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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: Initial Game Idea  (Read 1455 times)
Tully305
Member

Posts: 14


« on: April 27, 2006, 08:28:26 PM »

This is my first post on this idea I've had hanging around in my head.  The game is about the life of fighter pilots on-board a starship in the middle of an interstellar war.  The players choose life/career goals and work on developing their characters by overcoming obstacles in the story element of the game. Fighter combat is resolved using a CCG method of dueling with dogfighting maneuver cards, weapon cards, etc.  In addition to fighter combat, their non-combat lives will be played out in a meta-plot story where characters will have to overcome story twists that can change the dynamic of their role in the game as well as their initial goals (for example, like going from a military officer to a freedom fighter after a mutiny/surrender).  Game mechanics will be viewed as somewhat rules-lite, but will allow for as much realism as possible.  Right now, I'm thinking of character traits such as Moxy (intestinal fortitude/"guts"), Wits (intelligence/decision-making), and Savvy (charisma).  These traits will be assigned values based on a 1D10 roll and then used as modifiers on skill rolls (percentile dice).  Overall, the game could be considered a massive character creation/development exercise.

OK, so the reason for my post are these questions:

1.  Are there any other games out there that use a combo RPG/CCG method? and if so, what aspects worked well/didn't work well in your opinion?
2.  Besides skill advancement (which I want to try and avoid), what are good means of character development/advancement?  is military rank and career/life goal pursuit enough?
3.  Does the trait/skill mechanic pose any obstacles I may not be seeing as of yet?

I would welcome any questions that would help me further get my rear-end in gear to develop this idea further!   

Thanks,

Geoff 
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LateNite
Member

Posts: 6


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« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2006, 09:52:20 PM »

1.  Are there any other games out there that use a combo RPG/CCG method? and if so, what aspects worked well/didn't work well in your opinion?

There is probably one somewhere, but I have not played any.  And, not to dismiss your idea whatsoever, to me, games that combine RPG's and cards together strike me with an instant Munchkin fear.  It is probably just me, though.  (Essentially, if your system is well-designed and balanced, you should be able to do whatever you like as far as your mechanic is concerned.)

2.  Besides skill advancement (which I want to try and avoid), what are good means of character development/advancement?  is military rank and career/life goal pursuit enough?

Well, the players of any game are playing to accomplish 2 main goals: to see where the story takes them next and to see their character grow in the way they vision.  A game without progression can lose its zest, especially in a setting that provides for a war or a great deal of combat.  The players want to be able to fight the big baddies eventually and take on even greater opponents in single combat.

Many games handle this in a matter of levels.  The character gets enough token points to proceed to the next level, which unlocks new abilities for the character.  Some others handle this in a purchase system, where players receive token points and buy new traits/skills as they go along.  It is really up to you how to handle advancement in your system.  It is a matter of what you feel is appropriate relative to your setting.

Military rank and career/life goals are, in my opinion, meant more for the development of the character and his personality.  Not everyone was meant to become a General, and not everyone WANTS to become a General.  In addition, not many Generals are out there flying fighter ships; most are on the command deck of the flagship of the battle fleet, or... worse yet... driving a desk, doing paperwork, or giving seminars.  Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, but it might be confusing for a party of 6 Generals to each drive a one-man spacecraft and go on cosmic raids against numerically-superior enemies.  Most High Imperial Command HQ's would not send that many Generals to one place in fear of losing that many high-ranked officers with that much experience to a chance encounter.

Of course, you may already have a provision for such, and you may not be going that high with the ranks.  I'm just speaking from my experiences, knowledge, and opinions.

3.  Does the trait/skill mechanic pose any obstacles I may not be seeing as of yet?

Trait and skill mechanics pose any number of obstacles that are horrible and unimaginable.  A game system must be broad enough to cover as many possibilities as possible while remaining focused on the project.  This requires a great deal of planning.  The main point of advice that I have is not to design a character sheet or write the chapter about traits and skills until you are sure you have provided for as many contingencies as humanly possible.  Players are very good at finding loop-holes in systems, especially those of the power-gaming persuasion.  Every system ends up with some holes that are not filled at production, and any game master that is qualified in the role will produce house rules to cover these gaps particular to his group.  That does not give anyone a license to be lazy, but, instead, it should make you fear the fact that you are human less.

System complexity is also a major issue to consider.  The more complex your system is, the more unique, interesting, and hard to master it will seem to others; however, as a system designer, the game mechanic must be learnable to your target audience.  Making a logical system is the key here:  if a player knows how your dice/card/chance mechanic works, he can assume how other aspects of the system work, such as how to use skills based on the dice mechanic.

I hope this helps somewhat.  I'll try to clarify and discuss anything that you want further input on.  I try to steer away from writing epic posts, though.  I don't like my meaning getting lost due to length.
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MarkDunder
Member

Posts: 6


« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2006, 09:53:55 PM »

There are quite a few games that use cards to resolve conflicts, Marvel Super Heroes by SAGA for one.  Also, there were some book games where you had a starting page of you flying, and then you pick a maneuver to perform and go to that page.  Each player has a book and can see the other player if they did the right maneuver.

I see no reason why combinations of different ideas from all the RPGs out there shouldn't work.  I like the Shot Clock and silhouettes idea from Aces & Eights for random hit locations.  MERC also uses a similar system.

Comparing Attack and Defense on a cross reference table can make melee combat a quick resolution without using dice, just the choices of the players.  The original Top Secret RPG (not the SI one), does this very well.

I also do not like having to use damage points, just wound severity;  such as Negligible, Light, Major, Serious, and Critical.  But you have to have a resolution system that can create these categories.

Speaking of which, I like one chart resolution tables, like the one in Conan RPG by TSR.

This is my first post to this forum, although I've checked it out from time to time.  Not sure about the structure still.
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