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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 62 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [SUPERLATIVE] A somewhat short, somewhat complete game  (Read 2027 times)
Roger
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Posts: 168


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« on: February 10, 2006, 01:42:47 PM »

I've released version 1.0 of SUPERLATIVE, a short 'concept game' I've written.  It's available at:

http://roger.carbol.com/rpg/Superlative_v1_0.pdf

I'm mostly happy with how it turned out.  My biggest problem with it right now is with the Superlative vs. Superlative resolution system.  I'm thinking it might need to get away from Fortune entirely and use either a Drama or a Karma system.

Comments on that issue or on anything else are welcome.


Cheers,
Roger
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TonyLB
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2006, 02:06:48 PM »

What was your goal with the game?  What are you trying to, y'know, help people do?
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Roger
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Posts: 168


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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2006, 03:05:40 PM »

My goal was to write a game in which the characters were completely static -- i.e., there was no character advancement.

It was prompted by a thread on anyway about the length of games, and my own theory that, in other media, very long-running series tended to feature characters which never meaningfully changed.

I'm not sure how players would respond to a game with no character advancement.  Presumably it would shoot Gamist play in the foot.  The effect, if any, on Narrative play is unclear to me.


Cheers,
Roger
 
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knicknevin
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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2006, 10:48:57 AM »

How would your system handle either of the following potential scenarios?

 - The Hawk, who is the worlds greatest sniper, fires at a group of the PCs... whereupon Mr. Invincible, the worlds toughest man, takes the bullet and Jesse Owens, the world's fastest man, runs over to the Hawk and captures him. If the PCs form a group with complementary abilities, how can the NPCs effectively threaten them? And vice versa? Wouldn't it just come down to which side tossed the most heads, if not an outright victory for one side?

 - How are actions carried out which have no opposition? If a heavy weight needs lifting, how do you decide whether a normal or Superaltive can accomplish the task? Do inanmate objects have normal/Superlative traits? And can the worlds smartest man say "I try to solve the puzzle", thus circumventing any mystery that has arisen? If he can't, why not?
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Roger
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Posts: 168


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« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2006, 08:47:02 AM »

How would your system handle either of the following potential scenarios?

 - The Hawk, who is the worlds greatest sniper, fires at a group of the PCs... whereupon Mr. Invincible, the worlds toughest man, takes the bullet and Jesse Owens, the world's fastest man, runs over to the Hawk and captures him. If the PCs form a group with complementary abilities, how can the NPCs effectively threaten them? And vice versa? Wouldn't it just come down to which side tossed the most heads, if not an outright victory for one side?

Mr. Invincible is a super human, but he's not actually superhuman.  Even the toughest guy is going to notice a round from a sniper rifle.

Similarly, Owens might be the fastest human in the world, but if The Hawk has a mile head-start and a motorcycle, he's probably not going to jog up on the sniper.

(As an aside, the greatest sniper is pretty close to a superlative occupation, which I've specifically suggested might be a problem.)

The fundamental issue here, though -- what happens when Superlatives collide -- is one, in general, I'm not really happy with the system's handling of.  Thanks for the feedback on it.

Quote
How are actions carried out which have no opposition? If a heavy weight needs lifting, how do you decide whether a normal or Superaltive can accomplish the task?

This is a trickery, yes.  I could have gotten all Sim and included reams of tables detailing all this, but I decided against it.  A copy of a Book of World Records or something similar would probably come in handy for delimiting the Superlatives (and provide some good inspiration besides.  "I want to be the guy who can cram the most lit cigarettes into his mouth at one time!")

As for more normal abilities, I've intentionally left it to GM fiat and/or group consensus.  If you want an average person to deadlift two hundred pounds, sure, fine, go for it.

Thanks for looking it over.


Cheers,
Roger
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Adam Biltcliffe
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Posts: 56


« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2006, 02:25:15 AM »

It seems to me that if you guarantee the "episodic" nature of the game -- that characters cannot change from one episode to another for better or for worse -- the players have no real reason to care about events in the game. If the worst that can happen is that everything is forgotten by the start of next episode, where is the disincentive from spending the entire episode at home drinking tea?

Or do you intend the 'static characters' thing to only apply to character abilities, and characters can still evolve on a personal level? If so, how do you ensure that that happens? How does this tie in with a character who is 'the happiest person in the world'?

It seems as though there might be an opening here for "we know nothing about your character to start, but as soon as he or she takes a stance on something, it's fixed forever" as a character-exploration thing, but I don't think that's much to do with what you were talking about.

adam

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Arpie
Member

Posts: 83


« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2006, 11:56:49 PM »

I assume that a superlative character, acting outside of his or her field, is considered a normal for all conflict resolution purposes? That's kind of what I got from the examples, but I didn't see a definate statement to that effect in the rules. I have to read these things kinda fast.

For instance, if Dr. Orbasite, the world's sharpest-eyed detective, does some forensics work to catch Buck Nasty, the most elusive exhibitionist ever born, then Buck Nasty has an even chance of getting caught (because Dr. Orbasite will probably spot some important detail in the forensics work, or not, depending on the roll.)

However, if Dr. Orbasite tries to chase down Buck Nasty upon figuring out his latest scheme to expose himself lewdly, since Buck Nasty is superlatively elusive, Dr. Orbasite will fail, handily, to catch Buck

Ne ce'est pais?
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Arpie
Member

Posts: 83


« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2006, 12:00:46 AM »

Oh, wait, I see, the answer to my question is in the second paragraph. Duh! Sorry. I just skipped over that as introductory fol-de-rol.

Well, the basic concept works and it's pretty funny, to boot.

It would be neat if, when you do your fifty-fifty flip, you got to describe your own failure (since you're superlative) but your enemy/the referee got to describe your success (since they're superlative, too.)
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