've listed how Invoking involves FLW against mundane obstacles and threats, I have not covered how they go head to head with each other as when a Weaver Invokes against another Weaver's Invoction. Honestly, I am still working that concept out...


Title: Other points of clarification and brainstorming....
Post by: MathiasJack on April 25, 2003, 02:01:03 PM
Other points of clarification and brainstorming...

taalyn sayeth:
Quote
- The definitions of Active or Passive Actions confuse me. I don't think they're necessary to state either - Luck will gravitate to certain kinds of action without the need for any explanation on your part.

That should have gotten deleted, since you are entirely right. I forgot to delete after stating that Invoction can only happen with an aspect or ability the Invoking stat covers. It is redundancy.

taalyn sayeth:
Quote
- Narration ideas: coolness! I've expanded the role of Boons in Aisling along the same sorts of lines, allowing a Boon to entirely erase a level or two of damage, introduce a new skill at average, add an Aspect, introduce a tool (S**T, I forgot my gun! Okay, I'll use a Boon to find one in the glove compartment...), and such like.

Yes, I know I want players to be able to spend stat points to enable them to narrate parts of play. Just not certain. I do know I want narration moments to be powerful times of influence but only to kick in at certain times for the character, where as Invoking is somewhat powerful and covers different types of actions. I figure Fate points can be spent when paranoia (their fear of the moment of their death) is triggered, Luck when obsession is lit, and Will when the goal/dream is within reach.

taalyn sayeth:
Quote
- Dominance: very cool! Introducing it will change a lot of how other draws work. One thing I discovered very early is that it can be very easy to run into zero values. Be careful.

That might be a good reason to include this element. I just didn't want people doing math each time they drew...

taalyn sayeth:
Quote
- RoShamBoe: I like this best for your game - it hints at the interconnectedness in the face of overt separation. If you do go with it, let me know, and we can chat about Luck repercussion of messing with Fate.

This brings up a whole other way I imagined Invoking. Basic draws work the same as before. But Invoking is the samefor all three forces. You simply want to make a draw based on the stat's current rating rather than permanent, and want to get as many stones of the drawing stat as possible. That makes Invoked Fate, a draw of n stones with the player hoping to get as many Fate stones as possible. Same for Luck and Will. If you get the stat's stones as the most in the draw, then you automatically win that action.

Damn, work already. More later on combat and other stuff...


Title: Re: Invoking...
Post by: Spooky Fanboy on April 25, 2003, 03:04:00 PM
Quote from: MathiasJack
And originally, I wanted Luck to be good or bad, so yes, originally every two stones of Fate and/or Will subtracted a point of Luck - so Invoking Luck could really add to your success or make it a failure. Maybe I should keep it the original way. Unless there is another idea on how to represent the special nature of Luck? Ideas?


I'd say Will adds or subtracts nothing, while Fate subtracts successes one for two counters. Complete luck of the draw. Granted, the inevitable adding and subtracting that happens next might slow things down, but it's currently the best idea I have. A little help out there?  

Quote from: MathiasJack
But I don't want Fate to be unpredictable or a matter of incremental points. It should be an all or nothing, a mechanic that does differ from the other two, at least in my mind. There was something intriguing there about Fatalists being all about knowing, maybe even predicting moments of powerful Fate (the best time to use it for your own favor), yet at that very moment, not knowing if they would succeed or not. Ideas on improving Fate?


Nope. I agree with your interpretation completely. I could be wrong for that, I don't know.

Quote from: MathiasJack
No, I don't think this should /always/ hold true, sometimes the submissive force /does/ overcome its dominant force. That is why, while the RoeShamBoe nature seems intriguing, I've stayed away from it.


And I thank you, for while RoeShamBoe simplifies things greatly, it does take a lot of the excitement out of the game by making things a little too pat.  

Quote from: MathiasJack
And on your last point, you bring up a subject I haven't yet - while I've listed how Invoking involves FLW against mundane obstacles and threats, I have not covered how they go head to head with each other as when a Weaver Invokes against another Weaver's Invoction. Honestly, I am still working that concept out...


And this would be the cursing/blessing someone or something that I asked you about in the PM, right? Good to see that that's still part of the game.

I suggest the following: If a Bender wants to inspire/slag someone, they take a stat of their choice (usually their strongest one) and draw that many chips out of the pile. Split them up for Breadth and Depth, where Breadth is how many people the want to affect, while Depth is how badly they want to help/hurt them. Each chip that corresponds to their stat counts as a success in this regard. Thereafter, the recipient of the Bender's attentions either adds or subtracts that many successes from that targeted stat when it's used, until either the Bender or another Bender removes the inspiration/slag.

Important note: Due to the shift between the Bender and reality as a whole, Benders cannot  inspire/slag themselves. A bender can only use this on others. Considering how much other uses Benders have for their newfound awareness, this is not as much of a loss as it sounds.

As for flavor: Fatalists might use some sort of ritual, either borrowed from common belief systems or personal rituals, to boost/slag Fate. Ecstatics might give their recipient a good luck/bad luck charm. Free Ones might approach the target and deliver an inspiring pep talk or a demoralizing heap of abuse.

Stray thought: In combat, you might want to note that loss of Fate due to combat doesn not necessarily translate into injuries. The target might feel just fine even as his Fate is being whittled away...until that fatal blow hits.


Title: FLaW: Fate Luck and Will
Post by: taalyn on April 25, 2003, 04:31:47 PM
On RoShamBoe:

The "cycle of control" in Asian mysticism sheds light on possibilities here. There is also "cycle of creation".

If the Control cycle goes F > W > L, then the Aid cycle goes the opposite direction: Luck aids Will aids Fate aids Luck. Luck provides circumstances in which Will can be best accomplished. Will aids in the application of Fate, by reading the "rules" and providing brute force to rewrite them. Fate helps Luck by providing a structure to be manipulated in the first place, a texture that luck can move through (think of Fate as fabric, and Luck as the needle and thread).

If this is what you do, then simple Fate overcomes Will  doesn't cover it properly - the two interrelate. Yes, Fate can overcome Will, but Will can overcome or aid Fate too. This corresponds to YinYang theory, where anything can be in one of 5 states: balanced yin/yang, too much yin (looking like not enough yang), too much yang (looking like not enough yin), not enough yin (like too much yang), and not enough yang (like too much yin). A deficiency or excess of one can actually be caused by a deiciency or excess of the other. Further, it's possible for excess yang to turn into yin, and vice versa.

I'm not sure at the moment how these could be applied to the game, but I wanted to show that it needn't be a simplistic F over W - it could be W aiding F too!


I think Spooky's idea for breadth and depth for inspiring and slagging is a good idea.

You have gone the FLaW way on the name some, but every time I see it, I go FLoW (Fate Luck or Will). Maybe this will inspire some names....

Aidan


Title: Bounce the ideas out there...
Post by: MathiasJack on April 26, 2003, 05:04:19 PM
Alright, to start from the top.

Three stats and aspects:
.....Cosmic Aspects - check
.....Being Aspects - check
.....Social Aspects - check
.....Abilities Aspects - check
.....Combat Aspects:
...........Fate: Defense Stance Draw
................Body and "Health"
.....................(Really like the concept of losing fate being something
.....................other than actual physical damage, but how does that idea
.....................play out?)
................Damage minus Fate = Number of Fate points lost
...........Will: Offense Stance Draw
................Force and Strength
................Can Invoke Will in combat for more damage or to add to
.....................another stat
...........Luck: Neutral Stance Draw
.....................(Either the example in above post OR:
..........................With neutral stance, draw a number of stones equal to
..........................permanent Luck, each Will worth one point of damage if
..........................attacked, each Fate worth one point of damage if
..........................attacked, and each Luck stone worth two points to add
..........................to either damage or defense.
.....................I think I like this Neutral Stance better. What do you think?)
...........Initiative: Make a Luck draw, each Luck worth one, add to Fate
................stat, and whatever Will you want to spend.

Basic stat draw - check

Invoking - needs work, specifically on how Invoking Luck works. At it's basic mechanic, I want a player to "How would I use Fate, Luck or Will if I really could? Oh, it would be something like this." So I am working on making Invoking the first and simplest power a Weaver would have. And I like them working separately.

Blessing - several different ideas, this is what Spooky calls slagging, etc. I am not sure if it is one mechanic flavored differently for each force, or three separate mechanics for each force.

Other applications of the forces - many. many, such as when Weavers go head to head with their forces, using Fate to Divine and create Designs and Predestinies, revolving around knowing random details about a scene, like riddles, and how a Weaver could use that to their advantage, or even go so far as to create a destiny. Using Luck to sew Chaos and create probabilities and small illusions, Different small magics, nothing big, but similiar to using stones to do martial arts, a draw could be an instant "spell", the "spell" depending on the stones...this is very much Chaos magic, instant "spells" that you have no idea what they might be. Using Will to increase stats, resist the use of Fate or Luck upon oneself, and specific magics that play upon oneself. These magics and other uses I am keeping pretty simple, rather than really altering or changing the face of reality, they will all sorta just tip things in the favor of the Weaver or against an opponent.


Title: Extras
Post by: MathiasJack on April 26, 2003, 10:41:41 PM
So I think I am going to be going back to the drawing board for a while to work on the details mentioned in the above board. I probably going to throw a version together, release it as a pdf, and let people who want to playtest it rip it to shreds.

One other thing I did want to mention is the different types of people who will populate this game:
Mundanes of course
Weavers: Fatalists, Ecstatics, and Free'd
We know them

But then there are also the ghosts and spirits.

Ghosts are phastasmic people who are shadowed events of past and present that Fatalists see. Like Jacob's Ladder or the visions of Flatliners, ghosts haunt the world of the Fatalist, rarely helping but many times troubling them with secrets, hints, and should ofs. No one is certain what they are: actual beings existing within the weave and wove of reality's threads, or figments of the paranoid Fatalists' minds. All that is known for certain is that Ghosts definitely give a good reason for Fatalists' paranoia.

Spirits are the maddening fae, animals, and inanimate objects that speak to Ecstastics out of the blue. I see this more in line with what shamans of many cultures speak of when they talk of the world and everything in it having a voice that speaks if you know how to listen. Combine this with a harrowing bad trip of acid, and you strike home what Ecstatics deal with at the worst of times. Again, are spirits the voice of Luck or the voices in an Estatics' head?

Both "meta"peoples act as "agents" of the force they are tied to for the type of Weaver mentioned. But there are many Weavers who view Ghosts and Spirits as one and the same, just seen through different perspectives. And the Free'd just shake their heads in pious pity... though having ghosts and spirits hound and chase you does sound like trouble, it is the moments where they lead a Fatalist or Ecstatic to know inner wisdom or clues for a problem that outweigh the negatives.

That is unless you think there should be a "meta"type for the Free'd, if you can think of one that fits their perspective?


Title: Argh!
Post by: MathiasJack on April 27, 2003, 12:43:54 AM
I'm smacking my forehead into the desk right now.

Invoking Luck - spend a Luck point and you get a redraw - except for the redraw the number of stones is based on your current Luck points rather than your permanent Luck rating! Duh! Much more intuitive... but does it weaken Invoking Luck compared to the others. Not when one weighs everything you can do with Luck compared to the other two forces. I think it balances out nicely.

As a advanced trick, rather than the basic Invoction, Ecstatics can later on learn how to stack a draw on top to hopefully add successes...

Basic Draws will have to work with the math; ie, decide what stat covers what you want to do, draw one's permanent rating in stones, the main stat being worth 2 for success, the aiding stat 1, and the opposing stat worth -1. With taalyn's help, maybe a simple relationship map of the forces aiding and opposing can be made for some interesting and simple "complications" for special uses and surprises.

Now if only I could make Invoking Fate a bit smoother,
I think this just might work....

I guess I'm thinking there are levels of use for the stats.

Basic Draw: running, singing, writing...
--- This includes the stats aspects of Being, Social, Combat and Abilities

Basic Invoction: This covers the most basic and universal application of the forces. Comes free at character creation. 1 point costs for use.

Advanced Invoctions: Advanced uses of the forces that are intuitive with practice, essentially twists and other ways of using the Basic Invoction. I'm thinking that Blessing/Slagging/Cursing/Whatever-it-ends-up-being-called is at this level. Ecstatics stacking draws would be at this level. Bought at character creation or earned. 1 point costs for use.

Special Invoctions: This is Fate's Designs, Luck's Charms, and Will's Inspirations. While focused on one stat as a foundation, they mix and match all three stat points in different combinations for interesting results. Bought at character creation or earned. Each one costs varied amounts from across the board for use.

Using the Word: The ability for the player to effect the narration of the story, the world, and other characters by spending a point of the pertaining stat. Ideas for right now: Fate effects objects, setting, and time. Luck effects action, and rewriting storylines in the moment. Will effects one's own character, NPCs and to a limited effect other characters. This is kinda fuzzy at the moment.
 
Have to go read posts on Currency, since it seems like I am attempting to create a game about how only three types of currency with different uses effect everything in the game.


Title: FLaW: Fate Luck and Will
Post by: Spooky Fanboy on April 27, 2003, 04:52:32 AM
No, it feels right that the Free have to "go it alone."


Title: FLaW: Fate Luck and Will
Post by: taalyn on April 27, 2003, 08:39:30 AM
Looking good to me. Two thing:

- of course I'll help with mapping out relationships and stuff. Just say what and when...

- Designs (Fate Invocations): I can see what Luck and Will do to create an amazing effect, but what does Fate do? AS it's coming across to me so far, it seems like Fatalists just emphasize Fate, whatever that may be. If that was the case, though, I hardly think there'd be many Fatalists around, as Fate would want to get them (at least, that's the sense I get). It seems to me that what a Fate actually does is read the "Rules" of Fate, and then rewrites them. So they are following Fate, it's just that Fate is different from what it was a minute ago. Does this make sense? Is it right? How does it affect draws and invoking and such? Is this actually just Will sneaking around as Fate?

Aidan


Title: Fatal Flaw
Post by: MathiasJack on April 27, 2003, 01:43:34 PM
Fatal Invocations are interesting. They aren't so much about changing Fate, as being able to read Fate.  So Divinations are about reading the different Fates of people and things around you. The GM uses riddles and visual clues as to what Fate has in store. I'm developing a whole system for that. Designs are using that knowledge to your advantage; ie, knowing about someone's death and using that to reap Fate; being at the right time and place to use a Fate to one's advantage; knowing that something it supposed to happen and help make that happening come to place.

Example: A Fatalist could learn how another Weaver is supposed to die, get a two word or three word description of that moment, then makes Designs to have that two or three word description happen. While the Fatalist plans are helping Fate, Fate points can be used /similiarly/ to Will, but not exactly. If the plans are not quite right, maybe the Fate points don't work like hot/cold, and more Divinations can be made to garner more details with each success enabling of Fate and the closer the moment of actual Fate is.

I'm still considering how the whole Fate stat works with the actual force. Such as, when the Fate rating is low to nothing, what happens then? Because I like the idea that the more Fate you have, the more you are matching what Fate wants for you... Maybe the lowerer one's Fate is, it is harder to earn any points at all for any of the Forces? Being a magnet for Fate itself makes since that it happens when you have more Fate, but maybe it happens when you have less... I think the theory I am going with at the moment is that the more Fate points you have, the more you have your own Destiny on your side, you have the favor of Fate. The lower it goes, the closer you are to bringing your Death, your Fate, how ever that End is supposed to happen, to reality.

Almost as if Fatalist are the teacher's pet of the Cosmos, the teacher Fate: the teacher's pet figures the more the teacher likes them, the better grade they'll get and less trouble. The Fatalist figures the more they help Fate, the more they will be able to avoid their own and less chance of dieing. Like their putting their big moment of death on lay away by doing favors.

The Fatalist can Invoke Fate then, as long as the Invocation is not counter to the desires of Fate, to deter death and other obstacles, saying "this is not in the stars, not written in the book of Fate, for me." But if it is a Divination a Weaver makes on a Fatalist, they might find out something that /is/ written for the Fatalist, and then the Fatalist is helpless to fight that except with Luck or Will.

The biggest fear a Fatalist has is for someone to figure out how they will die and making that Fate come about. So it helps to fight a Weaver and lower their Fate, so that you can then make a moment of Fate come about for them.

This is one of the main reasons why Fatalists are extremely paranoid, and secretive. True names play into this part.

So Fate is definitely NOT a masquerading Will. It is about finding out what the cosmos has in store for you, others, and the world, and using that to your advantage in different ways. You have to use Will and Luck to /avoid/ what is Fate. Fatalists and other Weavers actually gain more Fate when they help Fate's plan stay on schedule.


Title: Re: Fatal Flaw
Post by: taalyn on April 27, 2003, 07:27:10 PM
Quote from: MathiasJack
Fatal Invocations are interesting. They aren't so much about changing Fate, as being able to read Fate.  So Divinations are about reading the different Fates of people and things around you. The GM uses riddles and visual clues as to what Fate has in store. I'm developing a whole system for that. Designs are using that knowledge to your advantage; ie, knowing about someone's death and using that to reap Fate; being at the right time and place to use a Fate to one's advantage; knowing that something it supposed to happen and help make that happening come to place.


But the problem here is that it would happen anyway, as it's Fate, and the Fatalist doesn't need to do anything at all. It seems pointless to be a Fatalist at all.

Quote

I think the theory I am going with at the moment is that the more Fate points you have, the more you have your own Destiny on your side, you have the favor of Fate. The lower it goes, the closer you are to bringing your Death, your Fate, how ever that End is supposed to happen, to reality.


If that's so, then a Fatalist, theoretically, wouldn't ever Invoke a Fate (however that works - I'm not happy with it so far) because it's bringing Death closer every time, if it actually eats up stones (which I think it does at the moment...)

Quote

Almost as if Fatalist are the teacher's pet of the Cosmos, the teacher Fate: the teacher's pet figures the more the teacher likes them, the better grade they'll get and less trouble. The Fatalist figures the more they help Fate, the more they will be able to avoid their own and less chance of dieing. Like their putting their big moment of death on lay away by doing favors.


This is a good explanation, but again I have to ask, why? It's not as if Fate is open to doing anything but what actually is fated. Unless there are actually personified forms that can be argued or reasoned with.

Quote
The Fatalist can Invoke Fate then, as long as the Invocation is not counter to the desires of Fate, to deter death and other obstacles, saying "this is not in the stars, not written in the book of Fate, for me." But if it is a Divination a Weaver makes on a Fatalist, they might find out something that /is/ written for the Fatalist, and then the Fatalist is helpless to fight that except with Luck or Will.


So why bother? Whether the Fatalist Invokes or not, Fate will happen as it is written. Why invoke to make sure something will happen that already is going to happen?

Quote
So Fate is definitely NOT a masquerading Will. It is about finding out what the cosmos has in store for you, others, and the world, and using that to your advantage in different ways. You have to use Will and Luck to /avoid/ what is Fate. Fatalists and other Weavers actually gain more Fate when they help Fate's plan stay on schedule.


Which supports my concern - why be a Fatalist at all, since you can't, and only Will or Luck can avoid Fate. Maybe I'm missing something here.

Aidan


Title: FLaW: Fate Luck and Will
Post by: MathiasJack on April 27, 2003, 07:59:06 PM
Just for the fact that there are the forces of Luck and Will working against Fate, most specifically other Weavers who take up the standards of Luck and Will as Ecstatics and the Free'd.

Mr Glass from Unbreakable is the perfect example of a Fatalist. He Divined that there should be heroes out there, heroes that the legends of long ago were based on (the Free'd actually!) and that comics continued telling about in modern form. To bring about the Divination he saw, he made specific detailed Divinations and started methodically going about ways of producing such moments of Fate (Designs) where these beings could be discovered and then made to realize their potential, ie, the airplane, car and train accidents that Mr Glass orchestrated which finally produced Willis's character, one of the Free'd. The strongest part of the example being here that Mr Glass as a Fatalist felt he had no choice in the matter. He was a tool of Fate.

SO Fate is not omnipotent. It is omniscient, and has a lot of momentum in orchestrated things the way it wants to. Fatalists help things in favor of Fate, in exchange for some of that knowledge and a free hall pass.

I also want to add that I don't think Fatalist have to be a terrorist. I think they could possibly use Divinations to cheat Fate like in the TV series Early Edition, but after using Fate to find out what happened, the Fatalist would then be using Will and Luck to change things. In this case the Fatalist thinks that life is ultimately controlled by Fate, is paranoid of dieing, and uses what Divinations he can and is real good at it because he wants it to be his strength. But then uses Luck and Will to go against it. Like he uses his status as the teacher's pet to actually help out the students, the key being he has to be ateacher's pet to gain that edge, ie, be a Fatalist.

A Free'd in contrast believes that ultimately they are in control of their life, and they can make it on their own through any circumstance. They might use Fate and Luck at times as tools, but ultimately Will is what they focus on the most.

An Ecstatic kinda just sees everything as meaningless. REAL simple def.

So it isn't so much of a choice of what force to use as it is a perspective.

Does that help?


Title: FLaW: Fate Luck and Will
Post by: taalyn on April 27, 2003, 08:28:16 PM
Yes, that helps a lot! I get it now.

Aidan


Title: FLaW: Fate Luck and Will
Post by: MathiasJack on April 27, 2003, 08:39:39 PM
It isn't too forced or contrite is it?


Title: FLaW: Fate Luck and Will
Post by: Spooky Fanboy on April 27, 2003, 08:53:17 PM
See, here I would say that Fate has an actual ability beyond cushioning the Fatalist from the inevitable fall (i.e. death).

I would say that, if a stone is spent, the Bender gets to pronounce a person or persons' fates. This would be like the Monologue of Victory, only used as a weapon. Then the current Fate pool is the difficulty to avoid that fate from occuring.

Of course, abuse of power has it's price. Hence Fate going lower as those stones are spent, and if they go too low...


Title: FLaW: Fate Luck and Will
Post by: MathiasJack on April 27, 2003, 08:55:16 PM
Exactly Spooky! Now you can see the fun in being a Fatalist and coming up with Designs! (and the danger)


Title: FLaW: Fate Luck and Will
Post by: taalyn on April 27, 2003, 08:58:37 PM
I don't thinks it's forced or contrite. It makes sense to me (now!) and doesn't require weird twists to get there. It's good.

Spooky, your idea is great! Applied to all Weavers: temporarily, I am Luck, when Invoking, and I can make whatever happen, at the cost of losing temp stones in Luck. This is a part of Aisling magic too (I forgot to mention it, MJ) - after you draw your Motes for magic, it takes a while for everything to settle back into place in your system - you can't replace the Motes in your Caern right away. Do a lot of magic and you're f***ed.

Aidan


Title: FLaW: Fate Luck and Will
Post by: taalyn on April 27, 2003, 09:02:31 PM
I'm really starting to get into this, MJ. I can't wait to playtest it - of course, having someone to playtest it with would help a lot. Do you think we could do it via email, you, me, and Spooky? Whaddaya say, Spooky?

I think playtest would highlight issues for us to solve in the design, and we're already working so close we might as well bump it to the next step. It's easy to talk about it, but when we're doing it, some of our suggestions or ideas will be immediately and obviously workable or not....

Aidan


Title: FLaW: Fate Luck and Will
Post by: Spooky Fanboy on April 27, 2003, 09:06:06 PM
Eh, why the hell not?

I can get to my e-mail pretty much every day.

I'm not a fan of e-mail games usually, but this is just too damn cool.