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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 73 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: System on a Character Sheet  (Read 14585 times)
migo
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Posts: 54


« on: September 04, 2007, 01:56:35 AM »

Inspired from one of the posts in the Game Jam thread, and along a similar line to the System in a Can challenge.

Make a character sheet for a new system, that anyone familiar with RPG conventions could pick it up, write a character and be able to play the system. There shouldn't be any rules explanations outside of the character sheet, and explanations on the sheet shouldn't be anything beyond a clarification, and perhaps an explanation of what the resolution mechanic is.

I've seen something close to this with the 1PG systems, where they had a brief overview of the rules beside the sheet, and it actually made more sense than the longer explanation of the rules.

I'm going to make an attempt at this as well. Whether it's succesful or not should be easy to determine - if someone doesn't have a clue what something on the sheet is for, it didn't work out.
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migo
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Posts: 54


« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2007, 02:58:37 AM »

Incidentally, anyone know a good place to host PDFs?
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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2007, 03:37:21 AM »

Hey, this sounds fun.

Are there any limits?

Is it ok to create, for example, an ultra huge or multiple page sheet? Are two-sided sheets fine? What about font size and stuff?

Also, a deadline?
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Vulpinoid
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« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2007, 05:19:16 PM »

I'm always looking for a chance to hone my skills with contests like this.

By my own admission I bombed on the System in a Can challenge with a game that lacked direction and was a bit too unwieldy for the 4 page restriction.

But I've come up with a game idea based on origami, in which you can fold the page in various ways to cause game effects and character development. If I can get the rules onto a square page that is actually used as both the rules and character sheet, this could be interesting.

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

Posts: 54


« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2007, 10:41:13 PM »

No time limit. It's more an idea to see if it can be done.

Multi sheets is fine, I don't think I want to put a hard limit on it. After all, D&D and T&T have shown us that you need several pages just for spells. It would be legit to have a brief spell description on the sheet assuming that each character has access to some or all of the spells.

Basically the idea is that the system should be so clear, and the character sheet so clear, that to a role player who has already played some games the character sheet is self explanatory and no rules explanation is necessary.

I've got an example PDF of what I tried for about an hour after posting this thread, but I'd need somewhere to host it.

With regards to getting rules onto a square on a page, it shouldn't be anything more than maybe clarifying what type of mechanic it has. For instance my sheet (I think) is pretty obvious to most people that it's a dice pool system, but it's not clear what type of dice it uses (the way it's designed, it doesn't matter that much, but I clarify that it's D6). I basically have 1 line of clarifications in there. If I had more time though I'd probably try to get some dice fonts and have a D6 icon in the part of the character sheet as "decoration", rather than having to explain it in a line on the sheet.

Incidentally, making a note that if you had better skills you'd do something a bit differently, basically describing what you'd want it to look like is perfectly legit too.

Basically, the only rule is that it should look like a "real" character sheet, ie one that is meant to go together with a system, it shouldn't be obvious at first glance that the point was to get the system onto the character sheet.
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Ninetongues
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Posts: 21

Nine Tongues Cunning


« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2007, 06:40:37 AM »

Very neat idea.

Always wanted to do that. Cool practice - to make the mechanics so clear so Character Sheet alone would be enough to sit and play. I think it could become a major event. Lets make up a deadline and wait for more participants, and we'll have a Contest.
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Raphael "Nine" Sadowski
migo
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Posts: 54


« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2007, 11:29:09 AM »

I have no idea what's an appropriate deadline for this kind of thing. Any suggestions?
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Malthusian
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Posts: 8


« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2007, 07:13:24 PM »

I'll have a go at this idea. Not sure how well I'll do, but practice makes perfect and all that jazz.

Migo: You can find file storage/hosting at Box.net.

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Vulpinoid
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« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2007, 07:15:41 PM »

System in a Can was a pretty frenzied experience, so maybe give it a fortnight.

Regular discussions throughout to brainstorm ideas between participants, then at the end of week 1 everyone submits the first draft ideas.

Then everyone gets the second week as an opportunity to refine their ideas. Final submission at the end of week 2.

I'd say that trying to keep the whole thing focused and simple is the key to this type of friendly competition.

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

Posts: 54


« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2007, 08:47:45 PM »

That sounds good.

Let's say Draft 1 by the 12th. Final Copy by the 19th.

http://www.box.net/shared/q8f3omc3kq - hopefully that works. That's the rough one I threw together.
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Vulpinoid
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« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2007, 09:21:05 PM »

O.K.

I'm in.

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

Posts: 54


« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2007, 11:07:57 PM »

Ok, so who else do we "officially" have in?
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2007, 06:55:23 AM »

I have some advice to offer, based on running and observing a lot of these activities.

Don't make a big deal about who's "in" while it's going on. A lot of people get distracted by that - announcing and then un-announcing, not participating at all because they weren't confident about announcing, and so on. A kind of little emotional whirlpool occurs which undercuts the activity itself. Calling for announcements of participation does not act as an actual motor for submissions.

I suggest that you'll know who's "in" by receiving submissions, and that's all you'll need.

Please feel free to ignore my advice if it doesn't match well with what you want to do.

Best, Ron
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Seth M. Drebitko
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Posts: 304


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« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2007, 07:05:58 AM »

I have been working on something for this challenge since yesterday when I first read the thread, the only question I have though is how much is to much in your opinion. I only ask as you have issued the challenge and I would prefer to work off your definition.
I personally see the sheet as being anything which does not have an excess of description, only providing the bare bones and has some use in actual play. For example the game worked up thus far uses 5 sheets total, 2 specifically for player use, and 2 for the gm's use 1 is used by both player and gm.

Character sheet:
This sheet is used to track the more or less static abilities of a character over the bulk of game, bellow each aspect of the sheet is a brief phrase advising how that attribute is advanced. 
Effort sheets:
The game uses dice pool mechanics as well as multiple types of dice and so their are three brief sections explaining rolls and pool interaction, interspersed between the spaces on the sheets for the pools to be placed.
Chronicle sheet:
It is key to the flow of game play that the gm goals, and player goals be aligned in a similar manor (at least for a standard game) and so from the very beginning of game play the chronicle is kept track of by every one to create a more uniform organized play environment. These sheet has at the bottom a brief entry advising what its function is and the rest of is is set up for people to write on.

It will probably be a bit clearer once i have the sheets all worked up (by the end of today most likely) at which point I you can advice if they meet the standards as far as you are thinking with the design concept for the game.

Regards, Seth
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MicroLite20 at www.KoboldEnterprise.com
The adventure's just begun!
migo
Member

Posts: 54


« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2007, 08:45:33 AM »

Ron, thanks for the advice.

Seth, what you're describing sounds fine. I like the idea of a chronicle sheet, it's not technically a "character" sheet, but it fits the spirit of the challenge just fine.
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