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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 32 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [Timesteam] Take a look!  (Read 5730 times)
Nathan
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« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2004, 01:10:36 PM »

Interesting start.

I've been kicking around a time travel game for a while, and you had some of the ideas I had. But still good stuff...

My thoughts after my quick read: some of the writing isn't so engaging. That's okay -- you are early in the process still.

You might think about providing some ideas/material to focus on what characters should be doing. That is the biggest problem with Time Travel games. Why are the characters together if they can all time travel? Wouldn't they all just approach the problem differently within their own talents/skills?

Finally, I feel like you could really make the system even simpler. 12 arenas for each stat? Yikes. Different wound locations for each arm and stuff? That seems to be out of place for a time travel game. One of the most significant realities of time travel... would be that... a character could travel back and learn a skill or even replace it with another if needed... right? I would guess that would be a strength of time travel, but it does make building a game system and character roles quite difficult.

Anyway, keep the work going.

Thanks,
Nathan
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Nathan P.
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« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2004, 10:06:32 AM »

Quote from: Ravien

Quote
Here's an idea. Change to crisis resolution (which is a great way to refer to it, btw...I'm gonna steal that) as opposed to task resolution. Failure at crisis's inflicts minus's to the most relevant arenas, which last for a specific number of further crisis's (perhaps dependent on whether its a Physical, Mental or Social Arena being affected).

Bleeding Strain involves taking voluntary minus's, which are removed as per normal, at the onset of a new crisis - taking away the "go home, rest for a week, come back" aspect. As well as expand the other bad stuff that could happen from Strain.

Could you perhaps give an example of how this would work in-game?


Sure thing. Keep in mind that I haven't hammered this out yet, it's still just scrawls in a notebook. Also, its resting on some mechanics that I'm tweaking, so it's not so consistent with the first draft. It should give you an idea, though.

Normal crisis resolution would work like so:

Jill, a Traveller, is at the court of Louis XIV, at a royal ball. She is trying to attract the "attention" of a certain Marquis - but his wife has noticed. She drifts over to Jill and, in a loud voice, starts asking pointed questions in such a way as to embarass her. The GM declares that this is a crisis, calling for a [Social] Cool roll from Jill's player, against the noblewomans [Social] Intimidation. Jill loses with enough margin to inflict -2 to her Social attribute. Face burning, she leaves the ball. It'll take two more (successful) Social crises before her Social is back to normal.

Jill has been spending a lot of Time in France, and her Strain pool is pretty high. She wants to avoid getting Strain Dice, so she decides to bleed off Strain in the following way - the strain of keeping her in this timeframe is affecting her body, making her sicker and weaker. She takes -3 to her Physical attribute, and removes 3 Strain from her Strain pool. She'll have to overcome some Physical crisis in order to get better.

That make anything more clear?

Quote from: Ravien
It seems to me like these would just be handled with stress/strain, but do you have any guidelines for what the consequences would actually be if they succeeded? Or is it just left to the player to dictate how the future changes?


There will be some kind of guidelines.

Quote from: Ravien
Speaking of which, what exactly is the purpose of play? Is it to make as big a change as possible? Or prevent changes? Or just to change the future to reflect your own desires? Are players part of organisations? Or just loners competing with each other for dominion over time?


Quote from: Nathan
You might think about providing some ideas/material to focus on what characters should be doing. That is the biggest problem with Time Travel games. Why are the characters together if they can all time travel? Wouldn't they all just approach the problem differently within their own talents/skills?


Good questions, and ones that have been bugging me. Reading back over it, its kinda like "This is all great, but why would I want to do anything, other than for the hell of it?" I feel like the game could benefit from some kind of mechanical reinforcement of having and/or pursuing goals. Again, I have some scribbles, we'll see how things develop.

Quote from: Nathan
One of the most significant realities of time travel... would be that... a character could travel back and learn a skill or even replace it with another if needed... right?


Right. That's why I'm trying to keep Arenas as broad areas of capability, as opposed to lists of skills. Specific skills are more color than anything else. I feel I need to reinforce or hilight this more...

Thanks a bunch guys!
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Nathan P.
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Ben O'Neal
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« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2004, 11:40:46 AM »

Quote
Normal crisis resolution would work like so:

*Snip*

Jill has been spending a lot of Time in France, and her Strain pool is pretty high. She wants to avoid getting Strain Dice, so she decides to bleed off Strain in the following way - the strain of keeping her in this timeframe is affecting her body, making her sicker and weaker. She takes -3 to her Physical attribute, and removes 3 Strain from her Strain pool. She'll have to overcome some Physical crisis in order to get better.

That make anything more clear?

Yeah, heaps. thanks for the example. However, as I look at this, I'm seeing a slippery slope. Howso? Well, I use my social to try something, but I lose, so my social goes down. The only way I can bring it back up is to win, but my chances of winning are now significantly lower than before when I lost, so I would have to attempt a crisis that was much easier. If I again lost, then my chances of success would become lower still, making it even harder for me to recover. The same goes for winning, in that the more you win, the more likely it will be that you win. This slippery slope might not be a problem for you, but I can see growing frustration from losing. You and others may see it differently though.

I like the idea that losing lowers your arena, because it Just Makes Some Kind Of Crazy Sense. But I think to recover from such "arena damage", should be tied in somehow to timetravel/strain/whatever, perhaps requiring some kind of sacrifice, maybe from your ability to manipulate time? How's this sound? If your arenas change when you are in a time period other than your native time, then you can't manipulate time. So you have to "heal" yourself by sacrificing some of your time powers, and then you can use your time powers, but its now harder (because of the sacrifice). In other words, if you get too altered from how you "went in", you can't "get out", and you run the risk of becoming "trapped" in whatever time you were in. This solves the slippery slope with a more interesting and less frustrating slippery slope, and also makes mucking around too much a Bad Thing.

Just a thought though, hopefully to help spark some brilliant way of dealing with everything in a neat way!
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Nathan P.
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« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2004, 12:19:38 PM »

My idea to avoid the slippery slope is this: Attributes and Arenas are disconnected. That is, your Attribute score is a measure of your overall "health" in that area, while Arenas are still how capable you are when attempting certain actions.

(note that i decided to change Attributes to +/- scores, like Arenas, and always roll the same number of dice, probably 2 or 3, for crisis resolution. This solves a lot of problems that I was having with the mechanics as written)

Thus, if your [Social] Cool is [+2] +4, and you get -2 to your Social from failing a crisis, you would be at [0] +4. In both cases you get a +4 to your Cool rolls, but your overall "personality" as expressed by Social isn't as forceful. Character death/deprotaginasation would occur when an attribute hits -6.

Looking that over, I see there's still a lot of ironing to do, but the general "feel" of the mechanic fits my intention much better. Maybe being able to choose to reduce either the Arena or the Attribute...

Your "getting stuck" idea is brilliant, btw. It's definitely going into the messy stew of revision ideas.
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Nathan P.
--
Find Annalise
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My Games | ndp design
Also | carry. a game about war.
I think Design Matters
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