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Author Topic: [Revolutions] Questions, with 19  (Read 2105 times)
Wormwood
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Posts: 236


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« on: March 03, 2006, 11:51:39 AM »

I'm hoping to get a playtest draft of this done before the Iron Game Chef competition, so I'm looking for some suggestions.

Questions I'm looking for help to answer:

A) Should I have one fleshed out setting, or several sketched settings for Revolutions?

B) Is the core mechanic too complex, and if so how could it be simplified without losing it's effect?

C) How quickly should revolutions happen, in terms of play time?

D) Does the family structure add to Revolutions?


Power 19:

1.) What is your game about?**

The changes a tight-knit family or group of friends pass through as their society and world changes dramatically.

2.) What do the characters do?**

Characters try to adjust and carry on in the faces of the changes, until their unrest rises too high and they are forced to try to change the world.

3.) What do the players (including the GM if there is one) do?**

Players take turns running a revolution, essentially acting as a GM. Once things come to head on that revolution another one begins, changing some other aspect of the world.

4.) How does your setting (or lack thereof) reinforce what your game is about?

There will be several sample settings, each focusing on a set of attributes for each category - situations, environments, intents, and lores. The crux of this is to ensure that each setting has a wide range of possible revolutions which can occur.

5.) How does the Character Creation of your game reinforce what your game is about?

Character creation is quick and point based - players allot 18 points across each attribute area, and then select relationships and specialties in a descending scale, although up to 2 points per attribute area may be allotted to unrest instead. This is to allow the quick introduction of new family members upon death or retirement.

6.) What types of behaviors/styles of play does your game reward (and punish if necessary)?

Cooperation between family members and struggling against the current revolution are both directly supported.

7.) How are behaviors and styles of play rewarded or punished in your game?

Cooperation is rewarded by the relationships, which increase success when aiding family members, while the struggle is driven and benefited by the rising unrest of the characters as their world changes around them.

8.) How are the responsibilities of narration and credibility divided in your game?

During each revolution, the narration is fairly traditional with that player acting through agents of the revolution, although agents of the previous revolutions can be made to appear by the players who introduced them, for an unrest expense.

9.) What does your game do to command the players' attention, engagement, and participation? (i.e. What does the game do to make them care?)

Players are either engaged with running their own revolution or with guiding their characters through the very different world. The persistence of past revolutions gives the players a further level of engagement, as they can return old themes to the fore, at least for a time.

10.) What are the resolution mechanics of your game like?

When a conflict occurs between a character and a revolution, including the revolution's agents, the character who wishes a change must state their intended outcome. The player of the current revolution then determines the hurdle (see below) and describes the effects of failure. From here the character's player rolls the dice.

The basic mechanic is a roll-under, using d12+d20, where the roll-under value is: a situation + an environment + an intent + a lore + a relationship or a specialty + your unrest (if the action works against the current revolution). In addition, the two dice have their own independent meanings. The d12 is the unrest die, if it rolls beneath your unrest your action fails unless you used unrest on it and you may move a point of unrest to any attribute currently available, if you do not do this you add to the revolution counter but keep your unrest. The d20 is the establishment die, in order for an action to succeed, this die must roll equal or above the hurdle. The default hurdle is 0, which means no roll is required as the established order will conspire to see the character succeed. A hurdle of 1 indicates that the established order is uninterested in the outcome. A hurdle of 5 indicates some interest in the character failing, while a hurdle of 10 or higher indicates a significant response. You automatically se unrest when the hurdle is above 1.

11.) How do the resolution mechanics reinforce what your game is about?

The interplay if unrest and establishment frames every conflict in terms of those forces. Characters will naturally adapt, unless they choose not to accept the revolution, and high unrest makes anything but fighting difficult.

12.) Do characters in your game advance? If so, how?

Characters do not advance, they change. As unrest is filtered back into attributes, and attributes removed due to new revolutions are added back to unrest. The game advances as well, as the revolution counter reaches a pre-determined number (usually 20), the next revolution begins, and things change once more.

13.) How does the character advancement (or lack thereof) reinforce what your game is about?

The cycle of unrest and the loss of former attributes presents the emotional and practical aspects of the revolution.

14.) What sort of product or effect do you want your game to produce in or for the players?

To experience what it may be like to have your world change suddenly around you, and to face adapting or struggling against the changes in vain.

15.) What areas of your game receive extra attention and color? Why?

The nature of the revolution and the relationships within the family are the most important aspects of the game. These receive the most color and focus.

16.) Which part of your game are you most excited about or interested in? Why?

The way that the underlying mechanics change with the world (the attributes), forcing characters to adapt or simply self-destruct.

17.) Where does your game take the players that other games canít, donít, or wonít?

Creating and actually experiencing the revolutions in the character's lives.

18.) What are your publishing goals for your game?

Web publication, possibly followed by eventual self-publication either alone, or in a compilation of RPGs focused change (likely including Drift and Coming of Age).

19.) Who is your target audience?

Anyone who has wanted to really change the world, and is willing to consider what the consequences might be.
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Troy_Costisick
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Posts: 802


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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2006, 12:25:05 PM »

Heya,

Quote
The changes a tight-knit family or group of friends pass through as their society and world changes dramatically.


-This is a little vague.

Quote
Characters try to adjust and carry on in the faces of the changes, until their unrest rises too high and they are forced to try to change the world.

-The entire planet? Or something else?

Quote
There will be several sample settings, each focusing on a set of attributes for each category - situations, environments, intents, and lores. The crux of this is to ensure that each setting has a wide range of possible revolutions which can occur.

-To serve the purpose of what your game is about, do the players need example settings to actually play in or do they need rules to create their own?

Quote
Character creation is quick and point based - players allot 18 points across each attribute area

-How do these Attributes corespond to arenas of conflict in your game?

Quote
During each revolution, the narration is fairly traditional with that player acting through agents of the revolution, although agents of the previous revolutions can be made to appear by the players who introduced them, for an unrest expense.

-Ah, so players actively play more than one character a time.† Is this correct?

Quote
Players are either engaged with running their own revolution or with guiding their characters through the very different world.

-This makes it sound like there are two modes of play: Revolution and Adaptation (to a post revolution society).† Would your game be better served by focussing on one, or do both modes reinforce each other?† Or did I misinterpret what you wrote?

Quote
A hurdle of 5 indicates some interest in the character failing, while a hurdle of 10 or higher indicates a significant response. You automatically se unrest when the hurdle is above 1.

-What motivates the player who is the GM at this point to have an interest in wether a character succeeds or fails?† IE, what's the point of opposition in the game?

Quote
Characters do not advance, they change.

-Advancement = change.† Your description of how characters chance in your game seems very intriguing.† I like it.

Quote
The nature of the revolution and the relationships within the family are the most important aspects of the game. These receive the most color and focus.


-What kind of color do they get?

Quote
Anyone who has wanted to really change the world, and is willing to consider what the consequences might be.

-Does this include the Real World, like planet Earth right now?† If so, does your game encourage the players to examine real world issues in any way?

Peace,

-Troy



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Wormwood
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Posts: 236


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« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2006, 01:24:26 PM »

Troy,

Thank you for your comments.

For a revised theme: In revolutionary times, will you choose to fight the changes or accept them, and how will that affect your family?

When I refer to the world, I mean the entire world, as viewed by the characters, whether this is in just a single land or truly globe-spanning depends on the individual setting.

I think I've mostly convinced myself that I need a procedure for setting creation, based on attribute selection, and some sample settings as examples of those rules.

Attributes are the areas of conflict, they describe the matrix of your ability to affect the world. So for example, your Cultured environment attribute might cease to exist due to the Cultural revolution, and become replaced with the Rural environment attribute, as your family is shipped off to be pig farmers. Under that revolution, the characters must find a way to survive, especially if the revolution does not wish to see them do so.

Agents of the revolution are just faces put on by the revolution itself. In a way, playing a revolution is a character in itself. I'm also considering letting the player who will get the next revolution bring in agents as well, to foreshadow the growing dominance. The presence of agents modifies the hurdle.

The revolution and adaption occur at the same time, although GM duties are exchanged. I am considering making a revolution defined much like a character, including descriptions for agents and three goals, which define what types of actions the revolution's player can reduce to hurdle 0. Working against those goals or having agents present will increase the hurdle. I'm also considering making the revolution count increase when a character adapts (i.e. reduces his or her unrest) rather than when he or she doesn't.

The relationships and the changing of the attributes will have the most options for color, and specification. The intention is to help make the family and the revolution more present to the players. However, I'm not certain exactly how that will play out.

And yes, nothing stops this from being a game about real revolutions. As it is, that is not necessary, but many of the attribute changes will be based on such events.


   - Mendel Schmiedekamp
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Troy_Costisick
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Posts: 802


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« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2006, 05:09:37 AM »

....So what other issues are you having with your game?

Peace,

-Troy
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Wormwood
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Posts: 236


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« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2006, 08:20:55 AM »

At the moment, I'm interested in a sanity check for the attributes and I've been doing some refinements on the publication plans.

Here are the attributes as I've currently envisioned them. I expect five of these to be chosen at a time, leaving three of each for potential revolutions.

Situation:
  • Alone
  • Rank and File
  • With Friends
  • Center of Attention
  • Midst of Chaos
  • Duel
  • Part of the Crowd
  • Master and Servant

Environment:
  • Wilderness
  • Squalor
  • Rural
  • Urban
  • Cultured
  • Battlefield
  • Maritime
  • Underground

Intention:
  • Creative
  • Deceptive
  • Destructive
  • Direct
  • Informative
  • Resistive
  • Restoring
  • Revealing

Lore:
  • Martial
  • Science
  • Arcane
  • Faith
  • Craft
  • Nature
  • Art
  • Social

As far as my publication plans, my eventual goal is to add Revolutions with three other games, as a full course of RPGs, taking one theme (that of human transformation) and viewing it through various lenses. The appetizer will be Coming of Age, a fairly straightforward game based on young adult fiction, where the characters strive to overcome the obstacles in achieving their destiny. The first main course is Drift, a draft of which is on my website, and the second will be Revolutions. Finally as a dessert, I'm considering Savagery, also on the website.

Thank you for your time,

   - Mendel Schmiedekamp
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Troy_Costisick
Member

Posts: 802


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« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2006, 09:24:06 AM »

Heya,

How does one's sanity relate to these atributes?

Peace,

-Troy
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Wormwood
Member

Posts: 236


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« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2006, 09:45:15 AM »

I'm sorry, I meant sanity check in the sense of "do the attribute lists make sense." Essentially, I'm unsure if I've missed some important type of situation,  lore, etc. I'm hoping the list feels fairly complete, and that it doesn't have any effective duplications. I've been thinking about it a little too long to be sure that I don't have a blind spot in them.

  Thanks,

   - Mendel Schmiedekamp
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Troy_Costisick
Member

Posts: 802


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« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2006, 02:34:31 AM »

Heya,

Quote
I'm hoping the list feels fairly complete, and that it doesn't have any effective duplications. I've been thinking about it a little too long to be sure that I don't have a blind spot in them.

-I think the list is adequate.  There are over 4000 permutations, so that should be enough to keep people busy for a while.  If you do have a nagging feeling that you've left something out, simply include rules and space for players to add in their own.  That will solve your problem.

Peace,

-Troy
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contracycle
Member

Posts: 2807


« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2006, 02:02:48 AM »

I'm unclear on what you mean by revolution here.  Your scale appears to vary from the personal to the global, and am I correct in thinking you have one revolution per player?  Are these live simultaneously, in alternation, or played in sequence, wrapping up one after the other?  I'm not sure how literal or metaphoric your use of the term indicates - chronic and personal or acute and societal.  Both?

You say:
Quote
6.) What types of behaviors/styles of play does your game reward (and punish if necessary)?

Cooperation between family members and struggling against the current revolution are both directly supported.

Revolutions, civil wars etc. are famous for splitting families, so this is an interesting decision.  Is it intended that the PC's are necessarily and invariably of the ancien regime?
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