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Author Topic: Diverse Lunacy  (Read 2677 times)
GreatWolf
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« on: May 15, 2001, 08:25:00 AM »

Well, events have proceeded far enough that I can leak a little more information on Alyria.  More details will be found in the next installment of Dreaming Out Loud (including the identity of my co-conspirator), but I thought that I'd share some of them with all of you.

The Alyria system will be based around a design originally compiled by my co-conspirator called Diverse Lunacy.  Rather than using numbers to define character attributes, the phases of the moon are used.  So, an Alyria character might have a Force of Crescent, an Insight of Half-moon, and a Determination of Full.  This is rated using what I have tagged as an absolute scale (e.g. New Moon is bad, while Full Moon is the best).  Moral Traits and Virtue are also rated using moon phases, but on a gradient scale.  In this case, the moon phase indicates both the strength of the Trait as well as its slant toward good or evil.  So, a character might have a Cowardice Trait at Crescent (evil) and a Protective Trait at Gibbous (good).  Each would be of equivalent strength.

A specialized die is used to make all necessary rolls.

There are several advantages to this system.  The biggest one is that it is intuitive.  If I were to say that a character has a Force of 5, that does not necessarily communicate immediately.  However, seeing a Full Moon communicates the idea of maximum Force rather nicely.  The same goes for moral Traits and Virtue.  Saying that a character has a Virtue of Crescent immediately communicates his evil nature and simultaneously indicates that he is not yet completely depraved (that would be New Moon).

Also, this ease of communication aids immensely in character creation, especially NPC generation on the fly.  In my first playtest, a player introduced an NPC into the situation.  Since we already knew what the character was supposed to be, we were able to throw together his attributes and Traits within 30 seconds and still accurately reflect our shared conception of the NPC.  (It was a rush.)

This symbolic approach ties in nicely with the setting as well, especially in light of the Weeping Moon's importance to the setting.  To that extent, the use of Diverse Lunacy adds color to the game as well, which I feel is important in any game, roleplaying or otherwise.

I will now step back and await comment.  :smile:

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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
Jared A. Sorensen
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Darksided


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« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2001, 08:53:00 AM »

Seth --

Scarlet Jester and I came up with a sweet litle Narrativist dice mechanic that uses a special moon die as well!  It was for the Thief: the Dark Project game we were tinkering with.

I'll post it when I get home (it's on my desktop PC) if yer interested.
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
GreatWolf
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« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2001, 09:03:00 AM »

Okay!  I relent!  :smile:

My co-conspirator is none other than Scarlet Jester himself.  He has been hard at work crafting the mechanics for Alyria (with occasional input from myself) and has been doing a marvelous job.  I have been pleased to be working with him and I am looking forward to his continued assistance.

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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2001, 01:41:00 PM »

There has to be a difference between the waning and waxing phases of the moon. There has to be. It's too cool an idea not to be. Perhaps characters with a waning stat have an impetus to head further down the scale, while waxing characters are ascending. Those at the new Moon would be waxing, with a potential for redemption, while those that were at the full Moon would be waxing, potentially able to fall from their particular grace.

I don't know if you had rules for stats changing (though given their nature, I'd be surprised if you didn't) but this could affect those rolls or whatever mechanic covered this.

Had you thought of anything for the waning and waxing phases?

Mike Holmes
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GreatWolf
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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2001, 02:08:00 PM »

We had considered waxing and waning but ultimately discarded it.  It required too much bookkeeping for what we have in mind.  The system's requirements are more than adequately met without it.
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
Valamir
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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2001, 10:50:00 AM »

hmmm, yet more stuff for which further comment must wait for additional details to be released.

Good thing I'm patient...

Oh wait.  No I'm not...damn :smile:
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Gordon C. Landis
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« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2001, 12:31:00 PM »

Just an instictive response, subject to change once details are revealed - I don't like it.  Tells me nothing that a 1-5 scale wouldn't, as long as I knew 1 was min and 5 was max.  And 1-5 is just easier to grasp.
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GreatWolf
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« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2001, 01:02:00 PM »

Quote

On 2001-05-29 16:31, Gordon C. Landis wrote:
Just an instictive response, subject to change once details are revealed - I don't like it.  Tells me nothing that a 1-5 scale wouldn't, as long as I knew 1 was min and 5 was max.  And 1-5 is just easier to grasp.


Funny, that's about the answer that I was expecting from someone.  :smile:

The biggest reason that the Diverse Lunacy system works better is that New Moon isn't always minimum.  Your 1-5 scale might work for Attributes but it would not work for Traits, where a New Moon actually indicates a high intensity evil Trait.  In fact, a New Moon Trait is equivalent in intensity to a Full Moon Trait.  A mere 1-5 rating doesn't capture that.

There are other reasons, of course, which I outline in the next installment of Dreaming Out Loud, but here's at least one to discuss or debate.

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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2001, 09:48:00 AM »

The way I envision record keeping for this system would be for each trait to have a circle next to it that would be filled the appropriate amount with pencil or balck pen to indicate the type of moon that represented it (sorta like filling in the dots on a multiple choice scan test, though not all the way). The waning and waxing would just be indicated by which side the black was, left or right. Very simple and instinctive bookeeping, not hard at all. In fact, if you do it graphically like I have it above at all you will automatically be indicating one or the other whether you like it or not.

Give it another thought; Ill bet that there is something that you could indicate by it. This makes the system more complex without making it much harder to understand, while playing into the motif that you are already using. Which is always neat.

Mike Holmes
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