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Author Topic: [ORX] Print Version Rules  (Read 4201 times)
greyorm
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« on: August 20, 2006, 10:29:13 AM »

Yes, the print version will rule, but what this post is really about is some rule clarifications and an addition or two to the text. These will be in the print version, but I'm recording them here for those who have the current PDF version. I'm going to do these as a series, as I write them.

What follows will be roughs for the new text in the book. I will post all the actual text to a PDF and put it up on the ORX site after the print version comes out. First off, I'm discussing the variable Critical Injury rule I mentioned after Forge Midwest.

This is not a new rule, it is an extension to an existing rule and creates a new dial in play: campaign length. And tension. This is a powerful dial, because it ramps up the speed of play, makes things more dangerous, and puts more pressure on the players.

Quote
Normally, Critical Injuries only happen when a player rolls a "1" on a die. This makes for long games, however, on the scale of "sessions and sessions" -- campaign-length play.

But what if you want a quicker, more brutal game? A couple sessions, or even just one, short session?

Easy. Up the Critical Injury threshold. This means Critical Injuries occur whenever a player rolls from "1" to another number. "3" is recommended for a nice solid range that should up the tension in play, but "5" is acceptable if you're going for complete carnage.

It isn't recommended CI be raised above "5" because then the orcs start taking injuries for pretty much everything they do, succeed or fail, even with their big stat(s). And d6 is completely useless.

Note that a CI 5 really screws over anyone down to d4's, because they Zero by default when they roll. Brutal.

I am also considering an optional add-on rule that allows the gamemaster to alter the CI in play, on a per-roll basis. But I haven't playtested such a thing yet and haven't really decided how the gamemaster would be able to call this into play.

If anyone wants to try something like that out and report back how they handled it and what happened in play, that would be cool.

Some ideas:
  • The CI can be changed instead of giving a Curse to an orc.
  • The gamemaster can spend "20's" from the Fate pool to boost the CI.
  • Each point or #_of_points of Loot in play increases the CI by "1".

(I'm partial to that last one.)

Whatever I come up with will be added to the "Optional and Altered Rules" document that will also eventually go up on the site. (Some of you are going to ask, "Optional and altered rules? Why?" For the same reason you create poker variants: a different gaming experience using the same core game.)

More of these updates as I add them to the text.
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
greyorm
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« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2006, 08:16:01 PM »

(Just a note: things are moving more slowly towards publication than I anticipated, but they are moving.)

After a lengthy discussion of Conflict Resolution and Stakes on another message board, I realized something ORX lacks is discussion of Authority as it relates to the narration phase. This came about due confusions about Conflict Resolution being dependent upon/requiring the use of Authority over Setting granted by Director-stance on the other list.

When I realized there was this amount of confusion over the concept out there in gamer-land, I realized I needed to update the text to be more specific on the subject. ORX currently hints that players can narrate whatever they need or want into play, with certain inclusions mandated by the dice that were rolled. Beyond that, it assumes anything goes within reason. But it doesn't actually say any of this.

As such, I need to write a section detailing this, and the reactions gamemasters can expect from the inclusion of such authority, particularly from traditional groups.

Following is a draft of my attempt to do so. I would appreciate any criticism anyone could provide of the text. Does it adequately explain and define the boundaries (or lack thereof)? Is there anything I could drop? Anything I could include?

Quote
Setting Authority
(clever sub-heading/pun goes here)

When you decide what the Stakes are, and when you start narrating the outcome of the roll, how much leeway do you have in describing or introducing elements of the Scene? A whole lot.

In many other games, the gamemaster's job is to describe and populate the game's setting, come up with backgrounds, decide what mysteries exist to be solve and how to solve them, add dangers and treasures and wonders, make snarly character voices and decide how the other characters and creatures in the world react, and so forth.

In this game, players get to do all the same things, with only two limitations:

  • The player can only describe those things currently affected by or affecting the Stakes in question, so while you can describe the entirety of the sprawling battlefield across which your orc is rampaging, you can't start detailing the socio-political situation behind the king currently on the throne, even if you segue into it like a pro.

  • Second, the addtion or description must not contradict any element of the setting so far revealed in play. That means when the gamemaster describes the dragon you're facing as an angry, bitter, fearless monstrosity that eats orcs for breakfast, you can't say it's a loving, hippy, vegetarian with a crippling stomache.

Beyond that, anything is game. Of course, this power isn't a talking stick with bludgeoning powers: the other people at the table can pipe in with suggestions on your narration, or even veto specific parts of it if they don't think it fits/works/is fun/is the coolest thing ever. Vetos stick, unless you're abusing them like a jerk. What do I mean?

Come on! Do I need to hand-hold you through basic interpersonal negotiation skills? If you can't work it out civilly, get out your dice and throw them at each other, because that's the way we solve things like mature human beings...that, and talking smack about yo' momma.

Expect the players to go crazy with this power the first few times. This is natural, normal and healthy, just like the eye in the middle of Bob's forehead. Players will want to test the limits of their power and seek out the boundaries until they settle back into a more comfortable and less wild-eyed abuse of their given authority. Just run with it until it passes and you can play more sensible, mature games about orcs sipping tea and playing a rousing game of croquet on neatly manicured lawns.
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2006, 01:19:16 PM »

Hey, I missed this when you first posted it.  Don't know if its too late to comment on now.


It feels kind of loosey goosey to me.  If the purpose of such text is to reduce what's left to interpretation and provide guidelines that clearly demark what can and can't be said, I'm not sure that's being accomplished here.  Much like the old saw about porn ("I know it when I see it") there doesn't appear to be any boundaries one can hang their hat on.

For instance in your first bullet, I can come up with all kinds of socio political stuff that would have a direct and immediate affect on the battlefield I'm rampaging across.  In Kingom Zewe warriors fight with honor above all and striking from ambush or with deception is concidered cowardly.  Therefor all of the little knights and soldiers are lined up in plain site in perfect order just waiting for us to maul them.  Or  "The old king was a great general.  But his young son is tired of living in dad's shadow.  Even though the king drew up a great battle plan, his son, leading the armies, has chosen to ignore it in favor of his own devising.  Unfortuneatly for Zewe the son is a totally incompetant warror and all of the little knights and soldiers are lined up in plain site in perfect order just waiting for us to maul them".

Yet the bullet indicates that no matter how good an explanation I come up with I can't do that.  So where is the line between "those things affected by and affecting the stakes" and those that aren't.  If the stakes are winning the battle, then the above would seem to be perfectly legal since it clearly affects the stakes.


That's my $.02.  I wouldn't find these guidelines very helpful in making that call.
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greyorm
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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2006, 11:09:07 PM »

Hey, I missed this when you first posted it.  Don't know if its too late to comment on now.

No problem, at least someone replied to it! Also, I don't know how, but I somehow missed your reply.

Quote
Yet the bullet indicates that no matter how good an explanation I come up with I can't do that.  So where is the line between "those things affected by and affecting the stakes" and those that aren't.  If the stakes are winning the battle, then the above would seem to be perfectly legal since it clearly affects the stakes.

I'll work on the wording, but it will probably remain somewhat loosey-goosey. I'm not certain how to delineate where the line between "acceptable" and "not acceptable" is. I'm imagining, like most things, that will be determined in play. That said, loosing the bit about "segue" might help make it more clear.

I'm just trying to clue groups in to the idea that, "Hey, that traditional gamemaster-authority stuff? Yeah, it's out the window and in the hands of the players...but within reason, kids!"

Thanks for the advice, Ralph! I think I can work with that (yay last minute changes to the text before it goes to the printer!).
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
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