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Author Topic: [Cosmic Combat] New Mission Pool Mechanics  (Read 2371 times)
Jasper Polane
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« on: January 16, 2006, 05:41:56 AM »

Development of my game Cosmic Combat continues. You can download the newest version of the game here: http://www.jasper.coolmove.nl/cc.html

Version 0.2 still has most of the problems with situation and procedures of play noted in the earlier Ronnies feedback thread: http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=17212.0
The purpose of this thread is to start fixing them. I'm completely reworking the section entitled "Playing Cosmic Combat". Here's what I have so far:

Motivation

During character creation, every player chooses a Motivation. The Motivation of the character shows his goals and drive to act in the game, and shows what his personal story will be about. Motivation should be goal oriented, meaning it can be fulfilled in play. Examples:

- Hatred for another Incarnate.
- Seeking revenge against the murderer of your brother.
- Sworn to protect your home planet or solar system.
- Fight the darkness within yourself.
- Redeem yourself for a wrong committed in the past.


The Mission

The GM presents the basic mission, as described in the current version of the PDF. I probably need more guidelines here.

The mission and the characters' Motivations should become intertwined as play progresses. For example, if your character is searching for a murderer, the killer in question works for the Entropy Lord trying to break free of his prison. However, these connections shouldn't be determined beforehand by the GM, but should be explored and discovered through play.

The Mission Pool: The Incarnates cannot complete the mission until they've resolved their own personal stories. When your character's Motivation is brought into play, you may put one die into the Mission Pool. Increasing the Mission Pool this way allows you to raise one of your stats with one point. The Motivation should play a significant part in the scene and progress the story in a meaningful way.

The GM may add the dice in the Mission Pool on any roll he makes. That way, conflicts will gradually become tougher as players put more dice into the Mission Pool.

Resolving your Motivation

You cannot resolve your Motivation until at least one of your stats is 10 or higher. Until that time, you can only take steps toward fulfillment of your goal. For example, you can confront your brother's murderer, but you can't kill him yet. Only after a stat is raised to 10 the Motivation can be resolved:

- You kill the hated Incarnate.
- You avenge your brother's death.
- Your home planet is save.
- You go over to the dark side.
- You atone for your evil deeds.


After your Motivation is resolved, you may increase all of your stats by 1 point. You don't have to put dice into the Mission Pool. As soon as all PC's have resolved their Motivations, Endgame begins. No changes to the Endgame mechanics yet.

Now for my questions: How do I set up guidelines for defining the mission to keep the GM from "creating the adventure"? What sort of rules do I still need here?

Of course, any other comments about these rules or the PDF are very much appreciated.

--Jasper
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My game: Cosmic Combat
My art: Polanimation
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2006, 09:20:33 AM »

Hi Jasper,

Can you put aside a motivation to resolve it? Like Liu Kang in the Mortal Kombat movie?

Best,
Ron
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Graham W
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« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2006, 09:50:53 AM »

Jasper,

It strikes me that the GM needs to combine the motivations to create the adventure, in some way. (Am I just stating the obvious by saying that?)

Have you seen the way Shadow of Yesterday does it, with Key Scenes? It's bloody brilliant. I think something like that would be good.

Graham
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Nathanie V2.1
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« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2006, 09:53:52 AM »

Hi Jasper,

What kind of a relation are you considering between your motivation and the stat you want to increase above 10? You could for example determine the stat beforehand or rule that only the stat used in the scene can be increased by putting a die in the missionpool. I would like the second one the most since it actively ties the way you resolve conflicts to the way you resolve your motivation. However it also makes missions considerably longer as it takes longer to increase a stat to 10. I see that this new idea of motivation lengthens missions anyway (especially compared to V0.2) as you have only 18 points for four stats at the start and thus will somewhere around 3 to 5 points to come to 10, so this might not be a problem.

It seems somebody beat me to stating the obvious...

And maybe it's a cool idea to link to the various relevant 'the forge' threads from your cosmic combat site?

Looking forward to playtesting!
William
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dindenver
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« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2006, 10:52:33 AM »

Hi!
  Well, it's just a thought, but it seems like you need a way to take up a new motivation before the next adventure.
  As far as creating an adventure, it depends on what role you want the GM to have:
GM as bookkeeper: Player collaborate to make an adventrure, GM runs the BBEGs
GM as storyteller: GM designs an Incarnate who is the BBEG and combines his story with those of the players
GM as gawd: GM does everything, players say what their character is doing
  I personally feel that the biggest hurdle of your game from a GM perspective is going to be shaking that legion of doom feel. Meaning that if there are three players and one GM, the instinct is going to be to create 3 bad guys that match the descriptions of LoE's in the character's descritption for each character and then come up with some sort of Legion of Doom excuse for them to team up. Motivations will only increase the likelihood that 3 BBEGs will be necesary for each adventure. Of course the players may collude or cooperate during character creation, but that is not guaranteed, even if the rules say it is, lol
  Maybe if Motivation (or soe other mechanic) was scaled up to a larger ideal (like serve justice or defend the weak) and each adventure the character declared a smaller goal inside the larger ruling motivation (like defeat Crimunus the chaos lord or defend earth). Then it would be easier for players to make unique characters that, if only temporarily, had common goals to work with each other.
  Seems like a neat game, good luck!
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Dave M
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Jasper Polane
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« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2006, 01:58:17 PM »

Thanks for all the comments!

Ron,

Quote
Can you put aside a motivation to resolve it? Like Liu Kang in the Mortal Kombat movie?

Yes, definitly! Thanks for pointing that out, this should go into the game text somewhere. (Obviously, the Mortal Kombat movie is where I got the idea for these rules from.)

Graham,

Quote
Have you seen the way Shadow of Yesterday does it, with Key Scenes? It's bloody brilliant. I think something like that would be good.

Do you mean the way players get a reward for playing a Key Scene? I've been thinking about that myself. However, I don't want players to raise a stat after playing a Key Scene, because it could mean they can resolve their character's Motivation without playing towards that. So I'll need a different kind of reward.

And I want to keep GM prep time to a minimum. How long does it take to set up a tSoY adventure?

William,

Quote
What kind of a relation are you considering between your motivation and the stat you want to increase above 10?

For now, I'll leave the choice up to the player. So after playing the scene, the player can raise whatever one stat he wants. I'm not sure if I want to tie this choice to the conflicts in the scene, because the way it is now, you can play a scene without any conflicts, and still get to raise a stat if the scene hits your Motivation.

Also, the rules for follow-up conflicts make it much more likely more than one stat is used than in the original version we played, and the rules for conflict hacking mean it alway pays to raise your Wielding Awesome Power stat. So it makes sense to not just focus on one stat, except raising more stats also makes things more difficult for you, because you need to put more dice in the Mission Pool.

That's how I imagine it to play out, anyway. Of course, this needs playtesting.

Dave,

Quote
it seems like you need a way to take up a new motivation before the next adventure.

These new rules allow you to play one mission, one "adventure". If you want to play another mission with the same characters, you have to play a sequel, just like the sequel to a movie. You have to re-create your character from scratch, though, because you can't begin the adventure with the high stats you ended with last time.

The final game will have a section about sequels. (I have a very long to-do list.)

Quote
Meaning that if there are three players and one GM, the instinct is going to be to create 3 bad guys that match the descriptions of LoE's in the character's descritption for each character and then come up with some sort of Legion of Doom excuse for them to team up.

I'm going to remove the descriptions of Lords of Entropy out of character creation. Playtesting showed it doesn't really add anything to play.

And about creating an enemy for every character: I don't think I mind as much, because it's in line with the genre. (Or more specifically, with the Mortal Kombat movie.)

--Jasper
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My game: Cosmic Combat
My art: Polanimation
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