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Author Topic: [Untitled] The power of Gods  (Read 4210 times)
mistercrapdaddy
Member

Posts: 5


« on: February 20, 2006, 10:13:04 PM »

Novice game designer here.

I'm writing up a new game about the responsibility of power and I need advice for systems relating to Godlike powers.  I'm basically looking for general examples of how it might be possible to quantify near omnipotence within the parameters of a game mechanic.  Any suggestions would be very appreciated.

Thanks everyone!
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Troy_Costisick
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Posts: 802


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« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2006, 06:32:07 AM »

Heya,

Amber Diceless I think handles this.  You might try Noblis as well.  But really, let me ask you some questions that might help us help you in a way that's better than listing games and systems you should try.

1) What do you want your game to really be about?

2) What do you want the characters to be able to do in the game?

3) How do you want the players to interact with each other and the GM if there is one in your game?

Peace,

-Troy

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Adam Dray
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Posts: 676


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« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2006, 07:02:31 AM »

Welcome to the Forge! Got a name I can call you other than Mr. Crapdaddy? I'm Adam.

God power is interesting. I think you have to define more clearly what you mean by "near omnipotence." I understand both words; I don't understand where you draw the line when you put them together. What limitations to omnipotence are you implying?

I think that's where the game is. It's all about limitations, isn't it? Assuming players get to play godlike beings who can do almost anything, the interesting stuff happens around the "almost." What is it they can't do, and why can't they do it, and how does that make their lives complicated? Your system will need to address limitations and interplay between limitations of multiple deities.

My Life With Master has an interesting take on this, though the characters in question are far from divine. Each PC has a More Than Human ability phrased in the form "X, except/unless/but Y" where X is something at which they always succeed. For example, "I can read people's thoughts, unless they are children" or "I can lift anything, but not when I am being watched." The abilities don't have related scores or anything. You just use them and expect them to succeed in the right situations.

Hee. You can also solve some philosophical debates. For example, say you define a god PC with the limitation: Cannot Lift Heavy Objects. The god literally can create an object so heavy he can't lift it.

Do answer Troy's questions. I need to understand your goals better before I can give you more.
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Adam Dray / adam@legendary.org
Verge -- cyberpunk role-playing on the brink
FoundryMUSH - indie chat and play at foundry.legendary.org 7777
simon_hibbs
Member

Posts: 678


« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2006, 11:53:51 AM »

I'm writing up a new game about the responsibility of power and I need advice for systems relating to Godlike powers.  I'm basically looking for general examples of how it might be possible to quantify near omnipotence within the parameters of a game mechanic. 
Easy answer, when it comes to godlike powers - don't quantify them. After all, what are the chances that Mars will lose a combat? Zero. What are the chances that Aphrodite will fail to seduce a mortal? (or even another god for that matter) Zero.

So now the contests have to be moved somehow to 'neutral' territory where the gods have similar levels of ability. Take for example the beauty contest between Aphrodite, Hera and Diana that kicked off the Trojan War. The goddesses didn't even try to use their beauty to persuade Paris to decalre them the winner. It would have been no contest, Aphrodite would have won any fair contest, and the other goddesses knew that so they imediately set about bribing Paris. Aphrodite knew very well they'd do this, so she bribed him too. When the game mechanics give little or no doubt about how a 'streight' contest will go, immediately you need to start thinkign about how the characetrs can sneak, connive, bluff, ambush and bribe their way to victory and that's what Amber is actualy all about (for example), which is why most (but not all) of it's critics frankly haven't got a clue what they're talking about.

The question of exploring responsibility is actualy a much more difficult one. I can't think of any from Greek myth, or Egypt or Mesopotamia because frankly their gods didn't realy give a fig about mortals as such. If the game is about those consequences though, you need some kind of mechanical way to bring it into play.

Sorry this doesn't directly address the main problem, but I hope it at least helps you think about it. I'll see if i can come up with anything more helpful

Simon Hibbs
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Simon Hibbs
Justin Marx
Member

Posts: 88


« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2006, 03:59:58 AM »

Heroquest also has a good scale mechanic, nice and simple and easy to use with a minimum of fuss. Can be graded from mortal to heroic to demigod to uberdeity quite easily and clearly.
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dindenver
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Posts: 928

Don't Panic!


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« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2006, 08:51:03 AM »

Hi!
  I think the issue of these kinds of stories is about personality, not powers and limitations.
  Maybe that is the key to success, part of chargen should include "That thing you must do" or "That thing you must not do"
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Dave M
Author of Legends of Lanasia RPG (Still in beta)
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