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Out of the Gray (early concept)

Started by OKeefe, February 14, 2007, 11:31:50 PM

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Hi I'm new.  I hope this is the right kind of post in the right kind of area.

I have a few ideas for a game that I think will work, but I'm new at this and am running into a major problem...

Out of the Gray is the working title for the game.  A lot of the theme is based on the color spectrum and light. 

"Powers" exist and each one has a physical and mental key word.  For instance Red is the power of Anger and Pain.  Each power also has two aspects.  White is the external use and Black is the internal use.

Each PC starts with one color and can use either aspect of it.  Right now I'm using a D6 mechanic with 4+ being a success.  You would start with one D6.  Each time you use a power in the same aspect it gets stronger and you add a die.  If you are using a different aspect than the last time you used the power, you lose a die.  At a certain point when you succeed with a power (right now I'm thinking around 5 or 6 dice in the roll) it locks into that aspect and lets you choose a new power above or below it on the spectrum.  In the future any time you use a power in the same aspect as a locked power and can justify their combination, you can add in the dice from the locked power.

You may already see what my problem is.  This lets the PCs power up very quickly.

The setting gives me a natural system for slowing advancement, but I can't come up with a mechanic.  I'll have to explain a little bit more...

The setting (in general)

The power first manifested in a world much like our own today.  Two users discovered the aspect linking and each followed a different path.  One became the paragon of White, the other the paragon of Black.  They fought, but neither could win.  A kind of cold war situation developed and they began to tame the world.  Other power users were exterminated or joined one of the two camps.  Soon everything was dull and safe.  Most people are unaware of the situation, and never experience strong emotions due to the influence of the paragons.   New power users are born when someone does feel something like pain or anger to a great degree and "awakens" to the Red power.

So finally, here's the main question:  I want there to be a balance between two forces pulling on the PCs.  There is the pull from the gray world to fall back into boring safety.  The other pull results from locking powers.  The more powers you lock into an aspect, the more influence that paragon has on you.  Can someone suggest another game that has something like this balance idea?

I have a few secondary questions too:  Does this game already exist?  Has someone beat me to this whole concept?




intreguing mechanic, have devised a story to go with it?
because this could be very good. like the sin city comic,(its the image that came to mind)


Quote from: johnwedd on February 15, 2007, 03:25:58 PM
intreguing mechanic, have devised a story to go with it?
because this could be very good. like the sin city comic,(its the image that came to mind)
All I have right now is the general setting, and the idea that all the characters start their journey at a common event like a fire or a train wreck.  Agents of both paragons would show up to recruit or neutralize any new power users.  I think that there is also some sort of underground rebellion that wants to return the world to the way it was before the Graying began.


I've been thinking a lot more about the balance and tug of war between the paragons and the gray world.

I've changed the setting slightly, added a new mechanic and probably ruined some of my existing ideas, but I think it will be worth it.

The players have 12 dice, and two dice pools.  One pool is for the Mundane ability of the character, and the other pool is for the Extraordinary ability of the players.  You would start with 10 Mundane & 2 Extraordinary dice.  Every time you use a power a die moves from Mundane to Extraordinary.  And when you do Mundane tasks by interacting with normal people, dice are drawn back to the Mundane pool.

The setting change... The paragons are now Essences.  Instead of a single person, they are more an energy that connects the power users.  They provide a hive mind like connection for users at a certain level.  Eventually if you grow to the ultimate power level (emptying your Mundane pool) you are absorbed into the Essence.  On the other hand, if you empty the Extraordinary pool, you fall back into the world of the Gray and lose your powers.

The other main setting change... The characters become more and more invisible to the people of the Gray world as their power grows.  Power users are always visible to other users.

So that (I hope) provides a system by which the players will not want to become godlike, because they won't be able to interact with the regular world.