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Author Topic: Pathodyne Power 19 in Progress  (Read 4969 times)

Posts: 286

Kevin Vito

« on: February 21, 2008, 11:04:57 AM »

First the 19:

1) What is your game about?
Myers-Briggs typology and inner struggle.

2) What do the characters do?
The characters strive to deal with their inner problems and reach some kind of equilibrium.

3) What do the players do?
The players play a balancing game as they raise, lower, and juggle their character's stats until they can get their character just to the point that they want, and role play this stat juggling as inner turmoil.

4) How does your setting reinforce what the game is about?
The setting is a world of though and dreams that reflects what is going on inside of the character's heads. The characters' problems will manifest themselves as monsters or obstacles to be overcome.

5) How does character creation reinforce what the game is about?
It's very simple. First the players pick their character's desired type, then take the MBTI test, and answer it the way they think their character ought to answer it, in order to determine what the character's type and stats actually are at the beginning.

6) What types of behavior does you game reward or punish?
I'd like to set the game up with GNS theory in mind, and adaptable rules that can be adjusted according to the player's personality types. So really, it is up to the players to decide how behavior is rewarded or punished.

7) How is behavior rewarded or punished?
The rules will be modular, so certain rule sets can be added, subtracted, or replaced according to the overall personality of the group.

Cool How are responsibilities of narration and credibility divided in your game?
I'm thinking that there will probably be a GM to figure out all the rules and narrate and such, but players will be capable of altering their surroundings through their character's mood. The players themselves actually create their own monsters to fight.

9) What does your game do to command player's attention?
It creates a kind of push and pull where players go from having a large degree of control over their character's and setting to control being seized away. Players will hopefully fight to regain control.

10) What are the resolution mechanics of your game like?
Working on that.

11) How do the resolution mechanics reinforce what your game is about?
Working on that.

12) How do characters in your game advance?
Players attempt to push and pull their character's stats to get their character's closer to the kind of character they want. It's like a balancing game.

13) How does the character advancement reinforce what your game is about?
Character stats represent humors or your character's mood. The process of push and pull represents your character's attempts to get better.

14) What kind of effect do you want the game to produce in players?
Catharsis, deep thought as though solving a puzzle, reflection.

15) What areas of your game recieve extra attention and color?
The stats, character creation and manipulation.

16) Which part of your game are you most excited or interested about?
Creating and playing characters.

17) Where does your game take players that other games can't/won't?
Into a world where everything just comes down to the ebb and tide of brain chemicals.

18) What are your publishing goals for this game?
For sale online in PDF format, for cheap.

19) Who is your target audience?
The type of people who care about MBTI. Probably INTPs.

OK, so basically this game takes place in kind of a singulitarian fantasy setting with robot goblins, genetically engineered elves, etc. The characters' moods are able to affect their surroundings, even causing monsters to manifest from their inner problems. Players attempt to resolve their problems by altering their stats. However, monsters and other things in your surroundings can also alter your stats against your will.
You see, unlike other games, damage doesn't reduce your number of hit points, but changes your stats around, causing one stat to get a -1 while another gets a +1, thus changing your character into something that you don't want your character to become. It may not neccessarily be better or worse, but players will fight this as they will want to have more control over their characters.

Depending on how your stats are distributed, your character will fall into one of 16 character classes based on the Myers-Briggs types.

So anyway, I was wondering if anybody had any suggestions overall or for specific things like what the personality types should do or how resolution should work or anything at all.
Grinning Moon

Posts: 28

« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2008, 01:53:57 PM »

Hey chronoplasm!

You see, unlike other games,

...Err... just FYI, I'd be careful using a phrase like this around here. It's sort of like saying, 'What makes my game better than rest is...', which can get some people a little fired-up.

The idea for conflict consequences seems interesting enough to me... but it causes me to think that your game would lack a lot of tension (not necessarily a bad thing, I suppose). It just doesn't feel as dangerous when my stats just get juggled around rather than beat-up. Maybe that's just me.

I also don't know that I'd want to go through the entire Myers-Briggs typology test during character creation (but then, I personally like character ad gam set-up to be a streamlined as possible), though I'm interested in how you intend to derive stats from the answers?

I'm a bit confused about what it is the characters would be doing within the context of the game, as well. They're exploring a world that they've constructed with their own thoughts... yet you mention very concrete fantasy things like robot goblins and genetically engineered elves. Are those just examples? And what's the 'balancing act' that I'll need to focus on - do I set goals for my stat values during character generation that I need to come as close to as I can during the game by doing things to shuffle them around? Or do I have them established optimally to begin with, and then try to keep them that way as best I can? Or is it something else entirely?

What do I do to juggle my stats around? What kind of obstacles are going to be present in the game that will cause it to be introspective?

"This game is a real SHIT>.<"

 - What amounts to intelligent discourse on the internet these days.

Posts: 286

Kevin Vito

« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2008, 02:37:25 PM »

Aw. Sorry about that. I didn't mean it that way.
D:   Sad

These are the four main stats I was thinking of having in the game:
Thought vs. Feeling
Sense vs. Intuition
By default, each of these has a score of 100. If you lean 60% toward Thinking though, you get a +60 to Thought and -60 to Feeling, so your scores are T160/F40. You lean more heavily toward Thinking, so your class will be one of the T types.

It's important to point out that if one stat is reduced too low your character will run into serious problems. At 0 your character is unable to function in that particular area and if any stat reaches a low enough negative number, lets say 50 (of course this could be adjusted according to difficulty level of the game) the character could very well die.

I guess what I meant with the elves and the goblins there is that there is a sort of default setting that players start out in, but their characters can shape it through their actions. The default setting is up to the GM I suppose, thats just my personal idea I guess.

As for your next question, about the balancing act, it can be either of those things you said there. You can start out optimally and strive to maintain that, or you can start out way off from your target and strive to get to where you want to be. Your goals can also change during the course of the game, it all depends.

It's introspective in that the focus of the game is maintaining and customizing your character. Stats can be altered in many different ways.
1) The use of mood altering spells and substances. This is the easy way.
2) Damage. Monsters that you create will alter your stats when they hit you. Thing is, these monsters will tend to alter your stats in such a way that they become stronger or so that they can make more of themselves.
3) Victory over monsters may push your stats in the opposite direction.
4) Certain actions that you perform may move your stats around.
5) Everybody gets a small point pool once per day that they can spend to move their points around any way they want.

Monsters in the game are themed around memories or fears or negative emotions. Players actually get to chose what monsters they face based on how their stats are distributed.

Posts: 55


« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2008, 05:03:03 PM »

Very interesting.

I definitely like the idea of inner struggle and fighting "demons" and such.  This goes along well with the whole creative visualization new age thing.  You know, we create reality and such.  Maybe the extent to which the reality is affected could be based on another statistic.  The effect on reality (negative or positive), could be dependant on a "luck" roll of sorts where luck is based on one's development spiritually or emotionally which is based on their negative personaliy traits such as judging, controling, fearing, worrying-etc.  These ideas are steering your idea to be like one of my ideas, you may not be wanting to go in that direction, but I can offer help in that arena for sure.

We are equal beings and the universe is our relations with each other. The universe is made of one kind of entity: each one is alive, each determines the course of his own existence.

Posts: 286

Kevin Vito

« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2008, 05:36:30 PM »

By all means, it's a good idea.

I was wondering whether or not this stat should be a player stat though.
I'm wondering... what if the players assign stats to the setting the same way they assign stats to themselves.
I remember once, on RPG.net, I was giving this one fellow suggestions for his Viking themed game, and I suggested possibly having a shared chargen to determine stats for the boat that the characters use. That is, each player gets a number of points and they can spend these points on whatever aspect of the boat they want improved and can initiate conflicts to wrestle points away from each other.
Well, I was thinking maybe the players can at least collaborate with the GM, if not do away with having a GM altogether, by having some kind of shared chargen where they assign stats to the setting they are in. These stats would determine things like how magical or how technological the setting is, difficulty level, ammount of randomness, and of course, what degree of influence the players want their character's mood to have on the surroundings.

Posts: 55


« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2008, 05:54:38 PM »

What do you think about the Disc test?  Did you consider this one?  Just wanted to share...my work had us employees all take the test and have a feel-good-about-yourself type of day.  Twas interesting...

We are equal beings and the universe is our relations with each other. The universe is made of one kind of entity: each one is alive, each determines the course of his own existence.

Posts: 286

Kevin Vito

« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2008, 07:50:35 PM »

Hmmm... I've just now heard about this.
I'll do some more reading on it and get back to you on that.
Thanks. Smiley

Posts: 29

« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2008, 11:17:05 PM »

Hey there. I love MBTI stuff. I'm an ENTP guy myself, altho I've long since forgotten what that actually means.

Anyhow, I'd cast my vote to have a definite setting, and based on a modern one. I'm seeing a more Dark City, Matrix, Don't Rest Your Head kind of thing. A world that's completely recognizeable but only because of a shared experience with "society." Imbalance threatens things, and the players have to worry about their own imbalance while also straightening everything out.

And as much as I like the MB tests, I would hate to have to do it every time for every character. I'd streamline it, because once players are familiar with the results, they'll just streamline it anyway after a couple of chargens.

Why only four stats? Why not have eight, both sides of each temperment? It comes down to how you want to express them in the game. Perhaps each of the areas can represent different mechanics in interacting with the game world, or a combination of the two types. Do you see a lot of physical action in the game? Because that would be harder to emulate with just types of personalities, which are by definition mental or social aspects. Perhaps strength checks will test your resolve (a thinking/introverted thing) while fighting checks test your quickness (judging/extroverted thing).

I guess this means that I'd like to see some of your ideas on mechanics so far before I can sense if we can "do" anything in this world. In the hopes of helping, I once played around with some ideas for diceless mechanics that were based on two sides of a spectrum. Each "line" or  spectrum on the character sheet had its own token pool, and listed something you're good at on one side ofthe pool and something you're bad at at the other side of the pool. The tokens stayed in the middle. If you pushed them into something you're good at, after the "resolution" they'd be removed. If you wanted to refresh the pool, you had to add/activate something you're bad at, and after the resolution they can be moved into your pool (and thus be used for what you're good at, again.)

You could try something like that, where tokens used to activate your E would be added to your I. But the trick is that there are benchmarks to each imbalance, so that Something Happens. (or players can choose to remove them altogether, which can be kind of like a health mechanic, too?) Obviously, I'm used to lower numbers than you seem to have in mind, I think. I can't imagine 100 tokens for each aspect cluttering my character sheet!



Marvel Flipside: fanfic and faux covers in a Bizarro-Marvel Universe (http://www.marvelflipside.com)
The Unofficial Spider-Man's Guide to New York: the fan-made supplement for the diceless MURPG (http://ozbot.typepad.com/spideyguide)

Posts: 286

Kevin Vito

« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2008, 01:38:33 AM »

Yeah, I've been trying to figure out some way to convert these personality characteristics into physical stats somehow. I was originally thinking of applying some very loose interpretation and using Sensing for aim while Feeling would be used for 'rage', but I'm not sure at this point whether that would be the best direction to go in.

Hmm... Suppose dice are used, but whenever a die is rolled, it represents not only a + to one action, but a - to the opposite action. Thus, as you move closer to one side of the spectrum, you move farther away from the other. Every success comes at the cost of something else.

Lets say that in addition to the main stats, you also have action stats which are more temporary.
Action stats aren't recorded on your character sheet because they are only set for the duration of the turn.
Roll your dice pool.
Assign each die value as a plus to one of the action stats and a minus to one of it's opposing action stats. For example, speed versus cost or speed versus quality.
Each action stat determines degree of success or failure at each step in the process of doing whatever it is you are doing (fighting, crafting items, pickpocketing, etc.) A final confirming roll is performed to see whether the action was actually successful or not.

Perhaps your main stats give you certain extra controls over this process? Maybe a high E stat lets you add dice to a friend's dice pool while a high I stat gives you more dice when performing actions by yourself? I don't know yet.

Because of the complexity of this process, it is mostly used for more complicated tasks, such as fighting or debating or crafting items, etc. Simple actions require only the confirming roll.

Posts: 29

« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2008, 06:14:09 AM »

Ah, okay. So let's back it up a bit. The first question to be answered is how much physical stuff (indeed, how much "dice rolling" stuff) you want in your game in the first place, and for that you'll need to come up with a hypothetical "typical" interaction between the players and GM (if you have a GM), and for that you'll need to be a bit more specific about your setting, its characters, and its inherent conflicts. 

I don't get where you're going with temporary stats, dice pools, degrees of sucess, and etc. On the face of it, I'm guessing you're going for a more traditional rpg experience. If it were me, I'd keep it simple, tho, and more narrative. You know, you don't even have to have the MB traits directly relate to RPG stats. You can make it purely storytelling. "Bid" for actions by shifting points into a certain a trait (away from its counterpart) and that trait just flavors that action. Shift into N and get "I *intuitively* guess where his next move is going to be, and that's where I fire!" or shift into T to get "Calculating for his speed, I fire off three rounds!"  Then the trick is you're stuck at those levels until the next round/shift/narration, etc.  I mean, it's a high-concept kind of game, with the crux of it all requiring grokking how the Myers Briggs terms define your setting, especially for those unfamiliar with the terms in the first place. It's fascinating enough to let that stand alone, and having to add dice and more traits fees like too much. (But if it doesn't for you, I'll still help you talk it out.)



Marvel Flipside: fanfic and faux covers in a Bizarro-Marvel Universe (http://www.marvelflipside.com)
The Unofficial Spider-Man's Guide to New York: the fan-made supplement for the diceless MURPG (http://ozbot.typepad.com/spideyguide)

Posts: 286

Kevin Vito

« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2008, 08:50:39 PM »

Gah. You're right. I need to get back to the main concept.

...I guess I'm not interested in seperating physical and mental stats. That is, I want them to be one in the same.

S vs. N (function, perception abilities)
Sensing= Trust five senses. Look for concrete facts. Distrust hunches.
Intuition= Trust hunches. Look for patterns. Future possibilities.

Sensing could represent a mental stat, but then it could also represent a physical stat whereas Intuition, also representing a mental stat, could also represent a metaphysical stat. Sensing gives you better use of your eyes and ears and thus better aim giving you more damage with ranged attacks. Intuition could be used for targeting of a more magical nature.

T vs. F (function, judgement abilities)
Thinking= Look at situation from the outside. Detach from surroundings.
Feeling= Look at situation from the inside. Associate/empathize with surroundings.

Suppose Feeling represents a more earthly, physical mental stat while Thinking represents a more cosmic, metaphysical mental stat. What this does at this point, I'm not sure. Maybe Feeling is simply raw physical power while Thinking is more magical power?

E vs. I (attitude, social abilities)
Extroverted= act, then reflect. People.
Introverted= reflect, then act. Inward concepts.
These could represent simple social-fu abilities, but then again with the whole "act, then reflect" vs. "reflect, then act", one may interpret these as speed vs. versatility.
Extroverted could be the physical mental stat, determining movement and initiative while Introverted could be the metaphysical mental stat, determining skill pulls or techniques available at a given time.

J vs. P (ambassador?)
Judging= Settle matters.
T+J= Logic (physical mental. Mechanically minded? Communication with machines? Repair?)
F+J= Empathy (metaphysical mental. People minded? Communication with people? Healing?)
Percieving= Leave matters open.
SP= Concrete (physical mental) (immediate practicality. Spot targeting?)
NP= Abstract (metaphysical mental) (worldly matters. AOE targeting?)

Okay, so,

Physical stats:
Sensing (search, accuracy)
Feeling (strength, internal knowledge)
Extroverted (initiative, charisma)
Judging (logic, mechanics)
Percieving (targeting)

Metaphysical stats:
Intuition (scry, magic accuracy)
Thinking (magic, external knowledge)
Introverted (versatility, concentration)
Judging (empathy, healing)
Percieving (area of effect)

Posts: 286

Kevin Vito

« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2008, 09:19:43 PM »

OK, another idea throwing in there...

Each of these pairs has it's own hit points. You take both numbers from each pair and multiply them to get the hit points, or stability, for that stat. Having one of those numbers higher than the other (ex. S7xN1=7HP) will give you better abilities in that area, but having the numbers more balanced (S4xN4=16HP) gives you more stability. Whenever a character diminishes you hit points for a pair to 1, it puts a -1 into one of those stats and a +1 into the other, then hit points for that pair is reset. When one of these stats is 0 (S8xN0=0HP), your character becomes incapacitated in that area).

So now to test my idea for using the preferences to represent physical and metaphysical stats by seeing how they line up with each of the "classes".

Teacher (ENFJ) initiative, charisma, scry, magic accuracy, strength, internal knowledge, empathy
Counselor (INFJ) versatility, concentration, scry, magic accuracy, strength, internal knowledge, empathy
Champion (ENFP) initiative, charisma, scry, magic accuracy, strength, internal knowledge, area of effect
Healer (INFP) versatility, concentration, scry, magic accuracy, strength, internal knowledge, area of effect
Fieldmarshal (ENTJ) initiative, charisma, scry, magic accuracy, magic, external knowledge, logic,
Mastermind (INTJ) versatility, concentration, scry, magic accuracy, magic, external knowledge, logic,
Inventor (ENTP) initiative, charisma, scry, magic accuracy, magic, external knowledge, area of effect
Architect (INTP) versatility, concentration, scry, magic accuracy, magic, external knowledge, area of effect
Supervisor (ESTJ) initiative, charisma, search, accuracy, magic, external knowledge, logic,
Inspector (ISTJ) versatility, concentration, search, accuracy, magic, external knowledge, logic,
Provider (ESFJ) initiative, charisma, search, accuracy, strength, internal knowledge, empathy
Protector (ISFJ) versatility, concentration, search, accuracy, strength, internal knowledge, empathy
Promoter (ESTP) initiative, charisma, search, accuracy, magic, external knowledge, targeting
Crafter (ISTP) versatility, concentration, search, accuracy, magic, external knowledge, targeting
Performer (ESFP) initiative, charisma, search, accuracy, strength, internal knowledge, targeting
Composer (ISFP) versatility, concentration, search, accuracy, strength, internal knowledge, targeting

Posts: 29

« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2008, 02:02:45 AM »

I'm still not sure what I'm supposed to *do* with those ideas, though. For example, my character walks out of the house to go on his grand adventure... then what? Does he kill something and take its stuff? Does he investigate the presence of something that threatens our sanity? In either one, how do those stats help me do that?

THen you go and do some contradictory things, IMO. You first say that you want the stats to be one and the same, physical and mental, then you separate them out in your example, physical and metaphysical. Next, I'm also not sure why you listed the "classes," since wasn't your initial idea that you want a balance between the traits? Then there wouldn't *be* any classes because we'd all be wanting our characters at "zero" in both E and I. Put another way, I could be an ENFJ one moment, then an INFJ the next, because I"m always shifting my traits, right? 

Marvel Flipside: fanfic and faux covers in a Bizarro-Marvel Universe (http://www.marvelflipside.com)
The Unofficial Spider-Man's Guide to New York: the fan-made supplement for the diceless MURPG (http://ozbot.typepad.com/spideyguide)
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