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Author Topic: Lost to the mists(working title)  (Read 4369 times)
DarkAsmodeous
Member

Posts: 31


« on: February 23, 2006, 07:37:16 PM »

Hello, this is my first post! Anyway, me and my best friend/lacky have been working on an indie project, and I have decided to have a sort of design journal here, only it's intent is to have communication with other people about my idea's. I will state here that our process is as follows, come up with setting and character type concepts apropriate for gaming, then elaborate on them and their foe's, work on what we wish to be run in a game, and then work out the system to suport it.

Thus far we have come up with a basic concept, in ancient times their were older races lost to the memory of man and events happened, this may not sound very descriptive, but we intend to have each of the character types tell their own legends and accounts of what happened.

Our character types so far are the dons, don taken from british scholar, who through moments of un-obfuscated knowledge of the world around them are aproached by one of two groups, the watchers: a group who seek these people out a provide them with an ancient ability that is inherant in themselves but is held back and clouded by the other group I mentioned, the rancarium: a group who while hiding this power from man, also aproach those who are fit to recieve the power, and grant them it, as well as madness. This naturaly serves as a generic enemy for adventures.

The other character type we currently have concieved are the aerials, who use shards who's origin is steeped in legend, that they insert into their palms, representing one of five "mirriors" their game names are undetermined but they represent space-time, life, fate, mind, and natural forces. These shards hold powers, the more specific it is, the easier it's use will be, so the aerials combine the abilities in creative ways, for example Tim has a shard alowing him to spark a flame, another to move flame, and another to increase it's size but not intensity, now with these he could control shapes of fire, but say he had a shard capable of turning fire into ice, he would have control of fire shapes AND ice shapes. These shards are forged from untapped shards that are useless, so the as of now unamed makers form them basing their ability on their size and potency, these men will be rare. Now the ability to use the shards is hereditary, and the families like to remain within themselves as clans, with hundreds of small clans, and a handful of massive globe spanning ones. An aeronite can't have infinite shards or power however, as he grows in experience, he can "liquidate" more of the shards, allowing him to use more and larger shards, now if aerial uses more energy then he can handle, he overburns

I realize that all this text is daunting, but please post responses, and if enough people are interested, I'll posy what we have of each of the character types backgrounds, and other things we have worked out already.
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DarkAsmodeous
Member

Posts: 31


« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2006, 07:43:40 PM »

OH, I'm sorry, I forgot to post what the dons do! They have a small amount of control of reality around, mostly on their own bodies, as they progress they gain the ability to become more and more superhuman while exerting their power, and at a slower pace also gain minute control on the world around them, like softening metal with a touch.
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DarkAsmodeous
Member

Posts: 31


« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2006, 03:02:32 PM »

OK, I have now done some work on the system. The dice system I am using is a dice pool. now the main portions of a character are:

skills- attributes that take away from the difficulty of a roll

attributes- inherent capabilities that allow for easier attempts at skills and other actions by adding more dice, used in almost all checks

feats- generally specific abilities that add more dice to your efforts

effects- special capabilities that vary based on character type, usually with their own rules

quirks- generally small abilities that add little to actual gameplay other than maybe a few less difficulty or the occasional dice, that serve to help create a unique character

movement- the characters base speed in meters

run movement- double the normal movement, actions done during this time suffer a -4 dice penalty, DM's discretion as to what can be done while running

initiative- the bonus applied to dice rolls for movement, if you have over 5 init higher than opponent then you automatically go first
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DarkAsmodeous
Member

Posts: 31


« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2006, 03:05:12 PM »

Now for the attributes

All attributes come in pairs, you may not have one attribute at 5 unless it's pair is at 3+

attributes-
    AF [awarness- a character's alertness
     focus- ability to stay on task, drive twords completing a task]    
   
   SE [strength- a characters sheer brawn   
    endurance- their ability to soak of pain, stamina]
   
   SI [social- capbility to use social interaction to once advantage
    intelligence- smarts]
   
    AP [apearance- physical apearance
    pois- composure]
   
   RD [reflexes- reaction speed and ability
    dexterity- deftness of the body and hands]

Feats-   A feat cannot have more ranks than the lowest attribute of it's pair. A feat adds more dice to a relevant roll.

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DarkAsmodeous
Member

Posts: 31


« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2006, 03:05:52 PM »

I know I havn't posted a question, but I have gotten no replies, could I get some feedback if you have the chance?
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Anders Larsen
Member

Posts: 270


« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2006, 04:32:12 AM »

I know I havn't posted a question, but I have gotten no replies, could I get some feedback if you have the chance?

Questions would be nice, but I will try to give some feedback anyway.

I see you have a setting that could turn out to be very interesting. And then I see the beginning of a system that have nothing to do with that setting.

The characters are scholars that can control reality and people with magical abilities, then why is attributes like 'strength' and 'appearance' necessary? Why is movement necessary?

Here is what I see being important elements in the setting:
  • The dons have moments of un-obfuscated knowledge.
  • The dons can receive ancient abilities.
  • The dons can risk receive power and madness.
  • The dons can control reality.
  • The aerials have shards that give them power (space-time, life, fate, mind, and natural forces)
  • The aerials inherits this power from their family.
  • The aerials lives in clans.
  • The aerials can risk using to much power and overburn.

I would rather see you making mechanics/ rules that support these elements of the game. After that it is easier to determined what attributes is necessary.

And one question about the setting: The dons and the aerials seem to support to different types of stories. Is there something that connects these to character types?

I hope I don't sound to negative here. I actually like many of the ideas in your setting. I just want you to focus on the interesting ideas, and not wasting time on rules that is really not important for your game.

Oh, and even though i am a newcomer myself, I should properly say: Welcome to the Forge!

 - Anders

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DarkAsmodeous
Member

Posts: 31


« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2006, 03:39:11 PM »

Thanks for the feedback!

And as for that, to be honest, as I made the system, we were still in the phases of fleshing out the other 3 character types

There are the keepers and guardians, who both are members of the oath clans, a group steeped in ritual and ceremony who also act as a sort of "police" ensuering that magical beings and the like aren't exposed to the public. These character types use more traditional magic in the area's of air, water, fire, earth, life, and wind, however the keepers focus on the more dramatic damage inflicting area's of earth fire and water and are your traditional wizards. The Guardians are more physically and defensively based, focusing on air, life, and wind; These guys spend years honing their body as well as their magic and tend to Cary a weapon that they focus in, and as a result have access to more weapon based feats. And neither one may have more than to ranks in a magical are that they do not specialize in. The guardians and keepers work together towards the goals of the oath clans, policing the use of magic and keeping the peace, as of now the number of clans is undetermined, I'm thinking four or five, keep it small and simple.

The fifth and final character type are currently unarmed(we call them reapers for now) are your 'Witch' type characters, using blood and souls to work their will,  the darker side of magic. Needless to say, they are not popular with the oath clans, I'm considering making a sort of "inquisition" style character.

Appearance and strength are for situations when magic would be unacceptable, or you are not skilled in that area of the game.

The setting is modern day, but we are considering having an area, maybe a nuclear wasteland, that only the supernaturals dwell in.

My question is, do you think that the skills and feats are redundant?  And also, is their anything else you think should be changed?
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DarkAsmodeous
Member

Posts: 31


« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2006, 03:42:41 PM »

OH! I didn't answere your last question, I have noticed that there is no real goal for any of the character types besides the keepers and guardians, so we are thinking mysteries and problems that they must deal with that will form them together, as well ans the enemy types that I will cover in my next post. And the different groups sometimes band together in combat against the others, as well as the ancient being that turned against humanity.

And thanks for the welcome!
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Anders Larsen
Member

Posts: 270


« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2006, 01:08:11 PM »

Quote
My question is, do you think that the skills and feats are redundant?  And also, is their anything else you think should be changed?

I will comment on these question shortly. But first...

Try to answer the three famous question:
1) What is your game about?
2) What do the characters do?
3) What do the players do?
But before you answer them, read this. It is not obvious how to answer these question. You may think that you have answered the first question in you first post, but that is properly not what you game really is about. An example of an answer could be: "The game is about the responsibility of handling great power," or maybe "The game is about the stress of possessing dangerous knowledge." Properly it's something completely different, but well ... You tell me.

These question is designed to get you focused on what you what to achieve with the game. What feeling you are going for. What kind of roleplaying experience you want.

But on to your questions. To tell the truth, I can not really give you any answers. Because i do not know (yet) what you what with your game. But I will give you my take on skills.

Most game should properly have a list of abilities that shows what the character can do. But there should not be any skills that a character can not use to participate in a conflict. The important part in a game is the conflicts the characters face. So if there is something on the character sheet that cannot be used in a conflict, then why is it there?

My favourite example is cooking. Many game have a cooking skill. But I would feel cheated if I had spend point on cooking, for it can not be used to anything important. If a player want cooking he can say it, or write it on the back of his sheet, and then he can cook. Don't force him to spend point on it.

I am not quite sure what Feats are (your description is a little vague). But at this point I think you should tell me if they are important for the game.

 - Anders
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DarkAsmodeous
Member

Posts: 31


« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2006, 03:10:50 PM »

Once again, thanks for the reply!

Question one, what is the point of my game.
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DarkAsmodeous
Member

Posts: 31


« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2006, 03:18:46 PM »

oops, that posted while I was typing :/

Anyway, Question one

              My game is about the pursuit of power within the hierarchy of the world, whilst attempting to learn the mysteries of the past and keep order, amongst themselves, and the darker beings that roam just out of sight.

Question 2, what do the characters do

             Depending on their type, they hunt down that which gives them power, work for their corresponding organizations, seek knowledge to alleviate the curses and pains that each one suffers(not yet established) and to work towards defeating the darker organizations and beasts, or even eachother.

Question 3, what do the players do

            At first, simply deciding what their characters are going to work towards, be it order, chaos, power, or knowledge, as this will effect the game to suit them at higher points of development, and to make moral decisions, as the GM will often present the need to remain compassionate and the like or to disregard it(considering working that in rule wise) and at higher points in the game, to point the organizations to or against war, or to forever change the world.

As for skills and feats

their are only a few skills that will be pretty broad, that make rolls easier by lowering the target number, whilst feats are more specific, and some have restrictions as to who can have them, and they add more dice to the rolls.

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DarkAsmodeous
Member

Posts: 31


« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2006, 05:14:10 PM »

I am now questioning whether or not I want to stick with this system, but I have been doing some work on it, I have reduced the attributes to 8, and made a list of 3 skills per pair of attributes for a total of 12 skills.

Attributes

Dexterity
Reflexes

Strength
Endurance

Appearance
Social

Awareness
Composure

Skills

DE [Aim
Drive
Precision]

SE [Melee
Weaponry
Intimidate]

AS [Seduction
Persuade
Gather Information]

AC [Senses
Resolve
Focus]

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DarkAsmodeous
Member

Posts: 31


« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2006, 05:30:17 PM »

I am considering making the game a little less traditional style by perhaps using a less skill based system. Possibly one with character beliefs goals quirks and paradigms fitted into the rules, do you think this would be possible to implement without sucking the fun of choice from the players?
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Anders Larsen
Member

Posts: 270


« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2006, 12:33:32 PM »

You have some good answers to the three questions. I will see these answers as being what is important in your game. Just one thing: What do you see as being the main conflict(s) in the game. If there are more that one please prioritise them. And please keep the list below five conflicts.

Quote
I am now questioning whether or not I want to stick with this system, but I have been doing some work on it, I have reduced the attributes to 8, and made a list of 3 skills per pair of attributes for a total of 12 skills.

Just one thing: Don't panic! Take it slowly, and keep the focus on what you want with your game. All that I write is just my opinion.

But I will try to justify my opinion here.

I was seeing that you where beginning to make a general system1, that could be used for any setting, and not specially focused on your setting.

There is a problem with general systems. Let's take the d20 system as an example. If you have a cool setting and use the d20 system, you will risk that your players will play the d20 system, with some added colour that happen to be you setting.

On the other hand, if you have a system that reinforce what your game is about, that support the concepts in the game and that reward the roleplaying experience you want, the players will play your game (and setting) from start to end; the rules wouldn't have it otherwise.

Now, I would bet that most game designers want to go for the second option. It is more true to the game, and it will lead to more intense gameplay.

Quote
I am considering making the game a little less traditional style by perhaps using a less skill based system. Possibly one with character beliefs goals quirks and paradigms fitted into the rules, do you think this would be possible to implement without sucking the fun of choice from the players?

I see a system of character beliefs to be essential for any modern game design. Not only does it make character play more intense, it is also a way for the player to tell the GM what he want with the character.

There is different ways a beliefs system can be handled.

Maybe the character have a list of beliefs that works like Feats. If my character have the belief: "I will always protect the weak", then I will get a bonus when I use a skill to protect a weak person.

A belief can be a way to gain XP. Every time you follow your beliefs you will get XP, or better: Every time your beliefs get you in trouble, you will get XP.

Thing that is important in a beliefs system is, that the beliefs is dynamic - they can be changed (but properly, a character type in your game should have some beliefs that can not be changed). And there should be a good number of beliefs, or the character should be able to write his own beliefs.

Maybe each character type have each a list of beliefs. The player can then choose to or three beliefs from the list and make up on or two himself.

So if you do this right it will be more fun for the players, even though it may limit the characters.


I was also going to make some comment about your setting, but I have to do that later.

 - Anders

----
1 I don't believe that there exists truly general systems, but that is an other discussion.
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DarkAsmodeous
Member

Posts: 31


« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2006, 01:39:11 PM »

Thank you, your comments on beliefs and Exp have got me thinking, I am going to be using a small amount of Exp system so I wouldn't want players just focusing on hoarding that, so I decided to make it a DM call. If a player has adequately roleplayed his beliefs into good situations, he gets 1-2 Exp at the end of the adventure, if he does the same for negative consequences then an additional 1-2 is given. I am undecided as to how beliefs will effect game rolls.

As for conflicts I'm not sure whether you mean things that players overcome, or between groups in the game.
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