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Author Topic: what I would like to see  (Read 14492 times)
Jürgen Mayer
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Posts: 240


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« on: March 04, 2002, 03:41:34 PM »

Changes I would like to see in UW2:

Better explanation of the Charms: what is a charm (spell or artifact or both, well we dicussed all this in the GO UW forums about a year ago, but be sure to give your readers the answer those possible questions in UW2), how can you learn one, why you won't just teach it to your friends (since you will prolly include the infos on Secrets from DownBelow, that should be covered)

An additional map of New York, marked with the locations of the described UnderWorld areas and domains, for us Non-NewYorkers.

The majority of the artwork in UW1 is great. But please get rid of those sketchy drawings (I'm sure you can guess which ones I'm talking about), better to have fewer pictures of high quality than to boost your pic count with some not-so-high-quality ones.

A line on the charsheet for negative traits. The majority of players I know use this option.

Schreckenskäfer spelled correctly. =)

Looking forward to the new edition!
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GMSkarka
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Posts: 148


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« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2002, 05:23:20 AM »

Some quick responses:

Better explanation of the Charms: what is a charm (spell or artifact or both, well we dicussed all this in the GO UW forums about a year ago, but be sure to give your readers the answer those possible questions in UW2), how can you learn one, why you won't just teach it to your friends (since you will prolly include the infos on Secrets from DownBelow, that should be covered)

Yeah, that ties into the rules for Secrets, which will be appearing in UW2.  Briefly: Secrets are imbued with powerful magic, which gets less powerful as more people learn them.  Charms are low-powered Secrets, which are 'on their way out'...gradually losing power.  So, if you teach it to all your friends, you run the risk of completely depleting the power behind the Charm.

An additional map of New York, marked with the locations of the described UnderWorld areas and domains, for us Non-NewYorkers.

Hard to do, since a traditional map doesn't allow for three dimensions, and some of the locations are below others.  I'm trying to figure out a way to represent this without having to include a dozen stacked maps.   What I'm currently thinking is taking the subway map of NYC, and overlaying it with a grid, and just giving grid locations and depth in the location descriptions.  Not sure.

The majority of the artwork in UW1 is great. But please get rid of those sketchy drawings (I'm sure you can guess which ones I'm talking about), better to have fewer pictures of high quality than to boost your pic count with some not-so-high-quality ones.

Yeah, the sketchy ones are being dropped, as are ones that I didn't like but got included anyway.  We've got more material from the better artists, originally intended for DownBelow, and we've found some new artists as well.  So, I'm afraid that you'll have to settle for more pictures of higher quality.  :)

A line on the charsheet for negative traits. The majority of players I know use this option.

OK.  Good idea, and thanks for pointing that out.

Back to work,

GMS
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Gareth-Michael Skarka
Adamant Entertainment
gms@adamantentertainment.com
Le Joueur
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« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2002, 06:45:04 AM »

Quote from: GMSkarka
An additional map of New York, marked with the locations of the described UnderWorld areas and domains, for us Non-NewYorkers.

Hard to do, since a traditional map doesn't allow for three dimensions, and some of the locations are below others.  I'm trying to figure out a way to represent this without having to include a dozen stacked maps.   What I'm currently thinking is taking the subway map of NYC, and overlaying it with a grid, and just giving grid locations and depth in the location descriptions.

I suggest a (done to look as though transparent) isometric projection including 5 or 6 (duplicate perimeter) 'layers,' bunched up to the point that the 'near' edge of one overlaps onto the 'far' edge of the level below it.  If you keep the position of the "areas" relatively vague or symbolic and make the top layer an 'actual map' (with reference lines that 'drop down' like wells and have 'connection points' marked at each level - not as passages, just reference), it should all fit neatly onto one page, yet contain all the rough information.

If the above makes any sense (with this flu/sinus infection combo I have, how could it?), and you want clarification, send me a private message.

Fang Langford

Diagram:
Code:
                             ,,gad"Y8bg,,
   'Real Map'           ,,gad""'       ""Y8bg,,
                  ,,gad""'      @ Ref B     ""Y8bg,,
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                  ,,gad8"'      @           ""88bg,,
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                 ""Y8bg8gad""',,8ad"Y8bg,,    |
  Lower Level          |,,gad""'|      ""Y8bg,8
                  ,,gad8"'      @           ""88bg,,
            ,,gad""'   |                      |  ""Y8bg,,
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             ""Y8bg,        ,,ga8""'
                 ""Y8bg8gad""'
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GMSkarka
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Posts: 148


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« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2002, 07:29:30 AM »

Yeah, that does make sense....and the diagram helps as well.

Problem is, that it's much more complex than that.  The 'real map" top level is a map of NYC---309 square miles.  Putting that into a perspective model would lose detail. The UW is also more than just a few levels deep, which would make things even more complex.

It's definitely going to be one of the biggest challenges in producing UW2.

GMS
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Gareth-Michael Skarka
Adamant Entertainment
gms@adamantentertainment.com
Le Joueur
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« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2002, 08:54:00 AM »

Quote from: GMSkarka
Yeah, that does make sense...and the diagram helps as well.

Problem is, that it's much more complex than that.  The 'real map" top level is a map of NYC---309 square miles.

Then you have to ask yourself what you want the map used for.

Quote from: GMSkarka
Putting that into a perspective model would lose detail.

Some abstraction is good (that's what maps are in the first place), otherwise maps would have to be actual size.  What a good map is has to do with what it is to be used for.  Are comprehensive street names needed?  Their main use is finding your way somewhere (something I assume you aren't planning for in UnderWorld).

I mean, you really need to ask yourself what you want the consumer to use the map for.  Don't put detail in unless it is either necessary or comforting.  Do not add detail for its own sake!  It's nice to have a map to give you a 'feel' for where everything is relative to each other but is it really necessary to know that one place is exactly 30' lower?

I figured actual depths would be somewhat vague and that all that was necessary was a rough relativity.  Thus the players could say to themselves, "Hey, that'd be all the way across town!" Or, "We're practically there, right above it, in fact.  All we need to do is penetrate two enclaves of nasties and battle one big baddie and voila!"

Quote from: GMSkarka
The UW is also more than just a few levels deep, which would make things even more complex.


Unless you're planning on having players calculate accurate trip times, more than just a relative position is largely unnecessary.  A map like I am suggesting could include things like borders and 'spheres of influence' quite easily, but leaves out a lot of 'local color.'  Metaphorically, do you need to know all the shops on Fifth Avenue or is it more where Central Park is from the Chrysler Building is from Fifth Avenue?  Likewise, you might consider 'detail inserts;' like 'here is Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, and Alphabet city, this insert gives the stores on Fifth Avenue.'

Several "levels" would abstract into a single layer allowing your to fix relative vertical position without absolute measure.  Think about how much of each "level" is 'empty' (without relevant detail); these areas are left blank or filled with objects of interest from immediately above or below as multiple "levels" are abstracted into fewer 'layers.'

Cartography is a hobby of mine, and I hate seeing pages of maps filled with so much empty space or inconsequential detail laid out flat so that you can only really conceive of them as completely separated 'spaces.'  I suggest putting it all together so a person can get a quick feel of how all the elements relate in three-dimensional space.  I may be wrong, but I get the impression that the UnderWorld is not clear and open to strictly horizontal traffic.  I guess I saw characters having to work their way across the realm moving up and down to find the path of least resistance.  A map like I envision would allow pockets of resistance to become obvious.

I guess it might all come down to how many 'points of interest' you are planning to display (and whether many of them fall into clusters that could be pulled out for detail).  Do you have any idea?

Quote from: GMSkarka
It's definitely going to be one of the biggest challenges in producing UW2.


I think the real biggest challenge was orchestrating it all together in the first place.  What we're talking here is just the icing on the cake; all the mixing and the blending are done (and quite well, my compliments to the chef).

Fang Langford
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Valamir
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« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2002, 09:13:52 AM »

Well, I'll chime in with what I'd like in a map.

Just a map of the subway routes.  I'm very familiar with the DC Metro system, enough to know its NOTHING like the ones in New York.

With the subway system being so vital to the core concepts of the game, I'd want to have a better understanding of how it actually functions.  Including simple day to day type notes, like does it use tickets, or tokens, or express passes (in DC you get a magnetic strip cardboard ticket from a vending machine that carries a balance and then it debits the balance each time you ride based on what terminal you got on / off at).

I'd want a basic transit map with some caption notes on the major stops (I imagine there'd be far too many to do all of the stops).   Things like "very dirty", or "right next to the zoo", or "a vender here makes the best pierogies" type of stuff.

After that the various UW locations could really just be abstracted from that "Approximately 300 yards below A train stop 37" (or however they're referred to in New York.  In DC it would be "Approxiamately 300 yards below Shady Grove station on the Red Line"...which is actually an above ground station with the most available parking)

Capture the flavor of what makes the New York Subway system unique for those of us who don't really know it.  Then just include a basic transit map so we can get from Queens to Manhattan with some semblance of knowledge.  The rest is really just detail of the kind more suited to GURPs then UW, IMO.
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Jared A. Sorensen
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« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2002, 09:17:09 AM »

Y'know, you could use an abstract system for travelling through the UnderWorld and use maps for getting the "stats" I call this "paying tolls."

Say the distance from Street A to Bus Station B is seven coins (which you can quickly find on the gridded map). But then Joe the Tagger has a navigation ability which cuts the distance to six coins. Factor in their vehicle, five coins. Then just do a flip of those five coins -- any tails that show up mean that something has happened in between here and there. A one-tail obstacle is something minor (some beastie), while a five-tail obstacle represents something major (like a cave-in).

Or something. I dunno, it's a bit like a wandering monster roll.
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
Jason L Blair
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« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2002, 09:22:07 AM »

Fuck you, Jared, that's awesome.
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Jason L Blair
Writer, Game Designer
GMSkarka
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Posts: 148


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« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2002, 09:24:40 AM »

I'd want a basic transit map with some caption notes on the major stops (I imagine there'd be far too many to do all of the stops). Things like "very dirty", or "right next to the zoo", or "a vender here makes the best pierogies" type of stuff.

After that the various UW locations could really just be abstracted from that


Well, that's pretty much what we had in the first edition.  We swung a deal with the Metropolitan Transit Authority to reproduce the official NYC Subway map, and for the locations in the UnderWorld that we talked about, we gave brief descriptions of where they were in relation to the subway stops.

I think that just expanding what we've already got---making the map flow across two pages, so it's easier to read, for example, instead of shrinking it to one page, and adding descriptions of the stations, as you suggest above--would work for me better than maps.

UnderWorld is a fairy tale....and locations aren't entirely fixed.  Plus, I'd want Conductors to be able to customize their own locations and stuff, which would be a lot harder if everything was spelled out and locked down.

GMS
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Gareth-Michael Skarka
Adamant Entertainment
gms@adamantentertainment.com
GMSkarka
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« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2002, 09:33:43 AM »

Quote from: Jared A. Sorensen

Y'know, you could use an abstract system for travelling through the UnderWorld and use maps for getting the "stats" I call this "paying tolls."

Say the distance from Street A to Bus Station B is seven coins (which you can quickly find on the gridded map). But then Joe the Tagger has a navigation ability which cuts the distance to six coins. Factor in their vehicle, five coins. Then just do a flip of those five coins -- any tails that show up mean that something has happened in between here and there. A one-tail obstacle is something minor (some beastie), while a five-tail obstacle represents something major (like a cave-in).

Or something. I dunno, it's a bit like a wandering monster roll.


That's a great idea, Jared.  You interested in doing some freelance, or are you just "donating" the idea for a name-check?  :)

If you want to do freelance, let me know.  I'll figure out the specifics on how we're handling the map-grid idea, and get that info to you so you can flesh out your 'paying tolls' idea.

GMS
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Gareth-Michael Skarka
Adamant Entertainment
gms@adamantentertainment.com
joshua neff
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« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2002, 12:46:39 PM »

I think it's a fine line to walk. On one hand, for non-New Yorkers, there should be some detail, to help simulate the city & below. On the other hand, Gareth's exactly right (& not just because it's his game), UnderWorld is a fairy tale/myth, & nothing should be set in stone.

I love Over the Edge, but I wish there was more in the rulebook on how to make a weird place like Al Amarja, & less on what specifically Al Amarja is like. I think Gareth could easily do that in UW mark 2--have lots of good stuff to help a GM (or Conductor) & players (since I could see a lot of the setting being created by players, along the lines of intuitive continuity) create a fairy tale/myth landscape under New York (or any big subway city), rather than lots of details of what his New York UnderWorld is like.
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--josh

"You can't ignore a rain of toads!"--Mike Holmes
TSL
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« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2002, 12:54:02 PM »

Quote from: Key20Jason

Fuck you, Jared, that's awesome.


Now, now, Jason, you know Jared is insane as well as brilliant.  He may not know whether that's an insult, a compliment or an invitation. :)

As I recall, not to long ago I was reading some posts where Jared indicated that he was unsure if there was any design left to do, as most of it had probably been done in one shape or another before. Perhaps... but this idea, Mr. Sorensen is not only the best "wandering monster" idea I've heard for any system, but it's UnderWorld linked to boot.

Instead of a GM secretly rolling dice, you totally engage the players since the character doing the navigation would do the flipping.  The players would all know something was going to happen after the flip, not suspect.  The nature of any trouble would still be in the Conductor's hands, but the players would be all to painfully aware that they brought it on themselves, mercilessly ribbing the poor soul that did the navigating no doubt.  Throw in a few complications, like a second navigator being able to help out and your good to go.

This even goes along well with a Secret I created called "The Swiftest Road".

Bravo, Jared.

(I mean "well done" of course, Jared is more like a Librarian-Artificer.)
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TS
Servant of Mantorok since 1863
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Jason L Blair
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Posts: 636

Nothing is sacred.


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« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2002, 12:57:09 PM »

Quote from: TSL

Quote from: Key20Jason

Fuck you, Jared, that's awesome.

Now, now, Jason, you know Jared is insane as well as brilliant.  He may not know whether that's an insult, a compliment or an invitation. :)


Trust me, Jared knows it's all three.
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Jason L Blair
Writer, Game Designer
GMSkarka
Member

Posts: 148


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« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2002, 01:26:35 PM »

Quote from: Key20Jason

Trust me, Jared knows it's all three.


OK....raise your hands if "Eww".

Thank you for buffing my mind's eyeball with THAT particular image.

Yeesh.

GMS
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Gareth-Michael Skarka
Adamant Entertainment
gms@adamantentertainment.com
Jared A. Sorensen
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Posts: 1463

Darksided


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« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2002, 02:34:07 PM »

Quote from: GMSkarka

That's a great idea, Jared.  You interested in doing some freelance, or are you just "donating" the idea for a name-check?  :)

If you want to do freelance, let me know.  I'll figure out the specifics on how we're handling the map-grid idea, and get that info to you so you can flesh out your 'paying tolls' idea.


Um, sure. I'd be happy to help out.

Jeepers, I didn't think it was that good...I almost didn't post it. Glad I did. :)

Oh yeah -- you won't even need maps, really. Just a list of the tolls between various places mentioned in the game (bonus: make it look like a ticket you get at toll booths in NY/NJ).

So (making these up because I don't have UW within arm's reach):

From Barony of Cheese
to El Dorado - 3 coins (good roads, not too far)
to Kingston - 5 coins (farther than El Dorado)
to the Wastes - 6 coins (not as far, but more dangerous roads)
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