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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 88 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Fixing UnderWorld's Problems  (Read 7761 times)
GMSkarka
Member

Posts: 148


WWW
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2002, 10:33:14 AM »

Quote from: joshua neff
(Ha! Get it? I kill me!)


*whap!*  No Alf references!

Bad neff.  No biscuit.


"Remember Alf?  Well, he's back....in pog form."

GMS
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Gareth-Michael Skarka
Adamant Entertainment
gms@adamantentertainment.com
reptile2k1
Member

Posts: 25


« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2002, 11:25:29 AM »

Layout and Art
Well, I already posted that on RPGNet: The interior layout, typesetting and artwork is - in my opinion - extremely horrible. I'd like to see a more 'conservative' approach, so reading the book gets easier... I almost did not buy the book because of the way it looks inside!

Rules
Generally I think the rules are pretty cool! I wrote a boiled down, generic version yesterday to use it as a 'hey, wanna do a spontaneous rpg session'-thing form me and my folks. I made some changes, but unfortunately I wrote it in German and I am too lazy to translate it... maybe later.
Nonetheless I can say what I would like to be changed (and what I did in my boiled down version):

Generic rules
Making a 'generic version' of the rules(charGen, head-count mechanics, combat), so they can be used for other stuff as well. Put that at the beginning of the book... 2-4 pages would be sufficient. Then graft the stuff that is important to the setting onto that system (magic, breeds, guilds, radiance).

Generic characters and charGen
1. Simple names for stats: Traits, Skills, Hobbies, Feats and Flaws
+Traits: well, as they currently are
+Skills: the stuff you get 2 coins for (guild skills)
+Hobbies(or Interests, whatever you like): the stuff you only get 1 coin for (non-guild skills)
+Feats: special abilities, like ambidexterity, undying and stuff
+Flaws: negative Traits or Feats, like 'weak' or 'drug addiction'
2. Point based charGen to allow more diversity in characters
+ every character starts with 1 Trait, 1 Skill, 1 Hobby, 1 Feat and 1 Flaw
+ the player can spend 8 more character points (CP): Trait 3CP, Skill 2CP, Hobby 1CP, Feat 4CP, Flaw gives 2 additional CP (limited to 1 additional Flaw).

Background-specific rules
1. CharGen
+ Guilds and Breeds 'suggest' which Traits, Skills, etc. would be appropriate
+ Guilds and Breeds 'determine' which Feats are allowed and which Flaws are not
2. Magic and Radiance
Haven't thought about it, since I'm not the one who uses magic in games that often... lazy and ignorant me! :D

Experience
Maybe I am blind, but I flipped through the book several tims and couldn't find a chapter about experience... I did not read the book as a whole, but picked out interesting chapters, so maybe I just missed it.
If not, then I would suggest implementing a system for experience, that has two main factors: Luck and Advancement!
Advancing a character should be rather tough, to avoid character inflation, but it should still be possible. The main emphasis should be on Luck, givin players the opportunity to manipulate tests: re-flip a coin, buy an automatic success, re-flip all coins, etc.
Conductor can award 0 to 4 XP per adventure
01XP re-flip one coin
02XP buy an automatic success (but the total number of successes may not exceed the total number of coins flipped)
04XP re-flip all coins
08XP buy new Hobby
16XP upgrade one Hobby to Skill
32XP buy one new Trait or buy off one Flaw
64XP buy one new Feat

Conclusion
I incorporated all that above (except for the background-specific stuff, LARP rules and abstract combat) and it all fits to a single A4 page... okay, I used a size 9 Arial font without examples, but I had enough space for sample weapons and armor. So I think it will be rather easy...

Using cards instead of coins
Cards can as easily be used as coins: take a simple poker deck, put the jokers aside, shuffle, cut the deck in half and make 2 seperate 'half-decks'. Instead of flipping coins a player draws the appropriate number of cards; a black card (spades and clubs) is a success, a red card (diamonds and hearts) is no success. To keep the probability of drawing a black or a red card roughly equal, only draw from one half-deck. If that half-deck is used up, re-shuffle ALL cards and create 2 half-decks again. Okay... it's not 'really' equal to flipping a coin, buzt roughly... and cards are easier to handle, since flipping can be rather dangerous ;).

So much for now!
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A good set of rules fits on less than 4 pages!
GMSkarka
Member

Posts: 148


WWW
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2002, 12:54:43 PM »

Quote from: reptile2k1

Maybe I am blind, but I flipped through the book several tims and couldn't find a chapter about experience... I did not read the book as a whole, but picked out interesting chapters, so maybe I just missed it.


The experience section is very, very brief.  It's on page 129-130, under "Rewards".

Specifically, it discusses the fact that with a simple system like UnderWorld, where Skills and Traits aren't graded (you either have them or you don't), an experience point system doesn't make much sense.  It suggests that Characters get rewarded through Hero Tokens and Bestowed Abilities.

It then goes on to discuss the Hero Token system.....and then completely ignores Bestowed Abilities (because those paragraphs were inexplicably deleted in layout....no, I don't know why).

UW2 will go into more detail, obviously---at the very least it will have the deleted information.  (Grrrrr.....)   But basically, my philosophy is pretty simple:  This is a story-based game (Narrativist, for you GNS fans out there).  In those instances where characters in a story (in television, or film, or literature) get better at their skills, it's a function of the tale being told....so it just makes more sense to link reward directly to the tale (i.e. making them "in-story" rewards) rather than some abstracted system of accounting.

As far as using UW as a generic system goes, I'll comment on that in the other thread that you started.

GMS
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Gareth-Michael Skarka
Adamant Entertainment
gms@adamantentertainment.com
Tim Gray
Member

Posts: 54


« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2002, 02:04:09 AM »

Quote from: reptile2k1
Layout and Art

Using cards instead of coins
Cards can as easily be used as coins: take a simple poker deck, put the jokers aside, shuffle, cut the deck in half and make 2 seperate 'half-decks'. Instead of flipping coins a player draws the appropriate number of cards; a black card (spades and clubs) is a success, a red card (diamonds and hearts) is no success. To keep the probability of drawing a black or a red card roughly equal, only draw from one half-deck. If that half-deck is used up, re-shuffle ALL cards and create 2 half-decks again. Okay... it's not 'really' equal to flipping a coin, buzt roughly... and cards are easier to handle, since flipping can be rather dangerous ;).


Er - surely separating the pack into two parts makes the chances of red and black UNequal in a random way. The pack as a whole has an equal chance per card. Also, you can't easily flip a card from a success to a failure. Apart from that, OK - but I don't think cards offer any net advantages over coins in handling.
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Legends Walk! - a game of ancient and modern superheroes
AndyGuest
Member

Posts: 56


« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2002, 04:14:24 AM »

Stuff I'd like to see in UW2

The biggie for me would be an expanded and clarified Charms section. Mostly I'd like to know if a Charm is an object or the ability to create the object. To be honest I'd like it to be the ability to create the object but that makes some existing charms way out of balance with others. (Yeah I know, this isn't the type of game to worry about balance but some of the charms would be near universal if they could be made and handed out willy-nilly, I'm thinking specifically of those hot stones thingies).

I liked the opening fiction, but only after I'd read the rest of the book. On opening the book for the first time I gave up on the story because it used to much in game/setting stuff to follow. Maybe I'm just thick but I'd've followed it better if it was at the end of the book.

I want (even) more hooks ! I want throw away comments, paragraphs which mention something intriging that is never mentioned again to get my creative juices flowing. Myths and legends that the underworlders tell each other would be good.

I want fantastic locations, cool places that could only exist in fairy tale type stories. There was a setting for Changeling in a couple of old Valkyries (I think) called the Repository of Lost Things (again I think), a collection of books and odd things people had lost, stored in old subway cars on an abandonned station, I want places like that.

I guess I mainly want more, which is lucky if UW2 is gonna be twice as big as UW ;-). Rule wise the only thing I'm after is the Charms clarification. I'll second the request for a Risus rule-set but that's really such an easy conversion it's probably not worth the effort.[/img]
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