*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 17, 2019, 09:53:50 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 141 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: [Kanthe] How Freaky Is This?  (Read 3760 times)
talysman
Member

Posts: 675


WWW
« on: April 19, 2006, 11:12:35 AM »

As some of you probably know, I recently wrote up a solitaire roguelike fantasy dungeoncrawl RPG, Raiders of the Ruins of Kanthe, renamed Depths of Kanthe.  The version on the 24 Hour Games/1KM1KT website is v1.0; the v1.1 text is almost complete, but playtesting showed that v1.1 Map and Conflict rules work, but v1.1 Discovery rules solved one problem and introduced another.

The four rolls/phases of exploration in the game are: Map, Discovery, Conflict, and Reward. Reward is just modified Discovery, so I won't cover it. Map rolls create the dungeon with d6 pools; all the other rolls use d10 pools. Discovery rolls determine what was found in a given location using tables. Conflict rolls work sort of like ORE (Godlike,) but every die result is an action (success,) and the value of the die determines when that action happens (so you win conflicts by coming up with ways to roll more dice than your opponent and being lucky enough to get more of your actions in earlier.) You roll two different color dice pools simultaneously, one for your character, one for the challenge being faced.

What this post focuses on are Map and Discovery rolls. Right from the start, Map rolls were different from any other game, because you roll d6s with pips in a box, then interpret the results visually. The shape of the pips on the die are linked to the dungeon feature: pips in two opposite corners, like on 2 and 3, are tunnels, while pips in all four corners, like 4, 5 and 6, are rooms. Where the dice land in the box indicates where the rooms and tunnels are located on the map. If two dice are touching, the rooms/tunnels share a wall. There's even an option to use the die orientation to determine room orientation. This, combined with a Donjon/Clintonesque "What You Seek Is What You Get" rule, creates some very nice dungeons with a minimum of tables. (In fact, there's currently only one mapping table, and that's for reference when you're learning the system.)

Discovery in v1.0 was a roll with a d10 dice pool. Matches indicate something found, number of matches equal Strength, values cross-referenced with a ten-item table identifies it. This often required further Discovery rolls to get descriptors for the items, creatures and traps found. This was a lot of die-rolling and slow, so v1.1 combined Discovery with Conflict, interpreting one die roll two different ways, with matches on one color dice indicating things Discovered, values on the other color dice indicating descriptors.

This cut down on the die-rolling, but it turned out I wasn't Discovering as much in the playtest, although when I did Discover something, it was more detailed, sometimes unnecessarily so. This was also a bit complicated to use, since you have to visually scan for matches in one color, look them up on specific tables in reverse Strength order, then look up the descriptors in an order determined by what you were trying to identify and what you found. Unnecessary complexity that wasn't achieving its goal.

I said to myself, "I want something that's as easy and intuitive as these visual Map rolls." And hey, there's an idea: make it visual. So I did a crude test, dividing my map box into for triangular regions and labeling them "Occupants/Obstacles/Hazards", "Doors/Room Features/Locks and Traps", and similar stuff. Roll Discovery in the map box, determine basically what you've found by what lands where, Strength is total number dice in the same region, dice closer to the center are the actual things Discovered, further towards the edge are descriptors. There's also a trick with the color of the dice. All very visual, and a couple crude rolls turned out to be much easier than v1.0 or v1.1 and pretty quick, although there are kinks that need to be worked out.

Here's my question: how freaky is this? The mapping alone is a little weird, but if everything uses the Map Box, is this game getting too far into the fringe? Will people think it's too strange and be repelled by the idea?

I can certainly see a problem with people who prefer computer-generated dice: it's just not going to work for them.  Also, you can use these rules for collaborative play (everyone against the dice,) but not via IRC or email. In v1.0/1.1, you could in theory dispense with the mapping rules and use a random map generator, if you didn't have a box or lid handy, but v1.2 ties all the rules to that box, eliminating that possibility.

Is this going to be too limiting?
Logged

John Laviolette
(aka Talysman the Ur-Beatle)
rpg projects: http://www.globalsurrealism.com/rpg
Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 2341


WWW
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2006, 12:13:13 PM »

Hey John,

Here's my question: how freaky is this? ....I can certainly see a problem with people who prefer computer-generated dice: it's just not going to work for them....v1.2 ties all the rules to that box, eliminating that possibility. Is this going to be too limiting?

None of these are artistically relevant reasons for not doing it.

Paul
Logged

My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans
talysman
Member

Posts: 675


WWW
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2006, 05:20:44 PM »

Here's my question: how freaky is this? ....I can certainly see a problem with people who prefer computer-generated dice: it's just not going to work for them....v1.2 ties all the rules to that box, eliminating that possibility. Is this going to be too limiting?

None of these are artistically relevant reasons for not doing it.

Thankx, Paul. You're right, there's not artistically relevant reason not to do it. It feels very elegant to me.

But the reason to develop a game beyond the working prototype stage is so that people can play it. If people won't play it, it seems like a lot of work for no real benefit.

I personally don't do much IRC/PBeM play, although I've tried both, but it seems like everyone at the Forge and elsewhere is doing IRC, Skype, PBeM, Wiki, and all manner of nonface-to-face play, as well as using computer-assisted dice rolling. I'm wondering how common it really is, and whether the face-to-face-only nature of Kanthe will be a big minus.

On the other hand, people here at the Forge seem more than willing to make their own exotic play components: customized card decks and dice and the like. This seems like a potential plus, if it's really widespread.
Logged

John Laviolette
(aka Talysman the Ur-Beatle)
rpg projects: http://www.globalsurrealism.com/rpg
Callan S.
Member

Posts: 3588


WWW
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2006, 08:37:01 PM »

I'm looking forward to reading an actual play of this game. I think it would help this thread. Have you got one you could post in the AP forum?
Logged

Philosopher Gamer
<meaning></meaning>
talysman
Member

Posts: 675


WWW
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2006, 09:25:39 PM »

I'm looking forward to reading an actual play of this game. I think it would help this thread. Have you got one you could post in the AP forum?

I'll see if I can flesh out the notes I took on the two playtests, although I didn't record things like dice results. I recorded interpretations of the results and general decisions in conflicts, plus notes when something broke.

These would be playtests for v1.0 and v1.1. There's nothing for v1.2 yet, just a couple out-of-context test rolls.
Logged

John Laviolette
(aka Talysman the Ur-Beatle)
rpg projects: http://www.globalsurrealism.com/rpg
Bryan Hansel
Member

Posts: 111


WWW
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2006, 09:33:57 PM »

If the new mapping system works better and easier than what's in the old system, then I'd say do it.  It doesn't sound too freaky to me.  Plus it sounds like you're spicing up the system and adding a fun element to rolling the dice.

Playing a solo rpg is a little freaky anyway, so freak it up.
Logged

greyorm
Member

Posts: 2233

My name is Raven.


WWW
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2006, 11:10:52 PM »

But the reason to develop a game beyond the working prototype stage is so that people can play it. If people won't play it, it seems like a lot of work for no real benefit.
Heya John,

In my opinion, developing a game system around whether or not ("enough") people will play it is a lot like marrying a particular person in order to please your parents.
Logged

Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
talysman
Member

Posts: 675


WWW
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2006, 12:11:57 PM »

Hi, Raven.

In my opinion, developing a game system around whether or not ("enough") people will play it is a lot like marrying a particular person in order to please your parents.

I blame Ron. =) He's harped on how actual play is the true measure of success, I'm convinced I need to maximize playability.

Callan:

Playtest #1 is up in the Playtesting forum. I don't have Playtest #2 written up yet. I want to concentrate on v1.2 for a little while today before writing up #2.
Logged

John Laviolette
(aka Talysman the Ur-Beatle)
rpg projects: http://www.globalsurrealism.com/rpg
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2006, 07:56:33 AM »

And you're not only butchering my words by saying that, you're using my name as a flag of some kind, and you're dodging the issue that you initiated as the topic of the thread. Let's get clear on this.

1. See my second post on the page linked directly here: The Forge as a community (Thread #5 of 5).

2. Successful play is an experiential goal, not a demographic one. I absolutely disavow any claim that I've ever said anything like, "Appeal to as many people as possible."

Best, Ron
Logged
Pages: [1]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!