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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 71 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [SIC] Lock and Key Principle  (Read 1987 times)
BenW
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Posts: 5


« on: July 21, 2007, 01:53:01 AM »

SET: D

Concept: Near future science fiction, set in a crumbling city dominated by grim, rundown tower blocks, drug use is rampant and destroying sociaty. humanity has abdicated from free will, accepting the consumerism as its god. Chimera Inc. the corperation who effectively control all aspects of life recently released a new drug onto the market. They marketed it as "bliss", however when it hit the street weirdness began. In a very few cases, the drug caused the blossoming of strange pychic powers in users. The company seeing something that i could not easily control, removed the drug from the market and set about hunting those who the drug caused to develope these powers. The users, quickly went on the run, and found new sources of the drug, which they came to call "Key."

Influences: A Scanner Darkly, Changeling: The Dreaming

More to come
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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2007, 07:17:18 AM »

Ok, the premise looks solid for now. What kind of play experience would you like this game to provide? Any thoughts about the system?
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BenW
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Posts: 5


« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2007, 07:57:04 AM »

Ok, the premise looks solid for now. What kind of play experience would you like this game to provide? Any thoughts about the system?

System: currently i am working with a dice pool style  system, where you roll your attribute as your dice pool with a basic fifty/fifty chance of success and failer on each dice. The harder the task, the more successes you need. Pretty standard fair. Skills work by adding automatic successes, once you have rolled, though you must get atleast a single success to benifit from your skills. The other complicating  factor is your state of mind. Key might give the users power, but they have to ballance this against the fact that against the fact that when your experiencing drug enduced religious experiences, it becomes harder to shoot a gun or think in a linier manner. Equially, when they are strung out, it becomes harder and harder to touch their powers or use stoner logic to make intuative imaginative leaps. This is measured with a wheel tract measuring their state between Lucidity and Vision. Skills are associated with one or the other of these states. If you are in a state of visio, your lucidity based skills become harder to gain successess with, while your visions skills become easier to use.





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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2007, 10:02:45 AM »

What types of skills are associated with each of these states?

Also, what are the goals of play? What would you like the players to focus on during the game? What would you like them to think after a good session?

(Preferably, consider players goals at the table and character's goals in the game world separately.)
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Vulpinoid
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« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2007, 05:47:03 AM »

Cool idea, about having the lucidity and vision skills separated. Almost like a matrix red-or-blue pill, except that charcaters take both and try to grasp the best of both worlds.

As an idea, players might have a variable scale to determine thei level of power within the world, divided into three parts.
For this example L = Lucidity, X = Neither, V = Vision.

Lets say our average human has 10 levels.

A character with a lot of lucidity might have a scale that looks like this. L L L L L X X X V V.

A character with a lot of vision might look like this. L L L X X X V V V V.

A character without much of either might look like this. L L X X X X X X V V.

The first character might get five dice to use on their unskilled Lucidity effects (because they have five L's), they get eight dice to use with their skilled Lucidity effects (combining their L's and X's). For their unskilled Vision effects, this character would only get two dice to play with (because they have only 2 V's), and they'd get 5 dice to use for their skilled Vision effects.

The second character would get 6 for their skilled and 3 for their unskilled Lucidity effects, while getting 7 for their skilled and 4 for their unskilled Vision effects.

The third character would get 8 for their skilled effects and 2 for their unskilled effectys in both Vision and Lucidity.

The catch with this system is determining how many skills are available and how many skills the players are able to pick from that total pool. I'd suggest that the charactersare able to pick no more than a quarter of the total pool size. So if you have 8 Lucidity skills and 8 Vision skills, then a character would be able to pick no more than 2 of each. This means there will be a decent number of times when a character will have to face a situation without having the relevant skill necessary.

Using this type of system, a character may be able to gain experience by working on either end of their scale, adding Lucidity or Vision traits to either end of the scale indicating their mind expanding in one direction of another. Those who manage to transcend the limitations of Lucidity and vision may be able to change L's or V's in the middle of the scale into X's to show the balance they are developing.

This may go completely against the concepts you've been thinking of, but it was just the first idea that came to mind when I started reading through the concepts of the thread.

Just doing my job of inserting ideas, and expanding the collective conscious.

V
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A.K.A. Michael Wenman
Vulpinoid Studios The Eighth Sea now available for as a pdf for $1.
David Artman
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« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2007, 10:48:20 AM »

Lets say our average human has 10 levels.

A character with a lot of lucidity might have a scale that looks like this. L L L L L X X X V V.
...
The first character might get five dice to use on their unskilled Lucidity effects (because they have five L's), they get eight dice to use with their skilled Lucidity effects (combining their L's and X's). For their unskilled Vision effects, this character would only get two dice to play with (because they have only 2 V's), and they'd get 5 dice to use for their skilled Vision effects.

Clever! What about the last leg of the tripod: skills which are neither Lucidity or Vision; "X Skills".

Think about it before you eliminate it as "not part of the setting's dichotomy" (which I nearly did before posting). SOME skills might represent aspects of the spiritual, non-material, elemental, universal world (Pirsig's Quality; Plato's Ideals; Leibniz's Monads). A character which invest heavily in the Lucidity+Vision paradigm is, basically, "cluttering up their mojo," succumbing to the world of senses and sensation, and becoming less and less in touch with the otherworldly or the fundamental.

It makes sense: look at how our increased pace of life and techno-babble world distracts us with glamor, gleam, flash, and finery. The MTV generation can barely focus on school lessons for 40 minutes without Ritalin... what happens to a whole world of people with fine-tuned designer drugs and cybernetics addling their sense and filling every picosecond with stimulus!

Imagine a "paragon" of balance in the L+V worldview: LLLLLVVVVV

That character needs a "Find Center" roll or a "Commune With The One" roll or a "Pray For Guidance" roll... well, he's rolling bupkiss, because he has no X-Sense. (Similar to the guy who becomes an NPC in Shadowrun because he burned up all of his Essence with cybergear.)

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...[there should be] a decent number of times when a character will have to face a situation without having the relevant skill necessary.

Meh, I'm not as excited about this statement. After all, if the GM is in charge of all situation introduction, you could have 10 or 20 skills and still not have any of them pinged by an encounter: fiat is fiat, and no number of skills defeats it.

I do not, however, have a candle to light the darkness I just cursed, so I'll defer to the designer regarding how skills and situations mesh, who has the authority to demand that skills be checked, and who validates skill applicability in such situations.

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Using this type of system, a character may be able to gain experience by working on either end of their scale, adding Lucidity or Vision traits to either end of the scale indicating their mind expanding in one direction of another. Those who manage to transcend the limitations of Lucidity and vision may be able to change L's or V's in the middle of the scale into X's to show the balance they are developing.

I say "add where you will, within the confines of situationally constrained justifications for experience gains." When one earns some amount of Experience, one can put a new dot anywhere on one's continuum: a new V or L at the appropriate end, or a new X at the center, or turn an X into an L or V (maybe at a discount, for that latter change).

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This may go completely against the concepts you've been thinking of, but it was just the first idea that came to mind when I started reading through the concepts of the thread.

Well, hey, this is still a hot general mechanical idea, for any game in which individual struggle against a conflicting drives or stimuli is part of The Point of Play (TPOP). If he doesn't use it, YOU should use it in some other game with a similar notion of balancing stimuli/drives as they also overwhelm your "humanity" or "core" or "pure self".

VERY slick, though... one of you needs to use it, or I'm ganking it for my next system!
Smiley
David
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Chainsaw Aardvark
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Posts: 17


« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2007, 01:15:00 PM »

Think about it before you eliminate it as "not part of the setting's dichotomy" (which I nearly did before posting). SOME skills might represent aspects of the spiritual, non-material, elemental, universal world (Pirsig's Quality; Plato's Ideals; Leibniz's Monads). A character which invest heavily in the Lucidity+Vision paradigm is, basically, "cluttering up their mojo," succumbing to the world of senses and sensation, and becoming less and less in touch with the otherworldly or the fundamental. - David Artman

I haven't met many other people who bring up Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainece online, so I just wanted to say I appreciate it.

Now as to the game itself - any matters of addiction? Its one thing to get a flood of endorphins, but actual psychic powers - sounds nigh impossible to give up. Of course, I was in grade school in the early 90s, so the whole drugs are bad angle was pretty well drilled into me. We're responsible adults here, so such morals might not be necessary.

What are the differences between key and bliss?. Is presumably insanely difficult to reverse engineer such a drug, so they might have two very different affects, or work together in unpredictable ways. Classical megacorp behavior probably means Chimera is still using bliss for its own purpose to create psychic operatives. Individual batches/purity might alter behavior, so there is conflict within the rebels about what type/to acquire the other varieties.

How powerful of a psychic phenomenon are we looking at? Alter sense of time and enhanced reflexes seem a bit more justifiable than pyrokinisis for example. Or is it just the insight that allows other skills - and I'm misinterpreting something?

 
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Vulpinoid
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« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2007, 04:34:31 PM »

I haven't met many other people who bring up Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainece online, so I just wanted to say I appreciate it.

Don't make me post my game based on the framework of sanity and collective truth (with heavy influences from Zen and the Art.. and it's sequel Lila)

I say "add where you will, within the confines of situationally constrained justifications for experience gains." When one earns some amount of Experience, one can put a new dot anywhere on one's continuum: a new V or L at the appropriate end, or a new X at the center, or turn an X into an L or V (maybe at a discount, for that latter change).

Definitely. I'm just trying to think within the confines of a 4 page system and erring toward simplicity here. There are better ways to refine the concept I'm working toward, that was just the first that came to mind. Another derivation of the concept could be that experience expands the length of the LXV scale, while storyline elements determine what sort of trait is added into that scale. The fluctuation between L's, X's and V's would be fairly fluid depending on what state of mind the character is in, whether they currently have "Bliss" in their veins, and the situations they are currently facing. This may be a slow change that takes months, or there could be instantaneous effects that dramatically shift these traits around (like taking a drug hit that induces a more spiritual vision, or electroshock therapy that banishes the spiritual view from the subject).

Of course the question this raises is whether X's in the scale are a sign of balanced enlightenment, or if they are signs of deviating from the true path of quality???

That could be worth exploring in a completely different challenge. Thanks for the catalyst, BenW. Concepts like these are what makes challenges like this so much fun to be a part of.

V
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A.K.A. Michael Wenman
Vulpinoid Studios The Eighth Sea now available for as a pdf for $1.
David Artman
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« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2007, 11:13:40 AM »

I haven't met many other people who bring up Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance online, so I just wanted to say I appreciate it.
Thanks; and I suspect that rarity of exposure to Pirsig might change over the years... our country hasn't come very far since the mid-Seventies, ethically or spiritually, and Pirsig's metaphysics remains a sound perspective for living.

Be the Quality you want to see in the world.

Quote
Now as to the game itself - any matters of addiction? Its one thing to get a flood of endorphins, but actual psychic powers - sounds nigh impossible to give up.
Easy answer: sure, regular use of a drug that grants actual psychic powers will be very attractive.
Better question: what's so bad about addiction, if it makes you super-powered? If you don't have a down side to addicition, you don't have any hook to it. We're addicted to air, after all, and no one feels terribly ashamed about it.

Don't make me post my game based on the framework of sanity and collective truth (with heavy influences from Zen and the Art.. and it's sequel Lila)
You could at least post a link, you know; it's germane to the basic game idea, yes?

Quote
Of course the question this raises is whether X's in the scale are a sign of balanced enlightenment, or if they are signs of deviating from the true path of quality???
What happened to Phaedrus when he finally and thoroughly "saw" Quality in ZAMM? You could say he had all Xs at that moment, and he become completely dissociative. He had to be shocked in the brain, to bring him back to the world of seeing and doing.

In Pirig's terms, Lucidity is the classical view; Vision, the romantic view; and X, that which let's us "see" in the first place. Put still another way, rationality is Lucidity, creativity is Vision, but reality is X.

Hmmmm.... Maybe X can't really be a "skill category" at all, with that ontology. It seems to me, upon reflection, that any given "skill" would really involve some blend of Vision and Lucidity.

Ooo! Maybe you could use a PC's X-Factor (# of Xs) as a gauge of capability above and beyond "mere" creativity and techniques. The more Xs a PC has, the more likely that PC will create a "high Quality" result... but their raw mechanical ability to accomplish a given skill and the likely results both come from using a blending of L and V. Let me attempt an example:

LLL-XXX-VV is making a chair to sell.
The Vs provide dice to determine things like its artistry, details, and finish.
The Ls provide dice to determine things like its stability, durability, and comfort.
The Xs determine the maximum dice, total, that he can apply toward the finished product.
So... he can only use up to 3 dice (3 Xs), so that means his choices are:
1) 3L dice = a chair with little aesthetic appeal but tough as nails.
2) 2L, 1V = a nice chair, OK for basic decors, with years of service guaranteed.
3) 1L, 2V = a thing of fragile beauty, fit for high society, so long as rambunctious kids stay away from it.

The roll determines to what degree one of the above results occurs. A really bad LVV roll might mean he's made a chair that is "gauche"... or decades ahead of its time! Too bad the really low L result means it will probably fall apart before interior design critics finally see the genius of it....

So... in THIS model, the Xs are key: they become limiters on your skill. You can have all kind of book learning (L) or creativity (V), but if you haven't got a solid comprehension of Raw Quality (X), you'll never be able to roll enough dice to match your full potential: you'll always have to make tough "right brain v left brain" decisions and "beauty v function" compromises.

OK this is getting cool....
David
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