*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
September 22, 2019, 07:16:32 PM

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: 158 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: Jorune system  (Read 2662 times)
Ben Miller
Member

Posts: 49


« on: September 19, 2006, 08:39:47 AM »

Hi everyone.

It's been a while since I posted on the Forge, but I've been lurking around generally.  I was looking through my old RPG collection the other day and found my 2nd Ed. Skyrealms of Jorune.  I got to reminiscing... about how great the setting and colour was... and how poor the rules were.  Having rekindled my interest in the setting I decided I needed and better set of rules for playing it.  Something less crunchy, for starters.

I thought I'd write some rules, but then I thought that someone has probably already written some that would work well with Jorune. I dug up this Forge post from 2001 http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=833.0, addressing pretty much the same thing as me.  Having read it I couldn't help thinking there must be lots of other good indie/rules-lite systems that would fit.  It seems that since 2001 there must have been a lot of new stuff that's relevant.

Here's the rub though: although I love the Jorune flavour I didn't actually play it very often.  As a result, I'm finding it a bit tricky to put my finger on what typifies the average Jorune adventure, and therefore what componets of a rules system would reinforce the setting.  Somehow, just applying FUDGE or something to the setting doesn't seem right.

Can someone who has more experience in these things give me some idea of any more recent (post-2001) rules systems that might work well?

Best wishes
Ben
Logged
Adam Dray
Member

Posts: 676


WWW
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2006, 10:00:12 AM »

I only know a scant bit about Jorune. Name the three cooles things in the setting/game system. Can you tell me what you think are the cool features you'd want a rule system to help you with? What kind of a game do you want to play in the Jorune setting?
Logged

Adam Dray / adam@legendary.org
Verge -- cyberpunk role-playing on the brink
FoundryMUSH - indie chat and play at foundry.legendary.org 7777
Ben Miller
Member

Posts: 49


« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2006, 01:02:40 PM »

Hi Adam.

It's hard to put into words the type of I think the best things about Jorune (for me) are:

 * Stories driven by a sense of discovering and exploring alien places (in most game sessions at least).  Some travelling.
 * Various types of humanoid races with whom I can interact and that have clear and rich cultural differences.
 * A sense of a purpose behind most adventuring (Tothis, or gaining citizenship).  Player character's skills and knowledge improving should be quite prominent.
 * Some combat, but it should be fluid and probably scene-based rather than blow-by-blow.
 * Reward the 'roleplaying' of the character and especially their role in society.
 * Isho (sort of earth-magic) is pervasive and yet not well understood by humans (who aren't native to Jorune).  It should be a creative, flexible, thing rather than a set of 'spells'.

If it were a film it should be more like 2001 than Star Wars.  I'm aware looking at the above that it's probably not very useful.  It almost seems that what Jorune needs is a system that doesn't interfere too much.  But something like The Pool seems too lightweight.  Player characters aren't going to have things that make them particularly unique (at least to begin with) and I don't think systems like The Pool will allow the characters to really be distinguished from each other.

Cheers
Ben
Logged
Andrew Morris
Member

Posts: 1233


WWW
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2006, 01:21:23 PM »

It almost seems that what Jorune needs is a system that doesn't interfere too much.  But something like The Pool seems too lightweight.  Player characters aren't going to have things that make them particularly unique (at least to begin with) and I don't think systems like The Pool will allow the characters to really be distinguished from each other.

Distinguished from each other in what way, Ben? If you're talking about mechanical differentiation, then sure. But if you mean in terms of personality and such, something like the Pool would be excellent. And if you are talking about mechanical differentiation, why is that important to you?
Logged

Download: Unistat
Adam Dray
Member

Posts: 676


WWW
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2006, 01:23:58 PM »

Every setting needs "a system that doesn't interfere too much," eh? =) Once it starts to interfere with the fun, it's already a problem. Once it interferes too much, it's definitely a problem. And everyone has different ideas of what interferes and how much too much is.

Are you interested in finding an existing system that will work for you, or are you looking to write something new to do Jorune's setting better for you than Jorune's system does?

If the former, I'd recommend, off the top of my head, FATE, Primetime Adventures, and The Shadow of Yesterday. None of these are going to really get to the "Joruneness" of the setting, though.  Because you used a film analogy, you probably ought to take a look at Primetime Adventures first since it's designed to capture the feel of a television series. It doesn't have extremely detailed characters with lots of skills and stuff though, so it might not suit you. FATE is relatively crunchy without getting in the way. It also has a flexible system for handling magic the way you want, but it requires (as a feature, not a bug) a little rules tweaking.

If the latter, say so and we'll start talking indie game design and publication, which is what the Forge is all about!
Logged

Adam Dray / adam@legendary.org
Verge -- cyberpunk role-playing on the brink
FoundryMUSH - indie chat and play at foundry.legendary.org 7777
Ben Miller
Member

Posts: 49


« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2006, 02:19:06 PM »

Thanks for the input.  I'll try to answer the questions...

Andrew, I think what I meant about The Pool and characters is that it seems The Pool is good at describing characters that have something significant and perhaps outstanding about them. I'm interested in your comment about mechanical differentation - what do you mean by that exactly?  The traits you ascribe to a character are supposed to get right to their core in The Pool aren't they?  I'm not sure that I'd want that in Jorune.  I think instead I'd like to be able to look at a character sheet and see a good handful of skills and areas of knowledge that a character has and compare them with another character in a meaningful way.  I suppose what that says is that I'd prefer a fairly set list/collection of skills/attributes/aspects if that makes sense.  I'm thinking that social standing would certainly be a core attribute of every character.

Adam, I think I'm looking first for a system that already exists and then a design for a better one if none quite cut it. I've used FATE to run a short modern horror game before and quite liked it.  Perhaps having a 'skill rank' to measure your social level would work.  I've not really looked at Primetime Adventures or The Shadow of Yesterday before.  I'll take a look but I'm not sure that episodic is necessarily important to Jorune.  If it's not important does including that factor detract from the game rules as a whole?  I mean, it might water down their effectiveness mightn't it?

It's late here in Blighty now so I'll sleep a bit on this now.

Thanks again!

Ben
Logged
Andrew Morris
Member

Posts: 1233


WWW
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2006, 08:38:55 PM »

I'm interested in your comment about mechanical differentiation - what do you mean by that exactly? 

I mean in the sense that one character could have mostly combat skills, while another could have diplomatic abilities, etc. In a game like Capes, characters are mechanically identical in the sense that both "Super Strength" and "Whiny" could, say, help you win a fistfight, and be equally powerful in doing so. This means you don't get those protected areas of coolness you'd get from something like D&D (fighty guy, sneaky guy, magic-y guy, etc.). Instead, you've all got equal opportunity to be cool. Now, I don't believe either is inherently superior to the other, but they lead to different types of play.

This is clearly different from differentiation by way of character personality. To continue the example, characters in Capes are going to have their own shtick, even though they are mechanically equal in every arena. Doctor Chaos and Professor Freedom are going to be clearly different in play, even if their traits are identical.

I get the sense that you want characters who each have their own unique feel. If I'm wrong on that score, just jump in and let me know. But if that is what you are looking for, don't dismiss a game because it's "rules light" or because there's little or no mechanical differentiation between characters. In fact, I think systems like that give you more opportunity to highlight your character's individuality than something that just provides a list of skills/stats/whatever to separate characters.

The traits you ascribe to a character are supposed to get right to their core in The Pool aren't they?  I'm not sure that I'd want that in Jorune. 

I'm not sure I'm following you. You'd want traits that were not central to the character? Like, "My guy is a low-class, rough-and-tumble mercenary, but he's also got skills in math and literacy, because our campaign is going to be about dealing with corrupt merchants and factors." Or what?
Logged

Download: Unistat
Ben Miller
Member

Posts: 49


« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2006, 03:20:37 AM »

Sorry, I know I probably not explaining myself very well. :)

Having slept on it, I came up with some ideas of how a character might be defined.  (I find working backwards from how I'd like a sample character sheet to look quite a good way to work when designing mechanics - perhaps someone can similarly work backwards to infer what it is that I'm categorising as important in the game?)

1. A character 'overview' thath describes the name, race, current occupation and homeland. It would be worded like this: "Diggard, a boccord Yord from Ardoth".

2. A number of top-level Traits, like Physical, Isho, Learning, Social (but better names than that!).  They don't have a value.  Instead, the number of Refinements (see below) under grouped under a single Trait would determine who wins in a tie.  (The idea being that there would be quite a lot of ties, in which case, the more Physical or the more Learned character wins.)  Normal task resolution requires a d6 roll.  If you have a relevant trait you throw 2 dice and pick the best.  You aim to beat a number based on the GM-assigned difficulty, perhaps.  Note the beat - draws should be common and allow occupational know-how to enter into the mix (see below).  This mechanic needs thought... :)

(Non-sentient creatures might have different traits: Ferocity, Awareness used in a similar manner, but giving a better flavour of Jorune mystery.)

3. Under each trait you have some colour in the form of a number of Refinement.  They describe how a Trait manifests in this character and take the form of a single word or, better, a short phrase.  For example, under Physical you might have "Athletic", under Isho you might have "Knows Ebba dyshas".  Some of these (like the latter) confer an ability that can ONLY be used if so listed; others, such as a the former, confer a bonus extra die when resolving tasks.

4. Each character has an occupation path, noted chronologically, like this: "Durlig Farmer (3 years), Burdothian Yord (2 years)".  When a character doesn't have a Refinement that can be used in a task, the player may work in one of their careers to gain an bonus die.  Careers therefore add some light game mechanics but they mainly flesh out a background for the character.

What do you reckon so far?

Cheers
Ben
Logged
Ben Miller
Member

Posts: 49


« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2006, 03:24:55 AM »

BTW, Andrew I get your mechanical differentiation now. Thanks.

I'm not sure I'm following you. You'd want traits that were not central to the character? Like, "My guy is a low-class, rough-and-tumble mercenary, but he's also got skills in math and literacy, because our campaign is going to be about dealing with corrupt merchants and factors." Or what?

Yeah, I think you've seen through my rather rambling prose.  What I mean is that the characters should have be able to have plenty of extra aspects and information about them - stuff that's not core to who the character is but might provide nice little plot hooks and a bit of character depth.

Ben
Logged
Clyde L. Rhoer
Member

Posts: 391


« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2006, 04:55:16 AM »

Hey Ben,

I don't think I have more experience than you, but I do own Jorune. It's one of those games that I thought was totally cool, but I don't know a rule. I never got to play it either which makes me sad. It seems to me that Jorune adventures would be focused strongly on the exploration of setting or character. Out of the suggestions the one that made me think, "Yeah. That could work," was The Shadows of Yesterday. TSOY has a strong interesting setting and can create strong characters I think also. TSOY also screams, "Mod me!" At least I think it does. Secondly, the text but not the art is released under a creative commons license, the book I have uses the attribution-noncommercial-sharealike creative commons licensce. That means as long as you don't sell it, make sure you  credit Clinton, and are willing to let other people mod your mods then you are standing on good ground. Well as far as TSOY is concerned, perhaps the makers of Jorune might get upset.

A second option would be to figure out what really excites you about Jorune and make your own game. This sounds cool too.

Regardless, if you do either I'd love to hear more about it.

I'd love to hear more about this if you decide to do it, regardless of system.
Logged

Theory from the Closet , A Netcast/Podcast about RPG theory and design.
clyde.ws, Clyde's personal blog.
Ben Miller
Member

Posts: 49


« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2006, 08:16:00 AM »

Thanks Clyde - yeah, I'll keep you up to date.

I realised a bit late that what I should really be posting here is perhaps my Big Three answers, so I'm working on those now.  I've also got a hard copy of TSOY winging its way to me (Lulu rocks!).

I'll post more when I get them answers...

Ben
Logged
Doyce
Member

Posts: 442


WWW
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2006, 11:25:49 AM »

I would second (or third) the suggestion of modding TSoY:

Quote
* Various types of humanoid races with whom I can interact and that have clear and rich cultural differences.

You can definitely achieve that in TSoY with both specie- and culture-specific Keys and Secrets.

Quote
* A sense of a purpose behind most adventuring (Tothis, or gaining citizenship).  Player character's skills and knowledge improving should be quite prominent.

The Keys system not only takes advancement to a fun and interesting place, but it's pretty much the posterchild of 'purpose behind adventuring.'

Quote
* Some combat, but it should be fluid and probably scene-based rather than blow-by-blow.

Check.

Quote
* Isho (sort of earth-magic) is pervasive and yet not well understood by humans (who aren't native to Jorune).  It should be a creative, flexible, thing rather than a set of 'spells'.

I think you could probably riff on Three-corner magic's system for this -- or Zu, in a different way.  Certainly, three-corner magic demonstrates a great way to make a magic system where no two magic-weilders are the same, or even do the same things with the same abilities.

Now, with all that said, HeroQuest would totally work for this as well, again, provided you do some write-ups on the cultures and races of Jorune in HQ-speak.
Logged

--
Doyce Testerman ~ http://random.average-bear.com
Someone gets into trouble, then get get out of it again; people love that story -- they never get tired of it.
philaros
Member

Posts: 23


WWW
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2006, 10:09:28 PM »

I hope this topic isn't considered too old for additional comments.

First, I just wanted to be sure you'd seen Return to Jorune, which has a fair amount of material online. They have a bunch of essays, old White Wolf articles, and other material available for download. They also have a page with Conversions into several other systems, though I don't know whether any of those will meet your needs.

Second, you were wondering about a system that captures the right flavor of Jorune, and mulling over what "typifies the average Jorune adventure." I think your list of things that are best about Jorune is spot-on, and I think these are the key points:
  • Stories driven by a sense of discovering and exploring alien places (in most game sessions at least).  Some travelling.
  • A sense of a purpose behind most adventuring (Tothis, or gaining citizenship).  Player character's skills and knowledge improving should be quite prominent.
I believe the point of the "Tauther Guide" is not just to introduce the game setting but also to explain what the players are expected to be doing in the game. They're playing applicants for citizenship, and, to quote the 3rd edition (which is what I have),
Quote
Your purpose as a Tauther (applicant) is to benefit the city of Ardoth and the realm of Burdoth. You are expected to travel the realm, seeking the experience and knowledge that will make you a valuable asset as a citizen.
That, I submit, is exactly what the game is about. So, to refocus your bullet points, what the players do is face situations that challenge their abilities, give them opportunity to improve, and learn more about Jorune. That's what the system needs to support.

The Shadow of Yesterday should actually be pretty good for that purpose. The characters would have at least one or two Keys that reward them for engaging with the setting and for acting in the interests of Burdoth, while the other Keys will (a) help differentiate the characters and (b) indicate what particular types of situations the players are interested in exploring. Achieving a Transcendent result in this context will often mean that the character has proven his value as a potential citizen, and leaves the game by gaining citizenship. Of course, the players still have their freedom: they may decide they want to pursue other ends than becoming citizens, and they could buy off those Keys and choose new ones that better express their interests; and Transcending doesn't have to mean becoming a citizen.

Adam mentioned that other systems, such as TSOY, might not capture the "Joruneness" of the game. However, I believe that TSOY will let you get exactly to the heart of Jorune.
Logged
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2006, 05:12:59 AM »

While I think TSOY would let you get there, I think Hero Quest is practically perfectly designed for this. I've posited using it for Jorune before (I played Jorune a few times back in the 80s). Also Tekumel, Talislanta...any world where the cultural differences are supposed to be interesting to play. This is what HQ is all about. Homeland keywords...need I say more?

Which isn't to say that designing a new system for it isn't a good idea; I'm not suggesting just using HQ (though you might want to try it just for fun). What I'm saying is that if you wanted to look at a baseline from which to start from in designing a system, HQ would be a great place to start.

Mike
Logged

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.
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!