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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 56 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [sic] TIN FRIGATE  (Read 2642 times)
craigp
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« on: July 20, 2007, 04:23:00 PM »

I'm definitely going with C. Mine's a Star Trek spoof.

I was thinking this: http://www.projectperko.com/game/TINFRIGATE.pdf

It's not actually a finished rule set, I just find I'm not so good at "vague".

I ran a simulation, and this was the starting situation:

Jet Grit: A grizzled veteran captain. When he was young, he wanted to be a scientist, but his adrenaline addiction led him to the command chair.

Aria Singh: A pretty young face (and body) from the academy, filled to the brim with useless academic knowledge and sure she can keep the engine room running at 800%. Because if anyone's gonna be famous off of this trip, it's going to be her.

Glork: The security officer, a chameleonic alien with a crippling sense of honor. Someone you can trust with your life, but hopefully trust with your life from somewhere you can't see him. Her. It.

Brisbain DeLuka: A precocious child with a talent for both medicine and command, he is the eight-year-old first officer of this ship. As the only person on-board too young to drink, he's obsessed with getting a sip. He never succeeds, but he tries very hard.

Since it's just a simulation, I won't go into the rest of the game... but it seems like it has potential.

Comments?

-Craig
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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2007, 05:00:02 PM »

Now, that's fast Wink

At the first glance, the game rocks. The second glance I'll give it tomorrow, once I get some sleep. For now, the only thing that comes to my mind is that it doesn't seem apparent who awards awesome tokens for narrating the vice (unless they're automatic, and the narration is not assessed).
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craigp
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« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2007, 06:11:19 PM »

Well, you can only narrate your own vice, so you get the token for it. I'm not sure if I made that clear: it's definitely a first draft.

What I want to know is if the character creation actually works. It always seems to work for me, but sometimes I have the weirdest luck.

-Craig
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ja-prozac
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Posts: 41

nerd with an attitude


« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2007, 01:37:08 AM »

Character creation tables - while they give good basis for character, there's still some knowledge required
to fill in the blanks. Especially star trek cliches knowledge and stuff. It may not be disadvantage anyway.

Rules - I had troubles to understand from where gm gets bad story element. Also, as I get it, story elements
gains levels through narration?

Last thing - economy of awesome points must be playtested. Now it's hard to whether it works or not.
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craigp
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« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2007, 09:00:50 AM »

Character creation tables - while they give good basis for character, there's still some knowledge required
to fill in the blanks. Especially star trek cliches knowledge and stuff. It may not be disadvantage anyway.
I took the "players can be assumed to know the genre conventions..." part of the rules to heart. Cheesy

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Rules - I had troubles to understand from where gm gets bad story element. Also, as I get it, story elements
gains levels through narration?
Bad story elements (and good story elements) come from rolling on the Twist and Lucky Break tables. Most of the entries in those tables are new story elements.

The GM can increase the level of bad story elements, and the players can use the character to their left to increase the level of good story elements. If they choose to do this, they must narrate how it happens. IE, an engineer could increase the power of a robot story element by narrating that he tweaks the quantum-somatic transister array for a 34% power boost. Or someone with social skills might increase the power of the engineer's assistant story element by convincing him to work harder.

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Last thing - economy of awesome points must be playtested. Now it's hard to whether it works or not.
Definitely true, but I think it'll turn out reasonable. I've some experience with this sort of thing. Smiley

Unfortunately, with all the local colleges being out for the summer, my normal pool of playtesters is missing.

-Craig
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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2007, 01:50:26 PM »

Quote
Well, you can only narrate your own vice, so you get the token for it. I'm not sure if I made that clear: it's definitely a first draft.

Ok, after the second reading I understand how it works (i.e. it's "take the token and narrate something appropriate" and not "narrate and maybe get a token for it" like I thought at first).

Your game is pretty solid I think, although you could probably improve the wording here and there (well, normal draft thing).

It's very board-gamey, and this certainly makes it attractive to me. The role of narration might be problematic for some people, as it seems to be purely about color and basically one could ignore it (other than the rules explicitly call for it, heh) and play the numbers. But given the nature of the game, I'd say there's enough role-playing elements, and some fun comical potential at the core.

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What I want to know is if the character creation actually works. It always seems to work for me, but sometimes I have the weirdest luck.

My dice don't like me, and I've been getting some repetitive results. But it generally gives a good skeleton for the character, I think, and it should be fast enough.

One thing you could do here - since you reroll repeated attributes, you could just as well cut the chart to pieces and draw them from a hat or the like. Maybe you could even add a bit more Identities, Jobs and Skills. The same could be done with other charts, I suppose. I'm not sure how much free space you could gain by experimenting with the layout, but it would probably be possible to have one full page of stuff to cut out.

Also, to some extent I second Kamil about the cliches and the elements. People who are not into the genre will have problems with them - and it's not a flaw in itself, obviously. However, you could tinker with the wording a bit, to make things more "universally" evocative, and clear (i.e. currently it doesn't seem to be immediately apparent which entries add what type of elements and the like).

Maybe in the final layout, you could use some symbols for awesome, good/bad elements and rolls on the tables, or some of them. Then, you could have a clear coding for table entries. E.g. +@ for adding an element (e.g. "+@: The planet's military"), @+1 for improving it one level, !-># for spending awesome to roll on the table and the like - insert your favourite wingdings in place of !, @ and # Smiley Since you need to explain the code only once, you'd free some wordcount.

Obviously, without seeing it in play at least once it's difficult to analyze the interaction of different actions and the economy. Some potential problems I can see:

-I have an impression that chances are against the GM (but there might be something about the actions balance that's not obvious to me without playing). Multiple actions rules might pose some problems - there is no change in GM's power between 4 and 5 players.

-You suggest it at the end, but it doesn't seem to me that there is any advantage to reducing foci below 1. The player creates new character anyway, with new focus at 3. Maybe if creating the new character was connected with a loss of one or more turns, or gave the GM a point?

-You have clear winning condition, but... what to win for? Chances are, you're close the game in the middle of the story, with a whole lot of unresolved issues at the table. Maybe if the winner could be required to give some final narration, wrapping the story up?
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craigp
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« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2007, 07:07:53 AM »

(Why is the "quote" button at the TOP of the post I want to quote? Tongue )

It's very board-gamey, and this certainly makes it attractive to me. The role of narration might be problematic for some people, as it seems to be purely about color and basically one could ignore it (other than the rules explicitly call for it, heh) and play the numbers. But given the nature of the game, I'd say there's enough role-playing elements, and some fun comical potential at the core.
The forced narration is largely because there are no explicit rules for what kinds of skills/jobs can affect what kind of things, so there needs to be a common-sense limit. The common-sense limit is: if everyone else says you're full of it, you're full of it. Cheesy

Quote
One thing you could do here - since you reroll repeated attributes, you could just as well cut the chart to pieces and draw them from a hat or the like. Maybe you could even add a bit more Identities, Jobs and Skills. The same could be done with other charts, I suppose. I'm not sure how much free space you could gain by experimenting with the layout, but it would probably be possible to have one full page of stuff to cut out.
I think that's a good idea, although the Twist and Lucky Break tables are repeatable, so they should remain on the paper.

I can't actually think of a significant number of jobs or skills that are interesting and useful in-game, which is why I just stuck with 10. If anyone has any good ideas...

Quote
Also, to some extent I second Kamil about the cliches and the elements. People who are not into the genre will have problems with them - and it's not a flaw in itself, obviously. However, you could tinker with the wording a bit, to make things more "universally" evocative, and clear (i.e. currently it doesn't seem to be immediately apparent which entries add what type of elements and the like).
Sure, I'll try it out. But the cliches are high on my list because they save so much space, and misinterpretation is not a significant problem. If one person think "robot" means "Data" and another person thinks "robot" means "DANGER, WILL ROBINSON!", there's really no problem there. Some of the wording can certainly be cleaned up, but it might be worthwhile for me to explicitly state that your interpretation of whatever your character attributes are is the right one, at least for now.

Quote
Maybe in the final layout, you could use some symbols for awesome, good/bad elements and rolls on the tables, or some of them. Then, you could have a clear coding for table entries.
Hmmm, I'll try it out. Never occurred to me.

Quote
-I have an impression that chances are against the GM (but there might be something about the actions balance that's not obvious to me without playing). Multiple actions rules might pose some problems - there is no change in GM's power between 4 and 5 players.
Ah, there's a subtle negative feedback loop. While I'm not sure if the GM is balanced, the players have a real problem in that they cannot use a strong, good story elements to attack weaker, bad story elements. For example, if there's a helpful alien princess at level 4, she can't be used to weaken the Salt Blart beast at level 2.

Conversely, the GM can't use his weak elements to attack the player's stronger elements, but he can convert these strong elements, at the price of (probably) putting another good element on the table. This should produce an interesting dynamic where the player's foci are the "center" of the game, and the rest of the story elements percolate nicely.

Quote
-You suggest it at the end, but it doesn't seem to me that there is any advantage to reducing foci below 1. The player creates new character anyway, with new focus at 3. Maybe if creating the new character was connected with a loss of one or more turns, or gave the GM a point?
Whoops, caught a misprint. It's supposed to give the GM a point. I changed rule revisions and forgot that paragraph. Tongue

Quote
-You have clear winning condition, but... what to win for? Chances are, you're close the game in the middle of the story, with a whole lot of unresolved issues at the table. Maybe if the winner could be required to give some final narration, wrapping the story up?
Yeah, of course. How did I forget to put that in?

Great help, thanks.

-Craig
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craigp
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« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2007, 07:55:34 AM »

Revision uploaded. Tongue

-Craig
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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2007, 11:11:45 AM »

Looks cleaner now.

As for the Twists and Lucky Breaks tables, what's the reason for them being repeatable, actually? I'm not sure how many story elements could appear at the table at once, but you advice not to have to much of them at a time. So, I suppose if you increased the number of Lucky Breaks to 20, there should be enough of them (possibly, you could actually have some hard limit for the number of story elements at the table).

Hmm, maybe it would even be possible not only to remove the dice, but also index cards - with cutouts, players could track story element's levels using tokens. Dunno how this would work, though (it could be difficult to remember what each of the elements stands for exactly).
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craigp
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« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2007, 12:49:35 PM »

The scraps of paper for the cut-out are really unmanageably small: in order to really be able to easily see something in the middle of the table, it has to be at least font size 18, bold-faced. I don't have that much space. Also, each element should be uniquely named to fit the situation: the doctor's assistant should be very different from the diplomat's assistant, even though they are both the same element on the lucky breaks table.

The way elements change from bad to good to bad is also a problem with cut-outs, unless I want to introduce more token types/spots on paper to represent good and evil.

If I was doing this as a "deck" game, I wouldn't hesitate. But the limitations are not suited to try and transform this into a "deck" game.

-Craig
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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2007, 01:08:52 PM »

Well, I'm just suggesting possibilities.

Things seem fair enough, anyway.
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Vulpinoid
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« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2007, 02:10:07 PM »

This looks pretty well thought out.

I'd like to see how you'd expand it beyond the confines of the challenge.

V
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A.K.A. Michael Wenman
Vulpinoid Studios The Eighth Sea now available for as a pdf for $1.
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