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Author Topic: Not sure what to say or do here so?  (Read 3626 times)
Aussigamer
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« on: August 30, 2006, 05:02:37 PM »

Hi,

I have been designing a d20 based system for several years now. A lot of the ideas and writing are in place now but I need to refine the ideas to allow for it to work for others. As I know what I want but might not have written it for others to understand.

The system is based loosely on the SRD for D&D3.5, modern/ future/ UA but is definatley not the same any more.

I am trying to develop a single system for use by fantasy, scifi, modern or horror base dplayers and GMs. the idea is to give the GM the power to design what they want for their campaign using the GM tools provide. Thus nothaving to get a system and house rule it or guess about making some gear for themselves, as there is no rules for it provided.

The vehicle system is based on size=slots, but the vehicle needs the power supply to power everything as well. The single builder is used to build stuff from medium motorbikes to 80km sized planetiod craft. With robots just being indepedant vehicles.

A fleshed out designing system for poisons, drugs, armour designing, weapon designing and other things has been done.

I have the combat system mostly done but it needs play testing to see if it works.

It is still all in draft form still, so things need to be looked at and fixed. Not too much I hope.

So do I post stuff here? or link you to my current site which has the gear stored?
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Kesher
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Posts: 174


« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2006, 06:05:25 PM »

Howdy, and welcome to the Forge!

To answer some of your questions:  This particular forum is for posting bits and pieces of a system you're working on or even thinking about to get some feedback on it.  It's going to be most helpful for you if you ask specific, focused questions; poll-type questions like "Is this a good idea?" or "Which of these options is better?" don't usually get you too far.  If you've got a lot of stuff for people to look at, yeah, post a link.  There's also a sticky at the top of this forum that may answer some of your questions, too.  Also, if you've actually playtested your system, you can post about over on the Actual Play forum and ask questions about specific parts of what went on in the context of, well, actually playing the game.

So, now I'm gonna ask you a couple of questions:

1. What's the point of your game?  By this I mean, why a "universal" system?  I would suggest that a system being used for that many different types of play is likely to only weakly serve the purposes of each of them.  Having said that, I'm willing to be proven wrong!

2. Why use the SRD at all?  Why would I want to use your system instead of, say, d20 Modern?  Why would I want to use it instead of Gurps or Fudge, or even Risus?

3. What do you see as the role of the GM in your game?  What do you see as the role of the Players?

Now of course I haven't yet seen anything you've written, so I'm asking these questions in the dark.  However, if you answer them, it gives us more to talk about!  To give you more of an idea of where I'm coming from, you can check out an AP post of my first game right here.

Oh yeah; what's yer name?


Aaron
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Sydney Freedberg
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« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2006, 06:25:16 PM »

Welcome to the Forge from me, too.

You've got a cool idea there; it's also a very, very hard one to implement right, even for a big company with lots of resources (by RPG "industry" standards). Take a look at Ron Edwards's essay on "Simulationism" (ugly word, I know), aka "The Right to Dream" -- http://www.indie-rpgs.com/articles/15/ -- specifically the parts about "purist for system": I think that describes what you're trying for, but obviously I could have totally misinterpreted your one post.

I'd also suggest you look at a couple of examples of very different kinds of games just to jazz your mind with possibilities that you might not have been exposed to yet -- take a gander at any one of the following RPGs available for free online:

Capes Lite, by Anthony Lower-Basch (www.museoffire.com/Games/downloads.html)
Legends of Alyria, by Seth Ben-Ezra (www.alyria.blogspot.com)
Otherkind (http://www.septemberquestion.org/lumpley/other.html), or The Nighttime Animals Save the World, (http://www.septemberquestion.org/lumpley/tnaplay.html), both by Vincent Baker

What games have you played so far? Knowing that will help us a lot in figuring out where you're coming from.
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Aussigamer
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« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2006, 07:45:44 PM »

Howdy, and welcome to the Forge!

To answer some of your questions:  This particular forum is for posting bits and pieces of a system you're working on or even thinking about to get some feedback on it.  It's going to be most helpful for you if you ask specific, focused questions; poll-type questions like "Is this a good idea?" or "Which of these options is better?" don't usually get you too far.  If you've got a lot of stuff for people to look at, yeah, post a link.  There's also a sticky at the top of this forum that may answer some of your questions, too.  Also, if you've actually playtested your system, you can post about over on the Actual Play forum and ask questions about specific parts of what went on in the context of, well, actually playing the game.

1. Do i put then ideas here for discussion?

2. I will put the link in my signature, I do have a lot of gear over 2Mb worth of text and excel sheets.

Quote
So, now I'm gonna ask you a couple of questions:

1. What's the point of your game?  By this I mean, why a "universal" system?  I would suggest that a system being used for that many different types of play is likely to only weakly serve the purposes of each of them.  Having said that, I'm willing to be proven wrong!

The idea is that you can use the same system in the game, say you are space adventurers and crash on a primative world that uses magic. Well I am building a system so that the GM can have those tools available. I come from a D&D background and went to modern. The two systems are not compatiable, I want a system that is. And thus my quest several years ago.

I hope that it does not brake up and become weak. I don't think it is right now as it seems to be still strong in its frame work. It does ned some tweeks still.

Quote
2. Why use the SRD at all?  Why would I want to use your system instead of, say, d20 Modern?  Why would I want to use it instead of Gurps or Fudge, or even Risus?
It is where I started and the SRD come printed out ready for adjustments  :)

Well like anything, people are going to like a system for one reason or another. I hope that since I am laying the ground work for a solid platform to allow the GM to build a campaign they want then mine is usable. I hope that the interactive combat system and the ability to design and build pretty much what ever you want and have a good idea that it will fit the system works for mine.

Quote
3. What do you see as the role of the GM in your game?  What do you see as the role of the Players?
?
Well like all games. The GM builds the setting and the players try to annoy him/ her by going off at a tangent :)

Quote
Now of course I haven't yet seen anything you've written, so I'm asking these questions in the dark.  However, if you answer them, it gives us more to talk about!  To give you more of an idea of where I'm coming from, you can check out an AP post of my first game right here.
I'll have a look see :)

Quote
Oh yeah; what's yer name?

Rick, sorry most sites they don't use the real names.


Thanks for asking Aaron
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Aussigamer
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« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2006, 07:54:01 PM »

Welcome to the Forge from me, too.
Cheers

Quote
You've got a cool idea there; it's also a very, very hard one to implement right, even for a big company with lots of resources (by RPG "industry" standards). Take a look at Ron Edwards's essay on "Simulationism" (ugly word, I know), aka "The Right to Dream" -- http://www.indie-rpgs.com/articles/15/ -- specifically the parts about "purist for system": I think that describes what you're trying for, but obviously I could have totally misinterpreted your one post.
I give it a read and tell you LOL!


Quote
I'd also suggest you look at a couple of examples of very different kinds of games just to jazz your mind with possibilities that you might not have been exposed to yet -- take a gander at any one of the following RPGs available for free online:

Capes Lite, by Anthony Lower-Basch (www.museoffire.com/Games/downloads.html)
Legends of Alyria, by Seth Ben-Ezra (www.alyria.blogspot.com)
Otherkind (http://www.septemberquestion.org/lumpley/other.html), or The Nighttime Animals Save the World, (http://www.septemberquestion.org/lumpley/tnaplay.html), both by Vincent Baker

What games have you played so far? Knowing that will help us a lot in figuring out where you're coming from.
Big D&D player/ master 1st to 3.5
Done some traveller, Palladium, C&S, TW2000, table top mins (mainly WWII), some others I can't remember
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Aussigamer
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« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2006, 08:00:55 PM »

Dream..., is that someones thesis?

I got bogged down quickly, but I am after a fun game that might complex in set up but is still easy to play. So its a game based fully in the game reality. So things are not going to be 100% right in science.

Does this help? LOL

Rick
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Aussigamer
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« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2006, 08:28:29 PM »

Some points of change:

Interactive initiative system: so actions dictate the order.
More Body points: I have gone to a 15 body point system, this allows for more type of armour to be developed and allows for better damage to be assessed for massive and such.
One roll Critical check: for both failure and success. This means no double rolls, just the one roll.
An active skill system: You get free skills but you have to use them during the adventure to assign them, you can also go to school and learn more.
No auto hit/ miss/ fail/ succeed: A nat 1 means -10 for all checks and a Nat 20 means a 30. These are then modified normally.
Armour: Does both deflection and absorption, like in real life. It bounces off or it does less damage due to the toughness of the material. Thre different types: hard, soft and blend
Shoot through: You can fire through cover, no AC bonus unless you specificial target a covered body point. (need to work on hitting creatures in craft still)
Craft and repair: It is not a single one roll and boom its done. You can build something over time, putting some money and time in as you have it spare.
Out with the wealth in and with the credit: I hate the wealth system, too many openings for problems. So its all cash.
5' step? Nope its a 2m step. All been converted to metric!
Size matter: The size of the weapon also set its TH not the size of the craft or person. The damage also steps up one front die per size increase.

System includes
Starting occupations: These have specialised skills that grant increased skill rank access and other nice things (I use these as my zero levels)
basic classes (these are simliar to modern) but have 20 levels and more talents and features
specialised classes, you can ever be specialised in one class.
mutations system: includes meta feats for powering them up
magic/ psionics system: use a feats and skills system. It is not independant of the normal classes. The caster level is now assigned by the user and bad things can happen if you over power and roll bad.
Feats: Truck loads
Skills: more skills added and a system that brakes up the skills requiring some skills to have requirements. No cross class skills.
OBC/ PBC: On board and personal computer system rules. So you can make those things and have a base to cost them.


In the end I wanted a system that allows the players to make a character to what they want, instead of what the system will allow you.
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Sydney Freedberg
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« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2006, 12:36:11 PM »

Yeah, Ron Edwards is not easy reading. S'okay. Try reading it again in six months. In the meantime, Aaron, let's get you up the learning curve a little, because you're currently in the position  of a bright young engineer trying to design a new car after having driven a Morris Minor for a few years but never having actually seen any other kind of automobile. No, I'm not kidding. For example:


Quote
3. What do you see as the role of the GM in your game?  What do you see as the role of the Players?....Well like all games. The GM builds the setting and the players try to annoy him/ her by going off at a tangent :)

That is the role of the GM in some games. It's not the role of the GM in "all" games by any means. For example:

Classic Dungeons & Dragons (pre-d20): GM buys a module that completely describes the setting and situation for the adventure, players go through the dungeon or wilderness area hex by hex exploring, fighting, and accumulating treasure, GM's role is purely to follow the printed module's instructions on how to play the bad guys.

Sorcerer (www.sorcerer-rpg.com): Players and GM make up the setting together. Each player then gives the GM a "kicker": something that just happened to his or her character that the GM must include in the story -- e.g. "I woke up this morning and the walls of my room were covered in ancient Assyrian curses written in blood," or "after I sat down to breakfast with my wife and kids, my dad came over to say hi and help clean out the garage, only I really wasn't expecting him on account of him having been murdered by a secret cult of cannibal assassins 16 years ago."

Burning Empires (www.burningempires.com): GM plays the alien invaders. Players take on the role of human heroes. Before rolling a single die, everyone goes through a step-by-step "world burner" process to figure out, collaboratively, the planet being fought over: its atmosphere, its geography, its political divisions, its level of technology etc. etc. are all chosen from a checklist by consensus, all of which contribute points to either the alien invader (GM) or human defender (player) side. Then players make characters and start fighting the GM for control of the world, one die roll at a time.

Universalis (www.ramshead.indie-rpgs.com) and Capes (www.museoffire.com/Games/): No GM. Each player has a certain number of points to make things happen in the story -- create setting elements, introduce characters, reveal secrets the player just made up -- and then conflicts between players over what happens are resolved by a combination of points and dice, with the winner usually getting more points to use for the next thing.



Quote
D&D player/ master 1st to 3.5...Done some traveller, Palladium, C&S, TW2000, table top mins (mainly WWII), some others I can't remember...

Considered as a subset of all the games I personally have played in the last two years -- and a lot of people have played a wider variety than I have -- all of the games you just listed are basically the same mechanics:

1. Each player controls one protagonist character.
2. GM controls all other characters, knows all secrets, and interprets the rules.
3. When a player-character tries to do something, the GM decides whether it happens or doesn't happen, or lets people roll dice, in which case the GM decides what the dice roll actually means. ("Yeah, normally that'd be a success, but in this case, there's this modifier, so....")
4. Rules cover combat in considerable detail, special cool stuff (magic, psionics, starships, whatever) in considerable detail, and social interactions and emotion almost not at all.

There are games that have multiple characters per player, no GM, cards instead of dice, rules that cover shooting someone in the face exactly the same way as revealing his darkest and most shameful secret (and allows you to "kill" him either way), etc. etc.


Quote
The idea is that you can use the same system in the game, say you are space adventurers and crash on a primative world that uses magic. Well I am building a system so that the GM can have those tools available. I come from a D&D background and went to modern. The two systems are not compatiable, I want a system that is.

Check out GURPS (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/), which is designed for exactly this kind of thing and has tons of published support. It may do exactly what you want. But even if it does, I'd strongly sugest you check out some of the other games I've mentioned, because GURPS is still basically the same thing as Palladium, D&D, Traveller, etc. in terms of the four basic assumptions above.
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Aussigamer
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« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2006, 02:26:50 PM »

Yeah, Ron Edwards is not easy reading. S'okay. Try reading it again in six months. In the meantime, Aaron, let's get you up the learning curve a little, because you're currently in the position  of a bright young engineer trying to design a new car after having driven a Morris Minor for a few years but never having actually seen any other kind of automobile. No, I'm not kidding. For example:

I am Rick Not Aaron, so you talking to me?

Just becuase I have not seen otehr systems does nto mean that I can not design a new one. Sure its going to based on something but thats it. I don't see tha point of reinventing the wheel.

The system will be along those lines, and I am happy with it being a GM run game with the players in the story arc. So why would I go and try to invent something else?

That would be like a young civil engineer trying to design say a super collider or such. He would design a bridge or such. So it works both ways. I feel I have a very solid grounding in that type of game and thus the system is for that type of game.

Quote
That is the role of the GM in some games. It's not the role of the GM in "all" games by any means. For example:

Classic Dungeons & Dragons (pre-d20): GM buys a module that completely describes the setting and situation for the adventure, players go through the dungeon or wilderness area hex by hex exploring, fighting, and accumulating treasure, GM's role is purely to follow the printed module's instructions on how to play the bad guys.

Sorcerer (www.sorcerer-rpg.com): Players and GM make up the setting together. Each player then gives the GM a "kicker": something that just happened to his or her character that the GM must include in the story -- e.g. "I woke up this morning and the walls of my room were covered in ancient Assyrian curses written in blood," or "after I sat down to breakfast with my wife and kids, my dad came over to say hi and help clean out the garage, only I really wasn't expecting him on account of him having been murdered by a secret cult of cannibal assassins 16 years ago."

Burning Empires (www.burningempires.com): GM plays the alien invaders. Players take on the role of human heroes. Before rolling a single die, everyone goes through a step-by-step "world burner" process to figure out, collaboratively, the planet being fought over: its atmosphere, its geography, its political divisions, its level of technology etc. etc. are all chosen from a checklist by consensus, all of which contribute points to either the alien invader (GM) or human defender (player) side. Then players make characters and start fighting the GM for control of the world, one die roll at a time.

Universalis (www.ramshead.indie-rpgs.com) and Capes (www.museoffire.com/Games/): No GM. Each player has a certain number of points to make things happen in the story -- create setting elements, introduce characters, reveal secrets the player just made up -- and then conflicts between players over what happens are resolved by a combination of points and dice, with the winner usually getting more points to use for the next thing.

Ok I get the idea.

GM- designs the campiagn based on what the player would like, say they don't like transdimensional beings but are OK with ghouls. They treat them as infected humans or such. So they make a game that everyone will have fun with. As for me its about the fun.

So it is like D&D style but in the end the GM has the tools to make their own gear for their own setting. I will be releasing stuff as time goes by, but it is built from the same base designs they have and thus they can ingore it or use it. Or even change it knowing the guidelines to do it without impacting on the system.


Quote
Considered as a subset of all the games I personally have played in the last two years -- and a lot of people have played a wider variety than I have -- all of the games you just listed are basically the same mechanics:

1. Each player controls one protagonist character.
2. GM controls all other characters, knows all secrets, and interprets the rules.
3. When a player-character tries to do something, the GM decides whether it happens or doesn't happen, or lets people roll dice, in which case the GM decides what the dice roll actually means. ("Yeah, normally that'd be a success, but in this case, there's this modifier, so....")
4. Rules cover combat in considerable detail, special cool stuff (magic, psionics, starships, whatever) in considerable detail, and social interactions and emotion almost not at all.

There are games that have multiple characters per player, no GM, cards instead of dice, rules that cover shooting someone in the face exactly the same way as revealing his darkest and most shameful secret (and allows you to "kill" him either way), etc. etc.

One way too think about it is that to master one thing well is better than being the master of none. Not a slight at you, just saying that I come from a same system background and have a good idea what I like and disliked in those systems.

I and my other fellow gamers enjoy that type of game, and thus we want a system that is like it. In the end you build this for yourself and if others like it then "Cool!".

Quote
Check out GURPS (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/), which is designed for exactly this kind of thing and has tons of published support. It may do exactly what you want. But even if it does, I'd strongly sugest you check out some of the other games I've mentioned, because GURPS is still basically the same thing as Palladium, D&D, Traveller, etc. in terms of the four basic assumptions above.

Why? I would gather this is going to be different from GURPS, but have things the same. Like it is the same as D&D or modern but has differences from those.

I did hear that it takes a lot of effort for building stuff. I have tried to keep it simple, like d20modern but it definatley more complax to set up but in the end its easy to play like the games I like.

I know there are plenlty of other systems out their and the market is flooded, but in the end if all that happens is that I get a system I am happy with then "OK", but yes it would be nice to get published and over throw the major companies who I feel have abandoned their fans with bad expensive books and half baked rules that don't fit one another.

Rick
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Aussigamer
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« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2006, 02:33:05 PM »

Since there is no edit function.

I have looked at other systems, I just never played them. I did not like the style or ideas behind them. The ones I quoted are the ones I played. And nope I can't remember their names off hand sorry.

I also feel that the vehicle set up and rules are easily transportable to a table top game style as well. But hay thats just me LOL
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Sydney Freedberg
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« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2006, 11:32:01 AM »

Whoops. Rick, sorry. I got confused by this bit:

Quote
Rick, sorry most sites they don't use the real names.


Thanks for asking Aaron

I read that too fast and reversed who you were addressing and what you were calling yourself. My apologies.

And I understand that you have a certain subtype of RPG you're very familiar and comfortable with. That's fine. But you really owe it to yourself to check out other ways of doing things -- and not just reading, but actually playing. Otherwise (to go off engineering analogies for the moment) it's kind of like "yeah, of course I like steak and hamburgers and roast beef, so I'm coming up with some new beef recipes... No, II've read about other foods in cookbooks, but I've never actually eaten any fish or chicken. Why would I? I already know I like beef!" Variety is a good thing.

For more, I'd refer you to Mike's Standard Rant #1: Designers, Know Your Hobby!.

Quote
Role-playing games are a hobby, a recreation, and an art some would say. And one can create an RPG with very little effort if one likes and have fun playing that game. But interestingly, most RPG designers professional, indie, armature, whathaveyou - they tend to like the idea that their game might get played by others. In fact most new games are built about the conceit that the designer can build a better mousetrap. And you know what. It can most certainly be done.

But not if you don't know the state of the art. In Ron's Fantasy Heartbreakers essay, he speaks to a particular example of what can happen when people make games without understanding the range of what exists in gaming. But I'd like to extend that principle. I often see people making innovative games - games that are most certainly not "heartbreakers" of any sort - that still are making errors simply because they haven't seen the solution in another RPG that fixed that problem long ago.

This frustrates me no end. Basically many would-be designers are creating with the notion that their limited knowledge and keen wit are all they need to produce a superior product. This would just not be tolerated elsewhere. Would you allow a doctor to operate on you if he'd not been through medical school, and was certified as having at least a basic understanding of medicine? Hell, would you even allow a non-certified plumber at your pipes?

What makes these people acceptable in their professions? They've all been through a certain amount of training, and have passed examinations that say that they've got at a minimum level of understanding of the subject matter that means that they aren't likely to make basic mistakes that they layman would make.

So, am I advocating a certification program for RPG designers? No, it's just a hobby. But what I do advocate is that if you want to make games, you need to educate yourself in what the current state of the art entails. Because otherwise, you will not be making a game that improves the art.

Now, again, a person making a game for his own use who doesn't care whether his game is superior in general terms, and only cares to make certain adjustments to his own game? No big deal. No need to be well versed. But if you want to make a game that is in fact superior - a game that people you don't know will prefer to play over others, for example - then you need to have had experience with a certain portion of the games that exist....
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Aussigamer
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« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2006, 02:01:22 PM »

I have read other games, as I said I did not like them, thus my not playing them.

So do I post stuff here or you go to site and then comment here? I do have heaps.
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Kintara
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« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2006, 02:30:38 PM »

I'd be interested in reading your stuff. Yeah, just go ahead and post a mechanic or something that you would like comment on. Also, direct links to the material you already have would be great.
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Aussigamer
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« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2006, 05:19:59 PM »

I have them as downloads so direct linking is a problem, but I can put the download site.

OK I will post something very soon.

Cheers
Rick
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