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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 77 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: [Loqui] the system-y stuff  (Read 1697 times)

Posts: 70

« on: February 14, 2008, 05:50:38 PM »

At the end of last year, I promised my gaming group that we would only play one setting this year. We had played a different Game/Setting/Character every session and they were a little tired of the novelty. We chose Space 1889 because we all wanted to do a stempunk thing and enough of us were familiar with it to make it easy to start. We all pretty much hated the system so I said I would throw something together but we will probably modify it over the course of the year.

We had had very good luck with PsiRun when we tried it, so I started with that as a base on which to hang all of the other rules.We especially liked the way the player can control what is happening as well as the Zero prep time aspect which means that we can all just show up and start playing a few minutes later. I wanted the characters to have a little more meat on their bones than PsiRun's questions only format,  so we tried to apply the Keys from TSoY and add a reward that sort of play. I also wanted the other players involved in each others scenes.

Originally I had envisioned a polaris like system with all of the players at the table contributing parts to the story with an elaborat dice passing scheme where if it was my scene I would roll a bunch of dice then we would take turns going around the table applying the dice to different aspects of the scene.  This proved a huge pain in the ass, though I still like it in principle and may try it again. we wound up with all of the other players contributing as GM when they are not in the scene in a slightly Universalis like token economy.

I decided on 5 potential rolls for each scene:

The player sets up the scene and rolls one dice for each of the following plus one additional die for good luck. after rolling the dice the player gets to assign the dice to each of the se areas and then descibe what the outcome means.

Goal - What the character is trying to do.1-3 fail, 4-6 succeed

Harm - Any potential harm to life, limb, ego, reputation or anything else. 1 permanent harm 2 successes to remove, 2 permanent harm 1 success to remove, 3 harm for rest of session, 4 hamed next scene, 5-6 no harm. harm was defined as - 1 die for the appropriate length of time. A success would be something for another scene goal to try removing the harm with an appropriate goal.
Delay - This roll allowed the character to move on to the next scene or if failed be stuck again in the same location or scene. 1 two scene delay, 2-3 one scene delay, 4-6 no delay.

GM - This roll allowed for a number of tokens to be put into a pot which can be drawn by other characters to add to your storyline. 1-2 two points, 3-4 one point, 5-6 no points. The cost to the other GMs was one token for each thing they introduce into your characters story line.

Key - If a characters featured Key is called into play this dice can be used to succeed or fail. If a success is rolled the success can be traded for a failure and a hero point taken for later. A hero point can be used for an extra die later. 1-2 fail, 3-6 succeed. This would in theory play out so that a character could take grief earlier in the game so they could shine in later parts of the story.

Those were the rules we stared with.

The thing we called Keys turned out to be more like character premises rather than Keys in the TSoY sense. We need to change the term and it is something that will need to be fleshed out. They wound up working like thematic batteries in FLFS, in that they allowed for the characters to power up through failure. It also worked as a good flag for what to push on the character with.

One of my players was thinking after the game that he didn't like the Key Roll. He found a lot of dissonance in the rolls. He didn't like that the key didn't play into successes. Afterward we talked about combining the two rolls into one. Without your key you would roll 1-3 fail, 4-5 success but with the non scene players throwing deciding what the complication is, 6 success free and clear. With your key you would get 1-3 fail and 4-6 succeed. and anytime you could choose to fail and take the hero point. This would make having the keys very useful, but very hard to get. I would probably start each character off with 2 or 3 points at the start of the session. I'm not sure that any of us would be willing to take 5 failures to get another Key.

We also talked about how useing the key should get you a bonus with the reroll. If you are playing a scene without using your key you can only add the bonus dice before you roll. If you are playing a scene with your key, you can roll the hero point bought die at after your roll.

Another idea I have been toying with is to change goal to 1-3 fail, 4-5 succeed but, 6 succeed. the other players would provide the but to your success.

I am also thinking about how to make a combat scene have a more traditional feel. I think that by using the delay untill you can score enough successes to kill the other character would be one way to do that. If an NPC hasn't been invested in by the other players it only takes one success to kill them off.You just set that as your goal and assuming you get a good enough roll they are gone. If however the other players like an NPC they can invest that character with points each of which require a seperate success to get rid of.

My questions at this point are:

1) Is this still a game? I can see arguments in both directions but will say that the first playtest was a lot of fun and whatever it is I am going to keep doin it. But, if it is not a game in your eyes where does it fall down?

2) In the playtest we were all in seperate places durring the story; when we get into the same scenes I expect that things will play the same way except that if one of you is helping someone else that counts as an extra die on their roll. If the characters are not harmed, that is a lot of extra dice and things might get too easy. Can you think of any better way to incorporate the other characters into the scene?

3) This should probably have been number one,  but can you think of other things I could be rolling for in the scenes?

Yes, The Thor from Toledo
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