*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
November 30, 2021, 11:24:52 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 88 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
Pages: 1 2 [3]
Print
Author Topic: [Pentarch] Boffer LARP design  (Read 12828 times)
Graham W
Member

Posts: 437


WWW
« Reply #30 on: October 07, 2005, 04:02:59 AM »

ON COMBAT:

Drew and others have convinced me.  I'll be stripping out the differing weapon damage and, therefore, the majority of combat calls.   From now on, one hit equals one damage.  For now, at least, I'm planning to keep calls for disarm, pierce, parry, and other effects of that sort, as characters are strictly limited on the number of those they can perform.  This should help make the game more interesting for people like Sven, who are turned off by damage calls.  I know I'll like it better, at least.

Jake, if you don't mind me saying...

I'm not quite sure what you want out of your combat system. So far, you've said, it shouldn't be too complicated. Which is great. But what should combat be about? Is it about dueling for honor, about the gritty realities of being hit in the stomach with a sword, about epic confrontations?

The reason I recommended Dogs in the Vineyard was that it has a combat system which is a. Fun and b. Pushes play in a very particular direction. It does all of these, in fact:

a. Pushes players to get more violent as the combat progresses. (If you can't win with fists, pull a gun. That'll shut them up.)
b. Causes moral dilemmas for the players
c. Moves the story forward while the combat is happening
d. Encourages players to get involved in life or death situations (because taking "damage" in a combat can actually be used to improve your character. And, if you die, you get to reroll a new character straight away, with the same amount of dice as your old character).

(That's all a vast simplification and bastardisation of the DitV system, of course).

And the great thing is that it's the rules that push the combat in this direction.

So, could you have some specific design goals, and then write the combat rules to reinforce those goals? For example, if you want the game to be about the struggle for survival, you could introduce penalties for characters who haven't eaten for days. If you wanted a game about the fear of mortality, you could say that, when someone's hit with a sword, they draw a random card with an injury on it ("You've been hit in the stomach. You're reduced to 1 food ration a day." or "You've been hit in the leg. Roleplay moving slowly with a limp"). Or something.

Does that make sense? You can still have a combat system that's simple but that gives the combat the flavour you want.

Graham
Logged
Simon Marks
Member

Posts: 67


WWW
« Reply #31 on: October 07, 2005, 04:32:41 AM »

In the end, it might just break down to us having different ideas of what's cool and fun and what's not. Personally, unstealable currency seems game-breakingly lame to me. A large LARP is going to be nearly (if not completely) impossible to focus on one defined set of options and choices. Restricting the player's choice in this way seems definitely un-fun to me (not that I'm opposed to restricting player choice in general, just in this specific case). Or it might be that one or both of us are not accurately predicting the results of stealable/unstealable currency -- playtesting might be needed.

I'm not so much suggesting an Unstealable Currency, my mind was wandering off onto another tangent.

Instead, as a suggestion, Sources of Income become more important than actual Currency.

So, instead of "By the end of the game you must have 3 food, 3 water, and 300 coins or you have these problems" you instead say "By the end of the game, you must have or have access to 1 source of food, 1 source of water, 1 source of income"

You can steal money, but it's only a short term boost. In the long term, you have to earn it.

This emphasises interaction and co-dependancy within the players and significantly downplays any ability to 'murder your way through life'

It enforces a society, includes it's own moderation system and allows for more stability. And killing people is bad for everyone (you loose a potential source of resources)

Finally, to ensure (if you wish) that you can remain a bandit, then allow that to be an option. Just put it into the rules.

The obssession with actual coin is (I find) a holdover from Dungeon Crawling. I'm just suggesting that there are always alternatives - and this is one of them. I think that it suits one of the primary design goals (prioritising social interaction over combat) without detriment to the feel of the system.

Still, I could be wrong.
Logged

"It is a small mind that sees all life has to offer"

I have a Blog now.
Lig
Member

Posts: 11

It's all my fault...


WWW
« Reply #32 on: October 07, 2005, 08:04:00 AM »

Quote
The obssession with actual coin is (I find) a holdover from Dungeon Crawling. I'm just suggesting that there are always alternatives - and this is one of them. I think that it suits one of the primary design goals (prioritising social interaction over combat) without detriment to the feel of the system.

See, I've always thought that having coins is an effort to model commerce as it's found in the real world. It's only when the coins are of little use, and are in fact abstract "gold stars for effort", that it's a holdover from dungeon crawling. And I'm certain that the real world had coins before D&D used them...

There are alternatives, certainly, but they are quite abstract, and would require more processing than an economy that is already entirely within the hands of the characters.
Logged

We could be a thousand years apart, or a thousand miles away...and yet, here we are.
daHob
Member

Posts: 16


« Reply #33 on: October 14, 2005, 02:23:01 PM »

Hi Jake!

I wish I had known abou this place a few years ago. I would have been putting up a post similar to yours. I have gone through the process of designing a boffer combat LARP from scratch. Unfortunately, it died a terrible death after the co-founder lost his job and had to move out of state. So much work, so much fun. The rules are here http://www.thehighborn.com/Published%20Rulebook%20v3.htm if you'd like to take a look. Feel free to steal liberally, we did.

One of the things I learned from the experience was you really need to know what you want in a game. I think you've got a great start in your design goals. You need to put yourself in the place of the player and figure out what you want thier play experience to be. When you have that set, examine all your mechanics and make sure they support your goals in play. Then go back and re-examine stuff you thought was fixed in stone (i.e. do you really need boffer combat to meet your goals? experience? character stats?). We went through about 4 different character systems before we settled on the final one.

Once you are clear on what you want, it's important to communicate it to your players (and potential players). This thread is a great example. You said LARP and people responded with several very distinct playing styles. A ton of work goes into running a LARP. You are far more likely to be successful (defined as everyone, including the staff, having fun) if everyone is on the same page as to what the game is about.

I have some concerns about the PVP. You seem to be sending mixed signals. You are putting a lot of emphasis on stuff, have no established in game legal authority, and a pretty harsh death penalty, but make entry level characters powerful. The rules setup favors a player who comes in to rob, murder and steal for stuff. If he gets killed off he just rolls a new guy and starts again.  However, you seem like you want to discourage that. We had a real delimna with that. Any ideas on how to allow players to pk and steal but not to the point that is becomes the focus of the game?

Hob
Logged

Steve
daHob
Member

Posts: 16


« Reply #34 on: October 14, 2005, 02:29:53 PM »

Quote
The obssession with actual coin is (I find) a holdover from Dungeon Crawling. I'm just suggesting that there are always alternatives - and this is one of them. I think that it suits one of the primary design goals (prioritising social interaction over combat) without detriment to the feel of the system.

See, I've always thought that having coins is an effort to model commerce as it's found in the real world. It's only when the coins are of little use, and are in fact abstract "gold stars for effort", that it's a holdover from dungeon crawling. And I'm certain that the real world had coins before D&D used them...

There are alternatives, certainly, but they are quite abstract, and would require more processing than an economy that is already entirely within the hands of the characters.

We used money as a form of limited character advancement. Coins were directly fuel for the crafting system. The crafting system allowed players to add temporary abilities to their characters (typically for a day or for a limited number of uses). So, it's sort of like getting to add points to your character sheet, but only for a little while. However, our game was kind of high action. Sort of a MMORPG in the woods. Might not work for your game.

Hob
Logged

Steve
Pages: 1 2 [3]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!