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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 75 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Am I putting the CRUNCH in CRUNCHY?  (Read 1547 times)
mratomek
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« on: March 10, 2006, 12:48:43 PM »

The game I am working on, Monster Rules, is a generic RPG/wargame hybrid. You get to create your own characters that you use in game play, which is played-out in more of a head-to-head wargame fashion.

Part of the character creation process invovles the creation of powers--basically anything that a character can do during a game. Since the game is generic, the power-building process is wide open.

Essentially you pick a basic power and then modify it further by selecting a Range, Power Source, Attribute, Boosts, Drawbacks and Special Abilities.

I chose this approach rather than predefined powers as it allows far more flexibility--but is a bit crunchy.

When I get a game that attempts to fence me in, I am the first one to try and jump the fence, so I want to maintain a more open/flexible approach to power creation. But is there a better way to do it?

I have tried to facilitate a faster power building process by offering plenty of hints. For example, a power's description would include the following:

Fear
Source: Dimensional, Mutation, Psychic, Skill or Supernatural
Range: Beam (+Agility, Perception or Resolve)
Range: Melee (+Agility or Presence)
Boost: Flee, Scare to Death
etc...

The player would --hopefully-- be able to quickly choose a Source, Range and attribute modifier, and any other boost. But sometimes a source can limit a player's choice. For example, Psychic powers can only use Perception or Resolve.

Anyways, the if, and, or makes bulding a bit crunchy.

Any suggestions?

Thanks.

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MrAtomek

Once upon a time ... the Earth needed to be saved ... on a regular basis.

Super Force Seven
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Josh Roby
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« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2006, 03:29:50 PM »

Providing the basic rules and then offer a healthy number of examples seems the best way to go about it.  Are they balanced by points or some similar mechanic?
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mratomek
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« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2006, 06:48:29 PM »

Yes. The system uses a point-build approach to character creation. The more points you dump into one power, the fewer points you'll have for other powers.
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MrAtomek

Once upon a time ... the Earth needed to be saved ... on a regular basis.

Super Force Seven
Tactical RPG / Miniatures Wargame

www.superforceseven.com
Callan S.
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« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2006, 09:49:32 PM »

When I get a game that attempts to fence me in, I am the first one to try and jump the fence, so I want to maintain a more open/flexible approach to power creation.
I think you should embrace the fun of fence jumping, by making all characters as rigid as hell (first ed D&D rigid!). Then give players points with which to screw around with the characters powers, turning them into something unrecognisable from the original.

And don't make the point allotment rigid - changes have a set cost plus a group judgement cost/GM set cost. The cooler your change and more game world groovy, the more likely the rest of the group/GM will lower their part of the cost.
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Danny_K
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« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2006, 10:39:21 AM »

If you don't mind me asking, what do you want this system to do?  Are the specifics of the powers just flavor, or do you want the options to make a real difference in terms of effectiveness? 

If the latter, then I don't think there's any way to get around some serious crunch -- you'll need careful pricing of the different options to make sure they're balanced against each other and that there are some tradeoffs involved, and more than one ideal build. 

Is that what you had in mind?  That's what comes to my mind when I read about an RPG-wargame hybrid, but maybe I'm reading too much into your post. 
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mratomek
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« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2006, 04:08:54 PM »

If you don't mind me asking, what do you want this system to do? 

It is meant for a universal game system. So the powers/effects let you create whatever you want to create--whether it is a knight in shining armor, a detective, a super villain, robot, or alien life form.

Are the specifics of the powers just flavor, or do you want the options to make a real difference in terms of effectiveness?

There are no flavor specifics in the powers; however, there are quite a bit of strategic/tactical advantages to various power + boost + special ability combinations. For example, a character can always attack using his Strength or Agility dice. A more effective character would also have a Brawl ability, that would allow him to combine his power and one attribute dice for a roll.

Adding boosts such as Knockdown, Slam, Smash, Combo, etc. makes a character even more effective as a fighter. And finally, adding special abilities such as Deadly or +1 Marital Arts would make hime even more dangerous.



If the latter, then I don't think there's any way to get around some serious crunch -- you'll need careful pricing of the different options to make sure they're balanced against each other and that there are some tradeoffs involved, and more than one ideal build. 

The point balance is something were are really focusing in on. Furthermore, all powers have inherent weaknesses of some kind--even if it is simply depleating a characters points so that he cannot build too many powerful capabilities.

 
Is that what you had in mind?  That's what comes to my mind when I read about an RPG-wargame hybrid, but maybe I'm reading too much into your post. 

That's it. The system is only a framework for whatever you want to create. Both in characters and scenarios. It simply creates a level playing field, so that if I create a dungeon with all sorts of monsters, traps and challenges--and you use an equal amount of points to create a party of adventurers, the game is fairly balanced.
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MrAtomek

Once upon a time ... the Earth needed to be saved ... on a regular basis.

Super Force Seven
Tactical RPG / Miniatures Wargame

www.superforceseven.com
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