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Author Topic: [The Rustbelt] attributes for a setting mod: "Heatwave"  (Read 2378 times)
Marshall Burns
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« on: February 03, 2009, 10:53:38 AM »

So, I'm working on this chapter for Rustbelt 1st ed. in which I explain how to modify the setting.  I do this partially because I know that people love tinkering with games and I'd like to give 'em some support for that, but also because it explains a lot about the structure of the game itself.  It's sort of lifting the hood and saying, "You see that thing?  It does X.  But you can swap it with Y, as long as you make sure not to take Z out with it, and the motor will still run" and stuff.

I came up with three examples for it:  Mosswood, Frontier Suns, and Heatwave.  Mosswood is a weird fantasy thing, Frontier Suns is a thinly-veiled Firefly rip-off, and Heatwave is a sort of slick, over-the-top, uber-stylized modern urban crimey thing.  I'm quickly falling in love with Heatwave in particular, and strongly considering making it into a supplement later.

Unlike Mosswood and Frontier Suns, Heatwave's stylistic considerations necessitated a complete overhaul of the attributes.  Mosswood needed only to have a few renamed, and Frontier Suns needed no change at all, but Heatwave calls for something completely different.

As you may know, I'm very interested in the way that the terms we give things in RPGs influences the way that people play.  I tried my damnedest to make Rustbelt's attributes intuitive and explanatory, and to make them imply Setting, and I think I did a pretty good job.

So, what I'd like to do real quick is present the Heatwave attributes, with no explanation whatsoever, and I'd like you to tell me what you think they're for, how you would use them.  I already know how I intend them to work, and I'll reveal that later; I want to know what your raw impressions are.  For the sake of science.

The attributes are:
Hard
Sharp
Cool
Smooth
Shifty
Likeable
Weird

So, let 'er rip.

(Paul Czege, if you're reading this, I demand that you participate, because I blame you for making me watch too many Guy Ritchie movies, which led directly to this idea!)

-Marshall
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agony
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Posts: 96


« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2009, 11:13:29 AM »

You asked how would you "use" them, but I'm not sure I can answer that as I'm not familiar with your game and what you normally do.  So I listed what they represent/describe to me.  Not sure if that's useful to you.

Hard - Physicall tough, emotionally cold, vindictive, and likely prone to anger
Sharp - Strong intellect, quick wits, solid hand-eye coordination
Cool - Steve McQueen
Smooth - Able to talk your way out of anything, able to pick up any woman from the local bar
Shifty -Cannot be trusted, easily able to disappear from sight
Likeable - Able to emotionally calm someone, gain someone's trust, or just appear charismatic
Weird - Complete opposite of likeable, wouldn't appear very useful except to cause you problems.
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You can call me Charles
Marshall Burns
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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2009, 12:30:35 PM »

Charles,
Yeah, that's precisely the sort of answer I'm looking for:  in what ways do these attributes make you effective?

And, since you've brought it up and made me intensely curious, I am now obligated to ask you:  If you aren't familiar with the game, what prompted you to post?  Or to even come to the BtW forum? 

-Marshall
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agony
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Posts: 96


« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2009, 11:17:13 AM »

Charles,
Yeah, that's precisely the sort of answer I'm looking for:  in what ways do these attributes make you effective?

And, since you've brought it up and made me intensely curious, I am now obligated to ask you:  If you aren't familiar with the game, what prompted you to post?  Or to even come to the BtW forum? 

-Marshall

Well I guess I am familiar.  I know of your game and I've read Ron's Actual Play posts concerning it.  I would really like to play it and thought about picking up the ashcan but held off after all the talk of ditching the magic spell list (I'm not a huge fan of spell lists anyway so this pleased me) and changing aspects of the game.  When I said I wasn't familiar I was talking about the specific mechanics as I'm not sure how your game resolves conflicts (I remember there's lots of attributes/dice though).

I am eagerly awaiting a final or 1st edition of the game though so I'm keeping an eye on this forum.
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You can call me Charles
Marshall Burns
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Posts: 485


« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2009, 02:52:04 PM »

Oh, okay, cool!

Yeah, I can totally dig why you'd hesitate to buy the ashcan.  I was pretty stunned and abashed myself to see how quickly I arrived at changes and solutions -- pretty much immediately after publishing the damned thing.  Which is also why I haven't been pushing or advertising the ashcan; it makes me itch to try to get folks to buy it when it's already no longer the ashcan itself that needs examination, but the new text that I'm currently working on.

Now, here's a thing I've been meaning to announce but kept forgetting, and it might be of interest to you.  Because of all the above stuff, I've decided that, for this particular book, I'm gonna count the $10 of the ashcan towards whatever price the final edition is (I have no clue what it's going to be yet; just for an example, if it was $20, and you bought the ashcan, you need only pay another $10 to get the final book -- you paid $20 for it, just like everyone else).  Shipping & handling isn't factored into this, because I can't afford to do that.

I'm not saying that this is Official BtW Ashcan Policy.  It's just the policy on this particular one.
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Marshall Burns
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Posts: 485


« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2009, 02:33:00 PM »

Hey Charles (and anyone else interested),
I'm posting the results of this on Story Games here.

-Marshall
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