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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 158 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [In the Pit] resolution and reward(?)  (Read 2518 times)
chris_moore
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Posts: 129


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« on: April 21, 2006, 11:02:42 AM »

I'm fired up about this game that tells stories of physical, emotional, and moral survival. 
I'll explain a bit, then ask questions.

 Characters start with a list of player-created traits (like in Dogs), called their Heart.  Unlike Dogs, they have no bearing on effectiveness. 

The characters are (as a group) trying to get to safety.  They are in constantly in dangerous and terrifying situations. 
The GM randomly generates a "goal number". When the PC group earns points up to this number, they are Safe. The players know the lower and upper limits of the roll, but not the exact number.

To earn points to Safety, the GM frames a "progress scene."  The players collectivey roll 3 (or 4) dice of different colors: a Blood die, a Beast die, and a Tears die.  (There is a Bond die that they could earn, also.  More on that later.)  After the roll, they put forward one or more of the dice, and the sum of the dice they put forward is knocked off the total goal number.  The more dice they use, the closer they are to Safety.

The players then narrate how they got closer to Safety. If they use the Blood die, they must narrate at least one of the PC's being injured in the process.  If they use the Tears die, at least one of the PC's has been traumatized in the process.  If they use the Beast die, at least one of the players must have done something that they think is morally reprehensible  (they meaning the player) in the process.  Which one of the PC's takes the hit(s)?  That's decided by group consensus. 

Players tally how many Blood, Beast, and Tears they earned throughout the game.  After the endgame has been triggered (the players have racked up enough points to earn safety) they take turns narrating their epilogues, like MLwM.  The epilogues are contstrained by the Blood, Beast and Tears that they received.  For example:

"2 Blood:  Tell how you overcame your injuries."
"4 Tears:  Tell how one of your Heart traits has been destroyed (directly or indirectly) by the trauma that haunts you."
"3 Beast: Tell how you cope with the lingering guilt of What You Did."

Finally, my questions:  Is there a way to make Heart traits relevant, besides in the endgame?
                                  Any other general feedback?

Thanks, Chris
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xzallion
Member

Posts: 4


« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2006, 12:10:31 PM »

I think you could use heart traits between rounds in the game by the person that loses hearts has less impact on the group concensus each round.  This reflects their inability to feel for others or understand them, and thus communicate with them.  They lose their will to work forward, and begin to follow the orders of other characters for heart traits they lose.  Then again im not quite sure what heart traits are and am treating this more like points instead of traits.  But its something to think about.
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joepub
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 569

Joe Thomas McDonald


« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2006, 01:34:30 PM »

Chris,

have you read Nathan P.`s game Carry?

It's set in Vietnam, and shares a lot of common concepts with your game. (while at the same time being unique from it.)


Your Hearts sound a LOT like their burdens, and I think you should read that game if you haven't already...
will provide a great deal of insight, IMO.
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Kesher
Member

Posts: 174


« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2006, 06:24:21 PM »

Hey Chris.

This game sounds just like the kinda thing I'm into playing these days...

A couple things:

1. Could you give an example of a Heart trait?

2. You mention a Bond die; could this be a way to tie in Heart traits? 

Actually, as I go back and read your description of the game, you say that it's a game about "physical, emotional and moral survival", which corresponds to the three dice, right?  So it seems to me that the "survival" part should be connected to the Heart traits.  Like, I dunno, maybe these traits can be destroyed during play, and if they're all wiped out, then the character actually dies. 

Could there be some sort of Fortune mechanic involved in the players choosing which die to roll?  I'll assume you don't want to give the Heat traits numerical values, so say there's a total number of Heart traits, and each one needs to be keyed to one of the dice.  If they roll their number of traits in a given die or less on a test during a Progress Scene, they're alright; if they roll higher, then the destruction of one of their traits in that die is narrated in the results.  Ooo, except maybe it could all be the opposite for Heart traits connected to the Beast die; they could be nasty things that increase...

I dunno, just some thoughts.  Just out of curiousity, how long do you see a game lasting?

Aaron
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chris_moore
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Posts: 129


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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2006, 08:45:29 PM »

Quote
Just out of curiousity, how long do you see a game lasting?


I see this game as a one-nighter...it seems too heavy for anything more.  In our first playtest, the protagonists were guards at Abu Gharib.  Like I said; heavy. 

Thanks for the feedback so far...
Chris
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DevP
Member

Posts: 576


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« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2006, 06:33:24 PM »

I feel like the list of Heart traits might be stakes of some kind; you have to put them at risk, on the table, to get closer to the group's goals. Some random mechanical ideas that come to mind:

(1) Every player has their Heart traits on index cards. Before the dice are rolled, everyone puts an unkown numbers of Heart Traits forward, basically as their own bid. Perhaps the Tears die can only be narrated in by the players with the highest two heart-bids, and the Beast die can only be narrated in by players with the lowest two heart-bids. (If you hang onto your traits to strongly, you'll take emotional trauma; if you push it aside, you'll let yourself do Beastly things.) You must involve some of your Heart Traits into in narrating your actions, and perhaps you must mark some of those bid traits, so that if you take emotional trauma (in the end game), those marked traits are the first to be removed. (Or maybe the opposite is true.)

(2) Players can check off their Heart traits to invoke a reroll of specific dice, but this makes those traits more susceptible to the end game.

(3) You can only narrate for one of the 3 dice if you relate it to your Heart Traits.

Do any of these give you ideas?
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chris_moore
Member

Posts: 129


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« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2006, 10:48:38 AM »

Quote
(1) Every player has their Heart traits on index cards. Before the dice are rolled, everyone puts an unkown numbers of Heart Traits forward, basically as their own bid. Perhaps the Tears die can only be narrated in by the players with the highest two heart-bids, and the Beast die can only be narrated in by players with the lowest two heart-bids. (If you hang onto your traits to strongly, you'll take emotional trauma; if you push it aside, you'll let yourself do Beastly things.) You must involve some of your Heart Traits into in narrating your actions, and perhaps you must mark some of those bid traits, so that if you take emotional trauma (in the end game), those marked traits are the first to be removed. (Or maybe the opposite is true.)

I especially like the secret bidding of traits.  I still need a way to get Blood in there, though.

Thanks for the idea!

Chris
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Thunder_God
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Posts: 486

Still Here.


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« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2006, 01:24:57 PM »

Being injured seems like pure colour right now, so it's not surprising it gets ignored.

If you roll Under you possibly get Tears or Beast, if you roll Over you get Blood.
Thus, more than one person can get injured, Beast and Tears will often involve two characters, etc.
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Guy Shalev.

Cranium Rats Central, looking for playtesters for my various games.
CSI Games, my RPG Blog and Project. Last Updated on: January 29th 2010
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