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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 61 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: New RPG idea Frozen Dawn RPG  (Read 4502 times)
Alokov
Member

Posts: 62


« on: July 19, 2009, 07:55:24 PM »

Hey. I'm writing my own RPG now. I am only a teenager so please bear with my  teenage silliness. It's a post-apocalyptic game set at the end of the next Ice Age. Cromagnus/cromagnum man has started to dig up technology from the "modern era." The three main player groups each have a different view of this tech. There are those who worship humanity, called the Church of Humanity (boring name. I know.) This group is basically a carte blanch to drop in whatever pop song, pulp novel etc. the GM wants to. For example the song "Dancing Through Life" from the musical "Wicked" could be being sung as a hymn or the Wheel of Time series of fantasy novels could be holy books for a sect of the COH. The second group want to study the tech and figure out how to copy and/or improve on it. I haven't come up with a name for them yet. The final playable "white hat" group are the ones who don't really care. They'll use tech but they don't really want to bother studying it and certainly don't worship it. The bad guys are the Heavenly Scourge. They think that technology is completely evil and want to destroy it. They are the ones who rule most if not all of the cities in the game. How, you may well ask, does the Scourge manage to defeat or even avoid being obliterated by the other groups, since it refuses to use technology. The answer is Solar Psionics. The ozone layer has been thoroughly decimated. Enough UV radiation now reaches Earth's surface to cause mutations in many humans and animals. (Please tell me if this is horrible science). Some humans, called Solar Psions, absorbed the extra UV light and can eject it from their bodies and use it in many different ways. (Blasts of energy, shooting out the ground to increase the height of their jumps, etc.) The magic system is free-form and based on power level (on a tentative scale of 1 to 100.) Every time a player or the GM wants to use UV radiation for something they go through a diplomatic discussion to determine what would be reasonable for that person's power level and what the cost would be in terms of power. They then subtract the agreed upon cost and "cast the spell." Solar Psions have different max power levels depending on their experience. They meditate in the sun each day to restore their power level to max. The Scourge worships Solar Psions as prophets, angels, etc. What they are called varies between groups of Scourge agents but they are always gifted by God with their powers. Scourge Psions go through an initiation in which they sit in a chamber which focuses UV light on them. Those who survive this ceremony are more powerful than those who do not undergo it. There is also a lot of infighting between sects of Scourge agents who follow different religions.

I will probably be using the Tri-Stat system.

Thank you for wading through this long and rambling post and please forgive me for the horrible organization and extreme length. I would love some feedback and possibly help with the mechanics because I suck at mechanical stuff.

Thanks.

Finally, many have been mutated by the UV radiation in monstrous ways (extra limbs, fur, etc.) They are discriminated against or outright hunted and hide in remote villages.
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Luke
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Posts: 1359

Conventions Forum Moderator, First Thoughts Pest


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« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2009, 08:21:13 PM »

Okay, ice age, end of civilization/rise of civilization, three groups of retards, but what is your game about? What do the players do in your game? Who are the characters? What's the goal of a game session?

-L
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Alokov
Member

Posts: 62


« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2009, 09:00:32 PM »

It's about fear. Fear of the Scourge to be specific. At low levels the goal would be to simply survive while also trying to take the Scourge down a peg while you're at it. I like to think  of it as a post-apocalyptic WWII where the Scourge is the Gestapo and the PCs are members of the Resistance. Therefore the most common things that they do will be typical guerilla warfare stuff. (Blowing up important buildings, ambushing patrols, kidnapping commanders etc.)

I hope this answers your question Luke. Thanks for the feedback.
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David C
Member

Posts: 262

lost in the woods...


« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2009, 09:23:39 PM »

It IS horrible science, but as long as you unashamedly admit to it, nobody will care. I mean, after all, Superman gets powers from the sun, why not future mutants?

For your magic, how about the player says what they want to do and writes on a piece of paper how much he thinks it should cost.  Then the gm says how much he thinks it should cost.  If the player's guess is less than the GM's, but within 20 points, he pays his cost. If it is more than 20 points less than the GM's cost, he pays the GM's cost +20.  If he guesses over the GM, he pays the GM's cost. 

Also, Alokov, since you don't seem particularly good at organizing your thoughts, can you just write a list of specific questions in addition to your summary?
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...but enjoying the scenery.
Alokov
Member

Posts: 62


« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2009, 09:42:20 PM »

Thank you. I will probably end up using that magic system. It seems to accomplish all that I was trying for while avoiding all the pitfalls I saw with my solution.

Also, thank you for the bit about the horrible science I certainly would rather admit it than overhaul my setting.

I understand that I ramble (as I am doing right now.) So here's my list of questions.

1. What do you think of the basic game idea (resistance vs. Gestapo-esque entity in a post Ice Age world)? More specifically do you think it's too constricting and/or likely to cause repetitive adventures?

2. What do you think of the organizations. Do you think I need more or fewer?  Do any stand out as particularly good or bad?

3. Do you think the Tri-Stat system is a good choice for this setting/type of game? if not please give some alternative systems that you think would work better and/or some suggestions on how to design a new system. Keep in mind, if you choose this option that I am not at all mathematically minded.

I hope these are focused enough.
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brianbloodaxe
Member

Posts: 34


« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2009, 02:39:26 AM »

1. What do you think of the basic game idea (resistance vs. Gestapo-esque entity in a post Ice Age world)?
Seems like a perfectly good premise to me, more important than my opinion though is that you want to run it and that is really all the validation that it needs.
More specifically do you think it's too constricting and/or likely to cause repetitive adventures?
That's up to you really. There are plenty of ways you could flesh it out to ensure it has variety but make sure that is doing that you don't end up diluting the original concept. If your game is "Primitive tribesmen exploring the moral and ethical implications of contemporary technology," then adding in a monastery full of ninjas and their trained monkeys will certainly add variety but it won't help you explore the implications of contemporary technology. Don't worry about the variety on offer in your game, if a game concept os only good for six sessions then it is better to run it for six sessions that to stretch it out to fifty.
3. Do you think the Tri-Stat system is a good choice for this setting/type of game? if not please give some alternative systems that you think would work better and/or some suggestions on how to design a new system. Keep in mind, if you choose this option that I am not at all mathematically minded.
Tri-Stat system would certainly be able to run something like this and thinking about it the minor and major gadget rules are just what you need to represent the assortment to tech that will feature in your game. Some people would say that you should first make sure that such a traditional system is really what you want -maybe you would want some mechanics in your game directly related to your character's faith in or fear of technology- but I figure that if you are comfortable with the Tri-Stat system then go with it! The worst that can happen is that it isn't the system that you are looking for and you can try something else. That is what playtesting is for after all!
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Alokov
Member

Posts: 62


« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2009, 02:49:14 AM »

Thank you for all this great feedback. Being new to The Forge I am utterly shocked at the speed with which I'm getting responses. Having gone through several incarnations of this setting on other boards only to come back to my initial idea I can certainly appreciate not trying to stretch out the game longer than it's good for.

My main concern now is whether or not will sell. I am doing this primarily for fun but it would be nice if it could sell some too and I am willing to make small changes to the setting in order to make it sell better.
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greyorm
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Posts: 2233

My name is Raven.


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« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2009, 06:40:48 AM »

My main concern now is whether or not will sell. I am doing this primarily for fun but it would be nice if it could sell some too and I am willing to make small changes to the setting in order to make it sell better.

Designing a product according to the standards of a mythical committee will not make it sell any better or worse. Just worry about giving your product the best presentation you can, expressing your ideas clearly and passionately, and customers will follow, or not.
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
Thunder_God
Member

Posts: 486

Still Here.


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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2009, 08:11:16 AM »

Your setting, in some ways, reminds me of Dream Pod 9's Tribe 8, you might want to read up on it some.

The setting and premise seem alright, on the concept. As for the amount of factions, in the end, each group would make use of what interests them, horror game and resistance, or just survival and rediscovery in a post-apocalyptic setting, or moving between the two, so just present the background that you want, people will treat it as a sand-box.
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Guy Shalev.

Cranium Rats Central, looking for playtesters for my various games.
CSI Games, my RPG Blog and Project. Last Updated on: January 29th 2010
Noclue
Member

Posts: 304


« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2009, 09:07:19 AM »

Okay, some questions: How is your game about fear? What does it do to reinforce that? What do the players (rather than the PCs) do at the table?
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James R.
Alokov
Member

Posts: 62


« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2009, 12:46:59 PM »

The main way to reinforce fear is through roleplaying and interaction. Just moving through the streets is a daunting proposition as the Scourge is getting ever more paranoid and their trigger fingers are getting ever more itchy. They're starting to send out patrols to bust down random doors in order to look for Resistance safehouses. Haven't thought beyond this general level yet. Will post if I do come up with more.
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Alokov
Member

Posts: 62


« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2009, 03:21:42 PM »

Anyone know anything similar to this? Cause if there is anything similar to this I should change it.
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Thunder_God
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Posts: 486

Still Here.


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« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2009, 03:45:30 PM »

Cause if there is anything similar to this I should change it.

Why?

Work on what excites you. Even if it's "similar", it could be different enough. It could be better. It could be better for your needs.

Also, designing a game helps designing future games. Some of my later designs definitely benefited from experience gained working on previous designs. Even if none of them were great, or perhaps even good, they were better.
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Guy Shalev.

Cranium Rats Central, looking for playtesters for my various games.
CSI Games, my RPG Blog and Project. Last Updated on: January 29th 2010
Simon C
Member

Posts: 495


« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2009, 03:50:58 PM »

Hi Alokov,

I think you're running into a difficulty here, in that the primary interest of a lot of the people who post here is in how mechanics reinforce the aesthetics of play.  That means that before we can talk mechanics with you, we need to know what aesthetics you're going for.  

By "aesthetics" I mean the feeling of playing the game, the kinds of decisions the players have to make, the kinds of moral issues they have to deal with (if any), and the way the players interact with each other.  I definitely don't mean "the details of the setting".  At this point, we (or at least I) don't need to hear more about the setting.  What I want to hear about is the kind of experience you want players to have.

Sometimes it's hard to know what kind of experience you're looking for.  "You'll know it when you see it" or it's "Just good roleplaying".  It's especially hard to describe what you're looking for if you haven't played a lot of games that don't give you what you're looking for, but were fun anyway.  Talking about roleplaying experiences (rather than just the events that happened in the fiction of the game) is a tricky thing to do, and it's something that there hasn't really been a good language for.  One of the projects of this forum has been to develop a language for talking about the experience of playing roleplaying games.  

What I'd recommend to you is to go and read a bunch of threads in the "Actual Play" forums here, and even post a discussion if you feel like it.  Depending on your RPG experience, you might find it hard to follow some of the threads, so look for ones with games you know first.  Let us know how you get on.

Cheers,
Simon
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Alokov
Member

Posts: 62


« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2009, 05:25:39 PM »

Thanks, Simon. I think I was having that kinda trouble and I will certainly look into some actual play threads. My co-author (overly fancy title I know) and I have decided to publish this as a setting/campaign for an existing system (probably Pathfinder). We think it would be easier, especially as a first excursion into the realm of game design. This tidbit is probably not very germaine to this discussion since I would still like feedback and will incorporate it into the setting, but I just thought I'd let you know where we're heading with it.
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