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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 158 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: SarvŠia - New RPG Overview  (Read 1802 times)
Krytos
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« on: March 07, 2008, 05:48:04 PM »

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Vulpinoid
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Kitsune Trickster


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« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2008, 06:26:21 PM »

How did you get the concept of light being dramatic and anarchic, while darkness is peaceful and static?

Most settings and traditional forms of dogma have these generally reversed, where light generally represents knowledge and reason, while darkness represents secrecy and hidden passion.

If we're assuming that Angels (of light) following anarchic ways and Demons (of darkness) promote peace, I'm interested to hear a rationale for the cosmology of your world.

This sort of thing can really set the tone for the types of stories told in your setting.

As for the rules, there are a few elementally based games appearing in the last few years, it's a nice break from the standard D&D attributes...I'll wait for a few more people to comment on the thread before I add any more.

V
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A.K.A. Michael Wenman
Vulpinoid Studios The Eighth Sea now available for as a pdf for $1.
Krytos
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Posts: 7


« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2008, 08:56:50 PM »

A word or two is an inadequate description for what Light and Dark are meant to represent. Neither of them is good or evil, nor are the creatures that embody them angels or demons. I simply used these words as descritptions for what type of entities they are. The question I posed in my original post influences the game and provided the basis for what kinds of forces I was interested in. But there was also some points from the tradition fantasy story of the Hero slaying the Tyrant and saving the land. While the Tyrant oppresses the people, his conquering of the land unifies it, strengthens it, and provides stability. The Hero slays the Tyrant and gives freedom to the people, but may plunge the land into chaos and warfare.
The movie Hero gives a good idea of what I'm trying to define.

Light is a force based on creativity and the individual. It is a crisp spring day or a flashing thunderstorm. It is a belief in the freedom of all living things. It helps you and cares for you because it wants to. But it is also selfish and can be destructive when angry. If it does not care about you then it may be hurtful and cruel, simply because it wants to. It is the freedom to do, think, or be whatever you desire. The creatures that embody it are grandiose and terrifying, masters of whatever craft or art they put their mind to. They may make a humble beggar richer than a king, or they may eradicate an entire household for some small slight.

Dark is a force based on tranquility and stasis. It is a silent moonless night or the eternal shroud of death. It is a belief in unity and sacrifice. It helps and cares for you so that the community does not falter. But it is unfeeling and unforgiving those who hinder it. If it does not care for you then you are an obstacle to be removed. It the desire of the many combined into an unfeeling machine. The creatures that embody it are relentless and implacable in their tasks, and the purpose of this task is soley to advance their cause.
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Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2008, 02:39:43 AM »

Hi,

I really like your thematic cosmology (peace and happiness vs. free-will and creativity). What if I told you I think you need some system of interplay between the Light/Dark struggle and your resolution mechanics? That is, right now what you have is a system for resolving stuff, and then you sort of imagine what that all means in the Light/Dark struggle. If you were to try and make it more solid, mechanically perhaps, or maybe just more explicit in the text for how it should work, what kind of interplay would really nail your vision for the game?

Paul
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My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans
Krytos
Member

Posts: 7


« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2008, 03:00:53 AM »

Paul -

I completely agree with you, but I don't really know how to proceed. At the moment, all characters have a few "Destinies" (very similar to Action Points or Force Points from d20 variants). They are points you can spend to alter your rolls that refresh every session or day (specifics not yet determined). The effects of these points are different depending on whether your Light element or your Dark element is higher. Light Destinies give you large bonuses to any of your rolls, while Dark Destinies allow you to add or subtract from any other character's rolls (but not your own). They are kind of interesting, but I'm not sure how well they fit the theme, and they aren't part of the primary mechanic, which is what I really want.

Earlier in development I tried to come up with varying dice rolls for people with different Light and Dark elemental scores. Light had very large ranges and Dark had very small ones, while they all averaged to the same thing. The problem was that I could balance it and make both sides equally valid. I've thought about what to do over the past few days, but I think I'm working in circles. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2008, 06:22:37 AM »

Hey, an honest "I'm not sure, but I know I want something" is a great response.

There are lots of ways to think about an interplay between the Light/Dark struggle and moment-by-moment events. Here are two:

1. Do you think you want character actions to "trickle up" to be reflected in world changes? (If so, maybe take a look at the Parameter mechanics in Ray Winninger's Underground. The Parameters are a snarl of gauges that measure socioeconomic factors in the world.)

2. Do you think you want the current state of the Light/Dark conflict to be reflected in the way players characterize their actions? (If so, maybe take a look at my suggestion here to Zak Arntson for how Practicality and Cognizance might affect the character of scenes in his game Chthonian.)

Paul
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My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans
Krytos
Member

Posts: 7


« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2008, 02:52:31 AM »

After a little research into Underground and Chthonian, I think the trickle up mechanic from Underground suits the setting better. How to implement this, on the other hand, is another matter entirely (especially since I couldn't find an actual printing of the rules used in Underground). Since humans are supposed to be the ones that ultimately decide the fate of, well, everything, it makes sense for the players to be able to affect this outcome. But there are plenty of other humans who can also affect it, and balancing this gives me issues.

My initial reaction is to simply allow players different ways to spend their Destinies, one being to slightly alter the overall alignment of an area (i.e. a town), and areas would simply have a value on a scale. Destinies would be awarded for actions in tune with the character's dominant element (Light or Dark). But this seems difficult to determine the right scale size for; too small, and the players impact will be enormous; too big, and there impact inconsequential. My best thought so far is for low population areas to have small scales and large population areas to have large scales. And what about Destinies and NPC's? Should they have them and if so can they spend theirs to negate the player's?

I also had some thoughts about changing what a player's Destinies did based on their dominant element and the alignment of the area they were in. A Light Destiny might be less effective or have different effects in a Dark aligned area. But that's a side note, not what I'm looking for right now.

Any thoughts?
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Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 2341


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« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2008, 07:46:16 AM »

What if the overall alignment of an area was determined by the amount of Destinies held by Light and Dark aligned residents?

You could create quite an engaging meta-level conflict over the Destinies held by area residents. Perhaps there are different ways a character's un-spent Destinies are handled when the character dies. Under one given circumstance, the Destinies are are divided among the similarly aligned residents. Under another, they're lost from play, shifting the overall alignment of the area. Under yet another, maybe they cancel out Destinies of non-residents in the area who are of opposite alignment (i.e. characters who've traveled in). When a character decides to become a resident of an area, it would affect the alignment of the area. When a resident character spends his Destinies it affects the alignment of the area as well (that is, his un-spent Destinies are no longer working to maintain the status quo, but have been used to shift the moment-to-moment situation).

You could have guidelines for what an area is like based on how many resident characters are holding Destinies. An area would be politically manichaean if a certain percentage of Destinies in it were held by just one Light and one Dark character. It might be fascist if one Dark character held a lot of Destinies, but the Light Destinies were held across a wider number of characters.

(And hey, can I ask your name? Lots of folks on the Forge don't use internet aliases. It keeps it real.)

Paul
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My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans
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