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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 63 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Le regne de Mu / Reign of Mu (a new project)  (Read 5372 times)
Philippe Tromeur
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« on: September 21, 2007, 04:54:38 PM »

I've finally opend a blog about my latest project : the development of a Churchwardian Fantasy RPG.
No aliens, no magic, no gods, but kewl psionic powerz, wooly rhinos and weird tech.

I've already written a 1-page-version of the game : http://tromeur.com/mu/mu.pdf.
The final thing will be a free 200-page document, or something like that.
It's a long-term project ; I'll be finished in 2015, or something.

The blog is in French, I hope some of you read the language : http://leregnedemu.blogspot.com/

AFAIK, there's no 100% Churchwardian Fantasy RPG.
Atlantis is the closest thing but I want to do something closer to the series of Mu (Lost Continent, Children of Mu, Cosmic Forces of Mu, etc.).
Dictionary of Mu is extremely cool, but really really not based on Churchward's books...
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Philippe Tromeur
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« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2007, 05:28:46 PM »

Of course, I'm interested into Churchwardian RPG ideas...

Inspired by the four-fold structure of the universe, I'll use those correspondances :

People / Mythic wyrm / Game attribute / Element / Force / Beast
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Maya (Quetzal & Carian) / Quetzalcoatl / Senses / Air / Electromagnetism / Eagle
Negroid / Rainbow Serpent / Body / Earth / Gravity / Ox
Uighurs (& Mongols) / Dragon / Mind / Water / Cohesion / Scorpion
Nagas (& Dravidians) / Naga / Power / Fire / Vitality / Lion

or maybe something mixed-up from the above (I'm still hesitating a lot)
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Philippe Tromeur
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« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2007, 09:55:51 AM »

I've just translated the 1-page version into the English language : Reign of Mu.
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Callan S.
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« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2007, 03:21:30 AM »

Hi there,

What are you working on with the game? If your looking to keep with the spirit of the forum, this is a workshop forum - what are you working on with the game at the moment, that you might like help or offers of help with?
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Philosopher Gamer
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Philippe Tromeur
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« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2007, 03:38:10 AM »

Well, I'm looking for opinions, thoughts, etc. about the game in general.

The main problem I have now, about game design, is the correspondance between elements (see my list above).

According to Churchward, everything is classified in groups of 4 :
 - the Cosmic Forces are : Gravity, Cohesion, Vitality, Elmectromagnetism (that's my personal translations of the weird names Churchward gave to them)
 - the symbolic animals are : Lion, Scorpion, Ox, Eagle (that's Astrology)
 - the elements are : Fire, Earth, Air, Water
 - the symbolic fantastical creatures of the People of Mu are the Naga (for the Naga-Maya) and the Quetzal (for the Cara-Maya). Churchward does not describe the creatures for the Uighur and the Negroids, but I chose the Dragon and the Rainbow Serpent...
 - the 4 game attributes are : Body, Senses, Mind, Power

I want a general correspondance table... Some correspondance are obvious, such as the symbolic animals and elements (Lion=Fire, Scorpion=Water, Ox=Earth, Eagle=Air), but most of them require lots of thought... If you have ideas...
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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2007, 12:13:46 PM »

Philippe,

What's the purpose of this correspondance table, system-wise? Is it just for color, or do you want the correspondances to have some actual impact on gameplay? If so, do you have some more specific use for them in mind?

The one-page version of the game is very minimalistic, and it's clarity suffers from it. I'm not sure what are your reasons for mixing task and conflict resolution, for example.

I'd expect healing rules to be problematic. Points are regained with the passage of in-game time, but there are no rules to for tracking how much time passes. So, despite the rolls involved, it seems to be completely up to the GM (assuming that there's a traditional GM who controls the flow of time) and the roll seems meaningless. For the record, I recall we had some problems of that sort playing Wuthering Heights - the player whose character got wounded at the beginning of the session was basically out of play till the very end, as all the events took place within a single night.

Also, isn't this thread better suited for First Thoughts or Playtesting subforum?
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Philippe Tromeur
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« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2007, 02:28:29 PM »

What's the purpose of this correspondance table, system-wise? Is it just for color, or do you want the correspondances to have some actual impact on gameplay? If so, do you have some more specific use for them in mind?
Well, it's mostly for color, since according to Churchward, everything is divided into four categories. I found it interesting to make a 4-attribute game, and also make those 4 attributes more versatile than their immediate meaning.

For example, for basic psionic powers :
 - Power is a kind of meta-psychic skill (go into trance, resist powers)
 - Senses = Telesthesia
 - Mind = Telepathy
 - Body = Telekinetics

And for advanced psionic powers ("magic")
 - Power (or Mind ?) = influence cohesion (matter transmutation, disintegration...)
 - Senses = influence electromagnetism (illusions, fireballs, bolts...)
 - Mind (or Power ?) = influence vitality (animate matter, zombi...)
 - Body = influence gravity (flight....)

Also, The people of Mu are divided into 4 main branches according to Churchward : Naga-Maya (ancestors of the Indians, Upper Egyptians, east Africans...), Cara-Maya (ancestors of the Greeks, Maya, Lower Egyptians..), Uighur (ancestors of far-east and central asian people) and Negroids (ancestors of west Africans, Melanesians...). To make differences between those people, I want to give them some specialisations, possibly based on the 4 attributes (which I did in the 1-page-version). It's not easy, and possibly controversial ! When I specialize the negroids in Body in the 1-page version, for example, it may look a bit racist ... well, the term "negroid" may also sound racist.

The one-page version of the game is very minimalistic, and it clarity suffers from it. I'm not sure what are your reasons for mixing task and conflict resolution, for example.
Task and conflict resolution are basically the same thing, except that unopposed tasks have fixed difficulty numbers, and do not cause a loss of points. I also wanted a very general conflict resolution, that could be used for combat, resisting poison, or having a debate. In a debate, you may lose you focus (Senses) or your will (Mind), but it won't last long... In a combat, you may get down (Body) and/or out (Senses)...

I'd expect healing rules to be problematic. Points are regained with the passage of in-game time, but there are no rules to for tracking how much time passes. So, despite the rolls involved, it seems to be completely up to the GM (assuming that there's a traditional GM who controls the flow of time) and the roll seems meaningless.
I do agree with you : I should simplify those in the next version of the game, maybe just giving approximative time frames (scenes, chapters ?), without those meaningless dice rolls.

For the record, I recall we had some problems of that sort playing Wuthering Heights - the player whose character got wounded at the beginning of the session was basically out of play till the very end, as all the events took place within a single night.
In Wuthering Heights, I let wounded (or even dying) characters do some actions, but they take more risks doing that (all failures are considered fumbles, for example).

Also, isn't this thread better suited for First Thoughts or Playtesting subforum?
It's not really a first thought, since I have already written a version of the game, and playtested it. Also, I would like to talk about the setting if someone has something to suggest, which is not really a playtest issue.
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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2007, 07:21:36 AM »

The alternative stat-magic associations given in parentheses look better to me.

I wouldn't worry about sounding "racist" or whatever, if putting it otherwise is not fitting for the genre. Unless you intend to aim for mainly American target audience, that is. It would seem they are rather oversensitive as far as such issues go, in general, so not being politically correct enough could be risky in their case Smiley

As for the task/conflict thing, what is the purpose of inlcuding task resolution then? When should it be used and what are the effects of success and failure respectively? What specifically makes it meaningful?

Basing recovery on game units rather than in-game time sounds good. Playing WH we came to the conclusion that it would make much more sense to check for recovery every scene or act (our session kind of naturally structured itself into acts). This would have given the player of the dying character some chance to eventually do something other than moaning, coughing and bleeding Smiley
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Philippe Tromeur
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« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2007, 03:27:46 AM »

I wouldn't worry about sounding "racist" or whatever, if putting it otherwise is not fitting for the genre. Unless you intend to aim for mainly American target audience, that is. It would seem they are rather oversensitive as far as such issues go, in general, so not being politically correct enough could be risky in their case Smiley
James Chuchward considered that the Negroid people were especially unintersting, and primitive, He never developed explanations on their civilization. This give a lot of room for inventing kewl things about them ! I'm still hesitating giving them a new name...

As for the task/conflict thing, what is the purpose of inlcuding task resolution then? When should it be used and what are the effects of success and failure respectively? What specifically makes it meaningful?
Task and conflict resolution are the same thing. The GM just choses if the oposition has a fixed value or requires a dice roll. Fixed values should only be chosen for passive opposition, but the GM can always chose to make dice rolls for passive opposition, or take a fixed number for an active oposition.

I don't like to formalise tasks, but I could make guidelines for them, such as :
Combat : BODY or SENSES rolls against BODY or SENSES rolls / combat round (3 seconds) / hazardous : loss of defensive attribute during a scene, chapter or story
Debate : MIND or SENSES rolls against MIND or SENSES rolls / debate round (3 minutes) / hazardous : loss of defensive attribute during a scene or chapter
Psychic trance : POWER rolls against fixed difficulty (6 to 10) / combat round (3 seconds) / hazardous : unconscious 2 rounds (this one nd the next one)
Telekinetic attack : BODY rolls against BODY or POWER rolls / combat round (3 seconds) / hazardous : loss of BODY (target) or loss of POWER (attacker)
Cooking : SENSES rolls against fixed dfficulty (1 to 9) / hour / non-hazardous
etc.
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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2007, 12:32:18 PM »

Hmm, that's not exactly what I wanted to ask about. I'll try to formulate it differently.

1.What play experience do you want your game to produce?

2.What these rules add to this desired experience of yours, specifically? In what ways do they support it?

I'm asking because, looking at the one page version and your posts here, I'm unable to sort it out well. In Wuthering Heights for example, the majority of rules made perfect sense instantly, clearly communicating what play experience does the game serve. In this case, it's still muddled at this point, I'd say. I just have a slight sense of disconnect.
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Philippe Tromeur
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« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2007, 04:22:54 AM »

1.What play experience do you want your game to produce?
2.What these rules add to this desired experience of yours, specifically? In what ways do they support it?
Well, the game does not aim at a specific gaming experience, it's just an ordinary, gamist, FRPG : fortune-based resolution, blow up your foes' heads, take their stuff...

What I want to emphasize :
 - What is important is personal prowess. The game system has to de-emphasize the role of mundane equipment (including weapons, armour...) and trivial skills.
 - No magic. Psychic power is a natural skill, available to everyone.
 - Everything goes in four : four cosmic forces, four people, four attributes, etc.

Besides the system, I shall be very careful giving campaign ideas to the GM's, and motivations to PC's.
That's the main problem of some very detailed games, such as Atlantis Second Age : the setting is super-cool, but lacks clear conflicts.

The fifteenth millenium BC is the most interesting time in Churchward's vision of pre-history :
 - Athens rebels against Atlantis
 - Egypt is settled by two different Empires (Atlantis in the North, Dravidians in the South), becoming another front in the cold war between Atlantis and the Motherland Mu
 - Foundation of El Dorado along the coasts of the Amazon Sea
 - Foundation of Babylon
 - Apex of the Mayax and Uighur empires, just before they are destroyed by the first cataclysms
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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2007, 08:08:38 AM »

What you describe is, in fact, a specific gaming experience Smiley

Ok, now it's more clear to me where you are heading with this. I'm afraid it's hard for me to offer any feedback for this, though. It seems like a rather straightforward design, and it looks like you know how to deal with your design problems.

Good luck with it.
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