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Author Topic: Jumping in with both feet: Stop sinking, start swimming  (Read 2494 times)
Vaxalon
Member

Posts: 1619


« on: August 08, 2004, 06:36:25 AM »

I've put up a new version of Skein, in the link in my sig.  I would appreciate some feedback.

Does it make sense?  What needs better explanation?

Am I too close to Universalis?  Should I leave this behind and just go buy Universalis?
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"In our game the other night, Joshua's character came in as an improvised thing, but he was crap so he only contributed a d4!"
                                     --Vincent Baker
Bill Cook
Member

Posts: 501


« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2004, 12:44:01 PM »

I encourage you to buy Universalis if you haven't. Not because I think it's too close. I haven't bought it yet myself. My recommendation is based on my perception that you're worried that it is.

I doubt the authors will freak if you arrived at similiar conclusions independently. Or even if it was your primary influence with a number of straight lifts. I just read through a chain of links beginning with Damn! I Reinvented the Wheel, and I gather that Forge wisdom is: ask permission and give credit.

Also, it sucks to live in fear. For me, when that's no longer an issue, I find myself attracted to works that have a similiar focus. Quite naturally, I want to see what their take on it is. And amazingly, I never find anything that does things exactly the way I want. So there tends to remain a purpose for my work.
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Vaxalon
Member

Posts: 1619


« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2004, 12:51:17 PM »

Well, I really can't afford too many games.  My monthly game budget is about $50, and that's already blown for this month buying books for some D20 products I'm writing... so all I really have to go on is what people tell me.
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"In our game the other night, Joshua's character came in as an improvised thing, but he was crap so he only contributed a d4!"
                                     --Vincent Baker
Emily Care
Member

Posts: 1126


WWW
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2004, 05:37:27 AM »

Quote from: Vaxalon
Am I too close to Universalis?  Should I leave this behind and just go buy Universalis?


No definitely not. You should of course buy Universalis when you can. But this is a different approach and one that is well worth exploring.  Universalis creates a very different dynamic among the players, and the "oomph" (or bounce) comes from a similar part of the game, handled in a different way: complications, challenges.  As I see it, your game would get its bounce from the creation of conflicts, and from your conflict resolution mechanic--you just don't tie the resources needed to create elements to creation of conflicts.  As long as there is enough structure/momentum to keep folks interested in developing the characters & plot, I'd find this freeing.  I can see using a structure like this one to do the kind of gaming my group does.   However, the "bounce" issue is an important one. I'd pay attention to it in your playtests of Skein. Make sure it's there somewhere.

Your system also seems more suited to longer term play to me. For example, the tenet setting phase in Universalis allows and even encourages people to bring in diverse setting elements: thus the strange phenomenon of always having zombies of some sort show up in Uni.  (It's set in a western town, and there's a political scandal going on--with Zombies!)  The prime frame thang in your game (to my mind) makes it seem more like people would be encouraged to create elements that dovetail with the core concepts.  Folks'd be making a set of tenets that all the characters would be connected to.  

Uni also allows creation of new system elements, but I don't see that as particularly needed for Skein.

yrs,
Em
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Koti ei ole koti ilman saunaa.

Black & Green Games
Vaxalon
Member

Posts: 1619


« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2004, 09:06:11 AM »

Skein, in the more recent version I've put up, allows for it if it happens but doesn't make a big deal out of it.  After finishing any scene, players can propose new frame knots, if something has been established by the scene that needs to be added to the frame.
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"In our game the other night, Joshua's character came in as an improvised thing, but he was crap so he only contributed a d4!"
                                     --Vincent Baker
Emily Care
Member

Posts: 1126


WWW
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2004, 09:35:33 AM »

Quote from: Emily Care
Uni also allows creation of new system elements, but I don't see that as particularly needed for Skein.


mmm.. don't know if you misread this, but what I meant by "system elements" was that in Universalis you can create mechanics and rules--as part of the game, as well as characters, objects and setting elements.  Frame knots sound like they would be setting elements etc.  

As I said, I don't see a need for sys el's to be created on the fly in Skein.    But I would highly recommend going through the Uni forum for more info on it. It's useful for anyone who is doing design, but especially so for a game like yours.  And definitely look up complications.

best,
Emily
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Koti ei ole koti ilman saunaa.

Black & Green Games
Vaxalon
Member

Posts: 1619


« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2004, 10:06:36 AM »

Ah, SYSTEM elements rather than SETTING elements.  Got it.

(muted grumbling about the use of the word System)
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"In our game the other night, Joshua's character came in as an improvised thing, but he was crap so he only contributed a d4!"
                                     --Vincent Baker
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