*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
December 07, 2021, 12:40:01 AM

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: 76 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: [Dragons of Blood and Water] Ronnies feedback  (Read 2898 times)
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« on: January 03, 2006, 08:22:52 PM »

Dragons of Blood and Water by Gareth Hanrahan wavered in my mind, back-and-forth, between Bake It, Betty and Runner-Up. Gareth, there's a little bit of arty-farty angst in here, by way of Nobilis and Amber, but I forgive you.

One thing I really liked about this was its "third point" of a triangle with the two existing terms ... (a) dragons made from (b) mud by (c) who? Answer: shapers.

The primary neat thing is also the source of some of the difficulties, though, which is the scaling from Scions (people) up to Families and, at the same level, Dragons. You get a pool of points to create the higher level, and then use it as well to build Scions on a kind of case-by-case basis. It's a great framework for player-characters, providing ownership and structure, but leaving out many of the unconsidered assumptions people usually associate with the concept.

I'm not sure the structure quite hangs together yet, though, and even if it does, I got confused while trying to grasp it. Here are the main points that in combination made me say, damn, I can't play this yet, because I don't know how.

1. I suggest a bit more scenario-building structure, using scale as a literal mechanic, perhaps alternating between Family/Dragon vs. Scion level, or some less rigid but still mechanics-based way to organize them.

2. I am very, very dubious about splitting up the various scores to arrive at sub-scores. I've tried this in a lot of game designs myself, and although that's no definitive reason to say it never works, I can say it's been a pretty unworkable idea in general. At best, a laborious way to achieve something more easily achieved simply by assigning the basic scores from scratch.

A related point, but based more on a perception of inelegance rather than a claim that it's broken, is that it looks like there's kind of hiccup, or hump, in generating the Currency for building Scions. OK, I've got 12 to split among Mind, Body, and Resources. For a Family, split Mind into Influence and Lore, split Body into Army and Vigour, and split Resources into Holdings and Stronghold. For a Dragon, similarly, split the same three base scores into six (three times two) corresponding traits. But for a Scion, it works differently for some reason: you add 3 to each of the six traits before assigning the points from the base scores. Why is that?

And a sub-point to that is the confusing part in which the text talks about how multiple Scions share the same base scores to draw from, but the "for instance" phrase that's supposed to demonstrate seems to be about something else entirely. Is this related to the "why" question above? Or not? Or?

3. As I've mentioned a couple of times in this round, the long-standing notion of opposed vs. unopposed checks/resolution in the same game is a bunch of gooey badness. I'm lookin' at the resolution stuff on page four, and the whole game becomes so much better when you just snip out that little table and following paragraph, and chew up that piece of paper, and spit it out in a wad, far away. If something poses a reason why someone needs to make a Check, then assign the something an appropriate attribute.

Wait a minute. I have a better idea. Gareth, have you checked out Mongrel? That actually poses another solution entirely - instead of having roll on roll, every roll uses someone's value as a target number - i.e., all rolls are opposed, but not by rolls (I'm not the one who invented this by a long shot, but I think I implemented it pretty well in Mongrel). The more I think about it, the more it seems like this model, or the idea behind it in some implementation, might work better for this game.

And let me be the first to say it: it's great to see you again! (Everyone else: Gareth was a long-time contributor to many early debates at the Gaming Outpost and Forge, as Mytholder.)

Best,
Ron
Logged
Mytholder
Member

Posts: 205


WWW
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2006, 05:41:03 AM »

Arty-farty angst by way of Nobilis? Me? Whatever could you Mean? All those Capitalisations were entirely Justified. :)

Thanks very much for the feedback. After so long working in the bowels of d20, it was very refreshing to try designing from scratch. As for your specific comments:
1. I was vaguely thinking about a formal structure for the game: a threat or problem that involves several Familes arises. The Families react to this threat by sending out one Scion each. The Scions investigate the threat, and eventually (and I know that 'eventually' is a sticking point) invoke one or more Dragons to stomp on it.

2. Yeah, the whole split scores for subscores thing is iffy. I think I originally did it that way because I wanted Scion creation to be very quick indeed, and splitting three scores into three pairs of subscores is faster than allocating a pool of points to six scores. Of course, when I got to Scion creation, I went off on another tack. Any reworking will definitely involve a rewrite of the generation system.

As for Scions - I don't know if you picked this up from the text, but once you spend points on a Scion, they're gone for good. For example, I've got a Mind pool of 4. In one session, I need a genius Scion to research a ritual. I put three points (+9) into the Scion's Will, giving him a Will of 12.  My Mind pool drops to 1. Next game session, my territories are invaded, so I create another Scion who's a general. I put my last Mind point into his Wit, giving him a Wit of 6. My Mind pool is now empty - any future Scions will use the base scores for their Wits and Will.

You can therefore only have a handful of exceptional Scions in your family.

The 'Scion scores start at 3' rule gives everyone some basic competence.

3. I'll check out Mongrel. I'm not seeing the unutterable badness of opposed vs unopposed checks though.

And while I haven't been posting, I have been lurking a bit of late. But it is great to talk to you again.
Logged
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2006, 09:43:02 AM »

Hello,

I understand the Scions better now, although it seems to me the obvious solution is simply to have only one Scion "operative" at any one time.

The base 3 for Scion scores needs to be dumped immediately. If all Checks are to be opposed, the 3 plays no mechanical role at all.

Best,
Ron
Logged
Pages: [1]
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!